7:39 PM / Thursday December 1, 2022

23 Dec 2010

Chronology of news events in 2010

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December 23, 2010 Category: Stateside Posted by:

Associated Press



Jan. 3–Chinese graduate student breaches security at Newark airport to kiss girlfriend, prompting evacuation that causes cancellations and delays affecting about 16,000 travelers.

Jan. 8–Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner on Christmas, makes first court appearance. A judge enters not-guilty plea on his behalf.

Jan. 11–Home run king Mark McGwire admits he used steroids and human growth hormone.

Jan. 12–Haiti struck by magnitude-7 earthquake, killing as many as 300,000 residents and leaving over 1.5 million people homeless.

Jan. 13–“Pants On the Ground” becomes Internet sensation following broadcast of the original song performed by 63-year-old Larry Platt on “American Idol.”

Jan. 21–Toyota recalls 2.3 million U.S. vehicles to fix accelerator pedals.

•Supreme Court strikes down several campaign finance laws that limit corporate and union donations.

Jan. 22–“Hope for Haiti Now” telethon raises over $66 million, helping push private donations for earthquake relief over $400 million.

Jan. 25–Director James Cameron’s sci-fi spectacle “Avatar” overtakes his shipwreck saga “Titanic” to become world’s highest-grossing film.

Jan. 27–President Barack Obama acknowledges “change has not come fast enough” during State of the Union address.

•Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils iPad tablet computer.

•J.D. Salinger, reclusive author of “Catcher in the Rye,” dies at 91.

Jan. 29–Haitian authorities detain 10 U.S. Baptists missionaries transporting 33 children to a Dominican Republic orphanage, although most had living parents.

Jan. 31–Beyonce collects six trophies to become most decorated female at a Grammy ceremony.



Feb. 7–Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints rally for 31-17 Super Bowl victory over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.

Feb. 9–First lady Michelle Obama launches “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity.

Feb. 10–Second blizzard in single week breaks East Coast records for snowiest winter.

Feb. 12–Winter Olympics opening ceremonies in Vancouver, British Columbia, dedicated to 21-year-old luger Nodar Kumaritashvili from the republic of Georgia, killed hours earlier in training run.

•Three University of Alabama-Huntsville professors are gunned down during faculty meeting. Police charge 42-year-old neurobiologist Amy Bishop with capital murder.

•At least a dusting of snow recorded in every U.S. state but Hawaii.

Feb. 18–In Austin, Texas, software engineer A. Joseph Stack III crashes plane into IRS offices, killing one.

Feb. 19–In televised statement, golfer Tiger Woods acknowledges receiving therapy following affairs.

Feb. 20–Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig dies at 85.

Feb. 24–Killer whale Tilikum drags trainer Dawn Brancheau to her death at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 26–New York Gov. David Paterson announces he won’t seek re-election amid criminal investigation over handling of domestic violence complaint against top aide.

Feb. 27–In Chile, 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami kills 521 people, causes $30 billion in damage and leaves over 200,000 homeless.

Feb. 28–Canada wins record 14 gold medals at Winter Olympics; U.S. captures 37 medals overall, also the most ever in a Winter Olympics.



March 7–Iraq War thriller “The Hurt Locker” receives six Academy Awards including best picture, with Kathryn Bigelow accepting first directing Oscar awarded to a woman.

•Failure of either Sunni-backed coalition or Shiite political bloc to win majority in Iraq elections spawns eight-month deadlock, stalling formation of new government.

March 10–“The Lost Boys” teen star Corey Haim dies at 38.

March 14–Actor Peter Graves of “Mission: Impossible” television series and “Airplane!” movies dies at 83.

March 23–Obama signs $1 trillion health care overhaul to expand coverage to more Americans.

March 26–South Korean warship explodes and sinks near disputed maritime border with North Korea, killing 46 sailors.

March 31–Obama rescinds two-decade ban on most coastal oil drilling.



April 5–Explosion at Upper Big Branch mine near Charleston, W.Va., kills 29 workers. Mine owner Massey Energy Co. had been cited for over 600 violations in preceding year and a half.

•WikiLeaks website posts classified video of Apache helicopters gunning down unarmed men in Iraq on July 12, 2007, including two Reuters journalists.

April 8–In Prague, Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign “New START” treaty to continue dismantling nuclear warheads, but pact requires approval by two-thirds of U.S. Senate to take effect.

April 9–Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announces retirement.

•”Designing Women” star Dixie Carter dies at 70.

April 11–After five-month hiatus, golfer Tiger Woods ties for fourth at Masters, as Phil Mickelson earns third green jacket.

April 14–Magintude-7 earthquake in remote Tibetan region of China kills over 2,200 people, flattening tens of thousands of houses and damaging 87 monasteries.

April 20–Explosion on Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico kills 11 workers. The nation’s largest-ever oil spill ensues, spewing millions of gallons into the gulf for nearly three months.

April 23–Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs nation’s toughest illegal immigration law that opponents say will encourage discrimination against Hispanics. Obama calls law “misguided” and instructs Justice Department to determine whether it’s legal.



May 1–Pakistan-born U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad fails in attempt to set off homemade bomb in SUV parked in Times Square.

•Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano names Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen point man for federal response to oil spill.

May 2–Record rains and flash floods in Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee cause over 30 deaths and submerge Grand Ole Opry House stage.

•Obama travels to Louisiana to view oil spill response.

•Actress Lynn Redgrave dies at 67 after seven-year battle with breast cancer.

May 3–Times Square bombing suspect apprehended aboard flight preparing to depart New York airport for Dubai.

BP declares it will pay all “legitimate and objectively verifiable” claims related to oil spill.

May 9–“Stormy Weather” jazz singer Lena Horne dies at 92.

May 18–Following 2009 party switch, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter defeated in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, ending re-election bid.

May 20–Two days after winning Kentucky’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate with backing from tea party supporters, Rand Paul downplays his recent interviews critical of the Civil Rights Act.

May 26–TV interviewer Art Linkletter dies at 97.

•After two-week slide attributed to concerns over European debt, Dow Jones industrial average closes below 10,000 for first time in nearly four months.

•Value of Apple Inc. shares close above Microsoft Corp., making Apple world’s largest technology company by market capitalization.

May 28–“Diff’rent Strokes” star Gary Coleman dies at 42.

May 29–“Easy Rider” star Dennis Hopper dies at age 74.



June 2–BP chief executive Tony Hayward apologizes after telling reporters, “I’d like my life back.”

“Golden Girls” star Rue McClanahan dies at 76.

June 4–BP reports containment cap placed over leaking well now capturing some oil.

June 7–White House correspondent Helen Thomas, 89, abruptly retires after calling for Israelis to get “out of Palestine” in online video.

June 8–Unknown, unemployed South Carolina resident Alvin Greene wins Democratic primary to challenge U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint; Greene loses in November.

June 16–After meeting with Obama, BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg announces the oil giant is establishing a $20 billion claim fund and suspending dividends, as he insists, “We care about the small people.”

June 17–Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers rally in Game 7, defeating Boston Celtics 83-79 to repeat as NBA champions.

June 19–Former NBA player Manute Bol dies at 47 after returning from humanitarian trip to his birth country of Sudan.

June 23–Following Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s criticism of the Obama administration in Rolling Stone magazine profile, Obama names Gen. David Petraeus to replace the Afghanistan commander.

June 24–Apple’s iPhone 4 released in five countries, selling record 1.7 million units in three days despite criticism of new antenna design.

•U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., longest-serving senator in nation’s history, dies at 92.



July 6–Queen Elizabeth II addresses U.N. for first time since 1957 during first New York visit in over 30 years; lays wreath at ground zero.

•Obama administration files lawsuit in Phoenix to block Arizona’s toughest-in-the-nation immigration law.

•During ESPN prime-time special, basketball free agent LeBron James announces he’s leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat.

July 11–Over din and drone of vuvuzela horns in Johannesburg, South Africa, Andres Iniesta’s goal late in extra time gives Spain 1-0 World Cup victory over the Netherlands.

July 13–New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, 80, dies two days after death of team’s longtime announcer Bob Sheppard at 99.

July 15–After 85 days, BP stops flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, estimated to have exceeded 200 million gallons.

•Securities and Exchange Commission announces Goldman Sachs & Co. will pay record $550 million penalty to settle charges the Wall Street giant misled buyers of mortgage investments.

July 19–Agriculture Department pressures Shirley Sherrod, an administrator in Georgia, to resign after a conservative website posted edited video it claimed showed her making racist remarks. After reviewing entire video, the White House apologized.

July 21–Obama signs most sweeping overhaul of lending and high-finance rules since Great Depression.

July 25–WikiLeaks posts 90,000 leaked U.S. military records from Afghanistan war.

July 28–After Huntsville, Ala., television station reports on an alleged attack on his sister, Antoine Dodson’s advice to “hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husband” becomes viral online music video and chart-topping song.

July 29–Army Spc. Bradley Manning flown to Virginia military jail to await trial on charges of giving military secrets to WikiLeaks.

July 31–Chelsea Clinton weds investment banker Marc Mezvinsky.



Aug. 3–Warehouse driver Omar Thornton kills eight co-workers and himself in shooting rampage at Manchester, Conn., beer distributorship.

Aug. 5–In Chile, 33 miners reported missing in mine collapse.

Aug. 7–Elena Kagan sworn in as 112th justice, fourth woman and first Jew to serve on Supreme Court.

Aug. 8–Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Neal, who overcame strokes, dies at 84.

Aug. 9–JetBlue Airways flight attendant Steven Slater curses passengers, grabs beer and slides down plane’s emergency chute.

Aug. 10–Talk radio host Laura Schlessinger uses N-word 11 times on air while discussing interracial marriage, later apologizing.

Aug. 17–Mistrial declared on 23 corruption charges against ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, accused of trying to sell Obama’s old Senate seat. Jury convicts him on just one charge, lying to the FBI.

Aug. 19–Last American combat brigade exits Iraq, seven years and five months after U.S.-led invasion began.

Aug. 22–Note returns from mine in Chile 17 days after it collapsed saying, “All 33 of us are fine,” but experts estimate freeing miners may take four months.

Aug. 28–Conservative commentator Glenn Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin headline “Restoring Honor” rally attended by tens of thousands in Washington.



Sept. 9–Natural gas pipeline explosion kills eight and destroys dozens of homes in San Francisco suburb of San Bruno, Calif.

Sept. 11–Florida pastor Terry Jones drops threat to burn Quran on 9/11 in protest of planned Islamic center near ground zero.

Sept. 13–On premiere of 25th and final season of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Winfrey announces audience will receive trips to Australia.

Sept. 21–Seattle relationship columnist Dan Savage launches the “It Gets Better Project,” encouraging celebrities and others to create online videos dissuading gay teenagers from suicide.

Sept. 22–Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi jumps off Hudson River bridge after intimate gay encounter in dormitory room is broadcast online.

Sept. 24–Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 26, pledges $100 million to Newark, N.J., schools a week before release of critical biographical movie “The Social Network.”

Sept. 27–Southwest Airlines announces $1.4 billion purchase of AirTran.

•Temperatures reach 113 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, highest in records kept since 1877.

Sept. 30–Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton apologizes to Guatemalan leaders for 1940s U.S.-led experiments that infected occupants of a Guatemala mental hospital with syphilis.



Oct. 1–White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, planning Chicago mayoral run, relinquishes post to Pete Rouse.

CNN announces firing of anchor Rick Sanchez following satellite radio comments branding comedian Jon Stewart a bigot and questioning whether Jews should be considered a minority.

Oct. 4–Long-shot Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell disputes claims about her past: “I’m not a witch. I’m nothing you’ve heard. I’m you.” She loses in general election.

Oct. 5–Failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad tells judge to expect future bloodshed from Muslim terrorists as he is sentenced to life in prison.

Oct. 7–New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie cancels construction of decades-in-the-making train tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan, citing cost overruns that ballooned price tag from $5 billion to $10 billion or more.

Oct. 13–All 33 trapped Chilean miners lifted from mine one by one after 69 days underground.

Oct. 14–Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid taunted by Republican challenger Sharron Angle, who tells him during Nevada debate to “Man up, Harry Reid,” about financial stability of Social Security.

Oct. 16–“Leave it to Beaver” matriarch Barbara Billingsley dies at 94.

Oct. 19–“Happy Days” patriarch Tom Bosley dies at 83.

•Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, acknowledges leaving voicemail message for Anita Hill asking her to apologize for sexual harassment allegations she made against her husband 19 years earlier.

Oct. 20–During its pledge season, NPR fires news analyst Juan Williams for comments on Fox News Channel about Muslim attire.

Oct. 22–WikiLeaks releases 391,831 purported Iraq war logs that suggest over 100,000 Iraqi civilians died in the conflict.

Oct. 28–Stars of 1965 movie “The Sound of Music” reunited on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” broadcast.

Oct. 29–Computer printer toner cartridges rigged as bombs are seized from airplanes in England and the United Arab Emirates. Devices were shipped from Yemen and bound for Chicago-area synagogues.

Oct. 30–Comedians Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart headline “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” in Washington attended by tens of thousands.



Nov. 1–San Francisco Giants win World Series with 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers in fifth game.

Nov. 2-Republicans win control of U.S. House of Representatives, picking up 63 seats in midterm elections, while Democrats retain majority Senate; Republican governors outnumber Democrats after gaining six states.

Nov. 3–Obama acknowledges Democrats took “a shellacking” in midterm elections.

•Federal Reserve announces plan to buy $600 billion in Treasury bonds over next eight months in attempt to boost lending and stimulate economy.

Nov. 4–Motion-tracking Microsoft Kinect video games debut for Xbox 360 console.

•Hall of Fame baseball team manager Sparky Anderson dies at 76.

Nov. 5–Regulators shutter four small banks, for total of 143 bank closures so far in 2010, more than all of 2009.

•News channel MSNBC suspends host Keith Olbermann for two shows for making unapproved political donations.

•Actress Jill Clayburgh dies at 66.

Nov. 6–Obama begins 10-day Asia tour in India, where he endorses nation’s bid for a U.N. Security Council seat.

Nov. 9–Former President George W. Bush reveals in his memoir, “Decision Points,” that a low point in his presidency was when musician Kanye West said Bush “doesn’t care about black people” during a Hurricane Katrina telethon.

Nov. 10–Obama’s visit to boyhood home in Indonesia abbreviated by plume from ongoing eruption of Mount Merapi volcano.

Nov. 11–Dispute between U.S. and China over currency values overshadows meeting of Group of 20 nations in Seoul; Obama fails to reach free trade agreement with South Korea.

Nov. 13–Amid passenger discontent with full-body scanners and more intimate pat-down searches, software engineer John Tyner warns San Diego airport security worker, “If you touch my junk, I’m gonna have you arrested.”

Nov. 16–Obama presents top military award, the Medal of Honor, to Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, first living recipient in nearly 40 years.

•U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel convicted on 11 of 13 charges related to financial misconduct, prompting fellow lawmakers to censure the 80-year-old New York Democrat.

•Engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton announced in London. Wedding later set for April 29.

Nov. 17–House Democrats re-elect Nancy Pelosi as their leader for next Congressional term.

•First Guantanamo detainee to face civilian trial, Ahmed Ghailani, convicted by federal jury on just one charge of conspiracy, among over 280 counts related to 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Ghailani’s native Tanzania.

Nov. 20–Pope Benedict XVI expresses limited support for condom use to prevent AIDS, according to book excerpts in Vatican newspaper.

•North Korea secretly built large uranium-enrichment facility, according to Stanford University nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, describing visit to facility in The New York Times.

Nov. 21–Sixteen-year-old Justin Bieber receives four American Music Awards and is the youngest performer to win artist of the year.

Nov. 23–North Korea bombards South Korea’s Yeongpyeong Island with artillery shells, killing four.

Nov. 24–Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay convicted of money laundering and conspiracy related to Republican campaign donations.

Nov. 26–Nineteen-year-old Somali-born Mohamed Osman Mohamud arrested by federal agents during sting in Portland, Ore., accused of planning to detonate van of explosives during Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Nov. 28–WikiLeaks begins disclosing cache of over 250,000 private cables written by U.S. diplomats.

•Leslie Nielsen, dramatic leading man-turned comedic star of “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” movies, dies at 84.

Nov. 30–Pentagon leaders call for scrapping 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban after releasing survey about prospect of openly gay troops.

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