The Top 10 National Stories of 2022
Being an election year, there were a lot of high-profile stories around the country that really drew a lot of attention and many of them had a major impact on the country.
From the FBI's unprecedented raid of a former president's home to the "Red Wave" that fell short, here are the top national stories we saw this year.
The Red Wave That Wasn't
Republicans were expecting a blowout election cycle in the November midterms but came up drastically short. Analysts have pointed to all sorts of reasons - candidate quality, the influence of former president Donald Trump, the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, and more - but the result of the election was that Republicans came up with a slim majority in the House of Representatives but lost ground in the U.S. Senate after Democrats flipped Pennsylvania and held on to every other swing state.
Inflation Hits 40-Year High
In July, year-over-year inflation hit its highest point in 40 years, causing concern among consumers as prices rose across all markets. The Biden administration tried to calm Americans, saying inflation was "transitory," and the Federal Reserve began aggressively raising interest rates to combat inflation. In the fall, inflation began cooling but still remains high, leading the Federal Reserve to continue its rate hikes.
Gas Prices Spike
From March and well into the summer, oil and gas prices rose quickly and remained historically high as multiple issues affected the energy sector - from Russia's invasion of Ukraine to inflation and more - causing motorists to pay a lot more at the pump. The prices have started to come down in recent months, but drivers are still nervous about future volatility in the market.
Drama At The Oscars
In a cultural moment that shocked Hollywood and the rest of the country, actor Will Smith walked onto the stage at the Oscars in the middle of host Chris Rock's monologue and slapped him after Rock told a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith later won a Best Actor award, but the Motion Picture Association banned him from the awards ceremony for ten years. Smith later apologized for his actions.
The Mar-A-Lago Raid
The FBI took the unprecedented step of raiding the residence of a former president in August. The search of Donald Trump's offices at Mar-a-Lago turned up several documents that the National Archives claimed were missing from official presidential records that were supposed to be turned over to them after Trump left office. The Department of Justice maintains that their actions were proper, though they and the former president remain locked in legal battles over the documents.
Elon Musk Buys Twitter
Elon Musk had long teased buying Twitter over "free speech" concerns, but in late October, he finally acquired the social media platform in a deal worth $44 billion. Since then, Musk's reign over the platform has been turbulent as he has promised amnesty for previously-suspended accounts, banned journalists who posted the location of his private jet, and promised to step down as CEO after posting a poll asking users if he should. Musk has also given several independent journalists access to documents known as the "Twitter Files," with those reporters explaining how Twitter's practices in managing content were done at the behest of government requests - including the suppression of the infamous Hunter Biden laptop story in 2022.
First Black Female Supreme Court Justice
On June 30, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in as the nation's first black female Supreme Court Justice, replacing the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. She underwent a tough grilling by Republican Senators during the nomination process, but Democrats had the vote to confirm President Joe Biden's nomination.
Hurricane Ian Hits Florida
While the 2022 hurricane season was much quieter than expected, Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida's western coast as a Category 4 storm, making it one of the most powerful storms to make landfall in history. The storm caused widespread destruction and flooding, while millions lost power. Despite the destruction, however, the state was able to quickly get emergency services to those stuck in the path of destruction.
FTX Collapses, Founder Arrested
In a stunning collapse no one saw coming, the formerly trust financial company FTX, a cryptocurrency firm, lost billions of dollars. The federal government is investigating multiple financial crimes, including the accusation that FTX was little more than a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors. The firm's CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, was ultimately arrested in the Bahamas and transported back to the United States, proclaiming his innocence.
Unprecedented Winter Storm Felt Across The U.S.
It was a very white Christmas in several portions of the U.S. as a major winter storm buried streets in snow and ice. In the deep south, little ice was seen but temperatures still fell to record lows - as low as the upper teens in Louisiana and elsewhere. In Buffalo, more than 30 people died as a result of the freezing temperatures and icy precipitation.
What Were Your Top Stories?
There were a lot of major stories throughout 2022, some more impactful on you than others. What were some of the most important stories you followed throughout the year? Don't forget to respond on our social media pages with your thoughts.