2017 marked an eye-opening and crazy year for millions of Americans nationwide. Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights) of the past twelve months, ones that are sure to go down in the history books.
The Presidential Inauguration
Jan. 20 – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was sworn into office in Washington, D.C. The inauguration made headlines when ex-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed the following day that, “photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way…to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall. That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.” However, the Washington Post later reported that the D.C. Metro saw 570,557 trips, whereas former President Barack Obama collected 1.1 million trips for his 2009 inauguration.
The Women’s March
Jan. 21 – The following day, millions of women and their supporters took to the streets across the world to protest President Trump and his agenda and former actions against women. At least 653 marches took place across the country, with an additional 261 being held abroad. The Women’s March committee claims their mission is to, “harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.”
Concert Bombing Turned Call for Action
May 22 – A suicide bombing killed 22 civilians, including many children, at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in England. According to NBC, the bomber was identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi and ISIS claimed responsibility, but no further evidence of Abedi’s motives or allegiance was released. On June 4, Grande hosted a benefit concert, “One Love Manchester,” to raise funds for the British Red Cross Society. In the 12 hours following the concert, the BRC reported over £10 million in donations. The event took place at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Greater Manchester, and featured performances from artists such as Justin Bieber, Coldplay, and Miley Cyrus.
Protests in Charlottesville
Aug. 12 – “Unite the Right,” a white nationalist rally, made August’s top headlines when three were killed, including one civilian and two state troopers, and nearly 40 injured. The demonstration, organized by white supremacist Jason Kessler, took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the University of Virginia campus, and aimed to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The demonstrators were met by counter protestors, many being members of the left-wing and Black Lives Matter activists, advocates for racial equality in America. Violence escalated quickly, and local police took nearly an hour to arrive on the scene.
Hurricane Season Hits the Gulf Coast
Aug. through Oct. – Three intense hurricanes struck the American gulf coast this year – Harvey, Irma, and Maria. They rampaged through Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, respectively. Hurricane Harvey registered as a Category 4 and led to nearly 75 billion dollars worth of damage. Irma hit a Category 5 classification, equivalent to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Finally, Hurricane Maria, deemed the most intense tropical storm of 2017, left at least 547 dead. President Trump then caused further controversy, Tweeting about what he believed to be, “such poor leadership by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help.”
Music Festival Leaves a Heartbreaking 59 Dead
Oct. 1 – Deemed the deadliest mass shooting in American history, open fire at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip left 59 dead and 546 injured. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, fired upwards of 1,100 rounds from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. Paddock was found dead by a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his hotel room nearly an hour later. The situation spiked gun control debates nationwide after it was uncovered that the perpetrator was storing 23 guns in his room. Paddock’s motives are still unknown.
Sexual Harassment Allegations Trail the Entertainment and Political Industries (and the #MeToo Movement)
Oct. 5 – In early October, the New York Times published a research piece entitled, “Harvey Weinstein Payed Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades,” written by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. The lengthy article noted evidence from numerous women who accused “Hollywood mogul” Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct in the workplace. This Weinstein scandal has led to a wave of men and women speaking out against men whom they accused of assault or harassment. Since this article was released, countless men have been exposed, often losing their jobs and positions. This list includes host of “The Today Show,” Matt Lauer, former member of the Backstreet Boys, Nick Carter, and President Donald Trump. In the wake of these claims, however, actress Alyssa Milano resurfaced the #MeToo campaign through a Tweet on Oct. 15. The movement began with social activist Tarana Burke over a decade ago, and strives to empower women who have been victims of sexual assault, showing them that they are not alone. Consequently, TIME Magazine named “The Silence Breakers” 2017’s “Person of the Year,” as a nod to the women and men who have often risked their careers to speak out against misconduct over the past few months.
Stranger Things Returns to Netflix
Oct. 27 – The craze over Netflix original show, “Stranger Things,” resurfaced when season 2 began streaming in late October. The nine-episode season, featuring a star-studded cast, including Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, and Finn Wolfhard, won a Screen Actors Guild Award for an Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, as well as an MTV Movie & TV Award for Show of the Year.