Big events happen every year, but 2012 was packed with action. This summer, the world's top athletes came together to compete in the Summer Olympics, in London, England. Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S. in October. Cleanup and rebuilding efforts continue to this day. In November, after an exciting election season, U.S. voters went to the polls. They sent President Barack Obama back to the White House for a second term.
It was a year with unforgettable highs, crushing lows and the everyday events that happen in between. As we look ahead to a new year, join TFK for a look back at a few of the most moving and memorable moments of 2012.
An Italian cruise ship called the Costa Concordia hit rocks near the coast of Giglio, a small island in Italy. The impact tore a huge hole in the ship's hull. The 4,200 passengers and crew members had to abandon ship. More than 30 people died in the disaster.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after he was named MVP in Super Bowl XLVI, which was played in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Giants beat the New England Patriots 21--17 to take the NFL championship.
Frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall created the worst cold snap to hit Europe in decades. Extreme temperatures dipped as low as -33°F in some places. The wild winter weather claimed more than 400 lives. Here, a bundled-up man braves the cold in Versoix, Switzerland.
Thunderstorms and tornadoes swept through Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. The twisters killed at least 38 people and damaged many towns, including Marysville, Indiana, shown here. These storms were part of an especially bad tornado season.
March Madness, college basketball's three-week-long national playoffs, ended with a big win for the Kentucky Wildcats. They beat the Kansas Jayhawks 67--59 in the NCAA championship game. After his team's victory, Wildcat Terrence Jones was all smiles.
One World Trade Center rose to 1,271 feet, to become the tallest building in New York City. It beat the observation deck of the Empire State Building. The building will reach its full height of 1,776 feet in 2013.
SpaceX, a U.S. company, sent an unmanned supply ship called the Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS). It was the first time a private company—instead of a government—made a delivery to the ISS.
Sky watchers got a rare view of Venus moving across the sun. During the event, called the transit of Venus, a little black dot appeared to move slowly across the face of the sun. The most recent transit happened in 2004. But the exciting event won't happen again for 105 years.
Mohamed Morsi (on poster) claimed victory in a presidential election in Egypt. The vote took place 16 months after Egyptians forced Hosni Mubarak to step down as their leader. The elections were part of a series of big changes across the Middle East and North Africa.
U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps won a record 19th Olympic medal at the Summer Games in London, England. The win made him the most decorated Olympian of all time. Phelps retired from competitive swimming after the Games. He ended his career with a total of 22 Olympic medals.
Faster, higher, stronger! U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas, 16, won an Olympic gold medal in the individual all-around competition and another gold medal as part of the American gymnastics team. She is the first U.S. gymnast to win both team and all-around gold in a single Olympics.
Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney waved to the crowd at the Republican National Convention, in Tampa, Florida, after Ryan officially accepted the nomination for Vice President of the U.S. The next night, Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was nominated for President.
Around 350,000 students returned to their classrooms after teachers ended a seven-day school strike in Chicago, Illinois. It was the first teachers' strike in Chicago in 25 years. Chicago is one of the largest school districts in the nation.
Hurricane Sandy brought strong winds, rain and flooding to the East Coast, including New York City, shown here. The storm was the second-most-expensive hurricane ever to strike the U.S. It left millions of people in need.
Voters reelected President Barack Obama. He won a second term in the nation's top office. Obama beat Republican Mitt Romney in a tough race. The popular vote was nearly split down the middle. Here, Obama celebrates with Vice President Joe Biden.
Runners wearing Santa Claus costumes took part in the Santa Dash in Liverpool, England. More than 8,000 people competed in the festive fun run. The event takes place every year. Ho ho ho!
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