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Inspired by another thread from yesterday.
- I used the True Dork Times calendar for filming dates. In most cases I started from the day before Day 1, even though they were probably there for a week beforehand. Later seasons had more concrete fly-out dates, so I used those.
- I tried to only pick the most impactful or interesting “events of note”. Stories that were big on the day they occurred may have ultimately been forgotten with time. I came across dozens and dozens of mass shootings and terror attacks that were just one in a long line that no one outside those affected would remember anymore.
- As the cast of Survivor is American, this has a heavy American bias.
- This does not include as many pop-culture moments that I’m sure took the country by storm during the following time periods (think “The Dress” or Gangnam Style). Feel free to add any that you think would have baffled the returning cast members.
Borneo: March 12 – April 21, 2000
Vladimir Putin elected President of Russia; Microsoft is ruled to have violated antitrust laws; the U.S. orders the Florida relatives of refugee Elian Gonzalez to return the boy to his father in Cuba but they refuse; the cast returns home on April 22, the day that armed federal agents storm the house and retrieve Gonzalez to take him back.
Australia: October 22 – December 4, 2000
Bush vs. Gore election night ends with no clear winner in Florida; the cast returns home to find the Supreme Court making rulings on which Florida ballots can and cannot be counted and by which method, the ordeal officially ends on December 12. (This .gif is probably the most accurate to their reactions to this: http://www.reactiongifs.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/fire_community.gif
, EDIT: Better version: http://i.imgur.com/ccMurhj.gifv
Africa: July 8 – August 18, 2001
Congressman Gary Condit is investigated in the disappearance of D.C. intern Chandra Levy, with whom he was having an affair – the story was the biggest news event of the summer, until it was all but forgotten with the September 11 attacks, which occurred less than a month after the cast returned.
Marquesas: November 11 – December 21, 2001
An American Airlines flight crashes into a Queen neighborhood, killing 260 passengers/crew and 5 on the ground (and sparking initial concern about another terrorist attack); Gary Ridgway is arrested, ending a decades-long manhunt for the “Green River Killer” who murdered anywhere from 70 to 90+ people; the first Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings films are released; Enron files for bankruptcy; Beatles member George Harrison dies of lung cancer; the cast returns home on the day that “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid tries to blow up a flight to Miami.
Thailand: June 9 – July 19, 2002
American Idol first premieres; Baseball star Ted Williams dies, prompting a heavily-discussed (and joked-about, from my own memory of the time) legal debate with his children about whether or not it was his wish to be cryogenically frozen, which he eventually was.
Amazon: November 3 – December 13, 2002
Republicans gain congressional seats in the midterm elections; the UN orders Iraq to disarm or face the consequences and Saddam Hussein relents, allowing weapons inspectors to enter the country (problem solved?); the Department of Homeland Security is created.
Side note: The Invasion of Baghdad interrupts Shawna’s boot episode while the season is airing.
Pearl Islands: June 22 – August 1, 2003
The Supreme Court declares that sodomy laws are unconstitutional; the Do-Not-Call registry takes effect; The Washington Post identifies Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA operative, causing a national scandal; Saddam Hussein’s sons are killed by the U.S. military; the deaths of Senator Strom Thurmond, and actors Katherine Hepburn and Bob Hope; Kobe Bryant is arrested for sexual assault (note: this took a funny turn on Big Brother that summer when a contestant was shown admiring him, not knowing that he was embroiled in a scandal in the “outside world”).
All-Stars: November 2 – December 12, 2003
Massachusetts Supreme Court declares ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional; cast returns home on the day Saddam Hussein is captured.
Vanuatu: June 25 – August 4, 2004
Hearings begin for Saddam Hussein; death of legendary actor Marlon Brando; Martha Stewart sentenced to 5 months in prison.
Palau: October 31 – December 10, 2004
George W. Bush defeats John Kerry in the presidential election; Ukraine’s Orange revolution begins amidst accusations of voter fraud; Ken Jennings’ Jeopardy win streak comes to an end (he first won on the June 2 episode, before Vanuatu had even filmed, but various tournaments kept interrupting, thus delaying his last game until November 30); deaths of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and actor John Barrymore; metal guitarist Dimebag Darrell murdered while performing on stage; Piston/Pacers NBA brawl.
Guatemala: June 26 – August 5, 2005
Spain and Canada become the 3rd and 4th countries to legalize gay marriage; London train bombings; Lance Armstrong retires from competitive cycling after 7 Tour de France “victories”; Sandra Day O’Connor retires from the Supreme Court.
Exile Island: October 30 – December 9, 2005
The first facial transplant surgery occurs; first democratically-elected female head-of-state in Africa; cast returns home on the day comedian Richard Pryor dies.
Cook Islands: June 25 – August 4, 2006
Israel gets into armed conflicts with Palestine and Hezbollah; Mumbai train bombings kill over 200; Twitter is launched (but no one really cares for another 3 years or so).
Fiji: October 29 – December 8, 2006
Democrats regain control of congress; Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death; the military of Fiji performs a coup d’e’tat on its government (Survivor production continues as scheduled, and Boo Bernis is voted out [talk about a coup!]).
China: June 24 – August 3, 2007
Final Harry Potter book is released, becoming the fastest-selling in history; wrestler Chris Benoit kills his wife, son, and himself; 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis kills 13 people; Gordon Brown succeeds Tony Blair as Prime Minister of the U.K.
Micronesia: October 28 – December 7, 2007
The Writer’s Guild of America goes on strike, halting production on all scripted films/series; death of daredevil Evel Knievel; a man holds several people hostage at a Hillary Clinton campaign office in New Hampshire; a gunman kills 8 people and himself at an Omaha shopping mall; thousands die in Bangladesh from a cyclone.
Gabon: June 22 – August 1, 2008
Legendary comedian George Carlin dies the day before the game begins; Bill Gates steps down as chairman of Microsoft; the world’s first “pregnant man” gives birth.
Tocantins: October 30 – December 10, 2008
Barack Obama defeats John McCain for President; nearly every major country is declared to be in a state of recession; O.J. Simpson sentenced to 33 years in prison for kidnapping and armed robbery; Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is arrested for, among other crimes, trying to sell Obama’s senate seat; cast returns home on the day Bernie Madoff is arrested for running the largest financial fraud in history.
Samoa: June 10 – July 20, 2009
The “swine flu” is deemed the first global pandemic since the 1960s; thousands in Iran take to the streets to protest an allegedly corrupt reelection of Ahmadinejad, the protests last throughout the summer and into the following year; Sears Tower is renamed Willis Tower; Sarah Palin resigns as Alaska Governor; Michael Jackson dies unexpectedly; also dead: actress Farrah Fawcett, beloved news anchor Walter Cronkite, and TV pitchman Billy Mays (OXYCLEAN!!!!!)
Heroes vs. Villains: August 6 – September 17, 2009
Deaths of Senator Ted Kennedy and actor Patrick Swayze; Kaycee Lee Dugard freed from her kidnappers after 18 years.
Nicaragua: June 13 – July 23, 2010
Death of Senator Robert Byrd; BP Oil Spill stops for the first time since it began.
Redemption Island: August 15 – September 24, 2010
A large earthquake strikes Christchurch, New Zealand; the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq.
South Pacific: May 29 – July 8, 2011
Deaths of actor Peter Falk and former First Lady Betty Ford; gangster Whitey Bolger arrested; Romney, Santorum, Bachmann file to run for President; Anthony Weiner dick-pic scandal, leading to his resignation from the House; New York legalizes same-sex marriage; Casey Anthony found not guilty in the murder of her daughter.
One World: July 31 – September 9, 2011
Libyan rebels topple Muammar Gaddafi’s government; a rare earthquake rocks Washington D.C. and much of the east coast; Tim Cook succeeds Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple; Rick Perry files to run for President; congress raises the debt ceiling to avert crisis, though the country’s credit rating is still downgraded for the first time ever; Hurricane Irene floods the northeast.
