Flickr Year in Photos 2011 Gallery
It's hard to argue that 2011 wasn't one of the momentous years in recent memory. Protesters took to the streets both at home and abroad. Disaster, too, had no geographic boundaries. It was also a year of endings. The world said “so long” to a fictional wizard who captured the imagination of a generation of children, to a terrorist leader who masterminded the deaths of thousands, and to one of technology's true legends. Through it all, Flickr shutterbugs captured events one moment at a time. Here is some of their best work chosen by editors at Yahoo.
You can also view the original Flickr Year in Photos 2011 Gallery.
The Arab Spring Begins
Protesters hit the pavement in Tunisia, spurred by a fruit vendor who, unable to cope with the repressive regime under which he lived, set himself on fire in an act of flamboyant defiance. Although they didn't know it at the time, they sparked a movement that shook Africa and the Middle East.
photo by Phillipe Blayo; see the original image.
Mubarak Calls it Quits
Steeled by their Tunisian brothers in protest, Egyptians staged mass demonstrations organized by bloggers on the Internet that toppled the regime of that nation's long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
photo by Darla Hueske
After 28 years of faithful service, the space shuttle Discovery left its launchpad for the last time. When it returned to earth, it began its new career as an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.
photo by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Disaster in Japan
Spring is usually the time for cherry blossoms in Japan, but this year the season will be remembered for a devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake that created widespread destruction along that nation's eastern coast and triggered a rampaging tsunami.
photo by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Kate and Will Tie the Knot
Most everyone loves a wedding, and even more so when it's a royal one, so fans around the world of the British monarchy were delighted this year when Prince William said "I do" to Kate Middleton before some 1900 guests at Westminster Abbey in London. The only hitch in the ceremony was a slight pause as the groom struggled to slip his bride's ring on her finger.
photo by the British Monarchy
Operation Neptune Spear
There were some tense moments in the White House situation room as the President and his national security team monitored via live video the capture and killing of one of the world's most infamous terrorist leaders, Osama bin Laden.
photo by The White House
Late on a Sunday afternoon in May, a tornado of the highest magnitude on the Fujita scale, EF5, ripped through the southern part of Joplin, Missouri. It was the third twister to wreak havoc on the city since 1971, and caused an estimated $3 billion in damage to the city.
photo by Aaron Fuhman; see the original image.
The popular notion that Canadians are a polite and law-abiding lot was trashed, along with downtown Vancouver, as disappointed fans of the city's NHL franchise rioted following its defeat at the sticks of the Boston Bruins in this year's Stanley Cup final.
photo by K-Rock Design
An era in U.S. space exploration came to an end with the final voyage of the space shuttle Atlantis. The shuttles were the only winged aircraft to orbit the earth and to make multiple trips into orbit.
photo by NASA/Bill Ingalls
Following a long civil war in which an estimated 1.5 million people died, South Sudan finally became an independent state as the country's first president, Salva Kiir, signed its constitution and took his oath of office. The first state to recognize the world's youngest nation was Sudan, which South Sudan had been fighting for decades.
photo by Steve Evans
Although the final book in the Harry Potter series was published in 2007, fans of the circle-spectacled wand wielder still could look forward to his cinematic adventures -- until this year, when the final flick based on the novels was released. Well, there’s still the video games and the Pottermore website.
photo by Ginny Le
Good Night Irene
Hurricane Irene ploughed up the Eastern seaboard of the United States at summer's end. It was one of the most destructive and deadly storms to hit the nation since 1980.
photo by William Kurtz
Ten Years But Not Forgotten
The nation engaged in solemn remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001, when hijacked airliners manned by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania field.
photo by Jason Powell
Fed up with growing disparities between the rich and the rest of the nation, protestors launched the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City. Their battle cry was, "We are the 99 percent," a reference to one percent of the nation's population controlling 40 percent of its wealth.
photo by David Shankbone
While the Occupy Wall Street protest began peacefully, things turned ugly when municipal authorities called on police to forcibly remove demonstrators from the park where they had created a tent community.
photo by Paul Weiskell
No Blues in St. Louis
In one of the most improbable seasons in the long history of St. Louis's storied National League franchise, the Cardinals captured the crown of Major League Baseball by defeating the Texas Rangers and winning the World Series.
photo by Gregg Regula
With so many members of the military fighting wars on foreign soil, the nation took a day, as did this marine, to participate in commemorative services on Veterans Day.
photo by Stephen Masker