2002 History Events: What Happened in 2002

The Euro was proclaimed as the official currency of twelve European Union members in 2002, and ten other countries were voted into the EU. The trial of Slobodan Milosevic, the former president of Yugoslavia, began in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity. Furthermore, the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers reached a cease-fire deal, ending a 19-year civil war.

India had a dreadful year, with over 1000 people killed in a bloodbath. It involves a Muslim mob setting fire to a train, killing Hindu activists, prompting Hindu vengeance. On March 2 of that year, Afghan and US troops launched the Anaconda Operation against the last Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. In reaction to a succession of suicide bombings in Palestine, Israeli aeroplanes and tanks struck the West Bank towns of Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, and a few more. The first three months of the following year were likewise difficult for Israel, with 14 suicide bombers killing dozens of Israeli citizens and injuring hundreds more. Fortunately, the International Criminal Court was ratified by the United Nations although the United States declined to sanction it.

Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela at the time, was deposed in a coup, but was miraculously reinstated two days later, on April 14. On May 13, almost a month later, Russia and the United States reached an agreement on the landmark weapons treaty, which will cut both nations’ nuclear arsenals by up to two-thirds over the following ten years.

Meanwhile, MTV’s reality show The Osbournes premiered, while the soundtrack album for O Brother, Where Art Thou received a record-breaking five Grammy awards. Unfortunately, if no major prevention measures were done, AIDS-related mortality were expected to skyrocket.

Continue reading to discover more about the events of 2002.


(January 01, 2002)
With the introduction of both currency and coins on this day in 2002, the euro became the exclusive legal tender of participating member states by March 2002. photo source:


(February 09, 2002)
Princess Margaret, King George VI's second daughter and Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister, died in London. She battled to balance her independence with her responsibilities as a member of the British royal family.

(March 27, 2002)
Milton Berle, an American comedian who became known as "Mr. Television" during the early days of television in the United States, died at the age of 93.

(March 30, 2002)
Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, died in her sleep at Windsor Castle at the age of 101. She was the queen consort of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1936 to 1952.

(April 04, 2002)
The Angolan government and UNITA reached a cease-fire deal that brought the country's civil war to an end after 27 years of conflict.


(May 10, 2002)
After pleading guilty to spying for Moscow, American FBI agent Robert Hanssen was sentenced to life in prison; he was one of the Soviet Union's and Russia's most valuable double agents, as well as the most damaging spy ever to penetrate the FBI.

(May 20, 2002)
Portugal recognises East Timor's independence, putting an end to Indonesia's 23-year control and the UN's three-year interim administration (Portugal itself is the former coloniser of East Timor until 1976).

(June 10, 2002)

Kevin Warwick of the United Kingdom is conducting the world's first direct electronic communication experiment between two human nerve systems.

(July 06, 2002)
John Frankenheimer, one of the most creatively brilliant directors of the 1950s and 1960s, died in Los Angeles. He is best known for films like The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Birdman of Alcatraz (1962).


(September 11, 2002)
Johnny Unitas, a former NFL quarterback who was regarded as one of the league's all-time greats, died in Maryland.

(September 22, 2002)
Two years after the massive number of rural people protested in London for fox hunting, the House of Commons prohibited it in England and Wales. photo source:

(October 23, 2002)
Fifty Chechen insurgents stormed a Moscow theatre, capturing 700 hostages. The rebels, who had bombs strapped to their bodies, demanded that Soviet forces leave Chechnya. Three days later, after the deaths of two hostages, Russian Special Forces attacked the building, killing the majority of the terrorists as well as 120 captives. photo source:

(November 10, 2002)
One of the greatest tornado outbreaks ever recorded in November, spanning from Northern Ohio to the Gulf Coast. During the early to mid afternoon, the strongest tornado, an F4, strikes Van Wert, Ohio, destroying a movie theatre that had been evacuated. photo source:

(November 13, 2002)
A storm explodes a tank of the oil tanker MV Prestige, which was not allowed to dock and sank off the coast of Galicia on November 19, 2002, spilling 63,000 metric tonnes of heavy fuel oil, more than the Exxon Valdez oil spill. photo source:


(November 15, 2002)
Hu Jintao is elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, and a new Politburo Standing Committee of nine members is established. photo source:

(November 21, 2002)
Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia received an official invitation to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at a summit meeting in Prague. photo source:

Written by James

James has always been intrigued by dinosaurs, the universe, technology, and animals. With a Bachelor of Computer Science and years of writing expertise, he joined World Amazing Facts in 2021 as a staff writer.

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2001 History Events: What Happened in 2001

2003 History Events: What Happened in 2003