11/16/2012 08:07 am ET

'Twilight' Timeline: A Brief History Of The World Over The Course Of A Franchise

It's a little hard to believe that there was a time before "Twilight" -- a time when vampires weren't considered devastatingly sexy, when the name R-Patz sounded more like gibberish than a British heartthrob, and the "Teams" fans were declaring their affiliation to were those of Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie rather than Edward and Jacob.

It has been a long four years since "Twilight" first found its way onto the big screen. Since the first film's 2008 debut, the world has seen swine flu, a presidential election, and of course, the birth of super-child Blue Ivy Carter. Below, a brief history of the "Twilight" years.

Nov. 21, 2008: "Twilight" releases across the U.S.

Dec. 9, 2008: Governor Rod Blagojevich is arrested for corruption.

Dec. 28, 2008: The Detroit Lions make history by losing every single game in their season.

Jan. 20, 2009: Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States.

June 11, 2009: A high-alert warning is issued for the swine flu virus.

June 25, 2009: Michael Jackson dies at the age of 50.

July 15, 2009: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" releases.

Nov. 2009: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson reportedly start dating.

Nov. 20, 2009: "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" releases.

Nov. 27, 2009: The Tiger Woods cheating scandal begins to break.

Dec. 3, 2009: The first episode of "Jersey Shore" airs on MTV.

Jan. 12, 2010: A devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Haiti.

Jan. 25, 2010: "Avatar" becomes the highest grossing movie of all-time.

June 30, 2010: "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" releases.

July 11, 2010: Spain wins the FIFA World Cup.

Nov. 19, 2010: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" releases.

Dec. 18, 2010: The events of Arab Spring begin to unfold.

Feb. 11, 2011: Hosni Mubarak steps down.

April 29, 2011: Prince William marries Kate Middleton.

May 1, 2011: President Obama announces that Osama Bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan.

July 9, 2011: South Sudan becomes the world's 193rd country.

July 15, 2011: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" releases.

Sept. 17, 2011: Occupy Wall Street begins.

August 20, 2011: Kim Kardashian marries Kris Humphries.

Oct. 20, 2011: Muammar Gaddafi is killed.

Oct. 31, 2011: Kim Kardashian files for divorce from Kris Humphries.

Oct. 31, 2011: World population hits 7 billion.

Dec. 17, 2011: Kim Jong Il dies.

Jan. 7, 2012: Blue Ivy Carter, daughter of Jay-Z and Beyonce, is born.

May 9, 2012: President Obama voices support of same-sex marriage.

July 20, 2012: A gunman opens fire in a Colorado movie theater during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 and injuring 59.

July 24, 2012: Photos surface of Kristen Stewart kissing Rupert Sanders, the married director of "Snow White and the Huntsman."

July 25, 2012: Kristen Stewart issues a statement apologizing for cheating.

July 26, 2012: Robert Pattinson moves out of the home he shared with Kristen Stewart.

July 27, 2012: Summer Olympics begin in London.

Sept. 2012: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart quietly get back together.

Sept. 11, 2012: U.S. consulate in Benghazi is attacked.

Nov. 6, 2012: Barack Obama is reelected as president of the United States.

Nov. 16, 2012: "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" releases.

Premiere Of Summit Entertainment's "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" - Red Carpet