The '00s: Top 50 Questions of the Decade


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About This Quiz

Time magazine declared the first 10 years of the 21st century the "Decade from Hell" -- what else would you call a decade that started off with the deadliest terrorist attack in history and ended with global economic collapse? How well you remember the events that happened in the years from 2000 through 2009?

The merger of these two companies in 2000 was the first of the decade's many major corporate mergers and buyouts.

In the biggest corporate deal ever (at that point, anyway), AOL bought Time Warner for $164 billion in January 2000.

What was the final price of the massive U.S. stimulus program approved by Congress in 2009?

President Obama signed off on the $787 billion package in February 2009.

The epicenter of the earthquake that caused the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami was off the coast of which island in the Indian Ocean?

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake was centered off the western coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Who won the 2008 Iowa Republican caucus?

Huckabee took Iowa in the 2008 primaries but was soon overtaken by John McCain.

What's the name of the pilot who successfully landed US Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River in January 2009?

Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III saved the lives of his passengers and crew by ditching his plane into the Hudson River shortly after takeoff.

What were the names of Saddam Hussein's sons who were killed by U.S. troops in July 2003?

U.S. troops killed Uday and Qusay Hussein during a raid on a home in Mosul, Iraq.

From which airline was the first airplane to hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001?

American flight 11 struck the North Tower at 8:46 a.m., and United flight 175 hit the South Tower at 9:03 a.m.

Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House, is from what state?

Pelosi represents the 8th District in California.

The U.S. military perhaps came closest to capturing Osama bin Laden in late 2001, when he was reportedly hiding in caves in this Afghan region.

Bin Laden was most likely hiding in the Tora Bora caves in late 2001, but he eluded U.S. Special Forces.

Sarah Palin was the mayor of which Alaskan town?

Before she became governor of Alaska, and then a vice-presidential hopeful, Palin was the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

In President Bush's State of the Union address in 2003, he claimed that Iraq had bought this type of uranium from Niger in an effort to make weapons of mass destruction.

The Bush Administration later admitted that the claims about yellow cake uranium were false.

Which of these companies went bankrupt over the course of the decade?

GM, Kmart, United Airlines were just three of the record number of corporate bankruptcies.

Where did United Airlines flight 93 crash on Sept. 11, 2001?

The hijackers of flight 93 intended to crash the plane in Washington, D.C., but it went down in Shanksville, Pa.

Which presidential candidate effectively ruined his political career by yelling during a concession speech in 2004?

Howard Dean got a bit too enthusiastic when he conceded the Iowa Caucus to John Kerry.

What song was playing during the final scene of "The Sopranos"?

Tony was digging into a plate of onion rings when the screen suddenly went black, interrupting "Don't Stop Believin'" midverse.

What investment bank's declaration of bankruptcy is considered to be the start of the global economic collapse of 2008?

Bear Stearns had already collapsed, but it was the failed government buyout and subsequent bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers on Sept. 15, 2008, that really made things reach a crisis point.

The first major American military campaign against the Taliban was called Operation _______.

Operation Anaconda was launched on March 1, 2002, and didn't take long to defeat the Taliban.

How many bombs were detonated in the July 7, 2005, attack on the London public transportation system?

Four bombs went off -- three in the subway system and one on a double-decker bus. Fifty-six people were killed.

The U.S. government has labeled the widespread killing in this African region genocide, but the United Nations hasn't gone that far.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and raped since 2003 -- and millions displaced -- in the Darfur ethnic conflict.

In May 2003, Paul Bremer III, the White House envoy to Iraq, signed the second Coalition Provisional Authority order. What did it do?

The order disbanded the Iraqi army, which led to a dramatic increase in sectarian violence and necessitated the troop surge of 2007.

What category was Hurricane Katrina when it made landfall on Aug. 29, 2005?

Katrina was a Category 3 storm when it hit Buras, La.

Who was the CEO of Enron during its dramatic downfall?

In 2006, Kenneth Lay was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy. He died of a heart attack soon after.

In what year did Ronald Reagan die?

The 40th president of the United States died on June 5, 2004.

In what year did Gerald R. Ford die?

The 38th president of the United States died on Dec. 26, 2006.

When did Pope John Paul II die?

Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005, just before his 86th birthday.

For which movie did Halle Berry win the Best Actress Oscar in 2003?

Berry became the first African-American Best Actress winner for her performance in "Monster's Ball."

A suicide bomb detonated in a Balinese nightclub on Oct. 12, 2002. What was the club's name?

A suicide bomber with a backpack bomb blew himself up inside Paddy's Pub that night. A more powerful car bomb detonated 15 seconds later across the street. The bombing took place in a popular tourist area and was Indonesia's deadliest act of terrorism.

Ukrainian opposition leader and presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko became disfigured in 2004, apparently by what type of poisoning?

Yuschenko's doctors said that his face became pockmarked and greenish after he ingested concentrated dioxin. His supporters claim that he was poisoned during a dinner with a political rival.

What was the magnitude of the earthquake that killed more than 70,000 people in the Sichuan region of China on May 12, 2008?

The earthquake registered at 7.9 on the Richter scale.

How long after the 2000 presidential election was George W. Bush officially declared the winner?

The Supreme Court decided to stop the recount in Florida on Dec. 12, 2000, 31 days after the election.

How many crew members were killed when the space shuttle Columbia was destroyed upon reentry on Feb. 1, 2003?

The Columbia had a hole in one of its wings, which was caused by a piece of insulating foam that broke off a fuel tank during launch. All seven crew members were killed.

Who was the first American woman to die in the Iraq war?

Army Spc. Lori Piestewa died when her convoy was ambushed in an attack in Nasiriya, Iraq. Other members of the convoy, including Jessica Lynch, were taken hostage.

Which birthday did Elian Gonzalez celebrate in 2009?

Believe it or not, Elian Gonzalez -- who was famously embroiled in a custody and immigration struggle between the United States and Cuba in 2000 -- turned 16 on Dec. 6, 2009. He now lives with his family in Cardenas, Cuba.

What's the full title of the first Harry Potter movie, released on Nov. 16, 2001?

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is the full title of the first Harry Potter movie. The book was titled "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in the United States and "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" in the U.K.

What was the name of the hotel in Mumbai where hostages were held during the terrorist attacks of Nov. 2008?

The massive Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel was the scene of a tense hostage situation and shootout during the Mumbai attacks.

Who played Jesus in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"?

Caviezel played Christ in the controversial 2004 flick.

How many people died in the anthrax-letter attacks of late 2001?

Five people died in the anthrax attacks, which were attributed to Bruce Edwards Ivins in 2008. He committed suicide when he heard of the FBI's suspicions.

In which state was the first legal gay marriage in the United States performed?

On Feb. 12, 2004, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were married in San Francisco, making them the first legally wed gay couple in the country.

How many people died in the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech in April 2007?

Seung-Hui Cho killed 33 people, including himself, on April 16, 2007.

How many months did Martha Stewart spend in prison?

On March 4, 2005, Stewart was released after five months in prison in Alderson, W.V.

Approximately how many American troops have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in this decade?

According to Newsweek magazine, about 2 million American troops have served in these two arenas.

Terri Schiavo died on March 31, 2005. How long had she been on life support?

Schiavo collapsed at home on Feb. 25, 1990, and entered a persistent vegetative state. She was removed from life support 15 years later.

Where was American Airlines flight 587 headed on Nov. 12, 2001, when it crashed shortly after takeoff in Queens, N.Y.?

The flight was on its way to the Dominican Republic from John F. Kennedy airport in New York.

On March 11, 2004, 191 people were killed by train bombs in what city?

On the morning of March 11, 2004, three coordinated bombs exploded on commuter trains in Madrid.

Michael Phelps beat Serbia's Milo Cavic by one one-thousandth of a second in what event to win his seventh gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games?

Phelps touched out Cavic by the slimmest of margins to win the 100-meter butterfly.

The biggest blackout in U.S. history struck in 2003. How many states were affected?

Eight states and about 50 million people lost power on Aug. 14, 2003.

As of the end of 2009, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have how many biological children and how many adopted children?

Three and three. They adopted Maddox, Pax and Zahara, and Angelina gave birth to Shiloh, Vivienne and Knox.

Who was Florida's secretary of state during the 2000 presidential election?

Katherine Harris became a central figure in the presidential election during the Florida recount.

The 2004 Super Bowl became famous because of a wardrobe malfunction. What teams played in that game?

The Patriots beat the Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, which is perhaps remembered more for Janet Jackson's embarrassing slip-up.

Which former American Idol contestant has sold the most albums around the world?

According to, Kelly Clarkson has sold the most albums around the world (23 million), but Carrie Underwood has her beat in the United States.

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