The 1940 census indicates a United States population of 132,164,569.
US Government Approves War Materials to GB
The United States government approves a sale of surplus war material to Great Britain
Big Day in World History
On the same day Paris fell to the German army and Auschwitz received its first Polish prisoners, the Naval Expansion Act is signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, increasing the capacity of the U.S. Navy by 11%.
US occupies Iceland
The United States occupies Iceland, taking over its defense from Great Britain and attempting to thwart a potential invasion by Nazi Germany.
Executive Order 9066
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.
30,000 United States Marines land on Iwo Jima.
President Harry S. Truman gives the go-ahead for the use of the atomic bomb with the bombing of Hiroshima.
Independence in Phillippines
The island nation of the Philippines is given their independence by the United States.
Blockade in Berlin
The Soviet Union begins its land blockade of the Allied sectors of Berlin, Germany. A counter blockade by the west was put into effect, as well as a British and U.S. airlift of supplies and food, until both blockades were lifted on September 30, 1949.
Withdrawing from Korea
United States withdraws its troops from Korea.
Rosenberg Espionage-Found Guilty
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were found guilty of conspiracy of wartime espionage and sentenced to death. They were executed June 19, 1953.
End of Fighting in Korea
Fighting ceases in the Korean War. North Korea, South Korea, the United States, and the Republic of China sign an armistice agreement.
First Colored TV goes on sale
Polio Vaccine in Pittsburgh
The first large scale vaccination of children against polio begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Segregation in Schools Unconstitutional
Racial segregation in public schools is declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in Brown vs. the Board of Education.
Rosa Parks Refuses to Give up Seat
Rosa Parks, an African American seamstress, refuses to give up her seat on the bus to a white man, prompting a boycott that would lead to the declaration that bus segregation laws were unconstitutional by a federal court
First Transatlantic telephone Cable
President Dwight D. Eisenhower Second Term
Congress approves Civil Rights Bill
U.S. Congress approves the first civil rights bill since the reconstruction with additional protection of voting rights
Alaska Becomes 49th State
Followed on August 21 by Hawaii
U-2 Shot Down
JFK becomes President
US Figure Skating Team Killed in Plane Crash
The entire United States figure skating team is killed in a plane crash near Brussels, Belgium on their journey to the World Championships. Seventy-three people are killed.
Cuban Missile Crisis Begins
Last Prisoners of Alcatraz Removed
The last 27 prisoners of Alcatraz are ordered removed and the federal penitentiary is closed.
Bible's and Prayer Unconstitutional
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled laws requiring the recitation of the Lord's Prayer or Bible verses in public schools is unconstitutional. The vote was 8 to 1
Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C.
Including King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
Black Riots Begin all over US
Newark, New Jersey: 26 deaths, 1500 injured, 1000 arrested (July 12 to 17.)
Detroit: 40 deaths, 2000 injured, 5000 homeless (July 23 to 30)
Landing on the Moon
Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon four days after launch from Cape Canaveral.
First Earth Day Celebration
Protests Against Cambodia
4 students from Kent State University in Ohio were killed and 9 wounded by National Guardsmen during a protest against the Vietnam War spread into Cambodia.
Voting Age is Lowered
The Senate approves a Constitutional Amendment, the 26th, that would lower the voting age from 21 to 18.
SALT 1 is Signed
In one of the most lopsided races in American Presidential election history, incumbent President Richard M. Nixon beat his Democratic challenger George S. McGovern, winning 520 Electoral College votes to McGovern's 17, and taking over 60% of the popular vote.
Roe v. Wade Ruling
The United States Supreme Court rules 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
Nixon and the Watergate Affair Hearings
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
Nixon resigns the office of the presidency, avoiding the impeachment process and admitting his role in the Watergate affair
The television show Wheel of Fortune premieres
Bill Gates founds Microsoft
Viking Space 1 Lands on Mars
American Legion Convention Deaths
29 people attending an American Legion convention in Philadelphia are killed by a mysterious ailment, one year later discovered as a bacterium
Jimmy Carter Becomes President
Jimmy Carter defeats President Ford
War Draft Evaders are Pardoned
The majority of Vietnam War draft evaders, 10,000, are pardoned by Carter.
Star Wars Opens and Becomes Highest Grossing Film
The New York City blackout results in massive looting and disorderly conduct during its twenty-five hour duration.
The king of rock and roll dies in his home in Graceland at age 42
3 Mile Island Accident
America's most serious nuclear power plant accident in its history.
American Pioneer 11 Passes Saturn
Becoming the first spacecraft to visit the ringed planet, albeit at a distance of 21,000 kilometers.
Eruption of Mt. St. Helens
Killing 57 people and economic devastation to the area with losses near $3 billion
Ronald Reagan Becomes President
Sandra Day O'Conner becomes first Female Supreme Court Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor is approved 99-0 by the United States Senate to become the first female Supreme Court associate justice in history
10.4% Unemployment Rate; highest since 1940
By the end of November, over eleven million people would be unemployed.
Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman to travel into space.
Reagan Wins Reelection Over Mondale
The first version of the Windows operating system for computers is released
Martin Luther King Day is officially observed for the first time as a federal holiday in the US
US House of Reps. rejects funding of Nicaraguan Contras
Collin Powell becomes Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The first African American to be nominated to that post.