With all the headlines from the past 12 months in the back of our minds, 2018 feels a lot longer than what the calendar claims. To make sense of everything that went on this year, we have comprised a list of some of the most important news stories of the year.
Jan. 13 – Hawaii sends out an accidental missile alert.
2018 started out on a terrifying note for over one million Hawaiians as their phones, televisions, and radios were bombarded with information warning them of an inbound missile and telling them to seek immediate shelter, as this was “not a drill.” Well, as it turns out, there was no missile, and the notice was a human error.
Jan. 21 – Federal government shuts down.
On the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration, the federal government shut down as a result of failure to agree on or pass legislation relating to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
Feb. 14 – Shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School kills 17.
In a day that could be considered a “turning point” in the fight for gun control in America, Nikolas Cruz opened fire on his former school in Parkland, Florida. The tragedy resulted in the loss of 17 students and staff members, with 17 others suffering injuries. It now stands as the deadliest school shooting in history, passing the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado.
Mar. 18 – Russians re-elect President Putin.
Russians went to the polls to elect a President and unsurprisingly re-elected Vladimir Putin into his fourth term. This comes at a time when the Trump Administration has been heavily criticized for alleged collusion with the Russian government to influence the 2016 American Presidential election.
Mar. 24 – March for Our Lives takes over Washington, D.C. – and the rest of the country.
From the Parkland shooting in mid-February stemmed Never Again MSD, an action committee formed by six students, advocating for stricter gun control in America. They led the first-ever March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., and thousands of sister marches popped up around the country, bringing attention to the fight for stricter legislation surrounding assault weapons.
Apr. 10 – Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress in data scandal.
Following allegations that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica stole data from millions of private Facebook profiles to influence the 2016 Presidential election, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the social networking site, went before Congress in a two-day testimony. The testimony led to talks of regulating the internet, especially when it comes to user privacy.
Apr. 26 – Bill Cosby declared guilty in sexual assault trial.
In a retrial of a 2004 incident in which Andrea Constand was allegedly drugged and assaulted by comedian Bill Cosby, a jury found Cosby guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He was sentenced to up to ten years in prison.
May 19 – American actress Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry in British royal wedding.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were married at Windsor Castle in mid-May in front of 600 guests, including the Queen of England and other members of the royal family.
Jun. 19 – U.S. pulls out of U.N. Human Rights Council.
Nikki Haley, American ambassador to the United Nations made the announcement, claiming that the organization makes a “mockery of human rights.” The claim came in wake of news that the United States was separating migrant families at the Mexican-American border.
Jul. 4 – Therese Okoumou climbs the Statue of Liberty.
In protest of President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, Therese Okoumou scaled the Statue of Liberty, forcing an immediate evacuation of New York’s Ellis Island. A Congolese immigrant herself, Okoumou was arrested for the act but received widespread support and praise from many immigration activists.
Aug. 26 – John McCain dies at 81.
Vietnam prisoner of war and longtime senator John McCain (R-AZ) passed away from a glioblastoma brain tumor. Though a Republican, McCain’s death prompted bipartisan praise for his commitment to human rights and advocacy for just foreign policy.
Sep. 27 – Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford testifies against Brett Kavanaugh.
In a historic testimony, Blasey-Ford accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault that occurred when the two were in high school. Through visible tears, the psychology professor recounted the event from 36 years ago. Despite the testimony, however, Kavanaugh was confirmed to the seat and sits on the Supreme Court today.
Oct. 26 – Suspect arrested in case of mailed bombs to high-profile politicians.
Though none of the pipe bombs were detonated, suspect Cesar Sayoc was arrested in late October after allegedly sending bombs via mail to fourteen high-profile Trump critics, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the CNN headquarters. Sayoc proclaims himself a “white supremacist.”
Oct. 27 – Gunman opens fire in Jewish synagogue, kills 11.
Eleven were killed after Robert Bowers opened fire during Shabbat morning services at Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. Among the dead was Rose Mallinger, 97, a survivor of the Holocaust.
Nov. 7 – Thirteen killed in shooting at Thousand Oaks nightclub.
Ian Long, whose motive remains unknown, opened fire at Borderline Bar and Grill, a collegiate-frequented bar. Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus was fatally shot after 29 years of service and an expected retirement in 2019.
Nov. 8 – 2018 midterm elections split Congressional power once again.
This year’s midterms swept the country, recording the highest voter turnout in history for a non-Presidential election. Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives, while the Republican party still holds the Senate.
Nov. 30 – Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94.
George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, passed away at the end of November. His death comes just seven months after that of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush.
Dec. 13 – Bomb threats made to several locations throughout the United States and Canada.
Though none of them were considered to be credible, a wave of bomb threats was made to a variety of businesses, schools, police departments, and government agencies in North America. The threats forced several evacuations.
As another chaotic year comes to a close, all of us here at The Highland Fling wish you a safe and happy holiday season. We can’t wait to catch up with you again in 2019!