The 1990s, also known as "the Nineteen Nineties" or abbreviated as "the Nineties" or "the '90s", was the decade that began on January 1, 1990, and ended on December 31, 1999. It was the tenth and final decade of the 20th century and the last full decade of the 2nd millennium (which both ended on December 31, 2000).
The '90s is often considered the true dawn of the Information Age. Though info-age technologies predate the 1980s, it was not until the late 1980s and the 1990s that they became widely used by the general public. A combination of factors, including the mass mobilization of capital markets through neoliberalism, the beginning of the widespread proliferation of new media such as the Internet, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union led to a realignment and reconsolidation of economic and political power across the world, and within countries.
The 1990s is often considered the end of modernity and the dawn of the postmodern age, even though the first traces of postmodernity took place as far back as the 1940s. Some contemporary theorists have proposed that the 1990s actually marked the end of modernity, which scholars claim peaked during the 1980s. The economies and living standards of some countries such as South Korea and Ireland improved to such an extent that they were considered First World nations by the decade's end.
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days (from the assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on April 6) through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate. Estimates of the death toll have ranged between 500,000 and 1,000,000, or as much as 20% of the country's total population. It was the culmination of longstanding ethnic competition and tensions between the minority Tutsi, who had controlled power for centuries, and the majority Hutu peoples, who had come to power in the rebellion of 1959–62 and overthrown the Tutsi monarchy.
Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994) was an American singer-songwriter, musician and artist, best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana. Cobain formed Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1985 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene, having its debut album Bleach released on the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. After signing with major label DGC Records, the band found breakthrough success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from its second album Nevermind (1991). Following the success of Nevermind, Nirvana was labeled "the flagship band" of Generation X, and Cobain hailed as "the spokesman of a generation".