The People History Home

The Year 1994 From The People History 30 Years Ago

>What happened in 1994 Major News Stories include Northridge Earthquake San Fernando Valley, Channel Tunnel opens, Michael Jackson marries Lisa Marie Presley, Nelson Mandella becomes president of South Africa, Estonia sinks in the Baltic sea, First Satellite Digital Television Service Launched, Civil War in Rwanda. After many years the English Channel is opened joining England to France for the first time, this year also marks the 50th Anniversary of the Allied landings in France and the beginning of the end of the Second World War. Tensions start over Inspection of Nuclear Plants in North Korea. Rover in the UK is purchased by BMW. In the US the First Genetically Engineered Tomatoes become available and the use and sale of GM Foods is approved

What Events Happened in 1994

Nancy Kerrigan attacked

Tonya Harding wins the national Figure Skating championship title but is stripped of her title following an attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan.

More Information and Timeline for the attack on Nancy Kerrigan.

Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was suddenly attacked in Detroit, Michigan on January 6, 1994 after her skating practice. She was hit in the right knee but, fortunately, it was not fractured. It was going to be nearly impossible for Kerrigan to complete the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which were held during this week. Four men, including the ex-husband of Kerrigan's rival, Tonya Harding, were later sentenced to prison for the assault. Harding denied involvement.

Netscape Navigator

Netscape Navigator released quickly becoming market leader for browsing the web.

More Information for Netscape Navigator.

The full version of Netscape Navigator was released during December of 1994 and it was considered the first commercially successful web browser. It quickly became the leading web browser in the market and was offered for free to non-commercial users such as schools and non-profit organizations. Netscape Navigator’s popularity eventually declined during the late 1990s as Microsoft continued to improve and promote their own Internet Explorer web browser. Netscape eventually released their code under an open-source license where it was used for the creation of Mozilla Firefox. Support for it ended in 2008.

South Africa - First Multi-Racial Elections

1. South Africa holds its first multi-racial elections after the end of apartheid during April News Events.

2. The election was conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission, which later became a permanent part of South African elections after 1996 .

3. The African National Congress party won a majority of the votes with about 62 percent.

4. The party leader was anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, who was appointed president the following month.

5. There was nearly 87 percent turnout with over 19 million ballots cast.

United States - NASA STS-62 Shuttle Mission

NASA’s STS-62 mission took place during March. The Space Shuttle Columbia launched from the Kennedy Space Center with a crew of five. The Crew included John H. Casper, Andrew M. Allen, Pierre J. Thuot, Charles D. Gemar, and Marsha S. Ivins. The crew conducted several experiments during The mission including growing crystals in microgravity. The mission lasted nearly 14 days and its landing was documented for a Discovery Channel special about the Space Shuttle Program.

Brazil Wins 1994 World Cup

Brazil Wins 1994 World Cup in United States

More Information and Timeline for the 1994 FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup for soccer begins on June 17th, 1994 and lasts until July 17th. It is held in the United States for the first time in the competition’s history and matches take place in nine different cities across the country. The cities include Pasadena, Pontiac, Stanford, East Rutherford, Chicago, Dallas, Foxborough, Orlando, and Washington, D.C. There were a total of 52 games held throughout the tournament and at the end of it Brazil defeated Italy to win the title. The USA World Cup was recorded as one of the highest attended in history, and it was thought to have influenced a surge in the popularity of soccer in the United States, especially since the United States Team made it to the round of 16 for the first time since 1930.

Sweden and Norway European Union Vote

Sweden and Norway vote on whether or not to join the European Union.

More Information for Sweden and Norway in the European Union.

Citizens in both Sweden and Norway voted on whether or not to join the European Union during November of 1994. The two Scandinavian countries held public referendums on the issue only one month after their neighbor Finland did the same. In Sweden, the vote came out to fifty-two percent in favor of joining the EU with an eighty-three percent voter turnout. While in Norway, fifty-two percent of voters stated they were against joining the EU with an eighty-nine percent voter turnout.

Cost of Living 1994

Yearly Inflation Rate USA 2.61%

Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 3834

Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 8.50%

Average Cost of new house $119,050.00

Average Income per year $37,070.00

Average Monthly Rent $533.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas $1.09

Movie Ticket $4.08

Average cost of new car $12,350.00

Loaf of Bread $1.59

Dozen Eggs 86 cents

Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling

Average House Price 68,032

Gallon of Petrol 2.52

Yearly Inflation Rate UK 2.4%

Interest Rates Year End Bank of England 6.13%

FTSE 100 Average 3250

2 examples from Childrens Toys From The 1994 Page

Play-Doh Cookie Lovin' Oven From The 1990s Play-Doh Cookie Lovin' Oven
Manufacturer: Play-Doh
Price: $19.99
Description Kids can scoop Play-Doh into the cookie molds on cookie sheet, put the tray in the oven, and set the timer. Bell goes off in seconds and cookies are "done." Set includes oven, two plates, scoop, spatula, knife and extruder with rail.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Costumes From The 1990s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Costumes
Price: $17.99 each
Description Costumes include jumpsuit, plastic helmet, and belt with plastic buckle. Choose from Pink Ranger Kimberly or Red Ranger Jason.

Other Major Events From 1994

Civil War in Rwanda

Intermittent Civil War in Rwanda between Majority Hutus and minority Tutsis after assassination of President estimates of 1/2 million people killed in civil wars

Nelson Mandella

ANC triumphs in first Multiracial elections and on May 10 Nelson Mandella becomes president of South Africa

Channel Tunnel

Channel Tunnel opened on May 6th between England and France

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Serbia continues attacks on Bosnia


Haiti invaded by US democracy restored

50th Anniversary of the Allied landings

In France celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of the Allied landings ( the start of the ending of the second world war )

Genetically Engineered Tomatoes

First Genetically Engineered Tomatoes Available use of GM Foods in US approved

Northridge Earthquake

Northridge Earthquake, magnitude 6.7, hits the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles


German luxury car manufacturer BMW announces the purchase of Rover from British Aerospace

Solar Tradition Cult

48 members of the Order of the Solar Tradition Cult commit suicide to escape the hypocrisies and oppression of this world.

OJ Simpson

OJ Simpson flees police in his white ford bronco

MLB Players Strike

Major League Baseball Players Association begin 232 day strike causing 1994 season to be cancelled

Orange County

Orange County, Calif. files for bankruptcy protection

Yasser Arafat

PLO leader Yasser Arafat returns to Palestine after 27 years in exile

North Korea

North Korea Tensions over inspections of Nuclear Plants

South Korea Seongsu suspension bridge

The Seongsu suspension bridge over the Han River in Seoul collapses killing 32.

Ferry Estonia sinks

Estonian Ferry Estonia sinks in the Baltic sea off the coast of Finland over 900 dead

Achille Lauro

The Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro is destroyed during a fire of the coast of Somalia

Russia Chechnya

Russian President Boris Yeltsin orders tanks and troops into the rebel region of Chechnya to restore order

UK Lottery

The New UK Lottery Introduced with an estimated jackpot of £7m

Sunday Trading Laws

New Sunday Trading Laws allows shops in Britain to open legally on Sundays

Frederick West

Frederick West serial killer together with his wife Rosemary West, was responsible for the murder of at least twelve young women

U.S. Tornados

Tornado outbreak occurs in Southeastern United States

Australopithecus afarensis skull

The journal Nature reports the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull

Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna of Brazil, age 34, is tragically killed during the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy

Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty

Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty ending state of war that has existed between the nations since 1948.

Irish Republican Army

The Irish Republican Army announces a "complete cessation of military operations"


The United Nations Peace Keeping Force Withdraws From Somalia following attacks by militia

Whitewater scandal

The Whitewater scandal investigation begins


The North American Free Trade Agreement ( Making The Largest Trading Bloc of Countries In The World ) United States, Canada and Mexico.


Norwegian voters Vote No To Joining The European Union

Ebola virus

A New Outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus begins on May 9th in Zaire which continues in 1995 ( highest case fatality rates of any human pathogenic virus, roughly 90%. )

Montana wildfires

Violent wildfires destroy 286,000 acres in Montana.


Eurostar rail service carrying passengers between London, Paris and Brussels is launched

Brazil World Cup

Brazil Wins 1994 World Cup in United States

Winter Olympic Games

The Winter Olympic Games are held in Lillehammer, Norway

Technology 1994

Worlds First Satellite Digital Television Service Launched

Netscape Navigator released quickly becoming market leader for browsing the web

Java programming language first released from Sun Microsystems

Scientists in Southern England estimate the oldest Europeans at 500,000 years old

The Channel Tunnel, which took 15,000 workers over seven years to complete, and is 31 miles long joining France and England opens on 6th May

The European Fighter Aircraft "Eurofighter" has makes its inaugural test flight after 10 years in development

Popular Culture 1994

Lisa Marie Presley marries Michael Jackson

Kurt Cobain commits suicide

Popular Films

The Shawshank Redemption

Forrest Gump

The Lion King (Disney)

True Lies

The Santa Clause

The Flintstones

Dumb & Dumber

Clear and Present Danger


The Mask

Pulp Fiction

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Miracle on 34th Street

Muriels Wedding

Star Trek: Generations

Popular Musicians

Bryan Adams

Rod Stewart


Sheryl Crow with All I Wanna Do

Bon Jovi



Janet Jackson

Pearl Jam

Phil Collins

Snoop Doggy Dogg

Alice in Chains

Boys II Men with On Bended Knees and I'll Make Love To You

Rolling Stones

Blind Melon

Celine Dion with Power of Love

Beastie Boys

Popular TV Shows

Law & Order

America's Funniest Home Videos

One Foot in the Grave (UK)


The Jerry Springer Show

The Ren & Stimpy Show

Absolutely Fabulous

Beavis and Butt-head


Mighty Morphin Power Rangers


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

The Late Show with David Letterman

The X-Files

1994 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders 1994

Australia Prime Minister Paul Keating

Brazil President Itamar Franco

Canada Prime Minister Jean Chrétien

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin

France President François Mitterrand

Germany Chancellor Helmut Kohl

India Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao

Italy Prime Minister Carlo Azeglio Ciampi Till 10 May

Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi From 10 May

Japan Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa Till 28 April

Japan Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata From 28 April

Japan Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata Till 30 June

Japan Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama From 30 June

Mexico President Carlos Salinas de Gortari Till 30 November

Mexico President Ernesto Zedillo From 30 November

Russia / Soviet Union General Secretary of the CPSU Boris Yeltsin South Africa State President Frederik Willem de Klerk Till 10 May

South Africa State President Nelson Mandela From 10 May

United States President Bill Clinton

United Kingdom Prime Minister John Major