- August 7, 1998 - U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania are
bombed, killing 224 people and injuring over 4,500. The bombings
are linked to Osama Bin Laden.
- August 20 - The United States military launches cruise missile
attacks against alleged Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and a
suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for the August 7
bombings. The al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum is
destroyed in the attack.
- September 2 - A United Nations court finds Jean-Paul Akayesu,
the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts
of genocide, marking the first time that the 1948 law banning
genocide is enforced.
- September 7 - Google Inc. is founded.
- October 6 - Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming college student, is
found tied to a fence, the victim of gay-bashing. He dies on
Monday, October 12, becoming a symbol of victims of gay-bashing and
sparking public reflection on homophobia.
- October 29 - In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission presents its report, which condemns both sides for
- October 29 - Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off with
77-year-old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go
into space. Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth in
- October 29 - While en route from Adana to Ankara, a Turkish
Airlines flight is hijacked by a Kurdish militant, who orders the
pilot to fly to Switzerland. The plane instead lands in Ankara
after the pilot tricks the hijacker into thinking that he was
landing in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia to refuel.
- October 31 - The Iraq disarmament crisis begins when Iraq
announces it will no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons
- November 5 - The journal Nature publishes a genetic study
showing compelling evidence that Thomas Jefferson fathered his
slave Sally Hemings' son, Eston Hemings Jefferson.
- November 19 - The U.S. House of Representatives' Judiciary
Committee begins impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill
Clinton for lying about his relationship with intern Monica
- November 24 - America Online announces it will acquire Netscape
Communications in a stock-for-stock transaction worth $4.2
- December 4 - Chinese government puts Lin Hai on trial for
"inciting the overthrow of state power" by providing 30,000 email
addresses to a U.S. internet magazine. He is later sentenced to two
years in jail.
- December 6 - Hugo Chávez Frías, Venezuelan politician and
ex-paratrooper, is elected President of Venezuela.
1998 - U.S. AIDS deaths drop to 17,000 this year due to drug therapies; AIDS drops to the 14th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- December 29, 1998 - Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologize for
the genocide in Cambodia that claimed over 1 million lives in the
- 1998 - The earth's human population surpasses six
- January 1, 1999 - The Euro currency is introduced.
- January 20 - The China News Service announces new government
restrictions on internet use aimed especially at internet
- February 12 - President Bill Clinton is acquitted by the United
States Senate in his impeachment trial.
- February - Amazon.Com founder Jeff Bezos, with a fortune
estimated at $10.1 billion, reaches number 19 on Forbes' global
- February 22 - First internet Bank of Indiana, the first
full-service bank available only on the internet, opens for
- February 23 - White supremacist John William King is found
guilty of kidnapping and killing African American James Byrd Jr. by
dragging him behind a truck for two miles.
- February 27 - Olusegun Obasanjo becomes Nigeria's first elected
president since 1983.
- March 1 - The Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel
Mines comes into force.
- March 12 - Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic join
- March 22 - U.S. pro-euthanasia doctor Jack Kevorkian goes on
trial for murder in Pontiac, Michigan. He is later convicted of
- March 23 - Gunmen assassinate Paraguay's vice president, Luis
- March 24 - NATO launches air strikes in the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia, which has refused to sign a peace treaty. This marks
the first time NATO has attacked a sovereign country.
- March 26 - The Melissa worm attacks the internet.
- March 29 - For the first time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
closes above the 10,000 mark, at 10,006.78.
- April 5 - In Laramie, Wyoming, Russell Henderson pleads guilty
to kidnapping and murder in order to avoid a possible death penalty
conviction for the hate crime killing of Matthew Shepard.
- April 7 - Kosovo's main border crossings are closed by Serbian
forces to prevent ethnic Albanians from leaving.
- April 20 - Two Littleton, Colorado teenagers open fire on their
teachers and fellow students at Columbine High School. The
teenagers kill 12 students and one teacher, then turn their guns on
- May 7 - In Guinea-Bissau, President João Bernardo Vieira is
ousted in a military coup.
- May 17 - Ehud Barak is elected prime minister of Israel.
- May 27 - The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicts Slobodan Milosevic and
four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in
- May 28 - In Milan, Italy, after 22 years of restoration work,
Leonardo de Vinci's newly-restored masterpiece, "The Last Supper,"
is put back on display.
- June 9 - The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and NATO sign a
peace treaty. NATO suspends its air strikes after Slobodan
Milosevic agrees to withdraw Serbian forces from Kosovo.
- June 18, 1999 - Activists internet-wide target the world's financial centers, timed to coincide with the G8 Summit. Little actual impact is reported.
- Nobel Prize for Literature: José Saramago
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Philip Roth, American Pastoral
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Charles Wright, Black Zodiac
More Technology News 1998-1999
- Open source software comes of age
- Emerging Technologies: E-Trade, XML, Intrusion Detection