Major Events of 2012

January 21: (Dutch Teen Sails Around the World)
Laura Dekker became the first youngest sailor at sixteen years old to complete a global voyage alone. She began her trip January 20th, 2011 and finished January 21st, 2012, when she landed in St. Maarten, which is located in the Carribean.

February 6: (Diamond Jubilee) Elizabeth II of Great Britain celebrated her 60th anniversary, the Diamond Jubilee, as queen of 16 sovereign states. Official events, such as the lighting of beacons across the Commonwealth realms–the areas which she reigns over- took place later in June. The only other monarch of these states who has celebrated a Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897.

February 9: (Women Allowed Closer To Combat) After a year-long debate, the Pentagon reached the decision of allowing women in the military to have permanent jobs as radio operators, medics and tank mechanics. Although many women already serve in those jobs, it was only due to an increase in demand due to the Afghanistan war. This new rule does not apply to jobs in combat tank units, special operations commando units or the infantry.

March 22: (Quebec Protest) Largest protest in Quebec’s history occurs in Montreal with over 200,000 people marching against government tuition hikes and for free access to post-secondary education.

April 2: (Oikos University Shooting) One Goh, a 43-year-old former student at Oikos University in California, opens fire on the campus killing seven people and wounding several others.

May 23-24: (New President of Egypt) Egypt elected Mohammed Morsi as president. He won with 51.7 percent of popular vote, while his opponent Ahmed Shafik gained 48.3 percent of votes. Morsi is the first Islamist to become a head of state in the Arabic world.

June 1: (Samoa Independence) Samoa pardons 35 prisoners in celebration of the 50th anniversary of its independence from New Zealand.

July 19: (Child Left Behind Policy) Thiry-three following states have received No Child Left Behind waiver. This waiver essentially provides states with the flexibility regarding specific requirements of this law, while allowing them to implement their own state developed plans to improve education.

July 20: (Twelve Killed in Colorado Theater Shooting) During a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, a gunman fires on the crowded theater in a Denver suburb. Twelve people were killed and 58 others were wounded.

July 27-August 12: (Summer Olympics) London, England hosted the Games of the XXX Olympiad under the responsibility of the British Olympic Association. The city is the only one in England to have ever hosted the Olympics, and Great Britain is the country that has hosted the Olympics the second greatest amount of times, after the United States.

August 6: (Curiosity on Mars) The Mars Science Laboratory successfully landed the rover, Curiosity, on Mars. The rover studies Mars’ geology and climate, preparing data for a manned mission to the red planet. Curiosity was estimated to cost $2.5 billion.

August 29 – September 9: (Summer Paralympics) London hosted the fourteenth Paralympics, the largest ever with around 4,200 athletes competing. The name actually derives from the Greek prefix “para-,” meaning “alongside” because it is parallel to the Olympics; it has nothing to do with paraplegia or paralysis.

September 21: (Endeavour Lands in California) After a three decade career in space, the space shuttle Endeavour flew from Florida to Edwards Air Force in California. It landed in LAX, bringing an end NASA’s space shuttle program.

October 29: (Superstorm Sandy Hits Staten Island) Just south of Atlantic City, New Jersey, with winds up to 90 mph, Sandy arrived at the United States. The next day, millions reported to have no electricity and water levels continue to rise. In the U.S, 125 people were killed and more than 72,000 homes and buildings were destroyed, which totaled $62 billion in damage.

November 6: (Barack Obama Re-elected President) Having received 332 Electoral College votes and 50.3% of the popular vote, President Barack Obama won the 2012 election.

November 7: (Prop 30 Passed) Prop 30, the tax measure for educational funding passed. Universities most impacted by this proposition include the California State Universities. Because the measure passed, 23 CSU campuses have received money by the end of November.

December 7: (Same Sex Marriage Cases Brought to Court) Two Same-Sex Marriage Cases Are Brought To The U.S. Supreme Court.
One from New York argues that the federal law requires U.S. government to deny all benefits to lesbian and gay couples. The second case is from California and would ultimately decide the constitutional right of same-sex marriage. Decisions on both cases are expected in June 2013.

December 14: (Sandy Hook Massacre) A man opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School, located in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty- eight people were killed, including the murderer, Adam Lanza and his mother Nancy Lanza. Twenty of the victims include students who attended the elementary school.

December 21: (Presumed End of the World) The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar completed a cycle of 13 periods of 144,000 days each, which many people believed to mark the end of the world. However, NASA scientists assured people that claims involving the Mayan calendar, planetary alignment and collisions with celestial bodies are all implausible in the near future. They proved to be correct when the world in fact did not end and continued to exist in relative stability.

By: Staffwriter Sarah Takhar, Copy Editor Caroline Ren, Features Editor Cynthia Luong, Features Editor Dalla Wong

Sources: Ed.Gov, Huffington Post, NY Times, The Atlantic, CNN, The People History, BBC, Infoplease, News.Yahoo, Research Maniacs, Holiday Smart, The Diamond Jubilee, Wikipedia, CBC, London 2012