The good. The bad. The USA

Today is a hard day for some. But this post isn’t going to focus solely on that topic. This country & it’s people have seen some shit.

This isn’t a story. This is just a collection of facts. An R.E.M. inspired abridging of The People’s History.

For each year discussed, just as with each year lived, there is both good & bad. I understand and respect that some of what is mentioned in this post can be very heavy, which why I’m choosing not to include details, though I do encourage you to look into whatever catches your mind.

Remember: Any history is worth talking about if we can learn for a better future.

In 2001, I was 8 years old & those born that year turn(ed) 18 this year. The first decade of the new millennium was one for the books, this is (some of) what happened…

In Summary:

    • Terrorism is the current means of warfare.
    • The internet continues to expand.
    • Hurricane Katrina in NOLA, USA claimed 1,833, injured thousands and displaced over a million lives.
    • Consumer and other economic trends show how technology is priced.
    • The Human Genome Project’s first stage is completed.
    • The 2005 Kashmir earthquake in Asia claimed 87,351, injured 75,266 & displaced 2.8 million lives.
    • Technology is connecting the people of the world.
    • Outsourcing labor to less developed countries is extremely common practice, but accountability is finally coming into play.
    • Portable media players are taking the world by storm.
    • Boxing Day Tsunami in Asia claimed 227,898, injured & displaced hundreds of thousands of lives.
    • Environmental concerns have companies producing & people buying greener options, especially with cars.
    • Avian Flu continues to mutate & spread.
  • Top Grossing Movie, Best Selling Book, Most Watched TV Show, #1 Year End Song
    • 2000: Mission: Impossible 2, Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, Survivor, Breathe (Faith Hill)
    • 2001: Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone, Life of Pi, Friends, Hanging by a Moment (Lifehouse)
    • 2002: Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers, The Lovely Bones, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Foolish (Ashanti)
    • 2003: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, The Da Vinci Code, American Idol, In da Club (50 Cent)
    • 2004: Shrek 2, Wolf Totem, House M.D., Yeah (Usher ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris)
    • 2005: Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Desperate Housewives, We Belong Together (Mariah Carey)
    • 2006: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, The Secret, Dancing with the Stars, Bad Day (Daniel Powter)
    • 2007: Pirates of the Caribbean at World’s End, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Sunday Night Football, Irreplaceable (Beyonce)
    • 2008: The Dark Knight, The Hunger Games, The Mentalist, Low (Flo Rida & T-Pain)
    • 2009: Avatar, The Help, NCIS, Boom Boom Pow (Black Eyed Peas)

If you’d like to continue on this roller coaster trip down memory lane, continue on… 🙂


In 1997, three same-sex couples sued the State of Vermont and the towns that had denied them marriage licenses… On December 20, 1999, the Supreme Court ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, stating that they were “entitled under Chapter 1, Article 7 of the Vermont Constitution to obtain the same benefits and protections offered by Vermont law to married opposite-sex couples.”

The House Judiciary Committee introduced bill H.847 in 2000, intended to create state recognition for civil unions between two people of the same sex [and] H.847 passed… Governor Dean signed the legislation into law as Act 91 on April 26, and the law went into effect on July 1, 2000, making Vermont the first state to have civil unions for same-sex couples.

  • Windows 2000 & Bill Gates retires
  • PlayStation 2
  • Mississippi River sludge
  • DeviantART
  • The first International Space Crew
  • The largest solar flare event since 1989
  • Bush beats Gore
  • Forest fires claim 7.2 million acres
  • Tiger Woods
  • ILOVEYOU computer visrus
  • First draft of the Human Genome Project
  • Mission: Impossible 2


  • Timothy McVey executed
  • Kyoto Agreement
  • Genesis spacecraft
  • US pulls out of 1972 Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty
  • “Summer of the Shark”
  • September 11th
  • US invasion of Afghanistan
  • Timothy DeWayne Thomas Jr.

On April 7, 2001, the Cincinnati Police attempted to arrest Thomas at a time when he was wanted for fourteen misdemeanor counts. They spotted him in the Over the Rhine neighborhood. Thomas saw the approaching police officers and started running away from them. A chase ensued around the neighborhood for a few minutes. Cincinnati Police officer Steve Roach joined the pursuit after hearing a radio alert about a fleeing suspect with fourteen warrants. He came face to face with Thomas in a dark alley and shot him in the chest. Thomas initially survived and was rushed to University Hospital where he later died of his gunshot wounds. In the subsequent investigation, Roach claimed he shot Thomas because he believed the fleeing suspect was reaching for a gun in his waistband. The investigation established, however, that Thomas was unarmed and when he saw Roach, he reached in his waistband to pull up his sagging sweat pants.

  • Cincinnati Riots
  • Dennis Tito
  • Anthrax
  • Dale Earnhardt dies
  • The shoe bomber
  • Wikipedia
  • Mars Odyssey
  • iPod
  • Windows XP


On February 19, 2002, people in Alabama were glued to their TV’s, curious to see how the state’s only bobsledder would perform against the rest of the world. In less than 1 minute 48 seconds, tears of joy began to flow, because the young woman from Birmingham, Alabama who dared to try an untraditional sport had left her permanent foot prints in the snow by becoming the 1st person of African descent to win a Gold Medal in the Winter Olympics.

  • FIFA World Cup hosted by South Korea & Japan
  • Kmart files for bankruptcy
  • DC sniper attacks
  • Veteran’s Day tornadoes
  • Bush’s “Axis of Evil” speech
  • Elizabeth Smart kidnapped
  • Wildfires destroy Oregon & forest fires destroy Colorado
  • Jimmy Carter given the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Department of Homeland Security founded
  • No Child Left Behind Act passed
  • Dirty Bomb plot foiled
  • Water on Mars
  • 660 lb meteorite hits the earth
  • Kelly Clarkson wins American Idol Season 1


  • Human Genome Project finished
  • Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster
  • Final Concorde Flight
  • US invasion of Iraq
  • Saddam Hussein captured
  • 393 tornadoes reported within a week in 19 states
  • Do Not Call Lists
  • Sky Marshals
  • “Freedom Fries”
  • John Muhammad, DC sniper, convicted. Death penalty
  • Harley Davidson 100th Anniversary
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA)

Born in Austria and at 20 became the youngest person to win the Mr. Universe title. He won an unprecedented 12 more world bodybuilding titles. [He] earned a college degree from the University of Wisconsin and became a U.S. citizen in 1983. Former President George H.W. Bush appointed him Chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 1990. He also served as Chair of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under California Governor Pete Wilson. He married Maria Shriver in 1986 and has remained closely involved in Special Olympics, an organization founded by her late mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. [He’s fathered 5 children Christopher, Katherine, Patrick and Christina Schwarzenegger and Joseph Baena.]

Schwarzenegger became the 38th Governor of California pursuant to a recall election to replace Governor Gray Davis. Schwarzenegger’s accomplishments as governor include a bipartisan agreement to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions by signing landmark legislation in 2006, increasing the minimum wage while lowering the state’s unemployment rate, and overhauling the workers’ compensation system—cutting costs by more than 35 percent. Schwarzenegger made major investments in improving California’s aging infrastructure through his Strategic Growth Plan, helping to reduce congestion and clean the air.

  • Justice Roy Moore suspended
  • Hurricane Isabel
  • SARS
  • Prometea, the horse
  • H5N1
  • Galileo lands on Jupiter (launched 1989)
  • iTunes
  • The tiger attacks Roy
  • Micheal Jackson accused
  • “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”


  • XXVIII Summer Olympics (Athens, GD)
  • Micheal Phelps
  • Mar Spirit Rover
  • Cassini orbiter-Huygens probe enters Saturn’s orbit (launched 1997)
  • Cassini release Huygens probe which lands on moon Titan
  • Gravity Probe B
  • CIA admits to lying about Iraq
  • Abu Ghraib Prison footage released

It was Abu Ghraib prison that introduced the world to the violent infrastructure of torture in the war on terror. In 2004, when photos emerged documenting extensive torture ranging from prisoners on leashes to bodies piled atop each other in pyramid structure to prisoners standing in crucifixion like postures, there were global shockwaves at the displays of brutality.
The prison, which was the site of massive torture, also housed a largely innocent population – approximately 70-90 percent of the prisoners were mistakenly detained, according to the Red Cross in a 2004 report (pdf).

  • 60th Anniversary of D-Day
  • Hurricane Charley
  • Red Sox win the World Series (first since 1918)
  • The Statue of Liberty reopens
  • Hurricane Ivan
  • Colin Powel resigns
  • Condoleezza Rice nominated Secretary of State
  • Bush beats Kerry
  • Facebook
  • Martha Stewart convicted. 5 months in prison
  • Scott Peterson convicted. Death penalty
  • First same sex marriage performed (MA)
  • Operation Phantom Fury
  • Vioxx withdrawn
  • SpaceShipOne & SpaceShipTwo
  • My Doom computer virus
  • SMART-1
  • National WWII Memorial opens
  • X-43A
  • THE Superbowl Halftime show


  • Cosmos 1 Mission fails
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • IRA announces end to armed conflicts
  • YouTube
  • Gaza Strip cleared as part of a peace argeeement
  • Disneyland 50th Anniversary
  • F3 Tornado (Evansville, IN)
  • Robots cross the Mojave desert
  • Lance Armstrong
  • Dennis Rader, BTK, charged
  • Terri Schiavo dies
  • Eric Rudolf, Olympic Park Bomber, convicted. Life without parole
  • Michael Jackson found not guilty
  • NYC Transport Worker Strike
  • Atlantic Coast Winter Ice Storm

Multnomah County Chair Linn, Oregon announced the county would begin granting licenses for same-sex marriages. The Oregon Supreme Court nullified nearly 3,000 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples

  • H5N1 Avian Flu
  • Supreme Court rules users of Medicinal Marijuana can be prosecuted for violating federal law
  • Bush does not support global emission reduction initiatives at G8 Summit
  • Bush admits to authorizing eavesdropping programs after 9/11
  • New Bankruptcy Law
  • Steve Fossett
  • Airbus A380
  • Xbox 360


  • Sago Mine Disaster
  • Google buys YouTube
  • New Horizons probe
  • Saddam Hussein convicted. Death penalty
  • Charles Carl Roberts
  • Zacarias Moussaoui, 9/11 terrorist, convicted. Life without parole
  • Wii
  • Easter Week Midwest Tornado Outbreak
  • Bush acknowledges CIA prisons hidden all over the world, out of our legal jurisdiction
  • Military Commissions Act of 2006
  • 6 U.S. seaports Sold to Middle East
  • Great American Strike / Boycott
  • 2006 Kiholo Bay Earthquake
  • COPE Act
  • E-Coli
  • Barry Bonds breaks Babe Ruths record
  • Dale Hausner and Samuel Dieteman, the Serial Shooter killers, convicted. Death penalty & Life without parole, (dis)respectively
  • California Heat Wave
  • Pluto demoted


  • Violent thunderstorms hit the south east
  • Severe snowstorms & blizzards hit the midwest
  • Deadly tornadoes in Kansas
  • SoCal fire claims 2000 homes & 400000 acres
  • Virginia Tech Campus shooting
  • Rupert Murdoch acquires Dow Jones & Co
  • I35W Bridge (MS) collapses
  • Crandall Canyon Mine Disaster
  • iPhone
  • Phoenix Mars Lander
  • Chrysler sold
  • Westroads Mall shooting
  • MLB busted for steroids
  • Trolley Square Mall shooting
  • Tesla Roadster
  • “Liberty of the Seas”
  • US housing bubble bursts
  • Phoenix spacecraft
  • Nancy Pelosi

She is the first woman ever to become Speaker of the House—and she earned it. She spent years back home in California as a Democratic Party activist and fund raiser. When she won a congressional seat, she rose through the ranks of her colleagues by being a hardworking, smart and disciplined professional. No one should underestimate how much time, effort and courage went into her career.

-Newt Gingrich (R), former Speaker of the House

  • iTouch
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Fischer Price recall


Designed to prevent the collapse of the U.S. financial system during the subprime mortgage crisis, a severe contraction of liquidity in credit markets worldwide brought about by widespread losses in the subprime mortgage sector. EESA sought to restore liquidity to credit markets by authorizing the secretary of the treasury to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-backed securities and other troubled assets from the country’s banks, as well as any other financial instrument the secretary deemed necessary “to promote financial market stability.” The act also included provisions to minimize foreclosures on federally owned mortgages; recover possible future losses on the government’s mortgage investments; prevent windfalls for executives of banks that benefit from the act; and monitor the investments of the Treasury Department through reports to Congress and a specially created oversight board.

The measure was opposed in part because many in Congress—and in the public—considered the plan an unfair subsidy by taxpayers to Wall Street bankers. Later the Senate amended a bill to provide parity for mental-health insurance coverage with the EESA and other bills, including measures to create tax incentives for energy investments and to extend various exemptions for middle-class taxpayers. The new legislation, though $150 billion more expensive than the original version, was passed & signed into law by Bush on Oct. 3, 2008.
Supporters of the EESA argued that the act was necessary to extend immediate assistance to homeowners and restore confidence in the financial markets, thereby preventing the collapse of the financial system and a deep recession. Opponents maintained that the EESA was vaguely formulated, that it gave the treasury secretary too much power, that it was too costly, and that it unfairly benefited investors while failing to address the immediate crisis or the potential long-term effects on the economy.

  • TARP
  • Federal Interest Tax Cuts
  • Personal Income Tax Rebates
  • FDA approves cloned animals
  • Verizon Wireless buys radio spectrum licenses at a federal auction
  • Northern Illinois University shooting
  • Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich arrested & impeached
  • General Motors Corp. record loss
  • Oil prices hit an all time high
  • Blu-Ray
  • MacBook Air
  • The Honda FCX Clarity
  • US Missile strikes US Spy Satellite falling from orbit
  • Chumby
  • Hollywood Studio writers strike
  • Obama beats McCain


  • Hubble Telescope repair
  • The Great Recession
  • H1N1
  • Maersk Alabama Hijacking
  • Captain Richard Philips
  • First black president inaugurated
  • Micheal Jackson dies
  • G20 Summit
  • Chrysler files backruptcy
  • Euna Lee & Laura Ling
  • Captain Sully & the Hudson River landing
  • Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter & LCROSS probes
  • July 22nd Solar Eclipse
  • 3G Networks
  • Avatar