The past 10 years will undoubtedly be remembered as a decade of newsworthy events. It’s the first decade I can reminisce on and actually remember when I heard about these stories in real time. So without further ado, here is my non-exhaustive list of events that shaped our decade:
March 19: Justin Bieber’s “Baby” is the most streamed Youtube video of all time (in 2010) with 246 million views by the end of the year.
April 20: The BP Oil Spill became one of the largest man-made environmental disasters in American history after the Deepwater Horizon Rig exploded and released five million barrels (210,000,000 gallons) of crude oil into the Gulf Coast. As of 2018, over 65 billion has been spent to clean up the oil.
October 6: Instagram launches to all iPhone users. It took just two months and six days to surpass one million users on the app.
Notable mention: Silly Bandz sure made their mark on the 2010 school year, to say the least. The company grew from a net worth of $10,000 in 2008 to over 100 million by 2010.
May 22: A tornado with wind speeds nearing 200 mph ripped through the city of Joplin, Missouri. It quickly became one of the most costly and deadly tornadoes in US history.
July 8: Snapchat was launched and made available to iPhone users over the summer of 2011. ‘Stories’ weren’t invented until 2013, filters were not available until 2015. Streaks, memories and bitmojis were not released until mid-2016.
September 20: Bill Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Dont Tell” was the US military policy that allowed LGBTQ Americans to serve in the armed forces under the condition that they kept their sexual orientation under wraps. This policy had been in place since 1993 and was finally repealed in 2011 so that military service members could openly express their sexuality. May love always win!
January 4: Vine was born. Is there any other app that was so culturally impactful on our cohort’s sense of humor? Seriously, think about how many times you unconsciously reference Vines.
February 26: An unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by George Zimmerman. His death led to the start of the Black Lives Matter movement.
March 8: Toyota recalled approximately 803,000 vehicles due to an issue with the air conditioner condensers that cause airbags to inadvertently deploy if too much moisture accumulated in the condensers. In 2019, they’re the second most popular car manufacturer.
July 20: A gunman opened fire in the screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, CO. That night, 12 people were killed and 58 more were injured. The shooter was found guilty of all 165 counts against him and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Early November: Colorado is the first state to legalize marijuana.
December 14: Sandy Hook Elementary School lost 20 first graders and 6 teachers. This unbelievable tragedy sparked new and critical conversations on the topics of gun control and mental health. Legislators pledged to introduce new gun control laws. Former President Barack Obama promised to do everything in his power to prevent future mass shootings. The NRA responded by advocating that every American school be secured by armed guards.
December 21: “Gangnam Style” was the first video in Youtube history to reach one billion views. Kind of a big deal!
February 21: The Harlem Shake was… huge.
April 15: About 200 feet away from the finish line, two pressure-cooker bombs detonated at the 117 annual Boston Marathon. Three people died and over 200 more were injured.
May 6: Amanda Berry is the first of three women to escape the basement of Ariel Castro, the man who had held them captive since 2003.
August 5: Jeff Bezos buys The New York Post for 250 million dollars.
November 6: Obama is re-elected and inaugurated for his second term.
March 8: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. Needless to say, there are many unanswered questions and still very little evidence of the accident almost six years later. There is still no solid answer to give families of the victims peace of mind.
March 23: The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the first cases of the Ebola virus in rural regions of Southeastern New Guinea. It quickly spread and became an epidemic in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, claiming the lives of over 11,000 people. The WHO declared the end of the outbreak in late 2015.
April: Flint, Michigan water crisis began in the spring of 2014 after the city decided to switch its water supply from Detroit’s system to the Flint River as a way to save money.
Summer of ‘14: The ALS ice bucket challenge swept social media platforms. Over 115 million dollars have been donated to the cause which has allowed extensive research to take place. New technologies have emerged in years since to help those with ALS.
October 22: Taylor Swift accidentally released a song called “Track 3” on iTunes, which turned out to be eight seconds of white noise static on sale for $1.29. It became the #1 song on iTunes in Canada in less than 24 hours.
January 18: At the 2016 AFC title game (Patriots vs Colts), eleven of twelve footballs were intentionally underinflated by two pounds per square inch. Tom Brady was accused of ordering the deliberate deflation of footballs used in the AFC Championship game.
February 26: The internet proves its power again by bringing such a trivial piece of content, that boils down optical perception, to our attention. “The Dress” had us arguing about what color it really was for weeks. If you stand behind the black and blue argument, you are right. Roman Originals, the creator of the dress, released a statement revealing the dress is indeed black and blue.
June 25: The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right in all US states. Obama said that this ruling “will strengthen all of our communities.”
February 28: Leonardo DiCaprio FINALLY won an Oscar.
April 21: Singer, musician, actor and filmmaker Prince, dies at the age of 57 from an alleged accidental opiate overdose.
October 7: The unsettling documentary 13th examines the end of slavery in the US. It addressed the mass incarceration and extreme racial disparities that have preceded in the legal system. The United States holds just 5 percent of the world population, but 25 percent of the world’s prison population while 40 percent of the prison population are black men.
November 6: Donald Trump won the presidential election.
January 21: Hundreds of thousands of women (and men) stormed in protest to Washington DC exactly one day after Trump’s inauguration to office for The Women’s March.
June 16: Mo Bamba, haha. Love it or hate it, it was a big deal for a second.
August 21: The astrological phenomenon of the century, a full eclipse of the sun, lived up to the hype and earned K-State students a day off to watch it. The skies darkened across the country around noon for the first time in 99 years.
October 1: A gunman killed 58 people and injured more in Las Vegas, NV when he open fired into a crowd from his hotel room. This tragedy is the largest mass shooting in US history.
December 22: This marks the start of the longest government shutdown in US history. The Environmental Protection Agency, International Revenue Service, NASA, Department of Labor, Education, Commerce, Energy, were shut down and it’s employees were out of work for several weeks.
January 1: California becomes the eleventh state to legalize recreational marijuana.
January 13: Hawaii sends out a false ballistic missile threat to all of its citizens. Interestingly enough, the message was a result of human error.
January 25: The government is finally back in business. All of the government agencies were restored; employees regained their federal jobs after the country’s longest government shutdown.
January 30: People really started eating Tide Pods.
April 9: Mason Ramsey was discovered through videos of his yodeling talents in a Walmart.
April 10: Mark Zuckerberg and Cambridge Analytica were caught red handed by compromising more than 50 million people’s personal information for “research purposes” during the 2016 presidential campaign.
June 11: IHOP became IHOB …?
September 7: Deeply respected rapper, Mac Miller, passed away at the age of 26 due to an alleged accidental drug overdose involving fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol.
December 2: Bill Snyder retires from K-State Athletics and the football program as head coach for almost 30 years.
April 10: The first ever image of a black hole is revealed with the help of the Event Horizon Telescope. It is an estimated 500 million trillion km away from Earth and almost 3 million times the size of our planet.
April 15: The 850 year old Notre Dame burned due to ongoing renovation issues.
May 6: Avengers Endgame became the fastest movie ever to gross two billion dollars within two weekends of release. It later passed the all time records of the previous record holder, Avatar.
September 24: The efforts to impeach Trump began on this day. A whistle-blower filed a case against Trump in August, claiming that Trump had abused his power by encouraging Ukraine to interfere with the 2020 election.
To be fair, I warned you in the beginning; the past 10 years have been FULL of newsworthy events and this is not even half of them. It was difficult to try to pick what stories made this list. it Moments of mourning, division and terror as well as laughter, unity and good will have shaped these years. With all that has happened, we must continue to learn from the past and use lessons learned to move forward in a better direction. It’s almost time to step into the next decade together!