American History 2019-2020

Timeline created by BCo
In History
  • Seneca Falls Convention starts

    Seneca Falls Convention starts
    From the 19th to the 20th of July 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention was held in the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, New York.
  • Homestead Act of 1862

    Homestead Act of 1862
    It allowed any American, including freed slaves, to claim 160 acres of free land. This was an especially important for westward expansion, as it drove many in that direction.
  • Last Spike Ceremony is held

    Last Spike Ceremony is held
    After six years of work, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads met Promontory Point, Utah, marking the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.
  • Enforcement Act of 1870

    Enforcement Act of 1870
    The Enforcement Act of 1870 (along with the two others Acts from 1871) were made in an attempt to restrict the KKK. They largely failed, however, as local law enforcement did little to actually enforce the acts.
  • The 15th Amendment is ratified

    The 15th Amendment is ratified
    The Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution is ratified. It prevents the government from denying people voting rights based on "race, color, or previous condition of servitude." However, it did not allow women to vote, which angered many.
  • The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today is published

    The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today is published
    The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, a book written by Mark Twain and co-authored by Charles Dudley Warner was published on this day. The term gilded means to cover something thinly with gold. This ties nicely into the works satire on greed, and succinctly represents the era whose name it would coin.
  • Battle of Little Big Horn

    Battle of Little Big Horn
    The Battle of Little Big Horn, also know as Custer's Last Stand, was a battle between the US Army and various Native American tribes. Prior to the battle, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer had tried to make the Natives move to a reservation, which they refused to do. Custer and his men were heavily outnumbered, and they were all killed.
  • Wild Bill Hickok is killed

    Wild Bill Hickok is killed
    On August 1st of 1976, folk hero Bill Hickok was playing poker in a saloon in Deadwood when Jack McCall came up behind him and shot him in the back of the head. It has been said that he was holding a two-pair of black aces and black eights at the time of his death: this particular combination is now know at the dead man's hand.
  • Jesse James is killed

    Jesse James is killed
    Jesse James was the leader of the James-Young Gang, and the brother of Frank James. He had just eaten breakfast with new gang recruit Robert Ford, and as they conversed in the living room, he noticed that a painting was crooked. As he stood to adjust it, Ford shot him from behind and killed him.
  • Brooklyn Bridge opened for use

    Brooklyn Bridge opened for use
    The Brooklyn Bridge is a roughly-6,000 foot bridge spanning the East River in New York City. It was designed by John Augustus Roebling, who died before construction was completed. It was seen as one of the brightest examples of American ingenuity.
  • Supreme Court Refuses to Ban ‘Private’ Discrimination

    Supreme Court Refuses to Ban ‘Private’ Discrimination
    Five different cases, in which African Americans sued public places for refusing them service, are judged in the Supreme Court. They lost the case in an 8-1 decision. The reasoning was that the 14th Amendment didn’t give Congress power to regulate private acts such as these.
  • Dawes Act is implemented

    Dawes Act is implemented
    Henry Dawes, an American congressman, introduced the Dawes Act in an attempt to assimilate Native Americans. It was largely unsuccessful.
  • How the Other Half Lives is published

    How the Other Half Lives is published
    In the late 1800s, living conditions in New York tenements were very poor. Photographer Jacob Riis documented these conditions and published them in a book titled How the Other Half Lives, with the intent to expose the lower-class problems to the higher-class members of society. The book was a success, and spurred wide-scale reform.
  • Ellis Island opens as an immigration island

    Ellis Island opens as an immigration island
    Ellis Island was the biggest immigration station in America from 1892 to 1954. Within that timeframe, about 12 million immigrants were processed. Today, it exists as a national monument.
  • The Plessy v Ferguson decision is reached

    The Plessy v Ferguson decision is reached
    Homer Plessy, a man who was one-eighth black, decided to test the limits of Louisiana's Separate Car Act of 1890 and sat in the whites-only car. He was charged, and the case eventually made it to the Supreme Court. The final decision was 7-1 against him.
  • The USS Maine sinks

    The USS Maine sinks
    After being deployed to Havana harbor, the USS Maine explodes and sinks, killing 268 men. The explosion was believed to have come from an external source, with many pointing their fingers at Spain. This is seen as the event that sparked the war.
  • President McKinley authorizes military force to help Cuba

    President McKinley authorizes military force to help Cuba
    After years of local uprising against the Spanish government, Americans sympathized with the Cubans wanting of freedom. Buckling under the force of popular opinion, McKinley signed a joint Congressional resolution to authorize military force to support Cuba. War was declared the next day.
  • Battle of San Juan Hill

    Battle of San Juan Hill
    Theodore Roosevelt lead the Rough Riders to victory in a literal uphill battle. Although the Americans suffered many loses, they still came out on top. This was one of the events that led to Theodore Roosevelt being viewed as a war hero.
  • Hawaii is annexed

    Hawaii is annexed
    In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani, who ruled Hawaii at the time, was overthrown and a new government was established. The new government wanted annexation by the United States, but was refused. President McKinley, however, made it happen.
  • Theodore Roosevelt becomes President of the United States of America for the first time

    Theodore Roosevelt becomes President of the United States of America for the first time
    Prior to his presidencies, Theodore Roosevelt led the Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War and was seen as a hero. He was later the Vice President of William McKinley. After McKinley was assassinated, Roosevelt took over as President.
  • Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty

    Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty
    The Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty was signed on this day. This agreement gave the U.S. canal access the Isthmus of Panama and gave Panama financial support and protection.
  • The Jungle is published

    The Jungle is published
    After spending several weeks working incognito in Chicago meatpacking plants, journalist Upton Sinclair wrote the Jungle to expose the unnerving practices he observed to the general public. Originally published in 1905 in a Socialist newspaper, the book was later published by Doubleday in 1906. The impact was noticeable: the book was partially responsible for the passage of both the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.
  • The Woman Suffrage Party is founded

    The Woman Suffrage Party is founded
    The Convention of Disfranchised Women took place at Carnegie Hall on October 29, 1909. There, Interurban Suffrage Council leader Carrie Chapman Catt. The conference wanted Catt to lead a new political party. It was originally called the Woman's Party before being changed to the Woman Suffrage Party.
  • The Panama Canal opens

    The Panama Canal opens
    In the 1880s, a French construction team attempted to build a canal through Panama. The United States took over the project in 1904, and after ten years of work, the Canal opened on August 15, 1914.
  • The 19th Amendment is signed into law

    The 19th Amendment is signed into law
    The Woman's Suffrage movement came to a head with the signing of the 19th Amendment. The Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, was signed into law by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby.
  • Ellis Island closes down

    Ellis Island closes down
    The federal government shut down Ellis Island, a popular immigration station. The first immigrant to be processed was Annie Moore, a 15-year-old girl from Ireland. It has undergone many changes over the years since its closure.