Beginning Year:       Ending Year:      
1840
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) is elected the 9th President of the U.S., and John Tyler (1790-1862) is elected as the 10th Vice President on the Whig ticket.
Government
Upper and lower Canada are united by an Act of Parliament.
Government
Stamps: The first postage stamps appear in Britain, bearing Queen Victoria's (1837-1901) profile. The tiny stamps (3/4 by 7/8 inches) are printed using only black ink. Brazil is the second nation to have postage stamps.
Science
Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) publishes a work on the movements and effects of glaciers.
Science
The fundamentals of artificial fertilizer are discovered.
Science
James Joule (1818-1889) develops the idea that energy can be converted from one state to another, but cannot be destroyed.
Medicine
The American Society of Dental Surgeons is organized in New York City.
Inventions
Englishman John Herschel (1792-1871) invents the blueprint.
Education
Public Education: Irish Catholics in New York City struggle for local neighborhood control of schools as a way of preventing their children from being force-fed a Protestant curriculum.
Education
Women’s Colleges: St. Mary-of-the-Woods College is founded in Indiana as the first of many women's institutions that are established by Catholic Sisters and is chartered in 1846.
Ideas
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) becomes editor of "The Dial," an influential transcentalist publication.
Adams, Abigail
"Selected letters" by Abigail Adams (1744-1818) on social, political, and other matters are published.
Harrison, Anna
Benjamin Harrison (1806-1840), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: There are 2,816 miles of railroad in operation in the U.S.
Economics
Transportation: The Cunard steamship line is established, the first with scheduled transatlantic sailings.
Economics
Population: The sixth national census shows a population of more than 17 million; 600,000 immigrants have arrived since 1830, 207,281 from Ireland.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Elizabeth Peabody (1804-1894) becomes the first woman publisher in Boston and the U.S.
Daily Life
History of Toys: The first American dollmaker is granted a patent and dolls begin to be mass-produced in America for the first time.
Sports
The game of bowling (called nine pins) becomes popular in the U.S.
Popular Culture
The expression, "O.K." is first used; it refers to “Old Kinderhook,” birthplace of Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), and is also the name of a Democratic Club in New York City.
Popular Culture
The ritual of afternoon tea is introduced in Britain by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861).
Popular Culture
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) writes "The Pathfinder."
Social Issues
Native Americans: An increasing flow of emigrants to Oregon and California bring cholera, smallpox, and measles to the Indians as well as accelerated buffalo hunting for the fur trade.
Social Issues
Slavery: Slaves on the Spanish ship Amistad mutiny and sale the ship into a Connecticut harbor.
Social Issues
Immigration: Over a million Irish immigrants arrive in the United States, driven out of their homes in Ireland by the potato famine.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) and her husband, David Lee Child (1794-1874), edit the Anti-Slavery Standard until 1844.
Reform
Labor Movement: The 10-hour day is established for federal employees by a Presidential order.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Women's Rights Movement: William Lloyd Garrison refuses to speak at the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London because women have been excluded from the meeting.
Reform
Abolution Movement: Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are chosen as delegates to the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London.
1841
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Slavery: Affirming a strong argument made by John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), the Supreme Court rules that the slaves who took over the Amistad may be freed. Thirty-five freed men return to Africa.
Government
President William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) dies in office and is replaced by Vice-President John Tyler (1790-1852) as the 10th U.S. president; no new Vice President is selected.
Government
Tyler’s cabinet resigns over his veto of a bill creating a national bank; Daniel Webster remains Secretary of State.
Government
New Zealand becomes a British crown colony.
War
Mexican Wars: Texas soldiers invade New Mexico and claim all land east of the Rio Grande. Their efforts are thwarted by Governor Manuel Armijo (1793-1853).
Medicine
James Braid (1795-1860), Scottish surgeon, investigates the use of hypnosis.
Inventions
Adolphe Sax (1814-1894) invents the saxophone.
Inventions
Cornstarch is patented by Orlando Jones.
Inventions
Samuel Slocum (1792- 1861) patents the stapler.
Technology
The first U.S. steam fire engine is tested in New York City.
Education
Education of Women: Oberlin College in Ohio is the first to grant college degrees to women.
Education
New England transcendentalists found the commune and school, Brook Farm.
Education
Education of Women: Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) publishes "A Treatise on Domestic Economy."
Education
Children''s Books: Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) publishes a collection of children’s stories, "The Playfellow."
Education
Children’s Books: Frederick Marryatt (1792-1848), an ex-naval officer who wrote a whole series of shipboard novels. His Masterman Ready, or the Wreck of the Pacific, first published in three volumes in 1841-42.
Education
Children’s Books: Unlike the early nineteenth-century Rousseauesque castaways, Victorian versions of the Crusoe story stressed adventure, manliness, and self-help. Well-known examples include Captain Marryat's reassuringly Evangelical Masterman Ready.
Ideas
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) writes "Self Reliance."
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1764-1849) returns to Washington, DC.
Pierce, Jane
Benjamin Pierce (1841-1853), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, is born April 13.
Harrison, Anna
Anna Symmes Harrison (1775-1864) is the first President's wife to never get to see or live in the White House because her husband, William Henry Harrison, died before she could join him there. President Harrison delivered the longest inaugural address (105 minutes) on a very cold winter day and contracted pneumonia.
Tyler, Letitia
Letitia Christian Tyler (1790-1842) is the First Vice President's wife to become First Lady at the death of the former president.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New York Tribune" begins publishing, edited by Horace Greeley.
Popular Culture
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) publishes the first detective story, "Murders in the Rue Morgue."
Popular Culture
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) writes "The Deerslayer."
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "The Old Curiosity Shop."
Social Issues
Slavery: Slaves aboard the U.S.S. Creole take over the ship and sail it to Nassau, where they become free.
Social Issues
Slavery: Texas gives its citizens the right and responsibility to apprehend runaway slaves and turn them over to the law so that they may be returned to their owners or sold at auction.
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1842
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The border between the U.S. and Canada is established from Maine to the Great Lakes.
Government
American author Washington Irving (1783-1859) is appointed ambassador to Spain.
Government
Stamps: The first adhesive postage stamps are used in the U.S.
War
Indian Wars: After destroying the Seminoles’ crops and villages, U.S. troops force a peace treaty and move them to Indian Territory in eastern Oklahoma.
Science
The Doppler Effect is described by Christian Doppler (1803-1853).
Medicine
The first surgery using an anesthetic—ether—is performed by Dr. Crawford Long (1815-1878) of Georgia.
Inventions
Joseph Dart builds the first grain elevator.
Education
Women's Colleges: Augusta Female Seminary—later Mary Baldwin Seminary, then College) is founded by Presbyterians in Staunton, VA; it will become one of the best-known early 19th century schools for girls.
Arts and Letters
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra gives its first performance.
Ideas
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) becomes editor of "The Dial," an influential transcendentalist publication.
Tyler, Letitia
Letitia Christian Tyler (1790-1842) dies of a second stroke in the White House on September 10. She is the first First Lady to die during her husband's presidency.
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) are married on November 4 at her sister Elizabeth’s house in Springfield.
Harrison, Anna
Mary Symmes Harrison Thornton (1809-1842), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies November 16.
Discovery
John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) maps the Oregon Trail and wagon trains begin to move west.
Daily Life
Disasters: Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupts.
Sports
Horse Racing: Horse races at the Union Course on Long Island attract thousands of fans.
Popular Culture
P.T. Barnum (1810-1891)exhibits the young midget, Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton, c. 1850).
Reform
Labor Movement: The landmark Supreme Court decision, Commonwealth v. Hunt, rules that trade union are not illegal, the striking for a closed shop is legal, and that unions cannot be held responsible for illegal actions by individuals.
1843
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) enters politics as a delegate to the Democratic State Convention in Alabama.
Government
Diplomatic representatives are sent to Hawaii by the U.S.
Government
Presidents: William McKinley (1843-1901), 25th President of the U.S. is born in Niles, Ohio.
Government
The first town meeting is held in Boston at Faneuil Hall.
Inventions
A U.S. patent for a hand-cranked ice cream freezer is granted to Nancy M. Johnson.
Inventions
Alexander Bain (1818-1903) of Scotland invents the facsimile.
Technology
Airplanes: William Samuel Henson, England, proposes the Aerial Steam Carriage in "Mechanics Magazine," the first known design for a propeller-driven fixed-wing aircraft.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) writes "Morte d’Arthur" and "Locksley Hall."
Ideas
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) lays the foundations for existentialism by stressing the primacy of the individualand the inevitability of suffering.
Ideas
Women''s Rights Movement: Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) writes “The Great Lawsuit: Man versus Men, Woman versus Women.”
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln’s(1809-1865) son Robert Todd (1843-1926) is born August 1 in Springfield, in the Globe Tavern, where the Lincolns lived for a time after their marriage.
Pierce, Jane
Frank Robert Pierce (1839-1843), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, dies November 14 of typhoid fever; Franklin Pierce begins to wonder if God is taking his children.
Economics
Samuel Morse (1791-1872) starts to build a telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington, DC.
Discovery
John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) crosses the Rocky Mountains into California.
Daily Life
Fashion: A new form of female dress--bloomers--is introduced by Amelia Bloomer (1818 - 1894).
Daily Life
The first use of the word “millionaire” occurs in newspapers.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The Mansion of Happiness is developed by S.B. Ives in Salem, Massachusetts. It becomes the first board game sold in the United States.
Sports
Skiing begins as a sport in Norway.
Sports
Rowing is introduced at Harvard.
Popular Culture
American Theathre: The first minstrel show is performed in New York City.
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) publishes "A Christmas Carol."
Religion
The Jewish organization B’nai B’rith is founded.
Religion
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) becomes a traveling evangelical preacher.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Lowell Female Labor Reform Association wins the first investigation of labor conditions by a government agency.
Reform
Mental Health Movement: Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) pushes reforms in the way mental health patients are treated through the Massachusetts legislature.
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1844
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) is elected as the 11th President of the U.S., and George Dallas (1792-1864) is elected as the nation's 11th Vice President.
Government
The first treaty of peace, amity, and commerce is signed by the U.S. with China.
Government
A plan to annex Texas is rejected by the Senate.
War
A gun on the new frigate Princeton, being demonstrated by the U.S. Navy, explodes, killing the Secretaries of State and the Navy, as well as other government officials.
Medicine
Nitrous oxide is first used in dentistry.
Inventions
Paper made from wood pulp is invented by Friedrich Keller.
Inventions
Englishman John Mercer (1829- 1897) invents mercerized cotton.
Technology
Charles Goodyear (1800-1860) receives a patent for rubber vulcanization.
Technology
Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872) sends his first telegraph message to an associate 45 miles away: the message is, “What hath God wrought?”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Alexander Dumas (1802-1870) writes "The Three Musketeers."
Ideas
Karl Marx (1818-1883) writes of religion as “the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feelings of a heartless world…the opium of the people.”
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) sells Montpelier and is the first First Lady to be granted a permanent seat on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) buy a home from the Episcopal minister who had married them. This will prove to be the only home the couple ever own.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Gardner (1820-1889) is the first woman to marry an American President while he was in office.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb's (1831-1889) mother, Maria Webb, moves her family to Delaware, Ohio, so that her sons, Joseph and James, can enroll in the newly formed Methodist college, Ohio Wesleyan University.
Economics
Morse’s (1791-1872) telegraph is used for the first time between Baltimore and Washington, DC.
Daily Life
The first private bath in an American hotel is built in the New York Hotel.
Sports
Cricket: The first official international cricket match is played: Canada vs. United States.
Religion
Brigham Young (1801-1877) is chosen to replace Joseph Smith (1805-1844) as leader of the Mormons.
Religion
The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) is founded in England.
Reform
Anti-Child Labor Movement: The Factory Act in England prohibits children under 13 from working more than 6 ½ hours a day.
1845
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The U.S. Senate overrides a presidential veto for the first time.
Government
New State: Florida becomes the 27th state in the Union.
Government
New State: Texas becomes the 28th state in the Union.
Government
Congress establishes the first week in November for election day; the harvest is over but the roads are still passable.
Government
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) is inaugurated as the 11th President of the U.S., and George Dallas (1792-1864) is inaugurated as the nation's 11th Vice President.
Inventions
Sarah Mather receives a patent for a submarine telescope.
Inventions
Rubber bands are invented.
Inventions
The first pneumatic tires are patented in England.
Inventions
American Elias Howe (1819-1867) invents a sewing machine.
Technology
Airplanes: William Samuel Henson and John Stringfellow (1799-1883) attempt to form the Aerial Transit Company, which (if only they had a practical airplane), would have been the world's first airline. To drum up support, they build and test a model of Henson's aerial carriage with a 20-foot wingspan. It makes brief glides, but does not sustain flight.
Education
The first written examinations in elementary schools begin in Boston.
Education
Higher Education: The U.S. Naval Academy opens at Annapolis, MD.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) publishes his poem, “The Raven” with the famous line, “Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.”
Ideas
Catherine Beecher writes An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism with Reference to the Duty of American Women to Their Country
Ideas
Margaret Fuller publishes Women in the Nineteenth Century, an expansion of her earlier essay calling for equality for women.
Jackson, Rachel
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), 7th President of the U.S., dies at the Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee.
Polk, Sarah
Sarah Childress Polk (1803-1891) is the first First Lady to be "selected" by the previous President for her position (President Tyler told newly elected James Polk that he needed to get married and should marry Sarah). As a result of this selection, Sarah is the first First Lady to serve as her husband's personal secretary.
Harrison, Anna
Anna Tuthill Harrison Taylor (1813-1845), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies July 5.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) attends classes at Ohio Wesleyan and receives some credits from the College, although female students are not officially enrolled there.
Economics
Power looms for weaving carpets and tapestries are built by Erastus Bigelow (1814-1879).
Daily Life
The Eastern Hotel in Boston becomes the first steam-heated building in the U.S.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Scientific American Magazine" begins publication.
Religion
Children’s Books: "Letter to My Young Cousin" by American Sunday school Union. This is a book of religious advice on behavior in the family, written as from one teenage girl to another.
Social Issues
Immigration: The potato crop fails in Europe, hitting Ireland especially hard; Irish immigrants continue to flock to the U.S.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Industrial Congress of the U.S., one of the earliest labor unions, is organized.
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1846
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
New State: Iowa becomes the 29th state in the U.S.
War
Mexican War: The U.S. declares war on Mexico over California. U.S. forces under General Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) defeat the Mexicans at Palo Alto, the Navy occupies Monterey, and the territory of New Mexico is annexed to the U.S.
Science
Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) is awarded the King of Prussia’s Gold Medal for science.
Science
The planet Neptune is discovered by German astronomer Johann Gottfied Galle.
Medicine
Dr. William Morton (1819-1868), a Massachusetts dentist, is the first to use anesthesia for tooth extraction.
Inventions
Elias Howe (1819-1867) receives a patent for his sewing machine.
Education
The Smithsonian Institution is established in Washington, DC as a center for scientific research.
Education
Education of Women: The National Academy of Design accepts women students.
Ideas
Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) publishes "The Evils Suffered by American Women and American Children."
Lincoln, Mary
With Mary’s (1818-1882) encouragement, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Lincoln, Mary
Edward Baker (1846-1850), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, born on March 10 in Springfield.
Harrison, Anna
Elizabeth "Betsey" Bassett Harrison Short (1796-1846), the oldest daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born September 29.
Harrison, Anna
Elizabeth "Betsey" Bassett Harrison Short (1796-1846), the oldest daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies September 26.
Tyler, Julia
David Gardiner "Gardie" Tyler (1846-1927), the first son born to John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on July 12.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Sarah Bagley (1806-1848) becomes the first woman telegrapher in the U.S.
Daily Life
The first painted Christmas card is designed.
Sports
Baseball: New York surveyor Alexander Cartwrite codifies the rules of baseball.
Sports
Baseball: The first recorded baseball game is played in Hoboken, NJ.
Popular Culture
Edward Lear (1812-1888) publishes his "Book of Nonsense."
Religion
The Mormons under Brigham Young (1801-1877) move westward beyond the U.S. borders to the Great Salt Lake.
Religion
The American Missionary Association is founded, combining Protestant evangelicalism with abolitionism.
Social Issues
Slavery: During the Mexican-American War, Mexico is defeated and forced to yield an enormous amount of territory to the United States. Americans then wrestle with a controversial topic: Should slavery be permitted in the new lands?
Reform
Capital Punishment: Michigan becomes the first state to outlaw capital punishment.
1847
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
California comes under U.S. control.
Government
Liberia, colonized by American ex-slaves, becomes the first independent republic in Africa.
Government
Stamps: United States stamps debut. The first two feature George Washington (1732-1799) and Ben Franklin (1706-1790).
Science
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) discovers a new comet which is named after her.
Science
Joseph Leidy (1823-1891) suggests that the environment affects changes (evolution) within a species.
Medicine
Childbirth assisted by anesthetic (chloroform) first takes place.
Medicine
The American Medical Association is organized in Philadelphia.
Medicine
Epidemics: Another world-wide epidemic of influenza occurs.
Medicine
Antiseptics are developed by Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865), a Hungarian.
Inventions
The ophthalmoscope is invented by Charles Babbage (1791-1871) .
Education
Women's Colleges: Rockford Female Seminary (later College) is founded in Rockford, IL; it is called the “Mount Holyoke of the West.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Emily Bronte (1818-1848) writes "Wuthering Heights" and Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) writes "Jane Eyre."
Fillmore, Abigail
The Fillmore (1800-1874) family moves to Albany when Fillmore is elected state comptroller; the children are away at boarding school and college.
Mckinley, Ida
Ida Saxon (1847-1907) , wife of William McKinley, is born in Canton, Ohio on June 8.
Tyler, Letitia
Alice Tyler Denison (1847-1854), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, is born March 23.
Economics
Evaporated milk is made for the first time.
Daily Life
Disasters: Forty-seven of the eighty-seven members of the Donner Party die while trapped in the Sierra Mountains.
Daily Life
The California town of Yerba Buena is renamed San Francisco.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The telegraph is used to transfer stories over great distances, thus making news more immediate.
Religion
The Mormons found Salt Lake City, Utah.
Social Issues
Immigration: The first Chinese immigrants arrive in the U.S.
Social Issues
Immigration: Irish immigration reaches 105,000, 3 times more than the year before.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Taos Rebellion against the U.S. military occurs.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) , escaped ex-slave, begins publishing his abolitionist newspaper, the North Star.
Reform
Anti-Child Labor Movement: Women and children in Britain may only work a 10-hour day.
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1848
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) is elected 12th President of the U.S. on the Whig ticket; Millard Fillmore is elected as the 12th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: Former Democratic President Martin van Buren (1782-1862) becomes the presidential candidate of the anti-slavery Free-Soil Party. He wins 10 percent of the popular vote, and is credited with siphoning off enough votes from Democratic candidate Lewis Cass (1782-1866 ) to help Whig candidate Zachary Taylor (1784- 1850) win the election.
Government
New State: Wisconsin becomes the 30th state in the U.S.
War
Mexican Wars: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the war with Mexico, the U.S. receives New Mexico and California as well as parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado for $15 million.
Science
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) becomes the first woman to be elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Science
Hyperion, the eighth moon of Saturn, is discovered.
Medicine
Epidemics: More than 5,000 deaths are caused by a cholera epidemic in New York City.
Inventions
Margaret (Mattie) Knight (1838-1914) (10) invents a stop-motion device to keep shuttles from sliding out of the looms and injuring workers.
Inventions
Chewing gum is invented by John B. Curtis (1827–1897) of Maine.
Inventions
Waldo Hanchett patents the dental chair.
Education
Public Education: Massachusetts Reform School at Westboro opens, where children who have refused to attend public schools are sent. This begins a long tradition of "reform schools," which combine the education and juvenile justice systems.
Education
Public Education: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo guarantees citizenship rights to everyone living in new American areas, mostly Mexicans and Native people. It also guarantees the continued use of the Spanish language, including in education. One hundred fifty years later, in 1998, California breaks that treaty, by passing Proposition 227, which would make it illegal for teachers to speak Spanish in public schools.
Education
Libraries: Boston Public Library becomes the first publicly supported major urban library.
Education
Women’s Colleges: Moore College of Art is founded in Philadelphia (then called the Philadelphia School of Design for Women); it is the first and only women's visual arts college in the nation--and one of only two in the world.
Education
Education of Women: A medical school for women opens with 12 students in Boston.
Ideas
Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) publish "The Communist Manifesto."
Adams, Louisa
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), son of Abigail and John Adams, dies of a massive stroke on February 23.
Tyler, Julia
John Alexander "Alex" Tyler (1848-1883), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on April 7.
Tyler, Letitia
Mary Tyler Jones (1815-1848), the first daughter born to John and Letitia Christian Tyler, dies June 17.
Taylor, Margaret
Margaret Smith Taylor (1788-1852) is the only First Lady whose portrait does not hang in the White House. She refused to ever have it made.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) meets Rutherford B. Hayes for the first time when he is visiting her town with his mother. She begins college at the Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College this year as well.
Economics
Gold is first discovered in California, in Sutter's mill. After President Polk (1795-1849) announces the news in December, the gold rush begins soon after.
Daily Life
Niagara Falls stops flowing for the first time in history because of an ice jam in the Niagara River.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) writes “Oh, Susannah,” which becomes popular among the “49ers” and establishes his reputation as a song writer.
Religion
Spiritualism becomes popular in the U.S.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The California Gold Rush begins, increasing Western expansion across former Native American lands.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The National Convention of Colored Freedmen held in Cleveland, Ohio resolves that women should be elected delegates on an equal basis with men.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The first Women’s Rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, NY.
1849
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Thomas Ewing (1829-1896) of Ohio is appointed as the first Secretary of the Interior, a department created to meet the needs of western settlers.
Government
Congress establishes the Minnesota territory.
Government
Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) is inaugurated as the 12th President of the U.S. and Millard Fillmore is inaugurated as the 12th Vice President.
Science
Jeffries Wyman (1814-1874) describes the similarities between the skeletons of apes and humans.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Female doctors are permitted to practice medicine for the first time in the U.S., and Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) becomes the first woman physician in the U.S.
Inventions
The safety pin is invented by Walter Hunt (1796-1859) , trying to satisfy a $15 debt; he spends 3 hours bending wire into various forms.
Inventions
Mary Ann Woodward patents a fan that attaches to a rocking chair.
Technology
Airplanes: Sir George Cayley (1773-1857), builds a small glider designed to lift about 80 pounds of the ground. He refers to it as his Boy Glider. It is the first recorded manned (or boyed) fixed-wing aircraft. It lifts a 10-year old boy off the ground for a few yards on test runs. Cayley also flew it in a high wind like a kite, tethered to the ground.
Education
Children’s Books: Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881) is one of the most prolific Victorian writers for children, best known for such moral tales as "Grandmamma's Pockets."
Education
The Free Academy in New York City opens; it will become the College of the City of New York and offer free education to the children of New York’s working class.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) dies on July 12 at the age of 81.
Polk, Sarah
James K. Polk (1795-1849) is the first President to be photographed while in office; he dies on June 15 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Fillmore, Abigail
The family moves to Washington.
Lincoln, Mary
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) applies for a patent on a floating dry dock; he is the only U.S. President to do so.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) meets Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) , a student of her father’s in Cincinnati.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Tyler Spencer (1849-1871), daughter of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on December 25.
Economics
Seven thousand “49ers” invade California in a search for gold.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Pacific Railroad Company is chartered, the first railroad west of the Mississippi River.
Economics
Women''s Rights Movement: Amelia Bloomer (1818 - 1894) begins publishing "The Lily," moving it to Ohio in 1853 and employing female typesetters in spite of a strike by males on the staff.
Sports
The Pearl of Bermuda beats the U.S. yacht Brenda in the first recognized international yacht race.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The giant redwood trees in California are named Sequoias in honor of the Cherokee Indian Chief, Sequoya (c.1770-1843).
Social Issues
Slavery: California holds a convention, adopting a constitution that forbids slavery and requests admission to the Union.
Social Issues
Immigration: The California Gold Rush sparks first mass immigration from China.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Maryland slave Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913) escapes to the North with some help from her friends.
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1850
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Slavery: The Compromise of 1850 is passed after bitter debates about slavery in new territories and states.
Government
Vice President Millard Fillmore (1800-1847) becomes the 13th President of the U.S. on the death of Zachary Taylor. No new Vice President is selected.
Government
New State: California becomes the 31st state in the U.S.
Government
The city of Los Angeles is incorporated.
Government
New Mexico (which included present day Arizona, southern Colorado, southern Utah, and southern Nevada) is designated a territory, but denied statehood.
Science
The inner-most ring of Saturn is discovered.
Inventions
The continuous stitch sewing machine is invented by Isaac Singer (1811-1875).
Inventions
Joel Houghton is granted the first dishwasher patent in 1850.
Technology
Newspapers: Powerful, giant presses appear, and they are able to print ten thousand complete papers per hour.
Technology
The first clear photograph of the moon is made (a daguerreotype).
Education
Education of Women: The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania is founded.
Education
Public Education: One of the first “free,” or public, schools in New Jersey is founded by Clara Barton (1821-1912).
Education
Children’s Books: "Three Little Kittens" and other stories from Mama Lovechild''s Series were issued by the American toy and game publisher, McLoughlin Brothers.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) writes "Sonnets from the Portuguese."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) writes "The Scarlet Letter."
Lincoln, Mary
Edward Baker Lincoln (1846-1850), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, dies of tuberculosis at age 3, on February 1.
Lincoln, Mary
William Wallace Lincoln (1850-1862), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, is born on December 21.
Taylor, Margaret
President Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), 12th President of the U.S., dies of indigestion on July 9 in Washington D.C. after less than a year-and-a-half in office on .
Fillmore, Abigail
The first library in the White House is established by Abigail Fillmore (1798-1853); She used her furniture money to buy the books. In addition to the library, she also had the first White House bathtub installed and replaced the fireplace used for cooking with the first White House cookstove.
Grant, Julia
Fredrick Dent Grant (1850-1912), son of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born May 30.
Tyler, Letitia
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Tyler Waller (1823-1850), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, dies June 1 from childbirth complications.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb Hayes (1831-1889) is the first First Lady to earn a college degree from Cincinnati Wesleyan.
Monroe, Elizabeth
Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur (1803-1850) President James Monroe and Elizabeth Monroe, dies at the age of 47.
Economics
Young Bavarian-American Levi Strauss (1829-1902) invents blue jeans.
Economics
Population: The population of the U.S. is 23 million (3.2 million black slaves).
Daily Life
Fashion: Crinolines become popular in the U.S., later to be replaced by hoop skirts.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first "pictorial" weekly newspapers emerge; for the first time they feature extensive illustrations of news events.
Popular Culture
P.T. Barnum (1810-1891) brings Jenny Lind (1820-1887) to sing in the U.S.
Popular Culture
Steven Foster (1826-1864) writes “Camptown Races.”
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) publishes "David Copperfield."
Social Issues
Native Americans: Silversmithing is introduced to the Navajo Indians, who make it an art form.
Social Issues
Slavery: The Compromise of 1850 includes the Fugitive Slave Act, a law designed to assist in the recovery of runaway slaves by increasing federal officers and denying fugitive slaves a right to a jury trial.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913) begins to lead slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. She makes 19 trips back to the South to free about 300 slaves.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Women gain the right to own land in Oregon.
1851
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
American Money: Three-cent coins are authorized by Congress.
Government
National Capital: The dome on top of the Capitol Building is designed.
Science
Understanding of the rotation of the earth is advanced.
Medicine
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) sets up a small medical clinic in a New York City tenement district.
Medicine
The use of glass eyes is introduced; many think they will restore sight.
Education
Libraries: The first law allowing towns to support free libraries through taxes is passed in Massachusetts.
Education
Teacher Education: White American education pioneer Myrrilla Miner opens a teaching college for black women in Washington, DC, the Miner Normal School, amid threats, arson attempts, and stone-throwing mobs.
Education
Libraries: Fire at the Library of Congress burns two-thirds of its collection, 900 of which have still to be replaced.
Education
Public Education: State of Massachusetts passes its first compulsory education law. The goal is to make sure that the children of poor immigrants get "civilized" and learn obedience and restraint, so they make good workers and don't contribute to social upheaval.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Giuseppe Verdi’s (1813-1901) opera "Rigoletto" is first performed in Venice.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Herman Melville (1819-1891) publishes "Moby Dick."
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881) asks Lucy Webb (1831-1889) to marry him; she accepts.
Tyler, Julia
Lachlan Tyler (1851-1902), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born December 2.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New York Times" begins publishing.
Daily Life
The first double-decker omnibus, drawn by horses, appears in England.
Daily Life
Fashion: Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894) gives her name to “bloomers,” a split skirt designed by Elizabeth Smith Miller (1822-1911) for bicycle riding.
Sports
In the America’s Cup race, the U.S. yacht America beats the British yacht Aurora on Cowes, England.
Sports
Baseball: The first baseball uniforms are worn by the New York Knickerbockers—straw hats, white shirts, and blue trousers.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) publishes “Old Folks at Home.”
Popular Culture
Children’s Books: The American abolitionist novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1812-1896) was pirated and abridged to become a children's classic. Although the book presents both African-American and white characters through melodrama and stereotype, the novel has received increasing critical reappraisal in recent years.
Religion
The first Young Men’s Christian Association (WMCA) opens in Boston.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Sioux Indians give their Iowa lands, and most of their lands in Minnesota to the U.S.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Prohibition against liquor is begun in Maine and Illinois.
Reform
Native Americans: Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy (1818-1888) arrives in New Mexico and establishes schools, hospitals and orphanages throughout the territory.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) gives her famous "Ain't I a Woman" speech at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.
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1852
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Democrat Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) is elected as the 14th President of the U.S., defeating the Whig candidate, General Winfield Scott; William R. King (1786-1853) is elected as the 13th Vice President. The Whig party ceases to be a power.
Government
Napoleon III (1808-1873) becomes the Emperor of France.
Government
The South African Republic (Transvaal) is established.
Government
Stamps: The first pre-stamped envelopes are sold. Pre-stamped postcards (for a penny) appear 19 years later.
Science
Kerosene is discovered and named.
Medicine
A Dutch army surgeon creates the first cast for broken bones by injecting bandages with plaster.
Inventions
Elisha Gray (1835-1901) invents a safety device to prevent the fall of heavy machinery; his invention makes the development of the elevator possible.
Inventions
James Otis (died 1861) designs a passenger elevator.
Inventions
The non-rigid airship is invented by Henri Giffard.
Education
Education of Women: Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) publishes "The Laws of Life, with Special Reference to the Physical Education of Girls."
Education
Women's Colleges: The National Women’s Education Association is founded by Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) to provide help for women’s colleges, and promote the idea of women as teachers.
Education
The first effective school attendance law is passed in Massachusetts; it requires at least 12 weeks attendance for all children between 8 and 14, six of which must be consecutive.
Education
Libraries: The Boston Public Library is founded.
Education
Women’s Colleges: Mills College is founded in California; it is the oldest women's college in the western part of the United States.
Adams, Louisa
Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams (1775-1852) dies in Washington on May 15 at the age of seventy-seven; the U.S. Congress adjourns to attend her funeral, the first time this honor is conferred upon a woman.
Taylor, Margaret
Margaret Mackall Smith Taylor (1788-1852) dies near Pascagoula, Mississippi on August 18 at the age of sixty-four.
Madison, Dolley
John Payne Todd (1792-1852), the biological son of Dolley Madison and the stepson of President James Madison, dies of typhoid fever. John''s life choices, made him a charlatan and constant disgrace to his parents.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881) are married on December 30 in Cincinnati.
Grant, Julia
Ulysses Simpson "Buck" Grant Jr. (1852-1929), son of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born July 22.
Johnson, Eliza
Andrew Johnson Jr. (1852-1879), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born August 6.
Economics
The Wells Fargo Company is founded.
Discovery
Livingstone (1813-1873) begins explorations of the Zambezi River in South Africa.
Daily Life
The U.S. imports sparrows from Germany as a defense against caterpillars.
Sports
The first intercollegiate rowing race is held between Harvard and Yale.
Popular Culture
The character of “Uncle Sam” appears for the first time in the "New York Lantern Weekly."
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) writes “My Old Kentucky Home.”
Religion
American Catholics hold their first Plenary Council in Baltimore.
Social Issues
Immigration: Chinese immigration is encouraged in California, particularly to provide labor for building railroads.
Reform
Labor Movement: Ohio becomes the first state to regulate working hours for women.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The Woman’s New York Temperance Society is formed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
1853
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The Washington Territory is formed from part of the Oregon Territory.
Government
With the Gadsden Treaty, the U.S. secures land from Mexico that completes its acquisition of land in the continental United States.
Government
Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) is inaugurated as the 14th President of the U.S., and William R. King (1786-1853) is inaugurated as the 13th Vice President. King dies soon after taking office, and is not replaced.
Medicine
Alexander Wood (1817-1884) uses hypodermic syringes for injections under the skin.
Medicine
Smallpox vaccinations are made compulsory in Britain.
Medicine
Chloroform is used by Queen Victoria (1819-1901) as an anesthetic in the birth of her 7th child; it becomes an accepted practice in England.
Medicine
Epidemics: More than 3,000 perish from yellow fever in New Orleans.
Inventions
African American inventors: George Crum invents the potato chip.
Technology
Airplanes: The first heavier-than-air flying machine, a glider, flies across a valley for 500 yards carrying its frightened creator, George Cayley (1773-1857).
Education
Higher Education: Antioch College in Ohio opens.
Education
Women's Colleges: American educator Mary Easton Sibley (1800-1878) founds the Lindenwood Female College in Missouri.
Education
Children’s Books: From his weekly magazine, "Household Words," Charles Dickens (1812-1870) waxes nostalgic for the educationally-incorrect fairy tales and nursery rhymes of his youth, such as Aladdin or Jack the Giant-Killer.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Rosa Bonheur’s (1822-1899) painting, "The Horse Fair," establishes her reputation as an artist.
Fillmore, Abigail
Abigail Powers Fillmore (1798-1853) dies of pneumonia at the Willard Hotel in Washington at the age of fifty-five.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Scott (1832-1892) graduates from the Oxford Female Academy. She begins teaching
Pierce, Jane
Benjamin Pierce (1841-1853), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, dies tragically January 16 in a train accident before his parents' eyes.
Hayes, Lucy
Birchard Austin Hayes (1853-1926), son of Rutherford and Lucy Hayes, is born November 4 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln’s son Thomas "Tad" (1853-1871) is born on April 4 in Springfield.
Tyler, Julia
Lyon Gardiner Tyler (1853-1935), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born in August.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Baltimore and Ohio railroad is completed as far as the Ohio River.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The New York Central railroad is formed, connecting New York City and Buffalo, NY.
Economics
The building of Steinway pianos is begun in New York City by Henry Steinway (1797-1871) and his three sons.
Economics
Tiffany and Company, jewelers, is established.
Economics
Condensed milk is introduced by Gail Borden (1801-1871).
Economics
American Money: Three-dollar gold pieces are authorized by Congress.
Discovery
Commander Matthew Perry (1794-1858) sails into Japan’s Edo Bay, hoping to open Japan to trade with the west.
Religion
Women's Firsts: Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921) becomes the first ordained minister of a recognized denomination, the Congregationalists.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Seventy-three women present a petition to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention urging women’s suffrage.
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1854
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Political Parties: The Republican Party is formed in Ripon, Wisconsin; opposition to slavery is their central principle.
Politics
Third Parties: The Know-Nothing Party is formed; native white Protestants opposed to immigration and Catholicism run Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) for President.
Government
Clara Barton (1821-1912) becomes perhaps the first regularly appointed woman civil servant in the U.S. with a clerkship in a Washington, DC patent office.
Government
The Gadsden Purchase Treaty is ratified.
Medicine
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) introduces nurses and standards of cleanliness into military hospitals in the Crimea.
Inventions
The first form of the electric light bulb is invented by Heinrich Goebel (1818-1893) in Germany.
Inventions
The Smith and Wesson revolver is invented.
Technology
The use of the Bunsen burner is introduced.
Education
Special Education: The first state-supported school especially designed for the mentally retarded opens in Syracuse, NY.
Education
Education of Women: Emily Blackwell (1826-1910), Elizabeth Blackwell’s sister, earns a medical degree at Cleveland’s Western Reserve University.
Arts and Letters
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) writes "Walden," or "Life in the Woods."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) writes "The Charge of the Light Brigade," a poem about a tragic battle in the Crimean War.
Fillmore, Abigail
Mary Abigail (Abby) Fillmore (1832-1854) dies of cholera on July 27 at the age of 22.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy (1831-1889) and Rutherford Hayes (1822-1893) and their family move into its own house in Cincinnati.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline (1832-1892)and Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) move to Indianapolis, Indiana.
Tyler, Letitia
Alice Tyler Denison (1847-1854), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, dies June 8 of colic.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline and Benjamin Harrison’s son, Russell Benjamin Harrison (1854-1936), is born on August 12.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Immigration: 13,000 Chinese arrive, the beginning of large-scale Chinese immigration; they are employed largely in railroad building in the west.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) writes “Jeanne with the Light Brown Hair.”
Religion
Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) sets forth the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
Social Issues
Slavery: During the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Congress sets aside the rulings from the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and allows these two new territories to choose whether or not to allow slavery. Violent clashes erupt.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Northern resistance to the expansion of slavery increases.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Black temperance advocate Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) lectures for antislavery societies.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Susan B. Anthony collects 6,000 signatures on a petition for women’s rights.
1855
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The first U.S. Court of Claims is established.
Government
Stamps: Prepayment of postage is required in United States
Inventions
The first patent for the production of rayon is obtained by George Audemars.
Inventions
Kerosene is patented by Abraham Gesner (1797-1864) .
Inventions
The printing telegraph is invented.
Education
The first German-language kindergarten in the United States is established by Margarethe Schurtz in Watertown, WI.
Education
A professorship of technology is created at Edinburgh University.
Education
Children’s Books: Charlotte Yonge (1823-1901) publishes the children's historical novel, "The Little Duke," and also "The History of Sir Thomas Thumb, a traditional folktale to which Yonge adds material from the Arthurian legends and from the German tales of the Brothers Grimm.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) writes "Hiawatha."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Walt Whitman (1819-1892) writes "Leaves of Grass."
Arts and Letters
The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra is organized.
Lincoln, Mary
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) runs unsuccessfully for the Senate.
Grant, Julia
Ellen Wrenshall "Nellie" Grant Sartoris Jones (1855-1922), daughter of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born July 4.
Van Buren, Hannah
Martin Van Buren (1812-1855), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren, dies in Paris on March 19.
Economics
Transportation: The first Cunard liner crosses the Atlantic in 9 ½ days.
Economics
The first oil refinery in the U.S. is built in Pittsburgh.
Discovery
Missionary David Livingstone (1813-1873) discovers falls on the Zambezi River which he names Victoria Falls.
Sports
Horseback riding by women becomes popular; many riding academies are set up to help women learn.
Social Issues
Slavery: Fugitive slave Ann Wood leads a wagon load of armed boys and girls in a shootout with slave catchers; two are killed and the rest escape to the North.
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1856
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
James Buchanan (1791-1868) , Democrat, is elected the 15th President of the U.S., and John C. Breckenridge (1821-1875) is elected as the nation's 14th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: Former President Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) is selected to be the presidential candidate of the Know-Nothing or American Party.
Government
Presidents: Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) , 28th President of the United States, is born.
War
The Crimean War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
Science
A Neanderthal skull is found in a cave near Dusseldorf in Germany.
Inventions
Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) invents a process which makes it possible to mass-produce low-cost steel.
Inventions
A patent for a pencil with an attached eraser is granted to H.L. Lipman.
Inventions
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) invents the process of pasteurisation.
Technology
Railroad History: The first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River is completed between Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The first American copyright law is established because of the efforts of Dion Boucicault (1820-1890). In its earliest form, it only protects the title of the play.
Tyler, Julia
Robert Fitzwalter Tyler (1856-1927), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born March 12.
Lane, Harriet
Harriet Lane (1830-1903) serves as James Buchanan's hostess because he never married.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s second son, James Webb Hayes (1856-1934), is born on March 20th in Cincinnati.
Hayes, Lucy
Fannie Hayes Platt, Rutherford’s sister and Lucy’s great friend, dies of complications of childbirth.
Economics
The first street trains, powered by steam, begin running between Boston and Cambridge, MA.
Economics
The Western Union Company is established.
Discovery
Borax is discovered in California.
Sports
Boxing: The longest bare-knuckle boxing match in history pits James Kelly vs. Jack Smith in Melbourne, Australia; the fight lasts 6 hours and 15 minutes.
Sports
Women in Sports: Catherine Beecher (1800-78) publishes Physiology and Calisthenics for Schools and Families, the first fitness manual for women.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Pottawatomie Massacre takes place in Kansas.
Reform
Abolition Movement: An anti-slavery group led by John Brown (1800-1859) attacks a pro-slavery settlement in Franklin County, Kansas. Horace Greeley’s (1811-1872) "New York Tribune" calls the territory “Bleeding Kansas.”
1857
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Slavery: In the Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court rules that slaves are not free just because they live in a free state, that blacks do not have the right to sue in federal court, and that Congress does not have the right to try to exclude slavery from the territories.
Government
Presidents: William Howard Taft (1857-1930) , 27th President of the United States, is born.
Government
National Capital: The House of Representatives moves into its current home in the south wing of the Capitol.
Government
James Buchanan (1791-1868) is inaugurated as the 15th President of the U.S., and John C. Breckenridge (1821-1875) is inaugurated as the nation's 14th Vice President.
Government
Stamps: Perforated U.S. stamps appear (Previously people had to cut apart sheets of stamps).
Science
Yeast is discovered to be a living plant.
Science
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) proves that fermentation is caused by living organisms.
Science
In a letter to Asa Gray (1810-1888) , Charles Darwin (1809-1882) first outlines his theories of evolution and natural selection.
Medicine
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) founds her own New York Infirmary for Women and Children.
Medicine
Epidemics: One of the worst epidemics of influenza begins this year and spreads around the world in the next two years.
Inventions
George Pullman (1831-1897) invents the Pullman Sleeping Car for train travel.
Technology
Airplanes: Jean-Marie Le Bris (1817-1872), a French sea caption, tests a glider modeled after an albatross. This "artificial bird" makes one short glide, but on the second glide it crashes and Le Bris breaks his leg.
Education
Children’s Books: Thomas Hughes (1822-1896), writes "Tom Brown's Schooldays," making Arnold's Rugby the model for what Victorian schoolboys expected their schools to be like.
Education
Libraries: The Watkinson Library is founded as a “a library of reference” for the community of Hartford, Connecticut.
Education
The National Education Association is founded in Philadelphia for the purpose of advancing the professionalism of teaching.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) publishes "Madame Bovary."
Ideas
'The Atlantic Monthly' is founded.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) takes great pleasure in her new sewing machine, a gift from her mother.
Lane, Harriet
Harriet Lane (1830-1903) is the first woman to have a federal steamship named after her.
Economics
E.G. Otis installs the first safety elevator.
Economics
The laying of the transatlantic cable begins.
Economics
A financial panic triggers a serious depression; thousands of businesses fail.
Daily Life
Central Park, in New York City, is designed.
Daily Life
Holidays: The first Mardi Gras pageant of decorated floats is held in New Orleans.
Daily Life
The American Chess Association is formed.
Sports
Baseball: Twenty-five teams form the first baseball association, the National Association of Baseball Players.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The Married Women’s Property Bill passes in England.
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1858
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
New State: Minnesota becomes the 32nd state in the U.S.
Government
Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) , 26th President of the United States, is born.
Government
Britain takes over the government of India from the East India Company.
Government
A treaty of peace, friendship, and commerce is signed between the U.S. and China.
Science
The cell is isolated by Berlin doctor Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) , who calls it the basic unit of all life.
Inventions
Hamilton Smith (1862-1943) patents the rotary washing machine.
Inventions
Jean Lenoir (1822-1900) invents an internal combustion engine.
Education
Children’s Books: Rev. Frederic William Farrar (1831-1903), a schoolmaster, writes the moralistic tale "Eric," or "Little by Little," about a boy who goes bad.
Education
A chemistry department and research lab are established by Harvard University.
Arts and Letters
The first public concert is performed by the New York Symphony Orchestra.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: “The Courtship of Miles Standish” is published by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882).
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s third son, Rutherford Platt Hayes (1858-1927), is born on June 24 in Cincinnati.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford Hayes (1822-1893) is appointed to an unexpired term as city solicitor of Cincinnati in December.
Hayes, Lucy
The Hayes family has its first Christmas tree, decorated as a surprise by their German servants.
Lincoln, Mary
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) runs for the Senate from Illinois against incumbent Democrat Stephen Douglas (1813-1861); he loses, but the Lincoln-Douglas debates form a part of U.S. history.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline and William Harrison’s first daughter, Mary Scott (1858-1930) is born on April 3.
Grant, Julia
Jesse Root Grant (1858-1934), son of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born February 6.
Economics
The transatlantic cable is completed, allowing telegraphic communication between the U.S. and Britain; the service ends after a month because the signal is too weak.
Economics
Transportation: Stagecoach service and mail delivery begin between San Francisco and St. Louis.
Economics
Macy’s Department Store opens.
Discovery
Lake Tanganyika in East Africa is first discovered by Europeans.
Daily Life
Princess Victoria (1840-1901) of England (daughter of Queen Victoria) chooses Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” and Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” for her wedding, thus beginning a tradition.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The first use of fingerprints as a means of identification occurs in India.
Sports
Baseball: The National Association of Baseball Players is organized.
Religion
Marie-Bernard Soubirous (1843-1879), later to become St. Bernadette of Lourdes, first sees a vision of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes in France.
Religion
The Ladies’ Christian Association, forerunner to the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), is founded in New York City.
Religion
Another religious revival begins in New York and Pennsylvania and sweeps across the country; religious conversions are many.
Social Issues
Slavery: Slaves are sold at very high prices because of high demand for cotton, and southerners begin to talk about reopening the slave trade.
1859
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court upholds the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850; Georgia prohibits the deathbed manumission of slaves and rules that free blacks can be sold back into slavery; tensions between North and South escalate.
Government
New State: Oregon becomes the 33rd state in the U.S.
Government
President James Buchanan (1791-1868) rules that the New Mexico territory should become a reservation for American Indians.
Government
National Capital: The Senate moves into the enlarged north wing of the Capitol, where it remains, today.
War
The first iron-clad armored warship, Britain’s HMS Warrior, is launched.
Science
Botanist Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps (1793-1884) is the second woman elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Science
Charles Darwin’s (1809-1882) "Origin of the Species" is published.
Inventions
The first practical storage battery is invented.
Inventions
The steamroller is invented.
Education
The Cooper Union in New York City is established, primarily for adult education in the arts and sciences.
Arts and Letters
Opera: The opera "Faust" is performed.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "A Tale of Two Cities."
Arts and Letters
Women's Firsts: Harriet E. Wilson (1827-1863), author of "Our Nig," becomes the first African-American novelist published in the U.S.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) is elected to his own two-year term as city solicitor in Cincinnati.
Hayes, Lucy
The Hayes home is enlarged, with quarters for servants and a brick kitchen with a new range.
Economics
Work is begun on the Suez Canal.
Economics
The first commercial oil well is brought in at Titusville, PA.
Discovery
The first large silver deposit found in the U.S., the Comstock Lode, is found in Nevada.
Daily Life
Big Ben, the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London is started.
Sports
Baseball: The first intercollegiate baseball game in the U.S. is played by students from Amherst and Williams Colleges in Massachusetts.
Sports
The first national billiards champion wins a $15,000 prize.
Popular Culture
Charles Blondin (1824-1897) walks across Niagara Falls on the tightrope; he is watched by 25,000 people.
Popular Culture
Wearing the body-hugging costume later named for him, Jules Leotard (1839-1870) performs the first flying trapeze act without a net at the Cirque Napoleon.
Popular Culture
Daniel Emmett (1815-1904) writes “Dixie” and "Turkey in the Straw."
Reform
Abolition Movement: John Brown (1800-1859) seizes the armory at Harper’s Ferry to provide for his militia; he is later captured and hanged.
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1860
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) of Illinois becomes the first Republican to win the United States Presidency; he becomes the 16th President and Hannibal Hamlin (1809-1891) of Maine is elected as the 15th Vice President.
Politics
South Carolina secedes from the Union followed within two months by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
Government
The U.S. Secret Service is established.
Government
Stamps: By 1860, almost all countries have postage stamps.
Science
The fact that the star Sirius is a double star is discovered.
Medicine
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) opens the world’s first school of nursing.
Inventions
The first practical gasoline engine is built.
Education
The first English language kindergarten is established in Boston by Elizabeth Peabody (1804-1894).
Education
Olympia Brown (1835-1926) becomes the first woman to study theology with men—at St. Lawrence University.
Arts and Letters
Literature: George Eliot(1819-1880) (Mary Ann Evans) publishes "The Mill on the Floss."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Dion Boucicault (1820-1890) begins promotion of "combination companies". The company and players would travel with scenery for 1 play.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes’s (1831-1889) boys suffer from mumps, whooping cough, and measles.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and her husband take a long trip, by riverboat, to Canada, by rail and boat to Boston, to New England and home by way of New York City. Total cost: $310.77.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) begins 30 years of serving on the board of managers of the Indianapolis Orphans’ Asylum.
Wilson, Ellen
Ellen Louise Axson (1860-1914), first wife of Woodrow Wilson, is born in Savannah, Georgia on May 15.
Harding, Florence
Florence Kling DeWolfe (1860-1924), wife of Warren G. Harding, is born in Marion, Ohio on August 15.
Tyler, Julia
Pearl Tyler Ellis (1860-1947), daughter of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born June 20.
Arthur, Ellen
William Lewis Arthur (1860-1863), son of Chester Alan and Ellen Arthur, is born December 10.
Economics
Slavery: Cotton shipments are at an all-time high (2 billion pounds a year), which gives the South extra incentives to keep slavery.
Economics
The first Pony Express riders make it from Missouri to California in 10 days.
Economics
Population: The population of the United States (1860) is 32 million.
Daily Life
Fashion: Bustles begin to take the place of hoop skirts in American women’s fashion.
Daily Life
History of Toys: A chemistry set for children is offered for sale for $5.00.
Sports
Boxing: The longest prizefight in American history is held in Maine; it lasts for 4 hours and 20 minutes.
Sports
Croquet is introduced to the U.S. from England; it becomes very popular.
Sports
Golf: The first British Open Golf Championship is held.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) composes “Old Black Joe.”
Religion
The Seventh Day Adventist church is founded by William Miller (1782-1849) and his followers.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The U.S. Army's Fort Definace in New Mexico is attacked by 1,000 Navaho Indians; the Indians lose.
Social Issues
Immigration: Poland’s religious and economic conditions prompt immigration of approximately two million Poles by 1914.
Reform
Labor Movement: Six thousand shoemakers go on strike in Lynn, MA for higher wages; the companies grant higher wages but refuse to recognize the union.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Elizabeth Cady Stanton speaks to a meeting of the New York State Legislature on behalf of women’s suffrage.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Women are allowed to collect their own wages, to sue, and to inherit their husbands’ property in New York State; married women are allowed to be guardians of their children
1861
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) is elected President of the Confederate States of America.
Politics
Virginia secedes from the Union, followed within five weeks by Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina, thus forming an eleven state Confederacy with a population of 9 million.
Government
New State: Kansas becomes the 34th state in the United States.
Government
The United States introduces the passport system.
Government
Congress passes the first income tax in the U.S. to support the war.
Government
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is inaugurated as the 16th President and Hannibal Hamlin (1809-1891) is inaugurated as the 15th Vice President.
War
Civil War; National Capital: The U.S. Capitol houses Union soldiers, providing medical attention and a place to sleep.
War
Civil War: The Union Army under Gen. Irvin McDowell (1818-1885) suffers a defeat at Bull Run 25 miles southwest of Washington.
War
Civil War: Pierre Beauregard (1813-1893) opens fire with 50 cannons upon Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. The Civil War begins.
War
Confederates invade New Mexico from Texas.The Confederate Territory of Arizona is declared with the capital at La Mesilla.
Inventions
Elisha Otis (1811-1861) patents elevator safety brakes, creating a safer elevator.
Inventions
Linus Yale (1821-1868) invents the Yale lock or cylinder lock.
Education
The first American doctor of philosophy degree is awarded by Yale University.
Education
Women's Colleges: Vassar College for women is founded in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: George Eliot (1819-1880) (Mary Ann Evans) writes "Silas Marner."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "Great Expectations."
Lincoln, Mary
The Lincolns (Abraham: 1809-1865 and Mary Todd: 1818-1882) move into the White House in March of 1861.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) joins the 23rd Ohio Volunteer infantry as a Major.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s fourth son, Joseph Thompson (1861-1863), is born on December 21 in Cincinnati.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline (1832-1892) and Benjamin (1831-1901) Harrison’s third child and second daughter dies at birth.
Roosevelt, Edith
Edith Kermit Carow (1861-1948), wife of Theodore Roosevelt, is born in Norwich, Connecticut on August 6.
Taft, Helen
Helen Herron Taft (1861-1943), wife of William Howard Taft [1909-1913] is born in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 2.
Economics
American Money: Gold payments are suspended; greenbacks become the national currency.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Leland Stanford (1824-1893) hires Chinese laborers to help build the western part of the Central Pacific Railroad.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: There are 30,000 miles of railroad track in the U.S.
Economics
Telegraph wires are strung between San Francisco and New York.
Economics
Pencils are mass-produced in New York by Eberhard Faber.
Economics
American Money: Congress authorizes the United States Treasury to issue paper money for the first time in the form of non-interest bearing Treasury Notes called Demand Notes.
Daily Life
Daily weather forecasts are begun in Britain.
Popular Culture
Hot Air Balloons: A record balloon trip is made between Cincinnati, Ohio and the South Carolina coast is made in 9 hours.
Popular Culture
Wartime Music: “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” is written during the Civil War by Julia War Howe for the Union.
Popular Culture
Wartime Music: “Battle Cry of Freedom” is written during the Civil War by George F. Root for the Union.
Popular Culture
Wartime Music: “Dixie Land” is written during the Civil War by Daniel Emmett for the Confederate.
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1862
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Railroad History: President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) signs the Pacific Railway Act, which authorizes the construction of the first transcontinental railroad.
Government
American Money: The Secretary of the Treasury is empowered by Congress to have notes engraved and printed, which is done by private banknote companies.
Government
The Homestead Act is passed, decreeing that any American may have 160 acres of land in the west free, if he lives on it for five years.
Government
President Lincoln (1809-1865) issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves "henceforth and forever free."
Government
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is created by Congress.
Government
The Medal of Honor is authorized by Congress.
War
Civil War: The bloodiest battle of the Civil War occurs at Antietam; over 23,000 are killed or wounded.
War
Civil War: The Confederate Ironclad 'Merrimac' sinks two wooden Union ships then battles the Union Ironclad 'Monitor' to a draw. Naval warfare is thus changed forever, making wooden ships obsolete.
War
Civil War: Confederate surprise attack on Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's (1822-1885) unprepared troops at Shiloh on the Tennessee River results in a bitter struggle with 13,000 Union killed and wounded and 10,000 Confederates.
War
Civil War: 75,000 Federals under Gen. John Pope (1874-1937) are defeated by 55,000 Confederates under Gen. Stonewall Jackson (1824-1863) and Gen. James Longstreet (1821-1904) at the second battle of Bull Run in northern Virginia.
Science
The speed of light is successfully measured.
Medicine
The first children’s clinic is opened in New York City.
Inventions
The Gatling (a 10 barrel, automatic firing) gun is invented by R.J. Gatling (1818-1903).
Inventions
A timepiece for split-second timing—the chronograph—is invented.
Inventions
Alexander Parkes (1813-1890) invents the first man-made plastic.
Inventions
Jean Lenoir (1822-1900) makes a gasoline engine automobile.
Education
Children’s Books: Christina Rossetti''s (1830-1894) long fantasy, "Goblin Market," about two sisters'' struggle to resist the tempting fruits of the goblin men, was long categorized as a children''s fairy tale, but is increasingly reread as a major poem of its period.
Education
Women's Firsts: In Ohio, Mary Jane Patterson receives a degree from Oberlin, becoming the first black woman to graduate from an American college.
Education
African American Education: One of the earliest and longest-lived freedmen’s schools, the Penn School on St. Helena Island, NC, is founded by Laura Matilda Towne (1825-1901).
Education
Women's Firsts: Geologist Florence Bascom (1862-1945) becomes the first woman to receive a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University; she goes on to teach at Bryn Mawr.
Education
The Morrill Land-Grant Act endows colleges of agriculture and industry.
Arts and Letters
Literature; Victor Hugo (1802-1885) writes "Les Misérables."
Lincoln, Mary
The Lincolns’ son William Wallace (1850-1862) dies of typhoid fever at age 11 on February 20.
Harrison, Caroline
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) raises a regiment for the Union in the Civil War (1,000 men from Indiana) known as the 70th Indiana Regiment.
Van Buren, Hannah
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), 8th President of the U.S., dies in Kinderhook, New York.
Tyler, Julia
John Tyler (1790-1862), 10th President of the U.S., dies in Richmond, Virginia.
Economics
1,000 guns a day are being produced by the Colt factory.
Economics
The first automobile with an internal combustion engine is constructed.
Economics
A process for concentrating fruit juice is patented.
Economics
American Money: Demand Notes are replaced by United States Notes.
Popular Culture
Julia Ward Howe's (1819-1910) poem, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is published and later set to music. The music for "Taps" is also composed.
1863
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
President Lincoln (1809-1865) issues the final Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in territories held by Confederates and emphasizes the enlisting of black soldiers in the Union Army.
Government
New Mexico is divided in half, creating the Territory of Arizona.
Government
National Capital: The "Statue of Freedom" is place on top of the Capitol building and becomes the crowning feature of the dome.
Government
Congress establishes free mail delivery in cities.
Government
New State: West Virginia becomes the 35th state in the United States.
Government
President Lincoln (1809-1865) delivers the Gettysburg Address.
War
Civil War: The tide of war turns against the South as the Confederates are defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.
War
Civil War: The Union institutes a draft to recruit soldiers for the Civil War.
War
Civil War: The Battle of Gettysburg takes place.
Science
The National Academy of Sciences is founded in Washington, DC.
Education
Children’s Books: The Rev. Charles Kingsley’s (1819-1875) fairy tale "The Water-Babies" combines many of these enthusiasms in a tale of how a little chimney-sweep goes backward in evolution when he is wicked, and forwards when he does as he would be done by.
Arts and Letters
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910) adopts the pen-name, Mark Twain.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Henry Wordsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) publishes the poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.”
Pierce, Jane
Jane Means Appleton Pierce (1806-1863), wife of Franklin Pierce (1804-1869), dies of tuberculosis in Andover, Massachusetts on December 2 at the age of 57.
Johnson, Eliza
Charles Johnson (1830-1863), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, dies April 4 in a horse accident.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889), her four sons, and her mother go to West Virginia to be with Rutherford (1822-1893) and his regiment.
Arthur, Ellen
William Lewis Arthur (1860-1863), son of Chester Alan and Ellen Arthur, dies July 7.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s fourth son, Joseph (1861-1863), dies of dysentery at the age of two on June 24.
Economics
Transportation: The world''''s first underground railway service, London''''s Metropolitan line between Paddington and Farringdon, is opened.
Economics
Traveler’s Insurance Company is founded in Hartford, CT.
Economics
American Money: The design of U.S. currency incorporates a Treasury seal, the fine line engraving necessary for the difficult-to-counterfeit itaglio printing, intricate geometric lathe work patterns, and distinctive linen paper with embedded red and blue fibers.
Daily Life
Holidays: The first national Thanksgiving Day is proclaimed by President Lincoln (1809-1865) to be the fourth Thursday of November.
Daily Life
The first paper dress patterns are developed by Ebenezer Butterick (1826-1903).
Sports
The four-wheeled roller skate is patented by James Plimpton of New York.
Sports
Horse Racing: The Grand Prix horse race is first held in Paris.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) composes “Beautiful Dreamer.”
Religion
Olympia Brown (1835-1926) is ordained a minister by the Northern Universalists in Weymouth, MA.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Kit Carson (1809-1868) begins resettling Navajo and Apache Indians on reservations by force.
Social Issues
Slavery: The Emancipation Proclamation delivered by President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) decrees that all slaves in Rebel territory are free on January 1, 1863.
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1864
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) nominates Salmon Portland Chase (1808-1873) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; he is confirmed by the Senate on the same day, and holds the position for eight years, until his death in 1873.
Politics
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is reelected for a second term as President of the United States, and Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) is elected as the nation's 16th Vice President.
Government
New State: Nevada becomes the 36th state in the United States.
Government
The territory of Montana is organized.
Government
Twenty-six nations sign the Geneva Conventions, an agreement to respect humanitarian rules of war with respect to prisoners, sick soldiers, Red Cross neutrality, and civilians in war zones.
Government
American Money: Congress authorizes the inscription, "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins.
War
Civil War: General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) marches his Union army through Georgia, captures Atlanta and Savannah, and leaves a 300 mile path of destruction, 60 miles wide, all the way to the sea.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Dr. Mary Edwards Walker (1832-1919) is appointed assistant surgeon in the Union Army.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Inventor Norbert Rillieux (1806-1894) patents a process for refining sugar that is used by sugar processing plants all over the world.
Technology
Airplanes: Count Ferdinand d’Esterno, France, publishes the first scientific observations of the effects of the wind on a wing in his pamphlet, "Du Vol des Oiseaux."
Education
Public Education: Native Americans: Indian Education: Congress makes it illegal for Native Americans to be taught in their native languages. Native children as young as four years old are taken from their parents and sent to Bureau of Indian Affairs off-reservation boarding schools, whose goal, as one BIA official put it, is to "kill the Indian to save the man."
Education
Women’s Firsts: Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1846-1922) becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree. She graduated from the New England Female Medical College.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) begins writing his epic, "War and Peace."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Jules Verne (1828-1905) publishes "A Journey to the Center of the Earth."
Harrison, Anna
Anna Tuthill Symmes (1775-1864) Harrison dies on February 25 in North Bend, Ohio, at the age of eighty-eight.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) runs for Congress from Ohio and wins without ever leaving his troops.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s fifth son, George Crook (1864-1866) is born on September 29 in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Cleveland, Frances
Frances Folsom (1864-1947), wife of Grover Cleveland (1837-1906), is born in Buffalo, New York, on July 21.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Pennsylvania Railroad begins using steel for its rails.
Daily Life
Taking pictures that will be become famous as a record of the Civil War, New York photographer Matthew Brady (1822-1896) travels through the nation's battlefields.
Daily Life
Newspapers: In Louisiana, the New Orleans Tribune begins publication. It is one of the first African-American-run daily newspapers.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Many Navahos die as they make the "Long March" through New Mexico to their grim reservation at Bosque Redondo.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The massacre of Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians at Sand Creek, CO occurs.
Social Issues
Immigration: European immigration to the U.S. increases, due in large part to the Homestead Act and also because immigrants are excluded from the draft.
Reform
Labor Movement: The first International Workingmen's Association is founded by Karl Marx (1818-1883) in London and New York.
1865
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Thirteenth Amendment, forbidding slavery, is passed by the Congress, ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Government
Warren G. Harding (1865-1923), 29th President of the United States, is born near Marion, Ohio.
Government
American Money: Gold Certificates are issued by the Department of the Treasury against gold coin and buillion deposits and are circulated until 1933.
Government
American Money: The Department of the Treasury establishes the United States Secret Service to control counterfeit money.
Government
Following the assassination of President Lincoln, his Vice-President, Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), becomes the 17th President of the United States. No new Vice President is selected.
War
Civil War: Gen. Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) surrenders his Confederate Army to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia; the Civil War ends.
War
Indian Wars: Escalation of the Plains War between the U.S. military and the Sioux and Cheyenne.
Science
Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) proposes the laws of heredity.
Medicine
Antiseptic surgery is initiated by Joseph Lister (1827-1912) using carbolic acid.
Medicine
The Chicago Hospital for Women and Children is established, in part, by Dr. Mary Harris Thompson, one of the best-known surgeons of her era.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Dr. Mary Walker (1832-1919) becomes the first woman to receive the Medal of Honor, for her service during the Civil War.
Inventions
The coffee percolator is invented.
Education
Higher Education: The Universities of Maine and Kentucky, Purdue University and Cornell University are all founded.
Education
Higher Education: Yale University opens the first Department of Fine Arts in the U.S.
Education
Higher Education: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is founded.
Education
Women's Colleges: Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) is the first woman appointed as a professor of astronomy, at Vassar College.
Education
Children''s Books: Lewis Carroll''s (1832-1898) "Alice in Wonderland" is published.
Education
Children''s Books: "Hans Brinker," or "The Silver Skates" is written by Mary Mapes Dodge (1831-1905).
Education
Public Education (1865-1877): African Americans mobilize to bring public education to the South for the first time. After the Civil War, and with the legal end of slavery, African Americans in the South make alliances with white Republicans to push for many political changes, including for the first time rewriting state constitutions to guarantee free public education. In practice, white children benefit more than Black children.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Wagner’s (1813-1883) opera "Tristan and Isolde," premiers in Munich.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Jules Verne (1828-1905) writes "From the Earth to the Moon."
Jackson, Rachel
Andrew Jackson Jr. (1808-1865), Andrew and Rachel Jackson's adopted son (he was one of the pair of twins born to a sibling of Rachel Jackson), dies.
Lincoln, Mary
Assassination: President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC.
Johnson, Eliza
Eliza McCardle Johnson (1810-1876) is the first First Lady to teach her husband, Andrew Johnson, to read and write.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) and her family move to Chicago.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford (1822-1893) and Lucy (1831-1889) Hayes go to Washington for his first term in Congress. The children stay in Chillicothe with their grandmother.
Harrison, Caroline
General Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) and the 70th Indiana are mustered out of Federal service on June 8, 1865.
Economics
The Atlantic cable is completed.
Economics
The first oil pipeline is laid in Pennsylvania (6 miles).
Economics
The Union Stockyards open in Chicago.
Daily Life
The first carpet sweeper comes into popular use.
Daily Life
Transportation: George Pullman''s (1831-1897) railroad sleeping cars appear in the U.S.
Daily Life
The first fire department with paid firefighters is founded in New York City.
Sports
Billiard balls made out of a composition material replace balls made of ivory.
Sports
Boxing: Boxing's Queensbury Rules are laid out.
Sports
Women in Sports: Matthew Vassar opens Vassar College with a special School of Physical Training with classes in riding, gardening, swimming, boating, skating and "other physical accomplishments suitable for ladies to acquire ... bodily strength and grace."
Popular Culture
Another popular favorite published this year is Mark Twain's (1835-1910) short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."
Social Issues
Hate Groups: The Ku Klux Kan is founded in Tennessee.
Social Issues
Poverty: The Salvation Army is founded in England by William Booth (1829-1912).
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1866
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting voter discrimination, is passed by the Congress.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: The Freedman’s Bureau Bill is established to provide assistance to freed slaves.
Government
American Money: Congress authorizes the issuance of the 5-cent piece, the “nickel.”
Government
Tennessee becomes the first state readmitted to the Union.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: Despite the veto of President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), the U.S. passes a Civil Rights Law, protecting the rights of citizenship for former slaves freed by the Thirteenth Amendment.
Inventions
Dynamite is developed by Swedish engineer Alfred Nobel (1801-1872).
Inventions
Englishmen Robert Whitehead (1861-1947) invents a torpedo.
Inventions
A 12-horsepower steam automobile is developed in Connecticut.
Technology
Airplanes: The Aeronautical Society is founded in England.
Technology
Battery Technology: Georges Leclanche (1839-1882), a French engineer, patents a new system, which is immediately successful. In the space of two years, twenty thousand of his cells are being used in the telegraph system.
Education
Women’s Firsts: Lucy Hobbs (1833-1910) becomes the first woman to graduate from dental school, the Ohio College of Dental Surgery.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) writes "War and Peace."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Feodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) writes "Crime and Punishment."
Van Buren, Hannah
John Van Buren (1810-1866), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren dies October 13 of kidney failure while at sea.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) returns to Chillicothe in March; the older boys study German.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s fifth son, George Crook (1864-1866), dies of scarlet fever on May 24 at the age of 20 months.
Economics
The first refrigerated railroad car is built in Detroit.
Economics
Laying of the second Atlantic cable is completed.
Economics
American Money: National Bank Notes, backed by U.S. government securities, becomes predominant.
Daily Life
The first Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) opens in Boston.
Sports
Women in Sports: Baseball: Vassar College fields the first two women''s amateur baseball teams.
Religion
An early congregation of Reform Jews builds the Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Social Issues
Jim Crow Laws: The former Confederate States enact "Black code" (later known as Jim Crow) laws to counteract the thirteenth amendment.
Reform
Labor Movement: The National Labor Union is founded in Baltimore, the first such industrial trade-union confederation and a landmark in the U.S. labor movement.
Reform
Animal Rights Movement: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is founded in New York City.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Martha Coffin Pelham Wright, Lucretia Mott, and Ernestine Rose found the American Equal Rights Association, seeking both black and women’s suffrage.
1867
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The Dominion of Canada is established by The British North America Act.
Government
Education: The federal Office of Education is established to provide information on the condition of education in the United States.
Government
New State: Nebraska becomes the 37th state of the Union.
Government
Alaska is purchased from Russia for the sum of $7.2 million, approximately two cents an acre.
Medicine
Lister (1827-1912) publishes "Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery," based partly on Pasteur's work.
Inventions
The first motorcycle is invented.
Inventions
Christopher Sholes (1819-1890) invents the first practical and modern typewriter.
Inventions
Barbed wire is first patented by Lucien B. Smith of Ohio.
Inventions
Joseph Monier (1823-1906) of Paris first patents reinforced concrete.
Inventions
Elizabeth Hawks receives a patent for a stove with a separate “air chamber” for baking.
Education
Higher Education: The first U.S. dental school is established at Harvard.
Education
Higher Education: Howard University, the first predominantly Negro college to offer comprehensive university facilities, is chartered.
Education
Special Education: The Clark Institute for Deaf Mutes is chartered; it is the first U.S. school to teach the deaf using German principles of articulation and lip-reading.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) writes "Peer Gynt."
Arts and Letters
Opera: Charles Gounod’s (1818-1893) opera, "Romeo et Juliette," is performed in Paris.
Arts and Letters
Walt Whitman (1819-1992) circulates this fourth edition as four separately paginated books stitched together between two covers: a vastly re-edited version of the 1860 "Leaves of Grass," a reissue of "Drum-Taps," a reissue of the "Sequel to Drum-Taps," and a striking coda called "Songs Before Parting."
Ideas
"Das Kapital" is published by Karl Marx (1818-1883).
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s first and only daughter, Fannie (1867-1950), is born in Cincinnati on September 2.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) resigns his seat in Congress, runs for Governor of Ohio, and wins by less than 3,000 votes.
Harrison, Caroline
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) runs for Governor of Indiana; is defeated by the Democrats.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first elevated railroad is built in New York City.
Economics
The first paperback books are published in Leipzig, Germany.
Discovery
Diamond fields are discovered in South Africa.
Discovery
Gold is discovered in Wyoming.
Daily Life
Magazines: Mary Louise Booth (1831-1889) becomes editor of the new "Harper’s Bazaar" magazine.
Sports
Horse Racing: The Belmont Stakes horserace is run for the first time in New York.
Sports
Women in Sports: Golf: St. Andrew''s in Scotland is the first ladies golf club.
Popular Culture
“The Blue Danube Waltz” is written by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899).
Popular Culture
The first of the popular “rags to riches” stories, "Ragged Dick," or "Street Life in New York" is published by Horatio Alger.
Religion
Children’s Books: Religious books for children are often more attractively produced, and also much gentler, even sentimental, in religious messages like "The Pretty Village."
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Treaty of Medicine Lodge between the U.S. and the Cheyenne and Arapaho forces the two tribes to move to a reservation in Indian Territory, on land that was ceded by Indian tribes to the U.S. after the end of the Civil War.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Reservations in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) are set up by Congress for the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles).
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Congress gives blacks the right to vote in Washington, D.C.
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1868
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Native Americans: A clause in the 14th Amendment “excluding Indians not taxed” prevents Native-American men from receiving the right to vote.
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting states from infringing on the rights of American citizens is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Politics
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) is elected as the 18th President of the United States, and the first from Ohio; Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885) is elected as the nation's 17th Vice President.
Politics
Impeachment: Current President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) is impeached by the House of Representatives, but escapes conviction by one vote.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: Congress makes black suffrage mandatory for a Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union.
Science
A Cro-Magnon skeleton (the first homo sapiens) is found in France.
Inventions
The air brake is invented by George Westinghouse (1846-1914).
Inventions
An electric voting machine is patented by Thomas Edison (1847-1931).
Inventions
George Westinghouse (1846-1914) invents the compressed air locomotive brake, which enables trains to be stopped with fail-safe accuracy.
Inventions
Railroad History: Major Eli Janney (1831 – 1912), a confederate veteran of the civil war, invents the knuckle coupler. This semi-automatic device locks upon the cars closing together without the rail worker getting between the cars.
Technology
Airplanes: Jean-Marie Le Bris (1817-1872) tests an improved version of his glider, making several unmanned glides before it crashes.
Technology
Airplanes: John Stringfellow, England, proposes a man-carrying triplane, similar to Henson’s aerial steam carriage. It captures the public’s imagination, although the model does not perform well when tested.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) writes "Little Women."
Arts and Letters
Brahams’ (1833-1897) “Lullaby” is published.
Lane, Harriet
James Buchanan (1791-1868), 15th President of the U.S. and the only bachelor to be elected President, dies June 1 at Wheatland (near Lancaster, Pennsylvania).
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) travels to Europe with her son, Tad.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) is inaugurated as Governor of Ohio in January. His salary is $4,000.
Economics
The Armour meat-packing factory is opened in Chicago.
Daily Life
The world's first traffic lights, built near London's Parliament Square, begin operation.
Sports
The first recorded bicycle race is held in Paris.
Sports
Golf: Golf''s first recorded hole-in-one is scored in Scotland.
Sports
The game of badminton is invented in England.
Sports
The sport of skating is regulated at a meeting of an American skating congress in Pittsburgh.
Sports
The first indoor track and field meet is held in New York City.
Religion
Brigham Young (1801-1877) marries his 27th and final wife.
Religion
“O Little Town of Bethlehem” is written by Episcopal clergyman Phillips Brooks (1835-1893).
Social Issues
Immigration: Japanese laborers arrive in Hawaii to work in sugar cane fields.
Reform
Labor Movement: The first 8-hour day begins for government workers. Others continue to work long hours.
1869
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women’s Firsts: Arabella Mansfield (1846-1911) is granted admission to practice law in Iowa, making her the first woman lawyer.
Law
In "Texas v. White," the U.S. Supreme Court rules that secession is illegal. Following this decision, Congress restores a republican government in Texas.
Law
The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, affirming the right to vote and forbidding states to deny that right based on race, color, or "previous condition of servitude," is passed by Congress.
Politics
Third Parties: The National Prohibition Party is formed in Chicago.
Government
The first Black U.S. diplomat, Ebenezer D. Bassett (1833-1908), becomes minister-resident to Haiti.
Government
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) is inaugurated as the 18th President of the United States, and Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885) is inaugurated as the nation's 17th Vice President.
Government
Stamps: First U.S. pictorial stamps appear; this is the first time that U.S. stamps show something other than a dead person.
Inventions
Ives W. McGaffey of Chicago patents an early suction type vacuum cleaner.
Inventions
Celluloid is invented by J.W. Hyatt.
Inventions
Chewing gum is patented by William F. Semple.
Inventions
Margarine is patented in France.
Inventions
Railroad History: George Westinghouse (1846-1914), an inventive Civil War veteran, develops the straight air brake.
Education
Children’s Books: A beautiful Victorian illustrated "Cinderella" is published, along with a new versification of the story by Robert Willis, as "The Children''s Christmas Annual for 1869."
Education
Education of Women: Three women are admitted to the Chicago Medical College.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: There are 21 theatres in New York and 6 in Boston.
Ideas
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) writes "On the Subjugation of Women."
Pierce, Jane
Franklin Pierce (1804-1869), the 14th president of the United States, dies October 8 in Concord, New Hampshire.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) runs for a second term as Governor of Ohio and is once again elected. Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) continues her role as First Lady of Ohio.
Johnson, Eliza
Robert Johnson (1834-1869), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, dies April 22 by taking his own life.
Grant, Julia
Julia Dent Grant (1826-1902) is the first President's wife to have the Inaugural Ball in the Treasury. She also had the first closets built in the White House, and was the first First Lady to close the White House grounds to the public.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first trans-continental railroad is finished when the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads are joined on May 10.
Economics
The Suez Canal is opened, after more than 10 years of construction.
Economics
Gypsy moths are brought to Massachusetts to start a silk industry. They escape, however, and cause all kinds of problems around the country.
Economics
Transportation: The clipper ship, "Cutty Sark," is launched.
Sports
Soccer: Intercollegiate football (soccer) is begun by Rutgers and Princeton.
Sports
The first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, is founded.
Sports
Women in Sports: Frenchwomen enter cycling races at Bordeaux, France.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes his book "Innocents Abroad."
Religion
The first Vatican Council meets in Rome.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Transcontinental Railroad cuts across Native American lands.
Reform
Women’s Firsts: Arabella Mansfield (1846-1911) is granted admission to practice law in Iowa, making her the first woman lawyer.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The National Temperance Convention meets in Chicago to form the Prohibition Party.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Susan B. Anthony founds the American Women’s Suffrage Association. The newspaper she founds has the slogan “Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.”
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: The Wyoming Territory becomes the first state to grant women suffrage.
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1870
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution affirming the right to vote and forbidding states to deny that right based on race, color, or "previous condition of servitude," is ratifiedby two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Politics
Hiram Revels (1827-1901) (Mississippi) becomes the first Black elected to U.S. Senate.
Politics
Jefferson Long (1836-1901) (Georgia) becomes the first Black elected to U.S. House of Representatives.
Government
Congress authorizes the registration of trademarks.
Government
The U.S. Congress readmits Texas to the Union.
Government
The U.S. Justice Department is created.
Medicine
Louis Pasteur (1822- 1895) and Robert Koch (1843-1910) establish the germ theory of disease.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents the stock ticker.
Inventions
Mary Carpenter patents a sewing machine with a self-threading, self-setting needle.
Technology
Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge begins.
Technology
Airplanes: Alphonse Penaud (1850-1880), France, uses twisted rubber bands to power a miniature helicopter. It’s copied by dozens of toymakers in Europe in America.
Education
Education of Women: The first sorority: Kappa Alpha Theta, is established at De Pauw University.
Education
Education of Women: Ada H. Kepley (1847-1925) becomes the first woman to graduate from law school (at Union College of Law, Chicago).
Arts and Letters
Museums: The Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded in New York City.
Lincoln, Mary
Congress appropriates a pension for Mary Todd (1818-1882) Lincoln of $3,000, later raised to $5,000.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and Rutherford (1822-1893) successfully campaign for official Ohio state support for the establishment of a home for children orphaned by the Civil War.
Economics
Standard Oil Co. of Ohio is incorporated, with John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) as president and majority stockholder.
Economics
Census: The U.S. population is 39.8 million, including, for the first time, African Americans listed by name.
Economics
The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. (the A&P) is founded.
Discovery
Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) begins excavations on the site of Homer's Troy.
Daily Life
A donkey first appears in a cartoon to symbolize the U.S. Democratic Party.
Daily Life
The Marcel wave becomes a popular women’s hairstyle.
Popular Culture
Jules Verne (1828-1905) writes "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."
Religion
The first Vatican Council declares the dogma of papal infallibility.
Reform
Abolition Movement: The American Anti-Slavery Society is dissolved.
Reform
Black Suffrage Movement: The 15th Amendment of the Constitution provides African-American males with the right to vote.
1871
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The first Civil Service Commission is appointed by President Grant.
Science
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) writes "The Descent of Man," in which he asserts that all mammals descend from a single ancestor.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes leprosy is discovered.
Inventions
The first cable car is invented.
Technology
Airplanes: Alphonse Penaud (1850-1880) builds a planophore, a 20-inch long monoplane with a pusher propeller powered by a rubber band. It flies 131 feet in 11 seconds — the first flight of an inherently stable aircraft.
Technology
Airplanes: Francis Herbert Wenham and John Browning, England, invent the wind tunnel. They use it to prove that cambered wings produce more lift than other shapes.
Education
Children’s Books: Mother Goose is reprinted, with verses set to music.
Education
Parochial Education: The Archdiocese of New York receives $700,000 in public funds for schooling.
Education
Public Education: Michigan, New Hampshire, and Washington enact compulsory school attendance laws.
Arts and Letters
Opera: "Aida," by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), is performed in Cairo, where the opera is set; it is written in honor of the opening of the Suez Canal.
Arts and Letters
Literature: George Eliot (1819-1880) writes "Middlemarch."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henry James’ (1843-1916) first novel, "Watch And Ward", is written as he travela through Venice and Paris.
Ideas
Marx’s (1818-1883) "Communist Manifesto" appears for the first time in English.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) returns to the United States. Her son Thomas (1853-1871) dies of tuberculosis at age 18.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes’s sixth son, Scott Russell (1871-1923), is born in Columbus, Ohio on February 8. His sister Fanny calls him “little boy sister.”
Tyler, Julia
Julia Tyler Spencer (1849-1871), daughter of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, dies May 8 from childbirth complications.
Arthur, Ellen
Ellen Herndon "Nell" Arthur (Pinkerton) (1871-1915), daughter of Chester Alan and Ellen Arthur, is born November 21.
Mckinley, Ida
Katherine "Katie" McKinley (1871-1875), the first child of William and Ida McKinley, is born December 25.
Economics
The S.S. Oceanic, the first of the White Star Line luxury liners, is launched.
Daily Life
Disasters: The Chicago Fire burns down about three and one half miles of the city.
Sports
The National Rifle Association is founded by Union Army officers
Sports
Women in Sports: Miss Carrie A. Moore demonstrates a variety of roller skating movements at the Occidental Rink in San Francisco. Later in the same day, she exhibits her skill on a velocipede.
Popular Culture
“The Greatest Show on Earth”—P.T. Barnum’s (1810-1891) circus—opens in Brooklyn, NY.
Popular Culture
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) writes "Through the Looking Glass."
Popular Culture
The poem, “The Owl and the Pussycat” is written by Edward Lear (1812-1888).
Religion
The hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” is composed.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Indian Appropriation Act is passed by Congress, making Native Americans wards of the federal government.
Reform
Labor Movement: Labor unions are legalized in Britain.
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1872
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) is elected for a second term, and Henry Wilson (1812-1875) is elected as the nation's 18th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties; Women's Firsts: The Equal Rights Party nominates Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927) as the first woman candidate for President and African American leader Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) as her running mate.
Government
Presidents: Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), 30th President of the United States, is born in Plymouth, Vermont.
Government
Congress abolishes the income tax it had imposed during the Civil War.
Science
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) shows that fermentation is caused by microorganisms.
Science
Bacteriology is established as a science.
Science
"Popular Science Monthly" begins to be published.
Inventions
The doughnut cutter is patented by John F. Blondel of Maine.
Inventions
A crude forerunner of the movie projector—the “zoopraxiscope”—is invented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Elijah McCoy (1843-1929) invents an oiling devise that allows machines to be oiled while in motion.
Education
Public Education: Connecticut enacts compulsory school attendance laws.
Education
Parochial Education: About 30,000 children attend Lutheran parochial schools.
Education
Public Education: The Tileston Normal School is opened in Wilmington, NC as one of the first free schools in the area open to poor students.
Education
Children’s Books: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) writes a books of shorter verses for young children entitled "Sing-Song."
Arts and Letters
Painting: James Whistler (1834-1903) paints a portrait of his mother.
Ideas
The Granger Movement is formed, a forerunner of the populist movement of the 1890s.
Wilson, Edith
Edith Bolling Galt Wilson (1872-1961), second wife of Woodrow Wilson is born in Wytheville, Virginia on October 15.
Economics
Montgomery Ward opens in Chicago.
Economics
Railroad History: George Westinghouse (1846-1914) patents the first automatic air brake. This is basically the same system as is used by today's railroads.
Daily Life
Yellowstone, the world's first National Park, is opened.
Daily Life
Disasters: The American ship "Mary Celeste" is found abandoned in the Atlantic en route to Genoa.
Daily Life
The Brooklyn Bridge is opened.
Sports
Soccer: The first English Football Association (F.A.) Cup final is played at the Kennington Oval in London.
Sports
Soccer: The first international soccer game is held when England plays Scotland.
Sports
The first U.S. ski club is founded in New Hampshire.
Religion
The International Bible Students Association, which evolved into the Jehovah’s Witness religious sect, is founded.
Social Issues
Birth Control: The “Comstock Law” forbids the transport of contraceptives in the United States.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and other feminists are arrested for trying to vote in the presidential election.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Congress guarantees equal pay for equal work in federal jobs.
1873
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The American Granger movement, which organizes U.S. farmers in the midwest to counter monopolistic transportation practices by the railroads, reaches its peak membership.
Government
The North West Mounted Police are formed in Canada, later to become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Government
President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) is inaugurated for a second term, and Henry Wilson (1812-1875) is inaugurated as the nation's 18th Vice President.
Science
The American Metrological Society, the first organization to improve the system of weights and measures, is formed.
Science
Astronomer Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) founds the Association for the Advancement of Women.
Medicine
Dr. Mary Jane Safford (1834-1891) joins the faculty of the newly opened Boston University School of Medicine as a professor of women’s diseases.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Lewis Latimer (1848-1928) invents a water closet (toilet system) for railroad cars.
Technology
The first color photographs are developed.
Education
Author Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, a.k.a. Susan Coolidge (1835-1905), revolutionizes school story books by blending imaginary and real-life episodes.
Education
Public Education: William T. Harris (1835-1909), Superintendent of the St. Louis school system, incorporates kindergarten into the schools
Education
The discipline of sociology is established with Herbert Spencer’s (1820-1903) "The Study of Sociology."
Education
Women’s Colleges: The College of Notre Dame of Maryland is founded.
Education
Libraries: Chicago Public Library opens.
Education
Women’s Firsts: Ellen Swallow Richards (1842–1911), the first woman to be admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earns her B.S. degree. She becomes the first female professional chemist in the U.S.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Mark Twain (1835-1910) and Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900) write "The Gilded Age;" the phrase becomes a descriptor for the era.
Ideas
“Set theory” in mathematics is established.
Hayes, Lucy
His second term as Governor over, Lucy (1831-1889) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881) move to Spiegel Grove, an estate in N.W. Ohio.
Hayes, Lucy
Manning Force Hayes (1873-1874), seventh son of Lucy and Rutherford B. Hayes, is born on August 1.
Mckinley, Ida
Ida McKinley (1873), daughter of William and Ida McKinley, is born April 1 and dies 4 months later in August. After the birth of her namesake, First Lady Ida McKinley is stricken with a litany of lifelong illnesses that included epileptic seizures and phlebitis.
Economics
Jay Cooke & Co.'s Wall Street banking house fails, and the American economy collapses into a sharp depression.
Economics
American Money: The U.S. goes on the gold standard, eliminating all silver currency.
Economics
E. Remington & Sons, gunmakers, begin to manufacture typewriters.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The New York "Daily Graphic" becomes the first illustrated daily newspaper.
Daily Life
San Francisco’s first cable streetcar goes into operation.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Jesse James and his gang rob their first passenger train.
Sports
Football: The first American Football rules are formulated at a meeting in New York attended by delegates from Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers and Yale.
Sports
The modern game of lawn tennis is invented in England.
Sports
Women in Sports: 10 young women compete in a mile-long swimming contest in the Harlem River. Miss Deliliah Goboess wins the prize, a silk dress worth $175.
Popular Culture
Jules Verne publishes "Around the World in Eighty Days."
Religion
The Reform Union of Hebrew Congregations is organized in Cincinnati.
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1874
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President U.S. Grant (1822-1885) nominates Morrison R. Waite (1816-1888) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is confirmed two days later and serves for fourteen years.
Government
Presidents: Herbert Hoover (1875-1964), 31st President of the United States, is born in West Branch, Iowa.
War
Federal troops stationed in New Orleans during Reconstruction quell a revolt led by the White League against Louisiana's black state government.
Medicine
The streptococci and staphylococci bacilli are discovered.
Medicine
The field of osteopathy is founded in Kansas; Dr. Andrew Still becomes its first practitioner.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Lewis H. Latimer (1848-1928) co-invents an improved water closet, or bathroom, for trains.
Technology
The process of pressure cooking is introduced as a method of canning foods.
Technology
Airplanes: Felix Du Temple builds a man-carrying steam-powered monoplane. With a young French sailor at the controls, it makes a ski-jump take-off and a brief hop but cannot sustain flight.
Education
The Chautauqua movement begins in an effort to bring greater educational opportunity to America's isolated farmers and small towns through traveling lectures and correspondence-school courses.
Arts and Letters
Painting: A group of French Impressionists, including Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissaro, and August Renoir, hold their first show. Rejected by a formal gallery, the exhibit was held by the artists themselves.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Fillmore (1800-1874), 13th president of the United States, dies on March 8 in Buffalo, NY. He is only the second vice president to succeed on the death of the incumbent president.
Hayes, Lucy
Manning Force Hayes, seventh son of Lucy and Rutherford B. Hayes, dies at the age of 13 months, probably of dysentery, in Fremont, Ohio on August 28.
Cleveland, Frances
Oscar Folsom Cleveland (1874-?), son of Grover Cleveland and a widow, Maria Croftis Halpin, is born. Unsubstantiated reports suggest that Oscar died in his late 20's of alcoholism.
Tyler, Letitia
Tazewell Tyler (1830-1874), the youngest of John and Letitia Tyler's children, dies January 8 as a result of alcoholism.
Hoover, Lou
Lou Henry (1874-1944), wife of Herbert Hoover, is born in Waterloo, Iowa, on March 29.
Grant, Julia
White House Weddings: Nellie Grant (1856-1922), daughter of Julia (1826-1902) and Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) marries Algernon Sartoris, a British diplomat, in the White House.
Economics
The first electric streetcar begins operation in New York City.
Economics
Stockholders of the Union Pacific railroad form a phony development bank, the Credit Mobilier. Several members of President Ulysses S. Grant’s (1822-1885) administration, including his vice president, are implicated in the scandal, though no one is ultimately indicted.
Daily Life
The first American zoo is established in Philadelphia.
Daily Life
Republican Party is first symbolized by an elephant. – drawn by Thomas Nast (1840-1902), in "Harper’s Weekly."
Sports
Women in Sports: Tennis is introduced to the U.S. by Mary Outerbridge, who saw it played in Bermuda.
Popular Culture
The original Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng (1811-1874), die. Born in Thailand of Chinese parents and joined at the chest, they were sold and exhibited in Europe and America.
Popular Culture
New York's Madison Square Garden opens under the name Barnum’s Hippodrome.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: The Rhode Island legislature passes a women’s suffrage amendment to its constitution.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) is founded in Cleveland, Ohio.
Reform
Labor Movement: Police on horses break up a demonstration of the unemployed in New York's Tompkins Square Park, injuring hundreds who came to protest the intense poverty resulting from the depression of the 1870s.
1875
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Suffrage Movement: In "Miner v. Hoppersatt," the Supreme Court rules that women are “persons” under the 14th Amendment, but are not entitled to vote.
Politics
Ex-political boss and New York politician William Marcy “Boss” Tweed (1823-1878) escapes from jail, flees to Cuba. He is apprehended, returned to New York, and dies in prison three years later.
Government
Rebellion in Cuba leads to deterioration of U.S.-Spanish relations.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: Congress passes the Civil Rights Act, guaranteeing blacks equal rights in public places and banning their exclusion from jury duty.
Government
British prime minister Disraeli (1804-1881) maneuvers to bring the Suez Canal, which was completed in 1869, under British control.
Medicine
The London Medical School for Women is founded.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes lumbar pneumonia—pneumococcus— is discovered.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents a duplicating process that uses a wax stencil, an early version of the mimeograph machine.
Inventions
An electric dental drill is patented.
Technology
The world’s first radio is operated by American Elihu Thomson (1853-1937).
Education
Women's Colleges: Wellesley College for women, founded by Henry and Pauline Durant, opens in Wellesley, Massachusetts, outside of Boston.
Arts and Letters
Opera: The first performance of French composer Georges Bizet's (1838-1875) opera "Carmen" takes place at the Opera Comique, Paris.
Arts and Letters
The first Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, "Trial by Jury," is written.
Taylor, Margaret
Anne Margaret Mackell Taylor Wood (1811-1875), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies December 2.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln’s (1818-1882) son Robert (1843-1926) has her declared insane; she manages to get herself released from the mental hospital, and goes to live with her sister in Springfield, Illinois.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) runs for his third term as Governor of Ohio, and wins.
Johnson, Eliza
Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), 17th President of the U.S., dies July 31 in Carter's Station, Tennessee.
Mckinley, Ida
Katherine "Katie" McKinley (1871-1875), the first child of William and Ida McKinley, dies June 25 from typhoid fever.
Economics
Luxury hotels are opened in Saratoga Springs, New York, and San Francisco, marking the development of a luxury-seeking elite in the United States.
Economics
The first factory using the Bessemer steel-making process is built by Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "Times" of London becomes the first newspaper to print a daily weather chart.
Sports
Horse Racing: The first Kentucky Derby is held at Churchill Downs, Kentucky, won by Aristides.
Sports
Capt. Matthew Webb (1848-1883) becomes the first person to swim across the English Channel.
Sports
The first roller skating rink is opened in London.
Sports
Women in Sports: Baseball: The "Blondes" and "Brunettes" play their first match In Springfield, IL on Sept. 11. Newspapers heralded the event as the "first game of baseball ever played in public for gate money between feminine ball-tossers."
Religion
Mary Baker Eddy’s (1821-1910) "Science and Health" is first published.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Comanche chief Quanah Parker (1850-1911) ends his resistance to white settlement of Texas, enabling American expansion to proceed rapidly.
Social Issues
Jim Crow Laws: Segregation: Tennessee passes a "Jim Crow" law segregating blacks and whites on railroads (which are private, and so not covered by the Civil Rights Act).
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1876
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) is elected the 19th President of the U.S., and William A. Wheeler (1819-1887) is elected as the nation's 19th Vice President. The election is so close that it is not finally concluded until 1877.
Government
New State: Colorado becomes the 38th state of the United States
War
Indian Wars: At the Battle of the Little Big Horn (Custer’s Last Stand), Sioux Indians led by Chief Crazy Horse routed the U.S. 7th Cavalry led by Col. Custer (1839-1876).
War
Indian Wars: In one of the final periods of intense Native American resistance to American expansion, Apache leader Geronimo (1829-1909) begins a 10-year reign of war and terror against white settlers in the American Southwest.
Science
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) establishes Menlo Park as America’s first research laboratory.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes anthrax is discovered by Robert Koch (1843-1910).
Inventions
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) patents the first telephone.
Inventions
The first carpet sweeper is patented by inventor Melville Bissell (1843-1889), of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) patents the mimeograph machine.
Education
Higher Education: Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore opens.
Education
The Kindergarten exhibit at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia enhances kindergarten’s popularity.
Education
Libraries: The American Library Association is founded.
Arts and Letters
Opera: The first complete performance of Richard Wagner’s (1813-1883) operatic Ring cycle opens in Germany.
Johnson, Eliza
Eliza McCardle Johnson (1810-1876) dies of tuberculosis in December at her daughter's, Martha Patterson, house.
Van Buren, Hannah
Smith Thommpson Van Buren (1817-1876), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren dies.
Lincoln, Mary
A second jury finds Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) sane. Later she travels again to Europe and spends most of her time in France.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) runs for President of the U.S. His election is in dispute until January of 1877 because of contested election results in several states.
Economics
Railroad History: All Southern Pacific and Central Pacific passenger cars converted to air brakes.
Daily Life
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is organized.
Sports
Baseball: The Chicago Cubs hold their first National League game, beating Louisville 4-0.
Sports
Baseball: The U.S. National Baseball League is established
Sports
The first tennis tournament in the U.S. is held.
Sports
Polo is introduced to the U.S. from England.
Sports
Women in Sports: Ten percent of the members of the newly created Appalachin Mountain Club are women.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes his book “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”.
Social Issues
Immigration: California Senate committee investigates the “social, moral, and political effect of Chinese immigration.”
Reform
Prohibition: An early Prohibition Amendment to the Constitution is proposed in the House of Representatives.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: A Declaration of the Rights of Women is distributed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Gage.
1877
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
British imperialism is nearing its zenith as Britain annexes the South African Republic, and Queen Victoria (1819-1901) is proclaimed empress of India.
Government
Women's Suffrage Movement: The House of Representatives defeats a bill to amend the Constitution to allow women to vote where they are taxed.
Government
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) is inaugurated as the 19th President of the U.S., and William A. Wheeler (1819-1887) is inaugurated as the nation's 19th Vice President.
War
Indian Wars: The Nez Perce tribes in the northwestern United States battle with American troops after years of passive noncompliance with treaties. The tribes ultimately surrender; their leader, Chief Joseph (1840-1904), gives a surrender speech considered one of the finest statements on Native American displacement.
Science
U.S. astronomer Asaph Hall (1829-1907) discovers Deimos, ("panic" in Greek) a satellite of Mars, at the Naval Observatory in Washington.
Medicine
The process for staining bacteria so as to see them under a microscope is invented by Robert Koch (1843-1910).
Inventions
Copper wire is invented.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents the phonograph and makes the first sound recording.
Education
Libraries: Women's Firsts: Minerva Saunders is the first librarian to end age restrictions on borrowing books and to create a seperate childern's section.
Education
The YWCA in New York City establishes the first known typing course for women.
Education
Women's Firsts: Education of Women: Helen McGill(White) becomes the first woman in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. degree; it is from Boston University, and her field is Greek drama.
Education
Public Education: Reconstruction ends in 1877 when federal troops, which had occupied the South since the end of the Civil War are withdrawn. Whites regain political control of the South and lay the foundations of legal segregation.
Education
Children’s Books: Anna Sewell (1820-1878) is known only for one book, the perennial favorite "Black Beauty, the Autobiography of a Horse."
Arts and Letters
Dance: Tchaikovsky's (1840-1893) ballet "Swan Lake" is first performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
Arts and Letters
Painting: The third Impressionist exhibition is held in Paris.
Arts and Letters
Drama: American Theatre: Henrik Ibsen writes "Pillars of Society," an early example of the Realism in theatre that begins to compete with melodrama. With the advent of early realism, the role of the regisseur, or strong director, begins to develop.
Tyler, Letitia
Robert Tyler (1816-1877), the first son of John and Letitia Christian Tyler, dies December 3.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) celebrate their 25th anniversary in the White House.
Hayes, Lucy
A newspaper first refers to the wife of the President as the "First Lady." Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) is also the first Presidential wife to take the Oath of Office in the White House.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) oversees the first Easter egg-rolling contest at the White House.
Economics
A drink called root beer is first made and distributed by Charles Elmer Hires (1851-1937).
Economics
Railroad History: Four feuding American railroads cease their price wars and join together to cut wages, prompting the great railroad strike of 1877. Federal troops end the strike, but only after killing some workers and injuring many.
Economics
American Money: The Department of the Treasury's bureau of Engraving and Printing starts printing all U.S. currency, although other steps are done outside.
Discovery
British explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904) reaches the mouth of the Congo River.
Daily Life
The first public telephones are installed in the U.S.
Daily Life
The first Westminster Dog Show is held.
Sports
Cricket: The first cricket match between Australia and England is played in Melbourne, the home side winning by 45 runs.
Sports
The first Wimbledon tennis championships are held.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first women's field hockey club is started in Surrey, England.
Social Issues
Immigration: United States Congress investigates the criminal influence of Chinese immigrants.
Social Issues
Immigration: A mob in San Francisco sets fire to two dozen Chinese laundries in the city, sparking months of anti-Chinese violence.
Social Issues
Racism: Reconstruction in the South ends, and with it any effort of the Federal government to enforce the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments in the South for nearly 100 years.
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1878
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: The Greenback-Labor Party is formed by labor organizations and advocates cheap money.
Politics
For the first time in twenty years, Democrats win control of both houses of Congress.
War
Indian Wars: Lincoln County War erupts in southeast New Mexico.
Medicine
Epidemics: The last great epidemic of yellow fever kills more than 13,000 in the lower Mississippi valley.
Inventions
The microphone is invented by David Hughes (1831-1900).
Inventions
The phonograph, invented by Thomas Edison (1847-1931), is patented.
Inventions
Sir Joseph Wilson Swan (1828-1914) is the first person to invent a practical and longer-lasting electic lightbulb.
Technology
Airplanes: Bishop Milton Wright (1828-1917), then living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, brings home a rubber band-powered Penaud-type helicopter for his sons. They build several successful copies. Orville tells his schoolteacher that he and his brother Wilbur plan to build a large enough machine to carry the both of them. But when they try to build a larger model, it doesn’t fly.
Technology
The first private connection by telephone in Great Britain was made on the Isle of Wight when Queen Victoria (1819-1901) spoke to Thomas Biddulph.
Education
Public Education: Kindergarten is incorporated into the San Francisco public school system.
Education
Women's Colleges: Physicist Sarah Frances Whiting (1846-1927) opens the second undergraduate physics laboratory in the U.S. at Wellesley College.
Arts and Letters
Dance: "Swan Lake" is first performed at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
Arts and Letters
Gilbert and Sullivan write "H.M.S. Pinafore."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) writes "Return of the Native."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Actress Ellen Terry (1848-1928) becomes a part of the Irving Company at London's Lyceum Theatre.
Ideas
Charles Pierce (1839-1914) publishes "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," developing the philosophy of Pragmatism.
Harrison, Anna
John Scott Harrison (1804-1878), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies May
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) becomes widely known for her concern for and help to those in need in Washington, especially Civil War veterans and their families.
Economics
The name "Vaseline," a brand of petroleum jelly, is trademarked by Robert A. Chesebrough (1856-?).
Economics
The first commercial telephone switchboard goes into operation in New Haven, Connecticut.
Economics
The first bicycles are manufactured in the U.S.
Economics
American Money: The Department of the Treasury is authorized to issue Silver Certificates in exchange for silver dollars.
Economics
Women's Firsts: Emma Nutt becomes the first woman telephone operator when she goes to worl for Edwin Holmes and his Telephone Dispatch Company in Boston, Massachusetts.
Discovery
The largest yellow diamond ever discovered is found in the Kimberly Mine of South Africa. It is purchased by New York's Tiffany & Co. and becomes known as the Tiffany Diamond.
Daily Life
The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, CT.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first full-page newspaper advertisements appear.
Sports
Women in Sports: Woman pedestrian Ada Anderson walks 3,000 quarter-miles in 3,000 quarter hours over the course of a month in New York' Mozart Hall, kicking off a series of "lady walker" matches.
Sports
The National Archery Association is organized.
Popular Culture
A London tunesmith introduces the word jingoism into the British parlance in the lyric: "We don't want to fight, but by jingo if we do/We've got the men, we've got the ships, we've got the money too." The word would characterize an era of British imperialism.
Popular Culture
Showboats, which had shut down during the Civil War, are revived as entertainment centers on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Religion
Pittsburgh minister Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), who will go on to found the Watchtower Society associated with the Jehovah''s Witnesses, preaches that the second coming happened invisibly in 1874 and that the world will end in 1914.
Religion
Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919) graduates as the only woman in her class in Boston University's divinity school; when she applies for ordination, her application is denied and her license to preach repealed
Social Issues
Racism: The relocation of former slaves to Kansas, called the "Exoduster Movement," begins. Within the year, 30,000 blacks migrate to Kansas.
Social Issues
Abortion: Anthony Comstock, head of the New York Society for the Suppression fo Vice, entraps New York abortion provider and brothel owner Madame Restell into giving him abortifacients and contraceptives by telling her his wife is pregnant and they cannot afford another child. He then exposes her, slapping her with a lawsuit. Fearing conviction, she commits suicide.
Reform
Labor Movement: Labor struggle intensifies in the United States when the Atchison, Topkea, and Santa Fe railraod cuts engineers' pay 10 percent. Striking workers shut the railroad down for five days. The militia is called in, and after a militiaman kills a bystander, labor leaders are arrested.
1879
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women’s Firsts: Belva Ann Lockwood (1830-1917) becomes the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Politics
Irish nationalist Michael Davitt (1846-1906) founds the Irish Land League to resist absentee landlords and fight for a more equitable distribution of land in Ireland and independence from Britain.
Politics
Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck (1862-1890) engineers an Austro-German alliance in which either side will offer the other aid in the event of an attack from Russia. It's one of a series of alliances that prefigure the battle lines of World War I.
Government
President Hayes (1822-1893) tries to reform the Civil Service, and to settle the question of Indian lands; large numbers of native Americans visit with him in Washington to argue their need for justice.
Government
National Capital: Electric lighting is installed in the Capitol building.
Government
Immigration: A bill to restrict Chinese immigration is vetoed by President Hayes (1822-1893).
War
The Zulu War: The Zulu War begins between the British of the Cape Colony and the natives of Zululand.
Science
Russian pathologist demonstrates by using dogs that the stomach will produce gastric juices even if there is no food, suggeting that reflexes are learned and conditioned, not natural, and that people can be taught to respond to anything.
Science
The discovery of saccharin is reported.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Mary Mahoney(1845-1926) becomes the first black professional nurse in the U.S.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
Technology
An internal combustion engine is used to power a "horseless carriage" by George Selden (1846-1922).
Technology
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) gives the first public demonstration of an eletric incandescent lamp in Menlo Park, New Jeresy.
Education
Women's Colleges: The first class at what was to become Radcliffe College, then called "The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women," begins.
Education
American educator Anna Hallowell(1831-1905) establishes free kindergartens in poor neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
Education
Native Americans: Indian Education: The Carlisle Indian School is founded in Pennsylvania, in an aggressive U.S. government campaign to "civilize" Indian children.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Among Henry James' (1843-1916) masterpieces is "Daisy Miller," in which the young and innocent American, Daisy, finds her values in conflict with European sophistication.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) writes "The Brothers Karamzov."
Arts and Letters
Opera: "Evgeny Onegin," or "Eugene Onegin," best known opera by Russian composer Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), receives its first performance at the Maily Theater in Moscow.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Henrik Ibsen's (1828-1906) modern classic about the erosion of traditional domestic roles, "A Doll's House," is performed for the first time in Copenhagen.
Arts and Letters
"The Pirates of Penzance"(or "The Slave of Duty"), an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, has its first performance in New York City.
Ideas
American economist Henry George (1839-1897) writes "Progress and Poverty," in which he observes increasing economic inequality in the United States.
Taylor, Margaret
Richard Taylor (1826-1879), son of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies April 12.
Johnson, Eliza
Andrew Johnson Jr. (1852-1879), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, dies March 12.
Coolidge, Grace
Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge (1879-1957), wife of Calvin Coolidge, is born in Burlignton, Vermont on January 3.
Economics
The first five-and-dime store is founded by Frank Woolworth (1852-1919) in Utica, New York; it later moves to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the same year.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Henry Grady (1850-1889) takes over the "Atlanta Constitution," in the pages of which he begins to exhort the South to attract northern capital and transform itself into a modern industrial region--to little avail.
Daily Life
Electric arc lamps are installed on the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, by Charles Brush (1849-1929).
Sports
The first major skiing contest occurs in Norway.
Popular Culture
Annie Oakley (1860-1926) defeats Frank Butler in a shooting match; they later marry and tour the country in Wild West shows.
Religion
St. Patrick's Cathedral opens in New York after twenty-six years of work.
Religion
Women’s Firsts: Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) establishes the Church of Christ, Scientist, becoming the first woman to found a major religion, Christian Science.
Social Issues
Racism: With federal Reconstruction over and national troops out of the South, political repression of southern blacks starts to intensify.
Social Issues
Immigration: California adopts a new constitution which, in part, prohibits the employment of Chinese workers.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Frances Willard (1839-1898) becomes president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, campaigning also for women's rights with the motto, "Do Everything."
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1880
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court rules that the exclusion of Blacks from jury duty is unconstitutional.
Politics
James A. Garfield (1831-1881) beats President Ulysses Grant (1822-1885) in a hotly contested election and becomes the 20th President of the U.S.; Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886) is elected as the 20th Vice President.
Medicine
Rubber gloves are introduced in hospital operating rooms after nurse Caroline Hampton developed a skin allergy to the antiseptic solutions used; when postoperative infections dropped dramatically, such gloves became part of the surgical team’s standard uniform.
Medicine
The parasite that causes malaria is discovered.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) is granted a patent for his incandescent light.
Inventions
The British Perforated Paper Company invents a form of toilet paper.
Inventions
Englishman, John Milne (1850-1913) invents the modern seismograph.
Technology
Airplanes: Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), Germany, begins to test cambered wing surfaces and measures their lifting capability.
Technology
The first large furnace for making steel is developed by Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).
Technology
The first wireless telephone message is sent by Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) through a “photophone,” a devise that transmits sound on a beam of light.
Education
Libraries: The initial funding of buildings for public libraries is begun by Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).
Education
Public Education: Kindergarten is incorporated into the Chicago public school system.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) publishes "The Brothers Karamazov," a year before he dies.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Lew Wallace (1827-1905) writes "Ben Hur."
Arts and Letters
Sculpture: Rodin’s (1840-1917) sculpture, “The Thinker,” is exhibited in model form.
Arts and Letters
Gilbert and Sullivan produce "The Pirates of Penzance" in London. It runs for over 300 performances.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) accepts the national presidency of the Woman’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, a group that helps poor women and children.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and Rutherford (1822-1893) spend 72 days touring the west, the first such trip by a sitting President.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) returns to the United States in 1880 and again goes to the Edwards' home in Springfield to live. She is slowly going blind.
Harrison, Caroline
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) is elected to the U.S. Senate from Indiana. He and Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) move to Washington, DC.
Harding, Florence
Eugene Marshall "Pete" DeWolfe (1880-1915), son of Warren and Florence Harding, is born September 22.
Garfield, Lucretia
Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (1832-1918) is the first President's wife to be kissed by her husband at his inauguration.
Arthur, Ellen
Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur (1837-1880), wife of Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886), dies of pneumonia on January 10, ten months before her husband is elected as Vice President of the United States.
Economics
The De Beers Mining Corp. is founded by Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) and Albert Beit (1853-1906) , both 27 years old. Rhodes will eventually acquire a near-total monopoly on the South African diamond industry.
Economics
The population of Los Angeles, California, doubles between 1870 and 1880, a sign of the urbanization of the American west.
Economics
Census: The U.S. population is 50.1 million people, including about 2.8 million immigrants.
Economics
Newspapers: Newspaper growth continues unabated in the postwar years. An astounding 11,314 different papers are recorded in the census.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first photographs are seen in newspapers that are printed using halftones.
Daily Life
The first canned fruits and vegetables appear in stores.
Daily Life
The first telephone box for public use goes into service.
Daily Life
Electricity first lights the street lights in New York City.
Popular Culture
J.C. Harris publishes his “Uncle Remus” stories.
Popular Culture
The game of bingo is developed from an Italian lotto game.
Religion
Women Firsts: Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919) is the first woman ordained by the Methodist Church.
Religion
Frances Cabrini (later Mother Cabrini) (1850-1917) founds the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Italy.
Social Issues
Poverty: The American Salvation Army is established in Philadelphia.
Social Issues
Immigration: Italy’s troubled economy, crop failures, and political climate begin the start of mass immigration with nearly four million Italian immigrants arriving in the United States.
Reform
Labor Movement: The word boycott comes into use when Irish tenant farmers refuse to harvest crops on an estate managed by British army captain Charles Cunningham Boycott (1832-1897).
1881
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The United States Supreme Court rules that the Civil War income tax law of 1861 is constitutional.
Politics
Irish nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891) is imprisoned for agitating for home rule. From prison, he continues to direct tenant farmers to withhold rent as a means of gaining self-government.
Government
The assassination of Czar Alexander II in 1881 prompts civil unrest and economic instability throughout Russia.
Government
James A. Garfield (1831-1881) is inaugurated as the 20th President of the U.S.; Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886) is inaugurated as the 20th Vice President.
Government
Vice President Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886) becomes the 21st President of the United States upon the assassination of James A. Garfield (1831-1881). No new Vice President is selected.
Medicine
Vaccines: Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) develops an anthrax vaccine, and vaccinates a herd of sheep against the disease.
Medicine
"Angel of the battlefield" Clara Barton (1821-1912) founds the American Association of the Red Cross.
Medicine
The idea that mosquitoes are the carriers of yellow fever is proposed.
Inventions
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) invents the first crude metal detector.
Technology
Airplanes: Louis Moulliard, France, writes another milestone in aeronautics, Empire of the Air, in which he proposes fixed-wing gliders with cambered wings, like birds.
Technology
Battery Technology: Leclanche's (1839-1882) battery is quite heavy and prone to breakage; the idea of encapsulating both the negative electrode and porous pot into a zinc cup is patented by J.A. Thiebaut in 1881.
Technology
The first color photographs are produced by Frederick E. Ives.
Education
Higher Education: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) organizes the Normal and Industrail Institute for Negroes, which later becomes Tuskeegee Institute.
Education
Children’s Books: The very first appearance, under a pen-name, of Robert Louis Stevenson’ s(1850-1894) first and best-known children's adventure story, "Treasure Island," os published in the penny weekly, "Young Folks, A Boys' and Girls' Paper of Instructive and Entertaining Literature."
Education
Women’s Colleges: Spelman College is founded in Georgia as the first black women's college.
Education
Rachel Bodley, dean of the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania conducts a statistical survey about the careers of her school’s graduates, published as the pamphlet The College Story, one of the earliest studies of women in the professions.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henry James (1843-1916) writes "The Portrait of a Lady," in which, again, a young American woman becomes a victim of her provincialism during her travels in Europe.
Arts and Letters
D’Oyly Carte (1844-1901) builds the electrified Savoy Theatre in London.
Arts and Letters
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is founded.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and Rutherford (1822-1893) leave the White House at the end of his term and move to their home at Spiegel Grove in Ohio.
Harrison, Caroline
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) begins his term in the U.S. Senate. Caroline Harrison suffers a bad fall “and her health was delicate after that.”
Garfield, Lucretia
James Abram Garfield (1831-1881), 20th President of the U.S., is assassinated on July 2 and dies from the assault on September 19 in Elberon, New Jersey.
Daily Life
The first electric tram goes into public service in Germany, near Berlin.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Brothers Wyatt (1848-1929) and Virgil Earp (1843-1905) lead the shootout of Western movie fame against Ike Clanton''s gang at the O.K. Corral in Arizona territory.
Sports
The first U.S. Lawn Tennis Championship is held.
Popular Culture
The first vaudeville theatre to feature family entertainment is opened in New York City.
Popular Culture
Twenty-one-year old William Bonney, a.k.a. Billy the Kid (1859-61 exact year unknown-1881), escapes imprisonment but is hunted down and shot. Though he had killed 21 people, he becomes a legend, and pop retellings of his life story are hawked only weeks after his death.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes "The Prince and the Pauper."
Religion
The Vatican archives are opened to scholars.
Social Issues
Segregation: Tennessee legislature passes a law mandating that black passengers be segregated on railroads. "Jim Crow" legislation is soon imitated throughout the South.
Social Issues
Native Americans: "A Century of Injustice" is published by Helen Hunt Jackson, about mistreatment of Indians.
Reform
Labor Movement: The American Federation of Labor is formed.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Susan B. Anthony finances and publishes The History of Women’s Suffrage, which eventually totals six volumes
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1882
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Rights Movement: Two U.S. judges decide that women may sue their husbands for assault and battery.
Government
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act, which bars Chinese laborers from coming to the United States, goes into effect.
Government
The 3-mile limit for territorial waters is agreed upon at the Hague Convention.
Government
Presidents: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), the 32nd President of the United States, is born in Hyde Park, New York.
Medicine
Robert Koch (1843-1910) discovers the tuberculosis bacillus and establishes that the disease is communicable.
Medicine
Hypnosis is used to treat hysteria, signaling the beginning of psychoanalysis.
Medicine
Surgical sutures made from catgut thread are replaced with silk ones.
Medicine
Vaccines: Louis Pasteur (1822- 1895) develops a rabies vaccine.
Inventions
The electric fan and the electric flat iron are invented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Lewis H. Latimer (1848-1928) patents the carbon filament for electric light bulbs.
Technology
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) designs the first hydroelectric plant in Appleton, WI.
Technology
The first motion picture is made, using a “rifle-camera” that shoots 12 images in one second.
Education
Education of Women: The American Association of University Women is founded by Alice Elvira Freeman Palmer (1855-1902).
Education
Children''s Books: Children''s classic "Pinocchio" is written by Italian author Carlo Collodi (1826-1890).
Arts and Letters
Opera: Wagner's (1813-1883) opera "Parsifal" is first performed, at Bayreuth, western Germany.
Arts and Letters
Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) writes the "1812 Overture."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: David Belasco (1853-1931) apprenticed in San Francisco, moves to Madison Square Theatre in New York as stage manager and becomes an independent producer in 1895.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) dies of “paralysis” at her sister Elizabeth’s house on July 15 in Springfield, Illinois.
Cleveland, Frances
Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) is elected Mayor of Buffalo and then Governor of New York, as a Democrat. He wins reputation for uncovering political corruption.
Economics
American rail magnate William Vanderbilt (1856-1938) eliminates mail trains from Chicago, because they are not profitable.
Economics
John D. Rockefeller's (1839-1937) Standard Oil Trust brings 95 percent of the American petroleum industry under the control of a nine-man board.
Economics
Commercially supplied electrical power is inaugurated in New York City.
Daily Life
Ellen Swallow Richards (1842-1911) writes "The Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning."
Daily Life
Holidays: The first Labor Day celebration is held in New York City.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: After more than 15 years of robbing banks, outlaw Jesse James (1847- 1882) is shot in the back at St Joseph, Missouri, by Robert Ford, one of his own gang.
Sports
Baseball: The American Baseball Association is founded.
Sports
Boxing: John L. Sullivan (1858-1918) wins the heavyweight boxing championship.
Sports
The National Croquet Association is founded.
Sports
Women in Sports: At the YWCA in Boston, the first athletic games for women are held.
Popular Culture
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) writes "Treasure Island."
Popular Culture
Jumbo the elephant appears in P.T. Barnum's (1810-1891) Barnum and Bailey Circus; he is advertised as the "largest elephant in or out of captivity."
Popular Culture
Clan warfare between the Hatfields and McCoys breaks out in southern Appalachia. The bloodbath, which has its roots in lingering Civil War tensions, lasts for six years until Kentucky authorities seize some of the members of the Hatfield family.
Religion
The Knights of Columbus, a fraternal organization of Catholic men, is founded in Connecticut.
Social Issues
Immigration: Russia’s May Laws severely restrict the ability of Jewish citizens to live and work in Russia. The country’s instability prompts more than three million Russians to immigrate to the United States over three decades.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 suspends immigration of Chinese laborers under penalty of imprisonment and deportation.
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: Two U.S. judges decide that women may sue their husbands for assault and battery.
1883
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court declares the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional (except for jury duty), ruling that the government can protect political, not social, rights.
Government
The United States adopts standard time.
Government
The U.S. Civil Service Commission is established by the Pendleton Act.
War
Congress orders the building of ships that begin the modern U.S. Navy.
Science
The fact that an electrical current can be sent through space—the basis of electronics—is discovered by Thomas Edison (1847-1931).
Medicine
The bacillus that causes diphtheria is discovered.
Inventions
English engineer Hiram Maxim (1840-1916) invents the fully automatic machine gun.
Inventions
Young German-American entrepreneur Julius Schmidt invents a modern version of the condom.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Jan Ernst Matzeliger (1852-1889) patents a machine that can make up to 700 shoes a day.
Technology
The Brooklyn Bridge, the world's first suspension bridge, opens to pedestrian traffic, linking Manhattan to Brooklyn.
Technology
The first “skyscraper” is built in Chicago: it has 10 floors.
Technology
Airplanes: John J. Montgomery (1858-1911) of California builds a monoplane glider and makes the first gliding flight in America.
Technology
Airplanes: Charles Parsons, England, inventor of the turbine motor, tests a small 1/4 horsepower steam turbine engine in a model airplane, propelling it for approximately 300 feet. Although Parsons experiments had little effect on the development of aviation, some consider this to be the first jet aircraft.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Poet Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) publishes the sonnet “The New Colossus,” which will be inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
Ideas
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's (1844-1900) "Thus Spake Zarathustra" appears in print.
Johnson, Eliza
Mary Johnson Stover Brown (1832-1883), daughter of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, dies April 19.
Tyler, Julia
John Alexander "Alex" Tyler (1848-1883), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, dies September 1.
Hayes, Lucy
The Hayes family is happy in retirement at Spiegel Grove. Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) spends a lot of time in the garden, and supervising the farm. She also continues to correspond with national figures and to give parties.
Economics
Railroad History: The Northern Pacific Railroad across the United States is completed.
Economics
A deep drought begins on the western plains of the United States. The suffering of farmers produces radical political activity, such as the Farmer''s Alliance, one of the first demonstrations of Populism as a movement in the 19th century.
Economics
Railroad History: The Northern Pacific and Southern Pacific are completed.
Daily Life
Magazines: "The Ladies’ Home Journal" is founded.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Life Magazine" is established.
Sports
Matthew Webb (1848-1883), first man to swim the English Channel (in 1875) drowns while attempting to swim the rapids above Niagara Falls.
Sports
The first annual New York Horse Show is held in New York City.
Sports
Women in Sports: Mrs. M. C. Howell wins her first archery title. She will win the national championship for women 17 times between 1883 and 1907.
Popular Culture
The first vaudeville theater, the Gaiety Museum, opens in Boston.
Popular Culture
William F. Cody (1846-1917) organizes his first “Wild West Show.”
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes "Life on the Mississippi."
Popular Culture
Howard Pyle (1853-1911) writes (and illustrates) "The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood."
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1884
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: Belva Ann Lockwood (1830-1917) runs for president as the candidate for the Equal Rights Party; she loses.
Politics
Third Parties: The Anti-Monopoly Party and the Greenback-Labor Party join to form People's Party, supporting many liberal measures including a graduated income tax.
Politics
Democrat Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) defeats the Republican "plumed knight" James Blaine (1830-1893), becoming the first Democratic president of the United Staes since before the Civil War, and the 22nd President of the U.S. Thomas A. Hendricks (1819-1885) becomes the nation's 21st Vice President.
Government
The Bureau of Labor and the Department of the Interior are created by Congress.
Government
National Capitol: The capstone is placed on the Washington Monument.
Government
Presidents: Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) , 33rd president of the United States (1945- 53), is born in Lamar, Missouri.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes tetanus is discovered.
Inventions
Ottmar Mergenthaler (1854-1899) invents the Linotype machine, the first mechanized printing typesetter, which will speed up the presses for newspapers.
Inventions
The first practical turbine engine is invented.
Inventions
The first accurate adding machine is invented.
Inventions
The first coin-operated weighing machine is patented by Percy Everitt.
Technology
The first practical fountain pen is manufactured by Lewis E. Waterman (1837-1901).
Technology
Airplanes: Alexander F. Mozhaiski, Russia, builds a steam-powered monoplane and tests it at Krasnoye Selo, near St. Petersburg. It takes off on a jump ramp and flies for approximately 100 feet before crashing. This is the second power-assisted take-off in history.
Technology
Airplanes: Horatio F. Phillips, England, experiments with cambered wings in a wind tunnel and lays down the scientific foundation for modern airfoil design. He is the first to discover that when the wind blows across a curved surface, it creates a low pressure area on top of the surface and high pressure beneath it. This, in turn, generates lift.
Education
Native Americans: Indian Education: Educational policy regarding Native Americans is articulated at the Lake Mohonk Conference.
Education
The first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.
Education
The National Education Association forms a kindergarten department.
Education
Women's Colleges: The first state-supported college for women, Mississippi State College for women is chartered.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, is born in New York City on October 11.
Roosevelt, Edith
Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980), only child of first marriage of Theodore Roosevelt and Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt, is born February 12.
Daily Life
The Statue of Liberty is presented to America by the people of France.
Daily Life
The first roller coaster opens at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York City.
Sports
Baseball: Baseball gets new rules and goes on to become an extremely popular sport in America. Its growth is also linked to the development of cities and urban culture.
Sports
Baseball: The first U.S. baseball championship is won by Providence (RI) of the National League, beating the New York Metropolitans, 3-0.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women's singles tennis competition is added to Wimbledon. Maud Watson wins in both 1884 and '85.
Popular Culture
American author Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes "Huckleberry Finn."
Religion
Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) founds the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (which led to the Jehovah''''s Witnesses in the United States).
Social Issues
Native Americans: The novel "Ramona" is written by Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) dramatizing the oppression of Indians in the American west.
1885
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Immigration: The Contract Labor Act prohibits the importing of laborors who then work for the cost of transit; skilled, domestic, and professional workers are exempted.
Government
National Capitol: The Washington Monument is dedicated.
Government
Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) is inaugurated as the 22nd President of the United Staes and Thomas A. Hendricks (1819-1885) in inaugurated as the nation's 21st Vice President.
Government
President Cleveland (1837-1906) proposes the suspension of the minting of silver dollars, fearing that silver is undermining the nation’s gold reserves.
War
Indian Wars: Apache Indians leave their reservation in Arizona and continue their war against Whites under Geronimo.
Science
In memory of ornithologist James Audubon (1785-1851), the National Audubon Society is founded in the United States to study bird species.
Science
Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) establishes the uniqueness of fingerprints.
Medicine
The first appendectomy in the United States is performed in Davenport Iowa, by Dr. William Grant.
Medicine
Vaccines: Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) administers the first anti-rabies vaccine to a nine-year-old schoolboy.
Inventions
The first motorcycle is patented, built by Gottlief Daimler in Germany.
Inventions
Karl Benz (1824-1929) builds the world's first gasoline-powered vehicle. It has a traveling speed of nine miles per hour.
Inventions
The first modern bicycle is built. Bikes are a craze in America and Europe until the end of the century.
Inventions
The dictaphone, the electric transformer, the electric drill, and the thermos bottle are invented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Women’s Firsts: Sarah E. Goode becomes the first African-American woman to receive a patent, for a bed that folds up into a cabinet.
Education
Children’s Books: Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), writes "Little Lord Fauntleroy."
Education
Children's Books: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) publishes "A Child’s Garden of Verses."
Education
The Bryn Mawr School for Girls in Baltimore, later joined by Bryn Mawr College for Women near Philadelphia, is founded.
Arts and Letters
"The Mikado," the comic operetta by William S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), premieres at the Savoy Theatre, London.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Theatrical lighting with electricity is made available to theatrical productions.
Truman, Bess
Elizabeth Virginia Wallace Truman (1885-1982), wife of Harry S. Truman, is born in Independence, Missouri, on February 13.
Grant, Julia
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), 18th President of the United States, dies July 23 in Mount McGregor, New York.
Economics
The first commercially operated electrical streetcar begins operation in Baltimore.
Economics
Railroad History: The Santa Fe Railroad is completed.
Daily Life
History of Toys: Crayola Crayons: Edwin Binney (1866-1934) and cousin, C. Harold Smith, begin the partnership of Binney & Smith in Peekskill, N.Y. Early products include red oxide pigments for painting red barns and carbon black for car tires.
Daily Life
Special delivery mail service begins in the United States.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman (1867-1922), writing as Nelly Bly, becomes a reporter for the Pittsburgh Dispatch, reporting on poor working conditions in factories, problems of working girls, slums, divorce, and political corruption.
Sports
Golf: Golf is introduced to the U.S. from Scotland by John M. Fox of Philadelphia.
Sports
A weight-lifting strongman is reported to have lifted 3,239 pounds with a harness.
Popular Culture
H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925) writes the adventure novel, "King Solomon’s Mines."
Popular Culture
"A Thousand and One Nights" is translated by Richard Burton (1821-1890); it includes the stories of “Sindbad the Sailor,” “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp,” and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”
Religion
The U.S. Salvation Army is officially organized.
Religion
The Mormons divide into polygamous and monogamous factions.
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1886
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court rules that “persons” under the Fourteenth Amendment refers not only to individuals but also to corporations.
Government
The U.S. Forestry Service is established as part of the Dept. of Agriculture.
Government
A new Presidential Succession Act is passed providing the presidential succession to go to the Vice President, and then to Cabinet officers in the order that their departments were created.
War
Indian Wars: The last large-scale Indian war in the United States ends when American troops capture Apache chief Geronimo (1829-1909) after four years of warfare on the Mexican border.
Science
Fluorine is first produced by French chemist Henri Moissan (1852-1907).
Inventions
German motor pioneer Karl Benz (1844-1929) is granted a patent for the first successful gasoline-powered car.
Inventions
Josephine Cochrane (1839-1913) invents the dishwasher.
Inventions
Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) builds the world's first four-wheeled motor vehicle.
Inventions
John Pemberton (1814-1881) invents Coca Cola.
Technology
Hydroelectric plants are begun at Niagara Falls.
Technology
Wax disks are developed to use with the phonograph.
Technology
Sewing machines are made with electric motors.
Education
Children’s Books: Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886), provides the illustrations for Hallam Tennyson's (1852-1928) curious hexameter version of "Jack and the Bean-stalk."
Education
Libraries: The main library and the first four branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Library open in Baltimore, providing service to users of all races.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) writes "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
Ideas
Karl Marx’ (1818-1883) "Das Capital" is published in English.
Washington, Martha
Martha Washington (1731-1802) becomes the first woman to be portrayed on U.S. paper money.
Wilson, Ellen
Margaret Woodrow Wilson (1886-1944), daughter of Woodrow and Ellen Wilson, is born April 30.
Adams, Louisa
Charles Frances Adams (1807-1886), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, dies of a stroke on November 21 at the age of 79.
Arthur, Ellen
Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886), 21st President of the U.S., dies November 18 in New York, New York.
Cleveland, Frances
White House Wedding: Frances Folsom (1864-1947) marries U.S. President Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) in the White House.
Economics
Johannesburg is founded in South Africa. The gold-mining town will eventually mine the vast majority of the world's gold.
Economics
Catering to farmers far from large stores, Richard Sears (1863-1914) establishes a successful mail-order house in Minneapolis, first selling watches. He hires A.C. Roebuck (1864-1948) as a watch repairmen the next year in Chicago.
Economics
The first Coca-Cola is sold in Atlanta, advertised as a hangover remedy containing coca leaves and African kola nut extract.
Economics
Aluminum is first produced independently in the U.S. and in France.
Daily Life
The first Tournament of Roses is held in Pasadena, California.
Daily Life
The Statue of Liberty is dedicated in New York Harbor.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The first BB gun is created. Made for children, it scares many parents because it is actually a working gun that can cause injury. The BB gun is a descendant of the cap gun, which was invented soon after the Civil War, when some shotgun manufacturers converted their factories to make toys. Penny pistols and other authentic looking toy guns also began to appear in the 1880s.
Reform
Settlement House Movement: The first settlement house is established in New York City.
Reform
Labor Movement: Chicago police officers shoot four strikers at a May 1st rally for the eight-hour day. The Knights of Labor holds a rally in Haymarket Square to protest the shootings; a bomb goes off, killing a policeman, and the police open fire on the crowd, killing many workers.
Reform
Labor Movement: Samuel Gompers (1850-1924), a cigar maker, founds the American Federation of Labor.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: A bill granting women suffrage is passed by the Vermont legislature
1887
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Women's Firsts: Susanna Medora Salter (1820-1906) is elected the first U.S. woman mayor, in Argonia, Kansas.
Government
Congress creates Yellowstone National Park to be a refuge for buffalo and big game.
Government
Queen Victoria (1819-1901) celebrates her Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years on the British throne.
Government
Congress passes the Interstate Commerce Act, enabling the federal government to regulate railroad rates for the first time.
Government
Native Americans: The Dawes Act, which provides for the allotment of reservation land for individual Native American families, is passed by Congress.
War
Congress renews the U.S.-Hawaii Treaty, giving the U.S. exclusive rights to build a naval base at Pearl Harbor.
Medicine
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) and Jules-Francois Jourbert (1834-1910) of France first demonstrate the antibiotic effect.
Inventions
Celluloid film is invented.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents the record player.
Technology
Paris and Brussels become the first two capital cities to be linked by telephone.
Education
Special Education: Twenty-year-old teacher Anne Sullivan (1866-1936) begins to teach blind-and-deaf child Helen Keller (1880-1968) at the request of Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922). Helen soon learns to communicate.
Education
Higher Education: Women's Colleges: The Smith College Observatory is founded.
Education
The Hatch Act appropriates federal money to study agriculture in any state with a Land Grant College.
Education
Higher Education: Libraries: Melville Dewey (1851-1931) establishes a State Library School in Albany, NY.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Verdi's (1813-1901) opera "Othello" is first performed in Milan, Italy.
Ideas
Polish philologist Lazurus Ludwig Zemenhof (1859-1917) invents Esperanto, hoping that an international language will forestall war and bring about better communication between the peoples of the world.
Wilson, Ellen
Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre (1887-1933), daughter of Woodrow and Ellen Wilson, is born August 28.
Roosevelt, Edith
Theodore "Ted" Roosevelt (Jr.) (1887-1944), son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born September 13.
Economics
The Pennsylvania Railroad runs an electrically lighted train between New York and Chicago.
Economics
The first successful electric trolley line is built in Richmond, VA.
Daily Life
Mail is delivered free in all cities with a population of at least 10,000.
Daily Life
Disasters: Terrible blizzards devastate America''s nothern plains. Families are found frozen to death in tar-paper shacks.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The speaking doll, which had first been invented by Johann Maelzel in 1820, is improved when Thomas Edison combines his phonograph technology with a doll, allowing it to speak.
Sports
Women in Sports: Ellen Hansell is crowned the first Women's Singles tennis champion at the US Open.
Sports
The first national women's tennis tournament is held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
Sports
Softball: Softball is invented by George Hancock, a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade.
Popular Culture
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) publishes his first Sherlock Holmes mystery, "A Study in Scarlet."
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Dawes Act divides tribal land into individual allotted tracts, destroying tribal relations in an attempt to promote assimilation into white culture.
Reform
Nellie Bly (1867-1922) is hired by the New York World; her reporting lays the groundwork for the reform-minded muckracking journalists who come after her.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Utah repeals women's suffrage.
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1888
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) nominates Melville Weston Fuller (1833-1910) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is confirmed by the Senate and serves for twenty-one years.
Politics
Political anthems: A Belgian woodcarver publishes the song "L'Internationale," with lyrics written during the Paris Commune uprising: "Arise, ye prisoners of starvation/ Arise, ye wretched of the earth...." The song is adopted by the Communist Party.
Politics
Belva Ann Lockwood (1830-1917) once more runs for the president for the Equal Rights Party; once again, she loses.
Politics
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) is elected as the 23rd President of the U.S., and Levi P. Morton (1824-1920) is elected as the nation's 22nd Vice President.
Government
Congress creates the Department of Labor.
Government
National Capitol: The public is first admitted to the Washington Monument.
Science
Weather fronts are first described; speculation considers thier relationship to storms.
Inventions
Artifical straws for drinking are patented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Granville T. Woods (1856-1910) patents a system for overhead communication between trains and railroad stations.
Inventions
John Boyd Dunlop (1840-1921) takes out a patent for his pnuematic bicycle tire.
Inventions
Croation-American Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) invents an alternating-current electronic motor. He also develops early radio technology, but he gets little financial reward for his achievements.
Inventions
George Eastman (1854-1932) invents the Kodak camera.
Technology
Emile Berliner (1851-1929) gives the first demonstration of flat disc recording and reproduction before the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
Technology
Incubators are used for premature infants.
Technology
The first seismograph in the U.S. is installed in California.
Technology
Airplanes: Augustus Herring, New York, builds and tests a glider. It fails to fly.
Education
Native Americans: Indian Education: Red Cloud invites the Jesuits to the reservation to establish a school for Lakota children in order to avoid sending children off the reservation.
Education
The National Geographic Society is established and publishes the first issue of its journal.
Education
A women's annex to Columbia University is voted by the trustees.
Arts and Letters
Sculpture: Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) finshes his sculpture "The Thinker" in an enlarged size.
Arts and Letters
Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) composes "Sheherazade."
Arts and Letters
John Phillips Sousa (1854-1932) writes "Semper Fidelis" for the Marines.
Ideas
American socialist Edward Bellamy (1850-1898) writes "Looking Backward," a utopian science-fiction novel depicting the United States in the year 2000.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The body of Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols and Annie Chapman, the first two victims of murderer "Jack the Ripper," are found in London. Five more London prostitues are found disemboweled and a rumor circulates that Queen Victoria is responsible for their deaths to distract the public from scandals surrounding her son.
Daily Life
Disasters: The famous "Blizzard of''88" occurs, lasting 36 hours and killing 400 people.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: New York state establishes electrocution for murderers sentenced to die.
Sports
Softball: Softball moves outdoors, played on a diamond smaller than baseball''s, and called Indoor-Outdoor Baseball.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women join bicycling clubs in Chicago and tennis clubs in New York City.
Popular Culture
The world's first beauty contest takes place at Spa in Belgium. The first prize is awarded to Bertha Soucaret. an 18-year-old Creole from Guadeloupe.
Popular Culture
"Casey at the Bat" is recited for the first time in public.
1889
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
New State: Four states are admitted to the Union and include North and South Dakota as the 39th and 40th states, Montana as the 41st state, and Washington as the 42nd state.
Government
Native Americans: Indian lands in Oklahoma are made available to white settlers.
Government
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) is inaugurated as the 23rd President of the U.S., and Levi P. Morton (1824-1920) is inaugurated as the nation's 22nd Vice President.
Science
The origin of insulin in the pancreas is discovered.
Inventions
An inexpensive method of producing aluminum is patented by Charles Hall of Ohio.
Inventions
Joshua Pusey invents the matchbook.
Inventions
Sir James Dewar (1842-1923) and Sir Frederick Abel co-invent Cordite - a type of smokeless gunpowder.
Technology
Airplanes: Lawrence Hargrave (1850-1915), Australia, builds the first rotary airplane engine. It runs on compressed air and Hargrave uses it to power his model aircraft.
Technology
The first celluloid movie in the U.S. is made.
Technology
The Eiffel Tower is completed in Paris.
Education
Barnard College, a women's college affiliated with Columbia University and named after Columbia's president Frederick Barnard (1809-1889) is founded in New York.
Education
Catholic Univeristy opens in Washington D.C.
Education
Clinical training is established as part of medical education at John Hopkins University Medical School.
Education
Children’s Books: The Scottish-born poet, classicist, folklorist, and critic Andrew Lang (1844-1912) writes "The Blue Fairy Book."
Education
Women's Firsts: Marie Louise Baldwin becomes the first black school principal in Massachusetts; she supervises 12 white teahcers and more than 500 children, 98% of them white.
Arts and Letters
Painting: In a frenzy of activity, Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) finishes several famous paintings, including "The Starry Night," one of his last works.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) writes "The Master of Ballantrae."
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb Hayes (1831-1889) dies of a major stroke on June 25, while sewing as she watches a tennis match at Spiegel Grove, Ohio.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) tries to get Congress to appropiate funds to enlarge the White House; she fails, but does succeed in getting them to provide money for renovations.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Gardiner Tyler (1820-1889) dies of a stroke in Richmond, Virginia on July 10.
Harrison, Caroline
Electric lights are installed at the White House, but President Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) and his wife, Caroline (1832-1892) refuse to touch the swithces, so the lights must be turned on by an employee at night, then turned off in the morning.
Wilson, Ellen
Eleanor "Nellie" Randolph Wilson McAdoo (1889-1967), daughter of Woodrow and Ellen Wilson, is born October 16.
Taft, Helen
Robert Alphonso Taft (1889-1953), son of William Howard and Helen Taft, is born September 8.
Roosevelt, Edith
Kermit Roosevelt (1889-1943), son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born October 10.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Powers Fillmore (1828-1889), son of Millard and Abigail Fillmore, dies November 15.
Economics
"The man who dies rich dies disgraced." writes steel baron and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), displaying the contradictory attitudes towards wealth characteristic of the American Gilded Age.
Economics
Isaac Singer (1811-1875) markets an electric sewing machine.
Economics
The first anti-trust laws are passed in Kansas, North Caolina, Tennessee, and Michigan.
Daily Life
The first premixed self-rising pancake mix is marketed in the U.S.
Daily Life
Disasters: The Johnstown flood occurs in Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Cosmopolitan Magazine" is founded.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "Wall Street Journal" begins publishing.
Sports
Softball: George Hancock publishes the first set of Indoor-Outdoor Baseball (softball) rules.
Sports
Football: The first All-American Football Team is chosen by coach Walter Camp (1859-1925).
Sports
Boxing: The last bare-knuckled boxing championship occurs in Mississippi.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first women's six-day bicycle race ends at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) writes "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."
Popular Culture
John Phillip Sousa (1854-1932) composes the "Washington Post March."
Popular Culture
Nelly Bly (1867-1922) circles the globe in 72 days, beating by 8 days the record of the fictional Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days."
Social Issues
Native Americans: Land in Oklahoma, formerly in Indian hands, is opened to white settlers; about 50,000 settlers rushed in on the first day.
Reform
Settlement House Movement: Jane Addams (1860-1935) opens Hull House in Chigago. It''s part of the settlement-house mevement to help immigrant populations adjust to American life both materially and culturally.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: M. Carey (1857-1935) Thomas leads the group of feminists who secure admission of women students to the John Hopkins Medical School as a condition of a large gift to its endowment.
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1890
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The Sherman Anti-Trust Act bans every type of restraint of trade in the United States, but the anti-monopoly law initially accomplishes little.
Government
Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks are created by an act of Congress. The national park is one sign of a developing conservation movement in the United States.
Government
Presidents: Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969), 34th President of the United States, is born in Denison, Texas.
Government
New State: Idaho is admitted to the Union as the 43rd state and Wyoming is admitted as the 44th state in the Union.
Government
Women's Firsts: Alice Sanger becomes stenographer for President Harrison, the first woman employed in U.S. executive offices.
War
Indian Wars: An army of about 500 United States soldiers massacres 300 Sioux Indian men, women, and children in a South Dakota encampment. The Battle of Wounded Knee is the final violent struggle between Native Americans and whites in the United States.
Medicine
Emil von Behring (1854-1917), in Germany, develops a diphtheria antitoxin.
Medicine
For the first time, rubber gloves are used in surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.
Medicine
Dr. Ida Gray (1868-1907) becomes the first black woman dentist in the U.S.
Medicine
The standardization of diphtheria antitoxin establishes the field of immunology.
Inventions
Pans made from aluminum are invented in Ohio.
Technology
Airplanes: Clement Ader (1841-1926), France, builds a steam-powered, propeller-driven bat-wing airplane, the Eole. It rises about 8 inches in the air and flies 165 feet. It is the first manned aircraft to take off from level ground.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Emily Dickinson's (1830-1886) first volume of poetry is published posthumously.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) writes "Hedda Gabler."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) writes "The Picture of Dorian Gray."
Ideas
William James (1842-1910) publishes "The Principles of Psychology."
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) helps raise funds for the Johns Hopkins Medical School, on the condition that they admit women.
Harrison, Caroline
With the help of Caroline Harrison, the Daughters of the American Revolution is founded in Washington, D.C.
Economics
Ladybugs are imported to control insects threatening California's citrus trees.
Economics
Anti-trust laws are passed by 11 more states.
Economics
Census: According to the 1890 census, the total population in the United States is nearly 63 million people.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Convicted murderer William Kemmler (1861-1890) becomes the first person to be executed in the electric chair as he is put to death at Auburn State Prison in New York.
Daily Life
German drug manufacturer Eugene Schieffelin introduces starlings to New York City. Today, starlings are one of the most common urban bird species in the United States.
Daily Life
Fashion: American women begin to wear knickerbockers for bicyclce riding.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Modern newspaper features include bold "banner" headlines, extensive use of illustrations, "funny pages," plus expanded coverage of organized sporting events.
Daily Life
The General Federation of Women's Clubs is founded.
Sports
Women in Sports: Baseball: The Bloomer Girls baseball era lasted from the 1890s until 1934. Hundreds of teams -- All Star Ranger Girls, Philadelphia Bobbies, New York Bloomer Girls, Baltimore Black Sox Colored Girls -- offered employment, travel, and adventure for young women who could hit, field, slide, or catch.
Popular Culture
The first moving picture shows (movies) are shown in New York City.
Social Issues
Child Labor: Almost 23,000 children work in the factories of 13 southern states.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake) (1831-1890), the chief who led the Sioux Indians at the Battle of Little Big Horn against Lt. Col. George Custer (1839-1876), is killed. He dies while resisting arrest by Indian police.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Mississippi institutes a poll tax, literacy tests, and other measures to prevent blacks from voting. This marks the end of the political freedoms freed slaves had enjoyed during federal Reconstruction.
Reform
Labor Movement: United Mine workers of America is founded.
Reform
Poverty: New York photographer and social critic Jacob Riis (1849-1914) publishes "How the Other Half Lives," documenting the everyday poverty in the slums of New York City; the book is instrumental in forging a coalition of reform in the years of the Progressive Movement.
1891
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The newly established U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals ease the load of the Supreme Court.
Politics
Exiles from the Ottoman Empire, called Young Turks, meet in Geneva. The Young Turks later become the architects of Turkey's nationalist movement.
Government
Hawaii proclaims as its Queen Liliukalani (1838-1917), renowned for her song "Aloha Oe."
Government
The Forest Reserve Act enables the President to reserve public lands for national parks.
Medicine
The American Psychological Association is founded.
Medicine
Chicago's Provident Hospital becomes the first interracial hospital in the United States.
Inventions
American, W.L. Judson invents the zipper, though it is not widely used until 1919.
Technology
The submarine, "Monarch," lays telephone cable along the English Channel bed to prepare for the first telephone links across the Channel.
Technology
Wireless telegraphy begins.
Technology
Airplanes: Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896) begins to test winged gliders, made from cloth stretched over willow frameworks.
Technology
Airplanes: Samuel Langley, Virginia, begins to experiment with steam-powered model aircraft he calls Aerodromes. The first five are failures.
Education
Higher Education: The University of Chicago is founded. The new Midwestern university, which sets out to lure academic stars away from the Northeast, gets its intial endowment from oil magnate John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937).
Arts and Letters
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) conducts part of the first concert in brand new Carnegie Hall.
Arts and Letters
Literature: English author Thomas Hardy's (1840-1928) classic, "Tess of the d'Urbervilles," is published.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Emily Dickinson's 1830-1886) "Poems: Second" is published in 1891 and runs to five editions by 1893.
Taft, Helen
Helen Herron Taft Manning (1891-1987), daughter of William Howard and Helen Taft, is born August 1.
Roosevelt, Edith
Ethel Carow Roosevelt Derby (1891-1977), daughter of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born August 13.
Cleveland, Frances
Ruth Cleveland "Baby Ruth" (1891-1904), daughter of Grover and Frances Cleveland, is born.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) designs the corn-and-flower pattern of the White House china used during her husband's administration.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) gives the first public address ever made by an incumbant First Lady on October 21.
Polk, Sarah
Sarah Childress Polk (1803-1891) dies at Polk Place in Nashville at the age of eighty-seven.
Economics
The United States' first full-service advertising agency opens in New York City.
Sports
The first marathon race is run in Massachusetts; it is 26 miles, 385 yards, the same distance run in 490 B.C. to carry the new of an Anthenian victory over the Persians.
Popular Culture
Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) publishes "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes."
Popular Culture
Madison Square Garden is designed by Stanford White (1853-1906).
Popular Culture
Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) paints his first music hall posters.
Religion
Ann Spencer becomes an ordained minister of the Unitarian Church, serving in Providence, RI.
Social Issues
Native Americans: More Indian Territory land is opned to the public for settlement.
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1892
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) is re-elected as the 24th President of the United States, and Adlai Stevenson (1835-1914) is elected the nation's 23rd Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: Angry Southern and Western farmers found the Populist Party at a convention in Omaha, Nebraska. Their candidate for President, James Weaver (1833-1912) wins 9 percent of the vote and receives 22 electoral votes.
Government
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act is extended for ten years.
Medicine
American School of Osteopathy opens in Missouri. The practice spreads rapidly and in most states is granted legal recognition identical with that of allopathic medicine.
Inventions
Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) invents the carburetor.
Inventions
The Ferris Wheel is invented by George W.G. Ferris (1859-1896) for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Inventions
The first escalator, The Reno Inclined Elevator, is patented by Jesse W. Reno (b. 1861) of New York.
Technology
The first electric car is driven from Des Moines, Iowa to Chicago, Illinois.
Technology
The first automated telephone swithcboard is introduced
Technology
Artifical textile fibers, later named Rayon, are improved.
Technology
Airplanes: Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville Wright (1871-1948) purchase "safety bicycles" and open a sales and repair shop. They give a bicycle to their friend, Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906).
Education
Public Education: The National Education Association establishes what becomes known as the Committee of Ten to study the function of the American high school.
Education
The International Kindergarten Union, an organization of kindergarten teachers, is founded in the U.S.
Arts and Letters
Tchaikovsky's (1840-1893) "The Nutcracker" ballet is performed in St. Petersburg.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) publsihes her first collection of poetry.
Ideas
Charolette Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) publishes her short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper."
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) dies of tuberculosis in the White House on October 25, at the age of 60.
Economics
Boll weevils invade from Mexico and infest most of the South's cotton crop.
Economics
The Ohio Supreme Court outlaws John D. Rockefeller's (1839-1937) Standard Oil Trust under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. But Rockafeller simply re-incorporates in New Jersey, where corporations are allowed to hold other companies, and keeps his company under the new name Standard Oil of New Jersey.
Daily Life
Melba toast is named for opera singer Nellie Melba (1861-1931).
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Lizzie Borden (1860-1927) is acquitted in the ax murder of her parents; it is one of America''s first sensational trials.
Daily Life
Fire seriously damages New York's original Metropolitan Opera House, located at Broadway and 39th Street.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The Dalton Gang, notorious for its train robberies, is practically wiped out while attempting to rob a pair of banks in Coffeyville, Kansas.
Sports
Boxing: "Gentleman Jim" Corbett (1866-1933) wins the heavyweight boxing title by defeating John L. Sullivan (1858-1918); the fight is the first under the new Marquis of Queensbury rules.
Sports
Women in Sports: The journal Physical Education (a publication of the YMCA) devote an issue to women, saying that women need physical strength and endurance and dismis the popular idea that women are too weak to exercise.
Popular Culture
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) publishes "Barrack-Room Ballads," that include "Gunga Din" and "The Road to Mandalay."
Social Issues
Immigration: Ellis Island replaces Castle Garden as the receiving place immigrants to the United States.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Carrie Nation (1846-1911) begins her violent fight for temperance legislation, often taking an ax to saloons.
Reform
Labor Movement: Steelwokers at one of Andrew Carnegie's (1835-1919) mills in Homestead, Pennsylvania, go on strike because manager, Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), refuses to grant them a union contract. The workers lose after five months in one of the owrst defeats the American Labor movement has ever suffered.
Reform
Environmental Movement: The Sierra Club organizes to protect America's enviroment.
1893
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act is declared constitutional by the Supreme Court.
Government
Hawaii is proclaimed a republic; it is annexed by treaty to the U.S. in February; in March, the treaty is withdrawn.
Government
France acquires a protectorate over Laos and governs it as part of Indochina.
Government
The rank of Ambassador is created by Congress under the Diplomatic Appropriations Act.
Government
A second Irish Home Rule bill is passed by the British House of Commons but rejected in the House of Lords.
Government
Congress defeats an attempt to switch the U.S. to the metric system.
Government
Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) is inaugurated as the 24th President of the United States, and Adlai Stevenson (1835-1914) is inaugurated the nation's 23rd Vice President.
Government
Stamps: The first U.S. commemorative stamps are issued. They depict scenes of Columbus' voyage to America.
Science
The "Journal of Geology" is founded by Thomas C. Chamberlin (1843-1928).
Science
The length of the meter is standardized using a measurement based on the wavelength of red cadmium light.
Science
A forerunner to the theory of relativity is set forth by physicists George Fitzgerald, Jr. (1851-1901) and Hendrik Lorenz (1853-1928), stating that objects get smaller as they approach the speed of light.
Inventions
Henry Ford (1863-1947) builds his first successful gasoline engine.
Inventions
Chemist Leo H. Baekeland (1863-1944) develops "Velox," the first photographic paper sensitive enough to be printed by artificial light.
Inventions
Karl Benz (1844-1929) builds a four-wheel car.
Technology
Chlorine is first used to treat sewage in Brewster, New York.
Technology
Airplanes: Hiram Maxim (1840- 1916) predicts that even "under the most unfavorable circumstances, aerial navigation will be an accomplished fact inside of ten years."
Technology
Airplanes: Lawrence Hargrave (1850-1915), Australia, invents the box kite. Because it is remarkably stable and generates large amounts of lift, it creates a sensation in aeronautical circles. It's general form influences all early airplane designers.
Education
Public Education (1893-1913): Size of school boards in the country's 28 biggest cities is cut in half. Most local district (or "ward") based positions are eliminated, in favor of city-wide elections. This means that local immigrant communities lose control of their local schools. Makeup of school boards changes from small local businessmen and some wage earners to professionals (like doctors and lawyers), big businessmen and other members of the richest classes.
Education
Women's Colleges: Mt. Holyoke Seminary becomes Mt. Holyoke College.
Education
Lillian Wald (1867-1940) organizes Home nursing classes for immigrant families in New York City.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) writes "A Woman of No Importance."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henry Blake Fuller (1857-1929) publishes "The Cliff-Dwellers," considered to be the first American novel about the city.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Englebert Humperdinck composes the opera "Hansel and Gretal."
Arts and Letters
Italian actress Eleanora Duse (1858-1924) makes her debut in New York City.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Stephen Crane's (1871-1900) first novel, "Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets," (1893) is a milestone in the development of literary naturalism.
Arts and Letters
Willa Catha (1873-1947) becomes a regular contributor to the "Nebraska State Journal"; she begins to review plays and write a Sunday column. She is also managing editor of "The Hesperian" and contributes numerous pieces.
Ideas
"The Psychic Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena" is published by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Josef Breuer (1842-1925), laying the foundations of psychoanalysis.
Ideas
Psychologist Milicent Washburn Shinn (1858-1940) publishes "Notes on the Development of a Child."
Ideas
Matilda Gage publishes her classic feminist analysis, "Women, Church, and State."
Cleveland, Frances
Esther Cleveland (Bosanquet) (1893-1980), daughter of Grover and Frances Cleveland, is born September 9.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893), 19th President of the U.S., dies January 17 at Spiegel Grove in Fremont, Ohio.
Economics
A financial panic in the U.S. is touched off because gold reserves fall below $90 million.
Economics
L C. Tiffany (1838-1933) develops fervile glass, an elegant type of stained glass with which he makes screens, lampshades, and other items.
Economics
Railroad History: On May 10th locomotive #999 of the New York Central & Hudson River RR hauled four heavy Wagner cars of the Empire State Express down a 0.28% grade at record-braking speed.
Discovery
The World Columbian Exposition opens in Chicago and celebrates the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.
Sports
Boxing: The longest recorded boxing match occurs in New Orleans between Andy Bowen and Jack Burk; it lasts for 110 rounds, 7 hours, 4 minutes.
Sports
A relay race is first run at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sports
Ice hockey is introduced from Canada at Yale and Johns Hopkins Universities.
Sports
The first cross-country skiing competition for women takes place in Sweden.
Sports
Baseball: The stories differ, but some time during these years baseball meets the hot dog and an American classic is born.
Popular Culture
The words to "America the Beautiful" are written by Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929).
Popular Culture
Having killed him off in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes," Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) is subjected to major public outrage and demands that the detective be brought back to life.
Popular Culture
Calamity Jane (1848-1903) tours Europe and the U.S. in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.
Popular Culture
Mildred Hill (1859-1916), from Kentucky, publsihes her song, "Good Morning to All"; Robert H. Coleman adds a second verse beginning, "Happy Birthday to You."
Social Issues
Native Americans: Cherokee land between Kansas and Oklahoma is declared open to settlement.
Reform
Settlement House Movement: Lillian Wald (1867-1940) and Mary Brewster found the Henry Street Settlement on the lower east side of New York City, providing, among other things, visiting nursing to poor families.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Colorado adopts suffrage for women.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: New Zealand adopts suffrage for women.
Reform
The first World Congress of Women is held in Chicago.
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1894
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
French army Captain Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) is arrested for treason; he is convicted "in camera," and deported to Devil's Island, French Guiana. This case, widely known as the "Dreyfus Affair," is, in part, an example of anti-Semitic persecution.
Government
Nicholas II (1868-1918) becomes the last czar of Russia.
Government
Congress passes the first graduated income tax law as part of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act, which lowers tariffs.
War
The Sino-Japanese War over control of Korea begins.
Science
Florence Bascom (1862-1945) becomes the first woman elected as a fellow of the Geological Society of America.
Science
Lord Rayleigh (1842-1919) and William Ramsay (1852-1916) discover argon.
Science
The Lowell Observatory is built in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Medicine
Alexander Yersin (1863-1943) and Kitasato Shibasaburo (1853-1931) independently discover the plague bacillus.
Medicine
The Boston Board of Health begins medical examination of school-children.
Medicine
The first effective antitoxin against diphtheria is developed by Anna Wessel Williams (1863-1954).
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) demonstrates the kinetoscope, a device for peep-show viewing using photographs that flip rapidly in sequence.
Inventions
Louis Lumiere (1864-1948) invents the cinematograph.
Inventions
A small hand-powered submarine is launched by inventor Simon Lake (1866-1945).
Inventions
Rudolf Diesel (1858-1913) invents the diesel engine.
Technology
Airplanes: Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896) is regularly making glides of over 1000 feet. He begins to outfit his gliders with a "rebound bow" at the front to absorb the shock of a rough landing. It saves his life on at least one occasion.
Education
Children’s Books: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) uses his own upbringing in India for his Mowgli stories in "The Jungle Book."
Education
Libraries: North Carolina A&T State University's Bluford Library is founded in Greemsboro.
Education
Women's Colleges: Radcliffe College recieves its formal charter as a women's college associated with Harvard University; Elizabeth Agassiz (1822-1907) becomes its first president.
Education
Women's Colleges: Martha Carey Thomas (1857-1935) becomes president of Bryn Mawr College.
Education
Ellen Gates Scott, co-founder of Hull House, founds the Chicago Public School Art Society in an effort to keep great art before the eyes of slum dwellers.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) writes "Arms and the Man."
Arts and Letters
Jean Silbelius (1865-1957) composes "Finlandia."
Arts and Letters
Debussy (1862-1918) composes "The Afternoon of a Fawn" (L'Apres-midi d'un faune).
Arts and Letters
Literature: "The Prisoner of Zenda" is published by English author Anthony Hope (1863-1933).
Arts and Letters
Literature: The character of the hypnotist Svengali is introduced in the novel, "Trilby," by George du Maurier (1834-1896).
Arts and Letters
Emily Dickinson's (1830-1886) two volumes of letters, heavily edited and selected, are published.
Roosevelt, Edith
Archibald "Archie" Bulloch Roosevelt (1894-1981), son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born April 9.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Comics first appear in Sunday newspapers.
Sports
Horse Racing: The New York Jockey Club is founded.
Sports
A committee is established to organize the modern Olympic Games.
Sports
Golf: The United States Golf Association is founded.
Sports
Women in Sports: Golf: The first Australian women''s national golf championship is held.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes "Tom Sawyer Abroad" and "The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson."
Religion
The World's Young Women's Christian Association (WYWCA) is founded in Geneva, Switzerland.
Religion
Children’s Books: Talbot Baines Reed (1852-1893) bibliographer whose twenty-plus books include "The Master of the Shell," written for the Religious Tract Society.
Reform
Labor Movement: In a year of major labor unrest, Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) leads the American Railway Union in support of Pullman strikers; railroad traffic out of Chicago comes to a halt; federal troops break the strike; Debs is jailed.
Reform
A band of unemployed men led by Jacob S. Coxey (1854-1951) engages in a march on Washington to petition Congress for public works projects to help the jobless. Coxey is arrested for trespassing and the "army" disbands.
1895
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
In "Pollack v. Farmers Loan and Trust Company," the Supreme Court finds the income tax unconstitutional.
Law
Labor Movement: The Supreme Court upholds the use of the injuction as a strike-breaking device.
Government
The British South Africa Company territory south of Zambezi becomes Rhodesia.
War
The Sino-Japanese War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki.
Science
Wilhelm Rontgen (1845-1923) discovers x-rays.
Science
The Yerkes Observatory is established at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Medicine
A group of black doctors form the National Medical Association, asserting that their interests are not being met by the American Medical Association.
Medicine
Alexander Yersin (1863-1943) develops a serum to fight bubonic plague.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Lillian Murray (1871-1960) becomes Britain's first woman dentist.
Medicine
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) publishes "Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women."
Inventions
The safety razor is invented by King C. Gillette (1855-1932).
Inventions
Italian physcist Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) invents a wireless telegraph system.
Technology
The Lumiere brothers (Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis (1864-1948) are granted a patent in France for the earliest movie projectors. In March, thry first demonstrate motion pictures using celluloid film in Paris.
Technology
Pneumatic (air-filled) tires are produced by the Hartford Rubber Works in Connecticut.
Technology
Airplanes: Percy Pilcher, Scotland, builds a glider, the Bat. Visits Otto Lilienthal and asks for advice. Makes suggested improvement and flies the Bat. Builds two more gliders, the Beetle and the Gull, making improvements on each one.
Education
Libraries: The Astor and Lenox libraries and the Tilden Trust merge to form the New York Public Library.
Education
Troy Female Seminary becomes the Emma Willard School.
Education
Higher Education: The London School of Economics and Political Science is founded.
Arts and Letters
Painting: The Art Nouveau style of painting is fashionable.
Arts and Letters
Dance: The first complete performance of the ballet, "Swan Lake," by Tchaikosvky (1840-1893) occurs in St. Petersburg.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Stephen Crane (1871-1900) publishes "The Red Badge of Courage."
Arts and Letters
Painting: Impressionist art is introduced to the U.S.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) writes the play "The Importance of Being Earnest."
Ideas
Thomas Masaryk (1850-1937) publishes "The Czech Question."
Ideas
Volume 3 of "Das Kapital" by Karl Marx (1818-1883) is published posthumously.
Cleveland, Frances
Marion Cleveland (Dell Amen) (1895-1977), daughter of Grover and Frances Cleveland, is born July 7.
Economics
Railroad History: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad begins using electric locomotives.
Economics
The commercial production of pasteurized milk is begun by Lewis B. Halsey (1851-1919).
Economics
Sears Roebuck Company opens a mail-order business.
Economics
Women''s Firsts: Florence Kelley (1859-1932) becomes the first woman to head a state factory-inspection service.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Field and Stream" magazine begins publication.
Daily Life
The first national organization of Black women's clubs, the National Federation of Afro-American Women, is organized by Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Barrier Williams, and Margaret Washington.
Sports
The American Bowling Congress is established to govern the game.
Sports
Football: The first professional football game is played in the U.S. at Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Sports
Golf: The first U.S. Open Golf Championship is held.
Sports
Women in Sports: Annie Smith Peck is the first woman to reach the peak of the Matterhorn. She climbed in a pair of knickerbockers, causing a sensation with the press. She helps to found the American Alpine Club in 1902.
Popular Culture
Katharine Lee Bates(1859-1929) publishes "America the Beautiful."
Popular Culture
H.G. Wells (1866-1946) writes "The Time Machine."
Popular Culture
The first public film show occurs in Paris at the Hotel Scribe.
Religion
The National Baptist Convention if the U.S.A. is founded by the merger of Negro Baptist groups.
Religion
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) publishes "The Woman's Bible."
Reform
Settlement House Movement: Lillian D. Wald(1867-1940) founds a nurses' settlement on Henry Street in New York City.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) publishes her famous work on lynching, "Red Record," the first comprehensive work on the topic supported by statistical data.
Reform
Settlement House Movement: Jane Addams (1860-1935) publishes "Hull House Maps and Papers," a detailed study of conditions of Chicago immigrants served by the settlement house.
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1896
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Education: In "Plessy v. Ferguson," the Supreme Court rules that "separate but equal" facilities for whites and blacks are constitutional; the ruling marks the beginning of the "Jim Crow" era, legalizing segregation and forming the central legal basis for school segregation in the United States.
Politics
Third Parties: William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) gives his "Cross of Gold" speech at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; he is nominated for president by both the free-silver democrats and the Populist Party.
Politics
William McKinley (1843-1901) is elected the 25th President of the United States, and Garrett A. Hobart (1844-1899) is elected the nation's 24th Vice President.
Government
Rural free mail delivery is established.
Government
New State: Utah becomes the 45th state in the Union; it reinstates women's suffrage, which was lost in 1887.
Government
Stamps: Rural free delivery beings bringing mail to homes in the country.
Science
Ohio physicist Wallace Sabine (1868-1919), develops a reverberation equation that becomes the basics of acoustics.
Science
Helium is discovered by William Ramsey (1852-1916).
Science
Radioactivity is discovered by Frech physicist A. H. Becquerel (1852-1908).
Science
Lord Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937), English chemist, discovers alpha and beta waves.
Science
Swedish anatomist, Magnus G. Retzius (1842-1919), publishes "The Human Brain," the most complete work in his topic today.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents the flouroscope and the flourescent lamp.
Inventions
American, H. O'Sullivan invents the rubber heel.
Technology
Airplanes: Percy Pilcher builds a much-improved glider, the Hawk, and glides up to 750 feet. He plans a powered version
Technology
H.L. Smith takes the first X-ray photograph, a hand with a bullet in it.
Education
Public Education: Plessy v. Ferguson decision. The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the state of Louisiana has the right to require "separate but equal" railroad cars for Blacks and whites. This decision means that the federal government officially recognizes segregation as legal. One result is that southern states pass laws requiring racial segregation in public schools.
Arts and Letters
German opera singer Lilli Lehmann (1848-1929) debuts in Prague, Danzig, and Leipzig, and receieves a lifetime appointment at the Royal Opera in Berlin.
Arts and Letters
Opera: "La Boheme," by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), is performed in Turin.
Arts and Letters
The last of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, "The Grand Duke," is performed in London.
Arts and Letters
John Phillips Sousa (1854-1932) composes "The Stars and Stripes Forever."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) write the play "The Seagull."
Arts and Letters
Edward Elgar (1857-1934) composes "Enigma Variations."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846-1916) publishes "Quo Vadis."
Ideas
The Nobel Prizes are established in physics, phisiology and medicine, chemistry, literature, and peace.
Tyler, Letitia
John Tyler, Jr. (1819-1896), son of John and Letitia Tyler, dies January 26.
Economics
Successful off-shore oil wells are drilled near Santa Barbara, California.
Economics
A hydroelectric plant opens in Niagara Falls.
Economics
The Wright brothers begin to manufacture their own bicycles.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: A westernized version of the Indian game Parcheesi is introduced in England under the name Ludo.
Daily Life
"Book" matches become popular.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Harriet Hubbard Ayer(1849-1903) joins the New York World as a beauty columnist, becoming the first coordinator of a "women's page."
Daily Life
Fanny Farmer (1857-1915), principal of the Boston Cooking School, publsihes "The Boston Cooking School Cookbook," which introduces precise measurement and instructions to cooking; revisions of the cookbook, which is renamed "The Fanny Farmer Cookbook," make the cook book a standard throughout the 20th century.
Daily Life
The tootsie roll is introduced by Leo Hirschfield.
Sports
Women in Sports: Basketball: Women play in their first intercollegiate basketball game, between the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University; no males were allowed at the Berkeley game.
Sports
The first modern Olympic Games open in Athens, Greece.
Sports
The first U.S. hockey league, The Amateur Hockey League, is established in New York City.
Sports
Athlete James B. Connolly (1870-1916) becomes the first Olympic champion in 1500 years at the revival of the Olympic Games in Athens.
Sports
Women in Sports: Susan B. Anthony says that "the bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world."
Popular Culture
Women’s Firsts: Alice Guy Blaché (1873-1968), the first American woman film director, shoots the first of her more than 300 films, a short feature called La Fee aux Choux (The Cabbage Fairy).
Popular Culture
The first close-up, prolonged embrace on the movie screen, The John Rice-May Irwin Kiss, scandalizes audiences across the country.
Popular Culture
Motion pictures are introduced into vaudeville shows.
Religion
The Mormon Church abandons polygamy, the practice of a man having more than one wife.
Religion
Former baseball player Billy Sunday (1862-1935) begins a career of evangelism, preaching at 300 revivals and to 100 million people before his death in 1935.
Social Issues
Poverty: The Volunteers of America is founded by Salvation army leader Maud Charlesworth Booth (1865-1948).
Reform
Labor Movement: The Union for Industrial Progress is organized by Mary Morton Kehew (1859-1918) and Mary Kenney (O'Sullivan)(1864-1943) to support bookbinders, laundry and tobacco workers, and women clothing workers.
1897
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court supports the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Law
Women's Firsts: Sophonisba Preston Breckeridge (1866-1948) is the first women to be admitted to the Kentucky bar.
Politics
Mathieu Dreyfus (1857-1930) discovers that the document on which his brother, Alfred (1859-1935), was convicted was actually written by Major M. C. Esterhazy.
Government
William A. McKinley (1843-1901) is inaugurated as the 25th President of the United States, and Garrett A. Hobart (1844-1899) is inaugurated as the nation's 24th Vice President.
Government
Immigration: President McKinley (1843-1901) vetoes a bill that would require literacy tests for immigrants.
Government
This year marks Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, marking her 60th year as Queen of Great Britain.
Science
Marie Curie (1867-1934) publsihes her first paper, on the magnetism of tempered steel, the year her daughter, Irene, was born.
Science
Scottish physicist Joseph J. Thompson (1884-1956) discovers the electron.
Science
Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), who later achieved prominance as a children's author, discovers that lichen is not a kind of plant, but a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi; her discovery would not be accepted for another decade
Medicine
The malaria bacillus is discovered by Ronald Ross (1857-1932).
Medicine
The bacterium that causes dysentery is discovered by Japanese bacteriologist Shiga Kiyoshi (1871-1951).
Medicine
Dutch physician Chistiaan Ejikman (1858-1930) determines that the disease beriberi is caused by dietary deficiency.
Medicine
America's first hospital for crippled children opens in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Inventions
The oscilloscope is invented by Karl F. Braun (1850-1918).
Inventions
African American Inventors: Andrew Beard (c.1849-1910), patents an improvement to railroad car couplers, called the Jenny Coupler, which did the dangerous job of hooking railroad cars together.
Technology
The first full-length x-ray of a human body is produced by William Morton (1819-1868).
Technology
The world's largest telescope (40 inch lens) is installed at Yerkes Observatory.
Technology
A 36-foot long gasoline powered submarine, the Argonaut II, with wheels for rolling along the ocean floor, in launched.
Technology
The first practical subway is completed in Boston.
Education
Education of Women: John Hopkins University's medical school becomes the first major American medical school to admit women, after recieving a large contribution from Mary Elizabeth Garrett (1854-1915) on the condition that it do so.
Education
The National Congress of Mothers, forerunner of the National Parent-Teacher Association, is founded by Pheobe Apperson Hearst (1842-1919) and Alice McLellan Birney (1858-1907).
Arts and Letters
Literature: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) writes "Captain's Courageous."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Edmund Rostand (1868-1918) writes and produces the play "Cyrano de Bergerac" in France.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) writes the play, "Candide."
Arts and Letters
Women’s Firsts: H.H.A. Beach's (1867-1944) "Gaelic Symphony" is the first symphony by a woman performed in the United States, and possibly the world.
Ideas
Havelock Ellis (1859-1939) writes "Studies in the Psychology of Sex."
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) defines the "Oedipus Complex" and suggests that dreams play an important psychological role.
Cleveland, Frances
Richard Folsom "Dick" Cleveland (1897-1974), son of Grover and Frances Cleveland, is born October 28.
Harrison, Caroline
Elizabeth Harrison Walker (1897-1955), daughter of Benjamin and Caroline Harrison, is born February 21.
Roosevelt, Edith
Quentin Roosevelt (1897-1918), son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born November 19.
Taft, Helen
Charles Phelps Taft (1897-1983), son of William Howard and Helen Taft, is born September 20.
Economics
American Money: A National Monetary Commission meets at Indianapolis and endorses the existing gold standard.
Economics
Marconi (1874-1937) achieves radio tansmission over long distances and establishes the Wireless Telegraph Company.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first American comic strip, the "Katzenjammer Kids," is begun by Rudolph Dirks (1877-1968).
Daily Life
Sophie Levy Lyons (1848-1924) adandons a successful acreer as a famous international bank robber to become the first society columnist in the U.S.
Daily Life
Novelist Willa Cather (1873-1947) begins her career as a newspaperwoman in Pittsburgh
Sports
Softball: Softball becomes international with the creation of a league in Toronto, and the publication of the Indoor Baseball Guide.
Sports
Boxing: In the first boxing match to be photographed with a moving picture camera, Corbett (1866-1933) is defeated by Bob Fitzsimmons (1863-1917) in a 14-round bout.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first Women's French Tennis Championship is held.
Popular Culture
Bram Stroker, Jr. (1847-1912) publishes "Dracula."
Reform
Abolition Movement: Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913) wins a $20 per month pension for her Civil War service to the Union.
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1898
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
French writer Emile Zola(1840-1902) is imprisoned for writing his "'J' Accuse" letter accusing the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Captain Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935).
Politics
An anti-foreign, anti-Western organization called the Boxers is formed in China.
Politics
Third Parties: Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) helps found the Social Democratic Party, later called the Socialist Party.
Government
The U.S. annexes Hawaii.
Government
The first Food and Drug Act is passed in response to public outcry over the meat supplied to U.S. troops in the Spanish-American War.
War
Spanish-American War: The USS Maine blows up in Havana harbor, touching off the Spanish-American War, which begins on April 21 when the U.S. declares war on Spain; Spain declares war on the U.S. on April 24.
Science
William Ramsay (1852-1916) discovers xenon, crypton, and neon.
Science
Radium and polonium are discovered by Marie Curie (1867-1934), who coins radioactivity.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes dysentery is discovered by Japanese bacteriologist Shiga Kioshi (1871-1951).
Medicine
Isolating a hormone for the first time in a laboratory, Ohio pharmacologist John J. Abel (b. 1818) extracts epinephrine (adrenalin) from the adrenal glands of a sheep.
Medicine
English bacteriologist Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932), determines that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes.
Medicine
An Army Nurse Corps is created to provide trained militaty nurses to the armed forces in the Spanish-American War, thanks in large measure to Dr. Anita Newcomb McGee (1864-1940); its first superintendent is Mrs. Rita Kenney.
Medicine
Clara Barton (1821-1912) again organizes private relief for the wounded in the Spanish-American War, as she did in the Civil War.
Inventions
Edwin Prescott patents the roller coaster.
Technology
The first dirigible airship is built by German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917).
Technology
The first photographs utilizing artificial light are taken.
Technology
The Paris Metro is opened.
Technology
Argonaut II is the first submarine to travel in the open seas—300 milesfrom Virginia to New York.
Technology
Powered by electricity when underwater and by a gasoline engine when on the surface, John Holland (1841-1914) launches the Holland, a 53-foot long, cigar-shaped submarine.
Education
Highr Education: The first college of forestry is established at Cornell University.
Education
Women's Colleges: The first Phi Beta Kappa chapter at an American women's college is founded at Vassar.
Education
Women's Colleges: Florence Bascom (1862-1945) begins her long association with Byrn Mawr College, where she founded the geology department.
Education
Higher Education: Peking University is founded in China.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) writes the play "Caesar and Cleopatra."
Arts and Letters
The National Institute of Arts and Letters is founded.
Arts and Letters
Konstantin Stanislavsky (1863-1938), known for his techniques of "method acting," founds the Moscow Art Theatre.
Arts and Letters
Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) is appointed the musical director of La Scala Opera House in Milan.
Arts and Letters
Drama: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) produces "Mrs. Warren's Profession;" it opens in New York City to a storm of protest over its content—the story of a former prostitute whose earnings allow her daughter to be raised in middle-class refinement.
Ideas
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) publishes "Women and Economics," a study of the economic contributions of women and the discrimination they suffer.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Hearst (1863-1951) can truthfully boast that his newspapers manufactured the public hysteria toward the war on Spain.
Daily Life
Newspapers: This is the time of media consolidation, as many independent newspapers are swallowed up into powerful "chains"; with regrettable consequences for a once fearless and incorruptible press, many were reduced to vehicles for the distribution of the particular views of their owners, and so remained, without competing papers to challenge their viewpoints.
Sports
Women in Sports: Baseball: Women''s Firsts: Lizzie Arlington becomes the first woman to sign a professional baseball contract, appearing in her first professional game pitching for the Philadelphia Reserves.
Sports
Women in Sports: Gertrude Dudley (b.1865) becomes director of women''''s athletics at the University of Chicago, becoming a major figure in American collegiate athletics for women.
Popular Culture
H.G. Wells (1866-1946) writes "War of the Worlds."
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Curtis Act re-affirms allotment of tribal lands on Indian reservations and ends tribal sovereignty in the territories.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Lillian M. N. Stevens (1844-1914) becomes president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, succeeding Fracnes Willard; the organization begins campaigning for national prohibition.
1899
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Women's Lawyer's Club is founded.
Politics
Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) is pardoned by a presidential decree.
Politics
The U.S. participates in the first peace conference at the Hague with 25 other nations; the Monroe Doctrine is upheld in the Western Hemisphere; a permanent Court of International Justice and Arbitration is set up.
Government
The U.S. annexes Wake Island in the central Pacific for use as a cable station.
Government
U.S. federal law raises the age of consent for homosexual relations from 16 to 21.
War
Boer War (1899-1902) begins, between the British Empire and two Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic.
Science
Physioligist Jacques (1859-1924) Loeb demonstrates that cell division is controlled chemically.
Medicine
America's first tuberculosis hospital opens in Denver, Colorado.
Medicine
Ohio surgeon George W. Crile (1864-1943) develops new, more successful methods for treating shock.
Medicine
Although it has been used for centuries, aspirin is introduced as a "modern" medicine.
Inventions
I.R. Johnson patents the bicycle frame.
Inventions
J.S. Thurman patents the motor-driven vacuum cleaner.
Technology
Airplanes: The Wright brothers experiment with twisting wings, trying to deform the front edges. They can’t come up with a device light enough or strong enough to control a glider in flight.
Technology
The first magnetic recording of sound occurs.
Education
John Dewey (1859-1952) publishes "The School and Society," stressing the role of experience in learning.
Education
Ellen Swallow Richards (1842-1911) heads a series of summer conferences at Lake Placid, in which she teaches ways of improving the home enviroment; the new field is called home economics.
Education
Education of Women: Cornell University begins accepting women in its medical school, thus enabling the Blackwell sisters to close their Women's Medical College.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Kate Chopin’s (1850-1904) second novel, "The Awakening," was published to much outrage and harsh criticism based upon moral, rather than literary, standards. Her best-known work, it is the story of a dissatisfied wife who explores her sexuality.
Arts and Letters
The sousaphone, a bass tuba designed for parade use, is developed and named after John Phillip Sousa (1854-1932).
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) publishes "Studies in Hysteria," putting the case for extreme repression of women's sexuality as a key factor in many sociophychological problems.
Mckinley, Ida
President McKinley (1843-1901) becomes the first president to ride in an automobile when he takes a spin in a Stanley Steamer.
Economics
The first public garage was opened in Boston, MA; space for selling, storing, and repairing vehicles was available.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Through the Chicago Women's Club, Hannah Solomon (1858-1942) sparked the establishment of Cook County's pioneering juvenile court.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The last bandit to rob a stagecoach in the U.S. is Pearl Hart (1878-1925).
Sports
Boxing: James J. Jeffries (1875-1953) knocks out Bob Fitzsimmons (1863-1917) to become world hevayweight boxing champion.
Sports
Women in Sports: Two teams of women ice hockey players play a game on the artifical ice at the Ice Palace in Philadelphia.
Popular Culture
Scott Joplin (1868-1917) publishes "The Maple Ragtime Leaf," helping to popularize ragtime music.
Popular Culture
Illustrator Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) introduces his "Gibson Girls" in a book of sketches called "The Education of Mr. Pipp."
Religion
The Gideons, Christian Commercial Men's Association, are organized by three traveling salesmen in Jamesville, Wisconsin; the first Gideon Bible is placed in the Superior Hotel, Iron Mountain, Montana, in 1908.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: African-American suffragist Lottie Wilson Jackson proposes a resolution at NAWSA that addresses the segregation on trains that forces black women to ride in the smoking cars; her proposal is defeated.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Temperance reformer Carrie Nation (1846-1911), armed with bricks, hatchets, and hymns, enters a saloon, sings, shouts imprecations and biblical passages, and smashes bottles, furniture, and decorations.
Reform
American Protest Music: William E. Barton composes the slave spiritual “Before I’d be a Slave (Oh, Freedom).”
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1900
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
William McKinley (1843-1901) is reelected as the 25th President of the United States, and Theodore Roosevelt is elected as the nation's 25th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: The Social Democratic Party nominates Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) for president.
Politics
Third Parties: Both the Populist and the Democratic Party nominate William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) for President, running on a platform of free silver and anti-imperialism.
Government
Hawaii becomes a territory of the United States.
Government
Congress enacts the Gold Standard Act, allowing other forms of money to be redeemable in gold.
Government
Stamps: First U.S. stamps issued in booklet form.
War
The Boxer Rebellion against Europeans in China occurs.
Science
The element radon is discovered by F. E. Dorn.
Science
Quantum theory—the idea that energy occurs in tiny packets called quanta—is proposed.
Medicine
The first three blood groups—A, B, and O—are discovered by Karl Lansteiner (1868-1943), an Austrian physician, opening the door to safe blood transfusions.
Inventions
The rigid airship, the Zeppelin, is invented by German military officer, Ferdinand Zeppelin (1838-1917).
Technology
Work begins on the New York subway.
Technology
Airplanes: October 10 — The Wright brothers experience their first crash. They rebuild the glider, and once again test it like a kite.
Education
Crayola Crayons: The Company begins producing slate pencils for schools.
Education
Children’s Books: The best-known American children''s fantasy is undoubtedly "The Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum (1856-1919).
Education
Public Education: There are 15.5 million children in public schools in the U.S.; only one in ten stay beyond the age of 14.
Education
Children''s Books: Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) writes “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”
Arts and Letters
Drama: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) writes "Uncle Vanya."
Arts and Letters
Opera: Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) composes "Tosca," which opens in Rome.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Theodore Dreiser writes “Sister Carrie.”
Arts and Letters
The Philadelphia Orchestra is founded.
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) publishes "The Interpretation of Dreams."
Mckinley, Ida
Ida McKinley (1847-1907) helps her husband conduct his famous “front porch” campaign for the Presidency from their house in Canton, Ohio.
Economics
The first Browning revolvers are manufactured.
Economics
Census: U.S. population is 75 million; life expectancy is 48 years for males and 51 years for females.
Economics
Railroad History: Casey Jones (1863-1900) rides the "Cannonball" into history on April 30th.
Discovery
Anthropologist Sir Arthur Evans (1851-1941) begins excavations of the Palace of Knossos in Crete, leading to the discovery of the Minoan civilization.
Daily Life
Dancing: The Cake Walk becomes the most fashionable dance.
Daily Life
There are more than a million miles of telephone lines in the U.S.
Sports
D. F. Davis (1879-1945) first presents the international lawn tennis cup that bears his name.
Sports
William Muldoon (1845-1933) is proclaimed the first professional wrestling champion.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women''s Firsts: The first 19 women to compete in the modern Olympics Games in Paris, France, play in just three sports: tennis, golf, and croquet. Margaret I. Abbott is the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal. An art student in Paris, she won the nine-hole golf tournament by shooting a 47.
Sports
Black Athletes: Mace Montgomery of Georgetown University is the first African-American member of an Olympic delegation; he is a trainer.
Religion
There are 73 million Christians, 1.5 million Jews, and 10,000 Muslims in the United States.
Social Issues
Immigration: There are 3.7 new immigrants since 1891.
Reform
Labor Movement: The International Ladies’ Garment Worker’s Union is founded in New York.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Carrie Nation (1846-1911), temperance advocate, denounces saloons and liquor and supports prohibition laws.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: By now, every state has passed legislation modeled after New York’s Married Women’s Property Act (1848), granting married women some control over their property and earnings.
1901
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: The Socialist Party of America is organized.
Government
The treaty allowing the U.S. to build the Panama Canal is signed.
Government
William McKinley (1843-1901) is inaugurated for a second term as President of the United States, and Theodore Roosevelt is inaugurated as the nation's 25th Vice President.
Government
Vice President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) becomes the nation’s 26th President after the assassination of Presdient William A. McKinley (1843-1901). No new Vice President is selected.
War
The Boxer Rebellion ends with an agreement between China and the Great Powers.
War
Spanish American War: The Platt Amendment authorizes U.S. intervention in Cuba; Cuba becomes a U.S. protectorate.
Science
William Roentgen (1845-1923) wins the first Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of X-rays.
Science
The hormone adrenalin is first isolated.
Medicine
The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research is established.
Medicine
Proof that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes is demonstrated by a Commission headed by Walter Reed (1851-1902).
Inventions
The safety razor with disposable blades is invented by King C. Gillette (1855-1932).
Technology
Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) transmits telegraphic radio messages from Cornwall to Newfoundland with radio waves.
Technology
Airplanes: The Wright brothers, encouraged by their initial success, plan their second glider.
Education
Libraries: A Carnegie library is built at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
Education
Higher Education: The Army War College is organized.
Education
Higher Education: The first public junior college is established in Juliet, Illinois.
Arts and Letters
Painting: This year sees the beginning of painter Pablo Picasso’s (1881-1973) “blue period.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Theodore Dreiser’s (1871-1945) second novel, "Jennie Gerhardt," is published.
Ideas
Nobel Prizes are awarded for the first time.
Ideas
Philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) founds Anthroposophy, a system of thought that underlies his Waldorf schools
Mckinley, Ida
President William McKinley (1843-1901) is assassinated while visiting the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo, NY.
Taft, Helen
William Howard Taft (1857-1930) becomes Governor-General of the Philippines, and Helen Taft settles happily into her role as "first lady" of the Philippeans.
Economics
The first motor-driven bicycles appear.
Economics
J.P. Morgan (1837-1913) forms the U.S. Steel Corporation, the first billion-dollar corporation in the world.
Discovery
Captain Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) leads an exploration of Antarctica, sponsored by the Royal Geographical Society.
Daily Life
Children have only a 79 percent chance of living past age 15.
Daily Life
The first state regulations regarding the speed, registration, and license plates of automobiles are passed by Connecticut.
Daily Life
Women’s Firsts: Annie Edson Taylor (1838- 1921), a schoolteacher from Michigan, becomes the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: At just twenty-two years old, Joshua Lionel Cowen creates a battery-powered train engine as an "animated advertisement" for products in a store's display window. To his surprise, customers are more interested in purchasing his toy train, than the merchandise in the display. Lionel Trains is born.
Sports
Women in Sports: The ambidextrous May Kaarlus, 16, performs a sereis of amazing billard shots in New York City. Male experts try and fail to duplicate her shots.
Sports
Boxing: Boxing is recognized as a legal sport in England.
Sports
The first American Bowling Club tournament is held in Chicago.
Popular Culture
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) writes the novel, "Kim."
Popular Culture
Ragtime music becomes popular in the United States.
Religion
The Newcastle (England) Conference of the Catholic Truth Society meets to define the term “Roman Catholic” as a generic one, meaning all Catholics.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) publishes his autobiography “Up from Slavery.”
Reform
Labor Movement: The United Textile Workers Union is founded.
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1902
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The Secret Service assumes full time responsibility for protection of the President.
Government
Immigration: The United States extends the Chinese Exclusion Act, again.
Government
The United States acquires perpetual control over the Panama Canal.
Government
National Capitol: The 19th-century conservatories are razed in White House, and a new "temporary" Executive Office Building, later called the West Wing, is erected.
War
The Boer War between British and Dutch colonists in southern African ends with the British in control of South Africa.
Science
The radioactive element radium is isolated by Marie (1867-1934) and Pierre Curie (1859-1906) in France.
Science
The hormone secretin is discovered.
Science
Genes are found on chromosomes, which are discovered to come in pairs.
Inventions
Willis H. Carrier designs a system for indoor air conditioning.
Technology
Airplanes: October 8 — The Wright brothers' modified glider works perfectly, with no tendency to spin.
Education
Crayola Crayons: Listening to the needs of teachers, Binney & Smith makes the first dustless school chalk. It’s so successful it wins a gold medal at the St. Louis World Exposition.
Education
Libraries: The cornerstones are laid for NYPL's Humanities and Social Sciences Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.
Education
Public Education: Every state and territory in the United States except Arizona has a law requiring temperance instruction in schools.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Claude Monet (1840-1926) paints “Waterloo Bridge."
Arts and Letters
Edward Elgar (1857-1934), British composer, writes the first of his “Pomp and Circumstance” marches.
Ideas
William James (1842-1910) writes "The Varieties of Religious Experience."
Washington, Martha
Martha Washington (1731-1802) becomes the first woman to appear on an American postage stamp.
Tyler, Julia
Lachlan Tyler (1851-1902), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, dies January 25.
Economics
The first national advertisement for Jello is published in the Ladies Home Journal.
Discovery
A Tyrannosaurus Rex is discovered in Montana by Barnum Brown (1873-1963), a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History.
Daily Life
Disasters: Mt. Pelee on Martinique erupts, destroying the town of St. Pierre and killing more than 30,000 people.
Daily Life
Transportation: The 20th Century Limited travels from New York City to Chicago in 20 hours, a new record for train travel.
Daily Life
The Aswan Dam is opened in Egypt.
Sports
Football: The first Tournament of Roses football game takes place in Pasadena, California; Michigan beats Stanford, 49-0.
Sports
Women in Sports: Britian's Madge Syers opens the door for women figure skaters when she enters the all-male 1902 world championships and places second. Her second place finish causes officials to ban women from the championships for quite some time.
Popular Culture
A. Conan Doyle (1859-1930) writes "The Hound of the Baskervilles."
Popular Culture
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) writes the "Just-So Stories."
Popular Culture
The first motion picture theatre opens in Los Angeles.
Popular Culture
Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) makes his first phonograph recording.
Popular Culture
Hot Air Balloons: The first balloon trip across the Irish Channel is completed.
Religion
The Young Women’s Hebrew Association is founded in New York City.
Social Issues
Immigration: Record numbers of immigrants continue to come to the United States, this year mostly from Italy, Russia, and Austro-Hungary.
Reform
Labor Movement: There is a coal strike in the U.S. from May to October.
1903
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The Russian Social Democratic Party splits into Mensheviks and Bolsheviks.
Government
A dispute with Canada over the boundaries of Alaska is finally resolved.
Government
The Departments of Commerce and Labor are established by Congress.
War
The U.S. supports an uprising in Panama against Colombian rule. Panama forms a new government which enables the building of the Panama Canal.
Science
Marie and Pierre Curie receive the Nobel Prize for their work in radioactivity.
Medicine
The electrocardiograph is invented by Wilhelm Einthoven (1860-1927).
Inventions
Mary Anderson invents windshield wipers.
Inventions
Transportation: The Wright Brothers invent and fly the first airplane powered by an engine.
Inventions
Electrification: The steam turbine generator is invented by Charles G. Curtis and is developed into a practical steam turbine by William Le Roy Emmet (1859-1941).
Technology
Airplanes: December 17 — At 10:35 am, Orville Wright (1871-1948) makes the first powered flight in a fully controllable aircraft capable of sustaining itself in the air. The flight lasts just 12 seconds and stretches only 120 feet.
Technology
The first crossing of the American continent by automobile takes 52 days.
Education
Higher Education: The Universities of Liverpool and Manchester in England are founded.
Education
Crayola Crayons: Noticing a need in schools for safe and affordable wax crayons, Binney (1866-1934) & Smith makes the first box of eight Crayola crayons. The box sold for a nickel and contained black, brown, blue, red, violet, orange, yellow and green — the same colors in the box of eight today.
Education
Libraries: A new central Carnegie library is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henry James (1843-1916) writes "The Ambassadors."
Arts and Letters
Drama: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) writes “Man and Superman.”
Arts and Letters
Oscar Hammerstein, Sr. (1847-1919) builds the Manhattan Opera House in New York City.
Arts and Letters
Opera: “Ernani,” by Guiseppe Verdi (1813-1901) becomes the first opera ever recorded.
Ideas
Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) publishes “Science and Hypothesis,” saying that every scientific theory is a hypothesis that must be tested and retested.
Roosevelt, Edith
During Edith Roosevelt's tenure, the famous “gold Steinway” was presented to the White House in celebration of Steinway’s 50th anniversary; the piano established the East Room as a major setting for the performing arts.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Women in Sports: Eleanor Roosevelt enrolls in the Junior League of New York where she teaches calisthenics and dancing to immigrants.
Economics
Railroad History: New York state enacts legislation prohibiting the operation of steam locomotives on Manhattan Island in New York City south of the Harlem River after June 30, 1908. This spurred the electrification of New York City's trackage.
Economics
Henry Ford (1863-1947) founds the Ford Motor Company.
Economics
J. P. Morgan (1837-1913) founds the International Mercantile Marine Company.
Discovery
Space Exploration: Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), prophet of space exploration, publishes “The Exploration of the World’s Space with Reactive Instruments.”
Daily Life
Automobile regulations in England set a 20 mile-per-hour speed limit.
Sports
The first Tour de France bicycle race takes place.
Sports
Baseball: The first post-season baseball series (the World Series) occurs.
Popular Culture
Jack London (1876-1916) writes “Call of the Wild.”
Popular Culture
The longest film to date, “The Great Train Robbery,” lasts 12 minutes.
Popular Culture
Richard Steiff introduces the first jointed teddy bears, named after President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).
Religion
Anti-Semitism: There occur many anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia.
Religion
The Sixth Zionist Congress refuses an offer from the British for a Jewish settlement in E. Africa.
Social Issues
Items coming soon.
Reform
Women’s Suffrage Movement: Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) founds the National Women’s Social and Political Union in England.
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1904
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Immigration: In "Gonzales v. Williams," the U.S. Supreme Court decides that citizens of Puerto Rico are not aliens and can enter the U.S. freely.
Politics
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) is re-elected President of the U.S., and Charles W. Fairbanks (1852-1918) is elected the 26th Vice President.
Government
Several U.S. government agencies, including the Navy, the Department of Agriculture, and the Army’s Signal Corps, all begin setting up their own radio transmitters, with little or no coordination among them.
Government
Stamps: Meters to pay postage were first used in New Zealand. The first use in the United States was on December 10, 1920, at Stanford, Connecticut.
Government
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act is extended indefinitely.
War
The Russo-Japanese war begins when the Japanese launch a surprise attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur in northeast China.
War
The first trenches used in warfare are used in the Russo-Japanese War.
Science
Hartmann discovers interstellar matter.
Medicine
Yellow fever is eradicated in the Panamal Canal Zone by Army doctor W. C. Gorgas (1854-1920).
Inventions
Teabags are invented by Thomas Sullivan.
Inventions
Benjamin Holt (1849-1920) invents the “caterpillar” tractor; it moves on continuous treads rather than wheels.
Inventions
The first ultraviolet lamps are invented.
Technology
The first radio transmission of music occurs at Graz, Austria.
Technology
The first telegraphic transmission of pictures occurs in Germany.
Technology
The first railroad tunnel under the Hudson River is built between Manhattan and New Jersey.
Technology
The Broadway Subway is opens in New York City.
Education
Education of Women: Helen Keller (1880-1968) graduates from Radcliffe College.
Education
Higher Education: American Theatre: George Pierce Baker (1866-1935) establishes a course in playwriting at Radcliffe and then at Harvard.
Education
Libraries: Carnegie library buildings begin construction at Alabama A&M, Atlanta University, Benedict College, Talladega College, and Wilberforce University.
Arts and Letters
Opera: The opera “Madama Butterfly,” by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), premiers in Milan.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) writes “The Cherry Orchard.”
Arts and Letters
The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, part of the National Theatre of Ireland, opens its doors for the first time.
Arts and Letters
The London Symphony Orchestra gives its first concert.
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) publishes “The Psychopathology of Everyday Life.”
Ideas
Max Weber (1864-1920) writes “The Protestant Ethic and the Birth of Capitalism.”
Roosevelt, Edith
Edith Roosevelt (1861-1948) and her six children spend the summer of this election year at the “Summer White House” at Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, New York, while the President remains in Washington.Gould, Am. First Ladies
Economics
The Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis--one of the world's fairs—introduces ice cream cones and iced tea to the United States.
Economics
Work begins on the Panama Canal.
Discovery
The ship, "Discovery" sails out of McMurto Sound, ending Robert Falcon Scott’s first Antarctic expedition.
Daily Life
Disasters: A disastrous fire destroys more than 1,500 buildings in downtown Baltimore.
Sports
The Olympic Games are held in the United States for the first time, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Sports
The National Ski Association of America is founded at Ishpeming, Michigan.
Sports
Women in Sports: Softball: The Spalding Indoor Baseball Guide calls attention to the game of women’s softball.
Sports
Women in Sports: Bertha Kapernick becoms the first woman to give bronco riding exhibitions at the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo.
Sports
Black Athletes: Olympic medalist (summer games): George Poage (1899-1987) wins two bronze medals in the 200 m hurdles and 400 m hurdles.
Popular Culture
Author Jack London (1876-1916) writes "The Sea Wolf."
Popular Culture
James Barrie (1860-1937) writes "Peter Pan."
Religion
The institutions of the church and the state are officially separated in France.
Social Issues
Immigration: Steerage rates for immigrants to the U.S. are cut to $10.00 by foreign steamship lines.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act is extended indefinitely.
Reform
Labor Movement: A 10-hour word day is established in France.
Reform
Women’s Rights Movement: A New York Policeman arrests a woman for smoking a cigarette in public.
1905
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Labor Movement: In "Lochner v. New York," the Supreme Court rules that it is unconstitutional to limit the number of hours that bakers can work.
Politics
In Ireland, Arthur Griffith (1871-1922) founds the Sinn Fein political movement calling for Irish independence.
Politics
Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925) develops a political philosophy based on his "three principles": nationalism, democracy, and livelihood for the people.
Government
The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan are formed in Canada.
War
Revolution breaks out in Russia in January after "Bloody Sunday" when czarist troops fire on marchers in St. Petersburg. The unrest leads to the creation of a State Duma and previews the Russian Revolution of 1917.
War
The Russo-Japanese War ends.
Science
Albert Einstein (1879-1955), a former patent clerk, proposes his Special Theory of Relativity.
Science
The National Audubon Society meets for first time, during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), champion of environmental conservation.
Medicine
“Typhoid Mary,” an infamous carrier of typhoid fever, is found and jailed.
Medicine
The term “allergy” is introduced into medicine.
Inventions
A patent for windshield wipers is obtained by Mary Anderson (1866-1953).
Technology
The Mount Wilson observatory is completed in California.
Education
John Dewey leaves the University of Chicago and his Lab School to move to Teachers College, Columbia University.
Education
Libraries: The first public library on wheels is a horse-drawn book wagon designed by Mary Lemist Titcomb (1857-1932), head of the Hagerstown (Md.) Public Library.
Education
Public Education: The U.S. Supreme Court requires California to extend public education to the children of Chinese immigrants.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) completes his innovative office block, the Larkin Building, in Buffalo, New York. Centered on an atrium, it is fully air-conditioned and contains the first metal office furniture.
Arts and Letters
Fauvism, named for its use of bright colors and bold brushwork, evolves in Paris. Participants include Henri Matisse (1869-1954), George Braque (1882-1963), and Raoul Dufy (1877-1953).
Arts and Letters
Drama: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) writes “Major Barbara.”
Arts and Letters
Opera: David Belasco (1853-1931) produces “The Girl of the golden West” in Pittsburgh; it is later made into an opera by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924).
Arts and Letters
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) composes “La Mer” in Paris.
Ideas
Philosopher George Santayana writes “The Life of Reason.”
Roosevelt, Edith
Edith Roosevelt (1861-1948)purchases a cabin and five acres of land for a family “get-away” in Virginia from a relative for $195.
Economics
The Rotary Club is founded by lawyer Paul Percy Harris (1868-1947) in Chicago.
Economics
Rayon yarn is manufactured commercially through a viscose process.
Discovery
The world’s largest diamond, the Cullinan (3106 carats), is discovered near Pretoria, South Africa.
Daily Life
Disasters: An earthquake kills 370,000 in Kangra, India.
Daily Life
The first neon light signs appear.
Sports
Baseball: Ty Cobb (1886-1961) begins his major league baseball career with the Detroit Tigers.
Popular Culture
In Pittsburgh, the first nickelodeon opens, showing early movies.
Popular Culture
“The Merry Widow,” an operetta by Franz Lehár (1870-1948) .is produced in Vienna.
Popular Culture
“The Red Mill,” an operetta by Victor Herbert (1859-1924) is produced in New York.
Religion
The Islamic Salafiyyah movement begins in Paris with its main sphere of influence in Egypt.
Social Issues
Item coming soon.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Industrial Workers of the World is founded in Chicago. Its members, called the Wobblies, advocate strikes and sabotage over collective bargaining.
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1906
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The British Labour party is formed from the Labour Representation Committee.
Politics
The French Supreme Court of Appeals exonorates Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935), ending the ten-year long Dreyfus Affair.
Government
Self-government is granted to the Transvaal and Orange River colonies in Africa.
Government
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) visits the Canal Zone on the first trip outside of the United States made by a President in office. While in Puerto Rico, he pledges U.S. citizenship for Puerto Rican people.
Government
A new Pure Food and Drug Act offers American consumers protection from adulterated and tainted food products and patented medicines, occasioned, in part, from the concerns raised in “The Jungle.”
War
U.S. troops occupy Cuba.
Science
William Morgan suggests that the Milky Way has a spiral structure.
Science
Pierre Weiss (1865-1940) proposes a theory of iron magnetism.
Medicine
German doctor August Wasserman (1866-1925) develops a test for syphilis.
Medicine
Frederick Hopkins (1861-1947) suggests the existence of vitamins and suggests that a lack of vitamins causes scurvy and rickets.
Inventions
Alva Fisher (1862-1947) invents the electric washing machine.
Technology
Canadian Reginald Fessenden (1866-1931) becomes the first person to broadcase words and music over radio waves.
Education
Maria Montessori (1870-1952) opens the first day-care center in Rome. Her Montessori method of early childhood education, part of the progressive education movement spreads through the world.
Education
Higher Education: The first annual meeting of the American Sociological Society occurs.
Education
Libraries: A Carnegie library is erected at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) publishes "The Jungle," a muck-raking novel about the American meat-packing industry.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) paints his portrait of American expatriate Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).
Arts and Letters
Drama: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) has four plays open in New York: “Caesar and Cleopatra,” “Arms and the Man,” Man and Superman,” and “John Bull’s Other Island.”
Roosevelt, Edith
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese War.
Roosevelt, Edith
White House Wedding: Alice Rosevelt (1884-1980), daughter of Edith (1861-1948) and Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) marries Nicholas Longworth (1869-1931).
Economics
The Rolls Royce company is founded in England.
Economics
A fully submerged hydro-electric plant is built inside Ambursen Dam in Maryland.
Discovery
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) explores the Northwest Passage and determines the position of the magnetic North Pole.
Daily Life
The famous Cunard passenger liner Lusitania is launched. In 1915, it is sunk by a German U-boat.
Daily Life
Disasters: An earthquake strikes San Francisco. The quake and resulting fires devastates the city, leaving more than 200,000 people homeless and more than 2,500 dead.
Sports
The first grand prix motor race is held over two days at Le Mans, France.
Popular Culture
The world's first feature film, "The Story of the Kelly Gang," is premiered at the Athenaeum Hall, Melbourne, Australia.
Religion
The Jesuit Order, under Franz X. Wernz (1842-1914) reforms its plan of studies.
Religion
A papal encyclical against the separation of church and state is issued.
Reform
Conditions in the meat-packing industry, revealed in Upton Sinclair’s novel, “The Jungle,” lead to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act.
Reform
Women’s Suffrage Movement: Finnish women win the right to vote, making Finland the first European nation to grant women suffrage.
Reform
Lawyer Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) begins a campaign of nonviolent resistance to protest the treatment of Indians in South Africa.
1907
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) shakes a record 8,513 hands in one day.
Government
The first American Indian senator, Charles Curtis (1860-1936) of Kansas, begins his term in office.
Government
New States: Oklahoma becomes the 46th state in the Union.
Government
Women's Firsts: The first women members of parliament are elected in Finland when 19 constituencies return women members. They take their seats on May 23.
Government
Japan receives a protectorate over Korea thus giving Japan control over the Korean government.
Government
The first federal corrupt election practices law is passed.
War
The U.S. invades Honduras.
War
The world's first air force is established with the formation of the Aeronautical Division of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the U.S. army.
War
Forty-four nations meet in The Hague for the second Hague Peace Conference.
Science
The use of uranium to date the age of rocks is pioneered by American chemist and physicist, Bertram Boltwood (1870-1927).
Medicine
A chemotherapeutic cure for sleeping sickness is developed by Paul Erlich (1854-1915).
Inventions
The first synthetic plastic, called Bakelite, is invented by Leo Baekeland (1863-1944).
Inventions
The very first helicopter is invented, though the design is unsuccessful.
Technology
Image reproduction methods using electromagnetic scanning are developed simultaneously in Russia and England.
Education
Higher Education: repositories for government documents.
Education
Libraries: Carnegie libraries begin construction at Howard University and Knoxville College.
Arts and Letters
The first exhibition of cubist paintings is held in Paris.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) paints "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon."
Ideas
Swiss chemist Svante August Arrhenius (1859-1927) suggests that life on earth began with inter-stellar microorganisms.
Hoover, Lou
Allan Henry Hoover (1907-1993), son of Herbert and Lou Hoover, is born July 17.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
James “Jimmy” Roosevelt (1907-1991), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, is born December 23.
Economics
The panic of 1907 is averted when J.P. Morgan (1837-1913) and a pool of investors shore up American financial institutions.
Economics
The first canned tuna is packed in San Pedro, California.
Economics
Railroad History: Ground is broken on Sept. 7th by San Diego mayor John F. Forward dedicating the start of John D. Spreckels' (1853-1926) San Diego & Arizona Railway.
Discovery
Swedish explorer Sven Anders Hedin (1865-1952) discovers the source of the Indus River in Tibet.
Daily Life
Taxis first begin running in New York City.
Daily Life
Holidays: The second Sunday in May is established as Mother’s Day in Philadelphia.
Sports
Baseball: The Chicago Cubs beats the Detroit Tigers 4-0 for the World Series.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first organized bowling league for women begins in St. Louis, MO. The first of three women's bowling tournaments organized by the American Bowling Congress is held. The 1908 tournament is held in Cincinnati and the 1909 tournament in Pittsburgh.
Popular Culture
Ringling Brothers Greatest Show on Earth buys Barnum and Bailey circus.
Religion
Pope Pius X (1835-1914) declares modernism "the synthesis of all heresies."
Social Issues
Immigration: A record 1.29 million immigrants enter the United States.
Social Issues
Immigration: Japanese immigration is barred in the U.S.
Social Issues
Immigration: The United States and Japan form a “Gentleman’s Agreement” in which Japan ends issuance of passports to laborers and the U.S. agrees not to prohibit Japanese immigration.
Reform
Labor Movement: The San Francisco Streetcar Workers Union in crushed after 25 workers are killed and hundreds wounded in battles with strikebreakers.
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1908
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Women’s Lawyers Club becomes the Women’s National Bar Association.
Law
Labor Movement: The Supreme Court rules that a union boycott violates the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
Politics
William Howard Taft (1857-1930) is elected the 27th President of the United States, and James S. Sherman (1855-1912) is elected as the nation's 27th Vice President.
Government
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is founded as a division of the Department of Justice; it is referred to as Office of the Chief Examiner and becomes the FBI in 1935.
Government
Stamps: First U.S. coil stamps (stamps sold in a roll only one stamp wide) are distributed.
War
Crete revolts against Turkey and aligns with Greece.
Science
The U.S. astronomer George Ellery Hale (1868-1938) installs a 60-inch reflector telescope, then the largest in the world, at Mount Wilson, California.
Medicine
The tuberculin test, a skin test for tuberculosis based on immune reactions, is introduced for the first time.
Medicine
Victor Horsley (1857- 1916) and R. H. Clarke invents the stereotactic method in neurosurgery.
Inventions
Hydrofoil boats are co-invented by Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) & Casey Baldwin.
Inventions
The Geiger counter is invented.
Inventions
Electrification: William J. Bailley of the Carnegie Steel Company invents a solar collector with copper coils and an insulated box.
Technology
Airplanes: Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville (1871-1948) Wright patent their flying machine.
Technology
Henry Ford (1863-1947) improves the assembly line for automobile manufacturing.
Education
Libraries: Louisville's Western Colored Branch Library relocates to a new building paid for by Carnegie.
Arts and Letters
The Oskar Strauss operetta, “The Chocolate Soldier,” is performed in Vienna.
Coolidge, Grace
Calvin Coolidge, Jr.(1908-1924), son of Grace (1879-1957) and Calvin (1872-1933) Coolidge, is born.
Economics
Henry Ford (1863-1947) develops the first Model T automobile, which sells for $850.
Economics
The first large deposit of petroleum is discovered in Persia, marking the beginning of the Middle East oil boom.
Discovery
Members of Ernest Shackleton’s (1874-1922) expedition climb the 13,280-foot Mt. Erebus in Antarctica.
Daily Life
The Singer Building in New York, designed by Ernest Flagg (1857-1947), becomes the tallest building in the world.
Daily Life
Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941) founds the Boy Scouts in England.
Daily Life
A huge explosion rocks eastern Siberia. Believed to be an exploding meteorite, the resulting earth tremor is felt as far away as central Europe.
Sports
Boxing: American Jack Johnson (1878-1946) becomes the first black boxer to win the world heavyweight title when he defeats Canadian Tommy Burns (1881-1955) in Sydney.
Sports
Baseball: The Mills Commission, a “blue-ribbon panel” appointed by A.G. Spalding, concludes that baseball was invented by Gen. Abner Doubleday, in Cooperstown, NY, in 1839—declaring it a purely American sport.
Sports
Black Athletes: Jack Johnson (1878–1946) is the heavyweight boxing champion.
Sports
Black Athletes: Olympic gold medalist (summer games): John Baxter "Doc" Taylor wins a gold medal as part of the 4 x 400 m relay team.
Popular Culture
The ball representing the new year is dropped for the first time at Times Square in New York City.
Religion
Newspapers: "The Christian Science Monitor" is founded by Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910).
Social Issues
Items coming soon.
Reform
Labor Movement: Women''s Rights Movement: Muller v. State of Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908): The U.S. Supreme Court upholds Oregon’s 10-hour workday for women. The win is a two-edged sword: the protective legislation implies that women are physically weak.
1909
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving Congress the power to tax personal income, is passed by Congress.
Politics
Women's Suffrage Movement: A mob of 100,000 suffragists storms Britain’s Parliament.
Government
William Howard Taft (1857-1930) is inaugurated as the 27th President of the United States, and James S. Sherman (1855-1912) is inaugurated as the nation's 27th Vice President.
Government
Congress passes the United States Copyright Law.
Government
National Capitol: The West Wing is doubled in size and includes the first presidential Oval Office centered on the south facade.
War
U.S. military forces leave Cuba for the second time.
Science
Russian-American chemist Phoebus Aaron Theodor Levene (1869-1940) discovers that the sugar ribose is found in some nucleic acids, those that we now call ribonucleic acids (RNA).
Medicine
Charles-Jules-Henri Nicolle (1884-1936) discovers that typhus fever is transmitted by the body louse.
Technology
Airplanes: Louis Bleriot (1872-1936) makes the first crossing of the English Channel by air, flying his monoplane from Les Baraques, near Calais, to Dover, in 37 minutes.
Technology
Airplanes: The first 100-mile flight is completed by Henri Farman (1874-1958).
Technology
Battery Technology: Later battery manufacturing produces smaller, lighter batteries, and the application of the tungsten filament creates the impetus to develop batteries for use in torches.
Education
Education of Women: Women are admitted to German universities.
Education
Public Education: Indianola Junior High School in Columbus, Ohio, becomes the first junior high school in the United States.
Arts and Letters
Opera: “The Blue Bird,” by Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949) is written.
Arts and Letters
Gustav Mahler (1861-1911) composes his "Symphony No. 9."
Ideas
Emilio Marinetti (1876-1944), an Italian poet, publishes his manifesto of futurism.
Ideas
The first kibbutz is founded in Jordan Valley, Palestine.
Ideas
William James (1842-1910) writes “The Pluralistic Universe.”
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) lectures in the U.S. on psychoanalysis.
Taft, Helen
Helen Taft (1881-1943) becomes the first First Lady to ride to the inauguration with her husband.
Taylor, Margaret
Mary Elizabeth Taylor Bliss Dandridge (1824-1909), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies July 26.
Economics
Standard Oil’s John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), scion of the Rockefeller family, becomes the world’s first billionaire. Rockefeller’s fortunes were accumulated in the oil industry.
Economics
The first instant coffee is marketed to the world by English chemist George Constant Washington.
Discovery
Explorers Robert Peary (1856-1920) and Matthew Henson (1886-1955) become the first to reach the North Pole.
Discovery
British explorer Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) finds the magnetic South Pole.
Daily Life
Girl Guides are established in Britain.
Daily Life
The first permanent waves are given in London.
Daily Life
The Metropolitan Life Tower in New York, designed by Pierre L. Lebrun (1846-1924), is completed and becomes the world’s tallest building.
Daily Life
The SOS distress signal is used for the first time by the Cunard liner SS Slavonia, wrecked off the Azores.
Sports
Baseball: Honus Wagner (1874-1955) orders the American Tobacco Company to take his picture off its "Sweet Caporal" cigarette packs, fearing they would lead children to smoke. The shortage makes the Honus Wagner card the most valuable of all time, worth close to $500.
Sports
Women in Sports: On Jan. 11, a dozen woman-driven cars left New York in a long distance race for Philadelphia. Mrs. J. Newton Cuneo won in a Lancia, followed by 8 eight other cars. Four cars didn't make it past Burlington, NJ, in a series of mishaps.
Popular Culture
The first newsreels are shown in the U.S.
Religion
15th century French heroine Joan of Arc (1412-1431) is beatified at a ceremony at the Vatican.
Social Issues
Items coming soon.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: The National Negro Committee is organized in New York to benefit African Americans. W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963) is selected to lead the organization.
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1910
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President William H. Taft (1857-1930) nominates Edward Douglass White (1845-1921) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is the first Chief Justice to be appointed from the ranks of the Associate Justices. He is confirmed by the Senate and serves for ten years, making his total tenure on the Court twenty-six years.
Politics
For the first time since 1894 a Democratic majority is elected to Congress.
Government
Britain establishes the Union of South Africa; it consists of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal. It becomes a dominion within the British Empire. Louis Botha is chosen its first Prime Minister.
Government
The Mann Act, prohibiting transportation of women across states lines for immoral purposes, is passed.
Government
Congress establishes a postal savings bank system.
Government
In New Mexico, a Constitution is drafted in preparation for statehood.
War
The U.S. sends military forces into Mexico because of a Mexican revolution, which changes the nature of Mexican-American relations.
Science
Halley’s Comet makes its 75-year appearance.
Science
William Ramsay (1852-1916) discovers the inert element radon.
Medicine
An effective treatment for syphillis--a "magic bullet"--is introduced by Paul Erlich (1854-1915) and Sahachiro Hata (1873-1938); it heralds the beginning of modern chemotherapy.
Inventions
Georges Claude (1870-1960), French chemist, invents the neon light.
Technology
Electric washing machines are introduced.
Technology
The kinetophone is introduced by Thomas Edison (1837-1931); it makes talking pictures possible.
Education
Public Education: The first junior high schools in the nation open in California.
Education
The Flexner Report is published, advocating major reform in medical education.
Education
Libraries: A special reading room is established for unemployed immigrants at the Minneapolis Public Library.
Education
Of people over 25 years old in the U.S., fewer than half have completed grade school and about 4% have graduated from college.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) becomes well known and influential in Europe for his domestic architecture.
Arts and Letters
Opera: “The Girl of the Golden West,” an opera by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) is performed in New York.
Arts and Letters
Dance: “The Firebird,” a ballet by Igor Stravinski (1882-1971) is performed in Paris.
Arts and Letters
“Naughty Marietta,” an operetta by Victor Herbert (1859-1924) is first performed in New York.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Community Theatre Movement begins. These theatres aspired "to produce significant thought-provoking plays and to involve the maximum number of participants from the communities they serve.”
Ideas
British author, Sir Edward Durning-Lawrence suggests that Shakespeare's works contain many of Francis Bacon's ideas.
Taft, Helen
William Howard Taft (1857-1930) is the first President to pitch a ball to open baseball season. He starts the game between Washington and Philadelphia in the American League.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Elliot Roosevelt (1910-1990), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, is born September 23.
Economics
American Money: The Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing assumes all currency production functions, including engraving, printing, and processing.
Economics
The Interstate Commerce Commission orders a reduction in Pullman car rates and in railroad freight rates.
Economics
Brazil produces nine-tenths of the world’s rubber and three-fourths of the world’s coffee.
Discovery
Sir Arthur Evans (1851-1941) finishes the excavation of Knossos in Crete.
Daily Life
The “week-end” becomes popular in the United States.
Daily Life
Holidays: Father’s Day is first celebrated in Spokane, Washington.
Daily Life
The Boy Scouts of America and the Camp Fire Girls are established.
Daily Life
Newspapers: By this time, all the essential features of the recognizably modern newspaper have emerged. In our time, radio and television have gradually supplanted newspapers as the nation's primary information sources. As a result, though initially difficult to appreciate, it is important to recognize the role that newspapers have played in our nation’s history.
Sports
Women in Sports: Australia's Annette Kellerman is arrested for swimming in Boston Harbor in an "indecent" one-piece swimsuit for exposing her legs.
Sports
Baseball: William Howard Taft becomes the first U.S. President to throw out the first pitch on opening day.
Sports
Barney Oldfield (1878-1946) drives a Benz at 133 m.p.h. at Daytona Beach, Florida.
Popular Culture
Lee DeForest (1873-1961) produces a radio program from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York starring singer Enrico Caruso (1873-1921).
Religion
The Dalai Lama flees Tibet as the Chinese invade Lhasa.
Social Issues
Slavery: China abolishes slavery.
Social Issues
Immigration: Criminals, anarchists, paupers, and the sick are forbidden to immigrate to the U.S.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: The National Negro Committee changes its name to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Reform
Labor Movement: Ironworkers Union members John McNamara and his brother James bomb the Los Angeles Times building; 20 workers die.
1911
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court, under the Sherman Antitrust Act, orders the dissolution of the Standard Oil Company.
Politics
Robert M. La Follette (1855-1925), Senator from Wisconsin, helps found the National Progressive Republican League, which seeks adoption of direct primaries, direct elections of senators, and state constitutional reform.
Government
U.S. abrogates (cancels) the treaty of 1832 with Russia. This treaty allows Russia to exclude Jewish-American citizens.
Government
The Hamburg speech of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) asserts Germany’s “Place in the Sun.”
War
U.S. troops are sent to Mexican border protect U.S. citizens and property; fighting during the Mexican Revolution occurs so close to the U.S. – Mexican border that U.S. citizens gather to watch.
Science
Marie Curie (1867-1934) wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Medicine
Walter B. Cannon (1871-1945), the first physician to use x-rays to study physiology, publishes "The Mechanical Factors of Digestion."
Inventions
Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958) develops the first practical electric self-starter for automobiles.
Inventions
Willis Carrier (1876-1950) invents the air conditioner.
Inventions
Glenn H. Curtiss (1878-1930), N.Y. aviator, invents the hydroplane.
Technology
Airplanes: Claudius Dornier (1884-1969), German aircraft builder, constructs the first all-metal aircraft.
Education
Carnegie (1888-1955) establishes the Carnegie Corporation of New York with an endowment of $125 million to support educational projects.
Education
Libraries: The NYPL Humanities and Social Sciences Library opens.
Education
Children''s Books: Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), writes "The Secret Garden."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Edith Wharton (1862-1937) writes “Ethan Frome”.
Arts and Letters
Leonardo da Vinci’s (1452-1519) “Mona Lisa” is stolen from the Louvre, it is found in Italy in 1913.
Arts and Letters
Opera: “Der Rosenkavalier,” an opera by Richard Strauss (1864-1949), is performed in Dresden.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Architects design the Culberton House in Pasadena, which popularizes the mission revival style in California.
Ideas
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) publishes "Principles of Scientific Management."
Ideas
Franz Boas (1858-1942) publishes "The Mind of Primitive Man."
Taft, Helen
The Public Library Building at 5th Avenue in New York City is dedicated by President Taft.
Economics
Railroad History: The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad begins its first extra-fare, named passenger train, the "Santa Fe Deluxe" that runs between Chicago and Los Angeles.
Discovery
Explorer Roald Amundsen (1872- 1928) reaches the south pole.
Daily Life
Transportation: The first flight from Munich to Berlin reaches a record height of 12,800 ft.
Daily Life
Newspapers: On behalf of journalists, Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) calls for the establishment of the now coveted Pulitzer Prize.
Sports
Golf: At the age of 9, American golfer, Robert T. (Bobby) Jones (1902-1971), wins his first title, the Junior Championship of Atlanta.
Popular Culture
Irving Berlin (1888-1989) composes “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”.
Religion
The World Missionary Conference of Protestant Churches is held in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is the beginning of the modern ecumenical (universal Christian unity and church union) movement.
Social Issues
Aging population: the first old age home is opened in Prescott, Arizona.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Dillingham Commission identifies Mexican laborers as the best solution to the Southwest labor shortage. Mexicans are exempted from immigrant “head taxes” set in 1903 and 1907.
Reform
Labor Movement: As a result of the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City, which kills 146 workers, the International Ladies Garment Worker’s Union succeeds in improving working conditions and safety for its members.
Reform
Child Welfare Movement: Illinois passes the first state law to assist mothers with dependent children.
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1912
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, providing for the election of Senators by the people of a state rather than by the state legislature, is passed by Congress.
Politics
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) is elected the 28th President of the United States, and Thomas Marshall (1854-1925) is elected the nation's 28th Vice President.
Politics
Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) establishes a connection with Stalin (1879-1953) and takes over editorship of “Pravada”.
Politics
Third Parties: After failing to gain the nomination of his own party, former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) defects, forming the Progressive (or Bull-Moose) party. It is the first time in American history that a third-party candidate receives more votes (electoral and popular) than one of the major two parties. However, he splits the Republican vote, thereby enabling Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) to win.
Government
New States: Arizona and New Mexico become the 47th and 48th states of the U.S.
Government
American Flag: The Executive Order of President Taft dated June 24, 1912 establishes the proportions of the flag and provides for the arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each and a single point of each star to be upward.
Government
Alaska becomes an organized U.S. territory.
Government
The U.S. Public Health Service is established.
Government
Labor Movement: Congress authorizes an 8-hour day for all workers under federal contracts.
War
The "U.S.S. Jupiter," America’s first shop propelled by electric motors, is launched.
Science
Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), German geologist, proposes that the modern continents were once part of a huge landmass that over time split apart. This theory is called continental drift.
Science
Charles Thomson Rees Wilson’s (1869-1959) cloud-chamber photographs lead to the detection of protons and electrons.
Science
Alfred Sturtevant (1891-1970), Alabama biologist, determines that genes are lined up in a row on the chromosomes.
Science
Henry G. Mosely, English physicist. proposes the law which states that an atomic number is based on the number of protons in the nucleus. He sets 92 as the total number of elements.
Medicine
Polish chemist Kasimir Funk (1884-1967) coins the term “vitamine”.
Inventions
Edwin Bradenberger invents a process for manufacturing cellophane.
Inventions
Glenn H. Curtiss (1878-1930) invents a “flying boat” or seaplane.
Technology
Western Union and Western Electric develop a multiplex telegraph that allows eight messages to be sent over one wire at the same time.
Education
The Children’s Bureau is formed; it remains today as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Education
The National Education Association creates a separate department for classroom teachers.
Education
American psychologists Henry Goddard, Lewis M. Terman, and others adapt Binet’s work to create the Intelligence Quotient, or IQ—calculated by dividing a person’s “mental age” by his chronological age.
Arts and Letters
Drama: John M. Synge (1871-1909) write his drama, “Playboy of the Western World”.
Arts and Letters
Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) is named conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.
Arts and Letters
Rudolf Friml (1879-1972) composes “The Firefly,” an operetta performed in New York. to much acclaim.
Taft, Helen
Helen Taft (11861-1943) plants the first cherry tree, a gift from Japan, in Washington, DC.
Nixon, Pat
Thelma Catherine (Pat) Ryan (1912-1993), wife of President Richard Nixon (1913-1994), is born on March 16, in a mining tent in Ely, Nevada.
Economics
The F.W. Woolworth (1852-1919) Company is founded.
Discovery
Explorer R.F. Scott (1868-1912) reaches the South Pole, only to discover Amundsen (1872-1928) had been there first.
Discovery
C. Dawson announces the discovery of remains of Piltdown man, believed to be 50,000 years old near Lewes, England.
Daily Life
London has 400 cinemas; in the U.S. approximately 5,000,000 people visit cinemas daily.
Daily Life
Disasters: The "RMS Titantic” sinks on her maiden voyage after colliding with and iceberg; 1,513 people drown.
Daily Life
Dancing: Ragtime introduces a series of “animal dances.” Among them are the fox trot, crab step, kangaroo dip, camel walk, turkey trot, and the bunny hug.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The first automobile driver is jailed for speeding.
Sports
The first successful parachute jump occurs.
Sports
The International Lawn Tennis Federation is formed.
Sports
Jim Thorpe (1888-1953) is the outstanding sportsman at the Stockholm Olympic Games; when it is discovered that he played semi-professional baseball in 1911, his gold medals and trophies are taken from him and his records erased from the books.
Sports
Captain Albert Louis makes the first parachute jump in the U.S. from an airplane.
Sports
Women in Sports: Many young American college women take up the latest sports craze: wall scaling.
Popular Culture
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), writer and poet of the "Harlem renaissance,” publishes the novel, "Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man."
Popular Culture
Zane Grey (1872-1939) publishes his popular work, "Riders of the Purple Sage."
Popular Culture
Rudolph Dirks (1877-1968) renames his comic strip “The Captain and the Kids.”
Popular Culture
Attendance at motion-picture theatres reaches 5 million daily.
Popular Culture
French photographer Charles Pathe (1863-1957) produces the first news film.
Popular Culture
"Life Magazine" lists the slang expressions of the year: flossy, beat it, peeved, sure, classy, it’s a cinch, what do you know about that, and fussed.
Religion
Pope Pius X writes his Encyclical, “Singulari quadam,” in which he encourages Catholics to belong to trade unions, but only if they are entirely composed of Catholic workers.
Social Issues
Poverty: Massachusetts passes first minimum wage law for women and children (invalidated by the Supreme Court in 1923).
Social Issues
Immigration: Illiterate immigrants are prohibited from entering the United States.
Reform
Labor Movement: New York passes 54-hour week labor law; Congress passes eight-hour day labor law for federal employees.
Reform
Labor Movement: Textile workers in Lawrence Massachusetts strike for more than two months when their wages are lowered following the new hours law.
1913
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving Congress the power to tax personal income, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Law
'The Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, providing for the election of Senators by the people of a state rather than by the state legislature, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Politics
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), leader of Passive Resistance Movement, is arrested in South Africa after leading a march protesting unfair taxes.
Government
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) is inaugurated as the 28th President of the United States, and Thomas Marshall (1854-1925) is inaugurated as the nation's 28th Vice President.
Government
The domestic parcel post system begins.
Science
H. Geiger introduces the first successful electrical device capable of counting individual alpha rays.
Science
Niels Bohr (1885-1962) formulates his theory of atomic structure.
Science
Frederick Soddy (1877-1956) coins the term “isotope”.
Science
The composition of chlorophyll is discovered by Richard Willstatter
Science
Vitamins A and B are isolated by biochemist, Elmer V. McCollum, at Yale University.
Science
Rene Lorin (1877-1933) states the basic ideas of jet propulsion.
Science
Sturtevant develops a method of mapping chromosomes.
Medicine
A diphtheria immunity test is developed by Bela Schick (1877-1967).
Medicine
Frank Mallory (1862-1941) isolates the bacterium that causes whooping cough.
Inventions
William D. Coolidge (1873-1975), Massachusetts physicists, invents a hot-filament cathode tube that produces x-rays.
Technology
Airplanes: Igor Sikorski (1889-1972), Russian-American engineer, builds and flies the first multi-engine plane.
Education
John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) founds the Rockefeller Institute with initial grant of $100 million.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Willa Cather (1873-1947) writes “O Pioneers!”.
Arts and Letters
Literature: D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930) writes “Sons and Lovers”.
Arts and Letters
Drama: “Pygmalion,” by George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) is first performed in Vienna.
Arts and Letters
Victor Herbert (1859-1924) opens his operetta, “Sweethearts,” in New York.
Arts and Letters
The “Armory Show” introduces Postimpressionism and cubism to New York.
Arts and Letters
Painting: J.S. Sargent (1856-1925) paints “Portrait of Henry James”.
Arts and Letters
Bruno Walter becomes director at the Munich Opera (-1922).
Ideas
Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) publishes “Phenomenology.”
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) writes “Totem and Taboo.”
Wilson, Ellen
Jesse Wilson (1887-1933), daughter of Ellen and Woodrow Wilson, marries Francis Bowes Sayre in the White House in November.
Economics
American Money: After 1893 and 1907 financial panics, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 is passed.
Economics
Because of assembly line technology, Ford is able to produce 1000 Model T’s per day. Ford pays workers an unheard of minimum wage of $5 per day and establishes a 40-hour workweek.
Economics
President Wilson signs the Federal Reserve Act, which divides the country into 12 districts, each with a federal reserve bank.
Daily Life
Fashion: Zippers (in use since 1891) become popular.
Daily Life
Dancing: The foxtrot comes into fashion.
Daily Life
Disasters: The Dayton flood in the Miami Valley (Ohio) kills more than 400 people; property damage is $100 million.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Former Olympian (Gold, Pole Vault, 1908) and medical doctor A.C. Gilbert invents the Erector Set.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first crossword puzzle published in American newspapers was one composed by Arthur Wynne for the "New York World" on December 1, 1913.
Sports
The U.S. team wins the Davis Cup tennis trophy 3-2.
Sports
Baseball: Walter Johnson (1887-1946) pitches 56 consecutive innings, allowing no runs, and sets a record for the baseball season.
Sports
Football: In the first Army-Notre Dame football game, little known Notre Dame defeats Army by using the forward pass. This victory helps popularize the game by showing that a small and clever team can defeat a large and powerful one.
Popular Culture
Hollywood becomes the center of the Motion Picture industry, replacing New York City.
Popular Culture
Mack Sennett (1880-1960) begins directing the Keystone comedies, which introduce classic slapstick humor to the U.S. cinema.
Popular Culture
Eleanor H. Porter (1868-1920) publishes “Pollyanna.”
Popular Culture
Jack Judge, an Englishman and music-hall comedian, writes the song “Tipperary”.
Popular Culture
Irene (1893-1969) and Vernon (1887-1918) Castle, dancers, make their debut in New York in “The Sunshine Girl”.
Religion
Alsatian doctor and missionary Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) opens a hospital in Lambarene, part of the French Congo.
Social Issues
Immigration: California’s Alien Land Law rules that aliens “ineligible to citizenship” were ineligible to own agricultural property.
Reform
Women’s Suffrage Movement: Suffragette demonstrations in London; Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) is sentenced for inciting persons to place explosives in Lloyd George’s house.
Reform
Labor Movement: 150,000 garment workers strike in New York City. The Strike ends 3 months later and workers win wage concessions, reduced hours, and recognition of their union.
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1914
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) returns to India after 21 years in South Africa and begins a non-violent campaign against British rule.
Government
President Wilson (1856-1924) signs an order establishing a permanent civil government in the Panama Canal Zone.
Government
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is established to police business practices in interstate commerce.
Government
Labor Movement: The Clayton Antitrust Act strengthens the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. It seeks to restrict the use of court injunctions in labor disputes and exempts labor and farm organizations from antitrust laws.
War
After the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand (1863-1914 ), heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife, World War I breaks out in Europe.
War
The city of Vera Cruz in Mexico is seized by the U.S. Marines.
Science
American, Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945), begins his rocketry experiments.
Medicine
American, E.C. Kendall (1886-1972) prepares pure thyroxin for treatment of thyroid deficiencies.
Medicine
Dr. Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) performs first successful heart surgery on a dog.
Inventions
Edwin H. Armstrong (1890-1954), N.Y. electrical engineer, patents the regenerative (feedback) circuit.
Inventions
Charles Lawrence, aeronautical engineer, develops the first successful air-cooled airplane engine. This makes long distance flights possible.
Technology
The 35 mm camera is developed.
Education
A document called "Infant Care" is published by the U.S. Government; it is intended to provide mothers with practical information on child health and nutrition, and emphasizes the importance of strict routines and rules.
Arts and Letters
Literature: James Joyce ( 1882-1941) writes “Dubliners”.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) writes “Trees”.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Elmer Rice ( 1892-1967) writes “On Trial,” the first drama to use the device of a flashback.
Arts and Letters
National Capital: Henry Bacon ( 1839-1912) designs the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
Arts and Letters
Women’s Firsts: Mary Davenport-Engberg (1881-1951) is the first woman to conduct a symphony orchestra, in Bellingham, Washington.
Ideas
John B. Watson (1878-1958) publishes "Behavior; an Introduction to Comparative Psychology.”
Wilson, Ellen
Ellen Axson Wilson (1860-1914), first wife of President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) dies on august 6th of Bright''s disease in the White House.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. (1914-1988), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, is born August 17.
Economics
The world’s first airline, St. Petersburg Tampa Airboat Line, starts operation in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Economics
The Panama Canal is completed. It is 40 miles long from Atlantic to Pacific coasts and cost an estimated $365 million to complete.
Discovery
Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) begins a trans-Anarctic expedition with his ship, "Endurance."
Daily Life
The last known passenger pigeon dies in the Cincinnati Zoo.
Daily Life
Dancing: The Cotillion, once the most fashionable dance of society, takes second place to the waltz and the two-step.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Charles Pajeau develops a toy similar to the Erector Set, but designed for younger children, called Tinker Toys.
Sports
Women in Sports: The American Olympic Committee formally opposes women's athletic competition in the Olympics. The only exception is the floor exercise, where women are allowed to only wear long skirts.
Sports
Women in Sports: Basketball: Basketball rules change to allow half-court play, expanded from the original one-third court rules. Full court play for women doesn''t come in until the 1970''s.
Sports
Boxing: Jack Dempsey (1895- 1983) starts fighting under the name “Kid Blackey.”
Sports
Golf: Walter Hagen (1892-1969) wins the U.S. Golf Association Open.
Popular Culture
William Christopher Handy (1873-1958) composes “St. Louis Blues.”
Popular Culture
E.R. Burroughs ( 1875-1950) writes “Tarzan of the Apes”.
Religion
The Assembly of God denomination is founded during an 11-day convention in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Social Issues
Immigration: World War I in Europe breeds strong anti-immigration feelings in the United States.
Social Issues
Immigration: Almost 10.5 million immigrants enter the U.S. from southern and eastern Europe from 1905 until 1914.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Ford Motor Company begins paying its workers a basic wage of $5.00 for an 8-hour day, up from $2.40 for a 9-hour day.
Reform
Labor Movement: The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) founded.
1915
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
War
The U. S. Coast Guard is created by an act of Congress.
War
Terrorism: Erich Muenter, German instructor at Cornell University, plants bomb that destroys U.S. Senate reception room (July 2), then shoots J. Pierpont Morgan, Jr. (July 3); commits suicide (July 6).
War
World War I: German airship bombs E. Anglian ports; first German submarine attack, Le Havre; German blockade of England begins; Germans sink “Lusitania”; first Zeppelin attack on London. 6(1-12)
War
U.S. states that loss of U.S. ships and lives is a violation of neutrality for which Germany is held responsible, but President Wilson acceeds to the isolationist spirit in the U.S. by refusing to enter the war in Europe.
Science
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) postulates his General Theory of Relativity.
Science
Hermann Muller, geneticist, publishes "The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity," a classic in genetics.
Medicine
Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929) discovers that pellagra is caused by a vitamin deficiency.
Medicine
British chemist James Kendall isolates dysentery bacillus.
Inventions
The electric neon sign is patented in the United States by Georges Claude (1870-1960) of Paris, France.
Technology
Airplanes: Hugo Junkers (1859-1935) constructs the first fighter airplane.
Technology
Henry Ford (1863-1947) develops a farm tractor.
Technology
The first transcontinental telephone call is made between Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) in New York and Dr. Thomas A. Watson in San Francisco.
Education
The multiple choice test is invented.
Education
Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas adopt similar compulsory school attendance laws.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Theatre Guild is formed. It is designed as a professional theatre for quality production and introduction of European stagecraft and dramatic styles. This company eventually builds its own playhouse and has a touring production through 1960.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) writes “Victory.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: W. Somerset Maugham ( 1874-1965) writes “Of Human Bondage.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950)writes “A Spoon River Anthology.”
Ideas
In “Climate and Evolution,” William Mathew suggests that animals once moved from continent to continent via natural land bridges.
Wilson, Edith
President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) marries Mrs. Edith Galt (1872-1961).
Economics
Ford produces its one millionth car.
Economics
The taxi industry emerges when automobile owners discover that people will pay for a short automobile ride. Fare is a “jitney” (a nickel); drivers are called “hackers” or “hackies” in the East and “cabbies” in the Midwest.
Economics
William Fox (1879-1952) founds the Fox Film Company
Discovery
British archaeologist Aurel Stein (1862-1943) on an expedition to South Mongolia discovers Marco Polo’s “city of Etzina.”
Daily Life
The first Kiwanis Club is founded in Detroit.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Johnny Gruelle, a newspaper cartoonist, begins to sell Raggedy Ann dolls based on one he had made for his daughter, Marcella.
Sports
Automobile speed record of 102.6 mph set at Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., by Gil Anderson driving a Stutz.
Sports
Boxing: Jesse Willard takes the heavyweight boxing championship from Jack Johnson in a 23-round fight at Havana, Cuba.
Popular Culture
Ivor Novello (1893-1951), a Welsh composer, writes “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” a popular patriotic war song.
Popular Culture
Films: “Birth of a Nation” (D.W. Griffith (1875-1948)); “Carmen” Cecil B. De Mille (1881-1959); “The Lamb” (Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939); “The Fire” (Italy).
Religion
Yeshiva College (later University) and its Rabbi Issac Elchanan Rabbinical Seminary is established in New York for training in a Modern Orthodox milieu.
Social Issues
Immigration: President Wilson vetoes U.S. Senate bill requiring literacy tests for all immigrants.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Supreme Court rules in Ozawa v. United States that first-generation Japanese are ineligible for citizenship and cannot apply for naturalization.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: The U.S. House of Representatives rejects a proposal to give women the right to vote.
Reform
Birth Control Movement: Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) publishes "Family Limitation" and is jailed for supporting birth control.
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1916
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Louis Brandeis (1856-1941) is named to U.S. Supreme Court by President Wilson (1856-1924). He is the first Jewish Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Politics
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) is re-elected President of U.S., barely defeating Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948); Thomas R. Marshall (1854-1925) is also re-elected.
Politics
Women’s Firsts: Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), of Montana, is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Politics
Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948) leaves the Supreme Court to run for President on the Republican ticket.
Government
The National Park Service is established under U.S. department of the Interior.
Government
The Jones Act restates U.S. intention to grant independence to the Philippine Islands when a stable government is formed.
War
World War I: First Zeppelin raid on Paris; Germans introduce steel helmets; military tanks are used for the first time in Europe.
War
Francisco “Pancho” Villa (1878-1923), Mexican revolutionary general, crosses border with guerrillas and raids Columbus, New Mexico, killing 17.
War
Brig.-Gen. John J. Pershing (1860-1948) pursues Villa with 6,000 troops but cannot find him; withdraws (1917) after differences are settled by arbitration.
Science
Einstein (1879-1955) proposes a general theory of relativity to explain all laws of physics in terms of mathematical equations.
Science
National Research Council is established by the National Academy of Sciences.
Medicine
Blood for transfusions is refrigerated.
Medicine
Treatment of war causalities leads to the development of plastic surgeries.
Medicine
“Heparin,” a natural anticoagulant produced by the liver is discovered.
Medicine
Epidemics: America's worst polio epidemic occurs, killing over 7,000 and infecting more than 27,000 people.
Inventions
General John Thompson (1860-1940) invents the submachine gun, popularly called the “Tommy Gun.”
Technology
Electric clocks are introduced.
Education
John Dewey (1859-1952) publishes “Democracy and Education.”
Education
Psychologist John Watson proposes that learning is actually a series of conditioned responses.
Education
Libraries: The first presidential library, the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Library, opens in Fremont, Ohio.
Arts and Letters
Literature: James Joyce (1882-1941) writes “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) designs the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo
Ideas
Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) writes “Mind and Society.”
Roosevelt, Eleanor
John Aspinwall Roosevelt (1916-1981), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, is born March 13.
Economics
U.S. purchases Danish West Indies (Virgin Islands) for $25 million.
Economics
The Keating-Owen Act is passed, forbidding the transportation among states of products of factories, shops or canneries employing children under 14 years of age, of mines employing children under 16 years of age, and the products of any of these employing children under 16 who worked at night or more than eight hours a day.
Discovery
Space Exploration: I. P. Grave from Russia''s Artillery Academy submits a proposal for rockets burning smokeless gun powder.
Daily Life
“Summertime” (daylight-saving time) introduced in Britain.
Daily Life
Magazines: The “Saturday Evening Post” uses its first Norman Rockwell painting as its cover.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: John Lloyd Wright, the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright invents Lincoln Logs, interlocking toy logs children use to build imaginative structures.
Sports
Women in Sports: 100 women compete in the first "Championship of the World" bowling tournament on Nov. 26-19 in St. Louis. The total purse was $222. The Women's National Bowling Association is organized as a result of the success of the tournament.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women’s International Bowling Congress established in America.
Sports
Golf: Bobby Jones (1902-1971) makes his debut in U.S. golf.
Sports
Golf: The Professional Golf Association (PGA) is formed.
Sports
Black Athletes: Fritz Pollard (1894-1986) is the first black All-America RB (1916 at Brown); 1st black to play in Rose Bowl; 7-year NFL pro (1920-26); first black NFL coach, at Milwaukee and Hammond, Ind.
Popular Culture
Jazz sweeps U.S.
Religion
Martin Buber (1878-1965) writes “The Spirit of Judaism.”
Reform
Anti-Child Labor Movement: Child labor laws in South Carolina raise the minimum age of children for work in the mills, factories, and mines from 12-14.
Reform
Labor Movement: A law establishing eight-hour work day for railroad prevents a nation-wide strike.
Reform
Birth Control Movement: Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) joins in opening first birth control clinic.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Prohibition gains ground as 24 states vote against alcoholic beverages.
1917
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Prohibition: The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors, is passed by Congress.
Government
Literacy requirements for U.S. citizenship are passed over Wilson’s (1856-1924) veto.
Government
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) is inaugurated again as President of U.S., as is Thomas R. Marshall (1854-1925) as Vice President.
Government
The U.S. Senate rejects President Wilson’s suffrage bill.
Government
The U.S. Congress passes the Jones-Shafroth Act, making Puerto Rico a territory of the United States and its inhabitants U.S. citizens.
War
World War I: First U.S. division arrives in France; October Revolution in Petrograd November 7 (old style calendar October 26).
War
World War I: The Allies execute dancer Mata Hari (1876-1917) as a Spy.
War
World War I: President Wilson (1856-1924) signs the declaration of war against the Axis powers on April 7; anti-German sentiment swells at home. The names of schools, foods, streets, towns, and even some families, are changed to sound less Germanic.
Science
100-inch reflecting telescope installed at Mount Wilson, California.
Science
Einstein (1879-1955) proposes his theory of a static (unchanging) universe.
Medicine
Vaccines: Ralph Parker develops a vaccine for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Medicine
Julius Wagner-Jauregg (1857-1940) discovers the malarial fever shock therapy for general paresis of the insane.
Technology
Radios are used for ground-to-air and air-to-air communication.
Education
Public Education: Smith-Hughes Act passes, providing federal funding for vocational education. Big manufacturing corporations push this, because they want to remove job skill training from the apprenticeship programs of trade unions and bring it under their own control.
Arts and Letters
Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), 72, begins last tour of America.
Arts and Letters
Painting: J.S. Sargent (1856-1925) paints “Portrait of John D. Rockefeller.”
Arts and Letters
Chicago becomes the world’s jazz center.
Arts and Letters
Sigmund Romberg (1887-1951) composes his operetta, “Maytime,” in New York.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Millay (1892-1950) publishes "Renascence and Other poems."
Ideas
C.G. Jung (1875-1961) writes “Psychology of the Unconscious.”
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) writes “Introduction to Psychoanalysis.”
Eisenhower, Mamie
Doud Dwight (Ikky) Eisenhower (1917-1921), son of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, is born September 24.
Economics
Charlie Chaplin’s (1889-1977) yearly salary reaches one million dollars.
Economics
Railroad History: The first Diesel-electric locomotive in the U.S. was a prototype built by G.E. Number 4 had one model GM50 air injection two-stroke V8 rated at 225 HP @ 550 rpm powering one of two trucks. The cylinders had the same 8" x 10" dimensions as the GM16. It was never sold, serving only as a laboratory model at the Erie Works.
Economics
Ford Motor Company begins producing trucks and tractors.
Daily Life
Fashion: Bobbed hair as a ladies hair fashion sweeps Britain and the U.S.
Sports
Baseball: First baseball game played on Polo Grounds on a Sunday between New York Giants and Cincinnati Reds; the game results in the arrest of managers John McGraw (1873-1934) (Giants) and Christy Mathewson (1880-1925) (Reds) for violating New York blue law.
Sports
Women in Sports: Lucy Diggs Slowe wins the singles title at the first American Tennis Association (ATA) national tournament, becoming the first female African-American national champion in any sport.
Popular Culture
Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) reveals the joys of male adolescence in “Seventeen.”
Popular Culture
Buster Keaton (1895-1966), actor and director, establishes his comedy trademark of deadpan expressions in the film The Butcher Boy.
Popular Culture
George M. Cohan (1878-1942) writes American war song “Over There.”
Social Issues
Immigration: The U.S. enters World War I and anti-German sentiment swells at home. The names of schools, foods, streets, towns, and even some families, are changed to sound less Germanic.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: Four women are arrested for picketing for woman’s suffrage (the right to vote) in front of the White House; they are sentenced to 6 months in prison.
Reform
Labor Movement: I.W.W. demonstrations against war result in raids on their offices.
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1918
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
In the U.S. Congressional elections, Republicans win a majority of 43 seats.
Politics
T.G. Masaryk (1850-1937) is elected president of Czechoslovakia .
Politics
Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926), American socialist and presidential candidate, is sentenced to 10 years in prison for violating espionage and sedition laws (sentence is commuted in 1921).
Government
Iceland becomes sovereign state.
Government
Serbo-Croatian-Slovene Kingdom of Yugoslavia proclaimed.
Government
Stamps: U.S. Airmail stamps go on sale for 24 cents. The United States began airmail service on May 15, 1918. Special stamps were issued to indicate prepayment of mail carried on the first flights. The first route, flown by Army pilots in Army planes, linked Washington, DC and New York City via Philadelphia, PA. The rate was 24 cents an ounce. This rate included special delivery to the addressee.
War
Russian Revolution: Ex-Czar Nicholas II (1868-1918) and family executed.
War
World War I: mobilized forces: 63 million; casualties: approx. 8.5 million killed, 21 million wounded, 7.5 million prisoners and missing.
War
World War I: Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) propounds Fourteen Points for world peace; Germany offensive on Western front; Czechoslovakia proclaimed independent republic; Allies sign armistice with Austria-Hungary on November 3; Allied conference at Versailles agrees on peace terms for Germany; Armistice signed between Allies and Germany.
Science
Nobel Prize for Physics: Max Planck (1858-1947), German physicist, for introducing quantum theory.
Science
Herbert M. Evans (1882-1971) determines that human beings have 48 chromosomes.
Medicine
Epidemics: An influenza epidemic, traveling west from Europe, begins in the eastern U.S. and spreads to 46 states. Before it ends in 1919, about 500,000 people die in the U.S. Throughout the world, 20 million people die and one billion are ill.
Inventions
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) invents a hydrofoil boat that goes 60 mph during a test run.
Technology
The Mount Wilson telescope is completed near Pasadena, California.
Education
Higher Educaton: A second Moscow University is founded (first university founded 1755).
Education
Mississippi passes school attendance laws for children between the ages of six and seventeen.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Willa Cather (1873-1947) writes “My Antonia”.
Arts and Letters
Essay: H.L. Mencken (1880-1956): “In Defense of Women”.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Joan Miro (1893-1983) first exhibits his works.
Arts and Letters
The New York Philharmonic Society bans composition by living German composers.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Paris Opera, despite daily bombardment, opens with Gounod’s (1818-1893) “Faust”.
Arts and Letters
Mrs. Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1864-1953) gives the first of her music festivals in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (Tanglewood).
Arts and Letters
Henry Adams (1851-1921) writes “The Education of Henry Adams,” which later wins the Pulitzer Prize.
Ideas
Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929), pioneer in the development of American sociology, publishes “Social Process.”
Ideas
Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) writes “Untergang des Abendlandes” (“Decline of the West”) (-1922).
Ideas
There is major controversy over the new psychology of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and C.G. Jung (1875-1961).
Economics
Railroad History: The first Diesel-electric locomotive to be built and sold commercially was Jay Street Connecting RR #4. G.E. slightly revised its standard steeple cab straight electric locomotive car body and installed a single GM50.
Economics
The Pittman Act is passed, permitting the government to sell silver to Britain as a wartime measure.
Discovery
Harlow Shapley (1885-1972), American astronomer, discovers the true dimensions of the Milky Way.
Discovery
Archaeologists Hall and Leonard Woolley (1880-1960) begin excavations in ancient sites in Babylonia (present-day Iraq).
Daily Life
Regular airmail established between New York City and Washington; first airmail postage.
Daily Life
Daylight saving time introduced in America.
Daily Life
Census: Total population in the U.S.: 103.5 million.
Daily Life
First Chicago-New York airmail delivered: flying time 10 hrs. 5 min.
Sports
Football: Knute Rockne (1888-1931) is named head football coach at the University of Notre Dame.
Sports
Boxing: Jack Dempsey (1895-1983), American heavy-weight boxing champion, knocks out Carl Morris in 14 seconds.
Sports
Women in Sports: Eleanora Sears (a great-great-granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson, born in 1881) takes up squash, after excelling at polo (which she rode astride, shocking conventions of the day), baseball, golf, field hockey, auto racing, swimming, tennis, yachting and speedboat racing. She accumulated 240 trophies during her athletic career. She demonstrated that women could play men's games and was a prime liberator of women in sports.
Popular Culture
Composer George Gershwin (1898-1937) writes the song “Swanee” for the Broadway show Sinbad.
Religion
United Lutheran Church established (U.S.).
Social Issues
Censorship: U.S. Post Office burns installments of James Joyce’s (1882-1941) “Ulysses,” published in the “Little Review”.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Women over 30 get the right to vote in Britain.
Reform
Birth Control Movement: New York v. Sanger; Margaret Sanger wins her suit in New York to allow doctors to advise their married patients about birth control for health purposes.
1919
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Law
Women's Suffrage Movement: The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, is passed by Congress.
Politics
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) founds the political party, Fasci del Combattimento.
Politics
In Paris, the League of Nations comes into being. The Hague is selected for the International Court of Justice.
Politics
The Republican convention nominates Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) for the presidency with Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) as his running mate.
Politics
The Democratic convention nominates James M. Cox (1870-1957) for the presidency with Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) as his running mate.
Government
Women's Firsts: Lady Astor (1879-1964) becomes the first woman to be elected as a Member of Parliament in Britain.
Government
Capital Punishment: Austria abolishes the death penalty.
Government
President Woodrow Wilson presents his Fourteen Points for world peace to the American Congress; these Conditions of Peace are intended to guarantee future cooperation among the nations of the world and contain the foundations for a world organization called the League of Nations.
Government
League of Nations: The plenary session of the Peace Conference accepts the proposals for the creation of a League of Nations; the U.S. Senate, however, votes against joining the League.
War
World War I: The Treaty of Versailles is signed, officially ending World War I. Part 1, Articles 1 to 26 of this and other Peace Treaties contain the Covenant of the League of Nations.
Science
English scientist F.W. Aston (1877-1945) builds mass-spectrograph and establishes the phenomena of isotopy.
Science
Observation of the total eclipse of the sun bear out Albert Einstein’s (1879-1955) theory of relativity.
Science
Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945), “Father of American Rocketry” writes “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes”.
Science
Rutherford (1871-1937) demonstrates that the atom is not the final building-block of the universe.
Science
First experiments with shortwave radio (under 100 meters).
Science
In collaboration with Massolle and Engl, Hans Vogt (1903-1986) experiments on a new sound film system.
Inventions
Glenn L. Martin (1886-1955) invents the Martin Bomber, a warplane.
Education
Higher Education: New universities are founded in Hamburg, Posen, Bratislava, and Cologne.
Education
Children's Books; Hugh Lofting (1886-1947): the first of the “Dr. Doolittle” stories.
Education
Higher Education: A.D. Juilliard ( -1919)dies leaving 20 million dollars to endow Juilliard School of Music.
Arts and Letters
The Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra gives its first concert.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) writes “Main Street”.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953) writes “The Emperor Jones” and “Beyond the Horizon."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) writes “Corn Huskers,” which wins the Pulitzer Prize.
Arts and Letters
Bauhaus, founded and built by Walter Gropius (1883-1969) in Weimar, Germany, revolutionizes the teaching of painting, sculpture, architecture, and industrial arts.
Arts and Letters
Jazz arrives in Europe.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941) writes “Winesburg, Ohio,” a volume of interrelated short stories.
Ideas
Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) writes “The Waning of the Middle Ages.”
Ideas
C.G. Jung (1875-1961) writes “Psychological Types.”
Roosevelt, Edith
Former President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) dies in Oyster Bay, New York.
Hoover, Lou
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) is named Director-General of International Organization for European Relief.
Economics
J.M. Keynes (1883-1946) writes “The Economic Consequence of the Peace.”
Economics
The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is established.
Economics
Ford Motor Company: A conflict with stockholders over the millions to be spent building the giant Rouge manufacturing complex in Dearborn, Michigan leads to the company becoming wholly owned by Henry Ford and his son, Edsel, who then succeeds his father as president.
Daily Life
Transportation: J.W. Alcock and A. Whitten Brown (1886-1948) make first nonstop flight across the Atlantic from Newfoundland to Ireland in 16 hours 27 minutes.
Daily Life
Railroad lines operated in America total 265,000 miles.
Daily Life
The American Legion is formed.
Sports
Boxing: Jack Dempsey (1895-1983), U.S. heavyweight boxer, takes the world championship from Jess Willard.
Sports
Baseball: Babe Ruth (1895-1948) hits a 587 ft. home run in a Boston Red Sox versus. New York Giants game in Tampa, Florida.
Sports
Jim Thorpe (1888-1953), the great American all around athlete, finishes his 6-year major league baseball career with the Boston Braves; plays in 60 game; hits .327.
Sports
Horse Racing: Sir Barton is first horse to win triple crown: Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes; J. Loftus jockey in all three.
Sports
The development of a mechanical rabbit by Oliver Smith (1893-1977), of California, marks origin of modern greyhound racing.
Sports
Baseball: Black Sox Scandal: Eight players on the Chicago White Sox conspire with gamblers to throw the World Series. They are acquitted in a court of law—but they are banned from baseball forever.
Religion
Karl Barth (1886-1968): “Der Romerbrief” (“The Epistle to the Romans”), beginning of Protestant dialectical theology.
Religion
Church and State separated in Germany.
Religion
Joan of Arc (1412-1431) canonized by Pope Benedict XV.
Reform
Labor Movement: Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), governor of Massachusetts, calls out the National Guard to end Boston Police Strike.
Reform
Labor Movement: The great American steel strike occurs, lasting until January 1920.
Reform
Labor Movement: An International Labor Conference in Washington endorses eight-hour workday.
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1920
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Law
A year after ratification, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages, goes into effect.
Politics
The German Worker’s Party is renamed the Nationalist Socialist German Workers’ or Nazi Party.
Politics
Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) is elected as the 29th President of the U.S., and Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) is elected as the nation's 29th Vice President.
Government
The Senate rejects the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations for the second time.
Government
The League of Nations comes into existence with its headquarters in Geneva; the Versailles Peace Treaty and the Covenant of the League of Nations enter into force.
Government
The Water Power Act establishes the Federal Power Commission to regulate the generation of electricity from waterways on public lands and from navigational streams.
Government
The “Red Scare’ results in nationwide raids by federal agents, with mass arrests of “anarchists, Communists, and labor agitators.
Science
William D. Harkins (1873-1951) proposes the existence of an uncharged subatomic particle, which he calls the “neutron.”
Medicine
Harvey Cushing (1869-1939) pioneers new techniques in brain surgery.
Medicine
Insulin is isolated for the first time by Canadian Sir Frederick Banting (1891-1941) and Charles Best (1899-1978).
Inventions
Nobel Prize for Physics goes to Charles Guillaume (1861-1938), a Swiss physicist, for the invention of Invar, an alloy of iron containing nickel.
Arts and Letters
Literature: F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), an important novelist of the period, publishes his first novel entitled "This Side of Paradise."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) publishes "Main Street," a novel that exposes the cultural vacuum of a small Midwestern town.
Ideas
In "Easy Lessons in Einstein," Edwin E. Slosson explains the theory of relativity in a simple and clear manner.
Economics
The Jones Act prohibits shipping merchandise between U.S. ports "in any other vessel than a vessel built in and documented under the laws of the United States and owned by persons who are citizens of the United States.''''
Economics
Ford Motor Company: The Detroit-Toledo-Ironton (DTI) railroad proves to be a smart purchase for the Ford Motor Company (FMC). After purchasing the railway, FMC uses it for the next 8 years to control transport of materials and supplies to the massive Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan.
Sports
Baseball: The Negro National League, the first financially successful all-black league, is founded by Hall-of-Famer Rube Foster.
Sports
Women in Sports: The skimpy fashions of the '20's put a new emphasis on athletic bodies and narrow the gap between health and glamour. Advertisers, like Grape-Nuts, say, "Grandmother went bathing - girls like Molly go in to swim."
Sports
Baseball: The Boston Red Sox sell Babe Ruth (1895-1948) to the New York Yankees.
Sports
William T. Tilden (1893-1953) wins Wimbledon Lawn Tennis; after this victory, he dominates world tennis until 1925.
Popular Culture
KDKA, America’s first commercial radio station, begins operation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by broadcasting the results of the presidential election.
Religion
Use of religion in Turkey for political ends is made punishable by death.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: Women get the right to vote when the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified. By this time, 15 states have women suffrage laws.
1921
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) nominates William Howard Taft (1857-1930) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Senate confirms his appointment on the same day. Taft is the only person in history to have been both President and Chief Justice.
Law
League of Nations: The Permanent Court of International Justice comes into being.
Government
Immigration: Congress passes the Quota Act, which limits immigration in the United States.
Government
The Department of Agriculture enforces regulations of the Packers and Stockyards Act to stop manipulation of prices in meat-packing industries.
Government
Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) is inaugurated as the 29th President of the U.S., and Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) is inaugurated as the nation's 29th Vice President.
War
The joint resolution of Congress declares that World War I has ended. Separate U.S. treaties with Germany, Austria, and Hungary are signed and ratified.
Science
Langmuir (1881-1957) and Lewis (1875-1946) independently propose atomic theories.
Medicine
James B. Collip (1892-1965) isolates pure insulin.
Medicine
Edward Mellanby (1884 - 1955) discovers vitamin D and shows that its absence causes rickets.
Inventions
Physician Alvan L. Barach designs a vented oxygen tent.
Technology
John Couch Adams (1819-1892) uses a spectroscope to study and determine the distance of 2000 stars.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) publishes "Michael Robartes and the Dancer," a collection that includes his famous poem, Easter 1916.
Arts and Letters
Women’s Firsts: Literature: American novelist Edith Wharton(1862-1937) becomes the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. She wins the award for her novel "The Age of Innocence."
Ideas
Ernst Kretschmer (1888-1964) publishes "Physique and Character," in which he suggests that body build is closely related to mental state.
Eisenhower, Mamie
Doud Dwight (Ikky) Eisenhower (1917-1921), son of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower dies January 2 from scarlet fever.
Economics
The end of the wartime boom causes business depression and high unemployment. The National Conference proposes a job program.
Economics
Unemployment throughout the U.S. is 5.7 million. Widespread wage cuts in many industries include those of New York Central railroad employees (by 22.5%) and clothing workers (by 15%).
Daily Life
Iowa imposes the first state tax on cigarettes.
Daily Life
Magazines: Publisher DeWitt Wallace (1889-1981) founds the Reader’s Digest.
Daily Life
Knee-length skirts for women become the fashion, causing much comment in the press.
Sports
Baseball: Station KDKA in Pittsburgh broadcasts radio’s first live major league game. (Fewer than 10 percent of Americans own a radio.)
Sports
Women in Sports: The National Women's Athletic Association is organized.
Social Issues
Immigration: California’s Supreme Court declares the state’s Alien Poll Tax unconstitutional and a violation of the treaty between the U.S. and Japan.
Social Issues
Hate Groups: The Ku Klux Klan promotes “white supremacy” and seeks to control politics in many southern communities.
Reform
Birth Control Movement: National Birth Control League and Voluntary Parenthood League are combined to form the American Birth Control League in New York City; Margaret Sanger heads the league.
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1922
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court declares that the Federal Child Labor Law is unconstitutional.
Politics
Women's Firsts: Soledad Chacon is elected Secretary State of New Mexico, the first woman elected to that position.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Rebecca Felton (1835 – 1930), of Georgia, is appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill a temporary vacancy. The first woman senator, she serves for only two days.
Government
League of Nations: The first meeting of the Permanent Court of International Justice occurs.
Government
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) is arrested by the British in India for inciting his countrymen to violence in their fight for independence.
Government
U.S. and Japan sign Yap Treaty, permitting U.S. cable and radio stations in the Yap Islands.
War
U.S. Open Doors Policy is implemented in China. Nine major powers also sign treaties limiting warships, restricting the use of submarines, and outlawing poisonous gas.
Science
Alfred C. Lane begins experiments to determine the age of the earth.
Medicine
Elmer McCollum (1879-1967) discovers vitamin D in cod liver oil. He uses the oil in the successful treatment of rickets.
Inventions
British watchmaker John Howard invents the self-winding watch.
Technology
Ship to shore radio communication begins.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: James Joyce (1882-1941) publishes "Ulysses."
Arts and Letters
Literature: F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) publishes "The Beautiful and the Damned."
Ideas
Herman Julius Oberth (1894-1989) writes "The Rocket into Interdisciplinary Space," in which the concept of escape velocity is introduced.
Eisenhower, Mamie
John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower (1922-), son of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, is born August 3.
Daily Life
Lt. Harold Harris becomes the first member of the Caterpillar Club by parachuting from a defective plane during a flight test in Dayton, Ohio. The club is made up of individuals who have escaped death by using a parachute.
Daily Life
Marriages in the U.S. total 1,126,000 and divorces total 148,000.
Sports
Golf: The oldest American international team golf match takes place between the U.S. and Great Britain. It is established at the National Golf Links of America, Southampton, NY.
Sports
Women in Sports: The National Amateur and Athletic Federation (NAAF) is founded, committed to boys and girls being on an "equal footing with the same standards, the same program and the same regulations."
Social Issues
Racism: Oklahoma is placed under marshal law to control violence and curb Ku Klux Klan activity.
Reform
Birth Control Movement: Dr. Marie Stopes (1880-1958) holds a series of meetings in Queen’s Hall, London to advocate birth control.
1923
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Intermediate Credits Act expands credit to farmers and encourages farm cooperatives in an effort to ease agricultural depression.
Government
Vice President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)becomes the nation's 30th President on the death of President Warren G. Harding (1865-1923). No new Vice President is selected.
War
Payment of British war debt to the U.S. begins.
War
U.S. troops on the Rhine River in Germany are ordered to return by President Haring (1865-1923).
Science
Louis A. Bauer analyzes the Earth’s magnetic field.
Medicine
Insulin becomes generally available to people with diabetes.
Medicine
Vaccines: First vaccine for Diphtheria is used.
Inventions
The bulldozer is invented.
Arts and Letters
Drummer Buddy Rich tours the U.S. and Australia as a child prodigy on the drums.
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) publishes his theories on the human mind in "The Ego and the Id."
Harding, Florence
President Harding (1865-1923) dies suddenly in San Francisco on his return trip from Alaska. His father in Vermont swears in Coolidge (1872-1933) as President.
Economics
The DuPont Company acquires the rights to manufacture Cellophane; the first U.S. made Cellophane is produced in 1924.
Economics
In order to build a Model T automobile, Ford required approximately 250 feet of lumber for each car that it built. As a result, Henry Ford authorized the purchase of several hundred thousand acres of forestland in northern Michigan.
Discovery
Native Americans: Oil is discovered on the Navajo Reservation.
Daily Life
Disasters: An earthquake in Japan destroys Yokohama and half of Tokyo; about 100,000 people die.
Daily Life
Magazines: Time Magazine hits the newsstands for the first time, at $.15 a copy.
Sports
Finnish Paavo Nurmi runs the mile in 4 minutes and 10.4 seconds.
Sports
Women in Sports: 22% of U.S. colleges have varsity sports teams for women.
Popular Culture
Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959), film director and producer, releases the Biblical spectacle The Ten Commandments.
Popular Culture
"e Covered Wagon," voted as one of the 10 best movies of the year by Film Daily, sets the style and popularity for Westerns.
Social Issues
Racism: The African-American town of Rosewood, Florida is burned by a white mob.
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: National Woman’s Party proposes Constitutional amendment stating that “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and in every place subject to its jurisdiction. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
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1924
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The Progressive Party, backed by the American Federation of Labor, Farm-Labor Party and the Socialist Party, nominates senator La Follette of Wisconsin for President.
Politics
Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) is elected President of the U.S. in his own right, and Charles Dawes (1865-1951) is elected the nation's 30th Vice President.
Government
Greece is proclaimed a republic.
Government
The diplomatic and consular services of the U.S. government are consolidated.
Government
Native Americans: Congress passes the Indian Citizenship Act, granting U.S. citizenship to Native Americans.
Government
Immigration: Immigration Act of 1924 establishes fixed quotas of national origin and eliminates Far East immigration.
War
The U.S. Marines land at Shanghai, China to help suppress the civil war.
Science
Scientist Harry Steenbock discovers that sunlight increases the amount of vitamin D in certain foods. After tests prove that it is the ultraviolet part of sunlight, which has this effect, Steenbock patents a process of using artificial ultraviolet light to increase the vitamin D content in food.
Medicine
The portable electrocardiograph is introduced. It uses vacuum tubes to amplify the weak electrical signals produced by the heart.
Technology
RCA demonstrates wireless telegraph transmission of photographs from New York City to London; the process takes about 25 minutes per photograph.
Education
Children's Books: A.A. Milne (1882-1956), English humorist, publishes When We Were Very Young, a collection of stories for his son, Christopher.
Arts and Letters
Paul Whiteman (1890-1967) commissions George Gershwin (1898-1937) to write the symphonic jazz-style “Rhapsody in Blue.”
Truman, Bess
(Mary) Margaret Truman Daniel (1924-), daughter of Harry and Bess Truman, is born February 17.
Coolidge, Grace
Calvin Coolidge Jr. (1908-1924), son of Calvin and Grace Coolidge, dies July 7.
Economics
Harry Cohn founds Columbia pictures.
Discovery
Hubble determines that Cepheid variables (stars) in the Andromeda nebula are hundreds of thousands of light years beyond the Milky Way. This is conclusive proof that there are other galaxies besides our own.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The gas chamber is used for the first time as a method of execution in the United States when gangster Gee Jon is put to death in Nevada.
Daily Life
The publisher Simon and Schuster market the first crossword puzzle book.
Daily Life
There are 2.5 million radios in the U.S.; in 1920 there were only 5000, mostly used by professionals.
Sports
The first Winter Olympic games open at Chamonix, France.
Sports
Football: Notre Dame''s “Four Horseman” – Layden, Stuhldreher, Miller, and Crowley – star as Notre Dame upsets Army.
Sports
Black Athletes: Olympic gold medalist (summer games; individual): DeHart Hubbard (1903-1976) is the gold medalist for the long jump.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Johnson-Reed Act is passed, severely limiting immigration.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Radice v. New York, a New York state case, upholds a law that forbade waitresses from working the night shift but made an exception for entertainers and ladies' room attendants.
1925
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Nellie Taylor Ross (1876-1977) becomes the Governor of Wyoming, being the first woman to be elected as governor of a state.
Government
The Senate ratifies 20-year-old treaty, which recognizes the right of Cuba to the Isle of Pines.
Government
The U.S. and Canada agree to improve the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Lake Ontario.
Government
The boundary between Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) is established.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876-1997) becomes the first woman to serve as governor of a state, in Wyoming.
Government
Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) is inaugurated as President of the U.S., and Charles Dawes (1865-1951) is inaugurated as the nation's 30th Vice President.
Science
Millikan (1868-1953) discovers that cosmic rays are absorbed (not produced) by the atmosphere.
Science
The meter is standardized.
Medicine
George H. Whipple (1878-1976) demonstrates that iron is a major factor in the formation of red blood cells.
Inventions
Berliner (1851-1929) invents acoustic tiles for soundproofing.
Inventions
Railroad History: The American Locomotive Company (ALCO), along with G.E. and IR, builds its first Diesel electric loco.
Education
Higher Education: Trinity College in North Carolina agrees to change its name to Duke University to meet the terms of a $40 million trust fund established by James B. Duke, a tobacco millionaire.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) publishes "In Our Time."
Arts and Letters
Literature: F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) publishes "The Great Gatsby."
Arts and Letters
Writer DuBose Heyward (1885-1940) publishes "Porgy," on which the musical "Porgy and Bess" is later based.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Since Harvard was not supportive of the theatre movement on their campus, the efforts were relocated to Yale in 1925. As a result, Yale established the Drama School as a graduate program that was committed to providing American theatre with gifted artists of superior training.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Theodore Dreiser’s (1871-1945) first commercial success was "An American Tragedy" (1925), which was made into a film in 1931 and again in 1951.
Ideas
John Watson publishes "Behaviorism," a book that sparks popular interest in psychology.
Nixon, Pat
At the age of 13, “Pat” Ryan (Nixon) assumes the role of housewife for her family when her mother, Kate Halberstadt Bender Ryan, a native of Germany, dies of cancer.
Economics
The Ford Motor Company acquires the Lincoln Motor Company, thus branching out into luxury cars.
Daily Life
Disasters: The most violent tornado is U.S. history, the “Tri-State Tornado,” hits Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois, killing 689 people and injuring 13,000 others.
Daily Life
Magazines: The New Yorker magazine is founded.
Popular Culture
Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946), blindfolded, plays 28 simultaneous games of chess.
Religion
A copy of the Bible costs the equivalent of about $2000 in the 14th century, $500 in 1455, $100 by the 17th century, and $3 in 1925.
Religion
Public Education: Tennessee teacher John T. Scopes is arrested for teaching the Theory of Evolution, which is forbidden by state law. This dispute known as the “Monkey Trial” attracts enormous attention; Scopes is convicted and fined $100.
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1926
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: The Progressive Party wins seats in Congress in the fall election.
Government
The U.S. fails to join the Permanent Court of International Justice and Arbitration at The Hague.
Government
Senate ratifies World War debt funding agreements with European countries.
Government
Congress passes the Revenue Act which reduces income and inheritance taxes and abolishes many nuisance taxes.
Government
League of Nations: The first meeting of the Preparatory Disarmament Commission occurs in Geneva.
War
Congress establishes the Army Air Corps.
Science
German physicist, Max Born (1882-1970), formulates the mathematical basis of the quantum theory.
Medicine
George Minot (1885-1950), William Murphy (1892-1987), and George Whipple (1878-1976) use a diet rich in raw liver to cure patients who are suffering from pernicious anemia, a usually fatal disease. Later, Minot and Edwin Cohn prepare liver extract that remains the basic treatment for this disease until 1948.
Medicine
Vaccines: First vaccine for Pertussis is used.
Technology
The first liquid fuel rocket is successfully launched by Professor Robert Goddard at Auburn, Massachusetts; the rocket traveled 184 feet in 2.5 seconds.
Technology
The Radio Corporation of America, American Telephone and Telegraph Company, and the British General Post office hold the first successful transatlantic radiotelephone conversation between New York City and London.
Education
Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) founds Negro History Week, which later evolves into Black History Month.
Education
Children's Books: A.A. Milne (1882-1956) publishes "Winnie the Pooh," one of the most popular children’s books ever written.
Education
Libraries: Los Angeles Public Library is dedicated.
Arts and Letters
Literature: William Faulkner (1897-1962) publishes his first novel, "Soldier’s Pay."
Arts and Letters
Painting: Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) paints “Black Iris,” and abstract work in which the flowers assume human anatomical shapes.
Ideas
T.H. Morgan (1866-1945) publishes "Theory of the Gene."
Ideas
Edward L. Thorndike (1874-1949) publishes "Measurement of Intelligence."
Daily Life
Explorers Richard E. Byrd (1888-1957) and Floyd Bennett (1890-1928) fly over the North Pole.
Daily Life
Airmail service starts between New York City and Boston.
Sports
H. Bierkottes swims the English Channel in 12 hours and 4 minutes.
Sports
Women’s Firsts: American Gertrude Ederle (1906-2003) becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
Popular Culture
Writer Edna Ferber (1887-1968) publishes "Show Boat."
Popular Culture
English filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), known for his gripping thrillers, directs The Lodger.
1927
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court rules that a Texas law forbidding Negroes from voting in Democratic primary elections is unconstitutional.
Politics
A Socialist uprising and a general strike occurs in Vienna, Austria, after acquittal of Nazis for political murder.
Government
League of Nations: The Spanish Government announces that it will continue to collaborate in the work of the League.
War
U.S. Marines land in Nicaragua to protect U.S. lives and property during civil war.
Science
Jan Hendrik Oort (1900-1992), Dutch astronomer, further clarifies Lindblad’s theory about the rotation of the Milky Way galaxy.
Science
Clinton Davisson (1881-1958) and Lester Germer (1896-1971) discover that electrons are diffracted when they pass through crystal. This discovery supports the wave theory of electric behavior.
Medicine
Frank A. Hartman isolates “cortin” from the adrenal glands and suggests that absence of this hormone may cause Addison’s disease.
Medicine
Vaccines: First vaccine for Tuberculosis is used.
Inventions
The History of Toys: A tough, durable kind of plastic, polystyrene, is invented. Although the first plastic, celluloid, was invented in the 1860s, polystyrene is the first type strong enough to really suit toy making.
Inventions
The pentode (a 5-element vacuum tube) is developed. It permits distortion free amplification of sound.
Technology
Ernst Alexanderson (1878-1975) receives the first American television broadcast at his home.
Education
Libraries: The Central library of the Free Library of Philadelphia is dedicated.
Ideas
Pavlov (1849-1936) publishes "Conditioned Reflexes," based on his experiments in which dogs, fed at the sound of a bell, salivated at the sound of the bell alone.
Ideas
Cosmologist Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966) proposes the Big Bang Theory to explain the origin of the universe.
Tyler, Julia
David Gardiner "Gardie" Tyler (1846-1927), the first son born to John Tyler and his second wife Julia, dies September 5.
Economics
The Federal Reserve reduces the discount rate by half a point and purchases $230 million of government securities.
Daily Life
Transatlantic commercial telephone service begins between New York City and London.
Daily Life
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964), then U.S. Secretary of Commerce, gives a speech in Washington, D.C. that is seen and heard in New York via the first long-distance television transmission.
Daily Life
Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) makes the first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic in the Spirit of Saint Louis, from Long Island to Paris.
Daily Life
The Holland Tunnel, designed by Clifford M. Holland, opens to vehicular traffic. More than 1.5 miles long, the tunnel travels under the Hudson River and connects New York with New Jersey.
Sports
Baseball: Babe Ruth (1895-1948) sets home run record when he hits 60 for the season.
Sports
Boxing: The first Golden Gloves amateur boxing matches, sponsored by the New York Daily News, are held.
Sports
Women in Sports: The International Federation of Women's Field Hockey Associations (IFWHA) is formed to provide competition for teams from the US, England, Scotland and Ireland.
Popular Culture
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is founded.
Popular Culture
Bandleader and composer, Duke Ellington (1899-1974), organizes a band that begins a five-year stand at Harlem’s Cotton Club.
Religion
Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959) produces his second Biblical epic called "The King of Kings."
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1928
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) is elected the 31st President of the U.S., and Charles Curtis (1860-1936) is elected as the nation's 31st Vice President.
Government
McNary-Haugen Bill for relief of farmers is vetoed on the grounds that it would fix prices and stimulate overproduction.
Government
Flood Control Bill provides $325 million to curb flooding in the Mississippi River Valley.
Government
Prohibition: Congress appropriates $32 million to enforce Prohibition during the next year.
Government
Britain recognizes the Chinese National government at Nanking.
War
U.S. signs Briand-Kellogg Act Pact, outlawing war. Eventually, 63 nations sign it also.
Science
Karl Ziegler (1898-1973) explains the chemical procedure for making artificial rubber.
Medicine
Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) discovers penicillin, founding the field of antibiotic therapy.
Inventions
Railroad History: The first Diesel-electric passenger locomotive built in North America was a two-unit 2-D-1-1-D-2.
Technology
Mount Palomar Observatory installs a 200-inch reflecting telescope designed by George Hale (1868-1938).
Education
Libraries: The West Virginia Supreme Court rules that Charleston libraries cannot exclude black patrons since, as taxpayers, they are equally entitled to library service.
Ideas
John Von Neumann (1903-1957) develops as part of his theory games, the minimax theorem, a strategy for minimizing a player’s maximum loss.
Daily Life
The first seeing eye dog was presented to Morris S. Frank.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The Mickey Mouse character is created by Walt Disney.
Popular Culture
The first annual Calaveras County “Frog Jumping Jubilee” is held in Angel’s Camp, CA.
Popular Culture
Jerome Kern (1885-1945) and Hammerstein (1895-1960) write the score for Show Boat, which includes the song “Ol’ Man River.”
1929
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The National Revolutionary Party is organized in Mexico; it becomes the chief political party.
Government
The Lateran Treaty, in which Italy agrees to recognize the independence and sovereignty of Vatican City, is signed.
Government
Immigration: The National origins plan goes into effect. U.S. consuls are told to reject any immigrant who might become a “public charge.”
Government
The Agriculture Marketing Act establishes the Federal Farm Board to stabilize farm prices.
Government
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) is inaugurated as the 31st President of the U.S., and Charles Curtis (1860-1936) is inaugurated as the nation's 31st Vice President.
Science
Nobel Prize for Physics goes to Broglie (1892-1987) for his electron wave theory.
Science
Hubble measures the red shift and discovers that the galaxies are moving away from each other. This universal recession of galaxies indicates that the universe is expanding.
Medicine
Hans Berger (1873- 1941) discovers human electroencephalography.
Technology
Ernst Alaxanderson (1878-1975) measures the altitude of an airplane by using reflected radio waves. This is an early use of radar.
Technology
Kodak introduces 16mm movie film.
Technology
In the first instrument flight, Lt. James Doolittle (1896-1993) flies entirely by radio signals received in his airplane.
Education
Higher Education: University of Pennsylvania establishes a department of Medical Physics (biophysics).
Education
Libraries: Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932), a merchant and philanthropist, helps fund libraries in 13 southern states to be used in both urban and rural areas, regardless of race.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) publishes the novel "A Farewell to Arms."
Ideas
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) publishes “A Room of One’s Own.”
Ideas
Robert M. Yerkes (1876-1956), psychologist, publishes "The Great Apes" and establishes the Yale Laboratories of Primate Biology (Florida) to study animal behavior and intelligence.
Hoover, Lou
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) was the first president to have a telephone installed on his desk on March 27. White House phones came next.
Economics
President Hoover (1874-1964) meets with important businessmen at the White House in order to stabilize the nation’s business.
Economics
The stock market crash brings depression, with widespread unemployment and many business failures.
Economics
American Money: Currency is reduced in size by 25 percent and standardizes with uniform portraits on the faces and emblems and monuments on the backs.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The yo-yo is popularized in the United States.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Gang members working for Al Capone (1899-1947) kill rival gang members in the St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago.
Daily Life
The first reindeer are born in the United States, in North Beverly, MA.
Sports
Women in Sports: Tuskegee Institute in Alabama forms one of the first women's college track teams, offering scholarships to promising women athletes, and adding women's event to their Tuskegee relays track meets.
Popular Culture
The first Academy Awards are bestowed; the statues that served as symbols of the award are not called Oscars until 1931.
Popular Culture
The first all-color talking picture, "On With the Show," opens.
Popular Culture
“Amos ‘n’ Andy,” a popular radio show heard each weekday through the 1930’s, makes its national premier.
Religion
Presbyterian churches in Scotland unite to form the Church of Scotland.
Social Issues
Immigration: Congress makes annual immigration quotas permanent.
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1930
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court rules that buying bootleg liquor is not a violation of the 18th amendment.
Law
Chief Justices: President Herbert Hoover nominates Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; he is confirmed by the Senate ten days later and serves in the position for eleven years.
Politics
In the German elections, Nazis gain 107 seats from the center parties.
Government
The Passfield White Paper on Palistine suggests that Jewish immigration be halted.
Government
The names of the cities of Constantinople and Angora in Turkey change to Istanbul and Ankara.
Government
Ras Tafari (1892-1975) becomes Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.
Government
League of Nations: First session of the Commission of Enquiry for European Union.
War
France begins building the Maginot Line.
War
Last Allied troops leave Rhineland.
War
The War Department amends Army regulations to make any violation of the federal prohibition law a military offense.
Medicine
Nobel Prize for Medicine awarded to Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943) (U.S.) for the grouping of human blood.
Inventions
Vannevar Bush, electrical engineer, develops a differential analyzer, the first analog computer.
Inventions
Quartz-crystal clocks are introduced.
Technology
Bell Laboratories develops a two-way television communication system.
Technology
The photoflash bulb comes into use.
Education
Public Education: Civil Rights Movement: The NAACP brings a series of suits over unequal teachers' pay for Blacks and whites in southern states. At the same time, southern states realize they are losing African American labor to the northern cities. These two sources of pressure resulted in some increase of spending on Black schools in the South.
Education
Civil Rights Movment: Brown v. Board: The NAACP began to challenge segregation in graduate and secondary schools in the mid-1930s. Early successes in the Supreme Court barred law schools from denying applicants on the basis of race alone.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Maxwell Anderson (1888-1959)writes “Elizabeth the Queen."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Noel Coward (1899-1973) writes “Private Lives."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Group Theatre is formed by the Theatre Guild for the purpose of producing social protest works. Members were generally committed to largely communal projects.
Ideas
Technocracy, the absolute domination of technology, becomes talked-of phenomenon.
Ideas
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)writes “About Zionism.”
Ideas
Compton suggests that cosmic rays are made of particles.
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)publishes “Civilization and Its Discontent."
Taft, Helen
William Howard Taft (1857-1930), 27th President of the United States dies; he is the first U.S. president to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.
Economics
New York City’s Bank of the United States closes because of the stock market crash. The bank has 60 branches and almost half a million depositors. During this year more than 1300 banks are forced to close.
Economics
Ford creates the Mercury division to establish a division centered on mid-priced cars. Ford Motor Company continues to grow.
Discovery
Pluto, the ninth planet in the solar system, is discovered by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh (1906-1997).
Daily Life
Prepackaged frozen food is sold for the first time by Clarence Birdseye (1886-1956) in Springfield, MA.
Daily Life
Contract bridge gains in popularity as a card game.
Daily Life
Comic strips grow in popularity in the U.S. (“Blondie” series).
Popular Culture
Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) writes “The Maltese Falcon."
Popular Culture
The films “Blue Angel,” (Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992))and “All Quiet on the Western Front,” both win Academy Awards (Milestone).
Popular Culture
Bestseller “Cimarron,” is written by Edna Ferber (1885-1968).
1931
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
German millionaire Alfred Hugenberg (1865-1951) undertakes to support the 800,000-strong Nazi Party; Emil Kirdorf (1847-1938), Fritz Thyssen (1873-1951), and Schroder (1841-1902) follow his example.
Government
League of Nations: The Council decides to convene the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments.
Government
League of Nations: European Conference for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs.
Science
Swiss chemist Paul Karrer (1889-1971) isolates vitamin A.
Science
American physicist E.O. Lawrence (1901-1958) invents the cyclotron.
Inventions
Julius A. Nieuwland (1878-1936) devises a process for producing neoprene, a synthetic rubber.
Technology
The George Washington Bridge, extending from New Jersey to New York, is completed.
Technology
The Empire State Building opens.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) writes “The Good Earth."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Robert Frost (1874-1963) publishes his “Collected Poems,” which wins the Pulitzer Prize.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953) writes “Morning Becomes Electra.”
Ideas
John Dewey (1859-1952 ) publishes “Philosophy and Civilization.”
Discovery
Australian explorer G.H. Wilkins (1888-1958) captains “Nautilus” submarine, navigating it under the Arctic Ocean to latitude 82 degrees, 15 minutes.
Daily Life
The U.S. officially adopts “The Star-Spangled Banner” as its national anthem on March 3.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Alphonse (“Scarface”) Capone (1899-1947), gangster with reputed $20 million annual income, is jailed for income tax evasion.
Daily Life
Population (in millions): China 410, India 338, U.S.S.R. 168, U.S. 122, Japan 75, Germany 64, Great Britain 46.
Daily Life
Women’s Firsts: Maxine Dunlap becomes first American woman to earn a glider pilot license.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Alfred M. Butts, an unemployed architect from Poughkeepsie, New York, invents a word game called the Criss Cross Game. In 1948, Butts sells rights to the game to entrepreneur James Brunot who trademarks the game under the name Scrabble.
Sports
The northern face of the Matterhorn is climbed for the first time by Franz and Toni Schmid.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women begin competing in skiing events at the world championships sponsored by the International Ski Federation.
Popular Culture
Popular songs of the year include “Minnie the Moocher”; “Mood Indigo”; Goodnight Sweetheart”; and “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain.”
Popular Culture
Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) stars in the film, “City Lights."
Popular Culture
Walt Disney (1901-1996) produces his first color film, "Flowers and Trees."
Popular Culture
The musical comedy, "Of Thee I Sing," composed and written by George Gershwin (1898-1937), Ira Gershwin (1896-1983) George S. Kaufman (1889-1961), and Morrie Ryskind (1895-1985), becomes the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Religion
Jehovah’s Witnesses formed from International Bible Students Association.
Religion
Pope Pius XI (1857-1939): “Quadrigesimo Anno," encyclical noting dangers of unrestrained capitalism and totalitarian communism, and calling for a new social order.
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1932
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution, setting January 20 as the day the President is inaugurated, is passed by Congress.
Politics
Women's Firsts: Hattie W. Caraway (1878-1932), a democrat from Arkansas, becomes the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
Politics
Running on the idea of a "New Deal" for the American people, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is elected as the 32nd President of the U.S. in a Democratic landslide; John Garner (1868-1967) is elected as the nation's 32nd Vice President.
Government
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is created to conserve area resources.
Government
The Revenue Act of 1932 is passed; it is the largest peacetime tax increase in the nation''s history to that date.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Hattie Wyatt Caraway (1878-1950), of Arkansas, becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
Government
League of Nations: A two-year Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments opens in Geneva; Germany withdraws from the Conference.
Government
Congress changes the name "Porto Rico" to "Puerto Rico".
Science
W.H. Carothers (U.S.) (1896-1937) synthesizes polyamide (nylon by 1936).
Science
James Chadwick (1891-1974) discovers the neutron.
Science
Nobel Prize for Physics: Werner Heisenberg (Germany) for the creation of the matrix theory of quantum mechanics.
Science
Fritz Mietzch (1896-1958) and Josef Klarer (1898-1953): sulfonamide.
Inventions
Sperry Gyroscope Co. develops an automatic pilot.
Technology
A balloon tire is produced for farm tractors.
Technology
RCA demonstrates electric TV using a cathode-ray picture tube receiver.
Education
Libraries: The Folger Library opens in Washington.
Education
Higher Education: Bennington College opens in Vermont.
Education
Basic English is proposed as a prospective international language.
Education
Public Education: A survey of 150 school districts reveals that three quarters of them are using so-called intelligence testing to place students in different academic tracks.
Education
Libraries: Howard University School of Divinity Library is founded.
Economics
In May and June, 17,000 ex-servicemen arrive in Washington D.C., to urge the passage of a law that will permit them to cash their bonus certificates; this bill is defeated by the Senate; government offers expenses for return home, but troops led by General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) finally drive out last 2,000.
Economics
13.7 million people are unemployed in the United States.
Economics
The first unemployment insurance law is enacted in Wisconsin.
Daily Life
Crime and punishment: The infant son of Charles (1902-1974) and Anne Lindbergh (1906-2001) is kidnapped.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) becomes the first woman to complete a solo nonstop transatlantic flight, from Newfoundland to Ireland in about 15 hours.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Amelia Earhart, 34, becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in a red Lockheed Vega in 15 hours and 39 minutes.
Sports
The first Winter Olympic Games held in the U.S., opens at Lake Placid, N.Y.
Sports
The Summer Olympic Games at Los Angeles include 23 sports, 124 events, and 1,408 participants from 37 nations.
Sports
Black Athletes: Louise Stokes (1905-1974) and Tydia Pickett are the first African-American women to be included on a U.S. Olympic team.
Popular Culture
Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) appears in his first “Tarzan” film; Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) writes “The Thin Man;" and Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) writes “Brave New World.”
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: The National Recovery Act forbids more than one family member from holding a government job, resulting in many women losing their jobs.
1933
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Prohibition: The Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution, repealing prohibition, is passed by Congress, ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Law
The 20th Amendment to the Constitution, setting January 20 as the day the President is inaugurated, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Government
U.S. Congress votes independence for Philippines.
Government
The Federal Securities Act requires sworn statements about all securities for sale to be filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Government
League of Nations: Both Germany and Japan give notice of withdrawal from the League of Nations.
Government
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is inaugurated as the 32nd President of the U.S., and John Garner (1868-1967) is inaugurated as the nation's 32nd Vice President.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Frances Perkins (1882-1965) is appointed secretary of labor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), making her the first woman member of a presidential cabinet.
Government
Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) is named Chancellor of Germany.
Science
Tadeusz Reichstein (1897-1996) synthesizes pure vitamin C.
Science
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) recognized by R. Kuhn, Szent-Gyorgyi, and Wagner von Jauregg.
Medicine
Manfred Sakel (1900-1957) discovers insulin shock therapy.
Technology
Edwin H. Armstrong (1890-1954) develops frequency modulation (FM) radio broadcasting.
Technology
Philo T. Farnsworth (1906-1971) develops an electronic TV receiver.
Arts and Letters
“Ulysses,” by James Joyce (1882-1941), is allowed in the U.S. after court ruling.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Erskine Caldwell (1903-1987)writes “God’s Little Acre.”
Arts and Letters
George Balanchine (1904-1983) and Lincoln Kirstein (1907-1996) found the School of American Ballet.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) writes “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.”
Ideas
C.G. Jung (1875-1961) writes “Modern Man in Search of Soul.”
Economics
American banks are closed March 6 - March 9 by presidential order.
Economics
The U.S. goes off gold standard on April 19.
Economics
Unlike his father, Edsel Ford was more interested in vehicle design than mechanics. He helped bring the company''s products to new heights of elegance and style by creating the company’s first dedicated, in-house design (or “styling”) department. The department’s creations become some of the most influential automotive designs in the industry.
Discovery
The theory that Neanderthal Man is in the line of decent of homo sapiens is rejected following the discovery of the Steinheim skull.
Discovery
R.E. Byrd, begins his second South Pole expedition.
Daily Life
The board game Monopoly is invented.
Daily Life
All books by non-Nazi and Jewish authors are burned in Germany.
Daily Life
Chicago World’s Fair (A Century of Progress International Exposition) opens.
Daily Life
President Roosevelt delivers the first radio “fireside chat” to restore the public’s confidence in the American currency and banking system.
Sports
Baseball: The first baseball all-star game is played.
Sports
Boxing: Italian Primo Carnera (1906-1967) knocks out Jack Sharkey (1902-1994) to win heavyweight-boxing crown.
Popular Culture
Some popular films of the year are “Little Women,” starring Katherine Hepburn (1907-2003), and “She Done Him Wrong,” starring Mae West (1892-1980).
Popular Culture
Some popular songs are “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”; “StormyWeather”; “Easter Parade”; “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”; and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”
Social Issues
Holocaust: The Germans at Dachau open the first concentration camp; by 1945 8 to 10 million prisoners have been interned and at least half of them killed. Boycott of Jews begins in Germany.
Social Issues
Immigration: Approximately 60,000 artists (authors, actors, painters, and musicians) emigrate from Germany.
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1934
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
League of Nations: Meeting of the General Commission of the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments.
Government
Congress passes the Gold Reserve Act, empowering the President to regulate the value of the U.S. dollar.
Government
President Roosevelt signs Securities Exchange Act, establishing Securities and Exchange Commission. The first chairman of the SEC is Joseph Kennedy.
Science
Adolph Butenandt (1903-1995) isolates the first crystalline male hormone, androsterone.
Science
Enrico Fermi (1901-1954 ) suggests that neutrons and protons are the same fundamental particles in two different quantum states.
Technology
Osoviakhim, U.S.S.R. balloon, ascends 13 miles into stratosphere.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Robert Graves (1895-1985) writes “I, Claudius” and “Claudius the God.”
Arts and Letters
Painting: Salvador Dali (1904-1989) paints “William Tell,” in surrealistic style.
Arts and Letters
Drama: William Saroyan (1908-1981) writes “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.”
Ideas
Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) writes “A Study of History.”
Ideas
Ruth Benedict (1887-1948) publishes “Patterns of Culture.
Economics
Women’s Firsts: Lettie Pate Whitehead (1872-1953) becomes the first American woman to serve as a director of a major corporation, The Coca-Cola Company.
Discovery
Women’s Firsts: On October 23, 1934, American adventurer Jeanette Piccard (1895 – 1985) sets an altitude record for female balloonists when she ascends 57,579 feet.
Daily Life
Transportation: The S.S. “Normandie” (France) launched; the largest ship afloat until “Queen Elizabeth.”
Daily Life
The Dionne quintuplets are born in Callendar, Ontario.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The F.B.I. shoots John Dillinger (1903-1934), “Public Enemy No. 1.”
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The infamous pair of Bonnie (Parker) (1910-1934) and Clyde (Barrow) (1909-1934), die in a police shootout.
Sports
Golf: The first Masters golf tournament at Augusta National in Georgia is won by Horton Smith (1908-1963).
Sports
Boxing: Max Baer (1909-1959) wins world heavyweight boxing title.
Sports
Boxing: Joe Louis (1914-1981) wins his first fight against Jack Kracken (Chicago).
Popular Culture
Shirley Temple (1928- ) stars in her first film, Stand Up and Cheer.
Social Issues
Poverty: Evangeline Booth (1865-1950), daughter of the Salvation Army’s founder, elected General of the Salvation Army.
1935
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Huey Long (1893-1935) is assassinated by Dr. Carl Weiss in Louisiana Capitol Building.
Government
The Social Security Act establishes a federal payroll tax to finance a cooperative federal-state system of unemployment insurance.
Government
President Roosevelt (1882-1945) signs U.S. Social Security Act.
Government
Chiang Kai-shek is named President of China.
Government
T.G. Masaryk (1850-1937) resigns as President of Czechoslovakiaand is succeeded by Eduard Benes (1884-1948).
Government
Persia changes its name to Iran.
Government
League of Nations: The American Senate refuses to ratify the accession of the United States to the Permanent Court of International justice.
War
World War II: The Saarland is incorporated into Germany following a plebiscite; Nazis repudiate Versailles Treaty and reintroduce compulsory military.
Medicine
Ladislas J. Meduna (1896-1964)discovers metrazol shock therapy.
Medicine
German chemist Gerhard Domagk (1895-1964) announces the discovery of Prontosil, the first sulfa drug for treating streptococcal infections.
Technology
RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging) is first demonstrated by Robert Watson-Watt (1892-1973).
Technology
The first round-the-world telephone conversation covers more than 23,000 miles. It is routed from New York to San Francisco, Indonesia, Holland, England, and back to NY-to an office less than 50 feet from the phone where the call originated.
Technology
Railroad History: EMC builds #511 and #512, the first self-contained Diesel passenger locomotives in the US.
Education
Libraries: The Works Progress Administration library service program gives support in labor and funds to all types of libraries.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Federal Theatre Project is established by Works Progress Administration (WPA) under the leadership of Hallie Flanagan (1890-1969). It lasted 4 years and employed over 30,000 theatrical artists and workers. Eventually Congress challenged the content of the productions as being subversive propaganda and dangerous.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Clarence Day (1874-1935) writes “Life with Father.”
Arts and Letters
Drama: T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) writes “Murder in the Cathedral.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) writes “It Can’t Happen Here.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: John Steinbeck (1902-1968) writes “Tortilla Flat.”
Economics
Electrification: The first generator at Hoover Dam along the Nevada-Arizona border begins commercial operation.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Bruno R. Hauptmann (1899-1936) goes on trial for the kidnap and murder of the Lindburgh baby.
Daily Life
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) becomes the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California.
Daily Life
Transportation: The S.S. “Normandie” crosses the Atlantic in 107 hours and 33 minutes.
Daily Life
Dancing: The rumba becomes a fashionable dance.
Daily Life
Alcoholics Anonymous is organized in New York.
Sports
Baseball: The Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies play the first major league night baseball game at Crosley Field I Cincinnati.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Committee for Industrial Organizations is founded by the leaders of eight unions in the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Its goal is to develop industry-wide unions that include clerical and unskilled workers, as well as skilled-workers who are eligible for the AFL.
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1936
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of TVA in Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority.
Politics
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) is reelected President of the U.S. by a landslide, as is John Garner (1868-1967) as Vice President.
Government
League of Nations: The Secretariat moves into the new League of Nations buildings, Geneva.
War
The U.S. Army adopts the semi-automatic rifle.
War
World War II: German troops occupy Rhineland; elections in Germany give Hitler (1889-1945) 99% of the vote; Four-Year Plan inaugurated.
War
Spanish Civil War begins in July; Franco appointed Chief of State by the insurgents in October; siege of Madrid begins; Spanish government moves to Valencia.
War
World War II: Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) declares war on Japan.
Medicine
Dr. Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) develops an artificial heart.
Medicine
Egas Moniz (1874-1955) discovers prefrontal lobotomy for treating mental diseases.
Technology
The dirigible “Hindenburg” lands at Lakehurst, N.J., after transatlantic flight.
Technology
Mrs. Amy (Johnson) Mollison (1903-1941) flies from England to Cape Town in 3 days, 6 hours, and 25 minutes.
Technology
Boulder (Hoover) Dam on Colorado River in Nevada and Arizona is completed; this creates Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the world.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Beatrice Kaufman and Moss Hart collaborate on the play, “You Can’t Take it With You.”
Economics
The Ford Foundation is established.
Daily Life
Magazines: Henry Luce (1898-1967) begins publication of “Life” magazine.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Bruno Richard Hauptman (1899-1936) is convicted of kidnapping and killing the Lindbergh baby.
Daily Life
Disasters: Floods sweep Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Parker Brothers introduce Monopoly.
Sports
Baseball: Ty Cobb (1886-1961), Babe Ruth (1895-1948), Honus Wagner (1874-1955), Christy Mathewson (1880-1925) and Walter Johnson (1887-1946) are the first players elected to the newly founded Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Sports
Boxing: Max Schmeling (1905-2005) (German) defeats Joe Louis (1914-1981) (U.S.) to win world heavyweight boxing championship.
Popular Culture
Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) writes “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
Popular Culture
Walter D. Edmunds (1903-1998) writes “Drums Along the Mohawk.”
Popular Culture
Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949) writes “Gone with the Wind,” a Pulitzer Prize Novel.
1937
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Rights Movement: The U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of a minimum wage law for women.
Government
President Roosevelt (1882-1945) signs U.S. Neutrality Act.
Government
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) is inaugurated President of the U.S., as is John Garner as Vice President.
War
World War II: Riots in Sudeten area of Czechoslovakia; Sudetan Germans leave Czech Parliament.
War
Spanish Civil War: The German Luftwaffe (air force) destroys the Spanish town of Guernica.
Medicine
The nation’s first blood bank is established at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.
Medicine
Crystalline vitamin A and vitamin K concentrates are first obtained.
Medicine
The National Cancer institute is established.
Inventions
Wallace H. Carothers (1896-1937) patents Nylon for the Du Pont Company.
Inventions
The first jet engine is built by Frank Whittle (1907-1996).
Technology
George VI (1895-1952) is crowned King of Great Britain; the broadcast of ceremonies is first worldwide program heard in the U.S.
Technology
The Lincoln Tunnel provides a second major vehicular tunnel between New York and New Jersey.
Technology
San Francisco’s Gold Gate Bridge opens; the main section is 4200 ft. long; it is the longest bridge up to this time.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Ernest Hemmingway (1899-1961) writes “To Have and to Have Not.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: John P. Marquand (1893-1960) writes “The Late George Apley,” which wins a Pulitzer Prize.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Picasso (1881-1973) paints “Guernica,” a mural for the Paris World Exhibition.
Arts and Letters
Paul Mellon (1907-1999) endows the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Economics
Wall Street stock market decline signals serious economic recession in the U.S.
Daily Life
In Connecticut, automobile license places are issued for the first time.
Daily Life
Disasters: The German airship Hindenberg bursts into flames as it is trying to land at Lakehurst, NJ. News of its occurrence is described in the first transcontinental radio broadcast.
Daily Life
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) is lost on a Pacific flight.
Sports
Women in Sports: The US becomes the first country to win the men's (Swaythling Cup) and women's (Marcel Corbillon Cup) team table tennis championships in the same year.
Sports
Boxing: Joe Louis (1914-1981) regains world heavyweight boxing title by defeating James J. Braddock (1905-1974).
Sports
U.S. Tennis Team wins Davis Cup Tournament in England.
Popular Culture
John Steinbeck (1902-1968) writes “Of Mice and Men.”
Popular Culture
Walt Disney (1901-1996) produces “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."
Social Issues
Poverty: Public Housing: One of the first public housing projects in New York City, the Harlem River Houses, is built. They were 4 and 5-story walk-ups that were connected.
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: Minimum wage law for women is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Reform
Labor Movement: A major strike against Republic Steel takes place: 4 killed and 84 injured in Chicago.
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1938
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court rules that the University of Missouri Law School must admit Negroes because of a lack of other facilities in the area.
Government
Martin Dies (1900-1972) (Texas Democrat), becomes chairman of the newly formed House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) of U.S. House of Representatives.
War
World War II: Hitler (1889-1945) appoints himself War Minister, Ribbentrop Foreign Minister; meets Schuschnigg at Berchtesgaden and marches into Austria; Mussolini (1883-1945) and Hitler meet in Rome; programs in Germany.
War
World War II: Eden resigns in protest against Chamberlain’s (1869-1940) policy; Winston Churchill (1874-1965) leads country’s outcry; Duff Cooper (1890-1954) resigns as First Lord of the Admiralty; President Benes (1884-1948) resigns; Slovakia and Ruthenia granted autonomy; Hungary annexes southern Slovakia; Emil Hacha (1872-1945) installed as puppet President of Czechoslovakia.
Science
Karter, Salomon, and Fritzsche chemically identify vitamin E.
Science
Isolation of pyridoxine (vitamin B6).
Medicine
Robert E. Gross, physician, surgically repairs a congenital heart defect.
Medicine
Ugo Cerletti (1877- 1963) and Lucio Bini (1908-1964) discover electroconvulsive therapy.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: Higher Education: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the University of Missouri Law School must admit Negroes because of a lack of other facilities in the area.
Education
The Cloisters, endowed by Rockefeller (1839-1937), is built in upper Manhattan as a branch of the Metropolitan Museum to house medieval art.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: African American Education: Harvard University grants and honorary doctorate to Negro singer Marian Anderson (1897-1993).
Arts and Letters
Drama: "Our Town," by Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), is performed publicly for the first time in Princeton, NJ.
Arts and Letters
Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) writes “Rebecca.”
Arts and Letters
Drama: Robert Sherwood (1896-1955): “Abe Lincoln in Illinois."
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) builds Taliesin West in Phoenix, Arizona.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953) writes “The Yearling,” a Pulitzer Prize novel.
Ideas
Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) writes “Homo Ludens.”
Ideas
Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) writes “Modes of Thought.”
Economics
Dupont markets the first nylon product-a toothbrush.
Economics
The Fair Labor Standards Act passed, enacting first national minimum wage law.
Daily Life
The 40 hour work week is established in the United States.
Daily Life
20,000 TV sets are in service in New York City.
Daily Life
The S.S. “Queen Elizabeth” is launched.
Daily Life
32,000 people die in auto accidents in the U.S.
Sports
Horse Racing: Eddie Arcado rides his first Kentucky Derby winner, “Lawrin.”
Popular Culture
The New Orleans jazz classic, "When the Saints Go Marching In," is recorded by Louis Armstrong (1901-1971).
Popular Culture
The popular radio quiz show Information Please is broadcast by NBC.
Popular Culture
Orson Welles’s (1915- 1985) radio production of H.G. Well’s (1866-1946) “War of the Worlds” causes considerable panic.
Popular Culture
Benny Goodman’s (1909-1986) band brings new style to jazz music.
Popular Culture
Kurt Weill (1900-1950): “Knickerbocker Holiday,” musical comedy, New York.
Social Issues
Anti-semitism: Anti-Jewish legislation enacted in July.
Reform
Labor Movement: Women''s Rights Movement: The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes minimum wage without regard to sex.
1939
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
President Roosevelt appoints the first Jewish Associate Justice to the Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965); at the same time, he appoints William O. Douglas (1898-1980), who hold the record for longest service on the Court -- 36 years, 7 months.
War
The Spanish Civil War ends.Rooseveltasks Congress for $552 million for defense and demands assurance from Hitler and Mussolini that they will not attack 31 named states.
War
World War II: Germany occupies Bohemia and Moravia, places Slovakia under “protection,” annexes Memel, renounces nonaggression pact with Poland and naval agreement with England, and concludes both the 10-year alliance with Italy and the nonaggression pact with U.S.S.R.
War
World War II: Japanese occupy Hainan and blockade British concession at Tientsin; U.S. renounces Japanese trade agreement of 1911.
War
World War II: Britain and France recognize Franco’s government; U.S. recognition follows; Spanish Civil War ends; Spain joins Anti-Comintern Pact and leaves League of Nations.
War
World War II: Germany invades Poland and annexes Danzig on September 1; Britain and France declare war on Germany on September 3; Roosevelt declares that the U.S. is neutral; Germans overrun western Poland and reach Brest-Litovsk and Warsaw; U.S.S.R. invades Poland from the east; the British Expeditionary Force (158,000 men) are sent to France.
Science
Joliot-Curie demonstrates the possibility of splitting apart the atom.
Science
Polyethylene is invented.
Science
Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to Ernest O. Lawrence (U.S.) for the development of cyclotron.
Technology
Igor Sikorsky (1889-1972) constructs the first helicopter.
Technology
Radar stations are used in Britain to give early warning of approaching enemy aircrafts.
Arts and Letters
“Grandma Moses” (Anna M. Robertson) becomes famous in the U.S.
Arts and Letters
Dance: Aaron Copland’s “Billy the Kid” ballet opens in New York.
Arts and Letters
Literature: C.S. Forester writes “Captain Horatio Hornblower.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: James Joyce writes “Finnegan’s Wake.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Richard Llewellyn writes “How Green was My Valley.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: John Steinbeck writes “The Grapes of Wrath.”
Arts and Letters
Drama: George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart write “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”
Ideas
John Dewey (1859-1952) publishes “Freedom and Culture.”
Ideas
Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is made available in a complete English translation.
Economics
After the 1938 recession, the U.S. economy begins to recover and, by autumn, is booming from orders of European countries for arms and war equipment.
Daily Life
Transportation: Pan-American Airways begins regularly scheduled commercial flights between the U.S. and Europe on the “Dixie Clipper.”
Daily Life
Fashion: Nylon stockings appear for the first time.
Daily Life
Holidays: President Roosevelt moves the national Thanksgiving Celebration to the third Thursday of November in order to extend the Christmas shopping season and boost the economy.
Sports
Baseball: Baseball great Lou Gehrig sets of major-league record when he plays his 2,130th game.A baseball game is first televised in the U.S.
Sports
Baseball: The first televised major league game is broadcast from Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.
Sports
Baseball: Little League Baseball is founded.
Popular Culture
The first public television broadcast is made from the Empire State Building.
Popular Culture
War songs in England are “Roll out the Barrel’ and “The Last Time I Saw Paris.”
Popular Culture
Popular Films include “Gone With the Wind”, “The Wizard of Oz” (Judy Garland), and “Stagecoach” (John Ford).
Popular Culture
Popular Songs in America are “God Bless America”, “Over the Rainbow”, and “I’ll Never Smile Again.”
Religion
Pope Pius XI dies; Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli is elected to be Pope Pius XII (-1958).
Religion
The Methodist Church, rent by schisms of 1830 and 1844, is reunited.
Reform
Labor Movement: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that sit-down strikes are illegal.
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1940
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is re-elected to a third term as President of the U.S., and Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965) is elected as the nation's 33rd Vice President.
Government
Immigration: The Smith Act (Alien Registration Act) requires the registration of all aliens and makes it illegal to advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government by force.
Government
Conservation: Congress establishes the Fish and Wildlife Service to develop and administer a wildlife conservation program.
Government
Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940) is succeeded by Winston Churchill (1874-1965) as Prime Minister of England.
Government
The U.S. does not renew its commercial treaty with Japan.
Government
The Transportation Act passes, giving ICC authority to regulate common carriers operating in interstate commerce in the coastal, inter-coastal, and inland waters of the U.S.
Government
Stamps: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) is the first African-American honored on a stamp.
War
National Defense Advisory Commission coordinates U.S. civilian defense protection.
War
Congress creates the Selective Service System, the first U.S. peacetime program of compulsory military service. It requires all men between ages 21 and 36 to register.
Science
Fritz A. Lipmann (1899-1986), biochemist, proposes that ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) is a common form of energy in many cells.
Medicine
N.M. Gregg discovers that German measles during pregnancy may cause birth defects in the unborn child.
Medicine
Linus Pauling (1901-1994) and Max Delbruck (1906-1981) determine that antigens cause the body to produce antibodies.
Inventions
V. Zworykin (1889-1982) and James Hillier (1915-) invent the electronic microscope.
Inventions
Hellmuth Walter (1900-1980), a German engineer, invents a propulsion system for submarines.
Education
The first large-scale urban college building of modern design, Hunter College, is built in New York City.
Arts and Letters
The Museum of Modern Art sets up a separate department of photography.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Picasso’s (1882-1973) lithograph, “Dove” is selected as the symbol of the World Peace Congress.
Discovery
Prehistoric drawings that are at least 20,000 years old are found in the Lascaux Caves in France.
Daily Life
The first social security check is issued to Ida Fuller for $22.54.
Daily Life
Fashion: Nylon stockings go on sale for the first time in the U.S.
Daily Life
The suspension bridge over the Narrows at Tacoma, Washington called “Galloping Gertie,” collapses because of wind vibration; the Bridge tumbles into Puget Sound.
Sports
Cornelius Warmerdam (1915-2001) is the first to pole-vault 15 feet. Two years later he sets the new record of 15 ft. 7.75 inches.
Popular Culture
Oglethorpe University (Georgia) deposits a bottle of beer, an encyclopedia, and a movie fan magazine along with 1000 of other items in its “Crypt of Civilization,” a time capsule scheduled to be opened in the year 8113.
Popular Culture
John Ford (1894-1973) wins an Oscar for directing "The Grapes of Wrath."
Reform
Labor Movement: The 40-hour workweek, part of Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, goes into effect.
1941
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: After sixteen years of service as an Associate Justice, Harlan Fiske Stone (1872-1946) is nominated Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945); he is confirmed by the Senate and serves for five years until his death in 1946.
Government
The Lend-Lease Act lends war materials to friendly nations.
Government
The Office of Price Administration and Civilian Supply is organized. It immediately freezes steel prices and later announces the need for tire rationing to conserve rubber.
Government
The Lend-Lease Act passes, giving the president the authority to aid any nation whose defense he believed vital to the United States and to accept repayment "in kind or property, or any other direct or indirect benefit which the President deems satisfactory."
Government
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is inaugurated for a third term as President of the U.S., and Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965) is inaugurated as the nation's 33rd Vice President.
War
Puerto Rico: US Congress establishes two thirds of the island of Vieques as a military training ground. Residents are given 24 hours to leave their homes.
War
The Selective Service System repeals the 900,000-man limitation of the Army and extends the length of service of draftees to 18 months.
War
U.S. lends the U.S.S.R. $1 billion worth of war material.
War
World War II: Japan attacks the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, destroying many war ships; the U.S. declares war on Japan.
War
World War II: U.S. forces land in Iceland to defend it against possible attack.
Science
The Manhattan Project, under the direction of Leslie Groves, begins top-secret research to develop an atomic bomb.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Eleanor J. Macdonald (1906-?1995), the first cancer epidemiologist, establishes the world’s first cancer registry in Connecticut.
Medicine
Radioactive iodine is used to treat cancer of the thyroid.
Inventions
Aerosol spray cans are introduced.
Technology
RCA develops the “alert receiver,” a radio that is turned on or off by a special radio wave signal.
Technology
LORAN (long range aid to navigation) uses fixed radio signals to determine positions at sea.
Technology
An electron microscope is used to obtain the first photograph of a virus. The virus, only 4 ten-millionths of an inch in diameter, is magnified 65,000 times.
Reagan, Nancy
Maureen Reagan Revell (1941-2001), daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, is born January 4.
Economics
The FCC authorizes TV broadcasting. By the end of the year, 1 million sets are sold.
Daily Life
Gasoline curfew begins in 17 eastern states; gasoline stations are closed from 7am-7pm.
Daily Life
“Utility” clothing and furniture are encouraged in Britain; clothes rationing starts.
Daily Life
A National Nutrition Program begins; vitamins and minerals are added to milk, bread, and other common foods.
Daily Life
Holidays: After much protest, President Roosevelt returns the official Thansgiving to the fourth Thursday of November.
Sports
Baseball: New York Yankee center-fielder Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999) hits in 56 major league games and sets a major league record.
Popular Culture
The classic movie, "Citizen Kane," starring Orson Welles (1915-1985), premiers in New York City.
Popular Culture
The famous wartime phrase “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” is said by Howell M. Forgy, chaplain on the U.S. cruiser New Orleans, which is attacked at Pearl Harbor.
Popular Culture
Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967), arranger-composer for Duke Ellington, composes the band’s theme song, “Take the A-Train.”
Popular Culture
The USO is founded in New York City to raise the morale of American troops by supplying recreation, education, and entertainment.
Social Issues
Immigration: Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii galvanizes America’s war effort. More than 1,000 Japanese-American community leaders are incarcerated because of national security.
Social Issues
Immigration: President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 8802, forbidding discrimination in federal hiring, job-training programs, and defense industries. The newly created Fair Employment Practices Commission investigates discrimination against black employees.
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1942
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) signs an executive order resulting in the internment of thousands of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast.
Government
Immigration: Congress allows for importation of agricultural workers from within North, Central, and South America. The Bracero Program allows Mexican laborers to work in the U.S.
War
World War II: Congress enacts measures to form the Women’s auxiliary corps of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
War
World War II: The Nazis formulate their “Final Solution” regarding the Jews at the Wannsee Conference.
War
World War II: Government wartime agencies take control of housing, alien property, shipping and transportation, foreign relief, censorship, and scientific research.
War
World War II: U.S. begins strict rationing of food and materials needed for the war effort.
Science
Russian Academy of Sciences awards honorary memberships to Americans for the first time: W. Cannon, E.O. Lawrence, and G. Lewis.
Medicine
French chemists prepare the first usable antihistamines.
Inventions
Henry Ford (1863-1947) patents the plastic automobile body.
Inventions
Magnetic recording tape is introduced.
Inventions
Bell Aircraft builds and tests the first U.S. jet, the XP-59.
Technology
Henry Kaiser (1882-1967) and Howard Hughes (1905-1976) design the Spruce Goose, an 8-engine airplane with room for 700 people.
Technology
Sonobuoys are used to detect submarines.
Technology
Radio signals (interference) are received from the Sun.
Technology
The first V-mail is sent overseas from New York City to London.
Arts and Letters
Dance: Copland (1900-1990) composes the ballet Rodeo, staged and choreographed by Agnes DeMille (1881-1959).
Ideas
Sister Elizabeth Kenny (1880-1952) publishes "Kenny Concept of Infantile Paralysis and Its Treatment."
Economics
The Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in Washington State is completed.
Discovery
Mildenhall Treasure, a hoard of Roman silverware, is discovered in Suffolk, England.
Daily Life
Disasters: Mine explosions in Honkeiko, Manchuria kill 1549 people.
Daily Life
Disasters: The ocean liner Queen Mary collides with a British cruiser; 388 people on board the cruiser are killed.
Sports
Football: The Army-Navy football game that is usually seen by 100,000 fans in Philadelphia is played in Annapolis, Maryland for fewer than 12,000. By Presidential order, tickets are sold only to resident within a 10-mile radius of the stadium.
Sports
Baseball: Just weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt declares, “it would be best for the country to keep baseball going.”
Popular Culture
Band leader Glenn Miller (1904-1944) receives the first ever gold record for selling a million copies of “Chattanooga Choo Choo.”
Religion
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) publishes "The Screwtape Letters," an extremely popular Christian novel.
Religion
Lloyd Douglas, a Lutheran clergyman, publishes "The Robe," a novel based on the New Testament.
1943
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Immigration: The Magnuson Act of 1943 repeals the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, establishes quotas for Chinese immigrants, and makes them eligible for U.S. citizenship.
War
U.S. Army engineers complete the Pentagon building. This 5-sided building, headquarters of the Department of Defense, remains the largest office building in the world.
War
World War II: President Roosevelt (1882-1945) and Prime Minister Churchill (1874-1965) meet at the Casablanca Conference.
War
World War II: The Nazi siege of Leningrad is broken.U.S. bombers sink Japanese convoy of 22 ships at the Battle of Bismarck Sea.
War
World War II: U.S. naval and amphibious forces begin island-hopping operations in the Pacific, capturing key bases.
Science
The hallucinogenic drug LSD is first produced by Albert Hoffman (1906-?) at Sandoz Laboratory in Basil, Switzerland.
Science
50,000 scientists and aides, all conducting secret atomic research suddenly populate the tiny town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Medicine
Large-scale production of penicillin begins to meet the demand as the drug is being used to treat a variety of infectious diseases.
Medicine
Epidemics: An infantile paralysis (polio) epidemic kills 1151 people and cripples thousands more.
Inventions
Alvarez develops a radar-controlled bombsight.
Inventions
Polyethylene plastic is introduced.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) begin their successful partnership when they produce the musical Oklahoma.
Arts and Letters
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), conductor and composer, becomes the assistant composer of the N.Y. Philharmonic.
Economics
The “Big Inch,” world’s longest oil pipeline, is dedicated. It is 1300 miles long and stretches from Texas to Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
Dancing: The jitterbug is the most popular dance.
Daily Life
Women in England are no longer required to wear hats in law courts.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: While searching for a suspension device to ease rough sailing on battleships, navy engineer Richard James discovers that a torsion spring will "walk" end over end when knocked over. James brought the discovery home to his wife, who named the new toy "Slinky."
Sports
Women in Sports: In its June 14th issue, Time estimates there are 40,000 semi-pro women's softball teams in the US.
Sports
The Detroit Red Wings win the last 4 games in the Stanley Cup finals, defeating the Boston Bruins 2-0 to become the National League Hockey Champions.
Sports
Women in Sports: Baseball: Philip K. Wrigley starts what will become the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the country’s only professional female league.
Religion
Public Education: U.S. Supreme Court reverses 1940 decision and holds that children cannot be required to salute the flag in school if their religion prohibits it; case brought to court by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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1944
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is reelected President for a fourth term; Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) is elected the nation's 34th Vice President on the same Democratic ticket.
Government
The Declaration of Independence and other historical documents, sent from Washington D.C., for safekeeping in December 1941, are again displayed at the Library of Congress.
War
World War II: U.S. planes bomb Berlin for the first time.
War
World War II: U.S. troops establish beachheads at Utah Beach and Omaha Beach during the Allied invasion of Western Europe (D-Day).
Science
Uranium pile is built in Oak Ridge Tennessee.
Medicine
Alfred Blalock (1899-1964) and Marie Taussig introduce a surgical technique for saving “blue babies.”
Medicine
Oswald Avery (1877-1955) proves that DNA is the genetic material responsible for heredity.
Medicine
Clarence C. Little proposes that cancer is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Medicine
DDT is used to control a typhus outbreak in Naples, Italy.
Medicine
Daniel Bovet (1907-1992) discovers the antihistamine pyrilamine.
Inventions
Silicone resins are introduced as insulation capable of withstanding very high temperatures.
Education
Higher Education: President Roosevelt (1882-1945) signs The Serviceman Readjustment Act (G.I. Bill of Rights), establishing benefits for veterans after the war. One of the chief benefits of the law is the provision of funds for college for returning servicemen and women, thus providing access to higher education for many who would not have been able to afford it otherwise, and, in fact, making the idea of a college education a "normal" one for the next generation of young people.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Jean Anouilh (1910-1987) completes the play Antigone.
Ideas
Von Neumann (1903-1957) publishes "Theory of Games and Economic Behavior."
Johnson, Lady Bird
Lynda Bird Robb (1944- ), daughter of Lyndon and Claudia Johnson, is born March 19.
Daily Life
Meat rationing ends, except for steak and choice cuts of beef.
Daily Life
Transportation: The first non-stop flight from London to Canada takes place.
Popular Culture
Bing Crosby (1903-1977) stars in the film, "Going My Way."
Popular Culture
The popular radio show, "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," debuts.
Popular Culture
Jimmy “Trump” Davidson’s Big Band introduces Dixieland Jazz to Canada.
1945
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The Arab League is founded in Cairo by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
Government
The Medal of Freedom is established. It is awarded to civilians for meritorious acts or service.
Government
United Nations: The United Nations opens in San Francisco. Senate ratifies UN Charter by a vote of 89 to 2.
Government
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is inaugurated as President for a fourth term; Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) is inaugurated as the nation's 34th Vice President.
Government
Vice President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) becomes the nation's 33rd President upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945). No new Vice President is selected.
War
World War II. The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; the rationale is that it will shorten the war and save thousands of American and Japanese lives. Several days after the bombing, Japan surrenders, bringing World War II to an end.
War
World War II: The Russians liberate the Auschwitz concentration camp, where the Nazis killed over 1.5 million people, including over 1 million Jews.
War
World War II: U. S. Marines raise the American flag on Iwo Jima.
War
World War II: The Yalta Agreement is signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965), and Soviet leader Josef Stalin (1879-1953).
War
World War II: World War II ends; cold war begins; Soviet Union becomes prime adversary of U.S; President Truman (1884-1972) pressured to take a hard-line on Communists, foreign and domestic.
Medicine
Woodward determines the chemical structure of penicillin by using a spectroscope.
Medicine
Spies proves that folic acid (a B-vitamin) is necessary for proper development of red blood cells.
Technology
Railroad History: The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, uses the first railroad car with an observation dome. The dome is 19.5 feet long and extends the full width of the railroad car.
Technology
Weather radar is developed.
Education
Children's Books: E.B. White (1899-1985) publishes the children’s classic Stuart Little.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Sartre (1905-1980) writes the play "No Exit."
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd president of the United States, dies of a massive cerebral hemorrhage at his home in Warm Springs, Georgia.
Economics
FCC sets aside 13 channels for commercial broadcasting.
Daily Life
Rationing of shoes, butter, and tires ends.
Daily Life
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), Italian dictator and ally of Nazi Germany, is executed.
Daily Life
German dictator Adolph Hitler (1889-1945), and his newly married mistress, Eva Braun (1912-1945), commit suicide in his Berlin bunker.
Daily Life
Anne Frank (1929-1945), the Dutch Jewish teenager who kept a diary of her wartime experiences, dies at 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany.
Popular Culture
Popular radio shows include: "The Red Skeleton Show," "The Green Hornet," "Superman," "Inner Sanctum," "The Fred Allen Show," "One Man’s Family," and "Queen for a Day."
Popular Culture
Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) organizes an orchestra featuring the “bop” style of jazz.
Religion
Italian writer Carlo Levi (1902-1975) causes a sensation with his novel "Christ Stopped at Eboli."
Social Issues
Immigration: The War Bride Act and the G.I. Fiancées Act allows immigration of foreign-born wives, fiancé(e)s, husbands, and children of U.S. armed forces personnel.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: Women win the vote in France.
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1946
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Harry S. Truman nominates Fred M. Vinson as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; the Senate confirms his nomination and he serves for seven years until his death in 1953.
Politics
McCarthy Era: November 1946 -- Joseph R. McCarthy (1908-1957)is first elected Senator from Wisconsin, defeating progressive titan Robert Lafollette (1855-1925). Richard Nixon (1913-1994) is elected Congressmen from Whittier, CA. The Democrats lose 12 Senate seats and 55 House seats.
Government
United Nations: The first General Assembly of the United Nations convenes in London.
Government
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) is elected president of North Viet Nam.
Government
The United Nations accepts an $8.5 million donation from John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) to purchases the site for the new UN headquarters in New York City.
Government
League of Nations: (April 18) The League transfers all its assets to the United Nations. Contract signed by W. Moderow, representative of the League, and Sean Lester, the last Secretary-General of the League of Nations.
War
Cold War: Churchill (1874-1965) delivers a speech in Fulton, Missouri, warning about Soviet expansion and coining the phrase the “Iron Curtain.” This marks the beginning of the “Cold War.”
War
The Army and Navy are permitted to manufacture atomic weapons.
War
Chinese Communists tell the U.S. to stop supplying arms to the Nationalist Chinese Party. The U.S. gives up trying to mediate the civil war in China.
Science
Carbon-12, and isotope is discovered.
Science
The Atomic Energy Commission is established.
Inventions
Printed circuits are developed.
Technology
Computer Technology: A computer begins working at the University of Pennsylvania, taking seconds to do calculations that normally take hours. It is named ENIAC, or Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Taylor Caldwell (1900-1985) publishes "This Side of Innocence."
Arts and Letters
Architecture: The “ranch-type” home becomes popular; many find the low-slung, single story homes very appealing.
Ideas
Lemaitre (1894-1966) publishes "Hypothesis of the Primeval Atom."
Nixon, Pat
Tricia Nixon Cox (1946- ), daughter of Richard and Patricia Nixon, is born February 21.
Bush, Barbara
George Walker Bush (1946- ), son of George and Barbara Bush, is born July 6.
Discovery
Byrd (1888-1957) leads an expedition to the North Pole.
Daily Life
Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995) of the U.S.S.R. is considered the world’s finest chess player.
Daily Life
The government lifts most price and wage controls. U.S.
Daily Life
Disasters: An Army plane crashes into the Manhattan Company in New York City; 5 people are killed.
Sports
Women’s Firsts: Women in Sports: Edith Houghton becomes the first woman hired as a major-league baseball scout.
Popular Culture
Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) directs the film Notorious.
Popular Culture
Irving Berlin (1888-1989) writes the score for the Broadway musical, "Annie Get Your Gun."
Religion
Mother Frances X. Cabrini (1850-1917) is canonized; she is the first U.S. citizen to become a saint in the Catholic Church.
Religion
Women’s Firsts: Mother Maria Frances Cabrini (1850-1917) is canonized by Pope Pius XII. She is the first U.S. citizen (she was born in Italy) to become a saint.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: Women win the vote in Italy.
Reform
The strike by the United Mine Workers begins. President Truman seizes the mines after employers reject the government’s negotiated contract.
1947
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Education: The Supreme Court upholds a state law permitting pupils attending parochial schools to ride on public school buses. This is the first of many cases on the separation of church and state in relation to schools.
Law
The Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is passed by Congress.
Government
Congress approves economic and military assistance for Greece and Turkey.
Government
Congress enacts the Labor Management Relations Act (Taft-Hartley Labor Act) over President Truman’s veto. It limits the power of labor unions and puts restrictions on strikes, closed shop, and political activities.
Government
President Truman (1884-1972) states the principle of Soviet Containment (Truman Doctrine).
Government
Britain nationalizes coalmines, cable and radio communications, and the electrical supply industry.
Government
The Secretary of State proposes the European Recovery Program (The Marshall Plan) to give economic aid to certain war-torn European nations.
Government
McCarthy Era: Senator McCarthy (1908-1957) is assigned to the Government Operations Committee in Senate; Congressman Nixon is appointed to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Mr. Nixon is first lawyer on The Committee and is noteworthy for raising the level of "respectability" of the Committee's proceedings.
Government
McCarthy Era: Criticized for loose scrutiny of federal employees, President Truman (1884-1972) initiates a loyalty program for civil servants -- the Federal Loyalty Board Program.
War
World War II: U.S. ratifies peace treaties with Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Rumania.
War
The National Security Act unifies all branches of the armed services into a new Department of Defense.
Science
Willard Frank Libby (1908-1980) develops radio-carbon dating (carbon-14) and uses this method to determine the age of several ancient artifacts.
Medicine
Heparin is synthesized.
Medicine
Bovet discovers synthetic drugs that produce a non-poisonous, curare-like effect.
Technology
Edwin Land (1906-1991) introduces the Polaroid camera for instant photographs.
Technology
Howard Aiken (1900-1973) produces an improved electromechanical calculator, the Mark II.
Technology
Personal Computers: Three scientists at Bell Telephone Laboratories, William Shockley (1910-1989), Walter Brattain (1902-1987), and John Bardeen (1908-1991) demonstrate their new invention of the point-contact transistor amplifier. The name transistor is short for "transfer resistance.”
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The principal approach to production (a theatricalized realism compounded of acting, which emphasized intense psychological truth, and of visual elements, which eliminated nonessentials but retained realistic outlines) is popularized. The method is made most renown by Elia Kazan (1909-2003) and Jo Mielziner (1901-1976) in the 1947 production of "Streetcar Named Desire" and the 1949 production of "Death of a Salesman."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Arthur Miller (1915-2005) publishes "All My Sons."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) publishes the Pulitzer Prize winning work, "A Streetcar Named Desire."
Arts and Letters
Literature: James Michener (1907-1997) publishes "Tales of the South Pacific," the basis for the Broadway show "South Pacific."
Johnson, Lady Bird
Luci Baines Johnson Turpin (1947- ), daughter of Lyndon and Claudia Johnson, is born July 2.
Carter, Rosalynn
John William “Jack” Carter (1947- ), son of James “Jimmy” and Rosalynn Carter, is born July 3.
Daily Life
Congressional proceedings are televised for the first time.
Daily Life
The wartime draft ends.
Daily Life
Transportation: The first supersonic jet flight takes place.
Daily Life
Fashion: With wartime shortages over, Christian Dior introduces "The New Look" in women's fashions, featuring calf-lenth full skirts and large hats.
Sports
Black Athletes: Baseball: Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), the first black baseball player in the major leagues, makes his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and scores the game-winning run.
Sports
John Cobb (1899-1952) establishes a world ground speed record of 394.196 mph.
Popular Culture
Reports of “flying saucers” receive widespread publicity.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: In the Fay v. New York case, the U.S. Supreme Court says women are equally qualified with men to serve on juries but are granted an exemption and may serve or not as women choose.
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1948
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Education: The Supreme Court rules that religious instruction in public schools violates the Constitution.
Politics
Southern Democrats bolt the Democratic Party in opposition to the civil rights platform.
Politics
Communists take control of the government in Czechoslovakia.
Politics
Democratic President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) is re-elected as President of the U.S. and Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956) is elected as the nation's 35th Vice President.
Politics
McCarthy Era: 1948 -- HUAC gets Whitaker Chambers to implicate Alger Hiss as a spy. Nixon destroys Hiss's reputation in the press, reveals "Pumpkin Papers" in conference.
Government
President Harry Truman (1884-1972) signs the Marshall Plan, a major policy and financial commitment to aid in the recovery of Europe after World War II.
Government
The U.S. recognizes the new state of Israel.
Government
Burma (now called Myanmar) and Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) gain their independence from Great Britain.
War
Cold War: Communist Party leaders in the U.S. are indicted and charged with instigating the overthrow of the U.S. government.
Science
Lovell determines that meteors are natural phenomenon of the solar system.
Science
Oak Ridge National Laboratory begins to develop peaceful uses for atomic energy.
Medicine
The U.S. Public Health Service devises a simple test for diabetes mellitus.
Medicine
Yale University scientists develop a nylon respirator to replace the iron lung.
Medicine
The World Health Organization (WHO) is organized. They first meet in Geneva, Switzerland.
Education
Public Education: The Educational Testing Service is formed, merging the College Entrance Examination Board, the Cooperative Test Service, the Graduate Records Office, the National Committee on Teachers Examinations and others, with huge grants from the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations. These testing services continued the work of eugenicists like Carl Brigham (originator of the SAT) who did research "proving" that immigrants were feeble-minded.
Arts and Letters
Literature: William Faulkner (1897-1962) publishes "Intruder in the Dust."
Nixon, Pat
Julie Nixon Eisenhower (1948 - ), daughter of Richard and Patricia Nixon, is born July 5.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: The first female Army officer is sworn in.
Daily Life
Crayola: To help art teachers learn about the many ways to use the growing number of Crayola products, a teacher workshop program begins to offer in-school training across the country. It continues today.
Sports
Baseball: Stan Musial (1920-) of the St. Louis Cardinals wins the Most Valuable Player Award for the third time.
Sports
Women in Sports: The Roller Derby is broadcast live on television from New York City with women skaters.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: The first woman to win an olympic gold medal is Alice Coachman (1923-…), who wins in the high jump.
Popular Culture
The first motion-picture newsreel in color is taken in Pasadena, California at the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl.
Popular Culture
Miles Davis (1926-1991) leads a nine piece combo that pioneers “cool” jazz.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Native Americans win the right to vote in state elections.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Supreme Court rules that California’s Alien Land Laws prohibiting the ownership of agricultural property violates the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
Social Issues
Immigration: The United States admits persons fleeing persecution in their native lands; allowing 205,000 refugees to enter within two years.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: Women win the vote in Belgium.
1949
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
President Truman (1884-1972) outlines his “Point Four” proposal for U.S. technical aid to underdevelopedcountries.
Government
President Truman (1884-1972) proposes a program of domestic litigation called the “Fair Deal.”
Government
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) agreement is signed.
Government
The country of Siam changes its name to Thailand.
Government
The German Federal Republic is established.
Government
Democratic President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) is inaugurated as President of the U.S. and Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956) is inaugurated as the nation's 35th Vice President.
War
Cold War: Soviets explode Hydrogen Bomb. Mainland China becomes Communist.
Medicine
The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute warn that cigarette smoking may cause cancer.
Medicine
Commercial production of ACTH begins. It is used to treat arthritis, rheumatic fever, and gout.
Medicine
Waksman (1888-1973) prepares neomycin, an antibiotic.
Medicine
Epidemic: 2,720 deaths occur from polio, and 42,173 cases are reported.
Medicine
First implant of intraocular lens used by Sir Harold Ridley (1906- 2001).
Inventions
The Atomic Energy Commission designs a breeder reactor that produces power by nuclear fusion, creating more fuel than it uses.
Technology
Computer Technology: Eckert (1919-1995) and Mauchly (1907-1980) build BINAC (Binary Automatic Computer), the first computer with self-checking devices.
Technology
The National Bureau of Standards builds an atomic clock that is accurate to within 1 second over the course of 3 million years.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: There are only 150 legitimate professional theatres serving the entire U.S.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: 70 TV stations are serving 2 million receivers in urban areas; this is same number as those attending the remaining theatres.
Ideas
Orwell (1903-1950) foresees a grim future in his satirical masterpiece "1984," a novel that introduces the “Big Brother” concept of totalitarian government.
Ideas
Maria Geoppert-Mayer (1906-1972) develops a nuclear shell theory.
Bush, Barbara
Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush (1949-1953), daughter of George and Barbara Bush, is born December 20.
Daily Life
Transportation: The first non-stop around the world flight (23,452 miles) is completed by Captain James Gallagher in 94 hours, 1 minute.
Daily Life
Fashion: Bathing suits called “bikinis” are introduced to the American fashion scene.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Ole Christiansen, a Danish toy maker, begins to manufacture toy blocks with a new twist. Christiansen creates a plastic brick that can be locked together in different configurations. The Lego, which comes from the Danish leg godt, meaning "play well," was born. The continuing popularity of the Lego brick probably stems from its ability to stimulate a child''s imagination-just six bricks fit together in 102,981,500 different ways.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Eleanor Abbott designs Candy Land while recovering from polio in San Diego, California.
Sports
U.S. wins unofficial championship of the 14th Olympic games in London with a team score of 547 points.
Popular Culture
The first Emmy Awards are presented for excellence in television.
Popular Culture
The movie "Hamlet," starring Laurence Olivier (1907-1989), becomes the first British film to win an Oscar.
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1950
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Three years after gaining its independence from Great Britain, India formally becomes a republic.
Government
Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) claims he has evidence that there are card-carrying members of the Communist Party in the State Department.
War
Cold War: The Soviet Union announces its possession of the atomic bomb.
War
Korean War: President Truman (1884-1972) authorizes the use of U.S. forces in Korea, following the invasion of South Korea by North Korean troops. A naval blockade of Korea is ordered.
Science
President Truman (1884-1972) authorizes the Atomic Energy Commission to produce the hydrogen bomb (H-bomb).
Science
Congress establishes the National Science Foundation.
Medicine
Although Americans spend more than $100 million annually on antihistamines, research shows that the drugs neither prevent nor cure the common cold, but merely relieve some symptoms.
Medicine
Nobel Prize for the Physiology of Medicine goes to Phillip Hench (1896-1965) (American), Edward Kendall (1886-1972) (American), and T. Reichstein (1897-1996) (Swiss) for the discovery of cortisone and its medical uses.
Inventions
The History of Toys: Silly putty is invented.
Technology
The longest vehicular tunnel, the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel in New York City, opens to traffic.
Education
Libraries: First drive-through windows are established for book returns at Cincinnati's Public Library.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Children’s Theatres, College and University Theatres, Community Theatres, and Off-Broadway theatres experience some growth.
Ford, Betty
Michael Gerald Ford (1950- ), son of Gerald and Betty Ford, is born March 14.
Carter, Rosalynn
James Earl “Chip” Carter III (1950-), son of James “Jimmy” and Rosalynn Carter, is born April 12.
Truman, Bess
Assassination: Two Puerto Rican nationalists make unsuccessful attempts to kill President Truman (1884-1972).
Economics
U.S. bars trade shipments to Communist China.
Economics
The Ford Thunderbird is introduced.
Discovery
Archaeological discoveries in La Jolla, California, indicate that North America has been inhabited for at least 40,000 years.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The FBI releases its “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list for the first time.
Sports
Richard Button (1929-), age 19, world figure skating champion is selected as top U.S. amateur athlete.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Althea Gibson becomes the first African-American— male or female—to play in a major United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) event.
Popular Culture
Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) writes the holiday song “Sleigh Ride.”
Popular Culture
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) writes the score to "Peter Pan," which stars Mary Martin (1913-1990) in the title role.
Religion
The National Council of the Churches of Christ is formed; it unites 25 Protestant and 4 Eastern Orthodox groups. Membership is 32 million.
Religion
Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) proclaims the first Roman Catholic dogma since 1870-that the Virgin Mary, after her death, was assumed into Heaven physically and spiritually.
Social Issues
Immigration: Bureau of Indian Affairs terminates federal services for Native Americans in lieu of state supervision.
1951
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting presidents to two terms, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Law
The Supreme Court upholds the Smith Act, under which eleven Communists in the U.S. are convicted.
Politics
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) again becomes the British Prime Minister.
Government
The United Nations headquarters opens in New York City.
Government
The Mutual Security Agency is set up to offer U.S. economic, military, and technical aid to other countries.
Government
A Selective Service Bill lowers draft age to 18.5 and lengthens military service to two years.
War
Korean War: During the Korean War, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured the city of Seoul.
War
Korean War: President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) fires General Douglas McArthur.
War
World War II: President Truman (1884-1972) declares that state of war with Germany is officially ended; the U.S.-Japanese treaty allows the U.S. to maintain military bases in Japan.
War
Korean War: North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured the city of Seoul.
Science
The National Geographic Society estimates that there are 300 million stars in the Milky Way.
Medicine
Woodard synthesizes two steroids: cortisone and cholesterol.
Medicine
Fluoridated water is shown to reduce tooth decay by 2/3.
Medicine
Reuben L. Kahn (1887-1874) develops a “universal reaction” blood test for the early detection of several diseases.
Medicine
Antabuse, a drug that prevents alcoholics from drinking, is introduced.
Inventions
A video camera is developed that records both pictures and sound on magnetic tape.
Technology
The United States Air Force starts atomic testing in the Nevada desert.
Technology
Computer Technology: UNIVAC I is the first mass-produced computer.
Technology
An additional 70 broadcast frequencies are made available for TV in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) range.
Arts and Letters
Literature: J.D. Salinger (1919- ) publishes "The Catcher in the Rye."
Ideas
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) publishes "The Sea Around Us," which in effect launches the ecological movement.
Economics
The employment of women reaches the highest point-even more than during WWII.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Julius (1918-1951) and Ethel (1915-1951) Rosenberg are found guilty of passing atomic secrets to the Russians and are sentenced to death as spies.
Sports
Horse Racing: The first horse to win $1 million dollars is “Citation.” Winning total $1,085,760.
Sports
Boxing: The world heavyweight championship is won by Jersey Joe Walcott when he knocks out Ezzard Charles. At 37, Walcott is the oldest man to win the title.
Popular Culture
The first commercial color telecast is presented by the Columbia Broadcasting Company (CBS) in New York City.
Popular Culture
Rodgers (1902-1979) and Hammerstein II (1895-1960) write the score for the King and I.
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1952
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) is elected the 34th President of the U.S. and Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) is elected the 36th Vice President on the Republican ticket. Eisenhower is the first Republican President since Hoover’s election in 1928. Republicans gain control of Congress.
Government
England’s Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
Government
Immigration: Congress passes the McCarran-Walter Act (Immigration and Nationality Act) over President Truman’s (1884-1972) veto. It abolishes race as a barrier to immigration but retains the national origins quota system.
Government
Immigration: The Immigration and Nationality Act allows individuals of all races to be eligible for naturalization. The act also reaffirms national origins quota system, limits immigration from the Eastern Hemisphere while leaving the Western Hemisphere unrestricted, establishes preferences for skilled workers and relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens; and tightens security and screening standards and procedures.
Government
Native Americans: The Bureau of Indian Affairs begins selling 1.6 million acres of Native American land to developers.
Government
Puerto Rico's constitution is proclaimed, establishing a commonwealth with autonomy in internal affairs.
War
Prime Minister Churchill (1874-1965) announces that Great Britain has made an atomic bomb.
Science
Edward Teller (1908-2003) successfully tests a hydrogen bomb, the world’s finest nuclear weapon.
Medicine
Research shows that the genetic material of viruses is DNA.
Medicine
Floyd Lewis uses hypothermia (lowing a patients body temperature) in open heart surgery.
Medicine
Vaccines: Jonas Salk (1914- 1995) develops the first polio vaccine.
Medicine
Epidemic: In the worst polio epidemic since 1916, polio takes 3,300 lives out of 57,628 cases reported.
Inventions
The History of Toys: Jack Odell invents the original Matchbox car when he makes a small brass model of a Road Roller and puts it into a matchbox so that his daughter could bring it to school. Today, 100 million Matchbox cars are sold each year.
Technology
More than 2000 new television broadcasting stations open; about 65 million people watch the presidential nomination conventions.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) writes "Wise Blood," a novel about a religious fanatic.
Arts and Letters
Hemingway (1899-1961) publishes "The Old Man and the Sea."
Ford, Betty
John “Jack” Gardner Ford (1952- ), son of Gerald and Betty Ford, is born March 16.
Carter, Rosalynn
Donnell Jeffrey “Jeff” Carter (1952- ), son of James “Jimmy” and Rosalynn Carter, is born August 18.
Reagan, Nancy
Patricia “Patti Davis” Ann Reagan (1952- ), daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, is born October 22.
Economics
A complaint is filed against IBM, alleging monopolistic practices in its computer business, in violation of the Sherman Act.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Banking on the idea that children like to play with their food, Hasbro introduces Mr. Potato Head.
Sports
Racecar driver John Cobb is killed while attempting to set the water speed-record in Scotland.
Sports
The NFL buys the New York Yankees.
Popular Culture
Panty raids take place on college campuses throughout the country.
Popular Culture
Hollywood develops three-dimensional movies. Natural Vision (3-D) films must be viewed through special glasses; after brief success, the novelty wears off.
Religion
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible for Protestants is publishes; it is edited by 32 scholars who have been at work since 1937.
Reform
Peace Corps: Since the end of the Second World War, various members of the United States Congress have proposed bills to establish volunteer organizations in the Third World. In 1952 Senator Brien McMahon (1903-1952) (Dem. Connecticut) proposed an "army" of young Americans to act as "missionaries of democracy". Privately funded non-religious organizations have been sending volunteers overseas since the 1950s.
1953
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Dwight D. Eisenhower nominates Earl Warren as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; the Senate confirms his nomination in 1954 and he serves for fifteen years until his retirement in 1969.
Politics
President Eisenhower (1890-1969) gets increasing pressure to take on McCarthy (1908-1957) from friends and advisors. Business leaders recognize that McCarthy is a danger to the party.
Government
Native Americans: Congress proposes giving individual Indians the same civil status as U.S. citizens, thus ending all limitations on Indian tribes.
Government
Tito (1892-1980) is elected the first president of the Republic of Yugoslavia.
Government
Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961) of Sweden becomes the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Government
A new Cabinet-level Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is created.
Government
Immigration: Congress amends the 1948 refugee policy to allow for the admission of 200,000 more refugees.
Government
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) is inaugurated as the 34th President of the U.S. and Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) is inaugurated as the 36th Vice President.
War
Cold War: President Eisenhower (1890-1969) announces that the U.S. will not physically interfere in the affairs of countries behind the Iron Curtain.
War
Cold War: The U.S. Communist Party is ordered to register with the Department of Justice as an organization controlled and directed by the U.S.S.R.
War
Cold War: A federal jury in New York City convicts 13 Communists of conspiring to teach about how to overthrow the U.S. government.
War
U.S blockade of Formosa is lifted, permitting attacks by Nationalists on China’s mainland.
Science
Francis H. Crick (1916-2004) and James Dewey Watson (1928- ) discover the structure of a DNA molecule; they call it the double helix.
Inventions
Transistorized hearing aids are introduced.
Technology
Harry Truman (1884-1972) announces that the U.S. has developed the hydrogen bomb.
Technology
A way of transmitting color TV signals that can be received by both color and black and white set is introduced.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Arthur Miller (1915-1005) publishes "The Crucible."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Richard Wright (1908-1961) publishes "The Outsider."
Bush, Barbara
John Ellis “Jeb” Bush (1953- ), son of George and Barbara Bush, is born February 11.
Bush, Barbara
Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush (1949-1953), daughter of George and Barbara Bush, dies October 11 of leukemia.
Economics
Motor Company: Ford Motor Company celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Discovery
Women’s Firsts: Jerrie Cobb (1931- …) is the first woman in the U.S. to undergo astronaut testing. NASA, however, cancels the women''s program in 1963. It is not until 1983 that an American woman gets sent into space.
Daily Life
Fashion: Fashion designers become interested in men’s clothes. Bermuda shorts for the businessman are promoted and worn during the summer months.
Sports
Baseball: The New York Yankees defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 50th annual World Series. The Yankees are the first team to win 5 consecutive series titles.
Sports
Golf: Golfer Ben Hogan (1912-1997) wins the Masters Tournament and the U.S. and British Open championships.
Sports
Maureen Connolly (1934-1969), age 19, is the first woman to win a “grand slam” in tennis.
Sports
Black Athletes: Football: Willie Thrower (1930-2002) becomes NFL''s first African-American quarterback.
Popular Culture
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) (1911-1989) gives birth to baby Ricky on the TV show, "I Love Lucy." More people turned in to watch the show than did to see the inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969).
Popular Culture
The first three-D movie, "Bwana Devil," opens in New York.
Popular Culture
The Academy Awards are televised for the first time.
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1954
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Education: The Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education that “separate but equal” educational facilities are unconstitutional.
Government
The Communist Control Act deprives U.S. Communists of rights enjoyed by other U.S. citizens.
Government
U.S. signs pact with Nationalist China (now Taiwan).
Government
The Senate censures Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) with a vote of 67-22, with 7 abstentions.
War
Senate approves U.S. South Korea Mutual Defense Treaty.
War
America’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus, is launched.
Medicine
The American Cancer Society reports higher death rates among cigarette smokers.
Inventions
Kurchatov (1903-1960) develops an icebreaker powered by nuclear energy.
Technology
U.S. and Canada announce the construction of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line of radar stations across northern North America.
Technology
Battery Technology: RCA develops a flashlight-sized atomic battery.
Technology
The U.S. authorizes construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway in cooperation with Canada.
Education
Public Education: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The Supreme Court unanimously agrees that segregated schools are "inherently unequal" and must be abolished. Almost 45 years later in 1998, schools, especially in the north, are as segregated as ever.
Arts and Letters
Literature: J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973) publishes the epic fantasy trilogy "Lord of the Rings."
Arts and Letters
Literature: William Golding (1911-1993) publishes "Lord of the Flies."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Kingsley Amis (1922-1995) publishes "Lucky Jim."
Economics
The Atomic Energy Act allows for the development of peaceful atomic energy project by private companies, which are also allowed to own nuclear materials.
Discovery
Plant fossils are discovered in the Great Lakes.
Discovery
Temple of Mithras (Roman god, 3rd century B.C) is discovered during rebuilding in London.
Daily Life
26 comic book publishers adopt a voluntary code to eliminate obscene, vulgar, and horror comics.
Daily Life
The average American’s favorite meal is a fruit cup, vegetable soup, steak and potatoes, peas, rolls and butter, and pie a la mode.
Sports
Baseball: Hank Aaron (1934- ) hits the first of his 755 home runs.
Sports
Horse Racing: Gordon Richards (1904-1986) is the first professional jockey to be knighted.
Sports
British runner Diane Leather (1933-) is the first woman to run the mile in under 5 minutes.
Popular Culture
The first Newport Jazz festival takes place.
1955
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) resigns as Prime Minister of England.
War
Cold War: Federal employees who are “security risks” continue to be dismissed an ongoing policy since 1953.
War
Congress authorizes the President to use force, if necessary, to protect Nationalist China against Communist attack.
Science
The National Geographic Society suggests that the blue-green areas on Mars are living plants.
Medicine
Vaccines: The polio vaccine created by Dr. Jonas Salk (1914-1995) is called “safe, effective and potent.”
Technology
Electricity for public use is produced on a limited and experimental basis at a nuclear reactor.
Education
Libraries: The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County opens a new main library.
Education
Public Education: Brown v. Board: In Brown II, the Court orders that desegregation should occur “with all deliberate speed.” Unfortunately, the vagueness of this phrase, combined with the unwillingness of many states to desegregate, meant that many states were able to postpone any desegregation. Anger over these delays and a growing frustration over the continued disenfranchisement of African-Americans helped launch the Civil Rights Movement.
Arts and Letters
Marian Anderson (1897-1993) makes her Metropolitan Opera debut.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Thomas Merton (1915-1968) publishes "No Man is an Island."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Tennesse Williams (1911-1983) writes "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
Bush, Barbara
Neil Mallon Bush (1955- ), son of George and Barbara Bush, is born January 22.
Economics
The Labor Movement: American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) merge.
Economics
Commercial television broadcasting begins in Britain.
Daily Life
On July 17, Arco, Idaho, becomes the first town to have all its electrical needs generated by a nuclear power plant.
Daily Life
New York also draws power from a nuclear power plant.
Popular Culture
President Eisenhower (1890-1969) approves the first filming of a news conference for television.
Popular Culture
The first McDonald’s restaurant is opened by Ray Kroc (1902-1984) in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Popular Culture
Jim Henson (1936-1990) creates Kermit the frog.
Popular Culture
Rock ‘n’ roll music is attacked as “immoral” and is thought to contribute to juvenile delinquency.
Religion
Ordination of women ministers is approved by the Presbyterian Church.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Blacks boycott city bus lines in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), boycott leader, gains national prominence for advocating passive resistance to segregation in public places.
Reform
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) encourages and supports segregation movement throughout the country.
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1956
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) and Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) are reelected as President and Vice President of the United States
Government
The Agriculture (Soil Bank) Act pays farmers to take cropland out of production in order to reduce crop surpluses.
Government
The Federal Aid Highway Act authorizes a 13-year intra and interstate highway building program to be funded by tolls paid by motorists.
Government
Morocco gains its independence from France.
Science
The neutrino, a subatomic particle with no charge, is observed.
Medicine
The National Cancer Institute proposes that increased rates of lung cancer may be due to air pollution.
Medicine
The National Academy of Science reports that any radiation, even small amounts, can cause genetic damage.
Inventions
The Hovercraft is invented.
Technology
England opens the world’s first major atomic power plant for the production of electricity.
Technology
Personal Computers: The first transistorized computer is completed, the TX-O (Transistorized Experimental computer), at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ideas
Charles T.R. Wilson (1869-1959) proposes a theory of thunderstorm electricity.
Ford, Betty
Steven Meigs Ford (1956- ), son of Gerald and Betty Ford, is born May 19.
Bush, Barbara
Marvin Pierce Bush (1956- ), son of George and Barbara Bush, is born December 22.
Economics
The Ford Motor Company goes public and, on Feb. 24, 1956, they have about 350,000 new stockholders.
Economics
A U.S. District Court makes a final judgment on the complaint against IBM filed in January 1952 regarding monopolistic practices. A "consent decree" is signed by IBM, placing limitations on how IBM conducts business with respect to "electronic data processing machines.”
Discovery
The Palace of Emperor Diocletian (Roman Emperor A.D. 285-305) is excavated in Split, Yugoslavia
Daily Life
Barnum & Bailey Circus performs its last show under canvas.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Play-doh enters the market as a wallpaper cleaner. Non-toxic and less messy than regular modeling clay, it is soon recognized that the cleaner makes an excellent toy.
Sports
Boxing: Rocky Marciano (1923-1969) retires as undefeated world heavyweight boxing champion.
Sports
Black Athletes: Mildred McDaniel's (1933-…) winning high jump in Melbourne, Australia, makes her the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal.
Popular Culture
Elvis Presley’s (1935-1977) record, "Heartbreak Hotel," hits No. 1 on the pop charts.
Popular Culture
Movies and movie stars are allowed to appear on TV for the first time.
Popular Culture
The Broadway musical, "My Fair Lady" gains recognition.
Popular Culture
Dizzie Gillespie (1917-1993) and his band are sent by the U.S. State Department on a goodwill tour-the first jazz musicians to be subsidized by the U.S. government.
Social Issues
Segregation: Southern Congressman call on states to resist “by all lawful means” the Supreme Court ruling against segregation in the public schools.
1957
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The U.S. proposes a 10-month halt to nuclear testing as a first step toward disarmament.
Government
Stamps: The Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee is created to provide advice to the Postmaster General on the subject matter and design of US stamps.
War
World War II: U.S. occupation forces leave Japan.
War
A Senate subcommittee holds hearings on U.S. preparedness to withstand Soviet military attack.
Science
The Federation of American Scientists urges a worldwide ban on nuclear weapon testing.
Science
Space Race: In October, the Soviet Union successfully launches the first artificial satellite, called Sputnik I (the Russian word for "traveler"; in November, they launch Sputnik 2, which carries a small dog named Laika into orbit.
Medicine
Daniele Bovet (1896-1980) wins the Nobel Prize for his discovery of antihistamines and muscle relaxing drugs.
Medicine
Walter Grey Walter (1910-1977) invents the brain EEG topography (toposcope).
Medicine
Vaccines: Albert Sabin (1906-1993) begins human trials on his oral polio vaccine.
Technology
Perceptron, a bionic computer that prints, writes, and responds to spoken commands is developed.
Education
Public Education: A federal court orders integration of Little Rock, Arkansas public schools. Governor Orval Faubus sends his National Guard to physically prevent nine African American students from enrolling at all-white Central High School. Reluctantly, President Eisenhower sends federal troops to enforce the court order not because he supports desegregation, but because he can't let a state governor use military power to defy the U.S. federal government.
Kennedy, Jackie
Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg (1957-), daughter of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, is born November 27.
Ford, Betty
Susan Ford Vance Bales (1957- ), daughter of Gerald and Betty Ford, is born July 6.
Economics
America’s first large nuclear power plant opens in Shippingport, Pa.
Economics
American Money: Paper currency is first issued with "In God We Trust" as required by Congress in 1955.
Daily Life
Fashion: The sack dress, unfitted material that drapes the body, is the fashion of the year.
Sports
Baseball: The Dodgers leave Brooklyn for Los Angeles. The Giants leave New York for San Francisco. Major league baseball finally reaches the west coast.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Althea Gibson (1927-2003) becomes the first black person to play in and win Wimbledon and the United States national tennis championship. She won both tournaments twice, in 1957 and 1958.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: John Lennon (1940-1980) meets Paul McCartney (1942- ) on July 6, 1957.
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1958
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) becomes Soviet premier and first secretary of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union.
Government
The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) is established to ensure air safety.
War
The Defense Reorganization Act centralizes defense structure so that the U.S. can respond more quickly to a nuclear attack by the U.S.S.R.
Science
Space Race: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is established.
Technology
Space Race: Explorer I, the first U.S. earth satellite, is launched; Explorer II is launched, but fails to make orbit; the Soviet Union launches Sputnit 3; the U.S. launches Vanguard 1, which functions for 3 years.
Technology
Stereo LPs are introduced.
Technology
There are 160 electronic computers in use in Europe (1000 in U.S.)
Technology
Personal Computers: At Texas Instruments, Jack Kilby (1923-2005) completes building the first integrated circuit, containing five components on a piece of germanium half an inch long and thinner than a toothpick.
Education
The Supreme Court orders states to not delay public school desegregation.
Education
The National Defense Education Act is signed; this authorizes low-interest, long-term tuition loans to college and graduate students.
Education
Crayola: Prussian blue, the first Crayola crayon color to get a new name, becomes "midnight blue." Teachers prompted the change, as children could no longer relate to Prussian history.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) publishes "Suddenly Last Summer."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Television penetration reaches 85% of population.
Ideas
Bionics is a word coined to describe artificial machines or systems that work and or look like living systems.
Reagan, Nancy
Ronald Prescott Reagan (1958- ), son of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, is born May 20.
Discovery
Sir Edmund Hillary (1919- ) reaches the South Pole overland.
Discovery
Explorer Sir Vivian Fuchs (1908-1999) completes the first crossing of Antarctica by land.
Daily Life
The first parking meters are used in London.
Daily Life
Crayola: The Crayola 64 Box with its signature built-in sharpener debuts, becoming the perennial favorite of Crayola colorers for more than 40 years.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women are admitted to the international cycling championships.
Sports
Black Athletes: Willie O’Ree (1935-…) is one of the NHL hockey players in Boston Bruins.
Popular Culture
At age 14, Bobby Fischer (1943- ) wins the U.S. Chess Championship for the first time.
Popular Culture
Rock ‘n’ roll star Elvis Presley (1935-1977) begins a two-year hitch in the U.S. army.
Popular Culture
Duke Ellington (1899-1974) composes the song "Satin Doll."
Religion
U.S. churches report large increases in membership since 1950.
Religion
Judaism: The Supreme Religious Center for World Jewry is dedicated in Jerusalem, Israel.
1959
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court rules that a person can be tried for the same offense in both state and federal courts (double jeopardy).
Government
New State: Alaska becomes the 49th state in the Union.
Government
Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) becomes the first president of France’s Fifth Republic.
Government
Fidel Castro (1926- ) becomes the leader of Cuba after having ousted the right-wing dictator, Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973).
Government
American Flag: The Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated January 3, 1959 establishes the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically.
Science
International Atomic Energy Agency is formed to explore peaceful uses of atomic energy.
Science
Heat produced in a nuclear reaction is converted directly into electricity via a plasma thermocouple.
Science
Space Race: NASA selects the first 7 astronauts.
Technology
Space Race: The first spacecraft to orbit the Sun, Mechta (Luna 1) is launched by the USSR in January; Luna 2 impacts the moon in September; Luna 3 orbits the moon in October, photographing 70% of its surface.
Technology
GE demonstrates a radio-optical telescope tracking station for following and monitoring space vehicles.
Technology
Personal Computers: At Fairchild Semiconductor, Robert Noyce (1927-1990) constructs an integrated circuit with components connected by aluminum lines on a silicon-oxide surface layer on a plane of silicon.
Technology
Space Race: The U.S. launches Pioneer 4, which passes within 37,000 miles of the moon.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The San Francisco Mime Troupe created by R. G. Davis is established.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Ford Foundation funds the regional theatre program but it cannot continue because of a lack of subsequent investments.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) publishes "Raisin in the Sun."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Eugene Ionesco (1912-1994) writes the play "Rhinoceros."
Bush, Barbara
Lives of the First Ladies: Dorothy “Doro” Bush Koch (1959- ), daughter of George and Barbara Bush, is born August 18.
Economics
The Ford Motor Company establishes what today is the industry’s largest automobile leasing company known as Ford Credit. More than 40 years later, it’s still helping make vehicle ownership a more affordable reality for many.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The Barbie doll is introduced at the American Toy Fair in New York City by Elliot Handler, founder of Mattel Toys, and his wife, Ruth.
Sports
The largest fish ever hooked with a rod and reel is landed by Alfred Dean in South Australia; the fish is a white shark measuring 16 feet and 10 inches and weighed 2,664 pounds.
Sports
Football: The American Football League is formed.
Popular Culture
Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Oscar Hammerstein (1895-1960) compose the score for "The Sound of Music."
Religion
The Dalai Lama receives political asylum from India, after fleeing Chinese repression of a Tibetan revolt.
Religion
Pope John XXIII (1881-1963) calls for Vatican Council II, the first ecumenical council since 1870.
Social Issues
Immigration: Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution prompts mass exodus of more than 200,000 people within three years.
Reform
Labor Movement: Nationwide steel strike lasts 116 days; this is the longest steel strike in U.S. history.
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1960
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution, enabling residents of the District of Columbia to vote for President and Vice President in national elections, is passed by Congress.
Politics
President Eisenhower (1890-1969) makes goodwill tours in the Far East and Latin America.
Politics
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) is elected as the 35th President of the United States, and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is elected as the nation's 37th Vice President.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Oveta Culp Hobby (1905-1995) becomes the first woman to serve as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. She is also the first director of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), and the first woman to receive the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal.
War
Cold War: U-2 photographic reconnaissance plane is shot down over Soviet territory. Premier Khrushchev denounces U.S. spying missions.
War
U.S. warns North Vietnam and Communist China not to intervene militarily in Laos.
War
Cuban Missile Crisis: December 19, Cuba openly aligns itself with the Soviet Union and their policies.
Science
Nobel Prize in chemistry goes to W. Libby (1908-1980) for developing radiocarbon dating.
Science
D. Glaser (1926-) is awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for inventing the bubble chamber.
Technology
Space Race: The world’s first meteorological satellite, Tiros I, is launched to provide pictures of cloud cover.
Technology
Airplanes: The X-15, an experimental rocket powered airplane, is flown at 2196 mph.
Technology
Personal Computers: Digital Equipment introduces the first minicomputer, the PDP-1, selling for $120,000. It is the first commercial computer equipped with a keyboard and monitor.
Technology
Space Race: The U.S. launches Discoverer XIV, its first camera-equipped spy satellite.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Harper Lee (1926- ) publishes "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Kennedy, Jackie
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. (1960-1999), son of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, is born November 25.
Economics
Peace Corps: John F. Kennedy launches the idea of the Peace Corps at the University of Michigan during a campaign stop in his presidential bid. Critics of the program (including Kennedy''s opponent, Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)) claim the program will be nothing but a haven for draft dodgers. Others doubt whether college-aged volunteers have the necessary skills.
Discovery
Women’s Firsts: Jacqueline Cochran (1906-1980) breaks the sound barrier by flying an F-86 over Rogers Dry Lake, California, at the speed of 652.337 miles per hour.
Daily Life
Disasters: A United Airlines plane collides with a Trans World Airlines plane in a fog over New York City; the crash kills a total of 134 people on board and on the ground.
Daily Life
Women’s transcontinental air race is won by Mrs. Aileen Saunders. She flies 2709 miles in 18 hours and 7 minutes.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Ohio Art markets the first Etch-a-Sketch, invented by Arthur Granjean in the late 1950s, and originally called L'Ecran Magique.
Sports
Black Athletes: Rafer Johnson 91935-…) is named by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to be the recipient of the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award in 1960, the highest award for an amateur athlete in the United States
Popular Culture
Chubby Checker (1941-) causes an international dance craze when he records "The Twist."
Popular Culture
Popular musicals include "The Fantasticks," "Bye, Bye Birdie," and "Camelot."
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Coming together as The Fabulous Silver Beatles, later shortened to The Beatles, the name of the band is a tribute to Buddy Holly's (1936-1959) band, The Crickets, combined with beat music, a common British term for rock and roll at the time.
Popular Culture
Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) releases the suspense thriller, "Psycho."
Religion
Three women are ordained as priests in the Swedish Lutheran Church.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Four black college students begin a series of sit-ins at a white-only lunch counter in Woolworth’s, Greensboro, South Carolina.
Reform
Peace Corps: John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) first announces his idea for a volunteer organization during the 1960 presidential campaign at a late-night speech at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 14.
1961
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution, enabling residents of the District of Columbia to vote for President and Vice President in national elections, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Government
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) is inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States, and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is inaugurated as the nation's 37th Vice President.
Government
Space Race: President Kennedy (1917-1963) addresses Congress, challenging the nation to go to the moon before the end of the decade.
Government
Peace Corps: President Kennedy (1917-1963) signs an Executive Order which officially starts the Peace Corps, and names Sargent Shriver (1915-) to be the program's first director. Concerned with the growing tide of revolutionary sentiment in the Third World, Kennedy saw the Peace Corps as a means of countering the notions of the "Ugly American" and "Yankee imperialism," especially in the emerging nations of postcolonial Africa and Asia.
War
Cuban Missile Crisis: Fifteen hundred Cuban exiles unsuccessfully attempt to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs; U.S. support for the attack is equally unsuccessful; President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) accepts sole responsibility for the Bay of Pigs failure.
Science
The Institute for Space Studies holds a two-month seminar on the origin of the solar system.
Medicine
The Chicago Heart Association begins recording children’s heart sounds as a means of detecting defects.
Technology
Space Race: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin becomes the first human in space and also the first human to orbit the earth in a spacecraft; later in the year, Gherman Titov spends a day in space aboard Vostok 2.
Technology
Transit 4A, a communications satellite, is the first spacecraft to use nuclear power.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: This year marks the beginning of the Freedom Rides, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s only visit to Seattle where he spoke at two assemblies at Garfield High School.
Arts and Letters
Literature: "Tropic of Cancer" and "Tropic of Capricorn," two novels by Henry Miller (1891-1980), are published in the U.S. after a 30- year ban for obscenity.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Bread and Puppet Theatre is created; the form is expressionistic and propagandistic. It uses puppets and masked actors who ritually offer bread to the audience.
Ideas
Murray Gell-Mann (1929- ) develops the Eight-Fold Way, a method of grouping subatomic particles into families.
Economics
Peace Corps: President Kennedy (1917-1963) establishes the Peace Corps to give trained manpower and technical assistance to underdeveloped countries.
Discovery
Space Race: Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American in space; Gus Grissom is launched in a sub-orbital flight.
Daily Life
President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) holds the first presidential news conference carried live on radio and television.
Daily Life
Disasters: A fire in Bel Air-Brentwood destroys 447 homes, including some owned by well-known Hollywood figures.
Daily Life
France and England connect their electrical grids with a cable submerged in the English Channel.
Sports
Baseball: Roger Maris (1934-1985) of the New York Yankees hits his 60th home run and sets the record for a 162-game schedule.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994) is the first African-American woman to receive the Sullivan Award (1961), the highest award in U.S. amateur sports.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles play their first gig at Liverpool's Cavern Club, return to Hamburg, record backing for the singer Tony Sheridan; the single, "My Bonnie", was released in Germany, and credited to Tony Sheridan and the Beat Boys. It was the Beatles' first commercial release.
Popular Culture
Pete Seeger (1919- ) composes “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.”
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Brian Epstein (1934-1967) agrees to become the band's full-time manager.
Religion
The American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America merge to form the Unitarian Universalists
Social Issues
Immigration: The Cuban Refugee Program handles influx of immigrants to Miami with 300,000 immigrants relocated across the U.S. during the next two decades.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Over 500 Native Americans gather for the American Indian Chicago Conference to support tribal sovereignty and survival.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: In Hoyt v. Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds rules adopted by the state of Florida that made it far less likely for women than men to be called for jury service on the grounds that a “woman is still regarded as the center of home and family life.”
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1962
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, banning poll taxes, is passed by Congress.
Law
Education: The Supreme Court rules that public schools cannot require the recitation of prayers because it violates the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Government
The Trade Expansion Act gives the President the right to reduce tariffs and to assist companies hurt by lower duties.
Government
Stamps: The first U.S. Christmas stamp is issued.
War
Cold War: The Soviet Union exchanges captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers (1929-1977) for Rudolph Abel, a Soviet spy held by the United States.
War
Vietnam War: U.S. troops on a training mission in Vietnam are ordered to fire if fired upon by enemy troops. A new military command, known as the Military Assistance Command (MAC) is set up in South Vietnam.
War
Cuban Missile Crisis: In a face-to-face standoff with Cuba over Russian missils on the island 90 miles from the continental United States, President Kennedy and Nikita Krushchev bring the world to the brink of war, the Kremlin ultimately agrees to remove the missiles.
Science
Marshall Nirenberg (1927- ) discovers the genetic code (DNA structure) for amino acid.
Science
Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) publishes "The Living Sea," a work about underwater life.
Medicine
Cadrioversion, the use of electric shock to restore a regular heartbeat, is introduced.
Medicine
Vaccines: First Oral Polio Vaccine is used.
Technology
Space Race: John Glenn (1921- ) becomes the first American to orbit the Earth three times; Scott Carpenter repleats that feat; Walter Schirra orbits six times. Mariner 2 flies past Venus, and NASA selects its second group of astronauts.
Technology
Space Race: The Soviets launch two manned spacecrafts: Vostok 3 and Vostok 4.
Ideas
Jessica Mitford (1917-1996) publishes the controversial book "The American Way of Death;" it creates a great deal of interest in low cost yet very dignified burials.
Daily Life
The World’s Fair, Century 21 Exposition, opens in Seattle. The 600-ft Space Needle with a revolving restaurant on top is a popular attraction.
Daily Life
British weather reports give temperatures in Celsius as well as Fahrenheit.
Daily Life
History of Toys: Crayola: The Company renames the flesh crayon "peach" to recognize that not everyone’s skin color is the same.
Sports
Basketball: Philadelphia basketball star Wilt Chamberlain (1936-1999) scores an NBA-record 100 points in a single game.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Jackie Robinson (1919–1972) becomes the first African American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Brian Epstein arranges for the Beatles to audition for Decca Records, which rejects the band on the grounds that guitar music is "on the way out"; they are later signed by EMI.
Religion
The Vatican Council II opens in Rome, called by Pope John XXIII (in 1959) to promote Christian unity.
Religion
Pope John XXIII (1881-1963) excommunicates Fidel Castro (1926).
Reform
American Protest Music: “The Death of Emmett Till” is composed by Bob Dylan (1941-) during the Civil Rights Movement.
1963
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
In "Gideon v. Wainwright," the Supreme Court holds that public defenders must be provided for indigent defendants in felony cases.
Government
George Wallace (1919-1998), sworn in as Alabama’s governor, promises “segregation forever.”
Government
Stamps: The Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) code -- a five digit number -- began on July 1, 1963. The first number designates the state or area; the next two numbers, the area within that state or area; and the last two digits, the office itself.
Government
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is inaugurated as the nation's 36th President upon the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963). No new Vice President is selected.
War
The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. agree to set up a “hot-line,” a direct telephone link between Washington and Moscow, to prevent the start of nuclear war by accident.
Medicine
Dr. Michael E. DeBakey (1908-2008) develops a mechanical heart that is implanted in the chest to help the patient’s own heart pump.
Medicine
Vaccines: John F. Enders (1897-1985), T. H Weller (1915-2005), and Frederick C. Robbins (1916-2003) develop an effective measles vaccine.
Inventions
Computers: Douglas Engelbart (1925- ) invents the mouse pointing device for computers.
Technology
Polaroid introduces color film.
Technology
Color TV is relayed via satellite for the first time.
Education
An education report in Britain indicates that children should not be allowed to leave school before age 16.
Education
Libraries: Detroit Public Library issues skates to library student assistants so they can move quickly in the 230-foot-long stacks.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Susan Sontag (1933- ) publishes "The Benefactor," a novel about people who are unable to distinguish reality from fantasy.
Arts and Letters
Soviet authorities begin a campaign to suppress “artistic rebels.”
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Free Southern Theatre is formed with the intention of raisin cultural awareness of blacks through white tradition.
Kennedy, Jackie
Patrick Bouvier Kennedy (1963), son of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, is born prematurely on August 7 at Otis Air Force Base, Massachusetts and dies August 9 of the same year in Boston because his lungs were too undeveloped to sustain him.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay, is closed.
Daily Life
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) posthumously becomes the first honorary U.S. citizen.
Popular Culture
The first discotheque, the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, opens in Los Angeles.
Popular Culture
"General Hospital," the daytime soap opera, airs on ABC for the first time.
Popular Culture
"Cleopatra," the most expensive motion picture to date ($37 million), opens in New York City and in theatres nationwide.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Beatlemania as a chaotic cultural phenomenon begins in Britain on October 13, 1963 with a televised appearance at the London Palladium.
Religion
The Catholic Church approves the use of vernacular languages- English in the U.S. - in place of Latin for parts of the Mass and for sacraments.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Civil rights demonstrations occur throughout the country. Medgar W. Evers (1925-1963), Field Secretary for the NAACP, is shot an killed in Jackson, Mississippi.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The Equal Pay Act is passed by Congress, promising equitable wages for the same work, regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of the worker.
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1964
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The 24th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting poll taxes, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Politics
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is elected President of the U.S. in his own right, and Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978) is elected the 38th Vice President.
Government
Lyndon Johnson (1908-1973) announces his war on poverty.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995), of Maine, becomes the first woman nominated for president of the United States by a major political party, at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ensures voting rights and prohibits housing discrimination.
Government
Stamps: The United States starts printing stamps of different designs on one sheet known as se-tenants. The Christmas issue of 1964 was the first year different designs were printed on the same pane of stamps.
Science
The U.S. Navy begins its Sealab experimental program to determine if people can live and work for extended periods of time at the bottom of the ocean.
Science
British scientists leave England in large numbers for the U.S. - the “Brain Drain.”
Medicine
The first government report regarding the dangers of cigarette smoking is issued by Luther Terry (1911-1985), the U.S. Surgeon General.
Medicine
Vaccines: First vaccine for Measles is used.
Inventions
Bullet train transportation is invented.
Technology
Personal Computers: At Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, the BASIC programming language runs for the first time. Developed by professors John Kemeny (1926-1992) and Thomas Kurtz (1928 -), BASIC is an acronym for Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.
Education
Libraries: Twenty-five Freedom Libraries are established throughout Mississippi by a group of librarian volunteers in the civil rights movement.
Education
Public Education: Civil Rights Movement: In response to protests, and the often violent reaction to them, Congress passed several pieces of legislation seeking to end racial discrimination. These included the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Higher Education Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Bilingual Education Act.
Education
Public Education: Despite a number of Supreme Court cases and national legislation, less than 1 percent of all black children in the south went to a desegregated school.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Edward Durell Stone (1902-1978) designs the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. D.C.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Black Arts Repertoire Theatre School is formed.
Ideas
Walter R. Hess (1881-1973) publishes "The Biology of the Mind."
Economics
Ford introduces its Mustang at the New York World''s Fair.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Jack Ruby (1911-1967) is found guilty of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963), alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963).
Daily Life
Disasters: The most violent earthquake (8.3) in North America strikes Anchorage, Alaska.
Sports
Boxing: Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) (1942- ) becomes world heavyweight boxing champion for the first time by knocking out Sonny Liston (1932-1971) in Miami Beach.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles arrive in the U.S. for the first time, appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show; they also release their first album, "Meet the Beatles."
Popular Culture
The Rolling Stones release their first album.
Popular Culture
"Mary Poppins," a film starring Dick van Dyke (1925- ) and Julie Andrews (1935- ) becomes the most successful Disney film to date.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act passes including a prohibition against employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.
1965
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, establishing Presidential succession, is passed by Congress.
Government
The Maple Leaf Flag officially becomes the new national flag of Canada.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Patsy Takemoto Mink (1927—2002), of Hawaii, is the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress. She served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 24 years.
Government
Immigration: The Immigration Act of 1965 abolishes quota system in favor of quota systems with 20,000 immigrants per country limits. Preference is given to immediate families of immigrants and skilled workers.
Government
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is inaugurated President of the U.S. in his own right, and Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978) is inaugurated as the 38th Vice President.
Government
Capital Punishment: The death penalty is abolished in Britain.
Science
Nobel Prize for Chemistry goes to R. Woodard for developing methods of synthesizing organic substances.
Medicine
Frank Pantridge (1916- 2004) installs the first portable defibrillator.
Technology
Space Race: Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov becomes the first man to walk in space.
Education
Public Education: The U.S. spends more than $26.2 billion for public school education: $654 per student.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: "Ariel," a collection of poems by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), is published posthumously by her husband, English poet, Ted Hughes (1930-1998).
Arts and Letters
Drama: Neil Simon (1927- ) writes the play "The Odd Couple."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The El Teatro Campesino is established by Luis Valdez for National Farm Workers Association; the purpose of the organization is to perform dramatizations that can educate farm laborers in California.
Arts and Letters
The National Endowment of the Arts is established and begins a period of development of federal public support for major regional arts institutions.
Discovery
Sandage (1926- ) discovers blue galaxies. They are similar to quasars, but do not give off radio waves.
Discovery
Space Exploration: France becomes the third country with space exploration capabilities when they launch their satellite A-1.
Daily Life
There are more than 5 million color television sets in the U.S.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Stanley Weston creates a doll for boys--G.I. Joe--based on a new television show called "The Lieutenant."
Sports
Women in Sports: Golf: The Women''s Golf Open is televised nationally for the first time.
Popular Culture
The popular game show "Jeopardy" debuts on television.
Popular Culture
Sonny Bono (1935-1998) and his wife Cher (1946- ) achieve fame with their song “I Got You, Babe.”
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Queen Elizabeth II (1926- ) awards each of the four Beatles Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles start their second North American tour at Shea Stadium, which is the first rock concert to be held in a venue of that size.
Social Issues
Immigration: “Freedom flight” airlifts begin for Cuban refugees assisting more than 260,000 people over the next eight years.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Peaceful civil rights marchers from Selma, Alabama, and brutally attacked with billy clubs and tear gas by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge; the event becomes known as “Bloody Sunday.”
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) again leads the start of a civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama; on March 25, the 25,000-person march ends its journey on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Weeks v. Southern Bell, 408 F. 2d. 228 (5th Cir. 1969), marks a major triumph in the fight against restrictive labor laws and company regulations on the hours and conditions of women's work, opening many previously male-only jobs to women.
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1966
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court upholds the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Politics
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (1952- …), of Florida, becomes the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress. She serves in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Government
Immigration: The Cuban Refugee Act permits more than 400,000 people to enter the United States.
Government
Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) is elected prime minister of India.
Government
The Cabinet-level Department of Transportation is established.
War
Vietnam War: The U.S. increases its military strength in Vietnam and its bombing of the North.
Science
President Johnson’s (1908-1973) Science Advisory Committee publishes "Effective Use of the Sea."
Inventions
The History of Toys: Elliot Handler, one of the co-founders of Mattel, Inc., invents Hot Wheels when he decides to add axles and rotating wheels to small model cars.
Technology
Personal Computers: Steven Gray founds the Amateur Computer Society, and begins publishing the ACS Newsletter. (Some consider this to be the birth-date of personal computing).
Technology
Space Race: Neil Armstrong (1930- ) and David Scott (1932- ), astronauts on board Gemini 8, rendezvous and dock with an unmanned target vehicle.
Technology
Space Race: Survivor I achieves a soft landing on the Moon and sends back 11,237 photographs.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Elia Kazan (1909-2003) writes the play, "The Arrangement."
Ideas
Francis Crick (1916-2004) publishes "Of Molecules and Men."
Economics
Railroad History: The Interstate Commerce Commission approves the merger of the New York Central and the Pennsylvania railroads.
Economics
The Motor Vehicle Safety Act sets the standard for all American automobiles built after 1968.
Daily Life
The Uniform Time Act establishes that daylight savings time is to be observed throughout the country from the last Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October.
Daily Life
The Salvation Army celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Daily Life
Congress enacts the truth and packaging law, which requires that clear and correct statements about the ingredients in about 8000 drug, cosmetic, and food products are printed for the consumer.
Daily Life
Fashion: Miniskirts come into fashion.
Sports
Soccer: England defeats West Germany to win the World Cup in soccer.
Sports
Baseball: Astroturf, the first artificial sports surface, is installed in the Houston Astrodome.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: On July 2, 1966, The Beatles became the first musical group to perform at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo. The performance ignited a lot of protest from local citizens who felt that it was inappropriate for a rock-and-roll band to play at Budokan.
Popular Culture
"Batman" debuts on television.
Popular Culture
Tolkien’s "The Lord of the Rings" enjoys cultish popularity in the U.S.
Social Issues
Hate Groups: Ku Klux Klan makes attacks against blacks and civil rights workers in the South.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Race riots occur in slum areas of Chicago, Cleveland, and other cities. Congress authorizes funds to assist rebuilding programs.
1967
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The 25th Amendment to the Constitution, establishing presidential succession, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Law
Appointed by President Lyndon Johnson 1905-1973), Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) becomes the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court.
Government
The first African-American senator elected by popular vote, Edward Brooke (1919- ) of Massachusetts, takes his seat.
Government
Peace Corps: Until about 1967, applicants to the Peace Corps had to pass a placement test that tested "general aptitude" (knowledge of various skills needed for various Peace Corps assignments) and language aptitude.
Science
Kornberg (1918- ) synthesizes biologically active DNA.
Medicine
Electroencephalographs (EEG) are teamed with computers to test the hearing of infants.
Medicine
10 million children are vaccinated against measles.
Medicine
Aspirin is found to be a possible cause of ulcers.
Medicine
High blood cholesterol is determined to be a factor in heart disease.
Technology
Space Race: A fire on the launching pad kills astronauts Grissom (1926-1967), White (1930-1967), and Chaffee (1935-1967), and destroys the Apollo 1 spacecraft during a simulated launch at Cape Canaveral.
Technology
3-D holographic movies are developed, and computers are used to create music electronically.
Education
Evolution: Tennessee formally repeals the 1925 law banning the teaching of evolution made famous in the Scopes Trial
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The New Lafayette Company is formed.
Carter, Rosalynn
Amy Carter Wentzel (1967- ), daughter of James “Jimmy” and Rosalynn Carter, is born October 19.
Johnson, Lady Bird
White House Wedding: Lynda Bird Johnson (1944-), daughter of Lady Bird (1912 -) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973), marries Charles S. Robb (1939 -) in the White House.
Economics
The establishment of Ford of Europe takes place.
Economics
Women’s Firsts: Muriel "Mickey" Siebert (1932- …) becomes the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and the first woman to head one of its member firms.
Daily Life
Disasters: An oil tanker, the Torrey Canyon, is wrecked off the coast of Cornwall in England, spilling 919,000 barrels of oil into the sea.
Sports
Football: The first Super Bowl is played: Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10.
Sports
Baseball: Mickey Mantle (1931-1995) of the New York Yankees hits his 500th career homerun.
Sports
Women’s Firsts: Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Althea Gibson (1927-2003) is the first African-American tennis player to win a singles title at Wimbledon.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: On June 25, 1967 The Beatles performed "All You Need Is Love" for the Our World television special. It was the first television special to air worldwide. Singing backup for the Beatles were a number of artists including Eric Clapton (1945- ), and members of the Rolling Stones and The Who.
Popular Culture
Twiggy (1949- ), a British model, takes world fashion by storm.
Popular Culture
Ira Levin (1929-2007) publishes "Rosemary’s Baby."
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Riots occur in black areas of Cleveland, Detroit, Newark, Boston, New Haven, and other cities.
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1968
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994), a Republican, narrowly defeats Democrat Hubert Humphrey (1911-1978) to become the 37th President of the United States; Spiro T. Agnew (1918-1996) is elected as the nation's 39th Vice President.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) signs the 1968 Civil Rights Law.
Government
Native Americans: Title II of the Civil Rights Act gives full civil rights to individuals living under tribal law.
War
North Korea seizes the U.S. Navy ship Pueblo (the crew is released 11 months later).
War
Vietnam War: Viet Cong guerillas and North Vietnamese soldiers launch the Tet (New York) offensive.
War
Vietnam War: The My Lai massacre occurs in Vietnam.
Science
Geneticists reveal that some male criminals have an extra Y chromosome.
Science
James Watson (1928- ) publishes "The Double Helix," describing the DNA molecule.
Science
The discovery of a pulsar is announced.
Medicine
Surgeons experiment with animal hearts for transplants to human beings.
Medicine
Vaccines: The mumps vaccine, developed in 1966, is improved for human use.
Inventions
Computers: Hewlett-Packard introduces the first programmable scientific desktop calculator, called "the new Hewlett-Packard 911A personal computer". (This is claimed as coining the term "personal computer").
Inventions
Computers: Dr. Robert Dennard, of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center patents a one-transistor DRAM cell and the basic idea in the three-transistor cell, which will become the standard short-term storage medium for programs and data during processing (RAM).
Technology
Space Race: Surveyor 7, the last of America’s unmanned lunar probes, lands on the moon.
Education
Higher Education: Student unrest because of the Vietnam War and other social causes creates wide confusion and changes in university life.
Education
Public Education: African American Education: African American parents and white teachers clash in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville area of New York City, over the issue of community control of the schools. Teachers go on strike, and the community organizes freedom schools while the public schools are closed.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Kurt Vonnegut (1922- ) publishes "Welcome to the Monkey House."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Negro Ensemble Company is formed.
Discovery
The skull of a 28 million year old ape is discovered in Egypt.
Daily Life
The nation’s first 911-phone system goes into service in Haleyville, Alabama.
Daily Life
London Bridge is sold to an American, who rebuilds it in Arizona.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Violent crimes have increased 57% since 1960.
Sports
Hugh Porter of Britain wins the world cycling championship in Rome.
Sports
Black Athletes: The first black male champion in tennis tournament is Arthur Ashe (1943-1993) who won the 1968 U.S. Open, the 1970 Australian Open, and the 1975 Wimbledon championship.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles release a full-length musical cartoon, "Yellow Submarine."
Popular Culture
Disney’s Mickey Mouse celebrates his 40th birthday.
Popular Culture
The classification of movies by “G,” “PG,” “PG-13,” and “R” begins.
Popular Culture
Mike Nichols (1931- ) directs the film "The Graduate," starring Dustin Hoffman (1937- ) and Anne Bancroft (1931-2005).
Religion
The foundation of the Temple of Herod is found in Israel.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Executive Order 11246 prohibits sex discriminationby government contractors and requires affirmative action plans for hiring women.
1969
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) nominates Warren E. Burger (1907-1995) as Chief Justice of the United States; he is confirmed by the Senate two weeks later and serves in that position for seventeen years until his retirement in 1986.
Politics
Large antiwar demonstrations take place, including Vietnam Moratorium Days in Washington, D.C.
Politics
Vice President Agnew (1918-1996) accuses network television and the press of biased news coverage.
Government
The Palestine National Congress appoints Yasser Arafat (1929-2004) as head of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Government
Women's Firsts: Golda Meir (1898-1978) is sworn in as Israel’s first female prime minister.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), of New York, becomes the first African-American woman in Congress. Her motto is, "Unbought and unbossed." She serves in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years.
Government
Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994), is inaugurated as the 37th President of the U.S.. amd Spiro T. Agnew (1918-1996) is inaugurated as the nation's 39th Vice President.
War
Vietnam War: President Johnson (1908-1973) announces proposed withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam.
Science
The National Audubon Society begins a national campaign to ban DDT because the chemical is killing bald eagles.
Science
Ribonuclease is the first enzyme to be synthesized.
Science
A fossil skull found in Antarctica proves “without question” the theory of continental drift.
Science
The fourth or “D” ring of Saturn is discovered.
Technology
Space Race: The first manned mission (Apollo) to the Moon takes place.
Technology
Neil Armstrong (1930- ) is the first man to walk on the Moon, thus "winning" the space race for the U.S.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Several traditionally all-male colleges, including Yale, Bowdoin, and Colgate, admit women students.
Education
Libraries: The Cooperative College Library Center, the first consortium of black academic libraries, opens in Atlanta.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Rembrandt’s (1606-1669) “Self Portrait” sells for $1,256,000 at Christie’s in London.
Arts and Letters
Dance: Arthur Mitchell (1934- ) establishes the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
Ideas
Arthur Jensen (1923- ) stirs widespread debate by his published claim that blacks are genetically less intelligent than whites.
Hoover, Lou
Herbert Hoover Jr. (1903-1969), son of Herbert and Lou Hoover, dies April 9 from cancer.
Economics
The United States attorney general charges IBM with unlawful monopolization of the computer industry, and requests the federal courts break it up.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Sirhan Sirhan (1944- ) is convicted for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy.
Daily Life
Approximately 225 million telephones are in use throughout the world.
Daily Life
The U.S. government removes cyclamates (artificial sweeteners) from the market; laboratory experiments link these food additives with cancer.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Parker Brothers markets the first Nerf ball, a polyurethane foam ball that is safe for indoor play. By year's end, more than four million Nerf balls are sold.
Daily Life
Fashion: Pants suits become acceptable for everyday wear by women.
Popular Culture
Katherine Hepburn (1907-2003) and Barbara Streisand (1942- ) share the Best Actress Oscar; Hepburn breaks the record as the only actress winning three such awards.
Popular Culture
The Rolling Stones release an album and a movie, both entitled Gimme Shelter.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles begin recording their final album, entitled "Abbey Road," returning to the EMI studios in West London and the production team led by George Martin (1926- ). It proves to be a relatively smooth and peaceful production and a highly acclaimed album. Lennon announces to the other Beatles that he will be leaving the band just before that album's release but is persuaded to remain quiet in public.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: California adopts the nation’s first “no fault” divorce law, allowing divorce by mutual consent.
Reform
American Protest Music: “One Tin Soldier” is written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter during the Vietnam War.
Reform
American Protest Music: “Blowing in the Wind” is written by Bob Dylan (1941- ) during the Vietnam War.
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1970
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The Postal Service, an independent agency, replaces the Post Office Department.
Government
Railroad History: Congress passes the Rail Passenger Service Act creating Amtrak, which today serves more than 20 million customers annually on its national network of intercity trains and employs 23,000 people.
Government
The National Air Quality Control Act calls for a 90% reduction in automobile pollution.
Science
Lysosomes, structures in the human cell, are synthesized.
Medicine
After great success as an experimental treatment for Parkinson’s disease, L-dopa is approved as a prescription drug.
Medicine
Heart pacemakers powered by nuclear energy are used for the first time in France; the device is estimated to work 10 years before needing to be refueled.
Medicine
Vaccines: First vaccine for Rubella (German measles) is used.
Inventions
Computers: Bell Labs develops Unix. (Unix will become the dominant operating system of high end microcomputers, or workstations).
Inventions
Bell Telephone invents the Picturephone.
Inventions
Transportation: The first jumbo jet is invented.
Technology
Japan becomes the fourth country to put a satellite into orbit.
Technology
GE synthesizes a gem-quality diamond.
Education
Reports show that “Sesame Street,” a nationwide TV program, helps to improve skills of preschool children.
Education
Higher Education: The University of California charges tuition for the first time in the school’s 102-year history.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: The struggle for an end to racial discrimination continues. Nationally, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools in North Carolina were ordered to desegregate under a court ordered mandatory busing plan.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: Seattle becomes the largest city to voluntarily enter into a mandatory busing program. The Seattle School District continues mandatory busing until 1996.
Arts and Letters
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918- ) wins the Nobel Prize for literature.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Hemingway’s (1899-1961) "Island in the Stream" is published posthumously.
Discovery
Space Exploration: When an oxygen tank bursts on the way to the moon, Apollo 13 astronauts make the famous announcement, “Houston, we’ve got a problem.”
Discovery
Israeli archeologists uncover the first evidence of the destruction of Jerusalem by Roman troops in A.D. 70.
Daily Life
20 million Americans take part in activities and demonstrations against pollution to celebrate Earth Day.
Daily Life
Hospital care costs reach an average of $81 per day.
Sports
Women in Sports: Just 294,000 American high school girls take part in interscholastic sports.
Popular Culture
“Doonesbury,” a satirical comic strip created by Gary Trudeau (1948-), has its debut in 30 newspapers.
Popular Culture
Women’s Firsts: Women and Sports: Horse Racing: Diane Crump becomes the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The band officially brakes up.
Social Issues
Polution: The National Air Quality Control Act calls for a 90% reduction in automobile pollution.
Reform
Anti-War Movement: The National Guard troops fire on 1000 antiwar protestors at Kent State University in Ohio; 4 students are killed. U.S. withdraws more troops from Vietnam.
Reform
1970's Protest Music: The Coca-Cola Coke Company integrates their original song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, sung by The Hillside Singers, in their commercial advertisements.
1971
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Education: The Supreme Court upholds the busing of children to integrate public schools where state laws have allowed segregation.
Law
The New York Times publishes classified Pentagon papers about the U.S.’s involvement in Vietnam. The Supreme Court upholds the right of the Times and the Washington Post to publish the papers.
Law
The Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, lowering the voting age to 18, is passed by Congress, ratified by two-thirds of the states, and added to the Constitution.
Government
Idi Amin (1925-2003) becomes dictator of Uganda.
Government
East Pakistan proclaims its independence, taking the name Bangladesh.
Science
C.H. Li synthesizes a human growth hormone.
Technology
Astronaut Alan B. Shepard (1923-1998) hits three golf balls on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Neil Simon (1927-) writes the play The Prisoner of Second Avenue.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Philip Roth (1933- ) publishes the political satire "Our Gang."
Nixon, Pat
White House Wedding: Tricia Nixon (1946 - ), daughter of Patricia (1912-1993) and Richard Nixon (1913-1994) marries Edward F. Cox (1946 -) in the White House.
Economics
The Ford Motor Company establishes its North American Automotive Operations, consolidating U.S., Canadian, and Mexican operations more than two decades ahead of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Discovery
Women''s Firsts: Canadian Fran Phipps becomes the first woman to reach the North Pole.
Discovery
Egyptian scientists discover drawings that date back to 6000 B.C. in caves in Egypt’s western desert.
Discovery
Space Exploration: Mariner 9 orbits Mars and returns 6876 photographs of the planet’s surface.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Charles Manson is found guilty of murdering Sharon Tate and six others in California.
Daily Life
Cigarette advertisements are banned from television.
Sports
Boxing: Joe Frazier (1944- ) defeats Muhammad Ali (1942- ) (Cassius Clay) to win the world heavyweight boxing championship in New York City. It is Ali’s first lost after 31 professional wins.
Sports
Baseball: Henry "Hank" Aaron (1934- ) hits 600th career home run, the 3rd player ever to reach this mark.
Sports
Women''s Firsts: Women in Sports: Billie Jean King becomes the first woman athlete to win more than $100,000 in a single season in any sport. She is the only woman to have won US singles titles on grass, clay, carpet and hard court.
Popular Culture
British rock musician Elton John (1947- ) achieves superstar status with his albums, "Tumbleweed Connection" and "Madman Across the Water."
Religion
The “Jesus movement” is a highly publicized part of religion in America.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Ten black activists are convicted of firebombing a Wilmington, Delaware store and draw prison terms of 29-34 years.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: Women in Switzerland are finally granted suffrage.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corporation, 400 U.S. 542 (1971): The U.S. Supreme Court outlaws the practice of private employers refusing to hire women with pre-school children.
Reform
Peace Corps: In July 1971, President Nixon (1913-1994) brought the Peace Corps under the umbrella agency, ACTION. Peace Corps would remain under ACTION until President Jimmy Carter (1924-) declared it fully autonomous in a 1979 executive order. This independent status would be further secured when Congress passed legislation in 1981 to make the organization an independent federal agency.
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1972
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Capital Punishment: The Supreme Court rules that the death penalty as administered in the U.S. is “cruel and unusual punishment” and therefore unconstitutional.
Law
Women's Rights Movement: The "Equal Rights Amendment" or ERA, a proposed Constitutional Amendment prohibiting sex discrimination against women, is passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.
Politics
Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) is re-elected as President of the United States, as is Vice President Spiro Agnew (1918-1996).
Government
President Richard Nixon (1913-1994) becomes the first American president to visit China.
Government
Britain and China resume diplomatic relations after 22 years; Britain withdraws is consulate from Taiwan.
War
The military draft ends and all membership is on a volunteer basis.
Science
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to C. Anfinsen, Stanford Moore, and William Stein for their molecular studies of proteins and enzymes.
Science
12 western European countries agree upon the establishment of a European Molecular Laboratory. The intent of the lab is to study the molecular basis of life.
Medicine
The controversy over whether smoking causes a pregnant woman to have a smaller baby continues.
Inventions
The History of Toys: Magnavox introduces Odyssey, the first video game machine, featuring a primitive form of paddle ball. Other companies soon invested in the video game business and, by 1976, hockey, tennis, and squash were available.
Technology
President Nixon (1913-1994) orders the development of the space shuttle.
Education
Women's Rights Movement: Title IX (Public Law 92-318) of the Education Amendments prohibits sex discrimination in all aspects of education programs that receive federal support.
Education
Libraries: The Martin Luther King Memorial Library opens in Washington, replacing the old District of Columbia Central Public Library.
Education
Women’s Colleges: Women were among the leaders of the struggle for achieving civil rights for minorities, and they compared their situation once more to that of the minority groups. One response to the activism by women was the implementation of virtually universal coeducation in 1972.
Economics
Personal Computers: The People's Computer Company is founded.
Economics
Women’s Firsts: Juanita Kreps (1921- …) becomes the first woman director of the New York Stock Exchange. She later becomes the first woman appointed Secretary of Commerce.
Discovery
Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi (1915-1997) is discovered in Guam, having spent 28 years hiding in the jungle thinking World War II was still going on.
Discovery
Richard Leakey (1944-), British anthropologist, discovers a 2.5 million-year-old human skull in northern Kenya, Africa.
Discovery
Pioneer 10 is launched to explore the asteroid belt and Jupiter.
Daily Life
China gives President Richard Nixon (1913-1994) two giant pandas.
Daily Life
The FDA proposes a ban on the use of antibiotics used to fatten cattle and other animals.
Sports
The U.S. tennis team wins the Davis Cup for the 5th straight year.
Sports
Women in Sports: Congress passes Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activities receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Sports
Women in Sports: Women''s Rights Movement: The New York City Court of Appeals upholds a woman’s right to be an umpire in professional baseball.
Popular Culture
Ira Levin (1929-2007) publishes "The Stepford Wives."
Religion
Women’s Firsts: Judaism: Sally Jean Priesand (1948- …) is ordained in Cincinnati, Ohio, as the first woman rabbi in the United States.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: In Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972), the Supreme Court rules that the right to privacy encompasses an unmarried person's right to use contraceptives.
1973
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Rights Movement: In the "Roe v. Wade" decision, the Supreme Court legalizes abortion.
Government
Conservation: The Endangered Species Act prohibits the federal government from supporting any activities or projects that may be harmful to any endangered species.
Government
Vice President Spiro Agnew (1918-1996) is forced to resign his office on Justice Department charges of corruption in ofice. Under the newly ratified 25th Amendment, Gerald Ford (1913- ) is appointed Vice President.
War
Vietnam War: President Nixon (1913-1994) orders halt to offensive operations in North Vietnam.
War
Vietnam War: The Vietnam War peace accords are signed in Paris.
Science
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology determine the structure of transfer-RNA (tRNA).
Science
The Center for UFO Studies is established in Evanston, Illinois.
Medicine
Monocytes, a type of white blood cells, are proposed as a key to conquering cancer.
Medicine
Marijuana is used as a treatment for glaucoma.
Medicine
Vaccines: Rabies vaccine is developed.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: The 110-story World Trade Center in New York City is completed and briefly becomes the tallest building in the world.
Arts and Letters
George Lucas (1944- ) directs American Graffiti, a film that causes a wave of 1950’s nostalgia.
Arts and Letters
Billy Joel (1949- ) releases the Piano Man album.
Arts and Letters
Stamps: Valentine's Day "Love" stamps are first issued.
Ideas
Personal Computers: At the Lakeside prep school in Washington State, Bill Gates (1955- ) tells a friend "I'm going to make my first million by the time I'm 25.”
Johnson, Lady Bird
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) dies at age 64.
Economics
Congress approves the Alaskan pipeline.
Economics
The Ford Motor Company is fined $7 million for violating the Clean Air Act by improperly servicing 1973 model cars during tests for emission controls.
Discovery
Pioneer 11 is launched to fly by Jupiter and Saturn.
Discovery
A “cold star” is discovered that has 30,000 times more energy than the Sun. Scientists think that this star is in the early stage of development.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: 14 states restore the death penalty.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Dungeons & Dragons is invented by Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax.
Sports
Baseball: Baseball’s American League adopts the “designated hitter” rule, which allows another player to bat for the pitcher.
Sports
Football: The Miami Dolphins become the first NFL team to go undefeated and have a perfect season by beating the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII.
Popular Culture
George Lucas (1944- ) directs "American Graffiti," a film that causes a wave of 1950’s nostalgia.
Popular Culture
Billy Joel (1949- ) releases the "Piano Man" album.
Religion
Presbyterians form a new church, the National Presbyterian Church.
Religion
Judaism: Conservative Jews allow women in the minyan- 10 or more adult Jews are required for communal worship.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Pittsburgh Press v. Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, 413 U.S. 376 (1973): The U.S. Supreme Court bans sex-segregated “help wanted” advertising as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended.
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1974
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
In "United States vs. Nixon," the Supreme Court rules that presidential executive privilege is not unlimited.
Government
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is charged with foreign and domestic abuse of its power.
Government
Stamps: The first U.S. self adhesive stamp is issued.
Government
Scandal: President Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) resigns the Presidency in the wake of the Watergate scandal; he is the only President to resign the office; Vice President Gerald R. Ford (1913- )is inaugurated as the nation's 38th President. Nelson A. Rockefeller (1908-1979) becomes the nation's 41st Vice President.
Science
The National Academy of Sciences urges a ban on genetic experiments with bacteria, especially those involving E. coli, a helpful type of bacteria that lives in the intestines.
Medicine
High-energy neutrons, produced in cyclotrons, are used to treat cancer.
Medicine
A government report indicates that moderate drinkers live longer than nondrinkers. It also states that heavy drinkers have higher rates of mouth, throat, and liver cancer.
Medicine
Vinyl chloride, commonly used in making plastics, is shown to cause cancer.
Education
Women's Rights Movement: The Women’s Educational Equity Act, drafted by Arlene Horowitz and introduced by Representative Patsy Mink (D-HI), funds the development of nonsexist teaching materials and model programs that encourage full educational opportunities for girls and women.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: The Boston school committee rejects a court-ordered busing plan for desegregation.
Education
Public Education: In Milliken v. Bradley, a Supreme Court made up of Richard Nixon's appointees rules that schools may not be desegregated across school districts. This effectively legally segregates students of color in inner-city districts from white students in wealthier white suburban districts.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Peter Benchley (1940-) publishes "Jaws," a novel about a huge shark that terrorizes a Long Island Beach resort.
Arts and Letters
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918- ), Nobel Prize winner in literature, is deported from the Soviet Union.
Economics
The U.S. ends all price and wage controls.
Economics
The U.S. is hit by a recession.
Discovery
Large quantities of historical manuscripts, philosophical works, and medical texts more than 2000 year old are discovered in ancient tombs in China.
Sports
Baseball: Hank Aaron (1934- ) hits the 715th home run of his career, breaking Babe Ruth’s record.
Sports
Baseball: Little League Baseball Inc. bars foreign teams from future Little League World Series and accepts female players into the league.
Sports
The U.S. Olympic Committee adopts a bill of rights for athletes.
Sports
Baseball: Black Athletes: Frank Robinson (1935- ), of the Cleveland Indians, is the first black manager in professional baseball.
Sports
Women in Sports: Football: The inaugural season of the first women''s professional football league kicks off with seven US teams.
Popular Culture
"Happy Days" premiers on television.
Popular Culture
The popular rock groups of the time are Chicago, Steeley Dan, Yes, Jefferson Starship, Santana, The Eagles, and Utopia.
Popular Culture
Mel Brooks produces "Blazing Saddles," a parody of westerns.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: A jam session between John Lennon (1940-1980) and Paul McCartney (1942- ) is recorded on March 31, 1974, when McCartney visits Lennon in Los Angeles, California.
Religion
Pope John Paul VI (1912-1978) opens the Holy Year of the Roman Catholic Church, the 25th since 1450 (The first Holy year was proclaimed in 1300).
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Housing discrimination on the basis of sex and credit discrimination against women are outlawed by Congress.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632 (1974), determines it is illegal to force pregnant women to take maternity leave on the assumption they are incapable of working in their physical condition.
1975
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Native Americans: The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act give Native Americans more control in administering federal programs and services to their people.
Government
Scandal: John Mitchell (1913-1988), H. R. Haldeman (1926-1993), and John Ehrlichman (1925-1999) are convicted of obstruction of justice in the Watergate affair.
War
Civil war begins in Lebanon when gunmen kill 4 Christian Phalangists who retaliate by killing 27 Palestinians.
War
Vietnam War: The Vietnam War ends with South Vietnam’s surrender to North Vietnam.
Medicine
Heart valves in pigs are used to replace defective valves in human hearts.
Medicine
The National Cancer Institute links cancer with pollution.
Technology
Personal Computers: Bill Gates (1955-) and Paul Allen (1953- ) write to MITS, saying they have a BASIC language for the Intel 8080 processor. They propose licensing it for use on the Altair in exchange for royalty payments. (They then spend the next eight weeks writing the software).
Education
Native Americans: Native American Education: The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act gives Native Americans more control in administering federal programs and services to their people.
Ideas
E. O. Wilson publishes "Sociobiology: The New Synthesis," which argues that genes control social behavior patterns.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Lives of the First Ladies: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Dall Boettiger Halsted (1906-1975), daughter of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, dies December 1 from cancer.
Economics
Insurance companies drop malpractice insurance coverage for doctors because the losses in suits are so high.
Discovery
University of California astronomers discover a new galaxy that is at least 10 times larger than the Milky Way and about 8-million light years away from earth.
Discovery
Paleontologists discover the oldest American fossil- a 620-year-old marine worm.
Discovery
Viking 1 and 2 are both launched and scheduled to land on Mars one year later.
Daily Life
The Metric Conversion Act suggests that a voluntary change be made to the metric system.
Daily Life
The National Association of Broadcasters agrees to assign a two-hour period of time to programs suitable for family viewing.
Sports
Women in Sports: Chris Evert (1954- ) wins $40,000, the highest prize in the history of women’s tennis, on the Virginia Slims Tour.
Sports
Basketball: The European basketball league finishes its first season; Israeli Sabres finishes in first place out of 5 teams.
Sports
Women in Sports: Title IX goes effect on June 21.
Sports
Baseball: An arbitrator’s ruling leads to a modification of the reserve clause and the start of free agency. Baseball salaries begin to skyrocket.
Popular Culture
"The Jeffersons" debuts on television; it is the first sitcom about an African American family.
Popular Culture
The film "Jaws" breaks box office records across the U.S. and causes a nationwide “Jawsmania.”
Popular Culture
The film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo''s Nest" is the first movie since 1934 to win the top four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director.
Popular Culture
"A Chorus Line" opens on Broadway.
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1976
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
James Callaghan (1912-2005) succeeds Harold Wilson as the British Prime Minister.
Politics
Jimmy Carter (1924 - ) is elected as the 39th President of the United States and Walter F. Mondale (1928- ) is elected the nation's 42nd Vice President.
Government
The U.S. celebrates the 200th anniversary of its independence. Six million people view the parade of tall ships from 31 countries on the Hudson River.
Government
The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. sign a treaty that limits the size of underground nuclear explosions. Some on-site inspection of compliance is approved for the first time.
Government
U.S. intelligence agencies are charged with unlawful investigation and surveillance of citizens.
Government
The U.S. vetoes the admission of Vietnam to the UN, reasoning that the Hanoi government has failed to account for 800 U.S. servicemen still mission in action.
Science
The chronon is selected as the smallest unit of time.
Science
The 143 members of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) develop methods to standardize weather data.
Medicine
Vaccines: A malaria-causing organism is cultured in the lab-this is the first step in developing a vaccine.
Medicine
Lyme arthritis, a new infectious form of arthritis, is discovered near Lyme, Connecticut. The disease is thought to be spread by virus-carrying insects.
Technology
Personal Computers: The Apple I computer board is sold in kit form, and delivered to stores by Steve Jobs (1955- ) and Steve Wozniak (1950- ); the price is: US$666.66.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Kurt Vonnegut (1922- ) publishes "Slapstick."
Arts and Letters
Women’s Firsts: Sarah Caldwell (1924- …) becomes the first woman to conduct at New York's Metropolitan Opera House.
Economics
Consolidated Railroad Corporation (Conrail), a private government-financed corporation, takes control of the freight service of six bankrupt Northeast railroads.
Economics
Personal Computers: In November, The trademark "Microsoft" is registered.
Discovery
Pioneer 10 travels through Saturn’s rings and heads toward a 1987 examination of Pluto.
Discovery
Viking 1 and Viking 2 land on Mars and begin sending back information about the planet’s surface.
Daily Life
Transportation: A Pan-American airliner completes the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight (8,088 miles in over 13 hours of travel).
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Nolan Bushnell sells his video game company, Atari, to Warner Brothers. Atari''s popular Pong and Super Pong video tennis games soon gave way to a home video cartridge system that ran full-color games, from baseball to Pacman.
Popular Culture
Barbara Walters (1929- ) becomes the first female network television news anchor.
Popular Culture
Stevie Wonder (1950- ) releases the immensely popular album, "Songs in the Key of Life."
Popular Culture
"Rocky," a film starring Sylvester Stallone (1946- ), wins the Oscar for Best Picture.
Popular Culture
Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), humorist, publishes 'Life is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank."
Popular Culture
Women's Firsts: Barbara Walters (1929- ) becomes the first female network television news anchor.
Religion
6 women in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada are ordained as priests in the Anglican Church.
Reform
Women win 13 of 32 Rhodes Scholarships awarded to Americans; this is the first time since the scholarships were made in 1902 that women are eligible recipients.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: General Elec. Co v. Gilbert, 429 U. S. 125 (1976), the Supreme Court upholds women’s right to unemployment benefits during the last three months of pregnancy.
1977
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
President Carter (1924- ) makes “human rights” a part of U.S. foreign policy.
Government
Jimmy Carter (1924 - ) is inaugurated as the 39th President of the United States and Walter F. Mondale (1928- ) is inaugurated as the nation's 42nd Vice President.
Government
The Justice Department investigates alleged illegal bribery by South Korean officials to influence members of Congress.
Government
President Carter (1924- ) pardons most Vietnam War and draft evaders.
Government
Congress creates a new cabinet-level Department of Engineering.
Science
Methanogens are identified as a totally separate and previously unknown form of life that existed about 3.5 million years ago.
Medicine
After extensive hearings, the FDA declares that laetrile is not a vitamin and is of no value in treating cancer.
Medicine
The FDA claims that saccharin may cause cancer.
Inventions
Computers: Bally completes designs of a home computer.
Technology
Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are launched on a journey that will bring them near Jupiter and Saturn in 1979 and 1980.
Economics
High oil consumption in the U.S. makes energy conservation necessary (energy crisis).
Economics
Personal Computers: The first Computer Shack franchise is opened in Morristown, New Jersey. 112 people visit in the first day.
Discovery
Astronomers aboard NASA’s Airborne Observatory discover rings around Uranus.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Gary Gilmore (?-1977) becomes the first person executed in the U.S. since the death penalty was reintroduced.
Daily Life
Disasters: The greatest aviation disaster in history kills 542 people when two planes collide on a runway in the Canary Islands.
Daily Life
Travel bans on U.S. citizens to Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, and North Korea are lifted.
Daily Life
Personal Computers: Total shipments of personal computers worldwide during the year total 48,000.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Kenner Toys introduces a line of Star Wars action figures, capitalizing on the popularity of George Lucas''s blockbuster film. They dominate the action figure market.
Sports
Baseball: The St. Louis outfielder Lou Brock (1939- ) sets the new base-stealing record of 893.
Popular Culture
The film "Saturday Night Fever" helps popularize disco dance music.
Popular Culture
George Lucas (1944- ) directs "Star Wars," a film that signals the beginning of a new, more polished science-fiction genre of films.
Religion
John Neumann (1903-1957) is made a saint in the Roman Catholic Church; he is the first American male to be selected.
Religion
Americans explore forms of spiritualism: 6 million are active in transcendental meditation; 5 million practice yoga; 3 million follow the charismatic movement; 3 million involved in mysticism; and 2 million in Eastern religions.
Religion
The Roman Catholic Church prohibits ordination of women as priests.
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1978
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Congress extends ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to 1982.
Government
The U.S. and Communist China establish full diplomatic relations.
Government
President Carter (1924- ) invokes the Taft-Harley Act to end the coal strike.
Government
Stamps: A new 15-cent stamp goes into use after its approval by the Postal Rate Commission.
Government
Electrification: Congress passes the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which spurs the growth of nonutility unregulated power generation.
Science
Chromosomes are discovered in parts of the cell other than the nucleus.
Science
The Plasma Physics Laboratory at Princeton University conducts controlled fusion experiments.
Medicine
Vitamin C is proposed as a cancer-fighting drug.
Medicine
The AMA concludes a 14-year study that shows that cigarette smoking causes heart disease and may cause cancer.
Technology
Texas Instruments introduces magnetic bubble memories for computers.
Education
Higher Education: Civil Rights Movement: In Regents of California v. Bakke, the Supreme Court considered whether affirmative action programs violated the Equal Protection Clause. Without a clear majority, the Court held that it was permissible to use race as a factor in school admissions, but that the rigid racial quotas used by the University did violate the 14th Amendment.
Education
Public Education: Education of Women: The federal judge in Ohio rules that high school girls should not be prevented from participating with boys on the same sports teams.
Education
Public Education: The so-called "taxpayers' revolt" leads to the passage of Proposition 13 in California, and copy-cat measures like Proposition 2-1/2 in Massachusetts. These propositions freeze property taxes, which are a major source of funding for public schools. As a result, in twenty years California drops from first in the nation in per-student spending in 1978 to number 43 in 1998.
Education
Native Americans: Native American Education: Higher Education: The federal Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act provides the
Education
basis for a system of higher education on or near Indian reservations, which allows young people to go to college without leaving their families.
Arts and Letters
Literature: John Irving (1942-) publishes "The World According to Garp."
Economics
The Ford Motor Company celebrates its 75th anniversary. Celebrations were very much in order, and they took place at World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan as well as at locations throughout the world.
Discovery
James Cristy, discovers Charon, a moon of Pluto.
Daily Life
Education: The Federal Communication Commission studies children’s television to see if the TV industry is showing a reasonable amount of children’s shows, including educational programming.
Daily Life
Crayola: The first box of Crayola markers is introduced in 8 bright, bold colors.
Sports
Women''s Firsts: Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Lillian Greene-Chamberlain, the first African-American woman distance runner in international events is named as the first woman to be director for Physical Education and Sport Programs for UNESCO.
Popular Culture
Dolly Parton (1946- ) wins the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award for the song “Here You Come Again.”
Popular Culture
"Star Wars" is all-time leader in worldwide film rentals; it takes in $202 million and passes revenue records previously set by "Jaws."
Social Issues
Stem-Cell Research: Widespread controversy surrounds claims that a human being has been cloned.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employment discrimination against pregnant women.
1979
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Dictator Idi Amin (1928-2003)of Uganda is overthrown.
Government
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1900-1989) returns to Tehran after 15 years of exile; Iran is proclaimed an Islamic Republic.
War
President Sadat (1918-1981) of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin (1913-1982 ) of Israel sign a peace treaty at the White House, ending 30 years of war.
War
Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1928-1979) is executed by the military.
War
Vietnamese forces capture the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing Pol Pot’s (1928- ) Khmer Rouge government.
Science
MIT researchers discover that DNE molecules spiral to the left, not to the right as was previously believed.
Medicine
Doctors in Maryland use a metal cylinder to replace a section of a woman’s spine removed earlier because of cancer.
Education
The new Cabinet-level Department of Education is established.
Economics
Congress approves a $1.5 billion federal loan guarantee plan for the Chrysler Corporation; this is the largest government bailout of a U.S. company.
Economics
The Department of Energy sues nine large U.S. oil companies for allegedly over-charging customers nearly $1billion since 1973.
Discovery
A black hole is discovered in the center of the Milky Way.
Daily Life
Disasters: A nuclear power accident occurs at Three-Mile Island, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
Because of a major shortage, gasoline sales on odd-even days are instituted in many states.
Popular Culture
Elton John (1947- ) is the first rock star from the West to tour the U.S.S.R.
Religion
Pope John Paul II (1920- ) visits Poland; this is the first time a pope has visited a Communist country.
Religion
Mother Teresa (1910-1997), of India, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work among the sick and the poor.
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1980
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Ronald W. Reagan (1911-2004) is elected the 40th President of the U.S. and George H. W. Bush (1924- ) is elected the nation's 43rd Vice President.
Politics
Voters in Quebec reject separatism.
Politics
Third Parties: U.S. Representative John B. Anderson of Illinois loses the Republican nomination for President to Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), who defeats Democratic President Jimmy Carter (1924- …). Anderson runs as an Independent, and gains 6 percent of the popular vote but no electoral votes.
Government
Immigration: The Refugee Act redefines criteria and procedures for admitting refugees.
Government
President Carter (1924- ) signs Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax; this is possibly the largest tax ever imposed on an industry.
Science
Volunteers at Duke University emerge from a pressure tank after 28 days, setting a world record for simulating a dive 2132 feet below sea level.
Medicine
Vaccines: New York Blood Center scientists report finding a successful, experimental vaccine against hepatitis B.
Technology
In California more than 17,000 wind machines, ranging in output from 20 to 350 kilowatts, are installed on wind farms.
Education
UNESCO reports that almost 1/3 of the world’s population are illiterate.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: By the late 1980s, the rising Latino population increased the complexity of desegregation issues, and there was growing objection to busing as a solution for segregation.
Arts and Letters
Painting: The Museum of Modern Art in New York city shows “Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective.” It is the first time the near 1000 items, representative of the artists work in various media, are shown together.
Clinton, Hillary
Chelsea Victoria Clinton (1980- ), daughter of William and Hillary Clinton, is born February 27.
Economics
Chrysler Corporation receives government-guaranteed $400 million loan.
Economics
Gold bullion prices soar to record heights on international markets, reaching $835 an ounce on London’s market.
Economics
Government supported United States Synthetic Fuels Corporation is created to develop synthetic energy sources.
Discovery
A major diamond field is discovered in Western Australia.
Daily Life
Disasters: The U.S. declares a state of emergency at the Love Canal in Niagara Falls, N.Y., an area contaminated by toxic chemical waste.
Sports
In a major upset, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeats the Soviets 4-3 at Lake Placid, New York.
Sports
Women in Sports: The Women's Sports Foundation establishes the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: On December 8, 1980, John Lennon (1940-1980) is murdered in front of his New York City apartment by a mentally deranged fan, Mark David Chapman (1955-), forever crushing any hope of a Beatles reunion.
Religion
Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) reaffirms his opposition to divorce at the synod of Roman Catholic bishops in Rome. The Vatican also condemns euthanasia.
1981
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women’s Firsts: Sandra Day O'Connor (1930- …) is appointed by President Reagan (1911-2004) to the Supreme Court, making her its first woman justice.
Government
Ronald W. Reagan (1911-2004) is inaugurated as the 40th President of the U.S. and George H. W. Bush (1924- ) is inaugurated as the nation's 43rd Vice President. Ronald Reagan is the oldest President to take office (69 years and 349 days).
Government
Chilean President Augusto Pinochet (1915-) is sworn in for an eight-year-term as president.
War
52 American hostages seized from the American Embassy in Tehran are released after 444 days in captivity.
Science
Amid growing debate over genetic engineering, the German drug firm Hoechst invests $50 million in DNA research at Massachusetts General hospital in Boston.
Science
The first test-tube baby is born in London.
Medicine
Scientists identify the virus that causes the fatal condition called A.I.D.S. (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
Medicine
Vaccines: First vaccine for Hepatitis B is used.
Technology
The space shuttle is launched.
Technology
The first sun-powered aircraft flies across the English Channel. Earlier attempts failed because of cloudy skies.
Technology
Personal Computers: IBM introduces its model of the personal computer (PC), destined to revolutionize office automation and move corporations away from mainframe computers.
Arts and Letters
Literature: John Updike wins the National Book Critics Circle Award, American Book Award, and a Pulitzer Prize for "Rabbit is Rich."
Arts and Letters
Painting: Italy begins a $3 million restoration of Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
John Aspinwall Roosevelt (1916-1981), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, dies of a heart attack on April 27.
Bush, Laura
Barbara Pierce Bush (1981- ), daughter of George W. and Laura Bush, is born the first of fraternal twins on November 25.
Bush, Laura
Jenna Welch Bush (1981- ), daughter of George W. and Laura Bush, is born the second of fraternal twins on November 25.
Reagan, Nancy
President Ronald Reagan (1911-2204) is shot in the chest by John Hinckley (1955- ) as he leaves a Washington hotel.
Economics
Honolulu has the highest cost of living of any American city. Rising prices are driven by wealthy tourists and development financed by Japanese investors.
Daily Life
African elephants are decimated by poachers of ivory, now selling at $34 per pound.
Popular Culture
The Rolling Stones play for 2 million fans in a smash U.S. tour. Scalpers command as much as $500 for a pair of $15 seats.
Popular Culture
Barbara Mandrell is named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association amid a popular resurgence of country music.
Popular Culture
Film star Meryl Streep receives wide-spread critical acclaim for her portrayal of the mysterious Sarah in "The French Lieutenant’s Woman."
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The three surviving Beatles reunite for the first time since the break-up for George Harrison's (1943-2001) tribute to fallen Beatle John Lennon (1940-1980) "All Those Years Ago".
Religion
Pope John Paul II is shot and seriously wounded as he greets worshippers in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that excluding women from the draft is constitutional.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Kirchberg v. Feenstra, 450 U.S. 455, 459-60 (1981), overturns state laws designating a husband “head and master” with unilateral control of property owned jointly with his wife.
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1982
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
President Reagan (1911-2005) proposes that the U.S. and the Soviet Union reduce their nuclear arsenals by one-third.
Government
Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) begin in Geneva, Switzerland.
Government
President Reagan (1911-2005) orders reinstatement of the U.S. military draft registration for 18-year olds.
Government
A government survey of income tax returns shows the IRS is twice as likely as taxpayers to make mathematical errors.
Medicine
Medical history is made at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City when doctors successfully implant a permanent artificial heart designed by Dr. Robert K. Jarvik in 61-year old Barney Clark.
Technology
The space shuttle Columbia lands safely after orbiting the earth for 7 days.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: In the Bob Jones University v. U.S. case, the Court held that racial discrimination in education violated a “fundamental national policy” and permitted the IRS to withhold tax exempt status from private schools with discriminatory policies.
Education
Evolution: A federal judge in Arkansas rules it unconstitutional to require schools to teach “creationism” if they teach the theory of evolution.
Economics
The AT&T Bell System telephone monopoly agreed to divest itself of 22 Bell System companies and split itself into seven “Baby Bells.”
Economics
Personal Computers: Apple Computer becomes the first personal computer firm to reach $1 billion in annual sales.
Economics
The Dow Jones industrial average tops the 1000 level for the first time as Wall Street is bullish over sliding interest rates.
Discovery
Paleontologists in Antarctica make the first discovery of mammal fossils on the continent.
Daily Life
EPCOT Center- The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow- opens at Disney world in Florida.
Daily Life
Under a geodesic dome called Spaceship Earth, EPCOT offers educational exhibits of the future.
Sports
Football: National Football League players go on strike against the league’s 28 teams, demanding a share of the gate and TV revenues. They settle 2 months later, receiving relatively little of what they asked for.
Sports
Women in Sports: The NCAA adds nine women's national collegiate championships during the 1981-82 school year. Lacrosse is one of the original sports. Massachusetts wins the championship over Trenton State, 9 to 6.
Popular Culture
Critics and audiences rave over "Cats," the British musical that makes its Broadway debut. Andrew Lloyd Webber based the show on poet T.S. Eliot’s "Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats."
Religion
Ending some 450 years of absolute separation between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, Pope John Paul II and the Archbishop of Canterbury join in an emotional religious service. As a result Britain and the Vatican resume diplomatic relations.
Reform
Peace Corps: At this time, the Peace Corps began branching out past its traditional concerns of education- and agriculture-related projects. For the first time, a large number of conservative and Republican volunteers joined the contingent of overseas volunteers, and the organization continued to reflect the evolving political and social conditions in the United States.
1983
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) refers to the Soviet Union as an “Evil Empire.”
War
Terrorism: Simultaneous suicide truck-bombings destroy both the French and the United States Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, killing 241 US servicemen, 58 French paratroopers and 6 Lebanese civilians.
Medicine
Health care officials assure a nervous public that there is little risk of catching AIDS via blood transfusions.
Technology
Apple Computer unveils a new computer device called a “mouse”; it allows users to point an arrow in order to access computer functions rather than entering complicated instructions on a keyboard.
Education
Public Education: A blue-ribbon panel publishes A Nation at Risk, finding that the nation's educational standards “are being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity,” threatening the nation’s future.
Arts and Letters
The Nobel Prize for literature goes to Britain’s William Golding (1911-1993), author of "The Lord of the Flies."
Arts and Letters
American playwright Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) dies.
Economics
Cable television increasingly threatens the former monopoly of broadcast TV.
Economics
Video rental stores begin to attract an increasing amount of business.
Economics
Solar Electric Generating Stations (SEGs) producing as much as 13.8 megawatts are developed in California and sell electricity to the Southern California Edison Company.
Discovery
Women’s Firsts: Dr. Sally K. Ride (1951- …) becomes the first American woman to be sent into space.
Daily Life
Fifty million households tune in to the last episode of M*A*S*H.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: A Japanese company, Nintendo, brings the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), a home video game system, to the United States. With fifty-two colors, realistic sound, and high-speed action, it catches the attention of retailers who were initially skittish due to Atari''s collapse.
Sports
For the first time in its 132-year history, the America’s Cup, yachting’s most prestigious prize, leaves the U.S. It is won by an Australian vessel that comes from behind in 4 races to beat the defending Liberty.
Religion
The National Council of the Churches of Christ issues a new Bible that no longer refers to God in masculine terms only. God is called either “Father”, “Mother”, or “The One.” References to “mankind” are replaced by “humankind”or “humanity.”
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Chanting the theme of “Jobs, Peace, and Freedom,” some 250,000 Americans converge on Washington to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1963 civil rights march.
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1984
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court holds that exhibiting a publicly financed nativity scene does not violate the First Amendment.
Politics
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) is re-elected as President of the U.S., as is George H. W. Bush (1924 -) as Vice President.
Government
The United States and the Vatican reestablish diplomatic relations after 117 years.
Government
Great Britain agrees to return Hong Kong to China in 1997 when Britain’s 99-year lease on the crown colony runs out.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: The Civil Rights Commission votes to end use of numerical quotas in employment promotions of African Americans.
Medicine
Nonsmokers can get cancer by inhaling smoke from smokers’ cigarettes declares the Surgeon General.
Technology
The compact disc (CD), developed by the Dutch company Phillips and Japan’s Sony, is hailed as the music-recording medium of the future.
Arts and Letters
Literature: George Orwell’s classic novel "1984" becomes a best seller once again; his grim forecasts about totalitarianism have not come to pass.
Economics
Crayola: The Crayola® brand becomes part of Hallmark Cards, Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., the world’s leader in social expression.
Sports
The Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games open with Hollywood glitz – an enormous symphony, a huge marching band, gospel singers, break dancers, and 84 pianists. The U.S. dominates the games, which are boycotted by the Soviet Union and some other Communist nations in retaliation for the U.S. boycott of Moscow’s 1980 games.
Sports
Women in Sports: Dorothy Hamill wins the first of four straight World Professional Figure Skating championships.
Popular Culture
Michael Jackson (1958-) is nominated for 12 Grammy Awards and "Thriller" becomes the best-selling album ever.
Popular Culture
Bruce Springsteen (1949-) stirs millions with "Born in the U.S.A.," an album featuring a song of the same name, reflecting his bittersweet view of U.S. society.
Religion
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops says that capitalism fails to provide a just economic system. Bishops cite homelessness and hunger in a wealthy nation and ask the government to play a bigger role in correcting the problems.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: In Roberts v. U.S. Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609 (1984), sex discrimination in membership policies of organizations, such as the Jaycees, is forbidden by the Supreme Court, opening many previously all-male organizations (Jaycees, Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions) to women.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Hishon v. King and Spaulding, 467 U.S. 69 (1984): The U.S. Supreme Court rules that law firms may not discriminate on the basis of sex in promoting lawyers to partnership positions.
1985
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court bars a moment of silence in public schools, declaring it fosters religious activity in schools, which was declared unconstitutional in 1962.
Government
Congress passes the Gramm-Rudman bill, requiring a balanced budget for the federal government by 1991.
Government
Mikhail Gorbachev becomes head of the Soviet Union, replacing Konstantin Chernenko.
Government
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) is inaugurated as President of the U.S., as is George H. W. Bush (1924 -) as Vice President.
Government
In his State of the Union message, President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) begins his second term by calling for reform in federal income tax policy.
Science
The world’s largest particle accelerator goes into operation in Batavia, Illinois.
Medicine
Obesity is called a major killer, particularly among those who are more than 20% overweight, a category that includes 34 million Americans.
Arts and Letters
Johann Sebastian Bach’s 300th birthday is marked by performances in his hometown of Leipzig, Germany, and dozens of other cities in Europe and the U.S.
Ideas
Tipper Gore (1948- ), wife of Tennessee Senator Albert Gore (1948- ), tries to clean up rock lyrics, urging warning labels on “offensive” albums. Rocker Frank Zappa (1940-1993) speaks out in opposition, calling it censorship.
Economics
Coca-Cola markets a controversial new formulation of its soft drink, but after sales plummet it brings back the original, now dubbed “Coke Classic.”
Discovery
Divers find the hull of the luxury liner Titanic, which hit an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic in 1912. The vessel was in 12,00 feet of water.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: U.S. journalist Terry Anderson is kidnapped in Beirut; he was released 2,454 days later on December 4, 1991.
Daily Life
The cold snap of the century hits the U.S. citrus crop.
Daily Life
Women’s Firsts: Native Americans: Wilma Mankiller (1945- …) becomes the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
Sports
Women''s Firsts: Women in sports: Libby Riddles (1956-), is the first woman to win the Iditarod.
Popular Culture
45 of the world’s top recording artists get together and record "We Are the World" to raise money for world hunger.
Popular Culture
Pop star Madonna captures a vast audience and makes her first movie, "Desperately Seeking Susan."
Social Issues
Philadelphia police try to subdue the radical group Move by dropping a bomb on its headquarters, causing extensive fires and 11 deaths.
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1986
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) nominates William H. Rehnquist as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; he is confirmed by the Senate after considerable debate by a vote of 65-33. He serves in this position for nineteen years, until his death in 2005.
Government
Conservation: The federal government makes the environmental danger from toxic wastes a priority by enacting a $9 billion clean-up law.
Government
New federal legislation weakens the existing gun control law.
Government
President Ferdinand Marcos (1917-1989) flees the Philippines.
Government
Immigration: The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) legalizes illegal aliens residing in the U.S. unlawfully since 1982.
War
President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) authorizes and air attack on Libya for its terrorism, specifically the bombing of a West Berlin disco popular among American GI’s. Libyan assets are frozen, and U.S. trade with Libya is banned.
Medicine
After 620 days, the first artificial heart recipient dies.
Technology
Airplanes: Voyager, a lightweight experimental airplane, circles the Earth non-stop without refueling. Its 25,000 miles trip takes 9 days and uses 1500 gallons of fuel.
Education
Studies show that 13% of American adults are illiterate.
Economics
Manufacturing in the U.S. declines as a percentage of the gross national as industrial firms transfer production to lower wag countries; service industries increase in the national economy, creating 10 million jobs in 7 years.
Discovery
Disasters: The U.S. shuttle Challenger explodes 72 seconds after lifting off, killing all seven crew members aboard, including school teacher Christa McAuliffe (1948-1986).
Daily Life
Disasters: The worst nuclear power plant accident in history occurs at Chernobyl, near Kiev, U.S.S.R.
Daily Life
Holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated as a federal holiday for the first time.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Artist Xavier Roberts introduces his Cabbage Patch Kids into the mass market. Each of the dolls comes with an adoption certificate and unique name. Although more than three million of the dolls are produced, supply cannot keep up with demand. Cabbage Patch Kids become the most successful new dolls in the history of the toy industry.
Sports
Women in Sports: Basketball: The three-point field goal is introduced in women''s basketball.
Popular Culture
The world’s largest shopping mall achieves success in Alberta, Canada. The West Edmonton Mall boasts 836 stores and 20 movie theatres, plus restaurants and rides.
Religion
Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) pays a historic visit to Rome’s main synagogue, a gesture seen as a step toward the Vatican’s recognition of Israel.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: In Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a hostile or abusive work environment can prove discrimination based on sex.
1987
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign a treaty in Washington to eliminate short and medium range nuclear weapons.
Government
The Reagan administration proposes the government’s first trillion-dollar budget.
Science
University of California astronomers witness the birth of a galaxy containing 1 billion stars for the first time.
Science
A human growth hormone is transplanted in pig embryos to increase the size and value of hogs for slaughter, a procedure that stirs ethical and scientific debate.
Medicine
Surgeon Ben Carson (born September 18, 1951) leading a 70-member medical team in Germany, was the first to separate occipital craniopagus twins.
Technology
Expanded possible uses of superconductors make the news as a very promising scientific and technical revolution.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Van Gogh’s “Irises” is auctioned for a record $53.9 million at Sotheby’s in New York City. He painted it only days after entering a mental asylum in France.
Reagan, Nancy
First Lady Nancy Reagan (1921- ) undergoes a mastectomy after a biopsy reveals cancerous cells.
Economics
The Dow Jones industrial average plunges 508 points – 22.6%- on “Black Monday,” by far the largest one-day loss in history.
Economics
Japan’s Honda Motors sells 100,000 Acuras in the U.S., spurring Toyota and Nissan to bring out their luxury Lexus and Infiniti models.
Economics
The Ford Motor Company purchases the Hertz Corporation’s rental car business.
Daily Life
At least 36 states pass laws against the breed of dog known as a “pit-bulls.” Owners are required to keep these dogs on leashes at all times while in public.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Engineer Scott Stillinger invents the Koosh Ball in an effort to teach young children how to catch. He tied rubber bands together to make a small, easy-to-catch ball. The name "koosh" comes from the sound the ball makes as it lands in a person's hand.
Sports
Al Unser wins his 4th Indianapolis 500 auto race.
Popular Culture
Aretha Franklin (1942-) becomes the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Popular Culture
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is re-released by Disney on its 50th anniversary.
Popular Culture
The 10th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death spurs TV specials, books, and the releases of new collections of his music.
Religion
Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) visits 9 U.S. cities in a 10-day tour.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a voluntary affirmative action plan for public employees to correct sex discrimination.
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1988
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
George H. W. Bush (1924-) is elected 41st president of the U.S., and J. Danforth Quayle (1947 -) is elected as the 44th Vice President.
Government
Congress passes and President Reagan (1911-2004) signs a bill establishing the cabinet-level Department of Veterans Affairs.
Government
Immigration: The Civil Liberties Act provides compensation of $20,000 and a presidential apology to all Japanese-American survivors of the World War II internment camps.
War
Lieutenant Colonel Oliver L. North and Vice Admiral John M. Poindexter of the National Security Council are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States for their role in the Iran-contra affair.
Technology
Fax machines emerge as an integral business tool around the world. The advent of cheap machines that can transmit documents over telephone lines begins to change the way the business world communicates.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Climbing attendance at Broadway theatres is led by the success of "The Phantom of the Opera" and the Tony-winning "Madame Butterfly."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Toni Morrison (1931-) wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her book "Beloved," a novel about a runaway slave who kills her daughter rather than let her be raised as a slave.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. (1914-1988), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, dies August 17.
Economics
Rodeos become big business as U.S. corporations begin to underwrite large cash prizes for competitors.
Economics
The Ford Motor Company continues its record-setting-trend when the company’s worldwide earnings reach 5.3 billion, the highest to date for any automotive company.
Daily Life
Tokyo’s Disneyland becomes Japan’s favorite play land. It resembles its American counterpart but with a Japanese style; visitors are greeted by a smiling “Mickey-San.”
Daily Life
“No Smoking” signs go up on Northwest Airlines.
Daily Life
“Hypermarkets” become the rage. These mega-size retail stores are as big as 5 football fields and sell everything from bananas to bedroom sets. Kmart and Walmart set up dozens of these “malls without walls.”
Sports
In the Olympic Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, U.S. diver Greg Louganis repeats his 1984 triumphs by taking 2 gold medals.
Sports
Professional tennis player Steffi Graf (1969- ) of West Germany wins the Grand Slam by taking titles at Wimbledon and the Australian, French, and U.S. Opens
Sports
Women in Sports: Congress enacts the Civil Rights Restoration Act over President Ronald Reagan's veto. It prohibits sex discriminations throughout educational institutions receiving federal funds, restoring Title IX.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Olympic medalist (winter games): Debi Thomas (1967-…) wins the bronze in figure skating.
Popular Culture
Superman marks the 50th anniversary of his first appearance in Action Comics. A birthday exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution is one of the many tributes to the enduring supermyth.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Lennon (1940-1980), McCartney (1942-) , and Harrison (1943-2001) are also inducted separately in later years (1994, 1999, and 2004, respectively).
Religion
Dissident Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel LeFebvre (1905-1991) defies papal orders by consecrating 4 bishops in Switzerland. The Vatican excommunicates him.
1989
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The U.S. Supreme Court declares that the U.S Constitution protects the right of protestors to burn the U.S. flag.
Law
The Twenty-Seventh Amendment to the Constitution, requiring an election of Representatives and Senators before a raise in pay for these positions can take effect, is passed by Congress.
Politics
Thousands of Chinese students and workers demonstrate in Tiananmen Square to protest government policies.
Government
Iran breaks off diplomatic relations with Britain over Salman Rushdie’s (1947-) novel Satanic Verses.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (1952- …), of Florida, becomes the first Hispanic woman elected to congress. She serves in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Government
George H. W. Bush (1924-) is inaugurated as the 41st president of the U.S., and J. Danforth Quayle (1947 -) is inaugurated as the 44th Vice President.
War
More than 100,000 Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan almost 10years after the USSR invaded the country.
Science
The University of Cincinnati scientists report that even minor exposure to lead can stunt growth in children and make them lose their balance.
Medicine
Cigarette smoking increases the risk of eye cataracts, says Johns Hopkins University.
Arts and Letters
Chinese art draws thousands to U.S. museums when the exhibit “Masterworks of the Ming and Qing: Painting from the Forbidden City” tours 5 U.S. cities.
Discovery
The space shuttle Atlantis returns to Earth after launching the Galileo spacecraft on a 6-year exploration voyage to Jupiter.
Daily Life
Disasters: The oil tanker Exxon Valdez runs aground and spills 240,000 barrels of oil into Prince William Sound.
Daily Life
Fears of nuclear contamination rise after Soviet nuclear submarine sinks off the Norwegian coast following a fire on board.
Sports
Baseball: Pete Rose (1941- ), Cincinnati Reds manager, is banned from baseball for life for betting on games.
Popular Culture
The comic book hero Batman becomes a national phenomenon with the release of the movie "Batman," starring Michael Keaton (1951-) and Jack Nicholson (1937- ).
Popular Culture
The centennial of silent film star Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) is marked by film festivals worldwide in his honor.
Religion
Women’s Firsts: In Boston, the Reverend Barbara C. Harris (1930- …) becomes the first woman consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: In Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989), the Supreme Court affirms the right of states to deny public funding for abortions and to prohibit public hospitals from performing abortions.
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1990
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Civil Rights Movement: Discrimination against people with disabilities is banned under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Government
Douglas Wilder (1931- ) of Virginia becomes the first elected African American governor in the United States.
Government
Independence from the Soviet Union is declared by a newly elected parliament in Lithuania.
Government
Mikhail Gorbachev (1931- ) is elected the first executive president of the Soviet Union; at the same time, the Soviet parliament rules that Lithuania’s declaration of independence is invalid.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Dr. Antonia Novello (1944- …) is sworn in as U.S. Surgeon General, becoming the first woman (and first Hispanic) to hold that job.
War
Manuel Noreiga (1938- ) surrenders to U.S. forces.
Technology
NASA reports a major manufacturing flaw in the main mirror of the Hubble Space Telescope that renders its pictures fuzzy and disappointing.
Technology
The U.S. space shuttle Atlantis, with a 5-member crew, completes a secret military mission.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: The public strongly opposes bilingual education.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Elliot Roosevelt (1910-1990), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, dies on October 27 of congestive heart failure.
Economics
General Motors unveils the Saturn, a compact car aimed at a young market.
Economics
In an important court decision, Eastman Kodak is ordered to pay Polaroid more that $900 million for patent infringements.
Economics
American Money: A security thread and micro printing are introduced, first in $50 and $100 notes, to deter counterfeiting by advanced copiers and printers.
Daily Life
South African resistance leader, Nelson Mandela (1918- ), is released from prison after more than 27 years.
Sports
Women in Sports: Jennifer Capriati (1976- ), age 13, becomes the youngest player ever to reach the final of a professional tennis tournament.
Sports
Football: The New England Patriots and 3 of its players are fined for demeaning a female sports reporter.
Sports
Women in Sports: The number of women playing college sports has jumped to 160,000.
Popular Culture
"The Simpsons" premier on television.
Popular Culture
Rap music engenders controversy as an album by 2 Live Crew is ruled obscene by a Florida court.
Popular Culture
Russians get their first taste of American-style fast food when a McDonald’s opens in Moscow. Line are long until the prices are doubled.
Popular Culture
"A Chorus Line" closes after 15 years, the longest run in the history of the Broadway theatre.
1991
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Lithuanians vote overwhelmingly for independence from the Soviet Union.
Government
Women’s Firsts: On January 2, Sharon Pratt Dixon (1944- …) is sworn in as mayor of Washington, DC, becoming the first black woman to serve as mayor of a major city.
War
Persian Gulf War: A divided Congress gives President Bush (1924- ) the go-ahead on the Persian Gulf War.
War
Persian Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm is launched against Iraq.
War
Persian Gulf War: Kuwait is liberated in the Gulf War.
Science
European scientists produce a significant amount of energy from controlled nuclear fusion for the first time.
Medicine
Alzheimer’s emerges as a major U.S. public health issue. Some 4 million Americans suffer from the incurable disease that claims 100,000 lives yearly. Symptoms are gradual loss of memory, speech, and orientation.
Medicine
The Bush administration initiates a study to find ways to cut the rapid rise in health care costs.
Technology
Computers continue to be miniaturized. Hewlett-Packard introduces a hand-held model that weighs less than a pound.
Technology
During a 6-day flight, the space shuttle Atlantis puts the Gamma Ray Observatory into orbit.
Arts and Letters
New York City’s Carnegie Hall celebrates its centennial.
Arts and Letters
The 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death spurs musical tributes around the world; the largest takes place at New York’s Lincoln Center.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
James “Jimmy” Roosevelt (1907-1991), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, dies August 13.
Bush, Barbara
President Bush (1924- ) is hospitalized for 2 days for an irregular heartbeat.
Economics
Japan again assumes the title of the world’s largest automaker, turning out almost 10 million cars compared to the 6 million produced by the U.S.
Economics
Both Pan Am and Eastern Airlines go out of business.
Discovery
A radar image of the planet Venus taken by the Magellan spacecraft shows huge volcanoes and large craters.
Sports
Basketball: Led by superstar Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls capture their first National Basketball Association championship, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sports
Basketball: Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson discloses that he has the HIV virus that causes AIDS and retires from basketball.
Sports
Women in Sports: Basketball: The women''s Final Four of college basketball is televised live for the first time. Tennessee edges Virginia 70-67 for its third NCAA title in the first OT game in the tournament''s 10-year history.
Popular Culture
Rap music, reflecting inner-city social conditions, extends its influence to mainstream America through artists such as MC Hammer (1962- ), 2 Live Crew, and Run DMC.
Popular Culture
Country star Garth Brooks (1962-) is the dominant solo performer on the concert and recording scene.
Religion
Pope John Paul II (1920-2205) names 22 new cardinals, including 2 Americans – Archbishops Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia and Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles.
Social Issues
Racism: Four white policemen are indicted by a Los Angeles, California grand jury for the beating of a black motorist, Rodney King. The brutal beating, captured on videotape by an amateur, is widely seen on TV.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 strengthened existing civil rights laws. However, the acquittal of the white police officers involved in the beating of Rodney King triggered the largest and most violent race riots in many years.
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1992
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twenty-Seventh Amendment to the Constitution, requiring an election of Representatives and Senators before a raise in pay for these positions can take effect, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Politics
Democrat William J. Clinton (1946- …) is elected the 42nd President of the U.S. and Albet A. Gore (1948-) is elected the 45th Vice President.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Carol Moseley-Braun (1947- …), of Illinois, becomes the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
Government
The European Community recognizes Croatia and Slovenia as separate states, effectively ending the Yugoslav Federation, founded in 1918.
Government
Mongolia’s new non-communist constitution takes effect.
Government
Stamps: Full-scale production of U.S. self-adhesive stamps begins.
Government
The Energy Policy Act establishes a permanent 10 percent investment tax credit for solar and geothermal powergenerating equipment.
War
The El Salvador government signs a peace treaty with guerilla forces, formally ending 12 years of civil war.
Technology
Dell Computer brings out a trend-setting 3.5-pound laptop, accelerating the use of these small computers.
Arts and Letters
Women''s Firsts: Poetry: Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mona Van Duyn (1921-2004) is the first woman chosen as U.S. poet laureate.
Arts and Letters
UNESCO begins a 5-year project to photograph the world’s cultural and natural wonders before they are further harmed by war or environmental problems.
Economics
U.S. unemployment soars to 7.8%, its highest rate since 1983.
Discovery
A sculptured head of a giant bird that was one of the main Mayan gods is discovered in what was the ancient Mayan city of Nakbe.
Discovery
Archeologists uncover Ubar, a 5000-year-old trading city famous for its frankincense, under the desert sands in Oman.
Discovery
Pioneer 10 continues to send back deep-space data 20 years after its launch. 5 billion miles out, the probe still has 7 functioning instruments.
Discovery
U.S. launches the Mars Observer, an unmanned spacecraft designed to orbit and study Mars.
Discovery
Space Exploration: Women’s Firsts: Mae Jemison (1956- …) becomes the first black female astronaut.
Daily Life
Crayola: Crayola multicultural crayons, an assortment of skin tone-based colors that let children more accurately color themselves, are introduced.
Daily Life
Crayola: Crayola brings washability — an all-new innovation to crayons — with the first crayons that wash off walls.
Sports
Europe hosts both Olympics, with the XVI Winter Games in Albertville, France and the XXV Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain.
Sports
Women in Sports: "A League of Their Own," a movie by director Penny Marshall about the first year of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, is a box office hit, due in large part to the many women who went to see female sports role models on the screen.
Popular Culture
Johnny Carson (1925-2005) retires as host of NBC’s "The Tonight Show" after nearly 30 years.
Popular Culture
A young Elvis Presley (1935-1977) is portrayed on a postage stamp; some $20 million worth are kept by collectors.
Popular Culture
The hit TV show "Murphy Brown" becomes controversial when the campaigning Vice President Dan Quayle (1947- ) says it undermines U.S. moral values by presenting its star as a single mother.
Religion
Bible Lands Museum opens in Jerusalem, Israel, with the purpose of dramatizing the people and events of the Bible in its original environment.
Religion
The Church of England allows the ordination of women priests.
Religion
Bloody religious conflicts erupt in India after Hindus desecrate a historic Muslim mosque.
Social Issues
Racism: A jury in Los Angeles acquits four police officers accused of beating Rodney King, Jr.; the verdict leads to massive rioting and looting.
Social Issues
Native Americans: New Mexico observes Columbus Quincentenary, welcomes Cristobal Colon XX.
1993
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Fidel Castro’s daughter wins political asylum in the U.S.
Government
Czechoslovakia peacefully splits into the Czech Republic and Slovakia; the playwright, Vaclav Havel (1936-), is elected President of the Czech Republic.
Government
Congress passes the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Janet Reno (1938- …) becomes the first woman U.S. attorney general.
Government
William J. Clinton (1946-) is inaugurated as the 42nd President of the U.S. and Albert A. Gore (1948-) is inaugurated as the 45th Vice President.
War
Terrorism: Terrorists bomb the World Trade Center on February 26, killing five.
War
Women’s Firsts: Sheila Widnall (1938- …) becomes the first secretary of a branch of the U.S. military when she is appointed to head the Air Force.
Medicine
The Food and Drug Administration says second hand smoke causes 6,000 U.S. deaths yearly.
Medicine
The measles epidemic in the U.S. is finally over.
Technology
The blurry Hubble Space Telescope is brought into focus by astronauts from the U.S. space shuttle Endeavor, whose astronauts fit new optics and devises that corrected the $3 billion observatory.
Arts and Letters
Women’s Firsts: Literature: Toni Morrison (1931- …) becomes the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature.
Hoover, Lou
Allan Henry Hoover (1907-1993), son of Herbert and Lou Hoover, dies November 8.
Clinton, Hillary
The President and First Lady Hillary Clinton (1947- ) push for national health care reform, but the controversial bill succumbs to political pressure.
Economics
Western Europe’s economic slump is the worst in 20 years.
Economics
Ford Motor Company: FMC accomplishes another great fear when five of the United States’ eight top selling vehicles were Fords.
Discovery
Archeologists in Israel uncover a stone monument with text in Aramaic mentioning King David and his descendents-the only known reference to him outside the Bible.
Daily Life
Disasters: Four federal agents are killed in Waco, Texas, after trying to serve an arrest warrant for weapons charges against Branch Davidian sect leader David Koresh (1959-1993), starting a 51-day standoff.
Daily Life
Disasters: The siege at Waco, Texas ends when the FBI moves into the Branch Davidian compound with tear gas and cult members set fire to the compound killing over 80 people.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: H. Ty Warner begins to market understuffed plush bean bag toys called Beanie Babies.
Daily Life
Holidays: All 50 states join in the observance of Martin Luther King Day.
Sports
Women''s Firsts: Women in Sports: Basketball: Ann Meyers becomes the first woman inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
Sports
Tennis’s top-ranked player Monica Seles (1973- ) is stabbed in the back by an obsessed German fan of Steffi Graf (1969- ) and has to leave the tennis tour.
Popular Culture
The 1993 Oscar for the best picture goes to "Schindler’s List."
Popular Culture
Tom Hanks (1956- ) is awarded the best actor award for his portrayal of an AIDS victim in the movie entitled "Philadelphia."
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The Family and Medical Leave Act goes into effect.
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