Obama Taking the Oath of Office (20/01/2009), Chuck Kennedy
“I, Barack Hussein Obama, solemnly swear...” Thus the first Afro-American US president was sworn in. His arrival at the White House started a new chapter in history. This was one of the photos chosen by the connoisseurs at Corbis from the 100 million that make up their archives. They sought out “the ten most important news pictures of the past decade” following criteria of significance and quality, and which appear here in reverse chronological order.
The Earthquake that Shook China (27/05/2008), Ryan Pyle
On 12 May 2008 a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck China’s Sichuan province. Five schools collapsed and hundreds of pupils perished under the rubble. Pyle captured a mother’s pain in the wreckage of her son’s school.
The Democrat Presidential Race (02/09/2007), Brooks Kraft
The would-be presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was the favourite for much of the campaign, until the “Obama whirlwind” wiped her off the map. This picture was taken at a campaign meeting with the senator in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
4.- The July War (18/08/2006), Anna Branthwaite
The abduction of 2 Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah on 12 July triggered a war of more than one month between Lebanon and Israel. In the picture a motorcyclist rides past what is left of a Beirut street a few days after the ceasefire.
5.- The Death of John Paul II (04/04/2005), Smiley N. Pool
Thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican to bid farewell to the Pope, who died two days earlier. The body had to pass through a throng of faithful before reaching the Basilica.
6.- A Tsunami Devastates Thailand (29/12/2004), James Robert Fuller
On 26 December a tsunami devastated Thailand, causing thousands of deaths. The international community rallied quickly to help the millions hit by the tragedy. In the photo, the aligned bodies await identification.
7.- The Start of the Iraq War (21/03/2003), Olivier Coret
This photo was taken the day after the US army launched its operation “Shock and Awe” , starting the Iraq war. The bombs light up Baghdad on the second day of battle.
8.- First Anniversary of 9/11 (11/09/2002), Mark Peterson
A year after the 9/11 suicide attacks, New York City remembers the victims with two columns of light on the site of the fallen towers. The “Tribute in Light” has been lit up every year on the anniversary of the attacks.
9.- Lost Hope – Lone Firefighter (12/09/2001), Yoni Brook
September 11 is a date branded into the history of humanity: 2,973 people were killed in the suicide attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This photo was taken 24 hours after the planes struck.
10.- The Election of George W. Bush (08/11/2000), Brooks Kraft
Republicans George Bush and Dick Cheney appear before the media in Austin (Texas) the day after polling day. It was a hard-fought campaign in which Bush got the better of Democrat Al Gore by 573 votes in the key state of Florida.