- ♦ 1933 23 January: The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution advancing the start of congressional sessions and moving the presidential inauguration from March to January, thus ending the so-called “lame duck” sessions, passed by Congress on 2 March 1932, is ratified. 30 January: Nazi leader Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany. 20 February: The Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution is passed in Congress repealing the Eighteenth Amendment that introduced prohibition in 1920. 4 March: Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as president. In his inaugural address Roosevelt tells the American people that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” and calls for sweeping powers to tackle the problems of the Great Depression. 5 March: President Roosevelt calls Congress to convene in an emergency session to address the immediate problems of the Great Depression following the Wall Street Crash of 1929. 6 March: President Roosevelt declares a national bank holiday to halt the bank crisis. 9 March: Congress meets in emergency session and passes the Emergency Bank Act formalizing the bank holiday and giving the president power to control the movement of gold and issue new Federal Reserve notes. 20 March: Congress passes the Economy Act cutting the wages of federal government employees and government spending to finance other New Deal measures. 22 March: The Beer Act, repealing the Volstead Act (1919) and allowing the manufacture and sale of alcohol and allowing revenue to be raised by taxation on alcohol, is passed. 27 March: Executive Order 6084 is issued establishing the Farm Credit Administration to provide loans to farmers. 5 April: The Civilian Conservation Corps is established by executive order to provide employment for young unemployed people in land conservation programs. 12 May: The Agricultural Adjustment Act is passed to tackle the crisis in farming by encouraging farmers to reduce crop and livestock production to raise prices. The Emergency Farm Mortgage Act is passed the same day. The Federal Emergency Relief Act is also passed to provide $500 million in relief payments for the unemployed and establish the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. An international economic conference was convened in London to address the international crisis. 17 May: The Tennessee Valley Authority is established to provide hydroelectric power and water irrigation along the Tennessee River. 27 May: The Securities Act requiring full disclosure of information relating to securities is passed. 13 June: The Home Owners’ Loan Act is passed enabling the government to underwrite defaulted mortgages and thus avoid foreclosures. 16 June: The Banking Act (Glass-Steagall Act) establishing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and a federal guarantee of bank deposits is passed. The Farm Credit Act making provision of loans for farmers on a short-term basis is passed. The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) is passed setting up the Public Works Administration (PWA) to provide work relief programs and the National Recovery Administration (NRA) to establish codes of fair competition, wages, and prices to encourage industrial recovery. 5 August: The National Labor Board is established to resolve issues arising from section 7(a) of the NIRA recognizing the rights of organized labor. 9 November: The Civil Works Administration is established by executive order to provide a speedy program of work relief over the winter months. 5 December: The Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution is ratified.♦ 1934 1 January: Dr. Francis E. Townsend announces his Old Age Revolving Pension Plan. 30 January: The Gold Reserve Act setting the value of the dollar in relation to gold introduced as a way of controlling prices is passed. 24 March: Congress passes the Tydings-McDuffie Act granting the Philippines independence but only after a 10-year period for constitutional development. 21 April: The Bankhead Cotton Control Act, a measure to control cotton production, is passed. 6 June: President Roosevelt signs the Securities Exchange Act establishing the Securities and Exchange Commission to ensure that new regulations of the securities markets are enforced. 18 June: Congress passes the Indian Reorganization Act initiating the “Indian New Deal.” 21 June: Railway Labor Act according railworkers the same rights granted other workers under the NIRA is passed. 28 June: President Roosevelt signs the National Housing Act establishing the Federal Housing Administration to insure loans made to homeowners to buy or improve their homes. 6 August: U.S. Marines leave Haiti.♦ 1935 4 January: In his State of the Union address to Congress, President Roosevelt outlines his plans to provide for the better use of the land’s natural resources, for a system of social security, and for the provision of decent homes. 19-20 March: A race riot in which three people are killed breaks out in the African American community in Harlem, New York, following an incident involving a black youth and a white policeman. 8 April: The Emergency Relief Appropriation Act providing $4.8 billion for work relief programs is passed. 30 April: The Resettlement Administration is established by executive order to help resettle displaced farmers. 6 May: The Works Progress Administration is created by executive order to provide work relief programs. 11 May: The Rural Electrification Administration is set up by executive order to encourage provision of electric power to rural areas. 27 May: In Schechter Poultry Corporation v United States the Supreme Court rules the NRA unconstitutional. 26 June: The National Youth Administration (NYA) is established by executive order. 14 August: The Social Security Act providing the first federal unemployment and old age insurance for many Americans is passed. 23 August: The Banking Act strengthening the role of the governors of the Federal Reserve System and requiring all large state banks to come under their jurisdiction is passed. 30 August: The Revenue Act, sometimes known as the Wealth Tax Act because it increased taxes on the wealthy and on businesses, is passed. 31 August: The first of several Neutrality Acts is passed imposing an embargo on the export of implements to belligerent powers and forbidding U.S. vessels from carrying munitions to nations at war. 10 September: Louisiana Senator Huey Long dies after being shot two days earlier on the steps of the state capitol. 21 December: The NRA is terminated by executive order.♦ 1936 6 January: In United States v. Butler et al the Supreme Court declares the Agricultural Adjustment Administration unconstitutional.♦ 29 February: A second Neutrality Act is passed extending existing provisions to include loans. The Soil Conservation Act is passed to provide support for farmers who switched to soil conserving crops. 8 March: The Federal Dance Project is established. 25 March: The Second London Naval Treaty between the United States and Great Britain is signed providing for the exchange of information about naval building programs. 20 April: The Rural Electrification Act is passed. 19 June: African American heavyweight boxer Joe Louis is knocked out by the German Max Schmeling in round 12 of their fight. 22 June: A Flood Control Act authorizes studies of flood prevention methods on the Mississippi River. 29 June: The Merchant Marine Act is passed to provide financial support and encourage the building and development of the U.S. Merchant Marine. 18 July: The Spanish Civil War begins. 1 August-16 August: The XIth Olympic Games take place in Berlin, Germany. African American track athlete Jesse Owens wins four gold medals. African American athletes win a total of seven gold, three silver, and two bronze medals, an achievement seen by many as undermining Nazi racial ideologies. 3 November: Roosevelt is reelected president in a landslide victory, defeating Republican candidate Alf Landon with 60.8 percent of the vote to Landon’s 36.5 percent. 25 November: Members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade sail from New York to fight for the republican cause in the Spanish Civil War. 30 December: Workers in several General Motors (GM) plants in Flint, Michigan, led by Walter Reuther and other officials of the United Auto Workers, stage sit-down strikes to secure union recognition.♦ 1937 20 January: Roosevelt is inaugurated for his second term as president. In his inaugural address he says that the nation should continue the reforms in place as he still saw millions suffering and “one third of a nation ill-housed, ill-fed, and ill-nourished.” February: GM agrees to union recognition. 7 February: President Roosevelt sends the Court Reorganization Bill to Congress in an attempt to change the composition of the Supreme Court, which ruled several New Deal measures unconstitutional. The president’s proposals are not accepted, but the court begins to uphold New Deal measures. 29 March: In West Coast v. Parrish the Supreme Court upholds a Washington state minimum wage law, suggesting a change in direction with regard to welfare legislation. 12 April: In National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. the Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the National Labor Relations Act. 6 May: Thirty-six people die when the airship Hindenburg explodes while trying to dock at the Lakehurst Naval Base in New Jersey. 30 May: Ten people are shot and killed by police in the Memorial Day Massacre when striking workers attempt to establish picket lines outside Republic Steel in South Chicago. 22 June: Black boxer Joe Louis knocks out James Braddock in the eighth round to become world heavyweight champion. Louis holds the title for 12 years. 29 June: The Emergency Relief Appropriation Act reducing spending on relief is passed. The cutback contributed to the recession that year. 7 July: Following a clash at the Marco Polo Bridge near Peiping, China, Japanese forces invade China threatening the “Open Door” agreed with the United States and central to U.S. foreign policy in Asia. 22 July: The Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenancy Act providing low-interest loans to tenant farmers, sharecroppers, and farm laborers is passed. The Emergency Relief Appropriations Act passes the same day introducing cuts in relief spending and contributing to the downturn in the economy. 17 August: The Miller-Tydings Act allowing price maintenance agreements between manufacturers and retailers is passed. 26 August: The Revenue Act taxing corporations that hold onto profits rather than paying them in dividends is passed. 1 September: The Farm Security Administration is established to oversee provision to farmers under the Resettlement Administration and Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenancy Act. It also includes the Photographic Division, under the direction of Roy Stryker, responsible for recording many images of rural life in the Depression.♦ 1938 3 February: The Housing Act establishes the Federal Public Housing Authority to encourage slum clearance. 16 February: The second Agricultural Adjustment Act is passed to provide payment to enable farmers to store surplus crops in good years. Payment is to be made out of general taxation rather than a processing tax, the issue on which the previous Agricultural Adjustment Act had been declared unconstitutional. 22 June: In a highly symbolic contest, Joe Louis wins a smashing victory in his second fight with the German boxer Max Schmeling, knocking out his opponent in under three minutes. 23 June: The Civil Aeronautics Act providing for the regulation of all air services is passed. 25 June: The Fair Labor Standards Act is passed establishing minimum wage and maximum hour levels for many workers. The act also effectively prohibits the employment of children under the age of 16 in industrial and manufacturing businesses. 30 October: The radio broadcast of War of the Worlds by Orson Welles creates panic among listeners who think it was a real, live event. 8 November: The Republican Party gains six Senate seats and 71 seats in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections following the president’s attempt at “court packing” and the onset of the “Roosevelt recession.” 12 December: In Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada the Supreme Court rules that a state has to provide in-state education facilities for African Americans, even though separate, and cannot rely on out-ofstate provision. 31 December: The U.S. ambassador to Japan protests against the Japanese breach of the “Open Door” policy.♦ 1939 28 March: The fall of Madrid to Franco’s forces signals the end of the Spanish Civil War. 9 April: African American singer Marian Anderson performs on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a crowd of 75,000 after being denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution. 16 May: The Food Stamp Program is introduced to enable poor families to purchase foodstuffs at lower prices. 1 July: A number of agencies are established under the reorganization of the executive branch of the federal government. The Federal Loan Agency is established to coordinate and supervise all federal lending agencies. The Federal Security Agency is established to bring together the work of the Social Security Board, Public Health Service, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and NYA, among others. The Federal Works Agency brings together the activities of agencies dealing with the upkeep, maintenance, and construction of public buildings and of federal housing programs. A National Resources Planning Board is established to consider plans for the development and exploitation of national resources. This increasingly focused on resources necessary for wartime. 21 August: The Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact is signed. 1 September: German armies invade Poland, starting World War II. 4 November: The Neutrality Act of 1939 amends existing laws to allow the sale of materials to belligerent powers on a “cash and carry” basis.♦ 1940 2 September: The “Destroyers-for-Bases” Agreement, in which the United States exchanged several out-of-date battleships with Great Britain in return for the use of naval bases in the Caribbean, is finalized. 4 September: The America First Committee, an organization supporting isolationism, is established. 16 September: The Selective Service Act is introduced, the first time conscription was adopted in the United States during peacetime. 16 October: A total embargo is imposed on the export of iron and steel scrap to Japan. 5 November: Roosevelt wins an unprecedented third term by defeating Republican Wendell Willkie with 54.8 percent of the popular vote to Willkie’s 44.8 percent and by 449 electoral college votes (38 states) to 82 (10 states). 29 December: In a “fireside” chat broadcast on radio President Roosevelt says the United States should be “the arsenal of democracy.”♦ 1941 6 January: President Roosevelt outlines the “four freedoms” on which the future world should be based in his State of the Union Address to Congress. 7 January: The Office of Production Management (OPM) is established to supervise the production and allocation of raw materials for national defense production. 20 January: Roosevelt is inaugurated as president. 1 March: The Senate establishes a special Senate Committee to Investigate the Defense Program chaired by Senator Harry S. Truman. 11 March: The Lend-Lease Act enabling the United States to “lend or lease” necessary goods and materials to the warring democracies is passed. 21 May: A German U-boat sinks the U.S. freighter Robin Moor. 22 June: Hitler launches an attack on the Soviet Union, and as a result the USSR begins to receive Lend-Lease aid from the United States. 25 June: President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 8802 establishing a Fair Employment Practices Committee to ensure an end to discrimination in employment in defense industries and so averts the March on Washington called by A. Philip Randolph scheduled for 1 July. 26 July: The United States freezes Japanese assets and suspends diplomatic relations with Japan. 14 August: Roosevelt and Churchill issue the Atlantic Charter outlining their vision for the postwar world. 31 October: USS Reuben Jones is sunk by a German U-boat. November: Respective proposals regarding the conflict in Asia are exchanged between Japan and the United States. 27 November: U.S. Pacific commands are warned of the likelihood of war. 7 December: Japanese aircraft attack the U.S. fleet in Pearl Harbor. Japanese troops also invade Malaya. 8 December: The United States and Great Britain declare war on Japan. 11 December: Germany and Italy declare war on the United States in support of Japan. 18 December: The first War Powers Act is passed enabling the government to pass powers to war agencies.♦ 1942 1 January: The United Nations Declaration is signed by 26 governments during the Arcadia conference in Washington. 16 January: The War Production Board (WPB), under Donald Nelson and empowered to oversee the production and distribution of raw materials and manufactured goods and award contracts, replaces the OPM. 26 January: The first U.S. troops begin to arrive in Britain. 19 February: President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 9066 authorizing the establishment of exclusion areas on the West coast and the relocation of people deemed a threat to security. 27 February: Combined U.S., British, and Dutch forces are defeated in the battle of the Java Sea. 18 March: The War Relocation Authority is established to oversee relocation of Japanese Americans. 27 March: The second War Powers Act is passed extending the power of the WPB. 9 April: U.S. forces on Bataan are forced to surrender. 18 April: The Doolittle raid is launched by U.S. aircraft against targets in Japan. 3 May: General John DeWitt orders all people of Japanese ancestry to gather at assembly centers prior to their relocation to camps in various remote parts of the country. More than 112,000 Japanese Americans are placed in relocation camps. 4-8 May: The battle of the Coral Sea halts the Japanese fleet and thus prevents a possible invasion of Australia. 3-6 June: In the battle of Midway, the U.S. Pacific fleet inflicts a defeat on the Japanese navy that enables the United States to take the offensive. 13 June: The Office of War Information is established. 4 July: The first U.S. air force bombing raids in Europe begin. 4 August: The Bracero program, allowing the temporary importation of Mexican workers to the United States, is signed. 7 August: U.S. troops land on Guadalcanal. 3 November: The Republican Party makes gains in the congressional elections, but the Democratic Party maintains control of both House and Senate. 8 November: In Operation Torch, 65,000 U.S. troops land in Casablanca, Algiers, and Oran in North Africa. 16 November: U.S. forces land on New Guinea in the Pacific.♦ 1943 14-24 January: Allied leaders Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt meet in Casablanca, Morocco, to agree on military strategy and plan the invasions of Sicily and Italy. They call for the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers. 8 February: U.S. forces defeat the Japanese on Guadalcanal. 30 May-7 June: For nearly a week, conflict between servicemen and Mexican American youths erupts in racial violence in Los Angeles. The riot is known as the “zoot suit riot” because of the style of clothing worn by the Mexican Americans. 20-24 June: Following a clash between blacks and whites, race rioting erupts in Detroit, where 34 people—25 of them black—are killed before peace is restored. 21 June: The Supreme Court upholds the conviction of a Japanese American for breaking the curfew imposed in defense areas on the west coast in Hirabayashi v. United States. 