2015 - Year in Review

by August Kissel and Julia Skeval
Co-Editors in Chief


In the movie “Back to the Future,” Marty McFly traveled to the future on October 21, 2015. On that day he saw video confrencing (like Facetime or Skype), glasses used as telephones (like Google Glasses), self lacing shoes (Nike actually made those), and the hoverboard (these are in production by a company called Hendo). The only thing we happen to be missing is the flying car. But while Marty McFly only spent a day in 2015, the rest of us who saw the whole thing through to the end may have forgotten many of the other big events over the last twelve months.


Here’s the year in review.


Seven days into 2015, two gunmen attacked a French newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, killing 11 and wounding 11 more. Two days later, the gunmen were killed in crossfire with police. Dozens of world leaders met in Paris for a rally of national unity. The phrase “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) became a common phrase associated with the event.


On a more local level in January, Trader Joes took Syracuse by storm, quickly becoming a hit among community members.


On February 1, the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Superbowl. Tom Brady is named the MVP while him and team came under scrutiny for alledgedly deflating the footballs in a game a month before. The media dubbed this scandal “Deflate-gate.” It wasn’t until September that Brady’s four-game suspension punishment was overruled by a judge.


The first highly-anticipated movie of 2015, “Fifty Shades of Grey” was released the day before Valentine’s Day. The film, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by E.L. James, was a success in the box office, breaking records and grossing over $570 million worldwide.


On February 26, a simple picture of a dress posted online turned families and friends against each other in a battle over what color the dress was. Some saw it as blue and black and others were convinced it was white and gold. The actually colors were blue and black but while some were concentrating on the colors, others were realizing how ugly the dress is and how little the whole argument matters. Either way, “the dress” trended across all social media platforms and racked up millions of likes and shares, forever soldifying it’s place in the “Things Blown Out of Proportion On Social Media” Hall of Fame.


Moving into March, perhaps the most traumatic event in teenage girls’ year occurred on the 25. Boy band One Direction, previously consisting of five members, lost singer Zayn Malik when he left the band in order to explore what else was out there in the music industry. The band continued on with the rest of their world tour which concluded in October, and announced an 18-month hiatus to begin after the start of the new year. Needless to say, One Direction fans took a tough blow in 2015 and the next year and a half may not be any easier.


Hiliary Clinton also took some hits throughout March, addressing an email scandal that lingered for a while as she began her run for president. The New York Times uncovered that Clinton had used a personal email address while working as the Secretary of State. Many politicians accused her of hiding shady dealings while others believe she may have broken federal guidelines. And Clinton announcing she deleted tens of thousands of emails from her personal account before handing it over to officials didn’t make the situation any better. But fellow Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders summed up the last few months of Clinton’s email scandal by saying at a debate in October; “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”


Also in March, several J-D students participated in the Poetry Out Loud competition, with two students, current junior Kristina Bell and senior Anna Pluff, making it to the regional round.


On April 12, after months of speculation and aforementioned scandals, Hilary Clinton officially declared she’s running for the 2016 presidency. Also four months into the year, the Duke Blue Devils won the Men’s National College Basketball Championship and the University of Connecticut team won the Women’s Championship.


In the later weeks of April, both the city of Baltimore and the country watched as the death of 25- year-old Freddie Gray, who died from his injuries after being dragged by Baltimore polic,e led to days of riots and protests in the streets. Numerous police officers were injured in the violent outbreaks, two people were shot on separate occassions and eventually the National Guard was called in to restore order.


Riding along into May, American Pharoah and his jockey Victor Espinoza became the first pair to win the Triple Crown since 1978. While this feat turned the horse and jockey into American royalty, across the pond Princ William and Princess Kate welcomed another child, Princess Charlotte, who becomes fourth in line to the British throne.


June was perhaps the most memorable month in 2015. On the first day, Vanity Fair released its latest issue with Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, introducing herself to the world for the first time. While some criticized Jenner for misrepresenting the transgender community or using all of the attention just for publicity, many praised her for her courage and bravery in raising awareness and being a spokeperson for people who are dealing with the same things.


Halfway through June, real estate mogul and a man known for firing people, Donald Trump, announced his bid for the 2016 presidential election. At the time, many people didn’t take him very seriously but to maybe everyone’s surprise, Trump finished out the year polling at 39 percent, leading the class of Republican nominees.


June wrapped up with what will become one of the most famous and important Supreme Court decisions in history. On June 26, the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to legalize gay marriage across all 50 states. Social media blew up almost immediately with declarations that “love wins” and many celebrities and organizations posted their congratulations and praise for the historic moment.


And with the conclusion of the 2014-2015 school year, long time Jamesville-DeWitt teachers Steve Pilcher, Diane Kelly and Marion Glauber retired.


July began with a bit of heartbreak as it was announced a Zimbabwean lion, Cecil - famous for his black fringed mane and his comfortability around tourists - had been shot and killed for sport by a Minnesota dentist. An outpouring of rage against the dentist, Walter Palmer, errupted across Twitter and Facebook but it also brought to light the importance of wildlife preservation organizations.


A few days later, some happy news came home to America when the U.S. Women’s Soccer team won their first FIFA World Cup in a 5-2 victory over Japan on July 5. And after flying through space for over nine years, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft finally flew by and captured high definition photos of Pluto in mid-July.


August saw America officially reinstated friendly relations with Cuba. The Comedy Central news satire program, The Daily Show airs its last broadcast with host Jon Stewart. On August 26, a news reporter and camera man are shot and killed on live television while broadcasting in Virginia. The shooter commited suicide hours later.


Pope Francis, Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, visited the U.S. in late September during which he met with Congress, addressed the United Nations and held many masses in several big cities. Locally, the turf field at the high school is finished and opened to the J-D community.


On October 1, a shooter opened fire at a community college in Oregon, killing nine and wounding nine more. It becomes the largest shooting at a college since Virginia Tech in 2007. Towards the end of October, Hurricane Patricia clocked in as the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.


November started off good for the Kansas City Royals who won the World Series for the first time since 1985. Adele releases her third album, 25, on November 20 weeks after the single ‘Hello’ breaks iTunes records for most copies sold in a week. November concluded with yet another shooting, this time at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado. A police officer and two civilians were killed with nine injured.


The last month of the year began in the same way November had just ended. On December 2, 14 people were killed and 22 seriously wounded in what was later deemed a terrorist attack carried out by a couple speculated to have been connected with ISIS.


Kim Kardashian and husband Kanye West welcomed their second child, a son named Saint, on December 5. On the 18, the seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise was released, grossing over $740 million by its third weekend in theaters.


2015 finished with the first snowfall of the winter season falling just a few days after Christmas. New Year celebrations came and went and now it’s time to see what 2016 has in store for us.