Alexander defeats the Persians, Destruction of PompeiiThe Crusades, The Black Death...Salem Witch TrialsWriting the Declaration of Independence, Battle of Lexington...Escape from slavery, Death of President Garfield..Battle of Gettysburg, Death of Lincoln...Custer's Last Stand, The Death of Billy the Kid...San Francisco Earthquake, Sinking of the Titanic...
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20th Century ( • = Interactive)
A Prisoner of the Boxer Rebellion, 1900
"Kill the foreign devils! Kill! Kill! Kill!" At the beginning of the 20th century, America begins its journey to becoming a world power and finds itself embroiled in a revolution in China.

 The Galveston Hurricane of 1900
"...all at once the house went from its foundation and the water came in waist-deep." The greatest natural disaster in American history.

 Farm Wife, 1900
"I have always been called upon and expected to help do anything that a man would be expected to do." A young farm wife describes life on the farm and the perception of the woman's marital role at the turn of the 20th century.

 The Death of Queen Victoria 1901
". . . slowly down the long line of battleships came. . . the white Alberta looking very small and frail next the towering battleships." Great Britain's longest reigning monarch is laid to rest.

 The Assassination of President William McKinley, 1901
"Suddenly I saw a hand shoved toward the President. . . Then there were two shots." America's 25th President is gunned down near Buffalo, NY.

 The Roosevelts Move Into the White House, 1901
"Then began the widest scramble in the history of the White House." The exuberant Roosevelts take over the Executive Mansion.

 Riding a Rural Free Delivery Route, 1903
" is something that comes right to our very doors, and we can't help seeing and feeling the good of our money." The mailman comes to the farm with the same cultural impact as the World Wide Web one hundred years later.

 1st FlightFirst Flight, 1903
"I got on the machine at 10:35 for the first trial." The Wright brothers make history on a windy North Carolina beach.

 The Gibson Girl
At the end of the 20th century it was Madonna, at its beginning it was the Gibson Girl.

 Early Adventures With The Automobile
Driving in 1907, winning the Vanderbilt Cup in 1906 and the first woman to drive coast-to-coast.

 Immigrating to America, 1905
"... we came up and saw the beautiful bay and the big woman with the spikes on her head and the lamp that is lighted at night in her hand." A young Polish girl describes coming to America and working in the sweatshops of New York City.

 San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
The quake lasted only a minute but the fires it spawned ravaged the city for three days.

 Henry Ford Changes the World, 1908
An eyewitness describes the birth of the Model T and the Assembly Line - two innovations that molded the world we live in today.

 A Walk with President Roosevelt, 1908
"I stood paralyzed with fear..." Living the "Strenuous Life,"

 Children At Work, 1908-1912
The photographs of Lewis Hine document children in the workplace.

 On Safari, 1909
Into darkest Africa with Theodore Roosevelt.

 Birth of the Hollywood Cowboy, 1911
"I saw a Western picture. It was awful!" William S. Hart, Hollywood's first cowboy star and the role model for successors from John Wayne to Clint Eastwood, tells how he got into movies.

 Doomed Expedition to the South Pole, 1912
The final days of Capt. Robert Scott's expedition in the Antarctic.

 Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
The great ship sinks into the frigid waters of the North Atlantic.

 First Woman to Fly the English Channel, 1912
Beautiful, flamboyant, daring and short lived - Harriet Quimby makes history.

 The Massacre of the Armenians, 1915
"Pray for us." In the midst of World War I, the Ottoman Turks attempt to eradicate their Armenian population.

 The Bolsheviks Storm the Winter Palace, 1917
"Like a black river, filling all the street...we poured through the Red Arch." In St. Petersburg, Russia, the mob attacks the former palace of the Czar in the first act of the Coummunist Revolution.

 The Execution of Tsar Nicholas II, 1918
"We must shoot them all tonight." The Romanov dynasty ends in a Siberian cellar.

 President Wilson Suffers a Stroke, 1919
"My God, the President is paralyzed!" The attack ignites a presidential crisis the nation knew nothing about.

 Making Movies, 1920
"Above the howling storm, Mr. Griffith shouted: 'Billy, move in! Get that face!" Lillian Gish describes working with director D.W. Griffith in the film Way Down East

  Entering King Tut's Tomb, 1922
Howard Carter describes the wonder of discovering the greatest ancient Egyptian treasures ever found.

 Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as President, 1923
Calvin Coolidge becomes President in a remote Vermont cabin.

 Adolph Hitler Attempts a Coup, 1923
"The national revolution has started"; Hitler screamed as his storm troopers surrounded a Munich beer hall. His attempt to seize power failed, but the notoriety he gained laid the foundation for future success.

 Air Conditioning Goes to the Movies, 1925
"Gradually . . . the fans dropped into laps as the effects of the air conditioning system became evident." Air conditioning is tested in a New York City movie theater and launches an ecological revolution in America.

"I learned that not everything in America was what it seemed to be." A foreign visitor gives his observations of America's "Noble Experiment" during the Jazz Age.>

 Babe Ruth Hits His 60th Home Run, 1927
"I knew I was going to hit it. . ." In Yankee Stadium, on the last day of the season, the "Babe" sets a baseball record that lasts thirty-four years.>

 Lindbergh Flies the Atlantic, 1927
". . . as the plane passed within a few feet of the boat I shouted, 'Which way is Ireland?' The "Lone Eagle" describes his historic flight.

 The Wall Street Crash, 1929
"This was real panic." Bedlam on Wall Street as the Stock Market crashes.

 The Bonus Army Invades Washington, D.C., 1932
"I was horrified to see plain evidence of hunger in their faces." In the depths of the Great Depression, an army of World War I veterans occupy America's capital.

 The Reichstag Fire, 1933.
"This is a God-given signal!" Less than a month after Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany, a mysterious fire destroys the country's Parliament and provides the means for his acquisition of absolute power.

 Shoot-out with Bonnie and Clyde, 1933
"They've killed Buck! I shouted to Clyde" Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, two of the most notorious gangsters in American history, engage in a blazing gun battle with police at a Missouri motel.

 Migrant Mother, 1936
"I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet." Photographer Dorothea Lange describes the taking of a photograph that would become an icon of America's Great Depression.

 The Bombing of Guernica, 1937
"... I saw the reflection of Guernica's flames in the sky." During the Spanish Civil War, a small town becomes a guinea pig in Germany's quest to perfect war from the air.

 The Rape of Nanking, 1937
"The road to Hsiakwan is nothing but a field of corpses." A German businessman describes the carnage in the Chinese capital as the Japanese army overwhelms the city.

 Dining with the King and Queen of England, 1938
"Rose, this is a hell of a long way from East Boston!" Joe Kennedy, America's new Ambassador to Great Britain, and his wife Rose, spend the weekend with the King and Queen of England.

 Images of War
Documenting 20th century war and its impact.

 The Death of President Franklin Roosevelt, 1945
"At 1:15 he put his hand to his head and slumped backward in a coma." Franklin Roosevelt, America's longing serving president, the man who led the country through the Great Depression and World War II, dies.

 Thoughts Of A President, 1945
Harry Truman's personal diary reveals his thoughts on the war, General Douglas MacArthur and more.

 Jackie Robinson Breaks Baseball's Color Barrier, 1945
"Can you do it? Can you do it?" A watershed meeting in Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Ricky's office makes history.

 The Assassination of Gandhi, 1948
"Just an old man in a loincloth in distant India: Yet when he died, humanity wept."

 The Russians Discover a Spy Tunnel in Berlin, 1956
"What a filthy trick!" A declassified CIA report describes an audacious incident of espionage during the Cold War.

 The Hungarian Revolution, 1956
"I have been the witness today of one of the great events of history." The citizens of Budapest attempt to break the chains of Soviet occupation.

The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 1963
"Suddenly there was a sharp, loud report - a shot." Lady Bird Johnson describes the assassination of President Kennedy.

 Apollo 8: First Voyage to the Moon, 1968
"Welcome to the moon Houston. . . a vast, lonely, forbidding type of existence, great expanse of nothing. . ." Man's first voyage to the moon.

  President Nixon Meets Elvis, 1970
"He wanted to restore some respect for the flag. . . ." Meeting in the Oval Office, Elvis offers President Nixon his services to combat threats to American society.

 Payoff to the Vice President, 1971
A Justice Department informant describes making bribery payments to Spiro Agnew.

 President Nixon Leaves the White House, 1974.
"President Nixon looked just awful." Resigning as President, Richard Nixon says farewell to his staff before boarding a helicopter that will whisk him into history.

Learn More About the 20th Century in SnapShots: Photographic Gateways to History

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