The world in 1996. (21 on 18, part 1)

21 years ago, the world was still getting used to moving to the pace with which we are accustomed today. Here are some of the noteworthy events that occurred in 1996. // credits to the creator)

LGBT rights, specifically May:

  • May 8 – South Africa becomes the first nation in the world to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution.
  • May 20 – In Romer v. Evans, the Supreme Court of the United States rules 6–3 that Colorado’s Amendment 2, which would have voided existing gay rights laws in Colorado and prevented any new gay rights laws from taking effect, is unconstitutional.
  • May 21 – Hungary legalizes same-sex unions, first among the ex-communist countries, and as 5th country worldwide. The Parliament voted 207–73 in favor for the bill.

Everywhere else:

  • France – halts Nuclear testing in [the] Pacific
  • Egypt – Divers discover the ancient port of Alexandria
  • Cuba – US eases sanctions against Cuba
  • Worldwide – United Nations adopts the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; On September 10th of 1996 the United Nations adopts the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The treaty banned all nations from testing nuclear explosions above or below ground for any purpose, military or civilian. The treaty also banned countries from aiding or encouraging other nations to test nuclear technology and created an international monitoring system that would keep track of nuclear explosions across the globe. A total of 183 countries have signed the treaty and of those 159 have ratified it. The United States signed on September 24th, 1996 but has not yet ratified it.
  • United States – NASA LAUNCHES THE sts-72 Space Shuttle mission on January of 1996. The Space Shuttle Endeavor launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with 6 astronauts on board. The goal of the mission was to retrieve the Japanese Space Flyer Unit satellite, deliver and retrieve a number of NASA experiments, and to perform 2 space walks during which they could test tools that would be used to assemble the International Space Station. The mission was successfully completed and after 8 days and 22 hours they returned to Earth.
  • United Kingdom – Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, get divorced.
  • Iraq – UN Experts and Iraq Officials dismantle a Biological Weapons Factory in Iraq
  • Japan – Nintendo releases their newest gamin system, the Nintendo 64 on June 1996, also known as the N64. Nintendo’s new gaming system was praised by critics as one of the best home gaming consoles to have ever been released … At the time of its release it had some of the best graphics of any comparable gaming console but was criticized for having very few games available when compared to other systems. However, many of the games that were available for the system were thought of as some of the most popular and influential games of all time, such as, Super Mario 64, GoldenEye 007, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • Worldwide – 38 million acres of rain forest are destroyed annually by timber cutting
  • United States – 30 Black churches in Mississippi are burned to the ground the previous 18 months
  • Lebanon – Israel carries out air strikes on Hezbollah targets in Beirut as part of “Operation Grapes of Wrath”
  • Wales – The supertanker, the Sea Empress, runs aground on the Welsh coast, spilling 70,000 tons of crude oil


  • DVD’s Launched in Japan
  • In 12 months number of Internet host computers goes from 1 million to 10 million
  • Internet Explorer 3 web browser released
  • The first version of the Java programming language is released.
  • On July 5th Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal to be successfully cloned
  • Global Warming shows a record high
  • Ozone layer over the Arctic continues to be depleted
  • American Pathfinder launched on its 310 million mile mission to Mars

Popular Culture:

  • Spice Girls First Number 1 “Wannabe”
  • Mariah Carey
  • Eric Clapton
  • Snoop Doggy Dogg
  • Oasis
  • Madonna
  • Metallica
  • The Wallflowers
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Marilyn Manson
  • Alanis Morissette
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Foo Fighters

Popular Films:

  • Independence Day
  • Twister
  • Mission: Impossible
  • Jerry Maguire
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • The Rock
  • The Nutty Professor
  • The Birdcage
  • A Time to Kill
  • The English Patient
  • Star Trek: First Contact

In the Philippines:

  • February 14 – Violent clashes erupt between Filipino soldiers and Vietnamese boat people, as the Philippines government attempts to forcibly repatriate hundreds of Vietnamese asylum seekers.
  • February 18 – At least 50 people were killed when an overcrowded ferry capsized at the entrance to the port of Cadiz, Negros Occidental; the incident happened when passengers shifted to one side to avoid high waves.
  • March 18 – Fire razes Ozone Disco, killing 162 guests including college graduating students and 95 more injured. The incident was officially acknowledged as the worst fire in Philippine history, and among the 10 worst nightclub fires in the world.
  • March 24 – Marcopper Mining Disaster occurred in Marinduque. It remains one of the largest mining disasters in Philippine history.
  • July 24-25 – Typhoon Gloria loosed rains and flooding that killed nearly 60 people on Luzon and Mindoro Islands.
  • August 1 – Sarah Balabagan, the OFW who was accused of killing an Arab employee was freed.
  • September 2 – A permanent peace agreement is signed at the Malacañan Palace between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front.
  • November 9 – Sixteen people were killed in the central Philippines when a powerful storm caused floods and landslides.
  • November 24-25 – 8th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit was held in Subic, Zambales.
  • December 8–10 – Michael Jackson HIStory World Tour: Asiaworld City, Parañaque City

If so much change could happen in so little time, I suppose the world deserves the benefit of the doubt. 21 years ago, we were achieving so many great things in pursuit of a better and brighter future. 2017 may not be what we thought it would have been 21 years ago, but I suppose life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.

I’ll be turning 21 tomorrow, and I thought it would be a great #ThrowbackThursday to the year I was born. If I was to declare a wish right here, right now, it would be to leave the world an even better place than when I arrived.

Happy Humpday.

The world in 1996

April 23 – P.L. Travers, British actress, journalist, novelist and writer (b. 1927)
June 15 – Ella Fitzgerald , American singer (b. 1917)
December 20 – Carl Sagan, American astronomer (b. 1934)

I update every Monday-Wednesday-Friday-(and sometimes)Sunday night! I’m always present on social media, @thcynicalnerd on Instagram and Tumblr, @nerdTHEcynical on Twitter and Snapchat 🙂


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