|1998 : January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December|
|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1960s 1970s 1980s – 1990s – 2000s 2010s 2020s|
|Years:||1995 1996 1997 – 1998 – 1999 2000 2001|
|1998 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2751|
|British Regnal year||46 Eliz. 2 – 47 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar|| 丁丑年十二月初三日
— to —戊寅年十一月十三日
|- Vikram Samvat||2054–2055|
|- Shaka Samvat||1920–1921|
|- Kali Yuga||5099–5100|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||998–999|
|Japanese calendar|| Heisei 10
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 87
|Thai solar calendar||2541|
1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year that started on a Thursday. In the Gregorian calendar, it was the 1998th year of Anno Domini; the 998th year of the 2nd millennium; the 98th year of the 20th century; and the 9th of the 1990s.
The year 1998 was designated International Year of the Ocean by UNESCO.
- January 2 – Russia begins to circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.
- January 4 – Wilaya of Relizane massacres of 4 January 1998 in Algeria: Over 170 are killed in 3 remote villages.
- January 6 – The Lunar Prospector spacecraft is launched into orbit around the Moon, and later finds evidence for frozen water, in soil in permanently shadowed craters near the Moon's poles.
- January 8 – Ramzi Yousef is sentenced to life in prison for planning the first World Trade Centre bombing.
- January 11 – Over 100 people are killed in the Sidi-Hamed massacre in Algeria.
- January 12 – Nineteen European nations agree to forbid human cloning.
- January 20 – Nepalese police intercept a shipment of 272 human skulls in Kathmandu.
- January 22 – Suspected " Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski pleads guilty, and accepts a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
- January 28 – Gunmen hold at least 400 children and teachers hostage for several hours, at an elementary school in Manila, Philippines.
- The United States Senate passes Resolution 71, urging U.S. President Bill Clinton to "take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
- February 3 – Cavalese cable car disaster: a United States Military pilot causes the deaths of 20 people near Trento, Italy, when his low-flying plane severs the cable of a cable-car.
- February 4 – An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale in northeast Afghanistan kills more than 5,000 people.
- February 7– 22 – The 1998 Winter Olympics are held in Nagano, Japan.
- February 16 – China Airlines Flight 676 crashes into a residential area near Chiang Kai-shek International Airport, killing 202 people (all 196 on board and 6 on the ground).
- February 20 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein negotiates a deal with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, allowing weapons inspectors to return to Baghdad, preventing military action by the United States and Britain.
- March 2
- Data sent from the Galileo probe indicates that Jupiter's moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.
- Natascha Kampusch is abducted by Wolfgang Priklopil (she will remain in his captivity until August 2006).
- March 5 – NASA announces that the Clementine probe orbiting the Moon has found enough water in polar craters to support a human colony and rocket fueling station.
- March 11 – Danish parliamentary election, 1998: Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen is re-elected.
- March 23 – 70th Academy Awards ceremony held in Shrine Auditorium Los Angeles, California.
- March 26 – Oued Bouaicha massacre in Algeria: 52 people are killed with axes and knives, 32 are of the killed were babies under the age of 2.
- April 5 – In Japan, the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge linking Shikoku with Honshū and costing about US$3.8 billion, opens to traffic, becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world.
- April 6 – Pakistan tests medium-range missiles capable of hitting India.
- April 10 – Good Friday: 1 hour after the end of the talks deadline, the Belfast Agreement is signed between the Irish and British governments and most Northern Ireland political parties, with the notable exception of the Democratic Unionist Party.
- April 22 – Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World opens to the public for the first time.
- May 8 – CBS telecasts The Wizard of Oz for the last time. Beginning in 1999, The Wizard of Oz will be shown on cable, and in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 it will be telecast by the WB Television Network in addition to its cable showings.
- May 11
- India conducts 3 underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, including 1 thermonuclear device.
- The first euro coins are minted in Pessac, France. Because the final specifications for the coins were not finished in 1998, they will have to be melted and minted again in 1999.
- May 13– 14 – Riots directed against Chinese Indonesians break out in Indonesia. Indonesian natives destroy and burn Chinese Indonesian-owned properties and kill and rape more than 1,000 Chinese Indonesians.
- May 19 – The Galaxy IV communications satellite fails, leaving 80–90% of the world's pagers without service.
- May 21 – Suharto resigns, after 32 years as President of Indonesia and his 7th consecutive re-election by the Indonesian Parliament (MPR). Suharto's hand-picked Vice President, B. J. Habibie, becomes Indonesia's third president.
- May 26 – Bear Grylls, 23, becomes the youngest British climber to scale Mount Everest.
- May 28 – Nuclear testing: In response to a series of Indian nuclear tests, Pakistan explodes 5 nuclear devices of its own in the Chaghai hills of Baluchistan, codenamed Chagai-I, prompting the United States, Japan and other nations to impose economic sanctions. Pakistan celebrates Youm-e-Takbir annually.
