8/10/1874 – 10/20/1964
Hoover spent most of his career as a mining and civil engineer, businessman and humanitarian. He is one of only two Presidents (The other being Taft) to win a presidency without electoral experience or a high military rank. He did however, serve as Secretary of Commerce (1921-1928)
- Hoover becomes the 31st President of the United States at the age of 54. Charles Curtis is elected as his V.P.
- The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the use of the pocket veto by the President for the purpose of blocking legislation
- Former President Coolidge is laid to rest in Plymouth Notch, VT
- Hoover signs the Agricultural Marketing Act to revitalize the increasingly poor market for farm products
- New York Stock Exchange experiences a collapse in stock prices as 13 million shares are sold. This becomes, what is known as “Black Thursday”, a week later the New York Stock Exchange experiences a record 16.4 million shares of stock traded as large blocks of equity are sold at extremely low prices, this becomes what is known as “Black Tuesday”
- The New York Stock Exchange was the start of the Great Depression era
GREAT DEPRESSION ERA; PEOPLE LINED UP AT BANKS TO PULL MONEY
- Secretary of State Henry Stimson invokes the Kellogg-Briand Pact, ratified earlier that year, in an effort to prevent a Sino-Soviet war.
- The U.S. Census reports a population of nearly 123 million, illiteracy hitting a new low of 4.3 percent of the population–down 1.7 percent from 1920–with about one in five Americans owning an automobile
- Empire State Building construction starts
- A major bootlegging operation in Chicago’s organized crime era of Prohibition, is shut down with the arrest of 158 people from 31 organizations
- Former President Taft is laid to rest in Arlington, VA
WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT GRAVE
- London Naval Conference takes place in London where the United States, Britain, and Japan, sign the treaty.
- Hoover signs the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, raising duties high on many imports.
- Hoover signs the Veterans Administration Act to consolidate handling benefits for former servicemen into a single department
- A bank panic begins as over 800 banks across the country close down.
- Construction of the Hoover Dam begins
HOOVER DAM CONSTRUCTION
- Japanese Premier, Hamaguchi Yuko, is assassinated by a military fanatic, he had supported the London Naval Treaty signed in April, and his death opens the government to the increasing influence of military groups
- Memorial is dedicated to James Buchanan in Washington D.C.
- Congress complies with Hoover’s request of funding for public works projects in order to supply jobs to help some of the 4.5 million people that are unemployed
- Economic depression worsens as bank closures rises to over 1,300. The Bank of the United States in New York City, with 60 branches and 400K depositors being the largest.
- The President’s Emergency Committee reports that the number of unemployed has reached nearly 5 million
- Empire State Building is completed and opens to the public
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING 1931
- Over Hoover’s veto, Congress passes the Bonus Loan Bill. The act allows veterans to obtain cash loans of up to 50 percent of their bonus certificates issued in 1924
- The “Star Spangled Banner” officially becomes the national anthem
- In an effort to ease the worldwide depression, Hoover proposes a one-year moratorium on debt payments owed America in return for Europe returning the favor on U.S. debts
- The Japanese military stages an incident in the Manchurian town of Mukden, creating a pretext for the Japanese invasion of the region. The action is in direct violation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact signed in 1928
- Britain goes off the gold standard in an effort to solve the continuing economic crisis. Americans, fearing that the United States will soon do the same, begin to withdraw their money from banks and hoard gold which causes another 800 banks to close their doors
- The notorious gangster Al Capone is busted by Eliot Ness and is convicted of income tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
- In response to the Great Depression, hundreds of hunger marchers descend on the nation’s capital in an unsuccessful attempt to present a petition to Hoover asking for jobs.
- In Japan, Hamaguchi’s replacement, Ki Inukai, is also assassinated by a military fanatic.
- After more than a decade of using the military to remain in power, King Alfonso XIII of Spain fled the country due to the international depression producing mutinies in the army. Spain adopts a Republican constitution, abolishing its monarchy.
- Secretary of State Stimson delivers a diplomatic note to Japan, condemning its actions in Manchuria. The “Stimson Doctrine” indicates America’s refusal to recognize territory seized by force of arms
- Roosevelt Island is created in honor of Theodore Roosevelt
- Hoover establishes the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, an agency designed to lend money to banks, insurance companies, and other institutions to stimulate the economy
- In one of the most publicized crimes of the century, the twenty-month-old son of Charles Lindbergh is kidnapped. After paying a $50,000 ransom, the boy is found dead on May 12. The public outcry against the crime will help to make kidnapping a federal crime punishable by death
- Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean
- Nearly 20,000 veterans arrive in Washington, D.C., hoping to pressure Congress into granting them the full value of their bonus certificates, which were not to mature until 1944. The “Bonus Army” fails though, as Hoover has them forced out of the city by the U.S. Army.
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is completed
TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER
The stock market crashed a few months into Hoover’s term and The Great Depression that followed was widely and some say unfairly, blamed on Hoover which cost him re-election. He went on to stay in politics and deal in foreign relations like organizing relief efforts in Europe after both World Wars before dying in 1964.
“Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.”
“Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.“
1/30/1882 – 4/12/1945
Roosevelt entered politics in 1910, serving first as a member of the New York Senate’s 26th district (1911-1913), he then went on to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1913-1920) before being struck with debilitating polio, where he spent most of his years in Warm Springs, Georgia, where the water helped him gain feeling in his legs again. Once able to regroup he went on to serve as the Governor of New York (1929-1932)
ROOSEVELT AT WARM SPRINGS
- Roosevelt becomes the 32nd President of the United States at the age of 51. John Garner is his VP. One of his first orders of business was appointing the first woman to hold a cabinet position; Francis Perkins, as Secretary of Labor
- Roosevelt declares a four-day bank holiday in order to stop the panic run on nation’s banks.
- Hoover Dam is halfway complete
HOOVER DAM 1933
- Congress begins what becomes known as Roosevelt’s “Hundred Days” where Congress enacts many of the principal programs of FDR’s “New Deal.” It passes the Emergency which allows banks to reopen as soon as they can prove they are solvent; within three days, more than 1,000 banks reopen, helping to raise the nation’s confidence.
- Roosevelt delivers his first fireside chat which is a radio address to the nation.
ROOSEVELT FIRESIDE CHAT
- Congress passes the Reforestation Relief Act, which provides for the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps to offer immediate work to some 250K people
- Roosevelt issues a proclamation, taking United States off the gold standard, allowing more money to become available to Americans, in order to stimulate the economy.
- Congress passes the Federal Emergency Relief Act, to provide immediate grants to states for relief projects. It also passes the Agricultural Adjustment Act, to restrict the production of certain crops and pays farmers not to till their land.
- Congress passes the Tennessee Valley Act to control flooding in the Tennessee River Valley and provide for rural electrification in the seven states comprising the region.
- Congress passes the Federal Securities Act, requiring all issues of stocks and bonds to be registered and approved by the federal government
- The final day of FDR’s “Hundred Days,” Congress passes National Industry Recovery Act which was the centerpiece of Roosevelt’s efforts to revive American industry. It establishes two of the early key agencies of the New Deal: the Public Works Administration and the National Recovery Administration. Congress also passes the Banking Act of 1933, which establishes the Federal Bank Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Farm Credit Act.
- Roosevelt establishes the National Labor Board in order to enforce the right of organized labor to bargain collectively.
- The American Federation of Labor votes to boycott all German-made products to protest the Nazi party’s antagonism towards organized labor in Germany. The next day, Germany withdraws from the Disarmament Conference in Geneva and announces that it will terminate membership in the League of Nations in two years’ time.
- Roosevelt issues an executive order establishing the Civil Works Administration in hopes to provide work for millions of unemployed Americans
- Roosevelt announces that the U.S. will establish domestic relations with the U.S.S.R. after a meeting with the Soviet commissar for foreign affairs, Maksim Litvinov
- Utah becomes the 36th state to ratify the twenty-first amendment, ending the Prohibition era.
- Federal Judge John M. Woolsey lifts the ban on James Joyce’s Ulysses, a major decision against the censorship of books
- Congress passes the Gold Reserve Act, allowing the President to fix the value of the U.S. dollar at between 50 to 60 cents in terms of gold
- Roosevelt signs the Farm Mortgage Refinancing Act, establishing the Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation, designed to help farmers pay their mortgages by granting them easier terms of credit
- Roosevelt issues an executive order establishing the Export-Import Bank to encourage commerce between the U.S. and other foreign nations
- In a show of confidence in the nation’s economic recovery, Henry Ford restores his $5 per day minimum wage to most of his workers
- Congress passes the Tydings-McDuffie Act, guaranteeing Philippine independence after the Philippine legislature meets the terms of the act.
- The Senate establishes a committee to investigate the extent to which manufacturers of munitions influenced and profited from U.S. involvement in the Great War. The findings reinforce the isolationist-neutralist beliefs of many Americans who view international war as profiting only the business elite
- A severe dust storm hits the central and southern plains, blowing an estimated 300,000,000 tons of topsoil from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Colorado as far east as the Atlantic Ocean. It is only one of a number of such storms ravaging a region which becomes known as “the Dust Bowl.” In large part, the conditions are due to the improper plowing and farming practices used to squeeze yields and profits out of the land during the Depression.
- The United States and Cuba sign a treaty releasing Cuba from the Platt Amendment, which had made Cuba a U.S. protectorate following the Spanish-American War in 1903
- Roosevelt signs the Securities Exchange Act, which will license stock exchanges and determine the legality of certain speculative market practices.
- Congress passes the Corporate Bankruptcy Act, allowing corporations facing bankruptcy to reorganize if two-thirds of its creditors agree
- Congress passes the Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act, allowing the President to cut tariffs by as much as 50 percent–without the consent of the Senate–for those nations granting the U.S. most-favored-nation trading status
- Congress passes the Federal Communications Act, creating the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate radio, telegraph, and telephone communications.
- Roosevelt signs the National Housing Act, creating the Federal Housing Administration, designed to further stimulate home building
- Organized labor calls for a “general strike”, the first ever in U.S. history, after 12,000 members of the International Longshoreman’s Association walked out in San Francisco.
- John Dillinger, listed as “Public Enemy No. 1” by the FBI, is shot and killed by federal agents outside a Chicago theater.
JOHN DILLINGER SHOT DEAD OUTSIDE CHICAGO THEATER
- Japan refuses to abide by terms of the Washington Naval Treaty and the London Naval Treaty
- Roosevelt delivers a state of the union address announcing his second stage New Deal
- Congress passes the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, authorizing nearly $5 billion to establish federal programs in line with Roosevelt’s goals
- Roosevelt issues an executive order establishing the Works Progress Administration to provide work and income for millions of Americans through the construction and repair of roads, bridges, public schools, post offices, parks and airfields.
- Roosevelt establishes the Rural Electrification Administration to provide power to regions that private companies deemed unprofitable.
- The Supreme Court rules in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, that the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 is unconstitutional
- Roosevelt signs the National Labor Relations Act to ensure the right of labor to organize and bargain collectively
- Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act to guarantee pensions to Americans over the age of 65, establish a system of unemployment insurance, and assist states in aiding dependent children, the blind, and the aged who do not already qualify for Social Security
- Public utilities become under federal regulation following the passage of the Public Utilities Act
- Congress passes the Revenue Act, increasing taxes on inheritances and gifts, as well as on higher incomes and corporations
- Roosevelt signs the Neutrality Act to forbid the shipment of arms and munitions to belligerents during a state of war.
- Senator Huey Long of Louisiana is assassinated
SENATOR LONG’S FUNERAL
- The Supreme Court rules the Agricultural Adjustment Act to be unconstitutional.
- Congress passes the Adjusted Compensation Act over Roosevelt’s veto, in order to provide immediate cash redemption of the bonus certificates first issued to veterans in 1924
- Ethiopia succumbs to Italy in the Italo-Ethiopian War after its capital falls and Emperor Haile Selassie flees.
- The Spanish Civil War kicks off as the Spanish Army proclaims a revolution against the government.
- At the Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Hitler’s hope to use the games to demonstrate his country’s national and racial superiority is dashed as African American Jesse Owens steals the spotlight, winning a historic four gold medals in track and field.
JESSE OWENS VICTORY IN OLYMPICS
- The NAACP wins its case in Gibbs v. Board of Education, against the state of Maryland, ensuring that white and black teachers are paid equally.
- Roosevelt starts his second term with his Inaugural address promising to continue his fight to return the nation to economic health. John Garner remains VP
- Congress passes the Supreme Court Retirement Act, which permits justices to retire at seventy with full pay, after Roosevelt tries forcing those who fought back his New Deal, to retire, which fails to prompt resignations.
- William H. Hastie becomes the first black federal judge.
- Supreme Court finds the National Labor Relations Act and Social Security Acts to be constitutional, deflating some of the tension between the Judicial and Executive branches
- Roosevelt signs the third Neutrality Act, extending for another year the prohibitions against exporting arms and munitions to belligerents
- The German dirigible Hindenburg explodes outside Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing thirty-six.
- World-famous American aviator Amelia Earhart vanishes over the Pacific Ocean during her round-the-world flight after radio contact with her comes to a sudden stop.
- Congress passes the National Housing Act. The bill establishes the U.S. Housing Authority, which is charged with administering loans for rural and urban home construction.
- International relations continue to sour as Italy withdraws from the League of Nations following criticism of its actions toward Ethiopia. Although the U.S. had claimed neutrality in the Japan/China fight, the Japanese Air Force attacks the U.S. gunboat Panay in China’s Yangtze River. Japan government apologizes days later
- Roosevelt issues his State of the Union Address focusing on the nation’s continuing economic and social problems as well as citing the necessity to be strong in self defense
- Roosevelt submits a recommendation to Congress to increase appropriations to build up the armed forces, especially the Navy.
- Roosevelt signs the second Agricultural Adjustment Act as part of a continuing effort to stabilize agricultural prices and farmers’ incomes.
- German troops move into Austria, allegedly to bring order to that country. Hitler, however, will fuse Austria to Germany and describes the annexation as a peaceful.
- The House of Representatives forms the Committee to Investigate all groups on both the Right and Left of the political spectrum deemed un-American.
- Congress passes the Revenue Act of 1938 over Roosevelt’s veto, reducing corporate income taxes for the purpose of stimulating the economy
- Congress appropriates more than $1 billion dollars, over a ten-year period, for the improvement of the U.S. Navy in response to Roosevelt’s earlier request
- Congress passes The Civil Aeronautics Act targeting the rapidly expanding civilian air traffic industry by licensing pilots and standardizing the rules, airways, and equipment for flight.
- Roosevelt signs the Fair Labor Standards Act, raising the minimum wage and setting the maximum work week at 40 hours, though only for businesses engaged in interstate commerce.
- In a private message to the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, and Czechoslovakia, Roosevelt urges that they find a peaceful settlement to the growing Sudetenland crisis British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Eduard Daladier agree to allow Germany to annex the Sudetenland. Upon his return to England, Chamberlain announces that the Munich Pact guarantees “peace in our time.”
- Orson Welles’ radio play, “War of the Worlds,” is so convincing that large numbers of listeners take to the highways in panic.
- Hugh Wilson, American ambassador to Germany, is called back to the United States for “report and consultation” on anti-Jewish activities there. Four days later, the German ambassador to the United States is also recalled.
- The WPA announces that the number of Americans receiving federal relief has dropped to just over 2.1 million.
- Roosevelt formally submits his budget to Congress, requesting more than $1.3 billion for defense out of a total of $9 billion.
- The Supreme Court declares the sit-down strike, one of organized labor’s most powerful tactics, unconstitutional.
- The German Army invades Czechoslovakia, five-and-a-half months after gaining the Sudetenland peacefully through the Munich pact. By the end of March, the entire country will be under German control.
GERMAN INVASION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA
- As the Spanish Civil War effectively comes to an end, the United States recognizes the government headed by General Francisco Franco.
- Italy invades Albania, causing Roosevelt to write both Hitler, and Mussolini requesting that they offer a ten-year guarantee of peace in Europe and the Middle East in return for U.S. cooperation in international trade and armament talks. Neither leader acknowledges the offer; in fact, Hitler revokes the German non-aggression pact with Poland and the naval agreement with Britain.
ITALY INVADES ALBANIA
- Transatlantic passenger air service begins a with Pan American Airways flight from Long Island, New York, to Lisbon, Portugal. With twenty-tow passengers, the Dixie Clipper makes the trip in just under twenty-four hours.
- Roosevelt works to cement the U.S. alliance with Britain against the looming Fascist-totalitarian threat. He asks Congress to repeal the arms embargo, revise the neutrality law, and end the trade agreement with Japan.
- Germany and the U.S.S.R. sign a non-aggression pact in Moscow. The world learns of the agreement the next day, creating disruption and dismay in both Communist and non-Communist circles as it seems to reveal Hitler’s intentions to move launch war on Poland.
- Germany launches a major invasion of Poland, starting the World War II.
GERMANS INVADE POLAND
- France and Britain declare war on Germany. With limited domestic support for war, Roosevelt declares U.S. neutrality.
- As an informal part of the non-aggression pact signed a month earlier, Germany and the U.S.S.R. divide up Poland between them
- Roosevelt declares all American ports and waters closed to submarines of belligerents
- Roosevelt signs the Neutrality Act of 1939, repealing the general embargo on arms and allowing the sale of arms to belligerents on a “cash and carry” basis. Allowing the United States to aid Britain and France while retaining their official stance of neutrality.
- The U.S.S.R. invades Finland, bombing its capital, Helsinki.
- The Allies take heavy losses in the Battle of the Atlantic. Waged largely by German subs, or U-Boats, against the British Navy, the Allies lose about 440,000 tons of shipping during these two months alone.
BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC
- Finland signs an armistice and treaty with the U.S.S.R., ending the Russo-Finnish War and ceding territory to the Russians. Importantly, both Germany and the Allies are aware of the heavy casualties the Russians sustained in battling the seemingly over-matched Finns.
- The German Army invades Norway and Denmark in preparation for its invasion of France, dubbed Operation Weserubung.
- Continuing its sweep toward France, Germany invades Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Winston Churchill becomes the Prime Minister of Britain, replacing the discredited Neville Chamberlain. Days later, Churchill sends Roosevelt the first of many personal telegrams requesting American aid and participation in the war.
- Roosevelt establishes the Office for Emergency Management, illustrating his belief in the increasing inevitability of U.S. involvement in the war.
- The German Army invades and sweeps across France, thousands of British and French troops converge on Dunkirk, a coastal town in France, in preparation for evacuation of the country. By the time the Germans reach the beach to stop the operation, more than 330,000 troops have been evacuated.
- Churchill delivers his most famous radio address, framing the retreat from Dunkirk as a symbol of the Allies’ determination to win the war.
- Roosevelt announces that the American stance toward the war is changing from “neutrality” to “non-belligerency.” In effect, this means that the United States will now openly support the Allied Powers without actually going to war against the Axis Powers.
- Roosevelt appoints two prominent Republicans to his cabinet: Henry L. Stimson as secretary of war, and Frank Knox as secretary of the Navy. A political move in order to form a “coalition government,” intended to present a unified front to both the world and to Americans
- Congress passes the Alien Registration Act, requiring the registration and finger-printing of all aliens. The bill also prohibits individuals or organizations from advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government by force.
- The Battle of Britain begins with the first bombing raids by the German Air Force.
BATTLE OF BRITAIN
- Roosevelt submits a request to Congress for a defense budget of $4.8 billion; days later, Congress appropriates $4 billion to provide the United States with a two-ocean Navy
- The United States trades fifty outdated destroyers to Britain in exchange for the right to construct air and naval bases on British holdings in the Western Hemisphere
- Roosevelt signs the Selective Training and Service Act, authorizing the first peace-time military draft in U.S. history and requiring all men between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-five to register for military training
- British retains control of British airspace, forcing the Germans to end their onslaught, although the bombing raids will continue, Hitler is forced to abandon any hope of invading Britain.
- Roosevelt wins an unprecedented third-term as President of the United States, looking past the unwritten rule Washington established of a two term limit
- Roosevelt issues an end of the year fireside chat where he declares the U.S. must be the “arsenal of democracy”
- Roosevelt makes a State of the Union Address stressing the need for congressional support for his program to help the Allies defend the “four essential freedoms” against the Axis powers.
- Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act, empowering the President to lend arms and other war material to any country deemed vital to U.S. interests. It is more or less an extension of formal and informal U.S. policy to aid Britain and the Allies without officially declaring war on the Axis
- The Office of Price Administration is established to control and stabilize prices during wartime
- An American merchant ship; Robin Moor, is sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of Brazil.
- Following German victories over Greece and Yugoslavia, Roosevelt issues a proclamation declaring unlimited national emergency.
GERMANY LAUNCHES DUAL INVASION OF GREECE AND YUGOSLAVIA
- Roosevelt orders the closing of all German consulates in the United States; Germany and Italy respond by closing all U.S. consulates in their countries.
- Knowing the U.S.S.R. was weakened by the war with Finland, Germany breaks the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of 1939 when it invades the U.S.S.R.
GERMAN INVASION OF RUSSIA
- After hesitating, Roosevelt promises U.S. aid to the Soviet Union.
- Roosevelt establishes the Fair Employment Practices Committee by executive order, preventing discrimination due to race, creed, or color in the hiring and treatment practices of the ever-growing defense industry.
- Roosevelt establishes the Office of Scientific Research and Development by executive order, which will coordinate the development of defense-related technology including radar, sonar, and early stages of atomic research.
- Roosevelt freezes all Japanese assets in the United States and halts all trade, as relations between the two countries continues to deteriorate.
- Roosevelt nationalizes the armed forces of the Philippines, a U.S. dependency at the time, and names General Douglas MacArthur commander in chief of all U.S. forces in the Far East.
- After three days of secret meetings on U.S. and British warships off the coast of Newfoundland, Roosevelt and Churchill issue the Atlantic Charter. The document sets forth eight goals for the world
- In response to the growing number of attacks on U.S. ships, Roosevelt orders U.S. Navy planes to shoot on sight any Axis ships found operating in U.S. defensive waters.
- Fifteen other countries, including the U.S.S.R., endorse the maxims of The Atlantic Charter, which will serve as a blueprint, of sorts, for the United Nations.
- Hoover Tower is completed, housing the library founded by Hoover at Stanford University
- Roosevelt signs the largest tax bill in American history, as the Revenue Act of 1941 provides for sharply increased taxes to collect more than $3 billion for the defense effort.
- A German U-boat torpedoes the U.S. destroyer; Kearney, which prompts Roosevelt to announce to the nation that America has been attacked, stopping short of declaring war on Germany, however, as many Americans are still reluctant to enter into open war… even after another U-boat sinks the destroyer Reuban James days later, killing 100 Americans
USS KEARNEY DESTROYER
USS REUBAN JAMES
- Japan’s ambassador to the United States begins negotiations with the State Department in the nation’s capital. They propose that the United States remove the trade restrictions on Japan and refrain from involving itself with Japan’s activities in China, but Secretary of State Cordell Hull rejects these proposals, stating that the Japanese must first withdraw from China and Indochina before the trade restrictions can be lifted.
- Mount Rushmore is completed
MOUNT RUSHMORE 1941
- Japan declares war on U.S. after Japanese bombers attack Pearl Harbor, the major U.S. naval base in Hawaii.
ATTACKS ON PEARL HARBOR
- Roosevelt appears before a special joint session of Congress, calling December 7th, “a date which will live in infamy” and asking for a declaration of war against Japan, Congress declares war on Japan the same day.
- Japan invades the Philippines, landing at Luzon.
- Germany and Italy declare war on the United States; Congress, in turn, declares war on Germany and Italy.
- In a show of support for the war effort, the executive council of the American Federation of Labor adopts a “no strike” policy for the duration of the conflict between the Axis and Allied Powers
- Admiral Chester Nimitz is given command of the Pacific fleet, replacing Admiral Husband Kimmel, who was found derelict in taking the necessary precautions for thwarting the attack on Pearl Harbor.
- Roosevelt establishes an executive order for the Office of Censorship, in order to control all matters involving information deemed vital to the war effort.
- The Office of Price Administration announces rubber rationing; beginning on New Year’s Day, the sale of new cars and trucks will be temporarily banned.
- Japan takes Wake Island, an American territory in the Pacific.
- Japan takes Hong Kong, a British colony.
- Representatives of twenty-six nations, including the United States, sign the Declaration of United Nations, affirming their cooperation against the Axis powers.
- Manila falls to the Japanese, forcing Philippine and U.S. forces under the command of General Douglas MacArthur to retreat to the Bataan Peninsula.
JAPAN ARMY HEADING TOWARDS MANILA
- Roosevelt issues an executive order creating the War Labor Board which is charged with maintaining the flow of war materials through the arbitration of labor disputes.
- Roosevelt issues a proclamation ordering all aliens in the U.S. to register with the federal government, primarily Italian, German, and Japanese immigrants, which are viewed suspicious, especially Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast.
- The Emergency Price Control Act goes into effect, authorizing the Office of Price Administration to place ceilings on all prices except those for agricultural products.
- The U.S. War Department announces that the United States and Britain have formed a combined chiefs of staff to coordinate their war efforts.
- Roosevelt authorizes a program to remove Japanese-Americans living in the Pacific Coast states to internment camps in Colorado, Utah, and Arkansas to be sure they will not provide aid to the enemy. Most Americans were undisturbed by the policy as some 100,000 people are “relocated” over the next month.
WWII INTERNMENT CAMP FOR JAP-AMERICANS
- At the Battle of Java Sea, the Japanese Navy inflicts heavy losses on Allied forces.
BATTLE OF JAVA SEA
- General MacArthur is forced to move his command base from the Philippines as Japanese forces approach. Before he leaves for Australia, he famously declares, “I shall return!”
- The 75,000 Philippine and American troops that remained to defend the island surrender to the Japanese on Bataan Peninsula. These men will be taken prisoner and forced to march one hundred miles to a prison camp; with poor rations and ill treatment, thousands will die on the so-called Bataan Death March.
BATAAN DEATH MARCH
- Doolittle Raid takes place when Major General James Doolittle leads sixteen U.S. bombers in a surprise raid on Tokyo. Not only does the attack provide a morale boost for the Allies, it serves to divert Japanese defenses.
BOMBERS RAIDING ON TOKYO
- A nightly “dim-out” or “black-out” goes into effect along a fifteen-mile strip of the Atlantic coast to counter German submarine activity in the area.
- The U.S. Navy inflicts heavy losses on the Japanese fleet in the Battle of the Coral Sea, becoming the first naval battle in history in which surface ships did not engage one another directly, with planes attacking each other and the ships.
BATTLE OF CORAL SEA
- General Jonathan Wainwright is captured by the Japanese and forced to surrender Fort Corregidor and ask all U.S. forces in the Philippines to surrender as well.
- FDR signs the congressional act establishing the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps. A similar group, known as the WAVES, will be assembled for the Navy
- Gasoline rationing goes into effect in seventeen states in the eastern United States
- At the Battle of Midway, the U.S. Navy loses the carrier Yorktown, but not before sinking four Japanese aircraft carriers. While the war is far from over, the victory at Midway establishes U.S. naval superiority as the Japanese also lose a significant number of their best pilots.
BATTLE OF MIDWAY
- Roosevelt issues an executive order, creating the Office of War Information to control the disclosure of official news and propaganda
- Americans join in a great nationwide drive to collect the increasingly rare rubber scraps essential to the war effort.
- Roosevelt meets with Churchill in Washington, D.C., to plan the invasion of North Africa.
- U.S. Marines land on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. It is the first offensive in the long road to Tokyo.
USMC STORM GUADALCANAL
- The Germans, having won major gains in their offensive against Russia over the summer, launch a massive assault on Stalingrad in an effort to complete the conquest.
BATTLE OF STALINGRAD
- The United States are forced to purchase Mexico’s entire rubber supply for the next four years.
- The Revenue Act of 1942 is passed, calling for taxes to be increased by $9 billion; included is the so-called Victory Tax, a five-percent tax on all income over $624, in effect until the war’s end.
- Operation Torch starts as 400K Allied troops land in Morocco and Algeria, under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the newly appointed commander of U.S. forces in the European theater. I will give an honorable mention to General Patton here as well, he would have probably been appointed that role if he did things by the book.
- Scientists at the University of Chicago demonstrate the first sustained nuclear chain reaction.
- Germans find themselves overextended and mired in the mud and harsh cold of winter; it marks the turning point on the Eastern Front.
- At the Casablanca Conference in Morocco, Roosevelt, Churchill, and other Allied representatives agree on how they will establish themselves in closing the war, the routes they will take, and that they will demand the Axis powers surrender unconditionally
- The first all-American bombing raid on Germany takes place on Wilhelmshaven.
- In effort to make resources last, the U.S. established a temporary rationing program for shoes, canned goods, meats, fats and cheese. Coupons were required to get them
- Memorial is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson in Washington D.C.
THOMAS JEFFERSON MEMORIAL
- At the Battle of the Bismarck Sea off New Guinea, U.S. and Australian planes score a major victory in the Pacific.
JAPANESE TRANSPORTER UNDER AERIAL ATTACK IN BISMARCK SEA
- Roosevelt freezes prices, wages, and salaries in an effort to stem inflation.
- Allied forces remove the Axis from North Africa through the forced surrender of German and Italian commanders.
ITALIAN TROOPS SURRENDER NORTH AFRICA
- At the Trident Conference in Washington, D.C., Churchill, Roosevelt, and their top military planners meet and formulate a general strategy for the planned invasions of Europe
- German troops in Poland finally subdue an uprising by Jews in the Warsaw ghetto that had begun the previous month.
WARSAW GHETTO UPRISING CONTROLLED BY GERMANS
- Roosevelt issues an executive order establishing the Office of War Mobilization to coordinate the nation’s efforts at home. He also orders that all government contracts with private industries forbid racial discrimination.
- The Current Tax Payment Act goes into effect, introducing the withholding of federal income taxes on wages and salaries
- The Supreme Court rules in West Virginia Board of Education v. Bernette that it is unconstitutional for a state to require children to salute the flag if doing so counters their religious beliefs.
- In Detroit, Michigan, whites protesting the employment of blacks in formerly “white-only” jobs start the Detroit race riot that leads to two days of rampage, leaving thirty-four dead before federal troops intervene.
DETROIT RACE RIOTS
- Germans launch a massive attack on the Russian city of Kursk, becoming the largest tank battle in history and the German’s last significant effort at conquering the U.S.S.R.
PANZERS MOVING IN ON KURSK
AMERICAN CARGO SHIP CARRYING MUNITIONS IS HIT BY A BOMB FROM A GERMAN PLANE
- Three days after dropping leaflets urging the Italian people to surrender, 500 U.S. bombers carry out an air raid on Rome. The city had previously been spared because of its unique historical, religious, and artistic significance.
BOMBING OF ROME
- King Victor Emmanuel of Italy forces Benito Mussolini to resign after more than two decade, effectively ending Italy’s role as an Axis power.
- After Allies invades, Italy surrenders unconditionally, despite German troops still pouring in to fight
- At the Quadrant Conference in Quebec, Roosevelt, Churchill and others agree on, among other items, a plan for the invasion of France, set for the spring of 1944.
- In Moscow, the foreign ministers of the U.S.S.R., Britain, and the United States, along with the Chinese ambassador to Russia, meet to discuss matters relating to the end of the war. They will issue a statement declaring their intentions to treat the Axis powers fairly once the war is over, and to create an international organization for peace.
- Roosevelt, Churchill, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek meet at the Sextant Conference in Cairo, Egypt, and demand the unconditional surrender of Japan according to the following terms: it must restore Chinese territory; give Korea its independence; and give up all Pacific islands seized after 1914.
- Flying from Cairo, Roosevelt and Churchill meet Joseph Stalin at the Tehran Conference in Iran. The first ever meeting of the “Big Three” leaders is to settle the timing of the invasion of Europe.
- Congress repeals the Chinese Exclusion Acts passed during the late- nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries which banned Chinese immigration to the United States.
- Roosevelt announces in his end-of-the-year radio address that General Eisenhower will be Supreme Commander of the forces that will soon invade Europe.
- U.S. forces invade the Marshall Islands in the Pacific
- The United States suffers heavy losses during The Big Week of massive air raids on German aircraft production that significantly weakens Germany’s air capacity
“BIG WEEK” BOMBING
- Congress approves a joint resolution appropriating up to $1.35 billion for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, looking toward postwar efforts to aid the millions of people devastated by the war.
- The Supreme Court makes a ruling in Smith v. Allwright, that the white-only primary, sponsored by the Democratic Party in Texas, is unconstitutional.
- Allied forces enter Rome after German troops evacuate the city in retreat
ALLY TANK AND TROOPS ARE CHEERED PASSING THROUGH ROME
- On “D-Day,” Operation Overlord begins just after midnight, with some 4,000 invasion ships, 600 warships, 10,000 planes, and about 176,000 Allied troops. The invasion of the continent takes place at a series of beaches in Normandy. By the end of the day, and despite heavy casualties, around 150,000 Allied troops have safely reached the beach and are dug in
- The Germans make use of the first V-1 flying bombs, jet-propelled pilotless bombs launched from France and Belgium toward Britain; only one of these “buzz bombs” reaches London
ANATOMY OF THE GERMAN V-1 BUZZ BOMB
- The B-29 Superfortresses, based in China, begin the first air raids on the Japanese main island.
B-29 RAID ON JAPAN
- In the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the United States wins one of the more decisive air-naval battles of the war as the Japanese lose at least 400 planes and three carriers.
BATTLE OF THE PHILLIPINE SEA
- Roosevelt signs the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, which provides financial aid to veterans for education, housing, and other needs; it will be widely known as the G. I. Bill of Rights
- U.S. forces take Saipan
U.S. TROOPS LAND IN SAIPAN
- Representatives from forty-four nations meet for a monetary and financial conference. They agree to establish an International Money Fund and an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, also known as the World Bank.
- In a failed assassination attempt, a bomb explodes near Hitler in his headquarters in East Prussia, leaving him relatively unscathed but psychologically shaken and increasingly paranoid. Before the day is over, several high-level officers and politicians will be executed for their role–active or merely alleged–in the conspiracy
NAZI OFFICER SENT TO FIRING SQUAD
- U.S. forces under General Omar Bradley begin Operation Cobra, a coordinated offensive to cut off German forces in Brittany and collapse the German defensive line in northwestern Germany.
- The Battle of Guam is won by U.S. forces after twenty days of fighting.
MARINES IN GUAM
- The War Production Board allows the resumption of various consumer goods, such as vacuums, electric ranges, and cooking utensils
- The Dumbarton Oaks Conference begins in Washington, D.C., attended by representatives of the United States, Britain, China, and the U.S.S.R. It lays the groundwork for the United Nations
- Allied forces liberate Paris, France
LIBERATION OF FRANCE
- The first of the German V-2 rockets land in England; they are much faster and more powerful than the V-1 rockets
ANATOMY OF THE GERMAN V-2 ROCKET
- At the Octagon Conference in Quebec, Roosevelt and Churchill discuss strategies for pursuing the Germans and Japanese and their treatment following the war
- American forces engage German troops on German soil in the Battle of Aachen
- U.S. forces invade Leyte Island in the Philippines. They are led by General MacArthur, who broadcasts to the Philippine people that he has fulfilled his promise of returning to the country.
- Germany launches its final offensive of the war, counterattacking Allied defenses in the Ardennes Forest in an engagement known as the Battle of the Bulge
BATTLE OF THE BULGE
- Despite efforts by the federal government to control wages and prices, the cost of living registers a 30-percent increase since the United States formally entered the war
- Roosevelt wins an unprecidented 4th term, Harry S. Truman is his new VP
- At the Yalta Conference in the Crimea, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin meet to discuss the final assault on Germany and the treatment of that country following the war. They sign a “Declaration on Liberated Europe,” discuss the providing for democratic governance of European nations, and agree to meet in San Francisco that April to establish an international peace organization
- U.S. troops complete the capture of Manila, the capital of the Philippine islands
BATTLE OF MANILA
- In one of the hardest-fought battles of the war, U.S. Marines capture the island of Iwo Jima.
CAPTURE OF IWO-JIMA
- Nearing the mainland islands of Japan, the U.S. Army wins a fierce battle to capture the island of Okinawa.
BATTLE OF OKINAWA
- While vacationing in Warm Springs, Georgia, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies following a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Vice President Harry S. Truman is immediately sworn in, becoming the thirty-fourth President of the United States.
- Roosevelt is laid to rest in Hyde Park, NY
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.”
5/8/1884 – 12/26/1972
Truman tried joining the U.S. military Academy early on but was denied due to his poor eye-sight so he opted for the Missouri Army National Guard (1905-1911) then when World War I broke out he rejoined the Guard as a first lieutenant before joining the U.S. Army (1917-1919) where he eventually made captain and went to reserves where he studied more into law becoming the presiding judge of Jackson County, Missouri (1927-1935), then as a U.S. Senator (1935-1945) before becoming VP to Franklin Roosevelt (1945-1953).
HARRY TRUMAN IN WWI UNIFORM
- Following Roosevelt’s death, Truman becomes the 33rd President of the U.S. at the age of 60.
- Germany surrenders, ending World War II in Europe
- Representatives from the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union attend the Potsdam Conference
- Adolf Hitler is found dead from a self inflicted gun shot wound.
- The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan
“LITTLE BOY” ATOMIC BOMB
- The United States drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan
“FAT BOY” ATOMIC BOMB
- Japan surrenders, ending World War II in Asia
- Truman presents Congress with his 21-point plan for Re-conversion
- Truman signs the Employment Act
- Phillipine legislature meets the terms of the Tydings-McDuffie Act and wins their independence
- State Department official George Kennan, serving in the Soviet Union, sends his “Long Telegram,” in which he analyzes the sources of Soviet conduct and Moscow’s geopolitical intentions, and suggests American responses
- Winston Churchill delivers his “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri
- While relations begin to sour with the Soviet Union, pushing into the Cold War, Truman delivers his “Truman Doctrine” speech to Congress, asking for a $400 million appropriation to fight the spread of Communism in Greece and Turkey.
- Truman issues an executive order creating the Federal Employee Loyalty Program
- Jackie Robinson plays his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers and integrates major league baseball
- Truman signs the “Truman Doctrine” appropriation approved by Congress for Greece and Turkey
- George Marshall proposes economic aid to Europe in an address at Harvard University. Officially titled the Economic Recovery Program, the package becomes known as the “Marshall Plan.”
- Truman vetoes the Taft-Hartley Act but Congress overrides it
- Truman becomes the first President to address the NAACP
- The National Security Act passes Congress, creating the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Resources Board.
- Truman sends a message to Congress asking for legislation to secure the civil rights of the nation’s minorities
- Congress passes the European Recovery Program (the “Marshall Plan”)
- The United States recognizes the state of Israel
- The Soviet Union blockades the overland access routes to West Berlin
- In conjunction with the British, Truman orders the airlifting of supplies into West Berlin
- Truman opens a special session with Congress asking for legislation on housing, civil rights, and price controls. He also establishes an executive order desegregating the Armed Forces
- Truman wins a second term with Alben W. Barkley as his V.P. and proposes the “Fair Deal” in his State of the Union address
- Twelve nations from Europe and North America sign the North Atlantic Treaty
- The Soviet Union lifts the Berlin blockade
- Truman signs the Housing Act, establishing a national housing agency and providing federal aid to slum clearance programs and low-cost housing projects
- The State Department issues its “White Paper” on China
- Truman announces that the Soviet Union has detonated an atomic bomb
SOVIET UNION’S FIRST ATOMIC BOMB TEST
- Mao Zedong announces the establishment of the People’s Republic of China
- Congress raises the minimum wage from forty cents to seventy-five cents an hour
- Truman announces that the United States will develop a hydrogen bomb
- Mao and Stalin sign the Sino-Soviet alliance
- During White House renovations, the Trumans stayed at the Blair House, during that time a pair of would-be assassins attacked the house from the front but guards fought them off before any harm could come to the President.
- The National Security Council presents NSC-68: United States Objectives and Programs for National Security to Truman
- Korean War starts as North Korea invades South Korea
- Truman announces that he has ordered American ground forces stationed in Japan to Korea. General Douglas MacArthur commands the U.S. (and United Nations) troops
- Truman signs the 1950 Social Security Amendments, expanding coverage and increasing benefits
- United States military forces successfully spearhead a counterattack at Inchon, South Korea
U.S. TROOPS LAND IN INCHON, SOUTH KOREA
- Truman vetoes the Internal Security Act but Congress passes it over his veto
- Truman signs the Revenue Act of 1950, increasing corporation and income taxes
- China launches a massive counteroffensive against American advances in North Korea
- Truman proclaims a state of national emergency and imposes wage and price controls
- Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur from his command of both U.S. and U.N. forces in Korea
- Twenty-second amendment is ratified, making President ineligible to run for a 3rd term
- Truman signs the Mutual Security Act, authorizing more than $7 billion for foreign economic, military, and technical aid
- Truman signs an Executive Order directing the secretary of commerce to seize steel mills in order to prevent a strike by steel workers
- The Supreme Court declares the seizure of steel mills unconstitutional
- Truman vetoes the McCarran-Walter Immigration Bill but the House and Senate override his veto
- The United States detonates the first hydrogen bomb
FIRST HYDROGEN BOMB TEST
After Presidency, Truman retired to Missouri with financial problems, opting not to use his past Presidency to get into corporations and just living off his army pension. He also wrote memoirs to help make ends meet and is partially the reason Presidents get a retirement package now.
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.
In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.
10/14/1890 – 3/28/1969
Eisenhower served in the U.S. Army (1915-1953), training tank crews in World War I and worked his way up to a five-star general and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in World War II, most known for his role in the North Africa invasion, also known as Operation Torch.
- Eisenhower becomes the 34th President of the United States at the age of 62. Richard M. Nixon is his VP
- The Soviet Union announces the death of Josef Stalin
- All price controls officially ended by the Office of Price Stabilization
- The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is created by joint congressional action
- Eisenhower delivers his “Chance for Peace” speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors
- Eisenhower signs the Submerged Lands Act
- Eisenhower addresses the American public and announces an armistice in Korea
- Eisenhower proposes broadening the provisions of the Social Security Act to cover more than 10 million additional Americans
- Eisenhower signs the Refugee Relief Act of 1953, admitting 214,000 more immigrants than permitted under existing immigration quotas
- Iranians, with the backing of the CIA, overthrow the government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, ensuring Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi’s hold on power
- Eisenhower announces that the Soviet Union has tested a hydrogen bomb
SOVIET UNION FIRST HYDROGEN BOMB TEST
- Eisenhower gives his “Atoms for Peace” speech to the U.N. General Assembly
- Eisenhower sends a special message to Congress asking for changes in the Taft-Hartley labor law
- The United States and Japan sign a mutual defense agreement that provides for the gradual and partial rearmament of Japan
- The Army-McCarthy hearings begin
- France surrenders its garrison at Dien Bien Phu to the Viet Minh
VIET MINH TROOPS RAISE FLAG AFTER TAKING FRENCH GARRISON
- Eisenhower signs the St. Lawrence Seaway Bill
- The Supreme Court announces a decision in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, ruling that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.
- A CIA-sponsored coup in Guatemala overthrows the government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman
- The first “White Citizens Council” is organized in Indianola, Mississippi
- The Geneva Accords are signed, establishing a cease-fire and partition of Vietnam. The United States refuses to sign.
- The United States signs the South East Asian Treaty Organization Pact
- The United States signs a mutual defense pact with Taiwan
- Chinese Communist Air Force raid the nationalist-controlled Tachen Islands and seize Ichiang Island in the Taiwan Straight Crisis, Battle of Yijiangshan, and Battle of Dachen Archipelago
- Eisenhower announces that the United States would use atomic weapons in the event of war with Communist China
- In Brown II, the Supreme Court orders schools integrated “with all deliberate speed.”
- The Geneva Conference opens, attended by the heads of state of Britain, France, the U.S.S.R, and the United States
- Plans for the first artificial satellites, scheduled to be launched in 1957, are announced by the United States
- The Interstate Commerce Commission bans racial segregation on interstate trains and buses
- Rosa Parks is arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. During the following week, the Montgomery African American community, led by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., organizes a boycott of the city’s buses
MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT
- The merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations is ratified
- African American student Autherine Lucy is admitted to the University of Alabama following a court order
- Eisenhower releases $1 billion worth of Uranium-235 for peaceful atomic purposes
- Nineteen senators and eighty-one representatives sign the “Southern Manifesto,” promising to use “all lawful means” to reverse the Brown decisions
- In Browder v. Gayle, a three-judge district court rules that bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, is unconstitutional
- Eisenhower signs the Federal Aid Highway Act, providing federal funding for the construction of a system of interstate highways for transportation and national defense
- Eisenhower signs the Social Security Act, permitting women to retire at age sixty-two and disabled workers at age fifty
- The recently discovered Salk Polio Vaccine is sold on the open market
- The Hungarian Revolution begins
HUNGARIAN FREEDOM FIGHTERS TAKE OVER SOVIET TANK
- Israel, Britain, and France attack Egypt in the Suez Crisis; Eisenhower condemns the attack
- The Soviet Union crushes the Hungarian Revolution via armed intervention
RUSSIAN TANKS CRUSH HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION
- A cease-fire is established in Egypt
- Supreme Court holds up Browder v. Gayle
- The Montgomery Bus Boycott comes to an end
- Eisenhower proposes the “Eisenhower Doctrine” regarding defense of the Middle East
- Elvis Presley makes his third appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show; and concern that his gyrating dance style is too lewd lead network executives to show him only from the waist up
- Eisenhower wins a second term Presidency, Richard Nixon is his VP
- The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is organized in New Orleans. Martin Luther King, Jr., is elected president of the organization
- Congress sanctions the “Eisenhower Doctrine.”
- Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the first civil rights bill since Reconstruction
- Eisenhower orders federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to end the school desegregation crisis
- The Soviet Union launches Sputnik
- Eisenhower signs legislation to stimulate housing construction and help combat a developing economic recession
- Eisenhower orders 1,000 troops from Caribbean bases to rescue Nixon, if necessary, after the Vice President was threatened on his tour of Latin America
- Eisenhower doubles the strength of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea in Operation Blue Bat, due to tensions causing the Lebanon Crisis
SIXTH FLEET IN MEDITERRANEAN SEA FOR OPERATION BLUE BAT
- Eisenhower meets with African American leaders Martin Luther King, Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, and Lester Granger
- Eisenhower orders the U.S. Marines into Lebanon
MARINES LAND IN LEBANON
- Eisenhower signs the National Defense Education Act
- Eisenhower orders the withdrawal of the last U.S. Marines from Lebanon
- Fidel Castro’s revolutionaries overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista
- Alaska becomes the 49th state of the United States.
- St Lawrence Seaway opens
ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY
- Hawaii becomes the 50th state of the United States
- Eisenhower meets Nikita Khrushchev asking for a partial test-ban agreement
RUSSIANS LOOKING AT THE CRASH SITE OF THE U-2 THAT WAS SHOT DOWN
- The Paris Summit meeting collapses when Khrushchev demands an apology from President Eisenhower for the U-2 flights.
- The Congo (Zaire) becomes independent from Belgium on June 30, 1960 and widespread violence leads to intervention by U.N. troops
Eisenhower became the first President not constitutionally allowed to run for a third term since the twenty-second amendment was ratified. He did however, get to be the first President to fall under the Former Presidents Act, an Act that entitles former Presidents a pension for life, state provided staff and Secret Service detail. After his Presidency, he got his commission of being 5-star general reinstated and retired to a fairly quiet political life.
“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.”
5/29/1917 – 11/22/1963
Kennedy started out in the U.S. Navy (1941-1945) as a reserve during World War II, after that he got into politics joining Massachusetts house of representatives (1947-1953) then as Senator (1953-1960)
- Kennedy becomes the 35th President of the United States at the age of 43. Lyndon B. Johnson is his VP
- Kennedy issues an executive order creating a temporary Peace Corps and asks Congress to authorize the program permanently.
- Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space
- Kennedy takes responsibility for a U.S.-sponsored invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs that ended in disaster
BAY OF PIGS INVASION, CUBA
- Black and white youths supported by the Congress of Racial Equality set out on the “freedom rides” to test the enforcement of ICC rules against discrimination in interstate travel.
- In an address to Congress, Kennedy pledges that the Unites States will land a man on the moon by the end of the decade
- Kennedy meets with Soviet premier Nikita S. Khrushchev in Vienna. The conference fails to resolve conflict over the status of Berlin
- East Germany, supported by the Soviet Union, begins construction of the Berlin Wall, halting the flow of refugees to the West
BERLIN WALL BEING BUILT
- The Geneva conference, with the United States, Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom participating, adjourns without reaching an agreement on a nuclear test ban
- Kennedy halts virtually all trade with Cuba
- The U.S. Supreme Court rules that segregation in transportation facilities is unconstitutional
- Astronaut John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth
JOHN GLENN GETTING IN THE COCKPIT
- Kennedy announces the reduction of U.S. import duties as part of an agreement to promote international trade
- Marilyn Monroe is found dead
- The U.S. Supreme Court orders the University of Mississippi to admit James H. Meredith, its first African-American student. After Governor Ross Barnett attempts to block the admission and an Ole Miss riot breaks out, U.S. Marshals escort Meredith to campus while Federalized national guardsmen maintain order
MISSISSIPPI’S LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PAUL JOHNSON CONFRONTS THE CHIEF MARSHALL JAMES MCSHANE AS HE ESCORTS JAMES MEREDITH TO REGISTRATION
- Kennedy is informed of the existence of Soviet missile installations in Cuba
U-2 PHOTOGRAPH OF SOVIET MISSILE INSTALLATIONS IN CUBA
- Kennedy announces Cuban Missile Crisis and addresses the American people about the situation in Cuba, ordering a navel quarantine of Cuba to prevent further shipments of weapons
- After thirteen days, the Cuban Missile Crisis is resolved. The United States pledges not to invade Cuba (and secretly agrees to remove missiles from Turkey), in exchange for the removal of the Soviet weapons
- Kennedy lifts the naval blockade of Cuba
- The Supreme Court rules in Gideon v. Wainwright that states must supply counsel in criminal cases for individuals who cannot afford it
- Martin Luther King Jr leads a civil rights drive in Birmingham, Alabama. Police Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor orders the police to use fire hoses and dogs on demonstrators
POLICE SICKING DOGS ON PROTESTERS
PROTESTERS BEING HOSED DOWN
- Medgar W. Evers, NAACP field secretary for Mississippi, is assassinated outside his home in Jackson
- The March on Washington attracts 250,000 demonstrators to the nation’s capital in support of civil rights legislation. At the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech
- Kennedy signs a limited nuclear test-ban treaty with the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom
- South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated in U.S.-supported coup
- Kennedy is assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested and accused of the crime. Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson is sworn in as the thirty-sixth President of the United States following the assassination
- Jack Ruby shoots and kills Lee Harvey Oswald
- Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, VA
To this day, nobody knows for sure why Kennedy was assassinated but there are many conspiracy theories out there to make you wonder.
“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
8/27/1908 – 1/22/1973
Johnson got into teaching and politics early on before joining the U.S. Navy reserves (1940-1964) only serving active duty for 2 years (1941-1942), the rest were spent in political positions; Texas House of representatives member (1937-1949), Senate majority whip (1951-1953), Senate minority leader (1953-1955), Senate majority leader (1955-1961), before serving as VP (1961-1963)
- Following Kennedy’s assassination, Johnson becomes the 36th President of the United States at the age of 55.
- Johnson addresses a joint session of Congress calling on legislators to fulfill Kennedy’s legacy and pass civil rights and tax legislation
- Johnson creates a special commission chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate the Kennedy assassination
- The Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, abolishing poll taxes
- Jack Ruby is convicted of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald and sentenced to death.
- In a speech at the University of Michigan, Johnson announces his intention to create a Great Society by extending American prosperity to all its citizens.
- Johnson signs The Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Former President Hoover is laid to rest in West Branch Iowa
- Three civil rights workers are found dead in Mississippi, they were all participating in the Mississippi Freedom Summer
- Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving the President power to pursue military action in Vietnam
- Johnson signs the Economic Opportunity Act, beginning the War on Poverty
- The Warren Commission releases its report, rejecting the notion that Kennedy was assassinated as part of a conspiracy
- Martin Luther King Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
MLK WITH HIS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
- Nikita Khrushchev is forced to resign as leader of the Soviet Union and is replaced by Leonid Brezhnev
- Johnson wins a full term for Presidency, Hubert Humphrey is his new VP
- Johnson begins the bombing on North Vietnam after nine American soldiers are killed in an attack on the U.S. barracks; Camp Holloway, in Pleiku, Vietnam
- Malcolm X is assassinated by other black Muslims in New York City
- Martin Luther King Jr. leads a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama
SELMA TO MONTGOMERY MARCH
- Johnson signs the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
- Johnson sends U.S. marines to the Dominican Republic to protect U.S. citizens after a military coup during the Dominican Civil War
- The U.S. Supreme Court finds a Connecticut law banning the use of contraceptives unconstitutional
- Martin Luther King Jr. leads a demonstration in Chicago in an attempt to bring the Civil Rights Movement to the North
- Johnson increases the number of troops sent to Vietnam, indicating his determination to engage in a ground war
MARINES ARRIVE AT DA NANG
- Johnson signs Social Security amendments creating Medicare and Medicaid
- Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act into law
- The Watts Riots break out in Los Angeles
NATIONAL GUARD WALKS TOWARDS SMOKE FROM BURNING BUILDINGS
- Fearing that American involvement in Vietnam will draw France into a world war, French president Charles De Gaulle announces that France will withdraw from NATO
- The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upholds the Voting Rights Act of 1965
- The White House Conference on Civil Rights urges Congress to pass further civil rights legislation
- James Meredith is shot in a March from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi; civil rights leaders organize to complete his march. During this demonstration, Stokely Carmichael makes a statement in support of “black power.”
JAMES MEREDITH SHOT AND WOUNDED
- the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the constitutional provision against self-incrimination applies to police interrogations, in Miranda v. Arizona
- Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale found the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California
- A launch pad fire during tests for the Apollo I program kills three astronauts.
- The Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, providing rules of succession upon the death of the President, and enabling the President to appoint a new vice-president in the case of a vacancy.
- The Eternal Flame memorial is added to Kennedy’s grave at Arlington National cemetery
ETERNAL FLAME MEMORIAL AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
- The Six Day War breaks out between Israel and several Arab nations
- Riots break out in Newark, New Jersey
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY RIOTS
- Riots spread across the city of Detroit, Michigan.
DETROIT RACE RIOT
- Anti-war demonstrators March to the Pentagon in an attempt to shut it down
ANTI-WAR PROTEST AT PENTAGON
- North Korean forces capture the U.S.S. Pueblo
- North Vietnamese troops surprise South Vietnamese and American troops by attacking during the Tet holiday, known as the Tet Offensive
- U.S. forces in Vietnam commit massacre in the hamlet of My Lai; hundreds of unarmed men, women, and children are killed.
HUEYS DROPPING OFF U.S. FORCES IN VIETNAM
- Johnson announces a partial bombing halt and his unwillingness to seek reelection to the presidency
- Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee
- Students at Columbia University take over several buildings on campus
- The United States and North Vietnam begin peace talks in Paris
- Senator Robert Kennedy is assassinated after winning the Democratic primary in California
- The Soviet Union invades Czechoslovakia to end the movement toward greater freedom and independence
SOVIET INVASION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA
- Leonid Brezhnev announces that the Soviet Union has the right to intervene anywhere in its sphere of influence. This “Brezhnev Doctrine” becomes central to Soviet foreign policy
Antiwar protests caused Johnson to drop a reelection bid. He retired to his ranch in Texas and worked on books and memoirs, occasionally getting involved with politics.
“If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: “President Can’t Swim.”.”
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
“Jerry Ford is so dumb he can’t fart and chew gum at the same time.”
1/9/1913 – 4/22/1994
Nixon served with the U.S. Navy Reserves (1942-1966) with just the first 5 years spent active duty, the other time was spent as a member of the house of representatives for California (1947-1950), California Senator (1950-1953), and Vice President (1953-1961).
- Nixon becomes the 37th President of the United States at the age of 56. Spiro Agnew is his V.P.
- Following an attack on a U.S. plane on April 15, Nixon orders that reconnaissance flights off of North Korea be resumed
- Former President Eisenhower is laid to rest in Abilene, KS
EISENHOWER TOMB AT HIS PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY
- Nixon asks that Congress be granted authority to consolidate federal aid programs to states and cities
- Apollo 11 lifts off and becomes the first space flight to land on the moon
NEIL ARMSTRONG BECOMES FIRST MAN ON THE MOON
- Nixon asks that Congress make the Post Office department a public corporation
- Nixon announces a plan to withdraw 25,000 U.S. troops from South Vietnam within next couple of months and orders cuts in overseas government personnel by 10 percent.
- Nixon affirms his desire to withdraw U.S. troops from southeast Asia and declares that individual nations will bear a larger responsibility for their own security. Initially referred to as the “Guam Doctrine,” this statement later becomes known as the “Nixon Doctrine.”
- Nixon discloses his program for welfare reform, which includes the Family Assistance Plan
- Nixon declares that Latin America must be responsible for its own social and economic progress
- Nixon reveals that North Vietnam has rejected the administration’s secret peace offers. He proposes a plan for the gradual and secretive withdrawal of troops
- Nixon signs the Selective Service Reform bill, ensuring that draftees are selected by a lottery system
- Nixon signs executive order ending occupational and parental deferments for the draft.
- Nixon puts forth a plan to reorganize the federal agencies that handle environmental problem
- Nixon approves a plan for an Inter-agency Committee on Intelligence to conduct operations against domestic targets
- Nixon approves and signs the Postal Reorganization Act, which establishes an independent United States Postal Service
- Nixon meets with Israeli Premier Golda Meir to talk about problems in the Middle East.
- In a televised address, Nixon proposes a five-point peace plan for Indochina. The plan includes a “cease-fire in place” and the negotiated withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam
- Nixon signs the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970, which gives the secretary of labor the responsibility of setting workplace safety standards for jobs in the United States.
- Nixon signs a clean air bill which mandates that car manufacturers reduce certain pollutants by 90 percent
- Nixon delays the construction of the Cross-Florida Barge Canal in order to stop environmental damage
- Taping systems are activated in the White House. The Oval Office is outfitted with a voice-activated system and the Cabinet Room with a manual system
- A voice-activated taping system in the Executive Office Building (EOB) becomes operational. Taping also begins on phone conversations held in the Oval Office, the EOB, and the Lincoln Sitting Room
- Nixon signs a Wage-Price Controls Bill, extending his authority to impose restraints on wages, prices, salaries, and rents for another year
- The New York Times begins to publish secret internal documents referred to as the “Pentagon Papers,” a development which leads the White House to become increasingly fearful of further disclosures. Within a week, a special unit named the “Plumbers” is created to stop the leaks.
- Nixon signs an Emergency Employment Act, earmarking $2.25 billion for the creation of public service jobs at state and local levels.
- Nixon declares a 90-day freeze on wages and prices, known as Phase One of his economic program.
- Nixon announces Phase Two of his economic plan
- Nixon signs an extension of the Economic Stabilization Act, allowing himself another year in which to right the economy.
- President and Mrs. Nixon travel to China. A joint communique, later known as the Shanghai Communique, is released by the United States and China. It calls for both countries agree to increase their contacts, and for the United States to withdraw gradually from Taiwan
SHANGHAI COMMUNIQUE MEETING
- Nixon dismisses busing as a means of achieving racial integration and seeks legislation that would deny court-ordered busing.
- Nixon enacts legislation devaluing the dollar.
- Former President Truman is laid to rest in Independence Missouri
- On national television, Nixon states that he has ordered the mining of North Vietnamese ports and the bombing of military targets in the North Vietnam, known as Operation: Linebacker.
BOMBING OF THE HAI DU’O’NG BRIDGE
- A mixture of taping systems in Camp David become operational
- Nixon arrives in the Soviet Union for the Moscow summit meeting. He is the first sitting President to visit the U.S.S.R.
U.S. PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON AND U.S.S.R. PREMIER ALEXEI KOSYGIN SIGNING AN AGREEMENT WHILE U.S.S.R PRESIDENT LEONID BREZHNEV AND OTHER DIPLOMATS WITNESS.
- Police stop 5 burglars inside Democratic Headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s Watergate Hotel. They confiscate cameras, wiretapping materials, and $2,300 in cash
- Nixon orders Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman to tell the F.B.I. not to go any further with its Watergate investigation, justifying his actions on national security grounds.
- In a news conference, Nixon declares that no one on the White House staff, in the administration, or anyone “presently employed” was involved in the Watergate break-in
- Nixon endorses a bill which calls for revenue sharing with the states and grants over $30 billion to state and local governments over the course of five years.
- Nixon enhances the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the sale and use of pesticides.
- Nixon signs multiple bills, one of which provides more than $5 billion in benefits for the aged, blind, and disabled, while also increasing Social Security taxes.
- Nixon asks for the resignation of all agency directors, federal department heads, and presidential appointees.
- Operation Lumberjack II starts, which was also known as December Raids of Vietnam
- Phase Three of the economic plan is announced, in which wages and price controls will be ended in all but a few industries.
- Nixon wins his 2nd term, Agnew remains V.P.
- Paris Peace Accords are signed by all parties at war in Vietnam.
- Voice-activated taping systems at Camp David cease operations
- Nixon admits responsibility for the Watergate affair on television, but continues to assert no prior knowledge of it.
- Former President Johnson is laid to rest in Stonewall, TX
- Nixon declares a freeze on all prices for sixty days, with the exception of raw agricultural products and rents.
- The voice-activated taping system in the Oval Office ceases operation.
- Testifying before the Senate Watergate Committee, Federal Aviation administrator Alexander Butterfield confirms the existence of an Oval Office taping system
- Phase Four of the economic program is revealed, in which the freeze is lifted on all foods except beef and health-care products.
- Taping systems in the Cabinet Room, Oval Office, EOB, and Lincoln Sitting Room ceases operation
- Nixon refuses to turn over tapes to the Senate Watergate Committee, claiming executive privilege
- Vice President Agnew comes under scrutiny for charges stemming from campaign contributions he received while in office from persons who were later given government contracts. Agnew denies the charges in a press conference.
- Nixon denies involvement in the Watergate cover-up in a televised address.
- Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns and pleads “no contest” to charges stemming from a kickback scheme he ran while Governor of Maryland. Agnew is fined $10,000 and sentenced to three years probation. Gerald Ford is nominated as vice president.
- Nixon addresses the nation regarding the energy crisis.
- Nixon discloses his personal finances, which indicate he paid less than $1,000 in taxes in 1970 and 1971.
- Nixon increases Social Security benefits.
- The Senate Watergate Committee subpoenas more than 500 tapes, which Nixon refuses to turn over, stating that presidential communications must remain confidential.
- Nixon gives his State of the Union address, in which he refuses to resign and demands an end to the Watergate investigation.
- As a result of an IRS investigation into Nixon’s finances, the President is forced to pay $432,787 in back taxes and $33,000 interest.
- Nixon increases the minimum wage to $2 with the likelihood of future increases and broader coverage.
- Nixon addresses the nation before disclosing more than 1,200 pages of his conversations regarding Watergate.
- Despite Vice President Ford’s advice to surrender the necessary evidence to the House Judiciary Committee, Nixon refuses to hand over Watergate-related tapes.
- In an 8-0 ruling, the Supreme Court orders that Nixon turn over sixty-four tapes to the Senate Watergate Committee, in United States v. Nixon. The tapes disclose Nixon’s knowledge and participation in the cover-up of the Watergate burglary.
- Three articles of impeachment are brought against Nixon by the House Judiciary Committee: obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and the unconstitutional defiance of its subpoenas.
- Three new transcripts are released, showing that Nixon ordered a cover-up less than a week after the break-in. Nixon issues a statement with the transcripts indicating that he withheld this evidence from his lawyers and from those who support him on the Judiciary Committee.
- Nixon informs his cabinet that he will not resign despite the fact that even his closest advisors are suggesting that he should.
- Nixon is told by a few of his supporters that he would not win an impeachment trial. Nixon tells Kissinger, Ford, and a few Congressional leaders that he plans to resign.
- Nixon resigns the presidency, effective at noon the next day, in a televised address. Before leaving for California, he sends his letter of resignation to Kissinger and offers Gerald Ford the new President spot since he had no VP successor, Ford accepts.
During Nixon’s first term, he improved relations with the Soviet Union and China and wound down the Vietnam War. But the Watergate scandal, forced Nixon to resign before Congress could impeach him, becoming the only President in U.S. history to resign. The first few years of retirement were rough, socially and financially, due to his involvement from Watergate, but he eventually got past it by doing sit-down interviews, speeches and writing his memoirs regarding it all.
“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.”
“If an individual wants to be a leader and isn’t controversial, that means he never stood for anything.”
7/14/1913 – 12/26/2006
Ford made a name for himself playing football for the University of Michigan (1932-1934). He almost quit the team his senior year after the team pulled his best friend Willis Ward from a game because Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets refused to take the field with an African-American, Ward talked him out of it though. After College he turned down contracts from Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, opting to coach football in Yale instead where he eventually got admitted to Yale Law School (1938) graduating in the top 25 and getting admitted to the Michigan bar (1941). He went on to be commissioned in the U.S Navy (1942-1946) where he served in World War II, on board the U.S.S. Monterey where he almost went overboard. After his military service he got back into politics, serving as a of Michigan’s house of representatives (1949-1973) becoming chairman (1963-1965) and minority leader (1965-1973) before eventually being put on as Nixon’s Vice President (1973-1974).
FORD WAS ON DECK AT THIS POINT AND ALMOST WENT OVERBOARD BUT WAS ABLE TO CATCH HIMSELF, TWIST AND JUMP TO THE LOWER DECK
- Ford becomes the 38th President of the United States at the age of 61.
- Ford grants Richard Nixon a full pardon; his approval rating slips to 49 percent.
- Ford issues a proclamation of conditional amnesty for those who deserted or dodged the Vietnam War by performing alternative services.
- Ford forms the Economic Policy Board, which will oversee all aspects of economic policy.
- Ford speaks to a joint session of Congress. He calls for a temporary 5 percent tax hike, cuts in federal spending, and the creation of a voluntary inflation-fighting organization, named “Whip Inflation Now”
- Ford signs the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1974, the most significant attempt at campaign finance reform since the 1920s.
- Ford makes a visit to Japan, the first by an American President.
- The Freedom of Information Act is passed over Ford’s veto. It provides expanded access to government files and allows secrecy classifications to be challenged in court and justified by the appropriate federal authorities.
- The House approves Ford’s selection of Nelson A. Rockefeller, as his vice president.
- Ford signs the Privacy Act of 1974, ensuring the right of Americans to individual privacy
- Ford announces the creation of the Rockefeller Commission, their intent is to review abuses by the C.I.A.
- Ford proposes a $16 billion tax cut in his State of the Union Address
- The Commission on Civil Rights reports that the proportion of blacks in mostly white schools was higher in the South than in the North
- Following the fall of the city of Ban Me Thout, and the Hue-Da Nang Campaign, the city of Saigon falls to the North Vietnamese causing the South to surrender and the Vietnam War to end. Ford has the remaining Americans evacuated from the capital city.
NORTH VIETNAMESE TANK ROLLING THROUGH THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE GATES IN SAIGON
- Ford tells the nation he will reluctantly sign the Tax Reduction Act of 1975, which calls for a $22.8 billion tax cut.
- Unemployment rises to 8.7 percent, the highest since 1941
- Cambodia falls to Khmer Rouge, a communist party of Cambodia
- The Mayaguez Incident starts up as Cambodia (Khmer Rouge) seizes the U.S. merchant ship and takes its crew hostage.
- Marines move onto Koh Tang, an island off the shore of Cambodia believed to hold the captured sailors of the Mayaguez. Fierce fighting kills fifteen Marines, but the sailors are not found.
MARINES MOVING IN ON KOH TANG ISLAND
- Ford orders airstrikes on the Cambodian mainland. Shortly after the crew of the Mayaguez is released but battles still go on as marines try to pull out. The Battle of Koh Tang was the last battle of Vietnam
- Unemployment reaches its highest point at 9.2 percent.
- Ford signs the Helsinki Accords on European security and cooperation during his trip in Europe
- Egypt and Israel sign the second-stage Sinai withdrawal agreement
- A Charles Manson follower; Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme attempts to assassinate President Ford in San Francisco with her Colt .45 but a secret service agent stopped her.
FROMME BEING DETAINED BY SECRET SERVICE
- Sara Jane Moore attempts to assassinate Ford but misses her first shot and gets tackled by an ex-marine on her second, deflected the bullet and narrowly missing the President.
SECRET SERVICE RUSHING FORD TO HIS CAR AFTER MOORE ATTEMPTED TO ASSASSINATE HIM
- Ford addresses the nation via television asking for a reduction of $28 billion in taxes and spending
- Ford refuses to give federal economic aid to New York City. Instead he advises the city to use financial restraint. The next day, the headline of the New York Daily News reads: Ford to City—Drop Dead.
- Ford signs the Energy Policy Conservation Act
- Unemployment drops from 8.3 to 7.8
- The Concorde supersonic jet makes its first flight between Europe and the United States.
FIRST CONCORDE SUPERSONIC JET LIFTS OFF FOR ITS FIRST COMMERCIAL RUN
- Ford builds up the country’s strategic oil reserve in order to protect the United States from another foreign embargo
- A memorial grove is dedicated to Lyndon B. Johnson off the Potomac River
LYNDON B. JOHNSON MEMORIAL
- Fords signs a treaty with the Soviet Union limiting underground nuclear testing as part of the Helsinki Accords.
- Following the murder of the American ambassador and his aide, Ford orders Operation Fluid Drive to evacuate the 116 Americans and 146 third-country nationals from Lebanon.
- A memorial building and statue are dedicated to James Madison in Washington D.C.
JAMES MADISON STATUE
- Viking I lands on Mars.
VIKING 1 ON THE MARS
- The Labor Department announces that employment has risen by 3.8 million people
- Mao Zedong dies, leaving China in a state of unrest.
- As many as ninety members of Congress are implicated in a scandal for accepting illegal gifts from an agent of the South Korean government, dubbed Korea-Gate.
- The administration announces that it plans to store as many as 500 million barrels of crude oil in salt dunes on the Gulf Coast
- Ford proposes that Puerto Rico become the fifty-first state without consulting Congress; critics contend that the proposal violates the principle of self-determination.
Ford was unsuccessful in winning a second term and goes down as the only President and Vice President to ever hold those titles without actually being elected to them. After his Presidency he stayed close to politics and still worked on foreign affairs such as making numerous trips outside of the country for diplomatic reasons and attended memorial’s on the President’s behalf at times, as well as dealing with domestic issues.
“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”
“Our constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws, not of men.”
Carter was a farm boy that joined the Navy out of college (1943-1953; active, 1953-1961; reserve) before getting into politics. After his service he went back to farming and studying politics where he eventually won a seat in the Georgia Senate (1963-1967) before going on to win the position of Governor (1971-1975)
- Carter becomes the 39th President of the United States at the age of 52. Walter Mondale is his VP
- Carter pardons Vietnam War draft evaders.
- Congress passes Emergency Natural Gas Act, authorizing the President to deregulate natural gas prices due to a shortage in supply.
- Carter cancels production of the B-1 strategic bomber
- Carter invokes the Taft-Hartley Act to end the Bituminous coal strike
- Carter warns of the Soviet threat in a foreign policy address at Wake Forest University
- Carter mediates talks between Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt at Camp David, resulting in a peace treaty between the two nations.
- Carter mediates talks between Israel and Egypt and helps sign the Camp David Accords
- Congress passes a revised energy bill eighteen months after Carter proposed it. Congress also passes the Humphrey-Hawkins full employment bill.
- The Carter administration grants full diplomatic status to the People’s Republic of China
- Carter approves development of the MX missile.
- Carter signs the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II) with the USSR. The U.S. Senate never ratifies the treaty but both nations voluntarily comply with its terms.
CARTER AND BREZHNEV SIGN SALT II
- Carter delivers what becomes known as his the “Crisis of Confidence speech,” blaming the problems of the nation on “a crisis of spirit.”
- Carter collapses in 10K race, leading the press to depict the event as representative of the strength of his presidency.
CARTER COLLAPSES DURING RACE
- Carter signs a bill establishing the Department of Education
- Iran hostage crisis starts as Iranian students take sixty-six Americans hostage at the American embassy in Tehran
- Due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Carter asks the Senate to table its consideration of SALT II. He also placed an embargo on grain sales to the Soviet Union and suggests the possibility of boycotting the Summer Olympics in Moscow
SOVIET INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN
- Carter announces the “Carter Doctrine” in his State of the Union address
- Carter announces his anti-inflation program which includes a proposal for a balanced budget for fiscal year 1981.
- Carter announces that the economy is in recession, with the inflation rates hitting ten percent and interest rates climbing to eighteen percent.
- The U.S. Olympic Committee votes to boycott the Moscow summer Olympics, supporting Carter in protesting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
- Carter announces the failure of “Desert One,” the mission to rescue the Iranian-held hostages, and that several American military personnel had been killed.
FAILURE OF DESERT ONE; RH-53 SEA STALLION HELICOPTERS AND THE BODY OF A PILOT
- Carter signs Presidential Directive 59 advocating a strategy for fighting a nuclear war
Carter had success promoting Middle East peace but the soaring oil prices, high inflation, and the Iran hostage crisis made him look weak and cost him a re-election bid. He took back over his peanut farm from the Trust Company that mismanaged it to debt and went on living an active life establishing the Carter Center, building his presidential library, writing books, traveling the world as a diplomat and doing charity work which won him a Nobel Peace Prize
“We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon.”
“Aggression unopposed becomes a contagious disease.”
2/6/1911 – 6/5/2004
Reagan was a movie star before enlisting in the U.S. Army as a reserve (1937), still starring in roles while serving and even signed a seven year contract with Warner Brothers before he was ordered to active duty (1942-1945). When he was out he went back to the entertainment life serving on the Screen Actors Guild, eventually becoming President (1959-1960). During that time he started his political career as well where the Goldwater campaign and his fame led him to a visible political status which helped him win the position of governor of California (1967-1975). After his terms as Governor he went on to run for President, losing his first campaign in 1976 before finally being elected in 1980.
- Reagan becomes the 40th President of the United States, at the age of 69. George H.W. Bush is his V.P.
- Fifty-two American hostages held in Iran since November 1979 are released.
AMERICAN HOSTAGES ARE FREED FROM IRAN AFTER ALMOST 2 YEARS
- Reagan proposes increased defense spending, and decreased taxes and domestic spending in speech to Congress.
- Reagan was shot by John W. Hinkley, Jr., while leaving the Washington Hilton Hotel after giving a speech
ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION OF REAGAN
- Reagan lifts a grain embargo imposed on Soviet Union by President Carter.
- Reagan nominates Sandra Day O’Connor to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart, making O’Connor the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court
- Reagan orders the dismissal of 13,000 PATCO air traffic controllers out on strike, citing their violation of a federal law against industry strikes.
- Reagan declares that the United States will produce the B-1 bomber and MX missiles as part of military buildup
- Reagan states that he will not deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe if the Soviet Union agrees to dismantle similar weapons already in place.
- Reagan imposes economic sanctions on Poland following that government’s imposition of martial law in the Poland Crisis.
- Reagan calls for “New Federalism” in his State of the Union address, advocating less federal spending and more state initiative to solve social and economic problems.
- Reagan becomes the first U.S. President to address the combined Houses of Parliament, taking Britain’s side in the Falkland Islands conflict with Argentina.
- Reagan establishes the President’s Private Sector Survey on Cost Control through Executive Order
- Reagan signs the Tax Equity & Fiscal Responsibility Act
- In his State of the Union address, Reagan calls for a freeze on domestic spending and increases in military outlays.
- Reagan sends forces to Lebanon to help reduce tensions from the Lebanese Civil War
- Reagan urges development of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), an attempt to create a high-technology anti-ballistic missile shield to protect the United States from nuclear attack.
- President Reagan signs the Social Security Reform Bill into law.
- The U.S. GNP shows dramatic growth for the first quarter of 1983, signaling the end of the recession.
- suicide bombers crashed a truck bearing more than 2,000 pounds of explosives through protective barricades at U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon, Beirut
AFTERMATH OF THE BEIRUT SUICIDE BOMBING ON MARINE BARRACKS
- Reagan delivers State of the Union message, calling on Congress to cooperate to reduce the deficit.
- Reagan signs scientific and cultural exchange accords with the Beijing leadership while on six-day visit to China.
- Congress and Reagan work out a compromise on the MX missile
- Reagan wins a second term
- The Reagan administration announces trade embargo against Nicaragua.
- Reagan attends a wreath-laying ceremony at Bitburg military cemetery in West Germany, the gravesite of 200 German soldiers including 49 members of Adolf Hitler’s SS. Responding to criticism of the visit, Reagan visits and lays a wreath at a nearby concentration camp earlier in the day
- Reagan has a malignant polyp removed from his colon; Vice President Bush serves as acting President for eight hours.
- The Reagan administration announces limited economic sanctions against South Africa after the South African government declares martial law.
- Reagan and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev hold a summit meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. It is the first such meeting between U.S and Soviet heads of state since 1979
- Reagan signs the Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction bill.
- Reagan and Gorbachev meet in Reykjavik, Iceland.
- The Challenger space shuttle explodes just over a minute into its flight
CHALLENGER AT LIFT OFF
CHALLENGER EXPLOSION SHORTLY AFTER LIFT OFF
- Reagan signs a revision of the tax code into law.
- The White House informs Congress that the United States secretly sold arms to Iran in violation of federal laws prohibiting arms deals with Iran. The administration denies that the sales were part of an attempt to secure the release of American hostages held by Iranian-backed forces
- The administration admits that between $10 and $30 million had been diverted from Iranian arms sales and funneled to the Nicaraguan contras
- The Tower Commission is appointed to investigate the Iran-Contra affair. Reagan forgoes any claim of executive privilege and orders his administration to cooperate fully with the investigation. Lawrence Walsh is appointed special prosecutor to investigate criminal wrongdoing.
- Congress overrides Reagan’s veto of the Water Quality Control Act
- The Tower Commission releases its report, finding no criminal wrongdoing on the part of the White House but remaining critical of the administration nonetheless
- In televised address, Reagan accepts responsibility for actions in Iran-Contra affair that occurred without his knowledge.
- Reagan visits Berlin Wall asking Gorbachev to tear down the wall for peace talks
REAGAN SPEAKS AT BERLIN WALL
- Congress issues its Iran-Contra report, declaring that Regan must assume “ultimate responsibility” for the affair.
- Gorbachev and Reagan meet in Washington, D.C., and sign the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, ending the Cold War
- The administration prohibits federally funded family-planning centers from providing assistance to women seeking abortions.
- Reagan visits the Soviet Union for the Moscow Summit
GORBACHEV AND REAGAN
- Reagan delivers his farewell address.
- Reagan leaves office with public opinion casting him as the nation’s most popular President since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Reagan is credited with reviving national pride after the turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s. He enjoyed great popularity, though his conservative policies were controversial. He is the only President to survive after being wounded by a would-be assassin. Reagan retired to California occasionally making appearances on behalf of the Republican Party. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1994