2012 : Year In Review

Kaitlyn Huscher, Staff Writer

The year 2012 has been a very eventful year.  Ranging from the feuds in the Middle East to the Presidential Election, these are only a few of the major events that have happened in 2012.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict has been a major part of 2012, surfacing in the past several years and continuing throughout this year.  The conflict between these two has been raging for years in the Gaza Strip and repression still remains today.  The wars started between the Israelis and Palestinians has killed hundreds and caused even more disputes.  Their conflict still rages on today, perpetuating a long history of a battle for justice.

On July 20, The Dark Knight Rises, the last of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy, was released into theaters and became only the 13th movie to gross $1 billion worldwide.  The movie grossed more money overseas than any other Batman film, grossing $431.2 million domestically and an estimated $574 million internationally for a total of $1.005 billion.  Out of the 13 movies to reach such a high number, only two have surpassed $2 billion: James Cameron’s Titanic and Avatar.  With its record setting number, The Dark Knight Rises also became the biggest 2-D opening ever, and according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, it became the second highest grossing film of 2012, following Marvel’s The Avengers.

During The Dark Knight Rises premiere, a man named James Holmes allegedly set off several gas containers in a local theater in Aurora, Colorado, and opened fire on the audience, killing 12 people and injuring 58.  Responding officers retrieved several loaded guns from his car which was parked outside of the theater.  When police arrested him he claimed that his apartment complex contained explosive devices which he booby trapped before the theater shooting, which was later confirmed by police.  Holmes’ defense attorneys claimed that he was a “psychiatric patient,” and some of his friends say that he suffered from mental illness prior to the shooting, but this information was blacked out by the judge.  His preliminary hearing was set for the week of January 7, 2013.  His attacks on the theater hurt the film’s opening weekend and the number of deaths made this the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Starting September 10 and lasting until September 17, Chicago teachers went on strike over a contract dispute and job security, marking this as the first time in 25 years that Chicago teachers walked out of class.  For seven days 350,000 students were kept out of school.  The strike ended with a vote to suspend the strike and students returned to class on Wednesday, September 19.  The settlement, according to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, was “an honest compromise.”  He said, “With this agreement, our teachers will receive higher pay, and our students will have a higher standard of education.”

In October, Hurricane Sandy flooded the Northeastern US, the Caribbean and the Mid-Atlantic, destroying portions of these lands which included parts of New York and New Jersey.  Sandy was classified as a Category 2 storm and became the 18th named storm in history.  New York governor Cuomo asked for $42 billion in the hurricane relief, which would help repair the damage.  New Jersey also needed money for their own repairs, so the two states agreed to work together in order to fund enough money for the repairs of both of their states.  Efforts are still being made to help repair the extreme damage done to New York and New Jersey as well as many other portions of the Northeast.

On the night of November 6, President Barack Obama won the Presidential Election for the second time.  He overcame a bad economy, high unemployment and a fractured political landscape to win a second term in the White House, defeating challenger Mitt Romney by taking several key battleground states and denying him any inroads in traditional Democratic bastions.  Only time will tell what changes Obama will bring in the next four years.

One of the most recent events that took place was the food brand Hostess filing for bankruptcy and going out of business on November 29.  The brand lost a strike against the bakers union, the Teamsters.  Hostess brand has stopped production of their foods, including such popular favorites like Twinkies and Wonder Bread.  Many other food companies are interested in buying the popular products of Hostess, but for now the shelves of grocery stores are bare.

2012 was a very important year, and these are just several of the many events that took place.  Who knows what history will be made in the year 2013?