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1990s Timeline

Chances are good that you were too busy watching Sailor Moon and playing with your Power Rangers to notice many of the major events that happened in the '90s. No worries, Kidzworld's got the lowdown on the important (and not-so-important) events that shaped the last decade.

The Year 1990

  • The Gulf war begins after Saddam Hussein accuses Kuwait of stealing oil from Iraq. Iraq invades Kuwait and the US send half a million soldiers to defend Saudi Arabia against invasion.

  • South African antiapartheid activist, Nelson Mandela is freed after spending 27 years as a political prisoner.

The Year 1991

  • The Soviet Union is dissolved and the 15 separate republics (including Russia) are now independent. Maps will never look the same.

  • Magic Johnson tests HIV positive and retires from the NBA.

The Year 1992

  • Riots erupt in South Central LA following the acquittal of four white police officers who were caught on video beating speeding suspect Rodney King. During the riots, 55 people were killed, 2,300 people were injured and 1,100 buildings were destroyed.

The Year 1993

  • After seven years together, New Kids On The Block go their separate ways, proving that perhaps they did not have The Right Stuff after all.

  • Michael Jordan retires from the NBA to play minor league baseball. He returns to the NBA 17 months later.

The Year 1994

  • In the first South African election in which black people are allowed to vote, Nelson Mandela is elected president. He is the first black South African president.
  • American figure skater, Nancy Kerrigan, is clubbed in the knee one month before the Winter Olympics. It was later discovered that the attack was organized by associates of rival skater, Tonya Harding. Despite her injury, Kerrigan still went on to win the silver metal at the Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

The Year 1995

  • The trail of former NFL star OJ Simpson begins. He is accused of murdering his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman. OJ is later found not guilty.
  • A federal building in Oklahoma City is bombed and 168 people are killed. Later, two anti-government, American terrorists - Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols - were convicted of the bombing. Timothy McVeigh has since been executed. Terry Nichols is now facing more charges in Oklahoma and could be sentenced to death as well.

For the lowdown on the last half of the 1990s, click here.


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  • *NSYNC. Justin's still going strong but where'd those other dudes go?

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