2021’s Year in Pictures

January

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the walls at the U.S. Capitol during a protest against the certification of the 2020 presidential election results on Jan. 6. (Stephanie Keith / Reuters) 

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the walls at the U.S. Capitol during a protest against the certification of the 2020 presidential election results on Jan. 6. (Stephanie Keith / Reuters) 

Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., comforts Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., while taking cover as protesters disrupt the joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6. (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., comforts Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., while taking cover as protesters disrupt the joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6. (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Demonstrators attempt to breach the Capitol after they had stormed the building on Jan. 6. (Victor J. Blue for Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Demonstrators attempt to breach the Capitol after they had stormed the building on Jan. 6. (Victor J. Blue for Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Capitol was placed under lockdown and Vice President Mike Pence left the floor of Congress as hundreds of protesters swarmed past barricades surrounding the building where lawmakers were preparing to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. 

Members of the National Guard reinforce security inside the Capitol Visitor Center on Jan. 13. (Alex Brandon / AP)

Members of the National Guard reinforce security inside the Capitol Visitor Center on Jan. 13. (Alex Brandon / AP)

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who sought the Democratic presidential nomination himself, sits in the bleachers at the Capitol before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who sought the Democratic presidential nomination himself, sits in the bleachers at the Capitol before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)

The image of Sanders and his mittens became a meme sensation, with people photoshopping Sanders into funny settings and historical photos. 

Joe Biden is sworn in as president by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Jan. 20 at the Capitol. (Andrew Harnik / AP)

Joe Biden is sworn in as president by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Jan. 20 at the Capitol. (Andrew Harnik / AP)

Construction crews work on a section of Highway 1 that collapsed into the Pacific Ocean near Big Sur, Calif., on Jan. 31. Heavy rains caused debris flows of trees, boulders and mud that washed out a 150-foot section of the road. (Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images)

Construction crews work on a section of Highway 1 that collapsed into the Pacific Ocean near Big Sur, Calif., on Jan. 31. Heavy rains caused debris flows of trees, boulders and mud that washed out a 150-foot section of the road. (Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images)

February

A train passes a railroad crossing surrounded by floodwaters from rain and melting snow in Nidderau near Frankfurt, Germany, on Feb. 3. (Michael Probst / AP)

A train passes a railroad crossing surrounded by floodwaters from rain and melting snow in Nidderau near Frankfurt, Germany, on Feb. 3. (Michael Probst / AP)

Patients wait after receiving their Covid-19 vaccines at a vaccination center inside Salisbury Cathedral on Feb. 11 in Salisbury, England. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)

Patients wait after receiving their Covid-19 vaccines at a vaccination center inside Salisbury Cathedral on Feb. 11 in Salisbury, England. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)

People charge their cellphones and warm up inside a car near Austin, Texas, on Feb. 16. (Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times via Redux)

People charge their cellphones and warm up inside a car near Austin, Texas, on Feb. 16. (Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times via Redux)

Millions of customers lost power for days in subfreezing temperatures in Texas and more than 200 people died after a severe winter swept through the state. 

Bianca Dorsey visits the gravesite of Ahmaud Arbery at New Springfield Baptist Church on Feb. 23 in Waynesboro, Ga. Arbery, a Black man, was shot and killed while jogging near Brunswick, Ga. (Sean Rayford / Getty Images)

Bianca Dorsey visits the gravesite of Ahmaud Arbery at New Springfield Baptist Church on Feb. 23 in Waynesboro, Ga. Arbery, a Black man, was shot and killed while jogging near Brunswick, Ga. (Sean Rayford / Getty Images)

March

Police detain a woman during a protest at a memorial site in Clapham Common Bandstand, following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard in London on March 13. (Hannah McKay / Reuters)

Police detain a woman during a protest at a memorial site in Clapham Common Bandstand, following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard in London on March 13. (Hannah McKay / Reuters)

Everard, whose death sparked a nationwide outcry about violence against women in the U.K., went missing as she was walking home from her friend’s house. Wayne Couzens, who was a serving member of London’s Metropolitan Police at the time, pleaded guilty in July to murdering the 33-year-old marketing executive. 

Graham Bloomsmith and Cynthia Shi hold each other outside Gold Spa where three women were shot and killed on March 18 in Atlanta.  (Elijah Nouvelage for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Graham Bloomsmith and Cynthia Shi hold each other outside Gold Spa where three women were shot and killed on March 18 in Atlanta.  (Elijah Nouvelage for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Eight people were killed in a string of attacks at three spas in the Atlanta area. Six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent. 

Workers stand next to a container ship that was hit by strong winds and ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal on March 24. (Suez Canal Authority via Reuters)

Workers stand next to a container ship that was hit by strong winds and ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal on March 24. (Suez Canal Authority via Reuters)

The huge container ship disrupted global marine traffic after it blocked the canal for nearly a week. 

Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta, is escorted out of the Georgia Capitol by state troopers after being asked to stop knocking on a door that leads to Gov. Brian Kemp’s office as he signed a contentious voting restrictions bill on March 25. She was taken to the Fulton County Jail and was released on a $6,000 signature bond that evening. (Alyssa Pointer / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta, is escorted out of the Georgia Capitol by state troopers after being asked to stop knocking on a door that leads to Gov. Brian Kemp’s office as he signed a contentious voting restrictions bill on March 25. She was taken to the Fulton County Jail and was released on a $6,000 signature bond that evening. (Alyssa Pointer / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Yoshia Uomoto, 98, reacts as her son Mark Uomoto and niece Gail Yamada surprise her with their first in-person visit in a year after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted at Nikkei Manor, an assisted living facility primarily serving Japanese-American seniors, in Seattle on March 30. (Lindsey Wasson / Reuters)

Yoshia Uomoto, 98, reacts as her son Mark Uomoto and niece Gail Yamada surprise her with their first in-person visit in a year after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted at Nikkei Manor, an assisted living facility primarily serving Japanese-American seniors, in Seattle on March 30. (Lindsey Wasson / Reuters)

April

People wait outside a mass vaccination site at Hagerstown Premium Outlets in Hagerstown, Md., on April 7, after the site announced it was open to walk-ups. After waiting in line for hours, some 200 people were able to receive Covid-19 shots, despite not having an appointment. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

People wait outside a mass vaccination site at Hagerstown Premium Outlets in Hagerstown, Md., on April 7, after the site announced it was open to walk-ups. After waiting in line for hours, some 200 people were able to receive Covid-19 shots, despite not having an appointment. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

A worker sits amid freshly picked Damascena roses used to produce rose water and oil at the Bin Salman farm in the western Saudi city of Taif on April 11. Every spring, roses bloom in Taif, transforming pockets of the kingdom’s vast desert landscape into fragrant pink patches. And for one month, they produce essential oil that is used to cleanse the outer walls of the sacred Kaaba, the cubic structure in the holy city of Mecca toward which Muslims around the world pray. (Fayez Nureldine / AFP via Getty Images)

A worker sits amid freshly picked Damascena roses used to produce rose water and oil at the Bin Salman farm in the western Saudi city of Taif on April 11. Every spring, roses bloom in Taif, transforming pockets of the kingdom’s vast desert landscape into fragrant pink patches. And for one month, they produce essential oil that is used to cleanse the outer walls of the sacred Kaaba, the cubic structure in the holy city of Mecca toward which Muslims around the world pray. (Fayez Nureldine / AFP via Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat during the funeral for her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, on April 17. (Jonathan Brady / WPA Pool via Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat during the funeral for her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, on April 17. (Jonathan Brady / WPA Pool via Getty Images)

Prince Philip, who died at 99, was the longest-serving consort of any British monarch.

A man reacts to news of the conviction of a former police officer, Derek Chauvin, on murder charges in the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis on April 20. (Carlos Barria / Reuters)

A man reacts to news of the conviction of a former police officer, Derek Chauvin, on murder charges in the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis on April 20. (Carlos Barria / Reuters)

Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in Floyd’s death, a verdict that could send him to prison for life. The death of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, in May 2020 touched off international protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Family members embrace amid burning pyres of relatives who died of Covid-19 at a cremation ground in New Delhi on April 26. (Jewel Samad / AFP via Getty Images)

Family members embrace amid burning pyres of relatives who died of Covid-19 at a cremation ground in New Delhi on April 26. (Jewel Samad / AFP via Getty Images)

May

Train cars hang from an overpass in Mexico City on May 3. The overpass collapsed onto a busy road below, killing more than 20 people. (Hector Vivas / Getty Images)

Train cars hang from an overpass in Mexico City on May 3. The overpass collapsed onto a busy road below, killing more than 20 people. (Hector Vivas / Getty Images)

The crash raised questions about safety in one of the world’s busiest metro systems. It spreads across a vast urban sprawl and is home to some 20 million people, transporting about 6 million people daily.

Lava flows from the Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on May 11. (Miguel Morenatti / AP)

Lava flows from the Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on May 11. (Miguel Morenatti / AP)

The glow from the bubbling hot lava spewing out of the volcano could be seen from the outskirts of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, about 20 miles away.

Heavy smoke and fire rise from Al-Sharouk tower as it collapses after being hit by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on May 12. The 14-story building, which was one of the tallest in Gaza City, housed offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets. (Qusay Dawud / AFP via Getty Images)

Heavy smoke and fire rise from Al-Sharouk tower as it collapses after being hit by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on May 12. The 14-story building, which was one of the tallest in Gaza City, housed offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets. (Qusay Dawud / AFP via Getty Images)

The Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system, left, intercepts rockets fired by Hamas toward southern Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip overnight on May 14. Israel bombarded Gaza with artillery and airstrikes in response to a new barrage of rocket fire from the Hamas-run enclave. (Anas Baba / AFP via Getty Images)

The Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system, left, intercepts rockets fired by Hamas toward southern Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip overnight on May 14. Israel bombarded Gaza with artillery and airstrikes in response to a new barrage of rocket fire from the Hamas-run enclave. (Anas Baba / AFP via Getty Images)

The body of a person who died from Covid-19 is carried inside a crematorium in New Delhi on May 21. Oxygen supplies were being rushed by train to New Delhi amid shortages across hospitals in the nation’s capital as India’s Covid-19 crisis deepened. (Prakash Singh / AFP via Getty Images)

The body of a person who died from Covid-19 is carried inside a crematorium in New Delhi on May 21. Oxygen supplies were being rushed by train to New Delhi amid shortages across hospitals in the nation’s capital as India’s Covid-19 crisis deepened. (Prakash Singh / AFP via Getty Images)

By early May, India became the second country after the United States to pass 20 million total infections. 

Palestinian children and family members attend a candlelight vigil to condemn the killing of children and civilians in Gaza City on May 25. The vigil was held over the rubble of homes destroyed by an Israeli military strike following an 11-day escalation between Israel and Gaza military factions. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Palestinian children and family members attend a candlelight vigil to condemn the killing of children and civilians in Gaza City on May 25. The vigil was held over the rubble of homes destroyed by an Israeli military strike following an 11-day escalation between Israel and Gaza military factions. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The exchange of fire between Israel and Gaza killed more than 250 Palestinians, including 66 children, and a dozen Israelis, including two children.

June

A security officer asks members of the news media to step back as, from left, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet during a U.S.-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva on June 16. (Denis Balibouse / Pool via AP)

A security officer asks members of the news media to step back as, from left, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet during a U.S.-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva on June 16. (Denis Balibouse / Pool via AP)

“This is not a ‘kumbaya’ moment,” Biden said at a news conference later. “I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior,” he said, alluding to the hacking, foreign election interference and human rights abuses allegedly committed under the auspices of Putin’s authoritarian Russia. 

Angry parents and community members protest after a Loudoun County School Board meeting was halted because the crowd refused to quiet down, in Ashburn, Va., on June 22. A discussion about a proposed pronoun policy for students ended in disarray and an arrest. (Evelyn Hockstein / Reuters) 

Angry parents and community members protest after a Loudoun County School Board meeting was halted because the crowd refused to quiet down, in Ashburn, Va., on June 22. A discussion about a proposed pronoun policy for students ended in disarray and an arrest. (Evelyn Hockstein / Reuters) 

School districts across the country are struggling to address accusations that administrators are indoctrinating students in progressive ideas about race, gender and sexuality.

An injured resident of Togoga arrives on a stretcher to the Ayder referral hospital in Mekele, Ethiopia, on June 23, a day after a deadly airstrike on a market in Ethiopia’s war-torn northern Tigray region, where a seven-month-old conflict surged again. Witnesses and medical personnel said dozens were killed or wounded at the busy market on June 22, as ballot counting was underway across much of the rest of the country. (Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP via Getty Images)

An injured resident of Togoga arrives on a stretcher to the Ayder referral hospital in Mekele, Ethiopia, on June 23, a day after a deadly airstrike on a market in Ethiopia’s war-torn northern Tigray region, where a seven-month-old conflict surged again. Witnesses and medical personnel said dozens were killed or wounded at the busy market on June 22, as ballot counting was underway across much of the rest of the country. (Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP via Getty Images)

Search and rescue teams look for survivors in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 30 in Surfside, Fla. (Giorgio Viera / AFP via Getty Images)

Search and rescue teams look for survivors in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 30 in Surfside, Fla. (Giorgio Viera / AFP via Getty Images)

Firefighters ended their search for bodies at the site of the building on July 23, after a month of painstaking work among the dangerous debris that was piled several stories high. Ninety eight people died in the collapse.

