What happened on your birthday?




more events on December 0

  • 2022

    Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, dies at the age of 96, in her home at Balmoral.

  • 2015

    The Republic of Ireland, long known as a conservative, predominantly Catholic country, becomes the first nation in the world to legalize gay marriage in a public referendum.

  • 2014

    US Senate confirms Janet Yellen as the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve Bank in the central bank’s 100-year history.

  • 2013

    Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, slams into the Philippines, with sustained winds of 195 mpg (315 kph) and gusts up to 235 mph (380 kph); over 5,000 are killed (date is Nov 7 in US).

  • 2012

    Park Geun-hye elected President of South Korea, the nation’s first female chief executive.

  • At Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Conn., 20 children and six adults are shot to death by a 20-year-old gunman who then commits suicide.

  • A fire at a clothing factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, kills over 110 people.

  • Israel launches Operation Pillar of Defense against the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip.

  • Hurricane Sandy devastates much of the East Coast of the US; nearly 300 die directly or indirectly from the storm.

  • The world’s oldest teletext service, BBC’s Ceefax, ceases operation.

  • Felix Baumgartner breaks the world record for highest manned balloon flight, highest parachute jump, and greatest free-fall velocity, parachuting from an altitude of approximately 24 miles (39km).

  • US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is attacked and burned down; 4 Americans are killed including the US ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens.

  • The Egyptian Army’s Operation Eagle results in the deaths of 11 suspected terrorists and the arrest of another 23.

  • US Republican convention nominates Mitt Romney as the party’s presidential candidate.

  • First interplanetary human voice recording is broadcast from the Mars Rover Curiosity.

  • Severe flooding in Myanmar.

  • Moscow’s top court upholds ban of gay pride events in Russia’s capital city for 100 years.

  • In South Africa police fire on striking mine workers, killing at least 34.

  • Summer Olympics come to a close in London.

  • New Zealand’s Mount Tongariro erupts for the first time since 1897.

  • A gunman in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, opens fire in a Sikh temple, killing six before committing suicide.

  • Blackout in India as power grid failure leaves 300 million+ without power.

  • 2011

    NATO forces in Afghanistan attack a Pakistani checkpost in a friendly fire incident, killing 24 soldiers and wounding 13 others.

  • Yemeni President Ali Abullah Saleh signs a deal to to transfer power to the vice president, in exchange for legal immunity; the agreement came after 11 months of protests.

  • Libiyan National Transition Council declares the Libyan civil war is over.

  • In the Libyan civil war, rebels capture deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte, killing him soon afterward.

  • Protests break out in countries around the globe, under the slogan “United for Global Democracy.”

  • US military ends its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and allows gay men and women to serve openly.

  • Occupy Wall Street movement calling for greater social and economic equality begins in New York City’s Zuccotti Park, coining the phrase “We are the 99%.”

  • In New York City, the 9/11 Memorial Museum opens to the public.

  • A 5.8 earthquake centered at Mineral, Virginia, damages the Washington Monument, forcing the landmark to close for repairs.

  • Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi is overthrown after National Transitional Council forces take control of Bab al-Azizia compound during the 2011 Libyan Civil War.

  • Gold hits a record price of $1,826 per ounce.

  • An EF5 tornado kills at least 158 people in Joplin, Missouri, the largest death toll from a tornado since record-keeping began in 1950.

  • Osama Bin Laden is killed in Abbottabad Pakistan by US Navy SEALS in Operation Neptune Spear.

  • Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, former president of Tunisia, flees to Saudi Arabia after a series of demonstrations against his regime.

  • Princess Josephine of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat (Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda), and Prince Vincent of Denmark, Count of Monpezat (Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander).

  • An attempted assassination of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords is part of a shooting spree in which Jared Lee Loughner kills 6 and wounds 13.

  • 2010

    US President Barack Obama signs a law officially repealing the 17-year-old policy known as “Don’t ask, don’t tell”; the new law permits homosexuals to serve openly in the US military.

  • In an opening act of Arab Spring, anti-government protests erupt in Tunisia.

  • Mohamed Bouazizi immolates himself, the catalyst for the Tunisian revolution and the subsequent Arab Spring.

  • The Japanese solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS passes the planet Venus.

  • SpaceX becomes the first privately held company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.

  • New Zealand suffers its worst mining disaster since 1914 when the first of four explosions occurs at the Pike River Mine; 29 people are killed.

  • After being underground for a record 69 days, all 33 miners trapped in a Copiapo, Chile, mine are rescued.

  • The Mexican criminal syndicate Los Zetas kills 72 illegal immigrants from Central and South America in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

  • Operation Iraqi Freedom ends; the last US combat brigade, 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, leaves the country. Six brigades remain to train Iraqi troops.

  • Edelmiro Cavazos, mayor of Santiago, Nuevo Leon, is found handcuffed, blindfolded and dead following his abduction three days earlier. He had championed crackdowns on organized crime and police corruption.

  • First-ever Summer Youth Olympic Games open, in Singapore. Athletes must be 14–18 years old.

  • Following a 200-year search for the tomb of Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus his remains are reburied in Frombork Cathedral

  • Yemen declares war on al-Qaeda terrorist group.

  • An earthquake in Haiti kills an estimated 316,000 people.

  • Burj Khalifa (Khalifa tower) officially opens in Dubai, UAE. At 2,722 ft (829.8 m) it is the world’s tallest man-made structure.

  • 2009

    Suicide bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia, kills 25 people, including three ministries of the Transitional Federal Government.

  • North Korean and South Korean ships skirmish off Daecheon Island.

  • The deadliest mass shooting at a US military installation occurs at Fort Hood, Texas, when US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 and wounds 29.

  • Terrorist bombings in Baghdad kill over 150 and wound over 700.

  • The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom takes over judicial functions of the House of Lords.

  • Earthquakes in Sumatra kill more than 1,115 people.

  • An 8.1 earthquake causes a tidal wave that claims 189 lives in Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga.

  • US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy jointly accuse Iran of building a secrecy nuclear enrichment facility.

  • LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device) “sonic cannon,” a non-lethal device that utilizes intense sound, is used in the United States for the first time, to disperse protestors at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, Penn.

  • The US television soap opera The Guiding Light broadcasts its final episode, ending a 72-year run that began on radio.

  • 2008

    Some 1.1 billion gallons of coal fly ash slurry flood part of Tennessee after an ash dike breaks at a solid waste containment area in Roane County, in the eastern part of the state.

  • United Arab Emirates holds it first-ever elections.

  • Iraqi broadcast journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi throws his shoes at US President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad.

  • Bernard “Bernie” Madoff arrested and charged with securities fraud in what was called a $50-billion Ponzi scheme.

  • Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich is arrested on federal charges, including an attempt to sell the US Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

  • Sri Lanka is hit by Cyclone Nisha, bringing the highest rainfall the area had seen in 9 decades; 15 people die, 90,000 are left homeless.

  • Hamas and Israel begin a cease-fire following eight days of violence and 150 deaths.

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average sinks to lowest level in 11 years in response to failures in the US financial system.

  • First G-20 economic summit convenes, in Washington, DC.

  • RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2)sets sail on her final voyage, bound for Dubai.

  • NASA declares the Phoenix mission concluded after losing communications with the lander, five months after it began its exploration on the surface of Mars.

  • Senator Barack Obama of Illinois elected 44th president of the United States, the first African American to hold that position.

  • Delta and Northwest airlines merge, forming the world’s largest airline.

  • Many stock exchanges worldwide suffer the steepest declines in their histories; the day becomes known as “Bloody Friday.”

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 733.08 points, the second-largest percentage drop in the Dow’s history.

  • Orakzai bombing, Afghanistan: members of the Taliban drive an explosive-laden truck into a meeting of 600 people discussing ways to rid their area of the Taliban; the bomb kills 110.

  • The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase distressed assets of financial corporations and supply cash directly to banks to keep them afloat.

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 777.68 points in the wake of Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual bankruptcies, the largest single-day point loss in Wall Street history.

  • SpaceX launches the first private spacecraft, Falcon 1.

  • Zhai Zhigang becomes the first Chinese to walk in space; he was part of the Shenzhou 7 crew.

  • Yves Rossy, a Swiss pilot and inventor, is the first person to fly a jet-powered wing across the English Channel.

  • China launches Shenzhou 7 spacecraft; crew performs China’s first extra-vehicular activity (EVA).

  • A truck loaded with explosives detonates by Marriott hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing 45 and injuring 226.

  • The largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US history is filed by Lehman Brothers financial services firm.

  • Hurricane Ike makes landfall in Texas; it had already been the most costly storm in Cuba’s history and becomes the third costliest in the US.

  • Five synchronized bomb blasts occur in crowded locations of Delhi, India, killing at least 30 people and injuring more than 100; four other bombs are defused.

  • The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator—described as the biggest scientific experiment in history—is powered up in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • US Government assumes conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country’s two largest mortgage financing companies, during the subprime mortgage crisis.

  • Democrats nominate Barack Obama for president, first African American nominated by a major political party for the office of President of the United States.

  • Georgia invades South Ossetia, touching off a five-day war between Georgia and Russia.

  • 2007

    After Mwai Kibaki is declared the winner of Kenya’s presidential elections, rioting begins in Mombasa, precipitating an economic, humanitarian and political crisis.

  • Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto assassinated.

  • Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest monarch in the history of the UK; previously, that honor belonged to Queen Victoria.

  • James, Viscount Severn, son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex; youngest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

  • A gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle kills 8 people at Westroads Mall, Omaha, Neb., before taking his own life.

  • Armed forces of the Philippines besiege The Peninsula Manila in response to a mutiny led by Senator Antonio Trillanes.

  • Cyclone Sidr strikes Bangladesh, killing an estimated 5,000 people.

  • German Bundestag passes controversial bill mandating storage of citizens’ telecommunications traffic date for six months without probable cause.

  • Chang’e 1, China’s first lunar satellite, begins its orbit of the moon.

  • Argentina elects its first woman president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

  • Suicide attack on a motorcade in Karachi, Pakistan, kills at least 139 and wounds 450; the subject of the attack, Pakistan’s former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, is not harmed.

  • New Zealand police arrest 17 people believed to be part of a paramilitary training camp.

  • Explorer and author Jason Lewis becomes the first person to complete a human-powered circumnavigation of the globe.

  • NASA launches Dawn probe to explore and study the two larges objects of the asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres.

  • Military contractors in the employ of Blackwater Worldwide allegedly kill 17 Iraqis in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, further straining relations between the US and the people of Iraq.

  • Northern Rock Bank suffers the UK’s first bank run in 150 years.

  • UN adopts non-binding Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

  • Joseph Estrada, former president of the Philippines, is convicted of plunder.

  • Russia detonates a nano-bomb; dubbed the “Father of All Bombs,” it is the largest non-nuclear weapon developed to date.

  • Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister of Pakistan, returns after 7 years in exile, following a military coup in October 1999.

  • Most runs scored by any team in modern MLB history as the Texas Rangers thump the Baltimore Orioles 30-3.

  • An earthquake of 8.0 magnitude kills over 500 and injures more than 1,000 in Peru.

  • Four coordinated suicide bomb attacks in Yazidi towns near Mosul, Iraq, kill more than 400 people.

  • An EF2 tornado hits Brooklyn, New York, the first in that borough since 1889.

  • Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants breaks Hank Aaron’s record with his 756th home run. Bonds’ accomplishments were clouded by allegations of illegal steroid use and lying to a grand jury.

  • NASA launches the Phoenix spacecraft on a mission to Mars.

  • The I-35W bridge at Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapses into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145.

  • The British Army’s longest continual operation, Operation Banner (1969-2007), ends as British troops withdraw from Northern Ireland.

  • A general strike begins in Guinea; eventually, it will lead to the resignation of the country’s president, Lansana Conte.

  • Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, unveils the first iPhone.

  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) becomes the first female speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • 2006

    Saddam Hussein, former Iraq dictator, is executed by hanging for crimes committed against his own people during his rule.

  • Former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford dies at age 93. Ford was the only unelected president in America’s history.

  • James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul”, dies at age 73.

  • President of Mexico Felipe Calderon launches a military-led offensive against drug cartel violence in the state of Michoacan.

  • NASA reveals photographs from Mars Global Surveyor that suggest the presence of water on the red planet.

  • Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrows the government in Fiji.

  • Canadian House of Commons approves a motion, tabled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, recognizing the Quebecois as a nation within Canada.

  • In the second-deadliest day of sectarian violence in Iraq since the beginning of the 2003 war, 215 people are killed and nearly 260 injured by bombs in Sadr City.

  • Anti-Syrian Lebanese Minister and MP Pierre Gemayel assassinated in Beirut.

  • Queen Elizabeth II unveils New Zealand War Memorial in London.

  • Former president of Iraq Saddam Hussein, along with Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, is sentenced to death for the massacre of 148 Shi’a Muslims in 1982.

  • North Korea reportedly tests its first nuclear device.

  • Military coup in Bangkok, revokes Thailand’s constitution and establishes martial law.

  • Alaska’s Fourpeaked Mountain erupts for the first time in at least 10,000 years.

  • Prince Hisahito of Akishino, third in line to become Emperor of Japan.

  • Edvard Munch’s famed painting The Scream recovered by Norwegian police. The artwork had been stolen on Aug. 22, 2004.

  • Pluto is downgraded to a dwarf planet when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines “planet.”

  • Natascha Kampusch,  abducted at the age of 10 in Austria, escapes from her captor, Wolfgang Priklopil, after 8 years of captivity.

  • All toiletries are banned from commercial airplanes after Scotland Yard disrupts a a major terrorist plot involving liquid explosives. After a few weeks, the toiletries ban was modified.

  • Fidel Castro temporarily hands over power to his brother Raul Castro.

  • A coal mine explosion in Sago, West Virginia, kills 12 miners and critically injures another. This accident and another within weeks lead to the first changes in federal mining laws in decades.

  • 2005

    Chad declares a state of war against Sudan in the wake of the Dec. 18 attack on the town of Adre, in which approximately 100 people were killed.

  • Civil war begins in Chad with a rebel assault on Adre; the rebels are believed to be backed by Chad’s neighbor, Sudan.

  • F-22 Raptor Stealth fighter enters active service with the US Air Force.

  • Cronulla riots begin in Cronulla, a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

  • Prince Sverre Magnus, third in line of succession to the Norwegian throne.

  • First manned rocket aircraft delivery of US Mail takes place in Mojave, Cal.

  • John Sentamu becomes Archbishop of York, making him the Church of England’s first black archbishop.

  • First partial human face transplant completed Amiens, France.

  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf elected president of Liberia; she is the first woman to lead an African nation.

  • Angela Merkel becomes the first woman ever to be Chancellor of Germany; the former research scientist had previously been the first secretary-general of the Christian Democratic Union.

  • Infanta Leonor of Spain, second in line of succession to the Spanish throne.

  • The rebuilt Dresden Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) that was destroyed during the firebombing of Dresden in WWII is rededicated.

  • Libby "Scooter" Lewis, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, resigns after being indicted for "outing" CIA agent Valerie Plame.

  • Tropical Storm Alpha forms, making 2005 the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record with 22 named storms.

  • Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s trail for crimes against humanity begins in Baghdad.

  • Prince Christian of Denmark, Count of Monpezat.

  • Hurricane Rita, the 4th-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, comes ashore in Texas causing extensive damage there and in Louisiana, which had devastated by Hurricane Katrina less than a month earlier.

  • Israel completes its unilateral disengagement of all Israeli civilians and military from the Gaza Strip.

  • Rains from Hurricane Katrina cause a levee breech at the Industrial Canal in New Orleans, causing severe flooding.

  • Hurricane Katrina reaches Category 5 strength; Louisiana Superdome opened as a “refuge of last resort” in New Orleans.

  • Art heist: a version of The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, are stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo, Norway.

  • Toronto Supercell: A series of thunderstorms spawn several tornadoes and cause flash floods in Southern Ontario. Losses exceed $500 million Canadian dollars, the highest ever in the province.

  • Israel begins the first forced evacuation of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, as part of a unilateral disengagement plan.

  • An LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) sniper mortally wounds Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, at the minister’s home.

  • Astronomers announce the discovery of dwarf planet Eris, leading the International Astronomic Union to clarify the definition of a planet.

  • Britain experiences its most costly tornado to date, causing 40 million Sterling Pounds of damage to Birmingham in just four minutes. There were no fatalities.

  • The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announces an end to its 30-year armed campaign in Northern Ireland.

  • The shuttle Discovery launches on mission STS-114, marking a return to space after the shuttle Columbia crash of 2003.

  • Condoleezza Rice is appointed to the post of secretary of state. The post makes her the highest ranking African-American woman ever to serve in a U.S. presidential cabinet.

  • Huygens probe lands on Saturn’s moon Titan.

  • The Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end the Second Sudanese Civil War is signed by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

  • Mahmoud Abbas wins election to replace Yasser Arafat as President of the Palestinian National Authority.

  • Former Ku Klux Klan organizer Edgar Ray Killen is arrested as a suspect in the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.

  • Eris, largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System is discovered in images taken Oct. 21, 2003, at Palomar Observatory.

  • 2004

     Radiation reaches Earth from the brightest extrasolar event ever witnessed, an explosion of magnetar SGR 1806-20.

  • A tsunami caused by a 9.3-magnitude earthquake kills more than 230,000 along the rim of the Indian Ocean.

  • A suicide bomber attacks the forward operating base next to the US military airfield at Mosul, Iraq, killing 22 people; it is the deadliest suicide attack on US soldiers during the Iraq War.

  • The Millau Viaduct, the world’s tallest bridge, official opens near Millau, France.

  • The Cuzco Declaration signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the South American Community of Nations.

