This week we’re wrapping up our 15 Year Celebration with our final 1999 Pop Culture Flashback. We’ve had such a great time looking back to the launch of Pegasus Lighting 15 years ago, and hope you’ve enjoyed coming along for the ride.
In December of 1999 all eyes were on Y2K. The millennium was nearing its end and amidst the reassurances of major governments and corporations, many were still braced for a digital meltdown. But even the threat of world-ending disasters couldn’t stop the 1999 Billboard awards.
1. Back Street Boys steal the show
The Back Street Boys take home 6 awards at the 1999 Billboard Music Awards, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. Tween-age girls across the globe squealed with joy each time this boy band took the stage.
2. Ricky Martin wins Song of the Year
Puerto-Rican heart throb Ricky Martin played a huge role in bringing Latin pop to the American music scene during the 41st Grammy Awards show in February of 1999. In December he was rewarded again at the Billboard Music Awards by winning Song of the Year for his hit single “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”
3. Mariah Carey receives Artist of the Decade award
Mariah Carey gives a powerful speech when she is named Artist of the Decade at the 1999 Billboard Music Awards.
4. The Sistine Chapel restoration is celebrated
Pope John Paul II holds a ceremony to celebrate the completion of the 20 year project to restore the Sistine Chapel.
5. Christmas 1999 Hot List
The hottest Christmas presents of the year in 1999 were Furby Babies (a fuzzy hamster/owlish creature that starts out speaking Furbish, but is programmed to “learn” human language), Mary-Kate and Ashley and Britney Spears dolls, and pretty much anything that had to do with Pokemon.
Images via Wikimedia, Pinterest & Deviantart
6. Godzilla 2000 — “Get Ready to Crumble”
Ignoring all earlier versions, Godzilla gets another chance to save Tokyo (and its cult classic following) when it’s released in Japan.
7. Stephen King’s “The Green Mile” Debuts
Stephen King’s best-seller “The Green Mile,” is brought to the screen with rave reviews. It later goes on to earn four Oscar nominations.
8. Murden conquers the sea
Tori Murden becomes the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by rowboat alone. She reaches Guadeloupe after rowing for 81 days and 2,962 nautical miles.
9. Former Beatle George Harrison is attacked
George Harrison is stabbed several times after a man, claiming that Harrison was the devil, breaks into his home. Harrisons wife comes to his rescue, wrestling the knife from the assailant.
10. Russia gets a new President
Boris Yeltsin, the first freely elected leader in Russia, surprises the world by resigning as President of Russia and is replaced by his chosen successor, Vladimir Putin.
11. Chromosome 22 is mapped
Scientists announce a great scientific breakthrough when a chromosome is mapped out for the first time in history. The 33.4 million base pairs of Chromosome 22 are deciphered, spanning over 23 million letters in length.
12. The US officially hands over the Panama Canal
After 85 years of American administration, the Panama Canal is returned to Panama. This 50-mile waterway is a shortcut to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and saves a ship about 7,800 miles.
13. Grisham is Author of the Decade
John Grisham ranks as the top selling author of the decade, selling 60,742,288 books. Stephen King ranked 2nd and Danielle Steele 3rd. Grisham’s best selling book in 1999 was “The Pelican Brief.”
14. The Millennium Dome opens its doors
After recurring financial problems and political controversy, the Millennium Dome (officially called The O2) opens to the public in England. A year later, after a less-than-stellar reception, the dome closed until 2007.
15. Silence from the Mars Polar Lander
Radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander goes silent just moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere. In addition to two deep space probes, a CD-ROM was on board with the names of one million children from around the world as part of the “Send Your Name to Mars” campaign.