2021 in Review

A Summary of the Past Year Through Major Events


Ginger Schmidt

Time Flies: The most important events of each month in chronological order.

Ginger Schmidt, Staff Writer

     January: On Jan. 6, disaster struck our nation’s capital. What began as a seemingly harmless political rally became a riot and major breach of national security resulting in five deaths and many hospitalizations. In the hopes of overturning the 2020 presidential election results, a mob disrupted a joint session of Congress that was formalizing Joe Biden’s victory. 

Despite the efforts of Capitol security and police, they were unable to prevent thousands of rioters from entering the building.

This act of domestic terrorism cost the government $1.5 million and struck our nation with fear, prompting Congressional investigations.

     February: Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, took place in Tampa, FL, on Feb. 7. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers emerged victorious over the Chiefs, 31 to 9. Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was named MVP in his first season away from the New England Patriots. 

The game captivated the nation with almost 25,000 people in attendance and nearly 100 million viewers. 

     March: Asian hate crimes continued when Atlanta resident Robert Long opened fire in three spas, killing eight Asian women. Long was captured shortly after the shootings occurred.

Long was charged with eight counts of murder and received a life sentence without parole.

In response, the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act to protect Asian Americans was created. 

     April: Police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial re-sparked the Black Lives Matter movement from June of 2020. 

The prosecution case ended after 11 days of testimony from nearly 40 witnesses. The defense case ended after two days of testimony from seven witnesses. 

Several weeks later, the jury found Chauvin guilty of one count of second-degree murder, one count of third-degree murder, and one count of manslaughter, sentencing him to 22.5 years in prison. 

     May: On May 28, unmarked graves of 215 indigenous children were discovered on the site of Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.

Canada separated indigenous children from their families in cultural genocide. Thousands of children were killed while attending these schools. Indigenous communities around the world mourn the loss of these children and fight for justice. 

     June: International pop star Britney Spears argued to end her conservatorship, freeing herself from her father’s control. Spears claimed she was forced to go on tour, take medications, and complete other acts against her will.  

“This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good,” says Spears. She argued to end her court-ordered conservatorship and take control of her life.

In response to Spear’s allegations, ‘#FreeBritney’ went viral over social media platforms, with many arguing to free Spears. 

     July: On July 20, Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, completed a spaceflight. Bezos and three others boarded the New Shepard, a rocket ship made by his space company Blue Origin. The crew traveled more than 60 miles above Earth during a 10-minute flight.

The company plans to provide a future where people can work or even live in space, making it more accessible to the general population. 

     August: As of Aug. 30, U.S troops left Afghanistan, putting an end to America’s longest war. Biden thought remaining in Afghanistan wasn’t worth the money or the risk of losing soldiers as the war had already cost the U.S $5.8 trillion and resulted in the deaths of about 2,500 soldiers. 

“An era of American history, the war on terror, has moved from being a current event to an event in history,” says history teacher Frank Tupka. This is a historical event that will long be remembered. 

     September: Texas legislators faced extreme backlash after enacting a law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, before most women know they are pregnant. 

This law allows citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone involved in an abortion after six weeks. It has been met with several protests and is being challenged by lawsuits. 

     October: Tragedy struck the set of the movie Rust on Oct. 21. After being told the gun contained no live rounds, star Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun, accidentally killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. There is an ongoing investigation regarding the incident. 

     November: Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, was tried after shooting three men, two of whom died, at a protest in August 2020. Rittenhouse claimed he acted in self-defense in defending himself against five charges stemming from the shootings.

After a highly controversial two-week trial, he was found not guilty on all charges. Although Rittenhouse’s criminal trial is over, civil lawsuits are expected to follow.  

     December: December 1 struck fear across the nation as 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley was charged with murder and terrorism for involvement in a Michigan school shooting. 

After a meeting with school personnel regarding alarming drawings found, Crumbley appeared from the bathroom with a gun, killing four students and wounding seven others. Crumbley’s parents were charged with involuntary manslaughter for failing to intervene on the day of the shooting. 

     2021 was an eventful year. Although the pandemic carried on and the nation faced hate, some of the good shined through. Here is to a happy and healthy new year for all.