Timeline of United States history

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This is a timeline of United States history, comprising most legal and territorial changes and political and economic events in the United States and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of the United States. See also timeline of United States diplomatic history, the list of U.S. states by date of statehood, the list of Presidents of the United States and years in the United States.


16th century[edit]

Year Date Event Reference
1513 March 27 Juan Ponce de León sights Florida for the first time. [1]
1520 Spanish conquest of Yucatán: Spanish conquest of the Maya civilization began.
1521 August 8 Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire: Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés destroyed the Aztec Empire. [2]
1524 April 17 Giovanni da Verrazzano explored the Atlantic coast of North America under French employ. [3]
1542 Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto discovered the Mississippi River, strengthening Spanish claims to the interior of North America. [4]
1565 August 28 Spanish Admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded St. Augustine. [5]
1570 The Iroquois Confederacy was founded. [6][7]
1587 April English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh founded Roanoke Colony. [8]
1590 August 15 The Roanoke Colony was found deserted. [8]

17th century[edit]

New Amsterdam surrenders to the English.
Pere Marquette and the Indians
William Penn's treaty with the Indians
A depiction of the Salem witch trials
Year Date Event Reference
1607 May 14 John Smith founded the Jamestown Settlement [9]
1614 October 11 The Dutch laid claim to the territories of New Netherland.
1619 Slavery was introduced to the Colony of Virginia. [10]
1620 November 11 The Mayflower Compact was signed. [11]
1626 New Amsterdam was founded. [12]
1629 March 4 The Massachusetts Bay Colony founded. [13]
The Manor of Rensselaerswyck was founded. [14]
1630 July 6 The Winthrop Fleet arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. [15]
1632 June 20 The Province of Maryland was founded. [16]
1634 Theologian Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1636 The Connecticut Colony was founded by Thomas Hooker. [17]
January Williams founded the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. [18]
Harvard College was founded. [19]
1637 Pequot War: The war, in New England, ended. [20]
1638 The Delaware Colony was founded.
The New Haven Colony was founded. [21]
New Sweden was established. [22]
1639 January 14 The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut were adopted. [21][23]
June 4 The Fundamental Agreement of the New Haven Colony was signed. [24]
1640 French and Iroquois Wars: The wars escalated to full warfare. [25]
1642 February 25 Kieft's War: The war, in New Netherland, began. [26]
1643 May The New England Confederation was created. [27]
1644 Third Anglo–Powhatan War: The war began. [28]
1645 August 9 Kieft's War: The war ended. [26]
1646 Third Anglo-Powhatan War: The war ended. [28]
1649 The Maryland Toleration Act was passed. [29]
January 30 The execution of the English King Charles I of England caused the establishment of the Commonwealth of England. [30]
1655 Peach Tree War: The war took place. [31]
1659 Esopus Wars: The first war took place. [32]
1660 The Commonwealth of England came to an end with the restoration of King Charles II of England. [33]
1662 The Halfway Covenant was adopted. [34]
1663 March 24 Charles granted a charter for a new colony, the Province of Carolina. [35]
Esopus Wars: The second war took place. [36]
1664 Second Anglo-Dutch War: The war began with the English conquest of New Amsterdam. [33]
1667 July 31 New Netherland was ceded to England under the Treaty of Breda (1667). [37]
1669 John Lederer of Virginia began to explore the Appalachian Mountains. [38]
1670 Charles Town was founded. [33]
Lederer's expedition ended. [38]
1671 September The Batts-Fallam expedition sponsored by Abraham Wood reached the New River. [39]
1672 The Blue Laws were enacted in Connecticut.
1673 May Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette began to explore the Illinois Country. [40]
1674 Jolliet and Marquette's expedition ended. [40]
New Netherland was permanently relinquished to England under the Treaty of Westminster. [41]
1675 June 24 King Philip's War: The war, in New England, began. [20]
1676 Bacon's Rebellion: The rebellion, in Virginia, took place. [42]
King Philip's War: The war took place. [20]
1677 The Province of Maine was absorbed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1679 War between Carolina and the Westo resulted in the destruction of the Westo. [43]
1680 September Pueblo Revolt: A revolt took place in Spanish New Mexico. [44]
1681 The Province of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn. [45]
1682 April 7 René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle travelled down the Mississippi River to its mouth. [46]
1685 February 6 Charles died. He was succeeded as King of Kingdom of England by James II of England. [47]
1686 The Dominion of New England was established. [33]
1687 Yamasee Indians from Spanish Florida moved to Carolina.
1688 December 11 Glorious Revolution: James was deposed in favor of William and Mary. [33]
1689 April 18 The Governor of the Dominion of New England was deposed, ending the rule of the Dominion. [48]
May King William's War: The war began. [49]
1690 February 9 Schenectady Massacre: A massacre took place. [50]
1692 Salem witch trials: Witch trials took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. [51]
1697 July War of the Grand Alliance: The war was ended by the Treaty of Ryswick. [52]
1698 Pensacola, Florida was established by the Spanish.
1699 Biloxi was founded by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville. [53]

18th century[edit]

Paul Revere's depiction of the Boston Massacre
A depiction of the Boston Tea Party
The American delegation that signed the Treaty of Paris
A depiction of the Constitutional Convention
Year Date Event
1702 March 8 William III died and was succeeded by Anne, Queen of Great Britain.
Queen Anne's War: The war began.
East Jersey and West Jersey became Crown colonies.
1714 August 1 Anne, Queen of Great Britain died and was succeeded by George I of Great Britain.
1715 Yamasee War: The war, in Carolina, took place.
1727 June 11 George I of Great Britain died and was succeeded by George II of Great Britain.
1729 July 25 The proprietors of the Province of Carolina sold out to the British crown.
1732 First Great Awakening: The First Great Awakening took place.
1749 The Province of Georgia overturned its ban on slavery.
1752 June 15 Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment took place.
1754 May 28 French and Indian War: The war began.
June 19 Albany Congress: A "Union of Colonies" was proposed.
1758 October The Treaty of Easton was signed.
1760 September 8 French and Indian War: Pierre de Rigaud, Governor of New France, signed the Articles of Capitulation of Montreal, ceding the Ohio Country and Illinois Country, and the territory of modern-day Canada, to British Field Marshal Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst, ending major hostilities.
October 25 George II of Great Britain died and was succeeded by his grandson George III of the United Kingdom.
1763 Pontiac's Rebellion: The rebellion began.
February 10 French and Indian War: The Treaty of Paris, under which France ceded much of its North American territory to Great Britain but surrendered Louisiana to Spain, formally ended the war.
October 7 George III issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763, establishing royal administration over the British colonies won under the Treaty of Paris and demarcating their western boundary.
1764 April 5 The Sugar Act, intended to raise revenues, was passed by the British Parliament.
September 1 The British Parliament passed the Currency Act, which prohibited the colonies from issuing paper money.
1765 March 22 To help defray the cost of keeping troops in America, the British Parliament enacted the Stamp Act 1765, imposing a tax on many types of printed materials used in the colonies.
March 24 The British Parliament enacted the Quartering Act, requiring the Thirteen Colonies to provide housing, food, and other provisions to British troops.
May 29 Virginia's House of Burgesses adopted the Virginia Resolves, which claimed that under British law Virginians could be taxed only by an assembly to which they had elected representatives.
October 19 Stamp Act Congress: A congress of delegated from nine colonies adopted the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, which petitioned Parliament and the King to repeal the Stamp Act.
1766 Pontiac's Rebellion: The rebellion ended.
March 18 The British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act and issued the Declaratory Act, which asserted its "full power and authority to make laws and statutes... to bind the colonies and people of America... in all cases whatsoever."
May 21 The Liberty Pole was erected in New York City in celebration of the repeal of the Stamp Act.
1767 June 29 The Townshend Acts, named for Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend, were passed by the British Parliament, placing duties on many items imported into America.
1769 The British Parliament suspended the Governor and assembly of the Province of New York for failure to enforce the Quartering Act.
December The broadside To the Betrayed Inhabitants of the City and Colony of New York was published by the local Sons of Liberty.
1770 January 19 Battle of Golden Hill: British troops wounded several civilians and killed one.
January 28 Frederick North, Lord North becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain.
March 5 Boston Massacre: The massacre took place.
1771 May 16 Battle of Alamance: A battle took place in North Carolina ending the Regulator Movement.
1772 May The Watauga Association, in modern-day Tennessee, declared itself independent.
June 9 Gaspée Affair: The affair took place.
November 2 Samuel Adams organized the Committees of Correspondence.
1773 May 10 The British Parliament passed the Tea Act.
December 15 The local Sons of Liberty published Association of the Sons of Liberty in New York.
December 16 Boston Tea Party: The Boston Tea Party took place.
1774 Franklin, then Massachusetts's agent in London, was questioned before the British Parliament.
Dunmore's War: The war took place.
Britain passed the Quebec Act, one of the so-called Intolerable Acts.
First Continental Congress: The Congress, to which twelve colonies sent delegates, met.
March 31 Britain passed the Boston Port Act, one of the so-called Intolerable Acts.
May 20 Britain passed the Administration of Justice Act 1774, one of the so-called Intolerable Acts.
Britain passed the Massachusetts Government Act, one of the so-called Intolerable Acts.
June 2 Britain passed a second Quartering Act, one of the so-called Intolerable Acts.
September 1 Powder Alarm: British General Thomas Gage secretly raided a powder magazine in Cambridge.
October 19 The HMS Peggy Stewart was burned.
December 22 Greenwich Tea Party: The Greenwich Tea Party took place.
1775 Second Continental Congress: The Congress met.
April 19 Battles of Lexington and Concord: The battles took place, beginning the American Revolutionary War.
May 9 Skenesboro, New York was captured by Lieutenant Samuel Herrick.
May 10 Fort Ticonderoga was captured by Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold and the Green Mountain Boys.
June 17 Battle of Bunker Hill: The battle took place.
July The Olive Branch Petition was sent to King George III.
December 5 Henry Knox began the transport of fifty-nine captured cannon from upstate New York to Boston.
1776 New Hampshire ratified the first state constitution.
Prisoners began to be taken in Wallabout Bay. see Prisoners in the American Revolutionary War.
January 10 Thomas Paine published Common Sense.
January 24 Knox reached Boston.
March 3 Battle of Nassau: The battle began.
March 4 Battle of Nassau: The battle ended.
July 2 Second Continental Congress: The Congress enacted the Lee Resolution declaring independence from the British Empire.
July 4 Second Continental Congress: The Congress approved the written United States Declaration of Independence.
August 27 Battle of Long Island: The battle took place.
September 11 Staten Island Peace Conference: The peace conference took place.
September 15 Landing at Kip's Bay: The landing took place.
September 16 Battle of Harlem Heights: The battle took place.
September 21 Great Fire of New York (1776): The fire began.
September 22 Nathan Hale was captured and executed for espionage.
Great Fire of New York (1776): The fire ended.
October 11 Battle of Valcour Island: The battle took place.
October 29 Battle of White Plains: The battle took place.
November 16 Battle of Fort Washington: The battle took place.
November 20 Battle of Fort Lee: The battle took place.
December 23 Battle of Iron Works Hill: The battle began.
December 26 Battle of Trenton: The battle took place.
Battle of Iron Works Hill: The battle ended.
1777 Forage War: The war took place.
January 2 Second Battle of Trenton: The battle took place.
January 3 Battle of Princeton: The battle took place.
April 13 Battle of Bound Brook: The battle took place.
May 28 The Continental Army made camp at the Middlebrook encampment.
July 2 The Continental Army left the Middlebrook encampment.
July 5 Fort Ticonderoga was abandoned by the Continental Army due to advancing British troops placing cannon on Mount Defiance.
July 6 The British retook Fort Ticonderoga.
July 7 Battle of Hubbardton: The battle took place.
July 8 Delegates in Vermont established the Vermont Republic and adopted the Constitution of Vermont (Vermont Republic), which abolished slavery.
July 26 Battle of Short Hills: The battle took place.
August 6 Battle of Oriskany: The battle took place.
August 16 Battle of Bennington: The battle took place.
September 11 Battle of Brandywine: The battle took place.
September 19 Battles of Saratoga: The first Battle of Saratoga took place.
September 20 Battle of Paoli: The battle took place.
September 26 The British occupied Philadelphia.
October 4 Battle of Germantown: The battle took place.
October 7 Battles of Saratoga: The second battle concluded with the surrender of the British army under General John Burgoyne.
October 22 Battle of Red Bank: The battle took place.
November 15 Second Continental Congress: The Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation.
December 5 Battle of White Marsh: The battle began.
December 8 Battle of White Marsh: The battle ended.
December 11 Battle of Matson's Ford: The battle took place.
December 19 The Continental Army entered its winter quarters at Valley Forge
1778 February 6 The Treaty of Alliance was signed with France.
May 20 Battle of Barren Hill: The battle took place.
June British occupation of Philadelphia ended.
June 19 The Continental Army left its winter quarters at Valley Forge.
June 28 Battle of Monmouth: The battle took place.
November 30 The Continental Army entered winter quarters at the Middlebrook encampment.
1779 June 3 The Continental Army left the Middlebrook encampment.
July 16 Battle of Stony Point: The battle took place.
August 19 Battle of Paulus Hook: The battle took place.
December The Continental Army entered winter quarters at Morristown.
1780 January 28 A stockade known as Fort Nashborough was founded on the banks of the Cumberland River.
February 1 Some eight thousand British forces under General Henry Clinton arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, from New York.
Second Continental Congress: New York ceded its western claims, including territory west of Lake Ontario, to the Congress.
March 14 Bombardment of Fort Charlotte: After a two-week siege, Spanish General Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez captured Fort Charlotte, in Mobile, from the British.
April 8 Siege of Charleston: British troops under General Clinton and naval forces under Admiral Mariot Arbuthnot besiege Charleston, South Carolina.
May The Continental Army left Morristown.
May 6 Siege of Charleston: Fort Moultrie fell to the British.
May 12 Siege of Charleston: American General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered Charleston to the British. The British lost two hundred and fifty-five men while capturing a large American garrison.
May 29 Battle of Waxhaws: A clash between Continental Army forces under Abraham Buford and a mainly Loyalist force led by Banastre Tarleton near Lancaster, South Carolina resulted in the destruction of the American forces.
June 6 Battle of Connecticut Farms: The battle took place.
June 23 Battle of Springfield (1780): An attempted British invasion of New Jersey was stopped at Connecticut Farms and Springfield, ending major fighting in the North.
September 23 John André was captured, exposing the treason of Arnold.
October 7 Battle of Kings Mountain: The battle took place.
1781 January 17 Battle of Cowpens: The battle took place.
March 1 The Articles of Confederation were ratified.
March 15 Battle of Guilford Court House: The battle took place.
October 19 Siege of Yorktown: The British surrendered at Yorktown.
December 31 The Bank of North America was chartered.
1782 The British government officially, yet informally, recognized American independence.
1783 September 3 American Revolutionary War: The Treaty of Paris (1783) ended the war.
November 25 The British withdraw from ports in New York and the Carolinas.
1784 The State of Frankland, later Franklin, seceded from North Carolina.
1785 Congress refused Franklin admission to the Union.
November 28 The Treaty of Hopewell was signed.
1786 August 29 Shays' Rebellion: The rebellion took place.
September 11–14 Annapolis Convention (1786): The convention failed.
1787 July 13 The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was passed.
May 25-September 17 Philadelphia Convention: A Constitutional convention took place in Philadelphia.
December 7–18 Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey ratified the Constitution.
1788 North Carolina reconquered and dissolved the State of Franklin.
1789 United States presidential election, 1789: The election took place.
March 4 The United States Constitution came into effect.
April 30 First inauguration of George Washington: George Washington was inaugurated as President in New York City.
1st United States Congress: The Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789 and the Hamilton tariff.
The Jay-Gardoqui Treaty was signed.
November 21 North Carolina, by a margin of 43%, became the twelfth state to ratify the Constitution.
1790 May 26 The Southwest Territory (a/k/a Territory South of the River Ohio) is created from North Carolina's Western frontier lands.
May 29 Rhode Island, by a margin of 3%, became the thirteenth state to ratify the Constitution.
1791 The United States Bill of Rights was ratified.
The First Bank of the United States was chartered.
The independent Vermont Republic was admitted to the Union as Vermont, becoming the fourteenth state.
1792 Kentucky County, Virginia became the fifteenth state of Kentucky.
November 2 – December 5 U.S. presidential election, 1792: Washington was reelected President. John Adams was chosen as Vice President.
1793 Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin.
A yellow fever outbreak occurred in Philadelphia.
The Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 was passed.
February 18 Chisholm v. Georgia was decided.
1794 Whiskey Rebellion: The rebellion took place.
August–November The Nickajack Expedition brings a close to the Chickamauga Wars.
August 20 Battle of Fallen Timbers: The battle took place ending the Northwest Indian War with the Western Confederacy.
The first of the "Civilized" Indian Nations, the Cherokee Nation, is founded.
1795 The Treaty of Greenville was signed.
The Jay Treaty was signed.
The Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified
1796 June 1 Tennessee, formerly Southwest Territory, was admitted as the sixteenth state.
Pinckney's Treaty was signed.
The Treaty of Tripoli was signed.
November 4 – December 7 U.S. presidential election, 1796: Adams was elected President. Thomas Jefferson was elected Vice President.
1797 Adams was inaugurated.
XYZ Affair: The affair took place.
1798 The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed.
The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions were issued.
1799 The Charles Brockden Brown novel Edgar Huntly was published.
Fries's Rebellion: The rebellion took place.
The Logan Act was passed.
December 14 Washington died.
1800 The Library of Congress was founded.
October 31 – December 3 U.S. presidential election, 1800: Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied in votes in the Electoral College.

