Skip to All NYU Navigation Skip to Main Content

In Honor of #NYU2021, We're Partying Like It's 1999

A look back at what was going on in the year many members of the incoming NYU class were born.
collage: 1999

Most of the members of this year's incoming class were born in or around 1999, when the tech world was bracing for a computer-induced apocalypse called Y2K. As it turned out, civilization didn't grind to a halt with the hotly anticipated digital rollover to the year 2000—planes didn't crash; elevators didn't stall—and, far from being plunged into a dark age, we instead barreled merrily into the millennium that would bring such technological marvels as Twitter and Candy Crush. As #NYU2021—digital natives to the core—prepare to begin the next chapter of their lives, we thought we'd take a peek back (18 years!) at what now seems like a simpler time, when the first Blackberrys were just hitting the shelves and Britney Spears was the newest teenage pop sensation. Here's a look at some other milestones from that momentous year. 

Best Buy sticker: "Remember: Turn your computer off before midnight on 12/31/99."

In 1999...
 

  • Napster was born.
  • Family Guy premiered after Super Bowl XXXIII. 
  • Apple introduced the iBook. 
  • Billboard Hot 100 no. 1 singles included "No Scrubs" (TLC), "Baby One More Time" (Britney Spears), "Genie in a Bottle" (Christina Aguilera), "Every Morning" (Sugar Ray), and "Kiss Me" (Sixpence None the Richer).
  • The Backstreet Boys released Millennium.
  • Brandi Chastain scored the game-winning penalty shootout goal for the U.S. against China in the Women's World Cup final at the Rose Bowl.
  • Shakespeare in Love won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Gwyneth Paltrow), and Roberto Benigni, who also won Best Actor in a Leading Role, climbed over rows of seats to accept the Best Foreign Language Film award for Life is Beautiful.
  • Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom MenaceThe Sixth SenseToy Story 2Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and The Matrix earned the most at the box office.
  • Wayne Gretzky retired from hockey.
  • NYU announced plans to build the Kimmel Center. 
  • SpongeBob SquarePants premiered on Nickelodeon.
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, hosted by Regis Philbin, became the first U.S. network game show to offer a million-dollar prize
  • Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca" kicked off a string of Latin pop hits, followed by Enrique Iglesias's "Bialamos," Marc Anthony's "I Need to Know" and Santana's "Smooth."
  • Bluetooth technology debuted.
  • the Yankees' David Cone pitched the 16th perfect game in MLB history.
  • a day after resigning as Treasury Secretary, Robert E. Rubin addressed more than 13,000 graduates in Washington Square Park for NYU's 167th commencement.
  • ...and internet geeks came together on November 5, "Burn All GIFs Day," to rid the web of the dreaded file type once and for all. Spoiler: It didn't work.

Those were the days?

YOUTUBE MEDIA
rblt2EtFfC4