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Bush v. Gore

Throughout the campaign, polls showed the race was very close. Bush initially stumbled but regained his momentum during the three debates. The Republicans effectively defined the game of expectations. When Bush did better than expected, he won the debates.

On election night, the results were so close that neither candidate was declared the winner. Gore won the nationwide popular vote, but the outcome of a recount in Florida would determine the results of the Electoral vote. The initial numbers of votes, in an election marked with several irregularities, had given Bush a Florida lead of fewer than 1,000 votes. The Supreme Court intervened and stopped the recount. Thus, giving the election to Bush. The 2000 election was the fourth in American history when the winner of the popular vote was not the winner of the electoral votes.


9/11 – US Attacked

On September 11th, 2001 four groups of terrorists from al-Qaeda, hijacked four aircraft. The first two crashed into the World Trade Center in New York; the third crashed into the Pentagon, the fourth crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. The first aircraft, American Airlines Flt 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 AM. At 9:03 United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the WTC, At 9:37 American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. tT at 10:00 the fourth plane that was also heading for Washington crashed into a field in Pennsylvania at 10 AM after the passengers attempted to take back control of the aircraft. Those passengers had heard by phone of the fate of the earlier aircraft.

At 9:59 the South tour of the WTC collapsed followed by the north tower which collapsed at 10:28. A total of 2595 including 343 firefighters and police officers were killed in the World Trade Center. 175 died in the Pentagon, and 265 passengers on the planes died.



On January 16th, 2003 Mission STS-107 with Shuttle Columbia took off from Cape Canaveral. Aboard the shuttle were seven astronauts. 81.7 seconds after take off a large piece foam broke off from the external fuel tank and struck the wing of the shuttle. NASA used simple predictive software to evaluate the possible impact of the strike. The software predicted that the results might be catastrophic. NASA, however, downplayed the potential impact. They refused to request a DOD satellite try to get a high-quality image of the shuttle in flight.

The NASA specialist convinced themselves that it would be ok, and furthermore, if it was not there was nothing that could be done, there were no backup space shuttles available for an emergency mission, and better the crew go about their task and continue to work without worrying about a possible catastrophe. In retrospect that decision is indefensible. If there was indeed a potential problem, then the best minds in the US and the world could have been directed at finding a solution. Furthermore, if there was no solution the astronauts deserved the ability to say goodbye to their families.

At 8:15 EST the Columbia fired its engine to begin to deorbit. At 8:44 Am the Columbia began to enter the atmosphere. As Columbia passed over California, something started going wrong. The first heat tiles began to fall off the Shuttle as it passed over Texas. At 8:59 the last words were heard from the Shuttle crew as the Shuttle began to disintegrate.



On January 9, 2007, at Macworld Steve Jobs unveiled the CEO of Apple unveiled the iPhone. The iPhone would go on to change the way we communicate.

Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997. When he returned, the company was teetering close to bankruptcy. One of his first accomplishments to buy time was to convince his old friend and competitor Bill Gates to invest in Apple and announce that Microsoft was committed to keeping its forward on the Macintosh. He also immediately set out to streamline Apple’s product line and begin work on new products. The first of the new products was the all in one colorful Imac’s. They were a success and provided Apple with the breathing room to develop new products.

In October 2001 Apple introduced the iPod. The first version could hold 1,000 songs and was considered a breakthrough in music devices.

Apple began secretly working on combining a music player with a phone. On January 9th at the annual Macworld show in San Francisco Steve got on stage and unveiled the for the first time the iPhone. On the 12th anniversary of that event the then Wall Street Journal tech editors Walt Mossberg tweeted: “The unveiling of the iPhone was a seminal event in the history of technology. I’ll never forget it. So glad I left the Consumer Electronics Show in 2007 to fly to SF to attend. Jobs convinced me to do so without telling me the product. ‘Walt, this will be as big as the Mac.’”.

While the initial iPhone did not support third-party apps, Steve Jobs recognized the mistake and a year later the phone was opened up to third-party apps, that soon changed the world of communication and computing. Millions of Apps were developed for the iPhone and its’ iOS operating system. Millions of users soon had a computer in their pocket. The iPhone drove Apple to unprecedented growth and profitability. Its main competitor became phones using an operating system developed by Google called Android.



In July 2004, two entrepreneurs, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, established Tesla Motors, which has since changed its name to Tesla, Inc. However, the company would not have been possible without a $7.5 million investment from Elon Musk in 2004, which led to him being appointed chairman of the board and then CEO by 2008.
Consequently, he invested an additional $70 million into the forward-thinking company, which was named after Nikola Tesla, the inventor behind the field of electrical and radio engineering.

2006: The Tesla Roadster
The media first took notice of Tesla following its official presentation of the Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sports car, in 2006. The world fell in love with the idea that a single charge would allow drivers to travel 393 kilometers in the vehicle, but it would take an average of three and a half hours to charge the car’s battery fully.
If this wasn’t enough, the vehicle can accelerate to 100 km/h in as little as 3.7 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 201.1 km/h. The company also lived up to its name, as the vehicle features an AC motor that featured in Tesla’s original design from 1882.
2008: The Model S
After selling 2,400 Tesla Roadsters in 31 countries, Tesla introduced their next generation of electric cars: the Model S. It would soon become the iconic Tesla car and offers seven seats for a starting price of $50,000. While it would appear to be a sports vehicle at first glance, it is undoubtedly an affordable family car. In fact, people can even save on fuel by investing in a home charging station, which could make trips to the gas station a thing of the past.
2014: The Model 3
Following the success of the Model S, Tesla announced in the middle of 2014 that it was developing the innovative yet affordable Model 3. It was released onto the market in 2019, and it is becoming an increasingly common sight on US roads. The vehicle reportedly has a range of 260 miles and a 5.6 second 0-60mph time. It also has a starting price of $35,000.
2015: The Model S Vehicles
Tesla, Inc. introduced the Model S vehicles to the world in 2015, which feature three new models:

  • Model S 60D
  • Model S 85D
  • Model S P85D

While each offer similar visuals to the original Model S, there are some notable changes under the hood. For example, the Model S P85D can drive from zero to 60 in just 3.2 seconds.
Tesla 2019
By 2019 Tesla had sold over 250,000 cars.  Car production has been steadily rising from 48,000 in 2017, to 182,400 in 2018.  While sales have increased the company has struggled to achieve sustained profitability.  Tesla remains the premier brand when it comes to electric cars, but other tradtiional auto companies have been trying to compete with limited success.



On April 16, 2007, Seung -Hui Cho killed 32 students and wounded 17 at Virginia Polytechnic Insitute. Cho killed himself. It was the deadliest school shooting in US history.

Seung -Hui Cho was born in South Korea. He moved with his family to the United States at the age of eight. In Middle School, he was diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder. Throughout Middle School and High School Cho received therapy and special support.

Cho enrolled at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg Virginia. In 2005 Cho was accused of stalking two female students. After an investigation, he was deemed mentally ill and ordered to undergo mental health treatment. He was not however institutionalized. As a result, he was able to purchase guns.

At 7:15 AM on April 16th, 2007 Cho entered West Ambler Johnston Hall he entered the room of Emily J Hilscher and fatally shot her, he then shot Ryan C Clark who came to her aid. Cho then left the building returned to his dorm deleted items from his computer and mailed a package to NBC news with a manifesto against rich kids in it.

At approximately 9:30 Cho entered Norris Hall. There he went from classroom to classroom randomly shooting students. He continued firing for ten minutes killing five faculty members and an additional twenty-five students before killing himself.

As a result of the shooting, the State of Virginia changed its laws to match national gun control laws when it came to keeping track of mentally ill individuals who wish to buy guns.
The US government passed the first gun control laws in a decade mandating improving state reporting.



The seeds of the financial crisis were the rapidly increasing house prices in the United States throughout the first years of the century. More and more people were buying homes, and the banks came up with new ways of lending them money. Providing a mortgage with no money down became a norm. This was fine as long as house prices were rising. When they stopped rising, that became a significant problem.

Traditionally mortgages were issued by local banks who knew their clients and knew the value of real estate in their markets. However, in the years leading up to the crisis new lenders including Lehman entered the market- especially in what was called subprime- meaning borrowers who might otherwise not qualified for a loan. The new lenders created a new method of financing these loans by creating back mortgage securities and collateralized debt obligations (CDO). These were packages of mortgages at different values that were then resold as you would a stock or bond.

Housing prices had peaked in 2006 and began going down in 2007. As a result, homeowners were finding it more and more difficult to refinance their homes. As a result, more an more homeowners began to default. Because of the defaults and the rapidly dropping value of the price of homes the value of the CDO’s started to fall, even worse it was not clear what their values were.

Lehman Brothers was particularly vulnerable to the drop in the value of homes and the mortgage-backed securities. The company had borrowed heavily to invest in the mortgage market. Lehman reported ever-growing losses due to the drop in the value of real estate. In the second quarter of 2008, the company reported losses of $2.8 billion and Lehman was having a harder time of borrowing, and Lehman shares plunged. Lehman announced on September 10th an additional loss of $3.9 Billion. On September 12, 2008, the New York Fed met to find a way to save the bank. An attempt to arrange the sale of Lehman to Barclays or Bank of America failed, and finally, the decision was taken that there was no choice but to declare bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy of Lehman pushed the stock markets into a tailspin with the Dow Jones Industrial dropping 500 points the next day. AIG and other funds suffered runs on their funds. The Federal Reserve stepped in to try to stabilize the markets and were ultimately successful in stopping a complete collapse of the financial system.




Senator Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential Election. His victory came at the end of the longest, and most exciting election in American history. The 2008 election was the first election in 50 years, in which there was no incumbent President or Vice President from either party competing for the Presidential nomination. The absence of any incumbent encouraged a large number of candidates from both parties to run.

On the Democratic side, the early assumptions were that Senator Hilary Clinton, wife of the former President Bill Clinton, would be the favorite to receive her party’s nomination. Clinton entered the Presidential primary race with the highest name recognition of any candidate. She had an established political organization, inherited partially, from her husband, as well as built on her own. A large number of other Democrats announced their intentions to run. Most of the potential candidates were senators. One of the Senators was Barack Obama, a freshman Senator from Illinois. Obama was an African-American, who come to national attention when he gave the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Obama was the only African-American Senator. He was also the only candidate that had been on record opposing the war in Iraq, before the US attack. This was a strong draw among a Democratic primary electorate that was firmly against the war. Obama won the first primary election battle, the Iowa caucus. Senator Clinton revived her campaign with a comeback victory in New Hampshire. The two battled in repeated primary states. Obama made an important strategic decision to compete heavily in many of the smaller caucus states; states that rarely voted for a Democrat in a general election. Securing victories in the smaller caucus states provided Obama with a significant lead in the delegate count in his favor. The Democrats appointed delegates proportionally. Thus, even though Clinton won many of the later primary contests in the most significant states, she was unable to catch Obama’s delegate lead. Also, Obama had a superior fundraising operation. He successfully used the internet to build a significant base of small donors.




General Motors the largest US automaker and for many years the largest US company declared bankruptcy on June 1, 2009. The bankruptcy took place in the middle of the most massive economic recession in America and the world since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The bankruptcy was done in close coordination with the Federal government after both the prior Bush administration and the Obama administration in power at the time had extended to the company support. The US government provided debtor in possession financing bridge financing, in return the US government and the Canadian government together gained control of 70% of the company. The bankruptcy followed a few weeks after a similar small bankruptcy of the number three US automaker, Chrysler.


21st Century – 2000-2010