As 2016 comes to an end, we reflect on a year of unpredictability, sweeping change and extraordinary loss.
Following a contentious election campaign, Donald Trump beat all odds, and Hillary Clinton, to be elected president of the United States. President-elect Trump has been busy filling his Cabinet positions since November and will be sworn into office on Friday, Jan. 20.
It was also a history-making year in sports. The Chicago Cubs ended a 108-year losing streak, beating the Cleveland Indians in a nail-biting seven games. And the NBA Championship also belonged to Cleveland this year, as LeBron James and the Cavaliers brought home their first-ever title after a seven game series with Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
An era ended in Cuba when revolutionary leader Fidel Castro died in November. The Supreme Court now has a vacancy after Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly. The world also said goodbye to astronaut John Glenn, former first lady Nancy Reagan, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali and Prince, just to name a few.
The United Kingdom passed the “Brexit” referendum in June, signaling Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. The spread of the Zika virus caused worldwide concern throughout the year for women and travelers. And Oxford named “post-truth” the 2016 word of the year.
Tension and violence between police and communities of color reached a boiling point. Tragedies in Florida, France and Belgium reminded us that the terror remains a giant threat here and abroad.
In August, the horrors of Aleppo were captured in a photo of a 5-year-old boy sitting in an ambulance bloody and shocked after he was rescued from the rubble of an airstrike. In December, the Syrian government claimed to have taken back the city after years of fighting with rebel forces. Civilians and rebels were evacuated out of the city by the thousands after a second cease-fire agreement was reached.
Russian President Vladimir Putin became almost as big a player in U.S. politics as the candidates themselves. Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump Putin’s “puppet” in the third presidential debate, and Russia has been accused of not only hacking Hillary Clinton’s emails but also of doing so to influence the U.S. election.
2016 has been quite the year. For some, 2016 is an auld acquaintance to be forgot and never brought to mind. But for others, it’s a welcome change and a fresh start. Either way, when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, 2017 begins and brings with it new stories and new faces. And 2016 becomes yet another “Auld Lang Syne,” a part of the past as we move forward.