Here are the biggest stories for 2016 (in no particular order).
• The Presidential Election. After a series of forums, debates, etc., the race for the White House came down to Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. After a few debates and scandals, Donald Trump emerged victorious on Election Night, and won the Electoral College vote on December 19 despite the pleas of liberals, protests, recount efforts, and allegation of Russian interference. Meanwhile, Republicans managed to maintain control of Congress, and a Republican surge occurred in various state elections.
• The 2016 Summer Olympics is held in Rio de Janeiro from August 5-21, with the United States winning 46 gold medals, 37 silver medals, and 38 bronze medals.
• Terrorism and violence. Terror attacks and other acts of violence occurred across the globe, including the terrorist attacks at a gay night club in Orlando, at Ohio State University, at a church in Normandy, during the celebration of Bastille Day in Nice, at a Christmas market in Berlin, at two airports and a train station in Brussels, at an airport in Istanbul, and the shooting of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey in Ankara. Many senseless acts of violence also occur, including the shootings of police officers in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and other cities. Such acts of terror and violence spark debates over topics including the fight against terrorism, gun control, race relations (including Black Lives Matter protests), and the conflict in Syria.
• Brexit. In a referendum, the people of Britain vote to leave the European Union. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron resigns, and is replaced by fellow Conservative Party member Theresa May.
• Deaths in 2016. Many famous people passed away in 2016, including David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Abe Vigoda, Antonin Scalia, Harper Lee, George Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Frank Sinatra Jr., Mother Angelica, Patty Duke, Doris Roberts, Chyna, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Buddy Ryan, Elie Wiesel, Dennis Green, Steven Hill, Walter Scheel, Mr. Fuji, John Saunders, Gene Wilder, Phyllis Schlafly, Arnold Palmer, Tom Hayden, Janet Reno, Robert Vaughn, Florence Henderson, Fidel Castro, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, George Michael, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds.
• The failed coup in Turkey. Turkish military leaders (along with a few other individuals) attempted a coup to oust the Islamist leaders of Turkey’s government. However, the coup failed, resulting in a purge of many secularists throughout the country. Many Kurds also became victims of the purge.
May everyone have a safe and happy New Year.