1997 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

1997 Trivia, History and Fun Facts

Quick Facts from 1997:

  • World Changing Event: On August 31st, 1997, Princess Diana, aged 36, was killed in a car accident in France.
  • The Top Song was Candle in the Wind 1997/ Something About The Way You Look Tonight by Elton John
  • Influential Songs include: Missing You by Puff Daddy, 112 & Faith Evans, The Old Apartment by Barenaked Ladies and Wannabe by The Spice Girls
  • The Teletubbies– Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, Po, and Noo-noo their housekeeper were introduced on BBC2.
  • The Movies to Watch include Good Will Hunting, Amistad, The Fifth Element, As Good As It Gets, Contact and Titanic
  • People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive: George Clooney
  • The 1997 Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act set a $200 million maximum limit for the “allowable awards to all rail passengers, against all defendants, for all claims, including claims for punitive damages, arising from a single accident.”
  • Notable books include: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  • IBM’s “Deep Blue” chess-playing computer defeated chess champion, Garry Kasparov
  • Price of AM/FM Cassette Sony Walkman in 1997: $44.99
    Plymouth (or Dodge) Neon: $11,395.00
  • The Funny Late Night Host: Jay Leno
  • The Song: Celine Dion at first declined to sing My Heart Will Go On. Then she recorded it in one take and that demo was later released as the main theme song for Titanic. Now it’s one of the all-time best-selling singles and has become her Signature Song.
Top Ten Baby Names of 1997:
Emily, Jessica, Ashley, Sarah, Hannah, Michael, Jacob, Matthew, Chris, Topher, Joshua
Fashion Icons and Sex Symbols:
Claudia Schiffer
Leading Men and Hollywood Heartthrobs:
George Clooney, Michael Hutchence, John Travolta

“The Quotes”
“Oh my God! They killed Kenny!”
– South Park

“There are some things that money can’t buy. For everything else there’s MasterCard”

“I’m king of the world!”
– Leonardo DiCaprio, in ‘Titanic’

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year: Andy Grove
Miss America: Tara Holland (Overland Park, KS)
Miss USA: Brook Mahealani Lee (Hawaii)/ Brandi Sherwood (Idaho)

The Scandals:
Marv Albert went on trial for felony charges of forcible sodomy, which involved the alleged repeated biting of an unnamed female sex partner.

Eddie Murphy was stopped by the police with a transsexual prostitute. He explained that it was all a misunderstanding; he was merely giving the young lady/ man a ride.

The Globe tabloid paper revealed an affair between Frank Gifford and Trans World Airlines flight attendant Suzen Johnson. The incident was at first not believed by his wife, Kathie Lee Gifford.

US Politics:
January 20, 1997 (Monday) Second inauguration of Bill Clinton
Pop Culture Facts & History:
Remember in 1997 when Brad Pitt was just minding his own business, then Shania Twain dissed him in that song?

Shania Twain’s album Come On Over broke 3 different music records including best-selling Country music album, the best-selling album by a female, & best-selling album by a Canadian.

The full-size Krackel bar was discontinued in 1997, although is still available as a Hershey Miniature.

The record for keeping the original 1996/1997 Tamagotchi alive is Age 89 days. In an unrelated story, Tamagotchi’s creators won the 1997 Ig Nobel Prize in Economics “for diverting millions of person-hours of work into the husbandry of virtual pets.”

14-year-old Nathan Zohner was able to get 43 out of 50 of his classmates to vote to ban “Dihydrogen Monoxide” for his science fair project. His project aimed to prove that the use of true facts can lead the ignorant public to false conclusions. He won first prize. Dihydrogen Monoxide=water

WebMD went online in 1997.

A 1997 Pokemon episode, Cyber Soldier Porygo, caused 700 seizures also caused additional seizures when news reports aired a clip while covering the story

Ethernet inventor Robert Metcalfe predicted that the internet would collapse in 1996, promising to eat his words if not. In 1997, he took a printed copy of his column that predicted the collapse, put it in a blender with some liquid, and then drank the paper drink.

In 1997, Bill Gates invested $150 million in Apple to save it from going bankrupt.

Pfizer’s Lipitor has been reducing cholesterol since 1997.

Purell was launched as a product for consumers. It had been used by healthcare workers since 1988.

In Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, a pot-bellied pig named Lulu saved her owner, having a heart attack. Lulu heard the owner’s cries of pain then forced her way out of the yard and played dead on the road. Lulu successfully stopped a car and guided help to the owner, she survived.

The “purple paint law” became official in Texas on September 1, 1997. It’s a warning signified by painting fence posts purple that trespassers can be held criminally liable for entering the property without the express permission of the owner.

On April Fools Day 1997, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak and Jeopardy host Alex Trebek swapped shows for the day.

Mr. Fred Rogers, when receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1997 Daytime Emmys, asked his audience to take “ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are.” People cried.

Katrina and the Waves, the band best known for the lone hit, Walking on Sunshine in 1985, won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997.

White Town’s 1997 hit Your Woman was a direct sample of Al Bowlley’s 1932 recording My Woman.

LeAnn Rimes was the youngest person ever to win the ‘Best New Artist’ Grammy.

Metallica’s Better Than You (1997) won the 1998 Grammy for Best Metal Performance. The song was not a single and despite the award, Metallica has never, as of 2019, performed the song live.

Titanic won 11 Oscars.

Martin Scorsese was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997 by the American Film Institute. Since that time he has made Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Hugo, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Irishman.

