12/25/1995 at 01:00 AM EST
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" Usually we don't have to. But we aren't in Kansas anymore, and in 1995 we were forced to take a long look at the machinery that makes our icons. The clanking of gears and the hiss of steam produced distortions everywhere, The unthinkable exploded with deadly force in the midst of the everyday as a homemade bomb killed 169 in Oklahoma City. A fairy tale skewed into a nightmare as Princess Diana took us behind the veil of her tortured marriage on the commoner's medium of television. And justice became a prime-time caricature as lawyers blustered through 372 sententious, risible and lurid days of the O.J. Simpson trial, Even Superman (Christopher Reeve) was paralyzed in an ail-too-human accident.
Still, the Emerald City had its glistening facets. John F Kennedy Jr. got a job running his magazine George. Baseball's Cal Ripken Jr. set a record for showing up at work for 2,131 straight games. And even though he decided not to run for the Presidency, the dignified decency of retired Gen. Colin Powell refreshed our sense of country Striking a' glamorous note for freedom, Elizabeth Hurley and Nicole Kidman
proved themselves a match for their significant others. New faces lit up our landscape even as we said farewell to old friends, Taking it all I in over the following pages, you'll find that, in high points and low, this year was a horse of a different color.