Timeline of the Age of Prosperity

Some call it the Postmodern Age. Others: The Age of Affluence or the Age of Leisure. Whatever the labels, this post covers history from 1945 to early 1989, at the end of the Reagan administration. The American church and Christianity is included here. Lots of information here.

If you’re in a hurry, use the ctrl-f search to find your key term.

At the end is a conclusion section that asks the Western world to wake up.

Let’s get started with Truman administration.

Harry S. Truman (1948-1953)

S. is not an abbreviation, but was chosen to not show favoritism towards his paternal grandfather (Shippe) or his maternal grandfather (Solomon). Neutrality.


5 Mar: Former Prime Minister Churchill speaks at Fulton, Missouri, at Westminster College. He says, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent allowing ‘police governments’ to rule Eastern Europe.”

3 June: Supreme Court in Morgan v. Commonwealth rules that buses must allow seating without regard to race in interstate commerce.

31 Dec: Truman issues a proclamation of formal cessation of WWII hostilities on the final day of the year.


8 Jan: He names George C. Marshal as Secretary of State, and he will head up what will become known as the Marshal Plan.

21 Mar: Truman issues Executive Order 9835, establishing Loyalty Program, which institutes procedures requiring investigate of government employees and applicants for federal jobs. There is a rising fear of communism.

24 Mar: Congress proposes 22nd Amendment that limits the president to two terms.

15 May: The Truman doctrine of aid program approved by Congress that aids Greece and Turkey, and he promises to prevent the spread of communism.

23 June: The Taft-Hartley Act is passed by Congress despite a veto by president three days earlier. The act bans closed shops and allows employer to sue unions for broken contracts and damages incurred during strikes. It provides a Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

17 Sep: The US refers Korean independence to the UN, which passes resolution to seek free elections.

5 Oct: For the first time TV is used to communicate to entire country; he speaks of world food shortage.

18 Oct: The House Un-American Activities Committee opens and investigation into Communist influence in the American movie industry.

19 Dec: He asks Congress for the first installment of $17 billion of a four-year European Economic Recovery Program.


2 Feb: He introduces a civil rights package that calls for end of segregated schools and employment discrimination.

8 Mar: Supreme Court rules that religious education training in public school is unconstitutional.


3 Jan: Supreme Court rules states have right to ban the closed shop, based on the Taft Hartley Act, which Truman had unsuccessfully tried to veto.

12 Jan: Under-Secretary of State-designate Dean Acheson reaffirms the UN’s responsibility to provide military security to Pacific nations, but he does not consider Korea as within US defense perimeter.

19 Jan: Congress raises presidential salary to $100k per year. And he gets a $50k tax free expense allowance.

21 May: Federal Republic of Germany is established.

15 July: He signs the Housing Act extending federal aid for public housing, which many hope will alleviate shortage.

21 July: North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) passes the Senate, 82-13. Nations: (1) U.S., (2) Great Britain, (3) France, (4) Spain, (5) Portugal, (6) Italy, (7) W. Germany, (8) Greece, (9) Turkey, (10) Norway, (11) Denmark, (12) Belgium.

5 Aug: A White Paper from State Department blames Chiang regime as corrupt and inept so it lost China to communists.

10 Aug: He signs National Security Act, which creates Department of Defense and gives subcabinet status to secretaries of Army, Navy, and Air Force.

23 Sep: He signs Mutual Defense Assistance Act, to provide military aid to NATO allies.

23 Sep: He tells public that the Soviet Union now has nuclear capabilities, having just tested atomic device.

14 Oct: Eleven communists are found guilty of conspiracy to advocate violent overthrow of federal government.

26 Oct: Fair Labor Standards Act increases the minimum wage to 75 cents and hour, up from 40 cents.


31 Jan: He notifies public that scientists are at work on hydrogen bomb under Atomic Energy Commission.

11 May: He travels to Washington state to dedicate Grand Coulee dam.

28 Aug: Amendments to Social Security Act provide expanded benefits since an increase of number of workers, some 9 million additional persons are eligible for benefits.

1 Nov: Assassination attempt on Truman at Blair House while White House is being renovated. He is shaken but not hurt. Two Puerto Rican nationalists, Griselio Torresola and Oscar Colazo, are would-be assassins. Torresola is killed and Colazo is wounded. He receives life sentence. WH guard Leslie Coffelt is killed and two guards wounded.


15 Jan: Supreme Court rules in Feiner v. US that a speaker who displays “a clear and present danger” of incitement to riot can be arrested.

21 Mar: Defense secretary George Marshall says US armed forces stand at 2.9 million, twice what they were prior to Koran conflict.

15 May: ATT announces it has over 1 million shareholders, a first for American corporation.

4 June: Supreme Court rules in Dennis v. US that the Smith Act, passed in 1949 and deals with communists in government, is constitutional.

8 Sep: In San Francisco 49 nations sign Japanese Peace Treaty that recognizes Japan’s full sovereignty. US and Japan agree that US can maintain military forces in Japanese territory.


5 Jan: Prime Minister Winston Churchill is back in office since 1951, and he and Truman begin several days of meetings in capital, to “reestablish the close and intimate relationship that he had had with Roosevelt in wartime and to seek a common policy and approach on the grave problems facing the Western Alliance.” The meetings end a few days later and US agrees not to launch an atomic attack on Europe without consent of Britain.

2 Mar: Supreme Court rules that subversive people may be barred from teaching in public schools.

20 Mar: Japanese Peace Treaty passes Senate, 66-10.

30 Mar: He announces that he will not be a candidate for re-election.

28 Apr: He announces formally the end of a state of war between US and Japan. Gen. Ridgeway is named supreme commander of allied troops in Europe, replacing Eisenhower.

12 May: Mark Clark receives appointment to head UN troops in Far East.

The first female ambassador to US is received in our nation’s capital—Her Excellency Shrimati Vijaya Pandit of India.

25 July: Puerto Rico becomes a Commonwealth under US jurisdiction.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1953-1961)


7 Feb: Eisenhower retires from active duty in army.

7 June: He becomes president of Columbia University.


19 Dec: North Atlantic Council names Eisenhower supreme commander of Western European defense forces.

16 Dec: He receives indefinite leave of absence because he anticipates appointment to NATO command.


4 Apr: He sets up Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE) in Paris.


7 Jan: Gen. Eisenhower says he’s willing to accept a draft for Republican presidential nomination.

7 July: Republican National Committee meets in Chicago and nominates him. He chooses Richard M. Nixon.

21 July: DNC nominates Adlai Stevenson, and he chooses John Sparkman of Alabama.

4 Nov: He wins presidency at 33,927, 549 votes out of 61,547,861. Electoral College: 442 to 89.


9 Jan: Federal budget estimates are projected at $78 billion, and revenues at $68 billion.

20 Jan: He is inaugurated president.

1 Apr: Congress establishes Health, Education and Welfare (HEW).

14 June: At Dartmouth College in NH, he warns against “book burners” and thought control.

29 July: US B-50 bomber is shot down by Soviets off coast of Vladivostock. Siberia.

7 Aug: 1953 Congress signs Refugee Relief Act, admitting 214,000 foreign nationals to US.

23 Nov: He says all Americans have a right to meet their accusers face to face, referring to McCarthy’s tactics.

24 Nov: McCarthy attacks Truman administration, claiming it was “crawling” with communists.


7 Jan: In his State of the Union Address, he proposes military cuts.

18 Feb: US, Britain, France and Russia discuss issues of deteriorating military in Indochina, but they also say they can’t reach agreement on divided Germany.

18 June: CIA supported military force led by Cl. Carlos Castillo Armas invades Guatemala from neighboring Honduras.

18 June: UN Security Council calls for cessation of hostilities in Guatemala.

29 June: With aid from CIA, Arbenze-Guzman government in Guatemala is overthrown by anti-communist insurgents. The insurgents install a junta.

12 July: He proposes a highway modernization program by state and local governments.

13 July: Department of Commerce says GNP is $365 billion.

2 Aug: He signs the Housing Act, which will alleviate housing shortages. The new bull provides 35,000 housing units.

2 Aug: A Senate committee is organized to investigate charges of misconduct by Sen. McCarthy. The Senate is concerned with damage done to reputation of its legislative body.

17 Aug: Chou En-lai declares that China intends to attack Taiwan. The president says China will have to run over 7th fleet.

24 Aug: He signs the Communist Control Act that strips the Communist Party in America of its privileges and immunities under Internal Security Act.

1 Sep: Social Security amendments add 7 million workers to those covered already, primarily self-employed farmers.

3 Sep: Congress approves measure to impose death penalty for espionage during peacetime.

12 Sep: Eisenhower meets with the National Security Council and is concerned about atomic war, so he decides against military action in Red China-Taiwan conflict.

11 Oct: After passage of Communist Control Act on 24 Aug, Civil Service Commission dismisses over 2600 persons from federal employment.

2 Dec: Sen. Joseph McCarthy is condemned by colleagues for his misconduct in recent Army-McCarthy hearings. This is the end of his four-year campaign against domestic communism.

2 Dec: US and Taiwan sign a mutual defense treaty.

19 Jan: He takes part in first televises press conference.

10 Mar: US House of Representatives votes to reduce by 50% most excise taxes and federal luxury taxes.

24 Mar: President reports on hydrogen bomb test on 1 Mar, which exceeded expected proportions, in Marshal Islands in Pacific.

1 Apr: President establishes a US air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, similar to west Point and Annapolis.

17 May: Supreme Court decides in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that “separate but equal” doctrine does not offer equal protection. Brown case deals with elementary education, so the court says unanimously that desegregation should proceed with “all deliberate speed.”

30 Oct: US promises nearly $6 million to support newly elected Guatemalan president Carlos Castillo Armas.

31 Dec: NY Stock Exchange records highest volume of trading since 1933 at 573,374,622 shared during past year.


14 Jan: US Senate votes 84-0 to continue investigation of communist activity by government employees.

17 Jan: 1955 fiscal year budget: $62 billion in expenditures and $60 billion in revenues.

1 Feb: Congress ratifies Southeast Asian Collective Defense Treaty.

15 Feb: Atomic Energy Commission reports that a hydrogen bomb explosion has capacity to devastate 700 square miles.

10 Mar: President says in event of war, US would use nuclear weapons.

31 May: Supreme Court says school desegregation will come under federal court jurisdiction, be desegregation of public schools not to be carried out any specific times.

22 June: Soviet fighter planes shoot down a US Navy patrol plane over Bering Strait off coast of Alaska, injuring seven airmen.

7 July: Soviet Union offers compensation for plane shot down on 22 June.

18 July: President attends summit conference in Geneva, Switzerland, to peace and cooperation; “spirit of Geneva” comes out of conference.

29 July: Congress votes 187-168 to build 45,000 public housing units by July 31, 1956.

12 Aug: He signs bill to increase hourly wage to $1,00 per hour, effective Mar 1.

24 Sep: President hospitalized after heart attack; he remains in hospital for almost three weeks.

26 Sep: NY Stock Exchange says heaviest trading in single day in history at $44 billion.

25 Nov: Interstate Commerce Commission bans segregation on trains and buses crossing state lines.

1 Dec: Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus. NAACP takes up case.

17 Dec: US offers Egypt $56 million for proposed Aswan High Dam. Egypt accepts on 17 July 1956.


29 Feb: President announces he will seek second term.

28 May: President signs Agriculture Act to establish soil bank, which will aid in the reduction in farm surpluses, which will help farmers maintain price stability.

9 June: President hospitalized after attack of ileitis and undergoes surgery.

19 July: Egypt’s connection with Soviet Union and Soviet arms sales to Egypt, US withdraws financial aid, which provokes World Bank to withdraw its offer.

22 July: President and 18 other heads of state confirm the principles set of organization of American States (OAS) guaranteeing use of Panama Canal.

26 July: In retaliation for US withdrawal of funds for Aswan Dam project, President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt nationalizes Suez Canal. Nasser says Israel will not receive protection for its shipping.

1 Aug: President signs legislation to increase social security coverage.

7 Aug: President authorizes federal support of another 70,000 housing units and relaxes mortgage requirements.

13 Aug: At Chicago, DNC nominates Adlai Stevenson and Estes Kefauver.

20 Aug: President and VP Nixon are nominated at San Francisco.

31 Oct: President opposes force in settling crisis Israel’s occupation of Sinai Peninsula and a British-French-Israeli attack on Egypt.

5 Nov: After days of fighting by Britain, France and Israel against Egypt, US achieves ceasefire on Sinai Peninsula. A UN force is sent to prevent further clashes

6 Nov: Eisenhower and Nixon defeat Adlai Stevenson and Kefauver with 457 Electoral College votes to 73.

Important social event in 1956: “The Pill” is introduced.


5 Jan: President speaks at joint-session of Congress, proposing US aid to Middle Eastern countries threatened by communism. Known as Eisenhower Doctrine, it sends arms to any country requesting aid.

14 Jan: Secretary of State Dulles says Middle East is threatened by communism most critically.

20 Jan: President is inaugurated; a private one since it falls on Sunday.

12 Feb: Communist Party convenes in NY and votes to remain party independent of Soviet control.

7 Mar: Congress approves Eisenhower Doctrine.

29 Apr: First nuclear power reactor at Fort Belvoir, VA, is dedicated by Army Secretary Wilbur N. Brucker

2 May: Joseph McCarthy dies in naval hospital, Bethsaida, MD.

24 May: rioters in Taipei, Taiwan storm US Embassy after release of American soldier charged with killing Chinese national.

26 May: Chiang Kai-Shek profoundly apologizes.

28 May: President and W. German chancellor Konrad Adenauer end three days of meetings and disarmament and unification.

13 June: Mayflower II follows route of Pilgrim’s original voyage in 1620 and arrives in Plymouth, MA. It began in Plymouth, England and took 54 days.

12 July: The Housing Act is signed by president, to help liberalize mortgage benefits and extend public housing benefits to elderly.

16 July: Sec. of Defense Charles E. Wilson cuts US Armed Forces by 100,000 men, to be completed by end of 1957.

29 Aug: Civil Rights Commission is established, and president signs Civil Rights Act of 1957, which provides penalties for violation of voting rights; the act faces stiff opposition such that SC senator Strom Thurmond sets a filibuster record of speaking for 24 hours and 27 minutes.

4 Sep: In Little Rock, AR, state militia blocks black students entering Central High School. Gov. Orval Faubus calls out AR National Guard to prevent desegregation in direct violation Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (May 1954).

14 Sep: President and Gov. Faubus meet to discuss desegregation nonviolently.

20 Sep: Gov. Faubus orders AR State troops out of Central High School in Little rock.

23 Sep: Black students riot at Central High School in Little Rock, AR, and withdraw from school.

25 Sep: President orders US Army troops to Little Rock, where they escort nine black students to the classes.

16 Oct: Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip visit Jamestown, VA to celebrate 250 years of the first English settlement.

25 Nov: President suffers minor stroke.


4 Sep: Civil rights Act of 1957 allows Supreme Court to act on alleged violations on black Voting rights in Columbus, Georgia.

12 Sep: Supreme Court denies school board request to postpone integration at Central High School in Little rock.

29 Sep: Chief Justice Earl Warren presides over unanimous ruling barring “evasive schemes” on integration of public schools.

25 Oct: US withdraws last troops from Lebanon.

19 Dec: US Great Britain and Soviet Union end their conference (since 31 Oct) on prohibiting nuclear testing, but little progress in advancing a world free of atomic weapons and testing.


3 Jan: Alaska become 49th state of Union

2 Feb Public schools in Arlington and Norfolk, VA are desegregated with no significant disruption.

7 Apr: Unemployment drops from 4,749,000 in February to 4, 362,000 in March

7 Apr: Oklahoma votes to repeal prohibition by voter margin of 80,000; the state was liquor-free since 1908.

20 May: 5000 Japanese citizens renounced US citizenship during WWII, but now their citizenship is restored.

22 May: Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. is appointed Major General, the first black to achieve appointed to this rank.

18 June: Arkansas law permitting Gov. Faubus to close Little Rock schools is declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court

24 Aug: Hawaii sends two senators and one Representative to Congress.

12 Aug: About 250 students protest opening integrated Central High School in Little Rock.

4 Sep: Congress passes Labor reform Act, which restricts union power.

15 Sep: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev arrives in US for six-day visit.

15 Sep Congress approves extension of Civil Rights Commission.

13 Oct: In Abilene, KS, president breaks ground of Dwight David Eisenhower Library.

2 Nov: Charles Van Doren says his 1956 role in quiz show $64,000 Question was rigged.

22 Dec: President returns from an eleven-nation tour of Europe, Asia and Africa (he has has taken several trips like this, unremarked in this timeline).


19 Jan: US signs mutual defense treaty with Japan. Demonstrations in Tokyo prompts president to cancel a proposed trip.

1 Feb: In Greensboro, NC four black students stage sit-in at launch whites-only counter.

2 Feb: Senate approves 70-18 the 23rd Amendment to Constitution which allows Washington D.C. residents a right to vote.

15 Mar: Civil Rights Commission says that since 1957, 436 Americans have filed complaints of denying their voting rights.

17 Mar: President asks Congress to increase annual immigration quota from 260,000 to 500,000 per year.

5 May: A U-2 Air Force plane used for photo reconnaissance is shot down inside Soviet territory.

6 May: Civil rights Act of 1960 is signed by president, promoting voter registration for referees.

7 May: US admits U-2’s intelligence mission, but a weather mission.

11 May: President admits US has been conducting reconnaissance mission over Soviet Union for past four years.

16 June: 23rd Amendment is sent to states for ratification.

22 June: Senate consents to US-Japanese mutual defense treaty.

6 July: US cuts sugar import from Cuba by 95 percent since Castro is becoming increasingly hostile.

3 Jan: President directs that US cuts diplomatic ties with Cuba.

17 Jan: President Eisenhower in his farewell speech warns of the increasing power of a “military industrial complex.”

Korean War (during Truman and Eisenhower administrations)


17 Sep: US refers Korean independence to UN, which passes resolution to seek free elections in Korea.


23 Jan: UN Temporary Commission on Korea receives notification from Soviet Union that it cannot enter N. Korea. Commission is responsible for elections in Korea.


29 June: The US removes last of troops from Korea, but leaves 500 advisers.


25 June: N. Korean troops cross 38th parallel and invades S. Korea, equipped with Soviet weapons. This provokes UN military involvement.

26 June: Truman authorizes US Navy and Air force to aid S. Korean troops operating south of 38th parallel.

27 June: Soviet Union absent from UN Security Council, Council adopts resolution for armed intervention in Korea at Seoul’s collapse to N. Koreans.

30 June: US ground troops are sent to S. Korea; Truman signs  a bill extending draft for another year and orders US Navy to blockade Korean coast.

9 July: Gen. Douglas Macarthur is named to command UN troops in S. Korea.

4 Aug: US Army calls 62k reservists.

15 Sep: UN troops land at Inchon, S. Korea, and press toward Seoul, capital of S. Korea.

26 Sep: UN troops recapture Seoul.

29 Sep: US-supported S. Korean troops reach 38th parallel.

7 Oct: UN invades N. Korea.

29 Sep: US crosses 38th parallel, and China denounces act and says it will not stand idly by.

15 Oct: Truman and MacArthur meet on Wake Is. to plan Korean conflict, agreeing on strategy.

20 Oct: Two day fight for capital of N. Korea, Pyongyang, brings about capture of the city by UN troops. They can advance farther north.

20 Nov: UN troops reach Yalu R. on the border of Manchuria.

26 Nov Chinese stage massive counteroffensive in N. Korea UN troops begin to retreat.

5 Dec: Pyongyang is abandoned by UN troops.

8 Dec: Truman announces a ban on US shipment of goods to China.

29 Dec: MacArthur says US troops ought to attack China.


14 Mar: Seoul is recaptured by UN forces.

5 Apr: MacArthur says in letter to Joseph Martin, House Minority Leader, that in Korea “there is no substitute for victory” He is replying to Truman’s plan to negotiate a truce.

11 Apr: Truman removes MacArthur from command, applauded and criticized by public.

19 Apr: MacArthur explains to joint session of Congress urgency of country’s military situation in Korea. He urges expansion of war against China.

19 June: Military draft is extended to July 1, 1955, and military service is for two full years and lowers age to 18½.

10 July: US takes part in truce talks at Kaesang between UN and Chinese communists.

16 July: Congress passes Korean GI Bill of Rights to provide educational benefits, loan guarantees, etc.


24 Jan: UN negotiators in Tokyo announce that Korean truce talks have stalled.

17 Dec: Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, Pres. Eisenhower and Gen. MacArthur meet in NYC to discuss the threat of communism and Korea.


26 Dec: US announces it will pull two military divisions out of Korea.

27 July: at Panmunjon, Korea, an armistice is signed by UN and North Korean officials. This halts conflict.


30 May: At Arlington National Cemetery, ceremonies honor burial of Unknown Soldiers of WWII and Korean War.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1961-1963)


3 Jan: Sen. John F. Kennedy (JFK) announces he is candidate for democratic presidential nomination.


18 Apr: Sen. JFK on the campaign trail says his Roman Catholic faith, “I don’t think that my religion is anyone’s business.”

11 July: In Los Angeles at DNC convention, JFK is nominated, and so is his running mate Lyndon Baines Johnson.

26 Sep: First four-hour-long televised debate is held in studios in Chicago.

7 Oct: Second presidential debate is televised from Washington, D.C.

13 Oct: Third televised debate: Nixon from Hollywood studio, and Kennedy from studio in New York.

21 Oct: Fourth and final televised debate from New York City.

26 Oct: Sen. Robert F. Kennedy calls Mrs. Coretta Scott King, wife of MLK, Jr. who has been jailed on a traffic violation.

8 Nov: JFK defeats Nixon by 303 Electoral College votes to Nixon’s 219. By popular vote Kennedy wins by a slim 100,000.


20 Jan: JFK is inaugurated as 35th president and in speech says US is to stand was world power. It should “never negotiate out of fear … but let us … never fear to negotiate.” He calls for domestic harmony. “Ask not what your country can do for you … ask what you can do for your country.”

