Top 10 Things You Already Forgot Happened This Year

COVID-19 took over, but it wasn’t all that happened this year

Written by Amanda Mizera

A disposable face mask lies on the ground of the empty staff parking lot next to Wedgewood Park International School in Milwaukee on Aug. 18, 2020. (Photo by Brian Huynh)

Once the World Health Organization announced COVID-19 as a global health crisis on March 11 it was easy to forget about the many other notable things that happened in 2020. Here’s a look at some of those moments:

1. Wildfires ravaged Australia.

The raging fires that took over the states of New South Wales and Victoria captured the world’s attention in January, and more than 27.2 million acres of bush, forest and parks across Australia burned. 

2. The royal split.

Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced their “Megxit” from the royal family, giving up their royal titles and stepping back from their royal roles. 

3. The world lost a legend.

Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and seven other people died when their helicopter crashed on the way to a basketball game near Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26. 

4. The Iowa Caucus happened.

On Feb. 3, Iowa went to caucuses to choose between a dozen candidates still in the race. But a glitch in the app used for tallying votes caused dealys, and voters waited for days before learning the final results.

5. Super Bowl LIV still happened — and Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performed.

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s performance at the 2020 Super Bowl made them the first Latina artists to headline a halftime show during the big game. As for football, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers before a huge crowd at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida — back when fans were still able to attend live sports in-person.

6. The Oscars brought worthy films to recognition.

The South Korean film “Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon-ho, was the night’s big winner with four trophies, including Best Picture, becoming the first film in a language other than English in over 92 years of Oscars history to win that prize.

7. President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

The election year started with President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate on two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He was acquitted on both counts by a vote in the Senate. 

8. The “Tiger King” reigned over Netflix.

Binge-watching shows on Netflix became a favorite quarantine hobby, and early on, everyone was watching “Tiger King,” a docuseries focused around zookeeper Joe Exotic and his life as the owner and operator of an exotic animal park. “Tiger King” was one of Netflix’s most popular series in recent years with over 34 million viewers within only 10 days of its release.

9. Astronauts made history.

On May 30, SpaceX launched two astronauts from NASA toward the International Space Station in the Falcon 9 rocket as people around the globe watched. This milestone marked the first time in history that a commercial aerospace company sent humans into Earth’s orbit. 

10. Murder hornets were spotted in the United States.

As the coronavirus spread more rapidly, a species of Asian giant hornets found their way to the U.S. This new species, nicknamed “murder hornets,” created panic after their first discovery in Washington state. Not only are these Asian giant hornets the world’s largest ever recorded, measuring at 2 inches, but they can destroy entire hives of honeybees and also cause a painful sting to humans. Officials removed a nest that was found in late October near Blaine, Washington, which might be a sign that 2020 is making a turn for the better.