Many would say that 1995 was the most important year regarding pop culture. While this is a contestable point, there’s no denying that some very iconic pop culture moments occurred right in the middle of the 90s decade. We may better understand this by having an overlook of the whole year:
- 1995 was a year of adaptation and giving old books/movies/characters a new spin.
- ‘Casper’ was made into a movie, but the friendly ghost was also shown in his real-life version. This prompted an additional interest in the teen and preteen demographic
- “A Goofy Movie’ took Mickey Mouse’s sidekick and gave him his own family with a heartwarming story.,
- ‘Jumanji’ was released, making the events of the book come to life with some changes.
- There was a remake of ‘Sabrina: the Teenage Witch’.
- Other celebrations of franchises included ‘James Bond: Goldeneye’ and ‘Batman Forever’.
- This was also a year of blockbusters like ‘Apollo 13’, ‘Braveheart’, ‘Ro Roy’, etc.
- The casting of Pierce Brosnan as the new James Bond possibly helped to rekindle a then-dwindling franchise.
- Movies like ‘Clueless’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ gave a new look at Jane Austen to modern audiences. This rekindled many people’s interest in the author’s brands of independent and charming heroines.
- The first-ever completely computer-generated film, ‘Toy Story’ was released. This was the first feature-length film by Pixar. The film followed the story of a young boy’s toys and has now spawned a whole franchise. The legacy includes four movies and a slew of merchandise.
- A character in the movie named “Mr. Potato Head” is based on a popular toy line produced by Playskool, a subsidiary of Hasbro. For more information on the origins of Playskool and Mr. Potato Head, read our article titled “Learn About Playskool the Pop Culture Toy Icon.”
- Brad Pitt gained the title of the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ in People Magazine for the first time. He also got his first magazine cover, sporting his long locks from ‘Legends of the Fall’.
- Braveheart was one of the first movies to be released that summer, with Mel Gibson’s efforts helping the film to win the Best Picture Award.
- It was also in 1995 when the popular Batman animated TV show finished airing. It first aired in 1992, and it quickly became one of the most iconic animated TV shows in the 90s. To know more, you can read our guide on The Best 90s TV Shows with Popular Toy Lines.
- Batman Forever introduced its audiences to the weird version of Gotham City and Batman himself. However, the movie still managed to gross over $336 million.
- Disney also released the classic animated movie ‘Pocahontas’. Unfortunately, the claims of historical accuracy were unfounded. The film itself was still a massive hit, with the song by Vanessa Williams becoming a number one hit single. The total earnings for the movie came to about $346 million.
- ‘Clueless’ was released in July, propelling Alicia Silverstone to ‘It’ girl status. The movie increased the occurrence of the word ‘Whatever’ in everyday language across the nation.
- ‘Babe’ was in theaters on August 4th, turning a profit of $250 million and also got nominated for a Best Picture Award.
- “Dangerous Minds’ launched on August 11th and featured a tough Michelle Pfeiffer. This was the movie behind the hit ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ by Coolio.
- Neil Young performed with Pearl Jam in concert on August 18. The location was Salzburg, Austria. The open-air event was attended by 15,000 people.
- Several classic songs were trending that summer, including ‘Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?’ by Bryan Adams. This song spent about four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 list.
- ‘Waterfalls’ by TLC managed to last about seven weeks in the top spot on the music charts. Another song at the top was ‘Kiss From a Rose’ by Seal. This song also had a retro-styled music video that followed a cautionary tale of AIDS and gang violence. It went on to win the then-coveted Moonman Video of the Year award.
- Everyone knew the lyrics to Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’.
- Alanis Morissette released her new album and her new persona in the summer of 1995.
- ‘History’, the first double album by Michael Jackson, was released on June 20th.
- Jerry Garcia, the guitarist for the ‘Grateful Dead’, passed away in early August. This brought an end to several decades of revisiting the spirit of the ’60s.
- The catchy tune ‘The Macarena’ was released in mid-August, 1005. This was a dance tune that’s probably familiar with everyone today. The ‘Macarena’ gained viral status, inspiring partygoers with its easy dance steps. These steps soon became the usual practice at most parties.
- ER, Seinfeld, and Friends were the most popular TV shows
- The two most-watched shows of the year were Seinfeld (seventh season) and Friends (second season). The superhit medical drama ‘ER’, however, turned out to be the highest-rated show of the whole year.
- There was a celebrity match played in the US Open. The event was to raise funds dedicated to the Arthur Ashe AIDS Challenge. The likes of Monica Seles and Bill Cosby were among the participants.
- The show ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ premiered at the end of summer.
- The televised trial of O. J. Simpson was sensationalized and watched closely by millions of people. It may have triggered a national obsession with reality TV. The trial lasted for around eight months, and the final decision was watched live by over 150 million viewers. Eventually, O. J. Simpson was declared innocent.
- Most people didn’t follow fashion designers blindly in 1995. While flamboyant and extravagant clothes might make an appearance on special occasions like weddings or major parties, the usual choices were casual, comfortable clothes.
- The humble yet classic T-shirt was seen everywhere except for formal settings (sometimes even then).
- The hemline wasn’t too set in its ways. Women would don long skirts, miniskirts, and anything in between.
- There wasn’t much interest in provocative dressing; the shear and fitting designs were traded in for freeing, comfy cloth items.
