Timeline of Homeland Security Events and Milestones


Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting

January 6, 2017: Near a baggage claim in Terminal 2 at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport, Iraq war veteran, Esteban Santiago, opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol in a crowd of travelers.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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

January 8, 2011: Jared Lee Loughner 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.
Read more


(Credit: Matthew Hurst/Flickr user)

January 1, 2000: Widespread fear and panic centered on the turn of the century and the idea that a technological bug would leave nations scrambling to counteract damage done to technological infrastructure.

Read more

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 established a basic framework for civil defense, with the majority of responsibility vested in the States.
Read more

The Dust Bowl

(Credit: George E. Marsh/NOAA)

1930s: Between the years 1930-1940, the Great Plains suffered a severe drought that only further destroyed the already over-farmed and over-grazed land. It would last for nearly a decade, but effects could be felt for years after.

Read more

Great Fort Tejon Earthquake

(Credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

January 9, 1857: A magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck on the San Andreas Fault from near Parkfield to approximately 300 km away near Wrightwood.

Read more