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1900 – 1909 World History


Hurricane ravages Galveston, Tex.; 6,000–8,000 dead. Fauvist movement in painting begins, led by Henri Matisse. Sigmund Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams. Carrie Chapman Catt succeeds Susan B. Anthony as president of National Woman Suffrage Association.


Queen Victoria dies, and is succeeded by her son, Edward VII. As President McKinley begins second term, he is shot fatally by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. Theodore Roosevelt sworn in as successor.


Enrico Caruso's first gramophone recording. Aswan Dam completed.


Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, fly first powered, controlled, heavier-than-air plane at Kitty Hawk, N.C. Henry Ford organizes Ford Motor Company. The Boston Red Sox win the first World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. W.E.B. Du Bois publishes The Souls of Black Folk.


Russo-Japanese War begins—competition for Korea and Manchuria. Entente Cordiale: Britain and France settle their international differences. General theory of radioactivity by Rutherford and Soddy. New York City subway opens.


In Russo-Japanese War, Port Arthur surrenders to Japanese; Russia suffers other defeats. President Roosevelt mediates Treaty of Portsmouth, N.H., which recognizes Japan's control of Korea and restores southern Manchuria to China. The Russian Revolution of 1905 begins on “Bloody Sunday” when troops fire onto a defenseless group of demonstrators in St. Petersburg. Strikes and riots follow. Sailors on battleship Potemkin mutiny; reforms, including first Duma (parliament), established by Czar Nicholas II's “October Manifesto.” Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity and other key theories in physics. Franz Lehar's Merry Widow.


San Francisco earthquake and three-day fire; more than 500 dead. Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer, fixes magnetic North Pole.


Second Hague Peace Conference, of 46 nations, adopts 10 conventions on rules of war. Financial panic of 1907 in U.S. Mahler begins work on “Song of the Earth.” Oklahoma becomes 46th state. Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon introduces cubism.


Earthquake kills 150,000 in southern Italy and Sicily. U.S. Supreme Court, in Danbury Hatters' case, outlaws secondary union boycotts. Model T produced by Ford Motor Company.


North Pole reportedly reached by American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded in New York by prominent black and white intellectuals and led by W.E.B. Du Bois.

1910 – 1919 World History


Boy Scouts of America incorporated. Angel Island, in San Francisco Bay, becomes immigration center for Asians entering U.S.


First use of aircraft as offensive weapon in Turkish-Italian War. Italy defeats Turks and annexes Tripoli and Libya. Chinese Republic proclaimed after revolution overthrows Manchu dynasty. Sun Yat-sen named president. Mexican Revolution: Porfirio Diaz, president since 1877, replaced by Francisco Madero. Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in New York; 146 killed. Amundsen reaches South Pole. Ernest Rutherford discovers the structure of the atom. Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. Irving Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band.


Balkan Wars (1912–1913) resulting from territorial disputes: Turkey defeated by alliance of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, and Montenegro; London peace treaty (1913) partitions most of European Turkey among the victors. In second war (1913), Bulgaria attacks Serbia and Greece and is defeated after Romania intervenes and Turks recapture Adrianople. Titanic sinks on maiden voyage; over 1,500 drown. New Mexico and Arizona admitted as states.


Suffragists demonstrate in London. Garment workers strike in New York and Boston; win pay raise and shorter hours. Henry Ford develops first moving assembly line. 16th Amendment (income tax) and 17th (popular election of U.S. senators) adopted. Bill creating U.S. Federal Reserve System becomes law. Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Woodrow Wilson becomes 28th U.S. president. Armory Show introduces modern art to U.S.; Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase shocks public.


World War I begins: Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and wife Sophie are assassinated; Austria declares war on Serbia, Germany on Russia and France, Britain on Germany. (For detailed chronology see, World War I.) Panama Canal officially opened. Congress sets up Federal Trade Commission, passes Clayton Antitrust Act. U.S. Marines occupy Veracruz, Mexico, intervening in civil war to protect American interests.


Lusitania sunk by German submarine. Second Battle of Ypres. U.S. banks lend $500 million to France and Britain. Genocide of estimated 600,000 to 1 million Armenians by Turkish soldiers. D. W. Griffith's film Birth of a Nation. Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.


Congress expands armed forces. Battle of Verdun. Battle of the Somme. Tom Mooney arrested for San Francisco bombing (pardoned in 1939). Pershing fails in raid into Mexico in quest of rebel Pancho Villa. U.S. buys Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million. President Wilson re-elected with “he kept us out of war” slogan. “Black Tom” explosion at munitions dock in Jersey City, N.J., $40,000,000 damages; traced to German saboteurs. Margaret Sanger opens first birth control clinic. Easter Rebellion in Ireland put down by British troops. Jeannette Rankin becomes first woman elected to Congress.


First U.S. combat troops in France as U.S. declares war on Germany (April 6). Third Battle of Ypres. Russian Revolution of 1917—climax of long unrest under czars. February Revolution—Nicholas II forced to abdicate, liberal government created. Kerensky becomes prime minister and forms provisional government (July). In October Revolution, Bolsheviks seize power in armed coup d'état led by Lenin and Trotsky. Kerensky flees. Balfour Declaration promises Jewish homeland in Palestine. U.S. declares war on Austria-Hungary (Dec. 7). Armistice between new Russian Bolshevik government and Germans (Dec. 15). Sigmund Freud's Introduction to Psychoanalysis.


Russian revolutionaries execute the former czar and his family. Russian Civil War between Reds (Bolsheviks) and Whites (anti-Bolsheviks); Reds win in 1920. Allied troops (U.S., British, French) intervene (March); leave in 1919. Second Battle of the Marne (July–Aug.) German Kaiser abdicates (Nov.); hostilities cease on the Western Front. Japanese hold Vladivostok until 1922. Worldwide influenza epidemic strikes; by 1920, nearly 20 million are dead. In U.S. alone, 500,000 perish.


Third International (Comintern) establishes Soviet control over international Communist movements. Paris peace conference. Versailles Treaty, incorporating Woodrow Wilson's draft Covenant of League of Nations, signed by Allies and Germany; rejected by U.S. Senate. Congress formally ends war in 1921. 18th (Prohibition) Amendment adopted. Alcock and Brown make first trans-Atlantic nonstop flight. Mahatma Gandhi initiates satyagraha (“truth force”) campaigns, beginning his nonviolent resistance movement against British rule in India.

1920 – 1929 World History


League of Nations holds first meeting at Geneva, Switzerland. U.S. Dept. of Justice “red hunt” nets thousands of radicals; aliens deported. Women's suffrage (19th) amendment ratified. Treaty of Sèvres dissolves Ottoman Empire. First Agatha Christie mystery. Sinclair Lewis's Main Street.


Reparations Commission fixes German liability at 132 billion gold marks. German inflation begins. Major treaties signed at Washington Disarmament Conference limit naval tonnage and pledge to respect territorial integrity of China. In U.S., Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Italian-born anarchists, convicted of armed robbery murder; case stirs worldwide protests; they are executed in 1927.


Mussolini marches on Rome; forms Fascist government. Irish Free State, a self-governing dominion of British Empire, officially proclaimed. Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey, overthrows last sultan. James Joyce's Ulysses.


Adolf Hitler's “Beer Hall Putsch” in Munich fails; in 1924 he is sentenced to five years in prison where he writes Mein Kampf; released after eight months. Occupation of Ruhr by French and Belgian troops to enforce reparations payments. Widespread Ku Klux Klan violence in U.S. Earthquake destroys third of Tokyo. George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Bessie Smith, known as “the Empress of the Blues,” makes her first record. Irish poet William Butler Yeats wins Nobel Prize in Literature.


Death of Lenin; Stalin wins power struggle, rules as Soviet dictator until death in 1953. Italian Fascists murder Socialist leader Giacomo Matteotti. Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall and oilmen Harry Sinclair and Edward L. Doheny are charged with conspiracy and bribery in the Teapot Dome scandal, involving fraudulent leases of naval oil reserves. In 1931, Fall is sentenced to year in prison; Doheny and Sinclair acquitted of bribery. Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb convicted in “thrill killing” of Bobby Franks in Chicago; defended by Clarence Darrow; sentenced to life imprisonment. (Loeb killed by fellow convict in 1936; Leopold paroled in 1958, dies in 1971.) Robert Frost wins first of four Pulitzers.


Nellie Tayloe Ross elected governor of Wyoming; first woman governor elected in U.S. Locarno conferences seek to secure European peace by mutual guarantees. John T. Scopes convicted and fined for teaching evolution in a public school in Tennessee “Monkey Trial”; sentence set aside. John Logie Baird, Scottish inventor, transmits human features by television. Hitler publishes Volume I of Mein Kampf.


General strike in Britain brings nation's activities to standstill. U.S. marines dispatched to Nicaragua during revolt; they remain until 1933. Gertrude Ederle of U.S. is first woman to swim English Channel. Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.


German economy collapses. Socialists riot in Vienna; general strike follows acquittal of Nazis for political murder. Trotsky expelled from Russian Communist Party. Charles A. Lindbergh flies first successful solo nonstop flight from New York to Paris. Ruth Snyder and Judd Gray convicted of murder of Albert Snyder; they are executed at Sing Sing prison in 1928. Philo T. Farnsworth demonstrates working television model. Georges Lemaître proposes Big Bang Theory. Babe Ruth hits 60 home runs in the season; record stands for next 34 years. The Jazz Singer, with Al Jolson, first part-talking motion picture.


Kellogg-Briand Pact, outlawing war, signed in Paris by 65 nations. Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin. Richard E. Byrd starts expedition to Antarctic; returns in 1930. Anthropologist Margaret Mead publishes Coming of Age in Samoa. Final volume of Oxford English Dictionary published after 44 years of research.


Trotsky expelled from USSR Lateran Treaty establishes independent Vatican City. In U.S., stock market prices collapse, with U.S. securities losing $26 billion—first phase of Depression and world economic crisis. St. Valentine's Day gangland massacre in Chicago. Edwin Powell Hubble proposes theory of expanding universe

1930 – 1939 World History


Britain, U.S., Japan, France, and Italy sign naval disarmament treaty. Nazis gain in German elections. Cyclotron developed by Ernest O. Lawrence, U.S. physicist. Pluto discovered by astronomers.


Spain becomes a republic with overthrow of King Alfonso XIII. German industrialists finance 800,000-strong Nazi party. British parliament enacts statute of Westminster, legalizing dominion equality with Britain. Mukden Incident begins Japanese occupation of Manchuria. In U.S., Hoover proposes one-year moratorium of war debts. Harold C. Urey discovers heavy hydrogen. Gangster Al Capone sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion (freed in 1939; dies in 1947). Notorious Scottsboro trial begins, exposing depth of Southern racism. “The Star Spangled Banner” officially becomes national anthem.


Nazis lead in German elections with 230 Reichstag seats. Famine in USSR. In U.S., Congress sets up Reconstruction Finance Corporation to stimulate economy. Veterans march on Washington—most leave after Senate rejects payment of cash bonuses; others removed by troops under Douglas MacArthur. U.S. protests Japanese aggression in Manchuria. Amelia Earhart is first woman to fly Atlantic solo. Charles A. Lindbergh's baby son kidnapped, killed. (Bruno Richard Hauptmann arrested in 1934, convicted in 1935, executed in 1936.)


Hitler appointed German chancellor, gets dictatorial powers. Reichstag fire in Berlin; Nazi terror begins. Germany and Japan withdraw from League of Nations. Giuseppe Zangara executed for attempted assassination of president-elect Roosevelt in which Chicago mayor Cermak is fatally shot. Roosevelt inaugurated (“the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”); launches New Deal. Prohibition repealed. USSR recognized by U.S.


Chancellor Dollfuss of Austria assassinated by Nazis. Hitler becomes führer. USSR admitted to League of Nations. Dionne sisters, first quintuplets to survive beyond infancy, born in Canada. Mao Zedong begins the Long March north with 100,000 soldiers.


Saar incorporated into Germany after plebiscite. Nazis repudiate Versailles Treaty, introduce compulsory military service. Mussolini invades Ethiopia; League of Nations invokes sanctions. Roosevelt opens second phase of New Deal in U.S., calling for social security, better housing, equitable taxation, and farm assistance. Huey Long assassinated in Louisiana.


Germans occupy Rhineland. Italy annexes Ethiopia. Rome-Berlin Axis proclaimed (Japan to join in 1940). Trotsky exiled to Mexico. King George V dies; succeeded by son, Edward VIII, who soon abdicates to marry an American-born divorcée, and is succeeded by brother, George VI. Spanish civil war begins. Hundreds of Americans join the “Lincoln Brigades.” (Franco's fascist forces defeat Loyalist forces by 1939, when Madrid falls.) War between China and Japan begins, to continue through World War II. Japan and Germany sign anti-Comintern pact; joined by Italy in 1937.


Hitler repudiates war guilt clause of Versailles Treaty; continues to build German power. Italy withdraws from League of Nations. U.S. gunboat Panay sunk by Japanese in Yangtze River. Japan invades China, conquers most of coastal area. Amelia Earhart lost somewhere in Pacific on round-the-world flight. Picasso's Guernica mural.


Hitler marches into Austria; political and geographical union of Germany and Austria proclaimed. Munich Pact > Britain, France, and Italy agree to let Germany partition Czechoslovakia. Douglas “Wrong-Way” Corrigan flies from New York to Dublin. Fair Labor Standards Act establishes minimum wage. Orson Welles's radio broadcast War of the Worlds.


Germany invades Poland; occupies Bohemia and Moravia; renounces pact with England and concludes 10-year non-aggression pact with USSR. Russo-Finnish War begins; Finns to lose one-tenth of territory in 1940 peace treaty. World War II begins.(For detailed chronology, see World War II.) In U.S., Roosevelt submits $1,319-million defense budget, proclaims U.S. neutrality, and declares limited emergency. Einstein writes FDR about feasibility of atomic bomb. New York World's Fair opens. DAR refuses to allow Marian Anderson to perform. Gone with the Wind premieres.

1940 – 1949 World History


Hitler invades Norway, Denmark (April 9), the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg (May 10), and France (May 12). Churchill becomes Britain's prime minister. Trotsky assassinated in Mexico (Aug. 20). Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania annexed by USSR. U.S. trades 50 destroyers for leases on British bases in Western Hemisphere. Selective Service Act signed. The first official network television broadcast is put out by NBC.


Germany attacks the Balkans and Russia. Japanese surprise attack on U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor brings U.S. into World War II; U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. Manhattan Project (atomic bomb research) begins. Roosevelt enunciates “four freedoms,” signs Lend-Lease Act, declares national emergency, promises aid to USSR. Orson Welles's Citizen Kane.


Declaration of United Nations signed in Washington (Jan. 1). Nazi leaders attend Wannsee Conference to coordinate the “final solution to the Jewish question,” the systematic genocide of Jews known as the Holocaust. (For detailed chronology of the Holocaust, see The Holocaust.) Women's military services established. Enrico Fermi achieves nuclear chain reaction. More than 120,000 Japanese and persons of Japanese ancestry living in western U.S. moved to “relocation centers,” some for the duration of the war (Executive Order 9066). Coconut Grove nightclub fire in Boston kills 492 (Nov. 28).


Churchill and Roosevelt hold Casablanca Conference (Jan. 14–23). Mussolini deposed. President freezes prices, salaries, and wages to prevent inflation. Income tax withholding introduced.


Allies invade Normandy on D-Day (June 6). G.I. Bill of Rights enacted. Bretton Woods Conference creates International Monetary Fund and World Bank (July 1–22). Dumbarton Oaks Conference—U.S., British Commonwealth, and USSR propose establishment of United Nations (Aug. 21–Oct. 7). Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 16). Woody Guthrie records “This Land is Your Land.” Gunnar Myrdal's An American Dilemma.


Yalta Conference (Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin) plans final defeat of Germany
(Feb. 4–11). FDR dies (April 12). Hitler commits suicide (April 30); Germany surrenders (May 7); May 8 is declared V-E Day. Potsdam Conference (Truman, Churchill, Stalin) establishes basis of German reconstruction (July–Aug.). U.S. drops atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9). Japan signs official surrender on V-J Day (Sept. 2). United Nations established (Oct. 24). First electronic computer, ENIAC, built.


First meeting of UN General Assembly opens in London (Jan. 10). Winston Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech warns of Soviet expansion (March 5). League of Nations dissolved (April). Italy abolishes monarchy (June). Verdict in Nuremberg war trial: 12 Nazi leaders (including 1 tried in absentia) sentenced to hang; 7 imprisoned; 3 acquitted (Oct. 1). Goering commits suicide a few hours before 10 other Nazis are executed (Oct. 15). Juan Perón becomes president of Argentina. Benjamin Spock's childcare classic published.


Britain nationalizes coal mines (Jan. 1). Peace treaties for Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland signed in Paris (Feb. 10). Soviet Union rejects U.S. plan for UN atomic-energy control (March 4). Truman proposes Truman Doctrine, which was to aid Greece and Turkey in resisting communist expansion (March 12). Marshall Plan for European recovery proposed—a coordinated program to help European nations recover from ravages of war (June). (By the time it ended in 1951, this “European Recovery Program” had cost $13 billion.) India and Pakistan gain independence from Britain (Aug. 15). U.S. Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager becomes first person to break the sound barrier (Oct. 14). Jackie Robinson joins the Brooklyn Dodgers. Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl published.


Gandhi assassinated in New Delhi by Hindu fanatic (Jan. 30). Burma (Jan. 4) and Ceylon (Feb. 4) granted independence by Britain. Communists seize power in Czechoslovakia (Feb. 23–25). Organization of American States (OAS) Charter signed at Bogotá, Colombia (April 30). Nation of Israel proclaimed; British end mandate at midnight; Arab armies attack (May 14). Berlin blockade begins (June 24), prompting Allied airlift (June 26). (Blockade ends May 12, 1949; airlift continues until Sept. 30, 1949.) Stalin and Tito break (June 28). Independent Republic of Korea is proclaimed, following election supervised by UN (Aug. 15). Verdict in Japanese war trial: 18 imprisoned (Nov. 12); Tojo and six others hanged (Dec. 23). United States of Indonesia established as Dutch and Indonesians settle conflict (Dec. 27). Alger Hiss, former U.S. State Department official, indicted on perjury charges after denying passing secret documents to communist spy ring; convicted in second trial (1950) and sentenced to five-year prison term. Truman ends racial segregation in military. Alfred Kinsey publishes Sexual Behavior in the American Male. Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire wins Pulitzer.


Cease-fire in Palestine (Jan. 7). Truman proposes Point Four Program to help world's less developed areas (Jan. 20). Israel signs armistice with Egypt (Feb. 24). Start of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—treaty signed by 12 nations (April 4). Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) established (May 23). First successful Soviet atomic test (July 14). Communist People's Republic of China formally proclaimed by Chairman Mao Zedong (Oct. 1). German Democratic Republic (East Germany) established under Soviet rule (Oct. 7). South Africa institutionalizes apartheid.

1950 – 1959 World History


Brink's robbery in Boston; almost $3 million stolen (Jan. 17). Truman orders development of hydrogen bomb (Jan. 31). Robert Schuman proposes Schuman Plan to pool European coal and steel (May 9). Korean War begins when North Korean Communist forces invade South Korea (June 25). (For detailed chronology, seeKorean War.) Assassination attempt on President Truman by Puerto Rican nationalists (Nov. 1). McCarthyism begins.


Julius and Ethel Rosenberg sentenced to death for passing atomic secrets to Russians (March). Spurred by Schuman Plan, six nations form European Coal and Steel Community (April); effective 1952. Japanese peace treaty signed in San Francisco by 49 nations (Sept. 8). Color television introduced in U.S. Libya gains independence (Dec. 24).


George VI dies; his daughter becomes Elizabeth II (Feb. 6). AEC announces “satisfactory” experiments in hydrogen-weapons research; eyewitnesses tell of blasts near Enewetak (Nov.). Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man.


Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower inaugurated president of United States (Jan. 20). Stalin dies (March 5). Malenkov becomes Soviet premier; Beria, minister of interior; Molotov, foreign minister (March 6). Dag Hammarskjöld begins term as UN secretary-general (April 10). James Watson and Francis Crick publish their discovery of the molecular model of DNA (April–May). Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal reach top of Mt. Everest (May 29). East Berliners rise against Communist rule; quelled by tanks (June 17). Egypt becomes republic ruled by military junta (June 18). Julius and Ethel Rosenberg executed in Sing Sing prison (June 19). Korean armistice signed (July 27). Moscow announces explosion of hydrogen bomb (Aug. 20). Tito becomes president of Yugoslavia. James Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin discover structure of DNA. Ernest Hemingway wins Pulitzer for The Old Man and the Sea.


First atomic submarine Nautilus launched (Jan. 21). Five U.S. congressmen shot on floor of House as Puerto Rican nationalists fire from spectators' gallery; all five recover (March 1). Soviet Union grants sovereignty to East Germany (March 23). Army v. McCarthy inquiry—Senate subcommittee report blames both sides (April 22–June 17). Dien Bien Phu, French military outpost in Vietnam, falls to Vietminh army (May 7). (For detailed chronology, see Vietnam War.) U.S. Supreme Court (in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka) unanimously bans racial segregation in public schools (May 17). Eisenhower launches world atomic pool without Soviet Union (Sept. 6). Eight-nation Southeast Asia defense treaty (SEATO) signed at Manila (Sept. 8). Dr. Jonas Salk starts inoculating children against polio. Algerian War of Independence against France begins (Nov.); France struggles to maintain colonial rule until 1962 when it agrees to Algeria's independence. William Faulkner's A Fable wins Pulitzer.


Nikolai A. Bulganin becomes Soviet premier, replacing Malenkov (Feb. 8). Churchill resigns; Anthony Eden succeeds him (April 6). West Germany becomes a sovereign state (May 5). Western European Union (WEU) comes into being (May 6). Warsaw Pact, east European mutual defense agreement, signed (May 14). Argentina ousts Perón (Sept. 19). President Eisenhower suffers coronary thrombosis in Denver (Sept. 24). Rosa Parks refuses to sit at the back of the bus. Martin Luther King, Jr., leads black boycott of Montgomery, Ala., bus system (Dec. 1); desegregated service begins Dec. 21, 1956. AFL and CIO become one organization—AFL-CIO (Dec. 5). Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof wins Pulitzer.


Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of USSR Communist Party, denounces Stalin's excesses (Feb. 24). First aerial H-bomb tested over Namu islet, Bikini Atoll > 10 million tons TNT equivalent (May 21). Workers' uprising against Communist rule in Poznan, Poland, is crushed (June 28–30); rebellion inspires Hungarian students to stage a protest against Communism in Budapest (Oct. 23). Egypt takes control of Suez Canal (July 26). Hungarian rebellion forces Soviet troops to withdraw from Budapest (Oct.). Israel launches attack on Egypt's Sinai peninsula and drives toward Suez Canal (Oct. 29). Imre Nagy announces Hungary's withdrawal from Warsaw Pact (Nov. 1); Soviet troops enter and reclaim Budapest (Nov. 4). British and French invade Port Said on the Suez Canal (Nov. 5). Cease-fire forced by U.S. pressure stops British, French, and Israeli advance (Nov. 6). Morocco gains independence. Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Allen Ginsberg's Howl.


Eisenhower Doctrine calls for aid to Mideast countries which resist armed aggression from Communist-controlled nations (Jan. 5). The “Little Rock Nine” integrate Arkansas high school. Eisenhower sends troops to quell mob and protect school integration (Sept. 24). Russians launch Sputnik I, first Earth-orbiting satellite—the Space Age begins (Oct. 4).


European Economic Community (Common Market) becomes effective (Jan. 1). Army's Jupiter-C rocket fires first U.S. Earth satellite, Explorer I, into orbit (Jan. 31). Egypt and Syria merge into United Arab Republic (Feb. 1). Khrushchev becomes premier of Soviet Union as Bulganin resigns (Mar. 27). Gen. Charles de Gaulle becomes French premier (June 1), remaining in power until 1969. Eisenhower orders U.S. Marines into Lebanon at request of President Chamoun, who fears overthrow (July 15). New French constitution adopted (Sept. 28), de Gaulle elected president of 5th Republic (Dec. 21).


Cuban President Batista resigns and flees—Castro takes over (Jan. 1). Tibet's Dalai Lama escapes to India (Mar. 31). St. Lawrence Seaway opens, allowing ocean ships to reach Midwest (April 25). Alaska and Hawaii become states. Leakeys discover hominid fossils.

1960 – 1969 World History


American U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, shot down over Russia (May 1). Khrushchev kills Paris summit conference because of U-2 (May 16). Top Nazi murderer of Jews, Adolf Eichmann, captured by Israelis in Argentina (May 23)—executed in Israel in 1962. Powers sentenced to prison for 10 years (Aug. 19)—freed in February 1962 in exchange for Soviet spy. Communist China and Soviet Union split in conflict over Communist ideology. Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Madagascar, and Zaire (Belgian Congo) gain independence. Cuba begins confiscation of $770 million of U.S. property (Aug. 7). There are 900 U.S. military advisers in South Vietnam.


U.S. breaks diplomatic relations with Cuba (Jan. 3). Robert Frost recites “The Gift Outright” at John F. Kennedy's inauguration as president of U.S. (Jan. 20). Moscow announces putting first man in orbit around Earth, Maj. Yuri A. Gagarin (April 12). Cuba invaded at Bay of Pigs by an estimated 1,200 anti-Castro exiles aided by U.S.; invasion crushed (April 17). First U.S. spaceman, Navy Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr., rockets 116.5 miles up in 302-mile trip (May 5). Virgil Grissom becomes second American astronaut, making 118-mile-high, 303-mile-long rocket flight over Atlantic (July 21). Gherman Stepanovich Titov is launched in Soviet spaceship Vostok II: makes 171/2 orbits in 25 hours, covering 434,960 miles before landing safely (Aug. 6). East Germans erect Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin to halt flood of refugees (Aug. 13). USSR fires 50-megaton hydrogen bomb, biggest explosion in history (Oct. 29). There are 2,000 U.S. military advisers in South Vietnam.


Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr., is first American to orbit Earth—three times in 4 hr 55 min (Feb. 20). France transfers sovereignty to new republic of Algeria (July 3). Cuban missile crisis > USSR to build missile bases in Cuba; Kennedy orders Cuban blockade, lifts blockade after Russians back down (Aug.–Nov.). James H. Meredith, escorted by federal marshals, registers at University of Mississippi (Oct. 1). Pope John XXIII opens Second Vatican Council (Oct. 11)—Council holds four sessions, finally closing Dec. 8, 1965. Cuba releases 1,113 prisoners of 1961 invasion attempt (Dec. 24). Burundi, Jamaica, Western Samoa, Uganda, and Trinidad and Tobago become independent. William Faulkner wins Pulitzer for The Reivers. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.


France and West Germany sign treaty of cooperation ending four centuries of conflict (Jan. 22). Michael E. De Bakey implants artificial heart in human for first time at Houston hospital; plastic device functions and patient lives for four days (April 21). Pope John XXIII dies (June 3)—succeeded June 21 by Cardinal Montini, who becomes Paul VI. U.S. Supreme Court rules no locality may require recitation of Lord's Prayer or Bible verses in public schools (June 17). U.K.'s Profumo scandal (June). Civil rights rally held by 200,000 blacks and whites in Washington, D.C.; Martin Luther King delivers “I have a dream” speech (Aug. 28). Washington-to-Moscow “hot line” communications link opens, designed to reduce risk of accidental war (Aug. 30). President Kennedy shot and killed by sniper in Dallas, Tex. Lyndon B. Johnson becomes president same day (Nov. 22). Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President Kennedy, is shot and killed by Jack Ruby, Dallas nightclub owner (Nov. 24). Kenya achieves independence. Betty Friedan publishes The Feminine Mystique. There are 15,000 U.S. military advisers in South Vietnam.


U.S. Supreme Court rules that congressional districts should be roughly equal in population (Feb. 17). Jack Ruby convicted of murder in slaying of Lee Harvey Oswald; sentenced to death by Dallas jury (March 14)—conviction reversed Oct. 5, 1966; Ruby dies Jan. 3, 1967, before second trial can be held. Three civil rights workers—Schwerner, Goodman, and Cheney—murdered in Mississippi (June). Twenty-one arrests result in trial and conviction of seven by federal jury. Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment (June 11). Congress approves Gulf of Tonkin resolution (Aug. 7). President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy issues Warren Report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show.


Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and more than 2,600 other blacks arrested in Selma, Ala., during three-day demonstrations against voter-registration rules (Feb. 1). Malcolm X, black-nationalist leader, shot to death at Harlem rally in New York City (Feb. 21). U.S. Marines land in Dominican Republic as fighting persists between rebels and Dominican army (April 28). Medicare, senior citizens' government medical assistance program, begins (July 1). Blacks riot for six days in Watts section of Los Angeles: 34 dead, over 1,000 injured, nearly 4,000 arrested, fire damage put at $175 million (Aug. 11–16). Power failure in Ontario plant blacks out parts of eight states of northeast U.S. and two provinces of southeast Canada (Nov. 9). Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed.


