Millennium | 23. Twentieth Century Timeline - Guide to the New Millennium

A Guide to the Millennium

An unfinished, unpublished 1996 book by Palden Jenkins
A Guide to the Millennium
A Guide to the Millennium
An unpublished 1997 book by Palden Jenkins
A Guide to the Millennium
Go to content

Millennium | 23. Twentieth Century Timeline

Last Millennium


In the Twentieth Century there was not only an acceleration of events - there was a proliferation and broadening of many issues too. This was a century of the public and the System, of genius and tragedy, of immense gain and loss.

1900 CHINA: Boxer rebellion (against foreign influences)
+  INNOVN: Planck's Quantum Theory; Freud's psychoanalysis
1901 INNOVN: beginning of the Age Of Electricity
1902 ARTS: Gorky, Belloc, Masefield, Beatrix Potter, Conan Doyle, Chesterton
1903 INNOVN: Age Of Flight: Wright Brothers' powered aircraft, USA
1904 E ASIA: Russo-Japanese war (Jap success, Asian nationalism)
1905 RUSSIA: first Russian revolution (pseudo-reforms & subversion)
+  INNOVN: Einstein's Relativity, phonographs, colour photography, bakelite
1906 ARTS: Strauss, Delius, Elgar, Hammerstein, Mahler, Bartok, Schoenberg
1907 WORLD: Hague Peace Conference (diplomatic precedent)
+  International financial panic
1908 S AFRICA: Union of South Africa
+  OCEANIA: New Zealand self-rule
1909 INNOVN: Peary reaches North Pole; Bleriot flies over English Channel; genetics research
1910 E ASIA: Japan (by now a modern power) annexes Korea
+ WORLD: revolutions in Mexico & Portugal; revolt in Albania
+ ARTS: Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso, Epstein, Monet, Kandinsky, F Lloyd Wright
1911 CHINA: Chinese Revolution (Sun Yat-sen); end of Manchu dynasty (1644)
+ BRITAIN: suffragettes (Emily Pankhurst); WORLD: Amundsen at South Pole
1912 SE EUROPE: Balkan Crisis: Balkans unify against Turkey and Austria
1913 IDEAS: B Russell, Bohr, J Jeans, Steiner, Schweizer, Einstein
1914 EUROPE: First World War (1914-18, Balkan crisis & Euro intransigence)
1915 INNOVN: Ford tractors & millionth car; Bell's transcontinental telephones
1916 IRELAND: Sinn Fein Easter Rebellion;
+  W ASIA: Lawrence of Arabia fights Turks
1917 RUSSIA: October Revolution in Russia: peace, land reform, socialism
1918 EUROPE: Germany, Austria, Turkey seek armistice: war ends; 8.5m dead
+  RUSSIA: Bolshevik takeover; civil war, famine
+  EUROPE: five new independent states
1919 WORLD: map of Europe & Middle East redrawn; USA leading world power
+ EUROPE: influenza epidemic (millions die); unrest in Germany; White Russian defeat
1920 W ASIA: Ataturk's nationalist movement; Ottoman Middle East divided
+  INNOVN: public radio broadcasts, USA & UK (BBC)
+  International Court of Justice, The Hague
1922 W ASIA: Turkish republic; W EUROPE: Irish Free State
+  USSR: USSR formed
+  ARTS: Jazz: Armstrong, Ellington; Eliot, Brecht, Joyce, Woolf, DH Lawrence
1926 BRITAIN: general strike
+  ARTS: Talking movies: Disney, Eisenstein, Hitchcock
1928 USSR: first Five Year Plan, farm collectivisation, command economy
1929 WORLD: Wall Street Crash and worldwide slump; Empire State Building
1930 S AMERICA: military coups in Brazil & Argentina
+  INDIA: Ghandi's civil disobedience; AFRICA: Emperor Haile Selassie
1932 USA: Roosevelt & New Deal; USSR: second Five Year Plan, famine
1933 GERMANY: Hitler, Nazi revolution, dictatorship, Jew-hunts
1934 CHINA: Communist Long March, Mao Tse-tung; USSR: Stalin's purges
1935 N AFRICA: Italy invades Ethiopia; EUROPE: fascist ascendancy
1936 W EUROPE: German reoccupation of Rhineland; Spanish Civil War
1938 EUROPE: Germany occupies Austria & Czechoslovakia
+  USSR: Stalinist pogroms, trials & gulags; rapid industrialisation
1939 EUROPE: Germany invades Poland: Second World War (1939-45)
1940 EUROPE: Germany takes Europe, Battle of Britain, war at sea
1941 WORLD: Germany invades Russia & Egypt; Japan invades E Pacific
+  BRITAIN: USA lend-lease to UK (end of UK world financial dominance)
1942 EUROPE: El Alamein & Stalingrad (WW2 turning-point); Jewish Holocaust
+  INNOVN: Fermi splits atom; first electronic computer; tape-recording
1943 WORLD: German & Japanese retreat; bombing of Germany; Italy surrenders
1944 EUROPE: D-Day; Russian advance; Warsaw uprising
1945 WORLD: Yalta Conference (geopolitics; world map redrawn)
+  WORLD: nuclear bomb – Hiroshima, Nagasaki; WW2 ends, 45m dead
+  WORLD: United Nations & World Bank founded (reconstr'n & devel't)
1946 CHINA: Civil War (Kuomintang & Communists)
+  SE ASIA: Vietnamese struggle against France (Ho Chih Minh)
1947 S ASIA: India (Hindu), Pakistan (Muslim), Burma independent
+ WORLD: Cold War (to 1989): NATO alliance, Marshall Plan
+ SE EUROPE: Greek Civil War
+ WORLD: UFOs first publicly reported
1948 W ASIA: est of Israel (Ben Gurion): first Arab-Israeli war
+ E EUROPE: Soviet takeover in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary
1949 CHINA: People's Republic of China (Mao Tse-tung, Chou En-lai)
+ EUROPE: Council of Europe; German Fed Rep; BRITAIN: 'welfare state'
+ S AFRICA: apartheid inaugurated; USA: anti-Communist McCarthyism
1950 ASIA: Korean War; S AFRICA: race riots, Johannesburg
1952 AFRICA: revolts in Kenya (Mau-Mau), Rhodesia, Egypt (Nasser)
1953 USSR: end of Stalinism by Kruschev; ASIA: Korean Armistice
+ ARTS: Britten, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Amis, Maugham, Golding, Priestley, Picasso
1954 SE ASIA: Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam independent (Geneva Conference)
1955 USA: black civil rights, Alabama; Martin Luther King; AFL-CIO merger
1956 W ASIA: Arab-Israeli war; Suez crisis
+  EUROPE: Hungarian revolt (crushed)
+  ARTS: rock'n'roll: Elvis Presley;
+  C AMERICA: Fidel Castro & Che Guevara
1957 EUROPE: European Community
+  AFRICA: decolonisation: Ghana independent
+  INNOVN: first space satellites, Sputniks I and II, USSR; stereo records
1959 WORLD: Cuba Revolution (Castro); China takes Tibet; World Refugee Yr
+  INNOVN: USSR sends two monkeys into space & Lunik satellites to Moon

1960 AFRICA: 'Africa's Year': many states independent; war in Congo & Algeria
+  USA: JF Kennedy; USSR: Brezhnev; WORLD: Cold War climax
1961 WORLD: Cold War: US in Vietnam; Berlin Wall; 'Bay of Pigs' fiasco
+  INNOVN: first man in space (Gagarin) USSR; DNA structure determined, UK
1962 WORLD: Sino-Indian war; Cuba missile crisis (nuclear war); U Thant UN Sec-Gen
+  AFRICA: Algeria, Uganda & Tanganyika independent
1963 USA: civil rights unrest; JFK assassinated
+  AFRICA: Kenya independent (Kenyatta)
1964 USA: LBJ's Great Society; SE ASIA: Vietnam war escalates
+  W ASIA: PLO (Arafat): Arts: Beatles & Mersey sound, soul and electric music
1965 INDIA: Indo-Pakistan War (Kashmir); SE ASIA: military coup Indonesia (Sukarno)
+  AFRICA: Rhodesia UDI; independence and new African nations
+  USA: Black Power, LA race riots, anti-Vietnam War demos, Ralph Nader
1966 CHINA: Cultural Revolution
+  WORLD: Flower Power (San Fran, London, Goa, Ibiza)

1967 W ASIA: Six Day War (Israel takes W Bank & Jerusalem); pan-Arab solidarity grows
+  AFRICA: Biafra War, Nigeria (death & famine)
+  EUROPE: military dictatorship in Greece
+  ARTS: Beatles, Dylan, Clapton, Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Joplin, Grateful Dead
+  INNOVN: genetic engineering (DNA); Expo 67; heart transplants
1968 C EUROPE: liberal 'Prague Spring' (Dubcek, crushed); unrest in Warsaw
+  WORLD: student & political protest (Germany, France, UK, US)

+ USA: draft-dodging
1969 BRITAIN: Ulster 'Troubles' (to 1998);
+  C EUROPE: public suicide of Jan Palach
+  INNOVN: man on Moon (Armstrong, USA); supersonic Concorde airliner
+  IDEAS: Feminist, Green, New Left, Black, Consciousness movements; Woodstock
1971 AFRICA: Idi Amin, Uganda dictator (terror); INNOVN: 'Intel' silicon chip
1972 WORLD: Detente (relaxing of Cold War)

+  USA: 'Watergate' (secrecy & corruption)
1973 SE ASIA: USA failure in IndoChina, 2m dead (65-73); W ASIA: Yom Kippur war
+  WORLD: world recession (oil embargo, inflation, Euro-USA dominance declines)
+  S AMERICA: military dictatorships INNOVN: US Pioneer 10 passes Jupiter
1974 EUROPE: liberalisation, Portugal & Greece
+  AFRICA: Mozambique & Angola independent
+  SE ASIA: Communists take Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia; ARTS: Abba (pop)          
1975 W ASIA: Lebanon civil war starts
+  EUROPE: Helsinki Accords on Security & Cooperation
+  SE ASIA: Cambodian Khmer Rouge terror; end of Vietnam War
1976 AFRICA: Angola civil war starts; Soweto riots
+  CHINA: Liberalisation (Mao dies)
+  IBERIA: liberalisation in Spain (death of Franco); WORLD: ozone holes noted
1977 WORLD: Human Rights (Carter, Sakharov, Amnesty Int'l); energy crisis
+  INNOVN: space shuttle; neutron bomb; outer space; genetics breakthroughs
1978 WORLD: unrest in Nicaragua, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Bolivia; Lebanon civil war
+ EUROPE: terror: Red Brigades (Italy), Baader-Meinhof (Ger), IRA (UK) bombings
1979 C ASIA: USSR occupies Afghanistan (79-89); Ayatollah Khomeini, Iranian Islamic revl'n
+  WORLD: New Age, complementary medicine, women's, peace and green movements
1980 W ASIA: Iran-Iraq war (80-89, deadlocked, costly); C AMERICA: civil wars
+  E EUROPE: Solidarity (Lech Walesa) dissent in Poland
1981 USA: Reagan's "Evil Empire" & 'Star Wars'; moral-majority conservatism
1982 W ASIA: Israel invades Lebanon (PLO to Tunis)
+  S AMERICA: Falklands War
+  WORLD: nuclear fears ('Star Wars', cruise missiles, nuclear winter)
1983 INNOVN: Pioneer 10 leaves solar system; space shuttle; compact disks
+  WORLD: globalisation of finance (takeovers, junk-bonds, leveraging)
1984 INDIA: Bhopal disaster (2,500 die); Golden Temple invasion, Sikhs kill Indira Ghandi
+  AFRICA: famine in Ethiopia; BRITAIN: miners' strike; WORLD: AIDS scares
1985 WORLD: Live Aid concert; WORLD: terrorism;
+  S AFRICA: black township unrest;
+  USSR: Gorbachev, perestroika & glasnost; Chernobyl meltdown (world fear)
1986 USA: 'Irangate'; space-shuttle explodes;
+  WORLD: financial market deregulation
+  WORLD: pressure groups: Greenpeace, FoE, Amnesty Int'l, feminists
1987 WORLD: USSR: Gorbachev reforms; CHINA: Deng's capitalist modernisation
+  WORLD: Stock Market crash; Japan dominates world finance; Tiger economies
1988 WORLD: end of Cold War (Gorbachev-Reagan); C ASIA: Tibetan revolts
+  WORLD: rise of chemical warfare (Iraqi use against Kurdish minority & Iran)
1989 EUROPE: Velvet Revolutions fell Communist governments, fall of Berlin Wall
+  WORLD: nationalism worldwide; CHINA: Tienanmen Square; ISLAM: Salman Rushdie
1990 W ASIA: Iraq occupies Kuwait;
+  WORLD: global corporate power (Microsoft, News Int'l)
+  USSR: separatist movements (Baltics, Georgia etc) (Soviet disintegration)
1991 W ASIA: Gulf War against Iraq; Shia & Kurdish rebellions; relief operations
+  AFRICA: famine in Ethiopia/Sudan (changes in aid); W ASIA: Lebanese civil war ends
+  RUSSIA: end of USSR, Gorbachev & Communist party; rise of Yeltsin's Russia
1992 WORLD: start of Internet; major global climatic changes; Rio Earth Summit
+  AFRICA: failed UN/US intervention in Somalia; EUROPE: EU integration (Maastricht)
1993 EUROPE: Bosnia civil war (atrocities and concentration camps)
+   W ASIA: Israel-Palestine peace accords
1994 AFRICA: Rwanda massacres; multi-racial elections in S Africa (ANC, Mandela)
1995 EUROPE: NATO intervention in Bosnia, war ends
+  W ASIA: Rabin assassinated (failure of Israeli peace process)
1996 INNOVN: a computer beats Kasparov at chess
1997 ASIA: Hong Kong rejoins China; Asian Tiger economies market crash
+  INNOVN: Dolly the sheep, world's first cloned animal
+  BRITAIN: death of Princess Diana (mass emotional release)
1998 WORLD: climatic extremes, forest fires, marked global warming
+  WORLD: global economic uncertainty; USA: downfall of president Clinton
1999 WORLD: stock market crash; growth of internet and e-commerce

NEXT: Revelations

The Illustrated Guide to the Millennium

© Copyright Palden Jenkins 1998, 2012.
This material may be downloaded, printed out in single copies for personal use
and quoted in parts with proper attribution and a link to this site.
All other uses require permission of the author, Palden Jenkins.
The Illustrated Guide to the Millennium was partially written in 1997-98 and never published

Guide to the Millennium
An unfinished, unpublished book by Palden Jenkins
A Guide to the Millennium
Back to content