Casey Anthony Trial — Not Guilty?
Three years after her daughter was reported missing, the trial of the year ended with a “not guilty” verdict for Casey Anthony in the court room, though public opinion was surely, and loudly, different.
Japanese Tsunami and Earthquake
On March 11th, an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the richter scale struck off the shores of Japan, triggering a wave that not only swamped a significant portion of the country, but impacted the Fukushima nuclear plant, setting off the worst nuclear crisis in decades.
The Wedding of the Century
April 29th was the day a commoner became a princess — or at least a princess-to-be. When they said “I do,” more than a million people thronged the streets of London, Yahoo handled more than one billion page views for the event, and nearly 23 million Americans watched live on TV.
Osama Bin Laden — Don’t Mess With Our SEALs
The elite of the elite, Navy SEAL Team Six raided a compound in Pakistan on May 1st — and then over the radio came “For God and country – Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo.” Bin Laden had been shot dead.
US Job Market — Bad Year with a Good Ending?
In 2011, the national unemployment rate hovered around an average of 8.8%. The last quarter of the year, however, brought slightly better news, as the four-week average for unemployment applications dropped to the lowest level in three years. Employers added nearly double the number of net jobs from September to November (approximately 143,000/month), and economists project that number will continue to rise in 2012.
When US Representative Gabrielle Giffords went to a Safeway on January 8th, no one could have expected the tragedy that ensued. A lone gunman opened fire, shooting Giffords in the head, injuring 14 people and killing six. As legal arguments flew back and forth, and the alleged shooter accused his own lawyer of being treasonous, Gabrielle Gifford slowly recovered, until, in September, she finally returned to the House floor to cast her first vote since the shooting. Her recovery isn’t complete, but she is evidently still progressing.
Amy Winehouse — Latest Member of the “27 Club”
A mega-talented singer with mega-sized challenges, Amy Winehouse was found dead of accidental alcohol poisoning in July — and the worldwide reaction was overwhelming. Dead at 27, she joins a surprisingly large legion of musical talent gone too soon at the same age: Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin.
Arab Spring — Change Is in the Air
In Tunisia, spurred by a young man who lit himself on fire in protest, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country to Saudi Arabia on January 14th. In Egypt, President Mubarak was kicked out of office 18 days after the first demonstrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo on January 25th. The spirit of revolt spread and uprisings occurred throughout the area — making full use of social media, as so succinctly tweeted by one activist: “We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world.”
The Libyan Revolution and the death of Moammar Gadhafi
The revolution in Libya was enacted in a violent and deadly civil war. The leader of Libya since 1969, Gadhafi was infamous for his part in well-known terrorist acts, like the Lockerbie bombing. In Libya under his rule, public hangings — of students, prison massacres, food stampedes and torture were regular occurrences. After six months of civil war, an estimated 50,000 were dead and the country was in the midst of a severe food shortage. Two months later, rebels rooted Gadhafi out of his hiding place in his home town and his dead body was put on display.
Occupy Wall Street
The U.S.A. saw its own version of a revolt as the phenomenon “Occupy Wall Street” rolled over the media in a tidal wave, culminating in three months of protests of varying forms. The first major organized protest in the country to sweep through the digital world as much as the physical one, Occupy Wall Street, regardless of what else it accomplished, proved that America’s largest generation ever, the Millenials, are finding their voice.