2010: Justin Bieber makes his debut
While his album was released in March, Justin Bieber’s debut, “My World 2.0” became the soundtrack to the summer of 2010. Discovered by his manager Scooter Braun on YouTube in 2007, it didn’t take long for the young crooner to be crowned a pop phenom, much to the delight of tween girls everywhere and the chagrin of their parents. Unlike many child stars, Bieber still enjoys a successful career today, and his songs “Yummy” and “Intentions” are set to be hits this summer.
2011: Debt ceiling crisis
Democrats and Republicans spent the summer months of 2011 debating how to handle the debt ceiling crisis. July 31, just two short days before the country’s borrowing limit would be reached, Congress agreed to raise the ceiling by $400 billion, making the new debt limit $14.7 trillion. The measure was agreed upon under the condition that $900 billion in spending cuts would be made over the next 10 years, ending in the summer of 2021.
2012: 'The Dark Knight Rises' shooting
At a midnight screening of the Batman franchise movie “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, a lone gunman burst into a theater, killing 12 and injuring 70 others. As with many other mass shootings that have taken place in this country, the event sparked major debates over gun control laws. The murderer was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
2013: Two famous babies
During the summer of 2013, two famous babies were born: one a future monarch of Great Britain, one the heir to a famous American family. On June 15th, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West welcomed their first child, a daughter named North, into the world. Several weeks later, July 22, Prince William and Kate Middleton introduced the world to their son, Prince George Alexander Louis, third in line to the throne.
2014: Washington legalizes marijuana
Washington became the second state in the union to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in July 2014. The Washington State Liquor Control Board issued retail licenses to 25 stores around the state, who were then able to begin selling, legally, on the 8th. As of July 2020, 11 states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana, while hundreds of non-violent offenders with marijuana charges remain in jail cells around the country.
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2015: American Pharoah wins the Triple Crown
Racehorse American Pharoah broke a 37-year drought on June 6, 2015, when he won the Triple Crown. The three-year-old horse won the final race of the year, the Belmont Stakes, by five-and-a-half lengths, a respectable lead. At the conclusion of that racing season, American Pharoah retired and became a stud horse.
2016: 'Hamilton' sweeps the Tony Awards
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway hit “Hamilton” took home 11 trophies at the 2016 Tony Awards, on June 12, 2016. The show won major categories like Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book. At the start of the summer of 2020, an original cast recording of “Hamilton” began streaming on Disney+.
2017: Total solar eclipse
On Aug. 21, 2017, Americans were treated to a total solar eclipse, the first the country had seen in almost a century. Some 14 states, from Oregon to South Carolina, were able to see the sun completely eclipsed by the moon, while residents in other areas saw a partial eclipse. According to one NASA scientist, the eclipse was the most-viewed in history.
2018: Wildfires sweep California
Throughout the summer of 2018, the wildfires sweeping the West Coast, particularly those in California, held the attention of the nation. In the deadliest and most destructive fire season the state has ever seen, 1.963 million acres were burned by 7,639 fires, and 100 people died.
2019: Toni Morrison dies
The world lost a powerful voice on Aug. 5, 2019, when writer Toni Morrison died from complications of pneumonia. Morrison, the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, had frequently been turned to as a pillar of strength and reassurance during times of political and racial unrest in the country. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, remembered the author and thinker as “a national treasure.”
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