2008 Annual History Facts

2008 Annual History Facts

  • Politics: During a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at then-president George W. Bush.
  • Politics/Sports: For the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese government announced that people could apply for permits to protest in designated areas. No permits were granted, and many who used disappeared or were arrested.
  • The Top Song was Low by Flo Rida with T-Pain
  • The Big Movies included The Dark Knight, Iron Man and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Price of a gallon of gas in 2008: $3.32
    Chevrolet Trailblazer: $25,705.00
  • Minimum Wage in 2008: $6.55
    *some states higher
    Price of a movie ticket: $7.00
    Price of an X-Box game: $49.99
  • The World Population was ~ 6,700,000,000
  • In 1987, Steve Rothstein bought a lifetime unlimited first-class American Airlines AAirpass for $250,000, plus a companion ticket for $150,000 more. He flew over 10,000 flights, costing the company $21,000,000. They terminated his ticket in 2008.
  • And… a 4chan user made a prank about how Steve Jobs “died of a heart attack.” After the prank went around social media, Apple’s stock dropped around $5,000,000,000 because of the joke.

World Series Champions

Philadelphia Phillies

Superbowl XLII Champions

New York Giants

National Basketball Association Champions

Boston Celtics

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Detroit Red Wings

US Open Golf

Tiger Woods

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Roger Federer/Serena Williams

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Rafael Nadal/Venus Williams

NCAA Football Champions


NCAA Basketball Champions


Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 3, 2008 – Kansas over Virginia Tech
Rose Bowl: January 1, 2008 – USC over Illinois
Sugar Bowl: January 1, 2008 – Georgia over Hawai
Puppy Bowl IV: February 3, 2008 Most Valuable Puppy: Abigail (a Jack Russell Terrier)

Kentucky Derby

Big Brown

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

K-Run’s Park Me In First

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year

Barack Obama

Miss America

Kirsten Haglund

Miss USA

Crystle Stewart

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Michelle Geller, Christina Aguilera, Charlize Theron, Megan Fox, Jessica Biel, Beyonce, Marissa Miller, Eva Amy Adams, Christina Aguilera, Elizabeth Banks, Mischa Barton, Victoria Beckham, Julie Benz, Beyonce, Jessica Biel, Rachel Bilson, Jordana Brewster, Rose Byrne, Kari Byron, Emilia Clarke, Penélope Cruz, Elisha Cuthbert, Alexandra Daddario, Natalie Dormer, Hilary Duff, Shannon Elizabeth, Jenna Fischer, Megan Fox, Sarah Michelle Geller, Karen Gillan, Jessica Gomes, Maggie Grace, Amber Heard, Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Scarlett Johansson, January Jones, Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum, Avril Lavigne, Evangeline Lilly, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jaime King, Padma Lakshmi, Adriana Lima, Lindsay Lohan, Eva Longoria, Demi Lovato, Eva Mendes, Maria Menounos, Marissa Miller, Heidi Montag, Hayden Panettiere, Eva Longoria Parker, Rihanna, Amanda Seyfried, Shakira, Ashlee Simpson, Molly Sims, Britney Spears, Kristen Stewart, Yvonne Strahovski, Charlize Theron, Ashley Tisdale, Carrie Underwood, Sara Jean Underwood

“The Quotes”

“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”
-The Joker, in The Dark Knight

2008 Pop Culture History

In April 2008, Prince covered “Creep” at Coachella. This version was captured on a video and uploaded to YouTube. However, it was quickly taken down at Prince’s request. After discovering the blocking, Thom Yorke said: “Well, tell him to unblock it. It’s our song.”

2008’s Tropical Storm Marco is the most miniature tropical cyclone ever recorded, yielding an 18.5km wide core and the smallest in recorded history.

Jessica Cox became the world’s first licensed armless pilot in 2008.

An asteroid weighing ~80 metric tons exploded above the Nubian desert in 2008 with only 19 hours notice.

The NOAA no longer recommends crouching to avoid lightning; as of 2008, instead, it recommends walking to safety.

The financial crisis in 2008 cost $2,800,000,000,000 ( $2.8 Trillion ) to the world’s financial institutions.

During a worldwide hops (needed to make beer) shortage in 2008, Sam Adams Brewing Company sold craft brewers their hops at their cost to keep them in business. It has given over 3 million in loans to small breweries to spur competition.

For The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger designed the look for The Joker with makeup he got from a drug store.

Norway knighted a penguin this year. He is the mascot and Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian Royal Guard, and his full name is Sir Nils Olav II.

The highest score that was ever done in a video game was on a ROM of a canceled Garfield game for the Atari 2600, by Tom Duncan on June 19, 2008; the score was 23,418,862,404,272,676,864 points.

Lindsay Lohan tied with Lindsay Lohan for the Worst Actress Razzie award for both her roles in the movie I Know Who Killed Me.

George Eyser, an American gymnast with a wooden leg, won six medals, including three gold, in a single day at the 1904 Olympics. He was the only Olympian to have competed with a prosthetic limb for the next 100 years, until 2008.

Daniel Craig finished writing the Bond movie Quantum of Solace because of the 2008 Writers Strike.

Only once in the long-running Price is Right game show has a contestant “guessed” the exact value of prizes ($23,743.00) in the Showcase showdown, and his name was Terry Kniess.

Kung-Fu Panda was so successful in China that it caused a national debate on why Westerners made better films about Chinese culture than the Chinese themselves.

The 2008 Constitution of Ecuador recognized nature as an entity with legally enforceable rights, making it the first country in the world to do so.

Dr. Pepper’s ad campaign promised every American, except Slash and Buckethead, a free can of Dr.Pepper if the Guns and Roses released their long-awaited album, Chinese Democracy. They could not keep up with the demand.

The year 2008 was declared the International Year of the Potato by the UN.

When Barbra Walters interviewed Miley Cyrus in her home in 2008, the camera crew clogged all of Miley’s toilets. Instead of getting angry, Miley and their family later sent Barbra a golden toilet figurine reading, “So you’ll always remember the Cyrus family.”

The last surviving Civil War widow, Maudie Hopkins, didn’t pass away until 2008. She married an 86-year-old veteran when she was only 19.

On the 1st of April 2008, YouTube rickrolled its viewers by redirecting every featured front page video to the original song video, Never Gonna Give You Up.

Michael Jackson went casually to a club, and people watched but were surprised when he heard the DJ play his songs and said, “Wow, I didn’t know that they still played my music.”

Joel Waul set the Guinness World Record with a 9400 lb rubber band ball comprised of 700,000 rubber bands. It was purchased by Ripley’s Believe It or Not in 2009.

In 2008, Monty Python decided to start their own YouTube channel. They uploaded HQ videos of their sketches, which resulted in a 16,000% increase in DVD box set sales in a few days.

Lead singer and bassist of Rush, Geddy Lee, had one of the largest collections of Negro Baseball League memorabilia and formally donated it all to the Negro Baseball League museum in Kansas City, MO.

2008’s wealthiest person, Warren Buffett, still lived (lives) in a 5-bedroom house he bought for $31,500 in 1957.

Michael and Xochi Birch, the founders of Bebo, sold Bebo to AOL for $850 million in 2008, only to repurchase it for only $1 million in 2013.

For one day in 2008, an app in the App Store cost $999.99 USD and did nothing. 8 people bought it.

A 4chan user made a prank about how Steve Jobs “died of a heart attack.” After the prank went around social media, Apple’s stock dropped around $5,000,000,000 because of the’ joke’.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 2008: $2,700,000

Every resident of Alaska gets an annual “oil royalty check” – a payment representing their share of revenue from Alaskan oil. In 2008 the payout was $2,069, or $8,276 for a family of four.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

There was a sushi gate in 2008, where two students proved through DNA testing that many NY restaurants would switch the fish in their sushi from high-end (like white tuna) to low-end (like tilapia).

Shanon Matthews’ disappearance in 2008 triggered the most extensive manhunt in the UK for 30 years and TV appeals from her mother. She was found weeks later: her mother and an accomplice kept her drugged under a bed to claim reward money.

Dominic Owen Mallary always said he wanted Andrew W.K. to play during his funeral. So when he died in 2008, Andrew W.K. went to the wake and played classical piano the entire time after paying his respects.

Since 2008, more than 44 BILLION dollars have been spent on gift cards that were never used.

In 1988, actor Gary Busey was in a severe motorcycle accident. Busey was in a coma for 33 days, not wearing a helmet. In 2008, a psychiatrist determined that the accident caused brain damage, which is why he is considered to have an eerie and bizarre persona.

Nebraska implemented a law allowing parents to drop unwanted newborns at safe havens; the law didn’t state an age limit, and nearly all the children abandoned were over ten years old.

Special care was taken while restoring Shakespeare’s grave in 2008, to ensure that his bones remained untouched, as the epitaph on his tombstone reads: “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, and cursed be he that moves my bones.”

A stage actor, Daniel Hoevels, slit his own throat onstage after his prop knife, for his suicide scene, was replaced with a real one. He survived.

As part of a fundraiser, a Brazilian priest, Father Adelir Antonio, strapped 1000 balloons to a lawn chair and sent himself up, he was found dead at sea weeks later, earning him a Darwin Award.

Walmart paid employees of “Walmart de Mexico” in company scrip vouchers usable only at Walmart stores until a court ruling in 2008.

In 2005, the Italian Prime Minister, Berlusconi, insulted Finnish cuisine and joked that Finns ate “marinated reindeer.” In 2008, Finland won an international pizza contest, beating Italy. The name of the winning pizza was “Pizza Berlusconi,” made of smoked reindeer.

In 1987, Steve Rothstein bought a lifetime unlimited first-class American Airlines ticket for $250,000. He flew over 10,000 flights, costing the company $21,000,000. They terminated his ticket in 2008.

According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science, the most aggressive dog breeds are Dachshunds (wiener dogs), Chihuahuas, and Jack Russell Terriers, not the Pitbull, Rottweiler, or Doberman.

The United States was ranked the 18th most obese nation.

Polish composer André Tchaikowsky donated his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company in hopes that it would be used as a prop for the skull of Yorick. In 2008, the skull was used in a series of performances of Hamlet at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Every restaurant Gordon Ramsay visited in Season 2 (2008/9)of (US) Kitchen Nightmares closed.

In 2008, Louisiana became the last state to ban cockfighting.

SSHHHH! Kellogg’s made their cereal boxes thinner in 2008 but kept the price the same so that buyers wouldn’t perceive the smaller size box when viewed from the front.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, Comcast customers were billed for unreturned equipment destroyed by the hurricane. Customers were charged as much as $1000 for failing to return modems, DVRs, and other equipment that had been lost or destroyed.

In 1957, journalist Drew Pearson claimed that John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book Profiles in Courage had been ghost-written by his speechwriter Ted Sorenson. JFK’s father sued, and ABC retracted the statement and apologized. In 2008, Sorensen admitted he wrote most of the book.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Wall-E toys, Elmo Live, Hasbro’s U-Dance, Transformer Movie Action Figures, Air Hogs Havoc Heli Laser Battle, Kota Triceratops, Monopoly Here and Now, Ripstick Caster Board, Webkinz, Lego City, Lego Mindstorms NXT, Rubik’s Revolution, Littlest Pet Shop

Video Games: Mario Kart Wii, Grand Theft Auto IV, Call of Duty: World at War

The Habit

Reading The Appeal by John Grisham

2008/9 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. American Idol (FOX)
2. Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
3. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)
5. The Mentalist (CBS)
6. Sunday Night Football (NBC)
7. Desperate Housewives (ABC)
8. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
9. Criminal Minds (CBS)
10. Two and a Half Men (CBS)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 2008 include
AC/DC, Adele, Alicia Keyes, Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Jonas Brothers, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Mariah Carey, Metallica, Pink, Rihanna, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, T.I.,

(Data is compiled from charts including Billboard’s Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance, and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 2008

December 1, 2007 – January 4, 2008: Alicia Keys – No One

January 5, 2008 – March 14, 2008: Flo Rida featuring T-Pain – Low

March 15, 2008 – April 4, 2008: Usher featuring Young Jeezy – Love in This Club

April 5, 2008 – April 11, 2008: Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love

April 12, 2008 – May 2, 2008: Mariah Carey – Touch My Body

May 3, 2008 – May 23, 2008: Lil Wayne featuring Static Major – Lollipop

May 24, 2008 – June 27, 2008: Rihanna – Take a Bow

June 28, 2008 – July 4, 2008: Coldplay – Viva la Vida

July 5, 2008 – August 22, 2008: Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl

August 23, 2008 – September 5, 2008: Rihanna – Disturbia

September 6, 2008 – September 26, 2008: T.I. – Whatever You Like

September 27, 2008 – October 17, 2008: Pink – So What

October 18, 2008 – October 24, 2008: T.I. featuring Rihanna – Live Your Life

October 25, 2008 – December 12, 2008: Britney Spears – Womanizer

December 13, 2008 – January 16, 2009: Beyoncé – Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)

Popular Movies

(according to boxofficemojo)
1. The Dark Knight
2. Iron Man
3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
4. Hancock
6. Kung Fu Panda
7. Twilight
8. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
9. Quantum of Solace
10. Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Cloverfield, The Dark Knight, Dr. Suess’ Horton Hears A Who, Gran Torino, Get Smart, Hancock, The Incredible Hulk, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Iron Man, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Mamma Mia!, Marley and Me, Quantum of Solace, Sex and the City, Slumdog Millionaire, Twilight, WALL-E, Wanted

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