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Dr. Ralph R. Chase West Texas Collection

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Fun Facts


Pre-Telephone

United States

  • The Battle of Little Bighorn occurred 25 June 1876 in Montana. Lt. Colonel George Custer and his unit of the Seventh Cavalry were surrounded by Indians and killed.
  • Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. built Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky to rival a track he had visited in England. Clark established the Kentucky Derby, which was first run on May 17, 1875.

Sports

  • Boxing was a popular sport. At one time gloves were used only for practice.
  • The first officially recorded baseball match took place on the Elysian Fields with the New York Club defeating the Knickerbockers 23-1. The National Association of Baseball Players was formed in 1858.

Foods

  • Campbell Soup Company was started by a fruit merchant named Joseph Campbell and an icebox manufacturer named Abraham Anderson in Camden, New Jersey. The company eliminated the water in canned soup and lowered the cost for packaging, shipping and storage. This made it possible to offer a 10½ ounce can of Campbell's condensed soup for a dime, versus more than 30 cents for a typical 32-ounce can of soup.
  • Tabasco sauce was born in 1868 when Edmund McIlhenny began making pepper sauce on Avery Island, Louisiana, west of New Orleans. During the early 1870's his concoction found its way to New York City, where a major wholesale grocery firm, E.C. Hazard and Company, introduced the product to the northeastern U.S.

Art, Music, Literature

  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was published in 1865.
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was published in 1868.

Toys and Games

  • Parcheesi, which originated in India, came to the United States in 1880.
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1870-1900

United States

  • Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, S. Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming entered the Union.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President, was elected in 1877. James A. Garfield followed as the 20th President of the US. Garfield was shot and mortally wounded in September 1881. Alexander Graham Bell tried unsuccessfully to find the bullet with an induction-balance electrical device which he designed. Garfield died a few days later and his vice-president, Chester Arthur, assumed the Presidency. Grover Cleveland was elected President in 1884. Benjamin Harrison was elected President four years later. In 1893 Cleveland was elected President again, making him the only President to leave the White House and return for a second term four years later. William McKinley was inaugurated as the 25th President of the United State in 1897.
  • The United States declared war on Spain to liberate Cuba. Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders assisted in the seizure of San Juan Hill. The war was short, and the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1898. Spain gave up Puerto Rico, Guam and Philippines for $20 million.

Foods

  • The first Coca Cola was served at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia. Frank Robinson came up with the name and his handwriting is used as Coke's logo. By the late 1890s, Coca-Cola was one of America's most popular fountain drinks. Sales increased 400% between 1890 and 1900.
  • Peanut Butter, Cracker Jacks, Hershey Bars, Tootsie Rolls, Jell-O were introduced.
  • Cream of Wheat started as a homemade recipe in the founder's home. The country was facing a financial panic in 1893 and the Diamond Flour Mill, founded three years earlier, was on the brink of closing its doors. Fearing that he mill would shut down, Thomas Amidon, suggested to the owners that they produce a warm breakfast porridge from the middle of the flour kernel, similar to the cereal he often made at home. Since the cereal was made with a part of the wheat that was traditionally thought to be the best part of the flour kernel, they named it Cream of Wheat.

Toys and Games

  • Cap guns were made after the Civil War to keep gun factories alive. It was the toy of choice for boys.
  • The game of Bingo, developed from an Italian lotto game of tumbula, became widely played.

Science and Business

  • Edison invented the phonograph.
  • The first public demonstration of Edison's light bulb is held December 31, 1879 in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
  • A.A. Pope Manufactured the first bicycle in America.
  • George Eastman perfected the “Kodak” box camera.
  • Henry Ford built his first car, a Quadricycle Runabout. The car had a four-horse power engine that could travel 20 miles per hour and sold for $200.

Sports

  • American Baseball Association was founded with six teams from Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Louisville, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Baltimore.
  • John M. Fox introduced golf to America after a trip to Scotland. The first U.S. Open Golf Championship was held in 1894.
  • The first football league was founded. The first professional football game was played in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1894.
  • Baron de Coubertin founded the committee to organize the modern Olympics held in Athens in 1896.
  • The first American automobile race was held in November 1895. The winner was J. Frank Duyea who won the 54 mile race in ten hours. He traveled an average speed of 7.3 miles per hour.

Society

  • The first ten-story skyscraper was built in Chicago.
  • The Brooklyn Bridge in New York was opened to traffic.
  • Statue of Liberty was dedicated. The statue was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States.
  • The Washington Monument was completed. By government mandate the monument will always be the tallest structure in Washington DC.

Books

  • Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling was published.
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1900-1910

United States

  • William McKinley was re-elected President but was assassinated in 1901. Theodore Roosevelt became President and was re-elected. During his Presidency he made a trip to the Canal Zone in Panama: the first President to make a trip outside the United States. Roosevelt had a dynamic personality that his successor, William Taft, had to confront throughout his Presidency.
  • Oklahoma was admitted to the Union.

Sports

  • The Baseball World Series began in 1903. The National League and the American League played the best of nine games to determine the World Champion.
  • The NL's Pittsburgh Club vs. the AL's Boston Club played in the first series. The Boston team won 5 games to 3.

Society

  • The first ten-story skyscraper was built in Chicago.
  • The Brooklyn Bridge in New York was opened to traffic.
  • Statue of Liberty was dedicated. The statue was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States.
  • The Washington Monument was completed. By government mandate the monument will always be the tallest structure in Washington DC.

Toys and Games

  • Richard Steiff designed the Teddy Bear, named after Theodore Roosevelt who refused to shoot a trapped bear. The event was witnessed by a cartoonist, and he started the story about "Teddy's Bear."
  • The first crayola crayons were introduced in 1903. The box of eight crayons came in a yellow and green box and sold for a nickel. The eight original colors were black, blue, brown, green, orange, red, violet and yellow.

Art, Music, and Literature

  • Beatrix Potter wrote Peter Rabbit and other children's stories.
  • Jack London's novel Call of the Wild was published.
  • The first daily comic strip "Mr. Mutt," later called "Mutt and Jeff", appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Fashion

  • Gibson Girls were the symbols of the era.
  • Clothes were made to shield occupants in car. A duster (coat) and bonnet were in style but were used for protection.

Science and Business

  • Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully flew the first airplane. Orville piloted the first flight, which lasted 12 seconds, on December 17, 1903. Wilbur flew the fourth and final flight of the day, staying in the air 57 seconds.
  • Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company. A few months later the first Ford, the Model A, was sold in Detroit.
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1910-1920

United States

  • New Mexico and Arizona became the 47th and 48th states to join the U.S. Arizona was the last of the 48 connected states to join the Union.
  • Woodrow Wilson was elected President in 1912 and re-elected in 1916. The Mexican Revolution caused Wilson to keep a close eye to the south. World War I erupted in Europe occupying Wilson and the nation. The United States tried to remain neutral but finally entered the war in 1917 by declaring war on Germany, Hungary and Austria.
  • 19th Amendment granting woman's suffrage (right to vote) was ratified.

Food

  • Lifesavers, and Oreos appeared on the food scene.
  • MoonPies were the creation of the Chattanooga Bakery in Tennessee. The bakery's original purpose was to use the excess flour produced by the mill. In 1917 the bakery developed a product that is still known as the MoonPie. The snack was created after one of the bakery salesmen visited a general store that catered to coal miners. The miners said they wanted something for their lunch pails: it had to be solid and filling. When asked how big it should be, one of the miners held out his hands and framed the rising moon. The salesman headed back to the bakery with an idea. He noticed workers dipping graham cookies into marshmallow and laying them on the window sill to harden. He added another cookie and a generous coating of chocolate and sent them back for the workers to try. The response was so enormous that the MoonPie became a regular item for the bakery.

Toys and Games

  • All kids wanted a Radio Flyer wagon, also called a Liberty Coaster.
  • John Gruelle created Raggedy Ann for his daughter. Raggedy Ann later developed into a book character.

Science and Business

  • Ford developed a farm tractor
  • Albert Einstein formulated the theory of relativity.

Fashion

  • The bobbed hair style sweeps ladies' hair fashion in Britain and the United States.

Sports

  • Baseball cards with photos appeared. Featured players were Addie Joss, "The Human Hairpin," who was known for his pinwheel motion pitch. He played on the Cleveland team. Mordecai "Miner" Brown used to work in coal mines. He was called "three finger Brown" because he had lost the use of two fingers on his right hand which gave a special twist on his curveball.

Society

  • Father's Day was first celebrated in Spokane, Washington.
  • The Titanic sank on her maiden voyage after colliding with an iceberg. 1,513 people drowned.
  • The first successful parachute jump took place.
  • The Panama Canal was opened. Regular airmail was established between New York and Washington DC.
  • A world-wide influenza epidemic struck, and by 1920 twenty-two million people were dead.

Art, Music and Literature

  • Ball Room Dancing was in vogue.
  • Tin Pan Alley was in full swing. Tin Pan Alley represented the cluster of song publishers located on 28th Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway. The publishers hired composers on a permanent basis to create popular songs. These songs grew more popular as the years went on.
  • Alexander's Ragtime Band by Irving Berlin and When the Red, Red, Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbing Along were popular songs.
  • Charlie Chaplain appeared in his first movie.
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1920-1930

United States

  • Warren Harding was elected the 29th President. Harding died of a heart attack in 1923 and was succeeded by Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge was elected President in his own right in 1924. Herbert Hoover followed Coolidge in 1928.
  • The 18th Amendment, prohibition, went into effect. J. Edgar Hoover was appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation (renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935).
  • Mrs. Nellie Taylor Ross of Wyoming became the first women governor in America.

Science and Business

  • US Stock Exchange collapsed on October 28, 1929. Known as Black Tuesday, the day marked the beginning of a world economic crisis known as the Great Depression.
  • Retired American Army officer John T. Thompson patented his sub machine gun. The machine was called the Tommy Gun.
  • Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin.

Art, Literature and Music

  • The Jazz Age spread quickly with the advent of the radio. The music became synonymous with drink (hooch). Duke Ellington's "Black and Tan Fantasy" was a popular song as was Benny Goodman's "Waiten for Katie", and Cole Porter's "Let's Misbehave."
  • Bessie Smith, Empress of the Blues, was the highest paid African American entertainer at that time.
  • The Charleston became the fashionable dance.
  • "Little Orphan Annie", a comic strip by Herald Gray, appeared in the Chicago Tribune.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby.
  • A.A. Milne wrote Winnie the Pooh.

Toys and Games

  • Lincoln Logs were invented by John Lloyd Wright, son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. One of the easiest buildings to construct was the log cabin. Wright decided to call the toys Lincoln Logs as a tribute to Abraham Lincoln.
  • Yoyos became popular. The first American yoyo company was in California and was started by a Fillipino-American Pedro Flores. The yo-yo name came from the Filipino word for "spring."

Fashion

  • The Flapper style was popular in the 1920s.
  • Raccoon coats for both men and women were the rage.

Society

  • Warren Harding installed a radio in the White House in 1922.
  • Radio was a glamorous profession. Announcers and entertainers wore tuxedoes and evening gowns. People gathered around the radio to listen to programs and news.
  • Charles A. Lindbergh flew a monoplane, "Spirit of St. Louis," non-stop from New York to Paris. The flight took 33.5 hours.
  • Walt Disney first thought of a black mouse in red velvet pants on a train ride from New York to Los Angeles. Mickey Mouse appeared in his first film, Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon.
  • Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic Ocean, the first woman to do so.
  • Construction began on the Empire State Building

Food

  • Wonder bread, Wheaties, Kool-Aid, Milk Duds came into being.
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1930-1950

United States

  • Franklin Roosevelt won the Presidential election of 1932. Roosevelt served four terms, the only president to do so. He died in his fourth term and Vice President Harry Truman took over and was later elected President. During Truman's Presidency a law was passed that President's could only serve two consecutive terms.
  • Mrs. Hattie T. Caraway became the first women to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
  • Adolf Hitler was appointed German Chancellor. After he invaded Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany. The U.S. remained neutral until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Over 2,300 Americans were killed. Roosevelt declared the event a "day which will live in infamy." The United States and Britain declared war on Japan; Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. The United States, along with the other Allied forces, landed on Normandy beaches on D-Day June 6, 1944. The mission called "Operation Overlord" was the beginning of the end for Germany. Allied victory and the end of the war in Europe was declared May 8, 1945. To save American lives the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrendered and World War II ended on August 14, 1945.

Business and Technology

  • Robert Watson Watt built radar equipment to detect aircraft.
  • Secret atomic research called the "Manhattan Project" began. The research involved scientists from all over the nation.
  • Pan-American Airways began regularly scheduled commercial flights between the U.S. and Europe on the "Dixie Clipper".

Art, Music, Literature

  • The Three Stooges made their first film, Soup to Nuts.
  • Clark Gable began his Hollywood career. He went on to star in the classic, Gone With the Wind.
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt Disney's first feature film, was released. Songs from the film included "Heigh Ho" and "Whistle While You Work." "Fantasia" was released in 1941; and "Bambi" in 1942.
  • Orsen Well's radio production of H.G. Well's War of the Worlds caused panic for listeners who thought the story was really happening.
  • Dick and Jane books were published and taught 85 million first graders to read.
  • Dr. Suess' books were popular children's books.
  • Congress designated "The Star Spangled Banner" as the United States' national anthem.
  • "Happy Days are Here Again" was a favorite song and was played at the Democratic Convention for Roosevelt.
  • Benny Goodman made Big Band music popular.
  • Irving Berlin composed "God Bless America".
  • The song "Deep in the Heart of Texas" was composed.

Toys and Games

  • Arcade games like Foosball, Digger Machines and Skee-Ball were popular.
  • Red Ryder BB Gun appeared and has been sold continuously since 1938.
  • The Monopoly craze hit: 20,000 sets were sold in one week.
  • A group of Minnesota teachers started making trucks in the schoolhouse basement. The teachers named them Tonka Trucks after Lake Minnetonka.
  • Scrabble appeared and was first called Lexicla. The game was manufactured in an old Connecticut schoolhouse at a rate of 12 games an hour.
  • Candyland was developed by Eleanor Abbott while was recovering from Polio. She developed the game for other afflicted children.

Society

  • The Golden Gate Bridge construction began.
  • FBI agents shot John Dillinger, "Public Enemy #1".
  • The Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in Nevada was completed.
  • Amelia Earhart vanished on her Pacific flight.
  • "Rosie the Riveter" became the symbol of all women who worked in factories and replaced men who went off to war.
  • Infantile paralysis (polio) epidemic killed almost 1,200 in U.S. and crippled thousands more.

Sports

  • The 1936 Olympic Games were held in Berlin. Jesse Owens, an African American, won four gold medals in track and field putting to shame Adolf Hitler's Aryan superiority message.
  • The All American Girls Baseball League was started to keep baseball alive in the United States. Four teams were formed in 1943; the girls had to attend charm school and have chaperones. The games were advertised as wholesome family entertainment for war workers.
  • Jackie Robinson broke the "color barrier" in baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. He won respect through his skill and was named Rookie of the Year.
  • The NBA played its first basketball games.

Fashion

  • Zoot Suits were popular. The suits had wide lapels, deep pleated pants and wide brimmed hats. Zoot was a common street slang for extravagance.
  • Nylon stockings first appeared.
  • "Do-rags" were used to protect women's hair asthey worked in factories.

Food

  • Miracle Whip, Hostess Twinkies, Ritz Crackers Cheerios, M&Ms, Junior Mints, Betty Crocker cake mix, and Jolly Ranchers candy all came about during this period of time.
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1950-1970

United States

  • North Korean forces invaded South Korea and captured Seoul. Douglas MacArthur was appointed commander of United Nation forces in Korea. The UN forces landed in South Korea and recaptured Seoul. The Korean armistice was signed at Panmunjom in 1953.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Supreme Commander in Europe and was elected President. "I Like Ike" was the slogan for his campaign. Eisenhower was re-elected, and Richard Nixon served as his vice-president.
  • John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960. On a trip to Dallas in November 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. Kennedy had served less than three years and was 46 years old. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in and became the 36th president. Johnson was later elected President in his own right.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation by color in public schools was a violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
  • Alaska became the 49th state. Hawaii entered the Union and became the 50th state.
  • Thurgood Marshall became the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.

Society

  • The American Broadcast Company (ABC) aired Saturday morning shows for kids beginning August 19, 1950. The Lone Ranger was a favorite. Captain Kangaroo was broadcast on CBS and became the longest running children's show of all time. Scooby Doo, Where are You? premiered. "Scooby" was named after Frank Sinatra's song "Strangers in the Night".
  • Sesame Street began its television run.
  • I Love Lucy starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz became a hit TV show. Other popular shows included American Bandstand with host Bob Horn and The Twilight Zone.
  • Alan Shepard made the first U.S. space flight.
  • Martin Luther King led 4,000 people in a civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
  • "Peanuts" comic strip debuted in 1950, and in 1965 "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was the first comic T.V. special.
  • Senator Robert F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968 and was later assassinated in Los Angeles. A few months later Martin Luther King was assassinated at a Memphis motel.
  • Apollo 11 was launched from Cape Kennedy, and the lunar module landed on the moon's surface. Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon.

Art, Music, Literature

  • J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings was published.
  • Elvis Presley was incredibly popular. He scored more consecutive number one hits than any other artist in the history of popular music with songs like "Blue Suede Shoes", "Hound Dog Man", and "Don't Be Cruel". He was considered the King of Rock and Roll.
  • Old Yeller played in theaters across the country.
  • Alfred Hitchcock released the movie Psycho.
  • Chubby Checker sang "Let's Do the Twist". The "twist" became the dance craze of the time.
  • The Beatles became a phenomenon in London and the US with hits like "I Want to Hold Your Hand".

Fashion

  • Bobby Socks, white anklets worn with saddle shoes, and poodle skirts were the rage.
  • Cat-eye glasses were popular eye wear.

Toys and Games

  • "Mr. Potato Head" was invented by George Lerner.
  • Kirk Christianson and his son, Godtfred, invented Legos. The name was taken from the Danish word "Leg Godt" meaning play well.
  • The Hula Hoop was the craze.
  • Mattel's Barbie became popular. The doll was named after the co-founder's daughter
  • Hot Wheels were the fastest toy cars on the market.

Sports

  • Floyd Patterson became the youngest world champion boxer when he won the title in 1953 at age 21.
  • Muhammad Ali won the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston. His real name was Cassius Clay and claimed "he moved like a butterfly and stung like a bee".

Food

  • Jell-O instant pudding and TV dinners were the new fad foods.
  • Ranch Dressing and Gatorade were introduced.
  • McDonald's restaurants are introduced.

Inventions

  • Albert Sabin developed an oral vaccine against polio.
  • U.S.S.R. launches Sputnik I and II, the first Earth satellites.
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1970-1990

United States

  • Washington DC police arrested five men inside the Democratic Headquarters beginning the Watergate affair. President Nixon resigned after the Watergate investigation found early Presidential involvement. Gerald Ford became President.
  • Jimmy Carter was elected President in 1976.
  • Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter four years later and became the 40th President. Reagan was re-elected in 1984.
  • George H.W. Bush was elected the 41st President in 1988.
  • A cease-fire agreement was signed, and the Vietnam War was over. Communists forces overran South Vietnam. U.S. engaged in immediate evacuation of troops, civilians, and refugees. America ended two decades of involvement in Vietnam.
  • The U.S. celebrated its Bicentennial with special across the country.
  • The Berlin Wall was torn down on November 9, 1989 and a reform government took power.

Society

  • The construction of the World Trade Center was completed.
  • Amtrak began operating U.S. passenger railroads.
  • M*A*S*H made its T.V. debut and became the longest running sitcom ever.
  • Little House on the Prairie, based on the novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder, debuted.
  • "Super Friends" cartoon was popular along with "Bat Man and Robin", "Superman", "Wonder Woman" and "Aquaman".
  • The US Air Force Academy admitted 155 women, ending the all-male tradition at the U.S. military academies.
  • Mount St. Helen's volcano in Washington state erupted.
  • CNN was launched as the first all news network.
  • Sandra Day O'Connor became the U.S. Supreme Court's first female justice.
  • Prince Charles and Lady Diana marry on July 29th. Their wedding was the most watched wedding in history.
  • Scientists identify Acquired Immune Deficiency (AIDS)
  • MTV debuted on August 1, 1981 and had over 2.1 million subscribers by years end. The firstvideos played were Buggles, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Who, the Pretenders and Styx.
  • The Exxon Valdez caused the world's largest oil spill when it ran aground in Alaska.

Art, Literature, Music

  • HBO (Home Box Office) was launched on subscription cable T.V.
  • Jaws was the horror movie of the decade.
  • Star Wars debuted and was the first true special effects film ever featured. From this movie came StarWars merchandise like action figures and toy light sabers.
  • Garfield the Cat is syndicated.
  • E.T. is released and became a cultural phenomenon.

Toys and Games

  • Artari home video was popular with games like "Pong"", "Combat" and "Space Invaders".
  • "Pac Man" was the most popular arcade game of the year.
  • Cabbage Patch Kids were the hottest toys of the year.
  • The Nintendo Entertainment System was introduced with games like "Super Mario Brothers" and "The Legend of Zelda".

Sports

  • Hank Aaron hit his 600th career home run, only the third baseball player in history to reach that mark.
  • President Nixon signed the Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972 saying that no person shall be denied participation in any education program or activity based on sex.
  • The NBA adopted the three point field goal.

Inventions

  • CAT scanning was introduced. CAT stands for Computerized Axial Tomography and was the most important medical breakthrough since X-Ray.
  • The Sony Walkman was introduced.
  • IBM launched its "home" or "personal" computer.
  • U.S. Space Shuttle "Challenger" was launched on its maiden flight and completed three missions during the year. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space and Guion Bluford, the first African American in space.
  • The compact disc (CD) and camcorders were introduced.
  • The first transatlantic optical fiber telephone cable entered service links between France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Fashion

  • Nike running shoes hit the market.
  • Bellbottom jeans and pants were the rage.
  • Disco influenced clothing for men and women. Men wore slick polyester shirts that bore their chest and highlighted the ever present gold medallions. Ladies wore flowing dresses that draped off one side with strappy high healed shoes.

Food

  • Tab and Pepsi Light started the diet drink craze.
  • Jelly Bellies, Gummy Bears, Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum, and frozen yogurt became popular.
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1990 and Beyond

United States

  • IIraq invaded Kuwait in August of 1990. The U.S. and other allies send military forces to Saudi Arabia. Operation Desert Storm began January 16, 1991. The Allied forces defeated Saddam Hussein's army in a 100-hour battle and liberate Kuwait.
  • The Soviet Union collapsed. Yeltsin, president of the Russian republic, lead a revolution against Premier Gorbachev in order to preserve the crumbling power structure. Fifteen separate republics were granted independence and Yeltsin remained president.
  • The Cold War officially ended in 1992.
  • Bill Clinton was elected president. In 1998 President Clinton was impeached. The House of Representatives approved an inquiry for impeachment. The Senate did not approve the inquiry.
  • The Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed.
  • George W. Bush and Al Gore ran the closest Presidential election ever between two candidates. The race was decided in Florida where Bush was victorious. He became the 43rd President.
  • The World Trade Center and Pentagon were hit by commercial aircraft on September 11, 2001. Thousands were killed. As a result the War on Terror began.

Science/Technology

  • NASA launched the Hubble telescope into space.
  • El Nino struck the United States with hurricanes, tornadoes and a severe heat wave that lasted all summer killing 90 people.

Sports

  • Michael Jordan retired for the first time after leading the Chicago Bulls to its third championship in a row.
  • The inaugural season of the WNBA began.
  • The home run chase began between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa to reach the 1961 record set by Roger Maris. McGwire broke the record.
  • The U.S. Women's Soccer Team wins the World Cup.

Society

  • New television hit shows included Beverly Hills 90210, The Simpsons, The X-Files, ER and Friends.
  • First generation Lexus LS400 car was released.
  • The largest shopping mall in the U.S. was constructed in Minnesota. The Mall of America covered 78 acres and included an indoor amusement park.
  • Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris, and the world mourned.
  • The Y2K bug fear swept the world. People bought canned goods, water, and other necessities as the year 2000 approached. January 1, 2000arrived, and nothing went wrong since most computers had become Y2K compatible.

Fashion

  • Faded jeans were hot.
  • The Grunge look, with ratty hair and dirty clothing inspired by Kurt Cobain, was popular.

Toys and Games

  • Beanie Babies hit the market. They were a loveable toy for children and a well sought after collector's item for adults.
  • "Pokemon" was the craze for all children with Nintendo's gameboy.
  • Scooters became a fad for kids.

Movies, Art, Literature, Music

  • The best movie of the summer of 1994 was Forest Gump starring Tom Hanks who won the award for best actor.
  • The Backstreet Boys debuted their first album and were the first of the late 1990s boy bands.
  • The Dixie Chics and Britney Spears hit the music stage.
  • "Titanic" debuted and became the most successful movie ever made winning 14 Academy Awards including best picture and best director.
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