Steve Eighinger

Meghan, Clint and a bad haircut all helped make 2018 special

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 28, 2018 10:00 am

Sure, some of the things you are about to read might not have had a major effect on world peace or the price of gasoline, but in their own way they were part of a rather eventful 2018.

These are some items that didn't always command a major headline but were still noteworthy in their own right:

º In Saudi Arabia, women were finally given the right to drive, and for the first time in Iran, women were allowed to attend men's sporting events. The world cannot change overnight, but at least it's changing, albeit much slower in some places than others.

º Meghan Markle became the first woman of color to join the British royal family. Good for Meghan, but I'm sure going to miss her on the hit TV series "Suits."

º For the first time in Marine Corps history, a woman was placed in charge of an infantry platoon. For the record, her name is Marina Hierla, and she is 24 years old. Here's another interesting fact: Until 2013, women were still excluded from military combat roles.

º Mexico is selling its $218.7 million presidential plane and plans to use the funds to assist poor communities. It's kind of nice to hear some (positive) news out of Mexico that deals with something other than drug cartels.

º In his first movie performance in six years, Clint Eastwood, who is 88, brought his usual toughness -- and rough-around-the-edges grace -- to "The Mule," which opened this month. Enjoy him while we still have him. There will never be another like the man we once knew as Rowdy Yates on "Rawhide."

º The unemployment rate fell to its lowest point since 1969.

º I've seen some recent rankings and stories that list NBC's Lester Holt as America's most trusted newsman. I can't argue with that. My wife and I watch Holt just about every night. He seems like the kind of guy you'd like to invite over to the house for an evening of spirited conversation.

º In case you missed it, in late November the Rolling Stones announced they will again tour next year, including June 21 and 25 in Chicago. For the record, Mick Jagger is 75, Keith Richards is 75, Charlie Watts is 77, and Ronnie Wood is 71. The original Stones formed in 1962. For those who find math a bit challenging, that was 56 years ago. Fifty-six.

º North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un maintained his seven-year hold on having the world's worst haircut.

º One of the saddest stories of the year was centered around the incredible devastation from the wildfires in California. Two major fires and a third smaller blaze produced $9 billion in initial insurance claims and a debris cleanup estimated at $3 billion.

º Looking ahead, "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" will be with us for a 47th year. Ryan Seacrest has been the host since 2006. The late Dick Clark created what is now a holiday tradition back in 1972 as an ABC rival to the more mellow sounds of band leader Guy Lombardo's New Year's Eve telecast on CBS.