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Defining historical moments from the year you were born

  • Defining historical moments from the year you were born
    1/ Jed Jacobsohn // Getty

    Defining historical moments from the year you were born

    From wars to elections, international incidents to civil unrest, entertainment to sports, the key defining moments of history profoundly influence who and what we are today.

    So what was the most earth-shattering event on the year you were born, and how does that affect you now? We at Stacker dig deeply into that question by offering a 98-year look back at those moments, compiled from historical data, government reports, and newspaper accounts. While most years offered more than one major incident that helped mold our attitudes and beliefs — think the massive cultural impact of SpongeBob SquarePants starting in 1999, for example — we strove to provide the most important, defining event of each year since 1920.

    Some of these will bring back fond memories, while others could amaze or surprise you. Still others are painful reminders of senseless acts that hurt us all, as we struggled to comprehend why and how they happened. In any case, each will make you reflect on and evaluate our world, perhaps with new insights into the consequences of these historical events.

    Read on to discover — or remember — the key event of the year you were born, and the years before and beyond. They helped shape the attitudes and beliefs you might endorse going forward.

    Check out the state of the U.S. economy the year you were born here.

  • 1920: Women gain right to vote
    2/ Public Domain // Wikicommons

    1920: Women gain right to vote

    With the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, women gained universal suffrage. Susan B. Anthony led the charge to give women the right to vote. Women voters since have greatly affected the outcome of elections and continue to make their voices heard to even greater effect.

  • 1921: Babe Ruth smashes home run record
    3/ Frances P. Burke // Wikicommons

    1921: Babe Ruth smashes home run record

    Legendary New York Yankees pitcher and outfielder Babe Ruth hits his 138th home run in June, breaking the career home run record held by Roger Connor for 23 years. The Sultan of Swat would go on to hit 714 home runs before his retirement in 1935, a record that held for nearly 40 years. Ruth is widely considered the greatest baseball player of all time.

  • 1922: The Fordney-McCumber Tariff
    4/ Bain News Service // Wikicommons

    1922: The Fordney-McCumber Tariff

    Guided through Congress by Rep. Joseph Fordney and Sen. Porter McCumber, the Fordney-McCumber Tariff began this year as a protectionist policy of charging high tariffs on European goods to reduce foreign competition. Other nations resented this policy, until they raised their own tariffs on American goods, leading to a decline in international trade. Similar policies enacted by President Donald Trump in 2018 threatened comparable declines in trade and higher consumer prices in the global economy.

  • 1923: Insulin treatment for diabetes is mass produced
    5/ Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library // Wikicommons

    1923: Insulin treatment for diabetes is mass produced

    Discovered in 1921 and initially used successfully in 1922 in Canada by Frederick Banting, J.J.R. Macleod, and others, insulin treatment for diabetes began mass production this year with a highly refined treatment by the Eli Lilly Company. Banting and Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1923. Today, more than 20 types of insulin are sold in the United States.

  • 1924: Hoover named head of Bureau of Investigation
    6/ US GOVT // Wikicommons

    1924: Hoover named head of Bureau of Investigation

    At age 29, J. Edgar Hoover was named head of the Bureau of Investigation, later to be known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and held that post until his death 48 years later. His reputation as a tough leader helped build the organization with modern investigation techniques and challenging criminal syndicates, as well as secretly monitoring organizations considered subversive. His influence greatly grew the agency, which continues to be an integral part of the federal government.

  • 1925: Scopes Monkey Trial
    7/ Mike Licht // Flickr

    1925: Scopes Monkey Trial

    Tennessee teacher John Scopes was charged with violating the state's Butler Act, which prohibited teaching evolution over divine creation. The trial pitted Christian fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution against attorney Clarence Darrow, with the prosecution prevailing despite Darrow's humiliation of Bryan. In many parts of America, opposition to teaching evolution remains today as efforts continue to either remove it from public school curricula or coerce schools to also teach creationism.

  • 1926: Ford announces 40-hour workweek
    8/ Public Domain // Wikicommons

    1926: Ford announces 40-hour workweek

    The Ford Motor Company was one of the first in America to adopt the 40-hour, five-day workweek this year. Although his son Edsel said, "every man should have more time to spend with his family." Henry admitted the five-day workweek was instituted to increase productivity. Companies in the U.S. and worldwide followed Ford's lead, making the Monday–Friday workweek standard.

  • 1927: The Jazz Singer marks end of silent film era
    9/ Warner Bros // Wikicommons

    1927: The Jazz Singer marks end of silent film era

    The first film to synchronize dialogue with images, "The Jazz Singer" starring Al Jolson becomes a huge success after debuting in New York. As such, the film signaled the emergence of talkies and the end of the silent-film era. The movie's success established Warner Brothers as a major film studio.

  • 1928: Mickey Mouse debuts in Steamboat Willie
    10/ Breve Storia del Cinema // Flickr

    1928: Mickey Mouse debuts in Steamboat Willie

    Walt Disney's iconic cartoon character Mickey Mouse made his debut in the short film "Steamboat Willie." Mickey was so popular that he continued to star in more than 130 films, with fan clubs and merchandise springing up. By 1932, the official Mickey Mouse Fan Club reached over 1 million members, and he became the most popular cartoon character in the world.

  • 1929: The Wall Street Crash
    11/ National Archives // Wikicommons

    1929: The Wall Street Crash

    The stock market collapsed this year, dropping 22.6% on Black Monday and reaching panic proportions on Black Tuesday, when prices collapsed completely. Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors. The crash was a leading cause of the Great Depression, and a similar crash occurred in 1987. The crash of 2008 wiped out $1.2 trillion of value from the U.S. stock market.

  • 1930: The Great Depression
    12/ Public Domain // Wikicommons

    1930: The Great Depression

    The Great Depression kicked in in 1930 following the stock market crash a year before. More than 3.2 million people were unemployed, and up to 1,350 banks failed at this time. By 1932, stocks were worth only 20% of their value from their peak in summer 1929, and the worldwide decline reached its worst point in 1933 when unemployment reached nearly 30%. The economy turned around after 1939 in response to World War II.

  • 1931: The Dust Bowl
    13/ NOAA George E. Marsh Album // Wikicommons

    1931: The Dust Bowl

    Farmers planting dry wheat and grazing cattle in the Great Plains overworked the land, and coupled with devastating drought, severely eroded the soil, turning the region into a giant dust bowl beginning this year. Huge dust storms were reported, converting millions of acres of once-rich farmland to dust. The drought affected 27 states, as topsoil continued to erode and farmers abandoned their farms. By 1939, the drought ended and the region began to recover, using more sustainable farming techniques.

  • 1932: Franklin Delano Roosevelt wins presidency
    14/ Tony Fischer // Flickr

    1932: Franklin Delano Roosevelt wins presidency

    Amid the ravages of the Great Depression, Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the presidential election in a landslide over Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover. FDR served four terms and led the nation out of the Great Depression and through World War II. His New Deal program included banking reform laws, and emergency and work relief programs, among many others.

  • 1933: Prohibition repealed
    15/ Archives of Ontario // Wikicommons

    1933: Prohibition repealed

    The 18th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, and sale of liquor went into effect in 1920, but led to the rise of bootlegging and other criminal activity including gang violence. Enforcement costs rose as support for Prohibition waned, and the advent of Roosevelt's presidency led to the 21st Amendment, ratified this year, which repealed Prohibition.

  • 1934: Hitler becomes Fuhrer
    16/ U.S. Office of War Information // Wikicommons

    1934: Hitler becomes Fuhrer

    German Chancellor Adolf Hitler declared himself absolute dictator (Fuhrer) of Germany after the death of German president Paul von Hindenburg. With the German army swearing allegiance to Hitler, the democratic government was dissolved to make way for the Third Reich. Under his rule, Germany became a totalitarian police state, leading to the vicious anti-Semitism that was a cornerstone of Nazi ideology.

  • 1935: Social Security Act established
    17/ Social Security Online // Wikicommons

    1935: Social Security Act established

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law this year, created as a program of federal old-age benefits, financed by payroll taxes on employees and employers. It later was extended to help the disabled and other groups. The act has been amended many times, including the 1965 Amendments that helped create Medicare.

  • 1936: Rural Electrification Act signed
    18/ U.S. Department of Agriculture // Flickr

    1936: Rural Electrification Act signed

    One of the most important pieces of legislation enacted as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, the Rural Electrification Act enabled the federal government to make low-interest loans to farmers who had created non-profit cooperatives to bring electricity to rural America, many of which still serve rural America.

  • 1937: First blood bank opens
    19/ Public Domain // Wikicommons

    1937: First blood bank opens

    The nation's first blood bank opened in Chicago at Cook County Hospital, established by Dr. Bernard Fantus. Prior to the ability to collect and store blood, direct transfusions were required with the donor present. From the preservation of blood lasting 10 days, red blood cells could now be stored for 42 days. Blood banks helped advance modern surgery and medical innovation.

  • 1938: Fair Labor Standards Act
    20/ Public Domain // Wikicommons

    1938: Fair Labor Standards Act

    Oppressive child labor conditions and the need for a minimum hourly wage helped fuel the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Long sought by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who said, "Something has to be done about the elimination of child labor and long hours and starvation wages," the Act went through numerous challenges and adaptations before becoming the law that set standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor restrictions.

  • 1939: World War II begins
    21/ Hans Sönnke // Wikicommons

    1939: World War II begins

    Following decades of political conflict, Adolf Hitler began military aggressions by annexing Austria with little opposition. On September 1, the Nazis launched an invasion of Poland and, two days later, France, the United Kingdom, and other nations declare war on Germany. The war pitted the Allies of the United States — which didn't enter the war until 1941 — Soviet Union and Great Britain, against the Axis of Germany, Japan, and Italy, and lasted until 1945.

  • 1940: The Battle of Britain
    22/ Press Agency photographer // Wikicommons

    1940: The Battle of Britain

    Seeking to gain air superiority over the United Kingdom, Germany's Luftwaffe and Britain's Royal Air Force battled in the largest sustained bombing campaign of the war to that date in the Battle of Britain. The British prevailed despite months of attacks on its air bases, military posts, and on the civilian population. The British victory saved the nation from a German ground invasion and possible occupation by the Nazis, and helped the allies eventually defeat Nazi Germany.

  • 1941: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor; U.S. enters WWII
    23/ Public Domain // Wikicommons

    1941: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor; U.S. enters WWII

    The Imperial Japanese Navy launches an unprovoked surprise attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, killing more than 2,400 Americans and wounding 1,000. About 20 naval vessels including eight battleships and more than 300 planes were destroyed or damaged in the attack, and the U.S. declared war on Japan the next day. America was further thrust into World War II when Germany and Italy declared war against the U.S. this year.

  • 1942: Rationing and war bonds
    24/ Public Domain // Wikicommons

    1942: Rationing and war bonds

    As the U.S. participation in WWII intensified, Americans at home stepped up to sacrifice and do with less to help with the war effort. A rationing program set limits on gas, food, tires, oil, clothing, and many other commodities. Americans further helped the effort by purchasing war bonds, with more than 85 million Americans spending $185.7 billion on the bonds.

  • 1943: Race riots
    25/ Ninian Reid // Flickr

    1943: Race riots

    While WWII fighting raged in much of the rest of the world, the U.S. was rocked by numerous race riots this year, in Harlem, Los Angeles, and Detroit. During riots in Detroit, where carmakers converted factories for building weapons of war, the influx of African-American workers strained housing and infrastructure, and led to increased racial tensions. Rumors sparked mobs, turning into a 36-hour spree of violence and arrests. In all, 34 were killed and more than 1,800 were arrested.

  • 1944: The Battle of Normandy (D-Day)
    26/ Public Domain // Wikicommons

    1944: The Battle of Normandy (D-Day)

    With the Nazis taking control of France in 1940, the Allies launched one of the most decisive turning points of the war this year with the Battle of Normandy, also known as D-Day, on June 6. The battle began the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe and involved the largest invasion fleet ever assembled. Paris was liberated about 10 weeks later.

  • 1945: World War II ends; Atomic bombs dropped on Japan
    27/ Public Domain // Wikicommons

    1945: World War II ends; Atomic bombs dropped on Japan

    With the Allies closing in on Berlin, Nazi Germany surrendered on May 8, dubbed V-E Day (Victory in Europe). The American B-29 "Enola Gay" dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, followed three days later by an atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, which led to Japan surrendering unconditionally to the Allies on Aug. 14, effectively ending the war on V-J Day (Victory Over Japan).

  • 1946: UNICEF created
    28/ German Federal Archive // Wikicommons

    1946: UNICEF created

    The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was created by the General Assembly of the United Nations after World War II to provide relief to children in nations struggling to recover from the war. UNICEF continued its advocacy of children's rights, and in the 1980s was key to the creation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. Only Somalia and the United States failed to ratify it.

  • 1947: UFO crashes near Roswell, N.M.
    29/ Roswell Daily Record // Wikicommons

    1947: UFO crashes near Roswell, N.M.

    Was it a close encounter with a ship from outer space or a weather balloon? The latter is the original Army Air Force assertion about the remains of an unidentified flying object found in a sheep pasture outside Roswell, N.M. But many people believe the debris to be proof of an encounter with an extraterrestrial flying saucer, and believe there is a cover-up of the truth. The debate continues.

  • 1948: World Health Organization established
    30/ Pan American Health Organization // Flickr

    1948: World Health Organization established

    Created by the United Nations this year, the World Health Organization was tasked with dealing with epidemic control, quarantines, and drug standardization. It has since played a key role in eradicating smallpox, and deals with communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Its priorities include assisting countries that seek progress toward universal health coverage and access to essential, high-quality medical products, among others.

  • 1949: North Atlantic Treaty Organization founded
    31/ Abbie Rowe // WIkicommons

    1949: North Atlantic Treaty Organization founded

    Established originally as a collective defense pact meant to check then-Soviet Union aggressions in Eastern Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) today "promotes democratic values and is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes." It has the ability to take on a wide range of military operations, with 18,000 military personnel engaged in missions worldwide. Today, NATO is operating in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and the Mediterranean.

  • 1950: U.S. enters Korean conflict
    32/ NHHC

    1950: U.S. enters Korean conflict

    When North Korea attacked South Korea in June, President Harry Truman committed American air and naval forces to defend South Korea from communist aggression. He soon after committed U.S. ground forces, and the United Nations Security Council approved U.N. forces in Korea be put under U.S. command under General Douglas MacArthur. The "police action," which ended in 1953, left the peninsula as divided as it was before the war.

  • 1951: Rock and roll kicks off
    33/ James Kriegsmann // Wikicommons

    1951: Rock and roll kicks off

    Although the exact date of the founding of the genre remains debatable, rock and roll was born with the coining of the term this year by disc jockey Alan Freed. Blending the essences of blues, rhythm and blues, jazz, gospel, and country, rock and roll swept the nation throughout the 1950s and 1960s, changing the world of music and serving as a cultural and social catalyst. Variations of the genre are still popular today, with the original music still broadcast on oldies stations.

  • 1952: World's first commercial jet takes off
    34/ Ministry of Information // Wikicommons

    1952: World's first commercial jet takes off

    British Overseas Airways Corporation launched commercial jet airliner service in a craft known as the de Havilland Comet, in a flight from London to Johannesburg, South Africa, carrying 36 passengers, six crew, and 30 bags of mail. Although the success of the Comet later faltered due to deadly structural flaws, the jet engine revolutionized air travel around the world. The U.S. wouldn't enter commercial jet airliner service until 1958.

  • 1953: Dwight D. Eisenhower inaugurated
    35/ Abbie Rowe // WIkicommons

    1953: Dwight D. Eisenhower inaugurated

    World War II five-star general Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated as the 34th president of the United States. The two-term president is best known for his support of the creation of the interstate highway system, signing the 1957 Civil Rights Act, and setting up a permanent Civil Rights Commission. He also signed a bill to form the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

  • 1954: Brown vs. Board of Education decision
    36/ U.S. Library of Congress // Wikicommons

    1954: Brown vs. Board of Education decision

    This landmark Supreme Court case ruled that racial segregation of public school children was unconstitutional, and the ruling is a cornerstone of the civil rights movement. Oliver Brown of Topeka, Kan. filed a class-action suit against that city's board of education in 1951 after his daughter was denied entrance to an all-white school, claiming that segregation violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The case moved to the Supreme Court in 1952, and the unanimous verdict by the justices in 1954 ruled in favor of Brown and led to the process of integrating schools nationwide.

  • 1955: Disneyland opens in California
    37/ Santa Fe Railway // Wikicommons

    1955: Disneyland opens in California

    The fantasyland of Disneyland opened in July, built for $17 million on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, Calif. Walt Disney designed the amusement park to be educational as well as amusing, and rides such as the Mark Twain steamboat, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and Snow White's Adventures made a trip to Disneyland unforgettable for children of all ages. Today, more than 14 million visitors a year enjoy the park, spending close to $3 billion annually.

  • 1956: Elvis Presley's popularity peaks
    38/ The Minneapolis Tribune // Wikicommons

    1956: Elvis Presley's popularity peaks

    Rock and roll icon Elvis Presley's popularity rocketed this year, with music, movies, and television appearances. He released his first #1 single, "Heartbreak Hotel," and his self-titled album climbed to #1 this year, too. Presley also signed his first movie contract with Paramount Pictures for "Love Me Tender."

  • 1957: Civil Rights Act of 1957 extends voting rights to all
    39/ Warren K. Leffler // Wikicommons

    1957: Civil Rights Act of 1957 extends voting rights to all

    With the passage of the Civil Rights Act this year, all Americans were given the right to vote. The law prohibited the administration of literacy tests and poll taxes that had once effectively disenfranchised the African-American vote in the South. A later version, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawed segregation in public places and prohibited discrimination based on race, religion, sex, or national origin.

  • 1958: Invention of the integrated circuit
    40/ James R. Biard // Wikicommons

    1958: Invention of the integrated circuit

    Although transistors had been commonplace in radios, phones, and other electronics, working like a switch, scientists needed a whole circuit miniaturized for easier production. Inventor Jack Kilby discovered the circuit could be built out of a single crystal of silicon. Robert Noyce had made a similar discovery at Fairchild Semiconductor this year and today, integrated circuits are the principal components of almost all electronic devices including microcomputers.

  • 1959: Alaska, Hawaii become states
    41/ Abbie Rowe // WIkicommons

    1959: Alaska, Hawaii become states

    Purchased from the Russians in 1867 for $7.2 million, Alaska was considered a U.S. territory until it was granted statehood this year, making it the 49th state under a proclamation signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Hawaii was annexed as a U.S. territory in 1898 and became the nation's 50th state this year. Eisenhower signed an executive order for Hawaii's statehood, and both are the only two states not contiguous to the rest of the U.S.

  • 1960: OPEC formed
    42/ Nevit Dilmen // Wikicommons

    1960: OPEC formed

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in Iraq this year, with the first members including Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. The organization's stated objectives include unifying petroleum prices among its nations, and ensuring fair prices and regular supplies to their customers. Today, OPEC has grown to 12 nations that produce about 40% of the world's crude oil, with exports representing about 60% of the petroleum traded worldwide.

  • 1961: Soviets launch first human into space; U.S. soon follows
    43/ ITU Pictures // Flickr

    1961: Soviets launch first human into space; U.S. soon follows

    Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human launched into space, completing a 108-minute orbital flight in the Vostok I spacecraft in April. Less than a month later, astronaut Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space aboard the Mercury spacecraft. It was the continuation of the so-called space race, which began in 1957 when the USSR launched Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite.

  • 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis brings world to brink of war
    44/ U.S. Air Force

    1962: Cuban Missile Crisis brings world to brink of war

    The Cuban Missile Crisis began in October when then-Soviet Union installed nuclear-armed missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles off the U.S. mainland. American President John F. Kennedy announced his decision to place a naval quarantine around the island nation, and made it clear the U.S. would use military force, if necessary, to remove the threat. War was avoided when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev removed the missiles in exchange for the U.S. promise not to invade Cuba.

  • 1963: President John F. Kennedy assassinated
    45/ Abbie Rowe // WIkicommons

    1963: President John F. Kennedy assassinated

    Riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22, President John F. Kennedy was shot as the motorcade passed the Texas School Book Depository. Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots from the sixth floor of the building, fatally wounding Kennedy and seriously injuring Gov. John Connally, although controversy continues on the possibility of a conspiracy. That afternoon, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th president of the United States.

  • 1964: The Beatles arrive in New York
    46/ United Press International // Wikicommons

    1964: The Beatles arrive in New York

    "Beatlemania" took over the United States when the British rock and roll band The Beatles arrived in New York in February as part of a world tour. Already at the top of the charts in the United Kingdom, The Beatles' arrival in the U.S. skyrockets the Fab Four into international superstardom when they appear on "The Ed Sullivan Show," with songs like "Please Please Me" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Beatlemania was the start of the musical British Invasion, with bands including the Rolling Stones, Herman's Hermits, the Searchers, and innumerable more following in the Beatles' wake.

  • 1965: U.S. enters combat in Vietnam War
    47/ manhhai // Flickr

    1965: U.S. enters combat in Vietnam War

    Although the U.S. had military advisors in South Vietnam since 1955, its first involvement in combat in the Vietnam War began this year. President Lyndon Johnson sent 82,000 combat troops to the country and escalated the commitment to 100,000 troops by the end of July. Massive anti-war protests broke out in the U.S. this year, continuing during the latter part of the 1960s and into the early 1970s, as more than 58,000 American troops were killed in the war.

  • 1966: Miranda rights established
    48/ Gerald L. Nino // Wikicommons

    1966: Miranda rights established

    The United States Supreme Court in June decided in Miranda v. Arizona that all criminal suspects must be advised of their rights before interrogation. The case was taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union when suspect Ernesto Miranda was interrogated and confessed to kidnapping and rape in 1963. Miranda later recanted, claiming the confession was false and coerced.

  • 1967: First Super Bowl ends in Packers blowout
    49/ JL1Row // Wikicommons

    1967: First Super Bowl ends in Packers blowout

    The Green Bay Packers of the National Football League crushed the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League 35-10 in the first-ever world championship, to become known as Super Bowl I. The AFL won its first championship two years later, when Joe Namath's New York Jets beat the favored Baltimore Colts 16-7. The two leagues merged in 1970 and were split into the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.

  • 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy assassinated
    50/ Warren K. Leffler // Wikicommons

    1968: Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy assassinated

    James Earl Ray assassinated famed civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. April 4 in Memphis. The assassination of King, who gave his historic "I Have a Dream" speech to 250,000 supporters in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, led to an outpouring of anger among African Americans and mourning from the rest of the nation, which helped expedite the passage of the Fair Housing Act a week later. On June 5, Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, a presidential candidate, in Los Angeles.

  • 1969: America lands first man on the moon
    51/ NASA // Wikicommons

    1969: America lands first man on the moon

    The U.S. launched the Apollo 11 spacecraft to the moon July 16 with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins aboard. On July 20, Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module onto the surface of the moon, and declared, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." The crew returned to Earth safely on July 24.

  • 1970: Environmental Protection Agency begins operation
    52/ USEPA // Wikicommons

    1970: Environmental Protection Agency begins operation

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began operating this year in response to growing national concern about deteriorating air, contaminated water supplies, and trash littering once-pristine areas. Championed by President Richard Nixon, the EPA became an umbrella organization with duties transferred from other agencies along with funding for improved water treatment facilities, national air quality standards, and approval of a national contingency plan for treating oil spills, among many other mandates. In 2018, under administrator Scott Pruitt and further exacerbated by President Donald Trump, numerous gains and research programs under the EPA have been cut back, rolled back, or defunded.

  • 1971: Pentagon Papers leaked; Challenge to free press defeated
    53/ Max Braun // Wikicommons

    1971: Pentagon Papers leaked; Challenge to free press defeated

    When former Defense Department analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked the so-called Pentagon Papers to The New York Times in June, detailing government deception regarding the validity of the Vietnam War, the administration of President Richard Nixon went to the federal courts, which ordered the newspaper to cease publishing them under an injunction. But Ellsberg took the papers to The Washington Post, which along with the Times won a 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court, saying the government had no right to prior restraints of the press, allowing the newspapers to continue publishing the documents under the First Amendment.

  • 1972: The Watergate scandal
    54/ U.S. House of Representatives Photography Office // Wikicommons

    1972: The Watergate scandal

    Several burglars were arrested during a break-in of the Democratic National Committee office at the Watergate Hotel in June. Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward reported that a break-in and wiretapping of the offices of the Democratic National Committee by Republican operatives of President Richard Nixon's Committee to Re-elect the President was part of a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage. Seven conspirators were indicted on charges related to the affair, with five pleading guilty, and two others convicted. Evidence proved Nixon's involvement in a cover-up.

  • 1973: OPEC enacts oil embargo
    55/ The U.S. National Archives // Wikicommons

    1973: OPEC enacts oil embargo

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut oil exports to nations providing military assistance to Israel in the Yom Kippur War in October, when Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a surprise attack against Israel to dislodge them from occupied territories. Israel, assisted by the United States, the Netherlands, and Denmark, prevailed, and OPEC imposed the embargo on the three nations after huge price increases. The embargo ended after successful negotiations in March 1974.

  • 1974: Richard Nixon resigns
    56/ White House photo // Wikicommons

    1974: Richard Nixon resigns

    Facing likely impeachment for obstruction of justice and other charges related to the Watergate break-in of 1972, President Richard Nixon went on national television Aug. 8 to announce his resignation. The release of the Watergate tapes and other documents in 1973 implicated Nixon for obstruction of justice and other abuses of power relating to Watergate and other illegal activities. Vice President Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 38th president at noon on Aug. 9.

  • 1975: Saigon falls; Vietnam War ends
    57/ manhhai // Flickr

    1975: Saigon falls; Vietnam War ends

    The Vietnam War ended in April after aggressive assaults by North Vietnam led to the fall of Saigon in the south. Although the Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973 to end the war, and most American troops had withdrawn, fighting continued until this year, when South Vietnam surrendered. U.S. President Gerald Ford declared the end of the war April 23, and the last remaining Americans were airlifted from the country by April 30.

  • 1976: Comaneci scores perfect 10 in Olympics
    58/ Public Domain Pictures // Wikicommons

    1976: Comaneci scores perfect 10 in Olympics

    Romanian-born Nadia Comaneci was the first woman to ever score a perfect 10 in a gymnastics event, achieving that milestone at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The 14-year-old gymnast garnered seven perfect scores and won gold medals for uneven bars, balance beam, and individual all-around, and a bronze for floor exercise. Along with many more Olympic medals, her accomplishments sparked a revolution in the sport of women's gymnastics.

  • 1977: Personal computer industry born
    59/ Public Domain // Wikicommons

    1977: Personal computer industry born

    First developed in 1974, the Altair was the first personal computer, but it wasn't until 1977 that mass-produced PCs became a viable, booming industry. The Apple II, Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80, and Commodore Business Machines Personal Electronic Transactor entered the market this year, and PC popularity waxed. As technology continued to advance and computers became faster, smaller, and more capable, computer sales reached 350 million units a year by 2013, when smartphones and tablets began to cut into PC sales.

  • 1978: Golden age of arcade video games
    60/ Rob DiCaterino // Flickr

    1978: Golden age of arcade video games

    "Space Invaders" was released this year, sparking the so-called golden age of arcade video games. As a forerunner to modern video games, "Space Invaders" helped grow the global appeal and diversity of computer gaming. Now with numerous advances in technology, video games are a $100 billion worldwide industry and a massive cultural influence.

  • 1979: Iran hostage crisis
    61/ Trikosko, Marion // Wikicommons

    1979: Iran hostage crisis

    On Nov. 4, Iranian students attacked the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 52 hostages. The revolutionary students wanted an end to America's interference in its affairs, with a focus on their revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The hostages were released after 444 days on Jan. 20, 1981 — the day President Jimmy Carter's presidency ended.

  • 1980: John Lennon murdered
    62/ Jack Mitchell // Wikicommons

    1980: John Lennon murdered

    Former Beatle John Lennon was shot in the back and killed just outside his New York home, The Dakota, on Dec. 8. His assassin, Mark David Chapman, said he shot Lennon so he could be famous. Lennon's post-Beatles work is laced with calls for peace and unity that cemented his legacy with such tunes as "Imagine," and his song, "Give Peace a Chance," became an anthem for the anti-Vietnam war movement.

  • 1981: O'Connor named first female justice
    63/ The U.S. National Archives // Flickr

    1981: O'Connor named first female justice

    President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. The former two-term Arizona state senator garnered unanimous senate approval and became the first woman justice on the nation's highest court. She was the deciding vote in a 1992 challenge to Roe v. Wade, effectively defeating the challenge, and was also the deciding vote in the 2000 election case, Bush v. Gore, which ended the recount of votes for president and upheld George W. Bush's victory — on which she later said the court perhaps should not have weighed in.

  • 1982: Michael Jackson releases Thriller
    64/ Drew H. Cohen // WIkicommons

    1982: Michael Jackson releases Thriller

    Considered one of the top recording stars in the world for over a decade, Michael Jackson released his album, "Thriller," in November. The album, with songs including the title tune, "Billie Jean" and "Beat It," is the Recording Industry Association of America's #1 all-time best-selling album with 33 million copies sold. His music videos of these tunes topped the charts, with "Thriller" becoming the highest-selling music video of all time.

  • 1983: U.S. Embassy, Marine barracks attacked in Beirut
    65/ Official USMC Photo // Wikicommons

    1983: U.S. Embassy, Marine barracks attacked in Beirut

    On April 18, a suicide bomber crashed his truck filled with a ton of explosives into the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63. The dead included 17 Americans, some of whom were CIA officers. The Islamic Jihad Organization claimed responsibility, and Hezbollah was blamed for a truck bomb attack in October on U.S. Marine barracks that killed 241 marines and sailors.

  • 1984: Iconic 1984 ad
    66/ Jeff Keyzer // Wikicommons

    1984: Iconic 1984 ad

    The "1984" advertisement for the release of the revolutionary Apple Macintosh personal computer during Super Bowl XVIII was considered a watershed event in advertising. Based on George Orwell's dystopian novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four," in which everyone is expected to conform to the state — Big Brother, the ad's unnamed female protagonist fights back against conformity, indicating the computer would do the same when it proclaims "you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984.'"

  • 1985: Live Aid concerts raise $125 million
    67/ Squelle // WIkicommons

    1985: Live Aid concerts raise $125 million

    Called the biggest rock concert and charity event in the history of the world, the Live Aid concerts held simultaneously in Philadelphia and London on July 13 raised $125 million for relief aid to famine-stricken eastern Africa. The event was broadcast worldwide to an audience of 1.5 billion. Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially opened the concert at Wembley Stadium in London. Musicians included Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

  • 1986: Space shuttle Challenger explodes
    68/ Kennedy Space Center // Wikicommons

    1986: Space shuttle Challenger explodes

    On Jan. 28, just over a minute after lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center, the space shuttle Challenger exploded, killing all seven crew members. The crew included teacher Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first civilian to travel into space, and astronauts Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Michael J. Smith, Francis Scobee, and Ronald McNair. The tragedy was blamed on the failure of rubber O-rings on Challenger's solid rocket booster.

  • 1987: Stock market crashes
    69/ Roger Hsu // Flickr

    1987: Stock market crashes

    On Oct. 19, dubbed Black Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted almost 23%, the largest one-day percentage drop in history. The steep decline was seen worldwide, as 19 of the largest 20 markets saw declines of 20% or more. Although the market recovered quickly, stock exchanges implemented circuit breaker rules and other safety features to slow impacts of trading irregularities and give the market more time to correct itself.

  • 1988: First use of DNA evidence convicts murderer
    70/ Pixabay

    1988: First use of DNA evidence convicts murderer

    DNA fingerprinting was used for the first time this year to help convict a murderer. George Wesley was found guilty of murder, burglary, rape, and other charges in New York after genetic material found in blood on Wesley's clothes matched with material found in 79-year-old victim Helen Kendrick's hair. Wesley was sentenced to 38 years in prison.

  • 1989: Berlin Wall falls
    71/ Daniel Antal // Flickr

    1989: Berlin Wall falls

    One of the defining symbols of the Cold War between Russia and the United States, the Berlin Wall was built in August 1961 by the communist East German regime to stop mass defections from east to west. More than 100,000 East German citizens tried to escape to the West, and at least 171 died at the wall. On Nov. 9 1989, as the Cold War began to ease, East Berlin's Communist Party announced that citizens were free to cross the border, which led to the destruction of the wall after more than 2 million celebrated on the streets.

  • 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait; Operation Desert Shield launched
    72/ US Air Force

    1990: Iraq invades Kuwait; Operation Desert Shield launched

    More than 100,000 Iraqi troops and arms crossed into Kuwait on Aug. 2, annexing the oil-rich nation. Operation Desert Shield was launched a week later to protect Saudi Arabia. In November, the United Nations Security Council agreed to use force against Iraq after the country failed to withdraw from Kuwait.

  • 1991: Operation Desert Storm
    73/ U.S. Air Force

    1991: Operation Desert Storm

    When United Nations sanctions against Iraq and Saddam Hussein's regime for annexing Kuwait — and months of negotiations — failed, the U.S. led a 32-nation attack on Iraq during Operation Desert Storm beginning in January. The attack included six weeks of air attacks against Iraq's military and civil infrastructure. In February, a coalition ground offensive began, and Kuwait was liberated less than four days later.

  • 1992: Los Angeles Rodney King riots
    74/ Robert Couse-Baker // Wikicommons

    1992: Los Angeles Rodney King riots

    Four Los Angeles policemen were acquitted in April of the vicious beating of Rodney King, an African-American man, despite graphic video evidence broadcast worldwide. King, who was stopped after a high-speed chase, suffered skull fractures, broken bones and teeth, and permanent brain damage in the attack. After the acquittal, furious South Central Los Angeles residents, fed up with racial and economic inequality in L.A., took to the streets for three days of rioting that killed more than 60 people, injured thousands, and did almost $1 billion in damages across the city.

  • 1993: The Waco siege
    75/ FBI // Wikicommons

    1993: The Waco siege

    On Feb. 28, agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the Branch Davidian religious compound near Waco, Texas after reports that self-proclaimed prophet and leader David Koresh and his followers were violating federal firearms regulations. After a deadly gun battle, a cease-fire was arranged, and nearly 900 law-enforcement agents surrounded the compound for what would be a 51-day siege. At that point, FBI agents fired tear gas into the compound and, after the attack, several fires broke out, which engulfed the compound as gunfire was heard inside, leaving 76 dead, including 25 children.

  • 1994: Mandela elected South African president
    76/ Maureen Keating // Wikicommons

    1994: Mandela elected South African president

    Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa, after spending 27 years in prison for his campaign of peaceful, nonviolent resistance to the country's apartheid policies of racial segregation and white supremacy. Mandela, as leader of the African National Congress, worked with then-president F.W. de Klerk to reach an agreement in 1993 that would end apartheid in 1994, and earn them both the Nobel Peace Prize. As president, Mandela introduced new socio-economic policies that helped fund job creation, housing, and basic health care.

  • 1995: Oklahoma City bombing
    77/ usacetulsa // Flickr

    1995: Oklahoma City bombing

    In April 1995, on the second anniversary of the end of the Waco siege, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols used a truck loaded with thousands of pounds of fuel oil and aluminum nitrate to attack the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla. A total of 168 people were killed and an estimated 850 wounded, making the Oklahoma City bombing the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States to that date. McVeigh was executed for the attack in 2001 while Nichols was eventually sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms in prison.

  • 1996: Mad Cow Disease linked to human deaths
    78/ Scott Bauer // Wikicommons

    1996: Mad Cow Disease linked to human deaths

    First discovered in the United Kingdom in 1986, Mad Cow Disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), a fatal brain disease found in cattle and transferred to humans eating beef, was linked this year to 231 cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a fatal brain disease in humans. The European Union banned British beef beginning this year, with other nations following suit. When Mad Cow Disease was found in the U.S. in 2003, major importers barred U.S. beef until 2007, costing ranchers and processors almost $11 billion.

  • 1997: Princess Diana dies in car crash
    79/ PaddyBriggs // WIkicommons

    1997: Princess Diana dies in car crash

    Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash on Aug. 31, along with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, and driver Henri Paul. Her Mercedes was being pursued by paparazzi and crashed into a concrete pillar in a tunnel at more than 60 mph. Numerous conspiracy theories abounded after the crash, but French and English investigations ruled the crash was an accident caused by Paul, who was drunk and driving at twice the speed limit, along with reckless actions of the paparazzi.

  • 1998: President Bill Clinton accused of affair, lies
    80/ R. D. Ward // Wikicommons

    1998: President Bill Clinton accused of affair, lies

    President Bill Clinton was accused in January of having a sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky, and independent counsel Kenneth Starr began investigations that would eventually lead to a failed impeachment attempt. In his denial, Clinton said he "did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky." In August, Clinton testified to the grand jury and admitted to inappropriate intimate contact, and the House of Representatives voted to impeach him for perjury and obstruction of justice in December, for which he was acquitted.

  • 1999: Columbine High School massacre
    81/ Qqqqqq // Wikicommons

    1999: Columbine High School massacre

    Two teenage gunmen killed 13 people in a shooting spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. on April 20. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 12 students and a teacher, and wounded 23 others before killing themselves. The duo also brought bombs to the school, intending to kill hundreds.

  • 2000: Supreme Court ends presidential recount; George W. Bush wins
    82/ Elvert Barnes // Wikicommons

    2000: Supreme Court ends presidential recount; George W. Bush wins

    With the 2000 presidential election hanging in the balance, fewer than 600 votes separated candidates Al Gore (D) and George W. Bush (R) in Florida. Florida Supreme Court ruled manual recounts should continue, but Bush filed a U.S. Supreme Court challenge, Bush v. Gore, to stop the manual recount, and the court overturned the lower court's decision Dec. 9, giving Bush Florida's 25 electoral votes — and the presidency.

  • 2001: The 9/11 attack on the United States
    83/ Robert J. Fisch // Wikicommons

    2001: The 9/11 attack on the United States

    On Sept. 11, 19 terrorists connected to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden hijacked four airplanes and flew two of them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane into the Pentagon, and another crashing into a field in Pennsylvania. Overall, nearly 3,000 people died, including hundreds of firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency crew trying to evacuate the towers. On Oct. 7, the U.S. led a coalition to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and destroy bin Laden's terrorist network during Operation Enduring Freedom.

  • 2002: Axis of Evil speech and prelude to war
    84/ Eric Draper // White House Photo

    2002: Axis of Evil speech and prelude to war

    Naming Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and their "terrorist allies" as an Axis of Evil seeking weapons of mass destruction, President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union Address, said, "these regimes pose a grave and growing danger." He especially called out Iraq, claiming the nation flaunted its hostility toward America and supported terror. Bush argued Iraq's continued possession of WMDs and support for terrorist groups made disarming the nation a priority.

  • 2003: U.S., allies attack Iraq
    85/ Master Sgt. T. Collins // U.S. Air Force photo

    2003: U.S., allies attack Iraq

    Three days after President George Bush issued an ultimatum for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq within 48 hours, which was ignored, U.S. and coalition forces launched an attack on Iraq. The coalition captured Iraq's major cities in three weeks, and Bush declared the end of major combat on May 1. But American and coalition troop casualties continued to rise as insurgent attacks against occupying troops continued to accelerate, and no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.

  • 2004: Red Sox win first championship since 1918
    86/ Jed Jacobsohn // Getty

    2004: Red Sox win first championship since 1918

    The legend of the "Curse of the Bambino" was finally vanquished when the Boston Red Sox won their first championship in 86 years in October. The curse legend stemmed from 1920, when Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees, and the Sox came within one out of winning it all in 1946, 1975, and 1986, but couldn't close the deal. In 2004, they were down to their last game against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship series before winning four straight to take that series, and then go on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals.

  • 2005: Hurricane Katrina slams Gulf Coast
    87/ Good Free Photos

    2005: Hurricane Katrina slams Gulf Coast

    Hurricane Katrina slammed into huge parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama on Aug. 29, a day after New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered mandatory evacuations of that city. The storm surge overwhelmed many of the city's levees and drainage canals, putting about 80% of the city under some amount of water. Overall, the storm killed more than 1,800 and damages topped $105 billion.

  • 2006: Amish school shooting
    88/ Rlevse // Wikicommons

    2006: Amish school shooting

    Five young girls died after a heavily armed truck driver barricaded himself in a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pa. and shot them execution-style, before killing himself. Shooter Charles Carl Roberts IV told his wife he molested young relatives 20 years earlier and was dreaming of doing it again. Police said Roberts brought several items, including restraints, to the school, indicating he may have intended to molest the girls.

  • 2007: Apple iPhone introduced
    89/ Blake Patterson // Wikicommons

    2007: Apple iPhone introduced

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in January, launching a mobile revolution that continues to this day with new upgrades of devices and apps. It was the first true touch-screen phone, a feature most smartphone makers offer now, along with multi-touch features such as pinch zoom in and out on a web page and motion sensor. Later versions of the iPhone made Apple the #1 global smartphone maker.

  • 2008: Great Recession devastates world markets
    90/ Jim Yi // Flickr

    2008: Great Recession devastates world markets

    Combining the fall of housing prices with a glut of new homes on the market and offering mortgages to high-risk borrowers, American and world markets began to falter by summer 2007, leading to the Great Recession of 2008. During the crisis, home mortgage foreclosures increased worldwide, with millions losing their life savings, homes, and jobs. The Dow lost more than half its value over the next 18 months, with household net worth dropping $14 trillion.

  • 2009: Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
    91/ Pete Souza // Wikicommons

    2009: Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

    President Barack Obama introduced the $840 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed by Congress in February, to combat the Great Recession. The stimulus package included tax cuts, credits, and unemployment benefits; funding shovel-ready public works projects; investing in education, science research, and technology; and other programs that, combined, added more than 4 million jobs overall in the first 18 months of the program. The recession ended five months after Congress passed and Obama signed the Act, with economic growth expanding in the third quarter.

  • 2010: End of subprime mortgage crisis
    92/ respres // Wikicommons

    2010: End of subprime mortgage crisis

    Beginning in 2007, mortgages were expanded to include high-risk borrowers at a time of rising house prices, creating turmoil in financial markets that lasted until this year. The collapse of subprime lending fueled a downward spiral in house values and was a key impetus for the recession, alleviated in part when the Federal Reserve lowered long-term interest rates and stimulated economic activity that stabilized the housing market by 2013.

  • 2011: Japanese earthquake, tsunami
    93/ DVIDSHUB // Wikicommons

    2011: Japanese earthquake, tsunami

    A magnitude 9.0 earthquake, followed by a massive tsunami, devastated northeast Japan on March 11, killing more than 19,000, causing more than $300 billion in damage, and triggering a major accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station. The tsunami damaged backup generators at the plant, with waves as high as 33 feet smashing the coast and flooding several communities, causing most of the deaths. The water swept away enormous quantities of houses, cars, boats, and other debris, and radioactive contamination issues still plague Fukushima today.

  • 2012: Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School
    94/ Lawrence Jackson // Official White House Photo

    2012: Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School

    On Dec. 14, Adam Lanza killed 20 first-grade students and six school employees at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The children were 6 and 7 years old. He first killed his mother, who owned the weapons used in the rampage, then killed himself as police closed in at the school. Investigators never found a motive.

  • 2013: Boston Marathon bombings
    95/ Aaron "tango" Tang // Wikicommons

    2013: Boston Marathon bombings

    Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the 117th annual Boston Marathon April 15, killing three spectators and wounding more than 260. Terrorist brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev planned and carried out the attack on their own, also killing a police officer that night. Tamerlan died following a shootout with police, while his brother — who struck him with a car as he fled — was found guilty of 30 charges in 2015 and sentenced to death.

  • 2014: Malaysian Flight MH370 disappears
    96/ Laurent ERRERA // Wikicommons

    2014: Malaysian Flight MH370 disappears

    Malaysian Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 filled with 239 passengers and crew, disappeared March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The search for evidence of the flight's fate has been largely futile, and theories on what happened continue to this day. Ocean Infinity, the company searching for wreckage, was due to suspend further searches in June 2018.

  • 2015: Charlie Hebdo attack
    97/ Olivier Ortelpa // Wikicommons

    2015: Charlie Hebdo attack

    Twelve people were killed and nearly as many injured after al-Qaeda terrorists attacked the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January. The attack, led by brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, occurred after the newspaper had published several controversial cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, the spiritual leader of Islam. The attack was one of several in Paris from Jan. 7-9.

  • 2016: Russia interferes in U.S. presidential election
    98/ //Wikicommons

    2016: Russia interferes in U.S. presidential election

    The U.S. intelligence community agreed in October that the Russian government directed efforts to interfere with the U.S. presidential election, which was won by Donald Trump. Leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said in mid-May 2018 there was no doubt Russia undertook the effort. Sen. Mark Warner, the leading Democrat on the committee, said the Russian interference was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin to help Trump and hurt Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton.

  • 2017: FBI investigating election meddling, possible collusion
    99/ FBI // Wikicommons

    2017: FBI investigating election meddling, possible collusion

    The FBI, beginning investigations regarding Russian election meddling in 2016, stepped up its investigation into whether members of President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians to help Trump win the presidential election. Begun with then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired in May 2017, the investigation was taken over by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who was appointed special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. By March 2018, Mueller's team had either indicted or garnered guilty pleas from 19 people and three companies, with the investigation still continuing.

  • 2018: School shootings epidemic; students demand action
    100/ Slowking4 // Wikicommons

    2018: School shootings epidemic; students demand action

    Multiple deadly school shootings in the U.S. prompted students to organize and demand gun-control action from Congress. Among the 22 school shootings reported through May 22, 10 people died at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas in May and in February, a former student killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. After the Parkland shooting, surviving students Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Alex Wind, and Jaclyn Corin began the #NeverAgain movement to curb gun violence and on March 14, nearly a million students walked out of their classes in protest, demanding Congressional action.

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