2017: A look back on the eventful year


Matt Belinson, Sports Editor

  Almost every New Year’s Eve, people around the globe say to themselves and the people around them in some fashion, “Make this year better than the last.”. With another year about to come to an end, this is a time of reflection and awareness of what is to come in the fast approaching 2018.

     The year got started with the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. His election was one of controversy and fear as Americans on both sides did not know what would come out of this new administration. Trump’s presidency got started with cabinet assignments and senate confirmations being denied. Democrats and even some Republicans stood up against a new presidency and who he wanted in charge. The inauguration was news for one day, as a large gathering took place in the nation’s capital on January 21st. This march was protesting the newly elected president and his accused sexual misconduct toward women in the past. The “Women’s March” was the largest worldwide protest in history, as the U.S. saw 420 marches and the world saw over 160 marches on the same day.  Just six days after he was inaugurated, President Trump signed a controversial executive order. The order was a travel ban against any person from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who wanted to move or travel to the United States. The order was written to backup the then candidate Trump’s strong words on immigration and worldwide refugees. The order was stopped by a Supreme Court ruling. That was just January.

     February brought North Korea back into the world spotlight, as the regime launched a ballistic missile test over the Sea of Japan on February 11th. This move would not be the last attempt made by the North Koreans to try and intimidate South Korea and the world as a whole. On a less impactful note, the NFL season came to a close, with Super Bowl 51. The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons faced off in Houston Texas on February 8th. The game seemed out of hand for the Patriots, who found themselves down 28-3, midway through the third quarter. The Patriots never gave up and capitalized on mistakes made by the Falcons, who allowed the Patriots to score 25 unanswered points to tie the game at 28-28. In overtime, New England won the coin toss and drove down the field to win the Super Bowl. The comeback was the largest in Super Bowl history. February delivered the first drama of 2017 and it wouldn’t be the last.

     March did not have the best news to begin the month. On the 10th, the United Nations declared a “Humanitarian Crisis”, due to 20 million people facing starvation and poverty in war-ravished nations like Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia. Experts said that this many people have not been without homes or nourishment since World War ll in 1940. At the time in the year, no story was as big as the announcement on the 29th that the United Kingdom triggered article fifty of the Lisbon Treaty, starting the Brexit negotiations. These meetings meant the United Kingdom would being talks about leaving the European Union. The United Kingdom was in the union for 48 years. The very next day, SpaceX, a privately owned and operated company conducted the world’s first “reflight” of an orbital class rocket. This test was made to see if future spacecrafts could travel through space and return to Earth without having to detach any modules or cargo. March saw the start of new discoveries and countries becoming independent.

     The fourth month of the year, April, offered up many moments that got the world talking. The U.S. dropped the world’s largest non-nuclear weapon at an ISL base in Afghanistan. The test was meant to show that the Trump administration would not be intimidated or quiet against terrorism. Another big event was on the 12th. Iconic rap artist, Kendrick Lamar, dropped a new album titled DAMN. The album broke records for not only Lamar’s career but for the whole genre with 8 out of the 15 tracks breaking into the Billboard Top 100 chart. The album would later be nominated for seven grammys including, Best Rap Album, Record of the Year and more. April would lead into the halfway mark of the year.

      May kicked off with an international cyber-attack, with over 150 countries being affected. Ransomware cyberattack is the official term used in the type of attack carried out. No country or terrorist organization has taken responsibility.  One of the most heartbreaking stories of the year took place in Manchester, England on May 22. Ariana Grande, a popular American musician held a concert in Manchester for her new album. The concert was interrupted by an explosion from the back of the venue. The way the concert was set up, all spectators were kept in one area, with only one exit. The terrorist killed 22 people and injured over 120. The bomber was identified as Salman Abedi. Sports got to be in the spotlight once more as the Stanley Cup final ended in six games. The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville predators to win their 3rd stanley cup in 8 years. The following month of 2017 brought plenty to talk about.

     June’s headlines began on the first day, with the United States withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement was set in place in December of 2015, with 196 countries signing on to a worldwide agreement to stop climate change and the spread of greenhouse gases. President Trump has been hard on the issue of climate change and backed the U.S. out of an agreement that the U.S. helped form in the past. To continue in realm of sports, the NBA Finals began on June 1st. The Cleveland Cavaliers faced off against the Golden State Warriors for the third straight year. Both teams were predicted to meet for the third time due to the amount of starpower on each roster and the level of competition the rest of the league gave to them. The Golden State Warriors won the series in five games, winning their second championship in three years. On June 12, American student, Otto Warmbier, returned from North Korean captivity. He was detained in a prison for over a year. Otto returned home in a coma and was visibly beaten and weak. Warmbier died just a week later. Many suspect the North Koreans beat him too much, which lead to his death.

    July was not that eventful, as many countries focused on themselves and did not act out of character.

     August 21st brought a solar eclipse to the whole country. Dubbed “The Great American Eclipse,”, the blackout of the sun lasted for about ten minutes no matter where you were. On August 25th, Hurricane Harvey arrived. This storm pattern tore threw lower Texas and flooded the Houston area. Harvey accounted for 90 deaths and caused damage estimated to be around 198.6 billion dollars. This would just be the first hurricane of the year.

     In September, North Korea got back in the headlines by launching their sixth and most powerful missile test yet. On the 6th, Hurricane Irma hit the Carribean Islands and the coastal United States. The storm was not as powerful as Harvey, but caused over 170 deaths and cost 66 billion dollars in damage. On the 13th, the International Olympic Committee gave Los Angeles and Paris the rights to host the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics.  September 19th brought a powerful 7.1 earthquake to Central Mexico, killing over 350 people and injuring over 6,000. The final hurricane of the year came in the form of Maria. Maria struck the U.S. territory, Puerto Rico, killing 94 people and costing about 100 billion dollars. September brought tragedy in the form of mother nature but October brought something far worse with it.

     October began with a massacre. Stephen Paddock, shot from a Las Vegas hotel room onto a crowd of concert spectators. He killed 58 people and injured 546. Paddock acted alone and killed himself before authorities could get to him. The shooting became the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.  That was just the first day. The rest of month was filled with smaller international terrorist attacks and more rollbacks of U.S. treaties.

    November had sexual harassment scandals. Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Team USA doctors, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. were some of the many powerful men who were stripped of there fame and tites due to numerous claims of sexual misconduct. The #Metoo movement spread through Hollywood and other media empires. November was a month of reckoning. November also brought a mosque attack that killed over 300 people and injured 120.  

     The last month of the year saw new beginnings. Russia was banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics, but some individuals would be allowed to compete under the Olympic flag.  President Trump recognized Israel as the official capital of Jerusalem. The move shocked the middle east, which is mostly muslim. There religion claims that Israel is there land and must be Muslim land. Protests raged on throughout the middle east.

     2017 was filled with news that will affect the world for years to come and will be remembered as a year filled with new chapters and old traditions ending as quickly as the new year turns.