United States of America has 332 million people. It is today’s sole superpower and has the largest economy in the world. In 1776, USA voted to sever its political ties to Britain and declared Independence, asserting a set of principles that suggest a fairer society open to talent, replacing the British one of inherited privilege and power. Between 1850 and 1930, a flood of immigrants entered USA mainly from Europe. The USA economy grew very quickly due to new technologies, improved productivity, and good governance. USA took a relatively minor Allied role in World War One, but it became embroiled in World War Two after Japan bombed USA’s strategic port of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. USA entering World War Two helped stop the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan from becoming despots of the world. A huge number of USA soldiers (around 416,000) died fighting in World War Two even though USA’s mainland was never attacked. The establishment of the United Nations (taking over from the League of Nations) afterwards became USA’s beneficial legacy to the world. Peace maintained by the United Nations has meant that most of the world population born after 1945 (who are aged up to 75 today) have never encountered war where they live. Most of their parents (and earlier generations) on the other hand suffered from the effects of war and saw fighting in the streets. From 1947 to 1991, the ‘Cold War’ that existed between USA and the Soviet Union saw USA use underhanded tactics to ‘rule the world’ – always concerned that Soviet Union’s Communist ideology would take over the other nations of the world. After the collapse in 1991 of the Soviet Union (and the ideology of Communism), USA continued to use its questionable methods to maintain their superpower status, in particular after the 11 September 2001 (9/11) Al-Qaeda terrorist attack on USA.



  1. In approximately 2,000 words, I will describe major events that affected USA from 1900 to the present.
  2. 1900 – USA has 76 million people.
  3. 1901 – President William McKinley is shot by an anarchist and later dies from his wounds.
  4. 1901 – The first major oil discovery occurs in Texas.
  5. 1902 – The first movie theatre in USA opens in Los Angeles, known as the Electric Theatre.
  6. 1903 – The first cross-country automobile trip in USA is completed departing from San Francisco and arriving in New York.
  7. 1903 – USA acquires Panama Canal Zone.
  8. 1903 – Wright brothers make the first controlled, sustained flight in heavier-than-air aircraft at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  9. 1904 – The first successful field tractor is invented by American Benjamin Holt.
  10. 1908 – The Ford Model T is sold. First time automated production line system was used to produce a car.
  11. 1914 – (to 1918) World War One.
  12. 1917 – USA enters World War One, declaring war on Germany and Austria-Hungary, three years after the conflict began in 1914. Germany had sunk a number of USA merchant boats.
  13. 1918 – Armistice ending World War One is signed. Around 116,000 USA soldiers died in World War One.
  14. 1919 – League of Nations meets for the first time; USA is not represented.
  15. 1914 – Panama Canal opens to traffic.
  16. 1915 – First long distance telephone service, between New York and San Francisco, is demonstrated.
  17. 1918 – Worldwide influenza epidemic (the Spanish Flu) strikes; by 1920, nearly 20 million are dead and in USA, 500,000 perish.
  18. 1919 – (to 1933). Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified in 1919, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation of liquor (the Prohibition). It is later repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment in 1933.
  19. 1927 – Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight in his plane The Spirit of St Louis.
  20. 1929 – Stock market crash precipitates the Great Depression. Due to the inflation caused by the over-extension of credit, and the cyclical slowing of the economy, the Roaring Twenties came to a drastic halt. Value in the USA economy evaporated.
  21. 1939 – Scientist Albert Einstein alerts President Franklin Roosevelt to an Atomic bomb opportunity, which led to the creation of the Manhattan Project. Einstein had arrived as a fugitive from Nazi Germany six years earlier in 1933.
  22. 1939 – (to 1945) World War Two: USA at first declares its neutrality in the European conflict in 1939.
  23. 1941 – Japanese fighter planes launch a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, destroying the USA Pacific Fleet docked at the base. This attack took 1,117 USA naval lives, as well as the loss or damage to 21 naval ships. One day later, USA declares war on Japan, officially entering World War Two. Shortly afterwards, USA also declares war on Germany and Italy, responding to their declaration of war against USA.
  24. 1943 – The Tehran Conference is held for three days, concluding in an agreement between USA President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Josef Stalin about a planned June 1944 invasion of Europe.
  25. 1943 – Repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act 1882 which had for decades prohibited all immigration of Chinese labourers. The Chinese had been seen to have depressed wage levels for USA citizens. The Act is the only law to have been implemented, to prevent all members of a specific ethnic or national group from immigrating to the United States.
  26. 1944 – The Normandy Invasion (D-Day) occurs when 150,000 Allied troops, including USA forces and those of eleven other Allied nations (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, and the United Kingdom) land in France. Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of France to begin the World War Two invasion of Europe that would lead to the liberation of Paris.
  27. 1944 – USA military begins to retake the island of Guam after Japanese troops had occupied the island during World War Two.
  28. 1945 – 30,000 USA Marines land on Iwo Jima. USA troops invade Okinawa.
  29. 1945 – USA troops cross the Rhine River, Germany. 1,250 USA bombers attack Berlin.
  30. 1945 – Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin meet at Yalta in the Soviet Union to discuss post-war occupation of Germany.
  31. 1945 – President Roosevelt dies suddenly of a stroke; Vice President Harry Truman assumes the presidency and role as USA commander in chief of World War Two.
  32. 1945 – Germany surrenders unconditionally on 7 May 1945.
  33. 1945 – USA drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan; Japan agrees to unconditional surrender on 14 August 1945. Around 416,000 USA military people died in World War Two. During the war, the USA mainland was not attacked.
  34. 1946 – The first meeting of the United Nations general assembly occurs founded by 51 nations, including the Security Council nations of USA, China, France, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. These actions would lead to the disbanding of the League of Nations when its mission was transferred to the UN.
  35. 1946 – The island nation of the Philippines is given their independence by USA.
  36. 1947 – Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of USA is established. Cold War with Soviet Union begins.
  37. 1950 – (to 1953) Korean War: Cold war conflict between Communist and non-Communist forces on Korean Peninsula. North Korean communists (helped by China) invade South Korea. USA President Truman commits troops to fight along with South Korea against North Korea. Armistice agreement is signed in 1953.
  38. 1950 – (to 1975) Vietnam War: Prolonged conflict between Communist forces of North Vietnam (backed by China and the Soviet Union) and non-Communist forces of South Vietnam (backed by USA).
  39. 1954 – Senator Joseph McCarthy accuses army officials, members of the media, and other public figures of being Communists – which is highly publicised. Later, McCarthy is formally censured by the Senate.
  40. 1954 – Landmark Supreme Court decision declares that racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional.
  41. 1958 – Explorer I, first American satellite, is launched.
  42. 1962 – John Glenn becomes first USA astronaut to orbit Earth.
  43. 1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis: President John Kennedy denounces Soviet Union for secretly installing missile bases in Cuba and initiates a naval blockade of the island.
  44. 1963 – Martin Luther King Jr delivers his ‘I Have a Dream speech’ before a crowd of 200,000 during the civil rights march in Washington. He was later assassinated (1968).
  45. 1963 – President John Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
  46. 1964 – North Vietnamese torpedo boats allegedly attack USA destroyer in Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam. Congress approves Gulf of Tonkin resolution, authorising President Lyndon Johnson to take any measure necessary to defend USA forces and prevent further aggression.
  47. 1965 – USA planes begin bombing raids of North Vietnam. First USA combat troops arrive in South Vietnam.
  48. 1968 – North Vietnamese army and Viet Cong launch Tet Offensive, attacking Saigon and other key cities in South Vietnam. USA soldiers kill 300 Vietnamese villagers in My Lai massacre.
  49. 1969 – Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin Jr become the first men to land on the Moon.
  50. 1970 – USA troops invade Cambodia.
  51. 1972 – President Richard Nixon makes a historic visit to the People’s Republic of China.
  52. 1973 – President Nixon resigns due to House Judiciary Committee recommending that Nixon be impeached on grounds of obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress (the Watergate Scandal).
  53. 1973 – Representatives of North and South Vietnam, the Viet Cong, and the USA sign a cease-fire agreement in Paris. Last USA troops leave Vietnam (March 29).
  54. 1975 – South Vietnamese government surrenders to North Vietnam; USA embassy Marine guards and last USA civilians are evacuated.
  55. 1979 – USA establishes diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China for the first time since the Communist takeover in 1949.
  56. 1979 – Panama takes control of the Canal Zone, formerly administered by USA.
