As most people are aware, 2016 was a rather atrocious year for, well, just about everything. It ended with Donald Trump being elected president by losing the popular vote but winning the electoral college, which was a sadly fitting conclusion to a surreal, troubling year. Before that, we had a seemingly-endless presidential campaign that dragged the already-embarrassing level of political discourse to a shameful new low. But the year was about more than just the election: There are some 2016 news stories you may have forgotten about, because life came at us fast this year.
It's natural to forget about some news stories by the end of the year, even the important ones. This is largely the nature of the fast-paced 24-hour news cycle, in which news outlets are forced (or force themselves, to be more accurate) to output a never-ending stream of news at all hours of the day. But 2016 was a truly remarkable year for news, and the amount of genuinely unprecedented developments made it even harder to remember everything that went down this year.
While this is by no means a complete list, here are some of the more notable news stories from 2016 that may have slipped your mind.
Actors Boycott The Academy Awards
The Oscars became a source of controversy in 2016, with several big-name actors boycotting the ceremony to draw attention to the lack of diversity among nominees.
The Bundy Boys Occupy A Federal Building
In January, a group of white anti-government protesters (who have been referred to as terrorists by some, depending your perspective) armed themselves to the teeth and occupied a federal wildlife reserve. In a surprise ruling, they were they were all subsequently acquitted.
Marco Rubio Becomes A Robot
In what now seems like a much quainter time in the 2016 campaign, Republican candidate and darling of the press Marco Rubio seemed to malfunction at a Republican debate, repeating the same attack on President Obama several times in a row, almost word-for-word. Chris Christie called him out for this — and then, amazingly, Rubio did it again. The Florida Senator was roundly criticized, and ended his quest for the White House a month later.
A Bunch Of Beloved Celebrities Die
As far as celebrity deaths go, 2016 was brutal. David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Garry Shandling and a host of others all passed away in 2016.
House Democrats Stage Sit-In To Force Vote On Gun Legislation
A group of Democratic lawmakers, led by civil rights icon John Lewis, held a "sit-in" on the floor of the House of Representatives in June in an attempt to force a vote on legislation to tighten gun laws. The protest eventually drew 170 legislators and went viral on social media; however, it didn't result in any legislative action.
SCOTUS Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law
2016 was an awful year in totality, but it wasn't all bad: The Supreme Court struck down a 2013 Texas law that would have shut down all but a few abortion clinics in the state.
The U.S. Military Lets Trans Americans Serve
In another piece of uplifting news, the Pentagon lifted its ban on transgender service members in June.
Ted Cruz Picks Carly Fiorina As His Running Mate
It's okay if you don't remember that Ted Cruz tapped Carly Fiorina as his "running mate" in the 2016 race, despite the fact that Cruz hadn't won the nomination. The Cruz-Fiorina ticket lasted all of seven days, as Cruz dropped out of the race shortly after losing the Indiana primary.
Harambe Was Shot Dead
The entire Internet remembers Harambe, the gorilla who was shot dead by zoo staff after a small child crawled into the enclosure. For reasons that are still unclear, Harambe became an incredibly popular meme after his death, and remains one now.
As it turns out, maybe 2016 wasn't all bad. Regardless, let's hope 2017 has an all-around more uplifting tone.