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Events

January 2009

* January 1 – The Czech Republic takes over the presidency of the Council of the European Union from France.
* January 1 – Slovakia adopts the Euro as its national currency, replacing the Slovak koruna.
* January 20 – Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th, and first African American, President of the United States.
* January 21 – Israel completes its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
* January 26 – The first trial at the International Criminal Court is held. Former Union of Congolese Patriots leader Thomas
Lubanga is accused of training child soldiers to kill, pillage, and rape.
* January 26 – The Icelandic government and banking system collapse.

February 2009

* February 7 – The deadliest bushfires in Australian history begin; they kill 173, injure 500 more, and leave 7,500 homeless. The
fires come after Melbourne records the highest-ever temperature (46.4°C, 115°F) of any capital city in Australia.
* February 10 – A Russian and an American satellite collide over Siberia, creating a large amount of space debris.
* February 11 – Morgan Tsvangirai is sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe following the power-sharing deal with
President Robert Mugabe signed in September, 2008.

March 2009

* March 4 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for
war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its
establishment in 2002.
* March 7 – NASA's Kepler Mission, a space photometer which will search for extrasolar planets in the Milky Way galaxy, is
launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA.

April 2009

* April 1 – Albania and Croatia join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
* April 2 – The second G-20 summit, involving state leaders rather than the usual finance ministers, meets in London. Its main
focus is an ongoing global financial crisis.
* April 3–4 – The 21st NATO Summit is held, 60 years after the founding of the organization. Former Danish Prime Minister
Anders Fogh Rasmussen is appointed as the new Secretary General of NATO.
* April 21 – UNESCO launches The World Digital Library.
* April 24 – The World Health Organization expresses concern at the spread of influenza from Mexico and the United States to
other countries.

May 2009

* May 18 – Following more than a quarter-century of fighting, the Sri Lankan Civil War ends with the total military defeat of the
LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam).

June 2009

* June 1 – Air France Flight 447, en route from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 on
board.
* June 11 – The outbreak of the H1N1 influenza strain, commonly referred to as "swine flu", is deemed a global pandemic,
becoming the first condition since the Hong Kong flu of 1967–1968 to receive this designation.
* June 12 – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reelected as the president of Iran. During the following weeks, supporters of defeated
candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi protest the results. The resultant violence is said to be the worst seen in Iran since the Iranian
revolution of 1979.
* June 18 – NASA launches the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS probes to the Moon, the first American lunar mission
since Lunar Prospector in 1998.
* June 25 – The death of American entertainer Michael Jackson triggers an outpouring of worldwide grief. Online, reactions to
the event cripple several major websites and services, as the abundance of people accessing the web addresses pushes internet
traffic to potentially unprecedented and historic levels.

July 2009

* July 1 – Sweden assumes the presidency of the European Union.


* July 7 – A public memorial service is held for musician Michael Jackson. It is regarded as one of the most prominent funerals
of all time.
* July 22 – The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting up to 6 minutes and 38.8 seconds, occurs over parts of Asia
and the Pacific Ocean.
August 2009

* August 3 – Bolivia becomes the first South American country to declare the right of indigenous people to govern themselves.
* August 20 – Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, imprisoned for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, is released by the
Scottish government on compassionate grounds as he has terminal prostate cancer. He returns to his native Libya.

September 2009

* September 25 – At the G-20 Pittsburgh summit, world leaders announce that the G-20 will assume greater leverage over the
world economy, replacing the role of the G-8, in an effort to prevent another financial crisis like that in 2008.

October 2009

* October 2 – The International Olympic Committee awards the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.
* October 2 – Ireland holds a second referendum on the EU's Lisbon Treaty. The amendment is approved by the Irish electorate,
having been rejected in the Lisbon I referendum held in June 2008.
* October 20 – European astronomers discover 32 exoplanets.

November 2009

* November 3 – The Czech Republic becomes the final member-state of the European Union to sign the Treaty of Lisbon,
thereby permitting that document's initiation into European law.
* November 3 – The Prime Minister of Belgium, Herman Van Rompuy, is designated the first permanent President of the
European Council, a position he takes up on 1 December 2009.
* November 20 – CERN restarts the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland; they had shut it down on
September 19, 2008.

December 2009

* December 1 – The Treaty of Lisbon comes into force.


* December 7 – December 18 – The UNFCCC's (United Nations Climate Change Conference) 2009 conference is held in
Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Deaths in 2009

* January 13 – Patrick McGoohan, American-born British actor (born 1928)


* January 27 – John Updike, American writer (born 1932)
* April 19 – J. G. Ballard, English novelist (born 1930)
* June 3 – David Carradine, American actor (born 1936)
* June 8 – Omar Bongo, President of Gabon (born 1935)
* June 25 – Michael Jackson, American performer and recording artist (born 1958)
* June 30 – Pina Bausch, German choreographer (born 1940)
* July 6 – Robert McNamara, 8th United States Secretary of Defense (born 1916)
* July 17 – Walter Cronkite, American newscaster (born 1916)
* July 26 – Merce Cunningham, American choreographer (born 1919)
* July 31 – Bobby Robson, English footballer and manager (born 1933)
* August 13 – Les Paul, American musician and inventor (born 1915)
* August 25 – Ted Kennedy, American politician (born 1932)
* September 25 – Alicia de Larrocha, Spanish pianist (born 1923)
* October 7 – Irving Penn, American photographer (born 1917)
* October 30 – Claude Lévi-Strauss, French anthropologist (born 1908)
* December 13 – Paul Samuelson, American economist and Nobel Prize laureate (born 1915)

Nobel Prizes

* Chemistry – Ada Yonath, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, and Thomas A. Steitz


* Economics – Elinor Ostrom and Oliver E. Williamson
* Literature – Herta Müller
* Peace – Barack Obama
* Physics – Charles K. Kao, Willard Boyle, and George E. Smith
* Physiology or Medicine – Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol W. Greider, and Jack W. Szostak