Best of 2016: Top US News Stories by Month

Image by Abby Lass

By Jacqueline Lee

Managing Editor of News

January: Actors Boycott the Oscars

In response to a lack of diversity among the Academy Award nominees, many actors refused to attend this year’s Academy Awards. Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee were the most prominent in their vocal opposition.

February: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dies at 79

Scalia was extremely influential and a champion for originalism, a theory of constitutional interpretation that places an emphasis on the meaning of words as they were originally written and intended. He was the first Italian-American justice and was known for his controversial, mostly modern-conservative remarks and ideas.

March: Debates on Transgender Bathroom Laws Swirl in North Carolina

The governor of North Carolina signed a bill barring cities from allowing transgender people to use the public bathrooms that correspond to the gender they identify with. Civil liberties groups, the LGBTQ community, and Democrats in the state were outraged.

April: Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill

Jacob J. Lew, Treasury Secretary, announced that Andrew Jackson would be replaced by Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

May: Newsman Morley Safer Dies at 84

A staple on “60 Minutes”, Morley Safer was most famous for revolutionizing war reporting when he covered gruesome stories during the Vietnam War.

June: Shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando

A gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida was attacked by gunman Omar Mateen, who had previously pledged allegiance to ISIS. He fatally shot 49 people and injured over 50 others. This was the deadliest mass shooting in the US and “the nation’s worst terrorist attack since 9/11” (

July: Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic Presidential Nominee

In the midst of mudslinging, Hillary Clinton became the first female to be the presidential nominee of a major political party.

August: CDC Releases a Warning Regarding Zika Virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement advising pregnant women and their partners to not travel to a small town in Miami due to a Zika outbreak.

September: Samsung Note 7 Recall

Samsung had to recall millions of their Note 7 phones due to claims of exploding batteries and phones spontaneously catching fire. Faulty manufacturing and design of the lithium ion batteries found in the phones was the source of the problem.

October: Dozens of Arrests are Made at the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

Months of fighting against the construction of the pipeline (it is predicted that the pipeline could displace many, destroy the environment, and cost an impressive amount of money) led to a culmination of tensions. At least 141 people were arrested at the Pipeline protests after many efforts by police to disperse the crowds. There were also many claims of physical conflict, including pepper spray and object-throwing, between the police and protesters.

November: Donald Trump Wins Presidential Election

Despite the predictions of many people and pollsters, Donald Trump defeated Hillary in the race to the White House. This outcome led many groups to protest and request a recount and a reevaluation of the Electoral College system.

December: Oakland Warehouse Fire Proves Deadly

Over 30 people died during an electronic dance party when the venue caught fire, leaving the community and country devastated.