Week In Review

Week in Review: December 27, 2020

Curious about Critters?

Ring in the new year by seeing how much you know about animals with these quizzes.
What bird almost killed Johnny Cash?
Test your knowledge of the world’s most dangerous birds.
What’s the longest poisonous snake?
Take this snake quiz if you dare.
Do sharks sink when they aren’t swimming?
Sort fact from fiction about these dangerous predators.
What’s the word for a baby dog?
Hint: it’s not puppy.
Are owls promiscuous?
Find out that answer and more in our owl quiz.
Why do flamingoes stand on one leg?
Discover some of the weirdest facts in the animal kingdom.

Happy New Year, Readers!

There are so many words—mainly involving four letters—to describe 2020. Let’s all breath a sigh of relief that it’s done. Since we can’t gather together this year, we might as well read up on some New Year’s Eve traditions, including how January became the start of the calendar. Here’s hoping for a better 2021!
Why Does the New Year Start on January 1?
Demystified / World History
© golero/iStock.com
Watch Night
website
Heard & Moseley, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (reproduction no. LC-DIG-ppmsca-10980)
Hogmanay
article / Lifestyles & Social Issues
Murdo Macleod—Polaris/Newscom

Hurricanes

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared 2020 to be the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record.
How do hurricanes form?
Britannica earth sciences editor John Rafferty explains the origins of these massive storm systems.
Who chooses the names of hurricanes?
Learn about the World Meteorological Organization’s selection process.
What were the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history?
As many as 12,000 people may have been killed in the Galveston storm of 1900.
What effects do hurricanes have on the natural world?
Tropical cyclones can be devastating to land and marine ecosystems.
Where can you get up-to-date information about current storms?
The National Hurricane Center provides regular updates on the progress of Atlantic storms.

The Biggest Events of 2020

The once-in-a-century pandemic that gripped the globe in 2020 made the year one to forget. Yet some events are worth remembering this year, including that the United States elected Kamala Harris as its first female and first Black vice president and that people all over the world stood up against Black violence after the murder of George Floyd. Look back on some of the year’s most memorable stories.
Black Lives Matter
article / Lifestyles & Social Issues
© Coast-to-Coast— iStock Editorial/Getty Images
Kamala Harris
article / Politics, Law & Government
© JStone/Shutterstock.com
Coronavirus
article / Science
Alissa Eckert, MS and Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC

Famous Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

For some 3,000 years, a series of kings ruled ancient Egypt, but we know very little about the lives they lived. Rather, a lot of what we know about Egyptian pharaohs is based on their magnificent funerary complexes.
King Tut
The boy king, whose real name was Tutankhamun, may be the most famous pharaoh of all, largely because of his intact tomb discovered in the Valley of the Kings. Within it, archaeologists found such objects as furniture, clothes, chariots, weapons, three dazzling gold coffins in which the mummy lay, and Tutankhamun’s now-iconic portrait mask.
Djoser
The king erected a funerary complex at Ṣaqqārah, where, with his minister, Imhotep, a talented architect and physician, he oversaw the construction of the step pyramid, a precursor to the iconic pyramids at Giza and the oldest extant monument of hewn stone known in the world.
Hatshepsut
Unsatisfied with the title of queen, Hatshepsut (reigned in her own right c. 1473–58 BCE) attained unprecedented power, adopting the full titles and regalia of a pharaoh. Her funerary temple at Dayr al-Baḥrī is perhaps one of the most impressive, featuring a series of three colonnaded terraces set elegantly into the mountainside.
Ramses II
Ramses the Great, whose reign (1279–13 BCE) was the second longest in Egyptian history, is known for his extensive building programs and for the many colossal statues of him found all over Egypt.

Wounded Knee Massacre

December 29 marks the 130th anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre, the slaughter of as many as 300 Lakota Sioux by U.S. Army troops in southwestern South Dakota. Although it was characterized as a “battle” by the Army and many contemporaries, the U.S. 7th Cavalry maintained an almost complete monopoly on violence throughout the incident. Scores of women and children were among those killed, but the U.S. conferred the Congressional Medal of Honor on 20 of the cavalrymen who perpetrated the massacre. Wounded Knee marked the end of organized resistance to U.S. expansion on the Great Plains. In 1973 members of the American Indian Movement occupied the hamlet of Wounded Knee and declared it the Independent Oglala Sioux Nation. This highly publicized event was carried out to protest the U.S. government’s Indian policy.
Remembering Wounded Knee
article / Politics, Law & Government
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (reproduction no. LC-DIG-ppmsca-15849)
The American Indian Movement
article / Lifestyles & Social Issues
Jim Mone—AP Images/Shutterstock.com
Native American or American Indian?
article
© grandriver—E+/Getty Images

Famous Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

For some 3,000 years, a series of kings ruled ancient Egypt, but we know very little about the lives they lived. Rather, a lot of what we know about Egyptian pharaohs is based on their magnificent funerary complexes.
King Tut
The boy king, whose real name was Tutankhamun, may be the most famous pharaoh of all, largely because of his intact tomb discovered in the Valley of the Kings. Within it, archaeologists found such objects as furniture, clothes, chariots, weapons, three dazzling gold coffins in which the mummy lay, and Tutankhamun’s now-iconic portrait mask.
Djoser
The king erected a funerary complex at Ṣaqqārah, where, with his minister, Imhotep, a talented architect and physician, he oversaw the construction of the step pyramid, a precursor to the iconic pyramids at Giza and the oldest extant monument of hewn stone known in the world.
Hatshepsut
Unsatisfied with the title of queen, Hatshepsut (reigned in her own right c. 1473–58 BCE) attained unprecedented power, adopting the full titles and regalia of a pharaoh. Her funerary temple at Dayr al-Baḥrī is perhaps one of the most impressive, featuring a series of three colonnaded terraces set elegantly into the mountainside.
Ramses II
Ramses the Great, whose reign (1279–13 BCE) was the second longest in Egyptian history, is known for his extensive building programs and for the many colossal statues of him found all over Egypt.

The Biggest Events of 2020

The once-in-a-century pandemic that gripped the globe in 2020 made the year one to forget. Yet some events are worth remembering this year, including that the United States elected Kamala Harris as its first female and first Black vice president and that people all over the world stood up against Black violence after the murder of George Floyd. Look back on some of the year’s most memorable stories.
Coronavirus
article / Science
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Kamala Harris
article / Politics, Law & Government
Courtesy of Kamala Harris for Senate
Black Lives Matter
article / Lifestyles & Social Issues
© Coast-to-Coast— iStock Editorial/Getty Images
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