  • On the game show Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings loses after 74 consecutive victories. It is the longest winning streak in game-show history, earning him a total of over $3 million.

  • Pope John Paul II returns relics of Saint John Chrysostom to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

  • The Orange Revolution, protesting a primary election believed to have been rigged, begins in the Ukraine. On Dec 26 Ukraine’s Supreme Court orders a revote..

  • Palestine Liberation organization confirms the death of its longtime chairman Yasser Arafat; cause of death has never been conclusively determined.

  • New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior dedicated at the National War Museum, Wellington.

  • More than 10,000 US troops and a few Iraqi army units besiege an insurgent stronghold at Fallujah.

  • For the first time, Osama bin Laden admits direct responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the US; his comments are part of a video broadcast by the Al Jazeera network.

  • An earthquake in Japan kills 35, injures 2,200, and leaves 85,000 homeless or displaced.

  • SpaceShipOne, which had achieved the first privately funded human space flight on June 21, wins the Ansari X Prize for the first non-government organization to successfully launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space.

  • Hurricane Jeanne causes severe flooding in Haiti; over 1,000 reported dead.

  • National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman announces a lockout of the players union.

  • Hurricane Ivan damages 90% of buildings on the island of Grenada; 39 die in the Category 5 storm.

  • Armed terrorists take children and adults hostage in the Beslan school hostage crisis in North Ossetia, Russia.

  • Chechnyan suicide bombers blow up two airliners near Moscow, killing 89 passengers.

  • Google Inc. stock begins selling on the Nasdaq Stock Market, with an initial price of $85; the stock ended the day at $100.34 with more than 22 million shares traded.

  • Statue of Liberty’s pedestal reopens to visitors after being closed following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

  • In Asuncion, Paraguay, a fire in the Ycua Bolanos V supermarket complex kills nearly 400 people and injures 500.

  • Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan dies at age 93. Reagan was the 40th president of the United States.

  • Fahrenheit 9-11, directed by Michael Moore, becomes the first documentary ever to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • An EF4 tornado with a record-setting width of 2.5 miles wipes out Hallam, Nebraska, killing 1 person.

  • The Republic of Georgia restores the “five cross flag” as its national flag after some 500 years of disuse.

  • The largest passenger ship in history, the RMS Queen Mary 2, is christened by Queen Elizabeth II, granddaughter of Queen Mary.

  • Mikheil Saakashvili is elected President of Georgia following the Rose Revolution of November 2003.

  • NASA Mars rover Spirit successfully lands on Mars.

  • 2003

    President George W. Bush signs the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which establishes the United States’ first national standards regarding email and gives the Federal Trade Commission authority to enforce the act. 

  • Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, narrowly escapes and assassination attempt.

  • Deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein captured; he is found hiding in near his home town of Tikrit.

  • Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, heiress apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

  • A tornado in Kensal Green, North West London, damages about 150 properties.

  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules the state’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional; the legislature fails to act within the mandated 180 days, and on May 17, 2004, Massachusetts becomes the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage.

  • Shanghai Transrapid sets a new world speed record (311 mph or 501 kph) for commercial railway systems.

  • The first Italians to die in the Iraq War are among 23 fatalities from a suicide bomb attack on an Italian police base in Nasiriya, iraq.

  • Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

  • Gary Ridgway, known as the Green River Killer, pleads guilty to 48 counts of murder.

  • The supersonic Concorde jet made its last commercial passenger flight from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to London’s Heathrow Airport, traveling at twice the speed of sound.

  • Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II for her work among “the poorest of the poor” in India.

  • Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada resigns in the wake of protests centered around Bolivia’s natural gas resources.

  • Taipei 101 is completed in Taipei, becoming the world’s tallest high-rise.

  • Princess Kritika of Nepal.

  • China launches its first manned space mission, Shenzhou I.

  • California voters remove Democratic governor Gray Davis from office in the state’s first successful recall of a sitting governor (only the second successful recall of a governor in US history); a Republican candidate, bodybuilder/actor Arnold Schwarzenegger wins the election to replace Davis 17 days later.

  • European Space Agency launches SMART-1 satellite to orbit the moon.

  • Galileo space mission ends as the probe is sent into Jupiter’s atmosphere where it is crushed.

  • UN lifts sanctions against Libya in exchange for that country accepting responsibility for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 and paying recompense to victims’ families.

  • Sweden’s foreign minister, Anna Lindh, is stabbed while shopping and dies the next day.

  • A terrorist bomb kills Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, the Shia Muslim leader in Iraq, and nearly 100 worshipers as they leave a mosque in Najaf where the ayatollah had called for Iraqi unity.

  • Power blackout affects half-million people in southeast England and halts 60% of London’s underground trains.

  • Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, passing within 34,646,418 miles (55,758,005 km).

  • Alexandre Coste, son of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and former air stewardess Nicole Coste.

  • Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is suspended for refusing to comply with federal court order to remove the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court building’s lobby.

  • Shmuel Hanavi bus bombing: suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem kills 23 Israelis, some of them children, and wounds 130. Islamist militant group Hamas claims responsibility for the attack.

  • NATO assumes command of the international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, its first major operation outside Europe.

  • Temperatures rise to 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius); over 140 people die in the heat wave.

  • For the first time ever, temperatures exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit when thermometers hit 101.3 F (38.5 Celsius)  at Kent.

  • The last of the uniquely shaped “old style” Volkswagen Beetles rolls off the assembly line in Mexico.

  • Illinois Gov. George Ryan commutes the death sentences of 167 prisoners on the state’s death row in the wake of allegations that Chicago police detective and commander Jon Burge tortured confessions from some 200 suspects over a 19 year period.

  • 2002

    An Iraqi MiG-25 shoots down a US MQ-1 Predator drone.

  • California Gov. Gray Davis announces the state faces a record budget deficit; the looming $35 billion shortfall is almost double the amount reported a month earlier during the state’s gubernatorial campaign.

  • Congolese parties of the inter Congolese Dialogue sign a peace accord in the Second Congo War, providing for transitional government and elections within two years.

  • Suicide bombers blow up an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya.

  • UN weapons inspectors under Hans Blix arrive in Iraq.

  • Former Enron Corp. CEO Andrew Fastow convicted on 78 counts of conspiracy, money laundering, obstruction of justice and wire fraud; the Enron collapse cost investors millions and led to new oversight legislation.

  • Russian Spetsnaz storm the Moscow Theatre, where Chechen terrorists had taken the audience and performers hostage three days earlier; 50 terrorists and 150 hostages die in the assault.

  • Chechen terrorists take 700 theater-goers hostage at the House of Culture theater in Moscow.

  • Inaugural opening of Bibliotheca Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt., a modern library and cultural center commemorating the famed Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity

  • Terrorist bombers kill over 200 and wound over 300 more at the Sari Club in Kuta, Bali.

  • The first public version of Mozilla Firefox browser released; originally called Phoenix 0.1 its name was changed due to trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies.

  • A group of Iraqis opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein seize the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin; after five hours they release their hostages and surrender.

  • A Russian Mi-26 helicopter carrying troops is hit by a Chechen missile outside of Grozny, killing 118 soldiers.

  • The largest air show disaster in history occurs when a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes during an air show at Lviv, Ukraine, killing 85 and injuring more than 100 others.

  • US President George W. Bush signs into law the No Child Left Behind Act, intended to improve America’s educational system.

  • 2001

    China receives permanent normal trade relations with the US.

  • A passenger on American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris, Richard Reid, unsuccessfully attempts to destroy the plane in flight by igniting explosives he’d hidden in his shoes.

  • President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, takes over an interim government.

  • Rioting begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the country’s economic crisis.

  • The highest barometric pressure ever recorded (1085.6 hPa, 32.06 inHg) occurs at Tosontsengel, Khovsgol, Mongolia.

  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after an 11-year, $27 million project to fortify it without eliminating its famed lean.

  • Terrorists attach the Parliament of India Sansad; 15 people are killed, including the terrorists

  • People’s Republic of China joins the World Trade Organization.

  • Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, one of the most complex bankruptcy cases in US history.

  • Trans World Airlines’ final flight following the carrier’s purchase by American Airlines; TWA began operating 76 years earlier. The final flight, 220, piloted by Capt. Bill Compton, landed at St. Louis International Airport.

  • Hubble Space Telescope discovers a hydrogen atmosphere on planet Osiris, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet.

  • Northern Alliance fighters take control of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.

  • US President George W. Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against foreigners suspected of connections to planned or actual terrorist acts against the US.

  • Journalists Pierre Billaud (France), Johanne Sutton (France) and Voker Handloik (Germany) killed in Afghanistan during an attack on the convoy in which they were traveling.

  • The USA PATRIOT Act signed into law by Pres. George W. Bush, greatly expanding intelligence and legal agencies’ ability to utilize wiretaps, records searches and surveillance.

  • Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant; heiress apparent to the Belgian throne.

  • Rehavam Ze’evi, Israeli tourism minister and founder of the right-wing Moledet party, assassinated by a member of the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); he was the first Israeli minister ever assassinated.

  • The Polaroid Corporation, which had provided shutterbugs with photo prints in minutes with its “instant cameras” since 1947, files for bankruptcy.

  • US President George W. Bush establishes the Office of Homeland Security.

  • US invasion of Afghanistan in reaction to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 begins; it will become the longest war in US history.

  • NATO backs US military strikes in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

  • US Pres. George W. Bush, addressing a joint session of Congress, declares a “war on terror.”.

  • The New York Stock Exchange reopens for the first time since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers; longest period of closure since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

  • In an unprecedented, highly coordinated attack, terrorists hijack four U.S. passenger airliners, flying two into the World Trade Center towers in New York and one into the Pentagon, killing thousands. The fourth airliner, headed toward Washington likely to strike the White House or Capitol, is crashed just over 100 miles away in Pennsylvania after passengers storm the cockpit and overtake the hijackers.

  • Contestant Charles Ingram cheats on the British version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, wins 1 million pounds.

  • A car bomb explodes outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, killing 10 people.

  • Two al Qaeda assassins kill Ahmad Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.

  • Protestant loyalists in Belfast, Ireland, begin an 11-week picket of the Holy Cross Catholic school for girls, sparking rioting.

  • NATO decides to send a peacekeeping force to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

  • Astronomers announce the first solar system discovered outside our own; two planets had been found orbiting a star in the Big Dipper.

  • Wikipedia goes online.

  • In one of the closest Presidential elections in U.S. history, George W. Bush was finally declared the winner of the bitterly contested 2000 Presidential elections more than five weeks after the election due to the disputed Florida ballots.

  • 2000

    Samuel Sevian, chess prodigy; at age 12 became youngest-ever United States International Master.

  • The US Supreme Court announces its decision in Bush v. Gore, effectively ending legal changes to the results of that year’s Presidential election.

  • Republican candidate George W. Bush is certified the winner of Florida’s electoral votes, giving him enough electoral votes to defeat Democrat Al Gore Jr. for the US presidency, despite losing the popular vote.

  • Controversial President of Peru Alberto Fujimori removed from office.

  • Articles of impeachment passed against Philippine President Joseph Estrada.

  • Dispute begins over US presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore; Supreme Court ruling on Dec. 12 results in a 271-266 electoral victory for Bush.

  • Election Day in the US ends with the winner between presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore still undecided.

  • Hilary Rodham Clinton becomes the first First Lady (1993–2001) elected to public office in the US when she wins a US Senate seat.

  • First resident crew arrives at the International Space Station.

  • Serbia joins the United Nations.

  • Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station.

  • Suicide bombers at Aden, Yemen, damage USS Cole; 17 crew members killed and over 35 wounded.

  • NASA launches its 100th Space Shuttle mission.

  • Yugoslavia’s president Slobodan Milosevic and Argentina’s vice-president Carlos Alvarez both resign from their respective offices.

  • Slobodan Milosevic, president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, resigns in the wake of mass protest demonstrations.

