Attacks, war on terrorism top 2001 story lists

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 28, 2001

In just a few days, 2001 will officially be in the record books.What a year this has been.

If you recall, a few weeks ago I asked readers to help selectthe top 10 news stories of the year. Your choices would be used tohelp us vote in the Associated Press selection process. I did notinclude the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the voting. That was notonly the biggest news story of the year, it was the biggest storyI’ve seen in my 26 years as a journalist.

For those who voted, thank you. Here are the results:

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1. Sept. 11 attacks; more than 3,000 ashijacked airplanes slam into the World Trade Center towers, thePentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

2. The war on terrorism,including the campaign against al-Qaida and the Taliban inAfghanistan.

3. Anthrax-tainted mail and the deaths andwidespread fears it caused.

4. George W. Bush sworn in as nation’s 43rdpresident.

5. Economy goes into recession is confirmed,ending a record-breaking economic expansion at 10 years.

6. Chandra Levy disappears; Rep. Gary Condit ofCalifornia questioned about affair.

7. Auto racing great Dale Earnhardt dies incrash at Daytona 500.

8. (tie) Execution of Oklahoma City bomberTimothy McVeigh.

8. (tie) Shark attacks on Gulf Coast.

9. James Jeffords quits Republican party, tiltsSenate to Democrats.

10. U.S.-China tensions in spat over damagedsurveillance plane.


Here’s the top 10 as ranked by the 354 AP newspaper andbroadcast members who voted on the year’s top news events:

1. Sept. 11 Attacks. More than 3,000 peoplewere killed as suicide hijackers flew two planes into the WorldTrade Center and a third into the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashedinto a field south of Pittsburgh, apparently after passengersdecided to resist.

2. The war on terrorism. After the Sept. 11attacks, President Bush declared war on international terroristsand those who assist them. The U.S. military and allied Afghanforces toppled Afghanistan’s Taliban regime and pursued members ofthe al-Qaida terrorist network.

3. Anthrax Threat. Anthrax-tainted letterskilled five people, disrupted mail in some areas and forcedtemporary evacuation of many important federal buildings inWashington.

4. Recession. Economists confirmed thatrecession began in March, ending a record-breaking economicexpansion at 10 years. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were laidoff.

5. Bush Inauguration. After one of the closestpresidential elections in history, George W. Bush was sworn in asAmerica’s 43rd president.

6. McVeigh Execution. Oklahoma City bomberTimothy McVeigh became the first person executed by the federalgovernment in 38 years.

7. Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Suicide bombings byPalestinian militants and repeated forays by Israeli forces intoPalestinian communities created a climate of mistrust that severelydamaged peace prospects.

8. Jeffords Defects. Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont quitthe Republican Party and became an independent, tilting control ofthe Senate to the Democrats.

9. Power Crisis. Californians endured rollingblackouts and debated the consequences of deregulation.

10. Tax cut. In a victory for President Bush,Congress passed a $1.35 trillion tax cut.

Thanks for voting, and happy New Year.

Write to Nanette Laster at P.O. Box 551 Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send email to