01 – A new law comes into effect in California, prohibiting people from smoking in bars.
05 – Sonny Bono (of Sonny & Cher fame) dies in a skiing accident at South Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Ski Resort after colliding with a tree on an intermediate slope.
08 – Scientists announce their discovery that the galaxies are accelerating and moving apart at even faster speeds.
11 – Islamic extremists massacre over 400 people in an attack on two villages in the north-west of Algeria as part of an ongoing civil war that claims over 100,000 lives.
03 – A low-flying United States Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler aircraft severs the cable holding a cable car in the Dolomites, causing the death of the 20 people inside. The pilot is jailed in 1999 for conducting unauthorised manoeuvres.
06 – Beach Boys guitarist Carl Wilson dies of lung cancer aged 51. Carl’s death leaves Brian Wilson the last surviving brother of the group.
02 – Images from the spacecraft Galileo reveal that Jupiter’s moon Europa has a liquid ocean and a source of interior heat.
27 – The US authorities approve the drug Viagra, saying it helped two-thirds of impotent men.
01 – A US Federal judge dismisses the sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Paula Jones against President Clinton.
03 – Record producer Frank Farian finds 32-year-old Rob Pilatus – one-half of disgraced pop duo Milli Vanilli – dead from a drink/drugs overdose in a hotel room in Frankfurt, Germany.
04 – The longest suspension bridge in the world – the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan – opens linking Shikoku and Honshu. The 3910-metre bridge cost about $3.8 billion to build.
05 – Top drummer Cozy Powell dies in a car crash, age 50.
06 – Wendy O Williams, outrageous vocalist with The Plasmatics, dies in woods near her home in Connecticut from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
07 – George Michael is arrested in Will Rogers Park, Beverly Hills, for showing his penis to an undercover police officer in a public restroom.
10 – After 30 years of bloody conflict and two years of peace talks, Great Britain and Ireland finally reach an agreement over Northern Ireland. The solution, known as the Good Friday Accord, involves the creation of a Northern Ireland Assembly.
15 – Pol Pot, former dictator of Cambodia, dies of a suspected heart attack a year after he is deposed as the leader of the Khmer Rouge. He is 73.
06 – Apple launches the iMac – the product that is to revolutionise their fortunes over the next five years. Created by British designer Jonathan Ive, the iMac’s clean simple lines and iconic design are a huge hit.
11 – India undertakes its first underground test of an atomic device, in direct violation of a global ban on nuclear testing.
11 – A mint in France produces the first of Europe’s new single currency coins, known as the Euro.
14 – Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, aged 82.
28 – Tension between India and Pakistan is heightened when Pakistan tests five nuclear devices under the mountains near its border with Afghanistan.
11 – The United Nations declares an official famine in Sudan when it becomes clear that more than a million people are likely to starve. It estimates up to 1.2 million people could die in the south of the country.
05 – Japan joins the space race after launching the Planet-B probe to Mars in another attempt to find out whether the red planet ever supported life.
08 – Afghans are given two weeks to hand in their televisions as the Taliban continue to enforce their strict, oppressive regime banning every aspect of ‘modern’ life.
31 – The spacecraft Lunar Prospector, which has been orbiting the moon, is deliberately crashed into the polar ice cap in an effort to find water under the lunar surface. None is discovered.
07 – Bombs explode outside the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The terrorist attacks, which kill 224 people, prompt the first military action by the US against Osama bin Laden when President Clinton orders a strike against Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.
15 – In Omagh, Northern Ireland, 29 people die and over 200 are injured when a massive car bomb explodes in the town centre. A breakaway republican group calling themselves ‘the Real IRA’ has planned and executed the attack.
20 – US Cruise missiles hit suspected terrorist bases in Afghanistan and the Sudan.
28 – The prime minister of Pakistan imposes an Islamic legal system based on the Koran.
03 – A Swissair plane flying from New York to Geneva crashes in the sea off the coast of Nova Scotia just over an hour after taking off. All 229 people on board the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 aircraft are killed.
10 – Gary Glitter appears in court on child pornography charges.
22 – Thousands of civilians are forced to flee their homes in Kosovo after Serbian soldiers, police and armed civilians flood into the north of the province.
02 – Veteran cowboy star Gene Autry dies in Los Angeles.
03 – Actor Roddy McDowall (famed for the series of Planet of the Apes movies) dies in Los Angeles.
16 – UK police place former Chilean dictator General Pinochet under house arrest during his treatment for a medical condition in Britain.
03 – Batman creator Bob Kane dies at the age of 83 in Los Angeles.
07 – The European Court of Human Rights opens in Strasbourg, France. All 47 member states of the Council of Europe are bound by its judgments.
13 – President Clinton agrees to pay Paula Jones $850,000 to drop her sexual harassment lawsuit.
08 – The FBI opens its files on Frank Sinatra to the public, revealing more than 1,300 pages of material. The files contain unproven accusations of Communist Party and Mafia links.
10 – Astronauts open the doors to the new International Space Station positioned 250 miles above the Earth’s surface.
16 – The US and Great Britain launch a three-day bombing attack on Iraq, known as ‘Operation Desert Fox’. Coalition forces bomb 100 targets with the aim of ‘degrading’ Saddam Hussein‘s capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction.
19 – The US House of Representatives votes to impeach President Clinton on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
22 – Cabinet minister Peter Mandelson and Geoffrey Robinson resign over home loan scandal.
29 – Khmer Rouge leaders apologise for the genocide they were responsible for in Cambodia.
Quotes Of The Year
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky. I have never told anybody a lie, not a single time – never”.
President Clinton in a televised statement made on 26 January 1998.
“I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate”.
President Clinton in a televised statement made on 17 August 1998.