1998 is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean.
January 1998 - A massive ice storm, caused by El Niño, strikes New England, southern Ontario and Quebec, resulting in widespread power failures, severe damage to forests, and a number of deaths.
January 1 - Smoking is banned in all California bars and restaurants.
Russia begins to circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.
Gunman shoots Antario Teodoro Filho , Brazilian politician and radio presenter, in a middle of his broadcast.
January 4 - Wilaya of Relizane massacres of 4 January 1998 in Algeria; over 170 killed in three remote villages.
January 6 - The Lunar Prospector spacecraft is launched into orbit around the Moon and later found evidence for frozen water on the moon's surface.
January 11 - Sidi-Hamed massacre in Algeria; over 100 people killed.
January 12 - 19 European nations agree to forbid human cloning.
January 14 - Researchers in Dallas, Texas present findings about an enzyme that slows aging and cell death ( apoptosis).
January 15 - The stalker of Howard Stern, Lance Carvin, is sentenced to 2 1/2 years for threatening to kill Stern and his family.
January 16 - NASA announces that John Glenn will return to space when Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off in October 1998.
January 17 - Paula Jones accuses President Bill Clinton of sexual harassment.
January 22 - Suspected " Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski pleads guilty and accepts a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
January 27 - American First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton appears on the calling the attacks against her husband part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."
Today show January 28
January 29 - In Birmingham, Alabama a bomb explodes at an abortion clinic killing one and severely wounding another. Serial bomber Eric Rudolph is suspected as the culprit.
April 5 - In Japan, the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge linking Shikoku with Honshu and costing cost 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 7 - Citicorp and Travelers Group announce plans to merge creating the largest financial-services conglomerate in the world, Citigroup
April 8 - Iraq disarmament crisis: UNSCOM reports to the UN Security Council that Iraq's declaration on its biological weapons program is incomplete and inadequate.
April 10 - Good Friday: 18 hours after the end of talks deadline the Belfast Agreement is signed between the Irish and British governments and most Northern Ireland political parties.
April 16 - A massive tornado occurred in Nashville, Tennessee. It is the first tornado in 20 years to make a direct hit on a major city. (see Nashville Tornado of 1998)
April 25 - A waste reservoir at Los Frailes mine in Andalusia, Spain, ruptures, discharging heavy metal waste into the Guadiamar River . The pollution threatens the sensitive ecosystem and endangered species of Dońana National Park, Spain's largest nature reserve, but is diverted into the Guadalquivir River. Up to 100 km² of farmland are ruined by the spill. 
May 2 - hide (Hideto Matsumoto) is dead from asphyxiation
May 7 - Apple Computer unveils the iMac.
May 7 - Mercedes-Benz buys Chrysler for US$40 billion and forms DaimlerChrysler in the largest industrial merger in history.
May 11 - Nuclear testing: In the Rajasthan Desert, India conducts its second series of underground nuclear tests (the first were in 1974) and inflaming its rival neighbor Pakistan (who already has nuclear weapons).
May 13 - Following India's second round of nuclear tests the United States and Japan impose economic sanctions on the nation.
May 15 - Iraq disarmament crisis: UNSCOM learns that an Iraqi delegation has travelled to Bucharest to meet with scientists who can provide the country with missile guidance systems.
May 18 - Microsoft antitrust case: The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states file an antitrust case against Microsoft
May 21 - School shooting: At Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, Kipland Kinkel (who was suspended for bringing a gun to school) shoots a semi-automatic rifle into a room filled with students killing 2 wounding 25 others after killing his parents at home
May 21 - Reproductive rights: In Miami, Florida, five abortion clinics are hit by a butyric acid attacker
May 21 - Suharto resigns, after 32 years as Indonesian President and 7th consecutive re-election by the Indonesian Parliament (MPR). Suharto's hand-picked Vice President, B. J. Habibie, became Indonesia's third president.
May 21 to September 30 - Expo '98 is held in Lisbon, Portugal, with the title "Oceans, an Heritage for the Future". UNESCO had previously declared 1998 to be the International Year of the Oceans due to the Expo. 12 million people attend the world fair
May 22 - Lewinsky scandal: A federal judge rules that United States Secret Service agents can be compelled to testify before a grand jury concerning the scandal
May 27 - Oklahoma City bombing: Michael Fortier is sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $200,000 for failing to warn authorities about the terrorist plot.
