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What Happened in 2002 Major Events, Popular Culture, Prices

USA -- US Airways Bankruptcy

More Information for the US Airways Bankruptcy

The United States’ seventh largest airline, US Airways files for bankruptcy during August. While the airline had financial issues prior to the September 11th terror attacks, it had been disproportionately impacted as it had a large presence at the major airports in the Washington D.C. region. After declaring bankruptcy, a judge granted the corporation $75 million in emergency financing and $500 million in debtor financing. In 2004 , US Airways filed for bankruptcy again and it merged with America West in 2005 . In 2013 it merged with American Airlines and in 2015, American Airlines discontinued use of the US Airways brand name.

United States - XIX Winter Olympics

The XIX Winter Olympics were held in Salt Lake City, Utah during February. A total of 2,399 athletes from 77 different countries participated in 80 athletic events. Women’s bobsleigh was added as a new event and the skeleton event was re-introduced. It also marked the first time that a black athlete won a gold medal at the winter games with Vonetta Flowers (USA) in women’s bobsleigh and the first black male athlete won a winter gold with Jarome Iginla (Canada) in men’s ice hockey. Norway won the most gold medals and Germany, the United States, and Canada came in second, third and fourth.

FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup for soccer was held between May 31 and June 30th. The massive sporting event was hosted by South Korea and Japan, making it the first World Cup to be held in more than one nation. It was also the first time the World Cup was held somewhere other than Europe or the Americas. The team from Brazil defeated Germany to win the final, becoming the first team to win five World Cups as well as being the only team to win all of their matches.

President George W. Bush "Axis of Evil" speech

More Information for President Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech.

In January of 2002, only a few months after the World Trade Center tragedy of September 11, 2001, United States President George W. Bush makes one of the most memorable State of the Union Addresses of any president. In his annual presidential speech he addressed the pressing problem of terrorism and the development of weapons used for mass destruction. During the speech he also describes "regimes that sponsor terror" as an Axis of Evil, in which he includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea. He outlined plans for combating terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban and urged for a greater focus on “Homeland Security.” This was his first public speech as President of the United States.

World -- Nobel Peace Prize

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October of 2002. Carter was given the prize for dedicating his life promoting peace and democracy, and working to advance human rights and social issues. Carter’s greatest achievement came in 1978 during his presidency when he brokered a peace deal between Egypt and Israel, but the majority of his work came after he left office. He was active in advocating for human rights and working as a mediator in international conflicts. He also established the Carter Center to fight against social and economic injustice and was heavily involved in the affordable home-building charity, Habitat for Humanity.

Switzerland and East Timor Join the UN

Switzerland and East Timor join the United Nations during September. Switzerland made steps towards becoming less politically isolated by holding a referendum in March with 54.6% voting in favor of joining. They became the 190th member of the United Nations. East Timor became the 191st member of the United Nations in September after changing its official name to Timor-Leste. Prior to its independence, the United Nations had been involved in transitional politics and peacekeeping in East Timor. The small island nation became the first new sovereign state to establish its independence during the 21st Century earlier that year in May.

The Euro

The Euro becomes the official currency of twelve of the European Union's Members

European Union

The European Union votes to add 10 new countries to the EU.

Kmart Corp

Kmart Corp becomes the largest retailer in American history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Washington DC Snipers

Two Snipers in Washington DC area kill 10 people and injure 3 more spreading panic and fear

Queen Mother Dies

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother of the UK Dies

Department of Homeland Security

George Bush creates the Department of Homeland Security on June 7th to fight threats of terrorism

No Child Left Behind Act

The No Child Left Behind Act is passed and President George W. Bush signs into law

Basque terrorist organisation ETA

The Basque terrorist organisation ETA continues it's bombing campaign in support of its aim for self determination for the Basque country.

Terrorists Bombing Bali

Terrorists detonate massive bombs in two nightclubs in Kuta, Bali, killing 202 and injuring over 300.

Siskiyou National Forest wildfire

A wildfire destroys almost a half million acres in Oregon’s Siskiyou National Forest

Yasser Arafat

Yasser Arafat trapped in his Compound By Israeli Troops until his death in 2004

2002 World Cup

Brazil Wins 2002 World Cup in Korea Republic and Japan

Aids / HIV

Estimated 40 million people now infected with Aids / HIV virus worldwide.

Sabarmati Express Train

Mobs of Muslims Burn the Sabarmati Express Train Killing 57 Hindu Pilgrims

Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart is kidnapped from her family's Salt Lake City home ( Found Alive in 2003 )

Yucca Mountain, Nevada

The plan to create a single Nuclear Waste Dump in the United States at Yucca Mountain, Nevada to replace 130 separate dumps around the US is passed by the US Senate

Cost of Living 2002

How Much things cost in 2002

Average Cost of new house $228,700.00

Average Income per year $42,409.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas $1.61

Popular Culture 2002

Kelly Clarkson Wins First American Idol Contest

Popular Films

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Men in Black II

Die Another Day


Ice Age

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Minority Report


The Pianist

About Schmidt

Gangs of New York

Popular Musicians

Michelle Branch

Vanessa Carlton

Good Charlotte

Counting Crows

Puddle of Mudd


Red Hot Chili Peppers


Kylie Minogue

Avril Lavigne


The Offspring


Christina Aguilera


The Rolling Stones

The Coral


Bon Jovi

Robbie Williams




Alanis Morissette

No Doubt


Céline Dion

Shania Twain


Linkin Park

Justin Timberlake


Mount Nyiragongo Volcano erupts

Mount Nyiragongo Volcano erupts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo displaces an estimated 400,000 people

Miss World Pageant

Miss World Pageant causes Riots Nigeria

NATO Expansion

Largest Expansion in the History of NATO with seven Eastern and Central European Nations accepted as new members Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Slobodan Miloševic trial

Slobodan Miloševic trial former President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia begins at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague

Chechen Rebels take 800 theatergoers hostage

Chechen Rebels take 800 theatergoers hostage in Moscow and threaten to blow up the theatre , 3 days later special forces storm the building resulting in the death of 128 hostages and 41 rebels

Golden Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II's celebrates her Golden Jubilee

G8 summit in Canada

Leaders of the world's richest nations meeting at the G8 summit in Canada agree to help the poorest countries in the world by providing funding for economic and political development in Africa.


Tornadoes strike a number of southern states from Louisiana to Pennsylvania on Veterans Day killing 36

weapons inspections

Iraq rejects new U.N. weapons inspections proposals


WorldCom files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the largest such filing in United States history

United Airlines

United Airlines files for bankruptcy protection


Priests Indiscretion uncovered when files show major cover up for priests accused of abuse

Enron Corp

Andrew Fastow former chief financial officer for Enron Corp is indicted on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Colorado Forest fires

Forest fires in Colorado have destroyed nearly 100,000 acres of land making them the worst in the states history.

Prestige oil tanker

The Prestige oil tanker sinks polluting more than a thousand beaches on the Spanish and French coast.

Netherlands assisted suicide

Restrictions are further loosened for mercy killings and assisted suicide for patients with unbearable, terminal illness in the Netherlands.

East Timor

East Timor Gains Independence From Indonesia on May 20

"Miss B"

"Miss B" Granted Right To Die in Landmark British Case

Germany shooting rampage

Expelled student goes on shooting rampage killing 13 teachers at Erfurt, Germany

major earthquake

A major earthquake rocks Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan

Suicide bomber

A Suicide bomber blows himself up aboard a bus in Haifa

Earth Summit

The worlds Earth Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa

Uruguay financial system breaks down

The Uruguay financial system breaks down with state bank branches and ATM machines closed

Dirty Bomb Plot

Terrorist Dirty Bomb Plot Foiled In The United States.


Brazil and Uruguay receive $40 billion loans from IMF to help stabilize economies.


A deadly fire at the shopping mall in International Trade Centre in Ho Chi Minh City

2002 Calendar

Technology 2002

The Mars Odyssey finds signs of huge water ice deposits on the planet Mars

A Huge 660 pound meteorite plunges into earths atmosphere and explodes in a fireball over southern Bavaria a piece of the meteorite is found and named Neuschwanstein after the local castle

Major World Political Leaders 2002

Australia Prime Minister John Howard

Brazil President Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Canada Prime Minister Jean Chrétien

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin

France President Jacques Chirac

Germany Chancellor Gerhard Schröder

India Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

Mexico President Vicente Fox

Russia / Soviet Union General Secretary of the CPSU Vladimir Putin

South Africa State President Thabo Mbeki

United States President George W. Bush

United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair