Barack Obama's inauguration was a remarkable event - an African-American family now lives in the White House - which was partly built by slaves.
But he took office at a time of crisis: America, fighting two wars overseas, and battling a deep recession at home. These problems defy easy solutions.
It was a year when we said goodbye to some larger-than-life figures: Michael Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Walter Cronkite. Heroes emerged: like Sully Sullenberger and the men and women of the U.S. military. Some heroes fell from grace...most notably Tiger Woods.
Susan Boyle captivated the world: a middle aged Scottish woman who came out of nowhere and now tops the music charts.
It was a year of dreams, disappointments and digging deep. Heroes, villains and surprises. And tonight, it, too, will be history.
That's a page from my notebook.
I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.