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American History : 1910-1919: Timeline 1910-1919


(02/08)  The Boy Scouts of America is founded. 
Digital History ID 1299 




Revolution breaks out in Mexico, led by Francisco I. Madero. 
Digital History ID 666 

The National Conference of Catholic Charities holds its first meeting at the Catholic University of America. The members coordinate the nationwide efforts of lay and diocesan social work agencies.

(03/25)  A fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City results in the death of 146 women workers and leads to the reform of building and factory laws. It is the worst workplace disaster in New York City until September 11, 2001. 
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Digital History ID 360 
(05/30)  The first Indianapolis 500 automobile race is held. 
Digital History ID 1506 
(07/04)  The nation’s first workmen’s compensation law goes into effect in New Jersey. 
Digital History ID 1377 
(03/12)  Juliette G. Low founds the Girl Scouts of America (originally known as the “Girl Guides”). 
Digital History ID 689 
(03/27)  Helen Taft, the wife of President William Howard Taft, and the Viscountess Chinda, the wife of the Japanese ambassador plant two Yoshino cherry trees, the first of 3,000 cherry trees that line Washington, D.C.’s Tidal Basin. 
Digital History ID 830 
(04/14)  On its maiden voyage, the British ocean liner Titanic hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic. The ship sinks three hours later, and 1500 of 2200 passengers drown in the icy waters. 
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Digital History ID 359 
(08/07)  Theodore Roosevelt, unable to win the Republican nomination for president, accepts the nomination of the Progressive (“Bull Moose”) Party. 
Digital History ID 984 
(10/14)  Theodore Roosevelt is shot in the chest in Milwaukee; the bullet fractures a rib and lodges near his right lung. Despite the wound, he proceeds to give a campaign speech. 
Digital History ID 950 
  Henry Ford introduces the automated assembly line, a system that allows him to manufacture goods at a lower cost and greatly reduce the time it takes to assemble the Model T. 
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Digital History ID 166 
  The Congressional Union for Women Suffrage (CUWS) is formed to work toward the passage of a federal amendment to give women the right to vote. CUWS attempted to introduce the militant methods used by the Women's Social and Political Union in Britain, and controversial tactics included organizing huge demonstrations and the daily picketing of the White House. Over the next few years the police arrested nearly 500 women for loitering and 168 were jailed for "obstructing traffic". In 1916 CUWS becomes the National Woman's Party. 
Digital History ID 2232 - This event is also listed in the Women's Rights timeline.
(02/03)  The 16th Amendment to the Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy a federal income tax, is ratified. 
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Digital History ID 167 
(05/31)  The 17th Amendment, providing for the popular election of US senators, takes effect. 
Digital History ID 1510 
(12/21)  The first crossword puzzle, invented by Arthur Wynne, appears in a U.S. newspaper, the New York World
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Digital History ID 165 
(12/23)  President Woodrow Wilson signs a law creating the Federal Reserve System, a central banking system that regulates credit and the total supply of dollars in circulation. 
Digital History ID 1200 
  Margaret Sanger is arrested in New York for violating postal obscenity laws by advocating the use of contraception through articles in her monthly magazine,The Woman Rebel. Unwilling to risk a lengthy imprisonment for breaking federal laws, Sanger jumps bail in October and flees to England. En route, she ordered friends to release 100,000 copies of Family Limitation, a 16-page pamphlet which provided explicit instructions on the use of a variety of contraceptive methods. Sanger remains exiled in Europe until late 1915 when her husband, William Sanger, is arrested and jailed for distributing one copy of Family Limitation. Margaret Sanger returns to face the charges against her. When Sanger's 5-year-old daughter dies suddenly from pneumonia, public sentiments result in dismissal of the charges against her. 
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Digital History ID 161 
  Edgar Rice Burroughs publishes Tarzan of the Apes
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Digital History ID 163 


