The 21st century has brought about some huge changes to American society, and there are still nearly two decades remaining in the century. We’re going to take a look at some of the biggest events that took place in America during the 21st century so far.
Some of these will be political, some will be socio-cultural, and some might even be technological. They all have one thing in common though – they made history, and they all have left their mark on 21st century America .
On a sunny day in September 11th, 2001 an extraordinary event took place on American soil, 19 Al Qaeda members hijacked four American commercial passenger jet airliners. The hijackers crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers in New York City and one into the Pentagon.
The fourth plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania with no casualties on board as it was shot down by United States Air Force F-16s before it could reach its target. This terrorist attack killed nearly 3,000 people and is considered to be the worst act of terrorism ever committed on American soil.
In 2003, President George W. Bush launched the War on Terror when he ordered an invasion of Iraq, which had been accused of developing weapons of mass destruction and harboring terrorists.
The invasion was preceded by a devastating series of terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, which were orchestrated by al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden from bases in Afghanistan.
2005 saw Hurricane Katrina, the most expensive natural disaster and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in American history.
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast with winds up to 80 mph and a storm surge that caused levees to break which flooded the city of New Orleans. The hurricane left 80% of New Orleans under water and thousands dead.
In 2007, the housing bubble burst and the United States entered a recession. The terrible economic downturn would become known as and remembered as the Great Recession. Banks were failing, people were losing their homes, and unemployment was at its highest rate in decades.
The country’s economy was crumbling and many Americans felt a sense of hopelessness. In 2008, Barack Obama won the presidential election on a platform of hope and change. He pledged to help rescue a broken nation from financial ruin and make life better for all Americans.
His first major act as president was passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to stimulate the sluggish economy by creating or saving about 3 million jobs nationwide.
In 2008, the charismatic Barack Obama was sworn in as the first African American President of the United States. Obama was elected on November 4th, 2008 and his inaugurated took place on January 20th, 2009. One of his most notable legacies is that he’s the first president to have been born outside of the continental U.S., having been born in Hawaii.
Other notable achievements during Obama’s time as president include being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on world peace and disarmament in 2009 and being re-elected as President of the United States on November 6th, 2012 with 332 electoral votes.
On May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed by United States Navy SEALs during a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. This event marked the first time bin Laden was killed or captured since 2001 and the end of a decade-long worldwide manhunt.
The death of bin Laden has been seen as a turning point in the war on terror and American military operations abroad due to major changes that followed this event.
In 2013, ISIS began to rise. In June of that year, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was made Caliph of the Islamic State. Shortly after, ISIS became a terrorist threat in the Middle East and elsewhere with high-profile attacks such as the 2014
kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls from Chibok, Nigeria, the November 2015 Paris attacks killing 130 people at various locations and the March 2016 Brussels bombings which killed 32 people.
In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidential election, making him the 45th President of the United States. He was inaugurated on January 20, 2017. His Inaugural Address was his first speech as President of the United States and he spoke about how the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.