1995 was the year that I finished high school. It was an interesting year, jam-packed with events. I was 18 years old but I still remember quite a bit from that year.
If you were born before 1995: I hope that this post joggles your memory about the year. If you were born after 1995: I hope that you find these facts interesting.
Here are 20 Notable Events in 1995
1. South Africa hosted and won the Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup was the first major sporting event to take place in South Africa following the end of apartheid. South Africa defeated New Zealand in the final. Joel Stransky scored a drop goal in extra time to ensure victory for the hosts.
2. Capital punishment was abolished in South Africa
This happened thanks to a landmark judgement by the SA constitutional court. The ruling established that capital punishment was inconsistent with the commitment to human rights expressed in the Interim Constitution.
The ruling invalidated section 277(1)(a) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. This section had provided for the use of the death penalty, along with any similar provisions in any other law in force in South Africa.
3. South African Serial Killer and Rapist Moses Sithole was arrested
Sithole murdered at least 38 people between the 16th of July 1994 and the 6th of November 1995. He was sentenced in December 1997 to a total of 2410 years in prison.
4. Barings Bank collapsed in the UK
Barings Bank was founed in 1762. At the time it was the UK’s oldest investment banking firm. It collapsed in February 1995 after securities broker Nick Leeson lost $1.4 billion by speculating on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
5. 168 people where killed in the Oklahoma City Bombing in the USA
The bomb was set off by Timothy McVeigh and one of accomplices on the 19th of April 1995. One third of the the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was destroyed. There were 8 Federal Marshals and 19 children among the dead. 680 people were wounded.
6. Microsoft released Windows 95
Windows 95 gave us the Windows “Start” button and the “Taskbar”. It was also the first 32-bit OS. Microsoft stopped support for it in 2001.
7. O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of double murder
He was found not guilty on the 3rd of October 1995. Simpson was accused of murder his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. An estimated 100 million people tuned in to watch or listen to the verdict announcement in the USA alone.
To date no additional arrests or convictions related to the murders have been made. According to a 2016 poll, 83% of white Americans and 57% of black Americans believe that O.J. Simpson was guilty of the murders.
8. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated
Rabin was killed at a peace rally in Tel Aviv on the 4th of November 1995. The assassin was Yigal Amir, a 25-year-old former Hesder student and far-right law student at Bar-Ilan University. Amir had strenuously opposed Rabin’s peace initiative.
9. The Dayton Agreement ended the Bosnian War
The Bosnian War was a result of Yugoslavia breaking up. The war started in the first quarter of 1992. The Dayton Agreement was signed on the 14th of December 1995 by representatives of Yugoslavia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia.
10. Rory Gallagher, Shannon Hoon & Jerry Garcia died
Rory Gallagher was an Irish blues and rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer. He received a liver transplant in this year, but died of complications on the 14th of June 1995. He was 47 years old.
Shannon Hoon was the lead singer of Blind Melon. He went to school with Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose. Hoon sang backing vocals both their Use Your Illusion albums. He died in New Orleans, Louisana on the 21st of October 1995. The cause of death was a cocaine overdose. He was only 28 years old when he died.
Jerry Garcia was the lead guitarist and vocalist of The Grateful Dead. He died of a heart attack in a drug rehab facility in California on the 9th of August 1995.
11. Comet Hale-Bopp was discovered
It was discovered by Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp on the 23rd of July 1995. The comet became visible to the naked a year later. Hale-Bopp was the most widely observed of the 20th Century. It was visible to the naked eye for a record 18 months.
12. Toy Story was released
The now popular animated film was the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery. It was also the first animated film in Oscar history to be nominated for a Best Screenplay Academy Award.
13. The First Tibetan Freedom Concert was held
Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys organized it in Los Angeles. The proceeds from the ticket sales went to the Millareppa Foundation. The Beastie Boys, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers and A Tribe Called Quest played.
14. Quebec defeated a referendum on independence
This province in Canada which has a majority French speaking citizens nearly became independent. The side in favor of staying part of Canada won by only 1%.
15. Aum Shinrikyo gassed the subway in Tokyo
The Japanese cult released sarin gas into the Tokyo subway system on the 20th of March 1995. 12 people were killed and 1000s were injured. It was the first time that sarin was used in a terrorist attack. It was also the first time that a terrorist group used chemical weapons.
16. Yahoo! was incorporated
The company was was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in 1994 and incorporated on the 2nd of March 1995. It was the the sixth-most-visited website globally in 2016. According to July 2019 stats, it’s the 9th most popular website in the world now.
17. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was extended indefinitely
More than 170 countries agreed to this, without conditions. The treaty seeks to inhibit the spread of nuclear weapons and to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and nuclear disarmament.
18. Serbs rounded up and killed an estimated 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Bosnia-Hercegovina
They pushed Dutch UN peacekeepers out of the way in the area around Srebrenica on the 11th of July 1995. It was the largest case of mass murder in Europe since World War II.
19. Boris Yeltsin tried to hail a taxi outside White House in his underpants
This happened during a presidential visit. He was found on Pennsylvania Avenue. Apparently he was trying to hail the cab to order pizza.
20. The first Chupacabra sighting was reported in Puerto Rico
Physical descriptions of this legendary creature vary in the folklore of the Americas vary. It’s purportedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail.
Well, there you have it, our list of 20 Notable Events in 1995. Which one of these facts did you find most interesting? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Watch this space for updates in the Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant.