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28 unforgettable history-defining moments of the past decade

Prince William and Prince Harry’s royal weddings, al-Qaeda and ISIS terror leaders killed, missing Malaysian planes, legalisation of same-sex marriage, reality star Donald Trump becoming president and tech diversity are just some of the momentous happenings we’ve lived through since 2010.

As we face the turn of the decade, we take a look at some of the most history-defining occasions of the past 10 years.

The world’s first iPad

Apple released the game-changing piece of technology on 3 April 2010.

Royal Wedding

More than 22 million viewers worldwide tuned in to watch one of the greatest royal affairs in recent history – the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The royals have since had three adorable children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Osama bin Laden killed

The Islamist al-Qaeda founder, who was responsible for the September 11 attacks, was killed by a group of US Navy SEALs following a raid in Pakistan on 2 May 2011 – ending a 10-year manhunt.

Kony 2012

The short documentary film released by non-profit group Invisible Children went viral overnight in 2012 as it urged the world to take action against Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony for his human rights abuses.

Gangnam Style

The South Korean pop superstar Psy created Gangnam Style, which became the first video in YouTube’s history to reach one billion views in 2012.

Nelson Mandela dies

The world said goodbye on 5 December 2013 to the former president of South Africa and the country’s first black head of state.

MH370 went missing

Described as being one of the biggest aviation mysteries in history, the Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 passengers and crew on board completely vanished on 8 March 2014 after the scheduled flight left Kuala Lumpur destined for Beijing.

MH17 shot down

2014 was a disastrous year for Malaysia Airlines. Just four months after MH370 went missing, MH17 was shot down while flying over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew.

Ice Bucket Challenge

Thanks to millions dumping cold ice over themselves in the name of the Ice Bucket Challenge, more than US$115 million was raised for ALS awareness and research in mid-2014.

Malala Yousafzai wins Nobel Prize

The young Pakistani activist didn’t just win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her efforts against raising awareness towards the suppression of children and children’s rights to education, but Malala Yousafzai also made history as the youngest recipient of the Swedish honour.

Robin Williams suicide

One of Hollywood’s most beloved comedians ended his life at his California home on 11 August 2014. The unexpected death made waves across the globe, prompting awareness of mental health. Tragically, the actor was found to be suffering from a debilitating brain disease called diffuse Lewy body dementia.

Rise and fall of ISIS

Brutally graphic beheadings, horrific attacks and suicide bombings from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) hit the western world during its peak in 2015. While the jihadi group, who at its height of controlled a population of 8 million, may have been the most powerful and wealthiest jihadi force, ISIS’ caliphate dream collapsed mid-2017.

Diverse emojis

Until 2015, there was no such thing as different skin colours on emojis. Apple introduced the racially diverse ideograms allowing users to express themselves through a selection of six different skin tones.

Global climate change agreement

The world struck a deal on climate change dubbed the Paris Agreement, which came into play in 2016, and deals with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance.

Legalising same-sex marriage

In a history-defining moment on June 26, 2015, the US legalised same-sex marriage across all 50 states. Ireland, Finland, Greenland, Colombia, Malta, Australia, Germany, Austria, Taiwan and Ecuador all followed.

Greece announced bankruptcy

Greece became the first developed country to default the International Monetary Fund in 2015, which alongside the EU, provided the nation with €110 billion in loans over three years.

Queen Elizabeth II becomes longest reigning British monarch

Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in British history at the age of 89 in 2015.

The Brexit Referendum

As 52% of Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016, the political debate is still rife.

Donald Trump became US president

The television personality, real estate developer, writer, entrepreneur and investor added another profession to his name in 2016 – the 45th President of the US.

Largest women’s march in history

After just day one of Donald Trump’s presidency, more than 5 million people in more than 600 marches globally protested for women’s rights in January 2017.

#MeToo epidemic

The incredible #MeToo movement became viral on social media following public sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in October 2017. The inspiring campaign led to global awareness, going down as an iconic feminist movement.

Rise of the share economy

While companies like Uber and Airbnb were technically founded in 2009 and 2008 respectively, the past 10 years saw the boom in the share economy’s popularity.

Apple hits US$1 trillion

The tech giant became the first public company to be worth US$1 trillion in 2018.

Royal Wedding

Perhaps one of the most history-defining moments for the royals, Prince Harry married Meghan Markle – a divorced American actress – as more than 29 million people tuned in to watch the royal wedding in May 2018. A year later, their son Prince Archie was born.

Donald Trump meets Kim Jong-un

In a historical meeting that leading political experts thought would never take place, the US President met the North Korea dictator in a momentous occasion on 12 June, 2018, that stunned the world.

Jacinda Arden makes history with baby Neve

The New Zealand Prime Minister made history as the first world leader to attend a UN general assembly meeting with her three-month-old daughter. Jacinda Arden was also the second elected leader in the world to give birth while in office, and the first to go on maternity leave in 2018.

First photo of a black hole

Astronomers captured the awe-inspiring sight on April 10, 2019, making it one of the biggest space moments in recent history.

The Epstein scandal and Prince Andrew

The multi-millionaire financier, who was a convicted paedophile, was awaiting a federal trial for sex trafficking when he was found dead in his prison cell in August 2019. While his downfall spanned decades with his first court case in 2005, the scandal didn’t cease with his death. The Queen’s son Prince Andrew recently became embroiled in the Esptein scandal and has since stepped back from royal duties.

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