Which events of 2005 might make it into the American History textbooks 20 years from now? Hurricane Katrina is a sure bet, and the death of Rosa Parks marks the end of a life that helped change America forever. Only time will tell which events will be popularly documented in the future, but here’s a brief review of some of the top candidates for 2005.
Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the U.S. on August 29, 2005. It was a highly destructive storm and the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. The government’s response to the disaster highlighted many problems inherent in the Federalist system, particularly the difficulty of getting aid quickly where it’s needed. The effects of the storm also highlighted a need for a better evacuation plan in areas where people may not have access to cars or other forms of transportation.
838 Killed In Iraq
The United States military, along with coalition forces, began combat operations in Iraq on March 19, 2003. In the year 2005, 838 U.S. Hostile and Non-Hostile casualties were reported by the Department of Defense. By the official end of the war (in 2011) the number of American troops that had lost their lives in defense of Iraq was 4,474.
On January 26, 2005, the Senate voted 85––13 to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State, succeeding Colin Powell as head of the State Department. Rice was the first African American and second woman to hold the position of Secretary of State.
“Deep Throat” Revealed Himself on May 31st, 2005. W. Mark Felt admitted during an interview in Vanity Fair that he was the anonymous source during the 1972 Watergate investigations by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Felt was a former top FBI official.
On February 3, 2005, the Senate approved Alberto Gonzales by 60–36 to become the country’s first Hispanic Attorney General. The appointment by President George W. Bush also made Gonzales the highest-ranking Latinx in executive government.
Rosa Parks, best known for refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, died on October 24, 2005. Her resistance and arrest led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and eventually the Supreme Court decision that ruled that the segregation of buses is unconstitutional.
Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist died at the age of 80 on September 3, 2005. He had served for 33 years, 19 of them as Chief Justice. The Senate later confirmed John Roberts to take his place as Chief Justice.
President Bush nominated and the Senate later confirmed John Negroponte as the first Director of National Intelligence. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was created to coordinate and integrate the intelligence of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
In a 5–4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Connecticut city of New London had the right to exercise a state eminent domain law to require several homeowners to cede their property for commercial use to generate tax revenue. This court case was widely derided and caused much consternation among American citizens.
While not specifically an American event, the discovery of the tenth planet in our solar system was big news and was announced on July 29th, 2005. The American astronomers involved in the search proved the existence of the planet, which is located farther out than Pluto. Since the discovery, a new category of planetary objects has been created to include the tenth planet, now called Eris, as well as Pluto, and both are considered to be “dwarf planets.”