The garden of time ... a snapshot of the past century

1900 - 1932

1900 Escalator invented by Charles Seeberger. Paperclip patented by Norwegian Johann Vaaler. Loudspeaker invented by Horace Short. Charlotte Cooper becomes the first woman to win an Olympic gold, for tennis.

1901 Christmas tree lights introduced by Edison General Electric Co. The first facelift is performed by Eugene Hollander in Berlin on a Polish aristocrat. First time getaway car is used by 3 bank robbers in Paris.

1902 The teddy bear is created by a Russian immigrant to the USA, after seeing a newspaper cartoon depicting President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. Automatic vending machine invented. Willis Carrier invents the air conditioner.

1903 Orville Wright launches first powered flight in history, flying Kitty Hawk for 12 seconds - 4 flights were made on 17 December. Earlier that year, Russian physicist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky claimed, with complex mathematical theories that man will one day travel in space and occupy planets. First Tour de France. William Harley and Arthur Davidson launch the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company.

1904 Teabags invented by Thomas Suillivan. The first underwater journey by submarine - from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight. Henry Royce and Charles Rolls start Rolls-Royce.

1905 Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen discovers the magnetic north pole. Albert Einstein publishes "theory of relativity." Sinn Fein founded by printer Arthur Griffith.

1906 William Kellogg invents cornflakes. Lewis Nixon invents sonar. Instant coffee invented by Mr G Washington, an Englishman living in Guatemala. The first Grand Prix is held at Le Mans, France - won by Romanian driver Ferenc Szisz in a Renault. Picasso invents cubism.

1907 Frenchman Paul Cornu designs first helicopter, flying it for a few seconds. First blood transfusion. Leo Baekeland discovers plastic. Colour photography invented by Auguste and Louis Lumiere.

1908 Paper cups launched by the International Paper Co New York. Ford Model T rolls out. Einstein proposes quantum theory. Swiss chemist Jacques Brandenberger invents cellophane. Gideon Bible Company started.

1909 American Robert Peary reaches North Pole. French aviator Louis Bleriot flies across the English Channel in a wooden monoplane tied together with piano strings. Briton George Smith launches the first commercially made colour film.

1910 French physicist George Claude invents neon light. Thomas Edison demonstrates the talking motion picture. Artificial silk stockings made in Germany. Duncan Black and Alonzo Decker found Black & Decker in Baltimore. Mrs John B Dodd starts Father's Day. The Dalai Lama is forced to flee Tibet as Chinese invade Lhasa.

1911 Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who discovered the magnetic north pole, reaches the South Pole. First airmail is carried from London to Berkshire. Republic of China founded. Chevrolet Motor Co founded. First Hollywood studios built. Word "Vitamin" used to describe chemicals necessary to diets.

1912 First crossword puzzle published in New York Journal. Dr Gaston Odin discovers the cancer microbe. Albert Berry makes the first parachute jump from an airplane. First neon advertising sign is displayed in Paris, for Cinzano. First self-service food store opens in California. The Titanic sinks on April, 15. Turkey surrenders to Serbia and Bulgaria, ending the Ottoman period.

1913 Briton Henry Brearly invents stainless steel. Thomas Edison invents the telephone recorder. Georgia Broadwick becomes the first woman to make a parachute jump.

1914 World War I breaks out on 4 August. First aerial dogfight, when Joseph Frantz and Louis Quenault in a Voisin shoot down a German Aviatik. Colour photographic process invented by Eastman Kodak. First traffic lights, installed in front of British House of Commons. Gideon Sundback designs the zip fastener. First commercial airline flies from Tampa to St Petersburg, Florida. First passenger meal served on airplane in flight, from Russia to Ukraine. US President Woodrow Wilson proclaims Mother's Day, a revival of a practice that dates back to the Greek empire.

1915 James Lewis Kraft launches process cheese in Canada. Eugene Sullivan and William Taylor invents Pyrex in New York. Poison gas is used as a weapon in Ypres, Belgium by German forces.

1916 George Jung produces the first fortune cookies, in Los Angeles. Coca-Cola launches its curvaceous bottle, modelled on the cola nut. William Boeing found his aircraft construction company. John D Rockefeller becomes the first billionaire.

