It’s Debatable: Was 2016 a good year?
Written by Emily Betteridge
Although there are a lot of people saying 2016 was not a good year, the good things that happened helped offset the bad. When looked back on, 2016 had great moments such as the long expected Finding Dory movie, the world record for the most trees planted in one day was broken, and the revolutionary Broadway hit Hamilton was released.
2016 was the second safest year in aviation history, surpassed by 2013. There were only 325 air deaths worldwide in 2016, which is about 1 in every 10,769,230 travelers. The number of air deaths in 2016 was almost 40% less than the number of deaths in 2015.
After 13 years since Finding Nemo was released, Disney fans finally got the sequel they had been waiting. Finding Dory features Dory, the very forgetful blue tang. When Dory remembers she has a family and she along with Marlin and Nemo embark on a journey to find them. This adventure is full of lovable new and old characters that the audience is sure to remember, despite Dory’s forgetfulness.
Another positive thing that happened in 2016 was the American teen graduation rate reached a historic high in 2016. According to goodnewsnetwork.org, 83% of teens graduated high school, including an increased amount of low-income, disabled and English-learning individuals.
Eleven Tony awards in 2016 went to the smash-hit Hamilton. Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda this musical tells the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton. Miranda transformed Ron Chernow’s biography, Hamilton, into a hip-hop musical that is taking the world by storm. Alexander Hamilton’s ambition drove him from the position of Caribbean outsider and bastard child to American war hero and George Washington’s right-hand man. In the process, Alexander Hamilton powerfully shaped America as we have come to know it.
India took the Earth’s health into their hands when they broke the world record for most trees planted in one day. The previous world record was 850,000 saplings planted in Pakistan in 2013. Now, thanks to 800,000 Indian volunteers, the record is 49.3 million.
Overall, some good things happened in 2016. More teens graduated high school, less people died due to an airplane or any other flying transportation, and almost 50 million trees were planted in a single day. Although 2016 will not be missed by most people, now they can look back on the good times and focus on the new year.
Written by Madeline Capka
2016 may not have been the worst year in history, but it had a lot more downs than ups. Of course there are worse years, such as 1348 during the spreading of the Black Death, and 1836 when slave trade peaked, but this past year might be one of the worst years in recent history. From the somewhat unexpected election of Donald Trump, to Hurricane Matthew and the Orlando shooting, 2016 was very unsatisfactory.
One of the worst things to happen in 2016 was Hurricane Matthew, which swept through Western Atlantic countries like Haiti and the Southwestern United States. The tropical storm took 1,600 lives, including around 546 to 1,600 in Haiti, one in Colombia, four in the Dominican Republic, four in Cuba, one in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and 49 in the United States. This makes the hurricane the deadliest since Hurricane Stan, which happened in 2005. Matthew began on September 28th, and died out on October 9th.
Another devastating occurrence in nature were the wildfires in Tennessee and some of the surrounding states that took fourteen lives and destroyed over 2,400 structures. The fires were the worst in the Great Smoky Mountains and heavily affected the town of Gatlinburg, which suffered a lot of fire damage.
Besides natural disasters, there were also political outcomes that left many heartbroken and confused. The first of these was Brexit, which was passed on June 23rd, 2016, with 52 percent of the vote. If it passes through all of the hoops, Brexit will officially be put into action in early 2019. Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States after the election on November 8th, despite losing the popular vote by around three million. Both of these political happenings were unexpected outcomes, and were both more in favor of the right side of the political spectrum.
Sadly, many lives were taken this past year through tragedies like the Orlando shooting. On June 12th, 49 people were killed and 53 were injured in a hate crime, as a shooter walked into Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. According to BBC News, the shooting was the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001. The lives of those that were lost were mourned in the following weeks.
2016 came and went, taking the lives of many that have influenced us through their respective mediums, and they will truly be missed. Some of those that passed away were David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Harper Lee, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Leonard Cohen, John Glenn, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds. Their legacies will live on through the art they made, and the impact they left behind.
Ever since 2016 ended, all that’s been talked about is how awful the year was, and that’s because each person was impacted by at least one of the tragedies the past year, and that makes it hard to see the positives and think about what great events may be on the horizon (although climate change and impending doom are two of the things on the horizon). 2016 will most definitely not be missed, and all we can do is hope things get better eventually.