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It was a year like no other. Amid the massive losses inflicted by a global pandemic, bitter political divisions and racial unrest that exploded into violence, glimmers of light shone through the darkness.
Frontline medical workers and those in other essential jobs risked their own safety to help others. Crowds of protesters took to the streets in a widespread outcry over systemic racism and injustice. And, by year's end, tens of millions of Americans cast their votes in a presidential election, mailing in ballots or heading to the polls in larger numbers than ever before in the nation’s history.
COVID-19 Changed the World Forever
On January 9, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that a cluster of mysterious pneumonia-like cases in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 might have been caused by a previously unidentified coronavirus. By the end of that month, cases of the new virus were confirmed in Thailand, Japan and the United States, among other countries, totaling 9,800 total cases and more than 200 deaths.
The respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, got its own official name in mid-February: COVID-19, or CO for corona, VI for virus and D for disease. While a high percentage of those affected suffer mild cold- or flu-like symptoms (or even no symptoms), the disease causes severe illness in others, particularly elderly patients or those with pre-existing medical conditions.
On March 11, with Italy reporting more than 12,000 cases and 800 deaths and cases rising in the United States and elsewhere, the WHO officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. President Donald Trump, who initially downplayed the virus threat in the United States, declared a national emergency on March 13, unlocking billions of dollars in federal funding to fight the disease’s spread.
By the end of that month, the United States had overtaken both China and Italy and led the world in the total number of known COVID-19 cases. Schools began closing, and many restaurants and other small businesses were forced to shut their doors for the foreseeable future. Cities and states across the country passed stay-at-home orders, even as frontline medical workers faced crippling shortages of the vital personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to mitigate transmission of the virus.
News of the pandemic’s spread triggered a global recession, and Congress passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, the largest in U.S. history. By April some 6.6 million Americans had filed for unemployment. That month, the U.S. unemployment rate reached 14.7 percent, the highest since the Great Depression.
While social distancing, mask-wearing and other measures helped to lower the virus toll in some parts of the country by summer, rising case rates forced Texas, Florida, California and other states to postpone or halt reopening plans. By the fall, several world leaders had contracted COVID-19, including President Trump, who announced in early October that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive, along with numerous White House staffers.
Through it all, the death toll mounted: Though Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned in March that the United States could see between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths, the actual number by year’s end would reach more than 300,000. Worldwide, more than 1.6 million people died from COVID-19 in 2020, with total confirmed cases topping 70 million.
Hope surfaced in November, when several drugmakers announced they had developed and tested vaccines that were over 90 percent effective. After the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization, the first health care workers received vaccine doses by mid-December. Residents of U.S. nursing homes, who suffered a large share of the deaths from the virus, were also prioritized, while the majority of Americans were not expected to receive the vaccine until spring 2021 or later.
Politics and World Events
A U.S. drone strike killed a major Iranian general: The U.S. drone strike at Baghdad International Airport in early January killed the powerful General Qasem Soleimani, thought to be the second most powerful person in Iran after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In response, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq, injuring U.S. service members, and mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger airplane taking off from Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard.
Negotiations over Brexit continued: The United Kingdom formally withdrew from the European Union in January, beginning a period of transition as the two sides negotiated the terms of their new relationship. At year’s end, relations remained tense, and negotiations continued in an effort to avoid a no-deal result by December 31, the official end of the transition.
The Senate acquitted President Donald Trump of impeachment charges: Trump became only the third U.S. president in history to have been impeached by the House of Representatives and tried in the Senate, which voted to acquit him in February. The two impeachment charges, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, stemmed from Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate the son of Vice President Joe Biden, then one of a number of candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The United States made moves to leave Afghanistan: In February, officials of the Trump administration and leaders of the Muslim fundamentalist group the Taliban reached an agreement marking the first step in ending the more than 18-year-long war in Afghanistan. Under the deal, all U.S. forces will be withdrawn by May 2021, provided the Taliban meets certain conditions, including negotiating peace with the Afghan government. In November, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the withdrawal of 2,500 troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by mid-January 2021, a decision criticized by many at home and abroad due to increasing violence during the ongoing Afghan-Taliban negotiations.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died: News of Ginsburg’s death from complications of pancreatic cancer at the age of 87 devastated many Americans who saw her as a liberal icon and champion of women’s rights. It also sparked a partisan battle over President Trump’s nomination of her successor, Amy Coney Barrett, who was confirmed despite bitter Democratic opposition just days before the 2020 presidential election.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won a historic election: After emerging from a crowded primary field, Vice President Joe Biden clinched the Democratic nomination and chose Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, making her the first African American, first Asian American and third female vice presidential candidate in U.S. In November, Biden and Harris defeated the incumbent President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in an election that saw record numbers of people voting early and by mail. Both candidates received more votes than any other U.S. presidential candidate in history, with Trump receiving more than 74 million votes and Biden more than 81 million.
