From hurricanes and floods to scientific discoveries and World Series wins, we look back at some of the year’s tragedies, developing stories and more lighthearted moments.
Businessman and reality television celebrity Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20.
Following President Trump’s inauguration, hundreds of thousands of people at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., other U.S. cities and around the world rallied for human rights, immigration reform, reproductive rights and other issues on Jan. 21.
Dow Jones industrial average surged past 20,000 for the first time on Jan. 25 after newly sworn in President Trump signed a series of executive order, including one that would ease TransCanada’s construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
On Jan. 27, President Trump also signed an order temporarily halting and reviewing the visa process for people entering the U.S. from certain countries. The order launched protests and court challenges by those who viewed it as discriminating against Muslims. Eventually, the Supreme Court allowed a revised version of the ban to go into effect during the lower courts’ review.
A man drove a car into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge in London on March 22, killing five people and injuring 50. In May, a man exploded a homemade bomb into a crowd at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 people. Another attack occurred in June, in which the perpetrators drove a van into people on London Bridge and slashed civilians with knives in Borough Market, leaving eight people dead.
“We believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face, as terrorism breeds terrorism, and perpetrators are inspired to attack not only on the basis of carefully constructed plots after years of planning and training – and not even as lone attackers radicalized online – but by copying one another and often using the crudest means of attack,” said British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Protests gripped Venezuela in June as a failing economy and soaring inflation caused food and medicine shortages. The U.S. imposed more sanctions on the South American country due to President Nicolas Maduro’s attempts to consolidate power.
The migrant exodus from Northern Africa continued, especially via routes in Libya, where trafficking has become a problem. About 3,000 migrants have drowned attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea this year, according to the International Organization for Migration, as special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reported on July 19.
From July through September, monsoon rains inundated India, Bangladesh and Nepal, killing more than 1,400 people and destroying homes, schools and health centers.
Kenya held presidential elections on Aug. 8, in which President Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected to a five-year term. Opposition candidate Raila Odinga contested the results and in a surprising decision, the Supreme Court scrapped the results. New elections were set for Oct. 26, but Odinga withdrew early, saying nothing had changed, and Kenyatta won in a landslide, sparking deadly protests.
A Unite the Right rally, including white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, Klansmen and neo-Nazis, gathered Aug. 11-12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the removal of Confederate monuments. A woman died when a car ran into a crowd in the counter-protests that ensued.
A total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 dipped a swath of the U.S. for 2 minutes into darkness, reportedly sending chickens home to roost and crickets to chirp. A previous total eclipse visible over the continental U.S. was in 1979, and the next one is in 2024.
Back-to-back hurricanes hit the U.S. and its territories starting Aug. 25 with Hurricane Harvey. The Category 4 storm dropped a record amount of rain — more than 60 inches — on parts of Houston.
Days later, Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, swept through the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Florida and Georgia. Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm, again walloped the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in September. The death toll included 82 from Harvey, 134 from Irma and 52 from Maria, along with an estimated $200 billion in combined damages.
Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for an Aug. 25 assault on a Shiite Muslim mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan, which left at least 30 people dead. As it lost ground in other countries, the Islamic State group stepped up attacks against the minority Shiite sect in Afghanistan.
ArtLords, a group in Afghanistan that promotes peace through art, recreated a Reuters photo of the incident on a blast wall in Kabul to remember the bravery of those trying to save a young boy.
President Donald Trump welcomed 11-year-old Frank Giaccio to cut the Rose Garden grass at the White House on Sept. 15. The boy was so engrossed in his task, he appeared to ignore the president’s greeting.
On the night of Oct. 1, a gunman took aim at a concert in Las Vegas, firing bullets at the crowd, killing 58 people and wounding nearly 500 more.
The New York Times detailed allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on Oct. 5, which led to his firing from his production company and more allegations in Hollywood, the media and Capitol Hill.
The U.N. said Oct. 15 that South Sudan’s four-year-old civil war has left half the population, about 6 million people, in need of humanitarian aid. “The cycle of violence must be brought to an end,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
Astronomers on Oct. 16 announced the discovery that a collision of neutron stars generated gravitational waves. The waves previously were only spotted around black holes.
The Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 7 of the World Series on Nov. 2, gratifying a city still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.
The signatures of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza appeared on newly minted currency this year.
The Zimbabwe military forced President Robert Mugabe to resign on Nov. 21 after 37 years in power. Some Zimbabweans are feeling a “bit cautious” that his replacement, former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, will be more of the same, the Voice of America’s Blessing Zulu told the PBS NewsHour.
Britain’s “flame-haired former wild child” Prince Harry and American actor Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Nov. 27. After they wed at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, the couple will be known as the duke and duchess of Sussex.
North Korea test-fired its largest missile yet on Nov. 28, causing even more global concern over North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear ambitions.
Wildfires in Southern California destroyed homes and caused tens of thousands of people to evacuate in December. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has called 2017 the most expensive wildfire suppression year on record.
Houthi rebels killed former President of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh on Dec. 4 after he aligned himself with their enemy Saudi Arabia. More than 8,600 people have died since March 2015 when the Houthi movement rebelled against forces loyal to the Yemeni government, thrusting the Middle Eastern country even further into a humanitarian crisis.
Iraqis celebrated the removal of the Islamic State group from their country on Dec. 9. The militant group at one time controlled nearly one-third of Iraq. U.S.-led forces previously pushed the Islamic State out of its home base of Raqqa, Syria, in October. Russian President Vladimir Putin also said during a visit to Syria that international terrorists, including the Islamic State, are defeated in Syria and he ordered the withdrawal of some Russian troops.
At the world premiere, the cast of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” paid tribute to Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia since the 1970s and died last year soon after filming ended. The eighth episode of the Star Wars saga opened in theaters on Dec. 15.
Let us know the ones we missed in the comments section.