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tv   20 Stories That Shook the World in 20 Years  MSNBC  July 17, 2016 2:00am-3:01am PDT

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. we're making a little news of our own today with the launch of msnbc. >> two decades. >> hello, welcome to -- >> msnbc. >> more than 175,000 hours of television. >> the judgment of the supreme court of florida is reversed. >> there's a guy with a magnifying glass. this is a presidential election. >> countless news events. there were parents who suddenly afraid to send their children to school. >> they were just trying to stop the economy from going unto the depression. >> history in the making. >> change has come to america. >> the goal was to make music available to everyone.
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>> this is a total victory for the advocates of same-sex marriage. >> how does what happened then impact us now? >> katrina is always in the back of their minds. >> this was a human catastrophe on the broadest level. >> tonight, america is at war with terrorists. >> 9/11, it defined the lives of the entire generation. >> "20 stories that shook the world in 20 years." hi, i'm rachel maddow for msnbc. for the last 20 years, msnbc has covered all of the biggest news of our time. from what seems like a never ending presidential election to a devastating attack on our nation. two decades of events that have transformed not only the way we report as journalists but the way we live. the way we love. the way we learn. right now, 20 events that made headlines and changed us.
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>> 9/11 continues to change everyday life in this country. >> i was putting on my microphone to do my show on msnbc and somebody said a plane has hit the world trade center. >> and there is major incident in lower manhattan. a plane has crashed into one of the upper floors of the world trade center. [ sirens ] >> the airplane is clearly a commercial airliner of some sort. >> it was crystal clear, nothing added up. there was a moment where your moment, you know, goes to this could be terror. >> and i don't think that we started to get a lot of clarity, frankly, until the second plane hit. and the second -- the second plane hit, i think all of us knew that it was terrorism.
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>> terrorists fly a third jetliner into the pentagon. a fourth hijacked plane crashes in a pennsylvania field. by 10:30 a.m., the twin towers have crumbled. >> tonight, america is at war with terrorists after a stunning series of attacks today. >> that day took everything that i knew as a journalist, as a citizen, as a father, as a husband, as someone who had been in the business for 40 years. >> make no mistake, the united states will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts. >> the attacks claimed the lives
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of nearly 3,000 people from 93 countries across the globe. >> it was an enormously consequential event that led to a series of other events that didn't just define the last 15 years. it defined the lives of an entire generation. >> everything seems to resolve back around 9/11. when you stand in the long lines at tsa, it's 9/11. when you get frisked going into a ball game, it's 9/11. it changed our lives in everything we do. >> the country went from being ripped with grief to on a war footing in a very short span of time. >> less than a month after september 11th, the u.s. led coalition launches air strikes in afghanistan. marking the start of the longest war this country has ever seen. you're either with us or you're
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against us in the fight against terror. >> in march 2003, the u.s. wages war on iraq after president bush around his administration make the case that saddam hussein is hiding weapons of mass destruction. an allegation that's later proven to be false. >> to learn later that those did not exist in iraq at the time of the invasion really threatened how many americans viewed truthfulness in government, threatened the bush presidency and damaged u.s. relations around the world. >> saddam hussein is captured in 2003 and executed three years later. in 2011, u.s. forces kill al qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind osama bin laden. >> his death does not mark the end of our effort. there's no doubt that al qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. we must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.
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>> 15 years after 9/11, thousands of u.s. troops remain in iraq and gonzalez. -- and afghanistan. >> we have people now fighting in afghanistan and fighting still in parts of iraq who were 3 years old when the attacks took place. >> in recent years a deadly new threat emerges. the islamic state, also known as isis. >> without the iraq war there is no isis. isis is simply insurgents who were more or less defeated but who then found a way to reinvigorate their organization. isis is an arm and funded like no terrorist group in history. >> in the battle with isis, the theater of war has expanded still. most recently to the west where the terrorist organization executed coordinated attacks in
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paris in 2015 and in brussels in 2016. >> there is a line you could draw from 9/11 to the isis directed atrocities in europe. we cover them now like they are great anomalies and great tragedies which of course they are. but i think going forward they're going to become more common place. coming up -- >> people started defaulting on these loans. you know, these homes started to get foreclosured on. it was like a domino effect and all of that bad credit then was sort of filtered throughout the financial system.
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the internet makes life so much simplerme. now we can point and push and order anything you imagine. >> before the internet we bought books in a bookstore and soap in a drugstore. but the rise of the on demand economy has turned traditional
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business models upside down. >> the on demand economy means you're operating faster and faster means you're more efficient. >> in 1997, online book retailer goes public. ushering in a profitable new era of digital commerce in a 24/7 marketplace. but books are just the beginning. >> on demand economy has been changed by two things. one is your phone. and the other is satellites in the sky. so they always know where you are. uber obviously is the most extreme example i can call a car to wherever i am at any time. >> everybody expects to be able to get whatever they want at the touch of a button and they want it right now. and they can get it. i did not have sexual relations with that woman. ms. lewinsky. >> a year into his second term, president bill clinton goes live on national television to address reports about an affair
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with a white house intern. >> bill clinton brought the presidency to a place where it had never been. standing up there and saying i did not have sexual relations with that woman, a sentence that instantly became memorized by the entire country and a sentence that was also a lie. >> the allegations are very, very serious. if those turn out to be true, this presidency is in serious trouble. >> so much of it was salacious and so much of it was tabloid. at some point you had to step back and say, the future of the leader of the free world is at stake. >> six months after lying to the country, president clinton confessions to his indiscretions in a primetime broadcast. >> indeed, i had a relationship with ms. lewinsky that was inappropriate and wrong. >> in september, bill clinton was charged with obstruction of justice and with lying under oath.
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>> certainly having the kind of affair that he did was repugnant to almost every american, that a president would do that in the white house. but was it a high crime and misdemeanor that would force him from office? >> after a five-week trial the senate reaches the verdict. >> the president acquitted on two counts, perjury and obstruction of justice. >> 18 years later the scandal still dogs the clinton family as hillary clinton becomes the first woman in u.s. history to become the presumptive nominee of the party. >> do you remember i did not have sex with that woman? she's taking negative ads on me. >> the monica lewinsky affair will affect the election in a big way. >> it takes away from hillary clinton as to who she is as an office holder herself. in one of the greatest comebacks of all time, steve jobs returns to apple as interim
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ceo in 1997 after being fired 12 years earlier from the company he founded. >> steve jobs coming back to apple is the smartest decision that company ever being made. >> i think being fired fed the fire so to speak. he was going to show the people who had let him know what he'd make of this company. >> this is going to be the hottest gift. >> in the years that follow apple rolls out a steady stream of revolutionary, user-friendly products turning it into one of the most successful companies in history. >> steve is undisputably the leader to consumer jobs. >> ipad and now iphone? >> i take my finger and slide it across. >> they made technology that we wanted to use and that was intuitive to learn. they really made it a much more consumer friendly space. >> in 2011, steve jobs dies from
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pancreatic cancer. he leaves behind a company that's changed the world. >> i think it's hard to overstate the influence of apple on all of our lives over the past 20 years. good evening. this has been a wild and harrowing and history making day and we still don't know how this ends. >> in 2008, america's housing bubble bursts, triggering our nation's worst financial disaster since the great depression. >> virtually all the big banks they made big bets on sub prime mortgage bonds and they were wrong. the bonds were bad. and they didn't see how bad they were. >> the fallout is catastrophic. from individual americans to the nation's largest banks. >> the financial crisis happened because people got mortgages too easily and bought homes they shouldn't have been buying. >> people started defaulting on these loans. you know, these homes started
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getting foreclosed on. it was like a domino effect and all of that bad credit then was filtered throughout the financial situation. >> bear stearns is rescued from bankruptcy by jpmorgan. lehman brothers collapses without warning and insurance company aig is seized by the fed. signaling that the entire u.s. financial system is on the brink of failure. >> the government's response to the crisis was peripatetic. problems rolled in and they dealt with them on a case by case basis. they were trying to stop the economy from going into the depression. >>en in a effort to stabilize the economy, congress approves the controversial $700 billion bailout. >> this is truly a monumental moment in american history. >> their view was you can't let it all go down. because if the banks go down, then the economy is in chaos. >> a lot of people lost their homes and a lot of people lost
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their jobs. and eventually you saw people downsize and it shook out to where it ought to have been from the start. >> the bailout is seen by many conservatives as government overstepping the bounds and protesters launched a new movement with an old history. >> we're thinking of having a chicago tea party in july. >> that's where the tea party movement was really born. they saw wall street getting a bailout when they weren't bailed out. nobody found them a new job. nobody made sure their employer was solvent. that got people upset. >> the tea party takes off and in 2010 it helps the gop capture the house. >> the tea party morphed into something entirely different. it's become sort of a free floating vessel that collects anger and anxiety wherever it goes and runs on that as fuel. but the beginning is the financial crisis. coming up --
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instead trading cassettes, suddenly songs are flying around for free like crazy.
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it has been an exhausting and quite an emotional ride tonight. >> the world watches as polls
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close across america in the 2000 presidential race between texas governor george bush and vice president al gore. just after 2:00 a.m., the news networks project a winner. >> barring any recount or any anomalies, george w. bush, the governor of texas, is projected now to win the presidency of the united states. >> al gore was on his way to make a concession speech and en route they got information that it was closing again the other way. >> i just gotten off the phone, it in fact true that the vice president has called to recant his concession. >> the race it turns out was too close to call. >> just an hour or so ago, the tv networks called this race for governor bush. it now appears -- it now appears that their call was premature. [ cheers and applause ] >> the system just simply broke
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down. i looked into the camera and said we not only have egg on our face, but omelets on our suits at this point. >> al gore leads in the popular vote, but the electoral college is in a dead heat and it comes down to one state. >> florida was the place where it was close enough to have the recount and have the right number of electoral votes to change the outcome and that's when we discovered how imperfect the voting system is. >> it is a pretty ramshackle process. it varies across the country. voting methods vary. it's all different. >> with reports of widespread voting irregularities, the florida state supreme court orders a manual recount in several counties. >> they would hold up ballots and stare at it, both sides and say what did this voter mean? >> when one woman would say that's a gore vote and the other guy would say, no, that's a bush vote. they were looking at the same ballot. >> when you punch the little hole in the card, the little square that gets punched out, they call that the chad, doesn't
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come all the way off. so the question was how should a hanging chad they call it be interpreted? >> there's a guy with a magnifying glass, looking at ballots and chad. i'm like, this is where we're. a this is a presidential election. >> the bush campaign rejects to the recount and the lawsuit reaches all the way to the supreme court. >> we got the decision, ran outside, we stood there on live television trying to figure out what it was. it did occur to me at the moment it was not a good one to screw up. >> the judgment of the supreme court of florida is reversed. >> 36 days after the election, the u.s. supreme court votes 5-4 in favor of stopping the florida recount. the controversial decision in effect hands the presidency to george w. bush. >> people who liked the winner were very happy and thought this was great legal scholarship.
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>> whether you voted for me or not, i will do my best to serve your interests and i will work to earn your respect. >> and people who didn't like the outcome thought this was rigged. >> i say to president elect bush that what remains a partisan -- of partisan rancor must be put aside and may god bless his stewardship of this country. >> the decision by the supreme court underscored in many ways the power of the electoral college. i think it also led to a lot of cynicism in the electoral process. >> 16 years and three presidential elections later the 2016 race for the white house proves that the process is still anything but predictable. >> the risk for irregularities in voting is still very real and certainly those who work at election law have gotten more sophisticated on how to battle this out if it comes to that. the huge battle in the music industry these days against the
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internet site known as napster. >> sean parker and sean fanning launched the music file sharing service napster in 1999. >> the goal was to make music available to everyone. >> it blindsides the record industry and permanently transforms the way that music is sold. >> instead of trading cassettes suddenly songs are flying around for free like crazy. >> at its peak, 70 million users are swapping songs on napster. costing the record industry hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue before the service is forced to shut down in 2001. >> we started kind of a cultural revolution but didn't we didn't succeed as a business. >> two years later, apple redefines the single. >> i can't remember the last time i bought an entire album. you know it's an a la carte menu
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out there. >> subscription based streaming downloads are selling access to massive catalogs stored in the cloud. >> i think most people in the business industry have no idea what the future will be. there's all these technological challenges to profitability and they don't know how to combat that. while researching treatments for high blood pressure, pfizer develops a life changing little blue pill. in 1998, viagra is approved by the fda. >> it turns out there was a side effect that a lot of the initial patients had. they developed erections. and the pharmaceutical companies realized this is a much better place to market than just
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another blood pressure pill. >> it not only helped to treat erectile dysfunction, but made it part of the national conversation. >> there is still no equivalent for the other half of the population. coming up -- >> it really did introduce a new era if you will of mass shootings at schools.
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i'm dara brown. thousands of mourners gathered in texas at a funeral service for the officer zamarripa. he was fatally killed last week. he was married with two children. secretary john kerry says that the u.s. will consider an extradition request for the cleric fethullah gulen in connection with the failed military coup in turkey. president erdogan blames him for the coup and gulen denies any involvement. now back to our msnbc special.
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for 20 years, msnbc has covered the biggest news stories and how they continue to impact our lives today. in that time, mass shootings in the u.s. have become shockingly frequent and never more debated. april 20, 1999. two teenager students armed with shotguns and semiautomatic weapons enter columbine school and they open fire. >> i just started to scream and crying and telling them not to shoot me. so he shot the girl -- shot her in the head in front of me. >> the mid-morning massacre captured on school security cameras claims the lives of 12 students and one teacher before the shooters turn their guns on themselves. >> there were parents, thousands of miles away, from columbine high school who suddenly were afraid to send their children to
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school. >> what really did introduce a new era if you will of mass shootings at schools. >> since 1999, there have been more than 250 school shootings in this country. the 2007 massacre at virginia tech kills 32 people. in 2012, six faculty and 20 first graders are killed at sandy hook elementary in newtown, connecticut. >> i'll never forget the day i drove into newtown. one of the first houses i saw had christmas lights strung. there were christmas trees with presents under them for children who would never open them. at that moment i thought how can we as a nation deal with this again? with the senseless loss of precious young life. >> four months after sandy hook,
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a bill banning certain military style assault rifles bans in the u.s. senate and mass shootings continue to take place all over our country. >> somehow this has become routine. the reporting is routine. my response here at this podium ends up being routine. the conversation in the aftermath of it. we have become numb to this. >> innocent people are killed in movie theaters. in houses of worship. and most recently at a gay nightclub in orlando, florida. >> our collective sense of security was shattered again by terror. >> oh, my god, people are getting shot! >> 49 people are killed and another 53 injured in what is the worst mass shooting in u.s. history. >> mass shootings in this
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country have certainly affected the debate about gun control, but not in the ways many people think and we have seen in certainly the last several mass shootings that gun sales tend to go up as the conversation once again focuses on guns and their availability and how they may or may not have contributed, you know, to the latest horror. the advent of modern technology has introduced a new generation of virtual vigilantes. fuelling the ongoing debate about personal privacy versus national security. >> wikileaks took on the u.s. military and started leaking documents and videos from the military's own servers. >> in 2010, whistle-blower website wikileaks publicizes a highly classified video showing a 2007 air strike that kills 12 people including civilians.
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>> there was something jarring about being able to see something that feels like we shouldn't be seeing. but also that we had to see. how many other incidents are there like this that we're not seeing? >> three years later, former nsa contractor edward snowden leaks documents to a british newspaper revealing controversial u.s. surveillance practices including the tracking of phone records of millions of americans. >> this needed to be told to the public. you know, the constitution of the united states has been violated on a massive scale. >> facing espionage charges in the u.s., snowden flees to russia and is granted asylum. a federal court decides that the nsa surveillance program collecting bulk phone metadata is illegal. >> you can see how a people don't want to have their private lives looked into and you can see how the law enforcement agencies lost a very powerful
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and very effective tool. >> this is something that the country's only coming to grapple with which is that we want our privacy, but, you know, we're going to have some trade-offs here. we have to the see it what those are and -- we have to decide what those are and we haven't yet. nearly 1.7 million americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2016. the death rate from the disease has dropped by 20% in the u.s. >> the medical community will never encounter a more vicious militaristic enemy than cancer. >> after decades of clinical trials, in 2015, the fda approves a powerful new weapon in the war on cancer. a treatment called immunotherapy. it uses the body's own immune system to fight cancer. >> you're in recession and it's there and everyone in the field
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says we are on the cusp of the golden age. it is about using your own body to fight the cancer in your body. >> right now immunotherapy is treating skin cancers like melanomas and lung cancers. >> vice president joe biden is leading the charge to accelerate cancer research after losing his 46-year-old son, beau, to brain cancer. >> i learned so much from so many of these brilliant, brilliant docs that i began to realize they were right. that we are at an inflection point and we need something to push it over. coming up -- >> we rely on government in times of crisis and it failed. it failed a lot of people.
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squuuuack, let's feed him let's feto the sharks!sharks! yay! and take all of his gold! and take all of his gold! ya! and hide it from the crew! ya...? squuuuack, they're all morons anyway! i never said that. they all smell bad too. no! you all smell wonderful! i smell bad! if you're a parrot, you repeat things. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. squuuuack, it's what you do.
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august 29, 2005. hurricane katrina slams into the gulf coast.
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deteriorating levies in new orleans are breached. >> there were neighborhoods where homes were literally wiped from the face of the earth. >> we hitched a ride on one of these airboats. as we were going down this street -- a river i should say, and you realized you're looking at these homes and everybody is still home. >> they've got people in three story houses trying to survive in the houses. >> what started as a natural disaster quickly becomes a national tragedy. >> and the call went out to evacuation, but there are communities that people don't have cars and they don't have access to a lot of the notifications. >> more than 20,000 residents seek refuge at the new orleans superdome. only to find deplorable conditions. mass confusion. and little help from local or
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federal authorities. >> the only thing angrier than katrina are the thousands of hungry, tired and thirsty that katrina left in its wake. >> we want out of here! >> that was the most graphic show of how it was almost okay to do this to certain people of a certain class and a certain race. >> we have nothing. >> i don't know where we'll end up. >> this was a human catastrophe on the broadest level. you had to sit down and accept the humanity of it, how sad this was. that was hard. >> from local missteps to fema neglect to president bush's seeming disconnect to the gravity of the situation. >> brownie, you're doing a heck of a job. >> the government response is under fire. >> i drove all the way down to
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the coast and just drove up and down. i kept commenting, where are the police officers? where's the national guard? they were nowhere to be seen. >> look, we're right here. i got you right here. >> in the end, nearly 2,000 lives are lost. and a million people are displaced. >> the local, state and federal levels, they have clearly learned the lessons of katrina. katrina is always in the back of their minds with every storm that approaches. they evacuate people faster. they react much quicker. >> we rely on government in times of crisis to protect us and it failed a lot of people. it was shameful. since 1992, world leaders have convened every year to discuss ways to fight climate change. in 1997, a treaty called the kyoto protocol to cut carbon emissions worldwide, but the
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u.s. won't support it and it fails. nearly a decade later, an inconvenient truth has its premiere. >> i am al gore. i used to be the next president of the united states of america. >> the film shines a spotlight on global warming and on former vice president al gore's climate change activism. >> is it possible that we should prepare against other threats besides terrorists? >> what al gore did was create a really simple, but entertaining film that explained the science in a way that almost anybody could understand. >> what an "inconvenient truth" did it got people to figure out what climate change or global warming is. >> 17 years after the failed kyoto protocol, 195 countries signed the paris agreement. promising to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees
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celsius. >> we are going to win this. the remaining question is how quickly we will win it. it is 10:50 p.m. on the east coast of the united states. we have been following the car accident this evening in paris, france. >> reports of a serious car accident involving princess diana and the paparazzi stun the world. >> it was looking more and more likely that princess diana had died. when the time comes to say that, it's emotional, it's hard. >> princess diana has died, according to the british news agency press association. >> she had captured the imagination of people around the world on so many levels that it really did become like a global tragedy. >> and i think people mourn that because they felt they lost someone they knew. >> princess diana's life is cut short. but her impact on the british monarchy endures. >> she showed a humanity that
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the royal family hadn't shown in a very long time. >> nearly two decades later the public embraces an increasingly accessible royal family. >> they are gracious and friendly and courteous and human. by 1994, aids is the leading cause of death for all americans between the ages of 25 and 44. two years later a life-saving break through for the more than half a million americans living with the disease. a complicated and expensive cocktail of antiretroviral drugs. >> once this treatment hit the market we saw dramatic decline in the deaths and the diseases due to aids. in fact, whole hospital wards that used to be devoted to hiv and aids closed down. >> we now have the ability to promise to most people who have
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hiv they can have a normal life expectancy and quality of life. >> with millions leaving with aids the challenge now is access to the treatment. >> hiv and aids is still a major public health concern because of limited resources and access to these medications. there's still a long way to go in terms of prevention and treatment. coming up -- don't shoot! >> we saw this conversation about do we value the lives of young black men? are they sort of the throw away parts of our society?
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if there is anyone out there who still doubts that america is place where all things are possible, tonight is your answer. >> november 4, 2008, an extraordinary moment in american history. >> this was the first breaking
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of the mold. >> barack hussein obama is elected the 44th president of the united states and becomes the nation's first african-american chief executive. >> i think the world said america has come of age. to think that this nation who had the legacy of slavery and segregation had elected a black president. >> i thought he was a statement for this country that was such a good, powerful thing, that sense of optimism. my god, this is a really great country. >> obama energizes the electorate through a sweeping campaign promising hope and change. behind the scenes, his team leverages the power of big data to target voters and secure his victory in the landmark election. >> president obama got through multiple hurdles.
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number one, the doubts that even african-american voters had to the viability of the black candidate. and the name recognition, and that name, barack hussein obama. >> been a long time coming but tonight because of what we did on this day in this election at this defining moment change has come to america. the rise of the internet in the late '90s yields a company that begins in the california garage and goes on to unleash the power of the worldwide web. >> google grew with the scale of the internet and we were amazed at the number of contributors, the amount of content. >> nearly a decade after the domain name is registered, google is a technology giant. and the word google becomes so ubiquitous that it's added to the dictionary. >> we have on the order of 3 billion people connected to the internet virtually all of them use google probably at least once a month and on a daily
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basis it would be in the billions. >> in 2006, the online networking platform facebook opens to the general public. it launches a social media revolution. >> here's company that grew out of a college dorm room that has over 1 billion people on the planet using it. >> today, social media shows explosive growth. >> twitter, pinterest, twitter, instagram, it makes you think of yourself as a brand. >> it makes the world a smaller place, fundamentally changing the way we connect, and organize. >> all the tools have done is they have harnessed groups and passion in the same way that we celebrate facebook and twitter and others it's also true that opposition infiltrates those and knows what everyone is doing. so it goes both ways. outrage erupts in 2012.
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when trayvon martin, an unarmed teenager, is shot and killed while walking down the street in florida. a man named george zimmerman is charged with second degree murder. a year later at trial, zimmerman claims he acted in self-defense. and he's acquitted. those who oppose the ruling unite and launch the national movement black lives matter. >> the black lives matter movement was born out of a need to affirm black life in a day and age where we were seeing senseless killings of unarmed black people. >> you saw this conversation about do we value the lives of young black men? are they sort of the throw away parts of our society? that they could be killed without consequence. >> in 2014, a ferguson, missouri, police officer shoots and kills michael brown, another unarmed black teenager. the officer says he feared for his lie. -- for his life. >> what's striking to me was the sheer fury and frustration and rage of folks who live there.
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>> we're on the air, they were shouting things at us, like why are you here now? we have been here for years. why are you just showing up? >> they were furious, pissed off at the police and a bunch of young men started chucking rocks. >> you know what? they're throwing rocks at us. >> you know what, we are telling the true story. >> people are angry, man. they're really angry. >> i think people had felt so ignored and undervalued and trod upon for so long, then all of a sudden there's the glare of national media attention which they felt wasn't capturing the reality and people are enormously frustrated by that. >> each death in police custody, each report of police brutality fuels the black lives matter movement. cameras capturing the final days of people like walter scott, freddie gray, sandra bland. >> there have always been police
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and citizen altercations that are controversial. but we're living in the era now where information is getting out there so rapidly through social media. >> now the observer is the cell phone. any civilian can tape a police encounter and really create a set of facts that are an eyewitness account. >> in one devastating week earlier this month, a video circulates online of police killing alton sterling in louisiana. less than 48 hours later, philando castile is shot dead in minnesota. his girlfriend streams the aftermath live on facebook. >> an officer just shot him in his arm. >> the next evening a peaceful black lives matter protest in texas erupts in chaos when a sniper ambushes police, killing five officers. nine officers and two civilians are wounded. >> all i know is that this -- this must stop.
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this divisiveness between our police and our citizens. i find it implauzable -- implausible that two men deciding to commit themselves to each other threaten the marriage of people a couple of blocks away. >> in 1996, president bill clinton signs the defense of marriage act, a divisive law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriages. >> we're here, we're queer. >> doma as it's known ignites a two decade legal battle over equal rights. >> it said first of all, if one state declares the right to same-sex marriage no other state has to honor that. and the second thing it said is if a state decides to grant same-sex marriage the federal government cannot recognize that right. >> in the years after doma, 31 states passed laws or constitutional amendments to ban
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same-sex marriage. in some cases, states do both. >> to insist that male-male or female-female relationships must have the same status is patently absurd. >> but proponents of equal rights forge ahead. in 2000, vermont recognizes civil unions. and by 2003, same-sex marriage is legalized in massachusetts. conservative backlash is fierce and sweeping. >> our nation must enact a constitutional amendment to protect marriage in america. >> it's been pretty incredible how quickly the issue of same-sex marriage has moved in 2004. >> by 2012, same-sex marriage is legalized in six states and washington, d.c. >> watching vice president biden come around on this issue before the president was an incredible moment on a number of levels. >> i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying
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men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women are entitled the same exact rights. >> in 2015, a monumental and unambiguous decision. the united states supreme court rules that the constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage. >> this is a total victory for the advocates of same-sex marriage. >> today we can say in no uncertain terms that we have made our union a little more perfect. >> just a little more perfect. as we have seen over the last 20 years, this country and the whole world have been shaped by key players and major events and at times change has been good. at times change has been slow. sometimes change is very unwelcome. but as we reflect on the past 20
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years we're also looking forward to the future, to the next 20 years. i'm rachel maddow, thanks for watching. >> where are we going to begin? >> just day one -- >> oh, yeah. where else? >> it was bare bones, nerve-racking. >> i can't believe a class of political titans. >> i call her crooked hillary. >> trump is unfit to be president and commander in chief. >> a campaign fuelled by anger. >> they are saying what happened to my america? >> she is the ultimate politici politician. >> there is no one in the


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