2001 is a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar), and also:
- The International Year of the Volunteer
- The United Nations Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations
- January 1 - A black monolith measuring approximately nine feet tall appears in Seattle's Magnuson Park, placed by an anonymous artist in reference to the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- January 6 - The United States Congress, presided over by Vice President Al Gore as President of the Senate, certifies George W. Bush's Electoral College victory and thus as the winner of 2000 presidential election.
- January 13 - Major earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale hits all El Salvador.
- January 15 - Wikipedia, a Wiki free content encyclopedia, goes online (Wikipedia Day).
- January 20 - George W. Bush succeeds Bill Clinton as President of the United States after prevailing over Al Gore in the disputed U.S. presidential election, 2000.
- January 22 - Four of the "Texas 7" are caught at a convenience store in Woodland Park, Colorado and a fifth killed himself inside a motor home.
- January 23-25 - UN war crimes prosecutor Del Ponte demands that Serbia hands over Slobodan Milosevic
- January 24 - The last two of the "Texas 7" are taken into custody in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
- January 24 - Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Mandelson resigns from the British cabinet for the second time
- January 26 - A 50-year-old DC-3 crashes near Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela killing 24.
- January 26 - An earthquake hits Gujarat, India. More than 20,000 deaths and most of the historical city destroyed
- January 29 - Thousands of student protesters in Indonesia storm parliament and demand that President Abdurrahman Wahid resign due to alleged involvement in corruption scandals.
- January 31 - The Scottish Court in the Netherlands convicts a Libyan and acquits another for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.
- June 1 - Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal kills his father, the king, his mother and other members of the royal family with an assault rifle and then shoots himself. He dies three days later
- June 5-June 9 - Houston, Texas is devastated by flooding when Tropical Storm Allison dumps 36 inches (900 mm) of rain on the city. Particularly hard hit are the downtown area and the Texas Medical Center, which lost years of research and data and thousands of lab animals. Twenty-two people die; damage exceeds five billion American dollars.
- June 5 - Senator Jim Jeffords leaves the Republican party, an act which changes control of the United States Senate from the Republican party to the Democratic party
- June 7 - Tony Blair's Labour Party elected for second term in UK General Election
- June 8 - Popular editorial site suck.com, one of the first original content sites on the internet, publishes its final article, "Gone Fishin'."
- June 9 - The Colorado Avalanche def the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup in the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals.
- June 11 - The United States carries out "the severest sentence for the gravest of crimes," fulfilling "the court order to execute inmate Timothy James McVeigh" for the Oklahoma City Bombing. President George W. Bush later says that McVeigh "met the fate he chose for himself six years ago."
- June 19 - 23 people killed and 11 wounded by an American missile hitting a soccer field in northern Iraq, county of Tel Afr
- June 20 - Pervez Musharraf takes over as President of Pakistan.
- June 20 - Andrea Yates drowns her children in a bathtub and confesses to her crime. She would get life in prison for it.
- June 21 - Total solar eclipse
- September 4 - Google Inc. is awarded a patent, number 6,285,999, for the PageRank search algorithm used in the Google search engine
- September 5 - Peru's attorney general files homicide charges against ex-President Alberto Fujimori
- September 6 - Microsoft antitrust case: The United States Justice Department announces that it was no longer seeking to break-up software maker Microsoft and will instead seek a lesser antitrust penalty
- September 9 - Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance, is assassinated in Afghanistan
- September 11 - Around 3,000 killed in the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and rural Pennsylvania.
- September 14 - The New York Stock Exchange reopens following the terrorist attacks in New York.
- October 4 - First case of anthrax in the US (attack) is announced by federal officials.
- October 7 - The American attack on Afganistan begins. The United Kingdom participates.
- October 8 - MD-87 of SAS collides first with a private plane and then a building in Milano airport - 100 dead
- October 10 - War on Terrorism: US President George W. Bush presents a list of 22 most wanted terrorists
- October 12 - War on Terrorism: Prompted by a request by US President George W. Bush, an episode of America's Most Wanted aired featuring 22 most wanted terrorists
- October 14 - Ukrainian military missile shoots down an Israeli passenger plane over Black Sea - 76 dead
- October 15 - NASA's Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter's moon Io
- October 20 - The Concert for New York City a celebration of the strength, resilience, and pride of New York and America is held featuring performances by The Who, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Destiny's Child, Eric Clapton, Adam Sandler, Bon Jovi, Elton John and many more.
- October 25 - Microsoft release Windows XP
- November - The Doha Declaration relaxes the grip of international intellectual property law by a bit.
- November 4 - Hurricane Michelle hits Cuba destroying crops and thousands of homes.
- November 4 - The Police Service of Northern Ireland is established.
- November 7 - The super-sonic commercial aircraft Concorde resumes flying after a 15-month break.
- November 8 - Microsoft releases the Xbox console gaming system to the public.
- November 12 - In New York City, American Airlines Flight 587 crashes minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 on-board
- November 12 - 2001 Attack on Afghanistan: Taliban forces abandon Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, ahead of advancing Northern Alliance troops (Northern Alliance fighters took Kabul on November 14)
- November 13 - Doha Round: The World Trade Organization ends a four-day ministerial conference in Doha, Qatar.
- November 13 - Symbionese Liberation Army member Kathleen Soliah (Sara Jane Olsen) withdraws her previous guilty plea.
- November 13 - War on Terrorism: In the first such act since World War II, US President George W. Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against any foreigners suspected of having connections to terrorist acts or planned acts on the United States
- November 16 - The first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is released, grossing US $975.8 million, becoming the second highest grossing film around the world of all time.
- November 18 - Nintendo releases the GameCube console gaming system to the public.
For more deaths see: Deaths in 2001
- January 12 - William Hewlett, cofounder of Hewlett-Packard (b. 1913)
- January 16 - Laurent-Desire Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (assassinated; death officially confirmed on January 18)
- January 30, Jean-Pierre Aumont, French actor (b. 1911)
- January 31, Gordon R. Dickson, Canadian science fiction writer (b. 1923)
- February 4 - Iannis Xenakis, Greek composer (b. 1922)
- February 7 - Dale Evans, American actress, singer
- February 7 - Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American author, aviator (b. 1906)
- February 18 - Balthus, French painter
- February 18 - Dale Earnhardt, American NASCAR race car driver (b. 1951)
- February 19 - Priscilla Davis, Fort Worth, Texas socialite (b. 1942)
- February 19 - Stanley Kramer, American movie director (b. 1913)
- February 19 - Charles Trenet, popular French singer
- February 24 - Claude Elwood Shannon, mathematician (b. 1916)
- February 25 - Sir Donald Bradman, cricketer (b. 1908)
- March 4 - Glenn Hughes -- leather dude Popular Music group The Village People
- March 4 - Harold Stassen, American politician (b. 1907)
- March 12 - Morton Downey Jr., American television personality (b. 1933)
- March 12 - Robert Ludlum, author of spy novels (b. 1927)
- March 12 - Ann Sothern, actress
- March 18 - John Phillips, American singer, co-founder of popular music group The Mamas and the Papas (b. 1935)
- March 21 - Norma Macmillan, cartoon voice actress (b. 1921)
- March 22 - William Hanna, cofounder (with Joseph Barbera) of the Hanna-Barbera animation studio
- April 7 - Beatrice Straight, Academy Award-winning actress (b. 1914)
- April 10 - Willie Stargell - baseball player, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame (b. 1940)
- April 11 - Harry Secombe, actor, comedian, member of The Goon Show (b. 1921)
- April 12 - Harvey Ball, American inventor (b. 1921)
- April 14 - Hiroshi Teshigahara, director (b. 1927)
- April 15 - Joey Ramone, lead singer for The Ramones (b. 1951)
- May 5 - Cliff Hillegass, creator of Cliff Notes (stroke)
- May 11 - Douglas Adams, author (heart attack) (b. 1952)
- May 12 - Perry Como, American singer (b. 1912)
- May 13 - R.K. Narayan, Indian novelist (b. 1906)
- May 20 - Renato Carosone, Italian musician and singer
- May 28 - Francisco Varela, biologist and philosopher (b. 1946)
- June 1 - Hank Ketcham, cartoonist, creator of Dennis the Menace
- June 1 - King Birendra (b. 1945) and Queen Aiswarya of Nepal
- June 2 - Imogene Coca, actress (b. 1908)
- June 2 - Joey Maxim, boxer, world light heavyweight champion
- June 3 - Anthony Quinn, actor (b. 1915)
- June 4 - King Dipendra of Nepal
- June 4 - John Hartford, musician, composer (b. 1937)
- June 10 - Princess Leila of Iran (b. 1970)
- June 11 - Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma City bomber (executed) (b. 1968)
- June 21 - John Lee Hooker, Blues musician
- June 21 - Carroll O'Connor, American actor
- June 27 - Tove Jansson, author of the Moomin books (b. 1914)
- June 27 - Jack Lemmon, American actor and director
- June 28 - Mortimer Adler, American Philosopher (b. 1902)
- June 28 - Joan Sims, British actress (b. 1930)
- June 30 - Chet Atkins, country musician
- July 5 - Hannelore Kohl, wife of ex-chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl (suicide)
- July 11 - Herman Brood, Dutch rock musician, painter (suicide)
- July 18 - Fabio Taglioni, automotive engineer
- July 27 - Leon Wilkeson, American bassist
- July 29 - Edward Gierek, Polish politician
- July 29 - Wau Holland, German hacker
- August 1 - Poul Anderson, American fantasy and science fiction writer
- August 1 - Korey Stringer, American football player (b. 1974)
- August 3 - Christopher Hewett, British actor
- August 6 - Jorge Amado de Faria, Brazilian writer
- August 15 - Richard Chelimo, Kenyan athlete, (brain tumour)
- August 20 - Fred Hoyle, British astronomer and science fiction writer
- August 25 - Aaliyah, American singer and actress (plane crash)
- September 2 - Christiaan Barnard, South African heart surgeon
- September 3 - Pauline Kael, American movie critic
- September 3 - Thuy Trang, American actress
- September 7 - Spede Pasanen, Finnish television star
- September 9 - Ahmed Shah Massoud, Afghani Northern Alliance military commander
- September 11 - Barbara K. Olson, American television commentator
- September 11 Casualties of the September 11, 2001 attacks
- September 13 - Victor Wong, American actor, artist
- September 22 - Isaac Stern, Ukranian violinist
- October 12 - Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone (Quintin Hogg), British lawyer and politician
- October 15 - Zhang Xueliang, Chinese warlord and military figure
- November 10 - Ken Kesey, American author
- November 12 - Tony Miles, English chess player
- November 17 - Michael Karoli, guitarist, former member of Can
- November 22 - Melanie Thornton, singer, (plane crash)
- November 28 - William Kienzle, author
- November 29 - George Harrison, musician and former member of The Beatles
- November 29 - John Knowles, author
- November 30 - Robert Tools, first recipient of a self-contained artificial heart
- December 4 - Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah Al-Haj, Sultan of Selangor and Yang di-Pertuan Agong
- December 5 - Sir Peter Blake, New Zealand sailor and environmentalist, (shot by pirates on the Amazon River)
- December 5 - Franco Rasetti, physicist
- December 8 - Don Tennant, American advertising executive
- December 15 - Rufus Thomas, R&B, soul singer (b. 1917)
- December 30 - Eileen Heckart, American actress
Fictional references to the year
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