Race and Social Justice
George Floyd’s death sparked global protests: On May 25, George Floyd was arrested by police in Minneapolis for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. Video footage showed one of the officers kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he was pinned on the ground, saying over and over that he couldn’t breathe. In the weeks that followed, outrage over Floyd’s murder and support for the Black Lives Matter movement fueled mass protests against systemic racism and police violence in more than 2,000 U.S. cities and 60 countries around the globe. By early June, some 62,000 National Guard troops had been deployed in 30 states, and more than 4,400 people had been arrested in connection with the protests. Later in the summer, protests were renewed in many cities after a police officer shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, paralyzing him from the waist down, and a grand jury returned no charges against officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, earlier in the year.
Americans reckoned with the nation’s racist history: Amid the widespread protests over racial injustice sparked by Floyd’s death, many white Americans paid new attention to Juneteenth—the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865—as well as the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. This year, Oklahoma schools announced they would finally begin teaching the massacre in schools, after years of leaving it unmentioned. In more evidence of changing attitudes, city officials removed monuments celebrating Confederate leaders in Richmond, Virginia, Charleston, South Carolina, Nashville, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Florida and elsewhere, after many of them became a focus of protests.
Civil rights icon John Lewis died in July: Long before representing Georgia’s 5th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 30 years, Lewis served on the front lines of the civil rights movement. In March 1965, he led the historic march on Selma, Alabama, calling for Black voting rights in the Jim Crow South, and was badly beaten by state troopers in a televised outbreak of violence that outraged the world. Diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in late 2019, he lived long enough to celebrate the 2020 protests as the kind of “good trouble” that he had made his life’s work.
Culture and Sports
Harry and Meghan said goodbye to royal life: Royal watchers were stunned by the announcement in January that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were stepping down from their position as senior royals. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex later traded Britain for the United States, settling in Southern California with their young son, Archie.
A helicopter crash killed Kobe Bryant and eight others: On January 26 came the shocking news that the NBA star Kobe Bryant, along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven other people, had been killed in a helicopter crash due to foggy conditions in Calabasas, California.
Korean-language film 'Parasite' won a historic Oscar: The Korean director Bong Joon Ho’s film “Parasite” made history on Oscar night, becoming the first non-English-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. “Parasite,” a dark comedy dealing with class conflict, also took home the awards for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film.
Harvey Weinstein convicted: In February, the former Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein was convicted of a criminal sexual act and rape in the third degree and a criminal sexual act. The guilty verdict, and his later sentencing to 23 years in prison, marked the end of a decades’-long tide of allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein by dozens of women, the revelation of which sparked the global #MeToo movement.
COVID-19 shut down the Summer Olympics and other sporting events: The Summer Olympics, scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan, were rescheduled to July-August 2021, forcing thousands of athletes around the world to put their dreams on hold for another year. The grass-court tennis championships at Wimbledon, England, were canceled for the first time since World War II. Though several U.S. pro sports leagues, including the NBA, WNBA and NHL, were able to operate successfully by creating “bubbles” and observing strict quarantine and social distancing measures, others saw many games postponed or canceled as players tested positive for COVID-19.
RIP Chadwick Boseman, Eddie Van Halen, Sean Connery and others: In August came the sad news that the actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for portraying Jackie Robinson in “42” and the titular Marvel superhero in “Black Panther,” had died at age 43 from colon cancer. Among the other notable celebrities who died in 2020 were music greats Little Richard and Eddie Van Halen, screen legends Olivia de Havilland and Sean Connery, “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek and Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona.
