News

2020: A year in review

BY EMILY BRANDYBERRY, HAYLEE JOY AND CHLOE PORTER

GRAPHICS BY ARI KASER AND ALEX MILLER

As people all across the world counted down to the start of 2020 and the ball dropped in New York City, no one could have imagined the twists and turns that the new year would bring. From intense wildfires to the Black Lives Matter protests across the country, 2020 seemed to be the year that would never end, but alas it did. If only we had known the highs and lows that this year would bring. So we are taking a moment to take a look back at all of the major events that happened in 2020.

January

2: Third state of emergency declared in Australia due to wildfires

The Australian bushfire season ended March 31, 2020, but not before it caused destruction to nearly 12.6 million hectares of land and killed over a billion animals. Starting in late December of 2019, the effects of the fires spilled over into most of January and part of February, finally being declared extinguished on February 12, 2020. 

The majority of the fires were caused by extremely hot and dry weather creating a perfect environment for the rapid spread of fires. However, the remainder of these were caused by humans. According to ABC News, 24 people were charged with intentionally starting fires back in January and 183 people were charged with various things such as ignoring fire bans.

By the end of January, nearly 2,300 homes had been destroyed and just over 900 were partly damaged in New South Wales (NSW) alone. The combination of fire and smoke also lead to the deaths of almost 450 people over the course of the fire season.

Although the fires have ceased, the effects of them will be long lasting and their causes are not going away anytime soon. No animals went extinct, however, 113 animals in NSW have lost 30% of their habitat. The fire also released 434 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

3: US kills Iranian general Qasem Soleimani

Qasem Soleimani was killed by the United States on January 4, 2020. Three missiles were fired at the Baghdad International Airport, which caused his death. Soleimani was the top Iranian general and leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force. Because of this, tensions between the two nations were formed. Days after his death, people were attending funerals across Iran. At one of them, there was a stampede that killed 56 people. 

As to what happens next, that is unclear. A question commonly asked is whether or not these events will lead to another world war. Zach Humrichouser, a history teacher at Wadsworth High School, does not seem to think so. 

“I do not think this event will lead to another world war, or even just a U.S./Iran war,” Humrichouser said. “Iran knows they can not win a war head-to-head against the U.S. and unless the international community supports U.S. action in Iran, a U.S. invasion of Iran is highly unlikely.” 

6: US issues first travel warning

8: Iran launches missiles at two Iraqi bases with American military personnel

8: Prince Harry and Meghan step down from royal duties

13: Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal leads to firing of GM and manager

After an investigation, it was confirmed that the Houston Astros baseball team used a filming system illegally to steal signs in parts of both the 2017 and 2018 seasons. They put a camera at Minute Maid Park in center field to see the signs from the catcher and pitcher. As punishment, MLB took away the privilege of first and second round picks for 2020 and 2021 drafts. The team’s manager and general manager were fired and the team was fined $5 million. 

15: President Trump is impeached

President Trump became one of three presidents in U.S. history to be impeached, joining former presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Trump was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress by the House of Representatives, which was led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The House claimed that Trump abused his power by having the Ukranian government investigate President-elect Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.

16: US begins screening fliers coming from China for the COVID-19 virus

20: First case of COVID-19 in Washington

“I never thought it would’ve gotten this bad,” said Leah Urban, senior at WHS.

On January 20, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Washington.

“When I first heard about it…I was in [a] class with Mr. Myers called ‘current events’, so we talked about it from the very beginning, but still I don’t think I realized how serious it was,” said senior, Leah Urban.

The pandemic was not officially declared at this point, but it was one of the first cases that began the spread in America. 

26: Kobe Bryant and daughter, Gianna die in helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant, 41, and daughter Gianna Bryant, 13, died in a helicopter crash on their way to Gianna’s basketball game. Jacob Machar, a senior at Wadsworth High School, recalls finding out about the star’s sudden death.

“I was at soccer practice when the news broke and everyone had stopped,” said Machar. “I instantly doubted the credibility of TMZ. I couldn’t wrap my mined around it. He had just retired a couple of years ago and it was his turn to spend time with his kids. He seemed as if nothing bad would ever happen to him. He seemed immortal.”

29: Covid-19 task force created by White House

31: Travel from China is banned to the United States

31: Brexit becomes official in the United Kingdom

February

2: Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV

3: Pete Buttigieg wins Iowa Caucus after app disaster

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, was declared the winner of the Iowa Caucus after an app that was meant to make tallying votes easier failed. After the app failure, the Iowa Democratic Party had to deal with other issues while getting election results by phone, including people jamming the lines so results could not be reported. Although the caucus happened on February 3, Buttigieg was not given victory until February 6, and even then not all of the votes were in and counted. 

4: President Trump gives State of the Union

5: Senate acquits President Trump

21 days after being impeached on counts of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, President Trump was acquitted by the Republican led Senate, meaning he was found not guilty. The Senate voted 52-48 for acquittal regarding abuse of power and 53-47 for obstruction of Congress. Only Senator Mitt Romney of Utah strayed from party lines, voting guilty for abuse of power while all Democrats voted guilty on both counts.

9: “Parasite” becomes first film in a language other than English to win best picture

11: WHO names Coronavirus Covid-19

11: Bernie Sanders wins New Hampshire primary

23: Ahmaud Arbery is shot and killed while jogging in Georgia

24: DOW falls 1,000 points

26: Five people are killed in a shooting at Molson Coors Beverage Company in Milwaukee

29: First Covid-19 death in the US

The first reported death attributed to COVID-19 was a male in his 50s in Seattle, Washington.

“I thought it was just something that the news was making a big deal out of because it gave the news more views,” said sophomore Max Bigelow.

March

1: Buttigieg drops out of presidential race

2: Klobuchar drops out of presidential race

3: At least 25 people are killed after 13 tornadoes strike Nashville area

4: Bloomberg drops out of presidential race

5: Warren drops out of presidential race

9: Italy goes on nationwide quarantine

On March 9, after Italy began their shut down, most Americans were still going about their daily lives. A junior at Wadsworth High School, Emaline Bing, was also caught by surprise along with many other Americans, “I didn’t think we would have any sort of quarantine at this time,” said Bing. “I thought that this would all blow over kind of quickly.”

11: WHO declares Covid-19 a pandemic

The World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. This finally struck fear in some citizens like Wadsworth senior Renee Novak.

 “Since they were declaring it a pandemic, and I saw the number of casualties in China, I knew it was becoming a larger issue,” said Novak.

After this announcement, most of America began to shut down. 

11: Harvey Weinstein is sentenced to 23 years in prison

11-12: NBA, MLB, PGA and MLS suspend all seasons

The NBA became the first professional sports league to suspend its season on March 11, followed by the MLB, PGA and MLS on March 12. All leagues would go on to continue their seasons with no fans later in the year. The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship on October 11 and the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series on October 27.

13: Trump declares a national emergency

13: Schools in Ohio are shut down by Governor Mike DeWine

The week of March 13 is one that most people would agree was anything but normal. Almost nine months ago, the nation was not wearing masks and everyone was roaming freely in movie theaters, restaurants and schools.

“It is crazy to think that in one weekend, everything went from normal to a complete standstill,” said teacher Austin Hanna. 

Many people assumed we would just be taking a two week break until spring break, but Dewine later announced that we would stay online. The shut down continued into the summer which destroyed our economy and left many people unemployed. 

Not only did we have a shut down in March, but Wadsworth High School has officially been shut down for a second time. Many students expected it to happen again, but no one knows when they will be allowed to attend school in person again, including Lauren Farkas.

“I’m hoping [after winter break] we’ll have more control of the pandemic afterwards,” said Farkas.

No matter when we go back to school, there is hope for a vaccine in 2021. In December there is supposed to be a vaccine, so citizens are prepared to get back to work, school, and extra activities. 

13: Breonna Taylor is shot in her home

14: Spain goes into nationwide lockdown

16: DOW drops 2,997 points

17: NCAA cancels tournaments

20: IRS postpones tax date

24: Olympics are suspended to 2021

Olympics fans were disappointed by the announcement made on March 24, shortly after the shutdown began. The Olympics were suspended until 2021 and Joey Valeri, a senior at Wadsworth High School, felt that it was done too expeditiously although it would be necessary in the future anyways.

“I feel that they canceled games a little prematurely but in the end it doesn’t really matter because seeing the state of the world right now, the virus is still really prominent… [and] the games still would have gotten canceled,” said Valeri.

27: Stimulus package is passed

29: Joe Diffie dies

April

2: Covid-19 cases hits 1 million worldwide

5: White House suggests people wear masks

8: Bernie Sanders drops out of presidential race

10: US becomes first country to report 2,000 cases in a day

13: IRS begins sending checks 

14: US will not fund WHO

18: 23 people killed in Nova Scotia

23: Joe Burrow is number 1 NFL draft pick

24: US passes 50,000 COVID deaths

27: US passes 1,000,000 cases

May

4: First Murder Hornets in Washington

8: Unemployment hits 14.7%

25: George Floyd is killed 

George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota by a police officer. Viral video footage shows an officer’s knee on Floyd’s neck, pinning him down and causing his death after just seven minutes. The nation responded to this by protesting and rioting against racial injustice. The three officers that were present for Floyd’s death were fired and charged with abetting and aiding the murder. 

28: Minneapolis Police Department abandons Third Precinct, which is burned down by rioters.

30: SpaceX launches 2 US astronauts into space

Two astronauts were successfully launched into orbit, representing SpaceX´s first crewed mission. Led by Elon Musk, this event was also the first time NASA had sent astronauts from America to the International Space Station in an American Crew Spacecraft. 

June

3: Three fired Minneapolis police officers are charged with aiding and abetting murder for their role in George Floyd’s death

3: BLM protest in Wadsworth

Although it was founded in 2013, the Black Lives Matter organization has taken lots of action throughout 2020. Since George Floyd’s death in May of this year, there have been numerous riots and protests against racial injustice across our nation. These events may have made this the largest protest movement in the country’s history. 

On June 3, community members of Wadsworth held a protest. Emily Guenther, a junior at Wadsworth High School, attended this protest.

 “A lot more people went than what I thought,” said Guenther. “For the most part, a lot of people were supportive and would honk or do something as they drove by, but there were a few that would pull over and yell at us. Those who seemed to be running it [the protest] were very professional and mature about the unfavorable situations. Many of the people who did attend the protests went so often that they had [sun] burns just from standing downtown with their signs, which shows a lot of dedication.”

5: Joe Biden secures Democratic nomination

9: “Cops” television show is canceled after 31 years

10: NASCAR bans Confederate flag

10: US reaches 2 million Covid-19 cases

12: Rayshard Brooks is killed

15: Supreme Court rules employers cannot discriminate for sexual orientation

16: North Korea cuts of communication with South Korea

20: President Trump holds first rally since the pandemic began in Tulsa, Oklahoma

23: John Bolton publishes “The Room Where It Happened”

28: Covid-19 passes 10 million cases

July

4: Kanye West announces run for presidency

5: Nick Cordero dies

8: Naya Rivera dies

24: Regis Philbin dies

August

4: Explosion in Beirut kills at least 200 people

11: Biden announces that Kamala Harris will be his running mate

28: Chadwick Boseman dies

A well-known 43 year old actor, Chadwick Boseman, passed away in his home after losing a battle to colon cancer. Boseman was diagnosed with stage III cancer in 2016.

A fan of his work, junior Brayden Griffin, shares his reaction to this death.

“I was very upset,” said Griffin. “To know he fought that for so long shows how much of a true warrior he is, and at that point you just have to love the man for it. Rest his soul.”

September

18: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies

October

2: President Trump tests positive for COVID-19

While running for office, President Trump announced that he tested positive for COVID-19.

One student expressed her opinion by saying, “Well, I think we all knew one of the candidates would test positive, so it didn’t shock me that [President Trump] did,” said junior Celia Lambert.

Trump managed to overcome the virus and continue campaigning for the presidential election. 

6: Eddie Van Halen dies

12: Conchata Ferrell dies

26: Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed by the US Senate to a lifetime appointment on the US Supreme Court

31: Sean Connery dies

November

3: Presidential election is held with a record number of people voting. Joe Biden is named a winner in the days ahead.

8: Alex Trebeck dies

December

8: Britain becomes first country to give COVID-19 vaccine

11: U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine

14: First COVID-19 vaccines are shipped

14: Joe Biden officially becomes President-Elect after the Electoral College met and voted.

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