EconomicsUS GDP (1998 dollars): $6,244.40 billion
Federal spending: $1380.86 billion
Federal debt: $4002.1 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $30,636
Consumer Price Index: 140.3
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.29
- Compact discs surpass cassette tapes as the preferred medium for recorded music.
- There are 900 million television sets in use around the world; 201 million are in the United States.
- Woody Allen and Mia Farrow engage in a very public and nasty custody battle over their three children. Allen's affair with Farrow's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, sparked the feud.
- Johnny Carson hosts The Tonight Show for the last time. He had ruled late-night television for 20 years.
- Unforgiven, The Crying Game, Howards End, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Player
- Robert Olen Butler, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
- Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
- Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger
A text-based Web browser is made available to the public (Jan.); within a few years, millions of people become regular users of the World Wide Web. Background: Computers and Internet