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Thirty Years in 30 Facts: A snapshot of three years over three decades (1993, 2003 & 2013)

Thirty Years Ago: 1993

1. Czechoslovakia ceased to exist from 1 January 1993 with the Czech Republic and Slovakia becoming independent nations.


Bill Clinton is sworn in as US President, 20 January 1993 (Source: Clinton House Museum)

2. Bill Clinton was sworn in as the United States President on 20 January 1993. (Pictured Right)


3. A van is used to bomb the World Trade Centre on 26 February 1993, killing six and injuring thousands more.


4. Eritreans voted for independence from Ethiopia in a referendum on 23 April 1993. Independence was declared four days later on 27 April


5. Cricketer Shane Warne delivers what was called the “ball of the century” by Englishman Mike Gatting on 4 June 1993.


6. Kim Campbell becomes the first female Prime Minister of Canada on 25 June 1993 (she would resign six months later on 13 December).


7. On 23 September 1993 Sydney was announced as the host venue for the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Sydney celebrates being awarded the 2000 Olympics, 24 September 1993 (Source: The Guardian)

8. Infamous Columbian drug-lord Pablo Escobar was gunned down by police on 2 December 1993.


9. The highest grossing film of the year for 1993 was Jurassic Park.


10. Whitney Houston topped the Billboard charts with the song “I Will Always Love You”.


11. In Australia it was Meat Loaf at the top of the charts with “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I won’t do that)”.


12. CBS TV show "The Nanny" debuts on 3 November 1993 and goes on to run for six seasons with 146 episodes.


Twenty Years Ago: 2003

13. The 2003 Canberra bushfires impacted almost 70% of the natural pastures of Australia’s capital city territory. After burning for a week, the fire crossed into Canberra’s suburbs on 18 January and within just 10 hours saw the loss of 470 homes and death of four people.


At the time of the fires most of New South Wales (NSW) and Canberra were impacted by drought so when temperatures rose to 40 degrees on 18 January, with fierce winds over 80km per hour, the conditions for a fire were immense.


At 2:45pm a state of emergency was declared, and multiple suburbs were evacuated as the fire began to cross containment lines that had held for almost 8 days. Within 15 minutes of this declaration the fire had reached the urban area. Much of the wider city lost power as key infrastructure was impacted and several command posts also came under direct threat with firefighters battling to keep the fire at bay and away from these sites.


As night came on the 18th evacuation centres were full and the fire continued to burn throughout Canberra’s suburbs. The next day it was revealed that the worst impacted suburb was Duffy. It was here that four lives were lost and over 200 homes destroyed. This was one of the first suburbs impacted by the fire and due to its location amongst a pine forest evacuation was hampered and the order to evacuate came too late for some.


The emergency in the Canberra region was not declared over until the 21 January 2003. This incident was one of the last during a summer (2002-2003) that was riddled with bushfires. As early as September 2002, NSW had experienced hot, gusty days with conditions ripe for a bushfire. Grass fires began to become common place with the first major bushfire of the season occurring on 8 October 2002 in Engadine. The fire claimed ten homes and saw 25 New South Wales Fire Brigade, NSWFB (now Fire and Rescue NSW) respond. By mid-October fires were burning across most of the state and into the final months of the year no corner was safe from the infernos that burned.


14. On 1 February 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry killing all seven astronauts on board. The shuttle had departed from Florida on 16 January 2003 and conducted a successful research mission.

15. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was re-named “Serbia & Montenegro”, on 4 February 2003 after the two member states - Serbia and Montenegro.

16. A month later, on 12 March 2003, the Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Dindic was assassinated. Mr. Dindic had become very unpopular with organized crime gangs in Serbia due to his hard-line stance against organized crime and his westward-facing policies. He also played a key role in the extradition of former PM Slobodan Milosevic to face court regarding war crimes. The assassination plot was planned by former members of Milosevic’s secret service unit. Dindic was shot as he entered the Serbian Government building.


17. On 9 April 2003 US forces seize control of Baghdad ending the rule of Saddam Hussein in Iraq who goes into hiding.

Saddam Hussein statue toppled in Firdos Square, 9 April 2003 (Source: The Guardian)

18. The Human Genome Project was finally completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced on 14 April 2003.


19. Saddam Hussein is found by the US Army on 13 December 2003. On 5 November 2006 he was convicted by the Iraqi High Tribunal for crimes against humanity and was executed by hanging on 30 December 2006.


20. R. Kelly and 50 Cent topped the Billboard charts in the USA with their songs "Ignition" and "In Da Club".


Guy Sebastian wins the first Australian Idol competition on 19 November 2003. (Source: Daily Mail)

21. The winner of Australia’s first Australian Idol comp, Guy Sebastian took out top honours Down Under with his song “Angels Brought Me Here” topping the 2003 charts.

22. The top grossing film of 2003 was “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” followed by Disney’s “Finding Nemo”.


23. The TV franchise "NCIS" debuts on 23 September 2003 after being introduced earlier in the year as two-part feature in the popular show "JAG". The spin-off NCIS series concluded its 20th season earlier this year and is the second longest running tv drama, second only to "Law and Order". The show has also birthed four spin-off's, with shows based in LA, New Orleans, Hawaii and most recently Sydney, Australia.

The 2003 Pantone colour of the year was the fifth year that a colour of the year was named by Pantone. The soft and calm tone was meant to inspire hope and serenity.

Ten Years Ago: 2013

24. Pope Benedict XVI resigned his office on 28 February 2013, the first Pope to do so voluntarily in over 700 years.


25. The famed Boston Marathon race was targeted by two bombs on 15 April 2013 killing 3 and injuring 264 others. The manhunt would not end until the 19 April. One of the perpetrators was killed while the other was caught & faced trial where he has since been sentenced to death.


26. A total of 1,429 people are killed on 21 August 2013 in a chemical attack in Ghouta during the Syrian Civil War.


27. Typhoon Haiyan hits the Philippines and Vietnam on 8 November 2013 killing at least 6,241.


28. Macklemore conquered the Billboard charts with “Thrift Shop” claiming the number one spot and “Can’t Hold Us” finishing fifth on the annual chart.


29. In Australia Katy perry was number one with “Roar”.


30. Disney conquered the movie charts in 2013 with four of the ten top grossing films coming from the Disney studio. These were Frozen in number one, Iron Man 3 at number two, Monsters University finished in seventh spot with Thor: The Dark World rounding out the top ten in 10th position.


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