Timeline of Homeland Security Events and Milestones

Entries on the HSDL Timeline of Homeland Security Events and Milestones are related to homeland security and emergency management. Each entry contains a brief description of the event, its significance, and a selection of related resources.

Criteria

Events included in the Timeline have been chosen for their significance in terms of:

  • located in United States or targeting U.S. citizens/property abroad
  • loss of life or injury
  • damage to environment or property
  • monetary loss or economic impact
  • legislative impact or government response
  • historical interest

Filters

The Timeline can be viewed as a whole, or can be filtered to view events in one of four main groupings:

Attacks – significant terrorist attacks, bombings, shootings, and other intentional acts
Natural Disasters – earthquakes, hurricanes, extreme weather, and other naturally occurring disasters
Man-made Disasters – non-intentional, human-influenced disasters and accidents
Milestones – legislation, government actions, and selected documents of particular significance

New events will be considered and added as appropriate.

2022
September 27 2022

Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian

September 27, 2022:   The National Hurricane Center (NHC) started tracking a tropical wave east of the Windward Islands on September 19, 2022. On September 24, 2022, President Biden issued an emergency declaration for Florida.  The wave gained strength and turned into Tropical Storm Ian, eventually hitting Cuba on September..More about the event

June 9 2022

January 6, 2021 Hearings

January 6, 2021 Hearings

June 9, 2022: On July 1, 2021, the January 6 Select Committee was formed to investigate the attack on the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of the 117th United States Congress to confirm the electoral college count and affirm the next President of the United States. On July 27,..More about the event

May 24 2022

Robb Elementary School Shooting

Robb Elementary School Shooting

May 24, 2022: At roughly 11:00 am CDT in Uvalde, Texas, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos shot his grandmother in their home before driving to Robb Elementary School, crashing a truck in a nearby ditch at 11:28 am. He entered the school through an unlocked side door, carrying with him an assault..More about the event

May 14 2022

Buffalo, New York Shooting

Buffalo, New York Shooting

May 14, 2022: At approximately 2:30 p.m. EDT in the Kingsly neighborhood of eastern Buffalo, New York, a gunman shot first outside in the parking lot and then opened fire in a Tops supermarket. Wearing body armor and a helmet, the man live-streamed his attack on the Twitch platform before..More about the event

May 12 2022

1 Million COVID-19 Deaths

1 Million COVID-19 Deaths

May 12, 2022:  From American Hospital Association: “As U.S. COVID-19 deaths today surpassed 1 million, the AHA, American Medical Association, and American Nurses Association continued to urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible. Today we mark an incredibly grim and somber milestone as..More about the event

January 21 2022

2022 Wildfires

2022 Wildfires

September 12, 2022: As of September 12, 2022, nearly 50,000 wildfires have started and more than 6.5 million acres of land have been burned across the country this year, making 2022 the most active wildfire season in more than 10 years (NIFC). The fire season is continuing to be steady..More about the event

2021
December 13 2021

800,000 COVID-19 Deaths

800,000 COVID-19 Deaths

December 13, 2021:  From NBC News:  “The United States passed another grim Covid-19 milestone Monday, as more than 800,000 Americans have now died from the virus that’s plagued the country for nearly two years. There have been at least 800,156 confirmed deaths traced to the coronavirus, according to a rolling..More about the event

October 1 2021

700,000 COVID-19 Deaths

700,000 COVID-19 Deaths

October 1, 2021: From AP News:  “The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 eclipsed 700,000 late Friday — a number greater than the population of Boston. The last 100,000 deaths occurred during a time when vaccines — which overwhelmingly prevent deaths, hospitalizations and serious illness — were available to any American..More about the event

September 11 2021

Remembering 9/11 20 Years Later

Remembering 9/11 20 Years Later

September 11, 2021 On September 11, 2001, members of al-Qaeda hijacked and flew passenger airplanes into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York City; the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia; and into a field in Somerset, Pennsylvania, not reaching its destination target in Washington, DC, killing nearly 3,000..More about the event

August 29 2021

Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida

August 29, 2021: Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, at 11:55 a.m. CT. As a Category 4 with winds of 150 mph, the storm tied Hurricane Laura (2020) and the Last Island Hurricane (1856) as the strongest to ever hit Louisiana. Overall, it brought days of misery and..More about the event

June 14 2021

600,000 COVID-19 Deaths

600,000 COVID-19 Deaths

June 14, 2021: From Reuters: “The United States on Monday crossed the grim milestone of 600,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to a Reuters tally, as slowing vaccination rates threaten the Biden administration target of having 70% of U.S. adults receive at least one shot and 160 million fully inoculated by July..More about the event

May 26 2021

San Jose Rail Yard Shooting

San Jose Rail Yard Shooting

May 26, 2021: Early morning just after 6:30 am (PDT), authorities began receiving calls about shots being fired at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility in San Jose, California. “When law enforcement arrived on scene, multiple people had been shot in two separate buildings, the sheriff’s office said,..More about the event

May 20 2021

2021 Wildfires

2021 Wildfires

May 20-December 23, 2021: Nationally, a total of 58,733 wildfires in the U.S. consumed 7,125,643 acres and destroyed 5, 972 structures. These numbers are similar to five and 10-year averages, however certain geographic areas including Northern California, Northwest and Eastern areas, and the Northern Rockies experienced abnormally high levels of..More about the event

March 22 2021

Boulder Supermarket Shooting

Boulder Supermarket Shooting

March 22, 2021: Shortly after 2:30 pm MDT, gunman Ahmad Al Aliwi Al-Issa entered the parking lot at a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, and opened fire, killing four people before entering the store and continuing to shoot at employees and patrons, killing five more. Authorities began receiving calls..More about the event

March 16 2021

Atlanta Spa Shootings

March 16, 2021: On the evening of March 16, 2021, a man opened fire in three separate spas in Atlanta, Georgia, killing eight people–six of whom were Asian women. This event coincided with an uptick of anti-Asian sentiments in the United States over the COVID-19 pandemic, however, there have been..More about the event

February 22 2021

500,000 COVID-19 Deaths

500,000 COVID-19 Deaths

February 22, 2021: From TIME: “[T]he COVID-19 virus has claimed more than 500,000 lives in the United States, planting yet another grim milestone in a scourge that has wrecked misery in one of the most developed countries in the world. That equates to 1 in 658 Americans in just under..More about the event

February 15 2021

2021 Texas Power Crisis

2021 Texas Power Crisis

February 15, 2021: In mid-February 2021, three major winter storms struck—Feb. 10-11, Feb. 13-17, and Feb. 15-20—across the United States, Northern Mexico, and parts of Canada, causing blackouts for over 9.9 million people in the U.S. and Mexico, but notably impacting the state of Texas, where over 4.5 million households..More about the event

February 13 2021

2021 Winter Storm

2021 Winter Storm

February 2021: A historic cold wave brought several winter storms and an estimated $25.2 billion dollars in damages to various regions of the U.S. Extreme temperatures, alongside snow and ice, resulting in power outages, burst pipes, and even death across multiple states. Texas was most notably impacted with an estimated..More about the event

February 4 2021

900,000 COVID-19 Deaths

900,000 COVID-19 Deaths

February 4, 2022:  From AP News:   “Propelled in part by the wildly contagious omicron variant, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hit 900,000 on Friday, less than two months after eclipsing 800,000. The two-year total, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is greater than the population of Indianapolis, San Francisco,..More about the event

