Significant Historical Events in 20th Century America
Created by hannahb on May 16, 2008
Last updated: 04/25/11 at 02:46 PM
In an effort to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi Aggression, President Bush called for a US/UN air raid over Baghdad, Iraq. The troops officially liberated Kuwait from Iraq on February 28, 1991 after a successful ground assault against Iraq. This event was the catalyst for the years of war later experienced between the U.S. and Iraq. The war being fought on Iraqi soil today is partially an effect of Operation Desert Storm.
The administration of President Richard Nixon was caught breaking in to the Democratic National Convention in order to procure information, and give Nixon a lead in the race to presidency. On July 27, 1974, Nixon was approved for three articles of impeachment and charged with several offenses for what is now called the “Watergate Scandal.” He resigned from being the president on August 8, 1974.
America was intimidated by the Russians, as they were the first to send a man into space. The ultimate goal became to send an American to the moon, and this feat was achieved on July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong was the first man in he world to walk on the moon.
As MLK Jr. was standing on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, preparing himself for the upcoming marches in the city; he was suddenly gunned down by a sniper. HIs death was followed by riots and violent acts by many. This nonviolent leader had sparked a new civil rights revolution that won blacks rights in all of America. His death inspired people to carry his message through to the end.
On Vietnam's New Year, called Tet, the Vietcong called a temporary cease fire to let the country celebrate the new year. The Vietcong did not remain true to their word as they brought coffins full of weapons into Southern cities and killed people in over 100 towns. The Tet Offensive was a turning point in American public opinion about the war in Vietnam. The tides turned as many changed their opinion about the war, concluding that the war wasn't accomplishing anything soon enough. After the Tet Offensive, it was predicted that the war would end in a stalemate, becoming the first major war America ever lost.
When Kennedy and his wife landed in Dallas, TX to mend political fences between members of the Democratic Party, they both expected a cool reception by the crowd. Instead the couple was greeted with applause as they exited their plane and climbed into their open-air limo. Suddenly, a couple of shots rang out, one striking JFK in the head, killing him. America stopped with his death, and as Johnson took over, America mourned. To this day, people who were alive can still recall what they were doing when they first heard news of JFK’s death.
On this day, MLK Jr. led over 250,000 people to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he gave what became one of the most famous speeches in history. The purpose of this march was to persuade Congress to pass a civil rights bill in order to grant equality to all people. Martin Luther King's speech was the turning point in the fight for civil rights. It was the peak of this movement and soon after civil rights was won by African Americans all over America.
Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus. This act got her arrested, but it also became one of the poster moments for the success of the nonviolent civil rights movement. The highly successful Montgomery Bus Boycott stemmed from Rosa Parks's seemingly insignificant act, and Parks is known today for her bravery to stand up, actually sit down, for what she believed in.
The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. After the damage from both the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was realized, Japan chose to end their involvement in the war, thus ending World War II. Truman dropped the two bombs, hoping for the war to come to and end, and his initial purpose did work out. Still today, there is an argument of whether it was the right thing to drop the atomic bombs or not, because another 80,000 people died from the bombing in Nagasaki.
President Harry S. Truman made the descision to drop "Little Boy." the first of two atomic bombs on Japan. The first bomb was dropped on the town of Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people at the initial blast. Several thousands of Japanese have died later from the radiation of the bombs. It took a total of 57 seconds from when the bomb dropped to level the entire city of Hiroshima.
During WWII, leaders from 26 nations met with President Roosevelt to sign an agreement called the Atlantic Charter. This agreement led to a more detailed agreement that would create a global organization called the United Nations. The agreement was finally approved by the Senate forming the UN and was later ratified by 29 nations. It provides a link to the other nations of the world and helps nations make decisions on matters that affect the rest of the world
D-Day was the first U.S. campaign of WWII. That morning, 160,000 troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France to begin the march toward Hitler. It was America's first victory of WWII, and the first campaign of many to come that would lead to the downfall of Hitler and his Nazi regime.
The Women Army Corps was first introduced by Edith Rogers in May of 1941. She wanted to show that women were valuable in the armed forces, and to show that they should be allowed to enlist. Many opposed this because it was the general stereotype that the woman stayed at home to cook and clean, however, the bill was passed and women were allowed to enlist in the army. This event showed that women were more valuable than just as housewives, and gave women a chance to serve for their country just as their husbands, brothers and sons did.
Early in the morning of December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii was bombed by the Japanese. This is a significant event in the history of the United States because it prompted America to enter World War II. Previously, the United States had attempted to stay neutral in the war, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that America's involvement in WWII was inevitable. December 7, 1941 became "the day that will live in infamy" and as we entered WWII, "Remember Pearl Harbor" became our battle cry.
Franklin D.Roosevelt created these reforms to attack the Great Depression and to get America back to a stable financial state. FDR focused on relief, recovery, and reform with legislation such as the Civilian Conservation Corps to battle unemployment and the Agricultural Adjustment Act to help with farming.
A severe drought during the time of the great depression made farming nearly impossible. A whole span of the midwest dried up. Farmers had nowhere to go, and most of them migrated to California to form one of the largest migrations in the history of America. The drought began in 1931 and the consequences did not end until 1939.
America had enjoyed monetary success in the past ten years, but the economy was slowly crumbling and the final straw was Black Tuesday, or when the Stock Market crashed. Numerous individuals had invested their money in the Stock Market while America was enjoying so much profit, and they lost all of their money. Even worse, banks had invested their money in the stock market. Between the crash and a panicked rush to the banks, banks ran dry and even more people lost money. This lead to the Great Depression.
The Hoover Dam was created during the Great Depression as one of the solutions to help America get back on its feet financially. It was also created to help with the severe drought going on by using the the water from The Colorado River. Hoover created it using the Boulder Canyon Project Act. The Act was passed on this date.
Philo Farnsworth is considered the original inventor of the modern day television. When he was just 14 years old he sketched his first idea that he later patented after many tests and failures. The first image ever displayed on the screen was a single, black horizontal line. This line led to silent black and white pictures, then later to color and sound. It has even progressed to surround sound and high definition picture. The TV created a new era in America. Americans could now know about what was going on in the world without leaving their homes.
The 1920s were a time of prosperity for America. The Country was economically stable and citizens were enjoying several new inventions. The Stock market was doing fine, so the everyday person had shares of stocks. There was money to be made and fun to be had.
The Treaty of Versailles put an end to World War I. Because Germany lost the war, Germany was forced to pay over fifty billion dollars in reparations. At the Paris Peace Conference where it was signed, US president Woodrow Wilson put forth his Fourteen Points Plan.
After a long fight for women's voting rights, efforts finally paid off as Congress passed the amendment that gave them the rights they had long deserved. This event marked the first of many movements for human rights. Women could vote, and it wasn't long before other voting acts were passed: allowing 18 year olds and African Americans the right to vote.
After WWI, the U.S. erupted with fear of communism, anarchism and socialism. Americans feared a revolution and an overthrow of the government and so the Red Scare began. Suspected Communists were tried and punished and the nation was on the watch for Reds. This sparked the second Red Scare and later the choice to go to war with the Communist regime of the Vietcong.
The Selective Service Act of 1917, also known as the Selective Draft Act , enable President Wilson to call for a draft of men over 18 years old. He created the draft when he realized that not enough people were volunteering to fight in WWI. The Selective Service Act was used for the 1st and 2nd World Wars, and other wars such as VIetnam. It currently requires all men 18-26 to register for the draft. The draft completely changed war because it now meant that many who were serving did not want to be there. It becomes especially cumbersome for mothers and fathers during wartime.
The decision to enter WWI was made by senators, representatives, ambassadors and other guests after the idea had been presented by President Wilson. Several days later, America prepared to go to war. This decision is significant because it was the first major foreign war that the United States had entered. It also held significance because it displayed what enthusiastic American troops could do.
The people of Russia were tired of the actions of their previous leader, Tsar Nicholas II. Events in World War I as well as events in Russia made the time "ripe" to overthrow the current leader and find a new one. At the time of the revolution, the Russians did not know who their new leader would be, and this set them up for years of dictatorship in the future. When Russia finally had their revolution, they pulled out of World War I and America decided to enter the War.
The Zimmerman Telegram was a message from Germany to Mexico, promising that of the United States joined World War II, Mexico could join the Central Powers. Mexico would recieve the Southwestern American territories back from America. The British government first discovered the telegram, and because they were allied with the United States, they revealed the message to America.
After Ulysses S. Grant destroyed the first Klan, the KKK rebuilt in 1915 on their common belief of the need to purificate society. At its peak in 1924, the Klan had recruited over 6 million members. The third KKK came together over a common hatred of the new civil rights movement in the 1950s and '60s. The KKK exposed a hatred never seen before in Americans, and the group still exists almost a century later. No American wants their country to be remembered for this group of supremacists.
The Archduke of Austria Hungary was assassinated by a Serbian Nationalist group, called "The Black Hand" while visiting Sarajevo, Bosnia. This event sparked what was later to be the Great War, or World War I.