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It’s nearly impossible to sum up the year 2016 with a single word, phrase, or story. Dominated by political coverage and consumed with tragedy, there’s little doubt that events of this year will go down in history for having a lasting impact on millions of people.

Here are 16 stories that unfolded in 2016 which will surely reverberate into 2017 and far beyond.

1. U.S. presidential election

The narrative of the 2016 election seemed to set the tone for the entire year. Donald Trump’s surprising win came at the end of a long, bitter campaign where both sides flung accusations of sexism, racism, lies, cover-ups, illegal activity, and even sexual assault.

The country saw for the first time a political candidate who could change the entire conversation with a tap of his thumb and a tweet. And we saw our first female nominee of a major political party, Hillary Clinton.

But it was the “October surprises” that ultimately came to dominate the story of the 2016 election. Trump’s came in the form of a leaked “Access Hollywood” tape, more than a decade old, in which he described groping women in offensive detail. Clinton’s was a letter from FBI director James Comey to Congress updating the status of an investigation into her email server that didn’t result in charges but never quite disappeared. Both story lines exemplify the dark clouds that hovered over each candidate throughout the race.

Now, Americans are buckling up for the political roller-coaster ride that’s likely to last for the next four years.

2. Russian hacking

The hacking of the Democratic National Committee before the convention in July was a game-changer that rocked the presidential race. The following email leaks exposed damaging and embarrassing information on the Democrats, creating a major headache for the Clinton campaign.

But it increasingly became clear that the larger story was that the hack revealed America’s vulnerabilities to countries like Russia. U.S. intelligence officials said the attack had Russian “fingerprints,” and as the investigation progressed their confidence grew that Russia was directly involved with the intent of influencing the election. Most recently, officials said they believe Russian President Vladimir Putin himself ordered the hack. Although Donald Trump disputed Russia’s role, senators from both parties have called for an investigation that will keep making headlines in the new year.

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