Important events that occurred in 1997 includes, but are not limited to, the transition of control of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China, and the passing of Proposition 209 in California, which banned affirmative action in the state. Significant deaths that occurred in 1997 included those of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.
In 1997, several significant scientific achievements and advancements occurred, starting with the first successful genetic manipulation of a mammal. This success occurred at the Roslin Institute in Scotland and resulted in Dolly, the first sheep that had been genetically modified to contain a human gene within its body. The scientific team behind this success was led by Dr. Keith Campbell and Dr. Ian Wilmut. On July 4, 1997, a United States unmanned spacecraft also begun explorations on the planet Mars.
In popular media, 1997 was also significant, as it saw the premier of the film "Titanic" on screens around the world. At the time of its premiere, "Titanic" was the most expensive movie ever to be produced, with a budget of around $300 million. 1997 also saw the debut of author J.K. Rowling in the United Kingdom, with the release of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" (released in the U.S. as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone").