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2020 is coming to a close: Here are the top stories that defined the year

2020 has been a whirlwind of a year, with what seems like a new story in the news every month. Since the season finale of 2020 has finally arrived, here are the top stories from every month of 2020. 


Jan. 2:  New South Wales declared a state of emergency over bushfires as Australia faced terrible wildfires across the country that started back in June of 2019.

Jan. 3: The U.S. launched missiles killing top Iranian official Qasem Soleimani, sparking tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

Jan. 8: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back from royal duties.

Iran launched ballistic missiles at two U.S. military bases in Iraq in retaliation to the drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani.

Jan. 11: China recorded its first official death due to Covid-19. 

Jan. 16: The impeachment trial in the Senate for President Trump began over two articles of impeachment (abuse of power and obstruction of Congress). 

Jan. 21: The U.S. announced their first confirmed case of coronavirus in Washington. China had confirmed more than 300 cases and 9 deaths by this point. 

Jan. 23: Wuhan, China, the epicenter (at the time) for Covid-19, went into lockdown, affecting 11 million residents.

Jan. 26: Kobe Bryant and his daughter passed away in a helicopter crash. 

Jan. 30: The World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global health emergency. 

Jan. 31: The U.K. withdrew from the E.U. 


Feb. 5: Trump was acquitted in his impeachment trial. 

Feb. 8: First American death from coronavirus confirmed in Wuhan. 

Feb. 11: The World Health Organization (WHO) officially named the novel coronavirus COVID-19. 

Feb. 24: Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape after being accused back in October of 2017, and was sentenced to 23 years in prison. 


March 4: Japan stated that they will require visitors from China and South Korea to quarantine due to rising coronavirus cases.

March 5: Senator Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the 2020 presidential race. 

March 10: Italy became the first country to enact a national lockdown.

March 11: COVID-19 cases rose quickly across the globe, causing WHO to declare the virus a pandemic. 

UMass Boston and other surrounding universities closed their campuses early for spring break and turned to remote learning for the rest of the spring 2020 semester shortly thereafter. 

March 13: President Trump declared a national emergency due to rising cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. 

Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police in her home after they had entered her home with a “no-knock warrant.” 

March 20: Italy deployed military troops to enforce coronavirus lockdown restrictions. 

March 24: The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were canceled due to the rise of cases of coronavirus. 

March 28: Italy announced over 10,000 deaths in the country, making it the hardest-hit country for coronavirus deaths. 


April 2: Global confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed  1 million. 

April 3: Wuhan, China began to open back up after the coronavirus lockdown. 

April 8: Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 presidential race. 

April 9: New York became the new epicenter for COVID-19, surpassing 160,000 cases and 7,000 deaths. 

April 27: New Zealand became the first country to curb the spread of COVID-19 after going on a strict lockdown which brought its case numbers down to single digits.


May 4: Murder hornets spotted in the U.S. The hornets originated in Asia and were spotted in Washington state. 

May 16: New York City shut down all subway stations due to high coronavirus cases. 

May 23: U.S. coronavirus deaths came close to reaching 100,000. 

May 25: The death of George Floyd sparked global protests over police brutality. 

May 30: SpaceX’s launch marked the first time in  nine years since humans have left U.S. soil in a space-ship to low orbit. 

President Trump also announced the U.S.’ break with the WHO due to speculation about the WHO not holding China accountable for the virus.  

May 31: Black Lives Matter protests were held in cities all over the U.S. Curfews and the National Guard were deployed to cities having protests. 


June 1: Lights in the White House went out and rumors of President Trump being brought to his bunker began circling. 

Protests over the death of George Floyd continued across the U.S. 

June 5: A Black Lives Matter memorial was constructed in Washington D.C., spanning two blocks leading up to the White House.

June 6: Former vice president, Joe Biden, was announced as the Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential election.  

June 8: New Zealand is declared COVID free. 

June 12: Protestors in Seattle constructed the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone surrounding one of the Seattle Police precincts. 

Louisville, Kentucky banned the “no-knock warrant” months after Breonna Taylor was killed by police. 

June 25: Two secret service agents tested positive following President Trump’s Tulsa rally.

June 29: U.S. cases continued to rise, and travel restrictions on U.S. citizens were being enforced. U.S. citizens were banned from entering Canada for leisure and E.U. countries were talking about following the same measure.


July 3, 4: Black Lives Matter protests continued across the country. A car drove into protestors in Seattle, with two people being injured as a result. 

July 22: California surpassed New York for the most coronavirus cases, when they reached over 400,000 cases. 

July 27: The U.S. Mint declared a coin shortage, as people were using less cash. 

July 30: All 50 states were warned of mysterious seeds being randomly delivered to homes. 

President Trump also announced the removal of some National Guard troops from Portland after having been sent there due to protests. 


Aug. 12: Joe Biden announced Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in the 2020 presidential election. 

Aug. 16: U.S. surpassed 170,000 deaths due to COVID-19.

Aug. 29: University of Alabama reported 1,000 new cases after reopening. 

Aug. 31: The U.S. reported close to 6 million cases of COVID-19.


Sep. 2: The U.S. announced that it will not work with the WHO on an international search for a vaccine. 

Sep. 5: BLM protests continued, and research showed that 93 percent of protests were peaceful. 

Sep. 7: A boat parade to show support for President Trump had at least five smaller boats sink due to wakes from larger boats. 

Sep. 18: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died at 87 from cancer. 

Sep. 23: COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. rose to over 200,000. 

Sep. 25: President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill RBG’s spot in the Supreme Court. 

Sep. 29: The first presidential debate kicked off, and was filled with interruptions and shouting. Topics surrounded the pandemic, voting fraud and climate change. 


Oct. 4: European nations began to report increases in COVID-19 cases.

Oct. 7, 8, 16: Protests in Kyrgyzstan over parliamentary elections results, in Nigeria over police brutality, and in Thailand for pro-democracy erupted. 

Oct. 23: Protests in Poland over abortion ruling erupted. 

Oct. 25-31: Australia announced Melbourne will be out of lockdown. Italy, France, Germany, England, and Portugal announced new restrictions due to rising COVID-19 cases.

Oct. 26: Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.



Nov. 3: The election kicked off with people headed to the polls. 

Nov. 6: Biden had 253 electoral college votes with Trump at 214. Swing states were still conducting counts as mail-in votes were still coming in. 

Nov. 7: Multiple news sources declared Biden as the winner of the presidential election with 279 electoral votes, and Trump at 214. 

Nov. 16: Moderna announced that their COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective.

Nov. 20: The U.S. surpassed 250,000 deaths and neared 12 million cases. 


2020 has been a busy year, and there is still more that December holds. The U.S. has elected a new president amidst a global pandemic that has killed close to 300,000 U.S. citizens. 2020 was filled with something new each month, that kept people on the edge of their seats at every turn.

About the Contributor
Genevieve Santilli, News Writer