- As 2019 approaches, it’s time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of everything that happened in 1999.
- Britney Spears and Ricky Martin both hit it big exactly 20 years ago.
- Crispy M&M’S and Go-GURT were children’s favourite snacks in 1999.
- It’s been two decades since President Bill Clinton’s impeachment and the introduction of the Euro.
Those days may seem like yesterday, but as we ring in 2019, everything we were introduced to in 1999 officially happened 20 years ago.
From a sex scandal in the White House to a famous cartoon, here is everything turning 20 in the new year.
“SpongeBob SquarePants” celebrates his 20th birthday this year.
Nickelodeon introduced audiences to “SpongeBob SquarePants” on May 1, 1999. After a slow start, the show has become the No. 1 children’s television show and created a multi-billion dollar franchise. Twenty years later, the show still airs new episodes and has even been adapted into a hit Broadway musical and nominated for a Tony Award.
The Euro currency marks its 20th year in 2019.
Twenty years ago 11 countries in Western Europe agreed to use a new currency: the Euro. Today the Euro is still used and accepted throughout Europe and is considered one of the world’s leading currencies.
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” also turns 20.
On September 20, 1999, show creator Dick Wolf brought the Special Victims Unit to the screen in a police procedural. Two decades later the show has become one of the longest-running scripted drama series on television. “SVU’s” lead actress, Mariska Hargitay, has remained at the helm of the critically acclaimed show for all 20 years.
Crispy M&M’S were also first introduced 20 years ago.
While M&M’S have been around since 1941, the company introduced the Crispy M&M in 1999. The crispy candies were bigger than the regular milk chocolate versions and had a wafer in the center. The new flavour became an instant hit but was discontinued in 2005 because it was a limited edition. Since then, the company said the Crispy M&M was the most sought-after discontinued flavour.In 2015, the company brought the Crispy back and it’s still in stores today.
Bluetooth was invented 20 years ago.
In 1999, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (a conglomerate of five different companies) released a new, revolutionary technology. By pairing devices using short-range radio signals, they were able to create what we now know as Bluetooth. Today, it’s used to pair wireless headphones, wireless speakers, game controllers, and even file transfers. Apple’s successful AirPods also now run on Bluetooth technology.
Apple’s first iBook also turns 20 in 2019.
Apple released the iBook in 1999, designed to be a more user-friendly laptop. The iBook – which sold for $US1,599 –carried the staple transparent colour cases seen on the iMac and was known as the Clamshell. The iBook series was later replaced with the MacBook in 2006, which now costs $US1,299.
The biggest fear two decades ago was Y2K.
As humans are often afraid of the unknown, the approaching new millennium ushered in fear of a looming doomsday. People called it Y2K or the Millennium Bug because computers were not programmed to display 2000. They thought computers would fail and networks would crash, and expected the world to descend into chaos.
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” premiered in 1999.
In August 1999, America was introduced to the now-famous “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” game show. Regis Philbin was the original host of the show, but today Chris Harrison of “The Bachelor” is the one giving everyday people the chance to become millionaires.
Britney Spears has been a pop superstar for 20 years after the success of her first album, “…Baby One More Time.”
Although her first ever single “…Baby One More Time” premiered in 1998, it wasn’t until the following year that Britney Spears’ first album of the same name was dropped. The album sold over 10 million copies to-date, making it her most successful album. Today, the pop star is still making music and heading into her second residency in Las Vegas.
Yoplait’s Go-GURT was all the craze in 1999.
Yoplait changed the yogurt game in 1999 when they introduced the Go-GURT, which put the yogurt in a plastic tube. Children would squeeze and slurp the yogurt out instead of using a tube – making it the yogurt you take, well, on the go. You can still enjoy Go-GURT by purchasing it in most grocery stores and on Amazon.
President Bill Clinton was acquitted 20 years ago.
It was 20 years ago that President Bill Clinton was acquitted of two articles of impeachment charging him with lying under oath and obstruction of justice. In 1998 it had been revealed that he had had a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Today Monica Lewinsky still speaks out about the relationship, especially in light of the #MeToo movement. She says Clinton does not believe he owes her an apology for his behaviour.
USB flash drives were first used in 1999.
Although it wasn’t for sale until 2000, the USB flash drive was invented in 1999, making it 20 years old this year. The invention ushered out the usage of floppy discs for saving files. Now flash drives are completely customisable and come in every shape and size.
“Super Smash Bros.” was released 20 years ago.
Nintendo combined some of its most successful franchises – including “Mario,” “The Legend of Zelda,” and “Pokémon” – to create “Super Smash Bros.,” released in 1999. At the time, there were only 12 characters, but now there are five times as many in the fighting game. Versions have also been created for the Switch and Wii.
“I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys is also turning 20.
The Backstreet Boys dropped their iconic single “I Want It That Way” in 1999, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 chart and stayed on the chart for almost 26 weeks. Twenty years later, the band is still putting out music. This year they released their song “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”
The first BlackBerry was released in 1999.
The BlackBerry phone was introduced to consumers in 1999 by a Canadian company called Research in Motion (RIM). The device was originally a pager that was equipped to connect to wireless internet. By the early 2000s RIM started to turn BlackBerry into a phone, and it quickly infiltrated the mainstream becoming a popular phone of choice.Today BlackBerry phones are still for sale but, of course, are in sharp competition with the iPhone.
Victoria and David Beckham got married two decades ago.
Before 1999, Victoria Adams was an international pop star and David Beckham was an international soccer star. But on July 4, 1999, they became Victoria and David Beckham – one of the highest profiled celebrity couples. They tied the knot in a castle outside of Dublin where she actually wore a crown with her wedding dress. Two decades later they are still married with four children.
“The Matrix” franchise began 20 years ago.
The successful “The Matrix” franchise is turning 20 in 2019. The first movie of the trilogy premiered in 1999 and introduced audiences to Neo, a computer programmer played by Keanu Reeves who learns that people are living in a simulated reality. The movie changed the game for action films with its incredible usage of CGI and martial arts. Recently, there have been rumours that “The Matrix” may be rebooted with Michael B. Jordan.
Ricky Martin’s Latin icon status was cemented 20 years ago when he released his hit “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”
Ricky Martin made a major splash on the music scene in 1999 when he released his chart-topping single “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” The single reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Rythmic Songs chart and stayed there for 21 weeks, while VH1 later named it one of its 100 Greatest Songs of the ’90s. Martin has transitioned to acting, recently starring in “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.”
It’s been 20 years since “10 Things I Hate About You” was released.
When “10 Things I Hate About You” premiered in 1999, it instantly became a classic. The film is a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” where Julia Stiles’ and Heath Ledger’s high school characters reluctantly fall for each other.
“The Sixth Sense” is also turning 20.
Before 1999, no one really heard the now-famous line, “I see dead people.” But when M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Sixth Sense” premiered, it quickly became a cultural juggernaut. As of 2017,it’s also the highest grossing horror movie of all time, earning $US672.8 million. Although the plot twist is now well-known, the film itself is still frightening.
“Believe” by Cher was released.
In 1999, it had been 25 years since Cher topped the Billboard charts, but she shocked everyone when she reached the feat a fourth time with her single “Believe.” The song not only popularised the question “Do you believe in life after love?,” but also ushered in Auto-Tune’s popularity in pop music, Billboard reports. Today, Cher is still making music and recently released an album of Abba covers after appearing in 2018’s “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.”
Napster, the music downloading site, was created in 1999.
Before the launch of Napster in 1999, the terms “downloading” and “sharing” had totally different meanings than they do today, says Fortune. Napster helped users illegally download music and share it with their friends. At its peak, it garnered 70 million users and is still considered one of the fastest-growing businesses of all time. But the company ran into major legal trouble after infringing on copyrights and folded in 2002.
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