History of the USA from 1454
See also South-East Asia for early history of Hawaii
See Road transport for rising US auto production, early 20th century.
Start of Cold War/Marshall Plan
World War One
US-Spanish war 1898
US Civil War 1861-65
Mexican War 1846-48
Events leading to US independence
Hawaii – see Appendix 1 below
US Presidents born, nominated, elected, died – see Appendix 2 below
20/1/2018, The US Government went into ‘shutdown’ after Democrats and Republics failed to agree a funding Bill.
2/10/2017, Early in the morning, a gunman opened fire in Las Vegas. Shooting from the Mandalay Bay Hotel, he killed 58 and injured over 500. Police shot him dead. The attacker was believed to be ISIS related.
27/1/2017, 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.
12/6/2016, 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.
7/12/2015, 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.
28/8/2015, McKinley National Park, USA, was renamed ‘Denali’.
21/8/2015, 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).
15/4/2013, The Boston Marathon race was hit by two bombs, killing 3 and injuring 284.
17/9/2012, Occupy Wall Street protests began in the USA
16/8/2012, Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, was officially given political asylum by Ecuador.
4/4/2011, In the US, Barack Obama announced his intention to stand for re-election for a second term.
28/11/2010, Wikileaks released over 250,000 American diplomatic cables, of which 100,000 which were ‘secret’ or ‘confidential’.
19/9/2010, The BP oil well, Deepwater Horizon, was capped after spilling millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
25/7/2010, Wikileaks released 90,000 covert and classified documents relating to the US occupation of Afghanistan, 2004-2010.
20/4/2010, The Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 workers. Major oil pollution ensued.
27/1/2010, J D Salinger, reclusive author of ‘Catcher in the Rye’, died aged 91.
25/9/2009, Senator Edward Kennedy died, aged 77.
25/6/2009, The American entertainer Michael Jackson died (born 29/8/1958).
18/11/2008, Heads of the big three US car manufacturers asked the US government for assistance during te ongoing Credit Crunch. They said their companies were important as job providers.
16/4/2007, Student Cho Seung Hui went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University, killing 32 staff and students. Cho then shot himself.
26/4/2006, 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.
2/12/2005, Kenneth Boyd became the 1,000th person to be executed in the USA since capital punishment was re-introduced in 1976.
29/8/2005, 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.
28/8/2005, The Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, ordered the evacuation of the city as Hurricane Katrina loomed.
18/11/2003, US President Bush visited Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK; there were ongoing protests against the US war on Iraq.
7/10/2003, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger won the election with 48% of the vote to become Governor (‘Governator’) of California, beating the incumbent Democrat, Gray Davis.
14/8/2003, 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.
17/4/2003, John Paul Getty, oil magnate, died aged 84.
29/1/2002, US President Bush denounced the ‘Axis of Evil’ – the states of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.
23/12/2001, 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.
7/10/2001. 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
4/10/2001, The first anthrax attack occurred on a US government office, sent through the post. More anthrax arrived in the post on 9/10/2001.
20/9/2001, President Bush declared a ‘War on Terror’.
17/9/2001. The US Stock market re-opened after the 9-11 attacks.
See also Islam and Middle East for events following ‘9-11’ attacks
11/9/2001, 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.
6/8/2001, President Bush was warned that Osama Bin Laden was planning a strike against the US and that this might involve hijacking of aircraft.
11/6/2001, In the US, Timothy McVeigh was executed for the Oklahoma City bombing.
16/11/2000, Bill Clinton became the first US President to visit Vietnam.
8/11/2000, (1) In the controversial US Presidential Elections, Republican George W Bush defeated Democrat Vice President Al Gore but the final result was delayed for over a month because of a disputed vote count in Florida.
(2) Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the US Senate
24/7/2000, 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.
30/11/1999, In Seattle, a large-scale protest by the anti-globalisation movement caught the authorities unaware and forced the cancellation on a WTO meeting.
20/4/1999, 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.
22/3/1999, Jack Kevorkian, pro-euthanasia doctor, went on trial for murder in Pontiac, Michigan. He was later convicted of second-degree murder.
8/3/1999. Monica Lewisnky arrived in Britain for a book-signing tour, beginning at Harrods.
12/2/1999, President Clinton was acquitted at his impeachment trial.
7/1/1999, The impeachment trial of US President Bill Clinton began in Washington DC
19/11/1998, The US Senate began impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair. President Clinton was impeached on 19/12/1998.
5/10/1998, 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.
17/8/1998, President Bill Clinton gave evidence to a Grand Jury about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
21/1/1998, 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.
2/6/1997, 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 13/6/1997 he was sentenced to death.
27/7/1996, A nail bomb exploded at the Atlanta Olympics, killing two people and injuring over 100.
3/4/1996, 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.
16/10/1995, The Million Man March was held in Washington DC. It was conceived by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
11/5/1995, In New York City, 170 nations agreed to extend the nuclear non-proliferation treaty indefinitely, without conditions.
19/4/1995. 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.
24/3/1995. The House of Representatives, USA, passed welfare reforms denying state benefits to immigrants, unmarried mothers, and those who refused to work.
3/3/1995, The UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia ended.
8/11/1994. The Republicans gained control of the US Congress.
19/9/1994, US troops went to Haiti to restore order.
3/2/1994, 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.
1/1/1994, The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into force.
17/11/1993. The US Congress voted for NAFTA.
3/10/1993, US troops fought large-scale land battles with local militiamen in Mogadishu, Somalia.
23/8/1993, US Police raided singer Michael Jackson’s home after a 13-year old boy made allegations of child abuse.
19/4/1993. The siege at Waco, Texas, ended after 51 days. On 28/2/1993 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.
17/4/1993, Two Los Angeles policemen were convicted of beating up Rodney King.
18/3/1993, Kenneth E Boulding, US economist and activist, died (born 1910).
26/2/1993. Bomb exploded beneath World Trade Centre, New York. Six were killed and hundreds injured when a bomb exploded in an underground car park, planted by Muslim fundamentalists.
4/12/1992. 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’.
12/9/1992. A Los Angeles traffic warden ticketed a Cadillac without noticing that the driver inside was dead. He had been shot in the back of the head 13 hours earlier.
11/8/1992. The biggest shopping mall in the USA opened in Minnesota. It had over 300 stores, covering 4.2 million square feet.
28/5/1992. The US prison population reached a record high of 823,414. One in three was being held for a drugs-related offence.
30/4/1992. In April and May, Los Angeles saw the worst rioting in the US for more than 25 years. The racial unrest began after 4 policemen were acquitted of assaulting a Black motorist, Rodney King, despite TV footage showing him being kicked and beaten. The trial had been held in a white area of town and the jury did not include a single Black person. In the riots, over 50 were killed, 4,000 injured, and four days of looting and arson saw 12,000 arrests and over US$ 1 billion of damage. 10,000 troops and National guardsmen had to be drafted in to restore order. There were also smaller riots in other US cities such as Atlanta and Las Vegas.
5/4/1992. Samuel Moore Walton, born 29/3/1918, founder of Wal-Mart, died.
26/3/1992. Mike Tyson was sentenced to 10 years in jail after being found guilty of rape.
15/3/1991, Albania and the USA restored diplomatic relations after a gap of 52 years.
4/3/1991, Vermont celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
12/12/1990, US President George Bush agreed to send US$ 1,000 million food aid to the Soviet Union.
21/11/1990. A declaration of the end of the Cold War was signed in Paris.
5/8/1990. 200 US Marines arrived in Liberia to rescue US citizens caught in the civil war there.
29/5/1990, Rhode Island celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
23/5/1990, Rocky Graziano, US middle-weight champion boxer, died
15/4/1990, Greta Garbo died in New York, after some 50 years of living a reclusive life after her 1940s Hollywood fame.
3/1/1990, Noriega surrendered to US law enforcement; he was flown to Miami and indicted on drugs charges.
30/12/1989, 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.
24/12/1989, Deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega gave himself up to the Papal Nuncio in Panama City, having dodged US troops trying to capture him.
21/12/1989. The USA invaded Panama and ousted General Noriega. Noriega sought refuge in the Vatican Mission, where he remained until 3/1/1990. He then surrendered to US forces.
12/12/1989, 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”.
7/12/1989. A gunman claiming to hate feminists massacred 14 women at the University of Montreal.
21/11/1989, North Carolina celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
14/9/1989, US performed a nuclear test at Nevada.
5/7/1989, (1) 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.
(2) The TV series Seinfeld began.
14/6/1989, Ronald Reagan was given a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth.
20/4/1989, A gun turret on US battleship Iowa exploded, killing 47 sailors.
24/3/1989, 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.
3/3/1989, Robert McFarlane was fined $20,000, plus two years’ probation, for his role in the Iran-Contra affair.
23/2/1989, The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee rejected, 11–9, President Bush's nomination of John Tower for Secretary of Defense.
22/2/1989, Death of Aldo Jacuzzi, American manufacturer of the eponymous baths.
20/1/1989. George Herbert Walker Bush was sworn in as 41st US President.
17/1/1989. A gunman shot five children dead and injured 39 others at a Californian school playground.
30/12/1988, In the USA, Colonel Oliver North subpoenaed Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush to testify in the Iran-Contra trial.
6/12/1988, US rock star Roy Orbison died of a heart attack, aged 52.
26/7/1988, New York celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
25/6/1988, Virginia celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
21/6/1988, New Hampshire celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
23/5/1988, South Carolina celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
7/5/1988, Boston saw the first meeting of people who claimed to have been abducted by aliens.
6/2/1988, Massachusetts celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
9/1/1988, Connecticut celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
2/1/1988, Georgia celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
18/12/1987¸ New Jersey celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
12/12/1987, Pennsylvania celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
8/12/1987. Gorbachev and Reagan signed an arms reduction treaty, to eliminate medium range nuclear missiles from Europe.
7/12/1987, Delaware celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.
29/9/1987, John M Poindexter resigned from the US Navy over the Iran-Contra affair.
3/8/1987, The US Irangate hearings ended.
19/2/1987, The US lifted sanctions on Poland.
11/2/1987, The US tested an atom bomb in Nevada.
25/11/1986. 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.
4/11/1986. Democrats won control of the US Senate.
15/4/1986. 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 17/4/1986 two British hostages in Lebanon were killed in retaliation for the US raids.
27/2/1986, The United States Senate allowed its debates to be televised on a trial basis.
25/1/1985, 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.
2/11/1984, Velma Barfield became the first woman to be executed in the USA since 1962.
21/7/1984. The man who popularised jogging, James J Fixx, had a heart attack and died whilst out running in Vermont, aged 52.
1/5/1984, Reagan concluded a visit to China.
25/10/1983. 2,000 US Marines invaded Grenada to restore order after, on 19/10/1983, 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.
22/10/1983, 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.
4/5/1983, President Reagan affirmed his backing for the Right-wing Contras in their battle against the Sandinistas.
23/3/1983. President Reagan proposed his ‘Star Wars’ missile defence system, calling the Soviet Union an ‘evil empire’.
2/2/1983. The US and USSR began START (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks) in Geneva.
7/12/1982, The first execution by lethal injection was carried out in the USA, in Texas, on Charles Books Jr.
12/6/1982, 800,000 marched for peace in New York City.
7/6/1982, Graceland, the mansion in Memphis, Tennessee where Elvis Presley lived until his death in 1977, was opened to the public.
5/5/1982, Secretary Janet Smith in the computer science department at Vanderbilt University was injured when she opened a package from the Unabomber.
13/1/1982, An Air Florida jet crashed into the frozen Potomac River near the White House, killing 78.
30/11/1981. The US and USSR began arms talks in Geneva.
5/8/1981, President Reagan fired 11,359 striking air traffic controllers who ignored his order for them to return to work.
30/3/1981. 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.
2/12/1980, McKinley National Park, USA, (now Denali), was enlarged to 15,000 square miles.
22/11/1980, Mae West, American film star in the 1930s, died aged 88.
21/11/1980. The episode of Dallas in which it was revealed who shot JR broke all viewing records.
30/6/1980, In the US, the Sioux nation won US$ 122.5 million in compensation and interest for illegal government seizure of their land in 1877.
18/6/1979. US President Carter and USSR President Brezhnev signed the SALT 2 (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) in Vienna.
7/6/1980, American novelist Henry Miller died.
7/5/1980, Paul Geidel, convicted of 2nd degree murder, was released from the Fishkill Correctional Facility (prison) in Beacon, New York, after serving 68 years and 245 days – the longest ever served by a US inmate.
25/1/1980, The US ordered the deportation of Beatle Paul McCartney after keeping him in prison for 9 days following the discovery of marijuana in his luggage.
23/1/1980, 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.
19/1/1980, William O Douglas, judge in the US Supreme Court and civil rights defender (born 16/10/1898 in Maine, Minnesota) died.
1/10/1979. The USA handed back control of the Canal Zone to Panama.
26/1/1979, Nelson Rockerfeller, Republican politician and vice President to Gerald Ford, died.
3/1/1979, Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotel Group and once married to Zsa Zsa Gabor, died.
1/1/1979. Diplomatic relations were established between China and the USA.
15/12/1978, Cleveland, Ohio, became the first major US city to go into default since the great Depression, under mayor Dennis Kucinich.
3/11/1978. Vietnam and the USA signed a 25-year treaty of friendship and co-operation in economic, scientific and technical endeavours.
7/8/1978, President Jimmy Carter declared a federal emergency at Love Canal.
6/6/1978, Californians approved Proposition 13 – a proposal to cut property taxes by 60%.
7/4/1978. US President Carter pulled back from building a neutron bomb.
13/1/1978, Hubert Humphrey, Vice President to Lyndon Johnson, died.
10/1977, The US Department of Energy was created.
7/9/1977, A treaty between the USA and Panama was signed; the US agreed to give Panama control of the Canal by 2000.
16/8/1977. The rock and roll star Elvis Presley died in Memphis, Tennessee, aged 42. He died in the bathroom of his home although he was actually pronounced dead at 3.30 pm in the emergency room of the Baptist Hospital, Memphis. Overweight, he died of heart failure. He was buried in Memphis on 18/8/1977. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, the survivor of twin boys, on 8/1/1935.
28/7/1977, First oil through the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline reached Valdez, Alaska.
26/6/1977. Elvis Presley made his last ever live stage appearance at the Market Square Arena in Indianopolis.
22/6/1977. The 7,000 mile Alaska Oil Pipeline opened.
31/5/1977, The Trans-Alaska Pipeline was completed.
10/5/1977, American film star Joan Crawford died.
17/1/1977. The US restored the death penalty, after a ten year suspension, and Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad in Utah.
18/8/1976, 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.
3/7/1976. The Supreme Court of the USA, in the case of Gregg vs. Georgia, ruled that the death penalty was not cruel or unusual punishment and was constitutionally acceptable.
6/6/1976, 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.
5/4/1976. 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.
22/9/1975. The US President, Gerald Ford, survived a second assassination attempt in 17 days, when a woman, Sara Jane Moore, fired at him as he left a hotel in San Francisco. On 5/9/1975 Lynette Fromme had attempted an assassination but had been thwarted by a Secret Service agent. On 15/1/1976 Ms Moore was sentenced to life imprisonment.
5/9/1975, Lynette Fromme, a Charles Manson (cult leader and killer) follower, made an assassination attempt on US President Ford, in Sacramento.
25/5/1978, The Unabomber set off his first bomb, in the security section of Northwestern University, USA.
For more events of Vietnam War see South East Asia
30/4/1975. Saigon surrendered to the North Vietnamese, so ending the 15-year Vietnam War. This had been the longest conflict of the 20th century.
29/4/1975. 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.
23/2/1975, In response to the energy crisis, daylight saving time began two months early in the USA.
25/4/1975, The Australian Embassy in Saigon, South Vietnam, shut as North Vietnamese forces closed in.
23/4/1975, 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 29/4/1973.
9/3/1975, Construction of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline began.
28/2/1975. The Watergate scandal continued as 3 Nixon aides were sentenced for their role.
21/2/1975. Those convicted of offences in the Watergate affair received sentences of between 30 months and 8 years.
7/1/1975, North Vietnamese forces captured the southern province of Phuoc Long (see 29/3/1973). There was no reaction from the US. On 10/3/1975 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 1/4/1975 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 28/4/1975 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 29/4/1975). However in the last-minute chaos nobody thought to destroy the records of South Vietnamese who had supported the US. On 30/4/1975 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.
6/1/1975, Burton K. Wheeler, 92, U.S. Senator, died.
5/1/1975, 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.
8/9/1974, President Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, issued Nixon an unconditional pardon for any crimes committed whilst in office.
9/8/1974. 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.
8/8/1974. 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 9/5/1974. President Gerald Ford takes office as the 38th president. He was the first person not to have been elected by ballot to the Presidency or Vice Presidency.
5/8/1974. President Nixon admitted his complicity in the Watergate affair. See 27/7/1974 and 8/8/1974.
27/7/1974. A Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon for obstructing justice in the Watergate affair.
9/5/1974. Impeachment proceedings were opened against President Nixon – see 2/3/1974 and 8/8/1974.
17/3/1974, 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.
2/3/1974. A USA Grand Jury decided Richard Nixon was involved in the Watergate cover up see 9/5/1974.
1/3/1974. 7 of President Nixon’s advisors were arrested over charges to obstruct justice in the Watergate investigation.
4/2/1974, Heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped.
14/12/1973. John Paul Getty II was freed by kidnappers after his grandfather paid a US$ 750,000 ransom.
15/7/1973. Paul Getty III was kidnapped
9/11/1973. Six Watergate burglars jailed in the US.
1/11/1973.. The Watergate Tapes case continued with President Richard Nixon in Washington.
26/10/1973, US President Nixon considered an attack on the Soviet Union, after hearing that the USSR was arming Arab nations in the Middle East.
20/10/1973, 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 16/7/1973 and 27/7/1974.
31/7/1973, US Congress voted to cut off funds for US military action anywhere in Indochina.
16/7/1973, A former White House aide revealed that all conversations in the White House had been recorded, at President Nixon’s request, see 25/6/1973. Nixon flouted several subsequent court orders to release the tapes, see 20/10/1973.
29/6/1973, President Nixon warned US Congress that the US, with just 6% of the world population, consumed one third of the world’s energy supply, and that energy supplies were not infinite.
25/6/1973, 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 22/5/1973, see also 16/7/1973.
22/5/1973, President Nixon admitted concealing evidence of wrongdoing regarding Watergate (see 17/5/1973 and 25//6/1973), but denied knowing of the burglary before it took place.
17/5/1973. US Senate hearings over Watergate began. See 30/1/1973 and 22/5/1973.
4/5/1973, 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.
30/4/1973. 4 of Nixon’s aides resigned over Watergate.
18/4/1973, Nixon told Haldemann, a White House aide, to destroy the Watergate tapes. Had he done so, Nixon would probably have avoided having to resign.
16/4/1973. (1) US bombing raids resumed on Laos.
(2) Criminal indictments were expected to be issued against senior members of President Nixon’s staff over the Watergate affair.
29/3/1973, 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 7/1/1975 they captured the South Vietnamese province of Phuoc Long.
28/3/1973, Marlon Brando refused an Oscar because of Hollywood’s abuses of the American Indians.
28/2/1973, 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.
21/2/1973, 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 2/12/1975.
12/2/1973, The first group of American POWs was released from North Vietnam.
30/1/1973, 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 17/6/1972 and 17/5/1973.
29/1/1973, The USA’s balance of payments deficit for 1972 was estimated at US$ 6 – 7 billion; the Dollar collapsed.
27/1//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 29/3/1972. 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 30/4/1975.
15/1/1973. 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.
18/12/1972. Heavy bombing of Hanoi by US B-52s.
22/11/1972. The first US B-52 bomber was shot down over Vietnam.
26/9/1972. President Nixon opened the Museum of Immigration, at the base of the Statue of Liberty, New York.
15/9/1972, Seven men were indicted in Washington over the Watergate burglary on 17/6/1972. 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.
29/6/1972. The US Supreme Court abolished the death penalty.
17/6/1972. 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 30/1/1973.
29/5/1972. Brezhnev and Nixon signed SALT-2 (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty).
22/5/1972. US President Richard Nixon arrived in Moscow, the first visit to the Soviet Union by an American President..
15/5/1972, 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 2/9/1963), 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.
15/4/1972, US bombers made heavy raids on North Vietnam.
30/3/1972, North Vietnam launched a major attack on the South. On 15/4/1972 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 1/5/1972 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.
21/2/1972, US President Nixon landed in China to forge links with Prime Minister Chou En Lai and Chairman Mao Tse Tung. China still objected to US support for the Taiwan regime.
For more events of Vietnam War see South East Asia
26/12/1971. The US resumed bombing of North Vietnam.
10/12/1971, The John Sinclair Freedom Rally is held at the University of Michigan. Performers included John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
1/10/1971. Disneyworld opened in Florida.
30/6/1971. The 26th amendment to the US constitution was passed, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.
7/4/1971, US President Nixon promised to withdraw 100,000 troops from Vietnam by Christmas.
14/2/1971, President Richard Nixon installed a secret taping system in the White House. It was on this system that the Watergate tapes were recorded.
13/2/1971, South Vietnamese troops, with US airctaft and artillery backing, entered Laos.
3/2/1971, Andrew Truxal, US academic, died aged 71.
31/12/1970, US Congress repealed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution (see 7/8/1964), thereby denying President Nixon any further authority to widen the Vietnam War. Nixon, however, ordered further offensives. See 27/1/1973.
29/9/1970, The U.S. Congress gave President Richard Nixon authority to sell arms to Israel.
29/6/1970, US troops completed their withdrawal from Cambodia.
4/5/1970. 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 4/5/1970 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.
15/10/1969, 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.
16/9/1969. President Nixon announced the withdrawal of a further 36,000 troops from Vietnam by mid-December.
12/9/1969. President Nixon continued B52 bombing raids on Vietnam.
15/8/1969. The famous American rock festival, Woodstock, began. It was attended by 400,000.
18/7/1969. 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.
11/6/1969, John Llewellyn Lewis, US Trades Union leader (born 2/12/1880 in Lucas, Iowa), died.
8/6/1969. President Nixon announced that 25,000 US troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam by the end of August.
22/2/1969. President Nixon arrived in Britain for talks with Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
5/2/1969. The Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, declared a state of ‘extreme emergency’ at the university campus at Berkeley after violent struggles there between students and police.
22/12/1968, The captain and crew of the Pueblo were released by the North Koreans at Panmunjom.
31/10/1968. President Johnson of the USA ordered a total halt to US bombing of North Vietnam.
27/10/1968, Violent anti-Vietnam war protests outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London.
1/8/1968. President Nixon said the Vietnam War should be scaled down.
1/7/1968. The USA and the USSR signed the Non-Proliferation treaty regarding nuclear weapons (see 5/8/1963). 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.
5/6/1968. 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.
10/5/1968. 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.
30/4/1968, Frankie Lymon, US pop star, died of a heroin overdose.
7/4/1968, US President Johnson ordered a slowdown in the bombing of North Vietnam.
17/3/1968, Violent anti-Vietnam War demonstrations outside the US Embassy in London.
16/3/1968. 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 ½ years before release on parole. This event turned many civilians within the US against the Vietnam War.
1/1968, Large oil and gas reserves were found under the North Slope area of Alaska.
23/1/1968, The USS Pueblo, an intelligence ship, and its 89 man crew was seized by North Koreans in the Sea of Japan.
12/9/1967. Governor Reagan called for an escalation of the Vietnam War.
28/8/1967, Death of Charles Darrow, US inventor of the board game Monopoly.
15/4/1967. 100,000 protested against the Vietnam War in New York.
4/4/1967, Martin Luther King denounced the Vietnam War.
26/3/1967. 10,000 hippies held a rally in New York's Central Park.
10/3/1967. The US bombed industrial targets in North Vietnam.
26/2/1967, The US stepped up the Vietnam war with an attack on the Vietcong HQ.
18/2/1967, Robert Oppenheiner, American scientist who developed the US atom bomb, died in Princeton, New Jersey.
3/1/1967, 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.
2/1/1967. Ronald Reagan sworn in as Governor of California.
1966, The Department of Transportation was created, and began operations in 1967.
15/12/1966, Walt Disney, US film producer and leader in animation, died
For more events of Vietnam War see South East Asia
26/10/1966. US President Johnson visited US troops in Vietnam.
29/8/1966. The Beatles gave their last live concert performance in Candlestick Park, San Francisco.
5/7/1966. 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’.
3/7/1966. Anti-Vietnam war protests outside the US Embassy, London.
23/3/1966. In New York, 20,000 people marched down Fifth Avenue demanding an end to the Vietnam War.
20/2/1966, Chester Nimitz, American General and Pacific Fleet Commander in World War II, died in San Francisco, four days before his 81st birthday.
1965, The US Department of Housing and Urban Development was created.
9/11/1965. 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.
17/10/1965. Anti-Vietnam War protests in the UK and USA.
10/9/1965, Yale University published a map showing that the Vikings discovered America in the 11th century.
28/7/1965. US President Lyndon Johnson sent a further 50,000 ground troops to Vietnam. The US now had 175,000 troops in Vietnam.
14/7/1965, US politician Adlai Ewing Stevenson, born 5/2/1900 in Los Angeles, California, died suddenly.
29/6/1965, The first US military ground action began in Vietnam.
11/6/1965, 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.
23/4/1965. Heavy US air raids on North Vietnam.
17/4/1965, US students protested against US bombing in Vietnam.
4/4/1965. US jets shot down by North Vietnam.
20/1/1965, American disc jockey Alan Freed died in California. He created the phrase ‘Rock’n’Roll’.
27/9/1964, The Warren Report was published, stating that Lee Harvey Oswald alone was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy. Conspiracy theorists were not satisfied.
15/6/1964, Courtney Cox, US actress, was born.
10/6/1964, The U.S. Senate voted closure of the Civil Rights Bill after a 75-day filibuster.
5/4/1964, Douglas MacArthur, American General and commander in the Pacific during World War Two, died in Washington DC aged 84.
14/3/1964. Jack Ruby, aged 52, was found guilty in Dallas of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of President Kennedy (see 22/11/1963). He was sentenced to death but died of a blood clot on the lung in 1967.
8/2/1964, The Beatles began their first US tour.
7/2/1964, 25,000 fans gathered at Kennedy Airport to greet the Beatles on their first visit to America.
13/1/1964. The Beatles entered the US Charts at no. 45 with I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
11/12/1963, In Los Angeles, Frank Sinatra Jr was set free after his father paid kidnappers a US$ 240,000 ransom.
24/11/1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President Kennedy, was himself shot dead by Jack Ruby.
31/8/1963, The ‘hot line’, linking the Kremlin and the White House, went into operation.
5/8/1963. 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 1/7/1968).
26/6/1963. 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’.
20/6/1963. The White House and the Kremlin agreed to set up a ‘hot line’.
9/4/1963, Winston Churchill was given honorary US citizenship.
6/4/1963, Anglo-US Polaris weapons agreement signed.
8/1/1963, Fire damaged eight floors of the Empire State Building in New York.
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.
21/12/1962, The US agreed to sell Polaris missiles to the UK.
18/12/1962, 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 14/1/1963.
5/12/1962, US diplomat Dean Acheson said Britain was 'played out'.
22/12/1961, James Davis became the first US casualty of the war in Vietnam.
18/10/1961. 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.
5/9/1961, The USA announced it would resume underground nuclear tests.
11/5/1961, US President Kennedy sent 400 Special Forces troops to conduct covert anti-Communist operations in North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
1/3/1961, US President Kennedy formed the Peace Corps, a group of volunteers to work in less-developed countries.
21/8/1960, David B Steinman, US bridge engineer, died aged 74.
12/7/1960, 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 14/7/1960 the US confirmed that the Monroe Doctrine was still in operation.
17/2/1960, Martin Luther King was arrested in the USA.
16/11/1959. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music opened on Broadway, New York.
16/10/1959, George Marshall, US soldier and politician who formulated the Marshall Plan to aid post-War Europe, died in Washington DC.
9/6/1959. The USA launched its first ballistic missile submarine, the George Washington.
24/5/1959, 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.
3/1/1959. Alaska became the 49th State of the USA. It is the USA’s largest state.
29/8/1958, Michael Jackson, pop star, was born in Gary, Indiana.
31/5/1958, The Kremlin and Washington agreed to hold talks on a ban on atmospheric atom bomb tests.
3/5/1958, President Eisenhower proposed a demilitarised Antarctic.
24/3/1958. Elvis Presley was sworn in as a US private. He was paid $78 as a regular. He had been given a 60-day deferment to make the film ‘King Creole’.
18/10/1957, Queen Elizabeth II met US President Eisenhower; the first visit by a British monarch to the White House.
31/5/1957, The 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.
7/5/1957 Eliot Ness, the FBI agent who headed the investigation of Al Capone in Chicago, died.
2/5/1957. Senator Joe McCarthy, Republican, died of liver disease. He was most remembered for his ‘witch-hunts’ against suspected Communists. See 2/12/1954.
7/3/1957, The United States Congress approved the Eisenhower Doctrine.
1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act, to create a US-wide network of freeways.
25/9/1956, Transatlantic telephone cable between the UK and the USA became operational.
14/8/1955, The US schooner Levin J. Marvel capsized and sank in Chesapeake Bay with the loss of 12 of the 24 people on board.
3/8/1956, The name of Bedloe’s Island, site of the Statue of Liberty, was changed to Liberty Island, on the approval of President Eisenhower.
17/7/1955. Walt Disney’s Disneyland was opened in Anaheim, California.
3/3/1955, Katharine Drexel, US philanthropist, teacher and Roman Catholic saint, died aged 96.
2/12/1954, The US Senate voted to condemn McCarthy for abuse of proceedings, see 25/2/1954 and 2/5/1957.
12/11/1954, The immigration centre at Ellis Island, New York, closed. 15 million migrants into the US had been processed through here since 1892.
20/7/1954. The Geneva Agreement ended hostilities between North and South Korea.
10/7/1954, 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 a monthly 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.
15/6/1954, Senator John McCarthy’s committee labelled Robert Oppenheimer, inventor of the atom bomb, a security risk because he opposed development of the Hydrogen Bomb.
22/4/1954, 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.
8/3/1954, The US and Japan signed a mutual defence pact.
25/2/1954, President Eisenhower censured McCarthy (see 9/2/1950) for his bullying tactics. See 2/12/1954.
18/2/1954 John Travolta, American film actor, was born in Englewood, New York State.
10/10/1953. President Eisenhower of the USA signed a treaty with South Korea promising military aid if North Korea attacked.
20/6/1953, The Jewish funeral service of Ethel and Julius Rosenburg was held at Brooklyn (see 19/6/1953). The estimated 10,500 who attended were supportive of the Rosenburgs, who were seen as resisters of American imperialism.
19/6/1953. 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 30/3/1951. 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.
11/4/1953, The US Department of Health and Human Services was established.
5/2/1953, Walt Disney’s film Peter Pan went on general release.
2/12/1952, US President Eisenhower visited Korea.
31/10/1952, 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 9/9/2003.
25/10/1952, The USA blocked the entry of China to the United Nations for the third year running. See 25/10/1971.
19/9/1952, The comedian Charlie Chaplin was labelled ‘subversive’ by Right-wingers in the USA.
24/7/1952, Charles Copeland, US educationalist, died in Massachusetts.
27/2/1952, The United Nations Building in New York saw its first session.
1/11/1951, The US tested an atom bomb over the Nevada desert.
8/9/1951, The San Francisco Treaty of Friendship between the US and Japan was signed.
10/7/1951, Ceasefire talks between North and South Korea began.
9/7/1951, 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.
15/6/1951, The Korean front line between Northern and Southern forces was stabilised at around the 38th parallel, where it had been originally. See 10/7/1951.
26/5/1951, Lincoln Ellsworth, American Arctic and Antarctic explorer, and scientist, died.
11/4/1951. 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.
2/4/1951, NATO Allied Command Europe came into being.
30/3/1951. In the USA, the Rosenbergs (Julius and Ethel), were sentenced to death, having been found guilty of passing atomic secrets to the Russians on 29/3/1951.. They were executed on 19/6/1953.
14/3/1951. US troops recaptured Seoul.
25/1/1951, UN forces halted the advance of the North Koreans and counterattacked.
1/1/1951, Chinese and North Korean forces advanced through UN lines and captured Seoul.
1950, The Defense Production Act was passed, allowing public corporations to borrow from the US Treasury if national security was at stake.
28/12/1950. Chinese forces in Korea crossed the 38th parallel.
13/12/1950. Marshall Aid to Britain stopped.
28/11/1950. China entered the Korean War; 200,000 troops entered Korea across the Yalu River. UN troops were forced back south again. On 28/12/1950 Chinese forces crossed the 38th parallel. The West had ignored Chinese threats to intervene if US forces crossed north of the 38th parallel.
24/11/1950, South Korean forces began an offensive in the Yalu Valley; China planned intervention to support the North,
1/11/1950, 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
19/10/1950. US and South Korean forces captured Pyongyang, during the Korean War.
9/10/1950. 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 28/11/1950).
1/10/1950, South Korean forces recrossed the 38th parallel.
26/9/1950. US forces recaptured Seoul.
23/9/1950, 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.
15/9/1950. UN forces landed behind enemy lines at Inchon, North Korea. The South Korean capital, Seoul, was retaken by the end of September 1950.
1/9/1950. North Korean forces crossed the Naktong River.
26/7/1950, Britain decided to send troops to Korea.
19/7/1950. President Truman asked the US Congress for a big rise in military spending.
8/7/1950, US General MacArthur took over UN forces in Korea.
2/7/1950, American troops landed in South Korea.
29/6/1950, South Korean forces retook Seoul.
28/6/1950, British Royal navy ships joined the US forces in South Korea.
27/6/1950. North Korean forces took Seoul. British forces joined the war in Korea.
26/6/1950, US President Truman sent US forces to support South Korea.
25/6/1950. Start of the Korean War. North Korea invaded the South, crossing the 38th parallel, which was the border.
9/2/1950. 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 25/2/1954.
31/1/1950. President Truman told US scientists to make an H-Bomb.
22/1/1950, 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.
17/9/1949, The first meeting of NATO was held.
24/8/1949, The North Atlantic Treaty, NATO, came into force.
9/5/1949. Billy Joel, American singer and songwriter, was born in the Bronx, New York.
4/4/1949. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington. NATO was set up on 18/3/1949, by Britain and seven other European countries. Denmark had agreed to join on 25/3/1949. Eleven countries signed in total.
9/2/1949, US actor Robert Mitchum was jailed for 2 months for smoking marijuana.
7/1/1949, Marshall was succeeded by Acheson as US Secretary of State.
16/11/1948, US President Truman refused to participate in talks with the Soviets on the future of Berlin until the blockade was lifted.
15/10/1948, US President Gerald Ford married widow Elizabeth Bloomer Warren.
2/9/1948, Christa McAuliffe, US teacher who died in the Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
2/8/1948, Alger Hiss testified in the US McCarthy anti-Communist hearings, using the phrase ‘Reds under the bed’.
15/7/1948. John Pershing, commander of the US Army in France in World War One, nicknamed ‘Black Jack’, died in Washington DC.
30/4/1948, 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 13/12/1951, thereby formally legally validating the treaty.
19/4/1948, The USA tested a plutonium bomb at Eniwetok Atoll.
31/3/1948. (1) US Congress passed the Marshall Aid Bill.. On 3/4/1948 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 5/4/1948.
(2) Al Gore, US Vice President under Bill Clinton, noted for his strong pro-environmental stance, was born.
15/3/1948. US coal miners went on strike for better pensions.
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,
5/10/1947. In the US, President Truman urged Americans to give up meat on Tuesdays and poultry and eggs on Thursday to aid Europe.
18/9/1947, 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.
30/7/1947, Arnold Schwarzenneger, star of the Terminator films and Governor of California 2003-11, was born.
5/6/1947. US Secretary of State George Marshall announced the Marshall Plan to help Europe recover from near bankruptcy following the War. See 16/4/1947.
16/4/1947, (1) 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 (5/6/1947).
(2) Ammonium nitrate stored aboard the freighter Grandcamp exploded in Texas City Port, killing 752.
12/3/1947, US President Truman spoke of a Cold War (see 5/3/1946) 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.
21/2/1947. The world’s first soap opera, “A woman to remember”, began on USA television.
25/1/1947, 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.
7/1/1947, George Marshall was appointed US Secretary of State.
5/12/1946. New York was chosen as the permanent site of the UN.
5/11/1946, In the US, Republicans gained control of Congress.
23/10/1946, The first New York meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation took place.
28/7/1946, 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.
23/7/1946, 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.
13/7/1946, The US House of Representatives approved a loan to Europe.
4/7/1946. The Philippines was granted independence from the USA. Manual Roxas was elected as the first President.
17/6/1946, Barry Manilow, American singer and songwriter, was born in New York City.
18/4/1946. The League of Nations was formally dissolved, after the United Nations had been set up on 24/10/1945. See 26/6/1945.
5/3/1946. 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 12/3/1947.
10/2/1946, 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.
19/1/1946, Dolly Parton, American Country and Western singer, was born in Sevierville, Tennessee.
10/1/1946, The League of Nations was officially dissolved, after 26 years, and replaced by the United Nations.
21/12/1945, US General Patton was killed in a road accident whilst commanding the 5th US Army in West Germany.
6/12/1945, 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”.
5/12/1945. 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.
2/12/1945, 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.
24/10/1945. The United Nations Charter came into force, see 18/4/1946.
15/9/1945, Japan was occupied by Allied forces under General MacArthur. See 28/4/1952, and 14/8/1945.
12/9/1945, 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.
8/9/1945. The USA and USSR agreed to divide the Korean Peninsula.
4/9/1945, The Japanese garrison on Wake Island formally surrendered to the USA, see 23/12/1941..
2/9/1945, Formal surrender of Japan, see 14/8/1945. The Japanese Chief of Staff, General Yoshijiro Umezo, signed the surrender document on board the USS Missouri, in front of General McArthur.
28/8/1945. US troops landed in Japan.
20/8/1945, The US terminated the Lend Lease Act, as hostilities had ceased Passed 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.
14/8/1945. Japan surrendered unconditionally. This marked the end of World War II. 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 2/9/1945.
10/8/1945, Emperor Hirohito of Japan announced he was prepared to surrender unconditionally. The US cancelled plans to drop two further atoms bombs, scheduled for 13 and 16 August.
9/8/1945 The second atomic bomb was dropped, on Nagasaki. 40,000 were killed here. The intended target, Kokura, was obscured by cloud.
6/8/1945. The first atomic bomb was dropped, on Hiroshima, Japan, from the B29 bomber Enola Gay. At 8.15 in the morning a nuclear chain reaction in the bomb built up a temperature of several million degrees centigrade. In 0.1 milliseconds a fireball at 300,000 degrees centigrade was created, and this expanded to 250 yards in diameter one second after detonation. The mushroom cloud reached 23,000 feet into the sky. 78,000 of the city’s population of 300,000 was killed, some instantaneously, by the blast, some later by the firestorm that the bomb created, and another 90,000 injured, many seriously.
4/8/1945, The US dropped leaflets over Hiroshima, warning that their city was to be obliterated.
29/7/1945, Japan rejected a US ultimatum to surrender. The US estimated that 1 million Allied casualties would ensue from a land invasion of Japan.
16/7/1945. The atom bomb, produced at Los Alamos, was tested at Alamogordo airbase in the desert of New Mexico. See 8/3/1950.
25/6/1945. The Charter for the United Nations was drawn up in San Francisco, and signed by 50 countries. This was the successor to the League of Nations. See 18/4/1946.
22/6/1945. US troops captured Okinawa.
8/5/1945. VE Day. The Second World War officially ended in Europe, at one minute past midnight. Field Marshall Keitel signed the final capitulation.
5/5/1945. 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.
25/4/1945, US and Soviet forces met on the Elbe near Torgau.
24/4/1945, Himmler offered to surrender the German Reich to the governments of Great Britain and the USA.
19/4/1945, US forces took Leipzig; the city was later handed to the Soviet sector, East Germany.
18/4/1945, US troops under General Patton entered Czechoslovakia.
17/4/1945. US troops captured the Buchenwald concentration camp.
1/4/1945, The Battle of Okinawa began as US troops landed on the island. US victory came 83 days later.
23/3/1945. The US 2nd Army crossed the Rhine. By 20/4/1945 British troops had advanced 200 miles into Germany.
16/3/1945, Iwo Jima was totally occupied by US forces; 4,590 US soldiers were killed, out of a force of 30,000 attacking 23,000 Japanese who were heavily dug in with underground bunkers. See 19/2/1945. Iwo Jima, just 750 miles from Tokyo, could now be used as a base to bomb some 66 Japanese cities in an attempt to force a Japanese surrender.
4/3/1945, US General McArthur returned to the Philippines, fulfilling a promise that ‘we shall return’ he made in 1942 when advancing Japanese troops forced him to flee on a torpedo boat.
19/2/1945, US forces began the invasion of Iwo Jima, see 16/3/1945.
16/2/1945. (1) US Air Force began heavy raids on Tokyo.
(2) The US took Bataan, Philippines.
4/2/1945. The Yalta Conference between the Allied leaders Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill opened in the Crimea. This conference concluded on 11/2/1945. 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 28/11/1943. 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.
3/2/1945. (-94) The US recaptured Manila, which had fallen to the Japanese on 2/1/1942. Manila was not totally cleared of Japanese soldiers till 24/2/1945.
9/1/1945. Luzon in the Philippines was taken by the US from the Japanese.
4/1/1945, Severe Kamikaze attacks on US ships.
3/1/1945, The Dies Committee (see 26/5/1938), formed to monitor activities by Nazis and Communists within the USA, was given permanent status as the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)
See also China/Japan/Korea for World War Two in Pacific
22/12/1944, An American unit was surrounded at Bastogne by the German advance in the Battle of the Bulge. The unit held out until relieved on 26/12/1944. 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”.
25/11/1944, The first Kamikaze (divine wind) suicidal attacks were made by Japanese pilots on US ships.
24/11/1944. US planes bombed Tokyo, for the first time since 18/4/1942.
27/10/1944, The Japanese fleet suffered a crushing defeat in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, effectively ending its role as a fighting force. This was the world’s largest naval battle, which began on 22/10/1944, involving a total of 231 ships and 1996 aircraft.
20/10/1944. General Mac Arthur returned to the Philippines as liberator with 250,000 troops, fulfilling a promise ha made when his forces retreated from the Japanese.
7/10/1944, The Dumbarton Oaks Conference ended.
21/8/1944, Meetings began at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC, on starting the Charter of the United Nations. These meetings ended on 7/10/1944.
21/7/1944, Guam, in the western Pacific, was liberated by US Marines. It had been under Japanese occupation since December 1941.
20/7/1944. Tbe USA began to retake the island of Guam from the Japanese.
19/7/1944, Leghorn retaken by American forces.
26/6/1944, Naval fighting between the USA and Japan off the Marianas Islands.
19/6/1944, The USA took Saipan. It took over three weeks to defeat the Japanese, at a cost of 3,000 Americans dead and 17,000 wounded; 27,000 Japanese also died. The US did not attempt to capture all Pacific islands in their path to Japan, only selected ones, leaving other heavily-armed islands to ‘wither on the vine’. The Japanese fought fiercely and had no fear of death; many ‘Banzai’-charged the US soldiers, led by officers wielding swords.
13/6/1944. Fifteen US warships bombarded Saipan with 165,000 shells. Saipan, with Tinian (see 1/8/1944), was a small Pacific island halfway between Australia and Japan, occupied by the Japanese. 8,000 US marines landed on Saipan on 15/6/1944; Japanese troops hid in caves but were attacked with flame throwers. On 7/7/1944 3,000 cornered Japanese troops, along with hundreds of civilians jumped to their death rather than surrender.
8/5/1944, Eisenhower settled on 5, 6, or 7 June as date for the D-Day landings
24/4/1944. The Japanese evacuated New Guinea as US troops landed.
29/2/1944. US troops landed at Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands.
15/2/1944, The US cleared the Solomon Islands of Japanese forces.
14/2/1944, Carl Bernstein, the journalist who exposed the Watergate scandal along with Bob Woodward, was born.
16/1/1944, 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).
28//11/1943. 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.
23/11/1943. US forces retook Makin in the Gilbert Islands.
3/11/1943. US miners ended a 6 month strike.
1/6/1943, The close of the Hot Springs Conference (opened 18/5/1943); the Allies discussed World War Two.
26/5/1943, Edsel Ford, president of the Ford Motor Company from 1919, died.
28/3/1943, The Russian-American composer, Sergei Rachmaninov, died in Beverley Hills, California.
9/3/1943. Bobby Fischer, chess champion, was born in Chicago. He took the world title from Boris Spassky in 1972.
9/2/1943. The USA reported that Japanese resistance in Guadacanal and the Solomon Islands had ceased.
15/1/1943. The Pentagon, built to house the US Defence Department, opened in Arlington, Virginia, on the Potomac River.
14/1/1943. 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.
1942, The Alaska Highway was constructed, from Fort St John (British Columbia) to Fairbanks (Alsaka); the road was intended to assist in the defence of Alaska in the event of a Japanese attack.
10/11/1942, William Crozet, US artillery expert, died.
8/6/1942. (1) Battle of Midway Island (4-8 June). The Japanese withdrew after 4 days of shelling. See 27/5/1942. The Japanese ability to mount strategic attacks in the Pacific was effectively ended. The US lost 500 men, the Japanese lost 3,500 men.
(2) Churchill arrived in Washington for talks with Roosevelt.
7/6/1942, The US aircraft carrier Yorktown was sunk by the Japanese at Midway Island.
6/6/1942, The US and Japan both lost one destroyer each at Midway.
5/6/1942, Japanese Admiral Yamamoto realised the surprise factor had failed and ordered a withdrawal from Midway.
3/6/1942, The Japanese launched a diversionary attack on the Aleutians but did not draw US forces away from Midway.
2/6/1942, Task forces 16 and 17 rendezvous 350 miles north east of Midway.
30/5/1942, US Task Force 17 set sail from Pearl Harbour to join Task force 16 against the Japanese at Midway Island,
29/5/1942. Bing Crosby recorded the bestseller White Christmas for the soundtrack of the film Holiday Inn.
28/5/1942, US Task Force 16 sailed to intercept the Japanese fleet bound for Midway Island.
27/5/1942, A Japanese fleet left Japan on operation M.1, the capture of Midway Island. They hope to repeat the surprise factor of Pearl Harbour; however the US had cracked the Japanese radio codes and were ready, see 8/6/1942
18/4/1942US planes bombed Tokyo and other Japanese cities; the ‘Doolittle Raids’. See 24/11/1944.
3/3/1942, The USA declared the West Coast a military area and evacuated some 100,000 civilians.
24/2/1942, Joe Lieberman, US politician, was born.
23/2/1942, Lend Lease was made reciprocal between the USA and Britain.
10/2/1942, American bandleader Glen Miller was presented with a gold record of his popular tune ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’; the tune was the first to hit one million sales.
27/1/1942, Jacqueline Cochrane, US aviatrix, flew a US bomber to the UK, for raids against Germany.
26/1/1942, American troops landed in Northern Ireland.
25/1/1942, Siam (Thailand) declared war on Britain and the USA. The USA did not declare war on Siam. Many Thai sympathised with the Allied side.
17/1/1942, Muhammad Ali, American boxer, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, as Cassius Clay.
23/12/1941, Wake Island (US territory) surrendered to the Japanese, see 4/9/1945.
11/12/1941. 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 1/1/1870) for main events of World War Two in Europe
8/12/1941. 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.
7/12/1941. 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 8/12/1941,
much to the relief of Britain.
6/12/1941. Roosevelt appealed to Hirohito to avoid a war with the USA.
1/12/1941. The Japanese Emperor ratified the decision to go to war with the USA.
3/11/1941. President Roosevelt was warned by the US Ambasador to Tokyo of a possible Japanese attack on the USA.
11/10/1941, The Japanese Government approved plans for an attack on Pearl Harbour.
8/10/1941. The US civil rights leader and Baptist minister Jesse Jackson was born in Greenville, North Carolina.
26/9/1941, The US proclaimed an embargo on steel and scrap iron exports to Japan, with effect from 16/10/1941.
9/9/1941, Churchill met Roosevelt in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland.
26/7/1941, Britain and the USA froze Japanese assets.
10/4/1941. The USA sent troops to Greenland to protect arms supply lines from the USA to Britain.
22/3/1941, The Grand Coulee Dam, on the Columbia River, Washington State, began operating.
11/3/1941. 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 7/12/1941. 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.
6/3/1941. Gutzon Borglum, American sculptor noted for his work on the Mount Rushmore heads of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, died.
6/1/1941. Roosevelt sent the Lend Lease Bill to Congress. Congress agreed the Bill on 11/3/1941.
4/1/1941. The German-born actress Marlene Dietrich became a US citizen.
17/12/1940, US President Franklin Roosevelt proposed ‘Lend Lease’ for Britain.
7/11/1940. Britain, the USA, and Australia agreed on the defence of the Pacific.
27/9/1940. 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.
20/7/1940. The first singles charts were published in the US journal Billboard.
15/5/1940. 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.
7/2/1940, Disney’s film Pinocchio was given a gala premiere in New York.
4/11/1939. 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.
18/10/1939, Lee Harvey Oswald, American assassin, was born in New Orleans.
17/10/1939, Evel Kneivel, American stuntman , was born.
13/10/1939, Hitler made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade US President Roosevelt to mediate a peace between Germany, France and Britain.
5/9/1939. President Roosevelt declared the USA neutral in World War Two.
2/8/1939, Albert Einstein wrote to US President Franklin D Roosevelt urging him to commit to research into the possibility of atomic bombs.
28/7/1939, William James Mayo, US surgeon and co-founder of the Mayo Clinic, died aged 78.
30/4/1939, 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.
14/4/1939, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath was published.
1/4/1939, The USA recognised Franco’s government in Spain.
31/10/1938. 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.
26/5/1938, 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 3/1/1945.
14/1/1938, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full length colour and sound animated cartoon, went on general release across the USA.
21/12/1937. Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full length colour and sound animated cartoon was premiered in Los Angeles, USA.
1/6/1937, Morgan Freeman, US actor, was born.
23/5/1937, John D Rockefeller, American philanthropist and founder of the Standard Oil Company, died in Florida aged 97.
1936, In the US, the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was established. Riral telephone lines were also developed by the REA from 1949.
30/12/1936, Striking workers in the USA closed 7 General Motors plants.
29/2/1936. President Roosevelt signed a second neutrality bill, banning loans to countries at war.
4/1/1936, The first pop music chart was compiled, based on record sales published in New York in The Billboard.
10/9/1035, 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.
31/8/1935, In the USA, President Roosevelt banned arms sales to warring countries.
14/8/1935. President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Bill, introducing welfare for the old, sick, and unemployed.
10/6/1935, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in the United States by Bill Wilson and Dr Robert Smith.
21/5/1935, Death of Jane Addams (born 6/9/1860). 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.
6/3/1935, Oliver Wendell Jr, US Supreme Court Justice, died in Washington DC.
8/1/1935. Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, the surviving brother of twins.
20/8/1934. The USA joined the International Labour Organisation.
7/8/1934, A US Appeal Court upheld a judge’s ruling to allow James Joyce’s work, Ulysses, to be sold in the USA.
22/7/1934, Bank robber John Dillinger was killed in an FBI ambush in Chicago.
9/6/1934. Donald Duck was created, in Walt Disney’s cartoon The Little Wise Hen. Walt Disney was born in Chicago on 5/12/1901.
23/5/1934. 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 café 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.
17/5/1934, Cass Gilbert, the US architect who designed many of New York’s skyscrapers, including the Woolworth Building, died.
26/4/1934, 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.
18/4/1934. The first launderette opened in Fort Worth, Texas, by J F Cantrell. It was called a washeteria.
25/3/1934, The threatened US car workers' strike was averted when the Roosevelt administration created a National Automotive Labor Board to help resolve disputes
24/3/1934. The USA promised it would grant independence to the Philippines.
5/2/1934, Rioting broke out in the streets of New York over the cab driver strike as strikers fought with police and burned independent cabs.
16/11/1933, The USA established diplomatic relations with the USSR for the first time since the Russian Revolution.
7/11/1933, LaGuardia was elected Mayor of new York; he served until 1045.
31/10/1933, The carvings of the four heads of Presidents at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, was completed.
30/9/1933, US President Franklin D Roosevelt announced the US$ 700 million New Deal for the poor.
6/6/1933. The first drive – in cinema opened in Camden, New Jersey, with room for 400 cars.
27/5/1933, The ‘Century of World Progress’ Fair opened in Chicago.
22/5/1933. 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. 29/10/1929 was the date of the Wall Street Crash.
4/3/1933. 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”.
15/2/1933, The Italian immigrant and anarchist Guiseppe Zangara failed in an attempt to assassinate President Franklin D Roosevelt in Bayfront Park, Miami.
7/9/1932, J Paul Getty II, US philanthropist, was born.
9/7/1932. King Camp Gillette, American inventor of the safety razor and blade, died.
16/7/1932, 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.
8/3/1932. Franklin D. Roosevelt won the New Hampshire presidential primary
23/1/1933, 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.
7/3/1932, 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.
1/3/1932, 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 12/5/1932. Bruno Hauptmann was convicted of the crime and electrocuted.
22/2/1932. Edward Kennedy, American senator and younger brother of President Kennedy, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts.
24/10/1931. 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 25/1/1947 of a brain haemorrhage.
1/10/1931, The Waldorf Astoria, on Park Avenue, New York, opened. It was the world’s largest commercial hotel building.
17/9/1931. 33 1/3 rpm LP records were released in the USA. They were demonstrated at the Savoy Plaza Hotel, New York.
31/7/1931, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, home of the Cleveland Indians, opened. It was the largest baseball stadium in the world.
22/6/1931. In The USA, President Hoover suggested that German war reparations be suspended for a year to stimulate world trade.
26/3/1931, Leonard Nimoy, American film actor who played Dr Spock in the TV series Star Trek, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
19/3/1931, Indigestion aid Alka-Seltzer went on sale in the USA.
18/3/1931, The US company Schick Inc started to manufacture electric razors.
3/3/1931. The song, ‘The Star Spangled Banner’, became the American National Anthem.
31/5/1930, Clint Eastwood, American actor and film director, was born in San Francisco.
30/12/1930, The Colonial National Monument in Virginia was proclaimed by President Hoover.
6/12/1929, US marines were sent to Haiti to quell a revolt there.
3/12/1929, President Hoover delivered his first State of the Union speech to Congress.
23/9/1929, The $1.5 million, 21,000-seat St. Louis Arena opened.
28/7/1929, Jacqueline Onassis, widow of President Kennedy, was born in Southampton, New York State, as Jacqueline Lee Bouvier.
14/2/1929. 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.
13/1/1929, Wyatt Earp, American lawman and hero of the OK Corral, died peacefully aged 81.
1928, Roosevelt, future US President, was elected Governor of New York.
19/9/1928. The first cartoon talking picture, Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie, with Mickey Mouse (originally called Mortimer Mouse), was shown in New York.
6/8/1928, Andy Warhol, US artist, was born.
6/7/1928, The first all-talking feature film, Lights of New York, was presented at The Sound Theatre, New York.
13/3/1928, In Los Angeles, 450 died when a dam burst.
21/1/1928, George Washington Goethals, American, chief engineer of the Panama Canal, died.
3/1/1928, US troops went to Nicaragua to fight the Sandinistas.
7/8/1927, The Peace Bridge opened between Canada and the USA.
21/1/1927, Telly Savalas, American film actor who played ‘Kojak’, was born in Garden City, New York.
5/8/1926. Houdini, the famous escapologist and magician, survived for 1 ½ hours in a bronze coffin in a hotel swimming pool in Los Angeles.
19/6/1925, Bank robber Everett Bridgewater and two accomplices were arrested in Indianapolis, Indiana.
3/6/1926, Allan Ginsberg, US poet, was born.
1/6/1926, Marilyn Monroe, American film actress, was born in Los Angeles, California, as Norma Jean Baker.
13/1/1929, Wyatt Earp, American lawman and hero of the OK Corral, died peacefully aged 81.
26/7/1925, William Jennings Bryan, US Democratic Party orator and prosecutor in the Scopes ‘Monkey Trial’, born 19/3/1860 in Salem, Illinois, died in Dayton, Tennessee.
3/6/1925, Tony Curtis, US actor, was born.
31/3/1925, The Philadelphia Daily News began publication.
26/5/1924. The US passed a bill to limit immigration and bar Japanese.
10/4/1924. The first crossword puzzle book was published in New York.
8/2/1924. The first execution by gas chamber, in Carson City’s Nevada State Prison. Chinese gang member Gee John’s execution took some six minutes after the hydrocyanic gas was introduced.
3/9/1923, The US recognised the Mexican government.
27/5/1923. Henry Kissinger, American Secretary of State, was born in Furth, Germany. Kissinger shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Le Duc Thuo for their part in ending the Vietnam War.
3/3/1923. 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.
10/1/1923, The last US troops left Germany.
20/3/1922. President Harding recalled US troops from the Rhineland.
6/2/1922, The Limitation of Armaments Conference at Washington ended.
5/2/1922. The Readers Digest was first published, in the USA.
22/12/1921, US Congress set aside US$ 20 million for food aid to starving children in the USSR.
12/11/1921, The Limitation of Armaments Conference began in Washington.
25/8/1921. Peace treaty (Treaty of Berlin) signed between Germany and the USA.
11/8/1921, Alex Hailey, US author of Roots, was born.
19/5/1921. 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.
12/4/1921, US President Harding rejected joining the League of Nations.
16/10/1920, US Marines killed the Haitian rebel leader.
26/8/1920. Under the 19th Amendment, women received the vote in the USA.
19/3/1920. The US Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, and the US refused to join the League of Nations.
16/1/1920. Prohibition began in the USA (18th Amendment), and the sale, manufacture, or involvement with alcohol was banned.
See also Morals and Fashion for more details on Prohibition.
5/1/1920. Radio Corporation of America was formed for world-wide broadcasting.
2/1/1920. 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 nomination in late 1920 but maintained he had foiled a Bolshevik plot to overthrow the US Government.
27/11/1919. A large meteor landed in Lake Michigan.
11/11/1919, Death of Andrew Carnegie, US steel magnate and philanthropist. Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, on 25/11/1835, 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.
13/10/1919. Dock strike in New York.
2/10/1919, US President Wilson suffered a massive stroke, leaving his left side paralysed.
22/9/1919. Major steel strike in the USA.
31/8/1919. The US Communist Party was founded.
3/2/1919, US President Woodrow Wilson attended the first meeting of the League of Nations in Paris.
15/1/1919, 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.
14/12/1918, President Woodrow Wilson arrived in Paris for peace talks.
11/11/1918. Armistice Day. World War One ended. Fighting ceased on the Western Front, and Austro-Hungary signed an armistice with the Allies. See 29/9/1918. 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 8/8/1918) 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 21/11/1918), 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.
29/9/1918. Allied troops captured part of the Hindenburg Line. Ludendorff called for an armistice to avert a catastrophe for Germany. Negotiations opened with President Woodrow Wilson of the USA on 4/10/1918 but fighting continued till 11/11/1918.
15/8/1918. The US severed diplomatic relations with the Bolshevik government of Russia.
12/5/1918, Julius Rosenberg was born (see 19/6/1953).
9/1/1918, U.S troops engaged Yaqui Indian warriors in the Battle of Bear Valley in Arizona, a minor skirmish and one of the last battles of the American Indian Wars between the United States and American Indians.
7/12/1917. The USA declared war on Austria.
18/8/1917, Caspar Weinberger, US Republican politician and Secretary of Defence for Ronald Reagan, was born in San Francisco.
4/8/1917. The US said avoiding conscription could be punished with execution.
15/7/1917, US Congress passed the Espionage Act. Section 1 introduced 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.
27/6/1917. American troops arrived in France to fight with the Allies. The American expeditionary force was commanded by General John Pershing.
18/5/1917. The US introduced selective conscription.
3/5/1917, US destroyers arrived to join the British navy.
20/4/1917. The US broke off relations with Turkey.
6/4/1917. The USA declared war against Germany, with a declaration signed by President Woodrow Wilson. This followed the revealing by the British on 1/3/1917 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’.
2/4/1917, US President Wilson asked the US Congress to pass a resolution to declare war on Germany.
1/4/1917, Scott Joplin, American composer, died in poverty in an asylum.
8/3/1917. US marines landed in Cuba to help the civil authorities.
7/3/1917. The Dixie Band One-Step was the world’s first jazz record to be released. Ironically it was by the all-white Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
2/3/1917. The US Congress passed the Jones Act, making Puerto Rico a US territory.
26/2/1917. (1) 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 1917 a 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.
(2) US Congress created the McKinley National Park, covering 2,500 square miles. It is now much larger, and known as Denali.
20/2/1917, The USA bought the Dutch West Indies.
7/2/1917. All US citizens in Germany were held as hostages.
3/2/1917. The USA broke off relations with Germany.
31/1/1917. 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 10/5/1917. 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.
29/1/1917. 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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Act_of_1917 for further details.
10/1/1917, William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody died, aged 71. He was a pony express rider before the Civil War, in which he fought; after, he supplied meat to the workers of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, hence his name. As chief of scouts for the US military he fought in several battles against the Indians, which made him famous.
1916, The US introduced its first tax on inherited wealth, an ‘estate tax’.
14/12/1916, A referendum in Denmark agreed by 64.3% for to 35.7% against to agree to the sale of the Danish West Indies to the US, for the sum of US$ 25 million. These islands became the US Virgin Islands; they were of strategic importance to the US now that the Panama Canal had opened. The islands were formally handed over on 1/4/1917, just before the US declared war on Germany.
1/12/1916, The lights of the Statue of Liberty were turned on by President Wilson.
15/3/1916. The US mounted a punitive raid into Mexico in revenge for the raids of Pancho Villa into New Mexico on 9/3/1916.
28/9/1915. Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg was born (see 19/6/1953).
7/5/1915. 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 1/5/1915. 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.
6/5/1915, Orson Wells, American actor and film director, was born,
20/4/1915. President Wilson declared the USA to be strictly neutral in the Great War.
2/1/1915, John Hope Franklin, US historian, was born.
15/3/1915, US soldiers under General Pershing entered Mexico to hunt down the revolutionary Pancho Villa.
15/8/1914, The 40-mile long Panama Canal opened; construction work had begun on 4/7/1914. The first ship to pass through the canal, this day, was the SS Ancon.
31/7/1914. The New York stock exchange closed with the outbreak of World War One.
8/5/1914, The US Congress officially recognised Mothers’ Day, setting it as the second Sunday in May thereafter.
21/4/1914, US troops occupied the Mexican city of Vera Cruz to prevent German weaponry reaching the Mexican military.
1913, The United States Department of Labor was created, to promote the welfare of US workers.
24/12/1913, 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.
23/12/1913, The Federal Reserve, the Central Banking system of the USA, was established.
17/11/1913. The steamship Louise became the first ship through the Panama Canal.
10/10/1913. The Panama Canal was completed.
8/4/1913, 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.
31/3/1913, New York’s Ellis Island, where new migrants were processed, received a record 6,745 admissions.
27/3/1913, 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
25/2/1913. 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.
3/2/1913. In the USA, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. This authorised the imposition of income tax.
9/1/1913. Birth of Richard Nixon at Yorba Linda, California. Nixon was the 37th President of the US.
14/10/1912. President Roosevelt was shot and seriously wounded by a demented man in Milwaukee.
5/8/1912, 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.
23/6/1912, A bridge over the Niagara Falls collapsed, killing 47.
8/6/1912. In Los Angeles, Carl Lemmie founded Universal Studios.
27/5/1912, Sam Snead, US golfer, was born.
12/4/1912, Clara Barton (born 25/12/1812 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.
14/2/1912. Arizona became the 48th State of the USA.
6/1/1912. New Mexico became the 47th State of the USA.
29/11/1911, The US journalist Joseph Pulitzer died.
3/11/1911, Death of Norman Jay Colman, the first US Secretary of Agriculture (born 16/5/1827).
25/3/1911, Jack Ruby, American nightclub owner, and killer of Lee Harvey Oswald, was born as Jack Rubenstein in Chicago (died 1967).
23/2/1911, Quanah Parker, 65, Principal Chief of the Comanche Nation, died.
17/2/1911, The city of Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, was incorporated.
25/1/1911. US troops were sent to Rio Grande in the Mexican Civil War.
1/10/1910, Bonnie Parker, US outlaw of the Bonnie and Clyde duo, was born in Rowena, Texas.
30/9/1910, 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.
19/6/1910. Fathers Day was instituted in the USA.
18/6/1910, The city of Glendale, Arizona, was incorporated.
1/6/1910, The first white settlements on the banks of Alaska's Iditarod River were made when a steamer brought gold prospectors to within 13 km of a gold strike. By August, there were two towns, each with 2,000 people: Iditarod and Flat.
5/6/1910, Death of American short-story writer Henry O.
21/4/1910. Mark Twain, American author, died in Reading, Connecticut, aged 74.
10/3/1910. D W Griffith made the first Hollywood film. He discovered an obscure location near Los Angeles called Hollywood where the light was very good, for shooting the film Old California; the film industry then took off rapidly here.
16/12/1909, US marines forced the resignation of President Jose Zelaya of Nicaragua.
22/8/1909, 5 US workers died in steel industry riots.
24/3/1909, Clyde Barrow, one of the Bonnie and Clyde outlaws, was born in Toledo, Texas.
17/2/1909. Geronimo, the last Apache chief to surrender, died at his ranch on an Oklahoma reservation, aged 90.
5/1/1909. The Colombian Government formally recognised Panamanian independence.
14/11/1908, Joseph McCarthy, US politician and lawyer noted for his purge against Communists, was born in Grand Chute, Wisconsin.
12/8/1908, 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.
26/7/1908. 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.
10/5/1908. Mothers Day was first celebrated in the USA.
21/3/1908, Abraham Maslow, US psychologist, was born (died 1970).
24/2/1908. 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.
6/12/1907, The USA suffered its worst mine disaster. 361 died at Monongah, West Virginia.
16/11/1907. Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th State of the USA.
17/4/1907, A record all time high of 11,747 immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, New York, this day.
26/2/1907. President Roosevelt put the US army in charge of building the Panama Canal.
26/11/1906, 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.
9/10/1906. Death of Joseph Glidden in the USA; he invented barbed wire.
22/6/1906, US President Roosevelt sued John D Rockerfeller’s Standard Oil Company for operating a monopoly.
24/12/1905. The US industrialist Howard Hughes was born.
19/6/1905. 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 the harp by Madame Durocher.
23/2/1905, The Rotary Club was founded by Paul Harris and others, in offices in Dearborn, Chicago.
18/2/1905, Jay Cooke, US financier, died (born 10/8/1821).
10/2/1905. 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.
1/12/1904, The Great World Fair, at St Louis, USA, closed, having had millions of visitors from all over the world.
4/10/1904, Death of French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, designer of the Statue of Liberty.
1/8/1904. Birth of American jazzman Count Basie.
4/7/1904. Work began on the 40 mile-long Panama Canal. It opened on 15/8/1914.
2/5/1904. Bing Crosby was born in Tacoma, Washington, as Harry Lillis Crosby.
30/4/1904, The St Louis Exhibition opened.
22/4/1904. Robert Oppenheimer, American scientist who developed the US atomic bomb at Los Alamos, was born in New York City.
22/3/1904. In the USA, the Daily Illustrated Mirror carried the world’s first colour picture in a newspaper.
1/3/1904, Glenn Miller, American trombonist, was born in Clarinda, Indiana.
7/2/1904. A major fire destroyed much of the centre of Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
18/11/1903, Panama granted the canal strip to US, by treaty ratified on 26/2/1904.
3/11/1903. Panama revolted and declared itself independent from Colombia. On 6/11/1903 the US recognised Panamanian independence. On 12/8/1903 the Colombian Senate had rejected US plans for a canal at Panama. On 18/11/1903 the US and Panama signed a treaty to build the Canal. See 22/1/1903. On 2/11/1903 the US sent three warships to Panama.
21/9/1903. The first Wild West movie, Kit Carson, opened in the USA. It was 21 minutes long.
12/8/1903, The Colombian Senate rejected US plans for a Canal at Panama, see 3/11/1903.
4/7/1903, President Roosevelt of the USA inaugurated the Pacific Communications Cable with a global message.
21/3/1903, 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.
14/3/1903. The US Senate ratified construction of the Panama Canal.
3/3/1903. The USA passed a bill to limit immigration and ban ‘undesirables’.
22/1/1903. The USA and Colombia signed a treaty to allow construction of the Panama Canal. See 3/11/1903.
31/12/1902, In a 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.
15/10/1902, US President Roosevelt threatened to send in troops to end a miner’s strike.
28/6/1902, The USA authorised the construction of the Panama Canal.
20/5/1902, Cuba gained dependence, from US military rule, see 1/1/1899.
12/5/1902, A miners strike began in the USA.
27/2/1902, John Steinbeck, American author and Nobel Prize Winner who wrote The Grapes of Wrath, was born in Salinas, California.
18/1/1902. A US Commission chose Panama as the site for a new canal.
18/11/1901. The US journalist and statistician George Gallup was born in Jefferson, Iowa.
29/10/1901, Anarchist Leon Czolgosz was executed by electrocution for assassinating US President McKinley
12/10/1901, President Theodore Roosevelt renamed the Executive Mansion as The White House.
4/7/1901, The US Republican, Taft, was appointed Governor of the Philippines. replacing a former military government with civilian rule. He announced an amnesty for all former rebels who took an oath of allegiance to the USA.
25/2/1901, ‘Zeppo’ Marx, the youngest of the Marx Brothers, who became their agent, was born in New York City as Herbert.
10/1/1901, Major oil discovery in Texas, USA.
1900, Only 1 in 7 US homes possessed a bath-tub.
2/12/1900, The US Supreme Court declared that Puerto Ricans did not qualify for US citizenship.
8/9/1900, Over 5,000 were killed when a hurricane hit Galveston, Texas.
21/6/1900, In the US, the Republican Party Convention renominated McKinley for Presidency and Theodore Roosevelt for vice-Presidency.
16/4/1900. The world’s first book of stamps was issued, in the USA.
8/4/1900, 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.
2/1/1900. New York’s first electric omnibus began operating.
2/12/1899. In Washington, the USA, Britain, and Germany signed a treaty dividing the Samoan Islands between the USA and Germany.
24/11/1899. 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.
18/10/1898, The USA took formal possession of Puerto Rico from Spain.
6/9/1899. 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.
1/7/1899, The first juvenile court sat, at Cork County Court, Chicago.
4/2/1899, A rebellion against US rule broke out on the Philippines. The US had backed General Emilio Aguinaldo against Spanish colonial rule (see 10/12/1898), but instead of independence the Philippines came under US rule.
17/1/1899, Al Capone, American gangster who operated in Chicago, was born in Naples, Italy.
1/1/1899, The official date on which US military rule succeeded Spanish rule of Cuba.
12/12/1898, The Treaty of Paris ended the US-Spanish war.
10/12/1898. 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 4/2/1899.
13/8/1898. US forces captured Manila, capital of the Philippines.
28/7/1898. Puerto Rico surrendered to US forces.
3/7/1898, The US navy destroyed a Spanish fleet attempting to escape the US blockade eon the port of Santiago, Chile. On 5/7/1898 US forces captured Santiago itself.
20/6/1898. The US navy seized the island of Guam.
1/5/1898. US forces under George Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, Philippines.
24/4/1898. 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.
20/4/1898, The US demanded the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Cuba.
27/3/1898, Gloria Swanson, American silent-film star, was born.
15/2/1898. The US warship Maine blew up in Havana harbour, Cuba. Spanish sabotage was suspected. The USA declared war on Spain on 24/4/1898.
1/1/1898. The boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Richmond, Manhattan, and The Bronx united to form Greater New York.
19/2/1897. The Women’s Institute organisation was founded at Stoney Creek in Ontario by Mrs Hoodless. The first W I meeting was on 25/9/1897. The W I idea was brought to England by a Mrs Watt during World War One.
13/1/1897, 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.
17/8/1896. Gold was discovered at Bonanza Creek on the Klondike River in Canada’s Yukon Territory. This led to the great Gold Rush of 1898, in which the city of Dawson grew to over 25,000 people.
28/7/1896, The City of Miami was incorporated. It had been a small Indian trading post with two dwellings, a storehouse, and a small fort when the railway was built there in 1896. On incorporation it had a population of 260. By 1910 it had a population of 5,471; by 1920, 29,571.
26/6/1896. The world’s first permanent cinema opened in New Orleans; admission was 10 cents. Britain’s first cinema opened in Islington on 5/8/1901, 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 6/6/1933 in Camden, New Jersey, and could hold 400 cars.
4/1/1896. Utah became the 45th State of the USA.
17/12/1895. Relations between the US and Britain were under severe strain because of a border dispute between Guiana and Venezuela.
26/8/1895. A hydroelectric plant designed by Nikola Tesla and built by Westinghouse opened at Niagara Falls.
1/1/1895, J Edgar Hoover, American criminologist and founder of the FBI, was born in Washington DC.
14/12/1894. 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 11/5/1894 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 10/7/1894 the strike was broken.
22/11/1894. The USA and Japan signed a commercial treaty.
1/5/1894. David Coxey, who led a march of 100,000 unemployed to the capital, Washington, to demand economic reform, was arrested.
3/1/1894, Elizabeth Peabody, American educator and founder in 1960 of the first kindergarten in the US, died aged 89.
20/2/1893, Pierre Beauregard, American Confederate General, died.
15/12/1892, Paul Getty, US oil tycoon, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
17/8/1892. Mae West, US film actress, was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was the daughter of a boxer.
1/1/1892. 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.
7/4/1891, Phineas T Barnum, American circus showman, died aged 80.
14/2/1891, William Sherman, Union Army commander in the American Civil War, died in New York City.
29/12/1890. The Battle of Wounded Knee in South Dakota. This was the last major conflict between Red Indians, the Sioux, and US troops.
15/12/1890. Chief Sitting Bull, Sioux leader (born ca.1831), was shot dead in a scuffle with police in South Dakota whilst resisting arrest. He had fled to Canada after his victory over General Custer at Little Bighorn in 1876. He returned to the USA in 1881 and was jailed for 2 years. He performed for several years with Buffalo Bill’s travelling Wild West Show, but the suffering of his people led him to join the new Ghost Dance Movement, dedicated to destroying the Whites and restoring the lost Indian world. The US Government sent troops to suppress the Ghost Dance Movement and arrest its leaders; Sitting Bull was shot in the skirmish.
6/8/1890. In New York’s Auburn prison, the electric chair was used for the first time on the murderer William Kemmler.
10/7/1890. Wyoming was admitted as the 44th State of the USA.
3/7/1890, Idaho became the 43rd State of the Union.
2/7/1890. 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.
1/6/1890, The US Census Bureau began using Herman Hollerith’s tabulating machine to count census returns. Hollerith’s company eventually became IBM.
2/5/1890. The Federal territory of Oklahoma was created; it was formerly known as the Indian Territory. On 22/4/1889 the US government, via a single shot fired at noon, had signalled the start of a great race for land by white settlers. An estimated 200,000 people crossed into the land once home to 75,000 Indians, who had to move on. By nightfall 22/4/1889 almost all of Oklahoma’s 2 million acres had been claimed.
14/4/1890, The Pan-American Union was established at the first International Congress of American States.
28/3/1890, Washington State University was established in Pullman, Washington.
8/3/1890, North Dakota State University was founded in Fargo, North Dakota.
11/11/1889. Washington became the 42nd State of the Union.
8/11/1889, Montana became the 41st State of the Union.
2/11/1889, North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th States of the Union.
3/6/1889, 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.
22/4/1889, The great land rush in the US, see 2/5/1890.
22/2/1889, US President Grover Cleveland signed a Bill admitting North and South Dakota, Montana, and Washington, as US States.
1/1/1889, The State of New York adopted the electric chair for capital punishment.
25/10/1888, Richard Byrd, US naval officer and polar explorer, was born in Winchester, Virginia.
9/10/1888, The 555-foot high white marble Washington Monument was opened. It was designed by Robert Mills.
18/4/1888, Roscoe Conkling, US lawyer and politician, died in New York City (born 30/10/1829 in Albany, New York).
25/12/1887, Conrad Hilton, American hotelier, was born in San Antonio, New Mexico.
23/11/1887. Violence erupted in a sugar cane workers strike in Louisiana, and at least 20 Black people were killed.
8/2/1887. The USA passed an Act allowing the President to overrule Indian governments and sell traditional communally-owned tribal lands to private owners.
28/10/1886, 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.
4/9/1886. The Apache chief Geronimo surrendered to General Nelson Miles of the US army. He was born in what is now New Mexico in 1829. After returning home to find his wife and three children murdered by Spanish troops from Mexico he terrorized European settlements. He was the leader of the last American Indian force to surrender, and had outwitted the US army with its superior numbers for 10 years. His ten years of guerrilla action was intended to deter white settlers from New Mexico and Arizona. He died a prisoner in 1909, unable to return to his homeland, and was buried in the Apache cemetery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
4/5/1886, 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.
1/5/1886. Over 100,00 workers across the USA went on strike for an 8 hour day. A bomb thrown by Anarchists in Chicago on 4/5/1886 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.
11/11/1885, George Patton, US military commander in World War Two, was born in San Gabriel, California.
10/9/1885. 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.
23/7/1885, Ulysses Grant, American commander of the Union Army, Republican politician and 18th President from 1869 to 1877, died of cancer in Mount McGregor, near Saratoga, New York State.
19/6/1885. The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York from France. The statue was dedicated to the US-France friendship on 28/10/1886 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.
24/2/1885, Chester Nimitz, American admiral and commander in the Pacific during World War II, was born in Fredericksburg, Texas.
4/7/1884, The Statue of Liberty was formally presented to US Minister Morton by Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps.
16/6/1884, The first purpose-built roller coaster, the Switchback railway, opened at Coney island, New York.
21/5/1884, The Statue of Liberty was completed. Work on it was begun in 1874 by Auguste Bartholdi, in Paris.
23/10/1883, The Metropolitan Opera House in New York opened.
10/4/1883, On the instructions of the US Secretary for the Interior (Henry M Teller), the Commissioner for Indian Affairs distributed instructions to eradicate ‘demoralising and barbarous’ traditions. The document defined ‘Indian Offenses’ that included having more than one wife, holding religious feasts and dances such as the Sun Dance, and practising traditional medicine. Other native traditions such as purchasing a wife by leaving property at her father’s house and showing grief by destroying property were also outlawed.
4/4/1883, Death of Peter Cooper, US inventor and steam locomotive designer (born 12/2/1791).
1882, The US passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, to halt Chinese immigration into the USA. See 29/1/1917.
26/10/1881, The gunfight at the OK Corral, Arizona, took place between Doc Holliday and Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp and the Clantons and McLaurys.
3/8/1881, William George Fargo, co-founder of the Wells Fargo Express in 1852, died aged 65.
4/7/1881. The outlaw William H Bonney, or Billy the Kid, born 23/11/1859, was shot dead in New Mexico by lawman Pat Garrett. He reputedly killed his first man before he was a teenager.
31/12/1880, 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.
1/6/1880. The first public telephone call box was installed, in New Haven, Connecticut.
8/3/1880. President Hayes of America declared that the USA will have jurisdiction over any canal built across Panama.
26/1/1880, Douglas MacArthur, American military commander in the south-west Pacific in World War Two, was born near Little Rock, Arkansas.
2/1/1879, Caleb Cushing, US statesman, died at Newburyport, |Massachusetts.
10/12/1878, Henry Wells, partner of William Fargo, died.
4/10/1878, The first Chinese Embassy in the USA opened, in Washington DC.
28/1/1878, America’s first commercial telephone switchboard exchange opened in New Haven, Connecticut.
15/9/1877, Crazy Horse, Sioux Chief, one of the leaders at the victory of Little Big Horn in 1876, died.
6/5/1877. Chief Crazy Horse and his Sioux Indians gave themselves up to US troops, abandoning claims to Nebraska.
1/8/1876. Colorado became the 38th State of the USA.
25/6/1876. Custer’s Last Stand took place at Little Bighorn, Montana. Custer died with all 264 men of his 7th cavalry. The killing was done by Sioux Indians led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Gall. The Battle was the result of a confused policy by the US government towards the Indians. The Indians, Eastern Sioux, and Northern Cheyennes, had been guaranteed exclusive possession of the Dakota territory west of the Missouri River, but white miners were settling in the Black Hills area searching for gold. The US government refused to move the miners and so conflict became inevitable. The Indians were asked to leave or be considered hostile and in June 1876 US soldiers moved in. However Custer, with his 650 men, was unaware that the Indians had 1,500 warriors close by. After the disaster of Little Bighorn, the US army flooded the area with soldiers, forcing the Indians to surrender.
31/1/1876, All American Indians were ordered to move to reservations.
17/5/1875, The Kentucky Derby horse race, USA, was first run.
9/12/1874, Ezra Cornell, US industrialist who founded Cornell University in Ithaca, died.
9/6/1874, Cochise, Apache chief and war leader against White settlers, died.
1/8/1873. The first street cable cars in the world were installed in San Francisco, on Clay Street Hill; the steep terrain made horse buses impractical. They were the invention of engineer Andrew Smith Hallidie, 37.
4/3/1873, The New York Daily Graphic became the world’s first illustrated daily newspaper.
5/12/1872. 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 7/11/1872, 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.
9/11/1872. 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$75million of goods were lost. Very little residential property was lost and the commercial district was soon rebuilt with better buildings and straighter roads.
7/11/1872, The 282 ton brigantine Marie Celeste set sail from New York on her ill-fated journey.
1/3/1872, The first National Park in America, and its largest, Yellowstone National Park, was established.
11/10/1871, The Great Fire of Chicago ended.
8/10/1871. The Great Fire of Chicago started, killing 300 people. 90,000 were made homeless and US$ 200 million damage was done. The fire ended on 11/10/1871; 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.
30/7/1871. In New York, an explosion on the Staten Island ferry killed 72 and injured 135.
20/4/1871, In the US, the Klu Klux Klan Act outlawed paramilitary organisations such as the Klu Klux Klan.
12/10/1870, Robert E Lee, US Confederate General during the Civil War, died in Lexington, Virginia.
14/7/1870, David Farragut, US naval hero of the Civil War, died in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
12/7/1870, John Dahlgreen, US Admiral, died.
22/6/1870, The US Department of Justice was established.
9/2/1870, The United States weather service was published.
3/2/1870, In the US, the Fifteenth Amendment gave every US citizen, regardless of race, the right to vote.
10/5/1869. 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.
8/4/1869, Harvey Cushing, US surgeon, was born.
27/11/1868, Lieutenant Colonel George Custer and his 7th cavalry attacked the village of Cheyenne Indian chief Black Kettle. The Indians had been resisting the building of a railway in their territory.
7/11/1868, Royal Samuel Copeland, US politician, was born in Michigan.
6/11/1868. Oglala Sioux Indians, led by Chief Red Cloud, signed a peace treaty with General William Sherman, representing the US Government, at Fort Laramie. This ended 2 years of fighting between Indians and gold miners.
3/11/1868. Ulysses S Grant, ultimate commander of the Union armies in the Civil War, was elected President of the USA.
7/10/1868, A non-stop stage coach covered the 2,600 miles from St Louis to Los Angeles in a record 20 days.
29/7/1858, US diplomat Townsend Harris persuaded Japan to grant further trade privileges to the USA.
25/7/1868. President Johnson signed an Act creating the territory of Wyoming.
9/7/1868, 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 Blacks and Whites alike, specifically including ex-slaves here, and prohibited any State from ‘abridging their privileges’ or denying 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.
23/5/1868, Kit Carson, US soldier and fur trapper who did much to open up the West to White settlers, died (born 24/12/1809).
25/2/1868, Andrew Johnson, 17th US President 1865-69, was impeached.
28/8/1867, The Midway Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, were claimed for the US by Captain Reynolds.
1/5/1867. 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.
30/3/1867. The USA purchased Alaska from Russia. Senate voted for the purchase by a single vote. The price was US$7.2 million, less than 2 cents per acre for Alaska’s 375 million acres. Some derided the purchase of this vast wasteland, calling it ‘Icebergia’ or ‘Polaria’. However William Seward, Secretary for the Interior, said that Alaska had great riches in the form of furs, minerals, and fisheries.
1/3/1867, Nebraska became the 37th State of the Union.
12/2/1866. 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.
24/12/1865, The Klu Klux Klan was founded in the US by six men in Pulaski, Tennessee.
18/12/1865. Slavery was officially abolished in the USA with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, signed on 1/2/1865. See 16/6/1858. 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.
8/7/1865. Four of the conspirators involved in the murder of President Lincoln (see 15/4/1865) were hanged. Another three were sentenced to life imprisonment.
26/5/1865. The Confederate Army under General Kirby Smith surrendered in Texas, fully ending the American Civil War.
10/5/1865. Jefferson Davies, Confederate President of the USA, was taken prisoner by Union forces in the American Civil War.
5/5/1865. The world’s first train robbery took place, at North Bend, Ohio.
27/4/1865, In the US, the paddle steamer Sultana exploded on the Mississippi River, killing 1,600 people on board.
26/4/1865, 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.
9/4/1865. 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. 5/4/1865. Union troops destroyed the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia.
2/3/1865. President Lincoln rejected Confederate attempts to negotiate, demanding unconditional surrender.
22/2/1865. Wilmington, the last Confederate port, fell to the Union forces.
6/2/1865, Robert E Lee became Commander of the Confederate forces in America.
1/2/1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed a Resolution proposing the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery in the USA.
24/12/1864. General Sherman captured Savannah, Georgia, from the Confederates.
29/11/1864, The Sand Creek massacre; Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians were waiting to surrender to US forces when soldiers under the command of Colonel Chivington slaughtered them.
15/11/1864, 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.
31/10/1864, Nevada became the 36th State of the Union.
19/10/1864, At the Battle of Cedar Creek, in the American Civil War, General Sheridan defeated the Confederates.
17/8/1864, 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.
5/8/1864, The Battle of Mobile Bay.
27/6/1864, Battle of Kenesaw Mountains, Georgia. Confederate troops defeated Sherman’s forces, killing 2,000 of them to losses of only 270 of themselves.
18/6/1864, The USS Kearsarge, captained by John Wilmslow, sank the British built warship Alabama, a Confederate ship, off Cherbourg.
15/6/1864, Arlington Cemetery, the site of the unknown soldier, was established near Washington.
5/6/1864, Battle of Wilderness; Unionist victory.
3/6/1864, 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..
23/5/1864, Battle of North Anna; Confederate victory.
21/5/1864, The Battle of Spottsylvania Courthouse ended.
15/5/1864, Battle of Drewry’s Bluff; Confederate victory.
11/5/1864, Battle of Yellow Tavern; Unionist victory.
9/3/1864, General Ulyssses Grant was made Commander in Chief of the Union forces in the American Civil War.
2/3/1864, US President Lincoln rejected Confederate General Lee’s call for peace talks, demanding surrender.
24/11/1863, Edwin Conklin, US biologist, was born in Ohio (died 20/11/1952).
23/11/1863, The Battle of Chattanooga in the American Civil War. The Confederates under Bragg were heavily defeated.
19/11/1863. 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’.
2/11/1863, 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.
17/10/1863, 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.
3/10/1863. President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be a national holiday of Thanksgiving.
19/9/1863, 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.
21/8/1863, The Quantrill raid, on Lawrence, Kansas.
11/7/1863, 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.
4/7/1863. Confederate forces under General Joseph Pemberton surrendered unconditionally to Federal troops who had besieged Vicksburg since May. This effectively split Confederate territory in two.
3/7/1863. 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
1/7/1863, The Battle of Gettysburg began. It ended on 3/7/1863 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.
20/6/1863. West Virginia became the 35th State to join the Union.
6/5/1863, Lee (Confederate) defeated Hooker (Unionist) at the Battle of Chancellorsville.
3/5/1863, Despite a Confederate victory, their best General, Stonewall Jackson, was seriously injured. This day his arm was amputated; on 10/5/1863 he died of pneumonia.
3/3/1863. (1) 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.
(2) Congress provided for the forcible removal of all Indians from the state of Kansas.
1862, The US Department of Agriculture was established. Its principal function was then to conduct experiments, collect statstics, and distribute seeds and plants to farmers. It became a Cabinet Office in 1889.
13/12/1862, At the Battle of Fredericksburg in the American Civil War, Lee’s Confederate forces defeated Major General Burnside’s soldiers, who were attempting to capture the town of Fredericksburg, despite being heavily outnumbered.
22/9/1862, In a deliberate attempt to cause social disruption in the Confederacy, President Lincoln proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the South from 1/1/1863.
17/9/1862, 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.
30/8/1862, At the second Battle of Bull Run, Virginia,Union forces under Pope were defeated by Confederate forces under Lee, helped by Jackson.
17/8/1862, A Sioux uprising in Minnesota led by Little Crow was suppressed.
1/7/1862, Battle of Malvern Mill; Unionist victory.
27/6/1862, Battle of Gaine’s Mill; Confederate victory.
26/6/1862, Battle of Mechanicsville; Unionist victory.
9/6/1862, Battle of Port Republic; Confederate victory.
8/6/1862, Battle of Cross Keys; Confederate victory.
31/5/1862, In the US Civil War, Federal troops withdrew from the area between the James and York Rivers, after suffering heavy losses.
25/5/1862, Battle of Winchester; Confederate victory.
8/5/1862, Battle of McDowell; Confederate victory.
1/5/1862, Union forces occupied New Orleans.
15/4/1862. Nashville, Tennessee, became the first Confederate capital to fall to Union forces.
7/4/1862, 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.
6/4/1862, The Battle of Shiloh began.
23/3/1862, Unionists defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Kernstown.
9/3/1862, 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.
4/3/1862, Confederate forces under Henry Sibley took Santa Fe.
25/2/1862, ‘Greenbacks’, American banknotes, were first issued during the Civil War by Abraham Lincoln.
8/11/1861, The Unionist warship San Jacinto removed Confederate Commissioners from the British mailship Trent.
7/11/1861. Union forces won a major victory over the Confederates at Port Royal, South Carolina.
24/10/1861, 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.
2/10/1861, At the Battle of Bulls Bluff, on the Potomac River, the Unionists were defeated.
20/9/1861 The Battle of Lexington.
19/8/1861 The passport system was introduced in the USA.
16/8/1861. President Lincoln barred all commerce with the Confederacy.
21/7/1861. The first thrust by Unionist forces towards the Confederate capital at Richmond was repulsed at the first Battle of Bull Run.
13/5/1861. Britain declared its neutrality in the American Civil War.
17/4/1861, Virginia voted to secede from the United States, after the Battle of Fort Sumter and Abraham Lincoln's call for volunteers.
14/4/1861, The Battle of Fort Sumter ended. Confederates captured the fort.
12/4/1861. The American Civil War began between the 23 northern states and the 11 southern states. The Confederates fired shots on Fort Sumter. See 26/5/1865, end of Civil War. On 20/12/1860 South Carolina had seceded from the Union and between 9/1/1861 and 1/2/1861 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 26/12/1860. President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated at Washington on 4/3/1861. 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.
4/3/1861, President Abraham Lincoln, in his inaugural address as US President, promised to uphold the Union but also to preserve slavery in areas where it existed.
8/2/1861, The Confederate States united to fight the American Civil War, and chose Jefferson Davis as provisional President.
4/2/1861, 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.
29/1/1861, Kansas became the 34th State of the Union.
20/12/1860. South Carolina seceded from the USA.
13/9/1860, John Pershing, commander of US forces in France in World War One, was born in Linn County, Missouri.
30/4/1860, Fort Defiance, New Mexico, was attacked by 1,000 Navajo Indians, angered by the shooting of their sheep and goats by the fort’s soldiers. The Navajo almost succeeded in capturing the fort.
3/4/1860. The first pony express arrived in Sacramento, California, 11 days after leaving St Joseph, Missouri. The run across 1,966 miles of empty prairie between St Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California; it included dangers from hostile Indians and flash floods in the mountains. The Pony Express ended on 24/10/1861 when the first trans-continental telegraph line was completed.
6/3/1860. The Republican politician Abraham Lincoln made a campaign speech defending the right to strike.
10/1/1860. 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.
23/11/1859, Billy the Kid, or William Bonney, was shot dead by Sheriff Pat Garrett.
14/2/1859. 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.
9/11/1858, The New York Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert.
11/9/1858, The Mountain Meadows Massacre in Utah. 135 migrants on the Fancher wagon train were ambushed, and nearly all killed, by Pahute Indians; however the Indians were acting under instructions from the Mormon leader, Brigham Young.
13/7/1858, US anthropologist Robert Culin was born in Philadelphia (died 8/4/1929).
16/6/1858. 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’.
11/5/1858. Minnesota became the 32nd State of the USA.
22/12/1856, Frank B Kellogg, US politician, was born.
4/7/1855. New York became the 13th state to ban the production or sale of alcoholic beverages. For more on Prohinition see Morals-Punishment.
2/8/1854, Francis Crawford, US author, was born.
5/7/1854, In America, the Republican Party was officially founded.
31/3/1854. The USA and Japan signed the Treaty of Kanagawa, opening up the Japanese ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade.
28/2/1854, The United States Republican Party was formed, in Ripon, Wisconsin.
8/7/1853. 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.
18/9/1851. The New York Times was first published. It was founded by Henry Jarvis Raymond.
9/9/1850. California became the 31st State of the USA.
15/2/1850, Albert Cummins, US politician, was born (died 30/7/1926).
1849, US Congress created the Department of the Interior, to administer the large areas added to the US by the Louisiana Purchase and the Oregon Territories.
10/5/1849. 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.
29/5/1848, Wisconsin became the 30th State of the Union.
19/3/1848, Wyatt Earp, American law enforcer, was born in Monmouth, Illinois.
2/2/1848. 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.
29/11/1847. Cayuze Indians massacred 14 members of an Oregon mission.
14/9/1847. 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.
10/9/1847, Gold was discovered in California.
5/9/1847. Jesse James, American outlaw, was born near Kansas City. With his elder brother, Frank, he led the first gang to carry out train robberies.
10/7/1847, The first Chinese migrants arrived in the USA. They came on the ship Kee Ying, from Canton (Guangzhou).
See also Mexico C:\Users\BAD ROBOT\Desktop\myweb4\images\000SouthCentrAmeric.htmfor Mexican War 1846-48
18/4/1847, US troops under General Winfield Scott defeated Mexican forces under Santa Anna at Cerro Gordo.
12/4/1847, 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.
23/2/1847, 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).
28/12/1846. Iowa was admitted as the 29th (non-slave) State of the USA.
25/12/1846. US troops defeated the Mexicans near Las Cruces, virtually completing the conquest of New Mexico.
12/12/1846. The USA and Colombia agreed to grant the USA transit rights on the narrow isthmus of Panama between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
10/8/1846, The Smithsonian Institute was founded in Washington DC; it was established by a bequest from the British scientist James Smithson.
7/7/1846. A US squadron under Commodore John D Sloat sailed into Monterrey Bay and formally claimed California for the USA, during the Mexican-US War. Pro Mexican revolts in California on 6/12/1846 were put down by US troops. On 13/1/1847 pro-Mexico fighters finally surrendered to the US in California, ending 25 years of Mexican rule,
15/6/1846. 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.
14/6/1846, The start of the Black Bear revolt against Mexican rule in California. Settlers in the Sacramento Valley demanded in independent republic.
13/5/1846. 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.
26/2/1846, Buffalo Bill, American Army Scout and showman, was born on a farm in Scott County, Iowa, as William Frederick Cody.
13/1/1846, US troops were directed to advance to the Rio Grande, in anticipation of the failure of negotiations with Mexico.
1845, The US Naval Academy was founded in Annapolis, Maryland.
29/12/1845, Texas became the 28th State of the Union.
29/3/1845, 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 1/3/1845).
28/3/1845. Mexico severed relations with the USA following America’s ratification of the annexation of Texas on 1/3/1845, after an almost unanimous vote in favour by the Texas electorate. On 29./12/1845 Texas became the 28th state of the USA.
3/3/1845, Florida became the 27th State of the Union.
1/3/1845, 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 29/3/1845.
7/3/1844, Anthony Comstock, US moralist, was born in Connecticut (died 21/9/1913 in New York).
28/5/1843, Noah Webster, American lexicographer who first compiled Webster’s Dictionary in 1828, died in New Haven, Connecticut aged 84.
11/1/1843, 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
4/11/1842, Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd, member of a slave-owning family in Kentucky.
9/8/1842. The USA and Britain settled a dispute over the US-Canada border in the Maine region.
4/11/1841, The first emigrant train for California reached Stanislaus River, having left Independence, Missouri on 1/5/1841.
10/4/1841, The New York Tribune was first published.
8/3/1841, Oliver Wendell Jr, US Supreme Court Justice, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
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 ½ 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.
5/12/1839, Birth of George Armstrong Custer, US cavalry commander famous for ‘Custer’s Last Stand’ against the Cheyenne and Sioux Indians.
8/7/1839, John D Rockerfeller, American philanthropist, was born in Richford, New York State.
1838, Indian title to the lands of Minnesota was extinguished by the US Government.
4/7/1838. The territory of Iowa was established, with Robert Lucas as governor.
10/5/1838, John Wilkes Booth, American actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, was born in Baltimore, Maryland.
25/12/1837., US troops routed Seminole Indians at Lake Okeechobee, Florida.
25/8/1837. 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.
18/3/1837, Grover Cleveland, Democrat, and twice US President, was born in Caldwell, New Jersey, the son of a Presbyterian Minister.
3/3/1837. On his last day in office, President Jackson recognised the Lone Star Republic of Texas.
26/1/1837. Michigan became the 26th State of the USA.
3/11/1836. Rebels in California proclaimed their independence from Mexico.
15/6/1836, Arkansas became the 25th State of the Union.
21/4/1836. The Texan Army led by General Sam Houston inflicted a crushing defeat on the Mexicans, at the battle of San Jacinto, and took General Santa Anna prisoner.
6/3/1836, The siege of the Alamo ended.
2/3/1836. Texas was proclaimed a republic, by a group of 59 citizens, independent of Mexico.
23/2/1836. 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 6/3/1836, 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.
28/12/1835. Over 100 US troops were killed by Seminole Indians resisting attempts to drive them out of Florida.
22/10/1835, Sam Houston was sworn in as President of Texas.
2/10/1835, 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.
27/3/1835, Texan rebels were massacred by the Mexican Army at Gohad.
8/1835, US President Jackson, seeking to ensure the US had a Pacific Coast presence and usage by the US Navy of San Francisco Bay, began to attempt to force Mexico to cede territory east of the Rio Grande, also north of 37 latitude, so as to give California to the US.
31/1/1835, An assassination attempt on US President Andrew Jackson failed when the gun of Richard Lawson, house painter, jammed twice. Lawrence claimed to be the rightful heir to the British throne.
24/5/1833, Brooklyn Bridge in New York was opened.
13/7/1832. An expedition led by Henry Schoolcraft discovered the source of the Mississippi River.
26/6/1832, 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.
1/5/1832, Captain Benjamin de Bourneville started on a 3-year expedition to explore the Rocky Mountains.
25/1/1832, The State of Virginia rejected the abolition of slavery.
See also Mexico for events with USA at this time
27/5/1831, Comanche Indians on the Cimarron killed Jeremiah Smith.
21/4/1831, Texans defeated the Mexicans at the Battle of San Jacinto.
28/5/1830. The USA passed the Indian Removal Act, giving the Indians perpetual title to western lands. The Indians were wary, aware of valuable mineral deposits beneath these western lands.
27/6/1829, James Smithson, British scientist whose bequest established the Smithsonian Institute at Washington to encourage scientific research, died in Genoa.
15/5/1829, US Congress declared the slave trade to be piracy.
20/12/1828. Cherokee Indians ceded their traditional lands in Arkansas territory to the USA and agreed to migrate to lands west of the Mississippi River.
9/5/1828, Charles Cramp, US shipbuilder, was born.
21/4/1828, The American Dictionary of the English language was published. This both standardised American English and put cultural difference between it and British English.
26/10/1825. The Erie Canal, linking New York with the Great Lakes via Niagara and the Hudson River, begun 4/7/1817, 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.
21/1/1824, Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, the General who commanded Confederate forces in the American Civil War, was born.
2/12/1823. 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.
27/4/1822, Ulysses Grant, General in the Union Army, Democrat, and 18th President, was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, the son of a tanner.
10/8/1821, Missouri became the 24th State of the Union.
26/9/1820, Death of US frontiersman Daniel Boone.
15/5/1820. Congress in the USA designated the slave trade as a form of piracy.
8/5/1820. The United States Botanic Garden was established in Washington, DC.
15/3/1820. 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.
9/3/1820. The USA passed the Land Act, paving the way for westward expansion by rich land speculators.
8/2/1820, General William Sherman, American Union Army commander during the Civil War, was born in Lancaster, Ohio.
1819, The US concluded a 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.
14/12/1819. Alabama became the 22nd State of the USA.
22/2/1819. The USA annexed all of Florida from Spain.
3/12/1818. Illinois became the 21st State of the USA.
20/10/1818. The USA and Britain agreed the border between the USA and Canada to be the 49th parallel.
23/8/1818, The first steamship service began on the Great Lakes, North America.
20/5/1818, William Fargo, co-founder of the freight carrier Wells Fargo, was born.
10/5/1818, Paul Revere, who made the famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington to warn US militia of British troops, died aged 83 in Boston, Massachusetts.
10/12/1817. Mississippi became the 20th State of the USA.
4/7/1817, Construction work began on the Erie Canal; actually called the New York State Barge Canal. The canal opened on 26/10/1825.
11/12/1816. Indiana became the 19th State of the USA.
30/6/1815. Faced with US threats to bombard Algeirs, the Dey agreed to cease piracy and release US prisoners.
3/3/1815. The USA, angered by piracy in the Mediterranean, authorised hostility against the Bey of Algiers.
8/1/1815. 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 24/12/1814.
24/12/1814. 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 11/1/1815, just after the battle at New Orleans (see 8/1/1815).
23/12/1814. A British advance towards New Orleans was repulsed by the Americans.
13/9/1814. 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’.
11/9/1814. US forces led by President Madison routed the British fleet on Lake Champlain.
24/8/1814. 4,000 British troops under General Ross invaded Washington and set fire to the White House and the Capitol. Both were rebuilt and enlarged.
9/8/1814. By the Treaty of Fort Jackson the Creek Indians ceded their claims to about half of present day Alabama, and by a further series of treaties in 1830 and 1835 the Indians were transferred further west.
22/7/1814. Five Indian tribes in Ohio made peace with the USA and declared war on the British.
16/11/1813, A British naval blockade, under Admiral Warren, began blockading US ports.
9/11/1813, In the USA, General Andrew Jackson defeated Cree Indians at Taledega in a retaliatory attack following a Cree attack in August 1813 in which 500 White settlers were massacred.
10/9/1813. The British fleet on Lake Erie was destroyed by American warships.
7/9/1813, The term ‘Uncle Sam’ was coined by a newspaper in Troy, New York, to describe the United States.
24/2/1813. The British warship Peacock was sunk off Guyana by the USA.
22/1/1813. British forces defeated the Americans who were planning an attack on Fort Detroit.
23/11/1812. 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.
16/10/1812. 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.
10/9/1812, At the Battle of Lake Erie, US ships defeated a British naval force.
18/6/1812. 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.
30/4/1812, Louisiana became the 18th State of the Union.
4/4/1812. 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.
7/11/1811, The Battle of Tippecanoe. The Shawnee Indians were heavily defeated by US General Harrison.
2/11/1810. President Madison re-established freedom of trade with France, after assurances that European ports would be open to American trade.
27/10/1810. President Madison of the USA sends troops to claim the western part of West Florida after a rebellion there against Spanish rule.
24/12/1809, Kit Carson, US soldier and fur trapper who did much to open up the West to White settlers, was born in Kentucky (died 23/5/1868).
2/7/1807, US President Jefferson closed all US ports to British warships.
26/3/1807, H W Longfellow (Henry Wadsworth), American poet, was born in Portland, Maine.
19/1/1807, Robert E Lee, American Confederate Commander in Chief, was born in Stratford, Virginia.
7/11/1805, 18 months after they set out from St Louis, Captain Merriwether Lewis and William Clark reached the Pacific coast of Oregon. The expedition, backed by President Jefferson, was to open up a trade route to the Pacific.
21/10/1803, The Louisiana Purchase was ratified.
30/4/1803, The USA purchased Louisiana from France. The deal was completed by President Thomas Jefferson, and worked out at just under 3 cents per acre. This area of 831,000 square miles doubled the size of the USA, and was bought for $15 million. French Foreign Minister Talleyrand offered the land unexpectedly. The USA had been keen to buy this land, concerned about the prospect of Napoleonic territory on their doorstep, but until now France had been reluctant to sell.
1/3/1803. Ohio became the 17th State of the USA.
16/3/1802. The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York State, was founded.
17/7/1801, A squadron of the US Navy under Richard Dale was blockading Tripoli in protest at pirate attacks on US shipping.
5/7/1801, David Farragut, US naval hero of the Civil War, was born in Tennessee.
14/5/1801, Pasha Yusuf Karamanli of Tripoli declared war on the USA.
17/1/1800, Caleb Cushing, US statesman, was born in Massachusetts.
9/2/1799, The US navy clashed with French forces.
1/6/1796. Tennessee became the 16th State of the USA.
2/11/1795, James Polk, American Democrat and 11th President, was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
29/7/1794, Thomas Corwin, US politician, was born.
27/3/1794. The US Navy was officially created. Before this day the American Congress had only fitted out civilian ships for hostilities as required, but now it was decided a permanent navy was necessary.
8/10/1793, John Hancock, US politician, the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence, died.
18/9/1793, The cornerstone of the north section of the Capitol Building, Washington DC, was laid by President Washington.
22/4/1793, US President Washington issued a Declaration of Neutrality in the Napoleonic War. Hamilton wanted him to support the British but Jefferson wanted him to support the French.
5/4/1793, William Thornton’s plans for the building of the Capitol, Washington DC, were accepted.
2/3/1793, Sam Houston, American soldier and first President of Texas, was born.
13/10/1792, The cornerstone of the US President’s official residence, The White House in Washington DC, designed by James Hoban, was laid.
5/8/1792 , Lord North, British Conservative and Prime Minister from 1770-82, died. His indecision led to Britain’s loss of its North American colonies.
4/8/1792, John Burgoyne, British General who had to surrender at Saratoga in 1777 in the War of American Independence to American General Gates, died.
1/6/1792, Kentucky became the 15th State of the Union.
2/4/1792. The Mint of the United States was established at Philadelphia, then the national capital. The US mint struck its first silver dollars.
1791, The US passed the Fifth Amendment. This protects against self-incrimmination, but during the Cold War anti-Communist investigations ‘taking the fifth’ became virtually an admission of guilt.
15/12/1791, The US Bill of Rights was ratified by all the states, Virginia being the last State to sign.
5/7/1791. The first British Ambassador to the US, George Hammonds, was appointed.
4/3/1791. Vermont became the 14th State of the USA.
1790, The Revenue Marine, now the US Coastguard, was established, to curtail smuggling.
21/12/1790, American industrialist Samuel Slater opened the first cotton mill in the USA. The mill had 250 spindles and was powered by water, using a child labour force. Slater had been apprenticed to William Arkwright, from whom he learnt the textiles trade.
7/8/1790, Alexander McGillivray, chief of the Muskogian Indians, signed a treaty of peace and friendship with President Washington.
1/8/1790. The first census in the USA revealed a population of nearly 4 million.
16/7/1790, Washington DC was established as the seat of US Federal government.
29/5/1790, Rhode Island became the 13th State of the Union; it is the smallest State in the USA.
17/4/1790. Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia, aged 84. He invented the life-saving lightning conductor. He was determined to pursue Puritan aims to the benefit of the common good. He also helped draft the Declaration of Independence.
10/4/1790, The US Congress inaugurated the American patent system.
1/2/1790, The US Supreme Court held its first meeting
8/1/1790, George Washington gave the first State of the Union Address.
26/11/1789. Thanksgiving was celebrated across America for the first time. In 1621 the native Americans had taught early Plymouth settlers how to tap the maple trees for sap and how to plant the Indian corn. The harvest was very successful and the Pilgrims found they had enough food to see them through the winter. The Pilgrim Governor William Bradford proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving to be shared by all colonists and invited the Indians to join them for three days. During the American Revolution of the late 1770s, a Day of National Thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress and was celebrated nationwide in 1789. Since then each President has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday in November as the holiday.
21/11/1789, North Carolina became the 12th State of the Union.
2/9/1789, The US Department of the Treasury was established.
27/7/1789, Thomas Jefferson was made head of the new US Department of Foreign Affairs.
12/3/1789, The United States Post Office was established.
4/3/1789, The Constitution of the United States came into force. The first US Congress was held in New York with 59 members, each representing a district of some 30,000 people.
7/1/1789. The first national elections were held in the USA, and George Washington was elected President.
13/9/1788. New York became the Federal capital of the new United States of America.
26/7/1788. New York became the 11th State of the Union.
25/6/1788, Virginia became the 10th State of the Union.
21/6/1788 (1) The American Constitution legally came into force, after ratification by a ninth State..
(2) New Hampshire became the 9th State of the Union.
23/5/1788, South Carolina became the 8th State of the Union.
28/4/1788, Maryland became the 7th State of the Union.
21/3/1788. A major fire destroyed nearly all of New Orleans, USA.
6/2/1788, Massachusetts became the 6th State of the Union.
9/1/1788, Connecticut became the 5th State of the Union.
2/1/1788, Georgia became the 4th State of the Union.
18/12/1787, New Jersey became the 3rd State of the Union.
12/12/1787, Pennsylvania became the 2nd State of the Union.
7/12/1787, Delaware, the Diamond or First State, achieved Statehood.
17/9/1787, The constitution of the United States of America was signed.
15/9/1787, George Mason, a plantation owner from Virginia, called for an amendment to the draft US Constitution. To avoid the Federal government becoming oppressive, he called for a clause whereby if twonthirds of the States wished, Congress would have to agree to a convention to discuss the proposed government change or policy. This change to Article V was incorporated as Mason desired.
25/5/1787. The Philadelphia Convention, headed by George Washington, began drawing up the USA Constitution. On 17/9/1787 the Constitution was agreed by 39 out of 42 delegates.
25/1/1787, An abortive attempt to seize the US arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts.
9/9/1786. George Washington called for the abolition of slavery.
25/11/1783. British troops evacuated from New York.
2/9/1783 Britain recognised the United States by signing the Treaty of Paris, thus ending the American War of Independence. By this treaty northern Florida was ceded by Britain to the USA but on the same day Britain had signed the Treaty of Versailles, ceding west Florida to Spain. This caused controversy for some year until the Treaty of Madrid in 1795 in which Spain ceded lands east of the Mississippi to the USA. The Spanish also regained Minorca from the British, and France got Senegal and Tobago from Britain. However in Senegal the British retained the Gambia river valley. Britain also paid a war indemnity of £10 million.
Britain had sent a force of 60,000 men to fight a much larger population on their own ground, when Holland, France and Spain had sided with the opposition.
23/5/1783, James Otis, US patriot (born 5/2/1725), died from a lightning strike.
19/4/1783, US Congress officially proclaimed victory in the War of Independence.
10/11/1782. The Americans massacred the British-backed Shawnee Indians. 1,000 Kentucky riflemen fired unremittingly on them, and destroyed their food stockpiles.
7/1782, British troops left Savannah for England.
12/4/1782, Admiral Rodney defeated a French fleet off the West Indies in the Battle of the Saints; named after the nearby Saints islands. This was during the War of American Independence.
27/2/1782. The UK Parliament rejected Lord North’s appeal to continue the American War. Lord North resigned on 19/3/1782 and was replaced by Lord Rockingham.
1781, The US Department of State was created. It was known as the Department of Foreign Affairs until 1789.
19/10/1781. British forces under Lord Cornwallis, 7,000 soldiers, urrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia. This was a combined force of Americans and their French allies. This ended the American War of Independence.
5/9/1781, Battle of Chesapeake Bay, USA, between British and French fleets. The British were defeated by De Grasse Tilly, facilitating a siege of British forces at Yorktown.
4/9/1781. In California, the Spanish founded a tiny village near San Gabriel. They called it Los Angeles.
30/8/1781, A French fleet commanded by De Grasse Tilly arrived in Chesapeake Bay.
6/7/1781, General Cornwallis defeated General Lafayette at Jamestown Road, Virginia.
1/3/1781, The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were ratified by all US States.
7/10/1780, Battle of Kings Mountain. A force of 900 from North Carolina defeated 900 pro-British militia.
2/10/1780, John Andre (see 23/9/1780) was executed as a spy.
23/9/1780, During the War of American Independence, British agent John Andre, carrying information that Benedict Arnold was about to surrender West Point, was captured by American forces.
16/8/1780, Battle of Camden, South Carolina.
12/5/1780. Charleston, in South Carolina, surrendered with 5,000 American troops to the British under Major Benjamin Lincoln.
2/5/1780. Louis XVI sent 6,000 men to New England to reinforce the American forces against the British. On 11/5/1780 the Americans began negotiating with Spain to get support; France had been pressurising Spain to support the Americans.
23/9/1779. American privateers on the Bonhomme Richard, captained by John Paul Jones, captured the British warship, the Serapis, after a great battle off the English coast at Flamborough Head, Yorkshire.
1/8/1779, Francis Scott Kay, US poet who wrote The Star Spangled Banner, which became the official US national anthem in 1931, was born in Carroll County, Maryland.
12/4/1779. A secret treaty was signed at Aranjuez, whereby Spain agreed to help France in supporting the American rebels against the British. See 16/1/1780.
25/2/1779. American troops recaptured the fort at Vincennes from the British.
29/12/1778. The British captured Savannah, the capital of Georgia.
10/7/1778. In support of the American rebels, France declared war on Britain. In December 1778 Louis XIV issued a loan of 80 million livres; France ran up a large deficit supporting the American rebels.
28/6/1778. The British were defeated by George Washington at the Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey.
6/2/1778, France recognised the independence of the United States.
23/12/1777. A plot to overthrow General Washington was discovered and its leader executed.
17/12/1777. Louis XIV recognised the independence of the American colonies. On 6/2/1778 France signed a trade agreement with the United States and entered the war against Britain. This was the result of negotiations by Benjamin Franklin, who was effectively the permanent American ambassador at Versailles.
17/10/1777. At the Battle of Saratoga, American troops under General Horatio Gates defeated British troops under John Burgoyne, during the War of American Independence. The British Army surrendered and signed a Convention that they were to be disarmed and sent back to Britain. This major defeat made Britain evacuate all bases but New York and Rhode Island, and concentrate on gaining support in the southern States. France was encouraged by Saratoga to back the Americans, and their alliance with them in February 1778 escalated a colonial dispute into a clash of European Empires.
4/10/1777. George Washington was defeated by the British at Germanstown. George Washington’s attack was foiled by fog, throwing the attacking columns into confusion.
26/9/1777. British troops launched a major offensive and captured Philadelphia.
11/9/1777, At the Battle of Brandywine Creek, British troops under General Howe defeated American forces under George Washington; however they failed to follow up this success.
16/8/1777, The Battle of Bennington, Vermont. Britain defeated by Captain Stark.
14/6/1777, The Stars and Stripes was adopted by Congress as the flag of the USA.
3/1/1777. George Washington defeated the British under Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Princeton, in the War of American Independence.
31/12/1776.Benjamin Franklin, arrived in Paris to negotiate French aid for the American rebels.
26/12/1776, The Battle of Trenton. Major victory for Washington, who took 1,000 prisoners.
16/11/1776, British forces captured Fort Washington.
28/10/1776, Battle of White Plains; General Howe defeated General Washington.
3/10/1776. The American Congress borrowed 5 million dollars to halt the rapid depreciation of paper currency, which was being printed to finance the revolution. Fighting against the British continued.
22/9/1776, The US patriot Nathan Hale was found hanged in New York City by the British, for being a spy during the American Revolutionary War.
21/9/1776, The British captured Nathan Hale, 21-year old US Army Captain, who had been spying on the British in Long Island. He also started numerous fires in New York to create confusion amongst the British.
15/9/1776, The British under General Howe occupied New York, and narrowly missed capturing General Washington.
9/9/1776. American Congress changed the name of the United Colonies to the United States.
6/9/1776, The US pioneered the use of the submarine for military purposes. David Bushnell’s Connecticut Turtle, a pear-shaped 2 metre long wooden vessel dived under British ships in New York Harbour in an attempt to bore holes with an augur and plant explosives, However the British ships had copper bottoms and the attempt was futile.
27/8/1776, The Battle of Long Island. General Howe’s army, 20,000 regular soldiers, defeated 8,000 colonials under General Israel Putnam.
2/8/1776. Formal signing of America’s Declaration of Independence.
4/7/1776. The American Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson between 11/6/1776 and 28/6/1776 and became America’s most cherished symbol of liberty. Its political philosophy voiced the ideas of individual liberty and justified to the world the breaking of ties between the old colony and Britain. The Liberty Bell was cast to signal the Independence of the USA and was rung from the tower of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, calling citizens to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The bell has cracked and is no longer rung but remains a tourist attraction. Firework displays on 4 July symbolise the Revolutionary war that began in 1776.
29/6/1776, San Francisco (Spanish for "Saint Francis") was founded, when colonists from Spain established a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named after St. Francis of Assisi a few miles away.
28/6/1776, The British were repulsed at Charleston.
15/5/1776, Virginia declared independence from the British Empire and adopted George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was then included in a new constitution.
17/3/1776. George Washington forced British troops to withdraw from Boston, Massachusetts.
31/12/1775, An American attack on Quebec failed.
10/11/1775. The US Marine Corps was founded.
18/10/1775, The British bombarded Falmouth, now called Portland, Maine.
13/10/1775, The Continental Congress established an American Navy, ‘Two swift sailing vessels’.
23/8/1775. George III rejected an offer of peace, saying the Americans were in open rebellion against the Crown.
26/6/1775. George Washington of Virginia arrived at Boston to take command of the American Army.
17/6/1775. British troops under Lord Howe defeated the rebel American colonists at Bunker Hill, near Boston, but suffered heavy losses themselves. The battle was actually fought on nearby Breeds Hill.
14/6/1775, In the USA, the Second Continental Congress authorised the enlistment of ten companies of citizen soldiers; the beginning of the US Army.
12/6/1775. General Gage imposed martial law, declared all armed colonists traitors, and offered pardons to those who swore allegiance to the Crown.
20/5/1775. Charlotte in North Carolina was the first place to declare Independence from Britain, the Mecklenburg Declaration.
10/5/1775, Fort Ticonderooga was captured from the British by the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont.
19/4/1775, The Battle of Lexington, the opening engagement of the War of American Independence took place. The British were marching to destroy a colonist’s arms depot near Concorde, Boston but were intercepted at Lexington. The colonists avoided a set battle with the British but harried them, guerrilla-style, from the cover of hills and trees. The British were forced to retreat.
18/4/1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes rode through the night from Charlestown to Lexington to warn the Massachusetts colonists of the arrival of British forces at the start of the War of American Independence.
22/3/1775. Statesman Edmund Burke urged the House of Commons to adopt a policy of reconciliation with the Americans. However on 13/4/1775 Lord North extended the scope of the Restraining Act from New England to cover South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. The Act forbade trade with any other country except Britain and Ireland and was bitterly resented by the Americans. On 14/4/1775 General Gage was ordered to implement the Coercive Acts and halt the colonial military build-up.
9/2/1775. The UK Parliament declared Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion. On 21/2/1775 Massachusetts voted to buy military equipment for 15,000 men.
26/10/1774. A meeting of colonial leaders at Philadelphia criticised British influence in America and affirmed the American’s right to ‘life, liberty, and property’. Colonists began to step up their boycott of British goods, tarred and feathered traders and burnt their homes, and began to raise militias for a war against Britain.
10/10/1774, The Battle of Point Pleasant. Shawnee Indians were defeated when they attacked frontiersmen on the Ohio River..
5/9/1774, America’s first Continental Congress was convened, at Philadelphia.
13/6/1774, Rhode Island became the first US State to ban the importation of slaves, and to free those already in the State.
2/6/1774. The UK Parliament reactivated the Quartering Act (passed 24/3/1765), requiring that all British colonialists provide housing for British troops.
27/5/1774, American community leaders met unofficially in a tavern and decided upon the need for annual inter-colonial congresses.
20/5/1774, Because of the Boston Tea Party incident, London passed the Coercive Acts to punish the American colonies. Boston port was closed down and the powers of the Massachusetts legislature was reduced. The British Parliament passed the Boston Port Act, prohibiting the use by any ships, of the port of Boston, USA. This simply served to inflame the passions of American colonists against the British further in cities from Pennsylvania to New York.
16/12/1773. The Boston Tea Party. See 28/10/1767, 5/3/1770 and 17/3/1776. American colonial rebels, dressed as American Indians, boarded three British tea ships anchored in Boston Harbour, opened 342 tea chests worth UK£ 9,000, and threw their contents overboard. The colonists vowed not to pay the British-imposed tax of 3 pence a pound on tea. This tax was intended to capitalise on a ‘tea mountain’ which had built up in London and threatened to bankrupt the East India Company. The East India Company faced financial problems because British demand for Indian goods exceeded Indian demand for British goods, so there was an outflow of British gold bullion, perceived to be against British interests (mercantilism). The East India Company failed to make money, whereas it had been hoped that the Company would be able to contribute to British public funds. Therefore the East India Company was given permission to export tea directly to the American colonists.
In 1765 the Stamp Act was imposed by Britain to help pay for the costs of the Seven Years War; this was rejected by the American colonists. Repealed, this was replaced by the Townshend Acts, imposing duties on a range of goods including tea, lead, glass, paper and paint. In 1770 the Townshend Acts were in turn repealed, except for the Tea Tax.
9/6/1772, The British schooner Gaspee was set on fire and destroyed by American colonists after it had run aground near Providence, Rhode Island. The schooner had been stationed to prevent a profitable smuggling trade in the region. A British investigation failed to find the culprits.
12/4/1770. The British Parliament repealed all the taxes on the colonies imposed by Charles Townshend except the tea tax.
5/3/1770. British troops opened fire on a crowd in Boston, Massachusetts, killing five. A crowd had gathered to harass a sentinel on King (now State) street, and he called for help; the troops he called upon fired, killing several men. This incident, later called the Boston Massacre, contributes to the unpopularity of the British regime in America in the years before the American Revolution (see 24/3/1765). Previously, local sailors and workers had harassed British troops quartered in Boston, and the troops were ordered to open fire. See 16/12/1773 and 17/3/1776.
28/1/1770, Lord North, Earl of Guildford, became Prime Minister in Britain. To conciliate the American colonists he abolished all import duties, except the one on tea. This was to establish the British right to tax Americans, see 12/4/1770.
19/1/1770. The Battle of Golden Hill. A group on New Yorkers called the Sons of Liberty engage British troops in pitched battle over British demands for compliance with the Quartering Act.
20/4/1769, Pontiac, native American leader, died.
5/11/1768. William Johnson, the Northern Indian Commissioner, signed a treaty with the Iriquois Indians to acquire much of the land between the Tennessee and Ohio rivers for future settlement.
1/10/1768. Lord Hillsborough, British Secretary of State for the Colonies, sent two regiments to Boston to quell unrest caused by the Stamp Acts.
28/10/1767. Boston led a revival of the boycott of British goods. See 16/12/1773.
4/3/1766. Parliament repealed the Stamp Act which had caused bitter disputes in the colonies, especially North America..
26/8/1765. A major riot broke out in Boston, USA against the Stamp Act. Rioters attacked the house of Thomas Hutchinson, the lieutenant –governor, and burned the house, including the library. Thus many irreplaceable sources of Massachusetts history were lost.
24/3/1765. Britain passed the Quartering Act (see 2/6/1774) requiring the colonies to provide food and shelter for British soldiers and their horses. In 1765 the passage of the Stamp Act, to raise revenue for British troops in North America (fighting the French), caused widespread riots and protests in British colonies and the boycott of British luxury goods was stepped up. The British Treasury had a major deficit following the wars in North America with the Indians and the French. The Stamp Act raised revenue by requiring stamps to be fixed to items like newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents such as deeds and licences, and to other items such as playing cards. William Pitt was amongst those in Parliament opposing the Stamp Act, warning that trade with the colonies would suffer.
25/4/1764. The lawyer James Otis denounced ‘taxation without representation’ and called on the colonies to unite against Britain’s new tax measures. In August 1764 Boston merchants began to boycott luxury goods from Britain.
5/4/1764. Parliament in London passed a Sugar Act, specifically aimed at extracting revenue from the colonies. On 19/4/1764 London also passed the Currency Act, forbidding the colonies from printing paper money.
15/2/1764, The city of St Louis, Missouri, was founded as a trading post between Europeans and Indians.
7/5/1763. Four Indian tribes united to lay siege to the British stronghold of Fort Detroit. However the British had forewarning of the plan by the Delaware, Chippawa, Shawnee, and Ottawa tribes and had strengthened their fortifications. The Indians were concerned at the loss of their fur trade to the British, and wanted a return to the old Indian customs. In November 1763 the Indians lifted the siege after failing to gain French support.
20/5/1759, William Thornton, US architect who designed the Capitol at Washington, was born.
25/11/1758, The British captured Fort Duquesne (later, Pittsburgh) from the French.
16/10/1758, Birth of Noah Webster, lexicographer who produced the first American dictionary.
16/10/1756, Noah Webster, American lexicographer who wrote Webster’s Dictionary, was born in West Hartford, Connecticut.
9/7/1755, General Braddock’s troops were attacked by a joint force of French and Indians near Fort Duquesne.
8/7/1755. Britain and France broke off diplomatic relations as their dispute over North America deepened.
6/6/1755, Nathan Hale, American revolutionary who was hanged for spying on the British, was born.
11/1/1755, Alexander Hamilton, US statesman and founder of the newly independent post-Revolution Government, was born on Nevis, British West Indies.
10/7/1754, Benjamin Franklin called for a Union of the British colonies in America, so as to co-ordinate defence against the French; the so-called Albany Plan.
3/7/1754. British forces under George Washington were defeated by the French near Fort Necessity in the Ohio Valley.
19/5/1749, King George II of Britain granted the Ohio Company a charter of land on the Ohio River.
3/1/1749, Benning Wentworth issued the first of the New Hampshire Grants, leading to the founding of the State of Vermont.
22/10/1746, The College of New Jersey was founded. It later became Princeton University, in 1896.
19/10/1739. The War of Jenkins Ear began. In 1738 Captain Jenkins alleged that whilst in the Caribbean his ship had been boarded by the Spanish, one of whom had cut off one of his ears. In October 1739 Lord Anson was despatched with a naval squadron to wreak revenge. The real cause of the war between England and Spain was a border dispute over Florida.
1/1/1735, Paul Revere, American silversmith and patriot who was famous for his ride from Charlestown to Lexington to warn of the British advance on Concord, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
2/11/1734, Daniel Boone, American frontiersman, was born.
9/6/1732, King George II of Britain granted a Charter for the establishment of the State of Georgia.
13/4/1732, Birth of Frederick North, Earl of Guildford, who introduced the Tea Act that led to the Boston Tea Party
22/2/1732, George Washington, soldier and Federal President, was born in Wakefield, Westmoreland County, Virginia.
28/11/1729, In Louisiana, Natchez Indians massacred over 200 White settlers after the colonists tried to appropriate the Indians traditional burial grounds.
30/7/1729, The city of Baltimore, Maryland, USA, was founded.
27/9/1722, Birth of Samuel Adams, American revolutionary who was involved in the Boston Tea Party. He died on 2/10/1803.
8/7/1721, Elihu Yale, American philanthropist and benefactor of Yale University, named after him in New Haven, died.
30/7/1718, William Penn, English Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania State in the USA, died aged 73.
17/5/1718, The French founded New Orleans, Louisiana.
7/6/1712, Philadelphia banned the import of slaves.
6/4/1712 Slave revolt in New York
17/1/1706. Benjamin Franklin, American scientist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the 15th of 17 children.
1702, French settlement of what is now Alabama began.
9/10/1701. Yale College in the USA received its Charter.
24/7/1701, Antione Cadillac founded the French colonial settlement of Fort Pontcahrtain, later Detroit, to control the route between Lake Huron and Lake Erie.
1/5/1699, Pierre le Moyne d’Iberville founded the first European settlement on the Mississippi at Fort Maurepas, now Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
14/1/1699, Massachusetts held a day of mourning for having wrongly persecuted witches.
1/1/1698, The Abenaki tribe and the Massachusetts colonists signed a treaty ending the conflict in New England.
10/6/1692. The first of the Salem Witches was hanged. She was Bridget Bishop, one of 150 respectable citizens accused of witchcraft by a hysterical band of young girls in the isolated Puritan town in Massachusetts.
1/3/1692, In the US, the Salem witch hunt began.
26/5/1691. James Lesler was executed for treason in New York. He had led an uprising against the English in favour of James II.
24/7/1684, Rene-Robert Cavelier sailed from France with a large expedition, to establish a French colony on the Gulf of Mexico, at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
23/6/1683, William Penn signed a treaty of peace and friendship with chiefs of the Lenapi Indian tribe, at Shakamaxon.
27/10/1682, Philadelphia, USA, was founded by William Penn.
9/4/1682, The explorer de La Salle reached the mouth of the Mississippi and claimed it for Louis XIV of France, naming the area Louisiana.
8/1/1679, La Salle, French explorer, reached the Niagara Falls.
4/3/1681, King Charles II granted the Quaker, William Penn, 38 years old, a Royal Charter for territory in North America, to be called Pennsylvania. In return Penn waived a debt of £16,000 owed by the Crown to his estate.
27/11/1679, A major fire in Boston, Massachusetts, burnt all the warehouses, all the ships in the dockyards, and 80 houses.
29/5/1677, The Treaty of Middle Plantation established peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Indians.
12/8/1676, King Philip, American Indian Chief, was killed. The Indian War in New England ended.
10/11/1674. All Dutch-held areas of New York were returned to Britain under the Treaty of Westminster. During the third Anglo-Dutch war, the Dutch had captured New York on 9/8/1672.
13/6/1674. Philip Carteret, the governor of New Jersey, launched a campaign to enforce the payment of quitrents; rents charged on land initially granted free to settlers from Europe. The colony had rebelled against this taxation. In 1673 London had enacted the Plantation Duty Act, imposing duties on any ship carrying certain products, such as sugar, cotton, or tobacco, between colonial ports.
17/5/1673, Jacques Marquette, a French missionary, discovered the Mississippi River.
1/1/1673. A regular postal service was set up between New York and Boston. The mounted service used a special ‘post road’ along which men and horses are posted at intervals.
18/10/1667, Brooklyn received its Town Charter under Mathias Nichols, Governor of the New Netherlands, as ‘Brueckelen’.
23/9/1667. A law passed in Williamsburg, America, prevented slaves from gaining their freedom by converting to Christianity.
2/2/1665. The British captured Manhattan Island from the Dutch, almost 40 years after the Dutch bought it from the Indians for beads in 1626. The Dutch colony was ruled by Peter Stuyvesant under strict Puritanical principles. The British renamed it ‘New York’ after King Charles II’s brother the Duke of York. See 31/7/1667. British rule was more relaxed.
12/3/1664, New Jersey became a colony of England.
24/3/1663, King Charles II of England granted Carolina (from Virginia down to Florida) to eight of his courtiers, who had helped him regain the throne.
1/10/1660. The English reinforced the Navigation Act by insisting that certain colonial goods were only to be shipped to Britain. This was directed against the Dutch but caused resentment in the British colonies.
1659, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts,m was bought from the American Indians by Thomas Macy for £30 and two beaver hats.
3/10/1658, Myles Sundish, leader of the Pilgrim Fathers, died.
9/5/1657, Pilgrim Father William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth County in Massachusetts, died.
3/5/1654. The first toll bridge in America was licensed to Richard Thurley at Newbury River. There was a charge for animals but not for people.
14/10/1651. Massachusetts passed laws forbidding the poor to wear excessively luxurious dress.
5/4/1649, Death of John Winthrop, first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company.
26/5/1647. A new law in Massachusetts banned Catholic priests from the colony. The penalty was banishment, or death for a second offence.
14/10/1644. The Quaker Leader William Penn, founder of the State of Pennsylvania, was born in London, the son of an admiral.
1/11/1642, Death of Jean Nicolet (born ca. 1598), French explorer of the Lake Michigan area (now Wisconsin).
24/1/1639, American settlers meeting in Hartford voted to adopt a new constitution called the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. It allowed colonists to administer their own laws and to raise taxes, and made no mention of allegiance to the British Crown.
26/5/1637, Fort Pequod, Connecticut, was destroyed
13/12/1636, The Massachusetts Bay Colony organised three militia regiments to defend against the Pequot Indians. This was the founding of the United States National Guard.
See also Education; 1636, Harvard University.
4/7/1636, The city of Providence, Rhode island, was founded.
4/3/1634. Samuel Cole opened the first tavern in Boston, Massachusetts.
30/9/1630, The first death sentence in America. John Billington was executed for murder in New Plymouth.
17/9/1630. The city of Boston, USA, officially received its name. It was named after Boston, Lincolnshire, from where the Puritan leaders of the town had come.
12/6/1630, The fleet of the Massachusetts Bay Company docked at Salem, with 700 Puritan colonists on board.
4/3/1629, Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted a Royal Charter
6/5/1626, Manhattan Island, now part of New York, was bought by Peter Minuit from the local Indian tribes for goods and trinkets worth (1980 US$) 24$.
22/4/1625, Fort Amsterdam was on the southern tip of Manhattan Island founded by Dutch colonists from the Dutch West India Company.
1624, Willaim Tucker became the first Black person to be born in North America, in Jamestown, Virginia.
1623, The earliest European settlements in New Hampshire were founded. John Mason named the colony after his native county of Hampshire, England.
22/3/1622, The Jamestown Massacre. Algonquin Indians killed 347 English settlers outside Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony’s population, and burnt the Henricus settlement.
1621, The Dutch West India Company was formed. It was a group of merchants responsible for the settlement of New Netherland, now New York. The Company was wound up in 1674 (see 10/11/1674).
1/6/1621, The Pilgrim Fathers issued the Mayflower Compact, organising formal rules for their governance.
21/12/1620, The Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth Rock.
6/9/1620. The 101 Pilgrim Fathers, mostly uneducated farmers, set sail from Plymouth on the Mayflower, captained by Myles Standish. They arrived at Plymouth Rock, off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on 21/12/1620. They were fleeing religious persecution, and had originally fled from Britain to Holland in 1608 to escape Catholic persecution by King Charles I. They settled in Leyden where they were free to worship but did not adapt to Dutch society, and decided to migrate to America.
29/6/1620. After earlier denouncing tobacco as a health hazard, King James I banned the growing of tobacco in Britain. However he gave the Virginia Company a monopoly of tobacco growing in exchange for a tax of one shilling per pound of tobacco.
30/7/1619, The first meeting of representatives in America, the House of Burgesses, met at Jamestown, Virginia.
4/12/1619, 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish, England, disembarked in Virginia and gave thanks to God; this is considered by some to be the first Thanksgiving in the Americas.
28/7/1615, Samuel de Champlain discovered Lake Huron.
5/4/1614. An Indian Princess, Pocahontas, was married to John Rolfe, a Jamestown settler, in an effort to bring peace to the settlement between the Powhatan Indians and the British.
12/9/1609, Henry Hudson sailed his ship, Half Moon, from New York up-river to Albany, along the river named after him.
25/3/1609. English navigator Henry Hudson, commissioned by Dutch East India Company, set off on his third and final attempt to find the North West Passage to the Spice Islands of the East.
13/5/1607. Captain John Smith landed on the Virginia coast with 103 cavaliers in three ships and founded the first permanent English settlement in the New World, Jamestown. See 19/12/1606.
19/12/1606, Colonists set out from England for Virginia.
28/1/1596. Sir Francis Drake died of dysentery and was buried at sea off Porto Bello, Panama.
17/8/1590, John White, Governor of Roanoke Island, returned to find the British colony deserted and the first European child born in America vanished. The word ‘Croatoan’ was left behind.
18/8/1587. Virginia Dare became the first child born of English parents in America. She was born on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, seven days after Sir Walter Raleigh’s second expedition landed. The parents were called Ananias and Ellinor Dare, and named the child Virginia in honour of the virgin Queen of England and the fledgling colony.
11/6/1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed from Plymouth, with the approval of Queen Elizabeth I, to found a British colony in America.
26/9/1580. Sir Francis Drake arrived back in Plymouth in the 100 ton Golden Hind (originally The Pelican) after 33 months, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world. See 13/12/1577 and 4/4/1581.
17/6/1579. Sir Francis Drake anchored the Golden Hind just north of what was to become San Francisco Bay; he named the area New Albion, claiming it for Britain.
13/12/1577. Sir Francis Drake left Plymouth on his voyage round the world. See 26/9/1580.
21/5/1542, Hernando de Soto, the first European to cross the Mississippi, died on the return journey.
8/5/1541, The River Mississippi was first seen by Europeans. The Spanish Conquistador, Hernando de Soto, reached the River in the area where Arkansas City is now sited.
8/7/1524, Verrazzano's expedition returned to Dieppe.
17/4/1524, Verrazzano's expedition makes the first European entry into New York Bay and sights the island of Manhattan
8/4/1513. The Spaniard, Juan Ponce de Leon, claimed Florida, which he believed to be an island, for Spain. He called it Florida because of the abundance of wild flowers there and because it was discovered close to the religious festival Pasqua de Flores.
22/2/1512. The Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who gave America his name, died in Seville.
See South-Central America 1490s for Columbus, exploration of Caribbean
9/3/1454, Amerigo Vespucci, Italian explorer who discovered the mouth of the Amazon and gave his name to America, was born.
7,500 BCE, Earliest known cemetery in North America; the Sloan burial site.
Appendix 1 – Hawaii
21/8/1959. Hawaii became the 50th State of the USA.
7/12/1941. 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 8/12/1941,
much to the relief of Britain.
11/11/1917, Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii, died.
14/11/1909. The US President, William Taft, announced that a naval base would be built on Hawaii at Pearl Harbour to protect the US from attack from Japan.
12/8/1898. The sovereignty of Hawaii was transferred to the USA.
7/7/1898, The USA formally annexed Hawaii.
17/1/1893. US troops landed on Hawaii and annexed it to the USA. The annexation was generally peaceful. The US was concerned about the rise of Japan as a world power, the need for the US to have a Pacific base, the anti-US attitude of the Hawaiian Queen, and demands from Hawaiian sugar growers to sell inside the US tariff area.
20/1/1891, King David Kalalahua of Hawaii died, aged 54, and was succeeded by his 52-year sister, Queen Lydia Liliuokalani. White settlers who now owned 80% of the land in Hawaii, formed a Hawaiian League to oppose the accession of Queen Liliuokalani, and sought annexation to the USA.
20/1/1887. A renewal of the reciprocity agreement between the USA and Hawaii contained an amendment giving the USA exclusive rights to a coaling station in Pearl Harbour.
18/3/1875. Hawaii signed a treaty giving exclusive trading rights with the islands to the USA.
14/7/1824, Kamehameha II, King of Hawaii and his wife died of measles during a visit to Britain.
8/5/1819, Death of King Kamehameha, who united Hawaii, aged 82. He was succeeded by his 22-year old son, Kamehameha II, who welcomed Christian missionaries and allowed the indigenous culture to be undermined.
Appendix 2 – US Presidents born, nominated, elected, died
20/1/2017, President Trump was inaugurated as 45th President of the USA.
8/11/2016, In US elections, Donald Trump (Republican) defeated Hillary Clinton (Democrat) to become the 45th President. The Republicans also took the Senate and Congress.
10/11/2012, Barack Obama was confirmed as Presidential winner in the USA, defeating challenger Mitt Romney.
4/11/2008, Barack Hussein Obama was elected first African-American President (Democrat) of the USA, the 44th President.
20/1/2005, President George W Bush was inaugurated in Washington DC for his second term as America’s 43rd President.
5/6/2004, President Reagan of the USA died (born 1911), after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
20/1/2001, George W Bush officially succeeded Bill Clinton as President of the USA, after the US Supreme Court stopped the recount of votes in Florida.
13/12/2000, US Vice President Al Gore conceded the Presidential election to Texas Governor George W Bush, over a month after the actual election. Gore had won a slim 0.3% majority on 8/11/2000, but the final result rested on the contested Florida vote. The final result, with 102 million votes, was decided by a margin of 537 votes in Florida.
26/11/2000, George W Bush was certified the winner of the controversial 25 electoral-college votes in Florida, which gave him victory in the US Presidential elections.
20/1/1997, President Clinton began his second term of office.
5/11/1996. (+18,809) Bill Clinton won the US elections. He was re-elected for a second term, seeing off a challenge by the Republican Bob Dole. Clinton was better at attracting the female than male vote. However only 49% of the electorate bothered to vote at all, the lowest turnout since 1924.
22/4/1994, Richard Nixon, 37th US President, (born 1913) died.
20/1/1993. Bill Clinton sworn in as the 42nd US President. Prayers were said by the Reverend Billy Graham. The Iraqi official media advised former President Bush to commit suicide.
3/11/1992. Bill Clinton, 46 year old Governor of Arkansas, was elected 42nd US President, winning decisively over the incumbent, Republican President George Bush. Clinton got 43.7 million votes, Bush got 38.2 million and the independent Ross Perot got 19.2 million.
11/1/1989. President Reagan delivered his farewell speech to the USA.
8/11/1988. George Bush became Republican President of the USA, defeating George Dukakis of the Democrats.
7/11/1984. President Reagan won the US elections, for a second term, with a landslide victory. His opponent Walter F Mondale lost in 49 states and only carried his home state, Minnesota, by 3,761 votes.
20/1/1981. Ronald Reagan, Republican, sworn in as President of the USA; the oldest person to take this office. He was elected on 4/11/1980, with a landslide majority. The Republicans gained control of the Senate for the first time in 26 years.
4/11/1980, In US Presidential elections, the former Republican Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, defeated Democrat Jimmy Carter by a wide margin, exactly one year after the Iranian hostage crisis began. Reagan became the 40th President.
17/7/1980. Ronald Reagan was chosen as candidate by the US Republican Party.
20/1/1977. Jimmy Carter became 39th President of the USA.
2/11/1976. (+11,501) President Jimmy ‘peanuts’ (James Earl) Carter became 39th (Democrat) President of the USA, defeating Republican incumbent Gerald Ford.
12/12/1974, Jimmy Carter said he would run for US Presidency.
6/12/1973. Gerald Ford sworn in as US Vice President.
12/10/1973. In the US, President Richard Nixon nominated Gerald Ford as Vice President.
22/1/1973, Lyndon Johnson, US Democrat President from 1963 to 1969, died of a heart attack in San Antonio, Texas.
26/12/1972. Harry S Truman, Democrat, 23rd US President 1945-53, died in Independence, Missouri, aged 88.
7/11/1972. Richard Nixon was re-elected President of the USA for a second four year term.
28/3/1969, Dwight D Eisenhower, American Army Commander and Republican 34th President 1953 to 1961, died in Washington.
20/1/1969. President Nixon was sworn in as US President.
5/11/1968 Richard Milhous Nixon, born 9/1/1913, won the 37th Presidency of the USA by a narrow majority. He had stood for election in 1960 but was defeated by John F Kennedy. J F Kennedy was born on 29/5/1917.
20/1/1965, LB Johnson was inaugurated as US President.
4/11/1964. Lyndon B Johnson was elected 36th US President.
20/10/1964, Herbert Hoover, American Republican and 31st President from 1929 to 1933, died in New York City aged 90.
25/11/1963, State funeral of President Kennedy.
22/11/1963. John F Kennedy assassinated, in Dallas, Texas, during the run up to the 1964 USA presidential election. He had become President of the USA in 1960, defeating Richard M Nixon. Lee Harvey Oswald, the man charged with the killing, was shot on 24/11/1963 by club owner Jack Ruby at Dallas Police headquarters. Vice President Lyndon Johnson completed the remainder of his term. See 14/3/1964.
4/8/1961, Barak Hussein Obama, first African-American President (44th) of the USA from 2009, was born.
9/11/1960. John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1919-63),Democrat, became President of the USA, with 34,227,096 votes against 34,108,546 votes for Nixon. Aged 43, Kennedy was the first Roman Catholic president and the youngest so far.
10/1/1957. Eisenhower was elected President of the USA, defeating the Democrat challenger, Adlai Stevenson, to win a second term in office. He continued US vigilance against Communism, and supported countries fighting off USSR and China-backed insurgents. He also pledged to continue to support the UN.
20/1/1953. Dwight D Eisenhower’s first address to the USA as President.
4/11/1952. Dwight Eisenhower elected President of the USA.
27/2/1951, The 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified. This limited Presidential terms of office to 2 terms.
19/1/1949. In the US, President Truman was inaugurated.
2/11/1948. Harry S Truman was re-elected as president of the USA.
12/4/1945. Franklin D Roosevelt, 32nd President from 1933, Democrat, died, aged 63, having suffered a massive stroke that day at Warm Springs, Georgia.. He was succeeded by Vice President Harry S Truman, as 33rd President of the USA.
7/11/1944. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt won an unprecedented fourth term in the USA.
20/7/1944. Roosevelt was nominated for a fourth term.
5/11/1940. Roosevelt was elected President of the USA for a record third term.
20/1/1937, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt won an overwhelming victory, gaining every US State except Maine and Vermont. His victory was due to his New Deal Campaign of relief from the effects of the Great Depression.
3/11/1936. President Roosevelt, Democrat, was re-elected.
5/12/1933. 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 16/1/1920. 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.
5/1/1933, Calvin Coolidge, American Republican statesman and 30th President (1923-1929), died of a heart attack in Northampton, Massachusetts.
8/11/1932. Franklin D Roosevelt, Democrat, promising a New Deal to restore employment, financial security, and welfare, is swept into the White House on a landslide result, beating the sitting Republican candidate, Herbert Hoover. He became the 32nd President of the USA. Roosevelt got 22,822,000 votes against 15,762,000 for Hoover.
8/3/1930. William Howard Taft, American Republican and 27th President from 1909 to 1913, died in Washington.
4/3/1929. Herbert Hoover was inaugurated as the President of the USA.
6/11/1928. Herbert Hoover, Republican, was elected 31st President of the USA.
5/1/1928. Walter Mondale, US Vice-President, was born in Ceylon, Minnesota.
18/8/1927, Rosalynn Carter, wife of Jimmy Carter, 39th US President, was born in Plains, Georgia, as Rosalynn Smith.
1/10/1924. US Democrat and 39th President James Earl (Jimmy) Carter, peanut farmer, was born in Plains, Georgia.
12/6/1924, George Bush, Republican and US President, was born in Milton, Massachusetts.
3/2/1924, Woodrow Wilson, Democrat and 28th President of America from 1913 to 1921, also Nobel Prize winner, died and was buried in Washington Cathedral.
3/8/1923, John Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) became 30th (Republican) President of the USA, going on to win the election of 1924. He declined to stand for election in 1928 but retired, just before the Wall Street crash.
2/8/1923, Warren Harding, American Republican and 29th President from 1921, died in San Francisco on return from a trip to Alaska. The remainder of his term was completed by Calvin Coolidge.
6/7/1921, Nancy Reagan, wife of President Reagan, was born as Nancy Davis.
6/1/1919. US President Theodore Roosevelt died at Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, New York State. He was the 24th President, from 1901 to 1909, and won the Nobel Prize in 1906. Starting his career as Chief of New York Police, he became President in 1901 when William McKinley was assassinated; he was elected in 1904 for a further term.
29/5/1917. US Democrat and 35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the second of nine children. He was America’s first Roman Catholic President, and the youngest to date.
7/11/1916. Woodrow Wilson was re-elected US President.
14/7/1913. US Republican and 38th President, Gerald Ford, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, as Leslie king Junior.
4/3/1913. Woodrow Wilson became President of the USA.
5/11/1912, Woodrow Wilson was elected US President, the first Democrat President for 20 years. The Republican vote was split between Roosevelt and Taft, allowing Wilson to win with only 42% of the vote.
16/3/1912, Thelma Nixon, wife of America’s 37th President, was born in Ely, Nevada, as Thelma Ryan.
6/2/1911. Ronald Reagan, American Republican and 40th President, was born in Tampico, Illinois.
4/3/1909, William Taft was inaugurated as US President.
3/11/1908. William Howard Taft, Republican candidate, was elected 27th President of the USA.
27/8/1908, Lyndon Baines Johnson, American Democrat and 36th President, was born in Johnson City, Texas.
24/6/1908, Grover Cleveland, American Democrat, 22nd and 24th president, between 1865 and 1897, died in Princeton, New Jersey.
8/11/1904. US President Theodore Roosevelt won a second term in the elections.
23/6/1904, US President Roosevelt was nominated by his party for a further term.
14/9/1901. US President William McKinley died in Buffalo, eight days after being shot by an anarchist. Born in Niles, Ohio, on 29/1/1843, McKinley became a teacher and then a brevet major when the Civil War broke out. After the War he studied law and opened a law office in Canton, Ohio. In 1876 McKinley was elected as a Republican to the US House of Representatives and in 1891 became Governor of Ohio. Six years later he became President and earned a reputation as one of the most peace-loving leaders in US history. On the afternoon of 6/9/1901 he was shot at point blank range by anarchist Leon Czolgosz, who was sentenced to death and executed at Auburn Prison, New York, on 29/10/1901. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was then sworn in as 26th president, the youngest at 42.
6/9/1901, Anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot US President Mc Kinley at a public reception in Buffalo; he died on the 14/9/1901.
13/3/1901, Benjamin Harrison, American Republican and 23rd President from 1889 to 1893, died in Indianapolis, Indiana.
4/3/1901, US President McKinley was inaugurated.
6/11/1900, In the US, McKinley won the election for the Republicans.
19/6/1900, In the US, the Republicans nominated Roosevelt as US Vice President.
9/9/1897, The Hawaiian Senate approved the US annexation of Hawaii on 16/6/1897. Sugar plantation owners on Hawaii had demanded annexation; however Japan had some 25,000 nationals on Hawaii, and protested at the move.
16/6/1897, The USA annexed the Hawaiian Islands, see 9/9/1897.
5/12/1896, Carl Cori, US biochemist, was born in Prague.
14/11/1896. Mannie Eisenhower, wife of America’s 34th President, was born in Boone, Iowa, as Mannie Doud.
4/7/1894, The republic of Hawaii was declared with 50-year old Judge Sanford Dole as President.
17/1/1893. Rutherford Hayes, US Republican and 19th President from 1877 to 1881, died in Fremont, Ohio.
14/10/1890. Birth of US President Dwight Eisenhower. He was the 34th President, who led the US during World War Two, and was known as ‘Ike’. He was born in Denison, Texas (died 1969).
6/12/1889, Jefferson Davies, US President of the Confederate states, died aged 81.
4/3/1889, Grover Cleveland, 22nd US President (1885-1889) was succeeded by Benjamin Harrison (1889 – 1893).
18/11/1886, Chester Alun Arthur, American Republican and 21st President from 1881 to 1885, died in New York City.
11/10/1884, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife and cousin of Franklin D Roosevelt, was born in New York City.
8/5/1884, Harry S Truman, American Democrat and 33rd President, was born in Lamar, Missouri. He ordered the atom bomb to be dropped on Japan in 1945.
30/1/1882, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, American Democrat and 32nd President, was born near Hyde Park, New York.
19/9/1881, James Abram Garfield, US Republican and 20th President since 4/3/1881, who had been shot on 2/7/1891, died at Elberon, New Jersey. The remainder of his term was completed by Chester Arthur.
2/7/1881, James Garfield, American Republican and 22nd President, was shot by Charles Guiteau in Washington DC. He died on 19/9/1881 in Elberton, New Jersey.
4/3/1881, James Abram Garfield, Republican, became the 20th US President.
20/1/1881, King David Kalalahua of Hawaii died, age d54, and was succeeded by his 52-year sister, Queen Lydia Liliuokalani. White settlers who now owned 80% of the land in Hawaii, formed a Hawaiian League to oppose the accession of Queen Liliuokalani, and sought annexation to the USA.
11/1877, General Carleton ordered Apache Indians in Arizona off their Chiricahua Reservation at Warm Springs and on to San Carlos. Here, summer temperatures reached 40 C, and there was no game or other food. Any Indoan found leaving San Carlos would be shot.
31/7/1875, Andrew Johnson, American Democrat and 17th president from 1865 to 1869, died in Carter County, Tennessee.
10/8/1874, Herbert Hoover, Republican politician and 31st US President, 1929-33, was born in West Branch, Iowa, the son of a blacksmith.
8/3/1874, Millard Fillimore, American Whig and 13th President from 1850 to 1853, died in Buffalo, New York State.
5/11/1872. Ulysses S Grant was elected President of the USA for a second term.
4/7/1872, Calvin Coolidge, American Republican and 30th President, was born in Plymouth, Vermont. He was the son of a storekeeper.
8/10/1869, Franklin Pearce, US Democrat and 14th President from 1853 to 1857, died in Concord, New Hampshire.
1/6/1868, James Buchanan, American Democrat and 15th President from 1857 to 1861, and the only bachelor President, died in Wheatland, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, aged 77.
2/11/1865, Warren Harding, American Republican and 29th President, was born near Corsica (now called Blooming Grove), Ohio, the son of a rural doctor.
15/4/1865, The Vice President, Andrew Johnson, was sworn in as President. See 14/4/1856.
14/4/1865. President Lincoln was shot by an assassin. He died the following day, 15/4/1865.The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, a failed actor, was himself shot dead on 26/4/1865. 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 4/5/1865 at Springfield, Illinois, where he began his legal career and where he married.
8/11/1864. Abraham Lincoln was re-elected President of the USA for a second term. Supported by a coalition of Republicans and War Democrats, Lincoln won 55% of the vote.
2/12/1863, The Capitol Building, Washington DC, USA, was completed. It is the meeting place of Congress.
26/7/1863, Death of Sam Houston, US soldier and First President of the Republic of Texas (1836-8 and 1841-4) after whom the city is named.
24/7/1862, Martin van Buren, American Democrat and 8th President from 1837 to 1841, died in Kinderhook, New York.
18/1/1862, John Tyler, American Whig and 10th President from 1841 to 1845, died in Richmond, Virginia.
6/11/1860. Abraham Lincoln , Republican, was elected 16th President of the USA, with 39.9% of the vote; the Democratic vote was split between two candidates, John C Breckinridge (Southern Democrat) and John Bell (Constitutional Union Party). However Lincoln was anti-slavery. In response, seven southern pro-slavery States seceded from the Union.
16/5/1860, Abraham Lincoln won the Republican nomination for Presidency of the United States, as a compromise candidate.
27/10/1858, Theodore Roosevelt, American Republican and 26th President, was born in New York City, the son of a port officer. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the Russo-Japanese war.
15/9/1857, William Howard Taft, American Republican and 27th President, was born in Cincinnati.
28/12/1856, Woodrow Wilson, American Democrat and 28th President 1913-21, was born in Staunton, Virginia, the son of a Presbyterian Minister.
9/7/1850, Zachary Taylor, American general and Whig, 12th US President for only 16 months, died in Washington DC. The remainder of his term was completed by Millard Fillmore.
15/6/1849, James Knox Polk, American Democrat and 11th President from 1845 to 1849, died in Nashville, Tennessee.
23/2/1848, John Quincy Adams, 6th American President from 1825 to 1829, died in the White House.
8/6/1845, Andrew Jackson, American General and Democrat politician, 7th President from 1829 to 1837, died at the Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee.
4/3/1845. The Democrat Charles Polk was sworn in as 11th President of the USA, following his landslide victory in the November 1944 elections. He strongly supported further westwards expansion of the USA.
29/1/1843, William McKinley, Republican and 25th President, was born in Niles, Ohio, son of an iron manufacturer.
4/4/1841, William Harrison, 9th American President, died after only 31 days in office due to catching pneumonia during his inauguration. His term of office was completed by Vice President John Tyler.
28/6/1836, James Madison, 4th American President from 1809 to 1817, died in Montpelier, Virginia, aged 85.
20/8/1833, Benjamin Harrison, American Republican and 23rd President, was born in North Bend, Ohio. He was the son of a member of Congress and grandson of the 9th President.
19/11/1831, James Garfield, American Republican and 20th President, was born near Orange, Ohio.
4/7/1831 James Monroe, 5th US President from 1817 to 1825, died in New York City.
5/10/1830, Chester Arthur, American Republican and 21st President, was born at Fairfield, Vermont, the son of a Baptist minister.
4/7/1826, Thomas Jefferson, third US President from 1801 to 1809, died and, aged 83. He was buried near Charlottesville, Virginia.
9/2/1825, John Quincy Adams was elected President of the USA, defeating Andrew Adams and ending a 2-month impasse.
4/10/1822, Rutherford Hayes, USA Republican and 19th President, was born in Delaware, Ohio, son of a farmer.
6/12/1820. Monroe was re-elected President of the USA with an overwhelming majority.
9/12/1818, Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died aged 34. In 1819 his father, Thomas Lincoln married Sarah Bush Johnston.
4/12/1816. President Monroe, having served as US Secretary of State under President Madison, was elected to succeed him. See 2/12/1823.
4/3/1809. Madison was elected President of the USA.
12/2/1809. Abraham Lincoln was born on a farm in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
29/12/1808, Andrew Johnson, American Democrat and 17th President, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the son of an inn porter.
3/6/1808, Jefferson Davis, American President of the Confederate Sates during the Civil War, was born in Fairview, Kentucky.
23/11/1804, Franklin Pierce, American Democrat and 14th President, was born at Hillsborough, New Hampshire.
4/3/1801, Thomas Jefferson became 3rd US President.
7/1/1800, Millard Fillimore, American Whig and 13th President, was born in Summerhill, New York State, the son of a farmer.
14/12/1799. George Washington, 1st president of the USA from 1789 to 1797, died in Mount Vernon, on the south bank of the Potomac in Virginia, aged 67. See 30/4/1789.
17/9/1796, George Washington gave his farewell address as president of the USA.
5/12/1792. George Washington was re-elected President of the USA.
23/4/1791, James Buchanan, Democrat and 15th US President, was born in Stony Batter near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, the son of a farmer.
29/3/1790, John Tyler, American Whig and 10th President, was born in Greenway, Virginia.
30/4/1789. General George Washington inaugurated as first president of the United States, on the balcony of New York City’s federal Hall. John Adams was installed as Vice-President (see 7/1/1789 and 17/3/1776). The United States was federated on 4/3/1789.
24/11/1784, Zachary Taylor, American Whig and 12th President, was born in Orange County, Virginia.
5/12/1782, Martin van Buren, US Democrat and 8th President, was born in Kinderhook, New York State, the son of a farmer.
9/2/1773, William Henry Harrison, American Whig and 9th President, was born in Berkeley in Charles City County, Virginia.
11/7/1767, John Quincy Adams, 6th American President, was born at Braintree, Massachusetts, son of John Adams, 2nd President.
15/3/1767, Andrew Jackson, American Democrat and 7th President from 1828 to retirement in 1837, was born in the Waxhaws district of South Carolina, son of Irish immigrants.
28/4/1758, James Monroe, American Republican and 5th President, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
16/3/1751, James Madison, American Republican and 4th President, was born in Port Conway, Virginia, the first of 12 children.
13/4/1743, Thomas Jefferson, 3rd American President, was born in Shadwell, Virginia, son of a civil engineer.
30/10/1735, John Adams, American Federalist and 2nd President, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, the son of a farmer.