21 Jan: JFK appoints RFK as attorney general, first time brother appoints his brother to cabinet position.

1 Mar: President creates Peace Corp by executive order.

29 Mar: 23rd Amendment is adopted, so D.C. residents can vote.

17 Apr: 1961 CIA-trained Cuban refugees invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs; within 48 hours the force is defeated.

5 May: Fair Labor Standards Act raises minimum wage to $1.15 in Sep 1961 and to $1.25 by Sep 1963.

31 May: President goes to Paris to meet with President Charles de Gaulle.

4 June: In Vienna president meets with Premier Nikita Khrushchev for two days.

30 June: President signs Housing act.

25 July: President calls for $3½ billion for additional contingent of reserve troops.

17 Aug: In Punta del Este, Uruguay, Alliance of Progress, the US and other member nations draw up charter of economic aid and development support.

15 Sep: US begins underground nuclear testing per the atmospheric testing ban treaty agreed to by US and Britain.
22 Sep: President signs in Act of Congress formally establishing Peace Corps in March by executive order.


10 Feb: Russians release Francis Gary Powers, shot down over Soviet Union in May 1960.

20 Feb: Astronaut John Glenn is first American to orbit earth, circling earth three times in a Mercury space ship.

22 Feb: RFK meets with Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt to denounce communist wall dividing the city.

13 Mar: President asks Congress to allocate $4.8 billion for foreign aid in fiscal 1963.

30 Sep: Black students James Meredith is admitted to University of Mississippi, against severe opposition.

11 Oct: President signs Trade Expansion Act, to encourage foreign commerce by lowering tariffs.

22 Oct: President announces that US has photographic evidence that Russia is building missile bases in Cuba, capable of launching a nuclear attack on American cities. He demands Russia remove all missiles and dismantle the bases. He asks UN Security Council and the Organizations of American States to take a stand. US is placing naval blockade or quarantine around Cuba to prevent Russian ships or materials from reaching bases. Russian ships get nearer naval blockade, and world is nervous, during intense negotiations between US, Russia, and UN.

28 Oct: Premier Khrushchev announces Russia will remove the missiles and bases, for US has agreed not to attack Cuba (ostensible reason for putting missiles and bases there).

20 Nov: President says US is ending naval quarantine of Cuba, since Soviet Union has removed missiles and bases and Khrushchev has promises to remove all Soviet jet bombers in next 30 days.

21 Dec: President and Prime Minister Macmillan announce nuclear force within NATO.


12 Apr: Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested in Birmingham after his participation in a civil rights march

2 May: Thousands of blacks, many of them school children, are arrested while taking part in a nonviolent demonstration in Birmingham.

10 May: After days of civil-rights related violence and hundreds of arrests of demonstrators in Birmingham, US attorney general RFK calls a halt to police action in that city.

11 June: Alabama Gov. George Wallace allows two black students to enroll in University of Alabama, under threat of federal National Guard troop intervention.

12 June: Civil rights leader Medgar Evans is shot in Mississippi.

12 June: President signs executive order creating the president’s Advisory Council on the Arts.

20 June: US and Soviet Union agree to set up “hotline” ties.

26 June: President receives welcome by 2 million citizens of W. Berlin. He says, “Ich bin ein Berliner!”  (“I am a favorite Berlin sausage!”), when he should have said, “Ich bin Berliner!” (I am [a] Berliner!”). But his heart was in the right place.

5 Aug: Nuclear test ban treaty, signed by US, Britain and Soviet Union, has to receive consent by US Senate.

28 Aug: March on Washington brings in 200,000 participants to D.C. They wish to work peacefully for desegregation and equal opportunity. MLK delivers his I Have a Dream Speech.

30 Aug: “Hotline” between US and Soviet Union goes into effect to prevent accidental triggering of military responses.

24 Sep: Senate consents to nuclear test ban treaty signed by US, Britain, and Soviet Union (5 Aug).

22 Nov: President and Mrs. Kennedy go to Texas and ride in convertible from airport into Dallas, where he is assassinated. He is pronounced dead at 1 P.M. Dallas police capture Lee Harvey Oswald, a leftwing sympathizer of communism. At 2:30 P.M. Lyndon Baines Johnson is sworn in.

Lyndon Baines Johnson (1963-1969)


17 Dec: US Senate consents to Chamizal Treaty, which cedes small section of El Paso to Mexico.

John addresses UN and calls for a peaceful revolution to stamp out hunger, disease and poverty.


8 Jan: In State of Union Address, President calls Congress to budget cuts and to wage a national “war against poverty.”

23 Jan: 24th Amendment, eliminating poll tax for eligibility in Federal elections, is ratified.

13 Feb: President asks Congress for Congress to partially fund JFK Center for Performing Arts in DC. Cost is estimated at $34 million, half provided by government.

27 Mar: Alaska earthquake kills 66 people with $500 million in damages.

19 June: Senate passes 73-27 the Civil Rights Bill of 1964. Johnson: “Transform the commands of our laws into the customs of our land.”

22 June: Three young Mississippi civil rights workers in their voter registration drive are reported missing after being released from jail. Their bodies will be found 4 Aug in newly built earth dam in Philadelphia, MS.

2 July: Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

15-16 July: Barry Goldwater wins GOP nomination at San Francisco. Rep. William Miller of New York is named running mate.

23 July

Senate passes Johnson’s anti-poverty bill calling for $947 million of aid for various measures to combat illiteracy, unemployment, and other conditions associated with poverty.

8 Aug: House passes anti-poverty program bill 226-184.

26 Aug: President Johnson is nominated at DNC convention, and Hubert Humphrey of MN is nominated as his running mate.

3 Nov: Johnson wins 15½ million vote plurality.


4 Jan: In State of Union Address, Johnson describes his goals for the Great Society—federal efforts in education, health care, and the arts, and projects to improve cities and clean up pollution.

18 Feb: Defense Secretary Robert McNamara calls for a network of bomb shelters.

21 Feb: Malcolm X, born Little, is shot and killed as he is preparing to address audience in New York City. Three black Muslims are arrested.

29 Apr: Commissioner of Education Francis Keppel tells all public schools districts to desegregate.

30 July: In Independence, MO, Johnson signs Medicare Bill, with former Pres. Truman looking on.

6 Aug: President signs Voting Rights Act empowering the federal government to suspend all literacy, knowledge, or character tests for voting in areas where less than 50 percent of the voting age population is registered.

11 Aug: Major riot in Watts, triggered by a white patrolman pulled over black motorists on suspicion of drunk driving. Blacks accuse the officer of police brutality.

9 Sep: President signs law creating cabinet-level Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is headed by Robert C. Weaver, the first black cabinet member.

1 Oct: Congress passes anti-pollution bill that empowers Secretary of Health, education, and Welfare to ser emission standards on diesel and gasoline powered vehicles.

3 Oct: President signs a major immigration act abolishing the quota system based on national origin.


12 Jan: In State of Union Address, president is to continue his Great Society and his commitment to South Vietnam.

24 Jan: President calls for federal expenditure of $112 billion, with a deficit of $1.8 billion.

23 Feb: President presents a message to Congress dealing with conservation and environmental protection.

1 Mar: President calls for commitment to full education for every citizen and good health for every citizen.

3 Mar: President signs Cold War GI Bill of Rights, allowing for education, housing, and health and job benefits for those who have spent at least 180 days of service since 31 Jan, 1955. The bill will help hundreds of thousands of Vietnam veterans.

13 June: In Miranda v. Arizona, Supreme Court rules 5-4 that suspects have to be apprised of their rights.

12 July: Rioting erupts in Chicago’s West Side after a fire hydrant used by district’s black children is shut off. Violence will last until 15 July, until Mayor Daly calls in National Guard.

6 Sep: More black riots in Atlanta.

12 Sep: Mob of whites in Grenada, Mississippi, attacks black students attempting to integrate two neighborhood schools.

15 Oct: President signs a bill creating the Department of Transportation, a cabinet-level department, effective April 1, 1967.

20 Oct: Congress passes Great Society legislation providing federal funds to finance the planning and rebuilding large urban areas. Between 60 and 70 percent of demonstration cities will receive up to 80 percent of local expense. Bill calls for expenditure of %25 million for fiscal 1967 and $900 million for the renewal projects

3 Nov President signs a truth-in-packaging bill requiring labeling of supermarket items to show food content.

8 Nov: GOP picks up three seats in Senate and 47 in the House. Edward Brooke of MA becomes first black member of Senate since Reconstruction. In state elections Republicans pick up eight governor. But Democrats still retain majority in House and Senate. This election encourages GOP because they had thought their party was in permanent decline.


6 Jan: In State of Union Address, president asks for 6 percent surcharge on individual and corporate taxes to fund his Great Society. He calls for more federal spending on Head Start, model cities and job training programs; he asks for 20 percent increase in social Security.

25 June: President and Premier Alexsie Kosygin for second time in three days at house of president of Glassboro College in New Jersey.

30 June: 53 nations agree to dramatic cuts in tariff duties to stimulate world trade, by 35 percent on industrial products, 50 percent on chemical goods, and cuts on agricultural products. They pledge a worldwide food program, 4.5 million tons of grain to developing nations.

23 July: Blacks riot in Detroit after police raid on after-hour drinking club. Blacks claim police brutality. It will last until 30 July, leaving 41 people dead and 2,000 injured. Property damage: $350 million to $400 million; 5,000 people without homes.

30 Aug: Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as Supreme Court Justice, the first black.

18 Sep: Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces US will develop “thin” antiballistic missile system composed of Nike X and Spartan missiles, designed to shield US from a possible missile attack. The system is expected to cost $5 billion over the next five years.

14 Nov: Congress passes Air Quality Act, setting aside $428 million over next three years. The bill empowers HEW Secretary to initiate court action to secure injunctions shutting down sources of air contaminations in an emergency.

20 Nov: President signs bill creating National Commission on Product Safety. It keeps public informed about hazardous products.


17 Jan: President Johnson calls for a ten percent income tax surcharge in his State of Union Address. The war is costing $25 billion annually.

20 Jan: Richard Nixon is sworn in as the 37th president.

4 Apr: MLK is assassinated in Memphis, TN.

8 Apr: Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs will oversee narcotics and other drugs.

6 June: Robert Kennedy dies of his wounds received in Los Angeles several hours earlier while campaigning. A Jordanian immigrant, Sirhan Sirhan is charged with murder.

8 June James Earl Ray is charged with MLK’s murder.

Richard Milhous Nixon (1968-1974)


23 Sep: He is pressured to step down because he is accused of taking money from a slush fund of campaign donations. He gives a televised speech saying he never personally profited from such a fund. He did receive dog named Checkers, which is defiantly says he will never give back. Eisenhower and RNC reaffirm their support for him.


9 Jan: Vice-President Richard M. Nixon declares he is candidate for 1960 Republican presidential nomination.

27 July: In Chicago RNC nominated Richard M. Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts.

26 Sep: First four-hour-long televised debate is held in studios in Chicago.

7 Oct: Second presidential debate is televised from Washington, D.C.

13 Oct: Third televised debate: Nixon from Hollywood studio, and Kennedy from studio in New York.

21 Oct: Fourth and final televised debate from New York City.

8 Nov: JFK defeats Nixon by 303 Electoral College votes to Nixon’s 219. By popular vote Kennedy wins by a slim 100,000.


6 Nov: Nixon loses bid for governor of California.


8 Aug: Richard M. Nixon receives party’s nomination. Maryland governor Spiro T. Agnew is chosen his running mate.

28 Aug: DNC chooses Hubert Humphrey to be its nominee, and Edwin Muskie, senator from Maine, is his running mate.

6 Nov: Richard Nixon is next chief executive. Nixon: 31,710,470; Humphrey: 30,898,055; Wallace: 9,446,167; Electoral votes: 302 for Nixon, 191 for Humphrey.


20 Jan: Nixon is sworn in, and in his inaugural address he says “We have found ourselves rich in goods but ragged in spirit; reaching with magnificent precision for the moon, but falling into raucous discord on earth. We are caught in war, wanting in peace. We are torn byu division, wanting unity.”

10 Mar: James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating MLK.

14 Mar: Nixon announces plan to build Anti-Ballistic Missile system designed to protect US offensive missile bases against Soviet or Chinese attacks.

7 Apr: Supreme Court rules unconstitutional laws that prohibit reading or viewing obscene material in the privacy of one’s home.

14 May: Supreme Court Abe Fortas resigns amid strong criticism of alleged financial misdealing.

18 July: Intoxicated Sen. Edward (Teddy) M. Kennedy goes off a narrow bridge on Chappaquiddick Island (part of Martha’s Vineyard), plunging into salt water pond. Kennedy escapes, but 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne drowns. He does not rescue her.

21 Nov: by a vote of 55-45, the Senate rejects the nomination of Charles Haynesworth as Supreme Court Justice. They reject the South Carolinian because he has questionable financial investments and his record on civil rights and labor laws.

25 Nov: Nixon orders all US germ warfare stockpile destroyed and asks Senate to consent to 1925 Geneva Convention. The president reserves the right to use chemical weapons if enemy uses them on US troops. Encased in concrete coffins, two trainloads of nerve gas will be sunk in Atlantic, next August.


22 Jan: In State of Union Address president calls for new American experience” of equality of opportunity and government responsiveness to American citizens’ needs. He calls for repair of damage done to air, water, land. He asks Congress to enact Family Assistance plan in place of the present welfare system, which would guarantee a minimum income to every family. He asserts that his first priority is to end the Vietnam war.

8 Apr: Senate rejects nomination of Harold Carswell of Florida as Supreme Court nominee, chosen to fulfill Abe Fortas’s vacancy. The Senate is concerned about his segregation record.

1 July: America’s most liberal abortion law goes into effect in New York. The law leaves the decision to the woman in the first 24 weeks. After that period, the law says abortion can be performed only when woman’s life is in danger. Feminist groups had been lobbying for the liberalization of the laws.

After the 19th Census, population is 203,184,722.


23 Mar: Senate cuts off funding for a supersonic plane (SST), designed to carry 300 passengers and travel up to 1,800 MPH.

20 Apr: Supreme Court unanimously upholds busing as primary way of achieving school integration.

10 June: Administration announces lifting a 21-year embargo of trade to Mainland China.

15 July: President accepts “with pleasure” an invitation by Premier Chou En-lai to visit that country.

15 Aug: To deal with slow economy, President announces a wide variety of measures to freeze prices, wages, and rents.

12 Oct: President announces he will travel to Moscow next year. This is the first visit of any president since WWII.

5 Nov: Administration announces $136 million in feed grains are to go to Russia.

14 Nov: President announces Phase II of economic program, with flexible guidelines for wage and price rises in the hope of slowing annual inflation to 2.5 percent.

18 Dec: US devalues the dollar by 8.57 percent to make it cheaper relative to foreign currencies, which will increase US exports and change a $5 billion negative trade balance into an $8 billion surplus.


5 Jan: President approves of space shuttle, a NASA project fired into space on a rocket to develop reusable spacecraft. The bill asks for $5.5 billion over next six years.

21 Feb: President begins his visit to China, a journey for peace. Since 1949, when the communists seized control of the mainland and forced the Nationalists to flee to Taiwan (Formosa), the US had had no diplomatic relations with mainland China.

17 Mar: President proposes to Congress a moratorium on busing to achieve racial segregation.

22 Mar: Senate consents to Equal Rights Amendments by a vote of 84-8.

15 May: Arthur H. Bremer, 21, assassinates George C. Wallace, while campaigning for president at a shopping center in Laurel, Maryland.

22 May: Nixon begins talks with communist leaders in Moscow.

26 May: President signs a pact pledging the two countries to freeze nuclear arsenal. They will works out a trade agreement and a joint Soviet-US space mission in 1975.

8 June: Congress passes a bill for federal aid for college and university students. The bill includes a provision delaying a court-ordered busing for up to 18 months and allocates $2 billion to help elementary and high schools desegregate.

14 June: EPA announces ban on DDT to take effect on 31 Dec.

17 June: Police arrest five men at the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate complex. All five men are employed by the Committee to Reelect the President. Two men work in the White House: G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt. Did the break-in go to the White House?

29 June: Supreme Court decides in Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty is cruel and unusual, which violates 8th Amendement. States pass legislation to revise laws on capital punishment to meet the court’s objections.

8 July: Nixon announces a deal with USSR to sell $750 million of corn, wheat, and other grain.

10 July: at DNC convention in Miami, George McGovern wins nomination and names Thomas F. Eagleton as his running mate.

1 Aug: Thomas Eagleton withdraws from race, and Sargent Shriver, brother-in-law to John and Robert Kennedy fills the vacancy.

3 Aug: By a vote of 88 to 2 Senate approves to a strategic arms treaty with the Soviet Union.

21 Aug: Republican convention opens in Miami and nominates Nixon and Agnew.

30 Oct: President signs an amendment to Social Security Act for an additional $5.3 billion in benefits for elderly, including an increase in the annual amount and an extension of Medicare benefits to disabled under 65.


11 Jan: Nixon ends mandatory wage and price control, ending The Economic Stabilization Act signed 17 months ago.

22 Jan: Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade that says states may not prohibit abortion.

5 Feb: Office of Management and Budget reveals that administration has impounded $8.7 billion appropriated by Congress for federal programs.

7 Feb: Senate establishes Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, chaired by Sam Ervin, to investigate Watergate conspiracy.

12 Feb: George Shultz, Secretary of Treasury, announces a 10 percent devaluation of American dollar against major currency, the second in fourteen months.

27 Feb: About 300 members of the militant American Indian Movement take over Wounded Knee, SD, the site of massacre of Indians by federal government.

23 Mar: James W. McCord, one of the convicted men in the attempted burglary, admits in a letter to Judge John Sirica that he and the other six defendants have been under pressure to remain silent about the case. He says CRP chairman John Mitchell was the overall boss.

23 Apr: Patrick E. Gray, head of FBI, resigns after admitting he destroyed Watergate evidence on the advice of Nixon aides.

30 Apr: Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, domestic affairs assistant John Ehrlichman, and Presidential Counsel John Dean III resign. Attorney General Richard Kleindienst submits resignation. President makes public announcement of resignations, but denies knowledge of Watergate cover-up.

13 June: President announces a price freeze on all retail goods. Freeze does not include rents, interest rates, or raw agricultural products. He is moving back towards control.

16 June: Nixon begins talks with Leonid Brezhnev, agreeing to avoid confrontation that may lead to nuclear war.

21 June: In a 5-4 vote Supreme Court sets rules for suppression of pornography, deciding on community standards.

18 July: President unveils Phase IV of economic programs.

6 Oct: Hebrew Holy days of Yom Kippur begin; Egyptian troops invade Sinai Peninsula, where Israel occupies. Syrian troops cross over into Golan Heights. Israel is caught by surprise, but rallies.

10 Oct: Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns after pleading no contest to charge of tax evasion.

15 Oct: US announces it is resupplying Israel with military equipment to counter Soviet support of Arabs.

20 Oct: President orders Attorney General, Richard Ellison, to dismiss special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who refuses to accept the president’s compromise offer to release synopsis of presidential tapes. Rather than comply with the order, Richardson and his assistant William d. Ruckelhaus resign.

20 Oct: Arab oil producing nations declare an embargo on oil exports to US and a 10 percent cut in production to put pressure on US and Western European allies to force Israel to withdraw from land.

22 Oct: US and Soviet Union jointly sponsor a UN Resolution calling for a ceasefire in the two week old war in the Middle East, on 24 Oct.

23 Oct: Congressional leaders agree that the House Judiciary Committee should begin investigation into impeachment charges against the President. They are outraged over firing Cox, which leads to Nixon releasing some tapes. His lawyer announces that subpoenaed evidence will be turned over. Justice Department hires Leon Jaworski to replace Cox.

30 Oct: White House reveals that two tapes do not exist.

21 Nov: A mysterious 18½ minute gap on another reel will be reported. His secretary says she might have accidentally erased tapes, but a panel of experts says that the gap could not have been caused by accidental erasure.

9 Nov: Six of Watergate defendants are sentenced by Judge John Sirica for their role in break-in. E. Howard Hunt receives sentence ranging from 2 ½ to eight years and a fine of $10,000.

13 Nov: Representatives of Gulf and Ashland Oil Companies plead guilty to illegal contributions to President’s reelection fund.

14 Nov: Commerce Secretary Maurice Stans admits that such contributions were expected.

15 Nov: Braniff International, American Airlines, and Goodyear will testify to similar contributions.

16 Nov: Nixon signs Alaska Pipeline bill to build 789-mile pipeline across Alaska to carry oil to rest of US. The goal is to become oil self-sufficient by 1980.

30 Nov: Egil Krogh Jr., former leader of White House plumbers, pleads guilty to charges stemming from his break-in of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatry office.

6 Dec: Gerald Ford is sworn in as nation’s 38th vice-president.

Oil crisis of 1973: The surplus supplies were running law, so Arab countries try to manipulate the deficiency by an embargo, using the Arab Israeli War as their excuse. American consumers often overlook the long-term causes and blame big oil, which, they believe, seek to hike up prices to drive small oil companies out of business. Many areas employ odd-even system: cars with a license plate number that ends with an odd number can get gasoline on an odd number in the calendar. A plate number that ends an even number can gas up on an even number of days on the calendar. The crisis eases in Oct. 1974, but the crisis will erupt again.


4 Jan: Nixon refuses to surrender 500 tapes and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee, because he tells Sam Ervin, committee chairman, that to accede to the demand would “unquestionably destroy any vestige of confidentiality of presidential communications, thereby irreparably impairing the constitutional function of the office of the presidency.”

1 Mar: Seven former White House staff members, particularly H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and John Mitchell, are indicted for conspiring to obstruct investigation.

3 Apr: President announces he will pay $432,787.13 in back taxes.

29 Apr: President hands over 1200-page edited transcript to House Judiciary committee and special prosecutor Leon Jaworski.

16 May: Former Attorney General Richard Kleindienst pleads guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to testify fully and accurately before a Senate Committee.

12 June: President begins a week-long tour of the Middle East.

27 June: President visits Soviet Union for five days. They sign agreements about nuclear weapons on 3 July.

24 July: Supreme Court unanimously issues a decision demanding that the president turn over tapes subpoenaed by the special prosecutor in April. This is the first time the Supreme Court rules in a legal action in which a president is accused of criminal misconduct. President announces he will comply.

27 July: House Judiciary committee approves two Articles of Impeachment against the president, charging him with obstructing justice and of repeatedly violating his oath of office.

30 July: House Judiciary Committee draws up a third Article of impeachment of unconstitutional defiance of committee subpoenas.

5 Aug: President gives out three transcripts of a conversation with former chief of staff H. R. Haldeman on 23 June 1972. Transcripts show that six days after the Watergate break-in, Nixon had ordered halt to investigation into FBI investigation. President concedes that in his earlier statements he had failed to include this information. What remains of the president’s support in Congress evaporates.

8 Aug: President announces his resignation effective at noon tomorrow. He is following advice from key Republicans in Congress following his revelation three days earlier. Goldwater told him he would be impeached and convicted if he were to remain and a long drawn-out trial would hurt the country.

9 Aug: Resignation of president goes into effect at noon. Before leaving Washington, president tells his staff that other who may hate them, but those who hate you do not win unless you hate them—“and then you destroy yourself.” He is driven to airport where he hands Henry Kissinger his letter of resignation as he boards the plane.

At 12:03, with president heading to California, Gerald R. ford is sworn in as president by Chief Justice Warren Burger. In his inaugural address he asks country to pray for the man who brought peace to millions shall find it for himself.

Gerald Rudolph Ford (1974-1977)

21 Aug: President Ford nominates Nelson Rockefeller as vice-president. He was governor of New York.

8 Sep: President Ford gives former president Nixon a full, free and absolute pardon for all offenses against the US. This brings criticism of interfering with the legal process and allegations that he made a “deal” with Nixon. Ford says continued investigation would be bad for country and refers to Nixon’s health.

12 Sep: Violent protests break out in South Boston High School because of busing. Five youths are arrested for disorderly conduct and vast majority of white students do not attend class. Disturbances will happen for rest of year.

16 Sep: President announces a presidential amnesty for Vietnam War draft evaders and military deserters. Program is conditional, requiring an oath of allegiance from fugitives and commitment to work in public service for up to two years. The plan is somewhat popular, but is criticized from veteran groups. Americans who fled to Canada complain that program is punitive and is an admission of guilt.

17 Sep: Senate Foreign Relations Committee orders investigation into allegations that CIA spends $8 million to overthrow former Chilean President Salvador Allende Gossens. Kissinger tells committee that the money was to keep political parties alive and not overthrow the government.

1 Oct: Trial of the seven former White House staff members begin (see 4 Jan 1974).

15 Oct: President signs a campaign reform law that sets regulations for federal elections. Congress is reacting to reports of abuses in the 1972 campaign.

5 Nov: midterm elections: Democrats increase their majorities in both houses of Congress, winning 291 seats out of 435 seat in House and 61 out of 99 in Senate (one seat is vacant in New Hampshire due to disputed election returns). Altogether 42 Congressional incumbents are defeated: 38 Republicans and 4 Democrats. The loss is attributed to Watergate scandal. The slow economy is blamed too: The GDP had fallen for the second quarter. Increasing unemployment and runaway inflation convinces many voters all is not well.

24 Nov: President ends an eight-day world trip with stops in Japan, South Korea and Vladivostock, where he and Leonid Brezhenev sign a tentative agreement limiting offensive weapons until 1985.

26 Nov: President signs into law a bill pledging $11.8 billion in federal money over next six years to improve mass transit.

19 Dec: Rockefeller takes oath of office, even though it was revealed that he made gifts and loans to prominent political figures and helped finance derogatory biography of former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg.


1 Jan: Ehrlichman, Haldeman, Mitchell, and Robert Manlian will be found guilty of the charges of obstructing investigation (see 4 Jan 1974). Kenneth Parkinson will be acquitted; Watergate charges against Charles Colson will be dropped after he pleads guilty to crimes in connection with the break-in of the psychiatry office of Daniel Ellsberg, Gorden Strachen, the seventh defendant, will be tried separately.

8 Jan: President appoints an eight-man commission to investigate charges that CIA was involved in a wide range of illegal domestic activity. Ford says he would not tolerate such activities.

15 Jan: In his State of the Union Address, the President proposes $16 billion cut in income tax. He attacks energy dependence, inflation, and recession. On 4 Jan the Bureau of Labor reported that unemployment reached 7.1 percent, a thirteen-year high. By June the rate will climb to 9.2 percent, a thirty-year high.

14 Feb: US and officials of Northern Marianas Islands sign pact making those Islands a US Commonwealth. The people of the Islands vote yes by 4-1 margin.

12 Mar Former Commerce Secretary Maurice Stans pleads guilty to charges that he violated federal campaign laws.

22 Mar: Secretary of State Henry Kissinger announces irreconcilable difference between Israel and Egypt, so he suspends efforts to seek an agreement between them.

31 Mar: President’s clemency program to repatriate draft dodgers and deserters in exchange for civil service work ends today. Some 22,500 men out of 124,440 have applied for the program while it has been in operation.

29 May President vetoes $5.3 billion jobs bill to create one million jobs.

10 June: The Rockefeller Commission investigating CIA domestic spying recommends a joint congressional committee to oversee intelligence.

8 July: Ford announces he will seek second term, to “finish the job I have begun.” However, Rockefeller will be cut out.

15 July: US-Soviet begin Apollo / Soyuz space mission, as a sign of détente.

28 July: Congress approves a bill extending Voting rights Act of 1965 for seven years.

27 Aug: Gov, James Rhodes and 27 Ohio guardsmen are exonerated of blame for shooting 13 Kent State students in May 1970.

10 Sep: Congress overrides a presidential veto of a $7.9 billion education appropriation bill.

22 Sep: Sarah Jane Moore, a 45-year-old political activist, shoots at Ford as he walks out of St. Francis Hotel in san Francisco. A bystander sees the gun before it is fired and deflects her hand.

20 Oct: US announces agreement with Soviet Union to sell between 6-8 million tons of grain yearly.

26 Nov: President announces his decision that he will help New York not to default on financial obligations and loans. NY state legislature had passed a $200 million tax bill to help New York

4 Dec: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issues report that says although though there is no evidence that CIA overthrew Allende, the agency did create an atmosphere of ousting the Marxist leader.

5 Dec: Ford concludes a five-day trip of the Far East: China, Indonesia and Philippines. In Beijing he talked with Mao Tse-tung, who warned Ford not to appease Soviet Union.


19 Jan: In State of Union Address, Ford tells Congress to practice restraint.

30 Jan: Supreme Court rules unconstitutional limits on campaign contributions, violating the First Amendment free speech.

17 Feb: President announces sweeping reform of intelligence gathering agencies, particularly the FBI and CIA.

29 Mar: By 6-3 Supreme Court allows states to outlaw homosexual acts, even in private among consenting adults. This goes against a 10-year trend to safeguard privacy.

26 Apr: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities finds an assortment of questionable activities by the FBI, CIA, IRS, and the Army, which infringed on civil rights of American citizens. The Committee recommends restrictions and a 15-person board to oversee intelligence activities.

25 May: Ford defeats Reagan in KY, TN, and OR. Carter passes halfway mark of delegate support as he wins AR, TN, and KY.

28 May: US and Soviet Union sign a five-year agreement limiting underground nuclear explosions and requires onsite inspections.

2 July: Supreme Court rules death penalty not inherently in violation of the Constitution, 7-2.

4 July: US officially observes 200th birthday.

15 July: DNC in New York officially nominates Jimmy Carter for president. He chooses Walter Mondale and defeats Jerry Brown.

22 July: Congress passes $3.95 billion jobs bill overriding presidential veto.

19 Aug: President Ford wins nomination at RNC convention, defeating Reagan.

16 Sep: Congress completes work on bill revising tax code, limiting number of individuals who can claim special tax shelters and increases tax burden on wealthy. The Tax Reform Act will become law before end of the year.

30 Sep: Congress overrides presidential veto of a $56 billion appropriations bill for social services including manpower, education, and health projects.

7 Oct: In a televised debate Ford makes serious mistake when he says there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be while he is president.

2 Nov: James Earl Carter defeats Ford to become nation’s 39th president, of 80 million votes Carter wins by 2 million, 297 electoral votes to 241 for Ford. Democrats maintain a 61-38 margin in Senate (one independent), while gaining slightly in the House by two-to-one. In governors races Democrats pick up seats, controlling three times as many governorships as the GOP.

James Earl Carter (1977-1981)


17 Jan: Gary Mark Gilmore becomes first prisoner to be executed in 40 years.

20 Jan: Jimmy Carter is sworn in as 39th president.

21 Jan: President grants unconditional pardon to almost all draft dodgers during Vietnam War.

26 Jan: President asks Congress to authorize the emergency relocation of the nation’s natural gas supplies to help states experiencing severe energy shortages.

27 Jan: Carter administrations send Congress a $31 billion proposal to stimulate economy.

24 Feb: Administration announces that foreign aid will be reduced to countries guilt of human rights abuses.

5 Mar: President announces a radio-broadcast question and answer program from White House.

9 May: President calls for increase in social Security taxes to restore the program’s financial integrity, specifically 7 to 7.5% as well as higher limits on those wages subject to tax. Controversy: If unemployment renders Social Security funds inadequate, then government may transfer money from other federal revenues.

3 June: US and Cuba agree to exchange diplomatic missions in each other’s countries.

13 July: A blackout occurs in New York City and parts of Westchester County after an electrical storm.

20 July: Koreagate: Congress appoints Leon Jaworski, former Watergate prosecutor, to investigate charges of political corruption because a South Korean lobbyist might have offered gifts to gain political favors. An assistant and Rep. Richard T. Hanna of California are indicted. But South Korean government refuses to send back Kim Dong Jo, former ambassador to US.

4 Aug: President and Congress create Department of energy, the 12th Cabinet-level executive department and the first to be created since 1966. James Schlesinger is its secretary.

7 Sep: President and General Omar Torrijos Herrera of Panama sign agreement for gradual return of Panama Canal Zone and canal itself to Panamanian control and for perpetual neutrality.

8 Sep: US and Canada sign a pact for $10 billion pipeline to carry natural gas to US Midwest.

22 Sep: A repatriation programs, signed by US and Cuba on 29 Aug gets underway as 29 Americans and 26 Cuban relatives arrive in Florida.


7 Apr: President decides to postpone production of nuclear bomb.

6 June: California voters approve of Proposition 13, an Amendment to the state constitution imposing limits on property tax rates.

28 June: Supreme Court rules that flexible affirmative action plans by colleges do not violate Constitution, strict racial quotas are illegal. It involves rejection of Alan Bakke’s application to the medical school of UC Davis. He claimed he was denied admission while less qualified applicants were admitted.

8 Aug: President signs $1.6 billion in loans to New York City, to fight off its bankruptcy.

22 Aug: Congress passes an amendment to Constitution giving District of Columbia full voting rights. The amendment will go to states to be ratified.

17 Sep: Private talks, facilitated by the president, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, end today at Camp David, Maryland, with two sides signing Camp David Accords. It establishes timetable for peace negotiations.

6 Oct: Senate votes to extend deadline for ratification of Equal Rights Amendment.

20 Oct: Wall Street ends worst week in its history, Dow Jones closing at an average of 838.01 per share, down 59.08 percent a week ago. Frantic selling spree is result of rising interest rates.

31 Oct: Federal Reserve raises the discount interest rates (rate at which money is lent to member banks) to 9.5 percent.

18 Nov: Rep. Leo Ryan of California and others are murdered near Jonestown, Guyana by members of American sect. These deaths precede the suicide of 911 cult members. The dead are part of a Temple from California.

27 Nov: US permits another 15,000 Indochinese refugees to enter country. The ceiling, raised in May, allows 47,000 Boat People to settle in US.

Cleveland becomes first city to default since depressions: $14 million debt to six area banks.


1 Jan: US opens diplomatic ties to China and severs ties with Taiwan. Since the communist takeover in 1949, US recognized the Nationalist government in Taiwan as the legitimate government of china. The recognition of the communist government first began with Nixon’s visits.

5 Feb: 3,000 farmers drive campers, tractors, and trucks in Washington, to demand higher farm prices. Massive traffic jam ensures.

26 Feb: President asks Congress to pass legislation enabling him to impose gasoline restrictions, his acting being a response to stoppage of oil exports from Iran, Kuwait, and Venezuela.

26 Mar: Israeli Prime Minster and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat sign peace treaty between their countries, bringing an end to state of war since 1948.

28 Mar: A major nuclear power accident occurs at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, PA.

5 Apr: President orders gradual elimination of all controls on domestic oil prices.

7 June: President approves of guided missile system, called the MX, which is expected to cost $30 billion.

18 June: President and Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev sign SALT II agreement in Vienna. The treaty limits long-range nuclear missiles and bombers to 2,250 apiece. Brezhnev gives president oral and written assurance that a Soviet supersonic bomber would be limited to 30 per year.

28 June: OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) hikes oil prices, with increases over the past 12 months, to 50 percent higher than a year ago.

27 Sep: President creates, with congressional approval, Department of education.

1 Oct: US gives up Panama Canal Zone, returning it to Panamanian control. The Senate consented to treaty (see 7 Sep 1977).

4 Nov: Muslim students in Iran storm US embassy in Teheran. In response, President Carter orders deportation of Iranian students here illegally, freezes Iranian assets, and bars oil from Iran.

19 Dec: Senate approves $1.5 billion loan to Chrysler Corp. It had lost $200 million in the second quarter of 1979.


18 Jan: Price of gold soars to $802 on New York market, a $159 increase in a week.

24 Jan: President announces he is willing to sell weapons to China, in response to Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.

25 Jan: Labor statistics reveal that 1979 inflation rate was highest in 33 years.

3 Feb: Abscam scandal: Federal agents, posing as Arab Businessmen, gave bribes to some 31 public officials, including a senator and seven congressmen. By end of June, five congressmen will have been indicted.

27 Mar: Price of silver drops by $5 to $10.80 an ounce in a single day of trading.

31 Mar: President signs a bill deregulating the banking industry. This permits raising interest rates on small depositors and interest on checking accounts. Federal insured accounts: from $40,000 to $100,000.

2 Apr: President signs Crude Oil windfall Tax Act: largest tax ever imposed on a single industry.

24 Apr: President orders a military rescue mission, which fails when two helicopters fail to arrive at rendezvous and another develops a leak which prevents it from taking off. Eight Americans are killed when another helicopter collides with a transport plane. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigns.

17 May: All white jury acquits four white policemen of killing black insurance executive Arthur McDuffie, in Miami. Riot ensures: 18 people killed and 400 injured, and 1,000 arrested.

18 May: Mt. St. Helens, a volcano in southwest Washington erupts and kills at least 26 people and covers 126 miles of countryside with ash. Force is over 500 times as great as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Damage: $2.7 billion.

27 June: President signs a bill allowing for the draft registration of all nation’s 18 and 19-year-old men. This is response to Soviet aggression in Afghanistan.

16 July: RNC nominates Ronald Reagan, while George H. W. bush is his running mate. The RNC had pushed for Gerald Ford.

14 Aug: DNC select Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.

28 Oct: Nationally televised debate in Cleveland between Reagan and Carter. Reagan is considered the winner.

4 Nov: Ronald Reagan wins in a landslide, with 52 percent of popular vote against Carter’s 41.6 percent. John Anderson got the other percentage. Republicans win Senate 53 to 47; and Democrats lose a mere five seats in House. People are dissatisfied with democrat handling of economy (inflation and interest rates are very high), Iranian hostage crisis, and oil shortages.

Ronald Wilson Reagan (1981-1989)


20 Jan: President Reagan is sworn in, telling nation we are not doomed to inevitable decline. On the same day, after 444 days, Iran releases hostages, in exchange for releasing most of Iran’s assets and to freeze the estate of former Shah, who had died of cancer in July. President also promises to lift trade restrictions. Former President Carter is sent to greet hostages in W. Germany.

17 Feb: Chrysler says its losses for 1980 were $1.7 billion. Ford and General Motors report heavy losses. Americans are buying fuel efficient foreign cars.

2 Mar: In a civil war in El Salvador, between leftist guerillas and President Jose Napoleon Durate, the Reagan administration announces its intention to send 20 more advisers and $25 million in military equipment.

10 Mar: President submits his budget for fiscal 1982; expenditures: $695 billion, with a budget deficit of $45 billion and includes some $48½ billion in spending cuts. Programs hardest hit: mass transit and synthetic fuel projects, and federally funded arts. He is interested in military increases.

23 Mar: Supreme Court decides 6-3 that a state can pass legislation that prohibits physicians from performing abortions on teenagers unless parents are notified.

30 Mar: President Reagan is shot, after giving speech at Washington Hilton Ballroom. John w. Hinckley shoots a 22 caliber handgun. Three others are hit, including James Brady, his press secretary. Hinckley will be acquitted when a jury decides he is insane.

24 Apr: President lifts grain embargo on Soviet Union, fulfilling campaign promise.

30 Apr: Sen. Harrison Williams of NJ is convicted of bribery in connection with Abscam scandal. Raymond Lederer, one of the convicted, resigns his seat from the House, to avoid expulsion.

12 June: Major League baseball players go on strike; games will start back up 9 Aug.

22 July: Chrysler announces $11.6 million in profit for previous quarter.

3 Aug: 13,000 members of US Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO go out n strike. Reagan retaliates, saying those who stay off job by 5 Aug will be fired. FAA now has to retrain controllers, with everything going smoothly (i.e. no crashes).

21 Sep: Sandra Day O’Connor becomes first women member of Supreme Court.

2 Oct: President present five-point plan to strengthen America’s military: Building 100 B-1 bombers (Carter had earlier opposed it) and 10 MX missiles. (Carter said yes, but endorsed underground system to deploy missiles anywhere; Reagan deploys missiles to silos.) Also: production of neutron bomb (Reagan deferred enhanced radiation weapon).

28 Oct: Senate approves of Reagan’s plan to sell Saudi Arabia several billions in military equipment.

28 Dec: Reagan imposes sanctions on Soviet Union for its hardline policy in Poland against union Solidarity. The sanctions do not include grain, but high tech equipment.


5 Jan: A federal judge in AR overturns state law requiring that public schools teach creationism and evolutionary theory.

8 Jan: In antitrust suit, ATT agrees to relinquish local telephone services provided by 22 Bell System companies.

8 Jan: Unemployment rises to 8.9 percent.

13 Jan: Air Florida crashes in Potomac R. in Washington, D.C. 74 people of 79 are killed. Four people are killed on 14th St. Bridge.

21 May: First British troops land on Falkland Island of Argentina

6 June: Israeli army invades southern Lebanon because Palestinians have been launching missiles from there.

12 June: About 500,000 people demonstrate in New York for nuclear arms control.

14 June: Argentina force surrender, which criticizes US and other nations for supporting GBR. Whenever a referendum is proposed to leave GBR and go to Argentina, the inhabitants of the island vote to remain with GBR.

15 June: Supreme Court rules that all children are entitled to public education, whatever their citizenship, in response to TX law that did not guarantee such rights to aliens.

30 June: Equal Rights Amendment is defeated as it falls three states short of 38 states to ratify it.

9 July: Pan American Airlines crashes after takeoff from New Orleans International Airport; 154 people are killed-146 passengers and crew and eight on the ground, as the plane ripped through numerous houses before it exploded.

28 July: San Francisco is first city to ban sale and possession of handguns.

5 Aug: House of Representatives votes to reject a resolution that freezes US and Russian arsenals at their present levels.

8 Sep: President announces he will not block a bill proposed by North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms to allow prayer in school.

26 Oct: President’s administration shows a budget deficit of 110 billion for fiscal 1982 Reagan wants to build up the military.

2 Nov: Mid-term elections show gains for Democrats who win 75 percent of governors’ races and 60 percent of Congressional seats.

23 Nov: Labor department reports a 6 percent rise in the cost of living over a twelve-month period.

16 Dec: Federal Reserve Board reports that factories operate at 67.8 percent capacity, lowest since 1948.

21-23 Dec: congress approves Reagan administration’s new federal tax of 5 cents per gallon, to bring in $5 billion per year for highway and bridge repairs.


12 Jan: President nominates Margaret Heckler as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Elizabeth Dole for Secretary of Transportation win easy Senate confirmation.

19 Jan: Interior Secretary James Watt says Indian Reservations are example of the failures of socialism.

Feb: Four democrats announce their candidacy for 1984 presidential nomination: Sen. Alan Cranston on Feb 2; Sen. Gary Hart on Feb. 17; Former vice president Walter Mondale on Feb 21; and former Florida governor Reubin Askew on Feb. 23.
23 Mar: House of Representatives approves democrat budget that increases federal budget deficit by $174 billion (tax increases), rather than $189 billion by Reagan (tax cuts and military buildups).

20 Apr: President signs a compromise bipartisan bill designed to save Social Security from bankruptcy.

Apr: two more democrats announce their candidacies for nomination: Sen. Ernest Hollings on 18 Apr; and Sen. John Glenn on 21 Apr.

4 May: House of Representatives approves a nonbinding resolution for a mutual and verifiable freeze and reductions in nuclear weapons by the superpowers.

24 May: Supreme Court rules that IRS can deny tax exemptions to private schools that practice racial discrimination.

24-25 May: House of Representatives and Senate vote to free $625 million for the MX missiles after President’s announcement on 11 May that he will seek new approaches to Soviet Union.

15 June: Supreme Court rules that many local abortion restrictions are unconstitutional, thus reaffirming Roe v. Wade in 1973.

1 Sep: Soviet fighter shoots down South Korean passenger airliner 007, killing all 269 persons on board, including 61 Americans. President Reagan condemns attack and demands a thorough explanation.

1 Sep: President orders 2,000 Marines into Beirut, Lebanon, as part of international peacekeeping force.

13 Sep: Reagan announces Marines can call for naval artillery and airstrikes to protect themselves.

15 Sep: House of Representatives vote for $187.5 billion defense bill that includes money for MX missiles, the B-1 bomber and the production of chemical weapons. This is response to moral outrage of Soviet shooting down Korean passenger jet.

21 Sep: Interior Secretary defends the composition of his new coal advisory commission by saying, “I have a black, I have a woman, two Jews and a cripple.” He will resign on 9 Oct.

Sep: Australian challenger Australia II wins America’s cup from Liberty, taking four of seven races. This is America’s first defeat in 25 defenses—the longest streak of any sport, 132 years. The competition began in 1850.

23 Oct: A truck loaded with explosives crashes into US Marine headquarters in Beirut; 241 servicemen die and 71 injured in the explosions. President and Congress reexamine the Marines’ role in their peacekeeping mission. In Feb. 1984 the Marines will be withdrawn.

20 Nov: Nearly half of all Americans watch television special the Day After, which depicts American community responding to aftermath of a nuclear attack.


3 Jan: Rev. Jesse Jackson obtains release of American Airman Robert Goodman, Jr. from Syria.

10 Jan: USA and Vatican exchange diplomats, ending a gap of 116 years in diplomatic relations.

25 Jan: President delivers his State of Union Address and declares that “America is back—standing tall, looking to the eighties with courage, confidence and hope.”

1 Feb: President orders US Marines withdrawn from Beirut. They will be withdrawn by Feb. 26.

9 Feb: Soviet leader Yuri Andropov dies in Moscow.

13 Feb: ailing Konstantine Chernenko becomes the new general secretary of the communist party.

8 Feb: Dow Jones industrial average falls to 1156, a decline of 10 in just five weeks.

10 Apr: Senate adopts resolution that rebukes President for using federal funds for CIA to mine harbors of Nicaragua.

26 Apr: 1 May: President makes first visit to China. He and Chinese leaders sign agreements for cultural exchange programs and for American companies to build nuclear reactors in China.

20 June: House of Representatives approves an immigration bill that gives amnesty to millions of aliens who established residence before 1982. The bill also requires employers to verify a job applicant’s citizenship or authorization to work.

12 July: Democrat Walter Mondale names Geraldine Ferraro—a Representative from New York—to be his running mate, the first woman on a major party’s ticket.

28 July – 12 Aug: 23rd Olympiad is held in Los Angeles, with 7800 athletes from 140 countries. It is boycotted by Soviet bloc countries in retaliation for US boycott of 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

7 Oct: Reagan and Mondale meet in Louisville, KY for a televised debate.

21 Oct: Reagan and Mondale meet in Kansas City for another debate.

2 Nov: Labor Department reports unemployment is at 7.3 percent.

6 Nov: Reagan and Bush win 49 out of 50 states, 59 percent of popular vote, and 525 out of 538 Electoral College votes. Democrats retain majority in House, but GOP hold majority in senate.


10 Jan: Daniel Ortega, a leftist Sandinista, is sworn in as president of Nicaragua.

20 Jan: Ronald Reagan takes oath of office.

4 Feb: Reagan administration submits new budget $973.7 billion with a deficit $180 billion to build up military.

18 Feb: Gen. William Westmoreland and CBS Inc, reach an out of court settlement in Westmoreland’s $120 million libel suit, that he misrepresented the strength of Viet Cong forces.

20 Feb: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is first British leader since Winston Churchill to speak to a joint-session of Congress.

21 Feb: President admits at a press conference that he would like to remove “present structure” of the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

11 Mar: Konstantine Chernenko died on 10 Mar, and Mikhail Gorbachev becomes new leader of the Soviet Union. He wants peaceful co-existence with the West. Eventually, he will advocate Perestroika (“Restructuring”) Glasnost (“Openness”).

23 Apr: House of Representatives reject Reagan’s appeal for financial support for contra freedom fighters in Nicaragua.

13 May: Violent confrontation between radical African American group and the police in Philadelphia: 12 deaths and state helicopter drops a bomb that starts a fire that leaves 300 homeless.

11 June: Karen Ann Quinlan dies after having lived without a respirator for nearly 1o years. A 1976 Supreme Court had allowed her to be removed from the respirator.

12 June: House of representatives allocates $27 million in humanitarian aid to contras in Nicaragua, but it forbids CIA and Pentagon to have any part in disbursing the money.

14-30 June: TAW flight 847, going from Athens to Rome, is seized by Shiite Muslim extremists who force plane to land in Beirut. They kill Robert Stetham, a Navy steelworker. After complicated negotiations among the Shiites, Israel, and US 39 hostages are driven to Damascus and flown to W. Germany.

1 Aug: Long budget struggle ends with a compromise budget of $976.6 billion.

11 Oct: President declares to terrorist that “You can run but you can’t hide,” after Navy F-14 fighter jet tracks down hijackers of Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro. 21 Oct. Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega accuses US of aggression against his country.

19-20 Nov: President and Gorbachev meet in Geneva and reach few agreements, though they talk candidly, other than to meet in USA in 1986. Gorbachev denounces Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, which the left and their soul mates in the news media nicknames Star Wars. Now the idea is proven since it does shoot down missiles.

12 Dec: Reagan signs Gramm-Rudman balanced budget law, which progressively lowers budget deficit targets for 1986-1991 and calls for automatic spending cuts if the targets are not met.


25 Feb: Mrs. Corazon Aquino is sworn in as president of Philippines, following election on 7 Feb. that was marred by thirty deaths.

5 Apr: A bomb explodes in a discotheque frequented by US servicemen in W. Germany. One American sergeant is killed and 60 Americans are injured. Three terrorist groups claim credit. US officials blame Libya.

14-15 Apr: US planes strike Libya at 7:00 P.M Eastern Standard Time. The planes, some of which flew from Britain (and France would not allow aircraft to use its air space), and bombed Tripoli, including what is believed to be Col. Qadaffi’s home and headquarters.  President addresses nation and says evidence was found that implicates Libya in discotheque bombing.

25 Apr: Swedish nuclear workers detect high levels of radiation. Soon the Soviet Union announces a nuclear accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, 60 miles north of Kiev.

25 May: Millions of Americans, including President Reagan attempt to have Hands Across America to raid money for homeless and hungry.

12 June: US Public Health Service announces there are 21,517 known cases of AIDS in the US and 11,713 known deaths.

25 June: The House of Representatives approves $30 million in humanitarian aid and $70 million in military aid to aid Nicaraguan contras.

3-6 July: Presidents Reagan and Mitterrand and millions of Americans celebrate 100th birthday of status of Liberty.

17 July: LTV Corp, second largest steel company in the USA, files bankruptcy. It reports loss of $723.9 million in 1985.

17 Sep: Senate confirms William Rehnquist as 16th chief justice of Supreme Court. Antonin Scalia is also confirmed as a new associate justice.

4-30 Sep: Dow Jones industrial average stumbles from 1919.71 on Sep 4 to 1767.58 on Sep 30.

2 Oct: Senate overrides 78-21 presidential veto of a bill that provides sanctions against South Africa (Reagan later regretted his decision). The bill forbids new US investments and stops commercial air traffic—all to pressure the country to end apartheid.

1-12 Oct: President and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet for talks in Reykjavik, Iceland. They discuss SDI and possible arms control measures, but leave without signing major agreements.

17 Oct: Senate approves an immigration bill that provides for fines on employers who hire persons classified as illegal.

21 Oct: President signs $11.7 billion budget reduction measure.

22 Oct: Surgeon General C. Everett Koop says parents and schools must educate children about sexual matters, to slow spread of HIV.

22 Oct: President sins most sweeping revision of US tax code in last 40 years. It reduces the number of income tax brackets from 14 to only 3 and removes low income Americans from tax rolls. Now bill will be phased in from 1987 to 1988.

3-6 Nov: New York Times and Washington Post report stories of arms for hostages deal with Iran.

4 Nov: Democrats win eight seats in Senate and take control.

1 Dec: General Motors removed H. Ross Perot from its board of directors. GM buys Perot’s stock for $700 million.

5 Dec: General Service Administration directs that nonsmoking employees must be given assurances of a reasonable smoke-free environment at their jobs.

12 Dec: Department of Energy announces the nuclear reactor at Hartford, Washington, will be shut down for six months. Its design looks like the one at Chernobyl.


4 Jan: President presents his budget, the nation’s first trillion dollar one ($1,024.3 billion), containing $107.8 billion deficit.

8 Jan: Dow Jones industrial average closes at 2002.25 points, the first it has exceeded 2000. Throughout Jan, it go up by another 250 points, another record.

16 Jan: KRON is first TV station to accept condom commercials.

3-4 Feb: Congress overrides President’s veto of $20 billion Clean Water bill, aimed at cleaning up nation’s water supply.

20 Mar: US government approves the use of AZT to combat AIDS. It appears to delay terminal phase of AIDS, but does not cure it.

8 May: Gary Hart, democratic presidential candidate, drops out of race because of his affair with model Donna Rice.

17 May: In Iran-Iraq War, Iraqi warplane fires missile at USS Stark, which kills 37 sailors. President Saddam Hussein acknowledges Iraq’s responsibility, but does not want it to affect US-Iraq relations. Reagan says Kuwaiti oil tankers ships will fly American flag to protect them from Iran-Iraq War.

1 July: President nominates Robert Bork to replace Lewis F. Powell, Jr. on Supreme Court. Months of fighting leads to his being disqualified.

7-24 July: Lt. Col. Oliver North testifies before a congressional committee on his role in the Iran-Contra affair (Contras fought against leftist Sandinistas in Nicaragua). The committee wants to pin the details on the President, but North and others say he didn’t know.

4 Aug: Federal Communications Commission abolishes fairness doctrine, which had required radio and TV broadcaster to prevent balanced treatment of issues.

17 Sep: President and former Chief Justice Warren Burger lead celebration of the 200th anniversary of Constitution.

19 Oct: The worst day in Wall Street history ends with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 508 points or 22w.6 percent of its total.

23 Oct: Senate rejects Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

13 Nov: President addresses nation to explain concerns about Iran contra affair. He admits that US sent defensive weapons to Iran to improve relations with it.

8 Dec: In Washington, DC, President and Gorbachev sign historic INF treaty, which dismantles US and Soviet missiles with ranges of 300 to 3,400 miles: 1752 US missiles and 859 Soviet missiles.

15 Dec: Gary Hart reenters the presidential race.


25 Jan: CBS journalist Dan Rather and Vice President Bush clash on live TV of Bush’s involvement in Iran Contra affair. Bush’s aggressiveness sets him up to become next presidential nominee.

3 Feb: Following the rejection of Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg, Senate consents to Judge Antony Kennedy to be the 104th Justice of Supreme Court.

5 Feb: US juries return two indictment against Panama’s military chief and de facto leader Gen. Manuel Noriega, with drug trafficking.

18 Feb: President presents to Congress of $1.09 trillion budget with a deficit of $129.5 billion.

16 Mar: A federal grand jury indicts four Americans in Iran-Contra affair: Rear Admiral John Poindexter, Lt. Col. Oliver North, and others will be required to testify during summer regarding their roles.

23 Mar: House of Representatives approves $1.2 trillion budget.

18 Apr: US Navy warships and planes sink or cripple Iranian vessels and destroy two Iranian oil platforms. This is in retaliation for damage to a ship on 4 apr, by a mine set by Iran.

4 May: Over 100,000 persons rush to apply for amnesty under US Immigration and Naturalization policy. This is last day for applicants. Nearly 1.4 million have applied, more than half from California.

16 May: Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issues report that cigarettes and other tobacco products are addictive.

23 June: James Hansen of NASA reports that the earth has been getting warmer in the first five months in 1988 than in any previous record. The greenhouse effect is here.

20 July: Michael Dukakis and Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen are nominated by the Democrat Party. Polls say democrats hold considerable lead over Bush.

10 Aug: President signs legislation that gives apologies and reparations to Japanese Americans who were interred in camps during WWII. The bill mentions the “mistake” and “grave injustice” and offers 20,000 to each survivor of the camps.

5 Sep: A rescue of American Savings and Loans Association in Stockton, CA, will cost taxpayers $2 billion.

25 Sep: George Bush and Michael Dukakis meet for a televised debate in Winston-Salem, NC.

13 Oct: George Bush and Michael Dukakis hold their second debate in Los Angeles.

8 Nov: George Herbert Walker Bush and J. Danforth (Dan) Quayle overwhelmingly win presidential elections: 54 percent of popular vote, 40 out of 50 states, and 426 Electoral College votes. Democrats retain both the Senate and House.


4 Jan: Two US Navy F-14 fighters down two Libyan fighters in international waters off Libya. The incident exacerbates US-Libyan tension.

6 Jan: Labor department reports that unemployment is at 5.3 percent, a 14-year low.

20 Jan: George Bush is inaugurated president.

And so ends the historical part of the timeline. But the Age of Affluence continues to our own day.

For more information on Reagan’s remarkable achievement in economic growth, click on these links:




Science and Technology


17 Oct: Supersonic speed is achieved for first time by Capt. Charles Yeager in an X-1 research plane built by Bell Aircraft.


The long-playing phonograph is introduced by Columbia Records.


2 Nov: Columbia Broadcast System receives authorization to begin television broadcasts in color.


In Englewood, NJ, the first transcontinental dial telephone service goes into effect.

In Idaho at US Reactor Testing Station, researchers generate electricity from nuclear fuel.


UN signs limits on opium production to world scientific and medical needs.

20th Century Fox releases the Robe in CinemaScope, a process that enhances depth of film image.


4 May: Atomic Energy Commission approves of two private nuclear power plants; one will be built by Consolidated Edison at Indian Point, NY and will cost $55 million.


4 Oct: USSR launches first satellite known as Sputnik into space and provokes US to speed up space program. It leads to commitment to science and math education.


3 Jan: Air force forms two squadron of Strategic Air Command (SAC) armed with medium-range missiles.

21 Jan: America’s first satellite Explorer I is launches at Cape Canaveral, FL by US Army.

29 July: NASA is created by Eisenhower, and he signs a bill that provides millions of dollars to space program.

5 Aug: Atomic powered submarine Nautilus makes first undersea crossing of North Pole. It takes 96 hours under 50-foot-thick ice cap.

6 Oct: Atomic submarine Seawolf surfaces after 60-day underwater voyage, a record.

12 Oct: US fails to circle moon with pioneer rocket. Altitude of 79,193 is a record.

10 Dec: National Airlines inaugurates jet passenger service, employing two Boeing 707s.


9 June: Atomic submarine George Washington is launched at Groton, CT; it is capable of firing a Polaris missile.

21 July: First nuclear merchant ship is launched at Camden, NJ. President’s wife Mamie christens vessel the Savannah.

7 Aug: A 142 pound satellite Explorer IV is launched from Cape Canaveral, the first to be built and sent in orbit by NASA.

10 Nov: Triton nuclear submarine is the largest one, commissioned at Groton, CT.


5 May: NASA puts man in space, Commander Alan Shepherd, Jr., who makes suborbital flight of 300 miles in a Mercury capsule.

25 May: Addressing Congress, Kennedy commits to “landing man on the moon and returning him safely to earth by the end of the decade.


24 May: Malcolm Scott Carpenter orbits earth three times in Mercury space capsule.

17 Aug: Senate passes Kennedy’s communication satellite bill by 66-11.

17 Sep: Kennedy administration says there are no dangerous levels of fallout in US from nuclear testing.

3 Oct: Astronaut Walter Schirra orbits earth nearly six times in a Mercury capsule.

President signs a drug bill to safeguard public against harmful drugs.

14 Dec: Unmanned spacecraft Mariner II passes within 21,600 miles (34,760 km) of planet Venus; it had been traveling 3½ months.


7 May: Another communication satellite, Telstar II, is launched from Cape Canaveral.

16 May NASA launches astronaut Gordon Cooper in a space flight of 22 earth orbits.


11 Jan: Surgeon General announces proof that cigarette smoking causes lung disease.

13 Jan: Federal Trade Commission announces it requires statements of health hazards of smoking on cigarette packages.

29 Feb: President announces Lockheed Aircraft has developed a jet capable of 2,000 MPH.


23 Mar: Gemini 3 is launched from Cape Kennedy. It orbits three times around the earth and splashes down in Atlantic.

3 June: Gemini 4 is launched, for first American spacewalk (Russia did it first in spring).

6 Apr: NASA launches Early Bird, first commercial satellite. It transmits telephone and TV signals.

4 Dec: Gemini 7 is launched with a 14-day mission. On 15 Dec Gemini 6 will also go into orbit where it will maneuver to within 100 feet of Gemini 7 and remain for six hours. Another Gemini flight Gemini 5, in August lasted for eight days. Gemini 7 and Gemini 5 were designed to prove that men could function in space long enough to make a roundtrip to the moon


16 Mar: Gemini 8 becomes the first spacecraft to dock in space. However, after 26 minutes of docked flight, a thruster rocket malfunctions, causing the spacecraft to spin wildly. Astronauts pull craft out of orbit and splashes down in the Pacific, completing only 7 days out of 44-day mission.


27 Jan: A fire breaks out in Apollo 1 during ground testing at Cape Kennedy. Three astronauts are killed: Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chafee. A report issued 9 Apr locates cause in defective electrical wire and criticize Apollo design and construction.

19 Oct: NASA’s Mariner 5 interplanetary space probe passes within 2,500 miles of Venus and transmits data back to earth about planet’s atmosphere.

10 Sep: NASA’s Surveyor 5 lands on moon and begins testing lunar soil. Results show it is made up of basaltic and volcanic rock.


Aug: US Oceanographic vessel Glomar Challenger drills into ocean floor and came up with evidence to support plate tectonics.


20 July: Neil Armstrong steps onto moon’s surface. He is in Apollo 11 and is accompanied Col. Buzz Aldrin and Lt. Col. Michael Collins. He left a plaque that says: “Here men from planet earth first set foot upon the moon, July, 1969, AD. We came in peace for all mankind.” At 12:56 the landing craft The Eagle will return to the command module and on July 24, Apollo 11 will return to the earth.


9 Feb: Apollo 14 splashes down in Pacific after nine days in space, including 33 hours on the moon.

26 July: Apollo 15 is launched.


16 Apr: NASA launches Apollo 16, a lunar mission, to collect rock samples from mountainous Descartes region.

2 Mar: NASA launches unmanned spacecraft Pioneer 10, which will fly past Jupiter, a journey of 620 million miles.

8 Feb: After a record of 84 days, the three-man crew of Skylab 3 returns to earth; the goal was to test human endurance and ability to live and work in space.


12 Aug: Space Shuttle Enterprise completes its first test flight. The spacecraft is carried up by a Boeing 747 and released to make a landing.


5 Mar: Voyager I passes within 172,000 miles of Jupiter. It sends back pictures of the planet and its moons, with evidence of “geo”logical eruptions on that planet.

1 Sep: Pioneer II files past Saturn, discovering 11th moon and additional rings around the planet.


12 Apr: Space shuttle Columbia is launched on its first voyage from Cape Canaveral. But a number of heat-resistant panels have been torn on takeoff, but the places without the panels are no threat to reentry. Space shuttle lands safely at Edwards air Force Base in eastern California on 14 Apr.

4-9 Apr: Space shuttle Challenger makes its first voyage into space. Two astronauts take first space walk by Americans in nine years.


18 June: Sally K. Ride becomes first American woman astronaut to travel in space.

30 Aug- 5 Sep: Lt. Col. Guion Bluford, aboard space shuttle Challenger, becomes the first African American astronaut to enter space. Dr. William Thornton, at 54, is the oldest astronaut.

13 June: Pioneer 10, a space probe, crosses Neptune’s orbit and leaves the solar system.


28 Jan: At 11:39 AM, Eastern Standard Time, the space shuttle Challenger explodes one minute after takeoff from Cape Canaveral. All seven crew members die: Christa McAuliffe, the first school teacher, is watched by schoolchildren.

Halley’s Comet makes its once-in-75-years visit within 39 million miles of earth.

Church and Christianity


23 May: General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church announces that it will permit ordination of women ministers.


World Council of Churches is founded.


National Council of Churches is founded.

Billy Graham Association is founded.

Pentecostal healing evangelists are busy across the country throughout the decade.


Magazine Christianity Today is founded.

2 May: At its annual conference at Minneapolis the Methodist Church calls for an end to all segregation in the church.


3 May: American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America merge.

7 Sep: United Council of Churches report that 64 percent of Americans are church members.


Lutherans and Episcopalians are influenced by the Charismatic Renewal.


25 June: Supreme Court rules in Engel v. Vitale that reading prayers in New York public schools is unconstitutional.


17 Mar: Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, founder of religious order of Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph, is beatified by Pope John XXII in Rome, the second American to be so honored.

17 June: Supreme Court rules that Bible reading in public schools is unconstitutional.


June: Charismatic Renewal impacts Catholic Duquesne University in Iowa.

Missouri Synod Lutheran is impacted by Charismatic Renewal.


Jesus Movement is on the rise.


30 June: Supreme Court rules that the Constitution forbids states from reimbursing private schools for nonreligious education.


National Catholic Pentecostal Conference, with 10,000 attending.

First International Conference on the Holy Spirit, with 10,000 attending.


Trinity Broadcasting Network is founded.


Jacqueline Means, 40, becomes first woman ordained a priest in Episcopal Church.


May: Vineyard Movement is started in a house and soon grows to thousands.


1 Oct: Pope John Paul II begins a week-long trip to US, to Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington, and yes, Des Moines, Iowa. Roman Catholic Church has 50 million members, over 20 of population.

Moral Majority is founded by Jerry Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church and founder and president of Liberty University.


5 Jan: A federal judge in AR overturns state law requiring that public schools teach creationism and evolutionary theory.


15 Mar: Senate rejects amendment that would have allowed silent prayer in school.


10 Mar: Evangelist Jim Bakker admits to having an affair with Jessica Hahn.. He resigns his ministry and lets Jerry Falwell to take it over temporarily.

10-20 Sep: Pope John Paul II arrives in US for the second time. He meets with President and Mrs. Reagan and visits various places until Sep. 20. At San Francisco he is met with 2,000 protesters who oppose his conservative stance on homosexuality.


21 Feb: Jimmy Swaggart admits to sexual misconduct.


Christian coalition is founded, which replaces Moral Majority (see 1979).


Western world, you’re too sleepy! Wake up! Take back your good heritage, like your true biblical faith, rather than empty religion, and leave the bad past behind. We live in the most prosperous age ever, with inventions and conveniences that are unmatched in history. Don’t let them spoil your spiritual values. And don’t allow other systems like communism or Islamism to ruin or erode Western freedom.

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