20th century's top 100 stories
The Newseum in Arlington, Virginia, asked American journalists and scholars to select
the 20th century's top 100 stories. Here are the results: (Material is from Associated
- United States drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima, Nagasaki: Japan surrenders to end World
War II. 1945.
- American astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to walk on the moon. 1969.
- Japan bombs Pearl Harbor: United States enters World War II. 1941.
- Wilbur and Orville Wright fly the first powered airplane. 1903.
- Women win the vote. 1920.
- President John F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas. 1963.
- Horrors of Nazi Holocaust, concentration camps exposed. 1945.
- World War I begins in Europe. 1914.
- Brown vs. Board of Education ends "separate but equal" school segregation.
- U.S. stock market crashes: The Great Depression sets in. 1929.
- Alexander Fleming discovers the first antibiotic, penicillin. 1928.
- Structure of DNA discovered. 1953.
- U.S.S.R dissolves, Mikhail Gorbachev resigns: Boris Yeltsin takes over. 1991.
- President Richard M. Nixon resigns after Watergate scandal. 1974.
- Germany invades Poland: World War II begins in Europe. 1939.
- Russian revolution ends: Communists take over. 1917.
- Henry Ford organizes the first major U.S. assembly line to produce Model T cars. 1913.
- Soviets launch Sputnik, first space satellite: space race begins. 1957.
- Albert Einstein presents special theory of relativity: general relativity theory to
- FDA approves birth control pill. 1960.
- Dr. Jonas Salk's polio vaccine proven effective in University of Pittsburgh tests. 1953.
- Adolf Hitler named Chancellor of Germany: Nazi Party begins to seize power. 1933.
- Civil rights leader Martin Luther King assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. 1968.
- D-Day invasion marks the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe. 1944.
- Deadly AIDS disease identified. 1981.
- Congress passes landmark Civil Rights Act outlawing segregation. 1964.
- Berlin Wall falls as East Germany lifts travel restrictions. 1989.
- Television debuts in America at New York World's Fair. 1939.
- Mao Tse-tung establishes Peoples Republic of China: Nationalists flee to Formosa
- Charles Lindbergh crosses the Atlantic in first solo flight. 1927.
- First mass market personal computers launched. 1977.
- World Wide Web revolutionizes the Internet. 1989.
- Scientists at Bell Labs invent the transistor. 1948.
- FDR launches "New Deal:" sweeping federal economic, public works legislation
to combat depression. 1933.
- Cuban Missile Crisis threatens World War III. 1962.
- "Unsinkable" Titanic, largest man-made structure, sinks. 1912.
- Germany surrenders: V.E. Day celebrated. 1945.
- Roe vs. Wade decision legalizes abortion. 1973.
- World War I ends with Germany's defeat. 1918.
- First regular radio broadcasts begin in America. 1909.
- Worldwide flu epidemic kills 20 million. 1918.
- "ENIAC" becomes world's first computer. 1946.
- Regular TV broadcasting begins in the United States. 1941.
- Jackie Robinson breaks baseball's color barrier. 1947.
- Israel achieves statehood. 1948.
- Plastic invented: revolutionizes products, packaging. 1909.
- Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott begins after Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to
a white person. 1955.
- Atomic bomb tested in New Mexico. 1945.
- Apartheid ends in South Africa: law to treat races equally. 1993.
- Civil rights march converges on Washington, D.C.: Martin Luther King gives "I Have
A Dream" speech. 1963.
- American scientists patent the computer chip. 1959.
- Marconi transmits radio signal across the Atlantic. 1901.
- White House sex scandal leads to impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton.
- Secretary of State George Marshall proposes European recovery program (The Marshall
- Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy assassinated in California. 1968.
- U.S. Senate rejects Versailles Treaty: dooms League of Nations. 1920.
- Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" stimulates environmental protection movement.
- British rock group The Beatles takes the United States by storm after debut on the Ed
Sullivan show. 1964.
- Congress passes Voting Rights Act, outlawing measures used to suppress minority votes.
- Yuri Gagarin becomes first man in space. 1961.
- First jet airplane takes flight. 1941.
- U.S. combat troops arrive in South Vietnam: U.S. planes bomb North Vietnam. 1965.
- North Vietnamese forces take over Saigon. 1975.
- Manhattan Project begins secret work on atomic bomb: Fermi triggers first atomic chain
- Congress passes "GI Bill of Rights" to help veterans. 1945.
- Alan Shepard becomes first American in space. 1961.
- Watergate scandal engulfs Nixon administration. 1973.
- Earthquake hits San Francisco: "Paris of the West" burns. 1906.
- United Nations is officially established. 1945.
- Communists build wall to divide East and West Berlin. 1961.
- Mohandas Gandhi begins leading nonviolent reform movement in India. 1920.
- Standard Oil loses Supreme Court antitrust suit: monopolies suffer blow. 1911.
- United States withdraws last ground troops from Vietnam. 1973.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization established. 1949.
- Josef Stalin begins forced modernization of the Soviet Union: resulting famines claim 25
- Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt beats incumbent President Herbert Hoover. 1932.
- Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Soviet premier: begins era of "Glasnost." 1985.
- Max Planck proposes quantum theory of energy. 1900.
- Scientists clone sheep in Great Britain. 1997.
- Congress passes interstate highway bill. 1956.
- Panama Canal opens, linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. 1914.
- Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" inaugurates modern women's rights
- The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes, killing crew. 1986.
- United States sends troops to defend South Korea. 1950.
- Violence erupts at Democratic National Convention in Chicago. 1968.
- Sigmund Freud publishes "The Interpretation of Dreams." 1900.
- China begins "Great Leap Forward" modernization program: estimated 20 million
die in ensuing famine. 1958.
- United States enters World War I. 1917.
- Babe Ruth hits 60 home runs -- a single-season record that would last for 34 years.
- John Glenn becomes first American to orbit the earth. 1962.
- North Vietnamese boats reportedly attack U.S. ships: Congress passes Gulf of Tonkin
- Pathfinder lands on Mars, sending back astonishing photos. 1997.
- Hitler launches "Kristallnacht," ordering Nazis to commit acts of violence
against German Jews. 1938.
- Winston Churchill designated Prime Minister of Great Britain. 1940.
- Louise Brown, first "test-tube baby," born healthy. 1978.
- Soviets blockade West Berlin: Western allies respond with massive airlift. 1948.
- Bill Gates and Paul Allen start Microsoft Corp. to develop software for Altair computer.
- Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion results in deaths of an estimated 7,000. 1986.
- Teacher John Scopes' trial pits creation against evolution in Tennessee. 1925.
- The U.S. Surgeon General warns about smoking-related health hazards. 1964