In 1999, Predicting a massive technical glitch that could wreak havoc on our computers the moment the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2000, the United States launched a huge preparation campaign, including a Senate “Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem.” After the 21st century rolled in without any major problems, the millennium bug was quickly forgotten—but whether the panicked prep was an overreaction remains up for debate.

    In 1998, Legendary crooner Frank Sinatra dies of a heart attack at age 82.

    In 1997, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone is published in the U.K.

    In 1996, Approximately 45 million people are using the Internet, with roughly 30 million of those in North America (United States and Canada), 9 million in Europe, and 6 million in Asia/Pacific (Australia, Japan, etc.). 43.2 million (44%) of US households own a personal computer, and 14 million of them are online.

    In 1995, Los Angeles jury finds O. J. Simpson not guilty of murder charges.

    In 1994, Kurt Cobain kills himself. He was 27.

    In 1993, Lost in Yonkers is edited on an Avid Media Composer system, the first non-linear editing system to allow viewing at film's required "real-time"-viewing rate of 24 frames per second. By converting film into digital bits, film can now be cut on a computer.

    In 1992, Compact discs surpass cassette tapes as the preferred medium for recorded music.

    In 1991, Seattle band Nirvana releases the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on the LP Nevermind and enjoys national success. With Nirvana's hit comes the grunge movement, which is characterized by distorted guitars, dispirited vocals and lots of flannel.

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    In 1990, The Simpsons debuts on Fox and becomes an instant hit.