Life in the 1990s

This is a list of items describing life in the 1990s, mainly in the Los Angeles, California, USA, area.

  1. The most spectacular event of the decade from 1990 to 1999 was the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990. The Cold War ended, and many other countries turned away from socialism, including Canada, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. There was a minor recession in 1992, and then a boom that lasted most of the decade, including the "dot-com" bubble, which burst in 2000. 

Price Comparisons 1990 1999
gasoline (average price per gallon) $1.13 $1.14
bread (price per one pound loaf) 69¢ 90¢
Dow Jones Industrial Average 2753 11,502
minimum wage (per hour) $3.35 $5.15
postage (first class letter) 25¢ 33¢
Gross Domestic Product ($ billions) 5716 9519
Consumer Price Index (1977 = 100) 196.3 242.7
Inflation (1990 = 1.00) 1.00 1.27
  1. Telephones
  2. Computers continued to develop during the 1990s
  3. Digital photography was becoming popular, but did not replace film until about 2005.
  4. The postage for a first class letter was 25¢ from 1988 to 1991, 29¢ from 1991 to 1995, 32¢ from 1995 to 1999, and 33¢ from 1999 to 2001.
  5. U. S. Presidents during the decade were
  6. International leaders of the decade included:
  7. Compact disks were the dominant form of music sales in the decade, reaching a peak in 1999. Compact cassettes were still popular, but their sales had been declining since 1989.
  8. Microcomputers were becoming ubiquitous.
  9. The I.R.A. agreed to a truce in 1994, ending 25 years of political violence in Northern Ireland. In 1998, British and Irish politicians signed the Belfast Agreement (or Good Friday Agreement), agreeing to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Northern Ireland.
  10. Germany reunified in 1990.
  11. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1990 and broke into its 15 republics, now all independent. The former Warsaw Pact countries moved to market-based economies and political freedom. Although China and Vietnam remained communist, they began liberalizing their economies, allowing some free enterprise, and began to prosper. Cuba and North Korea remained vehemently communist.
  12. Czechoslovakia split apart in 1993 into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in an event termed the Velvet Divorce.
  13. Yugoslavia broke up. Slovenia declared itself independent in 1991, which led to the Ten-Day War. Croatia declared its independence the same year, but the Croatian war of independence lasted tilll 1995.  In 1992 Bosnia-Hercegovina broke away, but in the Bosnian war between the Serbs on one side and the Croats and Muslim Bosniaks on the other. This led to the fiercest fighting in Europe since World War II, and gave us the term ethnic cleansing.
  14. Some non-communist countries, such as Taiwan, Chile, South Africa, and Indonesia increased political freedom, which led to economic growth.
  15. In South Africa, Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, and the government led by F. W. De Klerk, moved to dismantle apartheid and implement majority rule. An interim constitution was implemented in 1993, and Mandela was elected president of South Africa in 1994. A new constitution was written and was adopted in 1996, coming into force in 1997.
  16. In 1990, Namibia (formerly known as South West Africa) became independent of South Africa. South Africa retained jurisdiction of Walvis Bay, the only seaport for Namibia, until 1994.
  17. Eritrea became independent of Ethiopia in 1993.
  18. Fads of the 1990s included:
  19. Literature: two book series intended for children became popular: The Goosebumps series by R. L. Stine, introduced in 1992, which became the second-best selling series in history; and the Harry Potter series by R. K. Rowling, introduced in 1997, which became the best-selling series in history.
  20. Popular music continued to become more segmented, with such styles as grunge, teen pop, R&B (rhythm and blues: not a new style, but becoming no longer just a "black" thing), and "gangsta rap". Prominent artists included Mariah Carey, the Spice Girls, and Nirvana.
  21. Notable Broadway musicals of the 1990s included:
  22. Notable movies of the 1990s included:
  23. Notable television shows of the 1990s included: 

This list is intended to be similar to the "Mindset List", published each year by Beloit College. For more information about social, political and cultural trends in the decade, see the Wikipedia article on the 1980s. For suggestions, additions, and corrections to this list, please email me: tf_mcq {at} yahoo {dot} com.


See also:

This list is incomplete. You can help by emailing me suggestions: tf_mcq <at>