20th Century 1901-2000Edit This Page
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The 1900’s brought a rapid change in the country’s makeup. Immigrants from all over the world went through the doors at Ellis Island. Highways and expressways were constructed. Modes of transportation were improved causing the populous to move about the country more easily. Mass production made technology affordable to the middle class. Trade Unions and labor laws affected the work place. The twenties roared in with economic prosperity then the Wall Street Crash brought on the Great Depression. The “okies” endured and then exited the terrible dust storms that drove them from their farms in the Dust Bowl west to California. It has been a country on the move, going from farms to cities to find work. The many wars of this century all have had an impact on your ancestors. Two very different territories, Hawaii and Alaska, each uniquely beautiful, became the last two to join the Union. The Nation's population is at nearly 76 million according to the Census.
- 1901: William McKinley is sworn in as President with Theodore Roosevelt as Vice President. President McKinley is assassinated. Theodore Roosevelt is the President of the United States.
- 1903: Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first four successful flights of an air machine in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. 
- 1905: Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as President for a 2nd term with Charles Fairbanks as Vice President.
- 1906: Bureau of Immigration is established, predecessor to the FBI. San Francisco earthquake destroys approximately 4 square miles of the city, leaving 500 dead or missing. 
- 1907: Oklahoma is the 46th state admitted to the Union and was formed from Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory. The "Gentleman's Agreement" restricts Japanese immigration to the United States. 1,004,756 immigrants were received at Ellis Island this year alone making it the most ever received in one year.
- 1908: Henry Ford introduces the Model T.
- 1909: William Taft is sworn in as the President of the United States with James Sherman as Vice President.
- 1912: New Mexico is the 47th state and Arizona is the 48th. Arizona had been called by Arizona before 1863, although it was still in the Territory of New Mexico. The RMS Titanic sinks.
- 1913: Woodrow Wilson is sworn in as the President of the United States with Thomas Marshall as Vice President. Henry Ford adopts the conveyor belt system used in the meat-packing industry and applied it to the manufacture of cars. Within ten years this process cut the price of a car by approximately seventy five percent. The Panama Canal is open for shipping.
- 1914: American forces occupy Vera Cruz, Mexico. The United States Army Air Corps is established. The Panama Canal is now opened for travel.
- 1916: U.S. agrees to purchase Danish West Indies (Virgin Islands) for $25 million.
- 1917-18:World War I. The United States entered World War I in April 1917. More than 26 million men from the United States ages 18 through 45 registered with the Selective Service. Over 4.7 million men and women served in the regular U.S. forces, national guard units, and draft units. There were 53,402 killed in action, 63,114 deaths from disease and other causes, and about 205,000 wounded. New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio furnished the most soldiers. For information concerning records about this war see the World War I United States Military Records page.
- 1917: The Jones Act makes Puerto Rico part of United States territory, making its inhabitants U.S. citizens. The Selective Service Act authorizing registration and draft of all men between 21 and 30 military service is passed by Congress. Woodrow Wilson is sworn in as President with Calvin Coolidge as the Vice President of the United States. The United States enters World War I on the side of the Allies. The United States National Guard is established.
- 1918: There was a sharp decline do to the war in immigration as the numbers of immigrants passing through Ellis Island decreased from 178,416 in 1915, to just 28,867 in 1918. The Allied and Central Powers sign an armistice.
- 1919: The Treaty of Versailles is signed, ending World War I.
- 1920: This year was a historical tipping-point. For the first time in our nation's history, more people were living in cities than on farms. 
- 1921: 560,971 immigrants passed through Ellis Island this year alone. Warren Harding is sworn in as the 29th President of the United States with Charles Dawes as the Vice President.
- 1923: Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as the 30th President of the United States.
- 1924: The Immigration Act of 1924 greatly restricted immigration.
- 1925: Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as President with Charles Curtis as the Vice President.
- 1929: Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in his plane The Spirit of St. Louis. American Samoa officially becomes a U.S. territory. Herbert Hoover is sworn in as the 31st President with John Garner as the Vice President.
- 1930's: The Great Depression closed many factories and mills. Many small farms were abandoned, and families moved to cities to find jobs.
- 1930-1936: The Dust Bowl had wind storms that turned drought stricken farms into unworkable land. This affected the farms centered in the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. This exodus was the largest migration in American history within a short period of time. By 1940, 2.5 million people had moved out of the Plains states; of those, 200,000 moved to California.
- 1933: Ocean City Inlet created by a major storm. Franklin Roosevelt is sworn in as the 32nd President of the United States with Henry Wallace as the Vice President.
- 1935: The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was implemented to supply work for almost 8 million jobs. The Social Security Act was signed into law. For information about how the Social Security Records can be helpful to your research see the U.S. Social Security Records for Genealogists page.
- 1937: Franklin Roosevelt is sworn in as President with Henry Wallace as the Vice President.
- 1940–1945: World War II. Over 50.6 million men ages 18 to 65 registered with the Selective Service. Over 16.3 million American men and women served in the armed forces during World War II of whom 291,557 died in battle, 113,842 died from other causes, and 670,846 were wounded. For information concerning records about this war see the World War II Military Records page.
- 1941: Franklin Roosevelt is sworn in as President with Henry Wallace as the Vice President. Japanese forces attack the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The United States declares war on Japan. Germany and Italy declare war on the United States. United States entered World War II.
- 1942: Women are now allowed to serve in all branches of the armed services.
- 1944: D-Day; invasion of Normandy, France by Allied Forces.
- 1945: Germany surrendered, ending World War II in Europe. United States dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Japan surrendered, ending World War II in the Pacific.
- 1946: The Philippines, a United States protectorate, gains its independence. Winston Churchill proclaims "an iron curtain has swept across the continent (Europe)," beginning the Cold War.
- 1949: Harry Truman is sworn in as President with Alben Barkley as the Vice President
- 1950's–1960's The building of interstate highways made it easier for people to move long distances.
- 1950–1953: Over 5.7 million American men and women served in the Korean War. About 54 thousand of these American service men and women who served in the Korean War were killed. For information concerning records about this war see the United States Military in the Korean War page.
- 1952 First span of Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened.
- 1953: The Refugee Act of 1953 makes an additional allocation of places for the victims of the war disaster. Dwight Eisenhower is the President of the United States with Richard Nixon as the Vice President.
- 1957: - Dwight Eisenhower is the President of the United States with Richard Nixon as the Vice President
- 1959: Alaska becomes the 49th state and Hawaii becomes the 50th.
- 1961: John Kennedy is the 35th President of the United States with Lyndon Johnson is sworn in as the Vice President.
- 1963: American/Vietnamese forces stage a coup in Vietnam. President Kennedy is assassinated. Lyndon Johnson is sworn in as the 36th President of the United States.
- 1964: Segregation is now abolished in the United States. The United States begins military presence in Vietnam. Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel opened; it was coined as one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World.
- 1964–1972: Over 8.7 million American men and women served in the Vietnam War, about 58 thousand these Americans who served in Vietnam died. For information concerning records about this war see the Vietnam War page.
- Asian in America Timeline
- Digital History
- Immigration the Journey to America
- Irish immigration
- The Great Pandemic of 1918-1919 details the effect it had on each state.
- ↑ Cunliffe, John William and Lomer, Gerhard Richard; Writing of Today: Models of Journalistic Prose Edition: 4. Published by The Century Co., 1915. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Feb 24, 2006. 390 pages. Page 52. Worldcat, Full Text is available at Google Books
- ↑ The California earthquake of April 18, 1906: Report of the State Earthquake Investigation Commission ... By California. State Earthquake Investigation Commission, Andrew Cowper Lawson, Harry Fielding Reid. Published by Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1910. Item notes: v. 2. WorldcatFull Text is available at [http://books.google.com/books?id=w7oQAAAAIAAJ Google Books.
- ↑ Farm Population New York Times.
- ↑ Worster, Donald; Dust Bowl: the southern plains in the 1930s Edition: 25, illustrated, annotated. Published by Oxford University Press US, 2004. ISBN 0195174887, 9780195174885. 290 pages. Worldcat
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