The '00s: Goodbye (at Last) to the Decade from Hell

Bookended by 9/11 and a financial wipeout, the first 10 years of the century will likely go down as the most dispiriting decade Americans have lived through since World War II. Can the next one be better?

Finlay MacKay / Pier 59 Studios for TIME

Video by Finlay MacKay for TIME from a Red One digital camera. Set design by Gille Mills; shot at Pier 59 Studios.

At exactly two minutes after midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, an alarm sounded at a nuclear power plant in Onagawa, Japan. Government officials and computer scientists around the globe held their breath. Was this the beginning of a massive Y2K computer meltdown? Actually, no. It was an isolated event, one of a handful of glitches to occur (including the failure of 500 slot machines at two racetracks in Delaware) as the sun rose on the new decade. The dreaded millennial...

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