2002 was a common year that started on a Tuesday. In the Gregorian calendar, it was the 2002nd year of Anno Domini, the 2nd year of the 3rd millennium and of the 21st century, and the 3rd of the 2000s decade. The year 2002 was a palindrome, the first since 1991, which by coincidence, was also a common year that started on a Tuesday. 2002 was designated the:
- International Year of Ecotourism and Mountains
- Year of the Outback in Australia
- National Science Year in the United Kingdom
- Autism Awareness Year in the United Kingdom
- July 1 The International Criminal Court is established.Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937: A Russian passenger jet and a cargo plane collide over the town of Überlingen, Germany; 72 are killed.
- July 9 The Organization of African Unity is disbanded and replaced by the African Union.
- July 15 In Washington, D.C., "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to aiding the enemy and possession of explosives during the commission of a felony; Lindh agrees to serve 10 years in prison for each charge.
- July 19 Hail kills 25 and injures hundreds in the Chinese province of Henan.
- July 21 Telecommunications giant WorldCom files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
- July 27 A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes at an air show in Ukraine, killing 77 and injuring more than 100, making it the worst air show disaster in history.