No you don't have to read a history book, or a news article, or have to google :-)
The data miners at Google have compiled their Zeitgeist lists(2008) of the most popular search terms of 2008 on google.>Link to list<
You can go here and know about what people were curious to google and know about it.
What Google say about it?
In compiling the 2008 Year-End Zeitgeist, our search team studied the aggregation of billions of search queries people typed in to the Google search box. Except where noted, all of these search terms are most popular for 2008. All of the search queries we studied are anonymous — no personal information was used.
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