  57. 1979 – Iranian students storm USA embassy in Teheran and hold 66 people hostage; 13 of the hostages are later released.
  58. 1981 – 53 USA hostages held in Iran are released after 444 days in captivity.
  59. 1983 – USA invades Caribbean island of Grenada after a coup by Marxist faction in the government.
  60. 1986 – Space shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after lift-off, killing all seven crew members.
  61. 1986 – USA bombs military bases in Libya in effort to deter terrorist strikes on American targets.
  62. 1986 – Iran-Contra scandal breaks when White House is forced to reveal secret arms-for-hostages deals. Senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to the Khomeini government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo. The administration hoped to use the proceeds of the arms sale to fund the Contras in Nicaragua (opposing the Communist Government).
  63. 1987 – Congress holds public hearings in Iran-Contra investigation.
  64. 1987 – In a speech in Berlin, Germany, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to ‘tear down this wall’ and open Eastern Europe to political and economic reform.
  65. 1989 – USA forces invade Panama in an attempt to capture General Manuel Noriega, who previously had been indicted in USA on drug trafficking charges.
  66. 1990 – Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, leading to the Persian Gulf War.
  67. 1991 – USA leads international coalition in military operation (code named – Desert Storm) to drive Iraqis out of Kuwait. Iraq accepts terms of UN ceasefire, marking an end of the war.
  68. 1992 – Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, USA president George Bush and Russian president Boris Yeltsin formally declare an end to the ‘Cold War’.
  69. 1998 – USA launches missile attacks on targets in Sudan and Afghanistan following terrorist attacks on USA embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
  70. 2001 – Two hijacked jetliners ram the twin towers of World Trade Center in the worst terrorist attack against USA; a third hijacked plane flies into the Pentagon, and a fourth crashes in rural Pennsylvania (September 11 attacks). More than 3,000 people die in the attacks. Co-ordinated suicide attacks by Al-Qaeda terror group prompts USA to embark on a ”war on terror” that includes invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. USA and Britain launch air attacks against targets in Afghanistan after Taliban government fails to hand over Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks. US leads massive campaign of air strikes against Afghanistan and helps opposition forces defeat the Taliban regime.
  71. 2002 – In his first State of the Union address, President George Bush labels Iran, Iraq and North Korea an axis of evil and declares that USA will wage war against states that develop weapons of mass destruction. USA State Department issues its report in the War on Terror that declared seven nations as State-Sponsors of Terror: Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
  72. 2003 – Space shuttle Columbia explodes upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts on board.
  73. 2003 – War waged against Iraq by USA, Britain, Denmark, Australia and Poland.
  74. 2004 – Furore arose over pictures showing the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in USA custody.
  75. 2004 – The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) admits that the imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction was not present before the 2003 Iraq war began.
  76. 2004 – USA returns sovereignty to an interim government in Iraq, but maintains roughly 135,000 troops in the country to fight a growing insurgency.
  77. 2005 – USA engagement in Iraq continues amid that country’s escalating violence and fragile political stability.
  78. 2007 – The Great Recession begins. Overnight, many investors lost between 30 and 90 percent of their investments. Huge drop in housing market.
  79. 2009 – President Barrack Obama signs executive orders closing all secret prisons and detention camps run by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, and banning coercive interrogation methods.
  80. 2009 – Michael Jackson, lifelong musician, pop singer, and superstar, dies at age 50.
  81. 2013 – The Guardian receives information that reveals that the National Security Agency (NSA) is using PRISM to spy on the web activities, including email, of USA citizens. Through PRISM, a clandestine national security surveillance program, the NSA has direct access to Facebook, YouTube, Skype, Google, Apple, Yahoo and other websites. The Guardian publishes a report on another NSA tool called Boundless Informant, used by the USA government to watch activity in every country in the world. President Obama confirms the existence of PRISM and its use to spy on the online activity of USA citizens. Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee, comes forward and admits that he is the source of the NSA leaks.
  82. 2019 – 200 political scientists ranked Donald Trump 44th out of the 44 men (ie last) who have occupied the post of the president of USA. Trump was unethical in many respects and lost the 2020 presidential elections to Joe Biden.
  83. 2020 – (to 2021) COVID-19 pandemic caused the death of over 400,000 people in USA.
  84. 2021 – USA has 332 million people.

© Comasters January 2021.

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