2009 (MMIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (dominical letter D) of the Gregorian calendar, the 2009th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 9th year of the 3rd millennium, the 9th year of the 21st century, and the 10th and last year of the 2000s decade.
2009 was designated as:
- International Year of Astronomy
- International Year of Natural Fibres
- International Year of Reconciliation
- Year of the Gorilla (UNEP and UNESCO)
- January 1
- Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and Uganda assume their seats on the United Nations Security Council.
- Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, becomes the American Capital of Culture and Vilnius and Linz become the European Capitals of Culture.
- Slovakia adopts the euro as its national currency, replacing the Slovak koruna.
- January 3 – Israel launches a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip as the Gaza War enters its second week.
- January 7 – Russia shuts off all gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin publicly endorses the move and urges greater international involvement in the energy dispute.
- January 13 – Ethiopian military forces begin pulling out of Somalia, where they have tried to maintain order for nearly two years.
- January 17 – Israel announces a unilateral ceasefire in the Gaza War. It comes into effect the following day, on which Hamas declares a ceasefire of its own.
- January 21 – Israel completes its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Intermittent air strikes by both sides of the preceding war continue in the weeks to follow.
- January 22 – Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda is captured by Rwandan forces after crossing over the border into Rwanda.
- January 26
- February 1
- February 7 – The deadliest bushfires in Australian history begin; they kill 173, injure 500 more, and leave 7,500 homeless. The fires come after Melbourne records the highest-ever temperature (46.4 °C, 115 °F) of any capital city in Australia. The majority of the fires are ignited by either fallen or clashing power lines or deliberately lit.
- February 8 – The Taliban releases a video of Polish geologist Piotr Stańczak, whom they had abducted a few months earlier, being beheaded. It is the first killing of a Western hostage in Pakistan since American journalist Daniel Pearl was murdered in 2002.
- February 10 – A Russian and an American satellite collide over Siberia, creating a large amount of space debris.
- February 11 – Morgan Tsvangirai is sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe following the power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe signed in September 2008.
- February 17 – The JEM rebels in Darfur, Sudan sign a pact with the Sudanese government, planning a ceasefire within the next three months.
- February 26 – Former Serbian president Milan Milutinović is acquitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia regarding war crimes during the Kosovo War in 1998/1999.
- March 2 – The President of Guinea-Bissau, João Bernardo Vieira, is assassinated during an armed attack on his residence in Bissau.
- March 3 – Gunmen attack a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, Pakistan, killing eight people and injuring several others.
- March 4 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its establishment in 2002.
- March 7 – NASA's Kepler Mission, a space photometer that will search for extrasolar planets in the Milky Way galaxy, is launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA.
- March 17 – The President of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, is overthrown in a coup d'état, following a month of rallies in Antananarivo. The military appoints opposition leader Andry Rajoelina as the new president.
- April 1 – Albania and Croatia are admitted to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
- April 2 – The second G-20 summit, involving state leaders rather than the usual finance ministers, meets in London. Its main focus is an ongoing global financial crisis.
- April 3–April 4 – The 21st NATO Summit is held, 60 years after the founding of the organization. Former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is appointed as the new Secretary General of NATO.
- April 5 – North Korea launches a rocket from its Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground, which it says is carrying the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 satellite, prompting an emergency meeting of – but no official reaction from – the United Nations Security Council.
- April 6 – L'Aquila earthquake: A 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes near L'Aquila, Italy, killing nearly 300 and injuring more than 1,500.
- April 7 – Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori is sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering killings and kidnappings by security forces.
- April 8 – Maersk Alabama hijacking: Cargo ship MV Maersk Alabama is captured by Somali pirates, the first successful pirate seizure of a ship registered under the American flag since the 1820s.
- April 10 – A political crisis begins in Fiji when President Josefa Iloilo suspends the nation's Constitution, dismisses all judges and constitutional appointees and assumes all governance in the country after the Court of Appeal rules that the government of Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is illegal.
- April 11–12 – The Fourth East Asia Summit is postponed after Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declares a state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas.
- April 12 – Maersk Alabama hijacking: The United States Navy rescues Captain Richard Phillips, killing three pirates and capturing a fourth.
- April 17 – Thirty-four heads of state and government meet in Port of Spain, Trinidad for the 5th Summit of the Americas.
