2002 in History

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 151

  • Jan 1 The Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially comes into force.
  • Jan 1 Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union's member states.
  • Jan 1 Taiwan officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Chinese Taipei.
  • Jan 2 Eduardo Duhalde is appointed interim President of Argentina by the Legislative Assembly.
  • Jan 3 The Palestinian freighter Karine A is seized by Israeli forces in the Red Sea
  • Jan 6 Daniel Bedingfield returns to No.1 on the UK singles chart for the second time with Gotta Get Thru This

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 8 President George W. Bush signs into law the No Child Left Behind Act.

43rd US President George W. Bush
43rd US President
George W. Bush
  • Jan 14 UK declared free of foot-and-mouth cattle disease

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16 The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the remaining members of the Taliban.

Islamic Militant & Terrorist Osama bin Laden
Islamic Militant & Terrorist
Osama bin Laden
  • Jan 17 Mount Nyiragongo erupts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people.
  • Jan 18 Sierra Leone Civil War was finally declared over.
  • Jan 20 Photographs showing al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects shackled and masked are published by the United States military
  • Jan 21 The Canadian Dollar sets all-time low against the US Dollar (US$0.6179).
  • Jan 22 Kmart Corp becomes the largest retailer in United States history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • Jan 23 Reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan. He was subsequently murdered .
  • Jan 23 "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh returns to the United States in Federal Bureau of Investigation custody.
  • Jan 25 Wikipedia switches to the new version of its software ("Phase II") aka Magnus Manske Day.
  • Jan 28 TAME Flight 120, a Boeing 727-100 crashes in the Andes mountains in southern Colombia killing 92.
  • Jan 29 US President George W. Bush in his State of the Union address describes "regimes that sponsor terror" an "Axis of Evil", which includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea
  • Feb 6 52nd Berlin International Film Festival: "Spirited Away" and "Bloody Sunday" win the Golden Bear (tie)
  • Feb 12 US Secretary of Energy makes the decision that Yucca Mountain is suitable to be the United States' nuclear waste repository.
  • Feb 12 An Iran Air Tupolev Tu-154 crashes prior to landing in Khorramabad, Iran, killing 119.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 12 The trial of former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević begins at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague. He eventually dies four years later before its conclusion.

President of Serbia and Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic
President of Serbia and Yugoslavia
Slobodan Milosevic
  • Feb 14 Fishing vessel Tullaghmurray Lass sinks off the coast of Kilkeel, County Down, Northern Ireland killing three members of the same family on board
  • Feb 15 At the Tri-State Crematory in La Fayette, Georgia, investigators find uncremated bodies disposed of in the woods and buildings on the crematorium's property. The discovery reveals one of the worst incidents of abuse in the funeral service industry.
  • Feb 17 Westlife go to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'World Of Our Own.' The Irish boy band's 10th UK No.1 single.
  • Feb 17 44th Daytona 500: Ward Burton wins (130.81 MPH)
  • Feb 19 NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.
  • Feb 20 In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire on a train injures over 65 and kills at least 370.
  • Feb 22 Angolan political and rebel leader Jonas Savimbi is killed in a military ambush.
  • Feb 27 Godhra train burning, a Muslim mob kills 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya
  • Feb 27 Ryanair Flight 296 catches fire in London Stansted Airport. Subsequent investigations criticize Ryanair's handling of the evacuation.
  • Mar 1 The peseta is discontinued as official currency of Spain and is replaced with the euro (€).
  • Mar 1 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda begins in eastern Afghanistan.
  • Mar 1 The Envisat environmental satellite successfully reaches an orbit 800 kilometers (500 miles) above the Earth on its 11th launch, carrying the heaviest payload to date at 8500 kilograms (9.5 tons).
  • Mar 2 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda begins, (ends March 19 after killing 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, with 11 Western troop fatalities).
  • Mar 3 Citizens of Switzerland narrowly vote in favor of their country becoming a member of the United Nations.
  • Mar 4 Canada bans human embryo cloning but permits government-funded scientists to use embryos left over from fertility treatment or abortions.
  • Mar 4 Multinational Force in Afghanistan: Seven American Special Operations Forces soldiers are killed as they attempt to infiltrate the Shahi Kot Valley on a low-flying helicopter reconnaissance mission.
  • Mar 19 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda ends (started on March 2) after killing 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters with 11 allied troop fatalities.
  • Mar 21 In Pakistan, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh along with three other suspects are charged with murder for their part in the kidnapping and killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
  • Mar 21 Schoolgirl Amanda Dowler is abducted in broad daylight on her way home from Heathside School in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England
  • Mar 27 Passover Massacre: A suicide bomber kills 29 people in Netanya, Israel.
  • Apr 1 The Netherlands legalizes euthanasia, becoming the first nation in the world to do so.
  • Apr 2 Israeli forces surround the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem into which armed Palestinians had retreated. A siege ensues.
  • Apr 4 The Angolan government and UNITA rebels sign a peace treaty ending the Angolan Civil War.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 9 Funeral of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother at Westminster Abbey UK. More than a million people line the streets