(01/05)  To cut down on worker turnover which had required him to hire 963 workers to keep 100 on his payroll, Henry Ford begins to pay his workers $5 a day for an 8-hour work day. 
Digital History ID 1564 
(06/28)  The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sofia, by a Serbian nationalist, provides the spark that touches off World War I. 
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Digital History ID 164  - This event is also in the World War I timeline.
(08/05)  Cleveland, Ohio, installs the first electric traffic lights. 
Digital History ID 978 
  Albert Einstein postulates his General Theory of Relativity 
Digital History ID 162 
  Suffragists from the western states drive across the country to support voting rights for women in the east. Twelve western states had already granted women the right to vote in state elections. Their leader was Oregonian Sara Bard Field, a member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). A petition with 500,000 signatures in support of an amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote is given to President Woodrow Wilson. 
Digital History ID 2253 - This event is also listed in the Women's Rights timeline.
(02/08)  D.W. Griffith's silent movie epic about Reconstruction, The Birth of a Nation, premieres in Los Angeles. 
Digital History ID 1300 
(05/07)  Nearly 1,200 people, including 128 Americans, die when a German submarine sinks the British ocean liner Lusitania off the Irish coast. 
Digital History ID 572 
(05/08)  William Jennings Bryan resigns as Secretary of State because he fears that President Woodrow Wilson’s policies are leading the United States into World War I. 
Digital History ID 1337 - This event is also listed in the World War I timeline.
(07/02)  A bomb explodes in a Senate reception room; the device had been planted by Eric Muenter, a German instructor at Cornell University. 
Digital History ID 905 
(07/03)  Eric Muenter, who had bombed a Senate reception room the previous day, wounds financier J.P. Morgan at Glen Cove, Long Island. 
Digital History ID 1371 
(10/23)  25,000 women march in New York City, demanding the right to vote. 
Digital History ID 1098 - This event is also listed in the Women's Rights timeline.
(12/04)  Henry Ford sails from New York aboard the “peace ship” to convince Europeans to “get the boys out of the trenches and back to their homes by Christmas.” A disillusioned Ford abandons the effort on December 22. 
Digital History ID 1149 
(03/09)  Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa attack Columbus, New Mexico, killing more than a dozen people. 
Digital History ID 683 
(03/15)  General John Pershing leads 4,000 Americans troops across the Mexican border to pursue Pancho Villa. 
Digital History ID 698 
(07/22)  A bomb explodes during a Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco, killing nine people and injures 40. 
Digital History ID 911 
(08/04)  The United States purchases the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million. 
Digital History ID 975 
(10/16)  Margaret Sanger opens the first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York. Hundreds of women attend the clinic, but it is shut down ten days later. Sanger, her sister and an interpreter are arrested and jailed. The three women go on trial in January and are convicted with varying punishments. Sanger appeals, but the NY Court of Appeals upholds the conviction in 1918. Sanger eventually opens another clinic in New York City in 1923. 
Digital History ID 956 
(11/07)  Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana is the first woman to serve in either branch of Congress. She is elected at a time when women in most states are still not allowed to vote. 
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Digital History ID 159  - This event is also in the Women's Rights timeline.


To Digital History for the construction of this timeline.




Puerto Ricans are granted U.S. citizenship. 
Digital History ID 609 


The Supreme Court upholds a law establishing an 8-hour workday for railroad workers. 
Digital History ID 708 


The United States takes possession of the Virgin Islands from Denmark. 
Digital History ID 846 


Declaring that “the world must be made safe for democracy,” President Woodrow Wilson asks a joint session of Congress to declare war against Germany. 
Digital History ID 852 - This event is also listed in the World War I timeline.


United States formally declares war against Germany and enters the conflict in Europe. 
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Digital History ID 160  - This event is also in the World War I timeline.


President Woodrow Wilson signs the Espionage Act, which allowed up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for disloyalty or obstructing recruitment. The Sedition Act, enacted in 1918, provided for punishment for published writings opposing the war. 
Digital History ID 1358 


Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman are sentenced to two years in prison and fined $10,000 for interfering with the military draft. 
Digital History ID 1388 


Russia was proclaimed a republic by Alexander Kerensky, the head of a provisional government. 
Digital History ID 1034 


Russia's Bolshevik Revolution takes place as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and his supporters topple the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky. 
Digital History ID 634 



Knute Rockne is named head football coach at the University of Notre Dame. 
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Digital History ID 155 


Influenza epidemic claims more than 20 million lives worldwide. 
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Digital History ID 156 


President Woodrow Wilson presents his 14 Points, outlining U.S. aims in World War I. He calls for an end to secret treaties, freedom of the seas, free trade, arms reductions, universal self determination, and the creation of a League of Nations after the war. 
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Digital History ID 158  - This event is also in the World War I timeline.


To ensure adequate food for American troops in World War I, the federal government asks the public to observe wheatless Mondays and Wednesdays and meatless Tuesdays. 
Digital History ID 1263 - This event is also listed in the World War I timeline.


President Woodrow Wilson issues an executive order exempting conscientious objectors from military service. 
Digital History ID 1515 - This event is also listed in the World War I timeline.


Eugene V. Debs is convicted of violating the Espionage Act and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. 
Digital History ID 1025 - This event is also listed in the World War I timeline.


Alvin C. (“Sargeant”) York almost single-handedly kills 25 German soldiers and captures 132 in the Argonne Forest in France. 
Digital History ID 941 - This event is also listed in the World War I timeline.


World War I ends as Germany and the Allies sign an armistice that halts the fighting at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of November. The armistice between the Allies and Germany is signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest. 
Digital History ID 157 - This event is also listed in the World War I timeline.



The federal woman suffrage amendment is passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is sent to the states for ratification. The National Woman's Party begins a campaign to obtain ratification of 19th Amendment by 36 state legislatures - the required three-fourths majority at the time. 
Digital History ID 2233 - This event is also listed in the Women's Rights timeline.


A first city-wide strike in American history takes place in Seattle and lasts six days. 
Digital History ID 1292 


Oregon becomes the first state to tax gasoline sales. The tax is one cent a gallon. 
Digital History ID 589 

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