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The Obama Presidency timeline: January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017

19 January, 2017 11:10 PM
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As Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House, we look back at the eight years of his presidency.

January 20: Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States and its first black president.

January 22: Obama signs an executive order announcing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp within a year and prohibiting torture. The prison is still open, but with only 61 detainees.

Feb 17: Obama signs the $787 billion stimulus bill into law despite Republican opposition, almost certainly saving the world from depression.

March 9: Obama lifts restrictions, put in place by the Bush administration, on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

October 9: Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples". Even his biggest fans think the award somewhat premature.

January 27: Obama delivers his first State of the Union address. The theme is "Rescue, Rebuild, Restore – a New Foundation for Prosperity".

March 23: Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (that becomes known as Obamacare) into law, extending health-­insurance coverage to millions. Republicans will try to repeal the law more than 60 times in the next six years.

April 20: Deepwater Horizon oil spill is described by Obama as his first "Katrina moment".

November 2: Republicans sweep the mid-term elections and take control of the US House of Representatives.

Jan 25: The Arab Spring reaches Egypt; After weeks of violent protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's regime is overthrown.

May 1: Terrorist Osama Bin laden is tracked down and killed by US forces in Pakistan.

March: Pro-democracy protests erupt in Syria. Within three months, the civil war has effectively begun.

August 15: For the first time in his presidency, a Gallup poll finds that a majority of Americans disapprove of the job Obama is doing. His approval rating drops to below 40 per cent.

November 16: Obama makes his first visit to Australia, visiting Canberra and Darwin. He returned in November 2014 for the G20 in Brisbane.

December 18: Last American troops leave Iraq, ending nearly nine years of war.

February 26: Trayvon Martin, a black 17-year-old, is killed by George Zimmerman, a white man, in Sanford, Florida. "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," Obama says.

August 20: Obama makes unscripted remark that if Syria starts using chemical weapons it would be crossing a "red line" only to subsequently cede the initiative to Moscow on the issue once it became clear the line had been crossed.

November 6: Obama is re-elected to a second term after beating republican challenger Mitt Romney.

December 14: Obama calls for renewed national debate on gun control following the deaths of 20 children and six teachers Sandy Hook Elementary School. Despite the tragedy there is little momentum for tightening gun control.

January 20: Obama officially begins his second term as the 44th US President.

April 15: Two bombs explode near finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring an estimated 264.

June 25: Obama announces his Climate Action Plan, which seeks to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants 32 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

October 1: Republican congressmen initiate 16-day-long federal government shutdown, the third-longest in US history.

June 16: Obama announces deployment of 275 US Armed Forces personnel to Iraq to fight Islamic State after the terrorist group defeats the Iraqi army and takes the key city of Mosul during a six-day battle from June 4-10.

December 28: Obama declares formal end of war in Afghanistan after 13 years.

June 28: Barack Obama sings Amazing Grace in a moving, eloquent eulogy on the complexities of race and justice for the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the Charleston, South Carolina, church who was killed along with eight of his parishioners by a white supremacist gunman.

July 14: Following 20 months of negotiations, the US plus Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia strike a historic deal with Iran on nuclear weapons. Republicans outraged.

March 22: Obama describes historic visit to Cuba as a chance to "bury the last remnants of the Cold War in the Americas".

August: The Administration celebrates the longest streak of total job growth on record – 78 months and counting. Businesses have added 15.1 million jobs since early 2010.

November 10: Obama meets with President-elect Trump to discuss transition of power.

December 23: The US abstains from a vote in the UN Security Council allowing a resolution that Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory are illegal to pass unanimously. Israel, Republicans and some Democrats are outraged.


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