1. Both the Spice Girls and Hanson dropped their debut singles (Wannabe and MMMBop, respectively) in the U.S.
Wannabe was released in the UK in 1996, before being released in the U.S. in 1997.
2. The Spice Girls also had the biggest-selling album of that year!
It was all about Girl Power!
3. President Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second term.
Tim Clary / Getty Images
4. Nestle’s Wonder Ball were discontinued over potential choking hazards caused by the toys inside.
5. This was Nickelodeon’s TV schedule:
6. Seinfeld was the biggest comedy on TV.
7. Ross and Rachel broke up for the first time on Friends.
TNT / NBC
And the phrase we were on a break (begrudgingly) entered our lexicon.
8. George Lucas released the Special Editions of the original Stars Wars trilogy.
It was a warning sign of what was to come.
9. The Simpsons surpassed The Flintstones for the most number of episodes produced for a primetime cartoon series.
It was The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show episode that helped The Simpsons break the record.
10. South Park, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Daria all made their series debuts.
11. Aqua released their ubiquitous single Barbie Girl.
Bet you have the song stuck in your head now.
12. Tamagotchis were the biggest-selling toys of the year.
RIP my Tamagotchi, you filled my childhood with love for like a day.
13. The Lion King began its run on Broadway.
Mario Tama / Getty Images
14. The Disney Afternoon ended its run after seven years.
15. The Daily Show was hosted by Craig Kilborn.
Comedy Central / Via youtube.com
Jon Stewart would not take it over until 1999.
16. Golden-haired couple Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow broke off their engagement.
Kim Kulish / Getty Images
They were too blonde to be together for this world.
17. Princess Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris.
Jamal A. Wilson / Getty Images
DAVE GAYWOOD/ AFP
Over 33 million people in the U.S. watched her televised funeral live.
18. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published in the UK.
It would be published in the U.S. under the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the following year.
19. George Clooney was named People‘s Sexiest Man Alive and he was best known at the time for his role on the TV series, E.R.
And he would also be known that year as the star of what is considered to be the worst Batman film ever.
20. This is what it looked like when you tried to get online:
And there was still minutes cap per month.
21. Ellen DeGeneres publicly came out.
Her character on the sitcom Ellen, also came out.
22. The Backstreet Boys were just beginning to enjoy success in the U.S. with their debut album, while NSYNC was causing waves in Europe.
Brenda Chase / Getty Images
Brenda Chase/ Hulton Archive
NSYNC would not release their debut album in the U.S. until the following year.
23. All of these classic movies were released:
New Line Cinema/ Paramount/Columbia Pictures/Universal/Warner Bros./Miramax
Alright, so Batman & Robin might not be a classic for everybody.