25 June: The War Labor Disputes (Smith-Connally) Act is passed over the president’s veto. 9 July: In Operation Husky, Allied forces begin the invasion of Sicily. 1-2 August: An incident between a white policeman and black soldier sparks a riot in Harlem, New York, in which five people are killed and millions of dollars worth of damage is done in attacks on largely whiteowned property. During the summer, riots and racial conflicts occur in more than 240 towns and cities, including Mobile, Alabama, and Beaumont, Texas. 3 September: Allied troops land in Italy. 8 September: Italy surrenders, although control of the northern areas remains in German hands. 23-26 November: Churchill and Roosevelt meet with Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek to agree on postwar policies in Asia and call for the unconditional surrender of Japan. 28 November-1 December: The three Allied leaders, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, meet in Tehran for the first time to agree on the final military strategy of the war, including the dates for the invasion of Europe by Britain and the United States.♦ 1944 11 January: President Roosevelt outlines his proposals for an Economic Bill of Rights in his State of the Union address to Congress. 22 January: Allied troops land at Anzio, a town south of Rome, in an attempt to break the military deadlock in Italy. The German forces are not defeated until late May. 22-23 February: President Roosevelt vetoes the Revenue Bill after Congress refuses to include all his requests to raise taxes; however, Congress passes the bill over the president’s veto. 3 April: The Supreme Court rules that the all-white Democratic Party primary in Texas is unconstitutional in Smith v. Allwright. 4 June: Allied troops enter Rome. 6 June: One hundred thirty thousand Allied troops land on five beaches in Normandy during the D-Day invasion of Europe. 19-20 June: The Japanese navy suffers a further defeat in the battle of the Philippine Sea. 22 June: The Selective Serviceman’s Readjustment Act, or G.I. Bill of Rights, is passed to ease the transition of ex-servicemen from military to civilian life. 1-22 July: More than 700 delegates from all 45 Allied nations meet at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, and agree to establish a World Bank and International Monetary Fund. 19-21 July: The Democratic Party National Convention is held in Chicago where President Roosevelt is overwhelmingly nominated as their presidential candidate. Senator Harry S. Truman is chosen as the vice presidential candidate. 21 July: U.S. forces land on Guam. 26-29 July: The Republican Party National Convention is held in Chicago where Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York is nominated as their presidential candidate over Wendell Willkie. 21 August- 7 October: Representatives of the Allied Powers (Great Britain, China, the Soviet Union, and the United States) meet at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., to discuss the structure of the United Nations (UN). 11 September: The first U.S. troops cross German borders. 7 November: Roosevelt is reelected president, defeating the Republican Dewey by 53.5 percent of the popular vote to 46 percent and 432 electoral college votes to 99. 22 October: Under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, U.S. forces return to the Philippines. 23-26 October: The Japanese navy is defeated in Leyte Gulf during their attempt to halt U.S. landings in the Philippines. 24 November: The first U.S. air raids on Tokyo are launched from the Marianas Islands. 16 December: The “Battle of the Bulge” begins after German armies launched a counteroffensive in the Ardennes. 18 December: In Korematsu v. United States the Supreme Court rules that the need for security in wartime overrides the rights of individuals, and it upholds the government’s decision to intern Japanese Americans in relocation centers.♦ 1945 20 January: Roosevelt is inaugurated as president for an unprecedented fourth term. In his brief message, the president urges Americans to work for a “just and honorable peace, a durable peace.” 4-11 February: Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin meet at Yalta in the Crimea and reach a broad agreement on the future of postwar Germany. 16 February: U.S. troops land on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines. 19 February: The U.S. landings on the island of Iwo Jima begin. 4 March: Manila, capital of the Philippines, is liberated. 16 March: The defeat of Japanese forces on Iwo Jima is completed. 1 April: U.S. landings on Okinawa begin. 12 April: Vice President Harry S. Truman is sworn in as president following President Roosevelt’s sudden death in Warm Springs, Georgia. 15 April: Following a memorial service in the White House the previous day, Roosevelt is buried at his home in Hyde Park, New York. 25 April-26 June: The conference in San Francisco to establish the UN takes place. 30 April: Adolf Hitler commits suicide. 7 May: The German surrender is signed by Admiral Dönitz. 8 May: VE (Victory Europe Day) is declared. 21 June: Fighting in Okinawa comes to an end. 26 June: The UN Charter is signed. 16 July: The first test explosion of the atomic bomb takes place in Alamogordo, New Mexico. 17 July-2 August: The leaders of the Grand Alliance meet in Potsdam, Germany, following Germany’s surrender to consider the postwar division of their former enemy. President Truman informs Stalin of the acquisition of a new powerful weapon—the atomic bomb. Stalin agrees to enter the war against Japan. 6 August: The first atomic bomb is dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. 8 August: The USSR enters the war against Japan. 9 August: A second atomic bomb is dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. 14 August: Japanese armies surrender. 15 August: VJ (Victory Japan) Day is declared. 28 August: The first U.S. troops land on mainland Japan. 2 September: Representatives of the Japanese government sign the formal terms of surrender onboard the USS Missouri. 6 September: In his first address to Congress, President Truman outlines a wide-ranging program of reform measures indicating a wish to continue the New Deal. 20 November: War crimes trials of leading Nazi officials begin in Nuremburg, Germany. 14 December: General George C. Marshall is sent to attempt to mediate in the civil war in China.♦ 1946 24 January: The first meeting of the UN General Assembly takes place in London, England. 9 February: Stalin announces the need for a new Five-Year Plan in the USSR in light of the incompatibility of the communist and capitalist systems and the likelihood of conflict with the West. 22 February: George F. Kennan sends his “Long Telegram” to the State Department outlining the inevitability of conflict with the USSR and the need for a policy of “containment.” 5 March: Winston Churchill speaks of an “Iron Curtain” falling across eastern Europe in his address at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. 1 April: Miners begin a strike that is followed shortly after by workers in several other industries as strikes reach a new level. 17 May: Faced by a national rail strike, President Truman threatens to take over the rail system, but the dispute is settled and confrontation is avoided. 20 May: The threat earlier of a miners’ strike brings further strong action from President Truman, who secures a court order against the miners. 3 June: In Morgan v. Virginia the Supreme Court rules that segregation in interstate transport is unconstitutional. 4 July: The Philippines gain independence from the United States. 6 November: The Republican Party wins control of both the House of Representatives and Senate in the congressional elections. 9 November: President Truman lifts all but a few controls on prices.♦ 1947 1 January: The British and U.S. zones in Germany are united to form the economic unit Bizonia. 12 March: In an address to Congress President Truman announces the Truman Doctrine of support to democratic governments threatened by subversion and specifically calls for aid for Greece and Turkey. 21 March: The Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution limiting the number of times a person could be elected as president to two and preventing any person who has been president for more than two years of a term from being elected more than once is passed. 22 March: President Truman issues Executive Order 9835 establishing federal loyalty boards to investigate federal employees accused of disloyalty. 15 April: Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American in 60 years to play for a Major League Baseball team when he makes his first appearance for the Brooklyn Dodgers. 5 June: Secretary of State George C. Marshall calls for a program of aid for Europe in his speech at Harvard University. This leads to the Marshall Plan and the establishment of the European Recovery Program. 20 June: President Truman vetoes the Taft-Hartley Act intended to regulate trade unions. 23 June: The Taft-Hartley Act is passed over President Truman’s veto. 1 July: Kennan’s article outlining the need for “containment” is published in the journal Foreign Affairs under the pseudonym “X.” 18 July: President Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act, placing the speaker of the house and Senate president pro tempore next in line of succession after the vice president. 26 July: President Truman signs the National Security Act establishing the Department of Defense, National Security Council (NSC), and Central Intelligence Agency. 2 September: The United States signs a pact of mutual assistance with Latin American nations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 21 September: The House Un-American Affairs Committee (HUAC) issues subpoenas to 43 workers in the film industry. October: In the course of the hearings on communist influences in Hollywood before HUAC, 10 of those called refuse to answer questions and are charged with contempt. The “Hollywood Ten” are subsequently sentenced to terms in jail and blacklisted by the industry. 25 November: Several heads of film studios meet at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and agree to implement a blacklist of suspected communists.♦ 1948 12 January: In Sipuel v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma the Supreme Court rules that the Oklahoma University Law School can not deny entry to students simply on the grounds of race nor can they provide separate facilities that are inadequate. 2 February: President Truman sends a package of civil rights measures to Congress. 2 April: Congress approves the Marshall Plan. 30 April: Twenty-one nations sign the charter of the Organization of American States in Bogota, Colombia. 3 May: In Shelley v. Kraemer the Supreme Court declares that restrictive housing covenants on grounds of race cannot be enforced. 3 May: The Supreme Court rules in favor of the government in United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. et al in declaring that the Hollywood studios’ control of movie theaters constitutes a monopoly. Thereafter the theaters showed films from whichever studio they wished. 14 May: President Truman recognizes the state of Israel. 11 June: The Senate approves the Vandenberg Resolution authorizing alliances with other countries to oppose communism. 18 June: Britain, France, and the United States announce the introduction of a single common currency in the western zones of Germany and Berlin. 19 June: Selective service is reintroduced for men between the ages of 19 and 25. 21-25 June: The Republican Party National Convention meets in Philadelphia and nominates Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York as their presidential candidate over Senator Robert A. Taft and Governor Harold E. Stassen. 24 June: The Soviet Union imposes a land blockade on the western Allied sectors of Berlin provoking an airlift to keep the city supplied. 12-14 July: The Democratic Party National Convention gathers in Philadelphia and nominates Harry S. Truman as their presidential candidate with Alben W. Barkley as the vice presidential candidate. The adoption of a strong civil rights platform leads to the walk out of southern delegates who formed a States’ Rights Party. 17 July: The States’ Rights Party holds its convention in Birmingham, Alabama, and nominates South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond as their presidential candidate. 23-25 July: The Progressive Party holds its national convention in Philadelphia and selects former vice president Henry A. Wallace as their presidential candidate. 26 July: President Truman issues Executive Order 9981 initiating the start of the desegregation of the U.S. armed forces. 3 August: Whittaker Chambers testifies before HUAC that he spied for the Soviet Union in the 1930s. He also names Alger Hiss, a former senior government worker, as a spy. 2 November: In a remarkable upset, Truman wins the presidential election, beating Dewey with 49.5 percent of the vote to Dewey’s 45.1 percent and carrying 28 states with 303 electoral college votes to Dewey’s 16 states with 189 electoral college votes. The States’ Rights candidate, Strom Thurmond, receives 2.4 percent of the vote and 39 electoral college votes from four southern states, while the Progressive Party candidate, Henry Wallace, has the same percentage of the popular vote but no electoral college votes. 15 December: HUAC indicts Hiss for perjury.♦ 1949 5 January: President Truman outlines his “Fair Deal” program in his State of the Union Address to Congress. 20 January: In his inaugural address Truman outlines his “Point Four” program for peace and freedom. 4 April: The North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C., establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, including the United States, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal. 8 May: The Federal Republic of Germany is established in western Germany with its capital in Bonn. 12 May: The Soviet blockade of Berlin ends. 10 August: A unified Department of Defense is established. 29 August: The Soviet Union successfully tests its first atomic bomb. 1 October: The People’s Republic of China is officially established under the leadership of communist Mao Zedong. 7 October: The communist German Democratic Republic is formally established in East Germany with its capital in East Berlin. 14 October: Eleven leaders of the Communist Party of the United States are convicted under the Smith Act (1940) for advocating the overthrow of the government.♦ 1950 21 January: After a second trial, a grand jury finds Alger Hiss guilty of perjury for concealing his membership to the Communist Party. He is sentenced to five years in jail. 9 February: In a speech to a meeting of Republican women in Wheeling, West Virginia, Senator Joseph McCarthy claims to have a list of 205 names of people in the State Department who are known to be members of the Communist Party. This initiates a wave of accusations and investigations known as “McCarthyism” and often described as a “witch hunt.” 14 February: The Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China sign a mutual defense treaty. 14 April: NSC briefing paper NSC-68 outlining the need for increased military spending to maintain the policy of containment is issued. 5 June: In McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents the Supreme Court rules that black students admitted to the previously all-white Law School cannot be segregated. In Sweatt v. Painter on the same day, the court also rules that the creation of separate facilities in a new segregated law school are unequal to those in the Texas Law school and the black plaintiff, Herman Sweatt, should be admitted to the white institution. 25 June: The Korean War begins when troops from North Korea cross the 38th parallel into South Korea. By 28 June the northern forces take the southern capital of Seoul. 27 June: The UN votes to send forces to defend South Korea under U.S. leadership. 20 July: The Senate committee headed by Millard Tydings dismisses Senator McCarthy’s charges of communist infiltration of the State Department but with little effect. 15 September: UN forces land at Inchon behind the North Korean lines and push back northern forces, liberating Seoul. 23 September: The McCarran Internal Security Act to control subversive activities is passed over the president’s veto. Among its provisions is the requirement that communist organizations register with the Justice Department. 7 October: UN forces cross the 38th parallel into North Korea. 25 October: In response to UN forces approaching the Yalu River, the Chinese Army invades Korea, forcing UN armies back toward South Korea. By March 1951 the war reached a stalemate along the 38th parallel. 1 November: Two Puerto Rican nationalists fire on the White House. One of the attackers and a police officer are killed.♦ 1951 8 February: President Truman orders the seizure of the nation’s railways to prevent a strike. 27 February: The Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution limiting the number of presidential terms to two is ratified. It did not apply to President Truman. 6 March: The trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg begins. 29 March: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are found guilty for spying. 5 April: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are sentenced to death. 11 April: President Truman fires General Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. commander of UN forces in Korea, after he publicly threatened an invasion of China. MacArthur is replaced by General Matthew Ridgway. 19 April: MacArthur criticizes the administration’s policies in Korea when he addresses a joint session of Congress before retiring. 1 September: The Australia-New Zealand- United States Alliance (ANZUS) mutual defense treaty between the United States, Australia, and New Zealand is signed. 16 October: The long-running television series I Love Lucy begins on CBS.♦ 1952 29 March: President Truman announces that he will not seek reelection. 8 April: Faced with the threat of a national steel strike, President Truman nationalizes all steel mills. 28 April: U.S. occupation of Japan formally ends with the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco. 2 June: In Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v Sawyer the Supreme Court rules to restrict the president’s power to seize private property without congressional approval. The case was brought in response to the takeover of the steel mills in April. 27 June: The McCarran-Walter (Immigration and Nationality) Act lifting racial immigration restrictions but allowing exclusion and deportation for subversive activities is passed over the president’s veto. 7-11 July: The Republican Party Convention gathers in Chicago and nominates Dwight D. Eisenhower as their presidential candidate over Senator Robert A. Taft. Richard M. Nixon is chosen as the vice presidential candidate. 21-26 July: The Democratic Party Convention meets in Chicago and nominates Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois as the presidential candidate over Estes Kefauver and Richard Russell. John J. Sparkman becomes the vice presidential candidate. 25 July: Puerto Rico becomes a self-governing commonwealth of the United States. 1 November: The United States successfully detonates its first hydrogen bomb. 4 November: Eisenhower defeats Adlai Stevenson in the presidential election by a margin of 55 percent to 44 percent of the popular vote, carrying 39 states with 442 electoral college votes. Stevenson wins in only nine states with 89 electoral college votes.♦ 1953 20 January: Dwight D. Eisenhower is inaugurated as the 34th president of the United States. President Truman retires to his home in Independence, Missouri. 5 March: Joseph Stalin dies. 19 June: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are executed by the electric chair for spying. 27 July: A cease-fire comes into force in Korea.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.