- High heels were also going out of style, at least when it came to everyday wear. Even formal or semi-formal events wouldn’t make high heels absolutely necessary.
- However, some females did want to accentuate their curves and used the push-up bra to do so.
- High fashion didn’t catch the interest of the public anymore, save a certain section of the masses.
- Designers were still spending a lot on their fashion shows and supermodels. However, their fashions were becoming out of reach for the average person; both financially and aesthetically. Fashion shows were fast becoming more of a novelty and entertainment rather than a way to choose your wardrobe.
- Expensive high-end designer labels were reserved for the elite, with brands like ‘The Gap’ filling in the blanks. If you want to cut clothing costs even more, places like Caldor, K-Mart, and even Wal-Mart were an acceptable option.
- ‘Cross-shopping’ was a great way to enhance your wardrobe and still save a bit of money. This meant that people would get a couple of items from an upscale shop and then pair these up with inexpensive options.
- Designers would also offer some lower-priced items and made a tidy profit from this practice. One example is Geoffrey Beene, who made relatively affordable styles for both genres and made them available in around 135 malls.
- Dressing for success or power dressing was slowly losing its hold. Many companies started having ;casual Fridays, where employees could wear jeans and other comfortable options to their workplace. This practice was found to have a positive effect on workplace morale, motivation, and productivity levels.
- Designers such as Donna Karen, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein were still trying to put their unique twist on old favorites like sportswear and leisurewear.
- Michael Jordan made his comeback to the National Basketball Association. This ended his early retirement. He rejoined his former team, the Chicago Bulls. After the relaunching of his career, he helped the team in winning three NBA Finals in 1998, 1997, and 1996. Jordan retired again in 2003.
- Tiger Woods, aged 19, won the 1995 U.S. Amateur Championship tournament. This event was held in Newport, Rhode Island, in the Newport Country Club.
- The Space Shuttle Atlantis docked at the Russian Mir Space Station. This was an iconic moment in the history of space travel. It was a symbolic recognition of the cooperation between the United States and Russia.
- The Atlantis mission also took Norm Thagard, a U.S. astronaut, back to Earth at the end of his record-setting four-month stay on the Mir station.
- The online shopping and online website EBay was launched. This helped people to purchase and sell their goods and services worldwide. The original name for this site was AuctionWeb and the name of the founder was Pierre Omidyar (a computer programmer).
- The first-ever item sold on AuctionWeb was a broken laser pointer.
- The optical disc storage media format known as the DVD was also announced.
- Michael Jackson was making use of technology to get in touch with his fans around the world. His first chat online was on August 17, 1995, at the Museum of Television and Radio. The musician answered questions through three types of online services.
- The Space Shuttle Endeavour was a launch scrub on August 31. This was called due to one of the auxiliary power units apparently failing during the testing phase. The launch had already seen a delay of three weeks due to repair to the solid rocket motors. Finally, September 7th was the day that the shuttle finally launched.
- Microsoft released its Windows ’95 software, with the first store selling the packages right on the dot at midnight, August 24. Around 40 million copies of this software were sold within the first year after its release.
- This new version of Bill Gates’ operating system introduced several new features to personal computer users. It was the first version to feature long file names, the recycle bin, and task vars. The instructional video starred none other than Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston.
- The Galileo spacecraft, launched by NASA, arrived at Jupiter in December 1995. This was an unmanned spacecraft.
- The O.J. trial was still underway, with Judge Lance examining the evidence at hand. Dr. Henry Lee, the top forensic expert on the case, testified that he noticed something out of order with the police handling regarding some bloodstain evidence. This piece of evidence was a critical one during the trial.
- The Midwestern United States area was struck by an unparalleled heat wave, resulting in temperatures exceeding 104 degrees Fahrenheit for five consecutive days. The heat caused the death of more than 3,000 people. 750 perished in just Chicago, Illinois.
- A car bomb devastated the Oklahoma City Federal Building in April. This was after the NATO bombing campaign against the Serb artillery. The perpetrators also set the bomb to coincide with the Waco siege anniversary.
- Around 170 countries decided to extend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in New York City. This extension was meant to stay in effect without any conditions and indefinitely.
- The verdict of the O. J Simpson trial resulted in a lot of people stopping their work for some time. This pause cost several American companies a sizable loss, which is estimated at about $480 million.
- The pumpkin spice latte wasn’t around yet, but Starbucks did release the frozen Frappuccino. This would go on to be the main drink of choice for anyone in need of a caffeine fix.
- The Pogs craze was sweeping the nation. They didn’t look lit much, but the small collectible discs were highly popular among young kids and preteens. The distraction was so great that the toy was eventually banned in many schools.
- Amazon sold its very first book this year. This was the humble beginning of the giant organization. The book was ‘Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought’ by Douglas Hofstadter.
- Highlights of the Major Pop Culture Trends of the 1990s
- Pop Culture in Review for the Year 1990
- Pop Culture in Review for the Year 1991
- Pop Culture in Review for the Year 1992
- Pop Culture In Review for the Year 1993
- Pop Culture In Review for the Year 1994
- Pop Culture in Review for the Year 1996
- Pop Culture in Review for the Year 1997
- Pop Culture in Review for the Year 1998
- Pop Culture in Review for the Year 1999