9. Jeffrey Epstein is found dead in a New York jail cell. 8. The world remembers the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. 7. Celebrities are named in a huge college admissions scandal. 6. The Trump administration's tariffs impact Georgia. 5. Measles makes a global comeback. 4. The number of vaping-related illnesses and deaths rise. 3. A long-awaited report on the FBI's Russia investigation is released. 2. Box office history is made by the Atlanta-filmed 'Avengers: Endgame.' 1. House Democrats draft two impeac
Photo: Illustration by Ryon Horne
Photo: Illustration by Ryon Horne

World remembers historic Apollo 11 mission: The top 9 national stories of 2019

2019 was a year of triumph. And tragedy. One of hope. And heartbreak. Before we embark on 2020, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s content curation desk is taking a look back at the biggest stories of 2019 and their effects on Georgia and the rest of the nation. Today’s topic: National news.

Jeffrey Epstein
Photo: New York State Sex Offender Registry/New York Times

9. Jeffrey Epstein found dead in a cell

Wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on numerous sex trafficking charges. After his arrest, Epstein, 66, was found dead in his New York jail cell. Epstein died of an apparent suicide by hanging, according to police.


This photograph of the lunar module at Tranquility Base was taken by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission.
Photo: Air Force Research Laboratory Corporate Communications/NASA

8. The world remembers historic Apollo 11 

Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to land and walk on the moon in July 1969. Astronaut Michael Collins circled above as Apollo 11 made history. The world remembered the occasion on the mission’s 50th anniversary.


Actress Felicity Huffman arrives at federal court alongside her husband, actor William Macy, for her sentencing in September.
Photo: Scott Eisen/The New York Times

7. College admission cheating scandal taints Hollywood celebs 

Prominent parents such as actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, as well as university coaches and test administrators, were indicted as part of a nationwide FBI investigation into alleged schemes to secure college admissions. The $25 million federal bribery case is the biggest college admissions scam to be prosecuted by the Justice Department. Parents spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million to guarantee their children’s admission.


Steel beams sit outside Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil. President Donald Trump accused Brazil and Argentina of hurting American farmers through currency manipulation and said he'll slap tariffs on their steel and aluminum imports to retaliate.
Photo: Ferdinand Ostrop/Associated Press

6. Trump tariffs impact on Atlanta 

President Donald Trump raised tariffs on imported goods from countries around the world in 2019, specifically China, impacting Georgians’ wallets. Georgia is the nation’s 11th-largest exporting state, and seventh-largest importing state, including nearly $7 billion in goods from Mexico. As the U.S. and China were engaged in an ongoing trade war, Trump’s tariffs raised prices on everything from power tools to leather products imported from China. 


5. Measles outbreak around the world

U.S. and international health officials tracked a global measles outbreak in 2019, with reported cases jumping 300% in the year’s first three months compared with the same period last year. The highly contagious disease is caused by a virus and typically begins with a high fever and rash that can lead to serious complications, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


4. Vaping illnesses, deaths on the rise 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracked more than 2,000 vaping-related illnesses and almost 40 deaths. In Georgia, three people were confirmed to have died from e-cigarette-related causes. Federal and state health officials continue to discourage the use of vaping-related products until the habit’s full health effects are known.


Here is the cover page of the report issued by the Department of Justice’s inspector general.
Photo: Jon Elswick/Associated Press

3. Inspector general releases report on FBI’s Russia investigation

In a long-awaited report on the origins of the Russia investigation, the inspector general of the Department of Justice concluded the 2016 investigation of possible Russian election interference was properly undertaken by the FBI, saying there was no evidence the Trump campaign had been spied upon by investigators. The 476-page report found the investigation “was opened for an authorized investigative purpose and with sufficient factual predication.” It also found “no evidence the FBI placed any” confidential human sources “to report on the Trump campaign.”


“Avengers: Endgame” broke some box office records.
Photo: Walt Disney Studios/TNS

2. Atlanta-filmed ‘Avengers Endgame’ makes box office history 

The finale in Marvel Studios’ Avengers series, Atlanta-filmed “Avengers: Endgame,” became the highest-grossing film of all time with a worldwide total of $2.7 billion. It was also the fastest film to eclipse the $1 billion and $1.5 billion mark in five and eight days, respectively, surpassing “Avatar,” the previous record holder. 


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

1. Democrats draft 2 articles of impeachment against the president

House Democratic leaders drafted formal articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. In the process, a Georgia congressional Republican became one of the president’s most ardent defenders. U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican and ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly slammed House Democratic leaders for rushing the process and not following parliamentary protocol. 

Check out the other stories in our year-end project:

9 for 2019: Top Georgia stories

9 for 2019: Top sports stories

9 for 2019: Top business stories

9 for 2019: Top weather stories

9 for 2019: Top world stories
9 for 2019: Notable deaths

9 for 2019: Top political stories

9 for 2019: Top arts and entertainment stories

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