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20-years-ago

It was 20 years ago

Back in March 1997 Tony Blair was starting to campaign for the May general election. The Sun came out in his favour. In the USA President Bill Clinton banned federal funding of human cloning research.
The tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand opened, the Brazilian Senate allowed women to wear slacks (yes, slacks!). Thousands of people in the USA reported the 'Phoenix Lights', a purported UFO sighting in Arizona. Although still a hotly contested event the U.S. Air Force did admit to dropping flares.

And did you know:

  • Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po, AKA the Teletubbies first frolicked on our screens
  • Pokemon premiered in Tokyo
  • Channel 5 TV opened
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered in the USA
  • Paul McCartney was knighted by the Queen
  • The Spice Girls, Peter Andre, Backstreet Boys, Sash, Madonna, Boyzone and the Pet Shop Boys featured in the UK top 10
  • Thomas the Tank Engine author, The Reverend W Audrey, died aged 85. He spent his early years living close to the Great Western's famous Box Tunnel.

In the tech and science worlds:

  • Dolly the sheep, the world's first successfully cloned mammal, was making headlines
  • A partial lunar eclipse took place, the first of two lunar eclipses in 1997; a total lunar eclipse occurred in September
  • IBM was working on Big Blue in preparation for a May match with chess champion Garry Kasparov
  • And as a forerunner of Internet things to come, the dancing baby first became a phenomenon. Look it up!
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