A look back at a momentous year

Italian navy scuba divers sail past the cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012. The cruise ship was grounded off the island.
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

(CBS News) It happened this year: 2012, twelve months full of news events great and small.

The year began with the January wreck of the giant cruise ship Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy. Thirty-two people lost their lives.

On an evening last February, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla. Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder.

In March, the Census Bureau estimated the world's population had hit the 7 billion mark, up one billion in just 13 years.

April saw the new One World Trade Center tower overtake the Empire State Building to become New York's tallest skyscraper. When completed it will be the tallest building in the United States.

In May, people around the world were treated to a "Supermoon," a full moon that looked all the larger because it was at its closest point to the earth.

In June, the Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health care plan in a five-to-four ruling. Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote.

July saw the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that took 12 lives.

The month also saw the opening of the Olympic Summer Games in London. By the time the games were over, American athletes led the count with 104 medals . . . 46 of them gold.

In August, the Republican Convention met in Tampa, Fla. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were named the GOP's candidates - and Clint Eastwood made headlines by talking to an empty chair representing President Obama.

September's Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C., renominated Barack Obama and Joe Biden. And in Benghazi, Libya, an armed attack killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Four State Department officials eventually resigned over the incident.

October was nearly over when Superstorm Sandy hit the mid-Atlantic coast. The rare late-season hurricane killed more than 100 people and left tens of thousands of people homeless.

The November election was a victory for President Obama, and for Senate Democrats who increased their majority by two seats. Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives.

As for December, the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 20 children and six adults cast a cloud over what was supposed to be our most joyous season.

And at year's end, all eyes were on Washington and the fiscal cliffhanger that remains mired in a political tug-of-war.

Time to move on to a new year . . .