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  • 1492

    Christopher Columbus First Voyage to America

    Christopher Columbus First Voyage to America
    Columbus made his transatlantic voyages under the sponsorship of Ferdinand II and Isabella I, the Catholic Monarchs of Aragon, Castile, and Leon in Spain. On August 3, 1492, Columbus and his crew set sail from Spain in three ships: the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. On October 12, the ships made landfall not in the East Indies, as Columbus assumed, but on one of the Bahamian islands, likely San Salvador.
  • 1513

    Ponce de Leon Explores Florida

    Ponce de Leon Explores Florida
    In pursuit of a rumored fountain of youth located on an island known as Bimini, Ponce de León led an expedition to the coast of what is now Florida in 1513. Thinking it was the island he sought, he sailed back to colonize the region in 1521, but was fatally wounded in a Native American attack soon after his arrival.
  • 1521

    Cortez Conquers Aztec Empire

    Cortez Conquers Aztec Empire
    After a three-month siege, Spanish forces under Hernán Cortés capture Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec empire. Cortés’ men leveled the city and captured Cuauhtémoc, the Aztec emperor.
    Cortez visited the coast of Yucatán and in March 1519 landed at Tabasco in Mexico’s Bay of Campeche with 500 soldiers, 100 sailors, and 16 horses. There, he won over the local Indians. In 1920 the Spanish forces were sent over trying to take down Cortez.
  • 1535

    Pizarro Vanquishes the Incas

    Pizarro Vanquishes the Incas
    Pizarro established the city of Lima on the coast to facilitate communication with Panama. The next year, Manco Capac escaped from Spanish supervision and led an unsuccessful uprising that was quickly crushed. That marked the end of Inca resistance to Spanish rule.
  • Spanish Armada Destroyed by Storms & English

    Spanish Armada Destroyed by Storms & English
    Battered by storms and suffering from a dire lack of supplies, the Armada sailed on a hard journey back to Spain around Scotland and Ireland. Some of the damaged ships foundered in the sea while others were driven onto the coast of Ireland and wrecked. By the time the last of the surviving fleet reached Spain in October, half of the original Armada was lost and some 15,000 men had perished.
  • The Settlement of Jamestown

    The Settlement of Jamestown
    104 English men and boys arrived in North America to start a settlement. On May 13 they picked Jamestown, Virginia for their settlement, which was named after their King, James I. The settlement became the first permanent English settlement in North America. The settlement thrived for nearly 100 years as the capital of the Virginia colony; it was abandoned after the capital moved to Williamsburg in 1699.
  • Pilgrims Find Plymouth Colony

    Pilgrims Find Plymouth Colony
    The Pilgrims left England to seek religious freedom, or simply to find a better life. After a period in Holland, they set sail from Plymouth, England, on Sept. 16, 1620, aboard the Mayflower, its 102 passengers spending 65 days at sea. When they reached lan the settlers began erecting buildings and rough shelters for the winter. But harsh climate and illness took their toll. By the end of winter half the colonists had died.
  • French and Indian War

    French and Indian War
    In 1754, the French built Fort Duquesne where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers joined to form the Ohio River (in today’s Pittsburgh), making it a strategically important stronghold that the British repeatedly attacked. The French and Indian War began over the specific issue of whether the upper Ohio River valley was a part of the British Empire, and therefore open for trade and settlement by Virginians and Pennsylvanians, or part of the French Empire.
  • Virginia Law

    Virginia Law
    The Virginia Colonial Assembly enacted a law that removed criminal penalties for enslavers who killed enslaved people resisting authority. The assembly justified the law on the grounds that “the obstinacy of many [enslaved people] cannot be suppressed by other than violent means.” The law provided that an enslaver's killing of an enslaved person could not constitute murder because the “premeditated malice” element of murder could not be formed against one’s own property.
  • Salem Witchcraft Trials

    Salem Witchcraft Trials
    A group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft. As a wave of hysteria spread throughout colonial Massachusetts, a special court convened in Salem to hear the cases. The first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop, was hanged that June. Eighteen others followed Bishop to Salem’s Gallows Hill, while some 150 more men, women and children were accused over the next several months.
  • Steam Engine

    Steam Engine
    Thomas Savery was the first person to invent a steam pump for the purpose of pumping out water in 1698. Steam engines made it possible to easily work, live, produce, market, specialize, and viably expand without having to worry about the less abundant presence of waterways. Cities and towns were now built around factories, where steam engines served as the foundation for the livelihood of many of the citizens.
  • Albany Congress

    Albany Congress
    Representatives from seven colonies met with 150 Iroquois Chiefs in Albany, New York. The purposes of the Albany Congress were to try to secure the support and cooperation of the Iroquois in fighting the French, and to form a colonial alliance based on a design by Benjamin Franklin. The plan of union was passed unanimously. But when the delegates returned to their colonies with the plan, not a single provincial legislature would ratify it.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    The Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States, recognized American independence and established borders for the new nation. After the British defeat at Yorktown, peace talks in Paris began in April 1782 between Richard Oswarld representing Great Britain and the American Peace Commissioners Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and John Adams.
  • Sugar Act

    Sugar Act
    The Sugar Act lowered the duty on foreign-produced molasses from six pence per gallon to 3 pence per gallon, in attempts to discourage smuggling. The act further stipulated that Americans could export many commodities, including lumber, iron, skins, and whalebone, to foreign countries, only if they passed through British ports first.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    The Stamp Act was very unpopular among colonists. A majority considered it a violation of their rights as Englishmen to be taxed without their consent. Consent that only the colonial legislatures could grant. Their slogan was "No taxation without representation". Colonial assemblies sent petitions and protests, and the Stamp Act Congress held in New York City was the first significant joint colonial response to any British measure when it petitioned Parliament and the King.
  • Quartering Act

    Quartering Act
    The act required colonial assemblies to provide housing, food and drink to British troops stationed in their towns with the purpose of improving living conditions and decreasing the cost to the crown. Soldiers were to be housed in barracks or empty public buildings and not in private residences.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    In Boston, a small British army detachment that was threatened by mob harassment opened fire and killed five people, an incident soon known as the Boston Massacre. The soldiers were charged with murder and were given a civilian trial, in which John Adams conducted a successful defense.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Protesting both a tax on tea (taxation without representation) and the perceived monopoly of the East India Company, a party of Bostonians thinly disguised as Mohawk people boarded ships at anchor and dumped some £10,000 worth of tea into the harbor, an event popularly known as the Boston Tea Party.
  • Continental Congress

    Continental Congress
    The First Continental Congress, which was comprised of delegates from the colonies, met in 1774 in reaction to the Coercive Acts, a series of measures imposed by the British government on the colonies in response to their resistance to new taxes.
  • The Second Continental Congress

    The Second Continental Congress
    The Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in the summer of 1775, shortly after the war with the British had begun. It was preceded by the First Continental Congress in the fall of 1774.
    The Congress appointed George Washington as commander of the Continental Army, and authorized the raising of the army through conscription.
  • Thomas Paine Common Sense

    Thomas Paine Common Sense
    A single 47-page pamphlet Common Sense, written by Thomas Paine and first published in Philadelphia in January 1776, was in part a scathing polemic against the injustice of rule by a king. But its author also made an equally eloquent argument that Americans had a unique opportunity to change the course of history by creating a new sort of government in which people were free and had the power to rule themselves.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    After the Congress recommended that colonies form their own governments, the Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson and revised in committee. On July 2 the Congress voted for independence; on July 4 it adopted the Declaration of Independence.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    Under these articles, the states remained sovereign and independent, with Congress serving as the last resort on appeal of disputes. Significantly, The Articles of Confederation named the new nation “The United States of America.” Congress was given the authority to make treaties and alliances, maintain armed forces and coin money. It was ratified on March 1 1781
  • 3/5 Compromise

    3/5 Compromise
    The compromise outlined the process for states to count slaves as part of the population in order to determine representation and taxation for the federal government. The Southern states wanted to count all slaves toward the population for representation purposes but did not want to be taxed on the slaves because they considered them property. The Northern states did not want all the slaves counted toward the population because that would take representation away from the North,
  • Whiskey Rebellion

    Whiskey Rebellion
    During the American Revolution, individual states incurred significant debt. In 1790 Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton pushed for the federal government to take over that debt. He also suggested an excise tax on whiskey to prevent further financial difficulty. The law was immediately a failure, Excise officers sent to collect the tax were met with defiance and threats of violence. Some producers refused to pay the tax.
  • The First Bank of the United States

    The First Bank of the United States
    The Bank acted as the federal government's fiscal agent, collecting tax revenues, securing the government's funds, making loans to the government, transferring government deposits through the bank's branch network, and paying the government's bills.
  • Bill of Rights

    Bill of Rights
    On December 15, 1791, the new United States of America ratified the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, confirming the fundamental rights of its citizens. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and the rights of peaceful assembly and petition.
  • XYZ Affair

    XYZ Affair
    Joh Adams sent over 3 diplomats to France to try to restore peace. When Pinckney, Charles de Talleyrand instead had three agents inform the U.S. commissioners that in order to see him they first would have to pay him a hefty bribe and provide France with a large loan, among other conditions. When the US government heard of this they created the XYZ Affair. They created the Navy and destroyed French vessels.
  • Election of 1800

    Election of 1800
    The election of 1800 pitted Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson against Federalist John Adams.The election was a referendum on two different visions of America. The Federalists envisioned a strong central government and a thriving manufacturing sector, while the Democratic-Republicans yearned for an agrarian republic centered on the values of the yeoman farmer. The election of 1800 was one of the most bitter, contentious, and fiercely partisan presidential elections in US history.
  • Marbury v. Madison

    Marbury v. Madison
    Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1801 which created new courts and added judges. William Marbury, a Federalist Party leader from Maryland, who was among the last of those “midnight appointments”, did not receive his commission. Once in office President Thomas Jefferson directed his Secretary of State, James Madison, to withhold the commission, and Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to issue a writ of mandamus to compel Madison to act.
  • Embargo Act of 1807

    Embargo Act of 1807
    Economically, the embargo devastated American shipping exports and cost the American economy about 8 percent in decreased gross national product in 1807. With the embargo in place, American exports declined by 75%, and imports declined by 50%the act did not completely eliminate trade and domestic partners. Before the embargo, exports to the United States reached $108 million. One year later, they were just over $22 million.
  • The Battle of Thames

    The Battle of Thames
    British and Indian forces are defeated by American forces in Canada. Tecumseh’s death ends Indian resistance in the Ohio River Valley.
  • The British Burn the Capital

    The British Burn the Capital
    During the War of 1812, the British were urged to attack the former colonies after American troops attacked Canada and burned government buildings. Washington was picked as the target because of its symbolic importance, its easy access from the sea, and the inability of inexperienced American troops to defend it.
  • Treaty of Ghent

    Treaty of Ghent
    President James Madison signed the treaty ending the War of 1812 (United States and Britain) which was fought for 2 years and 8 months. The treaty released all prisoners and restored all captured land and ships between Britain and the United States.
  • Monroe Doctrine

    Monroe Doctrine
    According to the policy, the United States would not intervene in European affairs, but likewise it would not tolerate further European colonization in the Americas or European interference in the governments of the American hemisphere.
  • McCormick Reaper

    McCormick Reaper
    This machine was used by farmers to harvest crops mechanically. The McCormick mechanical reaper replaced the manual cutting of the crop with scythes and sickles. This new invention allowed wheat to be harvested quicker and with less labor force.
  • Whig Party Formed

    Whig Party Formed
    The Whig Party was formally organized in 1834, bringing together a loose coalition of groups united in their opposition to what party members viewed as the executive tyranny of “King Andrew” Jackson. They borrowed the name Whig from the British party opposed to royal prerogatives.
  • Battle of the Alamo

    Battle of the Alamo
    The Battle of the Alamo took place in early 1836, during the Texas Revolution. It was fought between Mexican and Texan forces at a fort called the Alamo in San Antonio. During the Battle of the Alamo, thousands of Mexican soldiers besieged a small force of around 180 Texan rebels, who held out in the fort for two weeks.
    The siege of the Alamo lasted for 13 days, from Feb. 23 to March 6, 1836, when the Mexican army surrounded and attacked the Alamo.
  • Samuel Morse

    Samuel Morse
    An inventor named Samuel Morse invented the telegraph, which allowed people to communicate via wires over long distances. The next year he invented the Morse Code, which is still used today.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Written in protest against the infamous Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. The novel sold 300,000 copies within three months and was so widely read that when President Abraham Lincoln met Stowe in 1862, he reportedly said, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.” While living in Cincinnati, Stowe encountered fugitive enslaved people and the Underground Railroad. That was what inspired her to write the book.
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

    Dred Scott v. Sandford
    Dred Scott was a slave in Missouri. From 1833 to 1843, he resided in Illinois (a free state) and in the Louisiana Territory, where slavery was forbidden by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. After returning to Missouri, Scott filed suit in Missouri court for his freedom, claiming that his residence in free territory made him a free man. Chief Justice Roger Taney said that all people of African descent, free or enslaved, were not United States citizens and therefore had no rights.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Battle of Gettysburg
    The largest battle of the American Civil War as well as the largest battle ever fought in North America, involving around 85,000 men in the Union’s Army of the Potomac under Major General George Gordon Meade and approximately 75,000 in the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert Edward Lee. Casualties at Gettysburg totaled 23,049 for the Union. Confederate casualties were 28,063 more than a third of Lee’s army.
  • Surrender at Appomattox Court House

    Surrender at Appomattox Court House
    General Lee decided to surrender his army in part because he wanted to prevent unnecessary destruction to the South. During his surrender Lee gave his sword to General Grant but the Union leader refused it because he respected and know how hard Lee and his army had fought in the war. He knew that Lee had earned a place in the history books.
  • 13th Amendment

    13th Amendment
    The first amendment to the United States Constitution during the period of Reconstruction. The amendment was ratified on December 6, 1865, and ended the argument about whether slavery was legal in the United States. The 13th Amendment was necessary because the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln in January of 1863, did not end slavery entirely; those ensllaved in border states had not been freed.
  • Purchase of Alaska

    Purchase of Alaska
    Russia offered to sell Alaska to the United States in 1859. After the war, Secretary of State William Seward quickly took up a renewed Russian offer and on March 30, 1867, agreed to a proposal from Russian Minister in Washington, Edouard de Stoeckl, to purchase Alaska for $7.2 million. The Senate approved the treaty of purchase on April 9; President Andrew Johnson signed the treaty on May 28, and Alaska was formally transferred to the United States on October 18, 1867.
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    The Fourteenth Amendment granted citizenship to all persons "born or naturalized in the United States," including formerly enslaved people, and provided all citizens with “equal protection under the laws,” extending the provisions of the Bill of Rights to the states. The amendment authorized the government to punish states that abridged citizens’ right to vote by proportionally reducing their representation in Congress.
  • First Transcontinental Rail Road

    First Transcontinental Rail Road
    On July 1, 1962 President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Bill. He made it in to a competition between 2 companies. The Union Pacific and the Central Pacific. The total time it took to build the railroad was 7 years. 3 years ahead of what Lincoln had planned for.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted African American men the right to vote by declaring that the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." Although ratified on February 3, 1870, the promise of the 15th Amendment would not be fully realized for almost a century.
  • Pendleton Act

    Pendleton Act
    It created the first federal regulatory agency, a Civil Service Commission, staffed by three members appointed by the President. This was also the first time that a class of federal jobs was not dictated by political patronage. The Civil Service Commission oversaw a new merit system of federal employment, to replace the political patronage system.
  • U.S.S Maine

    U.S.S Maine
    A massive explosion of unknown origin sinks the battleship USS Maine in Cuba’s Havana harbor on February 15, 1898, killing 260 of the fewer than 400 American crew members aboard.
  • Anthracite Coal Strike

