SASSY BALD EAGLE CHICKS: NOT BALD AT ALL BUT
American Timeline: 1492-Today
October 12, 1492
Christopher Columbus, Spanish
flag in suitcase, arrives in the Americas.
Landing of Columbus
Oil on canvas by John Vanderlyn,
Architect of the Capitol
Columbus and his crew make landfall on
the island of Guanahani, probably San Salvador Island, also called
Watlings Island, one of the Bahamas islands.
Ponce de León of Spain goes ashore on an island, or so he
thinks, and names it Florida.
Jacques Cartier explores the
St. Lawrence River for France.
Hernando de Soto explores the
Saint Augustine (today's
northeastern Florida, about 40 miles or 65 km southeast of
Jacksonville), the oldest
permanent settlement in the US, is founded by the Spanish.
Jamestown, Virginia, the first English
permanent settlement in North America, is founded. The Virginia Company
of London decides this site is the perfect location because no
Indians live here. Turns out, the property was vacant for a reason.
You couldn't get anything to grow on this swampy land.
Pilgrims from the ship
Mayflower set up a
settlement at Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, near Cape Cod.
The Act Concerning Religion
passed by the General Assembly, aka Maryland's legislature, is the first law of religious
toleration in the English colonies.
Sieur de La Salle investigates
the lower Mississippi valley and claims the entire region for
France. He calls it Louisiana.
Georgia, the 13th and last of
the English colonies in America, is founded.
French and Indian War between
France and England begins in America.
Treaty of Paris ends the French
and Indian War. The French leave, the British take over. See also the
Seven Years' War.
Quartering Act and the Stamp Act
anger Americans. Nine colonies are represented at the Stamp Act
British troops fire on a crowd,
killing five people in the so-called
Boston Tea Party, the first
action in a chain leading to war with Britain, takes place.
The First Continental Congress
meets at Philadelphia and protests the five
Intolerable Acts, also called the Coercive Acts.
Meanwhile, Britain closes down Boston harbor and deploys troops in
battles of Lexington and Concord
Bunker Hill occur. George
Washington on the roll.
Continental Congress meets.
Declaration of Independence is
adopted by Congress. Thomas Jefferson is pleased and the colonies
1778 - 1779
George Rogers Clark leads a victorious expedition into
the Northwest Territory. Here is his route on a map. Look for
George Washington accepts the
surrender of Charles Cornwallis
at Yorktown VA after the defeat of the British at the
Battle of Yorktown. The Articles of Confederation become the government
of the US.
June 20, 1782
The bald eagle becomes officially
the national emblem of the United States, so declare the
founding fathers at the Second Continental Congress.
The Bald Eagle
Glacier National Park Wildlife,
Why a Bald Eagle? How about a Bold
lines, here are
remarks to his daughter,
in 1784, in which he criticizes a veterans'
organization (the American Order of the
Cincinnati) for choosing the bald eagle as
"Others object to the bald eagle [i.e., on
the Cincinnati's emblem] as looking too much
like a dindon, or turkey. For my own part, I
wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as
the representative of our country; he is a
bird of bad moral character; he does not get
his living honestly ... like those among men
who live by sharping and robbing ... he is
generally poor, and often very lousy.
Besides, he is a rank coward; the little
king-bird, not bigger than a sparrow,
attacks him boldly and drives him out of the
district ... I am, on this account, not
displeased that the figure [i.e., the
Cincinnati's drawing] is not known as a bald
eagle, but looks more like a turkey. For in
truth, the turkey is in comparison a much
more respectable bird, and withal a true
original native of America. Eagles have been
found in all countries, but the turkey was
peculiar to ours ... He is, besides, (though
a little vain and silly, it is true, but not
the worse emblem for that), a bird of
courage, and would not hesitate to attack a
grenadier of the British guards, who should
presume to invade his farmyard with a red
Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Peace of Paris formally ends the Revolutionary War. Britain accepts the loss of the colonies.
1786 - 1787
Shays's Rebellion in
Massachusetts shows weaknesses of the Confederation government.
US Constitution is ratified
by the necessary nine states to ensure adoption.
The new US government goes into
George Washington is inaugurated president.
Go here for
George Washington's First Inaugural Address.
The first Congress
meets in New York City.
Bill of Rights is added to
the Constitution and guarantees individual freedom.
Vermont is the first new state admitted to the
Eli Whitney invents the cotton
gin, which leads to large-scale cotton growing in the South.
The national capital is moved
from Philadelphia to Washington DC.
Louisiana territories are purchased from
France. Here is more on the
1804 - 1806
Meriwether Lewis and
Clark blaze an overland trail to the Pacific and return.
Robert Fulton's steamboat makes
a successful journey from New York City to Albany NY.
Atlantic slave trade abolished.
1812 - 1815
The U.S. fights Great Britain
for the second and last time. This is the
War of 1812.
Missouri Compromise settles
the problem of slavery in new states for the next 30 years. This map
illustrates free and slave territory, and then
States Slavery and Emancipation
Monroe Doctrine warns
European nations that the US will protect the Americas.
The Erie Canal, from the Hudson
River to the Great Lakes, becomes a great water highway to the
The inauguration of
Andrew Jackson introduces the era of Jacksonian Democracy. Here you can read
Jackson's First Inaugural Address.
Texas wins its independence
from Mexico by means of the
The first migration begins on
the Oregon Trail. And here is
the Oregon Trail on a map:
1790-1900 United States
Texas is annexed and admitted
as a state. Here is a
map of Texas in 1845.
The Oregon boundary dispute is
settled with Britain. The
Mexican War begins.
Brigham Young leads a party of
Mormons into the Salt Lake valley, Utah.
Mexican War ends. The US
gains possession of the California and New Mexico regions.
The gold rush to California
The Compromise of 1850 admits
California as a free state, postponing war between the North and
South. Here is more on
Gadsden Purchase adds
117,935 sq km (45,535 sq mi) to what is now the southwestern US.
The Republican Party is
organized in opposition to slavery.
The Dred Scott decision of the
Supreme Court declares that the Missouri Compromise is illegal.
Abraham Lincoln is elected
president. South Carolina secedes from the Union.
Confederate States of
America is formed by eleven pro-slavery southern
states under the leadership of
Jefferson Davis. The
Civil War begins.
Telegraph links New York
City with San Francisco.
General Ulysses S. Grant launches
a Union attack in the West. The Confederate invasion of Maryland is
halted at Antietam. The Homestead Act grants 160 acres to each
Federal forces win decisive
battles at Gettysburg PA, Vicksburg MS, and Chattanooga TN.
Emancipation Proclamation is delivered,
issued by Lincoln, declaring slaves in Confederate states to be free.
General William Tecumseh Sherman
captures Atlanta and marches across Georgia.
General Robert E. Lee surrenders
General Ulysses S. Grant at
Appomattox (VA) Court House, ending the
Civil War. The Confederates are
Slavery is abolished under the
Abraham Lincoln is assassinated.
Reconstruction acts impose
military rule on the South. Alaska is purchased from Russia.
The first transcontinental
railroad is completed as two lines meet at Promontory UT.
The telephone is invented.
Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia celebrates the 100th birthday
of the US.
Sioux Indians are defeated by US
Little Bighorn (Little Big Horn)
The withdrawal of the last
federal troops from the South ends the Reconstruction period.
The first practical electric
light is invented by
Thomas A. Edison.
The Sherman Anti-Trust Act is
passed in an effort to curb the growth of monopolies.
US troops defeat Sioux Indians at
Henry Ford’s first car is
driven on the streets of Detroit.
The United States annex Hawaii.
The U.S. wins the
Spanish-American War and gains the Philippines, Puerto Rico,
Guam. Cuba becomes independent.
The air age begins with the
successful airplane flight by the Wright brothers.
Federal income tax is
authorized by the 16th Amendment.
Panama Canal is opened
under the control of the US.
World War I breaks out in Europe.
Woodrow Wilson appeals for neutrality in the US.
A German submarine sinks the
British ship Lusitania with the loss of 124 American lives.
telephone line is established coast-to-coast.
Great Migration begins. By the year 1970, 6 to 7 million
African Americans will have moved from the South to the North.
The US declares war against
Check this event in the Timeline of World War
Woodrow Wilson proposes Fourteen
Points as the basis for peace. Here you can read his
Fourteen Points speech.
Americans fight at Château-Thierry,
Belleau Wood, Saint-Mihiel, and Argonne Forest in France. An
armistice ends the war.
1918 - 1919
Woodrow Wilson attends the Paris
Peace Conference of victorious nations.
The US Senate rejects the
League of Nations.
Prohibition is established by the
The right to vote is given to
women by the 19th Amendment.
Congress grants the right to
citizenship to Native Americans.
Charles A. Lindbergh makes the
first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic.
The Kellogg-Briand Pact outlaws
The stock market reaches a new
high and then crashes. The panic marks the beginning of the
Depression. Thirteen million workers become unemployed.
Herbert Hoover has to work
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is
FDR launches the
New Deal, a recovery program
that includes major public works. The
gold standard is suspended.
The National Recovery Act is passed.
Bank deposits are insured. The Tennessee Valley Authority is
The 21st Amendment repeals prohibition
and the sale of alcohol resumes.
The Fair Labor Standards Act
provides a federal yardstick for wages and hours of workers.
Germany invades Poland,
World War II. The US declares neutrality.
The US begins a huge rearmament
program; the first peacetime draft takes effect.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt defies
tradition and accepts the presidential nomination for a third term.
The Japanese attack on
Harbor, Hawaii, brings the US into
World War II. Germany declares
war on the US.
Check this event in the Timeline of WWII.
Americans launch a
counteroffensive in the Pacific. The Allies invade North Africa.
The invasion of Italy is the
Allies’ first landing on the European continent.
The Allies launch the greatest
sea-to-land assault in history in the invasion of France.
Check this event in the Timeline of WWII.
Bill of Rights is passed.
US drops atomic bombs on Japan at Hiroshima
The US drops atomic bombs on
Japan at Nagasaki.
Japan surrenders. The
Cold War begins between
the US and the Soviet Union.
The Philippines is granted
independence by the US.
Truman Doctrine, offering
aid to counter
communism in Greece and Turkey, is declared.
Marshall Plan, a program
to aid post-war European economies, transfers 13 billion dollars
The US and its allies force the Soviet Union to
lift the Berlin blockade.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO) is founded.
The US and several other
members of the UN send military forces to the aid of the Republic of
Korea. Bitter war develops against North Korean and Chinese troops.
More on the
A two-term limit is put on the
presidency by ratification of the 22nd Amendment.
The US and its allies end the
occupation of West Germany. The election of
Dwight D. Eisenhower
ends 20 years of Democratic governance.
Korean War ends.
Racial segregation in public
schools is declared illegal by the Supreme Court.
The Senate finally gets a handle on
Red Scare, aka McCarthyism, the
crusade against alleged communists carried out by
Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Start of campaign of civil
disobedience to secure civil rights for Americans of African
The Eisenhower Doctrine to
strengthen the US position in the Middle East is adopted.
Alaska becomes the 49th state,
Hawaii the 50th.
A US spy plane is downed over
the Soviet Union.
President John F. Kennedy is
The CIA is involved in an
unsuccessful invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.
More on the
Bay of Pigs Invasion.
American troops are
sent to defend West Berlin.
Cuban missile crisis
erupts. The Soviets remove missiles from Cuba at the urging of the
The March on Washington for
Jobs and Freedom takes place.
President John F. Kennedy is assassinated
in Dallas TX.
Lyndon Baines Johnson becomes
Civil Rights Act
is passed, now law. It aims to halt discrimination on grounds of
race, color, religion, or nationality.
The US steps up its military
interventions in Vietnam.
US combat forces fight in
Vietnam. More on the
The 25th Amendment to the
Constitution provides for presidential succession.
The assassinations of
Luther King, Jr., and
Robert F. Kennedy provoke riots.
Richard Nixon is elected
president while people are fed up with the Vietnam War.
Armstrong is the first person to walk on the Moon.
Four students at Kent State
University in Ohio are killed by National Guard soldiers during
anti-Vietnam War protests.
The 26th Amendment to the
Constitution gives 18-year-olds the right to vote in all elections.
President Richard M. Nixon is
re-elected and visits
China and the Soviet Union.
Vietnam ceasefire agreement
signed. The US withdraws its troops
from Vietnam. The campaign had claimed some 58,000 American lives. More on the
Watergate Scandal and the
threat of impeachment force
President Richard M. Nixon
Gerald Ford is sworn-in as
Jimmy Carter elected president.
President Jimmy Carter hosts the
Camp David talks between Israel’s Menachem Begin and Egypt’s
The second Strategic Arms
Limitation Talks (
SALT II) treaty is signed by the US and the Soviet
Militants seize 66 American hostages
in a takeover of the US embassy in Teheran, Iran. A 444-day hostage
1980 / 1981
President Ronald Reagan adopts
a tough anti-communist foreign policy and tax-cutting policies that
lead to a large federal budget deficit.
Reagan is wounded
in an assassination attempt.
Sandra Day O’Connor is appointed the
first woman Supreme Court justice.
