As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.
* The Ebola Virus is Discovered -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged
* Global Warming! -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben
* USA: Two Hundred Years in the Making -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged
* Notable Births -- See below.
* This Year in Film -- See below.
* This Year in Music -- See below.
* In Other News -- See below.
The Ebola Virus is DiscoveredContributed by Alex Shrugged
While treating the sick in the Congo, the doctors take water samples along the Ebola River. They look through the microscope and one doctor sees a "Shepard's crook". He exclaims, "My God... what the Hell is that?" They have no idea how deadly a virus they have found. The sisters treating the sick continue to use unsterilized needles. Thus anyone getting this disease will spread it to others without ever coming into direct contact. The name for this virus will be Ebola, named after the river where it is discovered. It is a hemorrhagic fever which means that you get a high fever, uncontrolled diarrhea, and then you bleed to death. It is agony. The mortality rate will be as high as 90%.    
Global Warming!Contributed by Southpaw Ben
This year, the UK had the hottest year on record up to this point since temperature recordings had begun. There were an increase in hospital visits, and up to 20% more deaths than usual. As it was also and extremely dry year, there were extensive fires, which actually helped to preserve heath land that had been turning to scrub. The government responded by enacting laws that allowed the banning of the uses of hoses and/or water for recreation and/or water for watering gardens, punishable with fines for between 25 and 500 pounds. The highest temperature during this heatwave... 96.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
USA: Two Hundred Years in the MakingContributed by Alex Shrugged
It is the Bicentennial celebration of the Declaration of Independence, the founding document of the Republic. We have done so much since that time. We have fought a war to free the slaves, brought forth the Second Industrial Age, fought a World War twice, and nearly destroyed everything. We came from the horse and buggy to walking on the Moon. We have cured deadly diseases that once baffled our great grandfathers. Millions have lived because of our virtues, and millions have died because of our faults. While traditional religious faith has been an anchor for most, some have made science their new religion. Others seek a spiritual oneness through sex, and drugs in careless abandon. Cynicism is the rule of the day. Our heroes have fallen... at least mine have. It will take time to find new ones... and yet... not all that long. Just when I thought all was lost, I met the man who would save my life... the very next year. It is always darkest before the dawn. As we enter the Electronic Age, our children will take for granted what we can only imagine, and I wonder what THEY will imagine in turn. It's a whole new world.
This Year in Film
- Rocky: Sylvester Stallone plays a down-and-out boxer who is given a chance at the title. 
- All the President's Men: Two reporters take down President Nixon. (Now all reporters want to emulate them, as long as there is a Republican in the White House.--alexshrugged) 
- In Comedy: Network, Silver Streak, The Bad News Bears and Silent Movie (with Mel Brooks). 
- And disturbing films: Logan's Run, Carrie, and Sybil. (Sybil is disturbing because it is a true story of a mentally ill child.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in TV
- In Comedy: The Muppet Show, LaVerne & Shirley and Alice (from the movie, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.) 
- Babes on screen: Charlie's Angles and The Bionic Woman. 
- In Game Shows: Family Feud, and The Gong Show. 
- VHS video tape machines are introduced: The lawsuits over stealing video content now begin. 
This Year in Music
- ABBA dominates with... Dancing Queen, Fernando and Mamma Mia. 
- Don't Go Breakin' My Heart: Elton John and Kiki Dee. 
- If You Leave Me Now: Chicago. 
- And more than I can list here.
This Year in Video Games
- Sega releases Heavyweight Champ: The 1st hand-to-hand fighting game. 
- Atari releases Breakout: Originally written by Apple Computer's Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. 
In Other News
- Karen Ann Quinlan is ruled a vegetable: Her ventilator is removed. She will live another 9 years. (The 1st step in killing someone is to change their name from a person to an "it".--alexshrugged ) 
- The Raid on Entebbe: Israeli commandos fly into Uganda to rescue 103 hostages held by Palestinian hijackers. Benjamin Netanyahu's brother, Yonatan (that is, Jonathan), is the only commando killed during the raid. 
- Mao dies of a heart attack.: Mao's murderous wife is arrested for treason. In her defense she said, "I was Chairman Mao's dog. I bit whomever he asked me to bite." (Accurate if not becoming.--alexshrugged) 
- THERE IS A FACE ON MARS!: Well... not really, but the shadowing in a Mars Viking photograph looks like a face.