Beginning Year:       Ending Year:      
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
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.
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.
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.
back to top ^
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
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.
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.
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
Women in Sports: The Roller Derby is broadcast live on television from New York City with women skaters.
Sports
Baseball: Stan Musial (1920-) of the St. Louis Cardinals wins the Most Valuable Player Award for the third time.
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
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.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Native Americans win the right to vote in state elections.
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
First implant of intraocular lens used by Sir Harold Ridley (1906- 2001).
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.
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.
back to top ^
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.
back to top ^
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
Epidemic: In the worst polio epidemic since 1916, polio takes 3,300 lives out of 57,628 cases reported.
Medicine
Vaccines: Jonas Salk (1914- 1995) develops the first polio vaccine.
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
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.
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.
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.
back to top ^
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.
back to top ^
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
Vaccines: Albert Sabin (1906-1993) begins human trials on his oral polio vaccine.
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).
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.
back to top ^
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
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.
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.
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.
back to top ^
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
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.
Politics
President Eisenhower (1890-1969) makes goodwill tours in the Far East and Latin America.
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
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.
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.
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
Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) releases the suspense thriller, "Psycho."
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.
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
France and England connect their electrical grids with a cable submerged in the English Channel.
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.
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.”
back to top ^
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
Education: The Supreme Court rules that public schools cannot require the recitation of prayers because it violates the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Law
The Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, banning poll taxes, is passed by Congress.
Government
Stamps: The first U.S. Christmas stamp is issued.
Government
The Trade Expansion Act gives the President the right to reduce tariffs and to assist companies hurt by lower duties.
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.
back to top ^
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
The Maple Leaf Flag officially becomes the new national flag of Canada.
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
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.
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.
back to top ^
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
Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) is elected prime minister of India.
Government
The Cabinet-level Department of Transportation is established.
Government
Immigration: The Cuban Refugee Act permits more than 400,000 people to enter the United States.
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.
back to top ^
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
Native Americans: Title II of the Civil Rights Act gives full civil rights to individuals living under tribal law.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) signs the 1968 Civil Rights 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
American Theatre: The Negro Ensemble Company is formed.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Kurt Vonnegut (1922- ) publishes "Welcome to the Monkey House."
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 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).
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles release a full-length musical cartoon, "Yellow Submarine."
Popular Culture
Disney’s Mickey Mouse celebrates his 40th birthday.
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
A fossil skull found in Antarctica proves “without question” the theory of continental drift.
Science
The fourth or “D” ring of Saturn is discovered.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
back to top ^
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
Transportation: The first jumbo jet is invented.
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.
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
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.
Popular Culture
“Doonesbury,” a satirical comic strip created by Gary Trudeau (1948-), has its debut in 30 newspapers.
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.
back to top ^
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
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.
Economics
Personal Computers: The People's Computer Company is founded.
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: Women''s Rights Movement: The New York City Court of Appeals upholds a woman’s right to be an umpire in professional baseball.
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.”
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.
back to top ^
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
Civil Rights Movement: The Boston school committee rejects a court-ordered busing plan for desegregation.
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
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
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.
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.
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
Baseball: An arbitrator’s ruling leads to a modification of the reserve clause and the start of free agency. Baseball salaries begin to skyrocket.
Sports
Women in Sports: Title IX goes effect on June 21.
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.
back to top ^
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
Women’s Firsts: Sarah Caldwell (1924- …) becomes the first woman to conduct at New York's Metropolitan Opera House.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Kurt Vonnegut (1922- ) publishes "Slapstick."
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.
back to top ^
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.
back to top ^
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Education
UNESCO reports that almost 1/3 of the world’s population are illiterate.
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.
back to top ^
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
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.
Daily Life
Fifty million households tune in to the last episode of M*A*S*H.
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.
back to top ^
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
Women in Sports: Dorothy Hamill wins the first of four straight World Professional Figure Skating championships.
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.
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.
back to top ^
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
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.
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.
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.
back to top ^
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
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).
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.
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.
back to top ^
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.
back to top ^
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
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.
Sports
Europe hosts both Olympics, with the XVI Winter Games in Albertville, France and the XXV Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain.
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
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.
War
Terrorism: Terrorists bomb the World Trade Center on February 26, killing five.
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
Holidays: All 50 states join in the observance of Martin Luther King Day.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: H. Ty Warner begins to market understuffed plush bean bag toys called Beanie Babies.
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.
back to top ^
1994
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 first multi-racial elections are held in South Africa.
Government
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes into effect.
Government
Rudolph Giuliani (1944- ) is inaugurated as New York City’s mayor.
War
Puerto Rico: Sep 7, U.S. Marines began training on a Puerto Rican island amid talk in Washington of a U.S.-led intervention in Haiti.
Medicine
The Food and Drug Administration extends approval of Prozac, the best selling anti-depressant drug, to treat bulimia and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Education
Libraries: The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History opens as a special branch of the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library System.
Education
Public Education: Immigration: Proposition 187 passes in California, making it illegal for children of undocumented immigrants to attend public school. Federal courts hold Proposition 187 unconstitutional, but anti-immigrant feeling spreads across the country.
Education
Women's Rights Movement: Education of Women: Congress adopts the Gender Equity in Education Act to train teachers in gender equity, promote math and science learning by girls, counsel pregnant teens, and prevent sexual harassment.
Kennedy, Jackie
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, widow of President Kennedy, noted for her glamour and style, dies in New York City.
Reagan, Nancy
The disclosure that Ronald Reagan has Alzheimer’s disease heightens concern about the degenerative illness that afflicts 4 million elderly Americans.
Discovery
Archaeologists in Colorado find an 8000-year-old skeleton in a cave, the first confirmation that humans lived at high elevations in prehistoric America.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Byron De La Beckwith (1920-2001) is sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Medgar Evers, 30 years after the crime in Jackson, Mississippi.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Four Muslim fundamentalists are found guilty in the World Trade Center bombing in New York.
Sports
Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan (1969- ) is clubbed on the leg by a group of men including the husband of her rival skater Tonya Harding (1970- ).
Sports
Baseball: The year without a World Series: the longest and costliest strike in baseball history begins on August 12, 1994, and lasts until the following spring.
Popular Culture
The entertainment industry’s wedding of the year unites megastar singer Michael Jackson (1958-) and Lisa Marie Presley (1968- ), Elvis’s daughter.
Popular Culture
"Forrest Gump" is Hollywood’s biggest money-maker, attracting moviegoers with its positive vision of life.
Religion
The Church of England (Anglican) ordains women as priests for the first time.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The Violence Against Women Act funds services for victims of rape and domestic violence, allows women to seek civil rights remedies for gender-related crimes, provides training to increase police and court officials’ sensitivity and a national 24-hour hotline for battered women.
1995
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 United States and Vietnam established full diplomatic relations.
Government
The U.S. federal government begins a partial shut down of government services after the U.S. Congress cannot pass a budget.
Government
President Bill Clinton (1946-) becomes the first U.S. president to visit Northern Ireland.
War
The Korean War Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC.
Science
The Hale-Bopp comet is discovered by Alan Hale (1958- ) and Thomas Bopp (1949- ).
Science
Dr. Jonas Salk (1914-1995), the medical pioneer who developed the first polio vaccine, dies.
Technology
Colonel Eileen Collins (1956- ) becomes the first woman to pilot the space shuttle when the Discovery blasts off.
Technology
The shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir dock, forming the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit Earth.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: In the Hopwood v. University of Texas Law School court case, the 5th Circuit holds that “educational diversity is not recognized as a compelling state interest.”
Economics
Ford Motor Company: FMC initiates Ford 2000, a restructuring plan that begins with the merging of North American and European automotive operations and the creation of the global management team. Ford 2000 aims to combine the power, resources, and reach of a world company with the immediacy, intimacy, agility, and spirit of a small one.
Daily Life
Terrorism: Poisonous gas is released in a Tokyo subway station by two members of the Japanese cult Aum Sinrikyo, killing 12 people and sending over 5,000 people to hospitals for treatment.
Daily Life
Terrorism: A car bomb destroys the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 people, including 19 children, in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.
Sports
Baseball: Major League Baseball players agreed to end the sport’s longest strike in history after a judge ordered a preliminary injunction against team owners.
Sports
Boxing: Boxer Mike Tyson (1966- ) is freed from an Indiana prison where he served three years for sexual assault.
Popular Culture
Hot Air Balloons: Steve Fossett (1944- ) becomes first person to cross the Pacific Ocean solo in a balloon.
back to top ^
1996
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
Gay Rights Movement: In a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court rejects a Colorado measure banning laws that protect homosexuals from discrimination.
Law
Famous Trials: Rwanda's first genocide trial opens for the 1994 slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis.
Politics
William J. Clinton (1946 - )is re-elected President of the U.S., as is Albert A. Gore (1948 - ) re-elected Vice President.
Politics
Russia votes in its first independent presidential election. Boris Yeltsin (1931- ) eventually wins in a runoff.
Government
The United States and the world's other major nuclear powers sign a treaty to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons.
War
Moslem-Croat authorities take control of the last Serbian-held district in Sarajevo, enabling the city to become united after four years of fighting.
Science
Dolly, the first sheep cloned from adult cells, is born.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, votes to admit women.
Education
Public Education: Civil Rights Movement: Leading the way backwards again, California passes Proposition 209, which outlaws affirmative action in public employment, public contracting and public education. Other states jump on the bandwagon with their own initiatives and right wing elements hope to pass similar legislation on a federal level.
Education
Women's Rights Movement: Education of Women: United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996), affirms that the male-only admissions policy of the state-supported Virginia Military Institute violates the Fourteenth Amendment.
Economics
American Money: In the first significant design change in 67 years, U.S. currency is redesigned to incorporate a series of new counterfeit deterrents.
Daily Life
Terrorism: A shooting that killed 16 children and 1 teacher in a school in Dunblane, Scotland, occurs.
Daily Life
Terrorism: A pipe bomb explodes in an Atlanta park during the Olympic Games.
Sports
The 100th Boston Marathon is won by Moses Tanui of Kenya.
Sports
Women in Sports: Spalding Sports introduces the first baseball glove specifically designed to fit a woman's hand.
Popular Culture
Chess champion Garry Kasparov (1963- ) beats the IBM computer, Deep Blue, winning the six-game match.
1997
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 Scotland, voters approve the establishment of a parliament to run their domestic affairs, after 290 years of union with England.
Government
Representatives from more than 150 countries gather at a global warming summit in Kyoto, Japan, and over the course of ten days forge an agreement to control the emission of greenhouse gases. President Bush pulls the U.S. out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001.
Government
Yasser Arafat (1929-2004) returns to Hebron for the first time in 30 years, as Israel hands over control of the West Bank city to the Palestinians.
Government
North and South Korean representatives meet for the first time in 25 years for peace talks.
Government
Tony Blair (1953- ) becomes Prime Minister of Britain, ending 18 years of conservative rule. At 44, he is the youngest prime minister in 185 years.
Government
After 156 years of British colonial rule, Hong Kong is returned to China.
Government
British prime minister Tony Blair (1953-) and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams meet—the first time in 76 years that a British leader and an IRA ally meet.
Government
Stamps: U.S. Postal Service introduces linerless coil self-adhesives (Linerless coils mean there is no backing paper on the stamps).
Government
Women’s Firsts: Madeleine Albright (1937- …) is sworn in as U.S. secretary of state. She is the first woman in this position as well as the highest-ranking woman in the United States government.
Government
William J. Clinton (1946 - )is inaugurated President of the U.S., as is Albert A. Gore (1948 - ) inaugurated as Vice President.
War
Terrorism: Timothy McVeigh (1968-2001) is found guilty of the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.
Science
Scottish scientists announce the successful cloning of a sheep, Dolly.
Science
The comet Hale-Bopp makes its closest approach to Earth in the skies over the northern hemisphere; the comet’s next pass is predicted for the year 4397.
Science
The first joint U.S.-Russian space walk is made by Jerry Linenger and Vasily Tsibliyev from space station Mir.
Science
The U.S. Air Force releases The Roswell Report, closing the case on the 1947 Roswell, N.M. incident concerning UFOs and alien bodies.
Technology
Queen Elizabeth II launches the first royal website.
Technology
IBM’s computer, Deep Blue, beats the world chess champion, Garry Kasparov (1963).
Education
Children''s Books: The first volume of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer''s Stone" is published.
Economics
Under international pressure, three of Switzerland’s biggest banks create a fund worth 100 million Swiss francs for Holocaust victims and their families.
Economics
The Dow Jones industrial average falls 554.26 points, forcing the stock market to shut down.
Discovery
Linda Finch completes Amelia Earhart''s (1898-1937) attempted around-the-world flight.
Discovery
The U.S. Pathfinder probe lands on Mars.
Discovery
The Mars rover Sojourner rolls onto the Martian surface.
Daily Life
History of Toys: Crayola: New crayon colors are issued commemorating eight true blue heroes nominated by kids. The new colors include: outer space, mountain meadow, fuzzy wuzzy brown, brink pink, shadow, banana mania, torch red and purple heart.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Timothy McVeigh (1968-2001) is found guilty of the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.
Sports
Women in Sports: The NBA hires two female referees, Dee Kantner and Violet Palmer, the first to work regular-season games in a major men's pro sports league.
Sports
Black Athletes: Tiger Woods (1975- ) becomes the youngest person to win the Masters Tournament and the first of African descent to win a major golf title.
Sports
Baseball: Inter-league play begins in baseball, ending a 126-year tradition of separating the major leagues until the World Series.
Sports
The Women''s National Basketball Association makes its debut.
Sports
Boxing: Boxer Mike Tyson (1966- ) bites Evander Holyfield''s (1962- ) ear during their heavyweight title fight, earning a 16-month suspension.
Religion
39 members of the Heaven’s Gate religious cult commit suicide in California, believing that they would then “board” a spacecraft traveling with the Hale-Bopp comet.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Corporation for Public Broadcasting establishes Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc., (NAPT) to promote, produce and distribute Native American television and radio programming.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Elaborating on Title IX, the Supreme Court rules that college athletics programs must actively involve roughly equal numbers of men and women to qualify for federal support.
back to top ^
1998
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 Clinton (1946-) becomes the first sitting U.S. president to testify as a defendant in a criminal or civil suit.
Government
Tony Blair becomes the first British prime minister to speak to the Irish parliament.
Government
Stamps: U.S. Postal Service issues its first semi-postal.(Semi-postals are postage stamps which are used to raise funds for a charity).
Government
The U.S. House of Representatives approves two of four proposed Articles of Impeachment against President Bill Clinton (1946 …); the House Judiciary Committee approves a final Article of Impeachment against President Clinton. He is later acquitted of all charges by the Senate.
War
The remains of a Vietnam War serviceman buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers are identified as those of Air Force pilot Michael J. Blassie.
War
Terrorism: Terrorists bomb U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, some 224 are killed and more than 5,500 are injured.
War
Terrorism: U.S. cruise missiles hit suspected terrorist bases in Afghanistan and the Sudan.
War
The “Good Friday Accord” is reached, suspending hostilities in Northern Ireland.
Science
Nineteen European countries sign an agreement that bans human cloning.
Education
Public Education: A California multi-millionaire named Ron Unz manages to put a measure on the June 1998 ballot outlawing bilingual education in California. It passes.
Education
Children's Books: J. K. Rowling publishes the first of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
Discovery
Space Exploration: John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, returns to space at age 77.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Ramzi Yousef, is sentenced to life in prison.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, is sentenced to four life terms plus 30 years for his series of bombings that killed three and injured 23.
Daily Life
History of Toys: Crayola: The Crayola 64 Box is reintroduced in its original packaging, complete with built in sharpener. A 1958 Crayola 64 Box becomes part of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.
Daily Life
Women’s Firsts: During Operation Desert Fox in Iraq, Lt. Kendra Williams (1972- …), USN, becomes the first U.S. female combat pilot to bomb an enemy target.
Sports
Women in Sports: According to a survey conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education, 40% of athletes at Division I schools in 1997-98 were women, a 5% increase from 1996-97. Women also received 40% of athletic scholarship budgets, up 14% from the previous year.
Sports
Women in Sports: Tara Lipinski (1982) wins the Olympic figure skating gold medal.
Sports
Women in Sports: The U.S. women’s hockey team wins the gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
Sports
Baseball: Mark McGwire''s (1963-) 62nd home run breaks Roger Maris''s record of 61 homers set in 1961.
Sports
Baseball: Baltimore Oriole shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr., sits out a game, ending his consecutive game-playing streak. Ripken played 2,632 consecutive games over 16 seasons.
Popular Culture
The movie "Titanic" surpasses "Star Wars" as the highest grossing U.S. film of all time.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America agrees to pay $34 million to settle an E.E.O.C. lawsuit contending that hundreds of women were sexually harassed.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth; The Supreme Court balances employee and employer rights. It rules that employers are liable for sexual harassment even in instances when a supervisor’s threats are not carried out. But the employer can defend itself by showing that it took steps to prevent or promptly correct any sexually harassing behavior and the employee did not take advantage of available opportunities to stop the behavior or complain of the behavior.
1999
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
Former wrestler Jesse Ventura (1951- ) is sworn in as Minnesota’s governor.
Government
Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee is arrested and charged with stealing classified information.
War
NATO begins air strikes over Serbia in an attempt to force the Serbs to stop hostilities against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
Science
Scientists announce the creation of Element 114.
Education
Women's Firsts: The Citadel in South Carolina graduates its first female cadet, Nancy Mace.
Education
14 students (including the 2 student shooters) and 1 teacher are killed, and 23 others are wounded at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
Education
Children's Books: J. K. Rowling publishes the second and third books in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."
Kennedy, Jackie
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. (1960-1999), son of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, dies tragically July 17 in a plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard.
Economics
The U.S. Mint begins distribution of the 50 State Quarters.
Economics
The Dow Jones industrial average closes above 10,000 for the first time.
Discovery
Space Exploration: Women’s Firsts: Lt. Col. Eileen Collins (1956- …) is the first woman astronaut to command a space shuttle mission.
Daily Life
Disasters: Kansas and Oklahoma are hit by an outbreak of more than 55 tornadoes, including one measured at F5 on the Fujita scale.
Sports
Basketball: B lack Athletes: Michael Jordan (1963-) announces his second retirement from the NBA. He comes back to play in 2001.
Sports
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky (1961- ) announces his retirement.
Sports
Baseball: New York Yankee David Cone (1963- ) pitches the 16th perfect game in baseball history.
Sports
Baseball: Sammy Sosa (1968- ) becomes the first player in major league baseball history to hit 60 homers in two seasons.
Popular Culture
Susan Lucci (1947- ) finally wins a Daytime Emmy on her 19th nomination.
Religion
A Protestant and Catholic cabinet convene for the first time in Northern Ireland.
back to top ^
2000
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 unanimously that an anonymous tip does not justify a stop-and-frisk action against a person.
Law
The U.S. Supreme Court stops the presidential election recount in Florida and declares George W. Bush the 43rd President of the United States; Richard B. Cheney (1941-) is elected as the 46th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: Green Party candidate Ralph Nader (1934-…) takes votes that may otherwise have been cast for Gore in this election.
Politics
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (1942- ) of Connecticut is selected by Al Gore (1948- ) to be the first Jewish vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket.
Politics
Independent Counsel Robert Ray announces the end of the Whitewater investigation, saying there is insufficient evidence to charge President Clinton and his wife, Hilary.
Government
Immigration: INS Commissioner Doris Meissner rules that 6-year old Elian Gonzalez (1994- ) must be returned to Cuba.
Government
Finland elects its first female president.
Government
Colin Powell (1937- ) is selected to become the first African American Secretary of State and Condoleeza Rice to become the first African American National Security Advisor.
War
Terrorism: 17 U.S. sailors are killed during the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.
Science
The first map of the human genome, which required decoding more than 3 billion biochemical "letters" of human DNA, is completed.
Medicine
The mapping of the human genome promises to open whole new avenues of medical knowledge and the treatment of such diseases as cystic fibrosis and diabetes.
Inventions
The Segway Human Transporter (a two-wheeled scooter-like vehicle using five gyroscopes and a built-in computer to remain upright) is invented.
Technology
After years of preparation for Y2K, only minor problems occur as the world "ticks" over into a new millennium.
Education
The Supreme Court rules that student-led prayers at high school football games violate the Constitutional provision against the establishment of religion by the government.
Education
Children's Books: J. K. Rowling publishes the fourth Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."
Arts and Letters
The fourth of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" is published.
Coolidge, Grace
John Coolidge (1906-2000), son of Calvin and Grace Coolidge, dies May 31 at the age of 93. At this time, he is the oldest living child of an American President.
Clinton, Hillary
Hillary Clinton (1947-) becomes the first former First Lady to be elected to the United States Senate.
Economics
The Dow Jones stock average hit $11,722.98.
Economics
Population: The 2000 census reveals a population of 281,421,906.
Discovery
The International Space Station becomes fully staffed.
Daily Life
History of Toys: Crayola: Mess-free art makes moms happy! Color Wonder™, a brand new coloring and drawing technology, is launched. Colorless ink inside Color Wonder Markers pops into living color only on special paper —not walls, skin or clothing.
Daily Life
Disasters: The supersonic airliner Concorde crashes after takeoff outside Paris.
Daily Life
South Carolina passes legislation that mandates the Confederate flag be removed from the South Carolina statehouse.
Sports
Women in Sports: ABC airs a movie about the life of Special Olympics athlete Loretta Claiborne who was born partially blind, ran in 25 marathons, and carried the torch in the International Special Olympics where she has won medals in dozens of events. “The Loretta Claiborne Story” details her life both on and off the track.
Sports
Baseball: For the first time, the Major League baseball season opens in Tokyo, Japan (Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets).
Sports
Black Athletes: Tiger Woods (1974- ) wins the PGA Championship becoming the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win three majors in one year.
Sports
The Summer Olympics are held in Sydney, Australia.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles release a "best of" collection, entitled "1." The CD includes 27 number one hits by the band and, within five weeks, becomes the best selling album of the year.
Religion
The Catholic Church releases a document called "Memory and Reconcilliation," in which it seeks forgiveness for such past errors as persecution of the Jews, the Inquisition, and the practice of coercing conversions.
Religion
Pope John Paul II becomes the first Roman Catholic leader to vitit Israel.
Reform
Gay Rights Movement: Vermont Governor, Howard Dean (1948- ), signs the nation's first bill allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000). The U.S. Supreme Court invalidates those portions of the Violence Against Women Act permitting victims of rape, domestic violence, etc. to sue their attackers in federal court.
2001
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
Vermont senator James Jeffords quits the Republican Party and becomes an Independent, giving Democrats control of the Senate.
Government
The United States, a member of the UN Human Rights Commission since its inception, loses its seat. It is restored the following year.
Government
George W. Bush is inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United Stgates; Richard B. Cheney (1941-) is inaugurated as the 46th Vice President.
War
Terrorism: Terrorists attack the United States on September 11 by flying two airplanes into the World Trade Center, and one into the Pentagon. A fourth plane, destined for the Capitol, crashes into the ground in Pennsylvania because some of its passengers made a failed but heroic attempt to recover the aircraft from its terrorist pilots.
War
A memorial honoring Japanese-American veterans and detainees opens on the edge of the Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C.
War
War on Terror: The U.S. announces plans to hold Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
War
War on Terror: The Pentagon orders combat aircraft to the Persian Gulf following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
War
War on Terror: U.S. and British forces launch a bombing campaign against the Taliban government and al-Qaeda terrorist camps in Afghanistan. Taliban forces flee from Kandahar, their last stronghold in Afghanistan.
Science
Astronomers announce the discovery of the first solar system outside our own.
Inventions
Apple Computer introduces the iPod, their portable digital music player.
Technology
Russia's Mir space station ends its 15-year orbit of the Earth, splashing down in the South Pacific.
Education
Evolution: The Kansas Board of Education reverses its 1999 ruling and restores evolution to the state's science curriculum.
Education
Higher Education: Civil Rights Movement: A federal judge rules that the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policy is invalid, a ruling that later is reversed in an appeal.
Education
Public Education: Congress passes a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, called No Child Left Behind. It is the largest, most invasive measure ever taken by the federal government in public education.
Bush, Laura
Laura Welsh Bush (1946-) becomes the First Lady of the United States.
Economics
President Bush (1946- ) permanently normalizes trade relations with China.
Economics
Enron Corp., under CEO Kenneth Lay, files for bankruptcy.
Discovery
Dennis Tito (1940) becomes the first space tourist.
Discovery
The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft is the first vehicle to land on an asteroid (433 Eros).
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Timothy McVeigh, the 1995 Oklahoma City bomber, is executed.
Daily Life
Vermont''s civil unions law goes into effect, allowing legal unions between gay couples.
Daily Life
Twelve Senate offices are closed when a letter to Senator Tom Daschle is found to contain anthrax.
Sports
Women in Sports: In Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, the U.S. Supreme Court rules 5-4 that state high school athletic associations are "state actors" and therefore subject to the U.S. Constitution’snondiscrimination requirements. The ruling will help ensure equality for female and minority students in school sports.
Sports
Baseball: October 30, just weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, President George W. Bush throws out the first ball of the third game of the World Series in New York’s Yankee Stadium.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications reportedly sends out of a list of 150 songs that were recommended to be pulled from airplay. Four Beatles songs were on the list: "A Day in the Life", "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "Ticket To Ride", and "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". John Lennon's (1940-1980) "Imagine" was also listed.
Religion
Education: The Supreme Court rules that elementary schools must allow after-school activities that are religious in nature to meet in school buildings.
Reform
Gay Rights Movement: The Netherlands becomes the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
back to top ^
2002
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: Nancy Pelosi (1940- ) of California becomes the first woman to lead a party in Congress.
Government
In his State of the Union Address, President Bush (1946- ) labels Iraq, Iran, and North Korea an “axis of evil.”
Government
President Bush proposes a new Cabinet department: The Department of Homeland Security.
War
War on Terror: The first al-Qaeda prisoners arrive at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
War
War on Terror: John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban," receives a 20-year sentence.
Science
Australian scientists announce that they have "teleported" a laser beam—breaking it up and reconstructing it in another location.
Medicine
In the past 20 years (since 1981), total world AIDS cases are 38 million; total world AIDS deaths are 20 million. In the U.S., 501,669 deaths have occured due to AIDS, out of 886,575 reported cases.
Inventions
Robotic land rovers for exploration on Mars are invented by NASA.
Arts and Letters
After 17,162 performances, "The Fantasticks" ends its almost 42-year off Broadway run.
Carter, Rosalynn
Former president Jimmy Carter (1924- ) is the first U.S. president (in or out of office) to visit Fidel Castro's Cuba.
Economics
Euro coins and notes go into circulation in twelve European nations.
Economics
WorldCom files for bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Discovery
Space shuttle Endeavor is launched: Shuttle to deliver a new crew from to the international space station, Alpha, and will bring the outgoing space station crew back to Earth.
Daily Life
The color-coded terror alert system is unveiled by Homeland Security.
Daily Life
History of Toys: Crayola: The first Crayola colors named for a region of the United States are introduced to commemorate the grand opening of Crayola Works™ Creativity Studio & Store, the first-ever interactive Crayola retail experience, located near Baltimore.
Sports
Baseball: Tsuyoshi Shinjo, an outfielder for the San Francisco Giants, became the first Japanese player to take part in a World Series Game.
Sports
A French judge is accused of throwing the pairs skating decision to the Russians at the Olympics; the issue is resolved by awarding two medals--to the Canadian and the Russian pairs.
Sports
Baseball: Baseball's All-Star Game ends in a tie after 11 innings. Both sides run out of pitchers.
Sports
Women''s Firsts: Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Basketball: Lisa Leslie (1972- ) becomes the first woman to dunk in a professional basketball game.
Sports
Women in Sports: Serena Williams wins the NASDAQ 100 Open Tennis Masters Series over Jennifer Capriati in Key Biscayne.
Sports
Black Athletes: Olympic gold medalist (winter games): Vonetta Flowers (1973-…) wins gold medal for bobsled.
Popular Culture
Halle Berry (1966- ) becomes the first African-American actress to win a best actress Oscar and Denzel Washington (1954- ) becomes the second African-American actor to get the best actor award.
Popular Culture
Hot Air Balloons: Steve Fossett (1944- ) becomes the first to circumnavigate the globe solo in a balloon.
Religion
Boston archbishop Cardinal Bernard Law resigns as a result of the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandals and cover-up of priest-child molestation.
Social Issues
Illegal drugs: England to Relax Marijuana Laws: Police will not arrest people who use drug in small amounts, but will vigorously pursue dealers.
2003
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
Capital Punishment: Outgoing Illinois governor George Ryan clears the state’s death row by commuting the sentences of 167 inmates.
Government
Iraq's interim governing council is inaugurated.
Government
The U.S. House passes the "Amber Alert" bill. It provides a system for alerting the public about missing or abducted children.
War
Millions of protesters around the world demonstrate against the threat of a U.S. war on Iraq.
War
Iraq War: President Bush (1946- ) delivers an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein: leave Iraq within 48 hours or face an attack.
War
Iraq War: Operation Iraqi Freedom is launched with air strikes on Baghdad, the beginning of the war with Iraq (March 20 in Iraq).
War
Iraq War: American Marines pull down Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad after U.S. commanders declare that his rule has ended.
War
Iraq War: President Bush (1946- ) makes a speech aboard an aircraft carrier proclaiming “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.”
War
American forces capture Saddam Hussein (1937- ) who is hiding in a hole near his hometown of Tikrit.
War
Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya announces that his country will discontinue development of weapons of mass destruction.
Science
Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal, is euthanized because of incurable lung cancer.
Science
Mars makes its closest approach to earth in 60,000 years.
Science
The most distant object ever found in our solar system, named Sedna, is discovered by astronomers at the Mount Palomar Observatory.
Inventions
Putting two "hot button" items together, the camera phone is invented.
Technology
The Space Shuttle Columbia blasts off on what is intended to be its final mission; tragically, the craft breaks apart during its final descent on February 1, killing all aboard.
Technology
NASA launches the infrared Spitzer Space Telescope.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: In the Grutter v. Bollinger case, however, the Supreme Court determines that point system by which Michigan admits undergraduate freshmen is too mechanistic and thus is unconstitutional.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the University of Michigan's School of Law affirmative action policy because it serves “a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.”
Education
Children's Books: The fifth Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," is published.
Economics
American Money: U.S. currency begins to feature diferent colors, starting with the $20 note, which has subtle background colors of green, peach, and blue.
Economics
The UN Security Council approves a resolution lifting the economic sanctions against Iraq and supporting the U.S.-led administration in Iraq.
Economics
President Bush (1946- ) signs a $350 billion tax cut into law; the third largest tax cut in U.S. history.
Economics
The national do-not-call registry, formed to combat unwanted telemarketing calls and administered by the Federal Trade Commission, enrolls almost three-quarters of a million phone numbers on its first day.
Discovery
The European Space Agency launches the Mars Express probe.
Discovery
Contact with the lander Beagle 2 is lost in December.
Daily Life
The largest blackout in North American history hits the northeast.
Daily Life
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Hispanics have surpassed Blacks as the largest minority group.
Sports
Lance Armstrong (1971- ) wins his fifth straight Tour de France, tying Miguel Indurain's record.
Sports
Baseball: Red Sox switch hitter Bill Mueller becomes the first baseball player to hit grand slam home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game.
Sports
Women''s Firsts: Women in Sports: Basketball: Pat Summitt becomes the first coach in women''s basketball to win 800 career games when her Lady Vols beat DePaul 76-57. She is just the fourth coach in Division I to post 800 victories, and the first woman. Her record stands at 800-161 in 29 seasons with six national championships.
Popular Culture
Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947- ) announces his candidacy to replace Gray Davis as governor of California to Jay Leno on the Tonight Show.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: In March, 2003, the Anthology television series was released on DVD with additional bonus material.
Religion
Reverand V. Gene Robinson is elected the first openly gay bishop by New Hampshire Episcopalians.
Religion
Spain opens its first mosque (in Granada) since the Moors were expelled in 1492.
Religion
Alabama's chief justice, Roy Moore, is suspended for refusing to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state courthouse.
Reform
The Georgia legislature votes to scrap the "Confederate flag" design from its state flag.
Reform
Gay Rights Movement: Ontario, Canada issues the first full same-sex marriage licenses in North America.
Reform
Gay Rights Movement: Belgium becomes the second nation to leagalize same-sex marriage, with some restrictions, which were lifted in 2004.
back to top ^
2004
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 W. Bush (1946 -) is re-elected as the President of the United States and Richard B. Cheney (1941-) is re-elected as Vice President.
Government
President Hamid Karzai (1957- ) signs the new constitution of Afghanistan.
War
Iraq War: The Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal first comes to light when graphic photos of U.S. soldiers physically abusing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners are shown on CBS's 60 Minutes II.
War
In his second State of the Union Address, President Bush (1946- ) presents case for war with Iraq.
Science
Scientists report the discovery of Sedna, the most distant object in the solar system.
Science
A small asteroid makes the closest approach to Earth ever recorded, only about 26,500 miles away.
Technology
Michael Melville (1964- ) pilots the first privately developed spacecraft, Space Ship One, into space.
Education
Children's Books: J. K. Rowling publishes the fifth Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."
Arts and Letters
Pablo Picasso's (1881- 1973) "Boy with a Pipe" becomes the most expensive painting ever sold.
Arts and Letters
A version of Edvard Munch's (1863-1944) painting "The Scream" is stolen in Norway; another version had been stolen in 1994.
Reagan, Nancy
Former president Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) dies of pneumonia at his home in California, after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for a decade. He is the longest-living U.S. President--93 years, 120 days, breaking the record previously held by John Adams (1735-1826).
Economics
American Money: The new $50 note features subtle background colors and highlights historical symbols of Americana--specific to the $50 note are background colors of blue and red, and images of a waving American flag and a small silver-blue star.
Daily Life
Terrorism: Over 200 people are killed and over 1,400 are injured when bombs explode in Madrid train stations; Al-Qaeda takes responsibility for the attacks.
Sports
Lance Armstrong (1971- ) wins the Tour de France for a record-breaking sixth time.
Sports
The National Hockey League lockout begins. The 2004-2005 season will ultimately be canceled.
Sports
Baseball: After an 86-year wait, the Boston Red Sox finally capture a World Series trophy.
Sports
Women in Sports: The National Women's Party presents the 2004 Alice Award to Billie Jean King for her contributions to women in sports.
Reform
Gay Rights Movement: In Massachusetts, same-sex couples exchange marriage vows for the first time in the United States.
2005
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 U.S. Supreme Court rules the death penalty unconstitutional for juveniles who committed their crimes under age 18.
Law
Chief Justices: President George W. Bush (1946--) nominates John Roberts (1955--) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and he is confirmed by the Senate.
Government
George W. Bush (1946 -) is inaugurated as the President of the United States and Richard B. Cheney (1941-) is inaugurated as Vice President.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Condoleezza Rice (1954- ) becomes the first African-American female Secretary of State.
War
Iraq War: U.S. troops begin major offensive in Anbar Province, the heart of the Iraqi insurgency.
War
Terrorism: A massive suicide bomb blast in central Beirut kills Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik Hariri and at least 15 other people. At least 135 other people were also hurt.
War
Uzbek troops kill up to 700 during protests in eastern Uzbekistan over the trials of 23 accused Islamic extremists. President Islam Karimov defends the act.
Science
The Huygens probe lands on Saturn's moon Titan
Medicine
The first human face transplant is performed in France.
Inventions
YouTube, the online video sharing and viewing community, is invented.
Technology
Sony's PlayStation 3 makes it's debut at the E3 trade show.
Technology
Apple Computer announces they will switch to Intel processors in 2006.
Education
The 6th Harry Potter book by J. K. Rowling is released: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."
Education
Children's Books: J. K. Rowling publishes the sixth Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."
Economics
Oil prices rise sharply following economic effects of Hurricane Katrina.
Economics
The world's largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, is formed by the merger of two Japanese banking conglomerates.
Discovery
Space Exploration: Space Shuttle Discovery is launched; this is the first Space Shuttle flight in the nearly two and a half years since the breakup of Columbia on its return from space.
Daily Life
Disasters: At least 1,383 are killed, and severe damage is caused along the U.S. Gulf Coast, as Hurricane Katrina strikes the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastal areas. Within hours, levees give way and New Orleans is flooded.
Daily Life
The United States' 11th Circuit Court of Appeals' 2-1 decision refuses to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.
Daily Life
The Huffington Post weblog makes it's debut.
Sports
Football: The New England Patriots defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 to win their third Super Bowl in four years.
Sports
The National Hockey League cancels its 2004-2005 season becoming the first North American professional league to cancel a season due to a labour dispute.
Sports
Baseball: The Chicago White Sox sweep the Houston Astros to win their first World Series in 88 years.
Sports
Lance Armstrong wins a record seventh straight Tours de France before his scheduled retirement.
Sports
Women in Sports: the organizers of the New York City Marathon, announce they will award its women's champion $30,000 more than its men's winner for the November 2005 race. The $130,000 for the women's champion will be the biggest first prize for any marathon. This may be the first time a sports event pays more to a woman than a man in the same competition.
Popular Culture
"Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" is released, effectively completing the Star Wars movie saga begun by George Lucas in 1977 and shattering the opening day box-office record with $50,013,859.
Popular Culture
Microsoft releases the Xbox 360 gaming console in North America.
Religion
Pope John Paul II dies, causing widespread grief in the world; Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is elected Pope Benedict XVI on the second day of the Papal conclave.
Reform
Gay Rights Movement: Spain and Canada join Belgium and the Netherlands in legalizing same-sex marriage.
Reform
Labor Movement: New York City transit strike: New York City's Transport Workers Union Local 100 goes on strike for three days, shutting down all New York City Subway and Bus services.
back to top ^
2006
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 military tribunals cannot be set up to try prisoners in the absence of Congressional authorization and that prisoners are entitled to fair trials under the Geneva Conventions.
Politics
Democrats win both houses of Congress in the mid-term election on November 7.
Government
The Conservative Party of Canada becomes a minority government in Canada's Parliament, replacing the Liberals after 13 years in power. Stephen Harper becomes the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada.
Government
Women's Firsts: Michelle Bachelet (1951-) is inaugurated as first female president of Chile.
Government
Donald Rumsfeld (1932-) resigns as U.S. Secretary of Defense; Robert Gates is sworn in as the new Secretary of Defense.
Government
President Bush signs a law renewing the Patriot Act, including a signing statement stating that he does not consider himself bound by its requirement to tell Congress how the law is being used.
Government
Women's Firsts: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (1951-) is sworn in as Liberia’s new president. She becomes Africa's first female elected head of state.
War
The Israel-Lebanon war begins; a cease-fire goes into effect on August 14.
War
The F-14 Tomcat is retired from the United States Navy.
War
Iraq War: Sadr City bombing attacks kill at least 215 Iraqis.
War
Iraq War: Saddam Hussein is hanged in Baghdad.
War
Iraq War: Zacarias Moussaoui is sentenced to life in prison for terrorism in Alexandria, Virginia.
Science
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that Iran has successfully enriched uranium.
Science
A science team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign successfully convert pig waste into crude oil.
Science
Pluto's newly discovered moons are officially christened Nix & Hydra on this date.
Science
Pluto is demoted to a 'dwarf planet' by the International Astronomical Union.
Science
Official naming of element 111, Roentgenium (Rg).
Science
NASA reveals photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars.
Medicine
In Scotland the prohibition of smoking in all substantially enclosed public places comes into force.
Medicine
The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the United States Army.
Inventions
Apple_inc. is granted the patent to their revolutionary device, the iPod. (patent # D516,576)
Technology
The 1 billionth song was downloaded on ITunes; the song was "Speed of Sound" by Coldplay.
Technology
Microsoft's official support of Windows 98 and Windows Me ends.
Technology
Nintendo launches the Wii.
Arts and Letters
Stolen on August 22, 2004, Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream was recovered from a raid by Norwegian police. The painting was said to be in a better-than-expected condition.
Arts and Letters
The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, perhaps the leading regional theatre in the country, moves into its new home, a building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel to “create a link with the history of the city.” The building deliberately resembles aging factories and grain silos along the Mississippi River.
Ideas
English-language “Wikipedia” reaches its one millionth article, Jordanhill railway station.
Bush, Laura
Laura Welch Bush (1946-) receives an award from the Kuwait-American Foundation honoring her dedication to improving the living conditions and education of children around the world.
Clinton, Hillary
Hillary Rodham Clinton (1947-) is re-elected to her second term as junior Senator from New York.
Ford, Betty
Gerald R. Ford ( 1913-2006) dies at home in California at the age of 93.
Economics
Western Union discontinues use of its telegram service.
Economics
Dubai Ports World agrees to postpone its plans to take over management of six U.S. ports after the proposal ignited harsh bipartisan criticism on Capitol Hill.
Economics
The world's estimated population reaches 6.5 billion.
Economics
Construction begins on the Freedom Tower for the new World Trade Center in New York City.
Economics
The Dow closes above 12,000 for the first time.
Economics
United States population reaches 300 million people.
Economics
American Money: The new $10 note features subtle shades of color and symbols of freedom--colors are orange, yellow and red, along with images of the Statue of Liberty's torch and the words "We, the People" from the U.S. Constitution.
Discovery
The New Horizons probe is launched by NASA on the first mission to Pluto.
Discovery
Final contact attempt with Pioneer 10 by the Deep Space Network. No response is received.
Discovery
Liquid water is discovered on Enceladus, the sixth largest moon of Saturn.
Discovery
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrives at Mars.
Discovery
Space Shuttle program: STS-121 Mission - Space Shuttle Discovery launches at 18:37:55 UTC.
Daily Life
A powerful Nor'easter Winter Storm blankets the Northeastern United States dumping 1 to 2 feet of snow from Washington DC up to Boston, Massachusetts. The storm dumped a record 26.9 inches of snow in New York City.
Daily Life
The largest string of firecrackers ever assembled is ignited in Buchanan, Wisconsin. It contains an estimated 10,500,000 firecrackers.
Daily Life
The Louisiana Superdome reopens after 13 months of reconstruction due to Hurricane Katrina.
Daily Life
An explosion in a coal mine leads to the death of 12 of 13 miners in the 2006 Sago Mine disaster in West Virginia.
Sports
The XX Olympic Winter Games open in Turin, Italy.
Sports
The Harlem Globetrotters extend their overall record to 22,000 wins.
Sports
Andre Agassi retires after winning 60 career titles.
Sports
The only successful drop kick in the last sixty years in the NFL was Made by Doug Flutie, the third-string quarterback of the New England Patriots, against the Miami Dolphins for an extra point after a touchdown pass by second-string quarterback Matt Cassel.
Sports
'Black Athletes: Olympic gold medalist (winter games; individual): Shani Davis (1982-…) wins gold medal for 1,000 m speed skating.
Popular Culture
The Rolling Stones made the largest show open to the public of the world in Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 1.3 million people went to the show.
Popular Culture
The Al Jazeera English global 24h news channel is launched.
Popular Culture
"The Phantom of the Opera" surpasses the record set by "Cats" for the title of longest running show on Broadway.
Religion
Pope Benedict XVI adds 15 men to the College of Cardinals, in the first consistory of his Pontificate.
Religion
Katharine J. Schori Is elected Presiding Bishop of the Episocpailiam Church USA.
Social Issues
Abortion: South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds signs a bill into legislation that would ban most abortions in the state.
Social Issues
Peace Corps: Now, the Peace Corps are trying to double the number of volunteers it sends abroad by 2007. This is in accordance with Bush's (1946- ) request in 2002.
Reform
Human Rights Movement: The United Nations General Assembly votes overwhelmingly to establish the UN Human Rights Council.
Reform
Gay Rights Movement: South Africa becomes the fifth country, the first in Africa, the second outside Europe, and the first republic to legalize same-sex marriage.
2007
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
Some 3,700 people attend the state funeral for President Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006)in Washington, D.C.
Government
Women's Firsts: Nancy Pelosi is elected Speaker of the House, by a vote of 233-202, making her the first woman to hold the leadership post.
Science
A three-year study by the influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global warming is very likely caused by human activity—specifically the emission and buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Report also says that the rise in temperatures and rising seas can be curtailed with quick action.
Inventions
The iPhone is invented by Apple.
Education
Children's Books: J. K. Rowling publishes the seventh and last of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows."
Education
Women's firsts: The Board of Overseers votes to name Drew Gilpin Faust, a historian, as the university’s first female president in its 371-year history.
Economics
American Money: The U.S. Mint issues a new dollage coin. The first one features President Washington. The Mint plans to introduce a new dollar coin four times a year, one for each president of the United States, from Washington to Ford.
Economics
Vietnam becomes the 150th member of the World Trade Organization.
Discovery
The Space Shuttle Atlantis, STS-117, begins its mission.
Daily Life
The Nobel Peace Prize 2007 was awarded jointly to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change"
Sports
Baseball: The Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the second time in four years, defeating the Colorado Rockies four games straight.
back to top ^
2008
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, 5 to 4, that the Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a gun, but insists that the ruling "is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."
Politics
Barack H. Obama (1941-) and Senator Joe Biden (1942-) are elected President and Vice President of the U.S., defeating Senator John McCain (1936-) and Governor Sarah Palin (1964-).
Government
President George W. Bush signs the 700 billion dollar TARP program into law.
War
War in Iraq: The U.S. suffers its 4,000th death in Iraq: A roadside bomb in Baghdad kills four U.S. soldiers, bringing the death toll of American troops to 4,000. President Bush said of the losses, "I have vowed in the past, and I will vow so long as I'm president, to make sure that those lives were not lost in vain, that, in fact, there is an outcome that will merit the sacrifice."
Science
An 160 square mile part of the Antarctic ice shelf disintegrates.
Arts and Letters
Kay Ryan (1945-), who has won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts for her philosophical yet humorous poems, succeeds Charles Simic as U.S. Poet Laureate and will be the 16th person to hold this honor.
Economics
Oil reaches $100 per barrel for the first time.
Economics
Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy.
Economics
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the jobless rate increases from 5% to 5.5%, the biggest monthly increase in 22 years.
Economics
The U.S. economy loses jobs for the first time in 52 months: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 17,000 jobs were eliminated in January. The figures increase fears of an imminent recession.
Discovery
A new module is added to the International Space Station: The Atlantis delivers the Columbus science laboratory, a $2 billion module that will double the station’s zero-gravity research capacity, and Europe’s most recent contribution to the ISS.
Discovery
NASA's Phoenix spacecraft lands in the polar region on Mars.
Sports
The 2008 Summer Olympics begin in Beijing, China.
Sports
Women''s Firsts: Danica Patrick (1982-) wins the Indy Japan 300, becoming the first woman to win an IndyCar race.
Religion
During his first visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI says he is "deeply ashamed" by the scandal that has rocked the Catholic church in recent years.
Social Issues
Racism: Senator Barack Obama gives a pivotal speech on race in America in which he goes a long way toward explaining the legacy of racism among African Americans.
Reform
Gay Rights Movement: In a 4 to 3 ruling, California's highest court says that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. When the ruling goes into effect, California will be the second state, behind Massachusetts, to legalize same-sex marriages.
Reform
Environmental Action: At their annual meeting, members of the Group of 8, the U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, and Russia, set goals to cut in half by 2050 the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the environment. Critics say shorter-term goals should have been set.
2009
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
Barack H. Obama (1961-) is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States and Senator Joseph R. Biden (1942-)is inaugurated as the 47th Vice President.
Government
U.S. Senate Committee passes healthcare reform bill, hailed as a 'critical milestone' by President Obama.
Science
European astronomers discover 32 extrasolar planets, or exoplanets - planets that orbit a star other than the Sun.
Science
A new species of a giant carnivorous plant, Nepethes attenboroughii, is discovered in the central Phillipines highlands.
Science
A new kind of flying reptile fossil, Darwinopterus, lived over 160 million years ago, is found in China.
Science
A solar eclipse, the longest in history, lasts up to 6 minutes and 38.8 seconds, over parts of Asia and the Pacific Ocean.
Medicine
Epidemics: Concern about spreading influenza from Mexico and the United States to other countries is expressed by the World Health Organization.
Medicine
The "swine flu", the H1N1 influenza strain is the first condition deemed a global pandemic since the Hong Kong flu of 1967 - 1968.
Medicine
U.S. Scientists believe to have discovered an antibody that can miminize internal bleeding in trauma victims.
Arts and Letters
Two previously unknown works by Mozart - a concerto movement and a prelude, are performed in Salzburg, Austria.
Discovery
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS is launched by NASA to probe the Moon.
Daily Life
A crowd of 50,000 people participate in a memorial service at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
Daily Life
A U.S. Airways plane ditches in the Hudson River - all 155 passengers survive.
Religion
The Russian Orthodox Church enthrones Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow as Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Reform
Gay Rights Movement: Sweden and Norway join five other nations in legalizing same-sex marriage.
back to top ^
2010
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 Obama nominates Solicitor General Elena Kagan as a Justice on the Supreme Court and she is confirmed. She is the youngest Justice and third woman to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States
Science
The Stonehenge World Heritage Site announces the discovery of a possible new henge, the biggest discovery at a major monument in over 50 years.
Science
Denisova hominin - a previously unknown type of ancient human, is identified by scientists through DNA analysis from a finger discovered in a cave near Siberia, Russia.
Science
Scientists announce the discovery of three new animal species that spent their entire lives without oxygen; the species are phylum Loricifera.
Science
The theory that Egypt's pyramids were built by free workers, not slaves, is reinforced by the discovery of new tombs near the great pyramids.
Technology
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, unveils a new invention, a tablet PC called the iPad, at a press conference in San Francisco.
Education
Museums: The Wittelsback-Graff Diamond, a 31.06-carat Fancy Deep Blue diamond, once part of the Austrian and Bavarian Crown jewels, is placed on display at the Smithsonian.
Arts and Letters
Photographic negatives purchased at a garage sale prove to be early works by American photographer Ansel Adams.
Arts and Letters
An auction at Christie's in New York sets a record for the most expensive work of art sold at auction when it sells Pablo Picasso's 'Nude, Green Leaves and Bust' for $106 million.
Economics
China surpasses Germany, becoming the. world's largest exporter.
Economics
The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded off the coast of Louisiana two days ago, sinks; the resulting oil spill becomes the largest in the history of the U.S. The well is not finally completely capped until September.
Economics
The U.S. Senate investigates Goldman Sachs, finding that they made billions of dollars at the expense of clients during the housing market collapse.
Economics
In response to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, BP agrees to finance a $20 billion fund to compensate those whose livelihood has been damaged.
Discovery
U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavor launches from the Kennedy Space Center, successfully beginning a two-week mission to the International Space Station.
Discovery
Australian researchers discover the first plane taken to Antarctica in 1912.
Daily Life
Ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano drifts towards Europe, causing air traffic to close over Northern Norway.
Daily Life
Planes across the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia are grounded as a result of the volcanic ash coming from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano.
Sports
The 2010 Winter Olympics are held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Sports
Men's freestyle skiing moguls competitor, Alexandre Bilodeau, wins the first gold medal Canada has ever won on home soil at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Popular Culture
James Cameron's film, "Avatar," surpasses his 1997 film "Titanic," and becomes the highest grossing film of all time.
Religion
The Vatican approves of Australian Mary MacKillop as their first saint for canonization.
Reform
Gay Rights Movement: A bill to allow same-sex civil unions is vetoed by Linda Lingle, U.S. governor of Hawaii.
Reform
Gay Rights Movement: Argentina, Iceland, and Portugal bring to 10 the number of nations that have legalized same-sex mattiage.
2012
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
Science
NASA's Curiosity Rover, a car-size mobile laboratory, lands on Mars in August.
back to top ^