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US history timeline of important events 2
Terms in this set (45)
Timeline of Important Events
1430: Portuguese start voyages down the west coast of Africa
1492: Columbus arrives in Western Hemisphere
1500 - early 1600s
1509-1547: Henry VII rules England
Protestant reformation begins in England
1558-1603: Reign of Queen Elizabeth I
Ireland conquered by England
1607: Jamestown founded-first successful colonial town on the east coast
1612: Tobacco made a profitable crop by John Rolfe
1619:First group of blacks brought to Virginia
First legislative assembly meets in Virginia
1620: First Pilgrims in Plymouth
1622: Indian attacks in Virginia end hopes of becoming a bi-racial society
1629: Great Puritan migration to Massachusetts Bay
1636: Harvard University founded
1676: Bacon's Rebellion- attack by frontiersmen led by Nathaniel Bacon against the Native Americans in the Virginia backcountry; when the governor opposed Bacon's action, Bacon attacked Jamestown burned it, and briefly deposed the governor before the rebellion fizzled. This revolt is often viewed as the first strike against intensive British policy, as a clash between East and West, and as evidence of the dangers of the indentured servant system
1686: Creation of Dominion of New England- attempt to streamline colonial rule by combining all the New England colonies under the control of one governor in 1688; it was dissolved after the Glorious Revolution in England when its sponsors were deposed.
1688: Glorious Revolution in England- King James II's policies, such as converting to Catholicism, conducting a series of repressive trials known as the "Bloody Assizes," and maintaining a standing army, so outraged the people of England that Parliament asked him to resign and invited King William of the Netherlands (who became known as William II in England), to take over the throne. King James II left peacefully (after his troops deserted him) and King William II and his wife Queen Mary II took the throne without any war or bloodshed, hence the revolution was termed "glorious."
1700 - 1781
1700: 250,000 settlers in English colonies
1704: First colonial newspaper- Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick in Boston
1720s: Colonial economic life quickens
1739-1744: Great Awakening- religious revival in the colonies in 1730s and 1740s; George Whitefield and Johnathan Edwards preached a message of atonement for sins by admitting them to God. The movement attempted to combat the growing secularism and rationalism of med-eighteenth century America.
1756-1763: French and Indian War- Part of the Seven Years' War in Europe. Britain and France fought for control of the Ohio Valley and Canada. The Algonquians, who feared British expansion into the Ohio Valley, allied with the French. The Mohawks also fought for the French while the rest of the Iroquois Nation allied with the British. The colonies fought under British commanders. Britain eventually won, and gained control of all of the remaining French possessions in Canada, as well as India. Spain, which had allied with France, ceded Florida to Britain, but received Louisiana in return. 1776: Declaration of Independence- approved by Congress on July 4, 1776, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, it formalized the colonies' separation from Britain and laid out the Enlightenment values (best expressed by John Locke) of natural rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" upon which the American Revolution was based.
1777: British defeated at Saratoga- a turning point of the Revolution in October 1777, when an army of 6,000 British soldiers surrendered in New York; the battle resulted from a British attempt to divide the colonies through the Hudson River Valley. The American victory convinced the French to ally with the colonies and assured the ultimate success of independence.
1778: French join the war against the British
1781: Battle of Yorktown- a siege that ended in October
1781 when Washington trapped 8,000 British soldiers on a peninsula in Virginia after a British campaign in the southern colonies; this defeat caused the British to cease large-scale fighting in America and to start negotiations, which eventually led to the colonies' independence.
1781: Articles of Confederation ratified: Articles' strengths -concluded revolutionary war with treaty of Paris in 1783, kept states together with common national citizenship, settled question of western land claims. Article's weaknesses -9 states needed to ratify a bill before it became a law, all states needed to accept an amendment, little or no enforcement of laws, no foreign policy, states printed own currency, federal gov. couldn't tax, no federal army, no judicial system, no national compulsive power over states
1783: Peace treaty signed in Paris (treaty of Paris of 1783)
1784-1787: Northwest Ordinance of 1784, 1785, and 1787: This law provided that the area north of Ohio be divided into three to five territories, and allowed a territory to have a governor, secretary, three judges, and a legislature if inhabited by 5,000 white males. The territory could apply to the U.S. government for statehood if it had 60,000 white males.
1786: Annapolis Convention: In this convention, states near the Chesapeake Bay area talked about the lowering of taxes and tariffs to increase trade between states. Alexander Hamilton told the states to meet one year later in Philadelphia so they could overhaul the Articles of Confederation.
1787: Shays' Rebellion- Captain Daniel Shays led back country farmers in a rebellion because many people were losing their farms through mortgage, foreclosures, and tax delinquencies. Farmers demanded cheaper paper money, lighter taxes, and a suspension of mortgage foreclosures. the rebellion ended when troops broke up Shays' mob in Boston
Constitutional Convention- Delegates from all states but Georgia met in Philadelphia to discuss the Articles of Confederation. This convention resulted in a new constitution. All 55 delegates represented the propertied upper class and most were personally interested in creating a strong central government
1788: Federalist Papers written- This book was made up of 85 essays that were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. They were passed out as essays to support the ratification of the Constitution.
Constitution ratified- The bill of rights are the first ten amendments added to the constitution and enumerated the rights of men. Many colonies refused to sign the Constitution until these rights were added to the Constitution.
1789: George Washington inaugurated as President of the United States
French Revolution begins- Reacting to the oppressive aristocracy, the French middle and lower classes overthrew the king and asserted power for themselves in a violent and bloody revolution. This uprising was inspired by America's independence from England and the Enlightenment ideas
1790: Capital placed on the Potomac River
1793: Citizen Genet- French statesman who came to America in search of monetary aid. He asked for private donations to France and recruited American privateers (pirates plundering for another country)
1794: Whiskey Rebellion- The small farmers of western Pennsylvania rose up in rebellion against an excise tax on whiskey. This tax fell heavily on western farmers who condensed their corn to whiskey. They refused to pay the tax, attacked tax collectors, and began a march to Pittsburgh. President Washington sent 13000 and the rebels' protest quickly ended.
1794: Indians defeated at Fallen Timbers- the last major conflict of the Northwest Territory Indian War between Native Americans and the United States. At the battle, near present-day Toledo, Ohio, General Anthony Wayne (1745-96) led U.S. troops to victory over a confederation of Indian warriors whose leaders included Chief Blue Jacket of the Shawnees and Chief Little Turtle of the Miami's. The Treaty of Greenville, signed the following year, opened up much of present-day Ohio to white settlers.
1795: Jay Treaty- sought to settle outstanding issues between the two countries that had been left unresolved since American independence. The treaty proved unpopular with the American public but did accomplish the goal of maintaining peace between the two nations and preserving U.S. neutrality.
Pinckney Treaty- established intentions of friendship between the United States of America and Spain
1798: Un-declared war with France-also known as the Quasi War fought almost entirely at sea between the United States of America and the French Republic from 1798 to 1800
1798: Alien and Sedition Acts- fearing an event like The French Revolution in America, this was passed by the Federalist Congress and signed into law by President Adams. These laws included new powers to DEPORT foreigners as well as making it harder for new immigrants to vote
1799: Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions- measures passed by the legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky as a protest against the Federalist Alien and Sedition Acts.
1800: Jefferson elected
1803: Louisiana Purchase- was the acquisition of the Louisiana territory (828,000 square miles) by the United States from France
1807-1809: Embargo in effect: In 1807, Britain passed the Orders in Council, which required neutral countries to obtain a license from its authorities before trading with France or French colonies. The Royal Navy also outraged Americans by its practice of impressment, or removing seamen from U.S. merchant vessels and forcing them to serve on behalf of the British. In 1809, the U.S. Congress repealed Thomas Jefferson's unpopular Embargo Act, which by restricting trade had hurt Americans more than either Britain or France. Its replacement, the Non-Intercourse Act, specifically prohibited trade with Britain and France. It also proved ineffective, and in turn was replaced with a May 1810 bill stating that if either power dropped trade restrictions against the United States, Congress would in turn resume non-intercourse with the opposing power
1808: Slave trade ended
1809: Non-intercourse Act- Thomas Jefferson lifted the embargos on American shipping to all other markets except Britain and France which failed to harm either or their economies but damaged the US economy because of a lack of trading partners
1812: War with England- British attempts to restrict U.S. trade, the Royal Navy's impressment of American seamen and America's desire to expand its territory fueled this war
1814: Treaty of Ghent- was signed by British and American representatives at Ghent, Belgium, ending the War of 1812. By terms of the treaty, all conquered territory was to be returned, and commissions were planned to settle the boundary of the United States and Canada
1820: Missouri Compromise- federal statute in the United States that regulated slavery in the country's western territories. The compromise, devised by Henry Clay, was agreed to by the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress and passed as a law.
1820: First labor unions formed
- Romanticism flourished in America-Literature movement that included great works such as: Emerson's Representative Men, Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, The House of Seven Gables, Melville's Moby-Dick and Pierre, Thoreau's Walden, and Whitman's Leaves of Grass.
1823: Monroe Doctrine- U.S. foreign policy regarding European countries in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring U.S. intervention
1828: Andrew Jackson elected
Railroad era begins- rail lines appeared in many sections of the country, particularly in New England and the Middle States
1831: Nat Turner's rebellion- A religious leader and self-styled Baptist minister, Turner and a group of followers killed some sixty white men, women, and children on the night of August 21. Turner and 16 of his conspirators were captured and executed, but the incident continued to haunt Southern whites. Blacks were randomly killed all over Southhampton County; many were beheaded and their heads left along the roads to warn others. In the wake of the uprising planters tightened their grip on slaves and slavery.
Liberator founded- weekly newspaper of abolitionist crusader William Lloyd Garrison for 35 years (January 1, 1831-December 29, 1865). It was the most influential antislavery periodical in the pre-Civil War period of U.S. history.
1832: Nullification crisis- declared the tariff of 1828 and 1832 null and void within the state borders of South Carolina
1834: Whig party formed- A political party that lasted from 1834 to 1860, formed to oppose the policies of President Andrew Jackson, The creation of the party signified the end of one party rule.
1835: Texas Revolution, Republic of Texas established
1837: Panic of 1837- As a result of Jackson's economic policies, the United States went through another depression It resulted in the closure of many banks and record unemployment levels.
1838-1839-Indian Removal Bill/Trail of Tears- as part of Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the "Trail of Tears," because of its devastating effects
1840: Manifest Destiny- during the 19th century period of American expansion that the United States not only could, but was destined to, stretch from coast to coast. This attitude helped fuel western settlement, Native American removal and war with Mexico Telegraph and railroads create a communications revolution
1846: Mexican War begins
1848: Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo ended Mexican War- got land from Mexico, ended Mexican-American war, negotiated by US Diplomat Nicholas Trist
- U.S. acquires California and territory of New Mexico which includes present-day Nevada, Utah, Arizona, new Mexico, and part of Colorado
1849: Gold discovered in California
1850: Compromise of 1850- Includes California admitted as a free state, the Fugitive Slave Act, Made popular sovereignty in most other states from Mexican- American War, no slave trade in DC
1853: Gadsden Purchase- 1853 purchase of more land from Mexico for purpose of building intercontinental railroad
1854: Kansas-Nebraska Act- Created Nebraska and Kansas as states and gave the people in those territories the right to choose to be a free or slave state through popular sovereignty
*Republican Party formed
1856: Violence in Kansas- Proslavery and free-state settlers flooded into Kansas to try to influence the decision. Violence soon erupted as both factions fought for control.
1856: Senator Sumner attacked in the Senate- Massachusetts senator Sumner blamed south for bleeding Kansas and degrading congressmen, senator Preston Brooks South Carolina beat him with a cane
1858: Lincoln-Douglas Debates- During the race to become Senator Lincoln asked to have multiple debates with Douglas. Certain topics of these debates were slavery, how to deal with slavery, and where slavery should be allowed. Although Lincoln lost the election to Douglas, he emerged as the leader of the Republican party
1859: John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry- John Brown's scheme to invade the South with armed slaves, backed by sponsoring, northern abolitionists; seized the federal arsenal; Brown and remnants were caught by Robert E. Lee and the US Marines; Brown was hanged
1860: Democratic Party splits apart
-Abraham Lincoln elected 16th President of the United States
- Lower South secedes
1861:Confederate States of America formed
- Civil War begins at Fort Sumter
- Upper South secedes
- North is defeated at the first battle of Bull Run
1862: Battle of Antietam- the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with almost 23,000 casualties. After this "win" for the North, Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation and France and Great Britain no longer willing to aide south
-Morill Tariff, Homestead Act- Federal law that gave land to western states to build agricultural and engineering colleges was passed by Lincoln
-Emancipation Proclamation issued (effective January 1, 1863) Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, after Antietam. it declared that all slaves in the rebellious Confederate states would be free
1864: Grant's wilderness campaign-"scorched earth" policies that he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States
-Sherman takes Atlanta
-Sherman's "March to the Sea"
1865: Sherman takes South and North Carolina
-Lee surrenders at Appomattox Court House
-Thirteenth Amendment abolishes slavery
-Andrew Johnson becomes President
-KKK formed- Stands for Ku Klux Klan and started right after the Civil War. Terrorist group of White Supremacists in south
1866: in response to black codes in South - passed; Johnson vetoes - overridden
defined citizenship as anyone born in US, except Native Americans - entitled to rights of citizens defined in the Constitution
1867: First Reconstruction Act launches Radical Reconstruction
- Alaska purchased- William Seward's purchase of Alaska from Russia for 7.2 million dollars, calling it his folly.
1868: Fourteenth Amendment guarantees Civil Rights
1870: Fifteenth Amendment forbids denial of vote on racial grounds
1870s: Terrorism against blacks in South, flourishing of Darwinism and ideas of racial inferiority
1876: End of Reconstruction
-Battle of Little Big Horn-Custer and the 7th Calvary was ambushed by Sitting Bull and the Sioux Nation-Greatest Native American victory over the US Army
1877: Munn v. Illinois: Court rules states may regulate warehouse rates
1879: Stand Oil Trust formed- started in 1863 by John D. Rockefeller. He built up the company through 1868 to become the largest oil refinery firm in the world. In 1870, the company was renamed Standard Oil Company, after which Rockefeller decided to buy up all the other competition and form them into one large company in 1879.
1880: Big Business emerge
1883: Railroad companies divide nation into four time zones
-Pendleton Civil Service Act- provided that Federal Government jobs be awarded on the basis of merit and that Government employees be selected through competitive exams
1886: Haymarket Riots- The riot took place in Chicago between rioters and the police. It ended when someone threw a bomb that killed dozens. The riot was suppressed, and in addition with the damaged reputation of unions, it also killed the Knights of Labor, who were seen as anarchists.
1887: Interstate Commerce Commission-Five member committee to regulate the practices of interstate railroads; banned practices such as pooling and rebates by railroad companies
-Dawes Act- broke up previous land settlements given to Native Americans in the form of reservations, and separated them into smaller, separate parcels of land to live on. More importantly, the Act required Natives to live apart from their nations and assimilate into European culture
1890: Sherman Anti-Trust Act-law passed to outlaw trusts and monopolies
- Massacre at Wounded Knee- In 1890 at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, killed over 240 Indians practicing the Ghost Dance...Dance at reservation spurred on by assassination of Sitting Bull
-Sherman Silver Purchase Act- required the U.S. government to purchase nearly twice as much silver as before, but also added substantially to the amount of money already in circulation
1890-1920: Fifteen million "new" immigrants
1893: Repeal of Sherman Silver Purchase Act
1895: Pollock v Farmers- imposed a direct tax on the incomes of American citizens and corporations, thus declaring the federal income tax unconstitutional.
-Court strikes down income tax
1898: War with Spain
1899: Peace with Spain, U. S. receives Philippines, Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico
1900: Gold Standard
1901: Theodore Roosevelt becomes President
1904: Roosevelt Corollary to Monroe Doctrine
1904-1914: Panama Canal built
1906: Hepburn Act, Pure Food and Drug Act-passed by Theodore Roosevelt after The Jungle was published
- The Jungle-work of fiction by Upton Sinclair about the evils of the Chicago meat packing industry
1912: Election of Woodrow Wilson
1913: Sixteen Amendment authorizing income tax ratified
- Seventeenth Amendment providing for direct elections of Senators ratified
-Federal Reserve System begun- gave the 12 Federal Reserve banks the ability to print money in order to ensure economic stability
- Wilson broadens segregation in civil service
1914: World War 1 begins (US neutral)
-U. S. troops occupy Vera Cruz
1915: U. S. troops sent to Haiti
-Lusitania sunk, U. S. intervened
-KKK revived- new KKK was anti-foreign, anti-Catholic, anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-pacifist, anti-Communist, anti-internationalist, anti-revolutionist, anti-bootlegger, anti-gambling, anti-adultery, and anti-birth control
1916: Germany issues Sussex pledge-avoided war between Germany and the US over U-boat sinking of commercial ships in Atlantic waters in the early stages of WWI
1917: Bolshevik Revolution- Following the Bolshevik success in Russian Revolution in 1919, Americans feared the eventual fate that communism and other radical political forms would take over the nation resulting in "two red scares"
1917: U.S. enters WW1
1918: WW1 ends
- Treaty of Versailles-puts all the blame on Germany and sets the stage for WWII
1919: Eighteenth Amendment prohibits alcoholic beverages
- Red Scare
1920: Nineteenth Amendment gives women the right to vote
- First radio station KDKA in Pittsburgh
1921: Washington Naval Conference
1924: Revenue Act slashes income tax on wealthy and corporations
1927: Lindbergh crosses the Atlantic
1929: Stock market crashes
1932: Franklin Roosevelt elected
1933: Roosevelt closes bank: Bank holiday- From March 6th to 10th, the banks nationwide would all shut down in order to prevent more bank run and bankrupt. The government would then sort things out.
- "Hundred Days"- During this period of dramatic legislative productivity, FDR laid out the progressive programs that constituted the New Deal.
- Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC): Provided employment in government camps for 3 million young men. Construction jobs include reforestation, flood control, fire-fighting etc. This could prevent some to join criminal habits.
-Works Progress Administration (WPA): Authorized by Congress in 1935, employ and provide income for workers on projects such as buildings, bridges, roads which would spend about 11 billion dollars.
- National Recovery Act: Sought to help business, raise prices, control production, and put people back to work. This act established the National Recovery Administration (NRA), with the power to set fair competition codes in all industries.
-Public Works Administration (PWA): Created for both industrial recovery and for unemployment relief. Headed by Secretary of Interior Harold L. Ickes, it aimed at long-range recovery and spent $4 billion on thousands of projects that included public buildings, highways, and parkways.
-Securities Exchange Act of 1933: to ensure that buyers of securities receive complete and accurate information before they invest in securities
- Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA): Part of the immediate relief, made available many millions of dollars to help farmers to meet their mortgages.
-Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA): Agency to determine precisely how much the production and distribution of electricity cost, so to test the fairness of rates charged by private companies. Also brought employment to the area.
-Social Security Act (SSA): Guaranteed retirement payments for enrolled workers beginning at age 65; set up federal-state system of unemployment insurance and care for dependent mothers and children, handicapped, and public health.
- Twentieth Amendment: changes inauguration day to January
- Twenty-first Amendment: repeals prohibition
1933: Hitler comes to power in Germany
1934: Gold standard terminated
- -Securities Exchange Act of 1934: created the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and authorized Congress as a watchdog administrative agency of stock markets. To protect public against fraud, inside manipulation.
1935: Social Security Act, WP, NLRA-see above
- CIO formed- The new union group that organized large numbers of unskilled workers with the help of the Wagner Act and the National Labor Relations Board
- U. S. Begins neutrality legislation- Prohibit sale of munitions to warring nations, prohibited Americans to ride on ships of warring nations, allowed the president to implement the "cash and carry" style of trade. Proved to be shortsighted which led to its relaxation.
1936: FDR re-elected
1937: FDR attempts to pack Supreme Court- FDR's scheme for gaining Supreme Court approval of New Deal legislation
- Japan invades China- Japanese Army attacked Chinese troops in Manchuria, an attempt by the Japanese Empire to gain control over the province, in order to eventually encompass all of East Asia.
1938: United States Housing Authority- The act required that the construction of new public housing units be matched by the removal of an equal number of substandard dwellings from the local housing supply
-Fair labor Standards Act- was designed to "put a ceiling over hours and a floor under wages" by establishing an eventual maximum 40 weekly hours for most US employers
-Hitler takes Austria, Munich Agreement- Under the pain of Great Depression, the weak Western Powers betrayed Czechoslovakia in 1938, when they let Germany annex Sudetenland. Hitler would then in 1939, take away entire Czechoslovakia as well.
1939: World War 2 begins
1940- beginning of WW2
1940: Roosevelt makes destroyers-for-bases deal with the British
-Fall of France
-First peacetime draft
1941: Lend-Lease- Approved by Congress in 1941, allowed US to lend or lease arms or other supplies to nations considered "vital to the defense of the United States", meant to let allies keep the war on the other side of Atlantic. Essentially ended any pretense of neutrality.
-Battle of Britain- The Second World War air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940
-Hitler attacks USSR- Germany's tactic of discouraging USSR's aggression by promising half of Poland to Stalin. Effectively contributed to Hitler's success in the Western front before its formal invasion of the Soviet Union.
-Atlantic Charter- Joint declaration in 1941 by Roosevelt and Churchill, stating common principles for the free world: self-determination, free choice of government, equal opportunities for trade, system of general security and disarmament. Would not seek war reparation from the Axis.
-Japan attacks Pearl Harbor-December 7th, 1941 hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii. The barrage lasted just two hours, but it was devastating: The Japanese managed to destroy nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight enormous battleships, and almost 200 airplanes. More than 2,000 Americans soldiers and sailors died in the attack, and another 1,000 were wounded.
1942- end of WW2
1942: Allied year of disaster-Weakened Britain and the unprepared United States suffered many setbacks in North Africa
- U. S. interns Japanese- President Roosevelt signed an executive order in February 1942 ordering the relocation of all Americans of Japanese ancestry to concentration camps in the interior of the United States
- U. S. halts Japanese at Coral Sea and Midway
1943:Tide turns against Axis
-Russia wins at Stalingrad, unconditional surrender demanded
- Italy invaded
1944: France invaded
-Bombing of Japan begins
-Russia sweeps through Eastern Europe
1945: Yalta Conference - FDR, Churchill and Stalin met at Yalta. Stalin agreed to declare war on Japan after the surrender of Germany and in return FDR and Churchill promised the USSR concession in Manchuria and the territories that it had lost in the Russo-Japanese War.
-Atom bombs-Nagasaki and Hiroshima hastened - 1945: Japan's surrender ending the war
-End of WW 2
1946: U. S. - USSR relations worsen
- "Iron Curtain" speech- Winston Churchill's term for the Cold War division between the Soviet-dominated East and the U.S.-dominated West.
1947: Cold War begins
- Marshall Plan- Introduced by Secretary of State George Marshall in 1947, he proposed massive and systematic American economic aid to Europe to revitalize the European economies after WWII and help prevent the spread of Communism.
-Containment- US foreign policy adopted by President Truman in the late 1940s, in which the United States tried to stop the spread of communism by creating alliances and helping weak countries to resist Soviet advances.
1948-1949: Berlin Airlift- Successful effort by the US and UK to ship by air 2.3 million tons of supplies to the residents of the Western-controlled sectors of Berlin from June 1948 to May 1949, in response to a Soviet blockade of all land and canal routes to the divided city.
-Taft-Hartley- Outlawed "closed" shops (closed to non-union members), made unions liable for damages that resulted from jurisdictional disputes among themselves, and required that union leaders take non-communist oaths.
1949: NATO- the United States, Canada, and ten European nations formed this military mutual-defense pact. In 1955, the Soviet Union countered NATO with the formation of the Warsaw Pact, a military alliance among those nations within its own sphere of influence.
-Russia explodes the bomb-Russia's first successful atomic bomb test
-Communists control China
1950: Korean War- June 25, 1950, the Korean War began when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People's Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea's behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. After some early back-and-forth across the 38th parallel, the fighting stalled and casualties mounted with nothing to show for them. Meanwhile, American officials worked anxiously to fashion some sort of armistice with the North Koreans. The alternative, they feared, would be a wider war with Russia and China-or even, as some warned, World War III. Finally, in July 1953, the Korean War came to an end. In all, some 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives during the war. The Korean peninsula is still divided today.
- Joseph McCarthy- McCarthy spent almost five years trying in vain to expose communists and other left-wing "loyalty risks" in the U.S. government. In the hyper-suspicious atmosphere of the Cold War, insinuations of disloyalty were enough to convince many Americans that their government was packed with traitors and spies. McCarthy's accusations were so intimidating that few people dared to speak out against him. It was not until he attacked the Army in 1954 that his actions earned him the censure of the U.S. Senate.
1951: Twenty-second Amendment limits the President to two terms
1952: Dwight Eisenhower elected President
1953: Industries agree on guaranteed annual wage
1954: Brown v. Board of Education, Supreme Court strikes down "separate but equal."- Unanimous Supreme Court decision in 1954 that ruled segregation in public schools as unconstitutional. Reversed the Plessy v. Ferguson decision's "separate but equal" in 1896.
-Geneva conference: Vietnam divided in 1954 countries that agreed to restore peace in French Indochina and Vietnam. Divided Vietnam into north and south in 17th parallel.
1955: Civil Rights movement begins
- Montgomery Bus Boycott, emergence of Martin Luther King, Jr.-Rosa Parks, a black woman who in December 1955 took a seat in the white-only section of a bus. Arrested and sparked the Montgomery bus boycott by blacks. Served notice in the South that blacks would no longer submit to the indignities of segregation.
1957: Sputnik- Russian artificial Earth satellites, I and II were launched by Moscow in 1957. Sparked US fears of Soviet dominance in technology and outer space. It led to the creation of NASA and the space race.
-Eisenhower Doctrine- Proclaimed in 1953 by Congress and President, pledging US military and economic aid to Middle Eastern countries threatened by communist aggression.
-Little rock Crisis- Nine black students tried and were successful to integrate a high school in Little Rock, Arkansas
- Civil Rights Act- Primarily a voting rights bill, was the first civil rights legislation enacted since Reconstruction. It was proposed by Congress to President Dwight Eisenhower. Not enforced effectively
1958: First U. S. satellite - The first successful U.S. satellite, Explorer I, was launched into Earth orbit by the Army
- ICBM-intercontinental ballistic missile- The United States and the Soviet Union were involved in a race to discover who had more missiles and war equipment. The missile gap was the difference in how much the United States had compared to how much the Soviet Union had, thus contribute to the fear.
- NASA-US reaction to Sputnik to be the first to reach the moon
- U. S. occupies Lebanon- a political crisis caused by political and religious tensions in the country that included a U.S. military intervention
1960: U-2 crisis/ Paris Summit: U-2 shot down over Russia- In 1960 an American U-2 spy plane was shot down in the USSR. US claimed it was for weather researching, but was forced to confess when the Soviets produced the living pilot and the largely intact plane to prove their claim of being spied aerially. This would cause the collapse of Paris Summit. Khrushchev walks out of Paris Summit
- Soviet and Chinese split- The political split between the Soviet Union and China began when the relatively harmonious relations between the two countries became acrimonious in 1959 after Khrushchev opened talks with the USA in pursuit of his policy of "peaceful coexistence".
-John F. Kennedy elected President
-non-violent protests against segregation- formed in 1960 by southern black students, advocate civil rights by sit-ins, wade-ins, lie-ins, and pray-ins to compel equal treatment.
1961: Freedom rides- The first Freedom Ride took place on May 4, 1961 when seven blacks and six whites left Washington, D.C., on two public buses bound for the Deep South. They intended to test the Supreme Court's ruling in Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which declared segregation in interstate bus and rail stations unconstitutional.
-Twenty-third Amendment: gives District of Columbia the right to vote for President
- Berlin crisis: tensions between Russia and the US came to a head after the construction of the Berlin Wall
- Peace Corps: Volunteers who help third world nations and prevent the spread of communism by getting rid of poverty in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
-Bay of Pigs: In April 1961, a group of Cuban exile, supported by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, landed on the southern coast of Cuba in an effort to overthrow Fidel Castro. The invasion ended in disaster, and made Fidel Castro align with the Soviets. HUGE fail, destroyed US and Cuban relations
1961Vietnam war begins- 16,000 us men in Vietnam
1962: University of Mississippi integrated
- Cuban Missile Crisis- When the U.S. discovered Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, President John F. Kennedy demanded their removal and announced a naval blockade of the island; the Soviet leader Khrushchev acceded to the US, took down the missiles. US also promised to take down missiles at Turkey.
1963: Civil Rights march on Washington- In August 1963, civil rights leaders organized a massive rally in Washington to urge passage of President Kennedy's civil rights bill. The high point came when MLK gave his "I Have a Dream" speech to more than 200,000 marchers in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
-JFK assassinated-Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy on November 1963 who was riding downtown Dallas, Texas. Oswald was later shot in front of television cameras by Jack Ruby.
-Feminine Mystique-Betty Friedan American feminist, activist and writer. Best known for starting the "Second Wave" of feminism through the writing of her book "The Feminine Mystique".
1964: Free speech movement at Berkeley- was the first of the 1960s campus student movements to make headlines all over the world. Lasting a little over two months, it ended with the arrest of 773 persons for occupying the administration building, the removal of the campus administration, and a vast enlargement of student rights to use the University campus for political activity and debate.
-Beatles emerged -4 musicians from Liverpool, England that started a "British Invasion" of the popular music charts in America that had a huge impact on political, social, and culture trends in the 1960's and is still being felt today
- Twenty-fourth Amendment outlaws the poll tax as a means to restrict voting rights to minorities
- Great Society- War on poverty- Programs of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society that were specifically aimed at assisting the poor. Among these programs was volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), Medicaid, and the creation of the Office of Economic Opportunity.
- Gulf of Tonkin- 1964 Congressional resolution that authorized President Johnson to commit US troops to South Vietnam because North Vietnam allegedly fired on US ships
1965: Great Society- President Johnson called for the aid for poor and fight against social injustice. In 1965, Congress passed many Great Society measures, including Medicare, civil rights legislation, and federal aid to education.
- Operation Rolling Thunder in Vietnam
- Malcolm X assassinated- Malcolm X, an advocate of black power and was the figurehead of the Nation of Islam for a period. He was greatly influential in getting people to believe in black power and self-defense, as opposed to King's peaceful, civil disobedience
1966: Black Power- Political philosophy, promoted by many blacks in the 1960's, that supported the creation of black-controlled political and economic institutions.
-France withdraws from NATO
- National Organization of Women: N.O.W. formed-Betty Friedan started this feminist organization to advance the rights of women
1967: Detroit Riot- was one of the most violent urban revolts in the 20th century. It came as an immediate response to police brutality but underlying conditions including segregated housing and schools and rising black unemployment helped drive the anger of the rioters
-Peace movement in the U. S.- also known as the counterculture, as young Americans in 60s who rejected conventional customs & mainstream culture
1968: Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. murdered
- Tet Offensive- North Vietnamese forces launched massive attacks on the Vietnamese New Year (Tet), but was defeated after a month of fighting and many thousands of casualties; major defeat for communism, but Americans reacted sharply, with declining approval of LBJ, more anti-war sentiment.
- Johnson won't seek re-election-before the Democratic Convention was held, Johnson tells the national press on TV that he will not accept any nomination from the Democratic party to be re-elected as president.
- Richard Nixon elected President
1969: Vietnamization- Nixon's policy that involved withdrawing 540,000 US troops from South Vietnam over an extended period of time. It also included a gradual takeover of the South Vietnamese taking responsibility of fighting their own war by American-provided money, weapons, training, and advice.
-First man on the moon-the US and NASA put Neil Armstrong on the moon
- Nixon proposed New Federalism- turned over powers and responsibilities of some U.S. federal programs to state and local governments and reduced the role of national government in domestic affairs (states are closer to the people and problems); attempts by Presidents Nixon and Reagan to return power to the states through block grants.
1970: Massacre at Kent State- On May 4, l970 members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of Kent State University demonstrators, killing four and wounding nine Kent State students. The impact of the shootings was dramatic. The event triggered a nationwide student strike that forced hundreds of colleges and universities to close
-EPA established- along with the Occupational Health and Safety Admin. (OSHA) to set safety standards in workplaces.
-Cambodian invasion creates anti-war turbulence
-SALT talks begin- Anti-ballistic missile treaty which set the limit of two clusters of defensive missiles per nation. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks stopped the numbers of long-range nuclear missiles for 5 years.
1971: Nixon opens talks with China
-Wage-price controls-Nixon ordered a freeze on prices which turned out to be an utter and complete failure for the US economy
-My Lai massacre revealed- A Japanese village that housed 300-500 elderly, women, and children. 28 American soldiers shot the elderly, raped the women and children, and threw the remains in ditches. Soldiers had severe paranoia when they could not identify Viet Cong.
-Pentagon Papers published- Articles by The New York Times about a top-secret study of America's involvement in the Vietnam War. The information was "leaked" to the newspaper by the former Pentagon official Daniel Ellsberg.
1972: Intensive bombing of North Vietnam
- Watergate investigation begins- A burglary at the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate complex in Washington was carried out under the direction of White House. Disclosure of his involvement in the break-in and subsequent cover-up forced President
- Nixon re-elected
-GNP- Gross National Product- over 1 trillion
1973: Cease-fire in Vietnam
- U. S. forces withdraw
-Spiro Agnew resigns- vice president, 1969-1973, a vocal critic of antiwar and civil rights opponents of the Nixon administration; he resigned the vice presidency in 1973 when it was discovered he has accepted bribes as governor of Maryland and as vice president
1974: Watergate tapes
- Nixon resigns, Ford's pardon of Nixon's crime
- Serious inflation and recession
1975: Vietnam falls
- 44% of married women employed
1976: Bicentennial-200th anniversary of the USA's birth
-Jimmy Carter elected President
1977: Human rights Act: to secure an end in the District of Columbia to discrimination for any reason other than that of individual merit, including, but not limited to, discrimination by reason of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source of income, status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, and place of residence or business.
1978: Camp David Accords- First signed agreement between Israel and an Arab country, in which Egyptian president Anwar Sadat recognized Israel as a legitimate state and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin agreed to return Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.
- Panama Canal treaties ratified
1979: SALT 2 completed- A second treaty was signed to cut back the weaponry of the US and the USSR because it was getting too competitive. Set limits on the numbers of weapons produced. Not passed by the Senate as retaliation for USSR's invasion of Afghanistan, and later superseded by the START treaty.
-U. S. recognizes communist China
-American Embassy in Iran occupied- In 1979, Iranian fundamentalists seized the American embassy in Tehran and held 53 American diplomats hostage for over a year. The crisis weakened the Carter presidency; the hostages were finally released on January 20, 1981, the day Reagan became president.
-USSR invaded Afghanistan
1980: U. S. boycotts Olympics, withdraws from SALT 2
-Reagan elected President
1981: Iranian hostage crisis ended
1982: Equal Rights Amendment dies- Proposed the 27th Amendment, calling for equal rights for both sexes. Was never ratified by sufficient number of states.
- CIA Organizes contra war against Nicaragua's Sandinista government
1983: 239 U.S. Marines die in Beirut terrorist attack
-U.S. Invasion of Grenada
-Reagan proposes Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars)
1984: Geraldine Ferraro chosen as vice presidential running mate on Democratic ticket
-Reagan defeats Walter Mondale in landslide
-Congress bars military aid to contras
1986: William Rehnquist becomes chief justice of the Supreme Court
- Antonin Scalia joins the Supreme Court
1988: Oliver North, John Poindexter, and other Iran-contra figures indicted
-Reagan signs INF Treaty in Moscow
- George H. W. Bush elected President
- Anthony Kennedy joins the Supreme Court
1989: Oliver North convicted of Iran-contra role
-Massive Alaskan oil spill by Exxon Valdez
-U.S. Invasion of Panama; Manuel Noriega overthrown
-China's rulers crush prodemocracy movement
Berlin Wall is opened
1989: Oliver North convicted of Iran-contra role
-Massive Alaskan oil spill by Exxon Valdez
-U.S. Invasion of Panama; Manuel Noriega overthrown
-China's rulers crush prodemocracy movement
Berlin Wall is opened
1990: Iraq invades Kuwait
-Germany reunited; Soviet troops start withdrawal from Eastern Europe
-David H. Souter joins the Supreme Court
1991: Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm)
U.S. and U.S.S.R. sign treaty reducing strategic nuclear arms by 25%
Soviet Republics declare independence
Clarence Thomas joins the Supreme Court
1992: Recession recovery
Supreme Court upholds Roe v. Wade- Supreme Court decision legalized abortion on the basis of a woman's right to privacy.
Bill Clinton elected President
1993: Congress approves NAFTA treaty- North American Free Trade Agreement; allows open trade with US, Mexico, and Canada.
-Ruth Bader Ginsberg joins the Supreme Court
-World Trade Center bombed
1994: Republican victory in Mid-term Elections
-Stephen G. Breyer joins Supreme Court
1996: Bill Clinton re - elected President
1998: Monica Lewinsky Scandal breaks-President Clinton had an affair in the White House and lied under oath to Congress was impeached by the House but not in the Senate
-Operation Desert Thunder- Saddam Hussein engaged in a series of aggressive acts which threatened regional stability. He violated no-fly zones, threatened to shoot down U2 reconnaissance over-flights, and interfered with United Nations weapons inspection teams.
-House Judiciary Committee sends 4 articles of Impeachment
-Bill Clinton is Impeached by the United States House of Representatives
1999: Bill Clinton is acquitted by the United States Senate
2000: George W. Bush elected President of the United States
- April 1, 2000 - The 2000 census enumerates a population of 281,421,906, increasing 13.2% since 1990. As regions, the South and West continued to pick up the majority of the increase in population, moving the geographic center of U.S. population to Phelps County, Missouri.
- April 3, 2000 - The ruling in the case of the United States versus Microsoft states that the company did violate anti-trust laws by diminishing the capability of its rivals to compete.
June 1, 2000 - For the first time since 1851, the United States of America does not participate in a major World's Fair, the Hannover 2000 World Expo, despite a record number, 187, of international participants. President Bill Clinton had withdrawn U.S. participation late in 1999 after agreement to participate in 1997. Congressional apathy toward participation in world events continues a decline in U.S. involvement after the fall of the Soviet Union and victory in the Cold War. A consequence of this policy has led to a rise, among some experts, of anti-American sentiment and a decline of U.S. influence in diplomatic affairs. Less than half, 18.1 million, of the original attendance estimate, 40 million, visit Hannover's event.
November 7, 2000 - George W. Bush, son of the former President, and Vice President Al Gore hold a virtual dead-heat for the presidency, with a disputed vote in Florida holding off the naming of the winner of the Presidential Election until the Supreme Court of the United States voted in favor of Bush on December 12. This ruling gave Florida to the Bush camp by a 527 vote majority and a victory in the Electoral College, 271-266, despite gaining less popular votes than Gore.
November 7, 2000 - Hillary Rodham Clinton wins a seat for the United States Senate from New York. It is the first time a former First Lady wins public office.
December 28, 2000 - Montgomery Ward, the retail giant since its founding one hundred and twenty-eight years before, announces its intention to cease business. Competition from newer, low-cost retail behemoths such as Wal-Mart lead to its demise.
January 6, 2001 - Certification of the Electoral College victory of the 2000 United States Presidential election in the U.S. Senate confirms George W. Bush as the victor, with Dick Cheney as his Vice-President.
April 1, 2001 - China-U.S. incident. An American spy plane collides with a fighter plane of China and makes an emergency landing in Hainan, China. The U.S. crew is detained for ten days.
September 11, 2001 - Islamic fundamentalist terrorists hijack four U.S. airliners and crash them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York City. The attack of two planes levels the World Trade Center and the crash of one plane inflicts serious damage to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, causing nearly 3,000 deaths. The fourth plane is heroically crashed by passengers into a Shanksville, Pennsylvania cornfield when they learn of the plot, preventing destruction of another structure in Washington, D.C., supposed to be the White House or the Capitol building. The plot is attributed to the Al-Qaeda organization led by Osama Bin Laden.
September 18, 2001 - Anthrax attacks by mail from Princeton, New Jersey against news and government targets begin. Federal officials announce the first case on October 4.
October 7, 2001 - In response to the tragedy of September 11, the United States military, with participation from its ally the United Kingdom, commence the first attack in the War on Terrorism on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. By November 12, the Taliban government leaves the capital, Kabul.
February 8, 2002 - Amid tight security due to terrorism concerns, the Winter Olympic Games are opened by President George W. Bush in Salt Lake City, Utah. They would continue without major incident until the closing ceremony on February 24.
May 21, 2002 - The United States State Department issues its report in the War on Terror. It states that there are seven nations that a State-Sponsors: Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
July 5, 2002 - Continuing its pattern of the past several years, Iraq refuses new proposals from the United Nations concerning weapons inspections. The inspections were part of the cease-fire agreement and terms of surrender in the 1991 Gulf War. On September 12, U.S. President George Bush addresses the United Nations and warns the members that Iraq presents a grave danger to the world that they must confront, or that the United States and others will act unitarily. On October 2, 2002, the United States Congress passes a resolution giving the President of the U.S. the authority to use the military forces of the country as he thinks necessary.
November 8, 2002 - The United Nations passes Resolution 1441 in a unanimous Security Council vote. It forces Saddam Hussein and Iraq to disarm or face serious consequences.
November 21, 2002 - NATO invites additional members of the former Soviet bloc to join its membership. Seven nations are included in the invitation; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
February 1, 2003 - A tragedy at NASA occurs when the Space Shuttle Columbia explodes upon reentry over Texas. All seven astronauts inside are killed.
March 19, 2003 - The War in Iraq begins with the bombing of Baghdad after additional measures and mandates from the United Nations and the United States coalition fail to gain concessions or the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. The U.S. coalition, upon failure to extract authority from the U.N. for action due to the veto power of France, begin land operations one day later with participation from U.S., British, Australian, and Polish troops.
April 9, 2003 - The U.S. coalition seizes control of Baghdad in the Iraq conflict.
July 2, 2003 - The International Olympic Committee votes in Prague that the Winter Olympic Games are coming back to North America, selecting Vancouver, Canada as host of the XXI Olympic Games in 2010.
December 13, 2003 - Saddam Hussein, former leader of Iraq, is captured in a small bunker in Tikrit by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.
February 3, 2004 - The Central Intelligence Agency admits that the imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction was not present before the 2003 Iraq war began.
March 2, 2004 - Mars rover MER-B (Opportunity) confirms to NASA that the area of their landing was once covered in water.
July 4, 2004 - The groundbreaking ceremony for the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero, the former site of the World Trade Center complex destroyed during the September 11, 2001 attacks, occurs in New York City.
November 2, 2004 - President George W. Bush wins reelection over Democratic Senator John Kerry from Massachusetts. He wins 50.7% of the popular vote and 286 votes in the Electoral College.
December 26, 2004 - The Southeast Asian tsunami occurs following a 9.3 Richter scale earthquake in the Indian Ocean. Two hundred and ninety thousand people die from Sri Lanka to Indonesia, creating one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies in history. A worldwide relief effort, led by the United States and many other nations, is mobilized to assist.
May 31, 2005 - After more than thirty years in suspense, the identity of Deep Throat, the contact for reporters Woodward and Bernstein in the uncovering of the Watergate scandal, is revealed when W. Mark Felt, the second in command at the CIA at the time, confirms that he was their contact.
July 26, 2005 - In the first Space Shuttle flight since the tragedy of 2003, Discovery goes into orbit on a mission that returns to earth safely on August 9.
August 29, 2005 - Hurricane Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast, inundating the city of New Orleans with water from Lake Pontchartrain when the levees that maintain the below sea level city break. Over one thousand three hundred people perish from Alabama to Louisiana in one of the worst natural disasters to strike the United States.
October 26, 2005 - The War of Terror continues. With elections in Iraq to confirm a new constitution vying with internal terrorism amid the U.S. military presence on October 15, eleven days later a statement from the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calls for the destruction of Israel and condemns the peace process.
February 22, 2006 - In a continuing shift of the retail industry to new platforms, it is announced that the one billionth song is downloaded from the internet music store, Apple iTunes. This shift comes at the expense of many brick and mortar chains, including Tower Records.
November 7, 2006 - In the mid-term elections, both houses of Congress change back to Democratic hands for the first time since 1994. This is seen as a referendum by many on the Iraq policy of the Bush administration as well as personal Republican scandals among some House and Senate members.
December 1, 2006 - United States manufacturing capacity and esteem wanes, signaled by the sale of the last shares of his General Motors stock by U.S. billionaire Kirk Kerkorian.
January 4, 2007 - The first female speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Representative Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, California, is sworn into office.
January 10, 2007 - President George W. Bush announces a troop surge of 21,500 for the war in Iraq to stem the violence at the request of new commander General Petraeus. This controversial policy begins to show positive signs once fully implemented during the summer months, with a reduction in violent attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi civilians. Progress on the political front within the Iraqi national government, however, does not keep pace with positive developments on the military front.
June 2, 2007 - A terror plot to blow up JFK International Airport in New York City is thwarted when four terrorists are arrested and charged with its plan.
July 1, 2008 - A report by the U.S. embassy in Iraq states that 15 of the 18 goals set for the Iraqi government have been met, largely due to the surge implemented over the last year. The increase of 21,500 United States troops, commonly known as the surge, reduced violence and restored order to the nation, allowing the government of Iraq to focus more on solving other problems needed to establish a stable nation.
August 29, 2008 - John McCain chooses Sarah Palin, 1st term Governor of Alaska, as his running mate, making the contest between Barack Obama and himself, the first time a presidential election included both an African-American candidate and a woman amongst the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees for president among the Democratic and Republican tickets.
October 3, 2008 - The United States Congress passes legislation, signed by President Bush, for a $700 billion bailout, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, giving the Treasury Department authority to assist distressed Wall Street and banking businesses of the United States due to the housing, banking, and subprime mortgage crises caused by excessive greed and speculation among Wall Street firms. This economic distress, coupled with oil prices above $140 per barrel during the summer, deepened the world economic crises that had been brewing all year. The bailout was supported by current President George W. Bush and both presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain.
November 4, 2008 - Barack Obama, Democratic Senator from Illinois, the land of Abraham Lincoln, wins a landslide margin in the Electoral College, 365 to 173 in the election for the 44th President of the USA over John McCain, making him the first African-American president in the history of the United States of America.
January 20, 2009 - Barack Obama takes the oath of office for President of the United States, becoming the first African-American president in the history of the nation. The Democratic Senator from Illinois comes into the office on a message of Change. The city of Washington, D.C. hosts more than one million visitors to the inauguration, covering the National Mall in a way reminiscent of the Civil Rights March of Martin Luther King forty-six years earlier.
April 15, 2009 - After a succession of big government spending projects beginning in the Bush administration and expanded under President Obama, 750 grass roots Tea Party protests spring up across the nation. More than one half million citizens concerned with increased deficits due to actions such as the bailout of the banking industry, car industry, potential cap and trade legislation, and other administration projects that project a ten trillion dollar deficit over the next decade take part.
June 11, 2009 - The H1N1 virus, named the Swine Flu, is deemed a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. This is the first such designation since the Hong Kong flu in 1967-1968.
October 31, 2009 - The economic recession continues to deepen as jobless claims climb above 10.0%, reaching 10.2% with October's monthly figures. This occurs despite efforts by the Obama administration to ramp up massive government spending pushed by the $780 billion economic stimulus package passed earlier in the year.
December 1, 2009 - President Obama announces a surge of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to stem increased efforts by the Taliban in the country. The surge, which was suggested by military officers, was not popular with the liberal base of the Democratic party which had put the President in power on a pledge to end both Middle Eastern wars. The war in Afghanistan, which started as a response to the terror attacks on 9/11/2001, and the war on terror in general, comes into focus again on December 25 when an airliner headed for Detroit is attacked by a Muslim extremist, 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempts to detonate a bomb, but fails
March 25, 2010 - The U.S. House of Representatives finalizes the Health Care legislation approved by the Senate, extending health benefits and insurance to most Americans. The legislation, the Affordable Care Act, passed on a partisan basis by the Democratic Majority, has caused a significant rift within the public, who disapproved of the bill, and is expected to test the Democratic Party's hold on both houses of Congress during the mid-term elections in November.
April 20, 2010 - A British Petroleum deep water oil rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the largest oil spill in the history of the United States, killing eleven workers, and devastating the environment. It also severely damaged the fishing and tourism industries of gulf states.
November 2, 2010 - With an impetus from the Tea Party movement to restore fiscal sanity to Congress and various state houses, Republican candidates win the majority of elections, taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives with a net gain of 63 seats, reducing the majority of Democrats in the Senate, and taking over many governorships and other legislative bodies. This tide was the biggest turnaround in Congressional seats since 1948, and many attribute the election to disfavor of Obama administration spending practices, including the Health Care legislation passed in March.
April 14, 2011 - Congress votes to pass the 2010-2011 budget after six months of negotiations, including $38 billion in fiscal year cuts. This vote was one of the first measures that showed the new dynamic of a U.S. House of Representatives in Republican hands that was focused, due to Tea Party member goals, to get the burgeoning federal deficit under control.
May 2, 2011 - Osama Bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and other locations and leader of the terrorist group, Al-Queda, is killed after ten years of pursuit by United States and coalition forces during a raid by U.S. Navy Seals on his hideout location in Pakistan.
July 21, 2011 - The final shuttle flight lands at the Kennedy Space Center, signifying the end of the NASA shuttle space program. The program, which began in 1981 and included 135 missions, was completed when the Shuttle Atlantis flew its final mission to the International Space Station.
September 17, 2011 - The first of many Occupy Wall Street protests begin in New York City, protesting the big money interests on Wall Street and their relationship to the recession and world economy.
December 15, 2011 - The war in Iraq is declared over when President Obama orders the last combat troops to leave the country.
September 11, 2012 - Terrorist attack on a consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi kills four Americans, including Ambassador John C. Stevens, showing the continued fight against Islamic extremism had not abated after the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and deposing of dictators such as Muammar Gaddafi.
October 29, 2012 - Hurricane Sandy, taking an unusual track up the East Coast and coming to landfall on the New Jersey coast near Atlantic City and Long Island coasts of New York creates significant damage to coastal towns as well as the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island, to the estimated cost of $65.6 billion. The hurricane, at its peak a Category 2 storm, was the largest storm in recorded history by diameter at 1,100 miles.
November 6, 2012 - President Barack Obama wins a significant victory, 332 electoral votes to 206, for his second term in office against Republican challenger and businessman Mitt Romney. Congress remained status quo with divided government as the House of Representatives remained in Republican hands and the Senate in Democratic hands.
April 15, 2013 - Two bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring hundreds in a terrorist attack coordinated by two brothers associated with radical Islam. The attack caused the shutdown of the city as police and federal officials searched and apprehended the suspects within four days of the attack.
May 17, 2013 - Congressional hearings begin on the IRS scandal of group targeting that began two years prior. The Internal Revenue Service is accused of targeting conservative groups for additional scrutiny in tax status matters, including groups like the Tea Party, whose stances include lower taxes and smaller government, plus other patriotic and religious organizations. This breach of protocol from a government agency where all U.S. citizens file taxes has caused concern from both Republican, Democrat, and independent political groups.
August 28, 2013 - One hundred thousand visitors throng to the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the 50th anniversary commemoration ceremony of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Speakers at the anniversary include two former presidents; Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and current President Barack Obama, the first African American to hold the office. Nearly 250,000 people came to the original speech in 1963.
October 1, 2013 - The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, begins registering people for the expanded federal government health insurance program despite a variety of waivers and problems in implementing the cumbersome rules and regulations of the program. Various states have decided to allow the federal government to run the exchanges for them, while some states and the District of Columbia set up their own exchanges to sell the policies.
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