We’ve already established that 2014 was pretty terrible. But what about all the good things that happened this year? In lieu of this week’s “Actually Good Things That Happened This Week,” let’s look at actually good things that happened this year.
1. We may have finally ended the Cold War. The Cold War dates back to before we had Twitter, so you know it’s old af. That’s why when President Obama announced on Wednesday that the U.S. would work to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time in a half-century, it was relieving news to anybody who doesn’t remember why we were even mad at Cuba in the first place.
2. A whole lot of states struck down gay-marriage bans. Courts in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Illinois all struck down gay-marriage bans this year, making it legal in 35 of the 50 states.
3. We were blessed with this video. And our lives were never the same.
4. We had the highest job growth rate since 1999. The U.S. added 2.65 million jobs this year, and the jobless rate stayed blessedly low-ish at 5.8 percent.
5. We reached a global agreement on climate change. Nearly 200 countries signed a bill this week committing to reducing use of foreign fossil fuels.
6. A bunch of states voted to increase their minimum wage. Voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and California opted to raise their states’ minimum wages, helping many workers hoist themselves above the poverty line.
7. Kate Middleton, Kate Middleton, Kate Middleton. Big year for Duchess Kate. Not only did she attend her first NBA game and hobnob with American royalty Beyoncé and Jay Z, she also announced that she’s pregnant with a second child, giving the British tabloids fodder for at least the next nine months.
8. The CEO of the country’s biggest tech company came out. Apple CEO Tim Cook came out about his sexuality in a letter published in October in Businessweek. “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” he said.
9. We finally reformed our immigration policy. In November 2014, President Obama signed an executive order that would save “five million people from deportation and allow many to work legally, although it offers no path to citizenship.”
10. And of course, Taylor Swift released a new album. Haters gonna hate.