13 Unforgettable Things About the Year 2013

From the year's biggest stories to who and what we got addicted to in 2013.

ByABC News
December 19, 2013, 12:39 PM

Dec. 19, 2013— -- intro: As the year 2014 quickly approaches, another memorable year full of incredible news and remarkable people comes to an end.

In 2013, stories, such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the Cleveland kidnapping, captivated the world. People also eagerly awaited the verdicts from the controversial George Zimmerman and Jodi Arias trials.

New words "twerk" and "selfie" were added to the dictionary this year, and the world welcomed a new pope and a new royal baby.

Heroes emerged to inspire with their words and actions throughout 2013, while public figures fell from grace for their scandals. Several celebrities found new love or fell out of it, and other icons said goodbye forever.

Click through to see 13 unforgettable things about the year 2013.

quicklist: 1category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 1. Stories That Captivated the Worldtext: On March 13, Pope Francis became the first pope to emerge from Latin America. The following month on April 15, two homemade bombs ripped through the crowd of fans and runners at the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three and wounding nearly 300 others.

Another area of the country was hit by tragedy on April 17, when an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, killed 15 people, nine of whom were first responders. On May 11, the nation heard a 911 call 10 years in the making, when Amanda Berry revealed that she, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus had been kidnapped and held captive by Ariel Castro in Cleveland.

The world focused on San Francisco International Airport on July 6 when a Boeing 777 operated by Asiana Airlines crash landed because the pilot-in-training landed the plane too short on the runway, killing three Chinese girls, one run over by a first responder truck.

When horrific images of a sarin gas attack on civilians in Syria shocked the world in August, the United States prepared to take action, but after weeks of talks, Russia negotiated a deal with Syria to give up its chemical weapons.media: 21248573

quicklist: 2category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 2. Icons Who Said a Final Goodbye text: We said goodbye to several famous faces this year, but they will live on in the contributions and legacies they left behind.

Former South African president and leader of the anti-apartheid movement Nelson Mandela died on Dec. 5. World leaders and celebrities were among the millions who paid tribute to the civil rights hero when he was laid to rest last Sunday.

Actor Paul Walker was killed in a car crash on Nov. 30, devastating friends, family and his millions of fans. His "Fast and Furious" co-stars Tyrese Gibson and Vin Diesel both visited the crash site in Southern California. Hollywood also lost beloved actors, Cory Monteith and James Gandolfini, last summer.

In April, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and movie critic Roger Ebert died, leaving behind incredible legacies. Controversial President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela died in March after a long battle with cancer. Musician Lou Reed, actress Marcia Wallace and author Tom Clancy died in October.media: 21240975

quicklist: 3category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 3. 2013's Adorable Newborn Babiestext: With every new year comes new life, and in 2013, the world welcomed plenty of adorable babies, including a new royal baby.

Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton welcomed a son, Prince George, on July 22. While the baby prince kept the world waiting for weeks, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's baby girl, whom they named North West, arrived on June 15.

In Hollywood, the trend of unique baby names continued. Channing Tatum had a daughter named Everly Tatum with wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum, and Fergie and Josh Duhamel welcomed a baby boy they named Axl Jack. Jessica Simpson had her second child, Ace Knute, and Kristen Bell gave birth to her daughter Lincoln Bell, whom she lovingly referred to as a sloth.

There were also celebrities who found new joy at an older age. Elton John celebrated the birth of his second son, Elijah, and Steve Martin became a dad for the first time at age 67. Halle Berry gave birth to her son, Maceo, at the age of 47.

An exciting birth occurred in the animal world this year. Baby pandas Mei Lun and Mei Huan were born on July 15 at Zoo Atlanta, the first twin pandas to be born in the United States since 1987.media: 21239836

quicklist: 4category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 4. You Probably Watched These Viral Videostext: Many videos went viral this year, from the funny to the inspiring to the randomly absurd. One of the most popular videos to resurface in 2013 was the "Harlem Shake" video, and another viral video that launched scores of interpretations on the Internet and even on "Dancing With the Stars" was Norwegian pop star Ylvis' smash hit "What Does the Fox Say?"

The "Worst Twerk Fail EVER" video was too good to be true. It actually turned out to be the case when ABC's Jimmy Kimmel revealed that it was a prank he'd masterminded.

