We went into 2020 with hopes of a great new decade, but as the year comes to an end, we’ve seen events that turned our worlds upside down in both good ways and bad. The world learned how to work from home, streamlining many jobs while forcing others to shut down. While the year has been chock- full of crazy events, here are 20 that formed our 2020.
Australian Bushfires: The fires continued from June of 2019, till May of 2020. 47 million acres of land were burnt. There were 34 direct deaths and 445 indirect deaths from smoke inhalation.
Los Angeles Lakers small forward and shooting guard Kobe Byrant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others die in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.
The U.S. Senate acquits President Donald Trump on two impeachment articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House of Representatives had impeached him for both in December 2019.
“Parasite” makes history at the Oscars by being the first non-English movie to win Best Picture. “Parasite” also won the most awards — four.
The first reported COVID-19 death in the U.S. is in Seattle. It was later found that two other people had already died due to the virus, but their diagnoses weren’t discovered until later.
The stock market crashes due to the global pandemic. The Dow Jones industrial average plunges more than 2,000 points.
President Donald Trump officially declares COVID-19 a national emergency, and the quarantine period begins.
The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, announces that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed until next year. This is the first time the Olympics have been rescheduled for something other than war. The games were canceled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to World War I and II.
TikTok passes 2 billion downloads. The fast-growing social media quickly gained popularity due to quarantine. From viral dances to Dalgona coffee to NYU quarantine meals, all of these trends kept all ages entertained.
The killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer sparks Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and discrimination. Following the protests were riots and looting as well. The killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery earlier in the year further advanced these protests.
SpaceX launches two astronauts into space for the first time from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken travel to the International Space Station in the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Following more Black Lives Matter protests, due to the reopening of the case of Elijah McClain’s death, Mississippi’s legislature passes a bill to remove the Confederate Flag symbol from the state flag.
An explosion at a Beirut port is caused by the accidental detonation of 2,740 tons of ammonium nitrate. There were at least 190 people killed in the explosion, thousands injured and many more displaced from their homes.
The August Complex fire is the largest recorded wildfire in California. It started as 38 separate wildfires, merged into one and burned 1,032,648 acres. In total, there have been 7,786 fires this year and 1,409,683 acres of burned land in California.
The National Democratic Convention begins. President-elect Joe Biden announces U.S. Senator from California Kamala Harris as his nominee for vice president.
Actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his role of “Black Panther,” dies at age 43 due to colon cancer. Although he had been diagnosed four years earlier, that information wasn’t public until his death.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at age 87 in Washington, D.C. She served as a justice for 27 years and became known for her fight against gender inequality.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court by the senate in a 52-48 vote. She was confirmed 30 days after being nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the seat of the late Ginsburg.
Former Vice-President Joe Biden becomes president-elect after winning the presidential election against President Donald Trump. Kamala Harris, U.S. Senator from California, becomes the first female vice president-elect in American history. Due to the pandemic, the counting of ballots took four days to finish after Election Day on Nov. 3.
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration vaccine committee approves the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. The Pfizer vaccine trials shows it is up to 95 percent effective after two doses, giving the world hope for 2021.
— By Arikta Trivedi
Originally published in the Dec. 15 edition of the Octagon.