Important Events In History

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    Transcontinental Railroad

    The First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States was started October 26th 1863, it linked the railway network of the
    Eastern coast with rapidly growing California. When the main line was officially completed on May 10, 1869, it
    changed the American West and set the USA on the path to economic abundance. The transcontinental railroad replaced the slower and more dangerous wagon trains, Pony Express and stagecoach lines that crossed the country by land.
  • Barbed Wire Patented

    Barbed Wire Patented
    Michael Kelly in 1868 and Joseph Glidden in 1874 changed the West with their inventions of barbed wire. Wooden fences proved to be pricey because trees were sparse and rocks were being used for stoned walls. Joseph Glidden’s barbed wire proved to be the best idea and is still in use today. Many farms and many prisons use this invention.
  • National Baseball League Founded

    National Baseball League Founded
    Baseball was known as rounders and was similar to cricket. It first started to become popular in America in the 1830’s.
    There were more than 200 teams and clubs, most of the times did join a national association which had rules for them
    all to follow. In 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first team to be salaried. In 1876 the National League was
    created. The American Association came and went but in 1901 a league called the American League came to replace
    the American Association.
  • Bell Invented Telephone

    Bell Invented Telephone
    Bell and Watson completed the first bi-directional transmission of clear speech. In 1877, the American Bell Telephone Company, named after Alexander Graham Bell opened the first telephone exchange in New Haven, Connecticut. Within a few years local exchange companies were established in every major city in the United States. In 1899, American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) acquired the assets of its parent, the American Bell Telephone Company.
  • ThePendleton Act

    The Civil service system was an important initiative during the presidencies of both, Rutherford B. Hayes and James Garfield. But it wasn’t until President Chester A. Arthur became president that the first civil service measure was passed. The Pendleton Act was signed and passed through Congress on January 16, 1883 and it required that some federal jobs be filled by competitive writing examinations.
  • Hull House Opened

    Hull House Opened
    In Chicago, Jane Addams

    founded the Hull House. She opened the Hull House in 1889. Jane Addams’ principles for the settlement house were to live in the community as an equal participant in the local issues of the day. Also to believe that poverty and the lack of opportunity breed the problems of the ghetto.
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    The Rise of Mass Consumption

    Growth in prosperity of the middle class led to an increasing surge of “white collar” jobs: clerks, accountants, middle
    manager positions could all be found. Professionals such as doctors and lawyers were greater than ever. Incomes rose as well, which led to new markets for consumer goods. Chain stores and mail order houses changed the way Americans bought goods. Women generally bought and prepared food for their families, so the availability of new food products changed.

    By the end of the 19th century woman suffrage became an enormous controversy. Women wanted the same rights as
    men and began to make their voice heard. Critics were other women who thought, “leave well enough alone”, it
    tampers with the natural order of civilization and that “women’s rights” lead to divorce, promiscuity and neglect
    of children. It took several years of justifying women’s suffrage, but in 1920 suffragist won ratification of the 19th Amendment which guaranteed voting rights.
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    Panic Of 1893

    When the Philadelphia and the Reading Railroad declare bankruptcy, stock markets collapsed. That collapse was magnified by the failures of hundreds of banks and businesses dependent upon the Reading and other railroads. The stock market reacted with a dramatic plunge. Fearing further collapse, European investors pulled their funds from the United States, but depression soon gripped the other side of the Atlantic as well. An ongoing agricultural depression in the West and South deepened.
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    Spanish American War

    The war was savagely fought by both the Cubans and Spaniards and sensationalized by the American press. Americans sympathized with the Cubans, but fought hard to avoid the conflict. When the American battleship, Maine blew up, many Americans thought that the Spanish had sunk it, which turned out not to be the case. Panic over this war swept the country and Congress appropriated $50 million for military preparations.
  • National Consumers League

    The National Consumers League was established in 1899 under the leadership of Florence Kelley. The NCL encouraged women as consumers to force retailers and manufacturers to improve wages and working conditions. The NCL encouraged women to buy only products with the League’s “white label” which indicated that the product was made under fair working conditions.
  • Cowboy Mythologizes

