Click on the time period you wish to explore. Each section of the timeline features highlighted dates that link to the Webisode segment in which the historical events associated with those dates are discussed.
1851 Women's rights reformers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony meet.
1851 Sojourner Truth speaks for women and slaves.
1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
1855 Walt Whitman publishes LEAVES OF GRASS.
1856 Charles Sumner is attacked in the Senate by South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks.
1857 The Dred Scott decision is rendered, stating that Negroes cannot be citizens of the United States.
1858 The Lincoln-Douglas debates take place in Illinois.
1859 John Brown attacks Harper's Ferry and is executed.
1860 Abraham Lincoln is elected the sixteenth president of the United States.
1860South Carolina secedes from the Union.
1861 Rebecca Harding writes on factory conditions in the United States.
1861 Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas join South Carolina and secede from the Union
1861 The provisional government of the Confederate States of America is established; Jefferson Davis is inaugurated president of the Confederacy.
1861 Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated president of the United States.
1861 Fort Sumter surrenders to South Carolina forces.
1861 The Civil War begins.
1861 Lincoln declares insurrection; Federal blockade of southern ports begins.
1861 United States troops are defeated at the Battle of Bull Run.
1861 Confederates defeat Union troops in the West at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, in Missouri.
1861 General George B. McClellan replaces General Winfield Scott as the United States Army's commander-in-chief.
1862 General Robert E. Lee becomes the effective commander in chief of Confederate Army.
1862 General T. J. "Stonewall" Jackson drives Union forces from Shenandoah Valley.
1862 General George B. McClellan fails to take Richmond in the Seven Days' battles.
1862 Terrible casualties occur at the Battle of Antietam in Maryland; General Robert E. Lee retreats to Virginia.
1862 The Homestead Act is passed.
1863 Confederate troops win at Chancellorsville but Stonewall Jackson dies, shot by friendly fire.
1863 Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation declaring slavery illegal in the Confederate states.
1863 General Ulysses S. Grant besieges Vickburg, Mississippi.
1863 The Confederates are defeated at the battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; terrible losses are sustained on both sides; it is the turning point of the war.
1863 Vicksburg surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant; the Union now controls the Mississippi River.
1864 General Ulysses S. Grant is named U.S. Commander in Chief.
1864 General William Tecumseh Sherman besieges and captures Atlanta, Georgia.
1864 Union General Philip Sheridan devastates the Shenandoah Valley.
1864 Abraham Lincoln is elected to a second term of office.
1864 General Sherman begins his March to the Sea.
1864 The Sand Creek Massacre of Cheyenne Indians takes place in Colorado.
1865 General Ulysses S. Grant besieges Petersburg, Virginia.
1865 Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia each fall to the Union forces.
1865 General Robert E. Lee surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
1865 Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
1865 Andrew Johnson is named the seventeenth president of the United States.
1865 President Andrew Johnson outlines Reconstruction.
1865 States Ratify the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.
1865 Lewis Carroll publishes Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
1866 Terrorist Ku Klux Klan society is established by Confederate veterans in Tennessee.
1866 The Civil Rights Act is passed by Congress.
1866 Jesse Chisholm organizes the first great cattle drive between Texas and Abilene, Kansas.
1867 Congressional Reconstruction begins.
1867 Nebraska becomes the thirty-seventh state.
1867 The United States buys Alaska from Russia for 7.2 million dollars.
1868 Congress impeaches President Johnson. The Senate acquits Johnson by one vote.
1868 The Fourteenth Amendment is ratified
1868 Ulysses S. Grant is elected the eighteenth president of the United States.
1868 Chief Red Cloud of the Lakota Indians and General William Tecumseh Sherman sign the Fort Laramie Treaty, ending the war along the Bozeman Trail.
1869 The Fifteenth Amendment is ratified
1869 The Transcontinental Railroad is completed at Promontory Point, Utah.
1869 The women of Wyoming territory become the first to receive the vote in the U.S. and its territories.
1870 Hiram Revels of Mississippi becomes the first African-American senator.
1870 Franco-Prussian War.
1871 The Great Fire destroys much of Chicago.
1871 Barnum and Bailey's circus opens in Brooklyn, New York.
1872 President Ulysses S. Grant is reelected.
1872 Congress closes the Freedmen's bureau.
1872 Yellowstone becomes the first National Park.
1875 Congress passes a Civil Rights Act, banning discrimination in public places.
1876 Rutherford B. Hayes becomes the nineteenth president of the United States in a disputed election.
1876 The Battle of Little Bighorn takes place in Montana --it becomes Custer's Last Stand.
1876 Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone.
1877 The Nez Perce Indians, led by Chief Joseph, surrender to U.S. troops.
1879 Frank Woolworth opens the first five- and ten-cent store in Utica, New York.
1879 The first skyscraper, the Leitner building, with sixteen stories, is erected in Chicago.
1881 James Garfield is elected the twentieth president of the United States.
1881 James Garfield is assassinated. Chester Arthur becomes the twenty-first president.
1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act is passed.
1882 Civil Service Reform begins.
1882 The Brooklyn Bridge is completed.
1883 Joseph Pulitzer buys the New York World.
1884 Mark Twain publishes Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
1885 Grover Cleveland is elected the twenty-second president of the United States.
1885 The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York City.
1886 The Apache leader Geronimo surrenders to U.S. troops in Arizona.
1886 The U.S. Supreme Court overturns Yick Wo v. Hopkins.
1886 The American Federation of Labor is formed and Samuel Gompers is named its president.
1886 Four Labor activists are hanged following Chicago's Haymarket Riot.
1886 The Statue of Liberty is dedicated.
1887 The Dawes Act is passed -- it attempts to compensate Native Americans by dividing up Reservation lands.
1887 President Grover Cleveland establishes the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate railroads.
1888 The Secret ballot is first introduced in Louisville, Kentucky.
1889 Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington become the thirty-ninth, fortieth, forty-first and forty-second states.
1889 Two million acres of Indian land is opened to white settlers in Oklahoma.
1889 Benjamin Harrison is elected the twenty-third president of the United States.
1889 Jane Addams founds Hull House in Chicago.
1890 Sioux Indians are massacred at Wounded Knee, South Dakota on December 29.
1890 The Sherman Silver Purchase Act allows partial backing of Treasury bonds by silver.
1890 William Jennings Bryan is elected to the U.S. Congress.
1890 Jacob Riis publishes HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES.
1890Idaho and Wyoming become the forty-third, and forty-fourth states.
1891 The Populist Party is organized in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1892 Sam McClure founds MCCLURE'S magazine.
1892 Steelworkers are attacked in the Homestead Strike.
1893 Grover Cleveland is elected president, the first president in history to be elected to two non-consecutive terms.
1893 A major economic depression hits the U.S.
1893 The Silver Purchase Act is repealed.
1894 Coxey's Army, a group of unemployed men led by Jacob Coxey, marches from Massillon, Ohio, to Washington, D.C.
1894 The Pullman Railroad workers strike is broken by Federal Troops.
1895 Utah becomes the forty-fifth state.
1895 The country's first professional football gamed is played by two Pennsylvania teams -- Latrobe beats Jeannette, 12-0.
1896 Republican William McKinley is elected the nation's twenty-fifth President, defeating populist Democrat William Jennings Bryan.
1896 In Plessy v. Ferguson the Supreme Court rules that segregation by race is constitutional.
1898 The Spanish-American War is fought.
1900 Frank L. Baum publishes the THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ.