The year that brought us the ‘trial of the century’, iconic films, and scientific discoveries; 1995 events made their mark on history. The Bosnian war, which began earlier in the decade finally ended in December, Pixar produced their first ever film which was released by Disney in November, and Oklahoma was hit by the deadliest terrorist attack on America, before 9/11.
All these events and more are chronicled below within our timeline of the most newsworthy events of 1995. You can read below the headline stories of the time, and even browse our 1995 newspaper gifts to order your own piece of history.
O.J. Simpson is found not guilty of murder on October 3rd 1995
Turn the page to:
- Oklahoma City Bombing
- Bosnian War: Operation Storm
- O. J. Simpson Trial
January 1: British serial killer, Fred West, is found hanged in his cell at Winson Green Prison, Birmingham. He and his wife are due to go on trial for murdering up to 12 women and children (including two of Fred’s daughters),
January 2: Using the Keck telescope in Hawaii, scientists discover the most distant galaxy known to man so far (estimated to be 15 billion light years away)
January 9 Russian cosmonaut, Valeri Polyakov sets the record for the longest amount of time a person has been in space; completing 366 days.
January 10: In British football the transfer fee record is broken when Man United sign a £7 million deal, buying striker Andy Cole from Newcastle United.
January 16: The village of Súðavík in Iceland is hit by an avalanche. 14 people are killed.
January 17: In Japan, the city of Kobe experiences an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9. Over $200 billion of damage was caused and 6,434 across the Hanshin region of Japan die, 4,600 of which were from Kobe.
January 25: Russian defense systems briefly interpret a rocket, launched from Norway’s space exploration center, as an attack.
January 25: Eric Cantona assaults a spectator during the Manchester United vs Crystal Palace soccer game. As a result he is banned from playing for eight months by the FA. Cantona’s attack of the Palace fan is dubbed the Kung fu Kick by press covering the incident.
January 29: Super Bowl XXIX is won by the San Francisco 49ers who beat the San Diego Chargers at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida. The 49ers are the first National Football League franchise to win five Super Bowls.
January 31: President Bill Clinton extends a $20 billion loan to help Mexico avert financial collapse following the devaluation of the peso in December 1994.
Russian Cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov
Image: Wikimedia Commons
February 1: Richey James Edwards of Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers goes missing after leaving the London Embassy Hotel. He is never found.
February 9: During US/Russian space mission STS-63, Bernard A. Harris Jr. becomes the first African American and Michael Foale becomes the first Briton to walk in space.
February 10: Danny Boyle’s directorial debut, Shallow Grave, starring Ewan McGreggor is released in UK cinemas.
February 15: Following a highly publicized pursuit, the FBI arrest hacker Kevin Mitnick. He is charged with wire fraud and breaking into some of the most secure computer systems in the United States.
February 17: Colin Ferguson, who opened fire on a Long Island Railroad train in 1993 is convicted of six counts of murder and 19 counts of attempted murder. He later receives a 315-year sentence and will be eligible for parole in August 2309.
February 21: Four prisoners escape from Serkadji prison in Algeria, leading to a mutiny. 4 guards are killed by inmates before security forces storm the prison. 96 prisoners are killed while forces regain control.
February 21: In Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada, Steve Fossett lands his hot air balloon. He is the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
February 26: UK investment banking firm, Barings Bank, collapses following losses made by broker Nick Leeson. Leeson loses $1.4 billion by speculating on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
February 19: On a beach in Cancún, Mexico, Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson marries drummer Tommy Lee.
February 28: Famous fictional spinster, Bridget Jones first appears in a column published in The Independent The Diary of Bridget Jones.
March 9: The Queen and Prince Phillip visit Northern Ireland for the first time since the ceasefire between IRA and Loyalists came into force in ‘94.
March 16: The American state Mississippi becomes the last state to approve the abolition of slavery as it ratifies the 13th amendment. The thirteenth amendment was nationally ratified in 1865, but was not initially accepted by all states at the time.
March 18: Michael Jordan ends his retirement by announcing he is returning to the NBA.
March 20: Doomsday cult, Aum Shinrikyo release sarin gas on the Tokyo subway in Japan. Five trains are attacked, and 13 people die. Over 1,000 people suffer temporary vision loss as a result of the nerve agent.
March 20: Queen Elizabeth visits Cape Town. She is the first royal to visit South Africa in nearly fifty years.
March 23: Croydon Crown Court sentences Eric Cantona to 14 days imprisonment for his kung fu kick. He remains free on bail, pending an appeal which results in his sentence being reduced to 120 hours’ community service.
March 26: The Schengen Agreement goes into effect across several European nations. This agreement eases cross-border travel as boarder checks are no longer necessary.
March 27: The 67th Academy Awards are hosted by David Letterman. Forrest Gump is awarded six gongs including Best Picture and Best Actor for Tom Hanks.
March 31: 60 people aboard TAROM Flight 371 from Bucharest to Brussels are killed as it crashes shortly after take-off.
March 31: Singer-songwriter Selena is murdered by Yolanda Saldívar, president of the Selena fan club.
Grave of American Singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez
Image: Wikimedia Commons
April 7: The most notorious attack on civilian life takes place during the First Chechen War. Russian troops kill around 100 people in the village of Samashki in Chechnya.
April 18: Texas newspaper the Huston Post ceases publication after 116 years.
April 19: Timothy McVeigh and an accomplice, Terry Nichols park a pickup truck full of explosives in front of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma. McVeigh detonates the device, killing 168 people and wounding 680 others.This will become known as the “Oklahoma Bombing.”
April 23: At the 49th Bafta Awards, Sense and Sensibility is awarded Best Film.
April 23: The first ever World Book Day is celebrated.
April 23: President Clinton declares a national day of mourning for the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing earlier in the month.
April 24: In Sacramento, president of the California Forestry Association, Gilbert Brent Murray opens a mail bomb addressed to his predecessor. His murder is attributed to the infamous Unabomber.
April 28: In Daegu, South Korea, a gas pipe is damaged by construction on the metro system. A delay in reporting the incident leads to an explosion which kills 101 people, most of whom are teenage schoolboys.
April 29: Canadian butchers in Kitchener, Ontario set the world record for the longest sausage ever, at 28.77 miles (46.3 km). The record has since been broken by Romanian butchers.
April 30: US government funding for The National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) ceases, meaning the Internet becomes a privatized system.
May 11: Over 170 countries agree to indefinitely extend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The treaty was created in the 1960s to promote peaceful uses of nuclear power and to achieve nuclear disarmament globally.
May 13: Northwestern Greece is struck with a severe earthquake. Western Macedonia suffers $450 million in damage and 25 people are injured.
May 14: 6-year-old boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima is declared to be the 11th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama by the Dalai Lama. Within three days the Chinese government detain the Tibetan boy.
May 14: In British soccer, Blackburn Rovers earn their first top division league title since 1914 as they become Premier League champions.
May 20: At Wembley stadium Everton beat Manchester United 1–0 to win the FA Cup.
May 20: Part of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House is closed to vehicular traffic. President Bill Clinton makes the announcement as part of his weekly radio address, confirming that the change will be made indefinitely and is in response to the Oklahoma City bombing.
May 23: The remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building are imploded in Oklahoma City.
May 24: At the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna AFC Ajax win the UEFA Champions League, defeating A.C. Milan 1–0.
May 27: Superman actor Christopher Reeve falls from his horse and is paralyzed from the neck down.
May 28: An earthquake devastates the Russian island of Sakhalin. Residential buildings collapse and around 2,500 people are unaccounted for.
June 2: A United States Air Force pilot, Captain Scott O’Grady is shot down when patrolling the NATO no-fly zone over Bosnia. He survives by ejecting from his F-16 fighter plane but will not be rescued for six days.
June 6: NASA’s space endurance record is broken by U.S. astronaut, Norman Thagard, who spends 84 days in space during a single mission.
June 10: The largest film premiere in history is held in New York when Disney’s Pocahontas draws crowds of 100,000.
June 13: Alanis Morissette releases her third album Jagged Little Pill.
June 15: Defense attorney Johnnie Cochran says the famous phrase, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Referring to O. J. Simpson trying on the gloves which were thought to have been worn by the murderer of his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman. Simpson tries on the gloves before the jury during his trial.
June 16: The 2002 Winter Olympics are awarded to Salt Lake City, Utah by the International Olympic Committee.
June 16: Batman Forever Tim Burton’s sequel to Batman Returns is released in the United States.
June 20: Dennis Bergkamp becomes the most expensive player in British football history so far when Arsenal pay a transfer fee of £7,500,000 to Inter Milan.
June 29: After setting sail in September of ’94, British woman Lisa Clayton completes solo sail non-stop around the world.
June 29: A structural failure causes the Sampoong Department Store to collapse in the Seocho-gu district of Seoul, South Korea. Over 500 people are killed.
July 11: For the first time in 20 years (since the Vietnam War) President Clinton announces the restoration of relations between the United States and Vietnam.
July 6: As 1995 events unfold in the Bosnian War, Bosnian Serb troops begin shelling the town of Srebrenica. As a result over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men are killed. This genocide is the worst mass killing on European soil since WW2.
July 11: Shaggy’s third studio album Bombastic is released. The album will go on to win a Grammy for Best Reggae Album.
July 13: Dozens of cities in the United States suffer record high temperatures, though the phenomenon becomes known as the Chicago Heatwave. It’s estimated 739 people die as a result of temperatures which reach 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 °C), though with the day’s humidity and heat index it felt like 125 °F (51.7 °C).
July 17: Bill Gates is announced by Forbes Magazine to be the richest man in world with a net worth of approximately $12.9 billion.
July 17: UK boyband Take That splits when Robbie Williams announces he is quitting the band. The news was so shocking that UK charity the Samaritans set up a helpline dedicated to helping distraught fans.
July 25: In France a bomb is detonated on the Paris Metro. Four people die and 60 more are injured, 14 of which are critical.
July 27: On the 42nd anniversary of the armistice, the Korean War Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
July 28: Waterworld starring Kevin Costner is released in the USA.
July 29: In both teams’ first NFL exhibition game, Carolina Panthers beat Jacksonville Jaguars 20-14. Other triumphs of the Panthers can be read in our personalized history of the Panthers.
Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington DC
August 4: The last major battle of the Croatian war of independence begins. Operation Storm is launched by the Croatian army with the cooperation of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they reclaim 10,400 square kilometres (4,000 square miles) of territory within 3 days.
August 6: In the UK new legislation goes into effect which allows pubs to remain open throughout Sunday afternoon for the first time
August 6: 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb is commemorated in Hiroshima by 50,000.
August 8: American artist Coolio releases Gangster’s Paradise. The single goes on to become America’s Billboard Song of the Year.
August 13: British mountain climber, Alison Hargreaves dies while descending from the summit of K2. She made headlines earlier in the year when she climbed Everest without the aid of Sherpas or bottled oxygen. Her aim had been to climb the world’s three highest mountains, Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga, within one year.
August 14: Rival Brit Pop bands Oasis and Blur release singles on the same day in the UK. Blur’s Country House single beats Oasis’ Roll With It to the coveted number 1 spot.
August 16: A referendum in Bermuda results in rejecting independence from becoming a British Dependent Territory.
August 24: Operating system, Windows 95 is released by Microsoft.
August 27: On Long Island, New York wildfires burn over 7,000 acres of woodland over four days, making it the worst fire to hit the area in 80 years.
August 27: The 95th US Golf Amateur Championship is won by Tiger Woods who is back to defend his title. Woods won in 1994, aged 19 making him the youngest player to win the title until 2008 when it was won by 17 year old New Zealander, Danny Lee.
September 2: Frank Bruno takes the World Boxing Championship heavyweight title, beating Oliver McCall in 12 rounds on points.
September 4: Xena: Warrior Princess starring Lucy Lawless debuts in America and soon reaches cult TV status.
September 7: At the 12th MTV Video Music Awards Michael Jackson performs a non-stop medley of his greatest songs for over 15 minutes. During the after-show Courtney Love crashes an interview with Madonna, throwing make-up at her.
September 9: Sony release their first games console the PlayStation in the US, but Europe will have to wait to play on it until September 29.
September 22: Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine announces his candidacy for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination.
September 22: Crime thriller, Seven is released in the US
September 24: Pride and Prejudice, the TV adaptation starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth debuts in the UK on BBC One.
September 26: The trial begins against former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. Andreotti is accused of having connections to the Mafia.
September 28: Singer Bobby Brown escapes injury when his bodyguard and friend is shot when they are both in Brown’s $375,000 Bentley. The bodyguard, Steven Sealey is shot several times in the head and the shooting is thought to be due to Sealey’s connection to rival drug gangs.
October 3: One of the most notable events in this 1995 timeline; in the case dubbed the trial of the century by the media, O. J. Simpson is found not guilty of murdering his former wife Nicole Simpson and her boyfriend, Ronald Goldman. The jury had deliberated for approximately four hours.
October 4: Category 3 Hurricane Opal hits Florida winds are recorded at 115 miles per hour (185 km/h).
October 6: The first planet to be found orbiting a sun-like star outside of our solar system. The extrasolar planet, known as 51 Pegasi B is larger than Jupiter and orbits the star, 51 Pegasi in four days.
October 9: An Amtrak train, the Sunset Limited, bound for California is derailed in the Arizona desert. One Amtrak employee dies, and more than 100 people are injured. The cause of the derailment is found to be sabotage of the tracks and, though notes are left, the perpetrator is never found.
October 16: Thousands of African American men gather in Washington DC to raise awareness of civil rights issues. The Million Man March was conceived by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
October 17: French woman, Jeanne Calment becomes the oldest person in history as she is 120 years and 238 days old. Calment will live to be 122 years and 164 days old.
October 25: A knighthood is awarded to singer Cliff Richard.
October 25: Seven children are killed when a Metra commuter train hits a school bus in Fox River Grove, Illinois. The bus was stopped at signals with the driver unaware that the back of the vehicle was slightly overhanging the tracks.
October 26: Iceland suffers its second avalanche of the year. 20 people are killed when the village Flateyri is hit by snow falling from nearby mountains.
October 28: In the capital of Azerbaijan, a fire breaks out on the Baku Metro. 289 passengers are killed, making the incident the world’s worst subway disaster.
The Million Man March in Washington D.C.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
November 3: In Virginia USA, President Bill Clinton visits Arlington National Cemetery to dedicate a memorial to victims of the Pan Am flight 103 bombing.
November 4: The Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, is assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv.
November 7: Typhoon Angela strikes the Philippines and Vietnam. The category 5 typhoon leaves 882 dead and causes over $315 million in damage.
November 16: Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić are charged with genocide by a United Nations tribunal for their actions during the Bosnian War.
November 19: The first ever full-length film to be created entirely using computer animation, Toy Story, is premiered in New York.
November 20: 22.78 million British people tune in to watch an interview on BBC one with Princess Diana of Wales. She discusses adultery, her children, her depression and bulimia in candid detail.
November 22: New York City’s child welfare system is heavily criticized when news of 6 year-old Elisa Izquierdo’s death at the hands of her mother makes national headlines. Elisa’s Law is subsequently created, increasing accountability of all involved in a child’s welfare and reducing privacy restrictions if abuse is suspected.
November 22: Rose West is sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering 10 women and children, including her daughter and stepdaughter. The judge residing the trial recommends that she is never released.
November 24: GoldenEye is released in UK cinemas, starring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, and Judi Dench as M.
November 24: After 58 years of divorce being prohibited, Ireland votes to end the amendment on divorce within their constitution.
December 6: A new drug, Saquinavir, is approved in the US by the Food and Drug Administration to treat HIV/AIDS. This approval changes the treatment of thousands of Americans for the better.
December 7: NASA’s unmanned probe, Galileo enters the atmosphere of Jupiter.
December 7: Michael Jackson collapses on stage during a rehearsal at the Beacon Theater in New York. He is hospitalized with dehydration and low blood pressure. As a result, the HBO special One Night Only (due to air live on December 10th) is cancelled.
December 8: In London, England Headteacher Philip Lawrence is stabbed outside St George’s Catholic School. Lawrence went to help a pupil who was being attacked by a gang just outside the school gates, he dies in hospital from his injuries.
December 13: Following the death of a young black man in police custody, riots break out in Brixton, London. 22 people are arrested and three police officers are injured.
December 14: In California, the first ever transplant of baboon bone marrow is given to Jeff Getty as an experimental treatment for AIDS.
December 15: After being banned for 34 years, the magazine Playboy can now be sold in Ireland.
December 20: American Airlines Flight 965 goes off course while travelling from Florida to Cali, Colombia. The Boeing 757 crashes into a mountain near Buga, killing 160 of the 164 people on board.
December 30: Altnaharra in the Scottish Highlands has the lowest ever recorded temperature in the UK. Temperatures dip to −27.2 °C (−17.0 °F)
December 31: The last of Bill Watterson’s original comic strip Calvin and Hobbes is published.
At 9:02 on April 19th, a truck full of explosives was detonated outside a United States federal government complex in downtown Oklahoma City. The explosives were found to be a mixture of diesel, ammonium nitrate fertilizer, and nitromethane which had been packed into 13 barrels within the truck, weighing a total of 4,800 pounds (2,200 kg). The blast caused destruction within a 16-block radius of the target, shattering glass in 258 nearby buildings, and burning numerous cars.
The whole front of the targeted building collapsed within 7 seconds of the detonation, leaving the building structurally unstable. 665 rescue workers were dispatched to assist victims of the bomb and 168 died. The VIN number found on the axle of the exploded truck was used to trace it back to Timothy McVeigh, a former US soldier, who was arrested the same day for driving without a valid license plate and carrying an unlicensed weapon. McVeigh’s accomplice and former Army roommate, Terry Nichols, turns himself in to police on 21st April.
On June 2nd 1997, McVeigh is found guilty of using a weapon of mass destruction, and Nichols is found guilty of 161 counts of murder on December 23rd of the same year. On June 11th 2001 McVeigh was the first person in 38 years to be put to death for a federal crime. Nichols is serving 161 consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole.
Following World War Two, the Balkan states of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia became part of the Republic of Yugoslavia. Tensions began to rise as each individual republic started to see a rise in nationalism towards the early 1980s. This resulted in Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia declaring independence in 1991.
The war that followed left the republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina divided between three main ethnicities who resided there; Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslim), Serbs, and Croats. By May ’92 the European Union recognized Bosnia as an independent state, however he Serb-led Yugoslav Army launched an offensive against Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo. Their aim was ‘ethnic cleansing’ and Bosniak towns were attacked to remove Bosniaks by any means necessary.
By August 1995, NATO joined forces with Bosnian and Croatian forces and commenced three weeks of bombings on Bosnian-Serb strongholds; known as Operation Storm. Bosnian territory was regained and by November 1995, peace talks resulted in the creation of a federalized nation of Bosnia which was divided between a Croat-Bosniak federation and a Serb republic. The brutal acts carried out in this ware were deemed genocide and Serbian President Radovan Karadžić, along with Bosnian military commander Ratko Mladić were charged with war crimes.
On June 12th 1994, the bodies of Nicole Simpson Brown and Ron Goldman are found, leading to the arrest and trial of O.J. Simpson. Simpson’s arrest made headlines as he led police on a high-speed chase. Fans of the football star lined the freeway with signs and cheers of support, and live footage of the chase interrupted the airing of the live NBA finals.
Once the running back is arrested his entire trial continued under the media’s eye as the presiding Judge Ito permits the proceedings to be televised to the US public. Competency of the police and racial tensions between the police and African-Americans are raised by the defense team. The prosecution present the court with physical evidence, including gloves allegedly belonging to O.J. Simpson which were found at the crime scene.
The major turning point of the trial was June 15th when the accused tried on the gloves, showing the jury that they were too tight for him. This was a key part of the defense’s closing argument on September 28th and 532 days after the murder was committed, with a trial lasting 11 months, the jury deliberated for only 4 hours.
The murders of Nicole Simpson Brown and Ron Goldman have not been solved.