2009 History Events: What Happened in 2009

On January 25th, George W. Bush handed over the presidential torch to Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States (Barack Obama). World censuses estimated a world population of around 6.8 billion when he started office. The birth of Jacob and Isabella, two popular baby names, aided this number’s upward trend. While we may not know who will alter the world, we do know that the Suleman Octuplets have become the world’s longest-living set. In 2009, we lost some incredible people. Clive Granger, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Les Paul, and Walter Cronkite were among them.

Avatar, Coraline, Star Trek, and Inglourious Basterds were among the top movie office hits. Meanwhile, Catching Fire and The Help took first and second place, respectively, among the world’s bookworms. The creation of an AIDS vaccine, the cloning of an extinct species, and the invention of the first bladeless fan were all important firsts in 2009. Croatia and Albania became official NATO members, while Slovakia became the 16th country to join the European Union.

A slew of other tragedies shocked the world, including the biggest natural disaster in Australian history, the Victorian bushfires. Many more countries, however, were confronted with an economic crisis rather than a climate-related one. Thailand and Switzerland, for example, have entered what is expected to be a severe recession. At the same time, the United States was watching in horror as GM and Chrysler declared bankruptcy. Though no one realised it at the time, these 365 days would mark the start of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Continue reading to discover more about the events of 2009.


(January 15, 2009)
Captain Chesley ("Sully") Sullenberger III of US Airways flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River after the jet collided with a flock of Canada geese shortly after takeoff, causing catastrophic damage to the plane's engines; there were no casualties. photo source:


(March 04, 2009)
Horton Foote, an American playwright and screenwriter best known for his adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, died in Connecticut. He captured American life in wonderfully observed simple stories.

(March 12, 2009)
Bernie Madoff, an American hedge-fund investment manager, pleaded guilty to several offences linked to his management of the world's largest Ponzi scam and was sentenced to 150 years in jail.

Find out interesting facts about Bernie Madoff

(April 06, 2009)
Michael Jordan, largely regarded as the best all-around player in basketball history, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

(May 31, 2009)
Millvina Dean died in Southampton, England, the last known survivor of the Titanic catastrophe in 1912. She was nine weeks old at the time of the accident.


(June 08, 2009)
The United Nations celebrated the first World Oceans Day, with the goal of increasing awareness about the challenges that oceans and their marine ecosystems confront. .

(June 21, 2009)
With the implementation of an enlarged home-rule agreement with Denmark, Greenland became self-governing.

(June 25, 2009)
Michael Jackson, known around the world as the "King of Pop," died at the age of 50 from a deadly cocktail of sedatives and propofol, an anaesthetic.

(August 25, 2009)
Ted Kennedy, the last surviving brother of President John F. Kennedy and a significant figure in the Democratic Party, died at the age of 77.


(September 14, 2009)
After a long fight with pancreatic cancer, American dancer and actor Patrick Swayze, who had starred in the box-office hits Dirty Dancing (1987) and Ghost (1990), passed away at age 57. photo source:

(December 16, 2009)
James Cameron's science-fiction thriller Avatar was released globally and grossed over $2.7 billion. 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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