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This Month In YesterYear History - March

It's time once again for your monthly look at pop culture history from 20 (2004), 25 (1999), and 30 (1994) years ago!   

Below, you'll find a little time capsule of what was significant in our lives back then.  Hopefully, as you read these brief synopses of the past, you'll begin to remember the who, when, and where of your memories from those years.  That's why I created this site, after all! 


2004:  On the 1st, Terry Nichols was convicted of being an accomplice of Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombings.  On the 2nd, the Indianapolis Colts signed quarterback Peyton Manning to a (then) record-setting 7-year, $98 million deal (with a $34.5 million signing bonus).  On the same day, the Pittsburgh Penguins ended their record 14-game win streak when they tied the New York Islanders 3-3.  Luciano Pavarotti performs his last opera at the New York Metropolitan Opera on the 13th.  Wrestlemania XX (20) airs from Madison Square Garden on March 14th.  On a personal note, this is the first ever PPV I legally watched (I ordered and paid for myself), and I wasn't disappointed.  Chris Benoit defeated Triple H and Shawn Michaels, and Eddie Guerrero defeated Kurt Angle to win both Championships.  There was also the Golderbg vs Brock Lesnar fiasco, where the crowd derailed the match with boos after finding out both men were leaving the company after Wrestlemania.  Stone Cold was the special guest referee and handed out Stone Cold Stunners to both men.  On the 15th, several legendary musicians were elected to the Music Hall of Fame:  Prince, Bob Seger, ZZ Top, George Harrison, and several others.  On the 23rd, Usher releases his 4th studio album, "Confessions."  Confessions would go on to win the 2004 Billboard Album of the Year and the Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album.  March 29th sees Ireland become the first country in the world to ban smoking from all places of work, including bars and restaurants.  On the 31st, New York Yankees pitcher Kevin Brown became the 2nd pitcher in history to have beaten all 30 teams in the league when he defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 12-1 in a game played in Tokyo, Japan.  

1999:  On the 8th, the United States Supreme Court upheld the murder conviction of Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber.  On the 12th, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary join NATO.  Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, and Bruce Springsteen join a handful of others as the 1999 inductees into the Music Hall of Fame on the 15th.  On the 20th, Legoland California opened as the first Legoland in the United States.  On the 21st, "Shakespeare in Love" wins Best Picture at the 71st Academy Awards.  On the 22nd, Lonestar released "Amazed," which became Billboard's Song of the Year for 1999.  The next day, Ricky Martin released "Livin' La Vida Loca," which went on to sell 8 million copies.  On March 24th, "The Matrix" is released in theaters.  On the 26th, Jack Kevorkian is found guilty of 2nd-degree murder for injecting terminally ill people with lethal doses.  Wrestlemania 15 occurs in Philadelphia on the 28th, where Stone Cold Steve Austin beats The Rock in a No-Disqualification match for the WWF World Title.  On the 29th, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbs over 10,000 for the first time ever.  As of writing, it currently sits at 37,592.  On the 30th, Craig Kilborn is announced as the host of "The Late, Late Show" on CBS.  He stayed on as host until 2004 when Craig Ferguson took over.  On the 31st, a modern version of William Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew," titled "10 Things I Hate About You," starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, was released in theaters.

1994:  Whitney Houston takes home (almost) all the awards at this year's 36th Grammy Awards on the 1st for "I Will Always Love You." The United States Senate also rejected an amendment requiring a balanced budget earlier that day.  Heaven forbid!  On the 2nd, David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidian apocalyptical cult, promises to surrender if his tapes are aired on television.  They were, and he didn't.  On the 3rd, the IRS investigates baseball legend Darryl Strawberry.  On the 7th, the US Supreme Court decided that parody was covered under "fair use" laws in Campbell vs Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.  Also, on the 7th, the United States Navy began assigning women to live and work on combat ships for the first time.  On the 8th, Tim Allen and Roseanne Barr win the People's Choice Award for "Best on TV."  On March 12th, the Church of England ordained its first 33 female priests.  On the 16th, Tonya Harding pleads guilty to her role in attacking former teammate Nancy Kerrigan.  On the 17th, the Cleveland Indians announced there would be "NO SMOKING" in their new stadium, just days after the U.S. Government banned smoking inside government buildings.  Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor files for bankruptcy on March 19th.  On March 20th, Wrestlemania X takes place at Madison Square Garden, featuring the legendary ladder match between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels.  Bret Hart wins the World title from Yokozuna.  On the 21st, "Schindler's List," Tom Hanks, and Holly Hunter win big at the Oscars.  That same evening, Wayne Gretzky tied Gordie Howe's all-time scoring record in the NHL with 801 goals, which he broke two days later.  Actor Dudley Moore is arrested for hitting his girlfriend on the 22nd.  The man who lost part of himself for Amy Fisher, Joey Buttafouco, is released after 4 months in jail on the 23rd.  Jimmy Johnson quits as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys on the 29th.  He spent two years away from football before coaching the Miami Dolphins from 1996 to 1999 and has been a part of the FOX Football broadcast team since.  On the 31st, NBA legend Michael Jordan was assigned by baseball's Chicago White Sox to the Birmingham Barons AA minor league team.  He returned to basketball at the end of the season.  


2004: "The Passion of the Christ"   

This epic biblical drama was produced, directed, and co-written by Mel Gibson.  It stars Jim Caviezel as Jesus of Nazareth, Maia Morgenstern as Mary, and Monica Belluci as Mary Magdalene.  The film depicts the Passion of Jesus according to the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  It also draws on other devotional writings and accounts.

The film primarily covers the final 12 hours before Jesus Christ's death, known as "The Passion."  Beginning with the Agony in the Garden of Olives, it continues to the betrayal of Judas, the brutal Scourging at the Pillar, the crucifixion, and the death of Jesus.  It ends with a brief depiction of his resurrection.  

The narrative is interspersed with moments in Jesus's life, such as The Last Supper, The Sermon on the Mount, and other moments from Jesus' early life.  

The film was regarded as polarizing and controversial by critics, while many moviegoers viewed the film as a religious and holy experience.  The film grossed over $612 million worldwide and became the fifth highest-grossing film of 2004.  It was also the highest-grossing independent film of all time.  

As of 2023, it is still the highest-grossing Rated-R film domestically, with $370.8 million.  It received three nominations at the Academy Awards in 2005 for Best Makeup, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Score.  

1999: "Analyze This" 

Analyze This is a mafia-centric comedy film directed by the great Harold Ramis.  Ramis also co-wrote the screenplay with Kenneth Lonergan and Peter Tolan.  The film stars Robert De Niro as a panic-stricken mob boss who seeks the help of a reluctant psychiatrist, played by Billy Crystal.  

The film drew several comparisons to the mafia show The Sopranos, which had debuted two months earlier in January, due to its plot about mobster Tony Soprano seeking pychiatric help.

Analyze This drew several comparisons by journalists to the mafia show The Sopranos, which had premiered two months earlier in January, due to its plot about mobster Tony Soprano seeing a psychiatrist after suffering panic attacks.  This film is later mentioned in a Soprano's episode titled "Guy Walks into a Psychiatrist's Office."   

1994: "Naked Gun 33 1/3:   The Final Insult" 

Naked Gun 33 and 1/3:  The Final Insult is the third and final installment in the Naked Gun series, all of which is based on the television series Police Squad!  The "33 1/3" refers to the number of revolutions per minute at which LP (long-playing phonograph) records play.  The film was originally going to be titled "Naked Gun 33 and 1/3:  Just for the Record" but was changed after the studio felt that audiences wouldn't get the reference.  It was also titled "The Naked Gun 3" in some video previews.  

In it, Leslie Nielsen returns as Lieutenant Frank Drebin, along with Priscilla Presley as Jane Spencer Drebin.  O.J. Simpson appears as Officer Nordberg, and George Kennedy plays Captain Ed Hocken.  The film also welcomes newcomers to the series Fred Ward, Anna Nicole Smith, and Kathleen Freman as a gang of bombers set to blow up the Academy Awards. 

This third installment is the only film in the series directed by Peter Segal instead of David Zucker.  Zucker received credit for writing the screenplay, however.  

This is the only film in the series to be directed by Peter Segal rather than David Zucker, who received credit for writing the screenplay instead.  In addition to playing the producer of Sawdust and Mildew, Segal also had several minor voiceover roles in the film.  

Several scenes had been planned for the earlier films but were cut out and used in this final entry, such as the opening sequence intended for the first film.  The scene in which Frank and Jane get married and then drive off with Norberg on the back of the car was actually shot for the second film.  In that scene, the car being driven is the electric car featured in the second film. 

The film grossed over $132 million worldwide but was still the lowest-earning film in the Naked Gun series.  Still, 33 and 1/3 was the number one box office title during opening weekend and the highest-grossing film of March 1994.


2004:  "Yeah!" by Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris

1999:  "Believe" by Cher

1994:  "The Sign" by Ace of Base


March 2004:

1st:  On CBS, The Price is Right broadcasts its 6,000th episode.

4th:  Rich Fields, handpicked by Bob Barker after the death of longtime announcer Rod Roddy, debuts as the new announcer on Price is Right, a role he would hold until 2011.  "Pimp My Ride" on MTV debuts today.  

15th:  The Game Show Network begins rebranding as "GSN."  

18th:  The 57th episode of The Powerpuff Girls "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey" airs only in Canada, having been banned in the United States due to controversy over religious overtones.  

21st:  Deadwood debuts on HBO.  

March 1999:  

13th:  A special "live" edition of "All That" airs on Nickelodeon for the first time.

15th:  After three years of not being picked up by domestic distribution, the action series "L.A. Heat" finally debuts on TNT.

24th:  Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski signed on to the recently launched Nickelodeon Games and Sports network as a special host and correspondent.

26th:  Tom Synder made his final appearance on CBS' The Late-Late Show.  The following Monday, Craig Kilborn, formerly of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, begins his tenure as host.  

March 1994:  

1st:  The "Pay Television Content Advisory System," which describes the varying degrees of suggestive or explicit content in a series broadcast by a pay channel, was first implemented by HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, and The Movie Channel.  A streamlined ten-point system of content labels and abbreviated codes was implemented later in the year.

9th:  The Busy World of Richard Scarry debuts on Showtime.  

11th:  Viacom assumes control of Paramount Pictures, including Paramount Television.  Later during the year, the Paramount/Viacom enterprise announced plans to initiate a new over-the-air television network in conjunction with United Television.  The new network, the United Paramount Network (better known as UPN), began at the start of 1995.

15th:  Major League Soccer announces the league's first television deal with ESPN and ABC Sports without players, coaches, or teams in place.  The three-year agreement commits to 10 games on ESPN, 25 on ESPN 2, and the MLS Cup on ABC.  

29th:  "Ellen" debuts on ABC.

31st:  Madonna appears on CBS' Late Show with David Letterman and makes headlines for a profanity-laden tirade.  It's one of the most censored events in American talk-show history.  Madonna swore 13 times during the interview, and while infamous, it resulted in some of the highest ratings in Letterman's career.  


  1. Couple things…

    1) These segments are always among my favorites here. There are always other articles I really enjoy, but these monthly ones are a consistent reminder of how old I am getting.

    2) “…lost a part of himself…”. Really, dude??? Great job. Thankfully I wasn’t eating this time when I read it.

  2. Haha thanks! As for the Joey B stuff... I always figure if I make myself laugh, others will too!