December 31 of 2009 marks the end of the decade without a name: we had the Seventies, the Eighties, the Nineties…and then the…Zeroes? It’s been called the Aughties like back in the 1900s, but that term fell out of the vernacular a century too early. It has been called the Naughts and the Naughties but that didn’t hold for very long. Most popular though has been the Zeroes, but we won’t have to worry about it for very much longer since now we’ll be into the…Tens! The Teens? The Twenty-Tens?
2009 was a huge year for celebrity deaths, the most popular ones probably being Michael Jackson, who is still being aired on television even now, and Farrah Fawcett, one of Charlie’s original Angels, passing away on the same day, and Billy Mays, the ad-man who spoke in caps lock, tossing in one for free a mere three days later (too soon?). Other celebrities lost this year are:
Close to Home
Frances Hillard Millican passed away on December 28 following a fall in her home. Her husband, Charles Millican, the first president of UCF, is still in the hospital recovering. Flags at UCF were raised at half staff two days after her passing to honor her memory and her vast contributions to UCF’s rich history. Paula Hawkins was the first woman to be elected to the Senate without a family connection, and is the only Floridian female Senate to date. Two members of the Disney family also died this year, Roy Disney, a nephew of the famous Walt Disney and Wayne Allwine, the original voice of Mickey Mouse.
Several leaders in the realm of politics was lost this year, such as Corazon Aquino, the 11th president of the Philippines and the first female to hold the position, Ted Kennedy, the second most senior Senator in the US Senate, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a pioneer in serving people with disabilities and the founder of the Special Olympics, Kim Dae-Jung, one of the presidents of South Korea and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient in 2000, Roh Moo-hyun, another president of South Korea, who committed suicide in May.
Oral Roberts, a famous televangelist, died this month at 91. Patrick Swayze, most known for his role in Dirty Dancing lost his battle to pancreatic cancer, Natasha Richardson suffered a head injury, Brittany Murphy suffered cardiac arrest earlier this month, Ed McMahon, who spent thirty years on The Tonight Show, David Carradine, most famous for his role in Kill Bill, Bea Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced comedienne and one of The Golden Girls, and Ricardo Montalban, whose career spanned over seventy years.
22 year old Nick Adenhart died in a car accident in April following one of his most successful baseball games. Vernon Forrest, a professional boxer, was murdered at a gas station in Georgia. Steve McNair, a quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, was also murdered this year, by his mistress, Sahel Kazemi, in what was determined to be a murder-suicide. Karine Ruby was a snowboarder and Olympic gold medalist who died following a climbing accident.
Other famous faces lost this year were the Taco Bell Dog, Gidget, who lived for 15 years, Millvina Dean, who was the youngest passenger on the Titanic, at 9 weeks old, was the last remaining survivor of the unsinkable ship. 89 year old Mickey Carroll died this year, and was one of the last remaining Munchkins from the original Wizard of Oz.
Many others were lost this year not listed in this article, but that does not mean they are not missed by friends, family and loved ones. May all those lost this year rest in peace, but live on in our hearts.
2009 is the last year of the first decade of the new millennium, and was filled with monumental international events, such as:
On January 20th, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States, following his win of the presidency on November 4th, 2008.
The worst fires in Australian history began on February 7th, killing and injuring hundreds, and leaving thousands homeless in its wake.
On March 2nd, the president of Guinea-Bissau was assassinated in an attack on his home.
The Swine Flu begins in Mexico and spreads panic worldwide. The fifth Summit of the Americas was held in Trinidad on April 17th.
On May 25th North Korea announced that they had conducted a successful nuclear test, instantly condemned by the United Nations.
The first day of June was when Air France Flight 447 en route from Brazil crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing everyone on board. On June 11th, the Swine Flu got the designation of “pandemic” and further heightened the already growing panic.
On July 7th, Michael Jackson’s public memorial service was held and it was probably the biggest funeral of all time. Also in July was the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting almost six and a half minutes.
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, jailed for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 was released on August 20th on compassionate grounds to his native Libya due to his terminal illness of aggressive prostate cancer.
On September 29th and 30th, 2 earthquakes hit Samoa and Indonesia, killing almost 1200 people total.
Rio de Janeiro received the okay to host the 2016 Olympics on October 2nd, beating out Obama’s hometown of Chicago, despite his personal efforts.
Water was found on the moon on November 13th following purposefully crashing a rocket into the moon.
We bid farewell to the first ten years if the first decade of the new millennium. Happy New Year folks!