Born in Chicago to Albert Milard Dunham, black, and Fanny June Dunham, French-Canadian and American Indian heritage.
Mom dies. she and her brother are sent to live with their dads sister, Lulu, South of Chicago.
Dad marries Annette Poindexter, she and her brother move in with them . Dad begins using physical discipline (abuse) on her and her brother.
Her first book she wrote at age twelve, "Come back to Arizona" is appears in W.E.B Du Bois volume two off the "Brownie book".
Joins the Terpsichorean Club in high school. Learns modern dances from history.
Starts studying ballet with Ludmilla Speranzeva in Chicago.
Went to a Junior college in Juliet Illinois. Atteneded a lecture by Robert Redfield at the University of Chicago, who specialized in Indian and African cultures, who influenced her dream.
Forms Ballet Negre; one of the first Negro ballet companies in America.
Arives in Haiti's. Presents her results in June of 1936 to sponsors at Rosenwald Fund.
Produces and corregraphs her first full length ballet.
Collaborates with Balanchine on choreography for dances in the musical play Cabin in the Sky.
Marries Canadian John Pratt , A white costumee designer for her company.
Contracted to be a featured dancer in the patriotic film Star Spangled Rhythm.
Dunham and her company appear in such clubs as Chez Paree in Chicago.
The Dunham School in New York moves to 220 West 43rd Street
Dunham choreographs the musical play Windy City, which premieres at the Great Northern Theater in Chicago.
She and her company appear in the Italian film Botta e risposta
The Dunham school in New York is renamed to the "Katherine Dunham school of Cultural Arts".
Dunham and company tour South America and Europe.
Duham and company preform in Los Angeles at the Greek Theater.
Dunham and company tour Mexico.
Dunham and company tour New Zealand and Austrillia.
Dunham and company tour East Asia.
Publishes her third book
Directs Albert Husson's musical comedy "Deux Anges Sont Venus and Ciao", Rudi in Rome.
Is invited by President Léopold Senghor to train the National Ballet of Senegal.
Dunham is named a grand officier of the Haitian Légion d'Honneur et Merite.
Fourth book is published
Recieved the Dance Division Heritage Award from the American Association
Fifth book is published : Kasamance: a Fantasy.
Is named to the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and in the Entertainment Hall in Fame Foundation
Dunham recieves an honorary decorate from Atlanta of literature.
Katherine recieves the Dance Pioneer Award from Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.
Given the Albert Schweitzer Music Award for contributing to the performing arts, and her dedication to humanitarian work.
Recieves National Dance Week Award from the Dance Concert Society.
Recieves an award of fine arts from Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Retires from Southern Illinois University.
Recieves honor award from Southern Illinois University for fine arts.
Recieves honorary doctorate of laws from Lincoln University and an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Howard University.
Recieves the Distinguished Service Award from the American Anthropological Association; the Southern Cross, Award of Honor and Merit from the Government of Brazil; the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award; the Medal of Artistic Merit in Dance, given by the International Council on Dance, UNESCO; and the Oral Self-Portrait from the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.
Recives the Ebony Magazine American Achievement Award in Fine Arts.
Designated by the Governments of Haiti and France as an officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in their countries.
Dunham is one out of nine awarded for the National Medal of the Arts presentation made by President Bush in the east room of the White house.
Recieves an honarary decorate of humne letters from Spellman college.
Awarded citizenship by the Government of Haiti.
Become artist-in-residence and lecturer at the University of Hawaii.
Recieves an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Is named by the Dance Heritage Coalition one of "America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures"
Recieves an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Harvard University.
Honored with a three-day tribute in New York City with special presentations and performances at Symphony Space on upper Broadway.
The famous Katherine Dunham dies.