Puneet Varma (Editor)

1998 in the United States

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1998 in the United States

Events from the year 1998 in the United States.


Federal Government

  • President: Bill Clinton (D-Arkansas)
  • Vice President: Al Gore (D-Tennessee)
  • Chief Justice: William Rehnquist (Wisconsin)
  • Speaker of the House of Representatives: Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia)
  • Senate Majority Leader: Trent Lott (R-Mississippi)
  • Congress: 105th
  • January

  • January 1 – Smoking is banned in all California bars and restaurants.
  • January 4–10 – A massive winter storm, partly caused by El Niño, strikes New England, southern Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick, resulting in widespread power failures, severe damage to forests, and numerous deaths.
  • January 8 – Ramzi Yousef is sentenced to life in prison for planning the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
  • January 14 – Researchers in Dallas, Texas present findings about an enzyme that slows aging and cell death (apoptosis).
  • January 17 – Paula Jones accuses U.S. President Bill Clinton of sexual harassment.
  • January 25 – Super Bowl XXXII: The Denver Broncos become the first AFC team in 14 years to win the Super Bowl, as they defeat the Green Bay Packers, 31–24.
  • January 26
  • Lewinsky scandal: On American television, President Bill Clinton denies he had "sexual relations" with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
  • Compaq buys Digital Equipment Corporation.
  • January 27 – U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton appears on The Today Show, calling the attacks against her husband part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy".
  • January 28 – Ford Motor Company announces the buyout of Volvo Cars for $6.45 billion.
  • January 29 – In Birmingham, Alabama, a bomb explodes at an abortion clinic, killing 1 and severely wounding another. Serial bomber Eric Rudolph is the prime suspect.
  • February

  • February – Iraq disarmament crisis: The United States Senate passes Resolution 71, urging U.S. President Bill Clinton to "take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
  • February 3
  • Cavalese cable car disaster: a United States Military pilot causes the deaths of 20 people near Trento, Italy, when his low-flying plane severs the cable of a cable-car.
  • Karla Faye Tucker is executed in Texas, becoming the first woman executed in the United States since 1984 and the first to be executed in Texas since the American Civil War.
  • February 6 – Washington National Airport is renamed Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
  • February 7 – Roger Nicholas Angleton commits suicide in a prison cell in Houston, Texas and admits to murdering socialite Doris Angleton in his suicide note.
  • February 10 – Voters in Maine repeal a gay rights law passed in 1997, becoming the first U.S. state to abandon such a law.
  • February 12 – The presidential line-item veto is declared unconstitutional by a United States federal judge.
  • February 14 – The Department of Justice announces that Eric Robert Rudolph is a suspect in an Alabama abortion clinic bombing.
  • February 15 – Dale Earnhardt wins the Daytona 500 on his 20th attempt.
  • February 18 – Two white separatists are arrested in Nevada, accused of plotting biological warfare on New York City subways.
  • February 19 – Larry Wayne Harris of the Aryan Nations and William Leavitt are arrested in Henderson, New York, for possession of military grade anthrax.
  • February 20 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein negotiates a deal with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, allowing weapons inspectors to return to Baghdad, preventing military action by the United States and Britain.
  • February 23 – Florida El Niño Outbreak: Tornadoes in central Florida destroy or damage 2,600 structures and kill 42.
  • March

  • March 4 – Gay rights: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex.
  • March 5
  • NASA announces that the Clementine probe orbiting the Moon has found enough water in polar craters to support a human colony and rocket fueling station.
  • NASA announces the choice of United States Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins as commander of a future Space Shuttle Columbia mission to launch an X-ray telescope, making Collins the first woman to command a space shuttle mission.
  • March 7 – The Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan is fined for burning a cross in his garden and infringing air regulations in California.
  • March 10 – United States troops stationed in the Persian Gulf begin to receive the first anthrax vaccine.
  • March 23 – The 70th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California with the film Titanic winning a record 11 Oscars
  • March 24 – Teenagers Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden open fire on classmates during a fire drill, killing 5 and injuring 10 at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
  • March 27 – The Food and Drug Administration approves Viagra for use as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States.
  • March 29 – A series of 3 tornadoes in southern Minnesota kills 3 people.
  • April

  • April – The Unemployment Rate drops to 4.3%, the lowest level since February 1970.
  • April 6 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 9,000 for the first time, and ending a gain of 49.82 points, 9,033.23.
  • April 7 – Citicorp and Travelers Group announce plans to merge, creating the largest financial-services conglomerate in the world, Citigroup.
  • April 8 – April 1998 Birmingham tornado: An F5 tornado strikes the western portion of the Birmingham, Alabama area, killing 32 people.
  • April 16 – An F3 tornado passes through downtown Nashville, Tennessee, the first significant tornado in 11 years to directly hit a major city. An F5 tornado travels through rural portions south of Nashville (see 1998 Nashville tornado outbreak).
  • April 22 – The Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World opens to the public for the first time.
  • April 27 – The Aladdin Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is imploded to make way for the brand new Aladdin Hotel & Casino
  • April 30 – Daniel V. Jones, a cancer and HIV-positive patient, commits suicide on a Los Angeles freeway after a police standoff. The event was broadcast live on television and caused controversy about airing police chases.
  • May

  • May 13 – India carries out 2 more nuclear tests at Pokhran. The United States and Japan impose economic sanctions on India.
  • May 18 – United States v. Microsoft: The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states file an antitrust case against Microsoft.
  • May 21
  • At Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, Kipland Kinkel (who was suspended for bringing a gun to school) shoots a semi-automatic rifle into a room filled with students, killing 2 and wounding 25 others, after killing his parents at home.
  • In Miami, Florida, 5 abortion clinics are hit by a butyric acid attacker.
  • May 22 – Lewinsky scandal: A federal judge rules that United States Secret Service agents can be compelled to testify before a grand jury concerning the scandal.
  • May 27 – Oklahoma City bombing: Michael Fortier is sentenced to 14 years in prison and fined $200,000 for failing to warn authorities about the terrorist plot.
  • May 28 – Nuclear testing: In response to a series of Indian nuclear tests, Pakistan explodes 5 nuclear devices of its own in the Chaghai hills of Baluchistan, prompting the United States, Japan and other nations to impose economic sanctions.
  • Saturday Night Live star Phil Hartman is murdered by his wife in their home, who then killed herself when police arrived.
  • June

  • June 2 – California voters approve Proposition 227, abolishing the state's bilingual education program.
  • June 4 – Terry Nichols is sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
  • June 5 – A strike begins at the General Motors Corporation parts factory in Flint, Michigan, quickly spreading to 5 other assembly plants and lasting 7 weeks.
  • June 7 – Three white supremacists murder James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas.
  • June 12
  • A jury in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, convicts 17-year-old Luke Woodham of killing 2 students and wounding 7 others at Pearl High School.
  • Christina Marie Williams, 13, is kidnapped in Seaside, California while walking her dog.
  • June 14 – The Chicago Bulls win their 6th NBA title in 8 years when they beat the Utah Jazz, 87–86 in Game 6. This is also Michael Jordan's last game as a Bull, clinching the game in the final seconds on a fadeaway jumper.
  • June 16 – The Detroit Red Wings sweep the Washington Capitals in 4 games in the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals.
  • June 25
  • Clinton v. City of New York: The United States Supreme Court rules that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 is unconstitutional.
  • Microsoft releases Windows 98 (First Edition).
  • July

  • July 5 – Japan launches a probe to Mars, joining the United States and Russia as an outer space-exploring nation.
  • July 10
  • The DNA-identified remains of United States Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie arrive home to his family in St. Louis, Missouri, after being in the Tomb of the Unknowns since 1984.
  • Catholic priests' sex abuse scandal: The Diocese of Dallas agrees to pay $23.4 million to 9 former altar boys who claimed they were sexually abused by former priest Rudolph Kos.
  • July 24 – Russell Eugene Weston Jr. bursts into the United States Capitol and opens fire, killing 2 police officers. He is later ruled incompetent to stand trial.
  • July 25 – The United States Navy commissions the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and puts her into service.
  • July 28 – Monica Lewinsky scandal: Ex-White House intern Monica Lewinsky receives transactional immunity, in exchange for her grand jury testimony concerning her relationship with U.S. President Bill Clinton.
  • August

  • August 7 – 1998 U.S. embassy bombings: The bombings of the United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya kill 224 people and injure over 4,500; they are linked to terrorist Osama bin Laden, an exile of Saudi Arabia.
  • August 14 – Gary C. Evans, infamous in New York's Capital Region for killing 5 people, escapes police custody and kills himself by jumping off a bridge.
  • August 19 – Monica Lewinsky scandal: On the day of his 52nd birthday, U.S. President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony that he had an "improper physical relationship" with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He also admits before the nation that night in a nationally televised address that he "misled people" about his sexual affair with Lewinsky.
  • August 20 – 1998 U.S. embassy bombings: 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 of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum is destroyed in the attack.
  • August 26 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Scott Ritter resigns from UNSCOM, sharply criticizing the Clinton administration and the U.N. Security Council for not being vigorous enough about insisting that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction be destroyed. Ritter tells reporters that "Iraq is not disarming," "Iraq retains the capability to launch a chemical strike."
  • September

  • September 2 – A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 airliner (Swissair Flight 111) crashes near Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, after taking off from New York City en route to Geneva; all 229 people on board are killed.
  • September 4 – Google, Inc. is founded in Menlo Park, California, by Stanford University Ph.D. candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
  • September 8 – St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire breaks baseball's single-season home run record, formerly held since 1961 by Roger Maris. McGwire hits #62 at Busch Stadium in the 4th inning off of Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel.
  • September 25–28 – Major creditors of Long-Term Capital Management, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based hedge fund, after days of tough bargaining and some informal mediation by Federal Reserve officials, agree on terms of a re-capitalization.
  • September 29 – Iraq disarmament crisis: The U.S. Congress passes the Iraq Liberation Act, which states that the United States wants to remove Saddam Hussein from power and replace the government with a democratic institution.
  • October

  • October 4 – Leafie Mason is murdered in her Hughes Springs, Texas house by Angel Maturino Resendiz. She is his second victim in his second incident.
  • October 6 – College student Matthew Shepard is found tied to a fence near Laramie, Wyoming. He dies October 12, becoming a symbol of gay-bashing victims and sparking public reflection on homophobia in the U.S.
  • October 7 – The United States Congress passes the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which gives copyright holders 20 more years of copyright privilege on work they control. This effectively freezes the public domain to works created before 1923 in the United States.
  • October 12 – The Congress of the United States passes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
  • October 14 – Eric Robert Rudolph is charged with 6 bombings (including the 1996 Olympic bombing) in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • October 15
  • American Airlines becomes the first airline to offer electronic ticketing in all 44 countries it serves.
  • The Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas opens on the former grounds of the Dunes Hotel
  • October 17–18 – severe flooding takes place in south Central Texas.
  • October 21 – The New York Yankees defeat the San Diego Padres to sweep them in the World Series. The Yankees finish with 114 regular-season wins and 11 postseason victories (125 total – the most by any team in 123 years of Major League baseball).
  • October 29
  • STS-95: The Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off with 77-year-old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space. (He became the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962.)
  • In Freehold Borough, New Jersey, Melissa Drexler pleads guilty to aggravated manslaughter for killing her baby moments after delivering him in the bathroom at her senior prom, and is sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
  • November

  • November 3 – Jesse Ventura, former professional wrestler, is elected Governor of Minnesota.
  • November 5
  • Lewinsky scandal: As part of the impeachment inquiry, House Judiciary Committee chairman Henry Hyde sends a list of 81 questions to U.S. President Bill Clinton.
  • The journal Nature publishes a genetic study showing compelling evidence that Thomas Jefferson fathered his slave Sally Hemings' son Eston Hemings Jefferson.
  • November 7 – John Glenn returns to Earth aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.
  • November 9 – In the largest civil settlement in United States history, a federal judge approves a US$1.03 billion settlement requiring dozens of brokerage houses (including Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Salomon Smith Barney) to pay investors who claim they were cheated in a widespread price-fixing scheme on the NASDAQ.
  • November 12 – Daimler-Benz completes a merger with Chrysler Corporation to form Daimler-Chrysler.
  • November 13–14 – Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. President Bill Clinton orders airstrikes on Iraq, then calls them off at the last minute when Iraq promises once again to "unconditionally" cooperate with UNSCOM.
  • November 19 – Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill Clinton.
  • November 20 – A court in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan declares accused terrorist Osama bin Laden "a man without a sin" in regard to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
  • November 24 – America Online announces it will acquire Netscape Communications in a stock-for-stock transaction worth US$4.2 billion.
  • November 30 – Deutsche Bank announces a US$10 billion deal to buy Bankers Trust, thus creating the largest financial institution in the world.
  • December

  • December – Grade school children in Aurora, Colorado, collect $35,000 to purchase and free slave children in Sudan.
  • December 1 – Exxon announces a US$73.7 billion deal to buy Mobil, thus creating Exxon-Mobil, the second-largest company on the planet by revenue.
  • December 5 – D.C. United defeats Vasco da Gama 2–1 on aggregate to win the Interamerican Cup (one of the greatest triumphs in the history of U.S. club soccer).
  • December 16–19 – Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. President Bill Clinton orders American and British airstrikes on Iraq. UNSCOM withdraws all weapons inspectors from Iraq.
  • December 17 – Claudia Benton, of West University Place, Texas, is murdered in her house by Angel Maturino Resendiz (his third victim in his third incident).
  • December 19 – Lewinsky scandal: President Bill Clinton is impeached by the United States House of Representatives. (He was later acquitted of any wrongdoing.)
  • December 21 – Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council members France, Germany and Russia call for sanctions to end against Iraq. The 3 Security Council members also call for UNSCOM to either be disbanded or for its role to be recast. The U.S. says it will veto any such proposal.
  • December 26 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq announces its intention to fire upon U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern "no-fly zones".
  • Ongoing

  • Iraqi no-fly zones (1991–2003)
  • Dot-com bubble (c. 1995–c. 2000)
  • Deaths

  • January 29 – Joseph Alioto, lawyer and politician, 36th Mayor of San Francisco (b. 1916)
  • February 10 – Buddy, notable canine (b. 1988)
  • February 24 – Henny Youngman, British-born American comedian (b. 1906)
  • April 23 – James Earl Ray, assassin of Martin Luther King Jr. (born 1928)
  • May 9 – Rommie Loudd, American football player and coach (b. 1933)
  • May 14 – Frank Sinatra, singer and actor (b. 1915)
  • May 28 – Phil Hartman, Canadian-born American actor, comedian, and murder victim (b. 1948)
  • May 29 – Barry Goldwater, United States Senator from Arizona and Republican Party presidential nominee in the 1964 presidential election (b. 1909)
  • December 12 – Mo Udall, American politician (b. 1922)
  • References

    1998 in the United States Wikipedia

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