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A look back at the biggest news stories of 2022

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Posted at 3:43 PM, Dec 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-28 19:54:10-05

COVID-19 pandemic continues
January 2022

The U.S. went from 55 million total cases of COVID-19 to 75 million in less than a month as the omicron variant spread across the country. Health officials said the variant was more transmissible than previous variants but less likely to cause severe outcomes.

Los Angels Rams win Super Bowl LVI
February 13, 2022

The Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, in Super Bowl LVI. The game was played in the Rams’ home stadium in Inglewood, California. The halftime show featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent won an Emmy.

Russia invades Ukraine
February 24, 2022

Russia started its assault on Ukraine after months of building up forces along the border. Russia attempted to take control of the country, but Ukraine forces, using weapons supplied by the West including the United States, were able to keep Russian troops from entering Kyiv and western portions of the nation. Ukraine has since been able to launch a counteroffensive and push Russian troops further east. The invasion, however, prompted many western companies to cease operations in Russia.

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars
March 27, 2022

Actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the 94th Academy Awards. Smith was upset after Rock joked about Smith’s wife’s hairstyle. Smith would go on to win an Oscar for Best Actor later that night. He issued an apology the next day, saying he was out of line.

Mpox outbreak
May 18, 2022

The first case of the 2022 monkeypox outbreak was identified in Boston, Massachusetts. A vaccine was made available over the summer in an attempt to slow transmission. Approximately 30,000 people would be infected with the virus in 2022.

Robb Elementary School Massacre
May 24, 2022

A gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 students and two teachers. Law enforcement’s response has been largely scrutinized as it took officers more than an hour to enter a classroom to confront the shooter. In the days following the shooting, officials gave differing accounts of what took place.

House committe investigation Jan. 6 attacks holds first public hearing
June 9, 2022

The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack held its first public hearing. Throughout the year, the committee highlighted former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. In December, the committee voted to refer Trump to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution.

Gas prices hit $5 a gallon
June 14, 2022

U.S. gas prices set an all-time high, reaching $5.02 per gallon in June. The record-high gas prices came amid a summer of high inflation, with the costs of other goods rising. Government officials placed blame on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for disrupting the global oil market.

Roe v. Wade overturned by Supreme Court, states turn to abortion trigger laws
June 24, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled to overturn a five-decade precedent of abortion rights nationwide, allowing some states to ban the procedure. In the immediate wake, several generally Republican-leaning states put bans or extreme restrictions on abortion procedures. In the months since, advocates for abortion choice have taken states to court, causing some states to delay implementing bans. Meanwhile, attempts to codify national abortion rights have failed in Congress.

NASA releases first image from James Webb Space Telescope
July 12, 2022

NASA gave the world its first look at the power of the James Webb Space Telescope. The world’s largest and most powerful telescope provided a crystal clear image of emerging stellar nurseries and stars in the Carina Nebula, located about 7,600 light-years away.

Serena Willaims plays final match at U.S. Open
September 2, 2022

Serena Williams took fans on an emotional journey in what she said would likely be her final U.S. Open. The 40-year-old proved she still had the game to beat the top female tennis players. She shocked the No. 2 player in the world in the second round. In the third round, she fell to her Australian opponent in three tough sets.

Queen Elizabeth’s death means Great Britain gets its first new monarch in 7 decades
September 8, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II died from natural causes at the age of 96 at her residence at Balmoral Castle. She served as Great Britain’s monarch for 70 years, marking the longest reign ever for any British monarch. Given that the last death of a British monarch occurred in 1952, it was the first time the world could widely view the ceremonies involving the death of a British monarch. Her son Charles became the nation’s king following her death.

Hurricane Ian slams into Florida
September 28, 2022

Hurricane Ian left a trail of destruction across Florida. It made landfall near Fort Myers as a category 4 storm. The storm killed more than 100 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.

Elon Musk takes control of Twitter
October 27, 2022

Elon Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion. Musk had spent months trying to get out of the deal he first proposed earlier in the year. Following his acquisition, Musk faced criticism for elevating conspiracy theories and bringing back accounts that had previously been banned for violating rules.

Powerball drawing the largest in U.S. history
November 8, 2022

Powerball delivered a jackpot reaching $2 billion for the first time in U.S. history. A single winning ticket was sold in California. The drawing was delayed by 10 hours as one of the participating lotteries could not complete its security checks in time. The odds of winning the massive jackpot was 1 in nearly 292 million.

Democrats surprise many by hanging onto the Senate
November 12, 20222

Despite predictions of Republicans taking over both chambers of Congress, Democrats maintained a majority in the U.S. Senate for the next two years after winning a handful of close races. While Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced after the 2022 election she would become an independent, she said she would not caucus with Republicans, allowing Democrats to maintain a clear advantage. Republicans will hold a narrow advantage in the House next year.

USA beats Iran to make it to World Cup knockout rounds
November 29, 2022

The U.S. Men’s National Team beat Iran in its final group match to advance to the knockout rounds of the World Cup. This was a major achievement for the U.S. team, which did not qualify for the previous World Cup. The U.S. would go on to lose in the round of 16 to the Netherlands.

Artemis I mission finally lifts off
November 16, 2022

NASA’s Artemis I mission lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission was plagued by numerous technical and weather delays. The 25-day unmanned mission sent the Orion spacecraft around the moon and back.

Congress passes Respect for Marriage Act
December 8, 2022

A bipartisan group of lawmakers passed the Respect for Marriage Act. President Joe Biden signed the bill on Dec. 13. It provides legal protections for same-sex couples and interracial couples. The bill was written after the Supreme Court overturned abortion rights and Justice Clarence Thomas said the court should reconsider other due process precedents.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits the U.S.
December 21, 2022

In a surprise move, Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskyy visited the U.S. to thank the country for its support during the Russian invasion. It was Zelenskyy's first known trip outside of the U.S. since the war began. Zelenskyy was greeted by President Joe Biden at the White House. He also spoke before a joint session of Congress.