Headline News starting the year that I was born 1945
1945 The year that I was born
Decapitated Rooster Named Mike Lives for 18 Months
Division of Korea Into North and South
Firebombing of Dresden
Firestorm Consumes Tokyo
First Atomic Bomb Tested
First Computer Built (ENIAC)
Hitler Commits Suicide
Microwave Oven Invented
Nuremberg Trials Begin
A Plane Crashes Into the Empire State Building
Slinky Toy Hits Shelves
Swedish Diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, Who Saved Tens of Thousands of Jewish Lives, Was Arrested and Never Seen Again
United Nations Founded
U.S. Drops Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
1950 I was 5 years old
First Modern Credit Card Introduced
First Organ Transplant
First "Peanuts" Cartoon Strip
Korean War Begins
Senator Joseph McCarthy Begins Communist Witch Hunt
U.S. President Truman Orders Construction of Hydrogen Bomb
1955 I was 10 years old
Emmett Till Murdered
James Dean Dies in Car Accident
Montgomery Bus Boycott Begins
Ray Kroc Opens His First McDonald's
Rosa Parks Refuses to Give Up Her Seat on a Bus
Warsaw Pact Signed
1960 I was 15 years old
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho Released
Brazil's Capital Moves to Brand New City
First Televised Presidential Debates
Lunch Counter Sit-In at Woolworth's in Greenboro, NC
Most Powerful Earthquake Ever Recorded Hits Chile
Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa
The Birth Control Pill Is Approved by the FDA
Walsh and Piccard Become the First to Explore the Deepest Place on Earth
1964 I was 19 (in December) and graduated from High School
Beatles Become Popular in U.S.
Cassius Clay (a.k.a. Muhammad Ali) Becomes World Heavyweight Champion
Civil Rights Act Passes in U.S.
Hasbro Launches GI Joe Action Figure
Italy Asks for Help to Stabilize the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Japan's First Bullet Train Line Opens
Nelson Mandela Sentenced to Life in Prison
Warren Report on JFK's Assassination Issued
1965 I was 20 years old
British Sea Gem Oil Rig Collapses
Los Angeles Riots
Malcolm X Assassinated
Miniskirt First Appears
Nicolae Ceausescu Comes to Power in Romania
New York City Great Blackout
The Rolling Stones’ Mega Hit Song, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
U.S. Sends Troops to Vietnam
1969 I married Eva Hipsman. We eloped and spent our Honeymoon at Lake George, NY. We started our teaching jobs that year in Georgetown, NY School District
1970 I was 25 years old
Aswan High Dam Completed
Beatles Break Up
Computer Floppy Disks Introduced
Palestinian Group Hijacks Five Planes
Kent State Shootings
1975 I was 30 years old
Arthur Ashe First Black Man to Win Wimbledon
Cambodian Genocide Begins
Civil War in Lebanon
First Monster Truck (Bigfoot) Built
Former Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa Goes Missing
Helsinki Accords Signed
Pol Pot Becomes the Communist Dictator of Cambodia
Saturday Night Live Premiers
Two Assassination Attempts Against U.S. President Gerald Ford
1980 I was 35 years old
Failed U.S. Rescue Attempt to Save Hostages in Tehran
John Lennon Assassinated
Mount St. Helens Erupts
Pac-Man Video Game Released
Rubik's Cube Becomes Popular
Ted Turner Establishes CNN
1985 I was 40 years old
Back to the Future Opens
Famine in Ethiopia
First Internet Domain Name Is Registered
Gorilla Specialist Dian Fossey Is Murdered
Hole in the Ozone Layer Discovered
Mikhail Gorbachev Calls for Glasnost and Perestroika
New Coke Hits the Market
Rock Hudson Dies of AIDS
Serial Killer Known as "The Night Stalker" Starts Killing Spree
Sinking of Greenpeace Ship Rainbow Warrior
Terrorists Hijack TWA Flight 847
U.S. Singers Record Charity Single "We Are the World"
Wreck of the Titanic Found
1990 I was 45 years old
Gardner Heist: The Biggest Art Theft in History
Hubble Telescope Launched Into Space
Lech Walesa Becomes First President of Poland
Milli Vanilli Lip-Synch Scandal
Nelson Mandela Freed
Stampede in Pedestrian Tunnel in Mecca
United States Invades Nicaragua
U.S. President Bush Announces That He Doesn't Like Broccoli
1995 I was 50 years old
Auction Website eBay Is Founded
Final Calvin and Hobbes Comic Strip Published
First Successful Air-Balloon Ride Over the Pacific Ocean
Million Man March in Washington D.C.
