Welcome back to 1991! If this was your graduation year, you had a LOT of change going on. The Persian Gulf War brought about turmoil, but luckily, it quickly ended. The U.S.S.R. collapsed. A recession hit. And this may have been the year that we evolved out of the “ME” decade of the ’80s to a more “WE”-centric decade of the ’90s.
With that in mind, let’s take a look back at the HITS…and the MISSES… of 1991!
3) THE WORLD WIDE WEB – Shocker… AL GORE DIDN’T INVENT the Internet. But, in 1991, the “World Wide Web” as we know as put online by a British software engineer, Tim Berners-Lee. Although it wasn’t public knowledge or widely available until a few years later when all of us first heard “YOU’VE GOT MAIL,” this is when the backbone of the actual web was built.
2) SALSA – For the first time in national grocery sales history, SALSA SALES overtook that of ketchup in the United States. Researchers point to two big things: the rising Hispanic population in the US, and the trend of tortilla chips and salsa becoming a more popular snack. It didn’t hurt that commercials like this helped us remember to pick some up at the store… and repeat… “this one’s made in New York City. NEW YORK CITY?!?!”
1) MICHAEL JORDAN – 1991 was the beginning of the domination of Michael Jordan. Although he had already won an MVP prior to this season, he won his second, and lifted the Chicago Bulls to their first NBA title. They would win SIX championships throughout the 1990s, and Michael would become more than just a basketball player; he’d become a star. He hosted “Saturday Night Live” in September of 1991 for the season premiere, and filmed this unforgettable skit with Al Franken’s “Stuart Smalley.”
3) THE CD-I. Early video game systems were HUGE for us kids, tweens, and teens in the early 1990s. Nintendo lead way to Sega Genesis, and an improved SUPER NINTENDO in late 1991 around the holidays. But, we also had a flop on our hands: Phillips & Panasonic’s “CD-I.” It was an attempt to combine a CD player, a gaming system and a DVR. And unfortunately, without big name GAMES on its roster (think Mario Brothers, Zelda, or Sonic), it failed to gain traction. Though, it did tip its hat to DVD technology years later, which became standard for movies – AND a way for us to play CDs.
2) A NAME CHANGE FOR “KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN” – In 1991, a name change at one of America’s most popular fast food restaurants became immediate fodder for parody. Longtime chicken leader “KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN” officially changed their name to “KFC,” and immediately, drew criticism. Some wondered if their food was no longer “real chicken,” and some went as far as to investigate whether the food was manufactured. Although KFC ended up weathering the storm, they had a moment where many questions came up – and they didn’t have all the answers right away.
1) THE SOVIET UNION – 1991 was the end of the reign of the Soviet Union. Crazy to think, huh? After all the years of hatred and distrust between the United States and the Communist U.S.S.R., it fizzled in undramatic fashion. The former Soviet republics went their separate ways, with Russia, the biggest, becoming a U.S. ally instead of a foe. Here’s how it all went down at the end of 1991.
Hopefully those jog some good memories for YOU as we get ready for our Class Reunion weekend. If there are any others you’d like to share, we always love hearing from you right here at throwbacknationradio.com – and by call or text at 877-909-1989. (Standard text message and data rates apply.)
Here’s to you, class of 1991… enjoy the memories, and enjoy the music!