10,000-4,000 : Development of settlements into cities and development of skills, such as wheel and pottery making, and improved methods of cultivation.
5,500-3000 : Earliest recorded date of Egyptian calendar; first phonetic writing appears; Sumerians develop a city-state civilization.
3000-2000 : Pharaonic rule begins in Egypt; completion of the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza.
3000-1500 : The most ancient civilization on the Indian subcontinent, the sophisticated and extensive Indus Valley Civilization, flourishes in what is today Pakistan.
900-800 : Phoenicians establish Carthage; The Iliad and Odyssey was composed by the Greek poet Homer.
400-300 : Pentateuch-first five Books of the Old Testament evolve in final form.
300-251 : Invention of Mayan calendar in Yucatan - -more exact than older calendars. First Roman gladiatorial games (264 BC). Archimedes, Greek mathematician (287-212 BC).
101-51 : Juleus Caesar (100-44 BC) invades invades Britain (55 BC) and conquers Gaul, FranceAD
1-49 : Birth of Jesus Christ (variously given from 4 BC to AD 7.
250-299 : Classic period of Mayan civilization (AD 250-900); development of hieroglyphic writing, advances in art, architecture, science.
300-349 : Constantine the Great (rules AD 312-337) reunites eastern and western Roman empires, with new capital (Constantinopole) on site of Byzantium (AD 330).
450-499 : Western Roman empire ends as Odoacer. German chieftain, overthrows last Roman empire, Romulus Augustulus, and becomes king of Italy (A.D. 476).
550-599 : Beginning of European silk industry after Justinia’s missionaries smuggle silkworms out of China (553). Era of Mohammed, founder of Islam (570-632), begins.
600-649 : Mohammed flees from Mecca to Medina (the Hegira); first year of the Muslim calendar (622).
750-799 : The “golden age” of Arab culture.
800-849 : Charlemagne crowned first Holy Roman Emperor in Rome (800).
850-899 : Russian nation founded by Vikings under Prince Rurik, establishing capital at Novgorod (855-879).
1000-1300 : Classic Pueblo period of Anasazi culture.
1008 : Murasaki Shikibu finishes The Tale of Genji, the world’s first novel.
1040 : Macbeth Murders Duncan.
1053 : Robert Guiscard, Norman invader, establishes kingdom in Italy, conquers Sicily (1072).
1054 : Final separation between Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Roman) churches.
1150-1167 : Universities of Paris and Oxford founded in France and England respectively.
1211 : Genghis Khan invades China, captures Peking (1214), conquers Persia (1218), invades Russia (1223, dies (1227).
1212 : Children’s Crusade.
1215 : King John forced by barons to sign Magna Carta at Runneymede, limiting royal power.
1231 : The Inquisition begins as Pope Gregory IX assigns Dominicans responsibility for combating heresy. Torture used (1252).
1251 : Kublai Khan governs China, becomes ruler of Mongols (1259). establishes Yuan dynasty in China (1280). invades Burma (1287), dies (1294).
1271 : Marco Polo of Venice travels to China, in court of Kublai Khan (1275-1292), returns to Genoa (1295) and writes Travels.
1325 : The beginning of the Renaissance in Italy : writers Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio; painter Giotto. Development of Noh drama in Japan. Aztecs establish Tenochtitlan on site of modern Mexico City. Peak of Muslim culture in Spain. Small cannon in use.
1337-1453 : Hundred Years’ War—English and French kings fight for control of France.
1347-1351 : At least 25 million people die in Europe’s “Black Death” (bubonic plague).
1418-1460 : Portugal’s Prince Henry the Navigator sponsors exploration of Africa’s coast.
1428 : Joan of Arc leads French against English, captured by Burundians (1430) and turned over to the English, burned at the stake as a witch after ecclesiastical trial (1431).
1453 : Turks conquer Constantinople, end of the Byzantine empire, beginning of the Ottoman empire; Renaissance in Europe.
1455 : The Wars of the Roses, civil wars between rival noble factions, begin in England (to 1485). Having invented printing with movable type at Mainz, Germany, Johann Gutenberg completes first Bible.
1497 : Vasco da Gama sails around Africa and discovers sea route to India (1498).
1503 : Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa. Michelangelo sculpts the David (1504).
1506 : St. Peter’s Church started in Rome; designed and decorated by such artists and architects as Bramante, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Raphael, and Bernini before its completion in 1626.
1513 : Balboa becomes the first European to encounter the Pacific Ocean. Machiavelli’s The Prince comes out.
1520 : Luther excommunicated by Pope Leo X. Suleiman I (“The Magnificent”) becomes Sultan of Turkey.
1535 : Reformation begins as Henry VIII makes himself head of English Church after being ex-communicated by Pope. Sir Thomas More executed as traitor for refusal to acknowledge king’s religious authority.
1553 : Roman Catholicism restored in England by Queen Mary I.
1558 : Queen Elizabeth I ascends the throne (rules to 1603). Restores Protestantism, establishes state Church of England (Anglicanism). Renaissance will reach height in England—Shakespeare, Marlowe, Spenser.
1582 : Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar.
1605 : Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha, the first modern novel, comes out.
1610 : Galileo sees the moons of Jupiter through his telescope.
1614 : John Napier discovers logarithms.
1644 : End of Ming Dynasty in China – Manchus come to power. Discartes writes Principles of Philosophy.
1685 : James II succeeds Charles II in England, calls for freedom of conscience (1687). Protestants fear restoration of Catholicism and demand “Glorious Revolution”.
1689 : Glorious Revolution in England
1689 : Peter the Great becomes Czar of Russia, attempts to westernize nation and build Russia as a military power.
1707 : United Kingdom of Great Britain formed—England, Wales, and Scotland joined by parliamentary Act of Union.
1751 : Publication of the Encyclopedic begins in France.
1755 : Great earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal-over 60,000 die. US postal service established.
1756-63 : Seven Years’ War (French and Indian Wars in America) in which Britain and Prussia defeat France, Spain, Austria, and Russia.
2005 : King of Nepal assumes to himself all executive powers; Shia-dominated coalition emerges winner in Iraq parliamentary elections. Pope John Paul 11 dies; Joseph Ratzinger elected new Pope.
2006 : King of Nepal divested of power, democracy restored.
2007 : As part of the breakthrough deal. North Korea will disclose details about its nuclear facilities, including how much plutonium it has produced, and dismantle all of its nuclear faculties by the end of 2007.
2008 : India Rocked By a Wave of Terrorist Attacks : During much of 2008, India experienced a series of terrorist attacks largely blamed on Islamic militants, as well as religious and ethnic clashes that pitted Muslims against Hindus and Hindus against Ciiristians. None of the attacks, however, were nearly as devastating as the November attacks on several of Mumbai’s landmarks and commercial hubs. Ten gunmen laid siege to the city for three days, killing 173 people.; Kosovo Declares Independence: On Feb. 17, 2008, Kosovar prime minister Hashim Thaci declared independence from Serbia, which, as predicted, denounced the move. Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunica said he would never recognize the “false state.”; Changing of the Guard in Pakistan: By the end of 2008, former president Pervez Musharraf had all but disappeared from the political scene. Facing impeachment charges, he resigned as president in August and was succeeded by Asif Ali Zardari. The widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. In earlier parliamentary elections, the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, led by Zardari. won 80 of the 242 contested seats. The Pakistan Muslim LeagueN, led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, took 66 seats. The two parties formed a coalition government, but animosity and distrust between Zardari and Sharif created an untenable partnership and Sharif withdrew his party from the government. Yousaf Raza Gillani was named prime minister. ; Russian-Georgian Conflict: In August 2008, fighting between Georgia and its two breakaway regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, broke out.; Historic Presidential Election : The presidential election between senators Barack Obama and John McCain dominated the news in 2008-at least until the financial crisis struck and altered the landscape of the campaign. On November 4, 2008, Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States.
2009 : Iceland Swears in First Female Prime Minister (Feb. 1) : Johanna Sigurdardottir will lead an interim government until Aprilo elections.; Pakistan Agrees to Islamic Law, Taliban Truce (Feb. 16) : The government of Pakistan has agreed to implement a system of Islamic law in the Swat valley and a tru ce with the Taliban regime.; Pakistan’s President Agrees to Reinstate Chief Justice(March 16) : lltikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, will be reinstated by President Asif Ali Zardari.; Sweden Leg alizes Same-Sex Marriage (Apr. I): Sweden becomes the fifth European country to legalize same-sex marriage. The law, passed by Parliament, will go into effect May I.; North Korea Launches Rocket, Defies World Leaders (Apr. 4): North Korea launches a rocket in defiance of world leaders and resolutions from the United States, China, and the U.N. North Korea claimed the rocket launch was an effort to shoot a satellite into space, though most assume it was actually an effort to demonstrate the country’s capability to deploy long-rancge missiles.; First Female Poet Laureate Appointed in UK (May 1): For the first time in 341 years, a woman is appointed as poet laureate of the United Kingdom.; Indian PM Manmohan Singh Wins Second Term in 15th LokSabha Elections(May 22): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday took oath along with 19 Cabinet colleagues to begin his second five-year term at the head of a multi-party government in which his Congress party is the overwhelmingly dominant partner after a sweeping win in general elections; Former South Korean President Kills Himself (May 23): Former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun dies after jumping off a cliff in Bongha, South Korea. Elections for Parliament in European Union Give More Power to Center-Right Parties (June 7): The European Union holds elections for the Parliament, with the center-right parties gaining more,control.; President Ahmadinejad Wins Reelection by Landslide (June 13): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wins his reelection campaign by a landslide victory with 63% of the vote, while main challenger Mir Hussein Moussavi receives just 34% of the vote. Accusations of ballot tampering and fraud leads to wide-scale protests in Tehran; Michael Jackson “King of Pop” Dies (June 25): Michael Jackson, life-long musician, pop singer, and superstar, dies at age 50;
Facing Threats, U.S., U.K. Embassies Close in Yemen (Jan. 3): The United States and the United Kingdom have closed their embassies in the country of Yemen due to ongoing security threats from the terrorist group alQaeda. Military and intelligence organizations in Yemen had information about plans to attack Western groups in the capital; military action prevented the threatened attack, however. The suicide bomber on the Christmas Day flight to Detroit has been tied to the terrorist organization in Yemen.
7.0-Magnitude Earthquake Devastates Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Jan. 12): The beleaguered country of Haiti is dealt a catastrophic blow when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake strikes 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital. It is the region’s worst earthquake in 200 years. The quake levels many sections of the city, destroying government buildings, foreign aid offices, and countless slums. (Jan. 13): Assessing the scope of the devastation, Prime Minister Preval says, “Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed.” He calls the death toll “unimaginable,” and expects fatalities to near 100,000. The United Nations mission in Haiti is destroyed, 16 members of the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti are killed, and hundreds of UN employees are missing. (Jan. 14): International aid begins pouring in, and the scope of the damage caused by the quake highlights the urgent need to improve Haiti’s crumbling infrastructure and lift it out of endemic poverty—the country is the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. (Jan. 19): Though the dead are going uncounted and unidentified in Haiti while authorities attempt to bury those killed during the earthquake and its aftermath, experts estimate a staggering death toll of 200,000 people.
Aide to Saddam Hussein “Chemical Ali” Executed in Iraq (Jan. 25): Ali Hassan al-Majid, cousin of and former aid to Saddam Hussein, is executed in Iraq for his role in the poison-gas attack of the village of Halabja, where 5,000 Kurds were killed. Nicknamed “Chemical Ali”, al-Majid is part of the group of leaders responsible for the deaths of approximately 180,000 Kurds in the Iraq-Iran War.
Three American Soldiers Killed in Pakistan (Feb. 3): Three American soldiers, along with four Pakistanis, are killed in a suicide bombing attack in Pakistan. Members of the Taliban are responsible for the blast. While Pakistan is officially an ally to the United States. Pakistan does not allow American combat forces in the country. However, a Special Operations team of 60-100 American soldiers is currently in Pakistan to train the paramilitary Frontier Corps in counterinsurgency techniques. (Feb. 4): Pakistan officials arrest 35 people who they suspect were involved in the suicide bombing that killed 3 American soldiers.
Olympic Luger from Republic of Georgia Dies in Training Crash (Feb. 12): A luger from the Republic of Georgia, Nodar Kumaritashvili. dies tragically in a crash during training for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Just hours before the Opening Ceremony, Kumaritashvili lost control of his sled while traveling at 90 miles per hour on the Whistler Sliding Centre track. The safety of the track, built in 2007, has been called into question recently because of the sheer speed at which the athletes are able to travel.
Multi-Country Offensive Launched in Afghanistan (Feb. 12): Thousands of American, Afghan, and British troops storm the city of Marja, Afghanistan in an attempt to destroy the Taliban’s latest haven. The attack by the 6,000 troops is the biggest offensive in the country since the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001. (Feb. 14): A U.S. rocket strike that went awry kills at least 10 civilians in the Helmand province. Five children were among those killed.
Taliban’s Top Commander Captured (Feb. 15): The Taliban’s top military commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is captured in Karachi, Pakistan in a secret joint operation by the American and Pakistani intelligence forces. American officials claim that Barader is the most significant human capture since the in Afghanistan began in 2001. (Feb. 18): Two senior Taliban leaders are arrested in Pakistan. Afghan officials are calling the two men “shadow governors” in two provinces of the country. Their arrest, along with the capture of Barader, severely hamper the Taliban leadership and their presence in Pakistan.
Prime Minister of Japan Announces Resignation (June 1): Just nine months into his term as Prime Minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama announces his resignation from office. His countrymen reportedly find him an indecisive and ineffective ruler and have been clamoring for him to quit. He will be the fourth prime minister to leave in just four years.
U.N. Security Council Passes Sanctions Against Iran (June 9): The United Nations Security Council passes another set of sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, in hopes that they can stop Iran’s production of nuclear fuel. President Obama strongly supported the sanctions, though only 12 of the 15 members of the council voted in favor of passing it.
U.S. Finds SI Trillion in Untapped Mineral Deposits in Afghanistan (June 13): The United States finds more than $ 1 trillion in mineral resources in the mountains of Afghanistan, far more than expected or previously estimated. The findings, which include previously unknown deposits of iron, copper, gold, and lithium, could drastically improve the country’s economy and fundamentally change the outcome of the war there.
Ethnic Fighting in Kyrgyzstan Reaches Horrific Level (June 17): Street fighting between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks escalated in the city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan, leaving at least 200 people dead. Thousands of people are displaced after Uzbek neighborhoods are torched, and approximately 100,000 people have crossed the border into Uzbekistan, forcing that country’s government to close its borders. (June 24): The death toll in the ethnic fighting in Kyrgyzstan rises to 2,000, yet the cause of the original skirmish remains unknown. Many of those who fled the country have begun to return.
Graeme McDowell Wins Golfs U.S. Open (June 20): In a surprise victory, Graeme McDowell wins golfs U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Cal- ifornia, beating second place Frenchman Gregory Havret by just one stroke. McDowell, from Northern Ireland, is the first European to win the tournament since 1970.
Serena Williams Wins Women’s Wimbledon Title (July 3): American tennis champ Serena Williams dominates the women’s Wimbledon final with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Vera Zvonareva of Russia. This win gives Williams her 13th Grand Slam title. (July 4): Spain’s Rafael Nadal wins the men’s Wimbledon title in a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 set against Czech opponent Tomas Berdych. The win marks Nadal’s eighth major title win.
U.S., Russia Swap Imprisoned Spies in Trade Agreement (July 9): After discovering and imprisoning 10 Russian spies masquerading as civilians in the United States, the U.S. and Russia agree to and implement a swap of the captured spies. The Russian government traded four Russians who were purportedly spying for the U.S. or another Western country.
Spain Beats Netherlands 1-0 to Win World Cup (July 11): After four weeks and 64 games, the 32 countries who entered the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa were whittled down to just two; the final game, between Spain and the Netherlands, went into overtime after a scoreless game. Spain finally scored in the 129th minute, winning the game and the World Cup title.
Coordinated Bombings Kill 70 in Uganda (July 11): The Shabab, an Islamic insurgent group from Somalia, claim responsibility for the coordinated bombings that kill at least 70 people in a crowd of soccer fans in Uganda.
Stampede During German Parade Kills 21, Wounds 500 (July 24): Twenty-one people are killed and 500 more wounded during a stampede at a German music festival, dubbed the Love Parade. While attempting to enter the festival, the large crowd crushed into an underpass, suffocating and trampling the victims of the tragedy. Prosecutors are investigating whether the event managers’ negligence caused the stampede and subsequent deaths.
Alberto Contador Wins the Tour de France (July 25): Alberto Contador wins the Tour de France, his third title in the world’s most prestigious cycling race, and his second in a row.
Russia Bans Grain Export in Response to Drought, Wildfires (Aug. 5): Russian president Valdimir Putin bans the export of grains from his country, citing the widespread drought and wildfires that are crippling Russia. They are suffering from the country’s worst heat wave in 130 years. Putin claims that the damage to their crops has increased food prices in Russia dramati cally. (Aug. 6): At least 52 people have been killed in the more than 800 wildfires that have swept across Russia.
Sucide Bomber Kills At Least 48 in Attack on Iraqi Army (Aug, 17): A suicide bomber blows himself up at an Iraqi Army recruiting office, killing at least 48 army recruits and soldiers, and wounding 120 others.
State Department Increasing Civilian Presence in Iraq (Aug» 18): The U.S. State Department announces that it will increase the presence of civilian contractors in 2011 as the military prepares to leave the country. Contractors will be responsible for training Iraqi police and preventing confrontations between the Iraqi Army and civilian groups.
American Hiker Released on Bail from Iranian Prison (Sept 12): The female American hiker imprisoned in Iran on charges of espionage is released on $500,000 bail Sarah Shourd has been in prison for over a year, along with the two male American friends she was hiking with, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal. The three friends were hiking in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq in July 2009 when they allegedly passed over into Iranian territory and were arrested.
U.S. Grenade May Have Killed British Aid Worker (Oct. 11): British aid worker Linda Norgrove, who was kidnapped by the Taliban while she was working in Afghanistan for an American aid organization, may have been killed during an American rescue raid, and not by a suicide bomb detonated by her captors, as was previously believed. British Prime Minister David Cameron announces the possibility that her death was an accident caused by a U.S. grenade, after learning of an investigation into the matter lead by General David Petraeus, top NATO commander in Afghanistan.
Talks to End Afghan War Between Karzai, Taliban Leaders (Oct. 19): Leading members of the Taliban in Afghanistan - members of the Quetta shura - and President Karzai and his advisors, meet to discuss the end of the nine-year war in Afghanistan. The Taliban leaders, whose identities are kept secret in order to prevent rival Taliban leaders from harming or killing them, were lead to the meetings from their safe havens in Pakistan by NATO troops.
Mass Protests in France Over Retirement Reform (Oct 19): A one-day strike over the French government’s pension reform plan turned into wide- spread protests, gas shortages, blockaded roads, closed schools, and violence in France. President Sarkozy and his government are proposing raising the legal minimum requirement age from 60 to 62, which resulted in the demonstrations of millions of French citizens.
Suspicious Packages on Airplane Bound for U.S. Contain Explosives
(Oct. 29): President Obama confirms that the suspicious packages found on an airplane originating in Yemen and bound for the United States contained explosive materials. Saudi intelligence officials tipped the U.S. government about the packages, resulting in a brief terrorism scare across the country. No additional exploseives were found.
Church Attack in Baghdad Kills 58 (Oct. 31): An Al Qaeda-affiliated massacre at a church in Baghdad leaves 58 dead and scores more wounded. This is the largest attack on Iraqi Christians since the war in Iraq began in 2003. Gunmen took over 100 hostages in the church before killing most with two suicide bombs.
Obama Backs India for Permanent U.N. Security Council Seat (Nov, 8): President Obama, breaking with tradition, announces support of India for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. A closer relationship between the United States and India should reduce some of the power of rapdidly growing China. The governments of China and Pakistan, both countries with strained relationships with India and close ties with the United States, respond with concern over the growing relationship.
Irish Prime Minister Dissolving Government After 2011 Budget Approval (Nov. 22): Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen announces he will disolve his government and hold a new election after the 2011 budget passes. This announcement comes just one day after the Irish government requested a $100 billion bailout package from the European Union and IMF to help save its flailing economy.
North Korean Military Attacks South Korean Island, Killing 4 (Nov. 23): The military of North Korea unexpected attacks the island of Yeonpyeong in South Korea, killing two civilians and two marines. Eighteen others are wounded. This is the first time North Korea has fired on a civilian target since the suspension of the Korean War in 1953.
Russia, Qatar Win World Cup Bids for 2018, 2022 (Dec. 2) : Russia wins its bid as host for the 2018 World Cup, while Qatar secures the host duties for the international soccer tournament in 2022. The United States, in particular, was disappointed by the announcement; the country was hoping to host the World Cup in 2022. Qatar will be the first Middle Eastern country to the tournament; Russia has never had the privilege either.
WikiLeaks Founder Arrested in Sweden for Alleged Sex Offenses
(Dec. 7): Julian Assange, the Australian-born co-founder of WikiLeaks, is arrested in England on a Swedish warrant in connection to accusations made in August: two women in Sweden accused him of sexual assault. He is denied bail by a London court. (Dec. 8): Hundreds of Internet activists attack several businesses seen as ‘’enemies” of WikiLeaks, in response to Assange’s imprisonment. Amazon.com, Paypal.com, and the MasterCard website are among those attacked with an onslaught of web traffic.
(Dec. 14): Assange is released on $310,000 bail, but remains in British custody temporarily. He faces possible extradition to Sweden for his alleged sexual assaults on two women.
1773 : The Boston Tea Party.
1774 : First Continental Congress drafts “Declaration of Rights and Grievances.”
1776 : Declaration of American Independence. Gen. George Washington crosses the Delaware Christmas night. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Thomas Painc’s Common Sense. Fragonard’s Washerwoman. Mozart’s Haffner Serenade.
1787 : The Constitution of the United States signed. Lavoisier’s work on chemical nomenclature. Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
1789 : French Revolution begins with the storming of the Bastille.
1793 : Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette executed. Reign of Terror begins in France. Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin, spurring the growth of the cotton industry and helping to institutionalize slavery in the U.S. South.
1804 : Haiti declares independence from France; first black nation to gain freedom from European colonial rule. Napoleon transforms the Consulate of France into an empire, proclaims himself emperor of France, Systematizes French law under Code Napoleon.
1805 : Battle of Trafalgar
1815 : Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon defeated, exiled to St. Helena
1819 : Simon Bolivar liberates New Granada (now Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador) as Spain loses hold on South American countries; named president of Colombia.
1821 : Guatemala, Panama, and Santo Domingo proclaim independence from Spain.
1822 : Greeks proclaim a republic and independence from Turkey
1825 : First passenger-carrying railroad in England.
1826 : Joseph-Nicephore Niepce takes the world’s first photograph.
1833 : Slavery abolished in British Empire.
1834 : Charles Babbage invents “analytical engine,” precursor of computer.
1852 : South African Republic established. Louis Napoleon proclaims himself Napoleon III (“Second Empire”).
1853 : Crimean War begins as Turkey declares war on Russia.
1861 : US civil war begins. Pasteur gives his theory of germs.
1866 : Alfred Nobel invents dynamite (patented in Britain, 1867). Seven Weeks’ War: Austria defeated by Prussia and Italy.
1869 : Suez Canal opened for traffic, Gandhi was born.
1879 : Thomas A. Edison invents electric light.
1900 : Fauvist movement in painting begins, led by I lenri Matisse. Sigmund Freud writes The Interpretation of Dreams.
1902 : Aswan Dam completed.
1903 : Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, fly first powered, controlled, heavier-than-air plane at Kitty Hawk, N.C.
1904 : Russo-Japanese war.
1905 : The Russian Revolution of 1905 begins on “Bloody Sunday” when troops fire onto a defenseless group of demonstrators in St. Petersburg.
1909 : North Pole reportedly reached by American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson.
1910 : Boy Scouts of America incorporated.
1911 : First use of aircraft as offensive weapon in Turkish-Italian War. Amundsen reaches South Pole.
1914-18 : Period of World War I. Panama Canal officially opened (July 28 1914-Nov. 11, 1918)
1917 : Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 - climax of long unrest under Czars.
1919 : Third International (Comintern) establishes Soviet control over international Communist movements. Paris Peace Conference. Versailles Treaty, incorporating Woodrow Wilson’s draft Convenant of League of Nations, signed by Allies and Germany; rejected by U.S. Senate.
1922 : Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, overthrows last sultan.
1924 : Death of Lenin; Stalin wins power struggle, rules as Soviet dictator until death in 1953.
1925 : Nellie Tayloe Ross elected Governor of Wyoming; first woman governor elected in US.
1926 : Gertrude Ederie of U.S. becomes first woman to swim English Channel.
1928 : Kellogg-Briand Pact, outlawing war, signed in Paris by 65 Nations. Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin. Richard E. Byrd starts expedition to Antarctic.
1929 : Lateran Treaty establishes independent Vatican City.
1933 : Hitler appointed German Chancellor, gets dictatorial powers.
1939 : World War II begins. Einstein writes FDR about feasibility of atomic bomb.
1941 : Roosevelt enunciates “Four Freedoms,” signs Lend-Lease Act, declares national emergency, promises aid to USSR.
1942 : Declaration of United Nations signed in Washington on Jan. 1.
1944 : Bretton Woods Conference creates International Monetary Fund and World Bank (July 1-22). Dumbarton Oaks Conference—U.S., British Commonwealth, and USSR propose establishment of United Nations.
1945 : World War II ends, Hitler commits suicide (April 30). U.S. drops atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki
(Aug. 9). United Nations established (Oct. 24).
1947 : Marshall Plan—a coordinated program to help European nations recover from ravages of war proposed.
1949 : Start of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—treaty signed by 12 nations (April 4). Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) established (May 23).
1951 : Colour television introduced in U.S. Libya gains independence
1953 : Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal reach top of Mt. Everest (May 29).
1954 : First atomic submarine Nautilus launched (Jan. 21)
1956 : Nationalisation of Suez Canal by Col. Nasser (26th July)
1957 : Artificial Earth Satellite (Sputnik I and II) launched by Russia.
1958 : European Economic Community (Common Market) becomes effective (Jan. 1).
1961 : Russia announces putting first man in orbit around Earth, Yuri A. Gagarin. East Germans erect Berlin Wall to halt flood of refugees.
1962 : Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr., is first American to orbit Earth-three times in 4 hr 55 min (Feb. 20). France transfers sovereignty to new republic of Algeria (July 3).
1964 : Beginning of the International Quiet Sun Year (1st Jan.)
1967 : Six-Day-War ends with Israel occupying Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, and east bank of Suez Canal (June 5). Red China announces explosion of its first hydrogen bomb (June 17).
1968 : Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader, is slain in Memphis (April 4); Warsaw Pact intervened in Czechoslovakia (21st August)
1969 : Apollo 11 astronauts—Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins—take man’s first walk on moon (July 20).
1971 : Civil war in Pakistan- East, Pakistan declared herself independent, formation of new state of Bangladesh, China’s admission to UNO
(Oct. 26), Indo-Soviet Treaty, Indo-Pak War (Dec. 3-17)
1973 : Great Britain, Ireland, and Denmark enter European Economic Community (Jan. 1). In the “Saturday Night Massacre”, US President Nixon fires special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox and Deputy Attorney General William.
1977 : USA and Panama reach agreement on control over Panama Canal
1979 : Vietnam and Vietnam-backed Cambodian insurgents announce fall of Phnom Penh, Cambodian capital, and collapse of Pol Pot regime (Jan . 7). Shah leaves Iran after years of turmoil (Jan. 16); revolutionary forces under Muslim leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, take over (Feb. I).
1980 : Zimbabwe gets independence.
1981 : North Antigua gains freedom
1984 : China and Britain sign agreement to return Hong Kong to Chinese control.
1986 : Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme killed.
1987 : Fiji declared Republic.
1988 : Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan dies.
1990 : Nelson Mandela released from prison after 24 years.
1991 : Beginning of the Gulf War. Edith Kreson becomes first PM of France
1992 : Earth Summit held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
2001 : First self-contained artificial heart implanted in Robert Tools.
2002 : World Summit on sustainable development.
2003 : The space shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas.
2004 : Ten new members — Poland; Lithuania, Lativia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Malta and Cyprus — join the European Union (EU).
NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan Kills 27 Civilians (Feb. 22): An airstrike launched by the United States Special Forces in Kabul, Afghanistan, targeted at insurgents, accidentally kills 27 Afghan civilians. President Hamid Karzai condemns the killings.
Violence Mars Election in Iraq (Mar. 7): Explosions marked general election day in Iraq, where two bombs killed at least 38 people. Iraq’s election commission reports that 62% of Iraqis voted in the election, though that number drops to just 53% in Baghdad, where the violence occurred. Final results are not expected for several weeks, but preliminary figures put the State of Law alliance, led by Prime Minister Maliki, and the Iraqi National Movement, headed by former prime minister Ayad Allawi, in a close race ahead of the other candidates. Election officials said none of the alliances will emerge with a clear majority, forcing the winner to assemble a broad coalition to form a government. The glacial pace of the vote count was attributed to a painstaking process intended to reduce the risk of election fraud. (Mar. 29): Final results of the election give the Iraqi National Movement, led by former prime minister Ayad Allawi, 91 seats in Parliament out of 325. The State of Law alliance, headed by Prime Minister Maliki comes in a close second with 89 seats. A Shia religious movement, including followers of radical cleric Moktada al-Sadr, wins 70. The two main Kurdish parties together receive 43 seats. Maliki refuses to accept the results and says he will challenge them in court.
U.S. Defense Department Contracted Killers in Middle East (Mar. 14): A Defense Department official set up a network of contractors to track and kill militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The official, Michael Furlong, hired contractors from private companies that employ former CIA operatives and had them track suspected militants in the Middle East. They were then told whether or not those militants should be killed.
U.S., Russia Have Breakthrough in Arms Negotiations (Mar. 24): The United States and Russia report a breakthrough in arms control negotiations. Both countries agree to lower the limit on deployed strategic warheads and launchers by 25% and 50%, respectively, and will also implement a new inspection regime. President Obama and President Medvedev will sign in a treaty that outlines this agreement. A signing ceremony is planned for April 8 in Prague.
Female Suicide Bombers Kill 39 in Russian Subway Stations (Mar. 29): Two female suicide bombers, acting just minutes apart, detonate bombs in two Moscow subways stations, killing at least 39 people. This is the first terrorist attack in the capital city since 2004, when Moscow experienced a string of deadly violence. Authorities attribute the attacks to the mostly Muslim north Caucasus region. Doku Umarov, a former Chechen separatist and the self-proclaimed emir of the north Caucasus, claims responsibility for masterminding the attack. (Mar. 31): Two explosions kill 12 people in the north Caucasus region of Dagestan. The attacks prompt concern that Prime Minister Putin will crack down on civil liberties and democracy as he did in 2004, following the siege of a school in Beslan.
34 Rescued from Chinese Mine (Apr. 4): Rescue crew free 34 people trapped in a flooded coal mine in China, where they have been trapped since March 28. After the flood, 108 miners were immediately rescued, but the remainder of the workers, 153 total, remained trapped underground. All those freed remain in stable condition.
Militants in Pakistan Attack U.S. Consulate (Apr. 5): Militants launch an assault on the United States Consulate in Pakistan. Six Pakistanis are killed and 20 are wounded; no Americans are harmed. At least five suicide bombers mounted the attack, though they were unable to reach the inner area of the compound. Azam Tariq, a spokesperson for the Pakistani Taliban, claims responsibility for the attack, saying they were acting in retaliation to American missile strikes and Pakistani military operations in the area.
Kyrgyzstan President Forced to Flea Amid Protests (Apr. 7): President Bakiyev fleas Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan amid deadly protests and demonstrations, and former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva, acting as the leader of the opposition, assumes power as acting president. Government troops and demonstrators are battling in the streets, and nearly 70 people are killed and more than 400 wounded. Demonstrations over sharp increases in utility prices broke out in the city of Talas and promptly spread to the capital of Bishkek, where protesters are also rallying against government corruption. Bakiyev refuses to resign despite Otunbayeva’s support. Obama administration officials express concern that the upheaval may affect the deal United States and Kyrgyzstan made in 2009 over use of the Manas air base. Otunbayeva, however, says the supply route would remain in operation for the time being.
Russia, U.S. Sign Nuclear Arms Pact (Apr. 8): The United States and Russia usher in a supposedly new era in nuclear arms control after President Obama and President Medvedev sign an arms reduction treaty and agree to act in a united fashion against the threat of Iran’s nuclear program. The pact, called the New Start, has each country promise to scale back on their nuclear arsenals.
Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Offers to Hold Early Elections (May 3): Prime Minister of Thailand, Vejjajiva Abhisit, offers to hold early elections–one of the key demands of protesters loyal to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, called red shirts, who have been rioting since April—if the protesters called off their demonstrations, but they reject the gesture. Abhisit withdraws his offer and orders troops to blockade the protest area. (May 13): What started as a peaceful protest disintegrates into violence; the military fires upon the protesters and hits Khattiya Sawatdiphol, a general who sided with the red shirts. He later dies of his injuries. His death sparks further violence, and the protesters retaliated with grenade attacks. (May 17): The red shirts then offer to negotiate with the government, but are rebuffed. They then engage in large-scale rioting, looting, and the firebombing of several buildings, including Thailand’s stock exchange and largest department store. The government cracks down on the movement (May 19): Rioters disperse, and protest leaders surrender. They will face terrorism charges. In the 68 days of the protests, 68 people died. The red shirts bore the brunt of most of the casualties.
Picasso Painting Sells for Record-Setting $106.5 Million (May 5): A Picasso painting sells for a record-breaking $106.5 million at a Christie’s auction. The painting, “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” depicts Picasso’s mistress and was painted in just one day in 1932. It was being sold by the estate of philanthropist Frances Lasker Brody.
Prime Minister Brown Announces Imminent Resignation (May 10): British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces he will resign as the head of his Labour Party by September. The country’s general election produced a hung Parliament—none of the competing parties won enough votes—last week, and Brown announces his commitment to negotiate a new government before he leaves office. (May 11): Brown formally resigns as prime minister after acknowledging that his Labour Party will be unable to form a majority in Parliament. He recommends Conservative Party leader David Cameron as his successor; consequently, Cameron creates a coalition government with the ideologically opposed Liberal Democrats and becomes the prime minister of the United Kingdom. The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, will become deputy prime minister. This is the first coalition government in the U.K. since World War II.
U.S. Forms Agreement with Russia, China, and Others on Sanctions for Iran (May 19): The United States and major world powers Russia, China, and others agree to impose a fourth set of sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program, in an attempt to stop the country from enriching uranium. The agreement is revealed shortly after Iran announces its own deal with Turkey and Brazil to relinquish half of the country’s stockpile of nuclear fuel for a year. None of the three previous sets of sanctions had any effect on Iran’s program to enrich uranium nor its willingness to fully disclose actions to international inspectors.
Israeli Attack on Pro-Palestinian Aid Flotilla (May 31): Nine people are dead after an Israeli navy commando attacks a flotilla of cargo ships and passenger boats on their way to Gaza to provide aid and supplies for the area. Israel claims that the passengers on the flotilla, who were pro-Palestinians and mostly Turks, presented themselves as humanitarians but were clearly hostile.
Al Qaeda Leader in Afghanistan Killed in American Strike (May 31): The top financial chief and co-founder of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, is killed in an American drone attack in Pakistan. American intelligence officials say he was the third highest leader in the organization, behind Osama Bin Laden and his deputy, Ay man al-Zawahri.