  • British MI6 Secret intelligence Service building in London attacked by unidentified group using RPG-22 anti-tank missile.

  • Tiger Woods wins golf’s PGA Championship, the first golfer to win 3 majors in a calendar year since Ben Hogan in 1953.

  • Russian Navy submarine K-141 Kursk explodes and sinks with all hands during military exercises in the Barents Sea.

  • The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is raised to surface, 136 years after it sank following its successful attack on USS Housatonic in the outer harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.

  • The Sun, Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn align – Earth’s moon is also almost in this alignment – leading to Doomsday predictions of massive natural disasters, although such a ‘grand confluence’ occurs about once in every century.

  • UN tribunal sentences 5 Bosnian Croats to prison for up to 25 years; they were charged with killing some 100 Muslims in a Bosnian village in 1993.

  • The last original weekday Peanuts comic strip is published after a 50-year run, following the death of the strip’s creator, Charles Schultz.

  • 1999

    Lothar, a violent, 36-hour windstorm begins; it kills 137 and causes $1.3 billion (US dollars) damage in Central Europe.

  • Tens of thousands die as a result of flash floods caused by torrential rains in Vargas, Venezuela.

  • The Recording Industry Association of America files a copyright infringement suit against the file-sharing website Napster.

  • UK devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive, the administrative branch of the North Ireland legislature.

  • Helen Clark becomes first elected female Prime Minister of New Zealand.

  • House of Lords Act reforming Britain’s House of Lords, given Royal Assent; the act removed the right to hereditary seats (sitting members were permitted to remain).

  • Australia’s voters reject a referendum to make the country a republic with a president appointed by Parliament.

  • EgyptAir Flight 990 crashes into Atlantic Ocean killing all 217 people on board.

  • Maurice Papon, formerly an official in the Vichy France government during World War II, is jailed for crimes against humanity for his role in deporting more than 1,600 Jews to concentration camps.

  • Chief of Army Staff Perez Musharraf seizes power in Pakistan through a bloodless military coup.

  • Last flight of the Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” stealth reconnaissance aircraft.

  • Japan’s second-worst nuclear accident occurs at a uranium processing facility in Tokaimura, killing two technicians.

  • Earthquake in Taiwan kills more than 2,400, injures over 11,305, and causes $300 billion New Taiwan dollars ($10 billion in US dollars).

  • Prince Nikolai of Denmark.

  • Russia begins the Second Chechen War in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade.

  • A 7.4-magnitude earthquake near Izmit, Turkey kills over 17,000 and injures nearly 45,000.

  • A tornado in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, kills one person.

  • The Diet of Japan establishes the country’s official national flag, the Hinomaru, and national anthem, “Kimi Ga Yo.”.

  • Russian president Boris Yeltsin fires his prime minister and, for the fourth time, fires the entire cabinet.

  • NASA purposely crashes its Discovery Program’s Lunar Prospector into the moon, ending the agency’s mission to detect frozen water on Earth’s moon.

  • A private plane piloted by John F. Kennedy Jr. is lost over the waters off Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

  • NATO declares an official end to its bombing campaign of Yugoslavia.

  • Serb forces begin their withdrawal from Kosovo after signing an agreement with the NATO powers.

  • The international war crimes tribunal indicts Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic for war atrocities.

  • Two students enter Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and open fire with multiple firearms, killing 13 students and teachers, wounding 25 and eventually shooting themselves.

  • An American Stealth F117 Nighthawk is shot down over northern Yugoslavia during NATO air strikes.

  • NATO planes, including stealth aircraft, attack Serbian forces in Kosovo.

  • Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky appears on national television to explain her affair with President Bill Clinton.

  • The U.S. Senate fails to pass two articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. He had been accused of perjury and obstruction of justice by the House of Representatives.

  • The impeachment trial of US President Bill Clinton opens in the US Senate.

  • Jesse “The Body” Ventura, a former professional wrestler, is sworn in as populist governor of Minnesota.

  • Mars Polar Lander launched.

  • A severe winter storm hits the Midwestern US; in Chicago temperatures plunge to -13 ºF and19 inches of snow fell; 68 deaths are blamed on the storm.

  • The euro, the new money of 11 European nations, goes into effect on the continent of Europe.

  • 1998

    President Bill Clinton is impeached. The House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against President Clinton, charging him with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice. Clinton was the second president in American history to be impeached.

  • The United States launches a missile attack on Iraq for failing to comply with United Nations weapons inspectors.

  • Exxon and Mobil oil companies agree to a $73.7 billion merge, creating the world’s largest company, Exxon-Mobil.

  • Tony Blair becomes the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland’s parliament.

  • First module of the International Space Station, Zarya, is launched.

  • US House of Representatives begins impeachment hearings against President Bill Clinton.

  • Largest civil settlement in US history: 37 brokerage houses are ordered to pay $1.3 billion to NASDAQ investors to compensate for price fixing.

  • Iraq announces it will no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.

  • The deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record up to that time, Hurricane Mitch, makes landfall in Honduras (in 2005 Hurricane Wilma surpassed it); nearly 11,000 people died and approximately the same number were missing.

  • John Glenn, at age 77, becomes the oldest person to go into outer space. He is part of the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-95.

  • South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports condemns both sides on the Apartheid issue for committing atrocities.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reach a “land for peace” agreement.

  • General Augusto Pinochet, former dictator of Chile, arrested in London for extradition on murder charges

  • Eric Robert Rudolph charged with the 1996 bombing during the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia; It was one of several bombing incidents Rudolph carried out to protest legalized abortion in the US.

  • ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is formed to coordinate unique identifying addresses for Websites worldwide.

  • MCI WorldCom begins operations after a landmark merger between World Com and MCI Communications.

  • Google founded by Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

  • Jean Paul Akayesu, former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, found guilty of nine counts of genocide by the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

  • On National Day, Vietnam releases 5,000 prisoners, including political dissidents.

  • US launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for the Aug. 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

  • The Supreme Court of Canada rules Quebec cannot legally secede from Canada without the federal government’s approval.

  • President Bill Clinton admits to the American public that he had affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

  • Nineteen European nations agree to prohibit human cloning.

  • 1997

    Hussein Farrah Aidid relinquishes his disputed title of President of Somalia, an important step toward reconciliation in the country.

  • The Kyoto Protocol international treaty intended to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses, opens for signature.

  • Representatives of 121 nations sign the Ottawa Treaty prohibiting the manufacture or deployment of antipersonnel landmines; the People’s Republic of China, the US and the USSR do not sign.

  • Pro-democracy Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng released from prison after 18 years, for health reasons.

  • Ramzi Yousef convicted of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

  • WorldCom and MCI Communications announce a merger, the largest in US history up to that time.

  • U.S. imposes economic sanctions against Sudan in response to human rights abuses and support of Islamic extremist groups.

  • Stock markets crash around the world over fears of a global economic meltdown.

  • Andy Green of the UK becomes the first person to break the sound barrier in the Earth’s atmosphere, driving the ThrustSSC supersonic car to a record 763 mph (1,228 km/h).

  • Two earthquakes strike Italy, causing part of the Basilica of St. Francis to collapse, killing four people and destroying much of the cycle of frescoes depicting the saint’s life.

  • Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales: over 1 million people line London’s streets to honor her and 2.5 billion watched the event on TV.

  • New York Yankees retire Don Mattingly’s #23 (first baseman, coach, manager).

  • Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a Paris car crash along with her companion Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul while fleeing paparazzi.

  • The last British troops leave Hong Kong. After 156 years of British rule, the island is returned to China.

  • Microsoft announces it will invest $150 million in troubled rival Apple Computer, Inc.

  • The mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Ramzi Yousef, goes on trial.

  • Author William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch), considered the godfather of the “Beat Generation” in American literature, dies at age 83.

  • 1996

    Taliban forces retake strategic Bagram Airfield during Afghan civil war.

  • Workers in South Korea’s automotive and shipbuilding industries begin the largest labor strike in that country’s history, protesting a new law that made firing employees easier and would curtail the rights of labor groups to organize.

  • JonBenet Ramsey, a six-year-old beauty queen, is found beaten and strangled to death in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado, one of the most high-profile crimes of the late 20th century in the US.

  • NeXT merges with Apple Computer, leading to the development of groundbreaking Mac OS X.

  • Canada’s Lt. Gen. Maurice Baril arrives in Africa to lead a multinational force policing Zaire.

  • A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 collides with a Kazakh Illyushin II-76 cargo plane near New Delhi, killing 349. It is the deadliest mid-air collision to date (2013) and third-deadliest aircraft accident.

  • Fox News Channel begins broadcasting.

  • Afghanistan’s former president (1986-92) Mohammad Najibullah tortured and murdered by the Taliban.

  • The Taliban capture Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul.

  • Ireland’s last Magdalene laundry closes; begun as asylums to rehabilitate “fallen women,” they increasingly took on prison-like qualities.

  • Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty signed by representatives of 71 nations at the UN; at present, five key nations have signed but not ratified it and three others have not signed.

  • Hurricane Fran comes ashore near Cape Fear, No. Car. It will kill 27 people and cause more than $3 billion in damage.

  • The Philippine government and Muslim rebels sign a pact, formally ending a 26-year long insurgency.

  • Osama bin Laden issues message entitled “A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.”

  • The new Globe theater opens in England.

  • A US federal court strikes down the child protection portion of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, calling it too broad.

  • Discovery of remains of a prehistoric man near Kennewick, Washington, casts doubts on accepted beliefs of when, how and where the Americas were populated.

  • Forty-three African nations sign the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty.

  • A raid by Chechen separatists in the city of Kizlyar turns into a hostage crisis involving thousands of civilians.

  • The first mobile flip phone, the Motorola StarTAC, goes on sale.

  • 1995

    The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control.

  • NATO begins peacekeeping operation in Bosnia.

  • The Dayton Agreement signed in Paris; establishes a general framework for ending the Bosnian War between Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • Willie Brown beats incumbent mayor Frank Jordon to become the first African-American mayor of San Francisco.

  • Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter after a 6-year journey.

  • Operation Desert Storm officially comes to an end.

  • Ireland votes 50.28% to 49.72% to end its 70-year-old ban on divorce.

  • The first feature-length film created entirely with computer generated imagery – Toy Story – premiers.

  • The Dayton Peace Agreement is initialed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio; the agreement, formally ratified in Paris on Dec. 14, ends the three-and-a-half year war between Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • Budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress forces temporary closure of national parks and museums; federal agencies forced to operate with skeleton staff.

  • The Rova of Antananarivo, home of Madagascar’s sovereigns from the 16th to the 19th centuries, is destroyed by fire.

  • Andre Dallaire’s attempt to assassinate Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is foiled when the minister’s wife locks the door.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv.

  • Skye Bridge opens over Loch Alsh, Scotland

  • The Million Man March for ‘A Day of Atonement’ takes place in Washington, D.C.

  • Astronomers discover 51 Pegasi is the second star known to have a planet orbiting it.

  • Former pro football star and actor O.J. Simpson is acquitted of the murders of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, ending what many called “the Trial of the Century.”.

  • Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat sign an interim agreement concerning settlement on the Gaza Strip.

  • Baltimore Orioles’ Cal Ripken Jr. plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a 56-year MLB record held by Lou Gehrig; in 2007 fans voted this achievement the most memorable moment in MLB history.

  • NATO launches Operation Deliberate Force against Bosnian Serb forces.

  • During 11-day siege at at Ruby Ridge, Id., FBI HRT sniper Lon Horiuchi kills Vicki Weaver while shooting at another target.

  • Shannon Faulker becomes the first female cadet in the long history of South Carolina’s state military college, The Citadel. Her presence is met with intense resistance, reportedly including death threats, and she will leave the school a week later.

  • Croatian forces capture the city of Knin, a Serb stronghold, during Operation Storm.

  • Two astronomers, Alan Hale in New Mexico and Thomas Bopp in Arizona, almost simultaneously discover a comet.

  • Full diplomatic relations are established between the United States and Vietnam.

  • Nigeria’s former military ruler Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and his chief deputy are charged with conspiracy to overthrow Gen. Sani Abacha’s military government.

  • The U.S. Senate votes against the nomination of Dr. Henry W. Foster for Surgeon General.

  • The Richmond Virginia Planning Commission approves plans to place a memorial statue of tennis professional Arthur Ashe.

  • Chechen rebels take 2,000 people hostage in a hospital in Russia.

  • U.S. Air Force pilot Captain Scott O’Grady is rescued by U.S. Marines in Bosnia.

  • Jacques Chirac is elected president of France.

  • In Africa, Rwandan troops kill thousands of Hutu refugees in Kibeho.

  • Federal authorities arrest Timothy McVeigh in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing.

  • A truck bomb explodes in front of the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.

  • 1994

    Popocatepetl, a volcano in Mexico spews forth gases and ash after nearly a half-century of dormancy.

  • Construction begins on China’s Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River.

  • MS Achille Lauro, a ship with long history of problems including a 1985 terrorist hijacking, catches fire off the coast of Somalia.

  • The chemical element Darmstadtium, a radioactive synthetic element, discovered by scientists in Darmstadt, Germany.

  • The world’s first internet radio broadcast originates from WXYC, the student radio station of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Israel and Jordan sign a peace treaty.

  • North Korea and the US sign an agreement requiring North Korea to halts its nuclear weapons program and agree to international inspections.

  • Dmitry Kholodov, a Russian journalist, assassinated while investigating corruption in the armed forces; his murkier began a series of killings of journalists in Russia.

  • Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres for establishing the Oslo Accords and preparing for Palestinian Self Government.

  • NASA loses contact with the Magellan probe spacecraft in the thick atmosphere of Venus.

  • Aldwych tube station (originally Strand Station) of the London Underground transit system closes after 88 years.

  • Britain’s government lifts the 1988 broadcasting ban against member of Ireland’s Sinn Fein and Irish paramilitary groups.

  • Major League Baseball players strike over a salary cap and other proposed changes, forcing the cancellation of the entire postseason and the World Series.

  • USAir Flight 427 crashes on approach to Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 people aboard; subsequent investigation leads to changes in manufacturing practices and pilot training.

  • Russia and China sign a demarcation agreement to end dispute over a stretch of their border and agree they will no longer target each other with nuclear weapons.

  • The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announces a “complete cessation of military operations,” opening the way to a political settlement in Ireland for the first time in a quarter of a century.

  • Last Russian troops leave Estonia and Latvia.

  • Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) create initial accord regarding partial self-rule for Palestinians living on the West Bank, the Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities.

  • Ernesto Zedillo wins Mexico’s presidential election.

  • Miracle, the Sacred White Buffalo, born on Heider Farm near Janesville, Wisc. The first white (not albino) buffalo born since 1933, she was a important religious symbol for many US and Canadian Indian tribes.

  • Infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal captured in Khartoum, Sudan.

  • US Social Security Administration, previously part of the Department of Health and Human Services, becomes an independent government agency.

  • In Buenos Aires, a massive car bomb kills 96 people.

  • Millions of Americans watch former football player O.J. Simpson–facing murder charges–drive his Ford Bronco through Los Angeles, followed by police.

  • Millions of Americans watch former football player O.J. Simpson–facing murder charges–drive his Ford Bronco through Los Angeles, followed by police.

  • The Organization of African Unity formally admits South Africa as its fifty-third member.

  • Nelson Mandela is sworn in as South Africa’s first black president.

  • The Channel Tunnel linking England to France is officially opened.

  • Nelson Mandela wins the presidency in South Africa’s first multiracial elections.

  • The Church of England ordains women priests.

  • U.S. warplanes shoot down four Serb aircraft over Bosnia in the first NATO use of force in the troubled area.

  • Nelson Mandela becomes the first black president of South Africa.

  • The Irish Government announces an end to a 15-year ban on broadcasting by the IRA and its political branch, Sinn Fein.

  • Valeri Polyakov, a Russian cosmonaut leaves earth, bound for the Mir space station; he will spend a record 437 days in space.

  • More than 7 million people receive South African citizenship that had previously been denied under Apartheid policies.

  • 1993

    The Downing Street Declaration, issued jointly by UK and the Republic of Ireland, affirms the UK would transfer Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland only if a majority of Northern Ireland’s people approved.

  • NASA launches Space Shuttle Endeavor on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

  • US President Bill Clinton signs the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (better known as the Brady Bill) into law.

  • Twenty-one political parties approve a new constitution for South Africa that expands voter rights and ends the rule of the country’s white minority.

  • Gen. Sani Abacha leads a military coup in Nigeria that overthrows the government of Ernest Shonekan.

  • US House of Representatives passes resolution to establish the North American Free Trade Agreement.

  • Sculpture honoring women who served in the Vietnam War dedicated at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.

  • Stari Most, a 427-year-old bridge in the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is destroyed, believed to be caused by artillery fire from Bosnian Croat forces.

  • The Great Flood of 1993 on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers ends, the worst US flood since 1927.

  • Russia’s constitutional crisis over President Boris Yeltsin’s attempts to dissolve the legislature: the army violently arrests civilian protesters occupying government buildings.

  • Battle of Mogadishu, in which 18 US soldiers and some 1,000 Somalis are killed during an attempt to capture officials of the warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s organization.

  • Sihanouk is reinstalled as king of Cambodia.

  • The Russian constitutional crisis of 1993 begins when Russian President Boris Yeltsin suspends parliament and invalidates the existing constitution.

  • The Oslo Accords, granting limited Palestinian autonomy, are signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House.

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) officially recognizes Israel as a legitimate state.

  • Two hundred twenty-three die when a dam breaks at Qinghai (Kokonor), in northwest China.

  • The Rainbow Bridge, a 1,870-foot suspension bridge over Tokyo Bay, completed.