July 1999 News and Events

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

1999 News Month-By-Month


  • Women's Groups Challenge Vatican (July 1): Worldwide organizations at U.N. conference attack Vatican efforts to block plan to limit population growth through family planning and abortion.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Takes Office (July 6): Ehud Barak pledges top aim will be to seek “true, lasting peace” with Arabs. (July 7): Announces plans for conferences about Syria and Palestinian territory with Arab leaders and President Clinton.
  • European Union Shakes Up Leadership (July 9): Nineteen new members appointed to Executive Commission in “new era of change” after resignation of entire previous commission in March amid accusations of corruption and mismanagement.
  • Russians Rely on Nuclear Arms (July 9): Growing dependence shown in a report by Defense Ministry of mock nuclear strikes in a major exercise.
  • Israeli–Palestinian Summit Begins (July 11): Yasir Arafat, Palestinian leader, exchanges gifts with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak as first summit meeting in seven months begins in Gaza.
  • Protests Spread Throughout Iran (July 12): Students demonstrate in 18 cities and towns as pro-democracy movement spreads. Security police and vigilantes seek to crush crowds outside Teheran University. (July 17): Student leaders announce temporary ban on protests, but press government for major changes.
  • Taiwanese Leader Challenges “One China” Policy (July 11): Beijing angered as Lee Teng-hui says China and Taiwan should interact on state-to-state level.
  • Serbs Blamed for 10,000 Kosovo Deaths (July 17): Reports indicate even more may have been killed in three-month push to drive Albanians from Kosovo.
  • Israel to Bolster Jet Fighter Fleet (July 18): Plans to add at least 50 more F–16s, making its fleet the largest outside of the U.S.
  • Crusading Russian Journalist Released (July 20): Military court frees Capt. Grigory Pasko, 37, who had been confined for 20 months on treason charges for reporting sea dumping of nuclear waste.
  • Thousands Protest in Chinese Cities (July 21): Followers of Falun Gong meditation sect rally against government crackdown. (July 2:): Government announces ban on practice of Falun Gong.
  • King Hassan II of Morocco Dies at 70 (July 23): Monarch for 38 years served as intermediary in peace efforts between Egypt and Israel.
  • Palestinians Reject Peace Plan Revision (July 31): Insist on following terms of agreement with Israel for West Bank land transfers to Palestinian control.


  • Gephardt Withdraws a Nomination (July 8): House minority leader cancels choice of American Muslim leader for Congressional counterterrorism commission due to protests by Jewish groups.
  • Clinton Visits Impoverished Areas (July 8): Winds up four-day tour across nation with visit to job-training program in Watts section of Los Angeles. Bids corporate executives increase support for preparing disadvantaged students for jobs.
  • House Votes Congressional Pay Increase (July 15): Approves, 275–147, $4,600 raise in January and doubling of next President's salary to $400,000.
  • Senate Votes G.O.P Health Care Plan (July 15): By 53–47, approves proposal to regulate managed-care providers. Rejects Democratic move to expand patients' ability to sue those companies.
  • Pentagon Misuse of Funds Charged (July 21): Report by House panel says hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on projects that Congress had never approved, including secret Air Force program.
  • House G.O.P. Passes Large Tax Cut (July 22): Vote of 223–208 approves $792 billion reduction over next decade.
  • Linda Tripp Indicted Over Tapes (July 30): Maryland jury charges illegal taping of Monica Lewinsky calls.


  • Crash Kills 20 in French Alps (July 1): Gondola carrying observatory workers runs off supporting cable and plunges 262 feet to the ground.
  • H.M.O.s Plan to Cut Expenses (July 1): Will increase Medicare premiums or trim benefits for most elderly subscribers because they consider Federal payments they receive to be inadequate.
  • Dr. J Father of Tennis Star (July 2): As rising tennis star Alexandra Stevenson, 18, tries to dodge questions about identity of her father, basketball legend Julius Erving steps up and reveals long-kept secret.
  • White Supremacist Goes on Shooting Spree (July 2–5): In series of seven drive-by shootings targeting blacks, Jews, and Asians, Benjamin N. Smith kills two and wounds eight in Midwest. (July 5): Smith shoots and kills self in Ill. police chase.
  • Vaccine Fights Brain Disease in Mice (July 7): Scientists find it effective in preventing and reversing a primary abnormality associated with Alzheimer's disease. Effect on humans still unproven.
  • Nazi Treasures Set Records at Auction (July 8): Sale at Christie's in London nets $90 million for rare old art works and antiques looted from Rothschild family and returned by Austrian Government.
  • CAT Scan Effective in Detection of Lung Cancer (July 8): Doctors report that routine examinations of smokers with new technique are more effective in detecting tumors than conventional chest X-rays.
  • A $4.9 Billion Verdict Against G.M. (July 9): Los Angeles jury awards sum to six persons injured in fuel tank explosion. Verdict believed to set a record for personal-injury litigation.
  • U.S. Women Win Soccer Championship (July 10): Americans capture second World Cup after close match against China. Scoreless game goes into double overtime before ending 5–4 on penalty kicks.
  • Murder Charges Filed in Valujet Crash (July 13): Florida blames aviation maintenance company, a company officer, and two mechanics for fire that caused deaths of 110 aboard DC-10 in 1996 Everglades crash.
  • Suspect Surrenders in Serial Killings (July 13): Mexican fugitive Rafael Reséndez-Ramirez suspected in eight killings. Said to have hopped freight trains to avoid capture.
  • Tiny Computer Components Developed (July 15): Researchers in Calif. reported to have fashioned elements no thicker than a molecule. Low-power ultrafast computers predicted as a result.
  • John F. Kennedy Jr. Lost at Sea (July 16): Plane he was piloting disappears near Martha's Vineyard, off Mass. coast, with wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren G. Bessette. Disappearance of Kennedy, aged 38, arouses national and worldwide mourning. (July 17): Debris from crashed plane recovered. (July 21): Bodies of three victims found trapped in plane's wreckage. Crash is later attributed to pilot error.
  • Woman Heads Space Shuttle Crew (July 16): Col. Eileen M. Collins arrives at Cape Canaveral as first woman to lead a space mission. Others join her for shuttle Columbia's mission to launch X-ray telescope.
  • California Gets Toughest Gun Control Law (July 19): Governor signs nation's most comprehensive ban on assault-type weapons after years of debate.
  • Kennedy's Ashes Committed to Sea (July 22): Remains of three victims aboard crashed plane buried in ceremony in Atlantic three miles from crash scene.
  • Two Markets Plan Public Role (July 23): New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq move to convert from non-profit institutions to for-profit corporations.
  • Cancer—Power Line Link Declared False (July 23): U.S. inquiry finds scientist at Berkeley laboratory faked purported crucial evidence.
  • Suspect Confesses to Four Yosemite Killings (July 26): Cary Stayner, 37, admits to beheading 26-year-old park ranger Joie Ruth Armstrong on July 21 and killing three female tourists in Feb. Says he was instructed by “voices in his head.”
  • Gunman Kills Nine in Atlanta (July 29): Day-trader Mark Barton, 44, opens fire in two brokerage firms. He wounds 13 others before being chased by police to a service station and shooting himself.

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