CNN Editorial Research
Here is a look back at the events of 2021.
January 3 – The 117th Congress is officially sworn in. Rep. Nancy Pelosi is reelected as House Speaker.
January 3 – President Donald Trump pushes Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn the election results after his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, according to an audio recording of a phone call obtained by CNN and first reported by the Washington Post.
January 5 – The Louisville Police Department fires two detectives, Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes, connected to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.
January 5 – Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravely announces Rusten Sheskey will not face charges in the shooting of Jacob Blake. Sheskey, a White officer, shot Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, seven times while responding to a domestic incident on August 23, 2020. Blake survived the shooting but was left paralyzed from the waist down.
January 6 – One day after US Senate runoffs in Georgia take place on January 5, CNN projects the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, will be the first Black senator from Georgia, defeating Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Later in the day, CNN projects Jon Ossoff will be the first Jewish senator from Georgia, defeating Republican Sen. David Perdue.
January 6 – Following Trump’s rally and speech at the White House Ellipse, pro-Trump rioters storm the US Capitol as members of Congress meet to certify the Electoral College results of the 2020 presidential election. A total of five people die, including a Capitol Police officer the next day.
January 6 – Facebook and Twitter temporarily lock Trump’s accounts on their platforms after his supporters stormed the Capitol building to protest the election results. On January 8, Twitter announces Trump’s account is suspended permanently.
January 7 –Congress formally affirms Biden’s 2020 victory, completing a final step in the electoral process after a mob incited by Trump breached the US Capitol on January 6 and forced lawmakers to evacuate both the House and Senate chambers.
January 7 – Biden nominates Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general.
January 7 – Two of Trump’s Cabinet secretaries — Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos– announce their resignations, citing the riot at the US Capitol.
January 8 – Trump announces he will not be attending Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
January 11 – House Democrats formally introduce articles of impeachment, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection.”
January 13 – The House votes to impeach Trump for a second time following the president’s role inciting last week’s riot at the US Capitol. The House votes 232 to 197 to impeach.
January 13 – Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang announces he is running for mayor of New York City.
January 19 – Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, certifies the results of the two US Senate runoff results.
January 20 – In the final hours of his presidency, Trump issues 73 pardons and 70 commutations, including Steve Bannon.
January 20 – Biden is sworn in as the 46th president and Kamala Harris is sworn in as the 49th vice president.
January 20 – Harris formally swears in three new Democratic senators, Warnock, Ossoff and Alex Padilla. Padilla is California’s first Latino senator.
January 25 – The House impeachment managers formally trigger the start of Trump’s second impeachment trial after they deliver the charge against Trump to the Senate. He is the first president in history to be impeached twice.
January 25 – Biden signs an executive order to repeal a Trump-era ban on most transgender Americans joining the military.
February 2 – In its fourth-quarter 2020 earnings report, Amazon announces that Jeff Bezos will step down from his role as chief executive in the third quarter of 2021. He will transition to the role of executive chair, and Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy will become chief executive officer.
February 4 – Voting technology company Smartmatic files a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News, some of the network’s star hosts, including Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro, and pro-Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, alleging the parties worked in concert to wage a “disinformation campaign” that has jeopardized its survival. On February 5, Fox cancels “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”
February 4 – Johnson & Johnson officially asks the US Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine.
February 9 – Trump’s second impeachment trial begins with a four-hour debate on the constitutionality of the proceeding. On February 13, the Senate votes to acquit Trump, voting that Trump was not guilty of inciting the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol. The final vote is 57 guilty to 43 not guilty, with seven Republicans voting to convict.
February 12 – The Senate approves legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who became a national hero for his actions defending the Senate during the siege of the Capitol on January 6.
February 15 – Winter storms and freezing temperatures wreak havoc across Texas. On February 17, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is photographed boarding a flight to Cancun, Mexico, as millions in his home state are without power or water. He returns home the following day after facing fierce criticism on social media.
February 18 – Perseverance, NASA’s rover, lands on the surface of Mars. The rover has been traveling through space since launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at the end of July 2020.
February 22 – The US surpasses 500,000 coronavirus deaths. Biden speaks at a candle lighting ceremony to mark the grim milestone.
February 22 – The Supreme Court clears the way for New York prosecutors to obtain Trump’s tax returns, dealing a massive loss to the former president, who has fiercely fought to shield his financial papers from prosecutors. The documents will be subject to grand jury secrecy rules that restrict their public release.
February 23 – Golfer Tiger Woods suffers serious injuries to both his legs after a single-vehicle rollover crash Tuesday morning in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
February 23 – A grand jury votes not to indict any officers in the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died after police pinned him to the ground in March of last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James announces.
February 26 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisers vote to recommend the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine for the US, and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky almost immediately signs off on the recommendation. It is the first of the three authorized Covid-19 vaccines that come in a single dose.
February 26 –The US intelligence report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is released to the public. The report finds that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman approved the operation to capture or kill the Saudi journalist. “We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey, to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the report’s executive summary states.
March 11 – Biden signs the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 economic relief package.
March 12 – The city of Minneapolis will pay the estate of George Floyd $27 million after the city council unanimously votes to settle a lawsuit with his family.
March 16 – Eight people, including six Asian women, are shot, and killed at three Atlanta-area spas. The 21-year-old suspect, Robert Aaron Long, is arrested in Crisp County, 150 miles south of Atlanta.
March 17 – The Internal Revenue Service delays this year’s tax filing deadline by roughly one month, to May 17.
March 22 – Ten people, including a Boulder police officer, are killed in a mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, the 21-year-old suspect, faces 10 counts of murder in the first degree.
March 25 – Republicans in Georgia pass a sweeping election bill, making it the first presidential battleground state to impose new voting restrictions following Biden’s victory. The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local election boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it illegal to approach voters in line to give them food and water.
April 2 – Major League Baseball announces that this season’s All-Star Game and draft will not be held in Atlanta in response to Georgia’s recently passed voting laws. On April 6, it is announced the All-Star Game will take place at Coors Field in Denver.
April 8 – Biden announces he is directing his administration to tighten restrictions on so-called ghost guns and pistol stabilizing braces that allow the weapons to be used more accurately. The steps – which include nominating a gun control advocate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – fulfill a commitment Biden made in the aftermath of two deadly shootings last month to take “common sense” steps right away to address gun violence.
April 11 – 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black man, is fatally shot by Officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. On December 23, Potter is found guilty of first- and second-degree manslaughter.
April 13 – The CDC and FDA announce they are recommending that the United States pause the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine over six reported US cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clot.
April 15 – A former employee shoots and kills eight people and wounds several others at a FedEx Ground facility near Indianapolis’ main airport.
April 20 – A jury finds former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all three charges against him in the killing of George Floyd. Chauvin is convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
April 30 – The Biden administration announces the United States will restrict travel from India starting May 4 in response to the surge of coronavirus cases and variants being observed in the country.
May 2 – SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule returns from space and makes a parachute landing in the Gulf of Mexico, returning four astronauts from a record-setting mission to the International Space Station. The astronauts’ safe return marks the end to NASA and SpaceX’s landmark mission, dubbed Crew-1, which set a record as the longest time in space – over five months – by a crew that launched aboard an American-built spacecraft.
May 5 – Facebook’s Oversight Board upholds Trump’s suspension from using its platform. The landmark move affirms the company’s decision to suspend Trump in January after the US Capitol riots. The decision also applies to Facebook-owned Instagram where he has an account. The board says Facebook must review the decision within six months.
May 7 – One of the largest US fuel pipelines is paralyzed after a ransomware cyberattack forces a temporary shutdown of all operations. Colonial Pipeline pays the hacking group that carried out the cyberattack.
May 10 – The FDA expands the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to include people ages 12 to 15. This is the first Covid-19 vaccine in the United States authorized to use in younger teens and adolescents.
May 12 – House Republicans vote to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership post after she publicly rejected for months Trump’s lie that he won the 2020 presidential election. New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is elected as her replacement on May 14.
May 18 – New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office announces James is joining the Manhattan district attorney’s office in a criminal investigation of the Trump Organization. Her office’s investigation into the Trump Organization, which has been underway since 2019, will also continue as a civil probe.
May 19 – The House votes to approve legislation to establish an independent commission to investigate the violent insurrection on January 6 at the US Capitol, with 35 Republicans breaking with their party to support the bill.
May 20 – Biden signs a bill into law aimed to counter a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes during the coronavirus pandemic.
May 20 – The Justice Department confirms the Trump administration secretly sought and obtained the 2017 phone and email records of CNN correspondent Barbara Starr, the latest instance where federal prosecutors have taken aggressive steps targeting journalists in leak investigations.
May 23 – The Wall Street Journal reports on US intelligence report findings that three researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019 and were hospitalized, a new detail about the severity of their symptoms that could fuel further debate about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
May 25 – The Senate confirms (51-48) Kristen Clarke as the first woman, and the first woman of color, to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division.
May 26 – Amazon announces it has made a deal to acquire MGM, the home of James Bond and one of the most iconic movie studios in Hollywood. The deal, which is valued at $8.45 billion, gives Amazon an extensive library of film and TV shows that is can use to fill out its Prime Video content offerings.
May 26 – A gunman opens fire at a public transit rail yard in San Jose, California, killing nine Valley Transportation Authority employees before killing himself.
May 28 – The Senate fails to advance a bill to create an independent inquiry to investigate the deadly January 6 Capitol Hill riot. Only six GOP senators vote in support of the bill.
June 3 – The Biden administration announces a plan to share the first 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses with the rest of the world and an overall framework of distributing at least 80 million doses by the end of June. At least 75% of these donated vaccines will be shared with the global vaccination program called Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, or COVAX, and 25% will be shared directly with countries in need.
June 17 – Biden signs legislation establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
June 21 – The Supreme Court rules (9-0) against the NCAA, saying that student athletes can receive education-related payments, in a case that could reshape college sports by allowing more money from a billion-dollar industry to go to players.
June 21 – Carl Nassib, a defensive lineman with the Las Vegas Raiders, becomes the first active NFL player in league history to announce that he is gay.
June 24 – A 13-story residential building partially collapses in the South Florida community of Surfside, killing 98 people.
June 24 – Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for Trump, is suspended from practicing law in New York by an appellate court that found he made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” about the 2020 election.
June 25 – Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd on a Minneapolis street in 2020, is sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in prison. Under Minnesota law, Chauvin must serve two-thirds of his sentence, or 15 years — and then will be eligible for supervised release for the remaining time.
June 28 – US cities in the Pacific Northwest, including Portland and Seattle, report their hottest temperatures on record.
June 30 – Bill Cosby is released from prison after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturns his 2018 sexual assault conviction, saying the disgraced actor’s due process rights were violated.
July 1 – New York prosecutors charge the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corporation with 10 felony counts and Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg with 15 felony counts in connection with an alleged tax scheme stretching back to 2005.
July 2 – US defense officials report that the last US troops have left Bagram Air Base, marking the end of the American presence at the sprawling compound that became the center of military power in Afghanistan.
July 7 – Giuliani’s law license is suspended in Washington, DC, after he temporarily lost his license in New York for pushing election lies.
July 8 – Zaila Avant-garde, 14, becomes the first African American to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
July 11 – Richard Branson becomes the first person to ride into space aboard a rocket he helped fund. Also on board the supersonic space plane developed by his company, Virgin Galactic, are employees Beth Moses, Colin Bennett and Sirisha Bandla, as well as pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci.
July 20 – Jeff Bezos goes to space and back on an 11-minute ride aboard the rocket and capsule system developed by his space company, Blue Origin. Also onboard is Bezos’ brother, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pilot and one of the “Mercury 13” women who trained to go to space in the 20th century but never got to fly, and 18-year-old recent high school graduate Oliver Daemen, who was Blue Origin’s first paying customer.
July 27 – The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol kicks off its first hearing with harrowing testimony from officers who experienced firsthand the violent events of that day at the hands of a pro-Trump mob.
July 28 – Simone Biles withdraws from the individual all-around competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health, USA Gymnastics announces.
August 3 – New York Attorney General Letitia James releases a report that finds New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women and created a “hostile” work environment. On August 10, Cuomo announces he will resign.
August 18 – US health officials and medical experts announce that booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be offered this fall, subject to authorization from the FDA and sign off from the CDC.
August 23 – The FDA grants full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for people ages 16 and older, making it the first coronavirus vaccine approved by the FDA.
August 24 – Kathy Hochul is sworn in as New York’s first female governor, replacing Cuomo, who resigned amid multiple scandals.
August 26 – An explosion takes place outside the Kabul airport as the United States and other countries try to evacuate their citizens and Afghans at risk from the Taliban. Thirteen US service members and dozens of Afghan citizens are killed.
August 29 – Hurricane Ida makes landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in Louisiana. The storm claims the lives of at least 34 people across Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, destroying businesses and neighborhoods and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands. On August 31, what’s left of Ida makes its way to the Northeast. At least 60 people are killed across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
August 30 – General Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, announces the last US military planes have left Afghanistan. The departure marks the end of a fraught, chaotic and bloody exit from the United States’ longest war.
September 1 – A controversial Texas law that bans abortions at six weeks goes into effect after the Supreme Court and a federal appeals court fail to rule on pending emergency requests brought by abortion providers.
September 17 – A United States military investigation into an August drone strike in Kabul finds that it killed 10 civilians, and the driver of the vehicle targeted was likely not a threat associated with ISIS-K, McKenzie announces at the Pentagon.
September 22 – The FDA announces it has granted authorization for emergency use of a booster dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in people ages 65 and older, people at high risk of severe disease and people whose jobs put them at risk of infection.
September 27 – A jury finds R&B singer R. Kelly guilty on a total of nine counts – one count of racketeering, with 14 underlying acts that include sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery and sex trafficking charges, and also eight additional counts of violations of the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law.
October 3 – The identity of the Facebook whistleblower who released tens of thousands of pages of internal research and documents indicating the company was aware of various problems caused by its apps, is revealed on “60 Minutes” as Frances Haugen. On October 5, Haugen testifies before a Senate subcommittee.
October 7 – The Senate Judiciary Committee releases a sweeping report about how Trump and a top lawyer in the Justice Department attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
October 13 – Ninety-year-old William Shatner, who gained fame portraying Captain Kirk on the original “Star Trek,” grazes the edge of outer space onboard the New Shepard spacecraft, developed by Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin. He is the oldest person to go to space. With him are three crewmates.
October 14 – Vaccine advisers to the FDA vote unanimously to recommend emergency use authorization of a booster dose of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.
October 15 – The White House announces that foreign visitors who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to travel to the United States starting on November 8.
October 15 – Vaccine advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration vote unanimously to recommend people receive a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine at least two months after their first dose.
October 28 – A criminal complaint alleging forcible touching, a sex crime, is filed against Cuomo in Albany, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by CNN.
October 28 – Mark Zuckerberg announces that Facebook will change its corporate name to Meta, effectively demoting Facebook’s namesake service to being one of the company’s subsidiaries, alongside Instagram and WhatsApp, rather than the overarching brand.
October 29 – The US Food and Drug Administration issues emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11. This is the first Covid-19 vaccine authorized in the United States for younger children. On November 2, Walensky announces she is endorsing a recommendation to vaccinate children, following the CDC’s independent vaccine advisers’ vote in favor of the child-sized doses.
November 5 – Congress passes a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill after months of internal deliberations. On November 15, Biden signs the bill into law.
November 8 – The United States reopens its borders to vaccinated international travelers, ending a 20-month travel ban. Fully vaccinated travelers from 33 countries — including the United Kingdom and much of Europe — can now enter without needing to quarantine, provided they have proof of vaccination and a negative viral test.
November 8 – Four astronauts splash down off the coast of Florida aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, capping off their six-month stay in space.
November 10 – A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying four astronauts launches atop a Falcon 9 rocket, marking the kickoff of SpaceX’s fifth crewed mission to orbit. This mission, called Crew-3, is the fourth mission in a partnership between SpaceX and NASA to make routine trips to the ISS in order to keep the 21-year-old space station adequately staffed.
November 12 – A Los Angeles judge terminates Britney Spears‘ 13-year conservatorship.
November 18 – Two men convicted of the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X, Muhammad A. Aziz and the late Khalil Islam, are exonerated after more than half a century. A 22-month investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and attorneys for the men found that evidence of their innocence, including FBI documents, was withheld at trial.
November 19 – Biden temporarily transfers power to Harris while he is under anesthesia for a routine colonoscopy. Harris becomes the first woman to hold presidential power.
