How much the world has changed since OJ Simpson was sentenced in 2008

This Monday, Sept. 15, 2008, file photo shows O.J. Simpson appearing in court for opening statements on the first day his trial in Las Vegas. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong, File)

On December 5, 2008, OJ Simpson said goodbye to his life as a free man.

If Simpson is granted parole this week, he'll be released into a world that looks a lot different than it did nine years ago.

When Simpson began his prison sentence, America was in the depths of the Great Recession. George W. Bush was still in office and Barack Obama had just been elected the 44th president of the United States.

One of the biggest crime stories of 2008 (aside from OJ Simpson's trial) was the arrest of Casey Anthony, who was accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter.

"30 Rock" and "Mad Men" won Emmys in 2008 for outstanding TV series. "No Country for Old Men" took home the Oscar for best picture. The Grammy for best song that year went to Amy Winehouse for "Rehab."

In the sports world, the New York Giants were the 2008 Super Bowl champions. Michael Phelps had just broken the world record for most gold medals won in a single olympic games, taking home eight from Beijing.

Technology has come a long way in the past decade. The second generation of the iPhone was the hottest gadget on the market in 2008, forever changing the way we use smartphones. Facetime and Instagram didn't exist yet and MySpace was still the most popular social media platform.

The City of Reno looked quite different back in 2008 as well. The new Virginia Street Bridge didn't exist yet. Instead, the original bridge built in 1905 was still standing in its place.

Greater Nevada Field- or Aces Ballpark as it was called back then- was still under construction. The Aces wouldn't play their inaugural season there until 2009.

Fitzgeralds Casino and hotel had just closed its doors in October of 2008. The Whitney Peak would take over that building six years later.

A series of earthquakes hit West Reno that spring. The strongest one shook the Somersett area, causing damage to some of the homes there.

Well-known adventurer Steve Fossett was declared dead in 2008 after going missing while flying a small aircraft over the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Bob Cashell was the mayor of Reno at the time.

Colin Kaepernick was still playing football for the University of Nevada before he became a household name with the 49ers.

If OJ Simpson is granted parole this Thursday, he'll undoubtedly have a lot of changes to get used to outside the walls of Lovelock Correctional Center.

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