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.
- 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 Menace, The Sixth Sense, Toy Story 2, Austin 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.