20th Century Events
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In physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace
From Poldhu Wireless Station in Cornwall, England to Signal Hill in St John's, Newfoundland
Born 24th May 1819, assumed the throne on the 20th June 1837 & died 22nd January 1901. The second longest reign of any British monarch.
Now known as the Aswan Low Dam after the completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1970
Won by the Boston Americans
Named after Theodore Roosevelt
In Detroit, Michigan by Henry Ford
In heavier-than-air plane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Louis Rigolly of France July 21, 1904, driving a Gobron Brillié which was powered by a 13,600 cc engine developing a now lowly 130 bhp.
Proposed in the article "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" published in the "Annalen der Physik" scientific journal.
First European country to do so
Struck at 5:12 A.M. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906 and had a magnitude in excess of 7.7. The earthquake and resulting fire is still one of the worst natural disasters in US history.
By royal charter in the British Commonwealth
First African-American to hold title
On April 6th, 1909, Robert Peary claimed to have reached the pole, although there is some dispute over this claim.
4/21. Came into this world with Halley's Comet (1835); left the next time it showed up, as he predicted.
Founder of the Christian Science Church
Auto race won by Ray Harroun
Roald Amundsen and his party reached the pole on December 14th, 1911. He beat his doomed competitor Robert Falcon Scott by a month.
Barbara Joyce Dainton and Elizabeth Gladys Dean are the last two living survivors, although they were both too young at the time to remember the disaster.
In Paris; riot breaks out in the hall. I didn't think it was that bad.
Once probably the most common bird in the world, Martha, the last remaining Passenger Pigeon, died in the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1st 1914
It is generally accepted that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28th 1914 was the main catalyst in starting World War I.
Ernest Shackleton and his crew escape
Later is canonized as first American saint
Dutch exotic dancer, by firing squad for spying for Germany
Although the revolution occurred in 1917, Csar Nicholas II and his family were not executed until the following July.
Although generally accepted to have ended on November 11, 1918, it did not officially end until the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.
Mexican revolutionary leader
Alcock and Brown set off from Lester's Field, St John's, Newfoundland on June 14th 1919 and crash landed near Clifden, Connemara, Ireland on June 15th 1919
Declared on the 21, January 1919, was recognised on 6th December 1922 with the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty
Signed on June 28, 1919 this was the official end of World War I, and ironically many view this treaty as contributing to the rise of the Nazi party and ultimately a cause of World War II
Eight Chicago White Sox players charged with fixing the 1919 World Series
Burned at the stake for heresy in 1431
Began on January 16, 1920, when the 18th amendment to the US constitution came into effect.
By Lord Carnavon and Howard Carter
Destroys also the port city of Yokohama; over 100,000 casualties
Charismatic Mexican revolutionary
By Edwin Hubble; previously believed to have been a nebula within the Milky Way
It ran from January 22, 1924 until November 3rd 1924, with Ramsey MacDonald as Prime Minister, following the previous December's election.
Bolshevic leader, Jan. 21
The "trial of the century;" John Scopes is found guilty of teaching evolution; fined $100
Died December 5, 1926 Giverny, France. His painting of 1872 "Impression, Sunrise" gave rise to the term Impressionist.
John Logie Baird made his first public demonstration to members of the Royal Institute and a reporter on January 26th 1926 in Soho, London.
Sets single season record, Sept 30
Opened on October 6, 1927, and when Al Jolson uttered, "Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain't heard nothin' yet", cinema was never the same again.
Charles Lindbergh made his historic flight May 20th/21st 1927 and claimed the $25,000 Orteig prize in the process.
Held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929, honouring the year 1928, with "Wings" being named Best Picture.
Interestingly, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 may have been as much an effect of, rather than a cause of, the great depression. Opinion is divided.
American civil rights leader, Jan. 15
With the murder of 7 members of George "Bugs" Moran's gang, Al Capone took control of Chicago's North Side, but it also brought him to the attention of the federal government...
It started on "Black Tuesday" October 29, 1929, and its severity, alongside the great depression, meant that the market did not reach its pre-crash levels until 1955.
Planned to compensate for football's exclusion from the 1932 Olympics, it was won by the host nation Uruguay when they beat Argentine 4-2.
May 1. With the country in depression, it was hard to find tenant for the building. For years it was nicknamed The Empty State Building.
7.9, New Zealand's deadliest natural disaster, killing 256 people
Kills nearly 200,000 people
With the burning of the Reichstag building on February 27, 1933 and the subsequent political reaction, the Nazi seizure of power (Gleichschaltung) was complete.
Officially ended on December 5, 1933 with the ratifying of the 21st amendment and the repealing of the 18th amendment of the US constitution.
Banned for being obscene since 1921
Bank robbers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, were killed in a police ambush, May 23
U.S. bank robber and named as the first Public Enemy Number One. Put his hand in acid to erase his fingerprints - they came back.
Physicist and Nobel Prize winner, July 4
In New York City, June 10
Nazi's deprive German Jews of citizenship
This is credited to Wallace Carothers, who was the leader of organic chemistry at Du Pont. He committed suicide by ingesting cyanide two years later.
Following the death of George V and the abdication of Edward VIII, George VI assumed the throne on December 11th 1936.
Originally known as the Boulder Dam, and when completed created Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the US.
The year previously he set four world records in 45 minutes. Not bad for a smoker!
The "people's car". Founded by Ferdinand Porsche
The bridge was opened to pedestrians on May 27, 1937 and to vehicles the following day. The bridge is painted "International Orange" to aid visibility in fog.
LZ 129 Hindenburg was destroyed by fire on May 6, 1937 at Lakehurst Naval Air Station. Surprisingly, of the 97 crewmembers and passengers, 62 survived.
First animated film in Technicolor.
Panics the country when people think it is for real, Oct 30
France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, following the German (surprisingly with Russian agreement) invasion of Poland.
The caves, with Cro-Magnon art, were discovered by a schoolboy in the Vézère Valley of France
By the British navy, May 26
On December 7, 1941 the 1st Air Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the Pacific Fleet of the US Navy moored at Pearl Harbor. This brought about the US entry into World War II. While The Japanese attack made mincemeat out of "Battleship Row," the entire U.S. Carrier force was out to sea and was not touched, a fact which would come back to haunt the Japanese later in the war.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the headquarters of the American Pacific Fleet.
The idea came to Georges de Mestral when he became interested in Burdock seeds that stuck to his dog. The word velcro is a shortening of Velours Crochet, which translates as Velvet Hook.
The battle lasted from 17 July 1942 - 2 February 1943
The Sikorsky XR-4, 400 of which were built.
Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942. Hawking's principal fields of research are theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity.
Prelude to the invasion of Germany
Extent of the Holocaust atrocities is revealed, April 11
Formed following World War II to replace the League of Nations. It had an initial membership of 51 states, which has now risen to 192.
German High Command surrendered on May 7, 1945 and the Japanese surrendered on August 14th 1945. V-J Day is known as "Shusen-kinenbi" in Japan, which means "Memorial day for the end of the war".
Made in U.S. and replaced the old valve system.
Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager officially broke the sound barrier in level flight on October 14, 1947 flying the Bell X-1.
Declared on August 15, 1947, following mass campaigns of civil disobedience largely led by Mahatma Ghandi. This also created Pakistan.
First black player in major league baseball in the 20th century.
Found by chance while developing radar.
April 1; broke the Soviet blockade of Berlin
First Prime Minister - David Ben-Gurion.
Stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Based in Brussels, Belgium.
Written by Russian-born Isaac Asimov.
By Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India
Begins three years of war
Controversial (sex, teenagers) novel by J.D. Salinger. Quote: 'All morons hate it when you call them a moron.'
Explanation of the origin of the universe
Stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. First accurate model done by Crick and Watson.
By New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Only photos on the summit are of Norgay - he didn't know how to use a camera.
Russian leader born Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili.
In the USSR. Later gave employment to Homer J Simpson.
At the Iffley Road track in Oxford, by Roger Bannister. The record lasted for just 46 days before being beaten by Australian John Landy. Bannister went on to become a neurologist.
Time magazine's 'Man of the Century'. Had an unusually large head. Turned down the chance to become President of Israel.
Made his money as co-founder of Microsoft, but family still not as rich as the Waltons - not John Boy et. al, but the ones behind the Wal-Mart chain.
Turning point in the U.S. Civil Rights movement when a black woman wouldn't move to a designated seat on the bus in Montgomery Alabama. She was fined ten dollars for her defiance.
Eastern European response to NATO. Finally finished in 1991.
The uprising was crushed by the Soviets
Prince of Monaco and American screen actress
The Russian satellite Sputnik 1. The Americans launched one four months later.
Was posted to Germany, where he might wife-to-be Priscilla. On his way home in 1960 his plane stopped for refuelling at Prestwick - the only time he ever appeared on British soil.
First outside the 48 contiguous states
Survived an alleged 600+ assassination attempts and is nicknamed 'The Horse'.
At 91, April 9. American architect.
Four African American students in Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworths; landmark in civil rights struggle
Originally made as The Flagstones, in the early 1960s the characters were used to advertise cigarettes.