O.J. Simpson Found Not Guilty of Double Murder
Oklahoma City Bombing
Sarin Gas Attack in Tokyo Subway
World's Deadliest Subway Disaster Occurs in the Baku Metro in Azerbaijan
Yitzhak Rabin Assassinated
2000 I was 55 years old
President: William J. Clinton
Vice President: Albert Gore, Jr
Wary investors bring stock plunge; beginning of the end of the Internet stock boom (Feb. 25).
Cuban boy Elián González, 6, at center of international dispute, reunited with his father after federal raid of Miami relatives' home (April 22).
U.S. presidential election closest in decades; Bush's slim lead in Florida leads to automatic recount in that state (Nov. 7-8). Republicans file federal suit to block manual recount of Florida presidential election ballots sought by Democrats (Nov. 11). Florida Supreme Court rules election hand count may continue (Nov. 21). U.S. Supreme Court orders halt to manual recount of Florida votes (Dec. 9). Supreme Court seals Bush victory by 5-4; rules there can be no further recounting (Dec. 12). See 2000 election chronology.
2005 I was 60 years old
President: George W. Bush
Vice President: Richard Cheney
Population: 296 million
George W. Bush is officially sworn in for his second term as president (Jan. 20).
In his State of the Union address, President Bush announces his plan to reform Social Security (Feb. 2). Despite months of campaigning, his plan receives only a lukewarm reception
The Terry Schiavo case becomes the focus of an emotionally charged battle in Congress (March 20)
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announces her retirement (July 1).
President Bush signs the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which will remove trade barriers between the U.S. and Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua (Aug. 2).
Hurricane Katrina wreaks catastrophic damage on the Gulf coast; more than 1,000 die and millions are left homeless. Americans are shaken not simply by the magnitude of the disaster but by how ill-prepared all levels of government are in its aftermath. (Aug. 25-30). See also Hurricane Katrina Timeline.
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who served on the U.S. Supreme Court for 33 years, dies (Sept. 3).
John Roberts becomes 17th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (Sept 22).
Another major hurricane, Rita, ravages the Gulf coast (Sept. 23).
House majority leader Tom Delay is accused of conspiring to violate Texas's election laws. He steps aside from his House leadership position (Sept. 28).
Number of deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq reaches 2,000 (Oct. 25).
President Bush selects Harriet Miers, White House counsel, to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Oct 3). Miers withdraws her nomination after strong criticism from the president's conservative base (Oct. 27).
A federal grand jury indicts I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, with obstruction of justice and perjury in connection with a White House leak investigation. (Oct. 28).
President Bush nominates conservative judge Samuel Alito to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'r on the Supreme Court (Oct. 31).
California Republican congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham resigns after pleading guilty to taking at least $2.4 million in bribes (Nov. 28).
The Sept. 11 Public Discourse Project reports that the country is still "alarmingly vulnerable to terrorist strikes." (Dec. 5)
The press reveals that in 2002, Bush signed a presidential order to allow the National Security Agency to spy on Americans suspected of being connected to terrorist activity without warrants. (Dec. 15)Conno
2010 I was 65 years old
President: Barack Obama
Vice President: Joe Biden
Population: 310 million
Life expectancy: 78.2 years
Jan. 3: The Transportation Security Administration announces stricter screening requirements for passengers traveling by air to the U.S. from 14 countries, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria. Passengers with passports or originating flights from any of the countries on this list will be required to undergo full-body pat downs and extra scrutiny of carry-on luggage. More advanced screenings will also be necessary at certain airports. The new regulations result from the attempted bombing by a Nigerian citizen on December 25. Jan. 6: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused of attempting to detonate a suicide bomb on an airplane bound for Detroit, Michigan on December 25, 2009, is indicted on six counts. Charges include attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Jan. 19: In a stunning upset, Republican Scott Brown, a former member of the state senate, wins a special election in Massachusetts for Ted Kennedy's vacated U.S. Senate seat, beating Democrat Martha Coakley, the state attorney general, by a wide margin. His victory marks the end of the Democrats' "super" majority in the Senate and raises questions about the viability of the Democratic party and the pending health-care reform bill. Kennedy passed away in Aug. 2009, ending a 46-year run in the Senate.
