The People History Home

The Year 1999 From The People History 25 Years Ago

What happened in 1999 Major News Stories include World Worries about Y2K and the millennium bug, Columbine High School shootings, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, found guilty of second-degree murder for giving a lethal injection in a case of voluntary euthanasia, Start of Millennium celebrations worldwide, Euro currency introduced, Pakistan and India fight for control of Kashmir. The worlds population exceeds Six Billion. The Wars in the Balkans continue to cause suffering in the region, but both sides do come to the table and a peace is agreed. The world prepares for the new millennium parties and computers around the world run testing for the millennium bug which could cause wide scale disruption to business and infrastructure if not fixed. The take up of the Internet and Mobile Phones around the world open up new opportunities for successful entrepreneurs.

What Events Happened in 1999

United States --- Hurricane Floyd

Hurricane Floyd a Category 4 storm with winds in excess of 140 mph strikes North Carolina

More Information for Hurricane Floyd

Hurricane Floyd, a category 4 storm, hits the United States East coast during September of 1999. About 3 million people evacuated their homes in anticipation of the storm, which at its peak had winds of up to 140 miles per hour. While initial reports thought Florida would be the state that was the hardest hit, North Carolina experienced the worst of the storm with massive flooding affected parts of the state. Reported death tolls related to the storm fall somewhere between 68 and 52 people.

United States --- Columbine High School massacre

Two boys 17 and 18 years old go on a rampage at Columbine High School on April 20th Killing 13

More Information and Timeline for Columbine High School massacre

1. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kept journals documenting their plan for a major bombing to rival that of the Oklahoma City bombing. with details about the planned attack on Columbine High School.

2. They kept videos that documented the explosives, ammunition, and weapons they had obtained. The pair shot videos of doing target practice in nearby foothills, as well as areas of the high school they planned to attack

3. Thieu Gun Arsenal included a 12-gauge Savage-Springfield 67H pump-action shotgun, a Hi-Point 995 Carbine 9 mm carbine, a 9×19mm Intratec TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun and a 12-gauge Stevens 311D double-barreled sawed-off shotgun.

4. Their Bomb Arsenal consisted of 99 improvised explosive devices of various designs and sizes Using instructions found on the Internet

5. 10:30 AM On the day of the shooting and bombing they made a final video saying goodbye and apologizing to their friends and families.

6. 11:10 AM They parked their cars either side of The high school cafeteria, their bomb target,

7. 11:10 AM armed two 20 pound (9 kg) propane bombs before entering the cafeteria a few minutes prior to the beginning of the "A" lunch shift set to explode at approximately 11:17 a.m.

8. Return to their separate vehicles to await the explosion, and to shoot survivors fleeing the building.

9. The bombs fail to explode

10. After the bombs fail to explode the 2 armed, they climbed to the top of the outdoor West Entrance steps, directly above the cafeteria.

11. The two gunmen pulled their guns from beneath their trench coats and began shooting at Castaldo and Scott

12. Fully armed they continue shooting any targets who were in range

13. Patti Nielson, an art teacher dialed 9-1-1 and hid under the library's administrative counter

14. 11:24 Deputy Neil Gardner, the assigned Student Resource Officer to Columbine, While exiting his patrol car in the Senior lot a call on the school radio informs him , "Neil, there's a shooter in the school"

15. Deputy Neil Gardner exchanges fire with the 2 gunmen

16. Back in the school, the 2 gunmen moved along the main North Hallway, throwing pipe bombs and shooting at anyone they encountered.

17. 11:29 a.m. – 11:36 a.m.: Harris and Klebold entered the School library, where a total of 52 students, two teachers and two librarians had concealed themselves, at 11:35 they killed the final student 17-year-old Corey DePooter

18. 12:08 p.m they were heard to say "One! Two! Three!" and they committed suicide

19. In all they had murdered 12 students and one teacher and injured 21 others

The massacre sparked renewed debate over gun control laws, high school cliques, subcultures and bullying. It resulted in an increased emphasis on school security with zero tolerance policies

Europe -- Euro Currency Created

The Euro is established as the new common currency of the European Union on January 1st. It was initially used as a virtual currency in the financial markets and physical currency began circulating in 2002. The Euro replaced the currency of eleven European Union nations at first and it expanded to others eventually. The original Euro countries included Austria, Finland, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland, and Portugal. Several EU countries also opted out of adopting the Euro like Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Denmark. The idea of a common currency had been mandated in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty that created the European Union.