    Anthracite Coal Strike
    The Anthracite Coal Strike began after mine operators refused to meet with representatives of the United Mine Workers of America. The strike began in eastern Pennsylvania after the railroad companies which owned the mines refused to meet with representatives of the union. Workers’ requests for better wages, a shorter work week, and recognition of their union had also been denied.
  • Pure Food and Drug Act

    Pure Food and Drug Act
    When Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle revealed food adulteration and unsanitary practices in meat production, public outrage prompted Congress to establish federal responsibility for public health and welfare. The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 prohibited the sale of misbranded or adulterated food and drugs in interstate commerce and laid a foundation for the nation’s first consumer protection agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

    Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
    It is remembered as one of the most infamous incidents in American industrial history, as the deaths were largely preventable–most of the victims died as a result of neglected safety features and locked doors within the factory building. The tragedy brought widespread attention to the dangerous sweatshop conditions of factories, and led to the development of a series of laws and regulations that better protected the safety of workers.
  • Election of 1912

    Election of 1912
    Democrat Woodrow Wilson defeated Bull Moose candidate and former Republican president Theodore Roosevelt and Republican incumbent president William Howard Taft. Wilson was the first Democrat to win a presidential election since 1892 and one of just two Democratic presidents to serve between 1861 (the American Civil War) and 1932 (the onset of the Great Depression). Roosevelt finished second with 88 electoral votes and 27% of the popular vote.
  • Federal Reserve Act

    Federal Reserve Act
    The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 established the Federal Reserve System as the central bank of the United States to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. The law sets out the purposes, structure, and functions of the System as well as outlines aspects of its operations and accountability. Congress has the power to amend the Federal Reserve Act, which it has done several times over the years.
  • Federal Trade Commission

    Federal Trade Commission
    The Act was signed into law by US President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 and outlaws unfair methods of competition and unfair acts or practices that affect commerce. The Federal Trade Commission Act was designed for business reform. Congress passed the act in the hopes of protecting consumers against methods of deception in advertisement and of forcing the business to be upfront and truthful about items being sold.
  • Keating-Owen Act

    Keating-Owen Act
    This Act was named for its sponsors, Democratic Representatives Edward Keating and Robert Latham Owen. The Act prohibited the shipment or delivery for shipment for interstate or foreign sale of any goods or services that were produced by laborers under the age of 14 in a factory, shop or cannery and under the age of 16 in a mine. Also, child laborers under 16 years old could only work from 6am to 7pm and not for more than eight hours a day and not more than six days a week.
  • U.S. enters WW1

    U.S. enters WW1
    When World War I erupted in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson pledged neutrality for the United States, a position that the vast majority of Americans favored. Britain, however, was one of America’s closest trading partners, and tension soon arose between the United States and Germany over the latter’s attempted quarantine of the British Isles.
  • 18th Amendment

    18th Amendment
    The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” is ratified by the requisite number of states on January 16, 1919. The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when Americans concerned about the adverse effects of drinking began forming temperance societies.
  • 19th Amendment

    19th Amendment
    The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote, a right known as women’s suffrage, and was ratified on August 18, 1920, ending almost a century of protest. In 1848, the movement for women’s rights launched on a national level with the Seneca Falls Convention, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.
  • Sacco & Vanzetti Trial

    Sacco & Vanzetti Trial
    A paymaster for a shoe company in South Braintree, Massachusetts, was shot and killed along with his guard. The murderers, who were described as two Italian men, escaped with more than $15,000. After going to a garage to claim a car that police said was connected with the crime, Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested and charged with the crime. On July 14, 1921, they were convicted and sentenced to die.
  • Scopes Monkey Trial

    Scopes Monkey Trial
    The law, which had been passed in March, made it a misdemeanor punishable by fine to “teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” Scopes had conspired to get charged with this violation, and after his arrest he enlisted the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union to organize a defense and the stage was set for one of the most famous trials in U.S. history.
  • Stock Market Crash

