2002 was the last palidrome year we will likely see and also a year that was full of pop culture. The year after we survived the worst terrorist attack the U.S. has ever faced, also highlighted other devastating events including the two snipers who brough fear to people in the DC/MD/VA area. I was in my second year of college at University of MD College Park and remember wanting to pee my pants anytime I was out and about in sheer fear that the sniper would strike. Fortunately Dubya created the Department of Homeland Security which has succeeded in foiling many terrorist plots including a Dirty Bomb Plot that was foiled in 2002.
It wasn't a great year for many large businesses, many of which filed for bankruptcy including K-Mart and WorldCom (which was the largest such filing in the US), but we have the latter part of the decade to depress us about economic collapse.
2002 was also the year that the extremely talented Kelly Clarkson won the first season of American Idol, beating runner up Sideshow Bob. America fell in love with such movies as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Gangs of New York and The Lord of the Rings Twin Towers.
We also spent much of 2002 trying to figure out the difference between Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton (I still think they are the same person). We also enjoyed such artits as Christina Aquillera, Counting Crows, Linkin Park, Celine Dion, and Creed.