Teach or review major events from 1994-2012, including: the end of apartheid, the Columbine shooting, the mapping of the human genome, and the death of Trayvon Martin.
Flocabulary... 18 Years in Rap...
For the High School Grads...
In 1994 - 4 million babies are born
In America. Let’s see what else was going on.
Nelson Mandela's elected in South Africa,
End of apartheid, spectacular.
95 - OJ's acquitted in LA,
OKC is bombed by McVeigh.
Israel gives back land to Palestinians,
"Toy Story," it makes a couple million.
96 - We cloned a sheep named Dolly,
Collecting Pokémon is a new hobby.
That’s the year that you could die from beef,
Whether it’s rap related or Mad Cow Disease.
Tupac dies, and in...
97 - Biggie,
So does Princess Diana, that's a pity.
Mother Teresa is RIP,
But NASA lands on Mars that’s totally sweet.
98 - Google gives us search every day,
Matthew Shepard gets killed 'cause he was gay.
99 - School shooting at Columbine,
Clinton gets acquitted, even though we caught him lying.
Some were scared of Y2K,
But we partied all night for a brand new day.
Oh hey, Bush barely beats Gore,
In fact, it’s decided by the Supreme Court.
2001 - Yeah, we’re on our science,
Map the genome, iPod arrives.
But America changed the hour,
When the two planes hit the two towers.
We invade Afghanistan, hunting Al Qaeda,
But Bin Laden won’t get found 'til later.
02 - Bush names an evil axis, lowers taxes,
American Idol smashes.
03 - Start of the the Iraq War,
Columbia explodes, death in Darfur.
Biggest US minority is now Latin,
Ask my primo, Pixar finds Nemo.
04 - W. wins four more,
Tsunami waves kill when they hit the shore.
Red Sox win, they reverse the curse,
And Facebook's started by a couple of nerds.
05 - Hurricane Katrina has no love,
The Pope dies, baseballers are on drugs,
06 - Nintendo’s "Wii," what’s next?
Saddam Hussein, he gets put to death.
07 - iPhone drops, yeah I cop it,
We see the crisis in the housing market.
But we have the first female speaker of the House,
Every year new barriers for women break down.
08 - Another barrier down, that’s evident,
Obama is the first black president.
Michael Phelps dominates the pool,
The economy tanks, banks act the fool.
09 - Stimulus, water on the moon,
RIP MJ, he is gone too soon.
2010 - Oil spill, that’s crazy,
Earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.
But some lives are saved, the miners freed!
I bet fresh air never smelled so sweet.
2011 - Occupy Wall Street,
We find Bin Laden, put his body in the sea.
Europe debt crisis is tough for the Greeks,
Steve Jobs dies, he’s resting in peace.
This year - Trayvon Martin is killed,
Tebowmania, Linsanity it’s real.
3.2 million high school graduates,
I hope you’re looking at the present, and you're grabbing it,
'Cause time passes in the blink of an eye,
When you look ahead, don’t forget to look behind...
In 1994, 3,979,000 babies were born in the United States. That's a lot of babies! Learn more.
After spending 26 years in prison for protesting apartheid, South Africa's system of racial segregation, Nelson Mandela was elected to be the first black president of South Africa. Learn more.
In 1995, the world was glued to their television sets during O. J. Simpson's trial for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend. The Football Hall-of-Famer had hired a team of high-powered lawyers. They succeeded in proving him innocent, using the now-famous argument: “If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit.” (A glove found at the scene of the crime was a key piece of evidence.) Learn more.
In 1995, American terrorists set off a bomb in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. One hundred sixty-eight people were killed. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States until the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Timothy McVeigh and his friend Terry Nichols were convicted of the crime. McVeigh was executed in 2001. Learn more.
Israelis and Palestinians "share" a small piece of land in the Middle East, though they don't often share it very peacefully. Israel holds most of the power, but did cede administration of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the Palestinians in 1994. Learn more.
What do your toys do when you leave the room? The movie "Toy Story" by Pixar won hearts while answering that question. And it was the first completely computer-animated film. Learn more.
Dolly the sheep was the first clone of an adult mammal. That means that she had the exact same DNA as another sheep. Learn more.
Pokemon video games for Nintendo's Game Boy were released in 1995. The little cartoon monsters from the game soon became famous worldwide through trading cards, cartoons and movies. Only the Mario series has generated more money as a game-based media franchise. Learn more.
“Mad cow” was the nickname given a disease found in British cattle. It can cause a human brain disease if people eat the infected beef. Suddenly, people weren't so sure about eating hamburgers at barbecues. Learn more.
Tupac Shakur was a popular and innovative American rapper. In 1996, he was shot and killed, though new albums were released in his name long after his death. Learn more.
Notorious B.I.G. was an American rapper who released the platinum album Ready to Die . He was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1997. Learn more.
Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris while being hounded by the paparazzi. She became a worldwide celebrity when she married Britain's Prince Charles in 1981. She was beloved for her community service around the world. Learn more.
Mother Teresa was a Catholic missionary who won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her profound work with the sick and poor. In 2003, Pope John Paul II named her a Catholic saint. Learn more.
The Mars Exploration Rover, named Spirit , landed on Mars and sent back the first color images of the red planet. We were able to confirm that it is actually red! Learn more.
In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started a little company called Google. They created the search engine while they were graduate students at Stanford. Since then, the company has grown immensely, and is valued at more than $35 billion dollars. Learn more.
Matthew Shepard was violently beaten and left to die because he was gay. His death was called a hate crime, and news about his killing drew attention to the prevention of violence against homosexuals. In 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard Act, which expands hate crime laws. Learn more.
On April 20, 1999, students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, with guns and explosives. They killed 12 students and a teacher, and then killed themselves. It was the deadliest school shooting to date. The whole nation mourned for Columbine. Learn more.
President Bill Clinton faced an impeachment trial for lying under oath about a relationship with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Congress voted to keep him in office, but the incident provided a major distraction for American citizens. Learn more.
In the early days of computing, when people recorded dates, they only used two digits. So instead of writing "1959," they'd write "59." As a result, people were concerned that when the year 2000 arrived, computers--and anything that contained a computer ranging from clocks to planes to nuclear power plants--would think that it was 1900 and stop working. This problem was called Y2K. Some people prepared for the worst with safety shelters and massive food stocks, but thanks to the work of programmers, there were no major disruptions. Learn more.
The 2000 presidential election was the closest vote in United States history. On election night, news anchors reported that Democrat Al Gore was the winner. Gore won the most popular votes. But because of laws related to the Electoral College, Republican George W. Bush was declared the winner instead. His win was determined by a very, very close vote in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The vote was so close, the Supreme Court was asked to weigh in. The justices ruled in Bush's favor. Learn more.
After 10 years of work, and international team of scientists revealed the map of the entire human genome in 2001. They had cracked the code to determine the way that DNA comes together to make a human. The results of the genome mapping had important implications for modern medicine, while also raising ethical questions about eugenics. Learn more.
Remember when you had to choose a few CDs to take with you on a trip? No? Well, that's because Apple's iPod has changed the way people transport their music. Learn more.
On September 11, 2001, foreign terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. This was the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil. Nearly 3,000 people were killed. Learn more.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks. The United States would spend the better part of the next decade looking for him. That included invading Afghanistan to try and overthrow the Taliban, as President Bush didn't want the U.S. to make a distinction between terrorists and the governments that harbored them. Learn more.
President George W. Bush created a 10-year tax cut program. It featured the largest tax cuts in 20 years. After the September 11th terrorist attacks, the country's surplus quickly turned into a deficit. President Bush also called Iran, Iraq and North Korea an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address because he believed that their governments supported terrorism or weapons of mass destruction. Learn more.
American Idol is a television program where singers compete for a recording contract. Each week contestants sing, and Americans vote for their favorites. Kelly Clarkson won the first year. Since it began, it's become enormously popular, and it has also spawned numerous imitations like The Voice and The X Factor . And more people vote for the winners than for president of the United States. Learn more.
In March 2003, President Bush sent troops to Iraq to look for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to bring down Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The United States was joined by NATO forces. They found Hussein, and he was sentenced to death, but it turned out that the WMDs never existed. Learn more.
On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded and disintegrated while re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. All seven crew members were killed in the disaster. Learn more.
The Sudanese government responded to two Darfuri rebel movements by destroying more than 400 villages and forcing millions of people to leave their homes. The government targeted ethnic groups who supported rebels. Approximately 300,000 people were killed during this genocide. Learn more.
In 2003, Hispanic people surpassed African-American people to become the largest minority group in the United States. Learn more.
After its success with "Toy Story," Pixar continued to make many critically acclaimed computer-animated films. 2003 saw the popular undersea tale, "Finding Nemo." Learn more.
After battling Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 election, Republican George W. Bush won the presidency again. It was a very close election, second only to the 2000 election between Bush and Al Gore. But this time, Bush won the popular vote, too. Learn more.
An enormous tsunami, caused by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in the ocean, hit the coast of Indonesia in 2004. Over 10,000 people were killed by the effects of the massive wave. Learn more.
The Boston Red Sox won Major League Baseball's World Series in 2004 for the first time since 1918. And they won with panache, coming back from a three-game deficit to the Yankees in the playoffs. Learn more.
Mark Zuckerberg launched the social networking website Facebook from his dorm at Harvard University in 2004. In January 2011, the site had more than 600 million users. Learn more.
Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. When walls around the low-lying city failed, large areas were flooded. Nearly 2,000 people were killed, and entire sections of the city were destroyed. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) failed to effectively respond to the devastating damage of Hurricane Katrina. This failure to act hurt thousands of New Orleans residents in the aftermath of the hurricane. Learn more.
Pope John Paul II died in 2005 at the age of 85. He was the Pope from 1978 to 2005, making him the second-longest serving Pope in history. During that time, he visited 129 countries. Learn more.
2005 was the year when America really woke up to how big a drug problem major-league baseball had developed. That year witnessed a grand jury on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, a tell-all book or two, and players admitting to using steroids to enhance their playing ability. Some of baseball's biggest stars, including famous home-run hitters Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, were implicated in the scandal. Learn more.
Nintendo released a new game console called the Wii. The game system allowed players' physical movements to affect game play. Learn more.
American soldiers captured Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq, in 2005. He was sentenced to death for his infractions against his people. Learn more.
Apple released the iPhone, and tech geeks went wild for the sleek and stylish smartphone. Since then, Apple has sold millions of iPhones, and in 2012, Apple was selling more iPhones per day than babies born in the world per day. Smartphones have changed the way that many people communicate, consume information and more. Learn more.
During the early 2000s, more people began using subprime mortgages to purchase houses, and these households began to take on more and more debt. When house sales prices started to drop, many people with subprime mortgages suddenly owed more money than their homes were worth and many had to foreclose. This housing crisis was part of the cause of the recession. Learn more.
After Democrats gained a majority in the 2006 election, Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Learn more.
Barack Obama was elected president of the United States in 2008. He is the first African American elected to the American presidency. Learn more.
American swimmer Michael Phelps won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He works out so much that he consumes 12,000 calories worth of food everyday. That's about six times as much as a typical person eats. And what kind of music does he listen to on his iPod right before he swims? Hip-hop. Learn more.
Banks make bets. They invest and hope those investments pay off. When big banks invested in subprime mortgages and the value of homes started falling, banks were in a lot of trouble. Lehman Brothers collapsed, though other banks were bailed out by the government. The economy took a turn for the worse, and many people lost their jobs. Learn more.
President Obama created a stimulus plan to help reinvigorate the struggling American economy. The results of the plan were mixed, though most economists agree that it helped assuage the effects of the recession. Learn more.
In 2009, NASA reported that it found "a significant amount" of water on the moon. Since water is necessary for life, this finding opens up the possibility of a lunar space station. Learn more.
Singer Michael Jackson died at age 50. People around the world who had loved his lifetime of music making mourned his passing. Learn more.
An oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico not only killed 11 people and disrupted the ecosystem, but also caused an oil spill that took months of international effort to clean up. It was the largest oil spill off the coast of the United States in history. Learn more.
A magnitude 7 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, and destroyed the city. A worldwide relief effort to help the newly homeless people of Haiti began. Learn more.
Thirty-three miners in Chile were all saved after being trapped underground for over two months. The world celebrated. Learn more.
A revolution in Egypt set off a string of revolutions against unjust leaders in other Arab nations. And then the protests spread to the U.S. Occupy Wall Street began at its namesake location in New York during the fall, and over the course of a few months, morphed into a nationwide movement against income inequality. Protesters call themselves the "Other 99 percent," a reference to the fact that 1% of Americans earn 25% of all U.S. income, and in some cases pay lower tax rates. Some of the protests in major cities turned violent; for example, in Oakland riot police fired tear gas at protesters. Time Magazine even named the person of the year, "The Protester." Learn more.
After hiding out for nearly 10 years after the September 11th terrorist attacks, Osama Bin Laden was killed by American forces in Pakistan in May, 2011. Learn more.
Greece's debt has been hurting the entire European economy, with particular economic trouble spreading to its next-door neighbor, Italy. Many worried that the future of the European Union and the Eurozone could be at stake. Learn more.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs died in October after a struggle against liver cancer. The world remembered him for his technological contributions like the Mac or iPod that have changed many people's daily lives. Learn more.
Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager with no criminal record, was killed by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was on a neighborhood watch, and claimed that he shot Martin in self defense because Martin was threatening him. People around the country were in an uproar over Martin's death, claiming that this needless death was born of racism, and that Florida's self-defense law only propagates further violence. Learn more.
Fans went crazy for NFL sensation Tim Tebow, who famously gets down on one knee to pray after big plays. Next season, he'll be playing and praying for the New York Jets. Learn more.
At the beginning of the NBA season, most people hadn't heard of Jeremy Lin. Or if they had, it was because they knew him as a Harvard-educated basketball player who was undrafted and getting traded from team to team without success. But on February 4, the Knicks pulled Lin off the bench and he scored 25 points in one game. In his next game--his first NBA start--he scored 28 points. And he just kept doing it again and again, until hurting his knee. People called his streak Linsanity. Learn more.
3.2 million students are expected to graduate high school this year. From everyone here at Flocabulary, we wish all you grads a huge "Congratulations!" Learn more.
1994: Who was elected president in South Africa?
1995: What groundbreaking animated movie came out?
1996: What was the name of the sheep that was cloned?
1997: What planet did we land a rover on?
1998: What major company was founded this year?
1999: Where was there a school shooting?
2000: Who won the presidency in this year after a contested race?
George W. Bush
2001: Where did the American military go to hunt Al Qaeda?
2002: What popular TV show debuted this year?
2003: What space shuttle exploded?
2004: Which baseball team won the World Series for the first time since 1918?
The Boston Red Sox
2005: What natural disaster tore through New Orleans?
2006: Which former dictator was found and killed?
2007: Who was the first female speaker of the house?
2008: Which swimmer dominated the pool?
2009: In what exciting place did we find water?
2010: Where were there major earthquakes?
Chile and Haiti
2011: What protest movement began in New York City?
Occupy Wall Street
To the Class of 2012...