Like every other year, 2016 had its highs and lows. There were events that changed the world and others that just gave the media something more to do than cover the seemingly endless stream of political vitriol. 2016 has had a scarred reputation for this reason exactly, as well as the continued rise of terrorism and turmoil, though it ought be considered that good things happened, too. Here’s a breakdown of the basics, the good, the bad and the ugly:
Chicago Cubs win the World Series:
This November the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians with a score of 8-7 in game seven of the World Series. It had been a record 108 years since their last World Series victory.
The Zika Virus:
The Zika virus (which there is no vaccine or medicine for), spread by the Aedes mosquito. It can be transmitted in blood transfusions, sexually, or to the fetus in-utero, causing birth defects. Effects include nervous system damage and fetal brain defects. In February Zika arrived in the continental United States with a case in Texas.
Trump elected President of the United States:
After an especially long and tumultuous election, republican and businessman Donald Trump was elected to be the next president of the country alongside his Vice President, Mike Pence. Trump won with 306 electoral votes and 46.1% of the popular vote, beating democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who had 232 electoral votes but 48.2% of the popular vote. He will begin his term on January 20th.
President Obama visits Cuba:
This March, President Barack Obama was the first American president to visit the country of Cuba in nearly 100 years. He and his family toured the capital city of Havana, and he met with leader Raul Castro to discuss the future changes in the diplomatic and economic relationship between Cuba and the US. This was especially surprising considering the many decades long trade embargo and highly unstable tensions in the past, including the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Team USA’s performance at the 2016 Olympics:
Doubts were high for this year’s summer Olympics in Brazil, but Team USA had a year for the books. “Final Five” of the US Women’s Gymnastics team won a record 9 gold medals, swimmer Michael Phelps won his 13th individual Gold medal, breaking a 2,000 year old record. In the women’s swimming team, Katie Ledecky broke multiple records (including her own) and swimmer Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to take gold in an individual swimming event.
The awful and senseless loss of life in violent attacks have caused deep fear and sadness throughout the world. There was the truck explosion in Nice, France, killing 86 and injuring hundreds, the Orlando nightclub shooting and the bombing of the Brussels Airport, to name but a few.
NASA’s satellite Juno began Orbiting Jupiter:
Juno first left Earth in the summer of 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Its mission: to explore the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Juno finally reached its destination this July. This was just one of many technological advances of 2016, which also includes the explosion of the development of technology like self driving vehicles and robotics.
2016 also saw the passing of many famous icons of art, literature, politics and sports. This includes musicians Prince and David Bowie; Alan Rickman, who was the actor who played Severus Snape in Harry Potter; Carrie Fisher, who was most notably known for her role as princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy; Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; boxer Muhammad Ali; holocaust survivor and writer Elie Wiesel; Cuban politician Fidel Castro and author Harper Lee.
2017 will hopefully expand upon the successes and milestones of 2016 and find healing and resolve for the pain and tragedy experienced by the world this past year.