Jan. 21: In a 5�4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the government cannot restrict the spending of corporations for political campaigns, maintaining that it's their First Amendment right to support candidates as they choose. This decision upsets two previous precedents on the free-speech rights of corporations. President Obama expressed disapproval of the decision, calling it a "victory" for Wall Street and Big Business.
Jan. 28: The U.S. Senate agrees to give Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, another term, a 70–30 vote. This will be Bernanke's second, four-year term.
Jan. 29: A jury finds Scott Roeder, charged with first-degree murder for killing George Tiller—a doctor known for performing late-term abortions—guilty. Tiller was killed in May 2009 in his own church. Roeder claims he killed Tiller to stop the abortions the doctor was performing.
Feb. 1: President Obama presents to Congress his 2011 budget of $3.8 trillion and his 10-year budget plan. The budget includes a $1.6 trillion deficit in the next fiscal year, which begins in October, and then steadily declines over the following 10 years. Included in the budget are cuts to domestic programs and spending; some programs, including NASA's return trips to the moon, will be eliminated all together
Feb. 2: Following President Obama's State of the Union Declaration that he wants an end to the military policy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which forbids openly gay men and women to serve in the military, top officials at the Department of Defense look for a way to end the law. Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announces that he feels repealing the policy is "the right thing to do." Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he will follow through with Obama's orders.
Feb. 5: The unemployment rate drops to 9.7% in January 2010, down from 10% in December, reports the Labor Department. An additional 20,000 jobs were lost. Both numbers show that the economy is beginning to improve, as they demonstrate a decline in joblessness in the United States following the recession.
Feb. 12: Amy Bishop, a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, is arrested after allegedly killing three faculty members and wounding three others at the university in a shooting rampage. Bishop was upset over recently being denied tenure in the biology department.
Feb. 18: A man crashes his plane into an office of the Internal Revenue Service in Austin, Texas, killing himself and one other person. Apparently the pilot, Andrew Joseph Stack III, was holding a grudge against the government and the tax system. Thirteen others were injured.
Feb. 22: President Obama announces his detailed plan for a health-care reform bill. The plan closely follows the version currently in the Senate. Obama asks Republicans to submit their ideas or agree to his version of the bill.
Mar. 11: Thousands of rescue and cleanup workers—who worked for months in Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001—reach a settlement with New York City over their health claims. The deal is worth approximately $657.5 million. The 10,000 plaintiffs will be awarded settlement money according to the severity of their illnesses and the time worked in the disaster zone. Money for the settlement will come from a federally financed insurance company that covers the city.
Mar. 21: The House of Representatives passes a bill that will overhaul the American health-care system. The bill will be sent to President Obama to sign into law. Among other things, the bill will allow children to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until the age of 26, prevent insurance companies from denying coverage due to a patient's "pre-existing conditions," subsidize private insurance for low- and middle-income Americans, and require all Americans to have some sort of health insurance. The budget office estimates that the law will reduce federal budget deficits by $143 billion over the next 10 years. The government plans to earn money for the law with a tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans and a tax on the investment income of the wealthiest Americans. Mar. 23: President Obama signs the health-care overhaul bill, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, into law. Mar. 30: Obama signs the "reconciliation" bill, which outlines minor changes and additions to the new health-care act, coupled with the bill that overhauls the student loan industry. The health care revisions were drafted by the U.S. Senate as a measure to prevent Republicans from filibustering the original health-care bill.
Apr. 1: The Environmental Protection Agency issues formal guidelines for the amount of greenhouse gas emissions cars will be able to produce. The new emissions and mileage standards would mean that combined fuel economy average for new vehicles must be 35.5 by 2016.
Apr. 5: President Obama announces a revised American nuclear strategy that will limit the instances in which the U.S. will use nuclear weapons. Part of the strategy includes renouncing the creation of new nuclear weapons. However, Obama points out that exceptions will be made to countries such as Iran and North Korea who have violated the nuclear proliferation treaty in the past. This announcement significantly changes the protocol of past administrations; the United States is declaring for the first time its commitment not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states.
Apr. 9: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announces he will retire this summer, after serving on the court for 35 years. Though he was appointed in 1975 by a Republican president, Gerald Ford, and considered a moderate conservative at the time, he has proved to be one of the most reliably liberal-voting judges on the court. Stevens is the most senior member of the court. President Obama promises to name his nominee for the position quickly; it will be the second opportunity for Obama to select a Supreme Court justice in his first two years of office. His first pick, Sonia Sotomayor, proved divisive and controversial, but was confirmed to the position in August 2009.
Apr. 23: The governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer (Rep.), signs into law the country's toughest immigration bill. It is designed to identify and deport illegal immigrants. Law enforcement officials are now allowed to ask those people suspected of being illegal immigrants for their proof of citizenship or visas.
May 2: After discovering a bomb in a smoking vehicle parked in Times Square, in New York City, police evacuated several blocks around the popular tourist spot. The bomb was made of propane, gasoline, and fireworks and did not explode. A T-shirt vendor in the area saw the smoking car and alerted the authorities. May 3: Federal agents and New York City police arrest a man in conjunction with the Times Square car bomb. The man, Faisal Shahzad, is Pakistani but recently became a naturalized U.S. citizen and has been living in Connecticut with his family. Authorities are investigating whether Shahzad was working with a terrorist group or alone. May 4: Terrorism suspect Faisal Shazhad is charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and several other federal charges related to explosives. Shahzad admitted to the crime and claims to have worked alone. May 5: American officials announce that the Pakistani Taliban likely played a role in the Time Square bomb plot, including training the suspect in the case, Shahzad. May 13: The F.B.I. takes three Pakistani men into custody for their alleged role in the Times Square bomb plot. The men are under suspicion for providing money to Faisal Shazhad so he could carry out the plot.
May 10: President Obama selects Solicitor General Elena Kagan as his nominee for the Supreme Court Justice position that will be vacated by Justice John Paul Stevens this summer. Kagan is a scholar and a lawyer, and was the first female dean of Harvard Law School, has served on all three branches of the Federal Government, and has been the Solicitor General in the Obama administration. She has no prior judicial experience however, a qualification that hasn't been lacking in a justice for forty years.
June 4: President Obama names Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr. as the new director of national intelligence. Clapper is tasked with improving the coordination between the 16 U.S. spy and intelligence agencies. The former director, Adm. Dennis C. Blair, was forced out of the job two weeks earlier.
June 23: After a controversial interview with Rolling Stone that included some demeaning remarks about President Obama and his administration, General Stanley McChrystal is relieved of his position as commander of the American Forces in Afghanistan and replaced by his boss, General David Patraeus.
June 28: The Supreme Court rules in a 5-to-4 decision that the Second Amendment's guarantee, the right to bear arms, applies to local and state gun control laws. Justice Samuel Alito, who spoke for the majority, said the right to self defense is fundamental to American civil liberties. The decision is a particular blow to local government in Chicago and Oak Park Illinois, where handguns are essentially banned.
July 6: The United States Justice Department files a lawsuit against the state of Arizona in protest of its new immigration law, which allows law enforcement professionals to question suspected illegal immigrants of their immigration status. The U.S. government claims that immigration is a federal issue, not to be enforced by state governments, due to the possibility that their laws would interfere with federal cases and issues. July 28: A federal judge blocks key sections of the Arizona immigration law, including law enforcement's ability to request legal documentation of U.S. citizenship from suspected illegal immigrants, and the requirement for immigrants to carry papers at all times. A less controversial version of the immigration enforcement law will still pass.
