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A look back at 2012

December 26, 2012

The 2012 election dominated the headlines for much of the year, along with tragedies and disasters.
The 2012 election dominated the headlines for much of the year, along with tragedies and disasters. Returning to the White House for a second term is President Barack Obama, who defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings are the top story now, while earlier this year, spree shootings took place in a theater in Aurora, Colorado, a college in Oakland, California and a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The killing of a single teenager, Trayvon Martin, also made major headlines in 2012. The young black was killed in Florida in February. Hurricane Sandy crashed into the eastern coast in October, killing over 120 and causing more than $71 billion in destruction. Hurricane Isaac hit the Gulf Coast in August, leaving nine dead. Tornadoes and severe storms hit several states early this spring and summer. Wildfires raged through the western states during the summer and fall, burning over 9.1 million acres, the second highest annual total. The continued drought and heat wave throughout much of the United States caused 123 deaths and widespread crop losses for many states. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the 2012 drought is the “most extensive drought to affect the U.S. since the 1930s.” Social media is continuing to gain in popularity, with Facebook and Twitter leading the way. The NASA rover Curiosity landed on Mars, and the space shuttle Endeavour was retired. The Summer Olympics were held in London. Highlights include the gymnastics team winning the gold medal, and Gabby Douglas becoming the fourth U.S. gymnast to win the all-around title. Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings took their third straight gold in beach volleyball. Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympic athlete, finishing his swimming career with 22 medals. Winning the Stanley Cup was the Los Angeles Kings, the Vince Lombardi trophy went to the New York Giants, who defeated New England. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers to claim baseball’s World Series championship. The Miami Heat won the NBA crown, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder. Brad Keselowski won the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. In college sports, Kentucky won the NCAA basketball final, and Alabama took home the (football) Bowl Championship Series victory. These are just a few of the national highlights from the year of 2012. Notable deaths 2012 Larry Hagman, Michael Clarke Duncan, Chad Everett, Sherman Hemsley, Andy Griffith, Celeste Holm, Dick Clark, Ernest Borgnine, Richard Dawson and Nora Ephron were among the actors and actresses that passed away this year. Comedian Phyllis Diller; Tuskegee Airman George Hickman; Helen Gurley Brown, editor of Cosmopolitan magazine; Saturday Night Live writer Tom Davis, and "Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius passed away. Senator Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), former Senator George McGovern (South Dakota) and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir were among the notable politicians that died in 2012. Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Murray (performer of the first successful human kidney transplant) passed away. Art Ginsburg (Mr. Food), science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, writer Gore Vidal, artist LeRoy Neiman, financial journalist Dan Dorfman, and famed fashion hairstylist Vidal Sassoon also died this year. The first female astronaut, Sally Ride, two-time shuttle astronaut Alan Poindexter and Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11 and the first man on the moon, died in 2012. The music world lost sitarist Ravi Shankar, Kitty Wells ("Queen of Country Music"), Jon Lord (keyboardist of Deep Purple), Earl Scruggs, Robin Gibb (The Bee Gees), Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Davy Jones (The Monkees), and Herb Reed (The Platters). The sporting world lost co-founder of NFL Films Steve Sabol, former boxing champion Hector "Macho" Camacho, legendary race car driver/ Shelby Cobra sports car designer Carroll Shelby and former college football coach Joe Paterno. For the remainder of this article, which includes a look back at the local year in review, please see this week’s issue of the Tri County News, or our electronic edition at

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