However, 2-year-old Claire Konkel's video might be one of the cutest viral videos to emerge this year – she made "Good Morning America's" "Play of the Day" when she listed the reasons why she loves her mommy so much.media: 21245201

quicklist: 5category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 5. Trials That Divided the Countrytext: The trial of George Zimmerman, a Florida man who was accused of shooting and killing Trayvon Martin, captivated the country this summer. Demonstrations and protests in outrage over the 17-year-old's death sprang up across the United States. In the end, the jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in July 2013.

Another legal issue that divided the country this year was gay marriage. Two landmark Supreme Court rulings came down on June 26. In one, the court refused to reinstate the California ballot initiative Prop 9, which banned gay marriages in that state. The other much more sweeping ruling struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which prevented same-sex couples from receiving the same federal benefits that other couples receive.

But the case that mesmerized many was the Jodi Arias trial. Arias, who was accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008, spent 18 days testifying on the stand, with her sex life taking center stage. By May 2013, Jodi Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder.media: 21238627

quicklist: 6category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 6. Who Made This Year's Dishonor Roll?text: Justin Bieber makes the dishonor roll with his very bad year. From being caught on camera peeing in a bucket at a nightclub to his walk of shame from a Brazilian brothel, the singer had a series of controversial missteps in 2013 that even included leaving his pet monkey behind in Germany.

Celebrity chef Paula Deen earned her spot on the dishonor roll when she admitted that she had used racial slurs. Lance Armstrong made the dishonor roll this year when he admitted to taking banned substances and blood doping.

In politics, Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford joined the list of shame after admitting that he used crack cocaine, and Anthony Weiner, who used the online alias "Carlos Danger" lost the New York City mayoral election and his honor after new allegations of him sexting women emerged.

As Russia prepares for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the entire country made the dishonor roll for its anti-gay laws.media: 21238778

quicklist: 7category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 7. The Power of Social Mediatext: The year 2013 proved social media is here to stay for good -- and not so good.

Maybe the strongest statement about the power of social media was made when the pope signed on to Twitter this year for the first time ever. Social media also played a significant role in international affairs, when cellphone images showed what appeared to be a chemical weapons attack in Syria.

In September 2013, social media was at the center of the terrorist attack in Kenya's Westgate shopping center. Anyone with a cellphone can now go global as events unfold. Social media became a major player during moments of crisis this year.

After the Boston Marathon bombing, police turned to social media for help in capturing the bombing suspects. People stepped up, which was both a blessing and a curse. Social media users misidentified several people, including Brown student Sunil Tripathi, who was missing at the time, as the suspected bombers.

But in another instance of false identification, Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o learned a hard lesson this year when he revealed that the woman he met online and fell in love with didn't actually exist.

Taking "selfies" and posting them to social media was all the rage this year. Some of the memorable selfies included Geraldo Rivera's topless shot, Chelsea Clinton's photo with her mom, Hillary Clinton, and a student's selfie with his teacher about to give birth. Even Malia and Sasha Obama got into the action and posed for a selfie together while their mother, Michelle Obama, looked on.

One of the biggest social media stories this year came from former National Security Administration contractor, Edward Snowden, who claimed to have stolen tens of thousands of confidential and classified documents from the NSA's internal computer system.media: 21238422

quicklist: 8category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 8. The Year's Extreme and Deadly Weather Rampagestext: From a devastating typhoon to tragic tornadoes to deadly wildfires, this was a year of extreme weather.

The worst storm of the year hit the Philippines on Nov. 8, destroying nearly everything in its path and leaving more than 5,000 people dead. Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strongest storms ever recorded in history.

Halfway across the world in the United States, only one tropical storm managed to hit shores. Despite predictions of an active hurricane season, not one hurricane made landfall all season long.

Tornadoes, on the other hand, made their way through many states. On May 20, tornadoes hit Oklahoma, ripping through towns and taking 18 lives.

In November, there were 81 tornado reports in six states from Illinois to Ohio. Most tornadoes hit Illinois, making them the deadliest series of tornadoes the state has ever seen in the month of November.

Record wildfires blazed through Arizona this summer. The Yarnell Hill fire on June 30 was the fastest-moving fire in the state's history, and killed 10 firefighters with the Prescott, Ariz., fire team.media: 21239270

quicklist: 9category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 9. Celebrities Who Fell In and Out of Lovetext: Celebrities couldn't help falling in and out of love this year. From "Modern Family" star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who got married, to Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, who finally got their divorce finalized, plenty of romances both bloomed and ended in 2013.

In a simple ceremony, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard had a courthouse wedding, while Kelly Clarkson also went for a small ceremony, marrying her husband in Tennessee. The members of 'N Sync were ushers at Chris Kirkpatrick's wedding, and Honey Boo Boo's parents had a wedding in camouflage attire.

Many other celebrities got engaged, including Hayden Panettiere, Adam Levine, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, and the "Bachelor" Sean and his pick Catherine Giudici. But no one could top Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's engagement, which included renting out the AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Unfortunately, some celebrity couples just couldn't keep it together. Kris and Bruce Jenner announced their separation, along with Diane Lane and Josh Brolin, Richard Gere and Carey Lowell, Clint and Dina Eastwood, Julianne Hough and Ryan Seacrest, and George Clooney and Stacy Keibler.

Ladies around the world rejoiced when Liam Hemsworth became newly single after his split from Miley Cyrus, and many were devastated when Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr announced they would be separating after three years of marriage.media: 21238896

quicklist: 10category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 10. What The World Couldn't Help Getting Addicted to In 2013text: The world learned countless new words in 2013. People took endless "selfies" for Instagram, and the word "selfie" even became Oxford dictionary's "Word of the Year." Also added to dictionaries was the word, "twerk" and "derp."

Everyone can thank Miley Cyrus for taking twerking mainstream in August at the MTV Video Music Awards. She danced alongside Robin Thicke, who performed his song "Blurred Lines," another 2013 addiction.

The Geico camel commercial made many eager for Wednesday to come along so they could yell "Hump Day!" to anyone in sight. But there weren't any commercials when people were busy "binge-watching" shows on services like Netflix. Some of the TV shows viewers became addicted to were "Breaking Bad," "House of Cards," "Scandal," "Arrested Development" and "Orange Is the New Black."

In 2013, the cronut won hearts and taste buds around the world. As the perfect hybrid of a croissant and a doughnut, the cronut spawned long lines around the New York bakery where it debuted, and soon knock-offs popped up across the globe.

One of the year's biggest addictions was playing the game Candy Crush. Candy Crush became 2013's most popular game on Facebook, with 46 million average monthly users. People loved it so much that they didn't mind paying the extra fee to bypass difficult levels: the game nets almost $1,000,000 a day.media: 21239320

quicklist: 11category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 11. Controversy in Washington Politics and Around the Worldtext: It was a year of significant highs and lows for politics in 2013. For President Obama, the disappointing rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its website followed him everywhere, and even became a joke on "Saturday Night Live."

The United States government was forced to shut down in October following Congress's failure to pass spending bills to fund the government.

While President Obama and the government may have had a rough year, some politicians found themselves in the spotlight, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. Former Newark, N.J., mayor Cory Booker also managed to snag a seat in the Senate.

But the most unlikely political star of 2013 was Dennis Rodman, who became one of the few Americans to meet North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un.media: 21241318

quicklist: 12category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 12. Heroes Who Bravely Rose to the Occasiontext: In 2013, there were plenty of heroes who rose above and renewed the world's faith in the human spirit. Some of this year's many heroes include Carlos Arredondo, who helped the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, Darnell Barton, a bus driver who talked a woman out of jumping off a ledge and Antoinette Tuff, who talked a gunman into surrendering to police.

Michelle Knight bravely faced her kidnapper and ex-captor, Ariel Castro, in court, while 15-year-old Davion Only bravely stood before the world asking for any family to adopt him. ABC News' Amy Robach and Valerie Harper inspired many people with their courageous battles against cancer, and Malala Yousafzai continued her fight for the right to education.

This year, the entire city of San Francisco became a hero when it helped 5-year-old Miles Scott, who has battled leukemia since he was 18 months -old, become Batkid for the day.media: 21239180

quicklist: 13category: 13 Unforgettable Things About 2013title: 13. 2013's Stars You Loved to Watchtext: Several stars emerged in the year 2013, and the world couldn't get enough of them. Miley Cyrus had her hit "Wrecking Ball" on the top of Billboard music charts, and a Saturday Night Live hosting gig while Grumpy Cat went from being an online sensation to a newspaper and magazine cover cat.

The cast of "Duck Dynasty" made its way into America's hearts with its family dynamics and famous long beards, and another show, "Scandal," made its star, Kerry Washington, 2013's top cover girl.

But no one was quite as inspirational as 10-year-old Robby Novak, also known as "Kid President," whose videos have gone viral with millions of hits.media: 21239541