Highlights Of 2016: 10 Amazing Things That Happened In 2016

This past year hit everyone pretty hard, but there’s good news – 2016 did have a few high points worth remembering.

Simone Biles

With 14 world championship medals, 19-year-old Simone Biles arrived at the Summer Olympics in Rio ready to shine. Her near-perfect performance granted her the title of greatest female gymnast of all time.

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Unemployment

In November, the unemployment rate fell 4.6 percent – the lowest it’s been in nine years. According to the Labor Department, the U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November. In 2009, the unemployment rate was at 7.8 percent.

“This positive jobs report is another indication that the U.S. economy continues to pick up steam,” Tony Bedikian, the managing director and head of global markets at Citizens Bank, told NBC News. “We’ve seen a rally in equity markets, a stronger dollar and upward revisions to GDP as of late. The markets have priced in a Fed tightening later this month and I think today’s report supports that view.”

Lemonade

Beyonce’s sixth solo record made history, and Lemonade was considered monumental artistic feat by fans and critics alike.

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The Cubs

The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years. According to an old legend, the team was cursed in 1945 when tavern owner William “Billy Goat” Sianis was kicked out of Game 4 of the Cubs’ World Series game against the Detroit Tigers for bringing his billy goat, Murphy.

On his way out, Sianis is said to have called out, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more,” creating the seven-decade Billy Goat curse.

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Gilmore Girls

Rory and Lorelai Gilmore returned to Stars Hollow in Netflix’s “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” in November, giving Gilmore fanatics everywhere what they’d been waiting for – Amy Sherman-Palladino’s final four words.

Giant Pandas

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the giant panda is no longer classified as an “endangered” species. Instead, the giant panda was declared a “vulnerable” species. The wild panda population reportedly increased to 1,864 in 2014 – up from 1,596 in 2004.

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Tigers

According to a recent count from the World Wildlife Fund, there are now 3,890 tigers in the world, up from 3,200 in 2010.

“This is a pivotal step in the recovery of one of the world’s most endangered and iconic species,” said Ginette Hemley, the senior vice president of wildlife conservation at WWF. “But much more work and investment is needed if we are to reach our goal of doubling wild tiger numbers by 2022.”

Leonardo DiCaprio

After four previous acting nominations, DiCaprio finally won a much-deserved Oscar award for his role in The Revenant.

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The Ozone

Scientists revealed that the hole in the ozone is beginning to heal. According to CNN, researchers are crediting an international policy – the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer – for the healing.

“We can now be confident that the things we’ve done have put the planet on a path to heal,” said Professor Susan Solomon of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who led the international team of researchers, in a statement. “We decided collectively, as a world, ‘Let’s get rid of these molecules’. We got rid of them, and now we’re seeing the planet respond.”

Measles were eliminated

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that measles has been eradicated in all of the Americas, stretching from Canada to Chile.

“Today we say bye-bye to the indigenous transmission of measles,” Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Americas arm of WHO, told a meeting of the organization in Washington, D.C. “We celebrate this historic day in which the scourge has been eliminated,” Etienne added.

[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]