30 Major Events From the Past 30 Years

Highland Highschool

AZ Central

Highland Highschool

Since Highland High School’s opening in 1993, there have been numerous events throughout the US and the world that have affected people everywhere. Events like 9/11, the Recession of 2008, and the COVID-19 Pandemic, have created problems and pain for many businesses, governments, and households. However, through it all, Highland High has been able to stand and thrive for the past 30 years. From horrible hurricanes to incredible scientific discoveries, Highland High School has been a safe place for every student. Let’s look into some of these important events since the opening of our beloved school.

1993: Bill Clinton becomes the 42nd President and Al Gore becomes Vice President. The infamous “Storm of the Century” strikes the Eastern Seaboard, with blizzard conditions and severe weather, killing 300 people and causing $6 billion in damage.

1994: The Northridge earthquake kills 72 and injures 9,000 in the Los Angeles area, and causes $20 billion in damage. The North American Free Trade Agreement also goes into effect.

1995: The Oklahoma City bombing that kills 168 and wounds 800. A heat wave kills 739 in Chicago, bringing to attention the plight of the urban poor and the elderly in extreme weather conditions.

1996: TWA Flight 800 explodes off Long Island killing all 230 aboard. In addition, the Khobar Towers bombing leaves 19 U.S. servicemen dead in Saudi Arabia.

1997: President Clinton and Vice President Gore begin their second terms.

1998: In the 1998 United States elections, the Republicans held both the House and the Senate.

1999: The U.S. prepares for the possible effects of the Y2K bug in computers, which was feared to cause computers to become inoperable and wreak havoc. 

2000: This year includes the U.S. presidential election in which the initial result was inconclusive, and the result in Florida is disputed. George W. Bush is certified president after a Supreme Court ruling. Vice President Al Gore wins the nationwide popular vote but loses the electoral college.

2001:  The September 11 attacks occur; 19 terrorists hijacked four planes and crash them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania

2002: The Department of Homeland Security is created in the wake of the September 11 attacks as well as the United States withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

2003:  Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates upon re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts and resulting in a 29-month suspension of the Space Shuttle program.

2004:  The social networking website Facebook is launched. This is very important to our social and online technology and still stands today.

2005: Hurricane Katrina devastates the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama coastlines, killing at least 1,836 people and causing $81 billion in damage, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

2006: The Democratic Party retakes control of both houses of Congress, and gains a majority of state governorships.

2007: This year the first iPhone is released for sale in the U.S., and the late-2000s recession officially begins in December.

2008:  A global financial crisis begins as the stock market crashes. In response, U.S. President George W. Bush signed the revised Emergency Economic Stabilization Act into law to create a $700 billion Treasury fund to purchase failing bank assets. Barack Obama is elected president, and Joe Biden as vice president.

2009 – President Obama becomes the 44th President Of the United States. He was also the first Black president of the US. Also, 2009 marks the end of the Gaza War, a three-week-long conflict from 2008 to 2009 between Palestinian military groups and Israeli defense forces. Lastly, in June of this year a Swine flu outbreak in North America, which eventually turned into a pandemic.

2010- On April 20 of 2010, The largest oil spill in US history occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 of the oil workers. Also, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai became the tallest structure in the world, and the iPad was finally introduced.

2011-  On May 2, Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist group al Qaeda, is shot dead by United States Navy SEALs in Pakistan. The world population officially reached 7 billion people.

2012-  Barack Obama wins a second term as President of the United States, and the US rover, Curiosity, took a selfie on Mars and found evidence of an ancient streambed of water on the Red Planet.

2013-  Typhoon Haiyan killed nearly 6,150 people in Vietnam and the Philippines, The Euromaidan protest began in Ukraine, and Terrorist attacks occurred in Boston and Nairobi.

2014- ISIS begins its offensive in northern Iraq, leading to intervention in Iraq and Syria by a US-led coalition., December 16: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan kills over 130 students in Pakistan.

2015- Scientists find evidence of possible liquid water on Mars, and The Supreme Court of the United States determines that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

2016- In  September, TikTok is officially launched. On November 4, The Paris Agreement formally goes into effect. This was an agreement signed by 195 countries to work to reverse global warming and drop the global temperature by 2 degrees. On November 8, Donald Trump wins the 2016 presidential election against Hillary Clinton.

2017- There were many natural disasters and hurricanes including Hurricane Harvey, which killed 107 and became the costliest hurricane in US history, as well as Hurricane Irma, killing 134, and Hurricane Maria, killing 3,059. Also, tensions between North Korea and the UN escalate as the country tests a hydrogen bomb and conducts a series of ballistic missile tests. The UN responds with a wave of export sanctions.

2018- In 2018,  The northern white rhinoceros becomes functionally extinct, and the China–United States trade war begins.

2019-  In this year, the Event Horizon Telescope takes the first-ever image of a black hole, at the core of galaxy Messier 87. In November, the first cases of COVID-19 emerged.

2020-  In 2020, Covid-19 is officially declared a pandemic. Joe Biden wins the presidential election against Donald Trump, and the US signs a peace agreement with the Taliban.

2021- There are many breakthroughs in science, including the first direct observation of light from behind a black hole and a Mars 2020 mission landing on Mars at Jezero Crater, after seven months of travel. Also, President Biden officially makes Juneteenth a federal holiday to commemorate the emancipation of slaves.

2022- On February 24, Russia invades Ukraine. Also in this year, Elon Musk purchases Twitter and the AI engine, ChatGPT, was created.

2023- Because 2023 is not finished, there have been fewer important events than in other years so far. On May 5, COVID-19 was officially declared no longer a global health emergency, Russia has continued to invade Ukraine, and the 5th largest Earthquake of the 21st century hit Turkey and Syria.

Highland High School has been a safe and secure place for 30 whole years for all students and staff. It is fascinating and somewhat crazy to see events in the world happening as this school was standing. By all accounts, Highland will continue to endure all events and challenges through the years.