As we enter a new year it’s always a good idea to reflect on the year we are leaving behind.
Noted as a landmark year, 2013 signaled the 50th year anniversary for many seminal moments in American history; the closing of Alcatraz Penitentiary, Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letters from Birmingham Jail’, his ‘I Have a Dream Speech’, the march on Washington, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, these are just a few of the moments from 1963 that remain forever ingrained into the American consciousness and additionally, in the minds of many abroad; these are the moments that remain ever influential to American life and culture in the twenty-first century.
But 2013 did more than mark the 50th anniversary of a year long passed. The year also witnessed some pivotal moments of its own: the second inauguration of Barack Obama, the legalization of same-sex marriage in several U.S. states, changes to state gun laws, the use of the 3-D printer and yet another terrorist attack on a U.S. major city. These are some of the moments that Americans will undoubtedly reflect on and reexamine come 2063.
So, before we enter 2014, let’s have a look at America in 2013.
Jan 1 Maryland’s voter approved same-sex marriage law goes into effect.
Jan 15 New York becomes the first state to pass a law relating to guns since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The new law bans possession of high-capacity magazines, requires a state-registry for assault-class weapons & requires background checks.
Feb 1 Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton submits her resignation.
Feb 3 A 34 minute power outage disrupts the second half of Super Bowl XLVII; once resolved, the Baltimore Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 34 – 31.
Feb 24 At the 85th Academy Awards, Daniel Day-Lewis becomes the only actor to have the Academy Award for Best Actor three times. He wins with his portrayal of the title character in Lincoln.
Mar 9 Google pays a $7 million penalty to settle an investigation into the collection of emails, passwords and other sensitive information sent over wireless networks between 2007 and 2010 in the United States.
Mar 23 The Senate approves its first budget in four years by a margin of 50 – 49.
Apr 4 Film critic and writer Roger Ebert dies.
Apr 15 Two explosions go off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon leaving 3 people dead and 260 injured.
Apr 17 Texas fertilizer plant explosions; 15 people are dead and 160 injured
May 2 Rhode Island becomes the tenth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
May 5 The world’s first gun is produced by using a 3-D printer; It is fired successfully in Austin,Texas. Security officials worry that such plastic weapons could evade detection at airport screenings.
May 10 After several years of construction, the spire is installed on New York’s One World Trade Center (built in homage to the World Trade Center Towers), making it the sixth tallest freestanding structure at a symbolic 1,776 ft (1776 being the year of the American Revolution)
May 14 Minnesota becomes the twelveth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
May 20 A tornado kills 24 people and wounds over 300 in Moore, Oklahoma.
May 23 The Boy Scouts of America lifts its longstanding ban on gay youth members
Jun 6-20 The Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat defeats the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals.
Jun 28 California becomes the thirteenth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Jul 8 29,000 inmates protest solitary confinement practices with a prisoner hunger strike in California.
Jul 13 George Zimmerman is found not guilty for the murder of seventeen year old Trayvon Martin;the decision sparks debates about lingering racial prejudices in the U.S. and prompts 1,000 hoodie march.
Jul 18 The city of Detroit, Michigan files for bankruptcy protection against debts of $18.5 billion
Aug 27 The Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park grows to about 281 square miles
Aug 30 Syrian civil war: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that Syrian government forces killed 1,429 people in the August 21st chemical weapons attack.
Sept 2 The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opens to the public ahead of the schedule after more than a decade of construction to replace the old span which was damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Sept 15 Nina Davuluri, Miss New York 2013, is the first Indian-American to win the Miss America pageant. Her win sparks racially charged tweets and an ongoing debate about American national identity.
Oct 1–16 U.S. government shut down. Following tensions between the largely Democratic Senate and the largely Republican House of Representatives regarding the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) while voting on the mandatory budget for the 2014 fiscal year, Congress reaches a stalemate, resulting in a shutdown of all federal government departments deemed nonessential by the Antideficiency Act. Hundreds of thousands of federal government workers are temporarily furloughed. The shutdown ends with Congress voting to postpone debates over the debt ceiling until February 2014. It is the first federal government shutdown since the 1995-96 shutdown under the Clinton administration.
Oct 21 New Jersey becomes the fourteenth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Oct 30 The Boston Red Sox win the World Series defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 2. This is the first series to be won in Boston by the Red Sox since 1918.
Nov 13 Hawaii becomes the fifteenth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Nov 18 MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) launches as a space exploration mission to send a space probe to orbit Mars and study its atmosphere. The mission will help determine what caused the Martian atmosphere —and water— to be lost to space, making the climate increasingly inhospitable for life.
Nov 20 Illinois becomes the sixteenth state to legalize same-sex marriage
Nov 30 American actor Paul Walker dies. Walker is most notable for his Fast & Furious films.
Dec 6 Unemployment rate falls to a 5 year low of 7 percent as employers added 203,000 jobs, reports the U.S Labor Department.
Dec 20 Utah becomes the eighteenth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
From all of us at the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library, Happy New Year 2014!