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US History: President Bill Clinton (1993 - 2001)

Updated on August 12, 2015
Plotted by Jeff Ogden on Wikimedia Commons; CC by-sa 3.0
Plotted by Jeff Ogden on Wikimedia Commons; CC by-sa 3.0 | Source

The Internet President

Bill Clinton was the last President of the United States in the 20th century.

Clinton's two terms were full of changes and controversies that strongly affected America in possibly every way as they affected the rest of the world simultaneously. Many people probably do not remember the name of the first President in the 20th century, but the activities of the century's last President will likely affect the world throughout the 21st.

The years from 1993 - 2000 set a unique hallmark into the time line of American History, because the Internet's World Wide Web became accessible to America's general population for the first time.

This phenomenon changed the world exponentially and the 21st century is home to unimaginable technologies and communications. In 1900, many Americans did not have a telephone. Over 100 years later, cell phones are tiny and contain Internet access and news feeds as well as music library and film downloads. Bill Clinton came to the Presidency in the tide of this sweeping change.

This new Information Superhighway and the WWW - World Wide Web provided information - both true and false - to an exponentially larger number of people, much faster than ever before the 1990s. This information advent created a marked reduction in an already-compromised personal privacy available to government officials, celebrities, and even the average citizen.The Clinton Administration brought some of the largest-scale changes in America and 20th century life and news of each change and controversy became instantly available to the world at large. Both the President and the communications created a permanent uproar - some good and some bad.


William Jefferson Clinton was much different from the two Republican US Presidents that served immediately before him. The office had been Republican for 12 years through Presidents Reagan and George HW Bush, and The Clinton Administration provided the change in power to the Democratic Party.

Presidents Bush and Ronald Reagan were much older and more politically conservative. During the 1991 Presidential campaign, similarities were drawn between Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy, including the aspects of appearance, behaviors, social concern, advocacy, education, and relative youthfulness at the time of presidential campaign and election. Kennedy had been 43 and Clinton was about 45.


Bill Clinton was America's first Baby Boomer President, from the Rock N' Roll era of the 1950s and 1960s, the era of The Beatles, Woodstock, The Summer of Love, and of all the various genres that followed. He grew up in the periods of Vietnam war protests, race riots, and Civil Rights and Women's Rights Movements. This worried or even frightened some of America. Some foresaw a White House full of drugs, rock musicians, and war protesters.

The United States underwent changes resulting from the transition from The Greatest Generation Republican to the Baby Boom Democratic regime in the White House. Whether the changes were good or bad, it was certainly a shake-up.

William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Timeline


  • January 20 - Bill Clinton was inaugurated POTUS (US President).
  • January 29 - Clinton compromised with the US military on their ban of homosexuals in the armed forces - "Don't ask, don't tell."
  • March 1 - April 19: The Branch Davidians relgious sect and their leader, David Koresh, were defeated in an armed skirmish with US Federal forces in Waco, Texas. An ensuing fire killed 72 people. Federal officers were later blamed for the deaths.
  • March 29 - Arrests were made related to the NYC World Trade Center bombing.
  • June 5 - Twenty-two United Nations troops were killed in Somalia.
  • July 19 - Iraq accepted the United Nations' terms for monitoring its weapons.
  • August 28 - An Israeli-Palestinian accord was reached.
  • Beginning October 4 - Boris Yeltsin's forces quelled a revolt in Russian Parliament.
  • October 5 - China began new nuclear testing.
  • November 17 and 21 - The US House and Senate both approved NAFTA - The North Atlantic Fair Trade Agreement.
  • November 30 - President Clinton signed the Brady fire arms control bill into law.

The Internet White House


  • The White House launched it's first webpage.
  • January - Serbian forces invaded Sarajevo.
  • January - Winter Olympics marred by crowbar attack on skater Nancy Kerrigan by the crewe of rival Tonya Harding. A French woman skater - SURYA BONALY - on international television - landed the first Olympics quadruple toe loop jump, followed immediately by a one-foot landing from a back flip and was ignored by judges for not including the jumps in the written submission of her program. Credit for the first Olympics quadruple jump went to men, who competed later - first Brain Botano (lost credit because of a step-out on the landing) and finally to Mr. Min Zhang.
  • February 27 - Charges of spying for the Soviets were leveied against Aldrich Ames of the CIA.
  • April 6 - A wide ranging massacre in Rwanda killed 1,000 individuals.
  • April 29 - Neslon Mandela was elected the first black African President of South Africa.
  • May 4 - Israel reaches a peace agreement with Palestine.
  • June 30 - Abortion protests limited by the US Supreme Court.
  • October 7 - US Armed Forces were sent to the Persian Gulf.
  • October 17 - Israel reached a peace agreement with Jordan.
  • December 11 - The Russian military invaded Chechnya.

Michael Drosnin Books

  • Steven Spielberg won an Oscar for Direction and Best Picture for Schindler's List.
  • Woodstock 94 was held to remember Woodstock 1969.
  • Reporter Michael Drosnin, working with Rabbis in Israel, sorted through character skip-patterns in the Bible and discovered the date and time of the future assassination of Yshtak Rabin, along with Rabin's name. See 1995 in this timeline for the results.

Bombs and Assassinations


  • February - The USA provided Mexico with $20-billion in aid.
  • March - The Russian Space Station Mir (meaning both world and peace) received the first American astronauts.
  • April 19 - A car bomb exploded at the Oklahoma Federal Building, killing many innovent people. A memorial park was built to remember them.
  • April 22 - Deaths in Rwanda Massacre reach a total of 2,000.
  • May 1 - December: Bosnia and Croatia war and finally reach a peace agreement.
  • September - France tested a nuclear bomb in the Pacific Ocean to world protests.
  • September 24 - The Israeli West Bank was presented peacefully to the Arabs.
  • October 16 - The Million Man March in Washington DC.
  • November 4 -SUPERNATURAL OR COINCIDENCE? - Israeli Prime Minister Yshtak Rabin was assassinated, at the day and very hour predicted by news reporter Michael Drosnin, an atheist who examined the Bible Code and found the prediction of murder, date, and time in the skip-patterns of the text. Drosnin tried to warn Rabin several days ahead of time, but the Prime Minister and his administration would not listen and Rabin was murdered.
  • Late Autumn - Under a federal budget crisis, some government offices suspended operations.
  • Dr. Ian Wilmut and Dr Keith Campbell produced the first cloned sheep from embryo cells in the United Kingdom.
  • Simple studies of the fruit fly developed into The Human Genome Project.

Welfare Reform and Re-election


  • May 27 - Russia and Chechnya reached a peace treaty agreement after 2,000+ Russians were captured earlier in the year.
  • September 2 and 3 -- The USA attacked the southern air bases of Iraq.
  • November - President Clinton agreed to a plan for a UN sponsored mission to help over 1,000,000 Hutu refugees overcome starvation in Zaire. Evacuated Hutus began returning to Rwanda.
  • July - A bombing occurred at the Summer Olympic Games in a park in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • August - Beginning of the End - President Clinton approved a bill to raise the Minimum Wage and approved Congress's Welfare Reform legistation, including the ending of workforce education and training funds. As one result, the Private Industry Council (PIC) and similar entities across the US closed in most cities by the early 2000s because of the funding cuts and expirations - Interestingly, many former recipients of public assistance, PIC-provided financial aid, education. and job placement blamed Gorge W. Bush.
  • November 5 - President Clinton won a second term as POTUS and the Republicans kept control of the US Congress.
  • December - President Clinton appointed Madeleine Albright US Secretary of State. She was the first woman to hold this cabinet post.

Cloning, Space, and the Euro


  • A TV ratings system similar to film ratings was begun, rating every show except sports and newscasts.
  • Stanley B. Prusiner of the US, won a Nobel Prize for Science for finding germ cells called prions that cause degenerative brain conditions such as Mad Cow.
  • Drs. Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell produced a sheep with a human gene in every cell.
  • At Oregon Regional Primate Research Center two rhesus monkeys named Neti and Ditto were produced from DNA extracted from cells of monkey embryos.
  • February 3 - President Clinton presented the first balanced budget in 3 decades.
  • July 4, 1997 - Independence Day: NASA began it's Mars exploration program.
  • September 17 - Near the Holy Days and the Jewish New Year - The Swiss government planned payments to Holocaust victims.
  • December - The European Union planned expansion by accepting new member nations.


  • April - The Good Friday Accord brought long-sought peace in Northern Ireland.
  • May - Europeans agree to use one union-wide currency, the Euro. India set off three atomic bomb tests, followed by Pakistan with five.
  • April - The US Appeals Court supported California's ban on affirmative action. This made true the belief of some judges in the 1960s that this law should be used for only 40 years.
  • August - Iraq ceased cooperation with UN arms inspectors and President Clinton sent air strikes against Iraq in retaliation. Terrorist activities escalated elsewhere, including in Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, and Afghanistan. Middle East Discord continued until peace talks occurred in October.
  • September 11 - The Starr Report was presented for the impeachment of the President. By mid-December, the US House of Representatives impeached Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice.
  • October - December: Former US Senator from Ohio, John Glenn, returned to space at age 77. NASA pursued a short-lived program training senior citizens and their offspring for space travel, looking at the effects of aging. The first commercial spy satellite from America was launched.

War and Peace and DNA


  • January - February: The US Senate tried Clinton in impeachment and rejected censuring.
  • March - Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic massacred ethnic Albanians. NATO launched Operation Allied Force on March 24 with air strikes against Belgrade over 78 days until Milosevic gave up.
  • October - December: Rumors and facts became confused as the US prepared for the Y2K computer catastrophe predicted for midnight January 1, 2000; to be caused by computer clocks resetting supposed to the year 1900. The disaster did not, in fact, occur. During November and December of 1999, many Americans flocked to Wal-Mart and other department and grocery stores and bought out truckloads of bottled water in preparation for a possible nationwide utilities shutdown.
  • April - Columbine High School Massacre in Littleton, Colorado. Three disturbed male students plotted and carried out the murder of 12 other students, a teacher, and themselves .
  • May - Astronaut Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 space capsule was finally found off the Florida coast after 38 years.


  • February - Reform party took control of the Iranian parliament for first time in 21 years.
  • June 13 - Presidents of North and South Korea signed a peace treaty. Korean families separated by gunfire and the military on either side of the DMZ at the start of the Korean War were allowed to reunite. One 64 year-old son ran to his 98-year-old mother at the sponsored airport gathering and asked, "Mommy, where did you go?" He had been only 14 when he was separated from her in the crowd.
  • July - Vicente Fox Quesada became president of Mexico, ending the 71-years regime of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.
  • September - Middle East tensions escalated.
  • October - American sailors on the USS Cole were killed by Yemen terrorists.
  • November - The Infamous 2000 Presidential Election. Extremely close, the election was called rigged and dishonest. Republicans filed a federal suit to prevent a manual recount of Florida ballots and the Florida Supreme Court supported recount. The US Supreme Court intervened and ruled the George W. Bush victory by December 12.

Helping Rebuild New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina

Summing Up the Last Year of the Century

CULTURAL HALLMARK : The Reality Show - Richard Hatch beat all other Survivor contestants on an Island in the South China Sea to win $1 million. Survivor was actually much like the day to day American workplace and gained millions of fans. Hundreds of reality shows followed, some good, but most of them very odd.

HUMAN MILESTONES - The human genome was deciphered and mapped. An abortion inducing pill, RU-486, was approved by the FDA.

In Retrospect

At the beginning of the 20th century, the automobile, the airplane, the phone, and electricity were developed, followed closely by the television. By the end of the 20th century, America could walk on the moon, clone animals, manipulate the human genome, have an abortion with a pill, connect to the globe with the Internet, and watch Reality Shows. There were wars and rumors of wars throughout the century and people somewhere in the nation were always starving.

Playing Sax at the 40th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival

© 2008 Patty Inglish


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    • Brandon Spaulding profile image

      Brandon Spaulding 6 years ago from Yahoo, Contributor

      Bill Clinton is a talented politician. However, he is a Democrat. That's not such a good thing. As a result, he tends to blend partial truths with lies aimed at achieving ridiculous policy implimentation. Unfortunately, Clinton has wasted his talents on the Democratic party. That's unfortunate.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for the comment Gadzooks. Your perspective is always appreciated.

    • Gadzooks profile image

      Gadzooks 10 years ago from United Kingdom

      I am not from the US either so I wont say too much... first up it does not feel like 8 years or so have passed since he was in power... and although I never liked him at the time, I too think Bush has been worse, certainly Bush has been worse for my country... IMO...

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Bonnie Raitt! I like her work. NLRB - impressive.

      compu-smart -  :)

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 10 years ago from London UK

      ewww! lol:D

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 10 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Blangwehr, I worked as a political appointee in the NLRB, not the White House. However, on one occasion I got invited to a dinner in the garden at the White House for a concert by Bonnie Raitt. I sat at a table within 30 feet of the Clintons. That was the closest I got to the President or First Lady.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for the wonderful comments!

      Compu-smart - let's have Geraldo look in the freezer. heehee

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 10 years ago from London UK

      Great hub Patty!

      I don't know much about USA politics, but i do know that Bill seemed a much better politician especially compared to Bush, looks like a very charasmatic and decent gentleman... that dress still in the freezer!?

    • blangrehr profile image

      Hamilton Forrester 10 years ago from Myrtle Beach, SC

      Mr. Deeds, good morning, I have a dear friend who also worked in the White House during the Clinton Administration. Maybe you remember him, is name is Ron Wright. Wouldn’t it be a small world. I agree Clinton was a good president. Just left of center, much like John McCain.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thank you Graceful Guardian, I appreciate your comments.

    • profile image

      Graceful Guardian 10 years ago

      Thank you,you enlightened me on some things I never even knew about Clinton,very good write.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      WOW! Thank you very much Ralph for the encouraging comment. I think President Clinton has done much good since leaving that office as well.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 10 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Great job on this hub! Clinton was a good president, in my opinion. (I served in the Clinton administration and can find no fault with the information.)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      A tremendous amount of events occurred at the end of the 20th century, didn't they? I think Pres. Clinton accomplished some good things - I sort of thought a shakeup was overdue, anyway. Personally, I'd like the Presidencey to change every 6 years, with the former and new Presidents overlapping a year and having to work together, the outgoing presdient being a consultant and whatever else might be appropriate. No offense to anyone's Party, I would just like less partisanship.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Patty, as always, this is fascinating and thorough! What a super resource for anyone looking for information on Clinton (Mr., that is!)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thank you for your comments from outside the USA, jonixk; that perspective is valuable.

    • jonixk profile image

      jonixk 10 years ago from Lisbon

      I'm not a usa citizen, so i talk from outside. I liked the clinton era, much nore than this bush era. Clinton policits were 100% better than bush politics.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for making such a substantial comment blangrehr! People do lose manners on the keyboard, as well as a sense of reality at times, don't they? The Internet changed everything. Now we have Clinton spoofs on YouTube - some are funny and some are pretty crude. And, we have every misspoken word by W preserved! That didn't occur back in 1903! It sometimes took days for a political cartoon to be finished and then months to be seen in another state. Now it's almost like Max Headroom - info all the time - or else!

      Thanks again!

    • blangrehr profile image

      Hamilton Forrester 10 years ago from Myrtle Beach, SC

      As much as I hate to admit it, I liked Bill Clinton. I liked his leadership, and presences in the Whitehouse. I also believe that it was with Bill Clinton, that hate and rudeness became acceptable in political debate. The right was the first, I can remember, to for-go the use of manners during political discourse.

      I’m politically conservative, so please let me say that it didn’t take the left long to grasp the idea of hate. I agree that technology in general and the internet in particular, is what enabled average Americans voice their opinion on a national stage for the first time. And I think it’s that diversity that changes the very nature of ideological debate. You don’t have to have manners when you set and type on a computer.


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