In this post-election time, we could all use a reminder of all the good this year. Like more tigers and pandas and let’s ignore politics and health care strategies for a short period of time.Elyse Wanshel, the Associate Editor, Trends, The Huffington Post reviewed some of the things that she thought were good in 2016, I added many more, and I thought that we all should get over the blaming of the Democrats, the GOP, Russia, etc. and chest pounding and thoughts of why things are now so horrible.
For some, the thought of a Donald Trump presidency is a huge downer. Yet, in order to feel hopeful about the future, all you have to do is take a look at the recent past and all the good things that happened this year.
Good Things that Happened in 2016
6 Women Made History on Election Night
Tammy Duckworth, Kamala Harris, and Catherine Cortez Masto. While Hillary Clinton unexpectedly lost to Donald Trump during the recent election, six women shattered the glass ceiling that night with historic victories: Kamala Harris, Catherine Cortez Masto, and Tammy Duckworth were elected to the Senate, Stephanie Murphy and Pramila Jayapal won seats in the House of Representatives, and Ilhan Omar was elected to her state’s legislature.
The U.S. Army Started Offering 12 Weeks Paid Maternity Leave
In January, the U.S. military revealed a new maternity-leave policy that gives female service members 12 weeks paid time off after having a child. The new policy offers twice the amount of time off that Army members were granted previously.
An 11-Year-Old Started Her Own Black-Girls Book Drive, and Collected More than 8,000 Books
Marley Dias, an 11-year-old New Jersey middle school student, tugged on our heartstrings this year, when the story of her #1000BlackGirlBooks book drive emerged. A grant-winning, Ghanaian orphanage volunteer, Dias started her book drive with the aim of collecting 1,000 books where black girls take the lead, Philly Voice reported: “I told [my mom] I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs,” Dias said, pointing specifically to “Where the Red Fern Grows” and the “Shiloh” series. “‘What are you going to do about it?’ [my mom] asked. And I told her I was going to start a book drive, and a specific book drive, where black girls are the main characters in the book and not background characters or minor characters.”
Dias set a deadline of February 1 to collect the 1,000 books — but by then, she had already collected nearly 4,000, according to NPR. As of December, however, she had collected over 8,000 books. Next, she hopes to set up a black-girl book club and encourage school districts to change the books they assign to students.
The U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team Won Gold
This summer, we were glued to the TVs, watching the U.S. women’s gymnastics team compete at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Much to our delight, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian — otherwise known as the Final Five — ended up taking home the gold.
Sexual-Assault Survivors Got a Bill of Rights
While 2016 has generally been a horrible year for sexual assault, at least one thing happened that will actually help survivors. In October, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that gives sexual-assault survivors a basic set of rights under federal law.
Under the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act, survivors are now guaranteed access to their rape kits — and states must preserve the kits for the entire statute of limitations. The act also ensures that survivors won’t have to cover the costs of rape-kit testing and that they will be notified 60 days before their kit is scheduled to be destroyed. Finally, survivors have a standard set of rights that regulate how sexual-assault cases are handled.
The tiger population has increased. According to a recent tally from the World Wildlife Fund, the number of tigers in the world has increased from about 3,200 to 3,890 this year. It’s the first time in a century that the population has shown growth. WWF hopes to double the tiger population by 2022.
After a 1.8-billion-mile, five-year journey, NASA’s Juno spacecraft reached Jupiter on July 4th. It’s supposed to study the planet in depth for 20 months.
A man woke up from a coma after ultrasound waves were beamed into his brain. Researchers “excited” his brain tissue with the pulses, and after three days he regained complete consciousness and language comprehension. This could lead to new treatment for patients in comas.
Pokemon Go may have gotten really annoying, but it got people moving in a strange twist seeing as most video games have the complete opposite result. Experts have even said that Pokemon Go may help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Coffee consumption was proven to be decrease cancer and suicide rates.
Scientists found a way to link robotic limbs with the part of the brain that is associated with intent, so people don’t even have to think about how they will move the limb, it just happens.
The Ice Bucket Challenge from last summer actually helped fund a breakthrough for ALS in 2016. The money that came from the campaign that was dubbed “slacktivism” helped fund a study that found a newly-identified gene, NEK1. It’s now among the most common genes that contribute to the disease, and it gives scientists a potential target to create therapies.
A Colombian professor named Luis Soriano has been delivering books to children in need with the help of his donkey he named “Biblioburro.” He said that in Colombia children have to travel over 40 minutes to get to a library, so he makes it easier for them.
Indian officials reported that volunteer planted almost 50 million trees in July. Clearly this is a new world record, completely demolishing Pakistan’s previous record of 1 million from 2013. 800,000 people worked for 24 hours to get the job done as part of the deal India made at the Paris Climate Conference last year.
A solar-powered plane completed a round-the-world flight for the first time in Abu Dhabi. Solar Impulse 2 flew over 26,000 miles around the globe to prove that clean technologies could be used in flight.
Two brothers saw color for the first time thanks to special glasses. EnChroma designed glasses that allow colorblind people to experience color by using genetic research.
New chemotherapy breakthroughs have increased the 5-year survival for pancreatic cancer from 16&% to 27%… and it’s only going up.
Giant pandas are no longer endangered. There are now 2,060 of them in the wild, changing their status from “endangered” to “vulnerable.” This happened because of an increase of giant pandas being born in China.
Elon Musk and SpaceX. No doubt, it’s been a great year for Elon Musk and SpaceX. Earlier this month the company launched a rocket into orbit, putting a Dragon cargo ship on its way to the International Space Station. The Falcon 9 rocket then managed to land back on earth. Pioneering these kinds of landings with reusable rockets is see as essential to reducing space-travel costs.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Speaking of feel-good sports stories, LeBron finally brought a title to the 216. Of course, it’s not quite the long-shot story of Leicester City, and Warriors fans certainly wouldn’t put this on the list, but Cleveland is feeling pretty good about it. Now, if the Cubs could just close the deal on their season.
“The S&P 500 SPX, +0.13% at an all-time record high earlier this month despite the doomsday predictions around the Brexit just a few weeks before.”
This has got to be one of the least-celebrated rallies in market history; nevertheless, it just keeps chugging along. The Dow Jones DJIA, +0.07% recently banged out nine sessions in a row of gains, seven of those marked record highs. As for the Brexit overhang, the U.K. stock market UKX, +0.06% just closed at its highest level in a year.
Additional Good Things that Happened in 2016
- Child mortality is down everywhere and it keeps going down.
- A solar powered plan circumnavigated the world.
- Michael Jordan donates 2mil to try and help bridge connection between police and the community.
- And manatees.
- Pakistan has made strides toward outlawing honor killings.
- 70,000 Muslim clerics declared a fatwa against ISIS.
- California is now powering over 6 million homes with solar power, a record in the US.
- Volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours.
- Apparently world crime as a whole has drastically declined as a whole in the last couple of decades.
- Speaking of coffee Starbucks figured out how to donate perishable food in a food safe way.
- 500 elephants were relocated to a better, safer and bigger home.
- We made massive strides in Alzheimers’ prevention (my mother literally told me that that diagnose scared her more than getting cancer. This is very good news)
- The ozone layer is repairing itself and all the work we did to get rid of those aerosol chemicals was actually worth it.
- A new therapy developed in Israel could cure radiation sickness.
- The Anglican church resolved to solemnize same-sex unions the same as opposite-sex unions, which required a super majority of all three orders of the church (lay, clergy, bishop).
- The Rabbinical Assembly issued a resolution affirming the rights of transgender and non-conforming individuals.
- Precision treatments for cancer are hitting clinical trials and WORKING (as someone who’s had relatives with cancer this is the best news)
- Dentists are once again providing free care to veterans who need it.
- The Orlando Shakespeare Festival showed up with angel wings to block funeral-goers for the Orlando Pulse victims, view from anti-gay protesters
- Rise Women’s Legal Centre opened
- Death by heart disease has decreased by 70% in the United States
- Portugal ran its entire nation solely on renewable energy for four days straight
- A retiree is launching a project to transport 80 endangered rhinos to an Australian reservation to save the animals from poaching
- An Afghan teacher has been delivering books via bicycle to villages that lack schools
- Harriet Tubman is going to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.
- 200 strangers attended the funeral of a homeless WW2 veteran with no family
- A teen battling cancer married his sweetheart
- Bank firm pays for college tuition for the children of employees who died in the 9/11 attacks
- New medicine has been shown to increase melanoma survival rate to 40%
- Over 800 Boko Harem Hostages were rescued by Nigerian Army
- Toys R Us is Offering Quiet Shopping Hour for kids with autism this holiday season
- Volunteers made special tiny Halloween costumes for NICU babies
- A 4-year old befriends a lonely man and helped him heal after losing his wife
- Families grew
- People survived cancer
- People overcame depression
- Any kind of victory, even if it affects only one person, is a victory
- Now for the pop culture good news
- LEONARDO DICAPRIO WON AN OSCAR! EVERYONE READING THIS LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO SEE LEO FINALLY GET WHAT HE DESERVED
- There’s a new Harry Potter book, and a movie, Harry Potter has no plans on vanishing with time
- This sweet father gave candy to passengers on a flight so his little girl could trick or treat on Halloween
- The Hamilton Mixtape is coming out. Which is a bunch of artists singing songs from the musical (Sia, Usher, Regina Spketor, etc.) I’m excited.
Good Things that have yet to happen this year
- Christmas. It just happened and hope everyone had a great day!
Good things that have nothing to do with the year but will hopefully make you feel better
- Rain (I like listening to rain it’s one of the most calming sounds)
- FF: If you are a religious person you are an imperfect masterpiece
- FF: If you are not then you are a splendid coincidence
- Any year spent with loved ones be they family or friends is a good year. Trust me.
- ”A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it’s the only weapon we have” –Roger Rabbit
So continue to revel at all the wonderful things that happened in 2016 and make it our goals to make 2017 even better. Enjoy the Holiday no matter what you celebrate-Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza.