Ancestry: History: 20th Century:


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Period for 1900 - 1999
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The history of the 20th century is a vast one. By the onset of this century, there were more countries and sovereignties around the world than there had ever previously been in the past. As a result of this fact, a number of things over the last 100 years of this century had far reaching impacts on nations which would never have been affected in the previous centuries.

The century started off with the independence of Australia which previously had been a colony of the vast British Empire. The changes in regulation and politics during the 20th century saw the release of many previously colony controlled nations. China also went through the Boxer Rebellion and the King of Italy was assassinated. At the same time, the Kodak Company introduced a $1 camera and Sigmund Freud published his famous book, “The Interpretation of Dreams”.


By 1901, the world’s first Nobel Prizes were awarded and the first radio communication across the Atlantic occurred. This was also a sad year on both sides of the Atlantic as Queen Victoria died and American President McKinley was assassinated.

With Teddy Roosevelt now in American office, 1902 saw the introduction of the Teddy Bear while at the same time, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. Furthermore, 1902 saw the ending of the Boer War and the devastating eruption of Mount Pelée.

By 1903, the Wright Brothers attained flight as the first successful plane flight occurred at Kitty Hawk. This also marked the year that the U.S. started printing and issuing vehicle license plates. With the Trans-Atlantic radio communication the previous year, the first message to be sent around the world occurred in 1903. As the world’s first silent movie was debuted, the U.S. also had their first ever World Series; a yearly tradition that continues today.

Major transportation feats were started or finished in 1904 as the Panama Canal was started, the Trans-Siberian Railway as well as the New York City subway system were opened to the public. On the note of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Russo-Japanese War started this same year and the following year in 1905 saw the Russian Revolution now known as “Bloody Sunday”.

In science though, Einstein published the Theory of Relativity and Freud published “The Theory of Sexuality”.

The world’s first dreadnought class ship was officially launched in 1906 and Finland became the first European nation to give women the right to vote. Furthermore, 1906 also saw the first ever Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and the Great San Francisco earthquake occurred.

By 1907 the Ten Rules of War were established during the Second Hague Peace Conference, the world’s first electric washing machine hit the stores and Picasso invented the artistic style of Cubism. Mary Mallon who worked as a cook and travelled often, although was healthy herself carried Typhoid and transmitted it to 47 people giving her the name of Typhoid Mary.

In 1908, more than 150,000 people were killed in Italy as a huge earthquake struck a populated area while at the same time, Henry Ford released the first ever Model T. The newest Emperor of China was a three year-old named Pu Yi and the mysterious Tunguska Event occurred in Siberia.

As the decade grew to a close, Prince Ito of Japan was assassinated in 1909 and the NAACP was founded in the U.S. Furthermore, this marked the year of the invention of plastic as well as the first ever expedition to successfully reach the North Pole.

1910 saw the founding of the Boy Scouts of America which also coincided with the appearance of Halley’s Comet. By the beginning of the next decade, the Chinese begin their revolution and the structure of an atom was discovered. This was not the only discovery of 1911 as the ancient Incan city, Machu Picchu was found and the Mona Lisa was also discovered to be stolen. With the North Pole Expedition a success in 1909, by 1911 the South Pole was reached by Roald Amundsen.

By 1912 the first ever Oreo cookie was introduced to the world. As parachutes were invented at this time, the tragedy of the Titanic’s sinking was also to occur in 1912.

With the Model T already being produced and a goal of making it even cheaper, by 1913, Henry Ford opened the first automobile assembly line in Michigan, U.S.A. 1913 also marked the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct and the introduction of income taxes in the United States.

Charlie Chaplin made his first appearance on the big screen in 1914 which also shared its year with the beginning of World War I as well as the official opening of the long awaited Panama Canal.

As the First World War led on, the first ever attack by a German U-Boat occurred in 1915 as well as Germany’s use of chemical warfare resulting in the use of gas masks to finish the fighting of World War I in the trenches.

By 1916 the world’s first self-serve grocery store opened up in the United States and the Easter Rising occurred in Ireland.

This year also saw many pivotal battles in the First World War.

While the Nobel Prize had been out since the turning of the century, the first Pulitzer Prize was awarded in 1917. As the U.S. entered into the First World War after receiving information that Germany was attempting to coax Mexico into attacking the U.S. the first spy, Mata Hari was executed.

1918 saw the introduction of Daylight Savings Time as well as the infamous Influenza epidemic. Furthermore, the year of 1918 saw the brutal murder of the Russian Czar, Nicholas II, along with his entire family.

As the decade came to a close, 1919 would see the signing of the Treaty of Versailles which officially ended the First World War. The following year the bubonic plague would hit India and the Harlem Renaissance would begin. The League of Nations was founded in 1920


while at the same time the amendment to the constitution introduced prohibition to the U.S. As this occurred, women in the United States were granted the privilege to vote.

As Ireland proclaimed independence the invention of the lie detector began making waves in the criminal underworld. As 1922 came into view though, the discovery of insulin gave a way to remedy an issue which seemed to be plaguing persons of the medical profession for years. The tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh, King Tut was discovered, the country of Turkey was reorganised into the new Modern Turkey.

By 1923, Adolf Hitler had attempted his first coup plot only to fail and wind up jailed for the time being. This also marked the year that movies changed from silent films to include sounds. As this occurred, the popular Time Magazine was first founded and continues on today.

While in jail, Adolf Hitler published Mein Kampf in 1925 and by 1926 the magician Houdini would die after being punched. 1926 also saw the first publishing of the Winnie-the-Pooh books by A.A. Miline. By 1927 though, the BBC was founded and in the same year across the Atlantic, Babe Ruth was the most watched sports figure in the world.

The first car would get a radio in 1929 but not before the first Mickey Mouse cartoon was released or the first Trans-Atlantic flight was accomplished in 1928. This also saw the infamous prohibition and mafia related Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago.

As the New York Stock Market crashed in 1929, the world prepares for the great depression. Of course the depression would not officially occur until after the 1931 imprisonment of Al Capone and the completion of the Empire State Building.

By 1933, Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany and opened the first Nazi Concentration Camp.

As prohibition came to an end and the Great Depression started affecting the world, the beginning actions that would later be the causes of the Second World War would begin to unfold.

The first cheeseburger was created in 1934 which also marked the Dust Bowl years as well as the first sales of the game of Monopoly. As the middle of the 1930’s happened, the Hoover Dam gets completed and King Edward VIII abdicates his throne. The infamous vanishing of Amelia Earhart occurs in 1937 along with the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hindenburg Disaster.

The 1938 broadcast of War of the Worlds by Orson Wells caused mass panic in the United States and by 1939 the first commercial flight between New York and London occurred. 1939 also saw the invention of the helicopter and the official start of the Second World War.

The 1941 Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor led the United States to join in on World War II. This year also saw the Manhattan Project as well as the completion of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

As the famous Anne Frank went into hiding, Japanese-Americans were held in camps in the U.S. as the war with Japan led on. All of this occurred in 1942 which also happened to be the year that the first T-shirt was offered to the world.

By 1945 the first ever computer was built and the Germans surrendered. Adolf Hitler committed suicide this year which also marked the invention of the microwave oven.

As the United Nations was formed in 1945, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima which would mark the first and only time that a weapon of mass destruction was actually used against an enemy.

By 1947 with the invention of the Polaroid Camera, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier for the first time. The following year also saw the assassination of Gandhi and the establishment of Israel as a Jewish State. By the end of the first half of the 20th century, NATO was established, the Soviet Union developed an atomic bomb leading to the Cold War and the Korean War began.

The official end of World War II occurred in 1951 when the peace treaty with America and Japan was signed. This also marked the year that the colour television was introduced to the world.

By 1954 the world’s first atomic submarine was launched and segregation was ruled to be illegal in the United States. This was also the year before Disneyland would officially open and James Dean’s death.

The year of 1956 saw much advancement such as the invention of the remote control as well as the introduction of Velcro. This also marked the beginning of the Suez Crisis and the beginning of the Soviet Space Program which launched the Space Age officially when Sputnik was launched in 1957.

By 1960, the first laser would be invented which inevitably would lead to a number of the more popular sci-fi movies which would be released the following decade. By 1961 though, the Berlin Wall would be erected splitting a nation in half for many decades to come.

Before the Beatles would become a hit in the United States in 1964, JFK would be assassinated the previous year under a shroud of mystery which is still contemplated on today. Japan built its first Bullet Train in 1965 while the Great New York City Blackout would occur on the other side of the globe.

As the first set of U.S. troops were sent to Vietnam in 1965, a year later the Black Panther Party would be established and the Star Trek series would make its first appearance on the television.

Long before the internet existed as we know it today, back in 1969, ARPANET would be established. This also marked the year of the arresting of the infamous Manson Family as well as the famous Woodstock and Neil Armstrong’s moon walk.

By 1973, the United States finally pulled out of Vietnam. This also marked the completion of the Sears Tower. As the Vice President of the United States resigned in 1973, a year later President Nixon too would end up resigning his position.

By 1975 the Microsoft Corporation was officially launched and within only a couple of years Elvis Presley would be found dead and the movie Star Wars would appear for the first time in the movie theatres.

1979 marked the year of the Three Mile Island Disaster in Pennsylvania as well as the introduction of the Sony Walkman. The following year would see the assassination of John Lennon as well as the eruption of Mount St. Helens, the establishment of CNN and the popularity of the Rubik’s Cube.

By 1981 there was an attempt to assassinate not only President Regan, but also the Pope. This also marked the year that AIDS would be identified for the first time and Pac-Man would become the most popular game in the world. This year also marked an important part in recent history as it was the year that IBM officially introduced the Personal Computer to the general public.

In 1985, the hole in the Ozone layer of the atmosphere was first discovered while at the same time, so was the Titanic. The following year would mark the Challenger Disaster as the space shuttle exploded upon lift-off, in 1996, the same year as the Chernobyl Nuclear Meltdown would occur.

By 1987, DNA was beginning to be used for the first time as a means of convicting a criminal. By 1989 though, the Berlin Wall would finally be torn down and the Exxon Valdez would cause the world’s worst ecological disaster as millions of gallons of oil reached the U.S. and Canadian coastlines.

The 1990’s saw the discovery of a Bronze Age man in a glacier as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union, Operation Desert Storm, the ending of the Cold War as well as the infamous Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles. By 1993 the World Trade Center would be bombed for the first time only to be completely destroyed years later in 2001. O.J. Simpson gives a televised police chase only to be arrested for a double murder in which he would later be found innocent.

Original Authors: Nick (Globel Team)
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 04/08/2008

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