U.S. History Timeline: Progressive Era and World Wars - 1900?1949

Timeline: Progressive ERA &

World Wars1900-1949

Read about major events in U.S. History from 1900?1949, including the San Francisco earthquake, Great Depression, World War II, and more.


September 8

  • Galveston hurricane leaves an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 dead. According to the census, the nation's population numbers nearly 76 million.


March 4

  • McKinley's second inauguration.

September 6

September 14

  • He later dies from his wounds and is succeeded by his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt.


Treaty signed November 17

December 17

  • Wright brothers make the first controlled, sustained flight in heavier-than-air aircraft at Kitty Hawk, N.C.Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk
    Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk


March 4

  • Theodore Roosevelt's second inauguration.


April 18


March 4

  • William Howard Taft is inaugurated as the 27th president.
  • Mrs. Taft has 80 Japanese cherry trees planted along the banks of the Potomac River.Cherry Trees in Blossom at the Washington Monument
    Cherry Trees in Blossom at the Washington Monument


March 4

  • Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated as the 28th president.

April 8

  • Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, providing for the direct election of U.S. senators by popular vote rather than by the state legislatures.

1914 ?

  • World War I: U.S. enters World War I, declaring war on Germany (April 6, 1917) and Austria-Hungary (Dec. 7, 1917) three years after conflict began in 1914.

Nov. 11, 1918

  • Armistice ending World War I is signed.


August 15

  • Panama Canal opens to traffic.


January 25

  • First long distance telephone service, between New York and San Francisco, is demonstrated.


Treaty signed Aug. 14

  • U.S. agrees to purchase Danish West Indies (Virgin Islands) for $25 million.

November 7

  • Jeannette Rankin of Montana is the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.Jeannette Rankin
    Jeannette Rankin


March 5

  • Wilson's second inauguration.

May 15

  • First regular airmail service begins, with one round trip a day between Washington, DC, and New York.


  • Worldwide influenza epidemic strikes; by 1920, nearly 20 million are dead. In U.S., 500,000 perish.


January 13

January 16

  • Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation of liquor. It is later repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment in 1933.

August 18

September 26

  • President Wilson suffers a stroke.

November 19

  • Treaty of Versailles, outlining terms for peace at the end of World War I, is rejected by the Senate.


March 4

  • Warren G. Harding is inaugurated as the 29th president.

July 2

  • He signs resolution declaring peace with Austria and Germany.


Aug. 2

  • President Harding dies suddenly. He is succeeded by his vice president, Calvin Coolidge.


  • Teapot Dome scandal breaks, as Senate launches an investigation into improper leasing of naval oil reserves during Harding administration.


March 4

  • Coolidge's second inauguration.

March 23

  • Tennessee passes a law against the teaching of evolution in public schools.

July 10?25


May 20?21

  • Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in his plane The Spirit of St. Louis.Charles Lindbergh
    Charles Lindbergh


March 4

  • Herbert Hoover is inaugurated as the 31st president.

October 29


March 3

  • The Star-Spangled Banner is adopted as the national anthem.


January 12

  • Hattie Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas is the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, to fill a vacancy caused by the death of her husband. She is reelected in 1932 and 1938.Hattie Wyatt Caraway
    Hattie Wyatt Caraway

May 21

  • Amelia Earhart completes first solo nonstop transatlantic flight by a woman.


January 23

  • Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution, sometimes called the ?Lame Duck Amendment,? is ratified, moving the president's inauguration date from March 4 to Jan. 20.

March 4

  • Franklin Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd president.

March 9 ? June 16

  • New Deal recovery measures are enacted by Congress.

December 5


April 8

August 14


Jan. 20

  • F. Roosevelt's second inauguration.


June 25

1939 ?

September 5, 1939

  • World War II: U.S. declares its neutrality in European conflict.

January 20, 1941

  • F. Roosevelt's third inauguration. He is the first and only president elected to a third term.

December 7, 1941

  • Japan attacks Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines.

December 8

  • U.S. declares war on Japan.

December 11

  • Germany and Italy declare war on the United States; U.S. reciprocates by declaring war on both countries.

October ? December 1942

  • Allies invade North Africa.

September ? December 1943

  • Allies invade Italy.

June 6, 1944

  • Allies invade France on D-Day.

January 20, 1945

  • F. Roosevelt's fourth inauguration

February 4 ? 11

  • President Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin meet at Yalta in the USSR to discuss postwar occupation of Germany.

April 12

  • President Roosevelt dies of a stroke and is succeeded by his vice president, Harry Truman.

May 7

  • Germany surrenders unconditionally.

July 16

  • First atomic bomb is detonated at Alamogordo, N.M.

July 17 ? August 2

  • President Truman, Churchill, and Stalin meet at Potsdam, near Berlin, Germany, to demand Japan's unconditional surrender and to discuss plans for postwar Europe.

August 6

  • U.S. drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.Bomb cloud at Hiroshima
    Bomb cloud at Hiroshima

August 9

  • U.S. drops atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.

August 14

  • Japan agrees to unconditional surrender.

September 2

  • Japanese envoys sign surrender terms aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo harbor.


October 24

  • United Nations is established.


July 4

  • The Philippines, which had been ceded to the U.S. by Spain at the end of the Spanish-American War, becomes an independent republic.


July 18


April 2

  • Congress passes foreign aid bill including the Marshall Plan, which provides for European postwar recovery.

June 24

  • Soviets begin blockade of Berlin in the first major crisis of the cold war.

June 26

  • In response, U.S. and Great Britain begin airlift of food and fuel to West Berlin.


Jan. 20

  • Truman's second inauguration.

April 4

  • Soviets end blockade of Berlin (May 12), but airlift continues until Sept. 30.
U.S. History Timeline
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