The presidential election dominated headlines throughout 2012, with a number of candidates jockeying for position in the Republican primaries. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came out on top, though he eventually lost to President Obama in the general election. The nation debated the "47%," "legitimate rape," who built it, and still, even with the election over, consensus remains rare in Washington, D.C.
The killing of black teen Trayvon Martin by Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman riveted the nation, as did the Colorado movie-theater shootings and images in court of gunman James E. Holmes, his hair dyed orange. In December, the massacre of 20 young children and eight adults at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School made us weep.
But it was also a year for heroes large and small -- people like Victoria Soto, who saved her students amid the gunfire at Sandy Hook. Then there was the Brooklyn bus driver captured on video stepping up to catch a 7-year-old girl when she fell from a third-floor window. After 68-year-old bus monitor Karen Klein was bullied by boys on a school bus, there was a public outcry and an Internet campaign that netted more than half a million dollars, enabling her to retire.