On January 12, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook Port-au-Prince, Haiti, toppling buildings and destroying most of the country's infrastructure. The Haitian government estimated 230,000 people were killed, more than 300,000 injured, and more than one million people left homeless. Humanitarian aid began flowing into the country within hours of the quake, however it was not enough to prevent rioting in the economically ravaged nation.
January 22 - Conan's last 'Tonight Show'
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On January 22, twelve days after NBC confirmed it would be returning Jay Leno to host the 'Tonight Show', Conan O'Brien officially ended his reign as show host, leaving NBC after a bitter dispute. O'Brien announced later in the year that he would be reappearing with his own late night show on TBS called 'Conan'.
January 27 - Apple unveils the iPad
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On January 27th, after months of speculation, Apple Inc. CEO, Steve Jobs, unveiled the company's first tablet computer, the iPad. The mobile tablet provided the functionality of a MacBook laptop and the mobility of an iPhone. The iPad hit shelves in April of 2010 and sold more than 3 million units in just 80 days.
February 7 - New Orleans Saints win the Super Bowl
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On February 7 the New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts to win Super Bowl XLIV. The Super Bowl was the team's first in franchise history. Saints' QB Drew Brees was named Super Bowl MVP.
February 18 - Plane flown into IRS building
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On February 18, Joseph Stack, a 53-year-old software engineer committed suicide by flying a small plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas. Internal Revenue Service manager Vernon Hunter, who was in the building at the time of the crash, also died. Thirteen others were hurt, two seriously. After the crash police found Stack's rambling suicide note criticizing the government.
February 19 - Tiger Woods apologizes
On February 19th, golf legend Tiger Woods made an emotional apology after rumors of several extra-marital affairs. Woods' wife Elin Nordegren was not in attendance at the press conference. The announcement broke three months of silence and speculation following Woods' apparent car crash in front of his house.
February 27 - Chilean earthquake & tsunami
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On February 27, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake shook the Maule Region of Chile, triggering a tsunami. The death toll from the two natural disasters reached 800. Aftershocks were felt for nearly a month after the initial quake. On March 11, a 6.9-magnitude aftershock killed one more person.
March 15 - Full body scanners installed
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On March 15, the TSA began testing new body scanners at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. The scanners show a full body X-ray through clothing, and is meant to check for metallic and non-metallic threats including explosives. Passengers who chose not to go through the security scanners have to go through a pat down inspection.
April 5 - West Virginia mine explosion
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On April 5, an underground explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine at Montcoal in Raleigh County, West Virginia left 29 people dead. High methane levels where detected in the mine. It was the worst coal mining disaster in the U.S. since 1970 when 38 workers died.
April 20 - BP oil well explodes
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On April 20, The Deepwater Horizon, an offshore floating oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers and forcing other workers onto life boats. The explosion set off a three month oil leak that reached American shores in Louisiana, Missisippi, Alabama and Florida. The leak was not stopped until July 15.
May 1 - Attempted Times Square bombing
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On May 1, an attempted bomb plot shut down New York's Times Square. Security cameras showed a man walking away from a smoking SUV. The SUV was found to have explosive materials, but never detonated. Two days later the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the arrest of Faisal Shahzad while reportedly attempting to board a plane to Pakistan. Shahzad was sentenced on October 5th to life in prison without parole.
May 14- Casey Came Home
(Photo by Jake Felts)
In May Millsap graduate Casey James finished 3rd place in the hit reality show American Idol. A fast & furious hometown visit was in the works & Millsap High had hours to put together a mini concert to congratulate their most famous graduate. I was curious to see how many would show up at Bulldog Stadium to see Casey & AI camera crews do their thing. This quickly orchestrated event brought fans from as far as Tennessee & Florida. This more than overwhelmed Idol finalist stepped out of his stretch limo to see the “standing room only” crowd cheering his entrance.
June 3 - Joran van der Sloot arrested
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On June 3, Joran van der Sloot, suspected in the murder of American Natalee Holloway in 2005 was arrested in Peru following the murder of Tatiana Flores Ramírez. Ramírez's body was found beaten to death in a Peruvian hotel room paid for by van der Sloot. Security camera video caught Joran entering the room with Ramírez, and leaving without her. According to police he admitted to Ramírez's death on June 7, but later took the confession back.
July 6 - Lindsay Lohan sentenced
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On July 6, Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating her probation in two 2007 drunk driving cases. She was released on August 2, 14 days into her sentence. Lohan was ordered back to rehab on October 22.
July 21 - Obama signs financial reform bill
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On July 21, President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The measure was the most sweeping financial reform in the U.S. since the 1930s, and promised Americans would no longer have to pay for Wall Street mistakes.
August 13 - Ground Zero mosque debate
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On August 13, President Barack Obama entered into the Ground Zero Islamic center debate. Polls showed a majority of New Yorkers opposed the placement of a mosque within blocks of the former site of the World Trade Towers. In a speech following a dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, President Obama said, "Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances."
August 25 - Bed Bugs outbreak
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On August 25, Terminex released its list of the worst 15 cities for bed bugs. New York City was ranked the worst, with four Ohio cities also making the rankings. One week prior to the list's release an AMC Movie Theater in New York City was forced to shut down over a bed bug infestation.
August 31 - President Obama announces Iraq combat end
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On August 31, President Barack Obama spoke in a prime time address formally declaring an end to combat operations in Iraq. However 50,000 American troops remained in the country.
September 3 - Hurricane Earl
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On September 3, Hurricane Earl reached its closest point to the U.S. shore, coming within 90 miles of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The one time Category 4 storm forced island evacuations, and prompted the federal government to send assistance to the area. However the power of the storm was never realized. As the hurricane spun up the coast it's major impact was rain, which canceled sporting events, and caused some flooding.
September 11 - Female reporter claims harassment by Jets
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On September 11, TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz claimed she was harassed by players from the New York Jets during a practice. Sainz was at the Jets facility to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez, and claims she had footballs purposely thrown in her direction, and later was insulted by players in the locker room. The NFL investigated the situation, but no players were punished.
September 14 - U.S. hiker in Iran released
(Photo by MOHAMMED MAHJOUB/AFP/Getty Images)
On September 14, American hiker Sarah Shourd was released by Iran after being detained for 13 months under allegations of spying for the U.S. Hikers Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal remain detained without trial.
September 22 - Mark Zuckerberg donates $100 million
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On September 22, it was reported 26-year-old Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg would donate $100 million to the Newark Public Schools. Zuckerberg later made the official announcement on Oprah. The timing of the announcement was a bit peculiar, as it came just weeks after a movie allegedly about Zuckerberg called 'Social Network' was released. Facebook was heavily criticized in 2010 for allegedly allowing outside sources to pull personal information from its users, but Zuckerberg was later named 'Time Person of the Year' on December 16.
October 8 - Brett Favre text messages revealed
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On October 8, the website deadspin.com revealed alleged e-mails sent by longtime NFL quarterback Brett Favre to a then New York Jets employee named Jenn Sterger when Favre played with the Jets. The messages included nude pictures and voice mail messages of Favre allegedly inviting Sterger to his hotel room. Favre was investigated by the league for the allegations. On December 29, Favre was fined $50,000 for failing to comply with the investigation.
November 1 - Giants win World Series
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On November 1, the San Francisco Giants won their first World Series since 1954, defeating the Texas Rangers 3-1 in Game 6. Edgar Rentería's three run homerun in the seventh inning helped him nab the World Series MVP award. It was the first time the Texas Rangers had ever reached the World Series.
November 23 - Bristol Palin in 'DWTS' finale
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On November 23, Bristol Palin, daughter of former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, finished third in the reality TV show ' Dancing With the Stars'. 'Dirty Dancing' star Jennifer Grey won the competition, but Palin stole the headlines as she continued to move on week to week despite lesser scores by the judges. Critics claimed supporters of Palin's mother were clogging phone lines and casting votes for her. Those allegations were never proven. Disney Channel's Kyle Massey finished second.
December 14 - Florida gunman kills self in school board meeting
On December 14, Clay A. Duke entered the Panama City School Board meeting Florida. He told board members it was their fault that his wife was fired from her job. He then spray painted a red 'V' on the wall, and took out a handgun. Superintendent Bill Husfelt attempted to get Duke to calm down, but Duke took aim and fired a shot. No board members were hurt. Duke was shot from behind by a security guard. He later killed himself.