What Was Happening In Summer Of 1996

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This is what summer looked like 25 years ago.

1.

Friends wrapped up its second season with “The One With Barry and Mindy’s Wedding”:


Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

The show was part of NBC’s Must-See TV lineup, alongside The Single Guy, Caroline in the City, and Seinfeld.

2.

Bob Barker was still the host of The Price is Right — which celebrated its 25th anniversary with a big primetime special:


3.

Watching Nick at Nite meant Block Party Summer and Lucy Tuesdays:

4.

The Rosie O’Donnell Show made its debut and became an instant hit:


Frank Micelotta Archive / Getty Images

5.

Also making its debut that summer was The Daily Show, which was hosted by Craig Kilborn…

6.

…and Kenan & Kel:


Nickelodeon / Courtesy: Everett Collection

7.

If you had the internet, you were most likely using AOL — and, of course, it was dial-up:

8.

And, of course, a movie night at home usually meant going down to Blockbuster and renting a movie:

9.

The Nintendo 64 was released in Japan — but it wouldn’t be released in the US until September:


Yvonne Hemsey / Getty Images

10.

Mariah Carey had one of the biggest songs of the summer with “Always Be My Baby”:

11.

As did the Fugees with their cover of “Killing Me Softly With His Song”:

12.

The Fugees’ album The Score was also one of the biggest-selling albums that summer, as was Nas’s It Was Written:


13.

Primitive Radio Gods had the biggest alt-rock song with “Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand”:

14.

And a little group called the Spice Girls released a new song in July called “Wannabe”:

15.

The 1996 Summer Olympics were in full swing down in Atlanta…


David Taylor / Getty Images

16.

…and Kerri Strug and the Magnificent Seven took home the gold in gymnastics:


Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

Strug landed the vault that helped the team win, despite having a badly injured ankle.

17.

The Chicago Bulls beat the Seattle SuperSonics during Game 6 to win the NBA Finals — with Michael Jordan being named MVP:


Brian Bahr / AFP via Getty Images

18.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially divorced after being separated for nearly four years:


Kent Gavin/Mirrorpix / Getty Image

19.

Tom Cruise had one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer with Mission: Impossible


Paramount

It was also the third-highest-grossing movie of the year.

20.

…and he was also still married to Nicole Kidman:


Vince Bucci / AFP / Getty Images

21.

While Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow were Hollywood’s it couple:


Lawrence Schwartzwald / Getty Images

22.

And Cameron Diaz was Hollywood’s newest it girl after starring in The Mask:


Mikel Roberts / Sygma via Getty Images


Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

24.

The Nutty Professor was also one of the biggest movies of that summer:


Universal Pictures

The film helped launch Eddie Murphy’s comeback.

25.

While Independence Day was the biggest film of the summer — establishing Will Smith as a blockbuster star:


20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection

26.

Speaking of Will, his show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, aired its final episode:

27.

MTV 2 launched and promised to only show music videos:

28.

Tickle Me Elmo hit the shelves in July, and we had NO idea just what we were in for:

29.

And finally, if you attended a wedding, quinceañera, bar/bat mitzvah, sleepover, birthday, and/or backyard party that summer, then you probably danced the “Macarena.”


BMG U.S. Latin

“Macarena” was not only the biggest song of summer, but also the biggest song of the year.

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