by Kiera Cerino
After an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on Apr. 20, 2010, the largest marine oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. As a natural gas surge caused a concrete core to fracture and be unable to hold the pressure of the gas, the gas reacted with the chemicals inside and caused an explosion. 11 workers were killed and more were injured. Since there was no barrier between the water and the oil, approximately 60,000 barrels leaked into the water every day and more than 1,300 miles of the Gulf Coast was covered in oil. This also resulted in the deaths of approximately 800,000 birds and 65,000 turtles.
Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals on May 2, 2011 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden was the coordinator of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the leader of al-Qaeda. Five people including bin Laden were killed by United States gunfire. His death also released information that bin Laden had planned to assassinate President Obama.
President Barack Obama first ran for president in 2008 and he named Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. After winning the 2008 election, he later entered the 2012 election as the unemployment was high and the job approval rates were low. Obama did not have to compete for his party’s nomination, unlike other presidents in the past, while Mitt Romney won the Rebuplican nomination. President Obama won by 51 percent of the national popular vote and with 332 electoral votes in comparison to Romney having 47 percent of the national popular vote and 206 electoral votes.
The Boston Marathon Bombing was a terrorist attack that took place on Ap. 15, 2013 as two bombs went off close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon. In this attack, three people were killed and over 250 people were injured with 16 people losing legs. The attackers planted two pressure-cooker bombs which were filled with shrapnel and hidden in backpacks. The attackers were discovered to be two brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. “I was still pretty young when it happened but as I got older I got to understand what happened, and it is unfortunate that many lives were lost that day when they were simply at the marathon,” said senior Daniella Gainza
As officials from Flint, Michigan decided to change the water supply to being supplied by the Flint River to help save costs on Apr. 25, 2014, they unknowingly introduced lead-poisoned water to the city’s inhabitants. Shortly after the introduction of the new water supply, residents noticed the water in their houses had turned brown and E. coli and other bacteria was found in the water. In 2015, the city decided to switch their water supply back. However, the pipes were already damaged and residents were provided with free water bottles and filters. “I believe the community came together in order to push for solutions and an apology out of their governor to make a difference,” said junior Kennedy Messado. “I believe it has left a sense of fear and lack of trust in the water systems.”
In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that states could not stop same-sex couples from being married and are required to acknowledge their union.This ruling was made in a 5-4 decision. The case was brought by Jim Obergefell who wanted to challenge Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage after he was not allowed to be put on his late husband’s death certificate. Obergefell also was on the case with a dozen other couples who challenged the bans in Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio.
As the candidates for the 2016 presidency narrowed down, Donald Trump became a frontrunner for the nomination along with his vice presidential running mate Mike Pence. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton also became a frontrunner for her party with vice presidential running mate Tim Kaine. Both candidates secured their nominations and came with a number of firsts for this election, most notably Clinton being the first woman presidential nominee and Trump being the oldest president. Trump received 304 electoral votes while only receiving 46 percent of the popular vote as Clinton received 227 electoral votes and received 48 percent of the popular vote. President Trump was inaugurated in January 2017. “The election affects my community and country because of all the different nationalities,” said junior Tianna Garbutt. “There have been some changes and decisions that will soon be made that won’t do justice for this country.”
Within the course of a month in 2017, three hurricanes occurred in the United States. Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey caused damage in Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas, totaling approximately $265 billion in damage and around 5,000 deaths. With each hurricane being a category 4 storm, the damage the storms made affected the Southern United States. “I feel like our communities do come together after a major hurricane like Maria because we all understand that it’s a difficult time to get through and we all needed to lend a helping hand,” said sophomore Arianna Rivera.
On February 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was overcome with tragedy. As gunman Nikolas Cruz entered one of the buildings, he killed 17 people and left another 17 injured. In the weeks following, student survivors organized the March for our Lives event, which supported gun violence prevention. Additionally in the aftermath, 69 gun control measures were passed by state legislatures and Cruz was charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. “After Parkland, the amount of leadership and activism that came out of students was astonishing. Students around the country advocated for change and made a difference whether it was at school or in Washington. There is a lot that still needs to be done about gun violence, but there is no doubt in my mind that this young generation will make it happen,” said junior Carly Caraza.
On December 22, 2018, a Republican majority house declared a partial government shutdown. A short-term funding bill ended the shutdown on January 26, 2019 and President Trump addressed that workers will receive back pay for the two missed paychecks. The 35 day shutdown made it the longest in United States history.