Current Events by Year, 1990-present

Based on the clues, guess these things that happened in each year.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: November 18, 2020
First submittedAugust 27, 2013
Times taken58,008
Rating4.44
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Year
Hint
Answer
2020
This city is the site of the first major Covid-19 outbreak
Wuhan
2019
Up to 1 million people protest against the Chinese government on
the streets of this city
Hong Kong
2018
Scientist announce the presence of liquid water here
Mars
2017
The Parliament of this region declares independence from Spain
Catalonia
2016
This controversial celebrity is elected President of the U.S.
Donald Trump
2015
Islamic terrorists kill 130 people in this city, attacking targets such
as the Bataclan Theatre
Paris
2014
An epidemic of this disease strikes West Africa
Ebola
2013
This new Pope, the first from the Americas, is elected
Francis
2012
This Middle East country is granted observer status by the U.N.,
moving it one step closer to independence
Palestine
2011
This series of protests rocks the Middle East
The Arab Spring
2010
Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, opens in this city
Dubai
2009
This singer dies from prescription drugs issued by his personal physician
Michael Jackson
2008
Pirates hijack 42 ships off the coast of this country
Somalia
2007
This British P.M. leaves office after 10 years
Tony Blair
2006
This celestial body is demoted to "dwarf" planet
Pluto
2005
French surgeons become the first to transplant this body part
Face
2004
200,000 people along the Indian ocean are killed by this
Tsunami
2003
The U.S. invades this country
Iraq
2002
This country wins its fifth World Cup
Brazil
2001
Terrorists crash planes into the World Trade Center and this other building
The Pentagon
2000
By 537 votes, this candidate loses his bid to become U.S. president
Al Gore
1999
This major new currency is introduced
Euro
1998
The Good Friday Agreement helps bring peace to this island
Ireland
1997
This celebrity dies in Paris after being chased by paparazzi
Princess Diana
1996
The E.U. bans imports of British beef because of this disease
Mad Cow
1995
The Aum Shinrikyo cult attacks Tokyo subways with this nerve gas
Sarin
1994
This system of racial segregation comes to an end in South Africa
Apartheid
1993
This basketball star announces his retirement in order to play baseball
Michael Jordan
1992
Following a police brutality incident, riots erupt in this city
Los Angeles
1991
This major world power ceases to exist
Soviet Union
1990
Iraq invades this country
Kuwait
+5
Level 50
Oct 20, 2013
Not bad, should be harder though
+2
Level 80
Oct 20, 2013
Got 1990-2012 and missed 2013. For some reason totally blanked on the new Pope's name...
+1
Level 80
Jan 9, 2015
but... got it this go 'round. 100%
+5
Level 51
Oct 20, 2013
Got all but Michael Jordan. I had no idea he played baseball.
+24
Level 80
Oct 20, 2013
Neither did he.
+3
Level 73
Oct 20, 2013
LOL
+18
Level 80
Jan 9, 2015
If only those space aliens hadn't blackmailed him into returning to basketball I'm sure his baseball career would have eventually taken off.
+1
Level 65
Mar 14, 2017
He was supposed to have been a very good baseball player...
+5
Level 78
Sep 3, 2017
...and then came time to try to hit a curve ball.
+1
Level 67
May 16, 2018
It didn't last long. He retired from basketball after the Bulls won their 3rd championship and his father was murdered. Then he joined the Chicago White Sox in their minor leagues, and ended up going back to basketball a couple years later.
+5
Level 72
Dec 23, 2018
Luckily baseball went on strike and gave him an excuse to go back to the hoops and win 3 more rings. I was at the game when they won #5. Go Bulls.
+1
Level 71
Oct 20, 2013
I couldn't think of the new Pope's name either - also missed the nerve gas question.
+2
Level 85
Oct 20, 2013
Got all except the Tokyo subway, because I thought Sarin was spelled Serin. Oh well.
+1
Level 51
Jan 9, 2015
I know the feeling.
+4
Level 79
Dec 29, 2015
I was trying to spell it r-i-c-i-n. :(
+2
Level 81
Dec 22, 2018
That was Albuquerque.
+1
Level 48
Dec 26, 2019
@someone2018 now i dont smoke
+13
Level 47
Oct 20, 2013
Only got the answer for 1993 because I was guessing the answer for 1990.
+3
Level 55
Apr 22, 2014
You win the internet.
+1
Level 58
Jun 3, 2015
same haha
+1
Level 67
Mar 1, 2016
thats funny
+1
Level 67
May 16, 2018
I'm guessing the questions were changed somewhere in the last 5 years. Otherwise... you got Michael Jordan because you thought Iraq invaded him in 1990?
+11
Level 61
Jun 2, 2018
They were typing Jordan to try to guess the country, but in the process they accidentally answered Michael Jordan.
+1
Level 50
Jan 21, 2014
I've never thought I would get 100%!
+1
Level 71
Mar 17, 2014
OMG, this is the first time I get 100% on a test on the first go! I guess this proves I have lived the past 24 years ;).
+3
Level 55
Apr 22, 2014
I'M AMERICAN. I DON'T WATCH SOCCER OR PAY ATTENTION TO WORLD LEADERS. It's kind of disturbing that apartheid ended so recently.
+1
Level 80
Jan 9, 2015
Human slavery was still officially legal in parts of the world through the early 80s.
+3
Level 47
Dec 23, 2016
And was never officially abolished in Alabama(methinks) until 2012 when an error in the movie "Lincoln" provoked a look into the abolition processes of every state.
+3
Level 47
Dec 23, 2016
UPDATE: Alabama ratified the 13th amendment on Feb. 18, 2013... after 148 years.
+2
Level 68
Dec 23, 2018
I think you mean Mississippi. Alabama ratifed the 13th Amendment on 12/2/1865, putting it among the original 27 states, or 3/4ths, necessary to pass it.. Mississippi failed to ratify it until 2013.
+1
Level 67
Nov 2, 2014
Maybe more spellings for apartheid. I knew it, but couldn't spell it.
+4
Level 80
Jan 9, 2015
Gore didn't lose by 537 votes. He lost by one vote. In the Supreme Court.
+7
Level 80
Jan 9, 2015
That's debatable. More accurate would be to say he lost by one state, and the electoral votes that it represented (25, putting Gore behind by 5 electoral votes). He still won the popular vote by over half a million votes. Maybe the clue could be rewritten "this candidate loses his bid to become US president by only getting 543,985 more votes than his opponent (at last tally)."
+2
Level 79
Jan 9, 2015
If we were a pure democracy and voting was required of every citizen by law rather than a democratic republic where voting is optional and the electoral college actually elects our president, one has to wonder how the course of our US history might have changed.
+4
Level 80
Jan 10, 2015
the two political parties would probably look different than they do. Republicans can only win elections at a national level by relying on higher voter turnout amongst scared/retired conservatives than apathetic liberals, or by suppressing the vote of young people/minorities/women/inner city residents. If everyone had to vote they couldn't rely on this strategy and would have to adjust their strategy.
+3
Level 73
Jan 9, 2015
Weren't thousands of people excluded from the elections by the Republican government of Florida (more or less) to secure a Bush win that would turn out to be crucial because of the crappy American electoral system?
+2
Level 80
Jan 10, 2015
eh.... kinda. there were 1000s of lawyers representing both parties in Florida during and especially after the election. All were trying to gain any advantage they could for their candidate. Republican lawyers aggressively sought to discount some ballots in districts where they were recounting because in those voting districts, Gore was thought to be favored and had they done a comprehensive recount it probably would have meant more votes for Gore. So... they (mostly through legal means) sought to throw out certain ballots that were allegedly not clearly marked.. the ones with the famous "hanging chads" or "dimpled" chads meaning that the little paper square had not been neatly punched out of the card. There was also the famous butterfly ballot in one district where confused seniors had obviously *meant* to vote for Gore but ended up voting for Buchanan. And ultimately efforts to continue recounting were halted by the Supreme Court. Bush was still ahead at that point, so he "won."
+2
Level 80
Jan 10, 2015
and the electoral college works the way that it does by design. It's not supposed to be a direct democracy. So, it's not like the system failed or didn't work as it was supposed to. I think nonsensical, archaic, or unrepresentative would be better adjectives here than "crappy."
+1
Level 73
Apr 19, 2015
Crappy was harsh, but I really meant something like "unrepresentative".
+3
Level 77
Dec 19, 2019
What's crappy is not so much the electoral college (which does have a reasoning behind it) but the actual vote-casting methods. With so many irregularities, unclear voting by design rather than through voters' fault etc etc, almost any European court/electoral commission would order a recount, or more likely a repeat election with these issues tackled. Also *hours* of waiting at poll stations like in some poor country???
+3
Level 80
Dec 26, 2019
There is without doubt enormous room for improvement when it comes to the American election process. Some of this has to do with the outdated electoral college; a lot of it has to do with other things. Unfortunately some in power have deemed it advantageous to their staying in power to either fail to address the problems that exist, or, in many cases, actively work to make them worse.
+2
Level 51
Jan 9, 2015
I spent the last 30 seconds retyping serin gas. I'm stupid.
+1
Level 62
Jun 24, 2016
Me too! tried every possible variation, except the right one.
+1
Level 50
Mar 14, 2017
Same here, getting it on the 5th try.
+5
Level 25
Jan 9, 2015
palestine isnt a country though..
+6
Level 80
Jan 10, 2015
It's not a sovereign nation and therefore doesn't fit the definition of country sometimes used. But then again, neither is Wales...
+1
Level 55
Dec 28, 2015
Got all but the riot city. Not an incident I've heard about and I wasn't alive at the time.
+1
Level 79
Dec 29, 2015
I feel really old. You probably can't picture a world without computers, remote controls, or Cocoa Puffs, either.
+6
Level 78
Sep 3, 2017
Just wanted to take this opportunity to mention that I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
+1
Level 50
Mar 14, 2017
Wow, a riot I lived through and here's someone who never heard of it. I make assumptions every day about what I've experienced.
+2
Level 78
Dec 26, 2018
The events that we more "senior" citizens have lived through really help to put our current events into a broader perspective. I was a senior in college in Miami for both the Liberty City riots and the Mariel boatlift. The boatlift resulted in about 125.000 Cuban immigrants coming to Florida. It included many former inmates from Cuban prisons and mental health facilities. The fact that we survived it kinda puts the 10,000 immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America with only a suspicion of some sort of criminal activity seem a little less scary.
+1
Level 56
Dec 29, 2015
The only way that I know the tokyo one was because of this season of Homeland. :/
+2
Level 58
Dec 29, 2015
Aaaaaaaawe didn't start the fire...lalalalalala lalalalalala....
+3
Level 59
Dec 29, 2015
Excellent quiz, a (sad, for the most part) stroll through recent events. I'm ashamed to say I'd forgotten how many people died in the tsunami. As a Brit who remembers 'Mad Cow', any chance you could also accept CJD, (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) as this is the correct name for the awful condition. 'Mad Cow' was a name invented by the press.
+2
Level 55
Dec 29, 2015
I tried Creutzfeldt-Jakob before I typed Mad Cow. I would assign bonus points to the first answer :D
+4
Level 70
Dec 29, 2015
CJD is not the correct name of the disease in cows. It is called BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) or Mad Cow Disease. While the Mad Cow name was pretty much invented by the press, it is still a correct name. The disease that humans can get from eating infected meat is called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD).
+2
Level 73
Dec 26, 2018
I agree that it should be an accepted answer, however, because it was the vCJD scare that prompted the bans, regardless of the evidence linking the two diseases.
+1
Level 64
Dec 29, 2015
100%. Very easy if you've lived through the years and listened.
+1
Level 64
Dec 29, 2015
Great idea for a quiz!
+1
Level 53
Jan 4, 2016
Blanked on pope; kept guessing John Paul and Benedict; only knew LA Riots from GTA San Andreas, and couldn't guess face for the life of me. Glad i Knew the sarin gas one tho
+1
Level 45
Mar 22, 2018
Can you add ones for 2016 and 2017? It really needs an update!
+5
Level 46
Mar 22, 2018
Too world-centric...
+8
Level 65
Apr 26, 2020
To be fair, it does mention Mars.
+1
Level 37
Nov 18, 2018
Also got 100%, but am concerned that one of the few times I score that high is on a quiz about world-wide calamities!
+1
Level 78
Dec 22, 2018
CJD could be an acceptable type in for mad cow disease? In Britain it was often referred to by it's medical name (which I can't spell)
+1
Level 67
Dec 21, 2019
You mean BSE
+1
Level 81
Dec 22, 2018
28/28, 97%, is better than only 50%. I guess this is an easy one.
+2
Level 79
Dec 22, 2018
"Scientist announce the presence of liquid water here"

Which one? Is it Neil deGrasse Tyson? I love him.

+1
Level 72
Dec 23, 2018
Iā€˜m not a big fan of astronomy, but I could listen for hours to Neil. He makes astronomy great again, what a legend!
+5
Level 57
Dec 31, 2018
Typed MJ for 2009, got 1993 instead.
+1
Level 64
Dec 31, 2018
28/29. Ran out of time remembering the name the Tokyo attack substance. It was too late to say Sarin
+1
Level 67
Jan 2, 2019
My life (most of it).
+2
Level 72
Apr 29, 2019
Someone call Nicholas Cage! Face off is now possible!
+1
Level 80
Aug 19, 2019
yeah.... not even close
+3
Level 65
Dec 26, 2019
Point of clarification for the 1992 question: the riots erupted after the police who beat Rodney King were acquitted at trial that year. The actual police brutality incident occurred a year earlier, in March 1991, and people did not riot when the news of the beatings initially broke. I think there is an important historical distinction between people rioting at the sight of four derelict police officers vs. people rioting after the entire justice system spit in their faces.
+1
Level 41
Dec 26, 2019
"Scientist announce" -- one of these words needs an "s."
+1
Level 41
Dec 26, 2019
My absolute favourite kind of quiz. I have such a poor grasp on specific years so it's great to revise.

I've also created quizzes on an event a year for both 1900-1950 and 1950-2000 if people are interested, though my clues aren't quite as streamlined as these.

+1
Level 59
Dec 26, 2019
Palestina?
+1
Level 80
Dec 26, 2019
if the quiz were written in Latin maybe
+1
Level 49
Jan 7, 2020
I bet that US - Iran tensions/conflicts will be the 2020 spot. Either that or the Australian bushfires.
+7
Level 62
Oct 6, 2020
Man, you can really tell this comment was written in January when all we had to worry about was World War 3.
+1
Level 65
Jan 10, 2020
To be pedantic, 'Princess Diana' is not correct, whether or not that's how she was popularly known. Her title was Diana, Princess of Wales so either use that or just Diana.
+3
Level 80
Jun 14, 2020
It's correct. Her name was Diana. She was a princess. She was popularly known as Princess Diana. It's a proper name so it's capitalized. Moronic conventions of the British royal family don't trump common international usage of the English language.
+2
Level 32
Nov 18, 2020
Catalonia has gained independence from Spain previously......................for eight seconds
+3
Level 51
Nov 18, 2020
So Quizmaster are you really sure that, nothing more major than Covid will happen in the next 5 weeks?
+4
Level 77
Nov 19, 2020
don't tempt fate
+1
Level 72
Nov 19, 2020
These aren't always the most major events of the year
+2
Level 52
Nov 19, 2020
Gah! Another perfect score ruined by a question about an obscure American sport...
+2
Level āˆž
Nov 19, 2020
Yes, the quaint sport of basketball. Such an odd American custom. Only a few people have ever heard of it. And whoever heard of Michael Jordan outside of the United States? Nobody, that's who. Just a completely random and unnecessary imposition to expect anyone to guess that one. And, even if you knew it, how could one even spell it? It's just such a strange and weird answer.
+1
Level 73
Nov 19, 2020
Say, what is this 'United States' some people are mentioning on this site? And who are these 'Americans'? Don't think I've ever heard of them before.
+1
Level 52
Nov 20, 2020
Here, fishy fishy.
+1
Level 73
Nov 21, 2020
Surely the reveal of the first iPhone in 2007 has had a much larger impact on the world than Tony Blair leaving office, no?