Philippines: March 15 – April 26, 2012
Mitt Romney secures status as presumptive Republican nominee; while traveling with President Obama in Colombia, secret service agents are caught hiring prostitutes and relieved from the service; death of TV host Dick Clark.
Caramoan: May 15 – June 29, 2012
Deaths of Rodney King, TV host Richard Dawson, and author Ray Bradbury; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker survives recall election; Jerry Sandusky convicted on 45 counts of child abuse.
Blood vs. Water: May 13 – June 28, 2013
Edward Snowden reveals the government’s use of mass surveillance and flees the country; deaths of actors Jean Stapleton and James Gandolfini; Minnesota legalizes gay marriage; Boy Scouts lift their ban on gay members; Supreme Court declares the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, allowing same-sex couples to receive federal benefits; Court also ruled California’s Prop 8 was unconstitutional, allowing gay marriage to resume there.
Cagayan: July 7 – August 18, 2013
The birth of Prince George; deaths of actors Cory Monteith and Dennis Farina; Detroit files for bankruptcy; George Zimmerman acquitted of all charges after killing Trayvon Martin.
San Juan del Sur: May 26 – July 11, 2014
ISIS begins its campaign in the Middle-East; U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl traded from Taliban custody after 5 years; two 12-year-old girls stab their friend multiple times, inspired by the internet meme Slender Man; Washington legalizes recreational marijuana; deaths of poet Maya Angelou and radio host Casey Kasem (“This one goes out to Rob from New York…”); death of Survivor alum Caleb Bankston from a work-related accident.
Worlds Apart: July 29 – September 12, 2014
U.S. begins airstrikes against ISIS, which leads to the beheading of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff; outbreak of fighting between Israel and Hamas; deaths of actors Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, and Joan Rivers; NASCAR driver Tony Stewart kills Kevin Ward during a race; hackers release nude photos of multiple female celebrities (referred to as The Fappening); riots and demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri after the shooting death of Michael Brown; Ebola starts to spread to various countries.
Kaoh Rong: March 22 – May 8, 2015
Cruz, Paul, Clinton, Rubio, Sanders, Fiorina, Carson, Huckabee declare for President; birth of Princess Charlotte; a suicidal Germanwings co-pilot drives a commercial flight into the mountains, killing everyone; Rolling Stone magazine retracts an article about rape on the campus of UVA-Columbia; Indiana passes controversial religious freedom law that would allow discrimination to LGBT people, prompting boycotts of the state, and a restructuring of the law; Dzhokar Tsarnaev found guilty in the Boston Marathon bombing; riots and protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray; gunmen attack a Texas art exhibition of the Prophet Muhammad but are killed; a massive earthquake in Nepal kills over 9,000.
Cambodia: May 24 – July 9, 2015
Bush, Christie, and Trump (among other minor candidates) declare for President; death of actor Christopher Lee; FIFA President Sepp Blatter resigns due to scandal; Richard Matt and David Sweat escape a New York prison – Matt is later killed and Sweat is captured; Charleston black church shooting by a white supremacist, which then leads to the Confederate flag being taken down from the South Carolina capitol building the day after the cast returns; Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage is legal across the United States; U.S. and Cuba agree to resume diplomatic ties for the first time since the 1960s; Bruce Jenner transitions to Caitlyn Jenner; Rachel Dolezal may not actually be black.
Millennials vs. Gen X: April 3 – May 13, 2016
The Panama Papers are released; Trump is the only remaining Republican running for President; death of Prince; American Idol concludes; Kobe Bryant plays his final NBA game; Beyonce drops her “Lemonade” album; London elects Sadiq Khan as first Muslim mayor of a major Western city; Brazil votes to remove their President and put her on trial.
Season 34: May 31 – July 15, 2016
Clinton clinches nomination; death of Muhammad Ali; LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers win NBA championship, ending a decades-long drought for Cleveland athletics; ISIS-inspired shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando kills 49 and sparks new debates over gun control, including a senate filibuster and house sit-in; U.K. votes to leave European Union, causing stock markets to fall and David Cameron to declare he will resign as Prime Minister. (ongoing)
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