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Significant 20th C. Events

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1901
   was the year   
The First Nobel Prizes Were Awarded
In physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace
1901
   was the year   
Marconi Received the First Trans-Atlantic Radio Signal
From Poldhu Wireless Station in Cornwall, England to Signal Hill in St John's, Newfoundland
1901
   was the year   
Queen Victoria Died
Born 24th May 1819, assumed the throne on the 20th June 1837 & died 22nd January 1901. The longest reign of any British monarch.
1902
   was the year   
King Edward VII Became King of England
August 9
1903
   was the year   
Baseball's First World Series
Won by the Boston Americans
1903
   was the year   
First Tour De France Was Held
Won by Maurice Garin
1903
   was the year   
The Wright Brothers Made Their First Flights
In heavier-than-air plane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
1904
   was the year   
The Land Speed Record First Exceeded 100mph
Louis Rigolly of France July 21, 1904, driving a Gobron BrilliƩ which was powered by a 13,600 cc engine developing a now lowly 130 bhp.
1905
   was the year   
Einstein Published The Theory of Special Relativity
Proposed in the article "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" published in the "Annalen der Physik" scientific journal.
1906
   was the year   
The Great San Francisco Earthquake Occurred
Struck at 5:12 A.M. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906 and had a magnitude in excess of 7.7. The earthquake and resulting fire is still one of the worst natural disasters in US history.
1908
   was the year   
The Boy Scout Association Began
By royal charter in the British Commonwealth
1908
   was the year   
Jack Johnson Became World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
First African-American to hold title
1910
   was the year   
Florence Nightingale Died
Aug 14; nursing pioneer
1911
   was the year   
The First Indianapolis 500 Was Held
Auto race won by Ray Harroun
1911
   was the year   
The First Man Reached the South Pole
Roald Amundsen and his party reached the pole on December 14th, 1911. He beat his doomed competitor Robert Falcon Scott by a month.
1912
   was the year   
The Titanic Sank
Barbara Joyce Dainton and Elizabeth Gladys Dean are the last two living survivors, although they were both too young at the time to remember the disaster.
1914
   was the year   
The Passenger Pigeon Became Extinct
Once probably the most common bird in the world, Martha, the last remaining Passenger Pigeon, died in the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1st 1914
1914
   was the year   
World War I Started
It is generally accepted that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28th 1914 was the main catalyst in starting World War I.
1915
   was the year   
HMS Endurance Sank in the Antarctic
Ernest Shackleton and his crew escape
1915
   was the year   
Lusitania Sank by German U-Boat
1000 plus lost
1917
   was the year   
Bolsheviks Seized Power in Russia
1918
   was the year   
Csar Nicholas II Died
Although the revolution occurred in 1917, Csar Nicholas II and his family were not executed until the following July.
1918
   was the year   
World War I Ended
Although generally accepted to have ended on November 11, 1918, it did not officially end until the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.
1919
   was the year   
Emiliano Zapata Was Shot to Death
Mexican revolutionary leader
1919
   was the year   
The First Non-stop Transatlantic Flight Was Made
Alcock and Brown set off from Lester's Field, St John's, Newfoundland on June 14th 1919 and crash landed near Clifden, Connemara, Ireland on June 15th 1919
1919
   was the year   
The Treaty of Versailles Was Signed
Signed on June 28, 1919 this was the official end of World War I, and ironically many view this treaty as contributing to the rise of the Nazi party and ultimately a cause of World War II
1920
   was the year   
The Black Sox Scandal Occured
Eight Chicago White Sox players charged with fixing the 1919 World Series
1920
   was the year   
Prohibition Began in the U.S.A.
Began on January 16, 1920, when the 18th amendment to the US constitution came into effect.
1921
   was the year   
Hirohito Became Ruler of Japan
1922
   was the year   
Benito Mussolini Became Italian Prime Minister
1922
   was the year   
Tutankhamen's Tomb Was Opened
By Lord Carnavon and Howard Carter
1924
   was the year   
The First Labour Government Was Elected in the U.K.
It ran from January 22, 1924 until November 3rd 1924, with Ramsey MacDonald as Prime Minister, following the previous December's election.
1924
   was the year   
Vladimir Lenin Died
Bolshevic leader, Jan. 21
1927
   was the year   
The First Movie With Sound Was Released
Opened on October 6, 1927, and when Al Jolson uttered, "Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain't heard nothin' yet", cinema was never the same again.
1927
   was the year   
The First Solo Non-stop Transatlantic Flight Was Made
Charles Lindbergh made his historic flight May 20th/21st 1927 and claimed the $25,000 Orteig prize in the process.
1928
   was the year   
Alexander Fleming Discovered Penicillin
Scottish biologist
1929
   was the year   
The First Oscars Were Awarded
Held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929, honouring the year 1928, with "Wings" being named Best Picture.
1929
   was the year   
The Great Depression Began in the U.S.A.
Interestingly, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 may have been as much an effect of, rather than a cause of, the great depression. Opinion is divided.
1929
   was the year   
Martin Luther King Was Born
American civil rights leader, Jan. 15
1929
   was the year   
The Wall Street Crash Occurred
It started on "Black Tuesday" October 29, 1929, and its severity, alongside the great depression, meant that the market did not reach its pre-crash levels until 1955.
1930
   was the year   
The First Football World Cup Was Staged
Planned to compensate for football's exclusion from the 1932 Olympics, it was won by the host nation Uruguay when they beat Argentine 4-2.
1933
   was the year   
First Fixed-wing Aircraft Solo Around the World
1933
   was the year   
The Nazi Party Gained Power in Germany
With the burning of the Reichstag building on February 27, 1933 and the subsequent political reaction, the Nazi seizure of power (Gleichschaltung) was complete.
1933
   was the year   
Prohibition Ended in the U.S.A.
Officially ended on December 5, 1933 with the ratifying of the 21st amendment and the repealing of the 18th amendment of the US constitution.
1934
   was the year   
Bonnie and Clyde Killed
Bank robbers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, were killed in a police ambush, May 23
1934
   was the year   
John Dillinger Was Shot
U.S. bank robber and named as the first Public Enemy Number One. Put his hand in acid to erase his fingerprints - they came back.
1934
   was the year   
Marie Curie Died
Physicist and Nobel Prize winner, July 4
1935
   was the year   
Nuremberg Laws Were Enacted in Germany
Nazi's deprive German Jews of citizenship
1935
   was the year   
Nylon Was Invented
This is credited to Wallace Carothers, who was the leader of organic chemistry at Du Pont. He committed suicide by ingesting cyanide two years later.
1936
   was the year   
Great Britain Had Three Monarchs
Following the death of George V and the abdication of Edward VIII, George VI assumed the throne on December 11th 1936.
1936
   was the year   
Jesse Owens Won 4 Olympic Gold Medals
The year previously he set four world records in 45 minutes. Not bad for a smoker!
1936
   was the year   
Volkswagen Was Founded
The "people's car". Founded by Ferdinand Porsche
1937
   was the year   
The Golden Gate Bridge Was Opened
The bridge was opened to pedestrians on May 27, 1937 and to vehicles the following day. The bridge is painted "International Orange" to aid visibility in fog.
1937
   was the year   
The Hindenburg Disaster Occurred
LZ 129 Hindenburg was destroyed by fire on May 6, 1937 at Lakehurst Naval Air Station. Surprisingly, of the 97 crewmembers and passengers, 62 survived.
1937
   was the year   
Snow White Was First Released
First animated film in Technicolor.
1938
   was the year   
Orson Welles Broadcast "The War of the Worlds"
Panics the country when people think it is for real, Oct 30
1939
   was the year   
World War II Began
France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, following the German (surprisingly with Russian agreement) invasion of Poland.
1940
   was the year   
Leon Trotsky Was Assassinated
In Mexico City, Aug 21
1940
   was the year   
Winston Churchill Became British Prime Minister
Suffered from stuttering
1941
   was the year   
The German Battleship Bismarck Sank
By the British navy, May 26
1941
   was the year   
Pearl Harbor Was Attacked by Japan
On December 7, 1941 the 1st Air Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the Pacific Fleet of the US Navy moored at Pearl Harbor. This brought about the US entry into World War II. While The Japanese attack made mincemeat out of "Battleship Row," the entire U.S. Carrier force was out to sea and was not touched, a fact which would come back to haunt the Japanese later in the war.
1942
   was the year   
Battle of Midway Was Fought
1942
   was the year   
Battle of Stalingrad Began
The battle lasted from 17 July 1942 - 2 February 1943
1944
   was the year   
Allied Armies Landed in Normandy
Prelude to the invasion of Germany
1945
   was the year   
Atomic Bombs Were Used Against Japan
1945
   was the year   
Buchenwald Concentration Camp Was Liberated
Extent of the Holocaust atrocities is revealed, April 11
1945
   was the year   
The United Nations Was Formed
Formed following World War II to replace the League of Nations. It had an initial membership of 51 states, which has now risen to 192.
1945
   was the year   
World War II Ended
German High Command surrendered on May 7, 1945 and the Japanese surrendered on August 14th 1945. V-J Day is known as "Shusen-kinenbi" in Japan, which means "Memorial day for the end of the war".
1947
   was the year   
The First Supersonic Level Flight Was Made
Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager officially broke the sound barrier in level flight on October 14, 1947 flying the Bell X-1.
1947
   was the year   
India Declared Independence
Declared on August 15, 1947, following mass campaigns of civil disobedience largely led by Mahatma Ghandi. This also created Pakistan.
1948
   was the year   
Berlin Airlift Began
April 1; broke the Soviet blockade of Berlin
1948
   was the year   
Israel Declared Independence
First Prime Minister - David Ben-Gurion.
1948
   was the year   
Mahatma Gandhi Was Assassinated
1949
   was the year   
NATO Was Formed
Stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Based in Brussels, Belgium.
1950
   was the year   
North Korea Invaded South Korea
Begins three years of war
1952
   was the year   
Elizabeth II Became Queen of England
At 25 yrs of age
1953
   was the year   
The Double Helix Structure of DNA Was Discovered
Stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. First accurate model done by Crick and Watson.
1953
   was the year   
Everest Was First Climbed
By New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Only photos on the summit are of Norgay - he didn't know how to use a camera.
1953
   was the year   
Josef Stalin Died
Russian leader born Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili.
1954
   was the year   
The First Nuclear Power Station Was Opened
In the USSR. Later gave employment to Homer J Simpson.
1954
   was the year   
The First Sub 4 Minute Mile Was Achieved
At the Iffley Road track in Oxford, by Roger Bannister. The record lasted for just 46 days before being beaten by Australian John Landy. Bannister went on to become a neurologist.
1955
   was the year   
Albert Einstein Died
Time magazine's 'Man of the Century'. Had an unusually large head. Turned down the chance to become President of Israel.
1955
   was the year   
Rosa Parks Refused to Give up Her Bus Seat
Turning point in the U.S. Civil Rights movement when a black woman wouldn't move to a designated seat on the bus in Montgomery Alabama. She was fined ten dollars for her defiance.
1955
   was the year   
The Warsaw Pact Was Signed
Eastern European response to NATO. Finally finished in 1991.
1956
   was the year   
The Hungarian Revoltion Occured
The uprising was crushed by the Soviets
1957
   was the year   
The First Satellite Orbited the Earth
The Russian satellite Sputnik 1. The Americans launched one four months later.
1960
   was the year   
The Ban on Lady Chatterly's Lover in the UK Was Lifted
D.H. Lawrence. After a 30 year ban on its publication in the United Kingdom. It was published privately in Italy, France and Australia in the late 1920s.
1960
   was the year   
The Flintstones First Appeared
Originally made as The Flagstones, in the early 1960s the characters were used to advertise cigarettes.
1961
   was the year   
The Building of the Berlin Wall Began
96-mile long structure
1961
   was the year   
The First Man Went Into Space
Yuri Gagarin went into orbit for less than two hours in Vostok 1. Later died in a military plane crash.
1962
   was the year   
Adolph Eichmann Was Executed
Nazi War criminal. In Israel, May 31
1962
   was the year   
The Cuban Missile Crisis Occurred
Standoff over Soviet bases in Cuba. Known as the Caribbean Crisis in Russia.
1963
   was the year   
The First Woman Went Into Space
Valentina Tereshkova. Married another cosmonaut.
1963
   was the year   
John F. Kennedy Was Assassinated
First Roman Catholic President of the U.S.A. was allegedly shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas. Oswald was shot two days later by Jack Ruby.
1965
   was the year   
The Death Sentence Was Abolished in the U.K.
The last person sentenced to death in England was David Chapman who was sentenced to hang in November 1965 for the capital murder of swimming pool night watchman in Scarborough. He was released from prison in 1979 and later died in a car accident.
1965
   was the year   
The First Space Walk Occurred
Alexsei Leonov spent 12 minutes outside Voskhod 2. Has appeared on stamps in Togo, Mongolia and Niger.
1965
   was the year   
Malcolm X Was Assassinated
Malcolm X was assinated by members of the Nation of Islam after he left the organization. One of the convicted killers, Muhammad Abdul Aziz, was paroled in 1985 and is now head of the Nation of Islam's Harlem Mosque in New York.
1967
   was the year   
The First Heart Transplant Was Performed
Christian Barnard performed the first successful operation on Louis Washkansky.
1967
   was the year   
Six-Day War Was Fought
Between Israel and its Arab neighbors
1968
   was the year   
The First Sub 10 Second 100m Was Achieved
By Jim Hines at the Mexico Olympics, where he was probably helped by the altitude.
1968
   was the year   
Martin Luther King Was Assassinated
American civil rights leader, shot allegedly by James Earl Ray.
1968
   was the year   
The Prague Spring Occured
Period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia and the subsequent Soviet crackdown
1968
   was the year   
Robert F. Kennedy Was Assassinated
1968
   was the year   
Vietnamese Communists Launched the Tet Offensive
Launched Jan 31; changes the course of the war, despite the Viets losing heavily USA discovered their government lied. Isn't that what governments do ?
1969
   was the year   
The First Non-stop Solo Circumnavigation Was Completed
By Francis Chichester, who was knighted by the Queen with Francis Drake's old sword.
1969
   was the year   
Man Landed on the Moon
The first man down the steps of the Eagle Lander was Neil Armstrong. Ten years later he saw stars when his ring finger was ripped off in an accident.
1969
   was the year   
Woodstock Was Staged
Hippie festival in upstate New York. Mud, drugs, smelly people, The Who and Jimi Hendrix.
1970
   was the year   
Charles De Gaulle Died
1971
   was the year   
Jim Morrison Died
American pop singer
1972
   was the year   
Arab Terrorists Massacred Olympic Athletes
Eleven Israeli athletes die in Munich
1973
   was the year   
Pablo Picasso Died
Spanish painter and sculptor, known for his Blue Period. Like the Queen.
1973
   was the year   
The US Announced the End of the "Draft"
Proved unworkable during the Vietnam War with widespread draft dodging.
1973
   was the year   
Yom Kippur War Began
Egypt and Syria against Israel
1974
   was the year   
Richard Nixon Resigned
1975
   was the year   
American Involvement in the Vietnam War Ended
The last American citizens were helicoptered out from U.S. embassy as the North Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon.
1976
   was the year   
Chairman Mao Died
1976
   was the year   
Dame Agatha Christie Died
1977
   was the year   
Elvis Presley Died
Found dead on the bathroom floor, starting rumours he died while on the toilet.
1977
   was the year   
The Last Case of Smallpox Was Recorded
Stocks of the disease still exist under guard in the U.S. and Russia. Stalin had survived an attack of it in his early life.
1978
   was the year   
The First Test Tube Baby Was Born
Louise Joy Brown (born July 25, 1978, in Oldham, Greater Manchester, England) was the world's first baby to be conceived by in-vitro fertilisation, or IVF. She gave birth on 21 December 2006 to a baby boy. He was conceived naturally
1978
   was the year   
Pope John Paul I Died
After only 33 days; the most recent Year of Three Popes
1979
   was the year   
Margaret Thatcher Became U.K. Prime Minister
First woman Prime Minister of the U.K.
1979
   was the year   
Partial Meltdown at Three Mile Island
Nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. No one died in the "disaster"
1979
   was the year   
The U. S. Iranian Embassy Was Seized
90 hostages taken, Nov 4
1979
   was the year   
U.S.S.R. Invaded Afghanistan
1980
   was the year   
John Lennon Was Murdered
Shot by Mark Chapman at the Dakota building
1981
   was the year   
The Space Shuttle Made Its First Appearance
1981
   was the year   
US Hostages Were Freed from Tehran
1982
   was the year   
The Falklands War Was Fought
Between Great Britain and Argentina
1982
   was the year   
Princess Grace of Monaco Died In Car Crash
1985
   was the year   
Gorbachev Announced Glasnost and Perestroika
1985
   was the year   
Live Aid Was Staged
Status Quo, first band to play.
1986
   was the year   
Nuclear Meltdown at Chernobyl
1986
   was the year   
Space Shuttle Challenger Exploded
Space shuttle Challenger with seven crewmen explodes, Jan 28
1987
   was the year   
Prozac Was First Available in the US
1988
   was the year   
A Pan-Am 747 Crashed Into the Town of Lockerbie
1989
   was the year   
The Berlin Wall Fell
I think it was pushed.
1989
   was the year   
The Tiananmen Square Protests Occurred
1990
   was the year   
Iraq Invaded Kuwait
1990
   was the year   
Lech Walesa Became First President of Poland
1990
   was the year   
Nelson Mandela Was Freed. He Would Have Been Released Earlier but Refused to Renounce Violence.
1992
   was the year   
Mike Tyson Was Charged With Rape
Jailed for rape of Miss Black Rhode Island Desiree Washington. A former world heavyweight champion, he's a keen pigeon fancier.
1994
   was the year   
South African Apartheid Ended
Nelson Mandela was released after 21 years of being in jail and together with President FW de Klerk brought an end to apartheid.
1996
   was the year   
Dolly the Sheep Was Cloned
Lived for six years. Named after Dolly Parton. First mammal to be cloned from an adult cell - it happened to be a mammary cell.
1996
   was the year   
Mad Cow Disease Hit U.K.
1997
   was the year   
Hong Kong Returned to China
1997
   was the year   
Princess Diana Died
Car crash in Paris
1999
   was the year   
The Euro Currency Was Introduced
Currency for EU countries bar Denmark and the UK. Coins have a common and a national side, but no national side on notes.


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