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Tuesday, July 16, 2013




History never dies. It is reborn every minute of every day.

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30K to 15K BC - First Humans migrate to Americas, probability from Beringa 

13,000 BC - Global Warming trend begins “Folsom points”  in New Mexico – probably group hunting 

10,000 BC - Clovis Technology – Kennewick Man 

9,000 BC - Extinction of Big Game Animals  

8,500 BC - Evidence of group hunting in Colorado 

8,000 BC - Beginning of Archaic period 

7,000 BC - First cultivation of plants in Mexican highlands.

20,000 BC- beginning of migrations across the Bering Straits of peoples who would become the native Indian peoples of  America. 

4,000 BC - First settled communities along Pacific coast 

3,000 BC - Inupiat and Aleut migrations begin (Persian and Egyptian Civilizations developing in Middle East) 

1,500 – 1,000 BC Maize and other Mexican crops introduced into Southwest (Greek and Roman Civilizations developing in Mediterranean) 

1000 BC - Beginning of Adena culture – urban communities in Mexico 

200 BC – 400 AD  Hopewell culture – Ohio and Mississippi 

650 - Bow and arrow and other crude tools, corn in Northwest 

1000 - tobacco in use

1000 AD Leif Ericson, a Viking seaman, explores the east coast of North America and sights Newfoundland, establishing a short-lived settlement there.  
1150 - founding of Hopi village 

 -Ancient Hopi Ruin

1200 - high point of Mississippian cultures - Cahokia

1215- The Magna Carta is adopted in England, guaranteeing liberties to the English people, and proclaiming basic rights and procedures which later become the foundation of modern democracy.  

1450 -  By 1501 there were 1000 printing shops in Europe, which had produced 35,000 titles and 20 million copies.
- Founding of the Iroquois Confederacy in Northeast U.S.


1492 -  - -Columbus makes the first of four voyages to the New World, funded by the Spanish Crown, seeking a western sea route to Asia. On October 12, sailing the Santa Maria, he lands in the Bahamas, thinking it is an outlying Japanese island. 

1497 - John Cabot of England explores the Atlantic coast of Canada, claiming the area for the English King, Henry VII. Cabot is the first of many European explorers to seek a Northwest Passage (northern water route) to Asia

1499 - Italian navigator, Amerigo Vespucci, sights the coast of South America during a voyage of discovery for Spain.

1507 - The name "America" is first used in a geography book referring to the New World with Amerigo Vespucci getting credit for the discovery of the continent.


1508 - Spanish Invade Puerto Rico 

1513 - Ponce de Leon lands in Florida 

1516 - Smallpox introduced in New World

 1517-Martin Luther launches the Protestant Reformation in Europe, bringing an end to the sole authority of the Catholic Church, resulting in the growth of numerous Protestant religious sects.  

1519 - Cortes lands in Mexico

1519-1522 - Ferdinand Magellan is the first person to sail around the world.

1524 - Giovanni da Verrazano, sponsored by France, lands in the area around the Carolinas, then sails north and discovers the Hudson River, and continues northward into Narragansett Bay and Nova Scotia.

1534 - Cartier explores the St. Lawrence


1539 - deSoto and deCoronado mount expeditions 
1541- Hernando de Soto of Spain discovers the Mississippi River 
1565 - First permanent European settlement in North America - St Augustine, present-day Florida - founded by the Spanish. North America is already inhabited by several distinct groups of people, who go into decline following the arrival of settlers.

 Roanoke Colony

1584 - Raleigh’s Roanoke Island Va. Colony  


1588 - In Europe, the defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English results in Great Britain replacing Spain as
the dominant world power and leads to a gradual decline of Spanish influence in the New World and the  
widening of English imperial interests 

1590 - Roanoke found abandoned  

1598 - deOnate leads Spanish into New Mexico
1607 - Jamestown, Virginia, founded by English settlers, who begin growing tobacco.

1609 - Spanish found Santa Fe.


1613 - A Dutch trading post is set up on lower Manhattan Island. 
17th-18th centuries - Hundreds of thousands of Africans brought over and sold into slavery to work on  
cotton and tobacco plantations.
 1619 - Dutch deliver the fist slaves to Virginia.

The Atlantic slave trade.


1620 - Plymouth Colony, near Cape Cod, is founded by the Pilgrim Fathers, whose example is followed by other English Puritans in New England.  

1620’s - Puritans settle in Massachusetts
1630 - In March, John Winthrop leads a Puritan migration of 900 colonists to Massachusetts 
Bay,where he will serve as the first governor. In September, Boston is officially established and 
serves as the site of Winthrop's government. 
1636 - Harvard founded - In June, Roger Williams founds Providence and Rhode Island. Williams
had been banished from Massachusetts for "new and dangerous opinions" calling for religious and  
political freedoms, including separation of church and state, not granted under the Puritan rules.
Providence then becomes a haven for many other colonists fleeing religious intolerance. 
1638-- Anne Hutchinson is banished from Massachusetts for nonconformist religious views that 
advocate personal revelation over the role of the clergy. She then travels with her family to 
Rhode Island. 
Anne Hutchinson

1638 - The first colonial printing press is set up in Cambridge, Massachusetts.1640 - 1659
- English Civil War erupts between the Royalists of King Charles I and the Parliamentary army, 
eventually resulting in defeat for the Royalists and the downfall of the monarchy. On 
January 30, 1649, Kings Charles I is beheaded. England then becomes a Commonwealth and 
Protectorate ruled by Oliver Cromwell.  
1646 - In Massachusetts, the general court approves a law that makes religious heresy punishable by death. 
1652 - Rhode Island enacts the first law in the colonies declaring slavery illegal. 
1660 - The English monarchy is restored under King Charles II. 
1660 - The English Crown approves a Navigation Act requiring the exclusive use of English ships for trade in the English Colonies and limits exports of tobacco and sugar and other commodities to England or its colonies. 
1661 - The French Royal government takes over direct control of New France from the charter corporation and sends 1,000 soldiers to Canada. 
1663 - King Charles II establishes the colony of Carolina and grants the territory to eight loyal supporters. 
1663 - Navigation Act of 1663 requires that most imports to the colonies must be transported via England on English ships. 

1664 - The Dutch New Netherlands colony becomes English New York after Gov. Peter Stuyvesant surrenders to the British following a naval blockade. 

New York: plan of Manhattan, Long Island, the Hudson River and New Amsterdam, 1664 (w/c on paper)
1664 - Maryland passes a law making lifelong servitude for black slaves mandatory to prevent them from taking advantage of legal precedents established in England which grant freedom under certain conditions, such as conversion to Christianity. Similar laws are later passed in New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas and Virginia. 
1672 - The Royal Africa Company is given a monopoly in the English slave trade. 
1673 - Dutch military forces retake New York from the British. 
1673 - The British Navigation Act of 1673 sets up the office of customs commissioner in the colonies to collect duties on goods that pass between plantations. 
1674 - The Treaty of Westminster ends hostilities between the English and Dutch and returns Dutch colonies in America to the English. 


1675 - 1676 - King Philip's War erupts in New England between colonists and Native Americans as a result of tensions over colonist's expansionist activities. The bloody war rages up and down the Connecticut River valley in Massachusetts and in the Plymouth and Rhode Island colonies, eventually resulting in 600 English colonials being killed and 3,000 Native Americans, including women and children on both sides. King Philip (the colonist's nickname for Metacomet, chief of the Wampanoags) is hunted down and killed on August 12, 1676, in a swamp in Rhode Island, ending the war in southern New England and ending the independent power of Native Americans there. In New Hampshire and Maine, the Saco Indians continue to raid settlements for another year and a half. 
1681 - Pennsylvania is founded as William Penn, a Quaker, receives a Royal charter with a large land grant from King Charles II. 
1682 - French explorer La Salle explores the lower Mississippi Valley region and claims it for France, naming the area Louisiana for King Louis XIV. 
1682 - A large wave of immigrants, including many Quakers, arrives in Pennsylvania from Germany and the British Isles. 
1685 - The Duke of York ascends the British throne as King James II. 
1685 - Protestants in France lose their guarantee of religious freedom as King Louis XIV revokes the Edict of Nantes, spurring many to leave for America. 


1686 - King James II begins consolidating the colonies of New England into a single Dominion depriving colonists of their local political rights and independence. Legislatures are dissolved and the King's representatives assume all of the judicial and legislative power. 
1687 - In March, New England Royal Governor, Sir Edmund Andros, orders Boston's Old South Meeting House to be converted into an Anglican Church. 
1687- August, the Massachusetts towns of Ipswich and Topsfield resist assessments imposed by Gov. Andros in protest of taxation without representation. 
1688 - In March, Gov. Andros imposes a limit of one annual town meeting for New England towns. The Governor then orders all militias to be placed under his control. 

 Governor Andros
1688 - Quakers in Pennsylvania issue a formal protest against slavery in America. 
1688 - In December, King James II of England flees to France after being deposed by influential English leaders. 
1689 - In February, William and Mary of Orange become King and Queen of England. In April, New England Governor Andros is jailed by rebellious colonists in Boston. In July, the English government orders Andros to be returned to England to stand trial. 
1690 - The beginning of King William's War as hostilities in Europe between the French and English spill over to the colonies. In February, Schenectady, New York is burned by the French with the aid of their Native American allies. 
1691 - In New York, the newly appointed Governor of New England, Henry Sloughter, arrives from England and institutes royally sanctioned representative government. In October, Massachusetts gets a new royal charter which includes government by a royal governor and a governor's council.

1692 - In May, hysteria grips the village of Salem, Massachusetts, as witchcraft suspects are arrested and imprisoned. A special court is then set up by the governor of Massachusetts. Between June and September, 150 persons are accused, with 20 persons, including 14 women, being executed. By October, the hysteria subsides, remaining prisoners are released and the special court is dissolved.
1693 - The College of William and Mary is founded in Williamsburg, Virginia. 
1696 - The Royal African Trade Company loses its slave trade monopoly, spurring colonists in New England to engage in slave trading for profit. 
1696- April- the Navigation Act of 1696 is passed by the English Parliament requiring colonial trade to be done exclusively via English built ships. The Act also expands the powers of colonial custom commissioners, including rights of forcible entry, and requires the posting of bonds on certain goods. 
1699 - The English Parliament passes the Wool Act, protecting its own wool industry by limiting wool production in Ireland and forbidding the export of wool from the American colonies. 
1700 - The population of English descent in the English colonies in America reaches 275,000, with Boston (pop. 7000) as the largest city, followed by New York (pop. 5000). 
1700 - In June, Massachusetts passes a law ordering all Roman Catholic priests to leave the colony within three months, upon penalty of life imprisonment or execution. New York then passes a similar law. 
1701 - In July, The French establish a settlement at Detroit. In 
1701- October- Yale College is founded in Connecticut.

1702 - In March, Queen Anne ascends the English throne. In May, England declares war on France after the death of the King of Spain, Charles II, to stop the union of France and Spain. This War of the Spanish Succession is called Queen Anne's War in the colonies, where the English and American colonists will battle the French, their Native American allies, and the Spanish for the next eleven years. 
1706 - January 17, Benjamin Franklin is born in Boston. 
1706- November- South Carolina establishes the Anglican Church as its official church. 
1711 - Hostilities break out between Native Americans and settlers in North Carolina after the massacre of settlers there. The conflict, known as the Tuscarora Indian War will last two years. 
1712 - In May, the Carolina colony is officially divided into North Carolina and South Carolina. 
1712-  June- the Pennsylvania assembly bans the import of slaves into that colony. 
1712-  In Massachusetts, the first sperm whale is captured at sea by an American from Nantucket. 
1713 - Queen Anne's War ends with the Treaty of Utrecht. 
1714 - Tea is introduced for the first time into the American Colonies. In August, King George I ascends to the English throne, succeeding Queen Anne. 
1716 - The first group of black slaves is brought to the Louisiana territory. 
1718 - New Orleans is founded by the French. 
 1720 - The population of American colonists reaches 475,000. Boston (pop. 12,000) is the largest city, followed by Philadelphia (pop. 10,000) and New York (pop. 7000). 
1725 - The population of black slaves in the American colonies reaches 75,000. 
1727 - King George II ascends the English throne. 
1729 - Benjamin Franklin begins publishing The Pennsylvania Gazette, which eventually becomes the most popular colonial newspaper. 
1730 - Baltimore is founded in the Maryland colony. 
1731 - The first American public library is founded in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin. 
1732 - February 22, George Washington is born in Virginia. Also in February, the first mass is celebrated in the only Catholic church in colonial America, in Philadelphia. In June, Georgia, the 13th English colony, is founded. 
1732-1757 - Benjamin Franklin publishes Poor Richard's Almanac, containing weather predictions, humor, proverbs and epigrams, selling nearly 10,000 copies per year. 
1733 - The Molasses Act, passed by the English Parliament, imposes heavy duties on molasses, rum and sugar imported from non-British islands in the Caribbean to protect the English planters there from French and Dutch competition.

 1734 - In November, New York newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger is arrested and accused of seditious libel by the Governor. In December, the Great Awakening religious revival movement begins in Massachusetts. The movement will last ten years and spread to all of the American colonies. 
1735 - John Peter Zenger is brought to trial for seditious libel but is acquitted after his lawyer successfully convinces the jury that truth is a defense against libel.

1739 - England declares war on Spain. As a result, in America, hostilities break out between Florida Spaniards and Georgia and South Carolina colonists. Also in 1739, three separate violent uprisings by black slaves occur in South Carolina. 
1740 - Fifty black slaves are hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, after plans for another revolt are revealed. Also in 1740, in Europe, the War of the Austrian Succession begins after the death of Emperor Charles VI and eventually results in France and Spain allied against England. The conflict is known in the American colonies as King George's War and lasts until 1748.
1750 - The Iron Act is passed by the English Parliament, limiting the growth of the iron industry in the American colonies to protect the English Iron industry. 
1751 - The Currency Act is passed by the English Parliament, banning the issuing of paper money by the New England colonies.

 1754 - The French and Indian War erupts as a result of disputes over land in the Ohio River Valley. In May, George Washington leads a small group of American colonists to victory over the French, then builds Fort Necessity in the Ohio territory. In July, after being attacked by numerically superior French forces, Washington surrenders the fort and retreats.


Th Frenxch and Indian War

1755 - In February, English General Edward Braddock arrives in Virginia with two regiments of English troops. Gen. Braddock assumes the post of commander in chief of all English forces in America. In April, Gen. Braddock and Lt. Col. George Washington set out with nearly 2000 men to battle the French in the Ohio territory. In July, a force of about 900 French and Indians defeat those English forces. Braddock is mortally wounded. Massachusetts Governor William Shirley then becomes the new commander in chief. 
1756 - England declares war on France, as the French and Indian War in the colonies now spreads to Europe. 
1757 - In June, William Pitt becomes England's Secretary of State and escalates the French and Indian War in the colonies by establishing a policy of unlimited warfare. In July, Benjamin Franklin begins a five year stay in London. 
1758 - In July, a devastating defeat occurs for English forces at Lake George, New York, as nearly two thousand men are lost during a frontal attack against well entrenched French forces at Fort Ticonderoga. French losses are 377. In November, the French abandon Fort Duquesne in the Ohio territory. Settlers then rush into the territory to establish homes. Also in 1758, the first Indian reservation in America is founded, in New Jersey, on 3000 acres. 
1759 - French Fort Niagara is captured by the English. Also in 1759, war erupts between Cherokee Indians and southern colonists. 
1759 - 13 September-The Fall of Quebec - Battle of the Plains of Abraham - British defeat French, thus gaining control of Canada. 
1760 - The population of colonists in America reaches 1,500,000. In March, much of Boston is destroyed by a raging fire. In September, Quebec surrenders to the English. In October, George III becomes the new English King. 
1762 - England declares war on Spain, which had been planning to ally itself with France and Austria. The British then successfully attack Spanish outposts in the West Indies and Cuba.

1763 - The French and Indian War, known in Europe as the Seven Year's War, ends with the Treaty of Paris. Under the treaty, France gives England all French territory east of the Mississippi River, except New Orleans. The Spanish give up east and west Florida to the English in return for Cuba. 
1763 - In May, the Ottawa Native Americans under Chief Pontiac begin all-out warfare against the British west of Niagara, destroying several British forts and conducting a siege against the British at Detroit. In August, Pontiac's forces are defeated by the British near Pittsburgh. The siege of Detroit ends in November, but hostilities between the British and Chief Pontiac continue for several years. 
1763 - The Proclamation of 1763, signed by King George III of England, prohibits any English settlement west of the Appalachian mountains and requires those already settled in those regions to return east in an attempt to ease tensions with Native Americans.
1763 - Britain gains control of territory up to the Mississippi river following victory over France in Seven Years' War.

Treaty of Paris, 1763


1774 - Colonists form First Continental Congress as Britain closes down Boston harbour and deploys troops in Massachusetts.
1775 - American Revolution: George Washington leads colonist Continental Army to fight against British rule.
1776 4 July - Thomas Jefferson's American Declaration of Independence endorsed by Congress; colonies declare independence.
1781 - Rebel states form loose confederation, codified in Articles of Confederation, after defeating the British at the Battle of Yorktown.
1783 - Britain accepts loss of colonies by virtue of Treaty of Paris.
Treaty of Paris, 1783
1787 - Founding Fathers draw up new constitution for United States of America. Constitution comes into effect in 1788.


               1. George Washington 1789-1797- elected first president of USA.

1791 - Bill of Rights guarantees individual freedom.
1792- Thomas Jefferson founded the Democratic Party in 1792 as a congressional caucus to fight for the Bill of Rights and against the elitist Federalist Party.

               2. John Adams- 1797-1801

-The United States begins to build up its navy with the launching of three ships.  The U.S. frigate United States in Philadelphia on July 10, 1797; the Constellation in Baltimore on September 7; and the Constitution (old Ironsides) in Boston, September 20.  The Constitution, a 44 gun frigate, would immediately see service against Barbary pirates of the coast of Tripoli.


1798- the "party of the common man" was officially named the Democratic-Republican Party
March 29, 1799 - A law is passed to abolish slavery in the state of New York, effective twenty-eight year later, in 1827.
-The American System of Manufacturing is invented by Eli Whitney, who uses semi-skilled labor, machine tools, and jigs to make standardized, interchangeable parts, then an aseembly line of labor.  Whitney first used the system to manufacture 10,000 muskets for the U.S. Government.

               3. Thomas Jefferson- 1801-1809.

1801 - March 4, Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated for his first term as President of the United States, with Aaron Burr, his defeated opponent, as Vice President, as was the rule at the time.

1803 -April 2- France sells Louisiana territories to USA. President Thomas Jefferson doubles the size of the United States of America with his purchase of the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon's France, thus paving way for the western expansion that would mark the entire history of the 19th century from Missouri to the Pacific Coast.  The price of the purchase included bonds of $11,250,000 and $3.750,000 in payments to United States citizens with claims against France.

1804- October 26-  The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrives at the confluence of the Knife and Missouri Rivers, in what is now the state of North Dakota, where they camped until the spring of 1805 at the hospitality of the Mandan and Minitari Indian villages.
1806 - The British blockade France; American ships are caught in the middle and the British seize approximately 1000 US ships.
1806- The National Road, also known as the Great National Pike or the Cumberland Road, the first federally funded highway that ran between Cumberland, Maryland to Ohio, was approved by President Thomas Jefferson on March 29, 1806, with the signing of legislation and appropriation of $30,000.  The highway ran through three states, including Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

19th century - Residual resistance by indigenous people crushed as immigration from Europe assumes mass proportions, with settlers moving westwards and claiming "manifest destiny" to control North America; number of states in the union rises from 17 to 45.


1807- Congress passes an act that prohibits the importation of slaves into any port within the confines of the United States from any foreign land.

1807 June - The American ship Chesapeake is fired on by the British ship Leopard after refusing to be boarded. This creates an international incident.
1807 December- Thomas Jefferson attempts "peaceful coercion" of the British with his embargo but it results in economic disaster for merchants.
1808 - Atlantic slave trade abolished


                        4. James Madison (1809-17)

1812 - June 28- America declares war against the British. This war is known as "Mr. Madison's War" or "The Second American Revolution."
 1812-15 - War of 1812 between the US and Britain, partly over the effects of British restrictions on US trade during the Napoleonic Wars.

1812 - Aug. 16- U.S. loses Ft. Mackinac as the British invade American territory.
1812 - Three attempts are made by the U.S. to invade Canada. They all end in failure.
1814 - Dec, 24 Treaty of Ghent. The British and American diplomats agree to return to the status quo from before the war.
1815 - Jan. Battle of New Orleans. Andrew Jackson  scores a huge victory and paves the way to the White House. 700 British are killed, 1400 are wounded. The US only loses 8 soldiers.
                     5. James Monroe  (1817-25)

1820- March 3- The Missouri Compromise bill, sponsored by Henry Clay, is passed in the United States Congress.  This legislation allows slavery in the Missouri territory, but not in any other location west of the Misssissippi River that was north of 36 degrees 30 minutes latitude, the current southern line of the state of Missouri.  The state of Missouri would be admitted to the Union, under this compromise, on August 10, 18.


1823- Dec. 2- Monroe Doctrine - In a speech before Congress, James Monroe announces the Monroe Doctrine, stating the  policy that European intervention anyplace is the Americas is opposed and that he would establish American neutrality in future European wars.

                        6. John Quincy Adams  (1825-29)

-The election of John Quincy Adams in 1824 was highly contested and led to a four-way split among Democratic-Republicans. A result of the split was the emergence of Andrew Jackson as a national leader. The war hero, generally considered -- along with Jefferson -- one of the founding fathers of the Democratic Party, organized his supporters to a degree unprecedented in American history. The Jacksonian Democrats created the national convention process, the party platform.


1828-November- After a tumultuous four years of national politics saw the formation of the Democratic party behind Andrew Jackson and the supporters of John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay as the National Republicans, The election for president sees a popular and electoral college vote victory of 178-83 for Andrew Jackson over President John Quincy Adams.

-The Jacksonian Democrats created the national convention process, the party platform, and reunified the Democratic Party with Jackson's victories in 1828 and 1832.
            7.Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837

1830- May 26- The United States Congress approved the Indian Removal Act, which facilitated the relocation of Indian tribes from east of the Mississippi River.  Although this act did not order their removal, it paved the way for increased pressure on Indian tribes to accept land-exchange treaties with the U.S. government and helped lead the way to the "Trail of Tears."


1831-August 21- A local slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, led by Nat Turner, a black slave, killed fifty-seven white citizens.  Turner would be captured on October 30 of the same year, tried, and hanged on November 11 for his part in the uprising.

1833- March 2- The Force Bill is signed by President Andrew Jackson, which would authorize him to use troops to enforce Federal law in South Carolina, if necessary.
1835-October 2- The Revolution of Texas begins with the Battle of Gonzales when Mexican soldiers try to disarm the people of Gonzales, but are resisted by local militia.  On November 2-4, 1835 - Texas proclaimed the right to secede from Mexico with Sam Houston taking command of the Texas army.  His Texas army would capture San Antonio on December 9.


1836-February 23-March 6 - The Battle For the Alamo is waged in San Antonio, Texas when 3,000 Mexican troops under Santa Ana attack the mission and its 189 defenders.  (Picture of Alamo memorial above)  Texas troops lose the battle after a thirteen day siege.  On March 2, 1836, Texas independence was declared at a convention of delegates from fifty-seven Texas communities at Washington-on-the-Brazos, making them an independent nation free from Mexican rule.
              8. Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841 

1838- September 3- Frederick Douglass, future abolitionist, boards a train in Maryland to freedom from slavery, with borrowed identification and a sailor's uniform from a free Black seaman.
              9. Wm. Henry Harrison, 1841
 1841- William Henry Harrison elected for one term.
                                10. John Tyler, 1841-1845 
  1842-May 16- The first organized wagon train on the Oregon Trail leaves with more than one hundred pioneers from Elm Grove, Missouri.  Although not welcomed due to company policy that discouraged emigration, they were offered food and farming equipment at Fort Vancouver by the Hudson Bay Company upon arrival.  (Photo top right)  Independence Rock on the Oregon Trail.  First mentioned by Parker in . 
             11. James Knox Polk, 1845-1849

1845- December 2- U.S. President Polk invokes the concept of Manifest Destiny, announcing to Congress that the Monroe Doctrine should be strictly enforced and that the setlement of the West should be aggressively pursued.


1846-48 - US acquires vast tracts of Mexican territory in wake of Mexican War including California and New Mexico.  1846-May 8, 1846 - The first conflict of the Mexican War occurs north of the Rio Grande River at Palo Alto, Texas when United States troops under the command of Major General Zachary Taylor rout a larger Mexican force.  Zachary had been ordered by President Polk to sieze disputed Texas land settled by Mexicans.

1846- May 13- War is declared by the United States against Mexico, backed by southerners while northern Whigs were in opposition.  Ten days later, Mexico declares war back.

1847-September 8-15- The Battle for Mexico City is fought, beginning two miles outside the city at King's Mill.  The main assault against the fortress Capultepec came on September 12 under the command of General Winfield Scott, with combatants including Ulysses S. Grant and John Quitman's 4th Division, of which George Pickett and James Longstreet were a part.  Quitman's division entered a deserted city, which had been abandoned by Santa Anna's forces during the night, on September 15.


1848-January 24- Gold was discovered in California by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in the town of Colona.  Seven months later, on August 19, the New York Herald breaks the news of the gold rush to East Coast readers, prompting eighty thousand prospectors to flood California and the Barbary Coast of San Francisco in 1849.  Picture below, Riverside gold mine with streambed sluice, probably located in the California's Sierra Nevada mining district.  Date unknown.
1848- February 2- The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican War with Mexico relinquishing its rights to Texas above the Rio Grande River and ceding New Mexico and California to the United States.  The United States also gained claims to Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and part of Colorado.  In exchange, the United States assumed $3 million in American claims and paid Mexico $15 million.  The treaty is ratified one month later on March 10 by the U.S. Senate.  Mexico would ratify the treaty on May 19.
-In 1848, the National Convention established the Democratic National Committee, now the longest running political organization in the world. The Convention charged the DNC with the responsibility of promoting "the Democratic cause" between the conventions and preparing for the next convention.

                 12. Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850
1849- 80,000 people migrate to California; about 55,000 overland and 25,000 by sea. Only about 700 are women. 
1849- Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the United States' first women to receive a medical degree.
                   13. Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853
1852- Mar. 20: Harriet BeecherStowe publishes Uncle Tom's Cabin, which sells 300,000 copies in a year 
and a million copies in 16 months. When Stowe met President Lincoln at the 
White House, he reportedly asked her: "Is this the little woman whose book made such a great 
1853- December 30, 1853 - The Gadsden Purchase is consummated, with the United States buying 
a 29,640 square mile tract of land in present-day Arizona and New Mexico (approximately from 
Yuma to Las Cruces) for $10 million from Mexico to allow railroad building in the southwest and
settle continued border disputes after the Mexican-American War. This act finalized the 
borders of the Continental United States.
                          14. Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857

1854 - Opponents of slavery, or abolitionists, set up Republican Party. The Republican party grew out of the conflicts regarding the expansion of slavery into the new Western territories. The stimulus for its founding was provided by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. That law repealed earlier compromises that had excluded slavery from the territories. The passage of this act served as the unifying agent for abolitionists and split the Democrats and the Whig party. "Anti-Nebraska" protest meetings spread rapidly through the country. Two such meetings were held in Ripon, Wis., on Feb. 28 and Mar. 20, 1854, and were attended by a group of abolitionist Free Soilers, Democrats, and Whigs. They decided to call themselves Republicans-because they professed to be political descendants of Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican party. The name was formally adopted by a state convention held in Jackson, Mich., on July 6, 1854.

1855- April 21- The first railroad train crosses the Mississippi River on the first bridge constructed at Rock Island, Illinois to Davenport,
1855 - Free Soilers establish government banning slavery and blacks from Kansas; David 
Livingstone discovers Victoria Falls; Walt Whitman publishes "Leaves of Grass."  
1856- -at the first Republican national convention, Sen. John C. Fremont was nominated for the presidency but was defeated by Democrat 
James Buchanan.
1856- November - John C. Fremont, the first candidate for president under the banner of the Republican 
Party, loses his bid for the presidency to James C. Buchanan, despite support for Fremont from 
Abraham Lincoln.  Buchanan, the only bachelor to become president as well as the sole 
Pennsylvanian garnered 174 Electoral College votes to 114 for Fremont.  Millard Fillmore, 
running on the American Know-Nothing and Whig tickets was also defeated. 
                  15. James Buchanan, 1857-1861 
1857 - Dred Scott Supreme Court Decision that a slave did not become free when 
transported into a free state. It also ruled that slavery could not be banned by 
the U.S. Congress in a territory, and that blacks were not eligible to be
awarded citizenship.
Dred Scott 
1858 the Republicans won control of the House of Representatives for the first time.
1858- June 23,- With strife between pro-slavery and anti-slavery
partisans escalating to dramatic chaos, the 2nd Infantry and 3rd
Artillery regiments under the command of Captain Nathanial Lyon attempt
to restore order during the "Bleeding Kansas" campaign.

1860 - Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln elected president.


1860-61 - Eleven pro-slavery southern states secede from Union and form Confederate States of America under leadership of Jefferson Davis, triggering civil war with abolitionist northern states.

                        16. Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865
1862- August – Union loses Second Battle of Bull Run
- December – Union loses Battle of Fredericksburg  and over 12,600 men, South loses about 5,300.
- Slavery is abolished in the District of Columbia.  

1863 - Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation, declaring slaves in Confederate states to be free.
March – Conscription enacted
- Union defeat at Chancellorville: Union loses 17,000, South 13,000


- July - Battle of Gettysburg – Major Union victory – defensive battle  - Draft/race Riots in New  
York City

1864- Sherman marches through Georgia, Lincoln re-elected
1865- April 9 – Lee Surrenders

-April 14 – Lincoln shot, dies next day.
- May – Remaining Confederate armies surrender. END OF CIVIL WAR

- Confederates defeated.


1865- April 15,  Andrew Johnson is sworn in as the 17th President of the United States. 
December 18- The 13th Amendment is added to the Constitution.
Jun 16, 1866 - The 14th Amendment is passed by Congress.
                        17. Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869 
1867- March 30-  The United States purchases the Alaska Territory from Russia for $7.2 million.
1867- Aug. 28- The U.S. annexes the Midway Islands.
- Southern states readmitted to Union

                                18. Ulysses S Grant, 1869-1877 
1869- May 10 - The Transcontinental Railroad is completed at Promontory Point, Utah.
1869- September 24- Prompted by an attempt to corner the gold market,
the financial Black Friday occurs in New York City. 
1870 - 15th Amendment Ratified, giving Blacks but not women 
the right to vote. 
1871- October 8-11- The great fire of Chicago, in legend started by a
kick from Mrs. O'Leary's cow, although in actuality likely started in
their cowshed by Daniel Sullivan, who first reported the
fire.  The fire caused $196 million in damages.   It burned
1.2million acres of land, destroyed 17,450 buildings, killed 250 people,
and left 90,000 homeless
1872- May 22- Civil rights are restored to citizens of the South,
except for five hundred Confederate leaders, with the passage of the
Amnesty Act of 1872 and its signing by President Ulysses S. Grant..     
1873- March 4 - Ulysses Grant is sworn in as President for a 2nd term.


1873- July 21- Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang engage in the first successful train robbery in the American West, taking three thousand dollars from the Rock Island Express at Adair, Iowa.
August 4 - The Seventh Cavalry under the command of Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer, protecting a railroad survey party in Montana, engage the Sioux for the first time near the Tongue River in one minor clash of the Indian War.  The Indian Wars, which had raged throughout 1873, saw the First Battle of the Stronghold on January 17, and the Second Battle of the Stronghold on April 15-17, and the end of the Modoc War on June 4 when Captain Jack was captured.
1875- March 1 - The Civil Rights Act, giving equal rights to blacks in jury duty and accommodation is passed by the United States Congress.  It would be overturned in 1883 by the U.S. Supreme Court.
1875- November 9- Reporting on the Indian Wars, inspector E.C. Watkins pronounces that hundreds of Sioux and Cheyenne under Indian leaders Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse are openly hostile against the United States government, forming U.S. policy over the next year that would lead to battles such as Little Big Horn.
1876- January 31, 1876 - The United States government issues a decree ordering all Native Americans onto a system of reservations throughout the western lands of the United States.


1876 - Sioux Indians defeat US troops at Little Big Horn.

                        19. Rutherford B Hayes, 1877-1881

1877 May 6- Indian leader of the Oglala Sioux, Crazy Horse, surrenders to the United States Army in Nebraska.   His people had been weakended by cold and hunger.
1878- February 18- The Lincoln County War begins in New Mexico between
two group of wealthy businessmen, the ranchers and the Lincoln County
general store. William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, fought
alongside the ranchers in a dispute over seizure of horses as a payment
of an outstanding debt.
                       20. James Abram Garfield, 1881 
1880- James A. Garfield was nominated as the Republican candidate in 1880. Chester A. Arthur of 
New York was nominated for vice-president. After a close win, Garfield was assassinated and Arthur 
became president  of the United States. Arthur astonished many with his success in 
getting passed the Pendleton Act, creating a civil service based on themerit system. 
He was never able to gain control of his party, however, 
and was the only president denied renomination by his party's convention.
1881- July 2, 1881 - The 20th President of the United States, James A.Garfield, is shot 
by lawyer Charles J. Guiteau in the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad station in Washington, D.C. 
He would die two months later on September 19, 1881 from an infection and be succeeded
in the presidency by Vice President Chester Arthur on September 20.
                          21. Chester A Arthur, 1881-1885
July 20, 1881 - Sioux chief Sitting Bull leads the last of final group
of his tribe, still fugitive from the reservation, and surrenders to
United States troops at Fort Buford, Montana.
October 26, 1881 - The gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone,
Arizona occurs in a livery stable lot between some of the famous
characters of the American west; Sheriff Wyatt Earp, his brother
Virgil, and Doc Holliday against Billy Claiborne, Frank and Tom McLaury
and the Clanton brothers Billy and Ike. Although only thirty
seconds long, the battle would live in western lore for more than one
hundred years.  The McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton would
perish in the fight. 
1884- May 17- The Alaska Territory is organized. 

 22. Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889

-Much of Cleveland's presidency was dominated by debate over the protective tariff.
1885-March 3- American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) is incorporated in New York City as a 
subsidiary of American Bell Telephone Company.
1885- June 17- The Statue of Liberty arrived for the first time in New
York harbor. 
                          23. Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893
-Campaigning strongly in favor of the protective tariff, Harrison 
defeated Cleveland by an electoral vote of 233 to 168. The Republicans 
passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, admitted several new states to the 
Union, and passed the highly protective McKinley Tariff Act. 
1889- The Johnstown Flood in Pennsylvania- failure of a dam kills 2,209.  
 1890 - US troops defeat Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee. 
As the 19th Century came to a close, the American electorate changed more and more rapidly. The Democratic Party embraced the immigrants who flooded into cities and industrial centers, built a political base by bringing them into the American mainstream, and helped create the most powerful economic engine in history. Democratic Party leader William Jennings Bryan led a movement of agrarian reformers and supported the right of women's suffrage, the progressive graduated income tax and the direct election of Senators. As America entered the 20th Century, the Democratic Party became dominant in local urban politics.
1892- January 1-Ellis Island in New York Harbor, opens as the main east coast immigration center, and would remain the initial debarkation point for European immigrants into the United States until its closure. 

                            24. Grover Cleveland, 1893-1897.


1893-May 5, 1893 - The New York Stock Exchange collapses, starting the financial panic of 1893.  It would lead to a four year period of depression.
1893 September 16 - The 4th of five land runs in Oklahoma's dash, known as the Oklahoma Land Race or the Cherokee Strip Land Run, opened seven million acres of the Cherokee Strip.  It was purchased from the Indian tribe for $7,000,000.  Nearly 100,000 people gathered around the 42,000 claims that were available to the first person, with a certificate, to stake a claim. 

1893- October 30- The Chicago World's Fair closes after 179 days of public admission and over 25 million in attendance.  It cost $27,291,715 and included a moving sidewalk and the first sighting of picture postcards.  Considered by many historians as the greatest national event in American history through the year 1900.
1894- April 29- In a march of five hundred unemployed workers into Washington, D.C. that had begun on March 25 in Massillon, Ohio, leader James S. Coxey is arrested for treason.
1895- November 5- The first United States patent for the automobile, #549160, is granted to George B. Selden for his two stroke automobile engine.


1896- May 18- Plessy versus Ferguson decision by the Supreme Court states that racial segregation is approved under the "separate but equal" doctrine.
1897- September 1, 1897 - The era of the subway begins when the first underground public transportation in North America opens in Boston, Massachusetts.


                                      25. William McKinley, 1897-1901
1898- April 22, 1898 - The blockade of Cuba begins when the United States Navy aids independence forces
 within Cuba.  Several days later, the U.S.A. declares war on Spain, backdating its declaration to April
20.  On May 1, 1898, the United States Navy destroyed the Spanish fleet in the Philippines. On June 20, 
the U.S. would take Guam.
May 12, 1898 - San Juan, Puerto Rico is bombed by the American navy under the command of Rear Admiral
William T. Sampson.  Puerto Rico is overtaken by the United States between July 25 with its landing at  
Guanica Bay and August 12.  These acts during the Spanish-American War would ultimately result in Spain 
deciding in December to cede lands, including Puerto Rico, to the United States. 
1898 - US gains Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines and Cuba following the Spanish-American war. US annexes Hawaii.
1900- November 6, 1900 - President William McKinley wins his second term as president, this time with Theodore Roosevelt in the second spot on the ticket, again defeating William J. Bryan by an Electoral Margin of 292 to 155
1901- March 2 - The Platt amendment is passed by the United States Congress, which limited the autonomy of Cuba as a condition for American troop withdrawal.  Cuba would become a U.S. protectorate on June 12.


 1901- September 6- President William H. McKinley is shot at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York while shaking hands with fair visitors, following his speech at the event on President's Day the day before.  Anarchist Leon Czolgosz, an avowed anarchist, is arrested for the crime.
1901- September 14- Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is inaugurated as President upon the death of William McKinley from gunshot wounds sustained the week earlier.

            26. Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909 
1903- November 3- With United States support after the Hay-Herran
Treaty rejection by Columbia earlier in the year, Panama declares its
independence from Columbia.  The Panama government is
recognized by President Theodore Roosevelt three days later and sign a
canal treaty on November 18, allowing the U.S. led construction of the
1903- December 17- Inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright succeed in the
first sustained and manned plane flight, taking the heavier-than-air
machine through the winds of Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina, and man
into an age of flight.  The plane, mechanically propelled with
a petroleum engine, flew 120 feet in 12 seconds, and later the same
day, flew 852 feet in 59 seconds .  They would patent the
Airplane three years later on May 22, 1906.  Photo top right:
Orville Wright on the 3rd flight on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, NC
1904- November- Theodore Roosevelt wins his first election for
President after serving three years in the office due to the death of
William McKinley.  He defeat Democratic candidate Alton B.
Parker, 336 to 140 in the Electoral College vote. 
1906- April 18-19- The  San Francisco earthquake was estimated at 7.8 on the Richter
scale.  Its proximity to the epicenter of the San Andreas
Fault and the subsequent fire that followed the quake and aftershocks
left 478 reported death, although estimates in the future peg that
figure at nearly 3,000.  Between $350-$400 million in damages
were sustained. 
1906- June 8, 1906 - President Theodore Roosevelt granted protection to
Indian ruins and authorized presidents to designate lands with historic
and scientific features as national monuments.
1907- March 13- Another financial crises occurs in the business
community with the beginning of the Financial Panic and Depression of
1908- September 27- The first production Model T was built at the Ford
plant in Detroit, Michigan.
1908- November- William  Howard Taft is elected President, 321
to 162 Electoral Votes, over Democratic candidate William Jennings
Bryan, who had twice before been defeated for the office by William
McKinley in 1896 and 1900. 
            27. William Howard Taft, 1909-1913
1909- May 30- The National Conference of the Negro is conducted,
leading to the formation of the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People, (NAACP). 
1910- May 25- The only flight taken together by Wilbur and Orville
Wright occurs at Huffman Priarie Flying Field in Dayton,
Ohio.  Later that same year, on November 7, the first flight to carry freight
would depart from Huffman and deliver its cargo to Columbus, Ohio. 
1911- May 15- Standard Oil is declared in unreasonable monopoly by the
United States Supreme Court and ordered dissolved under the powers of
the Sherman Antitrust Act.
1912- August 14 - The United States Marines are ordered to Nicaragua
due to its default on loans to the United States and its European
1912- November 5, 1912 - In the first election of a Democratic candidate
since 1892, Woodrow Wilson overcame a three way race for the presidency
when former President Teddy Roosevelt donned the nomination of the
Progressive Party to tackle the election against Wilson and incumbant
President and Republican William Howard Taft.  This split
caused the election of Wilson, who garnered 435 Electoral College votes to 88
for Roosevelt and only 8 for Taft.
1913- February 3, 1913 - The 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution
is ratified, allowing the Federal government treasury to impose an
income tax.  The 17th Amendment would be passed on April 8,
which set the policy for direct election of U.S. Senators. 
1913- December 23- A major reform of the American financial and
banking system occurs with the authorization of the U.S. Congress for
the establisment of the Federal Reserve System. 
             28. Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921 


1914- August 4- President Woodrow Wilson announces that the United
States will stay officially neutral in the European conflict that would
become World War I.  World War I hostilities had begun on June
28 when the Archduke of Austria and his wife, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie
were killed by Serb nationalist in Sarajevo.  Hostilities
would begin on July 28 when Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia for failing
to meet conditions set after the assassinations.
1915- January 25- Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson conduct the first telephone conversation between New York and San Francisco
1916- March 8-9 - Pancho Villa raids Columbus, New Mexico and other border towns along the Mexican and United States lines with 1,500 troops, that would lead, on March 16, to General John J. Pershing entering Mexico in pursuit of Villa with the 7th and 10th U.S. cavalry.  Wilson had authorized 12,000 troops to cross the border one day earlier.


1917- February 3- The United States government cuts diplomatic ties with Germany.  The Zimmerman Telegram is given to the United States by Britain on February 24, showing the offer by Germany to give Mexico back the southwest United States if they would declare war on the United States. 
1917-18 - US intervenes in World War I, rejects membership of League of Nations.
1918- November 11, 1918 - Hostilities in World War I begin to end with the Austria-Hungary alliance for armistace with the allies on November 3.  Armistance Day with Germany occurs when the Allies and the German nation sign an agreement in Compiegne, France.  Woodrow Wilson would become the first U.S. President to travel to Europe while in office when he sails to attend the Paris Peace Conference on December 4.

1919-April-June - mail bombs sent to prominent members of the US government, the FBI and Wall Street by the Galleanists, an anarchist group; most of the bombs were diffused; a few exploded causing injuries.

1919- October 9- In the first major scandal in Major LeagueBaseball, and to this day, the worst, nine players from the Chicago White Sox throw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds.  It is forever known as the Black Sox Scandal with players, such as immortal Shoeless Joe Jackson, banned from the game and Hall of Fame forever.


1920- January 10, 1920 - The League of Nations holds its first meeting and accomplishes the rafitification of the Treaty of Versailles, ending the hostilities of the first World War.  Nine days later the United States Senate votes against joining the League.
1920 - Women given the right to vote under the Nineteenth Amendment.
1920 - Sale and manufacture of alcoholic liquors outlawed. The Prohibition era sees a mushrooming of illegal drinking joints, home-produced alcohol and gangsterism.
            29. Warren G Harding, 1921-1923
1921- May 19- A national quota system on the amount of incoming immigrants was
established by the United States Congress in the Emergency Quota Act,
curbing legal immigration. 
1922- April 7, 1922 - The Teapot Dome scandal begins when the U.S. Secretary
of the Interior leases the Teapot Oil Reserves in Wyoming.
1923 - The first sound on film motion picture "Phonofilm" is show
in the Rivoli Theatre in New York City by Lee de Forest. 

            30. Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929
1924- May 10- J. Edgar Hoover is appointed to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
November 1924 - Calvin Coolidge wins his first election as President, retaining the White House for the Republican Party over his Democratic foe, John W. Davis, and Progressive Party candidate Robert M. LaFollette.  The Electoral margin was 382 to 136 (Davis) to 13 (LaFollette)

1924- July 10- The Scopes Trial or "Monkey Trial" begins and would later convict John T. Scopes of teaching Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory at a Dayton, Tennessee high school, which violated Tennessee law.  He is fined $100 for the charge.
1924 - Congress gives indigenous people right to citizenship.
1926- Air Commerce Act is passed, providing aid and assistance to the airline industry, plus federal oversight under the Department of Commerce for civil air safety.
1927- April 22- The Great Mississippi Flood occurs, affecting over 700,000.


1927- May 20- Charles Lindbergh leaves Roosevelt Field, New York on the first non-stop transatlantic flight in history.  He would reach Paris thirty-three and one-half hours later in the Spirit of St. Louis, his aircraft.  A ticker tape parade would be held in New York City after his return on June 13.
 1927- October 6- The advent of talking pictures emerges.  Al Jolson in the Jazz Singer debuts in New York City.
 1928- November 6- Herbert Hoover wins election as President of the United States with an Electoral College victory, 444 to 87 over Democratic candidate Alfred E. Smith, the Catholic governor of New York.


            31. Herbert C Hoover, 1929-1933
1929-February 14- In Chicago, Illinois, gangsters working for Al Capone kill seven rivals in the act known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.


1929- October 29- Postwar prosperity ends in the 1929 Stock Market crash.  The plummeting stock prices led to losses between 1929 and 1931 of an estimated $50 billion and started the worst American depression in the nation's history. On the New York City docks, out of work men during the Great Depression, an outcome of the Stock Market crash of 1929 after the prosperous decade of the 1920's.


1929-33 - 13 million people become unemployed after the Wall Street stock market crash of 1929 triggers what becomes known as the Great Depression. President Herbert Hoover rejects direct federal relief.          
 1930- June 17, 1930 - The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act is signed by President Herbert Hoover.  
It's effective rate hikes would slash world trade.
1930- December 2- In order to combat the growing depression, President
Herbert Hoover asks the U.S. Congress to pass a $150 million public
works project to increase employment and economic activity 
1932- January 22, 1932 - The Reconstruction Finance Corporation is established to stimulate banking and
business.  Unemployment in 1932 reached twelve million workers.
1932- March 1, 1932 - The infant son of Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow
Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., is kidnapped.  Heis found dead on May 12 not far from his home
 in Hopewell, New Jersey.  Three years later, on February 13, 1935, Bruno Hauptmann
was found guilty of the crime. 
1932-November 8, 1932 - Democratic challenger Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats
incumbent President Hoover in the presidential election for his first of an unprecedented four terms.
 The landslide victory, 472 Electoral College votes to 59 for Hoover began the era of FDR that
would lead the nation through the vestiges of the Great Depression and
the ravages of World War II
                              32. Franklin D Roosevelt, 1933-1945

1933 - President Franklin D Roosevelt launches "New Deal" recovery programme which includes major public works.
-March 9 - June 16, The New Deal social and economic programs are passed by the United States Congress is a special one hundred day session to address depression era economics.  The gold standard was dropped on April 19 and ratified during the time of this session on June 5.Sale of alcohol resumes.
1933- November 1- In South Dakota, a strong dust storm strips topsoil from depression era farms. It was one in a series of such storms to plague the Midwest during 1933 and 1934.
1933- December 5- The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed, ending prohibition
1934- June 6- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is established with the signing of the Securities Exchange Act into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.


1935- August 14- The Social Security Act is passed by Congress as part of the New Deal legislation and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It would begin payouts to retirees within two years.  Workers began contributing into the system during the same year, at a rate of 2% of the first $3,000 in earnings, half paid by the employee and half paid by the employer.
1936- November 3, 1936 - Franklin D. Roosevelt overwhelms his Republican challenger, Alfred Landon, for a second presidential term.  His Electoral College margin, 523 to 8, and 62% of the popular vote insured Roosevelt carte blanche in his goals of the New Deal.
1937- March 26- William Henry Hastie is appointed to the federal bench, becoming the first African-American to become a federal judge.


1938- June 28- The National Minimum Wage is enacted within the federal legislation known as the Fair Labor Standards Act.  It established a minimum wage of $0.25 at the time (approx. $3.22 in 2005), as well as time and one half for overtime and the prohibition of most employment for minors.
1939- August 2, 1939 - Albert Einstein alerts Franklin D. Roosevelt to an A-bomb opportunity, which led to the creation of the Manhattan Project.  Einstein had arrived as a fugitive from Nazi Germany six years earlier on October 17, 1933.
1939- September 5- The United States declares its neutrality in the European war after Germany invaded Poland, effectively beginning World War II after a year of European attempts to appease Hitler and the aims of expansionist Nazi Germany.  (Photo below)  U.S. Troops land on the beach at Normandy, France in 1944.  The United States ended its neutrality after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941.


1940- June 3- The United States government approves a sale of surplus war material to Great Britain.

1940- November 5, 1940 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt continues his dominance of presidential politics with a 449 to 82 Electoral College victory over Republican candidate Wendell Wilkie, winning his third presidential election.  Roosevelt becomes the first man to hold office for three terms.


1941 - Japanese warplanes attack US fleet at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii; US declares war on Japan; Germany declares war on US, which thereafter intervenes on a massive scale in World War II, eventually helping to defeat Germany.
1942- February 19, 1942 - Executive order 9066 is signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, confining 110,000 Japanese Americans, including 75,000 citizens, on the West Coast into relocation camps during World War II.  The remains of the first of these detention camps reside in California's Manzanar National Historic Site.  These camps would last for three years.


1942-  December 2- The first nuclear chain reaction is produced at the University of Chicago in the Manhattan Project, creating fission of the Uranium U-235, under the direction of physicists Arthur Compton and Enrico Fermi.
1943- June 21- Race riots in Detroit and Harlem cause forty deaths and seven hundred injuries.
1943- July 10- The United States Army's 45th Infantry Division lands on the island of Sicily, starting the campaign of Allied invasion into Ax-s-controlled Europe.  Nine days later, Rome is bombed by Allied forces.  The conquest of Sicily would be completed on August 17 when U.S. forces under General Patton and British forces under Field Marshall Montgomery arrive.


1944- June 6- The Normandy Invasion, D-Day, occurs when one hundred and fifty-five thousand Allied troops, including American forces and those of eleven other Allied nations (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, and the United Kingdom).  Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of France to begin the World War II invasion of Europe that would lead to the liberation of Paris.  Operation Overlord gained footing quickly, pushing through the Atlantic Wall in the largest amphibious military operation in history.
1944- November 6- The last campaign speech of Franklin D. Roosevelt, seeking his fourth term in office, is broadcast from his Hyde Park, New York home.  Two days later, Roosevelt would gain that fourth term by a significant, but smaller margin than any of his previous elections, especially in the popular vote where Dewey lost by only three and one half million votes.  The Electoral College margin, however, at 432 to 99, insured Roosevelt good footing in prosecution of World War II.
1945- May 7, 1945 - The unconditional surrender of Germany at Reims, France concludes the military engagements of World War II in Europe.  It is accepted by General Dwight D. Eisenhower in his role as the commander of Allied troops in the European theater of the war.

                       33. Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953


1945- August 6- President  Harry S. Truman gives the go-ahead for the use of the atomic bomb with the bombing of Hiroshima.  Three days later, the second bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.  On August 15, Emperor Hirohito of Japan surrenders.

1946-April 1- Four hundred thousand mine workers begin to strike, with other industries following their lead.
1947 - US enunciates policy of aid for nations it deems threatened by communism in what became known as the Truman Doctrine. Cold War with Soviet Union begins.
1948- July 26- Executive Order 9981, ending segregation in the United States military in signed into effect by President Harry S. Truman.


1948 - America's programme to revive ailing post-war European economies - the Marshall Plan - comes into force. Some $13bn is disbursed over four years and the plan is regarded as a success.
1949- October 14- Eleven leaders of the United States Communist party are convicted of advocating a violent insurrection and overthrow of the U.S. government.  The Supreme Court would uphold the convictions on June 4, 1951.
1950-54 - Senator Joseph McCarthy carries out a crusade against alleged communists in government and public life; the campaign and its methods become known as McCarthyism. In 1954 McCarthy is formally censured by the Senate.          

1950-53 - US forces play leading role against North Korean and Chinese troops in Korean War.
1951- September 4- The inauguration of trans-continental television occurs with the broadcast of President Truman's speech at the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference in San Francisco.  The treaty would be signed on September 8 by the U.S., Japan, and forty-seven other nations.
1952- November - General Dwight D. Eisenhower, a newcomer to politics, but popular due to his role in winning World War II as European commander, gains as easy victory over Democratic challenger Adlai E. Stevenson.  The Electoral College vote was 442 to 89.
                     34. Dwight D Eisenhower 1953-1961
1953- October 30- The Cold War continues in earnest when President Dwight D. Eisenhower approves 
a top secret document stating that the U.S. nuclear arsenal must be expanded to combat the communist 
threat around the world. 

1954 - Racial segregation in schools becomes unconstitutional; start of campaign of civil disobedience to secure civil rights for Americans of African descent.


1954- April 22, 1954 - Joseph McCarthy begins televised Senate hearings into alleged Communist influence in the United States Army.   Later this year, on December 2, the U.S. Congress votes to condemn Senator McCarthy for his conduct during the Army investigation hearings.
1955- December 1- Rosa Parks, an African American seamstress, refuses to give up her seat on the bus to a white man, prompting the boycott and NAACP protect that would lead to the declaration that bus segregation laws were unconstitutional by a federal court.
December 5- The two largest American labor unions, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, merge to form the AFL-CIO, boasting membership of fifteen million.
1956- March 12- One hundred and one congressmen from Southern states call for massive resistance to the Supreme Court ruling on desegregation.
1957- April 29- U.S. Congress approves the first civil rights bill since reconstruction with additional protection of voting rights.
1958- January 31- Explorer I, the first U.S. space satellite, is launched by the Army at Cape Canaveral.  It would discover the Van Allen radiation belt.

1959- January 7- The United States recognizes the new Cuban government under rebel leader Fidel Castro.  Castro becomes the Premier of Cuba on February 16.
1960- May 1- In the Soviet Union, a United States U-2 reconnaissance plane is shot done by Soviet forces, leading to the capture of U.S. pilot Gary Powers and the eventual cancellation of the Paris summit conference.  On August 19, Powers is sentences by the Soviet Union to ten years in prison for espionage.  On February 10, 1962 , he would be exchanged for a captured Soviet spy in Berlin.
1960 - Democratic Party candidate John F Kennedy elected president, narrowly defeating his rival Richard Nixon.
            35. John F Kennedy, 1961-1963

1961- May 5- The first U.S. manned sub-orbital space flight is completed with Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. inside a Mercury capsule launched 116.5 miles above the earth from Cape Canaveral, Florida.  Twenty days later, President Kennedy announces his intention to place a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
1961 - Bay of Pigs invasion: an unsuccessful attempt to invade Cuba by Cuban exiles, organised and financed by Washington.        
1962- February 7- The first sign of a looming Vietnam conflict emerges when President Kennedy admits that advisors already in Vietnam would engage the enemy if fired upon.  The sending of these advisors acted as a compasspoint of no return and there was no turning back once they took this crucial step which would inevitably lead the country into this conflict. Many believe that this daywas the day that step was taken.
1962- February 20- Lt. Colonel John Glenn becomes the first U.S. astronaut in orbit in the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule.


1962 -Oct-  US compels Soviet Union to withdraw nuclear weapons from Cuba in what has become known as the Cuban missile crisis.
1963- August 28- The Civil Rights march on Washington DC for Jobs and Freedom culminates with Dr. Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Over 200,000 people participated in the march for equal rights.  A monument is now planned on the National Mall to commemorate Dr. King, the speech, and his impact on Civil Rights.


1963 Nov. - President John F Kennedy assassinated; Lyndon Johnson becomes president
            36. Lyndon B Johnson, 1963-1969

1964 - US steps up its military intervention in Vietnam. Civil Rights Act signed into law; it aims to halt discrimination on grounds of race, colour, religion, nationality.
1964- June 29- An omnibus legislation in the U.S. Congress on Civil Rights is passed.  It banned discrimination in jobs, voting and accommodations.
1964- November 3, 1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson wins his first presidential election with a victory over Barry M. Goldwater from Arizona.  Johnson extended the Democratic victory by former running mate John F. Kennedy with a 486 to 52 thrashing of the Republican candidate in the Electoral College and over 15 million surplus in the popular vote.
1965- February 7- President Lyndon B. Johnson orders the continuous bombing of North Vietnam below the 20th parallel.
1965- August 6 - The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.  Two significant portions of the act; the outlawing of the requirement of potential voters to take a literacy test in order to qualify and the provision of federal registration of voters in areas with less than 50% of all voters registered.
1966- June 29- United States warplanes begin their bombing raids of Hanoi and Haiphong, North Vietnam.  By December of this year, the United States had 385,300 troops stationed in South Vietnam with sixty thousand additional troops offshore and thirty-three thousand in Thailand.
July 1- Medicare, the government medical program for citizens over the age of 65, begins.
1967- June 23- A three day summit between President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin, held at Glassboro State College in New Jersey, culminates in a mutual declaration that no crises between them would lead to war.
1967 July - Black riots plague U.S. cities.  In Newark, New Jersey, twenty-six are killed, fifteen hundred injured and one thousand arrested from July 12 to 17.  One week later, July 23 to 30, forty are killed, two thousand injured, and five thousand left homeless after rioting in Detroit, known as the 12th Street Riots, decimate a black ghetto.  The riots are eventually stopped by over 12,500 Federal troopers and National Guardsmen.
1968 - Black civil rights leader Martin Luther King assassinated.
1968- June 5- Presidential candidate, the Democratic Senator from New York, Robert F. Kennedy, is shot at a campaign victory celebration in Los Angeles by Sirhan Sirhan, a Jordanian, after primary victories, and dies one day later.
1968- November 5- Richard M. Nixon recaptures the White House from the Democratic party with his victory of Hubert H. Humphrey, Democratic, and 3rd Party candidate George Wallace.  Nixon captures 301 Electoral College Votes to 191 for Humphrey and 46 for Wallace. 
            37. Richard M Nixon, 1969-1974

1969 - Republican Party candidate Richard Nixon elected president amid growing public opposition to Vietnam war. US military presence in Vietnam exceeds 500,000 personnel.
-US astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the Moon.

1969- The radical student underground group- the Weathermen (Weather Underground) brings off the Haymarket Police Memorial bombing in Chicago.
1969- July 25- President Richard M. Nixon announces his new Vietnam policy, declaring the Nixon Doctrine that expected Asian allies to care for their own military defense.  This policy, and all Vietnam war policies, would be heavily protested throughout the remainder of the year.  On November 15, 1969, more than two hundred and fifty thousand anti-Vietnam war demonstrators marched on Washington, D.C. to peacefully protest the war.

1970- February- The Weathermen: the Park Precinct Police Station bombing.
-Weathermen: Molotov cocktail attacks on Jurdge Murtagh, New York City.
1970- April 22- The first Earth Day celebration is held with millions of American participating in anti-pollution demonstrations.  These demonstrations included school children walking to school instead of riding the bus.

1970- March- Weathermen nail bomb explodes prematurely in Greenwich Village apartment.
1970- May 4- Four students from Kent State University in Ohio were killed and nine wounded by National Guardsmen during a protest against the Vietnam War spread into Cambodia.

1970- June- Weathermen explode a bomb at NYC Police headquarters.
1971- June 30- The United States Supreme Court upholds the right of the New York Times and the Washington Post to publish classified Pentagon papers about the Vietnam War, under the articles of the First Amendment to the Constitution.  The New York Times had begun the publication of the Pentagon papers on June 13.

1972- May- Weathermen bomb a washroom in the Pentagon.
1972- June 17- The Watergate crisis begins when four men are arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office building in Washington DC on the same day that Okinawa is returned from U.S. control back to Japan.
1972 - Nixon re-elected and makes historic visit to China.
1973- January 22, 1973 - The United States Supreme Court ruled in Roe vs. Wade that a woman can not be prevented by a state in having an abortion during the first six months of pregnancy.
1973- January 27- Four part Vietnam peace pacts, the Paris Peace Accords, were signed in Paris, France.  The announcement of the military draft ending also occurred on that date.  The last U.S. military troops would leave the war zone on March 29.
1973- January 30- Two defendants in the Watergate break-in trial are convicted.  The remaining five defendants had pleaded guilty to the crime two weeks earlier.  On April 30, the Watergate affair widens when four members of the Nixon administration; aides H.R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman, John W. Dean, and Attorney General Richard Kleindienst resign under suspicion of obstructing justice.  During Senate hearings on June 25, Dean would admit that the administration had conspired to cover up facts about the case, leading to the refusal of the President to release tapes concerning Watergate.
1973 - Vietnam ceasefire agreement signed. The campaign had claimed some 58,000 American lives.
1974- May 7- Impeachment hearings are begun by the House Judiciary Committee against President Richard M. Nixon in the Watergate affair.  On July 24, the United States Supreme Court rules that President Nixon must turn over the sixty-four tapes of White House conversations concerning the Watergate break-in.
1974 - In a TV address, Nixon announces his resignation in the wake of the Watergate scandal, over a 1972 break-in at the Democratic Party headquarters. Gerald Ford is sworn-in as his successor.
               38. Gerald R Ford, 1974-1977
1975- January 1- The Watergate cover up trials of Mitchell, Haldeman, and Ehrlichman are completed; all are found guilty of the charges.
1975 - Heiress Patty Hearst is kidnapped in Sanfancisco. She would be recovered by FBI agents on September 8 and subsequently indicted for bank robbery.  Hurst would be convicted of the crime two years later.
1976- July 20- The Viking 1 space probe successfully lands on Mars.  It would be followed by a second unmanned Viking II on the Utopia Plains on September 3.  The first color photos of the surface of Mars are taken on these flights.
1976 - Democratic Party candidate Jimmy Carter elected president.

                                  39. James E Carter, Jr., 1977-1981
1977- January 21-  The majority of Vietnam War draft evaders, ten thousand in number, are pardoned by President Jimmy Carter.
1977-September 21- Fifteen nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, sign a nuclear-proliferation pact, slowing the spread of nuclear weapons around the world.
1978- April 18- The United States Senate votes to return the Panama Canal back to Panama on December 31, 1999.  A treaty for the return had been signed on September 7 of the previous year, pending approval by the U.S. Congress.

1978-1995- Ted Kaczinski, "The Unabomber" carries out 23 bombings, mostly by mail, maiming 23 and killing 3 in defense of his views on preserving the environment.
1978- September 17- The Camp David Peace Agreement between Israel and Egypt is formulated in twelve days of secret negotiations at the Camp David retreat of the President.  President Jimmy Carter witnessed the signing of the agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat  at the White House.  (Photo bottom of page)  Camp David Peace Accord private meeting between President Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Cyrus Vance, and Harold Brown, September 15, 1978, Camp David, Maryland. Photo: White House staff photographers.
1979- March 28- An accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Middletown, Pennsylvania occurs. when a partial core meltdown is recorded.  A tense situation ensued for five days until the reactor was deemed under control.   It is the largest accident in U.S. nuclear power history and considered the worst until the Soviet Chernobyl accident seven years later.                         

1979 - US embassy in Tehran, Iran, seized by radical students. The 444-day hostage crisis - including a failed rescue attempt in 1980 - impacts on Carter's popularity and dominates the 1980 presidential election campaign.
1980- April 24-25- The attempt to rescue the American hostages held captive in the U.S. Embassy in Iran fails with eight Americans killed and five wounded in Operation Eagle Claw when a mid-air collision occurs.
1980- May 18- The Mt. St. Helens volcano, in Washington State, erupts, killing fifty-seven people and economic devastation to the area with losses near $3 billion.  The blast was estimated to have the power five hundred times greater than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

1980 November - Republican Party's Ronald Reagan elected president. Reagan goes on to adopt a tough anti-communist foreign policy and tax-cutting policies which lead to a large federal budget deficit.
                                  40. Ronald W Reagan, 1981-1989

1981 January - Iran frees the 52 US embassy hostages, on the same day as President Reagan's inauguration.
1981- March 30- President Ronald Reagan withstands an assassination attempt, shot in the chest while walking to his limousine in Washington, D.C.
1981- July 29- Tax cut legislation proposed by President Ronald Reagan, the largest in history, is passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress.  It would reduce taxes by $750 billion over the next five years.
1982- January 8- The AT&T lawsuit was settled with the U.S. Justice Department.  The agreement forced the independence of the twenty-two regional Bell System companies in return for expansion into the prohibited areas of data processing and equipment sales.
1982- November 5- The highest unemployment rate since 1940 was recorded at 10.4%.  By the end of November, over eleven million people would be unemployed.
1983-1990- The White House circumvents Congress to prosecute a secretly funded war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
1983- March 23 - The initial proposal to develop technology to intercept incoming missiles, the Strategic Defense Initiative Program, or Star Wars, is made by President Ronald Reagan.
1983- October 23- A terrorist truck bomb kills two hundred and forty-one United States peacekeeping troops in Lebanon at Beirut International Airport.  A second bomb destroyed a French barracks two miles away, killing forty there.
1983 - US invades Caribbean nation of Grenada, partly prompted by its concerns over the island's ties with Cuba.
1984- July 12- Democratic candidate for President, Walter Mondale, selects Geraldine Ferraro as his Vice Presidential running mate, the first woman chosen for that position.
1984 - Ronald Reagan re-elected president, beating Democratic Party candidate Walter Mondale.
1985- November 19- The first meeting in six years between the leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States occurs when Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan engage in a five hour summit conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
1986- January 20- Martin Luther King Day is officially observed for the first time as a federal holiday in the United States.
1986 January - Space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after take off from Cape Canaveral. All seven crew members are killed. Manned space flights are suspended until September 1988.
1986 - US warplanes bomb Libyan cities. "Irangate" scandal uncovered, revealing that proceeds from secret US arms sales to Iran were used illegally to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
1987- August 12- Near the end of hearings into the Iran-contra affair, President Reagan admitted to a policy that went astray, but denied knowledge of the diversion of funds to the contras.
1987- October 19, 1987 - The stock market crash known as Black Monday occurred on the New York Stock Exchange, recording a record 22.6% drop in one day.  Stock markets around the world would mirror the crash with drops of their own.
1987- December 8- The United States and the Soviet Union sign an agreement, the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, to dismantle all 1,752 U.S. and 859 Soviet missiles in the 300-3,400 mile range.
1988-February 3 - The United States House of Representatives rejects the request of President Reagan for $36.25 million to fund the Nicaraguan Contras.
1988- May 4- The deadline for amnesty application by illegal aliens is met by 1.4 million, who apply.  It is estimated that 71% of those who applied had entered the United States from Mexico.
1988 - Reagan's vice-president, George Bush, elected president.
                            41. George H W Bush, 1989-1993

1989- January 6- Economic reports on the previous year from the Labor Department indicated a growth rate of 3.8%, the largest in four years and an unemployment rate of 5.3%, a low of fourteen years.
1989- March 24- The Exxon Valdez crashed into Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound, causing the largest oil spill in American history, eleven million gallons, which extended forty-five miles.
1989 - US troops invade Panama, oust its government and arrest its leader, one-time Central Intelligence Agency informant General Manuel Noriega, on drug-trafficking charges.
1989- November 9, 1989 - The Berlin Wall, after thirty-eight years of restricting traffic between the East and West German sides of the city, begins to crumble when German citizens are allowed to travel freely between East and West Germany for the first time.  One day later, the influx of crowds around and onto the wall begin to dismantle it, thus ending its existence.
1990- February 7- The Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party gives up its monopoly of power, continuing the trend, since the beginning of the Berlin Wall coming down, that the Cold War was about to end.  The ending of the Cold War was completed, in many ways, by the strong policies of U.S. President Ronald Reagan toward the Soviet block.  Six days later, a plan to reunite Germany was announced.
1990- August 2, 1990 - Iraq invades its neighbor, Kuwait, setting into motion the beginning of U.S. involvement in the Gulf War.  Four days later, the United Nations begins a global trade embargo against Iraq.  On November 29, the United Nations passes a resolution, #678, stating that Iraq must withdraw its forces from Kuwait by January 15, 1991 or face military intervention.
1991 - US forces play dominant role in war against Iraq, which was triggered by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and ended with the expulsion of Iraqi troops from that country.
1991- February 27- The Gulf War ends one day after Iraq withdraws its forces from Kuwait and sets the oil fields on fire.  A ceasefire is declared and Iraq accepts the condition of disarmament after one hundred hours of ground fighting.  On April 3, the United Nations Security Council passes Resolution 687, calling for the destruction and removal of the entire Iraqi chemical and biologircal weapons stockpile, plus ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers.  Iraq also agrees to withdraw its support of international terrorism.
1992- January 26- The renewed nation of Russia and their leader Boris Yeltsin announce that they will stop targeting the cities of the United States with nuclear weapons.

The Clinton years
                                William J. Clinton, 1992-2000.

1992 - Democratic Party candidate Bill Clinton elected president.
1992 - Congress passes North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta, intended to create free-trade bloc among US, Canada and Mexico.

1993- February 26- Islamic terrorists detonate a massive truck bomb under the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring over 1,000 in an effort to collapse the towers.
1993- February 28- The fifty-one day Waco standoff begins when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms attempt to arrest the Branch Dividian leader David Koresh on federal arms violations.  Four agents and five members of the cult are killed in the raid.  The siege would end on April 19 when a fire, started by the Davidians, killed seventy-five members of the group, including the leader.
1993- November 20- The Senate Ethics Committee censures California Senator Alan Cranston for his participation with Charles Keating in the Savings and Loans scandal.  The scandal had begun in the 1980s due to a wave of mismanagement, failed speculation, and fraud within the industry.  By the end of this crisis, almost 800 savings and loans institutions responsible for real estate, automotive, personal and business loans in the United States had failed.  It would eventually cost the U.S. government between $125-$150 billion to bail out the failed institutions.
1994- January 1- The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes into effect, creating a free trade zone between Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
1994- June 12- The bodies of Nicole Brown SImpson and Ronald Goldman are found outside her home in Los Angeles, California.  Five days later, her husband, former football star O.J. Simpson is arrested for the crime, but  is later acquitted on October 3, 1995.  The Simpson case was one of the highest profile murder cases in the nation's history.
1994- September 13- President Bill Clinton signs the Assault Weapons Ban, which bars the use of these weapons for ten years.
1994- November 8- The Republican revolution concludes with the midterm elections when for the first time in forty years, the party gains control of both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.
1995- Jan 1- The World Trade Organization (WTO) is created, replacing the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade (GATT) formed from a series of post-war treaties on trade.  The World Trade Organization is more highly structured than the previous GATT and counted seventy-six nations among its members in 1995
1995 -April 19- Anarchists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols explode a bomb outside the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City killing 160.

1996- Eric Rudolph a pro-life, anti-lesbian extremist bombed the Los Angeles Olympics, killing two and maiming 111.
1996- June 25- The Khobar Towers bombing in Khobar, Saudi Arabia kills nineteen U.S. military personel, destroying the majority of a six building apartment complex that was home to the 440th Fighter Wing.  It was carried out by Islamic terrorists seeking removal of the U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia.
1996 - Clinton re-elected, beating Republican rival Bob Dole.
1996- December 5- A speech by the Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan suggest that "irrational exuberance" may be causing the extraordinary runup of stock prices.
1997- March 4- Federal funding for any research into human cloning is barred by President Bill Clinton.
1997- July 8- The NATO alliance expands into eastern Europe when it extends an invitation to the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to join the alliance in 1999.

1998 - Scandal over Clinton's purported sexual impropriety with White House worker Monica Lewinsky dominates domestic political agenda and leads to impeachment proceedings in Congress.
1998- May 18- The United States Department of Justice and twenty states file the anti-trust case, U.S. versus Microsoft.  On November 5, 1999, a preliminary ruling stated that Microsoft had monopoly power.
1998- August 7- Attacks on two United States embassies in Africa, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya kills two hundred and twenty-four and injures four thousand five hundred.  The attacks are linked to Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda organization.  On August 13, the United States launches cruise missile strikes against Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in the Sudan.
1998- September 29- The United States Congress passes legislation, the "Iraq Liberation Act" that states the U.S. wants to remove Saddam Hussein from power and replace it with a democracy.
1999- March 29- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 10,000 for the first time.
1999 March-June - US plays leading role in Nato bombardment of Yugoslavia in response to Serb violence against ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo.
1999- November 30- The first major mobilization of the anti-globalization movement occurs in Seattle, Washington, during the days before the 1999 World Trade Organization meetings.  The protests and rioting caused the cancellation of the WTO opening ceremonies.

2000- April 3 - The ruling in the case of the United States versus Microsoft states that the company did violate anti-trust laws by diminishing the capability of its rivals to compete.
2000- November - Republican Party's George W Bush wins presidency. George W. Bush, son of the former President, and Vice President Al Gore hold a virtual dead-heat for the presidency, with a disputed vote in Florida holding off the naming of the winner of the President Election until the Supreme Court of the United States voted in favor of Bush on December 12.  This ruling gave Florida to the Bush camp by a 527 vote majority, and a victory in the Electoral College, 271-266, despite gaining less popular votes than Gore. 

                            43. George W Bush, 2001-2009

2001 July - US tests its controversial missile defence shield, or "Son of Star Wars".
11 September attacks
2001 11 September - Co-ordinated suicide attacks on various high-profile targets, prompting the US to embark on a ''war on terror'' which includes the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.
2001 October - US leads massive campaign of air strikes against Afghanistan and helps opposition forces defeat the Taleban regime and find Saudi-born dissident Osama Bin Laden, who is suspected of masterminding the 11 September attacks.
2001 October - USA Patriot Act approved by the Senate, giving the government greater powers to detain suspected terrorists, eavesdrop on communications and counter money-laundering. In November, President Bush signs a directive to try suspected terrorists in military tribunals rather than the courts.
2001 December - Energy giant Enron declared bankrupt after massive false-accounting comes to light.
2002 January - State of the Union address: President George W Bush includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea in what he describes as an "axis of evil".
2002 June/July - Telecoms giant WorldCom's multi-billion dollar accounting fraud is revealed, eclipsing the Enron scandal to become the biggest business failure in US history.
2002 November - President Bush signs into law a bill creating a Department of Homeland Security, the biggest reorganisation of federal government in more than 50 years. The large and powerful department is tasked with protecting the US against terrorist attacks.
2003 February - Space shuttle Columbia's 28th mission ends in tragedy when the craft breaks-up while re-entering the atmosphere. The seven astronauts on board are killed.
Iraq war
2003 March - Missile attacks on Baghdad mark the start of a US-led campaign to topple the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. US forces advance into central Baghdad in early April.
2003 1 May - Speaking on the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, President Bush declares that the main part of the war in Iraq is over.
2003- December 13- Saddam Hussein, former leader of Iraq, is captured in a small bunker in Tikrit by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.
2004 May - Furore over pictures showing the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in US custody.
2004 July - Senate report says US and allies went to war in Iraq on "flawed" information. Independent report into 11 September 2001 attacks highlights deep institutional failings in intelligence services and government.
2004- November 24 - President George W. Bush wins reelection over Democratic Senator John Kerry from Massachusetts.  He wins 50.7% of the popular vote and 286 votes in the Electoral College.
Bush second term
2004 2 November - Presidential elections: George W Bush wins a second term.
2005- July 26, 2005 - In the first Space Shuttle flight since the tragedy of 2003, Discovery goes into orbit on a mission that returns to earth safely on August 9
2005 August - Hundreds of people are killed when Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive storm to hit the US in decades, sweeps through gulf coast states. Much of the city of New Orleans is submerged by flood waters.
2006 March - Congress renews the USA Patriot Act, a centrepiece of the government's fight against terrorism, after months of debate about its impact on civil liberties. The government agrees to some curbs on information gathering.
2006 April-May - Millions of immigrants and their supporters take to the streets to protest against plans to criminalise illegal immigrants.
2006 May - The only man to be charged over the September 11 attacks, self-confessed al-Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, is sentenced to life in jail.
2006 November - Democratic Party wins control of the Senate and House of Representatives in mid-term elections. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld steps down.
2007 January - President Bush announces a new Iraq strategy; thousands more US troops will be dispatched to shore up security in Baghdad.


2008 September - Turmoil in the US and international financial markets as major Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers collapses and other big US financial players face growing troubles as a result of the "credit crunch". With hundreds of billions of dollars wiped out in bad loans and a prolonged property slump, the US faces its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
2008- August 29- John McCain chooses Sarah Palin, 1st term Governor of Alaska, as his running mate, making the contest between Barack Obama and himself, the first time a presidential election included both an African-American candidate and a woman amongst the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees for president among the Democratic and Republican tickets.

2008 November - Democratic Senator Barack Obama becomes the first black president of the United States.
               44. Barack Obama 2009-

2009 January - First "Tea Party" rally held in protest at Obama administration's plans to bail out banks and introduce healthcare reform. The populist and libertarian movement acts as focus for conservative opposition to the president's reform plans.
2009- October 31- The economic recession continues to deepen as jobless claims climb above 10.0%, reaching 10.2% with October's monthly figures.  This occurs despite efforts by the Obama administration to ramp up massive government spending pushed by the $780 billion economic stimulus package passed earlier in the year.
2009- December 1- President Obama announces a surge of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to stem increased efforts by the Taliban in the country.  The surge, which was suggested by military officers, was not popular with the liberal base of the Democratic party which had put the President in power on a pledge to end both Middle Eastern wars.  The war in Afghanistan, which started as a response to the terror attacks on 9/11/2001, and the war on terror in general, comes into focus again on December 25 when an airliner headed for Detroit is attacked by a Muslim extremist, 23-year-old Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, who attempts to detonate a bomb, but fails.

2010 March - Democrats in Congress succeed in passing a bill on health care reform, despite strong Republican opposition, procedural setbacks and public scepticism.
2010-US and Russia announce agreement on a new nuclear arms reduction treaty to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The pact was to be signed on 8 April.President Obama unveils a new defence policy significantly curtailing the circumstances in which the US would use nuclear weapons.

2010- May 1- An Islamist Pakistani was arrested attempting to detonate a car bomb in Times Square.

2010 May-June - Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico causes the United States' biggest oil spill
2010-US and Russia announce agreement on a new nuclear arms reduction treaty to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The pact was to be signed on 8 April.President Obama unveils a new defence policy significantly curtailing the circumstances in which the US would use nuclear weaponsto date.

2010 November - Republicans make sweeping gains in mid-term elections, regaining control of House of Representatives.
2011 May - US forces kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in an operation in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.
2011 July - The final Space Shuttle mission is completed with the landing of Atlantis on 21 July, bringing about the end of the 30-year programme.
2011 September - Anti-capitalist protesters take to the streets of major cities, marching under the slogan "Occupy Wall Street", against "corporate greed" and increasing government debt. The protests inspire marches in other cities worldwide.
2012 January - President Obama unveils a revised defence strategy involving budget cuts, but insists US will maintain its military superiority.
13 Nov 2012:  CIA Director Petraeus falls in scandal.
14 Dec 2012: The shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, is one of many in the US over the past 50 year
2013- January 1- deadline for the fiscal cliff- in which huge spending cuts will take place if  Republicans and Demcorats cannot come to an agreement on slashing the budget. The crisis is narrowly averted by a partial deal on New years' Day.
2013- February- Democrats and Republicans fail to achieve a deal on further budget cuts known as sequestrations, with resulting cuts to the military and entitlements.

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