2016 in Review


Sadie Neville, Co-Editor in Chief

It was a long year. From celebrity deaths to election insanity to mass protests, 2016 had a lot in store for us. We’ve gathered up the major headlines from throughout the year, just in case you missed them.



Early – In the beginning of the year, Dakota Access, LLC announced the approval they had received a permit from the North Dakota Public Service Commission on the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. According to the online news service Fusion, the line was expected to transport 450,000 barrels of oil per day and be fully functional by the end of the calendar year. This incident sparked protests in Standing Rock, North Dakota from the Sioux community, asking for a report on the environmental impact the pipeline would have.



13 – Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed at the age of 79 in Shafter, Texas. The death sparked immediate discussions of a replacement and led to controversy. President Obama nominated lawyer Merrick B. Garland, but was held out as the Republican-controlled Senate declined the nomination.



6 – Nancy Reagan, former First Lady and well-loved American activist, passed away at the age of 94 from congestive heart failure. She was buried five days later at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library next to her husband, Ronald Reagan, who died in 2004.



16 – Tragedy struck the coastal South American nation of Ecuador when an earthquake hit. The 7.8 magnitude disaster killed 654 and injured tens of thousands more. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa expressed his pain on the matter, saying, “Rebuilding the affected areas will take years and cost millions of dollars. The short-term costs are significant.”


20 – U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew made the executive decision to plan printing of abolitionist Harriett Tubman on the American $20 bill. Lew commented on Tubman’s work, saying, “That’s a legacy of what an individual can do in a democracy.” She will be replacing Andrew Jackson, although the bill is not expected to be in circulation until 2020.


21 – Fans everywhere cried purple tears when learning of musician Prince’s death at age 57. The R&B singer passed after an accidental opioid overdose in his Chanhassen, Minnesota, according to CNN, and sparked tributes in all walks of life, including a Snapchat filter in memoriam.



21 – Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, leader of the Taliban, was confirmed dead by President Obama after a targeted U.S. drone struck his car in Pakistan. Four days later, however, the Taliban named a new leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.



12 – Omar Mateen, later identified as an ISIS representative, opened fire at LGBT+ nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando, Florida. His rampage killed 49, and Mateen later lost his life in a shootout with the SWAT team. CBS News confirmed that the outbreak was the deadliest mass shooting in American history.


23 – The United Kingdom voted on a Brexit in late June. The country’s decision will remove them from the European Union in March of 2017. The declaration of the Brexit victory was followed by the resignation of the U.K.’s prime minister, David Cameron, in mid-July, according to The Guardian.



14 – A Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France quickly turned terrifying as a French-Tunisian man, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, drove a truck into the crowds, implementing a death toll of 84, according to the New York Times. After the attack, French officials put into place higher security and their state of emergency would be extended three months.



5-21 – The 2016 Olympics were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, over a period of more than two weeks. The Games held home to headlines of bacteria-infested waters, athlete scandals, and poor security efforts. According to CBS Sports, the United States took home the most gold medals, totaling 83.



4 – Mother Teresa was honored into sainthood in Vatican City in early September. Pope Francis recognized the day in saying, “we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint, and we enroll her among the saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole church.”


28-Oct. 10 – Hurricane Matthew swept through the eastern Caribbean and Southeastern coast of the United States. Its peak reached Category 5 intensity in the first few days October. Flooding reports piled in from many areas, and the death toll surpassed 1,000 in Haiti, wrote the Huffington Post.



Early – The Nobel Prize laureates were announced for the six categories in early October. Speculations arose as many questioned why no women were recognized, and if Bob Dylan’s music, which earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature, can truly be classified as “literature.”


13 – In April of 2014, Islamic militant group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from their boarding school in Nigeria. In mid-October, the terrorist group released 21 of the girls near Cameroon after a series of negotiations with the International Committee of the Red Cross. This is the first mass liberation of the girls, and millions around the world are hoping for more to follow.



8 – Despite Secretary Clinton’s overwhelming majority of the popular vote, Donald Trump won the American presidency election. USA Today reported that Trump will be “the first person elected with zero government or military experience.” The election results sparked nationwide protests, and many took to social media to express their feelings.


25 – Cuba’s controversial prime minister, Fidel Castro, died at 90 years-of-age following 50 years in office that ended in 2006. Castro is viewed as a notorious leader as his efforts brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere and pushed a nuclear war to possibility, said the New York Times.



4 – The Department of the Army announced in early December that they would not grant access to the pipeline’s planned crossing under Lake Oahe. The news sparked excitement through protesters that had been fighting for their sacred land since the beginning of the year.


27 – The Star Wars fanbase lost a big name at the end of the year – Carrie Fisher, the well-loved actress known for her portrayal as Princess Leia, passed from complications of an earlier heart attack. Love towards Fisher has sparked again recently as pictures of her urn, shaped like a Prozac pill, surfaced.


28 – The next day, Fisher’s mom, Debbie Reynolds, died. Reynolds was famous for her work in Halloweentown and Singin’ in the Rain. Her death certificate listed Reynolds’ cause of death as cardiac arrest.