World History

United States Timeline and History Highlights

United States Timeline Highlights


5000 – Small tribal peoples develop across the United States.

1000 – The Woodland Age begins with the Adena culture and the Hopewell people.


1000 – Mississippi culture developed along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. These people are known for building large mounds that can still be seen today.

14th Century – The United States has historically been inhabited by various tribes across the country, including the Apache, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Navajo, and Sioux.

1492 – Christopher Columbus discovers America.

1513 – Juan Ponce de Leon visits Florida.

1540 – Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto explores the southeast.

1565 – St. Augustine is established as the first permanent settlement in the United States.

1607 – The settlement of Jamestown is founded by John Smith.

1620 – The Mayflower lands in Plymouth with the Pilgrims.

1629 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony is founded.

1692 – The Salem Witch Trials take place in Massachusetts.

1754 – The French and Indian War begins between England and France. Both allied with different tribes of Indians.

1763 – Britain wins the French and Indian War, conquering most of French territory in North America.

1765 – The British government imposes the Stamp Act on the colonies. The colonies protest at the Stamp Act.

1770 – The Boston Massacre occurred.

1773 – Boston residents protest the Tea Act by pouring tea into Boston Harbor at the Boston Tea Party.

1774 – The first Continental Congress is held. The British government imposes intolerable laws on the colonies.

1775 – The Revolutionary War begins with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Second Continental Congress is held. The Battle of Bunker Hill begins.

1776 – The American colonies declare independence as the United States.

1777 – Continental Army winters at Valley Forge.

1781 – British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia. The Articles of Confederation were ratified by the colonies.

1783 – The War of Independence officially ends with the Treaty of Paris.

1787 – Constitution adopted by the Constitutional Convention.

1789 – George Washington becomes the first President of the United States.

1791 – The Bill of Rights was added as the first of his ten amendments to the Constitution.

1793 – The cotton gin is invented by Eli Whitney.

1803 – The French Purchase of Louisiana nearly doubles the size of the United States.

1804 – Explorers Lewis and Clark set out for the Pacific Ocean.

1812 – The 1812 War against Britain begins.

1815 – American forces under Andrew Jackson defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans.

1823 – The Monroe Doctrine is promulgated by President James Monroe.

1836 – Battle of the Alamo takes place in Texas.

1838 – The Cherokee are forced to march from the southeast into Oklahoma on what is known as the Trail of Tears.

1846 – The Mexican-American War begins.

1849 – Gold miners travel to California as part of the California Gold Rush.

1859 – Abolitionist John Brown raids Harpers Ferry.

1860 – Abraham Lincoln is elected president. 1861 – The American Civil War begins.

1863 – Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg. Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in the South.

1864 – Union General Sherman makes his famous “March to the Sea”.

1865 – The Civil War ends with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Courthouse. President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated.

1865 – Slavery is outlawed by the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

1867 – Alaska is bought by Russia.

1869 – The first transcontinental railroad is completed.

1876 ​​- The telephone is invented by Alexander Graham Bell.

1881 – The American Red Cross is founded by Clara Barton.

1891 – Basketball is invented by James Naismith.

1903 – Airplane is invented by the Wright brothers. They made their first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1910 – The Boy Scouts of America are formed.

1917 – The United States enters World War I on the side of the Allies and declares war on Germany.

1918 – President Woodrow Wilson publishes 14 points about World War I.

1920 – Women get the right to vote by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

1927 – First transatlantic flight operated by Charles Lindbergh.

1929 – Wall Street collapses and the Great Depression begins.

1934 – A severe drought in the Midwest causes the Dust Bowl.

1935 – The Social Security Law is enacted.

1939 – Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” becomes the first feature-length animated film.

1939 – World War II begins. The United States is initially neutral.

1941 – Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese army. The United States entered World War II on the side of the Allies.

1944 – America participates in the Normandy invasion.

1945 – Germany surrenders and the United States drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. World War II ends.

1950 – The Korean War begins.

1955 – Rosa Parks is arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for not giving up her seat on a bus.

1961 – Bay of Pigs invasion occurs in Cuba.

1962 – The Cuban Missile Crisis occurs. The Soviet Union finally withdrew its missiles from Cuba.

1963 – Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech at the March on Washington.

1963 – President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.

1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed.

1967 – The first Super Bowl will be held. 1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated.

1969 – Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to walk on the moon.

1974 – President Richard Nixon resigns over the Watergate scandal.

1986 – The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after launch.

1990 – Iraq invades Kuwait, beginning the Gulf War.

2001 – A hijacked airliner crashes into the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon, resulting in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

2003 – The United States and other countries invade Iraq, starting the Iraq War.

2009 – Barack Obama becomes the first African-American president.

United States History Highlights:

The territory of what is now the United States has been inhabited by people of various tribes for thousands of years. The first European to arrive in the region was Christopher Columbus, and the first to arrive in the country was Ponce de Leon, who landed in Florida. France claimed the interior of the United States, while Spain claimed what is now the Southwest.

The first English settlement was the Virginia Colony, which he located in Jamestown in 1607. A few years later, in 1620, the Pilgrims arrived and founded Plymouth Colony. Eventually Britain would have her 13 colonies in eastern North America. In the 18th century, the American colonies grew frustrated with the so-called “unrepresentative taxation”. In 1776 America declared independence from Great Britain. The American War of Independence ensued, and with French aid, the colonies defeated Great Britain.

In 1861, civil war broke out in America when the Southern states tried to secede from the Union. After a bloody war they were defeated, but the country remained united. The country continued to industrialize, becoming one of the world’s leading industrial enterprises in the 20th century. In both world wars, the United States tried to remain neutral, but ultimately sided with Great Britain and the Allies. During World War II, it was Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor that propelled the United States to war. The United States developed nuclear weapons, two of which bombed Japan, effectively ending the war and starting the Cold War with the communist Soviet Union.

In the late 1900s, the United States emerged as one of the world’s superpowers. Another superpower was the USSR. Both countries had nuclear weapons. The two countries fought a long Cold War that involved espionage warfare, most arms scrambles, and proxy wars such as the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Soviet-Afghan War.