January 19 2021

400,000 COVID-19 Deaths

400,000 COVID-19 Deaths

January 19, 2021: From NBC News: “More than 400,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States, according to an NBC News tally early Tuesday, a milestone that seemed unimaginable at the start of the pandemic a year ago. More than 2 million people have been recorded killed..More about the event

January 6 2021

US Capitol Riot

MAGA Mob scales walls at Capitol Building

January 6, 2021: What began as a demonstration against the recent presidential election results turned into a violent attack at the Capitol building, with hundreds of supporters of President Trump breaching security and occupying the federal building for hours. Weeks of unsupported claims of election fraud and attempts to overturn..More about the event

2020
December 25 2020

2020 Nashville Bombing

Aftermath of bomb in Nashville TN

December 25, 2020: Early on the morning of December 25, 2020, around 6:30 am, an explosion shook downtown Nashville, TN. A recreational vehicle that had been armed with the explosive was parked outside an AT&T transmission building when it began broadcasting a computerized female voice. The transmission repeatedly warned that..More about the event

December 15 2020

300,000 COVID-19 Deaths

300,000 COVID-19 Deaths

December 14, 2020: From AP News: The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus topped 300,000 Monday just as the country began dispensing COVID-19 shots in a monumental campaign to conquer the outbreak. The number of dead rivals the population of St. Louis or Pittsburgh. It is equivalent to repeating a tragedy on..More about the event

December 11 2020

First COVID-19 Vaccine Approved

A clear vial labeled Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccination filled with clear liquid sits in front of a syringe

December 11, 2020: On Friday, December 11, 2020, the United States Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech. The authorization came just days before the United States topped 300,000 deaths due to the virus. ICU nurse Sandra Lindsay..More about the event

September 22 2020

200,000 COVID-19 Deaths

Closeup of coronavirus, a large red cell with green and blue nodules growing off it, and more cells in the background

September 22, 2020: From Modern Healthcare: It is completely unfathomable that we’ve reached this point,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins University public health researcher. The bleak milestone, by far the highest confirmed death toll from the virus in the world, was reported by Johns Hopkins, based on figures supplied..More about the event

July 24 2020

2020 Western United States Wildfires

2020 Western United States Wildfires

July 24, 2020-Present: Severe storms coupled with dry conditions and high winds ignited a number of wildfires across the Western United States in the states of California, Oregon, and Washington, and Colorado. In the course of several months, over 8.2 million acres have been burned, over 10,000 structures destroyed, and..More about the event

May 28 2020

100,000 COVID-19 Deaths

100,000 COVID-19 Deaths

May 28, 2020: Statement from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: “Today the number of people in the United States who have died from COVID-19 surpassed 100,000. Families, friends, coworkers, loved ones and community members are grieving for each person who has been lost to this disease. Reaching the..More about the event

May 25 2020

US Civil Unrest

police line and protest line

May 25, 2020-Present: During an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for seven minutes and 46 seconds. “The duration was initially given as eight minutes and 46 seconds until Minnesota prosecutors corrected the..More about the event

May 16 2020

2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season

2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season

May 16, 2020-November 18, 2020: The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season was the most active season on record with 31 tropical/subtropical storms, all but one becoming a named storm, and 13 of which became hurricanes.  This is the first time that the Greek names Eta, Theta, and Iota have been used..More about the event

March 3 2020

Middle Tennessee Tornadoes

Putnam Co., TN tornado damage

March 3, 2020: Storms began  late on March 2, 2020 and into the early morning hours on March 3rd. Within that time, seven tornadoes hit Middle Tennessee, with the strongest tornado at an EF-4 tearing across central Putnam County.  The storms claimed the lives of dozens of people and left..More about the event

February 26 2020

Milwaukee Brewery Shooting

Miller Brewery Exterior

February 26, 2020: At the  Molson Coors complex in Milwaukee,  51-year-old employee, Anthony Ferrill, opened fire on coworkers at around 2:00pm.  According to authorities, Ferrill  was armed with two handguns, one with a silencer (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). As of March 4, 2020 police have not provided a motive for the..More about the event

January 20 2020

First COVID-19 Case in United States

First COVID-19 Case in United States

January 20, 2020: The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the State of Washington reported the diagnosis of a patient with the first confirmed case of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) (CDC). A 35-year-old man visited an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, WA with symptoms of a cough and..More about the event

January 10 2020

2020 Spring Tornadoes

Tornado sweeps across plains

January 10, 2020-April 23, 2020: Early January saw the start of a destructive and deadly tornado season for the United States. Over 1,000 tornadoes resulted in >$4.4 billion in damages and at least 78 fatalities. (NOAA) Many of the big storms spawned numerous cyclones, and these tornado outbreaks can span..More about the event

2019
December 31 2019

COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Pandemic

December 31, 2019-Ongoing: Cases of pneumonia with unknown causes were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), with 44 total cases reported by January 3, 2020. The outbreak was tracked and linked to exposure at a fish market in Wuhan City, China and on January 7, 2020 a new type..More about the event

December 28 2019

Puerto Rico Earthquake Sequence

Earthquake locations in Puerto Rico

December 28, 2019-Present: Since December 28, 2019, Puerto Rico has suffered an ongoing series of over 9,400 earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 1.5-6.4. Initial damage estimates in January 2020 were >$3.1 billion and Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced declared a state of emergency on January 7, 2020. (Disaster Philanthropy) Thousands of..More about the event

December 18 2019

Impeachment of President Trump

Impeachment of President Trump

December 18, 2019: Donald J. Trump was impeached for the first time on December 18, 2019, and the second time on January 13, 2021. He is one of three presidents to be impeached and the only president to be impeached twice. The first impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction..More about the event

December 10 2019

Jersey City Shooting

Jersey City Shooting

December 10, 2019: At a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, NJ, two assailants opened fire, killing three people inside the market and wounding two officers in a shootout that lasted over an hour. Prior to arriving at the store, the assailants shot and killed a Jersey City police detective..More about the event

August 31 2019

West Texas Shooting

August 31, 2019: Around 3:13 p.m. on Saturday, August 31, 2019, Texas Department of Public and Safety troopers attempted to pull over a vehicle for a minor traffic violation in Midland, Texas. The driver grabbed a rifle and began firing at the patrol car before heading towards Odessa. Along his..More about the event

August 4 2019

Dayton Shooting

August 4, 2019: Early on the morning of August 4, 2019 at approximately 1:09 am, a gunman opened fire on the popular nightlife Organ District in downtown Dayton, Ohio. The gunman, Connor Betts, was reported to be wearing body armor and carrying high-capacity magazines as he shot into the crowd...More about the event

August 3 2019

El Paso Shooting

August 3, 2019: On the morning of August 3, 2019 just before 10:40am in El Paso, Texas, a gunman, Patrick Crusius, opened fire at a Walmart Supercenter at Cielo Vista Mall.  Witnesses claim he began shooting at random before entering the “at capacity” store and continued his barrage.  Officials say..More about the event

May 31 2019

Virginia Beach Shooting

May 31, 2019: At a municipal center in Virginia Beach, VA, a disgruntled employee opened fire indiscriminately on all three floors of the operations building, carrying “two handguns and plenty of ammunition” in extended magazines, purchased legally (NYT).  The shooting was reported at 4:08 p.m., on the same day he..More about the event

May 7 2019

2019 California Wildfires

2019 California Wildfires

May 7, 2019-Present: According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the state of California has recorded 6,660 wildfires that have scorched 252,685 acres in 2019 so far. Some of the more destructive fires include the Sandalwood fire in Riverside County that resulted in 1, 011 acres burned..More about the event

February 15 2019

Aurora, Illinois Shooting

February 15, 2019: Not long after 13:00, Gary Montez Martin, a disgruntled former-employee of manufacturing company Henry Pratt, “opened fire during a meeting to terminate his employment at the company, authorities have said” (Chicago Tribune). The first emergency call was received at 13:24, and by 13:30, officers were moving into..More about the event

2018
November 8 2018

Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire

Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire

November 8, 2018: California’s most deadly and destructive wildfire in the history of the state, the Camp Fire, began on Camp Creek Road in Butte County. Within the first day, the communities of Paradise and Concow were essentially decimated. Because the fire spread so rapidly, many residents were unable to..More about the event

November 7 2018

Thousand Oaks Shooting

November 7, 2018: At the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA, at approximately 11:20 pm,  a gunman opened fire in the building packed with hundreds of patrons. He first shot the unarmed security guard outside, and then went in and continued shooting, injuring other security workers, employees, and patrons...More about the event

October 27 2018

Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

October 27, 2018: While morning services were being held at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, a gunman opened fire on the congregation of 60-100 people in an anti-Semitic act of violence. It is the deadliest shooting on the Jewish community to take place in the United States in..More about the event

October 22 2018

October 2018 Mail Bombing Attempts

October 2018 Mail Bombing Attempts

October 22-29, 2018: Beginning on October 22, 2018, 15 packages containing improvised explosive devices were received at multiple locations in New York, Washington, D.C., Florida, Delaware, California, and Georgia. Packages were delivered to prominent critics of President Trump including: Billionaire investor George Soros; Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Former..More about the event

October 10 2018

Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael

October 10, 2018 Hurricane Michael was the strongest in terms of maximum sustained wind speed to strike the contiguous United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.  The National Hurricane Center monitored the broad area of low pressure as early as October 2, 2018 in the Caribbean, and by October 7th, detected an organized convective pattern to classify..More about the event

September 14 2018

Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence

September 14, 2018: At 16:00 UTC on September 10, Florence again became a Category 4 hurricane, later reaching a new peak intensity with 1-minute winds of 140 mph. It lessened to a Category 1 by the time it made landfall on September 14, 2018, but a high-pressure ridge slowed Florence’s forward motion for several..More about the event

February 18 2018

2018 California Wildfires

2018 California Wildfires

February 18, 2018 Beginning early in the year, 2018 faced a particularly active wildfire year. With nearly 50 wildfires that burned 1,000 acres or more (16 of those fires burning more than 10,000 acres) dry conditions, coupled with wind, brought an estimated 1 million+ acres burned in the state of..More about the event

February 14 2018

Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting

Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting

On February 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 19 year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire on staff and students. Prior to the incident, the FBI had received a tip learning of Cruz’s intentions on the FBI’s Public Access Line, but an error kept the information from..More about the event

2017
December 4 2017

Thomas Fire

Thomas Fire

December 4, 2017: A quick-moving wildfire began north of Santa Paula, south of Thomas Aquinas College. Due to the unusually strong Santa Ana winds of over 60mph, the fire spread fast, reaching the city of Ventura, where over 500 residences were destroyed overnight. It is the largest wildfire in California..More about the event

November 5 2017

Texas Church Shooting

November 5, 2017: “At the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, […] 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley of nearby New Braunfels, killed 26 and injured 20 others. He was shot twice by a male civilian as he exited the church. Fleeing in his SUV, Kelley crashed after a high-speed chase and was..More about the event

October 31 2017

New York Truck Attack

New York Truck Attack

October 31, 2017: Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov drove down a crowded bicycle and pedestrian path near the World Trade Center in Manhatten, New York. He drove on the pathway for several blocks, striking numerous people. He was finally brought to a halt when his truck collided with a school bus. He..More about the event

October 8 2017

Tubbs Fire

Tubbs Fire

October 8, 2017: A fast-growing fire broke out near Tubbs Lane in Calistoga, CA. Pushed by strong wind, the fire spread about 12 miles in just over three hours. The Tubbs fire was one of more than a dozen wildfires that had broken out in October in Northern California. The..More about the event

October 1 2017

Las Vegas Shooting

Las Vegas Shooting

October 1, 2017: “A gunman opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 546 injured. Between 10:05 and 10:15 p.m. PDT, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, fired hundreds of rifle rounds from his suite on the 32nd floor of the..More about the event

September 19 2017

Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria

September 19, 2017: As category 4 hurricane, Maria “made landfall in southeast Puerto Rico after striking the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix. Maria’s high winds caused widespread devastation to Puerto Rico’s transportation, agriculture, communication and energy infrastructure. Extreme rainfall up to 37 inches caused widespread flooding and mudslides across..More about the event

September 10 2017

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma

September 10, 2017: “Irma” made landfall as a category 4 hurricane at Cudjoe Key, Florida after devastating the U.S. Virgin Islands – St John and St Thomas – as a category 5 storm. “The Florida Keys were heavily impacted, as 25% of buildings were destroyed while 65% were significantly damaged...More about the event

September 2 2017

Soda Springs, ID Sequence Earthquakes

Soda Springs, ID Sequence Earthquakes

September 2, 2017: Following a magnitude 5.3 earthquake east of Soda Springs, Idaho was a sustained and highly active sequence of aftershocks that were not typically present after earthquakes of this size. The earthquake was due to normal faulting found in the Intermountain Seismic Belt.—(USGS) Impact: No fatalities reported. Related..More about the event

August 25 2017

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey

August 25, 2017: “Harvey” made landfall as a category 4 hurricane near Rockport, Texas causing widespread damage. “Harvey’s devastation was most pronounced due to the large region of extreme rainfall producing historic flooding across Houston and surrounding areas. More than 30 inches of rainfall fell on 6.9 million people, while..More about the event

August 11 2017

Charlottesville Rally Protest

A grey car drives into a crowd of protesters carrying colorful signs, sending two men airborne while onlookers rush to the scene

On August 12 a planned Unite the Right rally was scheduled to take place in Charlottesville, VA. On August 11, before the rally, hundreds of White nationalists, White supremacists, Klansmen, and neo-Nazi demonstrators marched and violently engaged with counter-protesters at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. On August 12, the..More about the event

January 6 2017

Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting

January 6, 2017: Iraq war veteran, Esteban Santiago, opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol in Terminal 2 baggage claim at Fort Lauderdale airport.  He withdrew the gun and began shooting at his victims’ heads until he had exhausted his ammunition. He was then confronted by a Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputy..More about the event

2016
November 28 2016

Ohio State University Attack

November 28, 2016: A car driven by Abdul Razak Ali Artan raced onto a sidewalk and struck multiple people near the corner of West 19th Avenue and College Road. Investigators say Artan also attacked pedestrians with a knife before Ohio State University Police Officer Alan Horujko shot him. — The Ohio..More about the event

September 17 2016

New York and New Jersey Bombings

New York and New Jersey Bombings

September 17, 2016: Ahmad Rahami successfully conducted two bombings and attempted additional bombings in various locations in New York City and New Jersey on September 17, 2016, and September 18, 2016. “A pipe bomb exploded in a garbage can minutes before a Marine Corps charity race began in Seaside Park, NJ...More about the event

September 17 2016

St. Cloud Mall Stabbing Attack

September 17, 2016: 10 people were injured in a stabbing attack at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud Minnesota. The attacker, Dahir Adan, was fatally shot by an armed off-duty police officer on the scene. Related Resources: Fear Thy Neighbor: Radicalization and Jihadist Attacks in the West Ideological Radicalization: A..More about the event

July 7 2016

Dallas Police Shooting

July 7, 2016: “Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, armed with two rifles and a handgun, began shooting at the end of a protest in Dallas, Texas. Five law enforcement officers were killed; nine were wounded, including seven law enforcement officers. The shooter was killed by a bomb-carrying robot.” — FBI, Active..More about the event

June 12 2016

Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Pulse Nightclub Shooting

June 12, 2016: “Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, 29, armed with a rifle and a handgun, began shooting patrons inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Law enforcement officers entered the nightclub and engaged the shooter. The shooter then barricaded himself inside a bathroom with hostages for approximately three hours. Forty-nine people were killed; 53 were..More about the event

June 1 2016

Western/Southeast Wildfires – Summer/Fall 2016

Western/Southeast Wildfires – Summer/Fall 2016

June-December 2016: “Western and Southern states experienced an active wildfire season with over 5.0 million acres burned nationally. Most notable was the firestorm that impacted Gatlinburg, Tennessee with hurricane-force wind gusts in extremely dry conditions creating volatile wildfire behavior. These wildfires destroyed nearly 2,500 structures and caused 14 fatalities. The..More about the event

2015
December 18 2015

Five Cybersecurity Bills Become Law

December 18, 2015: “Despite many recommendations made over the past decade, most major legislative provisions relating to cybersecurity had been enacted prior to 2002. However, on December 18, 2014, five cybersecurity bills were signed by the President. These bills changed federal cybersecurity programs in a number of ways.” — Congressional Research..More about the event

December 2 2015

San Bernardino Shooting

December 2, 2015: Married couple Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik open fired at a Christmas party at Farook’s place of employment, the Inland Regional Center. Armed with assault rifles, semiautomatic handguns, and body armor, the pair also left behind three different explosive devices that were later disarmed. Hours later, police..More about the event

November 27 2015

Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting

November 27, 2015: Robert Lewis Dear, Jr. opened fire at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing 3 and injuring 9. Related Resources: Understanding Lone-actor Terrorism: A Comparative Analysis with Violent Hate Crimes and Group-based Terrorism, Report to the Resilient Systems Division, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of..More about the event

October 1 2015

Umpqua Community College Shootings

October 1, 2015: “Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, 26, armed with several handguns and a rifle, began shooting classmates in a classroom on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Nine people were killed; 7 were wounded. The shooter committed suicide after being wounded during an exchange of gunfire with law..More about the event

July 23 2015

Lafayette Movie Theater Shooting

July 23, 2015: John Russell Houser entered the Grand 16 Theater in Lafayette, Louisiana and opened fired on an audience viewing a screening of “Trainwreck”, killing two people and injuring nine before killing himself. Upon investigation it was found that he had a history of mental health problems, but legally..More about the event

July 16 2015

Chattanooga Shootings

July 16, 2015: “Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, armed with a rifle, began shooting at the Armed Forces Career Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, wounding a U.S. Marine. The shooter then drove to the Navy and Marine Reserve Center, where he killed 4 U.S. Marines and wounded a law enforcement officer and a U.S...More about the event

July 9 2015

OPM Data Breach

OPM Data Breach

July 9, 2015: The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) “concluded with high confidence that sensitive information, including the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of 21.5 million individuals, was stolen from the background investigation databases. This includes 19.7 million individuals that applied for a background investigation, and 1.8 million non-applicants,..More about the event

June 17 2015

Charleston Church Shooting

June 17, 2015: “Dylann Storm Roof, 21, armed with a rifle, allegedly began shooting at prayer service at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine people were killed; no one was wounded. The shooter fled the scene and was apprehended by law enforcement the next day.” — FBI,..More about the event

June 1 2015

Western and Alaskan Wildfires – Summer/Fall 2015

Western and Alaskan Wildfires – Summer/Fall 2015

June-November 2015: “Wildfires burned over 10.1 million acres across the U.S. in 2015, surpassing 2006 for the highest annual total of U.S. acreage burned since record-keeping began in 1960. The most costly wildfires occurred in California where over 2,500 structures were destroyed due to the Valley and Butte wildfires with..More about the event

2014
August 24 2014

South Napa, CA, Earthquake

South Napa, CA, Earthquake

August 24, 2014: A magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit in South Napa, California. It was the largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 25 years and could be felt as far as 300 km away to the east of Reno, Nevada. Following the earthquake was more than 60..More about the event

August 2 2014

2014 Fort Hood Shooting

2014 Fort Hood Shooting

April 2, 2014: “Ivan Antonio Lopez-Lopez, 34, armed with a handgun, began shooting inside an administrative office on the Fort Hood Army Base in Texas. The active-duty soldier then moved (sometimes on foot, other times in a vehicle) from one location to another, firing inside and outside buildings. Three soldiers were killed;..More about the event

July 8 2014

Las Vegas Police Ambush

July 8, 2014: “The Las Vegas, Nevada, community and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) experienced a tragic loss […] when two officers were ambushed and killed by two assailants. The assailants went on to instigate an active shooter situation, killing a Good Samaritan civilian who attempted to intervene...More about the event

May 23 2014

Isla Vista Rampage

May 23, 2014: “Elliot Rodger, 22, armed with a handgun and several knives, began shooting in the first of 17 locations in Isla Vista, California. After stabbing 3 inside his apartment earlier that day, the shooter began driving through town, shooting from his car. He killed 3 and wounded 7 and struck and..More about the event

April 1 2014

Flint Water Crisis

Flint Water Crisis

April 2014: The city of Flint, MI switched its water source from Lake Huron to Flint River. For months, state officials maintained the water was safe to drink, however, a series of independent studies found high levels of lead in the water. Flint residents grew ill, lost hair, developed rashes,..More about the event

March 22 2014

Oso Landslide

Oso Landslide

March 22, 2014: “A large landslide occurred in northwest Washington[…], leading to tragic loss of life and destruction of property. Landslide debris covered about 40 homes and other structures as well as nearly a mile of State Route 530. It also caused 43 fatalities in the community of Steelhead Haven..More about the event

February 12 2014

NIST releases First Cybersecurity Framework

February 12, 2014: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides the following background information on the development of the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity: “Recognizing the national and economic security of the United States depends on the reliable function of critical infrastructure, the President issued Executive Order (EO)..More about the event

2013
October 22 2013

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy

October 22, 2013: “Superstorm Sandy” formed off a tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea. It would end up killing 233 people over the span of eight countries, with 159 deaths in the U.S. alone (See: Hurricane Sandy mortality in the Caribbean and continental North America ). “Sandy’s impact on major population centers..More about the event

September 16 2013

Navy Yard Shooting

Navy Yard Shooting

September 16, 2013: “A lone gunman, who had a security clearance, entered the Navy Yard’s Building 97 and began shooting randomly. Eventually, he worked his way to an overlook within the building and on to cubicle-filled office floors. The gunman entered the building at 8:15 a.m. and was declared dead..More about the event

April 17 2013

West Fertilizer Company Fire and Explosion

West Fertilizer Company Fire and Explosion

April 17, 2013: “A fire and explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company (WFC), a fertilizer blending, retail, and distribution facility in West, Texas. The violent detonation fatally injured 12 emergency responders and three members of the public. Local hospitals treated more than 260 injured victims, many of whom required..More about the event

