Here Are All The Good Things That Happened In 2019

Dec 25, 2019, 7:32 AM | Updated: 7:34 am
A giant tortoise walks through undergrowth in the highlands of Santa Cruz island on January 18, 201...
A giant tortoise walks through undergrowth in the highlands of Santa Cruz island on January 18, 2019 in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images for Lumix)
(Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images for Lumix)

(CNN) — We know you want 2019 canceled, reported and blocked. You think it was awful, depressing and went on far too long. But — and hear us out here — it wasn’t ALL that bad. To end things on a great note, here’s a list of some of the good things that happened this year.

The world

The Indian Navy welcomed its first-ever woman pilot • People around the world united to save a 2-year-old’s life • Austria named its first female chancellor • The European Commission elected its first female President • Women now lead five of the major parties in Finland’s parliament • For the first time, all major pageants were won by women of color • Macedonia was renamed, bringing an end to a decades-long dispute with Greece • President Donald Trump made history as the first sitting US leader to set foot in North Korea • Pope Francis became the first pontiff to visit an Arab Gulf state

The US

The 116th Congress became the most diverse in US history • Chicago elected its first African-American female mayor • Animal cruelty is officially a federal felony • California is now the first state to offer health insurance to some undocumented immigrants • Montgomery, Alabama, elected its first black mayor in 200 years • New York banned the so-called gay and trans “panic” defense • The largest mass commutation in US history took place • The White House honored a military dog for raid on ISIS leader • The Little Shell Tribe became the newest Native American tribe to receive federal recognition

Human rights

Indonesia raised minimum age for brides to end child marriage • Saudi Arabian women are finally allowed to travel independently • Taiwan became the first place in Asia to pass a same-sex marriage legislation • Botswana ruled to decriminalize consensual same-sex relations • Northern Ireland legalized same-sex marriage • Ecuador joined neighboring countries in legalizing same-sex marriage • Iranian women were officially allowed to attend a soccer match for the first time in 40 years

The environment

Iguanas were reintroduced to Galápagos island after 184 years • More places are banning single-use plastics • Humpback whales recovered from near-extinction in the South Atlantic • A tortoise believed to be extinct was found after 100 years • NASA said the planet is greener today than it was 20 years ago • A rare black leopard was spotted for the first time in nearly 100 years • An albino panda was photographed in the wild, for the first time • Scientists discovered 71 new species this year • Veterinarians harvested eggs from the world’s last two northern white rhinos to help save the species • Canada passed a bill banning whale and dolphin captivity

Health and science

Scientists may be able to spot Alzheimer’s 16 years before symptoms begin • The World Health Organization stopped classifying transgender people as mentally ill • Malaria was eliminated from Algeria and Argentina • Two men may have been cured of HIV • A woman with two wombs gave birth twice in less than a month  A woman became the first living HIV-positive kidney donor in the world • A new species related to humans was discovered • Africa marked a significant milestone in the quest to eradicate polio • Karen Uhlenbeck became the first woman to win mathematics‘ most prestigious prize • Emma Haruka Iwao broke the world record for calculating pi


We got to see the world’s first close-range image of the far side of the moon • The Antarctic ozone hole was the smallest on record since its discovery • NASA completed its first all-female astronaut spacewalk • We captured the first-ever photo of a black hole • Water was detected for first time on planet outside our solar system


The Toronto Raptors delivered Canada its first NBA title • The Washington Nationals finally won a World Series title • NCAA athletes are now allowed to profit from their name, image and likeness • Li Na became the first Asian player to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame • LeBron James topped Michael Jordan on the NBA all-time scoring list • The US women’s soccer team claimed its fourth Women’s World Cup title • Simone Biles became the most decorated gymnast in history • Halima Aden became the first model to wear a hijab and a burkini in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue • Eliud Kipchoge became the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours • Drew Brees broke the NFL record for all-time passing touchdowns • James Harden is now the first player in NBA history to record back-to-back 50-point games with more than 10 three-pointers


Aretha Franklin became the first woman to win a Pulitzer special award and citation • More than 50,000 books, films, songs and other artwork from 1923 became public domain • “Sesame Street” announced the launch of a new show to help refugee children • Missy Elliott became the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame • “This Is America” became the first rap song to win Grammys for song and record of the year • Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II published her first post on Instagram • BTS became the first K-Pop band to address the UN • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had their first child

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

U.S. President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to Army Specialist 5 Dwight W. Birdwell during a...

Biden awards Medal of Honor to 4 for Vietnam War heroism

President Joe Biden has bestowed the nation’s highest military honor to four Army soldiers for heroism that he says went above and beyond the call of duty during the Vietnam War.
16 hours ago
Protesters from "Just Stop Oil" climate protest group glue their hands to the frame of a copy of Le...
Associated Press

UK climate protesters glue themselves to gallery paintings

Climate change protesters targeted a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's “The Last Supper” at London's Royal Academy of Arts Tuesday, gluing themselves to the painting's frame and spray-painting “No New Oil” next to it.
16 hours ago
The SHOCKWAVE jet truck at Hill Air Force Base during the 2022 Warrior over the Wasatch Air and Spa...
Sharif Paget and Dakin Andone, CNN

Stunt truck with jet engines crashes at Michigan air show, killing driver

A jet-powered stunt truck spun out of control and crashed at an air show in Battle Creek, Michigan, killing the driver, according to police and footage of the incident.
16 hours ago
FBI agents work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 5, 2022 in Highland Park...

Police: Gunman fired more than 70 rounds at July 4 parade

Police say the gunman who attacked an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago fired more than 70 rounds with an AR-15-style gun that killed at least six people.
16 hours ago
22 June 2022, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Rottweil: The lettering Euro can be seen on a 1-Euro coin next to...
Julia Horowitz, CNN Business

Europe hasn’t been this cheap for Americans in decades

If you're an American visiting Italy, Greece or Spain this summer, you're in luck: Meals, hotels and tours are more affordable in dollars than they've been in two decades.
16 hours ago
Subway Sandwich...
Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

Subway is redesigning its menu

Subway is launching a new menu, and it's the most extensive makeover in the company's nearly 60-year history.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Here Are All The Good Things That Happened In 2019