• Period: to

    Prohibition Era

  • Rotary Club

    Rotary Club of Pittsburgh calls for a temporary prohibition of alcohol during World War I as a means of preserving wheat, corn, rye and barley used by distillers and brewers for the war effort.
  • Congress passes the 18th amendment

    Congress passes the 18th Amendment, which would restrict the manufacture and sale of alcohol. States are given seven years to ratify the measure.
  • 18th Amendment is ratified

    18th Amendment is ratified when Nebraska becomes 36th state to bar the “manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes”; 46 of 48 states eventually support prohibition, with Connecticut and Rhode Island as the only holdouts. (Alaska and Hawaii were not yet states.)
  • Congress passes the 19th amendment

    Congress passes the 19th Amendment to give women the right to vote; ratified by the states on Aug. 18, 1920. Women were instrumental in the temperance movement.
  • Wartime Prohibition Act

    Wartime Prohibition Act takes effect, restricting the sale of beverages containing more than 2.75% alcohol.
  • the first day

    the first day
    Commonly referred to at the time as June “Thirsty-First” — the first day after wartime prohibition started.
  • Congress overrides the veto

    Congress overrides President Woodrow Wilson's veto of the National Prohibition Act, commonly called the Volstead Act, which makes it illegal to manufacture beverages with more than a half-percent of alcohol and provides enforcement of the 18th Amendment. It is named for Andrew Volstead, a Minnesota Republican who served as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and introduced the bill.
  • The country goes dry

    The United States goes dry, shutting down the country's fifth largest Industry.
  • wall street crashes

    Wall street crashes which ushers the Great Depression
  • Period: to

    The Dust Bowl and Great Depression

  • 21st Amendment

    21st Amendment repeating Prohibition is ratified.
  • Dust storms begin spreading

    Great dust storms spread from the Dust Bowl area. The drought is the worst ever in US history, covering more than 75 percent of the country and affecting 27 states severely.
  • The Damage Done

    At a meeting in Pueblo, Colorado, experts estimate that 850,000,000 tons of topsoil has blown off the Southern Plains during the course of the year, and that if the drought continues, the total area affected would increase from 4,350,000 acres to 5,350,000 acres by the spring of 1936. CH Wilson of the Resettlement Administration proposes buying up 2,250,000 acres and retiring it from cultivation.
  • Drought Relief Service

    The federal government forms a Drought Relief Service to coordinate relief activities. The DRS buys cattle in counties that are designated emergency areas, for $14 to $20 a head. Those unfit for human consumption – more than 50 percent at the beginning of the program – are destroyed. The remaining cattle are given to the Federal Surplus Relief Corporation to be used in food distribution to families nationwide.
  • Emergency Relief Appropriation Act

    DR approves the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, which provides $525 million for drought relief, and authorizes creation of the Works Progress Administration, which will employ 8.5 million people.
  • Black Sunday

    The worst “black blizzard” of the Dust Bowl occurs, causing extensive damage.
  • Soil Conservation Service

    Congress declares soil erosion “a national menace” in an act establishing the Soil Conservation Service in the Department of Agriculture (formerly the Soil Erosion Service in the US Department of Interior). Under the direction of Hugh H. Bennett, the SCS will develop extensive conservation programs that retain topsoil and prevent irreparable damage to the land. Farming techniques such as strip cropping, terracing, crop rotation, contour plowing, and cover crops are advocated.
  • American Civil Liberties

    Los Angeles Police Chief James E. Davis sends 125 policemen to patrol the borders of Arizona and Oregon to keep “undesirables” out. As a result, the American Civil Liberties Union sues the city.
  • The Shelter-belt Project begins

    FDR's Shelter-belt Project begins. The project calls for large-scale planting of trees across the Great Plains, stretching in a 100-mile wide zone from Canada to northern Texas, to protect the land from erosion. Native trees, such as red cedar and green ash, are planted along fence rows separating properties, and farmers and workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps are paid to plant and cultivate them.
  • Roosevelt's Address

    Roosevelt addresses the nation in his second inaugural address, stating, “I see one-third of the nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished… the test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
  • The rain finally comes

    In the fall, the rain comes, finally bringing an end to the drought. During the next few years, with the coming of World War II, the country is pulled out of the Depression and the plains once again become golden with wheat.
  • Period: to

    1960's and Public Protests

  • Executive Order

    President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 9981 to end segregation in the Armed Services.
  • Brown V. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education, a consolidation of five cases into one, is decided by the Supreme Court, effectively ending racial segregation in public schools. Many schools, however, remained segregated.
  • 16th Street Bombing

    A bomb at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama kills four young girls and injures several other people prior to Sunday services. The bombing fuels angry protests.
  • Civil Rights Act

    Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1957 into law to help protect voter rights. The law allows federal prosecution of those who suppress another's right to vote.
  • Malcolm X is assassinated

    Black religious leader Malcolm X is assassinated during a rally by members of the Nation of Islam.
  • Bloody Sunday

    In the Selma to Montgomery March, around 600 civil rights marchers walk to Selma, Alabama to Montgomery—the state's capital—in protest of Black voter suppression. Local police block and brutally attack them. After successfully fighting in court for their right to march, Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders lead two more marches and finally reach Montgomery on March 25.
  • Voting Rights Act

    President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to prevent the use of literacy tests as a voting requirement. It also allowed federal examiners to review voter qualifications and federal observers to monitor polling places.
  • MLK is assassinated

    Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray is convicted of the murder in 1969.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1968

    President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act, providing equal housing opportunity regardless of race, religion or national origin.