Remember When...

Remember when …

gas was 31 cents, ‘Psycho’ thrilled crowds and the Cold War made us shiver?

By Rick Alloway
NU broadcasting faculty

Each spring, NU recognizes faculty and staff who have been at the university for multiples of five years: five years, 10 years, 15 years, etc. And each spring Rick Alloway — introduced this year as “the golden voice of UNL” — is the emcee for the program.

Alloway explains that the NU Human Resources Office compiles a list of major events from the years being recognized, and he writes a script, using items from that list.

While the presentation is intended to honor NU employees, the Journalism Alumni News editors thought alumni might also enjoy remembering news events that took place in the world and on campus while many of them were students here. Following is an adapted version of Alloway’s script from April 19, 2000.


We begin in the not-too-distant past — 1995 — still fresh in most of our memories. Elian Gonzales was barely a year old. “Seinfeld,” “E.R” “Friends” and “Mad About You” were the hot TV shows — two still are. Gasoline cost a mere $1.26 per gallon. It was a year of earth-shaking events: like the 7.2 level earthquake that devastated Kobe, Japan.

Closer to home, the shock waves were from a bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, while the Capitol Mall in Washington, D.C., rumbled with sounds of feet from Louis Farrakhan’s “Million Man March” and stadiums around the country reverberated with hymns during Promise Keepers’ rallies.

In Nebraska, Holdrege was named one of the 100 Best Small Towns in America, while the state’s third-largest city — that would be Memorial Stadium on home game days — enjoyed playing host to another national championship Husker football team. The Board of Regents began a review of peer schools to compare faculty salaries and administrative costs, and the Internet was going great guns on the campus — until 200,000 gallons of water flooded the basement of the Walter Scott Engineering Building, disrupting Internet service on campus and across seven states.


A new decade began in 1990 — the last of the millennium, though the “Y2K bug” was nowhere to be found yet.

The ’90s began in conflict. Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, leading first to “Operation Desert Shield” and then “Operation Desert Storm.” Elsewhere in the world that year, violence erupted in England over that country’s poll tax. East and West Germany were united after years of separation, while Nelson Mandela parted company with the prison cell he had occupied for 27 years.

Boris Yeltsin was elected president of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. Mary Robinson became the first female president of the Irish Republic, while Nebraska’s female chief of state, Gov. Kay Orr, played host to President George Bush as supporters dug into their pockets to attend a political fund-raiser.

Sue Hendrickson did some digging of a different sort, unearthing a 50 foot female tyrannosaurus rex in South Dakota. That T-rex was 65 million years old.