"Black Death." Online Media. World Book Advanced. World Book, 2015. Web. 3 Feb. 2015.
Matthew Pratt Guterl, Business Insider/Slate: I asked 10 historians to nominate the 'worst' year in history — here are their picks
When news of the truck killings in Nice, France, broke last week, I started seeing variations of the same sentiment on Twitter and Facebook: Is this the worst year ever, or what? Terror attacks, Zika, Brexit, police shootings, Syria, Trump, record-hot temperatures, the losses of Prince and David Bowie—this has been one unrelenting turn around the calendar.
Have terrifying events truly piled up on each other in 2016, in a way they didn’t in any other year in human history? Or is it impossible to judge the awfulness of a year while it’s still unfolding? Do we just notice negative happenings more these days because of our high levels of connectivity? And what does “worst year” even mean—“worst year” for Americans, for humanity, for the planet?
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WNU Editor: If I put on my historian hat .... I would nominate 1348 (Black Death). My Russian hat would be 1917 (Russian Revolution), followed by 1941 .... the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. My North American hat .... 1863 was the year of Gettysburg and the mid-way point of the American Civil War.
As for the future .... a nuclear war or a major catastrophic event like a super volcano or a massive meteorite strike .... that year would be regarded as the worst year in history.