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2011: A year in review


2011 Credit: (L to R) Osama bin Laden, Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, Derek Jeter. (Getty/amNY photo illustration)


Jan. 2
President Barack Obama signs The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act into law, guaranteeing $4.3 billion in federal health benefits to first responders in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Jan. 8
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and 18 others are shot in a Safeway parking lot near Tucson. Six people die. Suspected shooter Jared Loughner, 22, is later found incompetent to stand trial.

Jan. 14
Months of protests lead to Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali's resignation after a 23-year rule. It inspires the "Arab Spring" uprisings across the Middle East.

Jan. 17
Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs announces that he is taking a medical leave of absence for an undisclosed condition.

Jan. 20
Attorney General Eric Holder announces that 127 people associated with five mob families in Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and Italy are arrested.

Jan. 25
Obama proposes reducing the federal deficit by more than $400 billion in the next decade, in part by imposing a five-year freeze on discretionary spending.


Feb. 6
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers to their first Super Bowl trophy in 14 years, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. The AP later honors Rodgers as its Male Athlete of the Year.

Feb. 10
Verizon begins selling the iPhone 4, giving Apple's smart-phone users a choice of carriers for the first time and expanding the iPhone's availability to some 94 million more customers.

Feb. 11
Egyptians rejoice when Vice President Omar Suleiman announces that President Hosni Mubarak has relinquished control of the country to the military. A spokesman says that military rule will only be temporary.

Feb. 15
The first protests against Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi begin in Libya. Within four days, rebel opponents seize most of Benghazi, signaling an unprecedented threat to the head of state's 41-year rule.

Feb. 23
Two days after the megatrade that brought him to New York, Carmelo Anthony debuts for the Knicks in a 114-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Feb. 27
"The King's Speech" wins the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor awards at the Oscars.


March 2
Apple's Steve Jobs interrupts his medical leave to help unveil a new, 33% thinner iPad 2, with a starting price of $499. "We've been working on this product for a while and I didn't want to miss today," Jobs says.

March 7
Hollywood bad boy Charlie Sheen is fired from his leading role on "Two and a Half Men" after the 45-year-old actor publicly bad-mouths the No. 1 comedy's co-creator, Chuck Lorre.

March 11
A devastating earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale slams Japan, triggering a tsunami and mass evacuations. An estimated 16,000 people are killed.

March 12
NFL owners lock out players after collective-bargaining negotiations break down. Commissioner Roger Goodell helps resolve the impasse on July 25.

March 23
Above: Veteran of eight marriages, screen legend Elizabeth Taylor dies at the age of 79 in Los Angeles.
Above right: The City Council votes to name the Queensboro Bridge after former Mayor
Ed Koch.

March 26
Former New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro dies at the age of 75 from complications from multiple myeloma in Massachusetts.

March 31
Officials for the Bronx Zoo announce that they have captured a 20-inch poisonous cobra that had escaped from its cage.


April 6
Glenn Beck announces that he will leave his hugely popular Fox News show before the end of the year, following well-publicized feuds over the direction of the program. Beck's final show is June 30.

April 7
Mayor Michael Bloomberg succumbs to the firestorm surrounding Cathie Black, whom he had named New York City Schools chancellor three months earlier. Dennis Walcott replaces Black.

April 8
Sheen loses his #winning streak when he brings his one-man "Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour to Radio City Music Hall. Hecklers in the crowd boo the goddess-loving actor off stage on the first night.

April 17
The Knicks, playing in the postseason for the first time since 2004, open the first round against the Celtics. Boston sweeps the series in four games.

April 27
After years of battling "birthers" who claimed he was not born a U.S. citizen, President Barack Obama releases his birth certificate that proves he was born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961.

April 29
Prince William and commoner Kate Middleton tie the knot at London's Westminster Abbey in the most buzzed-about wedding of the year.


May 1
Navy Seals kill al-Qaida leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden during a raid of his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The U.S. later refuses to release photos of bin Laden's dead body for fear of backlash from extremists, and he is buried at sea.

May 5
President Barack Obama makes his first visit to Ground Zero as president, meeting with 9/11 victims' families and laying a wreath after bin Laden's death.

May 9
Ex-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, split after revelations that he had a love child with housekeeper Mildred Baena.

