Time line 1908-1998

1908

Republican William Howard Taft elected 27th US president.

Robert Peary, Matthew A. Henson, and four Eskimos reach North Pole.

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1909

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) founded.

1910

Ten-year Mexican revolution and civil war begins. One million eventually die.

First major militant women's suffage parade in New York City.

1911

Baseball great Cy Young retires after winning 511 games and pitching 7,356 innings.

1912

Democrat Woodrow Wilson elected 28th US president.

Vladimir Illich Lenin founds Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party (Bolsheviks).

Titanic ocean liner sinks; More than 1,500 die.

1913

US 16th Amendment legalizes income taxes.

1914

World War I begins. Eventual deaths include 8 million military, 6 million civilians. 21 million are wounded.

Bosnian nationalists, in league with Serbs, kill Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand, escalating Europe-wide tensions.

Panama Canal opens.

1915

First transatlantic telephone call (Virginia to Paris) made by Bell Telephone.

Albert Einstein develops his theory of relativity, arguing that space and time merge in a continuum.

1916

Turkish government forces 1 million to 1.5 million Armenians into camps in the Syrian desert where most die of famine and disease.

1917

US declares war on Germany.

1918

Armistice ends World War I.

First electric powered refrigerator (Kelvinator).

1919

Paris Peace Conference launches Leagueof Nations.

US 18th Amendment (Prohibition) ratified by the states.

1920

Warren G. Harding elected 29th US president.

19th Amendment gives US women the right to vote.

National Football League founded.

Babe Ruth traded by Boston Red Sox to New York Yankees, who win 5 World Series before Ruth retires.

1921

Adolf Hitler made leader of German Nazi Party.

Margaret Gorman, 16, becomes first Miss America.

1922

Benito Mussolini and Fascist Blackshirts take power in Italy.

British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) founded.

Chanel No. 5 perfume introduced.

Duke Ellington founds his jazz orchestra.

1923

President Harding dies; Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes 30th US president.

1924

First use of gas chamber in Nevada for "humane" executions.

1925

"Monkey Trial" in Tennessee convicts biology teacher John T. Scopes for teaching evolution.

1926

US physicist Robert Goddard launches world's first liquid-fueled rocket to height of 200 feet.

Gertrude Ederle becomes first woman to swim English Channel, sets speed record (14 hours, 39 minutes).

1927

Chinese civil war (1927-1949) begins.

Al Jolson stars in sound movie "The Jazz Singer" to open new film era.

Charles A. Lindbergh flies solo across Atlantic - New York to Paris.

1928

First working color TV.

Scotch tape and plastic introduced.

1929

US stock crash on Oct. 24 precipitates Great Depression of 1930s.

1930

Planet Pluto discovered.

World population reaches 2 billion.

"Blondie" comic strip begins.

1931

Empire State Building completed, world's highest at 1,250 feet.

Paul Kipfer, Auguste Piccard set world height record (52,000 feet) in balloon.

1931

Empire State Building completed, world's highest at 1,250 feet.

Paul Kipfer, Auguste Piccard set world height record (52,000 feet) in balloon.

1932

Amelia Earhart first woman to fly Atlantic solo.

1933

Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes 32nd US president.

Adolf Hitler takes power in Germany.

Dust bowl era begins in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, continues through 1939.

US 21st Amendment ends Prohibition.

1934

Chinese Communists, near defeat, begin Long March to Shensi.

Joseph Stalin begins Great Purge (1934-1939), which kills millions.

1935

1936

Ty Cobb (lifetime batting average, .367) is first player in Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ethiopia falls to Italian forces.

Edward VIII abdicates British throne to marry American divorce Wallis Simpson.

African-American Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at Berlin Olympics.

1937

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" - first full-length cartoon film.

1938

Britain, France, appease Hitler at Munich, grant Germans part of Czechoslovakia.

(Crystal Night) Kristallnacht, Nazis terrorize Jews, imprison

thousands.

1939

Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) ends. Fascist Gen. Francisco Franco victorious.

Germany invades Poland; World War II begins. Japan conquers coastal China.

Golden year for movies: "The Wizard of Oz," "Stagecoach," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Gone With the Wind," "Ninotchka."

1940

Nazis forces overrun Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France.

Winston Churchill becomes British prime minister.

Battle of Britain: Royal Air Force fends off German Luftwaffe, forestalls invasion.

US begins work on atomic bomb.

First Social Security checks paid.

1941

Nazis conquer Greece, Yugoslavia, Crete, invade USSR

Boston Red Sox's Ted Williams hits .406 - an average not equaled since.

Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, destroys much of US Pacific fleet.

Dacron invented.

1942

Japan overruns Philippines, Malaya, Singapore, Indonesia, New Britain, the Solomons.

Nazis lose battle of Stalingrad.

First fully electronic computer.

Germans launch first guided rocket to height of 60 miles.

Battle of Midway - US-Japan naval showdown - won by US forces.

President Roosevelt orders internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans.

1943

War tide turns against Germans in Eastern Europe, Africa, Atlantic.

Allies break German war code.

Payroll deductions begin for US income tax.

1944

D-Day - Allies launch invasion of Normandy.

First German V-1 (Vengeance) rockets hit Britain; 2,752 die in first 25 days.

US B-29 Superfortresses begin bombing of Japan.

Nazis massacre entire village of Oradour-sur-Giane, France, in revenge for capture of SS officer by French resistance. 642 men, women, and children are shot.

1945

Roosevelt dies (April 2); Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes US president.

United Nations founded.

NBC creates first TV network linking New York, Philadelphia, Schenectady.

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini killed (April 28).

Adolf Hitler commits suicide (April 30).

Germany surrenders (May 8).

US atomic bomb destroys Hiroshima (Aug. 6); Nagasaki (Aug. 9).

Japan surrenders (Aug. 15).

1946

Nuremberg war trials bring death sentences to Nazi leaders.

Greek civil war begins (1946-1949).

Vietnam war against French begins (1946-1954).

Baseball pitcher Bob Feller gets record 348 strikeouts.

1947

India partitioned into India and Pakistan

Marshall Plan provides US aid to war-ravaged Europe.

Jackie Robinson becomes first African-American Major League Baseball player (Brooklyn Dodgers).

Bell X-1 jet flown by US Air Force Capt. Chuck Yeager breaks sound barrier.

1948

South Africa begins racial apartheid policies.

State of Israel established.

Soviet blockade occupied Berlin (June 1948-May 1949). Massive Allied airlift helps Berliners prevail.

1949

Communists win China's 22-year civil war.

Soviets test their first atomic bomb.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) founded.

National Basketball Association founded.

1950

Korean War begins (1950-1953).

Chinese forces seize Tibet.

First credit cards.

Color TV broadcasts begin.

1951

President Truman dismisses Gen. Douglas MacArthur, US commander in Korea, for "insubordination.

US 22nd Amendment limits president to two terms.

First commercial computer.

1952

First hydrogen bomb (US).

First British atomic bomb.

1953

Dwight Eisenhower becomes 34th US president.

Spray can invented.

Anticommunist witch-hunt, led by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, peaks in US, then fades after death of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

1954

French defeat at Dien Bien Phu ends Indochina war.

Briton Roger Bannister cracks 4 minute mile.

US Supreme Court (Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka) outlaws segregation.

1955

First birth-control pill.

Disneyland opens.

1956

Hungarian revolt against communist domination is quashed by Soviet troops, tanks.10,000 Hungarians die, 200,000 flee to West

First US military advisers arrive in Vietnam.

Rosa Parks helps ignite US civil rights movement when she refuses to take a back seat (required for blacks) on a Montgomery, Ala. bus.

1957

First satellite, 184-pound Soviet Sputnik 1.

First Soviet ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile).

1958

Elvis Presley inducted into US Army

First US satellite (Explorer 1).

John Lennon, George Harrison, Pete Best, Paul McCartney begin the Beatles.

1959

Hawaii becomes 50th US state.

Fidel Castro's guerrilla army enters Havana, completes conquest of Cuba.

1960

John F. Kennedy elected 35th US president.

New African nations: Central African Republic, Republic of Congo (French Congo), Gabon, Chad, Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Niger, Dahomey, Madagascar, Belgian Congo (Zaire), Somalia.

American U-2 spy plane shot down over Russia.

1961

Yuri Gagarin (USSR) first to orbit earth (April 12).

Alan Shepard (US) first American in space (May 5).

Berlin Wall goes up.

US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion fails in Cuba. 90 die.

1962

John Glenn (US) orbits earth.

Cuban missile crisis (Oct. 22-Dec. 2): Soviets place nuclear missiles in Cuba, US blockades Cuba; war narrowly averted.

1963

Martin Luther King Jr. makes "I Have a Dream" speech to 250,000 at Lincoln Memorial, Washington.

President Kennedy assassinated; Lyndon Johnson becomes president.

1964

Johnson proposes "Great Society" welfare program.

US 24th Amendment outlaws poll tax.

1965

US Voting Right Act of 1965.

Watts riots in Los Angeles. 30 die.

Vietnam War officially begins. 150,000 US troops arrive.

1966

400,000 US troops in Vietnam.

China's Cultural Revolution (1966-1969) prompts attacks on artists, intellectuals.

1967

Israelis seize territory during Six-Day War with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq.

First Super Bowl (Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10).

1968

Communist Tet offensive in Vietnam sours US public opinion on the war.

Richard Nixon elected 37th US president.

Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin (US) walk on moon.

700,000 US troops in Vietnam.

1969

1970

Antiwar protests grow. US speeds Vietnam troop withdrawals.

Ohio National Guard kills four antiwar protesters at Kent State

University.

US Environmental Protection Agency founded.

1971

Bangledesh War of Independence (from Pakistan).

First microchip (Intel).

First space station (Salyut 1, USSR).

Apollo 15 crew (US) travels 17 miles on moon in lunar rover.

1972

Nixon-to-China trip ends cold-war standoff.

Watergate break-in at Democratic Party HQ.

DDT banned in US.

1973

Six-month Arab oil embargo cripples world economy.

Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns (income tax evasion).

Yom Kippur War: Egypt, Syria surprise attack on Israel fails.

Roe v. Wade: US Supreme Court legalizes abortion.

Miami Dolphins attain NFL's only perfect season (17-0).

Nixon resigns; Gerald Ford becomes 38th president.

1975

South Vietnam surrenders to communists.

Cambodian holocaust (1975-1978). 2 to 3 million die.

First personal computer (PC). First home VCR (Sony).

1976

Earthquake in Tangshan, China, kills more than 240,000.

Smallpox eradicated worldwide.

1977

AIDS epidemic begins.

Microsoft founded.

USA's 200th birthday (July 4).

"Star Wars" movie opens.

Jimmy Carter becomes 39th US president.

1978

Camp David peace accords (Israel, Egypt).

Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain's (and Europe's) first woman prime minister (1979-1990).

1979

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini takes power in Iran. US Embassy seized with 66 American hostages.

Soviets invade Afghanistan.

Partial meltdown at Three Mile Island (Pa.) nuclear plant.

1980

Polish freedom movement blooms under Solidarity banner and leader Lech Walesa.

Iraq-Iran war begins (1980-1988).

US boycotts Moscow (summer) Olympics after USSR invades Afghanistan.

Mount St. Helens volcano erupts in Washington State.

1981

Ronald Reagan becomes 40th US president.

First woman US Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O'Connor.

American hostages in Iran released.

Reagan shot, seriously wounded, by John W. Hinkley.

Falklands Islands war (Britain-Argentina).

1983

US forces seize Grenada from Cuban defenders.

Reagan proposes Strategic Defense Initiative.

New Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduces glasnost (openness) and perestroika (economic reforms).

1984

1985

Gorbachev and Reagan, at Geneva summit, take steps to end cold war.

1986

Chernobyl nuclear accident (Ukraine, USSR), world's worst, sends radioactive cloud over Europe.

Statue of Liberty turns 100.

US space shuttle Challenger explodes. 7 astronauts killed.

Ultralight Voyager makes first non-stop flight around world without refueling.

1987

Black Monday (Oct. 19) - Dow Jones industrials drop record 22.6 percent.

1988

Afghan-Soviet war ends.

Intifada (Uprising) begins as Palestinians stone Israeli forces in occupied West Bank.

1989

George Bush becomes 41st US president.

US forces attack Panama, seize Gen. Manuel Noriega.

Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill, worst in US, in Alaska.

Berlin Wall falls.

1990

Iraq military seizes Kuwait.

Nelson Mandela released from prison in South Africa.

Hubble space telescope launched

1991

US-led forces push Iraqis out of Kuwait.

Soviet Union collapses. Russia, Ukraine, Belarus unite as Commonwealth of Independent States.

Yugoslavia collapses. Ethnic fighting begins.

Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia win independence.

1992

William Clinton elected 42nd US president.

Hurricane Andrew devastates Homestead, Fla., area.

1993

World Trade Center damaged by terrorist bomb.

Congress ratifies North American Free Trade Agreement.

86 die in federal raid on Branch Davidian complex in Waco, Tex.

1994

Fighting grows as Chechens seek independence from Russia.

Nelson Mandela becomes president of South Africa.

Genocide, civil war in Rwanda kill up to 1 million minority Tutsis and Hutu refugees.

Republicans gain control of Congress for first time since 1954.

1995

O.J. Simpson murder trial finds "not guilty."

Million Man March of mostly black men in Washington.

Kobe, Japan, earthquake.

Bombing of federal building in Oklahoma City kills 169.

1996

TWA Flight 800 goes down off Long Island, killing 230.

1997

Diana, Princess of Wales, killed in car crash.

Hong Kong restored to Chinese rule.

First successful clone of adult mammal (sheep).

1998

Monica Lewinsky scandal rocks White House.

India, Pakistan test nuclear weapons.

Mark McGwire hits record 70 home runs.

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