Perhaps John Oliver said it best in the year's final episode of "Last Week Tonight:" "2016 was the fucking worst."

In 2016, we endured the death of three pop culture icons, watched as the Zika virus spread across the globe, and lived through one of the most spiteful political campaigns in recent memory. It's tempting to call 2016 a wash. 

However, we also witnessed small moments of grace: victory at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, for example, or even a simple selfie between athletes from two warring countries. Luckily for us, these moving moments — both good and bad — make for captivating photographs. 

So take a deep breath, pour a glass of wine, and take a trip down 2016 memory lane with these 19 powerful photos.


Donald Trump meets a supporter at a campaign rally in Lowell, Massachusetts.

President-elect Donald Trump's raucous campaign rallies became a focal point of the US election.


A woman with a Ziggy Stardust tattoo visits a mural of David Bowie in London.

Bowie, an iconic British musician and creator of the "Ziggy Stardust" alter ego, died on January 10, at the age of 69.


A Greek man hangs on to the bag of free produce given to him during a rally in Athens.

More than 1,000 people protested in Athens after the Greek government cut their pensions. The government is being pressured to cut social spending and pay back their international loans.


A woman holds up her four-month-old son born with microcephaly — a side effect of the Zika virus.

This year saw an alarming spread of Zika across the world. Almost 50 countries reported cases of the virus, which causes fevers, rashes, and birth defects


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his guests try out virtual reality headsets in Berlin, Germany.

Personal virtual reality headsets, which allow users to fully immerse themselves in a digital experience, became widely available for purchase in 2016.


Lady Gaga clasps hands with sexual assault survivors as she performs "Til It Happens to You" at the 2016 Oscars.

Gaga wrote the Oscar-winning song for the documentary "The Hunting Ground," which explores sexual assault on college campuses. 


Air Force One lands in Havana, Cuba.

President Obama re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time in 50 years. 


A man touches a star bearing Prince's name outside the Minnesota nightclub where the artist got his start.

The legendary pop star died on April 21, at the age of 57.


Fans reach for the hearse carrying Muhammad Ali through his funeral procession in Louisville, Kentucky.

The boxer once heralded as "the greatest of all time" died on June 3, at the age of 74. 


A couple embraces while attending a vigil for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

Forty-nine people died in the mass shooting at a popular gay club in Orlando. It is the deadliest shooting in US history. 


Brexit supporters cheer Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

Britain shocked the world by leaving the political and economic union after more than 20 years.


A protester is arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Protests wracked the city for weeks following the police-shooting death of Alton Sterling.


A body is covered after a terrorist drove a truck through a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France.

The terrorist attack killed 85 people on the night of France's biggest national holiday.


Brazilian rugby player Isadora Cerullo accepts girlfriend Marjorie Enya's marriage proposal at the Olympics.

The Rio Olympics had the most openly LGBTQ competitors of any Olympic games. 


South Korean gymnast Lee Eun-Ju takes a selfie with North Korean gymnast Hong Un Jong at the Rio Olympics.

The two countries have been at war for 60 years


A demonstrator faces down a riot policeman during a protest in Santiago, Chile.

Protestors took to the streets to mark the 43rd anniversary of dictator Augusto Pinochet's coup.


A girl clasps a Hillary Clinton figurine while listening to her speak at a rally in Akron, Ohio.

Clinton became the first female nominee of any major US political party in 2016.


A Syrian refugee rests inside the ship that saved her off the Libyan coast.

Syrian civil war refugees made up half of all people crossing the Mediterranean this year. The war has killed an estimated 400,000 people since 2011, according to the United Nations.


Someone pours pepper spray antidote into the eyes of a protestor near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Demonstrators camped out for months to protest the construction of an oil pipeline near the reservation. The Department of the Army announced December 4 that it would block the pipeline from being built.