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Old Thursday, May 17, 2007
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Default World History

Ancient History

4.5 billion B.C.

Planet Earth formed.

3 billion B.C.

First signs of primeval life (bacteria and blue-green algae) appear in oceans.
600 million B.C.
Earliest date to which fossils can be traced.

4.4 million B.C.

Earliest known hominid fossils (Ardipithecus ramidus) found in Aramis, Ethiopia, 1994.

4.2 million B.C.

Australopithecus anamensis found in Lake Turkana, Kenya, 1995.
3.2 million B.C.
Australopithecus afarenis (nicknamed “Lucy”) found in Ethiopia, 1974.
2.5 million B.C.
Homo habilis (“Skillful Man”). First brain expansion; is believed to have used stone tools.

1.8 million B.C.

Homo erectus (“Upright Man”). Brain size twice that of Australopithecine species.

1.7 million B.C.

Homo erectus leaves Africa.

100,000 B.C.

First modern Homo sapiens in South Africa.

70,000 B.C.

Neanderthal man (use of fire and advanced tools).

35,000 B.C.

Neanderthal man replaced by later groups of Homo sapiens (i.e., Cro-Magnon man, etc.).

18,000 B.C.

Cro-Magnons replaced by later cultures.

15,000 B.C.

Migrations across Bering Straits into the Americas.

10,000 B.C.

Semi-permanent agricultural settlements in Old World.

10,000–4,000 B.C.

Development of settlements into cities and development of skills such as the wheel, pottery, and improved methods of cultivation in Mesopotamia and elsewhere.

5500–3000 B.C.

Predynastic Egyptian cultures develop (5500–3100 B.C.); begin using agriculture (c. 5000 B.C.). Earliest known civilization arises in Sumer (4500–4000 B.C.). Earliest recorded date in Egyptian calendar (4241 B.C.). First year of Jewish calendar (3760 B.C.). First phonetic writing appears (c. 3500 B.C.). Sumerians develop a city-state civilization (c. 3000 B.C.). Copper used by Egyptians and Sumerians. Western Europe is neolithic, without metals or written records.

3000–2000 B.C.

Pharaonic rule begins in Egypt. King Khufu (Cheops), 4th dynasty (2700–2675 B.C.), completes construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza (c. 2680 B.C.). The Great Sphinx of Giza (c. 2540 B.C.) is built by King Khafre. Earliest Egyptian mummies. Papyrus. Phoenician settlements on coast of what is now Syria and Lebanon. Semitic tribes settle in Assyria. Sargon, first Akkadian king, builds Mesopotamian empire. The Gilgamesh epic (c. 3000 B.C.). Systematic astronomy in Egypt, Babylon, India, China.

3000–1500 B.C.

The most ancient civilization on the Indian subcontinent, the sophisticated and extensive Indus Valley civilization, flourishes in what is today Pakistan. In Britain, Stonehenge erected according to some unknown astronomical rationale. Its three main phases of construction are thought to span c. 3000–1500 B.C.

2000–1500 B.C.

Hyksos invaders drive Egyptians from Lower Egypt (17th century B.C.). Amosis I frees Egypt from Hyksos (c. 1600 B.C.). Assyrians rise to power—cities of Ashur and Nineveh. Twenty-four-character alphabet in Egypt. Cuneiform inscriptions used by Hittites. Peak of Minoan culture on Isle of Crete—earliest form of written Greek. Hammurabi, king of Babylon, develops oldest existing code of laws (18th century B.C.).

1500–1000 B.C.

Ikhnaton develops monotheistic religion in Egypt (c. 1375 B.C.). His successor, Tutankhamen, returns to earlier gods. Greeks destroy Troy (c. 1193 B.C.). End of Greek civilization in Mycenae with invasion of Dorians. Chinese civilization develops under Shang Dynasty. Olmec civilization in Mexico—stone monuments; picture writing.

1000–900 B.C.

Solomon succeeds King David, builds Jerusalem temple. After Solomon's death, kingdom divided into Israel and Judah. Hebrew elders begin to write Old Testament books of Bible. Phoenicians colonize Spain with settlement at Cadiz.

900–800 B.C.

Phoenicians establish Carthage (c. 810 B.C.). The Iliad and the Odyssey, perhaps composed by Greek poet Homer.

800–700 B.C.

Prophets Amos, Hosea, Isaiah. First recorded Olympic games (776 B.C.). Legendary founding of Rome by Romulus (753 B.C.). Assyrian king Sargon II conquers Hittites, Chaldeans, Samaria (end of Kingdom of Israel). Earliest written music. Chariots introduced into Italy by Etruscans.

700–600 B.C.

End of Assyrian Empire (616 B.C.)—Nineveh destroyed by Chaldeans (Neo-Babylonians) and Medes (612 B.C.). Founding of Byzantium by Greeks (c. 660 B.C.). Building of the Acropolis in Athens. Solon, Greek lawgiver (640–560 B.C.). Sappho of Lesbos, Greek poet (fl. c. 610–580 B.C.). Lao-tse, Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism (born c. 604 B.C.).

600–500 B.C.

Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar builds empire, destroys Jerusalem (586 B.C.). Babylonian Captivity of the Jews (starting 587 B.C.). Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Cyrus the Great of Persia creates great empire, conquers Babylon (539 B.C.), frees the Jews. Athenian democracy develops. Aeschylus, Greek dramatist (525–465 B.C.). Pythagoras, Greek philosopher and mathematician (582?–507? B.C.). Confucius (551–479 B.C.) develops ethical and social philosophy in China. The Analects or Lun-yü (“collected sayings”) are compiled by the second generation of Confucian disciples. Buddha (563?–483? B.C.) founds Buddhism in India.

500–400 B.C.

Greeks defeat Persians: battles of Marathon (490 B.C.), Thermopylae (480 B.C.), Salamis (480 B.C.). Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta (431–404 B.C.)—Sparta victorious. Pericles comes to power in Athens (462 B.C.). Flowering of Greek culture during the Age of Pericles (450–400 B.C.). The Parthenon is built in Athens as a temple of the goddess Athena (447–432 B.C.). Ictinus and Callicrates are the architects and Phidias is responsible for the sculpture. Sophocles, Greek dramatist (496?–406 B.C.). Hippocrates, Greek “Father of Medicine” (born 460 B.C.). Xerxes I, king of Persia (rules 485–465 B.C.).

400–300 B.C.

Pentateuch—first five books of the Old Testament evolve in final form. Philip of Macedon, who believed himself to be a descendant of the Greek people, assassinated (336 B.C.) after subduing the Greek city-states; succeeded by son, Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.), who destroys Thebes (335 B.C.), conquers Tyre and Jerusalem (332 B.C.), occupies Babylon (330 B.C.), invades India, and dies in Babylon. His empire is divided among his generals; one of them, Seleucis I, establishes Middle East empire with capitals at Antioch (Syria) and Seleucia (in Iraq). Trial and execution of Greek philosopher Socrates (399 B.C.). Dialogues recorded by his student, Plato (c. 427–348 or 347 B.C.). Euclid's work on geometry (323 B.C.). Aristotle, Greek philosopher (384–322 B.C.). Demosthenes, Greek orator (384–322 B.C.). Praxiteles, Greek sculptor (400–330 B.C.).

300–251 B.C.

First Punic War (264–241 B.C.): Rome defeats the Carthaginians and begins its domination of the Mediterranean. Temple of the Sun at Teotihuacán, Mexico (c. 300 B.C.). Invention of Mayan calendar in Yucatán—more exact than older calendars. First Roman gladiatorial games (264 B.C.). Archimedes, Greek mathematician (287–212 B.C.).

250–201 B.C.

Second Punic War (219–201 B.C.): Hannibal, Carthaginian general (246–142 B.C.), crosses the Alps (218 B.C.), reaches gates of Rome (211 B.C.), retreats, and is defeated by Scipio Africanus at Zama (202 B.C.). Great Wall of China built (c. 215 B.C.).

200–151 B.C.

Romans defeat Seleucid King Antiochus III at Thermopylae (191 B.C.)—beginning of Roman world domination. Maccabean revolt against Seleucids (167 B.C.).

150–101 B.C.

Third Punic War (149–146 B.C.): Rome destroys Carthage, killing 450,000 and enslaving the remaining 50,000 inhabitants. Roman armies conquer Macedonia, Greece, Anatolia, Balearic Islands, and southern France. Venus de Milo (c. 140 B.C.). Cicero, Roman orator (106–43 B.C.).

100–51 B.C.

Julius Caesar (100–44 B.C.) invades Britain (55 B.C.) and conquers Gaul (France) (c. 50 B.C.). Spartacus leads slave revolt against Rome (71 B.C.). Romans conquer Seleucid empire. Roman general Pompey conquers Jerusalem (63 B.C.). Cleopatra on Egyptian throne (51–31 B.C.). Chinese develop use of paper (c. 100 B.C.). Virgil, Roman poet (70–19 B.C.). Horace, Roman poet (65–8 B.C.).

50–1 B.C.

Caesar crosses Rubicon to fight Pompey (50 B.C.). Herod made Roman governor of Judea (37 B.C.). Caesar murdered (44 B.C.). Caesar's nephew, Octavian, defeats Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Battle of Actium (31 B.C.), and establishes Roman empire as Emperor Augustus; rules 27 B.C.–A.D. 14. Pantheon built for the first time under Agrippa, 27 B.C. Ovid, Roman poet (43 B.C.–A.D. 18).

1–999 (A.D.) World History


Birth of Jesus Christ (variously given from 4 B.C. to A.D. 7). After Augustus, Tiberius becomes emperor (dies, A.D. 37), succeeded by Caligula (assassinated, A.D. 41), who is followed by Claudius. Crucifixion of Jesus (probably A.D. 30). Han dynasty in China founded by Emperor Kuang Wu Ti. Buddhism introduced to China.


Claudius poisoned (A.D. 54), succeeded by Nero (commits suicide, A.D. 68). Missionary journeys of Paul the Apostle (A.D. 34–60). Jews revolt against Rome; Jerusalem destroyed (A.D. 70). Roman persecutions of Christians begin (A.D. 64). Colosseum built in Rome (A.D. 71–80). Trajan (rules A.D. 98–116); Roman empire extends to Mesopotamia, Arabia, Balkans. First Gospels of St. Mark, St. John, St. Matthew.


Hadrian rules Rome (A.D. 117–138); codifies Roman law, rebuilds Pantheon, establishes postal system, builds wall between England and Scotland. Jews revolt under Bar Kokhba (A.D. 122–135); final Diaspora (dispersion) of Jews begins.


Marcus Aurelius rules Rome (A.D. 161–180). Oldest Mayan temples in Central America (c. A.D. 200).


Goths invade Asia Minor (c. A.D. 220). Roman persecutions of Christians increase. Persian (Sassanid) empire re-established. End of Chinese Han dynasty.


Increasing invasions of the Roman empire by Franks and Goths. Buddhism spreads in China. Classic period of Mayan civilization (A.D. 250–900); develop hieroglyphic writing, advances in art, architecture, science.


Constantine the Great (rules A.D. 312–337) reunites eastern and western Roman empires, with new capital (Constantinople) on site of Byzantium (A.D. 330); issues Edict of Milan legalizing Christianity (A.D. 313); becomes a Christian on his deathbed (A.D. 337). Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) defines orthodox Christian doctrine. First Gupta dynasty in India (c. A.D. 320).


Huns (Mongols) invade Europe (c. A.D. 360). Theodosius the Great (rules A.D. 392–395)—last emperor of a united Roman empire. Roman empire permanently divided in A.D. 395: western empire ruled from Rome; eastern empire ruled from Constantinople.


Western Roman empire disintegrates under weak emperors. Alaric, king of the Visigoths, sacks Rome (A.D. 410). Attila, Hun chieftain, attacks Roman provinces (A.D. 433). St. Patrick returns to Ireland (A.D. 432) and brings Christianity to the island. St. Augustine's City of God (A.D. 411).


Vandals destroy Rome (A.D. 455). Western Roman empire ends as Odoacer, German chieftain, overthrows last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, and becomes king of Italy (A.D. 476). Ostrogothic kingdom of Italy established by Theodoric the Great (A.D. 493). Clovis, ruler of the Franks, is converted to Christianity (A.D. 496). First schism between western and eastern churches (A.D. 484).


Eastern and western churches reconciled (519). Justinian I, the Great (483–565), becomes Byzantine emperor (527), issues his first code of civil laws (529), conquers North Africa, Italy, and part of Spain. Plague spreads through Europe (542 et seq.). Arthur, semi-legendary king of the Britons (killed, c. 537). Boëthius, Roman scholar (executed, 524).


Beginnings of European silk industry after Justinian's missionaries smuggle silkworms out of China (553). Mohammed, founder of Islam (570–632). Buddhism in Japan (c. 560). St. Augustine of Canterbury brings Christianity to Britain (597). After killing about half the population, plague in Europe subsides (594).


Mohammed flees from Mecca to Medina (the Hegira); first year of the Muslim calendar (622). Muslim empire grows (634). Arabs conquer Jerusalem (637), conquer Persians (641).


Arabs attack North Africa (670), destroy Carthage (697). Venerable Bede, English monk (672–735).


Arab empire extends from Lisbon to China (by 716). Charles Martel, Frankish leader, defeats Arabs at Tours/Poitiers, halting Arab advance in Europe (732). Charlemagne (742–814). Introduction of pagodas in Japan from China.


Charlemagne becomes king of the Franks (771). Caliph Harun al-Rashid rules Arab empire (786–809): the “golden age” of Arab culture. Vikings begin attacks on Britain (790), land in Ireland (795). City of Machu Picchu flourishes in Peru.


Charlemagne crowned first Holy Roman Emperor in Rome (800). Charlemagne dies (814), succeeded by his son, Louis the Pious, who divides France among his sons (817). Arabs conquer Crete, Sicily, and Sardinia (826–827).


Norsemen attack as far south as the Mediterranean but are thwarted (859), discover Iceland (861). Alfred the Great becomes king of Britain (871), defeats Danish invaders (878). Russian nation founded by Vikings under Prince Rurik, establishing capital at Novgorod (855–879).


Beginning of Mayan Post-Classical period (900–1519). Vikings discover Greenland (c. 900). Arab Spain under Abd ar-Rahman III becomes center of learning (912–961). Otto I becomes King of Germany (936).


Mieczyslaw I becomes first ruler of Poland (960). Eric the Red establishes first Viking colony in Greenland (982). Hugh Capet elected King of France in 987; Capetian dynasty to rule until 1328. Musical notation systematized (c. 990). Vikings and Danes attack Britain (988–999). Otto I crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XII (962).
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Old Thursday, May 17, 2007
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1000–1099 (A.D.) World History

c. 1000–1300

Classic Pueblo period of Anasazi culture; cliff dwellings.

c. 1000

Hungary and Scandinavia converted to Christianity. Viking raider Leif Eriksson discovers North America, calls it Vinland. Beowulf, Old English epic.

c. 1008

Murasaki Shikibu finishes The Tale of Genji, the world's first novel.


Muslims destroy Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.


Danes control England. Canute takes throne (1016), conquers Norway (1028), dies (1035); kingdom divided among his sons: Harold Harefoot (England), Sweyn (Norway), Hardecanute (Denmark).


Macbeth murders Duncan, king of Scotland.


Robert Guiscard, Norman invader, establishes kingdom in Italy, conquers Sicily


Final separation between Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Roman) churches.


Seljuk Turks, Asian nomads, move west, capture Baghdad, Armenia (1064), Syria, and Palestine (1075).


William of Normandy invades England, defeats last Saxon king, Harold II, at Battle of Hastings, crowned William I of England (“the Conqueror”).


Construction on the cathedral in Pisa, Italy, begins.


Emergence of strong papacy when Gregory VII is elected. Conflict with English and French kings and German emperors will continue throughout medieval period.


At Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II calls for a holy war to wrest control of Jerusalem from Muslims, which launches the First Crusade (1096), one of at least 8 European military campaigns between 1095 and 1291 to regain the Holy Land. (For detailed chronology, see The Crusades.)

1100–1199 (A.D.) World History


Construction of Cathedral at Chartres, France.


Second Crusade begins.

c. 1150

Angkor Wat is completed.


Universities of Paris and Oxford founded in France and England.


Thomas á Becket named Archbishop of Canterbury, murdered by Henry II's men (1170). Troubadours (wandering minstrels) glorify romantic concepts of feudalism.


Ibn-Rushd begins translating Aristotle's works.
Richard I (“the Lionhearted”) succeeds Henry II in England, killed in France (1199), succeeded by King John. Third Crusade.

1200–1299 (A.D.) World History


Fourth Crusade.


Genghis Khan invades China, captures Peking (1214), conquers Persia (1218), invades Russia (1223), dies (1227).


Children's Crusade.


King John forced by barons to sign Magna Carta at Runneymede, limiting royal power.


Fifth Crusade.


Sixth Crusade.


The Inquisition begins as Pope Gregory IX assigns Dominicans responsibility for combating heresy. Torture used (1252). Ferdinand and Isabella establish Spanish Inquisition (1478). Tourquemada, Grand Inquisitor, forces conversion or expulsion of Spanish Jews (1492). Forced conversion of Moors (1499). Inquisition in Portugal (1531). First Protestants burned at the stake in Spain (1543). Spanish Inquisition abolished (1834).


Mongols defeat Germans in Silesia, invade Poland and Hungary, withdraw from Europe after Ughetai, Mongol leader, dies.


Seventh Crusade.


Kublai Khan governs China, becomes ruler of Mongols (1259), establishes Yuan dynasty in China (1280), invades Burma (1287), dies (1294).


Chartres cathedral consecrated.


Eighth Crusade.


Marco Polo of Venice travels to China, in court of Kublai Khan (1275–1292), returns to Genoa (1295) and writes Travels.


Thomas Aquinas stops work on Summa Theologica, the basis of all Catholic theological teaching; never completes it.


English King Edward I summons the Model Parliament.

What is the Crusades ?

In 1095 at Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II calls for war to rescue Holy Land from Muslim infidels. The First Crusade (1096) is assembled in response to Emperor Alexius I. The Christians capture Antioch (1098) and Jerusalem (1099). They establish the Crusader States, ruled by Europeans. It is the only successful crusade. The Second Crusade begins after the Seljuk Turks recapture Edessa, one of the Crusader States, in 1144. It is led by King Louis VIII of France and Holy Roman Emperor Conrad III. Crusaders perish in Asia Minor (1147).

Saladin controls Egypt (1171), unites Islam in holy war (jihad) against Christians, recaptures Jerusalem (1187). Third Crusade (1189) under kings of France, England, and Germany fails to reduce Saladin's power. Fourth Crusade (1200–1204)—French knights sack Greek Christian Constantinople, establish Latin empire in Byzantium. Greeks reestablish Orthodox faith (1262).

Children's Crusade (1212)—only one of 30,000 French children and about 200 of 20,000 German children survive to return home. Other Crusades—Fifth, against Egypt (1217), Sixth (1228), Seventh (1248), Eighth (1270). Mamelukes conquer Acre; end of the Crusades (1291).
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1300–1399 (A.D.) World History


Mali Empire reaches its height in Africa under King Mansa Musa.

c. 1325

The beginning of the Renaissance in Italy: writers Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio; painter Giotto. Development of Noh drama in Japan. Aztecs establish Tenochtitlán on site of modern Mexico City. Peak of Muslim culture in Spain. Small cannon in use.


Hundred Years' War—English and French kings fight for control of France.


At least 25 million people die in Europe's “Black Death” (bubonic plague).


Ming Dynasty begins in China.


John Wycliffe, pre-Reformation religious reformer, and followers translate Latin Bible into English.


The Great Schism (to 1417)—rival popes in Rome and Avignon, France, fight for control of Roman Catholic Church.

c. 1387

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.


Tamerlane, the Mongol conqueror, begins last great conquest—Delhi.

1400–1499 (A.D.) World History


Casa di San Giorgio, one of the first public banks, founded in Genoa.


Henry V defeats French at Agincourt. Jan Hus, Bohemian preacher and follower of Wycliffe, burned at stake in Constance as heretic.


Portugal's Prince Henry the Navigator sponsors exploration of Africa's coast.


Brunelleschi begins work on the Duomo in Florence.


Joan of Arc leads French against English, captured by Burgundians (1430) and turned over to the English, burned at the stake as a witch after ecclesiastical trial (1431).


Incas rule in Peru.


Florence becomes center of Renaissance arts and learning under the Medicis.


Turks conquer Constantinople, end of the Byzantine empire, beginning of the Ottoman empire.


The Wars of the Roses, civil wars between rival noble factions, begin in England (to 1485). Having invented printing with movable type at Mainz, Germany, Johann Gutenberg completes first Bible.


Ivan the Great rules Russia until 1505 as first czar; ends payment of tribute to Mongols.


Moors conquered in Spain by troops of Ferdinand and Isabella. Columbus becomes first European to encounter Caribbean islands, returns to Spain (1493). Second voyage to Dominica, Jamaica, Puerto Rico (1493–1496). Third voyage to Orinoco (1498). Fourth voyage to Honduras and Panama (1502–1504).


Vasco da Gama sails around Africa and discovers sea route to India (1498). Establishes Portuguese colony in India (1502). John Cabot, employed by England, reaches and explores Canadian coast. Michelangelo's Bacchus sculpture

1500–1599 (A.D.) World History


First black slaves in America brought to Spanish colony of Santo Domingo.

c. 1503

Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa. Michelangelo sculpts the David (1504).


St. Peter's Church started in Rome; designed and decorated by such artists and architects as Bramante, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Raphael, and Bernini before its completion in 1626.


Henry VIII ascends English throne. Michelangelo paints the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.


Balboa becomes the first European to encounter the Pacific Ocean. Machiavelli writes The Prince.


Turks conquer Egypt, control Arabia. Martin Luther posts his 95 theses denouncing church abuses on church door in Wittenberg—start of the Reformation in Germany.


Ulrich Zwingli begins Reformation in Switzerland. Hernando Cortes conquers Mexico for Spain. Charles I of Spain is chosen Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sets out to circumnavigate the globe.


Luther excommunicated by Pope Leo X. Suleiman I (“the Magnificent”) becomes Sultan of Turkey, invades Hungary (1521), Rhodes (1522), attacks Austria (1529), annexes Hungary (1541), Tripoli (1551), makes peace with Persia (1553), destroys Spanish fleet (1560), dies (1566). Magellan reaches the Pacific, is killed by Philippine natives (1521). One of his ships under Juan Sebastián del Cano continues around the world, reaches Spain (1522).


Verrazano, sailing under the French flag, explores the New England coast and New York Bay.


Troops of the Holy Roman Empire attack Rome, imprison Pope Clement VII—the end of the Italian Renaissance. Castiglione writes The Courtier. The Medici family expelled from Florence.


Pizarro marches from Panama to Peru, kills the Inca chieftain, Atahualpa, of Peru (1533). Machiavelli's The Prince published posthumously.


Reformation begins as Henry VIII makes himself head of English Church after being excommunicated by Pope. Sir Thomas More executed as traitor for refusal to acknowledge king's religious authority. Jacques Cartier sails up the St. Lawrence River, basis of French claims to Canada.


Henry VIII executes second wife, Anne Boleyn. John Calvin establishes Reformed and Presbyterian form of Protestantism in Switzerland, writes Institutes of the Christian Religion. Danish and Norwegian Reformations. Michelangelo's Last Judgment.


John Knox leads Reformation in Scotland, establishes Presbyterian church there (1560).


Publication of On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies by Polish scholar Nicolaus Copernicus—giving his theory that the earth revolves around the sun.


Council of Trent to meet intermittently until 1563 to define Catholic dogma and doctrine, reiterate papal authority.


Ivan IV (“the Terrible”) crowned as czar of Russia, begins conquest of Astrakhan and Kazan (1552), battles nobles (boyars) for power (1564), kills his son (1580), dies, and is succeeded by his weak and feeble-minded son,
Fyodor I.


Roman Catholicism restored in England by Queen Mary I.


Akbar the Great becomes Mogul emperor of India, conquers Afghanistan (1581), continues wars of conquest (until 1605).


Queen Elizabeth I ascends the throne (rules to 1603). Restores Protestantism, establishes state Church of England (Anglicanism). Renaissance will reach height in England—Shakespeare, Marlowe, Spenser.


Persecution of Huguenots in France stopped by Edict of Orleans. French religious wars begin again with massacre of Huguenots at Vassy. St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre—thousands of Huguenots murdered (1572). Amnesty granted (1573). Persecution continues periodically until Edict of Nantes (1598) gives Huguenots religious freedom (until 1685).


Protestant Netherlands revolts against Catholic Spain; independence will be acknowledged by Spain in 1648.


Japan permits visits of foreign ships. Queen Elizabeth I excommunicated by Pope. Turks attack Cyprus and war on Venice. Turkish fleet defeated at Battle of Lepanto by Spanish and Italian fleets (1571). Peace of Constantinople (1572) ends Turkish attacks on Europe.


Francis Drake returns to England after circumnavigating the globe; knighted by Queen Elizabeth I (1581). Montaigne's Essays published.


Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar.


William of Orange rules the Netherlands; assassinated on orders of Philip II of
Spain (1584).


Mary, Queen of Scots, executed for treason by order of Queen Elizabeth I. Monteverdi's First Book of Madrigals.


Defeat of the Spanish Armada by English. Henry, King of Navarre and Protestant leader, recognized as Henry IV, first Bourbon king of France. Converts to Roman Catholicism in 1593 in attempt to end religious wars.


Henry IV enters Paris, wars on Spain (1595), marries Marie de Medici (1600), assassinated (1610). Spenser's The Faerie Queen. El Greco's St. Jerome. Galileo's experiments with falling objects.


Boris Godunov becomes Russian czar. Tycho Brahe describes his astronomical experiments.

1600–1699 (A.D.) World History


Giordano Bruno burned as a heretic. English East India Company established.


Ieyasu rules Japan, moves capital to Edo (Tokyo). Shakespeare's Hamlet.


Cervantes's Don Quixote de la Mancha, the first modern novel.


Jamestown, Virginia, established—first permanent English colony on American mainland. Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, saves life of John Smith.


Samuel de Champlain establishes French colony of Quebec. The Relation, the first newspaper, debuts in Germany.


Galileo sees the moons of Jupiter through his telescope.


Gustavus Adolphus elected King of Sweden. King James Version of the Bible published in England. Rubens paints his Descent from the Cross.


John Napier discovers logarithms.


Start of the Thirty Years' War > Protestants revolt against Catholic oppression; Denmark, Sweden, and France will invade Germany in later phases of war. Kepler proposes last of three laws of planetary motion.


A Dutch ship brings the first African slaves to British North America.


Pilgrims, after three-month voyage in Mayflower, land at Plymouth Rock.
Francis Bacon's Novum Organum.


New Netherland founded by Dutch West India Company.


Massachusetts Bay Colony.


Maryland founded by Lord Baltimore.


Inquisition forces Galileo (astronomer) to recant his belief in Copernican


English Civil War. Cavaliers, supporters of Charles I, against Roundheads,
parliamentary forces. Oliver Cromwell defeats Royalists (1646). Parliament demands reforms. Charles I offers concessions, brought to trial (1648), beheaded (1649). Cromwell becomes Lord Protector (1653). Rembrandt paints his Night Watch.


Taj Mahal completed.


End of Ming Dynasty in China—Manchus come to power. Descartes's Principles of Philosophy.


End of the Thirty Years' War. German population about half of what it was in 1618 because of war and pestilence.


Cromwell dies; son Richard resigns and Puritan government collapses.


English Parliament calls for the restoration of the monarchy; invites Charles II to return from France.


Charles II is crowned King of England. Louis XIV begins personal rule as absolute monarch; starts to build Versailles.


British take New Amsterdam from the Dutch. English limit “Nonconformity” with reestablished Anglican Church. Isaac Newton's experiments with gravity.


Great Plague in London kills 75,000.


Great Fire of London. Molière's Misanthrope.


Milton's Paradise Lost, widely considered the greatest epic poem in English.


Pennsylvania founded by William Penn.


War of European powers against the Turks (to 1699). Vienna withstands three-month Turkish siege; high point of Turkish advance in Europe.


Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's calculus published.


James II succeeds Charles II in England, calls for freedom of conscience (
1687). Protestants fear restoration of Catholicism and demand “Glorious Revolution.” William of Orange invited to England and James II escapes to France (1688). William III and his wife, Mary, crowned. In France, Edict of Nantes of 1598, granting freedom of worship to Huguenots, is revoked by Louis XIV; thousands of Protestants flee.


Peter the Great becomes Czar of Russia—attempts to westernize nation and build Russia as a military power. Defeats Charles XII of Sweden at Poltava (1709). Beginning of the French and Indian Wars (to 1763), campaigns in America linked to a series of wars between France and England for domination of Europe.


William III of England defeats former king James II and Irish rebels at Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. John Locke's Human Understanding.

1700–1799 (A.D.) World History


War of the Spanish Succession begins—the last of Louis XIV's wars for domination of the continent. The Peace of Utrecht (1714) will end the conflict and mark the rise of the British Empire. Called Queen Anne's War in America, it ends with the British taking New Foundland, Acadia, and Hudson's Bay Territory from France, and Gibraltar and Minorca from Spain.


Deerfield (Mass.) Massacre of English colonists by French and Indians. Bach's first cantata. Jonathan Swift's Tale of a Tub. Boston News Letter—first newspaper in America.


United Kingdom of Great Britain formed—England, Wales, and Scotland joined by parliamentary Act of Union.


Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Isaac Newton's Principia translated from Latin into English.


Benjamin Franklin begins publishing Poor Richard's Almanack. James Oglethorpe and others found Georgia.


John Peter Zenger, New York editor, acquitted of libel in New York, establishing press freedom.


Capt. Vitus Bering, Dane employed by Russia, discovers Alaska. Frederick II “the Great” crowned king of Prussia.


British defeat Scots under Stuart Pretender Prince Charles at Culloden Moor. Last battle fought on British soil.


Publication of the Encyclopédie begins in France, the “bible” of the Enlightenment.


Samuel Johnson's Dictionary first published. Great earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal—over 60,000 die. U.S. postal service established.


Seven Years' War (French and Indian Wars in America) (to 1763), in which Britain and Prussia defeat France, Spain, Austria, and Russia. France loses
North American colonies; Spain cedes Florida to Britain in exchange for Cuba. In India, over 100 British prisoners die in “Black Hole of Calcutta.”


Beginning of British Empire in India as Robert Clive, British commander, defeats Nawab of Bengal at Plassey.


British capture Quebec from French. Voltaire's Candide. Haydn's Symphony No. 1.


Catherine II (“the Great”) becomes czarina of Russia. Jean Jacques Rousseau's Social Contract. Mozart tours Europe as six-year-old prodigy.


James Watt invents the steam engine. Britain imposes the Stamp Act on the
American colonists.


Sir William Arkwright patents a spinning machine—an early step in the Industrial Revolution.


The Boston Massacre.


Joseph Priestley and Daniel Rutherford independently discover nitrogen. Partition of Poland—in 1772, 1793, and 1795, Austria, Prussia, and Russia divide land and people of Poland, end its independence.


The Boston Tea Party.


First Continental Congress drafts “Declaration of Rights and Grievances.”


The American Revolution begins with battle of Lexington and Concord. Second Continental Congress. Priestley discovers hydrochloric and sulfuric acids.


Declaration of Independence. Gen. George Washington crosses the Delaware Christmas night. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Thomas Paine's Common Sense. Fragonard's Washerwoman. Mozart's Haffner Serenade.


Capt. James Cook discovers Hawaii. Franz Mesmer uses hypnotism.


Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Herschel discovers Uranus.


Revolutionary War ends with Treaty of Paris. William Blake's poems. Beethoven's first printed works.


Crimea annexed by Russia. John Wesley's Deed of Declaration, the basic work of Methodism.


Russians settle Aleutian Islands.


The Constitution of the United States signed. Lavoisier's work on chemical nomenclature. Mozart's Don Giovanni.


French Parlement presents grievances to Louis XVI who agrees to convening of Estates-General in 1789—not called since 1613. Goethe's Egmont. Laplace's Laws of the Planetary System.


French Revolution begins with the storming of the Bastille. (For detailed chronology, see French Revolution (1789–1799).) In U.S., Washington elected president with all 69 votes of the Electoral College, takes oath of office in New York City. Vice President: John Adams. Secretary of State: Thomas Jefferson. Secretary of Treasury: Alexander Hamilton.


H.M.S. Bounty mutineers settle on Pitcairn Island. Aloisio Galvani experiments on electrical stimulation of the muscles. Philadelphia temporary capital of U.S. as Congress votes to establish new capital on Potomac. U.S. population about 3,929,000, including 698,000 slaves. Lavoisier formulates Table of 31 chemical elements.


U.S. Bill of Rights ratified. Boswell's Life of Johnson.


Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman.


Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette executed. Reign of Terror begins in France. Eli
Whitney invents the cotton gin, spurring the growth of the cotton industry and helping to institutionalize slavery in the U.S. South.


Kosciusko's uprising in Poland quelled by the Russians. In U.S., Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania as farmers object to liquor taxes. Reign of Terror ends with execution of Robespierre.


Napoléon Bonaparte, French general, defeats Austrians. In the U.S., Washington's Farewell Address (Sept. 17); John Adams elected president; Thomas Jefferson, vice president. Edward Jenner introduces smallpox vaccination.


Napoleon extends French conquests to Rome and Egypt. U.S. Navy Department established.


Rosetta Stone discovered in Egypt. Napoleon leads coup that overthrows Directory, establishes the Consulate, becomes First Consul—one of three who rule France together.

1800–1899 (A.D.) World History


Napoleon conquers Italy, firmly establishes himself as First Consul in France. In the U.S., federal government moves to Washington, D.C. Robert Owen's social reforms in England. William Herschel discovers infrared rays. Alessandro Volta produces electricity.


Austria makes temporary peace with France. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland established with one monarch and one parliament; Catholics excluded from voting.


U.S. negotiates Louisiana Purchase from France: for $15 million, U.S. doubles its domain, increasing its territory by 827,000 sq mi (2,144,500 sq km), from Mississippi River to Rockies and from Gulf of Mexico to British North America.


Haiti declares independence from France; first black nation to gain freedom from European colonial rule. Napoleon transforms the Consulate of France into an empire, proclaims himself emperor of France, systematizes French law under Code Napoleon. In the U.S., Alexander Hamilton is mortally wounded in duel with Aaron Burr. Lewis and Clark expedition begins exploration of what is now northwest U.S.


Lord Nelson defeats the French-Spanish fleets in the Battle of Trafalgar. Napoleon victorious over Austrian and Russian forces at the Battle of Austerlitz.


Robert Fulton makes first successful steamboat trip on Clermont between New York City and Albany.


French armies occupy Rome and Spain, extending Napoleon's empire. Britain begins aiding Spanish guerrillas against Napoleon in Peninsular War. In the U.S., Congress bars importation of slaves. Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies performed.


Napoleon's Grand Army invades Russia in June. Forced to retreat in winter, most of Napoleon's 600,000 men are lost. In the U.S., war with Britain declared over freedom of the seas for U.S. vessels (War of 1812). USS Constitution (For detailed chronology, see War of 1812.) sinks British frigate.


French defeated by allies (Britain, Austria, Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and Portugal) in War of Liberation. Napoleon exiled to Elba, off Italian coast. Bourbon king Louis XVIII takes French throne. George Stephenson builds first practical steam locomotive.


Napoleon returns: “Hundred Days” begin. Napoleon defeated by Wellington at Waterloo, banished again to St. Helena in South Atlantic. Congress of Vienna: victorious allies change the map of Europe. War of 1812 ends with Treaty of Ghent.


Simón Bolívar liberates New Granada (now Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador) as Spain loses hold on South American countries; named president of Colombia.


Missouri Compromise > Missouri admitted as slave state but slavery barred in rest of Louisiana Purchase north of 36°30' N.


Guatemala, Panama, and Santo Domingo proclaim independence from Spain.


Greeks proclaim a republic and independence from Turkey. Turks invade Greece. Russia declares war on Turkey (1828). Greece also aided by France and Britain. War ends and Turks recognize Greek independence (1829). Brazil becomes independent of Portugal. Schubert's Eighth Symphony (“The Unfinished”).


U.S. Monroe Doctrine warns European nations not to interfere in Western Hemisphere.


Mexico becomes a republic, three years after declaring independence from Spain. Bolívar liberates Peru, becomes its president. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.


First passenger-carrying railroad in England.


Joseph-Nicéphore Niepce takes the world's first photograph.


French invade Algeria. Louis Philippe becomes “Citizen King” as revolution forces Charles X to abdicate. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints formed in U.S. by Joseph Smith.


Polish revolt against Russia fails. Belgium separates from the Netherlands. In U.S., Nat Turner leads unsuccessful slave rebellion.


Slavery abolished in British Empire.


Charles Babbage invents “analytical engine,” precursor of computer. McCormick patents reaper.


Boer farmers start “Great Trek”—Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State founded in South Africa. Mexican army besieges Texans in Alamo. Entire garrison, including Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, wiped out. Texans gain independence from Mexico after winning Battle of San Jacinto. Dickens's Pickwick Papers.


Victoria becomes queen of Great Britain. Mob kills Elijah P. Lovejoy, Illinois abolitionist publisher.


First Opium War (to 1842) between Britain and China, over importation of drug into China.


Lower and Upper Canada united.


U.S. President Harrison dies (April 4) one month after inauguration; John Tyler
becomes first vice president to succeed to presidency.


Crawford Long uses first anesthetic (ether).


Wagner's opera The Flying Dutchman.


Democratic convention calls for annexation of Texas and acquisition of
Oregon (“Fifty-four-forty-or-fight”). Five Chinese ports opened to U.S. ships. Samuel F. B. Morse patents telegraph.


Congress adopts joint resolution for annexation of Texas. Edgar Allan Poe publishes The Raven and Other Poems.


U.S. declares war on Mexico. California and New Mexico annexed by U.S.
Brigham Young leads Mormons to Great Salt Lake. W. T. Morton uses ether as anesthetic. Sewing machine patented by Elias Howe. Frederick Douglass launches abolitionist newspaper The North Star. Failure of potato crop causes famine in Ireland.


Revolt in Paris: Louis Philippe abdicates; Louis Napoleon elected president of French Republic. Revolutions in Vienna, Venice, Berlin, Milan, Rome, and Warsaw. Put down by royal troops in 1848–1849. U.S.-Mexico War ends; Mexico cedes claims to Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada. U.S. treaty with Britain sets Oregon Territory boundary at 49th parallel. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels's Communist Manifesto. Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and joins the Underground Railroad. Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y.


California gold rush begins.


Henry Clay opens great debate on slavery, warns South against secession.


Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.


South African Republic established. Louis Napoleon proclaims himself Napoleon
III (“Second Empire”). Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.


Crimean War begins as Turkey declares war on Russia. Commodore Perry reaches Tokyo.


Britain and France join Turkey in war on Russia. In U.S., Kansas-Nebraska Act permits local option on slavery; rioting and bloodshed. Japanese allow American trade. Antislavery men in Michigan form Republican Party. Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade. Thoreau's Walden.


Armed clashes in Kansas between pro- and anti-slavery forces. Florence Nightingale nurses wounded in Crimea. Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.


Flaubert's Madame Bovary.


Supreme Court, in Dred Scott decision, rules that a slave is not a citizen. Financial crisis in Europe and U.S. Great Mutiny (Sepoy Rebellion) begins in India. India placed under crown rule as a result.


Pro-slavery constitution rejected in Kansas. Abraham Lincoln makes strong antislavery speech in Springfield, Ill.: “This Government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” Lincoln-Douglas debates. First trans-Atlantic telegraph cable completed by Cyrus W. Field.


John Brown raids Harpers Ferry; is captured and hanged. Work begins on Suez Canal. Unification of Italy starts under leadership of Count Cavour, Sardinian premier. Joined by France in war against Austria. Jean-Joseph-Étienne Lenoir builds first practical internal-combustion engine. Edward Fitzgerald's translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Charles Darwin's Origin of Species. J. S. Mill's On Liberty.


South Carolina secedes from the Union.


U.S. Civil War begins as attempts at compromise fail. Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas secede; with South Carolina, they form the Confederate States of America, with Jefferson Davis as president. Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina secede and join Confederacy. First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas).(For detailed chronology, see The Civil War.) Congress creates Colorado, Dakota, and Nevada territories; adopts income tax; Lincoln inaugurated. Serfs emancipated in Russia. Pasteur's theory of germs. Independent Kingdom of Italy proclaimed under Sardinian king Victor Emmanuel II.


Several major Civil War battles: Battle of Shiloh, Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), Battle of Antietam. Salon des Refusés introduces impressionism.


French capture Mexico City; proclaim Archduke Maximilian of Austria emperor. Battle of Gettysburg.


Gen. Sherman's Atlanta campaign and “march to the sea.”


Gen. Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox; the Civil War is over. Lincoln fatally shot at Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth. Vice President Johnson sworn as successor. Booth caught and dies of gunshot wounds; four conspirators are hanged. Joseph Lister begins antiseptic surgery. Gregor Mendel's Law of Heredity. Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


Alfred Nobel invents dynamite (patented in Britain, 1867). Seven Weeks' War: Austria defeated by Prussia and Italy.


Austria-Hungary Dual Monarchy established. French leave Mexico; Maximilian executed. Dominion of Canada established. U.S. buys Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000. South African diamond field discovered. Japan ends 675–year shogun rule. Volume I of Marx's Das Kapital. Strauss's Blue Danube.


Revolution in Spain; Queen Isabella deposed, flees to France. In U.S., Fourteenth Amendment giving civil rights to blacks is ratified. Georgia under military government after legislature expels blacks.


First U.S. transcontinental rail route completed. James Fisk and Jay Gould's attempt to control gold market causes Black Friday panic. Suez Canal opens. Mendeleev's periodic table of elements.


Franco-Prussian War (to 1871): Napoleon III capitulates at Sedan. Revolt in Paris; Third Republic proclaimed.


France surrenders Alsace-Lorraine to Germany; war ends. German Empire
proclaimed with Prussian King as Kaiser Wilhelm I. Fighting with Apaches begins in American West. Boss Tweed corruption exposed in New York. The Chicago Fire, with 250 deaths and $196-million damage. Stanley meets Livingstone in Africa.


Congress gives amnesty to most Confederates. Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days.


Economic crisis in Europe. U.S. establishes gold standard.


First Kentucky Derby.


Sioux kill Gen. George A. Custer and 264 troopers at Little Big Horn River. Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone.


After presidential election of 1876, electoral commission gives disputed electoral college votes to Rutherford B. Hayes despite Tilden's popular majority. Russo-Turkish war (ends in 1878 with power of Turkey in Europe broken). Reconstruction ends in the American South. Thomas Edison patents phonograph. The Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph is forced to surrender. Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.


Congress of Berlin revises Treaty of San Stefano, ending Russo-Turkish War;
makes extensive redivision of southeast Europe. First commercial telephone exchange opened in New Haven, Conn.


Thomas A. Edison invents practical electric light.


U.S.-China treaty allows U.S. to restrict immigration of Chinese labor.


President Garfield fatally shot by assassin; Vice President Arthur succeeds him. Charles J. Guiteau convicted and executed (1882).


Terrorism in Ireland after land evictions. Britain invades and conquers Egypt. Germany, Austria, and Italy form Triple Alliance. In U.S., Congress adopts Chinese Exclusion Act. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust is first industrial monopoly. In Berlin, Robert Koch announces discovery of tuberculosis germ.


Congress creates Civil Service Commission. Brooklyn Bridge and Metropolitan Opera House completed.


Berlin West Africa Conference held in Berlin (lasting until Feb. 1885), at which
the major European nations discuss expansion in Africa.


British general Charles G. “Chinese” Gordon killed at Khartoum in Egyptian Sudan. World's first skyscraper built in Chicago.


Bombing at Haymarket Square, Chicago, kills seven policemen and injures many others. Eight alleged anarchists accused—three imprisoned, one commits suicide, four hanged. (In 1893, Illinois governor Altgeld, critical of trial, pardons three survivors.) Statue of Liberty dedicated. Geronimo, Apache Indian chief, surrenders.


Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet.


Historic March blizzard in northeast U.S.—many perish, property damage exceeds $25 million. George Eastman's box camera (the Kodak). J. B. Dunlop invents pneumatic tire. Jack the Ripper murders in London.


Second (Socialist) International founded in Paris. Indian Territory in Oklahoma opened to settlement. Thousands die in Johnstown, Pa. flood. Eiffel Tower built for the Paris exposition. Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King
Arthur's Court.


Congress votes to pass Sherman Antitrust Act. Sioux chief Sitting Bull arrested and killed by police on Pine Ridge reservation; two weeks later, U.S. troops kill over 200 Sioux at Battle of Wounded Knee.


Battle between steel strikers and Pinkerton guards at Homestead, Pa.; union defeated after militia intervenes. Silver mine strikers in Idaho fight non-union workers; U.S. troops dispatched. Diesel engine patented.


New Zealand becomes first country in the world to grant women the vote.


Sino-Japanese War begins (ends in 1895 with China's defeat). In France, Capt. Alfred Dreyfus convicted on false treason charge (pardoned in 1906). In U.S., Jacob S. Coxey of Ohio leads “Coxey's Army” of unemployed on Washington. Eugene V. Debs calls general strike of rail workers to support Pullman Company strikers; strike broken, Debs jailed for six months. Edison's kinetoscope given first public showing in New York City.


X-rays discovered by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen. Auguste and Louis Lumière premiere motion pictures at a café in Paris.


Supreme Court's Plessy v. Ferguson decision—“separate but equal” doctrine. Alfred Nobel's will establishes prizes for peace, science, and literature. Marconi receives first wireless patent in Britain. William Jennings Bryan delivers “Cross of Gold” speech at Democratic Convention in Chicago. First modern Olympic games held in Athens, Greece.


Theodor Herzl launches Zionist movement.


Chinese “Boxers,” anti-foreign organization, established. They stage uprisings against Europeans in 1900; U.S. and other Western troops relieve Peking legations. U.S. Battleship Maine is sunk in Havana Harbor. Spanish-American War begins. U.S. destroys Spanish fleet near Santiago, Cuba. (For detailed chronology, see Spanish-American War.) Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium and polonium.


Boer War (or South African War): conflict between British and Boers (descendants of Dutch settlers of South Africa). Causes rooted in longstanding territorial disputes and in friction over political rights for English and other “uitlanders” following 1886 discovery of vast gold deposits in Transvaal. (British victorious as war ends in 1902.) Casualties: 5,774 British dead, about 4,000 Boers. Union of South Africa established in 1908 as confederation of colonies; becomes British dominion in 1910.
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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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@ Faryal

Thank u very much for appreciation .
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1980 – 1989 World History


Six U.S. embassy aides escape from Iran with Canadian help (Jan. 29). F.B.I.'s undercover operation “Abscam” (for Arab scam) implicates public officials (Feb. 2). U.S. breaks diplomatic ties with Iran (April 7). Eight U.S. servicemen are killed and five are injured as helicopter and cargo plane collide in abortive desert raid to rescue American hostages in Tehran (April 25). Supreme Court upholds limits on federal aid for abortions (June 30). Shah of Iran dies at 60 (July 27). Anastasio Somoza Debayle, ousted Nicaragua ruler, and two aides assassinated in Asunción, Paraguay capital (Sept. 17). Iraq troops hold 90 square miles of Iran after invasion; 8-year Iran-Iraq war begins (Sept. 19). Ronald Reagan elected president in Republican sweep (Nov. 4). Three U.S. nuns and lay worker found shot in El Salvador (Dec. 4). John Lennon of the Beatles shot dead in New York City (Dec. 8). Smallpox eradicated.


Ronald Reagan takes oath as 40th president (Jan. 20). U.S.-Iran agreement frees 52 hostages held in Tehran since 1979 (Jan. 20); hostages welcomed back in U.S. (Jan. 25). President Reagan wounded by gunman, with press secretary and two law-enforcement officers (March 30). Pope John Paul II wounded by gunman (May 14). Reagan nominates Judge Sandra Day O'Connor, 51, of Arizona, as first woman on Supreme Court (July 7). More than 110 die in collapse of aerial walkways in lobby of Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City; 188 injured (July 18). Air controllers strike, disrupting flights (Aug. 3); government dismisses strikers (Aug. 11). AIDS is first identified.


British overcome Argentina in Falklands war (April 2–June 15). Israel invades Lebanon in attack on P.L.O. (June 4). John W. Hinckley, Jr., found not guilty because of insanity in shooting of President Reagan (June 21). Alexander M. Haig, Jr., resigns as secretary of state (June 25). Equal Rights Amendment fails ratification (June 30). Princess Grace, 52, dies of injuries when car plunges off mountain road; daughter Stephanie, 17, suffers serious injuries (Sept. 14). Lebanese Christian Phalangists kill hundreds of people in two Palestinian refugee camps in West Beirut (Sept. 15). Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet leader, dies at 75 (Nov. 10). Yuri V. Andropov, 68, chosen as successor (Nov. 15). Permanent artificial heart implanted in human for first time in Dr. Barney B. Clark, 61, at University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City (Dec. 2).


