It’s almost hard to believe that 1997 was two decades ago! I mean, it really doesn’t feel like it was that long ago that Julia Roberts was Dermot Mulroney’s “best man” in My Best Friend’s Wedding or that J.K. Rowling debuted Harry Potter. Feeling old yet? 1997 was an eventful year so there are a lot of things turning the big 2-0 this year. Join me in taking a trip down memory lane with 20 things that will be celebrating a twentieth anniversary this year.
1) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
On June 26, 1997 J.K. Rowling made her debut with the iconic Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. What started out as a children’s literature book turned into a series of 7 novels that defined a generation.
The award-winning film about the infamous shipwreck was released on December 19 and made Leonardo DiCaprio and his co-star Kate Winslet household names.
3) Spiceworld (Album)
The Spice Girls made ‘girl power’ even cooler with their second album release on November 3rd. This gem of an album gave us some sweet guilty pleasures including “Spice Up Your Life” and “Stop.”
4) Phish Food by Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s introduced Phish Food, a chocolate ice cream with gooey marshmallow swirls, caramel swirls & fudge fish, on March 18. The ice cream experts collaborated with jam band Phish to create this flavor. They also held a special one-off shoe and ice cream bash in Vermont to celebrate the launch. You can even download the show’s EP here
5) Men In Black
It will be 20 years this July 2nd that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones joined forces to protect the earth from aliens. The movie still holds the record for the highest-grossing action buddy film ever! Also I can’t be the only one that thinks that for a late 90s movie, the CGI effects were out of this world, right?
Disney’s Hercules released on June 27, 1997 and I personally think it has one of the best soundtracks ever, it’s the gospel truth.
7) Princess Diana’s Death
Unfortunately, the world lost a gem when Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.
8) Surge Soda
Coca Cola’s citrus-flavoured soda, Surge, was released on February 7 , 1997 to compete with Pepsi’s Mountain Dew. Although production temporarily ended in 2003, fans urged Coca Cola to re-release the soft drink in 2014. Surge can now be purchased on Amazon and in select stores.
9) Maisie Williams
Maisie Williams known for her role as Arya Stark on Game of Thrones is celebrating a big birthday on April 15.
10) Lost World: Jurassic Park
The second installment in the Jurassic Park series was released on May 19 and had the biggest opening weekend at the time. It went on to become the second highest-grossing movie of that year.
11) Barbie Girl
Whether you hate it or love it, you can’t deny that Aqua’s Barbie Girl is pop perfection. The bubblegum pop hit was released on May 14, 1997 and 20 years later, it still is one of the catchiest songs out there.
The animated MTV series based on a smart but cynical teenager named Daria Morgendorffer premiered on March 3, 1997.
13) Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield
This list wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t include one of the most talked about events of ’97: Mike Tyson taking a bite out of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a boxing match in Las Vegas on June 28th.
14) Ellen DeGeneres Coming Out
Ellen DeGeneres made headlines when she bravely came out as gay on the April cover of TIME Magazine.
15) My Best Friend’s Wedding
“Crème Brulee can never be Jell-O” is just one of the many quotes from one of the best Rom-Com movies of all time, My Best Friend’s Wedding. The movie was released on June 20 and stars the iconic Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Dermot Mulroney.
Hanson’s popular hit was released on April 15, 1997 and believe it or not the lyrics are more than just a mashup of words that sound fun at karaoke, they’re actually pretty deep!
17) Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Joss Whedon’s hit show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired its pilot on March 10, 1997 starring a badass female heroine played by Sarah Michelle Gellar.
The British pre-school children’s TV show Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po first popped up on our screens in March 1997.
Based on the life of slain Tejano star, Selena Quintanilla, this movie is one of my favourite biopics ever. Selena, starring Jennifer Lopez was released on March 21, 1997.
20) Backstreet’s Back
The boy band’s second studio album was released on August 11, 1997 and nothing has been the same since. The album also featured hot hits like Everybody, As Long as You Love Me and All I Have to Give.