2011 was full of world-changing events! The series of anti-government protests in the Middle East and North Africa, commonly known as the Arab Spring, affected the area and the whole world greatly.
Many natural disasters occurred in 2011, including tornadoes in the US, droughts in East Africa, and the earthquake in Japan, which resulted in critical damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility – which then leaked radiation into the air and water.
2011 was also the year when Rebecca Black’s Friday made us wish we didn’t have ears anymore. Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder also passed away, and Prince William and Kate Middleton finally tied the knot and got married.
Oh, and after years of beta testing, 2011 was the year Minecraft was fully released to the public.
2011 was also the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. While people commonly think of decades as the ’00s and 2010s, the decade actually runs from 1-10, not 0-9.
Continue reading to delve into the year 2011, where you’ll uncover important events, news stories, iconic music, notable quotes, and so much more!
Brace yourself for an incredible ride through the epic events that defined the unforgettable year of 2011.
Estonia joined the Eurozone and adopted the Euro as its currency.
For many people in Estonia, the adoption of the Euro was the final proof that they had finally separated as a nation from the Soviet Union.
The 2011 Egyptian revolution began after years of police brutality and corruption.
The revolution, which saw countless violent clashes between protestors and President Hosni Mubarak’s government, took place over 17 days. Ultimately, the President stepped down, and the military took over until elections could be held.
The Egyptian government shut down 88% of the internet across the country.
The government decided this would be the best course of action to help control the large protests that were happening.
5 Seconds of Summer member Luke Hemmings posted his first YouTube video.
The video was a cover of Mike Posner’s song, “Please Don’t Go.”
Space Shuttle Discovery completed its last-ever mission and made its final landing onto Kennedy’s runway at 11:57 am EST.
NASA’s Discovery is now on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
15,899 lives were lost after a severe 9.0 magnitude earthquake occurred in Japan.
The earthquake shook the island, causing a tsunami and the second-worst nuclear accident in history at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Total damage was equivalent to $260 billion.
The Australian boy band 5 Seconds of Summer formed.
Game of Thrones premiered on HBO.
After hyping the game up for years, Valve finally released Portal 2 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
The final part of Portal 2’s hype campaign allowed would-be players to unlock the game early by playing a specific set of thirteen indie games sold in a bundle on Steam on April Fool’s Day. Players worldwide came together for the cause, with their efforts leading to Portal 2 releasing ten hours ahead of schedule.
Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot.
The couple had been in a relationship for many years. One thousand nine hundred people attended the ceremony, 1 million lined London’s streets, and 2 billion watched on worldwide TV.
The FBI’s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, was killed by the US Navy Seals and CIA operatives in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
US President Barack Obama ordered the covert operation.
NASA launched the Endeavour Space Shuttle on the penultimate space shuttle mission.
Mission STS-134’s primary objectives were to ferry several new modules to the International Space Station and install them. One of the key modules was the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer 2, which investigated the origins of dark matter. The mission also carried 13 Lego kits to the ISS so the astronauts could see how the models acted in microgravity.
Oprah Winfrey aired her last show.
After 25 years and 4,561 episodes, The Oprah Winfrey Show ended. It remains one of the highest-rated daytime talk shows in American TV history.
NASA’s Endeavour Space Shuttle landed for its 25th and final time.
Mission STS-134 was meant to be the final Space Shuttle Mission, but another mission was later added at the last minute and flown by the Atlantis Space Shuttle. During the Endeavour’s lifetime, it spent 299 days in space, flying a total of 122,883,151 miles (197,761,262 km).
“Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra was released.
The song was originally released in Australia & New Zealand and wasn’t officially released in the US until January 2012. The single went on to win the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and reached the top 10 in more than 30 countries worldwide.
The British newspaper, News of the World, published its last-ever edition following a phone-hacking scandal.
After 168 years in print, the newspaper came to an end after the owner Rupert Murdoch received a high amount of criticism after his staff was accused of phone hacking and police bribing to obtain the newspapers’ stories.
Marvel’s superhero movie “Captain America: The First Avenger” hit the theaters.
NASA’s space shuttle program finally came to a close when mission STS-135 landed.
The Atlantis orbiter was used for the final mission, and with just four astronauts aboard, it had the smallest crew since 1983. The fourteen-day mission took up several new modules and spare parts to the International Space Station and was Atlantis’ 33rd mission. STS-135, the 135th space shuttle mission, was a complete success, with hundreds of people flocking to the Kennedy Space Center to witness the end of an era.
Officers closed a highway in Alberta, Canada, after a truck carrying 104 beehives overturned.
The movie “Drive,” based on James Sallis’s novel, was released in the US.
Drive premiered at the Cannes film festival on May 20 and received a standing ovation. The American action drama grossed $78.1–81.4 million worldwide at the box office.
The US military policy “don’t ask, don’t tell” came to an end.
This meant that the military allowed gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals to be open about their sexuality without facing discrimination. Before this, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy allowed people of any sexuality, as long as they didn’t talk about it.
Dark Souls, the second Souls game after Demon’s Souls, was released for PS3 and Xbox 360 in North America.
It wasn’t quite a sequel to Demon’s Souls, but it’s close enough for them to be considered within the same series. Dark Souls was an incredibly well-received game with just one catch: players thought it was way too difficult!
The world’s largest Legoland theme park opened in Winter Haven, Florida.
NTC forces killed Muammar Gaddafi and his son after the Battle of Sirte.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) stated that the world’s population had reached seven billion.
This became known as the Day of Seven Billion.
Asteroid 2005 YU55 came dangerously close to hitting the Earth.
It whizzed past at a distance of about 201,700 miles (324,600 km), closer than the moon’s orbit. It was the closest a space object has come to us since 1976.
After two and a half years of Alpha and Beta development, the full version of Minecraft was released.
Markus “Notch” Persson came up with the idea for Minecraft during his “off-hours” from work, and after a weekend of programming, he released the first Alpha for private testing on May 16, 2009. After working tirelessly for five years, Persson was rewarded rather well when he sold his shares of Minecraft to Microsoft for $2.5 billion in 2014.
Former French President Jacques Chirac was convicted of diverting public funds and received a two-year suspended prison sentence.
NASA successfully put two satellites designed to study the Moon’s interior structure into the Moon’s orbit.
The purpose of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) was also to better map the surface of the Moon and its gravitational field. The two satellites’ mission was a complete success, but due to fuel constraints, they were ultimately crashed into the surface of the Moon almost a year later, on December 17, 2012.
Here’s a glimpse at a few famous people who bid us farewell in 2011.
Here’s a roundup of the most memorable quotes people said in 2011.
Nobody deserves your tears, but whoever deserves them will not make you cry.
Gabriel García Márquez
I think you can have 10,000 explanations for failure, but no good explanation for success.
2011 In Music
In 2011, the music world was on fire with an incredible lineup of sensational tracks that defined the year!
From the infectious rhythm of “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele to the catchy pop vibe of “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO ft. Lauren Bennett and GoonRock, these songs had us dancing like nobody’s watching and created memories that will last a lifetime.
Discover the music moments from 2011 that deserve recognition.
Album of the Year
Arcade Fire’s alternative masterpiece “The Suburbs” took listeners on a sonic journey in 2011, winning them the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and solidifying their place in alternative rock.
Song of the Year
Lady Antebellum’s heartfelt ballad “Need You Now” struck a chord with listeners in 2011, earning them the Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
Best New Artist
Esperanza Spalding’s virtuosic bass playing and jazz-infused sound won her the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2011, showcasing her as a boundary-pushing musician.
Eurovision Song Contest Winner
The 56th Eurovision Song Contest unfolded in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 2011, providing a stage for talented artists from around Europe.
Ell & Nikki, a duo from Azerbaijan, captured the audience’s imagination with their duet “Running Scared,” showcasing their harmonious vocals and earning their country its first Eurovision victory.
2011 in Numbers
Get ready to be amazed by numbers! 2011 can be written as MMXI in Roman numerals and as 11111011011 in binary.
2011 is an extra special year too, as it’s a prime number! That means it can only be divided evenly by 1 and itself.
Chinese Zodiac 2011
According to the Chinese zodiac cycle, 2011 was The Year of the Rabbit, which occurs once every twelve years.
Interestingly, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. So not only was 2011 the Year of the Rabbit, it was actually the Year of the Gold Rabbit, which occurs once every sixty years!
Due to the unique nature of the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Gold Rabbit began on February 3rd, aligning with their lunar cycle, and continued until January 22, 2012.
Those born in the Year of the Rabbit tend to be gentle, skilful, and patient, yet a bit stubborn. They are often compassionate, considerate, and have a keen sense of aesthetics.
The Years of the Rabbit have blessed us with influential figures such as Rob Kardashian and Brendon Urie.
Did you know that our planet reached a population of 7 billion people in 2011?
The seven billionth baby was born on October 31st. However, there’s no way of knowing the exact identity of this significant individual.
Nonetheless, in certain countries like India, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, symbolic babies were chosen to represent this remarkable milestone.