What Happened in 2009?

Although 2009 may seem as though it were a lifetime ago to some of us, to others, it feels as though it were only yesterday! And, to be fair, some of the events that happened during this year were so huge, that their impact has lasted for a decade between now and then.

From the world losing the King of Pop, and natural disasters shaking the planet, to political reforms that changed countries and countless people’s lives, 2009 was not a year we’ll soon forget! Here are some of the biggest events that took place in 2009.

In this year



Bitcoin was officially “released” for the first time as of January 3rd, 2009. It was on this date that the very first block – aptly named “Genesis” – was established by Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto remains a fairly secretive figure – but this event would set crypto off the mark for the decade ahead.



Bushfires struck Victoria, in Australia. The fires killed at least 173 people, countless animals, and destroyed thousands of homes and hectares of land. Sadly, it wouldn’t be the last bushfires the country fell prey to. The event became known as Black Saturday,

João Bernardo Vieira


João Bernardo Vieira, who was the President of Guinea-Bissau, was shockingly assassinated on March 2nd, 2009. He was shot and killed at his home, during what’s reported to have been an armed offensive.

Facts about Cuba


The US’ Cuban policy experienced a huge shift in April 2009. The United States announced that Cuban-Americans were now allowed to visit the country and send money to their relatives in Cuba. This marked a huge change in the embargo the country had been under for decades.



California’s Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8. The proposition maintained the ban on same-sex marriage in the state. Sadly, the legislation would not change in the state before 2013.

Manuel Zelaya


On June 28th, 2009, the Honduran military staged a successful coup against President Manuel Zelaya. Roberto Micheletti assumed the presidency following Zelaya's removal from office.

total solar eclipse


What’s thought to be the longest complete solar eclipse of the century occurred on July 22nd, 2009. The event reportedly lasted around six minutes and 38 seconds, and was visible across the Pacific and some regions in Asia.

Facts about Bolivia


Bolivia led the way for its indigenous peoples on August 3rd, 2009, as it became the first nation in South America to allow such peoples to govern themselves. It was a forward-thinking move naturally met with praise.



The H1N1 influenza vaccine became available in some countries. The vaccines proved to be efficient in protecting most people from the virus. However, it was not before mid-2010 that the WHO announced the end of the H1N1 influenza pandemic stage.

Barack Obama talking to the crowd with a microphone


The Nobel Peace Prize was officially awarded to US President Barack Obama. He received the award for his ongoing efforts to try and strengthen international relations and diplomacy, and for promoting cooperation between people from around the world.

facts about the Apollo moon landing


NASA reported back to thrilled space enthusiasts that they’d discovered evidence of “significant” water residing in a Moon crater – specifically, in the Cabeus. NASA obtained this incredible news thanks to the insight of its LCROSS project. Could that mean life could be sustained naturally on the Moon…? It’s entirely possible, but even at the time of writing, the jury is still very much out.

boeing 787


Boeing launched its much-anticipated 787 Dreamliner for the first time on December 15th, 2009. The passenger jet took flight in 2009, but wouldn’t officially launch into service until October 2011, in partnership with All Nippon Airways. This aircraft was considered more fuel-efficient than its predecessor, the 767.

2009 was the year of the…

year of the ox


Like 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, and 2021, the Chinese Zodiac claims 2009 is very much a year about ox people. But what does that actually mean? People born in ox years are said to be very stubborn! They are usually very calm people, but once something pushes them over the limit, they can have terrible tempers. The next ox year won't be until 2033.

This page was last modified on January 10, 2024. Suggest an edit