A lot of things happened that year:
- Osama Bin Laden was finally killed.
- The South was ravaged by tornadoes, notably places like Tuscaloosa, AL, Joplin, MO, and north Georgia.
- A really bad earthquake/tsunami hit Japan.
- A pretty good year for music (excluding Rebecca Black); artists like Adele and Foster the People became famous this year.
- New York legalizes gay marriage.
- Steve Jobs dies. :(
- A year for college sports scandals. Miami U gets involved in a Ponzi scheme, and legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno gets fired amidst a sex abuse scandal caused by a former coach.
- A lot of sequels were released in theaters (for example, sequels to The Hangover, Cars, Transformers, and X-Men)
- The Packers win the Super Bowl.
All in all, a pretty mixed year. Still better than most of the years from the 2000's.
A lot of really good and really bad things happened in 2011.