Wow, how time has past—it feels like just yesterday I was bringing in the New Year of 2010, the beginning of a new decade. It was a time of new songs, world events, and technology. It seems so bizarre that this decade is almost over! In this series, I will be reflecting on different topics that have happened since the decade has started.
The decade began with a huge natural disaster. In 2010, a massive earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, just the first month of the year. The catastrophe had a magnitude of 7.0, killing thousands and leaving the nation in total destruction.
The news started to look up for the year 2010 when Obama’s health reform bill was passed on March 23. The bill changed health care for the United States, making it so that every American is required to have some sort of health care plan, and also made those services more affordable.
April 20 came soon after, and one of BP’s pipes caused the deepwater oil rig to explode. The leaking of oil wasn’t completely stopped until July of that year, by that time 3.19 million barrels of oil had been spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.
Wrapping up 2010, the US announced that military combat operations in Iraq had ended, after seven and a half years of conflict.
In 2011, major news kept quiet up until March 11, when Japan endured a 9.0 earthquake, followed by a tsunami. The natural disaster caused a death toll of 16,000, and thousands were missing.
Later in the year, things started to look up. On April 29, the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton took place, stealing the hearts of the whole world when televised.
That next week, Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEAL team, marking almost 10 years between 9/11 and his death.
The other significant death that happened that year was the one of Kim Jong-II, who died of a heart attack on December 17.
Lastly, for 2011, there was a famine in Kenya which had lasted for months and killed an estimated 12 million people.
Needless to say, 2011 started with bad news, had some good news in the middle, and ended on a low note once again.
Hold onto your hats, because unfortunately, 2012’s major news stories weren’t the happiest either. The year stayed strangely quiet in the world of news up until October. Malala Yousafzai, an public advocate for women’s education in Pakistan, was shot in the head by a masked Taliban shooter. Luckily, the bullet missed her brain, but she was in critical condition and is totally recovered present day.
Later that October, the “frankenstorm” hit the eastern US, a perfect Hurricane Sandy and winter storm hybrid, affecting 24 states with damages.
November 2012 saw a presidential election, bringing President Obama’s official second term.
Last came December, which was devastating—on Dec. 14, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot 20 students along with six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. It was the largest school shooting since Columbine. Senior Sydney Berenyi said the most memorable news events were the school shooting that had taken place over the years. She mentioned the Sandy Hook shootings specifically, but of course, there have been many others.
Berenyi commented, “I wasn’t really sure how to react to this news event, but I do remember wondering when we had started becoming so desensitized to stuff like that and for how long things like it would continue.”
That wasn’t the end of 2012 though, as I’m sure most of you remember. Dec. 21, 2012, was supposed to be the end of the world as we knew it, according to the Mayan calendar. But, gladly, the Mayans were wrong, and the world went on to live another year.
Which brings us to 2013, which was pretty short on news actually. The biggest event took place on April 15—you may have guessed it—was the Boston marathon bombing. Two homemade bombs went off as runners crossed the finish line, killing three people and injuring 260, devastating the country.
In other news, Prince George was born July 22, son of Prince William and his wife Catherine, making him third in line for the British throne.
Lastly, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November, being one of the worst tropical cyclones the Philippines had ever seen, killing more than 5,000 people in its path.
2014 was the year when the Ebola outbreak started, originating in West Africa, and quickly spreading to the US and Europe, causing international panic about the incurable virus. The death toll continued to rise and topped 5,000 in October, not stopping until the outbreak came to an end in 2016.
Also in 2014, Flight 370 of the Malaysia Airlines vanished on March 8, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 people aboard. Search teams were sent out and continued to search in those following weeks, but the plane was never found. When the search was called off, the 239 people on board were assumed dead.
ISIS began to gain ground in Iraq at the beginning of June, making the world fearful of the powerful militant group.
Lastly, on August 12, fans said goodbye to Robin Williams, who died at 63 from suicide. This raised awareness of suicide and mental health, as he was a famous comedian and Oscar-winning actor.
Actress Patricia Arquette kicked off 2015, bringing gender equality issues to Hollywood in February, and she also mentions it in her speech at the Academy Awards. The video of her words went viral and started the conversation for women in Hollywood, making gender equality the theme of the year for the industry.
In April, 25-year-old Freddy Grey died during an arrest. He got in the police car, and 45 minutes later he was in the hospital suffering from a severe spinal cord injury and a smashed voice box and died a week later. Protests about police brutality and racism broke out in Baltimore in the result of his death, which led to six police officers being tried for the boy’s death. The first of the cases ended in a mistrial, re-sparking the national movement known as Black Lives Matter, which is still ongoing today.
Also in 2015, June 26 was a huge day in history for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community—the Supreme Court voted the federal ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional, making it legal in all 50 states.
There is no doubt that 2016 was a year of political news. It starts in March with the New York Times publishing facts about Hillary Clinton and her emails with the FBI. The story progressed throughout the year as more information was found and more emails were released to the public.
In June, the LGBTQ community was targeted when 29-year-old Omar Matteen took a semi-automatic rifle to Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Matteen killed 49 people and made a 911 call swearing his allegiance with ISIS. Also in June, singer Christina Grimmie was shot signing autographs, which also took place in Orlando.
In July, a protest broke out over police brutality, the protests started because there were multiple African American citizens killed during arrests.
Lastly, 2016 ended with a close presidential election, which resulted in Donald Trump winning.
A year full of both natural beauties and natural disasters…2017 had three different hurricanes, all followed by a total eclipse later in the year. The first of the hurricanes was Hurricane Harvey, which was a Category 3, affecting southeast Texas and causing flooding that had never been seen before in history. The next was Hurricane Irma, which hit the Florida Keys, causing tons of damage and killing 12 nursing home patients that were trapped in a Hollywood, Florida nursing home. Last was a Category 4 hurricane named Hurricane Maria, which swept across the islands of Puerto Rico, destroying homes and knocking out the power grid. After all the storms came a natural beauty.
On Aug. 21, everyone from Oregon, all the way to South Carolina got to witness the total eclipse that appeared that day.
There was more than just environmental news in 2017. On May 22, famous singer Ariana Grande performed in Manchester, England. The concert, unfortunately, went south when a suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, killed 22 people and injured 59 others. The terrorist attack surprised the whole world and affected Ariana greatly, as she canceled the rest of her tour and helped families affected.
Later in the year, the controversial issue that dominated the year started to gain momentum. In the south, debates on if Confederate historical statues should be kept up or knocked down had started. On Aug. 12, in Charlottesville, Virginia, there was a rally to protest the statues, and during the protest people who wanted to keep the statues ran their car into the group, killing one person and injuring 19 others.
Lastly, in 2017, the Las Vegas massacre happened on October 1. It was one of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American History. Stephan Paddock, from Mesquite Nevada, was on floor 32 of Mandalay Resort, shooting at the crowd from above, he killed 59 people and injured around 500 others.
Which brings us to 2018. It started out with the famous Parkland school shooting, killing 17 people at a school in Florida on Feb. 14. The shooting started a movement, including tons of protest around the country, raising awareness and supporting for higher gun control laws, all of which happened because of student survivors from Parkland.
On March 24, students around the nation performed school walkouts, contributing to the movement.
Oswego High School students participated as well. Junior Ashley Barry, who took part in the walkout, said, “We need to put an effort into a movement if we want anything to change. I thought the day went well… I think we got our point across.”
Another movement that spread throughout the U.S. was the Me Too Movement. Women spoke out about their experiences with sexual assault, putting some public figures in the spotlight this past year. We heard stories about Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Les Moonves, and even the newest Supreme Court official, Brett Kavanaugh. For Senior Darren Li, the court cases between Dr. Christine Blasey and Brett Kavanaugh was the most memorable news event was in 2018. Li comments, “I was surprised how Dr.Christine Blasey Ford lost the hearing… shows how easily people in power could just erase their past and get away with the consequences.”
Later in the year, wildfires broke out in California, causing a lot of damages as they spread through the state.
On Oct. 2, journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered.
In politics, it was an election year, and the midterms resulted in the Democratic Party taking control of the house, and the Republican Party keeping control of the Senate.
Lastly, in December 2018, President Donald Trump implemented a government shutdown in order to gain funding for construction costs for a wall on the border of Mexico. The government shutdown has continued into 2019 and is the longest one in U.S. history.
Looking back, this past decade was packed full of devastating natural disasters, tragic gun accidents, and political rallies and issues that have turned violent and angry. It has also been filled with new bills that benefit the public, historic events that have changed the LGBTQ community, eclipses, royal new beginnings and movements of change. Overall there was both good and bad.