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Weird History

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

List 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.

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  • 1

    The COVID-19 Death Toll Surpassing 5 Million

  • 2

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

  • 3

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

  • 5

    Amazon Deforestation Hits A 15-Year High

  • 6

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

  • 7

    The Assassination Of The Haitian President Jovenel Moïse

  • 8

    Russia Exploding A Satellite With No Warning, Sending Space Debris At The International Space Station

  • 9

    Military Leaders In Myanmar Conducting A Coup And Deposing The Nation's Democratically Elected Government

  • 11

    The January 6 Insurrection At The US Capitol Building

  • 12

    Three Men Being Found Guilty In The Death Of Ahmaud Arbery

  • 13

    The United States Officially Rejoining The Paris Climate Agreement

  • 16

    France Recalling Their Ambassador From The US After Disputes Over A Trilateral Partnership Between The US, Australia, And Great Britain That Allowed Australia To Buy Nuclear Submarines From The US 

  • 17

    Texas Imposing A 6-Week Abortion Ban, The First Since The Supreme Court Ruling Of Roe V. Wade

  • 18

    The Record-Breaking Wild Fires That Burned Down Large Swathes Of Russia

  • 19

    The 2020 US Election Getting Contested, Widely Perpetuating The 'Big Lie'

  • 20

    US Supreme Court Upholding Arizona Laws Restricting Voting Access 

  • 21

    The China National Space Administration Sending Three Astronauts To The Country's First Space Station

  • 22

    A Cargo Ship Blocking The Suez Canal For 106 Days

  • 23

    The US Women's National Soccer Team Fighting For Equal Pay

  • 24

    The Protests And Riots That Erupted Across Europe In Response To COVID Lockdown Restrictions

  • 25

    The Civil War In Ethiopia's Tigray Region