The Panther Press

2017 in Review by Evelyn Krupicka

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

2017 in Review

By Evelyn Krupicka

Another year has passed, and with 2018 here, many people are glad that the terrors of the previous year are in the past. Whether said terrors are the many mass shootings or natural disasters, there is still a lot of good that happened in 2017. Here are some of the highlights of the year.

Politics/Major Events

January 20

At the beginning of 2017 our new president, President Trump, took office. After his promises to “Make America Great Again” people are still wondering what they really mean. Either way, Trump’s new foreign policies made various headlines claiming that America is “One Step Closer to War With North Korea”, creating fear within many people. Even though the foreign policies haven’t exactly been the most diplomatic, America has been able to avoid war as of yet.

August 11-12

On August 11, a group of white-supremacists gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park. A fight soon broke out between the protesters and counter-protesters, injuring 30. The next day, when the Virginia State Police decreed the assembly of people to be unlawful, a man from one of the white-supremacist groups drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19 others.

August 21

On August 21, our nation witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime event – the total solar eclipse. Dubbed “The Great American Eclipse,” this eclipse was the first to be visible in mainland America since February of 1979 and the first to happen in Chicagoland since 1869. People crowded together in large fields to watch, often traveling great distances to get a better view of the event.

October 1

Terror struck the nation after 58 were killed and over 500 had been injured in the mass shooting at  the Mandalay Bay Resort and Hotel in Las Vegas. This mass shooting was one of the worst in modern history, but the shooter’s motives as to why he did what he did were unclear.

November 5

Only a month after the events of Las Vegas, another mass shooting occurred in Sutherland Springs, Texas. One man fired into the doors of a church, killing and injuring many, causing many to fear that they, too might be next.


Natural Disasters

August 17- September 3: Hurricane Harvey

Throughout 2017, much of the United States, as well as some of the Caribbean Islands suffered from a huge hurricane season, on a scale that hasn’t been seen for years. Harvey alone created $125 billion in damage, and buildings were torn down to the ground, particularly in Texas, which was the state closest to the eye. Hurricane Harvey reached a category four.

August 30- September 16: Hurricane Irma

Much like Harvey, Irma caused chaos with both wind and rain. The wind speed of Irma reached to the same heights of hurricane Wilma, a deadly hurricane that struck years back, and rivaled Harvey with a category five, one of the strongest levels a hurricane can get to. With Irma came devastation, but also hope. The nation bonded together to work on relief efforts, both here in the United States, and with many of the islands that also faced destruction from the storm.

October/December: Wildfires in California

While one coast of the country was facing devastation from wind and rain, the other side of the nation had a different problem – fire. Throughout the months of both October and December, California faced devastation due to wildfires throughout many of their vineyard areas, totalling to over nine thousand throughout the season. Nearly 1.4 million acres struggled through the damaged caused by the fires, and the toll reached around $180 billion dollars. The death toll was hard as well, with one firefighter and forty-five civilians killed, as well as twelve firefighters and 199 civilians that were injured.



February 5: Super Bowl

America’s favorite sport – football – concluded in an exciting game between Patriots and the Falcons. Although many were hoping that the Patriots would lose,not win and for a while it seemed that the Falcons would prevail, in an exciting twist the Patriots took back the game during the fourth quarter and pulled through with a score of 34 to 28.

April 3: NCAA Final

The men’s basketball final after the closing of March Madness brought together the Bulldogs and Tar Heels. Though the Bulldogs got the better of the Tar Heels in the first half, the Tar Heels gained the lead with the second half of the game, giving them a win of 71 to 65 over the Bulldogs.

June 11: Stanley Cup Finals

In the six games between the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was evident that the Penguins had the upper hand, though the Predators won two of the games.

June 12: NBA Finals

In the NBA Finals, the Warriors and the Cavaliers faced off in five games. By the conclusion, the Warriors had destroyed the Cavaliers with their four wins to the Cavaliers’ one.

October 28: FIFA World Cup

Although America did not make the finals for the FIFA World Cup for soccer, or as the rest of the world calls it, “football,” there was still an exciting match between England and Spain, with England winning 5-2.

November 1: World Series

After the Cubs comeback in 2016, many Chicagoans were hoping for another win in 2017, but were unfortunately disappointed after the Cubs’ loss in the semifinals. In the end, it was the Dodgers and the Astros that played each other for the glory of a World Series win. Much like the 2016 World Series, it had to be dragged on to a seventh game, but at least they didn’t have to go into a tenth inning.




March 17: Beauty and the Beast

It’s a tale as old as time, but Beauty and the Beast rocked the box office, making $170 million on opening weekend. With a score of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.3/10 on IMDb, it is no surprise that Beauty and the Beast did well. The movie included all of the original songs and introduced three new songs that were met with mixed reactions.

April 19: Guardians of the Galaxy 2

After the initial popularity of the first Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel released its sequel to the first, only to be disappointed to find that it wasn’t received with as much popularity as the first. Unlike the first, which received a score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.1/10 on IMDb, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 received a 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.8/10 on IMDb, but still did well.

May 26: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Six years after the release of the previous film in the franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales finally sailed its way to the theaters. Although the first three films in the series did extremely well, Dead Men Tell No Tales reached a low with 30% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.6/10 on IMDb, strangely disappointing after all of the hype leading up to it.

June 2: Wonder Woman

In the beginning of the summer, DC released Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot as the famous superhero. One critic from Los Angeles Times claimed it to be “the strongest movie in the present DC cycle.” The best yet, Wonder Woman gained a score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.6/10 on IMDb. With statistics like this, it is no surprise that the eighth grade PI+ students of Kennedy Junior High School voted Wonder Woman as their second favorite movie of the year.

June 28: Spider-Man Homecoming

Tom Holland, the new Spider-Man, beat out both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire’s movies with a score 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.5/10 on IMDb. Though Holland is English, his spot-on American accent brings a great element to the movie and reminds us that although the actor may be in his twenties, Peter Parker is just a fifteen year old boy struggling to balance his life as both student and superhero.

November 3: Thor: Ragnarok
Thor: Ragnarok brought back the Thor series in its third movie starring Australian actor Chris Hemsworth as the Norse god of thunder, Thor. In this conclusion to his individual movies, Thor finally comes to an epiphany and brings some humor along with it. This comedic superhero movie earned a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.1/10 on IMDb.

November 17: Wonder

A heartwarming tale, Wonder brings to life the story of Auggie, a young child suffering from TCS. The plotline of the movie follows that of the book extraordinarily. Tears were shed and it received a score of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.1/10 on IMDb.

November 17: Justice League

Justice League, much like Marvel’s Avengers, brings together the greatest heroes of the DC universe. Full of surprising plot twists and exciting action, Justice League was good, gaining a score of 7/10 on IMDb, but Rotten Tomatoes would have to disagree with only a 40%. Regardless, the action brings a quality that all superhero lovers adore.

November 22: Coco

Centering around the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday, Coco tells the tale of a boy who dreams of one day going into the musical industry, contrary to what his family thinks. When the boy unknowingly gets transported to the land of the dead, he must find a way back to the land of the living. This wonderful movie received a 91% from Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.7/10 on IMDb.

December 14: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

A personal favorite of the Panther Team, in 2015 the reboot of the Star Wars saga wowed theaters and many people flocked to the theaters and waited in hour-long lines to get into the midnight showing. Compared to the grandeur of the previous movies, The Last Jedi was a slight disappointment to some because of the lack of a clear plotline or character development, but still had the stunning CGI that makes the original trilogy look like a puppet show. Either way, the movie was still amazing and gained a score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.5/10 on IMDb, even though the audience deemed that it was worthy of a 49%.

December 20: The Greatest Showman

With the combination of amazing music, choreography, and casting, The Greatest Showman rocked the box office, making 194.7 million USD. The movie, though it may take place in a historical context, focuses on many social issues and inspires viewers to forget differences, love themselves for who they are, and take the time to enjoy music. Although the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes was a 90%, the official rating was only 53%, whereas IMDb gave the movie an 8/10.

December 20: Jumanji

The modern version of the original book, Jumanji centers around four characters who get sucked into a video game world, a slight deviation from the first story. This action movie received a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.2/10 on IMDb.

December 22: Pitch Perfect 3

“One last show together” claimed the trailers as the third movie in the Pitch Perfect series was announced. An ultimate showdown of musical talent, Pitch Perfect 3 still merely gained a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.3/10 on IMDb, contrary to the 80% the original gained.


Here are the top four according to the eighth grade students of the Panther Team at Kennedy Junior High. (Please note there was a tie between the last three)

  1. Perfect by Ed Sheeran
  2. Thunder by Imagine Dragons
  3. Something Just Like This by Chainsmokers


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus


Much has happened in the theater world during the year of 2017, particularly with musicals that contain a more historical aspect. Here are some of the highlights.

April 24: Anastasia opens on Broadway

The animated movie that first hit the theaters in 1997 made its way back to the stage in the live musical. Although many songs were added onto the original number, songs such as “A Rumor in Saint Petersburg,” “Journey to the Past,” “Once Upon a December,” “Learn to Do It,” and “Paris Holds the Key” were kept. This musical premiered in Hartford in 2016 but did not actually make it to Broadway until last year.

Summer: Newsies goes on tour

The Disney musical Newsies that made its first appearance in 1992 came to Broadway a few years back and then finally went on tour summer of 2017. The cast may be inconsistent, but all the actors were able to bring agility, flexibility, and the knowledge of dancing, acting, and singing that made the show phenomenal. The musical features on a union of 1899 newsboys that went on strike after a raise in the price they had to pay for the papers, or “papes.” The musical portrays an excellent show of what it truly means to be a leader and brings to light the harsh conditions that many of the children in that time period had to face.

All year: Hamilton in Chicago

Although Hamilton officially opened in Chicago in 2016, this groundbreaking musical continued its ascension to fame as it spent the whole year in the Windy City. It started out as a little-known musical in 2015, but soon became a hip-hop sensation that features many of our country’s founding fathers and focuses on the life of the first secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Prior to the announced closing of Hamilton on Broadway, tickets were selling for around $1k, but the final day with the original cast on Broadway sold for around $2k.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Feature Articles

    How to Fool Someone on April Fools by Sofia Gut

  • Feature Articles

    The Addams Family

  • 2017 in Review by Evelyn Krupicka

    Feature Articles

    2018 Winter Olympics by Max Reiner

  • 2017 in Review by Evelyn Krupicka

    Feature Articles

    The History of Valentine’s Day by Isabella Zhou

  • 2017 in Review by Evelyn Krupicka

    Feature Articles

    Valentine’s Day Around the World by Emma Wang

  • 2017 in Review by Evelyn Krupicka

    Feature Articles

    Presidents’ Day by Clarice Ong

  • 2017 in Review by Evelyn Krupicka

    Feature Articles

    Chinese New Year by William Tong

  • Feature Articles

    Groundhog Day by Evelyn Krupicka

  • Feature Articles

    The Mardi Gras Shooting by Sofia Gut

  • Serial Story

    Serial Story: Chapters I-II

The student news site of Kennedy Jr. High School
2017 in Review by Evelyn Krupicka