1996 Fun Facts and Trivia - HobbyLark - Games and Hobbies
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1996 Fun Facts and Trivia

Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.

A Quick Look Back at 1996

What are some fun facts, trivia, and history events from the leap year 1996?

  1. Bill Clinton was re-elected for a second term as U.S. president by defeating former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole—the Republican nominee—and Ross Perot, the Reform Party nominee.
  2. The Dow closed above 6,000 for the first time.
  3. Rupert Murdoch entered the 24-hour news business and launched the Fox News channel.
  4. Michael Jordan signed a one-year NBA contract for $25 million.
  5. General Motors was America’s biggest company, followed by Ford Motor, Exxon Mobil, Walmart, AT&T, IBM, General Electric, Mobil, Chrysler, and the Altria Group (tobacco company).
  6. A devastating “nor'easter” paralyzed the East Coast for the better part of a week. Weather.gov tells us that Right on the heels of a Federal Government shutdown that furloughed most Federal employees, some of the heaviest snow of the late 20th century blanketed the highly populated urban corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston, Massachusetts.”
  7. Redesigned $100 bills went into circulation.
  8. The Hubble Space Telescope revealed images of Pluto’s surface for the first time.
  9. The toll-free area code 888 went into service, and Febreze began to test market its fabric freshener.
  10. During the year 1996, MSNBC was launched, and Hotmail came online.
  11. The first Tomb Raider video game was released, and the Nintendo 64 went on sale in Japan.
  12. The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. voted to end their ban on hard liquor ads on both television and radio.
  13. The Las Vegas Sands Hotel was “imploded,” and Sony announced that it would not renew its lease on the Megatron in Times Square.
  14. Independence Day was the most popular film, The Runaway Jury was the best-selling fiction book, and ER (NBC) was the top TV show.
  15. Braveheart won an Oscar for Best Picture, Mel Gibson (Braveheart) won an Oscar for Best Director, and Frasier (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series.
  16. Back in the year 1996, Julia and Noah were married on the soap All My Children.
  17. Woodstock (1970) and M*A*S*H (1970) were both entered into the National Film Registry.
  18. The Dallas Cowboys were the Super Bowl champs, the New York Yankees won the World Series, and the Colorado Avalanche clinched the Stanley Cup.
  19. Unemployment averaged 5.4%, inflation was 2.95%, and the minimum wage was raised to $4.75 an hour.
  20. A loaf of rye bread cost 94 cents, Clementines were $5.99 for a five-pound box, and one pound of chicken legs or wings was 69 cents.

Here are the five most popular TV shows from 1996-97:

  1. ER (NBC)
  2. Seinfeld (NBC)
  3. Suddenly Susan (NBC)
  4. Friends (NBC)
  5. The Naked Truth (NBC)

Here are ten food trends for the year:

  1. Blue M&Ms
  2. Creme brûlée
  3. Dippin' Dots
  4. Flank steak
  5. General Mills Dippin' Dots Cereal
  6. General Mills French Toast Crunch Cereal
  7. Keebler Fudge Stripes
  8. Lunchables
  9. Molten chocolate cake
  10. Pizza rolls

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1996. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, foods, sports facts, and other pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1990s-themed trivia quiz.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1996.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1996.

Table of Contents

For easier reading, I have divided this article into the following categories:

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1996
  2. History Facts From the USA
  3. International News
  4. Sports Trivia
  5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  6. Computer and Internet History
  7. Most Popular Websites in 1996
  8. Nobel Prize Winners
  9. Most Popular Television Shows From 1996-97
  10. Best-Selling Books
  11. Highest-Grossing Films
  12. Horror Movies From 1996
  13. Entries Into the National Film Registry
  14. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  15. Top 25 Songs for the Year
  16. Favorite Video Games
  17. Food and Beverage Trivia
  18. Cool Halloween Costumes
  19. Weddings and Divorces
  20. Famous People Who Died in 1996
  21. America’s Largest Corporations
  22. Internet Companies Established
In 1996, the Ford Motor Company was one of America’s largest corporations.

In 1996, the Ford Motor Company was one of America’s largest corporations.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1996

These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ.

  1. Apples (Golden Delicious): 99 cents a pound
  2. Bacon (Plumrose): $1.24 per pound
  3. Beef (boneless chuck steak): $1.89 per pound
  4. Bread (rye): 94 cents for a 19-ounce loaf
  5. Cake mix (Duncan Hines): 96 cents for an 18.25-ounce box
  6. Chicken (legs and wings): 69 cents a pound
  7. Clementines: $5.99 for a five-pound box
  8. Coffee (Chock full o’Nuts): $1.96 for a 10-ounce can
  9. Cookies (Keebler Chips Deluxe): $1.59 for a 16-ounce package
  10. Crackers (Sunshine Krispy Saltines): $1.19 for a 15-ounce box
  11. Fish (canned pink salmon, Bumble Bee): $1.34 for a 15-ounce can
  12. Frankfurters (Ball Park): $1.99 for a 14-ounce package
  13. Ice cream (Friendly’s, assorted flavors): $1.99 for a half gallon
  14. Juice (grapefruit): $2.49 for a half gallon
  15. Juice (orange, Foodtown): 59 cents for a 12-ounce can
  16. Ketchup (Hunts): 96 cents for a 24-ounce bottle
  17. Margarine (Country Crock): 49 cents for a 16-ounce container
  18. Oranges (navel): $1.99 for a four-pound bag
  19. Pasta (Mueller’s): 96 cents for three 16-ounce boxes
  20. Pickles (B&G): $1.24 for a 24-ounce jar
  21. Popcorn (Newman’s): $1.09 for a 10.5-ounce box
  22. Raspberries: $1.99 for a six-ounce container
  23. Soda (Coca-Cola): 99 cents for six 12-ounce cans
  24. Strawberries: $1.69 per pint
  25. Tomato sauce (Mama Rizzo’s): $1.14 for a 26-ounce jar
  26. Tortillas (Gringo Pete’s): 96 cents for a 16-ounce container
  27. Tuna (StarKist, chunk light): $3.99 for eight six-ounce cans
  28. Yogurt (Axelrod): $1.00 for four eight-ounce cups
In 1996, The Phantom of the Opera was the highest-grossing Broadway show.

In 1996, The Phantom of the Opera was the highest-grossing Broadway show.

2. History Facts From the USA

  1. In 1996, Bill Clinton was President of the United States, and Al Gore was Vice President.
  2. In 1996, the U.S. unemployment rate averaged 5.4%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that “Economic growth accelerated in 1996 from 1995, resulting in an increase in the rate of job growth and a small decline in unemployment. The number of nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 2.6 million overall; the largest gains occurred in services, retail trade, construction, and public school systems.”
  3. The rate of inflation was 2.95%. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, “prices in 2017 are 56.23% higher than average prices throughout 1996. In other words, $100 in 1996 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $156.23 in 2017, a difference of $56.23 over 21 years.”
  4. In 1996, a loaf of rye bread cost 94 cents, Clementines were $5.99 for a five-pound box, and one pound of chicken legs or wings was 69 cents. A gallon of milk cost $3.30, eggs were $1.31 a dozen, and margarine was 49 cents for a 16-ounce container.
  5. Here were the sticker prices for two best-selling 1996 cars: a Plymouth Voyager cost $15,999.00, and a Subaru Legacy Wagon was $14,999.00.
  6. The average price for a gallon of gas was $1.23.
  7. Median household income was $35,492, and the cost of a new home was $166,400.00.
  8. On October 1, 1996, the federal minimum wage increased from $4.25 to $4.75. It later increased to $5.15 on September 1, 1997.
  9. The prime rate was 8.25%, and an ounce of gold was $369.00.
  10. On January 6-8, “a major ‘nor'easter’ paralyzed the Eastern Seaboard for the better part of a week. Right on the heels of a Federal Government shutdown that furloughed most Federal employees, some of the heaviest snow of the late 20th century blanketed the highly populated urban corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston, Massachusetts.”
  11. On February 8, President Clinton signed the Communications Decency Act into law. The bill was one of the first attempts by Congress to regulate pornography on the web. The act was soon challenged on First Amendment grounds, and in Reno v. ACLU, the Supreme Court later ruled that the act was “an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.”
  12. On March 1, the toll-free area code 888 went into service. AreaCodeLocations.info tells us that the area codes 800, 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888 are all toll-free numbers in the United States, Canada, and in other countries covered by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP).
  13. On March 7, the Hubble Space Telescope revealed images of Pluto’s surface for the first time. HubbleSite.org explains that “The Hubble telescope's snapshots of nearly the entire surface of Pluto . . . show that Pluto is a complex object, with more large-scale contrast than any planet, except Earth.”
  14. On March 25, newly redesigned $100 bills, aimed at foiling counterfeiters, went into circulation.
  15. On April 1, Taco Bell played an “April Food” joke on the American public. Hoaxes.org tells us that the fast food chain ran a full-page ad in six major American newspapers (including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today) and announced that they had purchased the Liberty Bell. At noon on April Fools’ Day, “Taco Bell issued a second press release in which they confessed to the hoax, describing it as ‘The Best Joke of the Day.’ The company also announced that it would donate $50,000 for the upkeep of the Liberty Bell.”
  16. On June 1, Sony announced that it would not renew its lease on the Megatron in Times Square.
  17. On June 7, Julia and Noah were married on the soap All My Children. (All My Children, sometimes shortened to AMC, was a soap opera that aired on ABC television for 41 years.)
  18. On June 11, Bob Dole (R-Kansas) resigned from the U.S. Senate to run for President.
  19. On July 4, Hotmail.com, a free email service, came online.
  20. On July 12, Michael Jordan signed a one-year NBA contract for $25 million.
  21. On August 10, Bob Dole picked Jack Kemp to be his running mate. Kemp was the Housing Secretary during President George H. W. Bush's administration.
  22. On August 26, President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act into law. Politico.com tells us that “The legislation substantially reconstructed the nation’s welfare system by giving state governments more autonomy over welfare services while also reducing the federal government's role.”
  23. On September 11, Union Pacific Railroad took control of Southern Pacific Railroad. TRN.Trains.com remarks that Union Pacific is “the last major U.S. rail system whose name has never changed, dating from its charter in 1862 to build the nation's first transcontinental westward from Omaha, Nebraska.”
  24. On October 7, Rupert Murdoch launched Fox News with Roger Ailes as the CEO.
  25. On October 14, the Dow closed above 6,000 for the first time.
  26. On November 5, Bill Clinton was re-elected for a second term as President of the United States.
  27. On December 7, Pete Rozelle, the National Football League commissioner from 1960 until his retirement in 1989, passed away. The Los Angeles Times remarks that Rozelle “brilliantly used television to make the NFL the most powerful league in professional sports. Under Rozelle, who engineered the NFL's merger with the American Football League in 1966 and created the Super Bowl as the league's championship game and annual showcase, the NFL grew from 12 teams to 28, and its television revenues skyrocketed.”
  28. On December 26, six-year-old child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey was found “beaten and strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colorado.” CNN.com points out that “No one has ever been charged in the case and the investigation is still open. Early suspicion fell on her parents, but they were exonerated after DNA at the scene was found to belong to a male unrelated to the Ramsey family.”

3. International News

  1. On January 2, the U.S. deployed troops to northern Bosnia in an effort to maintain “order and peace between Bosnian Serbs and Muslims.”
  2. On January 6, 86% of the adult population in the UK bought lottery tickets. Three of them played the same numbers (2,3,4,13,42, and 44) and together won an amazing £42 million ($53,463,690.00).
  3. On January 11, Haiti became a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Liberty and Artistic Works, also known as the Berne Convention. WIPO.int explains that “The Berne Convention, adopted in 1886, deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors. It provides creators such as authors, musicians, poets, painters [sic] etc. with the means to control how their works are used, by whom, and on what terms.”
  4. On January 12, Russian troops arrived in Bosnia in support of U.S. efforts to maintain order and peace in the country.
  5. On January 29, French President Jacques Chirac announced that the country would no longer test nuclear weapons, following global criticism over tests in the Pacific.
  6. On January 29, La Fenice, Venice's opera house, was destroyed by fire
  7. On February 5, British supermarkets began to sell genetically modified (GM) tomato puree, the first GM food to be sold in the country.
  8. On February 8, “24 Hours in Cyberspace” took place. It was an international one-day event that documented the global impact of the Internet, and “how different people in different cultures were using the internet, and the effect that the medium of cyberspace was having on their lives.” Wired.com tells us that “The project, billed as the ‘largest one-day online event,’ cost around $5 million and was bankrolled by companies – like Sun Microsystems and Adobe – with a vested interest in the internet's growth, as well as by individual contributors.”
  9. On June 17, the 15th Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which removed the ban on divorce, was signed into law.
  10. On June 23, Nintendo 64 went on sale in Japan.
  11. On July 7, Nelson Mandela stepped down as President of South Africa.
  12. On July 21, Bjarne Riis of Denmark won the 83rd Tour de France.
  13. On December 13, Kofi Annan was elected Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  14. On December 21, Taiwanese-American AIDS researcher David Ho was named Time Magazine's “Man of the Year.”
  15. On December 30, proposed budget cuts by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked protests from 250,000 workers who shut down services throughout Israel.
In 1996, pizza rolls were all the rage.

In 1996, pizza rolls were all the rage.

4. Sports Trivia

This information has been made available courtesy of Pop-Culture.us. Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions and answers are a welcome addition to any trivia quiz.

  1. Kentucky Derby: Grindstone
  2. NBA Champions: Chicago Bulls
  3. NCAA Basketball Champions: Kentucky
  4. NCAA Football Champs: Florida
  5. Stanley Cup Champs: Colorado Avalanche
  6. Super Bowl XXX Champs: Dallas Cowboys
  7. U.S. Open Golf: Steve Jones
  8. U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Pete Sampras/Steffi Graf
  9. Wimbledon (men/women): Richard Krajiceck/Steffi Graf
  10. World Series Champions: New York Yankees

5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends

PBS.org explains that pop culture is that loose blend of books, music, fashion and other daily ephemera that contributes to the identity of a society at a particular point in time. In the 1990s, radio, film, television, books, and the internet defined the essence of American pop culture.

  1. In 1996, popular baby names were Ashley, Emily, Jessica, Samantha, Jacob, Joshua, Michael, and Matthew.
  2. The average life expectancy at birth in the United States was 76.03 years.
  3. The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad was $1,085,000.
  4. Popular holiday gifts included cash, Beanie Babies, Nintendo 64, and anything Pokemon.
  5. Fashion trends in 1996 included crop tops, platform shoes, animal prints, velvet, windbreakers, and denim. LiveTheOliver.com adds that “Matching your top to your bottom was very important. Monochromatic and dichromatic looks were the way to go. Tartan ruffle skirts that came with a matching tie or jacket were the coolest.”
  6. Heartthrobs and fashion icons for the year were Pamela Anderson, Jennifer Aniston, Tyra Banks, Drew Barrymore, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Mariah Carey, Cindy Crawford, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Hurley, Janet Jackson, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Elle Macpherson, Kate Moss, Michelle Pfeiffer, Princess Diana, Sharon Stone, Niki Taylor, Liv Tyler, and Kate Winslet.
  7. Hunks included George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Colin Firth, Brad Pitt, and Antonio Sabàto, Jr.
  8. Shawntel Smith (Muldrow, OK) won the Miss America crown.
  9. Ali Landry (Louisiana) became Miss USA.
  10. David Ho, a Taiwanese-American AIDS researcher, was named Time Magazine's “Man of the Year.”
  11. Top-grossing Broadway shows were The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Victor/Victoria, Show Boat, Sunset Boulevard, and Miss Saigon.
  12. Broadway shows that opened in 1996 included A Christmas Carol, A Delicate Balance, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Thousand Clowns, and An Ideal Husband.
  13. At the 68th Academy Awards, which honored the best films of 1995, Braveheart won an Oscar for Best Picture, Mel Gibson (Braveheart) won an Oscar for Best Director, Nicholas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking) won an Oscar for Best Actress.
  14. At the 48th Primetime Emmy Awards, Frasier (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and ER (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Likewise, John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Helen Hunt (Mad About You) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
  15. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC) was a popular late-night talk show hosted by Jay Leno.
  16. Blue M&M's were all the rage. Content.Time.com explains that “In 1995, the Mars candy company decided that having two shades of brown M&Ms were unnecessary, so they did away with the light brown ones, leaving only the colors red, yellow, green, dark brown and orange. Mars held a replacement contest, inviting candy lovers to call a 1-800 number and vote for their favorite proposed color: blue, pink, or purple. Blue won, and M&Ms never looked the same since.”
  17. In 1996, the worldwide cranberry harvest produced 40 cranberries for every person on the planet.
  18. The FDA approved the fat substitute Olestra, which is marketed under the brand name Olean. Olestra “adds no fat, calories, or cholesterol to products. It has been used in the preparation of otherwise high-fat foods such as potato chips, thereby lowering or eliminating their fat content.”
  19. The Las Vegas Sands Hotel was “imploded” in order to make way for the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. The Sands, a historic hotel and casino that opened in 1952, had 715 rooms.
  20. According to FoodReference.com, “The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. voted to remove their voluntary ban of hard liquor ads on television and radio that had been in affect [sic] since 1936.” The decision came six months after the Seagram Company, the second-largest seller of distilled spirits in the U.S., began to defy the ban. Even President Clinton had urged Seagram to reconsider its controversial move.
  21. A halibut weighing 459 pounds was caught in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
  22. A catfish that weighed a record 111 pounds was caught in Tennessee.
  23. On January 1, Betty Rubble debuted as a Flintstone vitamin right next to Fred, Barney, and the rest of the Flintstone family. Looper.com tells us that "One of the first-ever animated series to air on American primetime television, The Flintstones has made an indelible mark on pop culture since its debut way back in 1960. Combining wisecracking animals employed as appliances with the relatable sitcom plot-lines, The Flintstones never really left the collective consciousness after it left the air in 1966."
  24. On April 1, the Taco Bell fast-food chain played an April Fool’s Day joke on the American public “by claiming to have bought the Liberty Bell to help pay down the national debt.”
  25. On October 9, a grilled cheese sandwich weighing a record 3,000 pounds was made.
  26. Alicia Machado, the Venezuelan Miss Universe, was told to lose 27 pounds or lose her crown.
  27. The United Nations’ World Food Summit was held at the Food and Agricultural Organization’s headquarters in Rome from November 13-17.
  28. Febreze began to test market its fabric freshener.
  29. In 1996, a catfish weighing 111 pounds was caught in Tennessee, a 459-pound halibut was caught in Alaska, and the “worldwide cranberry harvest produced 40 cranberries for every person on the planet.”
In 1996, a loaf of rye bread cost 94 cents, Clementines were $5.99 for a five-pound box, and one pound of chicken legs or wings was 69 cents.

In 1996, a loaf of rye bread cost 94 cents, Clementines were $5.99 for a five-pound box, and one pound of chicken legs or wings was 69 cents.

6. Computer and Internet History

This cool trivia from 1996 has been made available courtesy of ComputerHope.com and Royal.Pingdom.com.

  1. In 1996, there was no Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Reddit. Similarly, there was no LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, or Flickr. Likewise, iPhones, camera phones, iPods, Blu-ray discs, Amazon Kindle, Skype, Gmail, Wikipedia, and iTunes did not exist yet.
  2. In January 1996, there were only 100,000 websites compared to 162 million today.
  3. The most popular web browser was Netscape Navigator followed by Internet Explorer.
  4. Royal.Pingdom.com explains that “Most people used dial-up Internet connections with mighty speeds ranging from 28.8Kbps to 33.6Kbps. Highly modern 56Kbps modems would arrive in 1997.” They add that “People had only recently started to switch from 640×480 to 800×600 screen resolutions.”
  5. Popular search engines back then included Webcrawler, Altavista, Yahoo!, Excite, and Lycos.
  6. In 1996, Yahoo! launched both Yahoo! Kids and Yahoo! News.
  7. The Mining Company, later known as About.com, came online.
  8. The computer companies Netgear, Juniper Networks, DAVICOM, ACARD, Angelfire, AOpen, Arescom, Auslinx, CyberLink, Doctor Byte, Frontier Design, and Good Technology were also launched.
  9. Computer pioneers Harlan Mills, David Packard, Gordon Brown, Carl Sagan, and Gertrude Blanch all passed away.
  10. Acer America, a subsidiary of the Acer Group, introduced its line of designer home PCs.
  11. In 1996, Apple stock plunged to a 10-year low of less than $18.00 a share.
  12. On January 5, the domain IMDB.com came online. IBDB, short for interactive movie database, has become “one of the most popular locations to locate any information relating to movies.”
  13. On January 23, the first version of the Java programming language was released.
  14. On February 22, the domain MySpace.com came online.
  15. In July, WebTV (MSN TV), a Microsoft product that allowed users to browse the web from their televisions, was introduced. (The service was officially shut down on September 30, 2013.)
  16. On July 4, Hotmail.com, a free Internet email service, came online.
  17. On July 15, Microsoft and NBC launched MSNBC, which was the biggest start-up in cable television history.
  18. On July 29, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 was released.
  19. On August 13, Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer 3.0.
  20. On August 21, Netscape 3.0 was launched.
  21. In November, Adobe Photoshop 4.0 was released.
  22. On November 14, the first Tomb Raider video game was introduced. TombRaider.Fandom.com points out that “Tomb Raider has had many games starting from the series' debut in 1996, spanning multiple continuities, with several iterations of [the] title character, Lara Croft.”

7. Most Popular Websites in 1996

These cool facts from 1996 have been made available courtesy of Tech.co.

  1. Webcrawler
  2. Netscape
  3. Yahoo!
  4. Infoseek
  5. Prodigy
  6. Compuserve
  7. Umich.edu
  8. Primenet
  9. Well
  10. CMU.edu
In 1996, Independence Day was the most popular film.

In 1996, Independence Day was the most popular film.

8. Nobel Prize Winners

Beth Rowen tells us that winning a Nobel Prize is a life-changing honor. Whether the laureate is an internationally known figure (such as Mother Teresa) or a scientist from obscurity (like Richard R. Ernst), the award brings worldwide recognition that highlights one's life work and provides the funds to continue the mission.

This Nobel Prize information from 1996 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  1. Chemistry: Robert F. Curl, Jr., Sir Harold W. Kroto, and Richard E. Smalley
  2. Economics: James Mirrlees and William Vickrey
  3. Literature: Wislawa Szymborska
  4. Peace: Jose Ramos-Horta and Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo
  5. Physics: David M. Lee, Douglas D. Osheroff, and Robert C. Richardson
  6. Physiology or medicine: Peter C. Doherty and Rolf M. Zinkernagel

9. Most Popular Television Shows From 1996-97

This cool TV trivia from 1996-1997 has been made available courtesy of Nielsen Media Research.

  1. ER (NBC)
  2. Seinfeld (NBC)
  3. Suddenly Susan (NBC)
  4. Friends (NBC)
  5. The Naked Truth (NBC)
  6. Fired Up (NBC)
  7. The Single Guy (NBC)
  8. Home Improvement (ABC)
  9. Touched By An Angel (CBS)
  10. 60 Minutes (CBS)
On July 4, 1996, email provider Hotmail.com was launched.

On July 4, 1996, email provider Hotmail.com was launched.

10. Best-Selling Books

This book trivia has been made available courtesy of PublishersWeekly.com.

Fiction:

  1. The Runaway Jury by John Grisham
  2. Executive Orders by Tom Clancy
  3. Desperation by Stephen King
  4. Airframe by Michael Crichton
  5. The Regulators by Richard Bachman
  6. Malice by Danielle Steel
  7. Silent Honor by Danielle Steel
  8. Primary Colors by Anonymous [Joe Klein]
  9. Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell
  10. The Tenth Insight by James Redfield

Nonfiction:

  1. Make the Connection by Oprah Winfrey and Bob Greene
  2. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray
  3. The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams
  4. Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach
  5. The Zone by Barry Sears with Bill Lawren
  6. Bad as I Wanna Be by Dennis Rodman
  7. In Contempt by Christopher Darden
  8. A Reporter's Life by Walter Cronkite
  9. Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook by Scott Adams
  10. My Sergei: A Love Story by Ekaterina Gordeeva with E.M. Swift

11. Highest-Grossing Films

These film facts have been made available courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo.com.

  1. Independence Day
  2. Twister
  3. Mission: Impossible
  4. Jerry Maguire
  5. Ransom
  6. 101 Dalmatians (1996)
  7. The Rock
  8. The Nutty Professor
  9. The Birdcage
  10. A Time To Kill
In 1996, WebMD, one of the top healthcare websites, came online.

In 1996, WebMD, one of the top healthcare websites, came online.

12. Horror Movies From 1996

Horror films for the year included Scream, The Craft, The Frighteners, From Dusk Till Dawn, Thinner, Bad Moon, Hellraiser: Bloodline, The Dentist, Bordello of Blood, Children of the Corn: The Gathering, Pinocchio's Revenge, Ebola Syndrome, Trilogy of Terror II, Don’t Look Up, Head of the Family, The Stendhal Syndrome, Night Hunter, Witchcraft 8: Salem's Ghost, Tremors 2: Aftershocks, Satan Returns, The Mysterious Enchanter, Frostbiter: Wrath of the Wendigo, and House of the Damned.

13. Entries Into the National Film Registry

According to CBSNews.com, the National Film Registry is a “compendium of motion pictures that have been judged to be culturally, aesthetically[,] or historically important and worthy of preservation for future generations. In addition to Hollywood studio classics and box office hits, the Registry also protects independent films, documentaries, experimental works, cartoons, music videos, educational and training films, ads, and even home movies.” Courtesy of the Library of Congress, here are the 1996 additions to the National Film Registry:

  1. Broken Blossoms (1919)
  2. Destry Rides Again (1939)
  3. Flash Gordon Serial (1936)
  4. Frank Film (1973)
  5. M*A*S*H (1970)
  6. Mildred Pierce (1945)
  7. Pull My Daisy (1959)
  8. Road to Morocco (1942)
  9. She Done Him Wrong (1933)
  10. Shock Corridor (1963)
  11. Show Boat (1936)
  12. The Awful Truth (1937)
  13. The Deer Hunter (1978)
  14. The Forgotten Frontier (1931)
  15. The Graduate (1967)
  16. The Heiress (1949)
  17. The Jazz Singer (1927)
  18. The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (1980)
  19. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
  20. The Producers (1968)
  21. The Thief of Bagdad 1924)
  22. To Be or Not to Be (1942)
  23. Topaz (1943/1945)
  24. Verbena Tragica (1939)
  25. Woodstock (1970)

14. Biggest Pop Music Artists

This information has been made available courtesy of Billboard.com.

Popular music artists in 1996 included Aaliyah, Blackstreet, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Brandy, Busta Rhymes, Celine Dion, Coolio, Dr. Dre, Dru Hill, Faith Hill, Fugees, Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls, Hootie & the Blowfish, Jay-Z, Jewel, Keith Sweat, La Bouche, Lauryn Hill, LeeAnn Rimes, Mariah Carey, Monica, No Doubt, Oasis, 112, R. Kelly, Ricky Martin, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Toni Braxton.

In 1996, ER, Seinfeld, and Friends were three of the most popular television shows.

In 1996, ER, Seinfeld, and Friends were three of the most popular television shows.

15. Top 25 Songs for the Year

This pop music trivia has been made available courtesy of Billboard.com.

  1. Don't Speak, No Doubt
  2. Macarena, Los Del Rio
  3. In-Break My Heart, Toni Braxton
  4. That Crossroads, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
  5. Because You Loved Me, Celine Dion
  6. No Diggity, Blackstreet with Dr. Dre
  7. Always Be My Baby, Mariah Carey
  8. How Do U Want It, 2 Pac with KC & JoJo
  9. You're Makin' Me High, Toni Braxton
  10. I Love You Always Forever, Donna Lewis
  11. It's All Coming Back To Me Now, Celine Dion
  12. I Believe I Can Fly, R. Kelly
  13. Killing Me Softly, Fugees with Lauryn Hill
  14. Nobody Knows, The Tony Rich Project
  15. Sittin' Up In My Room, Brandy
  16. Not Gon' Cry, Mary J. Blige
  17. Twisted, Keith Sweat
  18. Missing, Everything But The Girl
  19. Head Over Feet, Alanis Morissette
  20. Give Me One Reason, Tracy Chapman
  21. Nobody, Keith Sweat with Athena
  22. C'Mon N' Ride It, Quad City DJ's
  23. Loungin, LL Cool J
  24. Hit Me Off, New Edition
  25. Ironic, Alanis Morissette

16. Favorite Video Games

Popular video games in 1996 included Tomb Raider, Quake, Duke Nukem, Resident Evil, Pokemon Red and Blue, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Civilization II, Die Hard Trilogy, Dead or Alive, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars, Kirby Super Star, Metal Slug, Clock Tower, Nights into Dreams, Dragon Force, Guardian Heroes, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, and Contra: Legacy of War.

17. Food and Beverage Trivia

Here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1996:

  1. Betty Crocker Scooby Doo Snacks
  2. Blue M&Ms
  3. Creme brûlée
  4. Dinosaur Eggs Oatmeal
  5. Dippin' Dots
  6. Dunkaroos
  7. Ellio’s Pizza
  8. Fla-Vor-Ice (A freezie that was “sold in and eaten out of a plastic tube.”)
  9. Flank steak
  10. French Toast Crunch
  11. General Mills Dippin' Dots Cereal
  12. General Mills French Toast Crunch Cereal
  13. Gushers (fruit candy snacks)
  14. Jell-O Pudding Bites
  15. Jell-O cakes
  16. Keebler Fudge Stripes
  17. Linden's Cookies
  18. Lunchables
  19. Molten chocolate cake - Paula Kashtan tells us that “Known for its warm, runny center, this dessert started popping up on restaurant menus all over the country throughout the '90s, but in 1997 it made its first appearance in the all-time classic Joy of Cooking.”
  20. Nestle Wonder Balls
  21. Pillsbury Toaster Strudel
  22. Pizza rolls
  23. Scooby Doo Fruit Snacks
In 1996, a popular Halloween costume was Esmeralda from the film Hunchback of Notre Dame.

In 1996, a popular Halloween costume was Esmeralda from the film Hunchback of Notre Dame.

18. Cool Halloween Costumes

This Halloween trivia has been made available courtesy of ArcadiaPublishing.com.

  1. Ghost face from the film Scream
  2. Esmeralda from the movie Hunchback of Notre Dame
  3. Darth Vader
  4. Bacon and eggs (with couples)
  5. Fruits and vegetables (with couples)
  6. Tried-and-true classics such as witches, pirates, vampires, and ghosts
  7. Animals such as bears, dogs, and rabbits
  8. Superheroes like Iron Man, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman
  9. Exoskeleton alien costumes from the film Independence Day
  10. 1950s-themed costumes such as jeans, white tee-shirts, and leather jackets

19. Weddings and Divorces

This celebrity news has been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

Marriages:

  1. On January 27, ER actress Yvette Freeman married musical director Lawny Hartley.
  2. On February 14, Secretary of Defense William Cohen wed Black Entertainment Television host Janet Langhart.
  3. On February 14, singer Prince Rogers Nelson married belly dancer Mayte Garcia.
  4. On March 16, sportscaster Pat Summerall wed Cherilyn Burns.
  5. On March 28, actress Angelina Jolie married actor Jonny Lee Miller.
  6. On March 31, actor and director Clint Eastwood wed news anchor Dina Ruiz.
  7. On April 27, actress Robin Wright married actor Sean Penn.
  8. On June 1, UK Prime Minister David Cameron wed businesswoman Samantha Sheffield.
  9. On September 21, magazine publisher John F. Kennedy Jr. married Caroline Bisset.
  10. On October 25, singer and dancer Paula Abdul wed sportswear designer Brad Beckerman.
  11. On November 14, singer and songwriter Michael Jackson married Debbie Rowe.
  12. On November 16, golf champ Phil Mickelson wed Amy McBride.
  13. On November 30, novelist Mary Higgins Clark married retired CEO John Conheeney.
  14. On December 21, singer Lionel Richie wed clothing designer Diane Alexander.

Divorces:

  1. On January 18, Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson.
  2. On March 19, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Nelson Mandela parted ways after 38 years of marriage.
  3. On July 15, Prince Charles and Princess Diana signed divorce papers.

20. Famous People Who Died in 1996

These celebrity facts have been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

  1. January 8: Francois Mitterrand (President of France from 1981-1995)
  2. January 8: Howard Taubman (American music and theater critic)
  3. April 3: Carl Stokes (former mayor of Cleveland and the first African-American mayor of a major U.S. city)
  4. April 6: Greer Garson (British actress who played in Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Mrs. Miniver)
  5. May 28: Sidney Greenbaum (grammarian)
  6. June 6: George Snell (geneticist)
  7. June 15: Ella Fitzgerald (American singer)
  8. July 30: Claudette Colbert (French-American actress who played in It Happened One Night)
  9. September 17: Spiro Agnew (American politician who was Vice President from 1969 until 1973)
  10. September 21: Julius Silverman (British Labour Party politician)
  11. October 28: Morey Amsterdam (American actor and comedian who appeared on The Dick Van Dyke Show)
  12. November 2: Toni Stone (the first woman to play professional baseball in a men's league)
  13. November 14: Joseph Bernardin (Archbishop of Chicago)
  14. December 6: Pete Rozelle (American NFL commissioner from 1960-1989)

December 19: Marcello Mastroianni (Italian actor who played in 8½, La Dolce Vita, Dark Eyes, and The Pizza Triangle)

In 1996, flank steak was a real crowd-pleaser.

In 1996, flank steak was a real crowd-pleaser.

21. America’s Largest Corporations

This information has been made available courtesy of Fortune.com.

  1. General Motors
  2. Ford Motor
  3. Exxon Mobil
  4. Walmart
  5. AT&T
  6. IBM
  7. General Electric
  8. Mobil
  9. Chrysler
  10. Altria Group (tobacco company)

22. Internet Companies Established

Startups back in 1996 included Angelfire, Animation World Network, Ask Jeeves, Ask.com, Booking.com, ChessCafe.com, Download.com, Encyclopedia Titanica, Expedia, Friend Finder Networks, Gamma Entertainment, Geek.com, MovieMistakes.com, NBCNews.com, Outlook.com, Social Psychology Network, Stamps.com, Starmedia, Suite101, Travelocity, Wayback Machine, WebMD, WomensForum, Wow! (online service), Xoom (web hosting), Yahoo! Kids, and Yahoo! News.

Ask Jeeves, a question-answering e-business, was founded in 1996.

Ask Jeeves, a question-answering e-business, was founded in 1996.

References

© 2019 Gregory DeVictor

Comments

Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on June 25, 2019:

As I remember, Diana’s untimely death occurred on a Saturday or Sunday. I remembered being glued to the television for hours after hearing about it. Many others in the USA were too.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 25, 2019:

I noticed recently that an area near the crash site in Paris has been renamed in tribute to Diana. Her death at such a young age was a massive global event.

Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on June 25, 2019:

Liz, I did not know what HRH meant, so I looked it up online. Wow, I’m surprised to learn that Diana had the HRH removed after the divorce. When I was researching the “Famous Marriages and Divorces” section of the article and came across the divorce issue, I thought the very same as you did Liz. It’s sad.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 25, 2019:

Some people suggested that the removal of Diana's HRH and lower security status was a factor in the crash that sadly caused her death in 1997.

Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on June 25, 2019:

Liz, thank you for the comment. What I do remember is when Jay Leno (NBC late-night talk show) made all kinds of jokes about Heidi Fleiss, the “Hollywood Madam.” I also didn’t know that Prince Charles and Princess Diana got a divorce in 1996. I think that I used to buy pizza rolls at Safeway.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 25, 2019:

Another fascinating fact file. The Bosnia conflict seems longer ago than that. I missed the pizza rolls. Maybe they didn't make it across the Pond. Your list of hunks has mainly stood the test of time as well as Benjamin Netanyahu who is still in place in Israel.

Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on June 25, 2019:

Louise, thank you for the comment. One interesting fact from 1996 that I learned was that there only about 100,000 websites that year.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on June 25, 2019:

That is some interesting facts and figures about 1996. The internet has certainly come a long way in such a short period of time, I think!