From protests sweeping the streets, to a historic Ebola outbreak, to the threat of ISIS, and so much more, it seemed like a nation on edge for much of 2014.

Michael Brown / Eric Garner

Unrest erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, where unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson.
The fatal shooting prompted protests across the country and sparked debate regarding the use of police force.
Months after the shooting, another wave of violent unrest began when a grand jury chose not to indict Officer Wilson.
At the same time a New York City grand jury decision just days later to not charge a white New York Police Officer in the choking death of unarmed black man Eric Garner in July.
Intense backlash swept the states, including here in Boston.

Ebola Virus

The largest Ebola outbreak in history crept its way to America.
Doctor Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were the first Americans infected with the deadly virus and flown back to the states. Both were treated and released, thankful to be alive.
Soon, the virus hit closer to home when Massachusetts Dr. Rick Sacra was diagnosed with Ebola. After weeks in isolation, Dr. Sacra happily returned home to the commonwealth.
And a hospital in Texas came under close watch when two nurses contracted the virus after caring for Eric Duncan, the first Ebola victim to be diagnosed and die in the United States.


In response to the growing threat of ISIS, President Obama sent a candid message to the American people.
The president also condemned the barbaric beheadings of three Americans by the terrorist group, including New Hampshire native James Foley.

White House Security Breaches

An armed intruder jumped the white house fence and made his way through the front door.
Then-Secret Service director Julia Pierson came under intense scrutiny she resigned.

Republican Senate Control

Republicans swept the midterm elections, giving the GOP control of Congress for the first time in eight years.

Immigration Reform

This summer, a small California town became a flashpoint in the immigration debate when busloads of undocumented immigrants were turned away by protestors. President Obama seemed undeterred, however, after taking executive action on the issue to Republicans’ dislike.

NFL Domestic Abuse Scandals

A video showing NFL player Ray Rice hit his now-wife in an elevator.
That was followed by charges of alleged child abuse against fellow player Adrian Peterson.
Eventually the NFL toughened its domestic violence policies.

Wild Weather

Cold crippled the country at the start of the year.
Atlanta highways turned into icy parking lots during the harsh winter weather.
In March, a deadly mudslide killed 43 people and destroyed homes in the small town of Oso, Washington.
Come summer, the hot, dry weather in the west fueled wildfires, including in Yosemite National Park where hikers had to be rescued by helicopter.

Colorado Marijuana

Colorado makes history, ringing in 2014 as the first state in the U.S. to legally allow sales of recreational marijuana.

Sony Hack

What started as satire took a serious turn when opponents of “The Interview” – a comedy that depicts an assassination attempt on North Korea’s leader – launched an online attack against Sony pictures.
The hack leaked thousands of sensitive documents, and right before the movie’s debut, threats of 9/11-style attacks on theaters forced the studio to scale back the film’s release.

One World Trade Center Opens

Turning tragedy into hope 13 years after the attacks on 9/11, the Freedom Tower opened its doors, a symbol of hope and rebuilding.

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