APUS History timeline



1970 - 1980

A term used in economics to describe a situation where an inflation rate is high, the economic growth rate slows down, and unemployment remains steadily high. It raises a dilemma for economic policy since actions designed to lower inflation may exacerbate unemployment, and vice versa. Dominant between the end of WWII and the late-1970s, inflation and recession were regarded as mutually exclusive.


1972 - 1979

SALT II was a series of talks between United States and Soviet negotiators which sought to end the manufacturing of strategic nuclear weapons. It was a continuation of the SALT I talks and was led by representatives from both countries. SALT II was the first nuclear arms treaty which assumed real reductions in strategic forces to 2,250 of all categories of delivery vehicles on both sides.

SALT II helped the United States to discourage the Soviets from arming their third generation ICBMs of SS-17, SS-19 and SS-18 types. In the late 1970s the USSR's missile design bureaus had developed experimental versions of these missiles equipped with anywhere from 10 to 38 warheads each. Additionally, the Soviets secretly agreed to reduce Tu-22M production to thirty aircraft per year and not to give them an intercontinental range. It was particularly important for the United States to limit Soviet efforts in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) rearmament area.

The SALT II Treaty banned new missile programs so both sides were forced to limit their new strategic missile types development. However, the United States preserved their most essential programs like Trident and cruise missiles, which President Carter wished to use as his main defensive weapon as they were too slow to have first strike capability. In return, the USSR could exclusively retain 308 of its so-called "heavy ICBM" launchers of the SS-18 type.

Wounded Knee Standoff


The Wounded Knee incident began February 27, 1973 when about 200 Oglala Lakota and followers of the American Indian Movement seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The grassroots protest followed the failure of their effort to impeach the elected tribal president Richard Wilson, whom they accused of corruption and abuse of opponents; they also protested the United States government's failure to fulfill treaties with Indian peoples and demanded the reopening of treaty negotiations.
Oglala and AIM activists controlled the town for 71 days while the United States Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and other law enforcement agencies cordoned off the area. One of the Marshals involved in the operation was Tommy Robinson, later a United States Representative from Arkansas. The activists chose the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre for its symbolic value. Both sides were armed and shooting was frequent. An FBI agent was paralyzed from a gunshot wound early during the occupation, and later died from complications; a Cherokee and an Oglala Lakota were killed by shootings in April 1973. Ray Robinson, a civil rights activist who joined the protesters, disappeared during the events and is believed to have been murdered. Due to damage to the houses, the small community was not reoccupied until the 1990s.

Ford Pardons Nixon

August 9, 1974

Gerald Ford was elected presidemt after Nixon's Water Gate scandles forced him to resign or face impeachment. Fords first act was to give presedintal pardon, which stunned the nation as a whole.

Whip Inflation Now (WIN)

October 8, 1974

Whip Inflation Now (WIN) was an attempt to spur a grassroots movement to combat inflation, by encouraging personal savings and disciplined spending habits in combination with public measures, urged by U.S. President Gerald Ford. People who supported the mandatory and voluntary measures were encouraged to wear "WIN" buttons, perhaps in hope of evoking in peacetime the kind of solidarity and voluntarism symbolized by the V-campaign during World War II.

Helsinki Accords

August 1, 1975

The Helsinki Accords was the final act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe held in Helsinki, Finland, during July and August 1, 1975. Thirty-three states, including the USA, Canada, and most European states signed the declaration in an attempt to improve relations between the Communist bloc (consisting of the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany) and the West. The Helsinki Accords, however, were not binding as they did not have treaty status.[

Panama Canal Treaty

September 7, 1977

The Torrijos–Carter Treaties are two treaties signed by the United States and Panama in Washington, D.C., on September 7, 1977, which abolished the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty of 1903. The treaties guaranteed that Panama would gain control of the Panama Canal after 1999, ending the control of the canal that the U.S. had exercised since 1903. The treaties are named after the two signatories, U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the Commander of Panama's National Guard, General Omar Torrijos. Although Torrijos was not democratically elected as he had seized power in a coup in 1968, it is generally considered that he had widespread support in Panama to justify his signing of the treaties.

Camp David Accords

September 17, 1978

The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem begin on 17 September 1978, following thirteen days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter. The second of these frameworks, a framework for the conclusion of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, led directly to the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, and resulted in Sadat and begin sharing the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize. Little progress was achieved on the first framework however, a framework for peace in the Middle East, which dealt with the Palestinian territories.

OPEC Crisis


With a change in political power in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini became the man in power. Protests severely disrupted the Iranian oil sector, with production being greatly curtailed and exports suspended. When oil exports were later resumed under the new regime, they were inconsistent and at a lower volume, which pushed prices up. Panic resulted, added to by the decision of U.S. President Jimmy Carter to order the cessation of Iranian imports, driving the price far higher than would be expected under normal circumstances.

Soviets Invade Afghanistan


The USSR invaded the nation of Afghanistan in December 1979 in a move to play a greater role in the Middle East. . The United States immediately ceased supplying the USSR with grain shipments and stopped treaty negotiations with them.

Moral Majority

1979 - 1988

This was a politcal party that was associated with the Christian Right. This group was a conservative group that fought on issues that pertained to subjects that effected maintaining a christian country. It ended in 1988 with the election. The group was led by Jerry Falwell.

Three Mile Island Icident

March 28, 1979

The Three Mile Island accident was a partial nuclear meltdown which occurred in one of the two United States Three Mile Island nuclear reactors in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, on March 28, 1979. It was the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history. The partial meltdown resulted in the release of small amounts of radioactive gases and radioactive iodine into the environment. Epidemiology studies have not linked a single cancer with the accident.

The accident began at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28, 1979, with failures in the non-nuclear secondary system, followed by a stuck-open pilot-operated relief valve (PORV) in the primary system, which allowed large amounts of nuclear reactor coolant to escape. The mechanical failures were compounded by the initial failure of plant operators to recognize the situation as a loss-of-coolant accident due to inadequate training and human factors, such as human-computer interaction design oversights relating to ambiguous control room indicators in the power plant's user interface.

Iran Hostage Crisis

November 4, 1979 - January 20, 1981

The Iran Hostage Crisis was a diplomatic dispute between Iran and the United States. Fifty-two Americans were held hostage for 444 days after a group of Islamist students and militants supporting the Iranian Revolution took over the American Embassy in Tehran. President Carter called the hostages "victims of terrorism and anarchy," adding that "the United States will not yield to blackmail." The actions un-which the militia took embarrassed and humiliated the United States, making the issue the focus or the remainder of Carter's presidency.

Boycott of Olympics in Moscow


As a result of the Afghanistan invasion in 1979, an American boycott was declared against the 1980 summer Olympics held in Moscow

Election of 1980 and the "Reagan Revolution"

November 4, 1980

The contest was between Democratic President Jimmy Carter and his Republican opponent, former California Governor Ronald Reagan, as well as Republican Congressman John B. Anderson, who ran as an independent. Reagan, aided by the Iran hostage crisis and a worsening economy at home, won the election in a landslide, receiving the highest number of electoral votes ever won by a nonincumbent presidential candidate.

This election marked the beginning of what is popularly called the "Reagan Revolution" and proved, like those in 1800, 1860, and 1932, to be one of the most consequential in American history, radically altering the future and giving rise to a new generation of conservatism.

Reaganomics (Supply-side and trickle down economics)

January 20, 1981 - January 20, 1989

Reaganomics refers to the economic policies promoted by U.S. President Ronald Reagan during the 1980s. These policies are commonly associated with supply-side economics, referred to as trickle-down economics by political opponents.

The four pillars of Reagan's economic policy were to reduce the growth of government spending, reduce the federal income tax and capital gains tax, reduce government regulation, and control the money supply in order to reduce inflation. The whole idea was to decrease the size of the national government.

Sandra Day O'Connor appointed to Supreme Court

September 21, 1981 - January 31, 2006

Sandra Day O'Connor was appointment in 1981 by Ronald Reagan until her retirement from the Court in 2006. She was the first woman to be appointed to the Court.

O'Connor tended to approach each case narrowly without arguing for sweeping precedents. She most frequently sided with the court's conservative bloc, although in the latter years of her tenure, she was regarded as having the swing vote in many cases.

Military action in Grenada and Nicaragua


The Invasion of Grenada was a 1983 United States-led invasion of Grenada that resulted in a U.S. victory within a matter of weeks. Triggered by a bloody military coup which had ousted a four-year revolutionary government, the invasion resulted in a restoration of constitutional government. It was controversial due to charges of Cold War politics, mainly Cuba's illegal involvement.

The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America was a 1984 case of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in which the ICJ ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States and awarded reparations to Nicaragua. The ICJ held that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting the Contras in their rebellion against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua's harbors. The United States refused to participate in the proceedings after the Court rejected its argument that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The U.S. later blocked enforcement of the judgment by the United Nations Security Council and thereby prevented Nicaragua from obtaining any actual compensation. The Nicaraguan government finally withdrew the complaint from the court in September 1992, following a repeal of the law requiring the country to seek compensation.
The Court found in its verdict that the United States was "in breach of its obligations under customary international law not to use force against another State", "not to intervene in its affairs", "not to violate its sovereignty", "not to interrupt peaceful maritime commerce", and "in breach of its obligations under the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the Parties signed at Managua on 21 January 1956."

Strategic Defense Initiative/ Star Wars


This was U.S. President Ronald Reagan idea for a new defense system using ground and space to protect the US from nuclear weapons. The weapons that were planned on being used for the system included x-ray lasers and chemical laser that were not even possible with the technology they possesed at the time. The name Star Wars came from the movie because the idea would use similar stuff as in the movie.

Iran-Contra Affair and Oliver North


During the Reagan administration, senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran. The funds from the sales then went to the Contras in Nicaragua. This was a coverty network in Nicaragua. The officials then thought the the sales would aid in the return of seven hostages held by the Iranians.

Savings and Loan Scandal


The savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s was the failure of 747 savings and loan associations. The ultimate cost of the crisis is estimated to have totaled around $160.1 billion, about $124.6 billion of which was directly paid for by the US government—that is, the US taxpayer, either directly or through charges on their savings and loan accounts

Operation Desert Shield

2 August 1990 - 28 Feb 1991

the United States and its allies defeated Iraq in a ground war that lasted 100 hours , The code name for the liberation of Kuwait during the Perisan Gulf War of 1991 the name was then changed to desert stomr after the use of missiles by the US. This war was 34 nations against Iran.

breakup of the soviet union

26 December 1991

Soviet Union ended with the resignation of the president Mikhail Gorbachev. He then turned over the nuclear codes to the presidnet of Russia. The Berlin wall was torn down in 1990.

Clinton scandals and impeachment

1992 - 1999

David Hale claimed in November 1993 that Clinton, while governor of Arkansas, pressured him to provide an illegal $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal, the partner of the Clintons in the Whitewater land deal. The Clintons were never found guilty.

In early 1998, inquiries led to charges that the president had had a sexual relationship with a young White House intern, Monica Lewinsky

The Lewinsky affair led to Clinton's impeachment which ended with the president being acquitted by the Senate

Rodney King beating/riots


Rodney King was beaten by cops after being pulled over for speeding. This incident was caught on tape and led to rioting in Los Angeles in 1992. The four cops were tried for the beating and two of them were found guilty while the other two were acquitted. The riots were some of the most violent riots in history over 50 people were killed.

Don't ask, don't tell

1993 - 2011

This was the policy for the army about gays and bisexuals. It allowed them to be in the armed forces as long as they kept it a secret. This was a compromise after Clinton tried to end the band of gays in the military

Clinton proposes national health care


Clinton proposed a plan that lead to the universal healthcare of the United States. This plan was found to be controversial. The plan called for all employers to offer health care to all of their employees through competitive but closely regulated health maintenance organizations.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

january 1 1993 - Present

This agreement was between the US, Canada, and Mexico. They agreed to have free trade in between the countries. This led to a growth in economy since it opened doors to business in Mexico. It also created more jobs since there was more trade.

Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America


In the 1994 congressional elections Newt Gingrich made a contract that candidates sign a document in which they pledged their support for such things as a balanced budget amendment, term limits for members of Congress, and a middle-class tax cut.

Election of 2000


Vice President Al Gore was the Democratic candidate; Governor George W. Bush of Texas ran for the Republicans

Gore won the popular vote, but the results in Florida were disputed and a recount was ordered byt the Florida courts.
In a 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court ordered a halt to the recount, giving Bush the victory.