November 19 – Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people and shot another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is acquitted of first-degree intentional homicide and four other felony charges.
November 21 – Six people are killed and more than 60 are injured when an SUV plows into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Police later identify the suspect as Darrell E. Brooks Jr.
November 24 – Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan Jr. are all found guilty of murder in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
November 30 – Ethan Crumbley, 15, allegedly opens fire, killing four students and injuring seven others at Oxford High School in Michigan. Crumbley is charged as an adult with terrorism causing death and four counts of first-degree murder. He also faces seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
December 1 – The United States’ first confirmed case of the Omicron coronavirus variant is identified in California.
December 10-11 – More than 100 people are feared dead after a series of tornadoes rips through several states in the Midwest and South.
December 15 – The United States surpasses 800,000 Covid-19 deaths.
December 29 – A jury in a New York federal court finds Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five of six counts related to her role in Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor girls between 1994 and 2004.
January 9 – Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 – a Boeing 737-500 – crashes into the ocean minutes after takeoff, killing all 62 people on board.
January 17 – A vocal critic of the Kremlin, Alexey Navalny, is detained by police in Russia, moments after his return to the country and five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He is ordered to remain in custody for 30 days during a surprise hearing in Russia.
January 20 – At least 32 people are killed and over 100 are injured in a double suicide bombing in Baghdad, the first suicide attack to strike Baghdad in nearly two years. ISIS later claims responsibility.
February 1 – Myanmar’s military takes control of the country in a coup and declares a state of emergency, following the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior government leaders.
February 2 – A Moscow court sentences Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny to prison for more than two and a half years, prompting protests across the county. The sentence takes into account the 11 months Navalny spent under house arrest.
February 9 – The United Arab Emirates’ first mission to Mars, known as the Hope Probe, arrives at the red planet and successfully enters orbit on its first attempt. The Hope Probe marks the UAE as only the fifth country in history to reach Mars and a first for the Arab world.
February 10 – After traveling through space for seven months, China’s Tianwen-1 probe successfully reaches Mars and enters the planet’s orbit.
February 12 – Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori steps down after sexist remarks he made about women are leaked to Japanese media.
March 1 – A French court sentences former President Nicolas Sarkozy to three years in prison for corruption and influence peddling, but suspends two years of the sentence. The judge says Sarkozy can serve the sentence by wearing an electronic bracelet at home. Sarkozy’s lawyer says he will appeal the ruling.
March 5 – Pope Francis arrives in Baghdad, Iraq, for a historic tour of the war-ravaged nation, where he meets with members of the country’s Christian community. The trip is the first-ever papal visit to Iraq.
March 7 – Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry’s highly anticipated sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey airs. Over the course of the two-hour special, the couple is critical of the way Britain’s royal institution treated them, and say they had no option but to leave royal life.
March 15 – Germany, Italy, Spain and France temporarily halt the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine over a small number of blood clot concerns. Plans to resume the rollout are announced three days later.
March 19 – Tanzanian Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan is sworn in as the country’s first female president, two days after the death of President John Magufuli, one of Africa’s most prominent Covid-19 skeptics, was announced.
March 23 – The Ever Given, a 224,000-ton vessel, runs aground in the Suez Canal. The resulting traffic jam hinders global oil supplies. The vessel is fully dislodged on March 29.
March 30 – The World Health Organization releases a 120-page report saying the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 probably spread to people through an animal, and probably started spreading among humans no more than a month or two before it was noticed in December 2019. A joint statement released by the United Kingdom, the United States and 12 other countries calls for a more transparent evaluation.
April 9 – Buckingham Palace announces Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died at 99.
April 9 – The La Soufrière volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent erupts.
April 30 – A stampede breaks out at Israel’s Mount Meron, killing at least 45 people and injuring more than 150. Worshipers were gathering at the mountain to mark the Lag Ba’Omer holiday, an annual event where participants sing, dance and light fires in homage to second-century sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai at his burial site.
May 3 – An overpass carrying a subway train collapses in Mexico City, killing at least 26 people, including children, according to local government officials. At least 79 people are hospitalized.
May 8 – At least 90 people are killed, and more than 150 are injured in an explosion near a high school for girls in the Afghan capital, Kabul. The explosion was caused by a car bomb followed by two IED explosions.
