US History Timeline - Sal Esposito

Gilded Age (1877-1893)

Standard Oil Company


Corporation founded by John D. Rockefeller to distribute oil. Used horizontal integration to increase its power.

Bessemer Process


A process for purifying iron, resulting in strong, lightweight steel. Allowed bridges and skyscrapers to be built.

Homestead Strike


Strike at Carnegie's Homestead Steel Plant in Pennsylvania because of cut wages. Pinkertons were called in and killed several strikers.

Progressive Era (1890-1920)

Square Deal


Theodore Roosevelt's program to keep the wealthy and the powerful from taking advantage of the poor.



National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Interracial organization founded to abolish segregation and discrimination and to achieve political and civil rights for African Americans.

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire


Fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York that killed 146 workers because of locked exits by the managers. Shocked America and forced better work conditions.

16th Amendment


Gave Congress the right to levy an income tax.

New Freedom


Woodrow Wilson's plan to place strict gov. controls on corporations.

19th Amendment


Gave women the right to vote.

Imperialism (1890-1917)

Annexation of Hawaii


US soldiers and American planters overthrew Queen Liliuokalani.

Spanish-American War


War between the US and Spain caused by the explosion of the USS Maine explosion in Havana Harbor and newspaper articles about the incident. US wins and gets Cuba (can't control it due to Platt Amendment), Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines (purchased by the US for 20 million dollars).

Open Door Policy


American statement that the gov. did not want colonies in China, but favored free trade there.

Panama Canal


Waterway connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific through Panama. Built by Panamanians and Americans after the US had paid 10 million dollars for the land.

Industrialism (1865-1914)

13th Amendment


Abolished slavery in the US.


1865 - 1877

After the Civil war, the gov. tried to repair the damage to the South caused by the Civil War and restore the Southern states to the Union.

Seward's Folly


William Seward bought Alaska from Russia for 7.2 million dollars. Questioned by many, but it turned out to be very beneficial to the US for its size, location, and resources.

14th Amendment


Defined citizenship and guaranteed citizens equal protection under the law.

Transcontinental Railroad


Railroad tracks laid from East to West. Made travel easier and allowed for migration.

15th Amendment


Guaranteed voting rights regardless of race or previous condition of servitude.

WWI (1914-1918)

Treaty of Versailles


Ended WWI and consisted of Wilson's 14 points. Rejected by the US Senate. Planted the seeds for WWII.

Roaring 20's (1920s)



Reliable, affordable car for the average American. Developed by Henry Ford.

18th Amendment


Forbade the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of alcohol anywhere in the US.

Harlem Renaissance


The flowering of African American culture due to novelists, poets, and artists. Helped give a new vocabulary and dynamic to race relations in the US.

Radio Station KDKA


Created in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by an executive of Westinghouse Company. Music, educational lectures, news, and weather broadcasts. First radio station.


Andrew Johnson

1865 - 1869

Ulysses S. Grant

1869 - 1877

Rutherford B. Hayes

1877 - 1881

William McKinley

1897 - 1901

Theodore Roosevelt

1901 - 1909

William Howard Taft

1909 - 1913

Woodrow Wilson

1913 - 1921

Herbert Hoover

1929 - 1933

Franklin D. Roosevelt

1933 - 1945

Harry S. Truman

1945 - 1953

Great Depression (1928-1932)

Black Tuesday


The day of the stock market crash. Stock prices fell sharply in the Great Crash.

Dust Bowl


Term used for the central and southern Great Plains when the region suffered from drought and dust storms. Forced people to move (Okies).

New Deal


Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan to provide recovery, relief, and reform to Americans during the Great Depression. Promoted economic recovery and social reform.

Fireside Chats


Informal radio broadcast in which Franklin D. Roosevelt explained issues and New Deal programs to average Americans.

Second New Deal


Franklin D. Roosevelt's second plan to recover from the Great Depression. Addressed the problems of the elderly, the poor, and the unemployed; helped farmers; created new public-works projects; and enacted measures to protect workers' rights.

Court Packing


Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan to add up to six new justices to the nine-member Supreme Court after the Court had ruled some New Deal legislation was unconstitutional.

WWII (1941-1945)

Munich Pact


Agreement made between Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and France that sacrificed the Sudetenland to preserve peace.

Lend-Lease Act


Act passed that allowed President Roosevelt to sell or lend war supplies to any country whose defense he considered vital to the safety of the US.

Pearl Harbor


Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the site of the US Navy's main Pacific base. Suffered a surprise attack by Japanese air force resulting in heavy US losses.

Battle of Midway


Turning point of WWII in the Pacific in which the Japanese advance was stopped by the US Navy.

Bataan Death March


The forced march of American and Filipino prisoners of war under brutal conditions by the Japanese military.

Battle of the Bulge


Hitler ordered a counterattack on Allied troops in Belgium, but it crippled Germany by using up reserves and demoralizing its troops.

Japanese Internment Camps


Japanese Americans were isolated and put in temporary imprisonment for the duration of WWII.



The day Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy, France.

Atomic Bombs


Atomic bombs were dropped by the US on the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing 95,000 Japanese residents.

The Holocaust


The Nazi attempt to kill all Jews and other "undesirables" under their control.

United Nations


Organization founded to promote peace. Would succeed where the League of Nations had failed.

V-E Day


Victory in Europe Day celebrated by US soldiers when Germany surrendered.