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Your Votes for the Top 10 Stories of 2009

The best stories of the year.

Earlier this week, Slate asked readers to help rank the 10 most important news events of the year. You responded in droves with your picks for the most compelling topics of 2009. Find out where your selections ranked below. (Sorry, Balloon Boy, you came up a little shy.)


1) The historic inauguration of the United States’ first African-American commander in chief, Barack Obama, topped your list of the most important events of the year with 16 percent of the vote.

2) Health care reform was either a topic of consternation or a cause for jubilation, depending on whom you asked; it garnered 14 percent of the vote.

3) Some pundits declared the recession over, whether the populace agreed or not. Economic recovery efforts snagged 12 percent of the vote.

4) The president’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan in hopes of bringing most soldiers home in 2011 finished with 9 percent of the vote.

5) Alleged fraud and widespread protests marred the Iranian presidential elections in June, garnering 7 percent of the vote.


6) King of Pop Michael Jackson’s death shocked millions and spurred worldwide mourning, coming in with 6 percent of the vote.

7) Panic over the lethal swine flu pandemic caused at least one nation to eradicate pigs and others to stockpile vaccines—you ranked the hysteria seventh on the list with 5 percent of the vote.

8) One of President Obama’s first moves from the Oval Office was to nominate Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, and she was subsequently confirmed, which earned 4 percent of the vote.

9) International and domestic efforts to draft climate change laws are gaining attention due to this week’s Copenhagen conference. The subject drew 3 percent of the vote.

10) And finally, a topic we haven’t seen the last of: The ever-increasing federal deficit finished with 3 percent of the vote.