U.S. History Timeline: The New Millennium - 2000 onward

Updated September 13, 2021 | Infoplease Staff

Timeline: The New Millennium - 2000 -

Find major events in U.S. History from 2000 through the present, including the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, the historical election of Barack Obama, the death of Michael Jackson, and more.


April 1

  • According to the census, the nation's population numbers more than 280 million.

November 7

  • No clear winner is declared in the close presidential election contest between Vice President Al Gore and Texas governor George W. Bush.

December 12

  • More than a month after the presidential election, the U.S. Supreme Court rules against a manual recount of ballots in certain Florida counties, which it contends would violate the Constitution's equal protection and due process guarantees. The decision provokes enormous controversy, with critics maintaining that the court has in effect determined the outcome of the election.

December 13

  • Bush formally accepts the presidency, having won a slim majority in the electoral college but not a majority of the popular vote.Examining a disputed ballot
    Examining a Disputed Ballot


Jan. 20

  • George W. Bush is inaugurated as the 43rd president.

September 11

  • Two hijacked jetliners ram twin towers of World Trade Center in worst terrorist attack against U.S.; a third hijacked plane flies into the Pentagon, and a fourth crashes in rural Pennsylvania. More than 3,000 people die in the attacks.New York's World Trade Center Towers
    New York's World Trade Center Towers

October 7

  • U.S. and Britain launch air attacks against targets in Afghanistan after Taliban government fails to hand over Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks.

December 9

  • Following air campaign and ground assault by Afghani opposition troops, the Taliban regime topples; however, the hunt for bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda terrorist organization continues.


January 29

  • In his first State of the Union address, President Bush labels Iran, Iraq, and North Korea an “axis of evil” and declares that U.S. will wage war against states that develop weapons of mass destruction.

November 25

  • President Bush signs legislation creating a new cabinet department of Homeland Security.George W. Bush
    George W. Bush


February 1

  • Space shuttle Columbia explodes upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts on board.Space Shuttle Columbia Crew
    Space Shuttle Columbia crew, from left to right, David M. Brown, Rick Husband, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Michael P. Anderson, William McCool, and Ilan Ramon

March 19

  • War waged by the U.S. and Britain against Iraq begins.

May 28

  • President Bush signs $350 billion tax-cut bill.


June 28

  • The U.S. returns sovereignty to an interim government in Iraq, but maintains roughly 135,000 troops in the country to fight a growing insurgency.

August and September

  • Four hurricanes devastate Florida and other parts of the southern United States.


April 22–June 17

  • The U.S. engagement in Iraq continues amid that country's escalating violence and fragile political stability.Stryker Brigade Combat Team Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, search for insurgents during Operation Indy in Mosul, Iraq.
    American soldiers search for insurgents in Mosul, Iraq

Aug. 29–30

  • Hurricane Katrina wreaks catastrophic damage on Mississippi and Louisiana; 80% of New Orleans is flooded. All levels of government are criticized for the delayed and inadequate response to the disaster.

July 1

  • Sandra Day O'Connor announces her retirement as a Supreme Court Justice.

September 3

  • Chief Justice William H Rehnquist passes away after battling thyroid cancer.

September 29

  • John G. Roberts assumes the role of chief justice.


October 17

  • The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the population of the United States has reached 300 million.


January 4

  • California Democrat Nancy Pelosi becomes the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives.

March 13

  • Attorney General Alberto Gonzales admits that the Justice Department made mistakes and exercised poor judgment in firing nine federal prosecutors in late 2006.Alberto Gonzales
    Alberto Gonzales

April 16

  • Male student kills two in a Virginia Tech dorm. Two hours later, he kills 30 more in a classroom building before committing suicide. The shooting rampage is the most deadly in U.S. history. Fifteen others are wounded.

July 24

  • The minimum wage in the U.S. increases to $5.85, up from $5.15. It's the first increase in 10 years. The wage will increase 70 cents each year through 2009, when it reaches $7.25 an hour.

Aug. 1

  • An eight-lane interstate bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that is packed with cars breaks into sections and falls into the river, killing 13 people.

August 27

  • The White House announces that Alberto Gonzales, the beleaguered attorney general, has submitted his resignation to President Bush.

September 10

  • In highly anticipated testimony, Gen. David Petraeus tells members of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees that the U.S. military needs more time to meet its goals in Iraq. Petraeus rejects suggestions that the U.S. shift from a counterinsurgency operation to training Iraqi forces and fighting terrorists. Instead, he says the U.S. must continue all three missions.


June 3

  • After months of campaigning and primary races, Barack Obama and John McCain are finally chosen as the presidential nominees for the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively.


  • After months of unraveling, the economy finally comes crashing down in 2008, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling 4.4% in one day, Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy, and Bush putting mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under government conservatorship.


  • Democrats perform well across the board in the November elections. Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President, with 52.8% of the vote. In Congress, Democrats retain majorities in both the House and the Senate, with 57 Senators and 178 Representatives.President Barack Obama
    President Barack Obama
U.S. History Timeline
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