Let's be clear: 2016 wasn't the worst year ever, despite what your histrionic friends on Facebook are saying. There are plenty of reasons 2016 was weird, disturbing, maddening, disgusting, and heartbreaking, but it's not like it was 1348 (the Black Death), 1918 (Spanish Flu), or 1943 (peak Holocaust), as Jia Tolentino wryly notes in the New Yorker. Cheer up! Weird things that happened in 2016 might have you down, but the world wasn't eradicated by a plague or destroyed by nuclear war.
That said, much of 2016 did suck for a lot of people. Dozens of amazing, influential pop culture icons died. The Syrian Civil War raged on. Trump and Brexit took the world by surprise, potentially halting progressive causes worldwide in the years to come. But plenty of weird, transcendently awesome things happened in 2016, too, like a big win for the Cubs and the development of a 100% effective Ebola vaccine. Which historical events will future scholars deem the most noteworthy? Time to take a look at reasons we'll remember 2016 for years to come.