    Stock Market Crash
    On October 24, Black Thursday, a record 12,894,650 shares were traded. Investment companies and leading bankers attempted to stabilize the market by buying up great blocks of stock. On Monday, however, the storm broke anew, and the market went into free fall. Black Monday was followed by Black Tuesday, in which stock prices collapsed completely and 16,410,030 shares were traded on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day.
  • Election of 1932

    Election of 1932
    The 1932 election was the first held during the Great Depression, and it represented a dramatic shift in the political alignment of the country. Republicans had dominated the presidency for almost the entire period from 1860, save two terms each won by Grover Cleveland and by Woodrow Wilson. And even in 1928 Hoover had crushed Democrat Alfred E. Smith, winning 444 electoral votes to Smith’s 87. Roosevelt’s victory would be the first of five successive Democratic presidential wins.
  • Tennessee Valley Authority

    Tennessee Valley Authority
    The TVA, or Tennessee Valley Authority, was established in 1933 as one of President Roosevelt’s Depression-era New Deal programs, providing jobs and electricity to the rural Tennessee River Valley, an area that spans seven states in the South. The TVA was envisioned as a federally-owned electric utility and regional economic development agency. It still exists today as the nation’s largest public power provider.
  • Emergency Bank Relief Act

    Emergency Bank Relief Act
    The Emergency Banking Act was a federal law passed in 1933. Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) on March 9, 1933, the act granted the president, the comptroller of the currency, and the secretary of the treasury broader regulatory authority over the nation's banking system. According to the Federal Reserve, the act was intended to restore faith in the banking system.
  • 21st Amendment

    21st Amendment
    Prohibition, failing fully to enforce sobriety and costing billions, rapidly lost popular support in the early 1930s. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, ending national Prohibition. After the repeal of the 18th Amendment, some states continued Prohibition by maintaining statewide temperance laws. Mississippi, the last dry state in the Union, ended Prohibition in 1966.
  • Social Security Act

    Social Security Act
    A federal safety net for elderly, unemployed and disadvantaged Americans. The main stipulation of the original Social Security Act was to pay financial benefits to retirees over age 65 based on lifetime payroll tax contributions. The Act also established the Social Security Board, which later became the Social Security Administration, to structure the Social Security Act and figure out the logistics of implementing it.
  • United States vs. Butler

    United States vs. Butler
    United States v. Butler is a U.S. Supreme Court case that held that the U.S. Congress has not only the power to lay taxes to the level necessary to carry out its other powers enumerated in Article I of the U.S. Constitution but also a broad authority to tax and spend for the "general welfare" of the United States. The decision itself concerned whether the processing taxes instituted by the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act were constitutional.
  • Court Packing Scandal

    Court Packing Scandal
    President Franklin Roosevelt announces a plan to expand the Supreme Court to as many as 15 judges, allegedly to make it more efficient. Critics immediately charged that Roosevelt was trying to “pack” the court and thus neutralize Supreme Court justices hostile to his New Deal. The previous 2 years, the high court had struck down several key pieces of New Deal legislation on the grounds that the laws delegated an unconstitutional amount of authority to the executive branch.
  • G.I. Bill

    G.I. Bill
    It established hospitals, made low-interest mortgages available and granted stipends covering tuition and expenses for veterans attending college or trade schools. From 1944 to 1949, nearly 9 million veterans received close to $4 billion from the bill’s unemployment compensation program. The education and training provisions existed until 1956, while the Veterans’ Administration offered insured loans until 1962.
  • Yalta Conference

    Yalta Conference
    February 4th – 11th 1945 Meeting between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin to decide what would happen at the end of the war. Topics discussed included –
    Partitioning of Germany
    Fate of Poland
    The United Nations
    German reparations
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    The Truman Doctrine arose from a speech delivered by President Truman before a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947. The immediate cause for the speech was a recent announcement by the British Government. Truman asked Congress to support the Greek Government against the Communists. He also asked Congress to provide assistance for Turkey, since that nation, too, had previously been dependent on British aid.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    This was a programme of economic aid offered by the United States to any European country. The plan was rejected outright by Stalin and any Eastern Bloc country considering accepting aid was reprimanded severely. Consequently the aid was only given to Western European Countries.
  • Shelly vs Kraemer

    Shelly vs Kraemer
    In 1945, an African-American family (the Shelley's) moved into the neighborhood. Louis Kraemer brought suit to enforce the covenant and prevent the Shelley's from moving into their house. A similar lawsuit arose in Detroit, Michigan. Both state supreme courts enforced the covenants because they were private rather than state action. The Supreme Court consolidated the cases on appeal.
  • Korean War

    Korean War
    North Korea invaded South Korea, prompting the United Nations to declare the invasion and the United States, with their allies, into conflict against the North, China, and the Soviet Union. The conflict would last for three years. The problem of a divided Korean peninsula still exists today.
  • Rosenberg's Execution

    Rosenberg's Execution
    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, are executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. Both refused to admit any wrongdoing and proclaimed their innocence right up to the time of their deaths, by the electric chair. The Rosenberg's were the first U.S. citizens to be convicted and executed for espionage during peacetime and their case remains controversial to this day.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
    A consolidation of five cases into one, is decided by the Supreme Court, effectively ending racial segregation in public schools. Many schools, however, remained segregated.
  • Emmett Till

    Emmett Till
    Emmett Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago is brutally murdered in Mississippi for allegedly flirting with a white woman. His murderers are acquitted, and the case bring international attention to the civil rights movement after Jet magazine publishes a photo of Till’s beaten body at his open-casket funeral.
  • Rosa Parks

    Rosa Parks
    Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. She was arrested for the “crime”. Her defiant stance prompts a year-long Montgomery bus boycott.
  • Little Rock Nine

    Little Rock Nine
    Nine Black students known as the “Little Rock Nine” are blocked from integrating into Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. President Dwight D. Eisenhower eventually sends federal troops to escort the students, however, they continue to be harassed.
  • U-2

    Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shot down an American U-2 spy plane in Soviet air space and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers. Confronted with the evidence of his nation’s espionage, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was forced to admit to the Soviets that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency had been flying spy missions over the USSR for several years. The Soviets convicted Powers on espionage charges and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
  • Sit-ins

    Four African American college students in Greensboro, North Carolina refuse to leave a Woolworth’s “whites only” lunch counter without being served. The Greensboro Four—Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil—were inspired by the nonviolent protest of Gandhi. The Greensboro Sit-In, as it came to be called, sparks similar “sit-ins” throughout the city and in other states.
  • Ruby Bridges

    Ruby Bridges
    Six-year-old Ruby Bridges is escorted by four armed federal marshals as she becomes the first student to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Her actions inspired Norman Rockwell’s painting The Problem We All Live With (1964).
  • I Have a Dream Speech

    I Have a Dream Speech
    MLK delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech before a crowd of some 250,000 people at the March on Washington. Weaving in references to the country’s Founding Fathers and the Bible, King used universal themes to depict the struggles of African Americans before closing with an improvised riff on his dreams of equality. The eloquent speech was immediately recognized as a highlight of the successful protest, and has endured as one of the signature moments of the civil rights movement.
  • JFK Assassination

    JFK Assassination
    the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, as he rode in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. His accused killer was Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine who had embraced Marxism and defected for a time to the Soviet Union. Oswald never stood trial for murder, because, while being transferred after having been taken into custody, he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby, a distraught Dallas nightclub owner.
  • Assassination of Malcolm X

    Assassination of Malcolm X
    Civil rights leader Malcolm X took the stage at the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan on February 21, 1965. The former prominent Nation of Islam figure was gunned down by three men. He was 39. Malcolm X, was the civil rights era's most notable advocate of Black nationalism. Rising through the ranks of the Nation of Islam
  • Assassination of MLK

    Assassination of MLK
    An event that sent shock waves reverberating around the world. King had led the civil rights movement since the mid-1950s, using a combination of impassioned speeches and nonviolent protests to fight segregation and achieve significant civil rights advances for African Americans. His assassination led to an outpouring of anger among Black Americans, as well as a period of national mourning.
  • Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

    Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy
    Kennedy was perceived by many to be the only person in American politics capable of uniting the people. Senator Robert Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary. Immediately after he announced to his cheering supporters that the country was ready to end its fractious divisions, Kennedy was shot several times by 24-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. He was pronounced dead a day later, on June 6, 1968.
  • Moon Landing

    Moon Landing
    On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first humans ever to land on the moon. About six-and-a-half hours later, Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. As he took his first step, Armstrong famously said, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The Apollo 11 mission occurred eight years after President John F. Kennedy announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s.
  • Woodstock

    The Woodstock Music Festival began on August 15, 1969, as half a million people waited on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York, for the three-day music festival to start. Billed as “An Aquarian Experience: 3 Days of Peace and Music,” the epic event would later be known simply as Woodstock and become synonymous with the counterculture movement of the 1960s. Still because of a lot of sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and rain, Woodstock was a peaceful celebration.
  • Salt 1 Treaty

    Salt 1 Treaty
    In January 1967, President Lyndon Johnson announced that the Soviet Union had begun to construct a limited Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) defense system around Moscow. The development of an ABM system could allow one side to launch a first strike and then prevent the other from retaliating by shooting down incoming missiles. The treaty limited the strategic missile manufacturing and ownership.
  • Kent State Shooting

    Kent State Shooting
    Four Kent State University students were killed and nine were injured when members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a crowd gathered to protest the Vietnam War. The tragedy was a watershed moment for a nation divided by the conflict in Southeast Asia. In its immediate aftermath, a student-led strike forced the temporary closure of colleges and universities across the country.
  • Title IX

    Title IX
    Title IX prohibits federally funded educational institutions from discriminating against students or employees based on sex. Before Title IX, few opportunities existed for female athletes. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which was created in 1906 to format and enforce rules in men’s football but had become the ruling body of college athletics, offered no athletic scholarships for women and held no championships for women’s teams.
  • Arab Oil Embargo

    Arab Oil Embargo
    During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo against the United States in retaliation for the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military and to gain leverage in the post-war peace negotiations. Arab OPEC members also extended the embargo to other countries that supported Israel including the Netherlands, Portugal, and South Africa
  • U.S. withdraws from Vietnam

    U.S. withdraws from Vietnam
    March 29, 1973: Two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, the last U.S. combat troops leave South Vietnam as Hanoi frees the remaining American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam. America’s direct eight-year intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end. In Saigon, some 7,000 U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees remained behind to aid South Vietnam in conducting what looked to be a fierce and ongoing war with communist North Vietnam.
  • President Nixon Resigns

    President Nixon Resigns
    In an evening televised address on August 8, 1974, President Richard M. Nixon announces his intention to become the first president in American history to resign. With impeachment proceedings underway against him for his involvement in the Watergate affair “By taking this action,” he said in a solemn address from the Oval Office, “I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.”
  • Ford Pardons Nixon

    Ford Pardons Nixon
    Proclamation 4311 was a presidential proclamation issued by President of the United States Gerald Ford on September 8, 1974, granting a full and unconditional pardon to Richard Nixon, his predecessor, for any crimes that he might have committed against the United States as president. Ford later defended this action before the House Judiciary Committee, explaining that he wanted to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal.
  • Three Mile Island

    Three Mile Island
    Three Mile Island is the site of a nuclear power plant in south central Pennsylvania. In March 1979, a series of mechanical and human errors at the plant caused the worst commercial nuclear accident in U.S. history, resulting in a partial meltdown that released dangerous radioactive gasses into the atmosphere. Three Mile Island stoked public fears about nuclear power no new nuclear power plants have been built in the United States since the accident.
  • Salt 2 Treaty

    Salt 2 Treaty
    President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT 2magreement dealing with limitations and guidelines for nuclear weapons. The treaty, which never formally went into effect, proved to be one of the most controversial U.S.-Soviet agreements of the Cold War. The SALT 2 agreement was the result of many nagging issues left over from the successful SALT I treaty of 1972.Though the 1972 treaty limited a wide variety of nuclear weapons, many issues remained unresolved.