2021 Events That Will Most Likely Make It Into History Books 50 Years From Now

Voting Rules
Vote up the stories and events that you think will be published in history textbooks a half-century from now.

The modern 24-hour news cycle inundates us with a constant barrage of stories every single day. And in the heat of the moment, every one of them can feel a like momentous affair that will forever change the course of history. Yet, a rare amount actually are.

We all know from our history books that in 1776 the British colonies in North America declared independence from their mother country and created a new nation. We know the names of the Founding Fathers, the battles fought, and the words written in commitment to a new democratic-republic. Yet, we never hear the story of how the 5 foot 4, red-headed, "and very poorly cloathed [sic]" soldier Isaac Sylvester deserted from the Continental Army. It made the paper on January 25, 1776, so it was important to someone. It would have been very important to people who knew Sylvester or anyone who strongly believed in the cause of Independence. Yet, it matters very little in the greater perspective of history.

2021 felt like a history-making year. There was the storming of the US Capitol Building in January, a cargo ship blocked the Suez Canal in March and continued blocking it for another 106 days, and a two-decade long war in Afghanistan ended with disastrous results in August, all while a global pandemic continued into its second year. That's only a few of the events that made the news this year, and they all feel like major pieces of history. The problem, however, is that it's actually quite difficult to tell what a history-making event will be when you're living through them.

But will that stop people from speculating? No, of course not.

It's fun to think about how future historians will eventually come to understand our present. Will 2021 be an epoch-defining year like 1492? Will the storming of the Capitol Building begin a chain of world-changing events like the burning of the Reichstag? Will Andrew Lloyd Webber's outspoken hatred of the 2019 film adaptation of his musical Cats have any great repercussions? The future is currently unknown, but these are the 2021 events that readers believe will remain important in history books published 50 years from now.

Photo: Tyler Merbler / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0
Ranked by
  • 1
    937 votes

    The COVID-19 Death Toll Surpassing 5 Million

  • 2
    809 votes

    The Taliban Quickly Reclaiming Control Over Afghanistan After The US Military Departs

  • 3
    518 votes

    The Treaty On The Prohibition Of Nuclear Weapons - The First Legally Binding International Agreement To Comprehensively Prohibit Nuclear Weapons - Coming Into Effect

  • 4
    845 votes

    Kamala Harris Becoming The  First Female Vice President Of The United States

  • 5
    534 votes

    Employees Across The United States Leaving Their Jobs En Masse During 'The Great Resignation'

  • 6
    519 votes

    Amazon Deforestation Hits A 15-Year High