(VUS.13,15) William Jefferson Clinton

  • An end to Apartheid (VUS.13e)

    An end to Apartheid (VUS.13e)
    The South African Congress voted to end the practice of apartheid, the strict segregation laws that had governed society. Activist Nelson Mandela would be elected President three years later. With this change, Clinton lifted American sanctions against South Africa. Read MORE
  • William Jefferson Clinton is inaugurated

    William Jefferson Clinton is inaugurated
    Considered a “moderate”, President Clinton would be most remembered for ending trade barriers in North America (NAFTA), normalizing trade with Vietnam, attempting health care reform, and being only the second president impeached (Andrew Johnson was the first). Clinton also held office when apartheid ended in South Africa and genocide occurred in the former Yugoslavia.
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    Bill Clinton Administration

    Considered a “moderate”, President Clinton would be most remembered for ending trade barriers in North America (NAFTA), normalizing trade with Vietnam, attempting health care reform, and being only the second president impeached (Andrew Johnson was the first). Clinton also held office when apartheid ended in South Africa and genocide occurred in the former Yugoslavia.
  • Attempting Health Care Reform

    Attempting Health Care Reform
    President Clinton announces that First Lady Hillary Clinton will head the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. The President hopes to reform the nation's health care system so that all Americans have health insurance, ensuring what is called "universal coverage," and to control the sky-rocketing costs of health care. Ultimately, these efforts would fail.
  • Protection to Women and Families (VUS.15a)

    Protection to Women and Families (VUS.15a)
    President Clinton signs the Family Medical Leave Act that requires companies to provide workers with up to three months of unpaid leave for family and medical emergencies.
  • Terrorist Attack at the World Trade Center (VUS.13e)

    Terrorist Attack at the World Trade Center (VUS.13e)
    Six people are killed and more than a thousand suffer injuries after a bomb planted under the World Trade Center in New York City explodes. The bomb marks the beginning of a string of threats against the United States made during the Clinton administration by both foreign and domestic terrorists. MORE
  • Second Woman to the Supreme Court; Ruth Bader Ginsburg (VUS.15a)

    Second Woman to the Supreme Court; Ruth Bader Ginsburg (VUS.15a)
    The Senate confirms Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nomination to the Supreme Court. Ginsburg succeeds the retiring Byron White and become the second woman to sit on the high court. She will represent the inclusion of women and minorities on the Supreme Court
  • Cutting the Budget (VUS.15d)

    Cutting the Budget (VUS.15d)
    President Clinton signs the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The legislation, which passes both houses of Congress by slim majorities, lays out a plan to reduce the budget deficit by $496 billion through 1998, using a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. This aligns with the ideals of the “Reagan Revolution”.
  • Israel and PLO sign first agreement (VUS.13e)

    Israel and PLO sign first agreement (VUS.13e)
    President Clinton presides over a ceremony in Washington, D.C., at which Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat sign the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, the first agreement between Jews and Palestinians, providing for Palestinian self-government in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. MORE
  • Blackhawk Down (VUS.13e)

    Blackhawk Down (VUS.13e)
    An elite American special forces unit searching for Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid in Somalia's capital city of Mogadishu is ambushed by Aidid's forces, leaving eighteen Americans dead. Three days later, President Clinton announces that all American military personnel in Somalia will be home by March 31, 1994. Read some background
  • NAFTA (VUS.13e)

    NAFTA (VUS.13e)
    After a hard-fought battle in Congress, President Clinton signs the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), eliminating nearly every trade barrier between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, creating the world's largest free trade zone. Designed to open markets for America, the net result was the loss of many jobs as companies began “offshoring” – moving manufacturing centers to Mexico where labor costs were cheaper.
  • Genocide in Rwanda (VUS.13e)

    Genocide in Rwanda (VUS.13e)
    From April to July 1994, members of the Hutu ethnic majority in the east-central African nation of Rwanda murdered as many as 800,000 people, mostly of the Tutsi minority. The official response ordered by The State Department was to evacuate – not assist in stopping the massacre.
  • China still a trade partner (VUS.13e)

    China still a trade partner (VUS.13e)
    In spite of the continued oppression and human rights violations, President Clinton renews China's Most Favored Nation trade status. Clinton’s belief that global trade was the most important factor in solidifying the American economy continued.
  • Welfare to “Workfare” (VUS.15d)

    Welfare to “Workfare” (VUS.15d)
    President Clinton unveils his welfare reform initiatives. Clinton had campaigned in 1992 on the issue, promising to "end welfare as we know it." More rules and limitations went into the system to prevent abuses and to make recipients more accountable. (part of the “Reagan Revolution”) The provisions of a new law passed in 1996, limit recipients of welfare benefits and enact a "welfare to work" initiative.
  • Another “victory” in the Middle East (VUS.13e)

    Another “victory” in the Middle East (VUS.13e)
    President Clinton meets with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and King Hussein of Jordan. The talks result in Israel and Jordan agreeing in principle to end nearly fifty years of official antagonism.
  • Get Tough on Crime (VUS.15d)

    Get Tough on Crime (VUS.15d)
    More of the “Reagan Revolution”, President Clinton signs into law the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that includes provisions providing for the hiring of 100,000 more policemen, and the expansion of the death penalty to cover more than 50 federal crimes.
  • Problems with Iraq (VUS.13e)

    Problems with Iraq (VUS.13e)
    The Clinton administration announces plans to send more than 35,000 troops to the Persian Gulf to deter an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Less than three days after the announcement, Iraqi troops pull back from the Iraq-Kuwait border. Saddam Hussein would continue to harass world leaders and the United Nations for the remainder of the decade. MORE
  • A “Contract with America” (VUS.15d)

    A “Contract with America” (VUS.15d)
    In mid-term congressional elections, the Republican Party wins control of both houses of Congress for the first time in more than 40 years. Newt Gingrich would become the new Speaker of the House, and tout the “Contract with America” – which highlighted a conservative agenda. This election marked another example of the “Reagan Revolution”. MORE on republicans vs. democrats
  • More Trade – Reduce Tariffs (VUS.13e)

    More Trade – Reduce Tariffs (VUS.13e)
    The Senate votes to approve the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that 117 nations, including the United States, agree to in December 1993. The agreement cuts tariffs by more than a third on a wide-range of products and creates a freer international market for goods.
  • “Neighbors helping Neighbors” (VUS.13e)

    “Neighbors helping Neighbors” (VUS.13e)
    President Clinton authorizes the U.S. Treasury Department to make an emergency loan of up to $20 billion to Mexico to forestall a financial crisis threatening the interconnected Mexican and American economies.
  • Domestic Terrorism

    Domestic Terrorism
    In an act of domestic terrorism, a bomb planted in a truck parked in front of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, kills 168 people and causes massive structural damage. This was a response to several government actions. MORE
  • Relations with Vietnam (VUS.13e)

    Relations with Vietnam (VUS.13e)
    The United States extended full diplomatic recognition of Vietnam, twenty-two years after the United States withdrew military forces from that country. Controversy surrounded the action, as Vietnam was still a communist nation and believed to be violating human rights. Read Clinton’s own words about the reasons to do this. MORE
  • A changing role for NATO (VUS.13e)

    A changing role for NATO (VUS.13e)
    NATO, with a strong contingent of American forces, begins two weeks of air attacks on Serbian positions. This is to help bring stability to the civil wars that were breeding atrocities and based on religious and ethnic factionalism.
  • What about all those leftover missiles? (VUS.13e)

    What about all those leftover missiles? (VUS.13e)
    President Clinton and Russian president Yeltsin meet in Hyde Park, New York, and continue to discuss ways to improve relations between their two nations, especially with regard to the issue of nuclear arms.
  • No Compromise (VUS.15d)

    No Compromise (VUS.15d)
    President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress, led by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA), engage in a political death struggle over how to balance the budget by 2002. Failure to reach an agreement leads to the shut-down of certain parts of the federal government, furloughing more than a quarter of a million government workers. MORE
  • Clinton the “moderate” – and the continuing “Reagan Revolution” (VUS.15d)

    Clinton the “moderate” – and the continuing “Reagan Revolution” (VUS.15d)
    President Clinton, in the annual State of the Union address, declares that "the era of big government is over." More important, he positions himself as a centrist, moderate Democrat for the upcoming presidential election, hoping that these types of pronouncements will blunt Republican charges that he is too liberal.
  • Civil Unrest in the former Yugoslavia (VUS.13e)

    Civil Unrest in the former Yugoslavia (VUS.13e)
    President Clinton announces that American troops will likely remain in Bosnia as the major component of an international peacekeeping force for an additional eighteen months.
  • Saddam Hussein – Making more trouble (VUS.13e)

    Saddam Hussein – Making more trouble (VUS.13e)
    President Clinton orders a cruise missile strike against Iraq after Saddam Hussein leads a siege against the Kurdish city of Irbil in northern Iraq.
  • Clinton Re-Elected

    Clinton Re-Elected
    President Clinton, with 49 percent of the vote, defeats Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), with 41 percent of the vote, for the presidency. Clinton becomes the first Democratic President since Franklin Roosevelt to win reelection to a second term.
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction – WMD’s (VUS.13e)

    Weapons of Mass Destruction – WMD’s (VUS.13e)
    The Senate ratifies the Chemical Weapons Convention, making illegal the production, acquisition, stockpiling, or use of chemical weapons. Later, Saddam Hussein will lead the world to believe he is violating this international initiative in Iraq. The result will be a second war against Iraq.
  • Not illegal to do it, but illegal to lie about it under oath.

    Not illegal to do it, but illegal to lie about it under oath.
    News breaks that President Clinton may have had a sexual relationship with a former White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. Clinton, adamantly denying the allegations, states, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." This is NOT why Clinton was impeached!
  • Terrorist Attacks! (VUS.13e, 15f)

    Terrorist Attacks! (VUS.13e, 15f)
    Terrorists bomb American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people, United States intelligence believes that Osama bin Laden, a Saudi exile and alleged terrorist leader, is behind the attacks. President Clinton, launch reprisal strikes on "terrorist related facilities" in Afghanistan, bin Laden's country of residence.
  • More Trouble with Saddam Hussein (VUS.13e)

    More Trouble with Saddam Hussein (VUS.13e)
    President Clinton orders a three-day bombing attack against Iraq after Saddam Hussein refuses to cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors. This makes the UN and the rest of the world believe Hussein is manufacturing and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. MORE
  • IMPEACHMENT!

    IMPEACHMENT!
    The House of Representatives votes to impeach President Clinton on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. The President would not be found “guilty” (needing a 2/3 guilty vote) in his trial before the Senate on Feb 12, 1999. Read MORE about this often misunderstood event.
  • More NATO Airstrikes (VUS.13e)

    More NATO Airstrikes (VUS.13e)
    In response to Serbian aggression in Kosovo and Albania, and reports of ethnic cleansing, the United States leads NATO attacks against Serbia. On February 23, Serbian and Kosovar representatives had agreed to a plan that would have granted more autonomy to Kosovo over a three-year period. Serbia reneged on the agreement, prompting U.S. and NATO military action.
  • China a trade partner (VUS.13e)

    China a trade partner (VUS.13e)
    The United States and China agree to a trade treaty reducing tariffs and other trade barriers. The treaty is to come into effect after China joins the World Trade Organization and Congress grants permanent normal trade relations between the two countries. Still very controversial, American trade deficit with China begins to grow.
  • Election 2000 – Who Won?

    Election 2000 – Who Won?
    On election day, Vice President Gore and Governor Bush run so closely that no winner can be declared. Only after the Supreme Court rules on December 13 that there would be no recount of Florida's contested votes does Gore concede the election to Bush. MORE