Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Among 17 Shot in Assassination Attempt, Six Killed. Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords is shot in an assassination attempt in Arizona. She is among at least 17 shot by a gunman who opened fire on the congresswoman’s constituent meeting outside a local grocery store. Six people are fatally wounded, including United States District Court Judge John Roll, and a young girl. The gunman, who police identify as Jared Lee Loughner, is apprehended and remains in police custody. Rep. Giffords, who was shot in the head, is hospitalized and in critical condition.
Space Shuttle Discovery launches from Kennedy Space Center for the final time, carrying the Permanent Multipurpose Module to the International Space Station
The U.S. Supreme Court makes a controversial 8–1 decision that the controversial protests of the Westboro Baptist Church at fallen US military members’ funerals are a form of protected speech under the First Amendment
Responding to continued coverage by the mainstream media of Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories, that President Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Barack Obama releases his long-form birth certificate
- May (May. 1)
- President of the United States Barack Obama declared in a media statement that Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of the militant Islamist group Al-Qaeda and the most-wanted fugitive on the US list, was killed during an American military operation in Pakistan and that his body is in U.S. custody
The Dallas Mavericks win their first NBA title 4–2 over the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.
Casey Anthony is found not guilty of first degree murder and manslaughter in the death of her daughter Caylee, but found guilty of 4 misdemeanor counts of giving false information to police
A NATO Chinook helicopter crashes in the Sayd Abad district of Afghanistan’s Wardak province after being shot down using rocket-propelled grenade by the Taliban with 38 deaths. At least 20 of the U.S. Navy SEALs killed in the attack were members of SEAL Team Six, the unit that carried out the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden. The Associated Press and CNN later reported that none of the unit members that participated in the raid were involved. This was the single deadliest day for US troops since the Afghanistan War began in 2001.
The United States military officially ends its policy of Don’t ask, don’t tell allowing gay and lesbian personal to publicly declare their sexual orientation.
Steve Jobs dies at the age of 56. He was an American computer engineer, who co-founded in 1976 Apple Inc., an electronics producer, which at many times has been the largest company in the world. Jobs was also one of the founders of Pixar.
Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant coach for the Penn State University football team, is arrested on nearly 40 counts of molesting eight boys over a 15-year period. The charges come following a grand jury investigation, which also alleges attempts to cover up the incidents and failure to report the incidents to law enforcement. In the days following the report, longtime coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier (already heavily criticized for alleged inaction) are fired.
- December (Dec. 15)
- The Iraq War officially ends