Top Stories of the 20th Century


According to the journalists and historians, the 20th century's top 100 news events were:
  1. United States drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima, Nagasaki: Japan surrenders to end World War II - 1945
  2. American astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to walk on the moon - 1969
  3. Japan bombs Pearl Harbor: United States enters World War II - 1941
  4. Wilbur and Orville Wright fly the first powered airplane - 1903
  5. Women win the vote - 1920
  6. President John F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas - 1963
  7. Horrors of Nazi Holocaust, concentration camps exposed - 1945
  8. World War I begins in Europe - 1914
  9. Brown v. Board of Education ends "separate but equal" school segregation - 1954
  10. U.S. stock market crashes: The Great Depression sets in - 1929

  11. Alexander Fleming discovers the first antibiotic, penicillin - 1928
  12. Structure of DNA discovered - 1953
  13. U.S.S.R dissolves, Mikhail Gorbachev resigns: Boris Yeltsin takes over - 1991
  14. President Richard M. Nixon resigns after Watergate scandal - 1974
  15. Germany invades Poland: World War II begins in Europe - 1939
  16. Russian revolution ends: Communists take over - 1917
  17. Henry Ford organizes the first major U.S. assembly line to produce Model T cars - 1913
  18. Soviets launch Sputnik, first space satellite: space race begins - 1957
  19. Albert Einstein presents special theory of relativity: general relativity theory to follow - 1905
  20. FDA approves birth-control pill - 1960

  21. Dr. Jonas Salk's polio vaccine proven effective in University of Pittsburgh tests - 1953
  22. Adolf Hitler named Chancellor of Germany: Nazi Party begins to seize power - 1933
  23. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King assassinated in Memphis, Tenn - 1968
  24. D-Day invasion marks the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe - 1944
  25. Deadly AIDS disease identified - 1981
  26. Congress passes landmark Civil Rights Act outlawing segregation - 1964
  27. Berlin Wall falls as East Germany lifts travel restrictions - 1989
  28. Television debuts in America at New York World's Fair - 1939
  29. Mao Tse-tung establishes Peoples Republic of China: Nationalists flee to Formosa (Taiwan) - 1949
  30. Charles Lindbergh crosses the Atlantic in first solo flight - 1927

  31. First mass market personal computers launched - 1977
  32. World Wide Web revolutionizes the Internet - 1989
  33. Scientists at Bell Labs invent the transistor - 1948
  34. FDR launches "New Deal:" sweeping federal economic, public works legislation to combat depression - 1933
  35. Cuban Missile Crisis threatens World War III - 1962
  36. "Unsinkable" Titanic, largest man-made structure, sinks - 1912
  37. Germany surrenders: V.E. Day celebrated - 1945
  38. Roe v. Wade decision legalizes abortion - 1973
  39. World War I ends with Germany's defeat - 1918
  40. First regular radio broadcasts begin in America - 1909

  41. Worldwide flu epidemic kills 20 million - 1918
  42. ENIAC accelerates digital computing - 1946
  43. Regular TV broadcasting begins in the United States - 1941
  44. Jackie Robinson breaks baseball's color barrier - 1947
  45. Israel achieves statehood - 1948
  46. Plastic invented: revolutionizes products, packaging - 1909
  47. Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott begins after Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white person - 1955
  48. Atomic bomb tested in New Mexico - 1945
  49. Apartheid ends in South Africa: law to treat races equally - 1993
  50. Civil rights march converges on Washington, D.C.: Martin Luther King gives "I Have A Dream" speech - 1963

  51. American scientists patent the computer chip - 1959
  52. Marconi transmits radio signal across the Atlantic - 1901
  53. White House sex scandal leads to impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton - 1998
  54. Sec. of State George Marshall proposes European recovery program, The Marshall Plan - 1947
  55. Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy assassinated in California - 1968
  56. U.S. Senate rejects Versailles Treaty: dooms League of Nations - 1920
  57. Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" stimulates environmental protection movement - 1962
  58. British rock group The Beatles takes the United States by storm after debut on the Ed Sullivan show - 1964
  59. Congress passes Voting Rights Act, outlawing measures used to suppress minority votes - 1965
  60. Yuri Gagarin becomes first man in space - 1961

  61. First jet airplane takes flight - 1939
  62. U.S. combat troops arrive in South Vietnam: U.S. planes bomb North Vietnam - 1965
  63. North Vietnamese forces take over Saigon - 1975
  64. Manhattan Project begins secret work on atomic bomb: Fermi triggers first atomic chain reaction - 1942
  65. Congress strengthens "GI Bill of Rights" to help veterans - 1945
  66. Alan Shepard becomes first American in space - 1961
  67. Watergate scandal engulfs Nixon administration - 1973
  68. Earthquake hits San Francisco: "Paris of the West" burns - 1906
  69. United Nations is officially established - 1945
  70. Communists build wall to divide East and West Berlin - 1961

  71. Mohandas Gandhi begins leading nonviolent reform movement in India - 1920
  72. Standard Oil loses Supreme Court antitrust suit: monopolies suffer blow - 1911
  73. United States withdraws last ground troops from Vietnam - 1973
  74. North Atlantic Treaty Organization established - 1949
  75. Joseph Stalin begins forced modernization of the Soviet Union: resulting famines claim 25 million - 1928
  76. Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt beats incumbent President Herbert Hoover - 1932
  77. Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Soviet Premier: begins era of "Glasnost" - 1985
  78. Max Planck proposes quantum theory of energy - 1900
  79. Scientists clone sheep, dubbed Dolly, in Scotland - 1997
  80. Congress passes interstate highway bill - 1956

  81. Panama Canal opens, linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans - 1914
  82. Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" inaugurates modern women's rights movement - 1963
  83. The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes killing crew including school teacher Christa McAuliffe - 1986
  84. United States sends troops to defend South Korea - 1950
  85. Violence erupts at Democratic National Convention in Chicago - 1968
  86. Sigmund Freud publishes "The Interpretation of Dreams" - 1900
  87. China begins "Great Leap Forward" modernization program: estimated 20 million die in ensuing famine - 1958
  88. United States enters World War I - 1917
  89. Babe Ruth hits 60 home runs - a single-season record that would last for 34 years - 1927
  90. John Glenn becomes first American to orbit the earth - 1962

  91. North Vietnamese boats reportedly attack U.S. ships: Congress passes Gulf of Tonkin resolution - 1964
  92. Pathfinder lands on Mars, sending back astonishing photos - 1997
  93. Hitler launches "Kristallnacht," ordering Nazis to commit acts of violence against German Jews - 1938
  94. Winston Churchill designated Prime Minister of Great Britain - 1940
  95. Louise Brown, first "test-tube baby," born healthy - 1978
  96. Soviets blockade West Berlin: Western allies respond with massive airlift - 1948
  97. Bill Gates and Paul Allen start Microsoft Corp. to develop software for Altair computer - 1975
  98. Chernobyl nuclear plant leak results in eventual deaths of an estimated 7,000 - 1986
  99. Teacher John Scopes' trial pits creation against evolution in Tennessee - 1925
  100. The U.S. Surgeon General warns about smoking-related health hazards - 1964