Period 9 Timeline: 1980-Present

  • PLO

    PLO, a.k.a. the Palestinian Liberation Organization, was formed in 1964 with the purpose of creating a homeland for Palestinians in Israel.
  • Yasser Arafat

    Yasser Arafat
    Arafat is the Palestinian statesman who was the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
  • AIDS

    This was a deadly outbreak in the 1970's that started with gay men and was labeled the "gay plague," but soon began to affect drug users, hemophiliacs, and minorities. It was expensive to treat, and there was no cure. C Everett Koop caused the government to spend 1.3 billion on AIDS assistance. (date is approximated)
  • California v. Bakke

    California v. Bakke
    This Supreme Court case ruled that a university's use of racial "quotas" in its admissions process was unconstitutional, but a school's use of "affirmative action" to accept more minority applicants was constitutional in some circumstances.
  • Sandinistas

    The Sandinistas were members of a leftist coalition that overthrew the Nicaraguan dictatorship of Anastasia Somoza in 1979 and attempted to install a socialist economy.
  • Religious Fundamentalism

    Religious Fundamentalism
    Religious fundamentalists were people characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism. (rough date)
  • Moral Majority

    Moral Majority
    Moral Majority was a political group made up of fundamentalist Christians. Although not it did not accomplish much, it did show that Americans were starting to worry about the moral fabric of society. (rough date)
  • Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein
    Hussein was Iraq's tyrant leader at the time of the War on Terror, and President Bush believed that the Iraqi people would abandon Saddam if given the chance to form a democracy, one of the reasons the US decided to attack.
  • Ronald Reagan

    Ronald Reagan
    Reagan was the 40th POTUS, and he believed in tax cuts and less government spending, which led to him cutting out numerous welfare and public works programs. He met with Gorbachev on many occasions, which were the the first steps to ending the Cold War, and he was also responsible for the Iran-Contra Affair where the U.S. gave the Contras guns in exchange for U.S. hostages.
  • Supply-Side Economics

    Supply-Side Economics
    This was an economic theory of "Reaganomics" that focused on cutting taxes and government spending in order to stimulate investment, productivity, and economic growth via private enterprise.
  • Trickle-Down Economics

    Trickle-Down Economics
    This was part of the economic theory of Reaganomics, and it included significant tax cuts for the rich, and subsequently rich people would be encouraged to invest and spend which would, in theory, create more jobs.
  • Economic Recovery Tax Act

    Economic Recovery Tax Act
    This act was a major revision of the federal income tax system, and it cut income taxes by 25% over a 2.5 year period.
  • PATCO Strike

    PATCO Strike
    The strike happened when Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) declared strike on August 3, 1981. Reagan ordered all controllers back to work within 48 hours or he would fire them all; over 11,000 refused to return and were subsequently fired and even banned from federal employment for life. However, President Clinton lifted the ban in 1993.
  • Sandra Day O’Connor

    Sandra Day O’Connor
    O'Connor was the Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from her appointment in 1981 by Ronald Reagan until her retirement in 2006. She was the first woman to be appointed to the Court.
  • Boland Amendment

    Boland Amendment
    This amendment forbid the CIA or any other such intelligence agency from spending money to support the Contras directly or indirectly.
  • SDI

    Otherwise known is the Strategic Defense Initiative, this was Reagan's intent to pursue a high technology missile defense system which was referred to as "Star Wars"
  • Beirut Bombings

    Beirut Bombings
    This was a series of suicide truck bombings during the Lebanese Civil War that caused many U.S. military losses.
  • Walter Mondale

    Walter Mondale
    Mondale was the vice president under Jimmy Carter. When he won the democratic nomination he was defeated by Ronald Reagan. He was the first presidential candidate to have a woman vice president, Geraldine Ferraro.
  • Geraldine Ferraro

    Geraldine Ferraro
    She was the first woman to appear on a major-party presidential ticket. She was a congresswoman running for VP with Walter Mondale.
  • Iran-Contra Affair

    Iran-Contra Affair
    This was a scandal that erupted after the Reagan administration sold weapons to Iran in hopes of freeing American hostages in Lebanon. The money from the arms sales was used to aid the Contras, who were anti-Communist guerrillas, in Nicaragua, even though Congress had prohibited this assistance.
  • William Rehnquist

    William Rehnquist
    Rehnquist served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and later as the 16th Chief Justice of the United States. Under his leadership, the court cut back on affirmative action in hiring and promotions, as well as limited Roe v. Wade by allowing states to impose certain restrictions on abortion.
  • Immigration Act of 1986

    Immigration Act of 1986
    Passed in 1986, it was an update of the 1965 Immigration Act and outlawed the hiring of undocumented immigrants, but offered legal status to aliens who had lived in the U.S. for five years. Debates over immigration policy persisted, however, as did efforts to tighten U.S. border controls.
  • “Tear down this wall”

    “Tear down this wall”
    This speech by Reagan was given at the Brandenburg Gate, the entrance of the Berlin Wall. It was where former president JFK delivered his speech upon his visit to Berlin after WWII. He gave this speech to declare the United States' position on communism and the Soviet Union.
  • INF Agreement

    INF Agreement
    This agreement was where Gorbachev & Reagan agreed to remove and destroy all intermediate-range missiles.
  • “Read my lips, no new taxes.”

    “Read my lips, no new taxes.”
    This was the phrase said by George H.W. Bush as he accepted the Republican nomination, stating that he would not tax the American people further. He eventually did raise taxes though as a way to lessen the national budget.
  • George H.W. Bush

    George H.W. Bush
    Bush was the 42nd president of the United States, previously being Ronald Reagan's vice-president. His policies and ideals derived heavily from his predecessor and were built on them.
  • Tiananmen Square

    Tiananmen Square
    The Tienanmen Square incident was a suppression of Chinese democrats by the PLA. It caused much condemning from western nations including the U.S.
  • Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Fall of the Berlin Wall
    In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. The fall of the wall marked an end to Soviet influence in the country and allowed for Germany to become reunited.
  • Panama Invasion

    Panama Invasion
    In 1989, Bush sent U.S. troops to Panama to take leader Manuel Noriega from power in order to stop him from using his country as a drug pipeline to the U.S.
  • Lech Wałęsa

    Lech Wałęsa
    Wałęsa was a Polish politician who co-founded Solidarity, the Soviet Bloc's first independent trade union. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995.
  • Persian Gulf War

    Persian Gulf War
    After Iraq 's invasion of Kuwait, the US subsequently invaded Iraq to liberate Kuwait. Iraq then set Kuwait's oil fields on fire so the Americans couldn't gain the oil; this conflict caused the US to set military bases in Saudi Arabia; also called Operation: Desert Storm
  • “Ethnic Cleansing”

    “Ethnic Cleansing”
    An "ethnic cleansing" is a process in which more powerful ethnic group forcibly removes a less powerful one in order to create an ethnically homogeneous region. (date is roughly when Slobodan Milosevic carried out his ethnic cleansing and war against NATO)
  • Nuclear Proliferation

    Nuclear Proliferation
    Nuclear proliferation is the spreading of nuclear weapons to nations that have not previously had them. (date is approximated)
  • Mikhail Gorbachev

    Mikhail Gorbachev
    Gorbachev was the head of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. His liberalization effort improved relations with the West, but he lost power after his reforms led to the collapse of Communist governments in eastern Europe. (date is the date of the collapse of the Soviet Union)
  • Glasnost and Perestroika

    Glasnost and Perestroika
    Glasnost was openness to end political repression and move toward a greater political freedom for Soviet citizens, and Perestroika was the restructuring of the soviet economy by introducing free-market practices. (date is the end date)
  • Breakup of the Soviet Union

    Breakup of the Soviet Union
    In 1990, the Soviet Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania declared their independence. After a failed coup against Gorbachev by communist hard-liners, the remaining republics dissolved the Soviet Union in December 1991, leaving Gorbachev a leader with no country.
  • Boris Yeltsin

    Boris Yeltsin
    Yeltsin was the President of the Russian Republic in 1991. He helped end the USSR and forced Gorbachev to resign.
  • Start I and II

    Start I and II
    Start I was when the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. signed this treaty in July 1991 which called for a reduction in the number of long-range nuclear warheads and bombs held by each country by about one-third over a period of seven years. Start II was
    the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks; it occurred in 1993 through 1994 between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. to reduce the active deployment of ICBM's. (date is start date)
  • Clarence Thomas

    Clarence Thomas
    Thomas was an African American jurist, and a strict critic of affirmative action. He was nominated by George H. W. Bush to be on the Supreme Court in 1991, and shortly after was accused of sexual harassment by Anita Hill.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    Americans with Disabilities Act
    Passed by Congress in 1991, this act banned discrimination against the disabled in employment and mandated easy access to all public and commercial buildings.
  • Ross Perot

    Ross Perot
    Perot ran as an Independent in 1992, and incessantly dwelled upon the problem of the federal deficit, and made a boast of the fact that he had never held any public office. Perot also helped bring a record voting turnout and had the strongest showing for a third party candidate since Teddy Roosevelt.
  • Welfare Reform

    Welfare Reform
    This was the legislation that made deep cuts in welfare grants and required able-bodied welfare recipients to find employment. Part of Bill Clinton's campaign platform in 1992, the reforms were widely seen by liberals as an abandonment of key New Deal/Great Society provisions to care for the impoverished.
  • Bill Clinton

    Bill Clinton
    The first Democratic president since Jimmy Carter, Clinton served as president from 1993 to 2001. His plan to provide universal health care to all Americans was defeated by Republican Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" movement, as well as a well-organized opposition from the doctors' lobbying organization, the American Medical Association. The Monica Lewinsky sex scandal that led to his impeachment and acquittal.
  • Brady Bill

    Brady Bill
    This bill was a gun-control law named for presidential aide James Brady who had been wounded and disabled by gunfire in the assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981.
  • West Bank and the Gaza Strip

    West Bank and the Gaza Strip
    The Oslo Accords was the 1993 agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, in which Israel agreed that the PLO could govern the West Bank and Gaza Strip in exchange for PLO recognition of Israel's right to exist.
  • EU

    The 1993 Treaty of Maastricht established both the European Union and the Euro. This created a political and economic union between the western European countries. More European countries were then added to include the Eastern countries.
  • Internet

    The Internet was originally created in the 1960's as a way for government and universities to share information. In the late 80's the term for the connection was renamed to this term, and the world wide web was created in 1990; it was used to send graphics and multi-media across the globe. In 1993, the first browser was created.
  • Failure of Health Reforms

    Failure of Health Reforms
    Clinton had campaigned on a promise to reform health care and Clinton gave his wife, Hillary Clinton, the job of heading the task force. The resulting proposal was based on the idea of managed competition: market forces rather than the government would control health-care costs and expand access to health care. Opposition from pharmaceutical and insurance industries killed the proposal in 1994.
  • “Don’t ask, don’t tell”

    “Don’t ask, don’t tell”
    A policy placed by Clinton that allowed gay and lesbian troops to be in the military as long as they kept the presence of their sexuality unacknowledged.

    Otherwise known as the North American Free Trade Agreement, this act established free trade zone between Canada, United States and Mexico, net gain in jobs due to opening of Mexican markets.
  • NRA

    The NRA, or National Rifle Association, had a goal to protect the right to bear arms, and it was a majority Republican organization.
  • Newt Gingrich

    Newt Gingrich
    Gingrich was a promoter of the "Contract with America," and was the first Republican speaker in 40 years.
  • Contract with America

    Contract with America
    This was a multi-point program offered by Republican candidates and sitting politicians in the 1994 midterm election. The platform proposed smaller government, Congressional ethics reform, term limits, great emphasis on personal responsibility, and a general repudiation of the Democratic party.
  • Oklahoma City Bombing

    Oklahoma City Bombing
    This was a huge explosion that destroyed a federal office building in 1995 that took 168 lives. The bombing was done in retribution for a 1993 standoff between federal agents and a fundamentalist sect known as the Branch Davidians, which ended killing many Branch Davidians.
  • Bob Dole

    Bob Dole
    Dole was an attorney and retired United States Senator from Kansas, serving from 1969-1996; he was the longest serving Republican leader. He was also the 1996 presidential nominee for the Republican party but lost to Bill Clinton.
  • Madeleine Albright

    Madeleine Albright
    Albright was the first woman to become the United States Secretary of State. She was nominated by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1996, and was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate vote of 99-0.
  • Taliban

    The Taliban are a group of fundamentalist Muslims who took control of Afghanistan's government in 1996.
  • G-8

    The G-8, or Group of Eight, was the international organization of the leading capitalist industrial nations: US, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, Russia. It largely controlled the world's major international financial organizations: World Bank, IMF, and GATT.
  • Deficit Reduction Budget

    Deficit Reduction Budget
    Clinton had better luck with a deficit-reduction bill in 1993, which combined with an increasingly buoyant economy by 1996 to shrink the federal deficit to its lowest level in more than a decade. By 1998 Clinton's policies seemed to have caged the ravenous deficit monster, as Congress argued over the unfamiliar question of how to manage federal budget surpluses.
  • Clinton Impeachment

    Clinton Impeachment
    The impeachment of Bill Clinton was initiated in December 1998 by the House of Representatives and led to a trial in the Senate for the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice.
  • Bosnia and Kosovo

    Bosnia and Kosovo
    The Balkan Wars were independence movements which were suppressed by Milosevic. Bombs and troops from NATO countries stopped the bloodshed in Bosnia 1995 and Kosovo 1999. The Balkan Wars were the worst event in Europe since WWII. (date is end date)
  • WTO

    Otherwise known as the World Trade Organization, the WTO was formed as an international trade organization that prompted strong protests from anti-global trade forces in Seattle, Washington in 1999.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
    They reassured investors who were worried about homeowners defaulting on mortgages by selling bonds to investors and using the funds to purchase mortgages from banks.
  • Bush v. Gore

    Bush v. Gore
    A politically divided Supreme Court decision that declared Florida's mandates for recounting ballots during the disputed 2000 election was unconstitutional and the process was forced to stop, thereby guaranteeing Bush a victory.
  • George W. Bush

    George W. Bush
    Bush was the Republican nominee in the election of 2000. He was the eldest son of George H. W. Bush. Many people found him to be reckless and thought he divided the nation. He challenged research on global warming, didn't support abortions, limited research on embryonic stem cells, and allowed Vice President Cheney to hammer out his administration's energy policy behind closed doors.
  • Al Gore

    Al Gore
    Al Gore was Clinton's vice-president and a candidate for the 2000 presidential election. His running caused on of the closest elections in history and a fiasco with the voting system.
  • Housing Bubble

    Housing Bubble
    The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates in response to the end of the technology surge, encouraging investors to purchase real estate, causing another "bubble" and increased housing prices.
  • No Child Left Behind

    No Child Left Behind
    An education bill created and signed by the George W. Bush administration. Designed to increase accountability standards for primary and secondary schools, the law authorized several federal programs to monitor those standards and increased choices for parents in selecting schools for their children. The program was highly controversial, in large part because it linked results on standardized to federal funding for schools and school districts.
  • Enron

    The Enron scandal, revealed in October 2001, eventually led to the bankruptcy of the Enron Corporation, an American energy company based in Houston, Texas, and the dissolution of Arthur Andersen, which was one of the five largest audit and accountancy partnerships in the world.
  • Al-Qaeda

    This is an international alliance of anti-Western Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organizations founded in the late 1980s. Founded by veterans of the Afghan struggle against the Soviet Union, the group is headed by Osama Bin Laden and has taken responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks, especially after the late 1990s. Al Qaeda organized the attacks of September 11, 2001, in the US, from its headquarters in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
  • Osama bin Laden

    Osama bin Laden
    Founder of Al Qaeda, the terrorist network responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001, and other attacks.
  • Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton
    Wife of President Bill Clinton, she was also the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001 and also headed the committee of health-care reform. (date is end date)
  • 9/11

    Common shorthand for the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, in which 19 militant Islamist men hijacked and crashed four commercial aircraft. Two planes hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in NYC, causing them to collapse. One plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and the fourth, overtaken by passengers, crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania. Nearly 3000 people were killed in the worst case of domestic terrorism in American history.
  • “Axis of Evil”

    “Axis of Evil”
    A term coined by President Bush in his 2002 State of the Union address; this "axis" included Iraq, North Korea, and Iran.
  • Bush Tax Cuts

    Bush Tax Cuts
    The Bush tax cuts were two laws passed in 2001 and 2003 that reduced taxes for virtually every American. They cut income tax rates, eliminated the estate tax, and reduced taxes on capital gains and dividends.
  • Homeland Security

    Homeland Security
    The Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet-level agency created in 2003 to unify and coordinate public safety and anti-terrorism operations within the federal governments.
  • WMD’s

    Also known as Weapons of Mass Destruction, in 2003 secretary of state Colin Powell relying on evidence from the CIA, insisted that Saddam Hussein was developing WMD's
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom

    Operation Iraqi Freedom
    Operation where U.S. troops invaded Iraq and Saddam's forces collapsed almost immediately. Baghdad fell, and Saddam and other Iraqi leaders went into hiding. In the months that followed Saddam and many of his supporters were captured.
  • Abu Ghraib Prison

    Abu Ghraib Prison
    Revelations of abuse perpetrated by American soldiers against Iraqi prisoners in this Baghdad prison inflamed anti-American sentiment in the Middle East and beyond, calling into question America's democratic ideals.
  • John Kerry

    John Kerry
    Kerry was a Democratic senator from Massachusetts who ran unsuccessfully for president against incumbent Bush in 2004. A Vietnam veteran, he sought to portray himself as muscular in foreign policy even as he criticized the Iraq War. The election typified the stark partisan divide of the country, as he lost the popular vote.
  • Hurricane Katrina

    Hurricane Katrina
    Katrina was considered to be the one crisis of the Bush administrations second term and in is inefficiency to deal with the crisis. It destroyed 80% of New Orleans and more than 1300 people died, while the damages were $150 billion.
  • Kyoto Accord

    Kyoto Accord
    Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with global warming. It is an environmental treaty with the goal of achieving "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."
  • Great Recession

    Great Recession
    Banks suddenly found themselves with billions of dollars of worthless investments on their books; in 2008, the situation became a full-fledged crisis, as banks stopped making loans, business dried up, and the stock market collapsed.
  • Barack Obama

    Barack Obama
    Barack Obama set a historic landmark in American history – he became the first African American to become president, and seems to have brought the American dream to a whole new level. Barack Obama has had a presidency filled with highly debated issues and policies, including the most recent Medicare acts and the drawdown of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • John McCain

    John McCain
    This Republican senator was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War and is seeking the Republican nomination in the 2008 presidential election.
  • Sarah Palin

    Sarah Palin
    Republican vice-presidential candidate with John McCain in the 2008 election, the second woman to run for vice president of a major party and the first Republican. Palin served on the city council and as mayor of her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska from 1996-2002 and then in 2006 was elected governor of the state. Relatively unknown nationally, Palin's social conservatism made her popular among the evangelical wing of the Republican Party, which had been distrustful of McCain.
  • D.C. v. Heller

    D.C. v. Heller
    A S.W.A.T. officer with the Washington D.C. police department sued in the District of Columbia District Court for the right to carry a handgun off duty. The Supreme Court ruled that he had the right to carry a weapon for a lawful purpose, and the District Court's opinion was reversed.
  • Tea Party

    Tea Party
    An American political movement known for its conservative positions and its role in the Republican Party. Members of the movement have called for a reduction of the U.S. national debt and federal budget deficit by reducing government spending, and for lower taxes. The movement opposes government-sponsored universal health care and has been described as a mixture of libertarian, populist, and conservative activists.
  • Sonia Sotomayor

    Sonia Sotomayor
    Sotomayor was the first Hispanic and third woman justice in the Supreme Court's history, confirmed in August 2009.
  • Dodd-Frank Act

    Dodd-Frank Act
    In July 2010, Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) in response to the collapse of the economy that began with the 2007 meltdown of the mortgage lending market.
  • Affordable Care Act

    Affordable Care Act
    An expansion of Medicaid, most of employers must provide health insurance, have insurance or face surtax, prevents rejection based on preexisting condition. Also referred to as "Obamacare", signed into law in 2010.
  • Arab Spring

    Arab Spring
    This was a series of protests across the Middle East and North Africa in 2010.
  • Citizens United

    Citizens United
    This Supreme Court Case ruled that the government cannot cap campaign donations from corporations, and led to unlimited election spending.
  • Syrian Civil War

    Syrian Civil War
    The Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad used poisonous gas on the people in the country who were rising up against him. Military action was avoided when the Syrians agreed to give up all their chemical weapons.
  • Mitt Romney

    Mitt Romney
    Romney was the Republican nominee for president in 2012, and was the former governor of Massachusetts. The Republican efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act resulted in the 2013 shutdown of the government, which lasted for 16 days and threatened default on the national debt.
  • Debt Ceiling

    Debt Ceiling
    This is a legislative mechanism to limit the amount of debt that can be issued by Treasury by limiting money gov can borrow.
  • Boston Marathon Bombing

    Boston Marathon Bombing
    During this event on April 15, 2013, two pressure cooker bombs exploded, killing 3 people and injuring 264. The bombs exploded about 13 seconds and 210 yards apart, near the finish line on Boylston Street. The FBI took over the investigation, and on April 18, released photographs and surveillance video of two suspects. The suspects were identified later that day as the brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
  • Shelby County v. Holder

    Shelby County v. Holder
    This Supreme Court Case concerned constitutionality of two parts of the Voting Rights Act, one struck down because it was outdated and potentially limited voters' rights.
  • Same-Sex Marriage

    Same-Sex Marriage
    The Supreme Court Case Obergefell v Hodges made same sex marriage legal everywhere in the US.