July 15: Congress approves a landmark financial regulation bill, strongly supported by President Obama and by and large the Democratic Party. The bill increases the number of companies that will be regulated by government oversight, a panel to watch for risks in the financial system, and a consumer protection agency. Some Democrats and critics argue that the bill is not tough enough; Republicans claim it gives the government too much power in the business sector.
July 15: Goldman Sachs has agreed to $550 million settlement with the federal government after being accused of misleading investors during the subprime mortgage crisis and housing market collapse. Goldman Sachs reported a profit of $13.39 billion in 2009.
Aug. 4: A federal judge strikes down the voter-approved gay marriage ban in California, calling the law unconstitutional. Judge Vaughn Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court of the Northern District of California, claims that the law, which was voted into place with 52% of the vote in 2008 as Proposition 8, discriminates against gay men and women. Aug. 12: Judge Walker lifts the stay on the banning of gay marriage in California, allowing same-sex couples to marry while higher courts consider the matter. He delays implementation of the order until August 18, however. Aug. 16: A U.S. appeals court rules that same-sex couples cannot marry in the state of California while the court considers the constitutionality of the ban.
Aug. 5: The United States Senate votes 63 to 37 to confirm President Obama's most recent nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, as the newest Justice. Kagan is only the fourth woman to ever hold this position, and she'll be the third female member of the current bench, joining Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.
Aug. 31: Seven years after the war in Iraq began, President Obama announces the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom with a withdrawal of combat troops. Obama emphasizes that U.S. domestic problems, mainly the flailing economy and widespread unemployment, are more pressing matters to his country. The U.S. will continue to be a presence in Iraq, mainly with civilian contractors but also with a smaller military contingent of approximately 50,000 troops. The remaining troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.
Sept. 7: President Obama announces that he will not approve an extension of the Bush-era law that gives a tax break for the wealthy, or those families who earn over $250,000 per year and individuals who earn over $200,000 annually. President George W. Bush passed the tax cuts for those in the higher income bracket in 2001.
Sept. 16: The percentages of American living below the poverty line, or $10,830 for an individual and $22,050 for a family of four, reached 15-year high in 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over 44 million people, or 14.3 percent of Americans, are considered living in poverty. The U.S. is experiencing its worst economic period since the Great Depression.
Sept. 21: Lawrence Summers, the chief architect of President Obama's economic policy and head of the National Economic Council, is leaving his position with the White House. Several of Obama's top advisors have recently left; the White House says Summers' exit was long planned and that he'll be returning to his tenured position at Harvard.
Oct. 12: U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips, of California, orders the government to stop the enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Law," which forbids gays and lesbians from openly serving in the U.S. military. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announces that ending the enforcement of the law so abruptly would have negative effects on the men and women currently serving in the military, though President Obama and his administration officially oppose the law. Gates claims Congress should decide on the validity of the law. The ban has been in place for 17 years. Oct. 20: A federal appeals court temporarily stalls the U.S. district court decision to allow gays to serve openly in the military. The military will continue to enforce the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy for the time being.
Nov. 4: The Republican Party gains control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, but the Democratic party retains the majority in the Senate. Two members of the Tea Party also have victories, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mark Rubio of Florida. Senate majority leader Harry Reid wins his reelection in Nevada and his fellow Democrats win key Senate races across the country; therefore, Reid maintains his leadership position. Representative John Boehner of Ohio is poised to become the new Speaker of the House, replacing Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi of California.
Nov. 24: Tom Delay, the former House Majority Leader from Texas, is convicted of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering involving corporate campaign contributions. He faces up to 99 years in prison in his sentencing.
Nov. 30: After surveying 115,000 active-duty and reserve service members in a nine-month study, the Pentagon announces that repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," law, which forbids gay and lesbian service members from serving openly in the military, will not affect the military's strength. Of those military personnel surveyed, 70 percent believed repealing the law would impact their units in a positive, mixed, or neutral way.
