Every four years, we're graced with an extra day in the month of February - Leap Day. Some people are born on this day, and TECHNICALLY only get to celebrate their birthday every four years. (Most celebrate on the 28th on other years though.)

Leap Day is an interesting day, though, for us as a people to look back and reflect on just how much has changed for us since the last Leap Day. And BOY has a lot happened since our last one in 2020.

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Of course, one of the biggest events in Earth's history happened right around the time we celebrated our last Leap Day. We experienced a global pandemic that slowly made its way around the globe from China, and endangered billions of lives.

For us in the United States, though, it wasn't until about mid-March when things really started happening that had us changing our daily habits, work habits, and everyday life.

So what other incredible events have happened to us since the last Leap Day? Let's take a trip down Memory Lane...


2020

The Pandemic

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America
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This one is a no-brainer, and affected so much more than just Michigan. The entire globe was feeling the effects of this one, and in mid-March, schools, businesses, and general operations of any kind basically shut down until further notice... unless you were essential personnel, of course.

The Tiger King

The Netflix phenomenon was timed PERFECTLY for us to start off our long stays at home, and this was a WILD adventure (literally) revolving around owners of exotic big cats, and their facilities around the country, most notably the "Tiger King" Joe Exotic. Also, we learned how CHEAP it is to buy a Tiger! (Most of our stimulus checks would have covered that!)

Armed protestors enter the Michigan State Capitol

A little more than a month after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a policy to stay at home during the pandemic, protestors broke into the state Capitol, carrying weapons, and protested, changing "let us in." Thankfully, nobody was hurt in this instance of Capitol storming.

Michigan Militia Members Rally At State Capitol In Lansing
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Riots in Grand Rapids

Tensions were now running high, and a Black Live Matter protest in Grand Rapids, the hometown of Breonna Taylor, turned ugly.

Kidnapping Attempt on Gov. Whitmer

This one is wild. A Group of people, mostly associated with the Michigan Home Guard - a militia that one suspect was a member of until 2020 - plotted, and nearly executed an attempt to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her home. Thankfully, the State and Federal authorities were alerted, and managed to thwart the incident. They since arrested, and charged multiple members of the attempt.

Presidential Election

President-Elect Joe Biden And Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris Address The Nation After Election Win
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Despite the pandemic, we did have a presidential election still, and on the other end of it was a new leader of the Free World, Joe Biden, with his Vice President Kamala Harris, who became the first woman VP, and person of color in the position as well.

Pfizer Applies for Vaccine's Emergency Use

The kalamazoo-based pharmaceutical company was the first of three to apply for the emergency use, and distribution of their vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. By the early months of 2021, the vaccine would be widely available, alongside the Moderna version as well, to for the entire country.


2021

Chip Shortage for Vehicle Manufacturing

Unfortunately, due to tighter restrictions with importing goods, the computer chips used for manufacturing vehicles in the U.S., primarily made in Asia, were difficult to come by, and much of the assembly plants slowed to a crawl during this time.

January 6th Insurrection

Trump Supporters Hold "Stop The Steal" Rally In DC Amid Ratification Of Presidential Election
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Of course, there were people who disagreed with the outcome of the previous year's presidential election, and sought to stop its certification at the National Capitol on this day. What started as a large gathering in front of then-President Trump giving a speech, marched down the road, to the Capitol, and unleashed one of the wildest, and frightening things to ever happen within our own borders on federal land. To this day, hundreds have been prosecuted, and charged with various crimes.

FINALLY, A Vaccine

President Biden Delivers Remarks On State Of Covid-19 In America
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The first of three vaccines were created, and Pfizer, based out of Kalamazoo and Portage, got the jump on everybody. It was a new form of vaccine - MRNA - that had only previously been tested, but never fully implemented. However, this deemed to be the best way to beat the disease, and now millions of people around the world have taken multiple rounds of it.

Dan Campbell HIred by the Lions

At the time, his "kneecaps" speech seemed a bit cringy. Someone who was a player through-and-through, stepping into a role he'd never held, and claiming they would claw, scratch, and "bite the kneecaps" off their opponents to get wins. Three years later... who's cringing now?

Detroit Lions Training Camp
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President Trump Impeached for the Jan. 6th Insurrection

In fact, two Michigan Republican Congressmen - Peter Meijer, and Fred Upton - both voted against party lines, and in favor of the then-President's impeachment. Uptop opted to resign his post a year later, and Meijer lost in his primary in the next election.

Calvin Johnson, Charles Woodson Selected for Pro Football Hall of Fame

Obviously Calvin "Megatron" Johnson was a huge factor for any Lions success during the Matt Stafford era of the Lions lineage, and his spot was practically a lock once eligible. As for Charles Woodson, he never played for the Lions, but obviously a proud Michigan Wolverine during his college days.

'Squid Game: The Challenge' Celebration At The Trials Live Experience Space
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Squid Game

Geezus, this was a wild one. We were still feeling the effects of the pandemic, and most of us were still mostly staying home as much as possible, so Netflix became our primary source of entertainment. Squid Game REALLY made us want to go outside and touch real grass again, though.

Wolverines Make the Elite 8 under Juwan Howard

It was a hell of a year from the Wolverines, finishing the season 23-5, and making it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.

UCLA v Michigan
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Taylor North (Taylor, Michigan) Little League World Series Champions

As things began to open up, and sports came back, a little team from Taylor Michigan decided to make their mark and win the Little League World Series, and they did it against a team from Ohio, so that much sweeter a victory. Taylor North won 5-2, and collected Michigan's first ever Little League World Series title.

Gamestop Stocks TO THE MOON!

An incredible short squeeze on the stock market with Gamestop - which was practically worthless when it started in January of that year - culminated in people jumping on board, and pushing the price of Gamestock sky high. It resulted in a number of big money hedge fund companies going bankrupt, and is fairly well captured in the movie that came out on Netflix this year, "Dumb Money."

Ohio State v Michigan
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Michigan Finally Beats Ohio

For the first time since 2011, the Michigan Wolverines would deny players for the Ohio State Buckeyes of their pair of gold pants, and won 42-27 at Michigan Stadium. The flag from that game now hangs in the Wolverine Sports Museum.

The Kellogg's Strike

Starting in October, workers at Kellogg's in Battle Creek began a strike as disagreements grew between the company and the workers union about the terms of a new labor contract. All of Kellogg's Cereal production was affected, not just in Battle Creek, but in all other facilities in the U.S. as well. An agreement was finally met in December.

Oxford Mass Shooting

A tragedy at Oxford High School, as a shooter opened fire in the Detroit suburb school, killing four students, and injuring seven more, which did include one teacher. Ethan Crumbley was arrested and charged. He was only 15 at the time. Later, his parents would be charged in connection to the shooting as well.


2022

Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars

"Keep my Wife's Name, Out your F*****g Mouth!"

The Ambassador Bridge Closure

Truckers protesting against vaccine mandates on the Canadian side of the bridge closed it down, exacerbating supply-chain issues for the automobile industry.

Protest Blockade At The Ambassador Bridge Between Canada And U.S. Continues
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Juwan Howard Swings on another coach

This was a wild one, right before March Madness was about to fire up, Juwan Howard became so mad with a coach during a game against Wisconsin, that he threw a punch, and had to be restrained by other coaches, and his team. Howard would be benched and suspended for the remainder of the season.

 

Jet Truck Explodes in Battle Creek

For those who were out at the Field of Flight Air Show in Battle Creek, it was an unfortunate sight as the stunt jet truck sadly exploded and killed driver Chris Darnell.

Death of Bob Saget

It was a shock for sure. Bob was out on tour, and turns out, while in Florida, he seemed to have hit his head before bed one night, and never woke back up.

Top Gun: Maverick (The return of Val Kilmer to the Silver Screen)

It was a movie YEARS in the making, and we'd been teased about since 2019. Finally, the time was right, and we got to see Top Gun: Maverick in all its glory, including the first appearance of Val Kilmer on screen since his battle with throat cancer became public.


 

2023

Michigan State Shooting

A gunman terrorized the Michigan State campus and killed three students. Five were severely injured. Two of the buildings involved were closed for an extended amount of time, one of which - Berkey Hall - only recently re-opened.

Barbenheimer

The summer box office, which had been struggling since the pandemic, got a MAJOR boost with the pairing of the Barbie Movie and Oppenheimer, which just happened to be released about the same time, and became the go-to double feature of the decade.

UAW strike across ALL automotive makers

Striking UAW Members Hold Rally At Chicago Union Hall
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This was a HUGE deal, and thousands of people, extending outside of Michigan even, hung up their hardhats, and picked up the picket signs to protest their wages. This came after a narrow victory for Shawn Fain in March as the new UAW director. Following his election to the position, he oversaw the strike, and the bargaining deal with the Union until its end in October.

Thunder over Michigan Disaster

The finale that wasn't supposed to happen, happened, when two pilots suddenly ejected from a MiG-23UB Fighter plane, that would eventually crash near an apartment complex near the airfield. Thankfully, nobody was hurt.

EVERYONE went on Strike

After years of letting it stew, unions across the country began to strike. First itw as the Writers Guild of America in Hollywood, then SAG-AFTRA, then the Autoworkers, Hotel workers, health care workers... all went on strike for the same reason it seems... liveable wages and benefits.

Michigan False Elector Charged

It was uncovered that a group of false electors tried to de-certify the election in Michigan in Biden's favor. It included former Michigan GOP co-chairwoman Meshawn Maddock and Republic National Committeewoman Kathy Berden.

The Trump Mugshot

Donald Trump was given yet another alias to go by - Inmate NO. P0113589, after he was indicted for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

Former President Donald Trump Surrenders To Fulton County Jail In Election Case
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UFO over Lake Huron Shot Down

Turns out it was a balloon, but like... WHY was it there?

Goodnight Miggy

After his 21st season in the league, the Detroit Tigers bid farewell to their superstar, Miguel Cabrera

Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers
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Michigan State Football Drops Mel Tucker

His time with the Spartans was riddled with controversy, so... when allegations of unwanted sexual advances were uncovered between Tucker and Brenda Tracy, who was a rape survivor, that was the final straw, and he was let go.

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift

The celebrity romance started with a one-off comment about Travis wanting to get his friendship bracelet to Taylor, and turned into the love story that so many love, and others just love to hate... because they're sad and hate love. Taylor would later become a billionaire, and Travis would win another Super Bowl with the Chiefs. No big deal.

LET'S GO LIONS!!!!

Turns out hiring Dan Campbell was a pretty good idea

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Detroit Lions
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The Pistons Losing Streak

The Detroit Pistons made an historical run on losses, dropping 28 in a row, and capturing the new single season record for straight losses. They've won a few more since, but not many.


 

2024

Michigan Wins a Natty

HELL YEAH WE DID!!!

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