1999 was definitely one to remember as the last of the century. Among the major events that happened in 1999: the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton came to a conclusion, the situation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia escalated into a war, and Space Shuttle Discovery became the first vessel to dock with the International Space Station.

The publication of the third Harry Potter book was perhaps not one of the most important events of 1999, but it’s among the cultural moments that we can look back on with fondness.

You can read even more about the memorable events of 1999 in an original 1999 newspaper.

1999 Timeline

Turn the page to:


January 1: The introduction of the Euro.

January 3: NASA launches their Mars Polar Lander.

January 6: A 204-day lockout comes to an end when an agreement is reached by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.

January 7: The impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton begins.

January 10: Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ becomes his third No.1 single in the UK.

January 10: The 25th People’s Choice Awards take place.

January 10:The Sopranos’ debuts on HBO.

January 11: The 26th American Music Awards take place.

January 11: Marty Schottenheimer resigns as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

January 11: For the fourth time, Bülent Ecevit becomes Prime Minister of Turkey.

January 13: Michael Jordan announces his second retirement from the NBA.

January 15: 45 Albanians are killed by Yugoslav security forces in Racak, Kosovo.

January 20: New government restrictions on the use of the internet is announced by the China News Service.

January 21: The US Coast Guard intercepts 4,300 kilograms of cocaine on a ship headed for Houston in one of the biggest drug busts in American history.

January 24: The 56th Golden Globes take place.

January 25: An earthquake injures 1000 and kills 300 in Columbia.

January 25: Six International Olympic Committee members are expelled following an inquiry into corruption.

January 25: The 15th Sundance Film Festival begins.

January 31:Family Guy’ debuts on Fox.

January 31: Yevgeny Kafelnikov becomes the first Russian to win a title at the Australian Open.

January 31: The Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl.


February 4: Tensions rise in New York City after police fatally shoot unarmed immigrant Amadou Diallo.

February 7: After the death of his father, Crown Prince Abdullah becomes the King of Jordan.

February 11: Pluto regains its status as the solar system’s outermost planet after moving further away from the sun than Neptune.

February 12: President Bill Clinton is acquitted by the Senate in his impeachment trial.

February 14: Jeff Gordon wins the 41st Daytona 500.

February 16: Kurdish rebels hold hostages in embassies across Europe after Abdullah Öcalan is arrested in Turkey.

February 21: The Lahore Declaration is signed by India and Pakistan on the use of nuclear weapons.

February 23: Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan is charged with treason in Turkey.

February 23: 31 people are killed when the Austrian village of Galtür is destroyed in an avalanche.

February 23: Eminem releases ‘The Slim Shady LP’.

February 24: 61 people are killed when a China Southern Airlines Tupolev flight crashes approaching Wenzhou airport.

February 24: The 41st Grammy Awards take place.

February 27: Olusegun Obasanjo becomes Nigeria’s first elected president since 1983.


Eminem released ‘The Slim Shady LP’ in this year

Image: Wikimedia Commons


March 11: Infosys is the first Indian company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

March 12: The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland join NATO.

March 20: The first Legoland outside of Europe opens in California.

March 21: Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones become the first to travel all the way around the world in a hot air balloon.

March 21: The 71st Academy Awards take place.

March 23: Luis María Argaña, Vice President of Paraguay, is assassinated.

March 24: NATO starts aerial bombing over Yugoslavia.

March 24: 39 people die when a truck catches fire in the Mont Blanc Tunnel.

March 24:The Matrix’ premieres.

March 26: The Melissa computer virus infects Microsoft Word and Outlook worldwide.


April 1: Nunavut is established as a Canadian territory.

April 4: Jack Ma founds Alibaba.

April 7: The World Trade Organization rules in favor of the United States in a dispute with the European Union over bananas.

April 9: The President of Niger, Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara, is assassinated.

April 11: The 52nd British Film and Television Awards take place.

April 12: President Bill Clinton is cited for contempt of court in a sexual harassment civil lawsuit.

April 14: 75 people are reported dead after NATO accidentally bombs a convoy of Albanian refugees.

April 14: A hailstorm causes $1.7 billion worth of damage in Sydney, Australia.

April 20: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 and injure 24 before committing suicide at Columbine High School, Colorado.

April 22: Colombian serial killer Luis Garavito is apprehended.

April 30: Cambodia joins the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.


May 1:SpongeBob SquarePants’ debuts on Nickelodeon.

May 2: Mireya Moscoso becomes the first female President of Panama.

May 3: 42 people are killed and 665 injured in a tornado in Oklahoma.

May 5: The 34th Academy of Country Music Awards take place.

May 7: 3 people are killed and 20 injured when NATO bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

May 7: President João Bernardo Vieira of Guinea-Bissau is ousted in a military coup.

May 7: Pope John Paul II travels to Romania in a historic visit to a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country.

May 8: Nancy Mace is the first female to graduate from military college The Citadel in South Carolina.

May 9: The 45th British Academy Television Awards take place.

May 12: Sir David Steel becomes the first Speaker of the modern Scottish Parliament.

May 12: The 52nd Cannes Film Festival begins.

May 13: Carlo Azeglio Ciampi is elected the 10th President of Italy.

May 19:Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’ is released in cinemas.

May 24: Venezuela joins the Antarctic Treaty System.

May 25: The Cox Report details the People’s Republic of China’s nuclear espionage against the US for the previous 20 years.

May 27: Slobodan Milošević and four others are indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Kosovo.

May 28: After 22 years of restoration, ‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci is put back on display in Milan, Italy.

May 29: After 16 years of military rule, Olusegun Obasanjo becomes the first civilian to be elected President of Nigeria.

May 29: Space Shuttle Discovery docks with the International Space Station.

May 29: The 44th Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Jerusalem.

May 30: Kenny Bräck wins the Indianapolis 500.

Star Wars

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’ was released this year.

Image: Wikimedia Commons


June 6: 345 prisoners escape from Putim maximum security prison in Brazil.

June 6: The 53rd Tony Awards take place.

June 9: The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and NATO sign a peace treaty.

June 10: NATO suspends aerial bombing when Slobodan Milošević agrees to withdraw from Kosovo.

June 12: Operation Joint Guardian, a peacekeeping task force, enters Kosovo.

June 16: Thabo Mbeki becomes President of South Africa in the second democratic election.

June 20: Australian wins the Cricket World Cup.


July 1: Queen Elizabeth II opens the Scottish Parliament.

July 3: Lindsay Davenport wins her only Wimbledon title.

July 4: Pete Sampras wins his third consecutive Wimbledon title.

July 6: Barry Winchell, a private in the US army, dies after being attacked by his fellow soldiers for having a relationship with Calpernia Addams, a transgender showgirl.

July 8: The electric chair is used for the last time in Florida in the execution of Allan Lee Davis.

July 8:Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ is published.

July 9: Protests begin after an attack on a student dormitory at the University of Tehran.

July 16: John F Kennedy Junior, his wife Carolyn Besette Kennedy and his sister-in-law Lauren Besette are killed in a plane crash.

July 20: Falun Gong is banned in the People’s Republic of China.

July 22: The Woodstock 99 music festival begins.

July 23: Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Al-Hassan becomes the King of Morocco after the death of his father.

July 23: An ANA flight is hijacked in Tokyo.

July 25: Lance Armstrong wins his for the first time at the 86th Tour de France.

July 26: Two months of fighting in Kashmir between India and Pakistan comes to an end.

July 31: NASA intentionally crashes the Lunar Prospector.


August 1: The world’s tallest building, the Petronas Towers, opens in Kuala Lumpur.

August 9: Boris Yeltsin, President of Russia, fires his Prime Minister and the rest of his cabinet.

August 9: The Hinomaru and the Kimi Ga Yo are established as the official national flag and national anthem of Japan.

August 9: Charles Kennedy becomes the leader of the Liberal Democrats in Britain.

August 11: A total solar eclipse occurs.

August 13: The 32nd San Diego Comic-Con takes place.

August 15: 29 people are killed at a fake roadblock near the border between Algeria and Morocco.

August 17: More than 17,000 are killed and 44,000 injured in an earthquake in Turkey.

August 19: Tens of thousands gather to demand the resignation of the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

August 20: The 7th Athletics World Championships begin.

August 26: Michael Johnson breaks the 400 meter world record.

August 30: East Timorese vote for independence in a referendum.

August 31: One person is killed and 40 are injured in the first of a series of bombings in apartments in Moscow.

August 31: 65 people are killed when an LAPA flight crashes during takeoff in Buenos Aires.

Boris Yeltsin

Boris Yeltsin resigns a President of Russia

Image: Wikimedia Commons


September 1: The 56th Venice Film Festival begins.

September 7: 143 people are killed and more than 500 are injured in an earthquake in Athens.

September 9: The 16th MTV Music Awards take place.

September 11: Serena Williams wins her first Grand Slam title at the US Open.

September 12: Peacekeepers are allowed to enter East Timor, Indonesia.

September 12: The 51st Emmy Awards take place.

September 12: Andre Agassi wins his second US title at the US Open.

September 13: 119 people are killed in an explosion in Moscow.

September 14: Kiribati, Nauru and Tonga join the United Nations.

September 18: The 24th Toronto International Film Festival begins.

September 20:Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ debuts on NBC.

September 21: Approximately 2,400 are killed in the Chi-Chi earthquake in Taiwan.

September 22: The 33rd Country Music Association Awards take place.

September 22:The West Wing’ debuts on NBC.

September 23: NASA announces that it has lost contact with the Mars Climate Orbiter.

September 26: The US wins the Ryder Cup.

September 30: Japan’s worst nuclear accident to date occurs in Tōkai-mura.


October 5: 31 people are killed in the Ladbroke Grove rail crash in London.

October 12: Perves Musharraf takes control of Pakistan in a coup.

October 12: The six billionth human being is born.

October 13: The United States Senate rejects the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

October 13: Robert Mundell wins the Nobel Prize for Economics.

October 26: The House of Lords in Britain ends the right of hereditary peers to vote.

October 27: The Prime Minister, Parliament Chairman, and six other members are killed by gunmen in the Armenian Parliament.

October 29: Almost 10,000 people are killed in Odisha, India in a cyclone.

October 31: Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church sign the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.

October 31: Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after spending 11 months at sea, circumnavigating the world.

October 31: 217 people are killed when an EgyptAir flight crashes off the coast of Nantucket.

October 31: Mika Häkkinen claims his second Formula One World Championship.


November 3: The Los Angeles Lakers debut in the STAPLES Center.

November 6: Australia votes to retain the British monarch as their head of state in a referendum.

November 8: The 19th James Bond film, ‘The World is Not Enough’, premieres.

November 9: 18 people are killed after a TAESA flight crashes on its way to Mexico City.

November 12: Turkey is struck by the Düzce earthquake.

November 15: Mercury is visible from North America.

November 19: The first Shenzhou spacecraft is launched by the People’s Republic of China.

November 21: Elian Gonzalez departs Cuba with his mother.

November 22: Elian Gonzalez and his mother are sighted off the coast of Florida by the Coast Guard.

November 22: Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric, is named ‘Manager of the Century’ by Fortune Magazine.

November 27: Helen Clark becomes the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand.

November 30: British Aerospace and Marconi Electric Systems merge to form BAE Systems.


December 1: Rapper Jay-Z stabs Lance “Un” Rivera, a record executive, at a nightclub in New York.

December 2: Political power in Northern Ireland is devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive.

December 3: NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander.

December 14: Thousands of people die in Venezuela after flash floods.

December 17: Resolution 54/134, passed in the United Nations General Assembly, designates the 25th of November as International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women.

December 18: NASA launches the Terra satellite.

December 20: Portugal returns Macau to China.

December 24: Pope John Paul II opens St Peter’s Holy Door.

December 25: Pope John Paul II opens St John Lateran.

December 26: 100 people are killed in France after severe weather.

December 28: Turkmenistan proclaims Saparmurat Niyazov President for Life.

December 31: Vladimir Putin becomes acting President of Russia after the resignation of Boris Yeltsin.

1999 Sporting Events

Can’t remember the 1999 events that happened in the sporting world? Let’s revisit them in a bit more detail.

Olympic Scandal

The International Olympic Committee expelled six members as a result of an inquiry into corruption – the first time in its 105 year history it has been forced to do so. The six members were given cash, gifts, financial help with tuition, and had medical treatment paid for totaling approximately $800,000, in relation to the bidding process for the 2002 Winter Olympics. The scandal triggered a process of reform in which the system of bidding was completely overhauled. 

The six members were:

Agustin Arroyo of Ecuador

Zein El Abdin Ahmed Abdel Gadir of Sudan

Jean-Claude Ganga of the Congo Republic

Lamine Keita of Mali

Sergio Santander of Chile

Paul Wallwork of Samoa

Victory for Serena Williams

Serena Williams is widely regarded as one of the best tennis players of all time, male or female. She finished her second full year on the main tour ranked as No. 4 in the world, and her win at the US Open made her the second African-American woman to do so. This could be considered just a taste of what we could come to expect from the superstar.

Bonjour Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong, a name now marred by the revelations of recent years, became one to watch when he won the 1999 Tour de France, including four of the stages. He would have to wait until some of his competitors who were unable to participate returned to the sport, when he would have the opportunity to truly prove himself. On this occasion however, he beat the second place rider by 7 minutes and 37 seconds.