1999 (MCMXCIX in Roman numerals) is a year of the 20th century.
1 January: the Euro, the new European currency, is officially born. On 1 January 2002 it will replace the currencies of the eleven countries that have joined it.
January 4: A group of fire shoots at praying Shiite Muslims in a mosque in Islamabad, killing 16 and wounding 25.
January 13: At nearly 36, Michael Jordan retires from basketball.
January 15: 45 Kosovar Albanian civilians are killed by Yugoslav forces in Kosovo. The episode will be called the Racak Massacre.
January 16: the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, a refugee in Italy, leaves the country for Kenya.
January 25: an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale hits the Colombian city of Armenia, in central Colombia, killing around 2,000 people and injuring 4,500.
February 2: Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías becomes president of Venezuela.
February 8: King Hussein of Jordan dies of cancer. He is succeeded by his son Abdallah II.
February 27: Anna Oxa wins the 49th Sanremo Festival with the song Senza Pietà. Among the New Proposals, Alex Britti triumphs with Oggi sono io.
March 12: Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic become members of NATO.
March 15: the European Commission chaired by Jacques Santer resigns after allegations of corruption.
March 21 - Los Angeles: the film Life is beautiful by and with Roberto Benigni won multiple awards at the 71st Academy Awards with three Oscars: best foreign film, best soundtrack and best leading actor. Benigni is the first non-Anglo-Saxon actor to be awarded the statuette of the best leading actor and the second ever, after Laurence Olivier, to be awarded in a film directed by himself. Best film is John Madden's Shakespeare in love, best director Steven Spielberg with Saving Private Ryan.
Yugoslavia: start of the bombing by NATO forces (operation Allied Force) against Yugoslavia to put an end to the repression of the Albanian majority in Kosovo wanted by the Serbian nationalist president Slobodan Milošević.
Italy / France: a Belgian driver enters the Mont Blanc Tunnel from the French entrance aboard his truck. He carries flour and margarine. Suddenly the load catches fire and, after traveling 6 km inside the tunnel, the driver gets out of the vehicle and runs away. The fire exceeds the temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius, killing everyone who remained inside. 40 people die (of which 39 are motorists) and the damage is estimated at 300 million euros (about 600 billion in Italian lire). The tunnel will remain closed for renovations until March 9, 2002 (almost 3 years).
March 31 - United States: The film Matrix is released in theaters
April 4: Catholic Easter
April 8: the Chamber of Deputies does not grant authorization to proceed against the Forza Italia senator Marcello dell'Utri, accused of mafia association.
April 15 - Algeria: Abdelaziz Bouteflika assumes the office of President of the Republic in elections contested by the other candidates.
19 April - Berlin: the refurbishment of the Reichstag, the new seat of the German Parliament, was inaugurated by the English architect Norman Foster.
April 20 - USA - Columbine High School massacre: 15 people die in a shooting in a high school and 24 are injured.
April 26: the CIH computer virus (or Chernobyl virus) kicks in, killing millions of computers.
1 May - European Union: entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam
May 3 - United States: A destructive series of over 70 tornadoes devastates the states of Oklahoma and Kansas, killing more than 50
May 2 - Rome: Pope John Paul II proclaims Padre Pio da Pi blessed