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"A Moment In Time"
Dan Roberts' history radio show daily transcripts, transcript archive and database.
We are in the process of editing and overhauling our timelines to broaden their scope and increase their usefulness as teaching tools. We plan to re-organize the content as well, grouping events by geographic regions first and then by category within each geographic region as the viewer "zooms in" on events in history.

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   [Timeline Sources]

20th Century Timeline

Year International
Relations &
Politics Science,
Technology & Discovery
Society &
Economics &
Daily Life
 1900       German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche dies
 1901   (1) U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot in Buffalo by Leon Czolgosz; Theodore Roosevelt becomes the 26th President of the United States.
(1901 to 1901)(2) Australia unified as a Dominion of the British Empire
  Picasso begins his Blue Period
(1901 to 1904) 
 1902 (1) President Theodore Roosevelt offers pardon and amnesty to all Filipinos who participated in the Philippine-American War. Considered the official end of the conflict.
(2) Second Boer War ends
    Auguste Rodin's sculpture The Thinker
 1903     Orville and Wilbur Wright make first successful airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Jack London's novel The Call of the Wild
 1904 Japan defeats Russia in the Russo-Japanese War; First victory of an Asian state over a European one in modern era
(1904 to 1905)
1904 - 1914 Second wave of Jewish immigration into Palestine
United States begins construction of Panama Canal
 1905 The First Moroccan Crisis; Germany disputes status of French protectorate in Morocco
(1905 to 1906)
Russian Revolution of 1905; Widespread unrest throughout Russian Empire leads to creation of the Duma
(1905 to 1905) 
Theory of Special Relativity by Albert Einstein
 1906     HMS Dreadnought is launched. This first all-big gun battleship revolutionizes the navies of the world.
  With support of President Theodore Roosevelt, Congress passes the Pure Food and Drug Act to provide federal regulation of the food packaging
 1907       Cubist Exhibition in Paris; Demoiselles d'Avignon by Picasso
 1908 Austria-Hungary's annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina leads to the Bosnian Crisis
(1908 to 1909)
Young Turk Revolution of 1908 attempts to reform government institutions of the Ottoman Empire
(1908 to 1908) 
    First Model-T car produced by Ford
 1909     Robert Peary allegedly reaches the North Pole; Controversy remains over accuracy of his claim
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) founded in the United States
 1910   Mexican Revolution begins in opposition to the autocratic rule of Porfirio Díaz
(1910 to 1920) 
  First Jewish kibbutz -- Kibbutz Degania -- is founded
 1911   Nationalist revolution against the Qing Dynasty in China leads to establishment of the Republic of China
(1911 to 1912) 
 1912   Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson defeats Progressive Theodore Roosevelt and Republican William Taft in the United States Presidential election of 1912
The Royal Flying Corps is organized in Great Britain with naval and military wings and a central flying school.
Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic
 1913 Treaty of Bucharest confirms territorial acquisitions of Serbia, Greece, and Bulgaria at the expense of Ottoman Empire during the First and Second Balkan Wars
 1914 (1) The First World War (World War I) begins after Germany declares war on Russia
(2) Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo, Serbia.
(3) The German Schlieffen Plan fails when French forces defeat the German army at the First Battle of the Marne; Four years of trench warfare ensue on the Western Front
 1915 The Ottoman government and military systematically deport and kill over 1 million Armenians
  Theory of General Relativity by Albert Einstein
 1916 (1) British forces invade Mesopotamia (Iraq)
(2) British suffer over 50,000 casualties in first day of the Battle of the Somme
(3) Battle of Verdun begins as German General Erich von Falkenhayn attempts to bleed the French Army white
  Percival Lowell dies
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
 1917 (1) Battle of Cambrai; First use of tanks in warfare
(2) United States formally declares war against Germany.
(3) The Balfour Declaration expresses official British support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine
(1) Czar Nicholas II abdicates his throne as a result of the February Revolution in Petrograd
(2) In the October Revolution, Bolshevik forces overthrow the Russian Provisional Government. Civil war ensues in Russia.
 1918 (1) Bolshevik government of Russia signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, surrenders large territories to Germany, and formally withdraws from World War I.
(2) Germany requests armistice; World War I ends
(3) German Army begins the Great March Offensive and drives the Allied army back 40 miles before losing momentum
(1) Wilhelm II abdicates German throne; Socialist leader Philip Scheidemann declares the establishment of a German Republic
(2) Mutiny breaks out among German sailors in Kiel, eventually spreading throughout much of Germany
  Leonard Bernstein born
 1919 (1) The Treaty of Versailles is signed, blaming Germany for World War I and creating a League of Nations
(2) Turkish War of Independence begins
 1920 Mesopotamia becomes a British mandated territory under Article 22 of the League of Nations
The 18th Amendment is ratified banning the sale, manufacture, and transport of alcoholic beverages; Beginning of Prohibition
(1920 to 1933) 
 1921       (1) Three Musicians by Picasso
(2) Wall Street bomb explodes
 1922   (1) Formal creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics by the First Congress of Soviets
(2) Benito Mussolini's Fascist Black Shirts march on and occupy Rome
 1923 (1) Turkish War of Independence ends
(2) Charles G. Dawes presents a plan for restructuring Germany's war debt
Adolf Hitler's Nazis unsuccessfully attempt to overthrow the German government in the Beer Hall Putsch
 1924   (1) Ramsay MacDonald forms Britain's first Labour government
(2) The U.S. Congress grants citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S.
(3) Lenin dies; Stalin assumes power in the Soviet Union
Oil exploration begins in Oman
 1925   (1) World War I general Paul von Hindenburg elected president of the Weimar Republic in Germany
(2) Reza Kahn establishes the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran and institutes a policy of modernization, secularization, and anti-communism
  John Scopes, a Tennessee high school teacher, is indicted for teaching the theory of evolution to students of his science classes.
 1926 Germany is admitted to the League of Nations
2.5 million trade workers call a general strike in Britain
  Claude Monet dies
 1927       The Jazz Singer debuts as first talking film
 1928   Agriculture collectivized in USSR
  (1) First appearance of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse in the silent cartoon Plane Crazy
(2) The Representation of the People Act grants British women electoral equality with men
 1929 Independent State of Vatican City comes into existence.
    (1) A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
(2) Lateran Treaty
The Dow Jones drops over 20% in 2 days during the Wall Street Crash of 1929; Often cited as the beginning of the Great Depression
(1929 to 1929) 
 1930     (1) Construction begins on the Hoover Dam (originally known as the Boulder Dam)
(2) Pluto discovered
 1931 Japan invades Manchuria
  Thomas Edison dies
(1) Surrealist Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory
(2) Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali
(3) John Le Carre born
 1932 Iraq becomes an independent country
Franklin D. Roosevelt elected President of the United States
 1933 Hitler withdraws Germany from the League of Nations
(1) Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany
(2) Fire destroys the Reichstag in Berlin
(3) German Reichstag passes the Enabling Act giving Hitler dictatorial powers until April 1, 1937
Construction begins on Golden Gate bridge
God's Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell
 1934   (1) Adolph Hitler succeeds Hindenburg as leader of Germany
(2) Communists' Long March in China
 1935 (1) Germany regains possession of the Saar
(2) Italy invades Ethiopia
(3) Anglo-German Naval Treaty signed
    Nuremburg Racial Laws limiting Jewish rights announced at Nazi Party Rally
 1936 (1) Germany occupies the Rhineland
(2) Spanish Civil War breaks out between Republican and Nationalist forces
(1936 to 1939)
(3) 1936 - 1939 Arabs revolt across Palestine
(1) Franklin D. Roosevelt reelected as President of the United States in a landslide
(2) Socialist Leon Blum leads the first Popular Front ministry composed of socialists and radical socialists
(3) Somoza seizes power in Nicaragua
 1937 (1) Japan invades China; Sino-Japanese War begins
(2) Nanking Massacre
(3) Italy withdraws from the League of Nations
(1) Neville Chamberlain becomes the new British Prime Minister
(2) Purges begin in the Soviet Union
  Guernica by Picasso
 1938 (1) Germany invades and annexes Austria (Anschluss)
(2) Hitler, Chamberlain, Daladier, and Mussolini sign the Munich Agreement, which transfers the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia to Germany
    Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass); Jewish synagogues and businesses destroyed throughout Germany
 1939 (1) Germany occupies Moravia and Bohemia
(2) Britain and France declare war on Germany
(3) Soviet Union invades Poland
(4) Italian forces invade Albania
(5) Signing of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact
(6) World War II begins when Germany invades Poland
  Sigmund Freud dies
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
 1940 (1) German forces invade Denmark and Norway
(2) Russo-Finnish war ends; Finland cedes land to the Soviet Union
(3) Battle of Britain begins in earnest as the first large air offensive begins with almost 500 bombing sorties by Germany
(4) Italian Tenth Army commanded by Marshal Rodolpho Graziani invades Egypt
(5) Italy declares war on Britain and France
(6) France under Petain signs armistice with Germany at Rethondes
(7) Germany, Italy, and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact
(1) Franklin D. Roosevelt reelected to a historic third term as President of the United States
(2) Winston Churchill become Prime Minister of Great Britain
  For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
 1941 (1) Germany invades Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa
(2) United States declares war on Japan
(3) Germany and Italy declare war on United States
(4) The US Congress passes the Lend-Lease Bill which will provide billions of dollars of war materials to the Allied powers
(1941 to 1945)
(5) Japanese launch surprise attack on U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor
(6) Britain and US sign the Atlantic Charter
Reza Shah abdicates; his son Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi becomes ruler
(1) The Messerschmitt ME163A rocket aircraft sets a new speed record of 623 mph
(2) Manhattan Project begins
Orson Welle's film Citizen Kane
 1942 (1) Battle of Stalingrad begins
(2) Americans destroy 4 Japanese aircraft carriers at the battle of Midway
(3) Allies sign the UN Declaration
(4) American forces at Corregidor in the Philippines surrender
(5) United States Marines land on Guadalcanal
(6) The British 8th Army under General Bernard Montgomery defeats Axis army at the Second Battle of El Alamein
(1942 to 1942)
(7) Allied forces land in North Africa
 1943 (1) Remnants of the German 6th Army surrender at Stalingrad
(2) Allied forces launch amphibious invasion of Sicily
(1943 to 1943)
(3) Italy surrenders to the Allies
(4) Teheran Conference
(5) The North African campaign of WWII ends as German forces surrender
(6) The Combined Bomber Offensive launches Operation Pointblank, a strategic bombing campaign against German industry and civilian morale
(1943 to 1944)
(7) American forces defeat remaining Japanese forces on Guadalcanal
  Penicillin first used successfully to treat a patient
 1944 (1) Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes) begins
(1944 to 1945)
(2) D-Day, the Allied Invasion of Normandy, France
(3) Allied armored and airborne forces fail to secure Rhine crossing in Operation Market-Garden
(1944 to 1944)
(4) Dumbarton Oaks Conference
(5) Allied forces launch amphibious invasion of the Philippines
Franklin D. Roosevelt wins presidential election for fourth time
  Lucien Pissarro dies
 1945 (1) U. S. Marines land on the island of Iwo Jima
(1945 to 1945)
(2) Germany surrenders (V-E Day)
(3) Potsdam Conference begins
(4) Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan
(5) Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan
(6) Japanese sign surrender terms on board the USS Missouri
(1) Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes President of the United States after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt
(2) Adolf Hitler commits suicide in Berlin; Karl Dönitz appointed leader of Germany
(1) First successful test detonation of a nuclear weapon at Alamogordo, New Mexico
(2) Percy Spencer patents the microwave oven
 1946 Viet Minh forces launch rebellion against French authority in Vietnam; Beginning of the First Indochina War
(1946 to 1954)
Communists under Ho Chi Minh win elections in northern part of Vietnam
 1947 UN takes over Palestinian issue from Britain. UN votes to divide Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state; Jerusalem is to be an international city.
  Henry Ford dies
Dead Sea Scrolls found
 1948 First Arab-Israeli Wars begins
The State of Israel is officially created; David Ben Gurion becomes first Prime Minister.
  (1) Abstract-Expressionist Jackson Pollock's Number 5
(2) Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar named Desire debuts on Broadway
 1949 Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, and Syria sign armistice agreement with Israel
Communists under Mao assume power in China
(1) The Soviet Union successfully detonates an atomic weapon
(2) Orville Wright dies
 1950 Korean War begins when North Korean forces invade South Korea
    George Bernard Shaw dies
 1951   Julius and Ethel Rosenburg convicted of espionage and transmitting nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union
 1952 Turkey becomes a member of NATO
  The first airplane lands at the geographic North Pole.
 1953 Korean War ends
Elizabeth II of Britain is crowned at Westminster Abbey.
    Edmund Hillary (New Zealand) and Tenzing Norgay (Nepal) are the first people to climb Mt. Everest (the climbing party was led by Colonel John Hunt).
 1954 (1) The Algerian War of Independence: French forces fight Algerian guerrilla forces for 8 years before granting independence to Algeria
(1954 to 1962)
(2) French forces of the French Far East Expeditionary Corps surrender to Viet Minh forces at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
    (1) William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies
(2) Henri Matisse dies
(3) The Supreme Court unanimously outlaws racial segregation in public schools in Brown vs. BOE
 1955     Jonas Salk announces the development of a vaccine for polio
(1) Disneyland theme park opens in Anaheim, California
(2) Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets becomes the first Rock & Roll song to top the U.S. record charts
 1956 (1) Hungarian Revolution of 1956; Spontaneous revolt against Soviet-installed government in Hungary; Soviets crush rebellion militarily
(2) Sudan granted independence by Great Britain
(1) Cuban Revolution begins
(2) Gamal Abdel-Nasser Becomes President of Egypt
  Elvis Presley's first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show
 1957 The Treaty of Rome creates the European Economic Community; West Germany, Italy, France, and the Benelux nations are founding members
  USSR launches Sputnik--Space race begins
 1958     USS Nautilus sails to North Pole
Guggenheim Museum opens
 1959     Frank Lloyd Wright dies
 1960 Chad gains independence from France
    Harper Lee's novel To Kill A Mockingbird
 1961 East Germany begins construction of the Berlin Wall
Lumumba murdered in Congo
(1) Yuri Gagarin first person in space, Soviet Union
(2) Alan Shepard first American in space
Ernest Hemingway dies
 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
Nelson Mandela jailed in South Africa
Mariner 2 launched
 1963 (1) OAU formed
(2) Kenya becomes independent from Great Britain; Jomo Kenyatta's Kenya African National Union (KANU) party forms the first independent government
US President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas; Vice President Lyndon Johnson becomes President
 1964   Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing racial segregation in the United States
 1965 First U.S. ground combat forces arrive in South Vietnam
  (1) first human space walks
(2) Albert Schweitzer dies
(3) First woman in space, Tereshkova from Soviet Union
 1966 President Charles de Gaulle withdraws French military forces from NATO's integrated military command
 1967     (1) China enters the nuclear age
(2) Robert Oppenheimer dies
(3) Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee die in the NASA Apollo 1 fire.
(1) Massive riot erupts in Detroit after confrontation between police officers and African American bar patrons. In 5 days, 43 people dead, 467 injured, and thousands of buildings destroyed.
(1967 to 1967)(2) Montreal Expo
 1968 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launch Tet Offensive throughout South Vietnam
(1) Republican Richard M. Nixon elected 36th President of the United States
(2) After poor performance in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, Lyndon Johnson announces he will not seek reelection
Yuri Gagarin dies
 1969   Yasser Arafat becomes head of the Palestine Liberation Organization
Apollo 11 lands on the moon
Hurricane Camille
 1970 President Gamal Abdel-Nasser Dies, Anwar Sadat becomes president of Egypt
 1971 (1) Indo-Pakistan War begins
(2) Bahrain declares its independence from Britain
  Apollo 15 lands on the moon; first use of Lunar Rover.
 1972     (1) Venus 8 lands on Venus
(2) Andrei Tupolev dies
(3) Apollo 17 lands on the Moon
 1973 (1) Iraq joins Arab coalition against Israel during the October War
(2) Yom Kippur War
  (1) Skylab launched
(2) Pioneer 10 reaches Jupiter
(1) Pablo Picasso dies
(2) Noel Coward dies
 1974 Turkey starts occupying northern Cyprus to prevent Greek takeover of island
Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, resigns from office as a result of the Watergate Scandal
  (1) All the President's Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
(2) Patty Hearst kidnapped
 1975 (1) The last group of Americans are evacuated from Saigon, South Vietnam during North Vietnamese invasion
(2) Under the Alvor Agreement, Portugal grants independence to Angola; anti-Communist UNITA, Communist MPLA, and other factions engage in civil war for control of Angola
(3) Civil war breaks out in Lebanon
  U S. & Soviet spacecraft dock in space
(1) Patty Hearst caught
(2) Elizabeth Seton canonized
 1976     Viking 2 lands on Mars; marks second automated visitor to land successfully
(1) Agatha Christie dies
(2) Episcopal Church ordains women
 1977       (1) Elvis Presley dies
(2) Philip of Macedon's tomb found
(3) Singer/actor Bing Crosby dies
 1978 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.
    John Paul II becomes Pope
 1979 Soviet-Afghan War begins as Soviet forces invade and occupy important locations throughout Afghanistan
(1979 to 1989)
(1) Iran declared an Islamic republic by Ayatollah Khomeini
(2) Saddam Hussein Becomes President of Iraq
(3) Shah of Iran flees country
(4) Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female prime minister of Great Britain.
 1981 Israeli troops bomb the PLO headquarters in Beirut
Anwar Sadat assassinated; Mohamed Hosni Mubarak becomes president of Egypt
(1) Voyager 2 reaches Saturn
(2) Personal Computer introduced
(3) First reported case of AIDS
Pope John Paul II shot
 1982 (1) Israel invades Lebanon
(2) Falklands War
  Mary Rose raised
 1983     Sally Ride first American woman in space
 1984   United States President Ronald Reagan wins reelection in a landslide over Democrat Walter Mondale
First release of Apple's Macintosh computers; First successful personal computer with graphical interface
 1985   Mikhail Gorbachev elected by the Politburo as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the U.S.S.R.
(1) Hole in the Ozone layer discovered
(2) Titanic found
 1986     (1) Chernobyl nuclear plant accident
(2) Voyager 2 reaches Uranus
(3) Marlin Perkins dies
(1) Cary Grant dies
(2) Sultan Qaboos University founded
 1987 (1) Iraqi Exocet missile hits American Destroyer USS Stark; 37 crewmen are killed.
(2) Palestinian uprising 'Intifada' breaks out in Gaza strip
    Andy Warhol dies
 1988 The USS Vincennes shoots down Iranian Airbus Flight #655; 290 civilians are killed
  A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
 1989   (1) In response to massive protests, the East German government allows East Berliners to cross into West Berlin. The dismantling of the Berlin Wall begins shortly after
(2) Solidarity wins landslide victory over the Communist Party in first free elections in Poland
(3) Hungarian parliament adopts democratic reforms and pressures Soviet Union to remove military forces
(1989 to 1989)(4) During the "Velvet Revolution" in Czechoslovakia, protesters force the Communist government to adopt democratic reforms
  (1) U. S. actress Bette Davis dies.
(2) Globe Theatre found
(3) Salvador Dali dies
(4) Laurence Olivier dies
 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait, beginning the Persian Gulf War
German reunification officially completed according to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany
 1991 U.S. led coalition defeats Iraqi military forces and liberates Kuwait in Operation Desert Storm
(1991 to 1991)
(1) Communist hard-liners launch a failed coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev in the U.S.S.R.
(1991 to 1991)(2) Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as President of the Soviet Union; Effective legal dissolution of the U.S.S.R.
 1992   Democratic candidate Bill Clinton elected 42nd President of the United States
 1993 (1) The European Community establishes a unified European market by removing trade barriers
(2) 19 American soldiers die during the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia
    (1) Steven Spielberg's film Schindler's List
(2) President Bill Clinton announces "don't ask, don't tell" policy concerning gays serving in the U.S. military
 1994 Hutu militias kill 500,000-1,000,000 Tutsis during Rwandan Genocide
(1994 to 1994)
  Shoemaker-Levy Comet strikes Jupiter
 1995 Dayton Agreement ends Bosnian War and confirms Bosnian independence.
    (1) O.J. Simpson acquitted
(2) Timothy McVeigh bombs the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 and wounding 450
 1996     (1) IBM's Deep Blue chess computer defeats world champion Gary Kasparov
(2) Dolly the sheep is born, becoming the first cloned mammal
George Burns dies
 1997     Mars Pathfinder lands on Mars
Mother Teresa dies
Collapse of the currency of Thailand sparks the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis
 1998   Suharto forced to resign as president of Indonesia after 31-year reign
  U.S. singer Frank Sinatra dies
Decline in commodity prices triggers financial crisis in Russia and discredits the government of President Boris Yeltsin
 1999 NATO engages in 78-day bombing campaign against Serbia for occupation of Kosovo
(1999 to 1999)
Vladimir Putin becomes acting President of the Russian Federation after Boris Yeltsin resigns
Year International
Relations &
Politics Science,
Technology &
Society &
Economics &
Daily Life

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