As another year ends, and another has begun, let’s take a look back at the top ten events of 2010, a year of struggles and tragedies, triumphs and achievements, and milestones that affected everyone in the world.
1. Earthquake Hits Haiti
Occurring on January 12, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake lasted only 30 seconds, but its impact was still felt as the year ended. More than 230,000 people died and about 1 million left homeless. Poor sanitation lead to a cholera epidemic several months later.
2. Vancouver Winter Olympics
The Olympic flame traveled to Canada in February for a month of icy heroics, as well as a tragedy when a Georgian luger died during a practice run. Overall, the U.S. was the medal leader, grabbing 37 medals. However, Canada won the most gold medals, a record 14.
3. Tiger Woods Apologizes
Golfer Tiger Woods publicly apologized for “irresponsible and selfish” behavior in the scandal that cost him sponsors, tarnished his image, and cause a divorce between he and his wife Elin.
4. Obama Signs Health Care Bill
After dominating discussion on Capitol Hill for over a year, President Barrack Obama signed his landmark health care legislation into law. The law itself proved unpopular with public opinion polls offering negative reviews and Republicans pledged to “repeal and replace” the law.
5. Explosion at West Virginia Mine Kills 29
An explosion at the Massey Energy-owner Upper Big Branch coal mine killed 29 workers, making it the deadliest mining accident in the U.S. in 40 years.
6. BP Oil Well Explodes
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig was doing exploratory drilling when it exploded and killed 11 workers. However, that didn’t end up being the worst of the disaster; the leaking well spewed a estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico before it was plugged four months later, affecting wildlife and the economy.
7. Attempted Times Square Bombing Fails
An attentive street vendor called attention to a suspicious SUV parked in Times Square, allowing law enforcement to investigate before the bomb could do much more than smoke. Naturalized U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad was later sentenced to life in prison for the attempt, which he said was meant to kill about 40 people.
8. General Stanly McChrystal Resigns
Commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal resigned after some of his top aids were quoted in a “Rolling Stone” article making disparaging remarks about the Obama administration. General David Petraeus replaced McChrystal.
9. Chilean Miners Rescued
As the entire world watched, 33 Chilean miners were safely pulled to the surface after being trapped in a collapsed mine half a mile below the ground for a total of 69 days.
10. Republicans Take House In Midterm Elections
Dissatisfaction with the economy, the health care overhaul, bailouts, and Democratic leadership helped Republicans gain control of the House, shrinking the Democrats’ majority in the Senate and winning a majority of the country’s governorships.