- July 5, 1996 - Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be
successfully cloned from an adult cell, is born.
- July 17 - Off the coast of Long Island, New York, Paris-bound
TWA flight 800 explodes, killing all 230 on board.
- July 19 - The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia is
opened by U.S. president Bill Clinton.
- July 27 - In Atlanta, a pipe bomb explodes at Centennial
Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics, killing one and
- August 6 - NASA announces that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought
to originate from Mars, contains evidence of primitive life
- October-November (sources vary) - Al-Jazeera, Arabic television
news channel based in Qatar, starts broadcasting.
- November 5 - Bill Clinton defeats Bob Dole in the 1996 U.S.
- November 16 - Mother Teresa receives honorary U.S.
- December 5 - Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan
gives a speech in which he suggests that "irrational exuberance"
may have "unduly escalated asset values."
- December 29 - Guatemala and the leaders of the Guatemalan
National Revolutionary Union sign a peace accord that ends a
36-year civil war.
- December 30 - In the Indian state of Assam, a passenger train
is bombed by Bodo separatists, killing 26.
- December, 1996 - Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is
removed from an advanced placement English reading list in Lindale,
Texas because it "conflicted with the values of the
- 1996 - Over a billion households worldwide now own television
- January 19, 1997 - Yasser Arafat returns to Hebron after more
than 30 years and joins celebrations over the handover of the last
Israeli-controlled West Bank city.
- January 22 - Madeleine Albright becomes the first female
secretary of state after confirmation by the United States
- February 4 - O. J. Simpson is found to be civilly liable for
the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Simpson is
ordered to pay $35,000,000 in damages to the families of the two
- February 5 - The so-called "Big Three" banks in Switzerland
announce the creation of a $71 million fund to aid Holocaust
survivors and their families.
- February 9 - The Simpsons surpasses The Flintstones as the
longest-running prime-time animated series.
- March 4 - United States President Bill Clinton bars federal
funding for any research on human cloning.
- April 14 - Fire breaks out in a pilgrim camp on the Plain of
Mena, seven miles from Mecca-343 people are dead.
- April 21 - In the first space burial, a Pegasus rocket carries
the remains of 24 people into earth orbit.
- April 22 - A 126-day hostage crisis at the residence of the
Japanese ambassador in Lima, Peru ends after government commandos
storm and capture the building, rescuing 71 hostages. One hostage
dies of a heart attack, two soldiers are killed from rebel fire and
all 14 Tupac Amaru rebels are slain.
- May 1 - The United Kingdom's Labour Party ends 18 years of
Conservative rule in the 1997 U.K. general election, and Tony Blair
is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- May 10 - An earthquake near Ardekul in northeastern Iran kills
at least 2,400 people.
- June 10 - Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot orders the killing of his
defense chief Son Sen and 11 of Sen's family members before Pol Pot
flees his northern stronghold.
- June 11 - The British House of Commons votes for a total ban on
- June 13, 1997 - A jury sentences Timothy McVeigh to the death penalty for his part in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Jorie Graham: The Dream of the Unified Field
- Nobel Prize for Literature: Wislawa Szymborska
- Whitbread Best Book Award: Seamus Heaney, The Spirit Level
- Nobel Peace Prize: Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo and José Ramos-Horta, "for their work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor."
More Technology News 1996-1997
- Emerging Technologies: Virtual environments (VRML), Collaborative tools, internet appliance (Network Computer).
- Various ISPs suffer extended service outages, bringing into question whether they will be able to handle the growing number of users.
- MCI upgrades internet backbone, adding ~13,000 ports, bringing the effective speed from 155Mbps to 622Mbps.
Restrictions on internet use around the world this year include:
- China: Requires users and ISPs to register with the police
- Germany: Cuts off access to some newsgroups carried on CompuServe
- Saudi Arabia: Confines internet access to universities and hospitals
- Singapore: Requires political and religious content providers to register with the state
- New Zealand: classifies computer disks as "publications" that can be censored and seized