• History

The Milestones to Come in 2016

3 minute read

5TH Occupy Wall Street

Sept. 17

Inspired by the Arab Spring, hundreds of people went to lower Manhattan to decry economic and social inequality. Some lawsuits over the treatment of protesters continue to make their way through courts.

Also turning 5: Anthony Weiner’s resignation from Congress

10TH First tweet

March 21

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey made social-media history with the very first tweet: “Just setting up my twttr.” The message has been retweeted more than 66,000 times.

Would have turned 10: The marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (had it lasted)

15TH Same-sex marriage in the Netherlands

April 1

Fifteen is the crystal anniversary, so raise a flute to the Dutch couples who took advantage of their nation’s being the first to legalize same-sex marriage.

Also turning 15: Wikipedia

20TH Garry Kasparov’s victory over Deep Blue

Feb. 17

The human chess champ’s victory over his robotic opponent was short-lived, however, as an upgraded Deep Blue triumphed in a rematch the following year.

Also turning 20: “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls

25TH Nirvana’s Nevermind

Sept. 24

The gods of grunge defined the feel of the ’90s with this surprise hit album. Its Gen X anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit” landed on TIME’s list of the 100 greatest songs ever.

Also turning 25: The Silence of the Lambs (the movie)

30TH Chernobyl reactor explosion

April 26

Time’s cover that week featured a one-word headline: “Meltdown.” The accident in Ukraine remains the most devastating in nuclear history, and Chernobyl is still synonymous with disaster. Recently, remote cameras have captured wildlife flourishing in the fallout zone.

Also turning 30: NASA’s Challenger disaster

40TH Apple Computer Co.

April 1

Use an iPhone to tell your friends that you’re glad Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne turned their tinkering into a business.

Also turning 40: Taxi Driver

50TH Star Trek

Sept. 8

The first episode, “The Man Trap,” in which Captain Kirk faces an alien desperate to suck the salt out of human bodies, was panned by many critics. In retrospect, they perhaps did not go boldly enough.

Also turning 50: Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys

60TH Eurovision contest

May 24

The brainchild of an international group of broadcasters, the showdown was more notable for its technological victories–some 4 million TV sets tuned in–than for the now forgotten winning song. (It was a Swiss entry, “Refrain.”)

Also turning 60: The Suez crisis

75TH Pearl Harbor attack

Dec. 7

FDR’s prediction holds true: the date lives in infamy, three-quarters of a century later.

Also turning 75: The death of Virginia Woolf

80TH Jesse Owens’ four gold medals at the Nazi-hosted 1936 Olympics

Aug. 9

Hitler intended the Berlin Games to put Aryan athletes on literal pedestals. African-American Owens, the first U.S. Olympian to win four gold medals in track and field at one Olympics, thwarted the dictator’s plan.

Also turning 80: Gone With the Wind (the book)

90TH Winnie- the-Pooh

Oct. 14

The famous bear had popped up in previous works by author A.A. Milne, but the first collection of stories in which he starred made Winnie a household name. He lost his hyphens after Disney acquired the rights to the character.

Also turning 90: The anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s birth

100TH First woman in U.S. Congress

Nov. 7

Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana made history as the first woman elected to the House, four years before women were guaranteed the right to vote nationally by the 19th Amendment.

Also turning 100: U.S. National Park Service

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Write to Lily Rothman at lily.rothman@time.com