Cost of Living 1999

How Much things cost in 1999

Yearly Inflation Rate USA 2.19%

Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 11,497

Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 8.50%

Average Cost of new house $131,750.00

Average Income per year $40,810.00

Average Monthly Rent $645.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas $1.22

Average cost of new car $21,050.00

US Postage Stamp 33 cents

1 LB of Bacon $2.59

Ground Coffee per IB $3.41

Loaf of Bread $1.49

Dozen Eggs 89 cents

Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling

Average House Price 79,384

Interest Rates Year End Bank of England 5.50%

FTSE 100 Average 6500

2 examples from Childrens Toys From The 1999 Page

Barbie Dream House From The 1990s Barbie Dream House
Manufacturer: Mattel
Price: $134.99
Description Fully-furnished 2-story house especially eleven and a half inch dolls. Features working elevator and soft, fabric curtains and pillows.

Game Boy Color From The 1990s Game Boy Color
Manufacturer: Nintendo
Price: $79.99
Description Your choice of three hot system colors; kiwi, teal, or atomic purple. New reflective color screen lets you play indoors or outdoors. Play full-color Game Boy Color games, A-G, or any standard Game Boy game in limited color.

Other Major Events From 1999

United States - Napster Released

1. The online peer-to-peer file sharing service, Napster, is released during June.

2. The service was created by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker.

3. It was mainly used by people who shared MP3 music and digital audio files.

4. As the laws about file sharing and copyright regarding the internet were just newly established, the service soon ran into legal troubles dealing with copyright infringement.

5. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), A&M Records, and several other record companies filed lawsuits against Napster by the end of the year for violating the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act).

6. By 2001, Napster was forced to shut down its music-sharing service and was instead changed to a subscription model.

USA -- Bill Clinton Acquitted

The United States Senate acquits President Bill Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice on February 12th, ending his five week long impeachment trial. Details of the trial centered on the President’s inappropriate relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton had lied to the American public when he initially denied the relationship. The final vote for the charge of perjury was 55 for not guilty and 45 for guilty and it was 50 to 50 for the obstruction charge. The Senate required a two-thirds majority to convict and remove Clinton from office. The trial was presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

USA -- SpongeBob Premieres

The popular children’s cartoon show “SpongeBob SquarePants” premieres on the Nickelodeon cable network on May 1. The show was created by animator Stephen Hillenburg who had previously been a marine biology teacher. The title character was voiced by comedian Tom Kenny who also provided voices for “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “CatDog,” “The Powerpuff Girls,” and “Adventure Time.” SpongeBob SquarePants was one of the highest rated and longest running shows on Nickelodeon with over 200 episodes. It still has a large following today and has led to the production of several movies, video games, comic books, and mass amounts of merchandise like clothing and toys.

East Timor -- Independence Referendum

The citizens of East Timor voted in a referendum on their independence from Indonesia on August 30th. Indonesia had annexed the country in 1976 and maintained it as a province. As pro-independence movements gained traction, the President of Indonesia asked the United Nations to set up the referendum in which the East Timorese people were given the choice of remaining in Indonesia but with more autonomy or gaining their independence. An overwhelming majority of 78.5% voted in favor of independence with a 98.6% registered voter turnout. While some violence from pro-Indonesia militias erupted after the vote, the country carefully transitioned to independence over the next three years, making it official in 2002.

Pakistan and India fighting

Renewed fighting between Pakistan and India over Kashmir

Indonesia Democracy

Democracy restored to Indonesia


Ford Acquires Volvo

Turkey Earthquakes

2 Devastating Earthquakes kill 14,000 people in Turkey

ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians

Serbs accelerate ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians leading to a NATO bombing attack

Northern Ireland

New multi party assembly in Northern Ireland meets restoring self rule after 22 years

European Union

European Union bans Beef Imports from the US over the widespread use of growth hormones

World population

The human population of the world surpassed six billion.

Dow Jones

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 11,000 for the first time

Mexico floods

The worst floods seen in Mexico in 40 years causes a number of mudslides which buries whole villages leaving over 400 dead

Helen Clark

Helen Clark becomes the first elected female Prime Minister in New Zealand

Yugoslavia crimes against humanity

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicts Slobodan Miloševic and four others on May 27 for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong wins his first Tour de France.

Greece earthquake

A powerful, magnitude 5.9 earthquake hits Athens, killing 143 people

Taiwan Earthquake

Earthquake in central Taiwan kills about 2,400 people.

Jack Kervorkian

Jack Kervorkian was sentenced for the second-degree murder of Thomas Youk. ( assisted suicide )

Euro currency

Euro currency introducedon 1st January in 11 countries.

UK Minimum Hourly Wage £3.60 an hour

Great Britain Introduces the Minimum Hourly Wage Rate of all adults must be paid at least £3.60 an hour

Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones

Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon without stopping.

U.S. tornado

A F5 tornado slams in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma killing 38 people

U.S. Gun Control Bill Rejected

New US Gun Control Bill Rejected for new controls going too far, and new controls not going far enough.

Brazil Power Outage

Between 50 and 100 million are left without power in the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio Grande do Sul,

Ladbroke Grove rail crash

Thirty-one people die in the Ladbroke Grove rail crash, west of London, England.


