facts about the 2000s

37 Ultimate Facts about the 2000s

The 2000s was the decade of the New Millennium, meaning many new breakthroughs were expected to happen within this decade. Nevertheless, the 2000s were probably one of the last romantic decades, when we still had time for old and new friends and acquaintances, when the thrill of meeting someone new was always in the air.

Here are some interesting facts about the 2000s that’ll refresh your memory if you’ve experienced them or maybe come to you as a surprise if you’re younger.

1. The decade opened with the threat of Y2K disappearing.

By the hypothetical resetting of computer dates at midnight on January 1st 2000, Y2K, the notorious “millennium bug,” was expected to cause global chaos.

However… it didn’t. Despite countless millions invested in the fight against the supposed chaos set to unfold, Y2K fizzled out by February – and life continued as normal.

2. The UK opened a project that lasted just one year.

In the 2000s, the freshly built Millennium Dome in Greenwich, southeast London was supposed to be an inspiration for hope and intent in British culture.

Despite being the most popular tourist attraction of 2000, providing a decent day out featuring acrobatics and art installations, reactions were mixed, and the display only lasted 12 months. The structure remains and now houses the O2 Arena.

3. The ISS took its first passengers.

In November 2000, the first crew boarded the International Space Station – two Russians and one American.

Since that time, over 350 people have boarded and visited the station, with the majority hailing from the US.

The Millennium Dome, Greenwich, London

The Millennium Dome, Greenwich, London

4. Sydney 2000 was one of the most popular Summer Games festivals ever.

The 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney had moments of real drama and enjoyment, especially the performance of Team GB’s gold-winning heptathlete Denise Lewis.

It was also the very first Olympic appearance for superstar swimmer Michael Phelps, who has gone on to become one of the most decorated athletes in US history.

5. Soccer fans in England didn’t have a great time.

The summer of 2000 was a tragedy in the soccer world. England, with David Beckham, Michael Owen, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, and future manager Gareth Southgate, suffered an awful Euro 2000, losing to both Portugal and Romania in the

group stages of the tournament.

6. Coldplay became big news in music.

On the July 10th, 2000, Coldplay released their first album “Parachutes”. It was a colossal moment for the band and British music as a whole.

Although the band has toyed with retirement for some time, Martin and co continue to make music to this day.

7. There was a big change in leadership in the US.

On November 7th, 2000, George W. Bush became President of the United States.

The official results were announced on the December 12th, 2000 due to the state of Florida’s vote count being too close. This would be a controversial event, as many still believe ex-Vice President Al Gore rightfully won the election.

8. Natural disasters struck across 2001.

On January 13th, 2001, an earthquake with a 6.6 magnitude struck El Salvador, killing at least 400 people.

On February 20th, 2001, an epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease occurred in the UK, killing over ten million sheep and cattle.

9. The 00s was a decade for medical breakthroughs.

On July 2nd, 2001, the first artificial heart was implanted in a human being.

Other major medical advances this decade included further discoveries regarding the human genome, decreasing levels in heart disease, and survival boosts for people with HIV.

George W Bush

George W Bush, the 43rd president of the USA from 2001 to 2009.

10. 9/11 shook the West.

On September 11th, 2001, terrorist strikes were carried out on the World Trade Center in New York City and The Pentagon in Washington, DC, by members of al-Qaeda- the Islamic extremist group.

The event remains perhaps the most shocking terrorist event on Western soil, and would go on to inspire the War on Terror that transpired.

11. Unfortunately, terrorism rolled on.

On September 18th, 2001, letters holding anthrax spores were sent to several American media offices and two American senators. 22 people were exposed, and five people died.

12. A chemical explosion in France made major news on the continent.

On September 21st, 2001, there was an explosion in a chemical factory in Toulouse, France, killing 29 people and seriously injuring over 2,500.

911 World Trade Center Twin Towers Terrorist Attacks

13. The War On Terror began.

2001 is the year of the beginning of the Afghanistan war, as the United States, with help from the UK, invaded.

This War was spurred on by the terrorist attacks that unfurled in 2001 – and beyond this, the US and UK would surge into Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

14. East Timor broke away.

On May 20th, 2002, East Timor gained independence from Indonesia. The country’s officially known as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

15. SARS caused havoc.

2002–2004, the SARS outbreak was an epidemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

SARS impacted Eastern countries, however, many people in the West contracted and died of the illness. It spread to 30 countries worldwide. It was just a suggestion of how bad respiratory illnesses could get – with COVID-19 over a decade away.

US Soldiers in the mountains of Afghanistan

US Soldiers in Afghanistan

16. The Iraq War began in ’03.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq began on March 19th and lasted just over one month. The invasion and fallout, however, would lead the US and UK to face widespread outcry – as they’d claimed to head in to find “weapons of mass destruction.”

To this day, it’s an invasion that taints the legacies of George W. Bush and Tony Blair.

17. Iran suffered a horrific earthquake.

On December 26th, 2003, an earthquake in Bam, Iran, destroyed up to 90% of buildings and infrastructure, with 70% of houses being destroyed, leaving an estimated 100,000 people homeless.

18. Ronald Reagan passed away.

On June 5th, 2004, President Ronald Reagan died at the age of 93. By the time he passed away, he had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and earlier in his career, had survived an assassination attempt.

Facts about 2000s

Ronald Regan

19. The Beslan School crisis occurred.

On September 1st, 2004, the Beslan School hostage crisis in Russia started. It lasted three days, involving the imprisonment of over 1,100 people as hostages, and ending with the deaths of either 331 or 334 people, more than half of which were children.

20. Ukraine saw revolution.

From late November 2004 to January 2005, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine was manifested through a series of protests and political events.

Of course, it’s just one of several dramatic events to have befallen Ukraine over the years, with the country facing invasion from Russia as of 2022.

21. Google took to the stock market.

In August 2004, the stock market offered shares in Google for $85. The company, which eventually became known as Alphabet, reached an all-time high closing stock of $153.51 – but that’s at the time of writing, and the company is still going strong.

Google Logo

22. We said goodbye to the Pope.

On the April 2nd, 2005, Pope John Paul II died. He would be succeeded by Pope Benedict XVI, who would eventually be the first to resign voluntarily since 1294!

23. Terrorism made its way to Britain.

On July 7th, 2005, bombs were detonated in the crowded London subways and one bus. These bombs, thought to be the work of al-Qaeda, killed 56 people, including the bombers, and injured another 700.

24. Facebook went public.

On February 4th, 2004, Facebook.com was launched. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network might not be at the top of the tech ladder as it once was, but it’s still used by millions of people – and it paved the way for the next wave of social media interaction.

Facebook logo

25. Merkel led Germany into a new era.

On the November 22nd, 2005, Angela Merkel became Chancellor of Germany. She would remain in charge of the nation for over 16 years, eventually stepping down from her role in December 2021.

26. Liberia elected its first female leader.

On January 16th, 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in Liberia, became the first female president of the African continent.

27. Twitter followed Facebook with its own unique take on social media.

In July 2006, Twitter was launched by Jack Dorsey. The “microblogging” site soon became the hot place to go to for celebrity insights and memes – and it would eventually become an important source of breaking news.

Twitter has had its ups and downs over the years. Tesla mogul Elon Musk would eventually take over the firm and rebrand it as “X,” making a number of operational decisions that several disagreed with.

Twitter Logo

28. Three years after the Iraq War began, Hussein met his maker.

On December 30th, 2006, Saddam Hussein was executed in Iraq. This was seen as the end of Blair and Bush’s campaign in the region, though the effects of 2003 are still felt to this day.

29. The Dome transformed by the end of the decade.

In 2007, the Millennium Dome in London was turned into The O2. The O2 Arena venue has hosted concerts from The Rolling Stones to Beyoncé.

In 2007, Prince’s Earth tour: 21-nights in London at the O2 remained among the most memorable concert residencies, with the star selling tickets for £31.21 inviting music icons like Amy Winehouse and Elton John to join him onstage during the run.

30. Cellphones finally evolved.

The late 90s might have seen the birth of cellphone mania, but it wasn’t until the 00s that these devices started evolving into microcomputers beyond our imaginations. It was on June 29th, 2007, that Apple released the first generation of the iPhone!

While already popular for having brought the iPod to the masses, the iPhone combined convenience and entertainment together. Largely the brainchild of maverick innovator Steve Jobs, iPhones continue to sell well today, though many miss the Jobs heyday.

Apple iPhone

31. France elected a new President.

On May 16th, 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy became President of France. He would serve until 2012, paving the way for François Hollande. He would retire from politics, yet return to run for the Republican primaries in 2016. After losing out, he would retire again – and then, in 2021, face convictions for corruption.

32. Brown would eventually succeed Blair.

On June 27th, 2007, Gordon Brown became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Brown was seen as something of a political rival to Tony Blair, as he’d served as Blair’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, but reportedly showed interest in the top job.

Brown would eventually be replaced by a coalition of Conservative-Liberal Democrat MPs fronted by David Cameron and Nick Clegg. The Conservatives would remain in power across the 2010s and into the 2020s.

33. Castro finally hung up his cigar.

On February 24th, 2008, Cuban President Fidel Castro retired and was succeeded by his brother, Raul Castro. He’d been in charge since 1959, and eventually passed away in 2016, at the age of 90.

Fidel Castro

34. Earthquakes continued to ravage the East.

On May 12th, 2008, China’s Sichuan province was hit by a major earthquake. It’s thought that more than 69,000 people were killed in the disaster.

Tragically, scores of people who headed in to try and assist with relief and repair were also killed as the earthquake created landslides.

35. Obama ushered in big change for America.

On January 20th, 2009, Barack Obama was the first African-American elected as the 44th President of the United States. He would remain in charge until 2016 and would oversee the capture of Osama Bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, who was hiding out in Pakistan.

36. Digital TV took over the airwaves for good.

On June 12th, 2009, the analog television broadcast all across the US turned into digital television. This meant that several older sets and technologies were now obsolete – the end of an era.

37. Michael Jackson passed away.

On June 25th, 2009, the legendary king of pop, Michael Jackson, died, representing the end of an era in the music world.

Jackson was a superstar with a tragic life, and even his passing was tinged with controversy. Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. This was as a result, it transpired, of Murray having accidentally

overdosed the star on surgical anesthetic.

Micheal Jackson

FAQs about the 2000s

What was the 2000s known as?

The 2000s had a few different names! To many people, the decade was known as the “two-thousands.” However, it also received nicknames such as the “noughties” and the “zeros,” while many people also referred to it as the 'aughts.'

What were some popular trends in the 2000s?

Popular trends in the 2000s included:

Mp3s and iPods
Harry Potter
Reality TV
Social media
Early smartphones

How might you describe the 2000s?

Anyone who lived through the 2000s might have referred to the era as dramatic and ever-changing. This was an amazing era for technological and social evolution. However, it was also a devastating time for natural disasters and terrorism. Therefore, after the relatively sedate 90s, the 00s saw rising political tension and genuine global threat. But it was also an important time for cultural shifts, as people started socializing online, listening to guitar pop, and blogging about their interests!

Do you know any fun facts about the 2000s? Share them in the comments below!

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