The Top 25 Questions of 2009

Staff

In June, which organization declared that the swine flu outbreak had reached pandemic proportions?

Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, declared the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic on June 11.

The "Octomom" Nadya Suleman delivered eight babies on Jan. 26, and they all have a middle name in common. What is it?

Nadya Suleman's eight babies all have "Angel" as their middle name.

Which states legalized same-sex marriages in 2009?

Vermont and Iowa were the two states that legalized gay marriage in 2009, and New Hampshire will officially make it legal on Jan. 1, 2010.

Which member of the "Manson family" was released from prison in 2009?

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was released in August after 34 years in jail for pointing a gun at then-President Gerald R. Ford.

On Aug. 20, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the man who bombed Pan-Am flight 103 in 1988, was released from prison and returned here, his home country.

Al-Megrahi was greeted with a hero's welcome in Libya.

The Heene family, of the infamous "Balloon Boy" incident, appeared on what reality show in 2008?

The Heenes appeared on an episode of "Wife Swap."

On June 10, white supremacist James W. von Brunn killed a guard at what Washington, D.C., museum?

Von Brunn shot and killed guard Stephen Johns at the Holocaust Museum.

Who was elected in October to another term as Afghanistan's president?

Hamid Karzai was reelected after his opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew from a runoff vote.

What unexpected step did Sarah Palin take on July 3?

Palin resigned on July 3, setting off wild speculation about her next move.

On March 5, President Obama signed an executive order to reverse the Bush administration's policy on what?

Obama reversed Bush's ban on government funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Bernie Madoff was sentenced to how many years in prison on June 29?

Madoff will be spending the rest of his life in jail -- he got 150 years for masterminding the Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of about $65 billion.

Where was US Airways flight 1549 headed when it crash-landed into the Hudson River on Jan. 15?

The 150 passengers on the flight -- all of whom survived -- were headed to Charlotte, N.C.

How much was Tiger Woods fined after his single-car accident on Nov. 27?

The fine was a relatively paltry $164, but the event sparked a scandal that caused advertisers to pull their sponsorships, and Woods announced that he was giving up golf to focus on his family.

Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested in March for crossing North Korea's border with what country?

Ling and Lee briefly crossed into North Korea from China. Kim Jong-Il pardoned them in August.

On April 6, an earthquake killed almost 300 people in which European country?

Abruzzo, Italy, was devastated by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake.

On June 12, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected as president of Iran, sparking violent protests in Tehran and prompting Twitter users to turn their user icons green in support of this man, his main rival.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards cracked down on protesters marching in support of Mir Hossein Mousavi.

The leader of what Central American country was forced into exile after a coup?

President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras was removed from power on June 28.

In June, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted to having an affair with a woman from what South American country?

Gov. Sanford disappeared for a few days, then returned and revealed that he had been visiting his mistress in Argentina.

Michael Jackson died on June 25. What was the final ruling on the cause of death?

The L.A. County Coroner declared the King of Pop's death a homicide.

In the so-called "Beer Summit" on July 30, President Obama met with police sergeant James Crowley and Henry Louis Gates, a professor at which university?

Gates is a professor at Harvard.

Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic Supreme Court judge on Aug. 6. Where did she grow up?

Sotomayor was raised in the Bronx, then went on to Princeton and Yale Law School.

What was the top-grossing movie of 2009?

According to imdb.com, "Transformers" had made $402,076,689 as of early December, making it the top movie of the year.

Bush fires in what country killed 173 people in February?

On Feb. 7, more than 400 individual bush fires burned in the Australian state of Victoria.

Who won Super Bowl XLIII?

The Steelers beat the Cardinals 27-23 for the team's sixth Super Bowl win.

On September 9, Joe Wilson, a representative from this state, yelled "You lie!" during President Obama's health care speech to Congress.

Rep. Wilson is from South Carolina.

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About This Quiz

Ah, 2009. More than 600,000 U.S. workers lost their jobs in January alone -- and the economic news didn't get too much better from there. There were bright spots, of course, but they seemed to be few and far between. Add in the Octomom, the Balloon Boy and the sudden death of Michael Jackson, and you have one odd ride. How many of these moments of 2009 do you remember?

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