1990s: The Decade of Transition

Jacky Dickman

Presidents and World Leaders

George H. W. Bush was President from 1989 to 1993. His great Presidential success was his handling of Saddam Hussein's invasion on Kuwait.

Bill Clinton was President from 1993 to 2000. His first years were unsuccessful. His biggest accomplishment, though, was leading the nation to a period of economic prosperity.

Saddam Hussein was the Iraq President during the 1990s. Hussein attacked Iraq's wealthy neighbor, Kuwait. He justified this by claiming land in Kuwait was part of Iraq

Laws and Supreme Court Decisions

The disability law was passed in 1990. This law helped settle disputes in a disability law suit. The result of this law was that it allowed many employees to keep their jobs. The Civil Rights Act was passed on November 21, 1991. This law changed statues enforced by the EEOC. These two laws created a more equal business world in the United States and created more opportunities for Americans.

Some of the most important Supreme Court decisions during the 1990s were St. Mary's Honor Center vs. Hicks and Harris vs. Forklift Systems, Inc.. The St. Mary's Honor Center vs. Hicks disputed Hicks being fired as a correctional officer. He accused the institute of racial discrimination because of this. Harris vs. Forklift Systems, Inc. involved sexual harassment disputes. This supreme court decision paved the way for a safer work environment for women.

Wars and National Defense

The Persian Gulf War began in August of 1990 and ended in February of 1991. Saddam Hussein complained to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia about how their oil productions were too powerful. Because Iraq invaded Kuwait in August, President Bush declared to invade Iraq because Kuwait was a major supplier of US oil. When air forces drove Iraqi forces into Kuwait, it became known as "Operation Desert Storm." The war ended on February 28, 1991 when President Bush called a ceasefire. Another war that occurred during part of the 1990s was the Cold War. It ended in 1992, and Soviet Union fell into power. Lastly, a threat to our national defense occurred when a bomb was set off in the parking garage of the World Trade Center. It occurred in 1993 and caused six people to die and more than one-thousand to be injured.

"A line has been drawn in the sand...Withdraw from Kuwait unconditionally and immediately, or face the terrible consequences." --George H.W. Bush.


CDs became very popular during this time period, and the first MP3 player came out. This time period was the transition into a technological era. It was the start of it all. Cell phones became more popular to keep in touch with others. The digital answering machine was invented, and cars were being installed with automatic doors and windows.


The 1990s were the transition era for movies as well. Movies began to be more family-orientated. Some movies that were newly released in the 90s were Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars, Aladdin, and Forest Gump. The 1990s was also a time of new music. Some popular singers during this time were Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Madonna, and 2Pac.


One of the famous athletes during the 1990s was Michael Jordan. He was an African American basketball player, along with Magic Johnson who was also a famous African American basketball player. Tiger Woods was an African American golfer; Wayne Gretzky was a famous hockey player. Lastly, Deion Sanders was a famous football player in the 1990s. All of these athletes made a true impact on sports in the future. Major sporting events in the 1990s were the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and the World Series. Sports were a great form of entertainment for those living in the 1990s.

Cost of Living

Items prices in the 1990s were very similar to today's prices. Items in the 1990s were cheaper, yet people were payed less then, too. Minimum wage inthe 1990s was around $3.00 in the beginning and around $5.00 in the end. For example, gas costed $1.34, milk costed $1.90, and bread costed $0.70.


In the 1990's, men wore baggy flannel shirts, denim, loafers, and aloha shirts. Women wore trousers with elastic boot-straps, denim shirts, black leather jackets, cowboy boots, bike shorts, and scrunchies. Neon colors were also popular in the 1990s.

Common hairstyles included the bowl cut for men. Women began coloring their hair and began to wear it straight. Another common hairstyle was "Rachels Haircut" based off Rachel from "Friends."

The average salary during this decade was from $21,000 to $36,000. Many people worked as manufacturers or technicians. Some jobs were in agriculture or sales occupations. Teenagers during this time occupied themselves by hunting, shopping, playing fast pitch softball, canoeing, and playing sports. They did several things we do now, it just meant more back then.

Famous People

Some famous people in the 1990s included Nelson Mandela, Saddam Hussein, and Bill Clinton. Nelson Mandela was one of the most important peace leaders in history. He was elected President of South Africa in 1994. Saddam Hussein was accused of stealing oil from Iraq; he invaded Kuwait. Bill Clinton, along with George H. W. Bush, was a President of the United States during this time period. A famous actor during this time period was Jennifer Anniston because of her performance on "Friends."