|Centuries:||20th century · 21st century · 22nd century|
|Decades:||2000s 2010s 2020s 2030s 2040s|
2050s 2060s 2070s 2080s 2090s
|Categories:||Births – Deaths |
Establishments – Disestablishments
The 21st century is the current century of the Christian Era or Common Era in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It began on January 1, 2001 and will end on December 31, 2100. It is the first century of the 3rd millennium it is distinct from the time span known as the 2000s which began on January 1, 2000 and will end in December 31, 2099.
Turn of the 21st century (2001–present)
In contemporary history, the 21st century began with the United States as the sole superpower in the absence of the Soviet Union, with five other entities, China, India, the European Union, Brazil and the Russian Federation as potential superpowers in the coming decades. As the Cold War was over and terrorism on the rise exemplified by the September 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City; the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia; followed by the 2001 anthrax attacks that commenced as letters containing anthrax spores were mailed from Princeton, New Jersey to ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, the New York Post, and the National Enquirer; the United States and its allies turned their attention to the Middle East.
Digital technology, in its early stages of mainstream use in the 1980s and 1990s, became widely accepted by most of the world, though concerns about stress and antisociality from the overuse of mobile phones, the Internet and related technologies remains controversial.
Regarding pronunciation of 21st-century years, academics suggest that since former years such as 1805 and 1905 were commonly pronounced as "eighteen oh" or "nineteen oh" five, the year 2005 should naturally have been pronounced as "twenty oh-five". A less common variation would have been "twenty nought-five".
The year 2010 "twenty ten" is suggested by many, with the "two thousand x" pronunciation reserved only for the "two thousands" decade of 2000s and the Vancouver Olympics, taking place in 2010, is being officially referred to by Vancouver 2010 as "the twenty-ten olympics", while 2011 and 2013 are popular as well. The latest timeframes for change are usually placed at 2020.
According to The Stanley Kubrick archives, in the press release for his film 2001: A Space Odyssey, film director Stanley Kubrick included specific instructions for journalists to refer to the movie as "two thousand and one" instead of the commonplace pronunciation of "twenty-oh-one". Kubrick said he did this in the hope that if the film became popular, it would influence the pronunciation of that year, which some have theorized is partially the case.
Politics, war, and genocide
Politics in this century have so far been divisive, in the United States and to a lesser degree the whole Western World between the ideologies of liberalism and conservatism; more precisely, the Democratic Party vs the Republican Party.
Genocide still remains a problem in the century with the concern of the situation in Darfur and the growing concern in Sri Lanka. Low estimates on the deaths in Darfur stand around 200,000 deaths with 2.5 million in displacement, there has been much outcry against the perpetrators, the Sudanese government, and the very weak international response. Also controversies from past genocides remain commonplace in the minds of victims and average people alike.
- 1998–2002 – The Second Congo War continued into the early 21st century. A 1999 ceasefire quickly broke down and a UN peacekeeping mission, MONUC, was unable to control the fighting. Troops from Rwanda and Uganda continued to support rebel groups against the Democratic Republic of the Congo and rifts also grew between Rwanda and Uganda as they accused each other of supporting rival rebel groups as well. Laurent Kabila, president of the DRC, was assassinated in January 2002 and his son, Joseph Kabila, took power. Throughout 2002 steps were made towards peace and Rwanda and Uganda both removed their troops from the country. On December 17, 2002, a massive treaty officially ended the war. However, the DRC only holds power in less than half of the country, with most of the eastern and northern portions still controlled by rebel groups, where there is still significant infighting. In addition, Rwanda still supports anti-DRC rebels and anti-Rwandan rebels continue to operate from the DRC. The war killed an estimated 3.9 million people, displaced nearly 5.5 million, and led to a widespread and ongoing famine that continues to result in deaths. Severe human rights violations continue to be reported.
- 2001 – Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked 4 commercial airliners and crashed 3 of them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States on September 11, killing nearly 3,000 people. The United States subsequently declared a War on Terrorism.
- 2001–present – The U.S. and NATO invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 and overthrew the Al-Qaeda-supportive Taliban government. Troops remained to install a democratic government, fight a slowly escalating insurgency, and to hunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
- 2002 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established on July 1.
- 2002 – A series of bombings carried out by Islamic militants killed 202 people at the resort of Kuta, Bali, Indonesia on October 12.
- 2003–present – In February 2003, a conflict in Darfur, Sudan began and soon escalated into full-scale war. It is soon considered the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. By 2008 it is believed that up to 400,000 people have been killed and over 2.5 million displaced. In 2005, the ICC decided that Darfur war criminals would be tried, and on July 14, 2008, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir was charged with 5 accounts of crimes against humaninty and 2 accounts of war crimes, although the ICC currently has no power to enforce these charges.
- 2003–2010 – The U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003 and overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein (who was executed by the Iraqi government on December 30, 2006). Coalition troops remain in the country to install a democratic government and fight an escalating insurgency. In addition to an insurgency against the American presence, Iraq also suffered from a civil war for several years. The war was soon seen as the central front of the War on Terror by many governments, despite growing international dissatisfaction with the war. The total death toll has been estimated at near 150,000 but these estimations are highly disputed, some guessing even over 1 million. After the U.S.-led coalition initiated a troop surge in 2007, casualty numbers have decreased significantly. Combat ended, at least officially, in August 2010.
- 2003–2005 – A series of nonviolent revolutions known as the colour revolutions overthrew governments in Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Lebanon.
- 2004 – The European Union expanded by 10 countries, including 8 former communist countries, plus Malta and Cyprus.
- 2004 – On March 11, bombings carried out by Islamic militants killed 191 people on the commuter rail system of Madrid, Spain.
- 2005 – A series of bombings carried out by Islamic militants killed 56 people in London on July 7.
