News and Events of 1996
- Chechens capture 2,000 Russians (Jan. 9). Chechnya peace treaty signed (May 27).
- France agrees to end nuclear testing (Jan. 29). Background: nuclear disarmament
- Britain alarmed by an outbreak of "mad cow" disease (March 20 et seq.).
- UN tribunal charges war crimes by Bosnian Muslims and Croats (March 22). Nations pledge $1.23 billion in aid to rebuild Bosnia (April 22).
- South Africa gets new constitution (May 8).
- Israel elects Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister (May 31).
- Iraqis strike at Kurdish enclave (Aug. 31); after warning, US attacks Iraq's southern air defenses (Sept. 2–3).
- Militant Taliban leaders seize Afghan capital of Kabul (Sept. 27).
- Ethnic violence breaks out in Zairian refugee camps (Oct. 13); Clinton approves plan for UN-backed relief mission for 1.2 million Hutu refugees starving in eastern Zaire (Nov. 13). Hundreds of thousands return to Rwanda (Nov. 15–18).
US GDP (1998 dollars): $7,661.60 billion
Federal spending: $1572.41 billion
Federal debt: $5207.3 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $35,492
Consumer Price Index: 156.9
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.32
Super BowlDallas d. Pittsburgh (27-17)
World SeriesNew York Yankees d. Atlanta Braves (4-2)
NBA ChampionshipChicago d. Seattle (4-2)
Stanley CupColorado d. Florida (4-0)
WimbledonWomen: Steffi Graf d. A.S. Vicario (6-3 7-5)
Men: Richard Krajicek d. M. Washington (6-3 6-4 6-3)
Kentucky Derby ChampionGrindstone
NCAA Basketball ChampionshipKentucky d. Syracuse (76-67)
NCAA Football ChampionsFlorida (12-1)
Fiction: Independence Day, Richard Ford
Music: Lilacs, George Walker
Drama: Rent, Jonathan Larson
Oscars awarded in 1996
Academy Award, Best Picture: Braveheart, Mel Gibson, Alan Ladd, Jr. and Bruce Davey, producers (Paramount)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Wislawa Szymborska (Poland)
1996 Emmy Awards
1996 Tony Awards
Grammys awarded in 1996
Record of the Year: "Kiss From a Rose," Seal
Album of the Year: Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette (Maverick/Reprise)
Song of the Year: "Kiss From a Rose," Seal, songwriter
Miss America: Shawntel Smith (OK)More Entertainment Awards...
- President Bill Clinton signs legislation that significantly deregulates telecommunications, creating almost limitless opportunities for broadcasters and cable companies. Pressured by the Federal Communications Commission, television broadcasters agree to include three hours a week of educational children's programming into their schedules.
- Janet Jackson becomes the highest paid musician in history when she signs an $80-million deal with Virgin Records.
- Jazz great Ella Fitzgerald dies.
- Broadcasters and television and PC manufacturers agree on a standard for HDTV (high-definition digital television).
- Gangsta rapper Tupac Shakur is shot four times in a drive-by shooting. He dies six days later at age 25.
- The English Patient, Fargo, Jerry Maguire, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Shine, Sling Blade
- Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
- Steven Millhauser, Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
- Alice Munro, Selected Stories
- Graham Swift, Last Orders
Nobel Prizes in Science
Chemistry: Richard E. Smalley, Robert F. Curl, Jr. (both US), and Harold W. Kroto (UK), for discovery of a new class of carbon molecule
Physics: David M. Lee, Robert C. Richardson, and Douglas D. Osheroff (all US), for their discovery of superfluity in helium-3
Physiology or Medicine: Peter C. Doherty (Australia) and Rolf M. Zinkernagel (Switzerland), for discoveries about how the immune system recognizes virus-infected cells
- Approximately 45 million people are using the Internet, with roughly 30 million of those in North America (United States and Canada), 9 million in Europe, and 6 million in Asia/Pacific (Australia, Japan, etc.). 43.2 million (44%) of US households own a personal computer, and 14 million of them are online. Background: Computers and Internet
- Global warming climbs to record (Jan. 3). Background: Environment & Nature
- Scientists analyzing a Martian meteorite claim that it may provide evidence for the existence of ancient life on Mars. Background: Astronomy
- Dr. Ian Wilmut and his team clone the world's first sheep from adult cells. The lamb born in July 1996 is named Dolly. Background: Cloning Milestones