The Events That Kickstarted Gen Z

By Madison Carmenate


It was the year 1997, the starting year of Generation Z, a generation that made a mark on the rest of the decades to follow. Gen Z is the first generation that introduced the digital world. “This generation has been raised on the internet and social media with some of the oldest finishing college by 2020, and entering the workforce” (Meola). This quote is insightful because, while growing up with mass media, I am more aware of the world around me. Without it, I probably would’ve been a different young woman who recently graduated from college. 

1997 Timeline of Major Events

Below are the top eight major events that happened during the year 1997.

  • January 26th (Super Bowl Sunday): At the Louisiana Superdome, an anticipated game was played. The teams were the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots. The Packers won the championship at 35-21 (Schulman). 
  • February 26th: This is the day when the hit country singer, LeAnn Rimes, made music history. “When she was just 14 years old, she became the youngest person ever to win a GRAMMY, taking home Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance” (“LeAnn Rimes Win Best New Artist In 1997”). The country legend’s hit cover-song, Blue, went on to be loved by fans everywhere.  
  • March 31st: The beloved childhood show, Teletubbies, premiered on this day. With the stars, Tinky, Winky, Dipsy, La La, and Po, children all over the world fell in love with the eccentric television show.
  • May 19th: On this day, the film, The Lost World Jurassic Park, was released into theaters. The film was “the third most popular movie” of 1997 (“1997 History, Trivia and Fun Facts”). Audiences fell in love as they were transported into the world of dinosaurs and adventure!
  • June 26th: The very first book of the hit series, Harry Potter, was published. “It goes on to sell over 120 million copies worldwide” (Whittingham), making this only the beginning of the phenomenon of this well-loved book series turned feature films. 
  • August 31st:  Princess Diana was killed in a car accident while in Paris. She was a true icon who is not only known by her name but also her generous heart. This tragedy led Elton John to write the hit song, Candle in the Wind, that is fit for a true Queen.
  • September 15th: Google was put on the internet, with its registered domain name being “” (Whittingham). This internet server was clearly favored and used by generations to come.
  • December 19th: Finishing out the year, the legendary film, Titanic, was released on this day.  With the hit song, My Heart Will Go On, and the irresistible Leonardo DiCaprio, the film is too hard to not to love!


These are only eight of the major events from 1997. This first year of Generation Z dominated the digital screens so much that it correlates with today’s mass media, as we are surrounded by news, pop culture, and sports. 


Galindo, Brian. “This Is What The World Was Like In 1997.” BuzzFeed, 4 Jan. 2017.

 “LeAnn Rimes Win Best New Artist In, Recording Academy, 28 Aug. 2020.

Meola, Andrew. “Generation Z: Latest Gen Z News, Research, Facts & Strategies.” Business Insider, 5 Jan. 2022. 

1997 History, Trivia and Fun Facts.”  Pop Culture Madness, 1999-2020.

Schulman, Marc.”Major Events of 1997.”, Multieducator Inc, 1996-2021.

Whittingham, Kat. “1997 Timeline: All 1997 Events – Historic Newspapers US.” Historic Newspapers, 3 Nov. 2020.

Photo by Tuyen Vo on Unsplash

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