We take a look into our crystal ball and plan ahead for an active 2016.
1) November 8, U.S. presidential election
The balance of power will hang in the balance on Nov. 8 as Americans will exercise their right to vote. While it is far too early to say who will square off on Nov. 8, the future of Planned Parenthood, Obamacare and gun control could be decided with this election. In 2012, 126 million Americans voted.
2) November 9, The day after the election
This day marks the first day in a long time without non-stop election commercials. Spending on television advertising for the 2016 election has been estimated at $4.4 billion. The amount of spending on the election will cause some Americans to turn off their televisions as campaign spending ramps up.
3) August 5 to 21, The Summer Games
Rio 2016 ought to provide for a number of remarkable moments. Will Michael Phelps bring home more gold medals? Will LeBron James help the Dream Team to another title? New sports to look forward to are golf and rugby. Is it time for Jordan Spieth to win a gold medal?
4) January through May, American Idol finale
American Idol is still on, but not for much longer. The program that gave us Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks and, yes, William Hung is coming to an end this year. The show is hanging up the microphone due to declining ratings. Even though the show is coming to an end, it will have a last legacy helping to create some of America’s biggest pop stars.
5) February 29, Leap day
This day adds an extra day to the year, as Earth’s orbit around the sun takes longer than 365 days. The only reason this extra day is not higher on the list: It is a Monday.
6) March 25, Batman v Superman film released
In the most anticipated movie release of 2016, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is expected to blow away moviegoers. The estimated budget of the film was $200 million, and has an all-star cast led by Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Holly Hunter and Laurence Fishburne. While exact details of the movie are still unknown, you know it will be an epic battle between Superman and Batman.
7) September 11, 15th anniversary of the attack on America
Every year on Sept. 11, Americans reflect on what took place in 2001. This year is the first milestone anniversary to fall during a presidential election year. With concerns growing anew over the threat of terrorism, this year’s remembrance might have a different, more politicalized, look.
8) February 7, Super Bowl 50
A lot has changed over the last 50 years. The first Super Bowl was played before a non-capacity crowd in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. But football’s popularity on television was beginning to show, was nearly 50 million tuned in for the first playoff battle between the American Football League and the National Football League. The two leagues would merge, and become the NFL. As the Super Bowl has upgraded its halftime act from college marching bands to top-flight pop stars, the game attracts 168-million worldwide viewers.
9) April 13, Kobe Bryant’s last game
One of the great players in basketball, Kobe Bryant, will call it quits at the end of the 2015-16 season as the star Lakers guard has seen his health and performance dwindle. Bryant has won five NBA championships, all with the Lakers. Bryant is third in the all-time career-scoring list in the NBA. His career closes at Utah on April 13.
10) May 9, Mercury transit of the sun
Astronomers will be excited for this one. Mercury will partially block the sun on May 9 for those of us on Earth. Those with a telescope with a solar filter will be able to see across the sun. Because of Mercury’s distance and size relative to the sun, only a very small fraction of the sun will be obscured. The transit will be visible in America in the late morning hours. Early transits of Venus and Mercury helped early astronomers measure the scale of the solar system.
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs.