America 960x720

Contemporary America 1969-present

  • The Apollo Project

    The Apollo Project
    On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and then Edwin Aldrin (also known as Buzz) were the first humans to walk on the moon. It took three missions before the U.S. was successful on landing on the moon. (Bigler p456).This is a significant event in history because the U.S. had successfully put a person on the moon before Russia (Soviet Union).
  • Woodstock Festival

    Woodstock Festival
    In August 1969 the Woodstock festival was held. Over half a million people attended this concert. It was a concert that was advertised as three days of peace and music. Many people believed this was a counterculture event. This event stemmed from the Vietnam War in which many Americans felt that the U.S. did not belong in fighting another country civil war. Many wealthy people would defer their draft to war, so undereducated minorities were drafted and spent long periods in the war (Bigler).
  • Kent State Massacre

    Kent State Massacre
    President Richard Nixon secretly bombed Cambodia and also sent troops to cut off the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This was after he had promised the American people that he would withdraw from the Vietnam war. Once the American people found out about this, they began to protest peacefully. The National Guard killed four students at Kent State University in Ohio. This led to other protests, Jackson State University protest turned violent as well (Bigler p463).
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Formed

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Formed
    President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December of 1970. President Nixon created the EPA to set national guidelines as well as to monitor and enforce the guidelines. The EPA was formed because there were concerns over pollution and for environmental conservation. There were 3 areas that the EPA was to focus on at this time, Clean Air Act (1970), Clean Water Act (1972), and the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act 1972 (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2014).
  • Pentagon Papers Leaked

    Pentagon Papers Leaked
    Secret documents regarding the Vietnam war was leaked to the New York Times. These documents showed the American people that they had been lied to about the involvement of the U.S. in the Vietnam War. These documents were also important because they showed that the U.S. had no idea in how they were going to bring victory in Vietnam (Bigler 463).
  • Twenty-sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Ratified

    Twenty-sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Ratified
    The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was Ratified on July 7, 1971. This amendment lowered the voting age to 18 instead of 21 in both state and federal elections. One main event that caused President Richard Nixon to sign the Amendment was because of the student activism that was caused by the Vietnam war. Many people felt that if they could be drafted into the war at the age of 18 then they should be allowed to vote in the elction (Smentkowski, 2013).
  • President Nixon Visit's China

    President Nixon Visit's China
    President Nixon felt that by not recognizing the Communist government in China it was doing a disservice to the U.S. because it kept the U.S. from doing business with them. The Soviet Union and China had a tense relationship. China invited the U.S. Ping Pong team to visit in 1971. This created stronger ties between the 2 countries (Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and Nixon), Nixon was the 1st president to visit China. Richard Nixon's visit went against the U.S. policy of containment (Bigler).
  • Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty of 1972 (SALT I): Detente

    Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty of 1972 (SALT I): Detente
    President Nixon met with Soviet Union ruler Leonid Brezhnev in Moscow Russia. The U.S. and the Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty of 1972 which is also known as SALT 1. This treaty asked that each nation reduce the number of nuclear arsenals. The goal of this treaty was to reduce the fear of a nuclear disaster to happen. This helped relax international hostility which is also known as detente (Bigler).
  • Watergate Scandal

    Watergate Scandal
    President Nixon with the help of his Committee to Reflect the President made a goal to create a list of his enemies and get the FBI/IRS to investigate them. On June 17, 1972, his committee of 5 people broke into the Democratic National Committee office which was in a hotel complex called the Watergate. They did this to steal campaign secrets and they got caught. President Nixon denied any involvement and used his status to prevent investigation. In 1973, the Senate began investigating (Bigler).
  • The Higher Education Act of 1972- Title IX

    The Higher Education Act of 1972- Title IX
    Title IX was created in 1972 which made it illegal to deny any individual the right to participate in any federally funded educational activity based on the gender or sex of an individual (Bigler, 2016).
    Title IX is a significant event in history because it allowed women to participate in educational activities and sporting events. It also protects individuals from sexual harassment and provides pregnant women fair treatment.
  • Roe V. Wade

    Roe V. Wade
    The Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that women have the right to choose abortion. This case was named Roe v. Wade (Bigler).
  • Paris Peace Accords

    Paris Peace Accords
    On January 27, 1973, the Paris Peace Accords was set in place. The U.S. agreed that they would withdraw from Vietnam and North Vietnam agreed to return the American prisoners of war. This did not mean that the South and North Vietnam stopped fighting. The Vietnam war ended on April 30, 1975 (Bigler 464).
  • The OPEC Embargo

    The OPEC Embargo
    In 1973, OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) refused to sell oil to the U.S. The cause and effect of this event started on Yom Kippur (a Jewish holiday) when Egypt and Syria began to be hostile towards Israel. The U.S. sent weapons to Israel so OPEC decided not to sell oil to the U.S. This caused gas prices to soar as well as the U.S. had shortages across the nation. This lasted until March of 1974 (Bigler).
  • War Powers Act

    War Powers Act
    In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Act. This act was set in place by Congress to limit how a president could use the armed forces without declaring war by Congress. This act was passed because Congress and the American people were dissatisfied by the outcome of the Vietnam war (Bigler 464). This means that the President of the United States cannot declare war without the consent of Congress.
  • President Richard Nixon Resignation

    President Richard Nixon Resignation
    President Richard Nixon resigned as the 37th President of the U.S. 1st president to resign. Nixon chose to resign because he knew that tapes that he had recorded of White House staff would prove that he abused his powers as President. Many Americans lost confidence in the government because of President Nixon's actions but it also showed that the system of checks and balances worked (Bigler 472).
  • Gerald Ford

    Gerald Ford
    Was Vice President to Richard Nixon, became 38th president after Nixon's resignation (Spiro Agnew was original VP but resigned after tax scandal). Congress appointed VP. He Pardoned Nixon from his crimes during the presidency. He also gave amnesty to individuals who dodged the draft during the Vietnam war. He did sign the Helsinki Accords, which were rules that needed to be followed to help communication b/w communist and the west during the Cold War. Detente: limit foreign hostility (Bigler).
  • Camp David Accords

    Camp David Accords
    President Carter's most notable achievement was the Camp David Accords. President Carter invited Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat (President of Egypt) and Menachem Begin (prime minister of Israel) to Camp David which is the U.S. presidents retreat that is located in Maryland. Both parties agreed to the Camp David Accords which led to the 1st ever Israel-Arab peace treaty peace treaty (Bigler).
  • Three Mile Island

    Three Mile Island
    The Three Mile Island was when a nuclear plant located in Pennsylvania overheated and the reactor released radiation into the environment (Bigler). This event caused public fears for nuclear power plants in the U.S. It was estimated that over 2 million people were affected by the malfunction. Cleanup took about 14 years and cost about 1 billion dollars ( This event hurt President Carter on his support for Alternative Energy Sources.
  • Iran Hostage Crisis

    Iran Hostage Crisis
    Iran was one of the U.S. major Middle Eastern ally. At the time Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was the ruler. In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini (he was a religious leader) his followers overthrew Shah and instituted fundamentalist religious rules. Students who followed this new ruling took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The U.S. workers were held captive for more than a year. Many believe that this caused President Carter his re-election because it showed that he was an ineffective leader (Bigler).
  • President Ronald D. Reagan

    President Ronald D. Reagan
    President Ronald Reagan became the 40th President of the U.S. He served between 1981-1989. In 1981, John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Reagan. Reaganomics was formed. It was based on supply-side economics where tax cuts and lenient business regulations would increase investments and growth. It would then trickle down and create jobs. Military spending increased & we went into a deficit. A recession hit in the 1980's.Reagan wanted to outspend the Soviet Union on military defense (Bigler).
  • Operation Desert Storm- Persian Gulf War

    Operation Desert Storm- Persian Gulf War
    In 1990, the Iraq invaded Kuwait. Saddam Hussein the leader of Iraq ignored the UN demands that he withdraw from Kuwait. The U.S. got involved by orders from President Bush, General Norman Schwarzkopt Jr. & General Colin Powell led a force on a mission called Operation Desert Storm. On 2/24/1991 the Persian Gulf War began and a cease-fire was ordered on 2/28/1991. Very few Americans were injured during this war. Kuwait is an oil-rich country (Bigler).
  • Sandra Day O'Connor

    Sandra Day O'Connor
    President Ronald Reagan appointed the first female to the Supreme Court. On September 25, 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first female Supreme Court justice (Bigler).
  • Iran-Contra Affairs

    Iran-Contra Affairs
    A revolutionary Socialist group came into power in Nicaragua in 1979 they were called the Sandinistas. The Contras were against these rulers. Reagan supported the Contras. Congress was afraid that Reagan was going to pull the U.S. into another foreign conflict so they passed a law to ban the president from assisting the Contras. The National Security Council sold weapons to Iran in exchange for helping free hostages in Lebanon the proceeds then went to the Contras it was exposed in 1986 Bigler.
  • Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty

    Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
    On December 8, 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Communist Party leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Reagan was encouraged by Gorbachev policies: the perestroika- economic reform and glasnost- the openness to freedom of political opinion. The INF treaty reduced the size of the U.S. and Soviets nuclear arsenal (Bigler 485).
  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

    Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
    On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. The ADA is a civil rights legislation that guarantees that individuals with disabilities have the same opportunities as others and that they cannot be discriminated against (ADA, 2017).
  • Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)

    Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)
    President George H.W. Bush signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty also known as START on July 31, 1991, with the Soviet Union. This treaty was an agreement between both parties to destroy a lot of their nuclear weapons (Bigler).
  • President Bill Clinton

    President Bill Clinton
    President Clinton became the 42nd President of the United States. He served two terms back to back. President Clinton asked Congress to balance the budget which allowed the U.S. to have a surplus for the 1st time in over 30 years. He also appointed many women and minorities to government positions such as Madeleine Albright 1st female secretary of state and Janet Reno first female attorney general. He also convinced Israel and Palestine to agree to each other's right to exist in 1993 (Bigler).
  • 1993 World Trade Center Bombing

    1993 World Trade Center Bombing
    On February 26, 1993, the World Trade Center’s twin towers were attacked by terrorists. They parked a van in a garage underneath the World Trade Center and set off a bomb. Over 1,000 people were injured and six people died from the explosion. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef and his followers had over a year to plan his attack (Greenspan, 2013).
    This event is significant because it showed that terrorism was on the rise in the United States and terrorist were interested in attacking the twin towers.
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

    North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
    The North American Free Trade Agreement also is known as NAFTA was signed in 1992 by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. It took effect on January 1, 1994. NAFTA lifted tariffs on goods that were produced by these three countries within these countries.
  • Oklahoma City Bombing

    Oklahoma City Bombing
    The Oklahoma City Bombing happened on April 19, 1995.Timothy McVeigh parked a van downtown in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. He detonated the bomb inside the van. It killed 168 people and injured over 650 more. Timothy McVeigh was a former U.S. Army soldier. On July 11, 2001, McVeigh was put to death by lethal injection at his request (
  • Welfare Reform

    Welfare Reform
    President Clinton signed into law “The Personal and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.” The act changed the welfare system that stated work is required in exchange to be provided welfare assistance. Clinton stated that it was his promise to “end welfare as we have come to know it.” It also rewarded the welfare recipients with medical coverage, increased child care funding and mandatory child care maintenance of effort, and helping families to move from welfare to work. (USDHHS, 1996).
  • Defense of Marriage Act

    Defense of Marriage Act
    Passed by Congress in 1996 and signed into law by President Clinton. Congress adopted the federal DOMA which states marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman.” In the act, Sec 3, prevented the federal government to recognize marriages between gay or lesbian couples due to the federal laws or programs, even if same sex marriages were recognized within their state. Sec 3 was seen as unconstitutional, but sec 2 still applied.(Glaad, n.d.)
  • Kyoto Protocol

    Kyoto Protocol
    The Kyoto Protocol was a treaty that was adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change. The treaty had a target on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in coming years, however, the US was the only industrialized country in the world that refused to ratify the protocol. But, the US still was still part of the UNFCCC (2014). Image from
  • President Clinton Impeached

    President Clinton Impeached
    President Clinton was the second President to be impeached. The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Clinton due to him lying under oath to the federal jury about having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. President Clinton was then acquitted by the Senate because they said that his action-that got him impeached- was not an issue that violated the US Constitution. After Clinton’s trial concluded, he apologized to Congress and America for his behavior (2017).
  • Ethnic Cleansing

    Ethnic Cleansing
    President Bill Clinton was part of the decision by NATO (National Atlantic Treaty Organization) to intervene in Kosovo (region formally in Yugoslavia) to end ethnic cleansing. Ethnic cleansing is when they remove or kill a specific ethnic group within society (Bigler). The Albanians opposed the Serbs (Encylopedia Britannica 2011).
  • Columbine Shooting

