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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Year In Review

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Jasmine Ostroff
Read about the news and trends of 2023!

From concerts that raised economies to wildfires that devastated an island, 2023 was a year of record-breaking events. Off the heels of a pandemic finally coming to a close, the year was the first to be mostly free from restrictions, with the the World Health Organization (WHO) announcing that COVID-19 was no longer a global health emergency in May. It was also a momentous year for political incidents, such as when a New York grand jury voted to indict former President Donald Trump in March or when former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was removed from office in October. International conflicts made headlines, too, most recently written about the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. However, plenty of events made the world smile too: the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon took the internet by storm on July 21, and Taylor Swift launched the behemoth Eras Tour in March. If it was anything, 2023 was a year of change and event like no other.

In January, classified documents were discovered in President Joe Biden’s possession from when he served as former-President Barack Obama’s vice president. Additionally, former-Vice President Mike Pence was found to also possess classified documents at his home, eventually turning the records over the FBI. The end of the month saw the restoration of Trump’s accounts on social-media platforms Facebook and Instagram, roughly two years after being suspended in the wake of the January 6 Capitol attacks.

February began with superstar athlete Tom Brady announcing his final retirement after reversing his initial decision to do so about a year before. The following day, The Department of Defense alerted the public of a Chinese surveillance balloon flying over the continental U.S. The balloon was later shot down over the Atlantic Ocean and revealed by the Pentagon to have not collected intelligence. On Feb 6., upwards of 15,000 people died and many more were injured as a result of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria.

March blasted off with a collaborative effort between SpaceX and NASA to launch a new group of astronauts to the International Space Station, expecting a six-month stay in space. Scandal hit the South when disgraced lawyer Alex Murdaugh was convicted of the double murder of his wife and son. Additionally, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced the closing of the Silicon Valley Bank, marking it the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history. The parent company for the former bank filed for bankruptcy on Mar. 17. On the same day, Swift began The Eras Tour in Glendale, Arizona, embarking upon the highest-grossing tour of all time. Trump made history on Mar. 30 when he was the first former president to have ever faced criminal charges. Later in April, Trump surrendered and was arrested prior to pleading not guilty to 32 felony criminal charges of falsifying business records.

Hollywood stood still in the beginning of May when members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike. The strike was resolved in late September when WGA’s leaders voted to authorize its members to return to work in the wake of a tentative agreement made with Hollywood studios and streaming services on Sept. 24. “I remember [the] strike pretty vividly. I understand why these people were protesting and how they stood their ground for a long time,” expressed senior Chloe Singh. “I also know that people [who had] jobs…were affected tremendously. I remember having a talk with a guy who worked [on] TV shows and because of these strikes, he was out of a job and need[ed] to find work somewhere else. It impacted a lot of people in different ways, but I’m glad an agreement was made,” Singh added. Junior Abigail Piazza had mixed feelings about the strike: “While I had to wait for my shows to return, I always wanted fair pay for the writers and actors who do it for a living, and I tried putting myself into their shoes.” Additionally, King Charles’ coronation took place at London’s Westminster Abbey on May 6.

In June, tragedy struck the news cycle when it was discovered that a civilian submarine disappeared upon venturing down to the Titanic’s wreckage in mid-June. U.S. authorities later declared the vessel faced a “catastrophic implosion,” killing all five passengers. The Supreme Court struck down affirmative action on June 29, declaring that colleges and universities could no longer consider race as a factor for granting admission.

Following the actions of WGA, SAG-AFTRA, a union representing 160,000 Hollywood actors, went on strike on July 14. Tentative agreements were reached on Nov. 8, ending the strike. On the same day, Massapequa Park resident and architect Rex Heuermann was charged in connection with the Gilgo Beach serial killings of at least three women. In lighter news for the month, the coinciding release of the Barbie and Oppenheimer movies on July 21 prompted a cultural event, with people arriving at theaters in droves eager to watch the films as a double-feature.

Hawaii faced unprecedented damage following a series of wildfires in Maui that ravaged the landscape in early August. Over 100 individuals were killed and hundreds more went missing. Roughly 3,000 homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged. “These fires took so many lives…The fires have cost so much money in economic losses. It is devastating to hear that the path to Maui’s recovery is uncertain,” Singh lamented. In mid-August, Trump was indicted by an Atlanta grand jury in relation to his efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat. To date, he had accumulated a total of 91 charges in four criminal cases in four different jurisdictions, with two cases being federal matters and the other two being state matters. On Aug. 24, Trump surrendered and was eventually released on bond from the Fulton County jail.

McCarthy called upon his committees to open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden in early September on account that Biden profited off his son’s overseas business deals. In Morocco, 2,000 people died and thousands were injured after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck the region on Nov. 8. On Sept. 28, Dianne Feinstein, the longest-serving female U.S. senator, died at 90 years old.

Following a 216-210 vote, McCarthy was ousted as Speaker of the House on Oct. 3. On Oct. 8, Israel formally declared war on Hamas after suffering devastating attacks on Oct. 7. This put pressure on Congress to elect Mike Johnson of Louisiana as the current Speaker of the House on Oct. 25 in order to pass aid legislation. 

The first group of hostages taken in the Israel-Palestine war were released on Nov. 24 after both sides agreed to a temporary truce. In the days following, more people were allowed to try to find safety. The truce ended on Dec. 1, and the conflict resumed.

For many, 2023 may have been a year of tumultuous ups and downs. For others, it may have seemed like the best year yet. Regardless, as 2023 comes to a close, it is a good time to reflect on personal experiences during the year and to set intentions for 2024.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Lanteri, Print Editor-in-Chief
Hey you! Thanks for checking out my profile. I am a member of the Class of 2024 and a storyteller at heart. I love to spend time with my family and friends, read, and watch way too much YouTube in my spare time. I enjoy writing and editing for Horizon.