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What Happened in 2006 Major News Events, Popular Culture, History Prices

Nintendo Releases Wii Gaming Console

Nintendo releases the Wii gaming console in the United States during November. The console was originally priced at $249.99 and was the smallest and most lightweight of Nintendo’s home consoles at the time of its release. Despite not having HD graphics, the Wii was incredibly popular when it was released and over time it outperformed its direct competition, the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The Wii attracted a wide array of users and appealed to more casual gamers. It was praised for its innovative and futuristic design which incorporated more physical activity into game play with the use of a motion-tracking controller.

United Kingdom - Apple Computer Lawsuit

1. A British court rules in favor of the Apple Computer Company during May, concluding nearly 30 years of trademark disputes between the computer giant and Apple Corps.

2. Apple Corps was created in 1968 by the members of the Beatles as a multimedia and record company.

3. Apple Computers was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

4. Trademark lawsuits began between the two starting in 1978 over the use of the name “Apple,” the apple-shaped logo, and Apple Computers foray into the music business with the creation of iTunes and the iPod.

5. The judge ruled Apple Computers had not infringed on the Apple Corps trademark and in 2007 the computer company bought out all of the Apple trademarks in a settlement.

Google Buys YouTube

Google purchases YouTube for US$1.65 billion in stock.

More Information for YouTube Purchase

Internet giant Google bought the popular video-sharing website YouTube during October of 2006. Google bought the website for $1.65 billion through a stock purchase which was approved during the following month. At the time of the deal YouTube had about 65 employees and had become one of the fastest growing and most popular websites on the internet despite having only been established in the Spring of 2005.

New Horizons probe

NASA launches the New Horizons probe.

NASA launches the New Horizons space probe mission to Pluto during January of 2006. The New Horizons probe was launched successfully from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The mission made a visit to Jupiter in 2007 while traveling towards Pluto where it gathered some information about Jupiter and its moons before receiving a gravity assist from the large planet and resuming its journey. The probe made it to Pluto during July of 2015 when it became the first mission to explore the dwarf planet and its moons, as well as taking some of the first high resolution images of Pluto. The probe then adjusted its course towards the “Kuiper belt object” which the New Horizons mission is expected to reach, research, and explore by 2019.

Oil shale reserves

The US Energy department has released a report that there are about a trillion barrels worth of oil in the form of Oil shale reserves in the Green River basin.

More Information and Timeline for Oil Shale Report

The U.S. Energy department releases a report saying that the state of Colorado is sitting on about a trillion barrels worth of oil in the form of oil shale reserves in the Green River Basin, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. About 70% of this resource is located on federally owned or managed land and it equals nearly as much as the rest of the world's conventional oil reserves added together. The problem with oil shale reserves is that the cost of extraction and the environmental impact due to the process required to turn oil shale into oil are too expensive and risky to make the process worthwhile. As the price of oil continues to increase, the desire to extract oil from oil shale will also increase as fossil fuels become scarcer.

Venus Express

The ESA's Venus Express arrives at Venus.

More Information for the Venus Express

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Venus Express orbiter arrived at Venus in April of 2006. The Venus Express had been launched during the previous year with the mission objectives to study the atmospheric activities, plasma environment, surface activities, greenhouse gas effects, magnetic field, and solar wind interaction of the solar system’s second planet. The Venus Express was successful in completing its objectives and made several new discoveries about the planet such as the existence of a cold atmospheric region that could make carbon dioxide freeze into ice or snow. The mission was expected to last 2 days on Venus, equivalent to about 486 Earth days, but the orbiter kept functioning until late 2014 when the ESA lost contact.

Sago Mine Disaster

Twelve coal miners die in the Sago Mine Disaster near Buckhannon, West Virginia in the United States.

Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia

A stampede during the Stoning of the devil ritual on the last day at the Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia, kills 362 Muslim pilgrims.

European Union

Several European newspapers reprint controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, sparking outrage and rioting in the following weeks

Iran refuses access to U.N. inspectors

Iran refuses access to U.N. inspectors many worry over Iran's intent to build a nuclear bomb

Iran Tests Missiles

Iran Tests Missiles which are capable of reaching Israel

Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Iranian Leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust ever existed.

Iraq Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein is charged on May 15th and following the trial is found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging

Iraq Ramadan

Violence errupts during the holy month of Ramadan between Shia and Sunni Muslims leaving many dead on both sides.

Amish West Nickel Miles School

Charles Carl Roberts murders four girls in a one room Amish West Nickel Miles School, before committing suicide

September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks

Zacarias Moussaoui convicted of conspiring to kill Americans as part of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,

Nueva Rosita, Mexico Mine Explosion

Sixty-five miners become trapped underground after an explosion in a mine Nueva Rosita, Mexico There were no survivors.

Australia Cyclone Larry

Tropical Cyclone Larry makes landfall in Queensland, Australia

Australia temp hits 45 degrees Celsius

Sydney, Australia temp hits 45 degrees Celsius ( 113 degrees Centigrade )

India bombings

Over 160 people are killed on July 11th by seven bombs on the train network in Mumbai India

India Terrorists bombing

Terrorists bomb Muslim Graveyard in Malegaon, during Shab-e-Barat killing 37

Indonesia Tsunami

Tsunami strikes the Indonesian island of Java killing 300

Escalation of violence in Middle East

Capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah guerrillas Israel Bombs Lebenon and escalation of violence in Middle East

North Korea first test of a nuclear weapon

North Korea declares it has carried out its first test of a nuclear weapon, becoming the worlds 9th Nuclear Power

North Korea Medium Range Missiles

North Korea Test Medium Range Missiles


Heatwave affects US and Europe in July

Easter Week Midwest Tornado Outbreak

The Easter Week Midwest Tornado Outbreak affecting Iowa, Indiana, Missouri and other US states . Iowa City takes a direct hit from a tornado.

Israel Ariel Sharon

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's suffers a stroke and suffers from a persistent vegetative state.

trillion barrels worth of oil

The US Energy department has released a report that there are about a trillion barrels worth of oil in the form of Oil shale reserves in the Green River basin,

Cost of Living 2006

How Much things cost in 2006

Average Cost of new house $297,000.00

Average Median Income $46,326.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas $3.18

Popular Culture 2006

Popular Films

The Pink Panther

Big Momma's House 2

Underworld: Evolution

Nanny McPhee

Final Destination 3

Failure to Launch

Eight Below

V for Vendetta

Ice Age: The Meltdown

Date Movie


Miami Vice

Monster House

Over The Hedge

Pirates of the Caribbean 2

Superman Returns

Thank You For Smoking

Popular Musicians

Mariah Carey




The Pussycat Dolls

Nine Inch Nails


System of a Down

Gwen Stefani



Bon Jovi


Popular TV

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Malcolm in the Middle


The Weakest Link

Yes, Dear

The Simpsons


Fear Factor

Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Pop Idol


The Amazing Race

The Bernie Mac Show

American Idol

CSI: Miami

The Bachelor

The George Lopez Show

Without a Trace

Arrested Development

Cold Case

Hope and Faith

Las Vegas


Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

The O.C.

Two and a Half Men

Boston Legal

CSI: New York

Desperate Housewives



Postman Pat (UK)

The Apprentice

The X Factor (UK)

American Dad!

Doctor Who (UK)

Everybody Hates Chris

Family Guy

Grey's Anatomy

My Name Is Earl

The Office

U.S. CIA prisons

President Bush acknowledged secret CIA prisons around the world outside of US legal jurisdiction.

U.S. Military Commission Act

President Bush asks Congress to pass the Military Commission Act to re-define U.S. obligations under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention

U.S. seaports

6 U.S. seaports Sold To Middle East

Great American Strike / Boycott

The Great American Strike / Boycott by immigrants including legal and illegal immigrants of mostly Latin American origin against schools and businesses by not buying, selling, working, and attending school.

Europe Partial power blackout

Partial power blackout in Europe including Parts of Germany, Belgium, France (including parts of Paris), Spain, and Italy

U.S. earthquake

6.6 magnitude earthquake at sea hits the US state of Hawaii.

Québécois nation motion

The Québécois nation motion is passed by the House of Commons in the Parliament of Canada.

2006 world cup

Italy wins the 2006 world cup in Germany defeating France

Contrat première embauche

More than 1 million take to the streets in France in the largest nationwide protest ever over the "Contrat première embauche" (CPE - First Employment Contract or Beginning Workers Contract)

Montenegro and Serbia

Montenegro and Serbia Split to Gain Independence

Basque separatist group

The Basque separatist group ETA announces Cease Fire

U.S. Cope Act

Congress passes the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (Cope Act) which ends current Network Neutrality.

U.S. E-Coli breakouts

Two major E-Coli breakouts affect 500 people in the US caused by fresh spinach and fresh lettuce

Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants Breaks the record held by Babe Ruth and hits his 715th home run on on May 28 to pass Babe Ruth on the all time greatest list.

Winter Olympic Games

The Winter Olympic Games are held in Turin, Italy

Palestine Hamas

Hamas ( Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya ) the Palestinian Islamist militant organization wins the Palestinian parliamentary elections, and formally took over the Palestinian government, with Ismail Haniyeh sworn in as the new prime minister.

U.S. One day boycott

One day boycott of United States schools and businesses by One Million immigrants, both legal and illegal on April 10th

Serial Shooter killers

The Serial Shooter killers ( Dale S. Hausner and Samuel John Dieteman ) are caught and charged for the drive by murders of six people in Phoenix, Arizona

World Trade Talks

World Trade Talks break down with blame shared equally between the developing and the G8 countries of the world.

California heat wave

California suffers it's worst heat wave in recent history with temperatures reaching 115 degrees and lasting for a two week period.

2006 Calendar

Technology 2006

The one billionth song is purchased from Apple iTunes.

Nintendo releases the Wii in North America with an MSRP of US$249.99

Google purchases YouTube for US$1.65 billion in stock

Pluto is downgraded from a Planet to a dwarf planet by The International Astronomical Union ( IAU )

Major World Political Leaders 2006

Australia Prime Minister John Howard

Brazil < President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Canada Prime Minister Paul Martin

till February 6,

Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper

from February 6,

China < Chairman of the People's Republic of China Hu Jintao

France President Jacques Chirac

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel

India Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh

Italy > Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

Till 17 May

Italy Prime Minister Romano Prodi

From 17 May

Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

Till 26 September

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

From 26 September

Mexico President Vicente Fox

Till 30 November

Mexico President Felipe Calderón

From 30 November

Russia / Soviet Union General Secretary of the CPSU Vladimir Putin

South Africa State President Thabo Mbeki

United States President George W. Bush

United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair