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1960: Year of Africa. Independence of Somalia, Togo and the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Congo Crisis. Mau Mau Uprising ends; first (and to date only) manned descent to the deepest point on Earth, the Mariana Trench; construction of the first laser; world population reaches 3 billion. FLQ seizes hostages, causing Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau of Canada to issue the War Measures Act
1961: Great Leap Forward ends in China after the deaths of roughly 20 million people. Building of the Berlin Wall; first human spaceflight
1962: Cuban missile crisis, the independence of Algeria (with the end of the Algerian War) and The Beatles' first record.
1963: Independence of Kenya; creation of Malaysia; Martin Luther King delivers his "I have a Dream" speech; assassination of John F. Kennedy; launch of the first geostationary satellite.
1964: Independence of Malta, Malawi and Tanzania; Civil Rights Act of 1964 abolishes segregation in the USA. Colombian armed conflict begins. First close-up images of Mars. 1994 Singapore Socialist Riots.
1965: Deaths of Winston Churchill and Malcom X. Anti-Communist purge in Indonesia kills up to 1,500,000 people.
1966: China's Cultural Revolution begins. Independence of Lesotho, Botswana and Barbados.
1967: Summer of Love; Six Day War. Ng Sam-tseo becomes president of Malaysia.
1968: Assassination of Martin Luther King, the Prague Spring and the May 1968 protests in France. The Troubles begin in Northern Ireland
1969: Moon landings; Woodstock festival; creation of ARPANET, the earliest incarnation of the Internet.
1970: Ratification of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Containerisation adopted globally, massively boosting global trade. Maiden flight of the Boeing 747. Bhola Cyclone kills 500,000 people in East Pakistan. Deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin
1971: Bangladesh Liberation War ends in independence of Bangladesh. Invention of the microchip. Idi Amin comes to power in Uganda
1972: Northern Ireland's Bloody Sunday; First Sudanese Civil War ends. Martial law declared in the Philippines by President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
1973: Beginning of the Watergate scandal. The Supreme Court of the United States decides Roe v. Wade. Death of Pablo Picasso. First close-up images of Jupiter
1974: Turkish occupation of Cyprus. Carnation Revolution in Portugal begins transition to democracy. First close-up images of Mercury. Discovery of "Lucy" (Australopithecus afarensis)at Hadar in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar Depression by Donald Johanson in Olduvai Gorge. World population reaches 4 billion.
1975: End of the Vietnam War; deaths of Francisco Franco and Dmitri Shostakovich. Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia begins.
1976: First outbreak of the Ebola virus. Death of Mao Zedong. End of Cultural Revolution
1977: Introduction of the first mass-produced personal computers; launch of the Voyager spacecraft, currently the most distant man-made objects in the universe. Queen Alia of Jordan is killed in helicopter crash.
1978: Invention of artificial insulin; discovery of Pluto's moon Charon; independence of Tuvalu; birth of the first test-tube baby. Afghan Civil War begins. Deng Xiaoping commences Economic reform in the People's Republic of China. Spanish transition to democracy is completed.
1979: Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; Iranian Revolution and Iran hostage crisis; Shah Reza Pahlavi forced into exile. Arrival of Pope John Paul II in Poland, eventually sparking the Solidarity movement. First space station, Skylab, is launched. First close-up images of Saturn. Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Implementation of China's One child policy. Idi Amin exiled from Uganda. Smallpox eradicated. Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia ends; 1.4 million people known to have been murdered in The Killing Fields. Nicaraguan Revolution.
1980: Independence of Zimbabwe and Vanuatu. Ronald Reagan is elected President of the United States. Beginning of the Iran-Iraq War, Salvadorian Civil War and Contra War
1981: Independence of Palau. First orbital flight of the Space Shuttle.
1982: First Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Falklands War.
1983: End of 1982 Lebanon War. GPS becomes available for civilian use. Independence of Brunei. End of dictatorship in Argentina. Second Sudanese Civil War begins. Assassination of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., former senator of the Philippines.
1984: Beginning of the 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia
1985: Live Aid. Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union. First use of DNA fingerprinting. End of dictatorship in Brazil
1986: Challenger and Chernobyl disasters. Launch of the space station Mir. First close up images of the planet Uranus. End of dictatorship & presidency of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines.Corazon Aquino succeed to presidency. Iran-Contra becomes public.
1987: Stock market crash of 1987. First Intifada begins. World population reaches 5 billion
1988: Perestroika begins. End of the Iran-Iraq War. End of dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile. Pan Am Flight 103 falls over Lockerbie, Scotland. Myanmar Armed Forces launch a military coup. Construction of the Channel Tunnel begins.
