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2002 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 2001

2002 History Snapshot

  • Olympic Luck: Steven Bradbury won a gold medal in 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics in speed skating, because everyone in front of him crashed. 3 races in a row.
  • The Top Song was Lose Yourself by Eminem
  • The Big Movies included Spider-Man, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
  • Price of a Taco Bell bean burrito in 2002: 69 cents
    Keds sneakers: $19.99 to 29.99
    Compact Disc: $11.98
  • The World Population was ~ 6,250,000,000
  • "New Coke" stayed in production for 16 years, even though it only took 3 months for Coke to bring back "Coca-Cola Classic" due to extreme public backlash. It was renamed "Coke II" until discontinuation in 2002.
  • A 2002 study found that the sun provides the Earth with more energy in one hour than humans can use in a year.
  • And... The scene in 2002's Spider-Man where Peter Parker catches Mary Jane's tray in the school cafeteria does not have any CGI. The whole thing was actually done by Tobey Maguire himself. It took him 156 takes to get it perfectly.

World Series Champions

Anaheim Angels

Superbowl XXXVI Champions

New England Patriots

National Basketball Association Champions

Los Angeles Lakers

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Detroit Red Wings

US Open Golf

Tiger Woods

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Pete Sampras/Serena Williams

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Lleyton Hewitt/Serena Williams

FIFA World Cup Soccer


NCAA Football Champions

Ohio State

NCAA Basketball Champions


Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 2, 2002 - Florida over Maryland
Rose Bowl: January 3, 2002 - Miami (FL) over Nebraska
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 2002 - LSU over Illinois

Kentucky Derby

War Emblem

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Surrey Spice Girl

Time Magazine's Persons of the Year

Whisteblowers, Represented by Cynthia Cooper, WorldCom; Coleen Rowley, FBI; and Sherron Watkins, Enron

Miss America

Katie Harman (Gresham, OR)

Miss USA

Shauntay Hinton (District of Colombia)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Christina Aguilera, Jessica Alba, Gillian Anderson, Jennifer Aniston, Christina Applegate, Asia Argento, Ashanti, Morena Baccarin, Victoria Beckham, Kate Beckinsale, Monica Bellucci, Julie Benz, Halle Berry, Beyonce, Selma Blair, Jordana Brewster, Gisele Bündchen, Brooke Burke, Rose Byrne, Kim Cattrall, Jennifer Connelly, Rosario Dawson, Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Eve, Isla Fisher, Nelly Furtado, Jennifer Garner, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Faith Hill, Kelly Hu, Angelina Jolie, Alicia Keys, Nicole Kidman, Ali Larter, Lil' Kim, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Debra Messing, Kylie Minogue, Julianne Moore, Mandy Moore, Samantha Mumba, Brittany Murphy, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica-Parker, Amanda Peet, Pink, Teri Polo, Jaime Pressly, Tara Reid, Christina Ricci, Michelle Rodriguez, Elisabeth Rohm, Winona Ryder, Roselyn Sanchez, Shakira, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Victoria Silvstedt, Jessica Simpson, Lee Lee Sobieski, Britney Spears, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Liv Tyler, Gabrielle Union, Sofia Vergara, Naomi Watts, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Brad Pitt, Tim McGraw, Russell Crowe, George Clooney, Ashton Kutcher, Justin Timberlake

"The Quotes"

"My precious."
- Andy Serkis, Gollum, in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

"What happens here, stays here"
- Las Vegas

Judge Alex Kozinski dismissed Mattel's lawsuit over the song Barbie Girl with the line "The parties are advised to chill."

2002 Pop Culture History

When the New York Sun was relaunched in 2002, its first edition carried the solution to the last crossword puzzle that the earlier Sun published before it initially folded in 1950.

'Cincinnati Freedom' was a cow that jumped a 6 foot fence at a slaughterhouse in Cincinnati, only to evade police officers for 11 days, making national news headlines, and eventually living out the rest of its life in NY.

Bart Sibrel lured Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, to a hotel to interview him for a documentary. Sibrel, poking Aldrin with a bible, called him a "thief, liar and coward", demanding he swear the moon landing wasn't staged. Instead, Aldrin punched Sibrel, and was not prosecuted.

Tom Green won five Razzies for Freddy Got Fingered in 2002. He showed up in a white Cadillac, rolled out his own red carpet, and had to be dragged off stage because he wouldn't stop playing a harmonica.

