The 20 Most Important Events in the U.S. in 2017

Cole Bruhnke, Editor in Chief

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       2017 was a year full of important events that changed America for better or worse. Here’s a look at the 20 most meaningful or influential events of last year.

#20: Man is Dragged off of United Airlines Flight After Refusing to Give Up his Seat

 

This story may seem unimportant, but it received loads of news coverage. Many people were very surprised by this event, especially those that fly with United Airlines.

 

#19: Total Solar Eclipse Crosses United States

The Moon passed between the Sun and the Earth on August 21, creating darkness for a couple moments in 14 states. Millions of people across the country took a break from their work to see this amazing phenomenon.

 

#18: Net Neutrality is Repealed

Related imageNet Neutrality means that Internet Service Providers can’t be biased towards certain sources of apps and other content. This prevents companies like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile from limiting what you are able to access on the internet. This law was repealed in December by Congress.

 

#17: President Trump Tweets About Transgender Troops in the Military Sparking a Debate

The President tweeted: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.” Debates were sparked about whether Transgender troops should exist as well as what to do about the inequality Transgender people face.

 

#16: The Effort to Repeal ObamaCare in Congress

President Trump ran on the campaign promise to “Repeal and Replace ObamaCare”. Congress tried and failed several times to do so, but was able to eliminate a part of it called the “Individual Mandate”. It was basically a requirement to get health insurance.

 

#15: Players Protest Police Brutality in the NFL

A movement was started in the National Football League by 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick to stop police brutality. He sat down on the bench during the national anthem, and continued to kneel in later games. This sparked a debate regarding whether he was disrespecting the flag, our country, and veterans by doing so. It was also a matter of free speech and having the right to protest.

 

#14: Congress Considers DACA,  Holding Many Americans’ Lives in the Balance

Nearly 800,000 citizens in America are “dreamers”. They are people who were brought to the U.S. as children. The DREAM Act was passed to help dreamers become citizens and DACA helps dreamers get a work permit and be safe from deportation. These laws were being considered for change or repeal in Congress but ultimately were not.

 

#13: A Gunman Open Fires on a Crowd in Las Vegas

On October 1, Stephen Paddock killed 58 and injured 851 people who were observing a concert on the Las Vegas strip in Nevada. He did so with a semiautomatic weapon from a hotel room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel. This event shook the nation and contributed to the movement to illegalize these weapons.

 

#12: Protests Turn into Riots, Fights, and Death in Charlottesville, Virginia

Hundreds of white supremacists, neo-nazis, and KKK members had organized a protest of the removal of the statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Counter Protesters also showed up and were taunted by the white supremacists with racist remarks and gestures. Suddenly, the two groups were fighting and a car rammed into the group, killing one person. After this event, the nation had to decide whether to keep these confederate statues. Some argued they represented racism. Others said they were part of history or that they belong a museum.

 

#11: Intelligence Concludes Russia Interfered in the United States Election

There was talk and evidence that this had happened, but the intelligence community finally came flat out with the same conclusion. Russia had tried to help our current president, then candidate Donald Trump win the election through social media.

 

#10: President Trump Nominates New Supreme Court Justice

Before Donald Trump was named President Elect, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. The newly elected president would nominate the next justice. Whichever political party, Republican or Democrat, the justice was would make a majority in the Supreme Court. President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch who was approved. Now there are 5 Republican justices and 4 Democrats.

 

#9: President Trump Tries to Ban Travelers from 7 Muslim Countries

Our President said he wanted to take action on terrorism and this was his solution. It also banned people from Syria from coming to the U.S. as well as any other refugees Some said this wasn’t constitutional, and several judges believed so. New versions were drafted and are still being debated.

 

#8: The Investigation into Facebook and the 2016 Election

Russia used Facebook to influence voters by way of adds. Facebook was also gathering data about people’s personality and preferences. Other companies used this information to know how to get people to vote for President Trump. An investigation is still happening into this matter.

 

#7: An Opioid Epidemic is Sweeping America

More and more Americans are getting addicted to Opioids and it’s ruining people’s lives. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.” President Trump declared it “a public health emergency” and vows to act on it. This story is not over yet.

 

#6: Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma Batter the United States

According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “The season produced 17 named storms of which 10 became hurricanes including six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5) – including the first two major hurricanes to hit the continental U.S. in 12 years.” Harvey hit Texas, Irma hit Florida, and Maria hit islands in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. Unfortunately as these islands aren’t connected to the mainland, they were probably affected most.

 

#5: #MeToo and the Women’s March Come to Life

A movement to stop sexual harassment through the hashtag MeToo has become very popular. It has also encouraged women to speak up about past instances. Famous men such as Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby have been exposed and will face the consequences. A major Women’s March took place across the country right after President Trump took office to raise awareness of these things, protest what the President has said and done, and advocate for women’s rights.

 

#4: A Special Prosecutor Investigates Whether the Trump Campaign Colluded With Russia

It has come out that several meetings occurred between Trump Campaign members and Russians linked to the Kremlin (the Russian government). Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor, has been hired to investigate collusion as well as other offenses possibly committed by the president or his campaign.

 

#3: The United States Economy Breaks Records and is Still on the Rise

The economy grew over 3% over 2017, the best growth in 3 years. The unemployment rate in also super low, only 4.1%, which is the lowest it has been since 2000. If this continues, it could change life for the majority of Americans for the better.

 

#2: Tensions Rise with North Korea

In 2017, relations with North Korea weren’t so good. North Korea was threatening the United States with their nuclear arsenal and missile tests. President Trump said he would bring “Fire and Fury” if North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un acted and took to calling him “Little Rocket Man”. Thankfully, those tensions seem to be cooling. This story was important because, well, nuclear war.

 

#1: A New President is Sworn into Office

Possibly one of the most controversial presidents in American history, Donald J. Trump, won the electoral college in 2016. On January 20, 2017, he was sworn into the office of president on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Will his presidency mean a rise in the economy, a U.S./Mexico border wall, less taxes, Nuclear war, destruction of Healthcare or DACA? We shall see.

 

Note: Please comment your top 10 lists if you disagree in the comment section below. We always want to know what you think too!

Cole Bruhnke, Editor-in-chief
Cole Bruhnke is a 8th grader here at Dana Middle School. He’s been here at Dana since 6th grade. His favorite theme park is Universal Studios  even though he’s never been much of a theme park person, the thing he likes the most there is Harry Potter World. His favorite subject is life science. His...
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