Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

The Holliday Timeline, Part 2

Posted from Culver City, California at 12:01 pm, November 23rd, 2013

Following the recap of events from 1975 through 1996, here’s a sampling of further major events during the second half of my lifetime. It’s weird how you sort of feel like things haven’t really changed, and then you look at what has happened and realize that computers and cell phones only showed up recently, while things that dominated everyday life for decades like Communism and Pan-American Airlines disappeared only a short time ago and now seem solely like subjects for the history books.

The 1990s

  • April 13, 1997 – Tiger Woods wins his first major golf championship at the Masters, setting records for youngest winner (21), lowest score (-18), and largest margin of victory (12 strokes).
  • May 11, 1997 – IBM’s Deep Blue computer beat chess grand master Gary Kasparov in a six game match, the first time that a computer defeated a chess world champion.
  • July 9, 1997 – Eleven years after being ousted as CEO of Apple Computer and only months after his return to the company, Steve Jobs is named interim CEO. At that time Apple was losing money and had to negotiate a $150 million investment from Microsoft; in 2012 the company would report a yearly profit of $41.66 billion on $156.5 billion in sales and would have $121.25 billion in cash on hand.
  • August 31, 1997 – Princess Diana dies after a high-speed car chase in Paris. Her funeral on September 6 was watched by over two billion people.
  • September 4, 1998 – Google is founded in Palo Alto by two Stanford PhD candidates.
  • November 25, 1998 – The first module of the International Space Station is launched into orbit from Russia. Humans take up permanent residence on November 2, 2000, meaning that for over thirteen years there has been a continuous human presence in space.
  • December 31, 1999 – The US transfers control of the Panama Canal to Panama after 85 years of American operation.

The 2000s

  • January 10, 2000 – America Online (AOL) announces an agreement to purchase Time Warner for $164 billion in what was, at that time, the largest-ever corporate merger. In 2002 the failing of AOL would result in a write-off of $99 billion, which was also a record for its time as the largest loss ever reported by a company.
  • July 25, 2000 – The Concorde crashes after take-off in Paris, leading to the end of supersonic passenger transport in 2003.
  • December 12, 2000 – Thirty-five days after the election, the Bush v Gore Supreme Court decision is announced, leading to George W. Bush being declared the winner of Florida by 537 votes (out of almost six million cast), and thus the next President of the United States.
  • January 15, 2001 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, launches.
  • September 11, 2001 – September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • October 7, 2001 – The War in Afghanistan begins.
  • October 23, 2001 – Apple introduces the iPod.
  • January 1, 2002 – Euro notes and coins go into circulation in France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Finland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands.
  • February 1, 2003 – Space Shuttle Columbia and its seven member crew is lost during re-entry after sustaining damage to its protective tiles during launch. This accident would lead to the end of the shuttle program in 2011.
  • March 19, 2003 – The Iraq War begins. US forces would seize Baghdad on April 9, but the war would continue until the last personnel left Iraq in December 2011.
  • February 4, 2004 – Facebook launches with membership initially limited to students of Harvard College.
  • June 21, 2004 – Spaceship One successfully completes the first privately funded human spaceflight.
  • December 26, 2004 – A magnitude 9.3 earthquake in the Indian Ocean spawns a massive tsunami that impacts countries around the world and kills over 180,000 people.
  • April 2, 2005 – Pope John Paul II dies. He is succeeded seventeen days later by Pope Benedict XVI.
  • August 29, 2005 – Hurricane Katrina makes landfall along the Gulf Coast, killing at least 1,833 people and doing $81 billion in damage.
  • January 9, 2007 – Apple introduces the iPhone; it goes on sale June 29, 2007.
  • September 15, 2008 – Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy, a major catalyst of the Great Recession.
  • September 28, 2008 – The SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket reaches orbit, becoming the first privately developed space launch vehicle to do so.
  • January 20, 2009 – Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.
  • February 17, 2009 – President Obama signs a $787 billion stimulus package into law as an effort to address the Great Recession.
  • June 25, 2009 – Michael Jackson dies just before his 51st birthday, and just prior to a scheduled fifty show tour at London’s O2 Arena.

The 2010s

The Holliday Timeline, Part 1

Posted from Culver City, California at 12:01 am, October 30th, 2013

The world has changed a lot since I was born – in November 1975 no American craft had visited Mars, Mount St Helens was still intact, communism was very much a thing, no one knew what it meant to “use the Force”, and Michael Jordan was a twelve year old. While reading through Wikipedia’s yearly summaries of important events the following stood out – part two will follow at some point when there is time to review the next eighteen years.

The 1970s

The 1980s

  • May 18, 1980 – Mount St. Helens erupts.
  • April 12, 1981 – The first shuttle, Space Shuttle Columbia launches on its first orbital flight.
  • November 18, 1981 – IBM introduces the PC computer.
  • October 1, 1982 – Epcot Center opens in Orlando.
  • November 30, 1982 – Michael Jackson’s Thriller album is released.
  • January 3, 1983 – Kīlauea volcano begins erupting in Hawaii; the eruption continues today.
  • October 26, 1984 – Michael Jordan plays his first NBA regular season game, scoring 16 points against Washington.
  • March 1, 1985 – Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Secretary General of the Soviet Communist Party.
  • May 16, 1985 – The ozone hole is discovered by British scientists in Antarctica.
  • November 18, 1985 – Calvin and Hobbes debuts in 35 newspapers.
  • March 14, 1986 – Microsoft holds its initial public offering. By July 2010 the stock had risen to 288 times its IPO price.
  • April 26, 1986 – The Chernoybl nuclear reactor explodes, resulting in the worst nuclear power plant disaster of the twentieth century.
  • November 22, 1986 – Mike Tyson beats Trevor Berbick to become heavyweight champion.
  • March 24, 1989 – The Exxon Valdez runs aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, spilling 240,000 barrels of oil.
  • June 4, 1989 – The Tiananmen Square square protests end with thousands of casualties as the Chinese military clears the square after six weeks of occupation by students.
  • November 9, 1989 – Fall of the Berlin Wall.

The 1990s

  • April 24, 1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope is launched aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. Shortly after launch the telescope’s mirror is determined to be flawed, and it will not be fixed until a servicing mission in 1993.
  • November 13, 1990 – The first known web page is written.
  • January 16, 1991 – Operation Desert Storm begins with air strikes and eventually involves over 500,000 US troops.
  • December 4, 1991 – Pan American World Airways ceases operations after 64 years.
  • December 26, 1991 – The Soviet Union is formally dissolved by the Supreme Soviet.
  • May 22, 1992 – Johnny Carson’s final appearance as host of the Tonight Show.
  • October 31, 1992 – Pope John Paul II issues an apology, and lifts the edict of the Inquisition against Galileo Galilei.
  • June 12, 1994 – Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman are murdered outside the Simpson home in Los Angeles, California.
  • March 1, 1995 – Yahoo is founded.
  • September 4, 1995 – eBay is founded.
  • December 31, 1995 – The final Calvin and Hobbes comic strip is published.