Alyssa Duff ’19, Website Editor/ Social Media Manager
Throughout the course of 2017, an abundance of crazy events occured. Ranging from a total solar eclipse to Michael Flynn pleading guilty to Russia ties. So, it is only right to highlight a few major events 2017 held, as well as note some of the significant deaths of those the world will always remember.
Trump inauguration – Jan. 20, 2017
On Friday, Jan. 20, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Trump gave a 16-minute inaugural address which consisted of 1,433 words. The speech later gained the title of being the shortest inaugural address since Jimmy Carter’s in 1977. Before the event, local and federal agencies estimated a crowd of about 900,000 people; however, according to the Washington Post, there was a turnout of about 600,000 people. This was noticeably smaller than Obama’s inauguration in 2009, which had a crowd of an estimated 1.1 to 1.8 million people. USA Today reported there were, “a notable number of empty seats along the parade route.” Protests took place during the inauguration ceremonies in January, in which the vast majority were peaceful. Disrupt J20, a group of local activists, linked arms at security checkpoints, with the goal to shut them down. But, some groups did participate in vandalism, rioting, and violence. Over 217 people were arrested, and six officers, as well as one civilian, sustained minor injuries. Some historians and speechwriters commented that the speech had an unusually dark and bleak tone, though others enjoyed the fact that it had an appeal to both nationalists and populists.
Michael Flynn pleads guilty to Russia ties – March 30, 2017
On Tuesday, March 30, Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor, pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI about the contacts he had with the Russian government, during the time of Donald Trump’s presidential transition, after previously being appointed by Obama. According to the Washington Post, “When Flynn was forced out of the White House in February, officials said he had misled the administration, including Vice President Pence, about his contacts with Kislyak.” He resigned after information surfaced that he lied to officials about both the nature and the content of his communications with the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. Flynn originally refused to subpoena documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, pleading the fifth against self- incrimination. However, later a compromise was made with the committee. After, Flynn said in a statement, “It has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of ‘treason’ and other outrageous acts… But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong… I am working to set things right… My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
Wonder Woman movie released – June 2, 2017
The newest Wonder Woman movie was released on Friday, June 2. The movie was directed by Patty Jenkins, which made her the first female director of a live-action, theatrically released comic book superhero film. While the development for the film started in 1996, Jenkins signed on to direct in 2015. The film broke many box office records, and was the fifth-highest-grossing superhero film domestically and twentieth-highest-grossing film in the United States. It also grossed over $821 million worldwide, making it the ninth-highest-grossing film of 2017, as well as gaining the title of the fourteenth-highest-grossing film franchise of all time. As of Oct. 2017, the American Film Institute picked it as one of the top ten movies of the year and Rotten Tomatoes has listed the movie as number one on its list of “50 Best Superhero Movies of All Time”. The film also received three nominations at the Critics’ Choice Awards. Majority critics praised the film for its performances, action scenes, direction, and outstanding soundtrack. The sequel is scheduled to be released in 2018.
Solar Eclipse – Aug. 21, 2017
The first total solar eclipse since 1979 occurred on Monday, Aug. 21.. According to NASA, “This celestial event is a solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location.” In order to see the total solar eclipse, not the partial solar eclipse, you had to be in the path of totality, which was around seventy miles wide and crossed the United States from West to East. The first point of contact was at Lincoln Beach, Oregon, and the last near Charleston, South Carolina, with its longest duration at Carbondale, Illinois, which lasted for an approximate two minutes and forty seconds. The total solar eclipse could be seen in parts of fourteen different states. Majority of people observed the total solar eclipse with special glasses, which made it safe to look. According to CNN, even the president and his wife stepped outside of the White House to observe it. When Trump was asked about it, he described it as “beautiful.” The next total eclipse is scheduled to take place on April 8, 2024.
Chester Bennington, Linkin Park’s lead singer, passed away by suicide on Thursday, July 20. He was only 41 years old. Fellow bandmate Mike Shinoda said he was, “shocked and heart broken.” It was surely a shock to the world, although he struggled with drugs, alcohol, and depression, he spoke loudly of the process to recovery. Warner Brothers Records CEO Cameron Straing said in a statement, “Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul.”
American businessman, magazine publisher, and founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner died on September 27. Hefner died, at the age 91, in his home located in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. The cause of death was cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, sepsis, an E. coli infection. His death was later announced by Playboy Enterprise. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Hefner was a stunning success from the moment he emerged in the early 1950s. His timing was perfect.”
On Oct. 2, Tom Petty, American singer- songwriter, passed away at 8:40 p.m. at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. According to Rolling Stone, “EMTs were able to find a pulse when they found him, but TMZ reported that the hospital found no brain activity when he arrived. A decision was made to pull life support.” The official cause of death was cardiac arrest.
Rapper Lil Peep died on Nov. 15, 2017, due to an accidental drug overdose. According to the Pima County Office’s Medical Examiner, Lil Peep died of an overdose of fentanyl and generic Xanax. A mix of other drugs were also found in his system consisting of marijuana, cocaine, Tramadol, hydrocodone, generic Dilaudid, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. After his death, a police report revealed that he had taken a nap around 5:45 p.m. before his concert. His manager checked on him twice and found him sleeping and breathing fine, but was unable to wake him. When the manager checked on Lil Peep a third time, he was unresponsive and not breathing. One fan wrote, “I don’t know of any famous person that’s let the outside regular people like me, that aren’t famous, into their lives. He was completely unique, a gift from God that was handed to us for a short period of time to change the world for the better.” Family, friends, and fans, will remember Lil Peep and the impact he made, not only in the music industry, but also in the lives he changed.