Toe wrestling is actually a competitive sport. Every year they hold a championship in England. But in 1997 the Olympic Committee turned the sport down on the basis that they just couldn’t decide if it was a winter or a summer sport.

The fans of Philidelphia’s Eagles at Veteran Stadium created enough trouble that the city appointed a Judge to the stadium to hold court, locally known as Eagles Court. It ended when Lincoln Financial Field replaced Veterans Stadium in 2003.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 19907: $1,200,000

Cult Suicide:
Heaven’s Gate was a cult that committed mass suicide in a mansion to “escape” Earth onto a UFO supposedly on the Hale-Bopp Comet in 1997.
NOT a Surprise Announcement:
Ellen DeGeneres admitted that she was gay on her sitcom
Airplane Celebrity Death:
John Denver
Hip Hop Violent Death:
Notorious B.I.G. (gunshot)
Princess Motorcade Death:
Princess Diana was killed in a speeding motorcade crash in the Pont e l’Alma tunnel in Paris, France, some say it was a planned assassination/murder. On September 6, 1997, approximately 2.5 billion people around the world watched Princess Diana’s funeral on TV.
Movie & TV Star Death:
Chris Farley (cocaine and heroin overdose)
Rock Star Death:
Michael Hutchence (accidental?) auto-erotic asphyxiation
Movie Star Death:
Jimmy Stewart, actor and WW II hero, age 89
The Habit:
Watching Titanic at the theater
1st Appearances & 1997’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys and Presents:
Beanie Babies became the must-have toy for Christmas 1997-1999, Teletubby toys, Pokemon, Tamagotchi, Spice Girls Dolls, Repunzel Barbie
Popular and Best-selling Books From 1997:
A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
Airframe by Michael Crichton
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
The Best Laid Plans by Sidney Sheldon
The Buffalo Tree by Adam Rapp
Cat and Mouse by James Patterson
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
Flood Tide by Clive Cussler
The Ghost by Danielle Steel
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Hornet’s Nest by Patricia Cornwell
Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer
The Partner by John Grisham
The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
Plum Island by Nelson DeMille
Pretend You Don’t See Her by Mary Higgins Clark
The Ranch by Danielle Steel
Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz
Special Delivery by Danielle Steel
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Underworld by Don DeLillo
Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
East End Show:
Chicago (Musical) Opened on October 18, 1997, and closed on September 1, 2012
Broadway Show:
The Lion King (Musical) Opened on November 13, 1997
Best Film Oscar Winner:
The English Patient (presented in 1997)
1997 Entries to The National Film Registry:
Ben-Hur (released in 1925)
The Big Sleep (released in 1946)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (released in 1957)
Cops (released in 1922)
Czechoslovakia 1968 (released in 1969)
Grass (released in 1925)
The Great Dictator (released in 1940)
Harold and Maude (released in 1972)
Hindenburg Disaster Newsreel Footage (released in 1937)
How the West Was Won (released in 1962)
The Hustler (released in 1961)
Knute Rockne, All American (released in 1940)
The Life and Death of 9413: a Hollywood Extra (released in 1927)
Little Fugitive (released in 1953)
Mean Streets (released in 1973)
Motion Painting No. 1 (released in 1947)
The Music Box (released in 1932)
The Naked Spur (released in 1953)
Rear Window (released in 1954)
Republic Steel Strike Riot Newsreel Footage (released in 1937)
Return of the Secaucus 7 (released in 1980)
The Thin Man (released in 1934)
Tulips Shall Grow (released in 1942)
West Side Story (released in 1961)
Wings (released in 1927)
The Big Movies: (according to boxofficemojo)
1. Titanic
2. Men In Black
3. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
4. Liar Liar
5. Air Force One
6. As Good As It Gets
7. Good Will Hunting
8. Star Wars (Special Edition)
9. My Best Friend’s Wedding
10 Tomorrow Never Dies
11. Face/Off
1997 Most Popular TV Shows:
1. Seinfeld (NBC)
2. E.R. (NBC)
3. Veronica’s Closet (NBC)
4. Friends (NBC)
5. Touched By An Angel (CBS)
6. 60 Minutes (CBS)
7. Union Square (NBC)
8. Frasier (NBC)
9. Home Improvement (ABC)
10. Just Shoot Me (NBC)

1997 Billboard Number One Songs:
December 7, 1996 – February 21, 1997:
Un-Break My Heart – Toni Braxton

February 22May 21:
Wannabe – Spice Girls

March 22May 2:
Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down – Puff Daddy and Mase

May 3May 23:
Hypnotize – The Notorious B.I.G.

May 24 – June 13:
MMMBop – Hanson

June 14August 30:
I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy/Faith Evans/112

August 30 – September 12:
Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems – The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Puff Daddy and Mase

September 13 – October 3:
Honey – Mariah Carey

October 4October 10:
4 Seasons of Loneliness – Boyz II Men

October 11, 1997 – January 16, 1998:
Candle In The Wind 1997 – Elton John

World Series Champions: Florida Marlins
Superbowl XXXI Champions: Green Bay Packers
NBA Champions: Chicago Bulls
Stanley Cup Champs: Detroit Red Wings
U.S. Open Golf Ernie Ells
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Patrick Rafter/Martina Hingis
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Pete Sampras/Martina Hingis
NCAA Football Champions: Michigan & Nebraska
NCAA Basketball Champions: Arizona
Kentucky Derby: Silver Charm