10 years after the supposed end of the world and despite a pandemic making our life difficult for two years, we managed to survive until 2022. The opportunity to look behind us and remember 20 significant events that took place there 20 years ago 2002.
#1 The French team, defending champions, are eliminated in the first round of the World Cup in Korea
After beating Brazil 3-0 in the 1998 World Cup Final, France were eliminated in the 2002 group stage with 0 wins and 0 goals scored.
#2 The euro officially comes into force as the official currency
The euro becomes the common official currency for 12 EU countries before being expanded to other countries in the following years.
#3 Elon Musk founds SpaceX
The richest man in the world, who was not rich at that time, founded his company specializing in aerospace.
#4 Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, mother of Elizabeth II, dies aged 101
Her death comes just months after that of Elizabeth II’s sister, Margaret.
#5 Venezuelan President Resists Coup Attempt
Entrepreneur Pedro Carmona overthrows President Hugo Chávez for 47 hours before being overthrown.
#6 A far-right activist tries to assassinate Jacques Chirac
Maxime Brunerie is a far-right activist affiliated with Radical Unite, a nationalist and revolutionary political organization. He attempts to assassinate the French President during the July 14 parade.
#7 Jean-Marie Le Pen reaches the second round of the presidential elections
For the first time in history, the extreme right reached the second ballot, but Chirac largely won the election against Le Pen (82.21% of the vote to 17.79%).
#8 The United States and Russia sign a disarmament treaty
The two states pledge to reduce the number of nuclear warheads in their possession within 10 years.
#9 A Senegalese ship runs aground and claims more than 2000 victims
The Joola has wrecked off the Gambian coast. While the maximum capacity is said to be 536 seats, more than 1800 passengers die.
#10 Saddam Hussein apologizes to Kuwait for his invasion 12 years ago
In August 1990, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq began a seven-month occupation of Kuwait as part of the war between the two countries.
#11 US Congress authorizes war in Iraq
Congress passes a resolution authorizing the war in Iraq. This began in March 2003 and served as a “pre-emptive” war, with the United States claiming the country was hiding nuclear weapons.
#12 The United States invades Afghanistan
A year earlier, Afghanistan had been attacked by the United States as part of the war on terrorism that began after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
#13 Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra hits theaters
Directed by Alain Chabat, the film hits theaters on January 30th and brings together an incredible cast including Christian Clavier, Gérard Depardieu, Jamel Debbouze, Monica Bellucci…
#14 Moscow hostage situation kills 128 hostages
912 spectators were taken hostage in October 2002 in a Moscow theater by about forty Chechen terrorists. Russian forces eventually attacked. The terrorists are eliminated, but 128 hostages are killed.
#15 Walt Disney Studios Park opens in Paris
Opened in 1992, the Disneyland Paris complex has seen multiple expansions, including Walt Disney Studios 10 years later.
#16 The Minikeums show is giving up the ghost
The show is aimed at young people and features puppets. In late 2017, the show returns with iconic characters and other news.
#17 The Eiffel Tower welcomes its 200 millionth visitor
With an average of 7 million visitors a year, the Eiffel Tower is an effective tourist trap. Today, more than 300 million visitors have climbed its steps (or taken its elevators).
#18 The Netherlands is the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia
The regulation “End of life on request and assisted suicide” comes into force on April 1st.
#19 Serena Williams wins the Roland Garros final against her sister Venus Williams
The Williams sisters’ rivalry is one of the most famous in tennis history, but it wasn’t until 2002 that Serena really took the lead. Rolland Garros is the second Grand Slam tournament she has won and meets Venus in the final.
#20 The coronavirus is being talked about for the first time
Happy Birthday! In 2002, Sars-CoV appeared in China. At that time, the epidemic lasted two years, but its scale was much smaller than what we know today, although almost 800 deaths were counted.
And if you’re curious, discover these films celebrating their 20th anniversary this year!