- 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
- Mar 2 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: US conventional forces first deployed as part of Operation Anaconda
- 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.
- Jul 9 The African Union is established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first chairman is Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa.
- Nov 8 Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council under Resolution 1441 unanimously approves a resolution on Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face "serious consequences"
- Dec 13 Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004.
- Jan 9 Michael Jackson receives the Artist of the Century award at the American music awards
- Mar 5 American reality TV program The Osbournes" featuring family of Ozzy Osbourne premieres on MTV
- Nov 13 Eminem releases single 'Lose Yourself' from soundtrack of 8 Mile, 1st rap song to win Academy Award Best Original Song
The first public version of the web browser Mozilla Firefox ("Phoenix 0.1") is released
On September 23, 2002
A MQ-1 Predator is shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history that an aircraft and an unmanned drone had engaged in combat.
On December 23, 2002