U.S. History Timeline

By kmui
  • G.I. Bill

    G.I. Bill
    This bill was used to lure in more volunteers for the army. Established by Roosevelt, the Servicemen's Readjustment Act has provided a bountiful amount of income for veterans who wish to pursue their education.
  • Hiroshima

    Hiroshima
    America's first atomic bomb, Little Boy, was dropped on Hiroshima in Japan. This was America's attempt to finalize the war, through nuclear weapons.
  • Iron Curtain

    Iron Curtain
    The Iron Curtain was a boundary which divided Western and Eastern Europe. The East was the Soviet Union, while the West were democrats.
  • 2nd Red Scare

    2nd Red Scare
    This was the mass hysteria of communism infiltrating American land and foreign countries. After WWII, Joseph McCarthy induced "McCarthyism" through accusing government officials of treason by siding with communism.
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    Cold War

  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    The Truman Doctrine is President Truman's policy of providing economic/military aid to any country threatened by communism. This was part of the plan to contain communism so that it does not spread and harm other countries.
  • Berlin Airlift

    Berlin Airlift
    Once Stalin put up the Berlin wall, the citizens had no way of obtaining supplies or food. To counteract this, the U.S. and British sent ships in order to drop materials down for them to survive. Eventually, the border was reopened.
  • Fair Deal

    Fair Deal
    Passed by President Truman, this deal wished for Americans to have health insurance, higher minimum wage, and equal rights. Everything except for health insurance was passed; this led to the development of the Employment Act of 1946.
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    1950s

  • Beat Generation

    Beat Generation
    This movement consisted of "proto-hippies" who supported a variety of different things. These included drugs, sex, jazz, and sought peace at mind.
  • Television

    Television
    This was the 1950's version of the radio. From news, entertainment, and politics, the TV provided it all. A majority of American families owned one, and that's where their source of information came from.
  • News on TV

    News on TV
    As newspapers became too material consuming, people brought their attention towards the TV. It was a quick and visual source of news which everyone can witness.
  • Polio Vaccine

    Polio Vaccine
    Created by Dr. Joseph Salk, this vaccine was the cure to the immobilizing disease. After several generations, polio is nearly gone from a majority of the population, but still impacts poorer countries.
  • Earl Warren Supreme Court

    Earl Warren Supreme Court
    An American politician, Earl Warren, is appointed as the 14th Chief of Justice. Primarily, he is known for outlawing segregation within schools. He was included in numerous Supreme Court cases.
  • TV Shows

    TV Shows
    During this time, Americans needed a form of entertainment. Besides the news, TV Shows provided an adequate usage of leisure time.
  • Great Society

    Great Society
    In order to prevent economic poverty and racism in American society, Lyndon B. Johnson created the Great Society. Based off of previous presidents, such as Roosevelt's New Deal, Johnson created this set of domestic policies.
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    Civil Rights

  • Rock 'n' Roll

    Rock 'n' Roll
    This musical genre, created by the African American community, became one of the most iconic themes in the 1950s. With numerous stars, such as Elvis, teens became captivated.
  • Vietnam War

    Vietnam War
    America was included in Vietnam's communist fight. The North was controlled by communists, and the South wished for their freedom. A dictator, Ngo Kinh Diem was appointed to lead the anti-communist forces, but was assassinated.
  • Emmett Till Tragedy

    Emmett Till Tragedy
    Visiting his family, fourteen year old Emmett Till was murdered brutally in Mississippi. His death and open casket spurred the Civil Rights movement and the black community decided to take a stand.
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Montgomery Bus Boycott
    Rosa Parks, an African American woman was asked to move to the back by a white man. After refusing to give up her seat, they kicked her into jail. The black community rose and decided to boycott the bus, making them lose money, and carpooled instead.
  • Elvis Presley

    Elvis Presley
    The King, Elvis Presley, became one of the key symbols in Rock 'n' Roll history. Despite having "sexual" motions on television, he generated a mass amount of fans for the Rock 'n' Roll genre.
  • Little Rock 9

    Little Rock 9
    After African American parents wished to enroll their students in an all-white school in Little Rock, Arkansas, these students were declined initially. Persistent protests and riots created the Brown v. Board case, and eventually, the President decided to bring the national guard to escort these students.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1957

    Civil Rights Act of 1957
    President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed this bill in order to assist the black community. It unveiled that the government was slowly but surely taking a stand with the Civil Rights movement.
  • Space Race

    Space Race
    In a technological race against the Soviet Union, the United States attempted to keep up by sending a man to the moon. This occurred after the USSR sent the first satellite, Sputnik, into space.
  • Counter Culture

    Counter Culture
    During the 1960s, a new form of beatniks rose. Comprised of teens and young adults, they sided with the left and promoted sex, anti-war protests, and drugs.
  • Sit-Ins

    Sit-Ins
    In order to cause segregated diners to lose out on money, African Americans would sit in the white-only sections. The white population would become infuriated and either leave the establishment, or beat the black people. Being shown on television, this assisted many white people to assist the movement as they were peaceful.
  • Period: to

    1960s

  • Politics on TV

    Politics on TV
    The Election of 1960 was determined dramatically through the television. Kennedy and Nixon became the first two to stream the first presidential debate nationally, which inevitably caused Kennedy to win due to his sharp looks.
  • New Frontier

    New Frontier
    The aspirations of raising minimum wage, relieving overcrowded schools, and cutting taxes were brought to life within the New Frontier. Kennedy wished to propel American life even further.
  • Peace Corps

    Peace Corps
    Founded under the Kennedy Administration, this group inspired young students to undergo volunteering and humanitarian projects. In other countries, they are able to promote capitalism and liberalism whilst learning about different cultures.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    After the Bay of Pigs invasion, Nikita Khrushchev made a secret agreement with Fidel Castro to hold Soviet nuclear missiles. President Kennedy then sets up a quarantine around Cuba and demands Khrushchev to remove these missiles.
  • Birmingham March

    Birmingham March
    As thousands of peaceful black students left school to protest, this event became a major turning point in history. Four little girls were bombed at the 16th St. Baptist Church by white supremacist, causing a major uproar.
  • "I Have a Dream"

    "I Have a Dream"
    Martin Luther King Jr., publicly announced this iconic speech regarding his peaceful movement for civil rights. Occurring in Washington D.C., his plan was to end racism once for all.
  • Assassination of JFK

    Assassination of JFK
    While on his trip in Dallas, he was unfortunately shot in an open hood car. Despite Lee Harvey Oswald taking the blame, there were many conspiracies regarding this suspicious murder.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald

    Lee Harvey Oswald
    A former U.S. Marine who deterred to communist forces, giving up his citizenship, was somehow able to come back as a citizen. Oswald was charged for killing JFK, but conspiracies still brew. Two days after, he is then killed by Jack Ruby.
  • Warren Commission

    Warren Commission
    This commission was in charge of investigating all things related to JFK's assassination. Their information is soon to be released in 2017. Due to many conspiracies regarding his death, the commission appears to be a failure.
  • Freedom Summer

    Freedom Summer
    In an attempt to register as many African-American voters in the state of Mississippi, this was another important event in the Civil Rights movement. Unfortunately, three civilians were deemed missing, two white boys and one black boy. All three were found dead, killed by KKK members.
  • Daisy Girl Ad

    Daisy Girl Ad
    This advertisement, shown on TV, depicts a little girl in the field picking flowers. A bright flash appears on the screen, resembling an atomic bomb. The innocence of the girl struck emotions of the public, and won Johnson the election.
  • Selma March

    Selma March
    Also known as Bloody Sunday, this gruesome march were determined to protest in Montgomery. However, towards the end of the march, many cops were there, armed with gas and clubs. Streamed on national television, many were repulsed with this and forced the government to intervene.
  • Watts Riots

    Watts Riots
    After an African-American was arrested for "drunk driving," the black community became outraged. This spurred violent acts, going against MLKJ's primary goal of keeping a non-violent resistance. As a result, the Civil Rights movement lost many white supporters.
  • LSD

    LSD
    LSD is a common and popular drug among the Counter Culture. Lysergic acid diethylamine was used in order to induce hallucinations and to experience psychological visions. Inevitably, the drug was banned on October 24.
  • Nixon's Presidency

    Nixon's Presidency
    Being the only U.S. President to resign, his presidency was ultimately a failure. The public practically forced Nixon to resign due to his illegal actions. His only notable action besides the Watergate Scandal is withdrawing U.S. soldiers from Vietnam.
  • Warren Burger Supreme Court

    Warren Burger Supreme Court
    The 15th Supreme Court Justice, Warren Burger was appointed by Richard Nixon. The Warren Court was very liberal, and assisted in expanding civil rights, liberties, and judicial power. Burger was included in the Roe v. Wade case.
  • Apollo 11

