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10 Defining Moments of 2013 [In Pictures]

Well what a year it has been in many respects, But hasn’t it flown by! We felt that it would be wrong to leave 2013 without giving some momentous events a mention as we welcome in 2014.

Article by Maria S. 

1. Same Sex Marriage Legalised In Parts of the World

gay marriage 2013

Image by samirluther

As Russell Howard’s tear-jerking segment of his show Russel Howard’s Good News says, ‘It’s not all doom and gloom’, we thought we’d start with something great that happened this year.  Sixteen countries worldwide have now finally legalised same-sex marriage, and opened up their hearts to say; no matter what your sexual orientation, you have just as much right to be happy.

This has been ground-breaking news for LGBT communities across the world, having campaigned, fought, protested and suffered injustice for decades. Our world is becoming a more accepting one, and as a result more and more people are given the confidence to truly be themselves without shame, and most recently Tom Daley who said that previously he “felt alone and trapped”.

2. Margaret Thatcher Passed Away

Thatcher dies 2013

Image by jay galvin

On April 8th 2013, former Prime Minister of Britain Margaret Thatcher died aged 87. While many adored her, and she was highly respected for being the first and only female Prime Minister of the country to date, she was also despised by many. Her policies on the privatisation of previously state-owned industries and utilities meant that unemployment dramatically increased during her years in power, turning many thousands against her up and down the country. You can find out more about her life here. 

 3. Google Glass (2013 update)

Google Glass 2013

Image by jeff blackler

Our vision was made clear on Google Glass on 20th February 2013 when Google released an exciting new video. By now I’m sure you’ve heard enough talk to know that Google Glass is basically an extremely intelligent smartphone on your face, giving you information on everything you see, giving you social media updates, and allowing you to record, take photos, and even make calls and send texts.

Many people find this new technology unnerving and slightly on the stalking side, others have been arrested for wearing it while driving (but that’s a whole other post!), but at the end of the day it can’t be argued that this is some nerdy piece of genius. Well done, Google. You’ve stalked us to the ends of the earth once again.

4. North Korea Declared War on South Korea… again. 

Problems in Korea 2013

Image by michaeljesusday

From the end of 2012, North Korea started publicising quite threateningly the fact that they had nuclear missiles that can hit mainland USA. Yep, great, that’s definitely not going to provoke the USA at all… Of course, America got quite on edge upon hearing this, as most of us probably would.

North Korea declared a ‘state’ of war on their Southern neighbours in March 2013, and then in May 2013 North Korea began testing short range missiles, four in one weekend to be exact, as if they hadn’t done enough. Around the same time they also decided to withdraw the workers they had in a South Korean funded joint industrial park, effectively cutting connections with the South and disassociating themselves from them.

Those workers are back in the industrial park now, but the two countries plus the USA remain tensely cautious of one another and probably will for quite a while yet.

5. Andy Murray Won wimbldeon

Murray Wins final 2013

Image by anonlinegreenworld

He didn’t just win, he was the first British player to win for 77 years. The last time someone won tennis they dressed like this:

British tennis 2013

Image by wikimedia

So as you can see this was kind of a big deal, whether you’re into tennis or not, and I’m pretty much not. Andy Murray started out looking like a rather moody teenager, barely smiling, not particularly chatty, and frankly seemed half asleep in most interviews. But alas, he has blossomed into someone we all love and respect and really quite admire for what he has done. We’re even seeing a whole lot of personality now, and even some banter too – he even just bagged himself Sports Personality of the Year!

6. Royal Baby Prince George Was Born 

Royal baby 2013

Image by Carmen Rodriguez NSP

Only 22 July 2013, after much speculation about names (yawn) little baby Prince George Alexander Louis  popped out, completing William and Kate’s perfect little family, and the nation got a glimpse of our future King. This year he will of course experience his first royal Christmas, something we all have to admit we wouldn’t mind experiencing – think of the presents!

7. Sir alex ferguson retires as Manchester United Manager

Sir Alex retires 2013

Image by Icebergtz

Arguably one of the best managers in British football retired on 8 May 2013 after 26 years in charge of the football club. He went out with a bang aged 71, on his 1500th game as manager, and with 38 Manchester United trophies under his belt – including their 2013 Premier League win to end on a high. Incredible really. He can currently be spotted attending the occasional Manchester United match, including their loss to Everton at home in recent weeks. But he can also be found on the front cover of his autobiography that he released soon after retirement, revealing the ins and outs of the Beckham years, his relationship with Keane, and much more juicy football gossip I’m sure.

8. The US Government temporarily shuts down

US Gov shuts down 2013

Image by cool revolution

Between 1st and 16th October 2013, the government of the United States of America shut down after the two houses of Congress failed to come to an agreement on a new budget.  While it was only very temporary, it was the first shut down for 17 years, and had a huge knock on effect on the country preventing commuters from being able to go to work and meaning that they were unpaid for those 17 days, among other major problems it caused.

9. Pope Benedict XVI resigned

Pope resigns 2013

Image by manhhai

This sounds like it may not be particularly momentous, but Pope Benedict XVI is in fact the first Pope to resign in almost 600 years, having only spend 8 years in the position.

His reasons for his resignation were that his doctor had told him not to travel as he is physical no longer able. This is obviously a huge hindrance as much of what a pope does involves travelling Europe, so this reason was understandable. There has however, been much speculation that this was not the real reason, which has in turn caused controversy.

10. Nelson Mandela Passed Away

Mandela dies 2013

Image by symphony of love

Finally of course, as recently as 5 December 2013, former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela passed away after several months of illness. He was 95 and had lived a life of fighting for change and redemption within the country throughout the Apartheid years, including 27 years of imprisonment and torture on Robben Island.  As a young man Mandela was imprisoned for a short time because of his activist role in South Africa, and after this he joined the African National Congress in 1944 and here he helped to form the ANC Youth League where he fought for black Africans’ rights.

His protest was not all non-violent it has to be said, but this arose out of frustration with the lack of progress non-violence was seeing. He was punished many a time for this, and was sent to Robben Island in 1964 as a result of his attempts to overturn the government at the time.

A year after his release he was elected ANC president of South Africa in 1991, and stepped down after one term in 1999 aged 81, but has continued to play an active part in the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund he set up and even established two more foundations too.

Of course it has been impossible to fit in all the major events of 365 days of 2013, but what others would you have added, and how have they impacted our world?

Maria S takes a keen interest in both current affairs and the images that represent the events of our world.

Featured Image: christmasstockimages 

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