|Pirates and Privateers
The History of Maritime
Cindy Vallar, Editor
P.O. Box 425,
Keller, TX 76244-0425
Time Line of History
Piracy & Privateering, Maritime, Scottish, & Events
(updated 20 August 2023)
This time line is a work in
progress. It incorporates events important
to pirate history, as well as important
historical happenings at sea, in Scotland,
and around the world. Although pirates gave
allegiance to no nation, they didn't work in
a void. What happened on land could and did
impact what happened at sea. Dates are
divided into centuries first, then by year,
and if the exact date is known, by month and
day within that year.
Special thanks to Luis for his
assistance in researching some of these dates.
Special thanks to those who have
caught my errors and let me know.
Like a Pirate Day, September 19
National Maritime Day,
the 1st Century
4th & 5th Centuries
6th & 7th Centuries
February 2: Queen
Victoria's funeral takes place in St.
George's Chapel in London's Windsor
April 25: New York
becomes the first state to mandate
license plates on automobiles and
motorcycles when the governor signs a
law requiring owners to post their
initials on a conspicuous place on the
rear of the vehicles.
July 2: Butch
Cassidy and the Sundance Kid rob a
train in Wagner, Montana. They get
away with $40,000.
August 14: SS Islander
strikes an iceberg near Alaska
and sinks. 70 people die.
5: The National Association of
Professional Baseball Leagues forms.
September 6: Anarchist
Leon Czolgosz shoots President William
McKinley during the Pan-American
Exposition in New York.
September 7: The Boxer
Rebellion, an attempt to drive
foreigners out of China, ends.
September 14: US
President William McKinley succumbs 8
days after being shot by an anarchist
in Buffalo, New York. Vice President
Teddy Roosevelt is sworn in as
12: Theodore Roosevelt officially
changes "The Executive Mansion" to
"The White House."
October 24: Annie
Edson Taylor, a sixty-three-year-old
schoolteacher, is the first person to
successfully go over Niagara Falls in
October 26: First time
a getaway car is used during a holdup,
this one in Paris, France.
October 29: Leon
Czolgosz, the anarchist who
assassinated President McKinley, is
2: King C. Gillette begins selling
safety razor blades.
Distribution of the first Nobel Prizes
is made on the fifth anniversary of
the death of Alfred Nobel, who
invented dynamite and endowed the
December 14: The first
table tennis tournament is held. It
takes place at the the London Royal
1: Tzu-hsi, China's empress, forbids
the binding of women's feet.
February 21: The
United States' first brain surgeon,
Dr. Harvey Cushing, performs the first
14: J. C. Penney opens his first
dry-goods store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.
April 20: Marie and
Pierre Curie isolate radium chloride,
a radioactive isotope.
8: Mount Pelée erupts on the island of
Martinique. It wipes out the city of
St-Pierre where 30,000 people are
killed. There are only 2 survivors.
May 31: The Boer War,
also known as the South African War,
ends with the signing of the Peace of
Vereeniging in Pretoria, South Africa.
October 2: The
Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix
Potter, is published in London.
November 18: Morris
Michton, a toy maker in Brooklyn, New
York, names the teddy bear after
President Teddy Roosevelt.
January 19: First
regular transatlantic radio broadcast
between the United States and England
February 15: Morris
and Rose Michtom introduce the first
1: The Martha Washington Hotel opens
in New York City. It caters to women
March 3: North
Carolina requires nurses to be
registered. It is the first state to
16: The Pepsi Cola Company is founded.
June 16: The Ford Motor Company is
founded in Detroit, Michigan.
1: First Tour de France
July 19: Maurice Garin
of France becomes the first winner of
the Tour de France, after cycling
1,508 miles (2,428 kilometers).
August 17: Joseph
Pulitzer donates $1,000,000 to
Columbia University, endowing the
1: The first game of the first
Baseball World Series is played. The
Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Boston
October 10: Emmeline
Pankhurst founds the Women's Social
and Political Union to fight for
women's rights in Britain.
November 3: A
revolutionary junta declares that
Panama is no longer part of Colombia.
December 17: Orville
and Wilbur Wright make the first
successful sustained airplane flight
near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Orville glides for 12 seconds.
excavated in Norway.
Women are forbidden to wear low-cut
dresses in the presence of churchmen
by Pope Pius X.
January 25: An
explosion at a coal mine in Cheswick,
Pennsylvania kills 179.
February 7: Great Fire
of Baltimore. Believed to have been
started by a discarded cigarette, the
wind soon causes a conflagration that
burns for 31 hours and destroys 80
city blocks in the downtown area. No
lives were lost, but more than 1,500
buildings are gone and another 1,000
suffer severe damage. The monetary
value of property lost is estimated at
$100,000,000, making it the most
destructive since the Chicago fire of
April 10: Fire
sweeps through Toronto, Canada,
destroying much of the city.
April 30: Ice cream
cone makes its debut.
May 4: The United
States begins construction of the
June 15: The General
Slocum, a side-wheeler
steamboat, catches fire on New
York's East River. 1,031 men, women,
and children die.
July 21: The
Trans-Siberian railroad in Russia is
completed. Construction takes 13 years
and extends for 4,607 miles.
Construction begins on Grand Central
Station in New York City.
September 28: A woman,
smoking a cigarette in a car, is
arrested in New York City.
October 27: The first
section of the New York subway opens.
Trains run from Lower Manhattan to
Broadway Harlem for a nickel.
November 15: King Camp
Gillette receives a US patent for the
first razor that uses disposable
22: Czarist troops fire on a peaceful
group of workers on their way to the
Winter Palace in St. Petersburg,
January 26: The
largest diamond in the world is found
in South Africa. It is 3,106 carats.
March 13: Mata Hari
gives her first performance as a
dancer at the Guimet Museum in Paris,
June 19: The world's
first nickelodeon opens in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The
storefront theater seats 96 people
and a ticket can be had for a nickel
(5 cents). Vaudeville acts and short
films were often shown.
June 27: Russian
sailors aboard the battleship Potemkin
mutiny and sail for Odessa.
July 8: Russian
sailors aboard the battleship Potemkin
surrender to Romanian
authorities. That government turns
the ship over to Russia shortly
September 5: The
signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth
ends the Russo-Japanese War.
10: Sailors join a rebellion at
Russia's naval base in Kronstadt.
January 2: The first
US patent for an air conditioner is
awarded to Willis Carrier.
February 1: The
building of the first federal
penitentiary is completed. It is
located in Leavenworth, Kansas.
March 10: An
underground fire sparks an explosion
in an underground maze of mines in
Courrieres, France. More than 1,000
miners and people on the surface die.
April 18: An earthquake, followed by
fire, strikes San Francisco,
California. Around 3,000 people die
and 75% of the city is in ruins.
June 30: The US
Congress passes the Meat Inspection
Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.
Both laws are the direct result of
exposé journalism, in particular Upton
Sinclair's The Jungle.
July 12: Alfred
Dreyfus is found innocent in France
during his retrial on charges of
treason. He was initially judged
guilty of those charges in 1894 and
imprisoned for a time on Devil's
Island. A controversy ensues and he is
eventually retried, but found guilty a
second time. He accepts clemency, but
reservea the right to prove himself
innocent and after another retrial is
granted in 1904 at which a civilian
appeals court finally finds him
October 22: 3,000
Blacks riot in Philadelphia
November 18: Anarchist
bomb explodes in St. Peter's Basilica
January 6: Maria
Montessori's first school opens. It is
located in Rome, Italy.
Suffragettes in England storm
Parliament. 60 women are arrested.
April 24: Milton S.
Hershey opens Hershey Park for the
exclusive use of his employees.
May 27: Bubonic Plague
strikes San Francisco.
June 21: The United
Press is founded by E. W. Scripps.
July 29: Sir Robert
Baden-Powell forms the Boy Scouts in
August 28: James E.
Casey of Seattle, Washington, founds
the United Parcel Service (UPS).
1: The stock market falls, leading to
a run on the US dollar.
October 22: Ringling
Brothers Greatest Show on Earth
purchases the Barnum & Bailey
October 22: A run on the Knickerbocker
Trust Company leads to a run on United
States banks, becoming known as the
Panic of 1907.
December 6: More than
350 people, many of them children, are
killed when there is an explosion in a
Monongah, West Virginia, coal mine.
January 11: President
Teddy Roosevelt names the Grand Canyon
a National Monument.
Katie Mulcahey violates the Sullivan
Ordinance when she lights up a
cigarette. She is arrested and charged
with violating the ban on women
smoking in public. She is fined $5.
Prior to her appearance in court, she
declares, "I've got as much right to
smoke as you have. I never heard of
this new law, and I don't want to hear
about it. No man shall dictate to me."
January 24: Robert
Baden-Powell organizes the first Boy
Scout troop in England.
March 4: An
elementary school burns in
Collingwood, Ohio. 180 die.
May 5: The Great White
Fleet arrives in San Francisco,
May 14: The first
passenger flight of an airplane takes
1: John Krohn sets out on his mission
to walk around the perimeter of the
United States. He accomplishes this
feat in 357 days.
June 30: A giant
fireball levels 80,000,000 trees and
flattens 2,000 square kilometers
(500,000 acres) in Siberia near Stony
Tungunska River. It is believed to be
caused when a meteoroid or comet
explodes in the Earth's atmosphere. It
is the largest impact in recent
July 1: S.O.S. becomes
the worldwide standard distress
signal for help.
July 6: Robert Peary
sets sail from New York City on his
Arctic expedition to reach the North
3: Amadee and Jean Bouyssonie, two
brothers, discover the fossilized
remains of a nearly complete
60,000-year-old skeleton of
Neanderthal man at La
August 12: Henry
Ford's company builds the first Model
T car. It costs $825.
October 3: Leon Trosky
and other Russians living in exile in
Vienna, Austria establish the
November 10: The first
Gideon Bible is placed in a hotel
December 19: A coal
mine explosion in Jacobs Creek,
Pennsylvania kills 239 miners.
Alice Huyler Ramsey of
New Jersey is the first woman to drive
across the United States.
National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
6: Robert Peary and Matthew Henson
reach the North Pole.
April 19: The Roman
Catholic Church beatifies Joan of Arc.
June 20: Roger Burhma
and Eleanor Waring become the first
couple to honeymoon in a balloon.
2: The first Lincoln head penny is
August 18: Mayor of
Tokyo Yukio Ozaki gives Washington, DC
2,000 cherry trees.
November 13: A fire
erupts in the St. Paul Mine in Cherry,
Illinois. 259 miners die.
December 6: Explosions
in coal mine kill 361 in Monongah,
passes found that Captain Kidd claimed
would prove his innocence.
1: Two trains, recently released from
snow slides that had closed the rail
tracks, near Wellington, Washington,
wait on a side track at Stevens Pass
for the tracks to clear. After
midnight, the temperature warms and
the snow changes to rain. At 1:42 am,
an avalanche crushes the trains and
sweeps the remains and those sheltered
within down the mountain. The official
death toll is 96 people, but more
likely died. It takes days to uncover
the red-dyed snow to retrieve the
dead. The rail line doesn't reopen
until 15 March. Avalanche sheds are
later erected so this doesn't happen
again. The incident is the deadliest
snow slide in the United States.
Taft is the first president of the
United States to throw out the first
pitch at a major league baseball
9: A passenger aboard SS Arawatta
tosses a bottle with a note inside
into the ocean. It is found in
Queensland, Australia on 3 June 1983.
June 19: First time
Father's Day is celebrated.
August 9: Alva
Fisher patents the electric washing
25: Yellow Cab is founded.
22: Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen is
convicted at the Old Bailey for
poisoning his wife. He will later
November 14: The
first airplane takes off from a
ship's deck in Norfolk, Virginia.
20: Francisco Madero launches a
revolt in Mexico. It fails, but
inspires others, such as Pancho
Villa and Emiliano Zapata, to fight
for Mexican independence from a
21: A coal mine explosion kills 344
miners in Hulton, England.
becomes First Lord of the Admiralty.
Tung Meng Hui
(Alliance Society) overthrows Manchu
regime and founds the Republic of
January 18: A plane
lands on a ship, the USS Pennsylvania,
for the first time. The event takes place
in San Francisco Bay. The pilot is
March 25: Fire ignites
at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in
New York City. 146 people die and, in
the aftermath, health and safety
legislation is passed in hopes of
preventing similar tragedies.
May 30: The
running of the first Indianapolis
500 automobile race. Ray Harroun
wins in roughly 6 hours and 42
16: International Business Machines
Corporation (IBM) is incorporated.
24: Explorer Hiram Bingham discovers
Machu Picchu, a "lost" city of the
Incas in the Andes Mountains.
August 21: Three
Italians steal Leonardo da Vinci's
"Mona Lisa" from the Louvre. The
painting isn't recovered for 2
29: Ishi is discovered in
California. He is the last surviving
member of the Yahi tribe.
25: Last horse-drawn omnibus in
London travels from London Bridge
Station to Moorgate.
14: Roald Amundsen of Norway and his
expedition become the first to reach
the South Pole.
January 18: Robert
Falcon Scott and 4 others reach the
South Pole, only to learn that they
aren't the first to do so. All 5 men
die trying to return to their base
February 2: Frederick
Rodman Law parachutes from the
Statue of Liberty. The act is
considered the first motion-picture
12: Six-year-old Emperor Puyi is
forced to abdicate. He is the last
imperial emperor of China and the
last of the Qing Dynasty.
March 12: Juliette
Gordon Low of Savannah, Georgia
founds the Girl Scouts.
15: After 511 wins, baseball pitcher
Cy Young retires.
27: Mrs. William Howard Taft plants
the first cherry trees in
Washington, D. C.
10: RMS Titanic sets sail
from Southampton on her maiden voyage.
April 11: RMS Titanic
departs Queenstown, Ireland for
New York City.
April 14: Titanic
hits an iceberg and sinks at
2:27 the next morning off the coast
of Newfoundland. Between 1,490 and
1,635 people die.
April 16: Harriet
Quimbey becomes the first woman to
fly across the English Channel.
April 18: RMS Carpathia
arrives in New York City with
705 survivors from the Titanic.
5: Pravda, the newspaper of
the Soviet Communist Party, is
published for the first time.
Curtis Publishing in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, fires 15 women for
dancing the "Turkey Trot" during
their lunch break.
4: The first collision in the London
Underground. 22 are injured.
12: The body and diary of British
explorer Robert Scott are found in
January 26: Jim Thorpe
returns his Olympic medals, won the
previous year, for playing as a
February 3: The
ratification of the Sixteenth
Amendment to the US Constitutions
allows Congress to levy income
19: A prize is inserted into Cracker
Jack boxes for the first time.
21: Battle of Verdun begins. When it
ends 9 months later, it becomes the
longest battle in World War I. More
than 1,000,000 dead, wounded,
captured, or missing.
8: The Internal Revenue Service
begins levying and collecting taxes
in the United States.
3: Emmeline Pankhurst, a British
suffragette, is sentenced to 3 years
8: Alfred Carlton Gilbert is awarded
a patent for the Erector Set. It
will become one of the most popular
toys of all time.
27: A Swedish engineer applies for a
patent on an all-purpose zipper.
10: The Lincoln Highway opens and
becomes the first paved highway that
goes from coast to coast.
October 22: 263 coal miners
are killed in an explosion in
Dawson, New Mexico.
1: First moving assembly line in the
world begins production of Ford's
Model T in Michigan. It revolutionizes
the auto industry.
Two years after it was stolen from
the Louvre in Paris, the "Mona Lisa"
21: The New York World
publishes the first modern crossword
5: Henry Ford announces that the
minimum pay per day for workers will
be $5, which doubles most workers
salaries. Instead of having to work 9
hours a day, their workday becomes 8
February 19: Charlotte
May Pierstorff, a four year old, is
transported by train via the US Mail
from Grangeville, Idaho to her
grandparents' house 73 miles away.
April 28: Coal mine
collapses in Eccles, West Virginia.
181 miners die.
May 7: The US Congress
establishes Mother's Day.
28: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of
Austria and his wife, Sophie, are
assassinated by a Serbian nationalist
named Gavril Princip. This incident
will lead to World War I.
June 29: Jina
Guseva, a peasant woman, stabs
Grigori Rasputin in the stomach in
his home town in Siberia. The
assassination attempt fails.
28: Austria-Hungary declares war on
Serbia, a conflict that will become
World War I.
August 1: Emperor
Wilhelm II of Germany declares war
on his nephew, Tsar Nicholas II of
4: Great Britain declares war on
Germany, following that country's
invasion of Belgium.
5: The first electric traffic light,
which features red and green lights,
is installed in Cleveland, Ohio.
10: France declares war on
15: Handyman Julian Carlton, murders
Martha Borthwick Cheney, Frank Lloyd
Wright's mistress, and her two
children, as well as four others, at
Taliesin, Wright's home in
Wisconsin. Afterward, he sets the
August 15: The
Panama Canal opens and the SS Ancon
becomes the first ship to pass
through the canal.
1: The last passenger pigeon dies in
captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.
September 1: The Russian government
changes the name of St. Petersburg to
Petrograd, a name which will last
until 1924, when the city becomes
September 6: First
Battle of the Marne
September 22: A
German submarine sinks 3 British
ironclads. 1,459 are killed.
October 19: For the
first time, the US post office
delivers mail using a car.
Russia declares war on the Ottoman
25: The "Christmas Truce" takes
place during World War I. British
and German soldiers exchange gifts
and play football, rather than fight
7: Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany okays the
bombing of strategic sites in Britain
as long as no bombs are dropped on
London, because his relatives within
the royal family reside there.
Germans launch the first Zepplin air
raid on England. Four people die in
17: Edward Stone, fighting for the
French Foreign Legion is mortally
wounded in battle, becoming the
first American combatant to die
during World War I before the United
States enters the conflict.
28: Leon Thrasher is the first
American citizen killed during World
War I after a German submarine
torpedoes his ship off the coast of
April 22: German
troops release chlorine gas at the
Second Battle of Ypres. This act is
the first systematized use of
May 7: A German
submarine, off the Irish coast,
torpedoes RMS Luisitania.
The ship sinks and 1,198 people die.
July 15: Dr. Heinrich
Albert, head of German propaganda in
the United States, loses his
briefcase while riding on the subway
in New York City. When the contents
are examined, they reveal an
extensive network of German
espionage and subversion across the
July 24: The
passenger liner SS Eastland capsizes
in the Chicago River. More than 840
people die, making it one of the
worst maritime disasters in American
August 17: A mob
lynches Leo Frank, a Jewish business,
in Georgia after his death sentence
for murdering a 13-year-old girl is
commuted to life in prison.
England produces Little Willie, a
prototype of the first tank. It
weighs 14 tons, tends to get stuck
in trenches, and only goes 2 miles
October 7: A German
court sentences Edith Cavell, an
English nurse, and 34 others to
death for running an underground
network to free Allied soldiers in
12: Edith Cavell is executed.
January 1: Stored and
cooled blood is first used in a blood
The Battle of Verdun begins. It
becomes one of the most-devastating
engagements of the First World War.
April 24: Irish
nationalists launch what becomes
known as the Easter Rebellion in
Dublin in an attempt to oust the
British from Ireland.
April 24: Ernest
Shackleton and 5 of his men launch a
lifeboat from the uninhabited
Elephant Island to organize a rescue
for his ice-trapped ship Endurance.
April 29: After 5
days. Irish republicans abandon the
post office in Dublin and surrender
unconditionally, ending the Easter
June 15: The Boys
Scouts of America is founded.
24: Hollywood film star Mary
Pickford signs a $1,000,000
contract, becoming the first female
actor to receive this high a sum.
1: The Battle of the Somme begins.
By the time it ends in mid-November,
29,240 British soldiers will die.
25: President Woodrow Wilson
establishes the National Park
September 6: Clarence
Saunders opens Piggly Wiggly, the
first true supermarket, in Memphis,
8: President Woodrow Wilson signs
the Emergency Revenue Act. This
doubles the income tax rate and adds
an inheritance and munitions profits
15: British troops use the tank in
combat for the first time.
16: Margaret Sanger opens the first
birth control clinic in the United
States in Brooklyn, New York.
7: Jeannette Rankin is elected to
Congress, becoming the first female
Representative and the first woman
elected to Congress.
30: Murder of Grigori Rasputin. He
is poisoned and shot before drowning
in a river, because of his influence
over the royal family.
February 13: Mata
Hari, an exotic dancer born in the
Netherlands, is arrested in Paris,
France on charges of being a German
Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia
and the last Romanov to rule Russia,
abdicates. He names his brother,
Grand Duke Michael to succeed him,
but Michael declines the next day.
April 6: The
United States declares war on
Germany. American soldiers enter the
First World War 3 years after the
16: Vladimir Lenin returns to
Russia, after living in exile for 17
years, to form a provisional
21: Great Fire of Atlanta displaces
10,000. Only one person dies.
15: Britain grants amnesty to
prisoners taken during the Easter
Rising (1916) in Ireland.
June 15: The US Congress passes the
Espionage Act, making it a crime for
anyone to pass information to or aid
the enemy. Those found guilty of
doing so can be fined $10,000 and
imprisoned for 20 years.
July 9: HMS Vanguard
explodes off Scapa Flow,
Scotland. 804 are killed.
July 17: The British
royal family changes their name from
the House and Family of Hanover to the
House and Family of Windsor.
July 24: Mata
Hari goes on trial on charges of
espionage. Her alleged spying for
the Germans causes the deaths of
50,000 soldiers. She is eventually
found guilty and executed by a
14: China declares war on German and
Austria-Hungary during World War I.
15: A firing squad
executes Mata Hari as a spy during
World War I near Paris.
November 7: Lenin and
the Bolsheviks seize power in
Russia. They capture the Winter
Palace and overthrow the Provisional
Government. This becomes known as
20: Tanks are used effectively for
the first time during war at the
Battle of Cambrai during World War
24: Bombing at police headquarters
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin kills 9
police officers and 1 civilian.
26: Founding of the National Hockey
League. It features 4 Canadian
teams. The first American team, the
Boston Bruins, won't join the league
for 7 more years.
December 1: Father Edward
Flanagan founds Boys Town near
December 6: Mount
Blanc, a French munitions
ship, explodes in Halifax, Canada.
1,700 people die.
The United States declares war on
the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
January 25: Russia
becomes a republic of Soviets.
March 4: The first
recorded case of Spanish Flu. It
occurs at Funston Army Camp in
Kansas and is the beginning of a
worldwide pandemic. Between
50,000,000 and 100,000,000 die.
31: Daylight Savings Time goes into
effect in the United States for the
April 1: The
United Kingdom establishes the Royal
14: First dogfight in which American
pilots engage over the western front
in World War I.
21: Manfred von Richthofen (the Red
Baron) is shot down over Vaux sur
Somme, France and dies in the crash
one day after the World War I ace
shot down his 80th plane of the
Allies. The ace who kills the Red
Baron is a Canadian pilot named
Arthur Roy Brown.
May 13: The
United States issues its first
airmail stamp, which costs 24 cents.
15: The first regular airmail route
opens in the United States. Mail
travels by plane between New York
City and Washington, DC.
July 16: Bolsheviks
execute Tsar Nicholas and his
family, as well as several
retainers, in the basement of the
Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg,
Siberia. Their executions end the
300-year Romanov dynasty.
July 16: The Carpathia,
which rescued survivors from Titanic,
sinks when attacked by a German
U-boat during World War I.
July 22: A train
carrying troops rams a circus train at
Ivanhoe, Illinois. 68 die.
Fanya Kaplan of the Social
Revolutionary party shoots Soviet
leader Vladimir Lenin at a Moscow
factory. He is seriously wounded.
The attack launches a wave of
reprisals by the Bolsheviks.
Corporal Alvin C. York almost
single-handedly kills 25 German
soldiers and captures 132 in the
Argonne Forest in France during the
Meuse-Argonne offensive in World War
I. He will later receive the Medal
of Honor for this.
21,000 died from Spanish influenza
in one week.
November 11: At 11:00
World War I ends when the armistice
28: Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates.
19: New York Globe begins
publishing Robert Ripley's "Believe
It or Nor" column.
January 15: Great
Boston Molasses Flood
Ratification of the 18th Amendment to
the US Constitution. It authorizes the
prohibition of alcohol.
Sinn Fein establishes its own
parliament in Dublin and declares
Ireland's independence from Great
Britain. These moves spark the Irish
War of Independence.
25: The League of Nations is
26: Grand Canyon National Park is
13: British and Gurkha troops
massacre hundreds of unarmed
demonstrators in Amritsar, India.
June 11: Sir
Barton wins the Belmont Stakes.
Having already won the Kentucky
Derby and the Preakness, this horse
becomes the first winner of the
Triple Crown of American horse
28: The Treaty of Versailles is
signed in France, bringing the first
World War to an end.
27: After a young black man is
stoned and drowned in Lake Michigan
for swimming in an area reserved for
whites, violence erupts in what
becomes known as the Chicago Race
13: Man o' War, the famous
racehorse, suffers his only defeat.
9: When city officials refuse to
allow the police to unionize, the
Boston Police go on strike.
28: Congress passes the Volstead Act
and prohibition begins.
November 10: National
Book Week is observed for the first
28: Born in the United States, Lady
Nancy Astor becomes the first female
elected to the British House of
March 10: British
Parliament passes the Home Rule Act,
dividing Ireland into two parts.
28: Silent screen stars Mary Pickford
and Douglas Fairbanks wed.
May 5: The
Communist Party becomes illegal in the
16: Joan of Arc is canonized.
13: The United States Postal Service
decrees that children will no longer
be permitted to be sent via parcel
18: Tennessee ratifies the 19th
Amendment by a single vote, giving
women the right to vote in US
elections after a 72-year-old
A horse-drawn wagon explodes on Wall
Street in New York City at 12:01 pm,
killing 38 and injuring 143.
28: A grand jury indicts 8 members of
the Chicago White Sox on charges that
they threw the 1919 World Series to
the Cincinnati Red Sox after accepting
a bribe. This becomes known as the
Black Sox Scandal.
With the occupation of Sevastopol, the
Russian Bolshevik army puts an end to
anti-Communist attempts to regain
control of Russia.
15: First meeting of the League of
Nations occurs in Geneva, Switzerland.
21: Bloody Sunday. The Irish
Republican Army kills 11 Englishmen
whom they believe are spies. That
afternoon, the Black and Tans strike
back. They attack spectators and
players at a football match in Dublin,
Ireland. 12 people die and 60 are
25: The first Thanksgiving parade
takes place in Philadelphia,
Party officially forms.
Publication of Agatha Christie's
first novel, The Mysterious
Affair at Styles, which
introduces Hercule Poirot to readers
13: Mongolia declares its
independence from China.
31: During the night, thousands of
whites descend on Tulsa, Oklahoma's
Black Greenwood District. Homes and
businesses over a 35-block radius
are razed and hundreds are slain.
Eventually, this event becomes known
as the Tulsa Race Massacre.
July 14: Nicola
Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are
convicted of killing two men and
sentenced to die.
29: Adolf Hitler becomes leader of
the National Socialist German
A Chicago jury begins deliberations
in the Black Sox scandal. Three
hours later, they render a not
guilty verdict, but the next day, 8
Chicago White Sox players are banned
from playing organized baseball for
the duration of their lives.
10: A paralytic illness -- possibly
Guillain-Barré Syndrome, although
thought to be polio at the time --
strikes President Franklin D.
Roosevelt, while he is vacationing
at his summer home on Campobello.
7: The first Miss America Pageant is
held in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
At this time, it is known as the
Inner-City Beauty Contest. Margaret
Gorman, who is 16 and comes from
Washington, DC, is crowned the next
November 11: Three
years after the end of World War I,
President Warren G. Harding
dedicates the Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier at Arlington Cemetery,
23: President Warren G. Harding
signs the Willis Campell Act. This
law forbids doctors from prescribing
beer or liquor for medicinal
December 6: Irish Free
16: Ratification of the Anglo-Irish
Treaty between the British
Parliament and Sinn Fein.
Choi San (Lai Sho Sz'en) is born into
a pirate family and will succeed her
father on his death to command 12
ships. She reigns until 1939.
Sabatini’s Captain Blood is
January 24: Iowan
Christian K. Nelson patents the ice
cream treat Eskimo Pie.
First publication of Reader's
March 18: British
magistrates in India sentence
Mahatma Gandhi to 6 years in prison
May 27: 937 Jewish
refugees aboard SS St. Louis
are turned away in Havana, Cuba.
They are fleeing Nazi persecution.
Neither the United States nor
Canada permit them entry either.
They eventually return to Europe
where they are permitted to
disembark in several different
countries, including Great Britain
May 30: 50,000 people watch US Chief
Justice William H. Taft dedicate the
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
June 1: The Royal
Ulster Constabulary is founded.
14: Warren G. Harding becomes the
first president to use the radio
when he dedicates the Francis Scott
Key Memorial in Baltimore, Maryland.
27: The first Newbery Medal honoring
children's literature is awarded to
Hendrik Willem van Loon for The
Story of Mankind.
22: Michael Collins, an Irish
revolutionary and Sinn Fein
politician, is ambushed in County
Cork, Ireland and dies.
September 13: The
Straw Hat Riot beings in New York
City. People protest the right to
wear straw hats later than 15
21: Approval to establish a Jewish
homeland in Palestine is given when
President Warren G. Harding signs a
22: Cable Act passes in the US
Congress. American women who wed
"aliens" will not lose their
citizenship. Women who marry
American men will not be granted
automatic citizenship in the United
11: Alaska Davidson becomes the
first woman appointed as an FBI
November 4: Howard Carter
discovers the entrance to
Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt.
November 17: Mehmed
VI, the last sultan of the Ottoman
Empire, steps down and is taken to
Malta aboard a British warship. The
Ottoman Empire ends.
November 21: Rebecca
Ann Felton takes the oath to serve as
a senator from Georgia. She becomes
the first woman to serve in the US
Senate, but only does so for 2 days.
December 17: Last
British troops withdraw from the
Irish Free State (Republic of
30: Formation of the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics (USSR). The
capital is set in Moscow and,
eventually, be comprised of 15
republics, making it the largest
country geographically in the world
until the USSR is dissolved in 1991.
March 3: Time,
a news magazine, is first published.
14: Warren G. Harding becomes the
first U. S. president to pay an
3: The first nonstop
transcontinental flight in North
America is completed. The plane
flies from New York City, New York
to San Diego, California.
27: First aerial refueling takes
July 13: Roy
Chapman Andrews discovers the first
dinosaur eggs in Mongolia's Gobi
20: Pancho Villa is assassinated
while driving in his car through
September 1: Tokyo and
Yokahama, Japan experience an
earthquake, which kills 142,800
7: Interpol forms in Vienna,
20: Garret Morgan, an inventor and
newspaperman, is granted a patent
for a traffic signal with three
positions: Stop, Go, and Warning.
It is not the first traffic signal
-- that was installed in 1868 in
London -- but it improves the safety
of earlier signals. (Today, these
signs are now lights: Red, Green,
December 6: President
Calvin Coolidge makes the first
presidential radio broadcast in the
23: During the filming of The
Wizard of Oz, Margaret
Hamilton's witch's costume catches
December 24: President Coolidge
lights the first national Christmas
tree on the grounds of the White
3: Howard Carter
opens the inner burial chamber of
Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Within the
archaeologist finds the pharaoh's
Communists rename St. Petersburg. The
Russian city is now called Leningrad
and remains so until 1991, when it
once again becomes St. Petersburg.
The first Olympic Games held in the
winter open in Chamoix, France
8: Lethal gas is used for the first
time on a convicted prisoner
sentenced to die by execution. The
man's name was Gee Jon, who was
judged guilty for murdering a rival
gang member. The execution takes
place in Carson City, Nevada.
March 4: Claydon Sunny
publishes "Happy Birthday to You."
May 2: The
arrest of Patrick Mahon, whom police
believe committed murder, is
arrested in London. He takes them to
a bungalow in Sussex, England where
the remains of his mistress are
found dismembered and hidden in
hatboxes, trunks, and biscuit tins.
Rubber gloves become standard issue
at murder scenes after investigators
combed through this grisly scene
using bare hands.
May 10: J. Edgar
Hoover is appointed to head the FBI.
He will remain its director for 48
21: Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb
kidnap and kill fourteen-year-old
Bobby Franks. They do this to show
their superior intellect that allows
them to commit the "perfect crime."
They are later arrested and
sentenced to life imprisonment. A
fellow inmate kills Loeb in 1936.
Leopold is eventually released in
June 2: The
Snyder Act grants US citizenship to
all Native Americans.
17: The Spanish Civil War begins.
November 4: Nellie
Tayloe Ross becomes the first woman
to be elected governor of a US state
The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day
Parade is held in New York City. It
will become an annual tradition that
becomes known for its balloons,
which first appear in the parade in
After dissolving Italy's parliament,
Benito Mussolini proclaims himself
dictator and takes the title "Il
3: Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the
first female governor in the United
States when she takes office in
13: It becomes illegal to teach
evolution in Tennessee.
5: John T. Scopes is arrested in
Tennessee for teaching evolution.
6: The automobile corporation known
as Chrylser is founded by Walter
July 10: The
Scopes Trial begins in Dayton,
Tennessee. William Jennings Bryan
prosecutes; Clarence Darrow defends.
18: Adolf Hitler publishes Mein
21: John T. Scopes if found guilty
of teaching evolution and fined $100
plus court costs.
15: First hockey game played at
Madison Square Gardens in New York.
The Montreal Canadiens beat the New
York Americans 3 to 1.
of Nation’s Committee of Experts for
the Progressive Codification of
International Law publishes Draft
Provisions for the Suppression of
pirates, disguised as passengers,
hijack the Sunning on her way
to Canton, China.
March 16: Robert H.
Goddard launches the first
liquid-fueled rocket. It climbs 184
May 18: Aimee
Semple McPherson, an evangelist
known throughout the United States,
disappears. Her friend, Kenneth
Ormiston, also vanishes. She turns
up a month later, after a nationwide
hunt, in New Mexico, claiming she
had been kidnapped. News reporters
August 5: Harry
Houdini is placed within an
underwater airtight coffin. It takes
90 minutes for him to escape. It is
his last public stunt.
6: Gertrude Ederle becomes the first
woman to swim the English Channel.
She does so in 14 hours, 39 minutes,
beating the men's record by nearly 2
22: Gold is discovered in
Johannesburg, South Africa.
23: At the age of 31, film star
Rudolph Valentino dies. His many
fans around the world mourn his
20: Bugs Moran tries to kill Al
Capone in a drive-by shooting.
October 14: A. A.
Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh is
22: Harry Houdini is punched in the
stomach by J. Gordon Whitehead in
31: Anteo Zamboni (15) attempts to
assassinate Benito Mussolini and is
October 31: Harry Houdini dies of
peritonitis, a result of the stomach
injury that he suffered earlier in
3: Author Agatha Christie
mysteriously disappears for eleven
April 30: The Federal
Industrial Institution for Women opens
in Alderson, West Virginia. It is the
first prison for women convicted of
federal crimes and serving sentences
lasting longer than 1 year.
May 1: Imperial
Airways serves cooked meals to its
passengers, becoming the first
British airlines to do so.
18: Grauman's Chinese Theater opens
in Hollywood, California.
19: Charles Lindbergh takes off in
the Spirit of St. Louis on the first
nonstop flight from New York to
21: Charles Lindbergh lands in
Paris, completing the first nonstop
solo flight across the Atlantic
Ocean. The trip takes about 33.5
26: The last Model T Ford (Tin
Lizzie) rolls off the assembly line
at the Ford Motor Company.
1: Opening of the Peace Bridge
between Canada and the United States
23: Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo
Vanzetti are electrocuted in
Massachusetts, even though many
believe they are innocent of the
crime for which they are convicted.
14: Dancer Isadora Duncan dies in
France when the long scarf she is
wearing becomes entangled in the
rear wheel of the car in which she
6: The Jazz Singer, starring
Al Jolson, is released. It is the
first motion picture with a
13: Plane flying from Europe to North
America makes the first nonstop
April 19: The
last volume of The Oxford
English Dictionary is
published, 44 years since the first
May 1: Six
children die and another 10 are
injured when hailstones rain down on
15: Mickey Mouse appears for the
first time in Plane Crazy, a
June 2: Kraft
begins selling Velveeta Cheese.
18: Amelia Earhart becomes the first
woman to fly across the Atlantic
when she lands in Burry Point,
July 6: The first
all-talking motion picture debuts.
It is shown in New York.
7: Bread, sliced by a machine
invented by Otto Frederick
Rohwedder, is sold for the first
September 15: Alexander
Fleming of Scotland discovers
September 21: Debut of
My Weekly Reader
October 12: The iron
lung is used for the first time.
15: The Graf Zeppelin, a
German dirigible, lands in
Lakehurst, New Jersey. This is its
first transatlantic crossing.
22: China expels all Russian
instructors and civil servants.
18: Release of Steamboat Willie
from Walt Disney, the first animated
sound film to feature Mickey Mouse.
February 14: St.
Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago,
Illinois. 7 gangsters working for
George Moran are murdered on orders
from Al Capone.
President Herbert Hoover has a
telephone installed in the Oval
Office at the White House.
June 7: The
ratification of the Lateran Treaty
establishes Vatican City as a
8: Margaret Bondfield becomes
Britain’s first female cabinet
October 24: The
stock market crashes after a record
12,894,650 shares are traded. This
becomes known as "Black Thursday."
25: Albert B. Fall, the former
Secretary of the Interior, is
convicted of accepting a bribe in
the Teapot Dome Scandal. He is the
first US Cabinet member to be
29: Another 16,000,000 shares are
sold on Wall Street, following 5
days of selling 13,000,0000 shares.
This becomes known as "Black
Tuesday," and further fuels what
becomes known as the Great
1: Edwin S. Lowe invents Bingo.
5: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow meet
for the first time.
February 18: Pluto, a
dwarf planet, is discovered.
24: The first traffic light showing
red and green is installed. It is
found in Manhattan, New York.
March 12: Mohandas
Gandhi begins his 241-mile march of
civil disobedience to protest
British salt tax.
20: Kentucky Fried Chicken opens for
the first time. It's founder is
Colonel Harland Sanders.
28: Constantinople, Turkey, becomes
6: Hostess Twinkies are invented.
May 5: Amy
Johnson takes off on her bid to fly
solo from England to Australia. She
becomes the first woman to achieve
15: Ellen Church becomes the first
female airline stewardess when she
serves aboard a United flight flying
from San Francisco, California to
27: Richard Drew invents masking
May 27: The Chrysler Building opens
in New York City. At the time, it is
that tallest man-made structure,
standing at 1,046 feet in height.
17: The United States imposes the
Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which is meant
to protect the United States and
raises the average tariff by 20%. In
actuality, it is worsens the
beleaguered world economy.
August 12: Clarence
Birdseye receives a patent for
developing a way to quickly freeze
August 29: 36
people, the last remaining
residents, of Saint Kilda Island are
voluntarily evacuated to other parts
September 2: The first
nonstop flight by an airplane
between Europe and the United States
takes 37 hours to complete.
8: Blondie, a comic strip,
appears for the first time.
September 8: Public schools in New
York begin teaching Hebrew.
September 8: Richard Drew invents
transparent adhesive tape, which
later becomes known as Scotch tape.
Marketing is done by 3M.
9: Laura Ingalls becomes the first
woman to complete a transcontinental
5: Sinclair Lewis wins the Nobel
Prize for Literature, becoming the
first American to do so.
3: "The Star-Spangled Banner" becomes
the official national anthem of the
United States. It was written by
Francis Scott Key in 1814 as he
watched the bombardment of Fort
McHenry in Baltimore from the deck of
a British ship.
Arrest of the Scottsboro Boys in
Alabama. The 9 African-American boys
are falsely accused of raping two
May 1: The
Empire State Building opens in New
24: The B&O Railroad becomes the
first company to install air
conditioning on its train.
July 1: Ice
vending machines are introduced in
Los Angeles, California. 25 pounds
of ice can be purchased for 15¢.
27: Grasshoppers destroy thousands
of acres of crops in Iowa, Nebraska,
and South Dakota.
21: Babe Ruth hits his 600th home
October 4: Chester
Gould's Dick Tracy comic
18: Al Capone is convicted of
federal income-tax evasion. He is
sentenced to 11 years in prison.
7: Mao Zedong proclaims the Chinese
3: Alka Seltzer goes on sale.
March 1: The son of
Charles and Anne Lindbergh is
kidnapped from their New Jersey home.
The baby is 20 months old.
May 12: The body
of the Lindbergh baby is discovered
in Hopewell, New Jersey.
14: "We Want Beer!" parade in New
York takes place.
19: Amelia Earhart departs
Newfoundland to become the first
woman to fly solo and nonstop across
21: Amelia Earhart lands near
Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
6: The United States enacts is first
gasoline tax with the Revenue Act of
1932. The tax rate is 1 cent per
29: The United Cigar Stores close
8: Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats the
incumbent Herbert Hoover to become
president of the United States. FDR
will go on to win 3 additional terms of
office, making him the only
president to serve 4 consecutive
terms of office.
December 27: Radio
City Music Hall opens in New York
December 27: In the Soviet Union,
Joseph Stalin reinstates the
internal passport system. Vladimir
Lenin has previously denounced this
as a stigma of tsarism and abolished
6: Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis of
Tarrant County, Texas, is slain in
ambush by Clyde Barrow, who intended
to shoot another gangster.
Adolf Hitler is named chancellor of
January 30: The Lone Ranger
is introduced on radio.
February 15: An
assassin attempts to kill
President-elect Franklin D.
Roosevelt. Although FDR survives,
the Mayor of Chicago is fatally
wounded and succumbs on 29 March.
17: Newsweek is published
for the first time.
28: Frances Perkins is appointed
Secretary of Labor, making her the
first woman in the United States
March 2: King
Kong, starring Faye Wrey,
opens in movie theaters.
3: Dedication of Mount Rushmore
March 10: Dachau,
Germany's first concentration camp,
opens. At least 32,000 people will
die from disease, malnutrition,
physical oppression, and execution
during its operation.
12: President Franklin D. Roosevelt
delivers his first "fireside chat."
26: Hermann Göring forms the
June 2: Franklin
Delano Roosevelt authorizes the
building of an indoor pool at the
5: After people begin hoarding gold
following the many bank failures
during the Great Depression,
President Roosevelt signs a
Congressional resolution that takes
the United States off the gold
6: The first park-in movie theater
opens in the United States. It is
located in Pennsauken, New Jersey
and allows motorists to watch films
from the convenience of their cars.
At the time, attendees pay 25 cents
per car and 25 cents per person in
the vehicle, although no group is
charged more than $1. Later these
park-in theaters become better known
as drive-in theaters.
10: John Dillinger robs his first
bank. The robbery takes place in New
Carlisle, Ohio, and he absconds with
June 10: The car in which Clyde
Barrow and Bonnie Parker are riding
crashes into a ravine. Parker
suffers serious third-degree burns.
July 1: The Nazi
regime in Germany declares that
married women should not work.
8: The Public Works Administration
goes into effect.
10: Eastchester Township, New York
installs the first police radio
17: Lou Gehrig plays his 1,308th
consecutive baseball game, setting a
First issue of Esquire Magazine
12: John Dillinger escapes from jail
October 12: Machine Gun Kelly is
sentenced to life imprisonment.
23: John Dillinger and his gang rob
a bank in Indiana of $75,000.
November 10: A
combination snowstorm and dust
storm, known as the Black Blizzard,
spreads from South Dakota to the
12: Hugh Gray takes the first known
photograph of what might be the Loch
28: Grand jury in Dallas, Texas
hands down an indictment against
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow for
killing Tarrant County Deputy
Malcolm Davis in January.
21st Amendment to the US
Constitution is ratified, repealing
the 18th and ending Prohibition.
6: The United States lifts its ban
on James Joyce's Ulysses.
21: At the age of 5, Shirley Temple
signs a studio contract with Fox
January 21: Henri
Littière of Paris, a French baker and
adherent of medieval life, answers
charges of forcing his wife, Juliette,
to wear a chastity belt because of her
adultery. Having already faced similar
charges 2 years before, the court
imprisons him for 3 months and fines
him 50 francs after judging him guilty
of cruelty to his wife.
The first high school driving course
is offered in the United States. The
class is provided in State College,
3: Using a wooden pistol, John
Dillinger breaks out of jail.
April 19: Shirley
Temple, a child star, appears in her
May 11: A
massive dust storm sweeps across the
Midwest during the Great Depression.
The dust eventually reached the East
Coast. Some dust even lands on the
decks of ships 300 miles offshore.
15: The US Department of Justice
offers a reward of $25,000 for John
Dillinger, who's wanted dead or
23: Police officers ambush Bonnie
Parker and Clyde Barrow as they
drive along a Louisiana road. Both
June 6: The
Securities and Exchange Commission
is established, following an
investigation into the 1929 collapse
of the stock market.
30: The Night of the Long Knives.
Fearing the the paramilitary SA is
becoming too strong, Chancellor
Adolf Hitler of Germany orders his
SS to conduct a bloody purge in
which many SA leaders are slain, as
well as hundreds of Hitler's
22: John Dillinger, deemed Public
Enemy No. 1, is mortally wounded
outside Chicago's Biograph Theatre
by FBI agents.
August 3: After
merging the offices of German
chancellor and president, Adolf
Hitler declares himself Führer of
11: The first federal prisoners
arrive at Alcatraz in San Francisco
September 8: Morro
Castle, a luxury passenger ship
bound for New Jersey, catches fire.
133 are killed.
September 19: Bruno
Hauptmann is arrested and charged with
kidnapping Charles Lindbergh's baby
Explosion at Gresford Colliery in
Wales kills 266 miners and those
working to rescue them.
24: Babe Ruth's farewell at Yankee
Stadium. 2,500 fans attend.
October 8: Bruno
Hauptmann is indicted for the murder
of Charles Lindbergh's son.
16: Mao Zedong, with 25,000 troops,
begins the Long March (6,000 miles)
in China. It switches their
revolutionary base from southeast to
northwest China and seals Mao Zedong
as the undisputed leader of the
Communist Party. Known as Ch'ang
Cheng, the march lasts 368 days.
22: FBI agents kill bank robber
Charles (Pretty Boy) Floyd in Ohio.
27: Baby Face Nelson is killed in a
shoot-out with the FBI.
Appearing in the French film Zouzou,
Josephine Baker becomes the first
black woman to star in a major
2: Bruno Hauptmann stands trial on
charges of kidnapping and murdering
Charles Lindbergh's son. He is
eventually found guilty and executed.
January 11: Amelia
Earhart successfully flies solo from
Hawaii to California, becoming the
first aviator to make this flight.
Canned beer goes on sale for the
February 6: The board game
Monopoly goes on sale.
13: A jury pronounces Bruno Richard
Hauptmann guilty of the kidnapping
and murder of the infant son of
22: Airplanes are no longer allowed
to fly over the White House.
21: Persia is officially renamed
14: A massive dust storm blankets
the Midwest in the United States. It
becomes known as "Black Sunday" and
takes place during the Dust Bowl and
May 19: Pope
Pius XI canonizes Cardinal John
Fisher and Sir Thomas More, both of
whom were executed by Henry VIII.
24: First night game in major league
baseball takes place in Cincinnati.
The Reds beat the Phillies 2-1.
1: England introduces license plates
and a test for automobile drivers.
July 10: Two
recovering alcoholics, Dr. Robert
Smith and Bill Wilson, found
16: The first parking meters in the
world are installed in Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma. For 5 cents, cars
can be parked in numbered spaces
along the curb for 1 hour.
30: Penguin publishes the first
paperback-covered book, sparking a
revolution in the publishing
August 14: Social
Security Act becomes law. This
establishes a permanent national
old-age pension system.
15: The plane carrying Will Rogers
and Wiley Post crashes near Point
Barrow, Alaska. Both men are killed.
September 2: Hurricane
strikes Florida on Labor Day. It is
the strongest and most intense
hurricane to strike the United
States. 423 people die.
15: Germany passes the Nürnberg
Laws, which strip Jews of their
citizenship and forbids them to
October 22: Mao
Zedong's Long March ends in China.
23: Dutch Schultz and 3 others are
gunned down in a Newark, New Jersey
saloon. The killing becomes known as
The Chophouse Massacre.
Errol Flynn stars in Captain
15: Adolf Hitler announces the
construction of the people's car, the
The first superhero in the world
appears for the first time in
comics. He is the Phantom and his
creator is Lee Falk.
3: Bruno Hauptmann is executed after
being convicted of kidnapping and
30: Approval is given for federal
employees to only work 40 hours a
June 30: Margaret Mitchell's Gone
with the Wind is published.
17: An uprising by nationalist
rebels begins in Spain, sparking a
bloody civil war that lasts for 3
August 1: Adolf
Hitler opens the XI Summer Olympic
Games in Berlin, Germany.
3: While Adolf Hitler watches,
American Jesse Owens wins the first
of 4 gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.
19: Soviet officials begin the Great
Purge of prominent Old Bolsheviks
who are seen as real or potential
threats to Joseph Stalin.
25: An odorless form of corn starch
is patented by Ralph W. Kerr.
November 23: The
first issue of Life magazine
is published by Henry R. Luce. It's
primary purpose is to showcase
30: Fire destroys the Crystal Palace
in London. The exhibition hall had
been erected for the Great
Exhibition of 1851.
December 11: Edward
VIII abdicates, relinquishing the
British throne so he can wed Wallis
Simpson. He is the only
sovereign to voluntarily relinquish
March 18: In New
London, Texas, Consolidated School
explodes from a natural gas leak. More
than 300, mostly students, die.
April 28: Pan Am makes the first
commercial flight across the Pacific
May 3: Margaret
Mitchell wins a Pulitzer for her
novel, Gone with the Wind.
6: The Hindenburg, a German
airship, explodes in flames at
Lakehurst, New Jersey. Out of the 97
passengers, 35 die. One person on
the ground also succumbs.
28: The Golden Gate Bridge in San
Francisco, California, opens to
vehicles. The day before, around
200,000 people walk across the
June 3: Prince
Edward, duke of Windsor (formerly
Edward VIII), weds Wallis Simpson,
an American socialite.
4: Humpty Dumpty, a grocery store
chain, introduces the world's first
shopping carts in Oklahoma City,
5: Henry Ford initiates the 32-hour
30: London launches the world's
first emergency call telephone
service. Those in need of assistance
must call 999.
2: Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan
disappear while flying to Howland
Island during their round-the-world
14: China declares war on Japan.
August 14: The Appalachian Trail is
completed. It traverses 2,000 miles
in 14 states from Georgia to Maine.
21: J. R. R. Tolkien's The
Hobbit is published.
21: Premiere of Walt Disney's Snow
White and the Seven Dwarfs,
the first full-length animated
January 3: The March
of Dimes is established to fight
June 14: Ben
Grushkin patents chlorophyll.
June 14: Dorothy Lathrop is awarded
the first Caldecott Medal for her
artwork in Animals of the Bible.
30: Superman makes his first
appearance in DC Comics.
10: Howard Hughes flies around the
world in 91 hours.
27: Two subway trains collide in New
York City, killing 2 and injuring 51
September 21: Great
Hurricane of 1938 strikes Long
Island and southern New England,
killing 500-700 people.
27: First training school for Santa
Claus opens in New York.
September 27: Nazis forbid Jewish
lawyers from practicing.
30: Orson Welles's Mercury Theater
broadcasts H. G. Wells's The War
of the Worlds. Mass panic
ensues because many radio listeners
are unaware this is a dramatization.
Seabiscuit defeats War Admiral, a
former Triple Crown winner, by 4
lengths in a horse race at Pimlico
Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
9: Kristallnacht (Night of
Broken Glass) begins in Germany and
Austria. The destruction continues
for 48 hours, causing damage to
synagogues and Jewish businesses
throughout the two countries. At
least 91 Jews die.
January 16: "Superman"
debuts as a daily newspaper comic
After the Daughters of the American
Revolution refuse to allow Marian
Anderson to sing at Constitution
Hall, she performs on Easter Sunday
at the Lincoln Memorial. 75,000
May 1: Batman
makes his first appearance in
Detective Comics #27.
17: NBC televises the first baseball
game. Princeton defeats Columbia
August 15: The
Wizard of Oz premieres at
Grauman's Chinese Theatre in
Hollywood. Judy Garland plays
Dorothy. Ray Bolger is the
Scarecrow. Jack Haley is the Tin
Man. Bert Lahr is the Cowardly Lion.
Frank Morgan is the Wizard. Billie
Burke is Glinda, while Margaret
Hamilton is the Wicked Witch.
26: The first game of Major League
baseball is televised. It is a game
between the Cincinnati Reds and the
September 1: Adolf
Hitler orders the extermination of
those with mental illnesses.
September 1: Germany invades Poland,
an offensive that ultimately
launches World War II. The Poles
fight bravely, but are only able
to stem the tide of invasion for
26 days before the country's
September 3: Britain
and France declare war on Germany.
27: 140,000 Polish troops become
prisoners of war after Poland
surrenders to German forces.
24: Nylon stockings are sold for the
November 8: An
attempt on Adolf Hitler's life in
15: Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the
cornerstone for the Jefferson
Memorial in Washington, D.C.
18: Three bombs, planted by the
Irish Republican Army, explode in
Piccadilly Circus in London.
15: Gone With the Wind
premieres in Atlanta, Georgia. The
film stars Vivien Leigh and Clark
January 8: Britain
begins rationing bacon, butter, and
February 17: Sailors of the
Cossack, a British destroyer,
board the German vessel Altmark
in Jossingfjord, Norway. After
hand-to-hand combat using bayonets
and cutlasses, they free 299 British
prisoners of war. It becomes known
as the Altmark Incident and
is the last recorded action
involving cutlasses by the Royal
February 29: Hattie
McDaniel wins an Oscar for her role in
Gone with the Wind. She is the
first African-American woman to win
the film award.
April 27: Heinrich
Himmler orders the establishment of
Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
June 4: The British
complete the evacuation of 338,226
Allied troops from France in a
flotilla of more than 800 assorted
vessels. The feat becomes known as
the Miracle of Dunkirk.
June 10: In declaring
war against France and Great Britain,
Benito Mussolini leads Italy into
World War II.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp opens
in Poland to house Polish prisoners
of war. Approximately 3,000,000
people will died within Auschwitz's
walls before the war ends.
June 14: Germany invades Paris.
22: Marshal Philippe Petain signs an
armistice with Germany, creating
27: Bugs Bunny debuts in a short
film from Looney Tunes entitled A
August 20: A
Stalinist agent in Mexico
assassinates Leon Trotsky.
The German Luftwaffe begins bombing
London. It is the first night of
bombing and continues for 57 nights
in a row. It is the first step in
Hitler's plan to invade England.
12: 4 teens follow their dog down a
hole near Lascaux, France, where
they discover drawings that are
17,000 years old. The find becomes
known as the Lascaux Cave Paintings.
13: German bombs damage Buckingham
October 1: The
Pennsylvania Turnpike opens. It is
one of the first controlled-access
highway in the United States.
16: The German governor-general in
Warsaw, Poland forms the Warsaw
24: The US Fair Labor Standards Act
of 1938 calls for a 40-hour work
week, which goes into effect on this
31: Deadline for all Jews in Warsaw
to relocate to the Warsaw Ghetto.
November 5: Franklin
D. Roosevelt is re-elected president
of the US. It is the first and only
time that one man serves 3
consecutive terms of office.
13: Walt Disney releases the
animated film Fantasia.
26: The Nazis begin construction on
a wall separating the Jewish Ghetto
from the rest of Warsaw.
6: Helen Ernst, a resistance fighter
and poster artist, is arrested by
January 9: 6,000 Jews
are exterminated in Bucharest,
The first transport train carrying
Jews leaves Plotsk, Poland, heading
to concentration camps.
February 20: Nazi Germany forbids
all Polish Jews from using public
15: A blizzard in North Dakota kills
May 1: Cheeri
Oats, a new cereal, is introduced to
the public by General Mills. It will
change its name in 1945 to Cheerios.
5: Coco Chanel unveils a new
perfume, Chanel No. 5.
6: Joseph Stalin becomes Premier of
the Soviet Union.
9: After capturing an Enigma
machine, British intelligence breaks
Germany's secret codes.
10: Rudolf Hess, one of Hitler's
deputies, flies to Britain to open
secret negotiations with the Allies.
After parachuting near Glasgow,
Scotland, he is taken prisoner.
May 27: 3 vessels of
Great Britain's Royal Navy sink
Germany's Bismarck near
France. Only 115 men out of a crew
of 2,221 survive the destruction and
sinking of the German battleship.
June 22: Germany
violates the German-Soviet
Nonaggression Pact when it attacks the
Soviet Union 2 years after the
August 1: The first
Jeep is produced.
29: A German death squad kills 1,469
Jewish children in Russia.
September 1: Any Jew
over the age of 6 and living in
Germany must wear the yellow Star of
8: The armies of Germany and Finland
lay siege to Leningrad, Russia. The
siege lasts for 872 days, ending on
27 January 1944.
11: Construction begins in
Arlington, Virginia on the Pentagon.
It will serve as headquarters for
the Department of Defense, which
includes the US Army, Navy, and Air
23: General Charles de Gaulle forms
the French government in exile in
September 23: Auschwitz conducts its
first experiments in gas murder.
29: On the outskirts of Kiev at the
Babi Yar ravine, the Nazis begin
executing 33,771 Ukrainian Jews
(majority of fatalities), Soviet
officials, prisoners of war, and
October 23: Walt
Disney releases Dumbo, an
25: 16,000 Jews are killed in
31: Mount Rushmore National Memorial
is completed after 15 years. Located
in the Black Hills of South Dakota,
the sculpture depicts the heads of 4
US presidents: George Washington,
Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln,
and Teddy Roosevelt.
December 7: 353
Japanese warplanes attack Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii. 2,403 people die.
8: Franklin D. Roosevelt declares
war on Japan, bringing the United
States into World War II.
January 20: The
Wannsee Conference is held in Berlin.
Its purpose is to organize the "final
solution," the extermination of
President Franklin Roosevelt orders
that all Japanese-Americans, living
on the West Coast, be detained and
interned in camps during World War
22: The Nazis behead 3 members of
the nonviolent resistance group the
White Rose in Munich, Germany.
24: First broadcast of the Voice of
May 3: Dutch Jews are
required to wear the Star of David
for the first time on orders of the
May 8: The Japanese
sink the USS Lexington during
the Battle of the Coral Sea. She
becomes the first US aircraft
carrier to be be sunk during World
May 12: 1,500 Jews are
gassed at Auschwitz.
May 27: Czech
rebels shoot Reichsprotektor Reinhard
Heydrick (The Hangman) in Prague. He
dies from his wounds and 1,800
Czechs will die in retaliation.
June 1: The Liberty Brigade,
an underground newspaper in Warsaw,
publishes the first public article
about the gassing of tens of
thousands of Jews at Chelmo.
June 4: Battle of Midway
ends. It is the first time that the
US Navy, under Admiral Chester
Nimitz, defeats Japan.
June 9: Nazis round up
all residents of Lidice,
Czechoslovakia. The next day the
majority of these people are murdered
in reprisal for Reichsprotektor
assassination, which was actually
carried out by the Czech underground.
June 12: Anne
Frank receives a diary for her
14: Anne Franks records her first
entry in her diary.
July 6: Anne
Frank and her family go into hiding.
They will remain in the secret annex
in Amsterdam until their capture on
4 August 1944.
July 17: Late in
the evening, a series of
explosions rocks Port Chicago,
California. Around 320 men, many
of whom were loading two vessels
with ammunition, are caught in the
explosion. The majority of African
Americans, the majority of whom
had little training in the
handling of the ordnance.
July 22: 300,000 Jews from the
Warsaw Ghetto in Poland are sent to
Treblinka's extermination camp.
August 7: The first
major Allied offensive begins when
US Marines land on Guadalcanal and
capture a Japanese airfield. The
fighting continues for 6 months.
21: Walt Disney releases Bambi,
an animated movie based on Felix
23: 600 planes of the German
Luftwaffe drop bombs on Stalingrad,
killing 40,000 people.
September 12: A
German U-boat fires upon the Laconia,
a British troop ship. Afterward,
Captain Werner Hartenstein learns
that among the passengers are 1,500
Italian POWs. He surfaces to pick up
survivors and calls for assistance
from an Italian submarine and two
other U-boats. French and British
warships also come; even though
Hartenstein informs them of his
humanitarian effort to rescue
survivors, an Ally plane launches a
bomb. Although damaged, the U-boat
submerges and, thereafter, all Axis
efforts to help survivors cease,
leading to the deaths of more than
1: The first Little Golden Book is
5,000 Jews are killed in Dubno,
18: Hitler orders the execution of
captured Allied commandos.
November 11: Congress lowers
the draft age to 18. They also raise
the upper limit of the draft to 37
years of age.
November 23: After a
German U-boat torpedoes the British
SS Benlomond, Poon Lim, a
Chinese steward, remains adrift on a
raft for 133 days before he is
found. He is the only person to
survive the sinking.
November 27: The
French navy scuttles 73 ships and
submarines at Toulon to keep them
from the Nazis.
November 28: Fire
sweeps through Cocoanut Grove
nightclub in Boston and kills 492.
delivers a report on the Holocaust
to the Allies.
January 18: The United
States rations bread and metal. The
connection between the two items stems
from the fact that by banning the sale
of presliced bread lessens bakers'
demand for metal parts.
February 2: German troops
surrender to the Soviets, marking
the end of the Battle of Stalingrad.
February 3: A German
U-boat torpedoes an American
transport ship in the Atlantic
ocean. The Dorchester is
carrying 902 soldiers, merchant
seamen, and civilians. 4 chaplains
of different faiths selflessly give
their life jackets to others and are
among the 672 who die.
February 9: Last day
of fighting in the Battle of
Guadacanal. The Allies defeat Japan.
March 13: Nazis
liquidate the Jewish ghetto in
Krakow, Poland. Receiving advance
warning, Oskar Schindler keeps his
workers at his factory overnight to
21: Attempt to assassinate Adolf
Dedication of the Thomas Jefferson
Memorial in Washington, DC
19: When SS officer Jürgen Stroop
demands the liquidation of the
Warsaw Ghetto, the Jews refuse.
Stroop orders the ghetto destroyed,
which launches the beginning of the
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The Jews
hold out for almost 1 month.
27: Witold Pileckr, a Polish
resistance fighter, escapes from
Auschwitz after voluntarily being
imprisoned there in order to gain
information about the Holocaust.
May 1: The
United States begins rationing food
during World War II.
16: SS officer Jürgen Stroop gives
orders to burn the Warsaw Ghetto and
to destory the Great Synagogue.
During the month of resistance,
13,000 Jews die. Less than 300
Germans are killed. Those Jews who
survive the uprising are transported
to the extermination camp at
17: The US Army signs a contract
with the University of Pennsylvania
to develop ENIAC, an early computer.
June 10: Reichsführer
Heinrich Himmler orders the
liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto in
15: SS Colonel Paul Blobel is
ordered to oversee the destruction
of any evidence that will reveal to
the Allies the Nazi's systematic
extermination of European Jews.
1: First time a withholding tax is
deducted from paychecks.
August 1: Future President
John F. Kennedy's PT-boat sinks near
the Solomon Islands during World War
II after hit by a Japanese
August 2: An armed
uprising begins at Treblinka
Concentration Camp; the crematorium
August 29: The
Danish Navy scuttles her warships to
prevent them from falling into
14: At least 300 Jews escape from the
extermination camp in Sobibor, Poland.
Several SS supervisors and Ukrainian
guards are slain, and the revolt leads
to the dismantling of the camp.
Allied prisoners of war and Asian
laborers complete the Burma railway
for the Japanese army.
15: Romani are deemed equivalent to
Jews and ordered to be deported to
concentration camps by Reichsführer
24: General Dwight D. Eisenhower is
appointed supreme commanded of the
Allied Expeditionary Force during
World War II.
January 27: Soviets
finally break the German Siege of
Leningrad. It lasts 880 days and more
than 2,000,000 Russians lose their
February 20: The
Batman and Robin comic strip first
appears in newspapers.
28: The ten-Boom family is arrested
in Nazi-occupied Netherlands for
29: A Nazi truck runs down Karol
Wojtyla in Krakow, Poland, injuring
the future pope (John Paul II).
9: First eye bank opens in New York.
June 6: D-Day.
156,000 Allied Expeditionary troops
land on the beaches of Normandy,
France during World War II.
16: Convicted of a crime he did not
commit, George Stinney is executed
for the murders of 2 white girls.
Stinney is only 14 at the time of
his execution, making him the
youngest person to be executed
during the 20th century.
July 6: The
world's largest circus tent catches
fire in Hartford, Connecticut and
spreads quickly. It belongs to
Ringling Brothers - Barnum and
Bailey circus. Within 10 minutes,
167 people die -- the majority of
these are children -- and 682 are
injured. The cause is unknown, but 6
years later, Robert D. Segee
confesses that he started the fire.
20: An assassination attempt is made
on Adolf Hitler, but the bomb fails
to kill him. The plot is led by
German army officer Claus Von
August 1: Anne
Frank records the last entry in her
diary, which she has kept for 2
years while in hiding during the
Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
4: The Gestapo discovers the secret
annex in Amsterdam where Anne Frank,
her family, and 3 others have been
hiding. They are all arrested and
sent to concentration camps; only
her father, Otto Frank, will
9: Smokey Bear debuts as the
spokesman for fire prevention.
September 2: Anne
Frank is sent to Auschwitz.
12: Troops of the US Army enter
Germany for the first time.
October 7: Jews at
camp rise up and burn down the
14: Field Marshal Edwin Rommel
(Desert Fox) drinks poison and dies
after it becomes known that he is
involved in a conspiracy to
assassinate Adolf Hitler.
November 7: Franklin
D. Roosevelt is elected to an
unprecedented fourth term as
President of the United States.
10: 800 Romani children, at least
100 of whom are boys between the
ages of 9 and 14, are killed at
November 28: Allied
leaders (Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Winston Churchill, and Joseph
Stalin) meet in Iran at the Tehran
Conference to map out strategy.
Bandleader Glenn Miller's plane goes
down over the English Channel.
16: The Battle of the Bulge begins
in the Ardennes Forest.
16: Adolf Hitler moves into the
Führerbunker (air raid shelter)
in Berlin, Germany.
The evacuation of Auschwitz begins.
January 17: The Soviets enter
January 17: The Soviet secret police
arrest Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish
diplomat who saves thousands of Jews
from the Nazis, in Hungary.
20: Franklin D. Roosevelt is
sworn-in as president of the United
States for the fourth time. It is
the first and last time that a
president serves more than 2
27: The Soviet Army liberates the
concentration camps of Auschwitz and
Birkenau, which are located in
January 30: Around
9,000 die after a Soviet submarine
sinks the Wilhelm Gustloff,
a German ocean liner.
January 31: For the
first time since the American Civil
War, a soldier is executed for
desertion. His name is Private Eddie
February 4: For
the next 7 days, Franklin D.
Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and
Joseph Stalin meet at Yalta in Crimea
to discuss the reorganization of
Europe after World War II ends.
The Allies begin bombing Dresden,
Germany. Fires erupt as a result of
the bombing and sweep through the
city. More than 22,000 people die.
19: 30,000 United States Marines
invade Iwo Jima, which is held by
the Imperial Japanese
Army. 18,000 Japanese and 6,000
February 23: Six US
Marines raise the American flag atop
Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.
February 23: First mass inoculation
using the Salk vaccine for polio
takes place in Pittsburgh,
April 4: Ohrdruf
Concentration Camp becomes the first
camp in Germany to be liberated by
the US Army.
11: The US Army liberates Buchenwald
12: President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt succumbs in office before
the end of World War II. Vice
President Harry S. Truman becomes
the 33rd president.
16: The Russian Red Army launches
its attack on Berlin, the capital of
April 16: American soldiers liberate
Colditz Castle, a high-security
prisoner of war facility in Germany.
28: Benito Mussolini is captured and
executed while trying to flee Italy.
29: The US Seventh Army liberates
tens of thousands of inmates at the
Nazi concentration camp in Dachau,
30: Adolf Hitler and his new wife,
Eva Braun, commit suicide in the
Führerbunker as the Red Army
May 7: The
Germans surrender unconditionally to
the Allies, ending the second World
War in Europe.
8: Victory in Europe Day
June 21: Less
than 3 months after US forces land
on Okinawa, Japanese resistance is
26: Representatives from 50 nations,
gathered in San Francisco,
California, to sign the
charter establishing the United
July 16: The first test
detonation of an atomic bomb takes
place in New Mexico as part of the
US Manhattan Project, prior to
dropping such bombs on Hiroshima and
July 30: A Japanese
submarine torpedoes the USS Indianapolis,
which sinks in the Pacific. 800 crew
2: Flying a PV-1 Ventura, Wilbur
"Chuck" Gwinn spots the survivors of
the USS Indianapolis, 3 1/2
days after she sinks. 316 survive.
August 6: The US B-29
Enola Gay drops an atomic bomb
on Hiroshima, Japan in an effort to
hasten the end of World War II. More
than 70,000 people die and most of the
city is destroyed.
August 9: The
United States drops a second atomic
bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.
14: Japan surrenders
August 14: Ho Chi Minh and the Viet
Minh launch a coordinated uprising
against the French in Vietnam after
30: General Douglas MacArthur lands
September 2: V-J Day,
marking the formal surrender of
Japan aboard the USS Missouri,
and bringing a close to World War II
September 2: Ho Chi Minh declares
independence from France for
9: Grace Hopper discovers a moth in
a computer, making it the first
"bug" in computer systems.
October 8: Patent
for microwave oven awarded
11: Chinese civil war begins. Chiang
Kai-shek leads the Kuomintang
government; Mao Zedong leads the
21: French women are permitted to
vote for the first time.
24: The United Nations is
19: The Allies (United States,
Soviet Union, France, and Great
Britain) convene an international
war tribunal for 24 Nazi leaders in
Nürnberg, Germany. It is the first
time that such a trial is held.
Charges against the accused pertain
to crimes against peace, crimes of
war, and crimes against humanity.
Proceedings last for 10 months and
are presided over by Lord Justice
Geoffrey Lawrence. 12 Nazis are
eventually sentenced to death, 7 to
prison (terms vary between 10 years
and life), and 3 are acquitted. Of
the remaining 2, 1 commits suicide
and the other is judged incompetent
to stand trial.
10: Gangster Charles "Lucky" Luciano
is deported from the United States to
ENIAC, the first general-purpose
high-speed electronic digital
computer, is unveiled to the public.
April 18: The League of
April 27: Radar is
installed for the first time in a
July 5: The first
bikini debuts in Paris. The swimsuit
is named for the site of the world's
first atomic-weapons test.
7: Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini
becomes the first US citizen to be
canonized by the Roman Catholic
September 5: Amon
Göth, who was in command of the
Krakow-Plaszow concentration camp,
is found guilty of imprisoning,
torturing, and exterminating
individuals and groups of people.
His is the first conviction at a
Polish war crimes court. He is
hanged 8 days later.
October 1: Hermann Göring
and 21 other Nazi leaders are
convicted and sentenced to death
or imprisonment at the war crime
trials in Nürnberg. Göring
commits suicide the night before
his scheduled execution.
16: 10 Nazi leaders convicted of
being war criminals are hanged at
November 23: More
than 6,000 Vietnamese civilians died
when the French navy bombards the
port city of Haiphong.
December 19: In
response to the attack on Haiphong, Ho
Chi Minh attacks the French in Hanoi,
sparking the First Indochina War.
9: Last time anyone sees Elizabeth
Short (the Black Dahlia) alive
Elizabeth Short's corpse is found in
a park in Los Angeles, California.
Her murder remains unsolved.
February 20: An error
in mixing chemicals causes an
explosion in Los Angeles, California
that results in the destruction of
42 city blocks.
28: An uprising against the
Taiwanese government is put down by
Chiang Kai-shek. Between 18,000 and
28,000 people die. The February 28
Massacre marks the start of the
April 6: The first
Tony Awards are presented.
15: Jackie Robinson becomes the
first African American to play in
baseball's major league.
16: A massive explosion and fire in
Texas City, Texas kills 522 people.
April 28: Thor
Heyerdahl and the crew of Kon-Tiki
set sail from Peru to arrive in
Polynesia nearly 4 months later.
Billie Holiday is arrested in New
York on charges of possessing
25: Publication of Anne Frank's
diary for the first time
August 7: Thor Heyerdahl
and his crew aboard Kon-Tiki
run aground on a reef in French
Polynesia after crossing the Pacific
in 101 days.
August 14: Pakistan
becomes a sovereign state.
India gains its independence from
Britain after nearly 200 years of
30: The World Series is broadcast on
television for the first time. Game
1 features the New York Yankees over
the Brooklyn Dodgers with a score of
5-3. It is also the first World
Series in which Jackie Robinson
becomes the first Black player in
14: Chuck Yeager, an American test
pilot, becomes the first person to
break the sound barrier.
November 20: Princess
Elizabeth (future Queen Elizabeth
II) weds Philip Mountbatten at
Westminster Abbey in London,
24: A group of film producers,
directors, and screenwriters, who
become known as the Hollywood Ten
and who appear before the House
Un-American Activities Committee in
October, are found in contempt of
25: The first blacklist in Hollywood
denies employment to professional
entertainers with alleged Communist
sympathies or ties.
Formation of the
International Maritime Organization
27: First tape recorder is sold.
Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist,
assassinates Mahatma Gandhi.
16: Billie Holiday is released from
19: Chiang Kai-shek is elected
President of Nationalist China.
May 3: CBS
Evening News begins broadcasting. It
will become the longest running
network news program in the United
13: The State of Israel is
25: Witold Pilecki, a Polish war
hero, is executed by communist
police after a show trial in Warsaw.
Declaration of the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (North
13: Margaret Chase Smith of Maine is
elected senator, becoming the first
woman to serve in both Congressional
30: Smog in Donora, Pennsylvania
kills 20 and sickens 6,000.
December 10: The
General Assembly of the United
Nations adopts the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
21: Eire, formerly the Irish Free
State, declares its independence.
February 16: Israel's
first Knesset (unicameral parliament)
opens in Jerusalem.
Zedong's liberation army crosses the
Yangtze and occupy Nanking, China.
Kai-shek establishes his government
25: Shanghai falls to Mao Zedong.
20: Gussie Moran shocks Wimbledon
when she appears wearing a short
15: The Long Ranger airs for
the first time on television. It
stars Clayton Moore and Jay
October 1: Mao
Zedong declares the founding of the
People's Republic of China.
4: Dedication of the United Nations'
permanent headquarters in New York
7: Proclamation of the German
Democratic Republic, more commonly
known as East Germany. It will not
reunite with West Germany to form a
single country until 1990.
Indonesia gains independence from
November 25: "Rudolph, the
Red-Nosed Reindeer" appears on music
1: The first female doctor is
commissioned in the U. S. Navy Medical
January 17: 11 thieves
rob an armored car company's Boston
offices of $1.2 million in cash and
$1.5 million in securities. It becomes
known as the Great Brinks Robbery.
Debut of the FBI's "10 Most Wanted
June 17: The
first kidney transplant occurs.
25: North Korea's army crosses the
38th parallel to start the Korean
War. 3 days later, they capture
Seoul, South Korea.
5: United States forces enter the
Korean conflict during the battle of
25: China enters the Korean
conflict, siding with North Korea
against South Korea and the United
19: The Chinese invade Tibet. The
Dalai Lama flees.
February 27: The US
Congress enacts the Twenty-second
Amendment, which limits a president to
2 consecutive terms of office.
March 6: Opening
day of the trial against Julius and
Ethel Rosenberg on charges of
29: Julius and Ethel Rosenburg are
convicted of spying for the Soviet
Union and are condemned to die.
14: UNIVAC 1, the first commercial
computer, is turned on at the US
Florence Chadwick becomes the first
woman to swim across the English
Channel from England to France and
back again (a year earlier for
France to England). It takes her 16
hours and 19 minutes to make this
October 6: Joseph
Stalin announces that the Soviet
Union has the atomic bomb.
15: I Love Lucy premieres on
television. The comedy stars Lucille
Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz.
10: The first long distance
telephone call is placed without the
assistance of an operator.
February 6: Elizabeth
II ascends to the British throne upon
the death of George VI. She learns of
the death while in Kenya. She will
reign for 70 years, 7 years longer
than her grandmother, Queen Victoria.
May 1: Mr.
Potato Head is introduced as a new
May 1: TWA introduces a new
classification of airline tickets:
2: A British Overseas Airway
Corporation Comet becomes the first
jet airliner to offer passenger
23: Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser and
his followers stage a coup, ousting
King Farouk of Eypt.
22: The French penal colony on
Devil's Island closes.
19: The United States prevents
Charlie Chaplin from reentering the
country after a trip to England.
October 6: Agatha
Christie's Mousetrap opens
in London and is still being
7: American Bandstand
premieres on television in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dick
Clark does not become host until
30: Clarence Birdseye sells the
first frozen peas.
5: Smog blankets London. Thousands
die as a result and the Clean Air
Act is passed as a result of the
February 11: President
Dwight David Eisenhower refuses to
grant clemency to Ethel and Julius
Rosenberg, who are convicted of spying
on the United States for the Soviet
March 1: Joseph
Stalin attends an all-night session
of movies and dinner with his top
advisors. Afterward, he suffers a
stroke and collapses. He dies 4 days
9: After 4 days of national
mourning, Joseph Stalin's funeral is
held in Moscow, Russia.
Jacqueline Cochran becomes the first
female pilot to break the sound
29: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing
Norgay become the first people to
reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at
19: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the
first American civilians to be
convicted of espionage during peace
time, are executed at Sing Sing
Prison in New York. They maintain
their innocence and their case
27: North Korea and the United
Nations sign an armistice, which
divides Korea between the north and
south at the 38th parallel.
August 12: Ann
Davison arrives in Miami, becoming
the first woman to sail solo across
September 10: Swanson
sells the first "TV dinner."
12: Wedding of John F. Kennedy and
Jacqueline Bouvier in Newport, Rhode
17: The last residents of the
Blasket Islands are evacuated to the
January 21: The first
nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus,
is launched in Connecticut.
March 25: RCA
manufactures the first color
television set. It has a 12 1/2-inch
screen and costs $1,000.
Congress establishes the United
States Air Force Academy, which is
later built in Colorado Springs,
May 6: Roger
Bannister of the United Kingdom
becomes the first person to run a
mile in 4 minutes.
17: In a unanimous vote, the United
States Supreme Court decides that
racial segregation in public schools
is unconstitutional in Brown v.
Board of Education. As a result,
racial segregation is no longer
tolerated by the federal government.
August 16: The
first issue of Sports
Illustrated is released.
31: Hurricane Carol strikes New
England. 70 people die and it
becomes the costliest hurricane ever
(at the time). The name is retired,
becoming the first time this occurs.
September 11: The Miss
America Pageant is telecast for the
first time. Nineteen-year-old Lee
Meriwether of California becomes the
27th Miss America.
September 30: The
world's first nuclear submarine, USS Nautilus,
October 10: After the
withdrawal of French forces, Ho Chi
Minh enters Hanoi, Vietnam.
November 12: The
immigration station on Ellis Island
closes. While opened, more than
12,000,000 immigrants pass through
23: For the first time, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average closes
above the peak it reached just
before the stock market crash in
December 23: First
human kidney transplant. Dr. Joseph
E. Murry performs the operation at a
Boston, Massachusetts's hospital.
26: The Shadow airs on the
radio for the last time.
January 19: Debut of
the board game Scrabble
March 2: On
her way home from school, Claudette
Colvin refuses to relinquish her
seat on a bus in Montgonery,
Alabama. The fifteen year old is
April 12: The US Food &
Drug Administration approves Jonas
Salk's polio vaccine.
15: Ray Kroc opens the first
McDonald's fast food restaurant in
Des Plaines, Illinois.
July 13: Ruth
Ellis becomes the last woman
executed in Britain. Her death
occurs at Holloway Prison in London.
She is convicted of murdering her
17: Disneyland, an amusement park,
opens in Anaheim, California.
27: The Guinness Book of World
Records is published for the
30: Actor James Dean dies in a car
25: Tappan sells the first microwave
1: Rosa Parks is arrested in
Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to
give up her bus seat to a white
passenger. Her arrest sparks a bus
boycott, led by Martin Luther King,
Jr., that lasts for 381 days.
January 9: First time
the column "Dear Abby" appears in
First Secretary of the Soviet Union
delivers a secret speech denouncing
the deceased Joseph Stalin.
2: Morocco proclaims its
independence from France.
18: Grace Kelly foregoes her
Hollywood career to marry Rainier
III, prince of Monaco, in a civil
ceremony. The religious ceremony
takes place the next day.
25: The last Packard, considered a
classic American car, comes off the
production line at the
Packard-Studebaker Corporation in
July 9: Dick
Clark makes his first appearance as
host of American Bandstand.
16: Last time the Ringling Brothers,
Barnum & Bailey Circus takes
place under a tent
July 25: The Andrea
Doria, an Italian ocean liner,
and the Stockholm, an ocean
liner from Sweden, collide in fog
off the coast of Nantucket Island.
51 people die. A hole is ripped into
the side of the Italian ship. 1,660
survivors are rescued from the
vessel before she sinks the next
July 26: Gamal Abdel
Nasser, president of Egypt, seizes
control of and nationalizes the Suez
July 30: "In
God We Trust" becomes the national
motto of the United States by law.
9: Elvis Presley's first appearance
of The Ed Sullivan Show.
October 6: Albert
Sabin discovers an oral vaccine for
23: The Hungarian Revolution begins.
29: Chet Huntley and David Brinkley
team up for the first time to
deliver NBC's The
3: CBS televises The Wizard of
Oz for the first time.
January 3: In
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the first
electric watch is introduced.
May 6: John F.
Kennedy receives a Pulitzer for Profiles
June 13: The Mayflower
II arrives in Plymouth,
July 6: Althea Gibson
becomes the first Black tennis player
to win the singles competition at
August 5: American
Bandstand debuts on ABC.
September 4: Ford
Motor Company introduces the public
to the Edsel.
September 4: Arkansas Governor Orval
Faubus calls out the National Guard
to keep 9 Black students from
entering Little Rock's Central High
21: Perry Mason, starring
Raymond Burr, premieres on CBS TV.
24: President Eisenhower sends
federal troops to enforce
integration at Little Rock,
Arkansas's Central High School.
4: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik
1, the first artificial satellite.
It will orbit the earth until the
following year. Its launch heightens
the Cold War between the USSR and
USA, and is the beginning of the
3: The USSR launches Sputnik 2,
which carries Laika, a dog and the
first living creature shot into
space to orbit the Earth.
March 24: Elvis
Presley joins the US Army.
May 13: The
motorcade carrying Vice President
Richard M. Nixon is attacked in
Caracas, Venezuela. Several of his
staff are injured.
May 13: The Velcro trademark is
10: England installs its first
August 3: The USS
Nautilus, the world's first
nuclear submarine, becomes the
first submarine to travel under
the Arctic ice cap to reach the
top of the world.
September 12: The US Supreme Court
orders all-white Central High School
in Little Rock, Arkansas to
October 23: Boris
Pasternak of the USSR receives the
Nobel Prize for Literature.
October 23: An underground
earthquake traps 174 coal miners in
Nova Scotia. By 1 November rescuers
have dug out 100 victims from the
deepest coal mine in North America.
74 miners die.
26: Pan American World Airways flies
the first transatlantic jet, a
Boeing 707, from New York to Paris.
10: The Hope diamond is given to the
Smithsonian Institution. It becomes
one of its most popular displays.
December 21: Charles de
Gaulle is elected president of
January 1: Fidel Casto
seizes power in Cuba.
February 1: Men in
Switzerland vote to deny women the
right to vote.
3: Musicians Buddy Holly, Richie
Valens, and J. P Richardson, and
their pilot die when their plane
crashes. The accident becomes known
as "The Day the Music Died."
9: Barbie is introduced at the
American Toy Fair in New York. Over
a billion dolls have been sold
worldwide since then.
28: The United Kingdom begins using
August 7: Explorer
VI transmits the first televised
photograph of Earth from space.
21: Hawaii becomes the 50th US
October 7: USSR's
Luna 3, a space probe, provides
glimpses of the moon's far side for
the first time.
21: The Guggenheim Museum opens in
New York. Its architect is Frank
15: Richard Hickock and Perry Smith
murder 4 members of the Clutter
family in their home near Holcomb,
Kansas. The murders become well
known because of Truman Capote's In
February 1: Four
African Americans stage a
sit-in at the segregated lunch
counter at Woolworth's in
Greensboro, North Carolina.
Police in South Africa kill 72
people and the African National
Congress is outlawed. The killings
become known as the Sharpeville
4: Senegal declares its independence
11: Mossad agents capture Adolf
Eichmann in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Having organized Hitler's "final
solution," he is taken to Israel to
stand trial for war crimes committed
during World War II.
23: The first contraceptive pill
goes on sale in the United States.
July 4: The
United States flag, depicting 50
states, is unfurled for the first
J. B. Lippincott & Company
publishes Harper Lee's To Kill a
Francis Gary Powers U-2 spy trial
opens in Moscow.
August 19: Francis Gary
Powers is found guilty of spying by
the USSR in what becomes known as
the U-2 Affair. He is sentenced to
10 years imprisonment, but is
released in 1967 in an exchange for
Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.
September 5: Leopold
Sedar Senghor, a poet, is elected
president of Senegal. He is the
country's first president.
26: First televised US president
debate. The candidates are Vice
President Richard M. Nixon and
Senator John F. Kennedy.
30: During the final episode of the
Howdy Doody Show, Clarabelle
finally speaks, saying "Goodbye,
21: Dreadnought, the first
British nuclear submarine, launches.
November 8: John F.
Kennedy is elected President of the
United States, defeating Richard
Nixon, the current vice president.
November 13: 152 children die in
a fire at a movie theater in Amude,
January 20: John F.
Kennedy takes the oath of office,
becoming the youngest president of
the United States.
January 22: The Santa
Maria, a luxury liner, is
hijacked soon after leaving
15: The entire United States Figure
Skating team, including coaches and
others, die in a plane crash outside
of Brussels, Belgium. They were on
their way to the World Championships
President John F. Kennedy
establishes the Peace Corps.
April 11: Adolf
Eichmann's trial for war crimes
during World War II begins in
Jerusalem, Israel. The trial ends 8
months later. It is the only time in
which an Israeli court imposes the
12: Yuri Gagarin, a Russian
cosmonaut, becomes the first person
to orbit and the first to venture
into outer space.
13: The General Assembly of the
United Nations condemns South
Africa's policy of apartheid.
17: 1,400 Cuban exiles land at the
Bay of Pigs in an attempt to
overthrow Fidel Castro. It ends in
April 24: Vasa,
a 17th-century Swedish warship that
sank on her maiden voyage in 1628,
April 29: The Wide
World of Sports premieres on
May 1: First hijacking
of an United States airplane takes
place aboard a flight from Key West
May 5: Navy Commander
Alan Bartlett Shephard, Jr. becomes
the first American launched into
space. He is aboard the Freedom 7
space capsule and flies for 15
minutes, reaching 116 miles into the
Rudolf Nureyev, a star of the USSR's
Kirov Ballet, defects just before
boarding a homeward-bound plane in
Virgil "Gus" Grissom becomes the
second American to enter space.
13: East Germany begins constructing
the Berlin Wall, which separates
East and West Berlin until 1989.
September 5: President
John F. Kennedy authorizes the
beginning of underground testing of
September 5: President Kennedy signs
a law that makes hijacking a death
18: United Nations Secretary-General
Dag Hammarskjold dies in a plane
crash in Africa. The cause of the
crash remains unknown.
30: Mayor Snyder of Oregon pays the
bill for the Boston Tea Party. The
total amount due for the lost tea is
December 12: An
Israeli court finds Adolf Eichmann
guilty of war crimes.
15: Adolf Eichmann is sentence to
January 1: The US Navy
establishes the SEALS.
January 23: Kim
Philby, a British intelligence
officer, defects to the USSR.
February 10: Francis
Gary Powers, pilot of a downed U-2
plane in the Soviet Union, is
exchanged for Rudolf Abel, a Soviet
20: John Glenn becomes the first
American astronaut to orbit the
Earth. He does so 3 times.
1: The Kresge Corporation opens the
first Kmart store in Garden City,
16: Walter Cronkite becomes the
anchor of CBS Evening News.
31: Adolf Eichmann, a former officer
of the SS, is executed in Israel
after being convicted of war crimes.
July 2: Sam
Walton opens his first Walmart store
in Rogers, Oklahoma.
5: Algeria gains its independence
10: Telstar, the first
satellite, is launched.
July 11: The first transatlantic
television transmission is
accomplished via a satellite.
August 5: Nelson
Mandela is arrested in South Africa.
6: After 300 years of British rule,
Jamaica gains its independence.
16: Ringo Starr replaces Pete Best
as the Beatles' drummer.
22: Assassination attempt on
President Charles de Gaulle of
October 1: Johnny
Carson begins hosting The
Start of the Cuban missile crisis
October 22: President
Kennedy addresses the US via
television about the Russian
missiles in Cuba.
28: Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev
halts delivery of nuclear-armed
missiles to Cuban, which ends the
Cuban missile crisis.
1: 200,000 miners go on strike in
Patsy Cline, a country and western
singer, dies in a plane crash.
March 5: Hula Hoop receives a
Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in San
Francisco Bay is closed. The
National Park Service later assumes
oversight of the island and open the
prison to tourists.
June 16: The
Soviets launch Vostok 6, and
Valentina Tereshkova becomes the
first woman in space.
21: Paul VI is elected pope.
1: Zip codes go into effect in the
United States to aid in the delivery
August 8: Armed
robbers rob the Glasgow to London
Royal Mail Train north of London.
They get away with £2.6 million
($7.3 million). It becomes known as
the Great Train Robbery.
28: Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers
his "I have a dream" speech at the
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
during a civil rights march.
30: A hotline communication link is
established between the Pentagon in
Washington, DC and the Kremlin in
Moscow. It is often referred to as
the "red phone," even though no
telephones have ever been used.
September 7: American
Bandstand moves from
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to
California and begins airing once a
week on Saturdays.
15: The Ku Klux Klan bombs the 16th
Street Baptist Church in Birmingham,
Alabama. 4 girls die.
October 12: An
archaeological dig begins at Masada
November 18: The
first touch-tone (push button)
telephone is introduced by Bell
Telephone to its customers in
22: President John F. Kennedy is
assassinated in Dallas, Texas, while
riding in a motorcade. Lyndon Baines
Johnson, the vice president, is
sworn in as the 36th US President.
24: Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner in
Dallas, Texas, kills Lee Harvey
Oswald, who stands accused of
assassinating the president.
25: President John F. Kennedy is
laid to rest in Arlington National
Cemetery in Virginia.
29: President Lyndon Johnson sets up
the Warren Commission to investigate
President Kennedy's assassination.
12: Frank Sinatra, Jr. returns home
after being kidnapped.
January 11: US Surgeon
General Luther L. Terry announces the
link between cigarette smoking and
February 2: GI Joe, a
toy for boys, goes on sale for the
first time in the United States.
9: The Beatles make their first
appearance on The Ed Sullivan
14: Jack Ruby is sentenced to die
for killing Lee Harvey Oswald while
in police custody in Dallas, Texas.
June 1: Jomo
Kenyatta is elected as the first
President of Kenya.
12: Nelson Mandela is sentenced to
life imprisonment in South Africa.
2: President Lyndon Johnson signs
the Civil Rights Act and the Voting
Two men become the last to be
hanged in the United Kingdom.
27: Walt Disney's Mary Poppins
premieres, starring Julie Andrews
and Dick van Dyke.
October 14: Martin
Luther King, Jr. wins the Nobel
16: China becomes the 5th country in
the world with nuclear power.
22: Jean-Paul Sartre, the winner of
the Nobel Prize for Literature,
becomes the first person to decline
6: First television broadcast of Rudolph
the Red-Nosed Reindeer
January 30: Winston
Churchill's state funeral is held at
St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
February 15: Canada
official adopts the Maple Leaf flag.
18: Jimmie Lee, a church deacon, is
beaten and shot during a peaceful
march in Marion, Alabama. He dies 8
days later. His death inspires
others to march from Selma to
21: Malcolm X is murdered by
followers of the Nation of Islam at
New York City's Audubon Ballroom.
March 2: Premiere
of The Sound of Music,
starring Julie Andrews and
3,500 US Marines become the first
American combat ground forces in
March 18: Pillsbury introduces the
Poppin' Fresh Dough Boy.
March 18: Cosmonaut Aleksey Leonov
becomes the first person to walk in
space. He walks for 12 minutes.
21: Martin Luther King, Jr. begins
to march from Selma to Montgomery,
April 9: The
Astrodome opens in Houston, Texas,
when it hosts the first indoor
June 3: Ed White
becomes the first American astronaut
to walk in space.
7: Sony Corporation introduces the
first home video tape recorder to
consumers. It sells for $995.
August 11: Rioting
erupts in the Watts district of Los
Angeles. 34 people die.
June 13: US Supreme
Court rules in Miranda v. Arizona that
suspects of criminal acts must be
advised of their rights prior to being
interrogated. The rights afforded to
these persons are the right to remain
silent and the right to an attorney.
Also, anything they say can and will
be used against them should they stand
July 1: Medicare
goes into effect in the United
4: President Lyndon Johnson signs
the Freedom of Information Act.
August 1: Standing
in the clock tower on the University
of Texas at Austin's campus, Charles
Whitman shoots 14 people dead and
wounds 31. It is one of the worst
mass murders in a public area in
29: The Beatles' last public concert
takes place at Candlestick Park in
San Francisco, California.
September 5: Jerry
Lewis hosts the first Muscular
Dystrophy Labor Day telethon. He
6: South African Prime Minister
Hendrik Verwoerd, a developer and
rigorous adherent of apartheid, is
stabbed to death by a temporary
messenger for parliament, who is
later ruled insane.
8: The first episode of Star
Trek airs on American
21: Coal waste engulfs a Welsh
school in Aberfan in the morning.
116 children and 28 adults die. Only
24: Heavy smog in New York City
kills 400, who die from respiratory
failure and heart attacks.
January 27: Fire
erupts in the command module of Apollo
1 during a launch rehearsal.
Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and
Roger B. Chaffee die.
June 5: The
Six-Day War begins between Israel
and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
12: The US Supreme Court rules that
Virginia's state law banning
interracial marriage is
unconstitutional under the
Fourteenth Amendment in Loving v.
13: Thurgood Marshall becomes the
first African American to be
nominated to the US Supreme Court.
30: Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr.
becomes the first Black astronaut.
July 29: Fire erupts
aboard the USS Forrestal in
the Gulf of Tonkin. 134 seamen die.
The US Senate confirms Thurgood
Marshall as the first Black justice
of the Supreme Court.
October 2: Thurgood
Marshall is sworn in as the 1st
Black Supreme Court Justice.
8: Guerilla Che Guevara, a prominent
figure in Cuba's revolution, and his
men are captured in Bolivia. The
Bolivian Army later executes him.
3: The world's first human heart
transplant operation is conducted at
Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town,
South Africa. The surgeon is
23: North Korea captures the USS Pueblo,
a US Navy vessel surveilling and
gathering intelligence off the North
Korean coast. The US commander and
two sailors are wounded in an escape
attempt. They are all taken to
Pyongyang and charged with
February 16: The first 911 phone
system in the United States goes into
service. This happens in Haleyville,
American soldiers kill around 400
unarmed Vietnamese civilians in what
becomes known as the My Lai
April 4: Martin
Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in
Memphis, Tennessee, by James Earl
5: Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian with
Jordanian citizenship, shoots
Senator Robert F. Kennedy after a
presidential campaign speech at the
Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles,
California. Kennedy succumbs the
next day. 5 others are wounded
during the attack.
20: The first Special Olympics is
held. Some 1,000 athletes
participate at Chicago's Soldier
20: During the night, 250,000 Soviet
and Warsaw Pact troops invade
22: The first interracial kiss is
seen on television when Star
Trek's Captain Kirk and
Lieutenant Uhura kiss.
December 21: Apollo 8
launches, becoming the first manned
moon mission. The astronauts aboard
are Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and
December 23: After 11
months in captivity, the captain and
crew of the USS Pueblo are
released by the North Koreans.
11: Diana Crump becomes the first
American female jockey to compete
against men when she races at
Golda Meir is the first woman sworn
in as Prime Minister of Israel.
17: Sirhan Sirhan is convicted of
assassinating Senator Robert F.
May 18: Launch
of Apollo 10 from Kennedy Space
Center. The mission will go on to
transmit the first color pictures of
Earth from space.
21: Sirhan Sirhan is sentenced to
death for killing Robert F. Kennedy.
His sentence is later commuted to
28: Police raid Stonewall Inn in
Greenwich Village, New York early in
the morning. Between 400 and 1,000
patrons riot for 3 days against
police. The incident launches the
LGBT rights movement.
July 16: Apollo
11 launches. Aboard are the men who
will walk on the moon.
20: Apollo 11's lunar module lands
on the moon. 7 hours after
touchdown, Neil Armstrong becomes
the first man to walk on the moon.
Apollo 11's crew returns to Earth.
August 9: Sharon
Tate and four others are murdered by
Charles Mason's followers.
15: Woodstock opens at Max Yasgur's
dairy farm in New York for 3 days of
September 1: Muammar
al-Qaddafi, leading a group of young
army officers, deposes the Libyan
king and institutes a republic.
2: First automatic teller machine
(ATM) debuts at Chemical Bank in New
23: Butch Cassidy and the
Sundance Kid premieres,
starring Paul Newman and Robert
15: Bodyguards assassinate
Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, the Somali
Republic’s second elected president.
General Mohamed Siad Barre assumes
power and controls the country for
10: Sesame Street premieres
on National Educational Television,
later known as PBS.
January 16: Having led
a coup against Libya's monarchy 4
months before, Muammar al-Qaddafi begins
ruling the country.
Apollo 13 arrives back on Earth
safely after an oxygen tank fails
while the astronauts are in space.
May 2: Diane
Crump becomes the first female
jockey to ride in the Kentucky
4: A protest against the Vietnam War
turns fatal on the campus of Kent
State University in Ohio. The
National Guard shoots and kills 4
unarmed protestors, 9 others are
May 17: Thor Heyerdahl
and his crew set sail in a papyrus
boat, similar to those used by ancient
Egyptians, to prove that people from
the Mediterranean could sail to the
Americas. He reaches Barbados 57 days
July 4: Casey Kasem's American
Top 40 debuts.
July 31: Known as
Black Tot Day, it is the last day in
which the rum ration in the Royal Navy
is officially sanctioned. The serving
of a daily tot of rum to seamen began
Ford Motor Company introduces the
October 8: Alexander
Solzhenitsyn receives the Nobel
prize for literature.
27: A Bolivian painter in the guise
of a priest stabs Pope Paul VI in
21: Elvis Presley meets President
Richard Nixon in the White House.
January 25: Charles
Mason and three of his followers are
convicted of the Tate-LaBianac
January 25: Military coup in Uganda is
led by Idi Amin.
Idi Amin declares himself Uganda's
president. His 8-year regime is
marked with brutality.
1: Amtrak Railroad begins operating.
June 13: The New
York Times begins publishing
the "Pentagon Papers," which deal
with the US's role in Indochina from
World War II through May 1968.
These documents fuel the growing
opposition to the Vietnam War.
30: Cosmonauts Georgi Dobrovolski,
Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor
Patsayev successfully dock with and
occupy a space station. They are the
first men to spend 23 days in space.
When the Soyuz 11 capsule returns to
earth's atmosphere, the splashdown
goes perfectly, but when the rescue
team opens the hatch they discovered
all three cosmonauts dead. An air
vent malfunctioned and the men
suffocated. Lavish state funerals
are given and all of Russia mourns.
1: US citizens aged 18 and older are
granted the right to vote with the
passage of the 26th Amendment.
September 13:The inmate
revolt at New York's Attica
Correctional Facility ends when the
state police assault the prison. 29
inmates and 10 hostages die.
September 30: The keel
is laid for the reproduction of Sir
Francis Drake's Golden Hinde.
October 1: Walt
Disney World opens in Florida.
23: Two female members of the Irish
Republican Army are killed by the
British Army in Belfast.
24: Dan "D. B." Cooper hijacks and
parachutes from Northwest Airlines
flight 727 with $200,000. He is
never apprehended or identified.
2: 6 small emirates form the United
Arab Emirates. A 7th will join in
January 30: Roman
Catholic civil rights supporters
demonstrate in Londonderry, Northern
Ireland. British paratroopers fire on
the crowd. 13 die and 14 are injured,
one of whom later succumbs to his
injuries. The inceident becomes known
as Bloody Sunday.
February 21: Richard
Nixon visits China and meets with
Mao Zedong. becoming the first US
president to visit China.
March 31: Final
issuance of the daily rum ration in
the Royal Canadian Navy.
May 15: Arthur Bremer
tries to assassinate Governor George
Wallace in Laurel, Maryland.
June 17: The
Watergate, an office-apartment
building in Washington, DC that
houses the headquarters of the
Democratic National Committee, is
broken into by 5 men. They are later
arrested, which leads to the
Watergate scandal and the eventual
resignation of President Richard M.
July 17: The
first 2 women begin training as FBI
agents at Quantico, Virginia.
21: The Provisional Irish Republican
Army sets off 22 bombs in Belfast,
Norther Ireland, killing 6
civilians, 2 British soldiers, and 1
Ulster Defence Association volunteer
and injuring 130. The day becomes
known as Bloody Friday.
August 1: Carl
Bernstein and Robert Woodward,
reporters for The Washington
Post, publish their first
article exposing the Watergate
21: A hot air balloon flies over the
Alps for the first time.
September 1: Bobby
Fischer defeats Russian Boris
Spassky at the World Chess
Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland,
becoming the first American to do
4: Mark Spitz, an American swimmer,
becomes the first athlete to win 7
gold medals at a single Olympic
5: Palestinian terrorists take 11
Israeli athletes hostage during the
Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.
The athletes are later killed.
October 13: The
chartered plane carrying Uruguay's
rugby team crashes in Argentina's
Andes Mountains. It takes more than
2 months for the wreckage to be
found and the survivors rescued. To
survive, they resort to cannibalism.
December 29: Life
magazine ceases publication.
31: Roberto Clemente, a baseball
player, dies when the plane he is on
crashes on its way to Nicaragua. It
is carrying relief supplies for
survivors of an earthquake.
January 26: The Paris
accord between the United States and
Vietnam is signed, bringing an end to
America's longest war, the Vietnam
North Vietnam releases the first U.
S. prisoners of war.
March 14: After
more than 5 years as a prisoner of
war in North Vietnam, John McKain is
April 2: An
employee of Motorola makes the first
call from a handheld mobile
telephone. He contacts AT&T's
4: The World Trade Center, the
tallest building in the world at
this time, opens in New York.
May 8: After 10
weeks, Native Americans holding
Wounded Knee surrender.
13: The first US space station is
launched. It is called Skylab.
9: After winning the Belmont Stakes,
Secretariat becomes the first horse
since 1948 to win the coveted Triple
10: Italian gangsters kidnap
16-year-old John Paul Getty III in
Rome. 2 days later his mother
receives a ransom demand for
$17,000,000. Neither of his parents
can raise that amount of money and
his grandfather refuses to pay the
ransom. While in captivity, Getty is
chained to a stake in a cave and
regularly beaten and tortured. When
no money is forthcoming, the
kidnappers cut off one of his ears
and send it to his mother. His
grandfather relents and negotiates
for his grandson's release in
exchange for a reported $3,000,000.
His father has to pay Getty Senior
back at a rate of 4% interest. Getty
is found on a snowy mountain road on
15 December. Eventually, 9 of the
kidnappers are arrested, but only 2
are convicted of any charges. Getty
becomes a drug user and alcoholic as
a result of the trauma and, 8 years
later, suffers a debilitating stroke
that leaves him without the use of
his limbs and partially blind. He
passes away in 2011.
20: Billie Jean King wins the
battle-of-sexes tennis match against
October 6: The Yom
Kippur War begins when Syria and
Egypt attack Israel on this Jewish
10: Vice President Spiro T. Agnew
resigns after pleading no contest to
allegations of tax fraud while he
was governor of Maryland.
Gerald Ford begins the first
unelected vice president after the
resignation of Spiro T. Agnew.
15: Disneyland opens its Pirates of
the Caribbean ride.
February 4: Newspaper
heiress Patty Hearst is kidnapped by 3
armed assailants, who turn out to be
members of the Symbionese Liberation
March 1: The grand
jury reviewing the Watergate
break-in indicts 7 presidential
8: Opening of the Charles de Gaulle
Airport in Paris, France
29: Chinese farmers uncover clay
statues in China. Further excavation
reveals the Terra Cotta Army, 8,000
statues buried to guard the tomb of
China's first emperor, Qin Shi
April 8: Hank
Aaron hits his 715th career home run
in baseball, breaking Babe Ruth's
record, which stood since 1935. When
Aaron completes his career in 1976,
his home runs stand at 755.
30: President Richard Nixon hands
over partial transcripts of
Watergate tape recordings.
June 1: The Journal
of Emergency Medicine
publishes an article outlining the
Heimlich maneuver for rescuing
victims who are choking.
29: While the Kirov Ballet is in
Toronto, Canada, Mikhail Baryshnikov
defects from the Soviet Union.
8: Richard M. Nixon resigns as
president of the United States. Vice
President Gerald Ford is sworn into
September 8: President
Gerald Ford issues a pardon for the
former president, Richard M. Nixon.
12: Emperor Haile Selassie is
overthrown during a coup in
November 8: After the
death of his nanny, the Earl of
Lucan disappears and is never seen
25: Britain outlaws the Irish
Republican Army after 21 people die.
20: A feud erupts between the Irish
Republic Army and the Irish National
Liberation Army. Volunteers are slain
by each side until the feud is
resolved in June.
April 4: A US Air
Force plane evacuating Vietnamese
orphans crashes during an emergency
landing in South Vietnam. 138 people
April 4: Bill Gates and Paul Allen
The evacuation of American
citizens from Saigon, South
Vietnam begins as North Vietnamese
troops advance on the city.
30: When Saigon falls, South Vietnam
surrenders to the People's Army of
Vietnam and the Viet Cong.
12: The Cambodian navy seizes the
Mayaguez, an American freighter.
The crew is imprisoned. President Ford
declares the seizure an "act of
piracy." 2 days later the United
States bombs the port where the navy
gunboats originated from and US
Marines attack the island of Koh Tang,
where the crew is. At the time, the
Cambodian government is in the process
of releasing the captives. An
accidental explosion during the attack
kills most of the 41 Americans.
June 2: London,
England records its first snowfall in
Jimmy Hoffa, president of the US
Teamsters, disappears in Detroit,
Michigan. He is never seen again and
his body has never been found.
September 5: Lynette
"Squeaky" Fromme tries to
assassinate President Gerald Ford in
Sacramento, California. She is a
follower of Charles Manson and is
eventually sentenced to life
imprisonment, but later released in
14: Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton
becomes the first American-born
saint. She is canonized by Pope Paul
18: Patty Hearst, newspaper heiress
and a self-proclaimed member of the
SLA, is captured by the FBI in San
Francisco, California over a year
after she was kidnapped.
October 1: Trial for the
Watergate cover-up begins in
October 21: The US
Coast Guard Academy allows the first
woman to enroll.
October 23: Women
take the day off in Iceland,
shutting down the country for the
November 10: The Edmond
Fitzgerald sinks in Lake
Superior during a storm. All 29 crew
members go down with her. She is
later immortalized by Gordon
Lightfoot in a song.
November 11: Angola
declares its independence from
After 31 years, the Spanish monarchy
is restored with the proclaiming of
Juan Carlos I as King of Spain.
25: The Shankill Butchers, a gang of
Protestants, begins its campaign of
late-night kidnapping, torture, and
throat slashing of random Catholics
in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
January 21: First
commercial flight of the Concorde, a
Patricia Hearst is found guilty of
armed robbery, in spite of her
claims of having been brainwashed by
the SLA, and sentenced to 7 years.
April 1: Steve
Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Ronald Waye
found Apple Computer.
11: The first Apple computer is
28: The first woman is admitted to
the Air Force Academy in Colorado
July 3: Israel launches
a mission to rescue the hostages of
an Air France flight who are being
held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.
The hijackers are pro-Palestinians.
3 hostages, all the hijackers, many
Ugandan soldiers, and 1 Israeli
soldier (Yonatan Netanyahu) die. The
remainder of the hostages, many of
whom are Jewish, are rescued.
July 6: The first
women (81) are inducted into the
United States Naval Academy in
Annapolis, Maryland. Elizabeth Anne
Rowe will become the first to
graduate 4 years later. In 1984,
Kristine Holderied becomes the first
midshipman to graduate at the top of
July 7: The first
women enroll in the US Military
Academy at West Point. 62 will
graduate 4 years later and be
commissioned as second lieutenants.
July 15: 26
school children and their bus driver
are kidnapped in California. They are
held captive for 36 hours.
Nadia Comaneci of Romania scores a
perfect 10 on the uneven bars. She
becomes the first gymnast at an
Olympic event to receive this honor.
14: 10,000 women in Northern Ireland
demonstrate for peace in Belfast.
17: An earthquake and tsunami in the
Philippines kill as many as 8,000
September 3: Viking 2
lands on Mars. It takes nearly a
year to reach the planet. Once it
lands, it begins sending information
about the atmosphere, as well as
color photographs, back to Earth.
5: Jim Henson's The Muppet Show
premieres on television.
Once Mao Zedong dies, the Gang of
Four loses its influence. His widow,
Jiang Qing, and the Gang of Four are
arrested on charges of plotting a
19: A Chorus Line premieres
on Broadway. After 6,137
performances, it becomes Broadway's
4: Separatist Free Aceh Movement and
Indonesian armed forces begin a
30-year-long conflict that drives many
young Achenese on Sumatra to become
pirates. Only the 2004 tsunami and a
2005 peace treaty bring the piracy to
President Jimmy Carter pardons nearly
all those who evaded the draft during
the Vietnam War.
January 23: Roots,
a mini-series, premieres on
March 4: The CRAY
supercomputer is shipped to the Los
Alamos Labs in New Mexico.
27: Two Boeing 747s collide at
Tenerife airport in Spain. 583
people die in what is the world's
worst air disaster.
May 22: Final
European scheduled run of the Orient
Express after 94 years of service
29: Janet Guthrie becomes the first
woman to drive in the Indianapolis
August 10: David
Berkowitz, who works at the post
office, is accused of being the Son
of Sam, who murders 6 people. He
later confesses and is sentenced to
365 years in prison.
16: Elvis Presley dies of a heart
attack, brought on by drug abuse.
September 5: The Red
Army Faction kidnaps and later
murders, Hanns Martin Schleyer, a
West German business executive.
10: A Tunisian immigrant, convicted
of murder, becomes the last person
to be beheaded by the guillotine in
January 19: The last
German-made Volkswagen Beetle leaves
the Emden plant. The car continues to
be made in Latin American until 2003.
Harriet Tubman becomes the first
African-American woman to be honored
on a United States first-class
1: Charlie Chaplin's coffin and
remains are stolen from a cemetery
in Switzerland in connection with an
May 11: Margaret A.
Brewer becomes the first female
general of the United States Marine
July 25: Louise Brown
is born in England. She is the first
human conceived using vitro
Rebel Sandinistas occupy the
National Palace in Managua,
Nicaragua. They hold more than 1,000
hostages for 2 days.
27: Anwar Sadat of Egypt and
Menachem Begin of Israel are awarded
the Nobel Peace Prize.
18: In Jonestown, Guyana, 918
members of Jim Jones's Peoples
Temple are murdered or commit
11: The largest cash theft in the
United States occurs when cash and
jewels are stolen from the Lufthansa
air cargo building at JFK
January 16: The Shah
of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, flees
his country during a revolution. He
goes to Egypt.
January 29: 16-year-old Brenda Spencer
arms herself with a Ruger
semi-automatic rifle and enters Grover
Cleveland Elementary School in San
Diego, California. After randomly
firing 30 rounds, she kills 2 adults
and injures 9 children. When asked
why, she tells a journalistic that she
doesn't like Mondays and wanted to
liven up the day. She is sentences to
25 years to life the following year.
February 7: A
man dies from a stroke while
swimming in Brazil. Six years pass
before his identity is confirmed. He
is Joseph Mengele whose medical
experiments at Auschwitz during the
second World War earned him the
moniker "Angel of Death."
February 18: Snow falls in the
20: The Shankill Butchers, 11
loyalists in Belfast, Northern
Ireland, are sentenced to life in
prison for 19 murders. The gang is
so named because they randomly
kidnapped, tortured, and murdered
Catholics -- slashing their victims'
throats -- late at night.
28: The failed closing of an
automatic valve at Three Mile Island
near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
culminates in radioactive leakage.
11: The Tanzanian army captures
Kampala, Uganda. Ugandan dictator
Idi Amin is forced to flee into
exile in Libya.
May 3: Margaret
Thatcher becomes the first woman to
be elected Prime Minister of the
13: The Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza
and his family are sentenced to
death in Tehran.
2: Pope John Paul II visits Poland,
becoming the first pontiff to visit
a Communist country.
2: The United States issues the
Susan B. Anthony dollar coin. She
becomes the first woman depicted on
August 12: Censors in Iran
begin burning books.
August 27: The First
Earl of Mountbatten dies after the IRA
plant a bomb on his boat. 3
companions, including 2
children, also die.
October 17: The Nobel
Peace Prize is awarded to Mother
Teresa of Calcutta.
November 4: 500
Iranian students seize the US
Embassy in Tehran. 90 hostages are
taken and 444 days pass before they
December 9: The World
Health Organization declares that it
has eradicated smallpox.
15: The board game Trivial Pursuit
is developed by Chris Haney and
24: The Soviet Union invades
February 22: In Lake
Placid, New York, during the Olympics,
the United States ice hockey team
beats the Soviet Union's team 4-3,
even though the latter is heavily
favored to win.
March 12: John
Wayne Gacy is found guilt of
murdering 33 people in Chicago,
21: The television show Dallas ends
its season with JR Ewing being shot.
27: After 123 years of dormancy,
Mount St. Helens becomes an active
6: 3M Post-it Notes are sold in
stores for the first time.
May 18: Eruption
of Mount St. Helens in Washington
State, following a 5.1 earthquake.
It causes the largest landslide in
history, killing 57 people and
causing $1,000,000,000 in damages.
30: The British sixpence is taken
out of circulation and no longer has
any value as standard currency. It
had been in use since 1551.
July 4: The US Navy
shoots down an Iranian civilian jet.
290 people die.
14:17,000 workers go on strike at
the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk,
Poland. This marks the beginning of
the Solidarity movement.
8: Mark David Chapman shoots and
kills John Lennon outside his
apartment in New York City.
20: 52 American diplomats and
citizens, held hostage in Tehran for
444 days, are released and head home.
They arrive in the United States 5
Mao Zedong's widow, Jiang Qing, is
sentenced to die.
24: Prince Charles announces his
engagement to Lady Diana Spencer.
March 6: Walter
Cronkite's hosting of the CBS
Evening News comes to an end.
30: John Hinckley tries to
assassinate President Ronald Reagan.
Reagan and 3 others are wounded in
12: NASA launches the first space
May 5: Bobby
Sands,a member of the Provisional
IRA and of Parliament, dies in Maze
Prison at the age of 26. His hunger
strike lasts 66 days.
13: Pope John Paul II is critically
wounded when shot by Turkish gunman
Mehemet Ali Agca in Saint Peter's
Square in Vatican City.
5: After a rare form of pneumonia is
detected in 5 men, an announcement
is made in Los Angeles about AIDS.
29: Prince Charles of England weds
Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's
Cathedral in London.
August 5: President
Ronald Reagan fires more than 11,000
air traffic controllers who are on
12: IBM introduces its first
24: Mark David Chapman receives 20
years to life for killing John
22: Sandra Day O'Connor is appointed
to the US Supreme Court, becoming
the first woman to sit on the court.
October 3: Irish
Nationalists, imprisoned in Maze
Prison near Belfast, Northern
Ireland, end a hunger strike that
has lasted for 7 months.
6: President Anwar Sadat of Egypt is
January 13: Air
Florida 737 crashes after takeoff into
the 14th Street Bridge in Washington,
DC. The plane falls into the Potomac
River and 78 people die.
Bertha Wilson becomes the first
female to serve on Canada's Supreme
April 2: Troops
from Argentina seize the Falkland
Islands. This act precipitates the
Falkland Islands War with Britain.
19: Sally Ride becomes the first
American female astronaut.
13: Braniff Airlines files for
Argentina surrenders to Great
Britain, ending the 74-day conflict
over the Falkland Islands.
21: T he court rules John Hinckley,
Jr. innocent by reason of insanity
in the shooting of President Ronald
14: Grace Kelly, wife of Prince
Rainier III of Monaco, suffers a
fatal stroke and loses control of
her car while driving.
October 10: The Reverend
Maximilian Kolbe becomes a saint. He
volunteered to die in place of
another Auschwitz inmate.
October 11: The Mary
Rose, an English warship that
sank in 1545, is raised at Portsmouth,
Michael Jackson releases
Thriller. It goes on to become
the best-selling album in the world
and wins an unprecedented 8 Grammy
December 2: Barney Clark
receives the first permanent
artificial heart. The device is
called the Jarvik-7 and is implanted
by William C. DeVries.
December 10: United
Nations Convention on Law of the Sea
of 1982 is signed by 117 countries.
It extends nations’ territorial
waters from 3 miles to 12 miles. It
does not go into effect until 16
November 1994, when the last member
nation signs. As of 2012, the United
States still has not ratified
UNCLOS, although 161 other nations
Time announces the computer
as its Man of the Year.
January 25: Klaus
Barbie, a Nazi war criminal, is
arrested in Bolivia.
The final episode of M*A*S*H*
18: With the launch of Challenger 2,
Sally Ride becomes the first
American woman in space.
July 17: The
International Olympic Committee
restores the Olympic medals Jim
Thorpe won 70 years earlier. They
were taken from him because he was
paid $25 as a semi-pro baseball
July 21: Vostosk
Station in Antarctica records the
world's lowest temperature at: 128.6
4: Barry Clifford and his divers
discover first artifacts from the
wreck of pirate Sam Bellamy's Whydah
off Cape Cod.
Vanessa Williams becomes the first
Black woman to be crowned Miss
October 5: The Nobel
Prize for Peace goes to Lech Walesa,
who leads Poland's Solidarity union.
11: The last hand-cranked telephones
in the United States go out of
23: Suicide bombers drive trucks
loaded with explosives into the
barracks of US Marines and French
paratroopers in Beirut, Lebanon. 299
25: The US invades the island of
Remains of the
commerce raider CSS Alabama are
discovered by a minesweeper.
7: Navy Captain Bruce McCandless
begins the first person to walk in
space without being tethered.
July 20: Divers exploring the
Whydah discover their first
July 25: Cosmonaut
Svetlana Yevgenyevna Savitskaya
becomes the first woman to walk in
Mary Lou Retton of the United States
wins the all-around gymnastics event
at the Olympics in Los Angeles. She
becomes the first American woman to
win an individual gold medal in
September 10: Jeopardy!
premieres with Alex Trebek as host.
30: Murder, She Wrote,
starring Angela Lansbury, debuts on
October 11: Dr.
Kathryn Sullivan of NASA becomes the
first female astronaut to walk in
31: India's Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi is assassinated by 2 of her
bodyguards at her home.
3: Union Carbide's Bhopal, India,
plant suffers a gas leak that kills
between 15,000 and 20,000 people.
Around 500,000 survivors will suffer
chronic medical conditions as well.
ICC begins recording pirate attacks.
July 10: Moored in
Auckland, New Zealand, Greenpeace's Rainbow
Warrior sinks after 2 bombs
explode. It is later revealed that the
devices were planted on the ship by
French intelligent agents.
September 1: Robert Ballard
and Jean-Louis Michel discover the
wreck of the Titanic. Her
remains lies at a depth of
approximately 13,000 feet.
MacGyver, starring Richard Dean
Anderson, premieres on television.
September 29: The first of 5 victims
die after taking cyanide-laced
October 7: The Achille
Lauro is hijacked by members
of the Palestine Liberation Front.
An American, who is partly paralyzed
and in a wheel chair, is killed the
next day, and his body is thrown
overboard. 3 days later, US Navy
F-14 fighter planes intercept an
Egyptian airliner carrying the
hijackers to freedom and force it to
land at a NATO base in Sicily.
American and Italians troops
surrounded the plane and the
hijackers are taken into custody by
October 19: The first
Blockbuster store opens. The
video-rental store is situated in
Two eruptions of Mount Ruiz in the
Colombian Andres buries Armero, a
town, and kills around 25,000
December 14: Wilma
Mankiller is sworn in as chief of
the Cherokee Nation. She becomes the
first female chief of a major Native
16: John Gotti takes control of the
Gambino crime family.
26: Dian Fossey, known worldwide for
her work with mountain gorillas, is
found dead in Rwanda. It is believed
poachers kill her.
January 28: The space
shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds
after launch. All 7 crew members die,
including the first teacher in space,
March 12: Susan
Butcher wins the Iditarod Trail Sled
Dog Race, a trek of 1,158 miles.
13: After a successful docking with
the space station Mir, cosmonauts
Leonid Kizim and Vladimmir Solovyev
become the first to occupy it.
26: A fourth reactor at Chernobyl
nuclear power plant in the USSR
explodes. 31 people die, and the
radioactive contamination reaches
most of western Europe. It is the
worst nuclear disaster in the world.
2 days pass before Soviet television
news announces the accident.
October 9: Andrew
Lloyd Weber's Phantom of the
Opera premieres in London.
14: Elie Wiesel, who survived
Auschwitz, receives the Novel Peace
Prize for his efforts to ensure that
people remember the Holocaust.
21: Edward Tracy, an American
writer, is kidnapped in Beirut,
October 21: Ferdinand and Imelda
Marcos are indicted on racketeering
January 3: Aretha
Franklin becomes the first female
artist inducted into the Rock &
Roll Hall of Fame.
August 23: A
15-year-old boy hijacks KLM B737 and
Star Trek: The Next Generation
premieres on television.
19: Stock markets around the world
February 20: Brian
Boitano wins the gold medal in Men's
Figure Skating at the XV Winter
Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada. One
of his competitors is Brian Orser and
the matchup becomes known as the
"Battle of Brians."
June 25: Cal
Ripkin, Jr. plays his 1,000th
consecutive baseball game.
13: The archbishop of Turin
announces that the Shroud of Turin
dates back only to the Middle Ages
based on carbon-14 testing and
cannot be Jesus's shroud.
December 21: A
terrorist bomb kills 258 passengers
and crew aboard Pan Am Flight 103 over
pirates attack a Greek-owned cargo
ship and take the crew hostage. 1 week
later, the crew overpowers the pirates
January 17: A gunman
opens fire on a schoolyard in
California. 5 students die and 30
others are wounded.
Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwa,
calling for the death of author
Salman Rushie and his publishers
because of his novel, The
15: Soviet troops withdraw from
24: A fossilized egg with a
fossilized dinosaur embryo inside is
found in Utah. It dates back
March 24: The Exxon
Valdez runs aground in Prince
William Sound, creating an oil spill
of 11,000,000 gallons. It is the
largest oil spill in American
history at the time.
2: 10,000 Chinese citizens block
10,000 Chinese soldiers during a
student protest for democracy in
June 3-4: The
Chinese army opens fire on
protesters in Tienanmen Square in
Beijing. Several hundred die and at
least 7,000 are wounded.
24: Pete Rose is suspended from
baseball for life for gambling.
November 7: Douglas
Wilder is elected governor of
Virginia, making him the first
African American to hold the office
of governor in the US.
21: President H. W. Bush signs the
law banning smoking on domestic
flights in the United States.
December 22: Nicolae
Ceausescu is ousted after 24 years
of ruling Romania as a dictator.
December 22: Reopening of the
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin signifies
the reunification of East and West
25: Nicolae Ceausescu, former
dictator of Romania, and his wife go
on trial for genocide and personal
enrichment. Both are found guilty
and summarily executed by firing
February 11: Nelson Mandela
is released after being imprisoned
for 27 years on political charges in
South Africa. He will later become
President of South Africa and win
the Nobel Peace Prize.
February 27: Last day
in which sailors of the Royal New
Zealnd Navy receive a rum ration.
March 11: Lithuania
becomes the first Soviet republic to
declare its independence from the
Iran invades Kuwait, an act which
sparks the Persian Gulf War.
13: Law & Order
premieres. It will become one of the
longest-running prime time
television dramas in the United
October: Erria Inge,
a cargo ship, is captured by
pirates in the Indian Ocean. She
is re-registered as Palu 111
and she visits several ports
without the authorities
3: After 4 decades, the
reunification of East and West
Germany reestablishes a unified
13: For the first time in more than
70 years, a Russian Orthodox service
is held in St. Basil's Cathedral in
Red Square in Moscow.
Siad Barre's socialist government
falls and anarchy rules in Somalia.
January 12: Somali
pirates board the Naviluck,
and take 3crewman ashore, where they
are executed. Then the pirates force
the remaining crew to jump overboard
before setting the cargo ship on fire.
A passing trawler rescues the crew
from the water.
January 17: Start of
Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf
War, when US-led coalition forces bomb
January 18: After 60
years of flying, Eastern Air Lines
goes out of business.
Angolan civil war ends.
July 10: Boris
Yelstin is sworn in as Russia's
first elected president.
22: Jeffrey Dahmer confesses to
killing 17 men in 1978.
Leningrad, Russia is renamed St.
Petersburg, the name under which it
was originally founded.
September 6: The Soviet Union
recognizes the independence of
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
19: German tourists discover the
mummified body from 3300 BCE. This
human is later dubbed the Iceman.
Magic Johnson, a professional
basketball player, announces that
he has tested positive for HIV.
December 21: The
dissolution of the Soviet Union. 11
of the 12 republics form the
Commonwealth of Independent States.
January 13: Jeffrey
Dahmer, a serial killer, pleads guilty
March 17: A
vote ends apartheid in South Africa.
29: The jury acquits Los Angeles
police officers of the beating of
Rodney King. Rioting follows.
12: Mae Jemison becomes the first
African-American woman to fly in
11: The ordination of female priests
is approved by the Church of
The British Royal Navy
integrates women into the regular navy
as full-fledged sailors.
February 26: A truck
bomb explodes in the parking garage of
the World Trade Center in New York at
12:18 pm. 6 people die and more than
1,000 are injured. Islamic radicals
are later convicted of the bombing.
Janet Reno becomes the first woman
to serve as the US attorney general.
19: After a FBI siege lasting 51
days, 76 Branch Davidians dies in a
fire near Waco, Texas. The exact
cause of the blaze is disputed.
9: Forensic scientists in England
announce that the remains found in a
mass grace in 1991 near
Yekaterinburg, Russia are those of
Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra,
and Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana,
and Anastasia. The remains of
Tsarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess
Maria are not found until 2007.
10: Ruth Bader Ginsburg becomes the
second woman to serve on the US
3: During the Battle of
Magadishu in Somalia, a Black Hawk
helicopter goes down and 18 American
solders die, while another 73 are
wounded during the 2-day battle.
7: Toni Morrison receives the Nobel
prize for literature.
February 12: Thieves
steal Edvard Munch's "The Scream" from
the National Gallery in Oslo, Norway.
April 7: The
plane carrying Rwandan President
Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian
President Cyprien Ntaryamira is shot
down. No one every claims
responsibility, but the
assassination leads to the Rwandan
Genocide in which 800,000 people are
7: "The Scream," a painting by
Edvard Munch is recovered 3 months
after it was stolen.
5: Amazon.com is founded.
14: Carlos the Jackal, a terrorist
who orchestrats some of the
highest-profile attacks during the
1970s and 1980s, is captured by
French agents in Khartoum, Sudan.
The Venezuelan militant is later
sentenced to life in prison.
UN peace-keeping forces withdraw from
Somalia after 3 years of attempting to
Poisoned gas is released in subways
in Tokyo, Japan, killing 12 and
injuring 4,700 people.
19: A truck bomb explodes outside
the Alfred P. Murrah Federal
Building in Oklahoma City. 168 die
and more than 500 are injured.
May 3: N.U.M.A.
archeologists discover the H. L.
Hunley, the Confederate
submarine that blew up the Housatonic,
buried in the sand and silt outside
27: Christopher Reeve, an actor
competing in a riding competition,
falls from his horse. He is
paralyzed from the neck down.
Ol'Chumbucket and Cap'n Slappy invent
a new holiday, Talk Like a Pirate Day,
to be celebrated annually on 19
5: Cal Ripken, Jr., of the Baltimore
Orioles, ties Lou Gehrig's record of
playing in 2,130 consecutive baseball
After 56 years, Lou Gehrig's record
for number of consecutive games
played falls when Cal Ripkin, Jr.
surpasses it with 2,131 games.
19: The New York Times and Washington
Post publish the Unabomber's
4: Yitzhak Rabin, the prime minister
of Israel, is assassinated during a
peace rally by a Jewish extremist.
10: Grand Master Gary Kasparov plays
IBM's Deep Blue computer in a 6-game
chess match. Kasparov wins 4-2. When
they play a rematch in 1997, Deep Blue
March 13: A gunman
opens fire inside a Dunblane,
Scotland primary school and kills 16
children and their teacher before
killing himself. As a result,
changes are made to British gun
April 3: Ted Kaczynzki
is arrested as being the Unabomber,
who uses explosives sent via the mail
to kill 3 people and injure more than
June 18: Ted
Kaczynski, the alleged Unabomber, is
indicted on 10 criminal counts.
27: A pipe bomb explodes at
Atlanta's Olympic Centennial Park. 1
person dies and 111 are injured.
November 21: A search
team from Intersal, Inc. finds a
cluster of cannons and anchors near
Beaufort Inlet that are believed to
belong to Queen Anne's Revenge.
November 30: 700 years
after Edward I of England stole the
Stone of Scone, the block of sandstone
connected to the coronation of
Scottish kings, is returned to
Scottish scientists announce that
they have cloned an adult sheep who
produces a lamb named "Dolly."
April 3: Guerillas
kill 52 villagers of Thaliet, Algeria.
There is only 1 survivor.
June 2: A
jury finds Timothy McVeigh guilty of
murder and conspiracy because of the
168 people who died in the Oklahoma
City bombing at the federal building
2 years earlier.
1: Hong Kong officially reverts back
to Chinese sovereignty, ending 156
years of British rule.
31: Diana, Princess of Wales, dies
in a car crash in Paris.
6: Princess Diana's funeral is held
at Westminster Abbey in London as an
estimated 2.5 billion mourners
around the world watch on
7: Pirates attack the Ploflat,
an Australian yacht. The skipper
defends himself with Molotov cocktails
until the attack is broken off.
December 12: Carlos
the Jackal, a terrorist, goes on trial
Declaration on the Prevention and
Control of Transnational Crime
Program to Implement the ASEAN Plan of
Action to Combat Transnational Crime
for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts
Against the Safety of Maritime
Navigation (also known as SUA or the
March 24: Two
students, aged 11 and 13, fire upon
teachers and students at Westside
Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
5 people are killed and 10 others are
wounded. It becomes known as the
State of Somalia is proclaimed with
Abdullahi Yusuf as its first
5: Theodore Kaczynski,
also known as the Unabomber, is
sentenced to 4 life terms
plus 30 years for killing 3 people
and injuring 22 others in 16
attacks between 1979 and 1995.
July 17: Russia buries
Tsar Nicholas II and his family 80
years after they are assassinated.
19: Barry Clifford and his divers
discover the hull of the Whydah in
waters off Cape Cod.
August 15: A car bomb
explodes in Omagh, Northern Ireland,
killing 29 people and injuring 220. It
is the worst terrorist incident of The
September 20: Cal Ripken, Jr.
ends "The Streak," having played in
2,632 consecutive baseball games.
27: The freighter Tenyu and
her crew of 15 disappear after leaving
October 23: Benjamin
Netanyahu of Israel and Yasser Arafat
of Palestine reach a "land for peace"
November 9: Having already
abolished capital punishment for
murder, the United Kingdom abolishes
it for all other capital offenses.
16: Pirates, dressed as Chinese
officials, seize Cheung Son
near Hong Kong. The crew of 23 is
blindfolded at the ship's railing,
after which they are clubbed, shot, or
stabbed prior to being thrown
overboard. Some are still alive at the
1: The European Union introduces
the euro as its new currency for
March 24: A fire
ignites in the Mont Blanc Tunnel,
which connects France and Italy via a
roadway in the Alps. It takes 2 days
for firefighters to extinguish the
blaze, in which 39 people die.
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold open
fire on classmates and teachers at
Columbine High School in Colorado.
They commit suicide after killing 13
and wounding 24 in what becomes
known as the Columbine Massacre.
May 8: Nancy
Mace becomes the first female cadet
to graduate from South Carolina's
military college, The Citadel.
29: Discovery docks with the
International Space Station,
becoming the first space shuttle to
Indonesian pirates hijack the Siam
23: Pirates seize MV Alondra
Rainbow. They are eventually
captured by Indian warship.
December 31: The
United States hands over control of
the Panama Canal to Panama.
China Sea is deemed "the most dangerous"
spot for pirate attacks.
attacked off the coast of Somalia by
26 pirates in 2 speedboats. The captain
and crew are released 5 days later because
the ship is too slow to catch other prey.
President Bill Clinton
gives Patty Hearst a full pardon.
President Jimmy Carter had commuted her
sentence in 1979, when she was released
after serving about 2 years of a 7-year
sentence for her part in a robbery while
held by the SLA.
February 13: The last
original "Peanuts" comic strip appears
in newspapers. Its creator, Charles M.
Schulz, succumbed the day before.
August 8: The H. L. Hunley
is raised from her watery grave and taken to
the Warren Lasch Conservation Center for
conservation. Lost during the Civil War, the
Confederate submarine sank after sinking the
USS Housatonic in 1864, making her
the first submarine to sink an enemy ship.
August 12: K-141 Kursk,
a Russian Navy submarine, explodes and sinks
in the Barents Sea.
October 12: 2 suicide
bombers attack the USS Cole in
Aden, Yemen. The American destroyer is
badly damaged and 17 of the crew die. At
least 39 are injured.
Hillary Clinton is elected to the US Senate.
This election makes her the first first lady
to win an elective office.
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