So with my birthday coming up tomorrow, I have been thinking a lot about my life. I decided to start putting it into context and used Wikipedia to put together a list of all the bad stuff that’s happened since my life began. Next year, I’ll do the list of all the good things that have happened since the same date. Sound like a plan?
the Christmas bombing of Hanoi
the Watergate Scandal
Augusto Pinochet takes power after coup in Chile
the Yom Kippur War
the Arab Oil Embargo
the Minnesota Vikings lose Superbowl VII
the Joelema Fire in Sao Paolo, Brazil, kills 177 and injures 293
India joins the “nuclear club”
Darwin, Australia, is nearly eradicated by Cyclone Tracy
OPEC raises prices 10%
the Minnesota Vikings lose Superbowl IX
the Weather Underground bombs the U.S. State Department
the Fall of Saigon
Jimmy Hoffa goes missing
the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks in Lake Superior
two coal mine explosions in Kentucky kill 26 people
an F5 tornado destroys Jordan, Iowa
the Great UK Heat Wave
first outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease kills 29 people in Philadelphia
the “Axe Murder Incident” on the Korean DMZ results in the death of two U.S. soldiers
first outbreak of the Ebola virus
the Son of Sam murders occur
the Vikings lose Superbowl XI
the Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977 paralyzes Buffalo, NY
two 747s collide in the Tenerife Disaster, killing 583, the worst accident in aviation history
the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire in Southgate, Kentucky, kills 165
the Great New York City Blackout
Elvis Presley dies
the Hillside Strangler kills his 10th victim
Larry Flynt shot and paralyzed
the first Unabomber attack
Islamic revolution overthrows the shah of Iran
the partial meltdown occurs at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania
the Red River Valley Tornado Outbreak occurs
Margaret “the Iron Lady” Thatcher becomes Prime Minister
American Airlines Flight 191 crashes during takeoff at O’Hare, killing 271 on board and 2 people on the ground
Skylab falls out of orbit, scattering debris across the Indian Ocean and parts of Australia
change in Federal Reserve policy causes the start of an economic recession
Iran Hostage Crisis begins as student seize the U.S. Embassy in Tehran
stampede at The Who concert in Cincinatti kills 11
the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan
U.S. enacts grain embargo against the Soviet Union
first U.S. bailout of the Chrysler corporation, to the tune of $1.5 billion
Mount St. Helens erupts
the Miracle on Ice
U.S. boycotts the Summer Olympics
Iran-Iraq War begins
MGM Hotel and Casino fire in Las Vegas kills 85
John Lennon assassinated
CDC recognizes the first cases of what is eventually determined to be AIDS
the Hyatt Regency Skyway collapse kills 114 in a crowded atrium in Kansas City, Missouri
Reagan fires all 11,000+ striking air traffic controllers for ignoring his order that they return to work
Adam Walsh is kidnapped in Hollywood, Florida; his head is recovered two weeks later, his body has never been found
the Gulf of Sidra Incident
Walter Cronkite retires
Anwar Sadat assassinated
Iran-Contra begins with Reagan authorizing the CIA to recruit and support the Contras
Air Florida Flight 90 hits the 14th Street Bridge and crashes into the Potomac River, killing 78
Cold Sunday sets low temperature records throughout the U.S. and wipes out Florida’s citrus crop for the year
the Falkland Islands war
ERA fails to be ratified by the states
the 1982 Chicago Tylenol Murders
a brief, severe recession occurs in the U.S.
M*A*S*H airs its final episode
the U.S. Embassy in Beruit is bombed, killing 83
Korean Airlines Flight 007 shot down when it accidentally blunders into Soviet airspace, everyone aboard dies
simultaneous truck-bombings destroy both the French and the United States Marine Corps barracks in Beirut
U.S. invades Grenada
IRA detonates a car bomb in a crowd of Christmas shoppers in London
birth of the minivan — the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager debut
year-long coal miners strike in Britain
the Soviet Union boycotts the Summer Olympics in L.A.
Indian troops storm the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the Sikhs’ holiest shrine, killing an estimated 2,000 people
Richard Ramírez, the “Night Stalker,” murders his first confirmed victim
In California, James Oliver Huberty sprays a McDonald’s restaurant with gunfire, killing 21 people before being shot and killed
Hezbollah car-bombs the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut, killing 22 people
famine in Ethiopia
explosions at the PEMEX Petroleum Storage Facility at San Juan Ixhuatepec, in Mexico City, and the resulting fire, kill over 500 people
crack cocaine first introduced in the L.A. area
Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke
Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode orders police to storm the radical group MOVE’s headquarters to end a stand-off, the police use an explosive device, killing 11 MOVE members and destroying the homes of 61 city residents in the resulting fire
a Unabomber bomb injures John Hauser, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, in what will be the Unabomber’s most active year
41 tornadoes hit in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario, killing 76
TWA Flight 847 is hi-jacked by a Hezbollah fringe group
U.S. Route 66 is decommissioned
the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior is bombed and sunk by French agents
Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashes in Japan, killing 520 people
an 8.1 Richter scale earthquake strikes Mexico City, 10,000 people are killed, 30,000 injured, and 95,000 left homeless
in Colombia, Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupts, killing an estimated 23,000 people
Microsoft Corporation releases the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0
American naturalist Dian Fossey is found murdered in Rwanda
the first PC virus, Brain, starts to spread
Space Shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after launch, killing the crew and halting manned spaceflight
1986 Berlin discotheque bombing kills 3 and injures 230, mostly American soldiers
U.S. aircraft bomb Libya in response to the Berlin bombing
the Chernobyl disaster
in Edmond, Oklahoma, USPS employee Patrick Sherrill guns down 14 of his co-workers before committing suicide
Metallica’s bassist, Cliff Burton, dies in a bus accident
Iran-Contra Scandal breaks
Pennsylvania Treasurer Budd Dwyer shoots and kills himself with a revolver during a televised press conference
U.S.S. Stark was hit by two Iraqi owned Exocet AM39 air-to-surface missiles killing 37 sailors
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wins for the third time with a landslide majority in UK’s General Election
world population reaches five billion people
the FCC rescinds the “Fairness Doctrine”
Black Monday — a worldwide financial collapse, sees the U.S. stock market lose 22% of its value
the Gulf of Alaska tsunami
Microsoft releases Windows 2.0
mini-crash of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-6.85%)
two helicopters collide in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, killing 17 servicemen
a poison gas attack is carried out by Iraqi government forces against the Kurdish town of Halabja, 5000 are killed outright, 11,000 more are injured, and thousands will die of complications of the chemicals used, which include nerve, blood, and blister agents
First RepublicBank of Texas fails and enters FDIC receivership, the largest FDIC assisted bank failure in history
PEPCON disaster in Henderson, Nevada: a major explosion at an industrial solid-fuel rocket plant causes damage extending up to 10 miles away
Microsoft releases Windows 2.1
Iran Air Flight 655 is shot down by a missile launched from the USS Vincennes
75 people are killed and 346 injured, when three jets from the Italian air demonstration collide at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base sending one of the aircraft crashing into the crowd of spectators
the first victim of serial killer Dorothea Puente is found
an Ethiopian law student in Portland, Oregon is beaten to death by members of the Neo-Nazi group East Side White Pride
the Soviet space shuttle, Buran, makes its first — and last — flight
the Bangladesh cyclone leaves 5 million homeless
Pan Am Flight 103 is blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing a total of 270 people
Gulf of Sidra Incident — a dogfight between Libyan MiG-23s and U.S. Navy F-14s
Patrick Edward Purdy kills 5 children, wounds 30 and then shoots himself in Stockton, California
Iran issues a fatwah against Salman Rushdie for his authoring of Satanic Verses
a geomagnetic storm causes the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power grid, aurora are seen as far south as Texas
the Exxon Valdez oil spill dumps a quarter-million barrels of oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound
U.S. government seizes the Irving, CA Lincoln Savings and Loan Association; the beginnging of the massive 1980s Savings and Loan Crisis which costs U.S. taxpayers nearly $200 billion in bailouts, and many people their life savings
the attack on the Central Park Jogger occurs
a gun turret explodes on the U.S. battleship Iowa, killing 47 crew members
the Chinese government declares martial law in Beijing in response to the Tienanmen Square Protests
the Tienanmen Square Massacre occurs
the television show Seinfeld premieres — I hate Seinfeld
Lyle and Erik Menendez shoot their wealthy parents to death in the family’s den
Hurricane Hugo makes landfall in South Carolina, causing $7 billion in damage
Friday the 13th mini-crash: The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunges 190.58 points, or 6.91 percent, to close at 2,569.26, most likely after the junk bond market collapses
the Loma Prieta earthquake, a 7.1 on the Richter scale, strikes the San Francisco–Oakland area, killing 67 people and delaying the 1989 World Series for ten days
the Phillips Disaster in Pasadena, Texas kills 23 and injures 314 others
the Montreal Massacre — Marc Lépine, an anti-feminist gunman, murders 14 young women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal
Nicolae Ceausescu addresses an assembly of some 110,000 people outside the Romanian Communist Party HQ in Bucharest. The crowd begin to protest against Ceausescu and he orders in the army to attack the protesters
Steve Jackson Games is raided by the U.S. Secret Service, prompting the later formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
the Royal New Zealand Navy discontinues its daily rum ration
Jim Henson dies at the age of 53
Microsoft releases Windows 3.0
Iraq invades Kuwait
Leonard Bernstein retires, and dies 5 days later
Soviet forces storm Vilnius to stop Lithuanian independence
Operation Desert Storm begins with air strikes against Iraq
a Michigan court bars Dr. Jack Kevorkian from assisting in suicides
Iraqi soldiers set fire to Kuwaiti oil fields as they retreat
L.A. police beat Rodney King (and are caught on videotape)
thieves steal 20 paintings worth $500 million from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is arrested after the remains of 11 men and boys are found in his Milwaukee, Wisconsin apartment
attempted coup in the Soviet Union
the Tailhook Scandal
George Hennard guns down 24 people in Killeen, Texas before killing himself
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Magic Johnson announces that he has HIV, effectively ending his NBA career
Yugoslavia begins to break up
Bosnian War starts
Microsoft releases Windows 3.1
Johnny Carson retires as host of NBC’s Tonight Show
Jay Leno becomes the new host of NBC’s Tonight Show
the Iraq Disarmament Crisis occurs when Iraq blocks UN inspectors from the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture
Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5, devates the U.S. Southeast
a 16-year-old Japanese exchange student, mistakes the address of a party and is shot dead after knocking on the wrong door in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
IBM announces a $4.97 billion loss for 1992, the largest single-year corporate loss in United States history to date
Iraq violates no-fly zone and DMZ, U.S. responds with salvo of 40 Tomahawk missiles
a ferry sinks in Haiti, 1250 of 1500 passengers die
World Trade Center bombing kills 6 and injures over 1000
51-day Branch Davidian Compound Standoff occurs, killing 4 ATF agents and 82 Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas
a series of bombs in Bombay, India, kills 257, injures hundreds more
North Korea withdraws from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
the Great Blizzard of 1993 hammers the U.S. East Coast and Canada
nuclear accident at Tomsk 7 in Russia releases a large volume of radioactive gas
WHO declares tuberculosis a global emergency
24 Pakistani troops in the UN forces are killed in Mogadishu, Somalia
Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM weapons inspectors to install remote-controlled monitoring cameras at 2 missile engine test stands
a 7.5-magnitude earthquake hits Japan
Windows NT 3.1 is released
NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Observer orbiter 3 days before the spacecraft is scheduled to enter orbit around Mars
first publication postulating the “Y2K Problem”
Russian constitutional crisis of 1993, troops and security forces start a popular uprising against Boris Yeltsin
“Battle of the Black Sea”/”Battle of Bakara Market” — massive battle between U.S. forces and Somali militia results in 18 U.S. and over 1000 Somali KIAs
China performs a nuclear test, ending the worldwide moratorium against them
Wildfires in California destroy over 16,000 acres and 700 homes
the Northridge Earthquake hits the San Fernando Valley in California
record cold temperatures hit the U.S.
