2016 wasn’t just the year of the monkey. For these past twelve months, it has seemed as if there have been breaking news headlines daily. From the heart-stopping election to national and international crises, we’re looking back at some of the biggest headlines of 2016.
DONALD TRUMP ELECTED 45th PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
The presidential election of 2016 was groundbreaking for many different reasons. Hilary Clinton, a seasoned politician and the first female party nominee, was going against Donald Trump, who at the time was most known for his roles in the business and reality TV world. In an election that many people have called divisive, Donald Trump came out on top and won the needed Electoral College votes although Hilary Clinton won the popular vote. In January 2017, he will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.
SPREAD OF ZIKA VIRUS
In prior years, the world was dealing with the outbreak of Ebola and Swine flu, but in 2016, the world became aware of the Zika virus. A mosquito-borne virus, it is transferred through the bite of a mosquito, sexual intercourse, and blood transfusion. Although many people won’t have symptoms of the virus, it is most dangerous for pregnant women to get the virus because it can be transferred to the fetus and lead to potential birth defects. Although it began as an international crisis, it was discovered in certain areas of the southern United States.
FLINT WATER CRISIS
Earlier this year on January 5, 2016, Governor Snyder of Michigan declared a state of emergency in Genessee County. Following the building of a new pipeline and the switching of their water supplier to cut costs, toxins started being discovered in the water. The issues started as early as August 2014 when fecal coliform bacterium was found in the water. During subsequent testing, toxins were still found in the water supply and soon lead was discovered as well. In January 2016, President Barack Obama authorized $5 million to help the city with their water crisis. Since then state workers and officials have been charged with conspiracy and false pretenses.
US WINS BIG AT SUMMER OLYMPICS
This past summer, the Summer Olympics were a major headline. Young gymnast, Simone Biles, possibly ruled most of the talk of the summer games by leading the United States to a few gold medals. The United States won the most medals at the games with 121 total medals, China in a distant second with 70 total medals. Other standouts were Ibthijah Muhammad, the first U.S. athlete to compete in a hijab, Michael Phelps, and Katie Ledecky. Swimmer Simone Manuel also made a name for herself by becoming the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming.
Beyonce & Solange’s Takeover
This year the Knowles sisters blessed us with two much needed and groundbreaking albums Lemonade and A Seat at the Table. While the albums can not be compared (apples to oranges) each told the stories of blackness and womanhood that we all needed to hear. And can we talk about the visuals? Dripping with Black Girl Magic. Lemonade snagged a number of notable nominations including the Grammy’s Album of the Year and Best Urban Contemporary, the People’s Choice Favorite Album, and the NAACP Image for Outstanding Album.
CRISIS IN ALEPPO
Although the battle in Aleppo has been going on for years, it became a national headline in 2016. The image of a small boy covered in debris and blood was broadcasted on the media. It all came to head just a few short weeks ago when a ceasefire was declared. Many thought this was a chance to escape safely, but there was news that Syrians were being executed as they were fleeing from the area. After the original ceasefire crumbled, they have been working on establishing a new one.
HARRIET TUBMAN TO REPLACE ANDREW JACKSON ON $20 BILL
In 2016, women and people of color took a win in paper currency. Back in April, it was decided that Andrew Jackson would be ousted from the $20 bill and replaced with Harriet Tubman. Many people expressed their joy over the change, especially due to Andrew Jackson being known for his ill-treatment of Native Americans.
Although Harriet Tubman will take over the face of the new $20 bill, other important figures will be added to the backs of the already existing bills. People like Sojourner Truth, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Marian Anderson are a few who will be added to the backs of the new $5 and $10 bills.
ORLANDO NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING
In the United States, this summer was rocked with the news of the Orlando nightclub shooting. In June 2016, the world received news that a 29-year old man opened fire in a gay nightclub and killed 49 people and injured 53. It is said to have been the deadliest single shooter attack in United States history. Although the attack was filled with hate, the outpouring of love towards the LGBT community flowed in the wake of the massacre.
SHOOTINGS OF PHILANDO CASTILE AND ALTON STERLING
During the summer, the world once again went up in protests over the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille. In the shooting of Sterling, police officers were responding to a call that stated a man was selling CDs outside a convenience store and threatened someone with a gun. When police arrived on the scene, the situation soon turned deadly. Video footage showed police first tasing Sterling before wrestling him to the ground and in the midst of a struggle, shooting him.
The very next day on July 6, 2016, news spread of the shooting of Philando Castile, a black man shot in his vehicle by a police officer. The story quickly spread due to his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live streaming the aftermath on Facebook. According to Reynolds, Castile told the officer that he had a gun in his pocket and was licensed to carry it. In the video, she can be heard saying that the officer shot Castile while he was reaching for his ID. The officer, Jeronimo Yanez shot Castile seven times.
2016 was a tumultuous year with a lot of ups and downs. As we say goodbye to the year, we can only hope that 2017 starts looking up for the world and you!