    Cowboy Mythologizes
    In 1902 "The Virginian" was publishied by Owen Wister. This was the first true written western book and supported the thought of the cowboy out west. Cowboy's had a real freedom that most people did not. He was also one with nature and had this violence about him. There soon were cowboy shows that traveled the country and even in Europe.
  • Luna Park, Coney Island, Opened

    Luna Park, Coney Island, Opened
    In Brooklyn, NY, Luna Park, Coney Island was opened in 1903. On any one day, 90,000 visitors came to Coney Island and nearly 200,000 postcards were mailed. When I think of Coney Island, the hot dog comes to mind. the Nathan’s hot dog became popular in 1916. Other features that represent Coney Island are a 300 foot tower with operated with steam powered elevators, an inexhaustible cow which dispensed large amounts of milk, three ring circus and many amusement rides.
  • Wright Brothers First Sustained Flight

    Wright Brothers First Sustained Flight
    In Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright Flyer created the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard. Wilbur and Orville lay not only in the singular act of getting a flying machine into the air, but also in the approach they evolved and employed to create the technology of flight. Their method of evaluating data gathered by testing an aircraft in flight, then refining the design based on those results, remains an essential tool.
  • Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

    Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
    A terrible fire swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York. 146 workers most of them women died.

    Because management had locked the emergency exists to prevent malingering, many of the workers were trapped
    inside the burning building. Three years after the fire, major reforms were issued to improve the conditions of modern
  • Ford Installs The Assembly Line

    Ford Installs The Assembly Line
    The Ford Motor Company creating an assmebly line for their cars made assembly lines famous in the following decade through the social ramifications of mass production, such as the affordability of the Ford Model T and the introduction of high wages for Ford workers. Henry Ford was the first to master the assembly line and was able to improve labor hours and increase production numbers and parts.
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    World War I

    the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne, was assassinated while paying a state visit to Sarajevo, the Capital of Bosnia. Two months later Germany declared war on both Russia and France and had invaded Belgium. The next day Great Britain declared war on Germany. President Wilson asked Americans to remain impartial, but most Americans sympathized with Britain. By 1917, Wilson was given a telegram that was intercepted by the British. In April, German submarines hit three American Ships.
  • Panama Canal

    Panama Canal
    The Panama Canal joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. The canal was formally opened on August 15, 1914, two years ahead of schedule. The annual traffic has risen from about 1,000 ships in the canal's early days to 14,702 vessels in 2008. The construction of the canal was one of the great engineering feats of the early twentieth century.
  • Wartime Economy

    At the end of WWI the federal government had appropriated $32 billion for war expenses. To raise money, the government solicited loans for the American people by selling Liberty Bonds, which generated $23 billion. New taxes brought in $10 billion. Inflation rose along with prices of consumer goods. The gross national product declined nearly 10% and 100,000 businesses went bankrupt and an estimated 5 million Americans lost their jobs.
  • The 19th Amendment

    On August 26, 1920 the 19th Amendment became part of the Constitution. The Amendment guarantees all American
    women the right to vote. This victory took decades of demonstration and protest during the women’s suffrage
    movement and also the extreme efforts of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
  • First Modern Radio Station

    First Modern Radio Station
    KDKA out of Pittsburgh, PA was the world’s first modern radio station. Commercial broadcasting began and families rushed to buy conventional radio sets. By 1925 there were two million sets in American homes. Radio sets were a way of escapism for busy working families. They provided information to the public such as public service announcements, advertisements and election results. They had Soap Opera's and also announced baseball games and the World Serise.
  • Dawes Plan

    Charles Dawes, was an American banker who negotiated an agreement in 1924 with France, Britain, Germany,
    and the United States. The Dawes Plan was that American banks would provide large loans to Germany. Germany would use that money to pay earnings to France and Britain; France
    and Britain would consent to reduce the amount of those payments and use those funds to reimburse war debts to
    the United States. This plan didn’t work. There was no real money generated, only a little interest.
  • Scopes Trial

    A cultural controversy of the 1920’s was a conflict over the place of religion in society. Tennessee legislation passed a measure to make it illegal for any public school teacher to teach the theory that denies the story of Creation that is taught in the Bible. John T. Scopes, a 24 year old teacher, took the challenge and agreed to be arrested. Scopes was fined and the case was dismissed on July 25, 1925 because of a technicality.
  • Stock Market Crash

