YearMonthDayEvent and video link
-3114August11Start of the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar
-753April21Traditional date of the founding of Rome
-585May28Eclipse of Thales ends the Battle of Halys between the Medes and the Lydians
-497December17The first Saturnalia festival celebrated in ancient Rome
-404April25Sparta defeats Athens in the Peloponnesian War
-216August2Hannibal defeats the Roman army at the Battle of Cannae
-202October19Roman Republic defeats Carthage at the Battle of Zama
-49January10Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon River on his march to Rome
-44March15Assassination of Julius Caesar
-31September2Marc Antony and cleopatra defeated by Octavian at the Battle of Actium
-27January16Octavian becomes Augustus, Roman Emperor
41January24Emperor Caligula killed by the Praetorian Guard
54October13Emperor Claudius dies in mysterious circumstances
68June9Emperor Nero commits suicide
70April14Titus begins the Siege of Jerusalem
79August24Mount Vesuvius destroys Pompeii and Herculaneum
301September3Foundation of San Marino establishes world’s oldest republic still in existence
303February23Start of Emperor Diocletian's 'Great Persecution'
312October27Constantine the Great receives his Vision of the Cross that starts his conversion
476September4End of the Western Roman Empire when Odoacer overthrows Romulus Augustulus
537March2First Siege of Rome begins as Belisarius' army is encircled by the Ostrogoths
537December27Hagia Sophia basilica inaugurated in modern Istanbul
622July16Start date of the Islamic calendar
737September30Umayyad Caliphate defeated in the Battle of the Baggage
762July30Construction begins on the city of Baghdad under Caliph Al-Mansur
793June8Viking raiders attack Lindisfarne in Northumbria
868May11The world's earliest dated printed book created in China
902December13Aethelwold's revolt against Edward the Elder defeated at the Battle of the Holme
927July12Earliest foundation of England under Aethelstan
1002November13St Brice's Day Massacre
1046March5Persian poet Nasir Khusraw's 7-year journey through the Islamic world: The Safarnama
1066January5Death of Edward the Confessor
1066January6Harold Godwinson crowned king of England
1066September20Harald Hardrada wins Battle of Fulford
1066September25Battle of Stamford Bridge fought between Harold Godwinson and Harald Hardrada
1066September28William of Normandy lands in England
1066October14William of Normandy wins Battle of Hastings
1066December25William the Conquerer crowned king of England
1095November27Pope Urban II launches the First Crusade
1141April7Matilda declared the 'Lady of England and Normandy'
1170December29Thomas Becket murdered in Canterbury Cathedral
1173August9Construction begins on the Leaning Tower of Pisa
1187October2Saladin captures Jerusalem
1190March16The Jewish population of York massacred in a pogrom
1199May27Coronation of King John in Westminster Abbey
1215June15King John agrees to Magna Carta by adding his seal
1253May7William of Rubruck sets out on his journey into the Mongol Empire
1260May5Kublai Khan declared Mongol Emperor
1287December14St Lucia's Flood kills over 50,000 people in the Netherlands
1291May18Siege of Acre signals ends of Crusader influence
1305August5William Wallace captured by English troops at Robroyston
1306March25Robert the Bruce crowned King of Scots
1314March18Execution of last Knights Templar Grand Master
1314June23Scottish victory at the Battle of Bannockburn
1338September23First naval battle with artillery takes place in the Hundred Years' War
1346August26The longbow helps Edward III win the Battle of Crecy
1348April23Order of the Garter founded by King Edward III of England
1349January9Jews massacred in Basel during the Black Death
1351March26Combat of the Thirty fought between English and Breton soldiers
1355February10St Scholastica's Day Riot began in Oxford between 'town and gown'
1374June24Dancing Plague breaks out in Aachen, Germany
1381May30Outbreak of the Peasants' Revolt in England
1386May9Treaty of Windsor, the world's longest-lasting treaty, signed by Portugal and England
1393January28Charles VI of France and the fiery Bal des Ardents
1410October9The Prague Astronomical Clock first noted in a medieval document
1412January16Antipope John XXIII makes the Medici Bank the official bank to the Papacy
1415October25The Battle of Agincourt is fought
1429February12Battle of the Herrings fought during the Hundred Years War
1431May30Joan of Arc executed by burning at the stake
1450November23Ottoman forces abandon First Siege of Krujë after failing to defeat Skanderbeg
1452July17The Battle of Castillon, widely accepted as last conflict of the Hundred Years' War
1453May29The Fall of Constantinople
1455February23Gutenberg Bible published (traditional date)
1455May22Wars of the Roses begin at the Battle of St Albans
1472February20Orkney and Shetland Isles given to Scotland by Norway as a wedding dowry
1478April26The Pazzi family launch their failed plot against the Medici family
1480October8The Great Stand on the Ugra River
1485August22Richard III killed at the Battle of Bosworth
1491November25The Treaty of Granada ends Islamic rule on the Iberian Peninsula
1492April17The Capitulations of Santa Fe grant Columbus funds for his voyage to the New World
1492August3Christopher Columbus sets sail from Spain
1492November7Oldest meteorite with a known date of impact crashes in Ensisheim
1495February7Savonarola's Bonfire of the Vanities
1495June1First written reference to Scotch whisky
1497September7Perkin Warbeck claims he is English King Richard IV
1498April7Savonarola meets to take part in a trial by fire
1501September13Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David
1504February29Christopher Columbus uses a lunar eclipse to secure supplies while stranded
1506April18Construction begins on St Peter's Basilica
1509April27Pope Julius II excommunicates the entire Republic of Venice
1512November1Michelangelo's ceiling of the Sistine Chapel unveiled
1513September25European 'discovery' of the Pacific Ocean
1516April23The Reinheitsgebot beer purity law first introduced in Bavaria
1517October31Martin Luther reputedly posts his 95 Theses
1520June7Henry VIII and Francis I meet at the Field of Cloth of Gold
1520November8Stockholm Bloodbath begins under Denmark's Christian II
1520November28Magellan sails from the Atlantic to the Pacific
1521May25Edict of Worms issued by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V against Martin Luther
1521October11Henry VIII becomes 'Defender of the Faith'
1525February28Execution of Cuauhtemoc, the last Aztec Emperor
1534November3English Parliament passes the Act of Supremacy
1536May19Execution of Anne Boleyn in the Tower of London
1540March23Waltham Abbey last to be dissolved by Henry VIII
1541December10Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham executed for affairs with Catherine Howard
1542February13The execution of Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII
1552September6Victoria, the first ship from Magellan's circumnavigation of the world, arrives home
1553July10Lady Jane Grey becomes queen of England
1555February4John Rogers became the first martyr under 'Bloody' Mary I
1556January23Most destructive earthquake on record hits Shaanxi
1556March21Thomas Cranmer executed for heresy
1558November17Queen Elizabeth I's reign begins
1561April14The Nuremberg Celestial Phenomenon
1561July12The consecration of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow
1562March1Massacre of Vassy marks the beginning of the French Wars of Religion
1564January26Pope Pius IV confirms the decrees of the Council of Trent
1565October18European and Japanese naval forces fought for the first time
1567July29James VI crowned King of Scotland aged 13 months
1569January11First recorded lottery drawn in England under Elizabeth I
1570February25Elizabeth I excommunicated by Pope Pius V
1582October4Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII
1587February8Mary, Queen of Scots beheaded
1587April29Singeing the King of Spain's Beard
1588July29Decisive Battle of Gravelines during the Spanish Armada
1590September27Pope Urban VII, the shortest reigning Pope in history, dies
1600December31The East India Company officially established with a charter from Elizabeth I
1602March20The Dutch East India Company established
1604September1The Adi Granth first installed at the Golden Temple
1605November5Guy Fawkes discovered during Gunpowder Plot
1607May14Jamestown established as the first permanent English settlement in North America
1607September14Flight of the Earls' sees Gaelic nobility leave Ulster in Ireland
1612August18Trial of the Pendle Witches begins
1613February21Romanov dynasty begins under Michael I of Russia
1613June29The Globe Theatre in London burns to the ground
1618May23The Second Defenestration of Prague
1618October29Sir Walter Raleigh beheaded for treason against James I in the Main Plot
1619July30Oldest continuous General Assembly in the New World convenes in Virginia
1620December21The first Mayflower Pilgrims land at Plymouth to establish the Plymouth Colony
1621March22Hugo Grotius escapes prison by hiding in a book chest
1621April5The Mayflower returns to England
1622March22The Indian Massacre of 1622 occurred in the English colony of Jamestown, Virginia
1627October2The Chongzhen Emperor, the last ruler of the Ming Dynasty, ascends the throne
1628June7Petition of Right ratified by King Charles I
1631June17Mumtaz Mahal's death prompts construction of the Taj Mahal
1633June22Galileo forced to recant his belief in heliocentrism
1636December13The Massachusetts Bay Colony organises a formal militia
1642January4Charles I attempts to arrest the Five Members
1645June14The Battle of Naseby fought in the English Civil War
1647May26Alse Young, the first person to be executed for witchcraft in America
1648October24Peace of Westphalia ends the Thirty Years’ War that ravaged Europe
1648December6Pride's Purge - the military coup in Parliament that ended Charles I's rule
1649January30Charles I beheaded at Banqueting House
1649October11Sack of Wexford in Ireland by English forces under Oliver Cromwell
1660March16England's Long Parliament dissolved after twenty years in session
1660December8First woman appears on a professional stage in England as Desdemona in Othello
1666September2Great Fire of London breaks out in Pudding Lane
1669May31The last entry in Samuel Pepys' diary
1671May9Colonel Thomas Blood attempts to steal the Crown Jewels
1678June25Elena Cornaro Piscopia becomes the first woman to receive a PhD
1680November14Great Comet of 1680 discovered by Gottfried Kirch using a telescope
1683October6Germantown founded in the Pennsylvania Colony
1688December23James II of England flees to exile in France during the Glorious Revolution
1689February13William and Mary become co-regents
1692March1The first of the Salem 'witches' go on trial facing magistrates
1693August4Dom Perignon supposedly invents champagne
1698September5Peter the Great imposes a tax on beards
1702March11The Daily Courant, the first daily English language newspaper, published
1703May27The foundation of St Petersburg by Tsar Peter the Great
1703July31Daniel Defoe put in the pillory for seditious libel
1706July22Terms of the Acts of Union 1707 agreed
1709February2Alexander Selkirk rescued after spending more than four years as a castaway
1714August1George, Elector of Hanover, becomes King George I of Great Britain
1718November22The pirate Blackbeard killed by sailors under Robert Maynard
1721March24Bach dedicates the Brandenburg Concertos
1721April3Robert Walpole becomes the first de facto Prime Minister of Great Britain
1722April5Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen becomes the first European to encounter Easter Island
1739January1Discovery of Bouvet Island, the world’s most remote island
1739October23The War of Jenkins' Ear begins
1740October20Maria Theresa inherits the Austrian throne
1750December23Ben Franklin accidentally shocks himself while trying to electrocute a turkey
1755April15Dr Samuel Johnson's Dictionary published
1756June20British prisoners locked in the 'Black Hole of Calcutta'
1759December31Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease for St. James's Gate Brewery
1763October7The Royal Proclamation of 1763 issued by King George III
1764October15Edward Gibbon first considers writing Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
1765November1The Stamp Act went into force in the Thirteen Colonies
1766March17First Saint Patrick's Day parade
1767April9John Hancock forcibly removes British customs officials from Lydia
1768December10First edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica published
1770April19Captain Cook Sights Australia
1771May16The Battle of Alamance ends the Regulator Movement in Provincial North Carolina
1772January1First travellers cheques put on sale
1773December16The Boston Tea Party throws a shipment of tea overboard
1774June2The Quartering Act, the fourth of the Intolerable Acts, passed by British Parliament
1775April18Paul Revere's Ride signals start of American Revolutionary War
1775December3Grand Union Flag flown for the first time in America on the ship 'Alfred'
1776January10Thomas Paine publishes the pamphlet Common Sense advocating American independence
1776March9"The Wealth of Nations" published by Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith
1776May1The forerunner of the Bavarian Illuminati founded
1776September9The name ‘United States’ of America adopted by the Second Continental Congress
1776September22Nathan Hale hanged by the British for spying during the American Revolution
1776October26Benjamin Franklin departs America for France to secure an alliance
1776December25George Washington crosses the Delaware with a column of the Continental Army
1777June14Stars and Stripes adopted as the flag of the USA
1777September27The city of Lancaster, PA became the capital of the USA for a single day
1778February6France and the US sign the first treaties that recognise American independence
1780October10The Great Hurricane of 1780, the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record
1781September5Battle of the Chesapeake sees the British repelled during the Revolutionary War
1781September28The Siege of Yorktown begins in the American Revolutionary War
1781November29Over 132 slaves thrown from the Zong ship
1782January7Bank of North America opens in Philadelphia as the nation’s first chartered bank
1783September3Treaty of Paris ends the American Revolutionary War
1783November25The British Army evacuated New York City at the end of the American Revolution
1783December19William Pitt the Younger becomes Britain's youngest ever Prime Minister
1785January7First aerial crossing of the English Channel
1786November30Tuscany is the first modern state to abolish the death penalty
1787May13The First Fleet departs for Australia
1789March4US Constitution goes into effect as first Congress meets
1789April28The crew of HMS Bounty launch a mutiny against Captain William Bligh
1789April30George Washington inaugurated as the first President of the USA
1789June20National Assembly swears the Tennis Court Oath
1789July14Storming of the Bastille in Paris
1789August26Adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of Man by Constituent Assembly
1789September11Alexander Hamilton appointed US Secretary of the Treasury
1789September24The Judiciary Act becomes law in the United States of America
1789September29Congress formally establishes the United States Army
1789November26The first formal National Day of Thanksgiving in the United States
1790January8George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address
1790July31The first U.S. patent was awarded to Samuel Hopkins
1791March2Claude Chappe sends the first message by semaphore machine
1791June21Louis XVI's attempted escape from Paris in the Flight to Varennes
1791August22Start of the Haitian Revolution in the French colony of Saint-Domingue
1791December15Ratification of the United States Bill of Rights
1792April20The French Revolutionary Wars begin when the Assembly vote for war against Austria
1792April25First execution carried out using the guillotine
1792May17The Buttonwood Agreement establishes the New York Stock Exchange
1792July30La Marseillaise first sung in Paris
1792August10Tuileries Palace stormed and French monarchy suspended
1792October13The cornerstone of the White House laid in Washington D.C.