May 20 – Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas agree to a ceasefire after more than a week of conflict left hundreds dead. Over 11 days, the Israel Defense Forces carried out a devastating aerial bombardment of Gaza, while the Palestinian military group Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel. Israeli airstrikes killed at least 248 Palestinians, including at least 66 children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry there. At least 12 people in Israel, including two children, have been killed by Palestinian militant fire from Gaza, according to the IDF and Israel’s emergency service.
May 23 – Ryanair Flight 4978 traveling from Athens, Greece to Vilnius, Lithuania, is diverted shortly before touchdown by Belarusian air traffic control to the capital Minsk over a supposed security alert. Roman Pratasevich, a Belarus opposition activist and passenger on the plane, is arrested as soon as the plane lands.
May 29 – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson marries fiancée Carrie Symonds in a secret wedding at Westminster Cathedral in London.
May 31 – The Chinese government will now allow couples to have three children, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua.
June 4 – Duchess Meghan gives birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter weighing 7 lbs., 11 oz. The baby is named Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
June 13 – Benjamin Netanyahu loses office for the first time in 12 years after rival Naftali Bennett wins a parliamentary vote to form a government.
June 17 – China successfully launches three astronauts into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert. The mission sent the crew to the core module of the planned space station, called Tiangong or “Heavenly Palace,” which is still under construction in a low-Earth orbit. The crew will stay in orbit for three months, during which the life-support system and maintenance will be tested.
June 19 – Ebrahim Raisi wins the presidential election in Iran, securing almost 18 million of the nearly 29 million ballots cast. Overall voter turnout was only 48.8%, the lowest in any presidential election since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979.
July 8 – Officials announce the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will not have spectators, after Japan declares a new state of emergency in Tokyo due to Covid-19.
July 14-15 – Catastrophic flooding in western Europe brings two months’ worth of rain in a day. More than 220 people are killed.
August 9 – The United Nations‘ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases the most comprehensive and conclusive report on the “state of the science” on the climate crisis. UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls the report “a code red for humanity,” noting that “global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible.”
August 12 – Twenty-two-year-old Jake Davison shoots and kills five people in the English city of Plymouth. It is the deadliest incident of its kind in the area since 2010, when a shooting spree in Cumbria, in northern England, claimed 12 lives.
August 14 – A 7.2 magnitude earthquake strikes Haiti. At least 2,246 people are killed and more than 12,763 are injured.
August 15 – The Taliban takes control of Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul, almost two decades since they were driven out by US troops.
September 3 – An ISIS supporter is killed by New Zealand police after stabbing seven people in a supermarket in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn.
September 7 – Mexico’s Supreme Court unanimously rules that penalizing abortion is unconstitutional, in a decision expected to set a precedent for the legal status of abortion nationwide.
September 13 – North Korea claims it successfully test-fired new long-range cruise missiles, according to the country’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
September 26 – Germany’s left-leaning Social Democratic Party (SPD) narrowly wins the largest share of parliamentary seats following the federal election. Both the SPD and the conservative Christian Democratic Union with its coalition partner, the Christian Social Union, have said they want to begin coalition negotiations to form a new government.
October 4 – Fumio Kishida takes office as the new prime minister of Japan.
October 13 – Five people are killed and three are injured in a bow and arrow attack in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg. A 37-year-old Danish citizen is arrested and charged.
October 16 – Seventeen missionaries from the United States and Canada, some of them minors, are kidnapped in Haiti, according to the organization Christian Aid Ministries. On October 19, a top Haitian official tells CNN that the gang that kidnapped the missionaries is asking for $1 million each for their release. Two of the missionaries are released on November 21.
November 24 – Three German political parties seal a deal for a new government, with left-leaning Olaf Scholz set to become the next chancellor, following lengthy coalition negotiations and a historic election that sees Angela Merkel stepping down after 16 years at the helm.
December 4 – At least 14 people are dead and hundreds are displaced after Mount Semeru, a volcano in Indonesia’s East Java province, erupts.
December 6 – Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi is sentenced to four years in prison on charges of incitement and breaking Covid-19 rules, in the first verdict against the Nobel Peace Prize winner since the military seized power in February. Her sentence is then reduced to two years by the country’s military, state media MRTV reported.
