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Historical, Political, & Social Timeline

"History is happening in the world around us, but the issues are rooted in the past." Maureen Costello



This timeline includes a collection of actions and events that affect the relationships and governance we call politics.

Today politics often means the relationships and activities used to govern a country or other areas where people organize in groups.

Politics start with relationships and becomes part of a culture over time as traditions, laws, bill of rights, a constitution, edicts, proclamations, or other actions that develop that influence and control group relationships and activities.

In ancient times groups were very small and their relationships and activities today would probably be considered more as personal and family relationships than political. However, as groups increased in size the relationships within these larger groups extended their family relationships and actions to deal with increased complexities. The result being what we now associate with political relationships in dynasties and monarchies.

Later as the populations of empires and kingdoms increased, frontiers became borders, people questioned the authority of leaders to make certain decisions, rules became codified to appear fair and reduce disputes, numbers of disputes increased beyond the capability of one person to solve, questions arose on who should rule and for how long, and how to determine the legitamacy of a government. To solve these problems and answer these questions, philosophers, political scientists, and citizens in general studied and devised an assortment of political relationships and organizations to establish reasons to guide political actions and events. This timeline highlights significant events that shape political history.

Supporting ideas

  • Political groups form and function as a result of their past experiences (histories). Histories that drive people to create cooperative relationships and actions to achieve shared goals for survival and better lives. Actions, that affect people can lift and improve their conditon or oppress their condition.
  • Political goals include: to survive and provide better lives become political when relationships are formed to cooperated and achieve them. Goals to provide water, food, shelter, to learn and educate each other, develop tools and technology, organize work and pleasure, organize families, arrange marriages, provide sexual partners, protect from nature and outside groups, protect the environment, sustain inheritable political, divine, and positional rights, protect civil liberties for all or select groups, care for everyone, leave no one behind, provide economic stability, increase wealth, status, and power, oppress people with certain beliefs, understandings, races, or other conditions.
  • Motivation to cooperate politically includes: need for companionship, to survive, to learn, for enjoyment, to gain power, to reduce fear, and avoid harm.
  • Challenges: Growing global population, urban migration, demand for natural resources, pollution, negative climate change, clean water, food, demand for economic development over quality living conditions, inexpensive expansive forms of information and open communication systems for good and bad, globalization, political demands for economic growth over quality living conditions, ...

Modern Present - 1500


Prison Reform Act passed

Sharice Davids & Deb HaalandFirst Native American women elected to Congress:

Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland on November 6, 2018

2017 Donald Trump sworn in as the 45th President of the U. S.



American Muslims have become the new not really Americans. That leads to a belief they are not to be trusted, hence their loyalty questioned. A belief their religion isn’t really a religion but a political ideology, that seeks to destroy American ideals and values. The same biased beliefs that were made about Jews, Catholics, and other minorities throughout history.

Few are able to see the focus of Jihad is not just on Americans, but the whole modern world and all nations. Particularly Muslims who embrace the modern world, as they are seen as traitors to the goal of a single world civilization under one caliphate. See 9/11

The solution is two fold: first, to jail or kill the militants who won't renounce these ideas and second, take away the appeal these ideas may have to people with these grievances by opening their minds to better alternatives. Who are these people? Resa Aslan's believes.

"If you are an organization whose entire ideology is predicated on the removal of all borders and boundaries, the rejection of all ethnic and nationalistic and racial ideologies, the reconstitution of the world as a wholly new global order ‚Äö these are quite sophisticated concepts. You don't join ISIS to feed your family. You join ISIS because you believe in this conception, this idea of a new world order that can be built with your violence and your blood. That's, again, why it's very important to avoid these absurdly simplistic generalities, because not only are they just simply wrong, but they actually are quite dangerous." Reza Aslan Source.

We must recognize Muslims as allies and join together to protect each other.

Notable Muslims of 2016:

Muhammad Ali, boxer; Shahid Khan, owner Jacksonville Jaguars, Doctor Mehmet Oz, Doctor and TV personality; Malik Zayn, singer; Shaquille O'Neal, retired NBA player and TV personality; Janet Jackson, singer; Malala, student and activist; Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon, NBA player drafted before Michael Jordan; Dave Chappelle, comedian and actor; Ice Cube, rapper; Mike Tyson, boxer, spokes person; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA basketball player; Lupe Fiasco, rapper; Aasif Mandvi, actor; Akon, R&B singer; Omar Sharif, actor; Faran Tahir, actor; Sahabzade Irrfan Ali Khan, actor; ... Source.

Islamophobia Lesson/UNIT: by Fakhra Shah

Russians meddle in US. election
The philosophical basis for Russian meddling in US politics can be linked to the book The Foundations of Geopolitics, by Alexander Dugin. The text could be ignored if it wasn't required reading for Russian military officers above Colonel. Dugin claims Russia is the heartland of the world and should accept its position as a fascist Romanesque empire of Eurasia.

To achieve it he says, Russia should activley oppose the US. by deception and create geopolitical chaos by encouraging all manners of separatism, ethnic diversity, social and racial conflict, actively support every extremist dissident movement, racist sectarian group, and destabilize the political processes within America. [ch.5, “The West’s Threat,” p. 367] and simultaneously support isolationism and the idea the US should limit itself to internal problems. Source


ACLU of Kentucky claimed:

"Ms. Davis has the absolute right to believe whatever she wants about God, faith, and religion, but as a government official who swore an oath to uphold the law, she cannot pick and choose who she is going to serve, or which duties her office will perform based on her religious beliefs." ACLU of Kentucky Cooperating Attorney Laura Landenwich. Source

United States District Judge David Bunning denied the American Civil Liberties Union's request to order Davis to reissue licenses she had altered to remove her name and title or face the possibility of further punishment.

Further the Kentucy Governor, Matt Bevin, signed an executive order to remove clerks' names from marriage licenses in response to Davis' case. Source

Supreme Court and same sex marriage Obergefell v. Hodges June 26, 2015

"The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State." Source


United Smart Cities Innitiative was created by the United Nations to investigate and share information about smart cities. Cities that create a digital surveillance infrastructure to monitor and control resources (water, electric, energy use, climate change, carbon use, habitat quality, ...) and social interactons (travel, law enforcement, citizen tracking, economic decisions, housing, and other social interactions...)

In 2014, the State Council of China outlined a plan to collect data on individuals, government officials, and companies to create a nationwide tracking system by 2020. The goal is to shape behavior with a mixture of rewards and persuasions related to travel and access to social services.

Civil liberties and smart cities: a system that monitors citizens combined with biometric sensing, artificial intellegence (AI) and social systems engineering must decide on how to use the information. Models can be created to create or maintain a caring culture with diverse backgrounds and a broad range of opinions communicated through a variety of media based on free expression and a free press. Or one where citizens are controlled and manipulated by the government for a state ideological and dogmatic need.

Systems Analysis model: Qian Xuesen and Gu Jifa suggested mathematical models alone would not work. That renli, or human relations grounded in current culture was also necessary to shape decisions when implementing a systems analysis to achieve a goal. They suggested WSR. An integrated systems analysis of three areas: wuli, an investigation of facts and future scenarios; shili, the mathematical and conceptual models used to organize systems; and renli. Source


Supreme Court rules 5-4 to overturn a section of the Voting Rights Act

The Supreme Court invalidated the section of the 1965 Voting Rights law that required lawmakers in states with a history of discrimination against minority voters get federal permission before changing voting rules.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote: "our country has changed."

Justice Ruth Ginsburg warned the ruling was like "throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet."



Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was broken into on December 14, 2012, by 20 year-old Adam Lanza. He shot and killed 20 six and seven year old children and six adults.

The shootings prompted the following:

  • Renewed gun control debate for universal background-checks, banning some types of semi-automatic firearms and magazines. President Obama created a gun violence task force headed by Vice President Biden. Obama signed 23 executive orders and proposed 12 congressional actions related to gun control.
  • In December, Wayne LaPierre (NRA) claimed gun-free school zones attract killers and a gun ban would not protect Americans. He asked Congress to allocate money for armed police in every American school and that the NRA would create a National School Shield Emergency Response Program.
  • In January, 2013, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (who was shot in a 2011 in Tucson), created a gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions.
  • New York passed a Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act.[
  • Connecticut and Maryland enacted new restrictions to their existing gun laws.
  • Ten other states passed laws that relaxed gun restrictions.
  • The 113th Congress voted on an Assault Weapons Ban and a Manchin-Toomey Amendment to strengthen background checks on gun purchases. Both were defeated in the Senate on April 17, 2013.



First domestic violence case against the U.S. brought to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

The case claimed inaction by police and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. U.S.A. (see below) violated her human rights. The landmark decision found the U.S. government responsible for human rights violations against Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) and her three children victims of domestic violence.

"In June 1999, Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) three young daughters, ages seven, nine and ten, were abducted by her estranged husband and killed after the Colorado police refused to enforce a restraining order against him. Although Gonzales repeatedly called the police, telling them of her fears for her daughters' safety, they failed to respond. Hours later, Gonzales' husband drove his pick-up truck to the police department and opened fire. He was shot dead by the police. The slain bodies of the three girls were subsequently discovered in the back of his pickup truck. Gonzales filed a lawsuit against the police, but in June 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that she had no Constitutional right to police enforcement of her restraining order." Source

She then filed a petion against the U. S. in the IACHR who ruled as noted above.

2009 Barack Obama sworn in as the 44th President of the U. S.



The number of people living in urban areas (cities) is greater than the number of people living in rural areas.

U.S. Supreme Court ruled the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases (CO2) in automobile emissions and it could not refuse to do so unless it provides a scientific arguement based on reasoned justification. Adding that while the Clean Air Act left regulatory determination to the "judgment" of the EPA's administrator, "the word 'judgment' is not a roving license to ignore the statutory text."

Nancy Pelosi takes the oath of office and becomes the first woman Speaker of the House, January 4, 2007.

Nancy Pelosi door sign


Economics of growth

Paul M. Romer includes variables for economic growth as including: development of ideas, investment in research, education, resources, protection of patents, copyrights, and licenses; foreign investment, property rights, amount of regulation, tax rates, and investment in capital on the effects on economic growth.

The U.S. Senate approved a resolution apologizing for its failure to enact federal anti-lynching legislation, Monday, June 13, 2005

Between 1890 and 1952 seven presidents petitioned Congress to pass a federal anti-lynching law, nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress, and three laws were passed by the House.

On Monday, June 13, 2005 senators approved, by voice vote, Resolution 39, which called for the lawmakers to apologize to lynching victims, survivors and their descendants.

"There may be no other injustice in American history for which the Senate so uniquely bears responsibility," Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)

Finally the Senate is "on the record condemning the brutal atrocity that plagued our great nation." Sen. George Allen (R-Va.)

There were few senators on the floor and no roll call vote. However, 80 of the 100 members signed on as co-sponsors. Missing from that list were senators from the state that reported the most lynching incidents: Mississippi Republicans Trent Lott and Thad Cochran.


Farmlands have evolved to include: California, North America's Great Plains, Europe, Pampas in Argentina, Cape of Southern Africa, Indian subcontinent, Java and Australia's wheat belt. If these areas are so well suited for farming or herding, why weren't they used in the past?

Food production centers

Source Twitter.com



September 11. The fall of the World Trade Centers, attack on the Pentagon, and downing of plane in Pennsylvania.

How did we get there?

The writings of Sayyid Qutb describes a hatred of the modern world, its obsession with science and invention and he invisioned a better world with its destruction. To him America was the example of this excessive modern culture that he thought was vulgur, materialistic, promiscuous, and totally without higher virtues. He believed the value of civilizations should be their universal truths and the worldviews they attain. To him civilization began with Muhammad, in the seventh century, and reached its peak in the Middle Ages, with its expansion by the Muslim armies.

He wasn't quiet with his views as he wrote twenty plus books.

Eventually, Qutb called all true Muslims to jihad, or Holy War, against jahiliyya‚Äö which is to say, against modernity, which America so powerfully represents. His ideas led to his execution in 1966 when he refused to renounce his jihad in exchange for mercy offered by Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser.

However, that wasn't the end. His influence directly contributed to Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Mohammed Atta (9/11 hijacker ), and numerous others. Source

See 2016

2001 George W. Bush sworn in as the 43rd President of the U. S.


Columbine High School in Colorado on April 20, 1999, Seniors Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 12 students, Dave Sanders (teacher), and injured 24 students. Before Mr. Sanders was killed he warned hundreds of students in the cafeteria who ran before the shooters reached their. His actions are belived to have saved many lives.

Charlton Heston's response to the Columbine Massacre was the NRA's Keynote Speech in May 1999. Speech text source, Speech video.

See Sandy Hook 2012, NRA 1977.


Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 signed by President Bill CLinton.

The largest crime bill in the history of the United States noted as tough on crime. It expanded the death penalty, encouraged longer prison sentences, mass incarceration, federal three strikes and out, funded 100,000 additional police officers, and eliminated federal funding for inmate education. Source

Clinton crime bill: Why is it so controversial?

1993 William Clinton sworn in as the 42nd President of the U. S.


Rodney King verdict and Los Angeles riots.

  • 862 buildings destroyed
  • $1 billion in damage
  • 8,000 arrests
  • 2,000 injuries
  • more than 50 defaths the majority black


Is Rodney King to Blame? Created by Restine Jackson rap video explicit language

1989 George Bush sworn in as the 41st President of the U. S.


First climate change legislation

Global Climate Protection Act (P.L. 100-204) was signed into law in 1987 by Ronald Reagan the first federal climate change legislation. It authorized the State Department to develop an approach to address global warming and established an intergovernmental task force to develop a national strategy.

In 1988, California governor George Deukmejian and New Jersey governor Thomas Kean signed the first state laws designed to respond to climate change.

None of these laws were capable of solving the problem or reversing the threat of climate change.

Source The Challenges of U.S. Climate Governance by Barry G. Rabe

United States V. Stanley (experiment without consent)

In 1958 while James Stanley was in the Army he, unknowingly, was given LSD along with 1 000 others as a chemical warfare experiment. After which, he experienced medical problems, personal and family problems, acted violently, and was unable to work. He never knew why until the Army asked him to participate in a follow-up study. He sued and the Supreme Court dismissed his claim (5 - 4) in 1987. Majority claimed he could not sue the government for such a claim. A strong dissent by Justices Thurgood Marshall, William Brennan and Sandra Day O’Conner argued the Nuremberg Code applies to soldiers as well as civilians and "... consent of human subjects is absolutely essential ... to satisy moral , ethical, and legal concepts." Source


Bayer drug company continued to ship AIDS tainted medicine. 2 Paths of Bayer Drug in 80's: Riskier One Steered Overseas. By Walt Bogdanich & Eric Koli. May 22, 2003.


September 1983, Soviet Army Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov noticed an autonomous surveillance system alert identified an incoming U.S. nuclear missile attack. He refused to respond to it as an attack. Later it was identified as a terrible system malfunction. He very likely stopped a nuclear holocaust.


MTV and Black artists:

AT&T antitrust suit

This was the second AT&T antitrust suit. In 1949, AT&T was a nationwide service vital for national security and was exempt from antitrust regulations. However, in 1974 it was sued under the Sherman Antitrust law and on January 8, 1982, it was ordered to the breakup. The parent company, Ma Bell was ordered to spinoff its local calling services and create what was called Baby Bells. The parent company would hold on to its long distance business and be allowed to move into computer and Internet businesses. Source & more

AT&T was formed by JP Morgan. In 1913, it settled its first anti-trust suit with the US government, which established the company as an officially sanctioned communication monopoly based on Alexander Graham Bell’s technology as outlined in the Kingsbury Commitment. Part of the agreement required AT&T to sell off its control of Western Union. To increase their communication empire they purchased the patent for the De Forest vacuum tube amplifier in 1915 and expanded into wireless technologies. This created obstacles for competitors. As AT&T grew larger it created a research and development arm in 1925 - Bell Telephone Labs. AT&T’s monopoly profits were invested in Bell Labs and it produced 1 000's of inventions and patents. One of Bell Lab's inventions was the transistor in 1947, which resulted from a major investment of research to replace the vacuum tube.

AT&T tried to avoid another antitrust suit in the early 1950's by selling licenses for its new discovery. General Electric, Raytheon, RCA, and Sylvania, used theiri transistor licenses to create military applications. This fear of an anititrust suit resulted in an extraordinary sharing of this technology.

In 1956, the Justice Department limited AT&T from computer-related activities except for sales to the military and for its own telephone switching equipment and required it to give up its remaining transistor patents.

Motorola, Texas Instruments and Fairchild took advantage of AT&T’s transistor technology to mass produce transistors. Also important for expanding transistor technology was the nuclear arms race with the USSR and the goal to land on the Moon, both lead to advances in computer technologies.


The first women Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, and served from 1981 until 2006. Source.

1981 Ronald Reagan sworn in as the 40th President of the U. S.


Micro Computers and the infancy of the tech revolution.


Voyger 1

Was launched 9-5, 1977 and still going ...

  • Took the famous blue dot photo 2, in 1990;
  • It became the most distant human made object on 2-17, 1998; when it crossed the termination shock;
  • It past the reach of the solar wind on 2-13, 2010;
  • Rached interstellar space 8-25, 2012.

Pale Blue Dot image

Photo of Earth taken by VOyager 1 between Uranus and Neptune. Original: NASA JP

NRA National Rifle Association was found in 1871 as a gun safety, marksmenship training, and shooting for recreation organization. It even helped write laws to restrict gun use until 1977 when its membership voted to change to a pro gun and anti gun control organization. Change that advocated for the second ammendment right to bear arms and later to rationalize the use of guns for personal protection from violence and oppose any restrictions on gun usage. Source

See Columbine 1999.

1977 James Carter sworn in as the 39th President of the U. S.

1974 Gerald Ford sworn in as the 38th President of the U. S.


Roe V. Wade

A person may choose to have an abortion until a fetus becomes viable, based on the right to privacy contained in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Viability means the ability to live outside the womb, which usually happens between 24 and 28 weeks after conception. Source


Birth Control available to all women not just married women.

William Baird was convicted for giving a woman a contraceptive foam at the close of his lecture to students on contraception.

MA law sated:

"... first, married persons may obtain contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, but only from doctors or druggists on prescription; second, single persons may not obtain contraceptives from anyone to prevent pregnancy; and, third, married or single persons may obtain contraceptives from anyone to prevent not pregnancy, but the spread of disease."

Later the court found

" a second and more compelling ground for upholding the statute" -- namely, to protect morals through "regulating the private sexual lives of single persons."

The supreme court in Eisenstadt v. Baird found the statute, viewed as a prohibition on contraception per se, violates the rights of single persons under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment...


Tom Bradley, became the first Black Mayor of a major American city with a major white population and diverse population, Los Angeles in 1972.

Source Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race (3:42).

Tom Bradley biography

Watergate break in. Led to a President Nixon resignation August 8, 1974

  • President Nixon begins cover up.
  • John Dean testifies to congress about blackmail for cover up.
  • Butterfield discloses that listening devices recorded conversations in the White House
  • Nixon bans Washington Post reporters from the White House
  • Nixon fires Department of Justice involved in investigation (Saturday night Massacre),
  • Tapes obtained, July 1974
  • Bipartisan vote to impeach
  • Nixon resigns on August 8, 1974 before a Senate trial to remove him from office.


War on Drugs

Speech given by Richard Nixon on June 17, 1971 didn't include the words war on drugs. It did include:

"In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive."

and asked for a budget increase ($155 million) to spend for drug abuse, both in enforcement and treatment. Source

Ronald Reagan doubled down in 1976.

See Jay Z's video "The War on Drugs is an Epic Fail"

Lewis F. Powell, Supreme Court Justice, writes a memo on August 23, 1971 to: Mr. Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr., Chairman, Education Committee, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He complains participation in the U.S. democracy has extended to groups that are making demands beyond what is healthy for a capitalist economy. Therefore, the rich must take back control of the country.

Memo: Attack on American Free Enterprise System. From: Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

City planning, Portland, Oregon. 1971 - present

Has a long history of city planning. Starting in the 1880's Oregonian farmers moved by outsider control of their economy formed a populist movement. Over the next decades they influenced Oregonian politics that resulted in a series of government reforms that created, initiatives, referendums, direct primary elections, municipal home rule, a 10-hour workday for women, and a corrupt practices act. As a result a tradition of participatory democracy was created in the citizens of Portland.

  • 1968 The first city in which a major freeway was removed and not replaced.
  • 1950-1960 Portland City's Neighborhood Associations (NA's) emerged and became a strong factor for Portland's citizens democratic participation in government.
  • 1976 Freeway Revolt. Freeway was cancelled and light rail system, bus system, and arterial streets improved.
  • 1979 Urban Growth Boundaries (UGB) were created.
  • 1979 The first and only directly-elected regional government in the US, Metro Council, was created and given power to govern over an area with 27 jurisdictions (25 cities and 3 counties) in the metropolitan Portland region. An idea not implemented anywhere else in the country.
  • 1992 The Metropolitan Greenspaces Master Plan was adopted for spaces within the UGB.
  • 1992-1994 the 2040 Growth Concept was created.
  • 2000 Portland City Government created the Office of Sustainable Development (OSD) Among its achievements are: the support and development of the green building movement, and CO2 emissions reduction, waste reduction, energy, and recycling.

Source with additional information

Greenpeace 1971 +

Bob Hunter one of the founders of Greenpeace is significant for the success of the organization with his idea of planting media mindbombs. The idea of going viral before the internet. Significant mindbombs that introduced the public to Greenpeace and continued to provide support for the organization.

  • 1971, Anchoring a ship off the Island of Amchitka, Alaska in an attempt to stop the testing of a 5 megaton nuclear bomb. While not successful in stopping the test it was an important event that brought enough political pressure to cause the Amchitka Program to be canceled.
  • 1975, Save the whale campaign focused on the Russian fleet of California and provided a mindbomb of a Soviet catcher shipfiring a grenade harpoon over the heads of two activists into a sperm whale. Influenced a moratoreum on whaling. Source
  • 1975, Images of seals being clubbed on Orkney Island. Results in bans to seal harvest.
  • More success on Greenpeace's timeline of successes. Greenpeace International 1979.


"If we wait for the meek to inherit the Earth, there won't be anything to inherit."

Bob Hunter


The Kent State Massacre occured on Kent State University campus in Kent, Ohio. S Students were protesting the Cambodian Campaign, announced by President Richard Nixon on April 30. Unarmed protesters, students walking nearby, and some distant observers were shot by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis. Source.

Free agency and Curt Flood

Curt Flood ball card

Curt Flood sued Major League Baseball to challenge their reserve clause. The reserve clause was created by baseball team owners in the 1880s, to deny players the right to negotiate with other teams. When he was involved in a trade he wrote the Commissioner of Baseball, Bowie Kuhn, and stated.

"I do not regard myself as a piece of property to be bought or sold,"

His challenge initially failed in court and basically ended his career. However, the court agreed with him in their ruling.

"... Flood should have the right be a free agent, but that baseball's antitrust exemption could only be removed by an act of Congress and that free agency for players should be attained through collective bargaining."

Five years later free agency was achieved in baseball through collective bargaining and later in the same way in other sports. It was a symbolic victory for individual rights in society at large. Jessi Jackson said...

"Baseball didn't change Curt Flood. Curt Flood changed baseball. He fought the good fight."



Stonewall riots,or Stonewall uprising June 28, 1969

Nine policemen entered the Stonewall Inn, arrested the employees for selling alcohol without a license, roughed up many of its patrons, cleared the bar, and in accordance with a New York criminal statute that authorized the arrest of anyone not wearing at least three articles of gender-appropriate clothing‚Äö took several people into custody. It was the third such raid on Greenwich Village gay bars in a short period. About 400 people outside didn't disperse and instead confronted the police. The riots waxed and waned for the next five days.

The uprising against police harassment and social discrimination suffered by American lesbians, gays, and transgender people is considered by many to be a uniting force for gay rights in the manner of the civil rights and feminist movements.

  • In 1999 the U.S. National Park Service put the Stonewall Inn on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • In 2016 President Barack Obama designated the site of the Stonewall uprising a national monument.


SWAT 1969, 1971, 1994.

Special weapons and tactics concept originated as a result of several sniping incidents in Los Angeles during and after the Watts Riot. John Nelson presented the idea to Darryl F. Gates who approved 15 four-man teams on an as needed basis.

On December 9th, 1969 search warrants for illegal weapons were served at the Black Panther Party Headquarters. The members present resisted resulting in a shoot out with the 40 member SWAT Team. In the four-hour siege, thousands of rounds of ammunition were fired, wounding three Panther Party members and three SWAT members before Panther members surrendered.

In 1971, SWAT was assigned on a full-time basis to respond to subversive groups.


Before 1967 it was legal to carry firearms in public in California. However, as governor, Ronald Reagan, signed the Mulford Act into law in 1967, which prohibited the general carrying of firearms in public. It was the most sweeping gun law in the country. Later as president he issued an executive order to ban the importation of some types of shotguns, and later supported the Brady Bill, and a Ban on Assault Weapons in 1994.

1969 Richard Nixon sworn in as the 37th President of the U. S.


Fair Housing Act to protect individuals and families from discrimination in the sale, rental, financing, or advertising of housing. Source

Matrin Luther King was assassinated April 4, 1968. Source

1968 Olympics 200 m award ceremony

World Olympics 200 m award ceremony in Mexico City, Mexico.

From left to right. Australian Peter Norman and Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos protest against racial discrimination in the United States of America. They were barefoot and listened to their national anthem with their heads bowed and black gloved fists raised. October, 1968.

Photo by Angelo Cozzi (Mondadori Publishers) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



See part one of a two part article: A Courageous Stand. August 5, 1991 in Sports Illustrated.

See: Frozen Fists in Speed City: The Statue as Twenty-First- Century Reparations by Maureen Margaret Smith


Tragedy of the Commons

Garrett Hardin writes his Tragedy of the Commons to describe the dilemma of managing resources held in common. He explains how herders who seek to increase profits will increase herd size; and without collective cooperative social pressure, they will over graze a common range. Which, will exceed capacity causing livestock to suffer and production to fall and maybe eventually fail. Therefore, seeking to maximize individual production for individual profit, instead of the collective well being of the population and environment, will result in no rancher to be able to graze the field, due to overconsumption, hence tragedy.

Over the years this idea expands to land to provide food, shelter, aesthetic value, watershed for quality water to sustain agriculture and human health, healthy oceans, clean atmosphere with balanced amounts of oxygen nitrogen, carbon dioxide, life sustaining climate, transportation, intellectual knowledge rights, and whatever is necessary for a quality life. Source


June 1966 in Greenwood, Mississippi, Stokely Carmichael first used the phrase Black Power. Source


Voting Rights Act Source

Birth Control made legal for married couples in 1965.

Sex Education and Birth Control: Margaret Sanger's contributions:

"No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother."Margaret Sanger

"Every child should be a wanted child." Margaret Sanger

  • Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision in 1965 made birth control legal for married couples.
  • Margaret Sanger recruited Gregory Pincus, a human reproduction expert, to develop a birth control pill with financial support from Katharine McCormick. This resulted in the first oral contraceptive, Enovid, approved by the FDA in 1960.
  • Margaret Sanger established the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952.
  • In 1936, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled to allow birth control devices and related materials to be imported.
  • Sanger started the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control in 1929. They sought to make it legal for doctors to freely distribute birth control.
  • Sanger established the American Birth Control League, a precursor to today's Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1921.
  • Margaret Sanger promoted birth control, a term she invented, when she opened the first birth control clinic in the United States in 1916. She and her sister were arrested and jailed for 30 days based on breaking the Comstock law. On appeal the court overturned the verdict to allow doctors to prescribe contraception to female patients for medical reasons.
  • Margaret Sanger returned to the United States in 1915, after charges against her were dropped.
  • In 1914, She started a publication: The Woman Rebel, it declared a woman's right to birth control. At the time it was a crime to distribute obscene and immoral materials related to contraception. Rather than face a possible five-year jail sentence, she fled to England.
  • She also dreamed of a pill to control pregnancy.
  • She fought to make birth control information and contraceptives available, which was against the Comstock Act (see 1873).
  • As a nurse she treated a number of women who had undergone back-alley abortions or tried to self-terminate their pregnancies.
  • Margaret Sanger started her campaign to educate women about sex in 1912 with a newspaper column: What Every Girl Should Know.


Sputnik launched by Russia


Civil Rights Act. Source

Abington School District v. Schempp

The United States Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that " ... no state law or school board may require that passages from the Bible be read or that the Lord's Prayer be recited in the public schools of a State at the beginning of each school day -- even if individual students may be excused from attending or participating in such exercises upon written request of their parents." Source

Vietnam Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Authorized the President Eisenhower to take military action in Vietnam without a declaration of war. Wayne Morse and Ernest Gruening were the only senators who opposed the controversial Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Source

New York Times v. Sullivan

The Court held the First Amendment protects newspapers even when they print false statements, as long as the newspapers did not act with actual malice.

The case involved an advertisement published in March 1960 that describedthe oppression of African Americans in Montgomery, Alabama and asked for contributions to support the struggle to end racial segregation in the South. Source

16 October 3 pm China detonated its first atomic bomb and announces its policy of no first use in a conflict.

Qian Xuesen was born in China. Received a scholarship to MIT gained a security clearance and worked on classified weapons research in the U.S. During the Red scare the FBI revoked his clearance and put him under house arrest. He returned to China and worked on their nuclear weapon program, ballistic missle program, aerodynamics, and systems engineering to control social science and engineering problems (Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River). Setting the stage for state ran surveillance to control reality later in 2016. Source


Lincoln memorial M L K Dream Speech

Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous, "I Have a Dream Speech" (August 28, 1963) to a massive group of civil rights marchers at the Lincoln memorial in Washington DC.



1963 Lyndon Johnson sworn in as the 35th President of the U. S.


U.S. Marshals escort James MeredithJames Meredith became the first African American to enroll in the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). It took Supreme Court rulings and 538 fedral law enforcement officers made up of, Federal Marshalls, U. S. Deputies, and U.S. Border Patrol agents to enroll and provide 24 hour protection until Meredith graduated, August 1963. During the year 160 Deputies were injured, 28 by gunfire and some received harassing phone calls and threatening letters for years after. Source: Read the story of these courageous and unheralded law enforcement officials.


Berlin wall is built, Bay of Pigs, Cairo, Egypt riots.

December 1961. President Kennedy authorized the use of defoliants in Vietnam.

Bus carrying Freedom Riders is fire-bombed on Mother's Day near Anniston, Alabama on May 14, 1961. Source

Yuri Gagarin was the first human launched into space aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft
And orbited the Earth on April 12, 1961.

1961 John F. Kennedy sworn in as the 35th President of the U. S.


The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Yates v. United States that the First Amendment protects radical and reactionary speech, unless it poses a clear and present danger.


First televised presidential debate between two Democratic primary contenders Adlai Stevenson and Estes Kefauver. Four years before Kennedy Nixon debate.


Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white person. December 1955.

Emmett Till, a 14 year old black boy was kidnapped and murdered by a group of white men in Mississippi in August 1955. The jury of the two men who murdered Emmett declareed them not guilty. The case and open casket photo of Emmett in Jet magazine contributed to the civil rights movement. Source Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case.

1954 -1980

Eyes on the Prize are documentary videos that recounts the fight to end decades of discrimination and segregation. It is the story of the people -- young and old, male and female, northern and southern -- who, compelled by a meeting of conscience and circumstance, worked to eradicate a world where whites and blacks could not go to the same school, ride the same bus, vote in the same election or participate equally in society. A world where peaceful demonstrators were met with resistance and brutality ... Source

Programs in the series:

  • Awakenings (1954-1956)
  • Fighting Back (1957-1962)
  • Ain't Scared of Your Jails (1960-1961)
  • No Easy Walk (1961-1963)
  • Mississippi: Is This America? (1963-1964)
  • Bridge to Freedom (1965)
  • The Time Has Come (1964-66)
  • Two Societies (1965-68)
  • Power! (1966-68)
  • The Promised Land (1967-68)
  • Ain't Gonna Shuffle No More (1964-72)
  • A Nation of Law? (1968-71)
  • The Keys to the Kingdom (1974-80)
  • Back to the Movement (1979-mid 80s)


Brown vs. Board of Education Topeka.

Black girl goint to all white school 1954A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of black parents in Topeka, Kansas whose children were required to attend segregated schools for black students. Their attorney, Thurgood Marshall, challenged the doctrine of, separate but equal, created in 1896 by the Supreme Court ruling in Plessy vs. Ferguson.

The equal protection ruling in Brown was later applied to laws and rulings for the right of equal access to public and political areas for all. See Education timeline 1954


President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued an executive order that led to the termination of 10,450 federal employees for being gay.

1953 Dwight Eisenhower sworn in as the 34th President of the U. S.


First time a politician uses TV to appeal to the voters Richard M. Nixon, runs as Eisenhower's Vice President gives what will be known as his Checkers speech, after a dog, Checkers, given to the family as a gift. Nixon is accused of spending money from a campaign fund created by his backers to reimburse him for his political expenses. In his speech he claims his innocence.


Levittown is a legend in American suburban living.

Abraham Levitt and sons broke ground in 1947 in Nassau County, Long Island. Within a few years the farmland had become a modern suburban community housing thousands of families along with two others in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

These communities represented hope for suburban living for millions of Americans in the 1950s. But underneath the uniform development was also one of exclusion, segregation and persecution as black Americans were excluded from purchasing homes in a variety of ways. By owners not selling to nonwhite, refusal of FHA and VA not approving loans to blacks, zoning laws, and discriminatory homeowner agreements. Source

More on government segregation read: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. by Richard Rothstein.


Shelley v. Kraemer ruled people can not conspire to restrict sale of property to minorities. Color of Law cover

The Supreme Court ruled States abstained from action, leaving private individuals free to impose discriminatory actions. States have not made available full coercive power of government to deny to buyers, on the grounds of race or color, to purchase property they are able to acquire and others are willing to sell. Such state action is discriminatory and in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Source

More on government segregation read: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. by Richard Rothstein.


Jackie Robinson and integration of baseball

April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson stepped onto Ebbets Field in Brooklyn as the first African American player in Major League Baseball. The color barrier was broken and the face of sports began to change.

Jackie Robinson, "There is always going to be a price to pay for any rebel sound that challenges oppression. If you showed anything that suggested dignity and necessarily you believed in equality you were immediately undesirable. Be a good nigger."

Rachel Robinson, "He couldn't continue to be silent and to be subordinant. He had to be himself and he had to represent the race as well as himself."

Jackie Robinson," As long as I appeared to ignore insult and injury, I was a martered hero, but the minute I began to argue, the minute I began to sound off. I became a swell head, a wise guy, an uppity nigger. When the white player did it he had spirit. When the black player did it, he was ungrateful. I was a fine guy until I began to change. Jackie Robinson."


Jack Robinson struggled with how to best help African Americans gain equality. He found he could not be complacent, sit back, and be greatful for what he had. He struggled with the idea of integration at the expense of Negro institutions. The importance of business, economic, and political gains necessary to gain equality. How to be aggressive without being violent. Understanding law and order as a means to hold back Blacks. Check sources for his endeavers in business: Choc full o'Nuts Coffee,New York and Presidential politics. Sources

The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947

Significantly weakened the Wagner Act (1935). It was passed by a Republican controlled Congress over the veto of Democratic Pres. Harry S. Truman.

It prohibits a closed shop (requires union membership as a condition of employment), allows states to prohibit the agency shop (requires non union members to pay a bargaining fee to the union), narrowed the definition of unfair labour practices, specified unfair union practices, and other provisions.

To enact the prohibition of agency shop states enacted so-called right to work laws, which banned both closed and agency shops.

Later the Landrum-Griffin Act (1959), banned secondary boycotts and limited the right to picket.


Truman Doctrine March 1947

President Truman told Congress of threats to the governments in Athens, Greece and Ankara, Turkey and suggested no other country had the means to help them. He declared

"it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures."

This policy became known as the Truman Doctrine and lead to rebuilding war-torn Europe and later Japan, Greece, and Turkey.

In later years it may have contributed to the U. S. entering the Vietnam war and conflicts in Iran, Guatemala, Congo, Chile, and the invasion of Cuba. President Dwight Eisenhower also suggested the doctrine lead to an over emphasis on militaristic solutions.


July 16 - at 5:29:45 a.m. the Manhattan Project's Trinity test successfully detonates the first atomic bomb in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Senate ratifies the UN Charter 89-2.

1945 Harry Truman sworn in as the 33rd President o.f the U S.


Smith vs. Allwright Overturned Texas primary of whites only voting in

Thurgood Marshall argues that the Texas Democratic Party's policy of prohibiting Blacks from voting in primary elections violated the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. The Supreme Court ruled it did. In its explanation on June 12, 1944, it claimed:

  1. The United States is a constitutional democracy.
  2. It gives all citizens a right to participate in the election of officials without restriction of race.
  3. The restricted primary denied Smith equal protection accorded by the Fourteenth Amendment.
  4. The right of choice shall not be nullified by the state allowing racial discrimination with the electoral process conducted by a private organization (Democratic Party).
  5. The state of Texas, delegated its authority to the Democratic Party to regulate its primaries, thereby, allowing discrimination to be practiced, which was unconstitutional.


Space age

The V-2 missile is fired successfully from Peenemund island off Germany’s Baltic coast. Overseen by German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.


Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht)

November 9, 1938, violence against Jews was escalated. It was staged as an unplanned protest in response to the assassination of a German official in Paris by a Jewish teenager. However, it was organized and in two days, over 250 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted, dozens of Jewish people were killed, Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes were looted while police and fire brigades stood by.

The next morning 30,000 German Jewish men were arrested for being Jewish and sent to concentration camps. Some Jewish women were also arrested and jailed. Businesses, owned by Jews, were not allowed to reopen unless they were managed by non-Jews. Curfews were placed on Jews, limiting the hours of the day they could leave their homes.

German and Austrian Jewish children and teenagers were barred from entering museums, public playgrounds, and swimming pools, and expelled from public schools.

Seven days later the U.S. recalled their ambassador. Source



Court rulings and labor

March 29, 1937, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Minimum Wage Act of the State of Washington.

April 12, 1937, the Supreme Court upheld the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 that created the National Labor Relations Board and empowered it to prevent unfair labor practices under its commerce clause authority. Industry argued it regulated all industry, including local industry, and thus invaded the reserved powers of States. But the Court expanded federal commerce and found the law constitutional.

May 24, 1937, the Court ruled in favor of Social Security Act. That the program does not coerce the States to violate the Tenth Amendment or that the federal government is restricted to care for the aged, widowed, children, and handicapped.



Keynesian economics

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) published,The General Theory Of Employment, Interest And Money. In it he claims an aggregate demand created by households, businesses and the government is the driving force of an economy. Not a free market system. Free markets have no balancing force to create stability and full employment. He believed a stalled economy or recession could be altered by stimulating demand with government expenditures and lower taxes. Therefore, only government policies and government intervention could achieve full employment and economic stability across time.

Hoover Dam (previously Boulder Dam) is a concrete arch-gravity dam on the Colorado River, between Nevada and Arizona. It was a project created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. It was begun in 1931 and completed in 1936. Its was involved thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. Naming the dam after President Herbert Hoover was controversial.

First Green Book published: The Black Travelers’ Guide to Jim Crow America.

"For nearly 30 years, a guide called the “Negro Motorist Green Book” provided African Americans with advice on safe places to eat and sleep when they traveled through the Jim Crow-era United States." Source

1935 - 1938 ... 1950

Green cities and cooperative planning in government

Roosevelt formed the Resettlement Administration and named Rexford G. Tugwell director in 1935. This administration created many programs, one the Greenbelt town program. The purpose of this program was a combination of a back to the land program and suburban planning for self-sufficient cooperative (where producers and consumers are one) communities.

100 cities were studied for their economic character and population changes and eight were initially selected. When President Roosevelt authorized $31,000,000, the pool of cities was narrowed to three: Greenbelt, Maryland; Greenhills, Ohio; and Greendale, Wisconsin.

Description of Greenbelt, Maryland

Greenbelt, was constructed from 1936 to 1938 by thousands of laborers, through the New Deal programs. Clarence S. Stein was a consultant and created design guidelines. Later Stein worked to preserve the town as an example of socially and environmentally responsible community design that could be a prototype for future desgins.

Designs that combined superblocks of houses and apartments that had pedestrian walkways through communal green space which joined to a central area with commercial and recreational structures separate from roads for automobile travel.

In addition, the federal government promoted cooperative enterprises and associations in Greenbelt as a way to foster affordability and an enduring sense of community. While the cooperative nature of the towns were deemed a failure, the physical layout of the town was replicated by private developers. Source

The residential and commercial centers were ready for citizens to move in 1937. The three projects included 2 267 family units and complete community facilities, at a final cost of over $36,000,000.

Community members established consumer cooperatives that paid limited dividends and provided consumer goods at a savings. Credit unions were available and group medical services were provided at $1. a month a person, or $3. for a family. City council and town manager were elected, but could only make suggestions to the Farm Security Administration, (F.S.A.) This eventually created serious conflicts and inability to act in a timely manner that contributed to failure. They were also restricted by congress not allowing them to create a cooperative for industrial purposes.

In the initial years community members met and formed many cooperatives and argued for self-sufficiency. Rejected use of federal money to build a recreational center and other projects. Formed cooperatives, among them a supermarket cooperative that sold food 9% cheaper than most markets and paid 3.8% dividends to 65% of the community members who purchased shares.

M. L. Wilson and Tugwell believed the New Deal communities would epitomize cooperation as the new alternative to the economic insecurity and chaos of the past. Invisioned that cooperative planning would run as a New England town meeting, frontier town, farmer's cooperative, or rural power cooperative and would be successful for these communities; and indeed they were initially.

Tugwell tried to move Roosevelt beyond city planning, subsistence homesteads, garden cities, farm colonies, and a back-to-the-land movement to a full commitment of national economic planning, land use management, conservation, and national agricultural planning. He was hopeful government could organize the sheep instead of aiding the wolves. However, Harold Ickes, disliked decentralized administration and abolished all local control completely federalizing these programs.

