- July 1 - Taxes make headlines as larger U.S. internet retailers
begin collecting taxes on all purchases; some U.S. states tax
internet bandwidth; and the E.U. requires all internet companies to
collect value added tax (VAT) on digital downloads.
- July 15, 2002 - So-called "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh
pleads guilty to supplying aid to the enemy and to the possession
of explosives during the commission of a felony. Lindh agrees to
serve 10 years in prison for each of the charges.
- July 21 - Telecommunications giant WorldCom files for Chapter
11 bankruptcy protection, the largest such filling in United States
- July 27 - A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes at an air show in the
Ukraine, killing 78 and injuring more than 100 others. It is the
largest air show disaster in history.
- August 13 - Human Rights Campaign releases the first Corporate
- September 8 - The Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA) sues 261 individuals for allegedly distributing copyright
music files over peer-to-peer networks.
September 3 - The death knell tolls for Napster after a bankruptcy judge rules that a German company cannot buy the assets of the troubled file-swapping giant, prompting Napster CEO Konrad Hilbers to resign and lay off his staff.
- October 2 - The United States Congress passes a joint
resolution on the Iraq disarmament crisis that explicitly
authorizes the President to use the Armed Forces of the United
States as he determines necessary and appropriate.
- October 12 - Terrorists detonate massive bombs in two
nightclubs in Kuta, Bali, killing 202 and injuring over 300.
- October 12 - Hundreds of Spain-based web sites take their
content offline in protest of a new law that requires all
commercial web sites to register with the government.
- October 23 - Chechen rebels storm a Moscow theater, taking an
estimated 900 people hostage. The standoff ends three days later,
when Russian troops raid the building. 129 hostages die in the
takeover, almost all as a result of the gas used by federal forces
to subdue the rebels.
- October 24 - The Beltway snipers are arrested.
- November 5 - U.S. election results: The Republican Party
maintains control of the House of Representatives and regains
control of the Senate.
- November 8 - The United Nations Security Council unanimously
approves a resolution on Iraq, calling for Saddam Hussein to disarm
or face "serious consequences."
- November 16 - A Campaign Against Climate Change march takes
place in London, from Lincoln's Inn Fields, past Esso offices to
the United States Embassy.
- November 21 - NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members.
- November 22 - In Nigeria, more than 100 people are killed in an
attack aimed at the contestants of the Miss World contest.
- November 25 - U.S. President George W. Bush signs the Homeland
Security Act into law, establishing the Department of Homeland
Security. It is the largest U.S. government reorganization since
the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947.
- December 3 - A new U.S. law creates a kids-safe "dot-kids"
domain (kids.us), to be implemented in 2003.
- December 27, 2002 - A suicide truck-bomb attack destroys the
headquarters of Chechnya's Moscow-backed government, killing 72
- January 7, 2003 - The first official Swiss online election
takes place in Anières.
- January 25 - The SQL Slammer worm causes one of the largest and
fastest-spreading DDoS attacks ever. Taking roughly 10 minutes to
spread worldwide, the worm took down 5 of the 13 DNS root servers,
along with tens of thousands of other servers, and impacted a
multitude of systems ranging from bank ATM systems to air traffic
control to emergency 911 systems. This is followed shortly by the
Sobig.F virus and the Blaster (MSBlast) worm.
- January 30, 2003 - The leaders of Britain, Spain, Italy,
Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Denmark, and the Czech Republic release
a statement demonstrating support for the United States' plans for
an invasion of Iraq.
- February 1 - The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates over
Texas upon reentry, killing all seven astronauts onboard.
- February 5 - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses the
U.N. Security Council on Iraq.
- February 15 - Global protests against an invasion of Iraq -
more than six million people protest in over 600 cities worldwide,
the largest war protest to take place before the war occurs.
- February 26 - An American businessman is admitted to the Viet
Nam France Hospital in Hanoi, Viet Nam. World Health Organization
doctor Carlo Urbani reports the unusual and highly contagious
disease to WHO. Both the businessman and Carlo Urbani die of the
disease-later named SARS-in March.
- March 5 - The Supreme Court of the United States, by a 5-4
margin, upholds California's "three strikes and you're out"
- March 12 - The World Health Organization issues a global alert
- March 13 - The journal Nature reports that 350,000-year-old
upright-walking human footprints had been found in Italy.
- March 15 - Hu Jintao becomes president of the People's Republic
of China, replacing Jiang Zemin.
- March 16 - The largest coordinated worldwide vigil in history
begins, as part of the global protests against an attack on
- March 19 - The first American bombs are dropped on Baghdad,
- March 20 - Land troops from the United States, the United
Kingdom, Australia and Poland invade Iraq. Two days later, the U.S.
and the U.K. begin their "shock and awe" campaign with a massive
air strike on military targets in Baghdad.
- March 29 - WHO doctor Carlo Urbani, who first identified SARS,
dies of the disease.
- April 9 - U.S. forces seize control of Baghdad.
- May 1 - George W. Bush lands on the aircraft carrier USS
Abraham Lincoln and gives a speech announcing the end of major
combat in Iraq.
- May 12 - A suicide truck-bomb attack kills at least 60 at a
government compound in northern Chechnya.
- May 14 - A female suicide bomber blows up explosives strapped
to her waist in a crowd of thousands of Muslim pilgrims, killing at
least 18 people in Chechnya.
- May 26 - A draft of the proposed European constitution is
- June 1 - The People's Republic of China begins filling the
reservoir behind the massive Three Gorges Dam, raising the water
level near the dam over 100 meters.
- June 4 - Martha Stewart and her broker are indicted for using
privileged investment information and then obstructing a federal
investigation. Stewart also resigns as chairperson and chief
executive officer of Martha Stewart Living.
- June 23 - The U.S. Supreme Court upholds affirmative action in
university admissions in Grutter v. Bollinger.
- June 26, 2003 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules sodomy laws unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas.
- Nobel Peace Prize: Jimmy Carter, 39th U.S. president "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."
- Nobel Prize for Literature: Imre Kertész, Hungarian writer, "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history."
- Booker Prize: Yann Martel, The Life of Pi
- Orange Prize for Fiction: Ann Patchett, Bel Canto
- Prix Médicis International: Philip Roth, The Human Stain
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Suzan-Lori Parks, Topdog/Underdog
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Richard Russo, Empire Falls
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Carl Dennis, Practical Gods