    Columbine Shooting
    At Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, two students named Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people, wounded 23 others, in a shooting spree before committing suicide. This massacre is known as one of the worst mass shooting in US history. (CNN Library, 2017) Image from
  • Bombing of USS Cole

    Bombing of USS Cole
    Terrorists that were associated with Al-Qaeda bombed the USS Cole in Yemen. Seventeen sailors were killed and thirty others were injured (NHHC, 2014). Image from
  • Bush v. Gore Supreme Court Case

    Bush v. Gore Supreme Court Case
    In the 2000 Presidental campaign Al Gore & George W. Bush ran for office. The election had no results. Al Gore won the popular vote and the electoral results were in question because of Floridas counts. Gore requested that Florida's votes be counted by hand but Bush sued so he could prevent a recount. The case ended up going to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that a recount by hand would not be uniform and would not be equal protection of the law. Not enough time for recount (Bigler).
  • George W. Bush becoming the 43rd President of the United States

    George W. Bush becoming the 43rd President of the United States
    The election, known as Contested Presidency, was between Al Gore and George W. Bush. Gore won the popular votes, but Bush had taken twenty-five key electoral votes in Florida. A recount was set in motion and on December 4th, Florida officials stated that Bush was the winner of Florida’s electoral votes. This event showed how the Constitution and Bill of Rights worked in Constitutional government when the U.S. Supreme Court favored Bush to win the election. (2001-2017)
  • Bush Tax Cuts

    Bush Tax Cuts
    President Bush signed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act in 2001. Legislation made federal tax code changes that lowered the income tax rates and allowed an “one-time tax refund payment.” President Bush then had another tax cut, the “Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act in 2003 that “reduced income and capital gains tax rates and increased deductions” (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2015). Image from
  • 9/11 Attack

    9/11 Attack
    Al Qaeda, Islamic extremist terrorist group carried out suicide attacks where two planes crashed in the World Trade Center, the third plane hit the Pentagon, and the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania field. About 3,000 people were killed. This caused Bush to call for a tougher security standard, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the USA Patriot Act. The US called initiatives to combat terrorism and this defined Bush during his presidency. Image from Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • War in Afghanistan

    War in Afghanistan
    Due to the attacks from 9/11 the U.S. went to War in Afghanistan. The attacks on September 11th had been orchestrated by al-Qaeda and the leader Osama Bin Laden. This terrorist group was being protected by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The U.S. and their allies attacked (Bigler).
  • Office of Homeland Security Established

    Office of Homeland Security Established
    President Bush’s Executive Order 13228 established the Office of Homeland Security. This agency was an organization focused on terrorism, that responded to terrorist threats and attacks. (Homeland Security, 2015). Image from United States Department of Homeland Security
  • Introduction of the iPod

    Introduction of the iPod
    Steve Jobs of Apple computer debuts the first iPod on October 23, 2001. Apple introduced the concept “ultra-portability” to America. This later introduced the iPhone (2007). Apple products has come in many forms and structures that is used in the everyday life to help us communicate and use for entertainment purposes. Image from

    Congress passed the act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) which allowed the law enforcement agencies and Justice Department to have more power in investigating/ dealing with terrorists, having few constraints on wiretaps and internet monitoring, and allowing deportation of non-citizens that are a danger to national security. This act was seen as unconstitutional (Department of Justice, 2001).
  • No Child Left Behind

    No Child Left Behind
    President George W. Bush signed the act that reauthorized the Elementary Secondary Education Act. The act focused on ensuring that students in every public school in the US achieves important learning in safe classroom and well-prepared teachers (US Department of Education). Image from
  • Human Genome Project

    Human Genome Project
    It provided a complete and accurate sequence of the DNA base pairs that make the human genome.The use of DNA that allowed geneticists to use genetics, genetic engineering and gene therapy to cure genetic disorders and disease (2015). Image from Human Genome Research Institute website.
  • Gulf War II

    Gulf War II
    America invaded Afghanistan to capture the terrorists/ Taliban. The U.S. and Great Britain striked against Iraq to find Weapons of Mass Destruction, WMDs, and to stop Saddam Hussein form creating nuclear weapons. President Bush declared the end of operations on May 1, 2003 due to the war increasing in insurgency (A&E, 2007). Image of Baghdad city hall taken by the 375th Criminal Investigation Division while serving in Iraq
  • Invasion of Iraq

    Invasion of Iraq
    President Bush ordered an attack on Baghdad. The attack was to destroy Saddam Hussein and his government. The war was declared on May 1, 2003 as referred to as “Mission Accomplished.” Conflict continued in Iraq and the American questioned what was the reason for the war (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2017). Image from
  • Saddam Hussein captured

    Saddam Hussein captured
    Saddam Hussein is caught near Tikrit, Iraq by US forces. On December 30, 2006, he was found guilty for the crimes on humanity and executed by hanging (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2017). Image from
  • Redefining the Internet

    Redefining the Internet
    Google Inc.’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin who used Text-based advertising to create the web’s most used search engine. It helped change America’s corporate/business culture and new forms of communication on the Internet. Google plays a huge role in our lives using the internet. It helps us search, explore, and communicate. (S.S School Service, 2017)
  • Virtual Networking: Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter

    Virtual Networking: Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter
    Around this time, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter were introduced for online communities and for communication. This helped Obama have a successful bid that made him become the 44th President of the United States. Social media play a huge part in our life. It is our way to communicate online.
  • Hurricane Katrina

    Hurricane Katrina
    Hurricane Katrina is known as the powerful hurricane in American history struck the Gulf Coast that caused extreme destruction. It caused 1,833 fatalities and approximately $108 billion in damage. And, it exposed America's failure at infrastructure as it destroyed New Orleans' leeves, highways, bridges, roads, dams, water supply, and the electrical grid and implemented the need for new sources of energy- solar and wind power (National Weather Service, 2005). Image from CNN
  • First African American President

    First African American President
    Barack Obama made history by becoming the first African American to be elected President of the United States (44th). His win displayed social change in the United States. He served from 2009-2017. One of his quotes is, "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." He has changed may peoples' lives with his tremendous work.
  • Health Care Reform

    Health Care Reform
    Barack Obama campaign focused on health care reform. He then introduced the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which is known as the Affordable Care Act/ Obama Care. ACA was to help provide affordable health insurance for low income families. This helped reduce the cost of healthcare for individuals and government. Medicaid was to help adults with low income. In 2014, it was put into law (USA Government, n.d.).
  • Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
    Ordered by BP, was an oil drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. It killed 11 workers and developed a massive oil spill where millions of oils entered the gulf. The leaked affected the local fishing economy (NOAA, 2017). Image from
  • Osama Bin Laden killed

    Osama Bin Laden killed
    President Obama announced the death of Bin Laden. Laden was killed in a firefight with US forces. The mission (Operation Neptune Spear) was completed with Navy Seal Team 6 (Phillips, 2011). Image from
  • Wall Street Movement

    Wall Street Movement
    In Zuccotti Park located in New York’s Wall Street Financial district, a protest movement protested against social and economic inequality worldwide. Wall Street had an economic crash that caused the recession (OccupyWallstreet, 2011 ). Image from
  • Black Lives Matter

    Black Lives Matter
    This movement started after 17 year old Trayvon Martin’s mother was killed by Andrew Zimmerman, and Zimmerman being acquitted. It was a rally at Union Square that campaigns against systematic violence towards black people and anti-black racism.
  • Marijuana

    Legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington. Legalizing helps reduce harm, create jobs, save money, and help promote consumer safety. These states made it legal to smoke marijuana without any prescription or medical excuse. It was a historic movement.
  • The Privatization of Space

     The Privatization of Space
    The Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, got rid of the limitations of space travel. Allowed private resources to explore space. NASA has been open to this act and have seen advancements in space technology (Graber, 2015).
  • Edward Snowden

    Edward Snowden
    Edward Snowden released NSA secret documentation about surveillance activities among Americans. He has been living in exile since May 2013 to avoid the federal charges against his actions. Two of the charges are under the Espionage Act, an act prohibiting speech that is disloyal to the government (BBC News, 2014).
  • Obama on Afghanistan Withdraw

    Obama on Afghanistan Withdraw
    In Rose Garden Statement, President Obama announced the withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan. It was his goal to withdraw half of the remaining US troops before he left office. Unfortunately, there were about 8,500 US troops that had to stay in Afghanistan (Horsley, 2016). Image from
  • Marriage Equality

    Marriage Equality
    The United States Supreme Court stated that the banning of same sex marriage was unconstitutional. They then voted to officially allow same sex couples were given the same legal rights and benefits nationally. This was a huge change in America and impacted so many lives (Marriage Equality USA, 2014).
  • Donald Trump

    Donald Trump
    Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States.
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