Freedom: A History of US.
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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.

1951-present
The Rosenbergs

Dwight Eisenhower



Brown v. Board of Ed


Rosa Parks


Sit-in



Cuban Missile Crisis


King in Jail




Johnson Sworn In


Selma to Montgomery


Soldiers in Vietnam


Vietnam Protestors



King Funeral


Nixon in China


Nixon Resigns




Ronald Reagan






Operation Desert Storm


World Trade Center



1951 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are sentenced to death for espionage against the United States.

1951 The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which limits the term a president can serve in office to eight years (two terms), is passed by Congress.

1952 Dwight Eisenhower is elected the nation's thirty-fourth president of the United States. He becomes the first Republican elected in twenty-four years.

1953 The Korean War ends; Korea remains divided in two parts.

1954 Senator Joseph McCarthy continues his witch-hunting activities in nationally televised Senate hearings; his formal censure and condemnation by the Senate follow.

1954 Dr. Jonas Salk, U.S. developer of an antipolio serum, starts inoculating school children.

1954 The Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Board of Education that "separate but equal" is unconstitutional in schools.

1954 Martin Luther King moves to Montgomery, Alabama where he takes a job as a pastor in a small church.

1955 Rosa Parks is arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for violating segregation laws on a city bus.

1955 A black boycott of Montgomery buses commences; Martin Luther King, Jr. is elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association.

1956 The Supreme Court rules that Montgomery buses must be integrated.

1956 The 381-day bus boycott ends and Montgomery buses are integrated.

1957 Rioting whites keep the Little Rock Nine out of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends in U.S. Army forces to enforce the school's integration.

1960 A Sit-In movement is sparked when four black college students ask for service at a "whites only" lunch counter in North Carolina; Sit-Ins spread rapidly all over South after this occurrence.

1961 John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th president of the US. He becomes the youngest elected president in U.S. history.

1961 Lyndon B. Johnson becomes vice president under John F. Kennedy.

1961 The Bay of Pigs incident takes places. John F. Kennedy sends Cuban exiles into Cuba thinking the people of Cuba will rise against Fidel Castro. But the invaders are captured and the plan backfires.

1962 President Kennedy confronts the Soviet Union about its nuclear missile bases in Cuba. For six long days during the Cuban Missile Crisis the world hovers on the brink of nuclear war.

1963 Phase 3 of Project C puts thousands of trained protesters on Birmingham, Alabama's streets; Eugene "Bull" Connor, Commissioner of Public Safety, stages brutal attacks with police dogs and water cannons. Birmingham becomes an international scandal.

1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested in Birmingham for violating an injunction against demonstrations.

1963 Governor George Wallace of Alabama delivers his "segregation forever!" speech.

1963 The March on Washington takes place. Over 250,000 demonstrators, both black and white, make the biggest protest assembly in U.S. history. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his "I Have A Dream" speech.

1963 Four black schoolgirls are murdered in a dynamiting of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

1963 John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas; Lyndon Johnson becomes the thirty-sixth president of the United States.

1964 Lyndon Johnson launches his Great Society program to fight poverty and racism in America.

1964 Lyndon Johnson is elected to his first full term as president, defeating Barry Goldwater.

1964 Johnson's Civil Rights Bill is passed by Congress.

1965 Demonstrators in Alabama march from Selma to Montgomery to demand equal voting rights for African-Americans. Governor Wallace has the march broken by state troopers.

1965 Lyndon Johnson submits his Voting Rights Bill to Congress.

1965 The marchers, now lead by Martin Luther King Jr., make a second attempt to march to Montgomery. They succeed.

1965 The Voting Rights Bill is passed by Congress.

1965 Congress approves the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, allowing the U.S. to use military force in Vietnam.

1966 Lyndon Johnson pays a surprise visit to the American troops in Vietnam.

1966 Edward Brooke becomes the first black Senator elected by popular vote.

1967 Protests against the war in Vietnam start to spread across the nation.

1968 Communist forces in Vietnam launch the Tet Offensive. Chances for an American victory begin to seem remote.

1968 Martin Luther King joins the Memphis garbage workers strike. King's support is part of a new campaign against poverty.

1968 Johnson announces that he will not seek another term as president. The war in Vietnam is cited as a major reason.

1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

1968 Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles, California.

1968 Richard M. Nixon is elected the thirty seventh president of the United States.

1969 Nixon begins secret bombings in Cambodia.

1970 U.S. troops invade Cambodia.

1972 Nixon visits with Communist leaders in China. He is the first U.S. president to do so.

1972 Nixon becomes the first U.S. president to visit the Soviet Union.

1972 Members of Nixon's "Committee to Re-elect the President" are arrested after breaking into Democratic Party Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel complex.

1974 Richard Nixon's connection to the Watergate affair is proven. He resigns from office.

1974 Gerald Ford becomes the thirty-eighth president of the United States.

1977 Jimmy Carter becomes the thirty-ninth president of the United States.

1978 Carter negotiates a peace plan between Israel and Egypt with the Camp David Accords.

1979 Iranian students, led by the Ayatollah Khomeini, storm the U.S. embassy in Iran and take 52 Americans hostage. They will be held for 444 days.

1981 Ronald Reagan becomes the fortieth president of the United States.

1982 Reagan sends marines to Lebanon as part of a peace keeping force.

1983 241 marines are killed in Lebanon by a terrorist attack.

1985 President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev hold their first summit meeting.

1989 A massive pro-democracy demonstration is held in Tiananmen Square by Chinese students. The demonstration is violently crushed by government forces. Hundreds (possibly thousands) of students are killed.

1990 Iraq invades Kuwait.

1991 Led by the U.S., an international military force launches Operation Desert Storm. Iraqi forces are removed from Kuwait.

1992 Bill Clinton is elected the forty-second president of the United States.

1993 The World Trade Center in New York City survives a bomb attack by Muslim extremists.

1999 Two U.S. embassies in Africa are destroyed. Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network is to blame.

2000 The USS Cole is attacked in Yemen by Al Qaeda.

2001 Al Qaeda operatives crash two jet planes into the World Trade Center, and a third into the Pentagon.

2001 The Taliban, allies of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, are deposed by U.S. and allied forces. The war against terrorism begins.

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