2008

The events of 2008 were dominated largely by the global financial crisis of the day, sometimes referred to as the Great Recession.

2008

Even so, there were certainly some other developments that are worth mentioning. This was the year, for instance, that an exploding star halfway across the visible universe became visible to the naked eye. It was the farthest known object that was visible to the unaided human eye at the time.

Also in the field of space, this was the year that the Falcon 1 spacecraft of SpaceX was successfully launched into Earth’s orbit. It was the first privately developed spacecraft to do so. As space exploration through government agencies such as NASA began to wane, SpaceX offered the world a glimpse at a possible new future of space exploration.

2008 was also the year of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. It was at these games that American swimmer, Michael Phelps, broke the record for Gold Medals earned at a single Olympics by winning eight Gold Medals. This broke fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz’s previous record of seven. Phelps would go on to become the most highly decorated Olympian of all time.

In politics, the change in leadership of two countries is particularly noteworthy. In February of 2008, Fidel Castro of Cuba resigned from leadership, being succeeded by his brother, Raul Castro. As one leader stepped down, another noteworthy leader stepped into office. In November of 2008, Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the office.

This was, of course, a year of economic turmoil. Sparked by the subprime mortgage crisis that began in 2007, the year of 2008 saw unprecedented measures taken by governments and central banks as they desperately tried to avoid a major economic depression. In addition to economic stimulus measures taken by central banks through a policy of quantitative easing, governments also bailed out failing financial institutions that were deemed “too big to fail.” One of the notable programs was the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, signed by U.S. President George W. Bush. This bill authorized the Treasury Secretary to provide up to $700 billion in aid to troubled institutions with the aim of stabilizing financial markets. While many academic and policy experts deemed these measures necessary, some economists, particularly those of the Austrian School, heavily criticized the bailouts and quantitative easing.

Discover how the world looked like in 2008

Oscar

Oscar Winners

All Academy Awards Prize winners of the 81st edition of the Oscar ceremony


Best picture

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

Directed by: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan

Starring: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla, Anil Kapoor

Country: United States of America

Best director

Danny Boyle

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

Directed by: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan

Starring: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla, Anil Kapoor

Country: United States of America

Best actor

Sean Penn

Milk

Milk

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

Starring: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna

Best actress

Kate Winslet

The Reader

The Reader

Directed by: Stephen Daldry

Starring: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, Jeanette Hain

Country: United States of America

Best supporting actor

Heath Ledger

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Country: United States of America

Best supporting actress

Penélope Cruz

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Directed by: Woody Allen

Starring: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem, Christopher Evan Welch

Country: United States of America

Books

Which were the most popular books released in 2008 ?
Unlimited books on any devices, try your first month free

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns

By:

Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, …

Are You There by Chelsea Handler

Are You There

By:

When Chelsea Handler needs to get a few things off her chest, she appeals to a higher power—vodka. Seems reasonable, when considering that she discovered her boyfriend was having an affair

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon

By:

Legions of readers entranced by Twilight are hungry for more and they won't be disappointed. In New Moon, Stephenie Meyer delivers another irresistible combination of romance and suspense with a supernatural twist.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host

By:

The phenomenal #1 bestseller is now a major motion picture: "Startling and addictive. . . . An epic story of love, family, and loyalty." -USA TodayMelanie Stryder refuses to fade away.

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Eclipse

By:

Readers captivated by Twilight and New Moon will eagerly devour the paperback edition Eclipse, the third book in Stephenie Meyer's riveting vampire love saga. As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her …

Nobel Prize

Nobel Prizes

All Nobel Prize winners of 2008


Peace Prize

  • Martti Ahtisaari

Literature

  • J. M. G. Le Clézio

Physics

  • Yoichiro Nambu
  • Makoto Kobayashi
  • Toshihide Maskawa

Economic Sciences

  • Paul Krugman

Chemistry

  • Osamu Shimomura
  • Martin Chalfie
  • Roger Y. Tsien

Physiology or Medicine

  • Harald zur Hausen
  • Françoise Barré-Sinoussi
  • Luc Montagnier

Movies

Which were the most popular Movies released in those months?
Watch popular movies, TV series and live events, start your 30-day free trial

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Country: United States of America

Gran Torino

Gran Torino

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Christopher Carley, Ahney Her

Country: United States of America

Departures

Departures

Directed by: Yôjirô Takita

Starring: Masahiro Motoki, Ryôko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kazuko Yoshiyuki

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

Directed by: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan

Starring: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla, Anil Kapoor

Country: United States of America

Ip Man

Ip Man

Directed by: Wilson Yip

Starring: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan, Ka Tung Lam

Country: United States of America

Popular names

Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 2008 in the USA ?

world population

World Population

Demographic statistics of the year 2008


Population statistics

  • Total population: 6.8 billion (6,789,088,686 to be precise!)
  • Urban population: 3.5 billion, that is 51.0% of the total population of 2008 lives in cities
  • Yearly change: +83.2 million, corresponding to a percentage increase of +1.24%
  • Average density: 46.0 persons per km2
history

Historical Events

Which were the important events of 2008?


Events

  • 01 Jan Malta and Cyprus officially adopt the Euro currency and become the fourteenth and fifteenth Eurozone countries.
  • 02 Jan Price of crude oil in the USA reaches US$100 per barrel for the first time.
  • 03 Jan In Iowa, USA, the Democratic caucuses choose Barack Obama as candidate for the presidential election on November. National front-runner Hillary Clinton places third, behind John Edwards. The Republican caucuses choose Mike Huckabee over Mitt Romney.
  • 04 Jan In the USA, Warner Bros studio announces it will drop support for the HD DVD video disc format on June 1, and will exclusively release high-definition DVDs in Sony's Blu-ray format. Warner Bros is Hollywood's biggest seller of DVDs, representing about 19 percent of sales in the United States.
  • 05 Jan Early presidential elections are held in the country of Georgia.
  • 06 Jan Greece is hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5. The epicenter is 70 km (43 miles) below Leonidio. There were no reports of casualties or serious damage. (RTÉ)
  • 07 Jan The Supreme Court of the United States hears arguments on whether execution by lethal injection is a violation of the Constitution's ban on ampquotcruel and unusual punishment.ampquot (BBC News)
  • 08 Jan In New Hampshire, USA, the Democratic caucuses choose Hillary Clinton as candidate for the presidential election on November. The Republican caucuses choose John McCain.
  • 09 Jan 70-car pileup along Interstate 4 in Florida, USA, due to fog and smoke. Five deaths.
  • 10 Jan New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson quits the Presidential race.
  • 11 Jan The Lithuanian government confirms a nuclear waste site. (Alfa)
  • 12 Jan A tanker crash, explosion and fire in Port Harcourt, Nigeria leaves at least 30 dead. (CNN)
  • 13 Jan In Beverly Hills, California, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announces winners of the Golden Globe Awards at a press conference. The usual three-hour broadcast was scrapped due to threats of strikers and a boycott.
  • 14 Jan Alvaro Colom is sworn in as President of Guatemala. (AP via Google News)
  • 15 Jan The governments of Singapore, Kuwait, and South Korea invest US$21 billion in American finance companies Citigroup and Merrill Lynch through sovereign-wealth funds.
  • 16 Jan In Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Oracle Corp announces it will acquire BEA Systems for US$8.5 billion in cash.
  • 17 Jan British Airways Flight 38 crash lands just short of London Heathrow Airport in England with no fatalities. It is the first complete hull loss of a Boeing 777.
  • 18 Jan Former psychiatric patient Matthew Higa is charged with killing a two-year-old boy by throwing him off a pedestrian overpass and into oncoming traffic on Interstate H-1 in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii. (''The Honolulu Advertiser'')
  • 19 Jan Adolfo Nicolás is elected as the thirtieth Superior General of the Society of Jesus. (BBC News)
  • 20 Jan NFL playoffs, 2007-08:
  • 21 Jan Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 11 September 2001, and Asian stocks drop as much as 14%.
  • 22 Jan The U.S. Federal Reserve reduces the federal funds rate by 0.75 points, to 3.5 percent, the largest single drop in 23 years.
  • 23 Jan At the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, New York, Virgin Galactic unveils the design of its next generation of space vehicles, named White Knight Two, and SpaceShipTwo, intending to take paying passengers into space on a regular basis next year.
  • 24 Jan Australia's longest running magazine, ''The Bulletin'', is closing down after almost 130 years of publishing. (ABC News Australia)
  • 25 Jan In Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino is evacuated due to a fire which engulfed parts of the upper floors, facade and roof before being brought under control.
  • 26 Jan In South Carolina, USA, the Democratic caucuses choose Barack Obama as candidate for the presidential election on November. The Republican caucuses choose John McCain.
  • 27 Jan 2007–2008 Kenyan crisis: At least nine people are killed in western Kenya, reports say, in violence apparently linked to last month's disputed elections. (BBC News)
  • 28 Jan In Florida, USA, the Rupublican caucuses choose John McCain as candidate for the presidential election on November. The Democratic caucuses choose Hillary Clinton.
  • 29 Jan 20 civilians including 11 children die and 14 are wounded after a mine explodes targeting a school bus in Madhu, Sri Lanka. (Sunday Times)
  • 30 Jan United States District Court judge Stanwood Duval dismisses a class action suit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over flooding from a levee breach in New Orleans, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. (AP via Google News)
  • 31 Jan Microsoft offers to buy Yahoo for US$44.6 billion: US$31 per share in cash and stock.
  • 01 Feb A small plane crashes at Mount Airy, North Carolina resulting in the death of six passengers. (WSLS)
  • 02 Feb Iran opens its first space center and launches a rocket into space.ampquotIran Opens Space Center, Launches Rocketampquot, Associated Press
  • 03 Feb In Glendale, Arizona, the NFL's Super Bowl XLII is played. The New York Giants beat the previously undefeated New England Patriots with a 17-14 victory. Most Valuable Player is Giants' Quarterback Eli Manning.
  • 04 Feb U.S. President George W. Bush unveils a record US$3.1 trillion spending plan for fiscal 2009, including US$515 billion for military spending, and US$70 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan for just part of 2009. Domestic programs would be deeply cut. The budget is the first to be presented electronically.
  • 05 Feb (to February 6) A tornado outbreak, the deadliest in 23 years, kills 58 in the Southern United States.
  • 06 Feb Over 60 tornadoes across the US South in two days kill 48 and injure over 150.
  • 07 Feb STS-122: Space Shuttle Atlantis launches to deliver the European-built Columbus science laboratory to the International Space Station.
  • 08 Feb In the USA, the Supreme Court of Nebraska rules the electric chair is unconstitutional (cruel and unusual). This is the last state in the country to have allowed death by the electric chair.
  • 09 Feb At a Philip Weiss auction, a 24-cent US postage stamp of 1869, Declaration of Independence with inverted-center error sells for US$1.27 million, a new record for a single US stamp.
  • 10 Feb The wooden portion of Namdaemun Gate in Seoul, South Korea is destroyed in a suspicious fire. (BBC News)
  • 11 Feb Rebel East Timorese soldiers seriously wound President Jose Ramos-Horta. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado is killed in the attack.
  • 12 Feb In Los Angeles and New York, film and television writers vote to lift their 100-day-old strike against major studios and return to work. Writers Guild of America members voted 92.5 percent in favor of ending the strike, with a new three-year contract approved in principle.
  • 13 Feb US President George Bush signs a law for individual tax rebates and temporary investment incentives worth US$168 billion.
  • 14 Feb At Northern Illinois University, former student Stephen Kazmierczak fires over 50 shots, killing five students and himself, injuring 16 others.
  • 15 Feb Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, Illinois, declares missing millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett legally dead, five months after the airplane he was flying disappeared over Nevada.
  • 16 Feb 37 people are killed in a suicide car bombing in Pakistan's tribal region after a meeting of the Pakistan Peoples Party, reports say. (BBC News)
  • 17 Feb Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company recalls 143 million pounds of beef, the USA's largest meat recall in California, due to the slaughter of cattle unfit for human consumption.
  • 18 Feb Europe's major powers and the United States recognize the independence of Kosovo.
  • 19 Feb A fireball and sonic boom are reported in parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia.
  • 20 Feb In Wisconsin and Hawaii, Democratic caucuses Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton for Presidential candidate. John McCain wins Wisconsin on the Republican side.
  • 21 Feb Monaco Rare Coins of California sells a 1861 Coronet Paquet Reverse double eagle for US$2.5 million.
  • 22 Feb Russian President Vladimir Putin describes the recognition of Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence by several major world powers as ampquota terrible precedent,ampquot ... that ampquotbreaks up the entire system of international relations,ampquot ... which has taken ampquotcenturies to evolve.ampquot ampquotAnd undoubtedly, it may entail a whole chain of unpredictable consequences to other regions in the worldampquot and that will come back to hit the West ampquotin the face.ampquot
