By Gabrielle Angelica Abesamis
Niles West
and Barbara Cruz
It takes 12 months—or around 365.25 days, 8,766 hours, 525,960 minutes or 31,557,600 seconds—for a full orbit of the Earth around the sun. It has been almost that long since the last ball drop in New York’s Times Square, the last change of the solar calendar and the last time we’ve been on winter break. 2012 is about to come to an end, but there are some things that happened this year that we won’t soon forget.

Beyonce Knowles and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter welcome their first child, Blue Ivy.

Protesters gather from all over the Internet and in several cities to protest the anti-piracy bills of Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). The anti-piracy bills are postponed by Congress after seeing public outrage.

The N.Y. Giants win Super Bowl 46, beating the New England Patriots 21-17 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Pop star Whitney Houston dies at age 48 from an accidental drowning in a bathtub after taking drugs.

Adele sweeps the Grammy awards, winning record of the year and song of the year for “Rolling in the Deep,” and album of the year for “21,” among other awards.

Unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is shot in Sanford, Fla., by 26-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, setting off an international controversy.

Chardon (Ohio) High School student Thomas “T.J.” Lane is arrested in the shooting of five students, three of whom die.

Chicago-based Encyclopaedia Britannica cuts publication of its print edition after more than 240 years to focus on online encyclopedias.

Simeon Career Academy’s boys basketball team win a record sixth state title. They beat Proviso East High School in a close game, 50-48.

Facebook buys Instagram for $715 million in cash and stock.

“The Lion King” becomes the highest grossing Broadway show, surpassing “Phantom of the Opera.”

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West go public about their relationship.

President Obama declares his support for gay marriage.

Bulls star Derrick Rose undergoes surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Six months later, he continues to sit out.

The L.A. Kings win their first Stanley Cup.

The Miami Heat win the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Lonesome George, the last of the Pinta Island tortoises, dies at an estimated 100 years old. This leaves the Pinta Island tortoises extinct.

Katie Holmes files for divorce from Tom Cruise after five years of marriage.

The “Gangnam Style” video by Psy is posted on YouTube and later sets the Guinness World Record for most likes in YouTube history, breaking LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” record (1,574,963 likes) with 2,141,758 likes.

James Holmes, a 24-year-old from Aurora, Colo., shoots 70 people at a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” movie. He kills 12 people and injures 58.

The 2012 Summer Olympics kick off in London. During the Games, the American women’s gymnastic team makes history by winning its first gold medal.

Michael Phelps wins his 18th gold medal and becomes the most decorated Olympic athlete with a total of 22 medals.

The Curiosity rover lands on Mars.

“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen marks its ninth week on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and sparks hundreds of covers and parody videos online.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong gives up his fight against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs and later stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles.

Aspiring teen rapper Joseph “Lil Jojo” Coleman is shot to death in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago.

More than 26,000 Chicago Public Schools teachers and staff members go on strike until Sept. 18.

A terrorist attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, kills four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, and injures 10 others.

New Trier High School sends an email to parents saying it investigated allegations that students sent inappropriate pictures through text messages and email and referred the matter to Winnetka police, which later charged six students.

The NHL goes on a lockout, and as of press time on Tuesday, the players’ union and owners still hadn’t come to an agreement.

The iPhone 5 is released, selling 2 million devices on the first day.

Fourteen-year-old Dajae Coleman of Evanston Township High School is shot and killed as he walked home with friends from a party. Wesley Woodson III, 21, of Evanston, is later charged with first-degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm, and is awaiting trial.

Felix Baumgartner, 43, becomes the first “space diver,” skydiving almost 25 miles from the stratosphere and breaking the sound barrier on his way down. It also makes Baumgartner the first person to break the sound barrier without the use of a vehicle.

Superstorm Sandy makes landfall near Atlantic City, N.J., and batters the East Coast, killing more than 130 people in the U.S. and Canada, and also causing power shortages, flooding and other damages in the billions. As a hurricane, Sandy also hit Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti and killed at least 69 people in the Caribbean.

President Barack Obama win his second presidential term, getting 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney’s 206.

The Internet buzzes about Justin Bieber’s and Selena Gomez’ split after dating for a year and a half.

British boy band One Direction’s second album, “Take Me Home,” sells 540,000 copies in its first week.

Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, says it asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to go out of business and lay off more than 18,500 workers. The announcement also sets off a buying frenzy for Twinkies and other Hostess products.

Jesse Jackson Jr. resigns from Congress, citing his treatment for his bipolar disorder and allegations surrounding his ethics.

Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter after teammate and friend Jerry Brown Jr. dies in a car crash.

Boxer Juan Manuel Marquez knocks out Manny Pacquiao in the sixth round—the fourth time they’ve fought.

Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera dies in a plane crash in northern Mexico.

Twenty year-old Adam Lanza went on a shooting spree that claimed 28 lives, including his mother’s and his own at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

—Tribune, wires contributed

>> Do you think we missed one of the biggest news stories of 2012 on our list? Tell us what else you would have added in the comments below!

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About The Mash

The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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