President Ronald Reagan
announces the Star Wars
missile-defense program. The US invades Grenada.
President Ronald Reagan
A summit between
President Ronald Reagan
Mikhail Gorbachev is held in Geneva, Switzerland.
The space shuttle Challenger
explodes shortly after liftoff from Cape Canaveral. All seven crew
members are killed.
The US bombs targets in Libya.
Iran-Contra Affair is revealed, "Irangate" a scandal which exposed
that proceeds from secret US arms sales to Iran were used illegally
to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
The stock market collapses.
George Bush, elected president.
The Exxon Valdez supertanker
spills 10 million gallons of crude oil off the Alaskan coast.
invades Panama, oust its government and arrest its leader, one-time
Central Intelligence Agency informant General Manuel Noriega, on
Berlin Wall ceases to divide the two Germanys,
signaling the end of the
US troops are sent to Saudi
Arabia in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
More about the
An air and ground war leads to
the Iraqi surrender and withdrawal from Kuwait. The Soviet Union
Riots erupt in Los Angeles
after white policemen accused of beating African American
King are acquitted.
The North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) is signed by the US, Canada, and Mexico, intended to create
free-trade bloc among these three countries.
Bill Clinton elected president.
Janet Reno becomes the first
woman attorney general.
The World Trade Center in New York City is
Congress defeats Clinton's
flagship legislation intended to reform health care system.
Investigations into Whitewater
scandal, over the Clintons' financial dealings in Arkansas, where he
had been governor before becoming president.
Sexual harassment charges are filed
against Clinton by a former Arkansas employee. Mid-term elections
result in Republican majorities in both houses of Congress.
Timothy McVeigh detonates a
bomb in a terrorist attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Address.
Bill Clinton re-elected
President Bill Clinton is impeached
for perjury and obstruction of justice. He will be acquitted by the
Senate in 1999. Not due to a lack of real problems, but by reason of
the incredible depth of the sticks in many rears, the
Clinton-Lewinsky scandal is all that is talked about for a long
US plays leading role in NATO
bombardment of Yugoslavia in response to Serb violence against
ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo.
The results of the presidential
election are challenged by Vice President Al Gore. The US Supreme Court
overrules the Florida Supreme Court’s order for a statewide manual
recount of ballots.
George W. Bush wins the presidency.
2001, September 11
airplanes demolish the World Trade Center in New York City, another
crashes into the Pentagon outside Washington DC, and a fourth
crashes in the southern Pennsylvania countryside.
3,025 people are killed in the
George W. Bush calls
for a global War on Terror and sends US troops into Afghanistan,
eventually displacing the Taliban regime.
February: - Space shuttle
Columbia's 28th mission ends in tragedy when the craft breaks-up
while re-entering the atmosphere. The seven astronauts on board are
March: - The US launches the
Iraq War to depose
the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq and takes control of the country
after just weeks of fighting.
August, 14: - Biggest power blackout
in North American history hits cities in the north and east,
including New York, as well as Canadian cities.
July: - The independent 9/11 Commission finds no credible evidence
of a connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda's attacks of September 11, 2001.
George W. Bush is reelected president.
people are killed when Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive storm
to hit the US in decades, sweeps through gulf coast states. Much of
the city of New Orleans is submerged by flood waters.
A crisis in the subprime
mortgage industry, leading to foreclosures and falling home values,
together with record-high prices of petroleum, pushes the US economy
to the brink of recession. On September 15, the Lehman Brothers
investment banking house collapses into bankruptcy. Public
confidence in both the economy and government oversight plummets.
US troop deaths in Iraq top 4,100 by
July, while deaths in Afghanistan reach 475.
Barack Obama is sworn in as the first African American
president of the United States. Here you can read
Obama's Inaugural Address.
meet the 30 June deadline to withdraw from Iraqi cities under an
agreement that calls for all American forces to leave Iraq by the
end of 2011.
Deepwater Horizon oil rig
disaster in the Gulf of Mexico causes the United States' biggest oil
spill to date.
January: US congresswoman
Gabrielle Giffords is shot in
the head while meeting voters in Tucson, Arizona. Giffords survives
but six people are killed in the rampage and 13 wounded.
May: US forces kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama
Bin Laden in an operation in the Pakistani city of
Abbottabad. Read President Obama's Address
On the Death of Osama Bin Laden
December: After 8 years, 9 months, and
12 days, the
Iraq War is over.
On January 21, President Obama
Second Inaugural Address.