Earthquake and Tsunami in Vanuatu

Russia Chechnya

Russia offensive on Chechnya using Missile Attacks


Australian voters decided to keep the queen and not become a republic

Millennium Dome

The Millennium Dome opens in London

Geneva Convention

The Geneva Convention celebrations for 50th Anniversary


Walmart continues it's world wide expansion plans when it buys the UK supermarket chain ASDA

West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus first appears in the United States

Barbie Doll

Mattel's Barbie Doll celebrates it's 40th Birthday

Venezuela floods and mudslides

Torrential rains caused catastrophic floods and mudslides in the coastal regions of Venezuela, killing an estimated 25,000 people and leaving 100,000 others homeless.

Vladimir Putin

Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia, replaced by Vladimir Putin

Dr. Jack Kevorkian

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, was found guilty of second-degree murder for for giving a lethal injection in a case of voluntary euthanasia

U.S. blizzards

Severe blizzards take place in the Midwestern United States affecting Wisconsin and Illinois

Bill Clinton

Impeachment Proceedings are bought against President Bill Clinton

Prince Edward

Prince Edward marries commoner Sophie Rhys-Jones on June 19th at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Scottish Parliament

The Queen opens the first Scottish Parliament in 300 years

Afghanistan Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden sets his Al-Qaeda terrorist base in Afghanistan ( he is on the FBI's Most wanted List ) following involvment in American embassey bombings in Africa

U.S. Women's World Cup champions

U.S. women's soccer team wins the FIFA Women's World Cup champions

Total Eclipse Of The Sun

Total Eclipse Of The Sun Is Seen In cities of Europe and Asia

India Train Crash

Deadly Train Crash in India leaves over 500 dead

Paddington train crash

Two trains collide near Paddington Station at the height of the morning rush hour.

Liberty Bell space capsule

The Liberty Bell space capsule recovered in Florida during an expedition sponsored by the Discovery Channel.

Millennium celebrations

Start of Millennium celebrations worldwide (technically the Millennium started in 2001 not 2000).

Technology 1999

Internet Explorer version 5 released

The "Melissa" e-mail virus, infects more than 1 million computers worldwide causing more than $80 million in damage, clogging up E-Mail Systems around the world

Mars Climate Orbiter reaches Mars but due to software error taking spaceship to close to surface is destroyed by atmospheric stresses and friction

The US successfully tests a new anti intercontinental missile defense system

The year 2000 problem known as the Y2K problem and the millennium bug was the most important thing on most companies minds in 1999. Critical industries (such as electricity or financial) and government functions could stop working at 12:00 AM, January 1st , 2000. This fear was fueled by the press coverage and other media speculation, as well as corporate and government reports. All over the world companies and organizations checked and upgraded their computer systems.

My Space was officially introduced to the Internet

Bluetooth announced.

The initial release of Napster

The genetic code that comprise the euchromatic portion of human chromosome 22 is released into the public domain for the good of mankind.

I have been asked why I have included Myspace in 1999 rather than the official launch in 2003 . ( When I used to look back MySpace was changed in 1999 from a site for virtual storage to a social networking site ) although very different than today.

Popular Culture 1999

Ty Warner toys announces a small pint-sized black bear, called 'The End' on their web site which is to signify the end of Beanie Babies.

Popular Films

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The Sixth Sense

Toy Story 2

The Matrix


The Mummy

Notting Hill

The World Is Not Enough

American Beauty

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

American Pie

October Sky

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

Popular Musicians

Lenny Kravitz

Sarah McLachlan

Britney Spears

Enrique Iglesias

Kid Rock



S Club 7


Christina Aguilera

Whitney Houston

Mariah Carey

Backstreet Boys

Jennifer Lopez

Pearl Jam

Foo Fighters

Ricky Martin


Limp Bizkit

The Offspring

Red Hot Chili Peppers


Shania Twain



Phil Collins

New Radicals

Popular TV


Beverly Hills 90210

One Foot in the Grave (UK)


The X-Files

Chicago Hope



7th Heaven

Everybody Loves Raymond

Ally McBeal

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

King of the Hill

South Park

The Practice

Teletubbies (UK)

The Wonderful World of Disney



Dawson's Creek

Sex and the City

That '70s Show

The King of Queens

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Will & Grace

1999 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders 1999

Australia Prime Minister John Howard

Brazil President Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Canada Prime Minister Jean Chrétien

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

France President Jacques Chirac

Germany Chancellor Gerhard Schröder

India Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Italy Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema

Japan Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi

Mexico President Ernesto Zedillo

Russia / Soviet Union General Secretary of the CPSU Vladimir Putin

South Africa State President Nelson Mandela Till 16 June

South Africa State President Thabo Mbeki From 16 June

United States President Bill Clinton

United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair