agreement signed; Israel gives up large part of West Bank city of Hebron (Jan. 16). Israeli government approves establishment of Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, a setback in Middle East peace process (Feb. 26). Background: Middle East Peace Negotiations
US, UK, and France agree to freeze Nazis' gold loot (Feb. 3).
Hong Kong returns to Chinese rule (June 30).
Khmer Rouge hold trial of longtime leader Pol Pot (July 25).
Swiss plan first payment to Holocaust victims (Sept. 17).
European Union plans to admit six nations (Dec. 13).
US shuttle joins Russian space station (Jan. 17).
O. J. Simpson found liable in civil suit (Feb. 5).
Heaven's Gate cult members commit mass suicide in California (March 27).
US Appeals Court upholds California ban on affirmative action (April 8).
Clinton exercises new line-item veto (Aug. 11).
Timothy J. McVeigh sentenced to death for Oklahoma City bombing (Aug. 14).
Two convicted in New York Trade Center bombing (Nov. 12).
US GDP (1998 dollars): $8,110.90 billion
Federal spending: $1635.33 billion
Federal debt: $5498.9 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $37,005
Consumer Price Index: 160.5
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.32
Green Bay d. New England (35-21)
Florida Marlins d. Cleveland (4-3)
Chicago d. Utah (4-2)
Detroit d. Philadelphia (4-0)
Women: Martina Hingis d. J. Novotna (2-6 6-3 6-3)
Men: Pete Sampras d. C. Pioline (6-4 6-2 6-4)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
Arizona d. Kentucky (84-79 OT)
NCAA Football Champions
Michigan (AP) (12-0) & Nebraska (ESPN/USA) (13-0)
- The controversial television ratings system debuts on cable stations and broadcast networks. The ratings, TV-Y, TV-G, TV-Y7, TV-PG, TV-14 and TV-M, appear for 15 seconds in the upper left-hand corner of the screen at the beginning of each show, except news and sports programs, which are not rated.
- Titanic crashes into theaters. It is the most expensive film of all time, costing between $250 and $300 million to produce and market.
- Ellen DeGeneres outs herself. She becomes the first openly gay woman to have her own sitcom.
- The Prince of Pop is born to Michael Jackson and wife Debbie Rowe. The child's name is Prince Michael Junior.
- J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone is published in the U.K. It comes to U.S. in 1998 as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
- As Good as It Gets, The Full Monty, Good Will Hunting, The Ice Storm, L.A. Confidential, Titanic
- Don DeLillo, Underworld
- Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
- Rick Moody, Purple America
- Philip Roth, American Pastoral
- Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
- Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
- A team led by Drs. Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell (UK) create the first sheep with a human gene in every cell of its body. The genetically engineered lamb is named Polly.
- Scientists at Oregon Regional Primate Research Center (US) create the first primates —two rhesus monkeys named Neti and Ditto— from DNA taken from cells of developing monkey embryos. Background: Cloning Milestones
- Comet Hale-Bopp is the closest it will be to Earth until 4397 (March 22). Background: comets
- US spacecraft begins exploration of Mars (July 4). Background: US Unstaffed Planetary and Lunar Programs
- US company launches first commercial spy satellite (Dec. 24).
- William S. Burroughs
- Jacques Cousteau
- Xiaoping Deng
- John Denver
- Princess Diana
- Allen Ginsberg
- Mother Theresa
- James A. Michener
- James Stewart
- Gianni Versace
- Dr. Charles B. Huggins
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