January 15 -- U.S. Airways Flight 1549 ditches in the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia. All 155 passengers and crew survive.
January 20 -- Barack Obama inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States.
January 29 -- Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich becomes the first state governor to be impeached and removed from office in over 20 years.
February 1 - The Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl 43, the score was 27-23.
February 10 -- A Russian and an American satellite collide over Siberia, creating a large amount of space debris.
February 12 - 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.
February 18 - President Barack Obama announces the deployment of 17,000 U.S. troops to go to Afghanistan.
March 2 - AIG reports $61 billion in losses during the 2008 fourth quarter. The news shocks Wall Street investors and causes the DOW to drop 299 points.
March 9 - President Barack Obama signs an executive order overturning a Bush-era policy that limited federal tax dollars for embryonic stem cell research.
April 8 - Somali pirates hijack the Maersk Alabama, an American freighter; then kidnap her captain.
April 24 -- The World Health Organization expresses concern at the spread of influenza from Mexico and the United States to other countries. International cases and resulting deaths are confirmed.
May 13 - A tornado outbreak occurs in north and northeastern Missouri, devastates the towns of Green City, Novinger, and Kirksville, and kills three. Tornadoes are also reported in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois.
June 12 - Analog television broadcasts ends in the United States, as the Federal Communications Commission requires all full power stations to send their signals digitally.
June 18 -- NASA launches the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS probes to the Moon, the first American lunar mission since Lunar Prospector in 1998.
June 25 -- The death of American entertainer Michael Jackson triggers an outpouring of worldwide grief. Online, reactions to the event cripple several major Web sites and services, as the abundance of people accessing the web addresses pushes Internet traffic to potentially unprecedented and historic levels.