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The 2010's - Economic Recovery
2010
January 19, 2010 - Scott Brown, a Republican reformer from Massachusetts, stuns the nation with an upset win for the special election Senate seat. He is the first Republican elected to the Senate from the state since 1972 and only Republican member of the Massachusetts Democratic congressional delegation.  His election puts a halt to the 60 seat Democratic super majority in the Senate and will prevent President Obama and the Democratic leadership from pushing legislation in future votes past a Republican filibuster.
                 
March 25, 2010 - The U.S. House of Representatives finalizes the Health Care legislation approved by the Senate, extending health benefits and insurance to most Americans. The legislation, the Affordable Care Act, passed on a partisan basis by the Democratic Majority, has caused a significant rift within the public, who disapproved of the bill, and is expected to test the Democratic Party's hold on both houses of Congress during the mid-term elections in November.
         
April 1, 2010 - The U.S. Census of 2010 is conducted, showing a 9.7% increase from the 2000 census for a total of 308,745,538 people.  The geographic center of the population is now 2.7 miles northeast of Plato, Missouri.
       
April 20, 2010 - A British Petroleum deep water oil rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the largest oil spill in the history of the United States, killing eleven workers, and devastating the environment.  It also severely damaged the fishing and tourism industries of gulf states.
                 
November 2, 2010 - With an impetus from the Tea Party movement to restore fiscal sanity to Congress and various state houses, Republican candidates win the majority of elections, taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives with a net gain of 63 seats, reducing the majority of Democrats in the Senate, and taking over many governorships and other legislative bodies. This tide was the biggest turnaround in Congressional seats since 1948, and many attribute the election to disfavor of Obama administration spending practices, including the Health Care legislation passed in March.
        
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2011
April 14, 2011 - Congress votes to pass the 2010-2011 budget after six months of negotiations, including $38 billion in fiscal year cuts. This vote was one of the first measures that showed the new dynamic of a U.S. House of Representatives in Republican hands that was focused, due to Tea Party member goals, to get the burgeoning federal deficit under control.

May 2, 2011 - Osama Bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and other locations and leader of the terrorist group, Al-Queda, is killed after ten years of pursuit by United States and coalition forces during a raid by U.S. Navy Seals on his hideout location in Pakistan.

July 21, 2011 - The final shuttle flight lands at the Kennedy Space Center, signifying the end of the NASA shuttle space program. The program, which began in 1981 and included 135 missions, was completed when the Shuttle Atlantis flew its final mission to the International Space Station.

September 17, 2011 - The first of many Occupy Wall Street protests begin in New York City, protesting the big money interests on Wall Street and their relationship to the recession and world economy.

December 15, 2011 - The war in Iraq is declared over when President Obama orders the last combat troops to leave the country.
     
2012
May 2, 2012 - At a New York auction house, the highest payment for a work of art, the Scream by Edwin March, is paid, costing $120 million dollars.

May 7, 2012 - The first licenses for cars without drivers is granted in the state of Nevada to Google.  Autonomous cars were first introduced in concept during the 1939 World's Fair in New York City in the General Motors exhibit Futurama by Norman Bel Geddes.  By September of 2012, three states had passed laws allowing such vehicles; Nevada, California, and Florida.

September 11, 2012 - Terrorist attack on a consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi kills four Americans, including Ambassador John C. Stevens, showing the continued fight against Islamic extremism had not abated after the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and deposing of dictators such as Muammar Gaddafi.

October 29, 2012 - Hurricane Sandy, taking an unusual track up the East Coast and coming to landfall on the New Jersey coast near Atlantic City and Long Island coasts of New York creates significant damage to coastal towns as well as the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island, to the estimated cost of $65.6 billion.  The hurricane, at its peak a Category 2 storm, was the largest storm in recorded history by diameter at 1,100 miles.

November 6, 2012 - President Barack Obama wins a significant victory, 332 electoral votes to 206, for his second term in office against Republican challenger and businessman Mitt Romney.  Congress remained status quo with divided government as the House of Representatives remained in Republican hands and the Senate in Democratic hands.
 
2013
February 12, 2013 - Using a 3-D printer and cell cultures, American scientists at Cornell University grow a living ear.

April 15, 2013 - Two bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring hundreds in a terrorism attack coordinated by two brothers associated with radical Islam.  The attack caused the shutdown of the city as police and federal officials searched and apprehended the suspects within four days of the attack.

May 17, 2013 - Congressional hearings begin on the IRS scandal of group targeting that began two years prior.  The Internal Revenue Service is accused of targeting conservative groups for additional scrutiny in tax status matters, including groups like the Tea Party, whose stances include lower taxes and smaller government, plus other patriotic and religious organizations.  This breach of protocol from a government agency where all U.S. citizens file taxes has caused concern from both Republican, Democrat, and independent political groups.

August 28, 2013 - One hundred thousand visitors throng to the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the 50th anniversary commemoration ceremony of Martin Luther King's “I Have a Dream" speech.  Speakers at the anniversary include two former presidents; Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and current President Barack Obama, the first African American to hold the office.  Nearly 250,000 people came to the original speech in 1963.

October 1, 2013 - The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, begins registering people for the expanded federal government health insurance program despite a variety of waivers and problems in implementing the cumbersome rules and regulations of the program.  Various states have decided to allow the federal government to run the exchanges for them, while some states and the District of Columbia set up their own exchanges to sell the policies.



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