- April 18 – Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist, is sentenced to eight years in prison for espionage by an Iranian court. She is released the following month, after an appeals court reduces and suspends her sentence.
- April 21 – UNESCO launches The World Digital Library.
- April 24 – 2009 swine flu outbreak: The World Health Organization expresses concern at the spread of influenza from Mexico and the United States to other countries. International cases and resulting deaths are confirmed.
- April 29 – Amidst Russia's effort to improve relations with NATO and with the West in general, NATO expels two Russian diplomats from NATO headquarters in Brussels over a spy scandal in Estonia. Russia's Foreign Ministry criticises the expulsions.
- May 18
- May 19 – Sri Lanka announces victory in its 27-year war against the terrorist organisation Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
- May 23 – Former President of South Korea Roh Moo-hyun, under investigation for alleged bribery during his presidential term, commits suicide.
- May 25 – North Korea announces that it has conducted a second successful nuclear test in North Hamgyong Province. The United Nations Security Council condemns the reported test.
- June 1 – Air France Flight 447, en route from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 on board.
- June 3 – The General Assembly of the Organization of American States votes to lift the 1962 suspension of Cuba from the organization.
- June 11 – The outbreak of the H1N1 influenza strain, commonly referred to as "swine flu", is deemed a global pandemic, becoming the first condition since the Hong Kong flu of 1967–1968 to receive this designation.
- June 13 – Following the apparent reelection of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, supporters of defeated candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi accuse the government of fraud, and launch a series of sustained protests; the first such protests in Iran since 1979.
- June 18 – NASA launches the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS probes to the Moon, the first American lunar mission since Lunar Prospector in 1998.
- June 20 – The death of Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian student shot during a protest, is captured on what soon becomes a viral video that helps to turn Neda into an international symbol of the civil unrest following the presidential election.
- June 21 – As a step toward total independence from the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland assumes control over its law enforcement, judicial affairs, and natural resources. Greenlandic becomes the official language.
- June 25 – The death of American entertainer Michael Jackson triggers an outpouring of worldwide grief. Online, reactions to the event cripple several major websites and services, as the abundance of people accessing the web addresses pushes internet traffic to potentially unprecedented and historic levels.
- June 28 – The Supreme Court of Honduras orders the arrest and exile of President Manuel Zelaya, claiming he was violating the nation's constitution by holding a referendum to stay in power. The ouster is condemned by the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and multiple nations around the world.
- June 30 – Yemenia Flight 626 crashes off the coast of Moroni, Comoros, killing all but one of the 153 passengers and crew.
- July – The Sears Tower was officially renamed the Willis Tower after being bought by London-based Willis Group.
- July 4 – The Organization of American States suspends Honduras due to the country's recent political crisis after its refusal to reinstate President Zelaya.
- July 5 – Over 150 are killed when a few thousand ethnic Uyghurs target local Han Chinese during major rioting in Ürümqi, Xinjiang.
- July 7 – A public memorial service is held for Michael Jackson. It is regarded as one of the most prominent funerals of all time since the death of Elvis Presley in 1977.
- July 15 – Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashes near Qazvin, Iran, killing all 168 on board.
- July 16 – Iceland's national parliament, the Althingi, votes to pursue joining the EU.
- July 22 – The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting up to 6 minutes and 38.8 seconds, occurs over parts of Asia and the Pacific Ocean.
- August 3 – Bolivia becomes the first South American country to declare the right of indigenous people to govern themselves.
- August 4 – North Korean leader Kim Jong-il pardons two American journalists, who had been arrested and imprisoned for illegal entry earlier in the year, after former U.S. President Bill Clinton meets with Kim in North Korea.
- August 7 – Typhoon Morakot hits Taiwan, killing 500 and stranding more than 1,000 via the worst flooding on the island in half a century.
- August 14 – The United Kingdom imposes direct rule on the Turks and Caicos Islands after an inquiry that found evidence of government corruption.
- August 20 – Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, imprisoned for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, is released by the Scottish government on compassionate grounds as he has terminal prostate cancer. He returns to his native Libya.
- September 25 – At the G-20 Pittsburgh summit, world leaders announce that the G-20 will assume greater leverage over the world economy, replacing the role of the G8, in an effort to prevent another financial crisis like that in 2008.
- September 26 – Typhoon Ketsana begins to cause record amounts of rainfall in Manila, Philippines, leading to the declaration of a "state of calamity" in 25 provinces.
- September 28 – At least 157 demonstrators are killed in a clash with the Guinean military.
- September 29 – The 8.1 Mw Samoa earthquake strikes with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VI (Strong). A destructive tsunami follows, leaving 189 dead and hundreds injured.
- September 30 – The 7.6 Mw Sumatra earthquake shakes central Sumatra with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). This dip-slip (reverse) earthquake left 1,115 people dead and was followed several days later by a 6.6 MW strike-slip event.
- October 1 – Paleontologists announce the discovery of an Ardipithecus ramidus fossil skeleton, deeming it the oldest remains of a human ancestor yet found.
- October 2
- October 20 – European astronomers discover 32 exoplanets.
- November 3
- The Czech Republic becomes the final member-state of the European Union to sign the Treaty of Lisbon, thereby permitting that document's initiation into European law.
- The Prime Minister of Belgium, Herman Van Rompuy, is designated the first permanent President of the European Council, a position he takes up on December 1, 2009.
- November 8 – Eva Brunne is installed as the Church of Sweden's Bishop of Stockholm, making her the world's first openly lesbian bishop.
- November 13 – Having analyzed the data from the LCROSS lunar impact, NASA announces that it has found a "significant" quantity of water in the Moon's Cabeus crater.
- November 20 – CERN restarts the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland; they had shut it down on September 19, 2008.
- November 23 – In the Philippines, at least 58 are abducted and killed in an election-related massacre in the province of Maguindanao. This appears to be the deadliest attack on journalists in recent history.
- November 27 – Dubai requests a debt deferment following its massive renovation and development projects, as well as the late 2000s economic crisis. The announcement causes global stock markets to drop.
- December 1 – The Treaty of Lisbon comes into force.
- December 7 – December 18 – The UNFCCC's 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference conference is held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- December 10 – James Cameron's film Avatar is released, and becomes the highest-grossing film to date.
- December 16 – Astronomers discover GJ 1214 b, the first-known exoplanet on which water could exist.
- January 1
- January 3
- January 12
- January 13 – Patrick McGoohan, American-born British actor (b. 1928)
- January 14 – Ricardo Montalbán, Mexican-born American actor (b. 1920)
- January 16 – Andrew Wyeth, American painter (b. 1917)
- January 20
- January 25 – Mamadou Dia, 1st Prime Minister of Senegal (b. 1910)
- January 27
- January 30 – Ingemar Johansson, Swedish boxer (b. 1932)
- February 6 – James Whitmore, American actor (b. 1921)
- February 9 – Eluana Englaro, Italian patient in right-to-die case (b. 1970)
- February 25 – Philip José Farmer, American writer (b. 1918)
- February 27 – Manea Mănescu, Romanian Prime Minister (b. 1916)
- March 2 – João Bernardo Vieira, President of Guinea-Bissau (b. 1939)
- March 14 – Alain Bashung, French singer, songwriter and actor (b. 1947)
- March 15 – Ron Silver, American actor and political activist (b. 1946)
- March 18 – Natasha Richardson, English actress (b. 1963)
- March 20 – Abdellatif Filali, 13th Prime Minister of Morocco (b. 1928)
- March 25 – Yukio Endo, Japanese gymnast (b. 1937)
- March 28 – Janet Jagan, American-born President of Guyana (b. 1920)
- March 29 – Maurice Jarre, French composer and conductor (b. 1924)
- March 31 – Raúl Alfonsín, 49th President of Argentina (b. 1927)
- April 12
- April 14 – Maurice Druon, French novelist (b. 1918)
- April 19 – J. G. Ballard, English novelist (b. 1930)
- April 22
- April 25 – Bea Arthur, American actress (b. 1922)
- April 28 – Ekaterina Maximova, Soviet-Russian ballerina (b. 1939)
- May 2
- May 4 – Dom DeLuise, American actor and comedian (b. 1933)
- May 9 – Chuck Daly, American basketball coach (b. 1930)
- May 13 – Achille Compagnoni, Italian mountaineer (b. 1914)
- May 17 – Mario Benedetti, Uruguayan writer (b. 1920)
- May 18
- May 19 – Robert F. Furchgott, American scientist (b. 1916)
- May 23 – Roh Moo-hyun, 16th President of South Korea (b. 1946)
- May 27 – Clive Granger, British economist (b. 1934)
- May 30
- May 31 – Millvina Dean, British citizen who was the last remaining survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. At 2 months and 13 days of age, she was also the youngest passenger on board the ship. (b. 1912)
- June 2 – David Eddings, American author (b. 1931)
- June 3
- June 6 – Jean Dausset, French immunologist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1916)
- June 8 – Omar Bongo, President of Gabon (b. 1935)
- June 12 – Félix Malloum, 3rd President of Chad (b. 1932)
- June 13 – Mitsuharu Misawa, Japanese professional wrestler (b. 1962)
- June 17 – Ralf Dahrendorf, German-British social theorist and politician (b. 1929)
- June 25
- June 30 – Pina Bausch, German choreographer (b. 1940)
- July 1
- July 4 – Allen Klein, American businessman (b. 1931)
- July 6
- July 17
- July 19 – Frank McCourt, Irish-American author (b. 1930)
- July 26 – Merce Cunningham, American choreographer (b. 1919)
- July 31 – Bobby Robson, English footballer and manager (b. 1933)
- August 1 – Corazon Aquino, 11th President of the Philippines (b. 1933)
- August 5 – Budd Schulberg, American screenwriter (b. 1914)
- August 6
- August 8 – Daniel Jarque, Spanish footballer (b. 1983)
- August 11 – Eunice Kennedy Shriver, American founder of the Special Olympics (b. 1921)
- August 13 – Les Paul, American musician and inventor (b. 1915)
- August 18 – Kim Dae-jung, 15th President of South Korea (b. 1924)
- August 24 – Toni Sailer, Austrian alpine ski racer (b. 1935)
- August 25 – Ted Kennedy, American politician (b. 1932)
- August 26 – Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Iraqi politician and theologian (b. 1953)
- August 27 – Sergey Mikhalkov, Soviet-Russian author (b. 1913)
- September 8 – Aage Bohr, Danish physicist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1922)
- September 11
- September 12
- September 14
- September 16
- September 17 – Noordin Mohammad Top, Malaysian Islamist militant (b. 1968)
- September 18 – Irving Kristol, American writer and political commentator (b. 1920)
- September 23 – Ertuğrul Osman, 43rd Head of the Ottoman Dynasty (b. 1912)
- September 25 – Alicia de Larrocha, Spanish pianist (b. 1923)
- September 28 – Guillermo Endara, President of Panama, 1989–1994 (b. 1936)
- September 29 – Pavel Popovich, Soviet cosmonaut (b. 1930)
- October 2 – Marek Edelman, Polish political and social activist (b. 1922)
- October 4
- October 5 – Israel Gelfand, Soviet-American mathematician (b. 1913)
- October 7 – Irving Penn, American photographer (b. 1917)
- October 13 – Al Martino, American singer and actor (b. 1927)
- October 19 – Joseph Wiseman, Canadian actor (b. 1918)
- October 28 – Taylor Mitchell, Canadian singer (b. 1990)
- October 30 – Claude Lévi-Strauss, French anthropologist (b. 1908)
- October 31 – Qian Xuesen, Chinese scientist (b. 1911)
- November 3 – Francisco Ayala, Spanish novelist (b. 1906)
- November 8 – Vitaly Ginzburg, Russian physicist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1916)
- November 10 – Robert Enke, German footballer (b. 1977)
- November 15
- November 16 – Antonio de Nigris, Mexican footballer (b. 1978)
- November 20 – Lino Lacedelli, Italian mountaineer (b. 1925)
- November 21 – Konstantin Feoktistov, Soviet cosmonaut (b. 1926)
- November 24 – Samak Sundaravej, 25th Prime Minister of Thailand (b. 1935)
- November 30 – Milorad Pavić, Serbian writer (b. 1929)
- December 3 – Richard Todd, Irish-born British actor (b. 1919)
- December 4
- December 5
- December 9 – Gene Barry, American actor (b. 1919)
- December 13 – Paul Samuelson, American economist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1915)
- December 16
- December 17 – Jennifer Jones, American actress (b. 1919)
- December 19
- December 20 – Brittany Murphy, American actress (b. 1977)
- December 21 – Edwin G. Krebs, American biologist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
- December 23 – Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, Tibetan politician (b. 1910)
- December 24 – Rafael Caldera, 54th and 60th President of Venezuela (b. 1916)
- December 28 – The Rev, American singer-songwriter and drummer (Avenged Sevenfold, Pinkly Smooth, and Suburban Legends) (b. 1981)
- December 30 – Abdurrahman Wahid, 4th President of Indonesia (b. 1940)
- Chemistry – Ada Yonath, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, and Thomas A. Steitz
- Economics – Elinor Ostrom and Oliver E. Williamson
- Literature – Herta Müller
- Peace – Barack Obama
- Physics – Charles K. Kao, Willard Boyle, and George E. Smith
- Physiology or Medicine – Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol W. Greider, and Jack W. Szostak
Set in 2009:
- Abuse (1996)
- Incoming (1998)
- Half-Life (1998) – although the date is never explicitly referenced, 2009 is the last year that Half-Life could be set in, as calendars in the game display '200X.'
- Dino Crisis (1999)
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001), the Plant chapter occurs on April 29 and 30, 2009, causing devastation to New York City from its coast, when Arsenal Gear crash lands into Federal Hall.
- Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction (2005): Storyline begins on August 31.
- Fahrenheit (also known as "Indigo Prophecy" in North America) (2005)
- Shattered Union (2005): U.S. President David Jefferson Adams is elected in a sham election, and becomes the most unpopular president in U.S. history.
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown (2005)
- Minerva (2005), is set in October 2009.
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (2006), takes place between April 2009 and March 2010.
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent (2006)
- Freejack (1992), in November
- 2009: Lost Memories (2002)
- 2012 (2009): The initial events take place in India in late 2009.
- I Am Legend (2007): The events triggering the story begin December 9, 2009.
- Cloverfield (2008): On May 22, the events of the story take place.
- Eagle Eye (2008): The events of the movie take place between January 26 and April 12, 2009.
- Macross (1982–1983) (adapted outside Japan as the first part of Robotech): The alien Zentradi arrive at Earth on February 7 (February 9 in Robotech), triggering the devastating Space War I or First Robotech War.
- Family Matters: In the 1994 episode "Father of the Bride", Carl Winslow sleeps for fifteen years and wakes up in the year 2009 where main characters Steve Urkel and Laura Winslow are married with four children.
- Charmed ("Morality Bites", 1999) Phoebe Halliwell is executed on February 26 by burning at the stake for murdering a man with her powers.
- Batman Beyond (1999–2001): In the episode "Out of the Past", it is revealed that sometime in 2009, Batman fought Ra's al Ghul in an incident referred to as "The Near-Apocalypse of 09." The event is also referenced again in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue"
- Blue Gender (1999–2000): A vicious new disease breaks out forcing Yuji Kaido and other infected humans into cryogenic stasis until a cure can be found.
- Dark Angel (2000–2002): Max Guevara and her "brothers and sisters" escape from Manticore in 2009. America is devastated by an electromagnetic pulse later in the same year.
- Ultraman Nexus (2004–05) is set in 2009, acting as a sequel to the 2004 film Ultraman: The Next, which was set in its production year.
- The West Wing ("The Ticket", 2005): Former President Jed Bartlet opens his presidential library in New Hampshire and chats with some of his former staffers.
- 2007 television series The Sarah Jane Adventures is set in this time, the earliest January following "a year and a half" after Doctor Who episode "School Reunion".
- Doctor Who:
- Series 3 (2007) episode Last of the Time Lords is set mainly in a parallel year.
- Series 4 (2008) episodes Partners In Crime, The Sontaran Strategem/The Poison Sky and The Stolen Earth/Journey's End; and Turn Left, which is set in a parallel universe.
- The Red Dwarf miniseries Back To Earth's scenes on Earth are set in the Easter season of 2009.
- Wilson Tucker, The Year of the Quiet Sun (1970)
- Gregory Benford, Threads of Time (1974)
- David Brin, The Postman (1985)
- Robert W. Sawyer, Flashforward (1999)
- Glee ("2009", 2015) a flashback episode looking back at events in the year 2009.