Timeline and History Overview
United States Timeline
- 5000 - Small tribal peoples develop across the United States.
- 1000 - The Woodland period begins including the Adena culture and the Hopewell peoples.
- 1000 - The Mississippian culture develops along the Mississippi River and the Ohio River. These people are known for building large mounds which can still be seen today.
- 1400s - The United States is inhabited by various historic tribes across the land such as the Apache, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Navajo, and Sioux.
- 1492 - Christopher Columbus discovers the Americas.
- 1513 - Juan Ponce de Leon visits Florida.
- 1540 - Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto explores the Southeast.
- 1565 - St. Augustine is established as the first permanent settlement in the United States.
- 1607 - The Jamestown settlement is founded by John Smith.
- 1620 - The Mayflower lands with the pilgrims at Plymouth.
- 1629 - The Massachusetts Bay Colony is founded.
- 1692 - The Salem witch trials take place in Massachusetts.
- 1754 - The French and Indian war begins between Great Britain and France. Both ally with different Native American tribes.
- 1763 - The British win the French and Indian War gaining most of France's territory in North American.
- 1765 - The British government imposes the Stamp Act on the colonies. The colonies protest with the Stamp Act Congress.
- 1770 - The Boston Massacre occurs.
- 1773 - Bostonians protest the Tea Act with the Boston Tea Party dumping tea into the Boston Harbor.
- 1774 - The First Continental Congress is held. The British government imposes the Intolerable Acts on the colonies.
- 1775 - The Revolutionary War begins with the Battle of Lexington and Concord. The Second Continental Congress is held. The Battle of Bunker Hill occurs.
- 1776 - The American colonies declare their independence as the United States of America.
- 1777 - The Continental Army stays at Valley Forge for the winter.
- 1781 - The British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia. The Articles of the Confederation were ratified by the colonies.
- 1783 - The Revolutionary War officially ends with the Treaty of Paris.
- 1787 - The Constitution is adopted by the Constitutional Convention.
- 1789 - George Washington becomes the first President of the United States.
- 1791 - The Bill of Rights is added to the Constitution as the first ten amendments.
- 1793 - The cotton gin is invented by Eli Whitney.
- 1803 - The size of the United States is nearly doubled with the Louisiana Purchase from France.
- 1804 - Explorers Lewis and Clark set out on their journey to the Pacific Ocean.
- 1812 - The War of 1812 begins against Great Britain.
- 1815 - U.S. troops led by Andrew Jackson defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans.
- 1823 - The Monroe Doctrine is declared by President James Monroe.
- 1836 - The Battle of the Alamo takes place in Texas.
- 1838 - The Cherokee Nation is forced to march from the Southeast to Oklahoma in what is known as the Trail of Tears.
- 1846 - The Mexican-American War begins.
- 1849 - Prospectors travel to California in the California Gold Rush.
- 1859 - Abolitionist John Brown leads a raid on Harper's Ferry.
- 1860 - Abraham Lincoln is elected president.
- 1861 - The American Civil War begins.
- 1863 - The Union Army wins the Battle of Gettysburg. Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves in the South.
- 1864 - Union General Sherman makes his famous "march to the sea."
- 1865 - The American Civil War comes to an end with General Robert E. Lee surrendering at the Appomattox Court House. President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated.
- 1865 - Slavery is outlawed by the Thirteenth Amendment.
- 1867 - Alaska is purchased from Russia.
- 1869 - The First Transcontinental Railroad is completed.
- 1876 - The telephone is invented by Alexander Graham Bell.
- 1881 - The American Red Cross is founded by Clara Barton.
- 1891 - Basketball is invented by James Naismith.
- 1903 - The airplane is invented by the Wright Brothers. They make their first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
- 1910 - The Boy Scouts of America is founded.
- 1917 - The United States joins World War I on the side of the Allies declaring war on Germany.
- 1918 - President Woodrow Wilson issues his Fourteen Points on World War I.
- 1920 - Women gain the right to vote through the Nineteenth Amendment.
- 1927 - The first trans-Atlantic flight is made by Charles Lindbergh.
- 1929 - Wall Street crashes and the Great Depression begins.
- 1934 - Severe drought in the Midwest causes the Dust Bowl.
- 1935 - The Social Security Act is signed into law.
- 1939 - Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is released as the first full length animated movie.
- 1939 - World War II begins. The U.S. is initially neutral.
- 1941 - The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. The U.S. joins World War II on the side of the Allies.
- 1944 - The U.S. takes part in the Invasion of Normandy.
- 1945 - Germany surrenders and the U.S. drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. World War II comes to an end.
- 1950 - The Korean War begins.
- 1955 - Rosa Parks is arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for not giving up her seat on the bus.
- 1961 - The Bay of Pigs Invasion takes place in Cuba.
- 1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis occurs. The Soviet Union ends up removing its missiles from Cuba.
- 1963 - Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his "I have a dream" speech at the March on Washington.
- 1963 - President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.
- 1964 - The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed.
- 1967 - The first Super Bowl is held.
- 1968 - Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated.
- 1969 - Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the Moon.
- 1974 - President Richard Nixon resigns over the Watergate Scandal.
- 1986 - The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after takeoff.
- 1990 - The Gulf War begins as Iraq invades Kuwait.
- 2001 - The 9-11 terrorist attacks occur when hijacked passenger planes crash into the World Trade Center towers and The Pentagon.
- 2003 - The Iraq War begins as the U.S. and other countries invade Iraq.
- 2009 - Barack Obama becomes the first African-American President of the United States.
Signing the Declaration of
George Washington Crossing the Delaware
Lewis and Clark
The area that is today the United States was inhabited for thousands of years by various tribal peoples. The first European to arrive in the area was Christopher Columbus and the first to make landfall was Ponce de Leon who landed at Florida. France laid claim to the interior of the United States, while Spain claimed what is now the Southwest.
The first English settlement was the Virginia Colony in the Jamestown in 1607. A few years later, in 1620, the Pilgrims arrived and founded Plymouth Colony. Eventually England would have 13 colonies in eastern North America. By the 1700s the American colonies were growing unhappy with what they called "taxation without representation". In 1776, the United States declared its independence from England. The American Revolutionary War for independence would follow and, with the help of France, the colonies defeated England.
In both World Wars the United States tried to remain neutral but ended up on the side of the United Kingdom and the Allies. In World War II, it was the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese that forced the US to enter the war. The US developed nuclear weapons and used 2 of them to bomb Japan, effectively ending the war and starting a cold war with the communist Soviet Union.
In the late 1900s the United States became one of the world's superpowers. The other superpower was the Soviet Union. Both countries had nuclear weapons. The two countries fought a Cold War for many years where battles were fought by spies, by a race for the most weapons, and in proxy wars like the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Soviet-Afghanistan War.
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History >> Geography >> North America >> United States