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2020: Year in Review

COVID-19 loomed large over everything this year: our health and mortality, the economy, politics, education, sports, entertainment … well, everything. But within each of those categories, there are amazing stories of triumph and sorrow, of the human will to survive and carry on. Here we recap the major stories that shaped our lives in 2020, for better and for worse.

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Year in Review
    • U.S. News
    • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • Politics
    • News
    • Black Lives Matter
2020: Year in Review
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    2020: Year in Coronavirus

    2020: Year in Coronavirus

    By Year in Review

    No event was as significant this year as COVID-19, the first pandemic in a century. Millions worldwide have been infected and hundreds of thousands have died, but there is hope as several vaccines could be approved for distribution soon. Read up on how the virus shaped 2020, its origin and impact on society, including on ethnic minorities, the vaccine misinformation online and more.

    2020: Year in White House Race

    2020: Year in White House Race

    If not for the coronavirus pandemic, the presidential election would have likely been the biggest news story of 2020. The year started off hot with the impeachment trial of President Trump; he was acquitted by the Senate in February. Meanwhile a crowded field battled for the Democratic nomination. COVID-19 shook up everything and after a bruising campaign, Joe Biden is the president-elect even as Trump spins false narratives about voter fraud. Join us as we look back at the dizzying campaign.

    2020: Year in Black Lives Matter

    2020: Year in Black Lives Matter

    George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Rayshard Brooks. These are some of the Black Americans who were killed by the police and whose deaths spurred the U.S. to look at its racial history. Learn the names of those killed, what happened, why the movement resulted in calls to "defund the police," and what's next.

    2020: Year in Climate Change

    2020: Year in Climate Change

    Record-smashing heatwaves, wildfires, hurricanes, Arctic deterioration and more: This is what climate change looks like. Scientists and advocacy groups warn that unprecedented measures are needed to cut emissions and ensure our warming planet remains habitable—and unfortunately, virus lockdowns haven't bought us much time, no matter how comforting those "nature is healing" memes may have been in the early days of the pandemic.

    2020: Year in Politics

    2020: Year in Politics

    Like rubberneckers on a highway, it was nearly impossible at times to take our eyes off the presidential election this year. But much else happened in politics: Lawmakers collided over coronavirus relief, Republicans rattled the Democratic House majority, Amy Coney Barrett joined the Supreme Court and five states voted to legalize cannabis. Read on for our rundown of the U.S. politics stories that shaped 2020, beyond the White House race.

    2020: Year in Tech

    2020: Year in Tech

    Facing antitrust lawsuits, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google spent 2020 responding to regulators and Congress about anticompetitive practices, alleged conservative bias, election misinformation and changes to Section 230. Plus, Elon Musk's SpaceX made history by sending NASA astronauts into space, Quibi shuts down after a short life, Twitter gets hacked, and more.

    2020: Year in Business

    2020: Year in Business

    2020 has been a tale of two economies. On Dec. 4, the stock markets hit all-time highs even as the government reported stagnant job growth and an unemployment rate of 6.7%. Investors continued to see stellar returns while millions lost their jobs and thousands of small businesses closed permanently. The pandemic moved most of America to a work-from-home schedule and hastened the migration to online shopping. The question now: Can President-elect Joe Biden keep the recovery going?

    2020: Year in Sports

    2020: Year in Sports

    COVID-19 gave us one of the strangest sports years ever, with empty stadiums, sequestered athletes and canceled events. The Tokyo Olympics and March Madness were scrapped, but sports worked hard to provide competition and crown some great champions. In Los Angeles, it was a year of emotion as the tragic death of Kobe Bryant was followed by titles for the Lakers and Dodgers. And Kim Ng and Sarah Fuller broke barriers some thought would never be touched.

    2020: Year in Entertainment

    2020: Year in Entertainment

    It all started so well. "Parasite" made history at the Oscars and 2020 was to be Marvel packed. And then, COVID-19: It hit Hollywood almost immediately, with cancellations, cinema closures, and studios trying to create new content and get it seen. In August, Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer. There were stories of hope and progress, however, from “Schitt’s Creek” sweeping the 2020 Emmys, to the Oscars launching new diversity guidelines. And who could forget “The Tiger King?”

    2020: Year in Goodbyes

    2020: Year in Goodbyes

    Remembering those we've lost as we reach the end of a uniquely arduous year — the civil rights leaders, the lives cut short by injustice, the stars who brought us inspiration and comfort, and more.

    2020: Year in Forgotten Stories

    2020: Year in Forgotten Stories

    Before COVID-19, another story was expected to dominate the headlines throughout 2020: the impeachment of President Trump. But only a few weeks after his February acquittal, most of us quickly forgot as a mighty pandemic advanced across the globe. While America mostly looked inward, authoritarians around the world used coronavirus crackdowns as cover for power grabs. Here we recount just some of the forgotten stories of 2020, including movements for freedom and justice that were largely ignored.

    2020: Year in Good News

    2020: Year in Good News

    Yeah, we know: It was a spectacularly awful year. But dare we look on the bright side? Some good things still happened. On a micro level, babies were born, couples got married, anniversaries were celebrated. On a macro level, scientists developed COVID-19 vaccines with remarkable speed. And in spite of the pandemic, Americans participated in the electoral process in record numbers. So cherish these good news stories as we look forward to what's gotta be a better year.

    2020: Year in Celebrity

    2020: Year in Celebrity

    Many people didn’t take COVID-19 seriously till Tom Hanks got it. Since then, it’s been a weird year in celeb land, with stars trying to connect with their fans (not like that, Gal Gadot!) and becoming more politically outspoken. The Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial was a tabloid dream, Harvey Weinstein got his just deserts, Kanye stood for president, and we all got to know Charli D'Amelio. The sweetest story: Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara welcomed a son named River, after Phoenix’s late brother.

    2020: Year in Food

    2020: Year in Food

    Banana bread and sourdough characterized the early part of the pandemic as we found ourselves with more time at home than we could fill. Flour became a hot commodity while the virus inflamed America's hunger crisis, and the restaurant industry was hit hard. Still, we found joy in small celebrations and “The Great British Baking Show.” In December, lab-grown meat was approved for sale for the first time, bringing plant-based living a little closer to reality for everyone.

    2020: Year in Music & Culture

    2020: Year in Music & Culture

    The fact that Shakespeare wrote “King Lear” during the plague was a rallying cry for creatives during the pandemic. Irritating? Yes, but we did see newness in 2020, including music from Taylor Swift, Cardi B’s “WAP,” and K-pop everywhere. Innovation entered live entertainment, as artists explored digital performing spaces. In literature, J.K. Rowling tore up her legacy as Louise Gluck took her place in the history books, and the death of George Floyd made the anti-racist reading list ubiquitous.

    2020: Year in Shopping

    2020: Year in Shopping

    Brick-and-mortar stores were in danger before the pandemic changed our world. For a time, almost all shopping migrated online, which could become a permanent trend. We explore the factors that shaped the year in retail, and look at some of the best and most popular products of 2020. We may receive a commission on qualifying purchases.

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