Science and Technology
Brushfires devastated Australia: The year began with news of the devastating brushfires in Australia raging since December 2019. By the time they were put out in February, the fires had burned some 46 million acres of land, killed 34 people and killed or displaced nearly 3 billion animals.
Antarctica saw its highest temperature on record: In February, the coldest continent on Earth recorded a record-high temperature of 64.9 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists said the high temperature was in keeping with the overall global warming trend in recent years, and could affect parts of the massive Antarctic ice sheet, which contains some 90 percent of the world’s fresh water.
Wildfires burned more than 8.2 million acres in American West: Beginning in mid-August, a series of major wildfires—fueled by gusty winds, drought, heat waves, lightning storms and other markers of a changing climate—spread over many millions of acres of land west of the Rocky Mountains. California and Colorado both saw record-setting fires in terms of acres burned this year. In Oregon, more than 900,000 acres (an area larger than the state of Rhode Island) burned in just 72 hours in September, compared with the state’s 10-year wildfire season average of 500,000 acres.
The United States officially left the Paris Climate Agreement: After a mandatory year-long waiting period, the United States formally exited the landmark accord signed in Paris in 2015. Under the leadership of President Trump, whose administration rolled back many efforts aimed at mitigating climate change, the United States became the only one of nearly 200 countries to renounce its promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Federal and state governments attempted to rein in tech giants: The year saw a series of groundbreaking antitrust lawsuits aimed at powerful Silicon Valley companies that have grown to mammoth proportions over little more than a decade. Most notably, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a long-anticipated lawsuit against Google, owned by Alphabet, Inc., in October, alleging that the company illegally protects its monopoly over online search. In December, Texas and nine other states filed another massive suit attacking Google’s online advertising practices, while dozens of states and the federal government targeted Facebook, accusing the social media behemoth of illegally buying up its competitors to form a monopoly.
SpaceX began a new era of spaceflight: For all those searching for a new planet to call home, the year brought at least a bit of good news. SpaceX, the company founded by billionaire Elon Musk to fulfill his dream of colonizing Mars, launched NASA astronauts into orbit for the first time since the U.S. government retired the space shuttle program in 2011. SpaceX regularly transports cargo to the International Space Station, and in 2020 became the first private enterprise ever to launch astronauts there.
Berkeley Lovelace Jr., “WHO names the new coronavirus COVID-19.” CNBC, February 11, 2020.
Cecilia Smith-Schoenwalder, “WHO Estimates Coronavirus Has Infected 10% of Global Population. U.S. News, October 5, 2020.
Timeline of COVID-19 Developments in 2020. AJMC, November 25, 2020.
Donald G. McNeil Jr., “The U.S. Now Leads the World in Confirmed Coronavirus Cases.” New York Times, March 26, 2020.
“Unemployment rate rises to record high 14.7 percent in April 2020.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 13, 2020.
Philip Ewing, “'Not Guilty': Trump Acquitted On 2 Articles Of Impeachment As Historic Trial Closes.” NPR, February 5, 2020.
“US troops in Afghanistan: Allies and Republicans alarmed at withdrawal plan.” BBC News, November 18, 2020.
Sophie Lewis, “Joe Biden breaks Obama's record for most votes ever cast for a U.S. presidential candidate.” CBS News, December 7, 2020.
Alexandra Sternlicht, “Over 4,400 Arrests, 62,000 National Guard Troops Deployed: George Floyd Protests By The Numbers.” Forbes, June 2, 2020.
Christina Maxouris, “The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre will soon be a part of the curriculum for Oklahoma schools.” CNN, February 20, 2020.
Alisha Ebrahimji, Artemis Moshtaghian and Lauren M. Johnson, “Confederate statues are coming down following George Floyd's death. Here's what we know.” CNN, June 9, 2020.
Katharine Q. Seelye, “John Lewis, Towering Figure of Civil Rights Era, Dies at 80.” New York Times, July 17, 2020.
Colin Dwyer, “Harvey Weinstein Sentenced To 23 Years In Prison For Rape And Sexual Abuse.” NPR, March 11, 2020.
Kate Baggaley, “The NBA bubble was a one-of-a-kind COVID-19 success story.” Popular Science, October 15, 2020.
Jack Guy, “Nearly three billion animals killed or displaced by Australia's fires.” CNN, July 28, 2020.
Derrick Bryson Taylor, “Antarctica Sets Record High Temperature: 64.9 Degrees.” New York Times, February 8, 2020.
Diana Leonard and Andrew Freedman, “Western wildfires: An ‘unprecedented,’ climate change-fueled event, experts say.” Washington Post, September 11, 2020.
“Record-Setting Fires in Colorado and California.” NASA Earth Observatory, October 16, 2020.
Rebecca Hersher, “U.S. Officially Leaving Paris Climate Agreement.” NPR, November 3, 2020.
Cecilia Kang and Mike Isaac, “U.S. and States Say Facebook Illegally Crushed Competition.” New York Times, December 9, 2020.
Bobby Allyn, Shannon Bond and Ryan Lucas, “Google Abuses Its Monopoly Power Over Search, Justice Department Says In Lawsuit.” NPR, October 10, 2020.
Kenneth Chang, “SpaceX Lifts NASA Astronauts to Orbit, Launching New Era of Spaceflight.” New York Times, May 30, 2020.
How a History Textbook Would Describe 2020 So Far
A historian imagines the chapter high schoolers might read one day about this momentous time.
History never ends. But history textbooks must. As deadlines for new editions loom, every textbook writer lurches to a sudden stop. The last chapter always ends in uncertainty: unfinished and unresolved. I’ve experienced this many times myself, as a co-author on several history textbooks.
By now it seems clear that we are all living through a major turning point in history, one that will be studied for years to come. Future textbook authors will write entries on the year 2020, revise them, and revise them some more with each new edition. What follows is an attempt at—literally—a first draft of history: what I might write if I were wrapping up the last chapter of a high-school history textbook right now.
Record number of billion-dollar disasters struck U.S. in 2020
It was an extraordinary year for weather and climate events in the U.S.: The nation endured an unprecedented 22 billion-dollar disasters in 2020.
A record number of named tropical storms formed in the Atlantic, with a record 12 making landfall. The nation also had its most active wildfire year on record due to very dry conditions in the West and unusually warm temperatures that gripped much of the country.
Here&rsquos a recap of the climate and extreme weather events across the U.S.in 2020, according to scientists at NOAA&rsquos National Centers for Environmental Information.
Climate by the numbers
Billion-dollar disasters in 2020
Last year, the U.S. experienced a record-smashing 22 weather and climate disasters that killed at least 262 people and injured scores more:
1 wildfire event (Western wildfires focused across California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington)
1 drought and heatwave event (summer/fall across Western and Central U.S.)
3 tornado outbreaks (including the Nashville tornado and Easter outbreak)
7 tropical cyclones (Hanna, Isaias, Laura, Sally, Delta, Zeta and Eta) and
10 severe weather events (including the Midwest derecho and Texas hail storms)
Damages from these disasters exceeded $1 billion each and totaled approximately $95 billion for all 22 events.
The seven billion-dollar tropical cyclones were the most in one year since NOAA started keeping track of billion-dollar disasters in 1980. The extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season produced an unprecedented 30 named storms, with 12 making landfall in the continental U.S. The combined cost of the seven tropical systems was approximately $40.1 billion, more than 42% of the total U.S. billion-dollar disaster price tag in 2020.
Last year was also the most active wildfire year on record across the West. The three largest wildfires in Colorado history occurred during 2020, with California recording five of the six largest wildfires in its history. Across the U.S., wildfires burned nearly 10.3 million acres during 2020, exceeding the 2000-2010 average by 51%. This was the largest acreage consumed in the U.S. since at least 2000.
Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 285 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters that have exceeded $1.875 trillion in total damages to date.
The average temperature across the contiguous U.S. in 2020 was 54.4 degrees F (2.4 degrees above the 20th century average), making 2020 the fifth warmest year on record. All five-warmest years in the U.S. have occurred since 2012, according to NOAA scientists from NOAA&rsquos National Centers for Environmental Information.
Ten states across the Southwest, Southeast and East Coast had their second-warmest year on record. There were no areas of below-average annual temperatures observed across the Lower 48 states during 2020. In Alaska, despite temperatures running 1.5 degrees F above the long-term average, the state saw its coldest year since 2012.
Precipitation across the contiguous U.S. totaled 30.28 inches (0.34 of an inch above average), which placed 2020 in the middle third of the 126-year climate record.
Nevada and Utah ranked driest on record, with Arizona and Colorado ranking second driest. On the flip side, North Carolina recorded its second-wettest year, with Virginia seeing its third wettest.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 2020 ended with extreme and exceptional drought conditions enveloping about 22% of the contiguous U.S. &mdash the largest expanse since August 2012.
More > Find NOAA&rsquos climate reports and download the images from the NCEI climate monitoring website.
The potential for greenwash is a problem with which Earth Day organisers have long grappled
“The first Earth Day was unrepeatable. It was unprecedented,” says Adam Rome, a historian of the environmental movement at the University at Buffalo and the author of the book The Genius of Earth Day. Back then, the organisers were focused on a radical transformation of society, he says, but that attitude shifted around the 1990s. “In most places, in most years, it’s either been kind of a trade show, where you can see the latest green goods or, for kids, it’s a day to plant trees or collect litter. Earth Day itself is not nearly as much about collective action to deal with huge problems as it was in 1970.”
The potential for greenwash is a problem with which Earth Day organisers have long grappled. While the movement is spearheaded by the Earth Day Network, companies and brands regularly use the annual celebration as a way to promote their “green” products and services. “I worry about it, but we’re incredibly activist about trying to tamp it down. That’s our behind-the-scenes game every single year,” says Kathleen Rogers, a former lawyer who now leads the Earth Day Network. “But they keep trying to do it. That’s just the name of the game.”
Earth Day has adapted to its surroundings in many countries, from dolphin-themed activities in Hawaii to thorough beach-cleans in Mumbai (Credit: Getty Images)
Nelson, who died in 2005, adopted a pragmatic attitude towards any corporate co-opting of the Earth Day brand. He recognised that all the world’s problems cannot be resolved by a celebration that takes place once a year, and that there was a need to engage with business and industry. “Whether a corporation wants to appear green for public recognition, or for perfectly honest reasons, it doesn’t matter. The fact is, we’re gaining,” he wrote in Beyond Earth Day.
BLM Protests Enter 100th Night
On September 6, at least 50 demonstrators were arrested in Portland, as the city entered its 100th consecutive night of protests. The protests began after the death of George Floyd. Police stated the arrests were made after multiple fire bombs were thrown in the crowd, setting a community member on fire. (CNN)
Photo Source: AP Photo/Andrew Selsky
On July 28, 1866, the Thirty-Ninth Congress passed the Act to increase and fix the Military Peace Establishment of the United States thus the federal government created six all-Colored Army Regiments. The units identified as the 9th and 10th Colored Cavalry Regiments and the 38th, &hellip Read More Formation of the Buffalo Soldiers, 1866
The Tampa Bay Race Riot was one of dozens of race riots that occurred in U.S. cities during the spring and summer of 1967. The riot took place between June 11 and June 14, 1967 after nineteen-year-old Martin Chambers who was a suspect in the &hellip Read More Tampa Bay Race Riot (1967)
Asia's Fascinating Cultural History
Great leaders and wars, earthquakes and typhoons—these things are interesting, but what about the lives of everyday people in Asian history?
The cultures of the Asian countries are varied and fascinating. You can dive as deep as you like into it, but a few pieces are particularly notable.
Among these are mysteries like China's Terracotta Army of Xian and, of course, the Great Wall. While Asian dress is always fanciful, the styles and hair of Japanese women throughout the ages are of particular interest.
Similarly, the fashion, societal norms, and ways of life of the Korean people lead to much intrigue. Many of the first photographs of the country tell the country's story with great detail.
2020 Events - HISTORY
'Little Sister' to Join Statue of Liberty in N.Y. Harbor
June 22, 2021
Lady Liberty is getting a smaller sibling. France has sent a smaller replica of the Statue of Liberty to the U.S. The two will face each other for July 4. Petite Soeur ("Little Sister"), as it is known, is a one-sixteenth size replica of the famous steel and cooper statue that France sent as a gift to the U.S. in the late 19th Century.
2 Claim Prime Ministership in Samoan Constitutional Crisis
May 24, 2021
Questions of uncertainty and legitimacy surround the Samoan government, as two lawmakers are claiming to be the country's parliamentary leader. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, leader of the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), has been the prime minister since 1998. The Supreme Court recently ruled on the results of recent elections, giving a majority to Fiame Naomi Mata'afa and her Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party. Tuilaepa and his HRPP allies refused to let Fiame and her FAST allies into the parliament building, and Fiame had herself sworn in during a ceremony under a tent outside.
UofC Shows ACT, SAT the Door
May 16, 2021
It's no more ACT or SAT worry in the Golden State. The University of California, one of the largest higher education systems in the U.S., has discontinued the practice of taking into account results on the two largest collegiate entrance examinations when considering whether to accept students requesting admission. The exams, particularly the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), have come under fire in recent years from critics who have charged that the exams disadvantage students who are nonwhite and/or have disabilities. A coalition of advocacy groups and the Compton Unified School District in 2019 filed a lawsuit along those lines. The announcement by the University of California was part of the settlement of that lawsuit. That settlement requires all 10 schools in the UofC system to ignore American College Test (ACT) and/or SAT scores if they do accompany admissions requests and to not require such scores if a student does not supply them. The timeline for such action is autumn of 2021 and spring of 2025. The UofC system had already agreed to phase out the requirement of such test scores and, indeed, had made the taking of those tests optional for applicants beginning in 2020. The lawsuit targeted the acceptance of such test scores at all.
Medieval Chapel Restoration Includes Masked Stone Figure
May 10, 2021
The now-completed restoration of a century-old chapel shrine includes an update: a masked stone figure. The Shrine of St. Amphibalus is at St. Albans Cathedral, in Hertfordshire, England. The cathedral itself dates to Norman times and is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in the U.K. A combination of public and private money (including a contribution from the Lottery Heritage Fund) financed the restoration, which begin in 2019 but was halted for several months by the COVID-19 pandemic. Resumption of the restoration work included the addition of a stone figure wearing a face mask.
Poet Angelou, Astronaut Ride 1st U.S. Women on Quarter Coins
May 10, 2021
Italian Construction Unearths Marble Head of Augustus
May 6, 2021
Archaeologists in Italy have discovered a marble head of Augustus dated to the time when the first emperor was ruling Rome. While working to repair a medieval wall in the Molise town of Isernia, archaeologist Francesco Giancola found the 14-inch-tall head, which was likely part of a large statue depicting the young Octavian, who became Augustus. Archaeologists have discovered dozens of busts and statues of the famous Augustus through the years. Giancola and others on the team matched their discovery's face and hairstyle to others known depictions of Augustus to make their conclusion.
Farmer Moves Stone, Changing Belgium-France Border
May 4, 2021
The stone had divided Belgium from France for more than 200 years then, it was gone. Actually, it had been moved. The stone, with the date 1819 carved into it, was part of the Franco-Belgian border established in 1820. A Belgian farmer found the stone to be in the way of his tractor and moved the stone, and with it, the boundary between the two countries.
1,200-year-old Mayan Children's Hand Prints Found in Cave
May 4, 2021
An archaeologist has found on a Mexican cave wall dozens of 1,200-year-old hand prints, many made by children. The archaeologist, Sergio Grosjean, announced the discovery of 137 prints, in red and black, in a cave in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula. Grosjean said that the children would made the wall prints as part of a coming-of-age ceremony. The date when the prints were made corresponds to the waning days of the Mayan settlements in Central America. Scientists also found in the cave carvings and sculptures from the same time period, 800.
Colosseum Refit to Restore Center Stage
May 1, 2021
Restoration is coming to the Colosseum. The most popular of landmarks in Rome (with an estimated 7.6 million visitors in 2019, the last pre-COVID-19 year), the Colosseum had, for many years, a showcase floor that covered underground chambers inhabited by gladiators and opponents waiting for their time in the arena. Archaeologists in the 19th Century removed that floor in order to excavate beneath it. Visitors today can stand nearly anywhere in the giant amphitheater and see the remains of those underground chambers. Roman officials, however, wanted a floor again and so launched a competition, which Italian engineering consulting company Milan Ingegneria won, and the result, after an expected price tag of 15 million euros (US$18 million), is planned to be a high-tech retractable floor.
Archaeologists Find First-ever Pregnant Mummy
May 1, 2021
In a first, archaeologists have found a pregnant mummy from Ancient Egypt. The remains are one of 40 at the National Museum of Poland, in Warsaw. The museum launched a large-scale of the mummies in 2015. While double-checking the pelvis area of the mummy in focus, scientists found an anomaly that they, after further testing, concluded was the leg of a fetus. Even more testing confirmed that the fetus was from 26 to 30 weeks old and that the mother had been from 20 to 30 years old when she died, in the 1st Century B.C.
Census changes House representation for 13 states
April 27, 2021
As a result of the latest U.S. Census, six states will gain and seven states will lose seats in the House of Representatives. The House has 435 seats, all of which are apportioned among the 50 states based on population. The higher a state's population, the higher the percentage of seats in the House that state gets. Texas will gain two seats. Gaining one seat will be Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon. Losing one seat will be California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. (California lost a seat for the first time since it became a state, in 1850.) The initial results were for state-level apportionment only. Census officials said that they would release full data in September.
Archaeologists Find Cabin Lived in by Harriet Tubman
April 21, 2021
Archaeologists are confident that they have found a cabin once lived in by famed Underground Railroad 'conductor' Harriet Tubman. Tubman, once a slave herself, helped hundreds of others escape the bonds of slavery by traveling along the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses and protected passages designed to shepherd African-Americans from slavery in the South to safe havens in the North. Tubman learned many outdoor skills from her father while living in a cabin in the woods. She would have used those skills to help her charges travel on the Underground Railroad to freedom in the 1850s and 1860s. Now archaeologists say they have found that long-lost cabin.
Softball Pitcher Records Perfect Game, All on Strikeouts
April 12, 2021
Hope Trautwein made history by striking out every batter she faced, the entire game. Trautwein, who plays softball for the University of North Texas, pitched a complete seven-inning game against the University of Arkansas–Pine Bluff and struck out all 21 batters, without allowing a hit or a walk and her team made no errors. It was the first time in NCAA Division I history that a softball pitcher had achieved such a feat. Her team won the game, 3.
Archaeologists Find 3,400-year-old 'Lost City' in Egypt
April 12, 2021
Egypt has announced the discovery of what officials say is the largest ancient city ever found in the country. The 3,400-year-old city, termed the "The Rise of Aten," dates to the reign of Amenhotep III. Well-known archaeologist and former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass said that the city is near Luxor and the famed Valley of the Kings, the final resting place of so many of Egypt's pharaohs.
Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died. He was 99. Philip, whose title was the Duke of Edinburgh, had in the past few years suffered through a handful of illnesses, some of which resulted in his being hospitalized. He was in the hospital in February of this year, undergoing treatment for a pre-existing heart condition. He died peacefully at Windsor Castle, on April 10. He and his wife had been married for 73 years.
4,000-year-old Burial Slab a 3D Map: Archaeologists
April 8, 2021
A Bronze Age slab hidden away for decades is one of the world's oldest 3D maps, scientists say. The 5-foot-by-6.5-foot rock first came to light in 1900, during excavations of a 4,000-year-old burial ground in western Brittany, in the Finist#&233re area, in northwest France. In recent years, a team of scientists have studied the slab in cutting-edge detail, using photogrammetry and taking high-resolution 3D scans in order to glean as much of the original details as possible.
22 Mummies Go on Parade in Move to New Museum
April 5, 2021
Nearly two dozen royal mummies moved to a new home in the Egyptian capital. Egyptian officials moved 22 royal mummies from one Cairo museum to another, from the Egyptian Museum to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. Transportation was via specially designed vehicles that looked like winged boats, echoing the method by which the remains of the pharaohs of old made their way to their final resting place after being excavated in the 19th Century. Officials placed the mummies in climate-controlled cases for the Pharaohs' Golden Parade, which was televised. Marching soldiers accompanied manned horse-drawn chariots in providing tight security for the parade.
2020 Events - HISTORY
The Feel-Good Guide to Sports, Travel, Shopping & Entertainment
Fun Facts About Leap Year
When is the next leap year? 2020.
A leap year is any year with 366 days instead of the usual 365 days. Therefore, leap day in 2020 will fall on Saturday, February 29th.
It was the ancient Egyptians who first figured out that the solar year and the calendar year didn't always match up.
That's because it actually takes the Earth a little longer than a year to travel around the Sun 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be exact.
Therefore, as hours accumulated over the centures, an extra day was occasionally added to the calendar, and over time the practice became more or less official.
The Romans first designated February 29 as leap day, but a more precise formula (still in use today) was adopted in the 16th century when the Gregorian calendar fine-tuned the calculations to include a leap day in years only divisible by four - 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, etc.
Thankfully, all this intricate plotting will continue to keep us in tune with the seasons over the next several thousand years.
Leap Day Delivery
Free donuts to hospital staff
who deliver 2020 leap day babies.
In 2020, leap year lines happens to perfectly line up the major holidays so that Valentines Day lands on date night Friday and Cinco de Mayo lands on (Taco) Tuesday.
Christmas 2020 and New Year's Day 2021 are also on a Friday, meaning a leisurely 3-day weekend to kick off both holidays!
Meanwhile, watch for February 29th to suddenly appear on the radar of marketers who are known to jump on the bandwagon by offering Leap Day sales and specials.
For example, Krispy Kreme is introducing delivery service on leap day 2020. To mark the occasion, the chain is delivering free donuts to dozens of hospitals to celebrate the medical staff and all the babies born February 29. At Denny's, there's an offer for a free Grand Slam at all locations nationwide to anyone born on February 29 &mdash all you have to do is show your ID to redeem it that day.
If you've got the early spring travel bug, you can book a room at Great Wolf Lodge on February 29 for $29 per person with code LEAPYEAR. The offer is good for Family Suites bookings between April 13 and May 21, 2020 with a minimum of two guests per room.
Shop at Bare Necessities on Leap Day 2020 and get 29% off thousands of styles plus free 2-day shipping on orders over $70. Reebok is also offering $29.99 Leap Year specials with code LEAP when you visit the site on February 29.
Like lobster? Legal Sea Foods is offering two one-pound steamed lobsters and a choice of two sides for $29 (except airport locations) on February 29.
Leap Day babies: Antonio
Sabato Jr. and rapper Ja Rule.
Anyone born on a leap day is known as a "leapling".
According to astrologers, you were born under the sign of Pisces on February 29. Owing to the unique day on which you arrived into the world, like other leap day babies you are more apt to go your own way and exhibit an independent streak and optimistic spirit.
While they have to wait every four years to "officially" observe their birthdays, leap year babies typically choose either February 28 or March 1 to celebrate in years that aren't leap years.
Some famous people born on February 29
Born 1976 - Ja Rule, rapper
Born 1972 - Anthonio Sabato Jr., model & actor
Born 1916 - Dinah Shore, singer
Born 1904 - Jimmy Dorsey, bandleader.
Born 1792 - Gioacchino Rossini, Italian opera composer
Leap Day traditions - no man is safe!
While leap day helped official timekeepers, it also resulted in social customs turned upside down when February 29 became a "no man's land" without legal jurisdiction.
As the story goes, the tradition of women romantically pursuing men in leap years began in 5th century Ireland, when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about the fair sex having to wait for men to propose. Patrick finally relented and set February 29 aside as the day set aside allowing women the right to ask for a man's hand in marriage.
The tradition continued in Scotland, when Queen Margaret declared in 1288 that on February 29 a woman had the right to pop the question to any man she fancied. Menfolk who refused were faced with a fine in the form of a kiss, a silk dress, or a pair of gloves that were given to the rejected lady fair.
A similar modern American tradition, Sadie Hawkins Day, honors "the homeliest gal in the hills" created by Al Capp in the cartoon strip Li'l Abner. In the famous story line, Sadie and every other woman in town were allowed on that day to pursue and catch the most eligible bachelors in Dogpatch. Although the comic strip placed Sadie Hawkins Day in November, today it has become almost synonymous with February 29.
A leap year poem to remember it by
Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November
All the rest have thirty-one
Save February, she alone
Hath eight days and a score
Til leap year gives her one day more.
June 1, 2020 Popular Holidays & Observances Worldwide
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