There was also the small matter of the Diamond Jubilee and the Queen becoming only the second monarch to reign for 60 years.
For everyone on The Times, 2012 was never going to be mundane, but little did anyone suspect that it would turn out to be quite so extraordinary.
The Diamond Jubilee weekend in June was not blessed with great weather but somehow that made it all the more British. The pageant on the Thames that was the centrepiece of the celebrations presented a vivid spectacle and produced some of the 2012’s most memorable photographs.
The Olympic Games - and the Paralympics that followed after the nation had paused for breath - utterly surpassed our wildest expectations, right from the moment that Danny Boyle did the seemingly impossible in producing an opening ceremony that everyone loved. It was not just about the breathless, unstoppable rush of medals for Great Britain, but also that the event was an organisational triumph, that the crowds were wonderful, the athletes charming and the volunteers magnificent. It was Britain at its absolute best.
Those two events dominated the year, but there were plenty of other stories to keep Times journalists busy - a Presidential election in the United States, the continuing cut and thrust of domestic politics, the Leveson Inquiry, even James Bond’s 50th birthday.
In this e-book there are around 75,000 of the millions of words The Times has produced this year and they come from all sections of the newspaper. It includes contributions from all the newspaper’s best known writers, including Caitlin Moran, Ben Macintyre, Giles Coren and Matthew Parris.
This Kindle Single is part of our four-volume box set marking the end of 2012 - see also our collections on obituaries, sport and arts.