Black teenagers riot in Watts, Los Angeles; two men killed and at least 25 injured (March 15). Supreme Court decides Miranda v. Arizona.


Three Apollo astronauts—Col. Virgil I. Grissom, Col. Edward White II, and Lt. Cmdr. Roger B. Chaffee—killed in spacecraft fire during simulated launch (Jan. 27). Biafra secedes from Nigeria (May 30). Israeli and Arab forces battle; six-day war ends with Israel occupying Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, and east bank of Suez Canal (June 5). Red China announces explosion of its first hydrogen bomb (June 17). Racial violence in Detroit; 7,000 National Guardsmen aid police after night of rioting. Similar outbreaks occur in New York City's Spanish Harlem, Rochester, N.Y., Birmingham, Ala., and New Britain, Conn. (July 23). Thurgood Marshall sworn in as first black U.S. Supreme Court justice (Oct. 2). Dr. Christiaan N. Barnard and team of South African surgeons perform world's first successful human heart transplant (Dec. 3)—patient dies 18 days later.


North Korea seizes U.S. Navy ship Pueblo; holds 83 on board as spies (Jan. 23). Tet offensive, turning point in Vietnam war (Jan.–Feb.). My Lai massacre (March 16). President Johnson announces he will not seek or accept presidential renomination (March 31). Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader, is slain in Memphis (April 4)—James Earl Ray, indicted in murder, captured in London on June 8. In 1969 Ray pleads guilty and is sentenced to 99 years. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is shot and critically wounded in Los Angeles hotel after winning California primary (June 5)—dies June 6. Sirhan B. Sirhan convicted 1969. Czechoslovakia is invaded by Russians and Warsaw Pact forces to crush liberal regime (Aug. 20).


Richard M. Nixon is inaugurated 37th president of the U.S. (Jan. 20). Stonewall riot in New York City marks beginning of gay rights movement (June 28). Apollo 11 astronauts—Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins—take man's first walk on moon (July 20). Sen. Edward M. Kennedy pleads guilty to leaving scene of fatal accident at Chappaquiddick, Mass. (July 18), in which Mary Jo Kopechne was drowned—gets two-month suspended sentence (July 25). Woodstock Festival (Aug. 15–17). Sesame Street debuts. Internet (ARPA) goes online.

1970 – 1979 World History


Biafra surrenders after 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria (Jan. 15). Rhodesia severs last tie with British crown and declares itself a racially segregated republic (March 1). U.S. troops invade Cambodia (May 1). Four students at Kent State University in Ohio slain by National Guardsmen at demonstration protesting incursion into Cambodia (May 4). Senate repeals Gulf of Tonkin resolution (June 24).


Supreme Court rules unanimously that busing of students may be ordered to achieve racial desegregation (April 20). Anti-war militants attempt to disrupt government business in Washington (May 3)—police and military units arrest as many as 12,000; most are later released. Pentagon Papers published (June). Twenty-sixth Amendment to U.S. Constitution lowers voting age to 18. UN seats Communist China and expels Nationalist China (Oct. 25).


President Nixon makes unprecedented eight-day visit to Communist China and meets with Mao Zedong (Feb. 21–27). Britain takes over direct rule of Northern Ireland in bid for peace (March 24). Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama is shot by Arthur H. Bremer at Laurel, Md., political rally (May 15). Five men are apprehended by police in attempt to bug Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C.'s Watergate complex—start of the Watergate scandal (June 17). Supreme Court rules that death penalty is unconstitutional (June 29). Eleven Israeli athletes at Olympic Games in Munich are killed after eight members of an Arab terrorist group invade Olympic Village; five guerrillas and one policeman are also killed (Sept. 5). “Christmas bombing” of North Vietnam (Dec. 25).


Great Britain, Ireland, and Denmark enter European Economic Community (Jan. 1). Supreme Court rules on Roe v. Wade (Jan. 22). Vietnam War ends with signing of peace pacts (Jan. 27). Nixon, on national TV, accepts responsibility, but not blame, for Watergate; accepts resignations of advisers H. R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman, fires John W. Dean III as counsel (April 30). Greek military junta abolishes monarchy and proclaims republic (June 1). U.S. bombing of Cambodia ends, marking official halt to 12 years of combat activity in Southeast Asia (Aug. 15). Chile's Marxist president, Salvadore Allende, is overthrown (Sept. 11). Fourth and biggest Arab-Israeli conflict begins as Egyptian and Syrian forces attack Israel as Jews mark Yom Kippur, holiest day in their calendar (Oct. 6). Spiro T. Agnew resigns as vice president and then, in federal court in Baltimore, pleads no contest to charges of evasion of income taxes on $29,500 he received in 1967, while governor of Maryland. He is fined $10,000 and put on three years' probation (Oct. 10). In the “Saturday Night Massacre,” Nixon fires special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus; Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson resigns (Oct. 20). Egypt and Israel sign U.S.-sponsored cease-fire accord (Nov. 11). Duke Ellington's autobiography, Music Is My Mistress, is published.


