In a few weeks, 2009 will be history. As George Santayana once famously said, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." With that in mind, I have attempted to construct a list of the most important events of each month in 2009.
As you will see, certain events have been omitted, such as the death of Michael Jackson and Barack Obama's inauguration. To be sure, it's not because of their lack of importance. Michael Jackson was the most famous entertainer of all time, and we all know why Obama's inauguration was important. However, these things occurred in months when more globally important events took place.
The following events took us on a roller coaster ride through the year. Some of them are positive, and some of them are not so positive. Regardless, they are the events that we'll remember when discussing 2009.
January: When a dispute arose on January 7 between Russia and Ukraine over unpaid debts, Russia shut off natural gas to the region. Since 80% of the gas intended for Europe flows through Ukraine, the world quickly learned how much control Russia has over energy markets. As a result, 18 European countries suffered a decrease in natural gas supplies. Link to news article.
February: On February 10, an American satellite and a Russian satellite collided over Siberia. It was the first time in history that two intact, man-made satellites collided while in orbit. The collision created over 1000 pieces of space debris larger than four inches, and countless smaller pieces, raising concerns about how to properly dispose of decommissioned satellites. Link to news article.
March: The Darfur region of Sudan has been in a state of humanitarian emergency since 2003. Finally, on March 4, after years of accusations of genocide, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. It was the first time since the court's inception that it issued an arrest warrant for a sitting head of state. Needless to say, al-Bashir has not surrendered to the court, and there have been no attempts to arrest him. Link to news article.