1920-1941 DC American History

Timeline created by KaylaWylie
In History
  • The 1920 US Census

    For the first time, the 1920 census indicates a population in the United States of over 100 million people. The 15% increase since the last census now showed a count of 106,021,537. The geographic center of the United States population still remained in Indiana, eight miles south-southeast of Spencer, in Owen County.
  • The League of Nations is established

    The League of Nations is established with the ratification 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.
  • The 19th Amendment

    Women are given the right to vote when the 19th Amendment to the United States constitution grants universal women's suffrage. Also known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment, in recognition of her important campaign to win the right to vote.
  • Warren G. Harding takes office

    A landslide victory for Warren G. Harding in both the Electoral College and popular vote returns the Republican Party to the White House. Harding gained over 16 million popular votes to Democratic candidate James M. Cox's 9 million and won the Electoral contest with a 404 to 127 landslide. This was the first election in which women had the right to vote.
  • The Emergency Quota Act

    A national quota system on the amount of incoming immigrants is established by the United States Congress in the Emergency Quota Act, curbing legal immigration.
  • Congressional WWI hostilities end

    A Congressional resolution by both houses is signed by President Warren G. Harding, declaring peace in World War I hostilities with Germany, Austria, and Hungary. The treaties would be executed one month later.
  • The Armaments Congress

    The Armaments Congress ends three months after it convenes in late November of 1921. It would lead to an agreement, the Five Power Disarmament Treaty, between the major world powers of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States, to limit naval construction, outlaw poison gas, restrict submarine attacks on merchant fleets and respect China's sovereignty.
  • The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated

    The Lincoln Memorial, located on the opposite end of the National Mall from the Capitol building, is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • Time Magazine emerges

    Time Magazine is published for the first time
  • Warner Brothers Picture Productions :D

    Warner Brothers Pictures is incorporated.
  • "THEY CAN SPEAK!!"

    The first sound on film motion picture Phonofilm is show in the Rivoli Theatre in New York City by Lee de Forest.
  • RIP Warren G. Harding

    President Warren G. Harding dies in office after becoming ill following a trip to Alaska, and is succeeded by his Vice President, Calvin Coolidge.
  • Coolidge is Inaugurated

    Following the death of President Harding, Calvin Coolidge is sworn into office. Coolidge would oppose the League of Nations, but approved of the World Court
  • The First Winter Olympic Games

    The first Winter Olympic Games are held in the French Alps in Chamonix, France with sixteen nations sending athletes to participate, including the United States, which won four medals. Norway, with four gold and eighteen medals total had the most in both categories. The Winter Olympic Games have been held since this year, except during World War II.
  • J. Edgar Hoover: Head of the FBI

    J. Edgar Hoover is appointed to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • The Indian Citizenship Act

    All Indians are designated citizens by legislation passed in the U.S. Congress and signed by President Calvin Coolidge. The Indian Citizenship Act granted this right to all Native Americans that had been born within the territory of the United States.
  • The Monkey Trial

    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.
  • Coolidge takes office: Round II!

    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. La Follette. The Electoral margin was 382 to 136 (Davis) to 13 (La Follette).
  • Radiovision: The Ancestor of Television

    Radiovision is born. The precursor to television is demonstrated by Charles Francis Jenkins when he transmits a 10 minute film of synchronized pictures and sound for five miles from Anacostia to Washington, D.C. to representatives of the United States government.
  • The First Polar Flight

    The first flight to the North Pole and back occurs when pilot Floyd Bennett, with Richard Evelyn Byrd as his navigator, guided a three-engine monoplane. They were awarded the Medal of Honor for their achievement.
  • The Air Commerce Act

    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.
  • The Sesqui-Centennial Exposition

    The Sesqui-Centennial Exposition opens in Philadelphia to celebrate the one hundred and fiftieth birthday of the United States. With nineteen nations and four colonies participating, the event failed to live up to the wonder and expectation of the former Centennial Exposition and is often regarded as a failure in world expo circles. Due in part to inadequate preparation and very wet summer, it closed on November 30 a disappointment with 6 million visitors in total attendance.
  • The Great Mississippi Flood

    The Great Mississippi Flood begins, lasting until May 5 and affecting over 700,000.
  • The First Non-stop Trans-Atlantic Flight

    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.
  • The first television is made

    First success in the invention of television occurs by American inventor Philo Taylor Farnsworth. The complete electronic television system would be patented three years later on August 26, 1930.
  • Mount Rushmore construction begins

    Work on the gigantic sculpture at Mount Rushmore begins. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum would complete the task of chiseling the busts of four presidents; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, fourteen years later.
  • Mickey & Minne Mouse make their first appearances! ("Oh boy!")

    The first appearance of Mickey and Minnie Mouse on film occurs with the release of the animated short film, Plane Crazy.
  • Amelia Earhart & her Trans-Atlantic Flight

    Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman pilot to fly over the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Herbert Hoover takes office

    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.
  • The Hoover Dam Plan is approved

    The United States Congress approves the construction of Boulder, later named Hoover Dam.
  • MLK is born

    Future Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King is born in his grandfather's house in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • The St. Valentine's Day Massacre

    In Chicago, Illinois, gangsters working for Al Capone kill seven rivals and citizens in the act known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre as a result of a massive turf war between two Mafia gangs.
  • The Stock Market crashes & the Great Depression begins

    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.
  • Pluto is discovered

    American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovers the planet Pluto at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Tombaugh was also known as one of the few serious astronomers to have claimed to sight UFO's.
  • The 1930 US Census

    The population counted in the 1930 census reaches 123,202,624, a 16.2% increase over the past decade. The geographic center of the United States population had reached three miles northeast of Linton in Greene County, Indiana.
  • The London Naval Reduction Treaty

    The London Naval Reduction Treaty is signed into law by the United States, Great Britain, Italy, France, and Japan, to take effect on January 1, 1931. It would expire on December 31, 1936.
  • The Smooth-Hawley Tariff Act

    June 17, 1930 - The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act is signed by President Herbert Hoover. Its effective rate hikes would slash world trade and cause an increase in tariff prices world-wide.
  • Hoover appeals to Congress for public work relief

    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. On the New York City docks, out of work men wait for food and jobs during the Great Depression, an outcome of the Stock Market crash of 1929 after the prosperous decade of the 1920's.
  • The Star-Spangled Banner: An Official National Anthem

    The Star-Spangled Banner, by Francis Scott Key, is approved by President Hoover and Congress as the national anthem. The lyrics of the anthem were inspired during the bombing of Fort McHenry by British ships at the head of Baltimore harbor in September of 1814. (Fun Fact: the Star-Stangled Banner's music was stolen from an old British drinking song!)
  • New York becomes the Empire State

    Construction is completed on the Empire State Building in New York City and it opens for business.
  • The Reconstruction Finance Corporation is established

    The Reconstruction Finance Corporation is established to stimulate banking and business. Unemployment in 1932 reached twelve million workers.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt takes office

    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.
  • Roosevelt is Inaugurated

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated for the first time. His speech with its hallmark phrase, "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself," begins to rally the public and Congress to deal with great depression issues. His subsequent Fireside Chats, that began eight days later, would continue his addresses with the American public.
  • The New Deal

    The New Deal social and economic programs are passed by the United States Congress in 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. The New Deal would last until June 16.
  • The Civilian Conservation Corps is established

    The Civilian Conservation Corps is authorized under the Federal Unemployment Relief Act. It would provide work for two and one-half million men during the succeeding nine years and help construct many national park and other projects across the United States.
  • The Century of Progess World's Fair

    The Century of Progress World's Fair opens in Chicago, Illinois. Held along the banks of Lake Michigan on 427 acres, this depression era fair was a successful event, both in financial and attendance terms, taking advantage of cheap labor to keep costs low. It lasted for two seasons, drawing over 39 million visitors over its 1933 and 1934 years.
  • Einstein flees Germany & arrives in the US

    Einstein had arrived as a fugitive from Nazi Germany, due to his Jewish background.
  • The Dust Bowl

    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.
  • The 21st Amendment

    The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed, ending prohibition.
  • The First Masters Golf Tournament

    The Master's golf tournament is held for the first time at Augusta National Golf Club, founded by the legendary amateur golfer Bobby Jones, in Augusta, Georgia. The 1934 winner was Horton Smith, of the United States, at four under par.
  • The US Securities & Exchange Commission is established

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is established with the signing of the Securities Exchange Act into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • Japan builds a stronger navy

    Japan renounces the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930 in favor of building up a bigger and better navy.
  • The Social Securities Act

    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.
  • The Historic Sites Act

    The Historic Sites Act is signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, declaring a national policy to preserve historic sites, including National Historic Landmarks.
  • The Hoover Dam's is completed & dedicated

    Hoover Dam is dedicated by President Roosevelt.
  • The Berlin Olympics

    The Summer Olympics Games open in Berlin, Germany under the watchful eye of German leader Adolph Hitler, whose policies of Arian supremacy had already begun to take shape. The star of the games was Jesse Owens, a black American, who won four gold at the Berlin 1936 Games.
  • Roosevelt takes office: Round II!

    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's goals of the New Deal.
  • RIP The Hindenburg

    At Lakehurst, New Jersey, the German airship Hindenburg bursts into flames while mooring. The fire consumes the largest airship in the world, 804 feet long, within one minute, causing the death of thirty-six people.
  • The Golden Gate Bridge opens

    The Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic and one day later, after a ceremonial press of a button from Washington, D.C. by President Roosevelt, receives its first vehicles. It created a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County.
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act

    The National Minimum Wage is signed into law within the federal legislation known as the Fair Labor Standards Act. It established a minimum wage of $0.25 at the time, as well as time and one half for overtime and the prohibition of most employment for minors.
  • The Last Civil War Reunion

    The final reunion of the Blue and the Gray is held. It commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
  • The Golden Gate International Exposition

    A fair in San Francisco, known as the Golden Gate International Exposition, became the second example of a spectacular world's fair signalling the end of the depression era. Held in the middle of San Francisco Bay, it would close on September 29, 1940, with an attendance of over 15 million.
  • The New York World's Fair

    The New York World's Fair opens for its two year run. This world's fair, spectacularly conceived for the Flushing Meadows trash dump made famous by F. Scott Fitzgerald in Queen's, New York, is often credited with proving to the American public that prosperity and good times could lay ahead after the decade of depression.
  • Einstein drops the bomb: the A-bomb Project kick-starts

    Albert Einstein alerts Franklin D. Roosevelt to an A-bomb opportunity, which led to the creation of the Manhattan Project.
  • "Yeah... I'm going to stay out of this again."

    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.
  • The 1940 US Census

    The 1940 census indicates a United States population of 132,164,569. This represented an increase of 7.3% since 1930, the lowest rate of increase in the 20th century. The center of the United States population was geographically placed two miles southeast by east of Carlisle, Indiana.
  • "We aren't fighting and we aren't playing favorites. By the way, here's a few guns, Britain!"

    The United States government approves a sale of surplus war material to Great Britain.
  • Germany takes Paris & Auschwitz is opened

    On the same day, Paris surrendered without a fight to the invading German army and the infamous concentration camp, Auschwitz, received its first Polish prisoners.
  • "Things are getting dicey. So, just in case..."

    The U.S. Congress approves and enacts the first peacetime conscription draft.
  • Roosevelt takes office: Round III! (this man must love his job!)

    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.
  • "I swear I'm not playing favorites!" *hands an arm-load of guns to Britain at the same time*

    The Lend-Lease Act is approved, which provided $7 billion in military credits for American manufactured war supplies to Great Britain and other allies; in the fall, a similar Lend-Lease pact would be approved for the USSR with a $1 billion loan.
  • "Uh... I'm not scared or anything, Germany, I just... uh... like ice?"

    The United States occupies Iceland, taking over its defense from Great Britain and attempting to thwart a potential invasion by Nazi Germany.
  • *whistles while playing buddy-buddy with Britain & planning Germany's destruction* "I'm not doing anything, don't worry Germany!"

    An eight point declaration of principles called the Atlantic Charter is issued by President Roosevelt and Great Britain Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
  • *inhales sharply, before screeches loudly in rage* "WeLl iF YoU WaNt tO pLaY iT tHaT wAy!!!!"

    The attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, commences at 7:55 a.m. when Japanese fighter planes launch a surprise attack on United States soil, destroying the U.S. Pacific Fleet docked at the base. This attack, which took the greatest amount of U.S. naval life in history with 1,177 sailor and marines perishing in the attack, as well as the loss or damage to twenty-one naval ships, led to the entry of American troops into World War II.
  • *glares at Japan, points, and declares dramatically* "I HAVE A BONE TO PICK WITH YOU!!"

    The United States of America declares war on Japan, officially entering World War II.
  • *Germany and Italy declares war on US. US grins evilly in response and states* "UNO REVERSE CARD!"

    The United States declares war on Germany and Italy, responding to their declaration of war against America.