By Charlie Keaton | Tuesday, November 14, 2017
In its first decade, Make a Splash provided swim lessons to more than four million kids. Which made us wonder: What else was happening in the world when MAS debuted?
Birth of the iPhone
Apple founder Steve Jobs told an audience in early 2007 that his company was only months away from unveiling a smartphone that would “reinvent the phone.” His prediction proved prescient — since then, more than 1 billion iPhones have been sold worldwide.
A Sorcerer Says Goodbye
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final installment of the beloved book series, was itself a 10-year anniversary (the original first appeared in the summer of 1997). Deathly Hallows sold 15 million copies in its first 24 hours, breaking sales records in many of the 93 countries it was available.
Prince, Peyton, and Parity
Super Bowl XLI saw Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith become the first African-American head coaches in the big game. Quarterback Peyton Manning was Most Valuable Player, helping deliver the state of Indiana’s first championship title in a major professional sport in 35 years. Prince’s iconic 12-minute halftime performance played to 140 million viewers.
Meanwhile, in the Pool…
Michael Phelps, buoyed by seven gold medals and five world records at the World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne, won Male World Swimmer of the Year for the fourth time in five years. (For good measure, he’s since won it four more times.) France’s Laure Manadou rode five medals in Melbourne to her only title as Female World Swimmer of the Year.
The Year in Pop Culture
Sequels ruled the day at the box office, as the year’s top four earners were franchise extensions of Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Spider-Man, and Shrek. Television viewers went all-in on reality TV, with American Idol and Dancing with the Stars leading the way. Fallout Boy had the year’s top-selling album.
Going, Going, Gone
Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s record for most career homeruns in Major League Baseball history when he recorded his 756th career dinger. Bonds hit six more in what turned out to be his final season, though many fans refuse to recognize his title in light of Bonds’ reputed use of performance enhancing drugs.
Come On Down
2007 saw the retirement of one of television’s most recognizable stars: Bob Barker, who ended his reign as host of everyone’s favorite home-sick-from-school program, The Price is Right, after more than three decades. In total, Barker’s TV career spanned 50 years and included everything from talk shows to the Miss Universe pageant.
In one of the more bizarre stories of the year, NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak was arrested and charged with the attempted kidnapping of a romantic rival — a U.S. Air Force captain involved with a fellow astronaut. Nowak reportedly drove 900 miles, from Houston to Orlando, wearing space diapers to avoid bathroom pit stops.
Age is Just a Number
At the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships, two athletes from wholly separate generations shined. 20-year old Rebecca Soni burst onto the international scene with the fourth-fastest times ever in both breaststroke events. Meanwhile, 40 year-old Dara Torres — who competed in her first Olympic Games before Soni was even born — made her fifth Olympic team barely a year removed from giving birth to her first child.
After six seasons and 86 episodes, The Sopranos, an original HBO crime drama hailed by TV Guide (and many others) as the best television series of all time, aired its finale. During its run the show racked up 21 Primetime Emmys, five Golden Globes, and two Peabody Awards. It is widely considered responsible for kickstarting the so-called ‘Golden Age of Television.’