The American History Timeline


The United State is still young compared to other countries but its short history has been a turbulent one, filled with revolutions, civil wars, and great advancements in human rights.

  • May 14, 1607: Jamestown Established – The first English colony, Jamestown, is founded in North America, in Virginia.
  • November 11 or 21, 1620: The Mayflower Lands At Plymouth Rock – The ship carrying the Pilgrims, en route from England, lands in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  • 1775: The American Revolutionary War Begins – The American people fight against English rule and successfully become an independent nation in 1783.
  • June 21, 1787: The United States Constitution Is Ratified – Arguably the most important document in US history, the Constitution provided the framework for the entirety of the United States government.
  • April 30, 1789: George Washington Becomes President – The Unites States elected and swore in its first President.       
  • May 2, 1803: The Louisiana Purchase – The United States government acquires 828,800 square miles of French territory for $11,250,000 plus cancellation of debts.
  • April 25, 1846: The Mexican-American War Begins – The Mexican-American War over the annexation of Texas begins and lasts until 1848.
  • April 12, 1861: The American Civil War Begins – The North and South states of the US begin warring over issues like slavery. It lasts until April 9, 1865.
  • December 6, 1865: Thirteenth Amendment: The US government passes the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution and outlaws slavery.
  • October 8, 1871: Great Chicago Fire – A huge fire raged through Chicago, burning for two days, destroying four miles of city and killing 300 people.
  • March 1, 1857: The Civil Rights Act – The Civil Rights Act, which guaranteed everyone equal treatment regardless of race or color was signed into law.
  • April 14, 1865: Lincoln Assassinated – President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated at Ford’s Theater by John Wilkes Booth.
  • January 1, 1892: Ellis Island Opens – Ellis Island, an entrance to the United States for immigrants, opened in New York Harbor.
  • 1893: The Panic of 1893 – The United States experienced a serious economic depression that was brought about by overbuilding of railroads. It brought about a number of bank failures.
  • November 2, 1899: The Boxer Rebellion – The US helps put down a rebellion in China.
  • September 6, 1901: McKinley Assassinated – President William McKinley is assassinated in Buffalo, New York.
  • December 23, 1913: The Federal Reserve Act – The Congress establishes the central banking system.
  • 1916: The Keating-Owen Act – The Keating-Owen Act, also known as Wick’s Bill or the Child Labor Law, prohibited the sale of manufactured goods that were made by children. It was later repealed.
  • April 6, 1917: World War I – The United States enters World War I.
  • August 18, 1920: The Nineteenth Amendment: The Nineteenth Amendment is enacted, giving women the right to vote.
  • August 2, 1923: Warren Harding Dies – US President Warren G. Harding passes away from a supposed heart attack.
  • 1930: The Great Depression: After the stock market crash in 1929, the US enters its more severe depression.
  • September 1, 1939: World War II – The United States enters World War II.
  • August 6, 1945: The Manhattan Project – During World War II, the US drops an atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
  • 1959: The Vietnam War – The US goes to war with Vietnam that lasts until 1975.
  • September 13, 1959: Moon Landing – Apollo 11 lands on the moon where Neil Armstrong takes the first human steps on the moon.
  • November 2, 1963: The Kennedy Assassination – President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
  • August 9, 1974: Richard Nixon Resigns – President Richard Nixon resigns over the Watergate scandal.
  • January 20, 1981: Reagan Elected – Ronald Reagan is elected to office.
  • September 11, 2001: Terrorist Attacks – Islamic extremists attack the United States, flying planes into the World Trade Center in New York City.
  • 2004: Background Checks: People search companies make doing background checks on employees easy.
  • January 20, 2009: Obama Elected – Barack Obama, the United States’ first African-American President, takes office.

The above events are really just the tip of the iceberg .Doing more in-depth research will reveal even more fascinating events.