May 14
Then-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is arrested and accused of a sexual attack on a maid at midtown's Sofitel Hotel.

May 21
The world continues turning as usual despite warnings from Harold Camping that the globe will be destroyed in the Rapture.

May 22
An F-5 tornado flattens the town of Joplin, Mo., and leaves 160 people dead. It's the deadliest tornado in 60 years, and recovery costs could top $1 billion.

May 26
NYPD officers Kenneth Moreno, left, and Franklin Mata are acquitted of raping a woman in her East Village apartment in 2008.

May 24
After 25 years, Oprah Winfrey tapes the final episode of her award-winning daytime talk show. She tells viewers: "You and this show have been the greatest love of my life."

May 27
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens/Brooklyn) tweets a graphic picture of himself that he meant to send to a Washington State University student in a private message. He lies and says that his account was hacked. Weiner, who is married, eventually admits to several inappropriate exchanges and resigns on June 16.


June 8
The second section of the High Line, between West 20th and 30th streets, opens to the public. The park is expected to extend to 34th Street.

June 12
The Dallas Mavericks beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat for the NBA championship title, winning the series 4-2. Dirk Nowitzki is named the Finals MVP.

June 12
Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon," written by the creators of "South Park" and "Avenue Q," sweeps to victory with nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Director.

June 14
"Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" finally opens on Broadway after six postponed opening nights and several injured cast members. The show, costing approximately $70 million, has 182 preview performances, a Broadway record.

June 19
David Laffer shoots four people dead inside a Long Island pharmacy before stealing prescription drugs. The 33-year-old gunman later pleads guilty and is sentenced on Nov. 10 to four consecutive life sentences.

June 20
Five months after leaving MSNBC, TV news personality Keith Olbermann returns to the airwaves on Current TV.

June 24
New York becomes the sixth and largest state to legalize same-sex marriage. Four Republican senators join all but one Democrat in voting to approve the legislation, 33-29. It is quickly signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.


July 1
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is released from house arrest after prosecutors tell a Manhattan judge they are questioning the credibility of a hotel housekeeper accusing him of sexual assault.

July 1
Commissioner David Stern and NBA owners lock out players after both sides fail to reach a deal over league revenue, the salary cap and payroll luxury taxes.

July 5
Casey Anthony is found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. Anthony is convicted of lying to investigators, but is released 11 days later.

July 9
Yankee captain Derek Jeter slugs his way to 3,000 hits with a home run during a sterling 5-for-5 performance. Jeter is the first Yankee to reach the milestone.

July 10
After 168 years, British tabloid News of the World prints its final edition amid allegations that reporters hacked into voicemails of celebrities, politicians, the royal family - and at least one murder victim - for stories.

July 11
Eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky, of Borough Park, is kidnapped on the street. Levi Aron, 35, is arrested two days later and admits to dismembering Kletzky.

July 22
Anders Behring Breivik, 32, allegedly kills scores of people in two terror attacks in Norway - a car bombing and a shooting rampage.

July 23
Singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse is found dead in her home due to alcohol poisoning at 27.


Aug. 5
Days after Congress votes to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, Standard & Poor's downgrades the country's credit rating from AAA to AA+, citing concerns about the growing budget deficit.

Aug. 6
In the deadliest incident for U.S. troops during the 10-year war in Afghanistan, 30 Americans and eight Afghans die when their Chinook helicopter is shot down by insurgents.

Aug. 22
About 45,000 striking Verizon landline phone employees return to work without a contract after picketing for more than two weeks across nine states.

Aug. 23
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is overthrown as rebels sweep through Tripoli after six months of fighting. While Ghadafi is not present, rebel fighters rummage through his headquarters.

Aug. 23
A 5.8-magnitude earthquake strikes Virginia and is felt in more than a dozen states, including New York. The Washington Monument is one of many structures damaged across the East Coast.

Aug. 27
The MTA shuts down the subway system in anticipation of Hurricane Irene. It's a tropical storm upon arrival.

Aug. 31
Solar panel company Solyndra goes bankrupt, two years after getting $500 million in stimulus funds.


Sept. 8
New York Fashion Week kicks off with a splash, as stylistas take in the spring 2012 collections at Lincoln Center (FW headquarters) and elsewhere. Among the notable trends: athletic-inspired styles, cut-out detailing and modest hemlines.

