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30 Things in History Textbooks That Weren't There Just 10 Years Ago

Life changes pretty fast, especially in the last 10 years.

If you sometimes feel like it's impossible to keep up with the news because so much is happening in such a short period of time, you're not alone. Major changes in global politics and economics, as well as scientific breakthroughs, are happening at an unprecedented pace.

To give you an idea of just how crazy the past decade has been, here are 30 historic things that have happened in the past 10 years alone that kids will be learning about in history class for generations to come. And if you think these are wild, check out 30 Crazy Facts That Will Change Your View of History.

President Obama

In 2008, Barack Obama made history by being the first black American elected president of the United States.

The Great Recession

Side gigs stocks

Just before the 2008 election, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and kicked off a major panic in the market. Although the economy had already been in a bit of a recession, after this many banks wound up suffering huge losses and facing bankruptcy. What followed was the worst recession since the Great Depression. And if you want to be wiser with your money than Lehman Brothers, discover these 52 Ways to Be Smarter With Money in 2018.

Osama Bin Laden Killed

Osama bin Laden Killed

Nearly 10 years after the September 11 attacks in New York, President Obama ordered an operation code-named Neptune Spear that resulted in a team of Navy SEALS breaking into Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan and killing him at around 1:00 in the morning.

Arab Spring

Arab Uprising history

After the Tunisian Revolution in December of 2010, a wave of revolutionary demonstrations and protests kicked off across North Africa and the Middle East. Conflicts resulting from these protests include the Syrian Civil War, the Iraqi insurgency, a coup in Egypt, the Yemeni Civil War, and the Libyan Civil War.

Afghan War Diary WikiLeak

WikiLeaks history

On July 25, 2010, WikiLeaks published one of the largest leaks in US military history, called the Afghan War Diary. The leak contained over 91,000 documents pertaining to the war in Afghanistan, many of them classified as secret. Not all of the documents have been released, but those that were included information on civilian and friendly fire casualties and psychological warfare, among other things.

Boston Marathon Bombing

Boston Marathon History

Two bombs detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing three people and injuring hundred. The ensuing manhunt led to the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in the chase. Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in 2015.

ISIS Declares Itself a Caliphate

ISIS caliphate

In 2014, ISIS declared itself a caliphate, which means it claims political, religious, and military control over all Muslims worldwide. And if you think keeping track of the Middle East is a challenge, check out these 40 Facts You Learned in the 20th Century That Are Totally Bogus Today.

US and Cuba Relations Normalized

Santiago Cuba

In 2015, President Obama announced that diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States had been restored, 54 years after they were severed during the Cold War. However, this was somewhat short-lived. In 2017, President Trump announced that he was ending unconditional sanctions relief for Cuba.


Curiosity Rover on Mars Facts about Life

On August 6, 2012, the Curiosity rover landed on Mars. It is still there and functional today gathering information to determine if life does or ever has existed on Mars and if the planet is habitable for humans in future explorations.

Occupy Wall Street

For two months in 2011, protesters set up a camp in Zuccotti Park in the financial district of New York City. The protesters were rallying against income inequality, and were hoping for bank reform and student loan forgiveness, among other things.

End of Iraq War

Iraq War ends history

On October 21, 2011, President Obama announced the end of the Iraq War, saying that troops would be home for Christmas. Because of a military response to ISIS, there are still troops in Iraq today, although the official number is unknown. The Pentagon is no longer divulging that information under the new administration.



The first block of Bitcoin's blockchain was established in January of 2009. Since then Bitcoin has has increased in value, maxing out at over $19,000 in December 2017. Today a single bitcoin is worth over $6,000.

Synthetic Genome Created

Human Genome Project Scientific Discoveries

The first fully functional synthetic bacterial genome was announced in 2010. It's a small but important first step on the path to synthesizing the human genome.

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden history

In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked classified information from the National Security Agency. Previously, we all sort of knew we were being spied on, but Snowden's leaks revealed the massive scope of the government surveillance we're living under. Oh, and speaking of privacy, here are 15 Shocking Things Retailers Already Know about You.

Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Khmer Rouge Tribunal

On August 7, 2014, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal sentenced Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan to life in prison for crimes against humanity for their roles in the Khmer Rouge. The pair were extremely powerful officials in the regime, and it's estimated that Nuon Chea is responsible for 1.7 million deaths.

South Sudan Independence

South Sudan History

South Sudan became an independent country on July 9, 2011, making it the second newest country, after Scotland.

Organic Matter Discovered on Mars

Mars Scientific Discoveries

Curiosity has been doing its job. Recently the rover found organic matter on Mars. It's a massive breakthrough that could help researchers determine whether there was ever life on Mars.

Colombian Conflict Ends

Colombian crisis history

A peace agreement was signed in November of 2016 that ended the Colombian conflict between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The conflict lasted just over 54 years.

The Paris Agreement

Global Warming history

At the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, 196 countries negotiated an agreement to combat climate change with the intention of keeping the global average temperature lower than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It was the first time a global pact had been agreed upon. In 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would be withdrawing from the agreement.

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter history

After George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the hashtag #BlackLives Matter started gaining traction. But the massive demonstrations that broke out in 2014 as a response to the killing Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City helped give the Black Lives Matter movement national recognition. The movement still exists today and has over 30 local chapters.

The Tea Party

Tea Party History

After Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009, the Tea Party formed to demand smaller government. However, they do not have a unified platform. Some members have ultra-conservative beliefs that have been credited with pushing the right wing of the American government even farther to the right.

Chelsea Manning's Sentence Commuted

Chelsea Manning history

Chelsea Manning leaked the 750,000 classified or sensitive military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 that became known as the Afghan War Diary. She was convicted by court martial in July 2013 and sentenced to 35 years in jail. In January of 2017, President Obama commuted her sentence, and she was released after spending seven years in jail or the brig.

Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Eradicated in Cuba

Newborn baby

In 2015, Cuba became the first country in the world to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. It's an important step towards ending the AIDS epidemic.

Pope Francis

the pope wears the same thing every day

In 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was named pope, becoming the first Jesuit pope and the first pope from the Americas, as well as the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy

Elon Musk
Noam Galai / Stringer / Getty Images

Billionaire Elon Musk's company SpaceX launched a partially reusable rocket into space bearing a Tesla Roadster as a dummy payload in February of 2018. This launch is considered by some to be the first step toward affordable interplanetary travel.

Hurricane Maria

hurricane terrifying ocean facts

In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria became the worst natural disaster in recorded history to hit Puerto Rico and Dominica. It's estimated that 4,645 people died in Puerto Rico as an a result of the storm and its aftermath. For comparison, the official death toll for Hurricane Katrina, was 1,833.

CO2 Levels Reach 412 Parts per Million

Planet Earth with Sun Planet Earth Facts

In 2018, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached a record high of 412 parts per million. If the amount of carbon dioxide continues increasing at its current rate, it is highly unlikely that it will be possible to meet the Paris Agreement's goal of keeping the global average temperature at less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels


Brexit history

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, making them the first nation to leave the EU.

Syrian Refugee Crisis

Syrian refugee crisis

Since the onset of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, over five million refugees have left the country seeking asylum, causing a massive humanitarian crisis that still continues.

North Korean Peace Talks

North Korea military

This month, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held historic talks that could lead to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and an end to the Korean War, which would be an amazing turn of events that would hopefully improve the quality of life of all North Korea's citizens. And for more ways to live your best life, discover these 20 Easy Ways to Elevate Your Style Game Instantly.

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