December 16– Super Typhoon Rai, known locally as Odette, makes landfall in the Philippines, killing at least 389 people.
January 11 – The Alabama Crimson Tide defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes 52-24 in the College Football Playoff National Championship at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
January 31 – The first-ever virtual Pro Bowl takes place via EA Sports’ “Madden NFL 2021” video game. The NFC defeats the AFC, 32-12. The 2021 Pro Bowl was originally set to take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, but was canceled due to Covid-19 concerns. On November 17, 2020 the NFL announced the virtual Pro Bowl would take place instead.
February 7 – Super Bowl LV takes place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. It’s the first time in Super Bowl history a team has won in its home stadium.
February 8-21 – The 109th Australian Open takes place. Novak Djokovic defeats Daniil Medvedev in the men’s final, to win a record ninth Australian Open title. Naomi Osaka defeats Jennifer Brady in the women’s final.
February 15 – Michael McDowell wins the 63rd Annual Daytona 500.
February 28 – The 78th Annual Golden Globes are presented with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as hosts. The ceremony typically takes place in January but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
March 7 – The NBA All-Star Game takes place at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. Team LeBron defeats Team Durant, 170 – 150.
March 14 – The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
March 15 – Dallas Seavey wins his fifth Iditarod.
March 27 – The 52nd NAACP Image Awards ceremony is held.
April 4 – The 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards takes place.
April 5 – The Baylor Bears defeat the Gonzaga Bulldogs 86-70 to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. This is Baylor’s first men’s basketball title.
April 8-11 – The 85th Masters tournament takes place. Hideki Matsuyama wins, becoming the first Japanese man to win a golf major.
April 25 – The 93rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony airs.
May 1 – Medina Spirit wins the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby. The 3-year-old brown colt was trained by the legendary Bob Baffert, who becomes the winningest trainer in the history of the Derby with his seventh victory. Just over a week later, Baffert reveals the horse has tested positive for elevated levels of betamethasone, throwing the horse’s victory into question.
May 15 – Rombauer, trained by Michael McCarthy and ridden by jockey Flavien Prat, wins the 146th Preakness Stakes.
May 23 – Golfer Phil Mickelson wins the 103rd PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. Mickelson, 50, becomes the oldest winner of a major golf championship.
May 30 – Helio Castroneves wins the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 in front of approximately 135,000 fans, about 40% of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s capacity. It is Castroneves’ record-tying fourth career win at the track.
May 30-June 13 – The French Open takes place at Roland-Garros Stadium in Paris. Originally set for May 17-June 6, it was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
June 11 – The Pulitzer Prizes are announced.
June 12-13 – The 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show takes place at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York.
June 17-20 – Jon Rahm of Spain wins the 121st US Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. This is Rahm’s first win at a major championship.
June 25 – The 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards are presented virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
June 26-July 18 – The 108th Tour de France takes place. Tadej Pogacar wins his second consecutive yellow jersey.
June 28-July 11 – Wimbledon takes place in London. Novak Djokovic defeats Matteo Berrettini of Italy 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the men’s final, to win his sixth Wimbledon title. Ashleigh Barty of Australia defeats Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 in the women’s final, to win her first Wimbledon title.
July 7 – The Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to become back to back NHL Champions.
July 11-18 – Golfer Collin Morikawa wins the 149th Open Championship at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, Kent, England. Originally scheduled for July 12-19, 2020, the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
July 20 – The Milwaukee Bucks become NBA champions for the first time in 50 years by defeating the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6.
July 23-August 8 – The 2020 Tokyo Olympics take place.
August 24-September 5 – The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics take place.
August 30-September 12 – The US Open Tennis Tournament takes place. Daniil Medvedev defeats Novak Djokovic, and Emma Raducanu defeats Leylah Fernandez, becoming the youngest Grand Slam winner since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004.
September 19 – The 73rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony takes place with Cedric the Entertainer as host.
October 4-11 – The Nobel Prizes are announced. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.
October 14 – The Chicago Sky win their first WNBA championship, defeating the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 in Game 4.
November 2 – The Atlanta Braves win the World Series, defeating the Houston Astros 7-0 in Game 6.
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