Top 10 Events of 2005

Script written by Aaron Cameron Politics, social causes, terrorism and natural disasters; this was a year of tragedy and triumph. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 events of 2005. For this list, we will be looking at events from each half decade from pop-culture, natural disasters, medical breakthroughs, sports, and political happenings based on their significance at the time and their lasting impact today. This is part of a series of videos spanning the decades. Head over to WatchMojo.comsuggest to submit your ideas!
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Top 10 Events of 2005


Politics, social causes, terrorism and natural disasters; this was a year of tragedy and triumph. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10events of 2005.

For this list, we will be looking at events from each half decade from pop-culture, natural disasters, medical breakthroughs, sports, and political happenings based on their significance at the time and their lasting impact today. This is part of a series of videos spanning the decades.

#10: The Death of Terri Schiavo

Following 15 years in a persistent vegetative state, 41-year-old Terri Schiavo passed away. Schiavo had been on life-support since 1990 when she’d suffered brain damage caused by heart failure that her husband Michael alleged was brought on by her bulimia. In the years that followed, debates and battles between Schiavo’s husband and her family led to 14 appeals and 5 legal suits over her right to die. Despite pleas and prayers from her parents, Schiavo’s husband was finally granted the right to ask for the disconnection of her feeding tube. This occurred on March 18th and Terri passed two weeks later on the 31st.

#9: The Legalization of Same-Sex Marriages in Canada
July 20, 2005

First passed by the House of Commons on June 28th, the Civil Marriage Act became law on July 20th, making Canada the first non-European country and the fourth country in the world - following Spain just weeks prior - to legalize same sex marriages. In actuality, eight of Canada’s ten provinces and one of its three territories had already legalized gay marriages before that point, but the national ruling meant that anyone nationwide could participate. At the end of that same year, the Civil Partnership Act came into effect in the UK, and while it allowed same-sex couples to enter into legally recognized civil unions, they were not considered marriages per se.

#8: The IRA Ends Armed Campaign in Northern Ireland
July 28, 2005

The road to peace between the IRA and the UK had always been a rocky one, with the Irish republican paramilitary organization talking of backing out of the disarmament process as recently as February 2005. But following 36 years of armed conflict, peace finally came to Northern Ireland in July of that same year. While the IRA did not disband, Sinn Fein’s commitment to peace and democratic methods saw to the end of para-militarism in the country. Taking effect at 4PM on July 28th, the organization began dumping arms and issued orders for its members not to engage in activities and assist in political and democratic programs.

#7: The Assassination of Rafik Hariri
February 14, 2005

On Valentine’s Day 2005, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated when his motorcade was targeted with almost 4000lbs of TNT. The explosion killed many others, including Hariri’s bodyguards and the Minister of Economy Bassel Fleihan (BAH-sil foo-lay-HAN). Hariri was a noted reformer in the Middle East, but faced accusations of corruption. Although not yet confirmed over 10 years later, investigations indicated that the attack was organized by Hezbollah, a Lebanese militia sponsored by Iran and Syria.

#6: The Launch of YouTube
February 14, 2005

Created by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim (jaw-ved kareem), YouTube officially launched in December of 2005. Originally headquartered in San Mateo, California above a pizzeria and a Japanese restaurant, the video-sharing website’s trademarks, logo, and domain were registered in February and beta launched in May. Inspired by the viral nature of Janet Jackson’s 2004 “wardrobe malfunction,” YouTube’s first video was much, much more tame. The site was pretty much an instant hit, and by September, it had its first one million-view video. By the next year, YouTube was even more popular than MySpace... a statement that carried more weight at the time.

#5: The Death of Pope John Paul II
April 2, 2005

Priest at 26, bishop at 38, cardinal at 47, and pope at a youthful 58, John Paul II seemed to be on the Catholic career fast track. As Pope, he apologized for past injustices to women and the church’s inactivity during the Holocaust, but was against birth control and stem cell research. In 2005, the Pope’s health began declining and he ultimately died of septic shock caused by a urinary tract infection. His funeral on April 8th was the largest gathering of world leaders in history and was conducted by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, his eventual successor as Pope.

#4: Live 8
July 2 & 6, 2005

Involving over 1000 musicians, 182 TV stations, and 2000 radio stations, Live 8 was arguably bigger and more impactful than Live Aid 20 years prior. With stages in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, Russia, Italy, and South Africa, Live 8 took place just days before the G8 Summit and aimed to put pressure on G8 nations to increase aid to impoverished nations - and it worked. G8 nations agreed to cancel debts to 18 of the poorest countries and double aid levels by 2010. As a bonus, the concert also briefly reunited the classic Dark Side of the Moon era Pink Floyd line-up.

#3: The Trial of Saddam Hussein
October 19, 2005

Charged with premeditated murder, imprisonment, deprivation of physical movement, forced deportation, and torture, former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was not exactly a cooperative defendant. Going to trial just days after the approval of Iraq’s new constitution, Saddam pled innocent and was unable to accept that he was no longer president. Saddam openly challenged the validity of the court, refused to sign documents, declined to stand when asked or identify himself, and at one point, even told the judge to go to hell. Defiant until the end, Saddam was ultimately found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging in 2006.

#2: Hurricane Katrina
August 23-31, 2005

Causing over 1800 deaths and $108B in damages, Hurricane Katrina was the worst disaster to ever hit the United States. 400 miles across, the storm originated over the Bahamas and touched down as a hurricane in Mississippi, but caused the bulk of its carnage in Louisiana, leaving nearly 1600 dead. Although as much as 80% of New Orleans pre-evacuated, many were still unable to do so and the city’s poor levee system led to much of the city being underwater. The Coast Guard rescued almost 34,000 people but FEMA, while housing hundreds of thousands of people, drew heavy criticism for their slow response, perceived lack of planning, and general incompetency.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- End of 2004-05 NHL Lockout
July 22, 2005
- Michael Jackson Is Acquitted of Child Molestation
June 13, 2005
- Andrew Stimpson Reported to be the 1st Person Cured of HIV
November 13, 2005
- Ex-FBI Agent Mark Felt Admits to Being Watergate’s Deep Throat
May 31, 2005
- Dennis Rader Is Sentenced to 175-Year Prison Sentence for BTK Serial Killings
August 18, 2005

#1: London Bombings
July 7, 2005

In the worst attack on London since the Blitz in the ‘40s, three bombs were detonated on three different trains just before 9AM on London Underground trains in July 2005. An hour later, a fourth bomb was detonated on a double-decker bus. The bombings collectively left 56 dead, including the attackers, and 700 injured. Carried out by four suicide bombers including Mohammed Siddique Khan, a teaching assistant and British Muslim of Pakistani descent, the attackers used peroxide-based bombs. With no official warning given, the tragedy came in the midst of G8 Summit and the act of terrorism was meant as a response to British foreign policy, which the bombers felt was oppressive to Muslims.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the most important event of 2005? For more flossy Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.


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