U.S. History Timeline 1901-2000

Year Body Era Subjects Country State
1901

On March 2, U.S. Steel Corporation is formed. Capitalized at $1.4 billion, it is first billion dollar corporation in U.S. history.

1901-2000 the economy United States Pennsylvania
1901 The American Socialist Party is formed in New York City on August 1. 1901-2000 politics United States New York
1901 President William McKinley is assassinated. He is shot on September 6 and dies on September 14. Later that day Vice President Theodore Roosevelt (New York) becomes the twenty-sixth President. 1901-2000 violence & terrorism United States District of Columbia
1901 On November 18, the Hay-Paunceforte Treaty with Great Britain gives the United States the exclusive right to build the Panama Canal. 1901-2000 territorial expansion United States N.A.
1902

New York City journalists Lincoln Steffens and Ida Tarbell publish muckraking articles and books.

1901-2000 literature United States New York
1902 On May 20, Cuba gains its independence from the United States. 1901-2000 international affairs Cuba N.A.
1903

On December 17, the Wright Brothers fly the first airplane off the coast of North Carolina.

1901-2000 science & technology United States North Carolina
1904 On March 14, the U.S. Supreme Court rules against the Northern Securities Trust in the first major anti-trust case brought before the high court. 1901-2000 law United States District of Columbia
1904 On May 4, the U.S. government takes over construction of the Panama Canal from a French firm. On January 7, 1914, the first ship uses the Canal. 1901-2000 territorial expansion United States N.A.
1904 On October 27, the first section of the New York City Subway System is opened. It runs from City Hall in lower Manhattan to145th Street in Harlem. 1901-2000 science & technology United States New York
1906 On October 6, U.S Marines occupy Cuba. They will remain there until 1909. 1901-2000 international affairs Cuba N.A.
1906

Upton Sinclair (California) publishes The Jungle on February 28.

1901-2000 literature United States California
1906 On April 18, the San Francisco Earthquake kills approximately 3,000 people. 1901-2000 the environment United States California
1906 The Meat Inspection Act becomes law on June 30. 1901-2000 law United States District of Columbia
1906 The Pure Food and Drug Act becomes law on June 30. 1901-2000 law United States District of Columbia
1907

The "Gentleman's Agreement" signed between the United States and Japan on February 15, restricts immigration from Japan.

1901-2000 international affairs United States District of Columbia
1907 On November 16, Oklahoma becomes the forty-sixth state. 1901-2000 statehood United States Oklahoma
1908

Henry Ford introduces the Model T in Detroit on October 1.

1901-2000 the economy United States Michigan
1908

On November 3, William Howard Taft of Ohio is elected the twenty-seventh President of the U.S.

1901-2000 politics United States Ohio
1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is formed in New York City on February 12. 1901-2000 civil rights United States New York
1910

The thirteenth U.S. census reveals that the nation's population on April 5 is 92,228,496

1901-2000 population United States N.A.
1910 On November 8, male voters in Washington State approve woman suffrage. 1901-2000 women's rights United States Washington
1910 The Mexican Revolution begins on November 20. It will continue for the next decade and over one million Mexicans will die in the military and political violence. 1901-2000 international affairs Mexico N.A.
1911 The Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire in New York City on March 25 kills 146 women employees. 1901-2000 the economy United States New York
1911 On May 15, the Standard Oil Antitrust Case is decided by the U.S. Supreme Court which rules that the trust should be disbanded. 1901-2000 law United States District of Columbia
1911 California's male voters grants woman suffrage by referendum on October 10. 1901-2000 women's rights United States California
1911 The Chinese Revolution begins on October 10. The Republic of China is formed on February 12, 1912 but the fighting continues until October 1, 1949 when the Communists under Mao Zedong, take control of the nation. 1901-2000 international affairs China N.A.
1912 On January 6, New Mexico becomes the forty-seventh state. 1901-2000 statehood United States New Mexico
1912 On February 14, Arizona becomes the forty-eighth state. 1901-2000 statehood United States Arizona
1912 U.S. Marines land in Nicaragua on August 14. They will remain there until 1925. 1901-2000 international affairs Nicaragua N.A.
1912

On November 5, Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey is elected the twenty-eight President of the U.S.

1901-2000 politics United States New Jersey
1912 On November 5, Arizona, Kansas, and Oregon grant woman suffrage by referendum. 1901-2000 women's rights United States N.A.
1913

On February 3, the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, creating the federal income tax, becomes law with its ratification by New Mexico.

1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States New Mexico
1913

On April 8, the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, requiring the direct election of U.S. Senators, becomes law with its ratification by Connecticut.

