In the second of a four-part series, BBC News Online Scotland's Steve Brocklehurst looks back at some of the major events in 2002.
Military forces struggled to maintain law and order in Basra
Protests against the war in Iraq continued in April and one its most outspoken opponents was Glasgow Kelvin MP George Galloway.
In an interview for Abu Dhabi TV, the Labour MP described Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush as "wolves" for committing the "crime" of military action against Iraq.
He accused Mr Blair and Mr Bush of lying to the armed forces about the likely length of the war and argued that the war was illegal.
He urged British soldiers to refuse to obey "illegal orders".
The prime minister branded the comments "disgraceful and wrong".
Just over two weeks after the conflict began Scottish regiments led the advance into the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
Troops from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the Black Watch were at the heart of the "liberation" of Iraq's second city.
Within days US troops entered Baghdad, bringing the war to an end.
However, taking control of the country after the war was to prove far more difficult.
George Galloway (left) was an outspoken critic of the war
Back at home, faith in the good work performed by charities was rocked when a Scottish breast cancer organisation was banned from operating.
The bank accounts of Breast Cancer Research (Scotland) were frozen when a judge heard that only £1.5m of the £13.2m it raised went to good causes.
The Scottish Executive was criticised for failing to regulate charities despite a report recommending such a move three years ago.
Communities Minister Margaret Curran pledged to appoint a regulator to oversee charities, although she would not be drawn on a timescale.
Unseasonably warm weather in April had fire crews across Scotland at full stretch tackling blazes which destroyed thousands of acres of forest and moorland.
Firefighters in Ayrshire worked round the clock to tackle a forest fire near Darvel - the biggest of its kind in the area for decades.
In the Highlands, firefighters dealt with more than 200 incidents.
Two moor fires on the Western Isles at Barvas Moor and Leverburgh also caused problems.
Helicopters water-bombed the forest fire in Ayrshire
In its drive to increase efficiency, Scottish Water cut a further 900 jobs in April.
The publicly owned body said it needed to cut jobs to meet its industry regulator's recommendations.
A report in The Economist magazine a short time later said that Scottish water was the most expensive in the UK.
Businesses were the worst affected, collectively paying £190m more than their counterparts south of the border, it said.
Scottish Water said its prices were higher because of an investment programme and added that prices were much higher in England during the 1990s.
According to the report, water bills in Scotland have increased by 94% in real terms over the last decade and by 22% in England.
On 1 May, the Scottish public went to the polls to select MSPs for the Holyrood parliament for the second time.
Independent candidates and the smaller parties were the big winners as the political landscape changed.
The two main parties both lost seats.
Labour lost six seats and the Scottish National Party dropped eight.
It was the Greens, who increased from one MSP to seven, and the Scottish Socialists, who went from a single member to six seats, who had most reason to celebrate.
Four independents also made it into Holyrood.
Rosie Kane made her protest as she swore her affirmation
Retired GP Jean Turner recorded the first big shock of the night when she unseated Labour MSP Brian Fitzpatrick in Strathkelvin and Bearsden.
The independent candidate was campaigning against the closure of Stobhill Hospital.
Fears of a low turnout were borne out as only 48% of voters cast their ballot.
The new members wasted no time in making their presence felt.
The Scottish Socialists started the new parliamentary session with protests during the swearing in of newly-elected MSPs at Holyrood.
Colin Fox sang Robert Burns' egalitarian "A Man's A Man for A' That" as his protest and fellow socialist MSP Rosie Kane had written "My oath is to the people" on the palm of her hand, which she held up as she took the affirmation.
Green MSP Patrick Harvie also ruffled a few feathers by seeking support for plans to give gay and straight cohabiting couples the same rights as people who are married.
He wants to establish a civil ceremony - like a register office wedding - to allow them to formally register their partnerships and give them legal rights and responsibilities.
The rights would include the same treatment in tax affairs, welfare benefits, insurance, property and legacies as married couples.
The two sides of the coalition share a joke in parliament
Agreement on a coalition deal between Labour and the Liberal Democrats took a long time to achieve.
The Lib Dems were determined not to enter into an agreement until Labour had given commitments on a number of key issues.
The party leaders reached an agreement which includes commitment to a key Lib Dem goal of voting reform for council elections and Labour's desire for a hard line on youth crime.
Other Lib Dem pledges taken on board included free eye and dental checks and a review of Skye Bridge tolls.
Jack McConnell, as leader of the largest party in the new Scottish Parliament, was confirmed as first minister.
At Westminster, Alistair Darling took over responsibility for Scottish interests following the departure of Helen Liddell as Scottish secretary.
The Scotland Office and Wales Office were merged into a new department of Constitutional Affairs, headed by Lord Falconer.
Initially, Downing Street said the post of Scottish Secretary would be abolished but then backtracked and said Mr Darling, who is also UK transport secretary, will now have two titles.
Elsewhere, comedian Billy Connolly, singer Sydney Devine and swimmer Alison Sheppard were among the Scots recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Comic Billy Connolly received a CBE
Painters Elizabeth Blackadder and Jack Vetrianno were also honoured - along with a tea lady from Glasgow and a school janitor in Angus.
Shotts jail in Lanarkshire was once again the scene of major disturbance as about 35 inmates were involved in rioting in the National Induction Centre.
The riot in the centre, where all inmates sentenced to 10 years or more serve their first 12 months, was brought under control after about nine hours.
The troubled electronics industry in Scotland took another blow when mobile phone company Motorola closed its South Queensferry factory, near Edinburgh, with the loss of 300 jobs.
It came two years after the closure of its operation at Bathgate in West Lothian, which employed more than 3,000 people.
At the High Court in Glasgow, a mother admitted killing her daughter and severely injuring another child in a hammer attack.
Ann Dunn, 36, pleaded guilty to the culpable homicide of five-year-old Erin Gilmour.
The court heard that the child's skull was fractured by more than a dozen blows to the head in the attack at their home in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, in September last year.
Dunn pleaded guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
She was ordered to be detained at a high-security mental hospital without limit of time.
Erin Gilmour was killed by her mother Ann Dunn
A cull of hedgehogs in the Western Isles caused outraged protesters from across the UK to travel to North Uist in an attempt to save the threatened creatures.
The cull plan was drawn up by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) with the aim of limiting the number of hedgehogs on the islands because they eat the eggs of rare birds.
SNH planned to cull about 200 hedgehogs from 18 square miles of land in the first phase of its operation but it got off to a slow start as it found the creatures very difficult to trace.
The body of a Scottish woman feared drowned after a canoe accident in Peru in March was found by fishermen a month after she disappeared.
Bridget Riedl-Laing, 26, originally from Cupar in Fife, was swept away after the canoe she and her family were in capsized in strong currents.
Her Austrian husband Rupert and three children, Yannik, four, Fabio, two, and Olivia, one, managed to get to safety.
Employees of a Scottish engineering firm were left without a pension after their employer went into receivership with a massive hole in its final salary scheme.
Blyth & Blyth was taken over in a management buy-out - but the new firm had no responsibility for the old pension scheme.
This meant that 150 staff who had not retired by the time the company went into receivership stood to lose everything.
The independent trustee brought in for the scheme described the case as the "most distressing and difficult" he had ever dealt with.
Thousands of heartbroken Celtic fans made the long journey home after their team's defeat in the Uefa Cup final in Seville.
Defeat is too much for one Celtic supporter
It was a night of mixed emotions for the Glasgow team and their fans as the team twice equalised after FC Porto went ahead, only for the Portuguese side to secure the winning goal in extra time.
There were tears among many of the Celtic fans and those watching at home but also pride in the team's performance.
An estimated 80,000 fans travelled to Seville for the game and Strathclyde Police said their Spanish colleagues informed them that there had not been a single arrest in Seville on match day.
Still with football, Falkirk FC missed out on promotion to the Scottish Premier League after a vote of the 12 clubs went against them.
The first division champions were denied a move up to the top flight because they did not have a stadium which could accommodate 10,000 supporters.
Edinburgh woman Susan Hamilton was found guilty of endangering a young girl's life by poisoning her with salt.
The court was told that the victim - who is now aged 11 - has been left permanently brain damaged.
In March 2000 she was admitted to hospital in a serious condition after collapsing on the floor of her bathroom.
Doctors found high levels of sodium in her bloodstream.
They called in the police, believing that an overdose of salt must have been given deliberately.
Four members of the notorious Haney family were given jail sentences totalling 33 years for large scale heroin dealing.
Mags Haney was jailed for drug dealing
Margaret "Big Mags" Haney, 60, was identified as the controller of the operation and jailed for 12 years.
She ran a thriving drugs operation supplying heroin from council flats in Lower Bridge Street, Stirling.
A drug dealing reign of terror was brought to an end after six men from Belfast were jailed.
The judge handed out sentences totalling more than 60 years to the gang, who sought to terrify local people on the Calders housing estate in Edinburgh.
The leader of the gang, David McLeave, 26, was found guilty of serious assault and drug dealing and was sentenced to 14 years.
The gang claimed to be attached to the paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force and used extreme violence to protect their drug turf.
A police investigation has never found any links with Northern Ireland paramilitaries.
A drunk driver who caused the deaths of three members of a family in the Highlands was jailed for 10 years.
Justin Elder, 29, from Inverness, hit the Braithwaite family from Yorkshire as they walked in the fishing village of Gairloch on a summer afternoon last year.
Jodi Jones' body was found on a woodland path
At the High Court in Edinburgh, Elder, who had drunk eight pints of lager and two vodkas before the accident, pleaded guilty to culpable homicide.
The High Court in Perth heard how five-year-old Danielle Reid, whose body was found in a weighted sack in the Caledonian Canal in Inverness, was killed by her mother's boyfriend.
Lee Gaytor, 25, pleaded guilty at the High Court in Perth to murdering Danielle at a house in Argyll Street, Inverness.
The child's mother, Tracy Reid, and Gaytor's brother Christopher, admitted perverting the course of justice by helping to dispose of the body.
On the last day of June, the murder of 14-year-old girl Jodi Jones shocked the Midlothian community of Easthouses, near Dalkeith.
Jodi's body was found on a woodland path at the back of the Newbattle Community High School.
Despite extensive police operations, nobody has been charged with the brutal murder of the teenager.