Decade in Review Illustrated: The Biggest News Stories of the 2010s

As another decade comes to a close, we reflect on which current events will define the 2010s. With free access to countless news outlets and social media platforms at our fingertips 24/7, it’s hard to keep track of it all. This timeline follows the biggest news stories in the United States each year from 2010-2019. While some of the following moments may be etched into your memory, others may come as a surprise.

2010

The Digital Age is here, smartphones are popularized, the first iPad is released, and Instagram is founded.
Illustration by Phil Wrigglesworth

The BP oil spill exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, marking the worst oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.
Illustration by Raul Arias

2011

The Occupy Wall Street Movement starts in Manhattan.
Illustration by Robert Neubecker

The Iraq War ends.
Illustration by Anthony Freda

2012

Barak Obama is reelected as President of the United States.
Illustration by Daniel Baxter

2013

Edward Snowden leaks the highly classified documents from the National Security Agency.
Illustration by Taylor Callery

2014

Colorado becomes the first U.S. state to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana.
Illustration by Dan Page

Russia annexes Crimea.
Illustration by Jonathan Carlson

2015

Same sex marriage is legalized in all 50 states.
Illustration by An Chen

2016

People unite at the Standing Rock Reservation to protest the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.
Illustration by Richard Mia

Donald Trump wins the presidential election.
GIF by Peter and Maria Hoey

2017

The #MeToo movement is founded by Tarana Burke and people around the world join in to fight sexual harassment.
Illustration by Egle Plytnikaite

A total solar eclipse was visible across the entire U.S. for the first time since June 1918.
Illustration by Andrea Cobb

2018

The March For Our Lives advocates for gun control, drawing 500,000 protesters to Washington D.C..
Illustration by James Steinberg

The 116th Congress makes history with the highest number of women and African-American and Hispanic members elected.
Illustration by Sean McCabe

2019

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks cofounder, is arrested.
Illustration by Nigel Buchanan

President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry begins.
Illustration by Jan Feindt