1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States Connecticut
1913 On June 26, Illinois Governor Edward F. Dunne signs law allowing the women of the state to vote in presidential elections only. Nonetheless it becomes the first state east of the Mississippi to extend voting right to women. Alaska Territory also grants women the right to vote. 1901-2000 women's rights United States Illinois
1913

The Federal Reserve Act become law on December 24.

1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1914 On April 21, U.S. troops land in Veracruz, Mexico, beginning a six-month occupation. 1901-2000 international affairs Mexico N.A.
1914 World War I begins in Europe on July 28. 1901-2000 war N.A. N.A.
1914

The Federal Trade Commission is established on September 26.

1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1914 The Clayton Anti-Trust Act is passed by Congress on October 8. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1914 On November 3, Montana and Nevada grant women the right to vote with approvals of new constitutions. 1901-2000 women's rights United States N.A.
1915 The Lusitania is torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in the North Atlantic on May 7. 1901-2000 international affairs United States N.A.
1915 U.S. Marines are sent to Haiti on July 28. The Marines will occupy that nation until 1934. 1901-2000 international affairs Haiti N.A.
1916

Francisco "Pancho" Villa raids Columbus, New Mexico on March 9.  In response General John J. Pershing leads 4,800 U.S. soldiers on a punitive expedition into Mexico which begins on March 14 and ends on February 7, 1917.

1901-2000 international affairs United States New Mexico
1916 The Workingmen's Compensation Act is passed. 1901-2000 labor & unions United States District of Columbia
1916 The National Park Service is established by Congress on August 25. 1901-2000 the environment United States District of Columbia
1916

On November 7, Jeanette Rankin, a Montana Republican, becomes the first woman elected to Congress.

1901-2000 politics United States Montana
1917 The United States enters World War I on April 6. 1901-2000 war United States N.A.
1917 North Dakota, Ohio, Indiana, Rhode Island, Nebraska, Michigan, New York and Arkansas grant women the right to vote. 1901-2000 women's rights United States N.A.
1918

On January 8, President Woodrow Wilson proposes the Fourteen Points to establish peace in the post World War I world.

1901-2000 international affairs N.A. District of Columbia
1918-1919 The worldwide influenza pandemic, which begins in the autumn of 1918, eventually kills approximately 30 million people worldwide including 675,000 Americans. 1901-2000 health & medicine N.A. N.A.
1919

On January 6, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits the sale of alcohol, becomes law with its ratification by Wyoming.

1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States Wyoming
1919 The Seattle General Strike takes place from February 6 to February 11. 1901-2000 labor & unions United States Washington
1919 The American Legion is founded in Paris, France on March 15, when one thousand American Army officers and enlisted men attend a caucus. 1901-2000 politics France N.A.
1919 The Treaty of Versailles is signed at the Paris Peace Conference on June 28. 1901-2000 international affairs France N.A.
1919-1920 The Red Scare. 1901-2000 civil rights United States N.A.
1920

The fourteenth U.S. census reveals that the nation's population on January 5 is 106,021,527

1901-2000 population United States N.A.
1920 The U.S. Steel Antitrust Case is decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on March 1. 1901-2000 law United States District of Columbia
1920

On August 18, the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which grants women the right to vote, becomes law with its ratification by Tennessee.

1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States Tennessee
1920

On October 23, Sinclair Lewis (Minnesota) publishes Main Street.

1901-2000 literature United States Minnesota
1920

On November 2, Warren G. Harding of Ohio is elected the twenty-ninth President of the U.S.

1901-2000 politics United States Ohio
1923

The Teapot Dome Scandal evolves in California and Washington, D.C. in the summer. In 1929 New Mexico Senator Albert Fall becomes the first former cabinet officer sentenced to prison.

1901-2000 politics United States California
1923

President Warren G. Harding dies in office on August 2. Later that day Vice President Calvin Coolidge (Massachusetts) becomes the thirtieth President of the U.S.

1901-2000 politics United States District of Columbia
1924

The Immigration Act of 1924 is signed into law on June 30 by President Calvin Coolidge. The act closes virtually all immigration to the U.S.

1901-2000 immigration United States District of Columbia
1925 Schoolteacher John Thomas Scopes is convicted on July 21 of violating Tennessee's ban on teaching evolution in the "Scopes Monkey Trial." 1901-2000 religion United States Tennessee
1925

F. Scott Fitzgerald (Minnesota) publishes The Great Gatsby.

1901-2000 literature United States Minnesota
1926

Ernest Hemingway (Illinois) publishes The Sun Also Rises.

1901-2000 literature United States Illinois
1927

On May 20-21, Charles Lindbergh (Minnesota) flies solo across the Atlantic from New York to Paris.

1901-2000 technology United States Minnesota
1927 The first talking motion picture, The Jazz Singer, is released in Hollywood on October 6. 1901-2000 popular culture United States California
1928

On November 7, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover of California becomes the thirty-first President of the U.S.

1901-2000 politics United States California
1929

Ernest Hemingway publishes A Farwell to Arms.

1901-2000 literature United States Illinois
1929

The Stock Market Crashes on October 24, initiating the twelve-year Great Depression.

1901-2000 the economy United States New York
1930

The fifteenth U.S. census reveals that the nation's population on April 1 is 122,775,046.

1901-2000 population United States N.A.
1931 The 102-story Empire State Building, then the world's tallest building, opens on May 1 in New York City. 1901-2000 science & technology United States New York
1931 Chicago gangster Al Capone is convicted of tax evasion on October 18 and is later sent to the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. 1901-2000 popular culture United States Illinois
1932

On November 8, New York Governor Franklin Roosevelt is elected the thirty-second President of the U.S.

1901-2000 politics United States New York
1933

On January 23, the Twentieth Amendment, which sets dates for the beginning of presidential and congressional terms, becomes law with its ratification by Utah.

1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States Utah
1933 Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany on January 30. 1901-2000 international affairs Germany N.A.
1933 On March 5, President Roosevelt declares a four-day Bank Holiday, closing all banking institutions in the U.S. to stop the banking panic. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1933 The Emergency Banking Act is passed by Congress on March 9. This is the first act of the Hundred Days Session of Congress, the most active period of legislation crafting in the history of the United States. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1933 Congress passes the Reforestation Relief Act on March 31, which establishes the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC provides immediate work for 250,000 young men between 18 and 25 in reforestation. By the time it ends in 1941, nearly two million young men will have been employed. 1901-2000 the environment United States District of Columbia
1933 On April 19, President Roosevelt by executive order takes the nation off the gold standard. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1933 On May 12, Congress passes the Federal Emergence Relief Act which authorizes immediate grants to states for relief projects. 1901-2000 labor & unions United States District of Columbia
1933 On May 12, President Roosevelt signs the Agricultural Adjustment Act which provides help to farmers. 1901-2000 agriculture United States District of Columbia
1933 On May 18, Congress establishes the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1933 On May 27, the Federal Securities Act is passed by Congress to regulate stocks and bonds. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1933 Congress passes the Home Owners Refinancing Act on June 13 to provide mortgage money and other assistance to homeowners. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1933 On June 16, Congress passes the Public Works Administration (PWA). 1901-2000 labor & unions United States District of Columbia
1933 On June 16, Congress passes the National Recovery Administration (NRA). 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1933 On June 16, Congress passes the Farm Credit Act. 1901-2000 agriculture United States District of Columbia
1933 On June 16, Congress passes the Banking Act of 1933 which establishes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This is the final piece of major legislation created during the Hundred Days Session. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1933 On August 5, President Roosevelt establishes the National Labor Board by executive order to enforce the right of collective bargaining. 1901-2000 labor & unions United States District of Columbia
1933 On November 9, President Roosevelt by executive order creates the Civil Works Administration (CWA ) to provide work for the unemployed. 1901-2000 labor & unions United States District of Columbia
1933

On December 5, the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution, which repeals the Eighteenth Amendment (prohibition), becomes law with its ratification by Utah.

1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States Utah
1934 On January 30, Congress passes the Gold Reserve Act to give the government control over fluctuations in the value of the dollar. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1934 On February 2, President Roosevelt establishes by executive order the Import-Export Bank of Washington to encourage commerce between the U.S. and other nations. 1901-2000 international affairs United States District of Columbia
1934 The Civil Works Emergency Relief Administration (CWA) is created by Congress on February 15, to stimulate the economy. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1934 Congress passes the Crop Loan Act on February 23 (which continues as the Farm Credit Administration) to provide loans to farmers. 1901-2000 agriculture United States District of Columbia
1934 On April 21, Congress passes the Cotton Control Act which for the first time imposes quotas limiting agricultural production. Subsequent legislation passed on May 9 and June 28 cover sugar and tobacco. 1901-2000 agriculture United States District of Columbia
1934 On June 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) created by Congress. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1934 On June 12, Congress passes the Farm Mortgage Foreclosure Act which allows loans to farmers to recover property lost in foreclosure. 1901-2000 agriculture United States District of Columbia
1934 Congress passes the Indian Reorganization Act on June 18 which restored tribal landholding rights and temporarily halted the termination of Indian reservations. 1901-2000 Native Americans United States District of Columbia
1934 On June 19, Congress establishes the National Labor Relations Board. 1901-2000 labor & unions United States District of Columbia
1934 Congress passes the National Housing Act on June 28 which creates the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure loans for the construction, renovation, and repair of homes. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1934 The Taylor Grazing Act is passed by Congress on June 28. The act sets aside eight million acres of public lands for grazing by private stockowners. 1901-2000 agriculture United States District of Columbia
1934 On June 28, Congress passes the Federal Farm Bankruptcy Act which places a moratorium on farm mortgage foreclosures. 1901-2000 agriculture United States District of Columbia
1935 On April 8, Congress passes the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act which establishes the Works Progress Administration (WPA). When the WPA begins on May it will commence work on thousands of roads, public buildings, parks and bridges and provide employment for artists, musicians, actors, and writer. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1935 The Resettlement Administration (RA), which helps farm families relocate, is established by executive order on May 1. 1901-2000 agriculture United States District of Columbia
1935 On May 11, the Roosevelt Administration established the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) to help bring electricity to previously unserved areas. 1901-2000 agriculture United States District of Columbia
1935 On May 27, the U.S. Supreme Court in Schecter Poultry Corp. v. United States rules that the NIRA of 1933 is unconstitutional. This is the first major court challenge of New Deal legislation. 1901-2000 law United States District of Columbia
1935 On August 14, President Roosevelt signs into law the Social Security Act. 1901-2000 social reform United States District of Columbia
1935 On August 23, Congress passes the Banking Act of 1935 which revises the operation of the Federal Reserve System. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1935 On August 26, President Roosevelt signs the Public Utilities Act which gives federal agencies greater power in regulating gas and electric companies. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1935 On August 30, Congress passes the Revenue Act which increases taxes on inheritances, gifts, and on high income individuals. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1935 On September 15, the Nuremburg Laws are implemented against German Jews. 1901-2000 international affairs Germany N.A.
1935 The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) is formed in New York City on November 9 by eight industrial unions formerly affiliated with the American Federation of Labor. 1901-2000 labor & unions United States New York
1936 On January 6, the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Butler rules that the Agricultural Adjustment Act is unconstitutional. 1901-2000 law United States District of Columbia
1937 President Franklin Roosevelt announces U.S. Supreme Court packing plan on February 5. 1901-2000 politics United States District of Columbia
1937 On March 1, Congress passes the Supreme Court Retirement Act which permits Supreme Court Justices to retire at 70 with full pay. 1901-2000 politics United States District of Columbia
1937 On April 12, the U.S. Supreme Court declares the National Labor Relations Act is constitutional. 1901-2000 labor & unions United States District of Columbia
1937 On May 24, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Social Security Act is constitutional. 1901-2000 social reform United States District of Columbia
1937 Japan invades China on July 7. 1901-2000 international affairs China N.A.
1938 On June 25, President Franklin Roosevelt signs into law the Fair Labor Standards Act which initiates a minimum wage of 25 cents per hour and a 40 hour work week. 1901-2000 labor & unions United States District of Columbia
1938 The Munich Agreement signed on September 29 by Neville Chamberlain (Great Britain), Edouard Daladier (France), Adolph Hitler (Germany) and Benito Mussolini (Italy) grants concessions to Germany in the hopes of avoiding a major war in Europe. 1901-2000 international affairs N.A. N.A.
1938 On November 9, Kristallnacht begins in Germany and results in the deaths of 91 Jews, the removal of 30,000 Jewish men to concentration camps, and the wholesale destruction of Jewish owned property. 1901-2000 international affairs Germany N.A.
1939 Pan Am inaugurates regular passenger airline service across the Atlantic on May 20. 1901-2000 the economy United States N.A.
1939 The Hatch Act is passed on August 2. It prohibits all but the highest-ranking government officials from participating in political campaigns or soliciting campaign contributions. 1901-2000 politics United States District of Columbia
1939 On August 23, the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact is signed. 1901-2000 international affairs N.A. N.A.
1939 On August 27, Germany flies the first jet aircraft. 1901-2000 science & technology Germany N.A.
1940

The fifteenth U.S. census reveals that the nation's population on April 1 is 132,164,569.

1901-2000 population United States N.A.
1940 Beginning on April 9, Germany invades Denmark and Norway and eventually the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. 1901-2000 war N.A. N.A.
1940 On May 26, Russian-born Igor Sikorsky files the first practical helicopter in Stratford, Connecticut. 1901-2000 science & technology United States Connecticut
1940 The United States institutes the first peacetime draft on October 16. 1901-2000 war United States District of Columbia
1941 President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 8802 on June 25, which prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, and creed in corporations with federal contracts. It also creates the Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC). 1901-2000 civil rights United States District of Columbia
1941 Japan attacks Pearl Harbor on December 7 and the U.S. enters World War II the following day. 1901-2000 war United States Hawaii
1942 President Franklin Roosevelt issues Executive Order 9066 on February 19, which calls for the internment of Japanese aliens and Japanese American citizens. The first Japanese to be "evacuated" are from Bainbridge Island, Washington. 1901-2000 civil rights United States District of Columbia
1942 On May 11, the first U.S. Army units arrive in North Africa in the first major land-based military operation of American forces in World War II. 1901-2000 war N.A. N.A.
1942 The Battle of Midway Island, May 4-7, is the first significant U.S. Naval victory in World War II. 1901-2000 war N.A. N.A.
1943 On June 4, the Zoot Suit Riot erupts in Los Angeles. 1901-2000 violence & terrorism United States California
1944 The Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe begins on D-Day, June 6. 1901-2000 war N.A. N.A.
1944 On June 22, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Servicemen's Readjustment Act popularly known as the G.I. Bill. 1901-2000 social reform United States District of Columbia
1944 On December 16, German forces in Belgium and northern France begin a counteroffensive against Allied troops that will be known as the Battle of the Bulge. The offensive ends on January 25, 1945, when German forces lose all the ground captured since December 16. 1901-2000 war N.A. N.A.
1944 On December 18, the U.S Supreme Court in Korematsu v. United States affirms the right of the government to intern Japanese aliens and Japanese citizens during a war emergency. 1901-2000 civil rights United States District of Columbia
1945 The Battles of Iwo Jima, Feb. 19-March 26, and Okinawa, April 1-June 22, are major victories for American Marines against Imperial Japan. 1901-2000 war N.A. N.A.
1945

President Franklin Roosevelt dies in office on April 12 while visiting Warm Springs, Georgia. Later that day Vice President Harry S. Truman of Missouri becomes the thirty-third President of the U.S.

1901-2000 politics United States Georgia
1945 The United Nations is established in San Francisco on April 25. 1901-2000 international affairs United States California
1945 Germany surrenders on V-E Day, May 8. 1901-2000 international affairs Germany N.A.
1945 The Potsdam (Germany) Conference on July 16 to August 2 is the fourth and last Allied Conference on war strategy and the post-war world. This is also the first summit conference where the United States is represented by President Harry Truman. 1901-2000 international affairs Germany N.A.
1945 Atomic bombs are dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 respectively. 1901-2000 war Japan N.A.
1945 Japan surrenders on V-J Day, August 15. The formal surrender ceremony takes place on September 2 on the Battleship Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay. 1901-2000 war Japan N.A.
1945 The U.S. Congress officially recognizes the Pledge of Allegiance on December 28. 1901-2000 popular culture United States District of Columbia
1946 Post-war baby boom begins on January 1, reaches its peak in 1957 and ends in 1964. 1901-2000 population United States N.A.
1946 The Employment Act of 1946, signed into law on February 20 by President Harry S. Truman, creates the Council of Economic Advisors. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1946

Most observers date the beginning of the Cold War to a speech given by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri on March 5, where he uses the term "Iron Curtain" for the first time.

1901-2000 international affairs United States Missouri
1946

Dr. Benjamin Spock publishes The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. The book sells over 25 million copies and revolutionizes childcare in the U.S.

1901-2000 popular culture United States Connecticut
1946 Nuremburg War Crimes trials end in Germany with the execution on October 16 of nine major Nazi war criminals. 1901-2000 international affairs Germany N.A.
1947 The Truman Doctrine is announced by President Harry Truman in a speech to Congress on March 12. 1901-2000 international affairs United States District of Columbia
1947 The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program begins on June 5 and continues until 1952. 1901-2000 international affairs N.A. N.A.
1947 The National Security Act is signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on July 25. The act creates the National Security Council (NSC) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 1901-2000 national security United States District of Columbia
1947 India and Pakistan gain their independence from Great Britain on August 15. 1901-2000 international affairs N.A. N.A.
1948 The Berlin Blockade by the Soviet Union begins on June 24 and the Berlin Airlift commences two days later. On May 12, 1949, the Soviets end their blockade of Berlin. 1901-2000 international affairs Germany N.A.
1949

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is established in Washington, D.C. on April 4.

1901-2000 international affairs N.A. District of Columbia
1949 The Communists defeat the Nationalists to take control over Mainland China. They declare the Peoples' Republic of China in Beijing on October 1. 1901-2000 international affairs China N.A.
1950

The seventeenth U.S. census reveals that on April 1 the nation's population is 150,697,361

1901-2000 population United States N.A.
1950 The McCarran Internal Security Act is passed overwhelmingly by Congress despite President Truman's veto of the measure on September 22. 1901-2000 civil rights United States District of Columbia
1951 On February 27, the Twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution, which sets a two-term limit for U.S. Presidents, becomes law with its ratification by Minnesota. 1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States District of Columbia
1951 On April 11, President Truman fires General Douglas McArthur. 1901-2000 politics United States District of Columbia
1951

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of treason on March 29 and executed on June 19, 1953.

1901-2000 national security United States New York
1952

Ralph Ellison (Oklahoma) publishes Invisible Man.

1901-2000 literature United States Oklahoma
1952 The U.S. explodes the first hydrogen bomb on November 1. 1901-2000 technology United States N.A.
1952

On November 4, General Dwight David Eisenhower (Kansas) becomes the thirty-fourth President of the U.S.

1901-2000 politics United States Kansas
1953 The Korean Armistice is signed on July 27 ending three years of fighting between United Nations forces and the North Korean and Chinese Armies. 1901-2000 international affairs N.A. N.A.
1954 The Army-McCarthy Hearings are held from April to June. 1901-2000 national security United States District of Columbia
1954 On May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court hands down its decision in Brown v. Board of Education 1901-2000 civil rights United States District of Columbia
1955

Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is first performed on March 24.

1901-2000 literature United States Mississippi
1955 On April 15, entrepreneur Ray Kroc opens the first McDonald's franchise restaurant in Des Plains, Illinois. 1901-2000 popular culture United States Illinois
1955 The Montgomery Bus Boycott begins on December 5. 1901-2000 civil rights United States Alabama
1955

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) merges with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) on December 5.

1901-2000 labor & unions United States New York
1957

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is founded under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King on January 10.

1901-2000 civil rights United States Georgia
1957 The European Economic Community (European Common Market) is created by the Treaty of Rome on March 25. 1901-2000 international affairs N.A. N.A.
1957 The Little Rock School Desegregation Crisis begins on September 4. President Eisenhower calls in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army to protect the nine children attempting to integrate the school. Elements of the Division remain there until May 1958. 1901-2000 civil rights United States Arkansas
1958 The National Defense Education Act, which authorized federally supported loans and grants to college students, was signed into law by President Eisenhower on September 2. 1901-2000 education United States District of Columbia
1958

John Kenneth Galbraith (Massachusetts) publishes The Affluent Society.

1901-2000 literature United States Massachusetts
1959 On January 1, Revolutionary forces led by Fidel Castro come to power in Cuba. 1901-2000 international affairs Cuba N.A.
1959 On January 3, Alaska becomes the forty-ninth state. 1901-2000 statehood United States Alaska
1959 On August 21, Hawaii becomes the fiftieth state. 1901-2000 statehood United States Hawaii
1960

Sit-in demonstrations protesting racial segregation and discrimination begin in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1 and sweep across the South.

1901-2000 civil rights United States North Carolina
1960

The eighteenth U.S. census reveals that the nation's population on April 1 is 179,323,175

1901-2000 population United States N.A.
1960

Massachusetts Senator John Kennedy defeats Vice President Richard Nixon on November 8 in one of the closest elections in U.S. history. The senator becomes the thirty-fifth President of the United States.

1901-2000 politics United States Massachusetts
1961 On March 1, the Peace Corps is established by President John F. Kennedy by executive order. 1901-2000 international affairs United States District of Columbia
1961 On March 29, the Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution, which grants Washington, D.C., electoral votes, becomes law with its ratification by Ohio. 1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States District of Columbia
1961 The unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion takes place in Cuba between April 17 and April 20. 1901-2000 international affairs Cuba N.A.
1961 The East Germans initiate the construction of the Berlin Wall on August 13. 1901-2000 international affairs Germany N.A.
1962

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was released on September 27. The book is widely credited with helping to launch the environmental movement.

1901-2000 the environment United States New York
1962 The Cuban Missile Crisis runs from October 14 to November 20. 1901-2000 national security United States N.A.
1963

On February 19, Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique is released. The book would initiate the second wave of feminism and eventually sell over three million copies.

1901-2000 women's rights United States New York
1963 Martin Luther King delivers his "I Have a Dream" Speech at the March on Washington, August 28. 1901-2000 civil rights United States District of Columbia
1963 On November 22, President John Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson of Texas becomes the thirty-sixth President of the U.S. 1901-2000 violence & terrorism United States Texas
1963 The Clean Air Act is signed by President Johnson on December 17. 1901-2000 the environment United States District of Columbia
1964

On January 23, the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which abolishes the poll tax in federal elections, becomes law with its ratification by South Dakota.

1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States South Dakota
1964

On February 9, the British rock group, the Beatles, appear on the Ed Sullivan Show.

1901-2000 popular culture United States New York
1964 The "Freedom Summer" voter registration campaign begins in Mississippi on June 1. 1901-2000 civil rights United States Mississippi
1964 The Civil Rights Act is passed by Congress on July 2. 1901-2000 civil rights United States District of Columbia
1964 Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution on August 7 escalating the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. 1901-2000 war United States District of Columbia
1964 Congress passes the Economic Opportunity Act on August 20. 1901-2000 social reform United States District of Columbia
1964 On October 11, China explodes its first atomic bomb. 1901-2000 international affairs China N.A.
1964 On December 10, 35-year-old Martin Luther King becomes the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. 1901-2000 civil rights United States N.A.
1965 The Medicare Act is signed into law on July 30. 1901-2000 health & medicine United States District of Columbia
1965 The Voting Rights Act is passed by Congress on August 4. 1901-2000 civil rights United States District of Columbia
1965 The Watts Riot (Los Angeles) occurs from August 11 to August 15. 1901-2000 violence & terrorism United States California
1965 After a three year organizing campaign by Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta, mostly Mexican American farm workers, Chavez leads the first United Farm Workers grape strike on September 8 at Delano, California. 1901-2000 agriculture United States California
1965 The National Foundations for the Arts and Humanities (NEA and NEH) are created by Congress, November 23. 1901-2000 education United States District of Columbia
1966 The National Organization for Women (NOW) is founded on June 30, in Washington, D.C. 1901-2000 women's rights United States District of Columbia
1966 President Lyndon Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act on July 4. 1901-2000 civil rights United States District of Columbia
1967

On February 10, the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which defines presidential disability procedures, becomes law with its ratification by Nevada.

1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States Nevada
1967 The Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt occurs between June 5 and June 10 and results in an easy victory for the Israelis. 1901-2000 international affairs N.A. N.A.
1968 Dr. Martin Luther King is assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. 1901-2000 violence & terrorism United States Tennessee
1968 On April 11, President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which bans housing discrimination. 1901-2000 civil rights United States District of Columbia
1968 U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles on June 5. 1901-2000 violence & terrorism United States California
1968 Over 400 feminists stage the first major protests of the Miss America pageant at Atlantic City on September 7. 1901-2000 women's rights United States New Jersey
1968

Former Vice President Richard Nixon (California) defeats both Hubert Humphrey (Minnesota) and George Wallace (Alabama) for the Presidency on November 5 to become the thirty-seventh President of the US.

1901-2000 politics United States California
1969 The Stonewall Inn Riot in New York City on June 28 intensifies the struggle for Gay rights. 1901-2000 civil rights United States New York
1969 U.S. astronauts, led by Neil Armstrong, land on the moon on July 20. 1901-2000 science & technology United States N.A.
1969 On August 15-17, the Woodstock Music Festival draws 400,000 fans to a farm in upstate New York. 1901-2000 popular culture United States New York
1970

The nineteenth U.S. census reveals the nation's population on April 1 is 203,302,032.

1901-2000 population United States N.A.
1970 Kent State and Jackson State Killings of College Students by National Guardsmen and Police on May 4 and May 14, respectively. 1901-2000 violence & terrorism United States Ohio
1970

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was founded on December 3.

1901-2000 the environment United States District of Columbia
1971 The first of the Pentagon Papers are published by the New York Times on June 13. 1901-2000 national security United States New York
1971

On July 1, the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the Constitution, which lowers the voting age to 18, becomes law with its ratification by Oklahoma.

1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States Oklahoma
1972 President Richard Nixon visits China between February 21 and February 28, initiating the normalization of relations between the nations. 1901-2000 international affairs China N.A.
1972 The Equal Rights Amendment is passed by Congress on March 22 but is never ratified by the required number of states. 1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States District of Columbia
1973 U.S. Supreme Court hands down the Roe v. Wade decision on January 22 which legalizes abortion. 1901-2000 law United States District of Columbia
1973 The Treaty of Paris signed on January 27 creates a cease-fire in Vietnam and initiates the U.S. withdrawal from that nation. 1901-2000 international affairs N.A. N.A.
1973 On May 17, 1973 the U.S. Senate begins televised Watergate Hearings. 1901-2000 politics United States District of Columbia
1973 Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns on October 10 and President Nixon appoints Michigan Congressman Gerald Ford as his replacement. 1901-2000 politics United States District of Columbia
1973 OPEC begins an oil embargo against Western industrialized nations on October 17. It remains in effect until March 17, 1974. 1901-2000 international affairs N.A. N.A.
1973 The Endangered Species Act is passed on December 28. 1901-2000 the environment United States District of Columbia
1974 On July 30, the House Judiciary Committee votes to impeach President Richard Nixon. 1901-2000 politics United States District of Columbia
1974 President Richard Nixon resigns on August 8. Vice President Gerald Ford of Michigan becomes the nation's thirty-eight President on August 9. 1901-2000 politics United States District of Columbia
1975 Microsoft, eventually the world's largest software company, is founded on April 4 in Albuquerque, New Mexico by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. 1901-2000 science & technology United States New Mexico
1976

Former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter is elected the thirty-ninth President of the United States on Nov. 2.

1901-2000 politics United States Georgia
1977

The Apple II computer is introduced on June 5 and initiates the rise of the desktop computer.

1901-2000 science & technology United States California
1978

Camp David Accord between Egypt and Israel on September 17 leads to a period of peace between the nations that continues until the present day.

