US GDP (1998 dollars): $5,743.80 billion
Federal spending: $1252.52 billion
Federal debt: $3206.6 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $29,943
Consumer Price Index: 130.7
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.25
- The X rating is replaced by NC-17 (no children under 17).
- Ninety-nine percent of U.S. households have at least one radio, with the average owning five.
- The Simpsons debuts on Fox and becomes an instant hit.
- Euro dance band Milli Vanilli admits to lip-synching hits such as "Girl You Know Its True," and has its Grammy award revoked.
- Seinfeld debuts on NBC.
- Entertainment Weekly hits newsstands.
Dances with Wolves, GoodFellas, Henry and June, Reversal of Fortune
- Robert Bly, Iron John
- A.S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance
- Alice Munro, Friend of My Youth
- John Updike, Rabbit at Rest
- The Hubble Space Telescope is launched (Apr. 25).
- President Bush signs the Clean Air Act, mandating a variety of pollution-reducing changes in the automobile and fuel industries. Background: Environment & Nature
- The FDA approves use of the surgically-implanted contraceptive Norplant. Background: Birth & Contraception