Sept. 11
The National September 11 Memorial, located at the site of the World Trade Center, is dedicated on the 10-year anniversary of the terror attacks. The Memorial Museum will open in September 2012.

Sept. 11
The National September 11 Memorial, located at the site of the World Trade Center, is dedicated on the 10-year anniversary of the terror attacks. The Memorial Museum will open in September 2012.

Sept. 17
Protestors take over Zuccotti Park in the Financial District to demonstrate against the wealthiest 1% of Americans, initiating the Occupy Wall Street movement. The "leaderless" movement draws upwards of 30,000 people, including celebrities, and branches off across the globe.

Sept. 21
American hitchhikers Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal are released from Evin Prison in Iran. The two said they may have mistakenly crossed the border from Iraq to Iran in July 2009.

Sept. 27
Andy Rooney, 92, announces he will retire from CBS' "60 Minutes" after delivering his 1,097th essay on Oct. 2. Rooney passes away on Nov. 4, shortly after ending his 33 years with the show.


Oct. 3
An Italian court frees Amanda Knox, an American who had spent four years in prison. The 24-year-old was previously convicted of conspiring to kill her British roommate.

Oct. 5
Apple co-founder and technological visionary Steve Jobs dies at age 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Millions express their sadness via iPhones and iPads he invented.

Oct. 7
Commissoner Ray Kelly announces that the NYPD has arrested more than 100 people in Queens in a massive sting that took down an identity theft and counterfeit credit-card ring.

Oct. 18
Israel begins freeing more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Sergeant Gilad Shalit, a Hamas captive since 2006.

Oct. 20
Moammar Gadhafi, the 42-year dictator of Libya, is captured and killed by rebel forces - in gruesome fashion, footage revealed.

Oct. 28
Series MVP David Freese and the St. Louis Cardinals clinch their 11th World Series title, beating the Texas Rangers in Game 7.

Oct. 31
The world population hits a new high with the birth of Danica May Camacho in the Philippines. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon symbolically names her the 7 billionth person born.


Nov. 1
Oh, baby! A 20-year-old California woman, Mariah Yeater, sues Justin Bieber, 17, claiming he is the father of her child. Bieber denies paternity, as well as Yeater's claim that she took his virginity.

Nov. 5
Ex-Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, left, is arrested on 40 criminal counts of sexual abuse. The alleged cover-up of Sandusky's misconduct leads to the firing of legendary coach Joe Paterno.

Nov. 6
Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai shatters the ING New York City Marathon course record in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 6 seconds.

Nov. 7
Sharon Bialek, below left, becomes the first woman to publicly accuse presidential hopeful Herman Cain, below, of sexual harassment - and the fourth woman overall to make such claims against the married Cain. The Republican contender suspends his campaign on Dec. 3.

Nov. 7
Dr. Conrad Murray is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.

Nov. 15
Cops raid Occupy Wall Street's headquarters at Zuccotti Park, forcing protesters to shut down their encampment at the downtown space. Two days later, OWS stages its largest rally, with thousands taking over Foley Square for an "International Day of Action."

Nov. 20
The NYPD thwarts an alleged bomb plot by 27-year-old Jose Pimentel to target soldiers returning home from service.


Dec. 4
After thrilling fans in Queens since 2003, All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes ditches the Mets to sign a six-year, $106 million deal with the Miami Marlins. The cash-strapped Mets never make an offer.

Dec. 12
Decorated NYPD officer Peter Figoski, 47, is killed during a botched robbery in Brooklyn. A week later, thousands gather in West Babylon, L.I., to honor the hero cop.

Dec. 17
Kim Jong Il, who ruled North Korea for 17 years, dies at the age of 69. The ruler's youngest son, Kim Jong Un, slowly ascends to power.

Dec. 18
The last convoy of U.S. soldiers leaves Iraq. Almost 4,500 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed during the eight-year war.

Dec. 18
Lindsay Lohan's nude photo spread in Playboy helps the mag break sales records. Hefner.

Dec. 25
The NBA season finally tips off after a bitter, five-month lockout. To top it off, the Knicks beat the rival Boston Celtics 106-104 at home.

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