Major News Year in Review
No one knows what lies ahead. But we can take a moment to look back at the major headlines from 2021.
Response to COVID Crisis Changes With Time
Another year of COVID-19 has passed, and the virus continues to dominate the headlines. As the global pandemic closes out its second year, the response from the government, medical and scientific communities has been unified. As total cases surpassed forty million in the US, three vaccines received emergency authorization from the FDA. Over the year, children as young as five have been approved for vaccines, with adult boosters becoming increasingly available.
2021 started with the inauguration of America’s 46th president, Joe Biden, and his running mate Kamala Harris. Response to Bernie Sanders’ mittens almost stole the show, but historical firsts prevailed. Harris is the first female, first Black and first Asian Vice President.
Texas Power Crises
You probably need no reminder. Severe cold weather in Texas placed heavy demand on the state’s independent power grid at the same time freezing parts and mechanical failures took out generating equipment. When natural gas suppliers experienced loss of power, supply further tumbled, leaving millions of Texas households without power. A comprehensive report of the incident was released, outlining steps to take to prevent another catastrophe.
Billionaires Launch Space Tourism
Amid a pandemic and global economic insecurity, we can all rest assured that leaving Earth remains a viable solution, if only for the wealthy and their beneficiaries. Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin successfully launched their founders, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, respectively, to the edge of space, and SpaceX took its first all-civilian crew into an orbit around Earth.
The USA Shines Bright In Tokyo
After a year-long postponement, the 2020 Olympic Summer Games were finally held in Tokyo in 2021. Team USA dominated as American athletes took home a third of all awarded medals, winning 39 gold, 41 silver and 33 bronze, the highest number across each rank.
Facebook Gives the Metaverse a Thumbs Up
Facebook, Inc. becomes Meta Platforms as Mark Zuckerberg vies to create and own the metaverse, future digital spaces which combine virtual and augmented reality — and distance himself and his company from the ails of the past several years. These include accusations of unconsented psychological testing and data collection on Facebook users, misinformation spreading and antitrust lawsuits.
From movie stars to musicians and more, we said goodbye to many notable people in 2021, among them:
- Beverly Cleary, Children’s Author
- DMX, Rapper
- Larry King, Television and Radio Host
- Norm Macdonald, Comedian
- Bernie Madoff, Financier Imprisoned for Fraud
- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Husband of Queen Elizabeth II
- Colin Powell, American Statesman
- Cicely Tyson, Actress
- Michael K. Williams, Actor
- Jessica Walter, Actress
- Charlie Watts, Musician
Celebrity News Year in Review
2021 brought us plenty of juicy celebrity news to gab about.
Friends: The Reunion
The main cast of the hit sitcom gathered with guest co-stars and celebrity guests for an unscripted reunion. Familiar sets were rebuilt for filming the six original cast members as they reenacted scenes from well-loved episodes and shared behind-the-scenes footage from the show’s decade-long run. ‘Friends’ and fans alike were in tears — except for Ross.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Tell All
After separating from the British monarchy, Harry and Meghan shocked viewers during an interview with Oprah Winfrey with allegations of racism in the royal family. Harry said his father and brother stopped taking his calls, and Meghan candidly spoke about her mental health during her pregnancy with the couple’s son, Archie. Despite it all, they had an optimistic outlook about the future and later in the year welcomed a daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana.
Britney Spears fans sparked the #FreeBritney movement, grabbing the attention of The New York Times filmmakers whose Emmy nominated documentary about Spears’ 13-year long conservatorship shed light on the singer’s struggles. Under legal control of her father, she claims to have been forced to work against her will while enduring constant surveillance and being prevented from getting married and having more children. In November, the court ended the conservatorship, giving Britney control of her life again.