Societal History of the 20th and 21st Centuries

  • Death of Queen Victoria

    Death of Queen Victoria
    This Queen of the UK and Ireland also went by the title of the Empress of India. Her death brought about the end of Victorianism.
  • Flight at Kitty Hawk

    Flight at Kitty Hawk
    The first successful flight, lasting 12 seconds, took place in Kitty Hawk, NC with Orville Wright on board the aircraft.
  • Roosevelt Corollary

    Roosevelt Corollary
    President Theordore Roosevelt announced the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. The corollary states that the United States will intervene in conflicts between European Nations and Latin American countries to enforce legitimate claims of the European powers, rather than having the Europeans press their claims directly.
  • San Francisco Earthquake

    San Francisco Earthquake
    The San Francisco Earthquake killed 400 people and caused $500 million worth of damage.
  • The Great White Fleet Sets Sail

    The Great White Fleet Sets Sail
    The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from December 16 1907 to February 22,1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships along with various escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability.The hulls of these ships were painted a stark white, which is why the armada was known as the Great White Fleet.
  • Model-T

    The Ford Model T is an automobile that was produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from September 1908 to May 1927. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, the car that opened travel to the common middle-class American; some of this was because of Ford's innovations, including assembly line production instead of individual hand crafting.
  • Mann-Elikins Act

    Mann-Elikins Act
    The Mann–Elkins Act was among the Progressive era reforms. The Act extended the authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to regulate the telecommunications industry, and designated telephone, telegraph and wireless companies as common carriers.
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    The Titantic Sinks

    The Titantic, on its maiden voyage, sank after hitting an iceberg just south of Newfoundland. About 1,500 of the 2,200 aboard the ship drowned. That is 68.2% of everyone aboard who didn't make it back alive.
  • Creation of the Federal Reserve System

    Creation of the Federal Reserve System
    The Federal Reserve System is the central banking system of the United States. It was created with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, largely in response to a series of financial panics, particularly a severe panic in 1907. Over time, the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System have expanded and its structure has evolved.
  • Beginning of WWI

    Beginning of WWI
    Due to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, by a Serbian nationalist, a series of events and secret alliances led to the outbreak of WWI.
  • Sinking of the Lusitania

    Sinking of the Lusitania
    This British ship was torpedoed and sank off the Irish coast. 1,198 passengers drowned, including 114 Americans
  • Zimmermann Telegram

    Zimmermann Telegram
    The Zimmermann Telegram was intercepted and decoded by the British cryptographers of Room 40. The telegram instructed Ambassador Eckardt that if the U.S. appeared likely to enter the war, he was to approach the Mexican Government with a proposal for military alliance. He was to offer Mexico material aid in the reclamation of territory lost during the Mexican–American War and the Gadsden Purchase, specifically the American states of TX, NM, and AZ.
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    Declaring War?

    On April 2, President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany. In his speech, he stated, "The world must be made safe for democracy." On April 6, the US declared war on the Central Powers. 6 Senators and 50 Representatives voted against the declaration.
  • 14 Point Plan

    14 Point Plan
    The Fourteen Points was a speech given by United States President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. The address was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe. People in Europe generally welcomed Wilson's intervention, but his Allied colleagues (Georges Clemenceau, David Lloyd George and Vittorio Emanuele Orlando) were skeptical of the applicability of Wilsonian idealism.
  • End of the Great War

    End of the Great War
    The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of World War I were dealt with in separate treaties. Although the armistice signed on November 11, 1918, ended the actual fighting, it took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the treaty.
  • 19th Amendment Ratified

    19th Amendment Ratified
    The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. The Constitution allows the states to determine the qualifications for voting, and until the 1910s most states disenfranchised women. The amendment was the culmination of the women's suffrage movement, which fought at both state and national levels to achieve the vote.
  • The Crime of the Century

    The Crime of the Century
    Nathan Freudenthal Leopold, Jr. and Richard Albert Loeb more commonly known as "Leopold and Loeb", were two Jewish wealthy University of Michigan alumni and University of Chicago students who murdered 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks in 1924 and received life sentences. The ransom was not their primary motive; the young men's families provided them all the money that they needed. Both had admitted that they were driven by the thrill of the kill and the desire to commit the "perfect crime".
  • The First "Talkie"

    The First "Talkie"
    The Jazz Singer is an American musical film. The first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences, its release heralded the commercial ascendance of the "talkies" and the decline of the silent film era. Produced by Warner Bros. with its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, the movie stars Al Jolson, who performs six songs. Directed by Alan Crosland, it is based on a play by Samson Raphaelson.
  • St. Valentine's Day Massacre

    St. Valentine's Day Massacre
    The Saint Valentine's Day massacre is the name given to the 1929 murder of 7 mob associates as part of a prohibition era conflict between two powerful criminal gangs in Chicago: the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone and the North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran. Former members of the Egan's Rats gang were also suspected to have played a large role in the St. Valentine's Day massacre, assisting Capone.
  • Black Tuesday

    Black Tuesday
    The Wall Street Crash of 1929 was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout. The crash signaled the beginning of the 12-year Great Depression that affected all Western industrialized countries and did not end in the United States until 1947.
  • A National Anthem

    A National Anthem
    "The Star-Spangled Banner" was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931, which was signed by President Herbert Hoover. Although the song has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today, with the fourth added on more formal occasions. The fourth stanza includes the line "And this be our motto: In God is our Trust". The United States adopted "In God We Trust" as its national motto in 1956.
  • The Bonus Army

    The Bonus Army
    The Bonus Army was the popular name of an assemblage of some 43,000 marchers—17,000 WWI veterans, their families, and affiliated groups—who gathered in Washington, D.C. to demand immediate cash-payment redemption of their service certificates. Its organizers called it the Bonus Expeditionary Force to echo the name of WWI's American Expeditionary Force, while the media called it the Bonus March. It was led by Walter W. Waters, a former Army sergeant.
  • Hitler Appointed Chancellor

    Hitler Appointed Chancellor
    A decorated veteran of WWI, Hitler joined the German Workers' Party, precursor of the Nazi Party, in 1919, and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923 Hitler attempted a coup d'état in Munich; the failed coup resulted in Hitler's imprisonment, during which time he wrote his memoir, Mein Kampf. Hitler was appointed chancellor in 1933. He transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich,a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of Nazism.
  • The Nuremberg Laws

    The Nuremberg Laws
    These were antisemitic laws in Nazi Germany introduced at the annual Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party. After the takeover of power in 1933 by Hitler, Nazism became an official ideology incorporating antisemitism as a form of scientific racism. These laws deprived Jews of German citizenship and prohibited marriage between Jews and other Germans. The Nuremberg Laws also prevented Jews from participating in German civic life.
  • A.A.

    Alcoholics Anonymous is an international mutual aid movement which says its "primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety." AA was founded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. With other early members, Wilson and Smith developed AA's Twelve Step program of spiritual and character development. The Traditions recommend that members and groups remain anonymous in public media, altruistically help other alcoholics and include all who wish to stop drinking.
  • The Social Security Act

    The Social Security Act
    The Social Security Act was drafted during Roosevelt's first term by the President's Committee on Economic Security and passed by Congress as part of the New Deal. The act was an attempt to limit what were seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. By signing this act, President Roosevelt became the first president to advocate federal assistance for the elderly.
  • The Neutrality Act

    The Neutrality Act
    The Neutrality Act of 1937 included the provisions of the earlier acts and extended them to cover civil wars as well. Further, U.S. ships were prohibited from transporting any passengers or articles to belligerents, and U.S. citizens were forbidden from traveling on ships of belligerent nations. In a concession to Roosevelt, a "cash and carry" provision was added.
  • Munich Pact

    Munich Pact
    The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated among the major powers of Europe without Czechoslovakia present. Today, it is widely regarded as a failed act of appeasement toward Nazi Germany. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the future of the Sudetenland in the face of territorial demands made by Adolf Hitler.
  • WWII Begins

    WWII Begins
    Germany and Slovakia attacked Poland. On Sept. 3, France and Britain, followed by the countries of the Commonwealth, declared war on Germany but provided little support to Poland other than a small French attack into the Saarland. Britain and France also began a naval blockade of Germany on Sept. 3, which aimed to damage the country's economy and war effort. On Sept. 17, after signing a cease-fire with Japan, the Soviets also invaded Poland.
  • Smith Act

    Smith Act
    The Alien Registration Act or Smith Act of 1940 is a United States federal statute that set criminal penalties for advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government and required all non-citizen adult residents to register with the government.
  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain
    Hitler gained control of the Air over Britain by launching air attacks with the German Luftwaffe. The British in return, launched air raids on German Cities which caused the Luftwaffe to change its target to London.
  • Lend-Lease

    Lend-Lease was the program under which the United States of America supplied the Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law a year and a half after the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939 but nine months before the U.S. entered the war in December 1941. Formally titled An Act to Further Promote the Defense of the United States, the Act effectively ended the United States' pretense of neutrality.
  • Attacking Pearl Harbor

    Attacking Pearl Harbor
    The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States.
  • Wansee Conference

    Wansee Conference
    This meeting of senior officials of the Nazi German regime was in order to inform administrative leaders of the chief executor's, Reinhard Heydrichhief, "Final solution to the Jewish question". During the meeting, Heydrich presented a plan for the deportation the Jewish population of Europe and French North Africa to German-occupied areas in eastern Europe, and the use of the Jews fit for labour on road-building projects, during which they would eventually die and survivors would be killed.
  • Japanese-American Internment

    Japanese-American Internment
    This was the relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt authorized the internment which allowed local military commanders to designate "military areas" as "exclusion zones," from which "any or all persons may be excluded."
  • Bataan Death March

    Bataan Death March
    This was the forcible transfer, by the Imperial Japanese Army, of 76,000 American and Filipino POW's after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of prisoners. The 60 mi march was characterized by wide-ranging physical abuse and murder, and resulted in very high fatalities inflicted upon prisoners and civilians alike by the Japanese Army, and was later judged by an Allied military commission to be a Japanese war crime.
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    Zoot Suit Riots

    The Zoot Suit Riots were a series of riots in 1943 during World War II that erupted in Los Angeles, California between white sailors and Marines stationed throughout the city and Latino youths, who were recognizable by the zoot suits they favored. While Mexican Americans and military servicemen were the main parties in the riots. These riots were in part the effect of the infamous Sleepy Lagoon murder which involved the death of a young Latino man in a barrio near Los Angeles.
  • A Forced Resignation

    A Forced Resignation
    When Mussolini tried to tell the king about the meeting of the Grand Co, Victor Emmanuel cut him off and told him that he was being replaced by Marshal Pietro Badoglio. After Mussolini left the palace, he was arrested by Carabinieri on the king's orders. By this time, discontent with Mussolini was such that when the news of his ouster was announced on the radio, there was no resistance. He was then sent to Campo Imperatore, a mountain resort in Abruzzo where he was completely isolated.
  • Invasion of Normandy

    Invasion of Normandy
    D-Day was the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, in Operation Overlord, during World War II. In planning, D-Day was the term used for the day of actual landing, which was dependent on final approval. The landings were conducted in two phases: an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France starting at 6:30 AM.
  • GI Bill of Rights

    GI Bill of Rights
    The G.I. Bill was a law that provided college (or high school or vocational education) for returning WWII veterans (commonly referred to as G.I.s) as well as one year of unemployment compensation. It also provided many different types of loans for returning veterans to buy homes and start businesses and farms. It reached every veteran who had been on active duty during the war years for at least ninety days and had not been dishonorably discharged. Combat was not required.
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    The Battle of Leyte Gulf

    This is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of WWII and possibly the largest naval battle in history. It was fought in waters near the Philippine islands of Leyte, Samar between combined US and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy. United States troops invaded the island of Leyte as part of a strategy aimed at isolating Japan from the countries it had occupied in South East Asia, and in particular depriving its forces and industry of vital oil supplies.
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    The Battle of the Bulge

    This major German offensive launched toward the end of WWII through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region, France and Luxembourg on the Western Front. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line. For the Americans, with about 840,000 men committed and some 89,000 casualties (19,000 killed) this was the largest and bloodiest battle they fought in WWII.
  • V-E Day

    V-E Day
    Victory in Europe Day commemorates the date when the WWII Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. On April 30, Hitler committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin, and so the surrender of Germany was authorized by his replacement, President of Germany Karl Dönitz. The act of military surrender was signed on May 7, in Reims, France, and ratified on May 8, in Berlin, Germany.
  • Fat Man and Little Boy

    Fat Man and Little Boy
    Aug. 6th, 1945 an American plane dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The city was destroyed and 70,000 of its 200,000 citizens were killed. Two days later the soviet union declared war on Japan. The next day the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Finally emperor Hirohito forced the government to surrender on Aug 14th. They signed a peace agreement on the USS Missouri in Tokyo bay on September 2, 1945.
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    Nuremburg Trials

    These were a series of 12 military trials for war crimes against surviving members of the leadership of Nazi Germany after WWII. In total, 142 of the 185 defendants were found guilty of at least one of the charges. 24 people received death sentences, of which 11 were converted into life sentences; 20 were sentenced to life in prison; 98 received sentences of varying lengths, and 35 were aquitted. Four were removed from trials due to illness, and four committed suicide during the trials.
  • First Black Baseball Player

    First Black Baseball Player
    Jack Roosevelt Robinson was an American baseball player who became the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    This was the large-scale American program to aid Europe where the U.S. gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of WWII in order to combat the spread of Soviet communism. The plan was in operation for four years. The goals of the U.S. were to rebuild a war-devastated region, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, and make Europe prosperous again. It offered the same aid to the Soviet Union and its allies, but they did not accept it.
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    Berlin Blockade

    This was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War and the first resulting in casualties. During the multinational occupation of post-World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway and road access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied control. Their aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel, thereby giving the Soviets practical control over the entire city.
  • Response to the Berlin Blockade

    Response to the Berlin Blockade
    On June 25,1948, Clay gave the order to launch Operation Vittles. The next day thirty-two C-47s lifted off for Berlin hauling 80 tons of cargo, including milk, flour, and medicine. The first British aircraft flew on June 28. At that time, the airlift was expected to last three weeks.
  • The U.S. Joins NATO

    The U.S. Joins NATO
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty. The NATO headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, and the organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.
  • The Korean War Begins

    The Korean War Begins
    Although reunification negotiations continued in the months preceding the war, tension intensified. Cross-border skirmishes and raids at the 38th Parallel persisted. The situation escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces invaded South Korea. It was the first significant armed conflict of the Cold War.
  • Ratification

    The Twenty-second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution sets a term limit for the President of the United States. Congress passed the amendment on March 21, 1947. It was ratified by the requisite number of states on February 27, 1951.
  • An End to the War

    An End to the War
    The United Nations Command, supported by the United States, the North Korean Korean People's Army, and the Chinese People's Volunteers, signed the Armistice Agreement to end the fighting. The Armistice also called upon the governments of South Korea, North Korea, China and the United States to participate in continued peace talks. The war is considered to have ended at this point, even though there was no peace treaty. North Korea nevertheless claims that it won the Korean War.
  • Brown V. Board of Educations

    Brown V. Board of Educations
    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which allowed state-sponsored segregation. The Warren Court's unanimous decision stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
  • Bus Boycott

    Bus Boycott
    On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Parks' act of defiance became an important symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement and Parks became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation.
  • Little Rock Nine

    Little Rock Nine
    The Little Rock Nine was a group of African-American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The ensuing Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, and then attended after the intervention of President Eisenhower, is considered to be one of the most important events in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion

    Bay of Pigs Invasion
    This invasion was an unsuccessful attempt by United States-backed Cuban exiles to overthrow the government of the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Increasing friction between the U.S. government and Castro's leftist regime led President Dwight D. Eisenhower to break off diplomatic relations with Cuba in January 1961. Even before that, however, the CIA had been training anti-revolutionary Cuban exiles for a possible invasion of the island. The invasion plan was approved by John F. Kennedy.
  • The First US Man in Space

    The First US Man in Space
    Alan Shepard became the first American in space in the tiny Mercury space capsule called Freedom 7. He was one of the original seven astronauts, who have become known as the "Mercury 7".
  • The Berlin Wall

    The Berlin Wall
    In the afternoon of August 12 at 4 p.m. Walter Ulbricht, the East German leader, signed the commands to close the border. Next Sunday at midnight the army, police and the "Kampfgruppen" began to bolt the city. The wall is built and separates the city into two parts for more than 28 years.
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    Cuban Missile Crisis

    The Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the world ever came to nuclear war. The United States armed forces were at their highest state of readiness ever and Soviet field commanders in Cuba were prepared to use battlefield nuclear weapons to defend the island if it was invaded.
  • Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

    Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
    On August 5, 1963, after more than eight years of difficult negotiations, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
  • "I Have a Dream"

    "I Have a Dream"
    "I Have a Dream" is a 17-minute public speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. The speech, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. Delivered to over 200,000 civil rights supporters, the speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address.
  • JFK Assassinated

    JFK Assassinated
    Shortly after noon on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as he rode in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    In 1964 Congress passed Public Law 82-352. The provisions of this civil rights act forbade discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race in hiring, promoting, and firing. The word "sex" was added at the last moment. According to the West Encyclopedia of American Law, Representative Howard W. Smith (D-VA) added the word. His critics argued that Smith, a conservative Southern opponent of federal civil rights, did so to kill the entire bill.
  • First Black Supreme Court Judge

    First Black Supreme Court Judge
    Before his subsequent nomination to the United States Supreme Court in 1967, Thurgood Marshall won 14 of the 19 cases he argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of the government. Indeed, Thurgood Marshall represented and won more cases before the United States Supreme Court than any other American.
  • MLK Assassinated

    MLK Assassinated
    The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the opening acts which plunged 1968 into a year of turmoil. King's assassination was soon followed by the murder of Robert Kennedy, violence at the Democratic National Convention, and a general unraveling of the country into a period of violence and despair.
  • Robert F. Kennedy Assassinated

    Robert F. Kennedy Assassinated
    Senator Robert F. Kennedy was making his way from the ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, to give a press conference, after winning the California Primary. The prearranged route went through a food service pantry. While making his way through this area, a Palastinian Arab, Sirhan Sirhan, stepped forward and fired a .22 revolver at the Senator. Although Sirhan was quickly subdued, Kennedy and five others were wounded, although only Kennedy was fatally wounded.
  • First Man on the Moon

    First Man on the Moon
    Apollo 11's mission was to land two men on the moon. They also had to come back to Earth safely. Apollo 11 blasted off on July 16, 1969. Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins were the astronauts on Apollo 11. Four days later, Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon. They landed on the moon in the Lunar Module. It was called the Eagle. Collins stayed in orbit around the moon. He did experiments and took pictures.
  • 26th Amendment Ratified

    26th Amendment Ratified
    The 26th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed by Congress during the Vietnam War. The amendment provided the right to vote to individuals who were eighteen years of age. Previous to this, the 14th Amendment had set the voting age at 21. Very strong feelings existed that if people were old enough to serve and die for their country, they should also be able to vote for those people sending them to war.
  • Watergate Scandal

    Watergate Scandal
    During the election campaign of 1972 there was a break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic Party at the Watergate complex in Washington. Reports began to claim that some of Nixon's top officials were involved in organizing the Watergate break-in.
  • Nixon's Resignation

    Nixon's Resignation
    Under extreme pressure, Nixon supplied tapescripts of the missing tapes. It was now clear that Nixon had been involved in the cover-up and members of the Senate began to call for his impeachment. Nixon became the first President of the United States to resign from office.
  • The End of a 10-Year Moratorium

    The End of a 10-Year Moratorium
    Over two days in 1976, Gilmore shot two men in cold blood during robberies. He was turned in by a family member, whom he had called after injuring his hand during the second murder. His trial lasted only two days, and he was sentenced to death. Offered a choice as to the mode of execution, he opted to be shot. Gilmore refused to appeal, and fired his lawyers. Gilmore was executed by a volunteer firing squad in Utah State prison. He was the first man to be executed in the U.S. in ten years.
  • Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident

    Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident
    The accident happened at 4 am; due to equipment failure and operator error, a partial nuclear core meltdown of the TMI’s Unit 2 reactor, the worst nuclear plant emergency in U.S. history, occurred. Conflicting reports from various sources made it difficult for others to assess the situation.
  • First Female Supreme Court Justice

    First Female Supreme Court Justice
    In 1979, O’Connor was selected to serve on the state’s court of appeals. Only two years later, President Ronald Reagan nominated her for associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. O’Connor received unanimous approval from the U.S. Senate. She broke new ground for women in the legal field when she was sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court.
  • Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Opened

    Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Opened
    The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was founded by Jan Scruggs. He wanted the memorial to acknowledge and recognize the service and sacrifice of all who served in Vietnam. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc. (VVMF), a nonprofit charitable organization was incorporated by a group of Vietnam veterans in D.C. President Jimmy Carter signed the legislation to provide a site in Constitution Gardens near the Lincoln Memorial. It was a three and half year task to build the memorial.
  • Star Wars Missile Defense System

    Star Wars Missile Defense System
    The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to use ground- and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic offense doctrine of mutual assured destruction (MAD).
  • Space Shuttle Explosion

    Space Shuttle Explosion
    The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred when the shuttle broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida at 11:38 am. Disintegration of the entire vehicle began after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster failed at liftoff.
  • Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

    Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
    The tanker Exxon Valdez grounded on Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound, rupturing its hull and spilling nearly 11 million gallons of Prudhoe Bay crude oil into a remote, scenic, and biologically productive body of water. In the weeks and months that followed, the oil spread over a wide area in Prince William Sound and beyond, resulting in an unprecedented response and cleanup.
  • The Tearing Down of the Berlin Wall

    The Tearing Down of the Berlin Wall
    The Berlin wall was a separation of East and West Germany who came together as one in 1989. The Berlin wall was torn down to show that this union had been made.
  • End of the Cold War

    End of the Cold War
    During 1989 and 1990, the Berlin Wall came down, borders opened, and free elections ousted Communist regimes everywhere in eastern Europe. In late 1991 the Soviet Union itself dissolved into its component republics. With stunning speed, the Iron Curtain was lifted and the Cold War came to an end.
  • World Trade Center Bombing

    World Trade Center Bombing
    At 12:18 p.m., a terrorist bomb exploded in a parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City, causing the collapse of several steel-reinforced concrete floors in the vicinity of the blast. Although the terrorist bomb failed to critically damage the main structure of the skyscrapers, six people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured.
  • The Best Day Ever

    I was born. (:
  • Republicans Gain Control

    Republicans Gain Control
    During the 1994 mid-term elections, the Republicans gained control of the House and the Senate.
  • Dolly is Cloned

    Dolly is Cloned
    Dolly the sheep became a scientific sensation when her birth was announced in 1997. Her relatively early death in February 2003 fuels the debate about the ethics of cloning research and the long-term health of clones.
  • U.S. Embassy Bombings

    U.S. Embassy Bombings
    On Aug. 7, 1998, the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, were bombed by terrorists, leaving 258 people dead and more than 5,000 injured.
  • 9-11 Terrorist Attacks

    9-11 Terrorist Attacks
    8:42 a.m. -- AAL Flight 11 hits 1 World Trade Center. 9:03 a.m. a.m. -- UAL Flight 175 strikes 2 World World Trade Center. 9:25 a.m. -- The Federal Aviation Administration orders a shutdown of all airports nationwide. 9:40 a.m. --AAL Flight 77 crashes into the west face of the Pentagon. 10:05 a.m. -- WTC 2 collapses 10:10 a.m. -- Part of the Pentagon collapses 10:29 a.m. -- WTC 1 collapses. 10:40 a.m. -- UAL Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 5:20 p.m. -- WTC 7 collapses.
  • Facebook

    Mark Zukerberg launched FaceBook.
  • Mars Rover Landing

    Mars Rover Landing
    The $400 million NASA craft, the first to land without disaster on the red planet since 1997, probably woke up around 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday. That was a few hours after Martian dawn, when the sun's rays juiced up its solar panels enough for it to wake itself up.
  • Hurricane Katrina

    Hurricane Katrina
    Hurricane Katrina was one of the strongest storms to impact the coast of the United States during the last 100 years. With sustained winds during landfall of 125 mph and minimum central pressure the third lowest on record at landfall, Katrina caused widespread devastation along the central Gulf Coast states of the US.
  • Twitter Launched

    Twitter Launched
    Jack Dorsey launcheed Twitter.
  • First Black President

    First Black President
    Barack Obama became the first United States Black President