So much can happen in four short years…

So much can happen in four short years...

As Fairmont says goodbye to its 2011 Senior Class, the Flyer takes a walk down memory lane and remembers some of the events that happened in the last four years.

Freshman Year, 2007-2008

U.S. suffers more casualties –
The year 2007 was the deadliest year in the Iraq War since it began in 2003. In 2007, 904 American soldiers were killed in Iraq. The numbers began to drop after 2007, but by May 2011, more than 4,450 Americans had lost their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Teen pregnancy rate rises, 2007 –
The birth rate for teens ages 15 to 19 rose 3 percent in 2007, the first increase since 1991. The news led several family-planning advocates to question the effectiveness of President Bush’s $176 million abstinence-only sex education program.

Anna Nicole Smith Dies, 2007 –
Smith was found unconscious in her hotel room in Hollywood, Calif., on the afternoon of Feb. 8, 2007, and rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The medical examiner’s report eventually blamed Smith’s death on a fatal combination of the sedative chloral hydrate and several other prescription drugs.

McCain Dominates Super Tuesday, 2008 –
Arizona Sen. John McCain emerges as the clear front runner among Republican presidential candidates.

Job Losses Hint at Recession, 2008 –
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 17,000 jobs were eliminated in January, the first drop in 52 months. The figures increase fears of an imminent recession.

General Motors Plant Closes, 2008 –
The last day of production for the General Motors plant in Moraine, Ohio, was Dec. 23, 2008. The plant closing led to 2,400 workers being unemployed. It was also the subject of the HBO short documentary, The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant. In 2010, it was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Category.

Sophomore Year, 2008-2009

Heath Ledger Dies, 2008 –
Ledger was found dead in his Manhattan apartment Jan. 22. An autopsy determined he had suffered an accidental overdose of prescribed anti-depressants, painkillers and sleeping medications. Ledger had already finished filming his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight, a Batman film released in July 2008. The next year, Ledger was posthumously awarded the Academy Award as best supporting actor for the role.

Hurricane Gustav Hits, 2008 –
Hurricane Gustav, which was on a path toward New Orleans as a Category 5 storm, made landfall in rural Louisiana, southwest of New Orleans, as a Category 2 storm. About 2 million people had evacuated New Orleans in anticipation of a devastating storm. At least seven people died in the hurricane and more than a million homes were left without power.

Obama and Biden Take Office, 2009
Hundreds of thousands of people watched in front of the Capitol as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2009. Obama had defeated Republican Sen. John McCain to become the nation’s first African-American president.

Plane Crash in New York Kills 50, 2009 –
Continental Connection Flight 3407 from Newark Airport to Buffalo, N.Y., crashes into a house in Clarence Center, N.Y., killing all passengers and crew on board, an off-duty pilot on the flight, and one person in the home. Two others in the home suffered minor injuries. The cause of the crash remains unknown, though there were reports of ice build-up during the flight. The pilot did not make a distress call. Witnesses at the scene say the plane burst into flames on impact.

Michael Jackson Dies, 2009 –
Music superstar Michael Jackson was one of the great music heroes of the late 20th century. But by the time of his sudden death at age 50 in 2009, he was known less for his music than for his erratic behavior, wild spending, and many plastic surgeries. An autopsy determined that Jackson died of cardiac arrest after an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which was being administered to him as a sleep aid by his personal physician, Conrad Murray. Murray was charged in February 2010 with involuntary manslaughter.

Junior Year, 2009-2010

Texting While Driving Banned for Federal Employees, 2009 –
President Obama signed an executive order banning texting while driving for federal workers. The government also plans to ban texting while driving for bus drivers and truckers who travel across state lines.

New York Yankees Win World Series, 2009 –
The New York Yankees win their 27th World Series title and their first since 2000 against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Yankees led the Phillies three games to two when they clinched the series with a score of 7-3.

Obama Outlines Health Care Reform Plan, 2010 –
President Obama announces his detailed plan for a health-care reform bill. The plan closely follows the version currently in the Senate. Obama asks Republicans to submit their ideas or agree to his version of the bill.

West Virginia Mine Explosion Kills at Least 25; 4 Missing, 2010 –
An explosion in a West Virginia coal mine kills at least 25 people and leaves 4 unaccounted for. After days of searching for the missing miners, no more survivors were found, bringing the death toll of the mine explosion to 29. It is the worst mining disaster in the U.S. since 1970.

Serena Williams Wins Women’s Wimbledon Title, 2010 –
American tennis champ Serena Williams dominates the women’s Wimbledon final with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Vera Zvonareva of Russia. This win gives Williams her 13th Grand Slam title.

Sonia Sotomayor Confirmed, 2009 –
The Senate confirmed Sonia Sotomayor as the 111th justice of the Supreme Court, making her the first Hispanic and third female justice, reshaping the highest court in the land.

Gary Coleman Dies, 2010 –
Gary Coleman was only 10 when he became a child star on the TV sitcom Diff’rent Strokes. He played Arnold Jackson, a cute and mischievous child adopted by a wealthy Manhattan family. The show ran from 1978-1986 and marked the high point of Coleman’s career. He died at 42 of an intracranial hemorrhage.

Senior Year 2010-2011

Egypt’s Revolution, 2011 –
In February 2011, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced his resignation and handed power of the country over to the military. Upon hearing Mubarak’s speech, Cairo erupted in joyous celebration, with crowds chanting, “Egypt is free!” His resignation followed nearly three weeks of unprecedented anti-government protests in Cairo and ended 30 years of autocratic rule. The victory encouraged protesters in several other Arab nations.

Quake, Tsunami Devastate Japan, 2011 –
Japan was hit by an enormous earthquake that triggered a deadly 23-foot tsunami in the country’s north. The earthquake, Japan’s largest ever, hit about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued warnings for Russia, Taiwan, Hawaii, Indonesia, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and the west coasts of the U.S., Mexico, Central America, and South America. Cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station fail shortly after the earthquake, causing a nuclear crisis.

Elizabeth Taylor Dies, 2011 –
She was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars after starring in many films, including National Velvet and Cleopatra. Taylor was also a tabloid favorite and an AIDS activist who had seven husbands in all. The 20th century actress died in Los Angeles, Calif., in March of congestive heart failure.

Eleventh Hour Enters National Singing Competition, 2010 –
Fairmont’s contemporary a cappella choir, Eleventh Hour, was one of 10 a cappella groups across the country to compete on NBC’s The Sing Off in December. The group competed on the prime time television show hosted by Nick Lachey. Other famous judges were on the panel such as Nicole Scherzinger, Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman. The group was eliminated Dec. 8, but remain the only Fairmont choir to ever go prime time.

The Royal Wedding, 2011 –
Prince William and Kate Middleton were married on April 29 at Westminster Abbey. It was the biggest wedding London has seen since Charles, the prince of Wales, married Diana Spencer in 1981.

Osama Bin Laden is Killed, 2011 –
Osama Bin Laden, global terrorist and mastermind behind the September 11th attacks, was killed May 1 in a firefight with Unites States forces. The Central Intelligence Agency found Bin Laden in his hideout in Pakistan and shot him in the head after he and his bodyguards resisted arrest.

Gas prices exceed $4 a gallon, 2011 –
Already reeling from the recession, Americans found pain at the pump as gas climbed to well over $4 per gallon in May. Many fear the price hasn’t finished rising.