Timeline of World History Events from 1900 to 2021

The 20th century was marked by wars and social change around the globe. This was the first century in which the majority of the world’s population lived in cities, and the consequences of industrialization and environmental degradation were felt everywhere. We looked back at key events from the century and saw how they affected the course of history.

Here’s a quick timeline of the major world events from 1900 to 2021.

Timeline of World History Events

1900 Fast Facts

The year 1900 marked the beginning of the 20th century. There were some notable developments in art, science and politics. L. Frank Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published this year. This was also the year that George Bernard Shaw’s “You Never Can Tell” premiered.

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1901 Fast Facts

The year 1901 held landmarks in time that have continually shaped the present world, as we know it. The first Nobel Prize ceremony happened on December 10, 1901. On December 12, Guglielmo Marconi managed to get a radio signal across the Atlantic. This achievement won him a joint Nobel Prize in Physics.

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1902 Fast Facts

Leon Serpollet set a new speed record in a car of 119 km/h in Nice, France. The Curies discovered radium and polonium elements while researching pitchblende. Owen Wister’s novel, The Virginian, is the first true western ever written.

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1903 Fast Facts

The year 1903 was a year of many firsts. Aida De Acosta became the first woman to operate a powered-aircraft without assistance. Children gained a new best friend: the Teddy Bear. The classic Call of the Wild and The Soul of Black Folk were published.

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1904 Fast Facts

The year 1904 saw the beginning of the Russo-Japanese war. The Treaty of Lhasa ended the British military expedition in Tibet. Puccini’s Madama Butterfly opened to critical acclaim in Brescia.

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1905 Fast Facts

1905 was a hugely important year for the global scientific community, as Albert Einstein worked out his theory of relativity. This was also the year that the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were established. The world lost Jules Verne, one of the fathers of the science fiction genre.

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1906 Fast Facts

The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius near Naples, Italy and the San Francisco earthquake hit in 1906. HMS Dreadnought launched a new class of battleships and sparked a naval arms race between Britain and Germany. The world’s first feature film, “The Story of the Kelly Gang,” made its premier.

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1907 Fast Facts

Russia, Britain, and France formed the Triple Entente in 1907. Europe’s first feature-length film, L’ Enfant Prodigue, premiered in Paris this year. Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud met for the first time in Vienna.

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1908 Fast Facts

1908 was a year for exploring the ends of the Earth. British explorer Ernest Shackleton set sail for the South Pole. Henry Ford produced the first Model T automobile. The first Scout troop was formed in the UK, marking the beginning of organized boy-scouting.

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1909 Fast Facts

The year 1909 saw the inauguration of the only US President to formerly hold the position of Chief Justice: William Howard Taft. These 365 days saw the beginnings of many things we now take for granted: instant coffee, anti-drug taskforces, credit unions, and pedestrian-jammed subway lines. Shackleton set a world record for going farther south on the world than any other human being. The first cement laid at the Panama Canal heralded a future of easier travel between the Eastern and Western hemispheres.

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1910 Fast Facts

In 1910, astronomers predicted the end of the world. Henry Ford sold 10,000 vehicles that year. The first African-American heavyweight-boxing champion was defeated in a car race. A plague resembling pneumonia swept through China wiping out 40, 000 of the nation’s population.

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1911 Fast Facts

In 1911, Vincenzo Perugia dismounted the Mona Lisa and walked out of the Louvre in Paris. New York’s population surpassed that of Paris and was rising to level with London. Roald Amundsen became the first person to fly over the North Pole in an aircraft.

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1912 Fast Facts

The year 1912 was a leap year, and the Titanic sank in the Pacific. The last emperor of China Hsian-T’ung abdicated after the Sun Yat-sen’s republican revolt. October 14 was the shooting of the Progressive’s presidential candidate of the USA.

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1913 Fast Facts

In 1913, the world population clocked in at just over 1.8 billion people. Woodrow Wilson took over as the President of the United States. Cracker Jack inserted its first prize into its boxes. Both Harriet Tubman and Alfred Russel Wallace passed away this year.

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1914 Fast Facts

The year 1914 marks the beginning of World War I and the opening of the Panama Canal. Honus Wagner became the first player to reach 3,000 career hits. The United States entered the war in 1918.