the Green Ramp disaster — at Pope Air Force Base, a mid-air collision leads to a ground collision and the showering of Green Ramp, a staging area for paratroopers, with debris, resulting in 24 deaths, and dozens more injured
Kurt Cobain commits suicide; the running joke is that his final words are: “Hole’s gonna be big.”1
the Rwandan Genocide begins
the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike is called, ending the 1994 MLB Season in August
George W. Bush is elected Governor of Texas
“Great Hanshin earthquake” occurs near Kobe, Japan, causing great property damage and killing 6,434 people
Russian anti-corruption journalist Vladislav Listyev is killed by a gunman
Barings Bank collapses after securities broker Nick Leeson loses $1.4 billion by speculating on the Tokyo Stock Exchange
Scott Amedure reveals a crush on his heterosexual friend Jonathan Schmitz during a taping of The Jenny Jones Show; Schmitz kills Amedure several days after the show
sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway kills 12 and injures over 1500
the Oklahoma City Bombing destroys the Murrah Federal Building, killing 168
five days later, a Unabomber bomb kills lobbyist Gilbert Murray
a gas explosion at a subway construction site in Daegu, South Korea, kills 101 people, mostly teenage schoolboys
the busiest hurricane season in 62 years begins
Sampoong Department Store collapses in the Seocho-gu district of Seoul, South Korea, killing 501 and injuring 937
the Srebrenica massacre occurs after Dutch peacekeeping forces leave the city
the Chicago Heat Wave of 1995
Microsoft releases Windows 95
O.J. Simpson is found not guilty of double murder
a Metra commuter train slams into a school bus in Fox River Grove, Illinois, killing seven students
fire in Baku Metro, Azerbaijan, kills 289 passengers, the world’s worst subway disaster
NASA loses contact with the Pioneer 11 probe
U.S. House of Representatives votes to ban partial birth abortions by a vote of 288–139
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv
the final original Calvin and Hobbes comic strip is published
massive blizzard hammers the U.S. east coast, killing 150
cargo plane crashes into a crowded market in the center of the capital of Zaire, Kinshasa, killing 350
Iraqi forces refuse UNSCOM inspection teams access to 5 sites designated for inspection
People’s Republic of China begins surface-to-surface missile testing and military exercises off Taiwanese coastal areas
unemployed former shopkeeper Thomas Hamilton walks into the Dunblane Primary School in Scotland and opens fire, killing 16 kindergarten students and 1 teacher before fatally shooting himself
storm engulfs Mount Everest with several climbing teams high on the mountain, leaving 8 dead. By the end of the month, at least 4 other climbers die in the worst season of fatalities on the mountain to date
ValuJet Flight 592 crashes in the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people aboard
the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia kills 19 U.S. servicemen
outbreak of E. coli food poisoning in Japan reaches 6,000 fatalities, after a group of school children who have eaten contaminated lunches die
the Taliban captures Kabul, Afghanistan
the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas is imploded to make way for the Venetian Hotel
U.S. President Bill Clinton bars federal funding for any research on human cloning
39 Heaven’s Gate cultists commit mass suicide at their compound in San Diego
Red River of the North breaks through dikes and floods Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, causing US$ 2 billion in damage
fast food chain McDonald’s wins a partial victory in its libel trial against 2 environmental campaigners
an unmanned Progress spacecraft collides with the Russian space station Mir
the Great Flood begins in southern Poland
Mother Theresa dies of heart failure in Calcutta, India
the Lewinsky Scandal begins
a United States military pilot causes the deaths of 20 people near Trento, Italy, when his low-flying plane severs the cable of a cable-car
an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale in northeast Afghanistan kills more than 5,000 people
two white separatists are arrested in Nevada, accused of plotting biological warfare on New York City subways
a 66-day power blackout begins in Auckland, New Zealand
2 young boys (aged 11 and 13 years) fire upon students at Westside Middle School while hidden in woodlands near the school. 4 students and 1 teacher are killed, and 10 are injured
an F5 tornado strikes the western portion of the Birmingham, Alabama area, killing 32 people
an F3 tornado passes through downtown Nashville, Tennessee, the first significant tornado in 11 years to directly hit a major city; an F5 tornado travels through rural portions south of the city
India conducts 3 underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, including 1 thermonuclear device; two days later, it carries out 2 more nuclear tests
the United States and Japan impose economic sanctions on India
responding to a series of Indian nuclear tests, Pakistan explodes 5 nuclear devices of its own in the Chaghai hills of Baluchistan, prompting the United States, Japan and other nations to impose economic sanctions
6.6 magnitude earthquake hits northern Afghanistan, killing up to 5,000
Microsoft releases Windows 98
the bombings of the United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya kill 224 people and injure over 4,500
college student Matthew Shepard is beaten and tied to a fence near Laramie, Wyoming; he dies October 12, becoming a symbol of gay-bashing victims and sparking public reflection on homophobia in the U.S.