    Apollo 11
    During the Race to the Moon, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first two to step on the moon. "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Apollo 11 is the carrier that brought them to the moon.
  • Period: to

    1970s

  • Equal Rights Amendment

    Equal Rights Amendment
    This amendment was passed in order to provide equality for all, regardless of gender. The Women's Right movement highly wished for this amendment to be passed. However, it was not made an official amendment due to it failing the three/fourths approval.
  • Watergate Scandal

    Watergate Scandal
    This scandal was the primary downfall of Nixon's presidency, forcing him to resign. He assigned "plumbers" to break in at the Watergate complex to obtain information, but the plumbers were eventually subdued by security.
  • Roe v. Wade

    Roe v. Wade
    This Supreme Court case pertained to women's rights and abortion. It ruled that a women had the right to abort their fetus before the third trimester. Overall, it was a major turning point in feminism and boosted the movement.
  • Gerald Ford Presidency

    Gerald Ford Presidency
    He is the successor of President Nixon, after he resigned. Ford will become the first person to become an unelected president in history. After Watergate, his primary purpose was to restore faith in the government.
  • Jimmy Carter's Presidency

    Jimmy Carter's Presidency
    Carter created the Department of Energy during his presidency, but he lost credibility once he let the charges on Nixon go. However, the Camp David Accords made up for this.
  • Camp David Accords

    Camp David Accords
    The Camp David Accords was a peace treaty between the countries of Egypt and Israel. After twelve secret days at Camp David, it was finally signed in front of Carter.
  • Black Entertainment Television (BET)

    Black Entertainment Television (BET)
    Established by Robert L. Johnson, the main audience were African-Americans. BET helped progress the equality of black and white people. This is also owned by the Networks division of Viacom.
  • Three-Mile Island

    Three-Mile Island
    Three-Mile Island was a catastrophic nuclear accident, in which a cooling malfunction caused the core of the second reactor to melt. Despite having no real danger to the workers or citizens, it reminded America of the dangers it posed.
  • Iran Hostage Crisis

    Iran Hostage Crisis
    This crisis involved Iran and American citizens. For 444 days, 52 Americans were held hostage. Iranians did this because they did not wish to have the Shah rule over them, and America was holding the Shah from them.
  • Period: to

    1980s

  • Election of 1980

    Election of 1980
    In the election between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, there was only one clear victor. Due to Carter's errors during the Iran Hostage Crisis, Reagan won in a landslide.
  • Reagan Presidency

    Reagan Presidency
    The Republican, Ronald Reagan was one of the most economically influential presidents out there. Known for Reaganomics and the Iran Contra Affair, he had a lasting impact on history.
  • Reaganomics

    Reaganomics
    This was the economic plan that Reagan utilized in order to propel America into economic greatness. With tax reductions and high employment rates, America would slowly catch up to its competitors and living in the States would be made easier for those of lower classes.
  • Space Shuttle Program

    Space Shuttle Program
    Also known as the Space Transportation System, it revolutionized NASA and other technological advances. However, one of its biggest downfalls is the explosion of the Challenger Shuttle.
  • Music Television (MTV)

    Music Television (MTV)
    MTV was created by a company called the Viacom Media Networks. It was a phenomenal channel which appealed to the younger generation, providing visuals of NASA expeditions and music.
  • Sandra Day O'Connor

    Sandra Day O'Connor
    Sandra Day O'Connor becomes elected as the first female Supreme Court Justice. The feminist movement idolized her, and she was recognized as a conservative republican.
  • Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) "Star Wars"

    Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) "Star Wars"
    The Strategic Defense Initiative was implemented under the presidency of Reagan. This was used in order to take necessary precautions against possible ICBM attacks from other countries. The Soviet Union attempted to beat the Americans through spending millions on research, but was wasted in the end.
  • Reagan Doctrine

    Reagan Doctrine
    In order to prevent communism from spreading, Reagan conducted the Reagan Doctrine. This states that the U.S. will provide support to anti-communist groups. As a result, terrorist groups and rebels were formed due to this.
  • Iran Contra Affair

    Iran Contra Affair
    During this affair, Reagan was secretly providing Iran with weapons to fight against the communists. Additionally, this unfortunately caused distrust in the government and spurred the synthesis of terrorist groups.
  • Challenger Explosion

    Challenger Explosion
    Occurring during Reagan's presidency, the space shuttle Challenger horrifically exploded as it launched on its 10th mission. The failure was caused due to cold temperature of two rubber O-rings. This catastrophe caused NASA to postpone any shuttle missions for a while.
  • Oprah Winfrey

    Oprah Winfrey
    Oprah Winfrey is an inspiration to feminists and the black community. She is a very successful talk show host and is a billionaire, owning the Oprah Winfrey show.
  • Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Fall of the Berlin Wall
    This antifascist bulwark separated the East and West. It represents one of the most symbolic icons in the Cold War.
  • Period: to

    1990s

  • Rodney King Incident

    Rodney King Incident
    Taxi driver Rodney King was brutally beat by law enforcement cops after a high-speed car chase. The portrayal of his injuries unveiled the corruption of how the government treats minorities, and made the general public concerned.
  • Balkans Crisis

    Balkans Crisis
    This crisis involved the genocide of Muslims. The act of ethnic cleansing was so brutal that NATO had to intervene to prevent any further massacre. President Clinton wished to help by bombing the Serbs, but the European nations opposed.
  • Election of 1992

    Election of 1992
    This election included George H.W. Bush, Ross Perot, and Bill Clinton. The democrat Bill Clinton won with a majority of the electoral and popular votes.
  • World Trade Center Attack (1993)

    World Trade Center Attack (1993)
    The attack on the World Trade Center was a terrorist bombing. Although it was very minimal, it damaged over a thousand people and killed six. The tragedy on September 11th was an even worse catastrophe.
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

    North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
    NAFTA is a treaty between Canada, the United States of America, and Mexico. It was used to create one of the world's largest free trade zone. it helped the economic growth of these three countries.
  • Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy

    Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy
    This policy, enacted by Clinton, prevents discrimination from those who are closeted in the LGBTQ community. However, if they are openly homosexual, then they are banned from joining the military.
  • Lewinsky Affair

    Lewinsky Affair
    Bill Clinton's presidency was flawed with this scandal. His intern, Monica Lewinsky, had sexual affairs with him while he was in the White House. This caused him to resign due to public hatred.
  • Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

    Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
    This act states that marriage is only between a woman and a man. Thus, states had the option to prevent same-sex marriage from occurring. During Obama's presidency, he repealed this act.
  • Election of 2000

    Election of 2000
    This election consisted of George W. Bush and Al Gore. Being one of the closest elections ever, Bush won with only five more electoral votes, despite Gore winning the popular vote. The election led to the Supreme Court Case.
  • Bush v. Gore (SCOTUS Case)

    Bush v. Gore (SCOTUS Case)
    This case had the state of Florida and others manually recount all of the votes. Due to a very close electoral vote against Bush and Gore, Secretary Harris dismissed their late votes and Bush ended up winning.
  • 9/11 Attacks

    9/11 Attacks
    One of the most commonly terrorist attacks, September 11 attacks were directed under Osama Bin Laden. The tragic event caused two planes to crash into the twin towers, or the World Trade Center, one in the pentagon, and one in a clear area once the passengers of a plane realized their plane was hijacked through media.
  • PATRIOT Act

    PATRIOT Act
    The PATRIOT Act, or the Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, is used to ensure proper citizen behavior. Unfortunately, it violated private rights and caused citizens to distrust the government once again.
  • No Child Left Behind Education Act

    No Child Left Behind Education Act
    Under Bush's presidency, this act required students between the grades of three-eight to take standardized tests. This assures that every child is where they need to be.
  • 2nd Iraq War

    2nd Iraq War
    This war, between America and Iraq, had the States invade and remove Saddam Hussein from ruling. The war eventually became extremely brutal through consistent bombing under Bush's jurisdiction.
  • The Great Recession

    The Great Recession
    During this time, economic activity for the U.S.A. declined heavily. It is considered to be another Great Depression, hence the "The Great" in front of it.
  • Obama Presidency

    Obama Presidency
    Barack Obama won the Election of 2008, against John McCain. He is the first president who is not white, and became an idol in the African-American community. Obama won both the electoral and popular vote.
  • First Hispanic SCOTUS - Sonia Sotomayor

    First Hispanic SCOTUS - Sonia Sotomayor
    Nominated under Barack Obama, she sits beside him in racial victory. She is the first Supreme Court Justice who is hispanic, and is the third female SCOTUS.
  • Affordable Care Act

    Affordable Care Act
    Commonly referred to as "Obamacare," this act was passed in order to promote health insurance. It makes it more affordable and assists the poor in obtaining health care.
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    Contemporary