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1915 Fast Facts

In 1915, the “Great War” had entered its second year. World War 1 was to go on until 1918. In 1915, Italy joined the Triple Entente of Russia, France, and the United Kingdom. The United States would not enter the war until 1917.

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1916 Fast Facts

1916 marked the end of the Gallipoli Campaign and the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. This was also the year that the first successful blood transfusion was performed. Boeing and BMW were founded in this year, as well as the first PGA Championship.

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1917 Fast Facts

1917 was the year that the United States entered World War One. The infamous “Zimmerman Telegram” was shown to the U.S. ambassador to the UK on February 24th. This was also the year of the October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Russian Civil War.

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1918 Fast Facts

The events of 1918 would fundamentally change the world. World War One was formally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The Russian Empire, German Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Ottoman Empire all disintegrated. It marked the beginning of the end of aristocratic rule in the Western world.

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1919 Fast Facts

The first gasoline tax was ratified in Oregon and the first parachute jump completed. Teddy Roosevelt, Frank Baum, Henry Heinz, and Pierre Renoir are some of the greats born this year.

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1920 Fast Facts

Jazz became popular and a record number of Americans were living in cities compared to farms. The founding of the League of Nations was on January 10, 1920, and made up of 42 countries. On Election Day in 1920, American women voted for the first time.

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1921 Fast Facts

Diabetes is one of the chronic diseases human beings have ever faced. Scientists at the University of Toronto, Canada were able to isolate insulin a hormone used to combat diabetes. The German Workers’ Party better known as the Nazi Party ruled the whole of Germany from 1933 to 1945.

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1922 Fast Facts

In 1922, the British Empire was at its largest. Death Valley regained its status as the hottest place in the world. Pope Benedict XV became the 259th Pope of the Catholic Church. A typhoon hit Shantou in China killing over 5,000 people.

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1923 Fast Facts

The world’s population reached 2.02 billion in 1923. The most popular baby names were John and Mary. Edwin Hubble discovered the first Cepheid variable star. This year marked the founding of the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. World War II began with the formation of Mussolini’s fascist militia.

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1924 Fast Facts

The year 1924 marks the death of Soviet leader Lenin. It also marks the abolishment of the 1400-year-old Islamic Caliphate in Turkey. J. Edgar Hoover is appointed head of the Bureau of Investigation, and Nellie Taylor-Ross becomes the first woman elected governor.

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1925 Fast Facts

In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby and Paris held its first Art Deco fair. This was also the year that Benito Mussolini’s dictatorship in Italy began. In the U.S., John Scopes’ “Monkey Trial” was broadcast over the radio.

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1926 Fast Facts

In 1926, Robert Goddard launched the first successful liquid-fueled rocket into flight. This was also the year that the American broadcasting network, NBC, opened as a radio network. John Wayne made his on-screen debut in an un-credited role in Brown of Harvard.

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1927 Fast Facts

In 1927, the first transatlantic telephone call was made via radio from New York to London. The first “talkie” film premiered this year as well. T.S. Eliot published his famous poem, “Journey of the Magi” and became a British citizen.

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1928 Fast Facts

In communication technology, John Baird broadcast a transatlantic television signal from London to New York City. Leon Trotsky was exiled from Soviet territory and Charles Lindbergh was awarded the Medal of Honor. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to make a trans-Atlantic flight.

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1929 Fast Facts

The year 1929 marked the beginning of the Great Depression and the passing of President Herbert Hoover. This year also saw the birth of MLK, John Turney, Wyatt Earp, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Movies like Pandora’s Box, The Broadway Melody, and The Cocoanauts shot to the top of the box office charts.

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1930 Fast Facts

The great depression was in full swing by 1930. Over 15 million Americans were without employment. Mahatma Gandhi’s salt march was his biggest civil disobedience to the colonial rule in India. The World Cup started after organizers of the 1932 Olympics dropped football from the program.

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1931 Fast Facts

In 1931, 3.7 million people died following floods after the Yangtze River in China burst its banks. The Empire State building was officially dedicated by President Herbert Hoover.

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1932 Fast Facts

The Shanghai Express was the top-grossing film of the year starring Marlene Dietrich. The Pulitzer award for poetry went to George Dillon for his collection of poems dubbed The Flowering Stone. Ophelia Wyatt Caraway was the first woman elected to the U.S Senate.

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1933 Fast Facts

The year 1933 saw advancements in board games, worker’s rights, and the first movie appearances of Shirley Temple. This year ended prohibition with the passage of the Blaine Act. The German Gestapo formed after President Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as the Reich Chancellor of Germany.

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1934 Fast Facts

In May, the Austrofascist Federal State of Austria was established. On June 30th, The Night of the Long Knives began in Germany. In August, Hitler officially became Führer of Germany. Donald Duck made his first appearance ever in “The Wise Little Hen”.

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1935 Fast Facts

The Great Depression was well underway and the Second World War was just a few years away. 1935 was an especially difficult year for many Americans as they faced the Dust Bowl. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.

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1936 Fast Facts

The Rome-Berlin Axis was formed, laying the foundation for the Axis Powers of the Second World War. John Maynard Keynes published his seminal work, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.

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1937 Fast Facts

In 1937, the world saw itself on the precipice of a major war. One might make a case that this marked the beginning of World War II. This was also the year of the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom. The events captured in the 2010 film, The King’s Speech.

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1938 Fast Facts

Most of the major events of 1938 involve events that led up to World War II. Tensions were high in 1938 over the Sudetenland, a region of Czechoslovakia that held a high concentration of ethnic Germans. In October, Jewish passports were invalidated in Germany toward the Nazi Holocaust.

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1939 Fast Facts

The year 1939 marked the beginning of World War Two and another year in the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Firsts included the first rocket test, the first nylon stocking, and the first US food stamp issued.

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1940 Fast Facts

In 1940, the world was at its roughest times as the Second World War raged on. Lascaux cave paintings are close to 17,000 years old that mostly depict animals. Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco and later studied martial arts in Hong Kong.

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1941 Fast Facts

In 1941, Citizen Kane debuted at the RKO Palace Theater. Orson Welles’ film was a failure at the Box Office but managed to get nine Academy Award nominations. Henry Ford was having a long and bitter struggle with the United Automobile Workers of America and Congress of Industrial Organizations.

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1942 Fast Facts

In 1942, Mrs. Miniver was the highest grossing film in the world starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon. Le Silence de la Mer (The Silence of the Sea) by Jean Bruller was published discreetly. The UN started with 26 nations.

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1943 Fast Facts

In 1943, World War Two reached its fourth year of pitched battle on the European front. Some famous people were born in 1943 include Bobby Fischer, John Kerry, Mick Jagger, and Robert De Niro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made history as the first president to visit a foreign country in wartime.

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1944 Fast Facts

In April, U.S. troops rehearsing for the Normandy Landings were attacked by German E-boats. In Europe, June saw the establishment of the Provisional French Government and the fall of Rome. World War II prevents the London Summer Olympics from being held.

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1945 Fast Facts

1945 was the last year of the Second World War. Two major heads of state died, Adolf Hitler and Franklin Roosevelt. The Allies received the unconditional surrender of Germany in May. In October, the United Nations was founded by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

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1946 Fast Facts

This year also marked the first meeting of the United Nations. The modern bikini was modeled in Paris for the first time. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra held its first rehearsal. It’s a Wonderful Life and Disney’s Song of the South were both released this year.

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1947 Fast Facts

In 1947, Palestine was partitioned and the State of Israel was created. In the U.S., the US took a major step in creating the “national security state” Anne Frank’s diary from World War II was published for the first time. The holiday classic, Miracle on 34th Streetopened in the US.

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1948 Fast Facts

After World War II, the world was weary from war. The great task of rebuilding and adjusting to a new geopolitical environment was now at hand. This began with the Marshall Plan of the United States. In May of 1948, Israel declared independence, and this sparked the Arab-Israeli War.

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1949 Fast Facts

In 1949, world leaders presided over a global population estimated at just over 2.5 billion. 12 months gave birth to the term “Orwellian”, brought a revolution to daytime television. Inventions include the instant cake mix, radio carbon dating, the crash test dummy and the Zamboni.

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1950 Fast Facts

The Korean War rudely interrupted the joy of world peace after the end of World War II. 110 people died when a train fell off a bridge in Brazil. George Lewis was the prominent artist in the revived popularity of the traditional forms of Jazz. This year also saw the emergence of internationally acclaimed rock and roll.

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1951 Fast Facts

In 1951, the UNIVAC digital computer was unveiled and Sugar Ray Robinson became the best pound-for-pound boxer of all time. On July 8, Paris celebrated its existence spanning 2,000 years. The French capital has grown rapidly in its more than two millennia of existence.

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1952 Fast Facts

By 1952, West Germany had over 7 million refugees inside its borders. Percy Faith’s Delicado dominated the major charts in the USA and Europe. The Greatest Show on Earth was the highest grossing film of the year. In Science, the Nobel Prize in Medicine went to Selman Abraham Waksman.

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1953 Fast Facts

In 1953, the world population measured just 2.66 billion. The silver screen saw the popularity of two Japanese-produced movies, Tokyo Story and Ugetsu. TV Guide and Playboy published their first issues in 1953. The first 3-D movie, House of Wax, hit theaters worldwide.

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1954 Fast Facts

The year 1954 was marked by the end of the first Indochina war. In music, Bill Haley & His Comets released “Rock Around the Clock” Elvis Presley’s first single, “That’s All Right”, marked the start of his hugely successful career.

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1955 Fast Facts

In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent the first American soldiers as advisors to Vietnam. This was also a landmark year for the Civil Rights Movement in America. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were born this year. Albert Einstein passed away at the age of 76.

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1956 Fast Facts

In 1956, Elvis Presley entered the U.S. charts for the first time. Doris Day recorded her famous song, “Que, Sera,. Sera” Norma Jean Mortenson legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis held their last comedy show together.

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1957 Fast Facts

Jack Kerouac’s On the Road was published, and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was published. The Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, and Paul McCartney and John Lennon met for the first time.

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1958 Fast Facts

1958 was a landmark year for technology and culture. Sputnik 1, the world’s first artificial satellite, fell out of orbit in January. The United States established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In July, the Beatles recorded their first recording session.

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1959 Fast Facts

The year 1959 saw the US living under the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ben-Hur, Some Like it Hot, and Sleeping Beauty saw a rise in popularity. West Germany became the first country to introduce a five-day work week. The number of US states swelled from 48 to the current 50.

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1960 Fast Facts

In 1960, 17 countries gained independence from their colonial masters through armed struggle. Food and Drug Administration approved the first artificially produced birth control pill in the world. Two planes collided over New York City on the snowy morning of December 16, leaving 134 dead. American toy inventor Randi Altschul was born in 1960.

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1961 Fast Facts

The 60s was an era that saw a rise in freedom marches and movements by civil rights groups. During JFK’s reign, racial segregation had reached unimaginable heights in the USA. 1961 was to be a defining year in the Kenyan struggle for independence from the British colonialists.

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1962 Fast Facts

Decca Records rejected one of the greatest bands of all time, The Beatles after an audition. Elvis Presley had the biggest song in 1962 titled Return to Sender. Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif was the top-grossing film of the year.

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1963 Fast Facts

1963 saw many world-changing firsts and the rise of Beatlemania. World population in 1963 hovered at roughly 3.2 billion. Most popular names for the 4,098,020 babies born in that year were Lisa and Michael. Alcatraz was closed and the first Boeing took to the skies.

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1964 Fast Facts

The Beatles release their first U.S. single and Sydney Poitier becomes the first African-American Oscar winner. Notable births include Michelle Obama, Courteney Cox and Prince Edward, Earl of Essex.

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1965 Fast Facts

In January 1965, President Johnson announced the plan for his “Great Society” programs. A Charlie Brown Christmas made its debut in December. The Beatles performed the first stadium concert in music history. The United States’ space program hit a major milestone with the successful Gemini 3 launch.

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1966 Fast Facts

1966 marked the beginning of the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. In literature, Hunter S. Thompson’s Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs was published this year. The Beatles ended their US tour with what would be their last performance as a touring band.

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1967 Fast Facts

1967 was the year The Doors released their debut album, self-titled, The Doors. This was also the year that The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour. Charlie Chaplin’s last film, A Countess from Hong Kong, opened in the United Kingdom.

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1968 Fast Facts

1968 will be remembered for the death of two major political figures. Astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William A. Anders orbited the Moon. The first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired. Yale University announced that women would be admitted to the university.

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1969 Fast Facts

The year 1969 marked the passage between the 1960s and 1970s. It also saw the presidential torch pass from President Lyndon Johnson to Richard Nixon. Some notable firsts included the first test flight of a supersonic jetliner, and the first successful eye transplant. The year also gave us Sesame Street and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

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1970 Fast Facts

Apollo 13 to the moon was launched on April 11, 1970. On April 13, 1970, an oxygen tank aboard the Apollo 13 exploded. The consumption of oil in the United States of America was at an all-time high at the start of the 70s decade.

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1971 Fast Facts

The 70s were a time of political, social and economic upheaval in many parts of the world. Uganda was ruled by Idi Amin who was responsible for the massacre of over 300,000 Ugandans. The Weather Underground carried out an attack on the U.S Capitol building in Washington D.C.

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1972 Fast Facts

Gloria Steinem’s Ms magazine was launched in 1972. The first video game, Pong, was introduced by Atari. The US Supreme Court ruled against the death penalty. The year saw the debut of the first pay cable network, HBO. It was also the development year of the compact disk.

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1973 Fast Facts

The world population clocked in at roughly 3.2 billion people. The most popular baby names of the day were Michael and Lisa. The year saw plenty of firsts: the first KISS performance, the first female jockey to win a major race, and the creation of the first portable cell phone.

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1974 Fast Facts

1974 saw the world population reach 4 billion people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth for the all-time number of home runs with his 714th. George Roy Hill’s The Sting won the Oscar for Best Picture.

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1975 Fast Facts

In 1975, Monty Python and the Holy Grail was released. Saturday Night Live made its debut in October. In motorsports, the first-ever “monster truck,” called “Bigfoot,” was built. In politics, Margaret Thatcher won the leadership of the UK Conservative Party.

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1976 Fast Facts

1976 was a landmark year for the computer/tech field. Cray-1, the world’s first commercial supercomputer, was released this year. Viking 2 sent the first-ever close-up, color photos of the Mars surface. The Muppet Show broadcast for the first time on the ITV network.

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1977 Fast Facts

1977 was a significant year for technology. Two major events lay the foundation for major tech advancements for the everyday person. In music, Fleetwood Mac released their highly acclaimed album, Rumours. In film, Star Wars opened in movie theatres, launching an iconic franchise.

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1978 Fast Facts

1978 marked the end of the “Disco Decade”. The remains of Charlie Chaplin were stolen from his resting place. The first “test tube baby” was born in the United Kingdom. The Camp David Accords laid the groundwork for the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.

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1979 Fast Facts

1979 saw the first recorded instance of a comet hitting the sun. World population rose to roughly 4.4 billion. US and China began diplomatic relations. Sino-Vietnam war soured relations between Vietnam and the People’s Republic. The 100-millionth guest to visit Walt Disney World.

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1980 Fast Facts

1980 marked the beginning of an era of fashion freedoms and it saw the rise of designer’s clothes. Bon Scott the lead singer of the heavy metal band AC/DC died in London. ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ became the highest grossing film of the year at the box office.

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1981 Fast Facts

Tragic events were happening in separate parts of the world. John Hinkley Jr., was only ten feet away from the president armed with exploding bullets. In 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot in the hand and abdomen by Mehmet Ali Agca.

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1982 Fast Facts

1982 saw the introduction of smaller and cheaper electronic gadgets to the market such as the first CD player. It was also the beginning of a new type of industry whereby a Genetically Engineered human insulin, which is produced by bacteria, was put to use for the first time.

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1983 Fast Facts

The year 1983 had plenty to offer the world. Sally Ride became the first woman in space and David Bowie hit number one with his single ‘Let’s Dance’. Stephen King’s horror novels Christine and Pet Sematary dominated the bookshelves. The US government established Martin Luther King Jr Day.

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1984 Fast Facts

1984 marks the year the world became aware of the famine in Ethiopia. Over a million people, led by politician Tancredo Neves, march in the streets of Sao Paulo. In sports, the Chicago White Sox defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in the longest game in Major League baseball.

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1985 Fast Facts

1985 was a year of significant developments in technology, entertainment, and politics. Domain Name System for the Internet is created. Super Mario Bros., Back to the Future, Calvin and Hobbes made their debuts. Mikhail Gorbachev became the last leader of the Soviet Union.

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1986 Fast Facts

1986 will be remembered for space exploration and disaster. NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed in January, Chernobyl in April. The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered in syndication. The Phantom of the Opera holds the distinction of being the longest-running show in Broadway history.

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1987 Fast Facts

1987 was a major year for the entertainment industry. Michael Jackson released his first album in five years, Bad. U2 released their famous album, The Joshua Tree.

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1988 Fast Facts

In 1988, the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw troops from Afghanistan under the Geneva Accords. At the same time, the brutal Iran-Iraq War came to an end after eight years of fighting. This is the year that Al Qaeda was formed by veterans of the Soviet-Afghan War.

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1989 Fast Facts

In 1989, the world reached population of roughly 5.2 billion. John Grisham kept millions on the edge of their seats with the premiere of A Time to Kill. The former communist country, the USSR, happened to see free elections for the first time in decades.

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1990 Fast Facts

In 1990, Judas Priest were involved in a multimillion-dollar suit after a boy committed suicide. Metallica won their first Grammy award for the Best Metal Performance for their song “One”. A stampede left over 1,400 dead at a pedestrian tunnel in Mecca.

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1991 Fast Facts

The year 1991 saw the end of the cold war bringing in the musical genius of boy bands. Michael Schumacher began his journey to being the best driver in Formula 1 for all time. The World Wide Web was a platform that held information accessible from any computer in the world.

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1992 Fast Facts

1992 is the year when Bill Clinton became president and America’s largest Minnesota’s Mall spanning 78 acres was constructed. Johny Carson hosted his final show on The Tonight Show. It is also the year that the first text-based Web Browser was released to the public.

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1993 Fast Facts

In 1993, the world population reached just over 5.5 billion people and many new parents settled on the name Jessica. Many people died that year: Audrey Hepburn, Thurgood Marshall, Andre the Giant, River Phoenix, Pablo Escobar, and freedom-fighter Cesar Chavez.

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1994 Fast Facts

The year 1994 was marked by the Rwandan genocide, which began on April 7th and ended on July 4th. In the arts, Spielberg’s Schindler’s List won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

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1995 Fast Facts

In 1995, the US government stopped funding the Internet – it was completely privatized. The OJ Simpson murder trial was called the “trial of the century” Toy Story and Star Trek: Voyager made their television debuts. WinPlay3, the first real-time MP3 player software, is announced.

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1996 Fast Facts

In 1996, IBM’s “Deep Blue” chess computer defeated Garry Kasparov for the first time. Comedy Central’s The Daily Show premiered in 1996. In literature, George R.R. Martin published A Game of Thrones.

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1997 Fast Facts

In 1997, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published. The Simpsons aired its 167th episode, making it the longest running animated series in history. Scientists in Scotland announced the first cloned mammal, cloned from an adult cell: a sheep called Dolly.

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1998 Fast Facts

In film, 1998 was dominated by two films. Titanic and Saving Private Ryan gave audiences a taste of major historical events. The U.S. and UK engaged in a brief bombing campaign of Iraq called Operation Desert Fox. President Clinton was impeached after his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

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1999 Fast Facts

J.K. Rowling managed another year at the top of the best-selling book list when she published Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Inventors gifted the world with the Blackberry and the wildly-popular Furby.

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2000 Fast Facts

The year 2000 was also the World Mathematical Year and International Year for the Culture of Peace. America Online Inc. announced that it was acquiring Time Warner Inc for $182 billion. Bridgestone/Firestone recalled 6 million Wilderness AT, ATX, and ATX II tires.

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2001 Fast Facts

2001 was a great year for science when Robert Tools received the world’s first self-contained heart. Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory was the best-selling album of the year. George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law, following the September 11 attacks.

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2002 Fast Facts

In 2002, the Euro was announced as the official currency for twelve members of the European Union and ten new countries were voted to be added to the EU. A 19-year-old civil war ended after the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers signed a cease-fire agreement.

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2003 Fast Facts

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was the highest grossing film of the year. SARS had killed roughly 775 in 29 countries, putting a threat to globalization regarding public health. In August, 21 power plants shut down in three minutes affecting over fifty million people.

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2004 Fast Facts

Shrek 2 was the highest grossing film of the year. Oprah Winfrey gave away 276 Pontiac G-6 sedans worth $28,500 to her audience. A tsunami in the Indian Ocean crashed into the East African Coast and South East Asia.

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2005 Fast Facts

In politics, Iraq held its first parliamentary election since the invasion and occupation. The Huygens probe landed on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. This was also the year that North Korea announced it had nuclear weapons.

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2006 Fast Facts

2006 marked the end of an era in Iraq with the execution of Saddam Hussein. The Stardust space probe collected samples of cosmic dust from the comet, Wild 2. North Korea launched its first nuclear test. Crash, Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Walk the Line were big films at the Oscars.

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2007 Fast Facts

In 2007, the epic Harry Potter fantasy series came to a close. The series finale of HBO’s The Sopranos cannot be matched. In film, the top films for 2007 were Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

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2008 Fast Facts

In 2008, an exploding star halfway across the universe became visible to the naked eye. The Falcon 1 spacecraft of SpaceX was successfully launched into Earth’s orbit. Michael Phelps broke the record for Gold Medals earned at a single Olympics by winning eight. Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States.

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2009 Fast Facts

On January 25, 2009, George W. Bush passed the presidential torch to Barack Obama. Suleman Octuplets became the longest surviving set in history. The top box office releases included Avatar, Coraline, Star Trek and Inglourious Basterds.

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2010 Fast Facts

In 2010, Betty White became the oldest Saturday Night Live host at 88 years old. The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to Paul Harding for his debut novel, Tinker. Earth Day is the brainchild of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson.

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2011 Fast Facts

2011 was a year of many changes in world leadership and an onslaught of new innovations. The year saw the end of Frank Buckles, the last surviving American WWI veteran; Osama Bin Laden, the former leader of Al-Qaeda; Elizabeth Taylor,. Steve Jobs, the Apple CEO; and Kim Jong-Il.

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2012 Fast Facts

European Union imposed oil restriction to try to get Iran to stop its nuclear weapons efforts. Russia’s Vladimir Putin won presidential elections and Kofi Annan resigned as UN’s special envoy to Syria. Whitney Houston, Phyllis Diller, Andy Williams, Dick Clark were some of the pop culture icons who died in 2012.

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2013 Fast Facts

Frozen, the animation film was the highest grossing film of 2013. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Diana Nyad was the first person without a shark tank to swim from Cuba to Florida without protection from sharks.

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2014 Fast Facts

The 14th year of the third Millennium went down in history as the international year of family planning, solidarity with the Palestinian people, small island developing states and crystallography. LL Cool J hosted the 56th Grammy Awards where Daft Punk went home with five golden gramophones.

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2015 Fast Facts

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the highest grossing film of the year with over $2 billion in ticket sales around the world. Henry Johnson, nicknamed “Black Death” for his fierce exploits in the Argonne Forest received the Medal of Honor.

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2016 Fast Facts

The year 2016 will go down in history as the international year of pulses by the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The world lost one of the greatest musicians of all time Prince, on April 21. Funai produced its last ever video cassette recorder. Hilary Clinton became the first woman flag bearer of a major political party.

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2017 Fast Facts

In terms of popular media, Disney smashed its competition at the box office. While Game of Thrones dominated our televisions, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” flew off shelves. Volvo became the first automaker to promise an all-electric or all-hybrid line-up by 2019.

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2018 Fast Facts

The year 2018 was marked by both historic loss and historic progress. The East Coast suffered Hurricane Florence’s record 34 inches of rainfall in North Carolina. “Avengers: Infinity War” held record as highest-grossing domestic opening weekend of all time following its April 27th release.

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2019 Fast Facts

More than 900 lives were lost in Africa when tropical cyclone Idai hit Mozambique. In India, the heatwave killed 90 individuals when temperatures went above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The year ended with the impeachment of President Donald Trump by the U.S. House.

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2020 Fast Facts

In January 2020, the World Health Organization announced dozens of cases of pneumonia. By March 2020, WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The UK officially withdrew from the European Union on January 31st, 2020. Parasite, made history by winning the Oscar for best picture.

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2021 Fast Facts

The year 2021 began with the world still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The novel virus that first emerged in Wuhan in 2019 had now spread globally. Kamala Harris became the US first female, Black and South Asian vice president.

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