1793January21Louis XVI executed for high treason
1793April6Committee of Public Safety established by the National Convention of France
1793July13Jean-Paul Marat attacked in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday
1793August10The Louvre museum in Paris opens to the public for the first time
1793September5The Reign of Terror begins in France
1793October16The Execution of Marie Antoinette
1794May7Robespierre establishes Cult of the Supreme Being
1795November2The Directory established in France
1796February29Jay Treaty begins ten years of peaceful trade between the US and Britain
1796May14Edward Jenner vaccinates against smallpox
1797February22The last invasion of Britain and the Battle of Fishguard
1797October22The first high altitude parachute descent
1798May24United Irishmen Rebellion, known as the Irish Rebellion of 1798, begins in Ireland
1799January9Income tax introduced for the first time
1799July19Discovery of the Rosetta Stone reported in Egypt
1799December10France adopts the metric system as the official system of weights and measures
1800April24Library of Congress established when John Adams approves a budget of $5,000
1801May10The First Barbary War began when Tripoli declared war on the United States
1803April30United States doubles in size after Louisiana Purchase from France
1803November30Balmis Expedition sets sail to vaccinate Spanish colonies against smallpox
1804December2Napoleon crowns himelf Emperor of the French
1805October21Admiral Nelson wins the Battle of Trafalgar
1805December2The Battle of Austerlitz sees Napoleon's Grande Armée defeat Russia and Austria
1806March23The Lewis and Clark Expedition begins its return journey
1806March29Construction of the Cumberland Road, the first federally funded highway, authorised
1807July20The world's first internal combustion engine is patented in France
1807August17The North River Steamboat was launched between New York and Albany
1808January22Portuguese royal court relocates to Brazil
1809November27The Berners Street hoax causes chaos in central London
1810October12First Oktoberfest held in Munich
1812February11Elbridge Gerry signs the first bill to authorise 'gerrymandering'
1812May11British prime minister Spencer Perceval assassinated in the House of Commons
1812June18The War of 1812 began when President Madison declared war against Great Britain
1812June24Napoleon begins his failed invasion of Russia
1812August19USS Constitution earns the nickname 'Old Ironsides' after defeating HMS Guerriere
1812September18The Fire of Moscow was extinguished, leaving Napoleon in possession of the city
1813September7The United States gained the nickname 'Uncle Sam'
1814September14USA's national anthem lyrics written citing the Start Splangled Banner
1814October17The London Beer Flood kills 8 people
1815February26Napoleon escapes from exile on Elba
1815April10Most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history occurred at Mount Tambora
1815June9The 'Final Act' of the Congress of Vienna signed
1815June18Napoleon Bonaparte defeated at the Battle of Waterloo
1815July15Napoleon Bonaparte voluntarily surrenders to the British
1818December24'Stille Nacht', known in English as Silent Night, performed for the first time
1819August16Protesters killed in the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester
1822June6William Beaumont first treats Alexis St Martin
1823December23The Night Before Christmas first published
1825December21Fredonian Rebellion begins as Americans in Mexican Texas declare independence
1825December26The Decembrist Revolt takes place in Russia against autocratic Tsarist rule
1826December24The Eggnog Riot broke out at West Point Military Academy, New York
1828January8Democratic Party established in the United States
1829September29The Metropolitan Police begins operating in London
1829October8Stephenson's Rocket wins the Rainhill Trials
1830March26The Book of Mormon first went on sale at E. B. Grandin's book store
1830May3First timetabled passenger railway begins service
1830May18The world's first lawnmower licensed for manufacture by Edwin Budding
1830May28The Indian Removal Act signed into law by President Andrew Jackson
1830September15MP William Huskisson dies at the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway
1831March19City Bank of New York robbed in the first widely-reported bank heist in US history
1831September15The First National Negro Convention was held in Philadelphia
1831November11Nat Turner executed for leading a slave rebellion in Southampton County, VA
1834March18Tolpuddle Martyrs sentenced to transportation to Australia
1834July15The Spanish Inquisition disbanded
1834August1Slavery Abolition Act comes in to force
1835January30Andrew Jackson survives the first assassination attempt of a sitting US President
1835September20The start of the Ragamuffin War
1835November24Texas Rangers formally instituted by Texan lawmakers
1836February23The Siege of the Alamo begins, lasting for thirteen days before the final battle
1836August17Parliament passes the 1836 Marriage Act
1837June11Broad Street Riot breaks out in Boston, MA
1837December7The Battle of Montgomery’s Tavern during the Upper Canada Rebellion
1838April8The steamship Great Western begins her maiden voyage to New York
1839April19The Treaty of London establishes an independent Belgium
1839November4The Newport Rising armed rebellion in south Wales
1840May1The Penny Black goes on sale in the UK as the world’s first pre-paid postage stamp
1841March9US Supreme court rules on the Amistad slave case
1842January13The sole survivor of 4,500 British soldiers arrives at Jalalabad in Afghanistan
1842August29The First Opium War ends when Britain and China sign the Treaty of Nanking
1843December19A Christmas Carol first published
1845December27Manifest Destiny introduced in a newspaper column by John L. O'Sullivan
1846May12The Donner Party begin their ill-fated journey to California
1846June16Pope Pius IX begins the longest ever reign of a Catholic Pope
1846August10President James K. Polk signs legislation to establish the Smithsonian Institution
1846October16First public demonstration of ether anaesthesia
1847January4Samuel Colt receives the first government order for his firearms
1848January12The first of the Revolutions of 1848 begins in Palermo on the island of Sicily
1848February21The Communist Manifesto first published
1848February24King Louis Philippe of France abdicates
1848July19The Seneca Falls Convention for women's rights begins
1848December5President James K. Polk sparks the California Gold Rush
1849January23Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to receive a medical degree in the US
1849February28First ‘49ers arrive in San Francisco to begin the California Gold Rush
1849May22Abraham Lincoln issued a patent for his invention
1850January20Robert McClure departs on the first expedition to transit the Northwest Passage
1850March7Daniel Webster makes his "Seventh of March" speech in favour of Compromise of 1850
1850November29The Declaration of Olmütz signed by Prussia and Austria
1851December15The Forest Creek Monster Meeting of Australian gold miners protests taxes
1852February2First modern public toilets open in London
1854March20U.S. Republican Party founded at a meeting in a schoolhouse in Wisconsin
1854October25Charge of the Light Brigade by British forces during the Battle of Balaclava
1855June4United States Camel Corps initiated when USS Supply set sail to obtain camels
1856January29Victoria Cross introduced by Queen Victoria
1856March30The Crimean War officially ends with the Treaty of Paris
1857March3The Weeping Time - the largest ever sale of enslaved people in the United States
1857March6The US Supreme Court's ruling in the Dred Scott case
1857March23World’s first successful passenger elevator installed in a New York store
1857May10The start of the Indian Mutiny (First War of Indian Independence)
1858April10The 'Big Ben' bell cast in Whitechapel
1858July28First use of fingerprints as a means of identification
1858August16Queen Victoria sends the first transatlantic telegram
1859June15The Pig War begins between the USA and Britain
1859June30Charles Blondin became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope
1859September17Joshua Abraham Norton declares himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States
1859November24Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species
1860October17Oldest golf tournament in the world begins with the first Open Championship
1860October26Garibaldi hands southern Italy to Victor Emmanuel
1860November6Abraham Lincoln elected 16 President of the USA
1860December20South Carolina secedes from the United States of America
1861January9Star of the West fired upon by South Carolina as it approached Fort Sumter
1861February1Texas declares its secession from the United States
1861February16Abraham Lincoln meets the girl who suggested he grew a beard to gain more votes
1861March3Tsar Alexander II signs the Emancipation Manifesto
1861April12American Civil War begins with the Battle of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor
1861August5Abraham Lincoln signs US income tax into law to help pay for the American Civil War
1861November8The Trent Affair nearly causes a war between Britain and the United States
1862May20President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law
1862July4Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, first tells the story of Alice in Wonderland
1862July12Creation of the Congressional Medal of Honor
1862September17Allegheny Arsenal explosion, American Civil War's largest civilian loss of life
1863April2The Richmond Bread Riot saw hundreds of women in Virginia loot storehouses and shops
1863July1The Battle of Gettysburg begins, resulting in a decisive Union victory
1863November19Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address
1864February17H.L. Hunley becomes the first submarine to sink an enemy ship
1864November15Sherman's March to the Sea begins during the American Civil War
1865January31Thirteenth Amendment passed by the US Congress to formally abolish slavery
1865March4Andrew Johnson, US Vice President, is drunk while delivering his inaugural address
1865April9Robert E. Lee surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant
1865April26John Wilkes Booth killed after refusing to surrender to Union troops
1865May13The Battle of Palmito Ranch, considered to be the last battle of the Civil War
1865August12Joseph Lister carries out world's first antiseptic surgery
1865November11Dr Mary Edwards Walker becomes the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor
1867October18The Alaska Purchase completed with the transfer from Russia to the United States
1868February24US President Andrew Johnson impeached
1868November2New Zealand becomes the first country to use standardised time
1868November3John Willis Menard became the first African-American to be elected to Congress
1868December9World’s first traffic lights outside the Houses of Parliament in London
1869March6Dmitri Mendeleev presents the first periodic table
1869April28Ten miles of railway track laid in a single day by the Central Pacific Railroad
1869November6First intercollegiate American football game played between Rutgers and Princeton
1870January3Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began
1870February25Hiram Rhodes Revels becomes the first African-American U.S. Senator
1870July19The Franco-Prussian War begins
1870September19The Siege of Paris began during the Franco-Prussian War
1871January18Wilhelm I declared German Emperor
1871March28Paris Commune meets for the first time
1871October8The Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin, the deadliest wildfire in recorded history
1871November10Henry Morton Stanley locates Dr David Livingstone
1872March1Yellowstone becomes the world's first national park
1872November18Susan B. Anthony arrested for voting in a Presidential election
1872December4Deserted American merchant ship Mary Celeste found drifting in the Atlantic Ocean
1873May20Levi Strauss & Co. patents riveted blue jeans
1873August2The Clay Street Hill Railroad becomes San Francisco’s first cable car
1873November24Joseph Glidden awarded a patent for modern barbed wire
1875August25Captain Matthew Webb becomes the first person to swim the English Channel
1876March10Alexander Graham Bell transmits speech using the telephone
1876June25Battle of Little Bighorn & Custer's Last Stand
1876August13The premiere of Wagner's complete Ring cycle takes place in Germany
1876November23Corrupt politician William "Boss" Tweed returned to New York City from Spain
1877June21Ten Irish immigrants hanged, having been accused of being in the Molly Maguires secret society
1877July9First Wimbledon Championship begins in London
1877November21Thomas Edison announces the phonograph
1879September19The Blackpool Illuminations turned on for the first time
1879October7Germany and Austria-Hungary form the Dual Alliance
1880June28Australian outlaw Ned Kelly arrested following a violent shoot out
1881March12Andrew Watson becomes the world's first black international football player
1881March13Tsar Alexander II assassinated Saint Petersburg
1881July2President James A Garfield shot by Charles J Guiteau
1881July14American outlaw Billy the Kid shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett
1881October26The gunfight at the O.K. Corral involving Wyatt Earp
1882March19First stone laid for the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
1882April3Outlaw Jesse James shot by Robert Ford
1882May20Establishment of the Triple Alliance
1882September4Thomas Edison opens the world's first power plant on Pearl Street in New York
1882December22The first use of electric lights on a Christmas tree
1883June5First Orient Express train departs Paris
1883August27The eruption of Krakatoa
1884April22Thomas Stevens begins the first round-the-world cycle ride
1884June16The Switchback Railway, America’s first roller coaster, opened at Coney Island
1884October22International Meridian Conference in Washington D.C. the Greenwich prime meridian
1885January26Siege of Khartoum ends when Mahdist forces capture the city from General Gordon
1885February18Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn published in the United States.
1885February21The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. dedicated
1885June17Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbour from France
1887May9Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show Opens in London
1887June18Germany and Russia sign the secret Reinsurance Treaty
1888September8First ever Football League matches played in England
1888September22First edition of National Geographic Magazine published
1889April22Oklahoma Land Rush opens 2 million acres of Unassigned Lands to settlement
1889November23The world's first jukebox installed in a bar in San Francisco
1890January25Nellie Bly circumnavigates the world in 72 days
1890March4Forth Bridge in Scotland opened by the future King Edward VII
1890March20Wilhelm II formally accepts Bismarck's resignation
1890August6William Kemmler becomes the first person to be executed by electric chair
1890November4Opening of City and South London Railway, the world's first deep-level ‘tube’
1890December29Lakota Sioux massacred at Wounded Knee
1892January15Rules for basketball published for the first time by James Naismith
1892July6The Homestead Strike sees Pinkerton agents fight striking steelworkers
1892December18Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker first performed
1893November28New Zealand women vote for the first time
1894June23Establishment of the International Olympic Committee
1894December22Alfred Dreyfus found guilty of treason in France
1895January12Foundation of the National Trust
1895February9Volleyball invented by William G. Morgan
1895March22The Lumiere brothers stage their first film screening in Paris
1895August26Niagara Falls became the world's first large-scale electricity producer
1895October22Granville-Paris express train crashes through a wall in Paris
1895December28Wilhelm Rontgen publishes his discovery of X-rays
1896January28First British speeding ticket for an automobile issued to motorist Walter Arnold
1896April6The first modern Olympic Games take place
1896May18Supreme Court rules on Plessy v. Ferguson and establishes the 'separate but equal' doctrine
1897May26Bram Stoker's gothic novel Dracula is published
1898April25The United States declares war on Spain in the Spanish–American War
1898December18The world's first officially recognised land speed record is set
1899May30Female bandit Pearl Hart commits one of the last recorded stagecoach robberies
1899September13Henry H. Bliss, the first person to be killed by an automobile in America
1900January23British troops attack Spion Kop in the Second Boer War
1900March7First ship-to-shore wireless message sent by SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse
1900March30Archaeologists discover the first Linear B tablet at the ancient site of Knossos
1901September6President William McKinley shot at the Pan-American Exposition by Leon Czolgosz
1901December10First Nobel Prizes awarded
1902April16The first purpose-designed movie theater opened as Thomas Tally's Electric Theatre
1902April20Marie and Pierre Curie prove the existence of radium by isolating radium chloride
1902May17Identification of Ancient Greek Antikythera Mechanism
1903January4Topsy the elephant electrocuted at Luna Park in Coney Island, New York
1903July1First Tour de France cycling race takes place
1903October10Foundation of Women's Social & Political Union
1903November17The Bolshevik-Menshevik split within the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
1903December17Wright brothers make first aircraft flight
1904February8Russo-Japanese War triggered by Japanese torpedo attack on Port Arthur
1904April8France and Britain sign the Entente Cordiale
1904April8Times Square in New York given its name
1904May21FIFA founded in Paris as the Fédération Internationale de Football Association
1905January22Bloody Sunday massacre in Saint Petersburg
1905March31Kaiser Wilhelm II provokes the First Moroccan Crisis
1905June27Russian sailors mutiny on the battleship Potemkin
1906February10The launch of HMS Dreadnought
1906March15Rolls-Royce Limited established in Britain
1906April27The Russian Empire's State Duma meets for the first time
1906May6Russia's Constitution of 1906, known as the Fundamental Laws
1907April17Ellis Island in New York Harbor has its busiest day, processing 11,747 immigrants
1907August31The Anglo-Russian Entente is signed, forming the Triple Entente
1908January24Robert Baden-Powell publishes Scouting for Boys
1908September27First Model T Ford produced in Detroit
1908October13Margaret Travers Symons becomes the first woman to speak in the House of Commons
1909February5Bakelite, the world’s first synthetic plastic, announced by Leo Baekeland
1909March31The end of the Bosnian Crisis
1909April29The People's Budget introduced to the British Parliament by David Lloyd George
1909July25Louis Bleriot makes the first powered cross-Channel flight
1909August7Alice Ramsey makes the first female transcontinental car journey
1910January13World's first public radio broadcast comes from the Met Opera in New York
1910February8The Boy Scouts of America incorporated by William D. Boyce in Washington D.C.
1910March8First woman awarded a pilot's license
1910October23Blanche Stuart Scott becomes the first American woman to fly an aircraft in public
1910November20Mexican Revolution begins with revolt by Francisco Madero against Porfirio Díaz
1910December3First neon light used at the Paris Motor Show
1911January3The Siege of Sidney Street gunfight takes place in London’s East End
1911January18Eugene Ely lands the first aircraft on a ship (USS Pennsylvania)
1911July1Start of the Second Moroccan Crisis
1911July7North Pacific Fur Seal Convention signed for wildlife conservation
1911July24Machu Picchu 'rediscovered' by US explorer Hiram Bingham III
1911August21The Mona Lisa stolen from the Louvre
1911August29Ishi, the last surviving member of the Yahi tribe, emerged from the wilderness
1911October23Italian Carlo Piazza pilots the first aircraft in war
1911November1First ever aerial bombing takes place in the Italo-Turkish War
1911December14Roald Amundsen reaches the South Pole
1912January6Continental Drift hypothesis first presented by German scientist Alfred Wegener
1912May5Russian Communist newspaper Pravda first published
1912December8German Imperial War Council discusses the possibility of a European war
1913February19Pedro Lascurain began the world's shortest ever presidency in Mexico
1913June4Suffragette Emily Davison hit by a racehorse at Epsom Derby
1913July10Highest recorded temperature on Earth
1913October31The Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway in the United States
1913December21First modern crossword puzzle printed
1914February7Charlie Chaplin’s iconic ‘Tramp’ character appears for the first time on film
1914June28Trigger and end of the First World War
1914July23Austria-Hungary presents its ultimatum to Serbia
1914July28Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
1914July29Successful voice test of the first transcontinental telephone line
1914August4Woodrow Wilson proclaims US neutrality in the First World War
1914August15The Panama Canal officially opened with the transit of SS Ancon
1914December16German Navy attack Scarborough
1914December25The Christmas Truce takes place at sections along the Western Front
1915January19Zeppelins bomb Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn
1915February18Germany begins unrestricted submarine warfare during the First World War
1915March27Typhoid Mary placed in permanent quarantine in New York
1915April22Chlorine gas attack marks start of the Second Battle of Ypres
1915May3John McCrae writes the war poem In Flanders Fields
1915May7RMS Lusitania sunk by the German U-Boat, U-20
1915May23Italy enters WW1 on the side of the Triple Entente
1915September21Cecil Chubb buys Stonehenge at auction, becoming its last private owner
1915October12British nurse Edith Cavell executed by a German firing squad
1916January27WW1 Conscription introduced by the British Government in the Military Service Act
1916March15The Punitive Expedition into Mexico to locate revolutionary leader Pancho Villa
1916April24Ernest Shackleton begins rescue attempt in the James Caird
1916April24The Easter Rising begins in Dublin
1916May16The Sykes-Picot Agreement ratified by Britain and France
1916June1Louis Brandeis becomes the first Jewish justice on the U.S. Supreme Court
1916June10Battle of Mecca starts the full Arab Revolt
1916August25The U.S. National Park Service signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson
1916November18Battle of the Somme ends
1916December18End of the Battle of Verdun during the First World War
1916December30"Mad Monk" Grigori Rasputin murdered by Russian nobles
1917January1973 people killed in the Silvertown munitions factory explosion in London
1917February26Original Dixieland 'Jass' Band makes first commercially released jazz recording
1917April6The USA declares war on Germany in WW1
1917April12The Canadian Corps successfully capture Vimy Ridge
1917April16Lenin arrives back in Russia in the sealed train after a decade in exile
1917November7The Bolshevik Revolution erupts in Russia
1917November15Clemenceau appointed Prime Minister of France during the First World War
1917December20Cheka established by the Bolsheviks
1918January8Woodrow Wilson announces the Fourteen Points
1918February6Women secure the right to vote in the Representation of the People Act
1918March3Russia and Central Powers sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
1918March11First confirmed case of 'Spanish Flu'
1918April21Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shot down and killed
1918July17Romanov family shot dead by the Bosheviks
1918August13Opha May Johnson becomes the first woman to enlist in the US Marine Corps
1918August30Lenin shot in a failed assassination attempt
1918September29German Supreme Army Command urges Wilhelm II negotiate an armistice
1918October3Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria comes to the throne
1918November9Wilhelm II abdicates as Kaiser of Germany
1918November11The Armistice of Compiegne is signed, ending WW1
1918December1Unification of Transylvania and the Kingdom of Romania
1918December19Ripley's 'Believe it or Not!' published for the first time in the New York Globe
1919January15Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg killed by Freikorps
1919January15Great Molasses Flood kills 21 people in Boston
1919January16Prohibition approved as Nebraska becomes 36th state to ratify the 18th Amendment
1919January18The Paris Peace Conference begins
1919February11Friedrich Ebert elected as first President of the German Weimar Republic
1919April13British troops commit the Amritsar Massacre
1919May19The Turkish War of Independence begins
1919June21The German fleet is scuttled at Scapa Flow
1919August11Weimar Republic established after constitution signed
1919September10Treaty of Saint-Germain signed by Austria at the end of the First World War
1919September12Hitler joins the German Workers Party
1919October2US President Woodrow Wilson suffers a stroke while in office
1919October9Black Sox Scandal overshadows the World Series win by the Cincinnati Reds
1919November7The Palmer Raids lead to the arrest of suspected communists and anarchists
1919November19United States Senate votes to reject the Treaty of Versailles
1919December1Lady Astor becomes the first female MP to take her seat in the House of Commons
1920January10League of Nations officially founded
1920January19Foundation of the American Civil Liberties Union
1920February24Hitler announces the 25 Point Programme and the establishment of the NSDAP
1920March13Start of the Kapp Putsch in Berlin
1920June4Treaty of Trianon signed with Hungary after the First World War
1920August18Ratification of 19th Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees female suffrage
1920August20The NFL established as the American Professional Football Conference
1920August31World's first radio news program begins broadcasting on 8MK in Detroit, Michigan
1920September16The Wall Street bombing kills 38 people in New York
1921March21The New Economic Policy introduced to the USSR by Vladimir Lenin
1921May31The Tulsa Race Massacre breaks out in Oklahoma
1921October21U.S. President Warren G. Harding condemns lynching in a speech in Alabama
1921December9Lead identified as a fuel additive for automobiles
1922April16The Treaty of Rapallo signed by Russia and Germany
1922July11The Hollywood Bowl opens in Los Angeles
1922October18British Broadcasting Company established
1922October28Benito Mussolini’s Blackshirts approach the Italian capital in the March on Rome
1922October31The cabinet of Benito Mussolini formally comes to power
1922November26Tutankhamun's tomb entered by Howard Carter
1922December30Foundation of the USSR
1923January11French and Belgian troops occupy the Ruhr
1923February16Howard Carter unseals Tutankhamun's burial chamber
1923April28The opening of Wembley Stadium and the White Horse Final
1923September26Weimar Germany ends the strikes in the Ruhr
1923October15Rentenmark introduced in Weimar Germany
1923November8The Beer Hall Putsch begins in Munich
1924January25First Winter Olympic Games begin in Chamonix, France
1924February5The BBC 'pips' first broadcast
1924February12First performance of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue
1924April1Hitler found guilty of treason for the Beer Hall Putsch
1924June10Matteotti kidnapped and murdered by Italian Fascists
1924December20Adolf Hitler released from Landsberg Prison
1925January5Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the American woman to be a state governor
1925February2Great Race of Mercy diptheria antitoxin dogsled relay
1925April4Adolf Hitler orders the establishment of the SS
1925July18Hitler publishes first volume of Mein Kampf
1925July21The 'Monkey Trial' finds John T. Scopes guilty of teaching evolution
1925August8More than 50,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan stage a march in Washington D.C.
1925November5Sidney Reilly, the ‘Ace of Spies’, executed in the Soviet Union
1925November28The Grand Ole Opry broadcast for the first time
1926May4General strike of 1.7 million workers begins in the United Kingdom
1926May12Norge airship makes the first verified flight over the North Pole
1926October24Harry Houdini performs his final show despite suffering from acute appendicitis
1927May21First solo transatlantic flights
1927July24Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing is unveiled
1927October4Work begins on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial
1927November12Leon Trotsky expelled from the Communist Party
1928May15Mickey Mouse's first cartoon appearance
1928July7Sliced bread goes on sale for the first time
1928August27The Kellogg-Briand Pact is signed
1928September28Penicillin discovered by Alexander Fleming
1928October1USSR introduces first five-year plan
1928October12Iron lung' respirator used for the first time at Boston Children's Hospital
1929February14Saint Valentine's Day Massacre
1929August11Babe Ruth becomes the first Major League Baseball player to hit 500 home runs
1929October24Wall Street Crash begins on Black Thursday
1929November29Richard E. Byrd completes the first flight over the South Pole
1929December27Stalin calls for the 'liquidation of the kulaks as a class'
1930February18Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly
1930March12Gandhi begins the Salt March to Dandi
1931September18Manchurian Crisis begins after Japanese bomb
1931September21Britain abandons the gold standard after Parliament passes the an Amendment Act
1932May4Al Capone imprisoned for income tax evasion
1932July8Dow Jones falls to its lowest point in the Great Depression
1932July28Bonus Marchers forcibly evicted from Washington D.C. by the Army
1932September18Actress Peg Entwistle's body found after jumping from the Hollywood sign
1932September18Actress Peg Entwistle's body found after jumping from the Hollywood sign
1933January30Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany
1933February27Arson attack causes the Reichstag Fire
1933April26The Gestapo secret police established by Hermann Göring in Nazi Germany
1933October17Albert Einstein moves to the USA after Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany
1933November16The USA establishes formal diplomatic relations with the USSR
1933December1521 Amendment ends prohibition in the USA
1934May23Bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde ambushed by police and killed in rural Louisiana
1934June30Nazi party purged on Night of the Long Knives
1934August2Hitler proclaims himself Fuhrer following Hindenburg's death
1934December5Wal-Wal Incident between Italy and Abyssinia
1935January13Saar votes to reunite with Germany
1935January24The first canned beer goes on sale from the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company
1935February26Hitler formally establishes the Luftwaffe
1935April14Black Sunday dust storm sweeps across the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl era
1935June10Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by Bill Wilson and Robert Smith
1935September2The Labor Day hurricane, the most intense hurricane to ever make landfall
1935September15'Nuremberg Laws' introduced in Germany
1935September30The Hoover Dam is dedicated by Franklin D. Roosevelt
1935October19League of Nations imposes sanctions on Italy
1935October20Mao's Red Army finishes the Long March
1935December12Nazis introduce Lebensborn programme
1935December31Monopoly board game patented
1936March5Supermarine Spitfire aircraft makes its maiden test flight
1936March7Remilitarisation of the Rhineland by the German Army
1936July26Germany and Italy agree to support Franco
1936August3Jesse Owens wins his first Olympic medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
1936October4The Battle of Cable Street
1936October5The Jarrow March departs for London
1936November25Anti-Comintern Pact signed by Germany and Japan
1936December11Abdication of King Edward VIII
1937February16Wallace Carothers receives a patent for nylon
1937April26The Bombing of Guernica
1937May6The Hindenburg airship disaster in New Jersey
1937June30World's first emergency telephone number began operation
1937July5SPAM, the canned cooked pork, first introduced by Hormel Foods Corporation
1937September21The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein is first published
1937December13The Nanking Massacre begins
1937December29Constitution of Ireland comes into effect following a plebiscite
1938July3Mallard sets the world speed record for steam locomotive
1938September29Munich Agreement annexes Sudetenland
1938October30War of the Worlds by Orson Welles is broadcast
1939February14German battleship Bismarck launched at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg
1939February20Pro-Nazi rally held at Madison Square Garden in New York City
1939March14The First Slovak Republic proclaimed, as a client state of Nazi Germany
1939March30Batman's debut in Detective Comics #27
1939April1Francisco Franco announces the end of the Spanish Civil War
1939May22The Pact of Steel signed between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy
1939August23Nazi-Soviet Pact signed by Molotov and Ribbentrop
1939September1Nazi Germany invades Poland
1939September3Second War War begins
1939October16First German air raid on Britain during WW2 took place at a Scotland naval base
1940February29First African-American to win an Oscar
1940May15The world's first McDonald's restaurant opened in California
1940May26Start of the Dunkirk evacuation
1940July3British navy attacks the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir
1940July10The Vichy government established in France
1940July27Bugs Bunny makes his cartoon debut in A Wild Hare
1940August20Leon Trotsky attacked with an ice axe in Mexico
1940September7The Nazi German Luftwaffe launches The Blitz
1940October25Benjamin O. Davis Sr. becomes first African-American general in the US military
1940November5President Roosevelt elected for an unprecedented third term
1941March11Lend-Lease Act signed into law by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
1941May10Rudolf Hess secretly flies to Scotland to seek peace
1941August14Roosevelt and Churchill issue the Atlantic Charter
1941August15The last execution takes place at the Tower of London
1941September8Start of the Siege of Leningrad
1941December7Attack on Pearl Harbor
1941December11Nazi Germany declares war on the USA
1942January1Declaration by the United Nations agreed
1942January20Nazi leaders meet at the Wannsee Conference
1942January29Desert Island Discs first broadcast by the BBC
1942March13Julia Flikke of the Army Nurse Corps, became the first female Colonel in the USA
1942March28Operation Chariot and the St. Nazaire raid by British forces in WW2
1942May8The Battle of the Coral Sea ends
1942May27Reinhard Heydrich fatally injured in an assassination attempt in Prague
1942May29The song "White Christmas" recorded by Bing Crosby
1942June12Anne Frank receives a diary for her 13 birthday
1942June22The words of the Pledge of Allegiance formally adopted by Congress
1942July22Wartime gasoline rationing introduced to the USA
1942July27Allies halt the Axis advance in the First Battle of El Alamein
1942October30German Enigma machine ciphers retrieved from submarine U-559 by British sailors
1943January14Churchill and Roosevelt meet in Casablanca
1943February22Trial and execution of White Rose members
1943May15Stalin dissolves the Comintern that aimed to promote worldwide communism
1943May17RAF No. 617 Squadron carries out the 'Dambusters' raid
1943May24Josef Mengele, the Nazi Angel of Death, transferred to Auschwitz
1943July23Archibald Brown blown up in the Rayleigh bath chair murder by an anti-tank grenade placed under his seat
1943November22Cairo Conference begins as Britain, USA and China meet to discuss Japan in WW2
1944January17Allies launch the Battle of Monte Cassino during the Second World War
1944April1The USAAF accidentally bomb the neutral Swiss town of Schaffhausen
1944June6D-Day landings mark the start of Operation Overlord
1944June13First V-1 'Doodlebug' flying bomb attack on London
1944August4First Allied jet fighter destroys a Nazi V-1 flying bomb
1944August23King Michael of Romania leads a coup d'etat against against Ion Antonescu
1944August25The Allies liberate Paris from Nazi control
1944December16The Battle of the Bulge begins on the Western Front of the Second World War
1945January27Auschwitz-Birkenau liberated by Soviet forces
1945February4Yalta Conference begins
1945March26Battle of Iwo Jima officially ends
1945April12Harry Truman Becomes President of the USA
1945May2The Battle of Berlin ends with the German surrender to the USSR
1945May8Victory in Europe Day
1945June20The United States approves the transfer of Nazi rocket scientist Wernher von Braun
1945July16USA tests the first ever nuclear bomb
1945August6The USA drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima
1945November16Foundation of UNESCO
1945November20First Nuremberg Trial begins
1946February15ENIAC, the first programmable general-purpose electronic digital computer
1946February22The 'Long Telegram' sent by George Kennan, a senior US diplomat in Moscow
1946March5Winston Churchill makes his 'Iron Curtain' speech in Fulton
1946May2The Battle of Alcatraz began when armed inmates attempted to escape from the prison
1946June2Italians vote to turn their country into a republic
1946July5The bikini swimsuit introduced for the first time
1946September24The policy of 'Containment' first suggested in a US report
1946December11UNICEF established by the United Nations General Assembly
1947January25Patent for the first interactive electronic game filed
1947March12Truman Doctrine established when the President asks for aid to Greece and Turkey
1947June5The Marshall Plan outlined in a speech at Harvard University
1947June24The first widely-reported UFO sighting was made by private pilot Kenneth Arnold
1947July6The Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle goes into production
1947July8Roswell Army Air Base reports 'flying disc' debris
1947September9Moth 'bug' discovered inside a Harvard computer
1947October14Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to officially break the sound barrier
1948June22MV Empire Windrush arrives at Tilbury Docks in London
1948July5National Health Service launched in the UK
1948July26Executive Order 9981 abolishes racial segregation in the US military
1949February15The first archaeological excavation at the site of the Dead Sea Scrolls
1949May12Stalin lifts the Berlin Blockade
1949June19The first NASCAR 'Strictly Stock' race takes place at Charlotte Speedway
1949August29USSR conducts its first atomic bomb test
1949September23President Truman announces the USSR's first nuclear test
1949October1Mao Zedong declares the establishment of the People's Republic of China
1949October7East Germany founded in the Soviet zone
1950February9Joseph McCarthy starts the Second Red Scare claiming Communist infiltration
1950March8VW Transporter (aka 'camper' / 'bus') begins production
1950March14FBI launches its 'Ten Most Wanted' list
1950April11Stone of Scone rediscovered 4 months after its disappearance
1950May13First Formula One World Championship Grand Prix race at Silverstone
1950June27President Truman sends US navy and air force to Korea
1950July4Radio Free Europe broadcasts for the first time
1951April5Julius and Ethel Rosenberg sentenced to death for spying
1952March21Moondog Coronation Ball, the first rock and roll concert, takes place in Cleveland, Ohio
1952May1Mr Potato Head goes on sale for the first time
1952May2First ever passenger jet plane takes off from London
1952September24Kentucky Fried Chicken opens its first franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah
1952December5The Great Smog of London begins
1953April27The US launches Operation Moolah to obtain a Soviet MiG-15 jet fighter
1953May29Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquer Mount Everest
1953October19Ray Bradbury's dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 first published
1953November21Piltdown Man exposed as a hoax, undermining studies of human evolution
1954January21Launch of USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine
1954April7President Eisenhower first described the ‘domino theory’ of the spread of communism
1954December2US Senator Joseph McCarthy censured by the Senate
1955May14The establishment of the Warsaw Pact
1955August28The murder of black teenager Emmett Till in Mississippi
1955September16Uprising that topples Juan Peron from power in Argentina begins
1955December1Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat
1955December24NORAD tracks Santa for the first time
1956February25Khruschev criticises Stalin in his 'secret speech'
1956May24First Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Switzerland
1956June3Rock and Roll music banned in Santa Cruz
1956September9When Elvis first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show
1956September25Inauguration TAT-1, the first transatlantic telephone cable
1956October29Israel invades Egypt in the Suez Crisis
1956November13Browder v Gayle leads to desegregation on buses
1956December4Million Dollar Quartet record at Sun Studios
1956December6USSR and Hungary 'Blood in the Water' Olympic match
1957March25Treaty of Rome establishes the EEC
1957July6Lennon and McCartney meet for the first time
1957September4Black students denied entry to Little Rock High School
1957October1The phrase ‘In God We Trust’ appears on U.S. paper currency for the first time
1957October10Eisenhower apologises to Ghanaian minister for racism in Delaware restaurant
1957November3Laika the dog becomes the first animal in orbit
1958February5American nuclear bomb lost off the coast of Tybee Island in Georgia, USA
1958February6Munich air disaster kills Manchester Utd players
1958March14Perry Como awarded the first gold record by the RIAA
1958June16Execution of Hungarian Communist leader Imre Nagy
1958September12The world's first integrated circuit (aka microchip) demonstrated by Jack Kilby
1958December28The Greatest Game Ever Played' in the NFL Championship Playoff
1959January2USSR launches Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon
1959February3Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & The Big Bopper plane crash (Day The Music Died)
1959February20Jimi Hendrix plays his first gig
1959March9Barbie doll introduced at the New York Toy Fair
1959June8United States Post Office Department transported 3,000 letters using a cruise missile
1959August21Hawaii becomes the 50th state of the USA
1959September14The USSR successfully sends the first man-made object to the Moon's surface
1960February1Start of the Greensboro sit-ins to protest segregation
1960June23Enovid approved as the first combined oral contraceptive pill in the world
1960September26Kennedy and Nixon's first televised debate
1960October27Ben E. King records Stand By Me
1960November14Ruby Bridges, the first African-American to desegregate an elementary school
1961January3USA cuts diplomatic relations with Cuba
1961February3Operation Looking Glass begins its 29-year Cold War flight above the USA
1961April11The trial of Adolf Eichmann begins in Israel
1961April17The Bay of Pigs invasion launched by Brigade 2506
1961May5Astronaut Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel in space on Freedom 7
1961May25Kennedy announces plan for manned moon landing
1961August13Construction begins on the Berlin Wall
1961October30The Tsar Bomba detonated by the USSR
1962February10Captured U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers freed in a prisoner exchange
1962March19Bob Dylan releases his eponymous debut album
1962May19Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to President John F. Kennedy
1962June2Chile and Italy meet in football's violent 'Battle of Santiago'
1962July11World's first satellite TV broadcast using Telstar
1962August5Nelson Mandela arrested and jailed
1962October5First James Bond film and first Beatles single released
1962October14U-2 spy plane captures images of Cuban missile sites
1962October28End of the Cuban Missile Crisis
1963March27Dr Beeching publishes his first British Rail report
1963April30The Bristol Bus Boycott against discriminatory recruitment begins
1963June11Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức burns himself to death
1963June26JFK declares 'Ich bin ein Berliner'
1963August8The Great Train Robbery takes place
1963August28Martin Luther King Jr. declares 'I Have a Dream'
1963August30Moscow-Washington hotline enters operation
1963November22Assassination of John F. Kennedy
1963November23First episode of Doctor Who broadcast
1963December12Kenya gains independence from the United Kingdom
1964January11US Surgeon General publishes report on the health effects of tobacco smoking
1964February7The Beatles' first visit to the USA
1964March27Most powerful earthquake ever recorded in North America struck Alaska
1964July2Civil Rights Act signed into law by Lyndon B Johnson
1964August7Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed by US Congress
1964October29‘Murf the Surf’ and two accomplices commit New York’s biggest ever jewel heist
1965March2USA launches Operation Rolling Thunder in Vietnam
1965March25The Selma to Montgomery March ends at the Alabama State Capitol
1965April20Skylight windows of the Houston Astrodome painted
1965July25Bob Dylan goes electric at the Newport Folk Festival
1965December9Charlie Brown Christmas first broadcast
1966January17Palomares incident sees a B-52 mid-air collision and dropping four nuclear bombs
1966February17The Beach Boys start recording Good Vibrations
1966May16Start of the Cultural Revolution in China
1966June13The Miranda Warning - US Supreme Court rules suspects must be told their rights
1966July18The Hough Riots begin in Cleveland, Ohio
1966September8Star Trek makes its television debut with "The Man Trap"
1966October15The Black Panther Party founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale
1966October21144 people killed in the Aberfan disaster
1967January12Dr James Bedford becomes the first cryonically preserved human
1967January14The Human Be-In takes place in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park
1967January27The Outer Space Treaty that is the basis for all space laws opened for signatures
1967April21Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Joseph Stalin, arrives in the USA after defecting
1967June1The Beatles release Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1967June5Start of the Arab-Israeli Six Day War
1967August24Abbie Hoffman throws money inside the New York Stock Exchange
1967September30BBC Radio 1 begins broadcasting
1967October9Ernesto 'Che' Guevara executed in Bolivia
1967December3The first human-to-human heart transplant
1968January5Prague Spring begins in Czechoslovakia
1968February1Viet Cong Captain Bảy Lốp executed by General Loan
1968March16My Lai Massacre committed by US troops
1968April4Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
1968April11The Fair Housing Act of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 signed by President Johnson
1968August20Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia to end the Prague Spring
1969February9First test flight of Boeing 747 'Jumbo Jet'
1969June28The Stonewall Riots begin when NYPD raid the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village
1969July20Apollo 11 lands on the moon
1969August8The Beatles stop traffic on Abbey Road for their photo on the zebra crossing
1969August12The Battle of the Bogside in Derry, Northern Ireland
1969November10Sesame Street first broadcast
1969November15500,000 people march on Washington in the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam
1969November20Native Americans begin their occupation of Alcatraz Island
1969December6Meredith Hunter killed at the Altamont Free Festival
1969December17Project Blue Book, the United States' study of UFOs, officially terminated
1970April13Explosion on Apollo 13
1970May4Ohio National Guardsmen shoot Kent State students
1970July21Construction of Egypt's Aswan High Dam is completed
1970July31Black Tot Day ends the Royal Navy's daily rum ration
1970August23Start of the Salad Bowl Strike, the largest farm worker walkout in U.S. history
1970September19First Glastonbury Festival takes place
1970October5PBS, the national Public Broadcasting Service in the United States, was launched
1970November12A dead whale is blown up with dynamite by the Oregon State Highway Division
1971February15The UK and Ireland decimalise their currency
1971March8Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier faced each other in the 'Fight of the Century'
1971April10US table tennis team ushers in ping pong diplomacy
1971July9Henry Kissinger makes a secret diplomatic trip to China
1971October28Prospero, the only British satellite launched with a British rocket
1971December4“Smoke on the Water” inspired by a concert fire at the Montreux Casino
1972February3The deadliest recorded blizzard hit northwestern, central and southern Iran
1972May21Laszlo Toth attacks Michelangelo's Pieta with a hammer
1972June8Photo taken of a Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack
1972September6Olympic athletes killed in the Munich massacre
1972December7The Blue Marble photograph taken of the whole Earth
1972December14Gene Cernan becomes the last person on the Moon at the end of Apollo 17
1972December28Kim Il-sung becomes President of North Korea
1973January14Elvis Presley makes the satellite broadcast Aloha From Hawaii
1973January22The Supreme Court issues its decision on the Roe v. Wade abortion case
1973February27Occupation of Wounded knee by the Oglala Lakota and the American Indian Movement
1973March29Final US troops withdraw from Vietnam
1973September11General Pinochet seizes power in Chile in a coup against President Allende
1973September20Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in the 'Battle of the Sexes' tennis match
1973October6Yom Kippur War begins when Egyptian and Syrian forces attack Israel
1973December26The Exorcist released in cinemas
1974March29Discovery of the Terracotta Army
1974June26World's first barcode scanned on a pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum
1974August9Richard Nixon resigns as President of the USA
1974September23BBC launches the Ceefax teletext service
1974November21The Birmingham pub bombings kill 21 people and injure 182
1975January6Led Zeppelin banned from Boston after fans run riot at Boston Garden arena
1975April29US evacuation of Saigon in Operation Frequent Wind
1975July15The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project lifted off
1975October11Saturday Night Live is broadcast for the first time
1975November6Sex Pistols play their first gig
1976July18Nadia Comăneci scores the first ever Olympic gymnastic 'perfect 10'
1976November26Sex Pistols release the punk single Anarchy in the UK
1977April2Red Rum wins an unprecedented third Grand National horse race
1977May25Star Wars is first released in cinemas
1977September12Anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko dies of injuries sustained in police custody
1977October20Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane crashes during an emergency landing
1978May3The world's first ‘spam’ email sent by Gary Thuerk of Digital Equipment Corporation
1978June19Garfield cartoon strip first published
1978September11Last ever death from smallpox in Birmingham, UK
1978September16Filming begins on Monty Python's Life of Brian
1978September17Egypt and Israel sign Camp David Accords
1978November17CBS broadcast the heavily-criticised Star Wars Holiday Special
1978November27George Moscone and Harvey Milk killed by Dan White
1979January7Cambodian leader Pol Pot overthrown
1979February11Iranian Revolution overthrows the Shah
1979March28Worst accident in U.S. nuclear power plant history at Three Mile Island Generating Station
1979July3President Jimmy Carter authorizes $500,000 to aid the mujahideen in Afghanistan
1979November4The Iran hostage crisis begins
1979November9A computer error reports the USSR had fired nuclear missiles at the USA
1980January2Jimmy Carter instigates the end of détente after the USSR invades Afghanistan
1980August14Lech Wałęsa leads Gdańsk shipyard workers on strike
1980September22Iraq-Iran war begins
1980December8John Lennon murdered by Mark David Chapman
1981January2Peter Sutcliffe, "The Yorkshire Ripper" arrested
1981January21First DeLorean sports car produced
1981February13The sewers of Louisville, Kentucky, explode due to industrial waste
1981May31Jaffna Public Library in Sri Lanka burnt down
1981August1The launch of cable music television channel MTV
1981October6Egyptian President Anwar Sadat assassinated
1982April2Falklands War begins with Argentine invasion
1982June7Elvis Presley’s Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee, was opened to the public
1982August17The first commercial CD is produced in Germany
1982November13Vietnam Veterans Memorial formally dedicated in Washington, D.C.
1982November30Michael Jackson releases the album Thriller
1983January31It became compulsory for UK drivers to wear a seat belt
1983May6The Hitler Diaries proven to be forgeries
1983September26False alarm by Soviet nuclear detection system almost causes nuclear war
1983November10Bill Gates announces the Microsoft Windows graphical user interface for PCs
1985February19BBC broadcasts first episode of EastEnders
1985March31WrestleMania I takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City
1985April23Introduction of 'New Coke' is a marketing disaster
1985July13Live Aid is watched by 1.9 billion people
1985September1Wreck of the Titanic discovered by Robert Ballard
1985September13Super Mario Bros. video game released
1985November19Reagan and Gorbachev meet for the first time at the Geneva Summit
1986January20Martin Luther King, Jr. Day first observed as a federal holiday
1986January28The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
1987April19The Simpsons make their first television appearance on The Tracey Ullman Show
1987May28West German amateur pilot lands a private plane near Red Square in Moscow
1987June12Ronald Reagan calls on Mikhail Gorbachev to 'Tear down this wall!'
1987November18Kings Cross St Pancras fire on the London Underground
1988October27Ronald Reagan halts construction of the Moscow embassy
1988November2Release of the Morris Worm signalled the first major internet security attack
1989March24Start of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in Alaska's Prince William Sound
1989April1596 Liverpool fans killed in the Hillsborough Disaster
1989June3Start of the Tiananmen Square massacre
1989August19The Pan-European Picnic opens the Cold War border between Hungary and Austria
1989September10Hungary allows East Germans into Austria
1989November9East Germany opens the Berlin Wall
1989December22Overthrow of Nicolae Ceaușescu in Romania
1990January31First McDonald's opens in the USSR
1990February14Voyager 1 creates the Pale Blue Dot photograph of Earth
1990March18The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum suffers the world’s largest ever art theft
1990August12Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex discovered by Susan Hendrickson
1990October3East and West Germany reunited
1990November12World Wide Web first proposed
1990November14Margaret Thatcher faces leadership challenge
1990November16Milli Vanilli stripped of their Grammy Award for not singing on their album
1991January17Gulf War combat phase begins with Operation Desert Storm
1991August19Gorbachev placed under house arrest in the August Coup
1991September10Nirvana release 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
1991December26The USSR formally dissolved
1992March17White South Africans vote to end apartheid in a referendum
1992July22Pablo Escobar escapes from the luxury La Catedral prison
1993February28Beginning of the Waco siege of the Branch Davidian Church in Texas
1993October3The Black Hawk Down incident during the Battle of Mogadishu
1993December30Israel and the Vatican City begin diplomatic relations
1996February27Pokémon first launched in Japan
1997May11Deep Blue chess computer beats Garry Kasparov
1998January26Bill Clinton denies 'sexual relations with that woman'
2000March10The NASDAQ index peaks at the height of the dot-com bubble
2000December12Bush v. Gore decision reached by the United States Supreme Court
2002January29The phrase 'Axis of Evil' used for the first time by President George W. Bush
2008June29Apple release the iPhone
2015October21Marty McFly goes 'Back To The Future'

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