Welcome to the year 1998!
Below you will find the list I compiled of major events, trends, world leaders, cost of living, and popular culture for the year 1998. I hope this helps you with the baby book, time capsule, or commemorative project you’re working on.
Affiliate links have been incorporated into this post to provide you with further information about trends and popular items during this period of time.
Printables for 1998: (coming soon…)
Newspaper / World Around Me / Full Post
Research Contributor: Pat Ruppel
1998 Cost of things (U.S. Averages):
Minimum Wage ~ Highest: $6.15 in District of Columbia & Lowest: $1.60 in Wyoming (dol.gov)
Gallon of Milk~ $2.70/yr avg (bls.gov)
Dozen Eggs (Large, Grade A) ~ $1.04/yr avg (bls.gov)
Loaf of bread (1-lb white) ~ $.86/yr avg (bls.gov)
U.S. Postage Stamp ~ $.32 (Wikipedia)
New Car Price ~ $17,200 (thepeoplehistory.com/1998)
Regular Unleaded Gallon of Gas ~ $1.06/yr avg (bls.gov)
Movie Ticket ~ $4.69 (Boxofficemojo.com)
Median Sales Price of New House ~ $152,500 (Census.gov)
Median Household Income ~ $38,885 (Census.gov)
1998 World Leaders:
Bill Clinton, President of the United States
Madeleine Albright, United States Secretary of State
Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada
Jiang Zemin, People’s Republic of China
Akihito, Emperor of Japan
Roman Herzog, President of Germany
Boris Yeltsin, President of Russia
Tony Blair Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Pope John Paul II of Vatican City
Jacques Chirac, President of France
K. R. Narayanan President of India
Ezer Weizman, President of Israel
Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations
1998 Top Televisions:
Philips 42” Flat Screen TV – the company shifted the plane of television design when it revealed the first flat-screen TV.
Sony FD Trinitron/WEGA – flat version of the Trinitron picture tube. First introduced in 1998 on Sony’s 32-inch and 36-inch televisions, this technology was also used in computer monitors bearing the Trinitron mark.
Sony FDL-22 – One of the last hand-held color Watchmen televisions introduced in 1998, which featured an ergonomic body which made it easier to hold, and introduced Sony’s Straptenna, where the wrist strap served as the antenna.
1998 Mobile phones:
Blackberry 950 (introduced as “Inter@ctive Pager 950”, development name “Leapfrog”) – is an early BlackBerry model, introduced in 1998 by Canadian smartphone manufacturer Research in Motion.
1998 Top Wearable Technology:
1998 Computer Desktops, Laptops, Tablets & Readers:
iMac G3 – an all-in-one family of Macintosh desktop computers released by Apple in August.
Windows 98 – is a graphical operating system by Microsoft and is the second major release in the Windows 9x line of operating systems, successor to Windows 95.
IBM ThinkPad 600– is a series of notebook computers introduced in 1998 by IBM as the immediate predecessor to the T-series, which still exists today under Lenovo ownership.
Apple PowerBook G3 Series (Wallstreet Series I) – The second generation of PowerBook G3s, now called the PowerBook G3 Series, was introduced in March 1998.
1998 Top Online Social Communities:
Open Diary (OD) – an online diary community, an early example of social networking software, was founded October 22, 1998 and shut down February 7, 2014.
AOL announced it would acquire Netscape in November 1998. The deal closed on March 17, 1999.
April 14 – Online DVD rental Netflix in the USA begins operations.
May – DVD launched in Western Europe.
October – Full DVD launch in Europe.
1998 was a boom time for the brick and mortar video rental industry
1998 Top Gaming systems:
Game Boy Color – a successor of the Game Boy, it is a handheld game console manufactured by Nintendo, which was released on October 21, 1998 in Japan and released November of the same year in international markets.
DualShock – a line of gamepads with vibration-feedback developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation consoles and devices. The DualShock was introduced in Japan in late 1997 and launched in the North American market in May 1998.
Dreamcast – is a home video game console released by Sega on November 27, 1998 in Japan, September 9, 1999 in North America, and October 14, 1999 in Europe.
Area 51:Site 4 – a light gun arcade game developed by Atari Games in 1998.
1998 Top Tech Gadgets:
Google and Wikipedia
Smart key – introduced by Mercedes-Benz under the name “Key-less Go” in 1998 on the W220 S-Class.
Bose Aviation Headset X (Pronounced ten not the letter X) – was released in 1998, designed for pilots also used by the United States Air Force.
Canon EOS-3 – a 35mm film single-lens reflex camera for professionals and advanced amateurs built by Canon of Japan and was introduced in November 1998.
Garmin Street Pilot – first in-car product series in GPS products introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1998.
Lego Mindstorms – a hardware software platform produced by Lego for the development of programmable robots based on Lego building blocks.
Furby – an American electronic robotic toy released by Tiger Electronics in 1998 resembling a hamster or owl-like creature.
Automobiles (Electric, hybrid, and self-driving cars) – 1997-1999
(Also see cars introduced in 1998)
Honda EV Plus – first battery electric vehicle from a major automaker with non-lead acid batteries
Toyota RAV4 EV – all electric version of the popular RAV4 SUV produced by Toyota
Ford Ranger EV (Electric Vehicle) – is a battery electric vehicle that was produced by Ford. It was produced starting in the 1998 model year through 2002.
Nissan Altra EV – produced by Nissan Motors between 1998 and 2002, described as a combination of a sedan, SUV, and minivan.
General Motors EV1 – an electric car produced and leased by General Motors
Toyota Prius – The first generation Prius, at its launch, became the world’s first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid car.
1998 Top Celebrities:
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck – Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for film Good Will Hunting.
Harrison Ford – named People’s Sexiest Man Alive
Usher – Nice & Slow
Next – Too Close
Savage Garden – To The Moon and Back (remix release)
Shania Twain – You’re Still the One and From This Moment On
Third Eye Blind – How’s It Going to Be
Lee Ann Rimes – Looking Through Your Eyes
Janet Jackson – Together Again
Will Smith – Gettin’ Jiggy wit It
Spice Girls – Too Much
Paula Cole – I Don’t Want to Wait
Mase – Been Around the World (with Puff Daddy & The Notorious B.I.G.)
Faith Hill – This Kiss
Madonna – Ray of Light
Backstreet Boys – Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
Sarah McLachlan – Adia
Puff Daddy – Been Around the World (feat. Mase & The Notorious B.I.G.)
Elton John – Candle in the Wind 1997
Destiny’s Child – No, No, No
Voices of Theory – Say It
Montell Jordan – Let’s Ride
1998 Ten Highest Paid Movie Stars . . .
1998 Top Musicians
1998 Top Athletes:
(Google.com) (topendsports.com) (Wikipedia)
Michael Jordan – Basketball USA
Michael Schumacker – F1 Motorsports Germany
Sergei Fedorov – Ice Hockey Russia
Tiger Woods – Golf USA
Dale Earnhardt – NASCAR USA
Grant Hill – Basketball USA
Oscar De La Hoya – Boxing USA
Patrick Ewing – Basketball USA
Arnold Palmer – Golf USA
Gary Sheffield – Baseball USA
1998 Top Sporting Events:
Super Bowl: The Denver Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers, 31-24. It was Denver’s first league championship after suffering four previous Super Bowl losses.
Daytona 500: Won by Dale Earnhardt, it was the first race of the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup season.
The Kentucky Derby: 124th running was won by Real Quiet and ridden by Kent Desormeaux.
The Masters: Mark O’Meara won his first major championship with a 20-foot (6 m) birdie putt on the final hole to win by one stroke over runners-up David Duval and Fred Couples.
Stanley Cup: Detroit Red Wings won over the Washington Capitals 4-0
NBA Championship: Chicago Bulls over the Utah Jazz 4 games to 2
Wimbledon: Men’s singles: Pete Sampras defeated Goran Ivanišević
Wimbledon: Women’s singles: Jana Novotná defeated Nathalie Tauziat
FIFA World Cup: France won over Brazil 3-0
Women’s FIFA World Cup: no Women’s World Cup in 1998 – in 1999 US won over China 0-0 with a penalty shootout
World Series: New York Yankees over San Diego Padres 4 games to 0
Olympics: Winter games were held in Nagano, Japan
1998 Top Songs:
Too Close – Next
The Boy Is Mine – Brandy and Monica
You’re Still the One – Shania Twain
Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden
How Do I Live – LeAnn Rimes
Together Again – Janet Jackson
All My Life – K-Ci & JoJo
Candle in the Wind 1997 – Elton John
Nice & Slow – Usher
I Don’t Want to Wait – Paula Cole
How’s It Going to Be – Third Eye Blind
No, No, No – Destiny’s Child
Other Popular Songs in 1998:
My Heart Will Go On – Céline Dion
Getting’ Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith
You Make Me Wanna… – Usher
My Way – Usher
My All – Mariah Carey
The First Night – Monica
Been Around the World – Puff Daddy (featuring The Notorious B.I.G and Mase)
Adia – Sarah McLachlan
Crush – Jennifer Paige
Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – Backstreet Boys
I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith
Body Bumpin’ (Yippie-Yi-Yo) – Public Announcement
The Kiss – Faith Hill
I Don’t Ever Want to See You Again – Uncle Sam
Let’s Ride – Montell Jordan featuring Master P and Silkk the Shocker
1998 Top Television Shows:
Seinfeld – 22.0 rating
ER – 20.4
Veronica’s Closet – 16.6
Friends – 16.1
Monday Night Football – 15.0
Touched By An Angel – 14.2
60 Minutes – 13.8
Union Square – 13.6
CBS Sunday Movie – 13.1
Frasier – 12.0
1998 Top Movies:
1998 Top Books:
(NY Times Fiction Best Seller) (Goodreads.com)
Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier
Paradise – Toni Morrison
The Street Lawyer – John Grisham
The Long Road Home – Danielle Steel
You Belong to Me – Mary Higgins Clark
N is for Noose – Sue Grafton
A Widow for One Year – John Irving
I Know This Much Is True – Wally Lamb
The Klone and I – Danielle Steel
Point of Origin – Patricia Cornwell
Rainbow Six – Tom Clancy
Bag of Bones – Stephen King
The Path of Daggers – Robert Jordan
A Man in Full – Tom Wolfe
Other Most Popular Books
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) – J.K. Rolling
Holes (Holes #1) – Louis Sachar
A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) – George R. R. Martin
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
Stardust – Neil Gaiman
Who Moved My Cheese – Spencer Johnson
The Pact – Jodi Picoult
Message in a Bottle – Nicholas Sparks
Harry Potter Boxset (Harry Potter #1-7) – J. K. Rowling
1998 Top Children’s Books:
Skellig – David Almond
Sunderlies Seeking – Gayle Greeno (with Mark Hess and Michael Gilbert)
Summon the Keeper – Tanya Huff (with Mark Hess)
Dark Lord of Derkholm – Diana Wynne Jones
The Crowstarver – Dick King-Smith
BoshBlobberBosh: Runcible Poems for Edward Lear – J. Patrick Lewis (with Gary Kelley)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling
Holes – Louis Sachar
Abomination – Robert Swindells
Mouse, Look Out! – Judy Waite
Rabbit and the Moon – Douglas Wood
1998 Top Fashion and Trends:
Southeast Asian and Indian fashion
Unisex casual chic look
Dark stonewash jeans
Spaghetti-strap crop tops
Tracksuits, sweatpants and other athletic clothing
Denim designer jackets/matching jeans (highly popular in Europe)
Running shoes with built-in air pumps for both sexes
Leather shoes replaced canvas – soles made of foam vs solid rubber
Rounded shoes, flip flops, and jelly shoes popular
Novelty Wellington boots with leopard print or zebra stripe patterns
Large hoop earrings
Rhinestone-encrusted hip belts
Beaded wrist bands, jelly bracelets and lariats
Grunge look unfashionable
Revival of more stylish clothes – brand names Calvin Klein – Ralph Lauren
Bright colors (camillia rose, blazing orange, whisper pink, hot coral and wind chime – light grayish blue)
Untucked shirts fashionable
Smart casual – business casual wear (kickstarted by Bill Gates of Microsoft)
Trend to wear black shirts, black ties, and black suits
Black leather reefer jackets
Look of British All Saints girl group for teenagers: baggy jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts, tanktops, trainers, cargo pants and crop tops
Disney film characters for younger children on T-shirts and sweaters
Also Tartan trousers, striped shirts, long sleeved polo shirts,
Crew neck sweatshirts worn over a turtleneck
Colored jeans rolled up to show off slouch socks
Athletic shorts especially soccer shorts
Blue denim and railroad stripe overalls and shortalls popular for young girls
1998 World Population:
1998 Top News and Major Events:
January 2 – Russia begins to circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.
January 12 – Nineteen European nations agree to forbid human cloning.
January 22 – Suspected “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski pleads guilty and accepts a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
Feb 4 – The 5.9 Mw Afghanistan earthquake shakes the Takhar Province with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII (Very strong). With up to 4,000 killed, and 818 injured, damage is considered extreme.
March 5 – NASA announces that the Clementine probe orbiting the Moon has found enough water in polar craters to support a human colony and rocket fueling station.
March 13 – The High-Z Supernova Search Team becomes the first team to publish evidence that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate.
April 5 – In Japan, the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge linking Shikoku with Honshū and costing about US $3.8 billion, opens to traffic, becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world.
April 10 – Good Friday Agreement – The United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland sign the Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement. The agreement marked the beginning of the peace process between Ireland and Britain.
May 28 – Nuclear testing: In response to a series of Indian nuclear tests, Pakistan explodes five nuclear devices of its own in the Chaghai hills of Baluchistan, codenamed Chagai-I, prompting the United States, Japan and other nations to impose economic sanctions.
May 30 – A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hits northern Afghanistan, killing up to 5,000.
June 25 – Windows 98 released – a graphical operating system by Microsoft. It is the second major release in the Windows 9x line of operating systems and the successor to Windows 95.
July 17 – At a conference in Rome, 120 countries vote to create a permanent International Criminal Court to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.
– The 7.0 Mw Papua New Guinea earthquake shakes the region near Aitape with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). This submarine earthquake triggered a landslide that caused a destructive tsunami, leaving more than 2,100 dead and thousands injured.
August 4 – The Second Congo War begins; 5.4 million people die before it ends in 2003, making it the bloodiest war, to date, since World War II.
August 7 – 1998 U.S. embassy bombings: The bombings of the United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, kill 224 people and injure over 4,500; they are linked to terrorist Osama bin Laden, an exile of Saudi Arabia.
August 31 – Dow Jones drops over 500 points on the New York Stock Exchange.
September 2 – A United Nations court finds Jean-Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts of genocide, marking the first time that the 1948 law banning genocide is enforced.
September 4 – Google, Inc. is founded in Menlo Park, California, by Stanford University PhD candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
September 5 – The Government of North Korea adopts a military dictatorship on its 50th anniversary.
October 14 – Eric Rudolph is charged with four bombings (including the 1996 Olympic bombing) in Atlanta.
October 29 – Hurricane Mitch makes landfall in Central America, killing an estimated 11,000 people.
November 17 – Voyager 1 overtakes Pioneer 10 as the most distant man-made object from the Solar System, at a distance of 69.419 AU (1.03849×1010 km).
November 20 – A Russian Proton rocket is launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying the first segment of the International Space Station, the 21-ton Zarya Module.
November 24 – A declassified report by Swiss International Olympic Committee official Marc Hodler reveals that bribes had been used to bring the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City during bidding process in 1995. The IOC, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, the United States Olympic Committee and the United States Department of Justice immediately launch an investigation into the scandal.
December 4 – The Space Shuttle Endeavour launches the first American component to the International Space Station, the 25,600 lb Unity module on STS-88. It docks with Zarya two days later.
December 16-19 – Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. President Bill Clinton orders airstrikes on Iraq. UNSCOM withdraws all weapons inspectors from Iraq.
December 19 – The U.S. House of Representatives forwards articles of impeachment against President Clinton to the Senate, making him the second president to be impeached in the nation.
December 29 – Khmer Rouge leaders apologize for the post-Vietnam War genocide in Cambodia that killed more than one million people in the 1970s.
December 31 – The first leap second since June 30, 1997, occurs. It is a one-second adjustment that is occasionally applied to Coordinated Universal Time in order to keep its time of day close to the mean solar time. Without such a correction, time reckoned by Earth’s rotation drifts away from atomic time because of irregularities in the Earth’s rate of rotation. Since this system of correction was implemented in 1972, 27 leap seconds have been inserted.
Other 1998 notable events
– Financial Crisis hits much of South East Asia.
– World’s biggest airport in the world opens in Hong Kong.
– Official famine Southern Sudan declared with estimates that over 1 million people could die from starvation.
– US announces first budget surplus in 30 years.
– Osama bin Laden publishes fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and Crusaders.
– Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) is signed between Tobacco Companies and US States becoming the largest civil settlement in United States history.
– The two oil companies Exxon and Mobil merge to create the world’s largest petroleum company.
– Quebec demands independence from Canada.
– Microsoft becomes biggest Company in the World valued at $261bn on the New York Stock Exchange.
– United States Department of Justice (DOJ) brings Anti-Trust Case against Microsoft Corp.
– Israel celebrates its 50th Anniversary of its founding.
– UK Reports of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism spectrum disorders in the UK are answered by The World Health Organization, who says no link exists and that, thanks to the use of the MMR vaccine, death from diseases like measles and diphtheria have almost been eradicated.
1998 Pop Culture:
January 8 – Ramzi Yousef is sentenced to life in prison for planning the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
January 17 – The Drudge Report breaks the story about U.S. President Bill Clinton’s alleged affair with Monica Lewinsky, which would lead to the House of Representatives’ impeachment of him.
February 7-22 – The 1998 Winter Olympics are held in Nagano, Japan.
March 1 – Titanic becomes the first film to gross US$1 billion.
March 23 – The 70th Academy Awards ceremony, hosted for the 6th time by Billy Crystal, is held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Titanic wins 11 Oscars including Best Picture.
July 12 – France beats Brazil 3–0 in the FIFA World Cup Final.
July 17 – In Saint Petersburg, Nicholas II of Russia and his family are buried in St. Catherine Chapel, 80 years after he and his family were killed by the Lenin-led Bolsheviks in 1918.
More Pop Culture news in 1998
(Pop Culture Madness)
– Bill Clinton denies he had “sexual relations” with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, starting the Lewinsky scandal and investigations.
– The concert by the Three Tenors (Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti) for the opening of the World Cup In France is seen by 100,000 live and 3 billion around the world.
– Time Magazine’s Men of the Year – Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr
– Miss America – Kate Shindle (Evanston, IL)
– Miss USA – Shawae Jebbia (Massachusetts)
– ESPN (the magazine) began publication.
– When AOL 4.0 launched in 1998, they used ALL of the world’s CD production capacity for several weeks.
– Jesse Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota.
– Job seeker website Monster.com was founded.
– MP3s were created for the first time.
– People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive: Harrison Ford
– Price of Titleist golf balls in 1998: $20.00/48.
– On April Fool’s Day in 1998, Burger King took out a full-page ad in USA Today introducing a Whopper, designed especially for lefties. The new burger would contain the same ingredients as the original, but rotated 180°. Thousands of customers swarmed BK restaurants requesting the “lefty” Whopper.
– Deaths: Frank Sinatra (Pop vocalist) age 82; Roy Rogers (Country Movie Legend) age 86; Sonny Bono (Pop star/Congressman) age 62; Tammy Wynette (Country Legend Vocalist) age 55; Phil Hartman (Television star) age 49.
January 6 – The Lunar Prospector spacecraft is launched into orbit around the Moon, and later finds evidence for frozen water, in soil in permanently shadowed craters near the Moon’s poles.
January 14 – Researchers in Dallas, Texas, present findings about an enzyme that slows aging and cell death (apoptosis).
February 26 – Total solar eclipse
March 2 – Data sent from the Galileo space probe indicates that Jupiter’s moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.
March 13 – Penumbral lunar eclipse, the first of three lunar eclipses that year.
March 27 – The Food and Drug Administration approves Viagra for use as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States.
May – Dr. Friedrich-Wilhelm Mohr performs the first robotically assisted coronary artery bypass surgery, at the Leipzig Heart Centre in Germany using the da Vinci Surgical System; later in the year, Dr. Ralph Damiano performs on 17 patients in Pennsylvania.
July 5 – Japan launches a probe to Mars, joining the United States and Russia as an outer space-exploring nation.
August – Edinburgh Modular Arm System, the world’s first bionic arm is fitted.
August 8 – Penumbral lunar eclipse
August 15 – Apple releases the iMac.
August 22 – Annular solar eclipse, when the Moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun’s, blocking most of the Sun’s light and causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring).
September 6 – Penumbral lunar eclipse
September 23 – The world’s first medically successful hand transplantation is carried out by a team of surgeons in France.
October 29 – Space Shuttle Discovery blasts-off with 77-year-old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space. He became the first American to orbit Earth on February 20, 1962.
November 20 – Zarya, the first module of the International Space Station, is launched.