- 2020 is largely defined by tragedy, with a pandemic that resulted in the deaths of millions worldwide.
- But the year was also filled with uplifting, and even some historic moments.
- Here are six hopeful memories that made 2020 a little less awful.
- Visit Insider’s website for more stories.
For many, the year 2020 was defined by tragedy and unrest – a global pandemic, countless deaths and tragedies and a hectic US presidential election, to name a few. However, the year ruined by accidents also brought some achievements and inspiring moments.
Here are five of the most historic and uplifting events of 2020:
. SpaceX launched two NASA astronauts into space
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made history in May and launched two people into orbit for the first time since the private company was founded in 2002.
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley became the first Americans to lift from American soil in a US rocket for the first time since July 2011.
“It is certainly an honor to be a part of this tremendous effort to get the United States back into the launch business,” Hurley said minutes before leaving.
2. COVID-19 vaccines were produced in record time
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way people around the world behave in everyday life. It infected nearly 80 million people and killed more than 1.7 million people worldwide. The severity of the virus is partly what led to the worldwide effort to accelerate the development of a vaccine.
A Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is already being administered in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and Moderna received an emergency use permit from the US Food and Drug Administration on December 18. It usually takes many years to research, develop, produce, approve and distribute a safe and effective vaccine.
3. Vaccine rollout
While the creation of a new vaccine in record time was an achievement in its own right, this year people in several countries saw vaccinations against COVID-19, paving the way for the earliest steps towards a return to normalcy.
The UK became the first western country to start vaccinating the elderly after the country’s health authorities approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on 2 December. Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother, became the first person in the West to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials.
A few weeks after vaccination work began in the UK, the US also approved the vaccine, which was developed by Pfizer and began inoculating healthcare professionals. In Indiana, health workers were so eager to be vaccinated that they broke the state registration system before shipments of the vaccine had even reached the state.
The “most democratic” American election in American history
The US election cycle in 2020 was filled with divisions and misinformation from President Donald Trump and his allies, along with baseless allegations of fraud, and post-election lawsuits that sought to repeal countless ballots. Despite the unrest, election officials from the federal to state and local levels called it the “most democratic” election in US history.
Elected President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris won the election by 306 votes. This race also saw record turnout with turnout, using post-in-vote expansions across multiple states.
There were a record 101 million pre-election elections, with an estimated 159 million votes in total in the 2020 election, the most the United States has seen in over 100 years.
Biden also won the most votes from any candidate in history, with more than 80 million.
5. Kamala Harris makes history as the first female, black and Asian-American vice president elected
The Americans celebrated Harris’ nomination for vice president and her subsequent victory.
Harris, who graduated from Howard University, is also the first alumna from a historic black college or university to attend a party ticket.
“Bringing black and South Asian representation to the table, her lived experiences as a woman of color and a daughter of immigrants, will provide a view of the White House that this country has never seen,” said Christian Nunes, president of the National Organization for Women, told Insider.
6. “Parasite” won the Oscar for best picture
The film “Parasite” made history in February by becoming the first non-English language film to win the best picture at the Oscars.
Parasite also won the awards for best director and best original screenplay, best international feature film, and was nominated for best production design and best film editing.
The nomination was one of many this year that highlighted great diverse achievements in Hollywood. In September, actress Zendaya became the youngest drama actress to win an Emmy for her role in HBO’s “Euphoria.”
Actress and musician Akwafina also became the first person of Asian descent to win a lead actress Golden Globe Award for her role in “Goodbye.”