  • 23 Feb A United States Air Force B-2 Spirit crashes on Guam. It is the first operational loss of a B-2.
  • 24 Feb Electronic Arts video game company makes a hostile bid of US$2 billion for Take-Two.
  • 25 Feb The New York Philharmonic becomes the first American musical ensemble to perform in North Korea. (Time)
  • 26 Feb A shutdown at the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station causes a loss of electricity for millions in Florida. (Reuters)
  • 27 Feb In the USA, the Fannie Mae government-backed mortgage company reports a loss of US$3.55 billion for the fourth quarter of 2007, due to increased foreclosures.
  • 28 Feb A report by the Pew Center on the United States says the American penal system held more than 2.3 million adults at the start of the year, meaning more than one in every 100 American adults is confined in a prison or jail, the highest ratio in the nation's history. The report also notes that the United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world.
  • 29 Feb American TV show The Young and the Restless has now been the number one rated daytime drama for 1000 consecutive weeks in the US, since December 1988.
  • 01 Mar The 59-acre Aquatica water park opens at Sea World in Orlando, Florida, USA.
  • 02 Mar A Lufthansa Airbus 320 nearly crashes while landing in Hamburg, Germany due to high winds. The pilot was able to stabilize the plane and successfully landed on the second try. No one was injured. (Stern)
  • 03 Mar The remains of Padre Pio, the Capuchin monk who died in 1968 after living for decades with inexplicable, bleeding wounds on his hands and feet, are exhumed. (AP via ''International Herald Tribune'')
  • 04 Mar Brett Favre, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers announces his retirement from the NFL after 17 years.
  • 05 Mar The first plenary session of the 11th National People's Congress begins in China. Premier Wen Jiabao delivers the last annual government report in his first term of office. (Xinhua)
  • 06 Mar A Palestinian gunman shoots and kills 8 students and critically injures 11 in the library of the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, in Jerusalem, Israel.
  • 07 Mar A dozen tornadoes cause much damage in northern Florida and southern Georgia. Cars are flipped, trees and power poles knocked down, homes and businesses damaged, and two people are killed.
  • 08 Mar Debut of The Spectacular Spider-Man on TV in the US and Canada.
  • 09 Mar Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt says that Kosovo may become a European Union member state even if it is not a member of the United Nations. (Xinhua News Agency)
  • 10 Mar The New York Times reveals that Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer had patronized a prostitution service.
  • 11 Mar The US Federal Reserve promises to lend up to US$200 billion of Treasury bonds on a monthly basis with mortgage-backed securities as collateral.
  • 12 Mar Oil hits a record US$110 per barrel.
  • 13 Mar The US dollar drops below 100 Japanese yen for the first time in 12 years, and gold rises to US$1000 per ounce.
  • 14 Mar A series of riots, protests, and demonstrations erupted in Lhasa and elsewhere in Tibet.
  • 15 Mar Wales achieve the Grand Slam by beating France 29-12 in the final match of Rugby Union's 2008 RBS Six Nations. (BBC News)
  • 16 Mar American investment bank Bear Stearns, 5th largest on Wall Street, is bought by JP Morgan Chase for $2 per share, a total of $236 million. In mid-2006, Bear Stearns was worth $200 per share. The Federal Reserve also provides a US$30 billion loan, and announces it will directly loan to other investment banks and brokers.
  • 17 Mar The US dollar hits an all-time low of US$1.59 to the euro.
  • 18 Mar The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes 420 points higher than the previous day.
  • 19 Mar GRB 080319B: A cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye is briefly observed.
  • 20 Mar Yves Leterme is sworn in as Prime Minister of Belgium. (''The Guardian'')
  • 21 Mar A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hits western China. (AP via Google News)
  • 22 Mar Magdi Allam, the most prominent Muslim in Italy, converts to Catholicism and is baptized by Pope Benedict XVI. (AP via Yahoo! News)
  • 23 Mar US soldier death toll in the Iraq war reaches 4000, after five years of fighting.
  • 24 Mar In Iowa City, Iowa, USA, former bank executive Steven Sueppel, facing trial for embezzlement, beats to death his wife Sheryl Sueppel and the couple's four adopted children, then kills himself by ramming his car into a highway sign post.
  • 25 Mar Liechtenstein recognizes Kosovo as an independent state. (Government of Liechtenstein)
  • 26 Mar Advanced Micro Devices unveils the "Phenom" microprocessor for desktop personal computers.
  • 27 Mar 2008 Mahdi Army revolt: Iraqi authorities impose a curfew until Sunday in a bid to stop clashes with Shiite militants. (AFP via France 24)
  • 28 Mar Norway and South Korea recognize Kosovo as an independent state. (Government of Norway) (Government of South Korea)
  • 29 Mar Thirty-five countries and over 370 cities join Earth Hour for the first time.
  • 30 Mar WrestleMania XXIV takes place from the Citrus Bowl with an all-time attendance record for the stadium at over 70,000 people.
  • 31 Mar One of Mexico's most prolific serial killers, Juana Barraza, nicknamed the ''Mataviejitas'' (Little Old Lady Killer), receives multiple life sentences for the murders of at least 11 women. (BBC News)
  • 01 Apr A human rights group in Sri Lanka has blamed local security forces for the massacre of 17 aid workers in 2006 and accused the government of a cover-up. (BBC News)
  • 02 Apr Leader of the House of Commons Harriet Harman becomes the first Labour woman ever to answer Prime Minister's Questions. (''The Scotsman'')
  • 03 Apr ATA Airlines, once one of the 10 largest U.S. passenger airlines and largest charter airline, files for bankruptcy for the second time in 5 years and ceases all operations.
  • 04 Apr Former commander of the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army during the 1998–99 war Ramush Haradinaj is acquitted of war crimes charges by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. (AP via ''The International Herald Tribune'')
  • 05 Apr Charlton Heston (born John Charles Carter), American actor (Moses - The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, Planet of the Apes) and activist (1960s Civil Rights, National Rifle Association) dies at age 84 in Beverly Hills, California. Heston won Best Actor Academy Award for his performance in Ben Hur. Heston also served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and was chairman of the American Film Institute.
  • 06 Apr Mark Penn resigns as chief strategist for the Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential campaign. This comes in the wake of revelations that he performed lobbying work for the Colombian government, regarding a free trade pact that Senator Clinton opposes. (NPR)
  • 07 Apr Child Protective Services of Texas remove 401 children from a ranch in west Texas belonging to jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, and dozens of women leave or are removed in an investigation of sexual and child abuse.
  • 08 Apr The construction of the world's first building to integrate wind turbines is completed in Bahrain.
  • 09 Apr The Olympic torch relay through San Francisco descends into confusion as the first runner in the elaborately planned relay disappears into a warehouse on a waterfront pier. (MarketWatch)
  • 10 Apr Mayor Anders Lago of Södertälje, Sweden, says that his small city of about 80,000 is currently home to nearly 6,000 Iraqis. ampquotMore refugees than the United States and Canada togetherampquot. (''The International Herald Tribune'')
  • 11 Apr The President of Cuba Raúl Castro allows thousands of renters to gain title to their own houses. (''USA Today'')
  • 12 Apr The National Assembly of Haiti removes the Prime Minister of Haiti Jacques-Edouard Alexis following a week of food riots in which six deaths had occurred. (Los Angeles Times)
  • 13 Apr In Augusta, Georgia, the final round of the U.S. Masters golf tournament is held. Trevor Immelman wins by three shots over Tiger Woods, with a score of 75, the first South African to win the U.S. Masters in 30 years.
  • 14 Apr Delta Air Lines announces it will acquire Northwest Airlines for US$3 billion in stock, creating the world's biggest airline.
  • 15 Apr A five-year ban preventing prominent Malaysian Opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim from running for office in Malaysia effectively expires midnight (MST). (BBC News) (Reuters)
  • 16 Apr Heritage Auction Galleries auctions the Queller Collection. The Mickley specimen of the Class I US 1804 dollar sells for $3,737,500.