    Stock Market Crash
    Some people say the Great Depression began with the Stock Market Crash in October of 1929 but that isn’t true. The crash was one of the many factors that lead to the Great Depression. The causes of the Great Depression were narrowed down to a lack of diversification in the poor economy.
  • Swing Music

    Swing music became popular in the early 1930’s. This type of jazz music used instruments like drums, trombones and
    trumpets. The saxophone and clarinet were also very popular with many musicians. The soloists and musicians were
    usually african Americans. Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller were
    some of the most relished and well-known band leaders in this era.
    Swing Music
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    The Dust Bowl

    The area north of Texas and spread into the Dakotas was known as the Dust Bowl area. In 1930, the rainfall was diminishing, the temperature was increasing creating a catastrophic natural disaster. This lasted for about ten years which drove farmers to migrate to other states to make a living for their families. These migrants worked on many farms at undesirable wages.
    Dust Bowl Memories
  • Election of 1932

    Election of 1932
    The public was skeptical about the upcoming election of 1932. They felt Hoover wasn’t working hard enough to resolve the Great Depression and the crash of the stock market. Roosevelt won this election by a landslide. This was the first democratic to win in eighty years. Rooseveltwanted to work with the people and he communicated in a good way through the newspaper and radio.
  • Frances Perkins, Cabinet Member

    Frances Perkins, Cabinet Member
    In 1933 Franklin D Roosevelt appointed the first female cabinet member in history, Frances Perkins. She was appointed as the Secretary of labor. More than 100 other women were given lower positions.
  • Black Cabinet

    The New Deal did little for the African Americans but Eleanor Roosevelt was always trying to help them. She always urged FDR to help them. He hired some to form the “Black Cabinet”.
  • Social Security Act Signed In

    On August 14th, 1935 congress passed the Social Security Act. There were 2 types of assistance. Elderly could receive $15 a week or Americans still working could pay a tax and it would be given to them as an income during retirement. The Social Security Act was the first step in building the social security program we have for the elderly today.
  • Sino Japanese War

    Japan came out of World War I with the strongest, proudest military and they also were growing in global trade. Japan’s interest in this war was imperialism. This war was fought between China and Japan. On July 7, 1937, Japan attacked Chinese troops in Beijing at the Marco Polo bridge. Roosevelt tried to stop Japanese fighting, but Japan was relying on the United States for steel and oil. Japan refused to stop, therefore, they chose to extend the war in China in search of oil.
  • Hitler and the Start Of WWII

    The Nazi Party was growing in Germany. Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazis took power in 1933. He believed that the Germans were the “master race” and displayed a pathological anti-Semitism and a passionate militarism. Hitler also believed that the German people were superior and deserved an expanded “living space”. Therefore, he rearmed his military and took personal command of his armed forces. He began a reign of terror and destruction throughout Europe. He invaded Poland in 1939.
  • Film Noir

    In the 1940’s and 1950’s, a kind of filmmaking known as film noir emerged in France. These movies were often
    filmed in black and white and were filmed at night, in bars, and were enhanced with special lighting. Murder,
    gambling, and prostitution were usually the main plots for these films. A film that simulated the aftermath of
    nuclear was The Twilight Zone.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    American intelligence had decoded Japanese message that made it clear a Japanese attack was imminent. But Washington did not know where the attacks would take place. On Sunday, December 7, 1941 Japanese bombers attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The United States lost 8 battleships, 3 cruisers, and 188 airplanes. The death toll was more than 2,400 soldiers and sailors and 1,000 injuries. Japan’s casualties were minimal.
  • Holocaust

    In 1942 officials in Washington found evidence that Hitler’s forces were gathering Jews, Poles, homosexuals and
    communists from all over Europe and taking them to concentration camps in eastern Germany and Poland and
    systematically murdering them. Up to 6,000 Jews were sent to death in gas chambers. It is estimated there were between 5.1 and 6 million Jewish fatalities during the Holocaust.
  • WAAC's and WAVE's

    Many women were hired to work during the war. A lot of them were hired by the government. On May 15, 1942,

    Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, WAACs was formed. In August of 1942, WAVEs was formed. Eleanor Roosevelt
    was a big contributor in creating this unit of the Navy for women.
  • The United Nations

    The United Nations, an international organization, was formed consisting of 51 countries. The purpose was to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. The United Nations contains a General Assembly in which every member would be represented and a Security Council with permanent representatives of the five major powers: United States, Great Britain, France, Soviet Union and China.
  • Television Gains Popularity

    Television Gains Popularity
    Commercial television began its popularity after World War II. 1946 was a big year for television, approximately
    17,000 televisions were in homes and by 1957 there were about 40 million. This meant that almost every family had
    one television set in their homes. On February 4th, RCA presents an all-electronic color television system. On
    June 7th, t he BBC Television Service began broadcasting again.
  • NATO

    An agreement was signed on April 4, 1949 establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which declared that an armed attack against one member would be considered an attack against all. The NATO countries, which included the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France and the United Kingdom, would maintain a standing military force in Europe to defend against the threat of a Soviet invasion.
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    Korean War

    The Korean War began June 24, 1950 and was a military conflict between communists and non-communist forces in Korea. After the surrender of Japan, American administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th parallel. The invasion of North Korea ended with the fall of the capital. The war ended July 27th, 1953.
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    The Vietnam War

    The Vietnam War grew out of the conflict between France and Vietnam. After WWII, France wanted to reclaim the colony. America’s first combat mission in the Vietnam War was against the Vietcong on January 12, 1962. Three years later communist forces attacked an American military base in Pleiku. President Johnson ordered American bombing of North Vietnam. In March of 1965, over 100,000 American troops were in Da Nang in South Vietnam. By the Spring of 1966 more than 4,000 Americans were killed.
  • Sputnik

    On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched a satellite, Sputnik.According to, “Sputnik was an aluminum 22-inch sphere with four spring-loaded whip antennae trailing, it weighed only 183 pounds and traveled an elliptical orbit that took it around the Earth every 96 minutes. The satellite itself fell from orbit three months after launch on January 4, 1958.”
  • Election of 1960

    Election of 1960
    Massachusetts Senator, John F Kennedy was elected the 35th President of the United States. The election of 1960 was one of the closest in American history. John F. Kennedy’s margin over Richard Nixon was less than 1/3 of 1% of the total national vote, but greater in the electoral college. JFK was the son of Joseph P. Kennedy, former American ambassador to Britain. The 43 year old JFK was a handsome Irish Catholic who many thought would bring religion into politics.
  • Anti War Movement

    Anti War Movement
    These anti war and peace movements were primarily led by young college students, mothers and hippies. Demonstrators opposing the Vietnam War protested for many reasons; the draft being one. Many draft aged Americans refused to be inducted into the military and many fled to Canada to avoid it. Another reason they demonstrated is because many Americans believed the war was continuing too long. Demonstrators protested on the Mall in Washington, DC, initiated by MOBE.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.

    Martin Luther King Jr.
    In the 1960’s the most difficult and most important initiative was the effort to provide justice and equality to African Americans. Throughout the Deep South there was growing tension and demonstrations of protest by African Americans who wanted equal rights and for segregation to be abolished. He helped launch a series of non-violent demonstrations. He fought tirelessly for many years for racial equality and to see an end to discrimination. On April 4, 1968 he was assassinated.
  • Earth Day

    Earth Day
    April 22, 1970 people all over the United States participated in the first “Earth Day.” Earth Day is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the earth’s natural environment. Over 20 million Americans participated in the observances, making it the largest demonstration in the nation’s history. The Earth Day movement spawned Congress to pass the National Environmental Protection Act and its agency. The EPA implements antipollution standards on businesses and consumers.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Amid the crisis of the Greek Civil War, Truman insisted that if Greece and Turkey did not receive the aid they needed, they would inevitably fall to communism which would lead to grave consequences in the region. The Truman Doctrine was established to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. If it weren’t for Truman’s commitment through the Doctrine, the Soviets would have infiltrated communist insurgents into the Greek government.
  • Nixon Resigned

    Nixon Resigned
    Richard M. Nixon became president in 1967 and soon after implemented several new policies. In 1972, a break in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office Complex in Washington, DC led to a scandal involving Nixon. Tape recordings implicated Nixon and revealed he haattempted to cover up the break in. He faced impeachment and a conviction for the part he played. On August 9, 1974, President Nixon resigned, making him the only president in history to do so.