- 2005 – Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip on September 11.
- 2006–2008 – The dismantling of former Yugoslavia continues after Montenegro gained independence on June 3, 2006 and Kosovo declared independence on February 17, 2008. However, Kosovo's independence is disputed by Russia and many of its allies and is currently only partially recognized.
- 2006 – On July 12, Hezbollah militants crossed the border of Lebanon and captured two Israeli troops. Israel responded by sending troops across the border and bombing Hezbollah strongholds, while Hezbollah fired missiles on towns in northern Israel, approximately 6 each day. At the end of the war 300–450 Lebanese civilians, 600 Hezbolla troops, 44 Israeli civilians and 121 Israeli soldiers died. A ceasefire was signed on August 14, after which Israeli troops withdrew from Lebanon. Many military sources in Israel have warned about the danger of a new Israeli-Lebanese conflict back in the year 2000, when Israel has withdrawn from Lebanon.
- 2006 – On July 11, bombs planted on the train system in Mumbai exploded, killing 209 people.
- 2006 – North Korea conducted its first nuclear test on October 9. This was preceded by years of political wrangling with the U.S. over the status of their nuclear program.
- 2007 – A civil war escalated in the Gaza Strip throughout June, which resulted in Hamas eventually driving most Fatah-loyal forces from the Strip. In reaction, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas dismissed Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and dissolved the Hamas-ruled parliament. Scattered conflict continues.
- 2008 – Armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and the Russian Federation together with Ossetians and Abkhazians on the other. Russia officially recognized independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
- 2008–2009 – Israel launches a military campaign on the Gaza Strip, due to continuous rocket launching on south Israeli cities by radical elements of the Hamas.
- 2009 –Barack Obama becomes the first African-American president of the United States
- 2009 – North Korea tests a second nuclear device.
- 2010 – Polish president Lech Kaczynski and 95 others died in an air disaster in western Russia. Investigations into the accident are still ongoing.
Science and technology
- 2001 – Dennis Tito becomes the first space tourist by paying $19 million to board the International Space Station.
- 2002 – Mars Odyssey arrives in orbit around Mars.
- 2003 – Space Shuttle Columbia disaster February 1.
- 2003 – The Chinese space program launches its first manned space flight, Shenzhou 5 on October 15. This made China the third country in the world to have indigenous manned space capability.
- 2004 – Mars Exploration Rovers land on Mars; Opportunity discovers evidence that an area of Mars was once covered in water.
- 2004 – The Cassini–Huygens probe arrives at Saturn.
- 2004 – SpaceShipOne makes the first privately funded human spaceflight, June 21
- 2005 – The Huygens probe lands on Titan, the largest of Saturn's moons, January 14.
- 2005 – The Deep Impact probe impacts Comet Tempel 1, July 4.
- 2005 - The Space Shuttle Discovery launches on STS-114 on July 26, the first Return to Flight mission following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The mission marks the beginning of the end of the current Space Shuttle Program (shuttles Endeavour, Atlantis, and Discovery)
- 2006 – New Horizons is launched on a 9 year voyage to Pluto, January 19.
- 2006 – The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrives at Mars.
- 2006 - The Space Shuttle Discovery launches on STS-121, the second Return to Flight mission following the Columbia accident, July 4.
- 2006 - NASA resumes construction of the International Space Station following the Columbia accident with the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-115 on September 9.
- 2006 – Pluto is reclassified from a planet to a dwarf planet, leaving the solar system with eight planets.
- 2007 - China launches its first lunar mission with the Chang'e 1 on October 24.
- 2008 – NASA's MESSENGER flies by Mercury, becoming the first spacecraft to do so in 33 years.
- 2008 – Phoenix Lander successfully arrives at Mars; later tests conducted by the spacecraft reveal evidence of ice on Mars.
- 2008 – Chinese space program launches its third manned space flight carrying its first three-person crew and conducts its first spacewalk that makes China the third nation after Russia and USA to do that, Shenzhou 7 on September 25.
- 2008 – The Indian Space Research Organisation's Chandrayaan-1 is launched on October 22. India becomes the fourth nation to reach the moon.
- 2009 - NASA launches the Kepler Space Observatory on a three year mission to search the sky in the Cygnus, Lyra, and Draco constellations for Earth-like planets, March 6.
- 2009 – The Space Shuttle Atlantis rendezvous with the Hubble Space Telescope on STS-125 to give the Hubble much needed repairs. This mission will enable Hubble to last for approximately 5 to 10 years.
- 2009 - NASA conducts the Ares I-X test flight. The 6-minute suborbital flight was the only flight of the Constellation program that was supposed to replace the Space Shuttle fleet in the next decade.
- 2009 - ISRO discovers water on the Moon.
- 2003 – Completion of the Human Genome Project
- 2003 – Dolly the cloned sheep dies prematurely February 14.
- 2003 – Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) spreads around the globe.
- 2005 – The first successful partial face transplant is performed in France.
- 2006 – Australian of the Year Dr Ian Frazer develops a vaccine for cervical cancer.
- 2008 – Japanese scientists create a form of artificial DNA.
- 2009 – The mouse genome is fully sequenced.
- 2009 – Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 spreads around the globe.
- 2009 - The horse genome is fully sequenced.
- Mobile phone usage approaches nearly 100% in Europe.
- Digital audio players are widely used in developed nations.
- Personal digital cameras are making traditional home film cameras virtually obsolete.
- Wireless technologies are beginning to play a greater role in people's lives.
- 2003 – Discovery of an old dwarf human species, Homo floresiensis by modern humans (published October 2004).
- 2004 – The first ever recorded hurricane in the South Atlantic forms.
- 2007 – The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) releases its Fourth Assessment Report.
- 2009 – Details of Darwinius, a vital ‘missing link’ in human evolution dated to 47 million years ago, are published.
- 2010 - A team of scientists, including DNA researcher Craig Venter, create the first synthetic lifeform.
- Colombian armed conflict (1964–present)
- Sri Lankan Civil War (1983–2009)
- September 11, 2001 attacks on USA
- War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
- 12 October 2002 Bali bombing
- Moscow theater hostage crisis October 2002
- Iraq War (20 March 2003–19 August 2010)
- Darfur conflict (2003–present)
- 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings
- War in North-West Pakistan (2004–present)
- September 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis
- 7 July 2005 London bombings
- 2006 East Timorese crisis
- 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings
- 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
- Civil war in Chad (2005–present)
- War in Somalia (2006–2009)
- War on Terrorism (2001–present)
- Russian-Georgian War (08/07/2008–08/16/2008)
- 26/11 - 2008 Mumbai attacks
- 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
- War in Somalia (2009-present)
Worldwide deaths from war and terrorist attacks
- Second Congo War, approximately 1.8 million deaths (3.8 million since 1998)
- Iraq War, a wide variation in the number of casualties quoted, ranging from the tens of thousands, up to approximately 1 million deaths, Iraq Body Count project, ORB survey of Iraq War casualties.
- Darfur conflict, approximately 400,000 deaths
- Civil War in Côte d'Ivoire, 3,000 deaths
- September 11, 2001 19 members of al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial airliners, intentionally crashing two of them into The World Trade Centers in New York City, and one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane's intended target was either the White House or Capitol Building, but passengers aboard the plane resisted the initiatives of the hijackers and crashed the plane into a field in Pennsylvania. 2,997 people from 90 different countries died.
- December 13, 2001 attacks, Terrorist attack on Indian Parliament, terrorists storm the Indian Parliament Building in New Delhi and kill six police officers.
- October 12, 2002 Bali terrorist bombings kill 202 people.
- March 11, 2004 terrorist attacks shake several train stations on Spain's capital Madrid, killing 191 people and injuring 1,247.
- 7 July 2005 London bombings, Suicide terrorist attacks shake London transport system killing 52 people and injuring 700.
- 29 October 2005 Delhi bombings, terrorists attack various markets in New Delhi, killing 61 people and injuring 188 more, right before the start of the festival season in India.
- July 11, 2006 six bombs explode in train stations in Mumbai, killing 190.
- November 2008 Mumbai attacks, a series of ten coordinated terrorist attacks across Mumbai, India, killing 195 people and injuring 290 more.
- 2001 riots in Argentina
- 2005 civil unrest in France
- 2005 Cronulla riots
- 2006 Muhammad cartoons controversy
- 2007 Danish riots
- 2007 Bronze Soldier riots in Estonia
- 2007 Burmese anti-government protests
- 2007 Georgian demonstrations
- 2008 Tibetan unrest
- 2008 Greek riots
- 2009 Moldova civil unrest
- 2009 Riga riot
- 2009 Iranian election protests
- 2009 Tamil diaspora protests
- 2010 Kyrgyzstan riots
- 2010 Thailand riots
- 2010 Jamaica Unrest
- 2001 Gujarat Earthquake - An earthquake in Gujarat,India on January 26, 2001 killed approximately 20,000.
- 2001 El Salvador Earthquake - 7.9 earthquake in El Salvador shook the whole country Jan. 13 2001 causing a major devastating landslide, hundred dead, thousands injured and many homeless. A month later Feb. 13 2001 the country suffered a second earthquake - 6.7
- 2003 European heat wave - Approximately 30,000 people were killed across Europe in a summer long heat wave.
- 2003 Bam earthquake - An earthquake in Bam, Iran on December 27, 2003 killed more than 26,000.
- 2004 Hurricane Jeanne - Over 3,000 people are killed by Hurricane Jeanne in Haiti in September 2004.
- 2004 Asian Tsunami - On December 26, 2004, a massive undersea earthquake resulted in a massive tsunami striking southeast Asia killing approximately 230,000.
- 2005 Hurricane Katrina - The hurricane killed 1,836 in southeast Louisiana and Mississippi (mostly in New Orleans). A significant portion of the city, most of which sits below sea level, was submerged.
- 2005 Kashmir earthquake An earthquake in Kashmir on October 8, 2005, killed at least 74,500 in India and Pakistan
- 2008 Cyclone Nagris - lead to catastrophic storm surge, leading to a death toll in excess of 100,000 and making millions homeless.
- 2008 Sichuan earthquake - An earthquake in Sichuan, China killed 68,712, 17,921 missing.
- 2009 L'Aquila earthquake - A 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes near L'Aquila (Italy) in April 2009, one of the worst in Italian history.
- 2009 flu pandemic - A worldwide outbreak of Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 spread around the world forming a pandemic by June 2009.
- 2010 Haiti earthquake - At least 230,000 are killed in Haiti after a massive earthquake on January 12, 2010. As of late February 2010, the death toll is expected to rise. Three million people were made homeless.
- 2010 Chile earthquake - A massive earthquake, magnitude 8.8, strikes the central Chilean coast on February 27, 2010.
- 2010 Yushu earthquake - A large 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Yushu region of China in Qinghai near Tibet, on April 14, 2010, killing over 2200 people.
- 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull - A massive ash cloud is formed by the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, on April 14, 2010 grounding flights across northwest Europe. Scientists began recording volcanic activity there in 2009 which increased through March 2010 culminating in the second phase eruption in April.
- 2010 Pakistan floods - Began in July 2010 after record heavy monsoon rains. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan was worst affected. At least 1,600 people were killed, thousands were rendered homeless, and more than thirteen million people were affected. Estimates from rescue service officials suggest the death toll may reach 3,000 victims.
Man made disasters
- On July 25, 2000, Air France Flight 4590, a Concorde aircraft, crashes into a hotel in Gonesse just after takeoff from Paris, killing all 109 aboard and 4 in the hotel.
- On August 1, 2000, the Russian submarine K-141 Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea, killing all 118 men on board.
- On July 27, 2002, a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes at an air show in Ukraine, killing 85 and injuring more than 100, making it the worst air show disaster in history.
- On February 1, 2003, at the conclusion of the STS-107 mission, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry over Texas, killing all seven astronauts onboard.
- The 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) flu pandemic was the worst epidemic or pandemic of the decade, killing nearly 12,000.
- The Black Saturday bushfires - the deadliest bushfires in Australian history took place across the Australian state of Victoria on and around Saturday 7 February 2009 during extreme bushfire-weather conditions, resulting in 173 people killed and, more than 500 injured and around 7,500 homeless. The fires came after Melbourne recorded the highest-ever temperature (46.4°C, 115°F) of any capital city in Australia. The majority of the fires were ignited by either fallen or clashing power lines or deliberately lit.
- On April 10, 2010, Polish President Lech Kaczyński, his wife and 95 other people, including dozens of government officials are killed in a plane crash.
- On April 20, 2010 an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, operating in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, left eleven crewmen dead and resulted in a fire that sank the rig and caused a massive-scale oil spill  that may become one of the worst environmental disasters in United States history. On June 18, 2010 oceanographer John Kessler said that the crude gushing from the well contains 40 percent methane, compared to about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits. Methane is a natural gas that could potentially suffocate marine life and create "dead zones" where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives. "This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," Kessler said. On June 20 an internal BP document was released by Congress revealing that BP estimated the flow could be as much as 100,000 barrels (Template:Convert/USgal m3) per day under the circumstances that existed since the April 20 blowout.
Some territories have gained independence during the 21st century. This is a list of sovereign states that have gained independence in the 21st century and have been recognized by a majority of foreign governments.
One country has declared independence but it has not been recognized by most countries.
- 2000 Summer Olympics were held in Sydney, Australia
- 2002 Winter Olympics were held in Salt Lake City, United States
- 2004 Summer Olympics were held in Athens, Greece
- 2006 Winter Olympics were held in Turin, Italy
- 2008 Summer Olympics were held in Beijing, China
- 2010 Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, Canada
- 2010 Summer Youth Olympics were held in Singapore
- 2012 Summer Olympics Will be held in London, United Kingdom
- 2014 Winter Olympics Will be held in Sochi, Russia
- 2016 Summer Olympics Will be held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil
- Euro 2000 is won by France
- 2002 FIFA World Cup is won by Brazil
- Euro 2004 is won by Greece
- 2006 FIFA World Cup is won by Italy
- Euro 2008 is won by Spain
- 2010 FIFA World Cup is won by Spain
- 2010 FIFA World Cup is held in South Africa - the first African nation to ever host this tournament
- 2000 FIFA Club World Cup is won by Sport Club Corinthians Paulista
- 2005 FIFA Club World Cup is won by São Paulo FC
- 2006 FIFA Club World Cup is won by International
- 2007 FIFA Club World Cup is won by AC Milan
- 2008 FIFA Club World Cup is won by Manchester United
- 2009 FIFA Club World Cup is won by Barcelona
- Usain Bolt broke various world records including the 100 meter dash at the 2009 World Championships, setting the record of 9.58 Seconds.
- United States won all Three Olympic Medal Tables for the Athletics.
- A record low amount of Athletes failing drug tests occurred in 2008 for Athletes, with only one recordedly failing a drug test in the Women's Long Jump.
- 2000 NBA Finals - Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers
- 2001 NBA Finals - Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers
- 2002 NBA Finals - Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Jersey Nets
- 2003 NBA Finals - San Antonio Spurs defeated the New Jersey Nets
- 2004 NBA Finals - Detroit Pistons defeated the Los Angeles Lakers
- 2005 NBA Finals - San Antonio Spurs defeated the Detroit Pistons
- 2006 NBA Finals - Miami Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks
- 2007 NBA Finals - San Antonio Spurs defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers
- 2008 NBA Finals - Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers
- 2009 NBA Finals - Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic
- 2010 NBA Finals - Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics
- 2000 Tour de France - started in France Futuroscope, France (winner United States Lance Armstrong)
- 2001 Tour de France - started in France Dunkerque, France (winner United States Lance Armstrong)
- 2002 Tour de France - started in Luxembourg (winner United States Lance Armstrong)
- 2003 Tour de France - started in France Paris, France (winner United States Lance Armstrong)
- 2004 Tour de France - started in Belgium Liège, Belgium (winner United States Lance Armstrong)
- 2005 Tour de France - started in France Vendée, France (winner United States Lance Armstrong)
- 2006 Tour de France - started in France Strasbourg, France (winner Spain Oscar Pereiro)
- 2007 Tour de France - started in United Kingdom London, United Kingdom (winner Spain Alberto Contador)
- 2008 Tour de France - started in France Brest, France (winner Spain Carlos Sastre)
- 2009 Tour de France - started in Monaco, Monaco (winner Spain Alberto Contador)
- 2010 Tour de France - started in Rotterdam, Netherlands (winner Spain Alberto Contador)
- the 2002 Ryder Cup was won by Europe 15 and a half to USA's 12 and a half.
- the 2004 Ryder Cup was won by Europe 18 and a half to USA's 9 and a half.
- the 2006 Ryder Cup was won by Europe again 18 and a half to USA's 9 and a half
- the 2008 Ryder Cup and last this decade was won by USA 16 and a half to Europe's 11 and a half.
- 2003 Rugby World Cup - host Australia (winner England defeated Australia)
- 2007 Rugby World Cup - host France (winner South Africa defeated England)
- 2011 Rugby World Cup - host New Zealand
- Roger Federer wins 16 grand slam titles (4 Australian Open titles, 1 French Open title, 6 Wimbledon titles, and 5 U.S. Open titles) to beat Pete Sampras' record.
- Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer at the 2008 Wimbledon final with a score of 6-4,6-4,6-7(5),6-7(8),9-7. People consider this match the greatest tennis match of all-time. The match lasted for 8 hours (with 2 rain delays).
- Roger Federer played Andy Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon final for his 15th Grand Slam championship. Roddick won the first set 6-4, then after a 6-2 Roddick tiebreak lead, Federer came back and won the 2nd set 7-6 and the 3rd set 7-6. Roddick then won the 4th set 6-3. Federer led Roddick 15-14 in the 5th set, finally broke Roddick and won the 5th set 16-14.
- At the Wimbledon Championships 2010, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut completed the longest tennis match in history. Isner won 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7), 7–6(3), 70–68.
- F1-Michael Schumacher wins World Championship for the third time at Suzuka, Japan 2000 in a Ferrari F1-2000, Ferrari's first driver's championship in 21 years
- Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (Dale Earnhardt) passes away after a last-lap crash during the Daytona 500 in February 2001
- Michael Phelps won six gold medals in the 2004 Olympics, and a record eight in the 2008 Olympics (some of those medals coming from split-second wins). Meanwhile back in the 2000 games, Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson got a bronze medal each after they made a 1 in a million occurrence of finishing the race both at exactly the same time.
- 2000 Super Bowl XXXIV - St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans
- 2001 Super Bowl XXXV - Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Giants
- 2002 Super Bowl XXXVI - New England Patriots defeated the St Louis Rams
- 2003 Super Bowl XXXVII - Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders
- 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII - New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers
- 2005 Super Bowl XXXIX - New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles
- 2006 Super Bowl XL - Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks
- 2007 Super Bowl XLI - Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears
- 2008 Super Bowl XLII - New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots
- 2009 Super Bowl XLIII - Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals
- 2010 Super Bowl XLIV - New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts
National Hockey League
- 2000 Stanley Cup - New Jersey Devils defeated the Dallas Stars
- 2001 Stanley Cup - Colorado Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils
- 2002 Stanley Cup - Detroit Red Wings defeated the Carolina Hurricanes
- 2003 Stanley Cup - New Jersey Devils defeated the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
- 2004 Stanley Cup - Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames
- 2005 Stanley Cup - Season cancelled due to labour dispute
- 2006 Stanley Cup - Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Edmonton Oilers
- 2007 Stanley Cup - Anaheim Ducks defeated the Ottawa Senators
- 2008 Stanley Cup - Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins
- 2009 Stanley Cup - Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings
- 2010 Stanley Cup - Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers
Business and industry
- Music Industry: The early 21st century has had a profound impact on the condition of music distribution. Recent advents in digital technology have fundamentally altered industry and marketing practices as well as players in unusual rapidity.
- Many American auto brands have been phased out such as Plymouth by Chrysler in 2001 and Oldsmobile by General Motors in 2004. General Motors will also be phasing out Pontiac as well as Saturn by 2010. There has been speculation that Mercury by Ford could be phased out in the near future.
- The financial crisis of 2007–2010 continues to affect the worldwide economy.
Issues and concerns
There are several points-of-view pertaining to the following items, all of which should be considered accordingly.
Issues that have been frequently discussed and debated so far in this century include:
- Globalization. Advances in telecommunications and transportation, the expansion of capitalism and democracy, and free trade agreements have resulted in unprecedented global economic and cultural integration. This has caused (and is continuing to cause) economic and cultural shifts which have been the subject of considerable controversy.
- Overpopulation. The United Nations estimates that world population will reach 9.2 billion by mid-century. Such growth raises questions of ecological sustainability and creates many economic and political disruptions. In response, many countries have adopted policies which either force or encourage their citizens to have fewer children, and others have limited immigration. Considerable debate exists over what the ultimate carrying capacity of the planet may be; whether or not population growth containment policies are necessary; to what degree growth can safely occur thanks to increased economic and ecological efficiency; and how distribution mechanisms should accommodate demographic shifts. Evidence suggests that developed countries (such as Japan) suffer population implosion, and the population debate is strongly tied with discussions about the distribution of wealth.
- Abortion. Debates between "Pro-choice" and "Pro-life" factions on the controversial procedure continue. The approximate number of induced abortions performed worldwide in 2003 was 42 million.
- Gay rights are a major political issue in many places, with same sex marriage being legalized in several jurisdictions during the first decade of the century, but outlawed by constitutional amendment in other places. Meanwhile, some countries such as Uganda moved to toughen their laws against any sort of homosexual behavior. Political battles over pro- or anti-gay legislation provoked much activism in the streets and on the Internet.
- Dysgenics. Due to the negative correlation between fertility and intelligence, human genetic integrity may be deteriorating, lowering the intellectual capacity of the average human.
- Poverty. Poverty remains the root cause of many of the world's other ills, including famine, disease, and insufficient education. Poverty contains many self-reinforcing elements (for instance, poverty can make education an unaffordable luxury, which tends to result in continuing poverty) that various aid groups hope to rectify in this century. Microcredit lending has also started to gain a profile as a useful anti-poverty tool.
- Disease. AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria each kill over a million people annually. HIV remains without a cure or vaccine, and is growing rapidly in India and much of the African continent. Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern for organisms such as tuberculosis. Other diseases, such as SARS, ebola, and flu variations, are also causes for concern. The World Health Organization has warned of a possible coming flu pandemic resulting from bird flu mutations. In 2009, the outbreak of swine flu its country of origin is still unknown.
- War and terrorism. Active conflicts continue around the world, including civil wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the largest war since World War II), Chechnya, Côte d'Ivoire, Somalia, Senegal, Colombia, and Sudan (mainly in Darfur). The 9/11 terrorist attacks triggered invasions of Afghanistan and partially and controversially Iraq. The War on Terrorism has seen controversies over civil liberties, accusations of torture, continued terrorist attacks and ongoing instability, violence, and military occupation. Violence continues in the Arab–Israeli conflict. Considerable concern remains about nuclear proliferation, especially in Iran and North Korea, and the availability of weapons of mass destruction to rogue groups.
- Global warming. Climate scientists have postulated that the earth is currently undergoing significant anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming.  The resulting economic and ecological costs are hard to predict. Some scientists argue that human-induced global warming risks considerable losses in biodiversity and ecosystem services unless considerable sociopolitical changes are introduced, particularly in patterns of mass consumption and transportation. Others, however, doubt or deny human influence and counter-action were in effect significant, or question whether global warming will actually be a significant detriment to the planet.
- Power in international relations. Issues surrounding the cultural, economic, and military dominance of the United States and its role in the world community have become even more pointed given its recent military activities, problematic relations with the United Nations, disagreement over several international treaties, and its economic policies with regard to globalization. Integration of the European Union and the African Union have proceeded.
- Intellectual property. The increasing popularity of digital formats for entertainment media such as movies and music, and the ease of copying and distributing it via the Internet and peer-to-peer networks, has raised concerns in the media industry about copyright infringement. Much debate is proceeding about the proper bounds between protection of copyright, trademark and patent rights versus fair use and the public domain, where some argue that such laws have shifted greatly towards intellectual property owners and away from the interests of the general public in recent years, while others say that such legal change is needed to deal with a perceived threat of new technologies against the rights of authors and artists (or, as others put it, against the outmoded business models of the current entertainment industry). Domain name "cybersquatting" and access to patented drugs and generics to combat epidemics in third-world countries are other IP concerns.
- Technology developments show no sign of ending. Communications and control technology continues to augment the intelligence of individual humans, collections of humans, and machines. Cultures are forced into the position of sharply defining humanity and determining boundaries on desire, thought, communication, behavior, and manufacturing. Some, notably Ray Kurzweil, have predicted that by the middle of the century there will be a Technological Singularity if artificial intelligence that outsmart humans is created. If these AIs then create even smarter AIs technological change could accelerate in ways that are impossible for us to foresee. (However, gradual and simultaneous use of AI technology to increase our own intelligence might prevent this from ever occurring.)
- Fossil fuels are becoming scarce and more expensive, due to the escalating demand for petroleum ("oil") and oil-based products such as gasoline and kerosene, unmatched by production. Discovery of new oil fields has not been sufficient to sustain current levels of production, and some fear that the earth may be running out of economically viable oil, pressing for alternatives. As Agrofuel, one possible alternative, yields further hazards for the environment and endangers food security, debate is far from over.
- NATO–Russia relations seem to remain strained as the "Western Alliance" and NATO square off with Russia and other nations over international policy and the future of the ex-Soviet sphere. An Eastern Europe Missile Defense Shield, military and social conflicts in former Yugoslavia and the Caucasus (particularly Georgia and Chechnya), fossil fuel infrastructures like the Nabucco pipeline and the future of nuclear arsenals are among the topics that have strained the relations between the two sides with eerie reminders reminiscent of the Cold War.
Astronomical events (passed or to come) in the 21st century
List of the long total solar eclipses
- Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009, saros 136, 6 min 38.8 s. The longest of the century.
- Solar eclipse of August 2, 2027, of 6 min 23 s, saros 136.
- Solar eclipse of August 12, 2045, of 6 min 06 s, saros 136.
- Solar eclipse of August 24, 2063, of 5 min 49 s, saros 136.
- Solar eclipse of May 11, 2078, of 5 min 40 s, saros 139.
- Solar eclipse of May 22, 2096, of 6 min 07 s, saros 139.
- Wednesday, May 7, 2003: Transit of Mercury, the first of this century.
- Wednesday, August 27, 2003: Closed approach of Mars, closest since the middle Paleolithic.
- Tuesday, June 8, 2004: First transit of Venus for 122 years.
- November 8, 2006: Transit of Mercury.
- December 23, 2007: grand conjunction a galactic conjunction which happens every 26,000 years.
- 2009: Triple conjunction Jupiter–Neptune.
- 2010/2011: Triple conjunction Jupiter-Uranus.
- July 12, 2011: Neptune completes its first orbit since its discovery on September 23, 1846.
- Wednesday, June 6, 2012: Transit of Venus to occur a second time (and last time) this century.
- May 9, 2016: Transit of Mercury.
- Monday, August 21, 2017  : First total solar eclipse of the 21st century for the United States, and the first visible in the continental US since February 26, 1979 .
- November 11, 2019: Transit of Mercury.
- 2024 (plus or minus 5 years): Next predicted return of Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks.
- 2025/2026: Triple conjunction Saturn-Neptune.
- Friday, April 13, 2029: The asteroid 99942 Apophis (previously better known by its provisional designation 2004 MN4) will pass within 30,000 km (18,600 mi) of the Earth.
- November 13, 2032: Transit of Mercury.
- 2037/2038: Triple conjunction Jupiter-Uranus.
- November 7, 2039: Transit of Mercury.
- 2041/2042: Triple conjunction Mars-Uranus.
- October 1, 2044: Occultation of Regulus by Venus. The last was on July 7, 1959. After 2044, the next occultation of Regulus by Venus would occur on July 22, 3126, although some sources claim it will occur again on October 6, 2271.
- 2047/2048: Triple conjunction Jupiter-Neptune.
- May 7, 2049: Transit of Mercury.
- November 9, 2052: Transit of Mercury.
- July 2061: Next return of Halley's Comet.
- 2063: Triple conjunction Mars-Uranus.
- November 11, 2065: Transit of Mercury.
- November 22, 2065: At 12:45 UTC, Venus will occult Jupiter. This event will be the first occultation of a planet by another since January 3, 1818. This event will be very difficult to observe, because the elongation of Venus and Jupiter from the Sun on that date will be only 7 degrees.
- 2066: Triple conjunction Jupiter-Uranus.
- July 15, 2067: At 11:56 UTC, Mercury will occult Neptune. This rare event will be very difficult to observe, because of the constant low elongation of Mercury from the Sun, and the magnitude of Neptune always under the limit of visibility with the naked eye.
- 2071/2072: Triple conjunction Mars-Neptune.
- November 14, 2078: Transit of Mercury.
- 2079: Triple conjunction Saturn-Uranus.
- August 11, 2079: At 01:30 UTC, Mercury will occult Mars.
- Friday, November 10, 2084: Transit of Earth as seen from Mars, the first and the only one in this century.
- November 7, 2085: Transit of Mercury.
- 2085/2086: Triple conjunction Jupiter-Neptune.
- October 27, 2088: At 13:43 UTC, Mercury will occult Jupiter.
- 2088/2089: Triple conjunction Mars-Neptune.
- 2093: Triple conjunction Jupiter-Uranus.
- April 7, 2094: At 10:48 UTC, Mercury will occult Jupiter.
- May 8, 2095: Transit of Mercury.
- November 10, 2098: Transit of Mercury.
Pop cultural references to the remaining years of the 21st century
- 2012 – Many people believe the world will undergo a great transformation on December 21, 2012. The exact nature of the transformation is not agreed on, but this Doomsday Prediction is the most-known doomsday theories so far, making the date highly anticipated and watched. This originated with the idea of that date being the end of the Mayan calendar.
- 2036 – An asteroid (Apophis) was initially believed to have a chance of impacting Earth in 2029. With further study, this possibility was ruled out; however, there is a chance that Apophis will pass close to the earth, altering its path to impact the Earth in 2036. The chances of this occurring are estimated at 1 in 250,000.
Television and film
- WALL-E has mentioned the earth overcoming mass consumerism and toxicty levels rising in the 21st century.
- t.A.T.u Video Beliy Plaschik Is set "Sometime in the 21st century"
- The new series of Doctor Who which began in 2005 depicts many fictional events that take place in the 21st century.
- The television series seaQuest DSV takes place between the years 2018 and 2032.
- In the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, a joint American-Soviet space expedition is sent to Jupiter in 2010.
- The Adult Swim series Sealab 2021 takes place in the year 2021.
- The events of Stargate SG-1 continue into the early 21st century.
- Stargate Atlantis is set in the early 21st century.
- The Transformers: The Movie: is set in the year 2005. The subsequent third season of the Transformers series takes place after the events of the movie.
- The Japanese anime show The Super Dimension Fortress Macross spans the years 1999 to 2012 (its final episode takes place in January 2012, and a direct to video epilogue featurette takes place in September 2012). Its prequel and sequels take place in 2008 (Macross Zero), 2040 (Macross Plus), 2045–2046 (Macross 7) and 2059 (Macross Frontier). A dramatized historical fiction movie about the First Space War, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?, premieres in 2031.
- The American cartoon show Robotech, composed from the footage of three unrelated anime series (including Macross, above) spans the years 1999 to 2015, 2030–2031 and 2044–2045.
- Part of the sequel Back to the Future Part II is set on October 21, 2015.
- The Japanese anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion is also set in 2015.
- The film Blade Runner takes place in November 2019.
- The cult series Dark Angel is set in 2019.
- The film Daybreakers is set in 2019
- The film The Running Man starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is set in 2019.
- Both parts of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Past Tense" take place in 2024.
- The dystopic sci-fi novel and film Metropolis takes place in 2027.
- The film Children of Men is set in 2027.
- The anime universe of Ghost in the Shell, its sequel Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, and anime television series based on the same premise (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG), are centered somewhere around 2029.
- The Terminator is set up during the early years of the 21st century in terms of the wars between humans & Skynet. Some of the intervening years are dealt with by the two sequels, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, with the whole franchise building to a conclusion of the War in 2029.
- The 2002 version of The Time Machine has scenes that take place in the 2030 and 2037 NYC.
- The Doctor Who story The Enemy of the World is set in Australia in 2030.
- The comedy series Time Trumpet is set in 2031, and "looks back on" the first 30 years of the 21st century.
- The anime OAV series Bubblegum Crisis (2032–33), its sequel Bubblegum Crash (2034), and its TV-series re-imagining Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 (2040).
- Demolition Man is set in 2032.
- I, Robot was set in 2035.
- Deep space vessel Event Horizon was sent to test an artificial wormhole (black hole) in deep space in the year 2040. The lost ship is found 7 years later by a rescue team on board the ship Lewis and Clark on low orbit around the planet Neptune.
- The Outward Urge has a major nuclear war in 2044 and the first manned landing on Mars in 2094.
- Bollywood movie Love Story 2050 was partly set in 2050.
- Minority Report was set in April 2054.
- World War III ends in 2053 according to Star Trek: First Contact, with 600,000,000 dead and most major cities destroyed.
- The 1998 remake of Lost in Space was set in 2058.
- Most of Star Trek: First Contact takes place in 2063. In Star Trek canon, the human Zefram Cochrane develops faster-than-light travel and makes first contact with an alien race during this year.
- Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is set in 2065.
- The Doctor Who story The Moonbase is set in 2070.
- The Japanese anime show Cowboy Bebop is set in 2071.
- The Nicktoon My Life as a Teenage Robot is set in 2072.
- Equilibrium is set in 2072.
- The Doctor Who story Day of the Daleks is set in 2073, albeit in an alternative timeline.
- The film Total Recall, and the Doctor Who story Warriors of the Deep are set in 2084.
- In Star Trek: Insurrection, it is discovered that the Ba'ku moved to the Briar Patch at some point in this century.
- The Jetsons is supposed to take place in the late 21st century.
- Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and its sequels takes place in the years 2049–2054.
- The final episode of The X-Files sets December 22, 2012 as the date for alien colonization.
- The CGI animated series Cubix: Robots for Everyone takes place in 2040.
- The Doctor Who story The Seeds of Death is set in 2090.
- The Doctor Who story Nightmare of Eden is set in 2096.
- The events of Leprechaun 4: In Space takes place in 2096.
- The 2008 Disney Channel movie Minutemen is based between the dates September 3, 2005 and September 8, 2008.
- The tagline of Torchwood series one is: "The 21st century is when everything changes. And we have to be ready." In series two, the second sentence changes to: "And Torchwood is ready."
- The 2008 film Repo! The Genetic Opera is set in the year 2056. Plastic surgery and a fictional pain-killing drug known as Zydrate are commonplace as fashion statements and addictions.
- The events of the Sci-Fi anime Planetes is set in the year 2075.
- The 2009 disaster film 2012 takes place in the year 2012. It is based on an end of the world event on December 21, 2012.
Computer and video games
- The events of Metal Gear Solid take place in 2005, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty takes places in the years 2007 (Tanker Chapter) and 2009 (Big Shell Chapter), and the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots take place in 2014.
- Duke Nukem 3D is set in the early 21st century and contains evidence (such as calendars) that suggest it is more specifically set in October or December 2007
- Uplink is set on the internet of the year 2010.
- Perfect Dark Zero is set in 2020 and Perfect Dark is set in 2023.
- The races in San Francisco Rush 2049 take place in 2049.
- The events of Deus Ex take place in 2052.
- The levels "Breaking and Entering" and "You Genius, U-Genix" in TimeSplitters: Future Perfect take place in 2052.
- System Shock is set in 2072.
- Future Cop: LAPD takes place in the year 2098.
- The discovery of the Zohar in Xenosaga takes place in 20XX.
- The events of Ace Combat 4 take place in 2008
- The Great War of the Fallout universe starts on October 23, 2077; nuclear bombs are launched, nobody knows who the aggressor was.
- The events of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne occur in 20XX.
- In Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, the 2nd Korean War starts early in this century.
- Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, takes place sometime around between 2008 and 2010.
- The Mega Man Classic series takes place sometime in the 21st century, represented as 20XX.
- The MegaMan Battle Network series takes place in 20XX.
- The arcade game Robotron: 2084 takes place in the year 2084.
- One Must Fall: 2097 takes place in 2097.
- The Mr. Driller series (and Dig Dug: Digging Strike, a game in its related timeline) takes place in 20XX.
- The events of Half-Life takes place around 2000–2009.
- The events of Half-Life 2 and its expansion packs takes place around the early 2020s.
- The video game and cartoon 20X6 of Homestar Runner supposedly takes place in the seventh year of an unspecified decade in the 21st century.
- The nuclear holocaust of the AquaNox universe takes place in mid-21st century, followed by the massive exodus of survivors underwater.
- Trauma Center: Under the Knife and Trauma Center: Second Opinion take place in 2018, when AIDS and cancer supposedly have cures.
- The events of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow takes place in this time; specifically 2035. The sequel, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow takes place one year later, in 2036. These are the only two Castlevania titles to have taken place beyond the early to mid 20th century thus far.
- The events of Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Drift and Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Drift 2 take place during 20XX, when Japanese highways have supposedly been opened as racing circuits.
- The events of Namco × Capcom takes place during 20XX.
- In the Command & Conquer: Tiberian series, the 2nd Tiberium War between the Global Defense Initiative and the Brotherhood of Nod begins in 2030. The 3rd Tiberium War takes place 17 years later in 2047, which also sees the arrival of the Scrin to Earth.
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (GRAW 2) takes place in 2014
- The events of Grand Theft Auto IV take place in the fall of 2008.
- The fictional story line of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, supposedly takes place in 2016.
- The events that are set in the 'present' of both Assassin's Creed and Assassin's Creed 2 take place in the year 2012. The plot of both games builds toward a worldwide catastrophe prophesied to occur on December 21, 2012. See 2012 phenomenon
- Stinkoman 20X6, of Homestar Runner fame, takes place in the seventh year of an unspecified decade in the 21st century.
- Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: Odyssey Two and 2061: Odyssey Three.
- Tad Williams' Otherland series is set at some undefined point in the 21st century
- Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age is also set in the 21st century, after some disaster befell the centralized telephone network. This led people to build a decentralized network, which they used to transfer money, thus destroying normal methods of taxation and bringing down most large governments.
- Red Mars of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy begins in 2027.
- Some books by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are set in 21st century
- The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein takes place in 2075.
- Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix, is set in 2005–06, 2057, and mainly 2085.
Decades and years
Main Article: 2000s (decade)
- September 11, 2001 – Al-Qaeda terrorists hijack four aircraft in the US, and deliberately crash them; three of them reach their targets, two hit the WTC, another the Pentagon, with one more missing its target, a total of 3,000 people die from the attacks.
- December 26, 2004 – the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake killed up to 250,000 people.
- December, 2007 – the late-2000s recession begins, as the United States would see its biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
- June 11, 2009 – The 2009 flu pandemic begins - it was declared a pandemic less than two months into the spread by the World Health Organization.
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<ref>tag; name "preferMC" defined multiple times with different content
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- Reuters - The State of the World The story of the 21st century
- Long Bets Foundation to promote long-term thinking
- Long Now Long-term cultural institution
- Scientific American Magazine (September 2005 Issue) The Climax of Humanity
- http://www.futuretimeline.net - a timeline of the 21st century and beyond
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