The January 6 insurrection, Biden's inauguration, Trump's exit, Facebook's challenges in DC and the availability of Covid-19 vaccines were some of the top stories of the year.
CNN  — 

The past year packed some of the biggest stories of our lifetimes into just 365 days. From the insurrection and a new administration to viral missing persons cases, with the Covid-19 pandemic looming above it all, readers had a lot to catch up on.

One of the year’s most read stories happened during the first week of the year: the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Readers followed that story from its first few minutes to the weeks and months of fallout that followed, as well as coverage of the Georgia runoffs that won Democrats the Senate, former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, and the lead-up to President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Audiences continued to seek answers about Covid-19 and its Delta and Omicron variants as the pandemic evolved. While Trump’s exit and mass shootings in Colorado and Indiana dominated the news during the first half of the year, the second half saw readers focus on the disappearances (and later deaths) of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, a case that came to wide attention through TikTok, the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and the deadly crowd crush at the Astroworld music festival.

This year was a challenging one, punctuated by upsetting losses. But it also saw the mass availability of Covid-19 vaccines in the US, a peaceful inauguration after a tumultuous transfer of power and a ship so big it got lodged in the Suez Canal, offering a bizarre alternative to the heavier news of the day.

If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that we can never predict what the future has in store. Revisiting these stories isn’t easy, but here’s hoping it inspires us to make our world safer and stabler in 2022.

1. Live story: Congress finalizes Biden’s win after riot disrupts Capitol

Insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on January 6, clashing with police, in an event that resulted in several deaths.

2. Live story: Democrats take control of the Senate

3. US Capitol secured, 4 dead after rioters stormed the halls of Congress to block Biden’s win

4. Interactive: Tracking Covid-19 cases in the US

5. Live story: House impeaches Trump for role in deadly Capitol riot

6. Live story: The inauguration of Joe Biden

7. Live story: Derek Chauvin guilty in death of George Floyd

8. Live story: Calls grow for Trump’s removal after Capitol riot

9. Human remains found in Wyoming are ‘consistent’ with description of Gabby Petito, FBI says

Readers closely followed news of Gabby Petito's disappearance and death.

10. New details about Trump-McCarthy shouting match show Trump refused to call off the rioters

11. Trump’s last-minute pardons include Bannon, Lil Wayne and scores of others

12. After a bad day, Facebook suffers major outage

13. Trump publicly acknowledges he won’t serve a second term a day after inciting mob

14. Trump to issue around 100 pardons and commutations Tuesday, sources say

15. Suspected human remains and items belonging to Brian Laundrie found in Florida park, FBI says

16. Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito were involved in an incident in Wyoming restaurant in late August, witnesses say

17. Colin Powell, first Black US secretary of state, dies of Covid-19 complications amid cancer battle

18. Interactive: Steer through the Suez Canal

The Ever Given was lodged in the Suez Canal for nearly a week.

19. People at the US Capitol riot are being identified and losing their jobs

20. Pence and Trump finally speak after post-riot estrangement

21. Biden says Trump left him a ‘very generous letter’ before departing White House

President Joe Biden, masked, in the Oval Office in January.

22. First on CNN: Trump’s impeachment defense team leaves less than two weeks before trial

23. Citibank can’t get back $500 million it wired by mistake, judge rules

24. Extremists intensify calls for violence ahead of Inauguration Day

25. Interactive: You asked, we’re answering: Your top questions about Covid-19 and vaccines

26. Dental records show remains found at Carlton Reserve are those of Brian Laundrie, FBI says

27. Biden targets Trump’s legacy with first-day executive actions

28. At least 8 dead and many injured after crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, officials say

Ten people died after a dangerous crowd surge at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival in Houston in November.

29. A timeline of 22-year-old Gabby Petito’s case

30. CDC adds 16 destinations to ‘very high’ Covid-19 travel risk list

31. Pence informed Trump that he can’t block Biden’s win

32. Live story: Donald Trump acquitted in second impeachment trial

33. Trump explodes at Nixon comparisons as he prepares to leave office

34. US takes back its assertion that Capitol rioters wanted to ‘capture and assassinate’ officials

35. Live story: Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana

Hurricane Ida struck southern Louisiana in late August.

36. Live story: Fallout intensifies over Trump’s response to Capitol riot

37. After two months in office, Kamala Harris is still living out of suitcases – and she’s getting frustrated with it

38. Dustin Diamond, ‘Saved by the Bell’ star, dead at 44

39. New details emerge about Brian Laundrie’s behavior in the days after Petito went missing

40. Coming this summer: Gas stations running out of gas

41. Members are quitting ‘sad’ Mar-a-Lago after Trump loses

42. Melania Trump and adult Trump children avoid the spotlight after one of nation’s darkest days

43. A California couple vanished after stealing millions in Covid-19 relief funds. They left a goodbye note for their three kids

44. Live story: Multiple dead in shooting at Colorado supermarket

45. Biden signs orders to get checks and food aid to low-income Americans – plus a federal pay raise

46. Already shunned from polite society, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner face new cold post-insurrection reality

47. Police ID gunman who killed 8 people at an Indianapolis FedEx facility as 19-year-old former employee

48. Warnock wins Georgia runoff, CNN projects, as control of Senate comes down to Perdue-Ossoff race

49. Live story: At least 13 US service members killed in Kabul airport attack

The airport attack in Afghanistan occurred as the US and its allies raced to evacuate Afghans amid the Taliban's resurgence.

50. The face mask that could end the pandemic

51. Live story: House pushes for Trump’s removal after deadly Capitol riot

52. CNN suspends Chris Cuomo indefinitely

53. With Trump a no-show, Mar-a-Lago guests left to party maskless with Rudy Giuliani and Vanilla Ice

54. Plans for $400-billion new city in the American desert unveiled

55. Live story: Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty on all charges

56. Derek Chauvin’s body camera video shows his reaction just after George Floyd left in an ambulance

57. Massacre in the mountains: They thought they’d be safe at a church. Then the soldiers arrived

58. Pence has not ruled out 25th Amendment, source says

59. Melania Trump disengaged from her husband’s second impeachment trial and bitter over Jill Biden’s publicity

60. Live story: Partial building collapse near Miami

61. Live story: Harry and Meghan interview fallout

Oprah Winfrey interviewed Harry and Meghan in March in a must-see primetime event.