Major events in the past decade

The Flyer has compiled some of the notable events and accomplishments of the past decade. Leave a comment and let us know if you think something important has been left out.

Nation/World News Timeline

• Dec. 12, 2000 – The U.S. Supreme Court decided in Bush v. Gore, resolving the question of the 2000 presidential election and putting George W. Bush in office.

Sept. 11, 2001 – Terrorist attacks that included the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., claimed 2,973 lives and sent the United States into the War on Terrorism.

March 1, 2002 – The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in Operation Anaconda to oust the Taliban. The war not only continues today, but the fighting has intensified. In 2009, the death toll for US soldiers is currently at 1,519.

March 20, 2003 – The United States invaded Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein and uncover his weapons of mass destruction. During the decade, Saddam was captured, tried and executed. No weapons of mass destruction were found. The latest death toll count for US soldiers has reached 4,363 in 2009.

Dec. 26, 2004 – An earthquake with a magnitude between 9.1 and 9.3 sent a terrible tsunami crashing into the countries bordering the Indian Ocean and claimed almost 230,000 lives.

Aug. 29, 2005 – Hurricane Katrina hit the southern coast of the United States, killing approximately 1,800 people and causing more than $81 billion in damages. Especially hard hit was New Orleans, where the storm surge caused a catastrophic failure of the levee system. The U.S. government was widely criticized for its slow response.

April 16, 2007 – Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded many others before killing himself at Virginia Tech University in Blackburg, Va. The massacre is the deadliest peacetime shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history.

December 2007 to present – The United States (and much of the world) entered a major recession that saw surging numbers of home foreclosures, bank failures and job losses. The U.S. government bailed out some major financial and other institutions, but others went out of business or declared bankruptcy. As of Nov. 18, 2009, the U.S. national debt had reached $12,037,883,261,193 and some change, according to the U.S. National Debt Clock.

Nov. 4, 2008 – The United States elected Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) to the presidency of the United States. He is the first African-American president.

Nov. 5, 2009 – An Army psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, allegedly opened fire at the Fort Hood Army Post in Texas, killing 12 soldiers and one civilian and wounding 38 people. Hasan was wounded but survived.

Other Nation/World News

Both China and India increased their economic power during this decade.

The decade saw increased nuclear tensions from Iran and North Korea.

Global warming became a more international issue, affecting economics and politics.

Tension in the U.S. increased over the major political issues of gay rights, illegal immigration, abortion and health care.

Arts & Entertainment

“American Idol” premiered on June 11, 2002. It’s currently the #1 TV show, one of only three TV shows that have been #1 for five consecutive seasons. It has launched the careers of, among others, Ryan Seacrest (host); Kelly Clarkson (season 1 winner, two-time Grammy winner); Carrie Underwood (season 4 winner, four-time Grammy winner); and Chris Daughtry of the band Daughtry (season 5 finalist)

Pop sensation Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009; his death has been ruled a homicide. His televised memorial service garnered a U.S. audience of 31.1 million viewers (according to Nielsen) His albums sold 800,000 copies in the first full week after his death, and 1.1 million copies in the following week (when his memorial service was held).

Harry Potter became a household name in this decade. The first film adaptation was released in November 2001, and since then, five more films have been released. As of November 2009, the series is the highest grossing film franchise of all time ($5.4 billion grossed worldwide). The final book of the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” was released in July 2007 to record-setting sales; 8.3 million copies were sold in the U.S. on the day of release, and by June 2008, global sales were around 44 million.

“Twilight” becomes a phenomenon among fantasy readers. The first novel of the four-part series by Stephenie Meyer series was released in 2005; as of November 2009, the series had sold over 85 million copies globally. The series has spent 235 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. The first film adaptation was released in 2008 and as of April 2009, the film had made $379,912,947 globally; the second film adaptation was released on Nov. 20, 2009

According to a collection of music data from the Billboard 200 charts, the top-selling artists of the decade so far are:

1.  Eminem

2.  The Beatles

3.  Tim McGraw

4.  Tobey Keith

5.  Britney Spears

6.  Kenny Chesney

7.  Nelly

8.  Linkin Park

9.  Creed

10. Jay-Z

Things that Didn’t Exist Before 2000

Apple iPod (introduced in 2001)

iTunes (2001)

Wikipedia (2001)

Myspace (2003)

Facebook (2004)

YouTube (2005)

Twitter (2006)

iPhone (2007)

Science and Technology

Internet use jumped from 6 percent in the 1990s to a predicted 62 percent in 2010, according to CNET news.

The Human Genome project was completed in 2000.

In 2008, a NASA astrophysicist confirmed the universe is 13.7 billion years old.

The Mars Rover landed on Mars in 2004.

Cell phone usage increased to almost 89 percent of adults in the United States.

Television sees major improvement, with the wide scale increase of HDTV and digital recording.

Construction of the International Space Station, which began in the late ‘90s, is expected to be finished around 2011.


Tiger Woods became the dominant golfer in the world, winning 14 major championships in the decade, including three grand slams. 

U.S. Olympic team swimmer Michael Phelps won 14 gold medals during the decade and has broken 37 world records in swimming.

In the Super Bowl, the Patriots won the most titles in the 2000s decade, beating the Rams, Panthers and the Eagles, for three total wins. The Steelers were the only other multiple winners with two. The Rams, the Ravens, Buccaneers, the Colts and the Giants were the other winning teams.

In cycling, Lance Armstrong was a dominant figure, winning the Tour de France six times from 2000 to 2006.

In the World Series for baseball, the Boston Red Sox were the only multiple winners, in ‘04 and ’07. Also winning were the New York Yankees, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Anaheim Angels, the Florida Marlins, the Chicago White Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Five Olympic Games were played in the 2000s. In the 2000 Summer Games, the U.S. won the most gold medals in Sydney, Australia. In the 2002 Winter Games, Norway claimed the most gold in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Greece, the U.S. won the most gold medals again. In Turin, Italy, in the 2006 Winter Games, Germany claimed the most gold, and in the 2008 Summer Games in Bejing, China, China took home the most gold.

In basketball, the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA finals four times, and the San Antonia Spurs won twice. Other winners were the Detroit Pistons, the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.

The 2002 FIFA World Cup in soccer was won by Brazil, and the 2006 cup was won by Italy.

– Entertainment Editor Matt Metzler contributed to this list.