1901-2000 international affairs N.A. Maryland
1980

The twentieth U.S. census reveals that the nation's population on April 1 is 226,545,805.

1901-2000 population United States N.A.
1980

On November 4, former California Governor Ronald Reagan defeats incumbent President Jimmy Carter to become the fortieth President of the United States.

1901-2000 politics United States California
1981 On March 31, President Ronald Reagan survives an assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr. in Washington, D.C. 1901-2000 violence & terrorism United States District of Columbia
1981

On September 25, Sandra Day O'Connor becomed the first woman justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  She is appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

1901-2000 women's rights United States District of Columbia
1981 The Economic Recovery Act signed into law by President Reagan on August 13, reduces top federal income tax rates from 70% to 50%. A second tax reform act in 1986 further reduces the top bracket to 28%. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1983 On March 23, President Reagan announces the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI missile defense system. 1901-2000 national security United States District of Columbia
1984 The AIDS virus is discovered on April 23. There are 3,300 deaths from the disease by the end of the year. 1901-2000 health & medicine N.A. N.A.
1984

On July 12, Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale (Minnesota) chooses New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his vice presidential running mate. Ferraro becomes the first woman and the first Italian American to appear on a major party ticket.

1901-2000 politics United States Minnesota
1984 The Soviet Union boycotts the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. 1901-2000 international affairs United States California
1986

On January 28, the Space Shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

1901-2000 science & technology United States Florida
1986

On November 3, the Iran-Contra affair, an elaborate arms-for-hostages deal orchestrated by the Reagan Administration involving the Israelis, Iranians, and the Contras (anti-Communist guerillas in Central America), is revealed in a Lebanese Magazine.

1901-2000 international affairs N.A. District of Columbia
1987 On October 19, the U.S. Stock Market plunges 508 points in one day. 1901-2000 the economy United States New York
1988

On November 8, Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush of Texas defeats Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts to become the forty-first President of the United States.

1901-2000 politics United States Texas
1989 Beginning with Poland on March 9, most Eastern European nations oust communist governments. 1901-2000 international affairs N.A. N.A.
1989 On June 3 and June 4, Chinese government suppresses prodemocracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, and in the process kill nearly 800 protesters. 1901-2000 international affairs China N.A.
1989 The Berlin Wall is torn down on November 9. East and West Germany reunite the following year. 1901-2000 international affairs Germany N.A.
1990

The twenty-first U.S. census reveals that on April 1 the nation's population is 248,709,873

1901-2000 population United States N.A.
1990 The Americans with Disabilities Act is signed into law on July 26 by President George Herbert Walker Bush. 1901-2000 health & medicine United States District of Columbia
1990 On December 25, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Tim Berners-Lee makes the first successful transmission of data between a computer client and server and thus launches the World Wide Web. 1901-2000 science & technology United States Massachusetts
1991 On October 23, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Clarence Thomas is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court after controversial confirmation process. 1901-2000 politics United States District of Columbia
1992

On May 7, the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits Congressional pay raises from taking effect until the next session, becomes law when it is ratified by New Jersey.

1901-2000 constitutional amendments United States New Jersey
1992

On November 3, former Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton defeats President George H.W. Bush to become the forty-second President of the U.S.

1901-2000 politics United States Arkansas
1993 Terrorists attack the World Trade Center in New York on February 26, killing seven people. 1901-2000 violence United States New York
1993

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, the United States, and Mexico, is signed into law by President Bill Clinton on December 8.

1901-2000 the economy N.A. District of Columbia
1996 The Welfare Reform Act is signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 22. The law ends lifetime welfare payments. 1901-2000 the economy United States District of Columbia
1997 On July 1, Great Britain turns over Hong Kong to Mainland China. 1901-2000 international affairs N.A. N.A.
1997 On July 4, the U.S. Spacecraft Pathfinder lands on Mars. 1901-2000 science & technology United States N.A.
1998 The Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal becomes public on January 17. The House of Representatives votes to impeach President Clinton on December 19, but he is acquitted by the Senate on February 12, 1999. 1901-2000 politics United States District of Columbia
1998

On August 7, U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania are simultaneously bombed by terrorists, killing 224 people.

1901-2000 violence & terrorism N.A. N.A.
1999 On November 30, over 40,000 demonstrators protested the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in what became the largest public demonstrations of the 1990s. 1901-2000 the economy United States Washington
2000

The twenty-second U.S. census reveals that the nation's population on April 1 is 281,421,906

1901-2000 population United States N.A.
2000 On May 24, President Bill Clinton signs legislation normalizing trade relations with China. 1901-2000 international affairs United States District of Columbia
2000

On November 7, Vice President Al Gore wins the majority of the popular vote but Texas Governor George W. Bush wins the Electoral College to become the forty-third President of the U.S.

1901-2000 politics United States Texas