On this day in 1999…


Written by By Annie Lowrey  for Foreign Policy on December 29, 2009

  1. Lou Dobbs was a respected, middle-of-the-road journalist.

  2. The prospect of achieving Middle East peace seemed imminent.

  3. Beltway pundits believed Al Gore and George W. Bush were centrists who would govern similarly.

  4. You could meet your loved ones at their arrival gate.

  5. There were more than 2 million Christians living in Iraq.

  6. Osama bin Laden was living with his family in a compound in Kandahar.

  7. China's GDP was $1.4 trillion, half of Germany's.

  8. Israel still had troops in Lebanon.

  9. Nobody had ever heard of Somali pirates.

  10. Something called Inktomi was the world's largest search engine.

  11. Everybody was clamoring for the new file-sharing program Napster. 

  12. We worried Y2K would bring the global banking infrastructure to its knees.

  13. Illinois State Senator Barack Obama campaigned for a spot in the House of Representatives.

  14. First Lady Hillary Clinton campaigned for a spot in the Senate.

  15. Wasilla, Alaska, Mayor Sarah Palin considered running for state-wide office.

  16. India had fewer than a billion citizens.

  17. Strongman Slobodan Milosevic still ruled in Yugoslavia.

  18. The human genome had not yet been mapped.

  19. The Concorde flew between Paris and New York.

  20. Alan Greenspan was widely heralded as the world's greatest financial thinker.

  21. Boris Yeltsin was preparing to step down and make way for the young pragmatist Vladimir Putin.

  22. The Dow Jones closed at 11,484. (Today, it's at 10,545.)

  23. The United States had a record federal budget surplus.