The 1990s Digital Timeline

By: Taylor O'Connell

Saddam Hussein

1979- 2003

Saddam Hussein was president of Iraq for more than two decades and is seen as a figurehead of the country's military conflicts with Iran and the United States. In 1993, when Iraqi forces violated a no-fly zone imposed by the United Nations, the United States launched a damaging missile attack on Baghdad. In 1998, further violations of the no-fly zones and Iraq's alleged continuation of its weapons programs led to further missile strikes on Iraq, which would occur intermittently until February 2001. Members of the Bush administration had suspected that the Hussein government had a relationship with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda organization. President Bush put Iraq in his "Axis of Evil" along with Iran and North Korea. Bush suspected that these countries were supporting terrorism and were making weapons for war.
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Fall of the Soviet Union

December 25, 1991

On December 25, 1991, the Soviet flag flew over the Kremlin in Moscow for the last time. A few days earlier, representatives from 11 Soviet republics: Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, met in the Kazakh and announced that they would no longer be part of the Soviet Union. Instead, they stated they would establish a Commonwealth of Independent States. Because the three Baltic republics had already declared their independence from the USSR, only one of its 15 republics, Georgia, remained. The once-mighty Soviet Union had fallen. However, Gorbachev was disappointed in the dissolution of his nation and resigned from his job on December 25.

27 Amendment

May 7, 1992

The Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any law that increases or decreases the salary of members of Congress from taking effect until the start of the next set of terms of office for Representatives. It is the most recent amendment. It was submitted by Congress to the states for ratification on September 25, 1789. The amendment became part of the United States Constitution on May 7, 1992.
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Presidential Election of 1992

November 3, 1992

The United States presidential election of 1992 was the 52nd quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 3, 1992. There were three major candidates: Republican President George H. W. Bush; Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, and Independent Texas businessman Ross Perot. Clinton won a plurality in the popular vote, and a wide Electoral College margin. This is the most recent election in which an incumbent president was defeated.

Brady Bill

November 30, 1993

During a White House ceremony attended by James S. Brady, President Bill Clinton signs the Brady handgun-control bill into law. The law requires a prospective handgun buyer to wait five business days while the authorities check on his or her background, during which time the sale is approved or prohibited based on an established set of criteria. The bill was named after James Brady, who served as press secretary for President Ronald Reagan. The man who was shot in the head during the attempt to kill President Reagan. He was momentarily pronounced dead at the hospital but survived and began an impressive recovery from his debilitating brain injury.
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January 1, 1994

NAFTA, a trade pact between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, eliminated virtually all tariffs and trade restrictions between the three nations. The passage of NAFTA was one of Clinton’s first major victories as the first Democratic president in 12 years–though the movement for free trade in North America had begun as a Republican initiative.The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Clinton said he hoped the agreement would encourage other nations to work toward a broader world-trade pact.
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Newt Gingrich


Newton Gingrich served as the 50th person to be Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. Being a co-author and architect of the "Contract with America", Gingrich was a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional election. In 1995, his role in ending the four-decades-long Democratic majority in the House". While he was House speaker, the House enacted welfare reform, passed a capital gains tax cut in 1997, and in 1998 passed the first balanced budget since 1969. The poor showing by Republicans in the 1998 Congressional elections, a reprimand from the House for Gingrich's ethics violation, and pressure from Republican colleagues caused Gingrich's resignation from the speaker ship on November 6, 1998, followed by his outright resignation from the House on January 3, 1999.
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Impeachment of President Clinton

December 19, 1998

In November 1995, Clinton began an affair with Monica Lewinsky, a 21-year-old unpaid intern. Over the course of a year and a half, the president and Lewinsky had nearly a dozen sexual encounters in the White House. In April 1996, Lewinsky was transferred to the Pentagon. That summer, she told Pentagon co-worker Linda Tripp about her sexual relationship with the president. In 1997, Tripp began secretly to record conversations with Lewinsky, in which Lewinsky gave Tripp details about the affair. In December, Lawyer Paula Jones was suing President Clinton for sexual harassment. She asked Lewinsky about what happened between her and the President. In January 1998, under the recommendation of the president, Lewinsky filed an affidavit in which she denied ever having had a sexual relationship with him. Five days later, Tripp contacted the Whitewater independent counsel, to talk about Lewinsky and the tapes she made of their conversations. Tripp, wired by FBI agents working with Starr, met with Lewinsky again, and on January 16, Lewinsky was taken by FBI agents and U.S. attorneys to a hotel room to be questioned and offered immunity if she cooperated with the prosecution. A few days later the story came out and Clinton publicly denied it, saying, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.” After nearly 14 hours of debate, the House of Representatives approves two articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, charging him with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice. Clinton, the second president in American history to be impeached, vowed to finish his term.

Operation Dessert Storm


The first major foreign crisis for the United States after the end of the Cold War presented itself in August 1990. Saddam Hussein, ordered his army across the border into Kuwait. The United States had provided military aid to Iraq during their eight-year war with Iran, giving them the fourth largest army in the world. Kuwait was a major supplier of oil to the United States. The Iraqi takeover posed an immediate threat to neighboring Saudi Arabia, another major exporter of oil. If Saudi Arabia fell to Saddam, Iraq would control one-fifth of the world's oil supply. President Bush knew that it was not a good idea. On February 24, the ground war began. Although the bombing lasted for weeks, American ground troops declared Kuwait liberated just 100 hours after the ground attack was initiated. American foot soldiers moved through Kuwait and entered southern Iraq. This posed a dilemma for the United States. The military objectives were complete, but Saddam was still ruling Iraq from Baghdad. It was a concern that if Saddam's regime were toppled, the entire nation could disintegrate into a civil war. Soon Iraq agreed to terms for a ceasefire, and the conflict subsided.

George W. Bush Administration

2001- 2009

George Bush at the start of his presidency took the U.S. out of the Anti- Ballistic Missile Crisis. He wanted the country to be able to protect themselves if there were to ever have a future terrorist attack. He wanted too as a president, become closer to the Latina countries. When Bush went to Europe in 2001, he declined the Kyoto Protocol which was intended to decrease carbon dioxide emissions that lead to global warming. Bush thought that it would have an extremely negative impact on the countries economy and was "unfair and ineffective."