1917 BMW founded. Charlie Chaplin signs the first million dollar movie contract. Lenin leads the Russian revolution. British royal family changes name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor. The war tank is introduced, at the Battle of Cambrai. The airplane is used to drop bombs, in Belgium.

1918 US astronomer Harlow Shapley discovers the size and shape of the milky way. Electric food mixer is manufactured by Universal Co. Robert Ripley's strip "Believe it or not!" is published in the New York Globe. Germany surrenders to the Allies on 11 November at Compiegne, France.

1919 The Treaty of Versailles signed 28 June, concluding WWI. Wireless telephone is invented, allowing pilots to talk in-flight. First non-stop flight across the Atlantic made by Briton John Alcock and American Arthur Whitten Brown, from Newfoundland to Ireland. KLM of the Netherlands is the world's first airline company. Physicist Ernest Rutherford discovers a means of splitting the atom.

1920 Electric hand iron goes on sale in London. The tommy-gun is patented by John T Thompson. First ice cream on a stick is sold by Harry Burt at his Good Humour Bar. Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach devises "inkblot test."

1921 Johnson & Johnson launches the band-aid bandage. Avus Autobahn in Berlin is the first motorway. Californian medical student John Larson invents the polygraph (lie detector). Philo Farnsworth realized an idea for TV.

1922 Husband-and-wife team De witt Wallace and Lila Acheson launch Reader's Digest. British Egyptologist Howard Carter discovers the tomb of Tutankamun, pharaoh 1316-1322BC. The snowmobile is built by 15-year old Joseph Bombardier in Quebec. The police car, called a bandit-chaser, is launched in Denver, Colorado, using a Cadilac engine.

1923 Swiss John Harwood invents the self-winding watch. Jacob Schick patents the electric shaver. 16mm home movie camera is launched by Kodak. Frank Epperson invents the popsicle when he leaves his lemonade mix on a windowsill overnight.

1924 First round-the-world flight. First Winter Olympics at Chamonix, Switzerland. Columbia Pictures and MGM founded. Spindryer launched by Kleenex. Caesar Cardini, owner of "Caesar's Palace" in New York invents Caesar salad.

1925 Red double-decker busses enter service in London. In-flight movie offered by German airline. Walter P Chrysler founded vehicle company. Frisbee is invented - by Yale students, using empty plates used to hold pies from the Frisbie Baking Company.

1926 Marion B Skaggs founded Safeway food stores. Scottish engineer John Logie Baird demonstrates a machine that transmits movie pictures using radio technology, calling it a "televisor", based on a 1884 idea by German Paul Nipkow. (But the mechanical TV system is beaten to general use by Philo Farnsworth's design of 1928.)

1927 25-year old Charles Lindbergh flies non-stop from New York to Paris in Spirit of St Louis. The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson, is the first talkie movie. The first words were: "Wait a minute! You ain't heard nothing' yet!" First transatlantic phone call - at $75 for 3 minutes, half the cost of a car.

1928 Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin. Philo Fransworth has a working model for TV. TV sets go on sales in the US for $75. Harry Ramsden opens the first chip shop in Bradford, England. First Bubble Gum, Fleer's Dubble Bubble, goes on sale in the US. JW Horton and WA Morrison invent the quartz crystal clock.

1929 US engineer Paul Galvin invents the car radio. Enzo Ferrari launches his company. Colour television pictures is transmitted in New York. Kelloggs launches Rice Krispies. Popey debuts in the Thimble Theatre strip by Elzie Segar. New York Stock Exchange crash on "Black Thursday" 24 October.

1930 The "differential analyzer", or analog computer, is invented by Vannevar Bush at MIT in Boston. General Electric launches the electric kettle with automatic cut-out. First football World Cup, won by host Uruguay.

1931 Harold Edgerton invents the electronic flash for cameras. Germans Max Knott and Ernst Ruska invents the electron microscope. Chevrolet launches the pickup truck. The American anthem "land of the free and the home of the brave" is adopted.

1932 Worldwide depression hits its peak. Zippo lighter is introduced. Britons John Cockroft and Ernest Walton introduces nuclear energy by demonstrating the split of the atom. British physicist James Chadwick discovers the neutron. Carrier Corp invents air conditioning. Edwin Land develops Polaroid sunglasses.

1933 - 1964

1933 The chocolate chip cookie is invented by Ruth Wakefield. Prohibition end in the US, on 5 February - 1,5 million barrels of beer are drunk that night. Adolf Hitler becomes leader of Germany.

1934 First launderette, the "washeteria" opens in Texas. British engineer Percy Shaw invents the "catseyes" for roads. Charles Darrow invents the Monopoly game. Carl Kaelen launches the cheeseburger at his burger bar in Louisville, Kentucky.

1935 Wallace Carother lead DuPont scientists to invent nylon, calling it "polymer 6.6." Penguin Books are launched by publisher The Bodley Head. The hearing aid is launched. Kreugers launches beer in a can.

1936 Volkswagen Beetle is launched. Billboard magazine publishes the first "hit parade." German Heinrich Focke creates the first successful helicopter, the FA61. King Edward VIII announces his abdication to marry twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson.

1937 An emergency number to the police - 999 - is launched in London. Humphrey Bogart stars in 8 films this year. Golden Gate Bridge opens. Hormel launches tinned processed pork and ham, Spam.

1938 Swiss company Nestle introduces its instant coffee, Nescafe coffee. Supermarket trolleys introduced in Oklahoma. Maiden flight of pressurised airliner, Boeing Stratoliner. Roy Plunkett discovers Teflon. Chester Carlson invents the copying process, "xerography." Superman debuts in Action Comics.

1939 Outbreak of World War II. Frank J Whittle invents the jet engine. Robert Watson-Watt invents radar. Nash introduces car with air conditioning. General Electric launches a refrigerator with a freezer compartment. Igor Sikorsky makes a successful flight in his VS300 helicopter. "Gone with the wind" is screened.

1940 M&M sweets are launched in military ration packs. Colonel Sanders' recipe is launched for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Nylon stocking introduced. Freeze drying process discovered. CBS makes the world's first TV broadcast in colour. Bugs Bunny debuts in "A wild hare."

1941 Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour draws USA into WWII. The Willys General Purpose vehicle, or GP (to be known as the "jeep") is introduced by Bantam Car Co. In New York, WNBT becomes the world's first commercial radio station. Aerosol insect sprays go on sale in the US.

1942 Tony the Tiger debuts as mascot for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. Earl Tupper uses polyethylene to create Tupperware. A sell-by-date is first used - on Lyons Coffee in Britain. Glenn Miller receives the first gold disc for selling a million copies of Chattanooga Choo Choo. Italian physicist Enrico Fermi launches the first controlled nuclear chain reaction at the University of Chicago.

1943 Irish chef Joe Sheridan introduces Irish Coffee at Shannon Airport, Ireland. Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann accidentally discovers the hallucinogenic properties of LSD. In Britain, a 1,500-valve electronic machine, called Colossus, becomes the first programmable or digital computer, used to decode German messages.

1944 Allied D-Day landings at Normandy, France break German defences. "The Three Caballeros" by Walt Disney becomes the first film to combine live action and animation. Hungarian journalist Laszlo Biro invents ballpoint pens. Elizabeth Taylor stars in "National Velvet", filmed in California where Taylor was living as a war evacuee.

1945 German forces finally surrender in May. The US drops atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to Japan's surrender. 35 million people were killed in WWII, 18 million were from Russia. UN is founded, as is the IMF (International Monetary Fund). Percy LeBaron Spencer invents the microwave oven. "Coke" is registered as a trademark by the Coca-Cola company.

1946 Enrico Piaggio launches the Vespa scooter in Italy. Louis Reard introduces the bikini swimsuit in Paris, modelled by Micheline Bernardini. Proctor & Gamble launches Tide. Cannes Film Festival is launched. The Electronic Numerial Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC) at the University of Pennsylvania, with 18,000 electronic valves, performs 5,000 additions or subtractions per second. The world's first nuclear reactor is opened in the USSR.

1947 Edwin H Land invents the Polaroid instant camera, which prints black-and-white photos in 60 seconds. First solid-body electric guitar is built by Les Paul. AT&T invents cell phone (became commercial only 1983). Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 rocket plane. The Edinburgh Festival is launched. Mikhail Kalashnikov invents the AK-47. The Dead Sea Scrolls are discovered by a Bedouin shepherd in Jordan - dating from the 1st century, they are in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, and Hebrew. The 400 scrolls contain fragments of every book of the Hebrew Bible except Esther.