July

Volunteers and residents clean up their shops and restaurants following severe flash flooding in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, on July 18. (Thomas Lohnes / Getty Images) 

Volunteers and residents clean up their shops and restaurants following severe flash flooding in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, on July 18. (Thomas Lohnes / Getty Images) 

Torrential rain led to severe flooding and destruction across western Europe, wreaking havoc in parts of Belgium and the Netherlands, and leaving Germany reeling from its worst natural disaster in decades. 

A home burns as flames from the Dixie fire tear through the Indian Falls neighborhood of unincorporated Plumas County, Calif., on July 24. (Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images)

A home burns as flames from the Dixie fire tear through the Indian Falls neighborhood of unincorporated Plumas County, Calif., on July 24. (Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images)

The Dixie Fire would become the second largest in recorded state history, burning more than 963,000 acres. The fire started on July 13 and was fully contained on Oct. 25, according to fire officials. The cause is under investigation. 

A group of migrants thought to be from Tunisia sit in precarious wooden boats as they wait to be assisted by a team from the Spanish NGO Open Arms, around 20 miles southwest of the Italian island of Lampedusa on July 29. The NGO assisted more than 170 people who arrived next to the Italian island on board six different wooden dinghies, before the Italian authorities took them to land. (Santi Palacios / AP)

A group of migrants thought to be from Tunisia sit in precarious wooden boats as they wait to be assisted by a team from the Spanish NGO Open Arms, around 20 miles southwest of the Italian island of Lampedusa on July 29. The NGO assisted more than 170 people who arrived next to the Italian island on board six different wooden dinghies, before the Italian authorities took them to land. (Santi Palacios / AP)

August

A woman leaves her home after it was threatened by a wildfire in the village of Gouves, on the island of Evia, Greece, on Aug. 8. (Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A woman leaves her home after it was threatened by a wildfire in the village of Gouves, on the island of Evia, Greece, on Aug. 8. (Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Firefighters from more than 20 European countries joined forces to stop the progress of the fires.

People try to climb on top of a plane at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 16, after a swift U.S. withdrawal from the country. (Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty Images)

People try to climb on top of a plane at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 16, after a swift U.S. withdrawal from the country. (Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty Images)

A U.S. soldier points his gun toward an Afghan passenger at the Kabul airport on Aug. 16. (Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty Images)

A U.S. soldier points his gun toward an Afghan passenger at the Kabul airport on Aug. 16. (Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty Images)

More than 120,000 people were safely flown out of Afghanistan during a chaotic 18-day evacuation operation in Kabul, including around 6,000 Americans, according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. 

Houston Fire Department EMS medics transport a Covid-positive patient to a hospital on Aug. 20. (John Moore / Getty Images)

Houston Fire Department EMS medics transport a Covid-positive patient to a hospital on Aug. 20. (John Moore / Getty Images)

Texas’ largest city saw a major surge of the delta variant of the coronavirus, taxing EMS personnel and overwhelming city hospitals. 

Theophilus Charles, 70, sits inside his home in Houma, La., on Aug. 30 after it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ida. (Adrees Latif / Reuters)

Theophilus Charles, 70, sits inside his home in Houma, La., on Aug. 30 after it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ida. (Adrees Latif / Reuters)

Floodwaters left behind by Hurricane Ida in LaPlace, La., on Aug. 30. The storm, wielding some of the most powerful winds ever to hit the state, drove a wall of water inland when it thundered ashore as a Category 4 hurricane and reversed the course of part of the Mississippi River. (Luke Sharrett for Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Floodwaters left behind by Hurricane Ida in LaPlace, La., on Aug. 30. The storm, wielding some of the most powerful winds ever to hit the state, drove a wall of water inland when it thundered ashore as a Category 4 hurricane and reversed the course of part of the Mississippi River. (Luke Sharrett for Bloomberg via Getty Images)

September

Homes damaged from the remnants of Hurricane Ida in Mullica Hill, N.J., on Sept. 2. (Monica Herndon / The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Homes damaged from the remnants of Hurricane Ida in Mullica Hill, N.J., on Sept. 2. (Monica Herndon / The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Ida struck near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on Aug. 29 as a Category 4 hurricane, although winds had briefly reached a Category 5 level of 157 mph. Landfall caused catastrophic flooding and blew roofs off homes, but more people died in the densely populated areas of the Northeast, mostly because of Ida’s historic floodwaters.

Journalists from the Etilaatroz newspaper — Nemat Naqdi, 28, a video journalist, left, and Taqi Daryabi, 22, video editor — show wounds sustained after Taliban fighters tortured and beat them while in custody after they were arrested for reporting on a women’s rights protest in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sept. 8. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Journalists from the Etilaatroz newspaper — Nemat Naqdi, 28, a video journalist, left, and Taqi Daryabi, 22, video editor — show wounds sustained after Taliban fighters tortured and beat them while in custody after they were arrested for reporting on a women’s rights protest in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sept. 8. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Audience members cheer at the Richard Rogers Theatre in New York City at the end of the return performance of “Hamilton” on Sept. 14. (Eduardo Munoz / Reuters)

Audience members cheer at the Richard Rogers Theatre in New York City at the end of the return performance of “Hamilton” on Sept. 14. (Eduardo Munoz / Reuters)

Broadway shows began to reopen to live audiences for the first time since the pandemic began nearly 18 months earlier.

U.S. Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman listens as NCAA and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols testifies during a Senate Judiciary hearing about the investigation into Larry Nassar on Sept. 15. Nichols and other U.S. Gymnasts gave testimony on the abuse they experienced at the hand of Nassar, the former U.S. women’s national gymnastics team doctor, and the FBI’s lack of urgency when handling their cases. (Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images)

U.S. Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman listens as NCAA and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols testifies during a Senate Judiciary hearing about the investigation into Larry Nassar on Sept. 15. Nichols and other U.S. Gymnasts gave testimony on the abuse they experienced at the hand of Nassar, the former U.S. women’s national gymnastics team doctor, and the FBI’s lack of urgency when handling their cases. (Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images)

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 19. (Paul Ratje / AFP via Getty Images)

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 19. (Paul Ratje / AFP via Getty Images)

Horses will no longer be used by Border Patrol officers in Del Rio, after the release of photographs showing agents on horseback charging at Haitian migrants seeking to cross into the U.S.

Visitors walk through “In America: Remember,” a public art installation commemorating the Americans who have died due to Covid-19, on the National Mall on Sept. 21. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Visitors walk through “In America: Remember,” a public art installation commemorating the Americans who have died due to Covid-19, on the National Mall on Sept. 21. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

The installation included more than 660,000 small plastic flags, some with personal messages to those who have died, planted in 20 acres of the National Mall.  

Orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakazi, lies in the arms of her caregiver, Andre Bauma, at the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sept. 21, shortly before her death, which the park confirmed on Sept. 26. (Brent Stirton / Getty Images)

Orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakazi, lies in the arms of her caregiver, Andre Bauma, at the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sept. 21, shortly before her death, which the park confirmed on Sept. 26. (Brent Stirton / Getty Images)

A picture of Ndakazi went viral in 2019 after she photobombed a park ranger’s selfie. She died after a prolonged illness at the park’s Senkwekwe Center where she had lived for more than a decade.

A fisherman feeds whale sharks in the waters around Tan-Awan, a small town in Cebu Province in the Philippines, in September. The chance to swim with the world’s biggest fish drew tourists, but conservation groups denounce the hand-feeding that keeps the gentle creatures around. (Hannah Reyes Morales for The New York Times via Redux)

A fisherman feeds whale sharks in the waters around Tan-Awan, a small town in Cebu Province in the Philippines, in September. The chance to swim with the world’s biggest fish drew tourists, but conservation groups denounce the hand-feeding that keeps the gentle creatures around. (Hannah Reyes Morales for The New York Times via Redux)

A migrant seeking refuge in the U.S. crosses the Rio Grande river with his son on his shoulders near Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 23. (Daniel Becerril / Reuters)

A migrant seeking refuge in the U.S. crosses the Rio Grande river with his son on his shoulders near Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 23. (Daniel Becerril / Reuters)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel feeds Australian lorikeets at Marlow Bird Park in Marlow, Germany, on Sept. 23. (Georg Wendt / dpa via AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel feeds Australian lorikeets at Marlow Bird Park in Marlow, Germany, on Sept. 23. (Georg Wendt / dpa via AP)

After 16 years beset by crises and critics, Merkel, arguably the world’s most powerful woman, stepped down from the world stage in September.

Lava from the eruption of a volcano glows outside the window of a kitchen on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, on Sept. 28. (Jon Nazca / Reuters)

Lava from the eruption of a volcano glows outside the window of a kitchen on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, on Sept. 28. (Jon Nazca / Reuters)

October

Adrian James, 2, who tested positive for Covid-19, breathes with the help of a ventilator at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., on Oct. 5. (Callaghan O’Hare / Reuters)

Adrian James, 2, who tested positive for Covid-19, breathes with the help of a ventilator at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., on Oct. 5. (Callaghan O’Hare / Reuters)

A house is covered by volcanic ash on La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands on Oct. 30. (Emilio Morenatti / AP)

A house is covered by volcanic ash on La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands on Oct. 30. (Emilio Morenatti / AP)

November

Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on the stand as he testifies about his encounter with the late Joseph Rosenbaum during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Nov. 10. (Sean Krajacic / Pool via Reuters)

Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on the stand as he testifies about his encounter with the late Joseph Rosenbaum during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Nov. 10. (Sean Krajacic / Pool via Reuters)

A Wisconsin jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty in the fatal shooting of two men during protests in Kenosha last year, capping a trial that touched on issues of gun rights and race.

People react outside the Glynn County Courthouse after the jury reached a guilty verdict in the trial of William “Roddie” Bryan, Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael, charged in the February 2020 death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick, Ga., on Nov. 24. (Marco Bello / Reuters)

People react outside the Glynn County Courthouse after the jury reached a guilty verdict in the trial of William “Roddie” Bryan, Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael, charged in the February 2020 death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick, Ga., on Nov. 24. (Marco Bello / Reuters)

The three white men were found guilty of felony murder in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was running in their neighborhood when they confronted him last year.

Allison Hepp, 15, holds a candle while leaning against her brother, Benjamin Hepp, 17, during a prayer vigil after the Oxford High School shootings on Nov. 30 at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich. (Jake May / The Flint Journal via AP)

Allison Hepp, 15, holds a candle while leaning against her brother, Benjamin Hepp, 17, during a prayer vigil after the Oxford High School shootings on Nov. 30 at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich. (Jake May / The Flint Journal via AP)

Four students were fatally shot at the school in Oxford Township, roughly 30 miles north of Detroit. The suspected shooter was a sophomore at the school. 

December

Leanna Arcila, 7, is licked by Watson, a therapy dog with the Pawtucket police department, as she receives her Covid-19 vaccination at Nathanael Greene Elementary School in Pawtucket, R.I., on Dec. 7. (David Goldman / AP)

Leanna Arcila, 7, is licked by Watson, a therapy dog with the Pawtucket police department, as she receives her Covid-19 vaccination at Nathanael Greene Elementary School in Pawtucket, R.I., on Dec. 7. (David Goldman / AP)

Even as the U.S. reached a Covid-19 milestone of roughly 200 million fully vaccinated people, infections and hospitalizations were spiking, including in highly vaccinated pockets of the country like New England.

Desiray Cartledge, 3, stands in the rubble of her house in Dawson Springs, Ky., on Dec. 12. (Austin Anthony for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Desiray Cartledge, 3, stands in the rubble of her house in Dawson Springs, Ky., on Dec. 12. (Austin Anthony for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Dozens of devastating tornadoes roared through five states, leaving more than 80 people dead in what President Joe Biden said was “one of the largest” storm outbreaks in U.S. history.

A couple embrace as they survey tornado damage on Dec. 12 in Mayfield, Ky. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)

A couple embrace as they survey tornado damage on Dec. 12 in Mayfield, Ky. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)

A missing section of wall in the theater of an American Legion building in Mayfield, Ky., on Dec. 11. (Shawn Triplett via Reuters)

A missing section of wall in the theater of an American Legion building in Mayfield, Ky., on Dec. 11. (Shawn Triplett via Reuters)

See 2020’s Year in Pictures

Photo edited by Shahrzad Elghanayan, Matt Nighswander, Elise Wrabetz and the NBC News photo team; Development by Jiachuan Wu and Robin Muccari.

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