- May 30
- A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hits northern Afghanistan, killing up to 5,000.
- A second nuclear test, codenamed Chagai-II, is conducted and supervised by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).
- June 2 – The CIH virus is discovered in Taiwan.
- June 3 – Eschede train disaster: An InterCityExpress high speed train derails between Hannover and Hamburg, Germany, causing 101 deaths.
- June 7 – Former Brigadier-General Ansumane Mané seizes control over military barracks in Bissau, marking the beginning of the Guinea-Bissau Civil War (1998–99).
- June 12 – Centennial Celebration of Independence of the Philippines from Spain
- June 25 – Microsoft releases Windows 98
- June 30 – Philippine Vice President Joseph Estrada was sworn in as the 13th President of the Philippines.
- July 5 – Japan launches a probe to Mars, joining the United States and Russia as an outer space-exploring nation.
- July 6 – The new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok opens, while the historic Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport closes.
- July 12 – France beats Brazil 3–0 in the football World Cup final.
- July 17
- At a conference in Rome, 120 countries vote to create a permanent International Criminal Court to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.
- In Saint Petersburg, Nicholas II of Russia and his family are buried in St. Catherine Chapel, 80 years after he and his family were killed by Bolsheviks.
- A tsunami triggered by an undersea earthquake destroys 10 villages in Papua New Guinea, killing an estimated 1,500, leaving 2,000 more unaccounted for and thousands more homeless.
- Biologists report in the journal Science how they sequenced the genome of the bacterium that causes syphilis, Treponema pallidum.
- August 2 – Second Congo War begins. 3,900,000 people are killed before it ends in 2003, making it the bloodiest war, to date, since World War II.
- August 7
- Yangtze River Floods: In China the Yangtze River breaks through the main bank; before this, from August 1–5, peripheral levees collapsed consecutively in Jiayu County Baizhou Bay. The death toll exceeds 12,000, with many thousands more injured.
- 1998 U.S. embassy bombings: The bombings of the United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, kill 224 people and injure over 4,500; they are linked to terrorist Osama Bin Laden, an exile of Saudi Arabia.
- August 15 – Omagh bombing, A terrorist bombing carried out in Northern Ireland by the Real IRA.
- August 24 – The first RFID human implantation is tested in the United Kingdom.
- September 2
- A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 airliner ( Swissair Flight 111) crashes near Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, after taking off from New York City en route to Geneva; all 229 people on board are killed.
- A United Nations court finds Jean-Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts of genocide, marking the first time that the 1948 law banning genocide is enforced.
- September 4 – Google, Inc. is founded in Menlo Park, California, by Stanford University PhD candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
- October 14 – Eric Robert Rudolph is charged with four bombings (including the 1996 Olympic bombing) in Atlanta, Georgia.
- October 16 – British police place General Augusto Pinochet under house arrest during his medical treatment in the UK.
- October 17 – A pipeline explosion in Jesse, Nigeria results in 1,082 deaths.
- October 29 – Hurricane Mitch makes landfall in Central America, killing an estimated 18,000 people.
- November 17 – Voyager 1 overtakes Pioneer 10 as the most distant man-made object from the solar system, at a distance of 69.419 AU (1.03849×1010 km).
- November 25 – A Russian Proton rocket is launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying the first segment of the International Space Station, the 21 ton Zarya Module.
- December 6 – Hugo Chávez, politician and former member of the Venezuelan military, is elected President of Venezuela.
- December 16– 19 – Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. President Bill Clinton orders airstrikes on Iraq. UNSCOM withdraws all weapons inspectors from Iraq.
- December 29 – Khmer Rouge leaders apologize for the genocide in Cambodia that claimed over 1 million in the 1970s.
- December 31 – The first leap second since June 30, 1997, occurs. In the eurozone, the currency rates of this day are fixed permanently.
- Ibrahim Hanna, the last native speaker of Mlahsô, dies in Qamishli, Syria, making the language effectively extinct. Also, the last native speaker of related Bijil Neo-Aramaic dies in Jerusalem.
- January 1 – Helen Wills Moody, American tennis player (b. 1905)
- January 4 – Mae Questel, American actress (b. 1908)
- January 5 – Sonny Bono, American singer, actor, and politician (b. 1935)
- January 7 – Vladimir Prelog, Croatian chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1906)
- January 8 – Michael Tippett, English composer (b. 1905)
- January 9 – Kenichi Fukui, Japanese chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
- January 11
- January 15 – Junior Wells, American harmonica player (b. 1934)
- January 16
- January 18 – Monica Edwards, British writer (b. 1912)
- January 19 – Carl Perkins, American guitarist (b. 1932)
- January 21 – Jack Lord, American actor (b. 1920)
- January 23 – Alfredo Ormando, Italian writer (b. 1958)
- January 28 – Shotaro Ishinomori, Japanese Manga artist, "Father of Henshin heroes" (b. 1938)
- February 3 – Karla Faye Tucker, Texas murderer (b. 1959)
- February 6
- February 7
- February 8
- February 11 – Jonathan Hole, American actor (b. 1904)
- February 17 – Ernst Jünger, German writer (b. 1895)
- February 18 – Harry Caray, American television and radio broadcaster (b. 1917)
- February 22
- February 23
- February 24 – Henny Youngman, English-born comedian (b. 1906)
- February 26 – Theodore Schultz, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1902)
- February 27
- February 28
- March 2 – Darcy O'Brien, American author (b. 1939)
- March 3 – Fred W. Friendly, American television journalist and executive (b. 1915)
- March 7 – Bernarr Rainbow, historian of music education, organist, and choir master, (b. 1914)
- March 8 – Ray Nitschke, American football player (b. 1936)
- March 10 – Lloyd Bridges, American actor (b. 1913)
- March 12
- March 13
- March 15
- March 16 – Derek Harold Richard Barton, British chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
- March 20 – George Howard, American jazz saxophone musician (b. 1956)
- March 25 – Daniel Massey, English actor (b. 1933)
- March 27 – Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche, Austrian auto designer and businessman (b. 1909)
- March 31 – Bella Abzug, American politician (b. 1920)
- April 1
- April 2 – Rob Pilatus, member of the pop group Milli Vanilli (b. 1965)
- April 3 – Charles Lang, American cinematographer (b. 1901)
- April 5 – Cozy Powell, English rock drummer (b. 1947)
- April 6
- April 11 – Rodney Harvey, American actor and model (b. 1967)
- April 13 – Patrick de Gayardon, French skydiver and skysurfing pioneer (b. 1960)
- April 15
- April 16
- April 17
- April 19 – Octavio Paz, Mexican diplomat and writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1914)
- April 21
- April 22 – Kitch Christie, South African rugby coach (b. 1940)
- April 23
- April 25
- April 26 – Joan Mary Wayne Brown, British author who the pseudonyms Mary Gervaise, Hilary Wayne and Bellamy Brown (b. 1906)
- April 27
- May 1 – Eldridge Cleaver, American activist (b. 1935)
- May 2
- May 7
- May 9 – Alice Faye, American entertainer (b. 1915)
- May 14
- May 15 – Earl Manigault, American basketball player (b. 1944)
- May 19 – Sosuke Uno, Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1922)
- May 22
- May 28 – Phil Hartman, Canadian-born American artist, writer, actor, and comedian (b. 1948)
- May 29 – Barry Goldwater, American politician (b. 1909)
- June 1 – Darwin Joston, American actor (b. 1937)
- June 2
- June 3 – Poul Bundgaard, Danish actor and singer (b. 1922)
- June 5 – Jeanette Nolan, American actress (b. 1911)
- June 8
- June 10 – Hammond Innes, English author (b. 1914)
- June 11 – Catherine Cookson, English author (b. 1906)
- June 12 – Theresa Merritt, American actress (b. 1924)
- June 13 – Birger Ruud, Norwegian athlete (b. 1911)
- June 20 – Conrad Schumann, East German border guard (b. 1942)
- June 22 – Benny Green, British writer, radio broadcaster and saxophonist (b. 1927)
- June 23 – Maureen O'Sullivan, Irish actress (b. 1911)
- June 25 – Lounès Matoub, Berber Kabyle singer (b. 1956)
- June 28 – Marion Eugene Carl, U.S. Marine Corps World War II fighter ace and test pilot (b. 1915)
- July 3 – Danielle Bunten Berry, American software developer (b. 1949)
- July 5 – Sid Luckman, American football player (b. 1916)
- July 6 – Roy Rogers, American singer and actor (b. 1911)
- July 17 – Joseph Maher, Irish actor (b. 1933)
- July 19 – Elmer Valo, Slovak Major League Baseball player (b. 1921)
- July 21
- July 22 – Hermann Prey, German bass-baritone (b. 1929)
- July 27 – Binnie Barnes, English actress (b. 1903)
- July 29 – Jerome Robbins, American choreographer and director (b. 1918)
- July 30
- July 31 – Sylvia Field, American actress (Mrs. Wilson; Dennis the Menace)
- August 1 – Eva Bartok, Hungarian actress (b. 1927)
- August 2 – Shari Lewis, American ventriloquist (b. 1933)
- August 3 – Alfred Schnittke, Russian-born composer (b. 1934)
- August 4 – Yuri Artyukhin, cosmonaut (b. 1930)
- August 5 – Todor Zhivkov, former president of Bulgaria (b. 1911)
- August 6 – André Weil, French mathematician (b. 1906)
- August 9 – Frankie Ruiz, Puerto Rican singer (b. 1958)
- August 13 – Julien Green, French-born American writer (b. 1900)
- August 24 – E. G. Marshall, American actor (b. 1910)
- August 25 – Lewis F. Powell, Jr., American Justice of the Supreme Court (b. 1907)
- August 26 – Frederick Reines, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
- September 1 – Cary Middlecoff, American golfer (b. 1921)
- September 2
- September 5
- September 6 – Akira Kurosawa, Japanese screenwriter, producer, and director (b. 1910)
- September 8 – Leonid Kinskey, Russian-born actor (b. 1903)
- September 9 – Lucio Battisti, Italian singer (b. 1943)
- September 10 – Carl Forgione, British actor (b. 1944)
- September 11 – Dane Clark, American actor (b. 1912)
- September 13 – George Wallace, American politician (b. 1919)
- September 14
- September 17 – Gustav Nezval, Czech actor (b. 1907)
- September 20 – Muriel Humphrey, Wife of Vice President Hubert Humphrey (b. 1912)
- September 21 – Florence "Flo-Jo" Griffith-Joyner, American runner (b. 1959)
- September 23 – Mary Frann, American actress (b. 1943)
- September 26 – Betty Carter, American jazz singer (b. 1929)
- September 27 – Narita Bryan, Japanese racehorse (b. 1991)
- September 30
- October 2
- October 3 – Roddy McDowall, British actor (b. 1928)
- October 6 – Mark Belanger, American baseball player (b. 1944)
- October 8 – Zhang Chongren, Chinese artist (b. 1907)
- October 9 – Ian Johnson, Australian cricketer (b. 1917)
- October 10 – Tommy Quaid, Irish hurler (b. 1957)
- October 11 – Richard Denning, American actor (b. 1914)
- October 12 – Matthew Shepard, American murder victim (b. 1976)
- October 13 – General Gérard Charles Édouard Thériault, Canadian Chief of the Defence Staff (b. 1932)
- October 14 – Frankie Yankovic, American musician (b. 1916)
- October 16 – Jon Postel, American Internet pioneer (b. 1943)
- October 17
- October 22 – Eric Ambler, British writer (b. 1909)
- October 28
- October 29 – Ted Hughes, English poet (b. 1930)
- November 3 – Bob Kane, American comic book creator (b. 1915)
- November 8 – Jean Marais, French actor (b. 1913)
- November 10
- November 13
- November 17
- November 19 – Alan J. Pakula, American film director (b. 1928)
- November 22 – Stu Unger, professional poker player (b. 1953)
- November 25 – Flip Wilson, American actor and comedian (b. 1933)
- November 28 – Kerry Wendell Thornley, American counterculture figure and writer (b. 1938)
- November 29
- December 1 – Freddie Young, American cinematographer (b. 1902)
- December 2
- December 5 – Hazel Bishop, American Chemist and inventor of Lipstick (b. 1906)
- December 6 – César Baldaccini, French sculptor (b. 1921)
- December 7
- December 11 – Lynn Strait, vocalist for band Snot (b. 1968)
- December 12 – Lawton Chiles, U.S. Senator from Florida and Governor of Florida (b. 1930)
- December 13 – Lew Grade, British impresario (b. 1906)
- December 14
- December 16 – William Gaddis, American writer (b. 1922)
- December 17 – Claudia Benton, Peruvian-born child psychologist (b. 1959)
- December 18 – Lev Demin, cosmonaut (b. 1926)
- December 20
- December 21 – Roger Avon, British actor (b. 1914)
- December 22 – Michelle Thomas, American actress (b. 1969)
- December 23 – David Manners, Canadian-American actor (b. 1900)
- December 25 – John Pulman, English snooker player (b. 1923)
- December 26 – Hurd Hatfield, American actor (b. 1917)
- December 28 – Robert Rosen, American biologist (b. 1934)
- December 30
- Physics – Robert B. Laughlin, Horst L. Störmer, Daniel Chee Tsui
- Chemistry – Walter Kohn, John Pople
- Medicine – Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro, Ferid Murad
- Literature – José Saramago
- Peace – John Hume and David Trimble
- Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – Amartya Sen
- Richard Ewen Borcherds, William Timothy Gowers, Maxim Kontsevich, Curtis T. McMullen
Setting in fiction
- The Japanese horror novel Another is set in the fictional town of Yomiyama, Japan during 1998.
- The novel Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years takes place from April 30, 1997 to May 2, 1998.
- The video games Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, and Resident Evil Code: Veronica all take place in 1998, July for the first two, September for the next three, and December CV.
- In the Resident Evil franchise, Raccoon City is destroyed on October 1, 1998.