Pope John Paul II signs new Roman Catholic code incorporating changes brought about by Second Vatican Council (Jan. 25). Second space shuttle, Challenger, makes successful maiden voyage, which includes the first U.S. space walk in nine years (April 4). U.S. Supreme Court declares many local abortion restrictions unconstitutional (June 15). Sally K. Ride, 32, first U.S. woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger (June 18). U.S. admits shielding former Nazi Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie, 69, the “butcher of Lyon,” wanted in France for war crimes (Aug. 15). Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., 50, political rival of Philippines president Marcos, slain in Manila (Aug. 21). South Korean Boeing 747 jetliner bound for Seoul apparently strays into Soviet airspace and is shot down by a Soviet SU-15 fighter after it had tracked the airliner for two hours; all 269 aboard are killed, including 61 Americans (Aug. 30). Terrorist explosion kills 237 U.S. Marines in Beirut (Oct. 23). U.S. and Caribbean allies invade Grenada (Oct. 25).


Bell System broken up (Jan. 1). France gets first deliveries of Soviet natural gas (Jan. 1). Syria frees captured U.S. Navy pilot, Lieut. Robert C. Goodman, Jr. (Jan. 3). U.S. and Vatican exchange diplomats after 116-year hiatus (Jan. 10). Reagan orders U.S. Marines withdrawn from Beirut international peacekeeping force (Feb. 7). Yuri V. Andropov dies at 69; Konstantin U. Chernenko, 72, named Soviet Union leader (Feb. 9). Italy and Vatican agree to end Roman Catholicism as state religion (Feb. 18). Reagan ends U.S. role in Beirut by relieving Sixth Fleet from peacekeeping force (March 30). Congress rebukes President Reagan on use of federal funds for mining Nicaraguan harbors (April 10). Soviet Union withdraws from summer Olympic games in U.S., and other bloc nations follow (May 7 et seq.). José Napoleón Duarte, moderate, elected president of El Salvador (May 11). Three hundred slain as Indian Army occupies Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar (June 6). Thirty-ninth Democratic National Convention, in San Francisco, nominates Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine A. Ferraro (July 16–19). Thirty-third Republican National Convention, at Dallas, renominates President Reagan and Vice President Bush (Aug. 20–25). Brian Mulroney and Conservative party win Canadian election in landslide (Sept. 4). Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards; 1,000 killed in anti-Sikh riots; son Rajiv succeeds her (Oct. 31). President Reagan re-elected in landslide with 59% of vote (Nov. 6). Toxic gas leaks from Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, killing 2,000 and injuring 150,000 (Dec. 3).


Ronald Reagan, 73, takes oath for second term as 40th president (Jan. 20). General Westmoreland settles libel action against CBS (Feb. 18). Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher addresses Congress, endorsing Reagan's policies (Feb. 20). USSR leader Chernenko dies at 73 and is replaced by Mikhail Gorbachev, 54 (March 11). Two Shi'ite Muslim gunmen capture TWA airliner with 133 aboard, 104 of them Americans (June 14); 39 remaining hostages freed in Beirut (June 30). Supreme Court, 5–4, bars public school teachers from parochial schools (July 1). Arthur James Walker, 50, retired naval officer, convicted by federal judge of participating in Soviet spy ring operated by his brother, John Walker (Aug. 9). P.L.O. terrorists hijack Achille Lauro, Italian cruise ship, with 80 passengers, plus crew (Oct. 7); American, Leon Klinghoffer, killed (Oct. 8); Italian government toppled by political crisis over hijacking (Oct. 16). John A. Walker and son, Michael I. Walker, 22, sentenced in Navy espionage case (Oct. 28). Reagan and Gorbachev meet at summit (Nov. 19); agree to step up arms control talks and renew cultural contacts (Nov. 21). Terrorists seize Egyptian Boeing 737 airliner after takeoff from Athens (Nov. 23); 59 dead as Egyptian forces storm plane on Malta (Nov. 24). U.S. budget-balancing bill enacted (Dec. 12).


Spain and Portugal join European Economic Community (Jan. 1). President freezes Libyan assets in U.S. (Jan. 8). Supreme Court bars racial bias in trial jury selection (Jan. 14). Voyager 2 spacecraft reports secrets of Uranus (Jan. 26). Space shuttle Challenger explodes after launch at Cape Canaveral, Fla., killing all seven aboard (Jan. 28). Haiti president Jean-Claude Duvalier flees to France (Feb. 7). President Marcos flees Philippines after ruling 20 years, as newly elected Corazon Aquino succeeds him (Feb. 26). Prime Minister Olof Palme of Sweden shot dead (Feb. 28). Austrian president Kurt Waldheim's service as Nazi army officer revealed (March 3). Union Carbide agrees to settlement with victims of Bhopal gas leak in India (March 22). Halley's comet yields information on return visit (April 10). U.S. planes attack Libyan “terrorist centers” (April 14). Desmond Tutu elected archbishop in South Africa (April 14). Major nuclear accident at Soviet Union's Chernobyl power station alarms world (April 26 et seq.). Ex-Navy analyst, Jonathan Jay Pollard, 31, guilty as spy for Israel (June 4). Supreme Court reaffirms abortion rights (June 11). World Court rules U.S. broke international law in mining Nicaraguan waters (June 27). Supreme Court voids automatic provisions of budget-balancing law (July 7). Jerry A. Whitworth, ex-Navy radioman, convicted as spy (July 24); he is also part of Walker family spy ring. Muslim captors release Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco (July 26). Senate Judiciary Committee approves William H. Rehnquist as chief justice of U.S. (Aug. 14). House votes arms appropriations bill rejecting administration's “Star Wars” policy (Aug. 15). Three Lutheran church groups in U.S. set to merge (Aug. 29). Congress overrides Reagan veto of stiff sanctions against South Africa (Sept. 29 and Oct. 2). Congress approves immigration bill barring hiring of illegal aliens, with amnesty provision (Oct. 17). Reagan signs $11.7-billion budget reduction measure (Oct. 21). He approves sweeping revision of U.S. tax code (Oct. 22). Democrats triumph in elections, gaining eight seats to win Senate majority (Nov. 4). Secret initiative to send arms to Iran revealed (Nov. 6 et seq.); Reagan denies exchanging arms for hostages and halts arms sales (Nov. 19); diversion of funds from arms sales to Nicaraguan Contras revealed (Nov. 25).


William Buckley, U.S. hostage in Lebanon, reported slain (Jan. 20). Supreme Court rules Rotary Clubs must admit women (May 4). Iraqi missiles kill 37 in attack on U.S. frigate Stark in Persian Gulf (May 17); Iraqi president apologizes (May 18). Prime Minister Thatcher wins rare third term in Britain (June 11). Supreme Court justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., retires (June 26). Klaus Barbie, 73, Gestapo wartime chief in Lyon, sentenced to life by French court for war crimes (July 4). Oliver North, Jr., tells congressional inquiry higher officials approved his secret Iran-Contra operations (July 7–10). Admiral John M. Poindexter, former National Security Adviser, testifies he authorized use of Iran arms sale profits to aid Contras (July 15–22). Secretary of State George P. Shultz testifies he was deceived repeatedly on Iran-Contra affair (July 23–24). Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger tells inquiry of official deception and intrigue (July 31, Aug. 3). Reagan says Iran-Contra arms policy went astray and accepts responsibility (Aug. 12). Severe earthquake strikes Los Angeles, leaving 100 injured and six dead (Oct. 1). Senate, 58–42, rejects Robert H. Bork as Supreme Court justice (Oct. 23).


U.S. and Canada reach free trade agreement (Jan. 2). Robert C. McFarlane, former National Security Adviser, pleads guilty in Iran-Contra case (March 11). U.S. Navy ship shoots down Iranian airliner in Persian Gulf, mistaking it for jet fighter; 290 killed (July 3). Terrorists kill nine tourists on Aegean cruise (July 11). Democratic convention nominates Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts for president and Texas senator Lloyd Bentsen for vice president (July 17 et seq.). Republicans nominate George Bush for president and Indiana senator Dan Quayle for vice president (Aug. 15 et seq.). Plane blast kills Pakistani president Mohammad Zia ul-Haq (Aug. 17). Republicans sweep 40 states in election. Bush beats Dukakis (Nov. 8). Benazir Bhutto, first Islamic woman prime minister, chosen to lead Pakistan (Dec. 1). Pan-Am 747 explodes from terrorist bomb and crashes in Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 aboard and 11 on ground (Dec. 21).


U.S. planes shoot down two Libyan fighters over international waters in Mediterranean (Jan. 4). Emperor Hirohito of Japan dead at 87 (Jan. 7). George Herbert Walker Bush inaugurated as 41st U.S. president (Jan. 20). Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini declares author Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses offensive and sentences him to death (Feb. 14). Ruptured tanker Exxon Valdez sends 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound (March 24). Tens of thousands of Chinese students take over Beijing's Tiananmen Square in rally for democracy (April 19 et seq.). U.S. jury convicts Oliver North in Iran-Contra affair (May 4). More than one million in Beijing demonstrate for democracy; chaos spreads across nation (mid-May et seq.). Mikhail S. Gorbachev named Soviet president (May 25). Thousands killed in Tiananmen Square as Chinese leaders take hard line toward demonstrators (June 4 et seq.). Army general Colin R. Powell is first black chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff (Aug. 9). P. W. Botha quits as South Africa's president (Aug. 14). Voyager 2 spacecraft speeds by Neptune after making startling discoveries about the planet and its moons (Aug. 29). Deng Xiaoping resigns from China's leadership (Nov. 9). After 28 years, Berlin Wall is open to West (Nov. 11). Czech Parliament ends Communists' dominant role (Nov. 30). Romanian uprising overthrows Communist government (Dec. 15 et seq.); President Ceausescu and wife executed (Dec. 25). U.S. troops invade Panama, seeking capture of Gen. Manuel Noriega (Dec. 20); resistance to U.S. collapses (Dec. 24). Dalai Lama wins Nobel Peace Prize.
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1990 – 1999 World History


World Wide Web debuts, popularizes Internet. Gen. Manuel Noriega surrenders in Panama (Jan. 3). Yugoslav Communists end 45-year monopoly of power (Jan. 22). Soviet Communists relinquish sole power (Feb. 7). South Africa frees Nelson Mandela, imprisoned 271/2 years (Feb. 11). Violeta Barrios de Chamorro inaugurated as Nicaraguan president. Hubble Space Telescope launched (April 25). U.S.-Soviet summit reaches accord on armaments (June 1). Western Alliance ends cold war and proposes joint action with Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (July 6). U.S. Appeals Court overturns Oliver North's Iran-Contra conviction (July 20). Iraqi troops invade Kuwait and seize petroleum reserves, setting off Persian Gulf War (For detailed chronology, see The Persian Gulf War.) (Aug. 2 et seq.). East and West Germany reunited (Oct. 3). Republicans set back in midterm elections (Nov. 8). Gorbachev assumes emergency powers (Nov. 17). Leaders of 34 nations in Europe and North America proclaim a united Europe (Nov. 21). Margaret Thatcher resigns as British prime minister (Nov. 22); John Major succeeds her (Nov. 28). Lech Walesa wins Poland's runoff presidential election (Dec. 9). Haiti elects leftist priest as president in first democratic election (Dec. 17).


U.S. and Allies at war with Iraq (Jan. 15). Warsaw Pact dissolves military alliance (Feb. 25). Cease-fire ends Persian Gulf War; UN forces are victorious (April 3). Europeans end sanctions on South Africa (April 15). Supreme Court limits death row appeals (April 16). Winnie Mandela sentenced in kidnapping (May 13). William H. Webster retires as director of CIA; Robert H. Gates succeeds him (May 14). France agrees to sign 1968 treaty banning spread of atomic weapons (June 3). Communist government of Albania resigns (June 4). Jiang Qing, widow of Mao, commits suicide (June 4). South African Parliament repeals apartheid laws (June 5). Warsaw Pact dissolved (July 1). Boris N. Yeltsin inaugurated as first freely elected president of Russian Republic (July 10). Bush-Gorbachev summit negotiates strategic arms reduction treaty (July 31). China accepts nuclear nonproliferation treaty (Aug. 10). Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia win independence (Aug. 25); Bush recognizes them (Sept. 2). Haitian troops seize president in uprising (Sept. 30). U.S. suspends assistance to Haiti (Oct. 1). Professor Anita Hill accuses Judge Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment (Oct. 6); Senate, 52–48, confirms Thomas for Supreme Court after stormy hearings (Oct. 15). Israel and Soviet Union resume relations after 24 years (Oct. 18). U.S. indicts two Libyans in 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland (Nov. 15). Anglican envoy Terry Waite and U.S. Prof. Thomas M. Sutherland freed by Lebanese (Nov. 18). Last three U.S. hostages freed in Lebanon (Dec. 2–4). Soviet Union breaks up after President Gorbachev's resignation; constituent republics form Commonwealth of Independent States (Dec. 25).


Yugoslav Federation broken up (Jan. 15). Bush and Yeltsin proclaim formal end to cold war (Feb. 1). U.S. lifts trade sanctions against China (Feb. 21). U.S. recognizes three former Yugoslav republics (April 7). Gen. Noriega, former Panama leader, convicted in U.S. court (April 9). Four police officers acquitted in Los Angeles beating of Rodney King; rioting erupts in South-Central Los Angeles (April 29 et seq.). Caspar W. Weinberger indicted in Iran-Contra affair (June 16). Last Western hostages freed in Lebanon (June 17). Supreme Court reaffirms right to abortion (June 29). Democrats nominate Bill Clinton and Al Gore (July 1). Gen. Noriega sentenced to 40 years on drug charges (July 10). Court clears Exxon Valdez skipper (July 10). Israeli Parliament approves Yitzhak Rabin's coalition government, dominated by Labor Party (July 13). Police officers acquitted in April on criminal charges in Rodney King beating are indicted on federal civil rights charges (Aug. 5). North American trade compact announced (Aug. 12). Republicans renominate Bush and Quayle (Aug. 20). UN expels Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia (Sept. 22). Senate ratifies second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (Oct. 1). Top Japanese leader, Shin Kanemaru, resigns in scandal (Oct. 14). Bill Clinton elected president, Al Gore vice president; Democrats keep control of Congress (Nov. 3). Russian Parliament approves START treaty (Nov. 4). U.S. forces leave Philippines, ending nearly a century of American military presence (Nov. 24). Czechoslovak Parliament approves separation into two nations (Nov. 25). UN approves U.S.-led force to guard food for Somalia (Dec. 3). Prince and Princess of Wales agree to separate (Dec. 9). Bush pardons former Reagan administration officials involved in Iran-Contra affair (Dec. 24).


Vaclav Havel elected as Czech president (Jan. 26). Clinton agrees to compromise on military's ban on homosexuals (Jan. 29). U.S. begins airlift of supplies to besieged Bosnia towns (Feb. 28). Federal agents besiege Texas Branch Davidian religious cult after six are killed in raid (March 1 et seq.). Five arrested, sixth sought in bombing of World Trade Center in New York (March 29). Two police officers convicted on federal civil rights charges in Rodney King beating (April 17); sentenced (Aug. 4). Fire kills 72 as cult standoff in Texas ends with federal assault (April 19). President of Sri Lanka assassinated (May 1). British Commons approves European unity pact (May 20). Twenty-two UN troops killed in Somalia (June 5). Ruth Bader Ginsburg appointed to Supreme Court (June 14). Iraq accepts UN weapons monitoring (July 19). Vincent W. Foster, Jr., senior White House lawyer, commits suicide (July 22). Midwest flood damage expected to exceed $10 billion (July 24). Israeli-Palestinian accord reached (Aug. 28). U.S. agents blamed in Waco, Tex., siege (Oct. 1). Yeltsin's forces crush revolt in Russian Parliament (Oct. 4 et seq.). China breaks nuclear test moratorium (Oct. 5). Canada's opposition Liberal Party regains power in landslide (Oct. 25). Europe's Maastricht Treaty takes effect, creating European Union (Nov. 1). Jean Chretien sworn in as Canada's 20th prime minister (Nov. 4). House of Representatives approves North American Free Trade Agreement (Nov. 17); Senate follows (Nov. 21). South Africa adopts majority rule constitution (Nov. 18). Clinton signs Brady bill regulating firearms purchases (Nov. 30). Toni Morrison wins Nobel prize for literature.


Serbs' heavy weapons pound Sarajevo (Jan. 5–6). Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan attacked (Jan. 6); three arrested in attack (Jan. 13). Major earthquake jolts Los Angeles; 51 dead (Jan. 17 et seq.). Clinton ends trade embargo on Vietnam (Feb. 9). Aldrich Ames, high C.I.A. official, charged with spying for Soviets (Feb. 22). Four convicted in World Trade Center bombing (March 4). Mexican presidential candidate assassinated (March 23). Rwandan genocide of Tutsis by Hutus begins; estimated 800,000 slaughtered in c. 100 days (April 6). South Africa holds first interracial national election (April 29); Nelson Mandela elected president. Israel and Palestinians sign accord (May 4). Clinton accused of sexual harassment while governor of Arkansas (May 6). Congress votes protection for women's health clinics (May 12). O. J. Simpson arrested in killings of wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and friend, Ronald Goldman (June 18). Supreme Court approves limit on abortion protests (June 30). Senate confirms Stephen G. Breyer for Supreme Court (July 29). Women's health clinic doctor shot dead outside Florida clinic (July 29). Major league baseball players strike (Aug. 13). “Carlos the Jackal,” international terrorist, captured (Aug. 15). IRA declares cease-fire in Northern Ireland (Aug. 31). Small plane crashes into White House (Sept. 12). Baseball owners end season and cancel World Series (Sept. 14). Powerful earthquake strikes Japan (Oct. 4). Aristide returns to joyous Haiti (Oct. 4). U.S. sends forces to Persian Gulf (Oct. 7). Ulster Protestants declare cease-fire (Oct. 13). Israel and Jordan sign peace treaty (Oct. 17). Reagan, 83, reveals he has Alzheimer's disease (Nov. 6). G.O.P. wins control of House and Senate (Nov. 8). Aristide forms Haitian government with prime minister and full cabinet (Nov. 9). Clinton orders Bosnian arms embargo ended (Nov. 10). Newt Gingrich named House Speaker (Dec. 5). Bentsen resigns as Treasury Secretary (Dec. 6). Russians attack secessionist Republic of Chechnya (Dec. 11 et seq.). John Salvi kills two at Massachusetts Planned Parenthood clinic (Dec. 30).


Republicans take control of Congress (Jan. 4). More than 5,000 dead in Japanese earthquake (Jan. 17 et seq.). Criminal trial of O. J. Simpson opens in California (Jan. 24). U.S. rescues Mexico's economy with $20-billion aid program (Feb. 21). Senate rejects balanced-budget amendment (March 2). Nerve gas attack in Tokyo subway kills eight and injures thousands. The Aum Shinrikyo (“Supreme Truth”) cult is to blame (March 20). Major League Baseball strike ends (April 2). Appeals court upholds woman's plea to enter Citadel military academy (April 13). UN Council votes easier sanctions for Iraq (April 14). Scores killed as terrorist's car bomb blows up block-long Oklahoma City federal building (April 19); Timothy McVeigh, 27, Army veteran, arrested as suspect (April 21); authorities seek second suspect, link right-wing paramilitary groups to bombing (April 22). Death toll 2,000 in Rwanda massacre (April 22). Fighting escalates in Bosnia and Croatia (May 1). U.S. shuttle docks with Russian space station (June 27). F.B.I. suspends four in Idaho siege inquiry (Aug. 11). France explodes nuclear device in Pacific; wide protests ensue (Sept. 5). Senator Bob Packwood of Oregon resigns under pressure for sexual and official misconduct (Sept. 6). Israelis and Palestinians agree on transferring West Bank to Arabs (Sept. 24). Los Angeles jury finds O. J. Simpson not guilty of murder charges (Oct. 3). Pope John Paul II visits U.S. on whirlwind tour (Oct. 4–8). Warring parties agree on cease-fire in Bosnia (Oct. 5). Million Man March draws hundreds of thousands of black men to capital (Oct. 16). Quebec narrowly rejects independence from Canada (Oct. 30). Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin slain by Jewish extremist at peace rally (Nov. 4). U.S. servicemen admit rape of Japanese schoolgirl in Okinawa (Nov. 7). Nigeria hangs writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other minority rights advocates (Nov. 10). Irish voters approve end to constitutional ban on divorce (Nov. 24). Combatants sign Bosnia peace treaty (Dec. 14). House move stalls Congress–White House negotiations to avert government shutdown (Dec. 20). Seamus Heaney wins Nobel prize for literature.


U.S. budget crisis in fourth month (Jan. 3). Clinton approves resumption of many government operations (Jan. 6). Senate ratifies major arms reduction treaty (Jan. 26). France announces end to nuclear tests (Jan. 29). At least 73 dead in Sri Lankan suicide bombing (Feb. 1). Suicide bombers kill 59 in Israel (March 4). Bob Dole sweeps Republican primaries (March 5). Britain alarmed by deadly cow disease (March 20 et seq.). UN tribunal charges war crimes by Bosnian Muslims and Croats (March 22). Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown killed in plane crash (April 3). FBI arrests suspected Unabomber (April 3). Clinton signs line-item veto bill (April 9). President blocks ban on late-term abortions (April 10). ValuJet crashes in Everglades; all 110 aboard killed (May 11). Chechnya peace treaty signed (May 27). Israel elects Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister (May 31). China agrees to world ban on atomic testing (June 6). Leaders in Balkans sign accord on arms limits (June 14). Jazz great Ella Fitzgerald dies (June 15). Truck bomb kills 19 at U.S. base in Saudi Arabia (June 25). Boris Yeltsin is reelected in Russian election (July 3). Prince Charles and Princess Diana agree on divorce (July 12). 747 airliner crashes in Atlantic off Long Island; all 230 aboard perish (July 17). Bomb mars Summer Olympic games in Atlanta (July 25). Clinton signs bill to raise minimum wage (Aug. 2). Congress passes welfare reform bill (Aug. 2); approved by Clinton (Aug. 22). Republican convention opens in San Diego (Aug. 12); Bob Dole and Jack Kemp nominated (Aug. 14). Democrats convene in Chicago (Aug. 26). Iraqis strike at Kurdish enclave (Aug. 31); after warning, U.S. attacks Iraq's southern air defenses (Sept. 2–3); Iraq halts attacks on U.S. planes enforcing flight exclusion zones in north and south (Sept. 13). Violence flares in Jerusalem over Israel opening tourist tunnel (Sept. 24). Taliban Muslim fundamentalists capture Afghan capital (Sept. 27). Ethnic violence breaks out in Zairian refugee camps (Oct. 13); thousands of refugees from Rwanda and Burundi abandon camps (Oct. 21). Clinton-Gore ticket wins national election; Republicans retain control of Congress (Nov. 5). Mid-air collision in India kills 342 (Nov. 12). Texaco settles racial bias suit (Nov. 15). Hundreds of thousands of Hutu refugees return to Rwanda (Nov. 15–18). Clinton appoints Madeleine Albright as first female U.S. secretary of state (Dec. 5). Kofi Annan named UN secretary-general (Dec. 13). FBI agent charged with spying for Moscow (Dec. 18). Thousands march in Belgrade in continuing protest against president's annulment of election results (Dec. 26).


Two Hutu sentenced to death in Rwandan genocide (Jan. 3). Floods cause wide damage in U.S. West (Jan. 5). Newt Gingrich reelected as House Speaker (Jan. 7). Hebron agreement signed; Israel gives up large part of West Bank city of Hebron (Jan. 16). U.S. shuttle joins Russian space station (Jan. 17). Gingrich found guilty of ethics violations (Jan. 17). President Clinton starts second term (Jan. 20). U.S., U.K., and France agree to freeze Nazis' gold loot (Feb. 3). O. J. Simpson found liable in civil suit (Feb. 5). Deng Xiaoping, Chinese leader, dead at 92 (Feb. 19). Israeli government approves establishment of Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, a setback in Middle East peace process (Feb. 26). Tornadoes wreak havoc in Arkansas, Ohio, and Kentucky (March 3). State of anarchy in Albania when third of population loses savings because of pyramid schemes (March 13). Hale-Bopp comet is the closest it will be to Earth until 4397 (March 22). Heaven's Gate cult members commit mass suicide in California (March 27). U.S. Appeals Court upholds California ban on affirmative action (April 8). U.S. judge upholds California marijuana law (April 11). Tiger Woods breaks multiple records in Masters golf tournament (April 13). Fire kills 300 pilgrims outside Mecca (April 15). Senate, 74–26, approves chemical-weapons treaty (April 24). Thousands flee North Dakota flood (April 27). Sergeant Major of the Army, Gene C. McKinney, charged in sex cases (May 7). Russian president Yeltsin signs Chechnya peace treaty (May 12). U.S.-Russian spaceship linkup in orbit ends (May 21). U.S. jobless rate for May reported 4.8%, lowest since 1973 (June 6). European Union bolsters currency merger (June 16). Congress votes major tax cuts (June 26). Hong Kong returns to Chinese rule (June 30). U.S. spacecraft begins exploration of Mars (July 4). Andrew Cunanan murders fashion designer Gianni Versace (July 15). Khmer Rouge hold trial of longtime leader Pol Pot (July 25). White House and GOP agree on measure to balance budget (July 28). U.S. spacecraft transmits thousands of pictures from Mars (Aug. 8). Clinton exercises new line-item veto (Aug. 11). Timothy J. McVeigh sentenced to death for Oklahoma City bombing (Aug. 14). Princess Diana, 36, killed with two others in Paris car crash (Aug. 31). Three Islamic suicide bombers kill four persons in Jerusalem (Sept. 4). Mother Teresa dead at 87 (Sept. 5). Swiss plan first payment to Holocaust victims (Sept. 17). Militant Taliban leaders seize Kabul (Sept. 27). Iraq expels all U.S. members of UN arms-inspection team (Oct. 29). GOP victorious in off-year elections (Nov. 4). Pakistani convicted in 1993 CIA killings (Nov. 10). Two convicted in New York World Trade Center bombing (Nov. 12). Egyptian Islamic militants kill 62 at Luxor tourist site (Nov. 17). FBI ends 16-month investigation of crash of Flight 800 off Long Island; denies sabotage (Nov. 18). European Union plans to admit six nations (Dec. 13). U.S. company launches first commercial spy satellite (Dec. 24). Paris court convicts “Carlos the Jackal” of murder (Dec. 24).


Ramzi Ahmed Yousef sentenced to life for 1993 World Trade Center bombing (Jan. 9). Pope John Paul II visits Cuba (Jan. 21–25). President accused in White House sex scandal; denies allegations of affair with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky (Jan. 21 et seq.). President outlines first balanced budget in 30 years (Feb. 3). U.S. plane cuts ski cable in Italy and sends car plunging; 20 killed (Feb. 3). Thousands dead in Afghanistan quake (Feb. 4 et seq.). U.S. court rules line-item veto unconstitutional (Feb. 12). Serbs battle ethnic Albanians in Kosovo (March 5 et seq.). U.S. drops condemnation of China's human rights record (March 13). Hindu nationalist Vajpayee becomes India's prime minister (March 19). FDA approves Viagra, male impotence drug (March 27). Federal judge in Arkansas throws out Paula Jones case (April 1). Landmark peace settlement, the Good Friday Accord, reached in Northern Ireland (April 10). U.S. trade deficit biggest in decade (April 17). Europeans agree on single currency, the euro (May 3). Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski, sentenced to four life terms (May 4). India conducts three atomic tests despite worldwide disapproval (May 11, 13). Indonesian dictator Suharto steps down after 32 years in power (May 21). Pakistan stages five nuclear tests in response to India's (May 29, 30). Serbs renew attack on Kosovo rebels (June 1). Life sentence meted out to Terry Nichols, convicted in Oklahoma City bombing fatal to 168 (June 4). Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha dies (June 8). Congress votes to overhaul IRS (July 9). Iraq ends cooperation with UN arms inspectors (Aug. 5). U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed (Aug. 7). Clinton admits to affair with White House intern in televised address to nation (Aug. 17). Russia fights to avert financial collapse (Aug. 17). U.S. cruise missiles hit suspected terrorist bases in Sudan and Afghanistan (Aug. 20). North Korea fires missile across Japan (Aug. 31). Swissair jet crashes; kills 229 (Sept. 2). Starr Report by independent counsel outlines case for impeachment proceedings against president (Sept. 11). Senate sustains veto of bill to outlaw late-term abortions (Sept. 18). Iran lifts death threat against Salman Rushdie (Sept. 24). German chancellor Helmut Kohl defeated by Gerhard Schröder (Sept. 27). U.S. budget surplus largest in three decades (Oct. 5). Matthew Shepard, gay Wyoming student, fatally beaten in hate crime (Oct. 6). NATO, on verge of air strikes, reaches settlement with Milosevic on Kosovo (Oct. 12). Former Chilean dictator Pinochet arrested in London (Oct. 16). Wye Mills Agreement between Netanyahu and Arafat moves Middle East peace talks forward (Oct. 23). More than 10,000 die in Central American hurricane, Mitch (Nov. 1). Democrats unexpectedly gain five House seats in national election; Republicans keep control of House and Senate (Nov. 3). House Speaker Gingrich to step down (Nov. 9). House panel drafts impeachment charges; votes along party lines to approve four articles (Dec. 11–12). Clinton orders air strikes on Iraq (Dec. 16–19). House impeaches President Clinton along party lines on two charges, perjury and obstruction of justice (Dec. 19).


U.S. agrees to ease restrictions on Cuba (Jan. 4). Dennis Hastert elected to replace Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House (Jan. 6). NBA ends 191-day labor dispute (Jan. 6). International Olympic Committee expels six members as bribery scandal widens (Jan. 24). King Hussein of Jordan dies (Feb. 7). Senate acquits President Clinton of impeachment charges (Feb. 12). Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo elected president of Nigeria (Feb. 28). First nonstop balloon flight around world completed in 20 days by Bertrand Piccard (Switzerland) and Brian Jones (UK) (March 1–20). Marine pilot acquitted in killing of 20 in 1998 Italian ski gondola accident; Italians outraged (March 4). U.S. accuses China of stealing nuclear secrets (March 5). Joe DiMaggio dies at age 84 (March 8). Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary join NATO (March 12). NATO launches air strikes on Serbia to end attacks against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo (March 24). Dr. Jack Kevorkian convicted of second-degree murder in assisted-suicide case (March 26). “Melissa” computer virus spreads through the Internet (March 27). Libya hands over two suspects in 1988 Pan Am jet bombing (April 5). Two Colo. students go on shooting spree in Columbine High School, killing 15, including themselves (April 20). NATO bombs mistakenly hit Chinese embassy in Belgrade (May 7). Citadel graduates its first woman (May 8). Crime rate in U.S. falls for seventh consecutive year (May 16). Ehud Barak defeats Benjamin Netanyahu in Israeli prime minister election (May 17). U.S. inspects suspected nuclear weapons site in North Korea, finds nothing (May 20–24). Serbs sign agreement to pull troops out of Kosovo after 11 weeks of NATO air attacks (June 9). Nelson Mandela retires as president of South Africa; succeeded by Thabo Mbeki (June 16). Britain's Prince Edward marries Sophie Rhys-Jones (June 19). Kurd leader Abdullah Ocalan sentenced to death for treason in Turkey (June 29). White supremacist goes on shooting spree in Midwest, killing three including self and wounding eight (July 2–5). U.S. soccer team tops China for women's World Cup (July 10). Taiwanese leader Lee Teng-hui challenges “One China” policy (July 11). Serial killer Rafael Reséndez-Ramirez surrenders himself to U.S. authorities (July 13). John F. Kennedy, Jr., wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette killed in plane crash off coast of Martha's Vineyard (July 16). Col. Eileen Collins becomes first female to head a space shuttle mission (July 16). Falun Gong meditation sect banned by Chinese government (July 22). Day-trader kills 9 and wounds 13 in two Atlanta brokerage offices before committing suicide (July 29). Yeltsin replaces Prime Minister Stepashin with Vladimir Putin in fourth government shakeup in 17 months (Aug. 9). Islamic militants declare independence for Dagestan and announce holy war against Russia (Aug. 10). White supremacist opens fire at Jewish community center in LA, wounding five and killing one as he flees (Aug. 10). More than 17,000 people die in 7.4 earthquake in Turkey (Aug. 17). Attorney General Janet Reno reopens investigation of 1993 Waco, Tex., stand-off (Aug. 25). People of East Timor vote for independence from Indonesia (Aug. 31). Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and PLO leader Yasir Arafat announce peace accord (Sept. 4). Larry Gene Ashbrook goes on rampage in Tex. church, killing seven and himself (Sept. 15). NASA accidentally loses $125 million spacecraft as it orbits Mars (Sept. 23). Dozens of people exposed to radiation in Japan's worst nuclear accident (Sept. 30). Russia sends ground troops to Chechnya as conflict with Islamic militants intensifies (Oct. 1). World population reaches six billion milestone (Oct. 11). Military coup led by Gen. Pervez Musharraf overthrows Pakistani government (Oct. 12). Tobacco companies admit to harm caused by cigarette smoking (Oct. 13). Senate rejects 1996 nuclear test-ban treaty; international leaders upset by U.S. stand (Oct. 13). Indonesia elects Muslim leader Abdurrahman Wahid president (Oct. 20). Pro golfer Payne Stewart and five others killed in plane crash (Oct. 25). EgyptAir flight crashes over Atlantic, killing all 217 on board (Oct. 31). Judge finds Microsoft to be a monopoly (Nov. 5). U.S. and China reach landmark trade agreement (Nov. 15). China launches first spacecraft (Nov. 21). Five-year-old Cuban refugee Elián González gets caught in politically charged custody battle (Nov. 25). World Trade Organization conference disrupted by violent protests in Seattle (Nov. 29 et seq.). New Northern Ireland government begins self-rule for first time in 25 years (Dec. 2). Muslim terrorists hijack Indian Airlines jet with 189 on board (Dec. 24).
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Default World War

World War I (1914–1918)

Imperial, territorial, and economic rivalries led to the “Great War” between the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, and Turkey) and the Allies (U.S., Britain, France, Russia, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Romania, Montenegro, Portugal, Italy, and Japan). About 10 million combatants killed, 20 million wounded.


Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and wife assassinated in Sarajevo by Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip (June 28). Austria declares war on Serbia (July 28). Germany declares war on Russia (Aug. 1), on France (Aug. 3), invades Belgium (Aug. 4). Britain declares war on Germany (Aug. 4). Germans defeat Russians in Battle of Tannenberg on Eastern Front (Aug.). First Battle of the Marne (Sept.). German drive stopped 25 miles from Paris. By end of year, war on the Western Front is “positional” in the trenches.


German submarine blockade of Great Britain begins (Feb.). Dardanelles Campaign—British land in Turkey (April), withdraw from Gallipoli (Dec.–Jan. 1916). Germans use gas at second Battle of Ypres (April–May). Lusitania sunk by German submarine—1,198 lost, including 128 Americans (May 7). On Eastern Front, German and Austrian “great offensive” conquers all of Poland and Lithuania; Russians lose 1 million men (by Sept. 6). “Great Fall Offensive” by Allies results in little change from 1914 (Sept.–Oct.). Britain and France declare war on Bulgaria (Oct. 14).


Battle of Verdun—Germans and French each lose about 350,000 men (Feb.). Extended submarine warfare begins (March). British-German sea battle of Jutland (May); British lose more ships, but German fleet never ventures forth again. On Eastern Front, the Brusilov offensive demoralizes Russians, costs them 1 million men (June–Sept.). Battle of the Somme—British lose over 400,000; French, 200,000; Germans, about 450,000; all with no strategic results (July–Nov.). Romania declares war on Austria-Hungary (Aug. 27). Bucharest captured (Dec.).


U.S. declares war on Germany (April 6). Submarine warfare at peak (April). On Italian Front, Battle of Caporetto—Italians retreat, losing 600,000 prisoners and deserters (Oct.–Dec.). On Western Front, Battles of Arras, Champagne, Ypres (third battle), etc. First large British tank attack (Nov.). U.S. declares war on Austria-Hungary (Dec. 7). Armistice between new Russian Bolshevik government and Germans (Dec. 15).


Great offensive by Germans (March–June). Americans' first important battle role at Château-Thierry—as they and French stop German advance (June). Second Battle of the Marne (July–Aug.)—start of Allied offensive at Amiens, St. Mihiel, etc. Battles of the Argonne and Ypres panic German leadership (Sept.–Oct.). British offensive in Palestine (Sept.). Germans ask for armistice (Oct. 4). British armistice with Turkey (Oct.). German Kaiser abdicates (Nov.). Hostilities cease on Western Front (Nov. 11).

World War II (1939–1945)

Axis powers (Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria) versus Allies (U.S., Britain, France, USSR, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Yugoslavia).


Germany invades Poland and annexes Danzig; Britain and France give Hitler ultimatum (Sept. 1), declare war (Sept. 3). Disabled German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee blown up off Montevideo, Uruguay, on Hitler's orders (Dec. 17). Limited activity (“Sitzkrieg”) on Western Front.


Nazis invade Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg (May 10). Chamberlain resigns as Britain's prime minister; Churchill takes over (May 10). Germans cross French frontier (May 12) using air/tank/infantry “Blitzkrieg” tactics. Dunkerque evacuation > about 335,000 out of 400,000 Allied soldiers rescued from Belgium by British civilian and naval craft (May 26–June 3). Italy declares war on France and Britain; invades France (June 10). Germans enter Paris; city undefended (June 14). France and Germany sign armistice at Compiègne (June 22). Nazis bomb Coventry, England (Nov. 14).


Germans launch attacks in Balkans. Yugoslavia surrenders—General Mihajlovic continues guerrilla warfare; Tito leads left-wing guerrillas (April 17). Nazi tanks enter Athens; remnants of British Army quit Greece (April 27). Hitler attacks Russia (June 22). Atlantic Charter—FDR and Churchill agree on war aims (Aug. 14). Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, Philippines, Guam force U.S. into war; U.S. Pacific fleet crippled (Dec. 7). U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. Germany and Italy declare war on U.S.; Congress declares war on those countries (Dec. 11).


British surrender Singapore to Japanese (Feb. 15). Roosevelt orders Japanese and Japanese Americans in western U.S. to be exiled to “relocation centers,” many for the remainder of the war (Feb. 19). U.S. forces on Bataan peninsula in Philippines surrender (April 9). U.S. and Filipino troops on Corregidor island in Manila Bay surrender to Japanese (May 6). Village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia razed by Nazis (June 10). U.S. and Britain land in French North Africa (Nov. 8).


Casablanca Conference—Churchill and FDR agree on unconditional surrender goal (Jan. 14–24). German 6th Army surrenders at Stalingrad—turning point of war in Russia (Feb. 1–2). Remnants of Nazis trapped on Cape Bon, ending war in Africa (May 12). Mussolini deposed; Badoglio named premier (July 25). Allied troops land on Italian mainland after conquest of Sicily (Sept. 3). Italy surrenders (Sept. 8). Nazis seize Rome (Sept. 10). Cairo Conference: FDR, Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek pledge defeat of Japan, free Korea (Nov. 22–26). Tehran Conference: FDR, Churchill, Stalin agree on invasion plans (Nov. 28–Dec. 1).


U.S. and British troops land at Anzio on west Italian coast and hold beachhead (Jan. 22). U.S. and British troops enter Rome (June 4). D-Day—Allies launch Normandy invasion (June 6). Hitler wounded in bomb plot (July 20). Paris liberated (Aug. 25). Athens freed by Allies (Oct. 13). Americans invade Philippines (Oct. 20). Germans launch counteroffensive in Belgium—Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 16).


Yalta Agreement signed by FDR, Churchill, Stalin—establishes basis for occupation of Germany, returns to Soviet Union lands taken by Germany and Japan; USSR agrees to friendship pact with China (Feb. 11). Mussolini killed at Lake Como (April 28). Admiral Doenitz takes command in Germany; suicide of Hitler announced (May 1). Berlin falls (May 2). Germany signs unconditional surrender terms at Rheims (May 7). Allies declare V-E Day (May 8). Potsdam Conference—Truman, Churchill, Atlee (after July 28), Stalin establish council of foreign ministers to prepare peace treaties; plan German postwar government and reparations (July 17–Aug. 2). A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima by U.S. (Aug. 6). USSR declares war on Japan (Aug. 8). Nagasaki hit by A-bomb (Aug. 9). Japan agrees to surrender (Aug. 14). V-J Day—Japanese sign surrender terms aboard battleship Missouri (Sept. 2).
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The Holocaust (1933–1945)

“Holocaust” is the term describing the Nazi annihilation of about 6 million Jews (two thirds of the pre-World War II European Jewish population), including 4,500,000 from Russia, Poland, and the Baltic; 750,000 from Hungary and Romania; 290,000 from Germany and Austria; 105,000 from The Netherlands; 90,000 from France; 54,000 from Greece.

The Holocaust was unique in its being genocide—the systematic destruction of a people solely because of religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, or sexual preference—on an unmatched scale. Along with the Jews, another 9 to 10 million people—Gypsies, Slavs (Poles, Ukrainians, and Belarussians), homosexuals, and the disabled—were exterminated.


Hitler named German Chancellor (Jan.). Dachau, first concentration camp, established (March). Boycotts against Jews begin (April).


Anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws passed by Reichstag; Jews lose citizenship and civil rights (Sept.).


Buchenwald concentration camp opens (July).


Extension of anti-Semitic laws to Austria after annexation (March). Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass)—anti-Semitic riots and destruction of Jewish institutions in Germany and Austria (Nov. 9). 26,000 Jews sent to concentration camps; Jewish children expelled from schools (Nov. 9–10). Expropriation of Jewish property and businesses (Dec.).


As war continues, Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads) follow German army into conquered lands, rounding up and massacring Jews and other “undesirables.”


Goering instructs Heydrich to carry out the “final solution to the Jewish question” (July 31). Deportation of German Jews begins; massacres of Jews in Odessa and Kiev (Nov.); and in Riga and Vilna (Dec.).


Mass killings using Zyklon-B begin at Auschwitz-Birkenau (Jan.). Nazi leaders attend Wannsee Conference to coordinate the “final solution” (Jan. 20). 100,000 Jews from Warsaw Ghetto deported to Treblinka death camp (July).


Warsaw Ghetto uprisings (Jan. and April); Ghetto exterminated (May).


476,000 Hungarian Jews sent to Auschwitz (May–June). D-day (June 6). Soviet Army liberates Maidanek death camp (July). Nazis try to hide evidence of death camps (Nov.).


As Allies advance, Nazis force concentration camp inmates on death marches. Americans liberate Buchenwald and British liberate Bergen-Belsen camps (April). Nuremberg War Crimes Trial (Nov. 1945–Oct. 1946).

Korean War (1950–1953)


North Korean Communist forces invade South Korea (June 25). UN calls for cease-fire and asks UN members to assist South Korea (June 27). Truman orders U.S. forces into Korea (June 27). North Koreans capture Seoul (June 28). Gen. Douglas MacArthur designated commander of unified UN forces (July 8). Pusan Beachhead—UN forces counterattack and capture Seoul (Aug.–Sept.), capture Pyongyang, North Korean capital (Oct.). Chinese Communists enter war (Oct. 26), force UN retreat toward 38th parallel (Dec.).


Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway replaces MacArthur after he threatens Chinese with massive retaliation (April 11). Armistice negotiations (July) continue with interruptions until June 1953.


Armistice signed (July 27). Chinese troops withdraw from North Korea (Oct. 26, 1958), but over 200 violations of armistice noted to 1959.

Vietnam War

U.S., South Vietnam, and Allies versus North Vietnam and National Liberation Front (Viet Cong).


President Truman sends 35-man military advisory group to aid French fighting to maintain colonial power in Vietnam.


After defeat of French at Dien Bien Phu, Geneva Agreements (July) provide for withdrawal of French and Vietminh to either side of demarcation zone (DMZ) pending reunification elections, which are never held. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy (from 1954 onward) send civilian advisers and, later, military personnel to train South Vietnamese.


Communists form National Liberation Front in South.


U.S. military advisers in South Vietnam rise from 900 to 15,000.


Ngo Dinh Diem, South Vietnam's premier, slain in coup (Nov. 1).


North Vietnamese torpedo boats reportedly attack U.S. destroyers in Gulf of Tonkin (Aug. 2). President Johnson orders retaliatory air strikes. Congress approves Gulf of Tonkin resolution (Aug. 7) authorizing president to take “all necessary measures” to win in Vietnam, allowing for the war's expansion.


U.S. planes begin combat missions over South Vietnam. In June, 23,000 American advisers committed to combat. By end of year over 184,000 U.S. troops in area.


B-52s bomb DMZ, reportedly used by North Vietnam for entry into South (July 31).


South Vietnam National Assembly approves election of Nguyen Van Thieu as president (Oct. 21).


U.S. has almost 525,000 men in Vietnam. In Tet offensive (Jan.–Feb.), Viet Cong guerrillas attack Saigon, Hue, and some provincial capitals. In My Lai massacre, American soldiers kill 300 Vietnamese villagers (March 16). President Johnson orders halt to U.S. bombardment of North Vietnam (Oct. 31). Saigon and N.L.F. join U.S. and North Vietnam in Paris peace talks.


President Nixon announces Vietnam peace offer (May 14)—begins troop withdrawals (June). Viet Cong forms Provisional Revolutionary Government. U.S. Senate calls for curb on commitments (June 25). Ho Chi Minh, 79, North Vietnam president, dies (Sept. 3); collective leadership chosen. Some 6,000 U.S. troops pulled back from Thailand and 1,000 marines from Vietnam (announced Sept. 30). Massive demonstrations in U.S. protest or support war policies (Oct. 15).


U.S. troops invade Cambodia in order to destroy North Vietnamese sanctuaries (May 1).


Congress bars use of combat troops, but not air power, in Laos and Cambodia (Jan. 1). South Vietnamese troops, with U.S. air cover, fail in Laos thrust. Many American ground forces withdrawn from Vietnam combat. New York Times publishes Pentagon papers, classified material on expansion of war (June).


Nixon responds to North Vietnamese drive across DMZ by ordering mining of North Vietnam ports and heavy bombing of Hanoi-Haiphong area (April 1). Nixon orders “Christmas bombing” of North to get North Vietnamese back to conference table (Dec.).


President orders halt to offensive operations in North Vietnam (Jan. 15). Representatives of North and South Vietnam, U.S., and N.L.F. sign peace pacts in Paris, ending longest war in U.S. history (Jan. 27). Last American troops departed in their entirety (March 29).


Both sides accuse each other of frequent violations of cease-fire agreement.


Full-scale warfare resumes. South Vietnam premier Nguyen Van Thieu resigns (April 21). South Vietnamese government surrenders to North Vietnam; U.S. Marine embassy guards and U.S. civilians and dependents evacuated (April 30). More than 140,000 Vietnamese refugees leave by air and sea, many to settle in U.S. Provisional Revolutionary Government takes control (June 6).


Election of National Assembly paves way for reunification of North and South.

The Persian Gulf War (Jan. 16, 1991–April 6, 1991)


Iraq invades its tiny neighbor, Kuwait, after talks break down over oil production and debt repayment. Iraqi president Saddam Hussein later annexes Kuwait and declares it a 19th province of Iraq (Aug. 2). President Bush believes that Iraq intends to invade Saudi Arabia and take control of the region's oil supplies. He begins organizing a multinational coalition to seek Kuwait's freedom and restoration of its legitimate government. The UN Security Council authorizes economic sanctions against Iraq. Bush orders U.S. troops to protect Saudi Arabia at the Saudis' request and “Operation Desert Shield” begins (Aug. 6). 230,000 American troops arrive in Saudi Arabia to take defensive action, but when Iraq continues a huge military buildup in Kuwait, the President orders an additional 200,000 troops deployed to prepare for a possible offensive action by the U.S.-led coalition forces. He subsequently obtains a UN Security Council resolution setting a Jan. 15, 1991 deadline for Iraq to withdraw unconditionally from Kuwait (Nov. 8).


Bush wins congressional approval for his position with the most devastating air assault in history against military targets in Iraq and Kuwait (Jan. 16). He rejects a Soviet-Iraq peace plan for a gradual withdrawal that does not comply with all the UN resolutions and gives Iraq an ultimatum to withdraw from Kuwait by noon Feb. 23 (Feb. 22). The president orders the ground war to begin (Feb. 24). In a brilliant and lightning-fast campaign, U.S. and coalition forces smash through Iraq's defenses and defeat Saddam Hussein's troops in only four days of combat. Allies enter Kuwait City (Feb. 26). Iraqi army sets fire to over 500 of Kuwait's oil wells as final act of destruction to Kuwait's infrastructure. Bush orders a unilateral cease-fire 100 hours after the ground offensive started (Feb. 27). Allied and Iraqi military leaders meet on battlefield to discuss terms for a formal cease-fire to end the Gulf War. Iraq agrees to abide by all of the UN resolutions (Mar. 3). The first Allied prisoners of war are released (Mar. 4). Official cease-fire accepted and signed (April 6). 532,000 U.S. forces served in Operation Desert Storm. There were a total of 147 U.S. battle deaths during the Gulf War, 145 nonbattle deaths, and 467 wounded in action.
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