The Headlines That Made the Decade


Reilly Smith

As 2019 comes to a close, The Falconer took a look back at headlines from the past decade.

Maddie Khaw, Assistant Editor

With 2019 drawing to its conclusion, we’ve come to the end of another decade. It was an era defined by pop cultural trends like the ice bucket challenge, Pokémon Go, and fidget spinners. We’ve made it through the 2016 clown sightings, the “what color is the dress?” disputes, and the entirety of 2012 without an apocalypse.

2010 was a year culturally dominated by Angry Birds, Justin Bieber, and Facebook. Through this pop culture lens, it feels like much has changed since then, with 2019 being ruled by the eruption of TikTok, “Old Town Road”, and Game of Thrones pandemonium. 

But mainstream trends aren’t the only thing that has evolved since 2010. A presidential election upset in 2016, increasing dialogue around climate change, and year after year of mass shooting occurrences — these are all trademarks of our nation’s news throughout the decade. 

As we enter a new decade with a new realm of possibilities, here is a retrospective recap of some of the most important news from each year of this past decade: 



  • March: Military defectors in Syria create the Free Syrian Army to combat supporters of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, leading to the break out of the Syrian civil war.
  • March 11: The second-worst nuclear accident in history is caused by an earthquake in Japan.
  • May 1: President Obama announces the death of 9/11 terrorist Osama bin Laden after a successful raid on his compound in Pakistan.


  • October 29: Hurricane Sandy hits the eastern US, causing rampant death and damage, especially in the northeast. 
  • November 6: Colorado and Washington become the first US states to legalize recreational marijuana.
  • December 14: One of the deadliest school shootings in US history unfolds when a shooter opens fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children, two adults, and injuring two others. He had murdered his mother at home prior to the shooting, then takes his own life afterward. 



  • March 8: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappears off radar on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board. Parts of the aircraft would later wash up on islands off the southeastern coast of Africa, but not the main body of it.
  • March 23: The largest Ebola epidemic in history begins when the World Health Organization reports that there has been an outbreak of the virus in Guinea.
  • August 9: Unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown is shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.


  • June 16: New York City real estate mogul Donald Trump officially announces his candidacy for president. 
  • June 26: The Supreme Court issues a 5-4 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.
  • November 13-14: Terror attacks hit Paris for the second time in one year after attacks in January kill 17 people. The November attacks leave 130 people dead and almost 500 wounded.


  • June 12: A shooting inside a gay nightclub called Pulse in Orlando, Florida is the deadliest in US history and leaves 49 dead and 53 injured.
  • August 26:  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick takes a knee during the national anthem — “I have to take a stand for people that are oppressed.”
  • November 8: Donald Trump is elected president a month after the Washington Post publishes a video from a 2005 conversation between “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush and Trump, where Trump said that he can grab women “by the p****” because he’s a star.


  • January 21: The Women’s March in D.C. and cities around the country protest Trump’s election
  • May 22: A terrorist bombing kills 22 people and injures 50 people on their way out of an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.
  • October: The #MeToo movement grows as people speak out about sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace, tarnishing the reputations of several men in the public eye — beginning with two articles by the New York Times and the New Yorker, exposing Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual assault. 


  • March 24: The March For Our Lives protest in D.C. is organized by survivors of the Parkland shooting to call for gun control reform.
  • April 13: The US, Britain, and France conduct airstrikes against Syria in response to President Bashar al-Assad’s suspected use of chemical weapons on citizens.
  • April 6-June 20: The Trump administration separates thousands of children from their migrant parents at the border under the “zero tolerance” immigration policy.


  • March 12: The “Varsity Blues” scandal leads federal prosecutors to charge at least 50 people, accusing many of them of bribery to get their students into college.
  • April 18: A redacted version of Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is released to the public.
  • October 31: The House votes to formalize its impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s interactions with Ukraine.