It's time to take a look back over the past 12 months through photographs. Historic elections were held in Iran, India and the United States, some wars wound down while others escalated, China turned 60, and the Berlin Wall was remembered 20 years after it came down. Each photo tells its own tale, weaving together into the larger story of 2009.
1.Barack Obama as the 44th U.S. president swears on the Bible, which holds his wife, Michelle Obama, at the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Nearby are their daughters – Malia and Sasha Obama
2.Vertie Hodge, 74, weeps during an Inauguration Day party near Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Houston on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 after President Barack Obama delivered his speech after taking the oath of office, becoming the first black president in the United States.
3.A group of Common Cranes gather in dawn light, on their night-roost on a lake in the German state of Brandenburg, close to Berlin September 26, 2009. From September to November tens of thousands of Cranes use the rural area close to the German Capital for a stopover during their migration from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe to their wintering quarters in Spain.
4.Soldiers from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry take defensive positions at firebase Restrepo after receiving fire from Taliban positions in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar Province, in this May 11, 2009 file photo. Spc. Zachery Boyd of Fort Worth, TX, far left was wearing "I love NY" boxer shorts after rushing from his sleeping quarters to join his fellow platoon members. From far right is Spc. Cecil Montgomery of Many, LA and Jordan Custer of Spokane, WA, center.
5.Airline passengers wait to be rescued on the wings of a US Airways Airbus 320 jetliner that safely ditched in the frigid waters of the Hudson River in New York, after a flock of birds knocked out both its engines on January 15, 2009.
6.A student receives a H1N1 vaccine injection at a hospital in Suining, Sichuan province November 11, 2009.
8.A Iranian riot-police officer sprays tear-gas at a supporter of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi attacking him with a police stick during riots in Tehran on June 13, 2009.
8.A frame grab from YouTube shows a woman identified as Neda Agha-Soltan lying on the ground after being shot in the chest in Tehran, Iran June 20, 2009. Iranians on social networking sites called for mourning for "Neda", a young woman shot dead on Saturday.
9.Fishermen row a boat in the algae-filled Chaohu Lake in Hefei, Anhui province, China on June 19, 2009. China invested 51 billion yuan ($7.4 billion) towards the construction of 2,712 projects for the treatment of eight rivers and lakes in 2009, Xinhua News Agency reported.
10.The moon passes between the sun and the earth, nearing a total solar
eclipse, as seen in Changsha, Hunan province, China on July 22, 2009.
11.A girl displaced from her home by a huge tidal wave caused by Cyclone Aila, stands in front of her temporary shelter on a river dam in Satkhira in southwestern Bangladesh June 2, 2009.
12.A cone of moisture surrounds part of the Ares I-X rocket during lift off Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009, on a sub-orbital test flight from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39-B in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
13.Riot police contain supporters of Mozambique's national soccer team after their World Cup 2010 qualifying soccer match against Kenya in Maputo, September 6, 2009.
14.Chicago White Sox pitcher Scott Linebrink delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game in Las Vegas, in this March 5, 2009 photo.
15.A man walks his dog through Observatory Hill near Sydney on September 23, 2009 as Australia's biggest city is shrouded in an eerie blanket of red dust. Sydney's cars and buildings turned orange as strong winds blew desert dust across the city, snarling commuter and air transport and prompting a warning for children and the elderly to stay indoors.
16.Claire Williams, right, and Cori Giroux kiss as they wed at the stroke of midnight in South Burlington, Vermont, on September 1, 2009 - the first day that Vermont's marriage equality law went into effect.
17.Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Scuderia Ferrari is carried from his car after being struck in the head by a piece of bodywork that fell from another car during the qualifying session at the Hungaroring race track in Mogyorod near Budapest on July 25, 2009. Massa was airlifted to hospital and underwent surgery on his fractured skull.
18.French aerobatic team "Cartouche Dore" flies in formation near Aix-en-Provence, southern France.
19.The sun shines on the skin of a hippo in its enclosure in the Zoo in Berlin, Friday, April 3, 2009.
20.AP photographer Emilio Morenatti takes pictures as he is carried on a stretcher out of the University of Maryland Medical Center's R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center to be transferred to the Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital in Baltimore, Tuesday Aug. 25, 2009. Morenatti, whose left foot was amputated after a bomb blast in Afghanistan, was transferred Tuesday to a rehabilitation hospital in Baltimore, where he will be fitted for a prosthesis.
21.A rescuer holding a two-year-old child tries to close a window on the girl's suicidal father who is trying to jump from the eighth floor of an apartment block in Chengdu, Sichuan province, July 7, 2009. Rescuers managed to distract the man while another snatched the girl and brought her to safety. The man, who later tested positive for drugs, was arrested and taken into custody, according to China Daily.
22.Blood and bullet holes are seen on a car door after an unidentified man was murdered in Tijuana, northern Mexico, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009.
23.Demonstrators charge through a street in London during protests to coincide with Thursday's G20 summit meeting April 1, 2009. Demonstrators clashed with riot police and smashed bank windows in Britain's financial centre on Wednesday ahead of a G20 meeting in protest against a system they said had robbed the poor to benefit the rich.
24.Australian surfer Mark Visser surfs an 11 m (36 ft) wave at Cow Bombie, near the West Australian town of Gracetown, 280km (174 mi) south of Perth, Australia in this photograph obtained September 28, 2009. The organisers claim that Visser had caught one of the biggest waves in Australia for 2009.
25.Rows of 7.62 mm bullets are shown, ready to be shot by Afghan National Army recruits as part of their daily training at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 19, 2009. A massive effort is underway to train thousands of new troops to join the fight against the vicious Taliban-led insurgency. But the task is hobbled by the lack of mentors and high levels of illiteracy among the recruits.
26.A woman shows her ink-marked finger after casting her vote at a polling station in Sonapur, about 50 km (31 miles) from Guwahati, the major city of India's northeastern state of Assam April 23, 2009. Millions of Indians, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, voted in the largest democratic election in the world.
27.Residents stand on electric wires to stay on high ground while others wade in neck-deep flood waters caused by Typhoon Ondoy in Cainta Rizal, east of Manila September 27, 2009.
28.A Dog belonging to Rhonda O'Hearn of Sandown, New Hampshire waits before the start of a 60-mile race at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Fort Kent, Maine on Saturday, February 28, 2009.
29A view of Santa Maria del Suffragio church, severely damaged after an earthquake on April 7, 2009 in the Abruzzo capital L'Aquila, Italy.
30.Handout picture released June 8, 2009 by the Brazilian Navy showing divers recovering a huge part of the rudder of the Air France A330 aircraft lost in midflight over the Atlantic ocean June 1st. At the time, seventeen bodies had been recovered from the Atlantic where an Air France jet came down.
31.A Pakistani displaced boy from Swat valley sleeps under a mosquito net outside his tent at the Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, May 26, 2009.
32.Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) sailors march pass Tiananmen Square during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 2009 in Beijing, China.
33.The body of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran is carried on a stretcher through a group of Sri Lankan soldiers at Nanthikadal lagoon, near the town of Mullaittivu in northern Sri Lanka May 19, 2009. Sri Lanka's army chief said Tamil Tiger leader Prabhakaran's body was found on Tuesday, and Sri Lankan TV stations aired video of what appeared to be his corpse, with the top of its head blown off.
34.An explosion is seen as missiles fired from an Israeli aircraft fall towards a target in the northern Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israeli side of the border, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009.
35.A mental patient named Totok reacts as he is given a shower at the Galuh foundation house in East Bekasi, outskirt of Jakarta, Indonesia on October 23, 2009. The Galuh foundation house has housed more than 285 underprivileged mental patients since it was founded in 1982 by Gendu Mulatip.
36.A recently constructed section of the controversial US-Mexico border fence expansion project crosses previously pristine desert sands at sunrise on March 14, 2009 between Yuma, Arizona and Calexico, California. The new barrier between the US and Mexico stands 15 feet tall and sits on top of the sand so it can lifted by a machine and repositioned whenever the migrating desert dunes begin to bury it. The almost seven miles of floating fence cost about $6 million per mile to build.
37.Military and forensic experts inspect the body of a man who was killed outside a nightclub in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on August 31, 2009. A man was handcuffed to a fence and shot several times by drug hitmen outside a nightclub, according to local media. The assailants also left a warning message, known as "narco mensaje", at the site of the shooting.
38.A view taken from the International Space Station of the Sarychev Volcano on the Kuril Islands in an early stage of eruption on June 12, 2009.
39.Sixteen-month-old Aubrey Melton reaches for her father SSG Josh Melton as she views his remains with her mother Larissa before his funeral service June 27, 2009 in Germantown, Illinois. SSG Melton, who was serving in Afghanistan with the Illinois National Guard, was killed in Kandahar during an IED attack June 19.
40.Young revellers run from the "Fire Bull", a man carrying a metal structure loaded with fireworks, at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain on July 12, 2009.