U.S. History: 1877-2008

Timeline created by Brian.Sadiku
In History
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    Early American History

  • Declaration Of Independence Signed

    On July 4, 1776, the 13 colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States.
  • Constitution Written

    members of the Constitutional Convention signed the final draft of the Constitution. Two days earlier, when a final vote was called, Edmund Randolph called for another convention to carefully review the Constitution as it stood.
  • Bill of Rights ratified

    Once the Bill of Rights was ratified by three-fourths of the states in 1791, it became part of the law of the land, and there was no legal need for any further ratifications. At the time Virginia ratified, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Georgia had not sent their approvals to Congress
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    Civil War/Reconstruction

  • Homestead Act (1862): provided 160 acres to anyone willing to settle on land in the west

    President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862. On January 1, 1863, Daniel Freeman made the first claim under the Act, which gave citizens or future citizens up to 160 acres of public land provided they live on it, improve it, and pay a small registration fee.
  • 13th Amendment: abolished slavery

    Passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States and provides that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,
  • 14th Amendment: citizenship & due process

    Fourteenth Amendment, amendment (1868) to the Constitution of the United States that granted citizenship and equal civil and legal rights to African Americans and slaves who had been emancipated after the American Civil War, including them under the umbrella phrase “all persons born or naturalized in the United States
  • Transcontinental Railroad Completed

    A transcontinental railroad or transcontinental railway is contiguous railroad track age that crosses a continental land mass and has terminals at different oceans or continental borders.
  • 15th Amendment: voting for all male citizens

    One of those rights was the right to vote, also known as suffrage or enfranchisement. African Americans had been fighting for the right to participate in the political process since before the Civil War. ... The Fifteenth Amendment would guarantee protection against racial discrimination in voting.
  • Telephone invented by Alexander

    Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. He also co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in 1885.
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    The Gilded Age

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    The Progressive Era (

  • Sherman Antitrust Act (1890): outlawed business monopolies

    The Sherman Anti-Trust Act was the first Federal act that outlawed monopolistic business practices. The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was the first measure passed by the U.S. Congress to prohibit trusts.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson: legalized segregation, established “separate but equal”

    Plessy v. Ferguson was a landmark 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine. The case stemmed from an 1892 incident in which African American train passenger Homer Plessy refused to sit in a car for blacks.
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    Imperialism

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    World War I

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    Roaring Twenties

  • The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

    In post-revolutionary Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is established, comprising a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation
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    Great Depression

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    World War II

  • 1945: United Nations formed

    The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year.
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    Early Cold War

  • Containment

    Containment was a United States policy using numerous strategies to prevent the spread of communism abroad. A component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to a series of moves by the Soviet Union to enlarge its communist sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, China, Korea, and Vietnam.
  • 22nd Amendment

    The amendment prohibits anyone who has been elected president twice from being elected again. Under the amendment, someone who fills an unexpired presidential term lasting more than two years is also prohibited from being elected president more than once.
  • Truman Doctrine (1947)

    The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy the stated purpose of which was to contain Soviet geopolitical expansion during the Cold War. It was announced to Congress by President Harry S. ... More generally, the Truman Doctrine implied American support for other nations thought to be threatened by Soviet communism.
  • Marshall Plan (1948)

    The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was a U.S. program providing aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. It was enacted in 1948 and provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent
  • 1948: Berlin Airlift

    In response to the Soviet blockade of land routes into West Berlin, the United States begins a massive airlift of food, water, and medicine to the citizens of the besieged city. ... The Soviet action was in response to the refusal of American and British officials to allow Russia more say in the economic future of Germany.
  • 1949: NATO established

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union. NATO was the first peacetime military alliance the United States entered into outside of the Western Hemisphere.
  • Communism

    Truman pledged that the United States would help any nation resist communism in order to prevent its spread. His policy of containment is known as the Truman Doctrine. ... To help rebuild after the war, the United States pledged $13 billion of aid to Europe in the Marshall Plan.
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    Civil Rights Era

  • 1951: Rosenberg's trial

    On June 19, 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, are executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. Both refused to admit any wrongdoing and proclaimed their innocence right up to the time of their deaths, by the electric chair.
  • 1952: First H-Bomb detonated by the United States

    The world's first thermonuclear weapon test, code-named Mike, was carried out by the United States at Enewetak atoll in the Marshall Islands, November 1, 1952. Thermonuclear weapons, or hydrogen bombs, use the energy of a primary fission explosion to ignite a hydrogen fusion reaction.
  • 1950-1953: Korean War

    The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following clashes along the border and insurrections in the south. The war ended unofficially on 27 July 1953 in an armistice.
  • Domino Theory

    The domino theory was a Cold War policy that suggested a communist government in one nation would quickly lead to communist takeovers in neighboring states, each falling like a perfectly aligned row of dominos.
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    Vietnam War

  • Arms Race/Space Race

    The Space Race was an informal 20th-century competition between two Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States (US), to achieve firsts in spaceflight capability. It had its origins in the ballistic missile-based nuclear arms race between the two nations following World War II.
  • 1955: Jonas Salk invents the Polio Vaccine

    The first polio vaccine, known as inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) or Salk vaccine, was developed in the early 1950s by American physician Jonas Salk. This vaccine contains killed virus and is given by injection. The large-scale use of IPV began in February 1954, when it was administered to American schoolchildren
  • 1957: USSR launches Sputnik

    the Soviet Union launched the earth's first artificial satellite, Sputnik I. The successful launch came as a shock to experts and citizens in the United States, who had hoped that the United States would accomplish this scientific advancement first.
  • 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis

    The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the October Crisis of 1962, the Caribbean Crisis, or the Missile Scare, was a 1 month, 4 days confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union
  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964)

    begins undeclared war in Vietnam
  • 1965: Medicare and Medicaid established

    On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Social Security Act Amendments, popularly known as the Medicare bill. It established Medicare, a health insurance program for the elderly, and Medicaid, a health insurance program for the poor.
  • 1971: Pentagon Papers leaked

    The Pentagon Papers, officially titled "Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force", was commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967. In June of 1971, small portions of the report were leaked to the press and widely distributed.
  • 1968: Tet Offensive

    In late January, 1968, during the lunar new year (or “Tet”) holiday, North Vietnamese and communist Viet Cong forces launched a coordinated attack against a number of targets in South Vietnam. ... The Tet Offensive played an important role in weakening U.S. public support for the war in Vietnam.
  • Tinker v. Des Moines

    defined the First Amendment rights for students in the United States Public Schools
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    End of the Cold War

  • 26th Amendment

    moved the voting age from 21 years old to 18 years old
  • War Powers Act (1973)

    Law limited the President’s right to send troops to battle without Congressional approval
  • 1975: Fall of Saigon, marks the end of the Vietnam War

    The Fall of Saigon, also known as the Liberation of Saigon, was the capture of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, by the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong on 30 April 1975.
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    1990s-21st Century