What was going on 20 years ago?


From Zigazig ah to infinity and beyond.

If you were born in 1996, you’d likely have little or no memory of the major events that happened in that year, but it was quite remarkable. Depending on the year that you were born you will have a different slant on the good, the bad and the downright ugly things that happened in that 12 month period.

One such remarkable event, which has had a really positive impact on many thousands of lives was the creation of ARM. From humble but passionate beginnings has grown a major force in the world of recruitment which astoundingly OFFERS someone a new role every 1.7 hours of every day, facilitates an interview for a candidate every 19 minutes and has helped over 13,500 people take the next step on their career path. Take a look at the new website www.arm.co.uk and the video https://vimeo.com/157151174

If you can, (and I can with bags of room to spare) cast your mind back 20 years, the world looked quite different.

Googling ‘1996’ on your smart phone was something you couldn’t do in 1996. If you were one of the lucky 16% that actually had a mobile phone, phoning is pretty much all you could do, well, you could try playing ‘snake’ but that never ended well. Putting the phone to one side, which was easier then, as the most popular [Nokia 1610] weighed in at 232g, almost double what they do today, the internet was still a thing of mystery, with less than 4% of UK households having access.

It was also a year of misery and sadness for many, the 14 year marriage of Charles and Diana came to end. Undoubtedly the cause of significantly more tears, mourning and heartache was the split of Robbie, Howard, Gary, Mark and Jason, as Take That decided to split up, dark days indeed!

Almost as an antidote to this pain and to lift the spirits of a million broken hearted girls, the Spice Girls release ‘Wannabe’, and the birth of Girl Power was upon us.

Some other notable events that happened that year, which somehow seem connected, are the demise of the UK beef trade with the appearance of Mad Cow Disease, or Creutzfeldt-Jakobs disease – if you’ve just tried to pronounce that out loud you may very possibly have looked a little mad. On the flip side, Dolly the sheep was born, the first ever mammal that had been cloned and delivered alive.

The demand for increased food production also drove more stuff of science fiction with the sale of genetically modified foods. Causing uproar at the time, these foods and processes have now migrated into the every day. 

The 90’s was a period of new found leisure time and this was filled with the new satellite TV system brought to us by Mr Murdoch, with Football in the newly established Premier League being shown exclusively. This was a Premier league that saw Alan Shearer become the most expensive footballer when he signed for Newcastle at £15m. It was also the home of Manchester United who became a record breaking 9 times winner of the FA cup. Still in the realms of sport, Damon Hill put a smile on his dad’s face by winning the Japanese Grand Prix.

Entertainment was also core to people’s lives. The DVD player had to wait another 3 or 4 years before becoming a must have gadget, but that didn’t stop people rushing to see the top box office film of the year Independence Day with Will Smith.

Music had, however, already seen a new champion format with CD’s. In 1996, the Fugees cover of Killing me Softly was the biggest singles seller whilst a cheery little number called Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette took the title for albums sold. Janet Jackson became the highest paid musician when she signed a staggering £80m deal with Virgin music.

TV was better in 1996, FACT! There was Men Behaving Badly with very youthful looking Martin Clunes and Leslie Ash, this topped the Comedy Awards whilst The Bill won the award for best Drama.

The Deep Blue computer designed by IBM became the first in history to beat a reigning world champion [Garry Kasparov] at chess, and Tupac Shakur was shot and killed, not that I’m suggesting the two are linked!

If we include the hero of Star Command, Buzz Lightyear, that’s 20 things that happened 20 years ago. All significant in their own way and all worth remembering, whether fondly or with a grimace…that is if you can remember back that far!

Here’s to the next 20 years, who know’s what will happen!


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