Switerzland didn't join the UN until 2002.

Casey Kasem Kasem was a devout vegan. He quit the Scooby-Doo show in 1995 when asked to voice Shaggy in a Burger King commercial, returning in 2002 after negotiating to have Shaggy become a vegetarian.

Every car made after 2002 has an "Emergency Release" cable inside the trunk in case of kidnapping.

Boston orthopedist David Arndt, while performing complicated spinal surgery, walked out on his patient -- who was lying on the operating table, anesthetized and sliced open -- so he could go cash his paycheck before the bank closed.

Steve Fossett finished his non-stop trip around the world via balloon on July 4th. It took him 14 days, 19 hours and 51 minutes.

Keiko, the orca who starred in Free Willy was released in the wild in July of 2002 after being in captivity for 23 years. A few weeks after his release, he showed up at a Norwegian fjord in hopes of seeking human contact and would even give children rides on his back.

Claritin, invented as a prescription medication in 1993, became an over-the-counter allergy medicine.

There was a live, 24 hour '24 Hours of Love' special on MTV hosted by Courtney Love, who was supposedly given control over what content would air. It ended with her crying on a couch for the last few hours.

In 1969, 90 percent of all children walked to school, as schools were part of complete neighborhoods, but in 2002 only 31 percent walked to school due to the impact of sprawl.

Rosie O'Donnel announced that she was gay.

McCall's magazine released it's first issue in 1873 and was one of America's oldest and longest running magazines until Rosie O'Donnell took control of it in 2000, renamed it "Rosie", and by 2002 had officially killed it.

Steven Spielberg finally finished college after a 33 year hiatus. He turned in Schindler's List for his student film requirement.

A car was reported running off the road in Surrey, England by multiple witnesses. Police arrived and found no signs of a crash. After a careful search the car and driver were finally found but it was determined the accident occurred 5 months earlier.

Rupert Grint starred in a movie called Thunderpants about a boy who's super power is his "amazing ability to break wind".

The Thing Video Game released in 2002, is considered the canonical sequel to the 1982 film and explains what happens to Childs and MacReady.

A wild fox wandered into the United States Supreme Court building in 2002 and eluded capture for more than a day .

The sad lamp from IKEA's acclaimed 2002 commercial was taken home by a crew member at the end of the shoot. When the ad agency asked for it back, they received a note saying "See? you've fallen for it. You've grown attached to the lamp, and you are crazy."

Elmo from Sesame Street testified in front of Congress.

Iraq's Vice President suggested a duel between George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein, to be refereed by Kofi Annan, as a way to settle their disputes without going to war.

Steven Bradbury won a gold medal in 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics in speed skating, because everyone in front of him crashed. 3 races in a row.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 2002: $1,900,000.

When Spider-Man was released in 2002, it was the first movie ever to gross $100 million at the domestic box office on its first weekend. The scene where Peter Parker catches Mary Jane's tray in the school cafeteria does not have any CGI. The whole thing was actually done by Tobey Maguire himself. It took him 156 takes to get it perfectly.

Between 2002 and 2012, college textbook prices rose 82% while overall consumer prices rose 28%.

Citizens of Russia can legally identify as any ethnicity, real or not. According to official statistics in the 2002 census, there are Russian citizens who identify as Babylonians, Romans, Martians, Goblins, Elves and Hobbits.

Bruce Willis purchased 12,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies for American troops stationed throughout the Middle East.

The Rumor

Prince Charles had his valet hold the jar for a urine test

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who died at the age of 101 in 2002, had an older sister, Violet, who sadly died at the age of eleven, eight years before the Queen Mother's own birth. Which means that one sister died in the 19th century while the other died in the 21st century.

Michael Jackson dangled Prince Michael II, off a balcony from a Berlin hotel room.

30 people were cast on a new British reality TV show, Project MS2, and were given one year to make £1 million. Instead, the entire show was fake and was part of a con by a store clerk named Nik Russian that led to multiple 'contestants' leaving their homes, significant others and quitting their jobs.

Martin Luther King Jr's assassin, James Earl Ray was once erroneously honoured during a parade which intended to praise the actor James Earl Jones. Lauderdale, Florida accidentally created a plaque in January 2002 which read 'Thanks James Earl Ray for keeping the dream alive'.

