2018: A Year in Review

Tejas Vadali Well, I guess this is it. Like any year, 2018 had its ups and downs. We saw things that made us laugh, things that made us cry, and things that we can’t really explain. Many of us — myself included — probably forget that years are measured from January to December rather than late-August to early-June, so we tend to forget events that occurred last school year. If you missed anything at all, here’s a little recap. January Right off the bat, 2018 was a political frenzy. Trump, having completed his first full year in office, was in almost every headline. Some of the most noteworthy news stories concerning Trump are as follows: Trump used profanity to describe particular Caribbean and African developing nations. He became the first president since the establishment of the holiday to forgo public service on Martin Luther King Day, electing rather to play golf in Palm Beach. Touch Weekly published their interview with Stormy Daniels, who asserted that Trump’s attorney paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about her affair with the president. In sports, Alabama defeated Georgia in a thriller to win the College Football Playoff National Championship, giving Nick Saban his fifth ring as Alabama’s coach. LeBron James became the youngest NBA player ever to reach 30,000 career points. Caroline Wozniacki and Roger Federer were the winners of the Australian Open. It was Wozniacki’s first Grand Slam title and Federer’s twentieth. On the darker side of sports, it was in January that Larry Nassar, the former physician for USA Gymnastics, received a sentence of forty to one hundred seventy-five years in federal prison for 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. In other news, California officially legalized recreational marijuana. February February was definitely the month with the greatest variety of emotions. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl LII. Also in sports, the Olympics, of course. North Korea and South Korea made historic strides by sending one combined team. Additionally, the U.S. took gold in Curling. The team made headlines because one of its members, John Shuster, holds a day job as a manager at his local DICK’S Sporting Goods in Minnesota. On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Cruz killed seventeen students and faculty and injured seventeen others before being subdued. It went down as the deadliest high school shooting in history, surpassing the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1998. March As we moved into Spring, things got a little happier. The 90th Oscars happened, with “The Shape of Water” taking Best Picture and its director, Guillermo del Toro, taking, you guessed it, Best Director. In the same vein, only three weeks after its release, “Black Panther” reached $1 billion in box office sales. Also in March, Jeff Bezos surpassed Bill Gates in net worth once and for all. In political news, Trump officially authorized the tariffs on steel and aluminum, excluding Canada and Mexico, which began a discussion that many analysts thought would lead to a trade war. Additionally, it was during March that Trump fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, via tweet. China approved the removal of term limits for President Xi Jinping, making him president for life. Angela Merkel was sworn in to her fourth term as Chancellor of Germany. Also elected to a fourth term, Vladimir Putin swept the Russian elections with 76% of the votes. In response to the Parkland shooting, students across the nation took part in walkouts on March 14. In sports, the MLB season started towards the end of the month. Also, March Madness happened. There were a ton of huge upsets, and for the first time in tournament history, a 16-seed beat a 1-seed, when UMBC thrashed Virginia. Of course, who could forget Loyola’s historic Final Four run either? Project Week happened too, and the world was starting to look like a better place again. April I’m going to be real with you. The majority of April took place in a courtroom. First off, they found the Golden State Killer through Ancestry.com, so a California judge sentenced him to life in prison. Also in April, that whole Mark Zuckerberg trial happened over Facebook farming our data. Finally, and probably the most polarizing trial of the year, Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault. In sports, the NFL Draft happened, and for the first time ever four quarterbacks were taken in the top ten picks. Mo Salah was named Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers’ Association. Avengers: Infinity War opened in theaters, and it set the new record for earnings during opening weekend with $630 million worldwide. In other, wonderful news, Danny DeVito Day was officially created in the New Jersey town where he grew up. May Right as we started to approach the summer months, things started to get a little crazy. In politics, Mahathir bin Mohamed won the Malaysian presidential election, becoming the oldest world leader at 92 years old. Entertainment had the most news. Early in the month, Childish Gambino released the music video to his critically acclaimed single “This Is America.” The Royal Wedding happened, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were crowned Duke and Duchess of Sussex respectively. It was during May that Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to New York authorities after numerous sexual assault allegations surfaced. Finally, “Roseanne” was canceled after Roseanne Barr tweeted racist comments about President Obama’s former senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett. Unfortunately, May soon turned tragic. In Santa Fe, Texas, a student opened fire at his high school, killing ten and injuring ten others in the second-deadliest school shooting of the year. June There really wasn’t too much in June except for sports. Stephen Curry broke Ray Allen’s record for NBA Finals three-pointers in one game, and LeBron James broke Michael Jordan’s record for most NBA Playoff games with thirty or more points. Kevin Durant took home the Finals MVP Trophy as the Warriors handily defeated the Cavaliers for their third title in four years. The Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights to earn their first Stanley Cup title in franchise history. Also, Justify became the second horse to achieve the triple crown in four years after winning the Belmont Stakes. A French man won over €1 million for the second straight year in the lottery, accomplishing the feat with odds less than one in sixteen trillion. NASA’s Curiosity Rover found organic matter, including methane, on Mars. Other than that, nothing really happened. Just kidding, the World Cup started! Germany made headlines for getting eliminated in the group stage for the first time in eighty years. July Like June, July featured a lot of important sports moments. France wound up winning the World Cup, defeating Croatia 4-2. In free agency, LeBron James made headlines by signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Similarly, Christiano Ronaldo made ripples by leaving Real Madrid and signing with Juventus. However, the biggest waves in July were made in, you guessed it, politics. It was in July that Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Later that month, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford became the first person to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault. August August may have passed some of us by as we enjoyed the waning days of summer and prepped for school. In business, Apple became the first company to ever reach $1 trillion in net worth. Locally, Chicago Police made an appeal for more help after sixty-six people were shot in the city in one weekend. Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was convicted of eight counts of fraud in federal court. In entertainment, “Crazy Rich Asians” premiered, topping the box office during its opening week. The French Open decided to ban Serena Williams’ catsuit, generating quite a stir amongst the media and other athletes. Finally, two American icons passed away in August: Aretha Franklin and John McCain. Both laid in state, with Franklin in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., and McCain in the Arizona capitol rotunda in Phoenix. On a lighter note, school started…yay? September September was a relatively quiet month. Amazon joined the ranks of Apple, becoming the world’s second company worth over $1 trillion. Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams to win the women’s US Open, and Novak Djokovic won the men’s title. Also, the NFL season officially kicked off, and the Bears took a heartbreaking loss to the Packers after some late heroics by Aaron Rodgers. The Spanish government finally decided to exhume the remains of Generalissimo Francisco Franco. Franco was notable for his fascist regime as well as his innumerable references on Saturday Night Live since its first season in 1975. Possibly the most important news of September, Kanye West announced via Twitter that he planned to legally change his name to “Ye.” October October, like February, was a month with variable emotions. The Red Sox trounced the Dodgers in the World Series to take their second title in six years. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced that she would step down at the end of the year. Also in October, Saudi-American journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, never to be seen again. Canada became the second world nation to legalize recreational marijuana after Uruguay. Probably the most entertaining incident, however, was when a Banksy work automatically shredded itself to pieces just moments after being purchased in London. However, October ended in tragedy when a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing eleven and injuring six in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history. November The biggest stories of November were political. The Democrats retook control of the House of Representatives after the midterm elections. Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) became the first Muslim women elected to Congress. New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest US Representative ever at twenty-nine years old. Colorado made strides by electing Jared Polis, its first openly gay male governor. To add to the political news, Trump decided that it was the opportune time to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In another tragic case of gun violence, an ex-marine opened fire at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, shooting twelve, including a police officer and himself. December We really don’t know much about December yet, but the biggest news so far has been the passing of the 41st U.S. president, George H.W. Bush. Also, Israeli officials accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife of fraud. This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions, some good, some very, very bad. Regardless, December will eventually end and we’ll look forward to the events of 2019. Until then, however, let’s reflect on what’s happened and hope for what’s to come.]]>