the United States Congress passes the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which gives copyright holders 20 more years of copyright privilege on work they control
the Congress of the United States passes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Hurricane Mitch makes landfall in Central America, killing an estimated 18,000 people
Iraq announces it will no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors
Bill Clinton is impeached by the United States House of Representatives
Kurdish rebels take over embassies and hold hostages across Europe after Turkey arrests one of their rebel leaders
fire in the Mont Blanc Tunnel kills 39 people, closing the tunnel for nearly 3 years
Columbine High School Massacre
1999 Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak, includes an F-5 that is the strongest tornado in recorded history
Microsoft releases Windows 98 (Second Edition)
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is released in theaters2
Texas Governor George W. Bush announces he will seek the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States
horror author Stephen King is hit in a car accident on Route 5 in North Lovell, Maine by Bryan Smith
Benjamin Nathaniel Smith goes on a 3-day killing spree targeting racial and ethnic minorities in Illinois and Indiana
U.S. Army PFC Barry Winchell is bludgeoned in his sleep at Fort Campbell, Kentucky by fellow soldiers; he dies the next day from his injuries
21 people die in a canyoning disaster near Interlaken, Switzerland
7.6 magnitude earthquake strikes İzmit and levels much of northwestern Turkey, killing more than 17,000 and injuring 44,000
a magnitude 5.9 earthquake hits Athens, killing 143 and injuring more than 2,000
through September, there is a series of bombings of apartment complexes in Russia
the Jiji earthquake (magnitude 7.6 on the Richter scale) kills about 2,400 people in Taiwan
world population reaches 6 billion people
U.S. Senate rejects ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
7.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Duzce and northwestern Turkey, killing 845 and injuring 4,948
Aggie Bonfire collapses in College Station, TX, killing 12
NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander, moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere
last natural pyrenean ibex is found dead apparently killed by a falling tree
Dr. Harold Shipman is found guilty of murdering 15 patients between 1995 and 1998
final original Peanuts comic strip is published, following the death of its creator, Charles Schulz
U.S. Supreme Court rules that the government lacks authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug
Russian submarine K-141 Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea, resulting in the deaths of all 118 men on board
250 million gallons of coal sludge spill in Martin County, Kentucky (considered a greater environmental disaster than the Exxon Valdez oil spill)
Iraq rejects new U.N. Security Council weapons inspections proposals
Republican candidate Texas Governor George W. Bush defeats Democratic Vice President Al Gore in one of the closest elections in history
USS Greeneville accidentally strikes and sinks the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime-Maru near Hawaii
the 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis
the Mir space station falls out of orbit and into the Pacific Ocean
a Chinese fighter jet bumps into a U.S. EP-3E surveillance aircraft, which is forced to make an emergency landing in Hainan, China. The U.S. crew is detained for 10 days and the F-8 Chinese pilot, Wang Wei, goes missing and is presumed dead
Tropical Storm Allison produces 36 inches of rain in Houston, Texas, killing 22
the United States Justice Department announces that it no longer seeks to break up software maker Microsoft, and will instead seek a lesser antitrust penalty
the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centers, Pentagon, and United Flight 93, kills nearly 3000 people
Israel sends tanks into Jericho, West Bank, starting a new military operation
the 2001 anthrax attacks commence as letters containing anthrax spores are mailed from Princeton, New Jersey to ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, the New York Post, and the National Enquirer. 22 in total are exposed; 5 of them die
the AZote Fertilisant chemical factory in Toulouse, France explodes, killing 29 and seriously wounding over 2,500
the United States invades Afghanistan
the USA PATRIOT Act signed into law
Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against any foreigners suspected of having connections to terrorist acts or planned acts against the United States
Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
Bush announces the United States’ withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
No Child Left Behind Act is signed into law
eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo displaces an estimated 400,000 people
Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped in Pakistan
large section of the Antarctic Larsen Ice Shelf begins disintegrating, consuming about 3,250 km (1,254 miles) over 35 days
Daniel Pearl is murdered in Karachi, Pakistan
An Su-27 fighter crashes at an air show in the Ukraine, killing 85, the worst air show disaster in history.
Congress passes a joint resolution granting the President the use of the armed forces against Iraq.
The dot-com bear market bottoms out with the Dow slipping below 7200.
Paul Wellstone and his family and staff are killing in a plane crash in Eveleth, MN.
STS-107, Columbia, breaks up on re-entry over Texas, killing all 7 crewmembers.
