▶ Watch Video: A look back: Top news stories of 2021 month-by-month

“Sunday Morning” host Jane Pauley looks back on key events of a dramatic year:


In January Joe Biden was inaugurated as our 46th president …

… just two weeks after supporters of former President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election. 

Protesters attack Capitol Police and storm the seat of government, trying to halt the Electoral College certification of ballots and throw the 2020 election to the loser, President Donald Trump, January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. To date, more than 700 people have been charged in the violence. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died as a result of injuries sustained that day; four other police officers committed suicide in the days and months following the attack.

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images


In February, the United States formally re-joined the Paris Climate Agreement, an international treaty aimed at limiting global warming. 


The container ship Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal in March, holding up billions in trade. The ship was freed six days later. 

High-resolution satellite imagery of the Suez Canal and the container ship Ever Given that remains stuck, north of the city of Suez, Egypt, March 26, 2021. 

DigitalGlobe/ScapeWare3d/copyright 2021 Maxar Technologies


In April, a Minneapolis jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd a year earlier.


May saw the successful splashdown of the first operational spaceflight by a private company, Elon Musk’s SpaceX. 


June saw the partial collapse of a 12-story condominium in Surfside, Florida, killing 98 residents. 

Search and rescue personnel work in the rubble of the 12-story condo tower that partially collapsed on June 24, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. 

Getty Images


July brought the 32nd Summer Olympic games to Tokyo, a year after being postponed. The U.S. topped the medal count with 113. 

Simone Biles won a bronze medal on the balance beam, after withdrawing briefly from competition citing mental health concerns.  

CBS News


August saw the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan after a two-decade war that took the lives of over 2,400 U.S. service personnel.


September saw the implementation of the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans abortions after roughly six weeks. The Supreme Court has declined to block the law, saying it’s a question for lower courts.


October brought the welcome news that the World Health Organization had endorsed the world’s first vaccine against malaria. 


In November, the Atlanta Braves won their fourth World Series, defeating the Houston Astros four games to two. 


In December, tornadoes ripped through the South and Midwest, killing at least 91 people …   

A woman walks away from what is left of the Mayfield Consumer Products Candle Factory as emergency workers comb the rubble after it was destroyed by a tornado in Mayfield, Kentucky, on December 11, 2021.

JOHN AMIS/AFP via Getty Images

…and the FDA authorized two pills to treat COVID-19, a potential game-changer in our now years-long fight against the disease.

Story produced by Robert Marston. Editor: Chad Cardin.