From billionaires in space to the fall of Kabul: The biggest US video moments of 2021

As 2021 comes to a close we look back at the biggest moments of the year in the US

Tom Fenton,Julia Saqui
Saturday 01 January 2022 14:12
Billionaires in space to the fall of Kabul: The biggest US moments of 2021

In a year when a new President was sworn in, billionaires vied to conquer the skies, and extreme weather swept across the US, there has been no shortage of remarkable news footage capturing another extraordinary year.

The year started with a bang back in January, with the Capitol riot that attempted to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Weeks after the pandemonium, Mr Biden was ultimately sworn in as 46th President of the United States, officially making Donald Trump a one-term president.

Alongside Lady Gaga’s powerful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner was Bernie Sanders’ now-iconic knit mittens, and his less-than-enthusiastic posture throughout the inauguration. Memes of the Vermont senator, who lost out to Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, became meme fodder in the weeks and months that followed.

Fast forward slightly to March 2021, and we arrive at what was arguably the year’s biggest television interview. Oprah Winfrey’s in-depth conversation with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry caused a tidal wave of controversy on both sides of the Atlantic.

In April, the grim reality of police violence in the US reared its head again, as the killing of Daunte Wright brought with it a fresh wave of protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Just days later, on 20 April, Derek Chavin was found guilty of George Floyd’s murder, with footage of his trail being shared around the world, a measure of the impact of the case.

Over the summer, shocking pictures emerged showing the aftermath of an apartment block collapse in Miami, which left 98 residents dead.

In August, President Biden’s hurried withdrawal of US troops left thousands vulnerable to the advancing Taliban forces, who only days before had swept into power in Kabul. What transpired next was a shocking demonstration of people’s desperation to escape the hellish situation, as video clips showed doomed young men clinging to the exterior of US planes as they took off.

Accompanied by footage of mothers handing over their babies to American soldiers, it painted a thoroughly chaotic picture of America's final days in Afghanistan.

In 2021, there was also no getting away from the “billionaire space race”. It got underway with both Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos blasting into orbit within weeks of each other in July. It would seem to only be a matter of time before Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ Elon Musk joins the party in one of his own Space X rockets.

The year rounded out with the highly controversial trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, and his eventual acquittal, with the 18-year-old becoming emotional in the courtroom during the proceedings.

And finally, in December, the world watched with horror as large parts of the Midwest were battered by deadly tornadoes that left 93 people dead. Kentucky, in particular, was ravaged by the storm, which measured almost a mile wide at its strongest.

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