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The USA's Timeline

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1565

Spain  founded the first permanent European settlement in what is now the United States at Saint Augustine, Florida. However, Native Americans had lived on the continent for thousands of years.

1607

The first permanent British settlement in America was established at Jamestown, Virginia.

1763

Great Britain gained control of eastern North America at the end of the Seven Years’ War, known in America as the French and Indian War.

1770s

Boston became a center of growing American discontent with British rule, and the American Revolution began nearby in 1775.

1776

The Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia.

1781

American forces decisively defeated the British at the Siege of Yorktown. Two years later, in the Treaty of Paris, Great Britain recognized the independence of the former colonies as the United States of America.

1787

The Constitutional Congress met in Philadelphia and wrote the Constitution of the United States. All 13 states ratified the Constitution by 1790.

1803

The area of the United States nearly doubled in size after President Thomas Jefferson acquired the territory of Louisiana from France in a transaction known as the Louisiana Purchase.

1812-1815

The War of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States helped end British interference in American affairs.

1823

In the Monroe Doctrine, President James Monroe warned Europeans against interfering in the affairs of any country in the Western Hemisphere.

1848

The United States gained large amounts of territory as a result of winning the Mexican War. The new land, coupled with the acquisition of the Oregon country in 1846, extended the western border of the United States to the Pacific Ocean.

1861

Several Southern slave states seceded in January and formed the Confederate States of America. The American Civil War broke out in April.

1865

The Confederacy surrendered, bringing an end to the Civil War. Slavery was abolished throughout the United States. President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

1867

The United States purchased Alaska from Russia.

1870-1890

The last Native American tribes were defeated by government forces and pushed onto reservations.

1886

The American Federation of Labor was formed to fight for workers in an increasingly industrialized country.

1898

The United States won the Spanish-American War and gained territories in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Hawaii was annexed the same year.

1914

The United States completed construction of the Panama Canal, providing a link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

1917-1918

The United States fought in World War I, confirming its status as a world power.

1920

Women gained the right to vote. The manufacture and sale of alcohol was banned, ushering in the era of Prohibition.

1929

Wild speculation led to a stock market crash, triggering the Great Depression.

1933

Franklin Roosevelt became president and introduced a series of economic and social reforms known as the New Deal. Prohibition was repealed.

1941

Japan attacked U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, pulling the United States into World War II.

1945

The United Nations was established in New York.

1947

The Truman Doctrine was established to help nations resist Soviet influence. Anticommunist tensions escalated as the Cold War began.

1950-1953

U.S. troops fought in the Korean War.

1962

The United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics narrowly avoided war during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1963-1964

Important civil rights reforms were passed by Congress.

1965-1973

U.S. forces fought in the Vietnam War, which sparked widespread protests in the United States.

1969

U.S. astronauts became the first people to land on the moon.

1974

In the wake of the Watergate scandal, Richard M. Nixon became the first U.S. president to resign from office.

1980s

The U.S. economy emerged from a recession but was faced with increasing federal and foreign trade deficits.

1990-1991

U.S. forces led a multinational coalition against Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.

1994

The Republican Party swept the November elections and won control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1954.

1995

Terrorists detonated a bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, causing more than 170 deaths and largely destroying the building.

1996

Atlanta hosts the 1996 Summer Olympics.

2002

11th of September or Black Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC.