Important History Dates: 1492-2001

  • Aug 6, 1492

    Christopher Colombus sails to America

    Columbus sailed from Spain to America and “discovered” the “New World” via the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. He was trying to find a quicker and shorter route to India. He discovered the inhabitants already living on our country. Columbus thought they were in India, which is why Native Americans are sometimes referred to as Indian.
  • Apr 14, 1565

    First Spanish Colony is formed

    Saint Augustine, Florida, is founded by the Spanish, becoming the first permanent Spanish colony in North America.
  • Jamestown founded

    Jamestown, the first English settlement in America, is founded by John Smith.
  • Slaves introduced

    First slaves are brought from Africa to Jamestown.
  • Plymouth Colony

    The Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts is founded and established by Pilgrims from England. They traveled there via the Mayflower.
  • New Amsterdam Assault

    English settlers seize New Amsterdam from the Dutch and rename it New York.
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    French Indian War

    The French and Indian War breaks out. Final conflict in the ongoing struggle between the British and the French for control of North America. British claim Canada and all French colonies east of the Mississippi River by the Treaty of Paris (Feb. 10th, 1763).
  • Boston Massacre

    The Boston Massacre takes place in Boston. British troops fire into a mob, killing five, and lead to intense public protests.
  • Boston Tea Party

    The Boston Tea Party takes place in Boston Harbor. Colonial Patriots dressed as Mohawk Indians board three ships and dump more than three hundred crates of tea into the water as part of a protest against British Tea Taxing.
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    American Revolution

    American Revolution starts. Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. Continental Congress adopts the first flag for the American people on June 14th, 1777. General Charles Cornwallis surrenders to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19th, 1781. Britain formally acknowledges American independence in the Treaty of Paris, officially ending the war on September 3rd, 1783.
  • U.S. Constitution drafting

    Constitutional Convention, made up of 12 delegates from the original 13 colonies, meets in Philadelphia to draft the U.S. Constitution.
  • First Presidential Election

    General George Washington is unanimously elected president of the United States in a vote by state electors.
  • Bill of Rights Ratification

    The First ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, are ratified.
  • Second Presidential Election

    John Adams is inaugurated as the second President of the United States of America in Philadelphia.
  • 3rd Presidential Election

    Thomas Jefferson becomes 3rd President of the U.S.
  • Louisiana Purchase

    The U.S. agrees to pay France $15 million for the Louisiana Territory, which extends west of the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and comprises about 830,000 square miles. As a result, the U.S. nearly doubles in size.
  • 4th U.S. President

    James Madison becomes the 4th U.S. President.
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    War of 1812

    U.S. declares war on Britain over British interference with American maritime shipping and westward expansion.
  • 5th President

    James Monroe becomes the 5th U.S. president.
  • 6th President

    John Quincy Adams becomes the 6th U.S. president.
  • 7th President

    Andrew Jackson becomes the 7th President.
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    The Alamo

    Texan defenders of the Alamo are all killed during siege by the Mexican Army.
  • 8th President

    Martin Van Buren becomes the 8th president.
  • 9th and 10th Presidents

    William Henry Harrison becomes 9th U.S. president. He dies one month later and is succeeded by Vice President John Tyler.
  • 11th President

    James Polk becomes the 11th U.S. president.
  • 12th President

    Zachary Taylor becomes the 12th President
  • 13th President

    President Taylor dies and is succeeded by Millard Fillmore.
  • 14th President

    Franklin Pierce becomes the 14th U.S. president.
  • 15th U.S. President

    James Buchanan becomes the 15th president.
  • Honest Abe

    Abraham Lincoln becomes the 16th president.
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    Civil War

    The Civil War was a conflict between the North and South over the expansion of slavery into western states.
  • 17th President

    Lincoln is assassinated and succeeded by Andrew Johnson.
  • 18th President

    Ulysses S. Grant becomes the 18th president.
  • 19th President

    Rutherford B. Hayes becomes president number 19.
  • 20th and 21st presidents

    James A. Garfield becomes president (March 4th) and is shot and killed. He is succeeded by Chester Alan Arthur.
  • President 22

    Grover Cleveland becomes the 22nd president.
  • President 23

    Benjamin Harrison becomes the 23rd president.
  • 24th president

    Grover Cleveland becomes the 24th president.
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    World War 1

    U.S. enters World War I, declaring war on Germany (April 6, 1917) and Austria-Hungary (Dec. 7, 1917) three years after conflict began in 1914. Armistice ending World War I is signed (Nov. 11, 1918).
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    World War 2

    U.S. declares its neutrality in European conflict (Sept. 5, 1939). F. Roosevelt's third inauguration (Jan. 20, 1941). He is the first and only president elected to a third term. Japan attacks Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines (Dec. 7, 1941). U.S. declares war on Japan (Dec. 8). Germany and Italy declare war on the United States; U.S. reciprocates by declaring war on both countries (Dec. 11). Allies invade North Africa (Oct.–Dec. 1942) and Italy (Sept.–Dec. 1943).
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    Vietnam War

    Prolonged conflict between Communist forces of North Vietnam, backed by China and the USSR, and non-Communist forces of South Vietnam, backed by the United States. President Truman authorizes $15 million in economic and military aid to the French, who are fighting to retain control of French Indochina, including Vietnam. Truman also sends 35 military advisers (May 1950).
  • 9/11

    Two airplanes collide the Twin Towers in NYC. One airplane crashes into the Pentagon. Worst terrorist attack in History.
  • Bin Laden Killed

    Osama Bin Laden is killed in Pakistan by Seal Team 6