First case of SARS reported.
U.S. invades Iraq under false pretenses.
In a six-day span, 393 tornadoes are reported in 19 states, the biggest outbreak in history.
The final Volkswagon Beetle rolls off the assembly line in Puebla, Mexico.
The Northeast Blackout of 2003 impacts 10 million people in Ontario and another 45 million in 8 U.S. states.
The Concorde makes its last commercial flight.
The Beagle 2 lander crashes on Mars.
The CIA admits that there was no imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse in Iraq is revealed.
A supermarket fire in Asunción, Paraguay, kills about 400 and leaves over 100 missing.
Hurricane Charley kills 27 people in Florida.
Armed robbers steal Edvard Munch’s The Scream, Madonna, and other paintings from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway.
U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are renominated at the Republican National Convention.
The U.S. Assault Weapons Ban expires.
Hurricane Ivan strikes Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 3 storm, killing 25 in Alabama and Florida, becoming the 3rd costliest hurricane in American history.
Hurricane Jeanne causes mudslides in Haiti, killing 3000.
Eleven American states ban gay marriage.
The “Christmas Tsunami” (Dec. 26th) occurs after a 9.3 earthquake occurs in the Indian Ocean. The official death toll in the affected countries stands at 186,983 while more than 40,000 people are still missing.
North Korea announces that it possesses nuclear weapons.
An explosion takes place at one of BP’s largest oil refineries in Texas City, killing 15 and injuring more than 170.
At least 1,836 are killed, and severe damage is caused along the U.S. Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina.
The 2005 Kashmir earthquake kills about 80,000 people.
A series of coordinated bomb attacks strikes several commuter trains in Mumbai, India during the evening rush hour, killing 209 and injuring over 700.
Pluto demoted from planet status.
North Korea conducts its first nuclear test.
Successful military coup in Thailand.
The Chinese River Dolphin becomes extinct.
World stock markets plummet after China and Europe release less-than-expected growth reports.
Multiple suicide bombings kill 572 people in Qahtaniya, northern Iraq.
Approximately 10,000 people are believed to have died after Cyclone Sidr hits Bangladesh.
Over 200 people are killed in Kenya, due to riots over the results of the December 27 presidential election.
The price of petroleum hits $100 per barrel for the first time.
Stock markets around the world plunge amid growing fears of a U.S. recession, fueled by the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis.
U.S. stock market indices plunge more than 3% after a report shows signs of economic recession in the service sector. The S&P 500 fall 3.2%, The Dow Jones Industrial Average 370 points.
A tornado outbreak, the deadliest in 23 years, kills 58 in the Southern United States.
Rising food and fuel prices trigger riots and unrest in the Third World.
Over 69,000 are killed in central south-west China by the Wenchuan quake, an earthquake measuring 7.9 Moment magnitude scale.
A 160 sq. mi. chunk of Antarctica’s Wilkins Ice Shelf disintegrates, leaving the entire shelf at risk.
Over 133,000 in Burma/Myanmar are killed by Cyclone Nargis, the deadliest natural disaster since the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004.
The 2008 South Ossetia war begins.
The Icelandic government and banking system collapse; Prime Minister Geir Haarde immediately resigns.
The deadliest brush fires in Australian history begin; they kill 173, injure 500 more, and leave 7,500 homeless.
The outbreak of the H1N1 influenza strain, commonly referred to as “swine flu”, is deemed a global pandemic.
A 7.0-magnitude earthquake occurs in Haiti, devastating the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince. With a confirmed death toll over 230,000 it is one of the deadliest on record.
The Deepwater Horizon oil platform explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven workers. The resulting oil spill, one of the largest in history, spreads for several months, damaging the waters and the United States coastline, and prompting international debate and doubt about the practice and procedures of offshore drilling.
Standard & Poor’s downgrades Greece’s sovereign credit rating to junk four days after the activation of a €45-billion EU–IMF bailout, triggering the decline of stock markets worldwide and of the Euro’s value, and furthering a European sovereign debt crisis.
Heavy monsoon rains begin to cause widespread flooding (pictured) in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Over 1,600 are killed, and more than one million are displaced by the floods.
North Korea shells Yeonpyeong Island, prompting a military response by South Korea.
1. What? Too soon?
2. George Lucas sodomizes the childhood of every Gen X’er in one fell swoop.