19th century[edit]

Explorers Lewis and Clark
A depiction of the Bombardment of Fort McHenry, the basis for the Star-Spangled Banner
A depiction of the Battle of New Orleans
James Monroe, the author of the Monroe Doctrine, and his cabinet
A depiction of the Battle of the Alamo
Remains of casualties at the Battle of Antietam
A depiction of the Battle of Gettysburg
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
Women's suffragist leader, Susan B. Anthony
Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb
The unveiling of the Statue of Liberty
The charge of the Rough Riders at the Battle of San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War
Year Date Event
1801 Jefferson was elected President by the House of Representatives. Burr became Vice President.
Adams appointed John Marshall as Chief Justice.
1803 The Supreme Court issued a decision in Marbury v. Madison which overturned the Judiciary Act of 1789.
Louisiana Purchase: The purchase was made.
Mar 1 Ohio, formerly the Northwest Territory, became the 17th state.
1804 The Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.
New Jersey abolished slavery.
July 11 Burr–Hamilton duel: Alexander Hamilton was fatally wounded.
Lewis and Clark set out.
November 2 – December 5 U.S. presidential election, 1804: Jefferson was reelected President; George Clinton was elected Vice President.
1807 The Embargo Act of 1807 was passed.
Robert Fulton invented the steamboat.
1808 The slave trade was ended.
November 4 – December 7 U.S. presidential election, 1808: James Madison was elected president. Clinton was reelected as Vice President.
1809 Madison was inaugurated.
March 1 The Non-Intercourse Act was passed.
1810 The Supreme Court issued a decision in Fletcher v. Peck which overturned a state law.
1811 The charter of the First Bank of the United States expired.
1812 War of 1812: The war began.
Daniel Webster was elected to the United States Congress.
Louisiana became the 18th state.
U.S. presidential election, 1812: Madison was reelected President; Elbridge Gerry was elected United States Vice President.
1814 August 24 Burning of Washington: British troops burned Washington, D.C. but were forced back at Baltimore.
Dec 14 War of 1812: The Treaty of Ghent ended the war.
1815 Jan 8 War of 1812: Battle of New Orleans: The battle took place before notification of the Treaty of Ghent made it to the frontier.
1816 U.S. presidential election, 1816: James Monroe was elected President. Daniel D. Tompkins was elected Vice President.
The Second Bank of the United States was chartered.
Dec 11 Indiana became the 19th state.
1817 Monroe was inaugurated.
The Rush–Bagot Treaty was signed.
Harvard Law School was founded.
Dec 10 Mississippi became the 20th state.
1818 Cumberland Road opened.
Dec 3 Illinois became the 21st state.
The Jackson Purchase in Kentucky was obtained.
1819 Panic of 1819: The panic took place.
The Adams–Onís Treaty, which provided for the acquisition of Florida, was signed.
The decision in McCulloch v. Maryland prohibited state laws from infringing upon federal Constitutional authority.
The decision in Dartmouth College v. Woodward protected the principle of honoring contracts and charters.
Dec 14 Alabama became the 22nd state.
1820 The Missouri Compromise was passed.
March 15 Maine became the 23rd state.
U.S. presidential election, 1820: Monroe was reelected President, Tompkins Vice President.
1821 Aug 10 Missouri became the 24th state.
1823 The Monroe Doctrine was proclaimed.
1824 The decision in Gibbons v. Ogden affirmed federal over state authority in interstate commerce.
U.S. presidential election, 1824: An election was held with inconclusive results.
1825 John Quincy Adams was elected President by the House of Representatives; John C. Calhoun was elected Vice President.
The Erie Canal was completed
1826 July 4 Former Presidents Jefferson and John Adams died within hours of each other on Independence Day
1828 Nullification Crisis: The South Carolina Exposition and Protest was published.
Construction began on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
U.S. presidential election, 1828: Andrew Jackson was elected President. Calhoun continued as Vice President.
1829 Jackson was inaugurated.
1830 Second Great Awakening: A religious revival movement took place.
The Oregon Trail came into use by settlers migrating to the Pacific Northwest.
May 28 The Indian Removal Act was passed.
1831 A revolt led by Nat Turner occurred.
Publication of The Liberator began.
Cyrus McCormick invented the reaper.
Petticoat affair: The affair took place.
1832 The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee Nation in Worcester v. State of Georgia.
Black Hawk War: The war took place.
The Tariff of 1832 was passed.
The Ordinance of Nullification was passed by South Carolina.
The Department of Indian Affairs was established.
United States presidential election, 1832: Jackson was reelected President; Martin Van Buren was elected Vice President of the United States.
Bank War: Jackson vetoed the charter renewal of the Second Bank of the United States.
Calhoun resigned the Vice Presidency.
1833 The Force Bill, expanding Presidential powers, was passed.
Jackson's second inauguration was held.
1834 Slavery debates took place at Lane Theological Seminary.
1835 Texas Revolution: The revolution began.
Alexis De Tocqueville's Democracy in America was published.
Second Seminole War: A war began in Florida with Seminole resistance to relocation.
1836 Battle of the Alamo: The battle took place.
Battle of San Jacinto: The battle took place.
Creek War of 1836: The war took place.
Samuel Colt invented the revolver.
The original "Gag Rule", a bar on discussion of antislavery petitions passed by the House, was imposed.
The Specie Circular was issued.
Jun 15 Arkansas became the 25th state.
U.S. presidential election, 1836: Van Buren was elected President, Richard Mentor Johnson Vice President.
1837 Van Buren was inaugurated.
The United States recognized the Republic of Texas.
Caroline Affair: The affair took place.
Jan 26 Michigan became the 26th state.
Oberlin College began enrolling female students.
Panic of 1837: The panic took place.
A decision in Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge reversed a decision in Dartmouth College v. Woodward and affirmed that property rights can be overridden by public need.
1838 The forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from the Southeastern United States along the Trail of Tears led to over four thousand Native American deaths.
Aroostook War: The war took place.
1840 United States presidential election, 1840: An election was held.
1841 William Henry Harrison became President.
John Quincy Adams argued the case United States v. The Amistad before the Supreme Court.
United States v. The Amistad was decided.
President Harrison died after only a month in office.
John Tyler became President.
1842 August 9 The Webster-Ashburton Treaty was signed.
Dorr Rebellion: A civil war took place in Rhode Island.
1843 An attempt to impeach Tyler failed.
1844 U.S. presidential election, 1844: An election was held.
The anti-suffragist Helen Kendrick Johnson was born.
1845 Texas Annexation: The annexation took place.
James K. Polk became President of the United States.
Mar 3 Florida became the 27th state.
Dec 28 Texas became the 28th state.
1846 Mexican–American War: The war began.
Dec 28 Iowa became the 29th state.
The Wilmot Proviso was introduced.
1848 U.S. presidential election, 1848: An election was held.
May 29 Wisconsin became the 30th state.
Feb 2 Mexican–American War: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war.
1849 Zachary Taylor became President.
California Gold Rush: The gold rush began.
1850 Taylor threatened to veto the Compromise of 1850 even at the risk of civil war.
Taylor died. Millard Fillmore became President.
The Clayton–Bulwer Treaty was signed.
The Compromise of 1850 was passed.
Sep 9 California became the 31st state.
1852 U.S. presidential election, 1852: An election was held.
1853 Franklin Pierce became President.
Commodore Matthew Perry opened Japan.
1854 The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, nullifying the Missouri Compromise.
Jun 8 The Gadsden Purchase was finalized.
The Ostend Manifesto was issued.
The Convention of Kanagawa was signed.
William Walker led an expedition.
1855 The Farmers' High School, later Penn State University, was founded.
1856 Sacking of Lawrence: The sacking of Lawrence took place.
May 24–25 Pottawatomie Massacre: The massacre, led by John Brown, took place.
Preston Brooks beat Charles Sumner with his walking stick in the Senate chamber.
U.S. presidential election, 1856: An election was held.
1857 James Buchanan became President.
A decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford declared that blacks were not citizens of the United States and could not sue.
May Utah War: The war started.
The LeCompton Constitution was rejected in the Kansas Territory.
Panic of 1857: The panic took place.
1858 The first transatlantic cable was laid.
May 11 Minnesota became the 32nd state.
Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The debates were held.
The United States became party to the Treaty of Tientsin.
1859 John Brown led a raid on Harper's Ferry.
Feb 14 Oregon became the 33rd state.
The Comstock Lode was discovered.
1860 The Pony Express was founded.
The Crittenden Compromise was reached.
Nov 6 United States presidential election, 1860: Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States.
Dec 20 South Carolina seceded from the Union.
1861 Ten more states seceded from the Union and established the Confederate States of America.
Jan 29 Kansas became the 34th state.
Jefferson Davis was elected President of the Confederacy.
American Civil War: The war began at Fort Sumter.
First Battle of Bull Run: The battle took place.
1862 Battle of Hampton Roads: A naval battle between the Monitor and Merrimack took place.
The Homestead Act was passed.
The Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act was passed.
General Robert E. Lee was placed in command of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Second Battle of Bull Run: The battle took place.
Battle of Antietam: The battle took place.
Aug–Dec Dakota War of 1862: The war was fought.
1863 Battle of Gettysburg: The battle took place.
Jan 1 Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the rebel states.
Siege of Vicksburg: The siege took place.
New York Draft Riots: Draft riots took place.
Jun 20 Pro-Union counties which had seceded from Virginia became the 35th state, West Virginia.
1864 General Ulysses S. Grant was put in command of all Union forces.
The Wade–Davis Bill was passed.
Sand Creek Massacre: The massacre took place.
Oct 31 Nevada became the 36th state.
U.S. presidential election, 1864: An election was held.
Sherman's March to the Sea: The march took place.
1865 Lee was made commander-in-chief of all Confederate forces.
Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital, was captured by a corps of black Union troops.
Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House.
April 15 Abraham Lincoln assassination: Lincoln was assassinated; Andrew Johnson became President.
American Civil War: The war ended with the surrender of the last elements of the Confederacy.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed, permanently outlawing slavery.
The Freedmen's Bureau was established.
1866 The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was passed.
The Ku Klux Klan was founded.
1867 The Tenure of Office Act (1867) was enacted.
Mar 1 Nebraska became the 37th state.
The Alaska Purchase (also known as "Seward's Folly"): The Alaskan territory was purchased from Russia.
1868 Impeachment of Andrew Johnson: The attempted impeachment ended in an acquittal by the Senate.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, second of the Reconstruction Amendments, was ratified.
Grant was elected President.
1869 The First Transcontinental Railroad was completed at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory.[54]
May 15 Women's suffrage leaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association.
1870 The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed.
The first graduate programs, at Yale University and Harvard, began.
The Force Acts were passed.
1871 Great Chicago Fire: The fire occurred.
The Treaty of Washington, 1871 was signed with the British Empire regarding the Dominion of Canada.
1872 Yellowstone National Park was created.
Crédit Mobilier scandal: The scandal took place.
The Amnesty Act was passed.
The Alabama Claims were settled.
U.S. presidential election, 1872: An election was held.
1873 Panic of 1873: The panic took place.
Virginius Affair: The affair took place.
1874 Red River Indian War
1875 Kentucky Derby: Aristides (horse) won the first Kentucky Derby.
The Resumption Act was passed.
The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was passed.
The Art Students League of New York was founded.
1876 The National League of baseball was founded.
Centennial Exposition: The Exposition, in Philadelphia, was held.
A decision in Munn v. Illinois established the public regulation of utilities.
Colorado became the 38th state.
Battle of Little Bighorn: The battle took place.
Wild Bill Hickok was killed by a shot to the back of the head by Jack McCall while playing poker in Deadwood, South Dakota.
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.
U.S. presidential election, 1876: The election produced an unclear, result with twenty Electoral College votes disputed.
1877 The Electoral Commission awarded Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency.
Reconstruction era of the United States: The era ended.
Nez Perce War: The war took place.
1878 The Bland-Allison Act was passed.
The first Morgan silver dollars were minted.
1879 Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.
The Knights of Labor went public.
1880 The University of Southern California was founded.
The Population of the United States passed fifty million.
1881 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral: A gunfight took place in Tombstone, Arizona Territory.
James Garfield was inaugurated President of the United States.
Garfield was assassinated.
Chester A. Arthur was inaugurated President of the United States.
Clara Barton created the Red Cross.
The Tuskegee Institute was founded
Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett.
A Century of Dishonor was written by Helen Hunt Jackson.
1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act was passed.
Jesse James was shot and killed by Robert Ford and Charlie Ford.
1883 Buffalo Bill Cody debuted his Wild West Show.
A decision in the Civil Rights Cases legalized the doctrine of racial segregation.
The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was passed.
The Brooklyn Bridge opened.
1885 Grover Cleveland was inaugurated as President.
The Washington monument was completed.
1886 Haymarket Riot: The riot took place.
The American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus, Ohio.
1887 The United States Congress created the Interstate Commerce Commission.
The Dawes Act was passed.
The Hatch Act was passed.
1888 Looking Backward, by Edward Bellamy, was published.
The National Geographic Society was founded.
1889 Benjamin Harrison becomes President
Nov 2 North Dakota, South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states.
Nov 8 Montana became the 41st state
Nov 11 Washington became the 42nd state.
Johnstown flood: A flood occurred in Pennsylvania.
Jane Addams founded Hull House.
April 22 Land Run of 1889: The land run began.
1890 The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed.
Jacob Riis published How the Other Half Lives.
The Sherman Silver Purchase Act was passed.
The McKinley tariff was passed.
Yosemite National Park was created.
Jul 3 Idaho became the 43rd state.
Jul 10 Wyoming became the 44th state.
Wounded Knee Massacre: The massacre took place.
The National American Woman Suffrage Association was founded.
1891 Baltimore Crisis: The crisis took place.
James Naismith invented basketball.
1892 Homestead Strike: The strike took place.
General Electric was founded.
The Sierra Club was founded
1893 Cleveland was inaugurated President for a second term.
Panic of 1893: The panic took place.
The Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed.
1894 Coxey's Army marched on Washington, D.C.
Pullman strike: The strike took place.
The Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act, including an income tax, was passed.
1895 Stagger Lee Shelton shot Billy Lyons.
Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Company was decided, striking down part of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act.
1896 A decision in Plessy v. Ferguson affirmed the legality of "separate but equal" facilities.
William Jennings Bryan delivered his Cross of Gold speech.
Gold was discovered in the Yukon's Klondike region.
Jan 4 Utah became the 45th state.
1897 William McKinley became President.
The Boston subway was completed.
The Dingley Act was passed.
1898 The USS Maine exploded in Havana harbor.
The De Lôme Letter was published.
Spanish–American War: The Treaty of Paris (1898) ended the war.
Jul 7 Republic of Hawaii was annexed.
The Newlands Resolution was passed.
The American Anti-Imperialist League was organized.
1899 The Teller Amendment was passed.
American Samoa was occupied.
The Open Door Policy was announced.
1900 The United States population exceeded seventy-five million. see Demographics of the United States.
The Foraker Act was passed.
The Gold Standard Act was passed.
Boxer Rebellion: The United States helped put down the rebellion.
1900 Galveston hurricane: The hurricane took place.

20th century[edit]

Depiction of the assassination of President William McKinley
Destruction from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
Civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois, the founder of the NAACP
Ruins after the Ludlow Massacre
The sinking of the Lusitania
President Wilson requests the declaration of war against Germany in World War One
The signing of the Treaty of Versailles
Destruction from the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921
An image of the Bath, Township Elementary School after being bombed in 1927
The Dust Bowl in 1935
Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother became an iconic image representing the economic struggle of the Great Depression
The iconic We Can Do It! poster of World War II
President Roosevelt with Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill and the Tehran Conference
The Normandy landings, commonly known as "D-Day"
General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War
Scientist Jonas Salk, the developer of the first successful polio vaccine
Civil rights activist Rosa Parks
Federal troops escorting the Little Rock Nine to their classrooms, after they were prevented from doing so due to protest over racial integration
Ambassador Adlai Stevenson shows Russian missile sights in Cuba to the U.N. amid the Cuban missile crisis
President John F. Kennedy just before his assassination
Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in on Air Force One after the assassination of President Kennedy
President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964
U.S. bombing of North Viet Nam, as apart of Operation Rolling Thunder
Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.
The My Lai Massacre by U.S. troops in South Vietnam
The Lorraine Motel, the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
The image Earthrise, taken during the Apollo 8 mission
Neil Armstrong becomes the first man on the Moon
President Richard Nixon upon his resignation
President Gerald Ford announcing the pardon of President Nixon for his actions in the Watergate Scandal
Group photo of the 52 hostages of the Iran hostage crisis
The swearing in of Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman Supreme Court Justice
The Space Shuttle Challenger's smoke plume after its in-flight breakup, resulting in its crash and the deaths of all seven crew members
The fall of the Berlin Wall symbolically ended the Cold War
Oil fires during the Gulf War
The aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing
Year Date Event Reference
1901 September 14 President William McKinley was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz in Buffalo, New York. [55]
September 14 Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as president, after the assassination of President McKinley. [56]
November 18 The Hay–Pauncefote Treaty was signed. [57]
1902 January 1 The first Rose Bowl Game was played between the University of Michigan and Stanford University. [58]
February 19 The Elkins Act was signed into law. [59]
The Drago Doctrine was announced. [60]
June 17 The Newlands Reclamation Act was signed into law. [61]
1903 January 22 The Hay–Herrán Treaty was passed. [62]
June 16 The Ford Motor Company was formed. [63]
February 14 The Department of Commerce and Labor was created. [64]
October 1 The first World Series was played between the Boston Americans and Pittsburgh Pirates. [65]
November 18 The Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty was signed. [66]
December 1 The movie The Great Train Robbery opened. [67]
December 17 The Wright brothers made their first powered flight in the Wright Flyer. [68]
1904 The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine was issued. [69]
May 4 The Panama Canal Zone was acquired by the United States from France for $40 million. [70]
November 8 United States presidential election, 1904: President Theodore Roosevelt was reelected to a second term, defeating New York Appeals Court Judge Alton B. Parker. [71]
1905 July 11–14 The Niagara Falls conference was held. [72]
September 5 The Treaty of Portsmouth, negotiated by President Theodore Roosevelt, was signed, ending the Russo-Japanese War . [73]
1906 March 13 Women's suffrage and civil rights activist Susan B. Anthony died. [74]
April 18 The 1906 San Francisco earthquake killed over 3,400 people and destroyed over 80% of San Francisco; being the deadliest earthquake in American history. [75][76][77]
June 29 The Hepburn Act was signed into law. [78]
June 30 The Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act were signed; establishing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [79][80]
December 10 President Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese war; becoming the first statesman to win a Nobel Prize. [81]
1907 January 26 The Tillman Act was signed into law. [82]
February 26 The Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907 was signed. [83]
November 17 Oklahoma was admitted to the Union, becoming the 46th state. [84]
December 6 Monongah Mining Disaster: A coal mine exploded in Monongah, West Virginia, killing at least 361. [85]
1908 May 30 The Aldrich–Vreeland Act was signed into law. [86]
July 26 The Bureau of Investigation (later the FBI) was established. [87]
October 1 The Ford Model T appeared on the market. [63]
November 3 United States presidential election, 1908: U.S. Secretary of War William Howard Taft was elected President, defeating former Nebraska Representative William Jennings Bryan. [88]
November 30 The Root–Takahira Agreement was reached. [89]
1909 William Howard Taft implemented Dollar Diplomacy. [90]
February 12 The NAACP was founded by W. E. B. Du Bois. [91]
April 7 Robert Peary became the first person to reach the North Pole. [92]
August 2 The first redesigned Lincoln Penny was released to the public. [93]
1910 February 8 The Boy Scouts of America was created. [94]
June 18 The Mann–Elkins Act was signed into law. [95]
The Mann Act was signed into law. [96]
August 6 The Payne–Aldrich Tariff Act was signed into law. [97]
1911 May 15 Standard Oil Company v. United States: The Supreme Court found Standard Oil guilty of monopolizing the petroleum industry; subsequently dividing Standard Oil into several geographically separate firms. [98]
May 30 The first Indianapolis 500 was held; being won by Ray Harroun. [99]
1912 January 6 New Mexico was admitted to the Union, becoming the 47th. [100]
February 14 Arizona was admitted to the Union, becoming the 48th state. [100]
March 12 Girl Scouts of the USA was created by Juliette Gordon Low. [101]
April 14–15 The RMS Titanic crashed into an iceberg in the northern Atlantic Ocean, sinking the ship entirely less than three hours the initial collision, killing over 1,500 of the 2,224 passengers aboard. [102][103][104]
October 14 Former President Theodore Roosevelt was shot, but not killed, while campaigning for President as the candidate for the progressive Bull Moose Party. [105]
November 5 United States presidential election, 1912: New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson defeated incumbent President William Howard Taft, former President Theodore Roosevelt and union leader Eugene V. Debs. [106]
1913 February 3 The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, establishing an income tax, was ratified. [107]
February 17 The Armory Show opened in New York City, introducing American and European modern art to the American public. [108]
May 31 The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, establishing direct election of Senators, was ratified. [109]
June 15 After mass civilian casualties in the Battle of Bud Bagsak, the Moro's surrendered their rebellion, ending the Philippine–American War. [110]
October 4 The Underwood Tariff was signed into law. [111]
December 1 Henry Ford developed the modern assembly line. [112]
December 23 The Federal Reserve Act was signed into law; establishing the Federal Reserve System. [113]
1914 April 20 Ludlow Massacre: The camps of striking coal miners were attacked by the Colorado National Guard; killing 25, including 11 children. [114]
July 28 World War I: Austria-Hungary invaded the Kingdom of Serbia after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; triggering the start of World War I. [115]
May 9 The first Mother's Day was observed. [116]
September 26 The Federal Trade Commission was established. [117]
October 15 The Clayton Antitrust Act was signed into law. [118]
1915 February 8 The controversial movie The Birth of a Nation opened in Los Angeles, becoming the largest-grossing movie at the time. [119]
May 7 The RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German torpedo, killing 1,198 passengers; partially contributing to the U.S.'s later involvement in World War I. [120]
1916 November 7 Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to the United States Congress. [121]
The Adamson Railway Labor Act was signed into law.
July 17 The Federal Farm Loan Act was signed into law. [122]
August 29 The Jones Act was signed into law. [123]
November 7 United States presidential election, 1916: President Woodrow Wilson was reelected to a second term, defeating Associate Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes of New York. [124]
1917 March 31 The United States acquired the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25,000,000. [125]
March 1 The Zimmermann telegram was published, helping shift public opinion in favor of U.S. involvement in World War I. [126]
April 6 The United States declared war on Germany, beginning the U.S.'s involvement in World War I. [127]
June 15 The Espionage Act was signed into law. [128]
November 2 The Lansing–Ishii Agreement was signed. [129]
First Red Scare: The scare, marked by a widespread fear of Bolshevism and anarchism, began. [130][131][132]
1918 January 8 World War I: President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, which assured citizens that the war was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe, was issued. [133]
May 16 The Sedition Act of 1918 was signed into law; forbidding the "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" against the United States government during a time of war. [128][134]
1919 Red Summer: Heightened racial scrutinization of African-Americans during the Red Scare prompted mass racial riots among Whites in Bisbee, Arizona, Longview, Texas, Washington D.C., Chicago, Knoxville, Omaha, and Elaine, Arkansas. [135]
Inflation from the Post–World War I recession lead to the strike of 4 million workers; prompting the Boston Police Strike, Seattle General Strike, Steel Strike of 1919 and Coal Strike of 1919. [130]
June 28 World War I: The Treaty of Versailles ended the war. [136]
October 2 The Black Sox Scandal, involving the fixing of the 1919 World Series, occurred. [137]
October 28 President Woodrow Wilson's veto of the Volstead Act was overridden by the Senate, establishing the Eighteenth Amendment. [138]
November 19 The United States Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations, becoming the first time in U.S. history the Senate rejected a peace treaty. [139]
1920 January 17 The Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, establishing prohibition in the United States, was ratified. [140]
The first radio broadcasts were made, in Pittsburgh and Detroit. [141]
August 18 The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote, was ratified. [142]
September 16 Wall Street Bombing: Wall Street, the financial district of the United States, was bombed, killing 38 people. [143]
November 2 United States presidential election, 1920: Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding was elected President, defeating Ohio Governor James M. Cox. [144]
1921 May 19 The Emergency Quota Act was signed into law. [145]
May 31 – June 1 The Tulsa Race Riot occurred; resulting in the deaths of up to 300 African-Americans and leaving more than 8,000 homeless. [146]
November 12 The first meeting of the Washington Disarmament Conference of 1921 was held. [147]
1922 September 21 The Fordney–McCumber Tariff was signed into law. [148]
1923 August 2 President Warren G. Harding died of a heart attack at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. [149]
August 3 Vice President Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as President, the day following the death of President Harding. [150]
November 22 Teapot Dome scandal: Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall resigned as a result of the scandal. [151]
December 10 The Equal Rights Amendment, written by women's suffragist leader Alice Paul, was first introduced in the Senate. [152]
1924 May 10 J. Edgar Hoover was appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation. [153]
May 26 The Immigration Act Basic Law was signed into law. [154]
November 4 United States presidential election, 1924: President Calvin Coolidge defeated former Solicitor General John W. Davis and Wisconsin Senator Robert M. La Follette. [155]
1925 July 21 Scopes Trial: High school teacher John T. Scopes was found guilty of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, for teaching human evolution in the classroom. [156]
November 4 Nellie Tayloe Ross was elected Governor of Wyoming, becoming the first woman elected governor of a U.S. State. [157]
November 28 WSM first broadcast the Grand Ole Opry. [158]
1926 November 15 The broadcast network NBC was founded. [159]
1927 January 27 The radio network Columbia Broadcasting System (later CBS) was founded. [160]
May 18 Bath School disaster: Andrew Kehoe detonated over 500 pounds of dynamite and incendiary pyrotol which he planted in an elementary school in Bath Township, Michigan, where he later detonated the first ever car bomb in the U.S. in a suicide attack at the scene of the bombing; killing a total of 44 people and being the deadliest mass murder at a school in U.S. History. [161][162]
May 21 Charles Lindbergh made the first trans-Atlantic flight. [163]
August 23 Sacco and Vanzetti were executed. [164]
October 6 The Jazz Singer, the first motion picture with sound, was released. [165]
1928 August 27 The Kellogg–Briand Pact was signed. [166]
November 6 United States presidential election, 1928: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover was elected President, defeating New York Governor Al Smith. [167]
November 18 Disney's animated feature Steamboat Willie, featuring Mickey Mouse, opened. [168]
1929 February 14 The St. Valentine's Day Massacre became one of the most infamous slaying between rival gangs of the Prohibition era; resulting in the deaths of 7. [169]
October 29 Wall Street Crash of 1929: The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted a record 68 points. [170]
November 7 The Museum of Modern Art opened to the public in New York City. [171]
February 20 American Samoa officially became a United States territory. [172]
1930 June 17 The Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act was signed into law. [173]
1931 May 1 The Empire State Building opened in New York City. [174]
1932 January 7 The Stimson Doctrine was published. [175]
January 22 The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was established. [176]
March 23 The Norris–La Guardia Act was signed into law. [177]
May The Bonus Army protests began in Washington, D.C. [178]
May 20 Amelia Earhart flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean. [179]
November 8 United States presidential election, 1932: New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected President, defeating incumbent Herbert Hoover. [180]
1933 January 23 The Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution, moving the beginning and end of the terms of elected federal officials to January 20, was ratified. [181]
February 15 Giuseppe Zangara assassinated Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak in an attempt on President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt's life. [182]
March 4 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Frances Perkins United States Secretary of Labor, becoming the first woman to hold a cabinet level position. [183]
New Deal: The Agricultural Adjustment Act, Civil Works Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, Farm Credit Administration, Home Owners Loan Corporation, Tennessee Valley Authority, Public Works Administration, National Industrial Recovery Act were all established or brought into force. [184]
December 5 The Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, ending prohibition, was ratified. [185]
1934 Dust Bowl: The Dust Bowl, characterized by severe drought and heat waves in the Great Plains, began. [186]
March 24 The Tydings–McDuffie Act was signed into law, establishing the Philippine Commonwealth. [187]
June 6 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was established. [188]
June 12 The Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act was signed into law. [189]
June 16 The Glass–Steagall Act was signed into law. [190]
June 18 The Indian Reorganization Act was signed into law. [191]
June 22 John Dillinger was killed. [192]
June 28 The Federal Housing Administration was established. [193]
1935 March 22 The FBI was established, with J. Edgar Hoover as its first director. [194]
April 8 The Works Progress Administration was established. [195]
May 14 The Social Security Act was signed into law; establishing the Social Security Administration. [196]
August 9 The Motor Carrier Act was signed into law. [197]
May 27 Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States: The Supreme Court ruled that the National Industrial Recovery Act, a central piece of President Roosevelt's New Deal program, was unconstitutional. [198]
July 5 The National Labor Relations Act was signed into law. [199]
August 9 The Motor Carrier Act was signed into law. [197]
August 30 The Revenue Act of 1935 was signed into law. [200]
August 31 The Neutrality Act of 1935 was signed into law. [201]
