Here is a look back at the events of 2014.
Notable US Events:
January 1 - Colorado legalizes the purchase of marijuana for recreational purposes.
January 1 - The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act goes into effect.
January 6 - The Senate votes to confirm Janet Yellen as the first woman to head the Federal Reserve.
January 9 - Chemicals begin leaking from a tank owned by Freedom Industries into the Elk River in West Virginia. Approximately 300,000 people in nine counties are told not to use their tap water.
January 16 - Ohio executes inmate Dennis McGuire with a new combination of drugs, due to the unavailability of drugs such as pentobarbital. The state used a combination of the drug midazolam, a sedative, and the painkiller hydromorphone, according to the state corrections department. According to witness Alan Johnson of the Columbus Dispatch, the whole execution process took 24 minutes, and McGuire appeared to be gasping for air for 10 to 13 minutes.
January 17 - President Barack Obama announces changes to the National Security Agency and its surveillance programs.
January 30 - CNN reports that at least 19 veterans have died due to delays in simple medical screenings like colonoscopies or endoscopies, at various VA hospitals or clinics. This is according to an internal document from the US Department of Veterans Affairs that deals with patients diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and 2011, obtained exclusively by CNN.
March 22 - A mudslide near Oso, Washington, kills 43 people.
April 2 - Army Specialist Ivan Lopez kills three people at Fort Hood in Texas before taking his own life.
April 29 - Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett dies of an apparent heart attack during a botched execution by lethal injection.
April 29 - The NBA bans Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life in response to a leaked recording in which Sterling made racist remarks.
May 23 - Elliot Rodger goes on a killing spree near the campus of U.C. Santa Barbara, killing four men and two women before taking his own life.
May 27 - President Barack Obama announces that 9,800 troops will remain in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of most troops at the end of 2014.
May 30 - Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigns.
May 31 - President Barack Obama announces the release of prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl, held for five years by a militant group linked to the Taliban. In exchange for Bergdahl’s release, five detainees at Guantanamo Bay are released to Qatar.
June 30 - GM announces compensation of at least $1 million to families of at least 13 people who died as a result of a faulty ignition switch. GM is also offering money to those injured.
June 30 - President Obama says he is starting “a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,” in response to a surge of unaccompanied children crossing the border.
June 30 - The Supreme Court rules that some companies can refuse insurance coverage for contraceptives due to religious objections.
July 17, 2014 - Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, dies after a white police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, puts him in a chokehold. Garner’s death is later ruled a homicide by the New York medical examiner.
July 23 - Arizona uses a new combination of drugs in the execution of convicted murderer Joseph Woods. After he is injected it takes him nearly two hours to die. Witness accounts differ as to whether he was gasping for air or snoring as he died.
July 29 - The US Senate confirms Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary.
August 2 - A specially equipped medical plane carrying Ebola patient Dr. Kent Brantly lands at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia. He is then driven by ambulance to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
August 7 - President Obama signs into law a $16 billion bill, providing money to build more VA medical facilities and hire more doctors and nurses.
August 9 - African American teen Michael Brown, 18, is shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown’s death leads to days of unrest between residents of Ferguson and police.
August 15 - Texas Governor Rick Perry is indicted on a a felony count of abusing the powers of his office and a felony count of attempting to coerce a public official. Perry’s lawyer blasts the charges as a “political abuse of the court system.”
September 25 - President Obama announces the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder will remain in office until his replacement is confirmed.
October 1 - Julia Person, director of the Secret Service, resigns after the revelation of several security breaches.
October 6 - The US Supreme Court refuses to hear appeals from five states – Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin – seeking to keep their same-sex marriage bans in place.
October 6 - Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
October 7 - Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Colorado and Indiana.
October 8 - Thomas Eric Duncan dies of Ebola in Dallas, Texas, the first person to die of the disease in the United States.
October 9 - Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Nevada and West Virginia.
October 10 - Same-sex marriage becomes legal in North Carolina.
October 12 - Nina Pham, a Dallas nurse who treated Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, is diagnosed with the disease. She is the first person to contract the disease in the United States. After being treated at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, Pham is cured of the disease and released on October 24.
October 14 - Amber Vinson, a nurse who treated Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, is diagnosed with Ebola. After being treated successfully in Atlanta, Vinson is released on October 28.
October 16 - In a show in Philadelphia, comedian Hannibal Buress criticizes Bill Cosby and his “smuggest old black man persona,” and says, “Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.” Over the next two months, more than 20 women come forward, claiming that they were sexually assaulted by Cosby. Cosby has not been charged with a crime.
October 23 - Dr. Craig Spencer, who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, is diagnosed with the disease in New York. He recovers from the disease and leaves the hospital on November 11.
November 4 - In midterm elections, the Republican party wins a majority of seats in the House and the Senate to take control of Congress.
November 15 - Dr. Martin Salia, who became infected with Ebola while treating patients in Sierra Leone, arrives at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Salia, a native of Sierra Leone, is a legal permanent resident of the United States married to a US citizen.
November 17 - Dr. Martin Salia dies at Nebraska Medical Center.
November 24 - A grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri decides not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
November 29 - Darren Wilson resigns from the Ferguson police department, citing security concerns.
December 9 - After five years of review, the Senate Intelligence Committee releases a report on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the post-9/11 era. It reveals that “CIA detainees were tortured.”
Notable International Events:
January 3 - Islamic militants belonging to a group called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) take control of Falluja, Iraq.
January 7 - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signs into law a bill banning same-sex marriage and imposing other punishments on gay and lesbian people.
February 7-23 - The XXII Winter Olympics take place in Sochi, Russia.
February 17 - The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights publishes a report on widespread human rights abuses in North Korea.
February 18-20 - After months of protests in Ukraine, a gun fight breaks out between protesters and security forces, leaving around 100 people dead.
February 22 - Ukraine’s parliament votes to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office.
February 22 - Mexican forces capture Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, alleged head of the Sinaloa drug cartel.
February 24 - President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda signs a law that imposes sentences of 14 years to life for homosexual acts.
March 1 - In Kungming, China, attackers with long knives storm the train station, killing at least 28 people and wounding 113.
March 8 - Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappears from radar in airspace over the Gulf of Thailand.
March 16 - In Crimea, 96.7% vote in favor of leaving Ukraine and being annexed by Russia.
March 18 - In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin signs an annexation pact with the Prime Minister of Crimea and the mayor of the city of Sevastopol.
March 25 - The CDC issues its initial announcement on an Ebola outbreak in Guinea.
March 31 - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases a report on climate change, warning of its dangers to humanity.
April 1 - NATO announces that it is suspending “all practical civilian and military cooperation” with Russia. This is in response to Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea.
April 14 - Boko Haram militants kidnap more than 270 teenage girls from a boarding school in Chibok in Northeastern Nigeria. Officials there say some of the girls were able to escape.
April 16 - The South Korean ferry Sewol capsizes, killing approximately 294 people. Hundreds of high school students on a field trip are among the dead.
April 24 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces that Israel is suspending peace talks with the Palestinians after rival factions Fatah and Hamas announce a unity deal.
April 30 - Iraqis vote in parliamentary elections to elect members of the Council of Representatives. Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s party wins 92 seats in parliamentary elections, short of the 165 seats needed for a majority.
May 7 - In Thailand, the Constitutional Court removes Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office, on charges of abuse of power.
May 11 - Voters in the eastern Ukrainian areas of Donetsk and Luhansk vote in favor of independence from Ukraine.
May 20 - The president of India names Narendra Modi as the country’s new prime minister.
May 25 - Petro Poroshenko declares victory in Ukraine’s presidential election.
June 2 - Hamas and Fatah swear in a unity government with Rami Hamdallah as prime minister.
June 3 - Abdel Fattah el-Sisi officially wins Egypt’s presidential election with more than 96% of the vote. Elections were held May 26-28.
June 10 - ISIS takes control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.
June 11 - ISIS takes control of Tikrit, Iraq.
June 12 - Three Israeli teens on their way home from school in the West Bank are abducted by Hamas militants. Their bodies are discovered on June 30 in the West Bank.
June 12-July 13 - The World Cup takes place in Brazil. Germany is the winner.
June 14 - In Afghanistan, election officials hold a presidential run-off between candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.
June 15-16 - US commandos apprehend Ahmed Abu Khattala, accused of leading the attack on the Benghazi consulate in 2012.
June 18 - King Juan Carlos of Spain abdicates. His son Felipe becomes king at midnight on June 19.
July 2 - A Palestinian boy is kidnapped and murdered, allegedly by right-wing Israeli Jews, possibly in retaliation for the murders of three Jewish teens.
July 7 - Israel declares Operation Protective Edge against Hamas.
July 10-20 - Super Typhoon Rammasun strikes the Philippines, China and Vietnam, killing more than 100 people.
July 17 - Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashes in eastern Ukraine after being shot down by a surface-to-air missile, according to the United States. All 298 people aboard are killed.
July 22 - Indonesia’s National Election Commission announces that Joko Widodo is the winner of the country’s presidential election, held July 9.
July 23 - At least 48 people are killed and 10 injured when a twin-engine turboprop plane crashes in Taiwan.
August 8 - Two US F/A-18 jet fighters bomb ISIS extremists in Iraq. President Barack Obama has authorized “targeted airstrikes” if needed to protect US personnel from ISIS militants. The US military says they’ll use airstrikes to prevent what officials warn could be a genocide of minority groups by the ISIS fighters.
August 10 - Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wins the first ever direct presidential election in Turkey.
August 14 - Iraqi President Nuri al-Maliki resigns.
August 19 - In a video posted on YouTube, US journalist James Foley, missing in Syria since 2012, is decapitated by ISIS militants. The militants then threaten the life of another captured US journalist, believed to be Steven Sotloff.
August 26 - Israel and Hamas agree to a ceasefire. The United Nations has said more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the violence in Gaza. The U.N estimates at least 70% of the Palestinians killed were civilians, but Israel reports a higher number of militants among the dead. On the Israeli side, there are 68 casualties, 65 of them soldiers and three civilians.
September 2 - ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff.
September 8 - Haider al-Abadi is sworn in as the new prime minister of Iraq.
September 13 - ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of British aid worker David Haines.
September 14 - North Korea sentences US citizen Matthew Miller to six years of hard labor. He had been convicted of “hostile acts.”
September 21 - Houthi rebels take control of large parts of Yemen’s capital Sana.
September 23 - A coalition of military forces from the United States, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan launch air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. The US , on its own, also launches airstrikes against a terrorist organization known as the Khorasan Group, saying that the al Qaeda affiliated group was planning attacks in the United States.
Late September - Pro-democracy protests begin in Hong Kong.
September 29 - Ashraf Ghani is sworn in as the new president of Afghanistan.
September 30 - The United States and Afghanistan sign a joint security agreement that will allow US troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the previous December deadline to withdraw.
October 3 - ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of hostage Alan Henning.
October 6 - A nurse’s assistant in Spain becomes the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside Africa in the current outbreak. The woman helped treat two Spanish missionaries, both of whom had contracted Ebola in West Africa, one in Liberia and the other in Sierra Leone. Both died after returning to Spain.
October 21 - Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is sentenced to five years in prison, after being convicted of culpable homicide in the death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
October 21 - North Korea releases US citizen Jeffrey Fowle after detaining him in June.
October 22 - Gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau opens fire at Canada’s National War Memorial and Parliament Hill in Ottawa, killing army reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. Zehaf-Bibeau is killed by the House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.
October 26 - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff wins a run-off election with 51.59% of the vote, according to official results. Opposition candidate Aecio Neves garners 48.41%.
October 26 - Great Britain ends its combat mission in Afghanistan and hands over its last remaining base to Afghan forces.
October 31 - Burkina Faso’s president Blaise Compaore resigns after 27 years in office after widespread, violent protests in the country.
November 8 - North Korea releases detained Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller.
November 12 - The European Space Agency successfully lands a probe named Philae on a comet 310 million miles from Earth.
November 14 - Prosecutors in the Mexican state of Guerrero formally charge former Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca in the disappearance of 43 students. Abarca is described as the “probable mastermind” in the September 26 disappearance of the students. He is charged with six counts of aggravated homicide and one count of attempted homicide.
November 16 - ISIS militants claim to have beheaded American hostage Peter Kassig in a video published to the Internet. Peter Kassig, also known as Abdul-Rahman Kassig, is the fifth Westerner whom ISIS claims to have beheaded via video messages.
December 15 - In Sydney, Australia an Iranian immigrant named Man Haron Monis takes a number of hostages at a chocolate cafe. After a 16-hour standoff with police, commandos storm the cafe and end the siege. Two hostages are killed as well as Monis.
December 16 - Taliban gunmen attack the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar, Pakistan. 145 people are killed, most of them children.
December 17 - Cuba releases American contractor Alan Gross as a “humanitarian” gesture after five years in prison. As part of a deal between the United States and Cuba, the US releases three Cuban intelligence agents convicted of espionage in 2001; in return, Cuba frees an unidentified US intelligence source who has been jailed in Cuba for more than 20 years.
December 17 - US President Barack Obama announces plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease economic restrictions on the nation, a policy shift he called the end of an “outdated approach” to US-Cuban relations that, “for decades, has failed to advance our interests.” Obama said the US will move towards re-opening its embassy in the communist nation and allow some travel and trade that had been banned under a decades-long embargo instated during the Kennedy administration.
December 28 - Air Asia Flight 8501, with 162 people aboard, crashes while flying from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore.
December 28 - A passenger ferry traveling from Igoumenitsa, Greece to Ancona, Italy catches fire, killing at least 11 people.
December 28 - The 13-year International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan ends.
Awards and Winners:
January 6 - The BCS College Football Championship takes place.
January 12 - The Golden Globes are presented
January 13-26 - The Australian Open is played.
January 26 - The 56th Annual Grammy Awards are presented.
February 2 - Super Bowl XLVIII is played in New Orleans.
March 2 - The 86th Annual Academy Awards are presented.
April 7-13 - The 78th Masters Tournament is played in Augusta, Georgia.
April 14 - The Pulitzer Prizes are announced.
May 3 - The 140th Kentucky Derby is run.
May 25 - The 98th Indianapolis 500 is run.
May 25-June 8 - The French Open is played.
June 4-13 - The Stanley Cup is played.
June 5-15 - The NBA Championship is played.
June 8 - The Tony Awards are presented.
June 12-15 - The 114th US Open (golf) takes place in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
June 23-July 6 - The Wimbledon tennis tournament takes place.
July 5-July 27 - The Tour de France takes place.
July 17-20 - The 143rd British Open takes place.
August 25-September 8 - The US Open (tennis) is played.
October 7-13 - The winners of Nobel Prizes are announced.
October 21-29 - The World Series is played.
December 13 - The Heisman Trophy is awarded.