The decade in retrospect: 2001

April 1: A Chinese fighter jet bumps into a U.S. EP-3E surveillance aircraft, which is forced to make an emergency landing in Hainan, China. The U.S. crew is detained for 10 days, and the F-8 Chinese pilot, Wang Wei, goes missing and is presumed dead.

Lady Liberty looks toward Manhatten island shortly before the World Trade Center towers collapse to the ground.
Lady Liberty looks toward Manhatten island shortly before the World Trade Center towers collapse to the ground.

Spring: Two teachers were fired for improper relations and actions. Environmental Education teacher Mike Eubanks was dismissed after a sexual harassment complaint from a female student that resulted from a conversation in the classroom. Eubanks fought the decision hard, filing an appeal with the district, but he ultimately lost the case. “If wants somebody who can be a non-personality and absolutely perfect with everything they say then they need to hook students up to computers and not have teachers in the classroom,” Eubanks said in a 2001 interview.

Physical Education teacher Kevin Zoellner was also fired after allegedly having improper sexual relations with two female students.

Sept. 11: Religious extemists associated with terrorist group al-Qaeda hijack and crash four aircraft on U.S. soil. Two hit the World Trade Centers, one hits the Pentagon and the fourth crashes in Shanksville, Penn. In all, nearly 3,000 people died. This was the first attack on home soil by foreigners in almost 60 years. Later, al-Qaeda’s leader Osama Bin Laden claimed that his group organized and executed the attacks. The event leads to the reorganization of various U.S. defense agencies to become the Department of Homeland Security.

Sept. 18: For several weeks, anthrax spores were found in letters mailed to news media offices and U.S. senators. Five people were killed and 17 others were infected.

Oct. 7: The United States invades Afghanistan.

Oct. 23: Apple launches the iPod.

Nov. 4: The Arizona Diamondbacks defeat the New York Yankees in seven games in the World Series.

Nov. 12: In New York City, American Airlines Flight 587, headed to the Dominican Republic, crashes in Queens minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport; all 260 passengers were killed.