Previous: 1800 to 1900 Back to Main Index Combined: 1900 to 1950 Colour Key Next: 1950 to 2000

1901 Death of Queen Victoria
1901 Edward VII comes to English throne
1901 Marconi sends first transatlantic radio message from Britain
1901 Commonwealth of Australia established
1901 Death of Giuseppe Verdi (composer)
1902 Death of Emile Zola (writer)
1902 Eruption of Mount Pelée, Martinique (40,000 killed)
1902 Boers surrender to British forces in South Africa
1903 Wright Brothers make first controlled flight in aeroplane
1903 Henry Ford designs first mass-produced cars
1903 Bolshevik Party established in Russia
1904 Russo-Japanese War
1904 Ivan Petrovich Pavlov wins Nobel Prize for work on animal behaviour
1905 Norway separates from Sweden
1905 Trans-Siberian Railway completed
1905 "Bloody Sunday" massace of protestors in St Petersburg
1905 Albert Einstein develops special theory of relativity
1905 Sinn Fein, Irish nationalist (Republican) movement, founded
1906 Movement for Women's Suffrage becomes active in Britain
1906 Liberal landslide government in Britain
1906 Death of Henrik Ibsen (Norwegian dramatist)
1906 Norwegian Roald Amundsen navigates North-West Passage
1906 Death of Paul Cézanne (artist)
1907 Death of Edvard Grieg (Norwegian composer)
1907 Entente Cordiale between Russia, Britain and France
1908 Herbert Asquith becomes Liberal Prime Minister
1908 Lord Baden-Powell founds Boy Scouts and Girl Guides
1908 "Young Turk" Revolution establishes constitution in Turkey
1908 Bulgaria liberated from Turkish rule by Russia
1909 American Robert Peary first to reach North Pole
1909 Union of South Africa established
1909 Arnold Schoenberg explores musical atonality
1909 Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque develop Cubism
1910 First Post-Impressionist art exhibition (Cezanne/Van Gogh/Gauguin) in London
1910 Death of Florence Nightingale (nurse and hospital reformer)
1910 George V succedes to British throne
1910 Portuguese monarchy abolished in favour of republic
1910 Mexican Revolution under Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa leads to civil war
1910 Death of Leo Tolstoy (writer)
1910 Bertrand Russell and Alfred Whitehead publish "Principia Mathematica"
1910 Futurist Manifesto (modern art movement) published in Italy
1911 Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes first to reach South Pole
1911 Vasily Kandinsky experiments with abstract expressionism
1911 Chinese Revolution - Sun Yat-Sen establishes Republic
1911 Death of Gustav Mahler (composer)
1912 African National Congress (ANC) formed in South Africa to fight apartheid
1913 Rabindranath Tagore receives Nobel Prize for Literature
1913 Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" causes uproar
1913 Nijinsky and Pavlova perfoming Fokine and Diaghilev's ballets
1914 First World War - Germany/Austria vs Britain/France/Russia
1914 Panama Canal opened
1914 Charlie Chaplin makes his first silent movies
1916 Albert Einstein publishes General Theory of Relativity
1916 Inconclusive battles at Verdun and Somme in France
1916 Grigory Rasputin murdered by nobles of Nicholas II's court
1916 Unsuccessful Easter Rising by Irish Republicans
1916 Tristan Tzara develops Dada art movement
1917 Democratic constition established in Mexico
1917 Death of Edgar Degas (artist)
1917 Death of Buffalo Bill Cody (showman)
1917 Chicago takes over from New Orleans as capital of jazz
1917 US enters First World War - balance tips in Allies' favour
1917 Bolshevik Revolution under Vladimir Ilych Lenin and Leon Trotsky
1918 Lawrence of Arabia aids British forces in Middle East
1918 Tsar Nicholas II killed
1918 Bolsheviks end Russian involvment in First World War
1918 End of First World War (25m killed) - Versailles Conference
1918 Women over 30 granted right to vote in Britain
1918 Earnest Rutherford splits the atom
1918 Death of Claude Debussy (composer)
1918 Jewish League formed by David Ben Gurion
1918 Spanish influenza pandemic (50 to 100 million killed worldwide)
1919 Start of "Indianization" of civil service
1919 Amritsar Massacre - beginning of limited self-rule
1919 Death of Adelina Patti (opera singer)
1919 Irish Republican Army (IRA) formed as radical military wing of Sinn Fein
1919 Death of Pierre-Auguste Renoir (artist)
1919 Treaty of Versailles - Germany loses annexed lands and colonies
1919 Germany proclaimed a republic
1919 Bauhaus art movement developed by architect Walter Gropius
1919 Prohibition of alcohol in North America
1919 Kemal Atatürk leads Turkish nationlist resistance
1919 Jewish Zionists start immigration into Palestine
1919 Poland recognized as independent state after First World War
1919 League of Nations formed
1920 Russo-Polish War
1921 Chinese Communist Party founded
1921 Death of Enrico Caruso (opera singer)
1921 Economic collapse and famine in Russia - 5 million die
1921 Modern Persian state created by Resa Khan
1921 British-Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein publishes his "Tractatus"
1921 Greece declares war on Turkey
1922 TS Eliot writes "The Waste Land"
1922 Dane Niels Bohr wins Nobel Prize for work on atomic theory
1922 Fascist Benito Mussolini siezes power as dictator in Italy
1922 James Joyce writes "Ulysses"
1922 Ireland partitioned into Ulster (North) and Irish Free State (South)
1922 Republic of Turkey declared under Kemal Pasha
1922 Britain grants independence to Egypt
1923 Arnold Schoenberg develops 12-tone system of music
1924 First Labour Government under Ramsay MacDonald voted in Britain
1924 Death of Giaccomo Puccini (composer)
1924 André Breton publishes first Surrealist Manifesto
1924 Joseph Stalin becomes Premiere of Russia after Death of Lenin
1924 Greece declares itself a republic
1925 Franz Kafka writes "The Trial"
1925 Art Deco movement at its height
1926 German physicist Werner Heisenberg develops his uncertainty principle
1926 General Strike in Britain
1926 Hirohito becomes Emperor of Japan
1926 Death of Rainer Maria Rilke (poet)
1926 Antonio Salazar leads military coup in Portugal
1926 Death of Antoni Gaudí (Catalan architect)
1927 Werner Heisenberg publishes treatise on Uncertainty Principle
1927 Charles Lindburgh makes first solo flight of Atlantic
1927 First "talkie" movie - "The Jazz Singer" starring Al Jolson
1927 Leon Trotsky expelled from Communist Party
1928 Sir Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin
1928 Equal adult suffrage established in Britain
1928 Kuomintang under Chang Kai-Shek subdues Chinese warlords
1928 Walt Disney introduces character of Mickey Mouse in "Steamboat Willie"
1928 Bessie Smith recording first Blues songs
1929 Kurt Weill writes "Threepenny Opera"
1929 Valentines Day Massacre - Al Capone gains control of Chicago underworld
1929 Astronomer Edwin Hubble shows that the universe is expanding
1929 US Stock Market Crash
1929 Massive collectivization push in Russia under Stalin
1930 Death of DH Lawrence (writer)
1930 Mahatma Ghandi leads Salt March in India
1930 Civil War in China between Nationalists and Communists
1930 Pluto (last planet) discovered by Clyde Tombaugh
1930 Military coup in Brazil, start of Vargas dictatorship
1930 Heile Selassie becomes Emperor of Ethiopia
1931 National Coalition Government in Britain
1931 Japanese invade Manchuria
1931 Spain proclaimed a republic
1931 Floods in Central China kill up to 4 million
1932 Aldous Huxley writes "Brave New World"
1932 Eamonn de Valera becomes Republican Fianna Fail leader
1933 Adolph Hitler becomes dictator after coup
1933 End of Prohibition of alcohol
1933 FD Roosevelt becomes US President
1934 Death of Sir Edward Elgar (composer)
1934 Long March by Chinese communists under Mao Tse-Tung
1934 Bonnie Parke and Clyde Barrow ("Bonnie and Clyde") killed in Louisiana
1934 Social Realism art movement encouraged in Russia
1935 Benito Mussolini invades Abyssinia
1935 France concludes pact of mutual assistance with Russia
1935 Germany under Hitler begins persecution of Jews (6m killed)
1935 Count Basie leads his Big Band Orchestra
1936 King George V dies - Edward VIII abdicates - George VI accedes
1936 Popular Front government in France under Léon Blum
1936 Joe Louis becomes heavyweight boxing champion
1936 Great purge of Russian political parties by Stalin
1936 Spanish Civil War starts
1936 Assassination of Federico García Lorca (Spanish poet)
1937 Neville Chamberlaine's government appeases Germany and Italy
1937 Japanese advance into Northern China and Mongolia
1937 Eire (Southern Ireland) declares itself completely independent state
1937 Death of Maurice Ravel (composer)
1937 German bombing of Guernica, Northern Spain
1938 Enrico Fermi wins Nobel Prize for work on atomic energy
1938 Hitler siezes Austria (Anschluss) and Czechoslovakia
1939 Russia signs non-agression pact with Hitler's Germany
1939 "Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind" movies released
1939 Britain and France enter Second World War after Hitler invades Poland
1939 Fascists under Francisco Franco triumph in Spanish Civil War
1939 Discovery of nuclear fission by German physicists Hahn, Meitner, Strassmann and Frisch
1940 Sir Winston Churchill becomes British Prime Minister
1940 Battle of Britain - Germany defeated in air
1940 Marshal Pétain agrees armistice with Hitler - France occupied
1940 Japan occupies Indo-China
1941 Death of Virginia Woolf (writer)
1941 Germany invades Russia - Russia enters Second World War
1941 Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbour brings US into Second World War
1941 Orson Wells' movie "Citizen Cane" released
1941 Josip Broz Tito leads coommunist revolution in Yugoslavia
1942 British army under Montgomery drives Germans out of Egypt
1942 Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus develop Existentialism
1942 Manhattan Project established to develop atomic bomb
1943 Mussolini overthrown and Fascist Party dissolved
1944 Iceland declares independence from Denmark
1944 D-Day - Allies make crucial push into France
1944 International Monetary Fund (IMF) established
1944 Charles de Gaulle organizes provisional government after Paris liberated
1945 Germany surrenders - end of Second World War (45m killed)
1945 US drops first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki - Japan surrenders
1945 Clement Attlee becomes Labour Prime Minister of Britain
1945 Jackson Pollock pioneers action painting
1945 ENIAC considered to be first functional computer
1945 Russian intransigence after Potsdam conference starts "Cold War"
1945 Death of King Zog of Albania
1945 Death of Bela Bartok (Hungarian composer)
1945 United Nations (UN) formed
1946 Italy votes to become a republic
1946 Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal
1946 Start of First Indochina War for independence from French rule
1946 League of Nations formally abandoned
1946 General Juan Perón elected president of Argentina
1947 British withdraw from India - Partition of India and Pakistan
1947 "Iron Curtain" effectively drawn around Soviet-controlled countries
1947 US Marshall Plan aid spurs European economic recovery
1948 George Orwell writes "1984"
1948 British pull out of Palestine - state of Israel established
1948 Enver Hoxha leads Albania as independent Stalinist state
1948 Organization of American States (OAS) formed
1948 Afrikaaner National Party comes to power in South Africa - apartheid
1948 Korea divided into North and South Republics
1948 Mahatma Ghandi assassinated
1949 People's Republic of China proclaimed by Mao Tse-Tung
1949 West Germany declared a republic - Konrad Adenauer becomes Chanceller
1949 Comecon setablished to coordinate Soviet block economies
1949 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) formed
1949 Council of Europe formed
1949 Indonesia under Sukarno gains independence from Netherlands
1949 William Faulkner wins Nobel Prize for Literature
1950 Death of George Bernard Shaw (dramatist)
1950 Bertrand Russell receives Nobel Prize for Literature
1950 Korean War starts - Communist North vs Capitalist South
1950 US becomes involved in Korean War

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