It was the most unconventional election of our lifetimes. When anti-politician Donald Trump began his run in the middle of 2015 while riding down a golden escalator with flanked his supermodel wife, hardly anyone in the elite circles of mass media and political governance took him seriously. But as time wore on, he showed the world he was Big League.

Here’s a timeline of the craziest election year in memory, a year in review of 2016 and what led to the sweeping win by the Republicans in the presidential elections:

January: Barely a month away from the first-of-the nation caucuses in Iowa, several Republican candidates duke it out in the debates as outsider candidate Donald Trump proves his durability in the race as he battles with firebrand senator Ted Cruz over issues such as birtherism and New York values. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson enters the race, and self-styled socialist Bernie Sanders ignites a feud over Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street speaking fees as the pair continue to duke it out over the Democratic nomination.

February: Donald Trump knocks off former tech CEO Carly Fiorina, along with Gov. Chris Christie and Republican heir apparent Jeb Bush. Trump’s opponents are failing to tap into the anger of working-class white voters who feel disaffected and left behind, as Trump continues to net cable news networks high ratings through entertaining and divisive rhetoric on display at the GOP debates. Democrat Martin O’Malley stops flirting with his White House bid, while Sen. Bernie Sanders erases Clinton’s one-time 31 point lead in the national polls while waking up Democratic establishment figures with a surprise win in the Michigan primaries.

March: On the first day of March, Super Tuesday resulted in big wins for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, while Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders both picked off enough states to remain in contention.  The losses accumulated by Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio spell the end of their campaigns, and Mitt Romney steps in to head a “Never Trump” movement searching for an alternative to the conservatives currently running. Ohio Gov. John Kasich pins his hopes on a win in his home state, while Twitter wars rage between Trump and everyone else.

April: Ted Cruz kicks off a string of wins early in the month, and Bernie Sanders vows to stay in the race while conceding that he will in fact support the nominee if it is Secretary Clinton. The Democrats hold a debate in Brooklyn ahead of the New York primaries in which Sanders questions his opponent’s judgment, as Clinton’s lead in national polling shrinks to a mere 2 points. Donald Trump ends the month with an emphatic win in the GOP’s New York contest, in addition to five other states. He begins turning his attention toward “Crooked Hillary” on twitter and in interviews.

May: Bernie Sanders kicks off the month with another upset victory in the primaries, this time in Indiana. Just days after a political “Hail Mary” in which he announced Carly Fiorina as his VP pick, Ted Cruz ends his presidential bid when he fails to steal a victory in Indiana’s GOP contest. A day later, Ohio Gov. John Kasich ends his run for the White House leaving Donald Trump as the sole Republican candidate still running. Libertarian Gary Johnson is officially the third-party’s nominee, Dr. Jill Stein makes some noise as the Green Party’s candidate and Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton split wins as her massive lead in party superdelegates allows her to pull ahead.

June:  House Speaker Paul Ryan admits he’ll vote for Donald Trump amidst some ongoing beef between the pair. New Hampshire and California decide the Democrats’ contest, handing Hillary Clinton wins setting her up to become the first woman to win a major party’s nomination. Her ongoing email probe still dominates headlines as Sanders vows to stay in the race until the party’s convention, lending hope to younger and more progressive voters unready to back Clinton.

July: FBI Director James Comey recommends closing the investigation against Hillary Clinton over her private email server, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch accepts his suggestion not to prosecute the former secretary of state. Bernie Sanders officially endorses Clinton as the Democratic nominee and Ted Cruz is booed off the stage at the Republican National Convention for refusing to endorse Donald Trump. Michelle Obama delivers a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention where Clinton is officially coronated as the first female nominee of a major party.

August: New emails surface implicating the Clinton Foundation in a potential pay-for-play scandal with the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s time there. With his poll numbers declining following weeks of tweetstorms and off-message remarks, Trump shakes up his staff and fires Paul Manafort, a Washington vet who was originally brought in to re-shape the candidate as more presidential.

September: Starting one of the worst stretches of her campaign, Hillary Clinton appears to faint at a 9/11 memorial in which she is dragged into her car by Secret Service personnel. She’s also depicted on a cell phone video at a private event calling Donald Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables” which becomes a rallying cry for the opposition. In the final days of the month, the two candidates prepare for what would be a searing contest with excruciating attacks watched by more than 80 million people. In combination, the three debates break records and reveal how truly bitter and divisive the election has become.

October: The New York Times acquires Donald Trump’s 1995 tax filings, which suggest he hasn’t paid income tax in more than 15 years. Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence square off in the first vice presidential debate, and anti-secrecy group Wikileaks begins an archive dump that reveals the content of Hillary Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street. An “October Surprise” also rocks the Trump campaign, when leaked audio from 2005 shows Trump bragging of groping women. More leaks show that Clinton’s campaign showed alarm over private server and in an unprecedented announcement, the FBI’s James Comey announces there will be further investigation into the content of her emails.

November: Concerns over Hillary Clinton’s email saga continue following the FBI’s announcement, as she and Donald Trump continue to criss-cross in the swing states of Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Those states would play a pivotal role in the election, when a silent majority turns out to give the bombastic billionaire a win in all of them — plus Wisconsin. Pundits and pollsters voice disbelief as regular Americans elect a total political outsider for the very first time, considering it a vote of anger and frustration and a referendum on the status quo. President Obama meets with president-elect Trump, and prepares a peaceful transition of power, while congratulating the nominee of his own party on a hard fought battle.

December: Electors finalize the results of the 2016 election, as Donald Trump interviews several Cabinet picks. Opposition to Trump continues in the form of protests and social media campaigning, as the Democrats prepare obstruction efforts among the rank and file of Congress.  The transition team decides on Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, former Goldman Sachs investment banker Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary, former Marine Gen. James Mattis as defense secretary, Gen. John Kelly as the homeland security chief, Rep. Ryan Zinke as the interior secretary, and Sen. Jeff Sessions as the attorney general among several Cabinet picks. The president-elect’s victory tour rolls through states that helped deliver the unthinkable victory, as he relishes in highlight-reel accounts of the campaign trail. Trump doubles down on promises such as immigration reform and America-first policies publicly, while holding meetings privately with big donors and campaign surrogates for positions in the Administration.