From raging infernos to royal weddings, 2018 was a year of highs and lows. Mass shootings dominated the calendar, as did the lead-up to November's midterm elections, which ended with Democrats regaining control of the House and President Trump pitching more fits of temper and hyperbole.
The #MeToo movement continued to light up Hollywood, with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein being arrested in New York to veteran comedian Bill Cosby being convicted of indecent assault.
Lighter moments included the nation's fascination with a breathtakingly colorful Mandarin duck gliding across water in New York City's Central Park, and the arrival of Prince Louis, the third child of Prince William and Kate Middleton. And who could forget the royal wedding?
Here are some of the milestone moments of 2018.
The Hawaiian Missile Crisis That Wasn't a Crisis
People in Hawaii got a mighty scare in January when their cell phones lit up with emergency alerts telling them a missile was headed toward the state and they needed to find immediate shelter.
The warning came during heightened rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S. Thirty-eight minutes later, subsequent alerts told residents the initial report was a false alarm. Freeway signs advised there was no threat, and islanders were told to go about their business.
The mistaken warning was dispatched by an Emergency Management Agency worker who mistook a safety drill for the real thing. In November, a husband and wife sued the state, saying the warning so frightened the husband that he thought he was going to die and suffered cardiac arrest.
'Black Panther' Breaks a Slew of Box Office Records
The immensely popular "Black Panther" superhero film debuted in February, and soon broke a series of box office records including highest-grossing movie by a black director; highest-grossing solo superhero film of all time and the highest-grossing release of 2018.
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
This puffy cutie was named Best in Show at the annual Westminster Dog Show held in February in New York. Flynn, a bichon frise, beat out a giant schnauzer named Ty from Ocean City, Maryland.
Flynn, a 5-year-old furball from Denver, spent hours being bathed, trimmed, trimmed again, sprayed with hairspray and powdered with "fairy frost" to soak up drool. Looking a little like a blow-dried Q-tip, Flynn stole the judges' hearts with his bouncy steps and button nose.
The Parkland Shootings
Shaken students filed into the parking lot of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine's Day. A former student allegedly walked on campus and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing 17 students and staff.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, would later be charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty. He reportedly posted "I'm going to be a professional school shooter" on YouTube. Gov. Rick Scott said at the time, "You come to the conclusion this is just absolutely pure evil."
The Parkland Shootings Aftermath
Thousands of mourners gathered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to pay tribute to students and staff mowed down by a gunman on campus.
The surviving Florida students raised their voices in a mighty roar against gun violence, accusing adults and the government of failing to protect them by allowing the sale of military-style weapons. Days after the shootings, student Emma Gonzalez gave a speech in front of the Broward County Courthouse that went viral.
While weeping, she proclaimed, "We call BS!" on the NRA and political rhetoric.
Gonzalez and other students including David Hogg, met with Florida lawmakers, formed a gun-control advocacy group called "Never Again MSD" and helped lead the "March for Our Lives" on the Capitol.
Both students were the subjects of conspiracy theories and right-wing accusations including the made-up claim they were "crisis actors" trained in what to say to the media.
During the courthouse speech, Gonzalez had pledged to change gun laws. "We are going to be the last mass shooting," she said. Unfortunately, she was wrong.
The "March for Our Lives" Around the World
On March 24, student-led protests around the world demanded stricter gun laws and an end to mass shootings following the Parkland massacre. George and Amal Clooney donated $500,000 to organizing the march in Washington, D.C., as did Oprah Winfrey. Other donors included Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Steven Spielberg. The number of participants at the Capitol ranged from 200,000 to 800,000.
All of the speakers were high schoolers or younger students. More than 800 protests were held in other cities and other countries.
Comedian Bill Cosby Convicted of Assault
In April, a jury found Bill Cosby guilty on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his Pennsylvania estate.
When prosecutors asked for Cosby's bail to be revoked, saying he was a flight risk and has a private plane, the 80-year-old celebrity stood up and yelled, "He doesn't have a plane, you a*****e." Cosby was placed under house arrest until his sentencing in September, when he was ordered to spend three to 10 years in state prison.
Cosby's conviction came a year after his previous trial ended in a mistrial. Jurors in that case said they were hopelessly deadlocked and couldn't reach a unanimous verdict. Panelists in Cosby's retrial reached a decision in two days.
Their quick decision reflected a cultural change in the public perceptions about sexual assault, prosecutors told reporters after the verdict was read in court.
Prince Louis Is Born
Prince Louis, the third child of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was born on April 23 and shown to the world seven hours later.
Fifth in line to the British throne, little Louis joined big brother George, 5, and sister Charlotte, 3.
Mass Shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas
An exchange student and two substitute teachers were among 10 people killed at Santa Fe High School in Galveston County on May 18. Gov. Greg Abbott called the shootings "one of the most heinous attacks that we've ever seen in the history of Texas schools."
The alleged gunman, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, was a student at the school. Clad in a trench coat and carrying his father's shotgun and pistol, he burst into a first-period art class and started shooting, authorities said. He pleaded not guilty to charges including capital murder of multiple persons and aggravated assault of a public servant for the shooting of a school police officer.
His trial is expected to begin in 2019. He is being held in solitary confinement without bail.
American Meghan Markle weds Royal Prince Harry
On May 19, Rachel Meghan Markle walked down the aisle of St. George's Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle and married Henry Charles Albert David, Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Altar
The British prince and the American former actress say their vows at the altar, making Meghan Markle the first U.S. citizen to marry into the royal family since Wallis Simpson wed Edward VIII in 1936, after he abdicated the throne.
Prince Harry Whispers in Church
Prince Harry whispers into the ear of his intended, Meghan Markle, on their wedding day.
The People Love Prince Harry and His American Bride
Thousands lined up to see Meghan Markle and Prince Harry outside Windsor Castle.
Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Begins Erupting
In May, a volcano on the big island of Hawaii starting erupting, sending smoking rolls of lava into residential areas. Kilauea, the world's longest continuously erupting volcano spewed fire for four months, destroying 600 homes. It also created islands, closed national parks and changed Hawaii's coastline.
The eruptions made Kilauea the most destructive volcano in the United States since Mount St. Helen's belched fire and lava in Washington in 1980.
Movie Mogul Harvey Weinstein Charges with Rape and Sexual Assault
After a series of news stories about alleged sexual assaults and harassment committed by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, the film executive was charged on May 25 with rape and other sex-related offenses.
Allegations against the co-founder of Miramax helped launch the #MeToo movement, and included accusations from actresses including Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Beckinsale, Angelina Jolie and Rosanna Arquette.
Weinstein pleaded not guilty and has denied having non-consensual sex with his accusers. He is free on $1 million bail.
In November, New York City prosecutors announced they had abandoned part of their case because evidence surfaced that a detective had coached a witness to be silent about doubts she expressed about the veracity of one allegation. The bulk of the state's case remains intact, however. Weinstein still faces five charges related to allegations that he raped an unidentified woman in 2013 in his Manhattan hotel room and that he performed a forcible sex act on another women in 2006.
If convicted of the most serious charges against him, Weinstein could face life in prison.
The Capital Gazette Shooting
A man with a longstanding grudge against a local newspaper in Maryland allegedly opened fire on June 28 inside its newsroom, killing five people as they ran for the lives, authorities said.
Jarrod Ramos opened fire with a shotgun after making threats against the paper on social media, according to Anne Arundel County Police Chief William Krampf. He also wounded two other employees.
Ramos, 38, was arrested after officers found him hiding underneath a desk, Krampf told reporters. He had barricaded the paper's back door to stop workers from getting out, authorities said.
His hatred of the newspaper reportedly stemmed from an article that ran in 2011 detailing Ramos' harassment of a high school classmate, published days after he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge.
Ramos' murder trial is expected to begin in January.
Separating Children at the Border From Their Asylum-Seeking Parents
After then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy for illegal border crossing, including removing children from their parents, this photo came to symbolize the anguish of separating family members.
Taken in June by Getty photographer John Moore, the image was quickly labeled "iconic." Moore had been at the Rio Grande River for seven years hours when the woman and her 2-year-old daughter were stopped as they tried to cross the border. She was from Honduras and had fled gang violence there, hoping to gain asylum in the U.S., she told the journalist.
Sandra Sanchez had been on the road when Sessions' new rules were announced. As Border Patrol agents patted her down, the mother set her daughter, Yanela, on the ground, where the child instantly began to wail. Moore said the terror on her face spoke volumes.
Time magazine put the little girl on its cover, opposite an image of President Trump, who towered over her. "Welcome to America," the caption read. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement responded publicly, saying the child had not been separated from her mother and would remain with her while authorities sought deportation proceedings against the pair.
The White House called the photo "fake news" and accused Democrats and the media of misrepresenting Trump's immigration policies.
Prince Louis at His Christening
Prince Louis was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury in July at the age of 11 weeks. It was the first public sighting of the baby with his brother George and sister Charlotte, who cheekily told photographers they weren't invited to the family's private celebration.
Louis wore the same christening gown his siblings were baptized in, a long beige affair of lace and satin.
'The Handmaid's Tale' Scarlet Cloaks Worn at Women's Protests Around the World
The highly acclaimed Margaret Atwood novel and hit Hulu television series took on even more import over the summer, as female protesters around the world donned costumes of scarlet capes and white bonnets.
"The Handmaid's Tale," a disturbing tale of female oppression in a dystopian world of cruel patriarchs, emerged in demonstrations from Ireland to Argentina to the United States.
The outfit worn by Atwood's sex and birthing slaves surfaced in abortion-rights demonstrations in Ireland and Argentina. The cloaks and face-obscuring hats were donned by women protesting Trump's visit to Britain and those against Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“The handmaid’s costume has been adopted by women in many countries as a symbol of protest about various issues having to do with the requisitioning of women’s bodies by the state,” Atwood told the Guardian newspaper.
A Horse Named Justify Makes History
In June, a newcomer to professional horse racing made history by winning the Triple Crown just 111 days after making his debut. Justify won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes races, becoming the 13th horse to take the coveted Triple Crown.
His career ended in July, when a swollen ankle prompted his owners to retire him.
'Crazy Rich Asians' Is Huge Hit in the U.S.
The Asian American hit film, released in August, was adapted from a best-selling book of the same name. The movie was the first major film since "The Joy Luck Club" to boast an Asian filmmaker and Asian actors in all of the major roles. The story follows a middle class woman who learns her fiance comes from a very, very, very rich family.
Hurricane Florence Barrels Through the Carolinas
The 400-mile-wide Hurricane Florence caused severe damage in the Carolinas, much of it caused by flooding. More than 36 inches of rain fell in Elizabethtown, North Carolina. The September storm system prompted mandatory evacuations and resulted in some 25 deaths in both states.
Flooding also wiped out millions of chickens and turkeys and drowned more than 5,000 hogs.
Hurricane Florence Forces Thousands From Their Homes
After the Little River overflowed its banks in North Carolina, Bob Richling carried Iris Darden to safety after her home filled with water. Volunteers brought in boats to ferry others stranded by flooding. For weeks after Hurricane Florence blew out, residents battled high water, power losses and long lines at gas stations because of flooded pumps.
On Bended Knee at the Emmys
Director Glenn Weiss stole the Emmys show in September when he got down on bended knee to propose to his girlfriend, while accepting a statuette for outstanding directing of a variety special.
Jan Svendsen, who came onstage for the proposal, said yes.
'Blood Moon' Shines Over Earth
A "blood moon" emerged over Poland in July, visible around much of the world as the moon drifted into Earth's shadow for the longest lunar eclipse in the 21st century.
It lasted one hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, and was seen in far-flung locales including Abu Dhabi, Turkey, Italy, Israel and Pakistan. Would-be viewers in Britain were disappointed as cloud cover obliterated the rare sight.
Serena Williams Cries Sexism After Losing U.S. Open
An angry Serena Williams lost the U.S. Open in September after a series of penalties in the second set. The California tennis star was given a code violation for coaching, a penalty point for racket abuse and a game penalty for calling umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief" and a "liar."
She later said it was "sexist" to have been punished with a game loss. "He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief,''' she said. "But I've seen other men call other umpires several things. I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff."
The Brett Kavanaugh Hearings
Christine Blasey Ford came forward in September to testify before a congressional committee that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attacked her when she was in high school.
Brett Kavanaugh Denies Attacking Woman in High School
President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh "categorically and unequivocally" denied attacking Christine Blasey Ford at an alcohol-fueled high school party when he was 17 and she was 15. By turns respectful, indignant and very angry, Kavanaugh told congressional committee members he liked beer, but wasn't a drunk.
Protests Against the Appointment of Brett Kavanaugh
Thousands of women demonstrated against the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the country's highest court, saying they believed his accuser.
'The Handmaid's Tale' Surfaces in Kavanaugh Hearings
Women wearing "The Handmaid's Tale" slave uniforms of red capes and white caps blocking their faces silently stood outside the congressional hearing room where Brett Kavanaugh was being questioned about sexual assault accusations leveled by a college professor who said he attacked her when they were teenagers.
Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Are No More
It was one of the year's most publicized — and shortest — relationships. Pop diva Ariana Grande announced in October she had called off her engagement to "Saturday Night Live" regular Pete Davidson. She started dating Davidson in May, just after ending her two-year romance with rapper Mac Miller, who died in September from an overdose.
Weeks after hooking up, Grande announced she and Davidson were engaged. Five months later, it was over. But she got a hit song out of it. "Thank U, Next," which debuted in November, has topped the Hot 100 singles for four nonconsecutive weeks.
Brett Kavanaugh Sworn In as Supreme Court Justice
Brett Kavanaugh, surrounded by his wife and daughters, is sworn in as a Supreme Court justice in October.
Exotic Mandarin Duck Appears in Central Park and New Yorkers Lose Their Minds
The mysterious appearance of a neon-colored Mandarin duck in Central Park captivated residents who have pretty much seen it all. The brightly colored canard was first spotted in October, and since then, New Yorkers have flocked to the park, desperate for a glimpse of the beautiful bird that also has been spotted floating in the Hudson River.
The Boston Red Sox Win the World Series. Again.
The Boston Red Sox won the World Series, dispatching the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games, and claiming their fourth trophy since 2004.
Pitcher David Price, a late-season get from Toronto, was named series MVP. The match featured the longest-running game in major league playoff history — an 18-inning fight that bled into the next day.
Princess Eugenie's Wedding Is a Family Affair
Princess Eugenie got married in St. George's chapel on Oct. 12, and was escorted by her father, Prince Andrew.
Princess Eugenie Weds Jack Brooksbank
As they often do, Princess Charlotte and Prince George stole the spotlight while serving as wedding attendants. This time it was the nuptials of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank at the same venue where their uncle Harry married American actress Meghan Markle.
Princess Eugenie's Wedding: Here Comes the Bride
The royal family watches Princess Eugenie walk down the aisle.
Princess Eugenie's Wedding: There Goes the Bride
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank leave the altar, trailed by their pint-sized wedding party.
Street Artist Banksy Pulls a Fast One at Sotheby's Auction
The ever-elusive artist Banksy pulled a massive stunt in October during an auction at Sotheby's in London. His 2006 "Girl With Balloon" piece had just been auctioned off when the painting suddenly started feeding itself into a shredder installed in the frame.
The buyer was happy to keep it. The auction house, which officials said had no prior warning of the stunt, claimed the piece is "the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction."
Is Meghan Markle Pregnant?
The rumor mill had already been busy with speculation the newly married Meghan Markle was expecting, but the noise really ratcheted up when she wore this coat dress ensemble to Princess Eugenie's October wedding, and didn't take off her coat.
Meghan Markle Is Pregnant
On an official visit to New Zealand just a few weeks later, Meghan Markle lets her baby bump show for the world to see.
Meghan Markle Is Definitely Pregnant
On Dec. 10, when Meghan Markle made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards, it was very apparent she was pregnant. In a one-shouldered, black Givenchy gown, Markle presented Givenchy artistic director Clare Waight Keller with the Designer of the Year award for womenswear.
The Duchess of Sussex stood with with both hands cradling her baby bump, prompting more speculation, this time that the royal couple is expecting not one, but two babies.
The Camp Fire in Northern California
The Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive in California history, burned nearly 15 percent of Butte, a very large county in the state's northern half.
It burned uncontained for 17 days in November, and destroyed more than 18,000 structures and killed at least 86 people.
Fed by 50 mph winds, the flames spread so fast firefighters gave up trying to battle the blaze and instead helped residents run for their lives. Many people burned to death, trapped in their cars trying to escape.
The community of Concow and the town of Paradise burned to the ground.
Animals Were Victims, Too, in Camp Fire.
Animals and pets left behind were also victims in the massive Camp Fire. Firefighters in Chico helped this dog found wandering in the rubble.
In December, homeowners returning to the ashes of what was their house found their dog keeping watching over the ruins.
Mass Shooting in Thousand Oaks, California
Shots rang out in November at the Borderline Bar & Grill, where college students gathered to line dance to country music. Twelve people were killed. Authorities identified the shooter as David Long, who was described as wearing all black when he walked in and started shooting.
He was a former Marine and possibly suffering from PTSD, authorities said. He died from a self-inflicted bullet wound, according to officials.
Woolsey Fire Ravages Malibu
California continued to suffer from out-of-control blazes as the Woolsey Fire tore through Malibu in November, destroying or damaging up to $6 billion in real estate. Three people were killed and three firefighters were injured. Flames spread west to Pacific Coast Highway, engulfing the seaside route.
Wildfires in Malibu Destroy Mobile Homes and Mansions
Flames burned out of control in the Woolsey Fire, prompting a mass evacuation order in Malibu, where millionaires and the middle class lost mansions and mobile homes.
The fast-moving blaze created traffic jams of massive proportions as residents fled south to Santa Monica, some leaving their animals behind.
Animals Left on the Beach By Fleeing Malibu Residents
As the Woolsey Fire devastated Malibu, residents fleeing for their lives left animals including horses and llamas on the beach as ominous smoke clouds billowed over the coastline.
Flames devoured hillsides, jumped Pacific Coast Highway and burned down to beaches. It is the biggest fire in Los Angeles County history.
Former President George H.W. Bush Dies at 94
His family, and the world, paid their last respects to former President George H.W. Bush, who died in December at age 94. Leaders from overseas came to Washington for the 41st president's funeral.
Bush's remains were later sent to Houston for burial on the grounds of his presidential library.
At the Funeral of George H.W. Bush, the Front Bench Was a Little Chilly
During the Washington, D.C., funeral for former President George H.W. Bush, the mood turned slightly icy with the arrival of current President Donald Trump.
The right-hand, front-row bench was reserved for those who had led the country, and their wives. Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter had all been chatting amiably when Trump and first lady Melania Trump, walked in.
Melania shook hands with the Obamas and gave a small wave to the Clintons. The president shook hands with the Obamas, then promptly ignored the Clintons, who did the same. The Trumps slipped away as soon as the service ended.