All the cards! Debit cards, credit cards, preferred cards, gift cards....doesn't anyone use cash anymore?
Before the 1990s, gift certificates were just small slips of paper indicating how much money the bearer was entitled to spend at the issuing store. Modern debit card technology entered the industry in 1994 when Blockbuster Entertainment issued the first magnetized gift cards. They came into wider usage in 1998, and have since revolutionized the retail industry.
"Is that real money?" That's what my eight-year-old niece said when she saw one of the new $20 bills. The $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills were all redesigned between 1996 and 1999. Not only did they look like Monopoly money, but now all the laundromat change machines had to be reprogrammed!
The 50 State Quarters Program was launched by the United States Mint in 1999. Over the next ten years, quarters celebrating each state would be released in the order they were admitted to the Union.
phone numbers The 800 area code was first used for toll-free phone numbers in 1967. By 1996, all available numbers had been assigned, and new toll-free area codes were established. We began using the 888 area code in 1996, the 877 area code in 1998 and the 866 area code in 2000.
gay & lesbian commitment ceremonies
celebrities "coming out"
slang & fun phrases
Kick him to the curb!
She's all that and a bag of chips.
I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.
Hang up and drive! --gabbing on your cell phone while driving...a sure cause for road rage!
...and let's not forget the customer who sued McDonalds because she was burned when her coffee spilled while she was driving.
In the 1990s, it became popular to decorate your house for holidays other than Christmas. Many people decorated trees with tiny Easter ornaments and set up elaborate Halloween scenes in their front yards.
It's A Wonderful Life was released in 1946. After the copyright expired in 1973, TV stations could show the movie without paying royalties. And boy, did they show it! By the mid 1980s, you couldn't turn on the TV during the Christmas season without seeing George Bailey, Clarence or little Zu Zu and her flower petals. In 1993, the film's owner regained copyright control and began charging royalties. Gradually, the number of showings decreased to just two per season.
In the 1990s, cable TV and video rental gave new life to a modest little film from 1983 known as A Christmas Story. TNT aired the first 24-hour marathon in 1997, making the movie a certified holiday classic.
"Turkey for me, turkey for you...." In 1992, Saturday Night Live songmeister Adam Sandler first performed The Thanksgiving Song. It was followed two years later by the immensely popular Hanukkah Song. Among other things, the song references the hottest topic of 1994.....O.J. Simpson, not a Jew!