Poll: Good Riddance to the 2000's

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WTC -- 9-11 --- A fireball explodes from one of the World Trade Center towers after a jet airliner crashed into the building, Sept. 11, 2001, in New York.
AP

CBS News Anchor Katie Couric reports that the decade started with record highs in the stock market, and high drama in politics. But the hanging chads of a disputed presidential election and a bull market fueled by a tech boom would both soon be history.

Decade in Photos

More than half of people surveyednamed the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 as the biggest event of the decade. That's more than Barack Obama's election, the financial crisis, or the war in Iraq.

Read the Complete Pew Poll

"I think people were very aware of how fortunate they were when they woke up the next morning and they realized that their family was safe, and they had taken that for granted and they didn't anymore," said Nancy Gibbs, Time MagazineEditor-at-Large.

2009, The Year in Review

Security would be hard to ignore. Images of war abroad and terror alerts at home were constant reminders and instantly accessible when all the news and views became just a click away.

Decade in Review

65 percent of those surveyed say the Internet has been a change for the better this decade. Tech went viral, but many felt television got sick. 63 percent say reality shows have been a change for the worse.

Actual reality was hard enough for most people. As a recession and bank failures hurt everyone from big business to the little guy.

Time Magazine declared this decade the "Decade from Hell." But not all nations shared out pain.

"I mean, if you were Indian or Chinese, there were millions and millions of people who got things in this decade that they could never have really dreamt of before," said The Economist'sWashington, DC Bureau Chief, Peter David.

Despite hardship here at home, most Americans are still optimistic about better days ahead. Nearly 6 in 10 believe that the next ten years will be brighter than the past ones.

Was this decade worse than the 1930s with its crushing Depression? Or the 1970s with its stagflation and energy crisis?

In time, Americans may change their minds. We may not know what to call this decade yet, but at least we can call it - done.