1948 Israel established. Kenneth Wood launches the Kenwood Chef food mixer, and Daimler introduces electric windows in cars. Robert Hope-Jones invents the Wurlitzer jukebox. Columbia Records introduces long-playing record, LP. Bell laboratories displays the first transistor.

1949 In Britain, Robinson's launches the world's first disposable nappies, "Paddipads". De Havilland Comet is the first jet airliner. Israel's capital move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Birth of the People's Republic of China. NATO founded. Republic of Ireland founded.The first is awarded.

1950 Otis invents the passenger lift. Charles Schultz launches "Peanuts". Mr Potato Head debuts. Diners Club issues the first credit card. Korean war erupts. Danish doctor Christian Hamburger performs the first sex change operation on New Yorker George Jargensen, who becomes Christine Jargensen.

1951 First Miss World contest is held at the Lyceum theatre in London, won by Miss Sweden. John Paul Getty becomes the richest man. Zenith Radio Corp introduces cable television. Chrysler introduces power steering. First space flight by living creatures when US sends 4 monkeys into the stratosphere. Remington Rand launches the first commercially available computer, the Univac 1.

1952 M&R Labs introduce the first coffee creamer, "Pream". Kirsch launches the first diet soft drink, "No-Cal Ginger Ale". Car safety belts introduced. BOAC starts first jet passenger service. Sony invents pocket-sized transistor radio. Ian Fleming's James Bond debuts in novel "Casino Royale".

1953 US physiologist Ancel Keys suggests link between heart disease and high fat diet. Dr James Watson discovers the structure of DNA. Playboy magazine is launched. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reach summit of Mount Everest. Baron Bich launches Bic ballpoint in France. Queen Elizabeth II crowned.

1954 Oxford student Roger Bannister breaks the 4-minute mile. Elvis Presley debuts with "That's all right, Mamma." Racial segregation in US schools banned. Nuclear power station begins production in Obninsk, USSR. First mass-produced computer by IBM, installing 120 "650's". Ray Kroc start McDonalds.

1955 Guinness Book of Records is published. Clean Air Act is passed in Britain. Walt Disney opens Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

1956 CIA launches the U-2 spy plane. Swiss Georges de Metral perfects Velcro. John Bachus and his IBM team invent FORTRAN, the first high-level programming language.

1957 USSR launches the Sputnik satellite into space. The EEC, European Economic Community, founded. The Medical Research Council links lung cancer with smoking.

1958 Yves Saint Laurent holds his first fashion show in Paris. Danish toymakers Ole and Godtfred Kirk Christiansen launches Lego. Bill and Mark Richards of California invents the skateboard. Australian David Warren invents the black box flight recorder. NASA founded. Jack Kilby from Texas and Robert Noyce from California invents the integrated circuit at the same time! However, their idea is not new - Briton GW Dummer had suggested such a design in 1952.

1959 First pictures of dark side of the moon by Luna III. Fidel Castro takes power in Cuba. Alec Issigonis's Morris Mini is launched. Haloid launches the first copier, the "Xerox 914," able to reproduce documents at the press of a button. Briton Christopher Cockerell launches the hovercraft. Ermal Cleon Fraze invents the easy-open can. First Daytona 500 takes place, won by Lee Petty in an Oldsmobile. The Beatles form. Barbie doll debuts, after she started life years earlier as Lilli.

1960 US submarine Triton makes the first round the world undersea voyage. Two hackers from MIT create the first computer video game, Spacewar. "Ben Hur" is awarded 10 Oscars. Largest earthquake recorded in Chili.

1961 Yuri Gagarin the first man in space. A coup, backed by the CIA and President John F Kennedy, fails at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. Russia starts building the Berlin Wall. Alan B. Shephard Jr is the first American in space. Bob Dylan plays his first gig, in New York. World Wildlife Fund founded. Weight Watchers founded by 97kg (214 lb) Jean Nidetch.

1962 The Beatles debut with "Love me do". John Glenn becomes first American to orbit earth in space. Dow Corp invent silicone breast implants. Ivan Sutherland demonstrates Sketchpad, the first programme to use windows, icons, and a light pen. In "the Cuban crisis," Khrushchev removes Russian nuclear missiles from Cuba, but only after Kennedy agrees to remove US missiles from Turkey.

1963 President John F Kennedy assassinated. Ursula Andress is picked for the first nude screen test for "Four for Texas". Velentina Tereshlova Sikorsky becomes first woman in space in Vostok 6. Push-button telephone is introduced. First TV instant replay is shown in the US during a football game between the Army and the Navy.

1964 GI Joe doll debuts. The Beatles occupy the Billboard Top Five. Verbands Molkerei introduces long-life milk in Switzerland.

1965 - 2000

1965 US troops deployed in Vietnam - anti-war protests start at the university of Michigen. Soviet astronaut Alexei Leonov makes the first space walk. Ray Dolby invents the Dolby sound recording system. Stephanie Kwolek discovers kevlar. Biggest power failure in history causes 9-hour blackout in eastern Canada and US, leading to surge in national birthrates 9 months later.

1966 Star Trek debuts on NBC. 64-year old Englishman Francis Chichester becomes the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a boat without a stop-over. Neil Armstrong and David Scott makes the first space docking in Gemini 8. Twiggy, at 17, becomes the world's most famous model.

1967 Che Guevara is shot dead by Bolivian troops. First staging of the Superbowl. Rolling Stone magazine goes on sale. Bee Gees debut. Dr Christiaan Barnard performs the first heart transplant. Biologists in the US successfully synthesises DNA in a test tube. Seiko launches the quartz wristwatch.

1968 Dr Martin Luther King assassinated. Scientist devise the epidural anaesthetic to ease pain of childbirth. Boeing 747 introduced. Roy Jacuzzi invent the whirlpool bath. Kodak launches the Instamatic. Bill Gates and Paul Allen use their first computer, an ASR-33 Teletype.

1969 Neil Armstrong is the first man on the moon. The "Aquarian Exposition" takes place in Woodstock, New York, (Woodstock Festival). Yasser Arafat becomes leader of PLO. The first test-tube fertilisation of human eggs, in England. US Department of Defense starts ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet.

1970 The Beatles split up. IBM introduces the floppy disk (invented by Yoshuito Nakamats in 1950).

1971 Philips launches the VCR. Intel launch the microprocessor. Bruce Lee receives international acclaim with "Fist of fury". Britain conforms to the decimal currency. Greenpeace founded in Canada.

1972 Polaroid introduces the instant colour camera. Texas Instruments launches the pocket calculator. Nolan Bushnell of Atari introduces Pong, the first major coin-operated electronic video game. Nike running shoes launched. World War II ends for Shoichi Yokoi of Japan, who give himself up on Guam Island where he has hidden for 27 years.

1973 Watergate scandal breaks. US pulls out of Vietnam. Arab oil embargo brings Europe to its knees. Bic invents the disposable lighter. Members of the Marin County Canyon in California invents the mountain bike.

1974 Lt Hiroo Onoda surrenders on the island of Lubang, finally convinced that WWII is over, 29 years after it ended. Art Fry invents Post-It. GM introduces the catalytic converter. Gillette introduces the disposable razor.

1975 South Vietnam surrenders to North Vietnamese Communists troops. Junko Tabei of Japan becomes first woman to reach Everest summit. Soviet Soyuz 19 docks with Apollo 18. IBM launches the laser printer. Popular Electronics announces Altair, the first "personal computer".

1976 Viking I lands on Mars. 14-year old Romanian Nadia Comaneci scores 5 perfect 10's at Montreal Olympics. Konica introduces automatic focus camera. Apple computers founded by Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak. The Eagles become the first group to go platinum, with a million sales of their Greatest Hits LP.

1977 Apple II becomes the first mass-produced home computer. Star Wars debuts. Rings around Uranus discovered.

1978 Karol Wojtyla of Poland becomes Pope John Paul II. Taito Corp launches first arcade video game, Space Invaders. In England, Louise Brown is the first test-tube baby. Superman the movie debuts, starring Christopher Reeve.

1979 Nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania. Russia invades Afghanistan. Nobel prize awarded to Mother Teresa. Sony launches the Walkman. Frank Rudy designs first air-cushioned running shoe, the Nike Tailwind.