May 28 - Nuclear testing: In response to a series of Indian nuclear tests, Pakistan explodes six nuclear devices of its own in the Chaghai hills of Baluchistan, prompting the United States, Japan and other nations to impose economic sanctions.
May 30 - Nuclear testing: Pakistan conducts two more nuclear explosions following its first test.
May 30 - A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hits northern Afghanistan killing up to 5,000.
August 5 - Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq officially suspends all cooperation with UNSCOM teams
August 7 - 1998 U.S. embassy bombings: Bombing of the United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya kills 224 people and injures over 4,500. The bombings were linked to Osama Bin Laden.
August 15 - The Real IRA detonate a car bomb in Omagh, Northern Ireland, killing 29 and injuring over 200 - the greatest loss of life in a single incident of The Troubles.
August 17 - Monica Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony that he had an "improper physical relationship" with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the same day he admits before the nation that he "misled people" about his relationship
August 20 - The Supreme Court of Canada states Quebec can not legally secede from Canada without the federal government's approval
August 20 - 1998 U.S. embassy bombings: The United States military launches cruise missile attacks against alleged Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for the August 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum is destroyed in the attack
August 26 - Iraq disarmament crisis: Scott Ritter resigns from UNSCOM, sharply criticized the Clinton administration and the U.N. Security Council for not being vigorous enough about insisting that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction be destroyed. Ritter told reporters that " Iraq is not disarming," " Iraq retains the capability to launch a chemical strike."
August 31 - North Korea reportedly launches Kwangmyongsong, their first satellite. Although North Korea reports that it reached stable orbit, NORAD was never able to confirm this assertion
October 3 — In Australia, John Howard's coalition government was re-elected for a second term.
October 4 - Leafie Mason is murdered in her Hughes Springs, Texas house by Angel Maturino Resendiz. She was his second victim in his second incident.
October 6 - Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming college student, is found tied to a fence, the victim of a gay-bashing. He dies on Monday, October 12, becoming a symbol of victims of gay-bashing and sparking public reflection on homophobia.
October 7 - Oslo Fornebu Airport closes.
October 7 - United States Congress passes, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which gives copyright holders 20 more years of copyright privilege on work which they control the copyright. This effectively freezes the public domain to works created before 1923 in the United States.
October 8 - Oslo Airport Gardermoen opens.
October 8 - Japan-Republic of Korea Joint Declaration A New Japan-Republic of Korea Partnership towards the Twenty-first Century.
October 12 - U.S. Congress passes Digital Millennium Copyright Act
October 14 - Eric Robert Rudolph is charged with 6 bombings including the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta, Georgia
October 16 - British police place General Augusto Pinochet into house arrest during his medical treatment in Britain
October 23 - Swatch Internet Time introduced
October 28 - An Air China jetliner is hijacked by disgruntled pilot Yuan Bin and flown to Taiwan. After landing the plane safely, Yuan Bin was arrested.
October 29 - Apartheid: In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presents its report, which condemns both sides for committing atrocities
October 29 - Space Shuttle Discovery blasts-off with 77-year old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space. He became the first American to orbit Earth on Tuesday, February 20, 1962.
October 29 - While en route from Adana to Ankara, a Turkish Airlines flight with a crew of 6 and 33 passengers is hijacked by a Kurdish militant who orders the pilot to fly to Switzerland. The plane instead lands in Ankara after the pilot tricked the hijacking into thinking that he was landing in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia to refuel
October 29 - In Freehold Borough, New Jersey, Melissa Drexler pleads guilty to aggravated manslaughter for killing her baby moments after delivering him in the bathroom at her senior prom, and is sentenced to 15 years imprisonment
October 29 - In Göteborg, Sweden two arsonists burn down a disco of a local Macedonian Society - 63 dead, over 200 injured, most of them children of refugees
October 31 - Iraq disarmament crisis begins: Iraq announces it would no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.
December 1 - Exxon announces a US$73.7 billion deal to buy Mobil, thus creating Exxon-Mobil, the largest company on the planet.
December 6 - Hugo Chávez Frías, Venezuelan military and politician, is elected President of Venezuela.
December 8 - Tadjena massacre in Algeria; 81 villagers killed.
December 11 - Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq announces that U.N. weapons inspections will no longer take place on Friday, the Muslim day of rest. Iraq also refuses to provide test data from the production of missiles and engines
December 16- 19 - Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. President Clinton orders American and British airstrikes on Iraq. UNSCOM withdraws all weapons inspectors from Iraq
December 17 - Claudia Benton , of West University Place, Texas, is murdered in her house by Angel Maturino Resendiz, She is his third victim in his third incident.
December 19 - Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraqi vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan announces that Iraq will no longer cooperate and declares that UNSCOM's "mission is over."
December 21 - Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council members France, Germany and Russia call for sanctions to end against Iraq. The three Security Council members also call for UNSCOM to either be disbanded or for its role to be recast. The U.S. says it will veto any such proposal
December 26 - Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq announced its intention to fire upon US and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern "no-fly zones".
December 29 - Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologize for the genocide in Cambodia that claimed over 1 million in the 1970s.
Year in topic
January 1 - Helen Wills Moody, tennis player, first women's champion at Wimbledon
January 4 - Mae Questel, actress
January 5 - Sonny Bono, singer, actor, United States Representative
January 8 - Michael Tippett, composer
January 11 - Klaus Tennstedt, German conductor (b. 1926)
January 15 - Junior Wells, musician
January 19 - Carl Perkins, guitarist
January 21 - Jack Lord, actor
February - Roger Nicholas Angleton, admitted to murdering Doris Angleton on his suicide note
February 6 - Carl Wilson, musician (" The Beach Boys")
February 6 - Falco, singer
February 7 - Lawrence Sanders, author
February 8 - Halldór Laxness, author
February 8 - Julian Simon, economist, author
February 18 - Harry Caray, TV and radio broadcaster for three Major League Baseball teams (b. 1917)
February 24 - Henny Youngman, comedian (b. 1906)
February 27 - J.T. Walsh, actor
March 8 - Ray Nitschke, American football player
March 10 - Lloyd Bridges, actor
March 12 - Beatrice Wood, artist and ceramist
March 13 - Bill Reid, Canadian artist
March 13 - Risen Star, race horse (b. 1985)
March 15 - Benjamin Spock, pediatrician, writer, Olympics gold medalist
March 31 - Bella Abzug, American politician
April 6 - Tammy Wynette, country musician
April 15 - Pol Pot, Cambodian dictator
April 19 - Octavio Paz, Mexican writer (b. 1914)
April 23 - Constantine Caramanlis, Greek politician
May 1 - Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther
May 9 - Alice Faye, actress
May 14 - Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor
May 15 - Earl Manigault , basketball player
May 19 - Uno Sosuke, Japanese prime minister
May 28 - Phil Hartman, Canadian graphic artist, writer, actor, and comedian
May 29 - Barry M. Goldwater, Arizona Senator
June 10 - Hammond Innes, English adventure author
June 11 - Catherine Cookson, author
July 3 - Danielle Bunten Berry (Dan Bunten), software developer
July 6 - Roy Rogers, singer and cowboy actor (b. 1911)
July 19 - Elmer Valo, Major League Baseball player (b. 1921)
July 22 - Hermann Prey, German bass-baritone (b. 1929)
August 3 - Alfred Schnittke, Russian classical composer
August 4 - Yuri Artyukhin, cosmonaut
August 24 - E.G. Marshall, American actor (b. 1910)
August 26 - Frederick Reines, physicist (1995 Nobel Prize)
September 6 - Akira Kurosawa, Japanese film director
September 14 - Johnny Adams , Soul blues musician
September 21 - Florence "Flo-Jo" Griffith-Joyner track and field sprinter (b. 1959)
September 27 - Narita Bryan, Japanese racehorse(b. 1991)
September 30 - Dan Quisenberry, baseball pitcher (b. 1953)
October 2 - Olivier Gendebien, Belgian race car driver
October 6 - Mark Belanger, major league baseball player
October 29 - Ted Hughes, English poet (b. 1930)
November 10 - Hal Newhouser, Baseball Hall of Famer (b. 1921)
December 14 - Annette Strauss, philanthropist, former mayor of Dallas, Texas
December 17 - Claudia Benton , Child Psychologist
December 18 - Lev Demin, cosmonaut
December 20 - Irene Hervey, actress (b. 1910)
December - Brian Stonehouse, painter, SOE agent in WW II
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