A close presidential election went to an unprecedented recount following balloting irregularities in Florida.
Planes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center buildings in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, killing 3,000 people in the most devastating terrorist attack on American soil. The Bush administration approved military operations in Afghanistan, whose Taliban regime had harbored Al Qaeda, the group behind the attacks.
Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act, an exhaustive education reform bill touted by the Bush administration.
Congress passed an omnibus farm bill which included farming subsidies, nutrition programs, conservation, and rural development, appropriating an estimated $746.9 billion over ten years.
The disastrous collapse of the Enron Corporation led Congress to enact stricter regulation of the accounting industry and attempts to combat corporate fraud.
Hurricane Katrina wiped out the entire city of New Orleans and several Gulf coast communities, which suffered from the slow dispersal of state and federal aid.
In September 2005, Republican Congressman Tom DeLay stepped down as Speaker of the House after being indicted on conspiracy charges.
President Bush signed the reauthorization of the controversial Patriot Act, which granted expanded powers to government authorities charged with combating domestic and international terrorism.
The congressional elections of 2006 returned Democrats to power after 12 years in the wilderness, highlighting public discontent with progress in Iraq.
Despite ambitious efforts by Democrats to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), President Bush stymied their efforts with two vetoes.
After a considerable political battle, Congress passed an energy bill that included the first statutory increase in fuel efficiency standards in over thirty years and called for an increase in the use of biofuels.
President Barack Obama became the first African American president on November 4, garnering 53 percent of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes. The Democrats scored decisive victories in both the
House and Senate, nearly achieving a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (which they would capture in 2009).
Obama Scores Decisive Victory to Be the First African-American President
Following the retirement of Associate Justice David Souter, President Barack Obama nominated
U.S. Court of Appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Court on June 1, 2009. She was confirmed by the Senate, 68-31, on August 6, 2009
Sotomayor is Sworn in as First Hispanic Justice on High Court