Additionally, Greenbelt communities were continously criticized by many who were involved in banking, lending, real estate, construction, and the Chamber of Commerce among others. With the New York American Newspaper calling them the first communist towns.

In 1935 the court ruled the whole Emergency Relief Act was unconstitutional as it was in opposition of state's rights and there was no constitutional power for the government to regulate housing or to resettle populations. The Attorney General ruled the decision applied only to the Greenbrook project.

Tugwell wanted to divest the communities from the federal government, but the number of citizens in each was not sufficient to make it feasible.Thus the Greenbrook project went out of existece in 1935, Tugwell resigned in 1936, and the communities remained under the resettlement program which became part of the Department of Agriculture.

At the critical period of initial development (1937-38), New Deal community opponents used the problems of the communities as propaganda to urge Congress to investigate the Farm Security Administration in 1943.

When the enterprises were financial failures and shut down, the technical experts agreed it was because of poor management, not lack of cooperation of the community members. They blamed the Farm Security Administration, with large investments, of being afraid to turn the cooperative associations over to inexperienced community members. Resulting in the loss of cooperation as managers made the important decisions.

What could be learned from these programs is: a cooperative society needs collective detailed economic, political, and social planning achieved only with slow hard work and costly sacrifices. These ideas seemed at the time far too radical for most Americans as they ignored these virtues and emphasized shortcomings and negatively framed them as New Deal communities that were destroying the American profit system.

In 1952 Greenbelt was sold to a private cooperative. A cooperative requires a critical mass of membership and democratic involvement to oversee its workings and investments and maintain their effectiveness. When there is a large population turnover and new members are not made aware of the necessary culture or people's interests change, cooperatives fall apart.


Bryn Gweled A democratic community run cooperatively since 1939.

" ... the cooperative method of community planning, complete with self-built housing endeavers is a possible economic and social solution." Julia Hessel Maddox 1978.


Huey Pierce Long

Used fiery oratory, irreverent speech, and unconventional buffoonery to rally support from poor and rural citizens of Louisiana to get elected Governor of Louisiana. He improved the state with public works and welfare legislation that included: free textbooks, improved roads, bridges, state universities, state hospital, and provided social services for poor whites. All that had been neglected by the wealthy elite who previously controlled state government.

He funded these with increased inheritance taxes, income taxes and a tax on oil. His supporters ignored the ruthless autocratic methods he used that dictated change to the legislature, with intimidation and illegal actions, which denied citizens any legal or electoral redress. He replaced the elected lieutenant governor, abolished local government, took control of all educational, police, and fire job appointments throughout the state, gained control of the state militia, judiciary, and the election and tax-assessing apparatus.

He was elected to the U. S. Senate and continued his practices at the state level and expanded them to the national level begining to unify factions from both parties to gain power.

However, he was assassinated by Carl Austin Weiss, the son of a man whom he had denigrated. His political dynasty continued with his brother, Earl K. Long, as governor (1939‚Äö 1940, 1948‚Äö 1952, 1956‚Äö 1960), and his son, Russell B. Long, as U.S. Senator from 1948 to 1987.


Wagner Act

Was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on July 5, 1935.

It created the National Labor Relations Board to deal with relations between unions and employers in the private sector and guarantee basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions and engage in collective bargaining of terms and conditions of work. It excluded government employees, employees covered by the Railway Labor Act, supervisors, agricultural, and domestic workers. Since many agricultural and domestic workers were minority it can be claimed these exclusions were racially biassed. See also Taft-Hartly Act 1947.


The Social Security Act of 1935 was an complex bill, with 11 titles authorizing 7 different programs, one - Title II was the program we commonly think of as Social Security today. It did not cover about half the workers in the US. It excluded agricultural and domestic workers among which a large percentage were African Americans. This has led some to conclude it as deliberate because of prevailing racial biases at the time. Source


Arthurdale homestead community for vocational reeducation, subsistence living, and cooperative store

The Reedsville Project, later named Arthurdale after Richard Arthur, from whom the land was purchased, was begun in 1934 as a homestead community. Land was purchased, residents were selected, homes constructed, then more residents were selected, and more homes constructed‚Äö until there were 165 homes, several community buildings, and a school complex spread across approximately 1 200 acres in rural Preston County, WV. Today, most of the community buildings still stand and most are part of the New Deal Homestead Museum.


Black Cabinet

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president as a member of the Democratic party. Southern members of the party were supported segregation and opposed a federal anti-lynching law as an infringement on state's rights. In spite of this FDR repealed restrictions within the federal government, enacted by Woodrow Wilson.

He appointed more blacks to government positions of responsibility than any previous president. By 1935 there were some 45 African Americans working in federal executive departments and New Deal agencies. Collectively they advised the President and Eleanor Roosevelt on African Americans needs, which had been ignored since the death of Lincoln. The press referred to this informal group as the Black Cabinet and the Black Brain Trust. Together with Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt they moved the federal government from a racist position and ignoring Black Americans. Some achievements include.

  • In 1935, the WPA employed approximately 350,000 African Americans a year, about 15% of its total workforce.
  • The CCC enrolled more than 350,000 before it was shut down in 1942. Percentage of blacks increased from about 3% in 1933 to more than 11% in 1938.
  • The National Youth Administration, under the direction of Aubrey Williams, hired more black administrators than any other New deal agency. And it assisted more than 300,000 Africa American youth during the Depression.
  • In 1934, the PWA inserted a clause in all government construction contracts that established a quota for the hiring of black laborers.
  • The Federal Music Project funded performances of black composers.
  • The Federal Theatre and Writing Projects hired and featured the work of hundreds of African American artists.
  • The New Deal's educational programs taught over 1 million illiterate blacks to read and write and increased the number of African American children in primary school.
  • FDR was the first president to appoint an African American as a federal judge, William H. Hastie to the United States District Court for the Virgin Islands.
  • First to promote a black man, Benjamin O. Davis, to the rank of Brigadier General in the Army. Who was the first black man to graduate from West Point where no cadet talked to him for his entire four years.
  • FDR was the first president to publicly call lynching murder, "a vile form of collective murder".
  • FDR's administration tripled the number of Africa Americans working for the federal government and under his leadership, and the strong support of Eleanor Roosevelt, the Democrats included the first specific African American plank in the party platform at the 1936 convention.


The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was established on January 1, 1934; and since then, no one has lost insured funds. FDIC insured bank accounts up to $100,000. The Bush Administration changed those levels to $250,000 in 2008.

First political consulting company founded in CA, U.S.

Clem Whitaker and Leone Baxter, a husband-and-wife team, found Campaigns Inc. They work for mostly Republican candidates who support conservative idea. Their first campain was against Upton Sinclair in 1934 who ran for Governor of California, which they portrayed negatively as a socialist. They developed strategies to reframe political issues that revolutionized politics and strategies that are widely used in today's campaigns: buying ads from multiple medias and direct-mail campaigns.

In 1945 Earl Warren proposed compulsory health insurance in California and 1946 Harry Truman proposed a national program both to be funded by a payroll tax were also defeated by Whitaker and Baxter and the AMA. Source

1933, 1935, 1942

Rural electric cooperatives

In 1935 nine out of 10 rural homes were without electric service. Cows were milked by hand in the dim light of a kerosene lantern. Food was prepared on wood stoves and clothes washed by hand with a washboard. The lack of electricity in rural areas meant economies were based on primative agricultural methods with towns limited to attracting factories and businesses that required electric power.

In May 1933, the electrification program within the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Act was the first official act to provide rural Americans electrical power.

On May 11, 1935, Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 7037 that established the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). A year later the Rural Electrification Act was passed that authorized a lending program to fund electrical cooperatives.

False claims that electric cooperatives were hoarding copper wire during World War II brought leaders from different states together to defend themselves. against liable. This lead to America's electric cooperatives forming the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to provide a unified voice for cooperatives and to represent their interests in Washington, DC. in 1942.

Source Also good video that describes what cooperatives are and how they work (3:27).


Eleanor Roosevelt

On 6 March 1933, two days after becoming First Lady, she became the first to hold a press conference. It was the first of 348 press conferences, with nearly 35 women in attendance. She limited attendance to women for all except one. She did so to support women as political journalist, which major newspapers had to employ to have access to this news.


Tanscripts of all conferences

Bank holiday

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt announced a three-day bank holiday to stop the run on banks. When the banks were reopen, nearly 1 000 banks were saved.

1932 Franklin Roosevelt sworn in as the 32nd President of the U. S.


The Great Depression

  • From 1930-1933 100,000 people a week lost their job.
  • Many families didn't a means to provide for their own needs and became dependent on state and federal government for assistance.
  • 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt beccame the 32nd U.S. president. Francis Perkins
  • When FDR took office about 5000 banks had failed.
  • It is said he saved capitalism in 8 days.
  • He appointed the first women cabinet member Francis Perkins as Secretary of Labor. She said that on the day she witnessed the 1911Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire the New Deal was born.
  • FDR initiated the Fireside Chat to improve the emotional needs of the country.
  • Education relied on property taxes, which decreased as businesses failed and land values fell. Chicago in 1934 borrowed $22 million so it could pay teacher salaries owed for three years of work.

Dust Bowl

The Worst Hard Time book cover

While dust storms occured from 1930-1940. The weather was not the only factor the created these storms. The Homestead act, poor land management, increased rainfall in the 1920's, World War I and failure of wheat crops in Russia, increased price for wheat, high water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, combined to create the Dust Bowl. Source.

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Eagan is a outstanding book about the people of the Dust Bowl. Study questions.

First female U.S. Senator

Ophelia Wyatt Caraway was first women elected to the U. S. Senate who served a full term.


African American representation in Congress 1929+

Oscar Stanton De Priest, was the first African American elected to Congress in the 20th century and served from 1929-1935. His election challenged the status quo of segregation in the national capital, Washington D. C. He and his wife, Mrs. Jessie De Priest, struggled to be accepted and worked to get rid of segregation. Source

1945-1971, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. was elected from Harlem, New York City, and served in the United States House of Representatives from 1945 - 1971 (fourth African American elected after 1900). Prior to serving in the House he was elected to the New York City Council, in 1941, the first black council member. Source

Blacks were essentially excluded from politics until after civil rights legislation passed in the mid-1960s.

See also 1870+ African American representation in Congress after the Civil War

Saint Valentine's Day Massacre is the name given to the 1929 murder of seven men of the North Side Irish gang during the Prohibition Era. It was the first time bullet casings were used to identify a weapon used in a crime.

Stock Market Crash and bank failures of 1929

Economists debate if bank failures caused the Great Depression, or the Great Depression caused bank failures, but in 1929, 650 banks failed and by 1933, 11,000 of the nation's 25 000 banks had closed.

A run on American banks began immediately after the stock market crash of 1929. Hundreds of thousands of customers withdrew their deposits. With no money to lend and loans not being paid businesses and farmers went bankrupt and the crisis got worse.

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt announced a three-day bank holiday to stop the run on banks. When the banks were reopen, nearly 1 000 banks were saved.

On January 1, 1934, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was established, and since then, no one has lost insured funds. FDIC insured bank accounts up to $100,000. The Bush Administration changed those levels to $250,000 in 2008.

1929 Herbert Hoover sworn in as the 31st President of the U. S.


Mississippi Flood created big government?

Calvin Coolidge was president during the 1927 Mississippi Flood where more than 23 000 square miles (60 000 square km) of land was submerged, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced, and around 250 people died. Source

Coolidge believed service and public works were best provided by local and states government to the extent that he said ...

"If the federal government were to go out of existence, the common run of people would not detect the difference."

The legislative result of the flood was The Flood Control Act of 1928. Source

Charles Lindbergh flew nonstop from New York to Paris.


The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, The Snyder Act

The U.S. Congress passed the The Indian Citizenship Act, which provided citizenship for all Indians.

In 1927, the White House was occupied by a president who, like George W. Bush, had little use for activist government (at least at home): Calvin Coolidge. "If the federal government were to go out of existence," he said, "the common run of people would not detect the difference." Those services people needed, he thought, the states could best provide. Coolidge forged his views in the rural Vermont of his youth's landscape of homogenous Yankee communities that celebrated thrift, piety, and self-reliance. And while Coolidge's old-fashioned rectitude made him beloved in the wake of Warren Harding's Teapot Dome scandals, the president's philosophy was becoming increasingly ill-suited for 20th-century realities.


Equal Rights Amendment -

Alice Paul, and other suffragists, argued the nineteenth amendments alone would not end discrimination based upon sex. Paul drafted the Equal Rights Amendment and, in 1923, presented it as the "Lucretia Mott Amendment" at the 75th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention and the Declaration of Sentiments.

Later that same year it was introduced in the Congress. It has always been controversial regarding the meaning of equality for women. Spokesmen for the working class were strongly opposed, arguing employed women needed special protections regarding working conditions and hours. In 1972, it passed both houses of Congress and was submitted to the state legislatures for ratification. It seemed headed for quick approval until Phyllis Scholarly mobilized women in opposition, arguing it would disadvantage housewives. Congress had set a ratification deadline of March 22, 1979. By 1977, the amendment had 35 of the necessary 38 states needed for ratification. Five states later rescinded their ratifications before the 1979 deadline. In 1978, a joint resolution of Congress extended the ratification deadline to June 30, 1982, but no further states ratified the amendment and it died.

1923 Calvin Coolidge sworn in as the thirtieth President of the U. S.


First woman, Rebecca Felton, elected to the U.S. Senate in Georgia.

1921 Warren Harding sworn in as the twenty-ninth President of the U. S.


Nineteenth Amendment

Granted women throughout the United States the unabridged right to vote. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Alice Paul ... In England, Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, John Stuart Mill ...

Eighteenth Amendment (1920 - 1930)

Inititated a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages. The Volstead Act included the rules of enforcment and defined what alcoholic beverages were prohibited.

Passage was supported by rural Protestants and social Progressives in the Democratic and Republican parties, and facilitated by the Anti-Saloon League, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

Senate rejects U.S. participation in the League of Nations three times from 1919 - 1920.


First woman, Jeannette Rankin, elected to the House of Representatives. Elected in Montana in 1916 began serving in 1917; four years before women won the right to vote nationally. See Nineteenth Amendment

Fall of the OttomansThe Sykes-Picot Agreement (Asia Minor Agreement) , is secretly agreed to by the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire, between November 1915 and March 1916. It is based on the premise the Ottoman Empire would be defeated. It is made public in November 1917. It partitioned the Ottoman Empire into several Islamic states each with a very diverse cultural which becomes starts conflict that still endures. Source The Fall of the Ottomans (2015). E. Rogan

1913 Woodrow Wilson sworn in as the twenty-eighth President of the U. S.


Book cover

The Great Migration, begins in 1915 and lasts until 1970.

Six million people migrated out of the south moving north and west seeking equal treatment, economic opportunities, and a better life. It was one of the largest internal migrations in U.S. history and changed American cultural, politics and paved the way for equal rights legislation. Video source (2:00)

Children and grandchildren of this Great Migration include: John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Jimi Hendrix, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, Romare Bearden, Malcolm X, Jesse Owens, Bill Russell, Denzel Washington, Michelle Obama.

The Warmth of Other Suns (2010), by Isabel Wilkerson, tells one of the greatest under reported stories in American history. It is the story of how it changed the North and the South. How northern cities came to be, the music and culture that might not have existed had the people not left. The consequences of lives in both the North and South and most importantly of the courageous souls who dared to leave everything they knew for the hope of something better.

How the Great Migration changed the cultural and politics of America. Pressure on the South to seek equal rights for the lowest class people in the country. The text is based on 1 200 interviews of people who participate in the Migration, census data, and archival material.

1913 Woodrow Wilson sworn in as the twenty-eighth President of the U. S.


Fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City killed 145 workers on March 25, 1911, The tragedy brought widespread attention to the dangerous sweatshop conditions of factories, and led to the development of a series of laws and regulations . PBS Source. OSHA Source.

1909 William Taft sworn in as the twenty-seventh President of the U. S.


Ford assembly line . Henry Ford used standardized parts and an efficient assembly line to create an affordable car for the common man. A car every 22 seconds rolled off the line.

1907 Annette Kellerman One-piece bathing suit

Annette Kellerman was arrested for indecency when she wore a fitted
one-piece bathing suit.



Race riot Atlanta 1906First race riot in Atlanta, Georgia. Tensions after reconstruction, job competition, black voting rights, and civil rights for African Americans became more intense as white politicians implemented and expanded Jim Crow laws. Laws for separate black and white neighborhoods, segregated public transportation, and schools. As blacks sought change and some made economic gains many white citizens perceived a black threat. On September 22, after four alleged sexual attacks on white women by black men were reported in the local white press, a mob of approximately 10,000 white men formed and attacked black neighborhoods. The violence caused the mobilization of the state militia and black men to organize to defend their homes and families. Source

See also Springfield, Illinois Race Riot of 1908.


Madam Walker Walker hair care productFirst American female millionaire

Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919) became the first black woman millionaire in America by marketing a her hair care products, the Walker system. She also funded scholarships, donated to the NAACP, the black YMCA, dozens of other charities, promoted female talent, and promoted political activism. Source


Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully flew and controlled a heavier than air machine with a pilot on board. Source


Teddy Roosevelt sworn in as the twenty-sixth President of the U. S.

The era of big oil began ( January 10, 1901, ) when a well at Spindletop (Beaumont, Texas) struck oil at a depth of 1,139 ft. The Lucas Gusher went 150 feet in the air and blew 100,000 barrels (4,200,000 gallons) per day for nine days before it was capped. Beaumont became a boomtown as its population grew from 10,000 to 50,000 in three months.

1897 William McKinley sworn in as the twenty-fifth President of the U. S.


First time clock, October 30th, 1894 to put workers... on the clock

Daniel M. Cooper, was granted a patent for his invention of the Workman's Time Recorder. A devise that used a card to record the time an employee punched in and punched out from work. Cooper sold his patent to the Rochester Time company, who sold time recorders until the company became part of IBM.

1893 Grover Cleveland sworn in as the twenty-fourth President of the U. S.


The Homestead strike / riot, in Homestead, Pennsylvania.

The Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers (union) went on strike against the Carnegie Steel Company. A three-year contract between the union and corporation in 1889 gave the workers wages that were higher than other steel workers in the country. Andrew Carnegie was determined to break the union so he could reduce wages and increase his profits. His manager, Henry Clay Frick, built a 10 foot high fence topped with barbed wire, locked workers out, refused to accept the unions offers, advertised for strikebreakers, and discharged all workers.he workers went on strike and took over the company town. Frick hired three hundred Pinkerton guardssent them to the town where they were met by ten thousand strikers. The groups fought and the Pinkertons surrendered. Nine strikers and seven Pinkertons were killed and many others were injured. Governor William Stone sent eight thousand militia who got the twon unders control, protected strikebreakers, and got the plant into production. Legal cases used much of the union’s time, money, and energy and the strike lost ended later that year. 1892. Carnegie Steel increased the workers hours and lowered wages. Source


New York City and the people who lived in the backstreests and minority areas in 1890's.

Jacob Riis believed every person's experience was worth something. This motivated him to photograph and document people in New York City whose story he felt would otherwise be lost in his book - How the other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York. The book is a valuable source for life at the turn of the century. Book source

1889 Benjamin Harrison sworn in as the twenty-third President of the U. S.


Jane Addams and Ellen Starr opened Hull-House where Jane worked and lived for the rest of her life. She was the first woman awarded the Noble Peace Prize (1931), experimented in philanthropy, political action, opposed child labor, lynching, supported trade unions, the NAACP, youth clubs, career choices for women, child care, social justice, and conducted social science research that became a model for dignified work among the poor and a need to respect the values and traditions of immigrants and help them adjust to American culture and institutions to achieve the American ideal of a good life.


Congress passes the Dawes Act, which allows the President to break up reservation land, held in common by a tribe, into small plots allotted to individual Native Americans February 8, 1887. Source


May Day

May Day is a celebration of laborers as International Workers' Day and commemorate the Haymarket affair. It has its origins in the United States of America.

Book cover Jungle

During the 1800's long work days, death, and injury was common at work. See Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906) and Jack London's The Iron Heel (1908). Working people began to organize and speak for a shorter workday without reduced pay (8 hrs work @ 10 hrs pay).

Book cover Iron Heel

Without consent of employers, in 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (American Federation of Labor) proclaimed: after May 1, 1886, an eight hour day shall be a legal day's labor.

As workers tried to get employers to accept a shorter day they were harassed, beat, and locked-out when they went on strike and picketed.

On Saturday, May 1, 35,000 workers walked off their jobs. Thousands more joined them on May 3 as they traveled from workplace to workplace urging fellow workers to strike. Police clashed with strikers at least a dozen times, three with shootings.

On May 4, 1886, families with children and the mayor of Chicago gathered to listen to August Spies in the Haymarket. The mayor would later testify the crowd was calm and orderly. However, the police moved in as the crowd was dispersing. A bomb, from an unknown source, was thrown into the police ranks. Enraged, police fired into the crowd. The bomb thrower was never identified. Eight anarchists were arrested and convicted of murder. Only three of the eight were present and they were in full view of everyone when the bomb was thrown. Since all were innocent, the jury of businessmen convicted them based on their political and social beliefs. On November 11, 1887, after many failed appeals, Parsons, Spies, Engel and Fisher were hung to death. Six years later the others, still alive, were pardoned.

Mainstream media wrote anarchist were bomb throwing socialist and un-American. The common image of an anarchist became a bearded, eastern European immigrant with a bomb in one hand and a dagger in the other. Source

1885 Grover Cleveland sworn in as the twenty-second President of the U. S.


Standard time was started November 18, 1883, by the United States and Canadian railroads to provide consistency across both countries. Before then, time was a local matter with most cities having some form of local solar time, maintained by a local town clock. The new standard time had four zones and was system was gradually gradually accepted as the advantages for communication and travel lead to its greater use. Standard time in time zones was established in U.S. law with the Standard Time Act of 1918 (the Calder Act). The act incuded daylight savings time, a contentious idea.


Chinese Exclusion Act made it illegal for Chinese laborers to immigrate to America and for those who were here to become citizens. Various modifications of this act lasted until Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1965. Source PBS video

1881 Chester A. Arthur sworn in as the twenty-first President of the U. S.

1881 James Garfield sworn in as the twentieth President of the U. S.


Standing Bear v. George Crook, Native Americans were ruled persons

Presiding Judge Elmer Dundy of the US District Court in Omaha, NE,

Standing Bear and other Ponca Indians were living; on their reservation in Niobrara, NE. Farming and sending their children to school when they were removed to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. There crops would not grow and 158 people died. Among them was his son. Honoring his son's wish ,to be buried in his homeland, a small group headed north until they were captured on the Omaha reservation and brought to Omaha where a writ of habeas corpus was filed.

The case focused on: Do Indians have a legal right to a writ of habeas corpus (a court order that literally means, to produce the body, or an order to bring a person into the court room to decide if the person has been detained, jailed, or imprisoned legally. Standing Bear's attorneys argued the government had no justification to arrest and detain them. He claimed the law is clear. It said nothing about being a citizen. It specifically said: any person or party had a legal right to apply for a writ.

The government's attorney, argued the court overstepped its legal boundaries and that there was no legal right that compeled the government to justify its arrest and relocation of the Indians. Because, an Indian has no legal right to sue in federal court. Further more, no writ has ever been issued for an Indian and can not be.

Dundy ruled: It was illogical to assume that since no Indian ever sought a writ of habeas corpus, that Standing Bear could not seek one. The court had jurisdiction, because Standing Bear and the Ponca had been restrained of their liberty in violation of a treaty provision and only the federal court can determine if the prisoners' constitutional rights were violated.

He wrote:

"It would be a sad commentary on the justice and impartiality of our laws, to hold that Indians, though natives of our own country, cannot test the validity of an alleged illegal imprisonment."

As to who could legally apply for a writ. The government steadfastly argued only citizens could. And since Indians were not citizens, they could not sue. However, Dundy ruled person not citizen was the required criteria and wrote:

" ... a reasonable definition of a person can be found by consulting a dictionary. "Webster describes a person as ‚Äö a living soul; a self conscious being; a moral agent; especially a living human being; a man, woman or child; an individual of the human race."

This, he said, "is comprehensive enough, it would seem, to include even an Indian."

Dundy said, Standing Bear and the Ponca had done all they could to terminate their tribal allegiance (expatriate) to become independent farmers, provide education for their children, and adopt the ways of civilization.

He noted that on July 27, 1868, Congress declared the right of expatriation (to withdraw oneself from residence of one's native country) was a natural and inherent right of all people, indisputable to the enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

All this lead Dundy to the decision:

"An Indian possesses the clear and God-given right to withdraw from his tribe and forever live away from it, as though it had no further existence."

Finally, did the government have a legal right to remove Standing Bear and the Ponca from the Omaha Reservation and send them back to the Oklahoma Indian Territory?

Dundy wrote, no such power exists. The government can not arbitrarily round up Indians who had severed their tribal ties and simply move them whenever and wherever it wanted. Unless, they were deemed detrimental to the peace and welfare of the reservation. But in such cases, the law required they must be turned over to civilian's not military' authorities.

In summary, Judge Dundy concluded,

  • An Indian is a PERSON within the meaning of the laws of the United States, and has therefore the right to sue out a writ of habeas corpus in a federal court.
  • General Crook illegally detained the Ponca prisoners.
  • The military has no legal authority to force removal of the Ponca to Indian Territory.
  • Indians possess the inherent right of expatriation as well as the more fortunate white race, and have the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ...
  • And, since they have been illegally detained in violation of their constitutional rights, the Ponca must be discharged from custody.

Judge Dundy had done something unprecedented: He granted the hearing and declared, for the first time in the nation's history, an Indian was a person within the meaning of U.S. law with legal rights whites were required to uphold. Unfortunately, Judge Dundy did not address the issue of citizenship for Indians. It would not be until 1924 when Congress passed the Citizenship Act, which provided citizenship for all Indians. Court source ... Ponca tribe history source ...

1877 Crazyhorse was was killed by a soldier's bayonet at Fort Robinson Nebraska.

1877 Rutherford B. Hayes sworn in as the nineteenth President of the U. S.

1875 First official college football game. Rutgers vs Princeton, played in New Jersey.

1874 Barbed wire goes into production.


Rocky Mountain locusts become extinct

The Rocky Mountain locust seems to have plagued farmers from California (1722) to Maine (1743-56) and Vermont (1797-98). As farming expanded westward outbreaks were recorded in 1828, 1838, 1846, and 1855, throughout the West. Plagues in Minnesota (1856-57, 1865) and Nebraska (1856 and 1874). The last major swarms of Rocky Mountain locust were between 1873 and 1877, when the locust caused $200 million in crop damage in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and other states. After that they disappeared, became extinct. Source

First Sex Laws passed 1873

Named after Anthony Comstock, an American reformers, who led a 40 year crusade against what he considered obscenity in literature and other forms of expression resulted in sex laws: Act of the Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use.

The act criminalized publication, distribution, and possession of information about or devices or medications for "unlawful" abortion or contraception. If convicted could be imprisoned up to five years and fined up to $2 000.

Vestiges of the act lasted well into the 1900's. In 1971 Congress removed the language concerning contraception. Federal courts ruled it applied only to unlawful abortions in Roe v. Wade (1973) . After Roe, laws criminalizing transportation of information about abortion remained on the books, although they have not been enforced, they have been expanded to ban distribution of abortion-related information on the Internet.



Horse Flu 1872: devastates the transportation system

Horse (equine) influenza was first reported in Ontario, Canada in September of 1872 and spread across North America to the west coast by March 1873 and south into Nicaragua and the Caribbean with more than 75% of the horses in the US getting the virus and 2-10% of all horses dying. For example, the New York Times reported: ...there were probably 12,000 sick horses in New York and Brooklyn today (October 30, 1872).

Horses, like humans get a fever, cough, sneeze, wheez, and can die. As with humans treatment is rest. However, resting horses presents a huge problem for people who depend on them as the major mode of transportation for moving goods and people. During this time horses were the lifeblood of transportation and without them life came to a stand still.

Mail, food, water, garbage, wood, coal, and all sorts of freight sat undelivered. Government shut down and trains and ships couldn't be loaded or unloaded. Doctors couldn't reach their patients. Fire fighters in Boston had to pull their fire engines with men instead of horses, and 776 buildings were burned in November of 1872. Source


African American representation in Congress after the Civil War

After the Civil War and during reconstruction: laws, new constitutions, and other procedures were deliberately used to prevent black citizens from registering and voting. These defied the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1870, which were intended to protect the voting rights of free men.

Henry P. Cheatham, was one of five African-American politicians elected to Congress from the South in the 1800's.

See also 1929+ African American representation in Congress after 1900.

1870 Christmas was declared a federal holiday


Transcontinental railroad was opened for through traffic on May 10, 1869 with a ceremonial driving of the last spike. The spike, referred to as the golden spike, was driven with a silver hammer, at Promontory Summit, Utah.

1869 Ulysses S. Grant sworn in as the eighteenth President of the U. S.


On July 28, 1868, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.

  • It grants citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" which included former slaves who had just been freed after the Civil War.
  • It forbids any state to deny any person [not citizens] "life, liberty or property, without due process of law" or to "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Andrew Johnson was the first President to be impeached. May 26, 1868,
President Johnson's Impeachment Timeline

1865 Andrew Johnson sworn in as the seventeenth President of the U. S.

1863 November 19

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address imageLincoln's Gettysburg Address

In Lincoln's words, the power of the address is about what the civil war preserves ...

"One nation over state's rights to go their own way. A unity of national majority rule. "... that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Hay version.


War, the fallen ...

Mathew Brady's photograph, after the Battle of Antietam, becomes the first photo published of American dead.

Antietam photo

Previously in kingdoms the bodies of the people belong to the king and could be used as the king saw fit so notification of family and what to do with the remains was at the kings discreation.

In small war parties warriors knew each other and if they were lucky enough to return, they could report to families and sometimes return bodies if there was an opportunity to do so.

As armies got larger, fighting lasted longer, and soldiers moved after a battle, those who fell on the battle field were left behind. Fellow soldiers often felt obligated to send letters or report to their comrads families circumstances of their deaths.

After the Civil War people ask congress to pass and fund a law to collect and inter the bones of the fallen. Thus, begins the idea that notification of family, burial, or return of the body as the responsibility of the government.

The bill didn't include the collection of bones for all Civil War soldiers. Confederate soldiers were not included and black soldiers were discriminated as to their final resting place in some cemeteries. Ladies of Hollywood Memorial Association is one group that formed in the south to collect, move, bury, and care for the graves in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery. It is also thought this group began the idea of Memorial Day to honor the fallen.


1861 - 1865

American Civil War

The Civil War begins because of two fundamental questions. Questions the founding fathers did not resolve and everyone thereafter did not either:

  1. Is the United States a confederation (group) of sovereign states (states rights) or an indivisible nation with a strong central or national government (Federalist) that makes final decisons.
  2. Slavery continues to expand without any decision as to specifically who should be considered equal, as claimed in the Declaration of Independence.

    "...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Lincoln's views on these issues as of February 27, 1860 were delivererd in New York, NY. in his Cooper Union Election Speech.
Source of Lincoln speeches and more

Other voices and acts that promoted abolition of slavery.

  • Fredrick Douglas wrote about his life as a slave and supported abolition Source and history
  • Harriet Tubman escaped slavery and spoke and wrote for abolition and civil rights. Her timeline of accomplishments
  • Margaret Garner's story of her willingness to kill her own child to prevent her from returning to a life in bondage: received national attention which caused many more people to view slavery as an inhumane. However, others believed her actions demonstrated inferior intelligence, which supports their ideological views of slavery as the perfect human condition for a better world.

The election of 1860.

The nomination: Lincoln's campaign manager is David Davis. Who unknown to Lincoln, passes out counterfeit tickets to Lincoln's campaign supporters. They fill the hall before William H. Seward's people arrive. Thurlow Weed, Sewards campaign manager, plas for Seward's delegates to parade through town and enter the hall. As a result Seward didn't get enough votes in the first round. After which Davis began to make deals and picks up 79 votes on the second round by offering cabinet positions to win the nomination. It is believed he offered William H. Seward the cabinet position of Secretary of State to win the Ohio delegations support.

During the election Lincoln isn't on the ballot in the southern states. Douglas campaigns by traveling more than 1 000 miles in the south with his message to save the union. It didn't work. Lincoln wins with less than 40% of the vote, sneaks into Washington under threat of assasination and is innagurated while Army troops line Pennsylvania Avenue. Douglas is on the podium and holds Lincoln's hat due to it being a windy day. The south immediately leaves the union. Race to the White House Lincoln - Douglas.

First incme tax assessed. Needing money to fund the Civil War Congress passed and Lincoln signed, a 3 percent tax on yearly incomes over $800.00.

1861 Abraham Lincoln sworn in as the sixteenth President of the U. S.

1857 James Buchanan sworn in as the fifteenth President of the U. S.

1853 Franklin Pierce sworn in as the fourteenth President of the U. S.


Compromise of 1850 .

Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, and Stephen Douglas proposed, supported, and passed a series of bills. They resulted in ...

  • Texas would relinquish its claim to land all the way to Santa Fe in return for 10 million dollars to pay its debt to Mexico.
  • New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah territories would decide on slavery when they applied for statehood
  • Slave trade would be abolished in the District of Columbia, but slavery would still be permitted.
  • California would be admitted as a free state.
  • To pacify slave-state politicians, who objected to a free slave state imbalance that would be created, the Fugitive Slave Act (probably the worst act ever passed by Congress) was passed. It required citizens to assist in the recovery of fugitive slaves and denied a fugitive right to a jury trial.

As a result an estimated 20 000 blacks moved to Canada.

Many fugitives were captured and returned to slavery. Free blacks were also captured and sent to the South. Who had no legal right to plead their cases.

The Underground Railroad became more active, reaching its peak between 1850 and 1860. However, there only a small fraction actually reached Canadian freedom.

The Compromise of 1850 did keep the nation united, but it was only temporary. Over the following decade the country's citizens became further divided over the issue of slavery. In June 28, 1864, the act was repealed.

1850 Millard Fillmore sworn in as the thirteenth President of the U. S.

1849 Zachary Taylor sworn in as the twelth President of the U. S.

1845 James Polk sworn in as the eleventh President of the U. S.


The Philadelphia Riots (Prayer Riots, Bible Riots and Native American Riots) were several riots between May 6 and 8 and July 6 and 7, 1844, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States and the adjacent districts of Kensington and Southwark. Thirteen people died, Catholic Irish churches were attacked and two burned to the ground..

A major issue was whose religious interest would be represented in school, not a separation of Church and State issue. The city was divided by anti Catholic and a Nativists anti immigrant sentiments. Use of a protestant Bible in public schools and derogatory religous and heritage wording in texts and by teachers. Source

1841 John Tyler sworn in as the tenth President of the U. S.

1841 William Harrison sworn in as the ninth President of the U. S.


Great Britain ends slavery.

1837 Martin Van Buren sworn in as the eighth President of the U. S.


Nat Turner rebellion, or the Southampton Insurrection was led by Nat Turner. He and other slaves killed from 55 to 65 people. The most fatalities caused by any slave uprising in the American South. See Atlantic Monthly Nat Turner's Insurrection. August 1861 for a 30 year later account.

Fear grew, so in 1833 the government allocated funds to conducted a census and ask all free people of color in Virginia if they would emigrate to West Africa. All 452 Albemarle County free blacks, including Joseph Fossett, Sally Hemings, Madison Hemings, and Eston Hemings, declined the offer.

1829 Andrew Jackson sworn in as the seventh President of the U. S.


New Harmony a utopian social experiment failed. Formed as a socialist, communal, or communist collective was unsuccessful. Reasons for its failure have been explained as colonists gave up their commitment to a collective ideal, people were not screened which allowed too many misfits to join, a period of introduction wasn't sufficient, and there was no accountability or incentives. Robert Owen, textile industrialist and social reformer, bought the properties from the Harmonist in 1835, who gave up on the site and moved back east to Pennsylvania. After two years he withdrew his support and turned toward Cooperative exchanges and production. Source

1825 John Quincy Adams sworn in as the sixth President of the U. S.

1817 James Monroe sworn in as the fifth President of the U. S.

1809 James Madison sworn in as the fourth President of the U. S. - Wrote under the pseudonym of Helvidius & as Publicus with Hamilton. Hamilton wrote as Pacificus.


Virginia passed a law that required slaves freed after May 1806 to leave the state within one year or face reenslavement. The law was not consistently enforced, When Jefferson bequeathed freedom to five men in 1826, he petitioned the Virginia legislature for a special exemption from the law. Source

Efforts to rid the state of free African Americans increased over the century. See 1831 Nat Turner and 1833 Virginia government action.


The Haitian Revolution lasted from 1791 to 1804 resulted in the first independent nation in the Caribbean, the second democracy in the western hemisphere, and the first black republic in the world. See History of Haiti timeline.

The Haitian Revolution raised concerns about the free blacks in the south and what to do. See 1806 law for freed slaves to leave Virginia.

Louisiana Purchase, President Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Robert Livingston decided to buy the Louisiana Territory.


Marbury vs. Madison established judicial review.

Giving the power of the Supreme Court to overturn Congressional legislation. Establishing a boundary between the executive and judicial branches of the United States government.

1801 Thomas Jefferson sworn in as the third President of the U. S. after 37 votes in Congress be wins over Aaron Burr.


Gabriel Prosser planned a slave revolt on August 30, 1800. However, two slaves tipped off Virginia authorities so Governor James Monroe alerted the militia while a rainstorm delayed Prosser from assembling his army. When he realized their plan had been compromised he and his followers dispersed. 35 leaders were captured and executed but Prosser escaped until he other slaves turned him in for the reward. He was, tried, found guilty, and executed October 7, 1800. Source


Eli Whitney invents interchangeabale parts, mass production, and claims industrialzation as economic progress

Again Whitney's ability of observation led him to see a demand for more efficient manufacturing. In this case for guns with interchangeable parts so they could be mass produced to supply a growing demand.

Later, he lobbied politicians to pass legislation to standardize arms production.

He was also one of the first Americans to join the ideas of republicanism and technological progress. He also linked the American industrial revolution with economic progress and Puritanical attributes of diligence, sobriety, and thrift.


Robert Malthus'

Published, An Essay on the Principle of Population. He argued He argued population would increase at a rate greater than food production. He based his conclusion on there being finited land for crops, and a geometric rate of population growth and a arithmetic rate of increased food production. His theory influenced Darwin when he created his, theory of natural selection and years later with Keynes and his Keynesian economics.

1797 John Adams sworn in as second President of the U.S. after President George Washington decided to step down after his two terms. Later, President Thomas Jefferson also stepped down, which established a two term limit tradition, until President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Later the twenty-second amendment established two term limits.


President Washington's Farewell Address

Explains: refusal to serve another term, expresses gratitude to the country for the honors bestowed on him, expresses importance of unity of government as one people, concern for division created by political parties, government for the whole is indispensable, respect the Constitution, keep liberty for all secure, rise of despotsism, religion and morality are indispensable for political and judicial prosperity, cherish public credit by balancing taxes and debt, observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all, passionate attachment to one foreign nation, foreign influence, foreign commercial relations, permanent alliances, should be policy guided humane liberal interactions with all nations, and the the faults of incompetent abilities consigned to oblivion. Source


Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin and its effect on slavery

The cotton gin revolutionized agriculture, but not in a positive way. It created the cotton economy of the American South. It could clean ten times as much cotton as a slave by hand so that increased the use of slaves for growing and harvesting cotton to meet the increased demand for cotton to gin. This also created a demand for more land which promoted the removal of Native Americans from fertile land and caused an expansionist climate for southerners and others that wanted to make a profit from cotton.



First US. census day - August 2, 1790.

1789 George Washington sworn in as first President of the U. S.


Constitutional Convention met and conclude their work and signed the U. S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. Never before in history was there a better assembly of learned men knowledgable in the history, economics, and political science of government. Who cut and pasted prevous documents to create it.

However, strong the delegation, they did not address.

  • Had no bill of rights
  • Did not allow one person one vote for President or Senators
  • Endorsed slavery with 3/5 rule and return of run away slaves
  • No mention of women or Native Americans
  • Allowed taxes, but no mention of a national bank
  • Favored no religion and required no church attendance

Those in attendance were capitalist elites drawn for personal, political, financial reasons. While many ultimately ended up broke, destitute, land poor or failed in other ways. They were bankers, real estate speculators, lawyers, bond holders, plantation owners, wealthy merchants and manufacturers. Here is a short bio. and financial interests for each of the 55 members. Those not in represented or in attendance: small land owners and family farmers, small business owners, merchants, tradesmen, veterans, laborers, poor, indentured servants, slaves, Native Americans, nor any women in any category. Also John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were on diplomatic missions in Europe.

Madison and many others believed democracy needed to be limited. The issue was how to limit it. One solution was the Senate and appointment to office by the state legislatures.

Some of what they charged the federal government with:

  • Create a National (Federal) Government able to "... establish Justice, Domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote General Welfare, and secure the Blessings f Liberty to ourselves and out Posterity.".
  • Make no law respecting the establishment of Religion, no tax support for churches, no religious test for office, no required attendance to worship.
  • Collect taxes. One of the first was a wiskey tax.
  • Created a standing army. Protect from uprisings, Native Americans, tax uprisings (Shay's), and slave rebellions.
  • Validated all debts issued before the creation of the U.S. government (Constition)
  • Created the Fugitive act.
  • Importation of slavery would be legal for another 20 years.
  • Mandated a census every ten years.

James Madison recognizes that a census could be a scientific method to decide how to distribute political power. If a census were conducted every ten years, the data could be used to determine how many representatives each state would have. Therefore, a way to guarantee the House of Representatives would equably represent future population changes.

  • His idea was mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution.
  • The first census of the United States that recorded the population of the United States as of Census Day, August 2, 1790.
  • A scientific accurate census can provide information to make wise social, economic, health, medical research, technological, and other important decisions.
  • If conducted well it becomes a valuable source to create representative samples for quality research.