April 15 2013

Boston Marathon Bombings

Boston Marathon Bombings

April 15, 2013: At the annual Boston Marathon, 282 people were injured and four were killed, including an MIT police officer, when two pressure-cooker bombs exploded near the crowded finish line. Related Resources: CHDS Alumni Respond: “Boston Strong” Faced Challenges of Marathon Bombings Preventing Another Boston Marathon Bombing: Reviewing the Lessons..More about the event

February 3 2013

Christopher Dorner Shootings and Manhunt

February 3-12, 2013: “The greater Los Angeles area faced an unprecedented nine-day manhunt in February 2013 for a particularly dangerous multiple-murder suspect named Christopher Dorner. A highly armed former LAPD officer who began his rampage by allegedly murdering a couple in the city of Irvine on February 3, Dorner explicitly vowed to continue..More about the event

January 29 2013

Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013

January 29, 2013: “President Barack Obama signed into law the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (SRIA) of 2013 and the accompanying Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013.   In many ways, the passage of SRIA represents the most significant legislative change to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) substantive authorities since the enactment of the Robert T...More about the event

2012
December 14 2012

Sandy Hook School Shooting

Sandy Hook School Shooting

December 14, 2012: In the space of several minutes, Adam Lanza, armed with two handguns and a rifle, killed 20 elementary school children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter then committed suicide as police arrived. Prior to the school shooting, Lanza killed his..More about the event

September 11 2012

Benghazi Attack

Benghazi Attack

September 11, 2012: The American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by members of Ansar al-Sharia at 21:40. The group launched a mortar attack at a CIA annex the next morning at 04:00, approximately one mile away. Although the attacks were thought to be caused by a recently released..More about the event

August 5 2012

Sikh Temple Shooting

August 5, 2012: “Wade Michael Page, 40, armed with a handgun, began shooting outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and then moved inside and continued to shoot. The shooter exited the building and confronted the responding police officer, wounding him. He then fired on a second responding..More about the event

July 20 2012

Aurora Century 16 Theater Shooting

July 20, 2012: During a midnight screening of the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, James Eagan Holmes, dressed in tactical clothing, set off teargas grenades and shot into the audience with multiple firearms. Minutes later, responding police arrested Holmes outside the theater. — U.S. Dept. of Justice, Community Oriented Policing Services Related Resources:..More about the event

January 1 2012

2012 U.S. Drought/Heatwave

2012 U.S. Drought/Heatwave

January-December 2012: The 2012 drought is the most extensive drought to affect the U.S. since the 1930s. Moderate to extreme drought conditions affected more than half the country for a majority of 2012. The following states were affected: CA, NV, ID, MT, WY, UT, CO, AZ, NM, TX, ND, SD,..More about the event

2011
August 23 2011

Mineral, VA Earthquake

Mineral, VA Earthquake

August 23, 2011: A magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck near Mineral, Virginia. Millions of people felt the effects of the quake along the east coast, with reports of minor damage as far away as Charleston, South Carolina, approximately 600 km away. It was the largest earthquake in the eastern U.S. since..More about the event

May 22 2011

EF-5 Tornado – Joplin, MO

EF-5 Tornado – Joplin, MO

May 22, 2011: An outbreak of an estimated 180 tornadoes struck the central and southern United States over several days in May 2011. On May 22nd, an EF-5 tornado devastated the city of Joplin, Mo., leaving an estimated 157 people dead. The Joplin tornado is the deadliest single tornado since..More about the event

May 16 2011

International Strategy for Cyberspace

May 16, 2011: The International Strategy for Cyberspace: Prosperity, Security, and Openness in a Networked World, released by the Barack Obama White House, “marks the first time any Administration has attempted to set forth in one document the U.S. government’s vision for cyberspace, including goals for defense, diplomacy, and international development.” —..More about the event

April 25 2011

2011 Tornado Super Outbreak

2011 Tornado Super Outbreak

April 25-28, 2011: Over the course of four days, an outbreak of 362 confirmed tornadoes occurred over the central and southern states, surpassing the previous record for all of April by nearly 100, but also accounting for almost half of the confirmed tornadoes during the month. (On This Day: 2011 Tornado..More about the event

January 8 2011

Shooting at Gabrielle Giffords’ ‘Congress on Your Corner’ Event

January 8, 2011: Jared Lee Loughner, 22, armed with a handgun, began shooting during a congressional town hall meeting sponsored by U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords outside a Safeway store in Tucson, Arizona. Six people were killed; 13 were wounded, including Rep. Giffords. The shooter was restrained by citizens before police arrived..More about the event

2010
September 9 2010

San Bruno Pipeline Explosion

San Bruno Pipeline Explosion

September 9, 2010: A PG&E pipeline ruptured and exploded in the Crestmoor residential neighborhood of San Bruno, CA. Investigation into the incident found that PG&E had been in violation of regulations and laws regarding the type of piping used for the line.  A 30-inch-diameter segment of the natural gas pipeline..More about the event

June 1 2010

Stuxnet Worm

June 2010: Discovery of the Stuxnet worm exposed the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and computer systems to attack. Countries known to have been affected by the Stuxnet worm include Iran, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Germany, China and the United States.  “The Stuxnet worm, which was first reported in June 2010 by..More about the event

April 20 2010

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

April 20, 2010: The oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, which was owned and operated by Transocean and drilling for BP, operating in the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, exploded and sank. In 87 days following the explosion, approximately 210,000,000 gallons of oil were spilled around 68,000 square miles of the Gulf before finally..More about the event

April 5 2010

Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster

Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster

April 5, 2010: In a coal mine located in Montcoal, West Virginia a massive coal dust explosion started as a methane ignition. Massey Energy Co. was found to have had multiple basic safety violations which resulted in the explosion and prevented the assured safety of workers. 31 miners were inside..More about the event

February 18 2010

Austin Plane Crash

Panorama of the damaged Echelon office complex in Austin, TX, the day after a man flew his plane into it.

February 18, 2010: “Andrew Joseph Stack deliberately flew his small single engine aircraft into the Echelon I office building located at 9420 Research Blvd., Austin, Texas. Prior to that, he had set fire to his own residence located approximately two miles from the Echelon I building, drove 15 miles to..More about the event

2009
November 5 2009

2009 Fort Hood Shooting

November 5, 2009: Army Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at an Army processing center where soldiers were taking care of preparations for overseas deployment. As a matter of practice, soldiers do not carry weapons at Fort Hood, and Hasan is said to have had two handguns with him, one of..More about the event

April 3 2009

Binghamton Shootings

April 3, 2009: 14 people were killed and 4 people were injured, at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, New York. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. “On the morning of April 3, 2009, at approximately 10:30 a.m. EDT,..More about the event

2008
December 22 2008

Tennessee Ash Spill

Tennessee Ash Spill

December 22, 2008: An ash pond dike broke, which released 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash. The spill covered over 300 acres of Watts Bar Reservoir. Just hours prior, the area had been inspected, and no issues had been reported. Testing on the air, water, and ash began immediately,..More about the event

October 1 2008

2008 Cyberattack on United States DoD

October 2008: The DoD detected an intrusion into it’s classified networks. The following information about the attack is excerpted from the October 1, 2010 article from DoD News, “Lynn: Cyberwarfare Extends Scope of Conflict”: Information technology, and the world’s reliance on it, has redefined the front lines of national security, Deputy Defense..More about the event

March 2 2008

Austin Serial Bombings

March 2-21, 2008: Over the course of nearly a month, a series of package bombs exploded around the Austin, TX area. The first three bombs were placed at private residences, the next was a tripwire-activated bomb near a road in Travis County, the next two were delivered to two separate..More about the event

2007
August 3 2007

9/11 Commission Act of 2007

August 3, 2007: Public Law 110-53: Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 is signed into law. The “9/11 Commission Act” addresses a wide range of the Department’s missions, including cargo security, critical infrastructure protection, grant administration, intelligence and information sharing, privacy, and transportation security. — Dept. of Homeland..More about the event

August 1 2007

I-35 Bridge Collapse

I-35 Bridge Collapse

August 1, 2007: The eight-lane bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, MN collapsed during rush-hour traffic, sending 120 vehicles plummeting. After the official investigation, it was revealed that a flaw in the structural design of the 40-year old bridge was the cause of the collapse. People and vehicles fell..More about the event

June 1 2007

Western Wildfires – Summer 2007

June-August 2007: “Continued drought conditions and high winds over much of the western U.S. (AK, AZ, CA, ID, UT, MT, NV, OR, WA) resulting in numerous wildfires; with national acreage burned exceeding 8.9 million acres (mainly in the west) and over 3,000 homes and structures destroyed in southern California alone.” — NOAA: Billion-Dollar..More about the event

April 16 2007

Virginia Tech Shooting

Virginia Tech Shooting

April 16, 2007: “Seung Hui Cho, 23, armed with two handguns, began shooting in a dormitory at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Two-and-a-half hours later, he chained the doors shut in a classroom building and began shooting at the students and faculty inside. Thirty-two people were killed; 17..More about the event

2006
October 13 2006

SAFE Port Act of 2006

October 13, 2006: Public Law 109-347: Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 is signed. Many of the SAFE Port Act’s provisions relate to programs designed to secure the United States’ sea ports and shipping lanes. Related Resources: HSDL Search Results for “SAFE Port Act” HSDL In Focus: Maritime Domain

October 4 2006

Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006

October 4, 2006: Among the provisions of Public Law 109-295: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007, was the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (PKEMRA). This act “provided important provisions, including the key principle that after a major disaster or emergency declaration accelerated Federal assistance could be sent by..More about the event

July 11 2006

Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006

July 11, 2006: Public Law 109-241: Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006 addresses U.S. Coast Guard issues, shipping and navigation, hurricane response, and a number of other issues.

2005
August 25 2005

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

August 25-31, 2005: Hurricane Katrina created a path of destruction across southern Florida, and caused devastation into parts of southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The storm then tracked northward into Tennessee and Kentucky and points northeast from there, where heavy rainfall was the main impact of the storm. Total losses as..More about the event

2004
December 17 2004

Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act

December 17, 2004: Public Law 108-458: Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 created a Director of National Intelligence to coordinate the work of 15 federal intelligence agencies and established a National Counter Terrorism Center to analyze intelligence information – ‘connecting the dots’ so the government could take effective..More about the event

2003
October 1 2003

California Fire Siege 2003

California Fire Siege 2003

October 2003: Dry weather and high winds contributed to a series of wildfires that broke out in Southern California. There were 14 fires that are part of the October Fire Siege: Roblar 2, Grand Prix/Padua, Pass, Piru, Verdale, Happy, Old, Simi, Cedar, Paradise, Mountain, Otay and Wellman. The first fire..More about the event

February 14 2003

National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace

February 14, 2003: The George W. Bush White House released the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace as part of an overall effort to protect the Nation and to “to engage and empower Americans to secure the portions of cyberspace that they own, operate, control, or with which they interact.” Related Resources: HSDL..More about the event

2002
November 25 2002

Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002

Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002

November 25, 2002: “Even before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, government officials and security experts were concerned about the security of U.S. ports. In the fall of 2000, the Interagency Commission on Crime and Security in U.S. Seaports noted the vulnerability of U.S. seaports to terrorism. The report..More about the event

November 25 2002

Homeland Security Act of 2002

November 25, 2002: Public Law 107-296: The Homeland Security Act of 2002 established the Department of Homeland Security and set forth the primary mission of the Department. “Eleven days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge was appointed as the first Director of the Office of..More about the event

October 24 2002

Beltway Sniper Attacks

Beltway Sniper Attacks

October 2002: James Martin was shot and killed, in the first of what would become a series of sniper shootings in Montgomery County, Maryland. The shootings would then spread to Virginia before John Allen Muhammad, and Lee Boyd Malvo were apprehended on October 24th, 2002. Related Resources: Washington, DC, Area..More about the event

2001
November 19 2001

Aviation and Transportation Security Act

Aviation and Transportation Security Act

  November 19, 2001: President Bush signed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act into law requiring screening conducted by federal officials, 100 percent checked baggage screening, expansion of the Federal Air Marshal Service and reinforced cockpit doors. TSA is created to oversee security in all modes of transportation. — TSA Impact: Creation..More about the event

October 26 2001

USA PATRIOT Act

USA PATRIOT Act

October 26, 2001: Public Law 107-56: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 is signed into law. “Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act (the Act) in response to the terrorists’ attacks of September 11, 2001. The Act..More about the event

September 18 2001

“Amerithrax” Anthrax Attacks

“Amerithrax” Anthrax Attacks

September 18, 2001: “Soon after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, letters laced with anthrax began appearing in the U.S. mail. Five Americans were killed and 17 were sickened in what became the worst biological attacks in U.S. history. The ensuing investigation by the FBI and its partners — code-named ‘Amerithrax’..More about the event

September 11 2001

September 11, 2001 Attacks

September 11, 2001 Attacks

September 11, 2001: 19 al Qaeda members hijacked four US passenger airliners. One would hit the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., another would crash into the Pennsylvania countryside after passengers tried to take control of the plane headed towards Washington, D.C., and two would crash into the Twin Towers in New..More about the event

2000
October 12 2000

USS Cole Bombing

USS Cole Bombing

October 12, 2000: “Suicide terrorists exploded a small boat alongside the USS Cole—a Navy Destroyer—as it was refueling in the Yemeni port of Aden. The blast ripped a 40-foot-wide hole near the waterline of the Cole, killing 17 American sailors and injuring many more. […] The extensive FBI investigation ultimately..More about the event

January 1 2000

Y2K

Y2K

January 1, 2000: As the world approached the year 2000, a number of theories revolving around the turn of the century began surfacing. There was widespread fear and panic that our technological infrastructures would become disrupted by a supposed Y2K bug that would leave the world in an apocalyptic state...More about the event

1999
April 20 1999

Columbine High School Massacre

April 20, 1999: Two subjects walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and opened fire on both students and staff, as well as detonated explosive devices, some of which were planted in and around the school prior to entering. Initially, they had intended for it to be a bombing..More about the event

1998
August 7 1998

US Embassy Bombings, East Africa

US Embassy Bombings, East Africa

August 7, 1998: Bombs detonated in front of two American embassies; one in Nairobi, Kenya and the other in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The attacks were linked to members of al-Qaeda, including Osama bin Laden, which resulted the the FBI placing him on its ten most-wanted fugitives list. “In the..More about the event

1996
August 3 1996

“Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski Arrested

“Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski Arrested

April 3, 1996: Starting in 1978 and stretching for nearly two decades, Theodore Kaczynski—also known as the Unabomber—sent primitive, untraceable, homemade explosives to a number of random targets that left the FBI puzzled. He often left false clues to throw off authorities, and lived as a recluse in the mountains..More about the event

July 27 1996

Centennial Olympic Park Bombing

July 27, 1996: During the Summer Olympic games in Atlanta, GA, Eric Rudolph planted a backpack containing a bomb in the crowded Centennial Olympic Park. While a diligent security guard, Richard Jewell, was able to start evacuating the crowd, the bomb detonated before everyone could leave. The explosion was just..More about the event

1995
April 19 1995

Oklahoma City Bombing

Oklahoma City Bombing

April 19, 1995: A bomb ripped through the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in downtown Oklahoma City. Timothy McVeigh, and ex-Army soldier and security guard, had manufactured homemade explosives using agricultural fertilizer, diesel fuel, and other chemicals, and set the bombs with a timed fuse. He was arrested just 90..More about the event

1993
July 2 1993

Midwest Flooding

Midwest Flooding

July 2, 1993: “Severe, widespread flooding in central U.S. due to persistent heavy rains and thunderstorms. There was extensive damage to agriculture, infrastructure, homes and businesses in many areas across several states. […] This is the most costly non-tropical, inland flood event to affect the United States on record.”t — NOAA: Billion-Dollar Weather..More about the event

April 19 1993

Waco Siege Ended

Waco Siege Ended

February 28-April 19, 1993: The 51-day Waco Seige standoff ended when the the Branch Davidian compound was engulfed by fires set by the Davidians, after the FBI used tear gas in an attempt to force the occupants to leave. “On February 28, 1993, near Waco, Texas, four agents from the..More about the event

February 26 1993

World Trade Center Bombing

World Trade Center Bombing

February 26, 1993: A bomb exploded in a rented moving truck that was parked in the garage beneath the World Trade Center that resulted in a 100-foot crater that was several stories deep and several stories higher. Six Islamic Fundamentalists were later arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life for..More about the event

1992
August 26 1992

Hurricane Andrew

Hurricane Andrew

August 26, 1992: Although it spent most of its life as a tropical cyclone, its high winds left extensive damage to the Bahamas, Louisiana, and Florida, making landfall in south Florida as a Category 5 hurricane, with the maximum sustained surface wind speed estimated at about 145 mph. Until Hurricane Irma, it..More about the event

1991
October 19 1991

Oakland Firestorm

Oakland Firestorm

October 19-22, 1991: “The largest dollar fire loss in United States history occurred in the East Bay Hills, within the California cities of Oakland and Berkeley […]. Twenty-five lives were lost and more than 3,000 structures were destroyed by a wildland-urban interface fire in one of the most heavily populated  metropolitan areas..More about the event

1990
December 20 1990

1990 California Freeze

December 20, 1990-January 3, 1991: For fourteen days, California, particularly in the Central and Southern San Joaquin Valley, suffered a severe freeze. With subfreezing temperatures, and even some locations experiencing temperatures in the teens, the record-breaking freeze caused billions of dollars worth of damage to citrus crops, as well as..More about the event

1989
October 17 1989

Loma Prieta Earthquake

Loma Prieta Earthquake

October 17, 1989: A magnitude 6.9 earthquake  struck approximately 10 miles northeast of Santa Cruz, CA, near Loma Prieta peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains (approximately 60 south southeast of San Francisco). Due to the sports coverage of the 1989 World Series, it became the first major earthquake in the United States..More about the event

March 24 1989

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

March 24, 1989: Oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling more than 11 million gallons of crude oil. Due to the remote location of the spill–it was accessible only by boat or helicopter–cleanup efforts were challenging, and it put current preparedness plans to the..More about the event

1988
December 21 1988

Pan Am 103 Bombing

Pan Am 103 Bombing

December 21, 1988: Pan Am Flight 103 departed from London’s Heathrow Airport, bound for New York City. However, just 40 minutes into the flight, the plane exploded 31,000 feet up in the skies above Lockerbie, Scotland. Evidence found at the scene of the crash led investigators to two Libyan intelligence..More about the event

November 23 1988

Stafford Act

November 23, 1988: “The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, was signed into law, amending the Disaster Relief Act of 1974. The Stafford Act created the system in place today by which a presidential disaster declaration of an emergency triggers financial and physical assistance through the Federal..More about the event

June 1 1988

1988 U.S. Drought/Heatwave

1988 U.S. Drought/Heatwave

June-August 1988: The drought of 1988 was widespread throughout the agricultural regions of the United States and Canada and had significant impacts on agricultural production, forestry, natural ecosystems, and water availability. The potential serious effects of the developing drought initiated a number of federal government responses (The Drought of 1988..More about the event

1985
June 14 1985

TWA Flight 847 Hijacking

TWA Flight 847 Hijacking

June 14, 1985: TWA Flight 847 from Cairo to San Diego with stops in Athens and Rome, was hijacked by Mohammed Ali Hamadei, along with an armed accomplice. Over the next 17 days crisscrossing the Mediterranean from Beirut to Algiers, the 153 passengers and crew members were subject to beatings..More about the event

1984
September 20 1984

US Embassy Annex Bombing, Beirut

US Embassy Annex Bombing, Beirut

September 20, 1984: On September 20, 1984, just over a year after the 1983 US Embassy attack, after the United States had relocated embassy operations from West Beirut to Aukar, a Christian suburb of East Beirut, a suicide bomber sped towards the entrance with a van packed with 3,000 pounds of..More about the event

September 1 1984

Rajneeshee Bioterror Attack

Rajneeshee Bioterror Attack

  September 1984: The Rajneesh cult succeeded with the first documented bioterror incident in the United States. “The cult planned to infect residents with Salmonella on election day to influence the results of county elections. To practice for the attack, they contaminated salad bars at 10 restaurants with S. Typhimurium on..More about the event

1983
April 18 1983

US Embassy Bombing, Beirut

US Embassy Bombing, Beirut

April 18, 1983: A suicide bomber crashes a truck into the front of the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon before detonating approximately 2,000 pounds of explosives. A Multinational Force composed of U.S. and European military personnel, entered Lebanon to help the Lebanese government maintain stability during the third phase of the..More about the event

1980
June 1 1980

1980 US Heat Wave

1980 US Heat Wave

June-September 1980: Beginning in June and stretching until mid-September, the 1980 US Heat Wave was a period of intense heat and drought that plagued the central and eastern United States. Many states suffered through record-breaking heat, with Memphis, TN experiencing a 15-day stretch of temperatures over 100°F. Crops were damaged..More about the event

1979
March 31 1979

Creation of FEMA

Creation of FEMA

March 31, 1979: “President Carter’s 1979 Executive Order 12127 merged many of separate disaster-related responsibilities into a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA was created to: Coordinate Federal emergency authorities, including the administration of disaster response and recovery programs; [and] Assume the role of the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration and..More about the event

March 28 1979

Three-Mile Island Accident

Three-Mile Island Accident

March 28, 1979: The Three Mile Island Unit 2 reactor (TMI-2) experienced a partial meltdown and was the most serious accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant operating history. Luckily,  there were no detectable health effects on plant workers or the public from the small radioactive releases, but the event spurred significant..More about the event

1975
December 29 1975

LaGuardia Airport Bombing

December 29, 1975: The LaGuardia Airport bombing, which killed 11 and seriously injured 74, “was the deadliest attack in New York City since the Wall Street bombing of 1920, which killed 38, until the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.” — Wikipedia Related Resources: ‘First War on Terrorism?’ U.S. Domestic Counterterrorism During the 1970s..More about the event

1974
May 22 1974

Disaster Relief Act of 1974

May 22, 1974: President Richard Nixon signed the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, amending a 1970 version of the legislation. The act expanded the assistance the federal government could provide to individuals, states, and local communities suffering from disasters. […] The Disaster Relief Act of 1974 authorized the President to:..More about the event

