You were born so little, about this size,
The world has changed a lot since you arrived.
1996 — We clone a sheep named Dolly,
Collecting Pokémon cards is a new hobby.
Bill Clinton's re-elected, surprised?
The Bulls win ‘cause Michael Jordan flies.
But Tupac dies and in…
‘97 — Biggie,
Princess Di, Mother Teresa, it’s a pity.
But Harry Potter shows up on the scene,
And NASA lands on Mars, I think that’s sweet.
‘98 — Wanna search? It’s Google time,
Matthew Shepard gets killed, that’s a hate crime.
‘99 — The whole nation cries,
When we hear what happened at Columbine,
Clinton lies about a lady, gets impeached,
We celebrate the millennium and hit the streets.
2000 — Gore wins, no Bush wins or —
In the end it’s decided by the Supreme Court.
2001 — Napster takes a permanent nap,
iPods arrive and our genome is mapped.
But do you remember the hour,
When you heard that two planes had hit the twin towers?
9/11 caused almost 3,000 coffins,
US invaded Afghanistan hunting bin Laden.
‘02 — American Idol debuts, it’s awesome,
Especially for Kelly Clarkson.
Bush sees an evil axis, lowers taxes,
Enron fraud, yeah that’s drastic.
‘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 — Red Sox win, reverse the curse,
And Facebook is started by a couple of nerds.
It’s the year the tsunami hits the shore,
Kerry loses, and Bush wins four more.
‘05 — Hurricane Katrina has no love,
The Pope dies, base ballers are on drugs.
‘06 — Nintendo Wii, what’s next?
Saddam Hussein 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.
Lehman Brothers FAIL, Phelps for the win,
Eight gold medals, that dude can swim!
‘09 — Stimulus, water on the moon,
RIP MJ, he is gone too soon.
The first Latina justice, Sotomayor,
We’re $10 trillion in debt, and it’s gonna be more.
2010 — Earthquakes in Chile and Haiti,
Oil spills and ash clouds, it was crazy.
Health reform passes, yeah, OK,
Miners in Chile? Ay, they got saved!
2011 — That’s the Arab Spring,
Occupy Wall Street is in full swing.
We find bin Laden, put his body in the sea,
Steve Jobs dies, he’s resting in peace.
2012 — Obama, re-elected,
Superstorm Sandy hits the Northeast and wrecks it.
And I cried when I heard what went down,
To the little kids killed in Newtown.
2013 — Boston Marathon bombings,
Pope resigns, we’ve got a Roman pontiff.
Civil War in Syria and Snowden leaks,
Nelson Mandela now rests in peace.
2014 — Russia hosts the Games,
Then claim some of Ukraine, ‘cause they’re not playing.
A ferry sinks, and so does a plane,
But we dance to "Happy" to wash away the pain.
Yeah, to all the high school graduates,
Think of yourself and tell me, are you proud of it?
Flocabulary wishing you congrats,
This has been the last 18 years in rap.
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.
Bill Clinton was re-elected in 1996. Learn more.
In 1996, Michael Jordan was arguably the most popular athlete in the world. He led his basketball team, the Chicago Bulls, to win four national championships in six years. He also starred in the movie Space Jam . 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.
In 1997, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone , by J. K. Rowling, was released. The series of books that followed would go on to sell over 450 million copies. 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.
College student Shawn Fanning invented Napster, a file-sharing program that allowed users to download music from other users' computers. Some called Napster brilliant. But ultimately, record companies called it “stealing.” Napster was shut down in 2001. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Enron was a corporation whose leaders were accused and convicted of accounting fraud in 2001. The scandal drew the public's attention to white-collar crime. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
President Obama appointed Sonia Sotomayor to become a Supreme Court justice. She is the first Hispanic justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Learn more.
By March of 2009, the National Debt had already hit $11 trillion for the first time ever, and it continues to grow. 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.
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.
In April of 2010, volcanic eruptions in Iceland caused ash clouds that shut down air travel across western and northern Europe for six days. Learn more.
2010 was the year that the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, was signed into law. The process of its rollout was gradual, with mandated health insurance going into full effect in 2014. 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. People dubbed the revolutions the “Arab Spring.” Learn more.
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. 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.
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.
Democratic candidate Barack Obama won the election on November 6, earning him a second term as America's 44th president. While Romney won the support of more white people and older Americans, Obama won more support from women, young voters and minorities, which led him to victory. Learn more.
Hurricane Sandy was one of the largest storms ever to hit the Northeast. Sandy made landfall on the evening of October 29 in New Jersey causing massive storm surges, flooding and widespread power outages. Over 70 deaths were blamed on the storm. Learn more.
On December 14, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The gunman committed suicide at the scene. Just five months earlier, James Holmes had killed 12 people and injured 58 more in a shooting at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. The nation was thrown once again into an intense debate over gun control the US. Learn more.
The Boston Marathon turned into tragedy when two explosions occurred near the finish line about four hours after the race began. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were injured. A manhunt for the suspects in the days following the bombing ended with one suspect killed and the other in custody. Learn more.
Saying his age and failing health were affecting his ability to lead, Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to resign in 600 years. Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, taking the name of Francis, was elected as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the first Latin American and first non-European pope ever. Learn more.
The ongoing conflict between the Syrian government and its opposition reached new heights in the summer of 2013. The Syrian government used chemical weapons to kill thousands of innocent civilians, according to US intelligence analysts. Learn more.
Edward Snowden leaked as many as 200,000 classified documents to the press about the NSA's surveillance programs. It turned out the government had been spying on citizens. Learn more.
Nelson Mandela helped end Apartheid in South Africa and inspired the world. He died in 2013 at the age of 95. Learn more.
Leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, suicide bombers killed people in Russia. There were threats of more terror attacks during the Games. Luckily, the major multi-sport event went smoothly. The most successful countries? Russia, Norway, Canada and the United States. Learn more.
The political unrest that began in November 2013 turned into a government overthrow in early 2014. While Ukraine worked to stabilize its government, pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine worked to break away and join Russia. They succeeded in Crimea. Learn more.
On April 22, a ferry sank while traveling from mainland South Korea to the island of Jeju. More than 300 people drowned during the accident, and many of them were children and teachers on a field trip. Learn more.
In March of 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared near the South China Sea carrying 239 people. It is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, but the plane's fate is still a mystery. Learn more.
“Happy” is the title of musician Pharrell Williams' hit single in 2013/2014. He also released a 24-hour-long music video featuring people dancing to the song around Los Angeles. Learn more.
From everyone here at Flocabulary, we wish all you grads a huge "Congratulations!"
1996: What celebrity basketball player led the Bulls to win the NBA Finals?
1997: What planet did NASA land on?
1998: What kind of crime led to the murder of Matthew Shepard?
1999: A school shooting occurred in what city?
2000: What decided the Gore versus Bush presidential race?
The Supreme Court
2001: What country did the US invade hunting bin Laden?
2002: What American energy company was charged with fraud?
2003: In what movie does a clownfish named Marlin face adventure?
2004: Indonesia faced what devastating natural disaster?
2005: What hurricane wreaked havoc in Louisiana?
2006: What enemy of the US was put to death?
2007: What now-ubiquitous mobile device was released?
2008: Which swimmer won eight gold medals?
2009: What pop star died?
2010: What major social reform got passed?
2011: What is the name of a series of revolutions in the Middle East?
2012: What storm hit the Northeast?
2013: What former NSA contractor leaked secret government documents?
2014: What country claimed part of Ukraine?