California History Timeline

  • 1524

    Council of the Indies Established

  • 1542

    Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Expedition

  • 1551

    Debate at Valladolid

  • 1577

    Sir Francis Drake Expedition

  • 1579

    Sir Francis Drake Landing

  • Colegio de San Fernando Founded

  • First Spanish Mission Established

  • Period: to

    Spanish Period

  • Period: to

    Mission Period

  • Yuma Indian Revolt

  • Los Angeles Founded

  • Presidio of Santa Barbara Founded

  • Indian Revolt at San Gabriel

  • Northwest Ordinance of 1785

  • Northwest Ordinance of 1787

  • Northwest Ordinance of 1789

  • Measles Epidemic

  • Napoleonic Invasion of Spain

  • Period: to

    Mexican War of Independence

  • Spanish Constitution

  • Fort Ross Established

  • Mexican Independence from Spain

  • End of Mercantilism, Beginning of Free Trade

  • Period: to

    Mexican Period

  • Period: to

    Trappers and the Great Fur-Trading Era

  • Chumash Indian Revolt

  • Mexican Colonization Law

  • Period: to

    Estanislao Indian Revolt

  • Secularization of California Missions

  • Arrival of John Sutter in California

  • Pre-Emption Act

  • Treaty of Nanking

  • Battle of San Pasqual

  • Fremont's Excursion to Upper Sacramento River

  • Bear Flag Revolt

  • Period: to

    Donner Party

  • Period: to

    Mexican-American War

  • Period: to

    370 Indian Massacres

  • Treaty of Cahuenga

  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

  • Discovery of Gold in California

  • Period: to

    Gold Rush

  • Bloody Island Massacre at Clear Lake

  • Foreign Miners' Tax

  • Fugitive Slave Law

  • Fremont Becomes U.S. Senator from California

  • Act for the Government and Protection of Indians

  • California Land Act

  • Official State-Sanctioned Indian Hunts

  • People v. Hall

  • Greaser Act

  • Period: to

    Civil War

  • Pacific Railroad Act of 1862

  • Period: to

    Construction of the Transcontinental Railroad

  • Pacific Railroad Act of 1864

  • Pacific Railroad Act of 1864

  • 13th Amendment: Abolition of Slavery and Involuntary Servitude

  • 14th Amendment: Citizenship to All Persons Born or Naturalized in the United States

  • 15th Amendment: Voting Rights

  • Chinese Massacre at Los Angeles

  • Period: to

    Modoc War

  • San Francisco Cable Cars First Operate

  • Sandlot "Rallies"

  • Period: to

    Workingmen's Party of California

  • Mussel Slough Tragedy

  • Chinese Exclusion Act

  • Wright Act

  • Wounded Knee Massacre

  • Sierra Club Established

  • Period: to

    Progressive Era

  • Period: to

    Los Angeles Free Harbor Fight

  • United States v. Wong Kim Ark

  • The Octopus by Frank Norris Published

  • Newlands Act

  • Colorado Compact

  • Salton Sea Created

  • Great San Francisco Earthquake

  • Asiatic Exclusion League Established

  • Period: to

    San Francisco Graft Trials

  • Gentlemen's Agreement

  • Angel Island Immigration Station Created

  • Formation of Good Government Leagues

  • Period: to

    Progressives Capture State Government

  • California Women's Suffrage

  • Progressive Takeover of Southern Pacific's Literary Club

  • Referendum, Recall, and Direct Election of Senators

  • First Alien Land Act

  • Raker Act

  • Home Teacher Act

  • 18th Amendment: Prohibition

  • Child Labor Ban

  • Gender Parity Reached

  • Second Alien Land Act

  • 19th Amendment: Women's Right to Vote

  • Johnson-Reed Act

  • Boulder Canyon Project

  • Period: to

    Great Depression

  • Period: to

    Dust Bowl

  • Central Valley Project Formed

  • End Poverty in California (EPIC) Political Campaign

  • Office of Naval Intelligence Began Collecting Lists of Potentially Disloyal Japanese Americans

  • Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Published

  • Period: to

    World War II

  • Labor Shortage During World War II

  • Executive Order 8802: Prohibition of Discrimination in the Defense Industry

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt's War Production Boards Established

  • War Manpower Commission Established

  • Executive Disorder 9066: Relocation of Japanese

  • Period: to

    Mexican Farm Labor Agreement

  • Period: to

    Japanese Internment Camps

  • Chinese Exclusion Act Repealed

  • Zoot Suit Riots

  • Port Chicago Disaster and Mutiny

  • G.I. Bill of Rights

  • Indian Land Claims Commission Act

  • Desegregation of U.S. Navy

  • Mendez v. Westminster

  • Operation Wetback

  • Burns-Porter Act

  • Fair Employment Practices Act

  • Unruh Civil Rights Act

  • Donohoe Act

  • HUAC Hearing

  • National Farm Workers Association Founded

  • California Fair Housing Act

  • Berkeley Free Speech Movement

  • Civil Rights Act

  • Proposition 14: Repeal Fair Housing Initiative

  • Immigration and Nationality Act

  • Voting Rights Act

  • Watts Riots

  • Delano Grape Strike

  • Farmworkers March from Delano to Sacramento

  • Black Panther Party Invades Sacramento

  • Fair Housing Act

  • Period: to

    San Francisco State Strike

  • Period: to

    Indian Occupation of Alcatraz

  • Chicano Moratorium

  • Earth Day Established

  • Proposition 13: Property Tax Limitation Initiative

  • Defeat Bakke Protest

  • Civil Liberties Act

  • Proposition 187: Save Our State Initiative

  • Governor Gavin Newsom's Formal Apology for Indian Extermination

  • California's Formal Apology for Internment of Japanese American Citizens