Events in History in 2002

  • 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 UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and freezes assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the members of the Taliban

Islamic Militant and Terrorist Osama bin Laden
Islamic Militant and 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 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 kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan, and 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
  • Jan 29 "Foolish" single released by Ashanti (Billboard Song of the Year 2002)
  • 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 crematorium's property. 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 as US special operations forces infiltrate the Shahi-Kot Valley 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: US conventional forces first delpoyed as part of Operation Anaconda
  • 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, 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 1 "Stop to Love" compilation album by Luther Vandross is released
  • 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.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 6 Entrepreneur Elon Musk founds SpaceX

Entrepreneur Elon Musk
Entrepreneur
Elon Musk
  • 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 A near-Earth asteroid estimated at 10 metres diameter explodes over the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Libya. Resulting explosion estimated to have a force of 26 kilotons, 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 Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney
46th Vice President of the United States
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 Bartenders doing tricks with fire start a major fire in a night club in Lima, Peru that kills 25 and injures 100
  • Jul 21 Telecom giant WorldCom files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the then largest such filing in United States history
  • Jul 22 Israel assassinates Salah Shahade, the Commander-in-Chief of Hamas's military arm, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, along with 14 civilians.
  • Jul 24 James Traficant is expelled from the United States House of Representatives on a vote of 420 to 1.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 24 On 200th anniversary of his birth French author Alexandre Dumas' ('The Three Musketeers') ashes are interred in the Panthéon in Paris in a televised ceremony.

  • Jul 25 17th Commonwealth Games open in Manchester, England
  • Jul 27 Ukraine airshow disaster: A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes during an air show at Lviv, Ukraine killing 85 and injuring more than 100 others, the largest air show disaster in history.
  • Jul 28 Nine coal miners trapped in the flooded Quecreek Mine in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, are rescued after 77 hours underground.
  • Jul 30 The accounting law referred to as "The Sarbanes Oxley Act" is signed into law by President George W. Bush.
  • Jul 31 Polaroid Corporation is purchased by One Equity Partners, continuing to operate under the Polaroid Corporation name
  • Aug 4 Soham murders: 10 year old school girls Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells go missing from the town of Soham, Cambridgeshire.
  • Aug 4 17th Commonwealth Games close in Manchester, England
  • Aug 16 Africa Women's Peace Train leaves Kampala for Johannesburg
  • Aug 19 A Russian Mi-26 helicopter carrying troops is hit by a Chechen missile outside of Grozny, killing 118 soldiers.
  • Aug 20 A group of Iraqis opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein take over the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin for five hours before releasing their hostages and surrendering.
  • Aug 26 Earth Summit 2002 begins in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Sep 10 Switzerland, traditionally a neutral country, joins the United Nations
  • Sep 11 Through extreme and coordinated effort, The Pentagon is rededicated after repairs are completed, exactly one year after the attack on the building.
  • Sep 17 27th Toronto International Film Festival: "Whale Rider" directed by Niki Caro wins the People's Choice Award
  • Sep 20 The Kolka-Karmadon rock and ice slide starts
  • Sep 23 The first public version of the web browser Mozilla Firefox ("Phoenix 0.1") is released
  • Sep 25 The Vitim event, a possible bolide impact in Siberia, Russia.
  • Sep 26 The overcrowded Senegalese ferry MV Joola capsizes off the coast of Gambia killing more than 1,000.
  • Sep 27 Timor-Leste (East Timor) joins the United Nations.
  • Oct 2 The Beltway sniper attacks begin, extending over three weeks
  • Oct 6 The French oil tanker Limburg is bombed off Yemen.
  • Oct 6 Opus Dei founder Josemaría Escrivá is canonized.
  • Oct 11 A bomb attack in a shopping mall in Vantaa, Finland kills seven.
  • Oct 12 Terrorists explode two bombs in Bali's nightclub district killing 202 and injuring 209 mostly foreign tourists
  • Oct 16 Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, is officially inaugurated.
  • Oct 23 Moscow Theatre Siege begins: Chechen rebels seize the House of Culture theater in Moscow and take approximately 700 theater-goers hostage
  • Oct 24 Police arrest spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks in the area around Washington, D.C.
  • Oct 29 Ho Chi Minh City ITC Inferno, a fire destroys a luxurious department store with 1,500 people shopping. Over 60 people died and over 100 are missing. It is the deadliest disaster in Vietnam during peacetime.
  • Oct 31 A federal grand jury in Houston, Texas formally indicted former Enron Corp. chief financial officer Andrew Fastow on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to the collapse of his ex-employer.
  • Nov 4 Chinese authorities arrest cyber-dissident He Depu for signing pro-democracy letter to the 16th Communist Party Congress
  • Nov 6 12 people are killed in a fire on board a train headed for Vienna from Paris.
  • Nov 7 Iran bans advertising of United States products.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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"

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein
  • Nov 13 The oil tanker Prestige sinks off the Galician coast and causes a huge oil spill.
  • Nov 13 Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq agrees to the terms of the UN Security Council Resolution 1441.
  • Nov 14 Argentina defaults on an $805 million World Bank payment.

Battle9/11 Attack on New York's World Trade Towers

Nov 14 The United States House of Representatives votes not to create an independent commission to investigate the September 11 attacks.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 15 Hu Jintao becomes the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China

Paramount Leader of China Hu Jintao
Paramount Leader of China
Hu Jintao
  • Nov 16 Iraqi President Saddam Hussein says that he had to accept UN Resolution 1441 because the United States and Israel had shown their "claws and teeth" and declared unitlateral war on the Iraqi people
  • Nov 18 Iraq disarmament crisis: United Nations weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix arrive in Iraq.
  • Nov 21 NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members.
  • Dec 8 The Caribbean Community Heads of Government meet with the Government of Cuba and declare the date to be "CARICOM-Cuba Day" - To celebrate diplomatic ties between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Cuba.
  • 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.
  • Dec 17 Second Congo War: The Congolese parties of the Inter Congolese Dialogue sign a peace accord which makes provision for transitional governance and legislative and presidential elections within two years.
  • Dec 18 Governor of California Gray Davis announces the state faces a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 18 Fashion designer Calvin Klein announces he is selling his company to shirt-maker Phillips-Van Heusen for $430 million

Fashion Designer Calvin Klein
Fashion Designer
Calvin Klein
  • Dec 20 US Senator Trent Lott resigns as majority leader.
  • Dec 23 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.
  • Dec 27 Two truck bombs kill 72 and wound 200 at the pro-Moscow headquarters of the Chechen government in Grozny, Chechnya.