World War I


Assignation of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand

June 28, 1914

A teenage Serbian nationalist gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, as their motorcade maneuvered through the streets of Sarajevo. Next in line for the Austro-Hungarian throne, Ferdinand had not been particularly well liked in aristocratic circles.

Germany Invades France Though Belgium (War Begins)

August 4, 1914

Germany invades Belgium in order to get Frances capital, Paris. Even though it was invaded, Belgium upheld its neutrality.

First Battle of the Marne

September 6, 1914

This battle was fought in the north east of France in an attempt to stop German forces moving through Belgium in an attempt to attack Paris which was part of the Schlifflen plan

Sinking of the Lusitania

May 7, 1915

A German U-boat torpedoed the British liner the Lusitania on its way to New York. 1,100 people died, including 120 Americans.

Battle of Verdun

February 21, 1916

Verdun was a sentimental piece of land to the French that the Germans attacked to provoke France. This battle didn’t end until December of the same year, resulting in many casualties on both sides.

French Passenger Vessel Sussex was sunk

March 24, 1916

The Sussex was another ship torpedoed by Germany leaving 80 casualties, including two wounded Americans. Because of this the Sussex Pledge was taken by Germany, which stated that they would not sink merchant or passenger ships without warning.

Passing of the National Defense Act

June 3, 1916

The Defense Act was a federal law that updated the Militia Act of 1903, which related to the organization of the military, particularly the National Guard.

Battle of the Some

July 1, 1916

This battle November 1, making it one of the largest battle during the war. After two years of trench warfare, the Allies attempt to break through German lines on the western front. It resulted in the loss of more than 1.5 million men.

Publication of the Zimmerman Note

March 1, 1917

the text of the so-called Zimmermann Telegram, a message from the German foreign secretary, Arthur Zimmermann, to the German ambassador to Mexico proposing a Mexican-German alliance in the case of war between the United States and Germany, is published on the front pages of newspapers in America.

Selective Service Act passed

May 18, 1917

Six weeks after the United States formally entered World War I, the U.S Congress passes the Selective Service Act. This gave the US president the power to draft soldiers.

US Troops First Land in France

June 1917

14,000 U.S. soldiers had arrived in France and the AEF had only a minor participation at the front in late October 1917, but by May 1918 over one million U.S. troops were stationed in France; though only half of it made it to the front lines.

Espionage Act passed

June 15, 1917

The Espionage Act prohibited individuals from expressing or publishing opinions that would interfere with the U.S. military's efforts to defeat Germany and its allies.

Bolsheviks seize power in Russia

November 1917

When the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd, they faced many problems. Not least was the fact that the Bolsheviks only controlled a very small part of Russia, the land between Petrograd and Moscow, a rectangular band of territory 30 miles by 400 miles.

Wilson established the National War Labor Board


Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

March 3, 1918

This was a peace treaty between the new Bolshevik government of Soviet Russia and the Central powers. This ultimately ended Russia’s participation in the war.

sedition act

may 16, 1918

An extension of the espionage act

Second Battle of the Marne

July 15, 1918

This was the last major German offensive against the Western front, but ultimately ended in a crucial Allie victory.

Germany Surrenders

November 11, 1918

t went into effect at 11 a.m. Paris time on 11 November 1918 ("the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month"), and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not formally a surrender.

Wilson establishes 14 points program

January 8, 1919

The Fourteen Points was a statement of principles for world peace that was to be used for peace negotiations in order to end World War I.