American History Chronology

Here is a brief overview of some key major events that helped form our society and government in American history.


1491 -- Jacques Cartier was born
1492 -- Christopher Columbus found the new world.
1497 --1499 - Vasco da Gama found a route from Portugal to the East.
1521 -- Hernando Cortes claimed Montezuma for Spain
1565 -- Henry Hudson was born
1590 -- Squanto is born
1607 – Jamestown Colony is founded.
1609 -- Henry Hudson found the Hudson River.
1611 -- Henry Hudson died
1620 -- Massachusetts Colony is founded.
1620 – Pilgrims land at Plymouth and sign the Mayflower Compact.
1623 -- New Hampshire Colony is founded.
1624 -- Virginia is founded
1634 -- Maryland Colony is founded.
1636 -- Rhode Island Colony is founded.
1636 -- Connecticut Colony is founded.
1649 – Maryland Toleration Act is passed
1660 – English Parliament passes Navigation Acts
1663 -- Barbodas was made into a British crown possession
1664 -- New York Colony was founded.
1664 -- New Jersey Colony is founded.
1682 -- Pennslyvania Colony is founded.
1729 -- The royal colony of South Carolina is founded
1732 -- George Washington was born
-- Georga was founed
1744 -- Abigail Adams was born
1752 – Benjamin Franklin discovers electricity and invents the lightning rod
1754 – French and Indian War begins
1763 – Treaty of Paris ends French and Indian War
1764 – Parliament passes Sugar Act
1765 – Stamp Act is passed
1765 -- "Sons of Liberty" was formed
1767 – Townshend Acts are passed
1767 -- Spain and Confederation of the U.S.
1770 -- Boston Massacre
1773 – Colonists carry out the Boston Tea Party
1774 – Parliament passes Intolerable Acts
1774 – First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia
1775 – George Washington is named Commander in Chief of American army
1776 – Declaration of Independence is signed
1776 -- Patriots captured at Fort Ticonderoga
1777 – British are defeated at Saratoga
1778 -- The XYZ Affair
1781 – Articles of Confederation are adopted
1783 – Treaty of Paris ends Revolutionary War
1786 -- 1787 - Shay's Rebellion
1787 -- Delegates declared the constitution complete
1788 – U.S. Constitution is adopted
1788 -- Sacajewea is born
1789 - 1797 – George Washington is elected first President under the new Constitution
1791 – Bill of Rights is added to the Constitution
1791 – First two political parties are formed
1791 -- Whiskey Tax
1794 -- Jay Treaty was signed
1796 -- John Adams is elected president
1796 -- Treaty of Tripoli signed
1798 -- The Federalists passed a laws called Alien and Sedition Acts
1799 -- George Washington died
1800 -- Nat Turner is born
1800 -- Thomas Jefferson is elected president
1801 -- Beginning of Latin American Revolution
1803 – Louisiana Purchase is made
1804 -- 12th Amendment is added to the Constitution after the tie in the election of 1800
1809 – U.S. bans importation of salves
1809 -- James Madison is elected president
1812 -- War of 1812, a.k.a. the Second War for Independence, begins
1814 -- The treaty of Ghent is signed, ending the War of 1812
1818 -- Frederick Douglas is born
1828 -- Andrew Jackson is elected president
1820 -- Harriet Tubman was born
  • March 3, 1820- The Missouri Compromise
1830 -- Jacksons Indian Policy
  • 1831- The Trail of Tears
1832 -- Andrew Jackson is reelected president
1845 -- The Society in the north had over 4 million Immigrants from Ireland and Germany swarming America
1847 -- Dred Scott went to trial to sue for his freedom
1849 -- Elizabeth Blackwell gets her degree as being a doctor
1850 -- September of 1850, Millard Filmore passes Compromise of 1850 as law
1854 -- May of 1854, Kansas - Nebraska Act is passed as a law
1856 -- Dred Scott Case
1857 -- Supreme Court made a decision allowing white people to not respect the rights of slavery.
1860 -- Election of 1860
1861 -- Fort Sumter Attack (beginning of the Civil War)
1861-1865 -- Civil War
  • April 12, 1861- Firing on Fort Sumter
  • July 21, 1861- Battle of Bull Run 1st Manassas
  • August 30, 1861- Battle of Bull Run 2nd Manassas
  • September 16-18, 1862
  • July 1-3, 1863 Battle of Gettysburg
  • General Sherman's March
  • April 8-9, 1865 Battle of Apommattox
1862 -- Emancipation of Proclamation
1865 -- 1877 -- Reconstruction after the Civil War
  • January 1865 - 13th amendment passed
  • March 1865 - Freedmen's Bureau started
  • 1865-1868 Black Codes passed
  • 1866 - Ku Klux Klan founded
  • 1866 - 14th amendment passed
1865 -- Assassination of President Lincoln
1866 -- 1868-- Red Cloud's War
1867 -- Chinese work for Central Pacific Railroads
1867 - Wilbur wright born
1870 -- African American are given the right to vote
1871 - Orville Wright born
1872- Amnesty Act is passed
1876-- Battle of Little Bighorn (June 5)
1890 -- The Great Immigration from around the globe
1890 -- World War I
1994 -- Confusion among the Central Powers
1901-1909- President Theodore Roosevelt time in office
1903- Mary Anderson invented the windshield
1911 - Ronald Reagan is born
1912 - Wilbur Wright dies
1917 -U.S. becomes a world power
1924 -- Jimmy Carter is born
1929 -- Beginning of the Great Depression
1930's- Dust Bowl
1932 -- President Roosevelt was elected
1939 -- 1945 -- World War II
1941 --Highest point of the Great Depression
1946 -- Chinese Civil War resumed
1946 - George W. Bush was born
1948 - Orville Wright dies
1950 -- 1953 -- Korean War
  • September 1, 1939 - Britain declares general mobilization
1954 -- Brown vs. Board of Education
  • Jim Crow Laws abolished
  • Brown vs. Board of Education 2 -The Supreme Court ruled the they would desegregate "with all deliberate speed"
1957 -- The Little Rock Nine: Integrating Central High
1957 -- Joseph Gayetty created toilet paper
1959-1975 -- The Vietnam War
  • January 2, 1963 - Battle of Ap Bac
  • August 2, 1964 - The USS Maddox was struck with a torpedo in the Gulf of Tonkin
1968 -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated by James Earl Ray
1972 - 1974 -- The Watergate scandal is in progress with President Nixon.
2001 -- 9/11 attack on Twin Towers, Pentagon, and an unsuccessful attack on White House that ended with the "Let's Roll" plan.
2001 -- America invaded Afghanistan
2002 -- America invaded Iraq
2004 -- World War II Memorial opens with the "Freedom Wall"