The state of Washington, on Jan. 1, bans anyone under 21 years old from purchasing a semi-automatic assault rifle.
The ongoing government shutdown becomes the longest in U.S. history on Jan. 12 when it reaches 22 days; 800,000 employees are left unpaid. On Jan. 25, President Trump agrees to temporarily end the shutdown by supporting a deal to fund federal agencies for three weeks.
The U.S. Justice Department charges Chinese technology firm Huawei with multiple counts of fraud on Jan. 28.
In Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, the New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams, 13–3. Tom Brady, the quarterback of the Patriots, wins his sixth championship which marks the most National Football League world championships ever won by a single player.
President Trump declares a national emergency on Feb. 15 for access to funds for his proposed border wall. He issues the first veto of his presidency on March 15, striking down a Senate resolution to end his national emergency declaration.
U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant Christopher Paul Hasson is arrested on Feb. 20. He planned a domestic terrorist attack targeting politicians and journalists.
It becomes public on March 12 that dozens of people including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are alleged to have engaged in bribery and fraud to secure admission to elite colleges.
On March 12, California governor Gavin Newsom places a hold on California’s death penalty; the 737 inmates on death row are given a reprieve.
Hundreds of students stage a walkout and rally on March 15 at the Capitol building, demanding legal action on climate change. 1,600 other protests take places in 100 countries around the world.
On March 24, U.S. Attorney General William Barr publishes a four-page summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. On April 18, the full 448-page report is released in redacted form.
On April 8, the Trump administration joins Saudi Arabia and Bahrain by announcing its intentions to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group. The official designation takes place on April 15.
Scientists from the Event Horizon Telescope project announce on April 10, the first ever image of a black hole. It is located in the center of the M87 galaxy.
After Miss USA’s victory on May 4, it becomes the first time in American history that three black women have been crowned as Miss USA (Cheslie Kryst), Miss Teen USA (Kaliegh Garris) and Miss America (Nia Franklin).
The New York Times publishes newly obtained tax information on May 8, which reveals that from 1985 to 1994, Donald Trump lost $1.17 billion from his various businesses.
The U.S.’ 25 percent tariff hike on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports takes effect on May 10.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports on May 30 that so far, there have been 971 cases of measles in the U.S., the greatest number of cases in more than 25 years. As of Dec. 5, the number has increased to 1,276.
On June 7, NASA announces that the International Space Station will be commercialized beginning in 2020, allowing private companies to use it to conduct for-profit activities.
President Trump becomes, on June 30, the first sitting U.S. president to cross the Korean Demilitarized Zone and enter North Korea.
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits Ridgecrest, California on July 4. It’s the largest in the region since the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. A stronger earthquake, magnitude 7.1, strikes the next day.
On July 6, billionaire registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is arrested on federal and state charges of sex trafficking. Epstein is found dead of apparent suicide in his cell on Aug. 10.
After 16 years, Attorney General William Barr reinstates the death penalty for federal crimes on July 25. The executions of five federal death row inmates are scheduled.
Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló resigns on Aug. 2 following massive protests partly because of his participation in a chat group with some members of his administration making vulgar, bigoted and homophobic comments.
A mass shooting on Aug. 3 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas kills 22 and injures 24. The 21-year-old suspect is charged with capital murder.
A whistleblower files a complaint on Aug. 12, which alleges that President of the United States used the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community, deems the complaint an “urgent concern” and “credible” on Aug. 26.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports on Aug. 15 that July 2019 was the hottest month on record globally, at 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees.
President Donald Trump reveals on Sept. 7 that he has cancelled planned peace talks with the Taliban at Camp David.
National Security Advisor John R. Bolton is dismissed by President Trump by Sept. 10.
On Sept. 18, President Trump revokes California’s authority to set its own stricter auto emission standards
On Sept. 24, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announces the start of a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. On Oct. 31, the House of Representatives votes 232–196 in favor of formally proceeding with an impeachment inquiry against the president.
California becomes the first state to pass a law that would allow college athletes to get paid for endorsement deals and hire sports agents when Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the “Fair Pay to Play Act” on Sept. 30. It takes effect in 2023.
After five years, the Bureau of Land Management resumes leasing federal land in California on Oct. 4 to fossil fuel companies, opening 725,000 acres to drilling in San Benito, Monterey, and Fresno counties.
The Saddle Ridge Fire starts on Oct. 10 in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles County and consumes nearly 9,000 acres. On Oct. 23, the Kincade Fire tears through 77,758 acres of Sonoma County as Gov. Gavin Newsom declares a state of emergency. From Oct. 24, the 4,615 acre Tick Fire is active for 55 days in L.A. County’s Santa Clarita Valley. The 745-acre Getty Fire erupts in Los Angeles on Oct. 28 and on Nov. 26, the 3,126 acre Cave Fire starts in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara.
On Oct. 18, NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir conduct the first all-female spacewalk outside of the International Space Station.
President Trump announces on Oct. 27 that the leader of the ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a U.S. Special Forces operation.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association announces on Oct. 29 that it will allow college athletes to “benefit” from use of their name, image and likeness.
On Oct. 30, social media website Twitter bans all political advertising worldwide.
Public impeachment hearings against President Trump begin in the House of Representatives on Nov. 13. On Dec. 13, democrats on the House Judiciary Committee approve abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges against the president who becomes the fourth U.S. president in history to face impeachment. On Dec. 18, the House votes to forward the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) pleads guilty to corruption charges and resigns from Congress on Dec. 2.
On Dec. 5, Kansas City, Missouri council members vote to abolish bus fares, making it the first major U.S. city to offer free public transportation.
The Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz, issues a report on Dec. 9 that concludes that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) inquiry into the 2016 Trump campaign was legally justified and conducted without political bias albeit with several procedural errors most notably in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) warrants.