2016 Year in Review

Here is a month by month review of the biggest news events of the year.


2 — Protesters, led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, take over a wildlife refuge in Oregon and begin a weekslong standoff that ends with one dead and eight arrested.

6 — North Korea claims it successfully detonated its first hydrogen bomb.

11 — Aid convoys reach three besieged Syrian towns including Madaya, where 40,000 residents had been trapped for months. … Alabama defeats Clemson 45-40 to win the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship.

13 — Iran releases 10 U.S. sailors after detaining them when their Navy vessels veered into Iranian waters.

17 — A day after the United States lifts sanctions against Iran, Iran releases four detained Americans.

walkforlife22 — The annual March for Life proceeds in Washington, D.C., as -winter storm Jonas begins dumping record amounts of snow on New York, Baltimore, and other cities.



1 — Hillary Clinton claims victory in the Iowa Caucus over Bernie Sanders, while Ted Cruz leads a crowded field of Republican candidates. … The World Health Organization declares the Zika virus a global emergency. … Chinese officials arrest Pastor Gu Yuese, the leader of China’s largest state-sanctioned church.

7 — The Denver Broncos score a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

9 — President Obama delivers a $4.1 trillion budget to Congress.

12 — Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill meet in Cuba, the first such meeting in nearly 1,000 years between leaders of the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches.

13 — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies while on a hunting trip in Texas.

16 — The South Dakota Senate passes a bill requiring transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their biological sex, but Gov. Dennis Daugaard later vetoes it.

23 — President Obama outlines his plan to shut down Guantánamo Bay.



space-station1 — Astronaut Scott Kelly returns to Earth after 340 days aboard the International Space Station, a record for a U.S. astronaut.

15 — As peace talks begin in Geneva, Russian forces begin withdrawing from Syria after months of fighting rebel groups. … The Obama administration reverses itself and blocks oil drilling off the Atlantic Coast.

17 — Days after the House of Representatives unanimously votes to label ISIS attacks on Christians as genocide, Secretary of State John Kerry says the State Department has reached the same conclusion.

20 — President Obama visits Cuba, the first time in more than 80 years a sitting U.S. president has visited the country.

22 — ISIS claims responsibility for a Brussels terror attack at a subway station and airport that killed more than 30 persons and injured hundreds.

28 — The FBI cracks the encryption on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, ending its court battle with Apple over access to the device.



4 — California and New York become the first states to enact plans to raise the minimum wage to $15. … The Supreme Court upholds a Texas law that counts everyone, not just eligible voters, in deciding how to draw legislative districts. … Villanova defeats North Carolina 77-74 in the NCAA men’s basketball championship game.

5 — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signs a religious freedom bill that protects those who withhold services based on religious objections.

20 — The Treasury Department says Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. … The U.S. Supreme Court rules families of terror victims may collect a nearly $2 billion judgment against Iran’s central bank.

25 — President Obama authorizes the deployment of up to 250 special operations troops to support Syria and the fight against ISIS.



9 — North Carolina files suit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) to defend its “bathroom bill.” The DOJ files a federal civil rights lawsuit to bar the bill’s implementation.

10 — NASA announces the discovery of 1,284 new exoplanets.

12 — A federal judge strikes down a portion of Obamacare, ruling President Obama does not have authority to spend money on subsidies to health insurers without congressional appropriation.

15 — The U.S. Supreme Court hands a victory to the Little Sisters of the Poor (and fellow petitioners), telling the lower courts to find an alternative accommodation to the HHS contraceptive mandate.

25 — Eleven states file suit against the Obama administration over its demand that public schools allow students to use the restroom and locker room facilities of their choice.

27 — President Obama becomes the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima, Japan.



9 — California’s End of Life Option Act goes into effect, giving physicians permission to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients.

pulse12 — Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen opens fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killing 49 and injuring dozens more—the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. … The Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game 6 to capture the NHL’s Stanley Cup.

14 — An alligator drags 2-year-old Lane Graves into a lake near Disney’s Grand Floridian, killing the boy.

19 — The Cleveland Cavaliers become NBA champions by defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7.

23 — The U.S. Supreme Court votes to uphold affirmative action but, in a deadlocked decision, thwarts President Obama’s immigration plan. … A Baltimore judge acquits Caesar Goodson, the only police officer charged with murder in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray. … The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union. Prime Minister David Cameron resigns the next day, and Theresa May takes over in July.

28 — Three terrorists attack Turkey’s Istanbul Ataturk Airport, killing 41 persons and injuring more than 200.

30 — The Obama administration lifts a ban on openly transgender military service members.



5 — A police officer shoots and kills Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and the next day an officer in St. Paul, Minn., shoots and kills Philando Castile. Both incidents spark protests.

6 — The Justice Department closes its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. The State Department reopens its investigation the next day. … Nintendo sparks a craze with the release of its augmented reality game, Pokémon Go.

7 — Micah Xavier Johnson opens fire on Dallas police officers during a protest, killing five officers and wounding seven others.

14 — Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drives a truck into a crowd of people gathered for Bastille Day in Nice, France, killing at least 84 persons and injuring hundreds.

17 — Gavin Long shoots and kills three police officers and wounds three others in Baton Rouge, La.

22 — Fires, fueled by high temperatures and a yearslong drought, rage in California. … Ali Sonboly, 18, shoots and kills nine people and wounds 16 others at a Munich shopping mall.

29 — Florida confirms four cases of locally acquired Zika.



swimmer 5 — The 2016 Summer Olympics open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. By close on Aug. 21, the United States walks away with the most golds and medals overall.

16 — More than 82,000 persons flee the raging Blue Cut wildfire in San Bernardino County, Calif. … Russia launches airstrikes on Syria from an air base in Iran—the first time a major world power has used the Islamic Republic to stage military attacks since the 1979 revolution.

17 — Media outlets circulate a picture of a dazed and bloodied Syrian boy after an airstrike in Aleppo.

18 — The Obama administration admits a $400 million cash payment to Iran related to a 1970s military equipment deal was “contingent” on the release of four American citizens.

29 — After weathering intense criticism over its EpiPen price hike, drugmaker Mylan says it will sell a generic version for half the price.

30 — The Associated Press documents 72 mass graves in Iraq and 17 in Syria that could contain as many as 15,000 victims of ISIS. … An airstrike kills ISIS spokesman Mohammad al-Adnani in northern Syria.



4 — Pope Francis canonizes Mother Teresa, making her Saint Teresa in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church.

7 — Physicians in Aleppo, Syria, say they treated victims of a chlorine gas attack.

8 — North Korea claims it detonated another nuclear bomb. The blast causes an earthquake near the test site.

20 — Violent protests erupt in Charlotte, N.C., after a police -officer shoots and kills Keith Lamont Scott.

28 — Congress overrides President Obama’s veto of a bill allowing 9/11 victims’ families to sue Saudi Arabia for backing some of the terrorists. The vote was the first veto override of Obama’s presidency.

30 — Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, President Obama, and former President Clinton join Israelis at the funeral of former Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres.



2 — Colombians narrowly defeat a peace deal to end decades of civil war with the rebel FARC group.

3 — The United States cuts off diplomatic contacts with Russia over Syria, and Russia withdraws from a nuclear pact.

4 — Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti, killing at least 1,000 persons. The Category 4 storm then causes havoc in the Bahamas, Cuba, Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

17 — The Iraqi government launches an offensive to take back Mosul, the last major Iraqi city under ISIS control.

24 — The Obama administration acknowledges that premiums on government healthcare exchanges will see double-digit increases.

27 — North Dakota police in riot gear arrest 141 protesters from private land in the path of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

30 — FBI Director James Comey tells Congress the agency is renewing its inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s server after more emails are uncovered—a development Clinton later blames for her election defeat.



3 — At least 240 migrants die in shipwrecks off Libya’s coast in the Mediterranean Sea, bringing the number of migrant deaths in 2016 to at least 4,220. … In a Game 7, 10-inning thriller, the Chicago Cubs defeat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 and win their first World Series since 1908. … Federal officials fine Penn State University $2.4 million for numerous violations of a campus safety law.

6 — Geologists say underground injection of wastewater from oil and gas production caused a magnitude 5.0 earthquake in Cushing, Okla.

president8 — Donald Trump surprisingly wins the U.S. presidential election, defeating Hillary Clinton.

26 — People pour into the streets of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood to celebrate the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

29 — Drought conditions fuel wildfires throughout the South, igniting the Great Smoky Mountains and ravaging Gatlinburg, Tenn., where 14,000 persons flee homes and tourist spots.



6 — Ohio lawmakers pass a ban on abortion after a baby’s heart begins beating. On Dec. 13, Gov. John Kasich vetoes the bill but signs a less extensive pro-life measure.

7 — A federal judge halts the hand recount of 4.8 million presidential ballots cast in Michigan. … A 6.5 magnitude earth-quake rocks Indonesia’s Aceh province, killing at least 100 persons. … A Pakistani airplane crashes near Abbottabad, killing all 48 aboard.

19 — The Electoral College voted 304 to 227 to elect Donald Trump president of the United States over Hillary Clinton. Seven electors voted for alternative candidates. … A man driving a truck slammed into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 and injuring 48. Police apprehended a 23-year-old refugee they identified as Naved B.

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