Scandal, legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage all captured headlines this year. Cheryl Wills takes a look back at these topics in depth in the second part of our year in review of national headlines for 2012.
UNITED STATES -- In a stunning fall from grace, the director of the CIA abruptly resigned just days after Election Day after admitting an extramarital affair with his biographer. David Patraeus, a four star general, who spent nearly half of his life in the U.S. Army, came under scrutiny by the FBI after his mistress Paula Broadwell sent harassing emails to a family friend of Patreus. The general, who led American troops through the crises in Iraq and Afghanistan, was once seen as a potential candidate for President of the United States.
President Obama continues to make history and headlines during his first term in office, perhaps none more so than his political about face and endorsement of same-sex marriage. After striking down ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ the president announces his support for gay marriage in a television interview last May that once again drew strong responses from a sharply divided nation.
And just months later in November, Maine, Washington and Maryland become the first states in the union to pass same-sex marriage laws by popular vote. Six other states, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Iowa, Vermont and the District of Columbia already have same-sex marriage laws in place.
Although marijuana is banned under federal law, residents in Washington and Colorado vote to legalize the drug for recreational use. The November referendums make it legal for some businesses to sell it and for anyone over the age of 21 to light up. President Obama does not endorse the move but said in a television interview that he won’t go after the two states that legalized pot.
And finally, junk food lovers end the year hording Twinkies, ding dongs and other sugar-loaded favorites. When parent company Hostess files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, officials suspend operations at all of its bakeries, prompting an uproar among Americans who cherished the “golden sponge cake with creamy filling” that became popular during World War II. Hostess says the move to healthy eating and the war on sugary treats is what ultimately did the company in.