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Timeline of Significant Events


Centuries B.C. – 1550 A.D.

Migration to North America
Journey of Christopher Columbus
Spanish exploitation

1550 – 1650

St. Augustine founded
“Lost Colony” established at Roanoke Island
Settlement of Jamestown
Pilgrims land at Plymouth

1650 – 1700

King Phillip’s War
Navigation Acts
New colonies chartered (Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania)
Salem Witch Trials

1750 – 1770

Seven Years’ War
Proclamation of 1763
Revenue Acts


Continental Congress
Common Sense
Declaration of Independence
American Revolution

1780 – 1787

Articles of Confederation
Treaty of Paris
Shays’s Rebellion
Constitutional Convention

1788 – 1800

Ratification of Constitution
Washington, first U.S. PresidentBill of Rights
Judiciary Act

1801  - 1825

Louisiana Purchase
War of 1812
Erie Canal constructed
Missouri Compromise

1826 - 1849

Nullification Crisis
Trail of Tears
Mexican War
California Gold Rush

1850 – 1859

Compromise of 1850
Kansas-Nebraska Act
Dred Scott decision
Raid on Harpers Ferry

1860 - 1865

Southern states secede
Civil War
Emancipation Proclamation
13th amendment ratified
Confederates surrender; Lincoln assassinated

1866 – 1877

Freedmen’s Bureau
Black Codes
Military Reconstruction Act
14th and 15th amendments
Last troops withdrawn from South

1878 – 1900

Chinese Exclusion Act
Edison invents electric light bulb
AFL founded
Dawes Act
Drought in Great Plains; farm prices collapse
Plessy v. Ferguson

1901 - 1916

First successful flight
Production of first automobile
Spanish-American War
Panama Canal opens

1917 –  1920

U.S. enters World War I
Senate rejects Treaty of Versaille
19th amendment ratified
Red Scare

1921 - 1929

National Origins Act
The Jazz Singer:  first feature-length movie
Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight
Stock market crash

1930 – 1940

The Great Depression
Roosevelt’s New Deal
Dust Bowl
World War II begins

1941 – 1945

Attack on Pearl Harbor
War on multiple fronts
Germany surrenders
Atom bombs dropped; Japan surrenders

1946 – 1960

Marshall Plan
Cold War begins
Korean Conflict
Brown v. Board of Education

1961 – 1980

First American in space
Vietnam War
Kennedys and King assassinated
Civil Rights legislation
War on poverty
Watergate; Nixon resigns presidency

1981 – present

Existence of AIDS first reported
Gulf War against Iraq
Collapse of the Soviet Union
Terrorist destruction of World Trade Center

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