Successful revolution against Manchu Dynasty—China becomes
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen becomes the first man to reach
the South Pole.
Captain Robert F Scott and team die in attempt to be first to reach
the South Pole.
RMS Titanic sinks in north Atlantic on maiden voyage.
British suffragettes demonstrate for women’s right to vote.
Henry Ford introduces revolutionary assembly line production at Ford
Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, assassinated
Germany declares war against Russia and France, and invades neutral
Britain declares war on Germany—outbreak of World War I. US
adopts a policy of neutrality.
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) and other Allied troops
fight campaign against Turkish forces at Gallipoli.
Albert Einstein introduces his General theory of relativity.
British troops suppress Dublin ‘Easter Rising’ for independence
from British rule.
Massive loss of lives in battles in France at Verdun and the Somme.
Jazz craze starts in US.
Russian Revolution: mass popular uprising in February forces abdication
of Tsar Nicholas II; Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin seize power
US enters the war against Germany.
Ernest Rutherford achieves first ‘splitting’ of the atom
by artificial means.
Women over the age of 30 gain the right to vote in Britain.
Ex-Tsar Nicholas II and family executed by revolutionaries.
Russian Civil War starts.
World War I ends when Germany signs Armistice on 11 November.
Peace Conference of Paris; League of Nations formed.
British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Whitten-Brown make first
non-stop trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Ireland.
Prohibition period (banning the sale of alcohol) begins in US.
First public broadcasting stations open in Britain and US.
Women gain the right to vote in US national elections.
Chinese Communist Party founded.
Adolf Hitler becomes chairman of National Socialist German Workers
Independent Irish Free State established in 26 southern counties,
while six counties of Northern Ireland remain part of UK.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) formed.
Fascist leader Benito Mussolini leads ‘March on Rome’ and
forms a government in Italy.
Tomb of Tutankhamen discovered in Egypt.
Major earthquake and fires devastate Tokyo and Yokohama.
Vladimir Lenin dies; Joseph Stalin manoeuvres for leadership of USSR.
Volume 1 of Adolf Hitler’s Mein kampf (My struggle) published.
Charleston dance craze widespread.
John Logie Baird demonstrates television in London.
Hirohito becomes Emperor of Japan.
Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo flight across the Atlantic.
First talking motion picture, The jazz singer, released by Warner
British women’s voting age lowered to 21.
Bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin.
Crash on New York Stock Exchange marks the beginning of the Great
Mahatma Gandhi leads ‘Salt march’ in India to protest
against British tax on salt production.
Ho Chi Minh founds the Vietnamese Communist Party.
British Commonwealth of Nations formed.
Unemployment in Germany reaches almost five million; banking system
Nazi Party wins 37 per cent of the Reichstag seats in the German
US President Franklin D Roosevelt announces ‘New Deal’ reforms
to promote economic recovery.
Japan and Germany leave the League of Nations.
Adolf Hitler becomes Fuhrer of Germany.
The Long March’: Chinese Communists begin retreat 6000 miles
(9600 kilometres) to north-west China from Nationalist forces; Mao
Tse-Tung emerges as leader.
Anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws passed in Germany.
Synthetic fibre nylon invented.
In January, King George V dies; succeeded by Edward VIII.
Spanish Civil War starts.
Benito Mussolini announces Rome–Berlin Axis.
In December, Edward VIII abdicates from the British throne; succeeded
by George VI.
War breaks out between Japan and China.
German airship Hindenburg destroyed in flames when landing in US.
Germany annexes Austria.
Kristallnacht’ (‘night of broken glass’) anti-Jewish
attacks in Germany and Austria.
Germany invades Poland.
Britain and France declare war on Germany—beginning of World
US declares neutrality.
Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Britain.
The Battle of Britain: Germany bombs Britain, and the RAF responds
Germany, Italy and Japan sign Three-Power Pact military agreement.
Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
US declares war on Japan.
Japanese occupy Singapore.
Battle of El Alamein, North Africa.
Construction begins on Burma-Thailand railway.
Allies invade Italy; Italian truce with Allies.
Italy declares war on Germany.
D-Day: Allies’ invasion of German-occupied western Europe begins
at Normandy, France.
US inflicts heavy losses on Japanese at Battle of the Philippine
Adolf Hitler commits suicide.
Germany surrenders; end of war in Europe.
US drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Japanese sign surrender: World War II officially ends.
United Nations established.
Howard Florey jointly awarded Nobel Prize with Alexander Fleming
and Ernst Chain, for discovery and development of penicillin.
Conflict between Communist forces led by Mao Tse-Tung and Chiang
Kai-Shek’s Nationalists— civil war in China until 1949.
Construction of Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC),
the first general-purpose electronic digital calculator, completed—considered
the first electronic computer.
Britain partitions India into two independent dominions: India and
Dead Sea Scrolls found in Palestine.
Invention of the transistor.
Mahatma Gandhi assassinated.
State of Israel proclaimed under United Nations sanction.
First Arab-Israeli war.
United Nations adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Malayan Emergency declared.
Korea divided into North and South Republics.
Mao Tse-Tung proclaims the People’s Republic of China.
Germany divided into German Democratic (East) and Federal (West)
South Africa passes legislation implementing apartheid.
India becomes a republic.
Senator Joseph McCarthy leads anti-Communist campaign in US.
Communist North Korea invades South Korea.
Australia, New Zealand and US sign ANZUS Security Treaty for defence
of the Pacific.
King George VI dies at Sandringham; succeeded by Elizabeth II.
Death of Joseph Stalin, leader of USSR.
Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing Norgay climb Mount Everest.
Geneva Accords divide Vietnam into North Vietnam (Communist) and
Building of the world's first large-scale nuclear power plant begins
in Shippingport, Pennsylvania.
Warsaw Pact: USSR and Eastern Bloc nations sign military alliance.
Popularity of rock’n’roll; Elvis Presley dominates US
Top Ten record charts.
Suez Canal crisis.
Anti-communist uprising in Hungary crushed by Soviet troops.
Che Guevara plays leading role with Fidel Castro in Cuban Revolution.
European Economic Community established.
Civil Rights Act in US; race riots in southern states.
USSR launches Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite to orbit Earth.
US launches satellite Explorer I. National Aeronautics and Space
Administration is created, and ‘space race’ accelerates.
Invention of the integrated circuit—‘chip’ technology.
Revolutionary leader Fidel Castro assumes power in Cuba.
Uprising in Tibet crushed by Chinese Government; Dalai Lama flees
from Tibet to India.
Mass protests in South Africa against apartheid; State of Emergency
declared by Government.
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes first man to orbit Earth in
Attempted invasion of Cuba at Bay of Pigs by anti-Castro exiles backed
by US defeated.
East Germany begins building the Berlin Wall.
Cuban Missile Crisis—threat of US–Soviet nuclear war.
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom’—Martin Luther
King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
Federation of Malaysia created.
US President John F Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
Indonesian troops become involved in ‘Confrontation’ in
African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela sentenced to life
imprisonment in South Africa.
Gulf of Tonkin incident results in US bombing North Vietnamese targets.
Malcolm X, militant black civil rights leader, assassinated in New
First US combat troops arrive in Vietnam.
War breaks out between India and Pakistan.
Soviet spacecraft Luna 9 makes first soft landing on the moon.
Mao Tse-Tung’s ‘Cultural Revolution’ begins in
Six Day War erupts between Israelis and Arabs.
Dr Christian Barnard performs the world’s first human heart
Martin Luther King assassinated in Memphis; riots break out in many
US cities following his death.
Senator Robert Kennedy assassinated in Los Angeles.
Soviet troops occupy Czechoslovakia.
Outbreak of ‘The Troubles’ conflict in Northern Ireland.
US astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the
400,000 people attend Woodstock festival in New York state.
Yasser Arafat becomes leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
ARPAnet, precursor to the Internet, established by the US Department
of Defence for data sharing across computers.
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons comes into force.
Ohio National Guard fires on Kent State University students protesting
against US invasion of Cambodia.
Egypt, Syria and Libya form Federation of Arab Republics.
China admitted to the United Nations.
Women in Switzerland gain the vote.
The microprocessor is invented in US.
Development of first email programs.
Oz censorship trial in London, the longest obscenity trial in British
legal history, finds editors to be guilty of publishing an indecent
Bloody Sunday’ in Northern Ireland; direct rule enforced by
Black September’ Palestinian terrorists kidnap and kill Israeli
athletes at the Munich Olympic Games.
Britain joins the European Economic Community.
US signs peace agreement with North Vietnam; withdrawal of US combat
World oil crisis as Arab countries limit supplies.
US President Nixon resigns over ‘Watergate’ scandal.
Muhammad Ali becomes world heavyweight boxing champion when he knocks
out George Foreman in bout in Zaire, Africa.
Communist Khmer Rouge takes power in Cambodia.
Capture of Saigon by Communist North Vietnamese forces.
Papua New Guinea achieves independence from Australia.
Indonesia invades East Timor.
Civil war begins in Lebanon.
Large-scale rioting against apartheid in Soweto and other townships
in South Africa.
US spacecraft Viking I lands on Mars.
North and South Vietnam unified as Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Punk music and fashion influential.
Aviation tragedy when two jumbo jets collide on the runway of Tenerife
Airport, Canary Islands.
Death of ‘King of rock’n’roll’ Elvis Presley.
Middle East peace talks begin.
Egyptian President Sadat visits Israel, and Israel's Prime Minister
Begin returns visit to Egypt.
US Voyager missions to outer planets commence.
Louise Brown, the world’s first test-tube baby, is born in
Camp David Accords for peace between Egypt and Israel.
China and Japan sign treaty of peace and friendship.
Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge government of Cambodia overthrown by
Followers of Ayatollah Khomeini depose Shah of Iran.
Accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania,
Mother Teresa awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in Calcutta.
Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain’s first woman Prime Minister.
Saddam Hussein becomes President of Iraq.
Soviet Union invades Afghanistan.
Iran–Iraq War begins.
John Lennon shot dead in New York.
Eruption of Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington State, US.
Creation of Solidarity independent trade union in Poland.
World Health Organization officially declared smallpox eradicated.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) officially recognised.
Space shuttle Columbia launched into orbit.
Race riots in British cities.
Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer.
Falklands War between Britain and Argentina begins.
US announces development of ‘Star Wars’ defence system.
Yacht Australia II wins the America’s Cup, breaking an extensive
winning streak by US.
India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi assassinated.
Chemical industrial accident at pesticide plant in Bhopal, India.
Los Angeles Olympics: heptathlete Glynis Nunn and weightlifter Dean
Lukin from South Australia win gold for Australia.
Greenpeace protest ship Rainbow Warrior bombed in Auckland Harbour
by French Government agents.
Live Aid concert raises funds to assist famine victims in Ethiopia.
Scientists identify hole in the ozone layer.
Challenger space shuttle explodes after launch, killing seven astronauts
General Secretary of Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail
Gorbachev advocates political and social reform by perestroika (restructuring)
of Soviet society and glasnost (openness) in public dealings.
Chernobyl nuclear power station accident.
Halley's Comet visible from Earth.
Black Monday’ stock market crash affects companies around the
US and Soviet leaders sign Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty,
the first agreement to reduce the size of nuclear arsenals.
Soviet Union begins to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
Iran–Iraq war ends.
Britain’s worst air disaster when jumbo jet explodes in flight
over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Oil tanker Exxon Valdez spills millions of gallons of oil in Prince
William Sound, off Alaska’s southern coast—extensive
Pro-democracy demonstrators killed by Chinese troops in Tiananmen
Earthquake strikes San Francisco.
Demolition of Berlin Wall begins.
US and Soviet leaders discuss an end to the Cold War.
Leader of African National Congress Nelson Mandela released after
27 years of imprisonment.
Hubble Space Telescope launched.
Iraq invades Kuwait.
East and West Germany unified as one nation.
Tim Berners-Lee develops World Wide Web.
US and Allies launch ‘Operation Desert Storm’ in Gulf
South Africa’s remaining apartheid laws repealed.
Coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Dissolution of the Soviet Union into independent republics; formation
of Commonwealth of Independent States.
Bosnia–Herzegovina war breaks out.
Earth Summit conference on environment and development held in Rio
de Janeiro – adoption of agenda for action to achieve sustainable
Jean Armour Polly coins the phrase 'surfing the Internet'.
World Trade Center in New York bombed by terrorists.
Northern Ireland peace pact signed by British and Irish Prime Ministers.
Peace agreement between Israel and Palestine Liberation Organisation.
A reported 15 million people are connected to the Internet.
Genocide in Rwanda with bitter conflict between Tutsis and Hutus.
Channel Tunnel linking Britain and France opens.
Nelson Mandela becomes President of South Africa.
French government undertakes nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll in
the South Pacific.
Devastating earthquake in Kobe, Japan.
Federal building in Oklahoma City, US, gutted by car bomb.
Ebola virus epidemic outbreak in Zaire.
Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassinated at peace rally.
US space shuttle Atlantis docks with Russian space station Mir.
Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty signed by US, UK, Russia, France, China
British scientists successfully clone ‘Dolly’ the sheep.
Hong Kong returns to Chinese rule.
Death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in car crash in Paris.
Kyoto Protocol—many industrialised nations agree to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to combat global warming.
Peace negotiations in Northern Ireland; Good Friday Agreement signed.
India and Pakistan test nuclear weapons.
Millennium Dome in Greenwich, London, completed.
US and Britain launch air-strike attack on Iraq.
Eleven member states of the European Union launch a single currency,
NATO launches air assaults on Serbia to end attacks against ethnic
Albanians in Kosovo.
Northern Ireland begins self-rule.
People of East Timor vote for independence from Indonesia.
World’s population reaches six billion.
Millennium celebrated around the world.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair Blair urges Irish Republican Army
to disband to save the Northern Ireland peace process.
Al-Qaeda terrorists crash hijacked planes into New York’s World
Trade Center twin towers, the Pentagon in Washington, and a field
near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
US leads ‘War on terror’ and search for Osama bin Laden.
Terrorist bombing at Kuta, Bali, kills over 200 people, including
Space shuttle Columbia disintegrates on re-entry into earth’s
atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts on board.
US gives ultimatum to President Saddam Hussein to leave his country,
or US will declare war on Iraq without sanction of United Nations.
US-led war against Iraq commences.