Here is a look back at the events of 2021.
Notable US Events
January 3 - President Donald Trump pushes Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn the election results after his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, according to an audio recording of a phone call obtained by CNN and first reported by the Washington Post.
January 5 - The Louisville Police Department fires two detectives, Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes, connected to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.
January 5 - Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravely announces Rusten Sheskey will not face charges in the shooting of Jacob Blake. Sheskey, a White officer, shot Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, seven times while responding to a domestic incident on August 23, 2020. Blake survived the shooting but was left paralyzed from the waist down.
January 6 - One day after US Senate runoffs in Georgia take place on January 5, CNN projects the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, will be the first Black senator from Georgia, defeating Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Later in the day, CNN projects Jon Ossoff will be the first Jewish senator from Georgia, defeating Republican Sen. David Perdue.
January 6 - Following Trump’s rally and speech at the White House Ellipse, pro-Trump rioters storm the US Capitol as members of Congress meet to certify the Electoral College results of the 2020 presidential election. A total of five people die, including a Capitol Police officer the next day.
January 6 - Facebook and Twitter temporarily lock Trump’s accounts on their platforms after his supporters stormed the Capitol building to protest the election results. On January 8, Twitter announces Trump’s account is suspended permanently.
January 7 - Congress formally affirms Biden’s 2020 victory, completing a final step in the electoral process after a mob incited by Trump breached the US Capitol on January 6 and forced lawmakers to evacuate both the House and Senate chambers.
January 7 - Two of Trump’s Cabinet secretaries – Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos– announce their resignations, citing the riot at the US Capitol.
January 8 - Trump announces he will not be attending Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
January 13 - The House votes to impeach Trump for a second time following the president’s role inciting last week’s riot at the US Capitol. The House votes 232 to 197 to impeach.
January 19 - Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, certifies the results of the two US Senate runoff results.
January 20 - In the final hours of his presidency, Trump issues 73 pardons and 70 commutations, including Steve Bannon.
January 20 - Harris formally swears in three new Democratic senators, Warnock, Ossoff and Alex Padilla. Padilla is California’s first Latino senator.
January 25 - The House impeachment managers formally trigger the start of Trump’s second impeachment trial after they deliver the charge against Trump to the Senate. He is the first president in history to be impeached twice.
February 2 - In its fourth-quarter 2020 earnings report, Amazon announces that Jeff Bezos will step down from his role as chief executive in the third quarter of 2021. He will transition to the role of executive chair, and Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy will become chief executive officer.
February 4 - Voting technology company Smartmatic files a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News, some of the network’s star hosts, including Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro, and pro-Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, alleging the parties worked in concert to wage a “disinformation campaign” that has jeopardized its survival. On February 5, Fox cancels “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”
February 4 - Johnson & Johnson officially asks the US Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine.
February 9 - Trump’s second impeachment trial begins with a four-hour debate on the constitutionality of the proceeding. On February 13, the Senate votes to acquit Trump, voting that Trump was not guilty of inciting the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol. The final vote is 57 guilty to 43 not guilty, with seven Republicans voting to convict.
February 12 - The Senate approves legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who became a national hero for his actions defending the Senate during the siege of the Capitol on January 6.
February 15 - Winter storms and freezing temperatures wreak havoc across Texas. On February 17, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is photographed boarding a flight to Cancun, Mexico, as millions in his home state are without power or water. He returns home the following day after facing fierce criticism on social media.
February 18 - Perseverance, NASA’s rover, lands on the surface of Mars. The rover has been traveling through space since launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at the end of July 2020.
February 22 - The US surpasses 500,000 coronavirus deaths. Biden speaks at a candle lighting ceremony to mark the grim milestone.
February 22 - The Supreme Court clears the way for New York prosecutors to obtain Trump’s tax returns, dealing a massive loss to the former president, who has fiercely fought to shield his financial papers from prosecutors. The documents will be subject to grand jury secrecy rules that restrict their public release.
February 23 - A grand jury votes not to indict any officers in the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died after police pinned him to the ground in March of last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James announces.
February 26 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisers vote to recommend the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine for the US, and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky almost immediately signs off on the recommendation. It is the first of the three authorized Covid-19 vaccines that come in a single dose.
February 26 - The US intelligence report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is released to the public. The report finds that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman approved the operation to capture or kill the Saudi journalist. “We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey, to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the report’s executive summary states.
March 11 - Biden signs the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 economic relief package.
March 16 - Eight people, including six Asian women, are shot, and killed at three Atlanta-area spas. The 21-year-old suspect, Robert Aaron Long, is arrested in Crisp County, 150 miles south of Atlanta.
March 22 - Ten people, including a Boulder police officer, are killed in a mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, the 21-year-old suspect, faces 10 counts of murder in the first degree.
March 25 - Republicans in Georgia pass a sweeping election bill, making it the first presidential battleground state to impose new voting restrictions following Biden’s victory. The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local election boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it illegal to approach voters in line to give them food and water.
April 2 - Major League Baseball announces that this season’s All-Star Game and draft will not be held in Atlanta in response to Georgia’s recently passed voting laws. On April 6, it is announced the All-Star Game will take place at Coors Field in Denver.
April 8 - Biden announces he is directing his administration to tighten restrictions on so-called ghost guns and pistol stabilizing braces that allow the weapons to be used more accurately. The steps - which include nominating a gun control advocate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - fulfill a commitment Biden made in the aftermath of two deadly shootings last month to take “common sense” steps right away to address gun violence.
April 11 - 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black man, is fatally shot by Officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. On December 23, Potter is found guilty of first- and second-degree manslaughter.
April 13 - The CDC and FDA announce they are recommending that the United States pause the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine over six reported US cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clot.
April 15 - A former employee shoots and kills eight people and wounds several others at a FedEx Ground facility near Indianapolis’ main airport.
April 20 - A jury finds former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all three charges against him in the killing of George Floyd. Chauvin is convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
April 30 - The Biden administration announces the United States will restrict travel from India starting May 4 in response to the surge of coronavirus cases and variants being observed in the country.
May 2 - SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule returns from space and makes a parachute landing in the Gulf of Mexico, returning four astronauts from a record-setting mission to the International Space Station. The astronauts’ safe return marks the end to NASA and SpaceX’s landmark mission, dubbed Crew-1, which set a record as the longest time in space - over five months - by a crew that launched aboard an American-built spacecraft.
May 5 - Facebook’s Oversight Board upholds Trump’s suspension from using its platform. The landmark move affirms the company’s decision to suspend Trump in January after the US Capitol riots. The decision also applies to Facebook-owned Instagram where he has an account. The board says Facebook must review the decision within six months.
May 7 - One of the largest US fuel pipelines is paralyzed after a ransomware cyberattack forces a temporary shutdown of all operations. Colonial Pipeline pays the hacking group that carried out the cyberattack.
May 10 - The FDA expands the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to include people ages 12 to 15. This is the first Covid-19 vaccine in the United States authorized to use in younger teens and adolescents.
May 12 - House Republicans vote to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership post after she publicly rejected for months Trump’s lie that he won the 2020 presidential election. New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is elected as her replacement on May 14.
May 18 - New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office announces James is joining the Manhattan district attorney’s office in a criminal investigation of the Trump Organization. Her office’s investigation into the Trump Organization, which has been underway since 2019, will also continue as a civil probe.
May 19 - The House votes to approve legislation to establish an independent commission to investigate the violent insurrection on January 6 at the US Capitol, with 35 Republicans breaking with their party to support the bill.
May 20 - The Justice Department confirms the Trump administration secretly sought and obtained the 2017 phone and email records of CNN correspondent Barbara Starr, the latest instance where federal prosecutors have taken aggressive steps targeting journalists in leak investigations.
May 23 - The Wall Street Journal reports on US intelligence report findings that three researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019 and were hospitalized, a new detail about the severity of their symptoms that could fuel further debate about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
May 26 - Amazon announces it has made a deal to acquire MGM, the home of James Bond and one of the most iconic movie studios in Hollywood. The deal, which is valued at $8.45 billion, gives Amazon an extensive library of film and TV shows that is can use to fill out its Prime Video content offerings.
May 28 - The Senate fails to advance a bill to create an independent inquiry to investigate the deadly January 6 Capitol Hill riot. Only six GOP senators vote in support of the bill.
June 3 - The Biden administration announces a plan to share the first 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses with the rest of the world and an overall framework of distributing at least 80 million doses by the end of June. At least 75% of these donated vaccines will be shared with the global vaccination program called Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, or COVAX, and 25% will be shared directly with countries in need.
June 17 - Biden signs legislation establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
June 21 - The Supreme Court rules (9-0) against the NCAA, saying that student athletes can receive education-related payments, in a case that could reshape college sports by allowing more money from a billion-dollar industry to go to players.
June 24 - A 13-story residential building partially collapses in the South Florida community of Surfside, killing 98 people.
June 24 - Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for Trump, is suspended from practicing law in New York by an appellate court that found he made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” about the 2020 election.
June 25 - Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd on a Minneapolis street in 2020, is sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in prison. Under Minnesota law, Chauvin must serve two-thirds of his sentence, or 15 years – and then will be eligible for supervised release for the remaining time.
June 30 - Bill Cosby is released from prison after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturns his 2018 sexual assault conviction, saying the disgraced actor’s due process rights were violated.
July 1 - New York prosecutors charge the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corporation with 10 felony counts and Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg with 15 felony counts in connection with an alleged tax scheme stretching back to 2005.
July 2 - US defense officials report that the last US troops have left Bagram Air Base, marking the end of the American presence at the sprawling compound that became the center of military power in Afghanistan.