Richard Allen used religion to convince his master to allow him to buy his freedom. He used his preaching abilities and other skills to earn money to buy his freedom. He and other blacks had disputes with white congregants, which lead to a sit in and eventually built his own church Bethel and founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Source


Mum Bett also known as, Elizabeth Freeman, was struck by Mistress. Ashley with a kitchen shovel. Upon which she left their home and refused to return. Her owner, Colonel Ashley, went to court to seek her return. Mum Bett knew about the Bill of Rights and Massachusetts state constitution so she decided that if all people were born free and equal, then it ought to apply to slaves. She asked a lawyer, Theodore Sedgewick, for help. He took the case and with another slave, Brom, filed suit. In Brom & Bett vs. Ashley the jury ruled in favor of Bett and Brom, making them the first enslaved African Americans to be freed under the Massachusetts constitution of 1780, and ordered Ashley to pay 30 shillings and costs. This case led to the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts. Source


First American sniper

October 7, 1777, during the Second Battle of Saratoga, of the Revolutionary War Timothy Murphy was ordered to kill Brigadier General Simon Fraser. Murphy climbed a tree 300 yards away and fatally wounded Fraser with his third shot. He died the next morning. The shot became the legend of Sure Shot Tim, whom Andy Dougan claims is the precursor of the modern sniper. Source Through the Crosshairs: A History of Snipers.


Declaration of independence was written by a commitee that included: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston in 1776. See a transcript.

Trumbell Declaration image

Source John Trumbull [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The most recognized part of the Declaration of independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

  • Borrowed from John Locke right to life, liberty, and property
  • Influenced by Isaac Newton, Principia and Coke, Institutes where he relied on the importance of knowledge and reason for men to govern themselves removing religion and a monarchy from government.
  • Jefferson wrote "We hold these truths to be sacred and un-deniable, ... inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ..."
  • Franklin suggested a stronger secular statement by changing sacred and un-deniable to, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, ..." To remove the hand of God.
  • "inherent & inalienable",was changed to " unalienable Rights"
  • These changes along with "... deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ..." and the understanding of the times, resulted in the understanding the Declarations was for the property owners currently in power, not slaves and women.
  • See 1787 - constitutional convention.
The Half Has Never Been Told book cover

In 1776 there were 700 000 slaves in America, mostly Africans. Read. The Half Has Never Been Told, by Edward E. Baptist who writes about America's struggle with slavery from the creation of the country and the alarming reality to which slavery was embedded in our country: politically, morally, and most of all, yet least recognized - economically. The profits made with systematic kidnapping, torture, murder, and oppression.

Baptist combines personal narratives, economic information, and politics to describe how wealth, slavery, and state's rights caused the Civil War. How a one dimensional focus on slavery as a moral issue, solved with The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution 1865. Allowed for a continuation of oppression without the consideration of dimensions of: wealth, education, oppression ... The other half.

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) by Adam Smith.

Wealth is regulated by:

  • The quality, skill, judgement of the workers, specialization
  • The productive workers,
  • The proportion useful workers and non useful workers or unemployed.
  • Product distribution, supply and demand, trade, barriers, price control, tariffs
  • Investments, capital stock and its use.
  • How capital and stock are accumulated and distributed in ways that are good, kind, and show concern.
  • National labor practices
  • How labor focuses on supply and consumption.
  • Revenue of governments, taxation, monopolies, cartels


January 9, 1776. Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense

and published anonymously with the pen name, An Englishman.


French & Indian War

European expansion in North America lead to what was known as the French and Indian War in America and the Seven Years’ War in Europe. By the 1700's colonization in North America had created many alliances that contributed to trading benefits for Europeans and Native Americans. These alliances were more than economic as settlers and natives intermarry and some live in a fairly localized harmony with each other as they learn from each other. Europeans about the environment and new foods and Natives about manufactured goods and settled living. However, as additional French and British settlers arrived pressure is exerted on the Natives who were caught in the middle with the French in Canada and British on the East coast. Notable events and people:

  • George Washington, fails in his attempt to remove French from the Ohio Valley and surrenders at Fort Necessity
  • General Braddock fails to capture Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh) 1755
  • Robert Rogers and his rangers
  • British defeat French in India and Minorca 1756
  • Abenaki and Iroquois nations. Iroquois Confederacy initially fought on both sides and after a battle where they killed many of their own confederacy members vowed never to fight each other and become neutral.
  • The massacre at Fort William Henry 1757
  • Battles of Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point Tragic expulsion of the Acadians
  • Fall of Quebec and Montreal Lord Howe, Montcalm, James Wolfe
  • Brutal destruction of the Abenakis sophisticated town with wood houses and church burnt at Saint Francis by Rogers Rangers
  • Iroquois diplomacy of Sir William Johnson that helped turn the war
  • Franklin publishes his image of a rattlesnake cut into pieces with the caption join or die.
  • Spain enters the war 1762
  • Treaty of Paris 1763 gave much territory in North America and Mississippi river valley to Great Britain, lands west of the Appalachian Mountains (Proclamation Line ) to Native Americans, and left the British with great debt. Britain's attempt to pay the debt by taxing the colonies and the restriction imposed by granting western lands to Native Americans would lead to revolution. Source


Emile cover Jean-Jacques Rousseau - (1712 -1778)

French author who wrote:
Emile or a Treatise on Education.

The book is considered the first educational philosophy book as well as the first child psychology book.

Rousseau claims children have a natural goodness and can become critical life long learners and educated citizens if they can survive a corrupted society.

Rousseau is sometimes referred to as the father of modern child psychology.


Montesquieu, born Charles-Louis de Secondat & inherited the tile
baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, (1689- 1755)

  • Wrote, Persian Letters, 1722
  • Write, Reflections on the Causes of the Grandeur and Declension of the Romans, 1734
  • Wrote, The Spirit of Laws, 1750
  • Strong supporter of Democracy with three separate branches: executive, legislative and judicial



The Great Awakening or First Great Awakening

Protestant religious revival in northern Europe and British America from 1720 - 1740 with a second about 1770. An evangelical and revitalization movement with a permanent impact on American Protestantism and American government. Higher education institutions like Princeton, Brown, Rutgers, and Dartmouth were created to educate students for this enlightened view. Dissent from established religion with a focus on a more diverse view of religious toleration and democratic religious experiences that influenced the American Revolution. See also: John Wesley, John Calvin, Calvinism, born again in Jesus Christ, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Anne Hutchinson, ... Source


John Locke (1632-1704)

Defined political power as a:

"...right of making Laws with Penalties of Death, and consequently all less Penalties, for the Regulating and Preserving of Property, and of employing the force of the Community, in the Execution of such Laws and in defence of the Commonwealth from Foreign Injury, and all this only for the Publick Good."

Other ideas he represented, argued for, and participated in:

  1. Defended the claim that men are by nature free and equal against any claim that God had made all people subjects of a monarch or that a monarch had a divine right to rule.
  2. Defended the right to life, liberty, and property
  3. Defended unrestricted capitalist accumulation.
  4. Said individual consent is the mechanism by which governments are created and given legitamacy.
  5. Argued government's power to promote the common good extends to actions that would increase population, improve a military, strengthen the economy and infrastructure, and so on, for the purpose of preserving the public good.
  6. Believed the law of nature, was the natural moral way to justify rightness or wrongness of human conduct. It requires no logical necessity. It is determined directly or indirectly based on evidence of experience. An empiricist principle, that all knowledge, including moral knowledge, is derived from experience and therefore not innate.
  7. He defended (property) slaves as property (chattel), giving their owners the power of life and death over them and justified enslavement through the taking of prisoners in a just war.
  8. He helped draft the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina. In which he applied his ideas of slaves as property and justification, although flawed, which gave absolute power to the owners of African-American slaves.
  9. He was secretary to the Council of Trade and Plantations (1673-74)
  10. He was a member of the Board of Trade (1696-1700), with responsibility for the American colonies.
  11. He was a major investor in the English slave trade through the Royal African Company and the Bahama Adventurers company.
  12. Said, uncultivated land is essentially valueless as its value is attained by farmers who improve the land. God gave us the land to improve, therefore, it rightfully belongs to those who improve it. Justification for colonization and removal of Native Americans from their land. Source
  13. He believed these rights applied only to a small group of Englishmen, like himself.
  14. Wrote An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) see more on these ideas in the Education timeline 1689.


Isaac Newton published Principia Mathematica Principia Mathemaatica cover

Adapted from Isaac Newton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Consider making this box a summary area and add links to boxes in timeline as appropriate...

Why did people emmigrate to America where there was a great risk of disease, harsh winters, starvation, and death from indigenous populations. For example the Roanoke colony of 1587 that disappeared, Mayflower 1620, or Jamestown that started with 500 settlers and fell to 60 after the winter of 1609-10.

The majority of people coming to America at this time came from England. To understand why and the influence they had on the creation of the United States it is helpful to look a bit at their history of their struggle with who should rule and how.

1689 Parliament creates a Bill of Rights. It includes: no Catholic can be king or queen. No king can marry a Catholic. The king could not suspend laws or levy loans or taxes without parliament's consent.

  • 1694 Mary dies
  • 1685 James II becomes King appoints Catholics to powerful and important positions, has a son who would be a Catholic heir. Seven powerful nobles invite the Dutchman William of Orange, husband of James's Protestant daughter Mary, to come to England with an army. William lands in Devon in November and James II flees to France in December. Parliament declares the throne vacant and declares William and Mary joint monarchs (Mary couldn't rule as she was female).
  • 1660 Charles II becomes king.
  • 1660 General Monck marches to London. Monck recalls the surviving members of the Long Parliament, which first met in 1640, they vote to disband and hold fresh elections for a new parliament which becomes the Convention parliament that decides the government of England shall be King, Lords and Commons.
  • 1658 Oliver Cromwell dies. His son Richard becomes his successor until he resigns May 1659.
  • 1649 Parliament abolishes the monarchy and the House of Lords.
  • 1625-1649 Charles I believes in the divine right of kings and quarrels with parliament dismissing it for many years. A civil war begins in 1642 and ends in January 1649 when Charles is put on trial, found guilty on January 27, 1649, and beheaded 30 January 30, 1649.
  • 1603-1625 King James I believes kings have divine rights.
  • 1485-1641 Henry VII creates the Court of Star Chamber (a room with painted stars on the ceiling) to manage licences, signs and tokens, and civil unrest.


Pequot - First extended Native American English War

Dutch and Native American trading organizations are pressured by recent arrival and expansion of English into their territories. The Pequot tribe, the strongest native influence in the area at the time and newly arrived English colonists in Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Saybrook are unable to create peaceful resolutions for trade and land disputes and crimes against each other. Some related events during this time, known as the Pequot War. include:

  • Pequot land is confiscated.
  • The Pequot attack settlers working in a field near Wethersfield, kill seven to nine settlers and take two girls captive, who are later returned.
  • John Oldham is killed, by Indians, the colonists demand those involved be punished.
  • A meeting between the Pequot tribe and colonist to resolve this situation is unsuccessful.
  • Massachusetts sends militia led by John Endicott to Block Island, kill 14 Indians, burn the village, and crops. Then they go to a Pequot village at Saybrook. Indians there flee and the militia burn the village and leave.
  • Remaining Pequots attack anyone who leaves Fort Saybrook.
  • Pequot send war belts to neighbor tribes. The Narragansett and many small tribes stay neutral and the Mohegan side with the colonists.
  • Connecticut declares war on the Pequot and sends a militia led by John Mason and John Underhill to attack a Pequot village near New Haven, CN. They do in early morning, burning it and many of its inhabitants, killing 400-700 Pequots inside; men, women, & children.
  • Colonists claim the word of god gives them permission to do so and believe the European’s way of life and Christian religion is superior and provides legitimacy to conquer those who are different.
  • Pequots are hunted down, enslaved, some sold in the West Indies, and some escape and are assimilated among other tribes.
  • A 1638 treaty made legal the seizing of Pequot land, the enslavement of survivors, wampum as tribute, and outlawed the name Pequot.
  • The Pequot, a powerful nation, is destroyed.
  • The Pequot destruction eliminates Indians as an obstacle to colonial expansion. Therefore, any Indian threat to colonists is eliminated until King Philip's War.



Sir Francis Bacon rejected syllogism in favor of the scientific method, which he describes in his Novum Organum. See science, math, & technology timeline.

Mayflower leaves London and 66 days later lands on Cape Cod (Provincetown) November 21, 1620. On December 26 its 102 settlers landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts and begain to create a settlement. The ship remained in until April when it left for England.

Tisquantum (Squanto) and the Pawtuxet tribe helped Pilgrims survive. He interpreted and guided them. It is believed in 1605 George Weymouth took him to England and he returned with John Smith in 1614-15. He was captured and taken to Spain, but returned to America in 1619 to find his tribe dead from disease. In 1621, Squanto was living with the Wampanoag and went to the Plymouth colony with Samoset to help them. Because Squanto was bilingual, Governor William Bradford made him his Indian emissary. He and Edward Winslow negotiated with Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags to establish a treaty. Tisquantum died while serving as a guide to Governor Bradford on an expedition around Cape Cod. Source


First representative assembly in Americas, the House of Burgess, meets for the first time in Jamestown, Virginia.

The first African slaves arrive North America, on a Dutch trading ship, to the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia.


Powhatan (Wahunsenacawh father of Pocahontas) is the chief of chiefs that rules dozens of tribes in the Powhatan empire as English begin the Jamestown Colony (1607). It is estimated he is ruling between 13 000 and 3 ,000 people. At times he attacks the colonists, uses them as allies against his enemies, trades food for metal artifacts, and decides to let them starve, which they almost did until a supply ship arrives from England in 1610. In April 1614 Powhatan approves of the marriage of his daughter, Pocahontas, to John Rolfe, which results in more friendly relations until after the chief’s death in 1618.


Pedro de Peralta, designates Santa Fe the capital of the Kingdom of New Mexico. It is the oldest state capital in the United States. Santa Fe, has been continuously occupied since 900 BCE first by Pueblo and Tanoan hunter-gatherers. It is at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.


Missing settlers ...

Sir Walter Raleigh sends John White with a small fleet from England on April 26, 1587 to America to create an English settlement. White arrives at Roanoke Island, Virginia and leaves 117 settlers to create the settlement and he returns to England for more settleers and supplies. Due to a war between England and Spain it took him three years before he returned. Eleanore Dare, daughter of Johnn White was among and is noted for having what might be the first English child on August 18 and names her Virginia. What happens to her and the other settlers is still a mystery. When John White returns, the only clue he finds is croatoan carved in the settlement palisade. Video


Sir Francis Drake (English) attacks, burns, and plunders Spanish colonies and weakens Spains foothold in America.


Sir Walter Raleigh sends a group of English men to explore the New World. Among them, Joachim Gans, a metallurgist and first known Jew to arrive in America. Gans built a small lab where he worked with Thomas Harriot to study the areas rocks for their metal content and plants for medical properties. After a winter with a lack of food and disagreements with the Indians the survivors returned to England with Sir Francis Drake.


The Gregorian calendar / Western calendar / Christian calendar, is named for Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582.


Pedro Menéndez de Avilés lands on the shore of Matanzas Bay and founds the city of Presidio of San Augustin (St. Augustine, Florida) on September 8, 1565 on the site of an ancient Native American village. It is the oldest continually occupied city in the United States.

French under Jaun Ribault build Fort Caroline on the St John’s River in Florida.

Spanish are determined to drive the French from Florida. Reinforcments from Spaineincounter bad weather that weakens their forces and wait for a better opportunity to attack. When the French leave Ft. Caroline Menéndez goes on the offensive. He kills and captures many French. Menendez didn’t know what to do with so many captives so executes about 350 of them.

Over twenty years additional forts were built along the coast, but only Fort Augustine survives. Source Francisco Lopez diary of his travels. He also notes the first feast of thanksgiving with Native Americans upon landing. PBS video source


Hernando de Soto explores Florida.

Hernando de Soto, sails for Florida on the 18th of May 1539, with nine vessels, priests, women, horses, mules, war dogs, and pigs. He lands on the northern shore of the Little Manatee River. A survivor from the Narváez expedition, Juan Ortiz had learned some native languages and was familiar with the area. They struggled to find water, food, cross rivers, and explore the area. He violated his king's orders to treat natives well and convert them to Catholicism and instead enslaves, mutilates, and executes them often without provocation. Eventually under constant attack by natives, who would kill the Spanish dispatch riders. In addition, brave native hostages used as guides often led army troops directly into ambushes, even though it most certainly meant death for them as well as the Spaniards. He continued to the Apalachee tribe in Florida’s Panhandle and made camp for the winter and sends for his ships and supplies left near Tampa. He continues north into Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, across the Mississippi River, and Arkansas. He becomes ill and dies in 1542.


Atahualpa, Inca leader met Pizarro, Spaniard in Cajamarca, Peru.

The Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who reached Florida in 1513, traditionally has been recognized as the first European to visit what is now the United States.


Pánfilo de Narváez explores Florida and west. On order from Charles V of Spain Narvaez sails from Spain on June 17, 1527, with five ships and about 600 soldiers, sailors, and colonists. In Santo Domingo 140 men desert and in Cuba a hurricane sinks two ships and kills 50 men. February 1528, he sails five ships to Tampa Bay, Florida. and claims the land for Spain. He travels north with 300 men, fights Indians, and arrives at St. Marks, Florida, in July.
There he builds five vessels with 245 men hopes to sail to Mexico. Narváez disappears at sea and four men are known to survive.


Conquest of the Aztecs (coalition of Central American people) capital, Tenochtitlan, (Mexico City) by the Spaniards lead by Hernandez Cortez.


Martin Luther Martin Luther & Katarina Bora

Wrote his 95 theses (Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences) which he hoped to initiate debate.

  • Believed the Bible was the word of God and the word of God could be understood by all people without interpretation of Priests. Everyone as equal before God (priests, poor, rich) or the democratization of religion.
  • He was a prolific writer. He wrote 130 volumes of work, one-fourth of all the books and phamphlets sold in Europe at the time.
  • His popularity and reknown could make the claim that he was the world's first media star.
  • He believed and advocated for a basic education for all children (girls and boys) teaching them to read and write, while many parents concerns were on finding jobs so their children could earn money.
  • His favorite quotes: "God forgives." & Without love faith is nothing."
  • Wrote a children's book, Large Catechism published in April 1529, to help understand the Christian faith: The Ten Commandments, The Apostles' Creed, The Lord's Prayer, Holy Baptism, and The Sacrament of the Eucharist.


Juan Ponce de Leon reached Florida

This Spanish explorer has been recognized and documented as the first European to visit what is now the United States. He found the climate and land made it too difficult to live there.

Spanish conquest and subjugation of natives and their land was argued in the court of Spain as barbaric. To absolve conquestadors of their actions it was decided that a document should be read to native inhabitants to inform them of Spains rights of conquest. It was called: The Spanish Requirement of 1513. This Requerimiento (Spanish for requirement as in demand) was read in Spanish to Native Americans to inform them of Spain’s rights to conquest. Those who resisted were considered to harbor evil intentions of defying God’s plan. Thus providing justification to be conquered and enslaved. Source


Modern horse arrives in the Americas.


Glassmaking becomes industrialized when the Venetian Republic, thought the 1 000 degree furnaces for the city’s mostly wooden buildings might be a problem. The solution was to order glassmakers to move their foundries to the small island of Murano nearby. The move brought many glassmakers together and Murano became a hot spot for glassmakers to develop and maintain their craft and art of quality glass making to today. Source


1215 The YEar of Magna Carta

King John signs the Magna Carta on June 15

Magna Carta, first known as the Charter of Liberties. (Big Charter to be distinguished from the Forest Charter). Is a document written in Latin to declare the rule of law and give rights to free men. It includes 63 statements for freedom and human rights. Among them is the idea of the presumption of innocence and right to a trial with presentation of facts to determine guilt.

No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or deprived or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go or send against him, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or dalay right or justice.

Source 1215 The Year of Magna Cartar. Danny Danziger & John Gillingham.

King John is the brother of Richard the Lionheart and son of Henry II and Eleanor

Middle age - 1499 - 700

Summary of change


Huns and Ghengis Khan movements...

Ghengis Khan map

Adapted from Bkkbrad (talk) Gengis_Khan_empire-fr.svg: historicair 17:01, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
(Gengis_Khan_empire-fr.svg) [CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0, GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

City state and Agriculture: 699 - 10 000 BCE

Summary of change

300 - 400

Hun's range


Nomadic tribes of Northern Asia invaded China, eastern Asia, and Europe. With superior horse skills and the stirrup destroyed villages, the current political structures, and changed peoples lives.

C. E. -------------------- B. C. E.

241 BCE

The Battle of the Aegates, off the Aegadian Islands near the west coast Sicily was the final naval battle between Carthage and the Republic of Rome on March 10, 241 BCE. The result was a decisive Roman victory, which eliminated Carthage supremacy in the Mediterrananean Sea and made Rome supreme.

360 BCE

Aristotle - 380 - 322 BCE

Continued with teaching of rhetoric and added syllogism, use of logic. (Categorical syllogism uses two premises and a conclusion: All humans are vertebrates; no insect is a vertebrates; therefore no humans are insects.

  • Argued All citizens should participate in a Democracy. Therefore, a welfare state is necessary so all people live out of poverty and can contribute to the government.
  • Argued in Politics: some people should rule and others should be ruled is not only necessary, but expedient. All relations are relations of hierarchy: man rules over animals, men over women, masters over slaves. Slavery was not a matter of law but a matter of nature. Those who are by nature possessions are those who have a lesser capacity for reason ... better for them to be slaves and under the rule of a master. Reasoning used to justify slavery into the 1800's.
  • Argued that education should be controlled by the State.
  • People learn to be virtuous with practice.
  • Ethics, becomes just by performing just acts. Learning becomes doing or acting.
  • If what is being done is virtuous, then learning was intrinsically valuable for the individual and society-the State.

407 BCE

Plato and Socrates

427 - 347 BCE developed a philosophy of education - learning happens when the teacher asks key questions. Socratic Method. The Republic. Education based on interests, abilities, and stations in life. Utopian ideal to produce philosopher kings or guardians rule to the State. Built on Greek rhetoric: the art and process of effective public speaking. First taught by the sophists. See 480 BCE sophist.

Dialectic reasoning or dialectics (Socratic method, Hindu, Buddhist, Medieval, Hegelian dialectics, Marxist, Talmudic, and Neo-orthodoxy.), and modern debate. All involve conversations between two or more people arguing different points of view for the purpose of establishing truth with reasoned argument.

Socrates valued truth as the highest value. Truth discovered through conversation with reason and logic (dialectic reasoning). Logic, not emotion, to discover truth for persuasion and make choices to guide one's life. To Socrates, truth, not art, was the greater good to guide one's life. Therefore, Socrates opposed the sophists and their teaching of rhetoric as art and as emotional oratory requiring neither logic nor proof. Logic, does not require observational evidence to verify it. (Heavy objects fall to Earth faster than lighter ones. Will need to wait for Galileo and Bacon).

Dialectic method, rhetoric, and debate can have fundamental differences. In theory debate may be considered as unemotional and committed to rational argument. However, in practice debaters can present emotionally charged ideas to suppress rational thought, hoping to persuade others to their point of view. See rhetoric in 480 BCE sophists

480 BCE

Sophists - 480 - 390 BCE

The first teachers of rhetoric: : the art (arte) and process of effective public speaking, in the Greek world were known as the Sophists, or wise men. They taught by example skills of civic life and explored a wide range of human experience within Greek culture. Not being of Athens they often clashed culturally and philosophically with the Athenians.

They taught art had the highest value in life and it should be used to make choices and to seek it out in all things. To them the artistic quality of a speech or oration was its power to motivate, influence, and please people. Therefore, oration was taught as an art form, which was used to please, motivate, and influence other people through quality speaking. Maybe the historical basis for Declamations which are students interpretations of famous speeches that were regiven to demonstrate the student's ability to understand and apply the purpose and power of the speech and skill in public speaking. Samples

Rhetoric is a method or art of speaking or discourse/ conversation to persuade, inform, or motivate an audience. Concepts of rational appeal (logos), emotional appeal, (pathos), and ethical appeal (ethos) are all intentionally used to persuade and convince people of a particular idea or argument.

508 BCE

Political power from an increasing middle class pushed for more reforms, Cleisthenes' reforms. This reform expanded the Assembly to include all males over twenty and to create a judicial system so citizens and non-citizens could seek justice for civic and criminal wrongs in a court with a jury of citizens. A new democratic polis, community in which civic affairs was the expected business of all citizens.

The polis demanded citizens participate, and to participate meant to speak and write. Furthering the need and importance of rhetoric and language on politics (polis).

The ability to speak effectively for one's interests became the study of rhetoric the art and process of effective public speaking for the practice of politics. See also education timeline Sophists, rhetoric, ...

Greek politics was seen as economic expansion, security, promoting civic virtue, and participation.

590 BCE

Solon's political reforms, hardly democratic in a modern sense, did bring a range of citizens into the political process and restricted the aristocratic families to some extent. As citizens gained political power, farmers and craftsmen emerged as a middle class, however, Solon's plan created classes based on wealth and property.

600 BCE

Athens was ruled by the aristocracy that appointed its members to the Council of Areopagus. Family rivalries kept Athens from progressing economically, politically, and culturally, which motivated the Council to appointed Solon to draft reforms. The Council agreed to install his reforms for ten years, the beginnings Athenian Democracy.

622 BCE

Draco was the first recorded legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece. He replaced the prevailing system of oral law and blood feud by a written code to be enforced only by a court. He was requested by the Athenian citizens to write laws for the city-state. He came up with harsh laws that resulted in being sold into slavery for not paying ones debts and many other non-homicide related crimes punished by death. His laws were considered so harsh that the word, draconian became known as unfair and unforgiving rules or laws.

800 BCE

800 B.C.E. Feudal-tribal units were governed by aristocratic, land-holding families who cooperated economically and politically limited by economic competition and war.

Ancient Greeks were aware and amazed by the profound effect language spoken or written has on politics (polis).

1473 BCE - 1458 BCE

Hatshepsut cartouche

Hatshepsut, the second female king of Egypt was the daughter of King Thutmose II. She consolidated her power by marrying her half-brother, Thutmose II, around the age of 12. She had a successful military campaign, extended Egyptian trade and oversaw ambitious building projects (Temple of Deir el-Bahri, She gained the full power of a pharoah with all titles and regalia of a pharaoh. At the death of Thutmose III an attempt was made to cover-up the existance of a female ruler (Hatshepsu) and make it look as if the rule was passed through all male rulers of Thutmose I, Thutmose II, Thutmose III. As a result her statues were torn down, her monuments were defaced, and her name was removed from the official king list. Source

Video on the search for her mummy in The Search for the Lost Queen

Hunter gatherer: 8 000 BCE or ≈ 10 000 years ago (pre politics? )

As mentioned in the introduction, politics includes the relationships and activities used to govern a country or other areas where people organize in groups. That in ancient times groups were very small and their relationships and activities were more like family relationships than political organizations. However, as groups increased in size these relationships and organizations expanded to include what has become known as governmental politics.

To understand pre politics archeologists are continually discovering ancient artifacts that suggest early humans were more capable and able than previously thought. There ability to hunt and forage in a variety of environments, create tools, domesticate animals and plants, farm, create permanent settlements and much more, prior to 10 000 years ago suggests the development of political structures as groups cooperated to survive. Cooperation to provide resources: water, food, shelter, protection, and companionship to reproduce and maintain a family and species suggest quality relationships and cooperation required to work together in sophisticated and specialized ways to survive and provide for and care for a small group of people.

Relationships that included care for group members, trade, cooperate with others or oppress others with power and coercion. Small groups suggests a political organization similar to an extended family of hunters and gathers to a bit larger that would be tribal in nature. To know how they might function inferences can be made from the study of isolated hunter gatherers and tribal societies in remote isolated environments in recent history.

Politics grows out of cooperation. Cooperation that can help and hurt those involved. For information about discoveries of artifacts prior to 10 000 years ago ...

See the Technology, science, and mathematics timeline - for information about
Hunter gatherers - evidence of human and prehuman activity. that can be used to infer early political organizations.

Beginning - 13.8 billion years ago - Big Bang!



Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes