As 2018 draws to a close, we thought we would take a look back at some of the events of this unusual and challenging year.  If we missed one of your favorites, please take a moment to let us know.  Click here.

The unemployment rate is the lowest since 1969

We exercised our rights, voting in the most tumultuous midterms in years. Democrats gained control of the House, Republicans expanded their Senate majority, and voters made history, ushering into Congress many firsts for women and minorities.

Texas elected the first openly LGBTQ African-American woman judge.

Colorado elected the first openly gay governor in the US.

An Idaho boy who protected the American flag with his body stirred the patriotism of a nation in September. Fifth-grader Jack LeBreck lay on the ground under the flag as two other boys struggled to fold it on a windy day. 

Congress passed a long-awaited criminal justice overhaul bill

Parkland became the site of a mass school shooting when a former student killed 17 people, including students, a football coach, and an athletic director, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day. 

Nevada became the first state with a majority female legislature

For the first time in Marine Corps history, a woman was in charge of an infantry platoon

magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck near Anchorage on Nov. 30 sliced opened roads, knocked out power and damaged buildings. Over 3,000 aftershocks have rattled the region, though no deaths or serious injuries were reported. 

New York and Virginia became the first two states to require mental health education in schools

Team USA brought home 23 Olympic medals from Pyeongchang, South Korea. 

Hawaiians were sent scrambling one January morning after an emergency alert notification warned of an incoming ballistic missile threat. Residents and vacationers ran for cover and called loved ones thinking death was imminent. The only problem? The alert was an error. 

A city in Georgia became the first to have its criminal justice system led entirely by black women.

Hurricane Florence brought catastrophic flooding to North Carolina and surrounding states in September, causing billions of dollars in property damage and shattering all-time rainfall and flood records in the Carolinas. More than 50 people died in the storm, despite warnings from local authorities to evacuate.

The "Year of the Woman" went global.

29 million viewers tuned in to see American Meghan Markle marry Prince Harry.

Researchers developed a 10-minute cancer test.

Nature humbled us. California burned as the Camp Fire became the most destructive in state history. Hurricane winds and floods battered the Carolinas.

A new Ebola treatment trial began. 

new peanut allergy drug has provided fresh hope. 

A growing number of Americans now believe climate change is happening.

California was devastated by historic blazes this year which will likely impact the state for decades. 6,228 wildfires. Over 876,000 acres charred. At least 100 deaths. In Northern California, the Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive in state history.

Scientists came up with an idea to stop glaciers from melting

The Philadelphia Eagles finally won a Super Bowl. 

NASA's InSight touched down, and captured the first sounds of wind on Mars.

A deadlock over funding for President Trump's border wall led to a partial shutdown of the federal government, which continues to this day.

Then, we ended the year with a solemn goodbyeFuneral services for George H.W. Bush were a farewell not only to a former president, but also to a generation.

Dean and Draper

We wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.  If you are going out to celebrate please make arrangements for safe transportation home.  We’re here for you when you have insurance questions, too.

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Sources: CNN, CBS News, USA Today