We cannot change history, but we can turn from it. It teaches us how to face the future, and nothing writes it better than key life-changing events, some too small to notice. The year 2018 brought some good and bad events with it that cannot be forgotten. The threats that came with the year after the tense election in the US, the pro-Brexit election and a shaky ISIS war in the Middle East made the world skeptical of the new year. The year accumulated some troubles on the way just like any calendar year but not without some great things that will be appreciated for many years to come. However, as the year rolls to an end, it is apparent humanity came through it all. These are the most intriguing events in the year that rewrote history
1. The California Fires
A combination of 4 fires in the hottest November in years became something all Californians will struggle to forget for years. The worst was the campfire which consumed nearly 200,000 acres followed by the Woolsey fire that resulted in several deaths as well. The 2018 fires were worsened by the strong winds which allowed the flames to take up nearly a football stadium per minute. The loss was more than 500,000 acres of land, but the most significant damage was to Paradise city which turned to hell as fire consumed every building in the city.
California is no stranger to fires but the 2018 forest fires brought so much death and loss than anything seen before. The fire took out the whole city of Paradise killing at least 63 people and destroying thousands of homes. The mayor confidently said Paradise would be rebuilt again, showing us the resilient spirit of humanity, the bereaved families are reconstructing, these are real heroes of 2018.
2. The Trump and Kim Jong Un Meeting
The height of North Korea’s nuclear tests came in 2018, just before the most closed country on Earth made her first peace deal with her Arch enemy, America. Kim Jong Un was showing the ability of North Korea to hit back after he considered the joint U.S. and South Korea military drills as a provocation. This meeting happening in 2018 was a shocker to everyone.
The meeting came after Donald Trump called Kim Rocket mad while Kim called Trump a madman. Threat analysts named North Korea as the greatest threat to security on Mainland USA only to be answered by a handshake and a historic meeting. There has been no explanation as to why this has never happened before, but a sitting U.S. president has never met with a North Korean leader until Donald Trump. It came at a very unlikely time when the two leaders had just exchanged harsh words and bot Japan and South Korea was preparing for an attack.
3. The Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami
A 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit the Indian ocean forcing 6-meter-high waves onshore at 800km/hr. The impact was one of the worst disasters in history as most of the people were not given any form of warning. The Island of Sulawesi was the worst hit. While the strong waves were deadly, the actual killer came in the form of sinking earth as masses of soil, and rock turned near liquid burying over 70,000 homes. As the world struggled to bring in aid, the local people were hopeless. Many people were buried in schools, churches, and mosques, too deep to be recovered; the government just declared them mass burial sites to allow people to move on. However, there was no moving on, more than 2500 people critically injured and nearly every family mourning, just too sad. President Widodo, however, gave a reassuring speech sending in all forces needed to bring the Island back to life.
4. The Ethiopia Eritrea Border Truce
In 1991, Eritrea, the African version of North Kore gained independence from Ethiopia. The relationship was warm between the two nations that share everything except name. Most of the families have loved ones on either side of the border. However, when the war broke out in 1998, the 1000km border was shut down with families separated on both sides. The fierce fighting saw tens of thousands of lives lost on both sides, Eritrea which is generally smaller closed itself to the world and shut off its border with Ethiopia. For 20years, the two nations have lived in hostility with either side keeping troops on the ready in what has been termed Africa’s longest war. However, a former military man and accomplished diplomat Abiy Ahmed took power in Ethiopia; things changed for good. He negotiated a peace deal that saw the separated families meet again and business reopen allowing Ethiopia to access the closest port to their capital for the first time.
5. The Royal Wedding
Royal weddings are rare, but transatlantic royal weddings are even more unique. The marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Merkel was watched live by more than 100 million people around the world with an estimated $100 million made from television revenues. It was one of the most significant events in the world since the 2011 royal wedding. The historic wedding represented everything in our changing world that the royal family had never done before. Identifying multiculturalism and breaking racial barriers formerly associated with the Royals. The wedding that saw an influx of Hollywood stars and American Celebrities into St. George’s cathedral went into the record as the first royal wedding that really conformed to the changing world.
6. The Abortion Referendum in Ireland
Abortion is a major discussion in most countries with a divide on when it can be done and the freedom of the woman to make her own choice. Before the May 2018 election, Ireland had one of the strictest laws against abortion that saw many women move to Britain and other nations to get it. However, local issues with problematic pregnancies prompted protests and complaints including a suit at the UN. The lady who had gone abroad for the termination had it done at a hospital which had no procedure for disposing non-claimed human remains, the hospital mailed her the remains giving her a shocking experience. The election which saw support for abortion by over 60% of Irish voters was seen as the highest expression of the young generation’s view on women’s rights.
7. The Appointment of Judge Brett Cavanaugh
The fair treatment of women and government action against sexual harassment divided the whole world right at the U.S. top court. The U.S. supreme court bench is one of the most coveted jobs in the world. Being a lifetime appointment, the person holding it has to maintain a clean past, something that Judge Brett Cavanaugh seemed to lose just after his nomination. He had not been accused of any crimes before; however, after being named by the president as the right candidate, three women came forward with sexual harassment claims. The main complainant, DR. Christine Blasey Ford was summoned by the senate judiciary committee to testify in one of the tensest days in the U.S. in 2018. The hearings which came just before the midterms were very emotional especially with the me-too movement at its peak. The judge was appointed at the Senate with full support from female Senate members who were expected to do something about it, and this made the world angry.
8. The Legalization of Marijuana in Canada
Marijuana has been demonized and criminalized for many years, and no one expected it to appear on the streets of a G7 nation until it did in 2018. Canada became the first G7 nation to legalize recreational marijuana with the approval of 30g public possession. Similar legalization has happened in more than 20 U.S. states, but the critics still consider marijuana a dangerous drug. So many Canadians welcomed the move that occurred on 17th October. It became apparent that the international ban on marijuana fostered by the UN has very little support. The legalization of marijuana produced something else that may encourage even more nations to follow suit. The legalization was followed by an influx of medical and recreational marijuana users to Canada within the first few months. Canada has a forecast of generating over $5 billion yearly from marijuana trading making it one of the most lucrative industries that may be utilized in more nations soon.
9. The Insight Probe Landing on Mars
When the Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he was ready to colonize Mars, many people viewed it as too big a dream. Colonizing mars could not be anticipated before any successful landing on the planet as most of the previous missions crushed probes with little or no details being revealed. Nasa, however, landed the robotic probe at Elysium Planitia a site intended to allow a deep surface sturdy of the red planet. The process was one of Nasa’s most costly missions making this the most significant major landing on the red planet. The probe was able to land successfully allowing the non-guided mission to study the internal composition of this planet. Maybe we are going to Mars after all!
10. The Death of George H.W. Bush
By the beginning of the year 2018, the U.S. had five surviving former presidents, and George Bush Senior at 94 was the longest-lived president. George Bush senior was a one-term president who left a powerful impact in the global spectrum despite extensive criticism of his domestic policies. He declared operation desert storm at the request of Kuwait and Saudi governments after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. He also went ahead to oust the Panamanian Leader Manuel Noriega the most hated man in Panama history.
His role in the signing of the weapon regulation treaty with the Soviet Union also became the reason for reduced lethal weapon manufacturing which was dangerous especially at the heart of the cold war. His son George Bush junior also became president with a similarly powerful impact. Bush senior’s domestic policy legacy was not very successful considering the great recession and the hefty budget deficit that ruined many lives. He was blamed for the economic crisis leading to his losing presidency after one term. He is, however, a memorable figure in the international spectrum known for standing up for justice.