15 things that were true when the first Fast & Furious film was released

A dozen years have passed since the first installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise, also known as Vin Diesel and Paul Walker’s annuity plan. The budget grew from $38 million for the first film to $125 million for Fast Five ten years later. The cars have progressed quite a bit and so has the supporting cast, but so much more has changed in the real world in the decade-plus since June 2001 when The Fast and the Furious debuted.

1. A gallon of gas cost $1.46, postage stamp 34 cents and a dozen eggs sold for 90 cents.

2. George W. Bush had only been in office four months and his administration wouldn’t find weapons of mass destruction for another two years.

3. Wikipedia was only six months old and contained fewer than 8,000 articles. High school and college students everywhere were still forced to do actual research.

4. The first Apple retail stores opened in Virginia and California, although Apple had not yet released the iPod. That came in October 2001. The first model could store up to 5 GB and promised a 10-hour battery life, a blatant lie.

5. American terrorist Timothy McVeigh had just been executed by lethal injection, on June 11, 2001, for detonating a deadly truck bomb in front of a federal building in Oklahoma City in April 1995.

6. Same-sex marriage was not yet permitted anywhere in the United States. Two years later, in November 2003, Massachusetts became the first jurisdiction to approve gay marriage following a court ruling following a decision in the state’s highest court. Today, 12 states recognize marriage between same-sex couples.

7. Federal minimum wage in the U.S. was $5.15, good for about three gallons of gas and a pack of bubble gum. Minimum wage is $2.10 cents higher today at $7.25; the Obama administration wants to raise it to $9.00 and tie the standard to the cost of living.

8. The average price for one pound of sliced bacon was $2.99, compared with about $4.75 today. Actual value of bacon: priceless.

9. The NFL salary cap was $67.4 million. It’s nearly oubled since — to $123 million — for the 2013 season.

10. Tara Reid ranked #6 on Maxim’s Hot 100 list four years before her infamous wardrobe malfunction that kicked off her downward spiral out of A-list celebrity.

11. President George W. Bush halted federal funding for embryonic stem cells in February 2001 and mulled NIH guidelines for several more months. In August 2001, he set forth a policy limiting federal funding and research on stem cells to a limited number of then-existing lines of stem cells. Obama reversed course allowing broader research and funding in 2009 by executive order.

12. Tiger Woods had recently won the Masters, becoming the first golfer ever to reign as champion of all four majors simultaneously. He married Elin Nordegren three years later. Google “Hooters waitress, hole in one” to find out what happened next.

13. The U.S. population was approximately 280 million, compared with roughly 315 million today. The most popular names for all those new babies…

14. For girls in 2001: Emily, Madison, Hannah, Ashley and Alexis. For boys: Jacob, Michael, Matthew, Joshua and Christopher. The most popular names for girls today: Sophia, Emma, Isabella, Olivia, and Ava. And for boys: Jacob, Mason, Ethan, Noah and William.

15. And of course, there are the main characters themselves. Here is Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez in 2001:

And Brewster and Rodriguez in 2013:

And Diesel and Walker in 2013: