ABC’s of the Aughts

Figured I’d jump on the bandwagon on the “stories of the decade.” As you can see, a new decade is just days away. But before we can look forward to the next decade, let’s take a look back on what happened during this decade.

• A is for attack on American soil. On the morning of September 11, 2001, a hijacked airplane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, killing over 2,800 people.

• B is for the Boston Red Sox, who won their first World Series since 1918. Just don’t get me started with that “curse” (2004).

• C is for California, where The Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger ousted incumbent governor Gray Davis in the state gubernatorial recall election (2003).

• D is for the Duke lacrosse scandal, when in 2006, three lacrosse players were accused of rape and other crimes they did not commit.

E is for Elián González, a young boy who returned to Cuba with his father on June 28, 2000.

F is for Florida, where the President Election 2000 recount took place, costing democratic candidate Al Gore his presidency.

G is for Geno Auriemma, who led his team, the University of Connecticut Lady Huskies, to a perfect season on April 7, 2009.

H is for Howard Dean, who delivered the “scream heard ’round the world” speech on January 18, 2004. Reaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!

I is for Iraq. Home of notorious dictator Saddam Hussein, who was executed on December 30, 2006.

J is for Pope John Paul II, who died on April 2, 2005, after serving over 26 years of papacy in the Vatican City.

• K is for Hurricane Katrina. On August 28, 2005, the Category 5 hurricane flooded New Orleans and nearby towns, displacing over 3,000 people and killing 1,736.

L is for the London train bombings, which occurred on July 7, 2005. 56 people were killed.

• M is for Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, who died unexpectedly June 25, 2009 at age 50.

N is for Nasdaq, which reached an all-time high of 5,048 points on March 10, 2000.

O is for Obama. On November 3, 2008, Illinois senator and democratic candidate Barack H. Obama was elected President of the United States of America, the first African-American to hold that title.

P is for Pluto, which was denounced as a planet by the International Astronomical Union (2006).

Q is for quadruplets. Jon and Kate Gosselin, the parents of the two sets of quadruplets, and stars of Jon and Kate Plus 8, finalized the divorce on December 16, 2009.

R is for Rawalpindi, Pakistan. On December 27, 2007, former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated during a bomb blast at an election rally there.

S is for The Shoe Bomber. Outspoken Al Qaeda member Richard Reid, also known as Abdul Raheem, was arrested after he tried to bomb the Boeing 767 by placing explosives in his shoe (2001).

• T is for tsunami, which, caused by a 9.3 magnitude earthquake, strikes the coast of several nations in Southeast Asia, killing 186,983 people and leaving over 40,000 missing.

• U is for Uday Hussein. He and his brother, Qusay, both sons of dictator Saddam Hussein, were killed during a raid by U.S. troops in Mosul, Iraq.

• V is for the Virginia Tech Massacre. 23-year-old English student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 27 of his classmates and 5 professors before committing suicide on April 16, 2007.

• W is for waterboarding, generally used as a form of torture to tie the victim down a flat surface and pour water on the face.

• X is for x-ray. This x-ray, used in airports across the country, scans your luggage as it passes through the conveyor belt to detect a possible bomb.

• Y is for Y2K. Worries that computers would malfunction from attempting to shift from 1999 to 2000 were eased when companies worked frantically updating their computers to meet Y2K certification in late 1999.

• Z is for Zinedine Zidane, the retired French football captain, who gained notoriety when he head-butted Italian football player Marco Materazzi. Italy won the World Cup beating France 5-3 on July 9, 2006.

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