The 14 Best Things That Happened In 2016

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A lot of people are bemoaning how awful 2016 was, and with a 24/7 news cycle which thrives on negative headlines, it’s no wonder. Still, this year wasn’t all bad, and we have proof. Here, 14 actually wonderful things that happened in 2016.

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The U.S. Women's Gymnastic Team Won Gold

They also became celebrities in the process, which felt like a welcome change of pace given they actually accomplished something definable in order to be elevated to celebrity status. Here, a look back at why we were so excited when Simone Biles became "the most popular girl in school."

@shailenewoodley

Peaceful Protests Stopped Construction Of The Dakota Access Pipeline

As an added bonus, social media played a huge role in drawing attention to the issue as mainstream media largely ignored it, and we're all for Instagram and Twitter effecting positive change.

www.ilhanomar.com

Women Made History On Election Night

Hillary's defeat was a blow for women in terms of breaking the ultimate glass ceiling, but it's worth celebrating the fact that she was still the first woman in history to become a major party candidate for president. (Plus, she did win the popular vote.) Beyond this, several other women made herstory on election night, including Kamala Harris, Catherine Cortez Masto and others.

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4,500 Women Have Registered To Run For Office Since The Election

According to Time, more than 4,500 women have signed up to run for office since the election via an organization called She Should Run. If we want to maintain and expand our rights as women, the best way to do so is by ensuring we're represented equally in politics and this is definitely a step in the right direction.

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Harriet Tubman Was Chosen To Appear On The $20 Bill

This was a big leap towards rewriting history to include all of the formerly excluded women and minority groups who've helped build this country.

@grantlegan

Portugal Ran On Renewable Energy For 4 Days

In May, electricity consumption in Portugal was fully covered by solar, wind and hydro power for 107 hours. In the same month, Germany also ran for one day mostly on clean energy. If America begins to backslide on environmental policy in 2017, at least we know our western allies will be picking up some of our slack.

@barackobama

Survivors Of Sexual Assault Got A Bill Of Rights

In October, President Obama signed a bill into law which grants sexual assault survivors rights which include access to their rape kits, preservation of their rape kits until the statute of limitations on their cases have expired and more.

A New Study Showed Breast Cancer Deaths Are Down By 42%

The International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon recently analyzed World Health Organization data on breast-cancer deaths between the 1987 and 2013 and found them to have decreased in 39 of the 47 countries examined. Read survival stories from two amazing young women here and here.

@lola

3 States Eliminated The Tampon Tax

Connecticut, New York and Illinois finally realized it's unfair for women to be fiscally penalized for being women (at least in this one, very specific way). Hooray!

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There Was A Breakthrough In A.L.S. Research

This development owes a debt of gratitude to social media—much as do the victors at Standing Rock—as the viral Ice Bucket Challenge helped fund research which led to discovery of a gene which contributes to this heartbreaking disease.

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Leonardo Dicaprio Won An Oscar

On a lighter note, this finally happened and it was glorious—our pre-teen selves swooned.

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Also, Beyoncé Released "Lemonade"

Some generations remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. We remember where we were when Bey released the short film for Lemonade.

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Kate McKinnon Played Hillary And Then KellyAnne

She gave us this moment, for which we'll be forever grateful.

@ilovepandasbears

Giant Pandas Came Off The Endangered Species List

Now, how to find one to cuddle with as we enter into 2017?