What happened in 2015

What Happened in 2015?

All things considered, 2015 was a pretty eventful year! From multiple international terrorist attacks and natural disasters to huge political changes that had worldwide effects, it was a tragic 12 months in many ways – but there were plenty of positive reasons to remember them.

Here are a few of the most important things that took place during 2015, from big events each month, to births and deaths that shocked the world.

In this year

Charlie Hebdo


In Paris, France, the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo fell prey to a terrorist attack. The massacre at the offices took place over three days and resulted in two sieges. The attack killed 12 people and reportedly injured 11 more.

Russia Ukraine War


The ongoing war in eastern Ukraine met a temporary stalemate as Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and France agreed to a ceasefire and to remove heavy weaponry from the area. However, some claimed that the ceasefire was broken many times over – and fighting had continued despite agreements taking place.

Dawn Probe


The Dawn probe, the latest of NASA’s explorers, officially entered orbit around the dwarf planet of Ceres – making it the very first spacecraft of any kind to head to a designated dwarf planet. Will we ever follow suit and get to Pluto? Only time will tell!

World Health Organization


In positive medical news, the WHO – World Health Organization – revealed that rubella had officially disappeared from all American nations. This was a major backing for the use of vaccines – though debate over vaccine efficacy would, of course, rear its head again during the COVID-19 pandemic.

gay marriage


Ireland made history by becoming the first country to ever legalize same-sex marriage through popular vote. In doing so, they inspired many other countries to follow suit. However, sadly, we still live in a world where, in many countries, it is still illegal and punishable by imprisonment and even death to be homosexual.

Love is Love Rainbow


Finally, the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the United States of America. They also made it an obligation for all states to honor out-state same-sex marriage licenses as per the case Obergefell v. Hodges.

Havana US Embassy


The United States and Cuba officially reopened embassies in each other's capitals, restoring diplomatic relations. This was the first time they did such an act since serving ties back in 1961. Tensions had remained high between the nations as the US had continued to fight against communism throughout Fidel Castro’s time in charge of Cuba.

Known flight path taken by Malaysia Airlines Flight 370


The mystery of the vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took a surprising turn on August 5th, 2015, as it emerged that debris from the airplane was found on Réunion Island. Officially missing since March 2014, we are still no clearer on exactly what happened to the flight all those years ago.



The Volkswagen emissions scandal emerged. The scandal revealed that the company manipulated emissions tests, as the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a clear notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to the Volkswagen Group.

Chinese Child Policy


China announced the end of its one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children. The one-child policy was initially implemented in 1979 and remained in place for the 35 years following. It’s thought to have remained in place because of the country’s enormous population!

Eiffel Tower


The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) took place in Paris. The conference ended with the Paris Climate Change Agreement, a legally binding international treaty. The US would duck in and out of the treaty over the years to come, but at the time of writing, they are still partied to the cause.

Middle east Coalition


Saudi Arabia formed a coalition of multiple Muslim countries to agree upon a fight against terrorism. The alliance was officially announced by Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's then-defense minister and deputy crown prince. The coalition included countries such as Egypt and Turkey, among many others.

2015 was the year of the…

chinese year of the goat


Like 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, and 2003, 2015 was a year in which – according to the Chinese Zodiac – goats were at the top of the agenda. People born in goat years tend to be helpful, kind, empathic, sincere, and creative. They also tend to be pretty quiet and shy! The next goat year won't be until 2027.

This page was last modified on January 6, 2024. Suggest an edit