1980 Philips invents the CD. US ice hockey player Scott Olson develops roller blades. Italian Reinhold Messner makes the first solo ascent of Mount Everest. World Health Organisation declares end of smallpox. John Lennon is shot by Mark Chapman.

1981 IBM launches their PC. BMW develops the first in-car computer. PacMan hits the arcades. Shuttle Columbia launched. Prince Charles and Lady Di wedded.

1982 Barney Clark receives artificial heart - operation by Dr William de Vries. European doctors offer liposuction. Rings around Neptune discovered. First papal visit to Britain since 1531. PacMan is Time Magazine's "Man of the Year."

1983 HIV virus identified. Cabbage Patch Kids debuts, as does Madonna. Sally Ride is first US woman in space. Pioneer 10 becomes the first man-made object to travel beyond the solar system. Grandson of Alexander Graham Bell answers first commerical cell phone call. Computer hackers break into US defence computers. Programmer Jaron Lanier coins the term "virtual reality".

1984 Apple Computers launch the Macintosh. Canadian writer invents the word "cyberspace". Dr William Clewall perform the first operation on an unborn foetus. Bruce McCandless becomes the first man to fly in space without a safety line.

1985 British scientist Joe Farman discovers the hole in the ozone. Dr Alec Jeffreys discovers genetic fingerprint, using DNA, at Leicester University. Lasers are first used in surgery. Clive Sinclair introduces the battery-operated car. Commercial whaling banned.

1986 Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeagar makes the first non-stop non-refuelling flight around the world. Nuclear reactor explodes in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Soviet Union launches Mir space station. Fuji introduces disposable camera. Tom Cruise stars in Top Gun.

1987 World population reaches 5 billion. World stock exchanges collapse on Black Monday, 20 Oct. First optic cable is laid across Atlantic Ocean. Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand make first transatlantic hot air balloon crossing. GM invents active suspension, on Lotus F1 car.

1988 US introduces the F-117 stealth fighter. Prozac launched, as is RV486, an abortion-inducing drug. Bombs set by Lybian terrorists explodes on Pan Am 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" is published.

1989 One of the last unspoiled areas on earth threatened when the tanker Exxon Valdes runs aground in Alaska. CFC gases banned. Russia quits Afghanistan. Tiananmen Square protests by students. Berlin Wall comes down. Tim Berners-Lee develops the World Wide Web.

1990 Gulf War erupts as NATO defends Kuwait from Iraqi invasion. Germany reunites. Breakthrough in the Channel Tunnel. Hubble space telescope launched.

1991 End of the Soviet Union. Iraqi forces expelled from Kuwait. Helen Sharman becomes the first British astronaut, on Soyuz TM-12. 5,000 year old frozen body is discovered in Alps, named "Otzi", with tattoos on his back, knees and ankles.

1992 World's first damages award made for illness causes by passive smoking, in Sydney. Fighting breaks out in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

1993 World Wide Web goes graphic with the launch of the Mosaic browser. Plan to map the entire genetic structure of humans, Human Genome Project, launched in San Diego. Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to pay income tax.

1994 An asteroid passes earth at only 160 000km (100,00 miles). Channel Tunnel opens for business.

1995 Lisa Clayton becomes the first woman to sail around the world. Microsoft launches Windows95. A national computer data base of DNA records opens in UK. 26-year old trader Nick Leeson single-handedly brings down Britain's oldest bank, Barings, by running up losses of 620 million Pounds.

1996 Same-sex marriages in the US is prohibited under the Defence of Marriage Act. NASA scientist announce the discovery of proof of living organisms on a Mars meteorite in Antarctica.

1997 First ever space funeral when Timothy Leary's ashes is launched into space. US space probe pathfinder lands on Mars. Scientists at Roslin Institute in Scotland clones a sheep, "Dolly". Lady Di killed in car crash. World's first university, where Aristotle and Socrates taught, is discovered in Athens.

1998 Microsoft launches Windows98. The law against mixed race marriages is abandoned in South Carolina, US. Frenchman Benoit Lecomte swims across the Atlantic Ocean.

1999 NATO launch air attacks on Serbia. Scientists measure fastest wind speed ever recorded on earth, 509 km/h (318 mph) inside a tornado that struck Oklahoma City. World population reaches the 6 billion mark.

2000 Al gore fights George Bush over dimpled ballot election controversy.