Can you believe it: These Things Turning 25 in 2017
On February 14, Wayne's World graduated from Saturday Night Live sketch to feature film. No way?! Way!! Featuring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey and directed by Penelope Spheeris, it was a landmark comedy that both reflected and affected '90s pop culture.
THE FIRST TEXT MESSAGE
On December 3, 1992, 22-year-old engineer Neil Papworth sent the first text message over a cellular network. He used a computer connected to the Vodafone GSM network to send the message to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis's Orbitel 901 mobile phone (which was gigantic, but technically "mobile" by 1992 standards). The message read: "Merry Christmas." Why the early Christmas greeting? Jarvis was at a Christmas party at the time.
BARNEY & FRIENDS
To the immense frustration of adults and delight of toddlers, the purple dinosaur Barney appeared on PBS on April 6. Barney & Friends was initially envisioned four years earlier as a direct-to-video series called Barney & The Backyard Gang created by Sheryl Leach, a Dallas elementary school teacher who wanted to create toddler-appropriate programming for her kids. (
MALL OF AMERICA
On August 11, the Mall of America—the largest mall in the United States—opened in Bloomington, Minnesota.
On October 1, the first 24-hour channel devoted to cartoons debuted, courtesy of the Turner Broadcasting System. The channel was based in part on TBS's purchase of Hanna-Barbera and its back catalog, which contained roughly 1500 hours of animated content spread across 350 TV series and movies.
THE DREAM TEAM
From July 25 to August 9, the 1992 Summer Olympic Games were held in Barcelona. They're best known—to American audiences, anyway—for the performance of the U.S. men's basketball team, which was the first to include current NBA players. We called it the "Dream Team." an all-star lineup of 11 NBA players: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullin. There was also a twelfth member, college player Christian Laettner (who would go on to the NBA). Their goal was to bring home a Gold Medal, and they crushed it.
They won all eight of their Barcelona games, with an average lead of 44 points. Interestingly, although the Dream Team did a great job, the 1956 U.S. team exceeded their performance, with an average of +56 points per game. Still, the Dream Team is often considered the best team ever assembled in any sport.
On April 12, Euro Disney opened in Paris. French citizens weren't too enthused, seeing it as an invasion of American commercialism. The park was eventually renamed Disneyland Paris, and became the most-visited tourist attraction in Europe. In 2015 it attracted more visitors than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower combined. Unfortunately, this visitor traffic has not led to profit, and the park has faced financial troubles over the decades.
IBM debuted its first ThinkPad laptop on October 5, 1992. Today the ThinkPad is manufactured by Lenovo, but its design and build quality are still reminiscent of that original 700C—minus most of the weight.
THE JPEG FILE FORMAT
In 1982, researchers began working on a computer file format that would store photographic data. The goal was to compress images so that photographs would be small, making them easy to download over low-bandwidth connections, and easy to store on small storage devices. On September 18, the first JPEG standard was published, and the rest is computer history.
THE NICOTINE PATCH
In 1992, the first prescription nicotine patch reached the market—four years later, it became available over-the-counter.
THE ELVIS STAMP VOTE
Starting on April 13, pre-addressed ballots appeared at post offices around the U.S. They allowed the public to vote on two proposed designs for a stamp bearing the image of Elvis Presley.
The Elvis stamp itself was released on January 8, 1993—on what would have been Elvis's 58th birthday.
THE FREDDIE MERCURY TRIBUTE CONCERT FOR AIDS AWARENESS
Freddie Mercury died on November 24, 1991, aged 45. He was the first rock star to die from AIDS complications, and the remaining members of the band Queen organized a concert to promote AIDS awareness. The tribute concert was held at London's Wembley Stadium on April 20, 1992.
THE BODYGUARD AND ITS RECORD-BREAKING SOUNDTRACK
On November 25, The Bodyguard—starring Kevin Costner as the titular bodyguard and Whitney Houston as the pop star he's protecting—graced theaters. It was Houston's first film role, and it was a massive box office hit.
DUTCH BROS. COFFEE
In 1992, brothers Dane and Travis Boersma opened the first Dutch Bros. Coffee location in Grants Pass, Oregon. The brothers were of Dutch descent, hence the company's name. They were former dairy farmers, trying their hand at a new business. They proceeded immediately on their mission of "Roastin' and Rockin'," then proceeded to spread across the country to more than 260 locations that continue "spreading the Dutch Luv" [sic].