D.H. Lawrence. After a 30 year ban on its publication
U.N. Secretary-General dies in air crash, Sept 18
Yuri Gagarin went into orbit for less than two hours in Vostok 1. Later died in a military plane crash.
Bay of Pigs. Organized by the CIA and Cuban exiles
Nazi War criminal. In Israel, May 31
Standoff over Soviet bases in Cuba. Known as the Caribbean Crisis in Russia.
World icon, former South African president, Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Called by Pope John XXIII
By Betty Friedan and credited with sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism in the US
Valentina Tereshkova. Married another cosmonaut.
First Roman Catholic President of the U.S.A. was allegedly shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas. Oswald was shot two days later by Jack Ruby.
The Fab Four played five songs - All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
The last person sentenced to death in England was David Chapman who was sentenced to hang in November 1965 for the capital murder of swimming pool night watchman in Scarborough. He was released from prison in 1979 and later died in a car accident.
Alexsei Leonov spent 12 minutes outside Voskhod 2. Has appeared on stamps in Togo, Mongolia and Niger.
Malcolm X was assinated by members of the Nation of Islam after he left the organization. One of the convicted killers, Muhammad Abdul Aziz, was paroled in 1985 and is now head of the Nation of Islam's Harlem Mosque in New York.
American space probe sends back 22 pictures of the planet
Christian Barnard performed the first successful operation on Louis Washkansky.
Between Israel and its Arab neighbors
Pictures of Matchstick Men was written by Francis Rossi whilst on the toilet. Their only US hit.
By Jim Hines at the Mexico Olympics, where he was probably helped by the altitude.
American civil rights leader, shot allegedly by James Earl Ray.
Period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia and the subsequent Soviet crackdown
Launched Jan 31; changes the course of the war
By Francis Chichester, who was knighted by the Queen with Francis Drake's old sword.
The craft is still whizzing around the sun today, but is useless.
The first man down the steps of the Eagle Lander was Neil Armstrong. Ten years later he saw stars when his ring finger was ripped off in an accident.
Hippie festival in upstate New York. Mud, drugs, smelly people, The Who and Jimi Hendrix.
Organized to draw attention to the danger of pollution
Found dead in mysterious circumstances in a London basement. Buried in Renton, Washington.
Eleven Israeli athletes die in Munich
Watergate burglars caught in break-in. Leads to the downfall of Richard Nixon
Demand government inquiry into mistreatment
Spanish painter and sculptor, known for his Blue Period. Like the Queen.
Proved unworkable during the Vietnam War with widespread draft dodging.
Landmark decision striking down laws restricting abortion during the first six to seven months of pregnancy
Egypt and Syria against Israel
The last American citizens were helicoptered out from U.S. embassy as the North Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon.
By Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
Found dead on the bathroom floor, starting rumours he died while on the toilet.
Stocks of the disease still exist under guard in the U.S. and Russia. Stalin had survived an attack of it in his early life.
Louise Joy Brown (born July 25, 1978, in Oldham, Greater Manchester, England) was the world's first baby to be conceived by in-vitro fertilisation, or IVF. She gave birth on 21 December 2006 to a baby boy. He was conceived naturally
After only 33 days; the most recent Year of Three Popes
Designed by Toshihiro Nishikado, it was the first smash-hit video game.
First woman Prime Minister of the U.K.
Nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
An anagram is 'Sauna Shed Dims'.
Shot by Mark Chapman at the Dakota building
IRA hunger-striker. In prison in Northern Ireland
Between Great Britain and Argentina
Developed by Phillips and Sony
The photos were initially offered to Hugh Hefner, the publisher of Playboy, who turned them down as they were unauthorised and would cause considerable embarrassment to Vanessa.
Status Quo, first band to play.
Team of French and American researchers; off Newfoundland
To Hawaii. reason given was that he was sick
Space shuttle Challenger with seven crewmen explodes, Jan 28
Widely used cholesterol lowering drugs
Wrongly convicted in 1974 bombing; passed 16 years in prison
Jailed for rape of Miss Black Rhode Island Desiree Washington. A former world heavyweight champion, he's a keen pigeon fancier.
Chip that comes without gravy or mushy peas but has still gone on to be phenomenally successful.
Nelson Mandela was released after 21 years of being in jail and together with President FW de Klerk brought an end to apartheid.
Was later found liable for the death of his ex-wife in a civil court.
Lived for six years. Named after Dolly Parton. First mammal to be cloned from an adult cell - it happened to be a mammary cell.
By Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Currency for EU countries bar Denmark and the UK. Coins have a common and a national side, but no national side on notes.
Facts contributed by:
Bright But Idle