Annotated Timeline: American History from 1969 to Today (Political)

  • Apollo Project

    Apollo Project
    The Apollo Project would be the end of the Space Race between the USSR and America. The goal of this project was to land men on the moon which became reality in 1969 with the now famous Neil Armstrong moon landing. The significance of this event to the present day is enormous, almost all of the United States' advancements in space are a result of this initial success. A cultural shift would happen, with the youth of this era using space as a motivation for success, wishing to explore the stars.
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    Vietnam War

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    Cold War

  • Nixon visits China

    Nixon visits China
    In 1972 in an effort to leave the Vietnam War without the reputation loss, Nixon would visit China. The goal here was to wedge a divide between USSR and the PRC to eventually get Soviet support out of Vietnam. Nixon would be successful in this divide, the PRC would become more tolerant towards the West because of this and to this day Russia and China continue to have a shaky alliance, though in recent years the nations have gotten closer in their partnership which threatens the West.
  • Watergate Scandal

    Watergate Scandal
    The Watergate Scandal was an event where Nixon's allies broke into the DNC building across from the Watergate Hotel in 1972, this would spur controversy and eventually end with the resignation of Nixon. Watergate marks the end of an era of American trust in politicians (particularly the president).
  • 1973 Oil Crisis

    1973 Oil Crisis
    In 1973, OPEC would declare an oil embargo on all countries supporting Israel (US and allies). This would spark disaster across the globe, with the price of oil quadrupling in the United States. Relations between the West and the Middle East would go sour from here. To this day most conflict is a result of the 1973 oil crisis as America would later start wars against governments trying to do the same.
  • Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

    Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
    The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was another major event leading to the United States' heavy involvement in the Middle East as well as the strong terrorist presence in the region. This war lasted just about a decade and would be the USSR's version of the US in Vietnam. Afghans would run a guerilla campaign which was a stalemate until the United States intervened, winning the Afghans back their land. The instability from this war would create the Taliban after the war ended.
  • Operation Desert Storm

    Operation Desert Storm
    Operation Desert Storm was an initiative taken by President Reagan to defend Kuwait from Iraqi invasion forces. America established a strong coalition of nations that would kick out Iraqi troops with relative ease. This event would be the definite eye opener for the world signaling that the United States was interested in the Middle East for its oil and would be controlling its politics. All future wars in the Middle East including our present day occupations are a result of this conflict.
  • Falklands War

    Falklands War
    The Falklands War was a conflict between Britain and Argentina which was due to a dispute about claims over a chain of islands. Britain insisted and quickly won the war over this, though both nations recognize the Falkland Islands as their territory. The United States backed GB on this which to many was a turning point in their relationship. It was clear that the United States would assist its allies in Europe over its neighbors which it vowed to protect in the Americas.
  • INF Treaty

    INF Treaty
    The INF Treaty was between the USSR (then Russia after its collapse) and the United States regarding the construction and testing of Nuclear missiles from the range of 500 to 5500 kilometers. This agreement was important for a long time including to the present day, when under the Trump administration the United States left the deal due to Russia breaking its terms. In more recent times, under the Biden administration, Russia and the US have reentered conversation regarding this treaty.
  • Tiananmen Square Massacre

    Tiananmen Square Massacre
    The Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 followed by the infamous massacre by the PRC, killing and arresting thousands of pro-democracy sympathizers. This event was important as the Western World saw that not all of the Chinese supported the Communist regime, and that many were willing to die for freedom. To this day, many associate with this event even though protests in mainland China have been suppressed. Both Taiwan and Hong Kong's residents resonate with the protesters from this movement.
  • Reunification of Germany

    Reunification of Germany
    The reunification of Germany of 1989 and 1990 was due to the leader of the USSR Gorbachev wishing for East Germans to have their own free elections, and in turn they joined forces with West Germany. Due to the Cold War there's still a big cultural divide between Western and Eastern Germans which in turn has caused domestic dispute between them politically. The reunification of Germany has caused economic growth for Germany, now being the center of European commerce in their EU.
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    Gulf War

  • Collapse of the USSR; Start of a new era

    Collapse of the USSR; Start of a new era
    In 1991, the USSR would collapse, leaving America as the winner of the Cold War which started a power vacuum entering a new era, leaving communism behind. Many of the countries formerly part of the USSR since its dissolution have become unstable, struggling to govern themselves, while others have thrived (such as Germany). Russia would become capitalist after the dissolution of the USSR, though even now the relationship between it and America are poor.
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    Bosnian Civil War

  • Oklahoma City Bombing

    Oklahoma City Bombing
    The Oklahoma City bombing was an event in 1995 where a large area was blown up using a homemade bomb. This bombing is to this day the largest domestic act of terror on the United States. At first Islamic extremists were blamed due to the world trade center bombing two years prior. Americans would soon find out that a fellow American did this and it left many shocked. The bombing was in response to the Waco Siege by the ATF and FBI in 1993 and left many trusting the government less and less.
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    Civil War in Afghanistan

  • Hong Kong returned to CCP

    Hong Kong returned to CCP
    In 1997 Britain would finally agree to give Hong Kong back to the PRC after owning it for a century and a half following the Opium wars. Hong Kong over that period had shifted dramatically culturally from mainland China, not agreeing with Communist rule which is evident in their protests that have happened ever since. Hong Kong was given their own government though is no more than a puppet for the CCP and has gotten help crushing any insurrections that have occurred over the years.
  • Putin takes over Russia

    Putin takes over Russia
    Putin became Prime Minister of Russia in 1999 with the huge instability of the country after the collapse of the Soviet Union almost a decade prior. Putin would be and still is a very controversial figure in Russia, with some of the population liking him, while others not. Its difficult for outsiders to know due to the mass censorship and silencing by the Russian government of political opponents and critics to Putin. Ties between America and Russia have been shaky since his seize of power.
  • Operation Horseshoe

    Operation Horseshoe
    In 1999 Serbia wished to ethnically cleanse the Kosovo region of Albanians as revenge for bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War of 1998-89. The United States and its allies (NATO) would intervene by bombing Yugoslavia more, ending the conflict. This event was significant at the time because it showed America's role in the world scene, being a 'peace keeper' force like the UN, though getting more involved. Serbs today are still upset for the bombings of cultural relics.
  • 9/11

    The 9/11 attacks of 2001 brought worry to almost all American homes as it was the most deadly act of terror on America from a foreign nation. TV only increased the fear with coverage of the horrific day. Popularity of the president after 9/11 spiked, allowing him to enter Iraq which our troops have been tied in since 2003. Long term effects of this was our involvement in the Middle East, fear among Americans of terrorism, and stopping of funding the IRA that was doing nearly the same in Ireland.

    The PATRIOT Act was enacted in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks, and the Federal government wished to spy on Americans for possible knowledge on terrorists. This bill was popular at the time but seems to have become less so in recent years among Americans though still popular. Today Americans trust the government less and less because of other events and delayed protections and this bill is just one of those affected by that distrust.
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    War on Terror

  • Saddam Hussein overthrown in Iraq / Invasion of Iraq

    Saddam Hussein overthrown in Iraq / Invasion of Iraq
    In 2003, American troops would enter the Iraq war, invading the country and deposing Saddam Hussein, a man known for troubling the US in previous years such as with the Kuwait invasion. The deposition of Hussein would throw the Middle East into a power vacuum, and after his death terrorism in the region would rise to popularity with many of its civilians, not liking that America and the Soviet Union during the Cold War had messed with their homeland for so many years.
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    War in Afghanistan

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    War in Iraq

  • Hurricane Katrina

    Hurricane Katrina
    Hurricane Katrina was a storm that hit Louisiana in 2005 which itself wasn't a huge problem but due to a lack of government assistance became one of the biggest natural disasters in Modern American History. Many of those hit by the storm lost their homes, the region lost electricity, and took years to recover. The Katrina storm was a major event in Americans trusting the government less and less in protection.
  • The Great Recession

    The Great Recession
    The Great Recession was an event caused by a few factors in 2008 such as the Stock Market Crash. The Recession in a sense was the economy weighing itself properly, as it was being artificially held up prior to the crash. This had enormous impact on the American people, as they could not find jobs, their assets' prices plummeted, and to this day it is very hard for people to gain credit. This is another event where Americans will trust the government to save them less and less.
  • Obama elected as President of the United States

    Obama elected as President of the United States
    Obama being elected as the President of the United States was a big influence on African Americans, it signaled that even with all the hardships they may have, they can be elected into the highest place of office in the world and that America was ready for it. Obama's affect on today is debatable, though his help with the recession helped greatly, and America was able to recover quickly without the same amount of damage as the Great Depression in the 30s.
  • China becomes world's biggest exporter

    China becomes world's biggest exporter
    China becoming the world's biggest exporter in 2009 was a wake up call for many Americans, while it was clear for decades that industry had moved out of the US, in 2009 China surpassed Germany being the biggest exporter. Many today see this as a threat, as without China much of the world would struggle to import the same items but much of the Western world dislikes China for its oppressive, censoring, government. This is seen across many polls in past years, getting worse and worse.
  • Osama Bin Laden killed

    Osama Bin Laden killed
    American Special Forces would assassinate the leader of Al-Qaeda Osama Bin Laden, who was responsible for 9/11 and hated by a majority of Americans for his actions. Many Americans felt closure from the 9/11 attacks with his death, and most will be able to tell you where they were when it was announced on the media. After this event though, the power vacuum of the Middle East only increased. American troops in region at this point are stuck occupying, and to the present day we haven't withdrawn.
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    Syrian Civil War

  • American Intervention against Isil

    American Intervention against Isil
    American Intervention in the Middle East at this point is constant, many Americans because of this have become isolationist, supporting America withdrawing all troops and letting the world deal with its own problems due to the high amount of deaths of US soldiers. The affects of our constant occupation of the region including Iraq is not completely known, though the area is obviously very unstable and would not survive without major violence without American assistance.
  • Las Vegas Massacre

    A horrifying event for Americans in 2017, a gunman would kill over 50 and wound hundreds in Las Vegas. This event solidifies the sad reality of Modern America, being a nation with growing mental health issues. Americans have increasingly become more cynical of the world and less trusting in their government. A long term affect of this mental health crisis is tragedies such as this one, where one man not receiving help that he needed lost his mind and killed many innocents.
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    Covid-19 Pandemic