1970
December 30 1970

Hurricane Creek Mine Disaster

Hurricane Creek Mine Disaster

December 30, 1970: A blast tore through mine shafts 15 and 16 Finely Mine. Just a month earlier, the Bureau of Mine had declared the mine an imminent danger, but had not ceased its operations. After investigations and testimony from three miners it was concluded there had been dynamite and..More about the event

September 1 1970

Dawson’s Field Hijackings

Dawson’s Field Hijackings

September 1970: In the month of September 1970, four aircraft bound for New York City and one for London, were hijacked by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Three of the aircraft were forced to land at Dawson’s Field, located in a remote desert near..More about the event

1964
March 27 1964

Great Alaska Earthquake

Great Alaska Earthquake

March 27, 1964: A magnitude 9.2 earthquake struck in the Prince William Sound region of Alaska. It lasted for approximately 4.5 minutes, and is the most powerful earthquake recorded in U.S. history. It is the second largest earthquake ever recorded and triggered tsunamis with a run-up of more than 100..More about the event

1963
September 15 1963

Baptist Street Bombing

Baptist Street Bombing

September 15, 1963: A dynamite bomb exploded in the back stairwell of the downtown Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The church was well-known as a key civil rights meeting place, so the incident was easily classified as an act of racial hatred. With a lack of evidence, the..More about the event

1952
November 4 1952

National Security Agency Established

National Security Agency Established

November 4, 1952: “The NSA was established [….] by order of President Harry Truman. This decision followed the Nation’s important work in breaking German and Japanese codes during WWII, which contributed to Allied success against the German U-Boat threat in the North Atlantic and victory at the Battle of Midway..More about the event

June 27 1952

Immigration and Nationality Act

June 27, 1952: The Immigration and Nationality Act, or INA, was created in 1952. Before the INA, a variety of statutes governed immigration law but were not organized in one location. The McCarran-Walter bill of 1952, Public Law No. 82-414, collected and codified many existing provisions and reorganized the structure..More about the event

1951
January 12 1951

Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950

January 12, 1951: The Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 is signed into law.  Prior to this act, there was no comprehensive legislation covering disaster relief. This act establishes a “basic framework for preparations to minimize the effects of an attack on our civilian population, and to deal with the immediate..More about the event

1949
June 20 1949

Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949

Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949

June 20, 1949: The Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 is signed. “The CIA was created under the National Security Act of 1947. […] Two years later, President Truman signed the Central Intelligence Agency Act, which authorized CIA to secretly fund intelligence operations and conduct personnel actions outside of standard US..More about the event

1947
July 26 1947

National Security Act of 1947

July 26, 1947: The National Security Act of 1947 is signed. With this act, both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Council (NSC) were created. “In the aftermath of World War II, the National Security Act provided a major reorganization of the U.S. defense and intelligence agencies. As..More about the event

April 16 1947

Texas City Disaster

Texas City Disaster

April 16, 1947: Docked in Texas City, TX, the S.S. Grandcamp, loaded with a cargo 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, suddenly and mysteriously caught fire. After failed attempts to extinguish the flames, the cargo exploded, launching the cargo 2,000-3,000 feet in the air and causing a 15-foot tidal wave. ..More about the event

1941
December 7 1941

Attack on Pearl Harbor

Attack on Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941: Six Japanese carriers launched 181 planes carrying torpedo bombers, dive bombers, horizontal bombers and fighters. Only 30 minutes later 170 more aircraft launched their attack on the Harbor. The attack was intended to prevent the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with Japanese military actions, but spurred the..More about the event

1930
January 1 1930

The Dust Bowl

1930s: Following in the wake of the Homestead Act, settlers began populating and farming on the Great Plains, planting an abundance of dry-land wheat to try and keep up with demand. Beginning in 1930 and lasting for nearly a decade, the Great Plains suffered a severe drought that would only..More about the event

1928
September 17 1928

Okeechobee Hurricane

Okeechobee Hurricane

September 17, 1928: A category 4 hurricane struck the Palm Beach area of Florida bringing storm surges as high as 20 feet crashing into the barrier islands. The storm would rage over Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Pompano Beach,  and Lake Okeechobee. With the..More about the event

1921
May 31 1921

Tulsa Race Massacre

Tulsa Race Massacre

May 31-June 1, 1921: The Tulsa Race Massacre, also known as the Tusla Race Riots, began with an incident that took place on May 30, 1921, in which Dick Rowland, a young black teenager, entered an elevator at the Drexel office building. The elevator operator, a young white woman named..More about the event

1920
September 16 1920

Wall Street Bombing, 1920

Wall Street Bombing, 1920

September 16, 1920: A man driving a cart pulled by horse, parked in front of the U.S. Assay Office across from the J. P. Morgan building in the heart of Wall Street, before leaving and disappearing into the crowd. Only minutes later, a bomb exploded, devastating the area. A number..More about the event

1918
April 2 1918

Influenza Epidemic of 1918

Influenza Epidemic of 1918

1918-1919: In the spring of 1918, the first wave of the influenza epidemic struck in military camps in Kansas and throughout the U.S., but was generally mild. Those who contracted the flu usually recovered after several days of typical flu-like symptoms. However, when the second wave hit in the autumn..More about the event

1906
April 18 1906

San Francisco Earthquake

San Francisco Earthquake

April 18, 1906: An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 struck San Francisco, CA. Violent shocks lasted approximately 40-60 seconds and was felt from southern Oregon to the south of Los Angeles and inland as far as Central Nevada. Fires that resulted from broken gas mains raged for three days,..More about the event

1900
September 8 1900

Great Galveston Hurricane

Great Galveston Hurricane

September 8, 1900: A category 4 hurricane ripped through the port city of Galveston, Texas with winds over 135 miles per hour. Storm surges rose 15 feet and completely devastated the prosperous and, at the time, one of the biggest cities in Texas, with over 40,000 inhabitants. Galveston would go..More about the event

1871
October 8 1871

Peshtigo Fire

Peshtigo Fire

October 8, 1871: A forest fire that was allegedly started by railroad workers who were clearing land for tracks, swept through northeast Wisconsin. Within an hour of the fire striking, the city of Peshtigo, WI was gone. A number of factors were attributed to the raging fire, including a prolonged..More about the event

1868
October 12 1868

Hayward Fault Earthquake

Hayward Fault Earthquake

October 12, 1868: An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck the region of San Francisco Bay. It lasted for more than 40 seconds and is considered one of the most destructive earthquakes in California’s history, regardless of the sparse population of the time. Shaking could be felt as far..More about the event

1857
January 9 1857

Great Fort Tejon Earthquake

Great Fort Tejon Earthquake

January 9, 1857: A magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck on the San Andreas Fault from near Parkfield to approximately 300 km away near Wrightwood. The quake could be felt from Marysville to San Diego, and east to Las Vegas, with strong shaking lasting from one to three minutes.—(USGS) Impact: 2 fatalities..More about the event

1811
December 15 1811

New Madrid, Missouri Earthquakes

New Madrid, Missouri Earthquakes

December 15, 1811: The 1811-1812 New Madrid Sequence consisted of three large earthquakes: A Magnitude 7.5 earthquake that struck on December 15, 1811; a magnitude 7.3 that struck on January 23, 1812; and a magnitude 7.5 that struck on February 7, 1812. Following the earthquakes, hundreds of aftershocks were felt..More about the event