2014 is wrapping up, and oh what a year it has been. From the crisis in Ukraine, to ISIS in the Middle East, and Ebola in West Africa, this year certainly had its ups and downs.
Depending on your world view it”s probably more of one than the other. Regardless, we”ve compiled the 22 most shocking moments from the past year. 2014 was a lot more tragic than we thought it would be…
1.) Crisis In Ukraine – January 2014 – Present.
One of the first major things to happen in 2014 was the massive protest movement in Ukraine. The movement since spiraled into almost civil war, with Russia supporting separatist factions in the eastern parts of the country.
2.) The Polar Vortex – January 2014.
The early part of 2014 in the United States was marked by several consecutive weeks of record-setting cold. A weather pattern known as “The Polar Vortex” was to blame for the freezing temperatures.
3.) Ebola Outbreak In West Africa Begins – February 2014.
2014 saw the start of the deadliest and most widespread Ebola outbreak to date in West Africa. In September, the World Health Organization declared Ebola to be an epidemic, and is still working diligently to eradicate the disease.
4.) Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 Goes Missing – March 2014.
During a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand with all 239 passengers on board. The wreckage from the flight is still missing. It”s believed that the plane crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
5.) 276 Girls Go Missing In Nigeria – April 2014 – Present.
Jihadist militant group Boko Haram shocked the world when it abducted 276 school girls from their school in the town of Chibok, Nigeria. The girls have still not been returned to their families.
6.) South Korean Ferry Sinking – April 2014.
The South Korean commercial ferry MV Sewol sank killing 290 people, most of whom were high school students. Blame for the capsized ferry was placed on an unmanageable cargo shift that occurred while the ferry was in transit.
7.) Avalanche on Mount Everest – April 2014.
In mid-April 2014, an avalanche on Mount Everest near Everest Base Camp resulted in the death of 16 Nepalese guides, also known as Sherpas.
8.) Cliven Bundy Standoff – April 2014.
Federal law enforcement officials and anti-government supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy faced off on Bundy”s ranch. The officials were attempting to collect delinquent grazing taxes that Bundy owed the federal government. Officials backed down before the confrontation could turn violent.
9.) Mine Disaster In Turkey – May 2014.
An explosion at the Soma, Manisa coal mine killed 301 miners, and injured 80 others. It”s the deadliest mining disaster that Turkey ever witnessed.
10.) Elliot Rodger”s Killing Spree – May 2014.
22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree on and around the campus of UC Santa Barbara. The rampage left 6 people dead, and 13 others injured. The killing spree took place after Rodger uploaded a video to YouTube outlining his plans, and emailed a “manifesto” to friends and family.
11.) Bridgegate – May 2014.
Governor Chris Christie was investigated for his role in the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. Christie”s aids allegedly ordered the lanes closed as political retribution against the mayor or Fort Lee, New Jersey.
12.) Slender Man Killing – May 2014.
Back in May, 12-year-old Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier stabbed and nearly killed their classmate, Payton Leutner (also 12). The two planned out the attempted killing for 5 months as a way to please the fictional Internet character of Slender Man. Luckily, Leutner survived and escaped to safety.
13.) Death Of Maya Angelou – May 2014.
The great American author and poet Maya Angelou passed away at age 86.
14.) Islamic State – June 2014 – Present.
The radical militant group known as the Islamic State began a massive offensive that swallowed whole parts of Iraq and Syria.
15.) Jared Michael Padgett”s School Shooting – June 2014.
15-year-old Jared Michael Padgett killed a fellow student during a shooting spree at Reynolds High School in Oregon, before turning the gun on himself. This was the 74th school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.
16.) Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Is Shot Down Over Ukraine – July 2014.
Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile while flying over Ukrainian airspace. All 298 people on board died in the crash. The missile is believed to have been fired by Russian separatists in the region.
17.) Air Algerie Flight 5017 Crashes In Mali – July 2014.
All 116 people on board Air Algerie Flight 5017 were killed when it crashed in Mali.
18.) Israel Invades The Gaza Strip Again – July – August 2014.
Growing tensions between Israel and Hamas lead to Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. During the 7 week operation, 2,100 Palestinians and 71 Israelis are killed.
19.) Riots Erupt In Ferguson, Missouri – August 2014 – Present.
Following the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, riots erupted in Ferguson, Missouri to protest police violence.
20.) Robin Williams Killed Himself – August 2014.
Academy Award-winning actor Robin Williams took his own life at his home in Paradise Cay, California. He was 63 years old.
21.) Death Of Joan Rivers – September 2014.
Actress and comedian Joan Rivers died of complications following surgery. She was 81.
22.) CIA Torture Report – December 2014.
A congressional report is released detailing the brutal torture tactics used by the CIA on terror suspects in the years following 9/11.
Now I”m depressed. I forgot just how many terrible things happened this past year. Here”s hoping that 2015 will be a better year, or at least a year with less needless violence and tragedy.