Chronography of the USA

Page last modified 26 October 2023


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See Road transport for rising US auto production, early 20th century.


USA Urban Growth � Image of Chicago, 1908 and 1970 here

USA Urban Growth � Map of Denver area here

USA Urban Growth � Washington DC, 1785, 1795 and present-day

USA Urban Growth � Washington urban sprawl


US Bureau of Economic Analysis,

US Bureau of Labor,

US Census Bureau,

US population data,


Demography of USA


Alaska � see Appendix 4 below

California � see Appendix 5 below

Florida � see Appendix 6 below

US National Parks, see Appendix 7 below


As MarkTwain said: �Both politicians and nappies need to be changed often and for the same reason!�


Box Index

16.0, 9-11 Terrorist Attacks, 1999-2002

15.0, President Clinton impeached over Monica Lewinsky, acquitted, 1973-99

14.0, Unabomber, 1978-98

13.0, Timothy McVeigh bombing, 1995-97

12.0, OJ Simpson chase and trial, 1994-95

11.0, USA global trade agreements, 1993-94

10.0, US peace dividend, defence cuts, 1990-93

9.0, Noriega arrested, 1989-90

8.0, Iran-Contra affair, 1983-89

7.0, 200th anniversary State celebrations, 1987-91

6.0, Watergate scandal 1971-75

5.0, USA and USSR signed Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, 1972

4.0, US involvement in Vietnam, Cambodia, 1961-75

4.0(a) USA pulls troops out of Vietnam, due to economic and domestic pressures, 1973

4.0(b) North Vietnam steps up military activity against the South. In USA, Pentagon Papers leaked, 1971-2

4.0(c) US failed intervention in Cambodia, 1970

4.0(d) President Nixon succeeds President Johnson, 1969

4.0(e) Execution of Nguyen Van Leun and My Lai Massacre, US opinion turns against War, 1968

4.0(f) Escalation of US action in Vietnam, ground troops now sent in, 1965

3.0, USA Cold War strategy 1960-61

2.5, Eisenhower Doctrine; Foreign policy 1955-58

2.0, McCarthyism censured, 1954-57

1.0, Fear of Communism; McCarthyism, 1950-53

0.0, US involvement in the Korean War, 1950-51

-1.0, NATO created, Hiss exposed, McCarthy�s anti-Communist drive begins, 1949-51

-2.0, Start of the Cold War, Iron Curtain. Marshall Aid to western Europe, 1946-50

-2.5, Military winding down after World War Two, 1945-46

-3.0, USA and World War Two 1939-45


4 February 2023, The US Air Force shot down, off the coast of South Carolina, a Chinese balloon that had drifted over the USA The US alleged it was a spy balloon; China claimed it was an off-course weather balloon. Relations between the two countries, already edgy over Taiwan, deteriorated.

7 May 2021, A cyberiattack by a group called Darkside shut down the crucial Colonial oil pipeline taking petrol from Texas to supply the east coast of the USA. The pipeline was down for several days, causing motorists to panic-buy fuel.

6 January 2021, In Washington DC, USA, a mob of several thousand Republican Trump supporters stormed into the Capitol Buildings and occupied them for several hours. They were protesting that the 2020 Presidential Election result, in which Democrat Joe Biden, won, had been falsified.

25 May 2020, In Minneapolis, a Black man, George Floyd, bought some cigarettes at a shop and paid with a US$ 20 note. The shopkeeper accused Mr Floyd of passing a counterfeit note; Mr Floyd refused to return the cigarettes. The shopkeeper called the police. The police handcuffed Mr Floyd, then knelt on his neck; he died of suffocation. This event started a series of �Black Lives Matter� marches and demonstrations that spread across the entire USA and several European countries. A minority of the demonstrators also looted shops and caused property damage. In Bristol a statue of the slave trader and local philanthropist Edward Colston was pulled from its plinth in Bristol UK and thrown in the harbour. There were concerns that demonstrators were not social-distancing and would spread a further wave of Covid-19.

22 March 2019, Robert Mueller completed his report on Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election.

26 February 2019, The longest US Government shutdown in history, 35 days, ended as President Trump backed down before opposition in (Democrat-controlled) Congress in a dispute over fundingfor a �wall� (or, steel barrier) to keep out migrants on the Mexican border. However Trump later declared an �emergency� so as to try and secure funding for the barrier by alternative means, by using emergency powers to take funding from other areas of government.

11 January 2019, The USA began to pull its forces out of Syria. Russia, ally of Syrian President Assad, welcomed the news, as Assad appeared to have won the Syrian Civil War. There were concerns that the US move could allow ISIS to regroup, or expose the Kurds to attacks from Turkey.

1 January 2019, In the USA, President Trump�s measure to raise tariffs on US$ 250 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% came into effect.

8 May 2018, President Trump of the US unilaterally pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, arranged by his predecessor President Obama, under which Iran received financial aid in return for curbing its nuclear missiles programme.

2 October 2017, Early in the morning, a gunman opened fire in Las Vegas. Shooting from the Mandalay Bay Hotel, he killed 58 and injured over 500. He shot himself dead as policed closed in. The gunman was initially alleged to be ISIS related but in fact there was no link to any terrorist organisation. The motive remains unknown.

27 January 2017, President Trump of the US issued a controversial executive order instituting a temporary travel ban on the entry of people to the US from seven mainly-Muslim countries. The ban was challenged and overturned in the US Courts.

12 June 2016, An Islamist gunman, Omar Mateen, entered a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and killed 50 people. It was the worst massacre in recent US history.

7 December 2015, Donald Trump, contender for the Republican Presidential nomination, called for a ban on all Muslims entering the US, after an Islamic gunman shot 14 dead in San Bernardino, California, whilst the conflict with ISIS was still ongoing. There were widespread protests at his comments, and over 550,000 people in the UK signed a petition to ban him from Britain.

21 August 2015, Britain and Iran re-opened their embassies in each other�s capitals. This followed a nuclear agreement between Iran and the USA organised by US President Obama (but not yet ratified by US Congress).

15 April 2013, The Boston Marathon race was hit by two bombs, killing 3 and injuring 284.

17 September 2012, Occupy Wall Street protests began in the USA

16 August 2012, Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks,was officially given political asylum by Ecuador.

20 July 2012, James Eagan Holmes, 25, entered a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, USAA, where the film Batman was showing and shot dead 12 people, injuring another b58l. Holmes told police he was the �Joker�. There was pressure on IUS President Obama to tighten gun laws.

28 November 2010, Wikileaks released over 250,000 American diplomatic cables, of which 100,000 which were �secret� or �confidential�.

19 September 2010, The BP oil well, Deepwater Horizon, was capped after spilling millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

25 July 2010, Wikileaks released 90,000 covert and classified documents relating to the US occupation of Afghanistan, 2004-2010.

20 April 2010, The Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 workers. Major oil pollution ensued.

18 November 2008, Heads of the big three US car manufacturers asked the US government for assistance during the ongoing Credit Crunch.They said their companies were important as job providers.

1 August 2007, In the USA, 13motorists died when a road bridge over the River Mississippi collapsed during the rush hour in Minneapolis. 50 cars plunged 20 metres into the river. An investigation found that steel plates holding up the bridges were too thin to bear the weight of the bridge and cars.

16 April 2007, Student Cho Seung Hui went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University, killing 32 staff and students. Cho then shot himself.

19 November 2006, Muslim women in New York City aimed to start a Koran Council to interpret strict sharia law

2 October 2006, Inthe USA, 26 year old gunman Charles Carl Roberts burst into an Amish school in Pennsylvania and killed several girls, before shooting himself dead.

27 September 2006, A hostage situation at Platte Canyon High School near Bailey, Colorado, United States ended with the death of the gunman.

26 April 2006, Construction of the Freedom Tower in New York began. It was on the site of the Twin Towers destroyed in the 9-11 attacks in 2001.

30 January 2006, Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, died (born 27 April 1927)

29 August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the southern and south �east states of the USA, with winds of up to 175 mph, severely damaging an area as big as Great Britain. New Orleans was particularly badly hit. The city of 500,000 people sits around 1 metre below sea level, due to subsidence associated with the growth of the Mississippi delta, and was flooded, in some areas several metres deep, when the levees protecting the city from Lake Pontchartrain to the north gave way. Several thousand people died. There were allegations that the maintenance of the levees had been cut back to help fund the fighting in Iraq, and that National Guardsmen who could have helped evacuate the victims and restore law and order were away in Iraq. A week after the floods, there was almost no food or potable water, and disease and looting, along with rapes and murder, were rampant. People likened the situation to a Third World disaster, right in America itself.

28 August 2005, The Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, ordered the evacuation of the city as Hurricane Katrina loomed.

22 August 2005, The Atlanta bomber, Eric Rudolph (born 19 September 1966), was sentenced to four life terms without parole.

22 July 2004, In the US the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks published its final report on the 9-11 attacks. There was, it said, a failure of imagination, anticipation and policy.

24 March 2004, In the US, Richard Clarke, former deputy national security advisor, testified before the National Commission on Terrorist attacks, which was established by the US Congress to investigate the intelligence failures which contributed to the 9-11 attacks. He stated that the US Government was distracted from Al-Quaeda by the question of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

18 November 2003, US President Bush visited Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK; there were ongoing protests against the US war on Iraq.

14 August 2003, Across the N.E. USA and Canada, nine States (Ontario, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Vermont) lost power when one power station became overloaded and shut down, creating a domino effect across the outdated electricity distribution system.

17 April 2003, John Paul Getty, oil magnate, died aged 84.

5 November 2002, US Congressional elections gave a majority to the Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives.

29 April 2002, The USA was readmitted to the United Nations Commission for Human rights, after a 12-month suspension for refusing to recognise the International Criminal Court.

22 January 2002, In the USA, K-Mart became the largest retail chain to date to file for bankruptcy;

23 December 2001, The �shoe bomber�, Richard Reid, attempted to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, by setting off explosives hidden in his shoe, but was overpowered by the other passengers.

4 October 2001, The first anthrax attack occurred on a US government office, sent through the post.More anthrax arrived in the post on 9 October 2001.


16.0, 9-11 Terrorist Attacks, 1999-2002

3 August 2004, In the US, the Statue of Liberty was reopened for the first time since the terrorist attacks of 2001.

27 November 2002, In the US, after the 9-11 attacks, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks was established this day.

29 January 2002, US President Bush denounced the �Axis of Evil� � the states of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

7 October 2001. Following the September 11, 2001 attack on the USA, missile attacks began on Afghanistan, prior to US invasion. President George Bush announced the start of Operation Enduring Freedom, to root out Al Quaeda

20 September 2001, President Bush declared a �War on Terror�.

17 September 2001. The US Stock market re-opened after the 9-11 attacks.

See also Islam and Middle East and Iraq for events following �9-11� attacks

11 September 2001, The World Trade Centre in New York was hit by two planes, bringing both its twin towers down. A third plane hit the Pentagon in Washington, and a fourth crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside after failing to reach perhaps Camp David or the White House. Casualties were approximately 5,000. All four planes had been hijacked by Muslim extremist suicide squads, but on the fourth plane, passengers retook control from the hijackers. Osama Bin Laden, head of the Al-Quaeda terrorist organisation, and based in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime, was swiftly blamed.

Click here for image from Financial Times, UK, September 11 2001. Interesting symbolism relating to the NY attacks a few hours later.

6 August 2001, President Bush was warned that Osama Bin Laden was planning a strike against the US and that this might involve hijacking of aircraft.

7 June 1999, In the USA, the FBI placed Osama bin Laden on its �Ten Most Wanted� list and offered a US$ 5 million reward for his capture.


11 June 2001, In the US, Timothy McVeigh was executed for the Oklahoma City bombing.

16 November 2000, Bill Clinton became the first US President to visit Vietnam.

8 November 2000, (1) In the controversial US Presidential Elections, Republican George W Bush defeated Democrat Vice PresidentAl Gore but the final result was delayed for over a month because of a disputed vote count in Florida. The Florida State Governor, Jebb Bush, ruled that about 4,000 votes from poorer districts could not be counted as the holes in the voting papers had not been completely punched through. This decision favoured his brother, George Bush. The US Supreme Court upheld this decision on 13 December 2001. It was later found that if these 4,000 votes had been included, Democrat Al; Gore would have won the State and hence the Presidency.

(2) Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the US Senate

20 September 2000, The US Whitewater scandal was officially over when a 3rd investigation also found insufficient evidence to implicate President Clinton in improper property dealings.

24 July 2000, A concert planned for Central Park, New York, was cancelled due to the threat of West Nile virus, carried by mosquitoes and birds. The virus had been detected in New York in 1999 and appeared to have persisted over-winter.

14 May 2000, 750,000 people took part in the Million Mom March in Washington DC. They wanted tougher gun laws, after White supremacist Buford Furrow shot children at a Jewish community centre in 1999.

30 November 1999, In Seattle, a large-scale protest by the anti-globalisation movement caught the authorities unaware and forced the cancellation on a WTO meeting.

4/1999, President Clinton considered housing Kosovan refugees at Guantanamo bay, but the idea was scrapped.

20 April 1999, US teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold took two submachine guns to Columbine High School, for an attack planned for Hitler�s birthday. 15 children were killed or injured before the two killed themselves.

22 March 1999, Jack Kevorkian, pro-euthanasia doctor, went on trial for murder in Pontiac, Michigan.He was later convicted of second-degree murder.

23 April 1998, James Earl Ray, assassin of Martin Luther King, died.


15.0, President Clinton impeached over Monica Lewinsky, acquitted, 1973-99

8 March 1999. Monica Lewisnky arrived in Britain for a book-signing tour, beginning at Harrods.

12 February 1999, President Clinton was acquitted at his impeachment trial.

7 January 1999, The impeachment trial of US President Bill Clinton began in Washington DC

18 December 1998, In the US, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Clinton.

19 November 1998, The US Senate began impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair.President Clinton was impeached on 19 December 1998.

21 September 1998, President Clinton admitted on TV that he had had sex with Monica Lewinsky. He had denied this in January 1998.

11 September 1998, In the US, the Starr Report into the Monica Lewinsky affair concluded that President Clinton had committed 11 impeachable offences.

5 October 1998, The US Congressional Committee debated whether to impeach president Clinton overt the Monica Lewinsky affair, over allegations he had abused power and tampered with witnesses.

17 August 1998, President Bill Clinton gave evidence to a Grand Jury about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. He admitted to �inappropriate physical contact� with Monica Lewinsky and apologised for misleading people, including his wife.

21 January 1998, US President Clinton denied he had any sexual relationship with 24-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Rumours had circulated in the Press of an 18-month affair in 1995. There were allegations that Clinton had asked Lewinsky to lie under oath and deny any affair with him.

23 July 1973, Monica Lewinsky, White House intern, was born.


14.0, Unabomber, 1978-98

4 May 1998, Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, received 4 life sentences.

22 January 1998, Theodore Kaczynski, Unabomber, pleaded guilty and was told he wpould serve life with no parole.

3 April 1996, Theodore Kaczynski, a former mathematics professor, was arrested and charged with being the Unabomber. Overall he was reckoned to have committed 16 bombings, killing 23. His motive was to persuade the world of the unsustainability of modern technology as a threat to the planet.

20 February 1987, In Salt Lake City, USA, a bomb exploded in a computer store. This attack by the Unabomber lead to the most expensive manhunt in FBI history to date.

5 May 1982, Secretary Janet Smith in the computer science department at Vanderbilt University was injured when she opened a package from the Unabomber.

25 May 1978, The Unabomber set off his first bomb, in the security section of Northwestern University, USA.


13.0, Timothy McVeigh bombing, 1995-97

15 August 1997, Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh was sentenced to die by lethal injection. He had killed 168 people.

2 June 1997, Timothy McVeigh was convicted on 15 charges of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Alfred P Murragh building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.On 13 June 1997 he was sentenced to death.

10 August 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were indicted on 11 charges relating to the Oklahoma bombing.

19 April 1995. A car bomb in Oklahoma City killed 168 including 12 children. The bomb hidden in a truck contained 4,000 lb of explosive and blew up in front of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building, where the Federal ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) was housed, and also a children�s nursery. Timothy McVeigh was later convicted of the bombing.


24 October 1996, Rioting in Florida after a Black youth, Tyron Lewis, was shot dead by police.

27 July 1996, A nail bomb exploded at the Atlanta Olympics, killing two people and injuring over 100.

11 June 1996, A damning US Senate report on the Whitewater Affair accused Hillary Clinton of complicity in afraudulent land deal in Arkansas in the 1980s.

28 May 1996, Jim and Susan McDougal, former business associates of President Clinton, were found guiltyof fraud and conspiracy in the Whitewater scandal, involving property deals in Arkansas.

16 October 1995, The Million Man March was held in Washington DC.It was conceived by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

11 May 1995, In New York City, 170 nations agreed to extend the nuclear non-proliferation treaty indefinitely, without conditions.

24 March 1995. The House of Representatives, USA, passed welfare reforms denying state benefits to immigrants, unmarried mothers, and those who refused to work.

28 December 1994, James Woolsey, director of the CIA, resigned after allegations that the organisation was vulnerable to double agents.


12.0, OJ Simpson chase and trial, 1994-95

3 October 1995, Former American football star OJ Simpson was acquitted of the murder of his wife

24 January 1995, The trial of former US football star OJ Simpson, for the murder of his wife, began.

17 June 1994, A car driven by former football star OJ Simpson was chased by helicopters through Los Angeles. Simpson was later charged with murder.


11.0, USA global trade agreements, 1993-94

8 December 1994, US President Clinton signed for the USA to agree to the Uruguay Round of the GATT trade liberalisation agreement, This replaced GATT by the WTO in 1995.

1 January 1994, The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into force.

17 November 1993. The US Congress voted for NAFTA.


8 November 1994. The Republicans gained control of the US Congress.

28 April 1994, CIA double agent Aldrich Ames was jailed for life after pleading guilty to selling secrets to the USSR, later to Russia.

24 March 1994, Allegations made in US Congress that President Clinton and his wife behaved improperly in dealings with the Whitewater Development Corporation. Later on this was to prove electorally damaging to President Clinton.

3 February 1994, US President Clinton lifted trade sanctions against Vietnam; In December 1992 President Bush had allowed US companies to open offices in Vietnam but the embargo meant they could not yet trade there.

21 January 1994, In the USA Lorena Bobbitt was cleared of malicious wounding after cutting off her husband�s penis.

15 January 1994, In a Virginia, USA, Court, Lorena Bobbitt said she could not remember the moment she cut off her husband�s penis, after an alleged rape by him; she leaded temporary insanity. The member was successfully reattached by surgeons.

14 January 1994, US President Clinton and Soviet President Boris Yeltsin signed the |Kremlin Accords. Treaties aimed ending the preprogrammed targetimng of nuclear missiles.

4 November 1993, A forest fire in the Santa Monica Mountains near Los Angeles was finally brought under control. It had begun pon 2 November 1993, killed 3, and destroyed 400 homes. Arsonists had lit many fires in the area..

3 October 1993, US troops fought large-scale land battles with local militiamen in Mogadishu, Somalia.

19 April 1993. The siege at Waco, Texas, ended after 51 days. On 28 February 1993 the Branch Davidian sect, led by David Koresh, was visited by US Federal Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms personnel to arrest Koresh for suspected firearms offences. Sect members opened fire, killing four Federal Agents and injuring a dozen more. US government troops and armoured cars surrounded the sect�s ranch. On 19 April the wooden compound was set alight by cult members as troops fired tear gas into the buildings. 86 people, including David Koresh and 17 children, died.

18 March 1993, Kenneth E Boulding, US economist and activist, died (born 1910).


24 May 1994, 4 men convicted of bombing the New York Trade centre were each sentenced to 240 years in prison.

26 February 1993. Bomb exploded beneath World Trade Centre, New York. Six were killed and hundreds injured when a bomb explodedin an underground car park, planted by Muslim fundamentalists.


4 December 1992. US troops landed in Somalia. Rival warlord�s factions were causing chaos on Somali capital Mogadishu and hundreds of thousands were starving in the countryside. The US sent 28,000 troops to help relief efforts, codenamed �Restore Hope�.

11 August 1992. The biggest shopping mall in the USA opened in Minnesota. It had over 300 stores, covering 4.2 million square feet.

28 May 1992. The US prison population reached a record high of 823,414. One in three was being held for a drugs-related offence.

5 April 1992. Samuel Moore Walton, born 29 March 1918, founder of Wal-Mart, died.

26 March 1992. Mike Tyson was sentenced to 10 years in jail after being found guilty of rape.

10 January 1992, US President Bush concluded trade talks with various Asian and Oceania countries.


10.0, US peace dividend, defence cuts, 1990-93

13 May 1993, The USA decided to discontinue the Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI), also known as �Star Wars�.

29 January 1992, US President Bush announced a US$50 package of defence cuts, as part of the peace dividend�.

31 July 1991, Presidents Gorbachev (USSR) and Bush (USA) signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, START 1. However the Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991, before the Treaty was ratified. A START II Treaty was subsequently signed and ratified.

15 March 1991, Albania and the USA restored diplomatic relations after a gap of 52 years.

12 December 1990, US President George Bush agreed to send US$ 1,000 million food aid to the Soviet Union.

30 November 1990, US President George Bush proposed a US-Iraq meeting to avoid war.

21 November 1990. A declaration of the end of the Cold War was signed in Paris.


16 October 1991, In the worst mass shooting in the US to date, George Hennard, an unemployed 35 year old from Texas, killed 23 people and wounded a further 20 in Luby�s Cafeteria.

15 November 1990, President Bush signed the Clean Air Act 1990.

5 August 1990. 200 US Marines arrived in Liberia to rescue US citizens caught in the civil war there.

15 April 1990, Greta Garbo died in New York, after some 50 years of living a reclusive life after her 1940s Hollywood fame.


9.0, Noriega arrested, 1989-90

16 November 1990, Manuel Noriega claimed the US had denied him a fair trial.

3 January 1990, Noriega surrendered to US law enforcement; he was flown to Miami and indicted on drugs charges.

30 December 1989, The US and the Vatican were negotiating over ending the refuge of ex-dictator Manuel Noriega, who had fled to the Vatican Embassy in Panama City to avoid capture and extradition to the USA. At one stage the US lost patience and played rock music at full volume outside the Embassy continuously from loudspeakers erected by the US forces.

24 December 1989, Deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega gave himself up to the Papal Nuncio in Panama City, having dodged US troops trying to capture him.

21 December 1989. The USA invaded Panama and ousted General Noriega. Noriega sought refuge in the Vatican Mission, where he remained until 3 January 1990. He then surrendered to US forces.


12 December 1989, New York heiress Leona Helmsley was fined US$ 7 million and sentenced to 4 years prison for tax evasion. She had said �only little people pay taxes�.

14 September 1989, US performed a nuclear test at Nevada.

14 June 1989, Ronald Reagan was given a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth.

20 April 1989, A gun turret on US battleship Iowa exploded, killing 47 sailors.

14 March 1989, In the USA, the Bush administration announced a ban on the import of semi-automatic assault rifles.

23 February 1989, The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee rejected, 11�9, President Bush's nomination of John Tower for Secretary of Defense.

22 February 1989, Death of Aldo Jacuzzi, American manufacturer of the eponymous baths.


8.0, Iran-Contra affair, 1983-89

5 July 1989, In the US, Colonel Oliver North was fined US$ 150,000 and given a suspended prison sentence for his role in the Iran-Contra affair.

24 March 1989, US Congress agreed to renew a US$ 40 million aid programme for the Right-wing Contra rebels fighting the Sandinista Government in Nicaragua. Funding ceased due to the Iran-Contra scandal.

3 March 1989, Robert McFarlane was fined $20,000, plus two years� probation, for his role in the Iran-Contra affair.

30 December 1988, In the USA, Colonel Oliver North subpoenaed Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush to testify in the Iran-Contra trial.

18 November 1987, US Congress accused Reagan of failing to uphold the laws of the USA, in the Iran-Conttra Affair, since he was responsible as President for the illegal actions of his aides.

3 February 1988, In the USA, the Democrat-controlled House of Democrats rejected President Reagan�s request for US$36.25 million to support the Nicaraguan Contras.

29 September 1987,John M Poindexter resigned from the US Navy over the Iran-Contra affair.

12 August 1987, Reagan admitted that US Government policy on the Iran-Contra affair was �out of control�

3 August 1987, The US Irangate hearings ended.

5 May 1987, In the USA, Congressional hearings began into the Iran-Contra Affair.

29 January 1987, The Tower Report, commissioned by the US Senate, asserted that the Reagan administration had misled Congress in the Iran-Contra Affair.

25 November 1986. US Vice-Admiral Pointdexter and Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North were dismissed from the Security Council after revelations that money from arms sales to Iran had been channelled to Nicaraguan Contra guerrillas. Weapons were covertly sold to Iran to secure the release of 7 US hostages held by pro-Hezbollah groups in Lebanon, and the profits from the sales diverted to back Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

7 November 1986, Lebanese magazine Ash Shiraa revealed that the USA had sold arms to Iran to try and persuade Iranian-backed terrorists in Lebanon to free Westerrn hostages. It was later also revealed that fundsa from these sales were remittedto Contra forces in Nicaragua.

25 June 1986, The US Congress approved US$ 100 million aid to the Nicaraguan Contras (later accused of drug running) in their fight against the Sandinista Government.

18 July 1985, Congress reined back President Reagan�s support for the Contras in Nicaragua, stating that he can now only send them �non-lethal aid�.

4 May 1983, President Reagan affirmed his backing for the Right-wing Contras in their battle against the Sandinistas.


7.0, 200th anniversary State celebrations, 1987-91

4 March 1991, Vermont celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

29 May 1990, Rhode Island celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

21 November 1989, North Carolina celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

26 July 1988, New York celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

25 June 1988, Virginia celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

21 June 1988, New Hampshire celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

23 May 1988, South Carolina celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

6 February 1988, Massachusetts celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

9 January 1988, Connecticut celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

2 January 1988, Georgia celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

18 December 1987� New Jersey celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

12 December 1987, Pennsylvania celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

7 December 1987, Delaware celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.


7 May 1988, Boston saw the first meeting of people who claimed to have been abducted by aliens.

6 May 1987, William J Casey, CIA Director, died.

31 March 1987, In the �Baby M� case, the US Supreme Court denied parental rights to surrogate mothers.

19 February 1987, The US lifted sanctions on Poland.

22 January 1987, Pennsylvania politician R Budd Dwyer committed suicide by shooting himself on national TV, after being convicted of bribery and corruption charges.

7 November 1986, In the USA, the Simpson-Mazzoli Act legalised the residential status of millions of illegal immigrants; the Act was signed by President Reagan this day.

4 November 1986. Democrats won control of the US Senate.

15 April 1986. The USA launched air strikes against Libya, in retaliation for Libya�s alleged support of terrorism, and a bombing in a Berlin nightclub. Libya had also fired two missiles at the US radar base on Lampedusa; both missed. Benghazi and Tripoli were bombed, killing at least 100 people, including Gaddaffi�s 15-month-old adopted daughter, Hanna. The departure of the US planes from British airfields caused widespread protests in the UK. On 17 April 1986 two British hostages in Lebanon were killed in retaliation for the US raids.

8 April 1986, Clint Eastwood was elected Mayor of his native city, Carmel, California.

27 February 1986, The United States Senate allowed its debates to be televised on a trial basis.

25 January 1985, In a case that divided American society, New York subway vigilante Bernard Goetze (born 7 November 1947) was told by a Grand Jury that he would not face charged of murder for shooting four Black youths at close range on 22 December 1984; he would be tried for illegal possession of handguns. Goetze served 8 months of a 1-year sentence on the handgun charge; one of his victims, rendered a quadriplegic by the shooting, was awarded US$ 43 million in a civil judgement against Goetze.

26 July 1984, G H Gallup, US survey pioneer, died aged 82.

21 July 1984. The man who popularised jogging, James J Fixx, had a heart attack and died whilst out running in Vermont, aged 52.

1 May 1984, Reagan concluded a visit to China.


US monetary policy 1982-86

22 October 1986, US President Reagan radically simplified the tax system, reducing the 15 tax brackets to just 2 (15% and 28%). Tax breaks for the wealthy were removed and the lower-paid removed from the tax system. However there were more taxes on business, which then raised prices.

20 April 1983, In the US, President Reagan delayed inflation-linked increases in welfare payments for 6 months and proposed raising the minimum retirement age to 67 by 2027.

2 October 1982, Paul Volcker, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve System, expressed concerns about the damage to the US economy from anti-inflation policies, with higher unemployment and interest rates. Monetarism was abandoned, and after peaking at 10.8% in 11/1982, US unemployment began to fall. Later, lower inflation and interest rates created a recovery in US shares.

19 August 1982, US Congress approved a reversal of earlier tax-cutting measures.

29 September 1981, President Reagan said he wanted to implement a further US$ 13 billion spending cuts.

13 August 1981, US President Reagan signed a Bill implementing the biggest taxand Government spending cuts in history. Reagan rejected the demand-side economics of Keynes, in favour of supply-side economics, a policy also favoured by Mrs Thatcher of the UK.



17 April 1987, US President Reagan announced a 100% tariff on some Japanese imports, as the US trade deficit ballooned to US$ 16.5 billion by July 1987.

11 June 1982, The USA moved towards a protectionist policy, placing tariffs on imported steel to protect its own steel industry.


US Defence policy, arms reduction talks with USSR, 1981-87

8 December 1987. Gorbachev and Reagan signed an arms reduction treaty, to eliminate medium range nuclear missiles from Europe.

22 October 1983, The announcement by Washington that Pershing II and Cruise Missiles were to be deployed in Europe precipitated large anti-nuclear demonstrations in Britain, Germany and Italy.

23 March 1983. President Reagan proposed his �Star Wars� missile defence system, calling the Soviet Union an �evil empire�.

2 February 1983. The US and USSR began START (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks) in Geneva.

12 June 1982, 800,000 marched for peace in New York City.

6 February 1982, US President Reagan asked for an increased military budget and for cuts in social expenditure. Congress approved a 6% rise in defence spending but the Boland Amendment (8 December 1982) banned the use of defence money to destabilise the Sandinista Government in Nicaragua.

30 November 1981. The US and USSR began arms talks in Geneva.

9 August 1981, In the USA, President Reagan announced the decision to proceed with the neutron bomb.


Anti-Trades Union policy

4 February 1983, US President Reagan condemned the violence associated with a strike of truck drivers.

5 August 1981, President Reagan fired 11,359 striking air traffic controllers who ignored his order for them to return to work.

11 April 1980, New York City was hit by a transport workers strike, which lasted 11 days.


Racial discrimmination

17 January 1984, The Reagan-nominated US Commission on Civil Rights declared that numerical quotas for the promotion of African-Americans and others ;�may merely constitute another form of discrimination�.

2 July 1980, The US Supreme Court ruled that Federal Government could use racial quotas to accomplish �reverse discrimination� when awarding contracts, enforcing minimum quotas for minorities.


25 October 1983. 2,000 US Marines invaded Grenada to restore order after, on 19 October 1983, Grenada�s army had murdered the Prime Minister (Maurice Bishop) and taken power. Britain opposed the US invasion. The US said it had saved Grenada from becoming a Soviet-Cuban colony.

2 November 1982, Democrats made large gains in US mid-term elections. The Republicans retained control of the Senate.

7 June 1982, Graceland, the mansion in Memphis, Tennessee where Elvis Presley lived until his death in 1977, was opened to the public.

30 March 1981. President Reagan, 70 years old, survived an assassination attempt by John Hinckley. He was wounded, a bullet in the left lung, outside Washington�s Hilton Hotel. The shooter, John Hinckley III, arrested at the spot, had used a .22 calibre shot; had he used a .45 the bullet, which lodged just 3 inches from Reagan�s heart, would have killed him.

18 January 1981, BASE jumping was founded by Phil Smith and Phil Mayfield as they jumped off of the 72nd floor of the Texas Commerce Tower in Houston and parachuted to the ground. The pair had previously leapt from an antenna, a bridge and a cliff.

27 February 1980, Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US President Bill Clinton, was born.

23 January 1980, President Carter initiated the Carter Doctrine � that Middle Eastern oil reserves were of strategic importance to the US and that any attempt by another power to take control in the region would be met by US military action. This Doctrine was adopted by President Reagan, leading to the Gulf War.

3 November 1979, Clashes between Communist Worker�s party members and Klu Klux Klan neo-Nazis in Greensboro�, North Carolina, USA. 5 Communists were shot dead.

1 October 1979. The USA handed back control of the Canal Zone to Panama.

7 July 1979, China was granted �most favoured nation� status by the USA, giving it ;lower tariff rates on its imports to the US.

18 June 1979. US President Carter and USSR President Brezhnev signed the SALT 2 (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) in Vienna.

8 May 1979, Talcott Parsons, US sociologist, died aged 76.

5 April 1979, US President Carter established an Energy Security Fund to help US consumers meet fuel costs, and to promote alternative energy and more use of public transport.

17 March 1979, Stormy Daniels (stage name for Stephanie Clifford), US pornographic actress who was involved in a legal dispute with US President Donald Trump in 2018; was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

26 January 1979, Nelson Rockerfeller, Republican politician and vice President to Gerald Ford, died.

3 January 1979, Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotel Group and once married to Zsa Zsa Gabor, died.

1 January 1979. Diplomatic relations were established between China and the USA.

15 December 1978, Cleveland, Ohio, became the first major US city to go into default since the great Depression, under mayor Dennis Kucinich.

3 November 1978. Vietnam and the USA signed a 25-year treaty of friendship and co-operation in economic, scientific and technical endeavours.

7 August 1978, President Jimmy Carter declared a federal emergency at Love Canal.

7 April 1978. US President Carter pulled back from building a neutron bomb.

14 January 1978, Kurt Godel, Austrian-American logician, died aged 71.

13 January 1978, Hubert Humphrey, Vice President to Lyndon Johnson, died.

10/1977, The US Department of Energy was created.

7 September 1977, A treaty between the USA and Panama was signed; the US agreed to give Panama control of the Canal by 2000.

4 June 1977, Two people died during violence onPuerto Rican Day in Chicago.

21 April 1977, US President Carter proposed a national energy conservation plan to discourage waste and achoieve greater efficiency.

25 January 1977, The US Supreme Court reversed a previous decision 91966) and ruled that a suspect who has not been formally arrested can be interrogated without being informed of their legal rights.

21 January 1977, Jimmy Carter issued a pardon for those who evaded the draft for the Vietnam War.

18 August 1976, In North Korea, at Panmunjom, two US soldiers were killed whilst trying to chop down a tree in the demilitarised zone; the tree had obscured their view.

6 June 1976, Paul Getty, American oil tycoon, reputed to be the richest man on earth, died aged 83, at his home, Sutton Place, outside London. He was worth around US$ 4 billion.

3 June 1976, The UK presented the US with the oldest known copy of Magna Carta.

5 April 1976. The multi-millionaire Howard Hughes died on his private jet going to a hospital at Houston, Texas leaving a fortune of US$ 2,000 million. He was aged 71.

1 May 1975, The US Securities and Exchange Commission ordered an abolition of the fixed commission rate on Wall Street. This increased the number of investors who came forward, meaning more money was available for shares trading.

23 February 1975, In response to the energy crisis, daylight saving time began two months early in the USA.

14 January 1975, The House Committee on Internal Security (formerly HUAC, House Committee on Un-American Activities) was formally terminated on January 14, 1975, the day of the opening of the 94th Congress. The Committee's files and staff were transferred on that day to the House Judiciary Committee.


6.0, Watergate scandal 1971-75

14 March 1975, Presidential aide Fred de la Rue was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for his part on the Watergate cover up.

28 February 1975. The Watergate scandal continued as 3 Nixon aides were sentenced for their role.

21 February 1975. Those convicted of offences in the Watergate affair received sentences of between 30 months and 8 years.

1 January 1975, In the USA, aides of President Nixon, H R Haldeman, John D Erlichman and John H Mitchell were found guilty of Watergate offences. On 21 February 1975 they were sentenced to between 2 � and 8 years in prison.

8 September 1974, President Nixon�s successor, Gerald Ford, issued Nixon an unconditional pardon for any crimes committed whilst in office.

9 August 1974. Gerald Ford sworn in as the 38th President of the USA.He succeeded Richard Nixon, who had resigned over Watergate, hence Ford became the first President not chosen by the US people in an election.

8 August 1974. Richard Nixon announced his resignation as US President after his implication in the Watergate scandal. President Ford granted a pardon to Nixon for any offences he might have committed in the Watergate affair.Nixon was the first American President to resign. See 9 May 1974. President Gerald Ford took office as the 38th president. He was the first person not to have been elected by ballot to the Presidency or Vice Presidency.

7 August 1974, In the USA, the Electoral Reform Act was passed, which aimed to limit the contribution of large individual donations towards Presidential election campaigns. However large sums could still be raised through Political Action Committees.

5 August 1974. President Nixon admitted his complicity in the Watergate affair. See 27 July 1974 and 8 August 1974.

30 July 1974, The House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach US President Nixon on three counts. 1) Obstruction of justice, 2) Failure to uphold laws, and 3) Refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the committee.

27 July 1974.A Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon for obstructing justice in the Watergate affair.

24 July 1974, The US Supreme Court ruled that the White House Watergate tapes must be handed over to a special prosecutor.

12 July 1974, the US John Erlichman, former Director of Domestic Affairs at the White House, was found guilty of lying over the Watergate tapes.

9 May 1974. Impeachment proceedings were opened against President Nixonsee 2 March 1974 and 8 August 1974.

2 March 1974. A USA Grand Jury decided Richard Nixon was involved in the Watergate cover up see 9 May 1974.

1 March 1974. 7 of President Nixon�s advisors were arrested over charges to obstruct justice in the Watergate investigation.

9 November 1973. Six Watergate burglars jailed in the US.

1 November 1973.. The Watergate Tapes case continued with President Richard Nixon in Washington.

30 October 1973, Preliminary impeachment hearings in the Watergate scandal began. Some tapes were still missing, including ones covering the crucial period of allegations.

20 October 1973, Sixteen impeachment orders were raised in the US House of Representatives after President Nixon ordered the removal from office of a special prosecutor who had refused to do a deal over the Watergate tapes, see 16 July 1973 and 27 July 1974.

12 October 1973, The US Court of Appeals ordered Richard Nixon to hand over the Watergate Tapes.

23 October 1973, The US House of Representatives ordered a judicial committee to consider the evidence for impeaching President Nixon.

16 July 1973, A former White House aide revealed that all conversations in the White House had been recorded, at President Nixon�s request, see 25 June 1973. Nixon flouted several subsequent court orders to release the tapes, see 20 October 1973.

25 June 1973, US President Nixon�s former legal counsel, John Dean, gave evidence at the Ervin Committee that directly contradicted Nixon�s statement regarding Watergate that he had made on 22 May 1973, see also 16 July 1973.

22 May 1973, President Nixon admitted concealing evidence of wrongdoing regarding Watergate (see 17 May 1973 and 25/ June 1973), but denied knowing of the burglary before it took place.

17 May 1973. US Senate hearings over Watergate began. See 30 January 1973 and 22 May 1973.

7 May 1973, The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, for exposing the Watergate Scandal.

30 April 1973. 4 of Nixon�s aides resigned over Watergate.

18 April 1973, Nixon told Haldemann, a White House aide, to destroy the Watergate tapes. Had he done so, Nixon would probably have avoided having to resign.

17 April 1973, President Nixon dropped the ban on White House staff appearing before Senate Committee hearings on Watergate.

16 April 1973. Criminal indictments were expected to be issued against senior members of President Nixon�s staff over the Watergate affair.

30 January 1973, G Gordon and James McCord were convicted of burglary, wire-tapping, and attempted bugging of the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Building in Washington. The men were part of the Campaign to Re Elect the President (CREEP) campaign (President Nixon). See 17 June 1972 and 17 May 1973.

15 September 1972, Seven men were indicted in Washington over the Watergate burglary on 17 June 1972.They were charged with burglary, wiretapping and conspiracy. Five of the seven were arrested at the scene, attempting to install bugging devices. All seven were members of the Republican committee to re-elect President Nixon.

1 August 1972, Journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post started a series of reports on a link between the Watergate break in and the Committee for the Re-Ele3ction of the President (CREEP)

19 June 1972, President Nixon�s campaign manager, having initially denied, on 18/6, any connection to the Watergate burglary, now admitted that one of the burglars, Bernard Barker, had met Howard Hunt, who until 29 March 1972 had been a consultant to the Presidential counsel, Charles Colson.

17 June 1972. American biggest political scandal, Watergate, began when five burglars were caught breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office complex, Washington DC, with photographic and surveillance equipment. See 30 January 1973.

28 May 1971, US President Nixon ordered John Haldeman to do more wiretapping and espionage against the Democrats. This order was recorded on tape.

14 February 1971, President Richard Nixon installed a secret taping system in the White House. It was on this system that the Watergate tapes were recorded.

14 February 1944, Carl Bernstein, the journalist who exposed the Watergate scandal along with Bob Woodward, was born.


3 April 1974, President Nixon agreed to pay US$ 432,787 outstanding income tax.

4 February 1974, Heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped.


1974 oil crisis

17 March 1974, The Arab oil embargo, imposed om the US in 1973 in retaliation for US support for Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, was lifted.

6 January 1974, In response to the energy crisis, the USA started Daylight Savings Time almoist 4 months before usual; many children had to leave for school before sunrise.

2 January 1974, In response to the Oil Crisis, the USA imposed a national 55 mph (88 kph) speed limit on its major roads.


14 December 1973. John Paul Getty II was freed by kidnappers after his grandfather paid a US$ 750,000 ransom.

15 July 1973. Paul Getty III was kidnapped

26 October 1973, US President Nixon considered an attack on the Soviet Union, after hearing that the USSR was arming Arab nations in the Middle East.

4 May 1973, The Sears Tower in Chicago, then the world�s tallest office building at 1,454 feet and 110 storeys was �topped out� when the highest storey was completed.

23 April 1973, Henry Kissinger, head of the US National Security Council, called for a new �Atlantic Charter� governing relations between the US, Europe and Japan.

28 March 1973, Marlon Brando refused an Oscar because of Hollywood�s abuses of the American Indians.

28 February 1973, US Indians took hostages at Wounded Knee. They challenged the US Government to �repeat the massacre of Sioux Indians� that happened there over 80 years earlier.

13 February 1973, The USA devalued the Dollar by 10%, causing the price of gold to rise to US$42.22.

29 January 1973, The USA�s balance of payments deficit for 1972 was estimated at US$ 6 � 7 billion; the Dollar collapsed.

26 November 1973, The Getty family agreed to pay US$ 1 million in ransom for their kidnapped son Paul, whose ear had been posted to them.


5.0, USA and USSR signed Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, 1972

3 October 1972, The US and USSR signed SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) accords, limiting submarine based and land based missiles.

29 May 1972. Brezhnev and Nixon signed SALT-2 (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty).

22 May 1972. US President Richard Nixon arrived in Moscow, the first visit to the Soviet Union by an American President.


26 September 1972. President Nixon opened the Museum of Immigration, at the base of the Statue of Liberty, New York.

8 July 1972, US President Nixon announced that the USSR was to buy US$ 750 million worth of US grain over the next 3 years.

15 May 1972, George Wallace, Governor of Alabama, was shot and injured by a White assailant, Arthur Bremer, aged 21. Wallace, known for his racist and segregationist policies (see 2 September 1963), was campaigning for the Democratic Party�s Presidential nomination.

2/5./1972, J Edgar Hoover, American founder of and head of the FBI, died in Washington DC.

21 February 1972, US President Nixon landed in China to forge links with Prime MinisterChou En Lai and Chairman Mao Tse Tung. China still objected to US support for the Taiwan regime.

7 February 1972, In the USA, President Nixon signed the Federal Election Campaign Act. This required that all electoral campaign contributions be declared, and limited spending on media campaigning to 10 cents per person of voting age in the candidate�s constituency.


4.0, US involvement in Vietnam, Cambodia, 1961-75

For more events of Vietnam War see South East Asia

30 April 1975. Saigon surrendered to the North Vietnamese, so ending the 15-year Vietnam War. This had been the longest conflict of the 20th century.

29 April 1975. A US helicopter evacuated Americans and a few lucky Vietnamese from the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon to a nearby US warship a day before Saigon fell to the Vietcong. The picture of the helicopter evacuation became an iconic symbol of US humiliation in Vietnam.

25 April 1975, The Australian Embassy in Saigon, South Vietnam, shut as North Vietnamese forces closed in.

23 April 1975, US President Ford announced that US involvement in Vietnam was to end. US forces began the final evacuation of personnel from Saigon by aeroplane, see 28 and 29 April 1973.

7 January 1975, North Vietnamese forces captured the southern province of Phuoc Long (see 29 March 1973). There was no reaction from the US. On 10 March 1975 North Vietnam captured the strategic town of Ban Me Thuot in the Central Highlands. Within four days South Vietnam decided to abandon the entire Central Highlands to concentrate on the defence of Saigon. This strategic withdrawal became a rout, woith hundreds of thousands of cicilians, and fleeing soldiers, clogging the roads as the Communists advanced. By 1 April 1975 half of South Vietnam was occupied by the North and the South Vietnamese army was disintegrating. US Congress had no intention of further aid to the South; they did not even intend to organise an evacuation of US citizens and pro-US Vietnamese, instead hoping to persuade the North to stop short of total conquest and accept a coalition government in Saigon.President Thieu of South Vietnam resigned on 28 April 1975 and was replaced by the neutralist General Duong Van Minh. By then North Vietnamese forces were in the suburbs of Saigon. A few fortunate personnel were evacuated from the roof of the US Embassy by helicopter (see 29 April 1975).However in the last-minute chaos nobody thought to destroy the records of South Vietnamese who had supported the US. On 30 April 1975 a North Vietnamese tank crashed through the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon and a soldier raised the North Vietnamese flag. Then the event was repeated for the benefit of TV cameras who had missed the original. Meanwhile in Cambodia the Khmer Rouge had entered Phnom Penh and begub deporting hundreds of thousands of its population to the killing fields. The defeat of the US was total and complete.

5 January 1975, The Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, came under siege by Khmer Rouge forces (led by Pol Pot), despite heavy US military aid to the Cambodian leader, Lon Nol.

31 July 1973, US Congress voted to cut off funds for US military action anywhere in Indochina.

16 April 1973. US bombing raids resumed on Laos.

4.0(a) USA pulls troops out of Vietnam, due to economic and domestic pressures 1973

29 March 1973, US pulled its last troops out of South Vietnam. The quadrupling of oil prices by OPEC worsened the finances of the USA. Nixon was in trouble with Watergate and Congress reasserted its power over US foreign policy. The War Powers Resolution of November 1973 removed the President�s power to make war without prior Congressional approval, nullifying Nixon�s promise to send troops to support South Vietnam if the Communists threatened again. In 1974 Congress slashed the budget for the war in Vietnam. US influence also declined in Cambodia, where extensive bombing had disrupted society and promoted the growth of the Communist Khmer Rouge, backed by Prince Sihanouk. Many Cambodians regarded Sihanouk as their legitimate leader, and by 1974 Sihanouk�s US-backed replacement, General Lon Nol, controlled just one third of Cambodia. In Laos an extensive bombing campaign to destroy the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a network of routes used to supply the Communist Vietcong, simply resulted in the strengthening of the Pathet Lao, the Laotian Communists. Throughout 1974 the North Vietnamese quietly built up strength in the border regions of South Vietnam, and on 7 January 1975 they captured the South Vietnamese province of Phuoc Long.

21 February 1973, A ceasefire agreement was signed in Vientiane, capital of Laos, between the Pathet Lao Communist guerrillas and the Lao Government.By now the Communists occupied much of Laos.See 2 December 1975.

12 February 1973, The first group of American POWs was released from North Vietnam.

27 January /1973. The war in Vietnam ended, as President Nixon signed the ceasefire agreement in Paris. One million combatants had been killed. The last US troops left Vietnam on 29 March 1972. This was just days before the Watergate scandal erupted. US astronauts were preparing for the launch of Skylab. However fighting later continued between North and South Vietnam, see 30 April 1975.15 January 1973. Bombing of North Vietnam halted by Nixon, as he ordered a ceasefire. This followed an intensive US bombing campaign of Hanoi over Christmas 1972, in which a hospital was destroyed and 1,600 civilians killed as 36,000 tons of bombs were dropped on the city, leaving much of it in ruins. US Congress was hostile to further bombing raids.

18 December 1972. Heavy bombing of Hanoi by US B-52s.

12 December 1972, South Vietnamese President Thieu rejected US peace proposals (see 20 November 1972).

22 November 1972. The first US B-52 bomber was shot down over Vietnam.

20 November 1972, North Vietnamese peace negotiators rejected US peace proposals (see 12 December 1972).

11 August 1972, The last US ground combat forces left Vietnam. However more than 43,000 US air force and support personnel remained.

28 June 1972, US President Nixon announced that no more draftees would be sent to Vietnam.

15 April 1972, US bombers made heavy raids on North Vietnam.

4.0(b) North Vietnam steps up military activity against the South. In USA, Pentagon Papers leaked, 1971-2

30 March 1972, North Vietnam launched a major attack on the South. On 15 April 1972 the US made heavy bombing raids on North Vietnam. North Vietnam abandoned guerrilla tactics and launched a major conventional invasion, with tanks and heavy artillery. The South Vietnamese city of Quang Tri fell on 1 May 1972 and South Vietnam seemed to have lost the war. However the US responded with massive air power and smart bombs. North Vietnamese forces were driven back to the dividing line and Hanoi proposed peace talks in October 1972. Under domestic pressure to end US involvement in Vietnam, Nixon could not refuse this offer.

For more events of Vietnam War see South East Asia

29 December 1971, In the USA, David Ellsberg, an employee of the Defense Department who had leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times (see 13 June 1971), was indicted for espionage and conspiracy. These papers revealed the full extent of US involvement in Vietnam from the late 1940s through to the 1960s.

26 December 1971. The US resumed bombing of North Vietnam.

22 September 1971, In the USA, Captain Ernest Medina was acquitted of responsibility for the My Lai Massacre, Vietnam, 1968.

13 June 1971, The New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, revealing the flawed policy decisions over the period from the late 1940s through to the late 1960s that led to US involvement in the Vietnam War. These papers had been leaked to the press by Daniel Ellsberg, an employee at the US Defense department (see 29 December 1971).

7 April 1971, US President Nixon promised to withdraw 100,000 troops from Vietnam by Christmas.

13 February 1971, South Vietnamese troops, with US airctaft and artillery backing, entered Laos.

29 April 1971, US combat deaths in Vietnam now exceeded 45,000.

31 March 1971, In the USA, Lt. William Calley was convicted of murdering 20 civilians in the My Lai massacre, Vietnam, 1968. However he was freed (6 April 1971) by executive order of President Nixon.

31 December 1970, US Congress repealed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution (see 7 August 1964), thereby denying President Nixon any further authority to widen the Vietnam War. Nixon, however, ordered further offensives. See 27 January 1973.

29 September 1970, The U.S. Congress gave President Richard Nixon authority to sell arms to Israel.

7 September 1970, In the USA, a Labor Day rally calling for an end to US involvement in the Vietnam War was attended by a number of high-profile speakers including actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland.

4.0(c) US failed intervention in Cambodia, 1970

29 June 1970, US troops completed their withdrawal from Cambodia.

9 May 1970, Protests in Washington DC, USA, against US intervention in Cambodia.

4 May 1970. 4 students were shot dead at Kent State University, Ohio. There had been a wave of campus protests over the entry of US troops into Cambodia. On 4 May 1970 between 1,500 and 3,000 students gathered on the campus at Kent University, contravening an order by Ohio State Governor banning all protests, peaceful or otherwise. At about midday, the National Guard began to use tear gas to break up the demonstration. Some of the students picked up the canisters and hurled them back, and also threw stones. The Guardsmen then opened fire without warning, killing two male and two female students who were not actually involved in the demonstration.

12 November 1969, News of the My Lai massacre (see 16 March 1968) of civilians, by US troops in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive, was finally broken to a news reporter, Sy Hersh. The news helped raise further anti-war sentiment in the USA.

15 October 1969, The biggest anti-Vietnam-War demonstration to date took place in America. The war so far had cost the USA the lives of 40,000 servicemen, over 8 years.

12 October 1969, US President Nixon predicted that the Vietnam War would be over in 3 months.

16 September 1969. President Nixon announced the withdrawal of a further 36,000 troops from Vietnam by mid-December.

12 September 1969. President Nixon continued B52 bombing raids on Vietnam.

4 August 1969, US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger began secret talks with North Vietnam in Paris.

8 June 1969. President Nixon announced that 25,000 US troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam by the end of August.

20 May 1969, United States National Guard helicopters sprayed skin-stinging powder on anti-war protesters in California.

4.0(d) President Nixon succeeds President Johnson, 1969

31 October 1968. President Johnson of the USA ordered a total halt to US bombing of North Vietnam. This was a move intended to help Humphrey (see 29 August 1968) win the Presidential election, as it could make the Vietnam War more acceptable to US voters. However the voters were too much against the War for this, and Republican Nixon won.

27 October 1968, Violent anti-Vietnam war protests outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London.

29 August 1968, At a controversial meeting in Chicago, USA, there was a heated televised debate between Eugene McCarthy, who favoured pulling out of the Vietnam War, and Hubert Humphrey who wanted to continue the battle. Anti-War protestors gathered in Chicago where they fought with backers of the war effort, the latter faction sanctioned by the Mayor of Chicago. The Democrats chose Humphrey as their Presidential candidate.

10 May 1968. Peace talks began between the USA and North Vietnam in Paris. The talks failed because North Vietnam wanted the country unified under the Vietcong, whilst the United States wanted North Vietnam to withdraw from the South which would remain an independent state. Eventually the North agreed to Southern independence and the US agreed not to demand the withdrawal of Communist forces from the North. However the North was to invade the South two years later as US forces withdrew from the South.

7 April 1968, US President Johnson ordered a slowdown in the bombing of North Vietnam.

31 March 1968, Democrat President Johnson of the USA, discouraged by Liberal anti-Vietnam War Senator Eugene McCarthy�s performance against him (see 29 August 1968), pulled out of the race to secure Democrat nomination for the upcoming Presidential election.

17 March 1968, Violent anti-Vietnam War demonstrations outside the US Embassy in London. 25,000 Vietnam Solidarity Campaign (VSC) marchers fought with police. The VSC, which wanted a victory for North Vietnam, had been organised by the Trotskyist International Marxist Group, whose members included Pat Jordan, Tariq Ali and David Horowitz.

4.0(e) Execution of Nguyen Van Leun and My Lai Massacre, US opinion turns against War, 1968

16 March 1968. The My Lai massacre; US soldiers massacred over 500 Vietnamese civilians in a raid on hamlets in Son My district, where Communist Vietcong rebels were suspected to be hiding out. US forces believed that 250 Vietcong guerrillas were hiding in My Lai and that all civilians would have left for market. As the 30 US troops went in under the command of Lieutenant William Calley they threw grenades and deployed flamethrowers on the thatched roof huts; it was soon clear that only women, children and the elderly were present. There was no counter fire. However a �contagion of slaughter� had set in and the rape and murder continued. Senior US army officials turned a blind eye to the event; only five people were ever court-martialled, with just one, Lieutenant Calley, found guilty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment but served 3 � years before release on parole. This event turned many civilians within the US against the Vietnam War.

1 February 1968, The execution of Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan was filmed by Eddie Adams. This footage helped swing public opinion against the Vietnam War.

12 September 1967. Governor Reagan called for an escalation of the Vietnam War.

15 April 1967. 100,000 protested against the Vietnam War in New York.

4 April 1967, Martin Luther King denounced the Vietnam War.

10 March 1967. The US bombed industrial targets in North Vietnam.

3 March 1967, US President Lyndon B Johnson announced his plan to establish a draft lottery to send gtroops to Vietnam.

26 February 1967, The US stepped up the Vietnam war with an attack on the Vietcong HQ.

For more events of Vietnam War see South East Asia

26 October 1966. US President Johnson visited US troops in Vietnam.

19 October 1966, US President Johnson began a tour of SW Pacific countries to bolster support against North Vietnam. By end 1966, there were some 390,000 US troops in South Vietnam.

5 July 1966. Dozens of captured USA airmen in the Vietnam War were paraded through the streets of Hanoi to shouts of �death to the American air pirates�.

3 July 1966. Anti-Vietnam war protests outside the US Embassy, London.

23 March 1966. In New York, 20,000 people marched down Fifth Avenue demanding an end to the Vietnam War.

28 January 1966, US Senator J William Fulbright challenged the legality of US involvement in Vietnam.

17 October 1965. Anti-Vietnam War protests in the UK and USA.

19 August 1965, US troops destroyed a suspected Vietcong stronghold near Van Tuong.

28 July 1965. US President Lyndon Johnson sent a further 50,000 ground troops to Vietnam. The US now had 175,000 troops in Vietnam.

29 June 1965, The first US military ground action began in Vietnam.

4.0(f) Escalation of US action in Vietnam, ground troops now sent in, 1965

8 June 1965, US Congress authorised the use of ground troops in combat in Vietnam. By end July, 125,000 US troops were in Vietnam.

23 April 1965. Heavy US air raids on North Vietnam.

17 April 1965, US students protested against US bombing in Vietnam.

4 April 1965. US jets shot down by North Vietnam.

22 March 1965, The US Government admitted it had used chemical weapons against the V|ietcong in the Vietnam War.

9 February 1965, The first US combat troops arrived in South Vietnam.

11 December 1964, US President Johnson announced a large increase in aid to South Vietnam.

5 August 1964, US aircraft bombed North Vietnam in retaliation for the Maddox attack (2 August 1964).

22 December 1961, James Davis became the first US casualty of the war in Vietnam.

11 May 1961, US President Kennedy sent 400 Special Forces troops to conduct covert anti-Communist operations in North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.


10 December 1971, The John Sinclair Freedom Rally is held at the University of Michigan. Performers included John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

25 September 1971, Hugo LaFayette Black, US Supreme Court judge who upheld civil rights, died (born 1886).

30 June 1971. The 26th amendment to the US constitution was passed, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.

17 June 1971, Disneyland admitted its 100-millionth visitor, Valerie Suldo of New Jersey.

25 April 1971, 200,000 protested in Washington DC against the Vietnam War. 12,000 protestors were arrested over the following week.

10 February 1971, An earthquake, 6.6 on the Richter Scale, hit Los Angeles, killing 64 people.

29 December 1970, US President Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act and established an agency to regulate safety at work.

17 November 1969, Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) opened in Helsinki between the USSR and USA (President Nixon). The talks had been proposed for 19 June 1969 but suspended by the USA due to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

15 August 1969. The famous American rock festival, Woodstock, began. It was attended by 400,000.

18 July 1969. Senator Edward Kennedy crashed his car into the Chappaquidick River on the east coast of the USA. Kennedy escaped but his companion Mary Jo Kopechne drowned. Kennedy didn�t report the incident for ten hours and was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident.

19 June 1969, US President Nixon suspended arms limitation talks with the USSR due to the their invasion of Czechoslovakia.

11 June 1969, John Llewellyn Lewis, US Trades Union leader (born 2 December 1880 in Lucas, Iowa), died.

23 February 1969, President Nixon of the USA began a tour of European capitals.

22 February 1969. President Nixon arrived in Britain for talks with Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

22 December 1968, The captain and crew of the Pueblo were released by the North Koreans at Panmunjom.

21 November 1968, Baby Sheri Schroder was born with several birth defects, in Love Canal, a residential area of Niagara Falls. Her birth spurs on an investigation which uncovered one of the worst pollution svcandals in US history.

1 July 1968. The USA and the USSR signed the Non-Proliferation treaty regarding nuclear weapons (see 5 August 1963). This bound its signatories not to transfer nuclear weapons or knowledge to non-nuclear countries. This was a recognition that both the USA and the USSR had interests in not assisting China to become nuclear.

5 June 1968. A Jordanian-Arab called Sirhan Bishara Sirhan shot Robert Kennedy, US Senator (born 1925), in the Hotel Ambassador, Los Angeles. Kennedy, younger brother of President Kennedy, died 25 hours later. Sirhan was arrested. He was protesting against Kennedy�s outspoken support for Israel, on the first anniversary of the Six Day War.

21 May 1968, The US Navy lost contact with the nuclear submarine Scorpion, with 99 men on board. The wreck of the vessel was subsequently located on the ocean floor 640 km southwest of the Azores.

16 February 1968, The first 911 emergency phone service was inaugurated in the USA, at Haleyville, Alabama. It was free; other phone calls cost 10 cents.

23 January 1968, The USS Pueblo, an intelligence ship, and its 89 man crew was seized by North Koreans in the Sea of Japan.

15 December 1967, The Silver Bridge, between Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallipolis, hio, collapsed, killing 46 people.

7 November 1967, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was established in the USA

25 August 1967, John Patler killed the head of the American Nazi Party, George Lincoln Rockwell. Patler had been a Party member until his expulsion shortly before the murder.

12 July 1967, Five days of race riots, lasting until 17 July 1967, broke out in Newark, USA, after an African-American was beaten by police for a traffic offence.

26 March 1967. 10,000 hippies held a rally in New York's Central Park.

3 January 1967, Jack Ruby, who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President Kennedy, died of natural causes at a Dallas hospital. Mr Ruby was awaiting the retrial of his murder case.

15 October 1966, The US Department of Transportation was created, and began operations in 1967.

15 September 1966, Responding to a sniper gun attack at the University of Texas, US President Lyndon Johnson called on US Congress to enact gun control legislation.

1 August 1966, In Austin, USA, Charles Whitman shot dead 12 people at Texas University before being shot dead himself by policemen.

5 August 1966, Groundbreaking took place for the World Trade Centre in New York City, as jackhammers began breaking pavement at the former site of Radio Row.

7 April 1966, The US recovered an atom bomb that had been accidentally dropped into the Atlantic ocean after a mid-air collision.

20 February 1966, Chester Nimitz, American General and Pacific Fleet Commander in World War II, died in San Francisco, four days before his 81st birthday.

10 February 1966, Consumer activist and safety campaigner Ralph Nader began testifying before US Congress about the reluctance of the US car industry to invest in safety features.

9 November 1965. A transmission relay in New York City failed, sparking a domino effect that led to a blackout across New York State, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New England, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and parts of Pennsylvania and Ontario.

3 October 1965, US President Johnson ditched the immigration quota system under the 1965 Immigration Act. Educated skilled migrants could now enter the USA so long as they did not threaten the livelihood of a US citizen.

10 September 1965, Yale University published a map showing that the Vikings discovered America in the 11th century.

9 September 1965, The Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD) was established in the USA

23 July 1965, In the USA, President Johnson signed the Coinage Bill. This eliminated all silver from quarters and dimes, and cut the silver content of half-dollars from 90% to 40%.

11 June 1965, President Johnson declared that the promotion of learning the English language should be a major policy in American foreign aid, and directed the Peace Corps, the United States Agency for International Development and other organizations to encourage the such study, in what was viewed as elevating "the status of English as an international language.


USA social aid programmes 1964 - 65

30 July 1965, US President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare Bill, providing State medical care for the elderly.

1964, In the USA the Food Stamp Act expanded food aid for the poor.

21 May 1964, US President Lyndon Johnson spoke of his vision of a �Great Society�. He intended to redistribute wealth, improve civil rights and healthcare, whilst maintaininhg a thriving economy.

16 March 1964, US President Johnson called for �total victory� in a �national war on poverty�.

8 January 1964, In the US, President Johnson proposed a reduction in defence spending. He wanted to reprioritise spending towards alleviating poverty.


28 August 1964, Race riots broke out in Philadelphia, USA.

18 July 1964, Race riots in Harlem, New York; start of the �ghetto revolts�.

10 June 1964, The U.S. Senate voted closure of the Civil Rights Bill after a 75-day filibuster.


27 September 1964, The Warren Report was published, stating that Lee Harvey Oswald alone was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy. Conspiracy theorists were not satisfied.

14 March 1964. Jack Ruby, aged 52, was found guilty in Dallas of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of President Kennedy (see 22 November 1963). He was sentenced to death but died of a blood clot on the lung in 1967.

29 November 1963, US President Lyndon Johnson set up the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of John F Kennedy

24 November 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President Kennedy, was himself shot dead by Jack Ruby.


11 December 1963, In Los Angeles, Frank Sinatra Jr was set free after his father paid kidnappers a US$ 240,000 ransom.

31 August 1963, The �hot line�, linking the Kremlin and the White House, went into operation.

5 August 1963. President Kennedy signed a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in Washington. This treaty forbade testing in the atmosphere, outer space, or underwater, and was aimed at preventing other nations than the USA or USSR developing nuclear weapons. However to allow America and Russia to develop their nuclear weapons, underground testing was allowed under this treaty (see 1 July 1968).

26 June 1963. President Kennedy made his famous �Ich bin ein Berliner� speech. He meant to say �I am a Berliner�, to indicate US support for the freedom of West Germany. However what he actually said translated as �I am a doughnut�.

20 June 1963. The White House and the Kremlin agreed to set up a �hot line�.

9 April 1963, Winston Churchill was given honorary US citizenship.

6 April 1963, Anglo-US Polaris weapons agreement signed.

18 March 1963, In the USA, in Gideon v Wainwright, the Supreme Court required the State to appoint defence counsel if the defendant could not afford a private lawyer.

1962, The Baker v Carr case , in the US Supreme Court; the Court ruled that state electoral districts must contain approximately equal numbers of voters. This ended rural domination of state legislatures.

21 December 1962, The US agreed to sell Polaris missiles to the UK.

18 December 1962, PM Harold MacMillan of the UK and President Kennedy of the USA concluded the Nassau Agreement, at Nassau, Bahamas.This allowed the US navy to provide Polaris missiles for the Royal Navy, normally operating under NATO command.This Anglo-US collaboration was resented by General De Gaulle of France, who saw it as proof that Britain was not sufficiently European.Within a month De Gaulle had vetoed UK membership of the EEC, see 14 January 1963.

5 December 1962, US diplomat Dean Acheson said Britain was 'played out'.

5 November 1962, In the US, elections left Democrats in control of both Houses.

25 June 1962, In a 6 to 1 decision, based on the First Amendment, the US Supreme Court ruled that the recital of an official prayer in New York State Schools was unconstitutional.

18 October 1961. A work by Henri Matisse attracted big crowds in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Only after 116,000 people had seen it over 46 days did someone notice it was hung upside-down.

22 May 1961, The revolving restaurant, Eye of the Needle (now known as SkyCity Restaurant) opened in Seattle at the top of the Space Needle.

1 March 1961, US President Kennedy formed the Peace Corps, a group of volunteers to work in less-developed countries.

26 September 1960, The first US Presidential debate to be televised, between Nixon and Kennedy. Millions watched.

21 August 1960, David B Steinman, US bridge engineer, died aged 74.


3.0, USA Cold War strategy 1960-61

For Gary Powers espionage incident, 1960-62 see Russia

5 September 1961, The USA announced it would resume underground nuclear tests.

5 June 1961, The US Supreme Court ruled that the Communist Party must register as a foreign-dominated organisation. On 17 June 1961 the US Communist Party refused to comply with this ruling.

12 July 1960, President Khrushchev of the USSR asserted that the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 was no longer valid; this would legitimate Soviet interference in the Caribbean. On 14 July 1960 the US confirmed that the Monroe Doctrine was still in operation.

26 May 1960, At the United Nations in New York, U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. displayed a hand-carved replica of the Great Seal of the United States that had been presented by the Soviets as a gift to the American ambassador in Moscow, and the listening device that had been discovered inside "right under the beak of the eagle".

24 May 1960, The USA launched the Midas-2 satellite. Weighing over 2.5 tonnes, its purpose was to test the feasibility of a satellite system to give early warning of any ballistic missile attack on the USA.

13 May 1960, A group of 200 students, mostly white, staged a sit-in inside the San Francisco City Hall to protest against the House Un-American Activities Committee, following the example of passive resistance used by African-American protesters to fight segregation.

19 January 1960, President Eisenhower of the USA signed a Treaty of Mutual Co-operation and Security with Japan in Washington. This confirmed Japan as an integral member of the anti-Communist alliance.


17 February 1960, Martin Luther King was arrested in the USA.

1959, Click here for image of Washington DC urban sprawl 1949-59. See also related image London 1932.

15 September 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev became the head of State of the USSR to be received at the US White House.

9 June 1959. The USA launched its first ballistic missile submarine, the George Washington.

24 May 1959, John Foster Dulles (born 1888), US Secretary of State until his resignation due to ill-health in April 1959, died from cancer. He was chief spokesperson for US President Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. He believed in a robust �brinkmanship� approach to Soviet threats, reinforcing NATO and creating SEATO. He did not get on with UK Prime Minister Anthony Eden, disagreeing in particular with the UK�s policy over Suez. He opposed the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt in late 1956, and sometimes failed to anticipate Arab nationalist reactions to external intervention.

4 November 1958, In the USA, Democrats won the mid-term elections, gaining 62 seats in the Senate (Republicans 34 seats). The Democrats gained 281 seats in theHouse of Representatives (Republicans 153 seats)

10 June 1958, A tornado swept through the town of El Dorado, Kansas killing 13 and injuring 57.

31 May 1958, The Kremlin and Washington agreed to hold talks on a ban on atmospheric atom bomb tests.


2.5, Eisenhower Doctrine; Foreign policy 1955-58

3 May 1958, President Eisenhower proposed a demilitarised Antarctic.

18 October 1957, Queen Elizabeth II met US President Eisenhower; the first visit by a British monarch to the White House.

7 March 1957, The United States Congress approved the Eisenhower Doctrine.

18 January 1957, The USSR and China stated their support for Middle Eastern Arab States �against Western aggression�; see Eisenhower Doctrine, 5 January 1957.

5 January 1957, In the USA, President Eisenhower announced the Eisenhower Doctrine; that the US will protect the independence of Middle Eastern States, fearing that the USSR was behind Arab nationalist movements.

24 January 1955, Because of increasing tensions between China and Formosa (Taiwan), US President Eisenhower asked Congress for authority to protect Formosa; it was granted within four days by 409 votes to 3 in the House of Representatives.


19 September 1957, The US carried out the first underground nuclear test in theNevada desert, the first of 29 such tests.

30 August 1957, US senator Strom Thurmond spoke for 24hrs 27m against civil rights.

31 May 1957, American playwright Arthur Miller was convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to name other writers as communists. Miller confessed his own communist sympathies but said his conscience would not let him finger others; the judge praised his motives but he could still face a year in jail.

7 May 1957 Eliot Ness, the FBI agent who headed the investigation of Al Capone in Chicago, died.

1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act, to create a US-wide network of freeways.

25 September 1956, Transatlantic telephone cable between the UK and the USA became operational.

3 August 1956, The name of Bedloe�s Island, site of the Statue of Liberty, was changed to Liberty Island, on the approval of President Eisenhower.

29 June 1956, US President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act this day, providing for the construction of a 41,000 mile highway system.

14 August 1955, The US schooner Levin J. Marvel capsized and sank in Chesapeake Bay with the loss of 12 of the 24 people on board.

3 March 1955, Katharine Drexel, US philanthropist, teacher and Roman Catholic saint, died aged 96.


2.0, McCarthyism censured, 1954-57

2 May 1957. Senator Joe McCarthy, Republican, died of liver disease. He was most remembered for his �witch-hunts� against suspected Communists. See 2 December 1954.

2 December 1954, The US Senate voted to condemn McCarthy for abuse of proceedings, see 25 February 1954 and 2 May 1957.

24 August 1954, In the USA, the Communist Party was outlawed as �an instrument of a conspiracy to overthrow the US Government�.

30 June 1954, Senator McCarthy was censured by the US Senate. He had gone too far by accusing the US Army of harbouring Communist spies.

15 June 1954, Senator John McCarthy�s committee labelled Robert Oppenheimer, inventor of the atom bomb, a security risk because he opposed development of the Hydrogen Bomb.

9 June 1954, Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army., accused McCarthy of bad faith and zealotry during investigations as to whether Communists had infiltrated the US Army. McCarthy�s position was rapidly becoming untenable.

22 April 1954, A committee headed by Senator John McCarthy, the �Permanent Investigations Sub-Committee�, began hearings into an alleged Communist spy ring at Fort Monmouth. McCarthy�s methods started alarming hs collaegues.

25 February 1954, President Eisenhower censured McCarthy (see 9 February 1950) for his bullying tactics. See 2 December 1954.


12 November 1954, The immigration centre at Ellis Island, New York, closed. 15 million migrants into the US had been processed through here since 1892.

25 October 1954, In the US, meetings of the Cabinet were televised for the first time.

20 July 1954. The Geneva Agreement ended hostilities between North and South Korea.

12 July 1954, US Vice President Richard Nixon announced the construction of a network of Interstate Highways which would enable drivers to cross the USA without encountering a single crossroads or traffic light. They would also be useful as part of a defensive network, and to provide rapid exits from cities in the event of war.

10 July 1954, US President Eisenhower signed Public Law 480, the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, better known as PL-480. This facilitated the export of grain to US-aligned governments that were facing threats from Leftist agencies, either internal rebels or intimidation from a Soviet-aligned State next door. PL-480 could be used to keep recalcitrant allies, those possibly sliding towards Communism, in line. For example in 1965 US President Johnson shifted the renewal of PL-480 food aid to India from an annual to amonthly basis, threatening India with withdrawal of food aid as India�s President Shastri expressed disapproval of US bombing in Vietnam. However if Shastri abandoned Nehru�s ideas of land distribution to Indian peasants then India would receive US agricultural technology, enhancing food yields.

7 April 1954, The USA announced that, in conjunction with Canada, it would set up a chain of almost 100 radar stations along a 3,000 mile line at the 55th parallel. On 27 September 1954 a second chain of radfar stations was announced above the Arctic Circle to warn of enemy aircraft approaching from Russia across the North Pole. This was the Distant Early Warning Line, of DEW; within a few years it was obsolete because missiles would be delivered by rockets not planes.

8 March 1954, The US and Japan signed a mutual defence pact.

5 February 1954, Carl Wickman, founder of Greyhound Lines bus service, died aged 66.

10 October 1953. President Eisenhower of the USA signed a treaty with South Korea promising military aid if North Korea attacked.

11 April 1953, The US Department of Health and Human Services was established.

2 December 1952, US President Eisenhower visited Korea.

31 October 1952, The USA exploded the first hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific. The bomb was equivalent to 5 to 7 megatons (million tons of TNT) and left a hole a mile in diameter and 175 feet deep. A 5 megaton bomb would devastate about 150 square miles by blast and subject about 800 square miles to searing heat. See 9 September 2003.

25 October 1952, The USA blocked the entry of China to the United Nations for the third year running. See 25 October 1971.

24 October 1952, In the US, Eisenhower described Korea as �the burial place of twenty thousand Americans� and promised that if he was elected President he would end the Korean War. Meanwhile the United Nations remained deadlocked over the issue of the return of North Korean prisoners of War. The USSR and China wanted them all returned to North Korea, but some PoWs insisted they had been forcibly drafted into the North Korean forces and wanted to settle in South Korea.

24 July 1952, Charles Copeland, US educationalist, died in Massachusetts.

27 June 1952. The USA lifted its ban on immigration from Africa and Asia.

25 June 1952, In the US the Immigration Bill was passed, despite Resident Truman�s veto and a Democrat majority of ten in the Senate. This Bill established immigration quotas by nationality, something Truman considered racist.

2 June 1952, In Youngstown vs Sawyer, the US Supreme Court ruled that President Truman had gone beyond his powers in ordering the State seizure of the steel industry during a strike.

8 April 1952, In the USA, President Truman ordered the State seizure of the steel industry in response to a strike. The output of the steel mills was considered vital for the US forces fighting in Korea. The strike ended in 2 May 1952, but the seizure continued until after the Supreme Court decision of 2 June 1952..

27 February 1952, The United Nations Building in New York saw its first session.

1 November 1951, The US tested an atom bomb over the Nevada desert.

5 October 1951, The US House of representatives approved the US$ 56.9 billion Armed Forces appropriation Bill.

8 September 1951, The San Francisco Treaty of Friendship between the US and Japan was signed.

19 July 1951, Severe flooding hit Kansas and Missouri. 41 died and 200,000 were made homeless.


1.0, Fear of Communism; McCarthyism, 1950-53

22 December 1953, US physicist Robert Oppenheimer had his security clearance clearance revoked; he was suspected of Communist sympathies, because he was opposed to developing a Hydrigen Bomb.

20 June 1953, The Jewish funeral service of Ethel and Julius Rosenburg was held at Brooklyn (see 19 June 1953). The estimated 10,500 who attended were supportive of the Rosenburgs, who were seen as resisters of American imperialism.

19 June 1953. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg went to the electric chair in Sing Sing prison, 30 miles north of New York, guilty of spying for the USSR. They were the first US civilians to be executed for espionage. They had been condemned on 30 March 1951. Sing Sing prison was built between 1825 and 1828, and took its name from the local village. However the village soon changed its native-American derived name to Ossining to avoid association with the prison.

17 April 1953, The actor Charlie Chaplin announced he would never return to the USA, where he was wanted for back taxes and suspected of being a Communist sympathiser.

19 September 1952, The comedian Charlie Chaplin was labelled �subversive� by Right-wingers in the USA.

9 July 1951, Dashiell Hammett, author of The Maltese Falcon, was jailed for 6 months for contempt of court after refusing to give testimony that would have helped trace Communists accused of conspiring against the US.

30 March 1951. In the USA, the Rosenbergs (Julius and Ethel), were sentenced to death, having been found guilty of passing atomic secrets to the Russians on 29 March 1951.. They were executed on 19 June 1953.

23 September 1950, The US passed the McCarran Act, which set up the Subversive Activities Control Board. All Communist individuals and organisations had to be registered, and no current of former member of s Communist of Fascist organisation could enter the USA. The Board was abolished in 1973.

22 February 1950, In the USA, 205 members of the State Department were accused of being Communists by Senator Joe McCarthy.

9 February 1950. In the USA, Joseph McCarthy launched an anti-Communist crusade. He claimed he knew the names of 250 Communists employed within the State Department.See 25 February 1954.


0.0, US involvement in the Korean War, 1950-51

10 July 1951, Ceasefire talks between North and South Korea began.

15 June 1951, The Korean front line between Northern and Southern forces was stabilised at around the 38th parallel, where it had been originally. See 10 July 1951.

11 April 1951. General MacArthur was relieved of his command by President Truman, after disagreeing over the conduct of the Korean War.MacArthur wanted to carry the war over into Communist China, and bomb Chinese bases in Manchuria.MacArthur returned to a heroes welcome in Washington, but did not realise his hopes of nomination for the US Presidential elections.

14 March 1951. US troops recaptured Seoul.

25 January 1951, UN forces halted the advance of the North Koreans and counterattacked.

1 January 1951, Chinese and North Korean forces advanced through UN lines and captured Seoul.

28 December 1950. Chinese forces in Korea crossed the 38th parallel.

28 November 1950. China entered the Korean War; 200,000 troops entered Korea across the Yalu River. UN troops were forced back south again. On 28 December 1950 Chinese forces crossed the 38th parallel. The West had ignored Chinese threats to intervene if US forces crossed north of the 38th parallel.

24 November 1950, South Korean forces began an offensive in the Yalu Valley; China planned intervention to support the North,

19 October 1950. US and South Korean forces captured Pyongyang, during the Korean War.

9 October 1950. US forces, having reached the 38th parallel, the old intra-Korean border, at the end of September, now crossed into North Korea. Warnings from the Indian Prime Minister, Nehru, that this might provoke Chinese intervention were ignored (see 28 November 1950).

1 October 1950, South Korean forces recrossed the 38th parallel.

26 September 1950. US forces recaptured Seoul.

15 September 1950. UN forces landed behind enemy lines at Inchon, North Korea. The South Korean capital, Seoul, was retaken by the end of September 1950.

1 September 1950. North Korean forces crossed the Naktong River.

26 July 1950, Britain decided to send troops to Korea.

8 July 1950, US General MacArthur took over UN forces in Korea.

2 July 1950, American troops landed in South Korea.

29 June 1950, South Korean forces retook Seoul.

28 June 1950, British Royal navy ships joined the US forces in South Korea.

27 June 1950. North Korean forces took Seoul. British forces joined the war in Korea.

26 June 1950, US President Truman sent US forces to support South Korea.

25 June 1950. Start of the Korean War. North Korea invaded the South, crossing the 38th parallel, which was the border.


26 May 1951, Lincoln Ellsworth, American Arctic and Antarctic explorer, and scientist, died.

7 November 1950, In US elections, the Republicans gained 30 seats in the House of Representatives.

1 November 1950, Puerto Rican nationalists Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attempted to assassinate President Harry S Truman. Torresola was killed during the attack, but Collazo was captured. Collazo served 29 years in a federal prison, being released in 1979. Don Pedro Albizu Campos also served many years in a federal prison in Atlanta, for seditious conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government in Puerto Rico


-1.0, NATO created, Hiss exposed, McCarthy�s anti-Communist drive begins, 1947-51

2 April 1951, NATO Allied Command Europe came into being.

1950, The Defense Production Act was passed, allowing public corporations to borrow from the US Treasury if national security was at stake.

19 July 1950. President Truman asked the US Congress for a big rise in military spending.

22 January 1950, In the USA, Alger Hiss, former advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt, was convicted of perjury for denying contacts to Soviet agents. Hiss had liaised with Chambers, editor of Time Magazine and a Communist agent. A previous trial of Hiss ended in a hung jury; this day he received 5 years in prison. Senator McCarthy used this case to allege that the US State Department was riddled with Communist agents.

17 September 1949, The first meeting of NATO was held.

24 August 1949, The North Atlantic Treaty, NATO, came into force.

25 July 1949, US President Truman asked Congress for US$ 1.45 billion to help western Europe, Iran, the Philippines and South Korea resist Communism.

4 April 1949. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington. NATO was set up on 18 March 1949, by Britain and seven other European countries. Denmark had agreed to join on 25 March 1949. Eleven countries signed in total.

17 January 1949, The Smith Act trial of 11 leading US Communists charged with plotting the overthrow of the US government opened in New York City.

23 September 1948, 12,000 people attended a rally of the American Communist Party at Madison Square Garden.

3 August 1948, Alger Hiss was accused by Time Magazine of covert pro-Communist activity in the 1930s. He protested his innocence. In November evidence against him was discovered but he continued to claim innocence.

2 August 1948, Alger Hiss testified in the US McCarthy anti-Communist hearings, using the phrase �Reds under the bed�.

20 July 1948, In the USA, indictments were issued against William Z Foster, American Communist Party Chairman, and 11 other leading Communists, for conspiring to overthrow the US Government. The US was fearful of the spread of Communism in Europe and the Orient, and continued hearings were held at the House Un-American Activities Committee.

20 October 1947, The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) opened hearings on alleged Communist infiltration in Hollywood. Those denounced as having �Un-American tendenceie� included Dalton Trumbo, Kataherine Hepburn, Ring Lardner Jr, Clifford Odets, Irwin Shaw, Paul Robeson, Charles Chaplin and Edward GRobinson. Screen Actors Guild President Ronald Reagan was called to testify; he denied that :Leftists ever controlled the Gulld and refused to label anyone a �Communist�.


20 February 1949, Ivana Trump, US socialite was born.

9 February 1949, US actor Robert Mitchum was jailed for 2 months for smoking marijuana.

2 September 1948, Christa McAuliffe, USteacher who died in the Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

15 July 1948. John Pershing, commander of the US Army in France in World War One, nicknamed �Black Jack�, died in Washington DC.

30 April 1948, The Organisation of American States was set up. The agreement, covering all 21 of the republics in the Americas, was signed at Bogota, Colombia. The fourteenth state ratified the treaty on 13 December 1951, thereby formally legally validating the treaty

15 March 1948. US coal miners went on strike for better pensions.

6 November 1947, The first post-War Rolls Royce and Bentley cars arrived in the USA.

30 June 1947, US coal mining was denationalised.


-2.0, Start of the Cold War, Iron Curtain. Marshall Aid to western Europe, 1946-50

13 December 1950. Marshall Aid to Britain stopped.

16 November 1948, US President Truman refused to participate in talks with the Soviets on the future of Berlin until the blockade was lifted.

31 March 1948. US Congress passed the Marshall Aid Bill.. On 3 April 1948 President Truman signed the Economic Assistance Act, putting in effect Marshall aid for 16 countries in war-torn Europe. The first aid shipments to Europe left the USA on 5 April 1948.

1947, In the US, the Department of Defense was established by the National Security Act of 1947. The Department of war and the Department of tte Navy, which had both existed since 1789, were merged. Until 1949 the new agency was known as the National Military Establishment,

5 October 1947. In the US, President Truman urged Americans to give up meat on Tuesdays and poultry and eggs on Thursday to aid Europe.

18 September 1947, The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was founded, under the 1947 National Security Act. Created by President Truman, it was a response to the Cold war with the Soviet Union.

26 July 1947, In the USA, Congress passed the National Security Act. This allowed the CIA to engage in counter-intelligence in Europe against the USSR and Warsaw pact countries.

5 June 1947. US Secretary of State George Marshall announced the Marshall Plan to help Europe recover from nearbankruptcy following the War.See 16 April 1947.

8 May 1947. In the USA, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began investigating alleged Communist links in the Hollywood movie industry.

16 April 1947, The phrase �Cold War� was first used, in a speech by Bernard Baruch in Columbia, South Carolina, when the US Congress was discussing the �Truman Doctrine�.This was a doctrine of checking further Communist expansion into Europe by giving economic and military aid to governments threatened by communist subversion.This was followed within 2 months by the Marshall Plan (5 June 1947).

12 March 1947, US President Truman spoke of a Cold War (see 5 March 1946) against Communism. He instituted the �Truman Doctrine�, whereby the US would give military and economic access to any countries deemed to be under Soviet threat, such as Greece or Turkey.

27 February 1947, In the USA, Donald Acheson outlined, in the State Department, what was to become known as the Truman Doctrine, aimed at containing Soviet expansion.

5 March 1946. Winston Churchill referred to an �Iron Curtain� descending across Europe, in a speech at Fulton, USA. The first public acknowledgement that the Cold War had begun. See 12 March 1947.


16 April 1947, Ammonium nitrate stored aboard the freighter Grandcamp exploded in Texas City Port, killing 752.

25 January 1947, Al Capone, American gangster and leader of organised crime in Chicago during the Prohibition era, died aged 48 due to a major brain haemorrhage, virtually penniless. In 1931 he was jailed for 11 years income tax evasion; he was released from Alcatraz in 1939, suffering from syphilis and prematurely aged.

For prisons click here

5 December 1946. New York was chosen as the permanent site of the UN.

For history of the United Nations, League of Nations, click here

5 November 1946, In the US, Republicans gained control of Congress.

20 July 1946, In the USA, the Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack was released. The higher armed forces ranks were blamed for failing to anticipate the military disaster.

16 July 1946, The Bureau of Land Management was created within the US Department of the Interior, by a merger of two other agencies, the Grazing Service and the General Land Office.

13 July 1946, The US House of Representatives approved a loan to Europe.

20 February 1946, US Congress passed the Employment Act, stating that its aim was maximum employment.

6 February 1946, A tugboat workers strike in New York caused fuel shortages and power cuts.

2 February 1946, US President Truman approved the McMahon Bill on atomic energy and urged the swift institution of a civilian controlled Government monopoly on atomic energy.


-2.5, 1945-46, Military winding down after World War Two

28 July 1946, Howard C. Petersen, US Assistant Secretary of War, announced that, in addition to deaths in combat, 131,028 American and Filipino citizens, mostly civilians, had died "as a result of war crimes" from December 7, 1941 until the end of World War II.

23 July 1946, The last German prisoners of war in the United States were released, as 1,385 POWs were placed on the ship General Yates, following detention at Camp Shanks in New York. In all, there had been 375,000 German prisoners kept in the US at the end of World War II.

10 February 1946, The first �GI brides� arrived in the USA to live with their new partners. When US servicemen were stationed in the UK, British males complained they were �overpaid, oversexed, and over here�. Many British women became engaged or married to them. Now the GI brides assembled at camps in Hampshire, to be shipped over to the USA aboard the Queen Mary.

8 February 1946, US President Truman called for the immediate construction of some 2.7 million dwellings, urban and rural, to house war veterans.

17 January 1946, The US Government banned US soldiers from demonstrating in protest at the slow pace of demobilisation.

9 January 1946, Eisenhower ordered the return home of all US troops unless there was a definite military need for them, without delay.

30 December 1945, The US Senate consented to the US joining the UN, in contrast to post WW1 when it refused to join the League of Nations.

21 December 1945, US General Patton was killed in a road accident whilst commanding the 5th US Army in West Germany.

6 December 1945, U.S. General George C. Marshall testified at the Pearl Harbour inquiry that he did not anticipate the attack but that an "alert" defence would have prevented all but "limited harm�.


5 December 1945. Five US Navy bombers on a training flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, disappeared over the area later known as the Bermuda Triangle, with 27 crew. When radio contact with the 5 planes was lost, a 6th plane was sent to search for them; it too disappeared without trace.

2 December 1945, The Arab world began a general boycott of Israel, to geographically isolate the country. The boycott was to cover not just companies trading with Israel or with Israeli companies but also companies doing business with these companies. In 1977 the US, under President Carter, declared it illegal for US companies to participate in this boycott. In the 1990s Israel insisted upon the dismantling of the boycott, which was estimated to have cost the country some US$ 40 billion, as part of the Peace Process. In 2001, however, the Arab League�s Boycott Office resumed activities as part of its support for the Palestinians during the Intifada.


-3.0, USA and World War Two 1939-45

22 November 1945, The famous Hollywood Canteen, which catered to Allied servicemen and women during the war, shut its doors.

2 October 1945, Eisenhower removed Patten from active combat duty.

12 September 1945, An estimate of War casualties reckoned that Britain had lost 420,000 members of the armed forces; the US had lost 292,000, and the USSR, 13 million. German loss of military men was put at 3.9 million, Japan�s at 2.6 million. British civilian casualties from air raids were set at 60,000, with 860,000 severely injured.

20 August 1945, The US terminated the Lend Lease Act, as hostilities had ceasedPassed by US Congress in 1941, it offered help to the UK, under attack from the Nazis.However US aid to Europe continued under the Marshall Plan.

14 August 1945. Japan surrendered unconditionally. This marked the end of World War II.

For World War Two in the Pacific click here.

For World War Two in Europe click here

VJ day was officially celebrated on the following day, the 15th August. The Japanese surrender was officially accepted by General Douglas MacArthur on the US aircraft carrier Missouri on 2 September 1945.

16 July 1945. The atom bomb, produced at Los Alamos, was tested at Alamogordo airbase in the desert of New Mexico. See 8 March 1950.

8 May 1945. VE Day. The Second World War officially ended in Europe, at one minute past midnight. Field Marshall Keitel signed the final capitulation.

5 May 1945. Elsie Mitchell and the five children she was looking after were killed in Oregon by a Japanese balloon bomb.They ware the only people killed in enemy action on the US mainland during World War Two.

25 April 1945, US and Soviet forces met on the Elbe near Torgau.

24 April 1945, Himmler offered to surrender the German Reich to the governments of Great Britain and the USA.

19 April 1945, US forces took Leipzig; the city was later handed to the Soviet sector, East Germany.

18 April 1945, US troops under General Patton entered Czechoslovakia.

17 April 1945. US troops captured the Buchenwald concentration camp.

23 March 1945. The US 2nd Army crossed the Rhine. By 20 April 1945 British troops had advanced 200 miles into Germany.

4 February 1945. The Yalta Conference between the Allied leaders Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill opened in the Crimea. This conference concluded on 11 February 1945. Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin all had very different aims. Roosevelt wanted to disengage US troops from Europe to defeat Japan. Stalin wanted to extend Soviet influence as far west into Europe as possible. Stalin got to occupy eastern Poland, as agreed in Tehran on 28 November 1943. Churchill wanted to build a democracy from the ruins of Germany. The ailing Roosevelt trusted Stalin�s assurance that he would work to build a �peaceful and democratic world�. The West insisted that Greece be given a western-style democracy, but otherwise all of eastern Europe fell under the Soviet sphere. Stalin also gained Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands in return for a war effort against Japan that was never made. Yalta set the world order for the next 45 years.

3 January 1945, The Dies Committee (see 26 May 1938), formed to monitor activities by Nazis and Communists within the USA, was given permanent status as the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)

22 December 1944, An American unit was surrounded at Bastogne by the German advance in the Battle of the Bulge.The unit held out until relieved on 26 December 1944. Inside Bastogne, General Anthony C McAuliffe received a message from the besieging Germans inviting him to surrender; his reply, scrawled on the surrender invite, was one word-�NUTS�.

7 October 1944, The Dumbarton Oaks Conference ended.

21 August 1944, Meetings began at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC, on starting the Charter of the United Nations.These meetings ended on 7 October 1944.

19 July 1944, Leghorn retaken by American forces.

8 May 1944, Eisenhower settled on 5, 6, or 7 June as date for the D-Day landings

4 May 1944, Meat rationing ended in the USA, except for certain beef cuts.

16 January 1944, General Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe.

1943, The Pentagon was completed to house the offices of the US Department of War (see 1947).

17 December 1943, US President Roosevelt repealed the Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1882 and 1902, and signed the Chinese Act. This made Chinese residents of the US eligible for naturalisation, and allowed an annual immigration of 105 Chinese.

28/ November 1943. The main Allied leaders, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, all met in Tehran. Co-ordinating the Normandy landings with a Russian attack on the eastern front was discussed, also a Russian attack on Japan, and a post-war United Nations Organisation. All agreed that the USSR could have eastern Poland as far west as the Curzon line, and Poland would be compensated with lands in eastern Germany. This was confirmed at the Yalta Conference of 4 � 11 February 1945.

5 May 1943, Winston Churchill sailed from the UK to meet Roosevelt in Washington DC. He arrived 11 May 1943.

1 June 1943, The close of the Hot Springs Conference (opened 18 May 1943); the Allies discussed World War Two.

14 January 1943. Churchill, de Gaulle, and Roosevelt met at Casablanca. They demanded the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers.Plans were made for the invasion of Sicily increased US bombing of Germany, and the transfer of British forces to the far east once Germany was defeated.

28 October 1942, Due to shortages of rubber for tyres in the USA, Utah imposed a �patriotic speed limit� of 35 mph (56 kph) across the State. Road accidents were cut by 35%, with fatalities falling by half.

7 October 1942, US President Roosevelt said a commission wpould be set up after the War to judge those guilty of atrocities and mass murder.

8 September 1942, The U.S. government shut down its gold mines to release men for the war effort.

22 July 1942, In the USA, petrol rationing for civilians began as fuel was needed for the War.

17 June 1942, President Roosevelt met with Winston Churchill in Washington to discuss war production and military strategy.

8 June 1942. Churchill arrived in Washington for talks with Roosevelt.

21 April 1942, US President Roosevelt ordered all patents owned by enemy nations to be seized within the US, in order to minimise German intervference in US industry.

21 March 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This established the War Relocation Authority, to move Japanese in the US away from the west coast. Some 110,000 Japanese in the US were interned in WRA camps, although most of the 150,000 Japanese in Hawaii were not interned.

3 March 1942, The USA declared the West Coast a military area and evacuated some 100,000 civilians.

23 February 1942, Lend Lease was made reciprocal between the USA and Britain.

27 January 1942, Jacqueline Cochrane, US aviatrix, flew a US bomber to the UK, for raids against Germany.

26 January 1942, American troops landed in Northern Ireland.

25 January 1942, Siam (Thailand) declared war on Britain and the USA.The USA did not declare war on Siam.Many Thai sympathised with the Allied side.

1 January 1942, As the USA entered WW2, it announced that from 22 February 1942 production of civilian cars must cease. The current stock of 520,000 US civilian cars could only be sold to those deemed �essential drivers� Brightwork materials on cars produced in January and February, such as chrome trims, was to be limited as it was needed for war production.

27 December 1941, The US Government, as part of wartime rationing, limited the number of tyres any car driver could own to 5. This limit remained in place until 31 December 1945.

11 December 1941. Hitler declared war on the USA, as did Italy, even though he had not yet conquered Russia or invaded Britain. The USA declared war on Germany and Italy.

See also China/Japan/Korea for World War Two in Pacific

See also France-Germany (from 1 January 1870) for main events of World War Two in Europe

8 December 1941. Britain and the USA declared war on Japan. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic also declared war on Japan, and China declared war on all the Axis powers. Britain declared war on Finland, Rumania, and Hungary.Siam (Thailand) agreed to the passage of Japanese forces through its territory to attack British Malaya.

7 December 1941. Japanese attack on the USA fleet in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. Pearl Harbour was taken entirely by surprise and within 2 hours 360 Japanese warplanes had destroyed 5 battleships, 14 smaller craft, and 200 aircraft. 2,400 people, many of them civilians, were killed. However the Japanese failed to find and destroy America�s all-important aircraft carriers, both of which were away on manoeuvres. The Japanese force then turned west to strike the British in the East Indies, Australia, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The US Congress met to declare war in emergency session on 8 December 1941,

much to the relief of Britain.

6 December 1941. Roosevelt appealed to Hirohito to avoid a war with the USA.

1 December 1941. The Japanese Emperor ratified the decision to go to war with the USA.

6 November 1941, The US destroyer Somers and the US cruiser Omaha captured a German blockade-running ship, the Odenwald, which was disguised as a US merchant vessel.

3 November 1941. President Roosevelt was warned by the US Ambasador to Tokyo of a possible Japanese attack on the USA.

11 October 1941, The Japanese Government approved plans for an attack on Pearl Harbour.

26 September 1941, The US proclaimed an embargo on steel and scrap iron exports to Japan, with effect from 16 October 1941.

21 September 1941, The Jeep was born. The US Army asked 135 companies to provide a prototype of a 4-wheel drive reconnaissance car.Bantam delivered a model this day, which was satisfactory apart from needing better engine torque. The model was then sent to Willys-Overland for production. However as the US entered WW2, it became apparent that Willys could not produce the number of vehicles needed, so Ford was granted a licence to also produce these vehicles, on 10 January 1942.

18 September 1941, US President Roosevelt asked Congress for US$ 5,985 million to fund Lend-Lease.

9 September 1941, Churchill met Roosevelt in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland.

26 July 1941, Britain and the USA froze Japanese assets.

26 May 1941, The first experimental blackout in the USA was performed at Newark, New Jersey.

10 April 1941. The USA sent troops to Greenland to protect arms supply lines from the USA to Britain.

11 March 1941. In the USA, the Lend Lease Bill became law. In May 1940 Churchill had asked President Roosevelt for both arms and financial assistance in the war, which the USA was not to enter as a combatant until Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941. Roosevelt was sympathetic to the British cause but had three obstacles to face. 1) Congress was isolationist, and Roosevelt did not wish to do anything to jeopardise his re-election prospects before November 1940. 2) The neutrality Act had to be amended to allow Britain and France to purchase arms for cash; this was done in November 1939. 3) The Johnson Act, 1934, forbade loans to any country defaulting on its loans, and Britain had still not paid back money it borrowed during World War One. In May 1940 Roosevelt authorised Congress to release from ordnance stores 500,000 WW1 rifles and 900 75mm field guns. In September 1940 Roosevelt provided Britain with 50 old destroyers in return for 99 year leases on British islands in the Caribbean and Newfoundland. In December 1940 Churchill requested American protection of Atlantic convoys and financial assistance to purchase further American arms. Roosevelt was advised that Britain had less than US$2 billion to meet arms purchases of US$ 5billion. Roosevelt coined the term �lend lease�, on the analogy of a neighbour who lends his hose if the house is on fire.

6 January 1941. Roosevelt sent the Lend Lease Bill to Congress. Congress agreed the Bill on 11 March 1941.

30 December 1940, US President Roosevelt called for the US to be the �arsenal of democracy�. He said there was less chance of the |US being directly involved in the War in Europe if it supported the A;llied countires now than if it stood by and let the Axis forces win.

17 December 1940, US President Franklin Roosevelt proposed �Lend Lease� for Britain.

7 November 1940. Britain, the USA, and Australia agreed on the defence of the Pacific.

16 October 1940, The first lottery to select US citizens for the military draft began; 158 were drawn this day.

27 September 1940. Imperial Japan signed a 10-year military and economic alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. This was greatly disturbing to both the USSR and the USA; Japan and Russia had been enemies since the 1905 war, and Hitler�s alliance with Russia, signed in 1939,was looking more uncertain.. The USA now realised that entering the war on the side of the Allies would now entail a war in the Pacific.

27 August 1940, US Congress authorised the US President to call up the National Guard and other reservists for 1 year�s service.

26 February 1940, The United States Air Defense Command was created, to provide co-ordinated air defence for the USA.

4 January 1940, US President Roosevelt asked Congress for a War Budget of US$ 1.8 million.

8 December 1939, As the UK began a naval blockade of Germany, the US protested at restrictions on international free trade.

4 November 1939. President Roosevelt announced he would amend the Neutrality Act to allow Britain and France to buy arms from the USA. Roosevelt hoped this would avoid direct US involvement in the war.

18 October 1939, Lee Harvey Oswald, American assassin, was born in New Orleans.

13 October 1939, Hitler made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade US President Roosevelt to mediate a peace between Germany, France and Britain.

5 September 1939. President Roosevelt declared the USA neutral in World War Two.

2 August 1939, Albert Einstein wrote to US President Franklin D Roosevelt urging him to commit to research into the possibility of atomic bombs.

18 July 1939, US President Roosevelt asked congress to amend the neutrality Act so the US can help countries such as Britain.

12 January 1939, US President Roosevelt requested a further US$ 525 million for defence, to upgtrade naval and air forces. The likelihood of the US becoming involved in a future conflict was rising.

17 May 1938, US Congress passed the Naval Expansion Act, funding a 10-year programme to build a two-ocean Navy.


3 November 1943. US miners ended a 6 month strike.

9 June 1943, US Congress approved the Pay as You Go scheme for deducting income tax from salaries.

14 May 1943, Jules Gabriel Fisher, Louisiana State Senator, died (born 15 April 1874).

1 April 1943. The rationing of meats, fats, and cheese began in the USA.

13 March 1943, J P Morgan Jnr, US financier, died aged 75.

15 January 1943. The Pentagon, built to house the US Defence Department, opened in Arlington, Virginia, on the Potomac River.

28 November 1942, 492 died in a fire at Cocoanut Grove nightclub, Boston, USA.

25 June 1941, US President Roosevelt appointed an Employment Practices Committee to ensure reasonable employment conditions.

22 March 1941, The Grand Coulee Dam, on the Columbia River, Washington State, began operating.

6 March 1941. Gutzon Borglum, American sculptor noted for his work on the Mount Rushmore heads of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, died.

20 July 1940. The first singles charts were published in the US journal Billboard.

15 May 1940. Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time, in America. In New York. Alone, 72,000 pairs were sold in the first eight hours.

23 November 1939, In the USA, Thanksgiving Day was now celebrated this Thursday, the 4th Thursday in the month, rather than the 30th,the last Thursday as previous years. The retail lobby had persuaded President Roosevelt to make the change so as to lengthen the Christmas Shopping season by a week.

28 July 1939, William James Mayo, US surgeon and co-founder of the Mayo Clinic, died aged 78.

10 June 1939, 2 million people watched the King and Queen of the United Kingdom arrive on the destroyer USS Warrington.

30 April 1939, The World Fair in New York opened. It was opened by President Franklin D Roosevelt, who became the first US President to appear on TV, as NBC began their TV news service this day.

1 April 1939, The USA recognised Franco�s government in Spain.

31 October 1938. A radio broadcast of H G Well�s War of the Worlds caused widespread panic because of its vivid realism. The adaptation of the play carried a warning that it was not for real but this warning was not broadcast until 40 minutes after the play had begun. Terrified Americans packed the roads, hid in cellars, loaded guns, and wrapped their heads in wet towels to protect themselves against Martian poison gas. The event proved both the power of mass media and the American capacity for hysteria.

6 January 1939, Al Capone was transferred from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary and sent to a prison on Terminal Island to serve the last year of his sentence.

8 June 1938, US President Franklin D Roosevelt requested a report on the utility of a national tolled road network.

26 May 1938, The Dies Committee was established by the US House of Representatives. Named after its Chairman, Martin Dies, its remit was to investigate �Un-American� activities by Nazis and Communists within the USA. See 3 January 1945.

1 May 1937, US President Roosevelt signed the Third Neutrality Act, extending the earlier Acts of 1935 and 1936. Arms exports to belligerents were banned and Us ships banned from transporting armaments to war zones.

22 January 1937, In the USA, the Ohio River flooded, killing 16 and making 150,000 homeless.

6 January 1937, In the USA, President Roosevelt forbade shipments of arms to either side in Spain.

1936, In the US, the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was established. Riral telephone lines were also developed by the REA from 1949.

30 December 1936, Striking workers in the USA closed 7 General Motors plants.

12 November 1936, The San Francisco�Oakland Bay Bridge opened.

29 June 1936, US Congress passed the Merchant Marine Act, providing subsidies to US shipping lines who were facing higher costs than foreign shipping operators.

29 February 1936. President Roosevelt signed a second neutrality bill, banning loans to countries at war.

6 January 1936, The US Supreme Court ruled the New Deal Agricultural Adjustment was unconstitutional,

4 January 1936, The first pop music chart was compiled, based on record sales published in New York in The Billboard.

10 December 1935, The Huey Long Bridge was completed in Metairie, Louisiana.

10 September 1935, Huey Pierce Long, Louisiana politician, was shot dead in Baton Rouge.He had opposed �lying newspapers� and got the Louisiana legislature to impose a tax on any newspaper with a circulation of over 20,000.

31 August 1935, In the USA, President Roosevelt banned arms sales to warring countries.

30 August 1935, The USA passed the Revenue Act, redistributing some wealth and taxing gifts and inheritances. The US Inland revenue service reported that 0.1% of US corporations owned 52% of all corporate assets and less than 5% owned 87% of all corporate assets.

23 August 1935, The USA established Fort Knox as its gold bullion repository.

14 August 1935. President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Bill, introducing welfare for the old, sick, and unemployed.

10 June 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in the United States by Bill Wilson and Dr Robert Smith.

27 May 1935, The USA�s New Deal suffered a setback when the US Supreme Court ruled that the National Recovery Administration was unconsdtitutional.

21 May 1935, Death of Jane Addams (born 6 September 1860). She founded Hull House, a mission to help poor immigrants in the US. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for her efforts to promote pacifism after World War One.

6 May 1935, The Works Progress Administration was founded in the USA to create employment.

30 April 1935, President Roosevelt established the Resettlement Administration, providing government funds to resettle farmers to more productive land.

8 September 1934, The luxury liner Morro Castle caught fire off New Jersey, killing 134.

20 August 1934. The USA joined the International Labour Organisation.

7 August 1934, A US Appeal Court upheld a judge�s ruling to allow James Joyce�s work, Ulysses, to be sold in the USA.

22 July 1934, Bank robber John Dillinger was killed in an FBI ambush in Chicago.

9 June 1934. Donald Duck was created, in Walt Disney�s cartoon The Little Wise Hen. Walt Disney was born in Chicago on 5 December 1901.

23 May 1934. Bank robbers Bonnie Parker (23) and Clyde Barrow (25) were shot dead in an ambush by Texas rangers near Gibland, Alabama. Clyde met Bonnie in the caf� where she worked. She chose a life of excitement, drama, and danger, when she married the convict Clyde. She drove his getaway car as he robbed banks. A total of 12 people had died in their raids across the south western USA over the past 4 years. In 1930 Clyde was arrested but he escaped with Bonnie�s help and returned to bank robbery. After the death of the pair, people paid to see their bodies in the State morgue.

26 April 1934, US railway companies averted a strike by reaching a settlement to gradually roll back the 10% pay cut imposed on the workers two years earlier.

18 April 1934. The first launderette opened in Fort Worth, Texas, by J F Cantrell. It was called a washeteria.

25 March 1934, The threatened US car workers' strike was averted when the Roosevelt administration created a National Automotive Labor Board to help resolve disputes

24 March 1934. The USA promised it would grant independence to the Philippines.

5 February 1934, Rioting broke out in the streets of New York over the cab driver strike as strikers fought with police and burned independent cabs.

5 December 1933. Prohibition Laws repealed in the USA, by the 21st Amendment, after over 13 dry years, leaving individual States free to determine their known drinks laws. See 16 January 1920. Utah was the last state to ratify the 21st Amendment, which nullified the 19th Amendment of 1919 prohibiting the manufacture sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors. Prohibition had not stopped alcohol consumption, but merely driven it underground into the criminal world. America celebrated so much that 1.5 million barrels of beer were drunk the first night. Towns ran dry, and were drunk dry again the next night too. Prohibition had simply created enormous opportunities for organised crime.

16 November 1933, The USA established diplomatic relations with the USSR for the first time since the Russian Revolution.

31 October 1933, The carvings of the four heads of Presidents at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, was completed.

30 September 1933, US President Franklin D Roosevelt announced the US$ 700 million New Deal for the poor.

25 June 1933, James Meredith, US civil rights activist, was born.

6 June 1933. The first drive � in cinema opened in Camden, New Jersey, with room for 400 cars.

27 May 1933, The �Century of World Progress� Fair opened in Chicago.

24 April 1933, Felix Adler, US educationalist (born 13 August 1851) died.

20 March 1933, Guisepope Zangara, who attempted to murder US President-elect Roosevelt in February, was executed.


US tackles Depression and unemployment crisis 1930-35

8 April 1935, US Congress announced emergency economic measures to boost the economy, most significantly the Works Progress Administration was set up.

16 June 1933, US Congress passed the National Industrial Recovery Act, encouraging collective bargaining in the workforce, also the Glass Steagal Act stopping the banks from speculative shares dealings.

13 June 1933, US Congress established the Home Owner�s Loans Corporation, granting loans to enable homeowners to avoid foreclosure.

22 May 1933. President Roosevelt appointed Harry Hopkins as the administrator of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. This was to give aid and work to the destitute in the USA as the 1930s Depression deepened. 29 October 1929 was the date of the Wall Street Crash.

12 May 1933, The US passed the Emergency Federal Relief Act, creating public works prggrammes to make work for the unemployed.

12 March 1933, In the US, President Roosevelt made the first of his �fireside chats� by radio to the people. He assured people that the banks were safe for depositing savings.

9 March 1933, In the US, the holding of gold bullion by private citizens was made illegal by the Emergency Banking Relief Act. This was a measure to ensure that all gold in the US was available to back the US Dollar during the Depression.

4 March 1933. President Franklin D Roosevelt was inaugurated in the USA. In the midst of the Depression, with banks closing, he said �We have nothing to fear but fear itself�.


Bonus Army

28 July 1932, After US police failed to remove the last of the Bonus Army, President Hoover called in the military to evict te veterans.

16 July 1932, Rioting broke out in front of the White House by members of the Bonus Army who still refused to leave the capital. Contrary to tradition, President Hoover did not attend the final day of the 72nd Congress before adjourning until December due to safety concerns.

17 June 1932, The US Senate rejected the Patman Bonus Bill demanded by the Bonus Army of veterans. Many now decided to leave, especially as the US Government promised to pay for their travel home. However about 2,000 remained until end-July.

29 May 1932, In Washington DC, 17,000 veterans set up camp demanding they be allowed to cash in their bonus certificates from World War One. They become known as the Bonus Army.


7 March 1932, 5,000 unemployed workers laid off by the Ford Motor Company marched through Detroit to demand relief payments. As the unarmed crowd got near Gate 4 of the River Rouge Ford Plant at Dearborn, armed police and security giards stormed out of the plant and fired on the workers, killing five.

8 December 1931, In the USA, President Hoover urgedCongress to adopt a programme of public works, to ease unemployment.

7 December 1931, In the USA, Hunger marchers protested outside the White House, as US unemployment reached 8 million.

22 June 1931. In The USA, President Hoover suggested that German war reparations be suspended for a year to stimulate world trade.

7 January 1931, In the US, the Emergency Committee for Unemployment claimed there were now between 4 and 5 million unemployed, as the Depression spread across the world.

20 December 1930, US Congress passed further Public Works Bills worth some US$ 116 million to tackle rising unemployment.

11 December 1930, The Bank of the US, a major private New York bank with 400,000 depositors, closed down. There had now been 1300 bank closures since Autumn 1929.

2 December 1930, US President Hoover addressed US Congress, asking for US$ 150 million to alleviate rising unemployment.

4 April 1930, US Congress approved a State road building programme to create more jobs.

31 March 1930, US Congress approved a Public Buildings Act to create more jobs.


23 January 1933, The US, under the 20th Amendment, moved the Inauguration Day of its Presidents from 4 March to 23 January. The aim was to reduce the �lame duck� period of an outgoing President.

7 September 1932, J Paul Getty II, US philanthropist, was born.

9 July 1932. King Camp Gillette, American inventor of the safety razor and blade, died.

12 May 1932, The body of the kidnapped infant son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was found, less than 8km from his home 8in New Jersey.

1 March 1932, The 20-month old son of Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped from the nursery of their home in Hopwell, New Jersey. He was found dead on 12 May 1932. Bruno Hauptmann was convicted of the crime and electrocuted.

13 November 1931, The Whitney Museum of American Art opened in New York City.

24 October 1931. Al Capone, 32, Chicago gang boss of the Prohibition era, was jailed for 11 years for tax evasion. He was also fined US$80,000. He was released in 1939 and died on 25 January 1947 of a brain haemorrhage.

1 October 1931, The Waldorf Astoria, on Park Avenue, New York, opened.It was the world�s largest commercial hotel building.

17 September 1931. 33 1/3 rpm LP records were released in the USA.They were demonstrated at the Savoy Plaza Hotel, New York.

31 July 1931, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, home of the Cleveland Indians, opened.It was the largest baseball stadium in the world.

19 March 1931, Indigestion aid Alka-Seltzer went on sale in the USA.

18 March 1931, The US company Schick Inc started to manufacture electric razors.

3 March 1931. The song, �The Star Spangled Banner�, became the American National Anthem.

30 December 1930, The Colonial National Monument in Virginia was proclaimed by President Hoover.

6 December 1929, US marines were sent to Haiti to quell a revolt there.

3 December 1929, President Hoover delivered his first State of the Union speech to Congress.

23 September 1929, The $1.5 million, 21,000-seat St. Louis Arena opened.

28 July 1929, Jacqueline Onassis, widow of President Kennedy, was born in Southampton, New York State, as Jacqueline Lee Bouvier.

14 February 1929. The St Valentines Day Massacre took place in Chicago. Seven members of Bugsy Moran�s gang were machine-gunned to death by a rival gang.

13 February 1929, The US expanded its Navy. Congress passed the Cruiser Act, authorising 15 new cruisers and 1 new aircraft carrier.

13 January 1929, Wyatt Earp, American lawman and hero of the OK Corral, died peacefully aged 81.

7 December 1928, Noam Chomsky, US social scientist, was born.

8 November 1928, The Preble Box Toe Company explosion in Lynn, Massachusetts killed 20 people.

13 March 1928, In Los Angeles, 450 died when a dam burst.

21 January 1928, George Washington Goethals, American, chief engineer of the Panama Canal, died.

3 January 1928, US troops went to Nicaragua to fight the Sandinistas.

7 August 1927, The Peace Bridge opened between Canada and the USA.

19 June 1925, Bank robber Everett Bridgewater and two accomplices were arrested in Indianapolis, Indiana.

13 January 1929, Wyatt Earp, American lawman and hero of the OK Corral, died peacefully aged 81.

1925 Monkey Trialsee Biology

28 November 1925, The newly-rebuilt Madison Square Garden indoor arena opened in New York.

10 October 1925, James Buchanan Duke, US industrialist, (born in Durham, North Carolina, 23 December 1856) died in New York.

17 January 1925, US President Coolidge, in an address to the Society of American newspaper Editors, stated �The business of America is business� as he set out his policy of reducing taxes, especially on the middle class. He opposed any write down of British and French War Debt to the USA.

27 November 1924, The first Macy�s Thanksgiving Parade was held in New York City.

26 May 1924. The US cut immigration quotas from an annual 3% of the number of that nationality already in the US (enacted 1921) to 2%, and excluded Japanese citizens entirely. Japan protested.

6 May 1924, Patricia Lawford Kennedy, younger sister of President Kennedy, was born (died 17 September 2006)

10 April 1924. The first crossword puzzle book was published in New York.

19 April 1923, The Yankee Stadium, New York, opened.

3 March 1923. The US magazine Time was first published. Republican-leaning, the magazine was to condense the news for time-pressed Americans, and could be distributed by rail in a country with no true national newspaper.

13 January 1923, The US Senate agreed to take in 25,000 Armenian orphans.

10 January 1923, The last US troops left Germany.

22 December 1922, New York�s last horse-drawn fire engine was taken out of service.

7 November 1922. In US Congressional elections, the Republican majority was reduced.

15 August 1922, End of a coal strike in the USA (began 1 April 1922).

14 June 1922, Warren Harding became the first US President to speak in a radio broadcast.

20 March 1922. President Harding recalled US troops from the Rhineland.

4 March 1922, In the USA the �Teapot Dome� scandal emerged. Secretary of the Interior Albert B Fall resigned as a Senate Committee investigated alleged unlawful leasing of Government oil reserves and other matters. In 1929 Fall was sentenced to 1 year in prison, also fined.

6 February 1922, The Limitation of Armaments Conference at Washington ended.

22 December 1921, US Congress set aside US$ 20 million for food aid to starving children in the USSR.

12 November 1921, The Limitation of Armaments Conference began in Washington.

10 November 1921, The US Marine Corps was founded.

1 September 1921, In the USA, the Klu Klux Klan now had over 4 million members.

25 August 1921. Peace treaty (Treaty of Berlin) signed between Germany and the USA.

19 May 1921. The USA introduced quotas for immigration, setting these at 3% of the each nationality in the US as it was in 1910. This favoured the British, Irish, Scandinavians, and Germans, and worked against the southern Europeans and Asians. The measure was backed by organised labour, worried about unemployment, by reformers worried about the poverty and slums in the US, and by those who felt that the Asian races were inferior to Europeans.

12 April 1921, US President Harding rejected joining the League of Nations.

10 December 1920, Woodrow Wilson and Leon Bourgeois were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

9 November 1920, Philip Hodge, US engineer, was born.

16 October 1920, US Marines killed the Haitian rebel leader.

16 September 1920, A bomb exploded at the JP Morgan bank, killing 30 and injuring 100.

26 August 1920. Under the 19th Amendment, women received the vote in the USA.

5 July 1920, In the US, the Democratic Convention nominated James M Cox for Presidency and F D Roosevelt for Vice-Presidency.

12 March 1920, Edward P. McCabe, African-American land agent who sought to make the Oklahoma Territory into a majority black state, died aged 69.

16 January 1920. Prohibition began in the USA (18th Amendment), and the sale, manufacture, or involvement with alcohol was banned.

See also Morals - Alcohol for more details on Prohibition.

5 January 1920. Radio Corporation of America was formed for world-wide broadcasting.

27 November 1919. A large meteor landed in Lake Michigan.

11 November 1919, Death of Andrew Carnegie, US steel magnate and philanthropist. Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, on 25 November 1835, his family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when Andrew was 13. \he gave considerable sums to education and set-up the Carnegie Endowment for International Pece.

13 October 1919. Dock strike in New York.

22 September 1919. Major steel strike in the USA.

9 September 1919, Boston, USA, police went on strike over low pay. Just 427 of the former 1,544 man force remained on duty, and crime soared. The militia were called in and the strikers sacked.

11 August 1919, Andrew Carnegie died aged 83 at his Berkshire Hills, Massachusetts, mansion. Out of his fortune, he had given away US$ 350 million in philanthropic donations.

25 February 1919, Oregon became the first US State to levy a tax on petrol. The tax revenue was used for road construction and maintenance.

15 January 1919, A tank containing 8.7 million litres of warm molasses in Boston, USA, burst. A 5-metre high wave of molasses swept through the docks area at 60 mph, wrecking buildings. 21 people were killed and 150 injured. Many died as the molasses cooled and became more viscous, suffocating its victims.

12 May 1918, Julius Rosenberg was born (see 19 June 1953).

19 March 1918, US Congress passed the Standard Time Act making the 4 US time zones official.


Anti-Communism starts in USA

2 January 1920. Major US crackdown on suspected Communists began. The �Palmer Raids� in over 30 cities across the USA resulted in the arrest of almost 3,000 anarchists, communists and other radicals. These raids were the idea of Attorney-General A Mitchell Palmer. The raids were controversial; some protested at the disregard for civil liberties, but some on the Right wanted those detained to be executed. Palmer himself, a Democrat, lost the Presidential nominationin late 1920 but maintained he had foiled a Bolshevik plot to overthrow the US Government.

31 August 1919. The US Communist Party was founded.

11 February 1919, The Overman Committee was set up in the US, and played a crucial role in constructing image of the Red Radical Soviet� threat to the US. It was a precursor to the HUAC (House Committee of Un-American Activities).

15 August 1918. The US severed diplomatic relations with the Bolshevik government of Russia.


USA enters the Great War, after attacks on its shipping


19 March 1920. The US Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, and the US refused to join the League of Nations.

15 March 1919, Delegates from the American Expeditionary Force founded the American Legion Organisation of Veterans, to support veteran�s welfare.

3 February 1919, US President Woodrow Wilson attended the first meeting of the League of Nations in Paris.

14 December 1918, President Woodrow Wilson arrived in Paris for peace talks.

Post-War initiatives


11 November 1918. Armistice Day. World War One ended. Fighting ceased on the Western Front, and Austro-Hungary signed an armistice with the Allies. See 29 September 1918.Church bells rang out across Britain in celebration. The Allies had not expected such a sudden collapse of Germany; in September 1918 they were planning campaigns for 1919. However General Ludendorff was shaken by the sudden Allied advance (see 8 August 1918) and begged Kaiser Wilhelm to seek an armistice immediately. The Armistice was signed in Marshal Foch�s railway carriage, near Compiegne.Warsaw became the capital of a restored Polish State. The armistice required Germany to relinquish 5,000 heavy guns, 30,000 machine guns, 2,000 aircraft, all U-boats, 5,000 locomotives,150,000 wagons and 5,000 lorries. The surface fleet was to be interned (see 21 November 1918), the Allies were to occupy the Rhineland, and the blockade of German ports would continue. World War One cost 9 million lives, with a further 27 million injured. Britain alone had lost 750,000 men, and a further 200,000 from the Empire, with another 1.5 million seriously injured. The War had cost the Allies an estimated US$ 126 billion, and the Central Powers a further US$ 60 billion. Britons now celebrated, and wages rose, although higher food prices eroded some of those gains. Women, at least those over 30, finally had the vote, and smoking, gambling and movies boomed, with Charlie Chaplin as movie star.

The US was the greatest beneficiary of the War. US losses amounted to 53,000 men, a small number compared to 8,500,000 casualties of the European combatants. US industry had become more efficient, and key sectors such as chemicals had learned to do without Europe; the US aviation industry had been transformed. Economically, The US had needed European capital before 1914; by 1918 Europe owed the US some US$ 10,000 million.

29 September 1918. Allied troops captured part of the Hindenburg Line. Ludendorff called for an armistice to avert acatastrophe for Germany. Negotiations opened with President Woodrow Wilson of the USA on 4 October 1918 but fighting continued till 11 November 1918.

9 August 1918, The US Government ordered a halt to all civilian car manufacturing, with effect from 1 January 1919, so resources could be diverted to building military vehicles.

27 April 1918, The United States Department of War created the responsible for the training of United States Army aviation personnel and units. Division of Military Aeronautics

8 April 1918, Betty Ford, US President Ford�s wife, was born.

12 February 1918, In New York, all Broadway theatres closed so as to save coal for the US War effort.

21 January 1918, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra banned all performances of works composed by living Germans.

7 December 1917. The USA declared war on Austria.

4 August 1917. The US said avoiding conscription could be punished with execution.

15 July 1917, US Congress passed the Espionage Act. Section 1introduced heavy penalties, of up to 20 years in prison, for anyone causing insubordination or disloyalty in the armed forces, or obstructing recruitment; 2,000 prosecutions were brought under this measure. The Act also empowered the US Postmaster to exclude from the mail any material in violation of Section 1.

9 July 1917, US President Woodrow Wilson placed the export of food, fuel, iron and steel under Government control, and sent warships to join the British blockade of Germany.

27 June 1917. American troops arrived in France to fight with the Allies.The American expeditionary force was commanded by General John Pershing.

15 June 1917, The US passed the Espionage Act, under which persons could be fined or imprisoned for hindering the war effort; the Federal Government took control of the US railways.

See France-Germany for main events of World War One

18 May 1917. The US introduced conscription under the Selective Service Act. This required every male aged 21 to 31 to register for the draft on 6 June 1917. Local Boards would select half a million men for military service..

3 May 1917, US destroyers arrived to join the British navy.

24 April 1917, In the US the Liberty Loan Act authorised the issue of War Bonds.

20 April 1917. The US broke off relations with Turkey.

6 April 1917. The USA declared war against Germany, with a declaration signed by President Woodrow Wilson. This followed the revealing by the British on 1 March 1917 of the Zimmerman Telegram, a missive from Germany to Mexico urging it to declare war on the USA and recover its lost territories. The German Foreign Minister, Arthur Zimmerman, had sent a coded telegram to the German Ambassador in Mexico offering an alliance against the US, in which Mexico would recover its territories of New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. British naval intelligence intercepted and decoded the message and passed it to President Wilson. American shipping bound for Britain had also been attacked by German submarines.

The Germans did not believe that the US could raise and equip an effective army quickly enough to make a difference in Europe, and that even if they did, it could not be transported across a submarine-infested ocean. They seriously underestimated the determination and resources of the US.

Meanwhile this day the King and Queen of England attended a Thanksgiving service at St Pauls Cathedral for the US�s entry into the �war for freedom�.

2 April 1917, US President Wilson asked the US Congress to pass a resolution to declare war on Germany.

26 February 1917. News of the sinking of the Cunard liner Laconia by German U-boats reached capitol Hill just as Congress was debating measures to protect US shipping from the growing menace of U boats in the Atrlantic. Earlier in February 1917a US ship, the Housatonic was sunk, making a total of 134 neutral ships destroyed by the Germans in the last 3 weeks. The US navy was already mounting patrols to protect its ships in the Atlantic.

7 February 1917. All US citizens in Germany were held as hostages.

See France-Germany for main events of World War One

3 February 1917. The USA broke off relations with Germany.

31 January 1917. Germany announced a policy of unrestricted naval warfare. All ships, passenger or cargo, found by Germans could now be sunk without warning. This was a calculated risk by Germany because it was bound to involve US shipping being sunk, and would therefore bring the USA in against Germany. But Germany reckoned on the inevitability of the USA entering the war against here soon anyway, and believed she could win the war before this happened. The German Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Von Holtzendorff, presented a memo to the Kaiser saying that if 600,000 tons of Allied shipping could be sunk each month, within five months Britain would have to surrender. In fact, in the worst month, April 1917, German U-boats sank 869,103 tons of shipping, 373 ships. The British adopted a convoy system, despite fears that a convoy�s speed was limited to that of the slowest ship. The Navy had feared it had too few destroyers for this job but then realised that it had enough if only ocean-going ships, not cross-Channel traffic, was guarded.

Meanwhile the British navy deployed Q-ships, gunships disguised as merchant ships which lured U-boats to the surface then opened their gun hatches at the last moment. The first trial convoy ran from Gibraltar on 10 May 1917. The convoy system worked; of 26,604 vessels convoyed in 1917, only 147 were sunk. Meanwhile the Germans lost 65 of their 139 U-boats. Meanwhile Allied shipping blockaded German trade, creating shortages of tea and coffee, but more seriously, fertiliser shortages too. In the final German land offensive of 1918, advancing German troops discovered their privations were not being endured by the enemy, and German morale fell.


26 December 1917, Brite Ranch raid A US cavalry force of 200 men pursued the Mexican raiders that besieged a Texas ranch the day before, killing 10 raiders and recovering some of the stolen horses and supplies.

2 July 1917, Race riots in Illinois, 75 Black people were killed.

9 March 1917, Dante Fascell, American politician (U.S. House of Representatives from Florida) was born in Bridgehampton, New York (d. 1998).

8 March 1917. US marines landed in Cuba to help the civil authorities.

2 March 1917. The US Congress passed the Jones Act, making Puerto Rico a US territory.

20 February 1917, The USA bought the Dutch West Indies.

5 February 1917, Immigrants to the US were now required to pass a literacy test. This law, inspired by the Immigration Restriction League founded in 1894, had been vetoed by US President Wilson, but was passed by Congress anyway. Those fleeing religious persecution were exempted, which allowed more Russian Jews to enter.

29 January 1917. Congress passed the Immigration Act (or, Asiatic Barred Zone Act), requiring all immigrants to know at least 30 words of English and banning all Asian migrants except Japanese. This followed on from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, banning further immigration from China. See for further details.

1916, The US introduced its first tax on inherited wealth, an �estate tax�.

1 December 1916, The lights of the Statue of Liberty were turned on by President Wilson.

31 July 1916, Ammunition freight wagons exploded in New York, killing 26.

3 July 1916, Hetty Green, the wealthiest women in the USA died aged 80, leaving a fortune of US$ 100 million.

15 June 1916, In the US, the Democratic Convention nominated President Wilson as presidential candidate.

10 June 1916, In the US, the Republican Convention nominated Charles E Hughes as presidential candidate.

15 March 1916. The US mounted a punitive raid into Mexico in revenge for the raids of Pancho Villa into New Mexico on 9 March 1916.

28 September 1915. Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg was born (see 19 June 1953).


US prepares for World War One, maintains neutrality despite Lusitania attack

3 June 1916, US Congress established the Reserve Officers Training Corps for officer training in colleges.

3 December 1915, German diplomats were expelled from Washington DC, USA.

9 September 1915, The USA expelled its Austrian Envoy.

4 July 1915, As World War One got underway I Europe, the US held a �National Americanization Day� to pull the nation together, promoting nativism amidst fears of subversion.

7 May 1915. The Lusitania, captained by William Thomas Turner, was torpedoed. 1,400 people drowned 8 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, near Cork. 128 Americans were among the 1,208 casualties, including friends of President Woodrow Wilson and the millionaire yachtsman Alfred Vanderbilt, as the ship made its way back to Liverpool on a voyage from New York. America condemned the torpedoing of the ship by a German submarine as an act of piracy and this brought the USA into the War.

The 30,000 tonne Lusitania had sailed from New York on 1 May 1915. She carried 1,257 passengers, including 128 Americans; 702 crew; and an estimated 3 stowaways. Her cargo list, later a source of controversy, included small arms cartridges, uncharged shrapnel shells, cheese, furs, and, oddly, 205 barrels of oysters. The Germans later claimed the �oysters� were actually heavy munitions whose explosion had doomed the ship. However there was no second explosion after the torpedo hit; there were no heavy munitions and rifle rounds burned harmlessly, like firecrackers, and did not explode.

Cunard had shut down the Lusitania�s fourth boiler room to save on coal but even at the reduced maximum speed of 21 knots it was reckoned she could outrun any German U-boat. Passengers ignored warnings from the German Embassy published in the New York Press not to cross the Atlantic under a belligerent flag, and the lifeboat drills on board were palpably inadequate. The Lusitania had plenty of lifeboats but most were unlaunchable because the ship listed heavily as water poured through lower deck portholes, opened for air despite orders to close them.She sank within 18 minutes of being hit.

The sinking of the Lusitania deepened American hostility towards Germany but President Woodrow Wilson�s administration was split between the hawks and doves, and it was another 2 years before America entered the war.

See France-Germany for main events of World War One

20 April 1915. President Wilson declared the USA to be strictly neutral in the Great War.

10 February 1915, US President Wilson cautioned the WW1 combatants against attacks on US ships.

31 July 1914. The New York stock exchange closed with the outbreak of World War One.


Panama Canal completed

15 August 1914, The 40-mile long Panama Canal opened; construction work had begun on 4 July 1914. The first ship to pass through the canal, this day, was the SS Ancon.

17 November 1913. The steamship Louise became the first ship through the Panama Canal.

10 October 1913. The Panama Canal was completed.


15 March 1915, US soldiers under General Pershing entered Mexico to hunt down the revolutionary Pancho Villa.

28 January 1915, The US Coastguard was founded at Washington DC.

8 May 1914, The US Congress officially recognised Mothers� Day, setting it as the second Sunday in May thereafter.

21 April 1914, US troops occupied the Mexican city of Vera Cruz to prevent German weaponry reaching the Mexican military.

20 April 1914, US National Guard troops shot dead 3 striking mine workers, along with 2 women and 13 children, in Colorado.

26 March 1914, General William Westmoreland, Commander in Chief of US forces in Vietnam 1964-68, was born (died 18 July 2005).

1913, The United States Department of Labor was created, to promote the welfare of US workers.

1913, The Woolworth Building, designed by Cass Gilbert, was completed. Until 1930 it was the highest skyscraper in the city.

24 December 1913, The Italian Hall Disaster. A stampede at the Italian Hall in Calumet, Michigan killed 73 people (59 of them children) during a Christmas Eve celebration for over 400 striking miners and their families. An unknown person had yelled "Fire!" (even though there wasn't one). Speculation included the theory that an anti-union ally of mine management had yelled out the false alarm in order to disrupt the party.

23 December 1913, The Federal Reserve, the Central Banking system of the USA, was established.

31 October 1913, The Lincoln Highway, from New York to San Francisco, was officially designated, see 12 December 1912.

14 May 1913, The Rockefeller Foundation was established, by US industrialist James Rockefeller.

8 May 1913, US Congress approved the Underwood-Simmons Act, reducing import duties by 30%. This was the first reduction in the US tariff wall since the civil war; domestic industries suffered.

8 April 1913, The 17th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. This provided for the election of US Senators by direct popular vote, so ending the �millionaire�s club� that had dominated the US Senate.

31 March 1913, New York�s Ellis Island, where new migrants were processed, received a record 6,745 admissions.

27 March 1913, The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Futrell v. Oldham that Junius Futrell was the Governor of Arkansas, after Futrell and former President William Kavanaugh Oldham had both claimed the office

25 February 1913. In the USA, Federal income tax was introduced. By the 16th Amendment the US Government was authorised to raise a tax of between 1% and 6% on incomes of more than US$ 4,000 (US$ 3,000 for bachelors) without having to share this tax revenue between the States of the Union according to their population.

3 February 1913. In the USA, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. This authorised the imposition of income tax.

1912, US President Taft passed an Act stipulating how the US flag should look (see 1818). It then had 48 stars.

2 November 1912, An explosion on the battleship USS Vermont near Norfolk, Virginia killed 2 and injured 4.

12 September 1912, Carl Fisher and James Allison announced a plan to build a motor road across the USA from New York to San Francisco, 3,389 miles (5,454 km) long. They hoped to get backing from Henry Ford but he declined. Then they decided to name the road after former US President Abraham Lincoln, making it eligible for a Government grant. They secured US$ 1.7 million this way, and the Lincoln Highway was officially designated on 31 October 1913.

5 August 1912, In Chicago, the Progressive Party, nicknamed the "Bull Moose" Party to rival the Republican elephant and Democrat donkey, called itself to order as its founding convention opened at noon.

23 June 1912, A bridge over the Niagara Falls collapsed, killing 47.

18 June 1912, Tuesday (-12,012) The US national Republican Convention in Chicago was split between Taft, supported by the conservatives, and Theodore Roosevelt, supported by the progressives. When Taft was nominated, the conservatives split to form the Bull Moose Party, taking the liberals form the Republican Party.

12 April 1912, Clara Barton (born 25 December 1812 near Oxford, Massachusetts) died at Glen Echo, Maryland. She founded the American Red Cross in 1881, having worked in Europe with the Red Cross there to alleviate the suffering caused by the Franco-Prussian War.

14 February 1912. Arizona became the 48th State of the USA.

6 January 1912. New Mexico became the 47th State of the USA.

23 May 1911, The New York Public Library opened on 5th Avenue.

15 May 1911, After a long legal battle the US Supreme Court ordered that Standard Oil be broken up into 34 smaller companies, including Mobil Oil, Chevron and Exxon. Standard Oil had become a huge monopoly through trust agreements signed by its leader John D Rockerfeller in 1882, that gave it control over 75% of US refining capacity, 90% of US pipelines, and 15% of crude oil products. Standard Oil also had interests in gas, copper, iron, steel, shipping, banks, and railroad companies. The State of Ohio challenged this monopoly in Court , and in 1890 US Congress passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, giving the Federal US Government the power to regulate corporate trusts that extended across State boundaries, In the 1904 Presidential Election Theodore Roosevelt began a trust-busting campaign, culminating in the 1911 Supreme Court decision against Standard Oil.

25 April 1911, Jack Ruby, killer of Lee Harvey Oswald, was born.

13 March 1911, L Ron Hubbard, US science fiction writer who founded the scientologists, was born.

17 February 1911, The city of Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, was incorporated.

25 January 1911. US troops were sent to Rio Grande in the Mexican Civil War.

1 October 1910, Bonnie Parker, US outlaw of the Bonnie and Clyde duo, was born in Rowena, Texas.

30 September 1910, US terrorist J.B. McNamara planted a time bomb in a passage beneath the headquarters of the Los Angeles Times newspaper, with 16 sticks of dynamite set to explode after working hours. Two other bombs were placed outside the homes of the Times owner and the secretary of the Merchants and Manufacturers Association. The bomb outside the Times building detonated shortly after 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, triggering an explosion of natural gas lines and setting a fire that killed 20 newspaper employees.

6 July 1910, The city of Redmond, Oregon, was incorporated.

3 July 1910, Esau Jenkins, African-American educator was born (died 1972).

19 June 1910. Fathers Day was instituted in the USA.

18 June 1910, The city of Glendale, Arizona, was incorporated.

6 March 1910, Thomas Collier Platt, US politician, died in New York City (born 15 July 1833 in New York State)

16 December 1909, US marines forced the resignation of President Jose Zelaya of Nicaragua.

27 September 1909, US President Taft set aside some 3 million acres of oil-rich land, including the Teapot Dome, Wyoming, for conservation purposes.

22 August 1909, 5 US workers died in steel industry riots.

24 March 1909, Clyde Barrow, one of the Bonnie and Clyde outlaws, was born in Toledo, Texas.

26 December 1908, Claus Spreckels, US industrialist, died in San Francisco (born 1928 in Hanover)

14 November 1908, Joseph McCarthy, US politician and lawyer noted for his purge against Communists, was born in Grand Chute, Wisconsin.

14 October 1908, George Harold Brown, US engineer, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

12 August 1908, The Model T Ford began rolling off the production line. Priced at US$ 825, the cost was kept low by mass production using standardised parts. Instead of one man assembling an entire car, each worker preformed just one task as the car moved along a conveyor belt. By this production line method, the time to assemble a car was cut from 14 hours to 2. To motivate his workforce, Henry Ford raised wages from US$ 2.34 for a 9 hour day to US$ 5 for an 8 hour day. Productivity improvements meant Ford could reduce the car�s price to US$ 300. Over 15 million Model Ts were built and by the time production ceased in 1927 half the cars in the US were Fords.

26 July 1908. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, was established in Washington DC. Before this date the US Department of Justice often called on Secret Service �operatives� to help in its investigations. These operatives were well trained and dedicated but expensive. They reported not to the Attorney General but to the chief of the Secret Service. Bonaparte created a special agents force, to report not to the chief of the Secret Service but to the Chief Examiner, Stanley Finch, later head of the FBI. This force of 34 agents later became a permanent part of the Department of Justice.

7 July 1908, The US Democratic Party Convention started their 3 day meeting in Denver, and nominated William Jennings Bryan as Presidential candidate.

16 June 1908, The US Republican Party began a 4-day conference at Chicago. President Theodore Roosevelt, who had promised not to seek another term in 1904, now chose William Howard Taft as his successor.

10 May 1908. Mothers Day was first celebrated in the USA.

21 March 1908, Abraham Maslow, US psychologist, was born (died 1970)


USmigration policy

24 February 1908. Japan and the USA agreed to limit Japanese migration to the US. President Roosevelt was concerned at working-class migration into the US following an influx of Chinese coolies. Chinese migration began to fall from its peak of 107,000 a year; Japanese migration only began more recently and in 1900 there were only 25,000 Japanese in the whole of the USA.

18 February 1908, The Japanese Government sent a note to the US Ambassador in Japan accepting President Roosevelt�s order of 14 March 1907 restricting Japanese immigration t the USA.

17 April 1907, A record all time high of 11,747 immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, New York, this day.

14 March 1907, The US President forbade Japanese labourers from entering the USA.


16 December 1907, The US sent a fleet of 16 battleships on a round-the-world tour, to demonstrate the military might of the USA.

23 November 1907, The Rockefeller institute was founded, with a US$ 2.5 million gift from John Rockefeller.

16 November 1907. Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th State of the USA.

15 October 1907, The US town of Fontanet was almost totally destroyed when its gunpowder factory exploded.

1 October 1907, A downturn in the US stock market led to a banking crisis that led to a year-long depression.

13 May 1907, US President Roosevelt persuaded the Mayor of San Francisco to rescind the segregation of Japanese, Chinese and Korean schoolchildren (11 October 1906). However the underlying fears of a reduction in US wages caused by Japanese and Chinese immigration remained.

13 March 1907, The New York Stock Exchange collapsed.

1 March 1907, The New York Salvation Army Bureau set up a suicide counselling service.


Panama Canal

5 January 1909. The Colombian Government formally recognised Panamanian independence.

26 February 1907. President Roosevelt put the US army in charge of building the Panama Canal.

26 November 1906, US President Theodore Roosevelt returned to the USA from Central America, becoming the first American President to travel abroad whilst in office. On his 17-day trip aboard the US battleship Louisiana he visited Puerto Rico then went on to Panama to see how the construction of the Panama Canal was progressing.

4 July 1904. Work began on the 40 mile-long Panama Canal.It opened on 15 August 1914.

18 November 1903, Panama granted the canal strip to US, by treaty ratified on 26 February 1904.

3 November 1903. Panama revolted and declared itself independent from Colombia. On 6 November 1903 the US recognised Panamanian independence. On 12 August 1903 the Colombian Senate had rejected US plans for a canal at Panama. On 18 November 1903 the US and Panama signed a treaty to build the Canal. See 22 January 1903.On 2 November 1903 the US sent three warships to Panama.

12 August 1903, The Colombian Senate rejected US plans for a Canal at Panama, see 3 November 1903.

14 March 1903. The US Senate ratified construction of the Panama Canal.

22 January 1903. The USA and Colombia signed a treaty to allow construction of the Panama Canal. See 3 November 1903.

28 June 1902, The USA authorised the construction of the Panama Canal.

18 January 1902. A US Commission chose Panama as the site for a new canal.


25 October 1906, The Japanese Ambassador to the US lodged a protest regarding the segregation of Japanese children in San Francisco schools (see 11 October 1906)

19 October 1906, Frederick Winslow Taylor, originator of Taylorism, was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Pennsylvania.

11 October 1906, The San Francisco Board of Education ordered segregation in separate schools of Japanese, Chinese and Korean children. President Roosevelt was unhappy, aware of the likely impact on international relations.

9 October 1906. Death of Joseph Glidden in the USA; he invented barbed wire.

30 June 1906, US Congress passed the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. There had been a public outcry after Upton Sinclair�s novel The Jungle had exposed poor conditions in the meat packing industry.����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

22 June 1906, US President Roosevelt sued John D Rockerfeller�s Standard Oil Company for operating a monopoly. See 15 May 1911.

21 May 1906, The USA and Mexico reached agreement about water rights on the Rio Grande, which had increasingly been diverted for US irrigation.

18 April 1906. Major earthquake hit San Francisco. Over 1,000 people were killed and large fires threatened upmarket homes on Nob Hill, after the water mains were destroyed in the quake. Overall, 3,000 acres of the city were devastated. The fire did more damage than the quake, it took 3 days to bring the blaze under control and 490 blocks were destroyed.

14 April 1906, US President Roosevelt called US writers who were exposing corruption as �men with a muckrake, an allusion to Bunyan�s Pilgrim�s Progress. The term came to be applied favourably to all crusading writers exposing wrongdoing.

21 March 1906, John D Rockefeller III, billionaire philanthropist, was born.

24 December 1905, The US industrialist Howard Hughes was born.

17 December 1905, The New York City press noted the transformation of the Harlem neighbourhood, a predominantly Black area of Manhattan, as a result of a victory for the African-American community in a successful legalfight In April, the Hudson company had purchased three apartment houses on West 135th Street between 5th Avenue and Lenox Avenue and issued eviction notices to the African-American tenants. Payton retaliated the same day by issuing eviction notices to the White tenants in its two buildings on 30 and 32 West 135th StreetBy December, Hudson River Realty had been forced to sell the three apartment buildings to Afro-American Realty Within the next 20 years, White property owners moved out as some sold their buildings at a loss or boarded them up, rather than to rent or sell to Black people and "A negro colony (sic) spread from the concentrated area around Payton's original buildings on 134th Street, until it became an onslaught no wall could contain."

11 December 1905, Edward Atkinson, US economist, died in Boston (born 10 February 1827 in Brookline, Massachusetts).

19 June 1905. The world�s first all motion picture cinema opened in Pittsburgh. For 10 cents admission there was a film, Poor But Honest, followed by The Baffled Burglar, accompanied by a melody on theharp by Madame Durocher.

15 May 1905, In the USA, Las Vegas was founded.

8 March 1905, The US Senate confirmed all the diplomatic and consular appointments made by President Roosevelt.

28 February 1905, George Boutwell, US statesman, died in Groton, Massachusetts (born in Brookline, Massachusetts 28 January 1818).

23 February 1905, The Rotary Club was founded by Paul Harris and others, in offices in Dearborn, Chicago.

18 February 1905, Jay Cooke, US financier, died (born 10 August 1821).

10 February 1905. The state of Wisconsin passed a tax on bachelors aged over 30.

1904, The US Forestry Service was created, out of the Department of Agriculture, by President Roosevelt.

6 December 1904, US President Roosevelt extended the Monroe Doctrine (that the USA would permit no more foreign interference in the western hemisphere). Roosevelt stated that this meant the US has responsibility to seek redress for wrongs inflicted on a foreign State by a western hemisphere State. In effect, Roosevelt was asserting a right by the US to interfere in Latin American affairs.

1 December 1904, The Great World Fair, at St Louis, USA, closed, having had millions of visitors from all over the world.

4 October 1904, Death of French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, designer of the Statue of Liberty.

3 June 1904, Robert Keep, US educator, died (born 26 April 1844).

28 May 1904, Matthew Stanley Quay, US politician died (born in Pennsylvania 30 September 1833)

23 May 1904, Introduction of cheap steerage rates encouraged migration from Europe to the USA.

18 May 1904, In Morocco, a US citizen, Ion H Perdicaris, was kidnapped by brigands under Raizuli. The USA sent a note to the Moroccan Government insisting on Perdicaris� release, or the capture of Raizuli, and in June 1904 Perdicaris was released. This incident boosted the US Republican�s reputation for muscular protection of its interests abroad.

30 April 1904, The St Louis Exhibition opened.

22 March 1904. In the USA, the Daily Illustrated Mirror carried the world�s first colour picture in a newspaper.

15 February 1904, Marcus Hanna, US politician, died (born 24 September 1837).

7 February 1904. A major fire destroyed much of the centre of Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

4 January 1904, The US Supreme Court ruled that Puerto Ricans could enter the US freely, but were not entitled to US citizenship.

30 December 1903, Major fire at a Chicago theatre, 602 killed in a panic stampede for the exit.

1 August 1903, Calamity Jane, prominent figure in the US Wild West, died of pneumonia this day, aged 51 (born 1 May 1852).

4 July 1903, President Roosevelt of the USA inaugurated the Pacific Communications Cable with a global message.

22 April 1903, The new New York Stock Exchange opened at 18 Broad Street.

21 March 1903, In the US, the grievances that caused the 1902 miners� strike were resolved with a 10% pay rise and shorter working day, The mine owners, however, refused to recognise the United Mine Workers Union.

3 March 1903. The USA passed a bill to limit immigration and ban �undesirables�.

15 February 1903, The first teddy bear was sold from Michtom�s candy store, New York. The origin of teddy bears was that in 1902 on a hunting trip by President Theodore Roosevelt, his assistants tied a bear to a tree so he could shoot it; Roosevelt refused such unsporting conduct and set the bear free instead.

11 February 1903, US Congress adopted the Expedition Act. This authorised the US Attorney-General to �expedite� anti-Trust cases through the Courts, as President Roosevelt�s �Trust-busting� campaign grew in popularity.

1902, (see also Prisons) Death of John Peter Atgeld (born 1847), who was a prison reformer ahead of his time. A German-born lawyer in Chicago, he was concerned about how the poor found it difficult to access justice. He was elected Governor of Illinois in 1892 and succeeded in passing laws regulating child labour and loosening the monopolies enjoyed by railways and tramways companies. He pardoned three anarchists imprisoned since 1886, and condemned President Cleveland for sending in troops to disrupt a railway strike. However he was then vilified by the press as a �Illinois Jacobin� and was defeated when seeking re-election in 1896.

31 December 1902, Ina test of the Monroe doctrine, British and German naval ships seized the Venezuelan navy and shelled a fort in Caracas, to enforce payment for property seized without compensation during the 1899 revolution. The US pressurised the two countries to end the blockade and refer the matter to the international court in The Hague.

21 October 1902, A strike by 140,000 anthracite miners, mainly in Pennsylvania, ended, over 4 months after it began on 12 May 1902, after President Roosevelt threatened to call in the army to run the mines. The price of coal in the US had risen steeply through the summer as the mine owners refused to even recognise the United Mine Workers (UMW) Union, let alone negotiate with it.

15 October 1902, US President Roosevelt threatened to send in troops to end a miner�s strike.

14 October 1902, The Court of Arbitration in The Hague decided, in the case of the Pious Fund (see 22 May 1902) in favour of the USA, calling on Mexico to pay US$ 1,402,682.

22 August 1902, Theodore Roosevelt became the first incumbent US President to travel by car. He very much preferred horse and carriage.

30 July 1902, The US militia restored order in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, after a street fight between striking coal miners and police, resulting in at least one death.

20 July 1902, John MacKay, US industrialist, died (born 28 November 1831)

17 June 1902, US Congress passed the Newlands Reclamation Act, establishing a fund from the sale of public land to build dams to irrigate arid western lands.

22 May 1902, The US agreed with Mexico to submit to arbitration at the new Court of Arbitration in The Hague a dispute between the two countries over interest payments (The Pious Fund), see 14 October 1902. US President Roosevelt did this in order to show support for the New Court.

7 May 1902, The U.S. House of Representatives began consideration of statehood for the U.S. territories of Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico.


USA and overseas territories, 1901-02

20 May 1902, Cuba gained dependence, from US military rule, see 1 January 1899.

29 April 1902, The USA extended the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to cover Chines labourers moving to the US mainland from US overseas territories. This was aimed at curbing Chinese migrants from the Philippines.

2 December 1901, In the Insular Case, the US Supreme Court ruled that Puerto Ricans and inhabitants of other US overseas territories are US Nationals, but not US citizens, as the US Constitution only applied to areas incorporated by Congress.

27 May 1901, The US Supreme Court handed down the first of three verdicts in the so called �Insular Cases�, deciding the status of overseas territories such as Puerto Rico. The effect was that whilst some US laws would apply to such territories, full privileges of citizenship would still have to be specifically conferred by Congress.


14 April 1902, US trader KC Penney opened his first store, in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

3 March 1902, In the USA, the Supreme Court banned dealing in �financial futures�.

30 November 1901, In the USA, Christmas tree lights were developed by the Edison Electric Company.

18 November 1901. US journalist and statistician George Gallup was born in Jefferson, Iowa.

29 October 1901, Anarchist Leon Czolgosz was executed by electrocution for assassinating US President McKinley

26 October 1901, William Holland, US abolitionist, died aged 87.

25 October 1901, A serious fire killed 19 people and left another 12 badly injured in Philadelphia, USA. The fire began in the 8-floor Hu8nt & Wilkinson furniture company and spread to three other buildings. The conflagration began in the basement and spread up the lift shaft.

24 October 1901, Ann Edson Taylor rode over the Niagara Falls in a padded barrel, and lived to tell the tale.

12 October 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt renamed the Executive Mansion as The White House.

10 September 1901, US anarchist Emma Goldman was arrested for her part on the plot to kill President McKinley.

3 September 1901, Theodore Roosevelt, then Vice-President of the USA, spoke the phrase �speak softly and carry a big stick�. Meaning use diplomatic negotiations but have military back up if needed. This became known as �big stick diplomacy�.

6 August 1901, The town of Lawton, Oklahoma, came into being as the United States Land Office began auctioning lots divided from a 320-acre townsite located near the U.S. Army's Fort Sill.

29 July 1901, The Socialist Party of America was founded at Indianapolis.

14 March 1901, Utah's Governor Heber Wells vetoed a bill that would have prevented criminal prosecution of polygamy. Earlier in the week, the State Senate had voted 11�7 to approve the measure and the State House of Representatives had concurred, 25�17.

25 February 1901, The United States Steel Corporation was formed by merging several smaller companies, including Andrew Carnegie�s steel company. Carnegie wished to retire and practise philanthropy.

10 January 1901, Major oil discovery in Texas, USA. The salt dome of Spindletop had been suspected of containing oil since 1865; this day oil was struck; a gush of oil 6 inches wide rose over 200 feet, and was visible for over 10 miles. The population of nearby Beaumont rapidly rose from 10,000 to over 50,000, as oil production at Spindletop reached 100,000 barrels per day. Oil production in the area lasted until 1950.

8 September 1900, Over 5,000 were killed when a hurricane hit Galveston, Texas.

5 July 1900, Henry Barnard, US educationalist, died in Hartford, Connecticut born in Hartford, Connecticut 24 January 1811).

9 May 1900, Striking tramway workers in St Louis, USA, blew up a tramcar.

16 April 1900. The world�s first book of stamps was issued, in the USA.

8 April 1900, In the first major event associated with the introduction of Buddhism to the United States, Buddha's birthday was celebrated in an elaborate ceremony in San Francisco. The Buddhist mission had begun its outreach to European-Americans in weekly lectures beginning on January 4.

2 January 1900. New York�s first electric omnibus began operating.

2 December 1899. In Washington, the USA, Britain, and Germany signed a treaty dividing the Samoan Islands between the USA and Germany.

6 September 1899. The US Secretary of State, John Hay, embarked on an �open door� policy towards China. He also urged the European powers, and Japan, to respect China�s territorial integrity and pursue a policy of free trade with China.

31 July 1899, Daniel Brinton, US archaeologist, died (born 30 May 1837).

1 July 1899, The first juvenile court sat, at Cork County Court, Chicago.

24 May 1889, Laura Bridgman, US blind deaf mute, died (born 21 December 1829).

18 March 1899, Othniel Charles Marsh, US palaeontologist, died in new Haven, Connecticut.

17 January 1899, Al Capone, American gangster who operated in Chicago, was born in Naples, Italy.


US battle for the Philippines, 1898-1899 See also Philippines for more details of the Philippine independence struggle against the USA

24 November 1899. US forces finally captured Luzon in the Philippines after nine months of jungle warfare. The US was awarded the Philippines in 1898 but found it hard to subdue the territory. Insurrectionist leader Emilio Aguinaldo wanted independence and declared the Malolos Republic in 1898. Aguinaldo continued a guerrilla war from the mountains.

4 February 1899, A rebellion against US rule broke out on the Philippines. The US had backed General Emilio Aguinaldo against Spanish colonial rule (see 10 December 1898), but instead of independence the Philippines came under US rule.

1 January 1899, The official date on which US military rule succeeded Spanish rule of Cuba.

12 December 1898, The Treaty of Paris ended the US-Spanish war.

10 December 1898, The war between Spain and the USA ended. The USA acquired Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and. for a US$20 million indemnity, the Philippines. See 4 February 1899.

18 October 1898, The USA took formal possession of Puerto Rico from Spain.

13 August 1898, US forces captured Manila, capital of the Philippines.

28 July 1898, Puerto Rico surrendered to US forces.

3 July 1898, The US navy destroyed a Spanish fleet attempting to escape the US blockade on the port of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.On 5 July 1898 US forces captured Santiago itself.

20 June 1898, The US navy seized the island of Guam.

1 May 1898, US forces under George Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, Philippines.

24 April 1898, The United States declared war on Spain as a result of the sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana harbour on 15 February 1898. Fighting began in the Philippine Islands at the Battle of Manila Bay on 1 May 1898, where Commodore George Dewey destroyed a Spanish fleet. The war ended when the USA and Spain signed a peace treaty in Paris on 10 December 1898. As a result Spain lost control over the remains of its empire, including Cuba.

20 April 1898, The US demanded the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Cuba.

15 February 1898, The US warship Maine blew up in Havana harbour, Cuba.Spanish sabotage was suspected.The USA declared war on Spain on 24 April 1898.


1 January 1898. The boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Richmond, Manhattan, and The Bronx united to form Greater New York.

19 February 1897. The Women�s Institute organisation was founded at Stoney Creek in Ontario by Mrs Hoodless. The first W I meeting was on 25 September 1897. The W I idea was brought to England by a Mrs Watt during World War One.

13 January 1897, Mr and Mrs Bradley Martin, members of New York�s �top 400�, threw an extremely extravagant party in which the ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria was made into a replica of Versailles. This event, in the face of an economic recession, attracted much criticism in the popular press, and the Martins fled to England.

26 June 1896. The world�s first permanent cinema opened in New Orleans; admission was 10 cents. Britain�s first cinema opened in Islington on 5 August 1901, and charged between 6d and 3s for entry. However by World War One most cinemas were only charging 3d or 6d. The first drive in cinema opened on 6 June 1933 in Camden, New Jersey, and could hold 400 cars.

26 May 1896, In the USA, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shares index was first published.

6 March 1896, Charles Brady King test-drove a car he had built in Detroit, the first car ever driven in what would become known as Motor City.

4 January 1896. Utah became the 45th State of the USA.

17 December 1895. Relations between the US and Britain were under severe strain because of a border dispute between Guiana and Venezuela.

12 December 1895, Allen Granberry Thurman, US statesman, died in Columbus, Ohio (born 13 November 1813 in Lynchburg, Virginia

26 August 1895. A hydroelectric plant designed by Nikola Tesla and built by Westinghouse opened at Niagara Falls.

24 May 1895, Hugh McCulloch, US financier, died (born 7 December 1808).

1 January 1895, J Edgar Hoover, American criminologist and founder of the FBI, was born in Washington DC.

14 December 1894. Eugene Debs, President of the American Railway Union, was jailed for 6 months for ignoring an injunction to end the Pullman strike. The strike began on 11 May 1894 when the Pullman Company reduced wages but did not cut rents for workers living in company housing.The strike turned violent with riots and burning or railroad cars. Attorney-General Richard Olney obtained an injunction to end the strike on the grounds it was obstructing the mail, and when this was ignored federal troops arrived in Chicago to enforce the court order. By 10 July 1894 the strike was broken.

22 November 1894. The USA and Japan signed a commercial treaty.

1 May 1894. David Coxey, who led a march of 100,000 unemployed to the capital, Washington, to demand economic reform, was arrested.

3 January 1894, Elizabeth Peabody, American educator and founder in 1960 of the first kindergarten in the US, died aged 89.

31 October 1893, US Congress repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 and the USA returned to the Gold Standard. Silver prices collapsed.

11 May 1893, Samuel Armstrong, US soldier and philanthropist, died in Hampton, Virginia (born 30 January 1839 in Maui, Hawaii).

5 May 1893, Panic selling hit the New York Stock exchange. In the ensuing crash, some 500 banks and 15,000 companies went bankrupt.

15 December 1892, Paul Getty, US oil tycoon, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

2 December 1892, Jay Gould, US financier, died (born 27 May 1836).

12 October 1892, The USA introduced an oath of allegiance to Flag and State for its schoolchildren.


US restricts immigration, especially from China


1902.The Chinese Exclusion Act was extended to include those of Oriental origin from Hawaii and the Philippines, and such exclusion was made permanent.

17 March 1894, The USA and China signed a Chinese Exclusion Treaty, whereby China consented to the exclusion of Chinese labourers from migration to the USA. This year the US established an Immigration Bureau, and a group of Boston citizens formed an Immigration Restriction League, which campaigned for literacy tests for immigrants to the US. This was aimed against Chinese, Slavs and Latin-Americans.

5 May 1892, US Congress passed the Geary Chinese Exclusion Act, extending all restrictions on Chinese immigration to the USA for another 10 years, and requiring all existing Chinese immigrants to register or face deportation.

1 January 1892, New York opened an immigration office on Ellis Island to cope with the flood of immigrants to the USA.

Many were fleeing political and religious persecution in Russia and Central Europe. Named after Samuel Ellis, who owned the island in the 1770s, the new facility replaced older cramped facilities at The Battery on Manhattan Island.

3 March 1891, US Congress voted to establish a US Office of Superintendent of Immigration.

1 October 1888, In an attempt to curb Chinese immigration, US Congress ruled that any Chinese

worker who had left the USA could not return again.


7 April 1891, Phineas T Barnum, American circus showman, died aged 80.

4 March 1891, US Congress passed the Copyright Act, to protect authors, composers and artists.

24 November 1890, August Belmont, US financier, died in New York (born in Prussia 8 December 1816).

1 October 1890, US import duties reached record levels after the protectionist McKinley Tariff act was passed.

6 August 1890, In New York�s Auburn prison, the electric chair was used for the first time on the murderer William Kemmler. This method of execution was attacked as constituting �cruel and unusual punishment� but was upheld in the US State and Federal Courts. By 1906 115 murderers had been executed by �electrothanasia�, and the method was had also adopted by the US States of Ohio (1896), Massachusetts (1898), New Jersey (1906), Virginia (1908) and North Carolina (1910).

13 July 1890, John Fremont, explorer of the US Midwest, died (21 January 1813).

10 July 1890, Wyoming was admitted as the 44th State of the USA.

3 July 1890, Idaho became the 43rd State of the Union.

2 July 1890, The US government passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, banning trade monopolies. With more than 90% of the US oil trade in the hands of the Rockerfeller family, and sugar, wheat, and alcohol prices also governed by mysterious �trusts�, the US government felt that these trusts threatened the economic structure of the USA. A judge, Mr Justice Harlan, said that these trusts were another form of slavery, as capital became concentrated in the hands of a few.

1 June 1890, The US Census Bureau began using Herman Hollerith�s tabulating machine to count census returns.Hollerith�s company eventually became IBM.

14 April 1890, The Pan-American Union was established at the first International Congress of American States.

28 March 1890, Washington State University was established in Pullman, Washington.

8 March 1890, North Dakota State University was founded in Fargo, North Dakota.

11 November 1889. Washington became the 42nd State of the Union.

8 November 1889, Montana became the 41st State of the Union.

2 November 1889, North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th States of the Union.

24 September 1889, Daniel Hill, US Confederate soldier, died (born 11 July 1821).

3 June 1889, The first �long-distance� electric power transmission line in the US was completed.It ran 14 miles from a generator at Williamette Falls to downtown Portland, Oregon.

22 April 1889, The great land rush in the US, see 2 May 1890.

8 March 1889, John Ericsson, Swedish-US inventor and engineer, died in New York City (born in Langbanshyttan, Sweden, 31 July 1803).

22 February 1889, US President Grover Cleveland signed a Bill admitting North and South Dakota, Montana, and Washington, as US States.

25 October 1888, Richard Byrd, US naval officer and polar explorer, was born in Winchester, Virginia.

9 October 1888, The 555-foot high white marble Washington Monument was opened.It was designed by Robert Mills.

4 March 1888, Amos Alcott, US educationalist, born 29 November 1799, died.

25 December 1887, Conrad Hilton, American hotelier, was born in San Antonio, New Mexico.

23 November 1887, Violence erupted in a sugar cane workers strike in Louisiana, and at least 20 Black people were killed.

8 November 1887, John Henry Holliday, US gunfighter, died.

31 August 1886, Earthquake hit Charleston, USA. .27 were killed and 90% of the city�s buildings were damaged, with US$5 million incurred. However the city soon recovered.

22 August 1886, Amos Lawrence, US philanthropist, died (born 31 July 1814)

8 December 1885, William Henry Vanderbilt, son of Cornelius Vanderbilt and philanthropist, died in New York (born 8 May 1821 in New Jersey)

4 May 1886, The Haymarket Square Riot in Chicago. A bomb exploded at a trades union rally, killing 7 policemen and injuring 70 other people. Four people were executed by the State of Illinois, and the incident greatly eroded public support for the trades union movement.

1 May 1886, Over 100,00 workers across the USA went on strike for an 8 hour day. A bomb thrown by Anarchists in Chicago on 4 May 1886 killed 7 police and strikers and injured 60 more. The perpetrator was never found but a judge ruled that seven who had incited the event were as guilty and sentenced them to death. One committed suicide, four were executed, and two had their sentences commuted.

14 November 1885, Horace Chaflin, US merchant, died (born 18 December 1811).

10 September 1885, The town of Stafford, Kansas, was officially incorporated as such. The boundaries of Stafford County were fixed by the US legislature in 1868, and was named in honour of Lewis Stafford, a Civil War soldier who was killed ion the Battle of Young�s Point. For several years the county had no permanent settlers, but was inhabited by buffalo hunters, cowboys, and surveyors. The first permanent inhabitants arrived in May 1874. Early industries included the gathering of buffalo hides and bones left by earlier settlers; buffalo bones fetched US$3-US$9 a ton. Many of the first houses were made of earth, or sod, hence the first town here was called �Sod-Town�, renamed Stafford in 1885.

1 July 1884, Allan Pinkerton, founder of Pinkerton�s detective Agency, USA, died in Chicago (born 25 August 1819 in Glasgow, Scotland)

16 June 1884, The first purpose-built roller coaster, the Switchback railway, opened at Coney Island, New York.

7 May 1884, John Fox Slater, US philanthropist, died (born 4 March 1815)


Statue of Liberty

28 October 1886, The Statue of Liberty in New York was unveiled by President Grover Cleveland.It was presented by France to mark the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and designed by the French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi; it took more than nine years to complete.

5 August 1885, Erection of the Statue of Liberty in Bedloe�s Island, New York, began.

4 July 1885, The Statue of Liberty was formally presented to US Minister Morton by Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps.

19 June 1885. The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York from France. The statue was dedicated to the US-France friendship on 28 October 1886 by President Cleveland. The Statue was 300 foot high, of a woman holding a tablet with the date 4 July 1776 on it. The 225 ton structure made of hand-hammered copper sheet on a steel frame was assembled in France then dismantled and shipped to the USA.

21 May 1885, The Statue of Liberty was completed. Work on it was begun in 1874 by Auguste Bartholdi, in Paris.


23 October 1883, The Metropolitan Opera House in New York opened.

4 April 1883, Death of Peter Cooper, US inventor and steam locomotive designer (born 12 February 1791).

16 January 1883, The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act in the USA instituted a more meritocratic system of recruitment to the Civil Service, replacing the former �spoils� system.

1882, The US passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, to halt Chinese immigration into the USA. See 29 January 1917.

5 September 1882, The first Labor Day Parade was held in New York.

30 June 1882, Charles Guiteau, who shot and killed US President James Garfield on 6 July 1881, was hanged.

3 April 1882, Jesse James, US outlaw, died.

26 October 1881, The gunfight at the OK Corral, Arizona, took place between Doc Holliday and Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp and the Clantons and McLaurys.

3 August 1881, William George Fargo, co-founder of the Wells Fargo Express in 1852, died aged 65.

4 July 1881, The outlaw William H Bonney, or Billy the Kid, born 23 November 1859, was shot dead in New Mexico by lawman Pat Garrett. He reputedly killed his first man before he was a teenager.

31 December 1880, George Marshal, US general and politician who originated the Marshal Plan for the post World War Two reconstruction of Europe, was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

1 June 1880, The first public telephone call box was installed, in New Haven, Connecticut.

8 March 1880. President Hayes of America declared that the USA will have jurisdiction over any canal built across Panama.

26 January 1880, Douglas MacArthur, American military commander in the south-west Pacific in World War Two, was born near Little Rock, Arkansas.

8 November 1879, Margaret Eaton, acquaintance of US President Jackson, died (born 1796).

13 October 1879, Henry Carey, US economist, died (born 15 December 1793).

17 May 1879, Asa Packer, US industrialist and philanthropist, died (born 29 December 1805 in Connecticut)

9 March 1879, Elihu Burritt, US philanthropist, died (born 8 December 1810)

10 December 1878, Henry Wells, partner of William Fargo, died.

4 October 1878, The first Chinese Embassy in the USA opened, in Washington DC.

12 June 1878, Benjamin Bonneville, US military engineer and explorer, died in Foret Smith, Arkansas. An extinct glacial lake which once covered NW Utah is named in his honour.

28 January 1878, America�s first commercial telephone switchboard exchange opened in New Haven, Connecticut.

21 June 1877, Eleven members of the Molly Maguires, a secret Irish-American coalminer�s organisation, were hanged after ten years of criminal activity in Pennsylvania. The organisation had been infiltrated by the Pinkerton detective agency.

8 April 1877, William Muhlenberg, US philanthropist, died (born 16 September 1796).

2 August 1876, Death of Wild Bill Hickok, Marshall of Kansas City, who gunned down many outlaws; he was shot in the back this day.

1 August 1876, Colorado became the 38th State of the USA.

10 April 1876, Alexander Turney Stewart, US merchant, died in New York (born 12 October 1803 near Belfast, Ireland)

9 January 1876, Samuel Howe, US philanthropist, died (born 10 November 1801).

2 October 1875, San Francisco�s Palace Hotel opened.

17 May 1875, The Kentucky Derby horse race, USA, was first run.

9 December 1874, Ezra Cornell, US industrialist who founded Cornell University in Ithaca, died.

7 December 1874, Race riots in Vicksburg, Mississippi, 75 Black people were killed.

17 September 1874, The White League rioted against the Black Government in New Orleans,USA.

29 January 1874, John D Rockefeller, US entrepreneur, was born.

23 December 1873, Sarah Grimke, US social reformer, died (born 6 November 1792).

9 October 1873, Charles Walgreen, US entrepreneur who founded Walgreens, was born.

13 April 1873, In the USA, the Colefax Massacre occurred when 300 armed White men clashed with militant African-Americans over a disputed local election result in Louisiana. Over 100 African Americans were killed.

5 December 1872, The Marie Celeste was spotted drifting, crewless, in the Atlantic near The Azores, and was boarded by the crew of the Dei Gratia. The 206 ton Marie Celeste had left New York on 7 November 1872, captained by Benjamin Briggs, with his wife, daughter and eight crew on its way to Genoa, with a cargo of 1,700 barrels of alcohol, which was found intact. The lifeboat was missing but the captain�s table was set for a meal that was never eaten.

9 November 1872, A great fire broke out in the commercial district of Boston, USA, on the Saturday night. It burned until Sunday 10th, and destroyed 767 buildings filled with merchandise. 14 lives and an estimated US$75million of goods were lost. Very little residential property was lost and the commercial district was soon rebuilt with better buildings and straighter roads.

7 November 1872, The 282 ton brigantine Marie Celeste set sail from New York on her ill-fated journey.

6 January 1872, James Fisk, US financier, was shot and killed (born 1 April 1834).

17 October 1871, Death of Sylvester Mowry (born 17 January 1833). He was a miner and land speculator who promoted the establishment of the Arizona Territory.

11 October 1871, The Great Fire of Chicago ended.

8 October 1871, The Great Fire of Chicago started, killing 300 people. 90,000 were made homeless and US$ 200 million damage was done.The fire ended on 11 October 1871; it was supposedly started in Mrs O�Leary�s barn in De Koven Street, by a cow upsetting a lantern. Four square miles of the city were destroyed, as a long spell of dry weather had made buildings tinder-dry.

11 July 1871, In New York City the ferryboat SS Westfield exploded, killing 104 people. Her boiler was severely corroded, but safety standards remained lax.

20 April 1871, In the US, the Klu Klux Klan Act outlawed paramilitary organisations such as the Klu Klux Klan.

17 August 1870, Mount Rainier, Washington, was first successfully climbed.

14 July 1870, David Farragut, US naval hero of the Civil War, died in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

22 June 1870, The US Department of Justice was established.

9 February 1870, The United States weather service was published.

3 February 1870, In the US, the Fifteenth Amendment gave every US citizen, regardless of race, the right to vote.

13 July 1869, Anti-Chinese-labourer riots in San Francisco.

10 May 1869, The first railroad across the USA from east to west, 1,776 miles long, was completed after three years work at a ceremony west of Ogden, in Utah. The Union Pacific Line finally met with the Central Pacific Line. Both companies raced to lay as much track as possible as they converged, spurred on by government payments of US$16,000 per mile, more for mountainous areas. A golden spike was driven in at Promontory Point, Utah, where the railways met. Travel time between New York and San Francisco was slashed from 3 months to 8 days.

24 August 1868, George J Adler, US lexicographer (born 1821) died.

28 July 1868, The USA and China signed the Burlingame Treaty at Washington DC, defining mutual rights of migration between the two countries.

25 July 1868, President Johnson signed an Act creating the territory of Wyoming.

9 July 1868, The US passed the Fourteenth Amendment, during the period of �reconstruction� following the conclusion of the Civil War. It guaranteed equality before the law for Black and White people alike, specifically including ex-slaves here, and prohibited any State from �abridging their privileges� ordenying them �equal protection of the laws�. However, due to the fact that corporations are also �persons� before the law, the 14th Amendment began to be used for purposes it was not intended for. The 14th Amendment was used to shield companies from government regulation, and even, before the 1950s, to justify racial discrimination because it contained the words �separate but equal�. Later, in the 1980s, it was still being used to block so-called �positive discrimination� in favour of racial minorities.

23 May 1868, Kit Carson, US soldier and fur trapper who did much to open up the West to White settlers, died (born 24 December 1809)


Impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, thwarted, 1868

30 March 1868, The intended impeachment of US President Andrew Johnson began before the Senate, but enough Democrats rallied with the republicans to prevent by a single vote the intended trial.

13 March 1868, First impeachment trial of a US President. Andrew Johnson was accused of illegally removing a federal office holder. He was found not guilty and remained in office until the end of his term.

25 February 1868, Andrew Johnson, 17th US President 1865-69, was impeached.

21 February 1868, The US House of representatives voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson.

18 February 1868, In the USA, President Andrew Johnson dismissed Secretary of War Edwin M Stanton,and contravened a law requiring the Senate�s approval for dismissal of certain elected officials. Johnson was attempting to protect White supremacists in the South.


28 August 1867, The Midway Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, were claimed for the US by Captain Reynolds.

1 March 1867, Nebraska became the 37th State of the Union.

13 April 1866, Butch Cassidy, American outlaw, was born.

12 February 1866. Invoking the Monroe Doctrine, the USA called for the withdrawal of French troops from Mexico. Maximilian, having failed to secure recognition of his regime from the US, now sought help from Napoleon III and the Pope, but his cause was hopeless.

25 December 1865, The Union stockyards at Chicago opened, on 345 acres of reclaimed swampland SW of the city. The shutdown of the Mississippi River as a trade route due to the US Civil War meant that Chicago replaced Cincinnati, Louisville and St Louis as the nation�s meat packing centre, along with the railways now serving Chicago. The new stockyards could hold 10,000 cattle and 100,000 hogs.

26 October 1865, Benjamin Guggenheim, US businessman, was born

27 April 1865, In the US, the paddle steamer Sultana exploded on the Mississippi River, killing 1,600 people on board.


End of slavery in the USA/ Klu Klux Klan founded

24 December 1865, The Klu Klux Klan was founded in the US by six men in Pulaski, Tennessee.

18 December 1865. Slavery was officially abolished in the USA with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, signed on 1 February 1865. See 16 June 1858. The slave trade to the United States had been prohibited in 1807 but slavery continued in the southern States as the cotton trade grew. The publication of Harriet Beecher�s Uncle Tom�s Cabin in 1852 convinced many of the evils of slavery but Northerners were still reluctant to back a full abolitionist policy. But they did not wish to see slavery spread from the South either and this led to the American Civil War of 1861-65 after the election of Abraham Lincoln as president. Slaves were freed in areas joining the Northern side and in all areas after the 13th Amendment was passed.


Assassination of President Lincoln

8 July 1865. Four of the conspirators involved in the murder of President Lincoln (see 15 April 1865) were hanged. Another three were sentenced to life imprisonment.

26 April 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, died of a bullet wound incurred whilst resisting arrest in a burning barn on a farm near Bowling Green, Virginia.

14 April 1865. President Lincoln was shot by an assassin. He died the following day, 15 April 1865.The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, a failed actor, was himself shot dead on 26 April 1865. He had entered the Box Seven of Ford�s Theatre and shot the President in the back of the head with a single bullet. The audience was laughing, and few heard the shot. Booth then slashed at a soldier who rushed him, jumped on stage and shouted �Thus always to tyrants � the South is avenged�. Booth managed to escape the theatre, but was tracked down by police and federal agents. President Lincoln was buried on 4 May 1865 at Springfield, Illinois, where he began his legal career and where he married. See 8 July 1865.


Last stages of American Civil War. Confederates lose their last port and their capital

1 May 1867. The Confederate leader Jefferson Davies walked out of a Virginia courtroom, free after 2 years in prison. But he still faced treason charges, as well as involvement in the assassination of President Lincoln.

10 November 1865, Henry Wirtz, Confederate commandant of the prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia, was hanged for �murder in violation of the laws and customs of war�. Some 31,000 Union prisoners have died in Confederate camps, and 26,000 Confederates have died in Unionist camps.

4 July 1865, Alonzo Potter, Bishop of Pennsylvania, died in San Francisco (born 6 July 1800 in New York State)

23 June 1865, The last significant rebel army in the US Civil War surrendered, in Oklahoma Territory.

6 June 1865, USA civil war southern supporter William Quantrill, born 1837,, died from wounds sustained whilst trying to escape from Unionist soldiers.

26 May 1865. The Confederate Army under General Kirby Smith surrendered in Texas, fully ending the American Civil War.

10 May 1865. Jefferson Davies, Confederate President of the USA, was taken prisoner by Union forces in the American Civil War.

9 April 1865. The American Civil War ended when General Robert E Lee surrendered his Confederate army to General Ulysses S Grant at the Appomattox Court House, Virginia. The 27,000-strong Confederate army was effectively beaten but was seeking to gain access to a railway which could have taken them south to join with General Johnson�s forces in North Carolina. But Union forces blocked this move. The Confederate soldiers were allowed to keep their horses and small arms, on condition that they did not take up arms against the North again. This surrender effectively ended a conflict that had set brother against brother, and taken over half a million lives.

6 April 1865, The Battle of Sailor's Creek was fought near Farmville, Virginia, as part of the Appomattox Campaign, near the end of the American Civil War. The Confederates were defeated.

5 April 1865, Union troops destroyed the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia.

3 April 1865, Battle at Namozine Church, Virginia (Appomattox Campaign)

2 April 1865, Grant broke through at Petersburg, forcing the Confederates to abandon Richmond.

13 March 1865, During the American Civil War, the Confederates passed a law allowing African Americans to enlist in their army. Whilst their freedom was not explicitly promised, their being armed made them effectively free.

2 March 1865, President Lincoln rejected Confederate attempts to negotiate, demanding unconditional surrender.

22 February 1865, Wilmington, the last Confederate port, fell to the Union forces.

17 February 1865, Confederate troops abandoned Charleston. Sherman�s forces occupied Columbia, South Carolina.


Confederates now almost certain to lose the Civil War

6 February 1865, Robert E Lee became Commander of the Confederate forces in America.

1 February 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed a Resolution proposing the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery in the USA.

21 January 1865, Sherman left Savannah, starting an advance through the Carolinas.

24 December 1864, General Sherman captured Savannah, Georgia, from the Confederates.

16 December 1864, Battle of Nashville, US Civil War. The Union Army under General Thomas defeated the Confederates under General Hood.

15 November 1864, General Sherman set out on his march to Savannah, leaving Atlanta a ruin so the Confederates could not use it. He destroyed all arsenals, public buildings, machine shops, and depots, having evacuated all civilians.

31 October 1864, Nevada became the 36th State of the Union.

20 October 1864, Charles Lowell, US soldier, died (born 2 January 1835)

19 October 1864, At the Battle of Cedar Creek, in the American Civil War, General Sheridan defeated the Confederates.

For the Saint Albans (Vermont) raid this day, see Canada.

12 October 1864, Roger Brook Taney, US Chief |Justice, died (born 17 March 1777 in Maryland)

22 September 1864, Battle of Fisher�s Hill, US Civil War. Unionists under Sheridan defeated the Confederates under General Early.

19 September 1864, Sheridan repulsed Early at the Battle of Winchester, Virginia.

4 September 1864, John Morgan, US Confederate soldier, died (born 1 June 1825).

2 September 1864, Sherman took Atlanta, then marched across Georgia towards Savannah.

17 August 1864, Eight crewmen on the Confederate submarine HL Hunley sank the Union warship Housatonic with an explosive charge, killing five Northern sailors. This was the first time a submarine had sunk an enemy ship in wartime. The Hunley surfaced to signal success to shore with a blue light, then resubmerged. She never resurfaced.

7 August 1864, Philip Sheridan replaced Hunter.

5 August 1864, A Federal fleet under David Farragut won the Battle of Mobile Bay.

28 July 1864, At the Second Battle of Atlanta, the South under General Hood was again defeated.

22 July 1864, General Sherman defeatedSouthern troops under General John Bell Hood, aged 33, at the Battle of Atlanta.

12 July 1864, Federal forces defending Washington DC repulsed Early.

5 July 1864, Early invaded Maryland, aiming at Washington DC.

27 June 1864, Battle of Kenesaw Mountains, Georgia. Confederate troops defeated Sherman�s forces, killing 2,000 of them to losses of only 270 of themselves.

18 June 1864, The USS Kearsarge, captained by John Wilmslow, sank the British built warship Alabama, a Confederate ship, off Cherbourg.

15 June 1864, Arlington Cemetery, the site of the unknown soldier, was established near Washington.

14 June 1864, Leonidas Polk, US soldier, died (born 10 April 1806)

5 June 1864, Battle of Wilderness; Unionist victory.

3 June 1864, Battle of Cold Harbor. Fought in Virginia during the American Civil War, General Ulysses S Grant�s Unionist forces suffered heavy losses, 12,000 men, in an ill-judged attack on General Robert E Lee�s well-defended Confederate position. Although a Confederate victory, this battle served to maintain the Unionist strategy of maintaining unremitting pressure on the South..

23 May 1864, Battle of North Anna; Confederate victory.

21 May 1864, The Battle of Spottsylvania Courthouse ended.

19 May 1864, David Hunter replaced Sigel as Union Commander in the Shenandoah Valley.

15 May 1864, Battle of Drewry�s Bluff; Confederate victory.

11 May 1864, Battle of Yellow Tavern; Unionist victory.

10 May 1864, James Stuart, US soldier, died in battle at Yellow Tavern (born 6 February 1833)

9 May 1864, John Sedgewick, US General, was killed in battle (born 13 September 1813 in Connecticut)

7 May 1864, Sherman launched a campaign against Joseph Johnston in Georgia.

9 March 1864, General Ulyssses Grant was made Commander in Chief of the Union forces in the American Civil War.

2 March 1864, US President Lincoln rejected Confederate General Lee�s call for peace talks, demanding surrender.

23 November 1863, The Battle of Chattanooga in the American Civil War. The Confederates under Bragg were heavily defeated.

19 November 1863. Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, at the dedication of the military cemetery at Gettysburg. He said �government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth�.

2 November 1863, US President Lincoln was invited to make a speech at the dedication of the new cemetery at Gettysburg. Jefferson Davis visited Charleston and publicly stated that he believed the city would not fall.

17 October 1863, US Secretary of War Edwin Stanton boarded a train in Indianapolis, with orders for him to assume command of the Military Division of the Mississippi.

3 October 1863. President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be a national holiday of Thanksgiving.

19 September 1863, The Battle of Chickamauga in the American Civil War. Confederate forces under Bragg won, but at a cost of over 2,000 dead and 14,600 wounded.

21 August 1863, The Quantrill raid, on Lawrence, Kansas.

11 July 1863, Conscription began for the Unionist Army in the US Civil war. Draft riots broke out in New York and other cities; 1,200 people were killed.

4 July 1863, Confederate forces under General Joseph Pemberton surrendered unconditionally to Federal troops who had besieged Vicksburg since May. This effectively split Confederate territory in two.

3 July 1863, The Battle of Gettysburg,, Pennsylvania, in the American Civil War, ended with the Confederate Army under General Robert E Lee routed and over 50,000 dead or wounded.The Union victory was under General Meade

1 July 1863, The Battle of Gettysburg began. It ended on 3 July 1863 with a Unionist victory, although both sides lost heavily (Unionists, 23,000; Confederates, 25,000). With his defeat at Gettysburg, General Lee retreated having lost any hopes of foreign support for his cause.


24 September 1864, Joshua Bates, US financier, died in London (born in Weymouth, Massachusetts 10 October 1788).

17 July 1863, John Jacob Astor, US millionaire, was born.

20 June 1863, West Virginia became the 35th State to join the Union.


Early to middle stages of US Civil War. Economic problems emerge in the Confederate States

3 June 1863, Lee began a campaign into Pennsylvania, partly to relieve pressure on his army in Virginia. This led to the Battle of Gettysburg, 1 July 1863.

10 May 1863, US General Stonewall Jackson died (born 21 January 1824).

6 May 1863, Lee (Confederate) defeated Hooker (Unionist) at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

3 May 1863, Despite a Confederate victory, their best General, Stonewall Jackson, was seriously injured. This day his arm was amputated; on 10 May 1863 he died of pneumonia.

30 April 1863, General Lee learnt of Hooker�s flanking manoeuvre and sent most of his forces to counter it, under Stonewall Jackson.

29 April 1863, Federal troops crossed the Rappahannock River below Fredericksburg to hold Lee�s forces in place whilst the flanking manoeuvre was completed.

27 April 1863, Hooker launched a flanking movement against Robert E Lee�s Army of Northern Virginia at Fredericksburg.

2 April 1863, Bread riots in Richmond, Virginia, as women protested at food shortages and high prices.

21 March 1863, Edwin Vose Sumner, US soldier, died

3 March 1863, President Lincoln signed the Conscription Act, compelling US citizens to report for duty in the Civil War or pay US$300. This would bolster the army and top up the war coffers.

26 January 1863, Joseph Hooker replaced Ambrose Burnside as Commander of the Army of the Potomac.

2 January 1863, The Battle of Stones River ended with Confederate forces under Braxton Bragg withdrawing from Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

1 January 1863, US President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves

13 December 1862, At the Battle of Fredericksburg in the American Civil War, Lee�s Confederate forces defeatedMajor General Burnside�s soldiers, who were attempting to capture the town of Fredericksburg, despite being heavily outnumbered.

26 October 1862, McClellan crossed from Maryland into Virginia.

22 September 1862, In a deliberate attempt to cause social disruption in the Confederacy, President Lincoln proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the South from 1 January 1863.

17 September 1862, Battle of Antietam, in the American Civil War. Although technically a Confederate victory, both sides suffered major casualties and the Union cause gained enough credibility to issue their Emancipation Proclamation. In particular Lee�s Confederate forces could not now invade the North and had to retreat back into Virginia.

15 September 1862, Battle of Harper�s Ferry, US Civil War. Confedreates under General Thomas Stonewall forced a Unionist garrison to surrender.

4 September 1862, Lee invaded Maryland. McClellan pursued him.

2 September 1862, Lincoln removed Pope from command after his defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run, and placed McClellan in charge of all Federal troops in the Washington area.

1 September 1862, Philip Kearny, US soldier, died (born 2 June 1815).

30 August 1862, At the second Battle of Bull Run, Virginia,Union forces under Pope were defeated byConfederate forces under Lee, helped by Jackson.

3 August 1862, Lincoln recalled McClellan�s army. Lee launched an offensive in northern Virginia.

1 July 1862, Battle of Malvern Mill; Unionist victory.

27 June 1862, Battle of Gaine�s Mill; Confederate victory.

26 June 1862, Battle of Mechanicsville; Unionist victory.

9 June 1862, Battle of Port Republic; Confederate victory.

8 June 1862, Battle of Cross Keys; Confederate victory.

6 June 1862, Turner Ashby, US cavalry leader, died in a cavalry fight in Harrisonburg, Virginia (born 1824 in Virginia).

31 May 1862, In the US Civil War, Federal troops withdrew from the area between the James and York Rivers, after suffering heavy losses.

25 May 1862, Battle of Winchester; Confederate victory.

20 May 1862, The Homestead Act was voted in by US Congress. It Specified that any US citizen, or alien wishing to become a citizen, could have free, apart from a US$ 10 registration fee, 160 acres of Western land provided they made certain improvements and lived there for 5 years.

8 May 1862, Battle of McDowell; Confederate victory.

2 May 1862, Union forces occupied Baton Rouge.

1 May 1862, Union forces occupied New Orleans.

28 April 1862, Union naval forces led by Flag Officer David Farragut captured New Orleans.

25 April 1862, Charles Ferguson Smith, US soldier, died (born 1807)

15 April 1862, Nashville, Tennessee, became the first Confederate capital to fall to Union forces.

7 April 1862, In the American Civil War, the Federal Army under Grant defeated the Confederates under General Joseph Johnson, on the second day of the Battle of Shiloh, near the Tennessee River.

6 April 1862, The Battle of Shiloh began.

23 March 1862, Unionists defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Kernstown.

27 March 1862, Confederate hopes of breaking through Union territory to the SW were dashed at the battle of Glorieta Pass, Santa Fe County, New Mexico.

17 March 1862, McClellan�s Army of the Potomac began its campaign against Richmond.

9 March 1862, The first battle between iron-clad ships took place in the American Civil War. Merrymack was forced to retreat by the Union ship Monitor. This blocked Confederate access to New York, and gave the Unionists command of the sea. The Monitor was the first ship to be fitted with a revolving gun turret allowing her to fire at any target regardless of direction and after 1862 all combat ships were fitted with this turret.

6 March 1862, Battle of Pea Ridge, US Civil War. The first major Union victory west of the Mississippi. Confederate General Ben McCulloch was killed.

4 March 1862, Confederate forces under Henry Sibley took Santa Fe.

1 March 1862, Stonewall Jackson received orders to prevent Federal forces in the Shenandoah Valley from advancing westward through gaps in the Blue Ridge Mountains and threatening Richmond, Virginia.

25 February 1862, �Greenbacks�, American banknotes, were first issued during the Civil War by Abraham Lincoln.

7 February 1862, Battle of Roanoke Island, US Civil War. Union General Burnside defeated the Confederates under General Wise.

8 November 1861, The Unionist warship San Jacinto removed Confederate Commissioners from the British mailship Trent.

7 November 1861, Union forces won a major victory over the Confederates at Port Royal, South Carolina.

24 October 1861, The Pony Express Mail Service in America, running from St Joseph in Missouri to Sacramento in California, ended after operating for just over 18 months.The Transcontinental telegraph line across the USA was completed.

21 October 1861, Unionist forces were defeated at the Battle of Ball�s Bluff.

2 October 1861, At the Battle of Bulls Bluff, on the Potomac River, the Unionists were defeated.

20 September 1861, The Battle of Lexington.

19 August 1861, The passport system was introduced in the USA.

16 August 1861, President Lincoln barred all commerce with the Confederacy.

10 August 1861, Union forces under General Nathaniel Lyon were defeated at Wilson�s Creek, Missouri.

21 July 1861, The first thrust by Unionist forces towards the Confederate capital at Richmond was repulsed at the first Battle of Bull Run.

18 July 1861, Skirmish at Blackburn�s Ford, Virginia.

17 June 1861, Battle of Booneville, US Civil war; Union victory.

10 June 1861, Battle of Big Bethel, Virginia.


American Civil War gets underway, Initial successes for Confederates; Britain neutral

8 June 1861, Tennessee became the 11th State to leave the Union.

3 June 1861, Stephen Douglas, US statesman, died (born 23 April 1813).

24 May 1861, Federal troops crossed the River Potomac and occupied Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia.

20 May 1861, Richmond, Virginia, was made the Confederate capital

13 May 1861, Britain declared its neutrality in the American Civil War.

20 April 1861, During the American Civil War, Colonel Robert E Lee resigned from the US Army when his home State of Virginia left the Union and joined the Confederates. He became Major-General of the Virginia forces.

17 April 1861, Virginia voted to secede from the United States, after the Battle of Fort Sumter and Abraham Lincoln's call for volunteers.

15 April 1861, President Lincoln called up 75,000 militiamen for 3 months.

19 April 1861, The first casualties of the American Civil War. An angry secessionist mob attacked troops headed for the US capital.

14 April 1861, The Battle of Fort Sumter ended. Confederates captured the fort.

12 April 1861, The American Civil War began between the 23 northern states and the 11 southern states. The Confederates fired shots on Fort Sumter. See 26 May 1865, end of Civil War. On 20 December 1860 South Carolina had seceded from the Union and between 9 January 1861 and 1 February 1861 six other states also seceded, mainly over the slavery issue. They set up the Confederate states.

Governor Pickens sent commissioners to Washington to claim possession of all US property in his state, including the forts on Charleston harbour. The northern, Union, forces meanwhile covertly abandoned Fort Moultrie, untenable against a land attack, and reinforced their position at Fort Sumter, on 26 December 1860. President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated at Washington on 4 March 1861. Lincoln faced the dilemma that seven slave states had seceded but eight remained in the Union. Any attempt at coercion would push these eight, apart possibly from Delaware, into the Confederacy. Many in the North favoured �letting the wayward sisters depart in peace�, and did not want war. The South was less averse to war because it believed the other slave states would rally to its aid. The South, outnumbered 2 to 1 in manpower and 30 to 1 in availability of arms, needed overseas aid to win.

Lincoln�s inaugural speech was really addressed to the slave states still in the Union, but sounded like a declaration of war to the Confederacy in the South. Lincoln determined to relieve Sumter, which might be starved into surrender by the Confederates. The Confederacy wanted war to galvanise its citizens, a considerable minority of whom had opposed secession. The bombardment of Sumter continued from 4.30am. on the 12 April until the afternoon of the 13 April, when it surrendered. The fall of Sumter �set the heather afire� in the North, and the Civil War was underway.

4 March 1861, President Abraham Lincoln, in his inaugural address as US President, promised to uphold the Union but also topreserve slavery in areas where it existed.

11 February 1861, The USA unanimously passed a resolution guaranteeing non-interference with slavery in any State

8 February 1861, The Confederate States united to fight the American Civil War, and chose Jefferson Davis as provisional President.

4 February 1861, Delegates from the seven Southern Confederate US States met in Montgomery to draft a separate Constitution. They were alarmed at President Lincoln�s overwhelming victocy in the rapidly-industrialising North, and his opposition to slavery.

See also Slavery

20 December 1860. South Carolina seceded from the USA.


29 January 1861, Kansas became the 34th State of the Union.

1860, The US songwriter Dan Emmett �I wish I was in the land of the dixes�; referring to the banknotes issued by the Citizen�s Bank of Louisiana, which used both English and French on its notes, so the 10$ notes were stamped �dix�, and became known as dixes. Emmett�s line became corrupted to �I wish I was in the land of Dixie�.

31 October 1860, Juliette Low, founder in the USA of the Girl Scouts, was born.

12 September 1860, William Walker, US adventurer, was executed in Honduras (born 8 May 1824 in Nashville, Tennessee)

6 March 1860. The Republican politician Abraham Lincoln made a campaign speech defending the right to strike.

16 February 1860, The first Japanese-built ship, the SS Karrinmaru, to reach the USA, arrived in San Francisco. A delegation then travelled to Washington DC.

10 January 1860. The first major factory accident in the USA. A textiles factory collapsed in St Lawrence, Massachusetts, killing 77 people.

1859, Boston�s Public Garden was established, 108 acres.

31 December 1859, US cotton production, mostly grown in the South, was 5.4 million bales in 1859, up from just 171,000 bales in 1810.

23 November 1859, Billy the Kid, or William Bonney, was shot dead by Sheriff Pat Garrett.

14 February 1859. Oregon became the 33rd State of the USA.

1858, Central Park in New York opened to the public, although it was not completed until 1863.

9 November 1858, The New York Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert.

29 July 1858, US diplomat Townsend Harris persuaded Japan to grant further trade privileges to the USA.

13 July 1858, US anthropologist Robert Culin was born in Philadelphia (died 8 April 1929).

16 June 1858. In a speech at Springfield, Illinois, US Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln said the slavery issue had to be addressed. He declared �a house divided against itself cannot stand�.

11 May 1858. Minnesota became the 32nd State of the USA.

23 December 1856, James Buchanan Duke, US industrialist, was born in Durham, North Carolina (died 10 October 1925 in New York).

2 September 1856, Jeremiah Jenks, US economist, was born.

4 July 1855. New York became the 13th state to ban the production or sale of alcoholic beverages. For more on Prohinition see Morals-Punishment.

26 October 1854, US entrepreneur CW Post was born.

5 July 1854, In America, the Republican Party was officially founded.

30 May 1854, US Congress adopted the Kansas-Nebraska Act, nullifying the Missouri Compromise.

See also Race Equality, end of slavery

13 April 1854, Richard Ely, US economist, was born.

31 March 1854, The USA and Japan signed the Treaty of Kanagawa, opening up the Japanese ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade.

28 February 1854, The United States Republican Party was formed, in Ripon, Wisconsin.����������

1 February 1854, New York�s Astor Libraty opened, with 80,000 books.

30 December 1853, The Gadsden Purchase was agreed with Mexico. The USA paid Mexico US$10 million, and received a tract of land south of the Gila River. This was arranged by James Gadsden, aged 65.

14 July 1853, The first US World Fair opened in New York. The event was modelled on London�s 1851 Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace.

8 July 1853, US Commodore Matthew Perry steamed into Japan�s Edo Bay (now Tokyo) with his �black ships� and demanded that the country open up to US trade. He backed up his demand with cannon fire. For 250 years Japan had been a feudal state run by the Tokugawa shoguns.

31 December 1852, Henry Carter Adams, US economist, was born.

24 December 1851, Large fire at the Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA. 35,000 books were destroyed, including most of Thomas Jefferson;�s personal collection, acquired in 1815.

22 October 1851, Archibald Alexander, US Presbyterian clergyman, died in Princeton, New Jersey (born 17 April 1772 in Virginia).

5 September 1851, Thomas Gallaudet, US educator of the deaf and dumb, died (born 10 December 1787).

14 August 1851, Doc Holliday, US Western gunfighter, was born.

13 August 1851, Felix Adler, US educationalist (died 24 April 1933) was born.

19 April 1850, The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty between the USA and UK was signed. It was an agreement on the terms for building a canal across Nicaragua; under this treaty, neither party would exercise exclusive control over such a canal or fortify it. The US and the UK each had territorial interests in Central America, and were suspicious of each other�s activities in the region. Ultimately this Treaty was superseded by a similar neutralisation policy regarding the Panama Canal under the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1902.

10 May 1849, In New York, 22 died and 56 were injured as troops fired on anti-British riots sparked by Irish gangs. The mob, armed with bricks and clubs, had gathered outside the Astor Place Opera House to revile the British actor Charles Macready, who had scorned the vulgarity of Americans.

5 March 1849, The US Departmwent of the Interior was created, to administer the large areas added to the US by the Louisiana Purchase and the Oregon Territories. It became custodian of the nations�s resources.

29 May 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th State of the Union.

29 March 1848, John Jacob Astor, US fur merchant and philanthropist, died in New York City (born 17 July 1763 in Walldorf, Germany).

19 March 1848, Wyatt Earp, American law enforcer, was born in Monmouth, Illinois.


US Mexico War 1846-48

2 February 1848. Mexico finally collapsed after nearly 2 years of war with the USA, in which 13,000 US soldiers were killed. Under the Treaty of Hidalgo, signed at Vera Cruz, Mexico surrendered Texas, New Mexico, and California for a payment of US$15million. The size of the USA was thus increased by nearly a third. The Mexicans feared US occupation of their own country and had no money left to fund the war.

14 September 1847. US troops stormed and captured Mexico City, ending the US war with Mexico. With US forces capturing Texas, New Mexico and California, Mexico lost a third of its territory.

See also Mexico C:\Users\BAD ROBOT\Desktop\My Webs\myweb4\images\000SouthCentrAmeric.htmfor Mexican War 1846-48

18 April 1847, US troops under General Winfield Scott defeated Mexican forces under Santa Anna at Cerro Gordo.

12 April 1847, During the war between the USA and Mexico (1846-1848), this day US General Winfield Scott met the first serious resistance to his advance on Mexico City.

23 February 1847, US forces under General Zachary Taylor defeated the Mexicans under Santa Anna at Buena Vista. The US had ambitions to occupy the entire North American continent (the Manifest Destiny), including possibly Mexico itself. The US had taken what is now New Mexico and California (Upper California to Mexico).

25 December 1846. US troops defeated the Mexicans near Las Cruces, virtually completing the conquest of New Mexico.

13 August 1846, US forces took Los Angeles from Mexico.

9 July 1846, US forces took San Francisco from Mexico.

7 July 1846, A US squadron under Commodore John Drake Sloat sailed into Monterrey Bay and formally claimed California for the USA, during the Mexican-US War. Pro Mexican revolts in California on 6 December 1846 were put down by US troops. On 13 January 1847 pro-Mexico fighters finally surrendered to the US in California, ending 25 years of Mexican rule,

14 June 1846, The start of the Black Bear revolt against Mexican rule in California. Settlers in the Sacramento Valley demanded in independent republic.

13 May 1846. The USA declared war on Mexico. US Congress authorised US$ 10 million to fund the war and to recruit 50,000 troops. Mexican troops had crossed the Rio Grande into US territory (Texas), sparking the war.

8 May 1846, Battle of Palo Alto. US General Zachary Taylor defeated a Mexican force of 6,000 soldiers with his 2,000 troops, forcing their withdrawal back across the Rio Grande.

13 January 1846, The USA attempted to buy the territory of New Mexico from Mexico, but negotiations failed. US troops were directed to advance to the Rio Grande, in anticipation of the failure of negotiations with Mexico.


1847, The southern portion of the District of Columbia (see 1790, 1801), south of the Potomac River and neglected by Washington DC including Alexandria City, voted to return to Virgina State.

5 September 1847. Jesse James, American outlaw, was born near Kansas City. With his elder brother, Frank, he led the first gang to carry out train robberies.

10 July 1847, The first Chinese migrants arrived in the USA. They came on the shipKee Ying, from Canton (Guangzhou).

26 January 1847, John Clark, US economist, was born.

28 December 1846. Iowa was admitted as the 29th (non-slave) State of the USA.

12 December 1846. The USA and Colombia agreed to grant the USA transit rights on the narrow isthmus of Panama between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

10 August 1846, The Smithsonian Institute was founded in Washington DC; it was established by a bequest from the British scientist James Smithson.

30 July 1846, The USA moved towards a free trade policy, with Congress passing the Walker Tariff Act. This lowered import duties and increased the range of duty-free goods, encouranging growth in US trade.

15 June 1846. Britain agreed with the USA that Oregon was US territory. All land west of the Rockies and below the 49th parallel was to be US territory.

26 February 1846, Buffalo Bill, American Army Scout and showman, was born on a farm in Scott County, Iowa, as William Frederick Cody.

1845, The US Naval Academy was founded in Annapolis, Maryland.

29 December 1845, Texas became the 28th State of the Union.

29 March 1845, The UK and France laid proposals before Mexico, that Texas should become independent but should not seek to ally with any other country; they were concerned about the rapid growth of the US (see 1 March 1845).

28 March 1845. Mexico severed relations with the USA following America�s ratification of the annexation of Texas on 1 March 1845, after an almost unanimous vote in favour by the Texas electorate. On 29. December 1845 Texas became the 28th state of the USA.

1 March 1845, US President Tyler approved the decision to annex Texas to the United States, just three days before the accession of President James K Polk. Both the UK and France were now concerned at the great expansion of the USA. See 29 March 1845.

26 April 1844, Robert Keep, US educator, was born (died 3 June 1904).

7 March 1844, Anthony Comstock, US moralist, was born in Connecticut (died 21 September 1913 in New York).

28 May 1843, Noah Webster, American lexicographer who first compiled Webster�s Dictionary in 1828, died in New Haven, Connecticut aged 84.

22 May 1843, The first wagon train, with over 1,000 people, left Missouri for Oregon. Travellers believed that paradisiacal conditions awaited them. Some 700 reached Oregon alive.

1 April 1843, John Armstrong, US soldier and politician (born 25 November 1758 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania) died in Red Hook, New York.

11 January 1843, Francis Scott Key, the American lawyer and poet who wrote the words of the US national anthem The Star Spangled Banner in 1814, died.

See also Mexico for events with USA at this time

4 November 1842, Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd, member of a slave-owning family in Kentucky.

9 August 1842, The USA and Britain settled a dispute over the US-Canada border in the Maine region.����

2 January 1842, The first wire suspension bridge in the USA opened, spanning the Schuykill River near Philadelphia.


for map of growth of the USA.

1840, From New York to Boston took 6 hours by train, or an overnight steamer journey; cost of the journey was 7 US$. From New York to Philadelphia by train and ferry took 6 � hours, down from 3 days in 1817. However if the Delaware river froze over the journey time was longer as passengers had to walk across the ice rather than use the ferry.

8 July 1839, John D Rockerfeller, American philanthropist, was born in Richford, New York State.

1 September 1838, William Clark, US explorer, died (born 1 August 1770)

11 July 1838, John Wanamaker, US merchant, was bgorn in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

4 July 1838, The territory of Iowa was established, with Robert Lucas as governor.

10 May 1838, John Wilkes Booth, American actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

1837, Atlanta, Georgia, was founded as a railhead.

25 November 1837, Andrew Carnegie, US industrialist and philanthropist, was born in Dunfermline, Scotland.

10 May 1837, Financial crisis in New York as banks suspended payments. Hundreeds of busniesses closed and unemployment soared.

17 April 1837, John Morgan, US financier, was born.

26 January 1837. Michigan became the 26th State of the USA.

7 December 1836, Stephen Austin, US pioneer, died.


Texas breaks away from Mexico; not admitted to the USA

25 August 1837. The Government in Washington refused to admit Texas to the Union. The US was anxious to maintain its neutrality in the dispute between Texas and Mexico, and did not want to, therefore, take the step of admitting one of the belligerents to the Union.

3 March 1837. On his last day in office, President Jackson recognised the Lone Star Republic of Texas.

22 October 1836, Sam Houston was sworn in as President of Texas.

21 April 1836. The Texan Army led by General Sam Houston inflicted a crushing defeat on the Mexicans, at the battle ofSan Jacinto, and took General Santa Anna prisoner.

6 March 1836, The siege of the Alamo ended.

2 March 1836. Texas was proclaimed a republic, by a group of 59 citizens, independent of Mexico.

23 February 1836. The Mexican Army, with 5,000 soldiers, under Antonio de Lopez Santa Anna, laid siege to the Alamo, a fortified mission station defended by 187 Texans, in San Antonio, Texas. Santa Anna had invaded Texas after Texas had declared itself independent of the USA and elected its own President. The Mexicans captured the Alamo on 6 March 1836, slaughtering all 187 defenders. Deaths included William Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davey Crockett. Only 2 women survived, who had sheltered behind the sacristy. The Mexicans told one of them, Susanna Dickinson, a blacksmith�s wife, to pass the message on to other Texans that further fighting was hopeless.

2 October 1835, Texan-Americans started their campaign for independence from Mexico by starting an armed rebellion against the government of Antonio de Santa Anna in the town of Gonzales. Americans had settled the area from 1825, when Texas was largely undeveloped and there was little interference from the Mexican Government. However the current administration was changing Mexico from a federation of states into a centralised state.

27 March 1835, Texan rebels were massacred by the Mexican Army at Gohad.


2 July 1836, US Congress passed an Act approving the founding of Dubuque, Iowa.

15 June 1836, Arkansas became the 25th State of the Union.

27 May 1836, Jay Gould, US financier, was born (died 2 December 1892).

4 March 1836, John Lowell, US founder of the Lowell Institute, died.

18 August 1835, Marshall Field, US merchant and philanthropist, was born (died 16 January 1906).

21 April 1835, Samuel Slater, key founder of the US textiles industry, died in Webster, Massachusetts (born 9 June 1768 in Belper, Derbyshire, UK)

1 April 1834, James Fisk, US financier, was born (killed 6 January 1872).

20 March 1834, Charles William Eliot, US educator, was born in Boston, Massachusetts (died inMaine, 22 August 1926).

29 January 1834, Workers constructing the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (started 1828) rioted. President Jackson ordered Secretary of War James Cass to send in Federal troops to restore order.

24 May 1833, Brooklyn Bridge in New York was opened.

1 March 1833, US Congress passed the Compromise Tariff Act. This ended a conflict between the cotton producing sourhern States which objected to high tariffs, and the industrial northern States. By 1842, no tariff was to be over 20% of the value of the good.

1832, The US Army daily liquor ration was abolished.

19 November 1832, South Carolina issued an Ordinance of Nullification, rejecting the reduction in tariffs legislated for by Congress on 14 July 1832.

14 July 1832, US Congress reduced some of the tariffs set in the 1828 Tariff of Abominations, but the US remained generally Protectionist.

13 July 1832, An expedition led by Henry Schoolcraft discovered the source of the Mississippi River.

26 June 1832, Mexico began to assert a more authoritarian rule over the US colonists in its territory of Texas. On this day the US colonists rebelled, and captured the Mexican Army fort of Velasco.

1 May 1832, Captain Benjamin de Bourneville started on a 3-year expedition to explore the Rocky Mountains.

25 January 1832, The State of Virginia rejected the abolition of slavery.

26 December 1831, Stephen Girard, US financier and philanthropist, died (born 20 May 1750).

See also Mexico for events with USA at this time

28 November 1831, John MacKay, US industrialist, was born (died 20 July 1902)

21 April 1831, Texans defeated the Mexicans at the Battle of San Jacinto.

21 December 1829, Laura Bridgman, US blind deaf mute, was born (died24 May 1889).

27 June 1829, James Smithson, British scientist whose bequest established the Smithsonian Institute at Washington to encourage scientific research, died in Genoa.

15 May 1829, US Congress declared the slave trade to be piracy.

24 May 1828, US Congress passed a Reciprocity Act, charging lower duties on imports from countries which reciprocated with the US, but opposition to the Tariff of Abominations remained.

9 May 1828, Charles Cramp, US shipbuilder, was born

21 April 1828, The American Dictionary of the English language was published. This both standardised American English and put cultural difference between it and British English.

19 April 1829, In the USA the protectionist Tariff of Abominations was signed by President John Quincy Adams. It raised duties to protect farmers in the West and Northern manufacturers, but did not help Southern cotton farmers.

10 February 1827, Edward Atkinson, US economist, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts (died in Boston 11 December 1905).

19 June 1826, Charles Brace, US philanthropist, was born I Litchfield, Connecticut (died in Campfer, Tirol, 11 August 1890).

26 October 1825, The Erie Canal, linking New York with the Great Lakes via Niagara and the Hudson River, begun 4 July 1817, was completed. Influenced by Governor DeWitt Clinton the New York state legislature agreed to fund the US$ 7 million project. The canal, 363 miles long, 40 foot wide, 4 foot deep, with 82 locks, would make New York the principal port of America.

24 May 1824, US President James Monroe signed a Bill establishing the US Army Corps of Engineers, to assist in building civilian transport infrastructure as well as in military campaigns.

8 May 1824, William Walker, US adventurer, was born in Nashville, Tennessee (executed in Honduras 12 September 1860)

4 May 1824, Rufus Putnam, who pioneered the European settlement of Ohio, died in Marietta, Ohio (born 9 April 1738 in Sutton, Massachusetts

2 December 1823, President Monroe of the USA declared that no part of the Americas is now �res nullius�, or open to further European colonisation, although existing European influences would be tolerated. This was the basis of the Monroe Doctrine.

5 June 1823, George Angell, US philanthropist, was born in Southbridge, Massachusetts (died 16 March 1909 in Boston)

10 August 1821, Missouri became the 24th State of the Union.

8 May 1821, William Henry Vanderbilt, son of Cornelius Vanderbilt and philanthropist, was born in New Jersey (died 8 December 1885 in New York)

26 September 1820, Death of US frontiersman Daniel Boone. He explored the Kentucky area.

23 May 1820, James Eads, US engineer, was born (died 8 March 1887).

15 May 1820, Congress in the USA designated the slave trade as a form of piracy.

15 March 1820, Congress reached a compromise on the slavery issue by admitting Maine (23rd state of the Union) to the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. This measure was to keep the number of slave and non-slave states equal.

9 March 1820, The USA passed the Land Act, paving the way for westward expansion by rich land speculators.

14 December 1819, Alabama became the 22nd State of the USA.

21 April 1819, Oliver Evans, US industrialist, died (born 1755).

1 March 1819, Alexander Bell, US educationalist, was born (died 1905).

22 February 1819, The US concluded the Adams-Onis Treaty with Spain substituting the River Sabine (present day boundary between Louisiana and Texas) for the Rio Grande as boundary between them. Spain/Mexico thereby gained the right to govern what is now Texas. The USA also gained Florida from Spain.

1818, With the number of US States growing, the US passed the Third Flag Act (see 1794), returning to the original thirteen stripes, with an extra star for each new State. The exact pattern of the stars was still variable, see 1912.

3 December 1818, Illinois became the 21st State of the USA.

20 October 1818, The USA and Britain agreed the border between the USA and Canada to be the 49th parallel.

23 August 1818, The first steamship service began on the Great Lakes, North America.

20 May 1818, William Fargo, co-founder of the freight carrier Wells Fargo, was born.

10 May 1818, Paul Revere, who made the famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington to warn US militia of British troops, died aged 83 in Boston, Massachusetts.

13 February 1818, George Clarke, US frontiersman, died (born 19 November 1752).

10 December 1817, Mississippi became the 20th State of the USA.

10 August 1817, Francis Lowell, US cotton industrialist, died (born 7 April 1775).

8 March 1817, Tbe New York Stock exchange was founded.

11 December 1816, Indiana became the 19th State of the USA.

8 December 1816, August Belmont, US financier, was born in Prussia (died in New York 24 November 1890)

4 August 1816, Russell Sage, US financier, was born in New York State (died 22 July 1906 in New York City)

30 June 1815, Faced with US threats to bombard Algeirs, the Dey agreed to cease piracy and release US prisoners.

3 March 1815, The USA, angered by piracy in the Mediterranean, authorised hostility against the Bey of Algiers.


US-Britain War, 1812-1815

8 January 1815, The British, led by General Sir Edward Pakenham, were defeated at New Orleans by the Americans led by Andrew Jackson. This was the last battle Britain fought against the USA. See 24 December 1814.

24 December 1814, The Americans and British signed a truce, The Treaty of Ghent ending their war. The British returned all territory seized from the USA. However it took a month for this news to reach America, the USA heard the news on 11 January 1815, just after the battle at New Orleans (see 8 January 1815).

23 December 1814, A British advance towards New Orleans was repulsed by the Americans.

19 October 1814, The Baltimore Patriot published �The Defense of Fort McHenry, a piece of music by Francis Scott Key. It was renamed �The Star spangled banner and designated the Us national anthgem by Act of Congress.

13 September 1814. British troops made an unsuccessful attack on Baltimore. During the battle, the American composer Francis Scott Key wrote a patriotic song called �The Star Spangled Banner�.

11 September 1814. US forces led by President Madison routed the British fleet on Lake Champlain.

24 August 1814. 4,000 British troops under General Ross invaded Washington and set fire to the White House and the Capitol. Both were rebuilt and enlarged.

16 November 1813, A British naval blockade, under Admiral Warren, began blockading US ports.

5 October 1813, US troops defeated a Britisah force at the Battle of the Thames River in Uooer Canada (now Ontario). The Shawneee Chief Tecumseh, allied with the British, died in the battle, and his 4-year-old Indian Confedreacy disintegrated.

10 September 1813. The British fleet on Lake Erie was destroyed by American warships.

3 September 1813, The US warship Enterprise defeated the British warship Boxer off the Maine coast.

14 August 1813, The British warship Pelican defeated the US warship Argus off the coast of England.

1 June 1813, The British frigate Shannon, under Captain Broke, captured the US frigate Chesapeake under Captain Lawrence, who died in the engagement.

27 April 1813, Zebulon Montgomery Pike, US soldier, died (born 5 January 1779)

24 April 1813, US forces under Army Leiutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike captured York (present day Toronto, Canada) from the British. Pike himself died in the battle.

24 February 1813. The British warship Peacock was sunk off Guyana by the USA.

22 January 1813. British forces defeated the Americans who were planning an attack on Fort Detroit.

29 December 1812, The US warship Constitution sank the British warship Java off the coast of Brazil.

23 November 1812. Demoralised by a tactical error, which saw two columns of USA forces attacking each other, the USA withdrew its forces south from Canada for the winter.

25 October 1812, The USS President captured the British ship HMS Macedonian in a ballet west of the Canary Islands.

17 October 1812, Naval battle between the Wasp and the Frolic

16 October 1812. British forces defeated the US army at Queenstown, near the Niagara Falls. The Americans were attempting to cross into Canada to eliminate it from the war with Britain.

13 September 1812, British troops under Isaac Brook defeated US forces at Queenstoun Heights, Lower Canada, preventing US attempts to invade Canada.

10 September 1812, At the Battle of Lake Erie, US ships defeated a British naval force.

16 August 1812, US Brigadier General William Hull surrendered Detroit to a British force without firing a shot. He was court-martialled for this 2 years later. This loss forced the postponement of US plans to invade Canada.

15 August 1812, Indigenous Americans allied with Britain and attacked US traders and theor families fleeing Fort Dearborn (the current site of Chicago, Illinois).


Britain imposes trade restrictions to counter Napoleon.

18 June 1812. War broke out between Britain and the USA. The USA was angered at Britain�s trade restrictions against Napoleon, which were hampering American trade with Europe, and with the British Navy stopping USA ships and press ganging their crews to serve for the British Navy.The American Congress voted narrowly for war with Britain.

5 May 1805, Britain began to halt the trade between the West Indies and the USA. This caused a deterioration in UK-US relations, leading to war in 1812.


31 July 1814, Amos Lawrence, US philanthropist, was born (died 22 August 1886).

7 September 1813, The term �Uncle Sam� was coined by a newspaper in Troy, New York, to describe the United States.

21 January 1813, John Fremont, explorer of the US Midwest, was born (died 13 July 1890).

30 April 1812, Louisiana became the 18th State of the Union.

4 April 1812. The territory of Orleans became the 18th state of the USA, to be known as Louisiana.

1811, The grid plan street pattern of New York was begun, to provide orderly expansion beyond the random pattern of the oldest streets. However it was anticipated that industry would concentrate on the shores of Manhattan Island, so more east-west streets were built (to facilitate commuting to work) and fewer north-south avenues were built. However the enormous growth of the city has resulted in greater demand for north-south travel.

18 December 1811, Horace Chaflin, US merchant, was born (died 14 November 1885).

6 December 1811, A severe earthquake hit the Mississippi Valley. This was a geological animaly,being far from any known plate boundary.

11 October 1811, The first steam-powered ferry began operations between New York and Hoboken, new Jersey.

2 February 1811, US President James Madison demanded that Britain stop harassing neutral US shipping in the war with France.

24 January 1811, Henry Barnard, US educationalist, was born in Hartford, Connecticut (died in Hartford, Connecticut 5 July 1900).

8 December 1810, Elihu Burritt, US philanthropist, was born (died 9 March 1879).

2 November 1810. President Madison re-established freedom of trade with France, after assurances that European ports would be open to American trade.

27 October 1810. President Madison of the USA sends troops to claim the western part of West Florida after a rebellion there against Spanish rule.

24 December 1809, Kit Carson, US soldier and fur trapper who did much to open up the West to White settlers, was born in Kentucky (died 23 May 1868).

11 October 1809, Meriwether Lewis, explorer of the US Midwest, died (born 18 August 1774).

7 December 1808, Hugh McCulloch, US financier, was born (died 24 May 1895).

8 June 1809, Thomas Paine, American revolutionary, died.

22 December 1807, US President Thomas Jefferson signed the Embargo Act, to reduce imports from Britain where the goods could be produced domestically or sourced form another country. Desigtned to hit back at British and French wartime restrictions on US trade with enemy countries, the move in fact harmed the US econmy.

2 July 1807, US President Jefferson closed all US ports to British warships.

19 February 1807, Former US Vice-President Aaron Burr was acquitted of treason. He had been accused of wanting to establish a new country comprising Mexico and parts of Louisiana.

26 October 1806, Timothy Dexter, US merchant, died (born 22 February 1747).

3 September 1806, In the USA, the Lewis and Clarke expedition (1805) returned to St Louis, Missouri.

6 June 1806, John Augustus Roebling, US engineer, was born in Prussia (died 22 July 1869 in Brooklyn)

1805, The Indiana Territory was subdivided to create the Territory of Michigan, which later became a State.

29 December 1805, Asa Packer, US industrialist ad philanthropist, was born in Connecticut (died 17 May 1879 in Philadelphia).

7 November 1805,18 months after they set out from St Louis, Captain Merriwether Lewis and William Clark reached the Pacific coast of Oregon.