Can You Answer These Questions About the Year 1995?

Zoe Samuel

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

The 1990s were truly a blessed decade in world history. The Berlin Wall had fallen in the late 1980s, and with the end of the Cold War, peace came to large swaths of Eastern Europe, and freedom was extended to millions. Huge markets opened up as China, India and other nations of the developing world began to realize their true potential. The threat of Islamist terrorism was still considered a remote one and even the Middle East was - as that region goes - relatively quiet. Thanks to the liberation of millions as well as the inclusion in the formal economy and workplace of vastly more women thanks to feminism starting to realize its potential, the stock market boomed. Times were good and optimism was high. It didn't last long, but it sure felt good while it did.

Still, there were events during the decade that were notable, as relatively peaceful and stable as it was. From notable bombings to the photographing of Jupiter to the end of the Yugoslavian civil war to the founding of companies that shaped the rising internet, seeds were sown and journeys begun that continue to ripple in our lives today. How well do you remember them?

What was the average price of a house in the USA, in thousands of dollars?

The average house cost just over $113,000 in 1995. The house price explosion since then is a main reason it has become exponentially harder to get on the housing ladder.

What tragedy occurred on April 19 of that year?

White supremacist and nationalist terrorist McVeigh blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Over 150 people died, including lots of children in the day care center at the building.

What spacecraft reached its destination after a six-year journey?

It arrived at the moons of Jupiter. The name was fitting because the first astronomer to see the moons was Galileo himself, hundreds of years earlier.

Which African country did US troops withdraw from?

After Somali militants shot down a Black Hawk helicopter and took survivors prisoner, the US military withdrew from the country. Somalia unfortunately remains war-torn to this day.

What important referendum occurred in Canada?

Independence for Quebec was defeated by a tiny margin. Out of over 4,600,000 votes, the margin was just above 54,000.

Where did the UN intervene sucessfully to end a war?

The Yugoslavian civil war claimed many lives and included genocide perpetrated against ethnic Albanians. Parts of the war did not end until 2001.

Where did a huge earthquake strike in Japan, killing over 6,000 people?

The quake measured 7.3 on the Richter scale. 6,433 died and many more were injured or made homeless.

Who won the Americas Cup that year?

America3 (pronounced "America Cubed") was an all-female crew. Their yacht and syndicate both shared the name, and they sailed to victory.

What terrorist attack occurred at Kasumigaseki station in Japan?

The Aum Shinrikyo released sarin into the Tokyo subway at Kasumigaseki station. 12 died, including one poor soul who was in and out of hospital for 14 years as a result, before succumbing.

Which British bank collapsed after reckless speculation by banker Nick Leeson?

Leeson recklessly gambled other people's money on the Tokyo stock exchange and threw over a billion away. He destroyed many people's financial lives and took down the bank.

What treaty did 170 countries agree to extend indefinitely?

170 nations agreed to this in New York at the UN. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty means they commit not to develop or build further types of nukes if they already have them, or any type at all if they don't.

What shuttle docked with the Mir space station?

The Cold War was over, and one of the upsides was a lot more sharing of knowledge. The Russian Mir space station welcomed the Atlantis crew on board!

What natural disaster killed 3,000 people in the Midwest in the summer of 1995?

It was over 104 degrees for five days. 750 people died in Chicago alone!

What Israeli PM was murdered by a right wing extremist?

Rabin had previously been fairly hardcore himself, but had matured and come to see the value of talking to your former enemy and making peace. That's why he was shot, by an extremist who did not like him getting "soft" in that way.

What criminal trial captured the attention of America?

Simpson got off on a murder charge for the killing of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her lover. He later ended up in jail anyway for robbery charges.

What milestone did the Dow Jones break through for the first time?

The '90s were not all clear sailing, but they mostly were. While naturally the parties in charge claim credit for this, it's possibly just luck due to technological change and the arrival in the global economy of billions of women and a whole lot of countries previously too poor to participate.

What travel record did adventurer Steve Fossett break?

Fossett took off from South Korea and made it to Canada in one go! Sadly he later disappeared in a plane over Nevada and was declared dead when his body could not be found.

What new data storage format was launched?

DVD or Digital Versatile Disc came along in 1995 hoping to replace the much bigger VHS. It was better because you didn't have to rewind it and took up less space, but in all other respects it was kind of a crappy and fragile technology that peaked quickly before streaming began to eat into its popularity.

What company launched the first online auction site?

eBay is a monster now, but in 1995 it was just a scrappy newcomer. It began as AuctionWeb, created by Pierre Omidyar, and became eBay in 1997.

What movie was the first fully computer generated film?

Pixar's beloved story of walking, talking toys took the world by storm. Since then, basicaly all Pixar films have been hits, and the technology has continued to develop and improve.

Who took over the French presidency from Francois Mitterand?

Mitterand departed on May 17. He was replaced by Chirac, who lasted in 2007, long enough to outlast his initial very high popularity by some years.

Who was the British Prime Minister for the whole of 1995?

Margaret Thatcher was pushed out in 1990, and Major took over after a hard-fought leadership contest in which he was the only contender who wasn't a terrible person. Nobody really liked him but nobody really hated him either, and he's not very memorable. Even in Britain, people think of Thatcher and Blair, either side of him, as being far more significant.

For what did Dr. Bernard A. Harris make history in 1995?

Astronaut and American hero Dr. Bernard A. Harris undertook a spacewalk in 1995. This made him the first African American man to walk in space!

What was discovered outside our solar system for the first time?

Scientists were very pleased to find a gas giant orbiting Pegasi-5. Interestingly, it was much closer to its sun that our gas giants, which overturned some of their assumptions about planetary orbits.

What notable web company debuted that year?

Marc Andreessen's Netscape turned over tens of millions in its first year. It was gobbled up within a few years when Microsoft woke the heck up, but it made Andreessen incredibly rich first.

What Bond movie came out that year?

Six years after Timothy Dalton resigned the role, Pierce Brosnan stepped up. GoldenEye was a huge hit, earning $353m globally.

About what American mystery did President Clinton reveal the truth at last?

Groom Lake Air Force Base, AKA Area 51, was a secret until 1995. Clinton exempted it by executive order from having to reveal its environmental costs, thus proving that it existed.

What program came to our computers and transformed the PC experience?

Microsoft was asleep at the switch when it came to the internet, but not when it came to the operating system. They knew everyone wanted better than DOS or the early Windows versions. That's why Windows 1995 was such a revelation.

Which of the below did NOT join the European Union in 1995?

The EU has 27 countries at the moment and was adding them rapidly in the 1990s. These three wealthy nations were considered quite a "get", though in practice since they were already in the trade area, hardly anything changed about daily life.

What very important international trade group was founded?

The governing body of international markets, the WTO is essential for keeping world trade functioning. It handles currency, tariffs, intellectual property, and other disputes between nations. The normal way these things were handled, historically, was with a war, so most people were quite excited.

What happened to Burmese dissident Aung Sung Suu Kyi?

Aung Sung Suu Kyi was a great figure in Myanmar who won the Nobel prize for her peaceful overturning of the military junta. The tragedy of recent years is that now she is Myanmar's leader, ethnic cleansing is still happening there on her watch, against the Rohingya mintority.

What city in India replaced its colonial-era name with its previous name in 1995?

Mumbai had been called Bombay during the Raj. Some people still call it that, or call it both. Either will be understood in India, but Mumbai is correct.

What botanical crisis struck in California during the summer?

Caused by a pathogen, this disease can kill very old, established trees. Containment is underway, but it devastated tree populations in California and Oregon.

Other than Quebec, what other territory rejected indepedence in a referendum in 1995?

The island of Bermuda is under British rule and has been for hundreds of years. The people of Bermuda are mostly OK with this right now, which makes sense since they have many of the advantages of British government - without the weather!

What was the global population in 1995, in billions?

The population is now over 7 billion. It is likely to level off in the next generation, as women gain control of their fertility and tend to choose to have fewer children.

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