The world's observatories spotted them on August 27, 2014. They came from somewhere in the Orion constellation and took their sweet time doing it: it was more than three months before they became visible enough that the amateur astronomers were beginning to spot them.
The White House made an official announcement on December 1st. It didn't say that much, but the news killed all other stories. The Pentagon saw the biggest increase in military spending since 9/11, with a tiny part of that fortune going to NASA and the Pasadena and Houston observatories.
The New Year came to a rather anxious world; most of the panic had subsided by then, with barely a couple of street preachers warning everyone of the impending apocalypse. Gun sales were at an all-time high, not so much for protection against the aliens (nobody expected a few shotguns to help there) as against possible riots.
On March 1st, two hundred and thirty nine ships stopped at a distance of 2.5 million miles - about ten times the distance to the Moon. One ship continued on, settling in a low Earth orbit three days later.