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Template:Year nav Template:C21YearInTopic 2008 (MMVIII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar.

2008 was designated as:

  • International Year of Planet Earth.[1]
  • International Year of Languages.[2]
  • International Year of the Potato.[3]
  • International Year of Sanitation.[4]
  • Year of the Frog.[5]
  • European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.[6]

Events

January

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File:MESSENGER first photo of unseen side of mercury.jpg

First-ever photograph of the "unseen side" of Mercury, taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft on January 14.

  • January 1Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro.[7][8]
  • January 1 – A suicide bombing occurs in Zayouna, Baghdad, killing over 25 people during a funeral over the deaths from the preceding attack.[9]
  • January 2 – The price of petroleum hits $100 per barrel for the first time.
  • January 3 – A car bomb detonates, killing at least 4 and injuring 68, in Diyarbakır, Turkey. Police blame Kurdish rebels.[10]
  • January 8 – An attempted assassination of Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is thwarted after a Boy Scout grabs the attacker's knife. The Boy Scout is injured, but after a scuffle police arrest the attacker.[11]
  • January 12 – A Macedonian Army Mil Mi-17 helicopter crashes in thick fog southeast of Skopje, killing all 11 military personnel on board.[12]
  • January 14 – At 19:04:39 UTC, the MESSENGER space probe is at its closest approach during its first flyby of the planet Mercury.[13]
  • January 15 – The Federal Court of Australia orders a Japanese whaling company to stop research whaling within their Exclusive Economic Zone.[14]
  • January 21 – Stock markets around the world plunge amid growing fears of a U.S. recession, fueled by the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis.[15]
  • January 22Russia stages the largest naval exercise since the fall of the Soviet Union in the Bay of Biscay. The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, along with 11 support vessels and 47 long-range bomber aircraft, practises strike tactics off the coast of France and Spain, and test-launches nuclear-capable missiles in foreign waters.[16]
  • January 23Polish Air Force EADS CASA C-295 crashes on approach to the 12th Air Base near Mirosławiec. All 20 personnel on board die.[17]
  • January 23 – Thousands of Palestinians cross into Egypt, as the border wall with Gaza in Rafah is blown up by militants.[18]
  • January 24 – A peace deal ends the Kivu war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[19]
  • January 25China's worst snowstorm since 1954 kills 133, delays traffic, and causes massive power outages in central and southern parts of the country.[20]
  • January 29Iran's judiciary sentences to prison 54 Bahá'í Faith followers for 'anti-regime propaganda'.[21][22]

February

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File:Raúl Castro.JPG

Raúl Castro

  • February 2 – Rebels attack the capital of Chad, N'Djamena.[23]
  • February 4Iran opens its first space center and launches a rocket into space.[24]
  • February 4 – A Palestinian suicide bomber kills 1 and wounds 13 in a Dimona, Israel shopping center.[25]
  • February 5 – U.S. stock market indices plunge more than 3% after a report shows signs of economic recession in the service sector. The S&P 500 fall 3.2%, The Dow Jones Industrial Average 370 points.[26]
  • February 56A tornado outbreak, the deadliest in 23 years, kills 58 in the Southern United States.[27]
  • February 7STS-122: Space Shuttle Atlantis launches to deliver the European-built Columbus science laboratory to the International Space Station.[28]
  • February 10 – The 2008 Namdaemun fire severely damages Namdaemun, the first National Treasure of South Korea.[29]
  • February 11President of East Timor José Ramos-Horta is seriously wounded in an attack on his home by rebel soldiers. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado is killed by Ramos-Horta's security guards during the attack.[30]
  • February 12PDVSA, a state oil company in Venezuela, suspends sales of crude oil to ExxonMobil, in response to a legal challenge by them.[31]
  • February 12Bridgestone, under investigation for an alleged price-fixing cartel, uncovers improper payments of at least 150 million Japanese yen to foreign governments and withdraws from the marine hose business.[32]
  • February 13 – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia delivers a formal apology to the Stolen Generations.[33]
  • February 17Kosovo formally declares independence from Serbia, with support from some countries but opposition from others.[34]
  • February 18 – The British government introduces emergency legislation temporarily to nationalize Northern Rock, the 5th largest mortgage bank in the UK, due to the bank's financial crisis.[35]
  • February 18A general election is held in Pakistan, delayed from January 8 due to riots in the wake of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Opposition parties, including Bhutto's, take more than half of the seats, while President Pervez Musharraf's party suffers a huge defeat.[36]
  • February 19Fidel Castro announces his resignation as President of Cuba, effective February 24.[37]
  • February 20 – The United States Navy destroys a spy satellite containing toxic fuel, by shooting it down with a missile launched from the USS Lake Erie in the Pacific Ocean.[38]
  • February 20 – A total lunar eclipse crosses North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.[39]
  • February 22 – Former building society Northern Rock is the first bank in Europe to be taken into state control, due to the U.S. subprime mortgage financial crisis.[40]
  • February 22 – No survivors are found after a rescue helicopter discovers the wreckage of Santa Bárbara Airlines Flight 518 just northeast of Mérida, Venezuela. The commercial plane had 46 people on board, including crew.[41]
  • February 24Raúl Castro is unanimously elected as President of Cuba by the National Assembly.[42]

March

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File:Crew in ATV with Jules Verne manuscript.jpg

European Jules Verne ATV docked the to International Space Station.

  • MarchAprilRising food and fuel prices trigger riots and unrest in the Third World.
  • March 1 – In Gaza Strip, at least 52 Palestinians and 2 Israeli soldiers are killed in the most intense Israeli air strikes since 2005.[43]
  • March 22008 Andean diplomatic crisis: Venezuela and Ecuador move troops to the Colombian border, following a Colombian raid against FARC guerrillas inside Ecuador's national territory, in which senior commander Raúl Reyes is killed.[44][45]
  • March 6 – Eight Israeli civilians are killed and 9 wounded when a Palestinian attacker opens fire at a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem.[46]
  • March 9 – The first European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle, a cargo spacecraft for the International Space Station, launches from Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.[47]
  • March 14Demonstrations by Tibetan separatists turn violent as rioters target government and Han Chinese-owned buildings.
  • March 15 – A gun factory explosion in Gërdec, Albania kills more than 30. Over the following week, Albania, Kosovo, and some surrounding countries supply and support Gërdec's population with food, blood, etc.
  • March 19 – An exploding star halfway across the visible universe becomes the farthest known object ever visible to the naked eye.[48]
  • March 24Bhutan holds its first-ever general elections.[49]
  • March 25 – A 414 square kilometer (160 sq. mi.2) chunk of Antarctica's Wilkins Ice Shelf disintegrates, leaving the entire shelf at risk.
  • March 25African Union and Comoros forces invade the rebel-held island of Anjouan.
  • March 29Presidential and parliamentary elections are held in Zimbabwe.[50]

April

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  • April 8Privy Council of Sark dismantles its feudal system to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.[51] and the first elections under the new law will be held in December 2008 and the new chamber will first convene in January 2009.[52][53][54]
  • April 15 – A Hewa Bora Airways DC-9 crashes into a residential area of Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • April 17Raila Odinga becomes the new Prime Minister of Kenya after the formation of a coalition government, ending the political crisis in Kenya.
  • April 22 – Surgeons at London's Moorfields Eye Hospital perform the first operations using bionic eyes, implanting them into 2 blind patients.
  • April 27 – The Taliban attempts to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a military parade in Kabul.[55]
  • April 28India sets a world record by sending 10 satellites into orbit in a single launch.[56]
  • April 2871 die in a train crash in Shandong, China.[57]

May

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File:2008 Sichuan earthquake map no labels.svg

An earthquake in Sichuan, China killed nearly 80,000 people.

  • May 3 – Over 133,000 in Burma/Myanmar are killed by Cyclone Nargis, the deadliest natural disaster since the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004.
  • May 7Dmitry Medvedev takes office as President of Russia, replacing Vladimir Putin.
  • May 8 – Start of armed clashes and fighting in Lebanon.
  • May 11Burma/Myanmar holds a constitutional referendum.
  • May 12 – Over 69,000 are killed in central south-west China by the Wenchuan quake, an earthquake measuring 7.9 Moment magnitude scale. The epicenter is 90 kilometers (55 miles) west-northwest of the provincial capital Chengdu, Sichuan province.
  • May 13 – A series of bomb blasts kills at least 63 and injures 216 in Jaipur, India.
  • May 14 – NASA announces the discovery of Supernova remnant G1.9+0.3.
  • May 15 – An oil pipeline explosion in Ijegun, Nigeria kills 100.
  • May 23 – The Union of South American Nations, a supranational union[citation needed], is created by a union between the Andean Community and Mercosur.
  • May 23 – The International Court of Justice awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the 2 countries.
  • May 25NASA's Phoenix spacecraft becomes the first to land on the northern polar region of Mars.[58]
  • May 28 – The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is established after the Assembly votes overwhelmingly in favor of abolishing the country's 240-year-old monarchy. Girija Prasad Koirala becomes temporary head of state.
  • May 30 – The Convention on Cluster Munitions is adopted in Dublin.[59]

June

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  • June 2 – A car bomb explodes outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least five.
  • June 8 – In the Akihabara area of Tokyo, Japan, a 25-year-old man stabs seven to death and wounds 10, before being arrested.
  • June 10 – Fire engulfs Sudan Airways Flight 109 after it lands in Khartoum, killing 44.
  • June 11 – The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope is launched.
  • June 11Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologizes to Canada's First Nations for the Canadian residential school system.
  • June 12Ireland votes to reject the Treaty of Lisbon, in the only referendum to be held by a European Union member state on the treaty.
  • June 14 – A 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Iwate Prefecture, Japan, kills 12 and injures more than 400.
  • June 14September 14Expo 2008 is held in Zaragoza, Spain, with the topic of "Water and sustainable development".
  • June 22Typhoon Fengshen hits the Philippines and capsizes the ferry MV Princess of the Stars, leaving hundreds dead or missing.
  • June 27 – President Robert Mugabe is reelected with 85.5% of the vote in the second round of the controversial Zimbabwean presidential election.
  • June 27 – After three decades as the Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates steps down from daily duties to concentrate on philanthropy.[60][61]

July

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File:34th G8 summit member 20080708.jpg

34th G8 summit heads of delegations in Tōyako, Japan.