  • 17 Apr At the Central States Numismatic Society convention, in Rosemont, Illinois, Heritage Auction Galleries hosts the US Coin Signature Auction.
  • 18 Apr A 5.2-5.4-magnitude earthquake rocks Illinois, USA, centered near West Salem, the largest in the region in 40 years, and felt 350 miles away.
  • 19 Apr Muqtada al-Sadr threatens a new rebellion if a United States-Iraqi crackdown against his followers continues. (''Sunday Herald'')
  • 20 Apr Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.
  • 21 Apr Bank of America, the largest American retail bank, reports a 77 percent decline in the quarter ending March 31, the third straight quarterly loss. The loss included over US$5 billion in write-downs and credit-related costs.
  • 22 Apr The United States Air Force retires the remaining F-117 Nighthawk aircraft in service.
  • 23 Apr Sri Lankan Civil War: In fighting in the North of Sri Lanka, the military claims victory with 43 soldiers killed and 33 missing while killing over 100 Tamil Tigers. The rebels also claim victory, saying that they killed 100 soldiers and wounded 500 while only losing 16 of their own. (CNN) (BBC News)
  • 24 Apr Final results in the Nepal Constituent Assembly election show that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) won double the number of seats of the next largest party. (AFP via Google News)
  • 25 Apr Two people are killed and more than a dozen injured after a semitrailer crashes into a Chicago Transit Authority station during rush hour. (AP via ''International Herald Tribune'')
  • 26 Apr The death toll from a fire in a mattress factory in the Hay Hassani district of Casablanca rises to 55. (Reuters via ''The Washington Post'')
  • 27 Apr India sets a world record by sending 10 satellites into orbit in a single launch.
  • 28 Apr Mars Incorporated and Berkshire Hathaway team up to buy chewing gum manufacturer Wm Wrigley Jr Company for US$23 billion, creating the world's largest confectionery company. Warren Buffet will loan US$4.4 billion for 20 percent stake in Wrigley.
  • 29 Apr Take-Two Interactive Software releases the Grand Theft Auto IV video game for the PlayStation III and Xbox 360 in the USA and UK. First day sales in the UK: 609,000, a record. First week worldwide sales: six million copies, US$500 million.
  • 30 Apr Two skeletal remains found near Ekaterinburg, Russia are confirmed by Russian scientists to be the remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia and one of his sisters.
  • 01 May A US navy ship off the coast of Somalia makes a missile attack on the home of Aden Hashi Ayro in Dusamareb, killing him and at least ten other people. Ayro was military leader of al-Shabab, in control of most of Somalia.
  • 02 May Marvel Entertainment releases the film Iron Man to theaters in the USA. Marvel produced the film itself, at a cost of about US$150 million plus US$75 million in marketing.
  • 03 May At Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby is held. Race favorite Big Brown wins by nearly five lengths. Second place finisher Eight Belles broke both front ankles, and was immediately euthanized. Race attendance was 157,770, the second-largest in history of the race.
  • 04 May Cyclone Nargis: Myanmar's State Peace and Development Council declares that five states in the Irrawaddy River delta are a disaster area following the cyclone with at least 351 deaths. (MSNBC)
  • 05 May Crude oil prices for June delivery in the US hit a record US$120.36 per barrel.
  • 06 May In Jackson, Georgia, USA, convicted murderer William Earl Lynd is executed by lethal injection, at age 53. Lynd was convicted of killing Ginger Moore in December 1988.
  • 07 May Dmitry Medvedev is sworn in as Russia's president.
  • 08 May H.R. 5512 "The Coin Modernization and Taxpayer Savings Act of 2008" passes the House of Representatives. The bill proposes changing the 1-cent and 5-cent coins to a core of steel.
  • 09 May Pakistan's two main coalition leaders, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif meet in London to discuss the removal of judges by Musharraf (AP via CNN)
  • 10 May An EF4 tornado strikes the Oklahoma-Kansas state line, killing 21 people and injuring over 100.
  • 11 May Tornadoes and strong storms across central United States kill 22 and severely damage towns of Picher, Oklahoma, and Seneca, Missouri.
  • 12 May An earthquake (measuring around 8.0 magnitude) occurs in Sichuan, China, killing over 69,000 people.
  • 13 May The Jaipur bombings in Rajasthan, India results in dozens of deaths.
  • 14 May The U.S. government lists polar bears as a threatened species under its Endangered Species Act because of the effects of global warming.
  • 15 May California becomes the second U.S. state after Massachusetts in 2004 to legalize same-sex marriage after the state's own Supreme Court rules a previous ban unconstitutional.
  • 16 May 10 people were shot at a branch of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines, with 9 dead and 1 in critical condition in what could be one of the bloodiest bank robberies in the nation's history. USA Today.com - 9 killed during Philippine bank robbery
  • 17 May In Baltimore, Maryland, USA, the 133rd running of the Preakness Stakes is held. The undefeated 3-year-old Big Brown wins by 5 1/4 lengths, ridden by Kent Desormeaux.
  • 18 May At the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, the 43rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards show is held. Entertainer of the Year: Kenny Chesney
  • 19 May Suspected Sunni insurgents attack a minibus carrying police recruits near the border of Iraq and Syria killing 11 people. (AP via Google News)
  • 20 May In the US Presidential Democratic race, caucus voting results in Oregon and Kentucky give Illinois Senator Barak Obama a majority of pledged delegates.
  • 21 May U.S. crude oil price passes US$130 per barrel, rising $5 above the previous day to a record high of US$134.
  • 22 May The Late-May 2008 tornado outbreak sequence unleashes 235 tornadoes, including an EF4 and an EF5 tornado, between 22 May and 31 May 2008. The tornadoes struck 19 states and one Canadian province.
  • 23 May The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries.
  • 24 May Three people are killed and another three injured in a helicopter crash on Santa Catalina Island, California near Two Harbors, California. (AP via Google News)
  • 25 May NASA's Mars Phoenix lander touches down in the far north of Mars, sending back to Earth pictures of a region never previously seen up close.
  • 26 May The International Atomic Energy Agency releases a report accusing Iran of hiding information about alleged studies of producing nuclear warheads and defying demands to suspend its uranium enrichment. (AFP)
  • 27 May A Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas in the USA reports prices of single-family homes dropped a record 14.4 percent in March from a year earlier. The US Commerce Department reports sales of new homes in April were down 42 percent from a year ago, the largest year-over-year drop in nearly 27 years.
  • 28 May The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal formally declares Nepal a republic, ending the 240-year reign of the Shah dynasty.
  • 29 May In the USA, Bear Stearns shareholders vote 84 percent in favor of selling the 85-year-old investment banking company to JPMorgan Chase & Company for US$9.32 a share, a total of US$1.5 billion. Shares in the company had traded at a record high of US$173 in January 2007.
  • 30 May In the United States, Sameer Mishra wins the 81st Scripps National Spelling Bee, the winning word was ampquotguerdonampquot, a noun meaning a reward. ''(USA Today)''
  • 31 May NASA's Discovery space shuttle blasts off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a 14-day mission to the International Space Station, delivering a cylinder for Japan's Kibo science lab, and also a new pump to repair the station's toilet.
  • 01 Jun A large fire ravages a theme park at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California, destroying a King Kong attraction and a set from the film Back to the Future. Over 300 firefighters fought the blaze.
  • 02 Jun The US Mint releases the 2008 Arizona state quarter-dollar coin to circulation. The reverse design of the Grand Canyon and a saguaro cactus was created by US Mint Medallic Sculptor Joseph F. Menna.
  • 03 Jun US Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama wins the support of a group of uncommitted delegates, giving him more than the required 2118 to win the party's nomination.
  • 04 Jun The Detroit Red Wings win the NHL's Stanley Cup in a 3-2 Game Six win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
  • 05 Jun Verizon Wireless announces it would buy mobile phone service provider Alltel for US$28.1 billion.
  • 06 Jun After five years of searching, the Caribbean Monk Seal is declared officially extinct (MSNBC)
  • 07 Jun US Senator Hillary Clinton suspends her campaign to become the Democratic nominee for US president, and asks her supporters to help elect Barack Obama.
  • 08 Jun The Akihabara massacre takes place in the Akihabara shopping quarter in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. Tomohiro Kato drives a two-ton truck into a crowd before leaving the truck and attacking people with a knife.
  • 09 Jun In the town of Lake Delton, Wisconsin, Lake Delton drains as a result of heavy flooding breaking the dam holding the lake back.
  • 10 Jun Fire engulfs Sudan Airways Flight 109 after it lands in Khartoum, killing 44.
  • 11 Jun Kosovo adopts a national anthem named "Europe"; composed by Mendi Menxhiqi, it comes without lyrics in any language to avoid offending the newly independent state's Serbian minority. (International Herald Tribune) (B-92)
  • 12 Jun Representative Ron Paul of Texas withdraws his candidacy for President of the US.
  • 13 Jun The Chamber of Deputies of Haiti rejects Robert Manuel, who was the second nominee for the post of prime minister after Jacques-Édouard Alexis resigned in April 2008. (AP via Google News)
  • 14 Jun The space shuttle Discovery returns to Earth after a 14-day mission, landing at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Among the returning is Garrett Reisman, after 95 days in space.
  • 15 Jun In New York City, the Tony Awards are presented. Lifetime achievement award: Stephen Sondheim.
  • 16 Jun California performs its first legally recognized same-sex weddings.
  • 17 Jun The Boston Celtics win a record 17th NBA championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 131-92 in Game Six.
  • 18 Jun Brazil celebrates the 100th year of the Japanese Immigration. (Folha Online)
  • 19 Jun The President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez threatens to stop selling oil to European countries who apply new European Union legislation on illegal immigration. (Reuters)
  • 20 Jun The Janus-2 satellite is launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, atop a Delta-2 rocket. The satellite will be used for measuring the shape of the world's oceans.
  • 21 Jun France and Algeria sign an agreement that could lead to French nuclear power technology being employed in Algerian reactors. (BBC News)
  • 22 Jun American comedian George Carlin dies of heart failure in Los Angeles, California, at age 71.
  • 23 Jun Malaysia releases Buhary Syed Abu Tahir, a leading business associate of Pakistani nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan. (BBC News)
  • 24 Jun Representing Pope Benedict XVI, Colombian Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos is pressing the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X to accept five conditions, including respect for the pope and his authority, as part of a reconciliation offer. (CNS) (Catholic World News) (The New Liturgical Movement)
  • 25 Jun EU's representative in Kosovo Pieter Feith says he expects Montenegro will recognize Kosovo's unilateral independence ampquotas soon as possibleampquot, as it would ampquotcontribute to regional stabilityampquot. (B92)
  • 26 Jun Shares of General Motors Corporation drop to their lowest level since 1955, after Goldman Sachs gives the stock a "sell" rating.
  • 27 Jun Company founder Bill Gates leaves his full-time executive role at Microsoft, to focus on his philanthropic organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • 28 Jun The state government of India's Jammu and Kashmir has rebuked the decision to transfer forested land to Amarnath shrine following wide protests across the state. (BBC News)
  • 29 Jun A ship arrives in North Korea carrying food aid from the United States as part of a deal between North Korea, the US and the United Nations. (CNN)
  • 30 Jun US President George Bush signs a US$162 billion war spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • 01 Jul The Starbucks coffee company announces it will close an additional 500 stores in the USA, on top of 100 already announced.
  • 02 Jul Ingrid Betancourt, and 14 other hostages held by FARC guerrillas, are rescued by the Colombian armed forces.
  • 03 Jul The Pentagon extends the tour of duty of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Afghanistan. (AP via Google News)
  • 04 Jul A fire sweeps through the Biological Museum at Djurgården in Stockholm, leaving parts of the 115-year-old landmark charred and severely damaged. (Svenska Dagbladet) (Dagens Nyheter)
  • 05 Jul In rugby union, New Zealand defeat World Cup winners South Africa 19ndash8 in the opening match of the Tri Nations. (''The International Herald Tribune'')
  • 06 Jul Gunmen kill a United Nations official in Mogadishu as he leaves a mosque and injure two others. (AP via CNN)
  • 07 Jul Austrian People's Party leader Wilhelm Molterer pulls his party out of the ruling grand coalition, forcing a snap general election. (BBC News)
  • 08 Jul The United States and the Czech Republic sign an initial agreement to base a United States missile defense system in the Czech Republic. (AP via Google News)
  • 09 Jul Questioned about conspiratorial ties at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, Ohio, Senator John McCain does not deny he was president of the New Citizenship Project (forerunner of the neo-conservative Project for the New American Century). Instead he states his pride in the 9/11 Commission. (therawstory) (Current.com)
  • 10 Jul Former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boskoski is acquitted of all charges by a United Nations Tribunal accusing him of war crimes.
  • 11 Jul Crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange hits a record high of US$147.27 per barrel.
  • 12 Jul In Monterey, California, Mid America Auctions sells a 1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer motorcycle for a world record US$520,000 at the Inaugural Monterey Motorcycle Auction.
  • 13 Jul US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson unveils an emergency plan to save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, mortgage holders of US$5.2 trillion.
  • 14 Jul Standard & Poor's 500 stock market index has its worst single day fall since its creation in 1989.
  • 15 Jul The American League takes a 4-3 victory over the National League in the 79th All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium in New York. The 15th inning game was the longest-ever All-Star game, lasting four hours and 50 minutes.
  • 16 Jul A train crash near Marsa Matrouh in northern Egypt kills at least 42 people with 40 more injured. (Reuters)
  • 17 Jul American investment bank Merrill Lynch & Company posts a US$4.89 billion quarterly loss after writing down bad debts, and unveils plans to sell billions of dollars of assets.
  • 18 Jul Warner Bros. Pictures releases the film The Dark Knight to theaters in the USA and Canada. The film sets a one-day US box office record, generating ticket sales of US$66.4 million on opening day. The opening weekend also sets a record, taking in US$155 million.
  • 19 Jul In Jammu and Kashmir 10 Indian army soldiers are killed in land mine attack claimed by Hizbul Mujahideen (''Times of India'')
  • 20 Jul Golfer Pádraig Harrington of Ireland wins his second successive Open Championship (British Open). (AP via Google News)
  • 21 Jul The Congress of France (the National Assembly and the Senate meeting together) passes a bill that would make major changes to the Constitution of France, with a margin of only one vote this bill is designed to strengthen Parliament, while establishing a two-term presidential term limit and allowing the President to speak before Parliament. (BBC News)
  • 22 Jul Estelle Getty, actor (Sophia - The Golden Girls, Golden Palace, Nurses, Blossom, and Empty Nest, films Tootsie, Mask, Copacabana, Stop, Or My Mom Will Shoot, Stuart Little, Emmy (1988) and Golden Globe (1986) Awards) dies at age 84 in California (born 1923).
  • 23 Jul Prime Minister of Nepal Girija Prasad Koirala submits his resignation to the new President Ram Baran Yadav to pave the way for the forming of new government. (Zee News)
  • 24 Jul Ford Motor Company of the USA posts a record US$8.7 billion quarterly loss, due to slumping truck and SUV operations.
  • 25 Jul Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) presents the articles for the impeachment of President George W. Bush to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. (Fox News)
  • 26 Jul 56 people are killed and over 200 people are injured in 21 bomb blasts in Ahmedabad bombing in India.
  • 27 Jul Seven people are wounded and two killed in a church shooting at a Unitarian Universalist church in Knoxville, Tennessee. (WBIR-TV) (MSNBC)
  • 28 Jul Stack's conducts an auction prior to the ANA convention in Baltimore.
  • 29 Jul Wall Street investment bank and brokerage company Merrill Lynch reports it will take a US$5.7 billion third-quarter writedown due to risky debt.
  • 30 Jul Heritage Numismatic Auctions sells a 1944-S steel Lincoln cent graded MS-66 by NGC for US$373,450, a record for any small cent.
  • 31 Jul The Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger acts to end a budget crisis by firing 22,000 California state workers and cutting the pay of 200,000 more. (BBC)
  • 01 Aug General Motors of the USA announces second quarter loss of US$15.5 billion, worst in the company's history.
  • 02 Aug Latvia holds a constitutional referendum on whether to allow referendums on dissolving parliament and calling early elections. Although the vote was invalidated, as turnout did not meet the 50% threshold, the results (96% in favour of the change) are considered likely to press politicians to adopt a similar measure nonetheless. (AFP) (Reuters)
  • 03 Aug North Korea says that it will expel ampquotunnecessaryampquot South Korean staff from the Kumgangsan resort and threatens military action in an escalation of tension over the shooting of a South Korean tourist. (Reuters)amp/bramp
  • 04 Aug U.S. conservative political commentator Robert Novak retires after 45 years. The only reason for retirement was a previously discovered brain tumour. Novak is also involved in the CIA leak scandal. (CBS News)
  • 05 Aug Rwanda formally accuses senior French officials, including former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and late President François Mitterrand, of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and calls for them to be put on trial. (Reuters)
  • 06 Aug A military junta led by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz stages a coup d'etat in Mauritania, overthrowing president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.
  • 07 Aug Georgia launches a military offensive against South Ossetia to counter the alleged Russian invasion, starting the South Ossetia War.
  • 08 Aug US home mortgage funder Fannie Mae posts a second-quarter loss of US$2.3 billion, its fourth straight quarter loss, totaling US$9.44 billion over the past year.
  • 09 Aug American actor/comedian Bernie Mac (The Bernie Mac Show, Ocean's Eleven, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Transformers) dies in a Chicago hospital from complications due to pneumonia, at age 50.
  • 10 Aug American singer-songwriter Isaac Hayes (Hot Buttered Soul album, theme from Shaft, voice of Chef from South Park) dies at his home in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 65.
  • 11 Aug An air strike by the United States kills 25 Taliban militants and 8 civilians in Orūzgān Province in southern Afghanistan. (''The Australian'')
  • 12 Aug On August 12, 2008, a class action lawsuit was filed against Facebook, Blockbuster Inc., Overstock.com, Fandango, Hotwire.com, GameFly, Zappos.com, and any additional ampquotJohn Doeampquot corporations that activated Facebook Beacon when they released their common member's personal information to their Facebook user friends without their consent through the Facebook Beacon program. The lawsuit alleges the release of the information was a violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act,
  • 13 Aug At the Beijing Olympics, American swimmer Michael Phelps wins his 10th and 11th career gold medals, in men's 200-metre butterfly and 4x200 freestyle relay in world record 6:58.56). Phelps is now the record holder of most career Olympic gold medals.
  • 14 Aug Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister of Poland, announces that the United States and Poland have reached an agreement on basing missile defense in Poland. (AP via Google News)
  • 15 Aug Poland signs a deal with the US to host part of its new missile defence shield. The US will install ten interceptor missiles at a base on the Baltic coast, and help strengthen Polish air defences.
  • 16 Aug 2008 South Ossetia war:
  • 17 Aug Michael Phelps wins his record eighth gold medal of the Beijing Games, in the 4x100 medley relay, in record time of 3:29.34. Phelps now holds the record for most gold medals at an Olympics event.
  • 18 Aug President Of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf resigns due to pressure from opposition.
  • 19 Aug The 39th annual Pacific Islands Leaders Forum opens in Niue, but is boycotted by Fijian leader Frank Bainimarama. (''The Australian'')
  • 20 Aug Spanair Flight 5022, from Madrid to Gran Canaria, skids off the runway and crashes at Barajas Airport. 146 people are killed in the crash, and 8 more die later. Only 18 people survive.
  • 21 Aug Somali pirates captured a total of three vessels in two days. (Xinhuanet)
  • 22 Aug An aircraft crashes in Guatemala, killing 10, including four Americans on a humanitarian mission.
  • 23 Aug War in Somalia (2006–09): Two journalists and three other people are abducted by gunmen near Elasha, Somalia. (CTV News)
  • 24 Aug An aircraft crashes in Guatemala, killing 10, including four Americans on a humanitarian mission.
  • 25 Aug The US Mint releases the 2008 Alaska state quarter dollar coin to circulation.
  • 26 Aug Russia unilaterally recognizes the independence of the former Georgian breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
  • 27 Aug Alberto Gonzales announces his resignation as US attorney general as of September 17.
  • 28 Aug September 7 – Hurricane Hanna kills seven in the United States, and 529 in Haiti, mostly due to deluges and mudslides.
  • 29 Aug The US Mint officially launches the 2008 Alaska State quarter dollar coin at the Alaska State Fair.
  • 30 Aug Mass marches are held in more than 70 cities across Mexico, demanding stronger action against violent crime. (AP via CNN)
  • 31 Aug Hurricane Gustav:
  • 01 Sep September 14 – Hurricane Ike makes landfall on Texas as Category 2 and kills 27 in the United States, after killing four in Cuba, one in the Dominican Republic, and 75 in Haiti.
  • 02 Sep Political crisis in Thailand: Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej of Thailand declares a state of emergency in Bangkok.
  • 03 Sep The CW network in the USA debuts the new 90210 TV Show.
  • 04 Sep Former United States political lobbyist Jack Abramoff is sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the Jack Abramoff scandals. (CBS)
  • 05 Sep Arizona Senator John McCain is nominated as US Presidential candidate for the Republican party, with Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as vice presidential candidate.
  • 06 Sep Turkish President Abdullah Gul attends an association football match in Armenia after an invitation by Armenian President Serzh Sarkisyan; he is the first Turkish head of state to visit the country.
  • 07 Sep American mortgage companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are taken over by the US government, due to their risk to the economy. The two companies account for nearly half of home mortgages in the US. The two firms will be administered by the Federal Housing Finance Agency until their long-term future is decided. Together, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae own or guarantee about US$5.3 trillion of mortgages and have made a combined loss of about US$14 billion in the past year.
  • 08 Sep The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola wins the 2008 legislative election. (Reuters via ''The New York Times'')
  • 09 Sep The proton beam is circulated for the first time in the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, located at CERN, near Geneva, under the Franco-Swiss border.
  • 10 Sep Lehman Brothers investment bank of New York posts a record quarterly loss of US$3.9 billion.
  • 11 Sep Ayman al-Zawahiri, number two leader of al Qaeda, questions Abu Ayyub al-Masri's ability to lead al Qaeda in Iraq, and accuses that organization's umbrella group, the Islamic State of Iraq, of lying to the media about its activities. (CNN)
  • 12 Sep The 2008 Chatsworth train collision in Los Angeles between a Metrolink commuter train and a Union Pacific freight train kills 25 people.
  • 13 Sep Hurricane Ike makes landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast of the United States, causing heavy damage to Galveston Island, Houston and surrounding areas.
  • 14 Sep (to September 16) The Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles Pre-Long Beach auction is held.
  • 15 Sep 158-year-old American investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc files for bankruptcy protection, becoming the largest U.S. bankruptcy. Lehman's assets total about US$639 billion, leveraged by only US$30 billion of equity.
  • 16 Sep The U.S. Federal Reserve Board announces the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will lend up to US$85 billion to the American International Group, and the U.S. government will receive a 79.9 percent equity interest in AIG.
  • 17 Sep The emerging 2008 baby milk scandal shows evidence of coverup by officials during the Olympics. (MSNBC)
  • 18 Sep 2008 South Ossetia war:
  • 19 Sep September 25 – Typhoon Hagupit kills 17 in China, eight in the Philippines, one in Taiwan, and 41 in Vietnam.
  • 20 Sep A suicide truck bomb explosion destroys the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 60 and injuring 266.
  • 21 Sep Jose Molina hits the last home run in the 85-year history of Yankee Stadium in New York, to give the New York Yankees a 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. The stadium will be demolished, replaced by a new US$1.3 billion Yankee Stadium across the way from the exisiting facility.
  • 22 Sep Microsoft unveils plans to spend US$40 billion buying back its shares from investors, the biggest single buy-back plan in history.
  • 23 Sep Kauhajoki school shooting: Matti Saari kills 10 people before committing suicide.
  • 24 Sep TV series Knight Rider debuts in the US.
  • 25 Sep U.S. regulators seize bank Washington Mutual, the biggest bank failure in the nation's history, and sell its assets to JPMorgan Chase & Company for US$1.9 billion. Washington Mutual was the largest savings and loan bank, with $307 billion of assets and $188 billion of deposits.
  • 26 Sep Swiss pilot and inventor Yves Rossy becomes first person to fly a jet engine-powered wing across the English Channel.
  • 27 Sep American film actor Paul Newman dies of cancer at age 83, in Connecticut. Some notable films: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, The Color of Money, (Best Actor Oscar award).
  • 28 Sep SpaceX launches the first ever private spacecraft, the Falcon 1 into orbit.
  • 29 Sep The Dow Jones industrial average posts its largest point decline ever, 778 points, 6.98 percent of total value. The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index has its worst day since the 1987 crisis with an 8.8 percent drop, or 106.59 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index loses 199.61 points, or 9.14 percent. Latin American stocks tumble 13 percent, their biggest decline in more than a decade. Gold price jumps up, and US crude oil drops $10 to close at US$96.37 per barrel. World stocks, as measured by
  • 30 Sep The Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounds by 485.21 points (4.68 percent), the third largest one-day point gain.
  • 01 Oct Russia's supreme court declares the imperial dynasty victims of political repression, marking the official rehabilitation of the house of Romanov. The decision overturns a lower court ruling that classified the killings as plain murder, and exonerates Emperor Nicholas II and his family of the alleged crimes the Bolshevik regime used to justify their killing. (Reuters)
  • 02 Oct The U.S. Senate votes 74-to-25 to endorse a revised US$700 billion bank bailout plan. It involves the Treasury buying bad loans from institutions. The plan, rejected by the House earlier, was revised to include a tax cut and extended federal protection for bank deposits.
  • 03 Oct The U.S. House of Representatives approves the modified US$700 billion bank bailout plan, voting 263 in favor, 171 against. President George Bush quickly signs the bill into law.
  • 04 Oct The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops below 10,000.
  • 05 Oct Animated TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuts in the USA.
  • 06 Oct Another earthquake of magnitude 6.4, with two magnitude-5 aftershocks, hits Damxung, Tibet, People's Republic of China, with conflicting casualty reports anywhere from 9 to 30 deaths. (USGS) (CNN)
  • 07 Oct New York stocks drop for a fifth straight day, resulting in the Dow Jones Industrial Average's biggest five-day point loss ever, more than 1400 points, or nearly 13 percent.
  • 08 Oct Central banks around the world cut interest rates in unison for the first time ever. The coordinated rate cuts were made by financial policymakers in response to the global credit crisis. Central banks of the USA, China, Europe, Great Britain, Canada, Sweden, and Switzerland all cut their main lending rate by half a percentage point.
  • 09 Oct General Motors Corp share price drops to US$4.65, its lowest level since 1950. Market capitalization drops to US$2.6 billion, lower than its value of about $4 billion in March 1929.
  • 10 Oct The 10 October 2008 Orakzai bombing kills 110 and injures 200 more.
  • 11 Oct Former South African President Thabo Mbeki will mediate between the Movement for Democratic Change and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government after Mugabe takes control of ministries that command the military and the police, an action that allegedly violates the power-sharing agreement reached last month. (AFP via Yahoo News)
  • 12 Oct Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup win the 2008 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 for Ford and Triple 8.
  • 13 Oct The Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounds 936.42 points, nearly doubling the largest daily point gain in history, bringing the index back above 9,000 points. Stocks worldwide add more than US$1.7 trillion in value, based on a record 9.3 percent gain in the MSCI world equity index.
  • 14 Oct U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announces plans to take equity stakes totaling up to $250 billion in financial institutions.
  • 15 Oct The US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the Swiss National Bank announce they will allow unlimited loans in US dollars.
  • 16 Oct American second largest bank Citigroup posts its fourth straight quarterly loss of $13 billion due to write-downs and credit losses. The bank has recorded US$71 billion in losses over five quarters.
  • 17 Oct The President of France Nicolas Sarkozy withdraws tacit support for the Quebec sovereignty movement shown by some of his predecessors in a visit to Quebec City. (Reuters)
  • 18 Oct NASA launches Interstellar Boundary Explorer satellite that will study the edge of solar system. (eFlux)
  • 19 Oct Afghan officials claim that the Taliban has executed as many as 30 of 50 people captured on a bus in Kandahar Province. (''International Herald Tribune'')
  • 20 Oct Sri Lankan Civil War: The Sri Lankan military reports that they have breached a key defensive line near the Tamil Tiger headquarters in northern Sri Lanka. (BBC)
  • 21 Oct Global financial crisis of September–October 2008: Iceland's Kaupthing Bank fails to pay interest to its 50-billion-yen (US$493 million) bondholders in Japan. (Reuters)
  • 22 Oct Wachovia Corp reports a third-quarter loss of US$23.9 billion, a record quarterly deficit for a banking company in the global credit crisis.
  • 23 Oct The New York City Council votes 29–22 in favor of extending the term limit on the office of the Mayor to three consecutive four-year terms from two consecutive four-year terms. This allows current Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for office again in the next mayoral election in November 2009. (WCBS)
  • 24 Oct ''Bloody Friday'' saw many of the world's stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.
  • 25 Oct War in Darfur: Human Rights Watch says that more than 40 civilians have been killed in attacks by pro-government Arab militias on rebel-held villages in South Darfur. (BBC News)
  • 26 Oct American commandos make a raid on a farm in Syria, across from Iraq. The Syrian government claims eight civilians killed.
  • 27 Oct Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens is found guilty on all seven counts of lying on United States Senate financial documents. (AP via Google News)
  • 28 Oct The Dow Jones Industrial Average rises 889.35 points, or 10.88 percent, to 9,065.12, its second-biggest point gain. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gains 91.59 points, or 10.79 percent, to 940.51, also its second-biggest point gain. The Nasdaq Composite Index rises 143.57 points, or 9.53 percent, to 1,649.47.
  • 29 Oct Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries sells a US 1868 3-cent rose George Washington postage stamp with "B" grill embossing for US$900,000 (US$1,035,000 with buyer's fee). The stamp is one of four known.
  • 30 Oct The Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series of baseball, their first since 1980, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays four games to one. Game Five was suspended in the sixth inning on October 28 due to rain, with the score tied 2-2.
  • 31 Oct Libya pays US$1.5 billion in compensation for past terrorist attacks to the United States, clearing the way for normal diplomatic ties between the two countries. (AFP via ABC)
  • 01 Nov Floods kill 24 people in Vietnam including 11 in the central province of Nghe An. (BBC News)
  • 02 Nov Lewis Hamilton wins the 2008 Formula One Drivers' Championship, beating Felipe Massa by one point to become the youngest and first black Formula One World Champion in history. (Sky News)
  • 03 Nov U.S. electronics retailer Circuit City Stores begins liquidation sales at 155 of its stores, to leave it with 566 U.S. stores.
  • 04 Nov California votes to approve a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
  • 05 Nov Best-selling author Michael Crichton (The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, TV show ER) dies in Los Angeles at age 66 from cancer.
  • 06 Nov Lindsay Roy of the Scottish Labour Party wins the Glenrothes by-election despite concerns that his party may lose the seat to the Scottish National Party. (BBC News)
  • 07 Nov Hurricane Paloma strengthens to Category 2 strength as it lashes the Cayman Islands. (AFP via Google News)
  • 08 Nov United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with African leaders to discuss resolutions to the ongoing Kivu conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (CNN)
  • 09 Nov A total of €750 million of cocaine is seized off the coast of Ireland, in the largest such seizure in the country's history. (''The Sunday Business Post'')
  • 10 Nov Circuit City Stores, second-largest U.S. consumer electronics retailer, files for bankruptcy protection.
  • 11 Nov RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) sets sail on her final voyage to Dubai.
  • 12 Nov The US Treasury decides not to use money of the Troubled Asset Relief Program to buy mortgage-backed securities, but instead to directly inject cash into selected banks.
  • 13 Nov Blizzard Entertainment launched the latest expansion pack to the highly popular computer game MMORPG World of Warcraft, entitled Wrath of the Lich King.
  • 14 Nov From Florida, NASA launches the space shuttle Endeavour, to continue construction of the International Space Station.
  • 15 Nov In Washington, D.C., leaders of the "G20" nations, representing 90 percent of global GDP, meet for an economic summit, for the first time ever.
  • 16 Nov Iraqi cabinet approves a withdrawal agreement for American troops to leave Iraqi cities and towns by the end of June 2009, and the country by the end of 2011.
  • 17 Nov Citigroup will cut 75,000 jobs by early 2009. (BBC News)
  • 18 Nov Heads of automakers General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler appear before a Senate banking committee to ask for financial assistance.
  • 19 Nov The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls below 8000.
  • 20 Nov After critical failures in the US financial system began to build up after mid-September, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level since 1997.
  • 21 Nov Global and Russian financial crises:
  • 22 Nov The government of Colombia confirms that the eruption of Nevado del Huila, a volcano in southern Colombia, has led to at least 10 deaths in recent days and the evacuation of 12,000 people. (BBC)
  • 23 Nov The U.S government rescues Citigroup Inc, agreeing to assume losses on about $250 billion of the bank's risky assets, and inject new capital of $20 billion.
  • 24 Nov Greenland holds a referendum for increased autonomy from Denmark. The vote is over 75% in favour.
  • 25 Nov The US Federal Reserve announces it will buy up to US$100 billion of debt issued by mortgage enterprises, and it will also buy up to US$500 billion of mortgage securities.
  • 26 Nov The first of many attacks on Mumbai, India are fired. These ten coordinated attacks by Pakistan-based terrorists kill 166 and injure more than 300 people in Mumbai.
  • 27 Nov The longest serving Ocean Liner in history, QE2 is retired from service.
  • 28 Nov Five people are arrested in France and Romania as a result of an investigation into the killing of Brahim Deby, a son of the President of Chad Idriss Deby. (AP via Google News)
  • 29 Nov Riots in Jos, Nigeria, kill 381, and injure at least 300.
  • 30 Nov The space shuttle Endeavour lands in California after a 16-day mission to renovate parts of the International Space Station.
  • 01 Dec The price of a barrel of light crude oil falls US$5.15 to US$49.28.
  • 02 Dec US President-elect Barack Obama names New York Senator Hillary Clinton as his nominee for secretary of state, and asks U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to remain in office.
  • 03 Dec The Convention on Cluster Munitions opens for signature in Oslo.ref name=cluster/
  • 04 Dec Iraq's Presidency Council approves a security pact with the United States, which requires U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraqi towns by mid-2009 and leave the country by the end of 2011.
  • 05 Dec The US White House and congressional democrats agree on a plan to provide a US$15 billion emergency loan to the country's automakers.
  • 06 Dec US heiress Martha "Sunny" von Bulow dies at age 76 in New York, following 28 years in a coma.
  • 07 Dec Jamie Whincup wins the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship series for Ford and Triple 8 Racing.
  • 08 Dec In the USA, the Tribune Company files for bankruptcy.
  • 09 Dec The Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, is arrested by federal officials for a number of alleged crimes including attempting to sell the United States Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama's election to the Presidency.
  • 10 Dec Talks on North Korea's nuclear program stall in a dispute over verification. (BBC)
  • 11 Dec Bernard Madoff is arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
  • 12 Dec Former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market Bernard Madoff is arrested and charged with allegedly running a $50 billion "Ponzi scheme", among the biggest fraud cases ever.
  • 13 Dec Leaders from China, Japan, and South Korea meet on the island of Kyūshū to discuss a response to the financial crisis. (BBC)
  • 14 Dec President George W. Bush makes his fourth and final (planned) trip to Iraq as president and is almost struck by two shoes thrown at him by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi during a news conference in Baghdad.
  • 15 Dec Montenegro presents its official application for European Union membership to current EU Council President Nicolas Sarkozy, hoping to win candidate status in 2009. (EU Observer)
  • 16 Dec The U.S. Federal Reserve cuts the country's federal funds interest rate to a target range of zero to 0.25 percent, the lowest level on record in the United States for the rate.
  • 17 Dec Sammy Baugh, football player who set numerous passing records with the Washington Redskins (1937-1952), dies at age 94 in Rotan, Texas, USA.
  • 18 Dec Mark Felt, the mysterious "Deep Throat" source who helped reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein crack the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon, dies at age 95 in Santa Rosa, California.
  • 19 Dec US President George W. Bush announces US$17.4 billion in emergency loans to U.S. carmakers to prevent a collapse of the industry and save hundreds of thousands of jobs.
  • 20 Dec The Swedish Academy, the body that selects the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, announces that Horace Engdahl will be replaced as its permanent secretary by historian Peter Englund. (AP via Google News)
  • 21 Dec Gwadar Port, Pakistan, becomes fully operational.ref name=quotThe_Dawnquot
  • 22 Dec The American Environmental Protection Agency publishes a Clean Water Act General Permit that will allow cruise ships to dump unlimited quantities of untreated "graywater" into the ocean just a mile from U.S. shores.
  • 23 Dec US President George W. Bush signs H.R. 6184 "America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008" into law, as Public Lal 110-456. The program encompasses a new series of circulating and non-circulating coins depicting national sites of each state and territory, and the District of Columbia, five designs per year, beginning in 2010. In addition to circulating quarter dollar coins, 5-ounce silver coins will also be produced for each design.
  • 24 Dec Lord's Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group, begins a series of attacks on Democratic Republic of the Congo, massacring more than 400.
  • 25 Dec Eartha Kitt, American sultry singer ("Santa Baby"), dancer and actress (Catwoman in Batman, two Emmy awards) dies in New York at age 81 of colon cancer.
  • 26 Dec China's People's Liberation Army Navy begins escorting three warships (two destroyers and one replenishment oiler) to the Gulf of Aden to combat piracy in Somalia. (Xinhua)
  • 27 Dec President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari accepts that ampquotnon-state actorsampquot exist in the country and vows to root out terrorism there. (Reuters)
  • 28 Dec Operation Cast Lead
  • 29 Dec Bangladesh holds its general elections after two years of political unrest over the interim government.
  • 30 Dec Eight of eleven snowmobilers buried by avalanches in British Columbia, Canada, are found dead. (CTV News)
  • 31 Dec U.S. crude oil price rises 14 percent on the final trading day of 2008, with February futures settling up US$5.57 to $44.60 per barrel.