Wednesday, December 30, 2009
7 News Features: 7's Top 7 - National
The final year of the decade had its share of memorable stories. From a change in Washington to shifts in policy, one miracle landing to many devastating losses, and a few attention grabbers full of hot air. 7's Belkys Nerey with 7's top 7-- the national headlines of 2009.
WSVN -- With the election in the rear view mirror, all roads in 2009 led to our nation's capitol.
President Barack Obama: "I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear ... so Help me God."
Chief Justice John Roberts: "Congratulations, Mr. President."
It was a star-studded inauguration... Oprah, Ali, Spielberg and an unlikely hero of a real life drama, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger.
Witness: "It looked like a movie. It was incredible."
Dubbed the "Miracle on the Hudson," U.S. Airways Flight 1549 went down after a flock of geese took out the plane's engines.
Passenger: "You just heard the pilot, 'Brace yourself for impact.'"
The pilot, defying the odds, making a safe landing on the icy Hudson River.
Sullenberger: "This was a crew effort."
Sadly, no miracle ending to another plane crash, one month later.
A Continental connection flight minutes away from the airport crashed into a home in Buffalo, killing 50.
Call it what you want: swine flu, H1N1 2009 saw the emergence of a global flu fight.
Expert: "This could be the opening punch of a pandemic boxing match."
Lone gunmen wreaked havoc in 2009.
In April, panic at the immigrant aid center in Binghamton, New York. Thirteen people were killed, and the gunman shot himself.
Woman crying: "What drove this individual to do what he did, I cannot possibly fathom."
In June, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. was the target. A security guard was killed before the alleged gunman was wounded by return fire.
And in November, a shootout on a U.S. Military post.
Major Nidal Malik Hasan was accused of killing 13 in Ft. Hood texas, the worst mass shooting at a U.S. Military base.
Another U.S. Base, this one on the island nation of Cuba, took center stage in 2009. President Obama took steps to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Disgraced money man Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison. He confessed in March to the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.
Madoff victim: "I think he should rot in hell."
It's been a rough year for governors. First up, Illinois' Rod Blagojevich.
Illinois lawmaker: "Governor Blagojevich is hereby impeached."
He was charged with trying to sell president-elect Obama's vacant senate seat.
From the midwest to the southeast... a governor gone missing.
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford MIA for nearly a week, first said to be hiking the Appalachian Trail. In reality, vacationing with his Argentinean mistress.
Governor Mark Sanford: "The bottom line is this, I, um, I've been unfaithful to my wife."
From gone missing to gone fishin'.
Gov. Sarah Palin: "So that Alaska may progress, I will not seek re-election as governor."
Former vice-presidential candidate, Alaska's governor Sarah Palin, dropped a political bombshell and later released a tell-all autobiography.
A supreme first in '09: Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic to sit on the supreme court.
It may not have been an historical summit at the white house....
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs: "The president will drink bud light."
"Beer Summit" was called after the controversial arrest of a Harvard professor that sparked a national debate on race.
Babies and balloons made headlines.
Doctor: "We delivered eight babies yesterday morning, six boys, two girls."
Nadya Suleman, the so-called "Octomom," expanded her family to 14 after in vitro fertilization.
The parenting skills of another couple came under fire after this stunt.
Mom and dad reported that their 6-year-old son was in this balloon free-flying over Colorado. Nobody was inside.
Sheriff: "They put on a very good show for us, and we bought it."
We wind down the year with a couple of party crashers.
"Mr. and Mrs. Salahi."
The well-dressed pair, walking right into the White House and President Obama's first state dinner.
And with the party over, the country is now turning the event calendar to a new decade.