September 10 Louisiana Senator Huey Long was assassinated. [202]
November 9 The Congress of Industrial Organizations was founded. [203]
1936 January 6 United States v. Butler: The Supreme Court ruled that the processing taxes instituted under the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act were unconstitutional. [204]
March 25 The Second London Naval Treaty was signed. [205]
June 19 The Robinson-Patman Act was signed into law. [206]
November 3 United States presidential election, 1936: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was reelected to a second term, defeating Kansas Governor Alf Landon. [207]
December 30 The Flint Sit-Down Strike began. [208]
1937 May 1 The Neutrality Act of 1937 was signed into law. [209]
May 6 Hindenburg disaster: The LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire, crashing at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey after departing from Frankfurt, Germany; killing thirty-five passengers and one ground crewman. [210]
May 27 The Golden Gate Bridge opened in San Francisco. [211]
December 12 Panay incident: A Japanese attack was made on the United States Navy gunboat USS Panay while it was anchored in the Yangtze River outside of Nanjing; killing three Americans. [212]
1938 June 25 The Fair Labor Standards Act was signed into law; establishing a federal minimum wage. [213]
October 30 Orson Welles performed a broadcast of The War of the Worlds. [214]
1939 February 4 Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became the first full length animated film. [215]
August 2 The Hatch Act, aimed at corrupt political practices, was signed into law, preventing federal civil servants from campaigning. [216]
September 1 Invasion of Poland (1939): Nazi Germany invaded Poland. [217]
September 21 In response to the Poland Campaign, President Roosevelt requested a cash and carry policy to replace the Neutrality Acts. [218]
1940 June 29 The Smith Act was signed into law. [219]
The cartoon characters Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry debuted. [220][221]
July 20 Billboard publishes its first music popularity chart. [222]
September 16 The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, reinstating the U.S. military draft, was signed into law. [223]
November 5 U.S. presidential election, 1940: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was reelected to a third term, defeating corporate lawyer Wendell Willkie of Indiana. [224]
1941 February 23 American Nuclear chemist Glenn T. Seaborg, with fellow U.C. Berkeley researchers, discovered the chemical element plutonium. [225][226][227]
March 11 World War II: Lend-Lease, which supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, France and other Allied nations with vast amounts of war material, began. [228]
June 25 President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, prohibiting racial discrimination in the defense industry. [229]
August 14 World War II: The Atlantic Charter was drafted by Britain and the United States to serve as a blueprint for the postwar world. [230]
December 7 Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Empire of Japan declares war on the United States and Britain, attacking the U.S. Naval Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Sinking six U.S. ships, including the USS Arizona, and destroying 188 aircraft, the attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in the deaths of 2,402 Americans, leaving 1,247 wounded. [231]
December 8 The United States declares war on the Empire of Japan, beginning the U.S. entry into World War II. [232]
December 11 The United States declares war on Germany and Italy, after both nations declared war with United States. [233]
1942 The Congress of Racial Equality was established. [234]
January 20 The Office of Price Administration was established. [235]
February 9 Automobile production in the United States for private consumers is halted by the War Production Board. [236]
February 19 Japanese American internment: Internment and seizure of property began, per Executive Order 9066 issued by President Roosevelt. [237]
April 9 The U.S. surrenders to Japan in the Battle of Bataan, beginning the three year occupation of the Commonwealth of the Philippines by Japanese forces. [238]
April 11 President Roosevelt signed Executive order 8734; establishing the Office of Price Administration. [239]
April 18 Pacific Theater of Operations: The Doolittle Raid begins the first U.S. bombing of Japanese archipelago. [240]
June 3 The Aleutian Islands Campaign begins the Japanese occupation of Alaska Territory. [241]
June 4–7 The Battle of Midway was fought. [242]
August 7 The Guadalcanal Campaign begins in the Solomon Islands. [243]
August 13 The Manhattan Project, leading to the development of the first atomic bomb, began. [244]
October 21 The Revenue Act of 1942 was signed into law. [245]
November 28 The Cocoanut Grove fire, the deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. History, killed 492 people in Boston. [246]
1943 January 14–24 The Casablanca Conference was held. [247]
March 31 The Broadway musical Oklahoma! opened. [248]
June 20–22 The Detroit Race Riot occurred; resulting in the deaths of 34 Whites and African-Americans and leaving 670 injured. [249][250]
September 8 Armistice of Cassibile: General Dwight Eisenhower publicly announces the surrender of Italy to the Allied Powers; with Italy later declaring war on Germany one month later. [251][252][253]
November 22–26 The Cairo Conference was held. [254]
November 28 The Tehran Conference was held between the "Big Three" Allied leaders of World War II. [255]
1944 June 6 Normandy Landings (D-Day): The Invasion of Normandy, one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history, began in the Allied Powers broader Operation Overlord; leading to the Liberation of Paris. [256][257][258]
June 22 The G.I. Bill was signed into law. [259]
July 1–22 United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference: Delegates from 44 nations met to discuss a new post-WWII monetary policy. [260]
August 21 The Dumbarton Oaks Conference began, starting the first talks between world leaders on the establishment of the United Nations. [261]
November 7 U.S. presidential election, 1944: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was reelected to a fourth term, defeating New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. [262]
December 16 The Battle of the Bulge, Germany's final major offensive of World War II, began; being the deadliest military battle for the United States during World War II. [263][264]
1945 February 4–11 The Yalta Conference was held in the Soviet Union. [265]
February 19 The Battle of Iwo Jima began. [266]
March 19 The Western Allied invasion of Germany began.
April 1 The Battle of Okinawa began, being the deadliest battle of the Pacific War. [267]
April 12 President Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia; with Vice President Harry S. Truman succeeding him, becoming the 33rd President. [268][269]
April 30 German Chancellor Adolf Hitler committed suicide alongside wife Eva Braun in Berlin. [270]
May 7 Germany surrenders to the Allied Powers, leading to the End of World War II in Europe. [271]
June 26 United Nations Charter: The United Nations was founded, replacing the League of Nations. [272]
July 17 -
August 2
The Potsdam Conference was held in Occupied Germany. [273]
August 6 & 9 Operation Downfall: The United States conducted the only two atomic bombings during a war on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; killing between an estimated 150,000-246,000 people. [274][275]
August 15 Surrender of Japan: In a broadcast to the Japanese public, Emperor Hirohito announced that Japan had accepted the Potsdam Declaration, surrendering to the Allied Powers. [276]
September 2 The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed between the Empire of Japan, the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, Republic of China, France, Netherlands, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay; marking the end of World War II. [277]
November 20 Nuremberg Trials: The military tribunals against Nazi Germany leadership began. [278]
Strike Wave of 1945–1946: Nationwide labor strikes were held, with over 4.6 million workers striking. [279]
1946 Automobile production in the United States for private consumers resumed. [280]
February 20 The Employment Act was signed into law; establishing the Council of Economic Advisers. [281]
July 4 The Philippines regained independence from the United States. [282]
July 14 Benjamin Spock's The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care was published. [283]
August 1 The United States Atomic Energy Act of 1946 was signed into law; establishing the United States Atomic Energy Commission. [284]
December 5 President Truman signed Executive Order 9808; establishing the President's Committee on Civil Rights. [285]
1947 March 12 The Truman Doctrine was declared, establishing "the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." [286]
March 21 President Truman signed executive order 9835; establishing the Federal Employee Loyalty Program to search out the "infiltration of disloyal persons" in the U.S. Government. [287]
April 15 Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers broke the color line in Major League Baseball. [288]
June 5 The Marshall Plan was announced by U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall. [289]
June 23 The Taft Hartley Act was enacted, with the House and Senate overriding President Truman's veto of the bill. [290]
July 7 The Roswell UFO incident occurred near Roswell, New Mexico. [291]
July 18 The Presidential Succession Act was signed into law. [292]
July 26 The National Security Act of 1947 was signed into law, establishing the Central Intelligence Agency. [293]
October 30 The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was signed in Geneva. [294]
1948 April 30 The Charter of the Organization of American States was adopted. [295]
June 8 Texaco Star Theater, the first top-rated United States network television show, debuted on television. [296]
June 24 The Berlin Blockade, the first major crisis of the Cold War, took place. [297]
The Selective Service Act of 1948 was signed into law. [298]
July 26 President Truman signed Executive Order 9981, leading to the desegregating the United States Armed Forces. [299]
November 2 U.S. presidential election, 1948: President Harry S. Truman was reelected to a second term, defeating New York Governor and 1944 Presidential nominee Thomas E. Dewey, and South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond, in what is regarded as one of the biggest upsets in American political history. [300][301][302]
November 26 The Polaroid camera was first offered for sale. [303]
1949 January 5 In the 1949 State of the Union Address, President Truman proposed the unsuccessful Fair Deal; his administration's agenda for economic and domestic policy. [304]
Allied-occupied Germany was divided into East and West Germany.
April 4 North Atlantic Treaty: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded. [305]
April 13 The Nuremberg Trials ended, with the convictions of 24 major Nazi political and military leaders, among others. [306][307]
August 10 The National Security Amendments of 1949 was signed into law by President Truman, renaming the Department of War the Department of Defense. [308]
August 29 First Lightning: The Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb. [309]
1950 Second Red Scare: McCarthyism, the term to describe "the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially of pro-Communist activity" of Senator Joseph McCarthy,[310] began after heightened fears of Communist influence in America.
January 21 A grand jury found former State Department official and President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Alger Hiss guilty on two counts of perjury in connection with charges that he was a Soviet spy. [311][312]
February 9 Senator McCarthy came to national prominence after claiming to have a list of 205 State Department employees who were members of the Communist Party and "helping to shape [the U.S.'s] foreign policy." [313]
June 25 Korean War: The North Korean military began the Communist lead invasion of South Korea. [314]
June 27 President Truman ordered U.S. air and naval support to aid South Korea against the Northern lead invasion; prompting the beginning of the U.S. involvement in the Korean War. [315]
September 22 The McCarran Internal Security Act was enacted, with the House and Senate overriding President Truman's veto of the bill. [316]
October 2 The comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz, was first published. [317]
November 1 Truman assassination attempt: Two Puerto Rican nationals attempted to assassinate President Harry S. Truman while he stayed at Blair House. [318]
1951 February 27 The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, establishing term limits for President, was ratified. [319]
April 11 President Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of his commands after criticizing the limited war efforts of the Truman administration, and starting unauthorized talks with China in the Korean war. [320]
September 1 The ANZUS Treaty was signed. [321]
September 8 The Japanese Peace Treaty Conference was held San Francisco. [322]
October 10 The Mutual Security Act was signed into law. [323]
1952 June 27 The McCarran–Walter Act was enacted, with the House and Senate overriding President Truman's veto of the bill. [324]
November 4 United States presidential election, 1952: Five-Star General and former Chief of Staff of the United States Army Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected President, defeating Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson II. [325]
1953 April 25 Molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Crick published their paper on the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA. [326][327]
June 19 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed on conspiracy to commit espionage after they were found guilty of giving U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. [328][329]
July 19 The Korean Armistice Agreement was signed, ending the Korean War. [330]
August 15 Operation Ajax: Mohammad Reza Pahlavi returned to power after the CIA conducted a coup d'état in Iran. [331]
1954 January 1 Tournament of Roses Parade: The parade was the first national color television broadcast. [332]
April 26 –
July 20
Geneva Conference (1954): A conference was held where the United States attempted to find a way to unify Korea and restore peace in Indochina. [333]
May 17 Brown v. Board of Education: The Supreme Court declared that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students, and denying black children equal educational opportunities, were unconstitutional. [334]
June 9 Army-McCarthy hearings: Senator McCarthy was nationally discredited after failing to provide credible evidence supporting accusations of communist activity in the U.S. government amid the two months of televised hearings. [335][336][337]
June 18–27 Operation PBSUCCESS: The CIA organized the overthrow of Guatemala's democratically elected President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán. [338][339][340]
September 8 The United States became a member of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). [341]
November 23 The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at an all-time high of 382.74, the first time it closed above its peak set before the Wall Street Crash of 1929. [342]
December 2 The United States and the Republic of China signed the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, amid the First Taiwan Strait Crisis. [343]
December 23 The first successful kidney transplant on a human was performed in Boston. [344]
1955 The African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968) began.
April 12 The announcement that the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk was found to be "safe, effective and potent" was made by the University of Michigan. [345]
April 15 Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's fast food restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. [346]
May 14 The Warsaw Pact was signed, establishing a mutual defense arrangement subscribed to by eight Communist states in Eastern Europe, including the Soviet Union. [347]
July 17 Disneyland opened at Anaheim, California. [348]
August 28 Emmett Till was kidnapped, beaten and murdered in Money, Mississippi after reportedly flirting with a white woman; with the pictures of his open casket funeral, and the acquittal of his captors, the public reaction of Till's death helped spark the Civil Rights Movement. [349]
September 30 Actor James Dean was killed in a highway collision in Salinas, California. [350]
November 1 Vietnam War: President Eisenhower deploys the first American personnel from the Military Assistance Advisory Group to South Vietnam after the First Indochina War. [351]
December 1 Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, inciting the 386-day Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. [352]
December 5 The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations merged into the AFL-CIO, becoming the largest labor union in the United States. [353]
1956 June 29 The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, authorizing the construction of 41,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System over a 20-year period, was signed into law. [354]
Hungarian Revolution of 1956: The United States refused to support the revolution. [355]
November 6 United States presidential election, 1956: President Dwight D. Eisenhower was reelected to a second term, defeating 1952 Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson II in the rematch election. [356]
1957 January 5 The Eisenhower Doctrine, wherein a country could request American economic assistance or military aid if threatened by outside armed aggression, was proclaimed. [357]
January 10 Dr. King, Rustin, Lowrey, Shuttlesworth and Abernathy founded the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC). [358]
September 4 Little Rock Integration Crisis: Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus deployed members of the Arkansas National Guard to prevent African-American students from integrating in the Little Rock Central High School. [359]
September 9 The Civil Rights Act of 1957, primarily a voting rights bill, was signed into law. [360]
September 23 President Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard and sent members of the 101st Airborne Division to escort the Little Rock Nine to their classrooms in response to Governor Faubus' efforts preventing school desegregation. [361]
October 4 Space race: The Soviet Union launched Sputnik. [362]
December 2 Atoms for Peace: The Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the first commercial nuclear power plant, went into service. [363]
1958 January 31 Explorer 1: The first U.S. satellite was launched into space. [364]
July 29 The National Aeronautics and Space Act was signed into law; establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. [365]
Jack Kilby invented the integrated circuit. [366]
September 2 The National Defense Education Act was signed into law. [367]
1959 January 3 Alaska was admitted to the Union, becoming the 49th state. [368]
February 4 The Day the Music Died: Musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, and pilot, Roger Peterson, were killed in a plane accident. [369]
May 4 The First Grammy Awards was held. [370]
July 8 U.S. Army Master Sargent Chester Ovnand and Major Dale M. Buis were killed in South Vietnam, being the first two official American casualties of the Vietnam War. [371][372]
August 21 Hawaii was admitted to the Union, becoming the 50th state. [373]
1960 February 1 The Greensboro sit-ins, sparked by the refusal of four African American college students to move from a segregated lunch counter, began similar widespread acts of civil disobedience to protest Jim Crow laws. [374]
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was founded. [375]
May 1 U-2 incident: A CIA U-2 spy plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over Soviet airspace. [376]
May 6 The Civil Rights Act of 1960, establishing federal inspection of local voter registration polls and penalties for those attempting to obstruct the right to vote, was signed into law. [377]
September 26 The first ever general election debate between presidential candidates was held between Democratic nominee John F. Kennedy and Republican nominee Richard M. Nixon. [378]
November 8 United States presidential election, 1960: Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy was elected President, defeating Vice President Richard M. Nixon and becoming the youngest person to be elected to the office of the Presidency. [379][380]
December 5 Boynton v. Virginia: In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that African-Americans were protected from racial segregation on buses by the Interstate Commerce Act. [381]
December 20 The National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam was formed. [382]
1961 January 3 The United States broke diplomatic relations with Cuba. [383]
January 17 President Eisenhower gave his farewell address which warned of the "military–industrial complex". [384][385]
February 7 The United States embargo against Cuba came into force. [386]
March 1 President Kennedy signed Executive Order 10924, establishing the Peace Corps. [387]
March 29 The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted electors to the District of Columbia, was ratified. [388]
April 17 –
19
Bay of Pigs Invasion: The failed U.S. led invasion and attempted coup d'état of Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro took place. [389][390]
May 4 The Freedom Rides began in Washington D.C. after the failure of to enforce the Supreme Court's ruling in Boynton. [391][392]
May 5 Alan Shepard piloted the Freedom 7 capsule to become the first American in space. [393]
May 25 President Kennedy proposed the Apollo program, with the goal of "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth." [394]
June 16 Vietnam War: President Kennedy deployed an additional 400 U.S. military advisors (900 total) to South Vietnam; totaling 3,200 American troops by 1963, and more than 11,000 by mid-1964. [395][396][397]
1962 February 20 John Glenn orbited the Earth. [398]
March 26 A decision was reached in Baker v. Carr which enabled federal courts to intervene in and to decide reapportionment cases. [399]
June 25 A decision in Engel v. Vitale determined that it was unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and require its recitation in public schools. [400]
August 5 Marilyn Monroe died of an apparent overdose from acute barbiturate poisoning at age thirty-six. [401]
October 14–27 Cuban missile crisis: A nuclear confrontation took place between the United States and the Soviet Union. [402]
1963 February 19 Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, attributed to sparking Second-wave feminism, was published. [403]
March 18 Gideon v. Wainwright: In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to counsel is protected under the Sixth Amendment. [404]
April 3 Birmingham campaign: The nonviolent led protests against racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama was launched by the SCLC. [405]
April 16 Letter from a Birmingham Jail: Dr. King was arrested amid the Birmingham campaign, writing an open letter defending the strategy nonviolent protest. [406]
June 10 The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was signed into law. [407]
June 12 NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers was assassinated at his home in Mississippi by white supremacists, hours after President Kennedy gave his Civil Rights Address. [408]
August 28 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., among other notable civil rights leaders, spoke on the Lincoln Memorial, giving his historic "I Have a Dream" speech at the march that drew over 200,000 demonstrators. [409][410][411]
September 15 The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, carried out by a KKK splinter group, killed four African-Americans girls in what was seen as a turning point for the Civil Rights Movement. [412]
October 7 The Atomic Test Ban Treaty was signed. [413]
November 22 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a sniper in Dallas, Texas while traveling in an open presidential motorcade with Texas Governor John Connally, who was injured in the incident. [414]
Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President, hours after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. [415]
November 24 Lee Harvey Oswald, the sniper who assassinated President Kennedy, was killed after being fatally shot by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby. [416]
November 29 The Warren Commission was established by President Johnson to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy. [417]
December 17 The Clean Air Act was signed into law. [418]
1964 January 23 The Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax, was ratified. [419]
February 7 British Invasion: The Beatles arrived in the United States. [420]
May 22 President Johnson proposed the Great Society, a set of social reforms aimed at the elimination of poverty and racial injustice. [421][422]
The Freedom Summer began, aimed to increase voter registration for African Americans. [423]
July 2 The Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing both segregation and major forms of discrimination against blacks and women, was signed into law. [424]
August 2 Tonkin Gulf incident, a false flag operation with 'deliberately skewed' intelligence to expand U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, occurred. [425][426][427]
August 4 Mississippi civil rights workers' murders: The bodies of three missing civil rights activists, working to register voters as a part of the Freedom Summer, were found near Philadelphia, Mississippi. [428]
August 10 The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the formal declaration of war in Vietnam, was signed by President Johnson [429]
August 20 The Economic Opportunity Act was signed into law. [430]
November 3 United States presidential election, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson defeated Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. [431]
December 10 Dr. King became the youngest person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for his 'nonviolent campaign against racism'. [432]
1965 Vietnam War: Johnson escalates United States military involvement in the war, with the number of U.S. troops totaling more than 184,000. [397]
February 21 African American Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, New York. [433]
March 2 Operation Rolling Thunder began in the Vietnam War. [434]
March 7 The Selma to Montgomery marches, known as "Bloody Sunday", drew national outrage after Alabama State Troopers severely beat and used tear gas against the nonviolent demonstrators. [435]
March 25 In a third attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery, 3,200 civil rights demonstrators reached the Alabama State Capitol, where they were joined with a crowd of 25,000, after four days of marching. [436]
April 17 March Against the Vietnam War: The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the SNCC led the first major anti-war demonstration against the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C., with over 25,000 protesters. [437]
July 30 The Social Security Amendments of 1965 was signed into law, establishing Medicaid and Medicare in the United States. [438]
August 6 The Voting Rights Act was signed into law. [439]
August 11 -
17
The Watts Riot began in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, resulting in the deaths of 34 people. [440]
September 9 The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was established, after the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Johnson. [441]
October 3 The Immigration Act of 1965 was signed into law, abolishing the National Origins Formula. [442]
November 8 The Higher Education Act of 1965 was passed. [443]
1966 January 18 Robert C. Weaver was sworn in as the first United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, becoming the first African American to hold a cabinet-level position. [444]
June 13 Miranda v. Arizona: The Supreme Court ruled that not informing suspects held in custody on their right to counsel and silence violated protection against self incrimination, establishing what later became known as "Miranda Rights". [445]
June 30 The feminist group the National Organization for Women (NOW) was formed. [446]
July 4 The Freedom of Information Act was signed into law. [447]
September 9 The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was passed. [448]
1967 January 3 Jack Ruby died of a pulmonary embolism at Parkland Hospital, where Oswald had died and where President Kennedy had been pronounced dead after his assassination. [449]
January 8 Operation Cedar Falls, the largest ground operation of the Vietnam War, began; with over 500,000 with the number of U.S. troops totaling more than 500,000 by the end of 1967. [450][451]
January 15 Super Bowl I: In the first Super Bowl took place between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. [452]
February 23 The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, establishing succession to the Presidency and procedures for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, was ratified. [453]
April 1 The United States Department of Transportation was established. [454]
April 15 National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam: 400,000 demonstrators march in New York City from Central Park to the United Nations Headquarters against the Vietnam War; with 100,000 protesting the war in San Fransciso, being one of the largest demonstrations against the Vietnam War. [455]
The Summer of Love took place, marking a defining period for the counterculture movement in the U.S. [456][457]
June 12 Loving v. Virginia: The Supreme Court overruled the prohibition of interracial marriage. [458]
July 1 American Samoa became self-governing under a new Constitution. [459]
October 2 Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; becoming the first African-American Justice to serve on the court. [460]
1968 January 30 The Tet Offensive, a campaign of surprise attacks by the Viet Cong, began. [461]
April 4 Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by a sniper at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. [462]
April 4 -
May 29
King assassination riots: The assassination of Dr. King prompted mass riots in Chicago, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Kansas City and Louisville; leaving 36 people dead. [463]
April 11 The Civil Rights Act of 1968, providing equal housing protection, was signed into law. [464]
June 5 Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by Sirhan Sirhan, after winning the California primary while campaigning for President. [465]
July 1 The United States signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. [466]
August 25–29 Chicago City Police clashed with anti-war protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. [467]
October 22 The Gun Control Act of 1968 was signed into law. [468]
November 5 United States presidential election, 1968: Former Vice President Richard Nixon was elected President, defeating incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Alabama Governor George Wallace. [469]
Shirley Chisholm of New York became the first African-American woman elected to Congress. [470]
December 21 Apollo 8: The first manned spacecraft to leave Earth's orbit occurred. [471]
1969 March 18 Operation Menu: The United States began its covert bombings of North Vietnamese positions in Cambodia and Laos. [472]
June 29 The Stonewall riots took place, beginning after police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City, which would mark the start of the modern gay liberation movement in the United States. [473]
July 18 Chappaquiddick incident: Senator Edward M. Kennedy drove off a bridge on his way home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. [474]
July 20 Apollo 11: Americans astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins became the first men to land on the moon, with Armstrong becoming the first man to walk on the moon's surface. [475]
August 15–19 The Woodstock Festival took place in White Lake, New York, proclaimed as "three days of peace and music", it became one of the defining events representing counterculture movement. [476]
November 3 Vietnamization: President Nixon outlaid his administration's Vietnam policy in response to the Tet Offensive. [477]
November 10 Sesame Street premiered on National Educational Television. [478]
November 15 Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam: Over 500,000 peaceful demonstrators protested the Vietnam War in Washington D.C., being the largest anti-war protest in U.S. history. [479]
December 15 President Nixon announces the withdrawal of 50,000 U.S. troops from Vietnam; reaching the peak level of U.S. troops in Vietnam at 541,000. [480][481]
1970 January 1 The National Environmental Policy Act was signed into law. [482]
May 4 Kent State shootings: Shootings occurred during anti-war, student protests that grew violent, resulting in the deaths of four demonstrators by the Ohio National Guard. [483]
April 20 President Nixon announces the further withdrawal of 150,000 troops in Vietnam. [484]
April 30 President Nixon announces the beginning of the Cambodian Campaign. [485]
April 22 The first Earth Day was observed. [486]
July 4 American Top 40, hosted by radio personality Casey Kasem, which featured a weekly countdown, premiered. [487]
October 5 The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) began operations, succeeding National Educational Television (NET). [488]
December 2 The United States Environmental Protection Agency was established. [489]
December 29 The Occupational Safety and Health Act was signed into law, establishing OSHA. [490]
1971 January 25 Charles Manson is sentenced to death (with his sentence later commuted to life in prison) for his involvement in the Tate-LaBianca murders. [491]
April 1 The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act was signed into law, banning cigarette advertisements on radio and television and issuing a Surgeon General's warning on tobacco products. [492]
June 13 Pentagon Papers: The New York Times publishes its first story on the classified 7,000 page Department of Defense study, leaked by study participant Daniel Ellsberg, on the U.S.'s political-military involvement in Vietnam since 1945. [493][494]
June 17 President Nixon declares a "War on Drugs", stating that drug use in the U.S. is "public enemy number one." [495]
June 30 New York Times Co. v. United States: The Supreme Court ruled that the Pentagon Papers may be published, rejecting government injunctions as unconstitutional prior restraint. [496]
July 1 The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, was ratified. [497]
August 15 Nixon Shock: Nixon ended the gold standard in the United States. [498]
September 13 Attica Prison riot: After four days of holding 39 prison staff members hostage, a raid that led to a riot at the Attica Correctional Facility was launched by New York State Police; leaving 43 staff and prisoners dead and being the deadliest prison riot in U.S. history. [499]
1972 February 21–28 1972 Nixon visit to China: President Nixon became the first U.S. President to visit the People's Republic of China, marking the end of 25 years of isolation between the U.S. and China. [500][501]
May 26 SALT I Treaty: The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was signed between the Soviet Union and United States at the Moscow Summit. [502]
June 9–10 Black Hills flood: Flooding in the Black Hills region of Western South Dakota killed 238 people. [503]
June 17 Watergate burglaries: Five men were arrested for the burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. [504]
June 23 The Education Amendments of 1972, enacting Title IX and prohibiting gender based discrimination of educational institutions, was signed into law. [505]
June 29 Furman v. Georgia: The Supreme Court ruled that application of the death penalty outside of cases of homicide violated protection against cruel and unusual punishment. [506]
October 17 The Clean Water Act is enacted, was overridden by the Senate. [507]
November 7 U.S. presidential election, 1972: President Nixon was reelected to a second term, defeating South Dakota Senator George McGovern. [508]
December 14 Apollo 17 became the final mission of the Apollo program and last human spaceflight to the moon. [509]
December 18 Operation Linebacker II: The final major U.S. bombing campaign in North Vietnam began. [510]
1973 January 22 Roe v. Wade: The Supreme Court ruled that state laws banning abortion before 24 weeks as unconstitutional. [511]
January 23 The Paris Peace Accords was signed, ending the United States' direct involvement in the Vietnam War. [512]
May 3 The Sears Towers opened in Chicago, becoming the World's tallest building. [513]
May 14 The space station Skylab was launched by NASA. [514]
May 17 The United States Senate Watergate Committee held its first hearing. [515]
October 10 Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned in disgrace as part of a plea bargain after being charged with tax evasion, extortion and conspiracy. [516]
October 20 Saturday Night Massacre: President Nixon fired three top legal advisers over the disposition of secret tapes and the actions of the Special Prosecutor in regard to the Watergate scandal. [517]
October 1973 oil crisis: Gasoline prices in the U.S. quadrupled over a three-month period in response to reduced supply of gasoline and heating oil. [518]
December 6 House Minority Leader Gerald Ford of Michigan was sworn in as Vice President after the resignation of Spiro Agnew; becoming the first Vice President to be appointed under the Twenty-fifth Amendment. [519]
1974 April 3–4 Super Outbreak: An outbreak of 148 tornadoes hit thirteen states, killing 330 people. [520]
April 8 Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves broke Babe Ruth's home run record by hitting his 715th career home run. [521]
June 30 The House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach President Nixon over his actions in the Watergate Scandal. [522]
August 9 President Richard Nixon becomes the first and only President to resign from office. After submitting his resignation in an address to the nation the evening before, Nixon stated that "the interest of the Nation must always come before any personal considerations." [523][524][525]
Vice President Gerald Ford is sworn in as President after the resignation of President Nixon. [526]
September 8 President Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon for any crimes he may have committed as President during the Watergate Scandal. [527]
December 31 Executive Order 6102, restricting the private holding of gold within the United States, was lifted. [528]
1975 January 27 The Church Committee, Chaired by Idaho Senator Frank Church, was established in the aftermath of the Watergate Scandal; investigating the illegal activities of the CIA, NSA and FBI. [529]
April 4 Bill Gates founded Microsoft Corporation. [530]
April 30 Fall of Saigon: Saigon, the capitol of South Vietnam, was captured by the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong, causing the South to surrender and officially ending the Vietnam War. [531]
July 15 Apollo–Soyuz Test Project: The first joint U.S.–Soviet space mission began in Kazakhstan. [532]
September 5 President Ford was uninjured after a failed assassination attempt by Manson Family cult member Lynette Fromme in Sacramento, California. [533]
1976 April 1 Steve Jobs founded Apple Inc. [534]
July 2 Gregg v. Georgia: The Supreme Court affirmed that the death penalty did not violate the Eighth Amendment. [535]
July 4 United States Bicentennial: Americans celebrated the United States bicentennial. [536]
October 19 The Copyright Act of 1976 was signed into law. [537]
November 2 U.S. presidential election, 1976: Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was elected President, defeating incumbent Gerald Ford. [71]
1977 January 23 The television miniseries Roots aired on ABC. [538]
July 13–14 New York City blackout of 1977: A twenty-five hour blackout, resulting in looting and other disorder, took place. [539]
August 4 The United States Department of Energy is established. [540]
August 16 Elvis Presley, the "King of Rock and Roll", died at his home in Graceland. [541]
September 7 The Torrijos–Carter Treaties between the U.S. and Panama, relinquishing U.S. control of the Panama Canal, were ratified. [542]
The Commodore PET, the first personal computer for retail sale, was released. [543]
1978 September 17 The Camp David Accords were signed by Menachem Begin of Israel and Anwar Sadat of Egypt at Camp David. [544]
October 25 The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was signed into law. [545]
October 27 The Humphrey Hawkins Full Employment Act was signed into law. [546]
November 18 Jonestown Massacre: The mass-suicide of 909 American citizens who were members of the religious cult the Peoples Temple, led by Jim Jones, occurred in Guyana. With the addition murders of nine others, including Congressman Leo Ryan, the 918 deaths were the largest loss of American life in a single incident and in a non-natural disaster at the time. [547][548][549]
November 27 Moscone–Milk assassinations: Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person elected to public office, and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, were assassinated by Dan White in San Francisco. [550]
1979 March 28 Three Mile Island accident: The partial nuclear meltdown and release of small amounts of radioactive gases and iodine of a nuclear power plant in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania began; considered to be the worst commercial nuclear power accident in U.S. history. [551]
May 21 White Night Riots: After the lenient sentence of Moscone-Milk assassin Dan White, over 5,000 demonstrators in San Francisco's gay community staged what turned into a violent protest. [552]
May 25 American Airlines Flight 191 flight crashed shortly after takeoff from O'Hare International Airport, killing all 271 aboard and two on the ground; being the deadliest aviation accident on U.S. soil. [553]
October 17 The United States Department of Education is established. [554]
November 4 Iran hostage crisis: The U.S. embassy in Tehran was raided by student activists of the Iranian Revolution after overthrown CIA instated Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was allowed into the U.S.; beginning the 444-day capture of the embassy and the holding of fifty-two American embassy personnel. [555]
1980 March 18 The Refugee Act was signed into law. [556]
March 21 1980 Summer Olympics boycott: Protesting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Cater announces the U.S. would boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow. [557]
April 4 The United States Department of Health and Human Services was established. [558]
April 24 Operation Eagle Claw: Eight U.S. military personnel were killed after the failed attempt to rescue the fifty-two American hostages held at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. [559]
May 18 Eruption of Mount St. Helens: The eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington killed fifty-seven people. [560]
June 1 CNN, the first 24-hour cable news channel, was founded. [561]
November 4 U.S. presidential election, 1980: California Governor Ronald Reagan was elected President, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter and Illinois Representative John B. Anderson. [562]
December 8 Musician John Lennon was assassinated outside of The Dakota in New York City. [563]
1981 January 20 Iran releases the 52 U.S. hostages held in Tehran after 444 days (the day of the swearing in of President Ronald Reagan); signing the Algiers Accords. [564]
March 30 Reagan assassination attempt: President Reagan and three others were injured after an assassination attempt of the President by John Hinckley, outside of the Hilton Washington in Washington D.C. [565]
April 12 STS-1: The Space Shuttle Columbia was launched, being the first flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program. [566]
July 17 Hyatt Regency walkway collapse: A hotel walkway collapsed in Kansas City, Missouri, killing 114 and injuring over two hundred. [567]
August 1 MTV, the first 24-hour cable network dedicated to airing music videos, was launched. [568]
August 4 Reaganomics: The Kemp-Roth Tax Cut was signed into law. [569]
September 21 Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, becoming the first woman to serve on the court. [570]
November 16 President Reagan signed NDSS 17, authorizing the beginning of CIA support for contra rebels in Nicaragua. [571]
1982 June 12 Anti-nuclear protests were held at Central Park in New York City, with nearly one million peaceful demonstrators protesting the arms race. [572]
August 25 Multinational forces, including 800 Marines, were deployed to Lebanon to oversee the withdrawal of Palestine Liberation Organization after Lebanese Civil War. [573]
1983 March 23 President Reagan proposes the Strategic Defense Initiative. [574][575]
April 18 1983 United States embassy bombing: The U.S. embassy in Beirut was bombed by members of the Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO), killing 63 people, including 17 U.S. government personnel. [576]
October 23 Beirut barracks bombing: 241 United States Marine Corps personnel were killed in a suicide bombing by members of the IJO in Lebanon. [577]
October 25 Operation Urgent Fury: Under executive action from President Reagan, the U.S. deployed 1,900 military personnel in the Invasion of Grenada. [578]
1984 April 23 U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler announces Dr. Robert Gallo and fellow NCI researcher's discovery of HTLV-III as the virus that causes AIDS. [579]
May 8 1984 Summer Olympics boycott: The Soviet Union, later joined by most of the Eastern Bloc, announced the boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles. [580]
July 18 San Ysidro McDonald's massacre: A mass shooting in San Ysidro, California left 22 (including the perpetrator) dead and injured 19 others; being the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history at the time. [581]
November 6 U.S. presidential election, 1984: President Reagan was reelected to a second term, defeating former Vice President Walter Mondale. [582]
1985 July 13 Live Aid, a concert attended by 100,000 people and watched by 1.9 billion viewers in 150 countries at the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, was held, raising global awareness of famine in Ethiopia. [583]
Arrow Air Flight 1285, carrying U.S. Army personnel to Egypt, crashed in Newfoundland, Canada, killing all 256 passengers on board and being the deadliest single aviation accident in the history of the U.S. military. [584]
1986 January 20 The first Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is observed. [585]
January 28 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster: The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded due to a leak in the shuttle's solid rocket booster 73 seconds after departing from the Kennedy Space Center, killing all seven crew members aboard, including school teacher Christa McAuliffe. [586]
April 15 Operation El Dorado Canyon: The U.S. began air strikes against Libya after the Berlin discotheque bombing. [587]
May 19 The Firearm Owners Protection Act was signed into law. [588]
May 25 Hands Across America: Over five million Americans formed a human chain across the Continental United States, holding hands for 15 minutes to raise awareness of hunger and homelessness. [589]
October 1 The Goldwater–Nichols Act was signed into law. [590]
October 9 The Fox Broadcasting Company was founded. [591]
October 21 The Compact of Free Association was signed by the U.S., giving Independence to the Marshall Islands. [592]
October 22 The Tax Reform Act of 1986 was signed into law. [593]
November 3 Iran–Contra affair: The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa first revealed that the United States had secretly sold weapons to Iran in exchange for American hostages, amid a U.S. arms embargo. [594][595]
November 6 The Immigration Reform and Control Act was signed into law. [596]
November 25 After the resignation of National Security Advisor John Poindexter, Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that the profits from the U.S. arms trade with Iran were illegally diverted to support contra groups in Nicaragua. [594][597]
November 26 The Tower Commission is established by President Reagan to investigate the Iran-Contra affair. [598]
1987 May 5 Joint special House and Senate hearings on the Iran-Contra affair began. [599]
June 12 During a visit to Berlin, President Reagan challenged Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall", referring to the Berlin Wall. [600]
October 19 Black Monday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 508 points in a single session, losing 22.6% of its value. [601]
October 23 The U.S. Senate rejects President Reagan's Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork. [602]
November 18 A joint congressional report investigating the Iran-Contra affair found that the "ultimate responsibility for the events in the Iran-contra affair must rest with the President." [603][604]
December 8 The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. between the U.S. and Soviet Union. [605]
1988 May 14 Carrollton bus collision: A drunk driver crashed into a church bus near Carrollton, Kentucky, killing twenty-seven people. [606]
The Yellowstone fires of 1988 burned 793,880 acres of Yellowstone National Park. [607]
August 8 Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois added lights for night games, being the last major league park that didn't have lights. [608]
August 10 The Civil Liberties Act, compensating Japanese Americans who "lost liberty or property because of discriminatory action by the Federal government during World War II", was signed into law. [609]
August 30 STS-41-D: The Space Shuttle Discovery was launched. [610]
November 2 Morris worm, the first computer worm distributed via the Internet, was launched. [611]
November 8 U.S. presidential election, 1988: Vice President George H. W. Bush was elected President, defeating Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. [612]
1989 March 15 The United States Department of Veterans Affairs was established. [613]
March 24 Exxon Valdez oil spill: An oil tanker struck a reef in Prince William Sound, spilling over 11 million gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Alaska. [614]
May 31 Speaker of the House Jim Wright becomes the first House Speaker to resign amid scandal; he was succeeded by Tom Foley. [615]
September
10-22
Hurricane Hugo struck the East Coast, killing 49 people and causing $7 billion in damage. [616][617]
October 17 The Loma Prieta earthquake, striking the San Francisco Bay Area and interrupting the 1989 World Series, killed sixty-three people. [618]
December 3 Malta Summit: President Bush and Soviet Premier Gorbachev met in Malta weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, releasing statements indicating that the war may be coming to an end. [619]
December 20 Operation Just Cause: 26,000 U.S. military personnel were deployed in the U.S. invasion of Panama, removing Military Governor Manuel Noriega from power and restoring Panama's democratically elected government. [620]
The Office of National Drug Control Policy was established. [621]
1990 January 13 Douglas Wilder was elected Governor of Virginia, becoming the first African American to become governor of a U.S. State. [622]
April 24 The Hubble Space Telescope was launched during a mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery. [623]
June 1 The 1990 Chemical Weapons Accord was signed between the United States and the Soviet Union. [624]
July 26 The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. [625]
August 2 Gulf War: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein leads the deployment of 140,000 Iraqi troops in the invasion of Kuwait. [626]
November 15 The Clean Air Act of 1990 was signed into law. [627]
1991 January 17 Operation Desert Storm: The United States leads 34 coalition nations in the invasion of Ba'athist Iraq; deploying over 500,000 U.S. military personnel in response to Iraq's annexation of Kuwait. [628][629]
February 28 President George H.W. Bush announces that a cease fire was reached between in the Gulf War, stating that "Kuwait is liberated. Iraq's army is defeated." [630]
July 31 START I was signed between the United States and the Soviet Union. [631]
October 16 Luby's massacre: A mass shooting in Killeen, Texas left 24 (including the perpetrator) dead and injured 20 others; being the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history at the time. [632]
December 26 The dissolution of the Soviet Union, recognizing the independence of twelve Soviets states after the resignation of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who declared his office extinct, formally ended the Cold War. [633]

[634]

Confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas were held by the Senate Judiciary Committee, after allegations regarding sexual harassment charges were pressed by former aide Anita Hill. [635]
1992 April 29 -
May 4
1992 Los Angeles riots: Riots in Los Angeles, spurred by the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Department officers accused in the beating of Rodney King, took place, which resulted in over fifty deaths and $1 billion in damage. [636]
May 7 The Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting changes to Congressmen's salaries from taking effect until after an election of Representatives, was ratified. [637]
August 16–28 Hurricane Andrew: A Category 5 hurricane killed sixty-five people and caused $26 billion in damage to Florida and other areas of the Gulf Coast. [638][639]
November 3 United States presidential election, 1992: Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was elected President, defeating incumbent George H. W. Bush and Texas businessman Ross Perot. [640]
1993 January 3 START II was signed between the United States and the Russian Federation. [641]
February 13-
April 19
Waco siege: After the ATF failed to raid the compound of members of the religious sect the Branch Davidians, the FBI prompted a 51-day standoff; resulting in the deaths of 72 Branch Davidians after a fire broke out in the compound. [642][643]
February 26 1993 World Trade Center bombing: A truck bomb exploded in the parking garage under the World Trade Center in Manhattan, killing six people and injuring 1,042 others. [644][645]
October 3–4 Battle of Mogadishu: 18 U.S. military personnel, as a part of Operation Gothic Serpent, were killed and 84 wounded after a seventeen hour assault was prompted by Somali militiamen. [646]
November 30 The Don't ask, don't tell policy, prohibiting openly gay and bisexual people from serving in the military, was signed into law. [647]
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was signed into law. [648]
December 8 The North American Free Trade Agreement was signed by the United States. [649]
Great Flood of 1993: Massive flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers killed 48 people and caused $30.2 billion in damage; being the costliest flood in U.S. history. [650]
1994 January 17 The 1994 Northridge earthquake, striking the Northridge, Los Angeles area, killed fifty-seven people and leaving 20,000 others homeless; causing $20 billion in damage and being the costliest earthquake in U.S. history. [651]
September 19 The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, authorizing the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the Violence Against Women Act, was signed into law. [652][653][654]
November 8 Republican Revolution: The Republican Party picked up 54 seats in the House and 8 seats in the Senate, being one of the largest shifts in party balance in U.S. congressional history. [655]
1995 April 19 Oklahoma City bombing: A bombing killed 168 and wounded eight hundred.
July 14–20 The 1995 Chicago heat wave killed 739 people in Chicago, Illinois. [656][657]
October 3 Retired professional football player O. J. Simpson was acquitted of two charges of first-degree murder in the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman.
United States federal government shutdown of 1995 and 1996: A budget crisis caused the federal government to partially shut down.
1996 TWA Flight 800: A flight exploded off Long Island, killing all 230 aboard.
Khobar Towers bombing: A bombing left nineteen American servicemen dead in Saudi Arabia.
Centennial Olympic Park bombing: A bombing in Atlanta killed one and injured 111.
August 22 The Welfare Reform Act of 1996, replacing the AFDC with TANF, was signed into law. [658][659]
U.S. presidential election, 1996: Clinton was reelected.
United States federal government shutdown of 1995 and 1996: The shutdown ended.
1997 Clinton allowed student funding for any research on human cloning.
Sparked by a global economic crisis scare, the Dow Jones Industrial Average followed world markets and plummeted 554.26, or 7.18%, to 7,161.15.
1998 Former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones accused Clinton of sexual harassment.
Lewinsky scandal: Clinton was accused of having a sexual relationship with 22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.
1998 U.S. embassy bombings: 224 were killed in bombings in Tanzania and Kenya.
Gay college student Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered near the University of Wyoming.
1999 Dennis Hastert of Illinois becomes Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10,006.78.
April 20 Two teenage students murdered 13 other students and teachers at Columbine High School.
1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak: A violent tornado outbreak in Oklahoma killed fifty people and produced a tornado which caused $1 billion in damage.
EgyptAir Flight 990: The first officer deliberately crashed a plane south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing 217.
Along with the rest of the world, the United States prepared for the possible effects of the Y2K bug in computers, which was feared destined to cause computers to become inoperable and wreak havoc.
2000 USS Cole bombing: The USS Cole was bombed in Yemeni waters, killing seventeen United States Navy sailors.

21st century[edit]

Secretary of State Colin Powell holding a vial of anthrax at the UN Security Council just before the Iraq War
Mourners of the Virginia Tech massacre
SWAT responding to the Fort Hood shooting
Oil burning after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
First responders at the 2011 Tucson shooting
Barack Obama and his advisers await word on the death of Osama bin Laden
The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings
Year Date Event Reference
2001 January 20 First inauguration of George W. Bush: George W. Bush was inaugurated the forty-third President of the United States. [660]
May 24 Democrats gained narrow control of Senate with the defection of James Jeffords from the Republican Party. [661]
June 7 The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 was signed into law by President George W. Bush. [662]
September 11 September 11 terrorist attacks: Nineteen terrorists hijacked four planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania killing nearly three thousand people and injuring over six thousand. [663]
September 18 2001 Anthrax attacks: Anthrax attacks killed five and infected seventeen more through the mail system. [664]
October 7 War in Afghanistan (2001–present): The United States launched an invasion of Afghanistan. [665]
October 26 The USA PATRIOT Act, increasing law enforcement agencies' ability to conduct searches in cases of suspected terrorism, was signed into law. [666]
November 12 American Airlines Flight 587: A flight crashed in Queens, New York, killing 265. [667]
2002 June 13 The United States officially withdraws from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. [668]
January 8 The No Child Left Behind Act education reform bill was signed into law. [669]
October 2–22 Beltway sniper attacks: Ten people were killed and three were injured in attacks around the Washington, D.C. area. [670]
November 25 The United States Department of Homeland Security was created. [671]
2003 January 3 Republicans regained narrow control of the Senate. [672]
February 1 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster: The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated on reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard. [673]
February 17 2003 E2 nightclub stampede: A nightclub stampede in Chicago, Illinois killed twenty-one. [674]
February 20 The Station nightclub fire: A fire caused by pyrotechnics at a nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island killed 100 people and injured over 230. [675]
March 19 Invasion of Iraq: The United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq. [676]
December 13 Capture of Saddam Hussein: In Iraq, deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured by United States special forces. [677]
2004 February 4 The social networking website Facebook was launched. [678]
June 5 Death of Ronald Reagan: Former President Ronald Reagan died from complications resulting from Alzheimer's disease. [679]
2004 Atlantic hurricane season: Four deadly and damaging hurricanes impacted Florida, killing a combined one hundred people in the United States and producing over $50 billion in damage. [680]
November 2 U.S. presidential election, 2004; President George W. Bush was reelected. [681]
2005 January 20 Second inauguration of George W. Bush: George W. Bush was inaugurated to his second term. [682]
August 23–30 Hurricane Katrina: A hurricane devastated the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama coastlines killing at least 1,836 people and causing $81 billion in damage. [683]
2006 November 7 The Democratic Party regained control of both houses of Congress and gained control of a majority of state governorships. [684][685][686]
2007 January 3 Democrat Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to become Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. [687]
January 10 Iraq War troop surge of 2007: George W. Bush ordered the substantial increase of the number of United States troops in Iraq. [688]
April 16 Virginia Tech massacre: A South Korean student shot and killed thirty-two other students and professors before killing himself. [689]
August 1 The I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota collapsed, killing thirteen people. [690]
December Late-2000s recession: A recession began. [691][692][693]
2008 February 5–6 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak: An outbreak of tornadoes killed over sixty people and produced $1 billion in damage across Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. [694]
February 14 Northern Illinois University shooting: A student killed five and injured twenty-one before killing himself. [695]
September 1–14 Hurricane Ike: A hurricane killed 100 people along the Texas coast, producing $31 billion in damage and contributing to rising oil prices. [696]
July 11 Oil prices in the United States hit a record $147 per barrel. [697]
Global financial crisis in September 2008: The stock market crashed. [698][699][700]
September 14 Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers: Investment bank Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy, the largest in U.S. history. [698]
November 4 U.S. presidential election, 2008: Barack Obama was elected the forty-fourth President of the United States. [701]
2009 January 20 Inauguration of Barack Obama: Obama was inaugurated the forty-fourth President of the United States. [702]
February 17 President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion economic stimulus package. [703]
Tea Party protests: The first of a series of protests, focusing on smaller government, fiscal responsibility, individual freedoms and conservative views of the Constitution, were conducted across the country. [704]
June 25 Death of Michael Jackson: Pop icon Michael Jackson died. [705]
August 8 Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; becoming the first Latino Justice. [706]
November 5 Fort Hood shooting: Nidal Malik Hasan killed twelve servicemen and injured thirty-one. [707]
2010 February 23 The United States Navy lifted its ban on women in submarines. [708]
March 23 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama. [709]
April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil spill: The BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and spilling 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf over an 87-day period; being the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. [710]
July 21 The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law; establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [711]
November 2 United States Senate elections, 2010: The Republican Party gained five seats, to forty-seven, reducing the Democratic presence in the Senate to fifty-one. Two seats remained in the hands of independents. [712]
United States House of Representatives elections, 2010: The Republican Party gained sixty-two seats, giving them an absolute majority of 242 in the House and reducing the Democratic presence to 193. [713]
November 28 United States diplomatic cables leak: WikiLeaks began to release classified diplomatic documents to the international press. [714]
December 22 The Senate ratified the New START treaty. [715]
December 22 The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 was signed into law, ending the Don't ask, don't tell policy regarding homosexuals in the United States Armed Forces. [716]
2011 January 8 2011 Tucson shooting: A gunman targeting Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords critically injured Giffords and killed six others, including federal judge John Roll, in Tucson, Arizona. [717]
March 19 Operation Odyssey Dawn: The United States began air and cruise missile attacks against Libya. [718]
May 2 Death of Osama bin Laden: Al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden was killed by United States forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan. [719]
August 2 United States debt-ceiling crisis: The Budget Control Act of 2011 was signed into law, increasing the legal limit on federal government debt in order to prevent default and establishing the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. [720]
August 5 United States federal government credit-rating downgrade, 2011: The credit-rating arm of Standard & Poor's reduced the rating of United States federal government debt from AAA to AA+. [721]
August 8 August 2011 stock markets fall: Major United States stock market indices dropped in value by some two and a half trillion dollars. [722]
September 17 The populist Occupy Wall Street protest movement made camp in Zuccotti Park in New York City. [723]
December 18 Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq: The last United States troops withdrew from Iraq under the terms of the U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement. [724]
2012 November 6 United States presidential election, 2012: Barack Obama is reelected as president. [725]
2013 January 20 Barack Obama is inaugurated for his second term as president. [726]

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  429. ^ Van Alstyne, William (November 1972). "Congress, the President, and the Power to Declare War". University of Pennsylvania Law Review (duke.edu) 121: 1–27. doi:10.2307/3311146. JSTOR 3311146. 
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  432. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize 1964 Martin Luther King Jr.". nobelprize.org. August 30, 2013. 
  433. ^ Colorado State University. "Malcolm X – An Islamic Perspective". colostate.edu. 
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  437. ^ Jeff Leen (September 27, 1999). "The Vietnam Protests: When Worlds Collided". washingtonpost.com. 
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  439. ^ University of Virginia Miller Center of Public Affairs. "Remarks on the Signing of the Voting Rights Act (August 6, 1965)". millercenter.org. 
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  444. ^ Ali B. Ali-Dinar; University of Pennsylvania. "Today in Black History". upenn.edu. 
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