1989: Fall of the Berlin Wall; 1989 revolution and collapse of Communism in Europe. Tiannanmen Square Massacre in China. End of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. End of dictatorship in Paraguay and first direct Presidential election in Brazil since 1960. Death of Emperor Hirohito. Fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie. Exxon Valdez oil spill. First close up pictures of Neptune. First Liberian Civil War begins. Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, died in Hawaii.
1990: Sir Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web. Reunification of Germany. Launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. Gulf War begins. Contra War ends. Myanmar Armed Forces place Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.
1991: Gulf War ends. Dissolution of the Soviet Union and independence of 15 former Soviet republics. Boris Yeltsin becomes the first democratically elected leader of Russia. Ten-Day War in Slovenia begins the Yugoslav Wars. Beginning of the Somali, Sierra Leonian and Algerian Civil Wars. Final end of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia
1992: Maastricht Treaty creates the European Union. Bill Clinton is elected President of the United States. End of dictatorship in Albania and South Korea. End of Salvadorian Civil War
1993: Velvet divorce between Czech Republic and Slovakia. Independence of Eritrea. Oslo accords end First Intifada between Israel and Palestine.
1994: End of apartheid in South Africa and election of Nelson Mandela. Establishment of NAFTA. First Chechen War begins. Rwandan genocide occurs. Opening of the Channel Tunnel.
1995: Establishment of the World Trade Organization. Srebrenica massacre; NATO bombing raids in Bosnia; Dayton Accords signed. Assassination of Yitzak Rabin. North Korean famine begins.
1996: First Congo War begins. First Chechen War ends. First Liberian Civil War ends. End of dictatorship in Taiwan. Dolly the sheep becomes first successful cloned mammal.
1997: Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from UK to China. Lottery Uprising in Albania. Diana, Princess of Wales is killed in a car accident in Paris.
1998: Osama Bin Laden publishes a fatwa against the West. Kenya and Tanzania bombings. Second Congo War begins. Good Friday Agreement brings an end to The Troubles in Northern Ireland. North Korean famine kills an estimated 2.5 million people by this point.
1999: Euro is established. Kosovo War ends the Yugoslav Wars. Hugo Chavez becomes President of Venezuela. Second Chechen War and Second Liberian Civil War begin. Crisis in East Timor leads to 1400 deaths. World population reaches 6 billion.
2000: End of Israeli occupation of Lebanon. Second Intifada begins. George W. Bush is elected President of the United States. Vincente Fox becomes the first opposition President of Mexico. Vladimir Putin becomes President of Russia. British Army launch Operation Palliser which effectively ends the Sierra Leone Civil War. International Space Station begins operations.
2001: 9/11 attacks destroy the World Trade Center in New York. Afghan War begins. Wikipedia founded. President Joseph Estrada of the Philippines impeached.
2002: Guantanamo Bay detention camp is established. 2002 Bali bombings. Algerian Civil War ends. Rose Revolution in Georgia. Independence of East Timor.
2003: 2003 Invasion of Iraq begins. War in Darfur begins. The Human Genome Project is completed. Second Congo War ends with more than 5 million dead. Second Liberian Civil War ends. Space Shuttle Columbia is destroyed on re-entry.
2004: Madrid train bombings. Boxing Day Tsunami occurs in Indian Ocean. Orange Revolution in Ukraine
2005: Second Intifada ends. Second Sudanese Civil War ends. 7/7 attacks on London Underground. Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan. Hurricane Katrina kills nearly 2000 people in the Gulf of Mexico. 80,000 are killed in an earthquake in Kashmir. The Kyoto Protocol comes into effect. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes President of Iran
2006: Independence of Montenegro. Second invasion of Lebanon. Mumbai bombings. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf becomes President of Liberia, and thus Africa's first elected female head of state.
2007: Anti-government protests in Myanmar crushed by ruling junta. Great Recession begins.
2008: End of Monarchy in Nepal. Barack Obama is elected President of the United States. Cyclone Nargis kills 133,000 in Myanmar. Gaza War begins. 2008 South Ossetia war. Kosovo declares independence, to mixed reaction.
2009: Gaza War ends; Gaza blockade continues. Election protests begin in Iran. Second Chechen War ends. Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest skyscraper, is completed. Great Recession officially ends. Former President Corazon Aquino of the Philippines dies due to colon cancer.
2010: A 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti kills 230,000. Flooding in Pakistan kills nearly 2,000 and leaves roughly a million homeless. Greece defaults on its debts, triggering the European sovereign debt crisis and Ireland's bankruptcy. The largest oil spill in US history occurs in the Gulf of Mexico. Tensions rise between North and South Korea, culimating in the shelling of the island of Yeonpyeong. The website Wikileaks releases thousands of classified US documents.