  • July 2Íngrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages are rescued from FARC by Colombian security forces.
  • July 7 – A suicide-bomber drives an explosives-laden automobile into the front gates of the Indian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 58 and injuring over 150.
  • July 79 – The 34th G8 summit is held in Tōyako, Hokkaidō, Japan.
  • July 10 – Former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boškoski is acquitted of all charges, by a UN Tribunal accusing him of war crimes.
  • July 1520World Youth Day takes place in Sydney, Australia. Pope Benedict XVI appears at the event.[62]
  • July 21Radovan Karadžić, the first president of the Republika Srpska, is arrested in Belgrade, Serbia on allegations of war crimes, following a 12-year long manhunt.[63]
  • July 22 – The United Progressive Alliance-led government in India survives a crucial no-confidence vote, based on disagreements between the Indian National Congress and Left Front, over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
  • July 23Ram Baran Yadav is sworn in as the first President of Nepal.[64]
  • July 25 – A series of seven bomb blasts rock Bangalore, India, killing two and injuring 20; the next day, a series of bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, kills 45 and injures over 160 people.
  • July 27 – At least 17 are killed and over 154 wounded in 2 blasts in Istanbul.
  • July 28 – At least 48 are dead and over 287 injured after bombs explode in Baghdad and Kirkuk, Iraq.[65][66]

August

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File:Beijing 2008 Olympics logo.svg

Beijing 2008

  • August 1 – A total eclipse of the Sun is visible from Canada and extends across northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and China.[67]
  • August 1George Tupou V is crowned as the new King of Tonga, an event that had been delayed for over two years following the 2006 Nuku'alofa riots.[68]
  • August 3 – A stampede at a Hindu temple at Naina Devi in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, India kills 162 and injures 400.
  • August 4 – Two members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which had threatened to attack the Beijing Olympics, kill 16 and injure another 16 officers at a police station in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China.[69][70]
  • August 6 – President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi of Mauritania is deposed in a military coup d'état.
  • August 7 – The 2008 South Ossetia war begins, as Georgia and Russia launch a major offensive inside the separatist region of South Ossetia after days of border skirmishes between the two sides.
  • August 824 – The 2008 Summer Olympics take place in Beijing, China.[71]
  • August 15 – Pushpa Kamal Dahal (known as Prachanda) is sworn in as the first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, after the Nepalese monarchy was abolished in May.[72]
  • August 17Michael Phelps surpasses Mark Spitz in Gold Medals won at a single Olympics, winning eight.[73]
  • August 18Pervez Musharraf resigns as President of Pakistan, under impeachment pressure from the coalition government.[74]
  • August 19Taliban insurgents kill 10 and injure 21 French soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan.[75]
  • August 19 – A suicide bomber rams a car into an Algerian military academy, killing 43 and injuring 45.[76]
  • August 20Spanair Flight 5022, from Madrid to Gran Canaria, skids off the runway and crashes at Barajas Airport with 172 on board. Of them, 154 die and 18 survive.[77]
  • August 21 – At least 60 die following twin suicide bombings outside the Pakistan Ordnance Factories in Wah, Pakistan.
  • August 22Pirates hijack German, Iranian, and Japanese cargo ships off the coast of Somalia, in seven such attacks since June 20.[78]
  • August 24 – An aircraft crashes in Guatemala, killing 10, including four Americans on a humanitarian mission.[79]
  • August 24Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895 crashes upon takeoff near Manas International Airport in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, killing 68.[80]
  • August 26Russia unilaterally recognizes the independence of Georgian breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia.[81]
  • August 26September 1Hurricane Gustav makes landfall on Louisiana as Category 2 and kills seven in the United States, after making landfall on western Cuba as Category 4, and killing 66 in Haiti, eight in the Dominican Republic, and 11 in Jamaica.[82][83]
  • August 28September 7Hurricane Hanna kills seven in the United States, and 529 in Haiti, mostly due to floods and mudslides.[84]

September

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File:YE Plus1 descends into cavern.jpg

The CMS experiment of the Large Hadron Collider.

  • September 114Hurricane Ike makes landfall on Texas as Category 2 and kills 27 in the United States, after killing four in Cuba, one in the Dominican Republic, and 75 in Haiti.[85][86]
  • September 2Prime Minister of Japan Yasuo Fukuda resigns, less than a year after taking office following Shinzo Abe's resignation.[87]
  • September 2Political crisis in Thailand: Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej of Thailand declares a state of emergency in Bangkok.[88]
  • September 3Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of Pakistan survives an assassination attempt near Islamabad, while on his way to meet British Leader of the Opposition David Cameron.
  • September 3 – President's Dimitris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat hold peace talks in Nicosia, aimed at reunifying Cyprus.[89][90]
  • September 6Asif Ali Zardari is elected President of Pakistan by the Electoral College of Pakistan.[91]
  • September 6 – At least eight boulders dislodge from a cliff near Cairo, Egypt, killing at least 90 and burying an estimated 500 people.[92]
  • September 9Political crisis in Thailand: The Constitutional Court of Thailand orders Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to resign, after he is paid for appearing on a television cooking show.[93]
  • September 10 – The proton beam is circulated for the first time in the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, located at CERN, near Geneva, under the Franco-Swiss border.[94][95]
  • September 12 – A Metrolink train collides head-on into a freight train in Los Angeles, California, killing 25 and injuring 130.[96]
  • September 14Aeroflot Flight 821 crashes near the city of Perm, Russia, killing all 88 on board.[97]
  • September 15 – Following negotiations, President Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara sign a power-sharing deal, making Tsvangirai the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.
  • September 15Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • September 17 – The International Astronomical Union classifies Haumea as the 5th dwarf planet in the Solar System.[98]
  • September 1925Typhoon Hagupit kills 17 in China, eight in the Philippines, one in Taiwan, and 41 in Vietnam.[99]
  • September 20 – A suicide truck bomb explosion destroys the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 60 and injuring 266.[100][101][102]
  • September 21President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa resigns after accepting a call by the African National Congress.[103]
  • September 24 – The Diet of Japan elects Taro Aso as the new Prime Minister of Japan.[104]
  • September 25Kgalema Motlanthe is elected by the National Assembly of South Africa as the President of South Africa, succeeding Thabo Mbeki.[105]
  • September 25Shenzhou 7, the third manned Chinese spaceflight and the first with three crew members, is successfully launched. China becomes the third country ever to conduct a spacewalk.[106]
  • September 28SpaceX Falcon 1 becomes the world's first privately developed space launch vehicle to successfully make orbit.[107][108]
  • September 30 – A Jodhpur temple stampede in western India kills over 224 people, and injures 400.[109][110]

October

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  • October 3Global financial crisis: U.S. President George W. Bush signs the revised Emergency Economic Stabilization Act into law, creating a 700 billion dollar Treasury fund to purchase failing bank assets.[111]
  • October 6NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft makes its second of three flybys of Mercury, decreasing the velocity for orbital insertion on March 18, 2011.[112][113]
  • October 6An earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude kills at least 65 in Kyrgyzstan.[114]
  • October 7Global financial crisis: Russia agrees to provide Iceland with a four-billion-euro loan.[115][116]
  • October 7 – The meteoroid 2008 TC3 impacts Earth, becoming the first such object to be discovered prior to impact.[117]
  • October 9Global financial crisis: Following a major banking and financial crisis in Iceland, the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority takes control of the three largest banks in the country: Kaupthing Bank,[118][119] Landsbanki,[120][121] and Glitnir.[122][123]
  • October 17 – The United Nations General Assembly elects Turkey, Austria, Japan, Uganda, and Mexico to two-year terms on the Security Council.[124]
  • October 21 – The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is officially inaugurated. It is a collaboration of over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.[125][126][127][128]
  • October 22 – The Indian Space Research Organisation successfully launches theChandrayaan-1 spacecraft on a lunar exploration mission.[129][130]
  • October 29Global financial crisis: Hungary's currency and stock markets rise on the news that it will receive an international economic bailout package worth $25 billion from the IMF, European Union, and World Bank.[131]
  • October 29Delta Air Lines merges with Northwest Airlines, forming the world's largest commercial carrier.[132]

November

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File:Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg

Barack Obama

  • November 4United States presidential election, 2008: Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States and Joe Biden is elected the 47th Vice President. Barack Obama becomes the first African-American President-elect.[133][134][135]
  • November 6 – King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan is crowned, having ascended to the throne in 2006.[136]
  • November 7 – The 2008 Pétionville school collapse kills at least 92 in Pétionville, Haiti.
  • November 8 – An accident aboard Russian submarine K-152 Nerpa kills 20.
  • November 11 – The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 departs on her last voyage from Southampton, UK to Dubai, UAE. She will become a floating hotel at Palm Jumeirah.[137][138]
  • November 14STS-126: The Space Shuttle Endeavour uses the MPLM Leonardo to deliver experiment and storage racks to the International Space Station. There will be only three more launches of Space Shuttle Endeavour after this mission.[139]
  • November 19 – Claudia Castillo of Spain becomes the first person to have a successful trachea transplant using a tissue-engineered organ.[140]
  • November 20 – The 2008 Prairie meteoroid falls over Canada.
  • November 2223 – The APEC Peru 2008 Summit is held in Lima.
  • November 24 – The 2008 Santa Catarina floods in Santa Catarina, Brazil kill 126 and force the evacuation of over 78,000 people.
  • November 25Greenland holds a referendum for increased autonomy from Denmark. The vote is over 75% in favour.[141]
  • November 25Political crisis in Thailand: Protesters from the People's Alliance for Democracy party storm into Suvarnabhumi Airport and block flights from taking off. More protesters seize control of Don Mueang Airport the following day.
  • November 25 – A car bomb in St. Petersburg, Russia, kills three people and injures one.
  • November 26November 29 – A series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India by Pakistan-based Islamic militants kills 195, and injures at least 250.
  • November 29Riots in Jos, Nigeria kill 381, and injure at least 300.

December

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  • December 1 – A triangular conjunction formed by a new Moon, Venus and Jupiter is a prominent object in the evening sky.[142]
  • December 2Political crisis in Thailand: After weeks of opposition-led protests, the Constitutional Court of Thailand dissolves the governing People's Power Party and two coalition member parties, and bans leaders of the parties, including Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, from politics for five years. As such, Wongsawat promptly resigns and is replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Chaovarat Chanweerakul as caretaker Prime Minister.[143]
  • December 3 – The Convention on Cluster Munitions opens for signature in Oslo.[59]
  • December 4Political crisis in Canada: Governor General Michaëlle Jean grants the request of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to prorogue Parliament until January 26, 2009, averting a motion of no-confidence by the new opposition coalition led by the Leader of the Opposition Stéphane Dion, and the New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, with Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe as a coalition partner.[144]
  • December 5 – Human remains found in 1991 are identified as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, using DNA analysis.[145]
  • December 6Riots spread across Greece after a 15-year-old boy is shot dead by a special guard of the Greek Police.[146]
  • December 10 – The Channel Island of Sark, a British crown dependency, holds its first fully democratic elections under a new constitutional arrangement, becoming the last European territory to abolish feudalism.[147]
  • December 12Switzerland becomes the 25th European country to join the Schengen Agreement, whereby cross-border passport checks will be abolished.[148]
  • December 12 – The Moon moves into its nearest point to Earth, called perigee, at the same time as its fullest phase of the Lunar Cycle. The Moon appears to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the year's other full moons. The next time these two events coincide will be in 2016.[149]
  • December 16Ruins of an ancient Wari city are discovered in northern Peru.
  • December 18 – The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda convicts Théoneste Bagosora and two other senior Rwandan army officers of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentences them to life imprisonment.[150]
  • December 21Gwadar port, Pakistan becomes fully operational.[151]
  • December 23 – A military coup d'état is announced in Guinea shortly after the death of long-time President Lansana Conté.[152]
  • December 27Israel initiates a series of airstrikes followed by an invasion in Gaza Strip, killing at least 1300 (including at least 416 children)[153] and wounding over 2,700.
  • December 29Bangladesh holds its general elections after two years of political unrest over the interim government.[154]
  • December 31 – An extra leap second (23:59:60) is added to end the year. The last time this occurred was in 2005.

Deaths

January

File:Edmundhillarycropped.jpg

Edmund Hillary

File:Heath Ledger.jpg

Heath Ledger

  • January 3Yo-Sam Choi, Korean boxer (b. 1972)
  • January 10Maila Nurmi, Finnish-American actress and television personality (b. 1921)
  • January 11Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropist (b. 1919)
  • January 15Brad Renfro, American actor (b. 1982)
  • January 16Nikola Kljusev, Macedonian Prime Minister (b. 1927)
  • January 17Bobby Fischer, American-Icelandic chess grandmaster (b. 1943)
  • January 19Suzanne Pleshette, American actress (b. 1937)
  • January 22Heath Ledger, Australian actor (b. 1979)
  • January 22Claude Piron, Swiss linguist and psychologist (b. 1931)
  • January 26George Habash, Palestinian politician (b. 1926)
  • January 27Gordon B. Hinckley, American Mormon leader (b. 1910)
  • January 27Suharto, President of Indonesia (b. 1921)
  • January 28Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens (b. 1939)

February

  • February 2Joshua Lederberg, American molecular biologist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1925)
  • February 5Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Indian spiritual leader (b. 1917)
  • February 7Andrew Bertie, British Grand Master of the Order of Malta (b. 1929)
  • February 9Baba Amte, Indian social activist (b. 1914)
  • February 10Roy Scheider, American actor (b. 1932)
  • February 11Alfredo Reinado, East Timorese rebel (b. 1967)
  • February 11Tom Lantos, American politician (b. 1928)
File:Janez Drnovsek.jpg

Janez Drnovšek

  • February 12Imad Mughniyah, Lebanese militant (b. 1962)
  • February 12Badri Patarkatsishvili, Georgian businessman and politician (b. 1955)
  • February 13Kon Ichikawa, Japanese film director (b. 1915)
  • February 13Henri Salvador, French singer (b. 1917)
  • February 18Alain Robbe-Grillet, French writer and filmmaker (b. 1922)
  • February 19Natalia Bessmertnova, Russian ballerina (b. 1941)
  • February 19Yegor Letov, Russian singer (b. 1964)
  • February 19Lydia Shum, Hong Kong comedian and actress (b. 1945)
  • February 23Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian President and Prime Minister of (b. 1950)
  • February 23Paul Frère, Belgian racing driver (b. 1917)
  • February 27William F. Buckley, Jr., American author and conservative commentator (b. 1925)
  • February 27Ivan Rebroff, German singer (b. 1931)

March

File:Clarke sm.jpg

Arthur C. Clarke

  • March 1Raúl Reyes, Colombian guerrilla (b. 1948)
  • March 2Jeff Healey, Canadian musician (b. 1966)
  • March 3Giuseppe Di Stefano, Italian operatic tenor (b. 1921)
  • March 3Norman Smith, English singer and record producer (b. 1923)
  • March 4Gary Gygax, American writer and game designer (b. 1938)
  • March 6Peter Poreku Dery, Ghanaian cardinal (b. 1918)
  • March 5Joseph Weizenbaum, German-American author and computer scientist (b. 1923)
  • March 14Chiara Lubich, Italian Catholic activist (b. 1920)
  • March 18Anthony Minghella, English film director and screenwriter (b. 1954)
  • March 19Arthur C. Clarke, English author, inventor, and futurist (b. 1917)
  • March 19Hugo Claus, Flemish writer, painter and film director (b. 1929)
File:Dinotirofijo.png

Manuel Marulanda

  • March 19Paul Scofield, English actor (b. 1922)
  • March 22Adolfo Suárez Rivera, Mexican cardinal (b. 1927)
  • March 24Neil Aspinall, British record producer and business executive (b. 1942)
  • March 24Richard Widmark, American actor (b. 1914)
  • March 26Manuel Marulanda, Colombian guerrilla (b. 1930)
  • March 27Jean-Marie Balestre, French sports executive (b. 1921)
  • March 30Dith Pran, Cambodian-American photojournalist (b. 1942)
  • March 31Jules Dassin, American film director (b. 1911)

April

File:Charlton Heston Civil Rights March 1963.jpg

Charlton Heston

  • April 3Hrvoje Ćustić, Croatian footballer (b. 1983)
  • April 5Charlton Heston, American actor (b. 1923)
  • April 10Ernesto Corripio y Ahumada, Mexican cardinal (b. 1919)
  • April 12Patrick Hillery, 6th President of Ireland (b. 1923)
  • April 13John Archibald Wheeler, American theoretical physicist (b. 1911)
  • April 14Ollie Johnston, American animator (b. 1912)
  • April 15Benoît Lamy, Belgian motion picture writer-director (b. 1945)
  • April 16Edward Norton Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist (b. 1917)
  • April 17Aimé Césaire, French Martinican poet and politician (b. 1913)
  • April 29Albert Hofmann, Swiss chemist and writer, discoverer of LSD (b. 1906)

May

File:2005.02.13. Irena Sendlerowa Foto Mariusz Kubik 01 zoom.jpg

Irena Sendler

  • May 1Anthony Mamo, 1st President of Malta (b. 1909)
  • May 2Philipp von Boeselager, German military officer (b. 1917)
  • May 3Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, Spanish Prime Minister of (b. 1926)
  • May 8François Sterchele, Belgian footballer (b. 1982)
  • May 10Leyla Gencer, Turkish soprano (b. 1928)
  • May 12Robert Rauschenberg, American pop artist (b. 1925)
  • May 12Irena Sendler, Polish humanitarian (b. 1910)
  • May 13Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait (b. 1930)
  • May 13Bernardin Gantin, Beninese cardinal (b. 1922)
  • May 15Willis Lamb, American physicist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1913)
  • May 23Cornell Capa, Hungarian-American photographer (b. 1918)
  • May 24Rob Knox, British actor (b. 1989)
  • May 26Sydney Pollack, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1934)
  • May 28Sven Davidson, Swedish tennis player (b. 1928)

June

File:Tschingis Ajtmatow.jpg

Chinghiz Aitmatov

File:Vo Van Kiet.jpg

Võ Văn Kiệt

File:Jesus is coming.. Look Busy (George Carlin).jpg

George Carlin

  • June 1Yves Saint Laurent, French fashion designer (b. 1936)
  • June 1Tommy Lapid, Israeli television presenter, journalist, and politician (b. 1931)
  • June 2Bo Diddley, American musician (b. 1928)
  • June 3Mel Ferrer, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1917)
  • June 4Agata Mróz-Olszewska, Polish volleyball player (b. 1982)
  • June 7Dino Risi, Italian director (b. 1916)
  • June 8Šaban Bajramović, Serbian musician (b. 1936)
  • June 9Algis Budrys, Lithuanian-American science fiction writer (b. 1931)
  • June 9Karen Asrian, Armenian chess grandmaster (b. 1980)
  • June 10Chinghiz Aitmatov, Kyrgyzstani writer (b. 1928)
  • June 11Ove Andersson, Swedish rally driver (b. 1939)
  • June 11Võ Văn Kiệt, Vietnamese prime minister (b. 1922)
  • June 13Tim Russert, American journalist (b. 1950)
  • June 15Stan Winston, American special effects and makeup artist (b. 1946)
  • June 17Cyd Charisse, American actress and dancer (b. 1922)
  • June 18Jean Delannoy, French film director (b. 1908)
  • June 21Scott Kalitta, American drag racer (b. 1962)
  • June 22George Carlin, American author, actor, and comedian (b. 1937)
  • June 23Arthur Chung, President of Guyana (b. 1918)
  • June 24Leonid Hurwicz, American economist and mathematician, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1917)
  • June 27Sam Manekshaw, Field Marshall of Indian Army (b.1914)
  • June 28Ruslana Korshunova, Kazakhstani model (b. 1987)
  • June 29Don S. Davis, American actor (b. 1942)

July

File:JesseHelms.jpg

Jesse Helms

  • July 4Jesse Helms, American politician (b. 1921)
  • July 4Evelyn Keyes, American actress (b. 1916)
  • July 5René Harris, President of Nauru (b. 1947)
  • July 9Seamus Brennan, Irish politician (b. 1948)
  • July 11Michael E. DeBakey, American surgeon and inventor (b. 1908)
  • July 12Tony Snow, American political commentator (b. 1955)
  • July 13Bronisław Geremek, Polish social historian and politician (b. 1932)
  • July 15György Kolonics, Hungarian canoeist (b. 1972)
  • July 22Estelle Getty, American actress (b. 1923)
  • July 23Kurt Furgler, Swiss politician (b. 1924)
  • July 25Johnny Griffin, American saxophonist (b. 1928)
  • July 25Randy Pausch, American author and computer scientist (b. 1960)
  • July 27Youssef Chahine, Egyptian film director (b. 1926)
  • July 29Mate Parlov, Croatian boxer (b. 1948)

August

File:Isaac hayes 1973.jpg

Isaac Hayes

  • August 1Harkishan Singh Surjeet, Indian politician (b. 1916)
  • August 3Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
  • August 9Bernie Mac, American actor and comedian (b. 1957)
  • August 9Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian poet (b. 1941)
  • August 10Isaac Hayes, African-American musician (b. 1942)
  • August 11Fred Sinowatz, Austrian politician (b. 1929)
  • August 13Henri Cartan, French mathematician (b. 1904)
  • August 15Jerry Wexler, American music producer (b. 1917)
  • August 16Ronnie Drew, Irish singer (b. 1934)
  • August 16Masanobu Fukuoka, Japanese microbiologist (b. 1913)
  • August 19Levy Mwanawasa, President of Zambia (b. 1948)
  • August 20Hua Guofeng, Chinese premier (b. 1921)
  • August 23Thomas Huckle Weller, American virologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1915)
  • August 28Phil Hill, American race car driver (b. 1927)

September

File:Paul Newman in Carnation, Washington June 2007 cropped.jpg

Paul Newman

  • September 1Don LaFontaine, American voice actor (b. 1940)
  • September 6Antonio Innocenti, Italian cardinal (b. 1915)
  • September 6Anita Page, American actress (b. 1910)
  • September 9Nouhak Phoumsavanh, President of Laos (b. 1910)
  • September 12David Foster Wallace, American writer (b. 1962)
  • September 15Richard Wright, English musician (b. 1943)
  • September 18Mauricio Kagel, Argentine composer (b. 1931)
  • September 26Paul Newman, American actor (b. 1925)

October

File:JoergHaider Sep07.JPG

Jörg Haider

  • October 1Boris Efimov, Russian political cartoonist (b. 1900)
  • October 6Paavo Haavikko, Finnish poet (b. 1931)
  • October 8George Emil Palade, Romanian cell biologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1912)
  • October 10Kazuyoshi Miura, Japanese businessman (b. 1947)
  • October 10Alexey Prokurorov, Russian cross-country skier (b. 1964)
  • October 11Jörg Haider, Austrian politician (b. 1950)
  • October 13Guillaume Depardieu, French actor (b. 1971)
  • October 13Antonio José González Zumárraga, Ecuadorian cardinal (b. 1925)
  • October 20Sœur Emmanuelle, Belgian-born French nun (b. 1908)
  • October 25Muslim Magomayev, Azerbaijani singer (b. 1942)
  • October 26Tony Hillerman, American writer (b. 1925)
  • October 31Studs Terkel, American author and liberal commentator (b. 1912)

November

File:Miriam Makeba.jpg

Miriam Makeba

  • November 1Jacques Piccard, Swiss explorer and engineer (b. 1922)
  • November 1Yma Sumac, Peruvian soprano (b. 1922)
  • November 4Michael Crichton, American author and producer (b. 1942)
  • November 4Juan Camilo Mouriño, Mexican politician (b. 1971)
  • November 10Kiyoshi Itō, Japanese mathematician (b. 1915)
  • November 10Miriam Makeba, South African singer (b. 1932)
  • November 12Mitch Mitchell, English drummer (b. 1946)
  • November 13Paco Ignacio Taibo I, Mexican writer and journalist (b. 1924)
  • November 14Tsvetanka Khristova, Bulgarian athlete (b. 1962)
  • November 22Ibrahim Nasir, Maldivian President (b. 1926)
  • November 27Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Indian Prime Minister (b. 1931)
  • November 29Jørn Utzon, Danish architect (b. 1918)

December

File:Patriarch Alexey II of Russia.jpg

Alexy II

File:MarkFelt.jpg

W. Mark Felt

File:Freddie Hubbard 1976.jpg

Freddie Hubbard

  • December 1Mikel Laboa, Basque singer and songwriter (b. 1934)
  • December 2Odetta, American singer (b. 1930)
  • December 5Alexy II, Russian Orthodox Patriarch (b. 1929)
  • December 5Nina Foch, Dutch-born American actress (b. 1924)
  • December 9Yuri Glazkov, Russian cosmonaut (b. 1939)
  • December 9Dražan Jerković, Croatian football player and manager (b. 1936)
  • December 11Daniel Carleton Gajdusek, American physician, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1923)
  • December 11Bettie Page, American pin-up model (b. 1923)
  • December 12Avery Dulles, American Roman Catholic Cardinal (b. 1918)
  • December 12Van Johnson, American actor (b. 1916)
  • December 12Tassos Papadopoulos, 5th President of Cyprus (b. 1934)
  • December 13Horst Tappert, German actor (b. 1923)
  • December 18Majel Barrett, American actress (b. 1932)
  • December 18W. Mark Felt, American FBI agent, "Deep Throat" from the Watergate scandal (b. 1913)
  • December 20Olga Lepeshinskaya, Russian ballerina (b. 1916)
  • December 20Robert Mulligan, American director (b. 1925)
  • December 22Lansana Conté, President of Guinea (b. 1934)
  • December 24Harold Pinter, English playwright (b. 1930)
  • December 24Samuel P. Huntington, American political scientist (b. 1927)
  • December 25Eartha Kitt, American singer and actress (b. 1927)
  • December 29Freddie Hubbard, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1938)


Awards

Nobel Prizes

  • ChemistryMartin Chalfie, Osamu Shimomura, Roger Y. Tsien
  • EconomicsPaul Krugman
  • LiteratureJean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio
  • PeaceMartti Ahtisaari
  • PhysicsMakoto Kobayashi, Toshihide Maskawa, Yoichiro Nambu
  • Physiology or MedicineFrançoise Barré-Sinoussi, Harald zur Hausen, Luc Montagnier

Major religious holidays

Template:Year in other calendars

  • January 7Christmas in Eastern Christianity
  • January 10Islamic New Year by Lunar calendar
  • February 5Carnival (Shrove Tuesday)
  • February 6Ash Wednesday, observance of Lent begins
  • February 7Lunar New Year
  • March 1Saint David's Day, celebrated in Wales and the United States.
  • March 15Saint Patrick's Day, celebrated in Ireland, the United States, and most of the English-speaking world. (Held on March 15 instead of the usual 17th to avoid the second day in Holy Week).[155] This March 17 will be the last one to fall within Holy Week until 2160.[156]
  • March 20 – March Equinox, also known as Ostara
  • March 20Purim
  • March 21Nowruz (Iranian New Year holiday)
  • March 21Good Friday
  • March 22Holi
  • March 23Easter Sunday, the earliest Easter has fallen since 1913
  • April 13Vaisakhi
  • April 20Passover, Palm Sunday in Eastern Christianity
  • April 27Pascha (or Easter) in Eastern Christianity
  • May 1Ascension of Jesus in Western Christianity
  • May 1Beltane, a Cross-quarter day
  • May 19 or May 20Vesak (the birthday of the Buddha) in Buddhism
  • June 5Ascension of Jesus in Eastern Christianity
  • June 9Shavuot
  • June 15Pentecost in Eastern Christianity
  • June 20 – June Solstice, also known as Midsummer or Litha
  • June 22All Saints' Day in Eastern Christianity
  • July 5Saints Cyril and Methodius day in Eastern Christianity
  • August 1Lammas, a Cross-quarter day
  • August 15Assumption of Mary
  • August 16Raksha Bandhan
  • September 1 – New Liturgical Year in Eastern Christianity
  • September 2 – Start of Ramadan
  • September 4- Janmastami -Birth of Lord Krishna
  • September 22 – September Equinox, also known as Mabon
  • September 30Rosh Hashanah
  • October 1Eid ul-Fitr
  • October 9Yom Kippur
  • October 13Sukkot
  • October 28Diwali
  • November 1Samhain, a Cross-quarter day and Neopagan new year
  • December 8Immaculate Conception
  • December 8Eid al-Adha
  • December 21Hanukkah begins at sundown
  • December 21 – December Solstice, also known as Yule
  • December 25Christmas in Western Christianity

2008 in fiction

Books

  • Isaac Asimov's 1955 short story Franchise takes place in 2008, the premise being that the U.S. president will be selected by a computer program looking for the "most representative citizen".
  • John Barnes, Mother of Storms (1995) begins with a 2008 UN resolution barring any nation from acquiring nuclear weapons after June 1, 2008, subject to penalty of preemptive strike.
  • Gregory Benford's books The Jupiter War and The Threads of Time are set in 2008.
  • The Galactic Milieu Series by Julian May features Earth's first contact with an alien race on June 20, 2008.
  • Ian McDonald's "Chaga Saga" (Evolution's Shore and Kirinya) begins with the March 13, 2008 impact arrival of the plant form Chaga from outer space.
  • Alan E. Nourse's 1957 book Rocket to Limbo begins with the March 3, 2008 launch of the starship Argonaut on a centuries-long trip to Alpha Centauri.
  • The Mote in God's Eye (1974) by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle postulates that faster-than-light travel is perfected in 2008.
  • The Next War, a controversial 1996 novel about the post-Soviet era, co-authored by former U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, looks at a possible 2008 nuclear confrontation between the United States and Russia.

Computer and video games

Set in 2008:

  • Mega Man (1987)
  • Twisted Metal III[citation needed] (1998)
  • Ghost Recon (2001): Russia attempts to reunite the Soviet Union and invades several Eastern European countries. The UN intervenes with peacekeeping forces.
  • Splinter Cell series: Sam Fisher goes undercover.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)[157]

Film

Set in 2008:

  • Silent Running[158] (1971)
  • Deterrence (2000)
  • Jason X (Friday the 13th series, 2002): Mass murderer Jason Voorhees is captured for the 2nd time and sentenced to death. However, the US government is unsure how to execute him; an electric chair, a gas chamber, a firing squad, and hanging are all tried – none of which work.
  • The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
  • The Lake House (2006): The ending takes place on Valentine's Day, 2008.
  • Southland Tales (2007)
  • 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007): The final act takes place in Tokyo during 2008.
  • Doomsday (2008): The start of the film is set in 2008, when a virus has infected Scotland.
  • Wall Street 2 (2010): Will be set in June 2008.

Television

  • The events of the Macross Zero OVA take place in 2008.
  • Doraemon: According to the original manga story, a time machine will be invented in 2008.
  • The Future Boy Conan anime (1978) story begins in July 2008, when a war results in five continents sinking into the sea.
  • According to the Futurama episode "Space Pilot 3000", Stop 'N Drop suicide booths are claimed to have been "America's Favorite" since 2008. Whether this is the use of an advertising hyperbole to indicate that they were introduced in 2008, or that they gained a plurality of market share in 2008 is not concluded.
  • Dawson's Creek (2003 series finale): The characters meet once again. Dawson, now 25, is the creator of a television series, The Creek, based on his life.[159]
  • The 2007 series of Doctor Who: Present time (such as "Smith and Jones") is primarily set in 2008.
  • Heroes: A possible future shown in Out of Time features the Shanti virus killing about 93% of the world's population by 2008.

Template:Events by month

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