1. A new pope
In a shocking move, Pope Benedict XVI becomes the first pope to resign in almost 600 years. A month later, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is elected his successor, taking the papal name Pope Francis.
2. Boston Marathon attacks
Two bombs explode near the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three and injuring more than 180. A dramatic hunt ensues, ending four days later with the capture of suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
3. Moore, OK tornados
An EF5 tornado hits Moore, Oklahoma and surrounding areas, carving a trail more than a mile wide and 17 miles long. There are 25 fatalities.
4. Edward Snowden NSA leaks
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaks info on the NSA’s mass surveillance program on civilians. He’s charged with espionage and theft, and flees to Russia, where he is given temporary asylum.
5. Prince George is born
Prince William and Duchess Catherine welcome their first child, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.
6. Asiana flight 214
Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashes at San Francisco International Airport – killing two passengers. A third person dies after being run over by a rescue vehicle. It’s first fatal commercial airline crash in the United States since February 2009.
7. Syria’s civil war
President Obama threatens a U.S. strike on Syria in retaliation for the government’s alleged use of chemical weapons on its people. Syria later agrees to a Russian proposal to give up control of its chemical weapons.
8. Nairobi mall siege
Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab attacks the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing more than 60 civilians during a four-day massacre.
9. Obamacare rollout debacle
Technical problems plague health insurance exchanges that open online as part of the rollout of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.”
10. Nelson Mandela’s death
Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former president and an international icon of freedom, dies at age 95.