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Template:Navbar
2008 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar2008
MMVIII
Ab urbe condita2761
Armenian calendar1457
ԹՎ ՌՆԾԷ
Assyrian calendar6758
Bahá'í calendar164–165
Balinese saka calendar1929–1930
Bengali calendar1415
Berber calendar2958
British Regnal year56 Eliz. 2 – 57 Eliz. 2
Buddhist calendar2552
Burmese calendar1370
Byzantine calendar7516–7517
Chinese calendar丁亥(Fire Pig)
4704 or 4644
    — to —
戊子年 (Earth Rat)
4705 or 4645
Coptic calendar1724–1725
Discordian calendar3174
Ethiopian calendar2000–2001
Hebrew calendar5768–5769
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat2064–2065
 - Shaka Samvat1929–1930
 - Kali Yuga5108–5109
Holocene calendar12008
Igbo calendar1008–1009
Iranian calendar1386–1387
Islamic calendar1428–1430
Japanese calendarHeisei 20
(平成20年)
Javanese calendar1940–1941
Juche calendar97
Julian calendarGregorian minus 13 days
Korean calendar4341
Minguo calendarROC 97
民國97年
Nanakshahi calendar540
Thai solar calendar2551
Tibetan calendar阴火猪年
(female Fire-Pig)
2134 or 1753 or 981
    — to —
阳土鼠年
(male Earth-Rat)
2135 or 1754 or 982
Unix time1199145600 – 1230767999

2008 (MMVIII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2008th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 8th year of the , the 8th year of the , and the 9th year of the decade.

2008 was designated as:

  • International Year of Languages[1]
  • International Year of Planet Earth
  • International Year of Sanitation
  • International Year of the Potato
  • The Year of the Frog, aimed at drawing attention to the worldwide crisis in amphibian conservation.[2]

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Events

January

File:Mercury in color - Prockter07 centered.jpg

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

  • January 1
    • Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro.[3][4]
    • A suicide bombing occurs in Zayouna, Baghdad, killing over 25 people during a funeral over the deaths from the preceding attack.[5]
  • January 2 – The price of petroleum hits $100 per barrel for the first time.[6]
  • January 3 – A car bomb detonates, killing at least 4 and injuring 68, in Diyarbakır, Turkey. Police blame Kurdish rebels.[7]
  • 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.[8]
  • January 12 – A Macedonian Army Mil Mi-17 helicopter crashes in thick fog southeast of Skopje, killing all 11 military personnel on board.[9]
  • January 14 – At 19:04:39 UTC, the MESSENGER space probe is at its closest approach during its first flyby of the planet Mercury.[10]
  • January 15 – The Federal Court of Australia orders a Japanese whaling company to stop research whaling within their exclusive economic zone.[11]
  • January 21 – Stock markets around the world plunge amid growing fears of a U.S. recession, fueled by the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis.[12]
  • January 22 – Russia stages the largest naval exercise since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 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.[13]
  • January 23
    • Polish Air Force EADS CASA C-295 crashes on approach to the 12th Air Base near Mirosławiec; all 20 personnel on board die.[14]
    • Thousands of Palestinians cross into Egypt, as the border wall with Gaza in Rafah is blown up by militants.[15]
  • January 24 – A peace deal ends the Kivu conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[16]
  • January 25 – China's worst snowstorm since 1954 kills 133, delays traffic, and causes massive power outages in central and southern parts of the country.[17]
  • January 29Iran's judiciary sentences to prison 54 Bahá'í Faith followers for "anti-regime propaganda".[18][19]

February

File:Raúl Castro.JPG

Raúl Castro

  • February 2 – Rebels attack the capital of Chad, N'Djamena.[20]
  • February 4
    • Iran opens its first space center and launches a rocket into space.[21]
    • A Palestinian suicide bomber kills 1 and wounds 13 in a Dimona, Israel shopping center.[22]
  • 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 drops 370 points.[23]
  • February 56A tornado outbreak, the deadliest in 23 years, kills 58 in the Southern United States.[24]
  • February 7STS-122: Space Shuttle Atlantis launches to deliver the European-built Columbus science laboratory to the International Space Station.[25]
  • February 10 – The 2008 Namdaemun fire severely damages Namdaemun, the first National Treasure of South Korea.[26]
  • 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.[27]
  • February 12
    • PDVSA, a state oil company in Venezuela, suspends sales of crude oil to ExxonMobil, in response to a legal challenge by them.[28]
    • Bridgestone, 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.[29]
  • February 13 – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia delivers a formal apology to the Stolen Generations.[30]
  • February 17Kosovo formally declares independence from Serbia, with support from some countries but opposition from others.[31]
  • 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.[32]
    • A 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.[33]
  • February 19
    • Fidel Castro announces his resignation as President of Cuba, effective February 24.[34]
  • February 20
    • The United States Navy destroys a spy satellite containing toxic fuel, by shooting it down with a missile launched from the Template:Ship in the Pacific Ocean.[35]
    • A total lunar eclipse crosses North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.[36]
  • 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.[37]
    • 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.[38]
  • February 24Raúl Castro is unanimously elected as President of Cuba by the National Assembly.[39]

March

File:Crew in ATV with Jules Verne manuscript.jpg

European Jules Verne ATV docked to the International Space Station

  • March–April – Rising 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.[40]
  • 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.[41][42]
  • March 6 – Eight Israeli civilians are killed and 9 wounded when a Palestinian attacker opens fire at a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem.[43]
  • 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.[44]
  • 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.[45]
  • March 24Bhutan holds its first-ever general elections.[46]
  • March 25
    • A 414 square kilometer (160 sq. mi.2) chunk of Antarctica's Wilkins Ice Shelf disintegrates, leaving the entire shelf at risk.
    • African Union and Comoros forces invade the rebel-held island of Anjouan.

April

  • April 8 – The Privy Council of the United Kingdom approves Sark's dismantling of its feudal system to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.[47] and the first elections under the new law will be held in December 2008 and the new chamber will first convene in January 2009.[48][49]
  • April 15 – A Hewa Bora Airways DC-9 crashes into a residential area of Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • 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.[50]
  • April 28
    • India sets a world record by sending 10 satellites into orbit in a single launch.[51]
    • 71 die in a train crash in Shandong, China.[52]

May

File:2008 Sichuan earthquake map no labels.svg

An earthquake in Sichuan, China, kills 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 – Armed clashes and fighting begin 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 (56 mi) 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 unionTemplate:Fix, is created by a union between the Andean Community and Mercosur.
    • 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.[53]
  • 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.[54]

June

  • June 2 – A car bomb explodes outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least five people.
  • 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 Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is launched.
    • Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologizes to Canada's First Nations for the Canadian Indian 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.
    • Expo 2008 starts in Zaragoza, Spain (ends in September) with the topic "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
    • Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is reelected with 85.5 per cent of the vote in the second round of the controversial presidential election.
    • After three decades as the Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates steps down from daily duties to concentrate on philanthropy.[55][56]
  • June 28The Bird’s Nest Stadium of Beijing, as well known for sport venues in China, officially opened, before 2008 Summer Olympic.Template:Fix

July

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.[57]
  • 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.[58]
  • 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.[59]
  • July 25 – A series of 7 bomb blasts rock Bangalore, India, killing 2 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.[60][61]

August

  • August 1
    • A total eclipse of the Sun is visible from Canada and extends across northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and China.[62]
    • George Tupou V is crowned as the new King of Tonga, an event that had been delayed for over 2 years following the 2006 Nuku‘alofa riots.[63]
  • 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.[64][65]
  • 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.[66]
  • August 10A propane facility explodes in Toronto overnight and causes a large-scale evacuation, resulting in 2 deaths.
  • 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.[67]
  • August 17Michael Phelps surpasses Mark Spitz in Gold Medals won at a single Olympics, winning eight.[68]
  • August 18Pervez Musharraf resigns as President of Pakistan, under impeachment pressure from the coalition government.[69]
  • August 19
    • Taliban insurgents kill 10 and injure 21 French soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan.[70]
    • A suicide bomber rams a car into an Algerian military academy, killing 43 and injuring 45.[71]
  • 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.[72]
  • 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 7 such attacks since June 20.[73]
  • August 24
    • An aircraft crashes in Guatemala, killing 10, including 4 Americans on a humanitarian mission.[74]
    • Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895 crashes upon takeoff near Manas International Airport in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, killing 68.[75]
  • August 26 – Russia unilaterally recognizes the independence of Georgian breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia.[76]
  • August 26September 1Hurricane Gustav makes landfall on Louisiana as Category 2 and kills 7 in the United States, after making landfall on western Cuba as Category 4, and killing 66 in Haiti, 8 in the Dominican Republic, and 11 in Jamaica.[77][78]
  • August 28September 7Hurricane Hanna kills 7 in the United States, and 529 in Haiti, mostly due to deluges and mudslides.[79]

September

  • September 114Hurricane Ike makes landfall on Texas as Category 2 and kills 27 in the United States, after killing four in Cuba, 1 in the Dominican Republic, and 75 in Haiti.[80][81]
  • September 2Political crisis in Thailand: Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej of Thailand declares a state of emergency in Bangkok.[82]
  • September 3
    • Prime 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.
    • Presidents Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat hold peace talks in Nicosia, aimed at reunifying Cyprus.[83][84]
  • September 6 – At least 8 boulders dislodge from a cliff near Cairo, Egypt, killing at least 90 and burying an estimated 500 people.[85]
  • 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.[86]
  • 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.[87][88]
    • The 2008 Bandar Abbas earthquake strikes southern Iran, killing 7 and injuring 45 people.[89]
  • September 12 – A Metrolink train collides head-on into a freight train in Los Angeles, killing 25 and injuring 130.[90]
  • September 14
    • Aeroflot Flight 821 crashes near the city of Perm, Russia, killing all 88 on board.[91]
    • Churches are attacked in Mangalore and southern Karnataka, India, leading to Christian protests and strong police suppression.[92]
  • 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.
    • Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, laying the catalyst for the Global financial crisis.
  • September 17 – The International Astronomical Union classifies Haumea as the 5th dwarf planet in the Solar System.[93]
  • September 1925Typhoon Hagupit kills 17 in China, 8 in the Philippines, 1 in Taiwan, and 41 in Vietnam.[94]
  • September 20 – A suicide truck bomb explosion destroys the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 60 and injuring 266.[95][96][97]
  • September 25Shenzhou 7, the third manned Chinese spaceflight and the first with 3 crew members, is successfully launched. China becomes the third country ever to conduct a spacewalk.[98]
  • September 28SpaceX Falcon 1 becomes the world's first privately developed space launch vehicle to successfully make orbit.[99][100]
  • September 29 – The Dow loses 777 points, the biggest one-day point decline ever. The drop comes after the House of Representatives votes down a $700 billion bank bailout plan.
  • September 30 – A Jodhpur temple stampede in western India kills over 224 people, and injures 400.[101][102]

October

  • 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.[103]
  • October 6
    • NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft makes its second of three flybys of Mercury, decreasing the velocity for orbital insertion on March 18, 2011.[104][105]
    • An earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude kills at least 65 in Kyrgyzstan.[106]
    • Symantec acquires PC Tools for $262,000,000.[107]
  • October 7
    • Global financial crisis: Russia agrees to provide Iceland with a four-billion-euro loan.[108][109]
    • The meteoroid 2008 TC3 impacts Earth, becoming the first such object to be discovered prior to impact.[110]
  • October 9Global financial crisis: Following a major banking and financial crisis in Iceland, the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority takes control of the 3 largest banks in the country: Kaupthing Bank,[111][112] Landsbanki,[113][114] and Glitnir.[115][116]
  • October 10 – A suicide bomber drives a car into a meeting of 600 people and blows himself up, killing 110 people.
  • October 12Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup win the 2008 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 for Ford and Triple 8.
  • October 14Canadian federal election, 2008: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is re-elected with a stronger minority government.
  • October 17 – The United Nations General Assembly elects Turkey, Austria, Japan, Uganda, and Mexico to two-year terms on the Security Council.[117]
  • 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.[118][119][120][121]
  • October 22 – The Indian Space Research Organisation successfully launches the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft on a lunar exploration mission.[122][123]
  • October 29
    • Global 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.[124]
    • Delta Air Lines merges with Northwest Airlines, forming the world's largest commercial carrier.[125]

November

File:Obama08acceptance.jpg

Barack Obama was elected as President of the United States on November 4, 2008

  • November 4United States presidential election, 2008: Democratic U. S. Senator Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States, and becomes the first African-American President-elect.[126][127][128]
  • November 6 – King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan is crowned, having ascended to the throne in 2006.[129]
  • November 7 – The 2008 Pétionville school collapse kills at least 92 in Pétionville, Haiti.
  • November 8 – An accident aboard Template:Ship kills 20.
  • November 11 – The Queen Elizabeth 2 departs on her last voyage from Southampton, UK to Dubai, UAE. She will become a floating hotel at Palm Jumeirah.[130][131]
  • 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 3 more launches of Space Shuttle Endeavour after this mission).[132]
  • November 19 – Claudia Castillo of Spain becomes the first person to have a successful trachea transplant using a tissue-engineered organ.[133]
  • November 20 – The Buzzard Coulee meteorite 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 25
    • Greenland holds a referendum for increased autonomy from Denmark. The vote is over 75% in favour.[134]
    • Political 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.
    • A car bomb in St. Petersburg, Russia, kills 3 people and injures 1.
  • November 2629 – A series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India by Pakistan-based Islamic militants who lay siege over a hotel for 2 days, results in 195 casualties, and over 250 injured.
  • November 27 – The longest serving ocean liner in history, QE2, is retired from service.
  • November 29Riots in Jos, Nigeria, kill 381, and injure at least 300.

December

File:Oferet-Yetzuka-F16I.jpg

Israeli F-16i of the 107th Squadron preparing for take-off, December 2008

  • December 1 – A triangular conjunction formed by a new Moon, Venus and Jupiter is a prominent sight in the evening sky.[135]
  • December 2Political crisis in Thailand: After weeks of opposition-led protests, the Constitutional Court of Thailand dissolves the governing People's Power Party and 2 coalition member parties, and bans leaders of the parties, including Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, from politics for 5 years. As such, Wongsawat promptly resigns and is replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Chaovarat Chanweerakul as caretaker Prime Minister.[136]
  • December 3 – The Convention on Cluster Munitions opens for signature in Oslo.[54]
  • 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.[137]
  • December 5 – Human remains found in 1991 are identified as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, using DNA analysis.[138]
  • December 6Riots spread across Greece after a 15-year-old boy is shot dead by a special guard of the Greek Police.[139]
  • December 7Jamie Whincup wins the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship series for Ford and Triple 8 Racing.
  • 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.[140]
  • December 11 - Bernard Madoff is arrested by U.S. federal authorities on charges of running a massive decades-long Ponzi scheme swindling thousands of investors - the largest financial fraud in history.
  • December 12
    • Switzerland becomes the 25th European country to join the Schengen Agreement, whereby cross-border passport checks will be abolished.[141]
    • 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.[142]
  • December 16Ruins of an ancient Wari city are discovered in northern Peru.
  • December 18 – The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda convicts Théoneste Bagosora and 2 other senior Rwandan army officers of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentences them to life imprisonment.[143]
  • December 21Gwadar Port, Pakistan, becomes fully operational.[144]
  • December 23 – A military coup d'état is announced in Guinea shortly after the death of long-time President Lansana Conté.[145]
  • December 27 – Israel initiates "Operation Cast Lead" in the Gaza Strip after launching an extensive wave of airstrikes[146] against military targets, police stations and government buildings within the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of stopping rocket fire[147] from and arms import into the territory.[148][149] As a result, Hamas intensified its rocket and mortar attacks against Southern Israel, reaching the major cities of Beersheba and Ashdod for the first time.[150][151][152]
  • December 29Bangladesh holds its general elections after 2 years of political unrest over the interim government.[153]
  • December 31 – An extra leap second (23:59:60) is added to end the year. The last time this occurred was in 2005.

Births

  • April 16Princess Eléonore of Belgium

Deaths

Error: no text specified (help).

January

File:Edmundhillarycropped.jpg

Edmund Hillary

File:Heath Ledger.jpg

Heath Ledger

File:President Suharto, 1993.jpg

Suharto

  • January 2Galyani Vadhana, Princess of Naradhiwas, Princess of Thailand (b. 1923)
  • January 3Yo-Sam Choi, Korean boxer (b. 1972)
  • January 10Maila Nurmi, Finnish-American actress and television personality (b. 1922)
  • 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 and former World Chess Champion (b. 1943)
  • January 19Suzanne Pleshette, American actress (b. 1937)
  • January 22
    • Heath Ledger, Australian actor (b. 1979)
    • Claude Piron, Swiss linguist and psychologist (b. 1931)
  • January 26George Habash, Palestinian politician (b. 1926)
  • January 27
    • Gordon B. Hinckley, American Mormon leader (b. 1910)
    • Suharto, 2nd President of Indonesia (b. 1921)
  • January 28 – Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens (b. 1939)
  • January 29Margaret Truman, American singer and writer (b. 1924)

February

File:Roy Scheider 2007.jpg

Roy Scheider

File:Janez Drnovsek.jpg

Janez Drnovšek

  • 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 11
    • Alfredo Reinado, East Timorese rebel (b. 1967)
    • Tom Lantos, American politician (b. 1928)
  • February 12
    • Imad Mughniyah, Lebanese militant (b. 1962)
    • Badri Patarkatsishvili, Georgian businessman and politician (b. 1955)
  • February 13
    • Kon Ichikawa, Japanese film director (b. 1915)
    • Henri Salvador, French singer (b. 1917)
  • February 18Alain Robbe-Grillet, French writer and filmmaker (b. 1922)
  • February 19
    • Natalia Bessmertnova, Russian ballerina (b. 1941)
    • Yegor Letov, Russian singer (b. 1964)
  • February 23
    • Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian President and Prime Minister of (b. 1950)
    • Paul Frère, Belgian racing driver (b. 1917)
  • February 27
    • William F. Buckley, Jr., American author and conservative commentator (b. 1925)
    • Ivan Rebroff, German singer (b. 1931)

March

Template:Double image

  • March 1Raúl Reyes, Colombian guerrilla (b. 1948)
  • March 2Jeff Healey, Canadian musician (b. 1966)
  • March 3
    • Giuseppe Di Stefano, Italian operatic tenor (b. 1921)
    • Norman Smith, English singer and record producer (b. 1923)
  • March 4Gary Gygax, American writer and game designer (b. 1938)
  • March 5Joseph Weizenbaum, German-American author and computer scientist (b. 1923)
  • March 6Peter Poreku Dery, Ghanaian cardinal (b. 1918)
  • March 14Chiara Lubich, Italian Catholic activist (b. 1920)
  • March 18Anthony Minghella, English film director and screenwriter (b. 1954)
  • March 19
    • Arthur C. Clarke, English author, inventor, and futurist (b. 1917)
    • Hugo Claus, Flemish writer, painter and film director (b. 1929)
    • Paul Scofield, English actor (b. 1922)
  • March 22Adolfo Suárez Rivera, Mexican cardinal (b. 1927)
  • March 24
    • Neil Aspinall, British record producer and business executive (b. 1942)
    • Richard 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 - 1953.jpg

Charlton Heston

File:OLLIE1989.jpg

Ollie Johnston

  • April 3Hrvoje Ćustić, Croatian footballer (b. 1983)
  • April 5Charlton Heston, American actor (b. 1923)
  • April 8Stanley Kamel, American actor (b. 1943)
  • 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:Irena Sendlerowa 2005-02-13 zoom.jpg

Irena Sendler

File:Sydney Pollack.jpg

Sydney Pollack

  • May 1Anthony Mamo, first President of Malta (b. 1909)
  • May 2Philipp von Boeselager, German military officer (b. 1917)
  • May 3Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo, Spanish Prime Minister (b. 1926)
  • May 8François Sterchele, Belgian footballer (b. 1982)
  • May 10Leyla Gencer, Turkish soprano (b. 1928)
  • May 12
    • Robert Rauschenberg, American pop artist (b. 1925)
    • Irena Sendler, Polish humanitarian (b. 1910)
  • May 13
    • Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait (b. 1930)
    • Bernardin 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)
  • May 29Luc Bourdon, Canadian Hockey player (b. 1987)

June

File:Tschingis Ajtmatow.jpg

Chinghiz Aitmatov

File:Cyd Charisse - 1949.jpg

Cyd Charisse

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

George Carlin

  • June 1
    • Yves Saint Laurent, French fashion designer (b. 1936)
    • Tommy Lapid, Israeli television presenter, journalist, and politician (b. 1931)
  • June 2
    • Bo Diddley, American musician (b. 1928)
    • Mel 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 9
    • Algis Budrys, Lithuanian-American science fiction writer (b. 1931)
    • Karen Asrian, Armenian chess grandmaster (b. 1980)
  • June 10Chinghiz Aitmatov, Kyrgyzstani writer (b. 1928)
  • June 11
    • Ove Andersson, Swedish rally driver (b. 1939)
    • Võ 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 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 Marshal 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 4
    • Jesse Helms, American politician (b. 1921)
    • Evelyn Keyes, American actress (b. 1916)
  • July 5René Harris, President of Nauru (b. 1947)
  • July 9Séamus 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 16Jo Stafford, American singer (b. 1917)
  • July 22Estelle Getty, American actress (b. 1923)
  • July 23Kurt Furgler, Swiss politician (b. 1924)
  • July 25
    • Johnny Griffin, American saxophonist (b. 1928)
    • Randy 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

File:Levy Mwanawasa.jpg

Levy Mwanawasa

September

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

Paul Newman

October

File:JoergHaider Sep07.JPG

Jörg Haider

  • October 1Boris Yefimov, 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 10
    • Kazuyoshi Miura, Japanese businessman (b. 1947)
    • Alexey Prokurorov, Russian cross-country skier (b. 1964)
  • October 11Jörg Haider, Austrian politician (b. 1950)
  • October 13
    • Guillaume Depardieu, French actor (b. 1971)
    • Antonio José González Zumárraga, Ecuadorian cardinal (b. 1925)
    • Alexei Cherepanov, Russian Hockey Player (b. 1989)
  • October 20Sœur Emmanuelle, Belgian-born French nun (b. 1908)
  • October 25Muslim Magomayev, Azerbaijani singer (b. 1942)
  • October 26Tony Hillerman, American writer (b. 1925)
  • October 27 - John Goetz, American professional baseball player (b. 1937)
  • October 29 - William Wharton (author), American Author (b. 1925)
  • October 31Studs Terkel, American author and liberal commentator (b. 1912)

November

File:MichaelCrichton.jpg

Michael Crichton

December

File:Patriarch Alexey II of Russia.jpg

Alexy II

File:Van Johnson 1972.JPG

Van Johnson

File:Horst Tappert retouched.jpg

Horst Tappert

File:MarkFelt.jpg

W. Mark Felt

Nobel Prizes

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

In fiction

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  • Second Earth, in the Pendragon Adventures, takes place in this year.
  • 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 (1994) 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.
  • Mega Man (1987)
  • Twisted Metal IIITemplate:Fix (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)[154]
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned (2009)
  • Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony (2009)
  • Silent Running[155] (1971)
  • Deterrence (1999)
  • Jason X (Friday the 13th series, 2001)
  • Friday the 13th (2009)
  • The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
  • The Lake House (2006): The ending takes place on Valentine's Day, 2008.
  • Southland Tales (2006)
  • Split Second (1992 film) (1992)
  • 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: Money Never Sleeps (2010): Is set in June 2008.
  • Geng: The Adventure Begins (2009)
  • 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.[156]
  • 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.

References

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