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Noteworthy Events of 1996 by Category

Politics | Science & Technology | Popular Culture | Sports


Bob Dole sweeps primaries in March.

Clinton signs line-item veto bill on April 9 in an attempt to stop special interest groups from adding 'pork barrel' items to pending legislation.

Congress passes welfare reform bill; approved by Clinton on August 22

Clinton appoints Madeleine Albright as first female US secretary of state in December.

Republican convention nominates Bob Dole and Jack Kemp (Aug. 14); Democratic convention nominates incumbents Clinton and Gore, who win the national election (Nov. 5).

Clinton/Gore website of 1996

In the United States the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments are signed by President Bill Clinton on October 2, 1996 and the parameters of legality online are beginning to be shaped.

The President of the United States is sued on sexual harassment related charges.
Click here to view the complete court transcript.

Congress passes the Communications Decency Act.  The Supreme Court later throws it out on the grounds that it violates the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

The first website for an incumbent president is created.  The website is no longer owned but it is archived here... http://www.ammi.org/cg96/


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  Science and Technology

Mobile phones become all the rage in 1996, and schoolkids everywhere consider them to be a major fashion accessory.

IRCNet is founded and thousands of geeky people log on to flirt with complete strangers and /me write in funny code.

Carl Sagan, popular astronomer and butt of many SNL jokes for his line of 'millions and millions of stars', dies.

Disney's Toy StoryTo Infinity and Beyond!  Toy Story is the first completely computer drawn movie.  It is created by the smallest group of animators to ever work on a major Disney film, but the process is so tedious that it takes 9 months to shade Andy's hair, and each week of work produces, on average, only 3 minutes of film.

Click here to view a trailer of Toy Story.

In a televised event, IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov, one of the most brilliant chess players of all time and a world champion, in a chess match that lasts 19 moves.  One week later, Kasparov comes back to defeat Deep Blue.  The age of AI (artificial intelligence) is confirmed.  Click here to view an overview of Kasparov's defeat and temper tantrum, and his press conference later.  IBM offers a complete archive of events here.

Typical modem is 14.4K bits/sec.

Yahoo stock goes public. In three years its market value will be $70 billion.

screen shot from QuakeThe shooter game Quake allows users to create their own levels of first person realism and critics everywhere scream 'too much violence'.  The American Psychological Association will later that year link TV violence with aggressive behavior.




America Online has 5,000,000 subscribers.  There are more than 100,000 websites available to Netscape and IE 3.

Netscape develops the cookie, a way to store and gather information from your computer.

Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell, is born.  cell cloning technique

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  Popular Culture

Album of the Year is Jagged Little Pill, by Alanis Morrisette...album cover of Jagged Little Pill go here to listen to selections from the album.

  I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone
  I recommend walking around naked in your living room
  Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
  It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
  Wait until the dust settles
       You live you learn
       You love you learn
       You cry you learn
       You lose you learn
       You bleed you learn
       You scream you learn    Alanis Morrisette
       I recommend biting off more than you can chew to anyone
       I certainly do
       I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
       Feel free
       Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
       Hold it up (to the rays)
       You wait and see when the smoke clears
       (repeat chorus)
       Wear it out (the way a three-year-old would do)
       Melt it down (you're gonna have to eventually anyway)
       The fire trucks are coming up around the bend
       (repeat chorus)
       You grieve you learn
       You choke you learn
       You laugh you learn
       You choose you learn
       You pray you learn
       You ask you learn
       You live you learn

The Academy Award for Best Picture goes to Braveheart, starring Mel Gibson.  Mel Gibson in BraveheartClick here to see the trailer.








Janet Jackson becomes the highest paid musician in history when she signs an $80-million deal with Virgin Records.

singer SealThe Grammy's add a new award category, Best Rap Album, and the winners are Naughty by Nature.  The Best New Group - Hootie and the Blowfish.

In other categories, NIN wins Best Metal Performance, Nirvana wins Best Alternative Performance, and Pearl Jam wins best Hard Rock Performance.  Ironically, Seal's Kiss from a Rose wins Best Record and Best Song of the Year.


Gangsta rapper Tupac Shakur is shot four times in a drive-by shooting. He dies six days later at age 25.

Jazz great Ella Fitzgerald dies.  jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald

Super Mario and the PrincessNintendo produces 64-bit Super Mario 64 home video game.




The Pulitzer Prize for fiction is given to Richard Ford for Independence Day.

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          Click here to view a video almanac of some of the highlights listed below from SI/CNN sports...

Super Bowl
Dallas d. Pittsburgh (27-17)

World Series
New York Yankees d. Atlanta Braves (4-2)

NBA Championship
Chicago d. Seattle (4-2)

Stanley Cup
Colorado d. Florida (4-0)

Women: Steffi Graf d. A.S. Vicario (6-3 7-5)
Men: Richard Krajicek d. M. Washington (6-3 6-4 6-3)

Kentucky Derby Champion

NCAA Basketball Championship
Kentucky d. Syracuse (76-67)

NCAA Football Champions
Florida (12-1)

Don Shula, the most winning football coach in history, retires.

Kerry StrugKerry Strug dislocates her ankle and still goes on to win the Gold Medal for the US Women's Gymnastic Team in the Atlanta Olympics.




Baltimore Oriole's second basemen Roberto Alomar spits on umpire John Hirshbeck over a disputed bad call.  Alomar receives a five game suspension and the outrage of fans.  Major league umpires threaten a strike when the suspension is delayed until the start of the 1997 season, and Alomar later publicly apologizes.

Cigar, one of the most winning thoroughbreds in history, race horse Cigar
retires after earning almost 10 million dollars. 

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