Enron's 2001 surprise bankrupcty was just the beginning when it's accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, was implicated in a huge accounting fraud scandal. AA was also dissolved in this scandal.

To put an end to the 2002 Nord-Ost siege in Moscow, Russian officials decided to use a classified gas to put everyone inside asleep but the gas killed over 100 of the hostages because Russian officials would not tell doctors what was used in the gas.

Eric Bartos, going through a messy divorce, went fishing, caught a sailfish, and put his wedding ring on the fishes nose. Two years later, he caught the same fish again with the wedding ring still attached.

Saddam Hussein's 2002 campaign song was Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You. He got '100%' of the vote.

Winona Ryder was sentenced to three years probation, 480 hours of community service, $3,700 in fines, $6,355 in restitution, and ordered to attend psychological and drug counseling after being found guilty of stealing $5,500 worth of merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Raelian UFO sect/sex cult scientists announced that they, through their company called Clonaid, had cloned the first human baby. They didn't.

NBA champion Bison Dele (Arizona) had recently retired, walking away from a $36 million contract. He and his fiance, Serena Karlan, disappeared in 2002 while sailing off the coast of Tahiti, possibly murdered by Dele's brother, Kevin.

Pop Star Car Crash Death: Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes
Beloved TV Character Death: ER's Dr. Green, played by Anthony Edwards, while Isreal Kamakawiwo'ole's Somewhere Over The Rainbow played.
Hip Hop Violent Death: Jam Master Jay (gunshot)
TV Star Murder?: Robert Blake, best known as TV's Baretta was chareged, then acquitted for murding his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley

15-year-old Martha MOxley was beaten to death, with the primary suspects in the murder being Kennedy-Cousins Thomas and Michael Skakel. Although Michael Skakel was overheard in 1978 stating, "I'm going to get away with murder. I'm a Kennedy", it was not until 2002 that he was convicted.

Ted Williams had his head seperated from his body and frozen - he and his children agreed to each have it done so they could once again be together at some point in the future.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Ugly Dolls, Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversay Edition

Video Games: Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

The Habits

Watching American Idol
Reading The Summons by John Grisham

2002 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. CSI (CBS)
2. Friends (NBC)
3. Joe Millionaire (FOX)
4. ER (NBC)
5. American Idol- (FOX)
6. Survivor (CBS)
7. Everbody Loves Raymond (CBS)
8. Law & Order (NBC)
9. Monday Night Football (ABC)
10. CSI: MIamai (CBS)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 2002 include
Alan Jackson, Alicia Keyes, Ashanti, Avril Lavigne, Beyonce, Cam 'ron, Creed, DJ Sammy, Eminem, Fat Joe, 50 Cent, Ginuwine, Ja Rule, Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Eat World, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Linkin Park, Loon, Ludacris, Michelle Branch, Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott, Musiq, Nelly, No Doubt, Pink, Puddle of Mudd, Puff Daddy/P. Diddy, R. Kelly, Sean Paul, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Tweet, Vanessa Carlton

(Data is complied from various charts including: Billboard's Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 2002

December 22, 2001 - February 22, 2002: Nickelback - How You Remind Me

February 23, 2002 - March 8, 2002: Ja Rule featuring Ashanti - Always on Time

March 9, 2002 - April 19, 2002: Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule - Ain't It Funny

April 20, 2002 - June 28, 2002: Ashanti - Foolish

June 29, 2002 - August 16, 2002: Nelly - Hot in Herre

August 17, 2002 - October 4, 2002: Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland - Dilemma

October 5, 2002 - November 8, 2002: Kelly Clarkson - A Moment Like This

November 9, 2002 - January 31, 2003: Eminem - Lose Yourself

Popular Movies

(according to boxofficemojo)
1. Spider-Man
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
3. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
5. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
6. Signs
7. Austin Powers in Goldmember
8. Men In Black II
9. Ice Age
10. Chicago

Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Bourne Identity, Catch Me If You Can, Chicago, Die Another Day, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ice Age, Lilo & Stitch, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Men in Black II, Minority Report, Mr. Deeds, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Ring, The Santa Clause 2, Scooby-Doo, Signs, Spider-Man, Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Sweet Home Alabama, XXX

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 2002
# 1 Hits of 2002
Pop Culture News

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