Alphabetic Index of Documents and Events

Which Shaped the United States

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BC-999 1000-1199 1200-1399 1400-1599 1600-1699 1700-1799
1800-1849 1850-1899 1900-1949 1950-1999

BeringBering Straits, probable crossing by Native American ancestors.
Ice AgeThe Wisconsin Ice Age, began about 100,000 years ago, peaked 18,000.
SlaverySlavery begins in Mesopotamia (now mostly Iraq), continues in the world today.
MayanMayan civilization begins in Central America.
PlagueThe Plague suspected as killer in widespread deaths.
PhilosophersClassical Philosophers and Poets, the founding fathers were thorougly familiar with these Greco-Roman authors.
Latin LibraryThe Latin Library, Cicero, Livy, Horace, etc. Ability to read these sources extemporaneously was an entrance requirement at colonial schools such as Harvard.
Alexander the GreatAlexander the Great, at 20 years old, becomes king of Macedonia.
Alexander, EgyptAlexander the Great, liberates Egypt from Persia, is crowned pharaoh, founds Alexandria.
Alexander, kingAlexander the Great, becomes king of Asia.
Alexander, diesAlexander the Great, at 32, dies from exhaustion and battle wounds.
Julius Caesar, RomeJulius Caesar flees Rome following banishment by Sulla but returns three years later.
Julius Caesar, GaulJulius Caesar conquers Gaul. Stabbed to death in 44 BC.
Leyden PlateThe Leyden Plate, spinden date for a carved jade plaque in Mexico.
StelaStela or oldest stone monument in Mexico. Spinden date.
Pueblo IndiansPueblo Indians building permanent houses. Oldest roofbeam carbon-14 dated to year 217.
Dark AgesThe Dark Ages refers to the period beween the years 400 and about 900. So called because of the lack of historical records.
Middle AgesThe Middle Ages refers to the period beween the decline of The Roman Empire (approx. 400) to about ~1500.
MoundbuildersThe Moundbuilders of the Mississippi and Ohio valleys.
St. AugustineSt. Augustine, English translations of his works on predestination which greatly influenced the Puritans.
BibleThe Bible, allows users to immediately discover the Hebrew and Greek words behind the English words.
Attila the HunAttila the Hun, "Scourge of God," becomes King of the Huns.
Attila the HunAttila the Hun, invades Gaul, battle of Châlons.
Attila the HunAttila the Hun, invades Italy.
FranksThe Franks, invade Gaul, defeat the Romans.
PlagueThe Plague: Pandemic of the plague. Millions die.
IslamIslam and the invasion of Spain (by invitation of one of the parties in a Christian war.)
Casa GrandeCasa Grande, an Indian fort and large irrigation works built in what is now Arizona.
ToursBattle of Tours halts the northern advance of Islamic power.
NorsemenNorsemen (Vikings) defeat Irishmen, eject them from Iceland.
FranksWest Franks became France and that of the East Franks became Germany.
Eric the RedEric the Red colonizes Greenland.
Leif EricsonLeif Ericson, son of Eric the Red, builds dwelling on northeast coast of Newfoundland.
TiahuanacoTiahuanaco civilization in Peru, widespread planting of potatoes, corn.
democraticBeginning of the democratic Pataria movement in Milan.
NormanThe Norman Conquest and the Battle of Hastings.
WilliamLaws of William the Conqueror
Ferdinand IFerdinand I of León obtains surrender of Toledo from its Islamic ruler. Important date because Toledo contained a good library of Arabic learning concerning medicine, astrology, astronomy, pharmacology, psychology, physiology, biology, optics, chemistry, physics, mathematics, music, and navigation among other subjects. These materials were to make their way throughout Europe.
Mayan Mayan civilization reaches it's peak in Central America
ClarendonConstitutions of Clarendon, established rights of laymen and the church in England.
ClarendonAssizes of Clarendon. Foundation of the principle of "due process."
Arms, Assize ofAssize of Arms. Defined rights and duties of people and militia. "Right to bear arms."
Genghis KhanGenghis Khan becomes ruler of Monolia.
Genghis KhanGenghis Khan conquers Beijing, China.
Magna CartaMagna Carta sealed by King John at Runnymede but not incorporated into law until 1297.
Genghis KhanGenghis Khan sweeps through Central Asia, including the steppes of Russia.
Magna CartaMagna Carta reissued for third time in definitive form.
BatuBatu, grandson of Genghis Khan, leads Mongols into heartland of Russia.
Mongol EmpireKiev destroyed, placing Russia under the Mongol Empire.
OgotaiOgotai, son of Genghis Khan, lays waste to much of Hungary and Poland.
Kublai KhanKublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, establishes his capital in Cambaluc (Beijing.)
English ParliamentFirst English Parliament convenes January 20.
Marco Polo17 year old Marco Polo and his father leave Venice for China. Arrive in Shangdu 3 years later.
Kublai KhanKublai Khan completes conquest of China establishing Mongol Empire dynasty that ruled from 1279 until 1368.
Marco PoloMarco Polo and his father, return to Venice (with pasta from China) after a 24 year absence.
Magna CartaMagna Carta confirmed by Edward I, for first time enters English statute rolls as law.
Marco PoloMarco Polo, completes his book -- Description of the World. See excerpt.
RenaissanceThe Renaissance began in Italy during the early 1300's and spread to England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and other countries in the late 1400's. The period ended about 1600.
ArbroathThe Declaration of Arbroath. Scotland's declaration of independence from England.
AztecsAztecs: Having defeated the Toltecs in 1325 the Aztecs establish Mexico City.
England's ParliamentEngland's Parliament divides into two houses.
Hundred Years WarThe 100 Years War, which was so bad that it lasted 117 years.
PlagueThe Plague: Pandemic in Europe; in India (1332); in Mongolia (1320.) Millions die.
IroquoisThe Iroquois Confederacy. (Native American League of Nations) established at Onondaga, NY. First true democracy.
AztecsAztecs build their capital at Tenochtitlan, Mexico.
Charles VIICharles VII of France, the Victorious or the Well Served, begins his reign but he is denied the throne until Joan of Arc cross dresses in 1429.
Joan of ArcJoan of Arc, French saint and national heroine, helps Charles VII get his throne.
IncaInca rule begins in Peru.
slaveryBlack slavery: Portugese sailors enter slave trade with African Negroes at Cape Blanc.
GutenbergFirst book in Europe, printed with Gutenberg's movable type and bearing the name of the printer, is published.
IsabellaFerdinand and Isabella of Spain complete the "reconquista" by capturing the Alhambra and expelling the Moors from Spain. They then required that their Jewish subjects either convert to Christiantiy or depart from Spain.
ColumbusLetter to Christopher Columbus from the King and Queen of Spain. Columbus departs Palos, Spain, in Santa Maria. Hopes to find gold and short route to Indies.
ColumbusJournal, Christopher Columbus [Cristoforo Columbo.]
ColumbusEpistola De Insulis Nuper Inventis, Christopher Columbus.
ColumbusLetter to the King and Queen of Spain, Christopher Columbus.
TordesillasTreaty of Tordesillas. Spain and Portugal divide New World with treaty.
Cabot, JohnJohn Cabot receives Commission from Prince Henry VII.
VespucciAmerigo Vespucci is "supposed" to have discovered mainland Americas.
Cabot, JohnJohn Cabot makes landfall in Newfoundland. Explores as far south as the Chesapeake Bay; claims continent for England.
VespucciAmerigo Vespucci is honored by Waldseemuller: Lands of New World get his name.
SpainSpain begins settlements in Jamaica;   two years later in Cuba.
Ponce de LeonJuan Ponce de Leon names discovery after Easter Sunday; Pascua Florida.
BalboaVasco Nunez de Balboa names large body of water "South Sea" -- or Pacific Ocean.
MachiavelliMachiavelli: The Prince. Practical advice on governance and statecraft.
MachiavelliMachiavelli: Writes La Mandragola.
CortesHernando Cortes begins assault on Mexico, defeats the Aztecs. Brings Arabian horses from Spain to America.
MachiavelliMachiavelli's works The Art of War and The Life of Castruccio Castracane appear.
MagellanMagellan navigates through the straits from Atlantic to Pacific. Expedition completes first journey around the world in 1522.
Martin Luther Martin Luther excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church, Jan 3.
MagellanGuam, where America's day begins, explored by Magellan.
Luther, MartinOn Secular Authority *, Luther. MUST BE ONLINE. This document started the political discussion about religious liberty which led to the American Revolution.
VerrazzanoGiovanni da Verrazzano explores Hudson River and New York harbor waters.
SpanishSpanish attempt colonization of Cape Fear; it lasts only a few months.
NarvaezPanfilo de Narvaez invades Florida from Cuba, wars with Indians.
SpainSpain invades Peru; end of Inca civilization.
Supremacy, ActThe Act of Supremacy, Henry VIII. Pope stripped of jurisdiction.
Cartier, JacquesJacques Cartier explores coasts of Labrador, Newfoundland, and St. Lawrence River.
More, Saint ThomasSaint Thomas More, English philsopher: Gives heart to "utopia" and loses head over Supremacy.
Mendoza, Pedro dePedro de Mendoza founds Buenos Aries.
de Soto, HernandoHernando de Soto leaves Havana to find Seven Cities; finds Indian war.
printing pressFirst printing press set up in the New World - at Mexico City.
CoronadoFrancisco Vasquez de Coronado treks north from Mexico to Zuni territory.
Discovers the Grand Canyon.
de SotoHernando de Soto explores Mississipi River valley and Gulf Coast.
Cabrillo, JuanJuan Rodriguez Cabrillo explores in area of San Diego for Spain.
CopernicusRevolutions of the Heavenly Bodies described by Nicolas Copernicus.
Cabot, SebastianSebastian Cabot publishes map of the world with remarkable detail.
Ivan the TerribleIvan the Terrible (Ivan IV) -- becomes the first Czar of Russia.
De Las CasasBartoleme De Las Casas, "Apostle to the Indians," publishes In Defense of the Indian.
Charles ICharles I, King of Spain, (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor). The conquest of Mexico and Peru occurred during his reign.
tobaccoFirst tobacco taken from America to Spain.
Elizabeth IElizabeth I begins Reign; ends in 1603.
FrenchFrench establish trading post in South Carolina, erect monument in FL.
slave tradeJohn Hawkins begins slave trade between Guinea and West Indies.
HuguenotsFrench Huguenots try to start colony at Jacksonville; are killed by Spainards.
FrenchFrench found Fort Caroline, FL. First European colony on the mainland
St. Augustine, FLSt. Augustine, FL, founded as Spanish attack Fort Caroline.
MassacreMassacre of St. Bartholomew's Day: A young man, De Thou (1553-1617), witnessed and wrote about this massacre.
Drake, FrancisFrancis Drake attacks Spanish harbors in the Americas.
Drake, FrancisSir Francis Drake begins explorations on west coast of North America.
MontaigneMichel de Montaigne begin to publish his writings.
FranciscanFranciscan friars begin missionary work in "New Mexico."
DutchThe Dutch Declaration of Independence. Declaring that rulers are responsible to the people.
Raleigh, WalterWalter Raleigh granted charter for exploration in the new lands.
Raleigh, WalterWalter Raleigh knighted by Virgin Queen for naming new colony for her.
Roanoke IslandRoanoke Island, NC: Ralph Lane's account of first English colony in America.
PotatoesHerriot introduces Potatoes from Columbia to England.
Pamlico SoundNew colony established at Pamlico Sound. It disappeared within 2 years.
Virginia DareVirginia Dare, first child born in the colonies; fate unknown.
EnglishEnglish defeat Spanish armada of King Philip II.
White, JohnJohn White's account of return to Roanoke Island -- The Lost Colony.
GalileoGalileo describes the law of falling bodies.
Bacon, FrancisFrancis Bacon, English philosopher and essayist. Publishes Colours of Good and Evil and Meditationes Sacrae.
Henry IVHenry IV issues Edict of Nantes to quiet religious wars.
de Onate, Don JuanDon Juan de Onate claims all of New Mexico for Spain.
Raleigh, WalterWalter Raleigh writes about "The Dutie of a King in His Royal Office."
ChamplainSamuel de Champlain makes first trip to Americas: To American Spanish colonies and explores Central America for 2 years.
operaThe first opera, J. Peri's Euridice, performed in Florence; this also marks the beginning of the Baroque period which ends in 1750 with the death of Johann S. Bach.
Cape CodCape Cod named by Bartholemew Gosnold, English navigator who found it.
ChamplainSamuel de Champlain explores St. Lawrence River and Niagara Falls.
Pring, MartinMartin Pring explores New Hampshire coast.
FrenchFrench trading post established at Port Royal, Nova Scotia.
WeymouthWeymouth explores New England coast.
charterFirst charter granted to the Virginia Company, named after Elizabeth I, The Virgin Queen.
Smith, JohnStarving times: Excerpts from General Historie of Virginia by John Smith.
Smith, JohnCaptain John Smith first encounters Iroquois in Chesapeake Bay.
JamestownJamestown founded. First permanent English colony in New World.
English colonyEnglish colony begun at Fort St. George, on Kennebec River, Maine.
ChamplainSamuel de Champlain's own account of founding village of Quebec.
ChamplainChamplain makes war against the Iroquois, first use of guns on Indians.
HudsonHendrik "Henry" Hudson explores river valley named for him.
PuritansEast Anglia Puritans leave England for Leiden, Holland for 10 year stay.
DutchDutch establish Fort Orange, now known as Albany, NY, as fur trading post.
HudsonHenry Hudson explores east coast of North America for Netherlands.
SpanishSanta Fe, New Mexico, settled by Spanish colonist.
KeplerKepler describes planetary motions and laws.
HudsonHenry Hudson discovers Hudson's Bay.
West, ThomasThomas West, 3rd Lord de la Warr rescues Jamestown colony from starvation.
JamestownThe Church at Jamestown. Description of the church within the palisade at Jamestown.
EnglandEngland colonizes Bermuda.
FrenchFrench explorers discover Lake Huron..
PocahontasJohn Rolfe, husband of Pocahontas, cross-breeds tobacco successfully.
Hunt, ThomasThomas Hunt kidnaps 24 Indians from Cape Cod area, sells them as slaves.
ChamplainFrench under Champlain trade with local Indians on Georgian Bay.
Smith, JohnCaptain John Smith publishes A Description of New England.
PocahontasPocahontas visits England, poses for portrait; dies there.
small poxWhite settlers introduce small pox to New England. Many Indians die.
Bacon, FrancisFrancis Bacon, English philosopher and essayist; made lord keeper of the seal -- a position held by his father.
Indenture, ContractContract of Indenture; sample contract for indentured servants.
slaveryBlack slavery introduced at Jamestown by Dutch traders.
legislativeFirst legislative assembly in America, in Virginia, July 30.
DescartesDescartes (November, 19) has a vision of a new mathematical and scientic system.
CharterCharter of New England granted by King James to a proprietary group.
Slide ruleSlide rule invented by Oughtred, in England.
PuritanPuritan Pilgrims write Mayflower Compact, land at Plymouth Rock.
MayflowerPuritan Pilgrims write Mayflower Compact, land at Plymouth Rock.
Bacon, FrancisSir Francis Bacon; Charged with bribery and jailed in the Tower of London.
SquantoPilgrims have first contact with Indian (Squanto), who greets them in English!
MaineMaine granted to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason.
ChamplainChamplain's expedition trades for furs with Indians on Lake Superior.
IndenturedIndentured servant writes letter home and describes the miserable life.
New HampshireSettlements begin in New Hampshire.
VirginiaVirginia becomes a royal colony.
ManhattanIndians barter away Manhattan for about $24.00; Dutch begin settlements.
Coke, EdwardEnglish Parliament enacts Petition of Right. Sir Edward Coke makes presentation.
Petition of RightEnglish Parliament enacts Petition of Right. Sir Edward Coke makes presentation.
DescartesDescartes writes Rules for the Direction of the Mind.
CharterCharter of Massachusetts Bay granted March 4.
New NetherlandNew Netherland granted Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions.
PuritansPuritans settle Boston area, call themselves The Massachusetts-Bay Co.
KeplerJohannes Kepler, German astronomer dies. First astronomer to openly agree with Copernicus.
PuritansPuritans hang John Billington, a murderer; a first for the colony.
PondA Letter to Father and Mother: Pond to William Pond.
MarylandMaryland named for Queen Henrietta Maria by English King Charles I.
Charter granted June 20.
Oyster War"Oyster War" begins between VA and MD; continues today.
GalileoGalileo comdemned by the Church. GALILEO'S ABJURATION.
Nicolet, JeanJean Nicolet explores Lake Michigan shore and Wisconsin.
Williams, RogerRoger Williams banished from Massachusetts for espousing democracy.
ConnecticutFirst settlements in Connecticut include Hartford and Windsor.
HarvardFirst college in the colonies, later named after Rev. John Harvard.
Williams, RogerProvidence Plantations founded in Rhode Island by Roger Williams.
Pequot WarPequot War in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
IndiansDescription of the Indians in New England. Of their Houses and Habitations.
HutchinsonMrs Anne Hutchinson tried in court and banished for holding worship services in her home.
DescartesDescartes publishes the Discourse on the Method including the Optics, Meterorology and Geometry.
1638Swedish colony introduces log-cabin building near Wilmington, Delaware.
1639The Fundamental Orders unite three communities in "Connectecotte."
1639Harvard College sets up first printing press in colonies.
1640Bay Psalm Book: First English book published in colonies at Cambridge, MA.
1641Body of Liberties adopted in Massachusetts.
1641Descartes publishes Meditations on First Philosophy along with the first six sets of Objections and Replies.
1642Massachusetts Bay School Law See also The Old Deluder Act of 1647.
1642Pascal invents an adding machine.
1642French develop new trading post at Montreal.
1643New England Confederation founded. These are the Articles of Confederation.
1644Lex Rex [law is king] a Scottish minister, Samuel Rutherford, demolishes the doctrine of the divine right of kings.
1644AREOPAGITICA: John Milton's Speech in Parliament for unlicensed printing.
1644Invention of the barometer by Evangelista Torricelli.
1644First bicameral legislature formed in Massachusetts.
1644Roger Williams publishes The Bloody Tenet of Persecution.
1644Descartes publishes the Principles of Philosophy.
1645First ironworks, at Saugus, MA.
1647The Old Deluder Act requiring all towns with 50 families to appoint a schoolmaster.
See also Massachusetts Bay School Law of 1642.
1648Iroquois defeat the Hurons, drive them into Canada, north of the Lakes.
1648Treaty of Westphalia, Peace Treaty between the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of France.
1649Charles I executed; Oliver Cromwell establishes Commonwealth.
1649Agreement of the Free People of England. "As a Peace-Offering to this distressed Nation"
1649Toleration Act enacted by First Assembly in Maryland freeing religion.
1649Descartes publishes The Passions of the Soul; goes to Sweden at the invitation of Queen Christina, where he dies the following year.
????Misfortunes of Indentured Servants. The date of this document is unknown but is compelling reading.
1650The Taj Mahal is completed at Agra, India, by 20,000 workers over 20 years.
1651Sumptuary law of MA mandates kind of clothing which must be worn by the citizens.
1651Navigation Acts require English ships and crews for all imports.
1653Oliver Cromwell becomes ruler of England.
1653Commonwealth Instrument of Government adopted by Cromwell and his Council of Officers.
1653Iroquois defeat the Erie Nation, extend influence into o-he-you (Ohio).
1654Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, theologian and philosopher; -- and laws of probability.
1656New Netherland Council passes ordinance restricting religion.
1656A Healing Question, expounding the principles of civil and religious liberty.
1656Spinoza excommunicated by the Jewish community in Amsterdam.
1657Rhode Island Assembly adopts freedom of religion; it doesn't last.
1657John Washington jumps ship in Virginia, buys land.
1657Remonstrance of the Inhabitants of the town of Flushing, NY, to Gov. Stuyvesant.
1660Restoration of Charles II to the English throne.
1660Declaration of Breda, a granting of freedom of religious opinion.
1661Virginia Fornication Laws. "For restraint of the filthy sin of fornication."
1662Charter of Connecticut granted April 23.
1663Charter of North Carolina granted March 24.
1663Charter of Rhode Island and and Providence Plantations - July 8.
1663John Eliot translates Bible into an Indian tongue.
1663Spinoza publishes the Principles of Cartesian Philosophy.
1664The Currency Act, to prohibit use of any legal notes except the British pound.
1664Dutch give up control of New Amsterdam.
1665Duke of York establishes Duke's Law, renames New Amsterdam for himself.
1666The Declaratory Act, passed to assert British authority over the colonies.
1666Description of the Province of Carolina, to entice English people to migrate to the colony.
1668Sault Ste. Marie established by French missionaries.
1669Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle explores Ohio River valley.
1669Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina inaugurated.
1670Newton gives the world Calculus.
1670Spinoza publishes the Theologico-Politcal Treatise.
1670Grant from Charles II leads to settlement of Charleston, SC.
1670Hudson's Bay Company founded to compete with French fur traders.
1673Iroquois drive Mosopelea Indians from Southwestern Ohio.
1673Marquette and Joliet explore northern parts of Mississippi valley.
1675"King Philip's War" begins retaliatory Indian war against white invaders.
1676Bacon's Rebellion wages vigilante war in Virginia.
1676"Day of Thanksgiving", first fromal declaration, June 20, Charlestown, MA.
1677Spinoza's works postumusly published, including the Ethics.
1679New Hampshire settlements proclaimed a royal colony.
1679Habeas Corpus Amendment Act in England.
1680Second Bill to Exclude the Duke of York from inheriting the crown because of his religion.
1680Pueblo Indians get horses from Spanish; first Plains Indians to do so.
1681Province of Pennsylvania (Penn's Woods) chartered February 28.
1682William Penn arrives in America, first look at Penn's Woods.
1682Penn publishes Frame of Government. Philadelphia founded.
1682LaSalle explores Mississippi River, claims river valley for France.
1684Charles II annuls 1629 charter of Massachusetts colony.
1684Cotton Mather coins the term "Americans" for colonists.
1684A patent is granted for the thimble.
1685Louis XIV cancels Edict of Nantes, thousands flee to the colonies.
1685Description of King Philip's War. War between colonists and the indians in New England.
1688Mennonites in Germantown, PA, become first major group to protest slavery in writing.
1688The Glorious Revolution establishes Parliamentary supremacy.
1689Bill of Rights enacted by English Parliament. Provides religious freedom.
1689Locke publishes the Essay Concerning Human Understanding and the Letter Concerning Toleration.
1690Publick Occurences, Boston newspaper, becomes first to be banned in the colonies.
1690Locke publishes the Two Treatises of Civil Government anonymously.
1691Plymouth becomes part of royal colony of Massachusetts.
1692Witch hunts in Salem, MA; 19 die.
1693William and Mary becomes second college in the colonies, Feb 6.
1693Champagne is invented by Dom Perignon, August 4.
1695Freedom of the press comes to England. Censorship abolished.
1696Habeas Corpus Act suspended in England.
1696Board of Trade takes over administration of the colonies - John Locke is its most influential member until 1700.
1697Penn proposes a Plan of Union for the English Colonies in America.
1697King Willaims War ends. Began in 1689
1697Pierre Bayle, French philosopher, publishes his Historical and Critical Dictionary.
1698Pensacola founded (again). (Spanish had tried there in 1559).
1698An Account of W. Jersey and Pennsylvania by Gabriel Thomas.
1701William Penn issues Charter of Privileges, for Pennsylvania.
1701King William on the "French Question." Address to Parliament.
1701Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac establishes new trading post; calls it "Ponchartrain" on de Troit.
1701Elihu Yale donates 800 Pounds to the third college in the colonies
1701Charter of Delaware granted October 28.
1702East Jersey and West Jersey unite to form royal province of New Jersey.
1702Queen Anne begins reign; dies 1714. Annapolis is named for her.
1704Robert Beverley comments on Bacon's Rebellion.
1704John Locke dies. English philosopher, teacher, physician and scholar.
1704First organ built in the colonies, in Philadelphia.
1705Money and Trade Considered; A Proposal for Supplying the Nation with Money.
1707Scotland and England join to become Great Britain.
1708Damaris Cudworth Masham dies, daughter of Ralph Cudworth and friend of
John Locke, she was herself a philosopher as well as an early feminist.
1709First Copyright Act, in Britain.
1709Berkeley writes An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision.
1710Berkeley publishes A Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge.
1711War with Tuscarora Indians in Carolinas, they head north.
1712North Carolina gets own governor, separates from South Carolina.
1712Jean Jacques Rousseau, French philosopher, natural rights theorist and literary figure; dies 1778.
1713Treaty of Utrecht; French Acadians (Cajuns) driven from Nova Scotia to Louisiana.
1713Common Law of England. The History of the Common Law of England by Matthew Hale.
1713Queen Anne's War ends. Began in 1702.
1713Berkeley publishes Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, a more popular version of the philosophy of the Principles
1714Shawnee establish themselves in western Ohio, driven there from Maryland.
1715North Carolina Biennial Act passed in meeting at New River.
1715Tuscarora Indians join League of Five Nations, making it Six Nations.
1716Gottfreid Wilhelm Leibniz dies. German philosopher, courtier, diplomat, lawyer, and librarian.
1716First theater in the colonies is at Williamsburg.
1717Mother Goose appears in print, in Boston.
1718New Orleans founded by Le Page du Pratz, for Bienville.
1720First settlements in Vermont.
1721Montesquieu, French philosopher, jurist, and opponent of slavery. Publishes his Persian Letters.
1721Dr. Zabdiel Boylston imports smallpox vaccine, in Boston.
1723Benjamin Franklin leaves Boston for Philadelphia.
1727First British fort on Great Lakes is Fort Oswego, NY.
1728Vitus J. Bering, a Dane, explores strait which now bears his name.
1728First American steel made in Hartford, CT.
1729Jonathan Swift proposes extreme measures to make poor children useful in Ireland.
1732Charter of Georgia granted June 9.
1732Benjamin Franklin begins to publish Poor Richard's Almanac.
1732Hat Act forbade manufacture in colonies of hats made with local fur.
1732First stagecoach route connects Burlington to Perth Amboy, NJ
1733Sugar Act, aka Molasses Act, a revenue enhancement scheme for Britain.
1733John Kay invents fly shuttle. First improvement in looms since 13th century.
1733Georgia becomes 13th colony; founded by James Oglethorpe.
1734The Trial of John Peter Zenger in landmark freedom of the press case.
1735The Defense of John Peter Zenger in landmark freedom of the press case.
1736Franklin begins Fire Department in Philadelphia.
1737North Carolina Biennial Act: The king responds after 22 years.
1738The Great Awakening in full swing reshaping religious policies everywhere.
1738British traders begin working shores of Lake Erie, compete with French.
1740English Parliament allows naturalization of colonists after 7 years.
1740Invention of the Franklin stove, his most famous invention.
1740Philadelphia is largest city in America. Population 13,000.
1740War of Jenkin's Ear is fought in Cartagena (present-day Colombia.)
1741Vitus Bering claims Alaska for his (now) homeland Russia.
1742The first performance of Handel's Messiah oratorio in Dublin on April 13.
1743American Philosophical Society founded by Benjamin Franklin.
1743King George's War begins. France joins war effort against England.
1746College of New Jersey, now called Princeton Univ., founded.
1747New York State Bar Association is first in this continent.
1748Montesquieu, publishes The Spirit of the Laws which influenced the writing of many constitutions including the United States.
1748Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep appears in New England Primer.
1748Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle ends King George's War.
1749England recognizes slavery and plantation system in the south.
1749George Washington becomes land surveyor at age 17, for an Ohio company.
1749Halifax, Nova Scotia founded.
1749Catherine Trotter Cockburne dies, playwright and defender of Locke.
1750Johan Sebastian Bach dies: German composer, chief representative of the German late Baroque period whose many works include The Well Tempered Clavier, The Art of the Fuge.
1750Cumberland Gap discovered, named by Thomas Walker. Westward movement begins.
1750Galissoniere publishes memoir on the French Colonies in North America.
1750First American coal mine opens in Virginia.
1750Iron Act encourages colonial pig iron, forbids colonial steel tools.
1751Liberty Bell ordered from England. 50th anniversary Charter of Privs.
1752Benjamin Franklin "flies a kite." A shocking experience! Invents lightning rod.
1752First general hospital opens in Philadelphia.
1753George Washington explores western Pa; delivers ultimatum to French.
1753Of Party Divisions; William Livingston -- in the Independent Reflector.
1754Benjamin Franklin's Albany Plan of Union remarks on Iroquoian League.
1754French and Indian War begins; ends formally in 1763 in Treaty of Paris.
1754King's College, now Columbia University, founded.
1754Major Washington loses battle of Fort Necessity.
1755Baron de Montesquieu dies. French philosopher, jurist, influenced constitution.
1755General Edward Braddock's defeat at Pittsburgh; Washington makes Lt. Colonel.
1757Franklin goes to London on 17 year mission for the colonies.
1757Domenico Scarlatti dies, Italian composer of operas and religious works, and one of the most important figures in the developoment of classical harmony.
1759George Washington weds Martha Custis, honeymoons at "The White House."
1759General Wolfe v. Marquis de Montcalm on Plains of Abraham; both die.
1760Final subjugation of Canada by England.
1760George III becomes King of England. Colonial population 1.6 million
1761Governor Glen of Louisiana gives a report on the role of the indians along the Mississippi.
1761Writs of Assistance case tried in Boston.
1762Benjamin Franklin re-designs the harmonica, makes it a musical instrument.
1762Spain acquires Louisiana from France.
1763Pontiac begins seige of Detroit, now a British fort; incites other wars.
1763French and Indian War ends with Treaty of Paris signed Sept 3, which establishes borders of United States.
1763Patrick Henry delivers his famous "Parsons" speech.
1763Vigilantes known as Paxton Boys massacre peaceful Conestoga village.
1764Mozart writes his first symphony, at age eight.
1764Saint Louis founded.
1764Molasses Act modified to produce revenue, in concert with Revenue Act.
1764Revenue Act. Taxation without representation introduced in Boston
1764Committee of Correspondence formed in Boston
1765The Stamp Act: "An act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, and other duties, in the British colonies."
1765Stamp Act response of the colonial Congress meeting in Albany, NY.
1765Quartering Act requires housing British troops in private homes.
1766Stamp Act repealed by England in response to Colonial boycotts.
1766Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon draw the line at MD & PA border.
1767Townshend Duties create Customs Office.
1768British troops begin occupation of Boston.
1769Daniel Boone crosses Appalachians, keeps heading west into Kentucky.
1769Virginia Non-importation Resolution: In protest of taxation by England.
1769Pontiac murdered by another Indian, near St. Louis.
1770Francisco de Ortega names discovery on west coast for his patron saint.
1770Boston Massacre. As reported in the Boston Gazette and Country Journal.
1770Englishman Capt. James Cook becomes first European to explore Australia.
1770Townshend Acts repealed, except for that on tea.
1771Battle of Alamance fought against the "Regulators" in North Carolina.
1772Samuel Adams at Boston Town Hall Meeting publishes list of rights.
1772John Sevier organizes independent republic of Watauga in Tennessee.
1773Tea Act enacted by Parliament.
1773Boston Tea Party. 342 chests of tea go into the drink December 16.
1774John Hancock speaks to the people of Boston about the "Boston Massacre" of 1770.
1774Quartering Act of 1774: Forcing colonist to provide quarters for British troops.
1774Intolerable Acts include the Coercive Acts.
1774Englishman Capt. James Cook visits Easter Island and the Marquesas.
1774British close the port of Boston in retaliation for tea party.
1774The Suffolk Resolves in Massachusetts expresses bitterness toward England and demands action from colonial congress.
1774Virginia Conventions begin. Lead to First Continental Congress.
1774Prayer in Congress. The first prayer in congress. By Jacob Duche.
1774First Continental Congress convenes, in Philadelphia, Sept 5.
1774Galloway of PA presents a Plan for a Union for Great Britian and the colonies.
1774Declaration and Rights, resolves of First Continental Congress Oct 14.
1774Report to the colonies: Livingston of NJ on actions of First Continental Congress.
1774The Olive Branch Petition to the king from John Adams as a peaceful solution to grievances; Oct 26.
1774The Quebec Act nullifies all colonial rights west of Ohio River.
1774A Plea For Religious Freedom before the Massachusetts Legislature.
1775Of the 3,500 pysicians in the colonies, only 400 are MD by degree.
1775The Objections to the Taxation by the Legislature of Great Britain: Soame Jenyns.
1775Patrick Henry: "Give me liberty or give me death."
1775Fights at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts.
1775Paul Revere's account of his "midnight ride."
1775Second Continental Congress convenes, in Philadelphia, May 10.
1775Charlotte Town Resolves, adopted at meeting of May 31.
1775Battle of Bunker Hill. Lt. Waller's account of battle actually fought on nearby Breed's Hill.
1775Battle of Bunker Hill. Major-General Sir John Burgoyne brags to Lord Stanley over outcome.
1775Postal system created. Benjamin Franklin is first Director.
1775Washington accepts promotion to General & Commander In Chief June 16.
1775Declaration on Taking Up of Arms issued by Continental Congress, July 6.
1775Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, declares Martial Law November 7
1775Great Bridge: Virginians defeat British, December.
1776Moore's Creek Bridge: North Carolinians defeat British, February.
1776Thomas Paine publishes "Common Sense."
1776David Hume dies, Scotish philosopher, historian and economist.
1776South Carolina Constitution adopted March 26.
1776New Jersey Constitution adopted July 2.
1776New Hampshire Constitution adopted July 5.
1776Virginia Declaration of Rights on June 12; written by George Mason.
1776Virginia State Constitution adopted June 29, will be model for all states.
1776Declaration of Independence drafted by Tom Jefferson, with John Adams.
1776Patrick Henry elected governor of new Commonwealth of Virginia.
1776Nathan Hale regrets having "but one life to lose", September 22.
1776Washington at Trenton: Captures 916 Hessian (German) prisoners.
1777New York Constitution adopted April 20.
1777Shawnee Indian chief Cornstalk, and others killed. Leads to years of warfare in Ohio.
1777General Gates defeats General Burgoyne (Hessian account) at Saratoga, NY.
Burgoyne writes a note to his nieces describing his feelings.
1777General Washinmgton has close call at Brandywine: Captain Ferguson's account.
1777Congress adopts the American flag with thirteen stars and stripes.
1777Battle of Oriskany; Rome, New York, the site of Fort Stanwix.
1777Washington's Continental Army winters at Valley Forge. Dr. Waldo's account.
1778Francois-Marie Voltaire dies, French philsopher, popularizer of Newtonian physics, critic of Leibniz.
1778Jean-Jacques Rousseau, French philosopher and writer, dies.
1778France declares war on England, becomes ally of America.
1778Englishman Capt. James Cook explores west coast of North America and Sandwich Islands, then murdered in Hawaii.
1779British surrender to Americans at Vincennes.
1779John Paul Jones, in Bon Homme Richard, defeats Pearson, in Serapis.
1780Death of John Logan, Cayuga Indian Chief. Who will mourn for Logan?
1780Benedict Arnold attempts to sell West Point to the British.
1780King George III laments the loss of America.
1781Articles of Confederation go into effect; were drafted in 1777.
1781Cornwallis to to Sir Henry Clinton; notice of his surrender to Washington.
1782Ninety-six Moravian Christian Indians massacred at Gnaddenhutton, OH.
1783Declarations for Suspension of Arms and Cessation of Hostilities, January 20. Agreement signed by John Adams and Ben Franklin for the United States.
1783First daily newspaper is Pennsylvania Evening Post.
1783The Paris Peace Treaty officially ending the War of Revolution signed September 3.
1784Benjamin Franklin invents bifocals.
1785Land Ordinance of 1785 for disposing of lands ceded by states to the federal government.
1785Treaty With the Cherokee Articles concluded at Hopewell, on the Keowee.
1786Shays's Rebellion in Massachusetts forcibly closes court systems.
1786Annapolis Convention concludes September 14, suggests Philadelphia convention.
1787Shay's Rebellion: Gens. Shepard's and Lincoln's letters to Gov. Bowdoin of Massachusetts.
1787Northwest Ordinance adopted July 13 by Continental Congress.
1787Constitutional Convention opens May 25; concludes business Sept 17.
1787United States Constitution framed, sent to Congress and states.
1787Federalist Papers begin publication in newspapers.
1788New Hampshire is 9th state to ratify Constitution. United States is now a nation.
1788First settlement in Ohio named Marietta, for Marie Antoinette.
1789Mackenzie reaches Arctic Ocean via Mackenzie River in West Canada.
1789George Washington takes oath on April 30 as 1st President with John Adams as first VP.
Washinton's Inaugural Speech.
1789Patrick Henry leads fight for ratification of Bill of Rights.
1789French Revolution begins. Bastille falls Jul 14. Declaration of Rights Aug 26th.
1789Thanksgiving Proclamation signed by first President George Washington.
1789Mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty; survivors establish Pitcairn Island colony.
1790Death of Benjamin Franklin April 17.
1790First national census finds 3,929,214 persons eligible to be counted.
1790John Jay is Chief Justice as Supreme Court meets for the first time.
1790Equality of the Sexes; Judith Sargent Murray - pen name, Constantia.
1791Federal capital to be established in swamplands on the Potomac.
1791Vermont becomes 14th state: The first after the original 13 formed the United States.
1791First ten Amendments are Bill of Rights go into effect.
1791Mozart dies while writing Requiem (Mass for the Dead). It was not finished.
1791Northwest Territory Governor Arthur St. Clair soundly defeated by Indians near Ft. Wayne.
1792Congress names the Dollar as our unit of currency; proposer: Jefferson.
1792Post Office established by Congress as a separate entity.
1792New York Stock Exchange organized.
1792Political parties formed; Republicans (which became Democrats) & the Federalists.
1793George Washington takes oath on March 4 for second term with John Adams as Vice President.
Washington's Inaugural Speech.
1793Cotton gin invented by Eli Whitney.
1793The Louvre opens to public. First major public art museum in Europe.
1793General "Mad Anthony" Wayne begins campaign against Indians in SW Ohio.
1793Fugitive Slave Law amended requiring that they be returned to their owners.
1793John Hancock dies October 8, but not his magnificent signature.
1793French Revolution continues as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are beheaded.
1793Neutrality Act, President declares U. S. position on war between England and France.
1793Mackenzie reaches Pacific via Fraser River in western Canada.
1794Battle of Fallen Timbers, near Toledo, OH. General Wayne v. Indians.
1794Patrick Henry retires to his Red Hill estate near Appomattox, Virginia.
1794Jay Treaty requires withdrawal of British troops from U.S.A.
1794Whiskey Rebellion over excise tax in western Pennsylvania.
179511th Amendment specifies some limits of Federal Judicial power.
1795Pinckney's Treaty with Spain opens navigation on Mississippi River.
1795Treaty of Greenville, OH opens up much of Ohio to settlement by whites.
1795Washington poses for Stuart's portrait, which is now on our dollar bill.
1796Patrick Henry elected to sixth term as governor but refuses office.
1796U. S. agrees to blackmail from Algiers to stop piracy. Tripoli, November 4.
1796Washington retires, gives Farewell Address to the nation.
1796John Adams President, Tom Jefferson Vice President, 71-68 vote margin.
1796E Pluribus Unum: "Out of Many, One"; added to American coins.
1797John Adams takes oath on March 4 as 2nd President with Thomas Jefferson as Vice President and Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of State.
John Adams Inaugural Address.
1797Napoleon Bonaparte wins war and gains Austria for France.
1797Death of Mary Wollstonecraft, critic of Rousseau, defender of women's rights.
1798Alien and Sedition Acts. Soon repealed. [John Adams must've been asleep at the switch.]
1798Department of the Navy established -- Navy already 4 years old.
1798Washington comes out of retirement to be Commander In Chief of Army. Insist that Alexander Hamilton be named 2nd in command.
1798Napoleon wins Battle of the Pyramids but loses war with British navy.
1798XYZ Affair, so named after three anonymous French trouble makers.
1799The Kentucky Resolution written by Jefferson, declares the alien and sedition laws unconstitutional, and he was right!
1799French Revolution ends. Napoleon becomes ruler of France.
1799Patrick Henry dies June 6.
1799George Washington dies of quinsy at Mt. Vernon December 14.
1800Spain returns Louisiana territory to France, --- briefly.
1800Congress establishes Library of Congress.
1801House elects Thomas Jefferson 3rd president after electoral college tie with Aaron Burr.
Takes oath on March 4.
Thomas Jefferson's Inaugural Address.
1801John Marshall appointed as Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court.
1801First stone building in Northwest Territory is Ohio capitol, Chillicothe.
1801Tripolitan War begins; ends in 1805 with USMC on the shores of Tripoli.
1802Treaty of Amiens, in March. Napoleon proclaims himself emperor.
1803Louisiana Territory Purchased April 30. To get money for war, Napoleon sells Louisiana.
1803Thomas Jefferson's letter to Merriwether Lewis sends Lewis & Clark on their great exploration.
1803Ohio enters the Union. Paperwork completed 1953.
1803Atomic theory first published.
1804Ohio University at Athens is first institute of higher learning in Northwest Territory.
180412th Amendment ratified; changes Presidential election rules.
1804Vice President Aaron Burr kills Alexander Hamilton in duel July 11.
1804Immanuel Kant dies, German philosopher whose works include the Critique of Pure Reason and the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals.
1805Jefferson Takes oath on March 4 for second term of Presidency.
Jefferson's 2nd Inaugural Address.
1805Lewis & Clark discover mouth of Columbia River, just in time, on Nov 7.
1806Napoleon excludes British goods from "fortress Europe." American shipping caught in middle.
1807Robert Fulton, in "Clermont", steams up Hudson River to Albany, Aug 17.
1807Treaty of Detroit; Wyandot Indians lose most of their realestate.
1807Embargo Act, Dec 22, forbids American ships to leave American waters.
1808Slave importation outlawed. Yet another 1/4 million brought in by 1860.
1809James Madison takes oath on March 4 as 4th President.
Madison's 1st Inaugural Address.
1809Non-Intercourse Act, March 1, repeals the Embargo Act, which didn't work.
1810Census counts 7,239,881 persons in United States
1811Madison allows 20-year charter of Bank of the United States to lapse.
1811William Henry Harrison suffers 190 casualties but repels Indians at Tippecanoe River, near West Lafayette, Indiana, Nov 7. Battle earned him nickname of "Old Tippecanoe."
1812War (of 1812) declared on England June 18, days after England repealed the cause.
1812John O'Mic hanged on Cleveland Public Square for killing 2 fur trappers.
1812Russians build Fort Rossiia (Ross) 90 miles north of San Francisco.
1813James Madison takes oath on March 4 for second term of Presidency.
Madison's 2nd Inaugural Address.
1813'Commodore' Oliver Hazard Perry "meets" British in Lake Erie Sept 10.
1813Tecumseh defeated and killed in battle near Detroit, in Thames, Ontario.
1814City of Washington captured and burned by British, August 24. Dolley Madison's description of events at the White House on August 23. Bristish soldier's account.
1814Francis Scott Key observes flag over Fort McHenry at Baltimore, Sept 14, and pens a poem.
1814Treaty of Ghent ends War of 1812 on December 24, but fighting goes on.
1815Andrew Jackson defeats British at New Orleans Jan 8, after war ends.
1815Napoleon meets his "Waterloo" on June 18.
1815USS Constitution defeats two British ships off African coast 20 Feb.
1816Second Bank of the United States chartered, Apr 10.
1817James Monroe takes oath on March 4 as 5th President.
1817Work begins on Erie Canal.
1817Secretary of State Rush and British Minister Bagot agree on status of Great Lakes.
1818Congress fixes stripes in flag at 13 to honor original colonies, Apr 4.
1818Anglo-American Convention fixes 49th parallel as border with Canada.
1819SS Savanah makes transatlantic crossing under steam propulsion, a first.
1819Florida ceded by Spain to the United States, Feb 22: Not formalized until 1821.
1819Treaty of Saginaw; Indians give up one sixth of Michigan.
1820Missouri Compromise forbids slavery above 36 degrees 30 minutes latitude.
1820Federalist Party dissolves; without opposition, Jefferson Democrats disband.
1821James Monroe takes oath on March 4 for second term of Presidency.
1821Thomas Jefferson writes autobiography. Describes many historical events.
1821Napoleon dies in exile on St. Helena on May, 5.
1823Monroe Doctrine given to Congress December 2.
1824House of Representatives elects John Q. Adams president.
1825John Quincy Adams takes oath on March 4 as 6th President.
1825Erie Canal completed.
1826July 4: John Adams dies with last words, "Jefferson survives" not knowing that Jefferson had died a few hours earlier at Monticello.
1827Ludwig van Beethoven dies.
1827Ohio Canal opened for business.
1828Noah Webster publishes American Dictionary of English Language, Apr 14.
1828Baltimore & Ohio railroad, the first designed for passengers & freight.
1829Andrew Jackson takes oath on March 4 as 7th President.
1829Estate of James Smithson funds Smithsonian Institution.
1831Samuel F. Smith writes My Country, 'tis of Thee.
1831Nat Turner leads slave revolt at Southhampton, Virginia.
1832Abe Lincoln enlists in Illinois militia to help fight Sauk & Fox Indians.
1832Jackson vetoes rechartering of 2nd Bank, causes birth of Whig Party.
1832Jackson supporters counter with rebirth of Jefferson Democratic Party.
1833Andrew Jackson takes oath on March 4 for second term of Presidency.
1833First tax-supported public library, at Peterborough, NH, Apr 9.
1833George Washington's Religious Character is discussed by his granddaughter Nelly.
1833Oberlin College, in Ohio, is first coed college in U.S.A.
1834Death of Lafayette, Revolutionary War hero on two continents.
1834Charles Babbage demonstrates "analytic engine", a computer.
1835Treaty of New Echota. United States takes Cherokee Indians lands.
1835U.S.A. becomes debt free (briefly) for only time in history.
1836The Alamo. 6000 Mexicans defeat 190 Americans in 12 days on March 6.
1836Aaron Burr dies. Last 32 years of misery after duel with Hamilton.
1837Martin Van Buren takes oath on March 4 as 8th President.
1837Emerson commemorates battle of Concord NH in 1775 with Concord Hymn.
1838Osceola dies in prison after being tricked by false white flag.
1838Trail of Tears. Thousands of Cherokee Indians die on forced march to reservations.
1838Black Hawk, famous Sauk warrior, dies of old age.
1839Slaves take over slave ship Amistad, land in New York.
1839Abner Doubleday invents baseball at Cooperstown, NY.
1839Railway Express Co. founded in Boston.
1841William Henry Harrison takes oath on March 4 as 9th President. Catches cold at inauguration and dies April 4 -- one month after taking office. John Tyler takes oath on April 6 as 10th President.
1841Russia sells Fort Ross in California to John Sutter.
1842Plain Dealer Publishing Co. founded in Cleveland.
1842Webster-Ashburton Treaty defines Canadian-U.S. frontier, Aug 9.
1844Samuel F. B. Morse opens telegraphic link between Baltimore and D.C.
1845James K. Polk takes oath on March 4 as 11th President.
1845U. S. Naval Academy opens at Annapolis, Maryland.
1845Texas is annexed; war with Mexico follows.
1845Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) dies, goes to the big orchard in the sky.
1846Large crack in Liberty Bell gets too bad to permit ringing any more.
1846Potato famine in Ireland. Many flee to America for survival.
1847Brigham Young leads his followers into Salt Lake City, UT area.
1847American troops fight their way into the Halls of Montezuma in Mexico.
1848Treaty of 1848 gets CA, NM, AZ, NV UT, parts of CO and WY for the Union.
1848John Jacob Astor dies in Waldorf, Germany.
1848Cornerstone laid for the Washington Monument.
1849Zachary Taylor takes oath on March 4 as 12th President. Dies July 9, 1850.
1849Gold discovered in California. California goldrush begins.
~1850The Plague: Pandemic strikes the world. Millions die.
1850Millard Fillmore takes oath on July 9 as 13th President.
1850The Compromise of 1850; on the slave debate for the territories.
1850Fugitive Slave Act, Sept. 18.
1851Isaac Singer granted a patent for his sewing machine.
1853Franklin Pierce takes oath on March 4 as 14th President.
1853Jefferson Davis appointed Secretary of War by President Pierce.
1853Gadsden Purchase brings some Mexican territory into U.S.A.
1853Commodore Matthew Perry opens trade routes with Japan, July 14.
1853Cincinnati is first city to pay firefighters a salary.
1854Kansas - Nebraska Act. Provides springboard for Abe Lincoln.
1854Republican Party formed under John Fremont in Ripon, WI, 28 February.
1854George Boole writes on theories of logic and probabilities.
1855Soo Canal opens upper Great Lakes to commercial navigation.
1855Longfellow uses name of real Six Nation's hero Hiawatha in mythical poem.
1856Western Union Telegraph Co. established in Cleveland.
1856Cocaine extracted from cocoa leaves, but has no legitimate use (ever!).
1857James Buchanan takes oath on March 4 as 15th President.
1857Dred Scott decision handed down by Supreme Court, March 6.
1857Transatlantic cable begins; used briefly in 1858. Replaced in 1866.
1858Abraham Lincoln warns that "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand."
1859Harpers Ferry armory raided by abolitionist John Brown. Colonel Robert E. Lee commands U.S. Army troops in response.
1859Drake puts down first oil well in U.S.A., Titusville, PA.
1860Internal combustion engine invented by Frenchman Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir.
1860Annie Oakley born in Darke County, Ohio, log cabin, August 13.
1860Pony Express riders leave Sacramento, CA and St. Joseph, MO on 1st ride.
1860South Carolina becomes first state to secede from Union, December 20.
1861Confederate States adopt Provisional Constitution, February 8.
1861Abraham Lincoln takes oath on March 4 as 16th President.
1861Civil War begins at Fort Sumter, Charleston, SC, April 12.
1861George Armstrong Custer, graduates from West Point, last in his class.
1861Congress enacts illegal income tax August 2, on incomes more than $800.
1861U. S. Navy's first launches hot air balloon August 3.
1861First Congressional Medals of Honor awarded, to Union Navymen.
1861Pony Express is replaced by first transcontinental telegraph.
1862The Homestead Act, May 20, contributes to development in ND, SD, and OK.
1862Jefferson Davis inaugurated as President of the Confederacy.
1862Duel between Merrimac and Monitor March 8; CSS Merrimac withdrew.
1862Battle of Shiloh, April 6.
1862McClellan Letter to Lincoln, on the evacuation from the Penninsula Campaign.
1862Lt. Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes and Sgt William McKinley (both future Presidents) saw action at Antietam.
1863The Emancipation Proclamation.
1863Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's version of Paul Revere's Ride.
1863General Order No. 100: Instructions issued by President Lincoln for armies in the field.
1863George Armstrong Custer, becomes brigadier general at the age of 23.
1863Lincoln delivers The Gettysburg Address dedicated to more than forty thousand dead.
1864Lincoln posed for photograph which appears on $5 bill, Feb 9.
»»»Special Section »»» Major Battles of the Civil War
1864In God We Trust put on American coins for the first time April 22.
1864Adaptation to Maritime Warfare: Principles of Geneva Convention (III).
1864Massacre of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians at Sand Creek, Colorado, Nov 29.
1864Lincoln proclaims last Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving Day.
186513th amendment abolishes slavery
1865Abraham Lincoln takes oath on March 4 for second term of Presidency.
1865George Armstrong Custer, becomes major general at the age of 25.
1865Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox on Palm Sunday, April 9.
1865Lincoln shot by Boothe April 14, dies next day.
1865Andrew Johnson takes oath on April 15 as 17th President.
1865Confederate Army surrenders at Shreveport, LA; Civil War ends May 26.
1865Last shot of Civil War fired by CSS Shenandoah in Bering Sea, June 22.
1866George Armstrong Custer, joins 7th Cavalry Regiment as lieutenant colonel.
1866Congress recognizes the Metric system of weights and measures.
1866Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.
1867British North American union creates the Dominion of Canada.
1867US buys Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million.
186814th amendment prohibits voting discrimination.
1868Transcontinental railroad completed; Ogden (Promontory), Utah wins the golden spike.
1868Thomas Alva Edison, becomes an inventor.
1869Ulysses S. Grant takes oath on March 4 as 18th President.
1869Transcontinental railroad completed; Ogden (Promontory), Utah wins the golden spike.
1869Suez Canal completed.
1870Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea published.
187015th Amendment gives blacks the right to vote.
1870John D. Rockefeller founds Standard Oil Company, in Cleveland, OH.
1870Robert E. Lee dies, October 12.
1871Dr. B. F. Goodrich opens rubber factory in Akron, OH.
1871Chicago fire of October 8-11 blamed on Mrs. O'Leary's cow.
1872Susan B. Anthony leads protest for women at polling place.
1872Yellowstone National Park created; becomes first national park.
1873Ulysses S. Grant takes oath on March 4 for second term of Presidency.
1873Bellevue Hospital in NYC starts first school of nursing.
1874Guglielmo Marconi, radio pioneer, born April 25.
1875Gold discovered in the Sioux holy grounds, the Black Hills of South Dakota.
1875First running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchhill Downs, May 17.
1876Custer makes his way into history at Little Big Horn in Montana.
1876Alexander Graham Bell becomes second man to invent telephone. The first, Elisha Gray, arrived at patent office one hour after Bell had registered his patent.
1877Rutherford B. Hayes takes oath on March 4 as 19th President.
1877Thomas Alva Edison, invents the phonograph.
1877Crazy Horse dies in a Nebraska prison from stab wounds.
1877First commercial telephone exchange is in Boston.
1878First electric street lighting anywhere is on Cleveland Public Square.
1878Thomas Alva Edison, invents the electric light.
1879John D. Rockefeller organizes the Standard Oil Trust.
1881James A. Garfield takes oath on March 4 as 20th President.
1881Booker T. Washington opens Tuskegee Institute for blacks.
1881James A. Garfield assassinated, September 19. Chester A. Arthur takes oath as 21st President.
1883Indonesian volcano Krakatau erupts killing 35,000.
1883Brooklyn Bridge, connecting Manhattan Island to Brooklyn, completed May 24.
1884Statue of Liberty presented by France, construction required ten years.
1884First baseball World Series played.
1885Grover Cleveland takes oath on March 4 as 22nd President, 1st term.
1886Geronimo surrenders all Apache nations, September 4.
1887Susan Salter, Argonia, Kansas, becomes first woman mayor in U.S.A., April 4.
1888First successful computer built by Herman Hollerith.
1888Richmond, VA introduces first Electric streetcars.
1889Benjamin Harrison takes oath on March 4 as 23rd President.
1889Indian Territory becomes Oklahoma Territory, thrown open to landrush.
1889Ten story building erected in Chicago. Considered a skyscraper at the time.
1889Jefferson Davis dies at age 81 on December 6. Buried in New Orleans
~1890Thomas Alva Edison, invents the motion pictures.
1890First skyscraper in New York City is the World Building, 26 stories.
1890Sitting Bull killed by Indian policemen while resisting arrest.
1890Massacre of Indians including women and children at Wounded Knee, SD, December 29.
1890Sherman Anti-Trust Act signed into law, July 2.
~1890Teddy Roosevelt writes about Daniel Boone's 'excursion' to Kentucky in 1769.
1890Leonidas Merritt discovers iron ore lode at Mesabi, MN.
1892First bridge to span the lower Mississippi River is at Memphis.
1892Rudolf Diesel invents internal combustion engine that runs on oil (diesel engine).
1892Pledge of Allegiance published. Changes made in 1954.
1893Grover Cleveland takes oath on March 4 as 24th President. Only President to serve a "split" Presidency (two terms with a different President in between.)
1893America the Beautiful written by Katherine Lee Bates.
1896Plessy v. Ferguson establishes "separate but equal" provision in U.S. law.
1897William McKinley takes oath on March 4 as 25th President.
1898Spanish - American War. Teddy Roosevelt and his rough-riders fight in Cuba.
1898USS Maine blown up in harbor at Havana, Cuba, February 15.
1898Independent republic of Hawaii annexed.
1899First Open Door Note from John Hay to Andrew D. White regarding China.
1900Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China begins.
1901William McKinley takes oath on March 4 to begin second term of Presidency.
1901McKinley assassinated September 14,
Theodore Roosevelt becomes 26th President on September 14.
1903Wright brothers make first powered flight, Kitty Hawk, NC Dec 17.
1903Great automobile race from New York City to Pittsburgh takes eight days.
1904Chief Joseph dies in exile in Washington state. Led the great Nez Perce retreat of 1877.
1905Theodore Roosevelt takes oath on March 4; begins second term of Presidency.
1906Great San Francisco earthquake April 18 kills over 500 people.
1908First Model T rolls off the Ford assembly line.
1909William H. Taft takes oath on March 4; becomes 27th President.
1909Great White Fleet of 16 battleships completes trip around the world.
1909Robert E. Peary (a white) & Matthew A. Henson (a black) reach North Pole.
1909NAACP founded by W. E. B. DuBois.
1910Boy Scouts of America founded, Feb 8.
1911First transcontinental flight takes 82 hours; nearly 2 months.
1912Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) founded March 12.
1912Titanic hits iceberg, April 15. 1503 lives lost.
1913Woodrow Wilson takes oath on March 4; becomes 28th President.
1913Harriet Tubman, heroine of underground railroad, dies; buried in Ohio.
191316th Amendment legalizes income tax which was enacted illegally in 1861.
191317th Amendment changed election rules for Senators to direct election by the people instead of by state legislatures.
1914Panama Canal completed.
1914World War I begins in Europe; President Woodrow Wilson declares neutrality.
1915SS Lusitania sunk May 7; 1198 lives lost.
1916General John "Blackjack" Pershing chases Pancho Villa deep into Mexico.
1917Woodrow Wilson takes oath on March 4; begins second term of Presidency.
1917After scores of U-boat incidents over last 3 years, U. S. enters WW I.
1917Russian Revolution. The Bolsheviks are led by V. I. Lenin
1917Father Edward Flanagan founds Boy's Town, December 1.
1918The American's Creed adopted April 3
1918Armistice ends WW I on 11th hour of 11th day of 11th month.
1918The Pandemic of '18, world wide outbreak kills 25 million.
191918th Amendment introduces prohibition of intoxicating liquors.
192019th Amendment brings women the vote, Aug 26.
1921Warren G. Harding takes oath on March 4; becomes 29th President.
1921Famous race horse, Man O' War retired to stud. Lives another 26 years.
1922U. S. S. R. created and includes Russia, Byelorussia, Transcaucasia, and Ukraine.
1923Teapot Dome scandal involves illegal lease on Navy oil reserves.
1923Warren G. Harding dies August 2 from heart attack in San Francisco.
1923Calvin Coolidge takes oath on August 3; becomes 30th President.
1924Congress confers citizenship on (some) Native Americans, June 15
1924Lenin dies and Stalin takes over in U. S. S. R.
1924Covenant of The League of Nations, including Amendments, December, 1924.
1925First female as a state governor is Nellie Taylor Ross, in Wyoming.
1925First commercial diesel-electric trains begin service.
1925Calvin Coolidge takes oath on March 4; begins second term of Presidency.
1925John T. Scopes convicted in "monkey trial" of teaching evolution: Dayton, Tennessee, July 24.
1926Richard E. Byrd flies over North Pole May 9.
1927Charles Linburgh lands in Paris May 21 after non-stop flight from New York. Devotes much of his later life to denouncing America and supporting such causes as Nazism, Hitler, and socialism. His wife supported his ideology.
1928The Paris Treaty providing for the renunciation of war, August 27.
1928Richard E. Byrd flies over South Pole November 28.
1929St. Valentine's Day massacre in Chicago by rival bootleggers.
1929Herbert C. Hoover takes oath on March 4; becomes 31st President.
1929Vladimir K. Zworykin demonstrates the first completely electronic, practical television system.
1929The Permanent Court of International Justice established under the League of Nations.
1929Great Depression begins after bank and stock failures in October.
1931Thomas Alva Edison, dies. Lights across the nation are dimmed in his honor.
1931The National Anthem finally adopted by Congress March 3.
1931Empire State Building opens May 1.
193220th Amendment established new starting date for President & Congress.
1932Welland Canal bypasses Niagara Falls for shipping.
1933Franklin D. Roosevelt takes oath on March 4; becomes 32nd President.
1933First woman in Presidential Cabinet is Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins.
1933Emergency Banking Act, March 9.
1933Civilian Conservation Corps, March 31.
1933Federal Emergency Relief Act, Agriculture Adjustment Act, May 12.
1933Tennessee Valley Authority Act, May 18, establishes the TVA to harness the Tennessee River and bring electricity to rural Appalachian area.
1933Farm Credit Act, June 16.
193320th Amendment changes effective date for new president to January 20th and congress to January 3rd.
193321st Amendment repeals 18th Amendment; prohibition amendment.
1934First diesel-electric passenger train, The Burlington Zephyr, begins service.
1934Securities and Exchange Commission created June 6
1935Works Progress Administration approved by Congress, April 8.
1935Wagner-Connery Act establishes National Labor Relations Board, July 5.
1935Social Security Act, August 14, signed into law.
1937Franklin D. Roosevelt takes oath on March 4; begins second term of Presidency.
1937Amelia Earhart Putnam disappears during attempt to fly around the world.
1937Neutrality Act of 1937; declares that the U. S. will stay out of troubles in Europe.
1937President Roosevelt delivers Quarantine Speech; October 5 in Chicago.
1937Adolph Hitler tells his generals of his plan to take over Europe, Nov 5.
1939First electronic computer built by John V. Atanasoff.
1939Geological Survey final report on cost of Louisiana Purchase $23.2 million.
1939Hitler starts WW II on September 1, by attacking Poland (after attacking other nations).
1939Bill of Rights finally ratified by Massachusetts, Georgia & Connecticut.
1941Franklin D. Roosevelt takes oath on March 4; begins third term of Presidency.
1941Lend-Lease Act became law March 11.
1941Churchill & Roosevelt develop The Atlantic Charter, Aug 14 in Argentia.
1941December 7, the Day of Infamy, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, HI.
U. S. declares war on Japan, December 8, and on Germany December 11.
1942Executive Order 9066 imprisons many thousands of Japanese-Americans (Nisei) for three years.
1942The Battle of the Coral Sea, May 7-8. | The Battle of Midway, June 4. |
The Battle of Guadalcanal: August 7; |
1942First self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, by Fermi, December 2.
1944Landing at Anzio Beach by the Allies, January 22.
1944D-Day at Normandy! The Longest Day begins, June 6.
1944The Battle of the Philippine Sea, June 19.
1945Marines raise the flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, February 23.
1945Franklin D. Roosevelt takes oath on March 4; begins fourth term of Presidency.
1945Franklin D. Roosevelt dies on April 12; Harry S Truman takes oath to become 33rd President.
1945First atomic bomb exploded anywhere is at Los Alamos, New Mexico, July 16.
1945B-29 'Enola Gay' drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Aug 6.
1945Last atomic bomb then in existence dropped at Nagasaki, August 9.
1945World War II ends: first in Europe, May 7; then in Japan, Sept 2.
1945United Nations chartered in San Francisco; in 1950 moves to NYC.
1946Cold War begins as U. S. S. R. expands through eastern Europe.
Sir Winston Churchill coins term "Iron Curtain."
1946Taft-Hartley Act outlaws certain practices of trade unions
1947Truman Doctrine opposes Communism in Greece, Turkey, and elsewhere, March 12.
1947Marshall Plan helps rebuild Europe, June 5.
1947Transistor invented at Bell Labs, in New Jersey, Dec 23.
1948Foreign Assistance Act funds the Marshall Plan, April 3.
1948Organization of American States (OAS) formed, April 30.
1948United Nations creates Republic of Israel out of Palestine.
1948Berlin airlift begins nearly a year of relief to overcome blockade.
1948Native Americans allowed to vote (finally) in New Mexico and Arizona.
1949Harry S Truman takes oath on January 20; begins second term of Presidency.
1949North Atlantic Treaty Organization born, April 4.
1950North Korea invades South Korea, June 25.
1950Pusan Perimeter formed on August 2. MacArthur invades at Inchon, September 15; surprises North Korean forces.
195122nd Amendment limits president to two terms. 1st proposed by Thomas Jefferson.
1951Truman fires General Douglas MacArthur, April 11. Command in Korea goes to General Ridgway.
1951UNIVAC introduces first commercially available electronic computer system.
1953Dwight D. Eisenhower takes oath on January 20; becomes 34th President.
1953Stalin dies: Khrushchev new leader in U. S. S. R.
1953Cease fire in Korea, 3 mile wide area along 38th parallel becomes demilitarized zone (DMZ.)
1954Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka overturns Plessy v. Ferguson.
1954Remington Rand sells a UNIVAC computer system to General Motors.
1955Dr. Jonas Salk proves his vaccine against polio virus is safe.
1957Dwight D. Eisenhower takes oath on January 20; begins second term of Presidency.
1957Eisenhower authorizes, support assistance (advisors) for South Vietnam.
1957Sputnik satellite launched in orbit by Soviet Union. 1st artificial satellite ever.
1959St. Lawrence Seaway opens Great Lakes to foreign shipping, Apr 25.
196023rd Amendment grants Electoral College representation to Washington, DC.
1961John F. Kennedy takes oath on January 20; becomes 35th President. [Inauguration Speech]
1962John Glenn is first U. S. astronaut to orbit earth, Feb 20.
1962Military aid begins in South Vietnam
1963Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers I Have A Dream speech on August 28.
1963John F. Kennedy assassinated, Lyndon B. Johnson becomes 36th President.
196424th Amendment ends poll taxes.
1964Civil Rights Act put teeth in Federal enforcement of anti-discrimination.
1964Tonkin Gulf Resolution, August 24; repealed in 1970.
1965Lyndon B. Johnson takes oath on January 20; begins 1st full term as President.
1965White Paper on Vietnam, U. S. State Department. "AGGRESION FROM THE NORTH."
1965First American, ground forces arrive in South Vietnam.
196725th Amendment allows President to step aside temporarily, then resume.
1967Thurgood Marshall is first black to become a justice on Supreme Court.
1968Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. murdered in Memphis.
1969Richard M. Nixon takes oath on January 20; becomes 37th President.
1969Neil Armstrong took one giant leap for mankind onto the moon.
197126th Amendment gives 18 year olds the vote.
1972Equal Rights Amendment for women proposed by Congress; never ratified by states.
1973Richard M. Nixon takes oath on January 20; begins second term as Presidency.
1973Vice-President Agnew forced to resign. Gerald R. Ford becomes 1st non-elected VP.
1973Wars Powers Resolution enacted into law over-riding the veto of the President.
1973Roe et al v. Wade decision starts bitter abortion/anti-abortion debates.
1974Nixon resigns in disgrace. Gerald Ford becomes 38th President; first non-elected.
1975The fall of Saigon, the United States stops fighting and pulls out of South Vietnam.
1975The first personal computer, the Altair, is developed. Two years later Jobs and Wozniak introduce Apple II.
1977James Earl "Jimmy" Carter takes oath January 20; becomes 39th President.
1979SALT II Treaty signed with USSR but not ratified by U. S. Senate.
1980Mount St. Helens volcano erupts in northwestern United States.
1981Ronald W. Wilson Reagan takes oath January 20; becomes 40th President.
1981Sandra Day O'Connor: First female Supreme Court Justice. Appointed by President Reagan.
1984Geraldine Ferraro is first female Vice Presidential candidate on major party ticket; with fellow Democrat Walter Mondale.
1985Ronald Wilson Reagan takes oath January 20; begins second term of Presidency.
1985Mikhail S. Gorbachev new leader in U. S. S. R.
1987Disarmament treaties between USSR and USA eliminate large numbers of ground-launched nuclear missiles.
1989George Herbert Walker Bush takes oath January 20; becomes 41st President.
1989Soviet Union collapses. Russia and other nations emerge.
1990West and East Germany unified. Balkans begin to splinter.
1991War with Iraqi: Desert Storm, the Persian Gulf War.
1993William Jefferson Clinton takes oath January 20; becomes 42nd President.
1997William J. Clinton takes oath January 20, begins second term of Presidency.
1998President Clinton impeached by House of Representatives.
1998Y2K rumors and uninvestigated false reports are widely broadcast and printed by the international press corps.
1999Y2K rumors fueled by the international press corps, throws world into near panic --
Fervor is reminiscent of the Salem Witch hunts of 1692.
1999President Clinton acquited in Senate on a strict party-line vote.
2000Y2K rumors and false reports did not materialize and this throws the international press corps into a near panic.

Historical Trivia

More Historical Trivia

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