Patricia Hearst, 19-year-old daughter of publisher Randolph Hearst, kidnapped by Symbionese Liberation Army (Feb. 5). House Judiciary Committee adopts three articles of impeachment charging President Nixon with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the committee (July 30). Richard M. Nixon announces he will resign the next day, the first president to do so (Aug. 8). Vice President Gerald R. Ford of Michigan is sworn in as 38th president of the U.S. (Aug. 9). Ford grants “full, free, and absolute pardon” to ex-president Nixon (Sept. 8).


John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman found guilty of Watergate cover-up (Jan. 1); sentenced to 30 months to 8 years in jail (Feb. 21). Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge take over Cambodia (April). American merchant ship Mayaguez, seized by Cambodian forces, is rescued in operation by U.S. Navy and Marines, 38 of whom are killed (May 15). Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft take off for U.S.-Soviet link-up in space (July 15). President Ford escapes assassination attempt in Sacramento, Calif. (Sept. 5). President Ford escapes second assassination attempt in 17 days (Sept. 22).


Supreme Court rules that blacks and other minorities are entitled to retroactive job seniority (March 24). Ford signs Federal Election Campaign Act (May 11). Supreme Court rules that death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual and is a constitutionally acceptable form of punishment (July 3). Nation celebrates bicentennial (July 4). Israeli airborne commandos attack Uganda's Entebbe Airport and free 103 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers of Air France plane; one Israeli and several Ugandan soldiers killed in raid (July 4). Mysterious disease that eventually claims 29 lives strikes American Legion convention in Philadelphia (Aug. 4). Jimmy Carter elected U.S. president (Nov. 2).


First woman Episcopal priest ordained (Jan. 1). Scientists identify previously unknown bacterium as cause of mysterious “legionnaire's disease” (Jan. 18). Carter pardons Vietnam draft evaders (Jan. 21). Scientists report using bacteria in lab to make insulin (May 23). Supreme Court rules that states are not required to spend Medicaid funds on elective abortions (June 20). Deng Xiaoping, purged Chinese leader, restored to power as “Gang of Four” is expelled from Communist Party (July 22). South African activist Stephen Biko dies in police custody (Sept. 12). Nuclear-proliferation pact, curbing spread of nuclear weapons, signed by 15 countries, including U.S. and USSR (Sept. 21).


President chooses Federal Appeals Court Judge William H. Webster as F.B.I. Director (Jan. 19). Rhodesia's prime minister Ian D. Smith and three black leaders agree on transfer to black majority rule (Feb. 15). U.S. Senate approves Panama Canal neutrality treaty (March 16); votes treaty to turn canal over to Panama by year 2000 (April 18). Former Italian premier Aldo Moro kidnapped by left wing terrorists, who kill five bodyguards (March 16); he is found slain (May 9). Californians in referendum approve Proposition 13 for nearly 60% slash in property tax revenues (June 6). Supreme Court, in Bakke case, bars quota systems in college admissions but affirms constitutionality of programs giving advantage to minorities (June 28). Pope Paul VI, dead at 80, mourned (Aug. 6); new Pope, John Paul I, 65, dies unexpectedly after 34 days in office (Sept. 28); succeeded by Karol Cardinal Wojtyla of Poland as John Paul II (Oct. 16). “Framework for Peace” in Middle East signed by Egypt's president Anwar Sadat and Israeli premier Menachem Begin after 13-day conference at Camp David led by President Carter (Sept. 17). Jim Jones's followers commit mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana (Nov. 18).


Oil spills pollute ocean waters in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico (Jan. 1, June 8, July 21). Ohio agrees to pay $675,000 to families of dead and injured in Kent State University shootings (Jan. 4). Vietnam and Vietnam-backed Cambodian insurgents announce fall of Phnom Penh, Cambodian capital, and collapse of Pol Pot regime (Jan. 7). Shah leaves Iran after year of turmoil (Jan. 16); revolutionary forces under Muslim leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, take over (Feb. 1 et seq.). Nuclear power plant accident at Three Mile Island, Pa., releases radiation (March 28). Conservatives win British election; Margaret Thatcher new prime minister (May 3). Carter and Brezhnev sign SALT II agreement (June 14). Nicaraguan president Gen. Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigns and flees to Miami (July 17); Sandinistas form government (July 19). Earl Mountbatten of Burma, 79, British World War II hero, and three others killed by blast on fishing boat off Irish coast (Aug. 27); two I.R.A. members accused (Aug. 30). Iranian militants seize U.S. embassy in Tehran and hold hostages (Nov. 4). Soviet invasion of Afghanistan stirs world protests (Dec. 27).
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