You will need:
Construction paper in four different colors
Permanent marker or pen
Print out the four pages at the end of this page to use with the timeline.
Cut the construction paper across the middle of the long side. Hang each of them in a line on a wall in sets of colors. (You don't have to hang them but it helps to have a start and finish straight across in a line. If the wall isn't long enough continue underneath the timeline. Or, you can make it into a book by stapling the pages together after you've completed it.)
Using this guideline mark the years on the top, then add the corresponding picture and a brief description below it. For example: 1958, Explorer 1 image, First American Satellite is launched.
(You may want to print out the text to use as a quick reference while doing the timeline.)
Pre1400s: Native indians live in America.
1492 Christopher Columbus, financed by Spain, makes the first of four voyages to the New World. He lands in the Bahamas (Oct. 12).
1620 The Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts is established by Pilgrims from England (Dec. 11 o.s.). Before disembarking from their ship, the Mayflower, 41 male passengers sign the Mayflower Compact, an agreement that forms the basis of the colony's government.
1775–1783 American Revolution: War of independence fought between Great Britain and the 13 British colonies on the eastern seaboard of North America. Battles of Lexington and Concord, Mass., between the British Army and colonial minutemen, mark the beginning of the war (April 19, 1775). Battle-weary and destitute Continental army spends brutally cold winter and following spring at Valley Forge, Pa. (Dec. 19, 1777–June 19, 1778). British general Charles Cornwallis surrenders to Gen. George Washington at Yorktown, Va. (Oct. 19, 1781). Great Britain formally acknowledges American independence in the Treaty of Paris, which officially brings the war to a close (Sept. 3, 1783).
1776 Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia (July 4).
1789 George Washington is unanimously elected president of the United States in a vote by state electors (Feb. 4). U.S. Constitution goes into effect, having been ratified by nine states (March 4). U.S. Congress (Web: clerkweb.house.gov/histrecs/househis/lists/sessions.htm ) meets for the first time at Federal Hall in New York City (March 4). Washington is inaugurated as president at Federal Hall in New York City (April 30).
1836 Texas declares its independence from Mexico (March 1). Texan defenders of the Alamo are all killed during siege by the Mexican Army (Feb. 24–March 6). Texans defeat Mexicans at San Jacinto (April 21).
1860 Abraham Lincoln is elected president (Nov. 6). South Carolina secedes from the Union (Dec. 20).
1861–1865 Civil War: Conflict between the North (the Union) and the South (the Confederacy) over the expansion of slavery into western states. Confederates attack Ft. Sumter in Charleston, S.C., marking the start of the war (April 12, 1861). Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee secede (April–June). Emancipation Proclamation is issued, freeing slaves in the Confederate states (Jan. 1, 1863). Battle of Gettysburg is fought (July 1–3). President Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address (Nov. 19). Gen. William T. Sherman captures Atlanta (Sept. 2, 1864). Lincoln's second inauguration (March 4, 1865). Gen. Ulysses S. Grant captures Richmond, Va., the capital of the Confederacy (April 3). Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Va., (April 9).
1865 Lincoln is assassinated (April 14) by John Wilkes Booth in Washington, DC, and is succeeded by his vice president, Andrew Johnson. Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting slavery (Dec. 6).
1886 Statue of Liberty is dedicated (Oct. 28). American Federation of Labor is organized (Dec.).
1914–1918 World War I: U.S. enters World War I, declaring war on Germany (April 6, 1917) and Austria-Hungary (Dec. 7, 1917) three years after conflict began in 1914. Armistice ending World War I is signed (Nov. 11, 1918).
1931 The Star-Spangled Banner is adopted as the national anthem (March 3).
1939–1945 World War II: U.S. declares its neutrality in European conflict (Sept. 5, 1939). F. Roosevelt's third inauguration (Jan. 20, 1941). He is the first and only president elected to a third term. Japan attacks Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines (Dec. 7, 1941). U.S. declares war on Japan (Dec. 8). Germany and Italy declare war on the United States; U.S. reciprocates by declaring war on both countries (Dec. 11). Allies invade North Africa (Oct.–Dec. 1942) and Italy (Sept.–Dec. 1943). Allies invade France on D-Day (June 6, 1944). F. Roosevelt's fourth inauguration (Jan. 20, 1945). President Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin meet at Yalta in the USSR to discuss postwar occupation of Germany (Feb. 4–11). President Roosevelt dies of a stroke (April 12) and is succeeded by his vice president, Harry Truman. Germany surrenders unconditionally (May 7). First atomic bomb is detonated at Alamogordo, N.M. (July 16). President Truman, Churchill, and Stalin meet at Potsdam, near Berlin, Germany, to demand Japan's unconditional surrender and to discuss plans for postwar Europe (July 17–Aug. 2). U.S. drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan (Aug. 6). U.S. drops atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan (Aug. 9). Japan agrees to unconditional surrender (Aug. 14). Japanese envoys sign surrender terms aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo harbor (Sept. 2).
1958 Explorer I, first American satellite, is launched (Jan. 31).
1959 Alaska becomes the 49th state (Jan. 3) and Hawaii becomes the 50th (Aug. 21).
1961 John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th president (Jan. 20).
1963 Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech before a crowd of 200,000 during the civil rights march on Washington, DC (Aug. 28). President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Tex. (Nov. 22). He is succeeded in office by his vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson.
1968 Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. (April 4). Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles, Calif. (June 5–6).
July 20, 1969 1st man on moon: Launched from Florida on July 16, Neil Armstrong
April 27, 1070: USA celebrates its first Earth Day (Now April 22)
1970s- Watergate Scandal: Effects of the scandal ultimately led to the resignation of the President of the United States Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974, the first and so far only resignation of any U.S President.
1950–1975 Vietnam War: Prolonged conflict between Communist forces of North Vietnam, backed by China and the USSR, and non-Communist forces of South Vietnam, backed by the United States. President Truman authorizes $15 million in economic and military aid to the French, who are fighting to retain control of French Indochina, including Vietnam. As part of the aid package, Truman also sends 35 military advisers (May 1950). North Vietnamese torpedo boats allegedly attack U.S. destroyer in Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam (Aug. 2, 1964). Congress approves Gulf of Tonkin resolution, authorizing President Johnson to take any measures necessary to defend U.S. forces and prevent further aggression (Aug. 7). U.S. planes begin bombing raids of North Vietnam (Feb. 1965). First U.S. combat troops arrive in South Vietnam (March 8–9). North Vietnamese army and Viet Cong launch Tet Offensive, attacking Saigon and other key cities in South Vietnam (Jan.–Feb. 1968). American soldiers kill 300 Vietnamese villagers in My Lai massacre (March 16). U.S. troops invade Cambodia (May 1, 1970). Representatives of North and South Vietnam, the Viet Cong, and the U.S. sign a cease-fire agreement in Paris (Jan. 27, 1973). Last U.S. troops leave Vietnam (March 29). South Vietnamese government surrenders to North Vietnam; U.S. embassy Marine guards and last U.S. civilians are evacuated (April 30, 1975).
1975 April 30: End of Vietnam War
1980s- Reagan War on Drugs, Ronald Reagan speaks at the Berlin Wall's Brandenburg Gate, challenging Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!", In office January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
1990s- August 92 Hurricane Andrew was the third most powerful Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States during the 20th century
Bill Clinton: In office January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
2001 George W. Bush is inaugurated as the 43rd president (Jan. 20).
March 19, 2003 - The War in Iraq begins with the bombing of Baghdad after additional measures and mandates from the United Nations and the United States coalition fail to gain concessions or the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. The U.S. coalition, upon failure to extract authority from the U.N. for action due to the veto power of France, begin land operations one day later with participation from U.S., British, Australian, and Polish troops.
The April 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Firdos Square in Baghdad shortly after the capture of the city.