P-Mag Nostalgia Project: 1997 with Liza

Welcome to 1997. This was the year of the Spice Girls, of Titanic, of Daria, and of Dolly the sheep. We lost Princess Diana, Biggie, and Michael Hutchence. We got our first female Secretary of State and sent a rover to Mars. It was quite a year, my friends.

Persephone Magazine Nostalgia project banner for 1997

Notable News Events

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  • January 20: Bill Clinton is inaugurated for a second time
  • January 23: Madeleine Albright is sworn in as the first female Secretary of State
  • February 22: Scottish scientists announce the successful cloning of Dolly the sheep, who was born the previous year
  • March 6: Picasso’s Tete de Femme is stolen, and recovered a week later
  • March 26: The Heaven’s Gate cult commits mass suicide following the Hale-Bopp comit coming its closest to Earth
  • May 11: IBM’s Deep Blue computer defeats world chess champion Garry Kasparov
  • May 16: President Clinton issues a formal apology to the victims of the Tuskegee experiments
  • June 2: Timothy McVeigh is convicted for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing; he is sentenced to death June 13
  • June 26: Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone released in the UK; the US version will be released in 1998
  • June 28: Mike Tyson is disqualified for biting a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear off during a title fight
  • July 10: DNA analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton supports the “out of Africa” theory
  • August 1: Steve Jobs returns to Apple
  • September 6: The funeral is held for Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash August 31
  • September 15: The domain name for Google is registered
  • October 18: Liz Heaston of the Willamette Bearcats becomes the first woman to play and score points during a college football game when she kicks an extra point in a game against the Linfield Wildcats
  • November 19: The McCaughey septuplets are born alive


TV shows that debuted in 1997

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  • King of the Hill
  • South Park
  • Antiques Roadshow
  • Daria
  • Just Shoot Me
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • The Practice
  • Johnny Bravo
  • Win Ben Stein’s Money
  • Behind the Music
  • Ally McBeal
  • Pepper Ann
  • Dharma & Greg
  • Veronica’s Closet
  • In addition, Rugrats returned to the air after having been canceled in 1994


TV shows that ended in 1997:

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  • Martin
  • Coach
  • Roseanne (though, really, let’s pretend that last season didn’t happen)
  • Married…With Children
  • Beavis and Butthead
  • Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper


What the Kids Were Listening To (top 5 hits)

Puff Daddy/Faith Evans/112 – “I’ll Be Missing You”

Elton John – “Candle in the Wind ’97”

Aqua – “Barbie Girl”

No Doubt – “Don’t Speak”
(note: this is my karaoke jam)

Hanson – “MMMBop”
(Haters to the left, please.)

Other Musical Hits
Because the music of 1997 is so awesome, I present a handful of other top singles of the year.

Spice Girls – “Wannabe”

Meredith Brooks – “Bitch”

The Verve – “Bittersweet Symphony”

Blink 182 – “Dammit”

Foo Fighters – “Everlong”

Backstreet Boys – “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”

Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “The Impression That I Get”

Chumbawamba – “Tubthumping”


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  • “3 A.M.” ““ Matchbox Twenty
  • “Gone Away” ““ The Offspring
  • “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” ““ Green Day
  • “Hypnotize” ““ The Notorious B.I.G.
  • “I Do” ““ Lisa Loeb
  • “I Don’t Want to Wait” – Paula Cole
  • “I Want You” – Savage Garden
  • “Lovefool” – The Cardigans
  • “Men in Black” – Will Smith
  • “Monkey Wrench” ““ Foo Fighters
  • “My Heart Will Go On” ““ Celine Dion
  • “Mo Money Mo Problems” ““ The Notorious B.I.G
  • “One Headlight” ““ The Wallflowers
  • “Push” ““ Matchbox Twenty
  • “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” ““ Backstreet Boys
  • “Song 2” ““ Blur
  • “Spice Up Your Life” – Spice Girls
  • “Step by Step” ““ Whitney Houston
  • “Sunny Came Home” ““ Shawn Colvin
  • “Tearin’ Up My Heart” – ‘N Sync
  • “Truly Madly Deeply” ““ Savage Garden
  • “Walkin’ on the Sun” ““ Smash Mouth
  • “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” – Paula Cole
  • “Where’s the Love” – Hanson
  • “Who Do You Think You Are” – Spice Girls
  • “You Make Me Wanna…” – Usher
  • “You Were Meant for Me” ““ Jewel


Top 10 movies

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  1. Titanic
  2. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
  3. Men in Black
  4. Tomorrow Never Dies
  5. Air Force One
  6. As Good As It Gets
  7. Liar Liar
  8. My Best Friend’s Wedding
  9. The Fifth Element
  10. The Full Monty


Other Notable Movies: Amistad, Austin Powers, Ma Vie En Rose, Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, L.A. Confidential, Jackie Brown, Kiss the Girls, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Ice Storm, Con Air, Boogie Nights, Ulee’s Gold, In & Out

Want to Feel Old?

Rebecca Black and Kylie Jenner were both born in 1997


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  • Lady Diana Spencer and Dodi Al-Fayed
  • The Notorious B.I.G.
  • Gianni Versace
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Jacques Cousteau
  • Jeff Buckley
  • William S. Burroughs
  • Mother Teresa
  • Roy Lichtenstein
  • Michael Hutchence (INXS)
  • Chris Farley
  • Red Skelton


Notable video game releases

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  • The Nintendo 64 was released in the US the previous year, however it did not come out in Europe or Australia until 1997.
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Tekken 3
  • GoldenEye 007
  • Grand Theft Auto


By [E] Liza

PhD student. Knitter. Brooklynite. Long-distance dog mom. Reluctant cat lady. Majestic unicorn whose hair changes color with the wind.

11 replies on “P-Mag Nostalgia Project: 1997 with Liza”

Hold please, dance party. For the next three hours. :P This was the year I turned 11, and I loved almost all of these. It was when I actually started developing a taste in music, and of course I was drawn to the pop of the day. I’m jamming MmmBop right now. Yay for this!

So much good music! 1997 was the year I graduated sixth grade at a private Catholic elementary school and started at the public junior high school. 1997-1999 were very good years, which I know is really not the norm. All of these songs really take me back. (Also, is it just me, or are they all still awesome?)

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