The Events that Shaped 2019

Jillian Russell

Some would say the year 2019 has been too slow. Others would disagree and say it has gone by too quickly. In today’s world, there’s always a lot going on, and some would say there is actually too much going on. With so much going on, it is hard to stay on top of things sometimes, so here are some events you may have missed or have simply forgotten about, but have shaped the year of 2019: 

January 2019:

Women’s March for the 3rd Year

Standing from afar, you may have only heard the chants, and seen the posters amongst a swarm of pink. But what was the reason? The 19th of January marked the 3rd annual Women’s March: a world-wide protest in support of women’s rights against President Donald Trump. “The 2017 Women’s March inspired hundreds of women to run, millions more to vote, and dozens to win elected office. The 2019 Women’s March marks two years of resistance to the Trump presidency, two years of training new activists, and two years of building power. And this time, we’re coming back with an agenda,” says the official Women’s March website. “The #WomensWave is coming, and we’re sweeping the world forward with us.” 

February 2019:

Patriots Win the Super Bowl

Yet again, the Patriots bring home another Super Bowl ring! On February 3rd, 2019, the Patriots beat the Rams 13-3, winning their sixth title in the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era. The Patriots scored the go-ahead touchdown with only seven minutes left. Despite having arguably the greatest dynasty in the NFL, most of New England didn’t think they even had a chance this year. They didn’t look “capable” of a Super Bowl title, as in the regular season, Brady wasn’t playing to his full potential. However, New England’s defense stepped up and held the Rams to only 14 first downs and 260 yards in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever. “It was an unbelievable year,” Brady said. “We fought more than anything. It’s unbelievable to win this game.”

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots win the 2019 Super Bowl

March 2019:

College Admissions Cheating Scandal

If I told you that American actresses, business leaders, and other wealthy parents were charged with college entry fraud, would you believe it? Well sometimes the truth hurts. 50 people were charged by the Department of Justice, in just six states. This investigation included TV star Lori Loughlin and her husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, actress Felicity Huffman, businessman William E. McGlashan Jr., businessman Douglas Hodge, and more.  “I accept full and complete responsibility for my conduct,” Mr. Hodge said in a statement. “I have always prided myself on leading by example, and I am ashamed of the decisions I made. I acted out of love for my children, but I know that this explanation for my actions is not an excuse.” This scandal was brought up upon cheating on standardized tests, bribing admissions, posing as star in sports, and much more. 

April 2019:

Manhunt for Woman Obsessed with Columbine 

Around the  20th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, there was a scare that caused many Colorado schools to close or administer lockdown. On April  17th, an 18 year old woman from Florida, flew to Colorado, where the first thing she did was make a purchase. She purchased a shotgun and ammunition at a gun shop near Columbine High School.  Sol Pais, the woman obsessed with Columbine, has made “some concerning comments in the past,” and was in love with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.  Florida law enforcement alerted Denver FBI, about their concern, and that’s when the massive manhunt began. When doing a search of the Mount Evans area, West of Denver, they found Pais’ body. Denver FBI later tweeted, “We can confirm that Sol Pais is deceased. We are grateful to everyone who submitted tips and to all our law enforcement partners for their efforts in keeping our community safe.” Dean Phillips, special agent in charge of Denver FBI, said, “We took it as a credible threat to the community and potentially a threat to schools in the area-.” Later, he added “she took her own life with the weapon she procured.” Her death was declared an apparent suicide. 

May 2019:

Alabama Passes Anti-Abortion Bill

Did you know that many women don’t yet know for certain that they’re pregnant until six weeks into their  pregnancy? That’s the earliest a fetal heartbeat can be detected. On May 15th, the nation’s most restrictive and controversial abortion ban was passed in Alabama. Governor Kay Ivey, a republican,  signed into law an abortion bill that will punish doctors with life in prison, if they perform abortions. The bill indicates that the performance of abortions are considered a felony, even in the case of rape and incest. Democrats proposed an amendment for those who are victims of rape and incest, but the motion failed with an 11-21 vote. The only exception to the law is if there is a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother, or if the unborn child has a “lethal anomaly.” “No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable,” Ivey wrote. “As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court even when we disagree with their decisions… The sponsors of this bill believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”  To this day, many people are protesting the bill.

Activists protest the abortion bill.

June 2019:

Another American Tourist Dies in the Dominican Republic

Due to the unexpected death of tourists, instead of going to the popular vacation destination, some are looking for new plans. On the 18th of June, it was discovered that yet another American tourist died after visiting the same resort in the Dominican Republic. The NPR has reported that in all the deaths, the tourist has either had an alcoholic drink, soda, or water. “Over 2.7 million U.S. citizens visit the Dominican Republic each year,” U.S. State Department official said. “We have not seen an uptick in the number of U.S. citizen deaths reported to the department.” The victims include: Nathaniel Edward Holmes, Cynthia Ann Day, Yvette Monique Sport, David Harrison, Miranda Schaup-Werner, Robert Bell Wallace, Joseph Allen, Leyla Cox, Chris Palmer,  Vittorio Caruso, and more. As of August 2019, there has been reported a total of 16 deaths. The FBI is currently helping Dominican investigators drill down to understand more of why American tourists are dying, as well as finding solutions to keep others safe. 

July 2019:

“The city that never sleeps” looks sleepy during the power outage.

Power Outage in NY

Imagine a broadway song becoming reality. Oh wait! Lin-Manuel Miranda’s song “Blackout,” from In the Heights, actually happened. Only instead of being based in Washington Heights, it happened in Manhattan. On July 13th at approximately 6:47 pm, the West Side of Manhattan  experienced a blackout. In other words, they had a power failure. Con Edison reported that about 73,000 customers were left without power. Fun fact, the power failure occurred on the 42nd anniversary of the NYC blackout of 1977. This blackout lasted about 6 hours. Power was fully restored at midnight. The power outage affected six power sectors that covered power in 30 blocks of Manhattan: from Times Square to 72nd Street, and from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River. Most of New York’s famous attractions were affected: Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, Broadway, and more. The blackout was reported to have been caused by a manhole explosion. As a cause of this blackout, there were no injuries. Governor Cuomo praised the response of the city’s population, and said via Twitter, “When things are at their worst, New Yorkers are at their best, and they were at their best tonight.”

August 2019:

 First Vaping Death Reported

Is vaping safe?  A patient in Illinois has died after developing a severe respiratory disease, linked to vaping. There has been an increasing number of vaping related lung illnesses, as 193 cases have been reported as of just the summer. In all these cases, there has been no other link other than vaping. The patient’s death was disclosed during a news conference, held by officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA, and the state of Illinois. According to the state health department, the patients have ranged from ages 17-38. Vaping seems like a safe and healthier alternative to smoking, but truth is, it’s not. There are still major health risks. Researchers know that e-cigs contain toxic chemicals, like those found in paint and glue. The big problem lies in the fact that we don’t exactly know what’s going into all the flavorings. “The problem is we don’t know what’s being inhaled through these devices, of which there are five or six hundred different kinds,” Dr. John Hocomb, a pulmonologist in San Antonio, Texas, said. “We have to assume that some of them may be dangerous and some may not be dangerous.”  Vaping is fairly new, compared to how well we know the dangers of regular cigarettes. Experts say it could take up to 20 years before we know the long-term effects of vaping.

September 2019:

  Storm Area 51 Raid

In July, 21 year old Matty Roberts created a fake “Storm Area 51” event on Facebook. He, along with others, believed that the Area 51 military base was holding the government’s secrets about aliens. The raid was set for the 20th of September. Nearly 2 million people RSVP’d to the event. The FBI later showed up to his house to investigate. After, Roberts spent his summer telling people to go to Rachel, Nevada, which was the closest town to Area 51. He said there would be live performances and a meet and greet of the minds behind the original meme. He called it “Alienstock.” Two weeks later, due to “security concerns,” Roberts backed out of the plan. However, people decided to take his plan into their own hands. Due to legal reasons, it was no longer “Alienstock.” It had been turned into “Alien-Stock.” The outcome of all of this was overpriced t-shirts and special edition Bud Light. When the day came, about 6,000 people actually traveled to Rachel, where they had RVs and tents. “Alienstock” was quite the experiment, although none of the aliens showed up.

The Washington Post
The Storm Area 51 ‘raid’ turned into more of a festival.

 

October 2019:

Bernie Sanders Experiences Heart Attack

Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, experienced a heart attack. He began having discomfort while at a grassroots fundraiser, and he later went to the hospital with chest pain. Doctors had to insert two stents in a blocked artery. His campaign did not reveal or confirm anything about his condition, until three days after his heart attack. “Running for president is a physical and emotional trial, and the presidency itself is even more demanding,” said David Axelrod, a former top advisor to President Barack Obama. “While we all wish Senator Sanders well, this has to be a big flashing light for him. And given his age, it may be for some voters, as well.” Mr. Sanders avoided questions regarding his health, up until recently. Today, Sanders is making sure he gets the care he needs. He’s been taking hour long strolls with his wife, making healthier choices, and is getting a lot more sleep.

November 2019:

Plane Crash in Texas 

Congratulations! You’re having a baby girl! But, how are you going to reveal the gender? How about getting a bunch of pink balloons in a box, or make a pink cake and cover it in white frosting? Or even better, how about you get a plane to release gallons of pink water? That sounds like a great idea! On November 8th, it was revealed that back in September, a small crop-dusting plane crashed. On September 7th, Raj Horan, the pilot, was “Conducting a gender reveal flight for a friend.” The plane had gone to a very low altitude, in which he was releasing the 350 gallons of pink water, and stalled, leading the plane to crash. It was reported that this small plane was a single seat plane, in which there would be no passengers, but not in this case. Jennifer Harrell, the passenger in the single seat plane, sustained minor injuries. “The pilot reported that there were no pre-impact mechanical failure or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation,” the accident report said.