It was the kind of year that we read about in history books: Momentous. Traumatic. World-changing. Exhausting.
From the worst pandemic in a century to a historic election, devastating wildfires, a civil rights reckoning and economic calamity, the biggest stories of 2020 have been the kinds of upheavals that defined prior years — like 1865, 1918, 1932 or 1968 — for generations to come. But rarely if ever have so many earth-shaking sagas unfolded at the same time.
“We can find parallels for each one of these things in past years,” said Bruce Cain, a professor of political science and director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. “But the combination of all of them hitting at once makes this year a super event.”
In the Bay Area, like California and the rest of the nation, 2020 won’t expire and fade into the background after the calendar shifts. The year’s top stories will continue to reverberate, evolve and shape 2021.