Beginning Year:       Ending Year:      
1872
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) is elected for a second term, and Henry Wilson (1812-1875) is elected as the nation's 18th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties; Women's Firsts: The Equal Rights Party nominates Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927) as the first woman candidate for President and African American leader Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) as her running mate.
Government
Presidents: Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), 30th President of the United States, is born in Plymouth, Vermont.
Government
Congress abolishes the income tax it had imposed during the Civil War.
Science
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) shows that fermentation is caused by microorganisms.
Science
Bacteriology is established as a science.
Science
"Popular Science Monthly" begins to be published.
Inventions
The doughnut cutter is patented by John F. Blondel of Maine.
Inventions
A crude forerunner of the movie projector—the “zoopraxiscope”—is invented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Elijah McCoy (1843-1929) invents an oiling devise that allows machines to be oiled while in motion.
Education
Public Education: Connecticut enacts compulsory school attendance laws.
Education
Parochial Education: About 30,000 children attend Lutheran parochial schools.
Education
Public Education: The Tileston Normal School is opened in Wilmington, NC as one of the first free schools in the area open to poor students.
Education
Children’s Books: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) writes a books of shorter verses for young children entitled "Sing-Song."
Arts and Letters
Painting: James Whistler (1834-1903) paints a portrait of his mother.
Ideas
The Granger Movement is formed, a forerunner of the populist movement of the 1890s.
Wilson, Edith
Edith Bolling Galt Wilson (1872-1961), second wife of Woodrow Wilson is born in Wytheville, Virginia on October 15.
Economics
Montgomery Ward opens in Chicago.
Economics
Railroad History: George Westinghouse (1846-1914) patents the first automatic air brake. This is basically the same system as is used by today's railroads.
Daily Life
Yellowstone, the world's first National Park, is opened.
Daily Life
Disasters: The American ship "Mary Celeste" is found abandoned in the Atlantic en route to Genoa.
Daily Life
The Brooklyn Bridge is opened.
Sports
Soccer: The first English Football Association (F.A.) Cup final is played at the Kennington Oval in London.
Sports
Soccer: The first international soccer game is held when England plays Scotland.
Sports
The first U.S. ski club is founded in New Hampshire.
Religion
The International Bible Students Association, which evolved into the Jehovah’s Witness religious sect, is founded.
Social Issues
Birth Control: The “Comstock Law” forbids the transport of contraceptives in the United States.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and other feminists are arrested for trying to vote in the presidential election.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Congress guarantees equal pay for equal work in federal jobs.
1873
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The American Granger movement, which organizes U.S. farmers in the midwest to counter monopolistic transportation practices by the railroads, reaches its peak membership.
Government
The North West Mounted Police are formed in Canada, later to become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Government
President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) is inaugurated for a second term, and Henry Wilson (1812-1875) is inaugurated as the nation's 18th Vice President.
Science
The American Metrological Society, the first organization to improve the system of weights and measures, is formed.
Science
Astronomer Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) founds the Association for the Advancement of Women.
Medicine
Dr. Mary Jane Safford (1834-1891) joins the faculty of the newly opened Boston University School of Medicine as a professor of women’s diseases.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Lewis Latimer (1848-1928) invents a water closet (toilet system) for railroad cars.
Technology
The first color photographs are developed.
Education
Author Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, a.k.a. Susan Coolidge (1835-1905), revolutionizes school story books by blending imaginary and real-life episodes.
Education
Public Education: William T. Harris (1835-1909), Superintendent of the St. Louis school system, incorporates kindergarten into the schools
Education
The discipline of sociology is established with Herbert Spencer’s (1820-1903) "The Study of Sociology."
Education
Women’s Colleges: The College of Notre Dame of Maryland is founded.
Education
Libraries: Chicago Public Library opens.
Education
Women’s Firsts: Ellen Swallow Richards (1842–1911), the first woman to be admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earns her B.S. degree. She becomes the first female professional chemist in the U.S.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Mark Twain (1835-1910) and Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900) write "The Gilded Age;" the phrase becomes a descriptor for the era.
Ideas
“Set theory” in mathematics is established.
Hayes, Lucy
His second term as Governor over, Lucy (1831-1889) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881) move to Spiegel Grove, an estate in N.W. Ohio.
Hayes, Lucy
Manning Force Hayes (1873-1874), seventh son of Lucy and Rutherford B. Hayes, is born on August 1.
Mckinley, Ida
Ida McKinley (1873), daughter of William and Ida McKinley, is born April 1 and dies 4 months later in August. After the birth of her namesake, First Lady Ida McKinley is stricken with a litany of lifelong illnesses that included epileptic seizures and phlebitis.
Economics
Jay Cooke & Co.'s Wall Street banking house fails, and the American economy collapses into a sharp depression.
Economics
American Money: The U.S. goes on the gold standard, eliminating all silver currency.
Economics
E. Remington & Sons, gunmakers, begin to manufacture typewriters.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The New York "Daily Graphic" becomes the first illustrated daily newspaper.
Daily Life
San Francisco’s first cable streetcar goes into operation.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Jesse James and his gang rob their first passenger train.
Sports
Football: The first American Football rules are formulated at a meeting in New York attended by delegates from Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers and Yale.
Sports
The modern game of lawn tennis is invented in England.
Sports
Women in Sports: 10 young women compete in a mile-long swimming contest in the Harlem River. Miss Deliliah Goboess wins the prize, a silk dress worth $175.
Popular Culture
Jules Verne publishes "Around the World in Eighty Days."
Religion
The Reform Union of Hebrew Congregations is organized in Cincinnati.
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1874
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President U.S. Grant (1822-1885) nominates Morrison R. Waite (1816-1888) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is confirmed two days later and serves for fourteen years.
Government
Presidents: Herbert Hoover (1875-1964), 31st President of the United States, is born in West Branch, Iowa.
War
Federal troops stationed in New Orleans during Reconstruction quell a revolt led by the White League against Louisiana's black state government.
Medicine
The streptococci and staphylococci bacilli are discovered.
Medicine
The field of osteopathy is founded in Kansas; Dr. Andrew Still becomes its first practitioner.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Lewis H. Latimer (1848-1928) co-invents an improved water closet, or bathroom, for trains.
Technology
The process of pressure cooking is introduced as a method of canning foods.
Technology
Airplanes: Felix Du Temple builds a man-carrying steam-powered monoplane. With a young French sailor at the controls, it makes a ski-jump take-off and a brief hop but cannot sustain flight.
Education
The Chautauqua movement begins in an effort to bring greater educational opportunity to America's isolated farmers and small towns through traveling lectures and correspondence-school courses.
Arts and Letters
Painting: A group of French Impressionists, including Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissaro, and August Renoir, hold their first show. Rejected by a formal gallery, the exhibit was held by the artists themselves.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Fillmore (1800-1874), 13th president of the United States, dies on March 8 in Buffalo, NY. He is only the second vice president to succeed on the death of the incumbent president.
Hayes, Lucy
Manning Force Hayes, seventh son of Lucy and Rutherford B. Hayes, dies at the age of 13 months, probably of dysentery, in Fremont, Ohio on August 28.
Cleveland, Frances
Oscar Folsom Cleveland (1874-?), son of Grover Cleveland and a widow, Maria Croftis Halpin, is born. Unsubstantiated reports suggest that Oscar died in his late 20's of alcoholism.
Tyler, Letitia
Tazewell Tyler (1830-1874), the youngest of John and Letitia Tyler's children, dies January 8 as a result of alcoholism.
Hoover, Lou
Lou Henry (1874-1944), wife of Herbert Hoover, is born in Waterloo, Iowa, on March 29.
Grant, Julia
White House Weddings: Nellie Grant (1856-1922), daughter of Julia (1826-1902) and Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) marries Algernon Sartoris, a British diplomat, in the White House.
Economics
The first electric streetcar begins operation in New York City.
Economics
Stockholders of the Union Pacific railroad form a phony development bank, the Credit Mobilier. Several members of President Ulysses S. Grant’s (1822-1885) administration, including his vice president, are implicated in the scandal, though no one is ultimately indicted.
Daily Life
The first American zoo is established in Philadelphia.
Daily Life
Republican Party is first symbolized by an elephant. – drawn by Thomas Nast (1840-1902), in "Harper’s Weekly."
Sports
Women in Sports: Tennis is introduced to the U.S. by Mary Outerbridge, who saw it played in Bermuda.
Popular Culture
The original Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng (1811-1874), die. Born in Thailand of Chinese parents and joined at the chest, they were sold and exhibited in Europe and America.
Popular Culture
New York's Madison Square Garden opens under the name Barnum’s Hippodrome.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: The Rhode Island legislature passes a women’s suffrage amendment to its constitution.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) is founded in Cleveland, Ohio.
Reform
Labor Movement: Police on horses break up a demonstration of the unemployed in New York's Tompkins Square Park, injuring hundreds who came to protest the intense poverty resulting from the depression of the 1870s.
1875
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Suffrage Movement: In "Miner v. Hoppersatt," the Supreme Court rules that women are “persons” under the 14th Amendment, but are not entitled to vote.
Politics
Ex-political boss and New York politician William Marcy “Boss” Tweed (1823-1878) escapes from jail, flees to Cuba. He is apprehended, returned to New York, and dies in prison three years later.
Government
Rebellion in Cuba leads to deterioration of U.S.-Spanish relations.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: Congress passes the Civil Rights Act, guaranteeing blacks equal rights in public places and banning their exclusion from jury duty.
Government
British prime minister Disraeli (1804-1881) maneuvers to bring the Suez Canal, which was completed in 1869, under British control.
Medicine
The London Medical School for Women is founded.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes lumbar pneumonia—pneumococcus— is discovered.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents a duplicating process that uses a wax stencil, an early version of the mimeograph machine.
Inventions
An electric dental drill is patented.
Technology
The world’s first radio is operated by American Elihu Thomson (1853-1937).
Education
Women's Colleges: Wellesley College for women, founded by Henry and Pauline Durant, opens in Wellesley, Massachusetts, outside of Boston.
Arts and Letters
Opera: The first performance of French composer Georges Bizet's (1838-1875) opera "Carmen" takes place at the Opera Comique, Paris.
Arts and Letters
The first Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, "Trial by Jury," is written.
Taylor, Margaret
Anne Margaret Mackell Taylor Wood (1811-1875), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies December 2.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln’s (1818-1882) son Robert (1843-1926) has her declared insane; she manages to get herself released from the mental hospital, and goes to live with her sister in Springfield, Illinois.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) runs for his third term as Governor of Ohio, and wins.
Johnson, Eliza
Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), 17th President of the U.S., dies July 31 in Carter's Station, Tennessee.
Mckinley, Ida
Katherine "Katie" McKinley (1871-1875), the first child of William and Ida McKinley, dies June 25 from typhoid fever.
Economics
Luxury hotels are opened in Saratoga Springs, New York, and San Francisco, marking the development of a luxury-seeking elite in the United States.
Economics
The first factory using the Bessemer steel-making process is built by Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "Times" of London becomes the first newspaper to print a daily weather chart.
Sports
Horse Racing: The first Kentucky Derby is held at Churchill Downs, Kentucky, won by Aristides.
Sports
Capt. Matthew Webb (1848-1883) becomes the first person to swim across the English Channel.
Sports
The first roller skating rink is opened in London.
Sports
Women in Sports: Baseball: The "Blondes" and "Brunettes" play their first match In Springfield, IL on Sept. 11. Newspapers heralded the event as the "first game of baseball ever played in public for gate money between feminine ball-tossers."
Religion
Mary Baker Eddy’s (1821-1910) "Science and Health" is first published.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Comanche chief Quanah Parker (1850-1911) ends his resistance to white settlement of Texas, enabling American expansion to proceed rapidly.
Social Issues
Jim Crow Laws: Segregation: Tennessee passes a "Jim Crow" law segregating blacks and whites on railroads (which are private, and so not covered by the Civil Rights Act).
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1876
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) is elected the 19th President of the U.S., and William A. Wheeler (1819-1887) is elected as the nation's 19th Vice President. The election is so close that it is not finally concluded until 1877.
Government
New State: Colorado becomes the 38th state of the United States
War
Indian Wars: At the Battle of the Little Big Horn (Custer’s Last Stand), Sioux Indians led by Chief Crazy Horse routed the U.S. 7th Cavalry led by Col. Custer (1839-1876).
War
Indian Wars: In one of the final periods of intense Native American resistance to American expansion, Apache leader Geronimo (1829-1909) begins a 10-year reign of war and terror against white settlers in the American Southwest.
Science
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) establishes Menlo Park as America’s first research laboratory.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes anthrax is discovered by Robert Koch (1843-1910).
Inventions
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) patents the first telephone.
Inventions
The first carpet sweeper is patented by inventor Melville Bissell (1843-1889), of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) patents the mimeograph machine.
Education
Higher Education: Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore opens.
Education
The Kindergarten exhibit at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia enhances kindergarten’s popularity.
Education
Libraries: The American Library Association is founded.
Arts and Letters
Opera: The first complete performance of Richard Wagner’s (1813-1883) operatic Ring cycle opens in Germany.
Johnson, Eliza
Eliza McCardle Johnson (1810-1876) dies of tuberculosis in December at her daughter's, Martha Patterson, house.
Van Buren, Hannah
Smith Thommpson Van Buren (1817-1876), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren dies.
Lincoln, Mary
A second jury finds Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) sane. Later she travels again to Europe and spends most of her time in France.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) runs for President of the U.S. His election is in dispute until January of 1877 because of contested election results in several states.
Economics
Railroad History: All Southern Pacific and Central Pacific passenger cars converted to air brakes.
Daily Life
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is organized.
Sports
Baseball: The Chicago Cubs hold their first National League game, beating Louisville 4-0.
Sports
Baseball: The U.S. National Baseball League is established
Sports
The first tennis tournament in the U.S. is held.
Sports
Polo is introduced to the U.S. from England.
Sports
Women in Sports: Ten percent of the members of the newly created Appalachin Mountain Club are women.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes his book “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”.
Social Issues
Immigration: California Senate committee investigates the “social, moral, and political effect of Chinese immigration.”
Reform
Prohibition: An early Prohibition Amendment to the Constitution is proposed in the House of Representatives.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: A Declaration of the Rights of Women is distributed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Gage.
1877
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Women's Suffrage Movement: The House of Representatives defeats a bill to amend the Constitution to allow women to vote where they are taxed.
Government
British imperialism is nearing its zenith as Britain annexes the South African Republic, and Queen Victoria (1819-1901) is proclaimed empress of India.
Government
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) is inaugurated as the 19th President of the U.S., and William A. Wheeler (1819-1887) is inaugurated as the nation's 19th Vice President.
War
Indian Wars: The Nez Perce tribes in the northwestern United States battle with American troops after years of passive noncompliance with treaties. The tribes ultimately surrender; their leader, Chief Joseph (1840-1904), gives a surrender speech considered one of the finest statements on Native American displacement.
Science
U.S. astronomer Asaph Hall (1829-1907) discovers Deimos, ("panic" in Greek) a satellite of Mars, at the Naval Observatory in Washington.
Medicine
The process for staining bacteria so as to see them under a microscope is invented by Robert Koch (1843-1910).
Inventions
Copper wire is invented.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents the phonograph and makes the first sound recording.
Education
Libraries: Women's Firsts: Minerva Saunders is the first librarian to end age restrictions on borrowing books and to create a seperate childern's section.
Education
The YWCA in New York City establishes the first known typing course for women.
Education
Women's Firsts: Education of Women: Helen McGill(White) becomes the first woman in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. degree; it is from Boston University, and her field is Greek drama.
Education
Children’s Books: Anna Sewell (1820-1878) is known only for one book, the perennial favorite "Black Beauty, the Autobiography of a Horse."
Education
Public Education: Reconstruction ends in 1877 when federal troops, which had occupied the South since the end of the Civil War are withdrawn. Whites regain political control of the South and lay the foundations of legal segregation.
Arts and Letters
Drama: American Theatre: Henrik Ibsen writes "Pillars of Society," an early example of the Realism in theatre that begins to compete with melodrama. With the advent of early realism, the role of the regisseur, or strong director, begins to develop.
Arts and Letters
Dance: Tchaikovsky's (1840-1893) ballet "Swan Lake" is first performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
Arts and Letters
Painting: The third Impressionist exhibition is held in Paris.
Tyler, Letitia
Robert Tyler (1816-1877), the first son of John and Letitia Christian Tyler, dies December 3.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) celebrate their 25th anniversary in the White House.
Hayes, Lucy
A newspaper first refers to the wife of the President as the "First Lady." Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) is also the first Presidential wife to take the Oath of Office in the White House.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) oversees the first Easter egg-rolling contest at the White House.
Economics
A drink called root beer is first made and distributed by Charles Elmer Hires (1851-1937).
Economics
Railroad History: Four feuding American railroads cease their price wars and join together to cut wages, prompting the great railroad strike of 1877. Federal troops end the strike, but only after killing some workers and injuring many.
Economics
American Money: The Department of the Treasury's bureau of Engraving and Printing starts printing all U.S. currency, although other steps are done outside.
Discovery
British explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904) reaches the mouth of the Congo River.
Daily Life
The first public telephones are installed in the U.S.
Daily Life
The first Westminster Dog Show is held.
Sports
Cricket: The first cricket match between Australia and England is played in Melbourne, the home side winning by 45 runs.
Sports
The first Wimbledon tennis championships are held.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first women's field hockey club is started in Surrey, England.
Social Issues
Immigration: United States Congress investigates the criminal influence of Chinese immigrants.
Social Issues
Immigration: A mob in San Francisco sets fire to two dozen Chinese laundries in the city, sparking months of anti-Chinese violence.
Social Issues
Racism: Reconstruction in the South ends, and with it any effort of the Federal government to enforce the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments in the South for nearly 100 years.
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1878
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: The Greenback-Labor Party is formed by labor organizations and advocates cheap money.
Politics
For the first time in twenty years, Democrats win control of both houses of Congress.
War
Indian Wars: Lincoln County War erupts in southeast New Mexico.
Medicine
Epidemics: The last great epidemic of yellow fever kills more than 13,000 in the lower Mississippi valley.
Inventions
The microphone is invented by David Hughes (1831-1900).
Inventions
The phonograph, invented by Thomas Edison (1847-1931), is patented.
Inventions
Sir Joseph Wilson Swan (1828-1914) is the first person to invent a practical and longer-lasting electic lightbulb.
Technology
The first private connection by telephone in Great Britain was made on the Isle of Wight when Queen Victoria (1819-1901) spoke to Thomas Biddulph.
Technology
Airplanes: Bishop Milton Wright (1828-1917), then living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, brings home a rubber band-powered Penaud-type helicopter for his sons. They build several successful copies. Orville tells his schoolteacher that he and his brother Wilbur plan to build a large enough machine to carry the both of them. But when they try to build a larger model, it doesn’t fly.
Education
Women's Colleges: Physicist Sarah Frances Whiting (1846-1927) opens the second undergraduate physics laboratory in the U.S. at Wellesley College.
Education
Public Education: Kindergarten is incorporated into the San Francisco public school system.
Arts and Letters
Dance: "Swan Lake" is first performed at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
Arts and Letters
Gilbert and Sullivan write "H.M.S. Pinafore."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) writes "Return of the Native."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Actress Ellen Terry (1848-1928) becomes a part of the Irving Company at London's Lyceum Theatre.
Ideas
Charles Pierce (1839-1914) publishes "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," developing the philosophy of Pragmatism.
Harrison, Anna
John Scott Harrison (1804-1878), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies May
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) becomes widely known for her concern for and help to those in need in Washington, especially Civil War veterans and their families.
Economics
The name "Vaseline," a brand of petroleum jelly, is trademarked by Robert A. Chesebrough (1856-?).
Economics
The first commercial telephone switchboard goes into operation in New Haven, Connecticut.
Economics
The first bicycles are manufactured in the U.S.
Economics
American Money: The Department of the Treasury is authorized to issue Silver Certificates in exchange for silver dollars.
Economics
Women's Firsts: Emma Nutt becomes the first woman telephone operator when she goes to worl for Edwin Holmes and his Telephone Dispatch Company in Boston, Massachusetts.
Discovery
The largest yellow diamond ever discovered is found in the Kimberly Mine of South Africa. It is purchased by New York's Tiffany & Co. and becomes known as the Tiffany Diamond.
Daily Life
The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, CT.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first full-page newspaper advertisements appear.
Sports
Women in Sports: Woman pedestrian Ada Anderson walks 3,000 quarter-miles in 3,000 quarter hours over the course of a month in New York' Mozart Hall, kicking off a series of "lady walker" matches.
Sports
The National Archery Association is organized.
Popular Culture
A London tunesmith introduces the word jingoism into the British parlance in the lyric: "We don't want to fight, but by jingo if we do/We've got the men, we've got the ships, we've got the money too." The word would characterize an era of British imperialism.
Popular Culture
Showboats, which had shut down during the Civil War, are revived as entertainment centers on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Religion
Pittsburgh minister Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), who will go on to found the Watchtower Society associated with the Jehovah''s Witnesses, preaches that the second coming happened invisibly in 1874 and that the world will end in 1914.
Religion
Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919) graduates as the only woman in her class in Boston University's divinity school; when she applies for ordination, her application is denied and her license to preach repealed
Social Issues
Abortion: Anthony Comstock, head of the New York Society for the Suppression fo Vice, entraps New York abortion provider and brothel owner Madame Restell into giving him abortifacients and contraceptives by telling her his wife is pregnant and they cannot afford another child. He then exposes her, slapping her with a lawsuit. Fearing conviction, she commits suicide.
Social Issues
Racism: The relocation of former slaves to Kansas, called the "Exoduster Movement," begins. Within the year, 30,000 blacks migrate to Kansas.
Reform
Labor Movement: Labor struggle intensifies in the United States when the Atchison, Topkea, and Santa Fe railraod cuts engineers' pay 10 percent. Striking workers shut the railroad down for five days. The militia is called in, and after a militiaman kills a bystander, labor leaders are arrested.
1879
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women’s Firsts: Belva Ann Lockwood (1830-1917) becomes the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Politics
Irish nationalist Michael Davitt (1846-1906) founds the Irish Land League to resist absentee landlords and fight for a more equitable distribution of land in Ireland and independence from Britain.
Politics
Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck (1862-1890) engineers an Austro-German alliance in which either side will offer the other aid in the event of an attack from Russia. It's one of a series of alliances that prefigure the battle lines of World War I.
Government
President Hayes (1822-1893) tries to reform the Civil Service, and to settle the question of Indian lands; large numbers of native Americans visit with him in Washington to argue their need for justice.
Government
National Capital: Electric lighting is installed in the Capitol building.
Government
Immigration: A bill to restrict Chinese immigration is vetoed by President Hayes (1822-1893).
War
The Zulu War: The Zulu War begins between the British of the Cape Colony and the natives of Zululand.
Science
The discovery of saccharin is reported.
Science
Russian pathologist demonstrates by using dogs that the stomach will produce gastric juices even if there is no food, suggeting that reflexes are learned and conditioned, not natural, and that people can be taught to respond to anything.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Mary Mahoney(1845-1926) becomes the first black professional nurse in the U.S.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
Technology
An internal combustion engine is used to power a "horseless carriage" by George Selden (1846-1922).
Technology
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) gives the first public demonstration of an eletric incandescent lamp in Menlo Park, New Jeresy.
Education
Women's Colleges: The first class at what was to become Radcliffe College, then called "The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women," begins.
Education
American educator Anna Hallowell(1831-1905) establishes free kindergartens in poor neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
Education
Native Americans: Indian Education: The Carlisle Indian School is founded in Pennsylvania, in an aggressive U.S. government campaign to "civilize" Indian children.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) writes "The Brothers Karamzov."
Arts and Letters
Opera: "Evgeny Onegin," or "Eugene Onegin," best known opera by Russian composer Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), receives its first performance at the Maily Theater in Moscow.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Henrik Ibsen's (1828-1906) modern classic about the erosion of traditional domestic roles, "A Doll's House," is performed for the first time in Copenhagen.
Arts and Letters
"The Pirates of Penzance"(or "The Slave of Duty"), an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, has its first performance in New York City.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Among Henry James' (1843-1916) masterpieces is "Daisy Miller," in which the young and innocent American, Daisy, finds her values in conflict with European sophistication.
Ideas
American economist Henry George (1839-1897) writes "Progress and Poverty," in which he observes increasing economic inequality in the United States.
Taylor, Margaret
Richard Taylor (1826-1879), son of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies April 12.
Johnson, Eliza
Andrew Johnson Jr. (1852-1879), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, dies March 12.
Coolidge, Grace
Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge (1879-1957), wife of Calvin Coolidge, is born in Burlignton, Vermont on January 3.
Economics
The first five-and-dime store is founded by Frank Woolworth (1852-1919) in Utica, New York; it later moves to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the same year.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Henry Grady (1850-1889) takes over the "Atlanta Constitution," in the pages of which he begins to exhort the South to attract northern capital and transform itself into a modern industrial region--to little avail.
Daily Life
Electric arc lamps are installed on the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, by Charles Brush (1849-1929).
Sports
The first major skiing contest occurs in Norway.
Popular Culture
Annie Oakley (1860-1926) defeats Frank Butler in a shooting match; they later marry and tour the country in Wild West shows.
Religion
St. Patrick's Cathedral opens in New York after twenty-six years of work.
Religion
Women’s Firsts: Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) establishes the Church of Christ, Scientist, becoming the first woman to found a major religion, Christian Science.
Social Issues
Racism: With federal Reconstruction over and national troops out of the South, political repression of southern blacks starts to intensify.
Social Issues
Immigration: California adopts a new constitution which, in part, prohibits the employment of Chinese workers.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Frances Willard (1839-1898) becomes president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, campaigning also for women's rights with the motto, "Do Everything."
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1880
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court rules that the exclusion of Blacks from jury duty is unconstitutional.
Politics
James A. Garfield (1831-1881) beats President Ulysses Grant (1822-1885) in a hotly contested election and becomes the 20th President of the U.S.; Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886) is elected as the 20th Vice President.
Medicine
Rubber gloves are introduced in hospital operating rooms after nurse Caroline Hampton developed a skin allergy to the antiseptic solutions used; when postoperative infections dropped dramatically, such gloves became part of the surgical team’s standard uniform.
Medicine
The parasite that causes malaria is discovered.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) is granted a patent for his incandescent light.
Inventions
The British Perforated Paper Company invents a form of toilet paper.
Inventions
Englishman, John Milne (1850-1913) invents the modern seismograph.
Technology
The first large furnace for making steel is developed by Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).
Technology
The first wireless telephone message is sent by Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) through a “photophone,” a devise that transmits sound on a beam of light.
Technology
Airplanes: Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), Germany, begins to test cambered wing surfaces and measures their lifting capability.
Education
Libraries: The initial funding of buildings for public libraries is begun by Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).
Education
Public Education: Kindergarten is incorporated into the Chicago public school system.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) publishes "The Brothers Karamazov," a year before he dies.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Lew Wallace (1827-1905) writes "Ben Hur."
Arts and Letters
Sculpture: Rodin’s (1840-1917) sculpture, “The Thinker,” is exhibited in model form.
Arts and Letters
Gilbert and Sullivan produce "The Pirates of Penzance" in London. It runs for over 300 performances.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) accepts the national presidency of the Woman’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, a group that helps poor women and children.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and Rutherford (1822-1893) spend 72 days touring the west, the first such trip by a sitting President.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) returns to the United States in 1880 and again goes to the Edwards' home in Springfield to live. She is slowly going blind.
Harrison, Caroline
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) is elected to the U.S. Senate from Indiana. He and Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) move to Washington, DC.
Harding, Florence
Eugene Marshall "Pete" DeWolfe (1880-1915), son of Warren and Florence Harding, is born September 22.
Garfield, Lucretia
Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (1832-1918) is the first President's wife to be kissed by her husband at his inauguration.
Arthur, Ellen
Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur (1837-1880), wife of Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886), dies of pneumonia on January 10, ten months before her husband is elected as Vice President of the United States.
Economics
The De Beers Mining Corp. is founded by Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) and Albert Beit (1853-1906) , both 27 years old. Rhodes will eventually acquire a near-total monopoly on the South African diamond industry.
Economics
The population of Los Angeles, California, doubles between 1870 and 1880, a sign of the urbanization of the American west.
Economics
Census: The U.S. population is 50.1 million people, including about 2.8 million immigrants.
Economics
Newspapers: Newspaper growth continues unabated in the postwar years. An astounding 11,314 different papers are recorded in the census.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first photographs are seen in newspapers that are printed using halftones.
Daily Life
The first canned fruits and vegetables appear in stores.
Daily Life
The first telephone box for public use goes into service.
Daily Life
Electricity first lights the street lights in New York City.
Popular Culture
J.C. Harris publishes his “Uncle Remus” stories.
Popular Culture
The game of bingo is developed from an Italian lotto game.
Religion
Women Firsts: Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919) is the first woman ordained by the Methodist Church.
Religion
Frances Cabrini (later Mother Cabrini) (1850-1917) founds the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Italy.
Social Issues
Poverty: The American Salvation Army is established in Philadelphia.
Social Issues
Immigration: Italy’s troubled economy, crop failures, and political climate begin the start of mass immigration with nearly four million Italian immigrants arriving in the United States.
Reform
Labor Movement: The word boycott comes into use when Irish tenant farmers refuse to harvest crops on an estate managed by British army captain Charles Cunningham Boycott (1832-1897).
1881
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The United States Supreme Court rules that the Civil War income tax law of 1861 is constitutional.
Politics
Irish nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891) is imprisoned for agitating for home rule. From prison, he continues to direct tenant farmers to withhold rent as a means of gaining self-government.
Government
The assassination of Czar Alexander II in 1881 prompts civil unrest and economic instability throughout Russia.
Government
James A. Garfield (1831-1881) is inaugurated as the 20th President of the U.S.; Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886) is inaugurated as the 20th Vice President.
Government
Vice President Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886) becomes the 21st President of the United States upon the assassination of James A. Garfield (1831-1881). No new Vice President is selected.
Medicine
Vaccines: Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) develops an anthrax vaccine, and vaccinates a herd of sheep against the disease.
Medicine
"Angel of the battlefield" Clara Barton (1821-1912) founds the American Association of the Red Cross.
Medicine
The idea that mosquitoes are the carriers of yellow fever is proposed.
Inventions
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) invents the first crude metal detector.
Technology
The first color photographs are produced by Frederick E. Ives.
Technology
Airplanes: Louis Moulliard, France, writes another milestone in aeronautics, Empire of the Air, in which he proposes fixed-wing gliders with cambered wings, like birds.
Technology
Battery Technology: Leclanche's (1839-1882) battery is quite heavy and prone to breakage; the idea of encapsulating both the negative electrode and porous pot into a zinc cup is patented by J.A. Thiebaut in 1881.
Education
Children’s Books: The very first appearance, under a pen-name, of Robert Louis Stevenson’ s(1850-1894) first and best-known children's adventure story, "Treasure Island," os published in the penny weekly, "Young Folks, A Boys' and Girls' Paper of Instructive and Entertaining Literature."
Education
Rachel Bodley, dean of the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania conducts a statistical survey about the careers of her school’s graduates, published as the pamphlet The College Story, one of the earliest studies of women in the professions.
Education
Higher Education: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) organizes the Normal and Industrail Institute for Negroes, which later becomes Tuskeegee Institute.
Education
Women’s Colleges: Spelman College is founded in Georgia as the first black women's college.
Arts and Letters
D’Oyly Carte (1844-1901) builds the electrified Savoy Theatre in London.
Arts and Letters
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is founded.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henry James (1843-1916) writes "The Portrait of a Lady," in which, again, a young American woman becomes a victim of her provincialism during her travels in Europe.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and Rutherford (1822-1893) leave the White House at the end of his term and move to their home at Spiegel Grove in Ohio.
Harrison, Caroline
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) begins his term in the U.S. Senate. Caroline Harrison suffers a bad fall “and her health was delicate after that.”
Garfield, Lucretia
James Abram Garfield (1831-1881), 20th President of the U.S., is assassinated on July 2 and dies from the assault on September 19 in Elberon, New Jersey.
Daily Life
The first electric tram goes into public service in Germany, near Berlin.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Brothers Wyatt (1848-1929) and Virgil Earp (1843-1905) lead the shootout of Western movie fame against Ike Clanton''s gang at the O.K. Corral in Arizona territory.
Sports
The first U.S. Lawn Tennis Championship is held.
Popular Culture
The first vaudeville theatre to feature family entertainment is opened in New York City.
Popular Culture
Twenty-one-year old William Bonney, a.k.a. Billy the Kid (1859-61 exact year unknown-1881), escapes imprisonment but is hunted down and shot. Though he had killed 21 people, he becomes a legend, and pop retellings of his life story are hawked only weeks after his death.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes "The Prince and the Pauper."
Religion
The Vatican archives are opened to scholars.
Social Issues
Native Americans: "A Century of Injustice" is published by Helen Hunt Jackson, about mistreatment of Indians.
Social Issues
Segregation: Tennessee legislature passes a law mandating that black passengers be segregated on railroads. "Jim Crow" legislation is soon imitated throughout the South.
Reform
Labor Movement: The American Federation of Labor is formed.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Susan B. Anthony finances and publishes The History of Women’s Suffrage, which eventually totals six volumes
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1882
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Rights Movement: Two U.S. judges decide that women may sue their husbands for assault and battery.
Government
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act, which bars Chinese laborers from coming to the United States, goes into effect.
Government
The 3-mile limit for territorial waters is agreed upon at the Hague Convention.
Government
Presidents: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), the 32nd President of the United States, is born in Hyde Park, New York.
Medicine
Robert Koch (1843-1910) discovers the tuberculosis bacillus and establishes that the disease is communicable.
Medicine
Hypnosis is used to treat hysteria, signaling the beginning of psychoanalysis.
Medicine
Surgical sutures made from catgut thread are replaced with silk ones.
Medicine
Vaccines: Louis Pasteur (1822- 1895) develops a rabies vaccine.
Inventions
The electric fan and the electric flat iron are invented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Lewis H. Latimer (1848-1928) patents the carbon filament for electric light bulbs.
Technology
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) designs the first hydroelectric plant in Appleton, WI.
Technology
The first motion picture is made, using a “rifle-camera” that shoots 12 images in one second.
Education
Children''s Books: Children''s classic "Pinocchio" is written by Italian author Carlo Collodi (1826-1890).
Education
Education of Women: The American Association of University Women is founded by Alice Elvira Freeman Palmer (1855-1902).
Arts and Letters
Opera: Wagner's (1813-1883) opera "Parsifal" is first performed, at Bayreuth, western Germany.
Arts and Letters
Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) writes the "1812 Overture."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: David Belasco (1853-1931) apprenticed in San Francisco, moves to Madison Square Theatre in New York as stage manager and becomes an independent producer in 1895.
Cleveland, Frances
Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) is elected Mayor of Buffalo and then Governor of New York, as a Democrat. He wins reputation for uncovering political corruption.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) dies of “paralysis” at her sister Elizabeth’s house on July 15 in Springfield, Illinois.
Economics
American rail magnate William Vanderbilt (1856-1938) eliminates mail trains from Chicago, because they are not profitable.
Economics
John D. Rockefeller's (1839-1937) Standard Oil Trust brings 95 percent of the American petroleum industry under the control of a nine-man board.
Economics
Commercially supplied electrical power is inaugurated in New York City.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: After more than 15 years of robbing banks, outlaw Jesse James (1847- 1882) is shot in the back at St Joseph, Missouri, by Robert Ford, one of his own gang.
Daily Life
Ellen Swallow Richards (1842-1911) writes "The Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning."
Daily Life
Holidays: The first Labor Day celebration is held in New York City.
Sports
Baseball: The American Baseball Association is founded.
Sports
Boxing: John L. Sullivan (1858-1918) wins the heavyweight boxing championship.
Sports
The National Croquet Association is founded.
Sports
Women in Sports: At the YWCA in Boston, the first athletic games for women are held.
Popular Culture
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) writes "Treasure Island."
Popular Culture
Jumbo the elephant appears in P.T. Barnum's (1810-1891) Barnum and Bailey Circus; he is advertised as the "largest elephant in or out of captivity."
