Today’s graduating seniors have also lived history

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Russell Huffman
Russell Huffman

Speaking from some experience it seems like the second your first child is born your life goes into fast forward. Then in the blink of an eye they are getting ready to walk across the stage at graduation like many students in Erath County will this weekend.

But, believe it or not many things of significance have happened between the first wiping of baby bottom and purchasing that perfect graduation outfit for your senior. Here’s a look back at a few significant things (obviously not all)  that have happened during your senior’s life.

1997 The year of conception or birth years of the majority of seniors was also the birth year of Dolly the first-ever cloned mammal. There was also a book titled Harry Potter and a little film Titanic proved you could hit an iceberg and not sink all while being the first film to earn more than $1 Billion dollars.

1998 President Bill Clinton admits he and Monica Lewinsky did have sexual relations and Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa plowed through Roger Maris’ homerun record with 70 and 66 shots. Viagra is introduced and 77-year old John Glenn proved himself a “space cowboy” when he returned to outer space aboard the shuttle Discovery.

1999 Pokemon becomes the hottest toy for children and the movie South Park becomes the movie with the most cuss word per minute with 399 in 80 minutes (as a comparison Pulp Fiction in 154 minutes had 411.) A Colorado grand jury returns no indictments in the murder of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. Oh and who can forget the Y2K scare….you might want to explain this one to your senior.

2000 Personal home computers were blazing with processors over 1 GHZ (your senior is now laughing). Sydney hosted the Olympic Games. The DOT com bubble pops as Euro 2000 was hosted in Belgium and the Netherlands, and Vladmir Putin is elected as Russia’s president.

2001 Wikipedia is introduced to the world and George W. Bush is elected president. The world shudders and shares America’s tears as two planes collide with the World Trade Center towers and 3,000 people perish. Apple launches the IPod.

2002 The Euro enters circulation and “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh returns to the United States in FBI custody. American civil rights movement: a jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

2003 Invasion of Iraq by American and British led coalition begins without United Nations support and in defiance of world opinion. In Fort Worth, Texas, Annika Sörenstam becomes the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years. The United States National Do Not Call Registry, formed to combat unwanted telemarketing calls and administered by the Federal Trade Commission, enrolls almost three-quarters of a million phone numbers on its first day.

2004 Janet Jackson’s breast is exposed during the half-time show of Super Bowl XXXVIII, resulting in US broadcasters adopting a stronger adherence to FCC censorship guidelines. Terry Nichols is convicted of state murder charges and being an accomplice to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Barry Bonds hits his 661st career home run, passing Willie Mays on the all-time list.

2005 Condoleezza Rice is sworn in as U.S. Secretary of State, becoming the first African American woman to hold the post. A hand grenade which was thrown by Vladimir Arutyunian lands about 65 feet (20 metres) from U.S. President George W. Bush while he was giving a speech to a crowd in Tbilisi, Georgia, but it malfunctions and does not detonate.

2006 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that Iran has successfully enriched uranium.  Barry Bonds hits his 715th career home run, passing Babe Ruth on the all-time list. Five school girls are murdered by Charles Carl Roberts in a shooting at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania before Roberts commits suicide.

2007 Jack Kevorkian is released from prison after serving eight years of his 10-25 year prison term for second-degree murder in the 1998 death of Thomas Youk, 52, of Oakland County, Michigan. The first episode of “Mad Men” debuts. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the series by J. K. Rowling is published worldwide. 11 million copies sell in 24 hours.

2008 A New Hampshire law legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples comes into effect. Gold prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000.00 an ounce for the first time. Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be nominated by a major political party for President of the United States. Usain Bolt sets a new 100 meters dash world record of 9.69 seconds at the Beijing 2008 summer Olympics.

2009 Barack Obama, inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America, becomes the United States’ first African-American president. Heath Ledger, posthumously, wins the Academy Award for Best Supporting Act for his performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight”.

2010 Conan O’Brien’s last Tonight Show episode after a big controversy over the Tonight Show timeslot. Operation Iraqi Freedom ends, with the last of the United States brigade combat teams crossing the border to Kuwait. The repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, the 17-year-old policy banning on homosexuals serving openly in the United States military, was signed into law.

2011 Final Launch of Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103). Charlie Sheen is fired from the CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men”. Black Friday” for online poker in the US: indictment United States v. Scheinberg shuts down sites, accusing companies of fraud and money laundering. Oprah Winfrey airs her last show, ending her twenty five year run of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

2012 FBI shuts down for alleged copyright infringement, hacker group Anonymous responds by attacking government and entertainment industry websites. Wikileaks begins disclosing 5 million emails from private intelligence company Stratford.  Tiger Woods’ 73rd PGA tour victory equals Jack Nicklaus’s record.

2013 Lance Armstrong admits to doping in all seven of his Tour de France victories. Pope Benedict XVI resignation from February 28, the first pope to resign since 1415. Boston bombing suspects killed and captured in Boston after 4 days.

2014 The US Supreme Court rules that family-owned corporations can reject provision of ‘Obamacare’ on religious grounds. Patrick Sawyer arrives in city of Lagos in Nigeria and collapses; he dies of Ebola five days later. Nurse William Pooley flies back to the UK for emergency treatment after contracting Ebola virus after attempting to treat patients in Sierra Leone.

2015 Your senior graduates and you can start missing the next four years due to college or concerns about when are they going to school or getting a job.

Russell Huffman is chief roust-about and step-and-fetch-it at The Flash Today. His previous work includes both print and broadcast journalism with awards from the Texas Press Association for news writing and photography. A former Army officer, Russell earned his commission through the Tarleton State University ROTC program. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole. To contact Russell, do so at

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