Top 10 Most Memorable Events of 2010



Top 10 Most Memorable Events of 2010

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Aaron Cameron

2010, the year that dared to dream. Or did it? Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 events of 2010. For this list, we will be looking at events from each half-decade from pop-culture, natural disasters, medical breakthroughs, sports, and political happenings based on their significance at the time and their lasting impact today.

Head over to WatchMojo.comsuggest to submit your ideas!

Top 10 Most Memorable Events of 2010

2010, the year that dared to dream. Or did it? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 events of 2010.

For this list, we will be looking at events from each half-decade from pop-culture, natural disasters, medical breakthroughs, sports, and political happenings based on their significance at the time and their lasting impact today. We’re excluding the Arab Spring protests, which, although they may have started in 2010, the demonstrations, protests, riots and so on did not truly reach full momentum until 2011. This is part of a series of videos spanning the decades.

#10: The Sinking of the Cheonan Warship
March 26, 2010

Although never entirely proven, evidence and intel blamed the sinking of the South Korean Cheonan warship in March 2010 on a North Korean torpedo as fired by a sub. The Cheonan took just five minutes to sink, losing 46 lives in the process. While North Korea flatly denied sinking the vessel, the area in which the incident occurred is frequented by North Korean fishers and is very near the Korean border. Additionally, pieces of a North Korean torpedo were found near the ship’s wreckage. Unlike the response to the North’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island later in the year, South Korea was unwilling to chance armed conflict, so instead cut off $ aid to its northern neighbor.

#9: ‘Tonight Show’ Conflict
January 22, 2010

In 2009, NBC discovered an issue when it came time to give the Tonight Show to Conan O’Brien: people still watched Leno. NBC opted to keep both comics and gave Leno a new, earlier show... which drew in fewer viewers than the dramas it replaced. The quickest fix? Stick Leno back into the 11:35PM time slot and bump CoCo to 12:05AM- except Conan wouldn’t budge. Leno meanwhile had an ironclad pay AND play contract, meaning O’Brien had to either move or jog on. After less than 8 months on the job, Conan walked – with his last “Tonight Show” airing in late January 2010. Jay returned to the Tonight Show on March 1.

#8: The Royal Engagement Announcement
November 16, 2010

Both 28, Prince William and commoner Kate Middleton actually became engaged while on vacation in Kenya on October 20, 2010, but it was only publicly announced on November 16, 2010. The soon to be Royal-couple met in university in 2001, though only made their relationship public in 2005, and briefly split in 2007. Prince William presented Kate with his mother’s - Princess Diana’s - engagement ring: a weighty creation made of a large sapphire and many, many diamonds. Although the pair didn’t actually wed until early 2011, the engagement set off a media frenzy- so much so that an actual Royal Wedding in 2010, that of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling, is largely least outside of Sweden.

#7: The Tiger Woods Divorce
August 23, 2010

2010 was not Tiger Woods’ year. Coming into the year with the world discovering he had had no fewer than 14 known mistresses, Woods spent at least 45 days in a sex rehab clinic following a series of affairs despite his marriage to Swedish model Elin Nordegren. Party girls, waitresses, escorts, and strippers all came forward as part time Tiger-handlers, while porn star Holly Sampson claimed to have slept with the golfer at his bachelor party. Fellow porn star Joslyn James even claimed to have been pregnant multiple times by Tiger, but the final straw for Elin came in April with the mistress who also happened to be their neighbor’s 21 year old daughter.

#6: The Chilean Mining Accident
August 5 - October 13, 2010

By the time of their rescue in mid-October 2010, the 33 miners had been 2300 feet underground for 69 days in the San Jose copper-gold mine. 17 days after the mine collapsed, they had no contact from the world above, but things changed when they attached a note onto a drill bit. Soon the miners were supplied food, cameras, Bibles, as well as clothing and sunglasses for their eventual rescue. Trapped in a space about the same size as a studio apartment, the miners were able to access some tunnels for exercise, solitude, and bathroom breaks. Miner Edison Peña even ran several miles a day to keep fit during the Copiapó accident – and in 90 degree heat no less!

#5: U.S. Diplomatic Cables Leak
November 28, 2010

WikiLeaks, and founder Julian Assange, steadily grew in fame and infamy throughout 2010. The organization made headlines in April of that year by releasing a 2007 video showing a US Apache helicopter killing journalists and civilians. July was noted with a release of 92,000 classified American military files from the Afghanistan war, October saw the first of 400,000 Iraqi war logs being released, but it was the November incident that really put WikiLeaks on the wanted list. On November 28, the site released over 250,000 embassy cables sent to the US State Department. Known as Cablegate, it was the single largest leak of confidential documents ever sent to the public domain.

#4: The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010
December 22, 2010

Implemented in 1993, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was never exactly popular in the LGBT community. While it did allow for gays and lesbians to serve in the military, in a way, it also booted them straight out of if they were open about their sexual orientation. Hotly debated in both the House and the US Senate throughout 2010, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act was signed by President Barack Obama in December of 2010. The Act would formally become law the following September and allowed gays and lesbians to openly serve, and allowed formally discharged lesbians and gays to re-enlist.

#3: The Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull
March 20 to June 23, 2010

Although fairly insignificant as far as volcanoes go, Eyjafjallajokull nonetheless found a way to wreak havoc in 2010. Despite being tucked away in Iceland, and only of concern to sheep and horses, the volcano managed to disrupt air travel across much of Europe for six days in April, as a result of its multiple eruptions. This came down to the sneaky bugger being parked right under the jetstream and pumping glass-like ash straight into it. Bad form, unpronounceable volcano, bad form. On the less of a jerk side of things, on March 25 the volcano allowed scientists to witness the formation of a pseudocrater for the first time ever.

#2: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
April 20, 2010

BP’s drilling of an exploratory well off the coast of Louisiana resulted in the worst oil spill in US history in 2010. On April 20th, a leak of oil and gas from an underwater BP pipeline in the well resulted in a fire and explosion that caused the Deepwater Horizon oil rig to sink two days later, on what was – ironically - Earth Day, which only underlined the oil spill’s environmental impact. Leaking for 87 days, the spill saw the release of almost 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The spill ultimately killed about 8000 animals and cost $40B in cleanup efforts.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada
February 12-28, 2010
- Spain Wins the 2010 FIFA World Cup
July 11, 2010
- 8.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Chile
February 27, 2010
- Kraft Foods Buys Cadbury
February 5, 2010
- Picasso’s ‘Nude, Green Leaves and Bust’ Sells for a Record $106.5 Million
May 4, 2010

#1: The Haiti Earthquake
January 12, 2010

In mid-January 2010, after the strongest earthquake to hit the Caribbean country in over 2 centuries, nearly 3 million people, or one third of Haiti’s population, were left in need of aid. More than 1 million of those were left homeless while as many as 316,000 people were killed by the quake and its more than 50 aftershocks. Power and communications were down, while roads were blocked and hospitals were destroyed. Damage was especially brutal due to the country’s non-existent building codes and unrepaired damage from cyclones in 2008. Due to Haiti’s crippling poverty, G7 nations forgave debts while an American telethon fronted by Wyclef Jean and George Clooney raised close to $60M in donations.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the most important event from 2010? For more hashtagging Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to