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Bicyclists pedal past Crissy Field with the Golden (Credit: Getty Images)

Bicyclists pedal past Crissy Field with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background as they begin stage two of the Amgen Tour of California from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. (May 14, 2012)

Memorable anniversaries in 2012

A look at key historical and memorable events dating back five, 10, 50, 100 years and more.

ONE YEAR AGO ... Earthquake, tsunami devastate Japan
(Credit: Getty Images)

ONE YEAR AGO ...

Earthquake, tsunami devastate Japan

On March 11, 2011, an 9.0 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter off the northeastern coast of Japan rocked the Miyagi prefecture and triggered a massive tsunami that devastated the country. Following the quake, the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which was severely damaged by the tsunami, underwent a complete nuclear meltdown. Above, firemen check through debris for missing people in Minamisanriku, Miyagi, 11 days after the disaster.

(March 22, 2011)

ONE YEAR AGO ... The Royal Wedding On
(Credit: Clarence House via Getty Images)

ONE YEAR AGO ...

The Royal Wedding

On April 29, 2011, the royal wedding of Britain's Prince William to Catherine Middleton was held at London's Westminster Abbey. Their much-anticipated nuptials were aired across hundreds of countries with ratings peaking at about 60 million viewers in the United States alone.

(April 29, 2011)

ONE YEAR AGO ... Osama bin Laden killed
(Credit: Getty Images)

ONE YEAR AGO ...

Osama bin Laden killed

On May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2011, attacks, was killed in a firefight with American forces. The al-Qaida leader had been hidden away in a lavish, custom-built hideout in Pakistan.

(May 2, 2011)

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FIVE YEARS AGO ... Tragic shooting at Virginia
(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

FIVE YEARS AGO ...

Tragic shooting at Virginia Tech

On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Chung, a senior English major, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 25 others on the campus of Virginia Tech. Above, people gather to pay their respects on campus three days after the massacre.

(April 19, 2007)

FIVE YEARS AGO ... Last 'Harry Potter' book
(Credit: Getty Images)

FIVE YEARS AGO ...

Last 'Harry Potter' book published

On July 21, 2007, the final book of the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” was released. The seventh and final book sold 11 million copies in the first 24 hours. Above, a Borders customer walks by a sign advertising the new book in San Francisco, Calif. (July 19, 2007)

FIVE YEARS AGO ... Minnesota's I-35W bridge collapses
(Credit: MCT)

FIVE YEARS AGO ...

Minnesota's I-35W bridge collapses

On Aug. 1, 2007, the I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis, Minn., collapsed during the evening rush, killing 13 people and injuring nearly 150 others. Above, a rescue worker enters a car in the water to search for a victim.

(Aug. 1, 2007)

FIVE YEARS AGO ... Dow closes at an
(Credit: Getty Images)

FIVE YEARS AGO ...

Dow closes at an all-time high

On Oct. 9, 2007, The Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high -- 14,164.53. Above, traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan.

(Oct. 9, 2007)

FIVE YEARS AGO ... Mitchell Report released On
(Credit: Getty Images)

FIVE YEARS AGO ...

Mitchell Report released

On Dec. 13, 2007, a report spearheaded by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell was released, which detailed the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Major League baseball players. The 409-page report named 89 players who were alleged to have used steroids and other PEDs. Above, from left, trainer Brian McNamee, investigator Charlie Scheeler and pitcher Roger Clemens raise their right hands as they are sworn in to testify before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.

(Feb. 13, 2008)

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10 YEARS AGO ... Daniel Pearl kidnapped, killed
(Credit: AP)

10 YEARS AGO ...

Daniel Pearl kidnapped, killed

On Jan. 23, 2002, Daniel Pearl, a journalist for The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped in Pakistan while investigating alleged links between the “shoe bomber” Richard Reid and al-Qaida. He was held hostage by militants and beheaded nine days later. Above, a photo obtained by news organizations of Daniel Pearl while he was held captive.

(Jan. 30, 2002)

10 YEARS AGO ... Bush delivers 'Axis of
(Credit: AP)

10 YEARS AGO ...

Bush delivers 'Axis of Evil' speech

On Jan. 29, 2002, President George W. Bush coined the term “Axis of evil” in his State of the Union speech to describe nations such as Iran, Iraq and North Korea, as those that supported terrorism and sought weapons of mass destruction.

(Jan. 29, 2002)

10 YEARS AGO ... Queen Elizabeth mourned On
(Credit: AP)

10 YEARS AGO ...

Queen Elizabeth mourned

On April 9, 2002, funeral services were held for Queen Elizabeth, known as The Queen Mother. Above, Queen Elizabeth II, second from left, follows the coffin of her mother after a funeral service in Westminster Abbey.

(April 9, 2002)

10 YEARS AGO ... 'D.C. snipers' arrested On
(Credit: AP)

10 YEARS AGO ...

'D.C. snipers' arrested

On Oct. 24, 2002, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, suspects in the D.C.-area sniper attacks, were arrested after they were found sleeping in their car at a rest stop in Maryland. During their three-week shooting spree, 10 people were killed and several others were critically injured. Above, Muhammad and Malvo are seen in a family photo in Louisiana.

20 YEARS AGO ... President Bush gets ill
(Credit: AP)

20 YEARS AGO ...

President Bush gets ill in Japan

On Jan. 8, 1992, President George H. W. Bush was attending a state dinner at the home of Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa when he became ill and vomited on the prime minister before fainting. Above, an image taken from video coverage of the event.

(Jan. 8, 1992)

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20 YEARS AGO ... Jeffrey Dahmer found guilty
(Credit: AP)

20 YEARS AGO ...

Jeffrey Dahmer found guilty

On Feb. 15, 1992, a court in Milwaukee, Wis., sentenced serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer to life in prison. Dahmer, pictured above entering court during his trial, admitted killing 17 young men and boys. He later was beaten to death by a fellow inmate in prison.

(Jan. 30, 1992)

20 YEARS AGO ... Los Angeles race riots
(Credit: Getty Images)

20 YEARS AGO ...

Los Angeles race riots

On April 29, 1992, a jury acquitted three police officers accused of beating Rodney King the year before. Days of race riots led to numerous deaths, fires and hundreds of millions in damages. The National Guard, U.S. Army and Marines were eventually called in to calm the masses.

(April 30, 1992)

20 YEARS AGO ... Summer, Winter Olympics held
(Credit: AP)

20 YEARS AGO ...

Summer, Winter Olympics held together for last time

In 1992, the Summer and Winter Olympics were held in the same year for the last time. Six years earlier, the International Olympic Committee voted to hold games in alternating, even-numbered years, which began in 1994. For the United States, Kristi Yamaguchi won gold in figure skating at the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France. Later that year in Barcelona, Spain, the Summer Games were highlighted by the “Dream Team" -- a collection of NBA stars that dominated the basketball tournament en route to gold. Above, basketball star Magic Johnson celebrates the gold medal.

(Aug. 8, 1992)

25 YEARS AGO ... Reagan's famous 'Tear down
(Credit: REUTERS/UPI)

25 YEARS AGO ...

Reagan's famous 'Tear down this wall!' speech

On June 12, 1987, at the Brandenburg Gate in Germany, President Ronald Reagan challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall," -- referring to the Berlin Wall -- during a celebration to honor the 750th anniversary of Berlin. On Nov. 9, 1989, the wall came down.

(June 12, 1987)

25 YEARS AGO ... 'Baby Jessica' rescued from
(Credit: AP)

25 YEARS AGO ...

'Baby Jessica' rescued from well

On Oct. 16, 1987, “Baby Jessica” McClure was rescued from a well in Midland, Texas, after falling down it 58 hours earlier. Her story drew national, round-the-clock coverage and was later made into a TV movie. McClure, who was 18 months old at the time of the incident, has no firsthand memory of the event.

(Oct. 16, 1987)

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25 YEARS AGO ... World population hits 5
(Credit: AP )

25 YEARS AGO ...

World population hits 5 billion

In 1987, the approximate world population hit 5 billion people. It is estimated that the world reached 1 billion people in 1804, and recently hit the 7-billion mark in October of 2011. Above, a file photo of pedestrians packing a street in Bangladesh.

(Aug. 5, 1994)

50 YEARS AGO ... John Glenn orbits the
(Credit: AP )

50 YEARS AGO ...

John Glenn orbits the Earth

On Feb. 20, 1962, astronaut John Glenn orbited the Earth on Friendship 7, becoming the first American to do so. His mission lasted nearly 5 hours and he circled the Earth three times.

(Feb. 20, 1962)

50 YEARS AGO ... First Kmart opens in
(Credit: AP)

50 YEARS AGO ...

First Kmart opens in Michigan

On March 1, 1962, S.S. Kresge Corp. opened the first Kmart store in Garden City, Mich. -- just months before the first Walmart opened in Arkansas. Eighteen more stores opened that year and more than a thousand others followed. Today, it is the third-largest discount store behind Wal-Mart and Target. Above, an undated file photo of the first Kresge store in downtown Detroit, Mich.

50 YEARS AGO ... Wilt Chamberlain's historic 100-point
(Credit: AP)

50 YEARS AGO ...

Wilt Chamberlain's historic 100-point game

On March 2, 1962, NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a game against the Knicks. Above, Chamberlain holds a sign reading "100" in the dressing room following his big game in Hershey, Pa.

(March 2, 1962)

50 YEARS AGO ... Rolling Stones debut in
(Credit: AP)

50 YEARS AGO ...

Rolling Stones debut in London

On July 12, 1962, the Rolling Stones played their first gig at the Marquee Club in London. Led by vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, the group would go on to become one of most popular rock bands of all time. Above, the Stones eat lunch at London's Savoy Hotel.

(Sept. 12, 1964)

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50 YEARS AGO ... Marilyn Monroe dies On
(Credit: Newsday/Tom Maguire)

50 YEARS AGO ...

Marilyn Monroe dies

On Aug. 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe -- one of the most iconic actresses of all time -- was found dead in her home at the age of 36. The Los Angeles Coroners office recorded the cause of death as "acute barbiturate poisoning" resulting from a "probable suicide." Above, Marilyn Monroe visits New York for the start of construction of the Time Life Building in Rockefeller Center.

(July 2, 1957)

50 YEARS AGO ... Cuban Missile Crisis On
(Credit: UPI Telephoto)

50 YEARS AGO ...

Cuban Missile Crisis

On Oct. 14, 1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis began. It was that day when a U.S. Air Force plane captured photographic evidence of Soviet Union bases under construction in Cuba. Above, then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy confer at the White House as the Cuban Missile Crisis was developing.

75 YEARS AGO ... Golden Gate Bridge opens
(Credit: AP File)

75 YEARS AGO ...

Golden Gate Bridge opens in San Francisco

On May 27, 1937, San Francisco began a one-week celebration for the Golden Gate Bridge, which spans the San Francisco Bay. The bridge was heralded as an engineering marvel when it opened. It was the world's longest suspension span and had been built across a strait that critics said was too treacherous to be bridged.

(Oct. 25, 1935)

75 YEARS AGO ... Amelia Earhart disappears Famed
(Credit: AP)

75 YEARS AGO ...

Amelia Earhart disappears

Famed pilot Amelia Earhart, in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe with Fred Noonan, disappeared as their plane approached Howland Island, about 1,650 miles southwest of Hawaii on July 2, 1937. Several theories on what exactly happened to the plane have circulated, and her death remains a mystery. Earhart had been in the headlines for a better part of the decade, and had become the first woman to make a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932.

100 YEARS AGO ... Fenway Park is born
(Credit: Getty Images)

100 YEARS AGO ...

Fenway Park is born in Boston

On April 20, 1912, the first Major League baseball game was played at Boston's historic Fenway Park. The Red Sox defeated the New York Highlanders (later renamed the Yankees) 7-6 in 11 innings. It is the oldest MLB ballpark still in use.

(February, 1912)

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100 YEARS AGO ... The sinking of the
(Credit: AP)

100 YEARS AGO ...

The sinking of the Titanic

In the late hours of April 14, 1912, the "unsinkable" British liner, the RMS Titanic, struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage from England to Manhattan. The massive ship sunk at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, killing more than 1,500 people.

200 YEARS AGO ... War of 1812 In
(Credit: choosemaryland.org)

200 YEARS AGO ...

War of 1812

In 1812, the United States and Great Britain were at war again -- 29 years after the end of the American Revolution. Britain's seizure of American ships and trade restrictions between the United States and France were among the reasons for the conflict. In June, James Madison became the first U.S. president to ask Congress to declare war. The war ended with the Treaty of Ghent in 1815. Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the war. Above, the remains of a cannon used to defend St. Michaels, Md., during the war.

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