Popular Culture
Clan warfare between the Hatfields and McCoys breaks out in southern Appalachia. The bloodbath, which has its roots in lingering Civil War tensions, lasts for six years until Kentucky authorities seize some of the members of the Hatfield family.
Religion
The Knights of Columbus, a fraternal organization of Catholic men, is founded in Connecticut.
Social Issues
Immigration: Russia’s May Laws severely restrict the ability of Jewish citizens to live and work in Russia. The country’s instability prompts more than three million Russians to immigrate to the United States over three decades.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 suspends immigration of Chinese laborers under penalty of imprisonment and deportation.
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: Two U.S. judges decide that women may sue their husbands for assault and battery.
1883
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court declares the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional (except for jury duty), ruling that the government can protect political, not social, rights.
Government
The United States adopts standard time.
Government
The U.S. Civil Service Commission is established by the Pendleton Act.
War
Congress orders the building of ships that begin the modern U.S. Navy.
Science
The fact that an electrical current can be sent through space—the basis of electronics—is discovered by Thomas Edison (1847-1931).
Medicine
The bacillus that causes diphtheria is discovered.
Inventions
English engineer Hiram Maxim (1840-1916) invents the fully automatic machine gun.
Inventions
Young German-American entrepreneur Julius Schmidt invents a modern version of the condom.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Jan Ernst Matzeliger (1852-1889) patents a machine that can make up to 700 shoes a day.
Technology
The Brooklyn Bridge, the world's first suspension bridge, opens to pedestrian traffic, linking Manhattan to Brooklyn.
Technology
The first “skyscraper” is built in Chicago: it has 10 floors.
Technology
Airplanes: John J. Montgomery (1858-1911) of California builds a monoplane glider and makes the first gliding flight in America.
Technology
Airplanes: Charles Parsons, England, inventor of the turbine motor, tests a small 1/4 horsepower steam turbine engine in a model airplane, propelling it for approximately 300 feet. Although Parsons experiments had little effect on the development of aviation, some consider this to be the first jet aircraft.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Poet Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) publishes the sonnet “The New Colossus,” which will be inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
Ideas
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's (1844-1900) "Thus Spake Zarathustra" appears in print.
Hayes, Lucy
The Hayes family is happy in retirement at Spiegel Grove. Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) spends a lot of time in the garden, and supervising the farm. She also continues to correspond with national figures and to give parties.
Tyler, Julia
John Alexander "Alex" Tyler (1848-1883), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, dies September 1.
Johnson, Eliza
Mary Johnson Stover Brown (1832-1883), daughter of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, dies April 19.
Economics
Railroad History: The Northern Pacific Railroad across the United States is completed.
Economics
A deep drought begins on the western plains of the United States. The suffering of farmers produces radical political activity, such as the Farmer''s Alliance, one of the first demonstrations of Populism as a movement in the 19th century.
Economics
Railroad History: The Northern Pacific and Southern Pacific are completed.
Daily Life
Magazines: "The Ladies’ Home Journal" is founded.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Life Magazine" is established.
Sports
Matthew Webb (1848-1883), first man to swim the English Channel (in 1875) drowns while attempting to swim the rapids above Niagara Falls.
Sports
The first annual New York Horse Show is held in New York City.
Sports
Women in Sports: Mrs. M. C. Howell wins her first archery title. She will win the national championship for women 17 times between 1883 and 1907.
Popular Culture
The first vaudeville theater, the Gaiety Museum, opens in Boston.
Popular Culture
William F. Cody (1846-1917) organizes his first “Wild West Show.”
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes "Life on the Mississippi."
Popular Culture
Howard Pyle (1853-1911) writes (and illustrates) "The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood."
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1884
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Democrat Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) defeats the Republican "plumed knight" James Blaine (1830-1893), becoming the first Democratic president of the United Staes since before the Civil War, and the 22nd President of the U.S. Thomas A. Hendricks (1819-1885) becomes the nation's 21st Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: Belva Ann Lockwood (1830-1917) runs for president as the candidate for the Equal Rights Party; she loses.
Politics
Third Parties: The Anti-Monopoly Party and the Greenback-Labor Party join to form People's Party, supporting many liberal measures including a graduated income tax.
Government
The Bureau of Labor and the Department of the Interior are created by Congress.
Government
National Capitol: The capstone is placed on the Washington Monument.
Government
Presidents: Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) , 33rd president of the United States (1945- 53), is born in Lamar, Missouri.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes tetanus is discovered.
Inventions
The first coin-operated weighing machine is patented by Percy Everitt.
Inventions
Ottmar Mergenthaler (1854-1899) invents the Linotype machine, the first mechanized printing typesetter, which will speed up the presses for newspapers.
Inventions
The first practical turbine engine is invented.
Inventions
The first accurate adding machine is invented.
Technology
The first practical fountain pen is manufactured by Lewis E. Waterman (1837-1901).
Technology
Airplanes: Alexander F. Mozhaiski, Russia, builds a steam-powered monoplane and tests it at Krasnoye Selo, near St. Petersburg. It takes off on a jump ramp and flies for approximately 100 feet before crashing. This is the second power-assisted take-off in history.
Technology
Airplanes: Horatio F. Phillips, England, experiments with cambered wings in a wind tunnel and lays down the scientific foundation for modern airfoil design. He is the first to discover that when the wind blows across a curved surface, it creates a low pressure area on top of the surface and high pressure beneath it. This, in turn, generates lift.
Education
The first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.
Education
The National Education Association forms a kindergarten department.
Education
Women's Colleges: The first state-supported college for women, Mississippi State College for women is chartered.
Education
Native Americans: Indian Education: Educational policy regarding Native Americans is articulated at the Lake Mohonk Conference.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, is born in New York City on October 11.
Roosevelt, Edith
Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980), only child of first marriage of Theodore Roosevelt and Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt, is born February 12.
Daily Life
The Statue of Liberty is presented to America by the people of France.
Daily Life
The first roller coaster opens at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York City.
Sports
Baseball: Baseball gets new rules and goes on to become an extremely popular sport in America. Its growth is also linked to the development of cities and urban culture.
Sports
Baseball: The first U.S. baseball championship is won by Providence (RI) of the National League, beating the New York Metropolitans, 3-0.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women's singles tennis competition is added to Wimbledon. Maud Watson wins in both 1884 and '85.
Popular Culture
American author Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes "Huckleberry Finn."
Religion
Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) founds the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (which led to the Jehovah''''s Witnesses in the United States).
Social Issues
Native Americans: The novel "Ramona" is written by Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) dramatizing the oppression of Indians in the American west.
1885
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Immigration: The Contract Labor Act prohibits the importing of laborors who then work for the cost of transit; skilled, domestic, and professional workers are exempted.
Government
National Capitol: The Washington Monument is dedicated.
Government
Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) is inaugurated as the 22nd President of the United Staes and Thomas A. Hendricks (1819-1885) in inaugurated as the nation's 21st Vice President.
Government
President Cleveland (1837-1906) proposes the suspension of the minting of silver dollars, fearing that silver is undermining the nation’s gold reserves.
War
Indian Wars: Apache Indians leave their reservation in Arizona and continue their war against Whites under Geronimo.
Science
In memory of ornithologist James Audubon (1785-1851), the National Audubon Society is founded in the United States to study bird species.
Science
Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) establishes the uniqueness of fingerprints.
Medicine
The first appendectomy in the United States is performed in Davenport Iowa, by Dr. William Grant.
Medicine
Vaccines: Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) administers the first anti-rabies vaccine to a nine-year-old schoolboy.
Inventions
The first motorcycle is patented, built by Gottlief Daimler in Germany.
Inventions
Karl Benz (1824-1929) builds the world's first gasoline-powered vehicle. It has a traveling speed of nine miles per hour.
Inventions
The first modern bicycle is built. Bikes are a craze in America and Europe until the end of the century.
Inventions
The dictaphone, the electric transformer, the electric drill, and the thermos bottle are invented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Women’s Firsts: Sarah E. Goode becomes the first African-American woman to receive a patent, for a bed that folds up into a cabinet.
Education
Children’s Books: Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), writes "Little Lord Fauntleroy."
Education
Children's Books: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) publishes "A Child’s Garden of Verses."
Education
The Bryn Mawr School for Girls in Baltimore, later joined by Bryn Mawr College for Women near Philadelphia, is founded.
Arts and Letters
"The Mikado," the comic operetta by William S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), premieres at the Savoy Theatre, London.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Theatrical lighting with electricity is made available to theatrical productions.
Grant, Julia
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), 18th President of the United States, dies July 23 in Mount McGregor, New York.
Truman, Bess
Elizabeth Virginia Wallace Truman (1885-1982), wife of Harry S. Truman, is born in Independence, Missouri, on February 13.
Economics
The first commercially operated electrical streetcar begins operation in Baltimore.
Economics
Railroad History: The Santa Fe Railroad is completed.
Daily Life
Special delivery mail service begins in the United States.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman (1867-1922), writing as Nelly Bly, becomes a reporter for the Pittsburgh Dispatch, reporting on poor working conditions in factories, problems of working girls, slums, divorce, and political corruption.
Daily Life
History of Toys: Crayola Crayons: Edwin Binney (1866-1934) and cousin, C. Harold Smith, begin the partnership of Binney & Smith in Peekskill, N.Y. Early products include red oxide pigments for painting red barns and carbon black for car tires.
Sports
Golf: Golf is introduced to the U.S. from Scotland by John M. Fox of Philadelphia.
Sports
A weight-lifting strongman is reported to have lifted 3,239 pounds with a harness.
Popular Culture
H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925) writes the adventure novel, "King Solomon’s Mines."
Popular Culture
"A Thousand and One Nights" is translated by Richard Burton (1821-1890); it includes the stories of “Sindbad the Sailor,” “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp,” and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”
Religion
The U.S. Salvation Army is officially organized.
Religion
The Mormons divide into polygamous and monogamous factions.
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1886
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court rules that “persons” under the Fourteenth Amendment refers not only to individuals but also to corporations.
Government
The U.S. Forestry Service is established as part of the Dept. of Agriculture.
Government
A new Presidential Succession Act is passed providing the presidential succession to go to the Vice President, and then to Cabinet officers in the order that their departments were created.
War
Indian Wars: The last large-scale Indian war in the United States ends when American troops capture Apache chief Geronimo (1829-1909) after four years of warfare on the Mexican border.
Science
Fluorine is first produced by French chemist Henri Moissan (1852-1907).
Inventions
German motor pioneer Karl Benz (1844-1929) is granted a patent for the first successful gasoline-powered car.
Inventions
Josephine Cochrane (1839-1913) invents the dishwasher.
Inventions
Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) builds the world's first four-wheeled motor vehicle.
Inventions
John Pemberton (1814-1881) invents Coca Cola.
Technology
Hydroelectric plants are begun at Niagara Falls.
Technology
Wax disks are developed to use with the phonograph.
Technology
Sewing machines are made with electric motors.
Education
Libraries: The main library and the first four branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Library open in Baltimore, providing service to users of all races.
Education
Children’s Books: Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886), provides the illustrations for Hallam Tennyson's (1852-1928) curious hexameter version of "Jack and the Bean-stalk."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) writes "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
Ideas
Karl Marx’ (1818-1883) "Das Capital" is published in English.
Washington, Martha
Martha Washington (1731-1802) becomes the first woman to be portrayed on U.S. paper money.
Adams, Louisa
Charles Frances Adams (1807-1886), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, dies of a stroke on November 21 at the age of 79.
Arthur, Ellen
Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886), 21st President of the U.S., dies November 18 in New York, New York.
Cleveland, Frances
White House Wedding: Frances Folsom (1864-1947) marries U.S. President Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) in the White House.
Wilson, Ellen
Margaret Woodrow Wilson (1886-1944), daughter of Woodrow and Ellen Wilson, is born April 30.
Economics
Johannesburg is founded in South Africa. The gold-mining town will eventually mine the vast majority of the world's gold.
Economics
Catering to farmers far from large stores, Richard Sears (1863-1914) establishes a successful mail-order house in Minneapolis, first selling watches. He hires A.C. Roebuck (1864-1948) as a watch repairmen the next year in Chicago.
Economics
The first Coca-Cola is sold in Atlanta, advertised as a hangover remedy containing coca leaves and African kola nut extract.
Economics
Aluminum is first produced independently in the U.S. and in France.
Daily Life
The first Tournament of Roses is held in Pasadena, California.
Daily Life
The Statue of Liberty is dedicated in New York Harbor.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The first BB gun is created. Made for children, it scares many parents because it is actually a working gun that can cause injury. The BB gun is a descendant of the cap gun, which was invented soon after the Civil War, when some shotgun manufacturers converted their factories to make toys. Penny pistols and other authentic looking toy guns also began to appear in the 1880s.
Reform
Settlement House Movement: The first settlement house is established in New York City.
Reform
Labor Movement: Chicago police officers shoot four strikers at a May 1st rally for the eight-hour day. The Knights of Labor holds a rally in Haymarket Square to protest the shootings; a bomb goes off, killing a policeman, and the police open fire on the crowd, killing many workers.
Reform
Labor Movement: Samuel Gompers (1850-1924), a cigar maker, founds the American Federation of Labor.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: A bill granting women suffrage is passed by the Vermont legislature
1887
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Women's Firsts: Susanna Medora Salter (1820-1906) is elected the first U.S. woman mayor, in Argonia, Kansas.
Government
Congress creates Yellowstone National Park to be a refuge for buffalo and big game.
Government
Queen Victoria (1819-1901) celebrates her Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years on the British throne.
Government
Congress passes the Interstate Commerce Act, enabling the federal government to regulate railroad rates for the first time.
Government
Native Americans: The Dawes Act, which provides for the allotment of reservation land for individual Native American families, is passed by Congress.
War
Congress renews the U.S.-Hawaii Treaty, giving the U.S. exclusive rights to build a naval base at Pearl Harbor.
Medicine
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) and Jules-Francois Jourbert (1834-1910) of France first demonstrate the antibiotic effect.
Inventions
Celluloid film is invented.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents the record player.
Technology
Paris and Brussels become the first two capital cities to be linked by telephone.
Education
Special Education: Twenty-year-old teacher Anne Sullivan (1866-1936) begins to teach blind-and-deaf child Helen Keller (1880-1968) at the request of Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922). Helen soon learns to communicate.
Education
Higher Education: Women's Colleges: The Smith College Observatory is founded.
Education
The Hatch Act appropriates federal money to study agriculture in any state with a Land Grant College.
Education
Higher Education: Libraries: Melville Dewey (1851-1931) establishes a State Library School in Albany, NY.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Verdi's (1813-1901) opera "Othello" is first performed in Milan, Italy.
Ideas
Polish philologist Lazurus Ludwig Zemenhof (1859-1917) invents Esperanto, hoping that an international language will forestall war and bring about better communication between the peoples of the world.
Wilson, Ellen
Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre (1887-1933), daughter of Woodrow and Ellen Wilson, is born August 28.
Roosevelt, Edith
Theodore "Ted" Roosevelt (Jr.) (1887-1944), son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born September 13.
Economics
The Pennsylvania Railroad runs an electrically lighted train between New York and Chicago.
Economics
The first successful electric trolley line is built in Richmond, VA.
Daily Life
Mail is delivered free in all cities with a population of at least 10,000.
Daily Life
Disasters: Terrible blizzards devastate America''s nothern plains. Families are found frozen to death in tar-paper shacks.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The speaking doll, which had first been invented by Johann Maelzel in 1820, is improved when Thomas Edison combines his phonograph technology with a doll, allowing it to speak.
Sports
Women in Sports: Ellen Hansell is crowned the first Women's Singles tennis champion at the US Open.
Sports
The first national women's tennis tournament is held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
Sports
Softball: Softball is invented by George Hancock, a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade.
Popular Culture
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) publishes his first Sherlock Holmes mystery, "A Study in Scarlet."
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Dawes Act divides tribal land into individual allotted tracts, destroying tribal relations in an attempt to promote assimilation into white culture.
Reform
Nellie Bly (1867-1922) is hired by the New York World; her reporting lays the groundwork for the reform-minded muckracking journalists who come after her.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Utah repeals women's suffrage.
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1888
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) nominates Melville Weston Fuller (1833-1910) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is confirmed by the Senate and serves for twenty-one years.
Politics
Political anthems: A Belgian woodcarver publishes the song "L'Internationale," with lyrics written during the Paris Commune uprising: "Arise, ye prisoners of starvation/ Arise, ye wretched of the earth...." The song is adopted by the Communist Party.
Politics
Belva Ann Lockwood (1830-1917) once more runs for the president for the Equal Rights Party; once again, she loses.
Politics
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) is elected as the 23rd President of the U.S., and Levi P. Morton (1824-1920) is elected as the nation's 22nd Vice President.
Government
Congress creates the Department of Labor.
Government
National Capitol: The public is first admitted to the Washington Monument.
Science
Weather fronts are first described; speculation considers thier relationship to storms.
Inventions
Artifical straws for drinking are patented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Granville T. Woods (1856-1910) patents a system for overhead communication between trains and railroad stations.
Inventions
John Boyd Dunlop (1840-1921) takes out a patent for his pnuematic bicycle tire.
Inventions
Croation-American Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) invents an alternating-current electronic motor. He also develops early radio technology, but he gets little financial reward for his achievements.
Inventions
George Eastman (1854-1932) invents the Kodak camera.
Technology
Emile Berliner (1851-1929) gives the first demonstration of flat disc recording and reproduction before the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
Technology
Incubators are used for premature infants.
Technology
The first seismograph in the U.S. is installed in California.
Technology
Airplanes: Augustus Herring, New York, builds and tests a glider. It fails to fly.
Education
A women's annex to Columbia University is voted by the trustees.
Education
The National Geographic Society is established and publishes the first issue of its journal.
Education
Native Americans: Indian Education: Red Cloud invites the Jesuits to the reservation to establish a school for Lakota children in order to avoid sending children off the reservation.
Arts and Letters
Sculpture: Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) finshes his sculpture "The Thinker" in an enlarged size.
Arts and Letters
Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) composes "Sheherazade."
Arts and Letters
John Phillips Sousa (1854-1932) writes "Semper Fidelis" for the Marines.
Ideas
American socialist Edward Bellamy (1850-1898) writes "Looking Backward," a utopian science-fiction novel depicting the United States in the year 2000.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The body of Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols and Annie Chapman, the first two victims of murderer "Jack the Ripper," are found in London. Five more London prostitues are found disemboweled and a rumor circulates that Queen Victoria is responsible for their deaths to distract the public from scandals surrounding her son.
Daily Life
Disasters: The famous "Blizzard of''88" occurs, lasting 36 hours and killing 400 people.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: New York state establishes electrocution for murderers sentenced to die.
Sports
Softball: Softball moves outdoors, played on a diamond smaller than baseball''s, and called Indoor-Outdoor Baseball.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women join bicycling clubs in Chicago and tennis clubs in New York City.
Popular Culture
The world's first beauty contest takes place at Spa in Belgium. The first prize is awarded to Bertha Soucaret. an 18-year-old Creole from Guadeloupe.
Popular Culture
"Casey at the Bat" is recited for the first time in public.
1889
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
New State: Four states are admitted to the Union and include North and South Dakota as the 39th and 40th states, Montana as the 41st state, and Washington as the 42nd state.
Government
Native Americans: Indian lands in Oklahoma are made available to white settlers.
Government
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) is inaugurated as the 23rd President of the U.S., and Levi P. Morton (1824-1920) is inaugurated as the nation's 22nd Vice President.
Science
The origin of insulin in the pancreas is discovered.
Inventions
An inexpensive method of producing aluminum is patented by Charles Hall of Ohio.
Inventions
Joshua Pusey invents the matchbook.
Inventions
Sir James Dewar (1842-1923) and Sir Frederick Abel co-invent Cordite - a type of smokeless gunpowder.
Technology
The first celluloid movie in the U.S. is made.
Technology
The Eiffel Tower is completed in Paris.
Technology
Airplanes: Lawrence Hargrave (1850-1915), Australia, builds the first rotary airplane engine. It runs on compressed air and Hargrave uses it to power his model aircraft.
Education
Women's Firsts: Marie Louise Baldwin becomes the first black school principal in Massachusetts; she supervises 12 white teahcers and more than 500 children, 98% of them white.
Education
Barnard College, a women's college affiliated with Columbia University and named after Columbia's president Frederick Barnard (1809-1889) is founded in New York.
Education
Catholic Univeristy opens in Washington D.C.
Education
Clinical training is established as part of medical education at John Hopkins University Medical School.
Education
Children’s Books: The Scottish-born poet, classicist, folklorist, and critic Andrew Lang (1844-1912) writes "The Blue Fairy Book."
Arts and Letters
Painting: In a frenzy of activity, Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) finishes several famous paintings, including "The Starry Night," one of his last works.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) writes "The Master of Ballantrae."
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb Hayes (1831-1889) dies of a major stroke on June 25, while sewing as she watches a tennis match at Spiegel Grove, Ohio.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) tries to get Congress to appropiate funds to enlarge the White House; she fails, but does succeed in getting them to provide money for renovations.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Gardiner Tyler (1820-1889) dies of a stroke in Richmond, Virginia on July 10.
Harrison, Caroline
Electric lights are installed at the White House, but President Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) and his wife, Caroline (1832-1892) refuse to touch the swithces, so the lights must be turned on by an employee at night, then turned off in the morning.
Roosevelt, Edith
Kermit Roosevelt (1889-1943), son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born October 10.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Powers Fillmore (1828-1889), son of Millard and Abigail Fillmore, dies November 15.
Wilson, Ellen
Eleanor "Nellie" Randolph Wilson McAdoo (1889-1967), daughter of Woodrow and Ellen Wilson, is born October 16.
Taft, Helen
Robert Alphonso Taft (1889-1953), son of William Howard and Helen Taft, is born September 8.
Economics
"The man who dies rich dies disgraced." writes steel baron and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), displaying the contradictory attitudes towards wealth characteristic of the American Gilded Age.
Economics
Isaac Singer (1811-1875) markets an electric sewing machine.
Economics
The first anti-trust laws are passed in Kansas, North Caolina, Tennessee, and Michigan.
Daily Life
The first premixed self-rising pancake mix is marketed in the U.S.
Daily Life
Disasters: The Johnstown flood occurs in Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Cosmopolitan Magazine" is founded.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "Wall Street Journal" begins publishing.
Sports
Softball: George Hancock publishes the first set of Indoor-Outdoor Baseball (softball) rules.
Sports
Football: The first All-American Football Team is chosen by coach Walter Camp (1859-1925).
Sports
Boxing: The last bare-knuckled boxing championship occurs in Mississippi.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first women's six-day bicycle race ends at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) writes "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."
Popular Culture
John Phillip Sousa (1854-1932) composes the "Washington Post March."
Popular Culture
Nelly Bly (1867-1922) circles the globe in 72 days, beating by 8 days the record of the fictional Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days."
Social Issues
Native Americans: Land in Oklahoma, formerly in Indian hands, is opened to white settlers; about 50,000 settlers rushed in on the first day.
Reform
Settlement House Movement: Jane Addams (1860-1935) opens Hull House in Chigago. It''s part of the settlement-house mevement to help immigrant populations adjust to American life both materially and culturally.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: M. Carey (1857-1935) Thomas leads the group of feminists who secure admission of women students to the John Hopkins Medical School as a condition of a large gift to its endowment.
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1890
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The Sherman Anti-Trust Act bans every type of restraint of trade in the United States, but the anti-monopoly law initially accomplishes little.
Government
Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks are created by an act of Congress. The national park is one sign of a developing conservation movement in the United States.
Government
Presidents: Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969), 34th President of the United States, is born in Denison, Texas.
Government
New State: Idaho is admitted to the Union as the 43rd state and Wyoming is admitted as the 44th state in the Union.
Government
Women's Firsts: Alice Sanger becomes stenographer for President Harrison, the first woman employed in U.S. executive offices.
War
Indian Wars: An army of about 500 United States soldiers massacres 300 Sioux Indian men, women, and children in a South Dakota encampment. The Battle of Wounded Knee is the final violent struggle between Native Americans and whites in the United States.
Medicine
Emil von Behring (1854-1917), in Germany, develops a diphtheria antitoxin.
Medicine
For the first time, rubber gloves are used in surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.
Medicine
Dr. Ida Gray (1868-1907) becomes the first black woman dentist in the U.S.
Medicine
The standardization of diphtheria antitoxin establishes the field of immunology.
Inventions
Pans made from aluminum are invented in Ohio.
Technology
Airplanes: Clement Ader (1841-1926), France, builds a steam-powered, propeller-driven bat-wing airplane, the Eole. It rises about 8 inches in the air and flies 165 feet. It is the first manned aircraft to take off from level ground.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Emily Dickinson's (1830-1886) first volume of poetry is published posthumously.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) writes "Hedda Gabler."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) writes "The Picture of Dorian Gray."
Ideas
William James (1842-1910) publishes "The Principles of Psychology."
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) helps raise funds for the Johns Hopkins Medical School, on the condition that they admit women.
Harrison, Caroline
With the help of Caroline Harrison, the Daughters of the American Revolution is founded in Washington, D.C.
Economics
Anti-trust laws are passed by 11 more states.
Economics
Ladybugs are imported to control insects threatening California's citrus trees.
Economics
Census: According to the 1890 census, the total population in the United States is nearly 63 million people.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Convicted murderer William Kemmler (1861-1890) becomes the first person to be executed in the electric chair as he is put to death at Auburn State Prison in New York.
Daily Life
German drug manufacturer Eugene Schieffelin introduces starlings to New York City. Today, starlings are one of the most common urban bird species in the United States.
Daily Life
Fashion: American women begin to wear knickerbockers for bicyclce riding.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Modern newspaper features include bold "banner" headlines, extensive use of illustrations, "funny pages," plus expanded coverage of organized sporting events.
Daily Life
The General Federation of Women's Clubs is founded.
Sports
Women in Sports: Baseball: The Bloomer Girls baseball era lasted from the 1890s until 1934. Hundreds of teams -- All Star Ranger Girls, Philadelphia Bobbies, New York Bloomer Girls, Baltimore Black Sox Colored Girls -- offered employment, travel, and adventure for young women who could hit, field, slide, or catch.
Popular Culture
The first moving picture shows (movies) are shown in New York City.
Social Issues
Child Labor: Almost 23,000 children work in the factories of 13 southern states.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake) (1831-1890), the chief who led the Sioux Indians at the Battle of Little Big Horn against Lt. Col. George Custer (1839-1876), is killed. He dies while resisting arrest by Indian police.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Mississippi institutes a poll tax, literacy tests, and other measures to prevent blacks from voting. This marks the end of the political freedoms freed slaves had enjoyed during federal Reconstruction.
Reform
Labor Movement: United Mine workers of America is founded.
Reform
Poverty: New York photographer and social critic Jacob Riis (1849-1914) publishes "How the Other Half Lives," documenting the everyday poverty in the slums of New York City; the book is instrumental in forging a coalition of reform in the years of the Progressive Movement.
1891
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The newly established U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals ease the load of the Supreme Court.
Politics
Exiles from the Ottoman Empire, called Young Turks, meet in Geneva. The Young Turks later become the architects of Turkey's nationalist movement.
Government
Hawaii proclaims as its Queen Liliukalani (1838-1917), renowned for her song "Aloha Oe."
Government
The Forest Reserve Act enables the President to reserve public lands for national parks.
Medicine
The American Psychological Association is founded.
Medicine
Chicago's Provident Hospital becomes the first interracial hospital in the United States.
Inventions
American, W.L. Judson invents the zipper, though it is not widely used until 1919.
Technology
The submarine, "Monarch," lays telephone cable along the English Channel bed to prepare for the first telephone links across the Channel.
Technology
Wireless telegraphy begins.
Technology
Airplanes: Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896) begins to test winged gliders, made from cloth stretched over willow frameworks.
Technology
Airplanes: Samuel Langley, Virginia, begins to experiment with steam-powered model aircraft he calls Aerodromes. The first five are failures.
Education
Higher Education: The University of Chicago is founded. The new Midwestern university, which sets out to lure academic stars away from the Northeast, gets its intial endowment from oil magnate John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937).
Arts and Letters
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) conducts part of the first concert in brand new Carnegie Hall.
Arts and Letters
Literature: English author Thomas Hardy's (1840-1928) classic, "Tess of the d'Urbervilles," is published.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Emily Dickinson's 1830-1886) "Poems: Second" is published in 1891 and runs to five editions by 1893.
Taft, Helen
Helen Herron Taft Manning (1891-1987), daughter of William Howard and Helen Taft, is born August 1.
Roosevelt, Edith
Ethel Carow Roosevelt Derby (1891-1977), daughter of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born August 13.
Cleveland, Frances
Ruth Cleveland "Baby Ruth" (1891-1904), daughter of Grover and Frances Cleveland, is born.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) designs the corn-and-flower pattern of the White House china used during her husband's administration.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) gives the first public address ever made by an incumbant First Lady on October 21.
Polk, Sarah
Sarah Childress Polk (1803-1891) dies at Polk Place in Nashville at the age of eighty-seven.
Economics
The United States' first full-service advertising agency opens in New York City.
Sports
The first marathon race is run in Massachusetts; it is 26 miles, 385 yards, the same distance run in 490 B.C. to carry the new of an Anthenian victory over the Persians.
Popular Culture
Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) publishes "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes."
Popular Culture
Madison Square Garden is designed by Stanford White (1853-1906).
Popular Culture
Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) paints his first music hall posters.
Religion
Ann Spencer becomes an ordained minister of the Unitarian Church, serving in Providence, RI.
Social Issues
Native Americans: More Indian Territory land is opned to the public for settlement.
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1892
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) is re-elected as the 24th President of the United States, and Adlai Stevenson (1835-1914) is elected the nation's 23rd Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: Angry Southern and Western farmers found the Populist Party at a convention in Omaha, Nebraska. Their candidate for President, James Weaver (1833-1912) wins 9 percent of the vote and receives 22 electoral votes.
Government
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act is extended for ten years.
Medicine
American School of Osteopathy opens in Missouri. The practice spreads rapidly and in most states is granted legal recognition identical with that of allopathic medicine.
Inventions
Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) invents the carburetor.
Inventions
The Ferris Wheel is invented by George W.G. Ferris (1859-1896) for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Inventions
The first escalator, The Reno Inclined Elevator, is patented by Jesse W. Reno (b. 1861) of New York.
Technology
The first electric car is driven from Des Moines, Iowa to Chicago, Illinois.
Technology
The first automated telephone swithcboard is introduced
Technology
Artifical textile fibers, later named Rayon, are improved.
Technology
Airplanes: Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville Wright (1871-1948) purchase "safety bicycles" and open a sales and repair shop. They give a bicycle to their friend, Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906).
Education
Public Education: The National Education Association establishes what becomes known as the Committee of Ten to study the function of the American high school.
Education
The International Kindergarten Union, an organization of kindergarten teachers, is founded in the U.S.
Arts and Letters
Tchaikovsky's (1840-1893) "The Nutcracker" ballet is performed in St. Petersburg.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) publsihes her first collection of poetry.
Ideas
Charolette Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) publishes her short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper."
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) dies of tuberculosis in the White House on October 25, at the age of 60.
Economics
The Ohio Supreme Court outlaws John D. Rockefeller's (1839-1937) Standard Oil Trust under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. But Rockafeller simply re-incorporates in New Jersey, where corporations are allowed to hold other companies, and keeps his company under the new name Standard Oil of New Jersey.
Economics
Boll weevils invade from Mexico and infest most of the South's cotton crop.
Daily Life
Melba toast is named for opera singer Nellie Melba (1861-1931).
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Lizzie Borden (1860-1927) is acquitted in the ax murder of her parents; it is one of America''s first sensational trials.
Daily Life
Fire seriously damages New York's original Metropolitan Opera House, located at Broadway and 39th Street.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The Dalton Gang, notorious for its train robberies, is practically wiped out while attempting to rob a pair of banks in Coffeyville, Kansas.
Sports
Boxing: "Gentleman Jim" Corbett (1866-1933) wins the heavyweight boxing title by defeating John L. Sullivan (1858-1918); the fight is the first under the new Marquis of Queensbury rules.
Sports
Women in Sports: The journal Physical Education (a publication of the YMCA) devote an issue to women, saying that women need physical strength and endurance and dismis the popular idea that women are too weak to exercise.
Popular Culture
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) publishes "Barrack-Room Ballads," that include "Gunga Din" and "The Road to Mandalay."
Social Issues
Immigration: Ellis Island replaces Castle Garden as the receiving place immigrants to the United States.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Carrie Nation (1846-1911) begins her violent fight for temperance legislation, often taking an ax to saloons.
Reform
Labor Movement: Steelwokers at one of Andrew Carnegie's (1835-1919) mills in Homestead, Pennsylvania, go on strike because manager, Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), refuses to grant them a union contract. The workers lose after five months in one of the owrst defeats the American Labor movement has ever suffered.
Reform
Environmental Movement: The Sierra Club organizes to protect America's enviroment.
1893
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act is declared constitutional by the Supreme Court.
Government
Hawaii is proclaimed a republic; it is annexed by treaty to the U.S. in February; in March, the treaty is withdrawn.
Government
France acquires a protectorate over Laos and governs it as part of Indochina.
Government
The rank of Ambassador is created by Congress under the Diplomatic Appropriations Act.
Government
A second Irish Home Rule bill is passed by the British House of Commons but rejected in the House of Lords.
Government
Congress defeats an attempt to switch the U.S. to the metric system.
Government
Stamps: The first U.S. commemorative stamps are issued. They depict scenes of Columbus' voyage to America.
Government
Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) is inaugurated as the 24th President of the United States, and Adlai Stevenson (1835-1914) is inaugurated the nation's 23rd Vice President.
Science
The "Journal of Geology" is founded by Thomas C. Chamberlin (1843-1928).
Science
The length of the meter is standardized using a measurement based on the wavelength of red cadmium light.
Science
A forerunner to the theory of relativity is set forth by physicists George Fitzgerald, Jr. (1851-1901) and Hendrik Lorenz (1853-1928), stating that objects get smaller as they approach the speed of light.
Inventions
Henry Ford (1863-1947) builds his first successful gasoline engine.
Inventions
Chemist Leo H. Baekeland (1863-1944) develops "Velox," the first photographic paper sensitive enough to be printed by artificial light.
Inventions
Karl Benz (1844-1929) builds a four-wheel car.
Technology
Chlorine is first used to treat sewage in Brewster, New York.
Technology
Airplanes: Hiram Maxim (1840- 1916) predicts that even "under the most unfavorable circumstances, aerial navigation will be an accomplished fact inside of ten years."
Technology
Airplanes: Lawrence Hargrave (1850-1915), Australia, invents the box kite. Because it is remarkably stable and generates large amounts of lift, it creates a sensation in aeronautical circles. It's general form influences all early airplane designers.
Education
Public Education (1893-1913): Size of school boards in the country's 28 biggest cities is cut in half. Most local district (or "ward") based positions are eliminated, in favor of city-wide elections. This means that local immigrant communities lose control of their local schools. Makeup of school boards changes from small local businessmen and some wage earners to professionals (like doctors and lawyers), big businessmen and other members of the richest classes.
Education
Women's Colleges: Mt. Holyoke Seminary becomes Mt. Holyoke College.
Education
Lillian Wald (1867-1940) organizes Home nursing classes for immigrant families in New York City.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) writes "A Woman of No Importance."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henry Blake Fuller (1857-1929) publishes "The Cliff-Dwellers," considered to be the first American novel about the city.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Englebert Humperdinck composes the opera "Hansel and Gretal."
Arts and Letters
Italian actress Eleanora Duse (1858-1924) makes her debut in New York City.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Stephen Crane's (1871-1900) first novel, "Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets," (1893) is a milestone in the development of literary naturalism.
Arts and Letters
Willa Catha (1873-1947) becomes a regular contributor to the "Nebraska State Journal"; she begins to review plays and write a Sunday column. She is also managing editor of "The Hesperian" and contributes numerous pieces.
Ideas
Matilda Gage publishes her classic feminist analysis, "Women, Church, and State."
Ideas
"The Psychic Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena" is published by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Josef Breuer (1842-1925), laying the foundations of psychoanalysis.
Ideas
Psychologist Milicent Washburn Shinn (1858-1940) publishes "Notes on the Development of a Child."
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893), 19th President of the U.S., dies January 17 at Spiegel Grove in Fremont, Ohio.
Cleveland, Frances
Esther Cleveland (Bosanquet) (1893-1980), daughter of Grover and Frances Cleveland, is born September 9.
Economics
A financial panic in the U.S. is touched off because gold reserves fall below $90 million.
Economics
L C. Tiffany (1838-1933) develops fervile glass, an elegant type of stained glass with which he makes screens, lampshades, and other items.
Economics
Railroad History: On May 10th locomotive #999 of the New York Central & Hudson River RR hauled four heavy Wagner cars of the Empire State Express down a 0.28% grade at record-braking speed.
Discovery
The World Columbian Exposition opens in Chicago and celebrates the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.
Sports
Boxing: The longest recorded boxing match occurs in New Orleans between Andy Bowen and Jack Burk; it lasts for 110 rounds, 7 hours, 4 minutes.
Sports
A relay race is first run at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sports
Ice hockey is introduced from Canada at Yale and Johns Hopkins Universities.
Sports
The first cross-country skiing competition for women takes place in Sweden.
Sports
Baseball: The stories differ, but some time during these years baseball meets the hot dog and an American classic is born.
Popular Culture
The words to "America the Beautiful" are written by Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929).
Popular Culture
Having killed him off in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes," Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) is subjected to major public outrage and demands that the detective be brought back to life.
Popular Culture
Calamity Jane (1848-1903) tours Europe and the U.S. in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.
Popular Culture
Mildred Hill (1859-1916), from Kentucky, publsihes her song, "Good Morning to All"; Robert H. Coleman adds a second verse beginning, "Happy Birthday to You."
Social Issues
Native Americans: Cherokee land between Kansas and Oklahoma is declared open to settlement.
Reform
Settlement House Movement: Lillian Wald (1867-1940) and Mary Brewster found the Henry Street Settlement on the lower east side of New York City, providing, among other things, visiting nursing to poor families.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Colorado adopts suffrage for women.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: New Zealand adopts suffrage for women.
Reform
The first World Congress of Women is held in Chicago.
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1894
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
French army Captain Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) is arrested for treason; he is convicted "in camera," and deported to Devil's Island, French Guiana. This case, widely known as the "Dreyfus Affair," is, in part, an example of anti-Semitic persecution.
Government
Nicholas II (1868-1918) becomes the last czar of Russia.
Government
Congress passes the first graduated income tax law as part of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act, which lowers tariffs.
War
The Sino-Japanese War over control of Korea begins.
Science
Florence Bascom (1862-1945) becomes the first woman elected as a fellow of the Geological Society of America.
Science
Lord Rayleigh (1842-1919) and William Ramsay (1852-1916) discover argon.
Science
The Lowell Observatory is built in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Medicine
Alexander Yersin (1863-1943) and Kitasato Shibasaburo (1853-1931) independently discover the plague bacillus.
Medicine
The Boston Board of Health begins medical examination of school-children.
Medicine
The first effective antitoxin against diphtheria is developed by Anna Wessel Williams (1863-1954).
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) demonstrates the kinetoscope, a device for peep-show viewing using photographs that flip rapidly in sequence.
Inventions
Louis Lumiere (1864-1948) invents the cinematograph.
Inventions
A small hand-powered submarine is launched by inventor Simon Lake (1866-1945).
Inventions
Rudolf Diesel (1858-1913) invents the diesel engine.
Technology
Airplanes: Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896) is regularly making glides of over 1000 feet. He begins to outfit his gliders with a "rebound bow" at the front to absorb the shock of a rough landing. It saves his life on at least one occasion.
Education
Children’s Books: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) uses his own upbringing in India for his Mowgli stories in "The Jungle Book."
Education
Women's Colleges: Radcliffe College recieves its formal charter as a women's college associated with Harvard University; Elizabeth Agassiz (1822-1907) becomes its first president.
Education
Women's Colleges: Martha Carey Thomas (1857-1935) becomes president of Bryn Mawr College.
Education
Ellen Gates Scott, co-founder of Hull House, founds the Chicago Public School Art Society in an effort to keep great art before the eyes of slum dwellers.
Education
Libraries: North Carolina A&T State University's Bluford Library is founded in Greemsboro.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) writes "Arms and the Man."
Arts and Letters
Jean Silbelius (1865-1957) composes "Finlandia."
Arts and Letters
Debussy (1862-1918) composes "The Afternoon of a Fawn" (L'Apres-midi d'un faune).
Arts and Letters
Literature: "The Prisoner of Zenda" is published by English author Anthony Hope (1863-1933).
Arts and Letters
Literature: The character of the hypnotist Svengali is introduced in the novel, "Trilby," by George du Maurier (1834-1896).
Arts and Letters
Emily Dickinson's (1830-1886) two volumes of letters, heavily edited and selected, are published.
Roosevelt, Edith
Archibald "Archie" Bulloch Roosevelt (1894-1981), son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born April 9.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Comics first appear in Sunday newspapers.
Sports
Horse Racing: The New York Jockey Club is founded.
Sports
A committee is established to organize the modern Olympic Games.
Sports
Golf: The United States Golf Association is founded.
Sports
Women in Sports: Golf: The first Australian women''s national golf championship is held.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes "Tom Sawyer Abroad" and "The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson."
Religion
The World's Young Women's Christian Association (WYWCA) is founded in Geneva, Switzerland.
Religion
Children’s Books: Talbot Baines Reed (1852-1893) bibliographer whose twenty-plus books include "The Master of the Shell," written for the Religious Tract Society.
Reform
Labor Movement: In a year of major labor unrest, Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) leads the American Railway Union in support of Pullman strikers; railroad traffic out of Chicago comes to a halt; federal troops break the strike; Debs is jailed.
Reform
A band of unemployed men led by Jacob S. Coxey (1854-1951) engages in a march on Washington to petition Congress for public works projects to help the jobless. Coxey is arrested for trespassing and the "army" disbands.
1895
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
In "Pollack v. Farmers Loan and Trust Company," the Supreme Court finds the income tax unconstitutional.
Law
Labor Movement: The Supreme Court upholds the use of the injuction as a strike-breaking device.
Government
The British South Africa Company territory south of Zambezi becomes Rhodesia.
War
The Sino-Japanese War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki.
Science
Wilhelm Rontgen (1845-1923) discovers x-rays.
Science
The Yerkes Observatory is established at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Medicine
A group of black doctors form the National Medical Association, asserting that their interests are not being met by the American Medical Association.
Medicine
Alexander Yersin (1863-1943) develops a serum to fight bubonic plague.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Lillian Murray (1871-1960) becomes Britain's first woman dentist.
Medicine
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) publishes "Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women."
Inventions
The safety razor is invented by King C. Gillette (1855-1932).
Inventions
Italian physcist Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) invents a wireless telegraph system.
Technology
The Lumiere brothers (Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis (1864-1948) are granted a patent in France for the earliest movie projectors. In March, thry first demonstrate motion pictures using celluloid film in Paris.
Technology
Pneumatic (air-filled) tires are produced by the Hartford Rubber Works in Connecticut.
Technology
Airplanes: Percy Pilcher, Scotland, builds a glider, the Bat. Visits Otto Lilienthal and asks for advice. Makes suggested improvement and flies the Bat. Builds two more gliders, the Beetle and the Gull, making improvements on each one.
Education
Troy Female Seminary becomes the Emma Willard School.
Education
Higher Education: The London School of Economics and Political Science is founded.
Education
Libraries: The Astor and Lenox libraries and the Tilden Trust merge to form the New York Public Library.
Arts and Letters
Painting: The Art Nouveau style of painting is fashionable.
Arts and Letters
Dance: The first complete performance of the ballet, "Swan Lake," by Tchaikosvky (1840-1893) occurs in St. Petersburg.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Stephen Crane (1871-1900) publishes "The Red Badge of Courage."
Arts and Letters
Painting: Impressionist art is introduced to the U.S.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) writes the play "The Importance of Being Earnest."
Ideas
Thomas Masaryk (1850-1937) publishes "The Czech Question."
Ideas
Volume 3 of "Das Kapital" by Karl Marx (1818-1883) is published posthumously.
Cleveland, Frances
Marion Cleveland (Dell Amen) (1895-1977), daughter of Grover and Frances Cleveland, is born July 7.
Economics
Railroad History: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad begins using electric locomotives.
Economics
The commercial production of pasteurized milk is begun by Lewis B. Halsey (1851-1919).
Economics
Sears Roebuck Company opens a mail-order business.
Economics
Women''s Firsts: Florence Kelley (1859-1932) becomes the first woman to head a state factory-inspection service.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Field and Stream" magazine begins publication.
Daily Life
The first national organization of Black women's clubs, the National Federation of Afro-American Women, is organized by Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Barrier Williams, and Margaret Washington.
Sports
The American Bowling Congress is established to govern the game.
Sports
Football: The first professional football game is played in the U.S. at Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Sports
Golf: The first U.S. Open Golf Championship is held.
Sports
Women in Sports: Annie Smith Peck is the first woman to reach the peak of the Matterhorn. She climbed in a pair of knickerbockers, causing a sensation with the press. She helps to found the American Alpine Club in 1902.
Popular Culture
Katharine Lee Bates(1859-1929) publishes "America the Beautiful."
Popular Culture
H.G. Wells (1866-1946) writes "The Time Machine."
Popular Culture
The first public film show occurs in Paris at the Hotel Scribe.
Religion
The National Baptist Convention if the U.S.A. is founded by the merger of Negro Baptist groups.
Religion
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) publishes "The Woman's Bible."
Reform
Settlement House Movement: Lillian D. Wald(1867-1940) founds a nurses' settlement on Henry Street in New York City.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) publishes her famous work on lynching, "Red Record," the first comprehensive work on the topic supported by statistical data.
Reform
Settlement House Movement: Jane Addams (1860-1935) publishes "Hull House Maps and Papers," a detailed study of conditions of Chicago immigrants served by the settlement house.
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1896
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Education: In "Plessy v. Ferguson," the Supreme Court rules that "separate but equal" facilities for whites and blacks are constitutional; the ruling marks the beginning of the "Jim Crow" era, legalizing segregation and forming the central legal basis for school segregation in the United States.
Politics
Third Parties: William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) gives his "Cross of Gold" speech at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; he is nominated for president by both the free-silver democrats and the Populist Party.
Politics
William McKinley (1843-1901) is elected the 25th President of the United States, and Garrett A. Hobart (1844-1899) is elected the nation's 24th Vice President.
Government
Rural free mail delivery is established.
Government
New State: Utah becomes the 45th state in the Union; it reinstates women's suffrage, which was lost in 1887.
Government
Stamps: Rural free delivery beings bringing mail to homes in the country.
Science
Ohio physicist Wallace Sabine (1868-1919), develops a reverberation equation that becomes the basics of acoustics.
Science
Swedish anatomist, Magnus G. Retzius (1842-1919), publishes "The Human Brain," the most complete work in his topic today.
Science
Helium is discovered by William Ramsey (1852-1916).
Science
Radioactivity is discovered by Frech physicist A. H. Becquerel (1852-1908).
Science
Lord Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937), English chemist, discovers alpha and beta waves.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents the flouroscope and the flourescent lamp.
Inventions
American, H. O'Sullivan invents the rubber heel.
Technology
H.L. Smith takes the first X-ray photograph, a hand with a bullet in it.
Technology
Airplanes: Percy Pilcher builds a much-improved glider, the Hawk, and glides up to 750 feet. He plans a powered version
Education
Public Education: Plessy v. Ferguson decision. The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the state of Louisiana has the right to require "separate but equal" railroad cars for Blacks and whites. This decision means that the federal government officially recognizes segregation as legal. One result is that southern states pass laws requiring racial segregation in public schools.
Arts and Letters
Opera: "La Boheme," by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), is performed in Turin.
Arts and Letters
The last of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, "The Grand Duke," is performed in London.
Arts and Letters
John Phillips Sousa (1854-1932) composes "The Stars and Stripes Forever."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) write the play "The Seagull."
Arts and Letters
Edward Elgar (1857-1934) composes "Enigma Variations."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846-1916) publishes "Quo Vadis."
Arts and Letters
German opera singer Lilli Lehmann (1848-1929) debuts in Prague, Danzig, and Leipzig, and receieves a lifetime appointment at the Royal Opera in Berlin.
Ideas
The Nobel Prizes are established in physics, phisiology and medicine, chemistry, literature, and peace.
Tyler, Letitia
John Tyler, Jr. (1819-1896), son of John and Letitia Tyler, dies January 26.
Economics
Successful off-shore oil wells are drilled near Santa Barbara, California.
Economics
A hydroelectric plant opens in Niagara Falls.
Economics
The Wright brothers begin to manufacture their own bicycles.
Daily Life
The tootsie roll is introduced by Leo Hirschfield.
Daily Life
Fanny Farmer (1857-1915), principal of the Boston Cooking School, publsihes "The Boston Cooking School Cookbook," which introduces precise measurement and instructions to cooking; revisions of the cookbook, which is renamed "The Fanny Farmer Cookbook," make the cook book a standard throughout the 20th century.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Harriet Hubbard Ayer(1849-1903) joins the New York World as a beauty columnist, becoming the first coordinator of a "women's page."
Daily Life
"Book" matches become popular.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: A westernized version of the Indian game Parcheesi is introduced in England under the name Ludo.
Sports
Women in Sports: Susan B. Anthony says that "the bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world."
Sports
Women in Sports: Basketball: Women play in their first intercollegiate basketball game, between the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University; no males were allowed at the Berkeley game.
Sports
The first modern Olympic Games open in Athens, Greece.
Sports
The first U.S. hockey league, The Amateur Hockey League, is established in New York City.
Sports
Athlete James B. Connolly (1870-1916) becomes the first Olympic champion in 1500 years at the revival of the Olympic Games in Athens.
Popular Culture
The first close-up, prolonged embrace on the movie screen, The John Rice-May Irwin Kiss, scandalizes audiences across the country.
Popular Culture
Motion pictures are introduced into vaudeville shows.
Popular Culture
Women’s Firsts: Alice Guy Blaché (1873-1968), the first American woman film director, shoots the first of her more than 300 films, a short feature called La Fee aux Choux (The Cabbage Fairy).
Religion
The Mormon Church abandons polygamy, the practice of a man having more than one wife.
Religion
Former baseball player Billy Sunday (1862-1935) begins a career of evangelism, preaching at 300 revivals and to 100 million people before his death in 1935.
Social Issues
Poverty: The Volunteers of America is founded by Salvation army leader Maud Charlesworth Booth (1865-1948).
Reform
Labor Movement: The Union for Industrial Progress is organized by Mary Morton Kehew (1859-1918) and Mary Kenney (O'Sullivan)(1864-1943) to support bookbinders, laundry and tobacco workers, and women clothing workers.
1897
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court supports the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Law
Women's Firsts: Sophonisba Preston Breckeridge (1866-1948) is the first women to be admitted to the Kentucky bar.
Politics
Mathieu Dreyfus (1857-1930) discovers that the document on which his brother, Alfred (1859-1935), was convicted was actually written by Major M. C. Esterhazy.
Government
William A. McKinley (1843-1901) is inaugurated as the 25th President of the United States, and Garrett A. Hobart (1844-1899) is inaugurated as the nation's 24th Vice President.
Government
Immigration: President McKinley (1843-1901) vetoes a bill that would require literacy tests for immigrants.
Government
This year marks Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, marking her 60th year as Queen of Great Britain.
Science
Marie Curie (1867-1934) publsihes her first paper, on the magnetism of tempered steel, the year her daughter, Irene, was born.
Science
Scottish physicist Joseph J. Thompson (1884-1956) discovers the electron.
Science
Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), who later achieved prominance as a children's author, discovers that lichen is not a kind of plant, but a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi; her discovery would not be accepted for another decade
Medicine
The malaria bacillus is discovered by Ronald Ross (1857-1932).
Medicine
The bacterium that causes dysentery is discovered by Japanese bacteriologist Shiga Kiyoshi (1871-1951).
Medicine
Dutch physician Chistiaan Ejikman (1858-1930) determines that the disease beriberi is caused by dietary deficiency.
Medicine
America's first hospital for crippled children opens in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Inventions
The oscilloscope is invented by Karl F. Braun (1850-1918).
Inventions
African American Inventors: Andrew Beard (c.1849-1910), patents an improvement to railroad car couplers, called the Jenny Coupler, which did the dangerous job of hooking railroad cars together.
Technology
The first full-length x-ray of a human body is produced by William Morton (1819-1868).
Technology
The world's largest telescope (40 inch lens) is installed at Yerkes Observatory.
Technology
A 36-foot long gasoline powered submarine, the Argonaut II, with wheels for rolling along the ocean floor, in launched.
Technology
The first practical subway is completed in Boston.
Education
The National Congress of Mothers, forerunner of the National Parent-Teacher Association, is founded by Pheobe Apperson Hearst (1842-1919) and Alice McLellan Birney (1858-1907).
Education
Education of Women: John Hopkins University's medical school becomes the first major American medical school to admit women, after recieving a large contribution from Mary Elizabeth Garrett (1854-1915) on the condition that it do so.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) writes "Captain's Courageous."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Edmund Rostand (1868-1918) writes and produces the play "Cyrano de Bergerac" in France.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) writes the play, "Candide."
Arts and Letters
Women’s Firsts: H.H.A. Beach's (1867-1944) "Gaelic Symphony" is the first symphony by a woman performed in the United States, and possibly the world.
Ideas
Havelock Ellis (1859-1939) writes "Studies in the Psychology of Sex."
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) defines the "Oedipus Complex" and suggests that dreams play an important psychological role.
Cleveland, Frances
Richard Folsom "Dick" Cleveland (1897-1974), son of Grover and Frances Cleveland, is born October 28.
Harrison, Caroline
Elizabeth Harrison Walker (1897-1955), daughter of Benjamin and Caroline Harrison, is born February 21.
Roosevelt, Edith
Quentin Roosevelt (1897-1918), son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born November 19.
Taft, Helen
Charles Phelps Taft (1897-1983), son of William Howard and Helen Taft, is born September 20.
Economics
American Money: A National Monetary Commission meets at Indianapolis and endorses the existing gold standard.
Economics
Marconi (1874-1937) achieves radio tansmission over long distances and establishes the Wireless Telegraph Company.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first American comic strip, the "Katzenjammer Kids," is begun by Rudolph Dirks (1877-1968).
Daily Life
Sophie Levy Lyons (1848-1924) adandons a successful acreer as a famous international bank robber to become the first society columnist in the U.S.
Daily Life
Novelist Willa Cather (1873-1947) begins her career as a newspaperwoman in Pittsburgh
Sports
Softball: Softball becomes international with the creation of a league in Toronto, and the publication of the Indoor Baseball Guide.
Sports
Boxing: In the first boxing match to be photographed with a moving picture camera, Corbett (1866-1933) is defeated by Bob Fitzsimmons (1863-1917) in a 14-round bout.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first Women's French Tennis Championship is held.
Popular Culture
Bram Stroker, Jr. (1847-1912) publishes "Dracula."
Reform
Abolition Movement: Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913) wins a $20 per month pension for her Civil War service to the Union.
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1898
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
French writer Emile Zola(1840-1902) is imprisoned for writing his "'J' Accuse" letter accusing the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Captain Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935).
Politics
An anti-foreign, anti-Western organization called the Boxers is formed in China.
Politics
Third Parties: Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) helps found the Social Democratic Party, later called the Socialist Party.
Government
The U.S. annexes Hawaii.
Government
The first Food and Drug Act is passed in response to public outcry over the meat supplied to U.S. troops in the Spanish-American War.
War
Spanish-American War: The USS Maine blows up in Havana harbor, touching off the Spanish-American War, which begins on April 21 when the U.S. declares war on Spain; Spain declares war on the U.S. on April 24.
Science
William Ramsay (1852-1916) discovers xenon, crypton, and neon.
Science
Radium and polonium are discovered by Marie Curie (1867-1934), who coins radioactivity.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes dysentery is discovered by Japanese bacteriologist Shiga Kioshi (1871-1951).
Medicine
Isolating a hormone for the first time in a laboratory, Ohio pharmacologist John J. Abel (b. 1818) extracts epinephrine (adrenalin) from the adrenal glands of a sheep.
Medicine
English bacteriologist Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932), determines that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes.
Medicine
An Army Nurse Corps is created to provide trained militaty nurses to the armed forces in the Spanish-American War, thanks in large measure to Dr. Anita Newcomb McGee (1864-1940); its first superintendent is Mrs. Rita Kenney.
Medicine
Clara Barton (1821-1912) again organizes private relief for the wounded in the Spanish-American War, as she did in the Civil War.
Inventions
Edwin Prescott patents the roller coaster.
Technology
The first dirigible airship is built by German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917).
Technology
The first photographs utilizing artificial light are taken.
Technology
The Paris Metro is opened.
Technology
Argonaut II is the first submarine to travel in the open seas—300 milesfrom Virginia to New York.
Technology
Powered by electricity when underwater and by a gasoline engine when on the surface, John Holland (1841-1914) launches the Holland, a 53-foot long, cigar-shaped submarine.
Education
Highr Education: The first college of forestry is established at Cornell University.
Education
Women's Colleges: The first Phi Beta Kappa chapter at an American women's college is founded at Vassar.
Education
Women's Colleges: Florence Bascom (1862-1945) begins her long association with Byrn Mawr College, where she founded the geology department.
Education
Higher Education: Peking University is founded in China.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) writes the play "Caesar and Cleopatra."
Arts and Letters
The National Institute of Arts and Letters is founded.
Arts and Letters
Konstantin Stanislavsky (1863-1938), known for his techniques of "method acting," founds the Moscow Art Theatre.
Arts and Letters
Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) is appointed the musical director of La Scala Opera House in Milan.
Arts and Letters
Drama: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) produces "Mrs. Warren's Profession;" it opens in New York City to a storm of protest over its content—the story of a former prostitute whose earnings allow her daughter to be raised in middle-class refinement.
Ideas
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) publishes "Women and Economics," a study of the economic contributions of women and the discrimination they suffer.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Hearst (1863-1951) can truthfully boast that his newspapers manufactured the public hysteria toward the war on Spain.
Daily Life
Newspapers: This is the time of media consolidation, as many independent newspapers are swallowed up into powerful "chains"; with regrettable consequences for a once fearless and incorruptible press, many were reduced to vehicles for the distribution of the particular views of their owners, and so remained, without competing papers to challenge their viewpoints.
Sports
Women in Sports: Baseball: Women''s Firsts: Lizzie Arlington becomes the first woman to sign a professional baseball contract, appearing in her first professional game pitching for the Philadelphia Reserves.
Sports
Women in Sports: Gertrude Dudley (b.1865) becomes director of women''''s athletics at the University of Chicago, becoming a major figure in American collegiate athletics for women.
Popular Culture
H.G. Wells (1866-1946) writes "War of the Worlds."
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Curtis Act re-affirms allotment of tribal lands on Indian reservations and ends tribal sovereignty in the territories.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Lillian M. N. Stevens (1844-1914) becomes president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, succeeding Fracnes Willard; the organization begins campaigning for national prohibition.
1899
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Women's Lawyer's Club is founded.
Politics
The U.S. participates in the first peace conference at the Hague with 25 other nations; the Monroe Doctrine is upheld in the Western Hemisphere; a permanent Court of International Justice and Arbitration is set up.
Politics
Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) is pardoned by a presidential decree.
Government
U.S. federal law raises the age of consent for homosexual relations from 16 to 21.
Government
The U.S. annexes Wake Island in the central Pacific for use as a cable station.
War
Boer War (1899-1902) begins, between the British Empire and two Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic.
Science
Physioligist Jacques (1859-1924) Loeb demonstrates that cell division is controlled chemically.
Medicine
America's first tuberculosis hospital opens in Denver, Colorado.
Medicine
Ohio surgeon George W. Crile (1864-1943) develops new, more successful methods for treating shock.
Medicine
Although it has been used for centuries, aspirin is introduced as a "modern" medicine.
Inventions
I.R. Johnson patents the bicycle frame.
Inventions
J.S. Thurman patents the motor-driven vacuum cleaner.
Technology
The first magnetic recording of sound occurs.
Technology
Airplanes: The Wright brothers experiment with twisting wings, trying to deform the front edges. They can’t come up with a device light enough or strong enough to control a glider in flight.
Education
John Dewey (1859-1952) publishes "The School and Society," stressing the role of experience in learning.
Education
Ellen Swallow Richards (1842-1911) heads a series of summer conferences at Lake Placid, in which she teaches ways of improving the home enviroment; the new field is called home economics.
Education
Education of Women: Cornell University begins accepting women in its medical school, thus enabling the Blackwell sisters to close their Women's Medical College.
Arts and Letters
The sousaphone, a bass tuba designed for parade use, is developed and named after John Phillip Sousa (1854-1932).
Arts and Letters
Literature: Kate Chopin’s (1850-1904) second novel, "The Awakening," was published to much outrage and harsh criticism based upon moral, rather than literary, standards. Her best-known work, it is the story of a dissatisfied wife who explores her sexuality.
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) publishes "Studies in Hysteria," putting the case for extreme repression of women's sexuality as a key factor in many sociophychological problems.
Mckinley, Ida
President McKinley (1843-1901) becomes the first president to ride in an automobile when he takes a spin in a Stanley Steamer.
Economics
The first public garage was opened in Boston, MA; space for selling, storing, and repairing vehicles was available.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Through the Chicago Women's Club, Hannah Solomon (1858-1942) sparked the establishment of Cook County's pioneering juvenile court.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The last bandit to rob a stagecoach in the U.S. is Pearl Hart (1878-1925).
Sports
Boxing: James J. Jeffries (1875-1953) knocks out Bob Fitzsimmons (1863-1917) to become world hevayweight boxing champion.
Sports
Women in Sports: Two teams of women ice hockey players play a game on the artifical ice at the Ice Palace in Philadelphia.
Popular Culture
Scott Joplin (1868-1917) publishes "The Maple Ragtime Leaf," helping to popularize ragtime music.
Popular Culture
Illustrator Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) introduces his "Gibson Girls" in a book of sketches called "The Education of Mr. Pipp."
Religion
The Gideons, Christian Commercial Men's Association, are organized by three traveling salesmen in Jamesville, Wisconsin; the first Gideon Bible is placed in the Superior Hotel, Iron Mountain, Montana, in 1908.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: African-American suffragist Lottie Wilson Jackson proposes a resolution at NAWSA that addresses the segregation on trains that forces black women to ride in the smoking cars; her proposal is defeated.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Temperance reformer Carrie Nation (1846-1911), armed with bricks, hatchets, and hymns, enters a saloon, sings, shouts imprecations and biblical passages, and smashes bottles, furniture, and decorations.
Reform
American Protest Music: William E. Barton composes the slave spiritual “Before I’d be a Slave (Oh, Freedom).”
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1900
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
William McKinley (1843-1901) is reelected as the 25th President of the United States, and Theodore Roosevelt is elected as the nation's 25th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: The Social Democratic Party nominates Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) for president.
Politics
Third Parties: Both the Populist and the Democratic Party nominate William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) for President, running on a platform of free silver and anti-imperialism.
Government
Hawaii becomes a territory of the United States.
Government
Congress enacts the Gold Standard Act, allowing other forms of money to be redeemable in gold.
Government
Stamps: First U.S. stamps issued in booklet form.
War
The Boxer Rebellion against Europeans in China occurs.
Science
The element radon is discovered by F. E. Dorn.
Science
Quantum theory—the idea that energy occurs in tiny packets called quanta—is proposed.
Medicine
The first three blood groups—A, B, and O—are discovered by Karl Lansteiner (1868-1943), an Austrian physician, opening the door to safe blood transfusions.
Inventions
The rigid airship, the Zeppelin, is invented by German military officer, Ferdinand Zeppelin (1838-1917).
Technology
Work begins on the New York subway.
Technology
Airplanes: October 10 — The Wright brothers experience their first crash. They rebuild the glider, and once again test it like a kite.
Education
Children’s Books: The best-known American children''s fantasy is undoubtedly "The Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum (1856-1919).
Education
Crayola Crayons: The Company begins producing slate pencils for schools.
Education
Children''s Books: Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) writes “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”
Education
Public Education: There are 15.5 million children in public schools in the U.S.; only one in ten stay beyond the age of 14.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) writes "Uncle Vanya."
Arts and Letters
Opera: Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) composes "Tosca," which opens in Rome.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Theodore Dreiser writes “Sister Carrie.”
Arts and Letters
The Philadelphia Orchestra is founded.
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) publishes "The Interpretation of Dreams."
Mckinley, Ida
Ida McKinley (1847-1907) helps her husband conduct his famous “front porch” campaign for the Presidency from their house in Canton, Ohio.
Economics
The first Browning revolvers are manufactured.
Economics
Census: U.S. population is 75 million; life expectancy is 48 years for males and 51 years for females.
Economics
Railroad History: Casey Jones (1863-1900) rides the "Cannonball" into history on April 30th.
Discovery
Anthropologist Sir Arthur Evans (1851-1941) begins excavations of the Palace of Knossos in Crete, leading to the discovery of the Minoan civilization.
Daily Life
Dancing: The Cake Walk becomes the most fashionable dance.
Daily Life
There are more than a million miles of telephone lines in the U.S.
Sports
D. F. Davis (1879-1945) first presents the international lawn tennis cup that bears his name.
Sports
William Muldoon (1845-1933) is proclaimed the first professional wrestling champion.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women''s Firsts: The first 19 women to compete in the modern Olympics Games in Paris, France, play in just three sports: tennis, golf, and croquet. Margaret I. Abbott is the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal. An art student in Paris, she won the nine-hole golf tournament by shooting a 47.
Sports
Black Athletes: Mace Montgomery of Georgetown University is the first African-American member of an Olympic delegation; he is a trainer.
Religion
There are 73 million Christians, 1.5 million Jews, and 10,000 Muslims in the United States.
Social Issues
Immigration: There are 3.7 new immigrants since 1891.
Reform
Labor Movement: The International Ladies’ Garment Worker’s Union is founded in New York.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Carrie Nation (1846-1911), temperance advocate, denounces saloons and liquor and supports prohibition laws.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: By now, every state has passed legislation modeled after New York’s Married Women’s Property Act (1848), granting married women some control over their property and earnings.
1901
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: The Socialist Party of America is organized.
Government
The treaty allowing the U.S. to build the Panama Canal is signed.
Government
William McKinley (1843-1901) is inaugurated for a second term as President of the United States, and Theodore Roosevelt is inaugurated as the nation's 25th Vice President.
Government
Vice President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) becomes the nation’s 26th President after the assassination of Presdient William A. McKinley (1843-1901). No new Vice President is selected.
War
The Boxer Rebellion ends with an agreement between China and the Great Powers.
War
Spanish American War: The Platt Amendment authorizes U.S. intervention in Cuba; Cuba becomes a U.S. protectorate.
Science
William Roentgen (1845-1923) wins the first Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of X-rays.
Science
The hormone adrenalin is first isolated.
Medicine
The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research is established.
Medicine
Proof that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes is demonstrated by a Commission headed by Walter Reed (1851-1902).
Inventions
The safety razor with disposable blades is invented by King C. Gillette (1855-1932).
Technology
Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) transmits telegraphic radio messages from Cornwall to Newfoundland with radio waves.
Technology
Airplanes: The Wright brothers, encouraged by their initial success, plan their second glider.
Education
Higher Education: The Army War College is organized.
Education
Higher Education: The first public junior college is established in Juliet, Illinois.
Education
Libraries: A Carnegie library is built at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
Arts and Letters
Painting: This year sees the beginning of painter Pablo Picasso’s (1881-1973) “blue period.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Theodore Dreiser’s (1871-1945) second novel, "Jennie Gerhardt," is published.
Ideas
Nobel Prizes are awarded for the first time.
Ideas
Philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) founds Anthroposophy, a system of thought that underlies his Waldorf schools
Mckinley, Ida
President William McKinley (1843-1901) is assassinated while visiting the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo, NY.
Taft, Helen
William Howard Taft (1857-1930) becomes Governor-General of the Philippines, and Helen Taft settles happily into her role as "first lady" of the Philippeans.
Economics
The first motor-driven bicycles appear.
Economics
J.P. Morgan (1837-1913) forms the U.S. Steel Corporation, the first billion-dollar corporation in the world.
Discovery
Captain Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) leads an exploration of Antarctica, sponsored by the Royal Geographical Society.
Daily Life
Children have only a 79 percent chance of living past age 15.
Daily Life
The first state regulations regarding the speed, registration, and license plates of automobiles are passed by Connecticut.
Daily Life
Women’s Firsts: Annie Edson Taylor (1838- 1921), a schoolteacher from Michigan, becomes the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: At just twenty-two years old, Joshua Lionel Cowen creates a battery-powered train engine as an "animated advertisement" for products in a store's display window. To his surprise, customers are more interested in purchasing his toy train, than the merchandise in the display. Lionel Trains is born.
Sports
Women in Sports: The ambidextrous May Kaarlus, 16, performs a sereis of amazing billard shots in New York City. Male experts try and fail to duplicate her shots.
Sports
Boxing: Boxing is recognized as a legal sport in England.
Sports
The first American Bowling Club tournament is held in Chicago.
Popular Culture
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) writes the novel, "Kim."
Popular Culture
Ragtime music becomes popular in the United States.
Religion
The Newcastle (England) Conference of the Catholic Truth Society meets to define the term “Roman Catholic” as a generic one, meaning all Catholics.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) publishes his autobiography “Up from Slavery.”
Reform
Labor Movement: The United Textile Workers Union is founded.
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1902
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The Secret Service assumes full time responsibility for protection of the President.
Government
Immigration: The United States extends the Chinese Exclusion Act, again.
Government
The United States acquires perpetual control over the Panama Canal.
Government
National Capitol: The 19th-century conservatories are razed in White House, and a new "temporary" Executive Office Building, later called the West Wing, is erected.
War
The Boer War between British and Dutch colonists in southern African ends with the British in control of South Africa.
Science
The radioactive element radium is isolated by Marie (1867-1934) and Pierre Curie (1859-1906) in France.
Science
The hormone secretin is discovered.
Science
Genes are found on chromosomes, which are discovered to come in pairs.
Inventions
Willis H. Carrier designs a system for indoor air conditioning.
Technology
Airplanes: October 8 — The Wright brothers' modified glider works perfectly, with no tendency to spin.
Education
Crayola Crayons: Listening to the needs of teachers, Binney & Smith makes the first dustless school chalk. It’s so successful it wins a gold medal at the St. Louis World Exposition.
Education
Public Education: Every state and territory in the United States except Arizona has a law requiring temperance instruction in schools.
Education
Libraries: The cornerstones are laid for NYPL's Humanities and Social Sciences Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Claude Monet (1840-1926) paints “Waterloo Bridge."
Arts and Letters
Edward Elgar (1857-1934), British composer, writes the first of his “Pomp and Circumstance” marches.
Ideas
William James (1842-1910) writes "The Varieties of Religious Experience."
Washington, Martha
Martha Washington (1731-1802) becomes the first woman to appear on an American postage stamp.
Tyler, Julia
Lachlan Tyler (1851-1902), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, dies January 25.
Economics
The first national advertisement for Jello is published in the Ladies Home Journal.
Discovery
A Tyrannosaurus Rex is discovered in Montana by Barnum Brown (1873-1963), a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History.
Daily Life
Disasters: Mt. Pelee on Martinique erupts, destroying the town of St. Pierre and killing more than 30,000 people.
Daily Life
Transportation: The 20th Century Limited travels from New York City to Chicago in 20 hours, a new record for train travel.
Daily Life
The Aswan Dam is opened in Egypt.
Sports
Football: The first Tournament of Roses football game takes place in Pasadena, California; Michigan beats Stanford, 49-0.
Sports
Women in Sports: Britian's Madge Syers opens the door for women figure skaters when she enters the all-male 1902 world championships and places second. Her second place finish causes officials to ban women from the championships for quite some time.
Popular Culture
A. Conan Doyle (1859-1930) writes "The Hound of the Baskervilles."
Popular Culture
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) writes the "Just-So Stories."
Popular Culture
The first motion picture theatre opens in Los Angeles.
Popular Culture
Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) makes his first phonograph recording.
Popular Culture
Hot Air Balloons: The first balloon trip across the Irish Channel is completed.
Religion
The Young Women’s Hebrew Association is founded in New York City.
Social Issues
Immigration: Record numbers of immigrants continue to come to the United States, this year mostly from Italy, Russia, and Austro-Hungary.
Reform
Labor Movement: There is a coal strike in the U.S. from May to October.
1903
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The Russian Social Democratic Party splits into Mensheviks and Bolsheviks.
Government
A dispute with Canada over the boundaries of Alaska is finally resolved.
Government
The Departments of Commerce and Labor are established by Congress.
War
The U.S. supports an uprising in Panama against Colombian rule. Panama forms a new government which enables the building of the Panama Canal.
Science
Marie and Pierre Curie receive the Nobel Prize for their work in radioactivity.
Medicine
The electrocardiograph is invented by Wilhelm Einthoven (1860-1927).
Inventions
Mary Anderson invents windshield wipers.
Inventions
Transportation: The Wright Brothers invent and fly the first airplane powered by an engine.
Inventions
Electrification: The steam turbine generator is invented by Charles G. Curtis and is developed into a practical steam turbine by William Le Roy Emmet (1859-1941).
Technology
Airplanes: December 17 — At 10:35 am, Orville Wright (1871-1948) makes the first powered flight in a fully controllable aircraft capable of sustaining itself in the air. The flight lasts just 12 seconds and stretches only 120 feet.
Technology
The first crossing of the American continent by automobile takes 52 days.
Education
Higher Education: The Universities of Liverpool and Manchester in England are founded.
Education
Libraries: A new central Carnegie library is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
Education
Crayola Crayons: Noticing a need in schools for safe and affordable wax crayons, Binney (1866-1934) & Smith makes the first box of eight Crayola crayons. The box sold for a nickel and contained black, brown, blue, red, violet, orange, yellow and green — the same colors in the box of eight today.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henry James (1843-1916) writes "The Ambassadors."
Arts and Letters
Drama: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) writes “Man and Superman.”
Arts and Letters
Oscar Hammerstein, Sr. (1847-1919) builds the Manhattan Opera House in New York City.
Arts and Letters
Opera: “Ernani,” by Guiseppe Verdi (1813-1901) becomes the first opera ever recorded.
Ideas
Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) publishes “Science and Hypothesis,” saying that every scientific theory is a hypothesis that must be tested and retested.
Roosevelt, Edith
During Edith Roosevelt's tenure, the famous “gold Steinway” was presented to the White House in celebration of Steinway’s 50th anniversary; the piano established the East Room as a major setting for the performing arts.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Women in Sports: Eleanor Roosevelt enrolls in the Junior League of New York where she teaches calisthenics and dancing to immigrants.
Economics
Railroad History: New York state enacts legislation prohibiting the operation of steam locomotives on Manhattan Island in New York City south of the Harlem River after June 30, 1908. This spurred the electrification of New York City's trackage.
Economics
Henry Ford (1863-1947) founds the Ford Motor Company.
Economics
J. P. Morgan (1837-1913) founds the International Mercantile Marine Company.
Discovery
Space Exploration: Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), prophet of space exploration, publishes “The Exploration of the World’s Space with Reactive Instruments.”
Daily Life
Automobile regulations in England set a 20 mile-per-hour speed limit.
Sports
The first Tour de France bicycle race takes place.
Sports
Baseball: The first post-season baseball series (the World Series) occurs.
Popular Culture
Jack London (1876-1916) writes “Call of the Wild.”
Popular Culture
The longest film to date, “The Great Train Robbery,” lasts 12 minutes.
Popular Culture
Richard Steiff introduces the first jointed teddy bears, named after President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).
Religion
Anti-Semitism: There occur many anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia.
Religion
The Sixth Zionist Congress refuses an offer from the British for a Jewish settlement in E. Africa.
Social Issues
Items coming soon.
Reform
Women’s Suffrage Movement: Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) founds the National Women’s Social and Political Union in England.
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1904
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Immigration: In "Gonzales v. Williams," the U.S. Supreme Court decides that citizens of Puerto Rico are not aliens and can enter the U.S. freely.
Politics
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) is re-elected President of the U.S., and Charles W. Fairbanks (1852-1918) is elected the 26th Vice President.
Government
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act is extended indefinitely.
Government
Stamps: Meters to pay postage were first used in New Zealand. The first use in the United States was on December 10, 1920, at Stanford, Connecticut.
Government
Several U.S. government agencies, including the Navy, the Department of Agriculture, and the Army’s Signal Corps, all begin setting up their own radio transmitters, with little or no coordination among them.
War
The Russo-Japanese war begins when the Japanese launch a surprise attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur in northeast China.
War
The first trenches used in warfare are used in the Russo-Japanese War.
Science
Hartmann discovers interstellar matter.
Medicine
Yellow fever is eradicated in the Panamal Canal Zone by Army doctor W. C. Gorgas (1854-1920).
Inventions
Teabags are invented by Thomas Sullivan.
Inventions
Benjamin Holt (1849-1920) invents the “caterpillar” tractor; it moves on continuous treads rather than wheels.
Inventions
The first ultraviolet lamps are invented.
Technology
The first radio transmission of music occurs at Graz, Austria.
Technology
The first telegraphic transmission of pictures occurs in Germany.
Technology
The first railroad tunnel under the Hudson River is built between Manhattan and New Jersey.
Technology
The Broadway Subway is opens in New York City.
Education
Libraries: Carnegie library buildings begin construction at Alabama A&M, Atlanta University, Benedict College, Talladega College, and Wilberforce University.
Education
Higher Education: American Theatre: George Pierce Baker (1866-1935) establishes a course in playwriting at Radcliffe and then at Harvard.
Education
Education of Women: Helen Keller (1880-1968) graduates from Radcliffe College.
Arts and Letters
Opera: The opera “Madama Butterfly,” by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), premiers in Milan.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) writes “The Cherry Orchard.”
Arts and Letters
The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, part of the National Theatre of Ireland, opens its doors for the first time.
Arts and Letters
The London Symphony Orchestra gives its first concert.
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) publishes “The Psychopathology of Everyday Life.”
Ideas
Max Weber (1864-1920) writes “The Protestant Ethic and the Birth of Capitalism.”
Roosevelt, Edith
Edith Roosevelt (1861-1948) and her six children spend the summer of this election year at the “Summer White House” at Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, New York, while the President remains in Washington.Gould, Am. First Ladies
Economics
The Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis--one of the world's fairs—introduces ice cream cones and iced tea to the United States.
Economics
Work begins on the Panama Canal.
Discovery
The ship, "Discovery" sails out of McMurto Sound, ending Robert Falcon Scott’s first Antarctic expedition.
Daily Life
Disasters: A disastrous fire destroys more than 1,500 buildings in downtown Baltimore.
Sports
Women in Sports: Bertha Kapernick becoms the first woman to give bronco riding exhibitions at the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo.
Sports
The Olympic Games are held in the United States for the first time, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Sports
The National Ski Association of America is founded at Ishpeming, Michigan.
Sports
Women in Sports: Softball: The Spalding Indoor Baseball Guide calls attention to the game of women’s softball.
Sports
Black Athletes: Olympic medalist (summer games): George Poage (1899-1987) wins two bronze medals in the 200 m hurdles and 400 m hurdles.
Popular Culture
Author Jack London (1876-1916) writes "The Sea Wolf."
Popular Culture
James Barrie (1860-1937) writes "Peter Pan."
Religion
The institutions of the church and the state are officially separated in France.
Social Issues
Immigration: Steerage rates for immigrants to the U.S. are cut to $10.00 by foreign steamship lines.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act is extended indefinitely.
Reform
Labor Movement: A 10-hour word day is established in France.
Reform
Women’s Rights Movement: A New York Policeman arrests a woman for smoking a cigarette in public.
1905
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Labor Movement: In "Lochner v. New York," the Supreme Court rules that it is unconstitutional to limit the number of hours that bakers can work.
Politics
In Ireland, Arthur Griffith (1871-1922) founds the Sinn Fein political movement calling for Irish independence.
Politics
Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925) develops a political philosophy based on his "three principles": nationalism, democracy, and livelihood for the people.
Government
The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan are formed in Canada.
War
Revolution breaks out in Russia in January after "Bloody Sunday" when czarist troops fire on marchers in St. Petersburg. The unrest leads to the creation of a State Duma and previews the Russian Revolution of 1917.
War
The Russo-Japanese War ends.
Science
Albert Einstein (1879-1955), a former patent clerk, proposes his Special Theory of Relativity.
Science
The National Audubon Society meets for first time, during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), champion of environmental conservation.
Medicine
“Typhoid Mary,” an infamous carrier of typhoid fever, is found and jailed.
Medicine
The term “allergy” is introduced into medicine.
Inventions
A patent for windshield wipers is obtained by Mary Anderson (1866-1953).
Technology
The Mount Wilson observatory is completed in California.
Education
John Dewey leaves the University of Chicago and his Lab School to move to Teachers College, Columbia University.
Education
Libraries: The first public library on wheels is a horse-drawn book wagon designed by Mary Lemist Titcomb (1857-1932), head of the Hagerstown (Md.) Public Library.
Education
Public Education: The U.S. Supreme Court requires California to extend public education to the children of Chinese immigrants.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) completes his innovative office block, the Larkin Building, in Buffalo, New York. Centered on an atrium, it is fully air-conditioned and contains the first metal office furniture.
Arts and Letters
Fauvism, named for its use of bright colors and bold brushwork, evolves in Paris. Participants include Henri Matisse (1869-1954), George Braque (1882-1963), and Raoul Dufy (1877-1953).
Arts and Letters
Drama: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) writes “Major Barbara.”
Arts and Letters
Opera: David Belasco (1853-1931) produces “The Girl of the golden West” in Pittsburgh; it is later made into an opera by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924).
Arts and Letters
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) composes “La Mer” in Paris.
Ideas
Philosopher George Santayana writes “The Life of Reason.”
Roosevelt, Edith
Edith Roosevelt (1861-1948)purchases a cabin and five acres of land for a family “get-away” in Virginia from a relative for $195.
Economics
The Rotary Club is founded by lawyer Paul Percy Harris (1868-1947) in Chicago.
Economics
Rayon yarn is manufactured commercially through a viscose process.
Discovery
The world’s largest diamond, the Cullinan (3106 carats), is discovered near Pretoria, South Africa.
Daily Life
Disasters: An earthquake kills 370,000 in Kangra, India.
Daily Life
The first neon light signs appear.
Sports
Baseball: Ty Cobb (1886-1961) begins his major league baseball career with the Detroit Tigers.
Popular Culture
In Pittsburgh, the first nickelodeon opens, showing early movies.
Popular Culture
“The Merry Widow,” an operetta by Franz Lehár (1870-1948) .is produced in Vienna.
Popular Culture
“The Red Mill,” an operetta by Victor Herbert (1859-1924) is produced in New York.
Religion
The Islamic Salafiyyah movement begins in Paris with its main sphere of influence in Egypt.
Social Issues
Item coming soon.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Industrial Workers of the World is founded in Chicago. Its members, called the Wobblies, advocate strikes and sabotage over collective bargaining.
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1906
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The British Labour party is formed from the Labour Representation Committee.
Politics
The French Supreme Court of Appeals exonorates Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935), ending the ten-year long Dreyfus Affair.
Government
Self-government is granted to the Transvaal and Orange River colonies in Africa.
Government
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) visits the Canal Zone on the first trip outside of the United States made by a President in office. While in Puerto Rico, he pledges U.S. citizenship for Puerto Rican people.
Government
A new Pure Food and Drug Act offers American consumers protection from adulterated and tainted food products and patented medicines, occasioned, in part, from the concerns raised in “The Jungle.”
War
U.S. troops occupy Cuba.
Science
William Morgan suggests that the Milky Way has a spiral structure.
Science
Pierre Weiss (1865-1940) proposes a theory of iron magnetism.
Medicine
German doctor August Wasserman (1866-1925) develops a test for syphilis.
Medicine
Frederick Hopkins (1861-1947) suggests the existence of vitamins and suggests that a lack of vitamins causes scurvy and rickets.
Inventions
Alva Fisher (1862-1947) invents the electric washing machine.
Technology
Canadian Reginald Fessenden (1866-1931) becomes the first person to broadcase words and music over radio waves.
Education
Maria Montessori (1870-1952) opens the first day-care center in Rome. Her Montessori method of early childhood education, part of the progressive education movement spreads through the world.
Education
Higher Education: The first annual meeting of the American Sociological Society occurs.
Education
Libraries: A Carnegie library is erected at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) publishes "The Jungle," a muck-raking novel about the American meat-packing industry.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) paints his portrait of American expatriate Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).
Arts and Letters
Drama: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) has four plays open in New York: “Caesar and Cleopatra,” “Arms and the Man,” Man and Superman,” and “John Bull’s Other Island.”
Roosevelt, Edith
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese War.
Roosevelt, Edith
White House Wedding: Alice Rosevelt (1884-1980), daughter of Edith (1861-1948) and Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) marries Nicholas Longworth (1869-1931).
Economics
The Rolls Royce company is founded in England.
Economics
A fully submerged hydro-electric plant is built inside Ambursen Dam in Maryland.
Discovery
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) explores the Northwest Passage and determines the position of the magnetic North Pole.
Daily Life
The famous Cunard passenger liner Lusitania is launched. In 1915, it is sunk by a German U-boat.
Daily Life
Disasters: An earthquake strikes San Francisco. The quake and resulting fires devastates the city, leaving more than 200,000 people homeless and more than 2,500 dead.
Sports
The first grand prix motor race is held over two days at Le Mans, France.
Popular Culture
The world's first feature film, "The Story of the Kelly Gang," is premiered at the Athenaeum Hall, Melbourne, Australia.
Religion
The Jesuit Order, under Franz X. Wernz (1842-1914) reforms its plan of studies.
Religion
A papal encyclical against the separation of church and state is issued.
Reform
Conditions in the meat-packing industry, revealed in Upton Sinclair’s novel, “The Jungle,” lead to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act.
Reform
Women’s Suffrage Movement: Finnish women win the right to vote, making Finland the first European nation to grant women suffrage.
Reform
Lawyer Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) begins a campaign of nonviolent resistance to protest the treatment of Indians in South Africa.
1907
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) shakes a record 8,513 hands in one day.
Government
The first American Indian senator, Charles Curtis (1860-1936) of Kansas, begins his term in office.
Government
New States: Oklahoma becomes the 46th state in the Union.
Government
Women's Firsts: The first women members of parliament are elected in Finland when 19 constituencies return women members. They take their seats on May 23.
Government
Japan receives a protectorate over Korea thus giving Japan control over the Korean government.
Government
The first federal corrupt election practices law is passed.
War
The U.S. invades Honduras.
War
The world's first air force is established with the formation of the Aeronautical Division of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the U.S. army.
War
Forty-four nations meet in The Hague for the second Hague Peace Conference.
Science
The use of uranium to date the age of rocks is pioneered by American chemist and physicist, Bertram Boltwood (1870-1927).
Medicine
A chemotherapeutic cure for sleeping sickness is developed by Paul Erlich (1854-1915).
Inventions
The first synthetic plastic, called Bakelite, is invented by Leo Baekeland (1863-1944).
Inventions
The very first helicopter is invented, though the design is unsuccessful.
Technology
Image reproduction methods using electromagnetic scanning are developed simultaneously in Russia and England.
Education
Higher Education: repositories for government documents.
Education
Libraries: Carnegie libraries begin construction at Howard University and Knoxville College.
Arts and Letters
The first exhibition of cubist paintings is held in Paris.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) paints "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon."
Ideas
Swiss chemist Svante August Arrhenius (1859-1927) suggests that life on earth began with inter-stellar microorganisms.
Hoover, Lou
Allan Henry Hoover (1907-1993), son of Herbert and Lou Hoover, is born July 17.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
James “Jimmy” Roosevelt (1907-1991), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, is born December 23.
Economics
The panic of 1907 is averted when J.P. Morgan (1837-1913) and a pool of investors shore up American financial institutions.
Economics
The first canned tuna is packed in San Pedro, California.
Economics
Railroad History: Ground is broken on Sept. 7th by San Diego mayor John F. Forward dedicating the start of John D. Spreckels' (1853-1926) San Diego & Arizona Railway.
Discovery
Swedish explorer Sven Anders Hedin (1865-1952) discovers the source of the Indus River in Tibet.
Daily Life
Taxis first begin running in New York City.
Daily Life
Holidays: The second Sunday in May is established as Mother’s Day in Philadelphia.
Sports
Baseball: The Chicago Cubs beats the Detroit Tigers 4-0 for the World Series.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first organized bowling league for women begins in St. Louis, MO. The first of three women's bowling tournaments organized by the American Bowling Congress is held. The 1908 tournament is held in Cincinnati and the 1909 tournament in Pittsburgh.
Popular Culture
Ringling Brothers Greatest Show on Earth buys Barnum and Bailey circus.
Religion
Pope Pius X (1835-1914) declares modernism "the synthesis of all heresies."
Social Issues
Immigration: A record 1.29 million immigrants enter the United States.
Social Issues
Immigration: Japanese immigration is barred in the U.S.
Social Issues
Immigration: The United States and Japan form a “Gentleman’s Agreement” in which Japan ends issuance of passports to laborers and the U.S. agrees not to prohibit Japanese immigration.
Reform
Labor Movement: The San Francisco Streetcar Workers Union in crushed after 25 workers are killed and hundreds wounded in battles with strikebreakers.
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1908
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Women’s Lawyers Club becomes the Women’s National Bar Association.
Law
Labor Movement: The Supreme Court rules that a union boycott violates the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
Politics
William Howard Taft (1857-1930) is elected the 27th President of the United States, and James S. Sherman (1855-1912) is elected as the nation's 27th Vice President.
Government
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is founded as a division of the Department of Justice; it is referred to as Office of the Chief Examiner and becomes the FBI in 1935.
Government
Stamps: First U.S. coil stamps (stamps sold in a roll only one stamp wide) are distributed.
War
Crete revolts against Turkey and aligns with Greece.
Science
The U.S. astronomer George Ellery Hale (1868-1938) installs a 60-inch reflector telescope, then the largest in the world, at Mount Wilson, California.
Medicine
The tuberculin test, a skin test for tuberculosis based on immune reactions, is introduced for the first time.
Medicine
Victor Horsley (1857- 1916) and R. H. Clarke invents the stereotactic method in neurosurgery.
Inventions
The Geiger counter is invented.
Inventions
Hydrofoil boats are co-invented by Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) & Casey Baldwin.
Inventions
Electrification: William J. Bailley of the Carnegie Steel Company invents a solar collector with copper coils and an insulated box.
Technology
Airplanes: Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville (1871-1948) Wright patent their flying machine.
Technology
Henry Ford (1863-1947) improves the assembly line for automobile manufacturing.
Education
Libraries: Louisville's Western Colored Branch Library relocates to a new building paid for by Carnegie.
Arts and Letters
The Oskar Strauss operetta, “The Chocolate Soldier,” is performed in Vienna.
Coolidge, Grace
Calvin Coolidge, Jr.(1908-1924), son of Grace (1879-1957) and Calvin (1872-1933) Coolidge, is born.
Economics
Henry Ford (1863-1947) develops the first Model T automobile, which sells for $850.
Economics
The first large deposit of petroleum is discovered in Persia, marking the beginning of the Middle East oil boom.
Discovery
Members of Ernest Shackleton’s (1874-1922) expedition climb the 13,280-foot Mt. Erebus in Antarctica.
Daily Life
The Singer Building in New York, designed by Ernest Flagg (1857-1947), becomes the tallest building in the world.
Daily Life
Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941) founds the Boy Scouts in England.
Daily Life
A huge explosion rocks eastern Siberia. Believed to be an exploding meteorite, the resulting earth tremor is felt as far away as central Europe.
Sports
Boxing: American Jack Johnson (1878-1946) becomes the first black boxer to win the world heavyweight title when he defeats Canadian Tommy Burns (1881-1955) in Sydney.
Sports
Baseball: The Mills Commission, a “blue-ribbon panel” appointed by A.G. Spalding, concludes that baseball was invented by Gen. Abner Doubleday, in Cooperstown, NY, in 1839—declaring it a purely American sport.
Sports
Black Athletes: Jack Johnson (1878–1946) is the heavyweight boxing champion.
Sports
Black Athletes: Olympic gold medalist (summer games): John Baxter "Doc" Taylor wins a gold medal as part of the 4 x 400 m relay team.
Popular Culture
The ball representing the new year is dropped for the first time at Times Square in New York City.
Religion
Newspapers: "The Christian Science Monitor" is founded by Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910).
Social Issues
Items coming soon.
Reform
Labor Movement: Women''s Rights Movement: Muller v. State of Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908): The U.S. Supreme Court upholds Oregon’s 10-hour workday for women. The win is a two-edged sword: the protective legislation implies that women are physically weak.
1909
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving Congress the power to tax personal income, is passed by Congress.
Politics
Women's Suffrage Movement: A mob of 100,000 suffragists storms Britain’s Parliament.
Government
William Howard Taft (1857-1930) is inaugurated as the 27th President of the United States, and James S. Sherman (1855-1912) is inaugurated as the nation's 27th Vice President.
Government
Congress passes the United States Copyright Law.
Government
National Capitol: The West Wing is doubled in size and includes the first presidential Oval Office centered on the south facade.
War
U.S. military forces leave Cuba for the second time.
Science
Russian-American chemist Phoebus Aaron Theodor Levene (1869-1940) discovers that the sugar ribose is found in some nucleic acids, those that we now call ribonucleic acids (RNA).
Medicine
Charles-Jules-Henri Nicolle (1884-1936) discovers that typhus fever is transmitted by the body louse.
Technology
Airplanes: Louis Bleriot (1872-1936) makes the first crossing of the English Channel by air, flying his monoplane from Les Baraques, near Calais, to Dover, in 37 minutes.
Technology
Airplanes: The first 100-mile flight is completed by Henri Farman (1874-1958).
Technology
Battery Technology: Later battery manufacturing produces smaller, lighter batteries, and the application of the tungsten filament creates the impetus to develop batteries for use in torches.
Education
Public Education: Indianola Junior High School in Columbus, Ohio, becomes the first junior high school in the United States.
Education
Education of Women: Women are admitted to German universities.
Arts and Letters
Opera: “The Blue Bird,” by Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949) is written.
Arts and Letters
Gustav Mahler (1861-1911) composes his "Symphony No. 9."
Ideas
Emilio Marinetti (1876-1944), an Italian poet, publishes his manifesto of futurism.
Ideas
The first kibbutz is founded in Jordan Valley, Palestine.
Ideas
William James (1842-1910) writes “The Pluralistic Universe.”
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) lectures in the U.S. on psychoanalysis.
Taft, Helen
Helen Taft (1881-1943) becomes the first First Lady to ride to the inauguration with her husband.
Taylor, Margaret
Mary Elizabeth Taylor Bliss Dandridge (1824-1909), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies July 26.
Economics
Standard Oil’s John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), scion of the Rockefeller family, becomes the world’s first billionaire. Rockefeller’s fortunes were accumulated in the oil industry.
Economics
The first instant coffee is marketed to the world by English chemist George Constant Washington.
Discovery
Explorers Robert Peary (1856-1920) and Matthew Henson (1886-1955) become the first to reach the North Pole.
Discovery
British explorer Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) finds the magnetic South Pole.
Daily Life
Girl Guides are established in Britain.
Daily Life
The first permanent waves are given in London.
Daily Life
The Metropolitan Life Tower in New York, designed by Pierre L. Lebrun (1846-1924), is completed and becomes the world’s tallest building.
Daily Life
The SOS distress signal is used for the first time by the Cunard liner SS Slavonia, wrecked off the Azores.
Sports
Baseball: Honus Wagner (1874-1955) orders the American Tobacco Company to take his picture off its "Sweet Caporal" cigarette packs, fearing they would lead children to smoke. The shortage makes the Honus Wagner card the most valuable of all time, worth close to $500.
Sports
Women in Sports: On Jan. 11, a dozen woman-driven cars left New York in a long distance race for Philadelphia. Mrs. J. Newton Cuneo won in a Lancia, followed by 8 eight other cars. Four cars didn't make it past Burlington, NJ, in a series of mishaps.
Popular Culture
The first newsreels are shown in the U.S.
Religion
15th century French heroine Joan of Arc (1412-1431) is beatified at a ceremony at the Vatican.
Social Issues
Items coming soon.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: The National Negro Committee is organized in New York to benefit African Americans. W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963) is selected to lead the organization.
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1910
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President William H. Taft (1857-1930) nominates Edward Douglass White (1845-1921) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is the first Chief Justice to be appointed from the ranks of the Associate Justices. He is confirmed by the Senate and serves for ten years, making his total tenure on the Court twenty-six years.
Politics
For the first time since 1894 a Democratic majority is elected to Congress.
Government
Britain establishes the Union of South Africa; it consists of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal. It becomes a dominion within the British Empire. Louis Botha is chosen its first Prime Minister.
Government
The Mann Act, prohibiting transportation of women across states lines for immoral purposes, is passed.
Government
Congress establishes a postal savings bank system.
Government
In New Mexico, a Constitution is drafted in preparation for statehood.
War
The U.S. sends military forces into Mexico because of a Mexican revolution, which changes the nature of Mexican-American relations.
Science
Halley’s Comet makes its 75-year appearance.
Science
William Ramsay (1852-1916) discovers the inert element radon.
Medicine
An effective treatment for syphillis--a "magic bullet"--is introduced by Paul Erlich (1854-1915) and Sahachiro Hata (1873-1938); it heralds the beginning of modern chemotherapy.
Inventions
Georges Claude (1870-1960), French chemist, invents the neon light.
Technology
Electric washing machines are introduced.
Technology
The kinetophone is introduced by Thomas Edison (1837-1931); it makes talking pictures possible.
Education
Public Education: The first junior high schools in the nation open in California.
Education
The Flexner Report is published, advocating major reform in medical education.
Education
Libraries: A special reading room is established for unemployed immigrants at the Minneapolis Public Library.
Education
Of people over 25 years old in the U.S., fewer than half have completed grade school and about 4% have graduated from college.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) becomes well known and influential in Europe for his domestic architecture.
Arts and Letters
Opera: “The Girl of the Golden West,” an opera by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) is performed in New York.
Arts and Letters
Dance: “The Firebird,” a ballet by Igor Stravinski (1882-1971) is performed in Paris.
Arts and Letters
“Naughty Marietta,” an operetta by Victor Herbert (1859-1924) is first performed in New York.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Community Theatre Movement begins. These theatres aspired "to produce significant thought-provoking plays and to involve the maximum number of participants from the communities they serve.”
Ideas
British author, Sir Edward Durning-Lawrence suggests that Shakespeare's works contain many of Francis Bacon's ideas.
Taft, Helen
William Howard Taft (1857-1930) is the first President to pitch a ball to open baseball season. He starts the game between Washington and Philadelphia in the American League.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Elliot Roosevelt (1910-1990), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, is born September 23.
Economics
The Interstate Commerce Commission orders a reduction in Pullman car rates and in railroad freight rates.
Economics
Brazil produces nine-tenths of the world’s rubber and three-fourths of the world’s coffee.
Economics
American Money: The Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing assumes all currency production functions, including engraving, printing, and processing.
Discovery
Sir Arthur Evans (1851-1941) finishes the excavation of Knossos in Crete.
Daily Life
The “week-end” becomes popular in the United States.
Daily Life
Holidays: Father’s Day is first celebrated in Spokane, Washington.
Daily Life
The Boy Scouts of America and the Camp Fire Girls are established.
Daily Life
Newspapers: By this time, all the essential features of the recognizably modern newspaper have emerged. In our time, radio and television have gradually supplanted newspapers as the nation's primary information sources. As a result, though initially difficult to appreciate, it is important to recognize the role that newspapers have played in our nation’s history.
Sports
Women in Sports: Australia's Annette Kellerman is arrested for swimming in Boston Harbor in an "indecent" one-piece swimsuit for exposing her legs.
Sports
Barney Oldfield (1878-1946) drives a Benz at 133 m.p.h. at Daytona Beach, Florida.
Sports
Baseball: William Howard Taft becomes the first U.S. President to throw out the first pitch on opening day.
Popular Culture
Lee DeForest (1873-1961) produces a radio program from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York starring singer Enrico Caruso (1873-1921).
Religion
The Dalai Lama flees Tibet as the Chinese invade Lhasa.
Social Issues
Slavery: China abolishes slavery.
Social Issues
Immigration: Criminals, anarchists, paupers, and the sick are forbidden to immigrate to the U.S.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: The National Negro Committee changes its name to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Reform
Labor Movement: Ironworkers Union members John McNamara and his brother James bomb the Los Angeles Times building; 20 workers die.
1911
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court, under the Sherman Antitrust Act, orders the dissolution of the Standard Oil Company.
Politics
Robert M. La Follette (1855-1925), Senator from Wisconsin, helps found the National Progressive Republican League, which seeks adoption of direct primaries, direct elections of senators, and state constitutional reform.
Government
U.S. abrogates (cancels) the treaty of 1832 with Russia. This treaty allows Russia to exclude Jewish-American citizens.
Government
The Hamburg speech of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) asserts Germany’s “Place in the Sun.”
War
U.S. troops are sent to Mexican border protect U.S. citizens and property; fighting during the Mexican Revolution occurs so close to the U.S. – Mexican border that U.S. citizens gather to watch.
Science
Marie Curie (1867-1934) wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Medicine
Walter B. Cannon (1871-1945), the first physician to use x-rays to study physiology, publishes "The Mechanical Factors of Digestion."
Inventions
Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958) develops the first practical electric self-starter for automobiles.
Inventions
Willis Carrier (1876-1950) invents the air conditioner.
Inventions
Glenn H. Curtiss (1878-1930), N.Y. aviator, invents the hydroplane.
Technology
Airplanes: Claudius Dornier (1884-1969), German aircraft builder, constructs the first all-metal aircraft.
Education
Carnegie (1888-1955) establishes the Carnegie Corporation of New York with an endowment of $125 million to support educational projects.
Education
Libraries: The NYPL Humanities and Social Sciences Library opens.
Education
Children''s Books: Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), writes "The Secret Garden."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Edith Wharton (1862-1937) writes “Ethan Frome”.
Arts and Letters
Leonardo da Vinci’s (1452-1519) “Mona Lisa” is stolen from the Louvre, it is found in Italy in 1913.
Arts and Letters
Opera: “Der Rosenkavalier,” an opera by Richard Strauss (1864-1949), is performed in Dresden.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Architects design the Culberton House in Pasadena, which popularizes the mission revival style in California.
Ideas
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) publishes "Principles of Scientific Management."
Ideas
Franz Boas (1858-1942) publishes "The Mind of Primitive Man."
Taft, Helen
The Public Library Building at 5th Avenue in New York City is dedicated by President Taft.
Economics
Railroad History: The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad begins its first extra-fare, named passenger train, the "Santa Fe Deluxe" that runs between Chicago and Los Angeles.
Discovery
Explorer Roald Amundsen (1872- 1928) reaches the south pole.
Daily Life
Transportation: The first flight from Munich to Berlin reaches a record height of 12,800 ft.
Daily Life
Newspapers: On behalf of journalists, Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) calls for the establishment of the now coveted Pulitzer Prize.
Sports
Golf: At the age of 9, American golfer, Robert T. (Bobby) Jones (1902-1971), wins his first title, the Junior Championship of Atlanta.
Popular Culture
Irving Berlin (1888-1989) composes “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”.
Religion
The World Missionary Conference of Protestant Churches is held in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is the beginning of the modern ecumenical (universal Christian unity and church union) movement.
Social Issues
Aging population: the first old age home is opened in Prescott, Arizona.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Dillingham Commission identifies Mexican laborers as the best solution to the Southwest labor shortage. Mexicans are exempted from immigrant “head taxes” set in 1903 and 1907.
Reform
Labor Movement: As a result of the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City, which kills 146 workers, the International Ladies Garment Worker’s Union succeeds in improving working conditions and safety for its members.
Reform
Child Welfare Movement: Illinois passes the first state law to assist mothers with dependent children.
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1912
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, providing for the election of Senators by the people of a state rather than by the state legislature, is passed by Congress.
Politics
Third Parties: After failing to gain the nomination of his own party, former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) defects, forming the Progressive (or Bull-Moose) party. It is the first time in American history that a third-party candidate receives more votes (electoral and popular) than one of the major two parties. However, he splits the Republican vote, thereby enabling Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) to win.
Politics
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) is elected the 28th President of the United States, and Thomas Marshall (1854-1925) is elected the nation's 28th Vice President.
Politics
Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) establishes a connection with Stalin (1879-1953) and takes over editorship of “Pravada”.
Government
Alaska becomes an organized U.S. territory.
Government
The U.S. Public Health Service is established.
Government
Labor Movement: Congress authorizes an 8-hour day for all workers under federal contracts.
Government
New States: Arizona and New Mexico become the 47th and 48th states of the U.S.
Government
American Flag: The Executive Order of President Taft dated June 24, 1912 establishes the proportions of the flag and provides for the arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each and a single point of each star to be upward.
War
The "U.S.S. Jupiter," America’s first shop propelled by electric motors, is launched.
Science
Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), German geologist, proposes that the modern continents were once part of a huge landmass that over time split apart. This theory is called continental drift.
Science
Charles Thomson Rees Wilson’s (1869-1959) cloud-chamber photographs lead to the detection of protons and electrons.
Science
Alfred Sturtevant (1891-1970), Alabama biologist, determines that genes are lined up in a row on the chromosomes.
Science
Henry G. Mosely, English physicist. proposes the law which states that an atomic number is based on the number of protons in the nucleus. He sets 92 as the total number of elements.
Medicine
Polish chemist Kasimir Funk (1884-1967) coins the term “vitamine”.
Inventions
Edwin Bradenberger invents a process for manufacturing cellophane.
Inventions
Glenn H. Curtiss (1878-1930) invents a “flying boat” or seaplane.
Technology
Western Union and Western Electric develop a multiplex telegraph that allows eight messages to be sent over one wire at the same time.
Education
The Children’s Bureau is formed; it remains today as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Education
The National Education Association creates a separate department for classroom teachers.
Education
American psychologists Henry Goddard, Lewis M. Terman, and others adapt Binet’s work to create the Intelligence Quotient, or IQ—calculated by dividing a person’s “mental age” by his chronological age.
Arts and Letters
Drama: John M. Synge (1871-1909) write his drama, “Playboy of the Western World”.
Arts and Letters
Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) is named conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.
Arts and Letters
Rudolf Friml (1879-1972) composes “The Firefly,” an operetta performed in New York. to much acclaim.
Taft, Helen
Helen Taft (11861-1943) plants the first cherry tree, a gift from Japan, in Washington, DC.
Nixon, Pat
Thelma Catherine (Pat) Ryan (1912-1993), wife of President Richard Nixon (1913-1994), is born on March 16, in a mining tent in Ely, Nevada.
Economics
The F.W. Woolworth (1852-1919) Company is founded.
Discovery
Explorer R.F. Scott (1868-1912) reaches the South Pole, only to discover Amundsen (1872-1928) had been there first.
Discovery
C. Dawson announces the discovery of remains of Piltdown man, believed to be 50,000 years old near Lewes, England.
Daily Life
London has 400 cinemas; in the U.S. approximately 5,000,000 people visit cinemas daily.
Daily Life
Disasters: The "RMS Titantic” sinks on her maiden voyage after colliding with and iceberg; 1,513 people drown.
Daily Life
Dancing: Ragtime introduces a series of “animal dances.” Among them are the fox trot, crab step, kangaroo dip, camel walk, turkey trot, and the bunny hug.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The first automobile driver is jailed for speeding.
Sports
The first successful parachute jump occurs.
Sports
The International Lawn Tennis Federation is formed.
Sports
Jim Thorpe (1888-1953) is the outstanding sportsman at the Stockholm Olympic Games; when it is discovered that he played semi-professional baseball in 1911, his gold medals and trophies are taken from him and his records erased from the books.
Sports
Captain Albert Louis makes the first parachute jump in the U.S. from an airplane.
Sports
Women in Sports: Many young American college women take up the latest sports craze: wall scaling.
Popular Culture
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), writer and poet of the "Harlem renaissance,” publishes the novel, "Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man."
Popular Culture
Zane Grey (1872-1939) publishes his popular work, "Riders of the Purple Sage."
Popular Culture
Rudolph Dirks (1877-1968) renames his comic strip “The Captain and the Kids.”
Popular Culture
Attendance at motion-picture theatres reaches 5 million daily.
Popular Culture
French photographer Charles Pathe (1863-1957) produces the first news film.
Popular Culture
"Life Magazine" lists the slang expressions of the year: flossy, beat it, peeved, sure, classy, it’s a cinch, what do you know about that, and fussed.
Religion
Pope Pius X writes his Encyclical, “Singulari quadam,” in which he encourages Catholics to belong to trade unions, but only if they are entirely composed of Catholic workers.
Social Issues
Poverty: Massachusetts passes first minimum wage law for women and children (invalidated by the Supreme Court in 1923).
Social Issues
Immigration: Illiterate immigrants are prohibited from entering the United States.
Reform
Labor Movement: New York passes 54-hour week labor law; Congress passes eight-hour day labor law for federal employees.
Reform
Labor Movement: Textile workers in Lawrence Massachusetts strike for more than two months when their wages are lowered following the new hours law.
1913
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving Congress the power to tax personal income, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Law
'The Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, providing for the election of Senators by the people of a state rather than by the state legislature, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Politics
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), leader of Passive Resistance Movement, is arrested in South Africa after leading a march protesting unfair taxes.
Government
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) is inaugurated as the 28th President of the United States, and Thomas Marshall (1854-1925) is inaugurated as the nation's 28th Vice President.
Government
The domestic parcel post system begins.
Science
H. Geiger introduces the first successful electrical device capable of counting individual alpha rays.
Science
Niels Bohr (1885-1962) formulates his theory of atomic structure.
Science
Frederick Soddy (1877-1956) coins the term “isotope”.
Science
The composition of chlorophyll is discovered by Richard Willstatter
Science
Vitamins A and B are isolated by biochemist, Elmer V. McCollum, at Yale University.
Science
Rene Lorin (1877-1933) states the basic ideas of jet propulsion.
Science
Sturtevant develops a method of mapping chromosomes.
Medicine
A diphtheria immunity test is developed by Bela Schick (1877-1967).
Medicine
Frank Mallory (1862-1941) isolates the bacterium that causes whooping cough.
Inventions
William D. Coolidge (1873-1975), Massachusetts physicists, invents a hot-filament cathode tube that produces x-rays.
Technology
Airplanes: Igor Sikorski (1889-1972), Russian-American engineer, builds and flies the first multi-engine plane.
Education
John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) founds the Rockefeller Institute with initial grant of $100 million.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Willa Cather (1873-1947) writes “O Pioneers!”.
Arts and Letters
Literature: D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930) writes “Sons and Lovers”.
Arts and Letters
Drama: “Pygmalion,” by George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) is first performed in Vienna.
Arts and Letters
The “Armory Show” introduces Postimpressionism and cubism to New York.
Arts and Letters
Painting: J.S. Sargent (1856-1925) paints “Portrait of Henry James”.
Arts and Letters
Bruno Walter becomes director at the Munich Opera (-1922).
Arts and Letters
Victor Herbert (1859-1924) opens his operetta, “Sweethearts,” in New York.
Ideas
Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) publishes “Phenomenology.”
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) writes “Totem and Taboo.”
Wilson, Ellen
Jesse Wilson (1887-1933), daughter of Ellen and Woodrow Wilson, marries Francis Bowes Sayre in the White House in November.
Economics
Because of assembly line technology, Ford is able to produce 1000 Model T’s per day. Ford pays workers an unheard of minimum wage of $5 per day and establishes a 40-hour workweek.
Economics
President Wilson signs the Federal Reserve Act, which divides the country into 12 districts, each with a federal reserve bank.
Economics
American Money: After 1893 and 1907 financial panics, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 is passed.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first crossword puzzle published in American newspapers was one composed by Arthur Wynne for the "New York World" on December 1, 1913.
Daily Life
Fashion: Zippers (in use since 1891) become popular.
Daily Life
Dancing: The foxtrot comes into fashion.
Daily Life
Disasters: The Dayton flood in the Miami Valley (Ohio) kills more than 400 people; property damage is $100 million.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Former Olympian (Gold, Pole Vault, 1908) and medical doctor A.C. Gilbert invents the Erector Set.
Sports
The U.S. team wins the Davis Cup tennis trophy 3-2.
Sports
Baseball: Walter Johnson (1887-1946) pitches 56 consecutive innings, allowing no runs, and sets a record for the baseball season.
Sports
Football: In the first Army-Notre Dame football game, little known Notre Dame defeats Army by using the forward pass. This victory helps popularize the game by showing that a small and clever team can defeat a large and powerful one.
Popular Culture
Hollywood becomes the center of the Motion Picture industry, replacing New York City.
Popular Culture
Mack Sennett (1880-1960) begins directing the Keystone comedies, which introduce classic slapstick humor to the U.S. cinema.
Popular Culture
Eleanor H. Porter (1868-1920) publishes “Pollyanna.”
Popular Culture
Jack Judge, an Englishman and music-hall comedian, writes the song “Tipperary”.
Popular Culture
Irene (1893-1969) and Vernon (1887-1918) Castle, dancers, make their debut in New York in “The Sunshine Girl”.
Religion
Alsatian doctor and missionary Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) opens a hospital in Lambarene, part of the French Congo.
Social Issues
Immigration: California’s Alien Land Law rules that aliens “ineligible to citizenship” were ineligible to own agricultural property.
Reform
Women’s Suffrage Movement: Suffragette demonstrations in London; Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) is sentenced for inciting persons to place explosives in Lloyd George’s house.
Reform
Labor Movement: 150,000 garment workers strike in New York City. The Strike ends 3 months later and workers win wage concessions, reduced hours, and recognition of their union.
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1914
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) returns to India after 21 years in South Africa and begins a non-violent campaign against British rule.
Government
President Wilson (1856-1924) signs an order establishing a permanent civil government in the Panama Canal Zone.
Government
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is established to police business practices in interstate commerce.
Government
Labor Movement: The Clayton Antitrust Act strengthens the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. It seeks to restrict the use of court injunctions in labor disputes and exempts labor and farm organizations from antitrust laws.
War
After the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand (1863-1914 ), heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife, World War I breaks out in Europe.
War
The city of Vera Cruz in Mexico is seized by the U.S. Marines.
Science
American, Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945), begins his rocketry experiments.
Medicine
American, E.C. Kendall (1886-1972) prepares pure thyroxin for treatment of thyroid deficiencies.
Medicine
Dr. Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) performs first successful heart surgery on a dog.
Inventions
Edwin H. Armstrong (1890-1954), N.Y. electrical engineer, patents the regenerative (feedback) circuit.
Inventions
Charles Lawrence, aeronautical engineer, develops the first successful air-cooled airplane engine. This makes long distance flights possible.
Technology
The 35 mm camera is developed.
Education
A document called "Infant Care" is published by the U.S. Government; it is intended to provide mothers with practical information on child health and nutrition, and emphasizes the importance of strict routines and rules.
Arts and Letters
Literature: James Joyce ( 1882-1941) writes “Dubliners”.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) writes “Trees”.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Elmer Rice ( 1892-1967) writes “On Trial,” the first drama to use the device of a flashback.
Arts and Letters
National Capital: Henry Bacon ( 1839-1912) designs the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
Arts and Letters
Women’s Firsts: Mary Davenport-Engberg (1881-1951) is the first woman to conduct a symphony orchestra, in Bellingham, Washington.
Ideas
John B. Watson (1878-1958) publishes "Behavior; an Introduction to Comparative Psychology.”
Wilson, Ellen
Ellen Axson Wilson (1860-1914), first wife of President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) dies on august 6th of Bright''s disease in the White House.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. (1914-1988), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, is born August 17.
Economics
The Panama Canal is completed. It is 40 miles long from Atlantic to Pacific coasts and cost an estimated $365 million to complete.
Economics
The world’s first airline, St. Petersburg Tampa Airboat Line, starts operation in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Discovery
Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) begins a trans-Anarctic expedition with his ship, "Endurance."
Daily Life
The last known passenger pigeon dies in the Cincinnati Zoo.
Daily Life
Dancing: The Cotillion, once the most fashionable dance of society, takes second place to the waltz and the two-step.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Charles Pajeau develops a toy similar to the Erector Set, but designed for younger children, called Tinker Toys.
Sports
Women in Sports: The American Olympic Committee formally opposes women's athletic competition in the Olympics. The only exception is the floor exercise, where women are allowed to only wear long skirts.
Sports
Women in Sports: Basketball: Basketball rules change to allow half-court play, expanded from the original one-third court rules. Full court play for women doesn''t come in until the 1970''s.
Sports
Boxing: Jack Dempsey (1895- 1983) starts fighting under the name “Kid Blackey.”
Sports
Golf: Walter Hagen (1892-1969) wins the U.S. Golf Association Open.
Popular Culture
William Christopher Handy (1873-1958) composes “St. Louis Blues.”
Popular Culture
E.R. Burroughs ( 1875-1950) writes “Tarzan of the Apes”.
Religion
The Assembly of God denomination is founded during an 11-day convention in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Social Issues
Immigration: World War I in Europe breeds strong anti-immigration feelings in the United States.
Social Issues
Immigration: Almost 10.5 million immigrants enter the U.S. from southern and eastern Europe from 1905 until 1914.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Ford Motor Company begins paying its workers a basic wage of $5.00 for an 8-hour day, up from $2.40 for a 9-hour day.
Reform
Labor Movement: The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) founded.
1915
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
War
The U. S. Coast Guard is created by an act of Congress.
War
Terrorism: Erich Muenter, German instructor at Cornell University, plants bomb that destroys U.S. Senate reception room (July 2), then shoots J. Pierpont Morgan, Jr. (July 3); commits suicide (July 6).
War
World War I: German airship bombs E. Anglian ports; first German submarine attack, Le Havre; German blockade of England begins; Germans sink “Lusitania”; first Zeppelin attack on London. 6(1-12)
War
U.S. states that loss of U.S. ships and lives is a violation of neutrality for which Germany is held responsible, but President Wilson acceeds to the isolationist spirit in the U.S. by refusing to enter the war in Europe.
Science
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) postulates his General Theory of Relativity.
Science
Hermann Muller, geneticist, publishes "The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity," a classic in genetics.
Medicine
Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929) discovers that pellagra is caused by a vitamin deficiency.
Medicine
British chemist James Kendall isolates dysentery bacillus.
Inventions
The electric neon sign is patented in the United States by Georges Claude (1870-1960) of Paris, France.
Technology
Airplanes: Hugo Junkers (1859-1935) constructs the first fighter airplane.
Technology
Henry Ford (1863-1947) develops a farm tractor.
Technology
The first transcontinental telephone call is made between Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) in New York and Dr. Thomas A. Watson in San Francisco.
Education
The multiple choice test is invented.
Education
Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas adopt similar compulsory school attendance laws.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Theatre Guild is formed. It is designed as a professional theatre for quality production and introduction of European stagecraft and dramatic styles. This company eventually builds its own playhouse and has a touring production through 1960.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) writes “Victory.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: W. Somerset Maugham ( 1874-1965) writes “Of Human Bondage.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950)writes “A Spoon River Anthology.”
Ideas
In “Climate and Evolution,” William Mathew suggests that animals once moved from continent to continent via natural land bridges.
Wilson, Edith
President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) marries Mrs. Edith Galt (1872-1961).
Economics
Ford produces its one millionth car.
Economics
The taxi industry emerges when automobile owners discover that people will pay for a short automobile ride. Fare is a “jitney” (a nickel); drivers are called “hackers” or “hackies” in the East and “cabbies” in the Midwest.
Economics
William Fox (1879-1952) founds the Fox Film Company
Discovery
British archaeologist Aurel Stein (1862-1943) on an expedition to South Mongolia discovers Marco Polo’s “city of Etzina.”
Daily Life
The first Kiwanis Club is founded in Detroit.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Johnny Gruelle, a newspaper cartoonist, begins to sell Raggedy Ann dolls based on one he had made for his daughter, Marcella.
Sports
Automobile speed record of 102.6 mph set at Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., by Gil Anderson driving a Stutz.
Sports
Boxing: Jesse Willard takes the heavyweight boxing championship from Jack Johnson in a 23-round fight at Havana, Cuba.
Popular Culture
Ivor Novello (1893-1951), a Welsh composer, writes “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” a popular patriotic war song.
Popular Culture
Films: “Birth of a Nation” (D.W. Griffith (1875-1948)); “Carmen” Cecil B. De Mille (1881-1959); “The Lamb” (Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939); “The Fire” (Italy).
Religion
Yeshiva College (later University) and its Rabbi Issac Elchanan Rabbinical Seminary is established in New York for training in a Modern Orthodox milieu.
Social Issues
Immigration: President Wilson vetoes U.S. Senate bill requiring literacy tests for all immigrants.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Supreme Court rules in Ozawa v. United States that first-generation Japanese are ineligible for citizenship and cannot apply for naturalization.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: The U.S. House of Representatives rejects a proposal to give women the right to vote.
Reform
Birth Control Movement: Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) publishes "Family Limitation" and is jailed for supporting birth control.
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1916
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Louis Brandeis (1856-1941) is named to U.S. Supreme Court by President Wilson (1856-1924). He is the first Jewish Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Politics
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) is re-elected President of U.S., barely defeating Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948); Thomas R. Marshall (1854-1925) is also re-elected.
Politics
Women’s Firsts: Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), of Montana, is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Politics
Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948) leaves the Supreme Court to run for President on the Republican ticket.
Government
The National Park Service is established under U.S. department of the Interior.
Government
The Jones Act restates U.S. intention to grant independence to the Philippine Islands when a stable government is formed.
War
World War I: First Zeppelin raid on Paris; Germans introduce steel helmets; military tanks are used for the first time in Europe.
War
Francisco “Pancho” Villa (1878-1923), Mexican revolutionary general, crosses border with guerrillas and raids Columbus, New Mexico, killing 17.
War
Brig.-Gen. John J. Pershing (1860-1948) pursues Villa with 6,000 troops but cannot find him; withdraws (1917) after differences are settled by arbitration.
Science
Einstein (1879-1955) proposes a general theory of relativity to explain all laws of physics in terms of mathematical equations.
Science
National Research Council is established by the National Academy of Sciences.
Medicine
Blood for transfusions is refrigerated.
Medicine
Treatment of war causalities leads to the development of plastic surgeries.
Medicine
“Heparin,” a natural anticoagulant produced by the liver is discovered.
Medicine
Epidemics: America's worst polio epidemic occurs, killing over 7,000 and infecting more than 27,000 people.
Inventions
General John Thompson (1860-1940) invents the submachine gun, popularly called the “Tommy Gun.”
Technology
Electric clocks are introduced.
Education
John Dewey (1859-1952) publishes “Democracy and Education.”
Education
Psychologist John Watson proposes that learning is actually a series of conditioned responses.
Education
Libraries: The first presidential library, the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Library, opens in Fremont, Ohio.
Arts and Letters
Literature: James Joyce (1882-1941) writes “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) designs the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo
Ideas
Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) writes “Mind and Society.”
Roosevelt, Eleanor
John Aspinwall Roosevelt (1916-1981), son of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, is born March 13.
Economics
U.S. purchases Danish West Indies (Virgin Islands) for $25 million.
Economics
The Keating-Owen Act is passed, forbidding the transportation among states of products of factories, shops or canneries employing children under 14 years of age, of mines employing children under 16 years of age, and the products of any of these employing children under 16 who worked at night or more than eight hours a day.
Discovery
Space Exploration: I. P. Grave from Russia''s Artillery Academy submits a proposal for rockets burning smokeless gun powder.
Daily Life
“Summertime” (daylight-saving time) introduced in Britain.
Daily Life
Magazines: The “Saturday Evening Post” uses its first Norman Rockwell painting as its cover.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: John Lloyd Wright, the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright invents Lincoln Logs, interlocking toy logs children use to build imaginative structures.
Sports
Women in Sports: 100 women compete in the first "Championship of the World" bowling tournament on Nov. 26-19 in St. Louis. The total purse was $222. The Women's National Bowling Association is organized as a result of the success of the tournament.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women’s International Bowling Congress established in America.
Sports
Golf: Bobby Jones (1902-1971) makes his debut in U.S. golf.
Sports
Golf: The Professional Golf Association (PGA) is formed.
Sports
Black Athletes: Fritz Pollard (1894-1986) is the first black All-America RB (1916 at Brown); 1st black to play in Rose Bowl; 7-year NFL pro (1920-26); first black NFL coach, at Milwaukee and Hammond, Ind.
Popular Culture
Jazz sweeps U.S.
Religion
Martin Buber (1878-1965) writes “The Spirit of Judaism.”
Reform
Anti-Child Labor Movement: Child labor laws in South Carolina raise the minimum age of children for work in the mills, factories, and mines from 12-14.
Reform
Labor Movement: A law establishing eight-hour work day for railroad prevents a nation-wide strike.
Reform
Birth Control Movement: Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) joins in opening first birth control clinic.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Prohibition gains ground as 24 states vote against alcoholic beverages.
1917
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Prohibition: The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors, is passed by Congress.
Government
The U.S. Congress passes the Jones-Shafroth Act, making Puerto Rico a territory of the United States and its inhabitants U.S. citizens.
Government
Literacy requirements for U.S. citizenship are passed over Wilson’s (1856-1924) veto.
Government
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) is inaugurated again as President of U.S., as is Thomas R. Marshall (1854-1925) as Vice President.
Government
The U.S. Senate rejects President Wilson’s suffrage bill.
War
World War I: First U.S. division arrives in France; October Revolution in Petrograd November 7 (old style calendar October 26).
War
World War I: The Allies execute dancer Mata Hari (1876-1917) as a Spy.
War
World War I: President Wilson (1856-1924) signs the declaration of war against the Axis powers on April 7; anti-German sentiment swells at home. The names of schools, foods, streets, towns, and even some families, are changed to sound less Germanic.
Science
100-inch reflecting telescope installed at Mount Wilson, California.
Science
Einstein (1879-1955) proposes his theory of a static (unchanging) universe.
Medicine
Vaccines: Ralph Parker develops a vaccine for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Medicine
Julius Wagner-Jauregg (1857-1940) discovers the malarial fever shock therapy for general paresis of the insane.
Technology
Radios are used for ground-to-air and air-to-air communication.
Education
Public Education: Smith-Hughes Act passes, providing federal funding for vocational education. Big manufacturing corporations push this, because they want to remove job skill training from the apprenticeship programs of trade unions and bring it under their own control.
Arts and Letters
Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), 72, begins last tour of America.
Arts and Letters
Painting: J.S. Sargent (1856-1925) paints “Portrait of John D. Rockefeller.”
Arts and Letters
Chicago becomes the world’s jazz center.
Arts and Letters
Sigmund Romberg (1887-1951) composes his operetta, “Maytime,” in New York.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Millay (1892-1950) publishes "Renascence and Other poems."
Ideas
C.G. Jung (1875-1961) writes “Psychology of the Unconscious.”
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) writes “Introduction to Psychoanalysis.”
Eisenhower, Mamie
Doud Dwight (Ikky) Eisenhower (1917-1921), son of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, is born September 24.
Economics
Charlie Chaplin’s (1889-1977) yearly salary reaches one million dollars.
Economics
Railroad History: The first Diesel-electric locomotive in the U.S. was a prototype built by G.E. Number 4 had one model GM50 air injection two-stroke V8 rated at 225 HP @ 550 rpm powering one of two trucks. The cylinders had the same 8" x 10" dimensions as the GM16. It was never sold, serving only as a laboratory model at the Erie Works.
Economics
Ford Motor Company begins producing trucks and tractors.
Daily Life
Fashion: Bobbed hair as a ladies hair fashion sweeps Britain and the U.S.
Sports
Baseball: First baseball game played on Polo Grounds on a Sunday between New York Giants and Cincinnati Reds; the game results in the arrest of managers John McGraw (1873-1934) (Giants) and Christy Mathewson (1880-1925) (Reds) for violating New York blue law.
Sports
Women in Sports: Lucy Diggs Slowe wins the singles title at the first American Tennis Association (ATA) national tournament, becoming the first female African-American national champion in any sport.
Popular Culture
Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) reveals the joys of male adolescence in “Seventeen.”
Popular Culture
Buster Keaton (1895-1966), actor and director, establishes his comedy trademark of deadpan expressions in the film The Butcher Boy.
Popular Culture
George M. Cohan (1878-1942) writes American war song “Over There.”
Social Issues
Immigration: The U.S. enters World War I and anti-German sentiment swells at home. The names of schools, foods, streets, towns, and even some families, are changed to sound less Germanic.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: Four women are arrested for picketing for woman’s suffrage (the right to vote) in front of the White House; they are sentenced to 6 months in prison.
Reform
Labor Movement: I.W.W. demonstrations against war result in raids on their offices.
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1918
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
In the U.S. Congressional elections, Republicans win a majority of 43 seats.
Politics
T.G. Masaryk (1850-1937) is elected president of Czechoslovakia .
Politics
Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926), American socialist and presidential candidate, is sentenced to 10 years in prison for violating espionage and sedition laws (sentence is commuted in 1921).
Government
Iceland becomes sovereign state.
Government
Serbo-Croatian-Slovene Kingdom of Yugoslavia proclaimed.
Government
Stamps: U.S. Airmail stamps go on sale for 24 cents. The United States began airmail service on May 15, 1918. Special stamps were issued to indicate prepayment of mail carried on the first flights. The first route, flown by Army pilots in Army planes, linked Washington, DC and New York City via Philadelphia, PA. The rate was 24 cents an ounce. This rate included special delivery to the addressee.
War
Russian Revolution: Ex-Czar Nicholas II (1868-1918) and family executed.
War
World War I: mobilized forces: 63 million; casualties: approx. 8.5 million killed, 21 million wounded, 7.5 million prisoners and missing.
War
World War I: Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) propounds Fourteen Points for world peace; Germany offensive on Western front; Czechoslovakia proclaimed independent republic; Allies sign armistice with Austria-Hungary on November 3; Allied conference at Versailles agrees on peace terms for Germany; Armistice signed between Allies and Germany.
Science
Nobel Prize for Physics: Max Planck (1858-1947), German physicist, for introducing quantum theory.
Science
Herbert M. Evans (1882-1971) determines that human beings have 48 chromosomes.
Medicine
Epidemics: An influenza epidemic, traveling west from Europe, begins in the eastern U.S. and spreads to 46 states. Before it ends in 1919, about 500,000 people die in the U.S. Throughout the world, 20 million people die and one billion are ill.
Inventions
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) invents a hydrofoil boat that goes 60 mph during a test run.
Technology
The Mount Wilson telescope is completed near Pasadena, California.
Education
Higher Educaton: A second Moscow University is founded (first university founded 1755).
Education
Mississippi passes school attendance laws for children between the ages of six and seventeen.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Willa Cather (1873-1947) writes “My Antonia”.
Arts and Letters
Essay: H.L. Mencken (1880-1956): “In Defense of Women”.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Joan Miro (1893-1983) first exhibits his works.
Arts and Letters
The New York Philharmonic Society bans composition by living German composers.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Paris Opera, despite daily bombardment, opens with Gounod’s (1818-1893) “Faust”.
Arts and Letters
Mrs. Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1864-1953) gives the first of her music festivals in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (Tanglewood).
Arts and Letters
Henry Adams (1851-1921) writes “The Education of Henry Adams,” which later wins the Pulitzer Prize.
Ideas
Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929), pioneer in the development of American sociology, publishes “Social Process.”
Ideas
Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) writes “Untergang des Abendlandes” (“Decline of the West”) (-1922).
Ideas
There is major controversy over the new psychology of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and C.G. Jung (1875-1961).
Economics
Railroad History: The first Diesel-electric locomotive to be built and sold commercially was Jay Street Connecting RR #4. G.E. slightly revised its standard steeple cab straight electric locomotive car body and installed a single GM50.
Economics
The Pittman Act is passed, permitting the government to sell silver to Britain as a wartime measure.
Discovery
Harlow Shapley (1885-1972), American astronomer, discovers the true dimensions of the Milky Way.
Discovery
Archaeologists Hall and Leonard Woolley (1880-1960) begin excavations in ancient sites in Babylonia (present-day Iraq).
Daily Life
Regular airmail established between New York City and Washington; first airmail postage.
Daily Life
Daylight saving time introduced in America.
Daily Life
Census: Total population in the U.S.: 103.5 million.
Daily Life
First Chicago-New York airmail delivered: flying time 10 hrs. 5 min.
Sports
Football: Knute Rockne (1888-1931) is named head football coach at the University of Notre Dame.
Sports
Boxing: Jack Dempsey (1895-1983), American heavy-weight boxing champion, knocks out Carl Morris in 14 seconds.
Sports
Women in Sports: Eleanora Sears (a great-great-granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson, born in 1881) takes up squash, after excelling at polo (which she rode astride, shocking conventions of the day), baseball, golf, field hockey, auto racing, swimming, tennis, yachting and speedboat racing. She accumulated 240 trophies during her athletic career. She demonstrated that women could play men's games and was a prime liberator of women in sports.
Popular Culture
Composer George Gershwin (1898-1937) writes the song “Swanee” for the Broadway show Sinbad.
Religion
United Lutheran Church established (U.S.).
Social Issues
Censorship: U.S. Post Office burns installments of James Joyce’s (1882-1941) “Ulysses,” published in the “Little Review”.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Women over 30 get the right to vote in Britain.
Reform
Birth Control Movement: New York v. Sanger; Margaret Sanger wins her suit in New York to allow doctors to advise their married patients about birth control for health purposes.
1919
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Suffrage Movement: The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, is passed by Congress.
Law
The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Politics
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) founds the political party, Fasci del Combattimento.
Politics
In Paris, the League of Nations comes into being. The Hague is selected for the International Court of Justice.
Politics
The Republican convention nominates Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) for the presidency with Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) as his running mate.
Politics
The Democratic convention nominates James M. Cox (1870-1957) for the presidency with Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) as his running mate.
Government
Women's Firsts: Lady Astor (1879-1964) becomes the first woman to be elected as a Member of Parliament in Britain.
Government
Capital Punishment: Austria abolishes the death penalty.
Government
President Woodrow Wilson presents his Fourteen Points for world peace to the American Congress; these Conditions of Peace are intended to guarantee future cooperation among the nations of the world and contain the foundations for a world organization called the League of Nations.
Government
League of Nations: The plenary session of the Peace Conference accepts the proposals for the creation of a League of Nations; the U.S. Senate, however, votes against joining the League.
War
World War I: The Treaty of Versailles is signed, officially ending World War I. Part 1, Articles 1 to 26 of this and other Peace Treaties contain the Covenant of the League of Nations.
Science
English scientist F.W. Aston (1877-1945) builds mass-spectrograph and establishes the phenomena of isotopy.
Science
Observation of the total eclipse of the sun bear out Albert Einstein’s (1879-1955) theory of relativity.
Science
Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945), “Father of American Rocketry” writes “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes”.
Science
Rutherford (1871-1937) demonstrates that the atom is not the final building-block of the universe.
Science
First experiments with shortwave radio (under 100 meters).
Science
In collaboration with Massolle and Engl, Hans Vogt (1903-1986) experiments on a new sound film system.
Inventions
Glenn L. Martin (1886-1955) invents the Martin Bomber, a warplane.
Education
Higher Education: New universities are founded in Hamburg, Posen, Bratislava, and Cologne.
Education
Higher Education: A.D. Juilliard ( -1919)dies leaving 20 million dollars to endow Juilliard School of Music.
Education
Children's Books; Hugh Lofting (1886-1947): the first of the “Dr. Doolittle” stories.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) writes “Corn Huskers,” which wins the Pulitzer Prize.
Arts and Letters
Bauhaus, founded and built by Walter Gropius (1883-1969) in Weimar, Germany, revolutionizes the teaching of painting, sculpture, architecture, and industrial arts.
Arts and Letters
Jazz arrives in Europe.
Arts and Letters
The Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra gives its first concert.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) writes “Main Street”.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953) writes “The Emperor Jones” and “Beyond the Horizon."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941) writes “Winesburg, Ohio,” a volume of interrelated short stories.
Ideas
Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) writes “The Waning of the Middle Ages.”
Ideas
C.G. Jung (1875-1961) writes “Psychological Types.”
Roosevelt, Edith
Former President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) dies in Oyster Bay, New York.
Hoover, Lou
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) is named Director-General of International Organization for European Relief.
Economics
Ford Motor Company: A conflict with stockholders over the millions to be spent building the giant Rouge manufacturing complex in Dearborn, Michigan leads to the company becoming wholly owned by Henry Ford and his son, Edsel, who then succeeds his father as president.
Economics
J.M. Keynes (1883-1946) writes “The Economic Consequence of the Peace.”
Economics
The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is established.
Daily Life
Transportation: J.W. Alcock and A. Whitten Brown (1886-1948) make first nonstop flight across the Atlantic from Newfoundland to Ireland in 16 hours 27 minutes.
Daily Life
Railroad lines operated in America total 265,000 miles.
Daily Life
The American Legion is formed.
Sports
Boxing: Jack Dempsey (1895-1983), U.S. heavyweight boxer, takes the world championship from Jess Willard.
Sports
Baseball: Babe Ruth (1895-1948) hits a 587 ft. home run in a Boston Red Sox versus. New York Giants game in Tampa, Florida.
Sports
Jim Thorpe (1888-1953), the great American all around athlete, finishes his 6-year major league baseball career with the Boston Braves; plays in 60 game; hits .327.
Sports
Horse Racing: Sir Barton is first horse to win triple crown: Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes; J. Loftus jockey in all three.
Sports
The development of a mechanical rabbit by Oliver Smith (1893-1977), of California, marks origin of modern greyhound racing.
Sports
Baseball: Black Sox Scandal: Eight players on the Chicago White Sox conspire with gamblers to throw the World Series. They are acquitted in a court of law—but they are banned from baseball forever.
Religion
Karl Barth (1886-1968): “Der Romerbrief” (“The Epistle to the Romans”), beginning of Protestant dialectical theology.
Religion
Church and State separated in Germany.
Religion
Joan of Arc (1412-1431) canonized by Pope Benedict XV.
Reform
Labor Movement: Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), governor of Massachusetts, calls out the National Guard to end Boston Police Strike.
Reform
Labor Movement: The great American steel strike occurs, lasting until January 1920.
Reform
Labor Movement: An International Labor Conference in Washington endorses eight-hour workday.
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1920
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Law
A year after ratification, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages, goes into effect.
Politics
The German Worker’s Party is renamed the Nationalist Socialist German Workers’ or Nazi Party.
Politics
Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) is elected as the 29th President of the U.S., and Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) is elected as the nation's 29th Vice President.
Government
The Senate rejects the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations for the second time.
Government
The League of Nations comes into existence with its headquarters in Geneva; the Versailles Peace Treaty and the Covenant of the League of Nations enter into force.
Government
The Water Power Act establishes the Federal Power Commission to regulate the generation of electricity from waterways on public lands and from navigational streams.
Government
The “Red Scare’ results in nationwide raids by federal agents, with mass arrests of “anarchists, Communists, and labor agitators.
Science
William D. Harkins (1873-1951) proposes the existence of an uncharged subatomic particle, which he calls the “neutron.”
Medicine
Harvey Cushing (1869-1939) pioneers new techniques in brain surgery.
Medicine
Insulin is isolated for the first time by Canadian Sir Frederick Banting (1891-1941) and Charles Best (1899-1978).
Inventions
Nobel Prize for Physics goes to Charles Guillaume (1861-1938), a Swiss physicist, for the invention of Invar, an alloy of iron containing nickel.
Arts and Letters
Literature: F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), an important novelist of the period, publishes his first novel entitled "This Side of Paradise."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) publishes "Main Street," a novel that exposes the cultural vacuum of a small Midwestern town.
Ideas
In "Easy Lessons in Einstein," Edwin E. Slosson explains the theory of relativity in a simple and clear manner.
Economics
The Jones Act prohibits shipping merchandise between U.S. ports "in any other vessel than a vessel built in and documented under the laws of the United States and owned by persons who are citizens of the United States.''''
Economics
Ford Motor Company: The Detroit-Toledo-Ironton (DTI) railroad proves to be a smart purchase for the Ford Motor Company (FMC). After purchasing the railway, FMC uses it for the next 8 years to control transport of materials and supplies to the massive Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan.
Sports
Baseball: The Negro National League, the first financially successful all-black league, is founded by Hall-of-Famer Rube Foster.
Sports
Baseball: The Boston Red Sox sell Babe Ruth (1895-1948) to the New York Yankees.
Sports
William T. Tilden (1893-1953) wins Wimbledon Lawn Tennis; after this victory, he dominates world tennis until 1925.
Sports
Women in Sports: The skimpy fashions of the '20's put a new emphasis on athletic bodies and narrow the gap between health and glamour. Advertisers, like Grape-Nuts, say, "Grandmother went bathing - girls like Molly go in to swim."
Popular Culture
KDKA, America’s first commercial radio station, begins operation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by broadcasting the results of the presidential election.
Religion
Use of religion in Turkey for political ends is made punishable by death.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: Women get the right to vote when the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified. By this time, 15 states have women suffrage laws.
1921
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) nominates William Howard Taft (1857-1930) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Senate confirms his appointment on the same day. Taft is the only person in history to have been both President and Chief Justice.
Law
League of Nations: The Permanent Court of International Justice comes into being.
Government
Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) is inaugurated as the 29th President of the U.S., and Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) is inaugurated as the nation's 29th Vice President.
Government
Immigration: Congress passes the Quota Act, which limits immigration in the United States.
Government
The Department of Agriculture enforces regulations of the Packers and Stockyards Act to stop manipulation of prices in meat-packing industries.
War
The joint resolution of Congress declares that World War I has ended. Separate U.S. treaties with Germany, Austria, and Hungary are signed and ratified.
Science
Langmuir (1881-1957) and Lewis (1875-1946) independently propose atomic theories.
Medicine
James B. Collip (1892-1965) isolates pure insulin.
Medicine
Edward Mellanby (1884 - 1955) discovers vitamin D and shows that its absence causes rickets.
Inventions
Physician Alvan L. Barach designs a vented oxygen tent.
Technology
John Couch Adams (1819-1892) uses a spectroscope to study and determine the distance of 2000 stars.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) publishes "Michael Robartes and the Dancer," a collection that includes his famous poem, Easter 1916.
Arts and Letters
Women’s Firsts: Literature: American novelist Edith Wharton(1862-1937) becomes the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. She wins the award for her novel "The Age of Innocence."
Ideas
Ernst Kretschmer (1888-1964) publishes "Physique and Character," in which he suggests that body build is closely related to mental state.
Eisenhower, Mamie
Doud Dwight (Ikky) Eisenhower (1917-1921), son of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower dies January 2 from scarlet fever.
Economics
The end of the wartime boom causes business depression and high unemployment. The National Conference proposes a job program.
Economics
Unemployment throughout the U.S. is 5.7 million. Widespread wage cuts in many industries include those of New York Central railroad employees (by 22.5%) and clothing workers (by 15%).
Daily Life
Iowa imposes the first state tax on cigarettes.
Daily Life
Magazines: Publisher DeWitt Wallace (1889-1981) founds the Reader’s Digest.
Daily Life
Knee-length skirts for women become the fashion, causing much comment in the press.
Sports
Baseball: Station KDKA in Pittsburgh broadcasts radio’s first live major league game. (Fewer than 10 percent of Americans own a radio.)
Sports
Women in Sports: The National Women's Athletic Association is organized.
Social Issues
Immigration: California’s Supreme Court declares the state’s Alien Poll Tax unconstitutional and a violation of the treaty between the U.S. and Japan.
Social Issues
Hate Groups: The Ku Klux Klan promotes “white supremacy” and seeks to control politics in many southern communities.
Reform
Birth Control Movement: National Birth Control League and Voluntary Parenthood League are combined to form the American Birth Control League in New York City; Margaret Sanger heads the league.
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1922
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court declares that the Federal Child Labor Law is unconstitutional.
Politics
Women's Firsts: Soledad Chacon is elected Secretary State of New Mexico, the first woman elected to that position.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Rebecca Felton (1835 – 1930), of Georgia, is appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill a temporary vacancy. The first woman senator, she serves for only two days.
Government
U.S. and Japan sign Yap Treaty, permitting U.S. cable and radio stations in the Yap Islands.
Government
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) is arrested by the British in India for inciting his countrymen to violence in their fight for independence.
Government
League of Nations: The first meeting of the Permanent Court of International Justice occurs.
War
U.S. Open Doors Policy is implemented in China. Nine major powers also sign treaties limiting warships, restricting the use of submarines, and outlawing poisonous gas.
Science
Alfred C. Lane begins experiments to determine the age of the earth.
Medicine
Elmer McCollum (1879-1967) discovers vitamin D in cod liver oil. He uses the oil in the successful treatment of rickets.
Inventions
British watchmaker John Howard invents the self-winding watch.
Technology
Ship to shore radio communication begins.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: James Joyce (1882-1941) publishes "Ulysses."
Arts and Letters
Literature: F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) publishes "The Beautiful and the Damned."
Ideas
Herman Julius Oberth (1894-1989) writes "The Rocket into Interdisciplinary Space," in which the concept of escape velocity is introduced.
Eisenhower, Mamie
John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower (1922-), son of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, is born August 3.
Daily Life
Lt. Harold Harris becomes the first member of the Caterpillar Club by parachuting from a defective plane during a flight test in Dayton, Ohio. The club is made up of individuals who have escaped death by using a parachute.
Daily Life
Marriages in the U.S. total 1,126,000 and divorces total 148,000.
Sports
Golf: The oldest American international team golf match takes place between the U.S. and Great Britain. It is established at the National Golf Links of America, Southampton, NY.
Sports
Women in Sports: The National Amateur and Athletic Federation (NAAF) is founded, committed to boys and girls being on an "equal footing with the same standards, the same program and the same regulations."
Social Issues
Racism: Oklahoma is placed under marshal law to control violence and curb Ku Klux Klan activity.
Reform
Birth Control Movement: Dr. Marie Stopes (1880-1958) holds a series of meetings in Queen’s Hall, London to advocate birth control.
1923
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Intermediate Credits Act expands credit to farmers and encourages farm cooperatives in an effort to ease agricultural depression.
Government
Vice President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)becomes the nation's 30th President on the death of President Warren G. Harding (1865-1923). No new Vice President is selected.
War
Payment of British war debt to the U.S. begins.
War
U.S. troops on the Rhine River in Germany are ordered to return by President Haring (1865-1923).
Science
Louis A. Bauer analyzes the Earth’s magnetic field.
Medicine
Insulin becomes generally available to people with diabetes.
Medicine
Vaccines: First vaccine for Diphtheria is used.
Inventions
The bulldozer is invented.
Arts and Letters
Drummer Buddy Rich tours the U.S. and Australia as a child prodigy on the drums.
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) publishes his theories on the human mind in "The Ego and the Id."
Harding, Florence
President Harding (1865-1923) dies suddenly in San Francisco on his return trip from Alaska. His father in Vermont swears in Coolidge (1872-1933) as President.
Economics
The DuPont Company acquires the rights to manufacture Cellophane; the first U.S. made Cellophane is produced in 1924.
Economics
In order to build a Model T automobile, Ford required approximately 250 feet of lumber for each car that it built. As a result, Henry Ford authorized the purchase of several hundred thousand acres of forestland in northern Michigan.
Discovery
Native Americans: Oil is discovered on the Navajo Reservation.
Daily Life
Disasters: An earthquake in Japan destroys Yokohama and half of Tokyo; about 100,000 people die.
Daily Life
Magazines: Time Magazine hits the newsstands for the first time, at $.15 a copy.
Sports
Finnish Paavo Nurmi runs the mile in 4 minutes and 10.4 seconds.
Sports
Women in Sports: 22% of U.S. colleges have varsity sports teams for women.
Popular Culture
Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959), film director and producer, releases the Biblical spectacle The Ten Commandments.
Popular Culture
"e Covered Wagon," voted as one of the 10 best movies of the year by Film Daily, sets the style and popularity for Westerns.
Social Issues
Racism: The African-American town of Rosewood, Florida is burned by a white mob.
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: National Woman’s Party proposes Constitutional amendment stating that “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and in every place subject to its jurisdiction. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
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1924
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The Progressive Party, backed by the American Federation of Labor, Farm-Labor Party and the Socialist Party, nominates senator La Follette of Wisconsin for President.
Politics
Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) is elected President of the U.S. in his own right, and Charles Dawes (1865-1951) is elected the nation's 30th Vice President.
Government
Greece is proclaimed a republic.
Government
The diplomatic and consular services of the U.S. government are consolidated.
Government
Native Americans: Congress passes the Indian Citizenship Act, granting U.S. citizenship to Native Americans.
Government
Immigration: Immigration Act of 1924 establishes fixed quotas of national origin and eliminates Far East immigration.
War
The U.S. Marines land at Shanghai, China to help suppress the civil war.
Science
Scientist Harry Steenbock discovers that sunlight increases the amount of vitamin D in certain foods. After tests prove that it is the ultraviolet part of sunlight, which has this effect, Steenbock patents a process of using artificial ultraviolet light to increase the vitamin D content in food.
Medicine
The portable electrocardiograph is introduced. It uses vacuum tubes to amplify the weak electrical signals produced by the heart.
Technology
RCA demonstrates wireless telegraph transmission of photographs from New York City to London; the process takes about 25 minutes per photograph.
Education
Children's Books: A.A. Milne (1882-1956), English humorist, publishes When We Were Very Young, a collection of stories for his son, Christopher.
Arts and Letters
Paul Whiteman (1890-1967) commissions George Gershwin (1898-1937) to write the symphonic jazz-style “Rhapsody in Blue.”
Truman, Bess
(Mary) Margaret Truman Daniel (1924-), daughter of Harry and Bess Truman, is born February 17.
Coolidge, Grace
Calvin Coolidge Jr. (1908-1924), son of Calvin and Grace Coolidge, dies July 7.
Economics
Harry Cohn founds Columbia pictures.
Discovery
Hubble determines that Cepheid variables (stars) in the Andromeda nebula are hundreds of thousands of light years beyond the Milky Way. This is conclusive proof that there are other galaxies besides our own.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The gas chamber is used for the first time as a method of execution in the United States when gangster Gee Jon is put to death in Nevada.
Daily Life
The publisher Simon and Schuster market the first crossword puzzle book.
Daily Life
There are 2.5 million radios in the U.S.; in 1920 there were only 5000, mostly used by professionals.
Sports
The first Winter Olympic games open at Chamonix, France.
Sports
Football: Notre Dame''s “Four Horseman” – Layden, Stuhldreher, Miller, and Crowley – star as Notre Dame upsets Army.
Sports
Black Athletes: Olympic gold medalist (summer games; individual): DeHart Hubbard (1903-1976) is the gold medalist for the long jump.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Johnson-Reed Act is passed, severely limiting immigration.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Radice v. New York, a New York state case, upholds a law that forbade waitresses from working the night shift but made an exception for entertainers and ladies' room attendants.
1925
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Nellie Taylor Ross (1876-1977) becomes the Governor of Wyoming, being the first woman to be elected as governor of a state.
Government
The Senate ratifies 20-year-old treaty, which recognizes the right of Cuba to the Isle of Pines.
Government
The U.S. and Canada agree to improve the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Lake Ontario.
Government
The boundary between Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) is established.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876-1997) becomes the first woman to serve as governor of a state, in Wyoming.
Government
Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) is inaugurated as President of the U.S., and Charles Dawes (1865-1951) is inaugurated as the nation's 30th Vice President.
Science
Millikan (1868-1953) discovers that cosmic rays are absorbed (not produced) by the atmosphere.
Science
The meter is standardized.
Medicine
George H. Whipple (1878-1976) demonstrates that iron is a major factor in the formation of red blood cells.
Inventions
Berliner (1851-1929) invents acoustic tiles for soundproofing.
Inventions
Railroad History: The American Locomotive Company (ALCO), along with G.E. and IR, builds its first Diesel electric loco.
Education
Higher Education: Trinity College in North Carolina agrees to change its name to Duke University to meet the terms of a $40 million trust fund established by James B. Duke, a tobacco millionaire.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) publishes "In Our Time."
Arts and Letters
Literature: F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) publishes "The Great Gatsby."
Arts and Letters
Writer DuBose Heyward (1885-1940) publishes "Porgy," on which the musical "Porgy and Bess" is later based.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Since Harvard was not supportive of the theatre movement on their campus, the efforts were relocated to Yale in 1925. As a result, Yale established the Drama School as a graduate program that was committed to providing American theatre with gifted artists of superior training.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Theodore Dreiser’s (1871-1945) first commercial success was "An American Tragedy" (1925), which was made into a film in 1931 and again in 1951.
Ideas
John Watson publishes "Behaviorism," a book that sparks popular interest in psychology.
Nixon, Pat
At the age of 13, “Pat” Ryan (Nixon) assumes the role of housewife for her family when her mother, Kate Halberstadt Bender Ryan, a native of Germany, dies of cancer.
Economics
The Ford Motor Company acquires the Lincoln Motor Company, thus branching out into luxury cars.
Daily Life
Disasters: The most violent tornado is U.S. history, the “Tri-State Tornado,” hits Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois, killing 689 people and injuring 13,000 others.
Daily Life
Magazines: The New Yorker magazine is founded.
Popular Culture
Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946), blindfolded, plays 28 simultaneous games of chess.
Religion
A copy of the Bible costs the equivalent of about $2000 in the 14th century, $500 in 1455, $100 by the 17th century, and $3 in 1925.
Religion
Public Education: Tennessee teacher John T. Scopes is arrested for teaching the Theory of Evolution, which is forbidden by state law. This dispute known as the “Monkey Trial” attracts enormous attention; Scopes is convicted and fined $100.
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1926
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: The Progressive Party wins seats in Congress in the fall election.
Government
The U.S. fails to join the Permanent Court of International Justice and Arbitration at The Hague.
Government
Senate ratifies World War debt funding agreements with European countries.
Government
Congress passes the Revenue Act which reduces income and inheritance taxes and abolishes many nuisance taxes.
Government
League of Nations: The first meeting of the Preparatory Disarmament Commission occurs in Geneva.
War
Congress establishes the Army Air Corps.
Science
German physicist, Max Born (1882-1970), formulates the mathematical basis of the quantum theory.
Medicine
George Minot (1885-1950), William Murphy (1892-1987), and George Whipple (1878-1976) use a diet rich in raw liver to cure patients who are suffering from pernicious anemia, a usually fatal disease. Later, Minot and Edwin Cohn prepare liver extract that remains the basic treatment for this disease until 1948.
Medicine
Vaccines: First vaccine for Pertussis is used.
Technology
The first liquid fuel rocket is successfully launched by Professor Robert Goddard at Auburn, Massachusetts; the rocket traveled 184 feet in 2.5 seconds.
Technology
The Radio Corporation of America, American Telephone and Telegraph Company, and the British General Post office hold the first successful transatlantic radiotelephone conversation between New York City and London.
Education
Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) founds Negro History Week, which later evolves into Black History Month.
Education
Children's Books: A.A. Milne (1882-1956) publishes "Winnie the Pooh," one of the most popular children’s books ever written.
Education
Libraries: Los Angeles Public Library is dedicated.
Arts and Letters
Literature: William Faulkner (1897-1962) publishes his first novel, "Soldier’s Pay."
Arts and Letters
Painting: Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) paints “Black Iris,” and abstract work in which the flowers assume human anatomical shapes.
Ideas
T.H. Morgan (1866-1945) publishes "Theory of the Gene."
Ideas
Edward L. Thorndike (1874-1949) publishes "Measurement of Intelligence."
Daily Life
Explorers Richard E. Byrd (1888-1957) and Floyd Bennett (1890-1928) fly over the North Pole.
Daily Life
Airmail service starts between New York City and Boston.
Sports
H. Bierkottes swims the English Channel in 12 hours and 4 minutes.
Sports
Women’s Firsts: American Gertrude Ederle (1906-2003) becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
Popular Culture
English filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), known for his gripping thrillers, directs The Lodger.
Popular Culture
Writer Edna Ferber (1887-1968) publishes "Show Boat."
1927
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court rules that a Texas law forbidding Negroes from voting in Democratic primary elections is unconstitutional.
Politics
A Socialist uprising and a general strike occurs in Vienna, Austria, after acquittal of Nazis for political murder.
Government
League of Nations: The Spanish Government announces that it will continue to collaborate in the work of the League.
War
U.S. Marines land in Nicaragua to protect U.S. lives and property during civil war.
Science
Clinton Davisson (1881-1958) and Lester Germer (1896-1971) discover that electrons are diffracted when they pass through crystal. This discovery supports the wave theory of electric behavior.
Science
Jan Hendrik Oort (1900-1992), Dutch astronomer, further clarifies Lindblad’s theory about the rotation of the Milky Way galaxy.
Medicine
Frank A. Hartman isolates “cortin” from the adrenal glands and suggests that absence of this hormone may cause Addison’s disease.
Medicine
Vaccines: First vaccine for Tuberculosis is used.
Inventions
The History of Toys: A tough, durable kind of plastic, polystyrene, is invented. Although the first plastic, celluloid, was invented in the 1860s, polystyrene is the first type strong enough to really suit toy making.
Inventions
The pentode (a 5-element vacuum tube) is developed. It permits distortion free amplification of sound.
Technology
Ernst Alexanderson (1878-1975) receives the first American television broadcast at his home.
Education
Libraries: The Central library of the Free Library of Philadelphia is dedicated.
Ideas
Pavlov (1849-1936) publishes "Conditioned Reflexes," based on his experiments in which dogs, fed at the sound of a bell, salivated at the sound of the bell alone.
Ideas
Cosmologist Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966) proposes the Big Bang Theory to explain the origin of the universe.
Tyler, Julia
David Gardiner "Gardie" Tyler (1846-1927), the first son born to John Tyler and his second wife Julia, dies September 5.
Economics
The Federal Reserve reduces the discount rate by half a point and purchases $230 million of government securities.
Daily Life
Transatlantic commercial telephone service begins between New York City and London.
Daily Life
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964), then U.S. Secretary of Commerce, gives a speech in Washington, D.C. that is seen and heard in New York via the first long-distance television transmission.
Daily Life
Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) makes the first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic in the Spirit of Saint Louis, from Long Island to Paris.
Daily Life
The Holland Tunnel, designed by Clifford M. Holland, opens to vehicular traffic. More than 1.5 miles long, the tunnel travels under the Hudson River and connects New York with New Jersey.
Sports
Baseball: Babe Ruth (1895-1948) sets home run record when he hits 60 for the season.
Sports
Boxing: The first Golden Gloves amateur boxing matches, sponsored by the New York Daily News, are held.
Sports
Women in Sports: The International Federation of Women's Field Hockey Associations (IFWHA) is formed to provide competition for teams from the US, England, Scotland and Ireland.
Popular Culture
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is founded.
Popular Culture
Bandleader and composer, Duke Ellington (1899-1974), organizes a band that begins a five-year stand at Harlem’s Cotton Club.
Religion
Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959) produces his second Biblical epic called "The King of Kings."
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1928
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) is elected the 31st President of the U.S., and Charles Curtis (1860-1936) is elected as the nation's 31st Vice President.
Government
McNary-Haugen Bill for relief of farmers is vetoed on the grounds that it would fix prices and stimulate overproduction.
Government
Flood Control Bill provides $325 million to curb flooding in the Mississippi River Valley.
Government
Prohibition: Congress appropriates $32 million to enforce Prohibition during the next year.
Government
Britain recognizes the Chinese National government at Nanking.
War
U.S. signs Briand-Kellogg Act Pact, outlawing war. Eventually, 63 nations sign it also.
Science
Karl Ziegler (1898-1973) explains the chemical procedure for making artificial rubber.
Medicine
Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) discovers penicillin, founding the field of antibiotic therapy.
Inventions
Railroad History: The first Diesel-electric passenger locomotive built in North America was a two-unit 2-D-1-1-D-2.
Technology
Mount Palomar Observatory installs a 200-inch reflecting telescope designed by George Hale (1868-1938).
Education
Libraries: The West Virginia Supreme Court rules that Charleston libraries cannot exclude black patrons since, as taxpayers, they are equally entitled to library service.
Ideas
John Von Neumann (1903-1957) develops as part of his theory games, the minimax theorem, a strategy for minimizing a player’s maximum loss.
Daily Life
The first seeing eye dog was presented to Morris S. Frank.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The Mickey Mouse character is created by Walt Disney.
Popular Culture
The first annual Calaveras County “Frog Jumping Jubilee” is held in Angel’s Camp, CA.
Popular Culture
Jerome Kern (1885-1945) and Hammerstein (1895-1960) write the score for Show Boat, which includes the song “Ol’ Man River.”
1929
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The National Revolutionary Party is organized in Mexico; it becomes the chief political party.
Government
The Lateran Treaty, in which Italy agrees to recognize the independence and sovereignty of Vatican City, is signed.
Government
Immigration: The National origins plan goes into effect. U.S. consuls are told to reject any immigrant who might become a “public charge.”
Government
The Agriculture Marketing Act establishes the Federal Farm Board to stabilize farm prices.
Government
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) is inaugurated as the 31st President of the U.S., and Charles Curtis (1860-1936) is inaugurated as the nation's 31st Vice President.
Science
Nobel Prize for Physics goes to Broglie (1892-1987) for his electron wave theory.
Science
Hubble measures the red shift and discovers that the galaxies are moving away from each other. This universal recession of galaxies indicates that the universe is expanding.
Medicine
Hans Berger (1873- 1941) discovers human electroencephalography.
Technology
Ernst Alaxanderson (1878-1975) measures the altitude of an airplane by using reflected radio waves. This is an early use of radar.
Technology
Kodak introduces 16mm movie film.
Technology
In the first instrument flight, Lt. James Doolittle (1896-1993) flies entirely by radio signals received in his airplane.
Education
Higher Education: University of Pennsylvania establishes a department of Medical Physics (biophysics).
Education
Libraries: Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932), a merchant and philanthropist, helps fund libraries in 13 southern states to be used in both urban and rural areas, regardless of race.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) publishes the novel "A Farewell to Arms."
Ideas
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) publishes “A Room of One’s Own.”
Ideas
Robert M. Yerkes (1876-1956), psychologist, publishes "The Great Apes" and establishes the Yale Laboratories of Primate Biology (Florida) to study animal behavior and intelligence.
Hoover, Lou
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) was the first president to have a telephone installed on his desk on March 27. White House phones came next.
Economics
American Money: Currency is reduced in size by 25 percent and standardizes with uniform portraits on the faces and emblems and monuments on the backs.
Economics
President Hoover (1874-1964) meets with important businessmen at the White House in order to stabilize the nation’s business.
Economics
The stock market crash brings depression, with widespread unemployment and many business failures.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Gang members working for Al Capone (1899-1947) kill rival gang members in the St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago.
Daily Life
The first reindeer are born in the United States, in North Beverly, MA.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The yo-yo is popularized in the United States.
Sports
Women in Sports: Tuskegee Institute in Alabama forms one of the first women's college track teams, offering scholarships to promising women athletes, and adding women's event to their Tuskegee relays track meets.
Popular Culture
The first Academy Awards are bestowed; the statues that served as symbols of the award are not called Oscars until 1931.
Popular Culture
The first all-color talking picture, "On With the Show," opens.
Popular Culture
“Amos ‘n’ Andy,” a popular radio show heard each weekday through the 1930’s, makes its national premier.
Religion
Presbyterian churches in Scotland unite to form the Church of Scotland.
Social Issues
Immigration: Congress makes annual immigration quotas permanent.
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1930
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court rules that buying bootleg liquor is not a violation of the 18th amendment.
Law
Chief Justices: President Herbert Hoover nominates Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; he is confirmed by the Senate ten days later and serves in the position for eleven years.
Politics
In the German elections, Nazis gain 107 seats from the center parties.
Government
The Passfield White Paper on Palistine suggests that Jewish immigration be halted.
Government
The names of the cities of Constantinople and Angora in Turkey change to Istanbul and Ankara.
Government
Ras Tafari (1892-1975) becomes Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.
Government
League of Nations: First session of the Commission of Enquiry for European Union.
War
France begins building the Maginot Line.
War
Last Allied troops leave Rhineland.
War
The War Department amends Army regulations to make any violation of the federal prohibition law a military offense.
Medicine
Nobel Prize for Medicine awarded to Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943) (U.S.) for the grouping of human blood.
Inventions
Vannevar Bush, electrical engineer, develops a differential analyzer, the first analog computer.
Inventions
Quartz-crystal clocks are introduced.
Technology
Bell Laboratories develops a two-way television communication system.
Technology
The photoflash bulb comes into use.
Education
Public Education: Civil Rights Movement: The NAACP brings a series of suits over unequal teachers' pay for Blacks and whites in southern states. At the same time, southern states realize they are losing African American labor to the northern cities. These two sources of pressure resulted in some increase of spending on Black schools in the South.
Education
Civil Rights Movment: Brown v. Board: The NAACP began to challenge segregation in graduate and secondary schools in the mid-1930s. Early successes in the Supreme Court barred law schools from denying applicants on the basis of race alone.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Maxwell Anderson (1888-1959)writes “Elizabeth the Queen."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Noel Coward (1899-1973) writes “Private Lives."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Group Theatre is formed by the Theatre Guild for the purpose of producing social protest works. Members were generally committed to largely communal projects.
Ideas
Technocracy, the absolute domination of technology, becomes talked-of phenomenon.
Ideas
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)writes “About Zionism.”
Ideas
Compton suggests that cosmic rays are made of particles.
Ideas
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)publishes “Civilization and Its Discontent."
Taft, Helen
William Howard Taft (1857-1930), 27th President of the United States dies; he is the first U.S. president to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.
Economics
New York City’s Bank of the United States closes because of the stock market crash. The bank has 60 branches and almost half a million depositors. During this year more than 1300 banks are forced to close.
Economics
Ford creates the Mercury division to establish a division centered on mid-priced cars. Ford Motor Company continues to grow.
Discovery
Pluto, the ninth planet in the solar system, is discovered by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh (1906-1997).
Daily Life
Prepackaged frozen food is sold for the first time by Clarence Birdseye (1886-1956) in Springfield, MA.
Daily Life
Contract bridge gains in popularity as a card game.
Daily Life
Comic strips grow in popularity in the U.S. (“Blondie” series).
Popular Culture
Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) writes “The Maltese Falcon."
Popular Culture
Bestseller “Cimarron,” is written by Edna Ferber (1885-1968).
Popular Culture
The films “Blue Angel,” (Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992))and “All Quiet on the Western Front,” both win Academy Awards (Milestone).
1931
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
German millionaire Alfred Hugenberg (1865-1951) undertakes to support the 800,000-strong Nazi Party; Emil Kirdorf (1847-1938), Fritz Thyssen (1873-1951), and Schroder (1841-1902) follow his example.
Government
League of Nations: The Council decides to convene the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments.
Government
League of Nations: European Conference for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs.
Science
Swiss chemist Paul Karrer (1889-1971) isolates vitamin A.
Science
American physicist E.O. Lawrence (1901-1958) invents the cyclotron.
Inventions
Julius A. Nieuwland (1878-1936) devises a process for producing neoprene, a synthetic rubber.
Technology
The George Washington Bridge, extending from New Jersey to New York, is completed.
Technology
The Empire State Building opens.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) writes “The Good Earth."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Robert Frost (1874-1963) publishes his “Collected Poems,” which wins the Pulitzer Prize.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953) writes “Morning Becomes Electra.”
Ideas
John Dewey (1859-1952 ) publishes “Philosophy and Civilization.”
Discovery
Australian explorer G.H. Wilkins (1888-1958) captains “Nautilus” submarine, navigating it under the Arctic Ocean to latitude 82 degrees, 15 minutes.
Daily Life
The U.S. officially adopts “The Star-Spangled Banner” as its national anthem on March 3.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Alphonse (“Scarface”) Capone (1899-1947), gangster with reputed $20 million annual income, is jailed for income tax evasion.
Daily Life
Population (in millions): China 410, India 338, U.S.S.R. 168, U.S. 122, Japan 75, Germany 64, Great Britain 46.
Daily Life
Women’s Firsts: Maxine Dunlap becomes first American woman to earn a glider pilot license.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Alfred M. Butts, an unemployed architect from Poughkeepsie, New York, invents a word game called the Criss Cross Game. In 1948, Butts sells rights to the game to entrepreneur James Brunot who trademarks the game under the name Scrabble.
Sports
The northern face of the Matterhorn is climbed for the first time by Franz and Toni Schmid.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women begin competing in skiing events at the world championships sponsored by the International Ski Federation.
Popular Culture
Popular songs of the year include “Minnie the Moocher”; “Mood Indigo”; Goodnight Sweetheart”; and “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain.”
Popular Culture
Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) stars in the film, “City Lights."
Popular Culture
Walt Disney (1901-1996) produces his first color film, "Flowers and Trees."
Popular Culture
The musical comedy, "Of Thee I Sing," composed and written by George Gershwin (1898-1937), Ira Gershwin (1896-1983) George S. Kaufman (1889-1961), and Morrie Ryskind (1895-1985), becomes the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Religion
Jehovah’s Witnesses formed from International Bible Students Association.
Religion
Pope Pius XI (1857-1939): “Quadrigesimo Anno," encyclical noting dangers of unrestrained capitalism and totalitarian communism, and calling for a new social order.
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1932
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution, setting January 20 as the day the President is inaugurated, is passed by Congress.
Politics
Women's Firsts: Hattie W. Caraway (1878-1932), a democrat from Arkansas, becomes the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
Politics
Running on the idea of a "New Deal" for the American people, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is elected as the 32nd President of the U.S. in a Democratic landslide; John Garner (1868-1967) is elected as the nation's 32nd Vice President.
Government
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is created to conserve area resources.
Government
The Revenue Act of 1932 is passed; it is the largest peacetime tax increase in the nation''s history to that date.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Hattie Wyatt Caraway (1878-1950), of Arkansas, becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
Government
League of Nations: A two-year Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments opens in Geneva; Germany withdraws from the Conference.
Government
Congress changes the name "Porto Rico" to "Puerto Rico".
Science
W.H. Carothers (U.S.) (1896-1937) synthesizes polyamide (nylon by 1936).
Science
James Chadwick (1891-1974) discovers the neutron.
Science
Nobel Prize for Physics: Werner Heisenberg (Germany) for the creation of the matrix theory of quantum mechanics.
Science
Fritz Mietzch (1896-1958) and Josef Klarer (1898-1953): sulfonamide.
Inventions
Sperry Gyroscope Co. develops an automatic pilot.
Technology
A balloon tire is produced for farm tractors.
Technology
RCA demonstrates electric TV using a cathode-ray picture tube receiver.
Education
Libraries: The Folger Library opens in Washington.
Education
Higher Education: Bennington College opens in Vermont.
Education
Basic English is proposed as a prospective international language.
Education
Libraries: Howard University School of Divinity Library is founded.
Education
Public Education: A survey of 150 school districts reveals that three quarters of them are using so-called intelligence testing to place students in different academic tracks.
Economics
In May and June, 17,000 ex-servicemen arrive in Washington D.C., to urge the passage of a law that will permit them to cash their bonus certificates; this bill is defeated by the Senate; government offers expenses for return home, but troops led by General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) finally drive out last 2,000.
Economics
13.7 million people are unemployed in the United States.
Economics
The first unemployment insurance law is enacted in Wisconsin.
Daily Life
Crime and punishment: The infant son of Charles (1902-1974) and Anne Lindbergh (1906-2001) is kidnapped.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) becomes the first woman to complete a solo nonstop transatlantic flight, from Newfoundland to Ireland in about 15 hours.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Amelia Earhart, 34, becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in a red Lockheed Vega in 15 hours and 39 minutes.
Sports
The first Winter Olympic Games held in the U.S., opens at Lake Placid, N.Y.
Sports
The Summer Olympic Games at Los Angeles include 23 sports, 124 events, and 1,408 participants from 37 nations.
Sports
Black Athletes: Louise Stokes (1905-1974) and Tydia Pickett are the first African-American women to be included on a U.S. Olympic team.
Popular Culture
Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) appears in his first “Tarzan” film; Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) writes “The Thin Man;" and Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) writes “Brave New World.”
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: The National Recovery Act forbids more than one family member from holding a government job, resulting in many women losing their jobs.
1933
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The 20th Amendment to the Constitution, setting January 20 as the day the President is inaugurated, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Law
Prohibition: The Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution, repealing prohibition, is passed by Congress, ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Government
U.S. Congress votes independence for Philippines.
Government
The Federal Securities Act requires sworn statements about all securities for sale to be filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Government
League of Nations: Both Germany and Japan give notice of withdrawal from the League of Nations.
Government
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is inaugurated as the 32nd President of the U.S., and John Garner (1868-1967) is inaugurated as the nation's 32nd Vice President.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Frances Perkins (1882-1965) is appointed secretary of labor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), making her the first woman member of a presidential cabinet.
Government
Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) is named Chancellor of Germany.
Science
Tadeusz Reichstein (1897-1996) synthesizes pure vitamin C.
Science
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) recognized by R. Kuhn, Szent-Gyorgyi, and Wagner von Jauregg.
Medicine
Manfred Sakel (1900-1957) discovers insulin shock therapy.
Technology
Edwin H. Armstrong (1890-1954) develops frequency modulation (FM) radio broadcasting.
Technology
Philo T. Farnsworth (1906-1971) develops an electronic TV receiver.
Arts and Letters
“Ulysses,” by James Joyce (1882-1941), is allowed in the U.S. after court ruling.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Erskine Caldwell (1903-1987)writes “God’s Little Acre.”
Arts and Letters
George Balanchine (1904-1983) and Lincoln Kirstein (1907-1996) found the School of American Ballet.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) writes “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.”
Ideas
C.G. Jung (1875-1961) writes “Modern Man in Search of Soul.”
Economics
American banks are closed March 6 - March 9 by presidential order.
Economics
The U.S. goes off gold standard on April 19.
Economics
Unlike his father, Edsel Ford was more interested in vehicle design than mechanics. He helped bring the company''s products to new heights of elegance and style by creating the company’s first dedicated, in-house design (or “styling”) department. The department’s creations become some of the most influential automotive designs in the industry.
Discovery
The theory that Neanderthal Man is in the line of decent of homo sapiens is rejected following the discovery of the Steinheim skull.
Discovery
R.E. Byrd, begins his second South Pole expedition.
Daily Life
The board game Monopoly is invented.
Daily Life
All books by non-Nazi and Jewish authors are burned in Germany.
Daily Life
Chicago World’s Fair (A Century of Progress International Exposition) opens.
Daily Life
President Roosevelt delivers the first radio “fireside chat” to restore the public’s confidence in the American currency and banking system.
Sports
Baseball: The first baseball all-star game is played.
Sports
Boxing: Italian Primo Carnera (1906-1967) knocks out Jack Sharkey (1902-1994) to win heavyweight-boxing crown.
Popular Culture
Some popular films of the year are “Little Women,” starring Katherine Hepburn (1907-2003), and “She Done Him Wrong,” starring Mae West (1892-1980).
Popular Culture
Some popular songs are “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”; “StormyWeather”; “Easter Parade”; “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”; and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”
Social Issues
Holocaust: The Germans at Dachau open the first concentration camp; by 1945 8 to 10 million prisoners have been interned and at least half of them killed. Boycott of Jews begins in Germany.
Social Issues
Immigration: Approximately 60,000 artists (authors, actors, painters, and musicians) emigrate from Germany.
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1934
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
League of Nations: Meeting of the General Commission of the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments.
Government
Congress passes the Gold Reserve Act, empowering the President to regulate the value of the U.S. dollar.
Government
President Roosevelt signs Securities Exchange Act, establishing Securities and Exchange Commission. The first chairman of the SEC is Joseph Kennedy.
Science
Adolph Butenandt (1903-1995) isolates the first crystalline male hormone, androsterone.
Science
Enrico Fermi (1901-1954 ) suggests that neutrons and protons are the same fundamental particles in two different quantum states.
Technology
Osoviakhim, U.S.S.R. balloon, ascends 13 miles into stratosphere.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Robert Graves (1895-1985) writes “I, Claudius” and “Claudius the God.”
Arts and Letters
Painting: Salvador Dali (1904-1989) paints “William Tell,” in surrealistic style.
Arts and Letters
Drama: William Saroyan (1908-1981) writes “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.”
Ideas
Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) writes “A Study of History.”
Ideas
Ruth Benedict (1887-1948) publishes “Patterns of Culture.
Economics
Women’s Firsts: Lettie Pate Whitehead (1872-1953) becomes the first American woman to serve as a director of a major corporation, The Coca-Cola Company.
Discovery
Women’s Firsts: On October 23, 1934, American adventurer Jeanette Piccard (1895 – 1985) sets an altitude record for female balloonists when she ascends 57,579 feet.
Daily Life
Transportation: The S.S. “Normandie” (France) launched; the largest ship afloat until “Queen Elizabeth.”
Daily Life
The Dionne quintuplets are born in Callendar, Ontario.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The F.B.I. shoots John Dillinger (1903-1934), “Public Enemy No. 1.”
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The infamous pair of Bonnie (Parker) (1910-1934) and Clyde (Barrow) (1909-1934), die in a police shootout.
Sports
Golf: The first Masters golf tournament at Augusta National in Georgia is won by Horton Smith (1908-1963).
Sports
Boxing: Max Baer (1909-1959) wins world heavyweight boxing title.
Sports
Boxing: Joe Louis (1914-1981) wins his first fight against Jack Kracken (Chicago).
Popular Culture
Shirley Temple (1928- ) stars in her first film, Stand Up and Cheer.
Social Issues
Poverty: Evangeline Booth (1865-1950), daughter of the Salvation Army’s founder, elected General of the Salvation Army.
1935
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Huey Long (1893-1935) is assassinated by Dr. Carl Weiss in Louisiana Capitol Building.
Government
President Roosevelt (1882-1945) signs U.S. Social Security Act.
Government
Chiang Kai-shek is named President of China.
Government
T.G. Masaryk (1850-1937) resigns as President of Czechoslovakiaand is succeeded by Eduard Benes (1884-1948).
Government
Persia changes its name to Iran.
Government
The Social Security Act establishes a federal payroll tax to finance a cooperative federal-state system of unemployment insurance.
Government
League of Nations: The American Senate refuses to ratify the accession of the United States to the Permanent Court of International justice.
War
World War II: The Saarland is incorporated into Germany following a plebiscite; Nazis repudiate Versailles Treaty and reintroduce compulsory military.
Medicine
German chemist Gerhard Domagk (1895-1964) announces the discovery of Prontosil, the first sulfa drug for treating streptococcal infections.
Medicine
Ladislas J. Meduna (1896-1964)discovers metrazol shock therapy.
Technology
Railroad History: EMC builds #511 and #512, the first self-contained Diesel passenger locomotives in the US.
Technology
RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging) is first demonstrated by Robert Watson-Watt (1892-1973).
Technology
The first round-the-world telephone conversation covers more than 23,000 miles. It is routed from New York to San Francisco, Indonesia, Holland, England, and back to NY-to an office less than 50 feet from the phone where the call originated.
Education
Libraries: The Works Progress Administration library service program gives support in labor and funds to all types of libraries.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Federal Theatre Project is established by Works Progress Administration (WPA) under the leadership of Hallie Flanagan (1890-1969). It lasted 4 years and employed over 30,000 theatrical artists and workers. Eventually Congress challenged the content of the productions as being subversive propaganda and dangerous.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Clarence Day (1874-1935) writes “Life with Father.”
Arts and Letters
Drama: T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) writes “Murder in the Cathedral.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) writes “It Can’t Happen Here.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: John Steinbeck (1902-1968) writes “Tortilla Flat.”
Economics
Electrification: The first generator at Hoover Dam along the Nevada-Arizona border begins commercial operation.
Daily Life
Transportation: The S.S. “Normandie” crosses the Atlantic in 107 hours and 33 minutes.
Daily Life
Dancing: The rumba becomes a fashionable dance.
Daily Life
Alcoholics Anonymous is organized in New York.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Bruno R. Hauptmann (1899-1936) goes on trial for the kidnap and murder of the Lindburgh baby.
Daily Life
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) becomes the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California.
Sports
Baseball: The Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies play the first major league night baseball game at Crosley Field I Cincinnati.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Committee for Industrial Organizations is founded by the leaders of eight unions in the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Its goal is to develop industry-wide unions that include clerical and unskilled workers, as well as skilled-workers who are eligible for the AFL.
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1936
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of TVA in Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority.
Politics
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) is reelected President of the U.S. by a landslide, as is John Garner (1868-1967) as Vice President.
Government
League of Nations: The Secretariat moves into the new League of Nations buildings, Geneva.
War
The U.S. Army adopts the semi-automatic rifle.
War
World War II: German troops occupy Rhineland; elections in Germany give Hitler (1889-1945) 99% of the vote; Four-Year Plan inaugurated.
War
Spanish Civil War begins in July; Franco appointed Chief of State by the insurgents in October; siege of Madrid begins; Spanish government moves to Valencia.
War
World War II: Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) declares war on Japan.
Medicine
Dr. Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) develops an artificial heart.
Medicine
Egas Moniz (1874-1955) discovers prefrontal lobotomy for treating mental diseases.
Technology
The dirigible “Hindenburg” lands at Lakehurst, N.J., after transatlantic flight.
Technology
Mrs. Amy (Johnson) Mollison (1903-1941) flies from England to Cape Town in 3 days, 6 hours, and 25 minutes.
Technology
Boulder (Hoover) Dam on Colorado River in Nevada and Arizona is completed; this creates Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the world.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Beatrice Kaufman and Moss Hart collaborate on the play, “You Can’t Take it With You.”
Economics
The Ford Foundation is established.
Daily Life
Magazines: Henry Luce (1898-1967) begins publication of “Life” magazine.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Bruno Richard Hauptman (1899-1936) is convicted of kidnapping and killing the Lindbergh baby.
Daily Life
Disasters: Floods sweep Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Parker Brothers introduce Monopoly.
Sports
Baseball: Ty Cobb (1886-1961), Babe Ruth (1895-1948), Honus Wagner (1874-1955), Christy Mathewson (1880-1925) and Walter Johnson (1887-1946) are the first players elected to the newly founded Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Sports
Boxing: Max Schmeling (1905-2005) (German) defeats Joe Louis (1914-1981) (U.S.) to win world heavyweight boxing championship.
Popular Culture
Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) writes “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
Popular Culture
Walter D. Edmunds (1903-1998) writes “Drums Along the Mohawk.”
Popular Culture
Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949) writes “Gone with the Wind,” a Pulitzer Prize Novel.
1937
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Rights Movement: The U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of a minimum wage law for women.
Government
President Roosevelt (1882-1945) signs U.S. Neutrality Act.
Government
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) is inaugurated President of the U.S., as is John Garner as Vice President.
War
World War II: Riots in Sudeten area of Czechoslovakia; Sudetan Germans leave Czech Parliament.
War
Spanish Civil War: The German Luftwaffe (air force) destroys the Spanish town of Guernica.
Medicine
The nation’s first blood bank is established at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.
Medicine
Crystalline vitamin A and vitamin K concentrates are first obtained.
Medicine
The National Cancer institute is established.
Inventions
Wallace H. Carothers (1896-1937) patents Nylon for the Du Pont Company.
Inventions
The first jet engine is built by Frank Whittle (1907-1996).
Technology
The Lincoln Tunnel provides a second major vehicular tunnel between New York and New Jersey.
Technology
San Francisco’s Gold Gate Bridge opens; the main section is 4200 ft. long; it is the longest bridge up to this time.
Technology
George VI (1895-1952) is crowned King of Great Britain; the broadcast of ceremonies is first worldwide program heard in the U.S.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Ernest Hemmingway (1899-1961) writes “To Have and to Have Not.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: John P. Marquand (1893-1960) writes “The Late George Apley,” which wins a Pulitzer Prize.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Picasso (1881-1973) paints “Guernica,” a mural for the Paris World Exhibition.
Arts and Letters
Paul Mellon (1907-1999) endows the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Economics
Wall Street stock market decline signals serious economic recession in the U.S.
Daily Life
In Connecticut, automobile license places are issued for the first time.
Daily Life
Disasters: The German airship Hindenberg bursts into flames as it is trying to land at Lakehurst, NJ. News of its occurrence is described in the first transcontinental radio broadcast.
Daily Life
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) is lost on a Pacific flight.
Sports
Boxing: Joe Louis (1914-1981) regains world heavyweight boxing title by defeating James J. Braddock (1905-1974).
Sports
U.S. Tennis Team wins Davis Cup Tournament in England.
Sports
Women in Sports: The US becomes the first country to win the men's (Swaythling Cup) and women's (Marcel Corbillon Cup) team table tennis championships in the same year.
Popular Culture
John Steinbeck (1902-1968) writes “Of Mice and Men.”
Popular Culture
Walt Disney (1901-1996) produces “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."
Social Issues
Poverty: Public Housing: One of the first public housing projects in New York City, the Harlem River Houses, is built. They were 4 and 5-story walk-ups that were connected.
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: Minimum wage law for women is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Reform
Labor Movement: A major strike against Republic Steel takes place: 4 killed and 84 injured in Chicago.
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1938
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court rules that the University of Missouri Law School must admit Negroes because of a lack of other facilities in the area.
Government
Martin Dies (1900-1972) (Texas Democrat), becomes chairman of the newly formed House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) of U.S. House of Representatives.
War
World War II: Hitler (1889-1945) appoints himself War Minister, Ribbentrop Foreign Minister; meets Schuschnigg at Berchtesgaden and marches into Austria; Mussolini (1883-1945) and Hitler meet in Rome; programs in Germany.
War
World War II: Eden resigns in protest against Chamberlain’s (1869-1940) policy; Winston Churchill (1874-1965) leads country’s outcry; Duff Cooper (1890-1954) resigns as First Lord of the Admiralty; President Benes (1884-1948) resigns; Slovakia and Ruthenia granted autonomy; Hungary annexes southern Slovakia; Emil Hacha (1872-1945) installed as puppet President of Czechoslovakia.
Science
Karter, Salomon, and Fritzsche chemically identify vitamin E.
Science
Isolation of pyridoxine (vitamin B6).
Medicine
Robert E. Gross, physician, surgically repairs a congenital heart defect.
Medicine
Ugo Cerletti (1877- 1963) and Lucio Bini (1908-1964) discover electroconvulsive therapy.
Education
The Cloisters, endowed by Rockefeller (1839-1937), is built in upper Manhattan as a branch of the Metropolitan Museum to house medieval art.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: African American Education: Harvard University grants and honorary doctorate to Negro singer Marian Anderson (1897-1993).
Education
Civil Rights Movement: Higher Education: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the University of Missouri Law School must admit Negroes because of a lack of other facilities in the area.
Arts and Letters
Drama: "Our Town," by Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), is performed publicly for the first time in Princeton, NJ.
Arts and Letters
Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) writes “Rebecca.”
Arts and Letters
Drama: Robert Sherwood (1896-1955): “Abe Lincoln in Illinois."
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) builds Taliesin West in Phoenix, Arizona.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953) writes “The Yearling,” a Pulitzer Prize novel.
Ideas
Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) writes “Homo Ludens.”
Ideas
Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) writes “Modes of Thought.”
Economics
Dupont markets the first nylon product-a toothbrush.
Economics
The Fair Labor Standards Act passed, enacting first national minimum wage law.
Daily Life
The 40 hour work week is established in the United States.
Daily Life
20,000 TV sets are in service in New York City.
Daily Life
The S.S. “Queen Elizabeth” is launched.
Daily Life
32,000 people die in auto accidents in the U.S.
Sports
Horse Racing: Eddie Arcado rides his first Kentucky Derby winner, “Lawrin.”
Popular Culture
The New Orleans jazz classic, "When the Saints Go Marching In," is recorded by Louis Armstrong (1901-1971).
Popular Culture
The popular radio quiz show Information Please is broadcast by NBC.
Popular Culture
Orson Welles’s (1915- 1985) radio production of H.G. Well’s (1866-1946) “War of the Worlds” causes considerable panic.
Popular Culture
Benny Goodman’s (1909-1986) band brings new style to jazz music.
Popular Culture
Kurt Weill (1900-1950): “Knickerbocker Holiday,” musical comedy, New York.
Social Issues
Anti-semitism: Anti-Jewish legislation enacted in July.
Reform
Labor Movement: Women''s Rights Movement: The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes minimum wage without regard to sex.
1939
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
President Roosevelt appoints the first Jewish Associate Justice to the Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965); at the same time, he appoints William O. Douglas (1898-1980), who hold the record for longest service on the Court -- 36 years, 7 months.
War
The Spanish Civil War ends.Rooseveltasks Congress for $552 million for defense and demands assurance from Hitler and Mussolini that they will not attack 31 named states.
War
World War II: Germany occupies Bohemia and Moravia, places Slovakia under “protection,” annexes Memel, renounces nonaggression pact with Poland and naval agreement with England, and concludes both the 10-year alliance with Italy and the nonaggression pact with U.S.S.R.
War
World War II: Japanese occupy Hainan and blockade British concession at Tientsin; U.S. renounces Japanese trade agreement of 1911.
War
World War II: Britain and France recognize Franco’s government; U.S. recognition follows; Spanish Civil War ends; Spain joins Anti-Comintern Pact and leaves League of Nations.
War
World War II: Germany invades Poland and annexes Danzig on September 1; Britain and France declare war on Germany on September 3; Roosevelt declares that the U.S. is neutral; Germans overrun western Poland and reach Brest-Litovsk and Warsaw; U.S.S.R. invades Poland from the east; the British Expeditionary Force (158,000 men) are sent to France.
Science
Joliot-Curie demonstrates the possibility of splitting apart the atom.
Science
Polyethylene is invented.
Science
Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to Ernest O. Lawrence (U.S.) for the development of cyclotron.
Technology
Igor Sikorsky (1889-1972) constructs the first helicopter.
Technology
Radar stations are used in Britain to give early warning of approaching enemy aircrafts.
Arts and Letters
Literature: James Joyce writes “Finnegan’s Wake.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Richard Llewellyn writes “How Green was My Valley.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: John Steinbeck writes “The Grapes of Wrath.”
Arts and Letters
Drama: George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart write “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”
Arts and Letters
“Grandma Moses” (Anna M. Robertson) becomes famous in the U.S.
Arts and Letters
Dance: Aaron Copland’s “Billy the Kid” ballet opens in New York.
Arts and Letters
Literature: C.S. Forester writes “Captain Horatio Hornblower.”
Ideas
John Dewey (1859-1952) publishes “Freedom and Culture.”
Ideas
Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is made available in a complete English translation.
Economics
After the 1938 recession, the U.S. economy begins to recover and, by autumn, is booming from orders of European countries for arms and war equipment.
Daily Life
Transportation: Pan-American Airways begins regularly scheduled commercial flights between the U.S. and Europe on the “Dixie Clipper.”
Daily Life
Fashion: Nylon stockings appear for the first time.
Daily Life
Holidays: President Roosevelt moves the national Thanksgiving Celebration to the third Thursday of November in order to extend the Christmas shopping season and boost the economy.
Sports
Baseball: The first televised major league game is broadcast from Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.
Sports
Baseball: Little League Baseball is founded.
Sports
Baseball: Baseball great Lou Gehrig sets of major-league record when he plays his 2,130th game.A baseball game is first televised in the U.S.
Popular Culture
The first public television broadcast is made from the Empire State Building.
Popular Culture
War songs in England are “Roll out the Barrel’ and “The Last Time I Saw Paris.”
Popular Culture
Popular Films include “Gone With the Wind”, “The Wizard of Oz” (Judy Garland), and “Stagecoach” (John Ford).
Popular Culture
Popular Songs in America are “God Bless America”, “Over the Rainbow”, and “I’ll Never Smile Again.”
Religion
Pope Pius XI dies; Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli is elected to be Pope Pius XII (-1958).
Religion
The Methodist Church, rent by schisms of 1830 and 1844, is reunited.
Reform
Labor Movement: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that sit-down strikes are illegal.
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1940
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is re-elected to a third term as President of the U.S., and Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965) is elected as the nation's 33rd Vice President.
Government
Stamps: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) is the first African-American honored on a stamp.
Government
Immigration: The Smith Act (Alien Registration Act) requires the registration of all aliens and makes it illegal to advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government by force.
Government
Conservation: Congress establishes the Fish and Wildlife Service to develop and administer a wildlife conservation program.
Government
Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940) is succeeded by Winston Churchill (1874-1965) as Prime Minister of England.
Government
The U.S. does not renew its commercial treaty with Japan.
Government
The Transportation Act passes, giving ICC authority to regulate common carriers operating in interstate commerce in the coastal, inter-coastal, and inland waters of the U.S.
War
National Defense Advisory Commission coordinates U.S. civilian defense protection.
War
Congress creates the Selective Service System, the first U.S. peacetime program of compulsory military service. It requires all men between ages 21 and 36 to register.
Science
Fritz A. Lipmann (1899-1986), biochemist, proposes that ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) is a common form of energy in many cells.
Medicine
N.M. Gregg discovers that German measles during pregnancy may cause birth defects in the unborn child.
Medicine
Linus Pauling (1901-1994) and Max Delbruck (1906-1981) determine that antigens cause the body to produce antibodies.
Inventions
V. Zworykin (1889-1982) and James Hillier (1915-) invent the electronic microscope.
Inventions
Hellmuth Walter (1900-1980), a German engineer, invents a propulsion system for submarines.
Education
The first large-scale urban college building of modern design, Hunter College, is built in New York City.
Arts and Letters
The Museum of Modern Art sets up a separate department of photography.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Picasso’s (1882-1973) lithograph, “Dove” is selected as the symbol of the World Peace Congress.
Discovery
Prehistoric drawings that are at least 20,000 years old are found in the Lascaux Caves in France.
Daily Life
The first social security check is issued to Ida Fuller for $22.54.
Daily Life
Fashion: Nylon stockings go on sale for the first time in the U.S.
Daily Life
The suspension bridge over the Narrows at Tacoma, Washington called “Galloping Gertie,” collapses because of wind vibration; the Bridge tumbles into Puget Sound.
Sports
Cornelius Warmerdam (1915-2001) is the first to pole-vault 15 feet. Two years later he sets the new record of 15 ft. 7.75 inches.
Popular Culture
Oglethorpe University (Georgia) deposits a bottle of beer, an encyclopedia, and a movie fan magazine along with 1000 of other items in its “Crypt of Civilization,” a time capsule scheduled to be opened in the year 8113.
Popular Culture
John Ford (1894-1973) wins an Oscar for directing "The Grapes of Wrath."
Reform
Labor Movement: The 40-hour workweek, part of Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, goes into effect.
1941
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: After sixteen years of service as an Associate Justice, Harlan Fiske Stone (1872-1946) is nominated Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945); he is confirmed by the Senate and serves for five years until his death in 1946.
Government
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is inaugurated for a third term as President of the U.S., and Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965) is inaugurated as the nation's 33rd Vice President.
Government
The Lend-Lease Act lends war materials to friendly nations.
Government
The Office of Price Administration and Civilian Supply is organized. It immediately freezes steel prices and later announces the need for tire rationing to conserve rubber.
Government
The Lend-Lease Act passes, giving the president the authority to aid any nation whose defense he believed vital to the United States and to accept repayment "in kind or property, or any other direct or indirect benefit which the President deems satisfactory."
War
The Selective Service System repeals the 900,000-man limitation of the Army and extends the length of service of draftees to 18 months.
War
U.S. lends the U.S.S.R. $1 billion worth of war material.
War
World War II: Japan attacks the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, destroying many war ships; the U.S. declares war on Japan.
War
World War II: U.S. forces land in Iceland to defend it against possible attack.
War
Puerto Rico: US Congress establishes two thirds of the island of Vieques as a military training ground. Residents are given 24 hours to leave their homes.
Science
The Manhattan Project, under the direction of Leslie Groves, begins top-secret research to develop an atomic bomb.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Eleanor J. Macdonald (1906-?1995), the first cancer epidemiologist, establishes the world’s first cancer registry in Connecticut.
Medicine
Radioactive iodine is used to treat cancer of the thyroid.
Inventions
Aerosol spray cans are introduced.
Technology
RCA develops the “alert receiver,” a radio that is turned on or off by a special radio wave signal.
Technology
LORAN (long range aid to navigation) uses fixed radio signals to determine positions at sea.
Technology
An electron microscope is used to obtain the first photograph of a virus. The virus, only 4 ten-millionths of an inch in diameter, is magnified 65,000 times.
Reagan, Nancy
Maureen Reagan Revell (1941-2001), daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, is born January 4.
Economics
The FCC authorizes TV broadcasting. By the end of the year, 1 million sets are sold.
Daily Life
Gasoline curfew begins in 17 eastern states; gasoline stations are closed from 7am-7pm.
Daily Life
A National Nutrition Program begins; vitamins and minerals are added to milk, bread, and other common foods.
Daily Life
“Utility” clothing and furniture are encouraged in Britain; clothes rationing starts.
Daily Life
Holidays: After much protest, President Roosevelt returns the official Thansgiving to the fourth Thursday of November.
Sports
Baseball: New York Yankee center-fielder Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999) hits in 56 major league games and sets a major league record.
Popular Culture
The classic movie, "Citizen Kane," starring Orson Welles (1915-1985), premiers in New York City.
Popular Culture
The famous wartime phrase “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” is said by Howell M. Forgy, chaplain on the U.S. cruiser New Orleans, which is attacked at Pearl Harbor.
Popular Culture
Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967), arranger-composer for Duke Ellington, composes the band’s theme song, “Take the A-Train.”
Popular Culture
The USO is founded in New York City to raise the morale of American troops by supplying recreation, education, and entertainment.
Social Issues
Immigration: Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii galvanizes America’s war effort. More than 1,000 Japanese-American community leaders are incarcerated because of national security.
Social Issues
Immigration: President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 8802, forbidding discrimination in federal hiring, job-training programs, and defense industries. The newly created Fair Employment Practices Commission investigates discrimination against black employees.
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1942
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) signs an executive order resulting in the internment of thousands of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast.
Government
Immigration: Congress allows for importation of agricultural workers from within North, Central, and South America. The Bracero Program allows Mexican laborers to work in the U.S.
War
World War II: Congress enacts measures to form the Women’s auxiliary corps of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
War
World War II: The Nazis formulate their “Final Solution” regarding the Jews at the Wannsee Conference.
War
World War II: Government wartime agencies take control of housing, alien property, shipping and transportation, foreign relief, censorship, and scientific research.
War
World War II: U.S. begins strict rationing of food and materials needed for the war effort.
Science
Russian Academy of Sciences awards honorary memberships to Americans for the first time: W. Cannon, E.O. Lawrence, and G. Lewis.
Medicine
French chemists prepare the first usable antihistamines.
Inventions
Henry Ford (1863-1947) patents the plastic automobile body.
Inventions
Magnetic recording tape is introduced.
Inventions
Bell Aircraft builds and tests the first U.S. jet, the XP-59.
Technology
Henry Kaiser (1882-1967) and Howard Hughes (1905-1976) design the Spruce Goose, an 8-engine airplane with room for 700 people.
Technology
Sonobuoys are used to detect submarines.
Technology
Radio signals (interference) are received from the Sun.
Technology
The first V-mail is sent overseas from New York City to London.
Arts and Letters
Dance: Copland (1900-1990) composes the ballet Rodeo, staged and choreographed by Agnes DeMille (1881-1959).
Ideas
Sister Elizabeth Kenny (1880-1952) publishes "Kenny Concept of Infantile Paralysis and Its Treatment."
Economics
The Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in Washington State is completed.
Discovery
Mildenhall Treasure, a hoard of Roman silverware, is discovered in Suffolk, England.
Daily Life
Disasters: Mine explosions in Honkeiko, Manchuria kill 1549 people.
Daily Life
Disasters: The ocean liner Queen Mary collides with a British cruiser; 388 people on board the cruiser are killed.
Sports
Football: The Army-Navy football game that is usually seen by 100,000 fans in Philadelphia is played in Annapolis, Maryland for fewer than 12,000. By Presidential order, tickets are sold only to resident within a 10-mile radius of the stadium.
Sports
Baseball: Just weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt declares, “it would be best for the country to keep baseball going.”
Popular Culture
Band leader Glenn Miller (1904-1944) receives the first ever gold record for selling a million copies of “Chattanooga Choo Choo.”
Religion
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) publishes "The Screwtape Letters," an extremely popular Christian novel.
Religion
Lloyd Douglas, a Lutheran clergyman, publishes "The Robe," a novel based on the New Testament.
1943
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Immigration: The Magnuson Act of 1943 repeals the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, establishes quotas for Chinese immigrants, and makes them eligible for U.S. citizenship.
War
U.S. Army engineers complete the Pentagon building. This 5-sided building, headquarters of the Department of Defense, remains the largest office building in the world.
War
World War II: President Roosevelt (1882-1945) and Prime Minister Churchill (1874-1965) meet at the Casablanca Conference.
War
World War II: The Nazi siege of Leningrad is broken.U.S. bombers sink Japanese convoy of 22 ships at the Battle of Bismarck Sea.
War
World War II: U.S. naval and amphibious forces begin island-hopping operations in the Pacific, capturing key bases.
Science
The hallucinogenic drug LSD is first produced by Albert Hoffman (1906-?) at Sandoz Laboratory in Basil, Switzerland.
Science
50,000 scientists and aides, all conducting secret atomic research suddenly populate the tiny town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Medicine
Large-scale production of penicillin begins to meet the demand as the drug is being used to treat a variety of infectious diseases.
Medicine
Epidemics: An infantile paralysis (polio) epidemic kills 1151 people and cripples thousands more.
Inventions
Alvarez develops a radar-controlled bombsight.
Inventions
Polyethylene plastic is introduced.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) begin their successful partnership when they produce the musical Oklahoma.
Arts and Letters
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), conductor and composer, becomes the assistant composer of the N.Y. Philharmonic.
Economics
The “Big Inch,” world’s longest oil pipeline, is dedicated. It is 1300 miles long and stretches from Texas to Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
Women in England are no longer required to wear hats in law courts.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: While searching for a suspension device to ease rough sailing on battleships, navy engineer Richard James discovers that a torsion spring will "walk" end over end when knocked over. James brought the discovery home to his wife, who named the new toy "Slinky."
Daily Life
Dancing: The jitterbug is the most popular dance.
Sports
Women in Sports: In its June 14th issue, Time estimates there are 40,000 semi-pro women's softball teams in the US.
Sports
The Detroit Red Wings win the last 4 games in the Stanley Cup finals, defeating the Boston Bruins 2-0 to become the National League Hockey Champions.
Sports
Women in Sports: Baseball: Philip K. Wrigley starts what will become the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the country’s only professional female league.
Religion
Public Education: U.S. Supreme Court reverses 1940 decision and holds that children cannot be required to salute the flag in school if their religion prohibits it; case brought to court by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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1944
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is reelected President for a fourth term; Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) is elected the nation's 34th Vice President on the same Democratic ticket.
Government
The Declaration of Independence and other historical documents, sent from Washington D.C., for safekeeping in December 1941, are again displayed at the Library of Congress.
War
World War II: U.S. planes bomb Berlin for the first time.
War
World War II: U.S. troops establish beachheads at Utah Beach and Omaha Beach during the Allied invasion of Western Europe (D-Day).
Science
Uranium pile is built in Oak Ridge Tennessee.
Medicine
Alfred Blalock (1899-1964) and Marie Taussig introduce a surgical technique for saving “blue babies.”
Medicine
Oswald Avery (1877-1955) proves that DNA is the genetic material responsible for heredity.
Medicine
Clarence C. Little proposes that cancer is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Medicine
DDT is used to control a typhus outbreak in Naples, Italy.
Medicine
Daniel Bovet (1907-1992) discovers the antihistamine pyrilamine.
Inventions
Silicone resins are introduced as insulation capable of withstanding very high temperatures.
Education
Higher Education: President Roosevelt (1882-1945) signs The Serviceman Readjustment Act (G.I. Bill of Rights), establishing benefits for veterans after the war. One of the chief benefits of the law is the provision of funds for college for returning servicemen and women, thus providing access to higher education for many who would not have been able to afford it otherwise, and, in fact, making the idea of a college education a "normal" one for the next generation of young people.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Jean Anouilh (1910-1987) completes the play Antigone.
Ideas
Von Neumann (1903-1957) publishes "Theory of Games and Economic Behavior."
Johnson, Lady Bird
Lynda Bird Robb (1944- ), daughter of Lyndon and Claudia Johnson, is born March 19.
Daily Life
Meat rationing ends, except for steak and choice cuts of beef.
Daily Life
Transportation: The first non-stop flight from London to Canada takes place.
Popular Culture
Bing Crosby (1903-1977) stars in the film, "Going My Way."
Popular Culture
The popular radio show, "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," debuts.
Popular Culture
Jimmy “Trump” Davidson’s Big Band introduces Dixieland Jazz to Canada.
1945
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The Arab League is founded in Cairo by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
Government
The Medal of Freedom is established. It is awarded to civilians for meritorious acts or service.
Government
United Nations: The United Nations opens in San Francisco. Senate ratifies UN Charter by a vote of 89 to 2.
Government
Vice President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) becomes the nation's 33rd President upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945). No new Vice President is selected.
Government
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) is inaugurated as President for a fourth term; Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) is inaugurated as the nation's 34th Vice President.
War
World War II. The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; the rationale is that it will shorten the war and save thousands of American and Japanese lives. Several days after the bombing, Japan surrenders, bringing World War II to an end.
War
World War II: The Russians liberate the Auschwitz concentration camp, where the Nazis killed over 1.5 million people, including over 1 million Jews.
War
World War II: U. S. Marines raise the American flag on Iwo Jima.
War
World War II: The Yalta Agreement is signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965), and Soviet leader Josef Stalin (1879-1953).
War
World War II: World War II ends; cold war begins; Soviet Union becomes prime adversary of U.S; President Truman (1884-1972) pressured to take a hard-line on Communists, foreign and domestic.
Medicine
Woodward determines the chemical structure of penicillin by using a spectroscope.
Medicine
Spies proves that folic acid (a B-vitamin) is necessary for proper development of red blood cells.
Technology
Railroad History: The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, uses the first railroad car with an observation dome. The dome is 19.5 feet long and extends the full width of the railroad car.
Technology
Weather radar is developed.
Education
Children's Books: E.B. White (1899-1985) publishes the children’s classic Stuart Little.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Sartre (1905-1980) writes the play "No Exit."
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd president of the United States, dies of a massive cerebral hemorrhage at his home in Warm Springs, Georgia.
Economics
FCC sets aside 13 channels for commercial broadcasting.
Daily Life
Rationing of shoes, butter, and tires ends.
Daily Life
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), Italian dictator and ally of Nazi Germany, is executed.
Daily Life
German dictator Adolph Hitler (1889-1945), and his newly married mistress, Eva Braun (1912-1945), commit suicide in his Berlin bunker.
Daily Life
Anne Frank (1929-1945), the Dutch Jewish teenager who kept a diary of her wartime experiences, dies at 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany.
Popular Culture
Popular radio shows include: "The Red Skeleton Show," "The Green Hornet," "Superman," "Inner Sanctum," "The Fred Allen Show," "One Man’s Family," and "Queen for a Day."
Popular Culture
Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) organizes an orchestra featuring the “bop” style of jazz.
Religion
Italian writer Carlo Levi (1902-1975) causes a sensation with his novel "Christ Stopped at Eboli."
Social Issues
Immigration: The War Bride Act and the G.I. Fiancées Act allows immigration of foreign-born wives, fiancé(e)s, husbands, and children of U.S. armed forces personnel.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: Women win the vote in France.
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1946
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Harry S. Truman nominates Fred M. Vinson as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; the Senate confirms his nomination and he serves for seven years until his death in 1953.
Politics
McCarthy Era: November 1946 -- Joseph R. McCarthy (1908-1957)is first elected Senator from Wisconsin, defeating progressive titan Robert Lafollette (1855-1925). Richard Nixon (1913-1994) is elected Congressmen from Whittier, CA. The Democrats lose 12 Senate seats and 55 House seats.
Government
League of Nations: (April 18) The League transfers all its assets to the United Nations. Contract signed by W. Moderow, representative of the League, and Sean Lester, the last Secretary-General of the League of Nations.
Government
United Nations: The first General Assembly of the United Nations convenes in London.
Government
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) is elected president of North Viet Nam.
Government
The United Nations accepts an $8.5 million donation from John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) to purchases the site for the new UN headquarters in New York City.
War
Cold War: Churchill (1874-1965) delivers a speech in Fulton, Missouri, warning about Soviet expansion and coining the phrase the “Iron Curtain.” This marks the beginning of the “Cold War.”
War
The Army and Navy are permitted to manufacture atomic weapons.
War
Chinese Communists tell the U.S. to stop supplying arms to the Nationalist Chinese Party. The U.S. gives up trying to mediate the civil war in China.
Science
The Atomic Energy Commission is established.
Science
Carbon-12, and isotope is discovered.
Inventions
Printed circuits are developed.
Technology
Computer Technology: A computer begins working at the University of Pennsylvania, taking seconds to do calculations that normally take hours. It is named ENIAC, or Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Taylor Caldwell (1900-1985) publishes "This Side of Innocence."
Arts and Letters
Architecture: The “ranch-type” home becomes popular; many find the low-slung, single story homes very appealing.
Ideas
Lemaitre (1894-1966) publishes "Hypothesis of the Primeval Atom."
Nixon, Pat
Tricia Nixon Cox (1946- ), daughter of Richard and Patricia Nixon, is born February 21.
Bush, Barbara
George Walker Bush (1946- ), son of George and Barbara Bush, is born July 6.
Discovery
Byrd (1888-1957) leads an expedition to the North Pole.
Daily Life
Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995) of the U.S.S.R. is considered the world’s finest chess player.
Daily Life
The government lifts most price and wage controls. U.S.
Daily Life
Disasters: An Army plane crashes into the Manhattan Company in New York City; 5 people are killed.
Sports
Women’s Firsts: Women in Sports: Edith Houghton becomes the first woman hired as a major-league baseball scout.
Popular Culture
Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) directs the film Notorious.
Popular Culture
Irving Berlin (1888-1989) writes the score for the Broadway musical, "Annie Get Your Gun."
Religion
Mother Frances X. Cabrini (1850-1917) is canonized; she is the first U.S. citizen to become a saint in the Catholic Church.
Religion
Women’s Firsts: Mother Maria Frances Cabrini (1850-1917) is canonized by Pope Pius XII. She is the first U.S. citizen (she was born in Italy) to become a saint.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: Women win the vote in Italy.
Reform
The strike by the United Mine Workers begins. President Truman seizes the mines after employers reject the government’s negotiated contract.
1947
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Education: The Supreme Court upholds a state law permitting pupils attending parochial schools to ride on public school buses. This is the first of many cases on the separation of church and state in relation to schools.
Law
The Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is passed by Congress.
Government
McCarthy Era: Senator McCarthy (1908-1957) is assigned to the Government Operations Committee in Senate; Congressman Nixon is appointed to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Mr. Nixon is first lawyer on The Committee and is noteworthy for raising the level of "respectability" of the Committee's proceedings.
Government
McCarthy Era: Criticized for loose scrutiny of federal employees, President Truman (1884-1972) initiates a loyalty program for civil servants -- the Federal Loyalty Board Program.
Government
Congress approves economic and military assistance for Greece and Turkey.
Government
Congress enacts the Labor Management Relations Act (Taft-Hartley Labor Act) over President Truman’s veto. It limits the power of labor unions and puts restrictions on strikes, closed shop, and political activities.
Government
President Truman (1884-1972) states the principle of Soviet Containment (Truman Doctrine).
Government
Britain nationalizes coalmines, cable and radio communications, and the electrical supply industry.
Government
The Secretary of State proposes the European Recovery Program (The Marshall Plan) to give economic aid to certain war-torn European nations.
War
World War II: U.S. ratifies peace treaties with Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Rumania.
War
The National Security Act unifies all branches of the armed services into a new Department of Defense.
Science
Willard Frank Libby (1908-1980) develops radio-carbon dating (carbon-14) and uses this method to determine the age of several ancient artifacts.
Medicine
Heparin is synthesized.
Medicine
Bovet discovers synthetic drugs that produce a non-poisonous, curare-like effect.
Technology
Edwin Land (1906-1991) introduces the Polaroid camera for instant photographs.
Technology
Howard Aiken (1900-1973) produces an improved electromechanical calculator, the Mark II.
Technology
Personal Computers: Three scientists at Bell Telephone Laboratories, William Shockley (1910-1989), Walter Brattain (1902-1987), and John Bardeen (1908-1991) demonstrate their new invention of the point-contact transistor amplifier. The name transistor is short for "transfer resistance.”
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The principal approach to production (a theatricalized realism compounded of acting, which emphasized intense psychological truth, and of visual elements, which eliminated nonessentials but retained realistic outlines) is popularized. The method is made most renown by Elia Kazan (1909-2003) and Jo Mielziner (1901-1976) in the 1947 production of "Streetcar Named Desire" and the 1949 production of "Death of a Salesman."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Arthur Miller (1915-2005) publishes "All My Sons."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) publishes the Pulitzer Prize winning work, "A Streetcar Named Desire."
Arts and Letters
Literature: James Michener (1907-1997) publishes "Tales of the South Pacific," the basis for the Broadway show "South Pacific."
Johnson, Lady Bird
Luci Baines Johnson Turpin (1947- ), daughter of Lyndon and Claudia Johnson, is born July 2.
Carter, Rosalynn
John William “Jack” Carter (1947- ), son of James “Jimmy” and Rosalynn Carter, is born July 3.
Daily Life
Congressional proceedings are televised for the first time.
Daily Life
The wartime draft ends.
Daily Life
Transportation: The first supersonic jet flight takes place.
Daily Life
Fashion: With wartime shortages over, Christian Dior introduces "The New Look" in women's fashions, featuring calf-lenth full skirts and large hats.
Sports
Black Athletes: Baseball: Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), the first black baseball player in the major leagues, makes his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and scores the game-winning run.
Sports
John Cobb (1899-1952) establishes a world ground speed record of 394.196 mph.
Popular Culture
Reports of “flying saucers” receive widespread publicity.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: In the Fay v. New York case, the U.S. Supreme Court says women are equally qualified with men to serve on juries but are granted an exemption and may serve or not as women choose.
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1948
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Education: The Supreme Court rules that religious instruction in public schools violates the Constitution.
Politics
Democratic President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) is re-elected as President of the U.S. and Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956) is elected as the nation's 35th Vice President.
Politics
McCarthy Era: 1948 -- HUAC gets Whitaker Chambers to implicate Alger Hiss as a spy. Nixon destroys Hiss's reputation in the press, reveals "Pumpkin Papers" in conference.
Politics
Southern Democrats bolt the Democratic Party in opposition to the civil rights platform.
Politics
Communists take control of the government in Czechoslovakia.
Government
President Harry Truman (1884-1972) signs the Marshall Plan, a major policy and financial commitment to aid in the recovery of Europe after World War II.
Government
The U.S. recognizes the new state of Israel.
Government
Burma (now called Myanmar) and Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) gain their independence from Great Britain.
War
Cold War: Communist Party leaders in the U.S. are indicted and charged with instigating the overthrow of the U.S. government.
Science
Lovell determines that meteors are natural phenomenon of the solar system.
Science
Oak Ridge National Laboratory begins to develop peaceful uses for atomic energy.
Medicine
The U.S. Public Health Service devises a simple test for diabetes mellitus.
Medicine
Yale University scientists develop a nylon respirator to replace the iron lung.
Medicine
The World Health Organization (WHO) is organized. They first meet in Geneva, Switzerland.
Education
Public Education: The Educational Testing Service is formed, merging the College Entrance Examination Board, the Cooperative Test Service, the Graduate Records Office, the National Committee on Teachers Examinations and others, with huge grants from the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations. These testing services continued the work of eugenicists like Carl Brigham (originator of the SAT) who did research "proving" that immigrants were feeble-minded.
Arts and Letters
Literature: William Faulkner (1897-1962) publishes "Intruder in the Dust."
Nixon, Pat
Julie Nixon Eisenhower (1948 - ), daughter of Richard and Patricia Nixon, is born July 5.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: The first female Army officer is sworn in.
Daily Life
Crayola: To help art teachers learn about the many ways to use the growing number of Crayola products, a teacher workshop program begins to offer in-school training across the country. It continues today.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: The first woman to win an olympic gold medal is Alice Coachman (1923-…), who wins in the high jump.
Sports
Baseball: Stan Musial (1920-) of the St. Louis Cardinals wins the Most Valuable Player Award for the third time.
Sports
Women in Sports: The Roller Derby is broadcast live on television from New York City with women skaters.
Popular Culture
The first motion-picture newsreel in color is taken in Pasadena, California at the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl.
Popular Culture
Miles Davis (1926-1991) leads a nine piece combo that pioneers “cool” jazz.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Supreme Court rules that California’s Alien Land Laws prohibiting the ownership of agricultural property violates the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
Social Issues
Immigration: The United States admits persons fleeing persecution in their native lands; allowing 205,000 refugees to enter within two years.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Native Americans win the right to vote in state elections.
Reform
Women''s Suffrage Movement: Women win the vote in Belgium.
1949
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
President Truman (1884-1972) outlines his “Point Four” proposal for U.S. technical aid to underdevelopedcountries.
Government
President Truman (1884-1972) proposes a program of domestic litigation called the “Fair Deal.”
Government
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) agreement is signed.
Government
The country of Siam changes its name to Thailand.
Government
The German Federal Republic is established.
Government
Democratic President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) is inaugurated as President of the U.S. and Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956) is inaugurated as the nation's 35th Vice President.
War
Cold War: Soviets explode Hydrogen Bomb. Mainland China becomes Communist.
Medicine
The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute warn that cigarette smoking may cause cancer.
Medicine
Commercial production of ACTH begins. It is used to treat arthritis, rheumatic fever, and gout.
Medicine
Waksman (1888-1973) prepares neomycin, an antibiotic.
Medicine
Epidemic: 2,720 deaths occur from polio, and 42,173 cases are reported.
Medicine
First implant of intraocular lens used by Sir Harold Ridley (1906- 2001).
Inventions
The Atomic Energy Commission designs a breeder reactor that produces power by nuclear fusion, creating more fuel than it uses.
Technology
Computer Technology: Eckert (1919-1995) and Mauchly (1907-1980) build BINAC (Binary Automatic Computer), the first computer with self-checking devices.
Technology
The National Bureau of Standards builds an atomic clock that is accurate to within 1 second over the course of 3 million years.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: There are only 150 legitimate professional theatres serving the entire U.S.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: 70 TV stations are serving 2 million receivers in urban areas; this is same number as those attending the remaining theatres.
Ideas
Orwell (1903-1950) foresees a grim future in his satirical masterpiece "1984," a novel that introduces the “Big Brother” concept of totalitarian government.
Ideas
Maria Geoppert-Mayer (1906-1972) develops a nuclear shell theory.
Bush, Barbara
Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush (1949-1953), daughter of George and Barbara Bush, is born December 20.
Daily Life
Transportation: The first non-stop around the world flight (23,452 miles) is completed by Captain James Gallagher in 94 hours, 1 minute.
Daily Life
Fashion: Bathing suits called “bikinis” are introduced to the American fashion scene.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Ole Christiansen, a Danish toy maker, begins to manufacture toy blocks with a new twist. Christiansen creates a plastic brick that can be locked together in different configurations. The Lego, which comes from the Danish leg godt, meaning "play well," was born. The continuing popularity of the Lego brick probably stems from its ability to stimulate a child''s imagination-just six bricks fit together in 102,981,500 different ways.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Eleanor Abbott designs Candy Land while recovering from polio in San Diego, California.
Sports
U.S. wins unofficial championship of the 14th Olympic games in London with a team score of 547 points.
Popular Culture
The first Emmy Awards are presented for excellence in television.
Popular Culture
The movie "Hamlet," starring Laurence Olivier (1907-1989), becomes the first British film to win an Oscar.
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1950
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Three years after gaining its independence from Great Britain, India formally becomes a republic.
Government
Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) claims he has evidence that there are card-carrying members of the Communist Party in the State Department.
War
Cold War: The Soviet Union announces its possession of the atomic bomb.
War
Korean War: President Truman (1884-1972) authorizes the use of U.S. forces in Korea, following the invasion of South Korea by North Korean troops. A naval blockade of Korea is ordered.
Science
President Truman (1884-1972) authorizes the Atomic Energy Commission to produce the hydrogen bomb (H-bomb).
Science
Congress establishes the National Science Foundation.
Medicine
Although Americans spend more than $100 million annually on antihistamines, research shows that the drugs neither prevent nor cure the common cold, but merely relieve some symptoms.
Medicine
Nobel Prize for the Physiology of Medicine goes to Phillip Hench (1896-1965) (American), Edward Kendall (1886-1972) (American), and T. Reichstein (1897-1996) (Swiss) for the discovery of cortisone and its medical uses.
Inventions
The History of Toys: Silly putty is invented.
Technology
The longest vehicular tunnel, the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel in New York City, opens to traffic.
Education
Libraries: First drive-through windows are established for book returns at Cincinnati's Public Library.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Children’s Theatres, College and University Theatres, Community Theatres, and Off-Broadway theatres experience some growth.
Ford, Betty
Michael Gerald Ford (1950- ), son of Gerald and Betty Ford, is born March 14.
Carter, Rosalynn
James Earl “Chip” Carter III (1950-), son of James “Jimmy” and Rosalynn Carter, is born April 12.
Truman, Bess
Assassination: Two Puerto Rican nationalists make unsuccessful attempts to kill President Truman (1884-1972).
Economics
U.S. bars trade shipments to Communist China.
Economics
The Ford Thunderbird is introduced.
Discovery
Archaeological discoveries in La Jolla, California, indicate that North America has been inhabited for at least 40,000 years.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The FBI releases its “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list for the first time.
Sports
Richard Button (1929-), age 19, world figure skating champion is selected as top U.S. amateur athlete.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Althea Gibson becomes the first African-American— male or female—to play in a major United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) event.
Popular Culture
Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) writes the holiday song “Sleigh Ride.”
Popular Culture
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) writes the score to "Peter Pan," which stars Mary Martin (1913-1990) in the title role.
Religion
The National Council of the Churches of Christ is formed; it unites 25 Protestant and 4 Eastern Orthodox groups. Membership is 32 million.
Religion
Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) proclaims the first Roman Catholic dogma since 1870-that the Virgin Mary, after her death, was assumed into Heaven physically and spiritually.
Social Issues
Immigration: Bureau of Indian Affairs terminates federal services for Native Americans in lieu of state supervision.
1951
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting presidents to two terms, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Law
The Supreme Court upholds the Smith Act, under which eleven Communists in the U.S. are convicted.
Politics
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) again becomes the British Prime Minister.
Government
The United Nations headquarters opens in New York City.
Government
A Selective Service Bill lowers draft age to 18.5 and lengthens military service to two years.
Government
The Mutual Security Agency is set up to offer U.S. economic, military, and technical aid to other countries.
War
Korean War: During the Korean War, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured the city of Seoul.
War
Korean War: President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) fires General Douglas McArthur.
War
World War II: President Truman (1884-1972) declares that state of war with Germany is officially ended; the U.S.-Japanese treaty allows the U.S. to maintain military bases in Japan.
War
Korean War: North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured the city of Seoul.
Science
The National Geographic Society estimates that there are 300 million stars in the Milky Way.
Medicine
Woodard synthesizes two steroids: cortisone and cholesterol.
Medicine
Fluoridated water is shown to reduce tooth decay by 2/3.
Medicine
Reuben L. Kahn (1887-1874) develops a “universal reaction” blood test for the early detection of several diseases.
Medicine
Antabuse, a drug that prevents alcoholics from drinking, is introduced.
Inventions
A video camera is developed that records both pictures and sound on magnetic tape.
Technology
The United States Air Force starts atomic testing in the Nevada desert.
Technology
Computer Technology: UNIVAC I is the first mass-produced computer.
Technology
An additional 70 broadcast frequencies are made available for TV in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) range.
Arts and Letters
Literature: J.D. Salinger (1919- ) publishes "The Catcher in the Rye."
Ideas
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) publishes "The Sea Around Us," which in effect launches the ecological movement.
Economics
The employment of women reaches the highest point-even more than during WWII.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Julius (1918-1951) and Ethel (1915-1951) Rosenberg are found guilty of passing atomic secrets to the Russians and are sentenced to death as spies.
Sports
Horse Racing: The first horse to win $1 million dollars is “Citation.” Winning total $1,085,760.
Sports
Boxing: The world heavyweight championship is won by Jersey Joe Walcott when he knocks out Ezzard Charles. At 37, Walcott is the oldest man to win the title.
Popular Culture
The first commercial color telecast is presented by the Columbia Broadcasting Company (CBS) in New York City.
Popular Culture
Rodgers (1902-1979) and Hammerstein II (1895-1960) write the score for the King and I.
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1952
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) is elected the 34th President of the U.S. and Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) is elected the 36th Vice President on the Republican ticket. Eisenhower is the first Republican President since Hoover’s election in 1928. Republicans gain control of Congress.
Government
England’s Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
Government
Immigration: The Immigration and Nationality Act allows individuals of all races to be eligible for naturalization. The act also reaffirms national origins quota system, limits immigration from the Eastern Hemisphere while leaving the Western Hemisphere unrestricted, establishes preferences for skilled workers and relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens; and tightens security and screening standards and procedures.
Government
Native Americans: The Bureau of Indian Affairs begins selling 1.6 million acres of Native American land to developers.
Government
Immigration: Congress passes the McCarran-Walter Act (Immigration and Nationality Act) over President Truman’s (1884-1972) veto. It abolishes race as a barrier to immigration but retains the national origins quota system.
Government
Puerto Rico's constitution is proclaimed, establishing a commonwealth with autonomy in internal affairs.
War
Prime Minister Churchill (1874-1965) announces that Great Britain has made an atomic bomb.
Science
Edward Teller (1908-2003) successfully tests a hydrogen bomb, the world’s finest nuclear weapon.
Medicine
Research shows that the genetic material of viruses is DNA.
Medicine
Floyd Lewis uses hypothermia (lowing a patients body temperature) in open heart surgery.
Medicine
Vaccines: Jonas Salk (1914- 1995) develops the first polio vaccine.
Medicine
Epidemic: In the worst polio epidemic since 1916, polio takes 3,300 lives out of 57,628 cases reported.
Inventions
The History of Toys: Jack Odell invents the original Matchbox car when he makes a small brass model of a Road Roller and puts it into a matchbox so that his daughter could bring it to school. Today, 100 million Matchbox cars are sold each year.
Technology
More than 2000 new television broadcasting stations open; about 65 million people watch the presidential nomination conventions.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) writes "Wise Blood," a novel about a religious fanatic.
Arts and Letters
Hemingway (1899-1961) publishes "The Old Man and the Sea."
Ford, Betty
John “Jack” Gardner Ford (1952- ), son of Gerald and Betty Ford, is born March 16.
Carter, Rosalynn
Donnell Jeffrey “Jeff” Carter (1952- ), son of James “Jimmy” and Rosalynn Carter, is born August 18.
Reagan, Nancy
Patricia “Patti Davis” Ann Reagan (1952- ), daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, is born October 22.
Economics
A complaint is filed against IBM, alleging monopolistic practices in its computer business, in violation of the Sherman Act.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Banking on the idea that children like to play with their food, Hasbro introduces Mr. Potato Head.
Sports
Racecar driver John Cobb is killed while attempting to set the water speed-record in Scotland.
Sports
The NFL buys the New York Yankees.
Popular Culture
Panty raids take place on college campuses throughout the country.
Popular Culture
Hollywood develops three-dimensional movies. Natural Vision (3-D) films must be viewed through special glasses; after brief success, the novelty wears off.
Religion
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible for Protestants is publishes; it is edited by 32 scholars who have been at work since 1937.
Reform
Peace Corps: Since the end of the Second World War, various members of the United States Congress have proposed bills to establish volunteer organizations in the Third World. In 1952 Senator Brien McMahon (1903-1952) (Dem. Connecticut) proposed an "army" of young Americans to act as "missionaries of democracy". Privately funded non-religious organizations have been sending volunteers overseas since the 1950s.
1953
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Dwight D. Eisenhower nominates Earl Warren as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; the Senate confirms his nomination in 1954 and he serves for fifteen years until his retirement in 1969.
Politics
President Eisenhower (1890-1969) gets increasing pressure to take on McCarthy (1908-1957) from friends and advisors. Business leaders recognize that McCarthy is a danger to the party.
Government
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) is inaugurated as the 34th President of the U.S. and Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) is inaugurated as the 36th Vice President.
Government
A new Cabinet-level Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is created.
Government
Native Americans: Congress proposes giving individual Indians the same civil status as U.S. citizens, thus ending all limitations on Indian tribes.
Government
Tito (1892-1980) is elected the first president of the Republic of Yugoslavia.
Government
Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961) of Sweden becomes the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Government
Immigration: Congress amends the 1948 refugee policy to allow for the admission of 200,000 more refugees.
War
U.S blockade of Formosa is lifted, permitting attacks by Nationalists on China’s mainland.
War
Cold War: President Eisenhower (1890-1969) announces that the U.S. will not physically interfere in the affairs of countries behind the Iron Curtain.
War
Cold War: The U.S. Communist Party is ordered to register with the Department of Justice as an organization controlled and directed by the U.S.S.R.
War
Cold War: A federal jury in New York City convicts 13 Communists of conspiring to teach about how to overthrow the U.S. government.
Science
Francis H. Crick (1916-2004) and James Dewey Watson (1928- ) discover the structure of a DNA molecule; they call it the double helix.
Inventions
Transistorized hearing aids are introduced.
Technology
Harry Truman (1884-1972) announces that the U.S. has developed the hydrogen bomb.
Technology
A way of transmitting color TV signals that can be received by both color and black and white set is introduced.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Arthur Miller (1915-1005) publishes "The Crucible."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Richard Wright (1908-1961) publishes "The Outsider."
Bush, Barbara
John Ellis “Jeb” Bush (1953- ), son of George and Barbara Bush, is born February 11.
Bush, Barbara
Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush (1949-1953), daughter of George and Barbara Bush, dies October 11 of leukemia.
Economics
Motor Company: Ford Motor Company celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Discovery
Women’s Firsts: Jerrie Cobb (1931- …) is the first woman in the U.S. to undergo astronaut testing. NASA, however, cancels the women''s program in 1963. It is not until 1983 that an American woman gets sent into space.
Daily Life
Fashion: Fashion designers become interested in men’s clothes. Bermuda shorts for the businessman are promoted and worn during the summer months.
Sports
Baseball: The New York Yankees defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 50th annual World Series. The Yankees are the first team to win 5 consecutive series titles.
Sports
Golf: Golfer Ben Hogan (1912-1997) wins the Masters Tournament and the U.S. and British Open championships.
Sports
Maureen Connolly (1934-1969), age 19, is the first woman to win a “grand slam” in tennis.
Sports
Black Athletes: Football: Willie Thrower (1930-2002) becomes NFL''s first African-American quarterback.
Popular Culture
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) (1911-1989) gives birth to baby Ricky on the TV show, "I Love Lucy." More people turned in to watch the show than did to see the inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969).
Popular Culture
The first three-D movie, "Bwana Devil," opens in New York.
Popular Culture
The Academy Awards are televised for the first time.
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1954
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Education: The Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education that “separate but equal” educational facilities are unconstitutional.
Government
U.S. signs pact with Nationalist China (now Taiwan).
Government
The Communist Control Act deprives U.S. Communists of rights enjoyed by other U.S. citizens.
Government
The Senate censures Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) with a vote of 67-22, with 7 abstentions.
War
America’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus, is launched.
War
Senate approves U.S. South Korea Mutual Defense Treaty.
Medicine
The American Cancer Society reports higher death rates among cigarette smokers.
Inventions
Kurchatov (1903-1960) develops an icebreaker powered by nuclear energy.
Technology
U.S. and Canada announce the construction of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line of radar stations across northern North America.
Technology
Battery Technology: RCA develops a flashlight-sized atomic battery.
Technology
The U.S. authorizes construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway in cooperation with Canada.
Education
Public Education: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The Supreme Court unanimously agrees that segregated schools are "inherently unequal" and must be abolished. Almost 45 years later in 1998, schools, especially in the north, are as segregated as ever.
Arts and Letters
Literature: J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973) publishes the epic fantasy trilogy "Lord of the Rings."
Arts and Letters
Literature: William Golding (1911-1993) publishes "Lord of the Flies."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Kingsley Amis (1922-1995) publishes "Lucky Jim."
Economics
The Atomic Energy Act allows for the development of peaceful atomic energy project by private companies, which are also allowed to own nuclear materials.
Discovery
Plant fossils are discovered in the Great Lakes.
Discovery
Temple of Mithras (Roman god, 3rd century B.C) is discovered during rebuilding in London.
Daily Life
26 comic book publishers adopt a voluntary code to eliminate obscene, vulgar, and horror comics.
Daily Life
The average American’s favorite meal is a fruit cup, vegetable soup, steak and potatoes, peas, rolls and butter, and pie a la mode.
Sports
Baseball: Hank Aaron (1934- ) hits the first of his 755 home runs.
Sports
Horse Racing: Gordon Richards (1904-1986) is the first professional jockey to be knighted.
Sports
British runner Diane Leather (1933-) is the first woman to run the mile in under 5 minutes.
Popular Culture
The first Newport Jazz festival takes place.
1955
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) resigns as Prime Minister of England.
War
Congress authorizes the President to use force, if necessary, to protect Nationalist China against Communist attack.
War
Cold War: Federal employees who are “security risks” continue to be dismissed an ongoing policy since 1953.
Science
The National Geographic Society suggests that the blue-green areas on Mars are living plants.
Medicine
Vaccines: The polio vaccine created by Dr. Jonas Salk (1914-1995) is called “safe, effective and potent.”
Technology
Electricity for public use is produced on a limited and experimental basis at a nuclear reactor.
Education
Libraries: The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County opens a new main library.
Education
Public Education: Brown v. Board: In Brown II, the Court orders that desegregation should occur “with all deliberate speed.” Unfortunately, the vagueness of this phrase, combined with the unwillingness of many states to desegregate, meant that many states were able to postpone any desegregation. Anger over these delays and a growing frustration over the continued disenfranchisement of African-Americans helped launch the Civil Rights Movement.
Arts and Letters
Marian Anderson (1897-1993) makes her Metropolitan Opera debut.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Thomas Merton (1915-1968) publishes "No Man is an Island."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Tennesse Williams (1911-1983) writes "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
Bush, Barbara
Neil Mallon Bush (1955- ), son of George and Barbara Bush, is born January 22.
Economics
The Labor Movement: American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) merge.
Economics
Commercial television broadcasting begins in Britain.
Daily Life
On July 17, Arco, Idaho, becomes the first town to have all its electrical needs generated by a nuclear power plant.
Daily Life
New York also draws power from a nuclear power plant.
Popular Culture
President Eisenhower (1890-1969) approves the first filming of a news conference for television.
Popular Culture
The first McDonald’s restaurant is opened by Ray Kroc (1902-1984) in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Popular Culture
Jim Henson (1936-1990) creates Kermit the frog.
Popular Culture
Rock ‘n’ roll music is attacked as “immoral” and is thought to contribute to juvenile delinquency.
Religion
Ordination of women ministers is approved by the Presbyterian Church.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Blacks boycott city bus lines in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), boycott leader, gains national prominence for advocating passive resistance to segregation in public places.
Reform
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) encourages and supports segregation movement throughout the country.
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1956
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) and Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) are reelected as President and Vice President of the United States
Government
The Agriculture (Soil Bank) Act pays farmers to take cropland out of production in order to reduce crop surpluses.
Government
The Federal Aid Highway Act authorizes a 13-year intra and interstate highway building program to be funded by tolls paid by motorists.
Government
Morocco gains its independence from France.
Science
The neutrino, a subatomic particle with no charge, is observed.
Medicine
The National Cancer Institute proposes that increased rates of lung cancer may be due to air pollution.
Medicine
The National Academy of Science reports that any radiation, even small amounts, can cause genetic damage.
Inventions
The Hovercraft is invented.
Technology
England opens the world’s first major atomic power plant for the production of electricity.
Technology
Personal Computers: The first transistorized computer is completed, the TX-O (Transistorized Experimental computer), at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ideas
Charles T.R. Wilson (1869-1959) proposes a theory of thunderstorm electricity.
Ford, Betty
Steven Meigs Ford (1956- ), son of Gerald and Betty Ford, is born May 19.
Bush, Barbara
Marvin Pierce Bush (1956- ), son of George and Barbara Bush, is born December 22.
Economics
The Ford Motor Company goes public and, on Feb. 24, 1956, they have about 350,000 new stockholders.
Economics
A U.S. District Court makes a final judgment on the complaint against IBM filed in January 1952 regarding monopolistic practices. A "consent decree" is signed by IBM, placing limitations on how IBM conducts business with respect to "electronic data processing machines.”
Discovery
The Palace of Emperor Diocletian (Roman Emperor A.D. 285-305) is excavated in Split, Yugoslavia
Daily Life
Barnum & Bailey Circus performs its last show under canvas.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Play-doh enters the market as a wallpaper cleaner. Non-toxic and less messy than regular modeling clay, it is soon recognized that the cleaner makes an excellent toy.
Sports
Boxing: Rocky Marciano (1923-1969) retires as undefeated world heavyweight boxing champion.
Sports
Black Athletes: Mildred McDaniel's (1933-…) winning high jump in Melbourne, Australia, makes her the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal.
Popular Culture
Elvis Presley’s (1935-1977) record, "Heartbreak Hotel," hits No. 1 on the pop charts.
Popular Culture
Movies and movie stars are allowed to appear on TV for the first time.
Popular Culture
The Broadway musical, "My Fair Lady" gains recognition.
Popular Culture
Dizzie Gillespie (1917-1993) and his band are sent by the U.S. State Department on a goodwill tour-the first jazz musicians to be subsidized by the U.S. government.
Social Issues
Segregation: Southern Congressman call on states to resist “by all lawful means” the Supreme Court ruling against segregation in the public schools.
1957
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The U.S. proposes a 10-month halt to nuclear testing as a first step toward disarmament.
Government
Stamps: The Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee is created to provide advice to the Postmaster General on the subject matter and design of US stamps.
War
World War II: U.S. occupation forces leave Japan.
War
A Senate subcommittee holds hearings on U.S. preparedness to withstand Soviet military attack.
Science
The Federation of American Scientists urges a worldwide ban on nuclear weapon testing.
Science
Space Race: In October, the Soviet Union successfully launches the first artificial satellite, called Sputnik I (the Russian word for "traveler"; in November, they launch Sputnik 2, which carries a small dog named Laika into orbit.
Medicine
Vaccines: Albert Sabin (1906-1993) begins human trials on his oral polio vaccine.
Medicine
Daniele Bovet (1896-1980) wins the Nobel Prize for his discovery of antihistamines and muscle relaxing drugs.
Medicine
Walter Grey Walter (1910-1977) invents the brain EEG topography (toposcope).
Technology
Perceptron, a bionic computer that prints, writes, and responds to spoken commands is developed.
Education
Public Education: A federal court orders integration of Little Rock, Arkansas public schools. Governor Orval Faubus sends his National Guard to physically prevent nine African American students from enrolling at all-white Central High School. Reluctantly, President Eisenhower sends federal troops to enforce the court order not because he supports desegregation, but because he can't let a state governor use military power to defy the U.S. federal government.
Kennedy, Jackie
Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg (1957-), daughter of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, is born November 27.
Ford, Betty
Susan Ford Vance Bales (1957- ), daughter of Gerald and Betty Ford, is born July 6.
Economics
America’s first large nuclear power plant opens in Shippingport, Pa.
Economics
American Money: Paper currency is first issued with "In God We Trust" as required by Congress in 1955.
Daily Life
Fashion: The sack dress, unfitted material that drapes the body, is the fashion of the year.
Sports
Baseball: The Dodgers leave Brooklyn for Los Angeles. The Giants leave New York for San Francisco. Major league baseball finally reaches the west coast.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Althea Gibson (1927-2003) becomes the first black person to play in and win Wimbledon and the United States national tennis championship. She won both tournaments twice, in 1957 and 1958.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: John Lennon (1940-1980) meets Paul McCartney (1942- ) on July 6, 1957.
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1958
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) becomes Soviet premier and first secretary of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union.
Government
The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) is established to ensure air safety.
War
The Defense Reorganization Act centralizes defense structure so that the U.S. can respond more quickly to a nuclear attack by the U.S.S.R.
Science
Space Race: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is established.
Technology
Space Race: Explorer I, the first U.S. earth satellite, is launched; Explorer II is launched, but fails to make orbit; the Soviet Union launches Sputnit 3; the U.S. launches Vanguard 1, which functions for 3 years.
Technology
Stereo LPs are introduced.
Technology
There are 160 electronic computers in use in Europe (1000 in U.S.)
Technology
Personal Computers: At Texas Instruments, Jack Kilby (1923-2005) completes building the first integrated circuit, containing five components on a piece of germanium half an inch long and thinner than a toothpick.
Education
The Supreme Court orders states to not delay public school desegregation.
Education
The National Defense Education Act is signed; this authorizes low-interest, long-term tuition loans to college and graduate students.
Education
Crayola: Prussian blue, the first Crayola crayon color to get a new name, becomes "midnight blue." Teachers prompted the change, as children could no longer relate to Prussian history.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) publishes "Suddenly Last Summer."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Television penetration reaches 85% of population.
Ideas
Bionics is a word coined to describe artificial machines or systems that work and or look like living systems.
Reagan, Nancy
Ronald Prescott Reagan (1958- ), son of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, is born May 20.
Discovery
Sir Edmund Hillary (1919- ) reaches the South Pole overland.
Discovery
Explorer Sir Vivian Fuchs (1908-1999) completes the first crossing of Antarctica by land.
Daily Life
The first parking meters are used in London.
Daily Life
Crayola: The Crayola 64 Box with its signature built-in sharpener debuts, becoming the perennial favorite of Crayola colorers for more than 40 years.
Sports
Black Athletes: Willie O’Ree (1935-…) is one of the NHL hockey players in Boston Bruins.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women are admitted to the international cycling championships.
Popular Culture
At age 14, Bobby Fischer (1943- ) wins the U.S. Chess Championship for the first time.
Popular Culture
Rock ‘n’ roll star Elvis Presley (1935-1977) begins a two-year hitch in the U.S. army.
Popular Culture
Duke Ellington (1899-1974) composes the song "Satin Doll."
Religion
U.S. churches report large increases in membership since 1950.
Religion
Judaism: The Supreme Religious Center for World Jewry is dedicated in Jerusalem, Israel.
1959
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court rules that a person can be tried for the same offense in both state and federal courts (double jeopardy).
Government
New State: Alaska becomes the 49th state in the Union.
Government
Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) becomes the first president of France’s Fifth Republic.
Government
Fidel Castro (1926- ) becomes the leader of Cuba after having ousted the right-wing dictator, Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973).
Government
American Flag: The Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated January 3, 1959 establishes the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically.
Science
International Atomic Energy Agency is formed to explore peaceful uses of atomic energy.
Science
Heat produced in a nuclear reaction is converted directly into electricity via a plasma thermocouple.
Science
Space Race: NASA selects the first 7 astronauts.
Technology
Space Race: The first spacecraft to orbit the Sun, Mechta (Luna 1) is launched by the USSR in January; Luna 2 impacts the moon in September; Luna 3 orbits the moon in October, photographing 70% of its surface.
Technology
GE demonstrates a radio-optical telescope tracking station for following and monitoring space vehicles.
Technology
Personal Computers: At Fairchild Semiconductor, Robert Noyce (1927-1990) constructs an integrated circuit with components connected by aluminum lines on a silicon-oxide surface layer on a plane of silicon.
Technology
Space Race: The U.S. launches Pioneer 4, which passes within 37,000 miles of the moon.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The San Francisco Mime Troupe created by R. G. Davis is established.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Ford Foundation funds the regional theatre program but it cannot continue because of a lack of subsequent investments.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) publishes "Raisin in the Sun."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Eugene Ionesco (1912-1994) writes the play "Rhinoceros."
Bush, Barbara
Lives of the First Ladies: Dorothy “Doro” Bush Koch (1959- ), daughter of George and Barbara Bush, is born August 18.
Economics
The Ford Motor Company establishes what today is the industry’s largest automobile leasing company known as Ford Credit. More than 40 years later, it’s still helping make vehicle ownership a more affordable reality for many.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The Barbie doll is introduced at the American Toy Fair in New York City by Elliot Handler, founder of Mattel Toys, and his wife, Ruth.
Sports
The largest fish ever hooked with a rod and reel is landed by Alfred Dean in South Australia; the fish is a white shark measuring 16 feet and 10 inches and weighed 2,664 pounds.
Sports
Football: The American Football League is formed.
Popular Culture
Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Oscar Hammerstein (1895-1960) compose the score for "The Sound of Music."
Religion
The Dalai Lama receives political asylum from India, after fleeing Chinese repression of a Tibetan revolt.
Religion
Pope John XXIII (1881-1963) calls for Vatican Council II, the first ecumenical council since 1870.
Social Issues
Immigration: Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution prompts mass exodus of more than 200,000 people within three years.
Reform
Labor Movement: Nationwide steel strike lasts 116 days; this is the longest steel strike in U.S. history.
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1960
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution, enabling residents of the District of Columbia to vote for President and Vice President in national elections, is passed by Congress.
Politics
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) is elected as the 35th President of the United States, and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is elected as the nation's 37th Vice President.
Politics
President Eisenhower (1890-1969) makes goodwill tours in the Far East and Latin America.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Oveta Culp Hobby (1905-1995) becomes the first woman to serve as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. She is also the first director of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), and the first woman to receive the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal.
War
Cuban Missile Crisis: December 19, Cuba openly aligns itself with the Soviet Union and their policies.
War
Cold War: U-2 photographic reconnaissance plane is shot down over Soviet territory. Premier Khrushchev denounces U.S. spying missions.
War
U.S. warns North Vietnam and Communist China not to intervene militarily in Laos.
Science
Nobel Prize in chemistry goes to W. Libby (1908-1980) for developing radiocarbon dating.
Science
D. Glaser (1926-) is awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for inventing the bubble chamber.
Technology
Space Race: The world’s first meteorological satellite, Tiros I, is launched to provide pictures of cloud cover.
Technology
Airplanes: The X-15, an experimental rocket powered airplane, is flown at 2196 mph.
Technology
Personal Computers: Digital Equipment introduces the first minicomputer, the PDP-1, selling for $120,000. It is the first commercial computer equipped with a keyboard and monitor.
Technology
Space Race: The U.S. launches Discoverer XIV, its first camera-equipped spy satellite.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Harper Lee (1926- ) publishes "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Kennedy, Jackie
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. (1960-1999), son of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, is born November 25.
Economics
Peace Corps: John F. Kennedy launches the idea of the Peace Corps at the University of Michigan during a campaign stop in his presidential bid. Critics of the program (including Kennedy''s opponent, Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)) claim the program will be nothing but a haven for draft dodgers. Others doubt whether college-aged volunteers have the necessary skills.
Discovery
Women’s Firsts: Jacqueline Cochran (1906-1980) breaks the sound barrier by flying an F-86 over Rogers Dry Lake, California, at the speed of 652.337 miles per hour.
Daily Life
Disasters: A United Airlines plane collides with a Trans World Airlines plane in a fog over New York City; the crash kills a total of 134 people on board and on the ground.
Daily Life
Women’s transcontinental air race is won by Mrs. Aileen Saunders. She flies 2709 miles in 18 hours and 7 minutes.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Ohio Art markets the first Etch-a-Sketch, invented by Arthur Granjean in the late 1950s, and originally called L'Ecran Magique.
Sports
Black Athletes: Rafer Johnson 91935-…) is named by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to be the recipient of the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award in 1960, the highest award for an amateur athlete in the United States
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Coming together as The Fabulous Silver Beatles, later shortened to The Beatles, the name of the band is a tribute to Buddy Holly's (1936-1959) band, The Crickets, combined with beat music, a common British term for rock and roll at the time.
Popular Culture
Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) releases the suspense thriller, "Psycho."
Popular Culture
Chubby Checker (1941-) causes an international dance craze when he records "The Twist."
Popular Culture
Popular musicals include "The Fantasticks," "Bye, Bye Birdie," and "Camelot."
Religion
Three women are ordained as priests in the Swedish Lutheran Church.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Four black college students begin a series of sit-ins at a white-only lunch counter in Woolworth’s, Greensboro, South Carolina.
Reform
Peace Corps: John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) first announces his idea for a volunteer organization during the 1960 presidential campaign at a late-night speech at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 14.
1961
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution, enabling residents of the District of Columbia to vote for President and Vice President in national elections, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Government
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) is inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States, and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is inaugurated as the nation's 37th Vice President.
Government
Space Race: President Kennedy (1917-1963) addresses Congress, challenging the nation to go to the moon before the end of the decade.
Government
Peace Corps: President Kennedy (1917-1963) signs an Executive Order which officially starts the Peace Corps, and names Sargent Shriver (1915-) to be the program's first director. Concerned with the growing tide of revolutionary sentiment in the Third World, Kennedy saw the Peace Corps as a means of countering the notions of the "Ugly American" and "Yankee imperialism," especially in the emerging nations of postcolonial Africa and Asia.
War
Cuban Missile Crisis: Fifteen hundred Cuban exiles unsuccessfully attempt to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs; U.S. support for the attack is equally unsuccessful; President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) accepts sole responsibility for the Bay of Pigs failure.
Science
The Institute for Space Studies holds a two-month seminar on the origin of the solar system.
Medicine
The Chicago Heart Association begins recording children’s heart sounds as a means of detecting defects.
Technology
Space Race: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin becomes the first human in space and also the first human to orbit the earth in a spacecraft; later in the year, Gherman Titov spends a day in space aboard Vostok 2.
Technology
Transit 4A, a communications satellite, is the first spacecraft to use nuclear power.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: This year marks the beginning of the Freedom Rides, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s only visit to Seattle where he spoke at two assemblies at Garfield High School.
Arts and Letters
Literature: "Tropic of Cancer" and "Tropic of Capricorn," two novels by Henry Miller (1891-1980), are published in the U.S. after a 30- year ban for obscenity.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Bread and Puppet Theatre is created; the form is expressionistic and propagandistic. It uses puppets and masked actors who ritually offer bread to the audience.
Ideas
Murray Gell-Mann (1929- ) develops the Eight-Fold Way, a method of grouping subatomic particles into families.
Economics
Peace Corps: President Kennedy (1917-1963) establishes the Peace Corps to give trained manpower and technical assistance to underdeveloped countries.
Discovery
Space Race: Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American in space; Gus Grissom is launched in a sub-orbital flight.
Daily Life
France and England connect their electrical grids with a cable submerged in the English Channel.
Daily Life
President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) holds the first presidential news conference carried live on radio and television.
Daily Life
Disasters: A fire in Bel Air-Brentwood destroys 447 homes, including some owned by well-known Hollywood figures.
Sports
Baseball: Roger Maris (1934-1985) of the New York Yankees hits his 60th home run and sets the record for a 162-game schedule.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994) is the first African-American woman to receive the Sullivan Award (1961), the highest award in U.S. amateur sports.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Brian Epstein (1934-1967) agrees to become the band's full-time manager.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles play their first gig at Liverpool's Cavern Club, return to Hamburg, record backing for the singer Tony Sheridan; the single, "My Bonnie", was released in Germany, and credited to Tony Sheridan and the Beat Boys. It was the Beatles' first commercial release.
Popular Culture
Pete Seeger (1919- ) composes “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.”
Religion
The American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America merge to form the Unitarian Universalists
Social Issues
Immigration: The Cuban Refugee Program handles influx of immigrants to Miami with 300,000 immigrants relocated across the U.S. during the next two decades.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Over 500 Native Americans gather for the American Indian Chicago Conference to support tribal sovereignty and survival.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: In Hoyt v. Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds rules adopted by the state of Florida that made it far less likely for women than men to be called for jury service on the grounds that a “woman is still regarded as the center of home and family life.”
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