Hillary Rodham Clinton wins a seat for the United States Senate from New York. It is the first time a former First Lady wins public office.
George W. Bush, son of the former President, and Vice President Al Gore hold a virtual dead-heat for the presidency, with a disputed vote in Florida holding off the naming of the winner of the Presidential Election until the Supreme Court of the United States voted in favor of Bush on December 12.
An American spy plane collides with a fighter plane of China and makes an emergency landing in Hainan, China. The U.S. crew is detained for ten days.
Islamic fundamentalist terrorists hijack four U.S. airliners and crash them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York City. The attack of two planes levels the World Trade Center and the crash of one plane inflicts serious damage to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, causing nearly 3,000 deaths. The fourth plane is heroically crashed by passengers.
In response to the tragedy of September 11, the United States military, with participation from its ally the United Kingdom, commence the first attack in the War on Terrorism on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Amid tight security due to terrorism concerns, the Winter Olympic Games are opened by President George W. Bush in Salt Lake City, Utah. They would continue without major incident until the closing ceremony on February 24.
Iraq refuses new proposals from the United Nations concerning weapons inspections. The inspections were part of the cease-fire agreement and terms of surrender in the 1991 Gulf War.
The United States Congress passes a resolution giving the President of the U.S. the authority to use the military forces of the country as he thinks necessary.
The United Nations passes Resolution 1441 in a unanimous Security Council vote. It forces Saddam Hussein and Iraq to disarm or face serious consequences.
A tragedy at NASA occurs when the Space Shuttle Columbia explodes upon reentry over Texas. All seven astronauts inside are killed.
The War in Iraq begins with the bombing of Baghdad after additional measures and mandates from the United Nations and the United States coalition fail to gain concessions or the removal of Saddam Hussein from power.
Saddam Hussein, former leader of Iraq, is captured in a small bunker in Tikrit by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.
The Central Intelligence Agency admits that the imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction was not present before the 2003 Iraq war began.
President George W. Bush wins reelection over Democratic Senator John Kerry from Massachusetts. He wins 50.7% of the popular vote and 286 votes in the Electoral College.
After more than thirty years in suspense, the identity of Deep Throat, the contact for reporters Woodward and Bernstein in the Watergate scandal, is revealed when W. Mark Felt, the second in command at the CIA at the time, confirms that he was their contact.
Hurricane Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast, inundating the city of New Orleans with water from Lake Pontchartrain when the levees that maintain the below sea level city break.
The population of the United States reaches the milestone of three hundred million, taking only forty-two years to gain one hundred million people since the two hundredth million person was added in 1964.
In the mid-term elections, both houses of Congress change back to Democratic hands for the first time since 1994. This is seen as a referendum by many on the Iraq policy of the Bush administration.
The first female speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Representative Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, California, is sworn into office.
A terror plot to blow up JFK International Airport in New York City is thwarted when four terrorists are arrested and charged with its plan.
Barack Obama, Democratic Senator from Illinois, the land of Abraham Lincoln, wins a landslide margin in the Electoral College making him the first African-American president in the history of the United States of America.
The city of Washington, D.C. hosts more than one million visitors to the inauguration, covering the National Mall in a way reminiscent of the Civil Rights March of Martin Luther King forty-six years earlier.
The H1N1 virus, named the Swine Flu, is deemed a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. This is the first such designation since the Hong Kong flu in 1967-1968.
President Obama announces a surge of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to stem increased efforts by the Taliban in the country. The surge, which was suggested by military officers, was not popular with the liberal base of the Democratic Party which had put the President in power on a pledge to end both Middle Eastern wars.