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2011 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 2010

2011 History Snapshot

  • Natural Disaster: The Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami killed over 16,000 people and meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant are still being dealt with today.
  • Language: "OMG" and "LOL" were added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2011 and are now officially words.
  • The Top Song was We Found Love by Rihanna
  • The Big Movies included Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
  • Price of Docker's Men's pants in 2011: $44.99
    Price of Docker's Women's pants in 2011: $34.99
    Chaps men's slippers: $58.00
  • The World Population was ~ 6,940,000,000
  • The 2011 Fad: Planking
  • And... In 2011, contestants in the Davis County, Utah rodeo queen contest were forced to use stick ponies due to an outbreak of horse herpes.

World Series Champions

St. Louis Cardinals

Superbowl XLV Champions

Green Bay Packers

National Basketball Association Champions

Dallas Mavericks

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

New York Rangers

US Open Golf

Rory Mcllroy

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Novak Djokovic/Samantha Stosur

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Novak Djokovi/Petra Kvitova

FIFA World Cup Soccer


NCAA Football Champions


NCAA Basketball Champions

UConn Huskies

Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 3, 2011 - Stanford over Virginia Tech
Rose Bowl: January 1, 2011 - TCU over Wisconsin
Sugar Bowl : January 4, 2011 - Ohio State over Arkansas
Puppy Bowl VII: February 6, 2011 Most Valuable Puppy: CB (a Shih Tzu/Terrier Mix)

Kentucky Derby

Animal Kingdom

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Foxcliffe Hickory Wind

Time Magazine's Person of the Year

The Protester

Miss America

Teresa Scanlan

Miss USA

Alyssa Campanella (California)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Hayley Atwell, Morena Baccarin, Kate Beckinsale, Ashley Benson, Julie Benz, Beyonce, Alana Blanchard, Emily Blunt, Katrina Bowden, Jordana Brewster, Alison Brie, Rose Byrne, Emilia Clarke, Marion Cotillard, Kaley Cuoco, Penélope Cruz, Miley Cyrus, Alexandra Daddario, Kat Dennings, Cameron Diaz, Jenna Fischer, Karen Gillan, Jessica Gomes, Selena Gomez, Ashley Greene, Anne Hathaway, Lena Headey, Katie Holmes, Julianne Hough, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Scarlett Johansson, January Jones, Rashida Jones, Kim Kardashian, Anna Kournikova, Mila Kunis, Padma Lakshmi, Jennifer Lawrence, Demi Lovato, AJ Michalka, Aly Michalka, Lea Michele, Kate Middleton, Maria Menounos, Olivia Munn, Rachel Nichols, Michelle Obama, Jessica Pare, Katy Perry, Natalie Portman, Bar Refaeli, Margot Robbie, Léa Seydoux, Irina Shayk, Allison Scagliotti, Nicole Scherzinger, Cobie Smulders, Brittany Snow, Sophie Turner, Sofia Vergara, Emma Watson, Kristen Wiig, Michelle Williams

Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Taylor Lautner, Rob Pattinson

"The Quotes"

"I'm a winner" - Charlie Sheen

George Lucas approached Mark Hamill in 1983 and asked him if he'd like to play an elderly, mentoring Luke to hand the story to the next generation. When Hamill asked "When?", Lucas replied with, "Oh, around 2011."

Frank Buckles, the last surviving soldier of World War I, lived for 110 years and died in 2011. When asked about his secret for long life, he simply offered, "When you start to die... don't."

Simon Cowell praised Rebecca Black's song Friday: "the fact that it's making people so angry is brilliant". He advised her to not "listen to anyone over the age of 18. I'm being deadly serious. Whatever she's done has worked... she's the most talked-about artist in America right now".

Following the attacks of 9/11, executives were unsure if it was too soon to air SNL. Lorne Michaels asked the mayor of NYC "Can we be funny?" and the Mayor replied "Why start now?"

2011 Pop Culture History

A copy of Action Comics #1 (the first comic featuring Superman) was found in an abandoned storage unit, estimated to be worth over $1 million. The comic actually belonged to Nicholas Cage, who had it stolen from his house 11 years earlier, and was returned to him.

A 2011 size 0 is larger than a 1970 size 6.

According to a 2011 North Korean government study; China is the world's happiest nation, followed by North Korea. "The American Empire" came in last.

In the London riots of 2011, the looting and vandalism which took place throughout the city was almost totally avoided by bookshops. One man said his store would probably stay open during the unrest, stating: "If they steal some books, they might actually learn something."

For their 2011 tour, The Foo Fighters submitted their tour rider, or performance agreements, as a 50 page coloring book complete with a word search and maze.

The country of Togo printed a postage stamp with a photo of an actress portraying Marie Curie, thinking it was actually Marie Curie.

The Morning Bulletin in Australia once featured an article about '30 000 pigs' escaping from a farm. The paper had to issue a retraction the next day when it transpired the reporter had misheard the farmer. In fact, '30 sows and pigs' had escaped. #accents

A study revealed that people who eat candy weigh less than those who don't. The study was sponsored by the "National Confectioners Association".

In the 2011 Jamaican census, 29,026 individuals identified themselves as Rastafari, which is approximately 1% of the country's population.

The biggest wave ever surfed was 78 feet tall in Nazare, Portugal, by Garrett McNamara.

The Patriot, released in 1928, was the last silent film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture until 2011's The Artist. It is also the only Best Picture nominee that has since become lost.

Adam Sandler's 2011 movie Jack and Jill was nominated for all 10 Razzie Awards and won every single one.

On December 30 2011, Samoa skipped a day to move to the other side of the International Dateline. Before then, it was the last country in the world to see the sunset each day, now it is one of the first to greet a new day.

William Hung of American Idol 'She Bangs' fame retired from music in 2011 and is now a Los Angeles crime scene analyst. #shebang

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra was in a deep financial crisis. Kid Rock, in what he called "the best drunk move I ever made," decided to throw a benefit concert. He raised over one million dollars for the symphony and helped save classical music in Detroit.

Dynamic Eye Sunglasses, invented by Chris Mullin, block sunglare instantly with liquid crystal lenses.

On July 11th, 2011, Neptune, the eighth planet from the sun, completed its first full rotation of the sun since its discovery in 1846.

During a Mets vs Phillies game, the country was informed of Bin Ladens death. The whole crowd chanted "USA" confusing the players as they didn't get the news yet.

In 2011, Julian Assange called Facebook the "most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented."

From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein's rule.

This year, it cost 2.41 cents to make a Penny and 11.18 cents to make a Nickel.

Tyson Smith received a heterotropic heart transplantation when surgeons attached a donor heart to his old failing heart. Removing the old heart and replacing it with a new heart would have caused the new heart to fail, but together the two hearts share the work and get the job done.

Elvis Costello was so appalled by the price his label set for a 2011 box set of his, at ~ $200, that he told all his fans not to buy it.

LEGO produced 381 million (toy) tires in 2011, making them the world's largest rubber tire manufacturer by number of units produced.

Lisa Lampanelli promised to donate $1,000 dollars to a Gay Men's Health Crisis center for every memeber of Westboro Baptist Church that protested her show on May 20, 2011 in Kansas. 44 protesters showed up, she rounded it up to $50,000.

Russia didn't consider beer to be an alcoholic beverage until 2011. Before then it was classified as a soft drink.

In 2011 male model Andrej Pejic was ranked by FHM magazine to be #98 of the sexiest women alive.

Each agency of the US government has put a price on a human life. As of 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency set the value of a human life at $9.1 million. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration put it at $7.9 million - and the Department of Transportation figure was around $6 million.

Cost of a 30 second Superbowl ad: 3.5 Million dollars

The Picture

"It was completely engulfed and everything was up in flames," said bride Nancy Rogers, posing here with new husband Mike as White Point Beach Resort's main lodge burned in the background. "We lost all of that stuff, but thatís not important to us. We got the most important things."

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

María Santos Gorrostieta Salazar, the mayor of Tiquicheo Mexico, survived three assassination attempts and despite her wounds refused to resign. In 2011 her term as mayor ended and her police protection was withdrawn. In November 2012 she was abducted, stabbed and brutally beaten to death.

Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov was declared dead of a heart attack in 2011. She was discovered to have survived the attack when she woke up at her own funeral and then promptly died of a heart attack.

NFL player Dave Duerson committed suicide, shooting himself in the chest. He left a note specifically requesting his brain be used for research into a neurodegenerative disease (CTE) which can be caused by playing football. Researchers did later confirm he had the disease.

Masao Yoshida, the plant manager at Fukushima in 2011, disobeyed orders to stop pumping seawater into the nuclear reactor. This stopped a greater disaster that would have affected millions of lives. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, more than 200 Japanese pensioners, all over 60, volunteered to tackle the nuclear crisis. The organizer said "Even if I were exposed to radiation, cancer could take 20 or 30 years or longer to develop. I probably have 13 to 15 years left to live".

Researchers let 100 paper planes go 23 miles above Germany. Some have since been found in Canada, USA, Australia and South Africa.

A third of all divorce filings of 2011 in the US contained the word 'Facebook'.

The average size of a new American home in 1950 was 983 square feet; by 2011, the average new home was 2,480 square feet. In 1950, an average of 3.37 people lived in each American home; in 2011, that number had shrunk to 2.6 people.

Avery Blandin killed his wife inside the South Carolina Walmart she was working at. Rather than close the store, they chose to just rope off the gore-splattered area while police investigated.

A Swedish man was arrested for attempting to split atoms in his kitchen. Radium, americium and uranium were all found in his home.

If you happened to be in Samoa at the end of 2011, you never experienced December 30, 2011. The country decided to change timezones, thus switching sides of the international date line and skipping December 30th altogether.

550 doctors and physicians took out ads in American newspapers calling for Ronald McDonald's retirement.

The longest film ever made (Modern Times Forever, 2011) has a duration of 240 hours or 10 days, and shows centuries of decay, compressed into the span of the film.

In 2011, Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm were found guilty of colluding with each other to repress employee wages.

Between 2009 and 2015, Usain Bolt won every World Championship and Olympic gold medal in the 100m, 200m and 4×100m relay - except the 2011 100m World Championship, where he had a false start.

Skrillex lost an entire unreleased album because his laptops and hard drives were stolen from his hotel in Milan.

In 2011 a bishop watched a television interview with Boy George, and discovered that an 18th century stolen Cypriot icon was hanging in the singer's living room. Boy George immediately agreed to return the artefact and received a gift in return.

In 1984 women earned 37% of computer science degrees. In 1998, women were at 27%. In 2011, only 12% of CS degrees went to women.

Anders Breivik, the Norwegian mass murder who killed 77 people in 2011, threatened to go on a hunger strike in prison last year if the government did not upgrade his PS2 to a PS3.

The Florida School for Boys, a reform school shut down in 2011, gained a reputation for abuse, beatings, rapes, torture, and even murder of students by staff. 50 unmarked and undocumented graves have been located on the property using radar.

More middle-aged Canadian men died by suicide in 2011 than by motor vehicle accidents, homicide, and HIV combined.

Four months after approving the merger of Comcast and NBC in 2011, Meredith Attwell Baker, the FCC commissioner who approved the deal, was hired as a lobbyist by Comcast.

Portland Oregon discarded 7.8 MILLION GALLONS of drinking water because a man urinated into the reservoir.

A 75 year old Georgian (not the US state) woman cut off internet access to the whole of Armenia when she severed a single cable while digging with a shovel.

Charlie Sheen was fired his popular TV Show Two and a Half Men.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Nintendo's 3DS, LeapFrog LeapPad, Amazon Kindle Fire

Video Games: Terraria, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warefare 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Minecraft, Mario Kart 7

HGTV Magazine began publication

The Habits

Playing Angry Birds
Reading The Litigators by John Grisham

2011/12 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. Sunday Night Football (NBC)
3. Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
4. American Idol (FOX)
5. NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
6. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
7. The Mentalist (CBS)
8. The Voice (NBC)
9. Two and a Half Men (CBS)
10. Person of Interest (CBS)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 2011 include
Adele, Beyonce, Blake Shelton, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Cake, Cee Lo Green, Chris Brown, Coldplay, David Guetta, Drake, Evanescence, Foo Fighters, Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, Kesha, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, LMFAO, Maroon 5, Michael Bublé, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Scotty McCreery, Taylor Swift

(Data is complied from various charts including: Billboard's Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 2011

December 18, 2010 - January 7, 2011: Katy Perry - Firework

January 8, 2011 - January 28, 2011: Bruno Mars - Grenade

January 29, 2011 - February 18, 2011: Britney Spears - Hold It Against Me

February 19, 2011 - February 25, 2011: Wiz Khalifa - Black and Yellow

February 26, 2011 - April 8, 2011: Lady Gaga - Born This Way

April 9, 2011 - April 29, 2011: Katy Perry featuring Kanye West - E.T.

April 30, 2011 - May 20, 2011: Rihanna featuring Britney Spears[25] - S&M

May 21, 2011 - July 8, 2011: Adele - Rolling in the Deep

July 9, 2011 - July 15, 2011: Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer - Give Me Everything

July 16, 2011 - August 26, 2011: LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock - Party Rock Anthem

August 27, 2011 - September 9, 2011: Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)

September 10, 2011 - September 16, 2011: Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera - Moves Like Jagger

September 17, 2011 - November 11, 2011: Adele - Someone Like You

November 12, 2011 - January 6, 2012: Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris - We Found Love

Popular Movies

(according to boxofficemojo)
Every film below was either a sequel (9/10) or an old cartoon reboot.
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
4. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
5. Kung Fu Panda 2
6. Fast Five
7. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
8. The Hangover Part II
9. The Smurfs
10. Cars 2
*In 1981, 8 of the top 10 grossing movies were original stories; in 2011, none of the top 10 were original stories.

Bridesmaids, Captain America: The First Avenger, Fast Five, The Hangover Part II, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Help, Kung Fu Panda 2, Pirates of the Carabbean: On Stranger Tides, Prometheus, Puss in Boots, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Thor, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, X-Men: First Class

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 2011
# 1 Hits of 2011
Pop Culture News

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