2011 will soon be history. Just like any year, this one also had its share of good, bad and ugly events. Without ranking them in any particular order we’ve come up with our own list of events that left their mark on 2011.
Jan 8: Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot at a supermarket in Tucson, AZ while she was having a public meeting with her constituents. Six people died in the shooting. After going through several surgeries and months of rehab, Ms. Giffords has recovered some of her ability to walk, speak and write.
Jan 14: Using the popular uprising in the Middle East called Arab Spring, the people of Tunisia ousted President Zine El Abdine Ben Ali’s after 23 years of autocratic rule.
Feb 6: The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25.
Feb 11: Pro-democracy protestors overthrew Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after capturing his palaces.
Feb 20: Civil war breaks out in Libya after the military shoots and kills over 200 protesters in Benghazi
March 9: NASA’s space shuttle Discovery, the most flown spaceship, was retired after making its final touchdown at the Kenney Space Center. In its 27 years of service, it had completed 39 successful missions.
March 11: Japan’s Pacific coast of Tohoku was hit by a triple disaster. A massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake at an underwater depth of 20 miles triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 133 feet and traveled 6 miles inland. It wiped out entire towns and claimed the lives of 20,000 people in its path. The powerful quake which reportedly shifted the Earth on its axis by an estimated 4-10 inches caused a number of nuclear accidents in the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant complex. At an economic impact of$235 billion, the World Bank reports it as the most expensive natural disaster in world history.
April 6: Following Ireland and Greece, Portugal became the third debt-ridden European country to seek a bailout.
April 27: Hundreds of powerful tornadoes rocked the South and Midwest, killing over 300 and causing a wide swath of destruction. Tuscaloosa in Alabama was the hardest-hit town.
April 29: Britain’s royal celebrities Prince William and Kate Middleton had a well-attended and widely televised wedding at London’s Westminster Abbey.
May 2: The world’s most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden was captured and killed at his hideout in Pakistan by U.S. Special Forces in a well-executed operation and then quickly buried at sea, ending over ten years of search.
May 22: With winds reaching upwards of 250 miles, strong tornadoes ripped through the town of Joplin, MO causes over 160 deaths and destruction of over 8,000 homes and businesses.
May 25: The Oprah Winfrey Show aired its final broadcast after running for 25 years.
June 12: The Dallas Mavericks win their first NBA title by defeating the Miami Heat 105-95.
June 22: Boston’s crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, one of FBI’s 10 most wanted was arrested in Santa Monica, California.
July 5: A jury in Orlando finds Casey Anthony not guilty of murder, manslaughter and child abuse in the 2008 disappearance and death of her 2-year old daughter, Caylee.
July 21: After its 135th flight, space shuttle Atlantis landed in Cape Canaveral and brought the 30-year old space shuttle program to a close.
Aug 5: The credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the stellar AAA rating of U.S. debt by one notch to AA+ citing the federal government’s ineffective and unstable policymaking to stimulate the prevailing anemic economy.
Aug 6: London and several parts of England were rocked by rioting, arson and looting by violent mobs, causing widespread damage to local businesses. The austerity measures taken by the United Kingdom apparently triggered these ugly riots.
Sept 11: A memorial plaza was inaugurated at ground zero in New York to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.
Sept 17: A demonstration named Occupy Wall Street began at Wall Street in New York. Calling themselves the “99 percent,” protestors were voicing their unhappiness over their perceived economic unfairness. Within a few weeks similar protests started springing up around the U.S. and the world.
Oct 5: Apple’s icon and co-founder Steve Jobs succumbed to cancer after leaving his mark forever on the world as an unconventional and highly innovative entrepreneur.
Oct 20: Libya’s dictator Muammar Gaddfi was killed by revolutionary fighters after capturing his hometown Sirte.
Oct 31: The world’s population crossed 7 billion today according to the U.N.
Nov 7: Michael Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray is convicted of involuntary manslaughter for supplying an anesthetic which allegedly caused the entertainer’s death in 2009.
Nov 9: After a record 409 victories and 46 seasons as the head coach of Penn State’s football program, Joe Paterno was fired over the handling of child sex abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Dec 13: Scientists claim they are close to a breakthrough in finding the subatomic particle “Higgs boson,” which if found would reveal how the universe’s building blocks work.
Dec 18: North Korea’s ruthless dictator Kim Jong II died after bullying the world with his rhetoric threats and nuclear ambitions for over a decade.