As we say goodbye to 2008, the next big event America will watch is the swearing in on Jan. 20, of our first black president, Barack Obama. Here were a few other big events that shaped 2008.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin becomes the first female Republican vice presidential nominee

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer admits having sex with a prostitute and resigns from office

Chicago native Jennifer Hudson-American’s “Dream Girl”-suffered tragedy when her mother, Darnell Donerson, her brother Jason Hudson, and 7-year-old nephew Julian King were murdered in November ’08

Michael Phelps wins eight medals at the summer Olympics at Beijing

R. Kelly was acquitted in June on 21 counts of sexual misconduct with a minor

Shortly after dropping out of the Democratic Presidential Primary, Sen. John Edwards admits to having an affair

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick resigns after being dogged for years by scandal after his 2001 election, including allegations of marital infidelity, perjury and conspiracy

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy diagnosed with brain cancer

Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrested at his home on Dec. 9 after prosecutors said he was caught on federal wiretaps trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat

Auto executives beg the U.S. Senate Banking Committee for bailout money as the economy sunk further into recession

O.J. Simpson sentenced in December to 16 years in prison stemming from a 2007 Las Vegas incident where he and his associates were charged with crimes including assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. The group was reportedly retrieving Simpson’s memorabilia, which the former football star claimed were stolen

Bristol Palin, daughter of Gov. Sarah Palin, gives birth to a boy on Dec. 28

Thomas Beatie, a transgender man, appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss his pregnancy

Although his wife, Stacy Peterson, went missing in October of 2007, and a second wife’s death has been ruled a homicide, accused husband Drew Peterson announces his engagement to a 23 year-old woman

-Delores McCain