It's 1996 - Dolly the Sheep is born, John Major is Prime Minister and Charles and Diana's divorce is finalised.
But for Kent, the year is one to remember because it hails the arrival of an even greater link to the continent - Eurostar.
Two years prior, the first Eurostar service began running between London Waterloo, Paris and Brussels.
It was in early 1996 that its trains began stopping in Ashford, its second UK railway station.
Its opening came after an 18-month, £80million construction project, which had started in June 1994, to transform the town's station into 'Ashford International'.
Two new platforms were built for domestic trains to replace those used by Eurostar.
With a design inspired by the Maison de Verre in Paris, a new ticket barrier was installed as well as a departure lounge with space for up to 800 passengers.
Another key part of the overhaul was a new multi-storey car park, built over the Avenue Jacques Faucheux and joined to the station by an overhead walkway.
The Duke of Kent opened the new station on February 28, 1996.
Eurostar's arrival would go on to open up Kent to the continent and improved its links to London.
It helped Ashford attract more commuters with its fast link to the capital when a high-speed service was introduced in 2009.
Kent got its second Eurostar stop in November 2007 when Ebbsfleet International opened, however its road to construction was a lot more contentious.
Just its name alone caused a lot of wrangling, as Eurostar pushed for it to be called the Dartford International Station.
However this suggestion was opposed by Gravesham Borough Council, Southfleet Parish Council and Swanscombe and Greenhithe Town Council.
One of the concerns was its similarity to the name of the pre-existing Dartford Railway Station only six miles away.
In the end, they chose Ebbsfleet.
The £100million station is unique in the UK, in that it is served only by high-speed services.
The station's car park is currently being used as a customs checkpoint for post-Brexit haulage and it had reportedly cost the government £1.8 million in rent by February 11.
Kent also played a part in reaching a British speed record for trains, when in 2003 a Eurostar train was clocked at 208mph on the first section of the HS1 line between the Channel Tunnel and Fawkham Junction near Dartford.
The trains have also hosted a number of celebrities, perhaps most notably Johnny Depp in 2019.
Despite services having run daily since the two stations' inceptions, that run ended last year.
It was announced in March that, due to the Covid pandemic, the rail company would call a halt to stops at Ashford International and Ebbsfleet due to increased French border controls.
As the spread of the virus continued throughout the year, even out of lockdown the number of Eurostar passenger was dramatically lower.
In September, the company highlighted that ticket sales were down 90% year-on-year. In response, the firm said it wouldn't be stopping at either Kent station until 2022.
Damian Green, who first became Ashford's MP a year after Eurostar's arrival in the town, says the path forward is still unclear for its return.
He said: "There's no new news on it. I know the company's got funding to carry it over the next few months but we don't know the date yet as to when services will resume.
"Looking at the situation in France it's tough to see when that will happen, given that Paris has gone back into lockdown and the country in general is having a surge of infections."
However, he has hopes that it will return soon and said the services had been crucial in regenerating Ashford.
He added: "It's been hugely important for Ashford's development and very important in attracting new visitors to Kent.
"It's a big feature in the county's tourism economy and it's vital we get international services back, not just for Ashford but for Kent as a whole."