Consort of George VI Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
Consort of George VI
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
  • Apr 11 The Ghriba synagogue bombing by Al Qaeda kills 21 in Tunisia.

BattleCoup d'état

Apr 11 An attempted coup d'état takes place in Venezuela against President Hugo Chávez .

President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez
President of Venezuela
Hugo Chávez
  • Apr 12 Pedro Carmona becomes interim President of Venezuela during the military coup against Hugo Chávez.
  • Apr 12 Palestinian suicide bomber (female) kills 7 and injures 104 (among them 9 Arabs) at the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem.
  • Apr 13 Pedro Carmona, interim president of Venezuela, resigns one day after taking office.
  • Apr 14 Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez returns to office two days after being ousted and arrested by the country's military.
  • Apr 15 An Air China Boeing 767-200, flight CA129 crashes into a hillside during heavy rain and fog near Busan, South Korea, killing 128.
  • Apr 17 Four Canadian Forces soldiers are killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire from two United States Air Force F-16s, the first deaths in a combat zone for Canada since the Korean War.

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

Apr 23 Pope John Paul II meets with U.S. Catholic Church leaders at Vatican regarding sexual abuse of minors

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • Apr 26 Robert Steinhäuser infiltrates and kills 17 at Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot.
  • Apr 27 The last successful telemetry from the NASA space probe Pioneer 10.
  • Apr 29 The United States is re-elected to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, one year after losing the seat it had held for 50 years.
  • Apr 30 A referendum in Pakistan overwhelmingly approves the Presidency of Pervez Musharraf for another five years.
  • May 2 Marad massacre of eight Hindus near Palakkad in Kerala.
  • May 3 A military MiG-21 aircraft crashes into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight.
  • May 6 Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn is shot and killed by an animal rights activist.
  • May 7 A China Northern Airlines MD-82 plunges into the Yellow Sea, killing 112 people.
  • May 9 The 38-day stand-off in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem comes to an end when the Palestinians inside agree to have 13 suspected militants among them deported to several different countries.
  • May 9 In Kaspiysk, Russia, a remote-controlled bomb explodes during a holiday parade killing 43 and injuring at least 130.
  • May 11 Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands unveils the Man With Two Hats monument in Ottawa and Apeldoorn (May 2), 2000, symbolically linking both the Netherlands and Canada for their assistance throughout the Second World War.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 12 Former US President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959 revolution.

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
39th US President Jimmy Carter
39th US President
Jimmy Carter
  • May 14 Ten members of the Darwin-based Network Against Prohibition invade the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory of Australia.
  • May 20 The independence of East Timor is recognized by Portugal, formally ending 23 years of Indonesian rule and 3 years of provisional UN administration (Portugal itself was the former colonizer of East Timor until 1976).
  • May 22 American civil rights movement: a jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
  • May 23 The "55 parties" clause of the Kyoto protocol is reached after its ratification by Iceland.
  • May 24 Russia and the United States sign the Moscow Treaty.
  • May 25 A train crash in Tenga, Mozambique kills 197 people.
  • May 25 China Airlines Flight 611: A Boeing 747-200 breaks apart in mid-air and plunges into the Taiwan Strait killing 225 people.
  • May 26 The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars.
  • May 26 Álvaro Uribe becomes President of Colombia.
  • May 28 NATO declares Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance.
  • Jun 2 56th Tony Awards: Thoroughly Modern Millie & The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? win
  • Jun 6 Eastern Mediterranean Event. A near-Earth asteroid estimated at 10 metres diameter explodes over the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Libya. The resulting explosion is estimated to have a force of 26 kilotons, slightly more powerful than the Nagasaki atomic bomb.
  • Jun 10 The first direct electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans is carried out by Kevin Warwick in the United Kingdom.
  • Jun 11 Antonio Meucci is acknowledged as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States Congress.
  • Jun 13 The United States of America withdraws from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
  • Jun 15 Near earth asteroid 2002 MN missed the Earth by 75,000 miles (120,000 km), about one-third of the distance between the Earth and the Moon
  • Jun 22 An earthquake in western Iran measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale kills more than 261 people.
  • Jun 24 The Igandu train disaster in Tanzania kills 281, the worst train accident in African history.
  • Jun 28 In South Africa, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the Treatment Action Campaign table a national HIV/AIDS treatment plan in the National Economic, Development and Labour Council

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 29 US Vice President Dick Cheney, serves as Acting President for two and a half hours, while President George W. Bush undergoes a colonoscopy procedure.

46th US Vice-President Dick Cheney
46th US Vice-President
Dick Cheney
43rd US President George W. Bush
43rd US President
George W. Bush
  • Jun 29 Naval clashes between South Korea and North Korea lead to the death of six South Korean sailors and sinking of a North Korean vessel.
  • Jul 1 The International Criminal Court is established to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.
  • Jul 1 A Bashkirian Airlines (flight 2937) Tupolev TU-154 and a DHL (German cargo) Boeing 757 collide in mid-air over Ueberlingen, southern Germany, killing 71.
  • Jul 2 Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.
  • Jul 7 A scandal breaks out in the United Kingdom when news reports accuse MI6 of sheltering Abu Qatada, the supposed European Al Qaeda leader.
  • Jul 9 The African Union is established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first chairman is Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa.
  • Jul 10 At a Sotheby's auction, Peter Paul Rubens' painting The Massacre of the Innocents is sold for £49.5million (US$76.2 million) to Kenneth, Lord Thomson.
  • Jul 14 French President Jacques Chirac escapes an assassination attempt unscathed during Bastille Day celebrations.
  • Jul 15 "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to supplying aid to the enemy and to possession of explosives during the commission of a felony.
  • Jul 15 Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan hands down the death sentence to British born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and life terms to three others suspected of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
  • Jul 20 South America: A fire in a discotheque in Lima, Peru kills over twenty-five.
  • Jul 21 Telecom giant WorldCom files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the largest such filing in United States history.

Birthdays in History

  • Jun 3 Prince Tirso of Bulgaria, titular Bulgarian royal family
  • Jul 22 Prince Felix of Denmark
  • Jul 30 Prince Hridayendra of Nepal, Nepalese royal

Weddings in History

  • Jan 5 Former Atomic Kitten member Kerry Katona (21) weds "Westlife" member Brian McFadden (21) at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Rathfeigh, County Meath, Republic of Ireland
  • Feb 2 Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (38) weds Argentinean born Maxima Zorreguieta (34) at the Beurs van Berlage
  • May 24 Princess Martha Louise of Norway (30) weds author Ari Behn (29) in Trondheim
  • Nov 9 Eighties pop princess Sheena Easton (43) weds Beverly Hills plastic surgeon John Minoli (44) at Las Vegas City Hall

Deaths in History

Deaths 1 - 100 of 186

  • Jan 3 Freddy Heineken, Dutch beer executive (b. 1923)
  • Jan 8 Alexander Prochorow, Nobel Prize in Physics laureate (b. 1916)
  • Jan 8 Dave Thomas, American fast food entrepreneur (b. 1932)
  • Jan 10 W.A. Criswell, American (Baptist) preacher (b. 1909)
  • Jan 11 Struan Sutherland, Australian medical researcher (b. 1936)
  • Jan 12 Cyrus Vance, 57th U.S. Secretary of State (1977-80), dies at 84
  • Jan 16 Robert Hanbury Brown, British-Australian astronomer and physicist (b. 1916)
  • Jan 16 Michael Bilandic, Mayor of Chicago (b. 1923)
  • Jan 17 Bishop Karas, Sudanese-born American religious leader (b. 1955)
  • Jan 17 Camilo Jose Cela, Spanish writer, (Nobel Prize laureate 1989), dies at 85
  • Jan 22 Stanley Marcus, American business executive (b. 1905)
  • Jan 23 Pierre Bourdieu, French sociologist (b. 1930)
  • Jan 23 Robert Nozick, American philosopher (b. 1938)
  • Jan 24 Elie Hobeika, Lebanese Forces militia commander (b. 1956)
  • Jan 28 Astrid Lindgren, Swedish author (b. 1907)
  • Jan 30 Ingeborg "Inge" Morath, Austrian born Magnum photographer and wife of Arthur Miller
  • Jan 31 Francis Gabreski, American fighter pilot (b. 1919)
  • Feb 2 Claude Brown, American writer (b. 1937)
  • Feb 6 Max Perutz, Austrian molecular biologist, Nobel laureate (b. 1914)
  • Feb 8 Joachim Hoffmann, German historian (b. 1930)
  • Feb 8 Ong Teng Cheong, President of Singapore (b. 1936)
  • Feb 9 Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom (b. 1930)
  • Feb 10 Traudl Junge, Adolf Hitler's secretary (b. 1920)
  • Feb 15 Howard K. Smith, American journalist (b. 1914)
  • Feb 21 Harold Furth, Austrian-born physicist (b. 1939)
  • Feb 21 A. L. [Audrey] Barker, English writer, dies at 83
  • Feb 22 Chuck Jones, American cartoonist (b. 1912)
  • Feb 22 Jonas Savimbi, Angolan rebel leader (b. 1934)
  • Feb 22 Roden Cutler, Australian diplomat and war hero (b. 1916)
  • Feb 22 Daniel Pearl, American journalist (b. 1963)
  • Mar 4 Elyne Mitchell, Australian author (b. 1913)
  • Mar 11 James Tobin, American economist, Nobel laureate (b. 1918)
  • Mar 12 Spyros Kyprianou, Cypriot politician (b. 1932)
  • Mar 12 Jean-Paul Riopelle, Quebec painter and sculptor (b. 1923)
  • Mar 13 Hans-Georg Gadamer, German philosopher (b. 1900)
  • Mar 14 Cherry Wilder, New Zealand-born author (b. 1930)
  • Mar 17 Pat Weaver, American broadcast executive (b. 1908)
  • Mar 17 Luise Rinser, German writer (Prison Journal), dies at 90
  • Mar 18 R.A. Lafferty, American science fiction writer (b. 1914)
  • Mar 21 Herman Talmadge, American politician (b. 1913)
  • Mar 24 César Milstein, Argentine scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1927)
  • Mar 25 Kenneth Wolstenholme, English football commentator (b. 1920)
  • Mar 29 Rachel Levy and Ayat al-Akhras, Israeli and Palestinian children

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Mar 30 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother of the United Kingdom, dies at 101

Consort of George VI Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
Consort of George VI
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
  • Apr 1 Simo Hayha, Finnish marksman (b. 1905)
  • Apr 9 Leopold Vietoris, Austrian mathematician (b. 1891)
  • Apr 15 Damon Knight, American author (b. 1922)
  • Apr 16 Ruth Fertel, American restaurateur (b. 1927)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 18 Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian explorer (Kon Tiki expedition) (b. 1914)

Ethnographer, Archaeologist and Explorer Thor Heyerdahl
Ethnographer, Archaeologist and Explorer
Thor Heyerdahl
  • Apr 25 Indra Devi, yoga teacher (b. 1899)
  • Apr 26 Robert Steinhäuser German spree killer (b.1983)
  • Apr 27 George Alec Effinger, American author (b. 1947)
  • Apr 27 Ruth Handler, American toy manufacturer (b. 1916)
  • Apr 27 Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, Swiss industrialist and art collector (b. 1921)
  • Apr 28 Alexander Lebed, Russian general (b. 1950)
  • Apr 30 Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, founder of the Gründerzeit Museum in Berlin-Mahlsdorf. (b. 1928)
  • May 2 W. T. Tutte, English-born codebreaker (b. 1917)
  • May 3 Barbara Castle, British politician (b. 1910)
  • May 5 Hugo Banzer, Bolivian dictator (b. 1926)
  • May 5 Paul Klipsch, American engineer, noted for his loudspeaker designs. (b. 1904)
  • May 6 Pim Fortuyn, Dutch politician (b. 1948)
  • May 7 Kevyn Aucoin, Makeup Artist and Photographer (b. 1962)
  • May 10 Lynda Lyon Block, convicted murderer (b. 1948)
  • May 11 Joseph Bonanno, Italian-born gangster (b. 1905)
  • May 11 Renaude Lapointe, French Canadian journalist and senator (b. 1912)
  • May 16 Alec Campbell, the last surviving ANZAC (b. 1899)
  • May 17 Dave Berg, American cartoonist (b. 1920)
  • May 17 James Chichester-Clark, Irish politician, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (1969-71), dies at 79
  • May 19 John Gorton, nineteenth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1911)
  • May 19 Walter Lord, American writer (b. 1917)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 20 Stephen Jay Gould, American paleontologist and popular science writer, dies of cancer at 60

Paleontologist and Evolutionary Biologist Stephen Jay Gould
Paleontologist and Evolutionary Biologist
Stephen Jay Gould
  • May 21 Niki de Saint Phalle, French artist (b. 1930)
  • May 24 Wallace Markfield, American writer (b. 1926)
  • May 29 Mildred Benson, American writer (b. 1905)
  • May 31 Eric Boyland, English biochemist (cancer research), dies at 97
  • Jun 4 Fernando Belaúnde Terry, Peruvian politician (b. 1912)
  • Jun 7 Mary Lilian Baels, Belgian princess (b. 1916)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jun 10 John Gotti, American gangster (b. 1940)

Gangster John Gotti
John Gotti
  • Jun 10 Benjamin Ward, 1st African American NYC Police Commissioner, dies at 75
  • Jun 12 Bill Blass, American fashion designer (b. 1922)
  • Jun 13 John Hope, American meteorologist (b. 1919)
  • Jun 14 June Jordan, American writer and teacher (b. 1936)
  • Jun 15 Choi Hong Hi, founder of Taekwon-Do (b. 1918)
  • Jun 20 Erwin Chargaff, Austrian biochemist (b. 1905)
  • Jun 22 Ann Landers, American columnist (b. 1918)
  • Jun 24 Pierre Werner, Prime Minister of Luxembourg (b. 1913)
  • Jun 24 Miles Fitzalan-Howard, British army general and peer (Duke of Norfolk), dies at 86
  • Jun 25 Jean Corbeil, Canadian politician (b. 1934)
  • Jun 26 Arnold Brown, the 11th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1913)
  • Jun 29 Ole-Johan Dahl, Norwegian computer scientist (b. 1931)
  • Jun 30 Chico Xavier, popular medium in Brazil´s spiritism movement (b. 1910)
  • Jul 4 Benjamin O. Davis Jr., American general (b. 1912)
  • Jul 4 Mansoor Hekmat, Iranian politician (b. 1951)
  • Jul 4 Winnifred Quick, American Titanic survivor (b. 1904)
  • Jul 6 Dhirubhai Ambani, Indian businessman (b. 1932)
  • Jul 7 Dhirubhai Ambani, Indian business tycoon (b. 1933)
  • Jul 8 Ward Kimball, American animator (b. 1914)
  • Jul 9 Laurence Janifer, American writer (b. 1933)
  • Jul 10 Jean-Pierre Côté, French Canadian politician and Lieutenant Governor of Quebec (b. 1926)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jul 12 Edward Lee Howard, CIA Case Officer and alleged Soviet spy, dies at 50 after breaking his neck during a fall

Alleged Soviet Spy Edward Lee Howard
Alleged Soviet Spy
Edward Lee Howard