1. Right now, kids from all over the country are beginning their senior year of high school. They’re well on their way to college. And they were mostly born in 1997.
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2. Which was, like, 12 minutes ago.
3. Back in ï97, we’d just started reading about a delightful boy wizard named Harry.
4. Titanic was the biggest movie in the world.
Paramount Pictures/20th Century Fox
It basically still is.
5. And these were pretty popular too.
6. These two were the hottest celebrity couple imaginable.
AFP / Getty Images HECTOR MATA
7. We were all just getting the hang of this internet thing.
8. And just getting to know this adorable little guy.
9. People couldn’t get enough of that dancing baby.
10. Third Eye Blind, Spice Girls, and Jewel were all over the radio.
11. We all thought Tubthumping was the first of many hits by a band of leftist Brits called Chumbawamba.
12. Everyone was just getting into something called electronica.
13. Britpop ruled the world. (In England.)
14. And hip-hop ruled the world everywhere else.
15. If you wanted someone to think you were smart, you’d put on some Radiohead.
16. And if you really wanted to impress people, maybe one of these CDs.
17. These women were just getting their start in music.
18. And so were these living legends.
19. Will Ferrell, Molly Shannon, and Tracy Morgan were the big new stars on Saturday Night Live.
Getty Images Vince Bucci
20. Ally McBeal, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Daria were the hot new shows on TV.
21. But the biggest buzz was about a new cartoon called South Park.
Kenny has been dying as long as these kids have been alive.
22. Ellen DeGeneres was the first sitcom star to come out as a lesbian on her show, and she made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal.
23. NBC utterly owned primetime with E.R., Seinfeld, Friends, and, uh, Suddenly Susan on Thursday nights.
24. Mike Tyson bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear in a boxing match, and people freaked out.
AFP / Getty Images JEFF HAYNES
25. Bill Clinton had started his second term, but his affair with intern Monica Lewinksy was about to go public in a big way.
AFP / Getty Images JOYCE NALTCHAYAN
26. Tony Blair had just become the prime minister of the United Kingdom
AFP / Getty Images NICOLAS ASFOURI
27. just before the sudden, tragic death of Princess Diana.
AFP / Getty Images AFP
28. Steve Jobs returned to Apple and revitalized it a year later by rolling out the first iMac.
AFP / Getty Images JOHN G. MABANGLO
29. And of course, Mario Kart was huge.
30. This was not even the first Mario Kart game.
31. These people have never known a world without Mario Kart.