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Loyola University Chicago

Teaching with Primary Sources

20th Century

1900- The United States Population exceeds seventy-five million.

Census of 1900 Numbers 

1900- The Gold Standard Act was passed. 

Newspaper Article

1901-Theodore Roosevelt becomes President 

Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film

1903- The movie "The Great Train Robbery" opened.

The Great Train Robbery Film 

1903- The Ford Motor Company was formed.

The First factory of the Ford Motor Company, Mack Avenue, Detroit, 1903-1904

1903- The Wright brothers made their first powered flight in the Wright Flyer. 

The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers at the Library of Congress

1906- The Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act were passed.

Newspaper Articles

1906- San Francisco earthquake occurred.

Chronicling America - The Great San Francisco Earthquake, 1906

Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916

San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 (Photograph) 

1908- The Ford Model T appeared on the market.

Model T Advertising

Model T's coming off the assembly line at the Highland Park plant

1909- William Howard Taft became President.

William Howard Taft Inauguration, March 4, 1909 

1909- Robert Peary claimed to have reached the North Pole.

Today in History: May 6

1909- The NAACP was founded by W.E.B. Du Bois.

NAACP Exhibition

1911- The Supreme Court broke up Standard Oil.

Standard Oil Political Cartoon 

1911- The First Indianapolis 500 occurred.

Indianapolis 500 1938 Photograph 

1912- The Titanic sank.

The Building of the Titanic (Newspaper Articles)

The Titanic Disaster

1912- Roosevelt was shot while campaigning for the Bull Moose Party.

Newspaper Article 

1913- Woodrow Wilson became President.

Woodrow Wilson First Inauguration, March 4, 1913

1913- The Federal Reserve Act was passed.

Today in History: December 23

1914- World War I Began

June 29, 1914 (newspaper) 

1914- Mother's Day was established as a national holiday.

Today in History: May 9

1915- The Lusitania was sunk.

Newspaper Article 

1917- The United States entered World War I.

From the Home Front and the Front Lines 

I Want You! Poster 

Young American men found themselves soldiers in France in WWI

U.S. Officially at War (Newspaper)

World War I exhibition 

1919- The Treaty of Versailles ended World War I.

War Officially Ends (Newspaper)

Treaty of Versailles (Newspaper Articles) 

1919- The Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed.

18th Amendment of the Constitution 

Alcohol Prohibition (Newspaper Articles)

1919- Black Sox scandal occurred.

Newspaper Articles 

1920- The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed.

Votes for Women's Suffrage 

Women's Suffrage Timeline 

1920- The first radio broardcasts were made, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Detroit, Michigan.

Women's Suffrage Teacher’s Guide 

1920- The Volstead Act was passed. 

Today in History: Temperance and Prohibition 

1921- Warren Harding became President. 

Warren G. Harding Inauguration, March 4, 1921

1923- Harding died and Calvin Coolidge succeeded him.

Calvin Coolidge Oath of Office, August 3, 1923

1927- Charles Lindbergh made the first trans-Atlantic flight.

Today in History: June 11

1928- Disney's animated feature "Steamboat Willie," featuring Mickey Mouse, opened.

Mickey Mouse inbetweener drawing no. 469 or 479 from Steamboat Willie

1928- Amelia Earhart flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Amelia Earhart: Online Resources

1929- Herbert Hoover became President.

Herbert Hoover Inauguration, March 4, 1929

1929- St. Valentine's Day massacre took place. 

Crowds outside garage while body of victim of St. Valentine's Day Massacre is removed

Al Capone Photograph 

1929- Wall Street crashed and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped a record 68 points. 

Black Monday Stock Market Crash 

1931- The Empire State Building opened in New York City.

Today in History: May 1

Empire State Building, New York City. 

1932- The Bonus Army marched on Washington, D.C.

The Bonus Army March

Today in History: July 28 

1933- Franklin Delano Roosevelt was worn in as President.  

Franklin Delano Roosevelt First Inauguration, March 4, 1933 

1933- Roosevelt introduced the New Deal, focusing the "3 Rs" of relief, recovery and reform.

teacher’s guide primary source set

1934- The Dust Bowl began.

Voices from the Dust Bowl

Primary Source Set 

1934- The FBI was established, with J. Edgar Hoover as its first director.

J Edgar Hoover Cartoon

1937- The Golden Gate Bridge was completed in San Francisco.

75 Years & Counting: The Golden Gate Bridge 

1939- Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany.

Poland Fights Nazi Dragon - Polish War Relief , 1943. Halftone on paper. Printed by Central Print and Litho. Co., Chicago. LC-USZ62-104301(color film copy transparency) 

1941- Attack on Pearl Harbor took place. 

After the Day of Infamy

Pearl Harbor, 70th Anniversary (Experiencing War) 

1942- Japanese American internment and seizure of property began per executive order 9066.

Ansel Adams’s Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar

Japanese American Internment 

1944- Normandy landings took place.

D-Day (New York Times) 

1944- Battle of the Bulge took place.

The Battle of the Bulge (Interactive Essay) 

1945- Battle of Okinawa took place.

Interview with Battle of Okinawa Veteran

1945- Roosevelt died and Harry S. Truman became President of the United States.

Harry S. Truman Oath of Office, April 12, 1945

1945- Germany surrendered.

Germany surrenders Photograph

1945- Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Second atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan 

1945- The Nuremberg Trails began. 

Nuremberg Trials Nuremberg, Germany 1945–1949