Dec. 2: The House of Representatives votes 333–79 to censure Representative Charles Rangel (Dem., N.Y.) for ethics violations, including failure to pay income taxes and improperly soliciting donations. Censure is the worst punishment Congress can give to a member, short of expulsion. Rangel is the 23rd member of the House to be censured.
Dec. 2: The House of Representatives votes 264–157 to pass the child nutrition bill, which expands the scope of the current school lunch program and implements improvements to the overall health of the foods available and provided through that program. The Senate previously passed the bill unanimously. The program will cost approximately $4.5 billion to implement; about half of that budget will be provided by a cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.
Dec. 13: Henry Hudson, a federal judge from Virginia, rules that one of the main provisions of the health-care form law is unconstitutional. The ruling claims that under the Commerce Clause, a law requiring all Americans to hold health insurance, as the reform law states, is beyond the regulatory power of the federal government. The judge does not request that the implementation of the act be suspended, however.
Dec. 18: The Senate votes 65 to 31 in favor of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the Clinton-era military policy that forbids openly gay men and women from serving in the military. Eight Republicans side with the Democrats to strike down the ban. The repeal is sent to President Obama for his final signature. The ban will not be lifted officially until Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agree that the military is ready to enact the change and that it won't affect military readiness. Dec. 22: President Obama officially repeals the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy.
Dec. 22: After years of debate and compromise, Congress passes a $4.3 billion health bill for the rescue workers involved in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York City. The bill will cover $1.8 billion in health-care costs for the 60,000 rescue workers registered for monitoring and treatment; the City of New York will pay 10% of the bill's overall costs. The bill will also reopen the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund for five years, which provides money to compensate for job loss.
2015 I was 70 Years Old
Curtiousy Of ABC News
Year in Review: 13 Biggest News Stories of 2015
From crashes and shootings, to the pope's visit and a daring prison escape.
By MEGHAN KENEALLY
A look back at the most significant events of 2015.
A look back at the most significant events of 2015.
— -- From start to finish, many of this year’s biggest news stories were centered around violence, terror threats or a general sense of fear.
The year began with a targeted terror strike in Paris and closed out with another planned attack in California, proving that threats around the globe remain an issue for all.
2015 Year in Review
The Stories That Tugged at Our Heartstrings in 2015
10 of the Most Shocking Deaths of 2015
Domestically, mass shootings caused heartbreak and continuing the debate between those calling for stricter gun control and others arguing for the right to bear arms.
Here is a list of some of the biggest news stories of 2015.
1. Charlie Hebdo Attack in Paris
Terror struck in Paris one week into the New Year when a group of men with extensive ties to terrorist organizations targeted the offices of a famed satirical newspaper. Two men shot their way into the offices of Charlie Hebdo while a third waited near the getaway car. The shooters forced their way into the publication's offices, killing a maintenance man and police bodyguard assigned to protect the editor after he received death threats. Once arriving at the office, they proceeded to kill nine others, mostly editorial staff gathered for their weekly meeting, injuring an additional 11. A faction of al Qaeda claimed responsibility.
2. Germanwings Plane Crash
3. Deaths by Police Officers
The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin led to the creation of #BlackLivesMatter in 2013, and the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner among others by police officers in Missouri and New York, respectively, carried the outrage through 2014. It was the deaths of Walter Scott and Freddie Gray, both at the hands of police officers, that fueled the outcry in 2015. Scott was fatally shot by a police officer following a traffic stop in South Carolina on April 4. Footage of the incident was recorded by a bystander that appeared to show Scott, who was unarmed, running away from the officer, identified later as Michael Slager. Slager was arrested three days after Scott’s death and charged with murder. His attorney says that Slager insists he is not guilt
Just over a week later, in Baltimore, a man named Freddie Gray was picked up by police and put in a police transport vehicle without being properly strapped in. He suffered spinal injuries during the ride, which led to his death. Protests, some of them violent, erupted across Baltimore. After Gray’s death was ruled a homicide on May 1, six police officers were charged in connection to his death. All have pleaded not guilty. The first officer’s trial just concluded with a hung jury. A retrial is set for next June, after the other five officers are tried.
Chicago police also came under scrutiny for alleged misuse of force this year after footage of an October 2014 fatal shooting by police was released in November of this year following a court order. The video showed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being hit 16 times. The officer involved in that shooting, Jason Van Dyke, was charged with his murder and has pleaded not guilty. Public criticism of the way authorities handled this case resulted in the firing of Chicago’s police superintendent, and a public apology from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
4. Amtrak Train Crash
015, in Philadelphia.
A train derailment in Philadelphia killed eight and injured more than 200 Amtrak passengers in May after the Northeast Regional train sped around a curve and went off the track. The train’s engineer. who survived, could not explain what caused the deadly crash. The National Transportation Safety Board led the investigation into the accident and determined that the train accelerated before the crash and had been traveling in excess of 100 mph, which was more than twice the speed limit for that area of the track.
5. Prison Escape in New York
One of the biggest stories of the summer seemed like something straight out of a Hollywood movie. It involved two prisoners, a sexual liaison with a prison worker who smuggled tools hidden in frozen meat and a midnight escape with a smiley-faced getaway note. David Sweat and Richard Matt, both convicted murderers, escaped from the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York on June 6, crawling out of sewage pipes and digging through cell walls a la “The Shawshank Redemption.”
A huge manhunt took place over much of northern New York for the next three weeks. Law enforcement officers shot and killed Matt on June 26. They found Sweat two days later; in November, he pleaded guilty to all charges related to his escape.
The prison seamstress, Joyce Mitchell, was arrested and admitted to having had a sexual relationship with Matt, along with providing the tools. She was sentenced to up to 7 years in prison. Corrections officer Gene Palmer was charged with assisting the pair of inmates to escape. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
6. Charleston Church Shooting
One of this year’s deadliest mass shootings struck a particularly heartbreaking chord because of its location: inside a church. The shooting at Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME Church in June caused national mourning and outrage, after a 21-year-old, reportedly with white supremacist beliefs, attended a Bible study session at the famed predominantly African-American church before allegedly opening fire on the group. The accused shooter, Dylann Roof, was apprehended the morning after the June 17 attack and is awaiting trial on 33 counts, including murder and firearms charges, as well as federal hate crime charges. The judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
The shooting and Roof’s purported racist beliefs prompted a debate over the state’s continued use of the Confederate Battle Flag at South Carolina’s Capitol. After heated debate, the state legislature voted to have the flag taken down. It will be exhibited at a nearby museum.
7. On-Air Shooting in Virginia
e station, Aug. 27, 2015, in Roanoke, Va.
The gunman in another tragic shooting claimed it was the racism of the Charleston church shooting that prompted him to create a scene of carnage in the late summer. Vester Lee Flanagan, a disgruntled former news anchor, shot two of his former colleagues while they were on the air on location for a Roanoke, Virginia, TV station. The Aug. 26 shooting left reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward dead. Flanagan later posted a video on social media of the shooting that he appeared to have filmed during the attack using a portable camera. He also sent a manifesto and called ABC News after the shooting. He shot himself to death during a car chase with police later that day.
8. Major Murder Trials
Four of the biggest trials of the year all resulted in guilty verdicts and one of those murderers now faces a death sentence. The first verdict came in February when Eddie Ray Routh was found guilty of killing “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield. Though Kyle was well-known before the trial because of his bestselling book, the case gained even more national attention when his biopic came out just over a month before the trial started. Routh received a sentence of life without parole. He has filed a notice of appeal.
Aaron Hernandez watches as Robert Kraft entered the courtroom during the murder trial...Read More
Aaron Hernandez watches as Robert Kraft entered the courtroom during the murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., March 31, 2015.
Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found guilty in April and sentenced to life in prison without parole after killing Odin Lloyd, who was dating Hernandez' fiancee’s sister. The case turned into a family drama as both Hernandez’s fiancee, who was granted immunity for her testimony, and her sister took turns on the witness stand. His appeal is underway.
James Holmes, the shooter who opened fire inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, was found guilty in July of killing 12 people in the rampage and injuring 70 others. While it took jurors only 12 hours to find him guilty, they were unable to reach a unanimous decision when it came to the penalty phase so he was spared the death penalty and sentenced in August to one life sentence for each life he took, plus 3,138 years for the attempted murders, without the possibility of parole. He has not appealed.
9. European Refugee Crisis
A refugee holding a boy react as they are stuck between Macedonian riot police officers...Read More
A refugee holding a boy react as they are stuck between Macedonian riot police officers and refugees during a clash near the border train station of Idomeni, northern Greece, Aug. 21, 2015.
Tens of thousands of people fleeing war-torn Syria and other areas in the Middle East and Africa spent much of this summer making the laborious, and dangerous, trek through Europe toward countries including Germany and Sweden in hopes of finding asylum. The influx of refugee families prompted international disputes and policy shifts as countries such as Hungary started to close some of their borders and put up fences with razor wire to prevent people from entering. President Obama’s plan to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States met with stiff resistance from some House Republicans who have called for stricter certifications that none of the immigrants poses a security risk.
10. Same-Sex Marriage Debate
The front of the White House is lit in the color of the rainbow, June 26, 2015, after the U...Read More
The front of the White House is lit in the color of the rainbow, June 26, 2015, after the United States Supreme Court issued the decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that same-sex marriage is legal in all states.
The Supreme Court made a landmark decision in June, voting to allow same-sex couples to marry nationwide. The 5-4 decision was praised by many, including President Obama, who called it a “victory for America.” But not everyone was pleased with the decision. A county clerk in Kentucky became a touchstone for the national debate after she claimed it was against her religious beliefs to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Kim Davis was jailed for nearly a week for defying a judge's order to issue any marriage licenses in Rowan County.
11. Pope Francis Visits the US
Pope Francis places a white rose on the names of the September 11 victims at the edge...Read More
Pope Francis places a white rose on the names of the September 11 victims at the edge of the South Pool of the 9/11 memorial in New York, Sept. 25, 2015.
One of the biggest moments of national excitement came when Pope Francis made his inaugural visit to the United States, sweeping the country up in a serious case of Pope-mania. His visit started in Washington, D.C., after a trip to Cuba, and he went on to visit New York and Philadelphia before returning to the Vatican. Some of the highlights of the trip included a historic address to Congress, frequent rides in his Fiat and a particularly memorable moment shared with a baby girl dressed up like a pope.
12. Another Terror Attack in Paris
A series of coordinated terror attacks struck fear through the heart of the French capital on Friday Nov. 13. A combination of shooters and men wearing explosive vests targeted a football stadium, restaurants and a concert venue that evening, leaving 130 people dead.
French officials determined that the attackers had ties to ISIS, which has claimed responsibility. The alleged ringleader of the attacks was killed five days later when authorities raided his apartment in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. An international manhunt is still underway at this time for at least one other suspect.
This year has been rife with terror attacks and thwarted incidents in France, starting with the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January but followed by at least two other incidents that were stopped before the casualty count jumped. One occurred in April, when a man suspected of planning an “imminent” attack in and around Paris was taken into custody after allegedly randomly killing a woman but also shooting himself, prompting him to call for an ambulance. Then in August, three American friends on vacation – Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone – helped thwart a would-be attacker on a train heading to Paris from Amsterdam.
13. Mass shootings (Roseburg, Lafayette, Chattanooga, Planned Parenthood, San Bernardino)
From a college campus in Roseburg, Oregon, where 10 people were killed, or a military recruiting office in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where five people died, to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that left three dead, shootings were an all-too-familiar occurrence in this calendar year. The deadliest came on Dec. 2 in San Bernardino, California, where it’s alleged that a married couple opened fire at the Inland Regional Center during a Department of Public Health conference and holiday luncheon.
The San Bernardino shooting marked at least the 57th mass shooting this year where three or more people were killed, according to an ABC News analysis