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United States of America > United States History > 20th Century 1901-2000

Ellis Island as seen from the Circle Line Ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island.

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 andlabor laws affected the work place. The twenties roared in with economic prosperity then the Wall Street Crash brought on the Great Depression. The farmers in the great plains, some called “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. [1] 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 US Census to begin this century and over 281 million in April of 2000.

Timeline

  • 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.
  • 1905: Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as President for a 2nd term with Charles Fairbanks as Vice President.
Ruins of San Francisco after earthquake and fire, April 18 - 21, 1906, view from Stanford Mansion site
  • 1909: William Taft is sworn in as the President of the United States with James Sherman as Vice President.
Ford Assembly Line 1913
  • 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. [4] Within ten years this process cut the price of a car by approximately seventy five percent.
  • 1917: The Jones-Shafroth 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.
  • 1920: This year was a historical change in the nation's history, more people were living in cities than on farms. [7]
  • 1921: 560,971 immigrants passed through Ellis Island this year alone. [8] 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.
  • 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.[9]
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 1969: - Richard Nixon is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States with Spiro Agnew as the Vice President.
  • 1973: Richard Nixon is sworn in as President with Spiro Agnew as Vice President for a 2nd term. The United States and Vietnam sign a peace treaty, ending the Vietnam War. The last of American forces leave Vietnam. Gerald Ford is sworn in as the 40th Vice President of the United States.
  • 1974: Gerald Ford is sworn in as the 38th President of the United States with Nelson Rockefeller as the Vice President.
  • 1977: Jimmy Carter is sworn in as the 39th President of the United States with Walter Mondale as the Vice President.
  • 1981: Ronald Reagan is the President of the United States with George Bush as the Vice President of the United States.
  • 1985: Ronald Reagan is the President of the United States with George Bush as the Vice President of the United States.
  • 1989: George Bush is the President of the United States with Dan Quale is as the Vice President.
  • 1991: A cease fire is signed between the United Nations and Iraq.
  • 1992: The United States and Russia sign a treaty officially ending the Cold War.
  • 1993: Bill Clinton is the 42nd President of the United States with Al as the Vice President.
  • 1997: Bill Clinton is the President of the United States with Al as the Vice President.
  • 1999: Panama gains control of the Panama Canal from the United States.

Websites

Sources

  1. Hine, Robert V. and Faragher, John Mack; Frontiers: a short history of the American West, Contributor Robert V. Hine, John Mack Faragher. Edition: illustrated, abridged. Published by Yale University Press, 2007. ISBN 0300117108, 9780300117103. 248 pages. Page 170. Worldcat
  2. 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
  3. 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 Google Books.
  4. Wood, John Cunningham; Henry Ford: Critical Evaluations in Business and Management, Contributor John Cunningham Wood. Edition: illustrated. Published by Taylor & Francis, 2003. ISBN 0415248256, 9780415248259. 384 pages. Worldcat
  5. Haskin, Frederic Jennings; The Panama Canal. Published by Doubleday, Page & Company, 1913. 386 pages. Worldcat. Full text is available at Google Books
  6. Seymour, Charles; Woodrow Wilson and the World War Published by Biblio Bazaar, LLC, 2007. ISBN 1434648354, 9781434648358. 204 pages. Page 115. Google Books
  7. Farm Population New York Times.
  8. Cunningham, John T.; Ellis Island: Immigration's Shining CenterPublished by Arcadia Publishing, 2003. ISBN 073852428X, 9780738524283. 160 pages. Page 142. Worldcat. Full text is available at Google Books
  9. 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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