A major city went bankrupt, the government stopped working, and the NSA was spying on everyone. On the bright side, gay marriage scored double victories in one day. Ahead, see what else prompted double takes this year.
This story appears the special Year in Photos issue of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, available Friday, Dec. 27 in the iTunes App store.
Anthony Weiner 07.23.13
Anthony Weiner ran for mayor of New York in 2013, after a sexting scandal that forced him to resign from Congress in 2011. Two months into his run, it came to light that he had continued to sext after his resignation. Weiner carried on with his campaign, announcing at a news conference alongside his wife Huma Abedin that he would not be dropping out of the race. He lost with 5 percent of the vote, and when a reporter asked him what he would do next, he flipped him the bird.
Benghazi Hearings 01.23.13
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing to find out what went wrong during the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. In a heated moment, Clinton, who was criticized for her role during the attack, shouted, "With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again."
Boston Marathon Bombings 04.19.13
Nineteen-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, bloody and disheveled with the red dot of a rifle laser sight on his forehead, raises his hand from inside a boat at the time of his capture by law enforcement authorities in Watertown, Mass. Tsarnev and his brother Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev were accused of mastermindings the bombings at the Boston Marathon this year, which left three dead and hundreds injured.
Detroit Goes Bankrupt 07.18.13
Graffiti is painted on the walls of the abandoned Packard Automotive Plant in Detroit, Mich. The city filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy this year, becoming the largest municipality in U.S. history to do so. Their debt is estimated to be between $18–20 billion.
Gay Marriage Victories
Attorney David Boies spearheaded the case for Prop. 8 in California, which lifted the ban on same-sex marriages in the state. Meanwhile, eighty-three-year-old lesbian widow Edie Windsor (pictured), the plaintiff of the US v. Windsor case, challenged the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and won.
Wendy Davis, 06.25.13
Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth), center, holds up two fingers to signal a “No” vote as an 11-hour session where she tried to filibuster an abortion bill ends.
Rand Paul, 03.06.13
Democrats pushed for fast confirmation of John Brennan’s nomination to be CIA director but ran into a snag when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) began a nearly 13-hour speech over the legality of potential drone strikes on U.S. soil.
Shutdown Washington, D.C. 10.03.13
A closure sign is posted on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol on the third day of the federal government shutdown. From Oct. 1 to Oct. 17, most routine government operations grinded to a halt after Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014. In a speech to the American people, President Obama said, "This Republican shutdown did not have to happen. But I want every American to understand why it did happen. Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to fund the government unless we defunded or dismantled the Affordable Care Act." When the Obamacare website finally opened for business, site glitches made it one of the most hotly criticized things the Obama administration would do this year.
2013 Elections, 11.05.13
Among the big wins this year, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie celebrated victory, as did New York Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, who won the election by a landslide, receiving more than 73 percent of the vote.
Edward Snowden Shocks The World, 06.05.13
On June 5, the Guardian began publishing documents revealing the extent of U.S. spying; hundreds of revelations later, we've learned the National Security Agency has been collecting people's contact lists, tapping submarine cables and breaking into servers of publicly traded companies. The documents came courtesy of Edward Snowden, a former NSA employee who, post-reveal, was hunted by the U.S. government; after briefly taking refuge in Hong Kong, Snowden was granted asylum by the Russian government.
Rev. Al Sharpton speaks as Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton and Martin's brother Jahvaris Fulton (left) attend a rally honoring the teenager on July 20. Demonstrators gathered in various cities across the country to protest the acquittal of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman and press for his federal prosecution in the shooting death of Martin.