Best of 2009

12 Most Shocking Moments of 2009

Michael Jackson's death, the Hudson River miracle crash, the Balloon Boy hoax and more of the year's jaw-dropping stories


"You can effect change from the outside, and I can, too," former Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin told a stunned nation on July 3 outside her Wasilla home as she announced she was resigning as Alaska's governor. Speculation pointed to a coming Senate run or scandal, but Palin clarified things days later, telling NBC News that ethics challenges and the scrutiny of the spotlight had impeded her day-to-day work. By November, she was back on the campaign trail – for her bestselling book, Going Rogue.