|| All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution||

World history

1–49 Birth of Jesus Christ (variously given from 4 B.C. to A.D. 7). After Augustus, Tiberius becomes emperor (dies, A.D. 37), o succeeded by Caligula (assassinated, A.D. 41), who is followed by Claudius. Crucifixion of Jesus (probably A.D. 30). Han o dynasty in China founded by Emperor Kuang Wu Ti. Buddhism introduced to China.

50–99 Claudius poisoned (A.D. 54), succeeded by Nero (commits suicide, A.D. 68). Missionary journeys of Paul the Apostle (A.D. 34–60). o Jews revolt against Rome; Jerusalem destroyed (A.D. 70). Roman persecutions of Christians begin (A.D. 64). Colosseum built in o Rome (A.D. 71–80). Trajan (rules A.D. 98–116); Roman empire extends to Mesopotamia, Arabia, Balkans. First Gospels of St. Mark, St. o John, St. Matthew.

100–149 Hadrian rules Rome (A.D. 117–138); codifies Roman law, rebuilds Pantheon, establishes postal system, builds wall between England and Scotland. Jews revolt under Bar Kokhba (A.D. 122–135); final Diaspora (dispersion) of Jews begins.

150–199 Marcus Aurelius rules Rome (A.D. 161–180). Oldest Mayan temples in Central America (c. A.D. 200).

200–249 Goths invade Asia Minor (c. A.D. 220). Roman persecutions of Christians increase. Persian (Sassanid) empire re-established. End of Chinese Han dynasty.

Roman AqueductMontpellier, France
Celtic CrossRenée Scott

250–299 Increasing invasions of the Roman empire by Franks and Goths. Buddhism spreads in China. Classic period of Mayan civilization (A.D. 250–900); develop hieroglyphic writing, advances in art, architecture, science.

300–349 Constantine the Great (rules A.D. 312–337) reunites eastern and western Roman empires, with new capital (Constantinople) on site of Byzantium (A.D. 330); issues Edict of Milan legalizing Christianity (A.D. 313); becomes a Christian on his deathbed (A.D. 337). Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) defines orthodox Christian doctrine. First Gupta dynasty in India (c. A.D. 320).

350–399 Huns (Mongols) invade Europe (c. A.D. 360). Theodosius the Great (rules A.D. 392–395)—last emperor of a united Roman empire. o Roman empire permanently divided in A.D. 395: western empire ruled from Rome; eastern empire ruled from Constantinople.

400–449 Western Roman empire disintegrates under weak emperors. Alaric, king of the Visigoths, sacks Rome (A.D. 410). Attila, Hun chieftain, attacks Roman provinces (A.D. 433). St. Patrick returns to Ireland (A.D. 432) and brings Christianity to the island. St. Augustine's City of God (A.D. 411).

450–499 Vandals destroy Rome (A.D. 455). Western Roman empire ends as Odoacer, German chieftain, overthrows last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, and becomes king of Italy (A.D. 476). Ostrogothic kingdom of Italy established by Theodoric the Great (A.D. 493). Clovis, ruler of the Franks, is converted to Christianity (A.D. 496). First schism between western and eastern churches (A.D. 484).

500–549 Eastern and western churches reconciled (519). Justinian I, the Great (483–565), becomes Byzantine emperor (527), issues his first code of civil laws (529), conquers North Africa, Italy, and part of Spain. Plague spreads through Europe (542 et seq.). Arthur, semi-legendary king of the Britons (killed, c. 537). Boëthius, Roman scholar (executed, 524).

550–599 Beginnings of European silk industry after Justinian's missionaries smuggle silkworms out of China (553). Mohammed, founder of Islam (570–632). Buddhism in Japan (c. 560). St. Augustine of Canterbury brings Christianity to Britain (597). After killing about half the population, plague in Europe subsides (594).

600–649 Mohammed flees from Mecca to Medina (the Hegira); first year of the Muslim calendar (622). Muslim empire grows (634). Arabs conquer Jerusalem (637), conquer Persians (641).

Mayan Pyramid atChichén Itzá
Japanese PagodaErik Hjortshoj
Viking Ship (c. 900)

650–699 Arabs attack North Africa (670), destroy Carthage (697). Venerable Bede, English monk (672–735).

700–749 Arab empire extends from Lisbon to China (by 716). Charles Martel, Frankish leader, defeats Arabs at Tours/Poitiers, halting Arab advance in Europe (732). Charlemagne (742–814). Introduction of pagodas in Japan from China.

Charlemagne becomes king of the Franks (771). Caliph Harun al-Rashid rules Arab empire (786–809): the “golden age” of Arab culture. Vikings begin attacks on Britain (790), land in Ireland (795). City of Machu Picchu flourishes in Peru.

800–849 Charlemagne crowned first Holy Roman Emperor in Rome (800). Charlemagne dies (814), succeeded by his son, Louis the Pious, who divides France among his sons (817). Arabs conquer Crete, Sicily, and Sardinia (826–827).

850–899 Norsemen attack as far south as the Mediterranean but are thwarted (859), discover Iceland (861). Alfred the Great becomes king of Britain (871), defeats Danish invaders (878). Russian nation founded by Vikings under Prince Rurik, establishing capital at Novgorod (855–879).

900–949 Beginning of Mayan Post-Classical period (900–1519). Vikings discover Greenland (c. 900). Arab Spain under Abd ar-Rahman III becomes center of learning (912–961). Otto I becomes King of Germany (936).

950–999 Mieczyslaw I becomes first ruler of Poland (960). Eric the Red establishes first Viking colony in Greenland (982). Hugh Capet elected King of France in 987; Capetian dynasty to rule until 1328. Musical notation systematized (c. 990). Vikings and Danes attack Britain (988–999). Otto I crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XII (962).

1000–1450 Classic Pueblo period of Anasazi culture; cliff dwellings. Hungary and Scandinavia converted to Christianity. Viking raider Leif Eriksson discovers North America, calls it Vinland. Beowulf, Old English epic. Murasaki Shikibu finishes The Tale of Genji, the world's first novel. Muslims destroy Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Danes control England. Canute takes throne (1016), conquers Norway (1028), dies (1035); kingdom divided among his sons: Harold Harefoot (England), Sweyn (Norway), Hardecanute (Denmark). Macbeth murders Duncan, king of Scotland. Robert Guiscard, Norman invader, establishes kingdom in Italy, conquers Sicily (1072). Final separation between Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Roman) churches. Seljuk Turks, Asian nomads, move west, capture Baghdad, Armenia (1064), Syria, and Palestine (1075). William of Normandy invades England, defeats last Saxon king, Harold II, at Battle of Hastings, crowned William I of England (“the Conqueror”). Construction on the cathedral in Pisa, Italy, begins.

Mesa VerdeCliff Dwellings
Cathedral and Tower at PisaTasha Vincent
Chartres CathedralTasha Vincent
Emergence of strong papacy when Gregory VII is elected. Conflict with English and French kings and German emperors will continue throughout medieval period. At Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II calls for a holy war to wrest control of Jerusalem from Muslims, which launches the First Crusade (1096), one of at least 8 European military campaigns between 1095 and 1291 to regain the Holy Land. (For detailed chronology, see The Crusades.) Construction of Cathedral at Chartres, France. Second Crusade begins. Angkor Wat is completed.

Universities of Paris and Oxford founded in France and England. Thomas á Becket named Archbishop of Canterbury, murdered by Henry II's men (1170). Troubadours (wandering minstrels) glorify romantic concepts of feudalism. Ibn-Rushd begins translating Aristotle's works. Richard I (“the Lionhearted”) succeeds Henry II in England, killed in France (1199), succeeded by King John. Third Crusade. Fourth Crusade. Genghis Khan invades China, captures Peking (1214), conquers Persia (1218), invades Russia (1223), dies (1227). Children's Crusade. King John forced by barons to sign Magna Carta at Runneymede, limiting royal power. Fifth Crusade. Sixth Crusade. The Inquisition begins as Pope Gregory IX assigns Dominicans responsibility for combating heresy. Torture used (1252). Ferdinand and Isabella establish Spanish Inquisition (1478). Tourquemada, Grand Inquisitor, forces conversion or expulsion of Spanish Jews (1492). Forced conversion of Moors (1499). Inquisition in Portugal (1531). First Protestants burned at the stake in Spain (1543). Spanish Inquisition abolished (1834). Mongols defeat Germans in Silesia, invade Poland and Hungary, withdraw from Europe after Ughetai, Mongol leader, dies. Seventh Crusade.

Kublai Khan governs China, becomes ruler of Mongols (1259), establishes Yuan dynasty in China (1280), invades Burma (1287), dies (1294). Chartres cathedral consecrated. Eighth Crusade. Marco Polo of Venice travels to China, in court of Kublai Khan (1275–1292), returns to Genoa (1295) and writes Travels. Thomas Aquinas stops work on Summa Theologica, the basis of all Catholic theological teaching; never completes it. English King Edward I summons the Model Parliament. Mali Empire reaches its height in Africa under King Mansa Musa. The beginning of the Renaissance in Italy: writers Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio; painter Giotto. Development of Noh drama in Japan. Aztecs establish Tenochtitlán on site of modern Mexico City. Peak of Muslim culture in Spain. Small cannon in use. Hundred Years' War—English and French kings fight for control of France. At least 25 million people die in Europe's “Black Death” (bubonic plague). Ming Dynasty begins in China.

John Wycliffe, pre-Reformation religious reformer, and followers translate Latin Bible into English. The Great Schism (to 1417)—rival popes in Rome and Avignon, France, fight for control of Roman Catholic Church. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Taerlane, the Mongol conqueror, begins last great conquest—Delhi. Casa di San Giorgio, one of the first public banks, founded in Genoa. Henry V defeats French at Agincourt. Jan Hus, Bohemian preacher and follower of Wycliffe, burned at stake in Constance as heretic. Portugal's Prince Henry the Navigator sponsors exploration of Africa's coast. Brunelleschi begins work on the Duomo in Florence.

Joan of Arc leads French against English, captured by Burgundians (1430) and turned over to the English, burned at the stake as a witch after ecclesiastical trial (1431). Incas rule in Peru. Florence becomes center of Renaissance arts and learning under the Medicis.

1453-1600 Turks conquer Constantinople, end of the Byzantine empire, beginning of the Ottoman empire. The Wars of the Roses, civil wars between rival noble factions, begin in England (to 1485). Having invented printing with movable type at Mainz, Germany, Johann Gutenberg completes first Bible. Ivan the Great rules Russia until 1505 as first czar; ends payment of tribute to Mongols. Moors conquered in Spain by troops of Ferdinand and Isabella. Columbus becomes first European to encounter Caribbean islands, returns to Spain (1493). Second voyage to Dominica, Jamaica, Puerto Rico (1493–1496). Third voyage to Orinoco (1498). Fourth voyage to Honduras and Panama (1502–1504). Vasco da Gama sails around Africa and discovers sea route to India (1498). Establishes Portuguese colony in India (1502). John Cabot, employed by England, reaches and explores Canadian coast. Michelangelo's Bacchus sculpture. First black slaves in America brought to Spanish colony of Santo Domingo. Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa. Michelangelo sculpts the David (1504). St. Peter's Church started in Rome; designed and decorated by such artists and architects as Bramante, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Raphael, and Bernini before its completion in 1626. Henry VIII ascends English throne. Michelangelo paints the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Trolltunga Norway
King John(1167–1216)
Balboa becomes the first European to encounter the Pacific Ocean. Machiavelli writes The Prince. Turks conquer Egypt, control Arabia. Martin Luther posts his 95 theses denouncing church abuses on church door in Wittenberg—start of the Reformation in Germany. Ulrich Zwingli begins Reformation in Switzerland. Hernando Cortes conquers Mexico for Spain. Charles I of Spain is chosen Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sets out to circumnavigate the globe. Luther excommunicated by Pope Leo X. Suleiman I (“the Magnificent”) becomes Sultan of Turkey, invades Hungary (1521), Rhodes (1522), attacks Austria (1529), annexes Hungary (1541), Tripoli (1551), makes peace with Persia (1553), destroys Spanish fleet (1560), dies (1566). Magellan reaches the Pacific, is killed by Philippine natives (1521). One of his ships under Juan Sebastián del Cano continues around the world, reaches Spain (1522).

Verrazano, sailing under the French flag, explores the New England coast and New York Bay. Troops of the Holy Roman Empire attack Rome, imprison Pope Clement VII—the end of the Italian Renaissance. Castiglione writes The Courtier. The Medici family expelled from Florence. Pizarro marches from Panama to Peru, kills the Inca chieftain, Atahualpa, of Peru (1533). Machiavelli's The Prince published posthumously Reformation begins as Henry VIII makes himself head of English Church after being excommunicated by Pope. Sir Thomas More executed as traitor for refusal to acknowledge king's religious authority. Jacques Cartier sails up the St. Lawrence River, basis of French claims to Canada. Henry VIII executes second wife, Anne Boleyn. John Calvin establishes Reformed and Presbyterian form of Protestantism in Switzerland, writes Institutes of the Christian Religion. Danish and Norwegian Reformations. Michelangelo's Last Judgment. John Knox leads Reformation in Scotland, establishes Presbyterian church there (1560). Publication of On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies by Polish scholar Nicolaus Copernicus—giving his theory that the earth revolves around the sun.

Council of Trent to meet intermittently until 1563 to define Catholic dogma and doctrine, reiterate papal authority. Ivan IV (“the Terrible”) crowned as czar of Russia, begins conquest of Astrakhan and Kazan (1552), battles nobles (boyars) for power (1564), kills his son (1580), dies, and is succeeded by his weak and feeble-minded son, Fyodor I. Roman Catholicism restored in England by Queen Mary I. Akbar the Great becomes Mogul emperor of India, conquers Afghanistan (1581), continues wars of conquest (until 1605). Queen Elizabeth I ascends the throne (rules to 1603). Restores Protestantism, establishes state Church of England (Anglicanism). Renaissance will reach height in England—Shakespeare, Marlowe, Spenser. Persecution of Huguenots in France stopped by Edict of Orleans. French religious wars begin again with massacre of Huguenots at Vassy. St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre—thousands of Huguenots murdered (1572). Amnesty granted (1573). Persecution continues periodically until Edict of Nantes (1598) gives Huguenots religious freedom (until 1685). Protestant Netherlands revolts against Catholic Spain; independence will be acknowledged by Spain in 1648. Japan permits visits of foreign ships. Queen Elizabeth I excommunicated by Pope. Turks attack Cyprus and war on Venice. Turkish fleet defeated at Battle of Lepanto by Spanish and Italian fleets (1571). Peace of Constantinople (1572) ends Turkish attacks on Europe. Francis Drake returns to England after circumnavigating the globe; knighted by Queen Elizabeth I (1581). Montaigne's Essays published. Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar. William of Orange rules the Netherlands; assassinated on orders of Philip II of Spain (1584). Mary, Queen of Scots, executed for treason by order of Queen Elizabeth I. Monteverdi's First Book of Madrigals. Defeat of the Spanish Armada by English. Henry, King of Navarre and Protestant leader, recognized as Henry IV, first Bourbon king of France. Converts to Roman Catholicism in 1593 in attempt to end religious wars. Henry IV enters Paris, wars on Spain (1595), marries Marie de Medici (1600), assassinated (1610). Spenser's The Faerie Queen. El Greco's St. Jerome. Galileo's experiments with falling objects. Boris Godunov becomes Russian czar. Tycho Brahe describes his astronomical experiments. Giordano Bruno burned as a heretic. English East India Company established.

1603-1700 Ieyasu rules Japan, moves capital to Edo (Tokyo). Shakespeare's Hamlet. Jamestown, Virginia, established—first permanent English colony on American mainland. Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, saves life of John Smith. Samuel de Champlain establishes French colony of Quebec. The Relation, the first newspaper, debuts in Germany. Galileo sees the moons of Jupiter through his telescope. Gustavus Adolphus elected King of Sweden. King James Version of the Bible published in England. Rubens paints his Descent from the Cross. John Napier discovers logarithms. Start of the Thirty Years' War > Protestants revolt against Catholic oppression; Denmark, Sweden, and France will invade Germany in later phases of war. Kepler proposes last of three laws of planetary motion. A Dutch ship brings the first African slaves to British North America. Pilgrims, after three-month voyage in Mayflower, land at Plymouth Rock. Francis Bacon's Novum Organum. New Netherland founded by Dutch West India Company.

Taj Mahal
John Milton(1608–1674)
Massachusetts Bay Colony. Maryland founded by Lord Baltimore. Inquisition forces Galileo (astronomer) to recant his belief in Copernican theory. English Civil War. Cavaliers, supporters of Charles I, against Roundheads, parliamentary forces. Oliver Cromwell defeats Royalists (1646). Parliament demands reforms. Charles I offers concessions, brought to trial (1648), beheaded (1649). Cromwell becomes Lord Protector (1653). Rembrandt paints his Night Watch. Taj Mahal completed. End of Ming Dynasty in China—Manchus come to power. Descartes's Principles of Philosophy. End of the Thirty Years' War. German population about half of what it was in 1618 because of war and pestilence. Cromwell dies; son Richard resigns and Puritan government collapses. English Parliament calls for the restoration of the monarchy; invites Charles II to return from France. Charles II is crowned King of England. Louis XIV begins personal rule as absolute monarch; starts to build Versailles. British take New Amsterdam from the Dutch. English limit “Nonconformity” with reestablished Anglican Church. Isaac Newton' experiments with gravity. Great Plague in London kills 75,000. Great Fire of London. Molière's Misanthrope. Milton's Paradise Lost, widely considered the greatest epic poem in English. Pennsylvania founded by William Penn. War of European powers against the Turks (to 1699). Vienna withstands three-month Turkish siege; high point of Turkish advance in Europe. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's calculus published. James II succeeds Charles II in England, calls for freedom of conscience (1687). Protestants fear restoration of Catholicism and demand “Glorious Revolution.” William of Orange invited to England and James II escapes to France (1688). William III and his wife, Mary, crowned. In France, Edict of Nantes of 1598, granting freedom of worship to Huguenots, is revoked by Louis XIV; thousands of Protestants flee. Peter the Great becomes Czar of Russia—attempts to westernize nation and build Russia as a military power. Defeats Charles XII of Sweden at Poltava (1709). Beginning of the French and Indian Wars (to 1763), campaigns in America linked to a series of wars between France and England for domination of Europe. William III of England defeats former king James II and Irish rebels at Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. John Locke's Human Understanding.

1701-1800 War of the Spanish Succession begins—the last of Louis XIV's wars for domination of the continent. The Peace of Utrecht (1714) will end the conflict and mark the rise of the British Empire. Called Queen Anne's War in America, it ends with the British taking New Foundland, Acadia, and Hudson's Bay Territory from France, and Gibraltar and Minorca from Spain. Deerfield (Mass.) Massacre of English colonists by French and Indians. Bach's first cantata. Jonathan Swift's Tale of a Tub. Boston News Letter—first newspaper in America. United Kingdom of Great Britain formed—England, Wales, and Scotland joined by parliamentary Act of Union. Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Isaac Newton's Principia translated from Latin into English. Benjamin Franklin begins publishing Poor Richard's Almanack. James Oglethorpe and others found Georgia. John Peter Zenger, New York editor, acquitted of libel in New York, establishing press freedom. Capt. Vitus Bering, Dane employed by Russia, discovers Alaska. Frederick II “the Great” crowned king of Prussia. British defeat Scots under Stuart Pretender Prince Charles at Culloden Moor. Last battle fought on British soil. Publication of the Encyclopédie begins in France, the “bible” of the Enlightenment. Samuel Johnson's Dictionary first published. Great earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal—over 60,000 die. U.S. postal service established. Seven Years' War (French and Indian Wars in America) (to 1763), in which Britain and Prussia defeat France, Spain, Austria, and Russia. France loses North American colonies; Spain cedes Florida to Britain in exchange for Cuba. In India, over 100 British prisoners die in “Black Hole of Calcutta.” Beginning of British Empire in India as Robert Clive, British commander, defeats Nawab of Bengal at Plassey.

Benjamin Franklin(1706–1790)
George Washington (1732–1799)
Napoléon Bonaparte(1769–1821)
British capture Quebec from French. Voltaire's Candide. Haydn's Symphony No. 1. Catherine II (“the Great”) becomes czarina of Russia. Jean Jacques Rousseau's Social Contract. Mozart tours Europe as six-year-old prodigy. James Watt invents the steam engine. Britain imposes the Stamp Act on the American colonists. Sir William Arkwright patents a spinning machine—an early step in the Industrial Revolution. The Boston Massacre. Joseph Priestley and Daniel Rutherford independently discover nitrogen. Partition of Poland—in 1772, 1793, and 1795, Austria, Prussia, and Russia divide land and people of Poland, end its independence. The Boston Tea Party. First Continental Congress drafts “Declaration of Rights and Grievances.” The American Revolution begins with battle of Lexington and Concord. Second Continental Congress. Priestley discovers hydrochloric and sulfuric acids. Declaration of Independence. Gen. George Washington crosses the Delaware Christmas night. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Thomas Paine's Common Sense. Fragonard's Washerwoman. Mozart's Haffner Serenade. Capt. James Cook discovers Hawaii. Franz Mesmer uses hypnotism. Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Herschel discovers Uranus. Revolutionary War ends with Treaty of Paris. William Blake's poems. Beethoven's first printed works. Crimea annexed by Russia. John Wesley's Deed of Declaration, the basic work of Methodism. Russians settle Aleutian Islands. The Constitution of the United States signed. Lavoisier's work on chemical nomenclature. Mozart's Don Giovanni. French Parlement presents grievances to Louis XVI who agrees to convening of Estates-General in 1789—not called since 1613. Goethe's Egmont. Laplace's Laws of the Planetary System. French Revolution begins with the storming of the Bastille. (For detailed chronology, see French Revolution (1789–1799).) In U.S., Washington elected president with all 69 votes of the Electoral College, takes oath of office in New York City. Vice President: John Adams. Secretary of State: Thomas Jefferson. Secretary of Treasury: Alexander Hamilton. H.M.S. Bounty mutineers settle on Pitcairn Island. Aloisio Galvani experiments on electrical stimulation of the muscles. Philadelphia temporary capital of U.S. as Congress votes to establish new capital on Potomac. U.S. population about 3,929,000, including 698,000 slaves. Lavoisier formulates Table of 31 chemical elements. U.S. Bill of Rights ratified. Boswell's Life of Johnson. Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette executed. Reign of Terror begins in France. Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin, spurring the growth of the cotton industry and helping to institutionalize slavery in the U.S. South. Kosciusko's uprising in Poland quelled by the Russians. In U.S., Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania as farmers object to liquor taxes. Reign of Terror ends with execution of Robespierre. Napoléon Bonaparte, French general, defeats Austrians. In the U.S., Washington's Farewell Address (Sept. 17); John Adams elected president; Thomas Jefferson, vice president. Edward Jenner introduces smallpox vaccination. Napoleon extends French conquests to Rome and Egypt. U.S. Navy Department established. Rosetta Stone discovered in Egypt. Napoleon leads coup that overthrows Directory, establishes the Consulate, becomes First Consul—one of three who rule France together

1800-1899 Napoleon conquers Italy, firmly establishes himself as First Consul in France. In the U.S., federal government moves to Washington, D.C. Robert Owen's social reforms in England. William Herschel discovers infrared rays. Alessandro Volta produces electricity. Austria makes temporary peace with France. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland established with one monarch and one parliament; Catholics excluded from voting. U.S. negotiates Louisiana Purchase from France: for $15 million, U.S. doubles its domain, increasing its territory by 827,000 sq mi (2,144,500 sq km), from Mississippi River to Rockies and from Gulf of Mexico to British North America. Haiti declares independence from France; first black nation to gain freedom from European colonial rule. Napoleon transforms the Consulate of France into an empire, proclaims himself emperor of France, systematizes French law under Code Napoleon. In the U.S., Alexander Hamilton is mortally wounded in duel with Aaron Burr. Lewis and Clark expedition begins exploration of what is now northwest U.S. Lord Nelson defeats the French-Spanish fleets in the Battle of Trafalgar. Napoleon victorious over Austrian and Russian forces at the Battle of Austerlitz. Robert Fulton makes first successful steamboat trip on Clermont between New York City and Albany. French armies occupy Rome and Spain, extending Napoleon's empire. Britain begins aiding Spanish guerrillas against Napoleon in Peninsular War. In the U.S., Congress bars importation of slaves. Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies performed. Napoleon's Grand Army invades Russia in June. Forced to retreat in winter, most of Napoleon's 600,000 men are lost. In the U.S., war with Britain declared over freedom of the seas for U.S. vessels (War of 1812). USS Constitution (For detailed chronology, see War of 1812.) sinks British frigate. French defeated by allies (Britain, Austria, Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and Portugal) in War of Liberation. Napoleon exiled to Elba, off Italian coast. Bourbon king Louis XVIII takes French throne. George Stephenson builds first practical steam locomotive. Napoleon returns: “Hundred Days” begin. Napoleon defeated by Wellington at Waterloo, banished again to St. Helena in South Atlantic. Congress of Vienna: victorious allies change the map of Europe. War of 1812 ends with Treaty of Ghent. Simón Bolívar liberates New Granada (now Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador) as Spain loses hold on South American countries; named president of Colombia. Missouri Compromise > Missouri admitted as slave state but slavery barred in rest of Louisiana Purchase north of 36°30' N. Guatemala, Panama, and Santo Domingo proclaim independence from Spain. Greeks proclaim a republic and independence from Turkey. Turks invade Greece. Russia declares war on Turkey (1828). Greece also aided by France and Britain. War ends and Turks recognize Greek independence (1829). Brazil becomes independent of Portugal. Schubert's Eighth Symphony (“The Unfinished”). U.S. Monroe Doctrine warns European nations not to interfere in Western Hemisphere. Mexico becomes a republic, three years after declaring independence from Spain. Bolívar liberates Peru, becomes its president. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Abraham Lincoln(1809–1865)
Charles Darwin(1809–1882))
Statue of Liberty
First passenger-carrying railroad in England. Joseph-Nicéphore Niepce takes the world's first photograph. French invade Algeria. Louis Philippe becomes “Citizen King” as revolution forces Charles X to abdicate. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints formed in U.S. by Joseph Smith. Polish revolt against Russia fails. Belgium separates from the Netherlands. In U.S., Nat Turner leads unsuccessful slave rebellion. Slavery abolished in British Empire. Charles Babbage invents “analytical engine,” precursor of computer. McCormick patents reaper. Boer farmers start “Great Trek”—Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State founded in South Africa. Mexican army besieges Texans in Alamo. Entire garrison, including Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, wiped out. Texans gain independence from Mexico after winning Battle of San Jacint o. Dickens's Pickwick Papers.

Victoria becomes queen of Great Britain. Mob kills Elijah P. Lovejoy, Illinois abolitionist publisher. First Opium War (to 1842) between Britain and China, over importation of drug into China. Lower and Upper Canada united. U.S. President Harrison dies (April 4) one month after inauguration; John Tyler becomes first vice president to succeed to presidency. Crawford Long uses first anesthetic (ether). Wagner's opera The Flying Dutchman. Democratic convention calls for annexation of Texas and acquisition of Oregon (“Fifty-four-forty-or-fight”). Five Chinese ports opened to U.S. ships. Samuel F. B. Morse patents telegraph. Congress adopts joint resolution for annexation of Texas. Edgar Allan Poe publishes The Raven and Other Poems. U.S. declares war on Mexico. California and New Mexico annexed by U.S. Brigham Young leads Mormons to Great Salt Lake. W. T. Morton uses ether as anesthetic. Sewing machine patented by Elias Howe. Frederick Douglass launches abolitionist newspaper The North Star. Failure of potato crop causes famine in Ireland.

Revolt in Paris: Louis Philippe abdicates; Louis Napoleon elected president of French Republic. Revolutions in Vienna, Venice, Berlin, Milan, Rome, and Warsaw. Put down by royal troops in 1848–1849. U.S.-Mexico War ends; Mexico cedes claims to Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada. U.S. treaty with Britain sets Oregon Territory boundary at 49th parallel. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels's Communist Manifesto. Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and joins the Underground Railroad. Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. California gold rush begins. Henry Clay opens great debate on slavery, warns South against secession.
Marie Curie(1867–1934)
The Eiffel Tower
Robert E. Lee(1807–1870)
Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. South African Republic established. Louis Napoleon proclaims himself Napoleon III (“Second Empire”). Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Crimean War begins as Turkey declares war on Russia. Commodore Perry reaches Tokyo. Britain and France join Turkey in war on Russia. In U.S., Kansas-Nebraska Act permits local option on slavery; rioting and bloodshed. Japanese allow American trade. Antislavery men in Michigan form Republican Party. Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade. Thoreau's Walden. Armed clashes in Kansas between pro- and anti-slavery forces. Florence Nightingale nurses wounded in Crimea. Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Flaubert's Madame Bovary. Supreme Court, in Dred Scott decision, rules that a slave is not a citizen. Financial crisis in Europe and U.S. Great Mutiny (Sepoy Rebellion) begins in India. India placed under crown rule as a result. Pro-slavery constitution rejected in Kansas. Abraham Lincoln makes strong antislavery speech in Springfield, Ill.: “This Government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” Lincoln-Douglas debates. First trans-Atlantic telegraph cable completed by Cyrus W. Field.

John Brown raids Harpers Ferry; is captured and hanged. Work begins on Suez Canal. Unification of Italy starts under leadership of Count Cavour, Sardinian premier. Joined by France in war against Austria. Jean-Joseph-Étienne Lenoir builds first practical internal-combustion engine. Edward Fitzgerald's translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Charles Darwin's Origin of Species. J. S. Mill's On Liberty. South Carolina secedes from the Union. U.S. Civil War begins as attempts at compromise fail. Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas secede; with South Carolina, they form the Confederate States of America, with Jefferson Davis as president. Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina secede and join Confederacy. First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas).(For detailed chronology, see The Civil War.) Congress creates Colorado, Dakota, and Nevada territories; adopts income tax; Lincoln inaugurated. Serfs emancipated in Russia. Pasteur's theory of germs. Independent Kingdom of Italy proclaimed under Sardinian king Victor Emmanuel II. Several major Civil War battles: Battle of Shiloh, Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), Battle of Antietam. Salon des Refusés introduces impressionism.

French capture Mexico City; proclaim Archduke Maximilian of Austria emperor. Battle of Gettysburg. Gen. Sherman's Atlanta campaign and “march to the sea.” Gen. Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox; the Civil War is over. Lincoln fatally shot at Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth. Vice President Johnson sworn as successor. Booth caught and dies of gunshot wounds; four conspirators are hanged. Joseph Lister begins antiseptic surgery. Gregor Mendel's Law of Heredity. Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alfred Nobel invents dynamite (patented in Britain, 1867). Seven Weeks' War: Austria defeated by Prussia and Italy. Austria-Hungary Dual Monarchy established. French leave Mexico; Maximilian executed. Dominion of Canada established. U.S. buys Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000. South African diamond field discovered. Japan ends 675–year shogun rule. Volume I of Marx's Das Kapital. Strauss's Blue Danube.

Revolution in Spain; Queen Isabella deposed, flees to France. In U.S., Fourteenth Amendment giving civil rights to blacks is ratified. Georgia under military government after legislature expels blacks. First U.S. transcontinental rail route completed. James Fisk and Jay Gould's attempt to control gold market causes Black Friday panic. Suez Canal opens. Mendeleev's periodic table of elements. Franco-Prussian War (to 1871): Napoleon III capitulates at Sedan. Revolt in Paris; Third Republic proclaimed. France surrenders Alsace-Lorraine to Germany; war ends. German Empire proclaimed with Prussian King as Kaiser Wilhelm I. Fighting with Apaches begins in American West. Boss Tweed corruption exposed in New York. The Chicago Fire, with 250 deaths and $196-million damage. Stanley meets Livingstone in Africa. Congress gives amnesty to most Confederates. Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days. Economic crisis in Europe. U.S. establishes gold standard. First Kentucky Derby.

Sioux kill Gen. George A. Custer and 264 troopers at Little Big Horn River. Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone. After presidential election of 1876, electoral commission gives disputed electoral college votes to Rutherford B. Hayes despite Tilden's popular majority. Russo-Turkish war (ends in 1878 with power of Turkey in Europe broken). Reconstruction ends in the American South. Thomas Edison patents phonograph. The Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph is forced to surrender. Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Congress of Berlin revises Treaty of San Stefano, ending Russo-Turkish War; makes extensive redivision of southeast Europe. First commercial telephone exchange opened in New Haven, Conn. Thomas A. Edison invents practical electric light.

William Tecumseh Sherman(1820–1891)
Dred Scott(1795?–1858)
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)(1835–1910)

U.S.-China treaty allows U.S. to restrict immigration of Chinese labor. President Garfield fatally shot by assassin; Vice President Arthur succeeds him. Charles J. Guiteau convicted and executed (1882). Terrorism in Ireland after land evictions. Britain invades and conquers Egypt. Germany, Austria, and Italy form Triple Alliance. In U.S., Congress adopts Chinese Exclusion Act. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust is first industrial monopoly. In Berlin, Robert Koch announces discovery of tuberculosis germ. Congress creates Civil Service Commission. Brooklyn Bridge and Metropolitan Opera House completed. Berlin West Africa Conference held in Berlin (lasting until Feb. 1885), at which the major European nations discuss expansion in Africa. British general Charles G. “Chinese” Gordon killed at Khartoum in Egyptian Sudan. World's first skyscraper built in Chicago. Bombing at Haymarket Square, Chicago, kills seven policemen and injures many others. Eight alleged anarchists accused—three imprisoned, one commits suicide, four hanged. (In 1893, Illinois governor Altgeld, critical of trial, pardons three survivors.) Statue of Liberty dedicated. Geronimo, Apache Indian chief, surrenders.

Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet. Historic March blizzard in northeast U.S.—many perish, property damage exceeds $25 million. George Eastman's box camera (the Kodak). J. B. Dunlop invents pneumatic tire. Jack the Ripper murders in London. Second (Socialist) International founded in Paris. Indian Territory in Oklahoma opened to settlement. Thousands die in Johnstown, Pa. flood. Eiffel Tower built for the Paris exposition. Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Congress votes to pass Sherman Antitrust Act. Sioux chief Sitting Bull arrested and killed by police on Pine Ridge reservation; two weeks later, U.S. troops kill over 200 Sioux at Battle of Wounded Knee. Battle between steel strikers and Pinkerton guards at Homestead, Pa.; union defeated after militia intervenes. Silver mine strikers in Idaho fight non-union workers; U.S. troops dispatched. Diesel engine patented. New Zealand becomes first country in the world to grant women the vote. Sino-Japanese War begins (ends in 1895 with China's defeat). In France, Capt. Alfred Dreyfus convicted on false treason charge (pardoned in 1906). In U.S., Jacob S. Coxey of Ohio leads “Coxey's Army” of unemployed on Washington. Eugene V. Debs calls general strike of rail workers to support Pullman Company strikers; strike broken, Debs jailed for six months. Edison's kinetoscope given first public showing in New York City.

X-rays discovered by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen. Auguste and Louis Lumière premiere motion pictures at a café in Paris. Supreme Court's Plessy v. Ferguson decision—“separate but equal” doctrine. Alfred Nobel's will establishes prizes for peace, science, and literature. Marconi receives first wireless patent in Britain. William Jennings Bryan delivers “Cross of Gold” speech at Democratic Convention in Chicago. First modern Olympic games held in Athens, Greece. Theodor Herzl launches Zionist movement. Chinese “Boxers,” anti-foreign organization, established. They stage uprisings against Europeans in 1900; U.S. and other Western troops relieve Peking legations. U.S. Battleship Maine is sunk in Havana Harbor. Spanish-American War begins. U.S. destroys Spanish fleet near Santiago, Cuba. (For detailed chronology, see Spanish-American War.) Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium and polonium. Boer War (or South African War): conflict between British and Boers (descendants of Dutch settlers of South Africa). Causes rooted in longstanding territorial disputes and in friction over political rights for English and other “uitlanders” following 1886 discovery of vast gold deposits in Transvaal. (British victorious as war ends in 1902.) Casualties: 5,774 British dead, about 4,000 Boers. Union of South Africa established in 1908 as confederation of colonies; becomes British dominion in 1910.

1900–1950 Hurricane ravages Galveston, Tex.; 6,000–8,000 dead. Fauvist movement in painting begins, led by Henri Matisse. Sigmund Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams. Carrie Chapman Catt succeeds Susan B. Anthony as president of National Woman Suffrage Association. Queen Victoria dies, and is succeeded by her son, Edward VII. As President McKinley begins second term, he is shot fatally by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. Theodore Roosevelt sworn in as successor. Enrico Caruso's first gramophone recording. Aswan Dam completed. Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, fly first powered, controlled, heavier-than-air plane at Kitty Hawk, N.C. Henry Ford organizes Ford Motor Company. The Boston Red Sox win the first World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. W.E.B. Du Bois publishes The Souls of Black Folk. Russo-Japanese War begins—competition for Korea and Manchuria. Entente Cordiale: Britain and France settle their international differences. General theory of radioactivity by Rutherford and Soddy. New York City subway opens. In Russo-Japanese War, Port Arthur surrenders to Japanese; Russia suffers other defeats. President Roosevelt mediates Treaty of Portsmouth, N.H., which recognizes Japan's control of Korea and restores southern Manchuria to China. The Russian Revolution of 1905 begins on “Bloody Sunday” when troops fire onto a defenseless group of demonstrators in St. Petersburg. Strikes and riots follow. Sailors on battleship Potemkin mutiny; reforms, including first Duma (parliament), established by Czar Nicholas II's “October Manifesto.” Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity and other key theories in physics. Franz Lehar's Merry Widow. San Francisco earthquake and three-day fire; more than 500 dead. Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer, fixes magnetic North Pole. Second Hague Peace Conference, of 46 nations, adopts 10 conventions on rules of war. Financial panic of 1907 in U.S. Mahler begins work on “Song of the Earth.” Oklahoma becomes 46th state. Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon introduces cubism. Earthquake kills 150,000 in southern Italy and Sicily. U.S. Supreme Court, in Danbury Hatters' case, outlaws secondary union boycotts. Model T produced by Ford Motor Company. North Pole reportedly reached by American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded in New York by prominent black and white intellectuals and led by W.E.B. Du Bois.

Hitler invades Norway, Denmark (April 9), the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg (May 10), and France (May 12). Churchill becomes Britain's prime minister. Trotsky assassinated in Mexico (Aug. 20). Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania annexed by USSR. U.S. trades 50 destroyers for leases on British bases in Western Hemisphere. Selective Service Act signed. The first official network television broadcast is put out by NBC. Germany attacks the Balkans and Russia. Japanese surprise attack on U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor brings U.S. into World War II; U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. Manhattan Project (atomic bomb research) begins. Roosevelt enunciates “four freedoms,” signs Lend-Lease Act, declares national emergency, promises aid to USSR. Orson Welles's Citizen Kane. Declaration of United Nations signed in Washington (Jan. 1). Nazi leaders attend Wannsee Conference to coordinate the “final solution to the Jewish question,” the systematic genocide of Jews known as the Holocaust. (For detailed chronology of the Holocaust, see The Holocaust.) Women's military services established. Enrico Fermi achieves nuclear chain reaction. More than 120,000 Japanese and persons of Japanese ancestry living in western U.S. moved to “relocation centers,” some for the duration of the war (Executive Order 9066). Coconut Grove nightclub fire in Boston kills 492 (Nov. 28). Churchill and Roosevelt hold Casablanca Conference (Jan. 14–23). Mussolini deposed. President freezes prices, salaries, and wages to prevent inflation. Income tax withholding introduced. Allies invade Normandy on D-Day (June 6). G.I. Bill of Rights enacted. Bretton Woods Conference creates International Monetary Fund and World Bank (July 1–22). Dumbarton Oaks Conference—U.S., British Commonwealth, and USSR propose establishment of United Nations (Aug. 21–Oct. 7). Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 16). Woody Guthrie records “This Land is Your Land.” Gunnar Myrdal's An American Dilemma. Yalta Conference (Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin) plans final defeat of Germany (Feb. 4–11). FDR dies (April 12). Hitler commits suicide (April 30); Germany surrenders (May 7); May 8 is declared V-E Day. Potsdam Conference (Truman, Churchill, Stalin) establishes basis of German reconstruction (July–Aug.). U.S. drops atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9). Japan signs official surrender on V-J Day (Sept. 2). United Nations established (Oct. 24). First electronic computer, ENIAC, built.
Winston Churchill(1874–1965))
Yalta Conference
Harry S. Truman(1884–1972)
First meeting of UN General Assembly opens in London (Jan. 10). Winston Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech warns of Soviet expansion (March 5). League of Nations dissolved (April). Italy abolishes monarchy (June). Verdict in Nuremberg war trial: 12 Nazi leaders (including 1 tried in absentia) sentenced to hang; 7 imprisoned; 3 acquitted (Oct. 1). Goering commits suicide a few hours before 10 other Nazis are executed (Oct. 15). Juan Perón becomes president of Argentina. Benjamin Spock's childcare classic published. Britain nationalizes coal mines (Jan. 1). Peace treaties for Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland signed in Paris (Feb. 10). Soviet Union rejects U.S. plan for UN atomic-energy control (March 4). Truman proposes Truman Doctrine, which was to aid Greece and Turkey in resisting communist expansion (March 12). Marshall Plan for European recovery proposed—a coordinated program to help European nations recover from ravages of war (June). (By the time it ended in 1951, this “European Recovery Program” had cost $13 billion.) India and Pakistan gain independence from Britain (Aug. 15). U.S. Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager becomes first person to break the sound barrier (Oct. 14). Jackie Robinson joins the Brooklyn Dodgers. Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl published. Gandhi assassinated in New Delhi by Hindu fanatic (Jan. 30). Burma (Jan. 4) and Ceylon (Feb. 4) granted independence by Britain. Communists seize power in Czechoslovakia (Feb. 23–25). Organization of American States (OAS) Charter signed at Bogotá, Colombia (April 30). Nation of Israel proclaimed; British end mandate at midnight; Arab armies attack (May 14). Berlin blockade begins (June 24), prompting Allied airlift (June 26). (Blockade ends May 12, 1949; airlift continues until Sept. 30, 1949.) Stalin and Tito break (June 28). Independent Republic of Korea is proclaimed, following election supervised by UN (Aug. 15). Verdict in Japanese war trial: 18 imprisoned (Nov. 12); Tojo and six others hanged (Dec. 23). United States of Indonesia established as Dutch and Indonesians settle conflict (Dec. 27). Alger Hiss, former U.S. State Department official, indicted on perjury charges after denying passing secret documents to communist spy ring; convicted in second trial (1950) and sentenced to five-year prison term. Truman ends racial segregation in military. Alfred Kinsey publishes Sexual Behavior in the American Male. Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire wins Pulitzer. Cease-fire in Palestine (Jan. 7). Truman proposes Point Four Program to help world's less developed areas (Jan. 20). Israel signs armistice with Egypt (Feb. 24). Start of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—treaty signed by 12 nations (April 4). Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) established (May 23). First successful Soviet atomic test (July 14). Communist People's Republic of China formally proclaimed by Chairman Mao Zedong (Oct. 1). German Democratic Republic (East Germany) established under Soviet rule (Oct. 7). South Africa institutionalizes apartheid.

1951–2000 Brink's robbery in Boston; almost $3 million stolen (Jan. 17). Truman orders development of hydrogen bomb (Jan. 31). Robert Schuman proposes Schuman Plan to pool European coal and steel (May 9). Korean War begins when North Korean Communist forces invade South Korea (June 25). (For detailed chronology, seeKorean War.) Assassination attempt on President Truman by Puerto Rican nationalists (Nov. 1). McCarthyism begins. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg sentenced to death for passing atomic secrets to Russians (March). Spurred by Schuman Plan, six nations form European Coal and Steel Community (April); effective 1952. Japanese peace treaty signed in San Francisco by 49 nations (Sept. 8). Color television introduced in U.S. Libya gains independence (Dec. 24). George VI dies; his daughter becomes Elizabeth II (Feb. 6). AEC announces “satisfactory” experiments in hydrogen-weapons research; eyewitnesses tell of blasts near Enewetak (Nov.). Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower inaugurated president of United States (Jan. 20). Stalin dies (March 5). Malenkov becomes Soviet premier; Beria, minister of interior; Molotov, foreign minister (March 6). Dag Hammarskjöld begins term as UN secretary-general (April 10). James Watson and Francis Crick publish their discovery of the molecular model of DNA (April–May). Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal reach top of Mt. Everest (May 29). East Berliners rise against Communist rule; quelled by tanks (June 17). Egypt becomes republic ruled by military junta (June 18). Julius and Ethel Rosenberg executed in Sing Sing prison (June 19). Korean armistice signed (July 27). Moscow announces explosion of hydrogen bomb (Aug. 20). Tito becomes president of Yugoslavia. James Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin discover structure of DNA. Ernest Hemingway wins Pulitzer for The Old Man and the Sea.

First atomic submarine Nautilus launched (Jan. 21). Five U.S. congressmen shot on floor of House as Puerto Rican nationalists fire from spectators' gallery; all five recover (March 1). Soviet Union grants sovereignty to East Germany (March 23). Army v. McCarthy inquiry—Senate subcommittee report blames both sides (April 22–June 17). Dien Bien Phu, French military outpost in Vietnam, falls to Vietminh army (May 7). (For detailed chronology, see Vietnam War.) U.S. Supreme Court (in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka) unanimously bans racial segregation in public schools (May 17). Eisenhower launches world atomic pool without Soviet Union (Sept. 6). Eight-nation Southeast Asia defense treaty (SEATO) signed at Manila (Sept. 8). Dr. Jonas Salk starts inoculating children against polio. Algerian War of Independence against France begins (Nov.); France struggles to maintain colonial rule until 1962 when it agrees to Algeria's independence. William Faulkner's A Fable wins Pulitzer. Nikolai A. Bulganin becomes Soviet premier, replacing Malenkov (Feb. 8). Churchill resigns; Anthony Eden succeeds him (April 6). West Germany becomes a sovereign state (May 5). Western European Union (WEU) comes into being (May 6). Warsaw Pact, east European mutual defense agreement, signed (May 14). Argentina ousts Perón (Sept. 19). President Eisenhower suffers coronary thrombosis in Denver (Sept. 24). Rosa Parks refuses to sit at the back of the bus. Martin Luther King, Jr., leads black boycott of Montgomery, Ala., bus system (Dec. 1); desegregated service begins Dec. 21, 1956. AFL and CIO become one organization—AFL-CIO (Dec. 5). Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof wins Pulitzer.

Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of USSR Communist Party, denounces Stalin's excesses (Feb. 24). First aerial H-bomb tested over Namu islet, Bikini Atoll > 10 million tons TNT equivalent (May 21). Workers' uprising against Communist rule in Poznan, Poland, is crushed (June 28–30); rebellion inspires Hungarian students to stage a protest against Communism in Budapest (Oct. 23). Egypt takes control of Suez Canal (July 26). Hungarian rebellion forces Soviet troops to withdraw from Budapest (Oct.). Israel launches attack on Egypt's Sinai peninsula and drives toward Suez Canal (Oct. 29). Imre Nagy announces Hungary's withdrawal from Warsaw Pact (Nov. 1); Soviet troops enter and reclaim Budapest (Nov. 4). British and French invade Port Said on the Suez Canal (Nov. 5). Cease-fire forced by U.S. pressure stops British, French, and Israeli advance (Nov. 6). Morocco gains independence. Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Allen Ginsberg's Howl.

Eisenhower Doctrine calls for aid to Mideast countries which resist armed aggression from Communist-controlled nations (Jan. 5). The “Little Rock Nine” integrate Arkansas high school. Eisenhower sends troops to quell mob and protect school integration (Sept. 24). Russians launch Sputnik I, first Earth-orbiting satellite—the Space Age begins (Oct. 4). European Economic Community (Common Market) becomes effective (Jan. 1). Army's Jupiter-C rocket fires first U.S. Earth satellite, Explorer I, into orbit (Jan. 31). Egypt and Syria merge into United Arab Republic (Feb. 1). Khrushchev becomes premier of Soviet Union as Bulganin resigns (Mar. 27). Gen. Charles de Gaulle becomes French premier (June 1), remaining in power until 1969. Eisenhower orders U.S. Marines into Lebanon at request of President Chamoun, who fears overthrow (July 15). New French constitution adopted (Sept. 28), de Gaulle elected president of 5th Republic (Dec. 21).

Atomic Bomb
Martin Luther King, Jr.(1929–1968)
Fidel Castro(1926– )United Nations
Biafra surrenders after 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria (Jan. 15). Rhodesia severs last tie with British crown and declares itself a racially segregated republic (March 1). U.S. troops invade Cambodia (May 1). Four students at Kent State University in Ohio slain by National Guardsmen at demonstration protesting incursion into Cambodia (May 4). Senate repeals Gulf of Tonkin resolution (June 24). Supreme Court rules unanimously that busing of students may be ordered to achieve racial desegregation (April 20). Anti-war militants attempt to disrupt government business in Washington (May 3)—police and military units arrest as many as 12,000; most are later released. Pentagon Papers published (June). Twenty-sixth Amendment to U.S. Constitution lowers voting age to 18. UN seats Communist China and expels Nationalist China (Oct. 25). President Nixon makes unprecedented eight-day visit to Communist China and meets with Mao Zedong (Feb. 21–27). Britain takes over direct rule of Northern Ireland in bid for peace (March 24). Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama is shot by Arthur H. Bremer at Laurel, Md., political rally (May 15). Five men are apprehended by police in attempt to bug Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C.'s Watergate complex—start of the Watergate scandal (June 17). Supreme Court rules that death penalty is unconstitutional (June 29). Eleven Israeli athletes at Olympic Games in Munich are killed after eight members of an Arab terrorist group invade Olympic Village; five guerrillas and one policeman are also killed (Sept. 5). “Christmas bombing” of North Vietnam (Dec. 25). Great Britain, Ireland, and Denmark enter European Economic Community (Jan. 1).

Supreme Court rules on Roe v. Wade (Jan. 22). Vietnam War ends with signing of peace pacts (Jan. 27). Nixon, on national TV, accepts responsibility, but not blame, for Watergate; accepts resignations of advisers H. R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman, fires John W. Dean III as counsel (April 30). Greek military junta abolishes monarchy and proclaims republic (June 1). U.S. bombing of Cambodia ends, marking official halt to 12 years of combat activity in Southeast Asia (Aug. 15). Chile's Marxist president, Salvadore Allende, is overthrown (Sept. 11). Fourth and biggest Arab-Israeli conflict begins as Egyptian and Syrian forces attack Israel as Jews mark Yom Kippur, holiest day in their calendar (Oct. 6). Spiro T. Agnew resigns as vice president and then, in federal court in Baltimore, pleads no contest to charges of evasion of income taxes on $29,500 he received in 1967, while governor of Maryland. He is fined $10,000 and put on three years' probation (Oct. 10). In the “Saturday Night Massacre,” Nixon fires special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus; Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson resigns (Oct. 20). Egypt and Israel sign U.S.-sponsored cease-fire accord (Nov. 11). Duke Ellington's autobiography, Music Is My Mistress, is published. Patricia Hearst, 19-year-old daughter of publisher Randolph Hearst, kidnapped by Symbionese Liberation Army (Feb. 5). House Judiciary Committee adopts three articles of impeachment charging President Nixon with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the committee (July 30). Richard M. Nixon announces he will resign the next day, the first president to do so (Aug. 8). Vice President Gerald R. Ford of Michigan is sworn in as 38th president of the U.S. (Aug. 9). Ford grants “full, free, and absolute pardon” to ex-president Nixon (Sept. 8). John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman found guilty of Watergate cover-up (Jan. 1); sentenced to 30 months to 8 years in jail (Feb. 21). Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge take over Cambodia (April). American merchant ship Mayaguez, seized by Cambodian forces, is rescued in operation by U.S. Navy and Marines, 38 of whom are killed (May 15). Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft take off for U.S.-Soviet link-up in space (July 15). President Ford escapes assassination attempt in Sacramento, Calif. (Sept. 5). President Ford escapes second assassination attempt in 17 days (Sept. 22). Supreme Court rules that blacks and other minorities are entitled to retroactive job seniority (March 24). Ford signs Federal Election Campaign Act (May 11). Supreme Court rules that death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual and is a constitutionally acceptable form of punishment (July 3). Nation celebrates bicentennial (July 4). Israeli airborne commandos attack Uganda's Entebbe Airport and free 103 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers of Air France plane; one Israeli and several Ugandan soldiers killed in raid (July 4). Mysterious disease that eventually claims 29 lives strikes American Legion convention in Philadelphia (Aug. 4). Jimmy Carter elected U.S. president (Nov. 2). First woman Episcopal priest ordained (Jan. 1).

Richard Nixon(1913–1994)
Mao Zedong(1893–1976)
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini(1900–1989)

Scientists identify previously unknown bacterium as cause of mysterious “legionnaire's disease” (Jan. 18). Carter pardons Vietnam draft evaders (Jan. 21). Scientists report using bacteria in lab to make insulin (May 23). Supreme Court rules that states are not required to spend Medicaid funds on elective abortions (June 20). Deng Xiaoping, purged Chinese leader, restored to power as “Gang of Four” is expelled from Communist Party (July 22). South African activist Stephen Biko dies in police custody (Sept. 12). Nuclear-proliferation pact, curbing spread of nuclear weapons, signed by 15 countries, including U.S. and USSR (Sept. 21). President chooses Federal Appeals Court Judge William H. Webster as F.B.I. Director (Jan. 19). Rhodesia's prime minister Ian D. Smith and three black leaders agree on transfer to black majority rule (Feb. 15). U.S. Senate approves Panama Canal neutrality treaty (March 16); votes treaty to turn canal over to Panama by year 2000 (April 18). Former Italian premier Aldo Moro kidnapped by left wing terrorists, who kill five bodyguards (March 16); he is found slain (May 9). Californians in referendum approve Proposition 13 for nearly 60% slash in property tax revenues (June 6). Supreme Court, in Bakke case, bars quota systems in college admissions but affirms constitutionality of programs giving advantage to minorities (June 28). Pope Paul VI, dead at 80, mourned (Aug. 6); new Pope, John Paul I, 65, dies unexpectedly after 34 days in office (Sept. 28); succeeded by Karol Cardinal Wojtyla of Poland as John Paul II (Oct. 16). “Framework for Peace” in Middle East signed by Egypt's president Anwar Sadat and Israeli premier Menachem Begin after 13-day conference at Camp David led by President Carter (Sept. 17). Jim Jones's followers commit mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana (Nov. 18). Oil spills pollute ocean waters in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico (Jan. 1, June 8, July 21). Ohio agrees to pay $675,000 to families of dead and injured in Kent State University shootings (Jan. 4). Vietnam and Vietnam-backed Cambodian insurgents announce fall of Phnom Penh, Cambodian capital, and collapse of Pol Pot regime (Jan. 7). Shah leaves Iran after year of turmoil (Jan. 16); revolutionary forces under Muslim leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, take over (Feb. 1 et seq.). Nuclear power plant accident at Three Mile Island, Pa., releases radiation (March 28). Conservatives win British election; Margaret Thatcher new prime minister (May 3). Carter and Brezhnev sign SALT II agreement (June 14). Nicaraguan president Gen. Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigns and flees to Miami (July 17); Sandinistas form government (July 19). Earl Mountbatten of Burma, 79, British World War II hero, and three others killed by blast on fishing boat off Irish coast (Aug. 27); two I.R.A. members accused (Aug. 30). Iranian militants seize U.S. embassy in Tehran and hold hostages (Nov. 4). Soviet invasion of Afghanistan stirs world protests (Dec. 27).

U.S. agrees to ease restrictions on Cuba (Jan. 4). Dennis Hastert elected to replace Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House (Jan. 6). NBA ends 191-day labor dispute (Jan. 6). International Olympic Committee expels six members as bribery scandal widens (Jan. 24). King Hussein of Jordan dies (Feb. 7). Senate acquits President Clinton of impeachment charges (Feb. 12). Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo elected president of Nigeria (Feb. 28). First nonstop balloon flight around world completed in 20 days by Bertrand Piccard (Switzerland) and Brian Jones (UK) (March 1–20). Marine pilot acquitted in killing of 20 in 1998 Italian ski gondola accident; Italians outraged (March 4). U.S. accuses China of stealing nuclear secrets (March 5). Joe DiMaggio dies at age 84 (March 8). Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary join NATO (March 12). NATO launches air strikes on Serbia to end attacks against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo (March 24). Dr. Jack Kevorkian convicted of second-degree murder in assisted-suicide case (March 26). “Melissa” computer virus spreads through the Internet (March 27). Libya hands over two suspects in 1988 Pan Am jet bombing (April 5). Two Colo. students go on shooting spree in Columbine High School, killing 15, including themselves (April 20). NATO bombs mistakenly hit Chinese embassy in Belgrade (May 7). Citadel graduates its first woman (May 8). Crime rate in U.S. falls for seventh consecutive year (May 16). Ehud Barak defeats Benjamin Netanyahu in Israeli prime minister election (May 17). U.S. inspects suspected nuclear weapons site in North Korea, finds nothing (May 20–24). Serbs sign agreement to pull troops out of Kosovo after 11 weeks of NATO air attacks (June 9). Nelson Mandela retires as president of South Africa; succeeded by Thabo Mbeki (June 16). Britain's Prince Edward marries Sophie Rhys-Jones (June 19). Kurd leader Abdullah Ocalan sentenced to death for treason in Turkey (June 29). White supremacist goes on shooting spree in Midwest, killing three including self and wounding eight (July 2–5). U.S. soccer team tops China for women's World Cup (July 10). Taiwanese leader Lee Teng-hui challenges “One China” policy (July 11). Serial killer Rafael Reséndez-Ramirez surrenders himself to U.S. authorities (July 13). John F. Kennedy, Jr., wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette killed in plane crash off coast of Martha's Vineyard (July 16). Col. Eileen Collins becomes first female to head a space shuttle mission (July 16). Falun Gong meditation sect banned by Chinese government (July 22). Day-trader kills 9 and wounds 13 in two Atlanta brokerage offices before committing suicide (July 29). Yeltsin replaces Prime Minister Stepashin with Vladimir Putin in fourth government shakeup in 17 months (Aug. 9). Islamic militants declare independence for Dagestan and announce holy war against Russia (Aug. 10). White supremacist opens fire at Jewish community center in LA, wounding five and killing one as he flees (Aug. 10). More than 17,000 people die in 7.4 earthquake in Turkey (Aug. 17). Attorney General Janet Reno reopens investigation of 1993 Waco, Tex., stand-off (Aug. 25). People of East Timor vote for independence from Indonesia (Aug. 31). Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and PLO leader Yasir Arafat announce peace accord (Sept. 4).

Thabo Mbeki(1942–)
Kofi Annan(1938– )United Nations)
Nelson Mandela(1918– )
Larry Gene Ashbrook goes on rampage in Tex. church, killing seven and himself (Sept. 15). NASA accidentally loses $125 million spacecraft as it orbits Mars (Sept. 23). Dozens of people exposed to radiation in Japan's worst nuclear accident (Sept. 30). Russia sends ground troops to Chechnya as conflict with Islamic militants intensifies (Oct. 1). World population reaches six billion milestone (Oct. 11). Military coup led by Gen. Pervez Musharraf overthrows Pakistani government (Oct. 12). Tobacco companies admit to harm caused by cigarette smoking (Oct. 13). Senate rejects 1996 nuclear test-ban treaty; international leaders upset by U.S. stand (Oct. 13). Indonesia elects Muslim leader Abdurrahman Wahid president (Oct. 20). Pro golfer Payne Stewart and five others killed in plane crash (Oct. 25). EgyptAir flight crashes over Atlantic, killing all 217 on board (Oct. 31). Judge finds Microsoft to be a monopoly (Nov. 5). U.S. and China reach landmark trade agreement (Nov. 15). China launches first spacecraft (Nov. 21). Five-year-old Cuban refugee Elián González gets caught in politically charged custody battle (Nov. 25). World Trade Organization conference disrupted by violent protests in Seattle (Nov. 29 et seq.). New Northern Ireland government begins self-rule for first time in 25 years (Dec. 2). Muslim terrorists hijack Indian Airlines jet with 189 on board (Dec. 24).