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The Cavo Chronicles

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The Cavo Chronicles

A Lookback at 2023’s Most Unforgettable Moments



As the clock strikes twelve, fireworks color the sky and new resolutions are made. A new year has arrived and it is once again a mystery what’s in store for this upcoming year. But before we look ahead, let’s look back on the year that has just gone by. What do you remember about 2023?

Memories are made through moments, specifically events that were so memorable that no one can forget them. What were your biggest moments from last year? Did they include getting concert tickets to that artist you really enjoy, getting A’s in all your classes, or winning that big game? These are all personal moments, and while they are significant, today I’ll focus on shared moments. Moments that everyone around the world witnessed together. These are the memories that we all will have when we look back at the year. So without further ado, here are the top ten most unforgettable events that defined the year. 



1. A New King Takes the Throne

Those around the world tuned in to watch the “once-in-a-generation” coronation of King Charles III in May of last year. England’s first coronation in 70 years, the event was watched by 20.4 million people, becoming the most-watched television broadcast in the country in 2023. King Charles automatically acceded to the throne in September of 2022 upon the unexpected death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. During the coronation ceremony, Charles received traditional symbols of the monarch — such as the orb and scepter — was anointed with oil, and had a crown placed on his head for the first time.



2. Trump on Trial

Across the ocean from England in the United States, Donald Trump became the first former president in US history to face criminal charges. The four indictments against him include two state charges and two federal charges, making up 91 felony charges in total. The charges are concerning Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election, election interference in Georgia, falsifying business records in New York, and mishandling classified records after leaving the presidency. August of last year saw Trump voluntarily surrendering to authorities at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia, where an (internet viral) mugshot of him was taken. The trials are still underway as Trump continues his bid for the 2024 presidency. 



3. Rihanna’s Superbowl Surprise

Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show was one of the biggest highlights of the beginning of 2023. Her first live performance in 5 years, Rihanna donned the stage in a fully red outfit, dancing and singing to many of her hit songs for the 13-minute show. Lacking surprise guest stars or costume changes, the performance had a different surprise in store. Multiple times throughout the performance, Rihanna caressed her stomach, causing many fans to correctly speculate that the star was pregnant with her second child. Rihanna’s halftime performance would become the most-watched halftime show performance of all time. 



4. The Titanic Claims More Victims

OceanGate’s Titan submersible, a vessel set out to tour and explore the Titanic sub wreck, imploded last June, killing the five people on board. The Titan first began taking people to the Titanic in 2021, where guests paid $250,000 to travel to the wreckage. This incident was originally just another one of OceanGate’s trips. The Titan lost contact with the surface ship an hour and 45 minutes after it started to dive. For days, a massive, nationwide coordinated search looked for the vessel. But as the presumed oxygen supply dwindled with each passing day, so did the hope of finding the passengers alive.



5. Taylor Swift Makes 2023 Her Era

Swift was named TIME’s Person of the Year in December of last year to no one’s surprise: there is no doubt that Taylor Swift dominated 2023. The Eras Tour was an international hit, becoming the first tour in history to gross over $1 billion. Its accompanying concert film achieved similar record-breaking heights. Swift also made headlines for her personal life. Her romance with NFL football player, Travis Kelce captivated the world. In October, Swift was named a billionaire by Bloomberg and a month later she was Apple Music and Spotify’s most-streamed artist of 2023. 



6. “Summer of Strikes”

From auto workers to Hollywood writers and actors, it seems everyone was on strike in 2023. More than half a million workers staged nearly 400 strikes during the first 11 months of 2023. In September, the United Auto Workers began a strike against Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis, resulting in a 25% wage increase over the next four-and-a-half years. SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and WGA (Writers Guild of America) members led historic 118 and 148-day strikes against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, culminating in new contracts that include protections for actors against artificial intelligence and a historic pay increase. Labor Unions won big in 2023. 



7. What’s X?

Tech billionaire Elon Musk said goodbye to Twitter and its iconic bird logo last year. Musk, who brought Twitter in 2022, renamed the platform to X, leaving the internet confused and abuzz. People have associated Twitter with a bird for over a decade, and alongside it came a uniquely rich culture: “to tweet” became a verb, and “tweets” referred to posts. This new name would destroy that culture. Musk has long had a fixation on the letter X, from his first startup ‘,’ to the Tesla Model X and SpaceX (Musk’s space exploration venture), to even his son’s name X Æ A-12. 



8. Barbienhiemer

Two of the most anticipated films of 2023 “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” premiered over the same weekend, going head to head at the box office. However, instead of competing against each other, fans made it a trend to see the contrastingly different films on the same day, creating the most unexpected of duos. The cultural phenomenon resulted in a combined $300 million opening in the States, the fourth-highest-grossing weekend in US cinema history. “Barbie” went on to become the highest-grossing movie of 2023 with $1.4 billion worldwide. Here’s to more dramatically exciting cinema premieres and dressing up for movies in 2024. 



9. Israel-Hamas War

On October 7, 2023, Palestinian militant group, Hamas, launched a surprise attack on Israel. This would mark the beginning of an official war between the two countries in and around the Gaza Strip. The assault by Hamas was the deadliest single attack on Israelis in history, killing 1,200 people with more than 200 soldiers and civilians taken to Gaza as hostages. In response to those attacks, Israel retaliated with air and artillery strikes, which have killed more than 26,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of which being women and children. Additionally, thousands of people are missing and presumed dead. 70 percent of homes in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed or damaged, and neighborhoods, schools, mosques, and hospitals have been left in ruins. Millions of people have been displaced. Israel has imposed a complete siege of the territory, cutting off supplies of food, water, electricity, and fuel, severely affecting populations in Gaza. Even months later into the new year, war rages on with only hopes of a ceasefire as death tolls continue to rise. 



10. How Hot Was It?

2023 was Earth’s warmest year on record. Global ocean heat content was the highest ever and Antarctic sea ice coverage was the lowest ever. There were apocalyptic-esque natural disasters all over the world. In February, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey, taking the lives of more than 55,000 people. In March, Canadian wildfires burned 45.7 million acres of land, affecting all 13 provinces. In June, New York’s skylines were painted a hazy orange due to smoke from the wildfires; air quality became dangerous and masks made a brief return to people’s lives. In August, Maui wildfires caused widespread damage destroying over 2,000 buildings, killing at least 100 people, and leaving 4 missing. In September, Hong Kong experienced its heaviest rainfall since 1884 (6.2 inches an hour), causing a massive flash flood. Flooding submerged metro stations and trapped drivers on the road. The effects of climate change were more prevalent than ever in 2023. 


The digital age is now and with that comes the internet, especially social media. People spend hours on their phones every day, culminating in hundreds of hours a year. And what happens online is usually just as interesting as what happens offline. Consequently, 2023 can’t possibly be wrapped up without going over some of the internet’s biggest and most viral moments: 



Rizz: The publishers of The Oxford English Dictionary named “rizz”  2023’s Word of the Year. Rizz, short for charisma, is a Gen Z slang term, meaning an ability to charm and woo a person.


Roman Empire: “How often do you think about the Roman Empire?” Tiktok had everyone asking a man in their lives how frequently they thought about this presumably random topic, and the results were perplexing. Men revealed they thought about the Roman Empire monthly, weekly, or even daily. Videos garnered millions of views as men offered explanations ranging from the ancient empire’s politics to its architectural and agricultural innovations. 


Girl Dinner: The internet dubbed the putting together of small snacks and random items from the cupboard and fridge to make a meal as “girl dinner” in the summer of 2023. The trend saw thousands of young women sharing their minimal-effort, unconventional meals on TikTok.


Tube Girl: Sabrina Bahsoon, a law school graduate in her early twenties, otherwise known as “tube girl,” became an overnight sensation for lip-syncing and dancing to songs on the tube, London’s underground transit system. Her brazen show of confidence in such a public location inspired others, who attempted to recreate her unfazed attitude in similar settings. 


Red, Green, and Beige flags: The biggest TikTok trend worldwide consisted of people sharing their or their partner’s red, green, and beige flags. Red flags refer to bad or warning signs in a relationship, while green flags refer to positive signs. Beige flags, on the other hand, refer to slightly odd actions or personality traits that are neither beneficial nor dealbreakers. For example, a TikTok user shared that their significant other’s beige flag was ‘only ever paying with cash because of paranoia of credit card fraud.’

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About the Contributor
Mandy Ding, Writer
Mandy is a senior at Emerson Junior Senior High School, graduating with the class of 2024. This is her first year on the staff of the Cavo Chronicles and she is excited to interact with new people and build deeper relationships with her community. She looks forward to writing stories, taking photos, being creative, and making The Cavo Chronicles a more prominent part of the school culture. Mandy is part of the National Honors Society, National Art Honors Society, and the Unity Club. In her free time, you can find her shopping at her favorite shops, reading a book, or buying overpriced drinks.