Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Timeline of Great Events; 20th Century

c. 1900 The Realistic Period of American Literature, characterized by authors such as Mark Twain, Henry James, and Kate Chopin, comes to an end (1865 -- 1900) United States
1900 Symbolism proliferates in British and American letters (1900 -- 1940) UK/ Ireland
1900 Beginning of the Naturalistic Period of American Literature, in which authors such as Crane, London, and Dreiser depict as it really is in their work, rather than creating an idealistic portrayal (1900 -- 1914) United States
1900 The Boxer Rebellion takes place in China (1900 -- 1901) Asia
1900 Joseph Conrad's novel "Lord Jim" published UK/ Ireland
1900 Anton Chekhov's tragicomedy "Uncle Vanya" first performed Russia / USSR
1900 "Oxford Book of English Verse" first published UK/ Ireland
1900 German physicist Max Planck puts forth his quantum theory of energy Europe
1900 Theodore Dreiser's "Sister Carrie" published United States
1900, January 20 John Ruskin, author of "The King of the Golden River," d. (b. 1819) UK/ Ireland
1900, June 6 Stephen Crane, American Realist author of "The Red Badge of Courage," d. (b. 1871) United States
1900, June 29 Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French aviator and author of "The Little Prince," ("Le Petit Prince") b. (d. 1944) Europe
1900, August 25 Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher, d. (b. 1844) Europe
1900, October 3 Thomas Wolfe, author of "Look Homeward, Angel," b. (d. 1938) United States
1900, November 8 Margaret Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize winning author of "Gone with the Wind," b. (d. 1949) United States
1900, November 30 Oscar Wilde born as Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde, author of "The Importance of Being Earnest" d. (b. 1854) UK/ Ireland
c. 1901 The era of muckraking journalism begins in the United States, with a new breed of investigative reporter devoted to exposing crime, fraud and corruption (1901 -- 1912) United States
1901 Edwardian Era begins; also known as the "Belle Epoque" because of the influence of art, particularly art noveau, on all aspects of everyday life (1901 -- 1914) UK/ Ireland
1901 U.S. President William McKinley assassinated and succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt United States
1901 Booker T. Washington's "Up From Slavery: An Autobiography" published United States
1901 Balangiga Massacre September 28 - Filipino guerrillas launch a surprise attack on soldiers of the 9th U.S. Infantry and massacred nearly all of them. None survived except Matt Sanders. Most infamous battle of the Philippine-American War.
1901 Sully Prudhomme, French poet and essayist, wins first Nobel Prize in literature Europe
1901 First successful transmission of a radio signal Europe
1901, January 22 The Victorian Era of British Literature comes to an end with the death of Queen Victoria (1837 -- 1901) UK/ Ireland
1902 Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" published UK/ Ireland
1902 "The Times Literary Supplement," a weekly literature and scholarship review, begins publication in London United States
1902 The U.S. claims control over the Panama Canal United States
1902 Australian women granted right to vote Australia / New Zealand
1902 Joseph Conrad's "The Heart of Darkness" published UK/ Ireland
1902 Bernard Shaw's play "Mrs. Warren's Profession," first performed; published four years before but never performed because it's subject was prostitution UK/ Ireland
1902, February 1 Langston Hughes, American poet, b. (d. 1967) United States
1902, February 27 John Steinbeck, American novelist, b. (d. 1968) United States
1902, August 19 Ogden Nash, American poet known for his light verse, b. (d. 1971) United States
1902, September 29 Emile Zola, French Naturalist novelist, d. (b. 1840) Europe
1902, October 13 Arna Bontemps, African-American author of "Black Thunder," b. (d. 1973) United States
1902, October 31 Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Brazilian Modernist poet, b. (d. 1987) Mexico/ Central & South America
1903 Anti-Jewish programme's take place in Russia Russia / USSR
1903 At Kitty Hawk, South Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright fly the first motorized airplane United States
1903 The Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks factions arise from the split of the Social Democratic Party in Russia Russia / USSR
1903 Henry Ford founds the Ford Motor Company United States
1903 Jack London's "The Call of the Wild" published United States
1903 "The Great Train Robbery," one of the earliest motion pictures, is released United States
1903 W. E. B. Du Bois' "The Souls of Black Folk" published United States
1903 Anais Nin, American novelist, b. (d. 1977) United States
1903, June 25 Eric Blair (who wrote as George Orwell) British novelist, b. (d. 1950) UK/ Ireland
1903, October 28 Evelyn Waugh, British author of "Brideshead Revisited," b. (d. 1966) UK/ Ireland
1904 Hereros and Hottentots in southwest Africa (modern-day Namibia) unsuccessfully revolt against the colonial Germans (1904 -- 1907) Africa
1904 Battle of Port Arthur February 9 - Spetznazogovitch fortress; start of Russo-Japanese War
1904 Japan defeats Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904 -- 1905) Asia
1904 The Bloomsbury Group, including Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, Lytton Strachey, Clive Bell, William Plomer and Laurens van der Post, flourishes in London (1904 -- 1939) UK/ Ireland
1904 J. M. Barrie's "Peter Pan," first performed UK/ Ireland
1904 James Joyce's "Dubliners" published UK/ Ireland
1904, March 20 B. F. Skinner, American psychologist and behaviorist, b. (d. 1990) United States
1904, July 12 Pablo Neruda, Chilean diplomat, political leader and Nobel Prize winning poet, b. (d. 1973) Mexico/ Central & South America
1904, July 15 Anton Chekhov, Russian physician and writer, author of "Uncle Vanya," d. (b. 1860) Russia / USSR
1904, August 22 Kate Chopin, American author of "The Awakening," d. (b. 1851) United States
1904, October 2 Graham Greene, British novelist, journalist, and sometime spy who authored "The Quiet American," b. (d. 1991) UK/ Ireland
1905 Norway and Sweden become separate nations Europe
1904 Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini premieres in Milan
1905 Striking workers are fired upon outside the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, leading to a year long battle and the issuance of the October Manifesto by Czar Nicholas Russia / USSR
1905 Russian sailors mutiny aboard the battleship Potemkin, another sign of civil unrest prior to the Russian Revolution Russia / USSR
1905 Albert Einstein develops his "Theory of Relativity" Europe
1905 "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn" are banned from the children's department of the Brooklyn Public Library United States
1905, February 5 Ayn Rand, Russian-born American novelist and philosopher, author of "The Fountainhead," b. (d. 1982) Russia / USSR
1905, April 24 Robert Penn Warren, American novelist and poet, first Poet Laureate of the United States, and author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning "All the King's Men," b. (d. 1989) United States
1905, June 20 Lillian Hellman, American dramatist and author of "The Little Foxes," b. (d. 1984) United States
1905, June 21 Jean-Paul Sartre, French author and philosopher, b. (d. 1980) Europe
1905, July 4 Lionel Trilling, American literary critic, b. (d. 1975) United States
1905, August 21 Mary Mapes Dodge, American children's fiction author best known for her story "Hans Brinker" d. (b. 1831) United States
1906 The San Francisco Earthquake causes a huge loss of life and destruction of property United States
1906 Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" published; public outcry over the story of Chicago's stockyards leads to reform of food inspection laws United States
1906 American troops occupy Cuba (1906 -- 1909) Mexico/ Central & South America
1906, April 13 Samuel Beckett, Anglo-French author of "Waiting for Godot," b. (d. 1989) Europe
1906, May 16 Arturo Uslar Pietri, Venezuelan novelist and author of "The Red Lances," (Las Lanzas coloradas) b. (d. 2001) Mexico/ Central & South America
1906, May 23 Henrik Ibsen, author of "A Doll's House," d. (b. 1828) Europe
1906 Victor begins selling the Victrola phonograph player for $15.00
1906, June 22 Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American aviator and author of "Gift from the Sea," b. (d. 2001) United States
1906, October 10 R.K. Narayan, Indian novelist, b. (d. 2001) Asia
1907 First exhibition of Cubist paintings in Paris Europe
1907 Ivan Pavlov begins experiments on conditioned response Europe
1907 J.M. Synge's comedy "The Playboy of the Western World" first performed UK/ Ireland
1907 Louis Lumiere develops color photography Europe
1907 Rudyard Kipling becomes the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature UK/ Ireland
1907, February 16 Giosue Carducci, Italian poet and Nobel Prize winner, d. (b. 1835) Europe
1907, February 21 W.H. Auden, British poet and Pulitzer Prize winner, b. (d. 1973) UK/ Ireland
1907, May 13 Daphne du Maurier, Cornish novelist, author of "Rebecca," b. (d. 1989) UK/ Ireland
1907, May 27 Rachel Carson, zoologist, author of "Silent Spring," b. (d. 1964) United States
1907, July 7 Robert Heinlein, American science fiction writer, author of "Stranger in a Strange Land," b. (d. 1988) United States
1907, September 12 Louis MacNeice, Anglo-Irish poet, b. (d. 1963) UK/ Ireland
1907, December 18 Christopher Fry, English dramatist and screenplay writer, b. (d. 2005) UK/ Ireland
1908 E. M. Forster's novel "A Room with a View" published UK/ Ireland
1908 Ford Madox Ford founds the literary journal "The English Review," an influential outlet for authors of Modern literature UK/ Ireland
1908 The Ford Motor Company produces the "Tin Lizzy," the first of its Model T's United States
1908 The Austro-Hungarian Empire occupies Bosnia and Herzegovina Europe
1908 General Motors is founded United States
1908 Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" published Canada
1908 The Young Turks stage a revolt in the Ottoman Empire Europe
1908 The Union of South Africa is founded Africa
1908, January 9 Simone de Beauvoir, French existentialist philosopher and author of "The Second Sex," b. (d. 1986) Europe
1908, May 28 Ian Fleming, British author of the James Bond spy novels, b. (d. 1964) UK/ Ireland
1908, August 21 Mary Margaret ('Mollie') Kaye also known as M. M. Kaye, British writer of famous work "The Far Pavilions," b. (d. 2004) UK/ Ireland
1909 Civil War is fought in Honduras Mexico/ Central & South America
1909 Italian Futurism flourishes as a literary and artistic movement, with artists attacking traditional establishment themes and glorifying the machine age (1909 -- 1944) Europe
1909 American explorer Robert Peary reaches the North Pole United States
1909 Futurism begins as an artistic and literary movement in Europe Europe
1909, March 24 John Millington Synge, Irish poet and dramatist, author of "The Playboy of the Western World," d. (b. 1871) UK/ Ireland
1909, April 13 Eudora Welty, American Pulitzer Prize winning author of "The Optimist's Daughter," b. (d. 2001) United States
1909, November 27 James Agee, American Pulitzer Prize winning author of "A Death in the Family," b. (d. 1955) United States
c. 1910 Beginning of Expressionism as a literary and artistic movement, with writers and artists focusing on a psychological reality instead of external events (c.1910 -- c.1933) Europe
c. 1910 Imagism flourishes as a literary movement in the United States and Great Britain as poets rebel against the sentimentality of 19th c. poetry (c.1910 -- c.1918) Worldwide
1910 E. M. Forster's novel "Howards End" published UK/ Ireland
1910 Georgian Period of British Literature (1910 -- 1936) UK/ Ireland
1910 Revolution in Portugal, republican form of government established Europe
1910 Japan annexes Korea Asia
1910 W. E. B. Du Bois founds "Crisis" magazine, which focuses on African-American life United States
1910 The Mexican revolution begins, plunging Mexico into civil war for ten years (1910 -- 1920) Mexico/ Central & South America
1910 G. K. Chesterton publishes his first "Father Brown" story UK/ Ireland
1910, April 21 Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) d. (b. 1835) United States
1910, June 5 William Sydney Porter, American short story author, d. (b. 1862) United States
1910, November 7 Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist, d. (b. 1828) Russia / USSR
1911 Edith Wharton's novel "Ethan Frome" published United States
1911 Ernesto Sabato, Argentinean novelist, literary critic, and activist, b. Mexico/ Central & South America
1911, February Elizabeth Bishop, Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, b. (d. 1979) United States
1911 Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss premieres in Dresden
1911, March 26 Tennessee Williams, Pulitzer Prize winning American dramatist, author of "A Streetcar Named Desire" b. (d. 1983) United States
1911, September 19 William Golding, British Nobel Prize winning author of "Lord of the Flies," b. (d. 1993) UK/ Ireland
1912 The Authors League of America is founded to protect the legal interests of writers United States
1912 The British luxury ship Titanic sinks on her maiden voyage; the tragedy inspires a large number of literary works of both fiction and non-fiction Worldwide
1912 End of the Ch'ing dynasty (China) (1644 -- 1912) Asia
1912 Battle of Lemnos October 8- Greek Marines Occupy the Ottoman held port of Moudros on the Island of Lemnos
1912 Following the Revolution of 1911 the Republic of China is founded, with Sun Yat-sen as provisional president and founder of the Chinese National Party (1912 -- 1949) Asia
1912 Vorticism, founded by Wyndham Lewis, flourishes as a movement encompassing both the visual and literary arts (1912 -- 1918) Worldwide
1912 Zane Grey's novel "Riders of the Purple Sage" published United States
1912, May 3 May Sarton, American poet and novelist, b. (d. 1995) United States
1912, May 14 Johan August Strindberg, Swedish playwright and painter, d. (b. 1849) UK/ Ireland
1912, October 8 First Balkan War between Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Albania (1912 -- 1913) Europe
1912, November Syrian fiction writer and feminist, Ulfat Idilbi, b. (d. 2007) Syria
1913 Henry Ford implements the first automotive assembly line United States
1913 Marcel Proust's novel "Swann's Way" ("Du cote de chez Swann."), first part of "Remembrance of Things Past" ("A la recherche du temps perdu") published Europe
1913 George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion" first produced UK/ Ireland
1913 D. H. Lawrence's novel "Sons and Lovers" published UK/ Ireland
1913 Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring is premiered in Paris.
1913, May 28 May Swenson, American poet, b. (d. 1989) United States
1913, November 7 Albert Camus, French author and philosopher, author of "The Plague" "(La Peste") b. (d. 1960) Europe
c. 1914 American Modernist Movement begins (c.1914 -- c.1939 ) United States
1914 The opinion magazine "The New Republic" is founded United States
1914 First Battle of the Marne September 5-9 - German invasion of France halted by Allies
1914 Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel "Tarzan of the Apes" published United States
1914 Modern Period of British Literature (1914 -- present) UK/ Ireland
1914, February 5 William S. Burroughs, American novelist, author of "Naked Lunch," b. (d. 1997) United States
1914, March 1 Ralph Ellison, African American novelist, author of "Invisible Man," b. (d. 1994) United States
1914, March 31 Octavio Paz, Mexican Nobel Prize winning poet, b. (d. 1998) Mexico/ Central & South America
1914 First Battle of Ypres (October 19 - November 22) - Early trench warfare; "Kindermord bei Ypern"
1914, April 4 Marguerite Duras, French author of "The Lover" b. (d. 1996) Asia
1914, May 6 Randall Jarrell, American poet and literary critic, b. (d. 1965) United States
1914, June 28 Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is assassinated in Sarajevo, World War I, known at the time as The Great War, begins in Europe, pitting the Allies against the Central Powers (1914 -- 1918) Europe
1914, August 15 The Panama Canal opens United States
1914, August 26 Julio Cortazar, Argentinean experimental novelist, b. (d. 1984) Mexico/ Central & South America
1914, October 27 Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, b. (d. 1953) UK/ Ireland
1915 Saul Bellow, American novelist, b. (d. 2005) United States
1915 T. S. Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" published UK/ Ireland
1915 Herman Wouk, American Pulitzer Prize winning author of "The Caine Mutiny," b. United States
1915 W. Somerset Maugham's novel "Of Human Bondage" published UK/ Ireland
1915 Franz Kafka's short story "The Metamorphosis" ("Die Verwandlung") published Europe
1915 Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" published United States
1915 The Armenian Genocide occurs, during which the Young Turk government of the Ottoman empire systematically massacre nearly 1.5 million Armenians and deport nearly 1 million others (1915 -- 1923) Europe
1915 RMS Lusitiania sunk by a German submarine Europe
1915 Battle of Gallipoli February 19-January 8, 1916 The Allied powers attempt a failed frontal assault on the Ottoman Empire
1915, October 17 Arthur Miller, American dramatist, b. (d. 2005) United States
1915, November 15 Booker T. Washington, African-American educator and author of "Up From Slavery," d. (b. 1856) United States
1916 James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" published UK/ Ireland
1916 Elizabeth Hardwick, American literary critic and one of the founders of "The New York Review of Books," b. United States
1916 The Dada school of thought is founded in Zurich Europe
1916, February 28 Henry James, American novelist, author of "The Portrait of a Lady," d. (b. 1843) United States
1916, April 24 The Easter Rising to overthrow British control of Ireland is suppressed UK/ Ireland
1916, July 1 British forces at the Battle of the Somme suffer over 57,000 casualties, the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army Europe
1916, September 13 Roald Dahl, British novelist, author of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," b. (d. 1990) UK/ Ireland
1916, November 22 Jack London, American novelist, d. (b. 1876) United States
1917 The Pulitzer Prize categories are expanded to include Journalism United States
1917 Anthony Burgess, born as John Burgess Wilson, author of "A Clockwork Orange," b. (d. 1993) UK/ Ireland
1917 The United States enters World War I on the side of the Allies United States
1917, February 17 Sidney Sheldon, popular American Novelist, b. (d. 2007) United States
1917, February 19 Carson McCullers, American author of "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," b. (d. 1967) United States
1917, March 1 The Russian Revolution begins due to the strain of World War I and the collapse of the imperial government under Czar Nicholas II Russia / USSR
1917, March 1 Robert Lowell, Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, b. (d. 1977) United States
1917, May 29 American President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, b. (d. 1963) United States
1917, June 7 Gwendolyn Brooks, African American poet and first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, b. (d. 2000) United States
1917, October In the final phase of the Russian Revolution, Lenin organizes an armed insurrection to bring the Bolsheviks to power Russia / USSR
1917, October 15 Pulitzer Prize winning historian and advisor to President John F. Kennedy, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., b. (d. 2007) United States
1917, December 16 Arthur C. Clarke, British science fiction writer and author of "2001: A Space Odyssey," b. UK/ Ireland
c. 1918 Imagism flourishes as a literary movement in the United States and Great Britain (c.1910 -- c.1918) Worldwide
1918 Booth Tarkington's novel "The Magnificent Ambersons" published United States
1918 U.S. Post Office burns copies of James Joyce's "Ulysses" United States
1918 U.S. Congress passes the Sedition Act, which criminalizes the expression of anything disloyal about the American military cause during World War I United States
1918 Lenin orders the execution of Czar Nicholas II and his family Russia / USSR
1918 Willa Cather's novel "My Antonia" published United States
1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic kills 22 million people worldwide Worldwide
1918 Austria and Germany become republics Europe
1918 Battle of Belleau Wood June 25 - US Second Division Marines capture woods
1918 Hungary, Yugoslavia, Poland and Czechoslovakia become independent countries Europe
1918 Civil war breaks out in Russia as the Bolsheviks (Reds) and the anti-Communist Whites vie for control of the country (1918 -- 1920) Russia / USSR
1918 Ultraist literary movement begins in Spain Europe
1918, February 1 Muriel Spark, British novelist, author of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" b. UK/ Ireland
1918, July 18 Nelson Mandela, anti-Apartheid activist and first democratically elected President of South Africa, b. Africa
1918, November 11 World War I ends when German military officials surrender and sign the Armistice. (1914 -- 1918) Europe
1918, November 29 Madeleine L'Engle, American novelist, author of "A Wrinkle in Time" b. (d. 2007) United States
1918, December 11 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian novelist, author of "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" b. Russia / USSR
1919 Sherwood Anderson's short story collection "Winesburg, Ohio" published United States
1919 Treaty of Versailles signed by former Allied powers and Germany Europe
1919 Attempted assassination of Lenin in Moscow leads to the Red Terror, a systematic elimination of opposition to Bolsheviks Russia / USSR
1919 League of Nations formed Worldwide
1919 The Jazz Age flourishes in the United States (1919 -- 1929) United States
1919, January 1 J(erome). D(avid). Salinger, American author, b. United States
1919, May 28 May Swenson, American poet, b. (d.1989) United States
1919, July 15 Iris Murdoch, British novelist, b. (d. 1999) UK/ Ireland
1919, October 22 Doris Lessing, British novelist, author of "The Golden Notebook," b. UK/ Ireland
1919, December 14 Shirley Jackson, American author of "The Lottery" b. (d. 1965) United States
c. 1920 Age of the Lost Generation writers, such as Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway (c.1920 -- c.1939) United States
1920 Prohibition begins with the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment (1920 -- 1933) United States
1920 Agatha Christie's novel "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" published, first appearance of fictional detective Hercule Poirot UK/ Ireland
1920 Edna St. Vincent Millay's poetry collection "A Few Figs From Thistles" published United States
1920 Sinclair Lewis' novel "Main Street" published United States
1920 First commmercial radio broadcasts made by Pittsburgh's KDKA United States
1920 Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Age of Innocence" published United States
1920 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known popularly as Mahatma Gandhi, leads campaign for Indian self-rule Asia
1920, January 2 Isaac Asimov, American scientist and science fiction author known for "I, Robot," b. (d. 1992) United States
1920, May 10 William Dean Howells, American novelist and critic, d. (b. 1837) United States
1920, August 3 (Phyllis Dorothy). James White, who wrote as P. D. James, British mystery author, b. UK/ Ireland
1920, August 16 Charles Bukowski, beat generation American novelist and poet, b. (d. 1994) United States
1920, August 22 Ray Bradbury, American novelist, author of "Fahrenheit 451," b. United States
1920, October 8 Frank Herbert, American Hugo and Nebula award winning author of "Dune," b. (d. 1986) United States
1920, October 22 Timothy Leary, counterculture guru who coined the phrase "turn on, tune in, drop out," b. (d. 1996) United States
1920, December 10 Olive Schreiner, South African novelist, author of "Women and Labor" d. (d. 1855) Africa
1921 Booth Tarkington's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "Alice Adams" published United States
1921, February 11 Noted scholar and Japanese translator, Edward Seidensticker, b. (d. 2007) United States
1921, May 2 Satyajit Ray, author of "Night of the Indigo," and the first Indian film director to achieve international acclaim, b. (d. 1992) Asia
1921, May 9 Mona Van Duyn, first female poet laureate of the United States, b. (d. 2004) United States
1921, May 12 Farley Mowat, Canadian author and activist, b. Canada
1921, June 12 James Archibald Houston, Canadian author and artist who was instrumental in gaining recognition for Inuit art, b. (d. 2005) Canada
1921, October 12 Alex Haley, African American author of "Roots," b. (d. 1992) United States
1922 Claude McKay's "Harlem Shadows: The Poems of Claude McKay" published United States
1922 Under Mussolini, Fascists stage "March on Rome," Mussolini pressures King Victor Emmanuel to step down, creating Fascist state with "Il Duce" as dictator Europe
1922 The Harlem Renaissance thrives in New York (1922 -- 1929) United States
1922 The peak of Surrealism as a literary movement (1922 -- 1940) United States
1922 Members of "the Fugitives" school of American poetry, including John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, and Allen Tate publish the quarterly journal "The Fugitive" in Nashville (1922 -- 1925) United States
1922 Irish Free State officially founded UK/ Ireland
1922 Lenin establishes the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Russia / USSR
1922 Hermann Hesse's novel "Siddhartha" published Europe
1922 First use of insulin to treat diabetes Worldwide
1922 James Joyce's "Ulysses" published; the novel is banned from United States for next 11 years Worldwide
1922 "Reader's Digest" begins publication United States
1922 Sinclair Lewis' "Babbitt" published United States
1922 Edna St. Vincent Millay's Pulitzer Prize winning book of poetry "The Ballad of the Harp Weaver" published United States
1922 T. S. Eliot's poem "The Wasteland" published UK/ Ireland
1922, March 12 Jack Kerouac, American Beat novelist, b. (d. 1969) United States
1922, April 16 Kingsley Amis, English author of "Lucky Jim," b. (d. 1995) UK/ Ireland
1922, November 11 Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., American novelist, b. United States
1922, November 18 Marcel Proust, French novelist, d. (b. 1871) Europe
1922, November 19 Mark Harris, American novelist, b. (d. 2007) United States
1922, December 11 Short story writer, poet, and activist Grace Paley, whose work examined the lives and politics of women, b. (d. 2007) United States
1922, December 29 William Gaddis, American novelist, b. (d. 1998) United States
1923 Prohibition ends with the repeal of the 18th Amendment (1920 -- 1933) United States
1923 The Turkish Republic is founded Europe
1923 Dorothy L. Sayers' "Whose Body?" published, introducing her gentleman detective Lord Peter UK/ Ireland
1923 Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" published Middle East
1923 "Time" Magazine begins publication United States
1923 William Butler Yeats, Irish poet, receives the Nobel Prize for Literature UK/ Ireland
1923, January 9 Katherine Mansfield, Modernist short story writer, d. (b. 1888) UK/ Ireland
1923, January 31 Norman Mailer, American Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, author of "Why are we in Vietnam?," b. United States
1923, May 1 Joseph Heller, American novelist, author of "Catch-22," b. (d. 1999) United States
1923, October 15 Italo Calvino, Italian novelist, b. (d. 1985) Europe
1923, November 20 Nadine Gordimer, South African author and anti-Apartheid activist, b. Africa
1924 Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" published Europe
1924 E. M. Forster's novel "A Passage to India" published UK/ Ireland
1924 Pablo Neruda's poetry collection, "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair" ("Veinte poemas de amor y una cancin desesperada") published Mexico/ Central & South America
1924 Thomas Mann's novel "The Magic Mountain" ("Der Zauberberg") published Europe
1924 Greece adopts the republican form of government Europe
1924 Andre Breton publishes the "Surrealist Manifesto," igniting the Surrealist art movement Europe
1924, January 30 Award winning children's author Lloyd Alexander, best known for The Black Cauldron, b. (d. 2007) United States
1924, March 22 Poet and noted translater Michael Hamburger, b. (d. 2007) Germany
1924, July 2 Franz Kafka, Czech author, d. (b. 1883) Europe
1924, August 2 James Baldwin, African American author of "Go Tell it on the Mountain," b. (d. 1987) United States
1924, August 3 Joseph Conrad, Polish-born English novelist, d. (b. 1857) UK/ Ireland
1924, September 4 Joan Aiken, English novelist and daughter of Conrad Aiken, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, b. (d. 2004) UK/ Ireland
1924, September 30 Truman Capote, American author, b. (d. 1984) United States
1924, October 12 Anatole France, French author, d. (b. 1844) Europe
1924, October 29 Frances Hodgson Burnett, English-born American writer of children's literature, d. (b. 1849) United States
1925 Members of "the Fugitives" school of American poetry, including John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, and Allen Tate publish the quarterly journal The Fugitive in Nashville (1922 -- 1925) United States
1925 George Bernard Shaw receives the Nobel Prize for Literature UK/ Ireland
1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby" published United States
1925 "The New Yorker" begins publication United States
1925 Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice" published Europe
1925 John Scopes put on trial in Tennessee for teaching Darwinian Theory United States
1925 Countee Cullen's poetry collection "Color" published United States
1925 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) founded United States
1925 Lon Chaney's The Phantom of the Opera is released by Universal with color sequences
1925 Theodore Dreiser's novel "An American Tragedy" published United States
1925 Virginia Woolf's novel "Mrs. Dalloway" published UK/ Ireland
1925, January 17 Robert Cormier, American novelist, author of "The Chocolate War" b. (d. 2000) United States
1925, March 25 Flannery O'Connor, American short story writer, b. (d. 1964) United States
1925, May 19 Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, African American activist, b. (d. 1965) United States
1925, May 27 Tony Hillerman, American author of mysteries featuring Native American detectives, b. United States
1925, June 11 William Styron, American novelist, author of "Sophie's Choice," b. United States
1925, October 3 Gore Vidal, American author, b. United States
1925, October 8 New England poet Philip Booth, b. (d. 2007) United States
1925, October 11 Elmore Leonard, American novelist, author of "Get Shorty," b. United States
1926 Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" published United States
1926 First "Book of the Month" club established, with subscribers receiving discounts on preselected works United States
1926 Franz Kafka's novel "The Castle" ("Das Schloss") published Europe
1926 A. A. Milne's "Winnie the Pooh" published UK/ Ireland
1926 Hirohito becomes Emperor of Japan Asia
1926 NBC, the first radio network, is formed United States
1926 "The Bible" and "The Koran" are banned in the Soviet Union (1926 -- 1956) Russia / USSR
1926, April 28 Harper Lee, American Pulitzer Prize winning author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," b. United States
1926, May 13 Cuban dictator Fidel Castro b. Mexico/ Central & South America
1926, June 3 Allen Ginsberg, American beat poet, author of "Howl," b. (d. 1997) United States
1926, September 16 John Knowles, American novelist, author of "A Separate Peace," b. (d. 2001) United States
1926, November 20 Author John Gardner, best known for continuing the James Bond Series, b. (d. 2007) England
1926, December 29 Rainer Maria Rilke, German poet, d. (b. 1875) Europe
1927 Charles Lindbergh performs first solo flight across the Atlantic Worldwide
1927 Chiang Kai-shek organizes the eradication of his communist adversaries Asia
1927 Georges-Henri LeMaitre, Belgian Roman Catholic priest and astronomer, develops the "Big Bang" theory of the origin of the universe Europe
1927 Claude McKay's "Home to Harlem" published United States
1927 Collapse of Germany's economy brings on a period of economic depression Europe
1927 Sinclair Lewis' novel "Elmer Gantry" published United States
1927 Thornton Wilder's novel "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" published United States
1927, April 4 Neil Simon, American Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, b. United States
1927, May 25 Robert Ludlum, American novelist, author of espionage thrillers including "The Bourne Identity," b. (d. 2001) United States
1927, September 30 W. S. Merwin, American poet, b. United States
1927, October 16 Gunter Grass, German Nobel Prize winning author, b. Europe
1928 D. H. Lawrence writes "Lady Chatterley's Lover;" the novel is banned in England and the United States until 1959 UK/ Ireland
1928 Amelia Earhardt becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Worldwide
1928 Chiang Kai-shek becomes President of China Asia
1928 The first Five-Year Plan in the Soviet Union begins Russia / USSR
1928 The first television broadcasts are aired by WGY in Schenectady, NY United States
1928 Sir Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin, which is developed into an antibiotic UK/ Ireland
1928 65 countries sign the Kellogg-Briand Pact, renouncing war Europe
1928 Chiang Kai-shek wrests control from Chinese provincial warlords uniting China Asia
1928, January 11 Thomas Hardy, British author, d. (b. 1840) UK/ Ireland
1928, March 6 Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian novelist, Nobel Prize winning author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude," b. Mexico/ Central & South America
1928, March 12 Edward Albee, American Pulitzer Prize winning playwright who authored "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" b. United States
1928, April 4 Maya Angelou, African American author of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," b. United States
1928, June 10 Maurice Sendak, American illustrator and author of "Where the Wild Things Are," b. United States
1928, June 14 Che Guevara, Argentine revolutionary and guerrilla leader who helped Fidel Castro gain power in Cuba, b. (d. 1967) Mexico/ Central & South America
1928, September 30 Elie Wiesel, Jewish author, Holocaust survivor, and activist, b. Europe
1928, November 9 Anne Sexton, American poet, b. (d. 1974) United States
1929 The first Academy Awards, or Oscars, are distributed: Wings wins the Best Production or Best Picture and Sunrise the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production.
1929 Erich Maria Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front" ("Im Westen nichts Neues") published Europe
1929 The Great Depression leaves many Americans unemployed and in debt, and federal make-work programs are instituted to compensate; the economic collapse in the United States contributes to the economic slump in Europe and elsewhere in the world; Several American writers focus their work around this event, including Faulkner, Steinbeck and ONeill (1929 -- 1941) United States
1929 The debut of the first motion-picture with sound, "The Jazz Singer" United States
1929 Thomas Wolfe's autobiographical novel "Look Homeward, Angel" published United States
1929 Virginia Woolf's essay "A Room of One's Own" published UK/ Ireland
1929 William Faulkner's novel "The Sound and The Fury" published United States
1929, January 15 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., African American minister, civil rights activist, and Nobel Laureate, b. (d. 1968) United States
1929, February 14 Members of Al Capone's gang murder five rival gang members in Chicago, in what will become known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre United States
1929, February 17 Chaim Potok, American rabbi and novelist, author of "The Chosen," b. (d. 2002) United States
1929, April 22 Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Cuban novelist, popularly known as G. Can, b. (d. 2005) Mexico/ Central & South America
1929, May 16 Adrienne Rich, American poet, b. United States
1929, June 12 Anne Frank, whose "Diary of a Young Girl" detailed her life during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, b. (d. 1945) Europe
1929, July 29 Jean Baudrillard, French cultural theorist and philosoper, b. France
1929,October 21 Ursula K. Le Guin, American novelist, author of "The Left Hand of Darkness," b. United States
1929, October 24 American stock-market crashes, heralding the economic crisis of the Great Depression United States
1929, November 21 Marilyn French, American novelist, author of "The woman's room," b. United States
1930 Sinclair Lewis becomes the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature United States
1930 Agatha Christie's novel "The Murder at the Vicarage" published, introduces fictional detective Miss Jane Marple UK/ Ireland
1930 John Dos Passos' novel "The 42nd Parallel," first part of his "U.S.A." trilogy, published United States
1930 Noel Coward's play "Private Lives" first produced UK/ Ireland
1930 Mahatma Gandhi leads protests against British Salt Tax in Occupied India United States
1930 The first Nancy Drew mysteries are published by the Stratemeyer Syndicate using the pseudonym Carolyn Keene United States
1930 Yellow fever vaccine developed by South African scientist Max Theiler Africa
1930 Jacques Derrida, French literary critic and philosopher, b. (d. 2004) Europe
1930, March 2 D.H. Lawrence, British novelist, d. (b. 1885) UK/ Ireland
1930, May 19 Lorraine Hansberry, African American playwright, author of "A Raisin in the Sun," b. (d. 1965) United States
1930, July 6 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, English novelist and creator of Sherlock Holmes, d. (b. 1859) UK/ Ireland
1930, October 10 Harold Pinter, British dramatist, author of "The Caretaker," b. UK/ Ireland
1930, November 16 Chinua Achebe, Nigerian novelist, author of "Things Fall Apart," b. Africa
1931 Pearl S. Buck's novel "The Good Earth" published United States
1931 Japan invades and conquers Manchuria Asia
1931 Spain moves from being a monarchy into being a republic Europe
1931, January 6 E. L. Doctorow, American novelist, author of "Ragtime," b. United States
1931, January 27 Mordecai Richler, Canadian essayist and author, b. (d. 2001) Canada
1931, February 18 Toni Morrison, African American Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, b. United States
1931, March 27 Arnold Bennet, British author, d. (b. 1867) UK/Ireland
1931, July 10 Alice Munro, Canadian short story writer, b. Canada
1931, October 7 Desmond Tutu, South African religious leader and anti-Apartheid activist, b. Africa
1932 The Nazi Party gains a majority of seats in the German Reichstag Europe
1932 Worldwide economic depression worsens due to international loans, increasing tariffs, and a drying up of world trade, leaving 30 million unemployed persons in the industrial world Worldwide
1932 Aldous Huxley's novel "Brave New World" published UK/ Ireland
1932, January 5 Umberto Eco, Italian novelist and scholar, author of "The Name of the Rose," b. Europe
1932, March 18 John Updike, American Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, b. United States
1932, April 27 Hart Crane, American poet, d. (b. 1899) United States
1932, August 14 William Kittredge, award winning essayist and author, b. United States
1932, August 17 V. S. Naipaul, English author born in Trinidad, of an Indian descent, and Nobel Prize winner, b. UK/ Ireland
1932, October 27 Sylvia Plath, American poet and novelist, b. (d. 1963) United States
1932, November 23 Shel Silverstein, American children's author, poet and songwriter, author of "Where the Sidewalk Ends," b. (d. 1999) United States
1933 Widespread famine occurs in the U.S.S.R. Russia / USSR
1933 James Thurber's story collection "My Life and Hard Times" published United States
1933 Philip Roth, Jewish-American novelist, author of "Portnoy's Complaint," b. United States
1933 Agatha Christie's mystery novel "Murder on the Orient Express" published UK/ Ireland
1933 Adolf Hitler named Reich Chancellor Europe
1933 Under the pressure of the German government, "non-German" books are publicly burned. Europe
1933 Josef Stalin begins "The Great Purge," expelling some 400,000 Communists from the party, most of whom were subsequently arrested, imprisoned or executed Russia / USSR
1933 Reichstag, assembly building of the German parliament, burns; Nazi's claim fire was the work of Communists Europe
1933 The first concentration camps in Germany are built by the Nazis, marking the beginning of the Holocaust, a Nazi program of systematic persecution and genocide of Jews and various other political, religious and ethnic groups (1933 -- 1945) Europe
1933 U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt introduces the "New Deal," a series of massive federal relief programs for Americans suffering under the Great Depression United States
1933 A court ruling allows James Joyce's "Ulysses" to be published in the United States United States
1933, January 28 Susan Sontag, American essayist and novelist, author of "The Volcano Lover," b. (d. 2004) Mexico/ Central & South America
1933, January 31 John Galsworthy, British author, d. (b. 1867) UK/Ireland
1933, April 1 Boycott of Jewish-owned businesses begins in Germany Europe
1933, July 9 Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, b. England
1933, July 20 Cormac McCarthy, American novelist, author of "All the Pretty Horses," b. United States
1934 F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "Tender is the Night" published United States
1934 Henry Miller's novel "Tropic of Cancer" published United States
1934 Lillian Hellman's "The Children's Hour" first produced United States
1934 "Partisan Review" begins publication United States
1934 Massive drought and dust storms in the Midwestern United States drive thousands of families to migrate west to California United States
1934 Adolf Hitler assumes the presidency of Germany, declaring himself "der Fuhrer" Europe
1934 Engelbert Dollfuss, Chancellor of Austria, assassinated by the Nazi supporters Europe
1934 Chinese communists, led by Mao Zedong, begin the "Long March," a massive military retreat in order to evade annihilation at the hands of Chang Kei-Shek Asia
1934 The U.S. Wheeler-Howard Indian Reorganization Act secures the right Native Americans to self-governance on a tribal basis United States
1934 John Dillinger, the FBI's "Public Enemy No. 1," is mortally wounded in shootout outside Chicago's Biograph Theatre United States
1934, April 10 American Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, David Halberstam, b. (d. 2007) United States
1934, May 27 Harlan Ellison, American science fiction writer, b. United States
1934, October 26 German screenwriter and playwright Ulrich Plenzdorf, b. (d. 2007) Germany
1934, December 5 Joan Didion, American novelist, author of "Slouching Toward Bethlehem," b. United States
1935 "The Southern Review" founded by Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks United States
1935 Enid Bagnold's novel "National Velvet" published UK/ Ireland
1935 Italian forces invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia) Africa
1935 Nazis repudiate the Treaty of Versailles and begin rearmament Europe
1935 Persian government changes the nation's name to Iran Middle East
1935 U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law United States
1935 Laura Ingalls Wilder's autobiographical children's novel "Little House on the Prairie" published United States
1935, February 15 Susan Brownmiller, feminist political activist and journalist, b. United States
1935, February 20 Ellen Gilchrist, American short story writer, b. United States
1935, May 25 W. P. Kinsella, Canadian novelist, author of "Shoeless Joe," b. United States
1935, August 15 Will Rogers, American cowboy, entertainer, and humorist, d. (b. 1879) United States
1935, August 22 E. Annie Proulx, American novelist, author of "The Shipping News," b. United States
1935, September 15 Germany passes the "Nuremburg Laws," stripping German-born Jews of their citizenship Europe
1936 Eugene O'Neill awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature United States
1936 English publisher Allen Lane founds Penguin Books, begins publishing inexpensive paperback books UK/ Ireland
1936 German forces occupy the Rhineland Europe
1936 Germany and Italy form the Rome-Berlin Axis Europe
1936 Spanish Civil War begins with a military coup after the Republican Popular Front election victory (1936 -- 1939) Europe
1936 Jesse Owens, an African-American athlete, wins four gold medals at the summer Olympic games in Berlin Europe
1936, January 18 Rudyard Kipling, British author of "The Jungle Book," d. (b. 1865) UK/ Ireland
1936, March 28 Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian author and politician, b. Mexico/ Central & South America
1936, May 15 Paul Zindel, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, author of "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds," b. (d. 2003) United States
1936, June 3 Larry McMurty, American Pulitzer Prize winning author of "Lonesome Dove," b. United States
1936, June 14 G. K. Chesterton, English theologian, social critic, and author of the "Father Brown" mysteries, d. (b. 1874) United States
1936, June 30 Margaret Mitchell's novel "Gone With the Wind" published United States
1936, August 19 Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet and playwright, d. (b. 1899) Europe
1936, August 24 A. S. Byatt, British novelist, author of "Possession," b. UK/ Ireland
1936, October 5 Vaclav Havel, Czech dramatist, essayist, political activist and future President of the Czech Republic, b. Europe
1936, November 20 Don DeLillo, postmodern American novelist, b. United States
1936, December 15 Edna O'Brien, Irish author of "The Country Girls," b. UK/ Ireland
1937 J. M. Barrie, Scottish playwright and novelist, creator of "Peter Pan," d. (b. 1860) UK/ Ireland
1937 J. R. R. Tolkien's novel "The Hobbit" published UK/ Ireland
1937 John Steinbeck's novel "Of Mice and Men" published United States
1937 Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge is completed in San Francisco, California United States
1937 Zora Neale Hurston's novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God" published United States
1937 Sino-Japanese war begins, Japanese take Nanjing and massacre the population Asia
1937 The Hindenberg, a German airship, explodes during an attempted landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey United States
1937 Spanish Nationalist rebels, under General Francisco Franco, destroy Guernica Europe
1937, July 3 Tom Stoppard, British playwright, author of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," b. UK/ Ireland
1937, July 18 Hunter S. Thompson, American novelist and journalist, b. (d. 2005) United States
1937, August 11 Edith Wharton, American Pulitzer Prize winning author of "The Age of Innocence," d. (b. 1862) United States
1938 Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' "The Yearling" published United States
1938 Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize winning drama "Our Town" first produced United States
1938 At the Munich Conference, England and France allow Germany's annexation of the Sudetenland, a section of Czechoslovakia Europe
1938 Anti-Jewish legislation enacted in Italy Europe
1938 U.S. Supreme Court rules that University of Missouri must admit African-Americans due to lack of other facilities in the area United States
1938, February 12 Judy Blume, American author of young adult literature, b. United States
1938, April 15 Cesar Vallejo, Peruvian poet, d. (b. 1892) Mexico/ Central & South America
1938, May 25 Raymond Carver, American short story writer, b. (d. 1988) United States
1938, June 1 Action Comics #1 is published, featuring the first appearance of Superman United States
1938, June 16 Joyce Carol Oates, American author of "We Were the Mulvaneys," b. United States
1938, June 24 Lawrence Block, American crime writer, b. United States
1938, September 15 Thomas Wolfe, author of "Look Homeward, Angel," d. (b.1900) United States
1938, October 30 Orson Welles' radio production of H. G. Wells' novel "The War of the Worlds," causes panic among listeners throughout the eastern United States United States
1938, November 9 Kristallnacht ("The Night of Broken Glass") begins as Nazi troops and supporters loot and burn Jewish businesses, at least 25,000 German Jews are arrested and sent to concentration camps Europe
1939 James Joyce's novel "Finnegans Wake" published UK/ Ireland
1939 John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Grapes of Wrath" published United States
1939 Raymond Chandler's detective novel "The Big Sleep" is published, introduces detective Philip Marlowe United States
1939 The British Expeditionary Force of 158,000 troops sent to France Europe
1939 Poland and Britain sign a treaty of mutual assistance Europe
1939 The Soviet Union invades Finland, beginning the "Winter War" Europe
1939 The Contemporary Period of American literature (Welty, Updike, Vonnegut,Plath, Miller, T. Williams, Ellison, Morrison, Angelou) (1939 -- present) United States
1939, January 28 William Butler Yeats, Nobel Prize winning Irish poet, d. (b. 1865) UK/ Ireland
1939, April 13 Seamus Heaney, Nobel Prize winning Irish poet, b. UK/ Ireland
1939, June 5 Margaret Drabble, English novelist, critic, and editor, b. UK/ Ireland
1939, July 26 Ford Madox Ford, English novelist, poet, and critic, author of "The Good Soldier" and founder of "The English Review," d. (b. 1873) United States
1939, August 23 Germany and the Soviet Union sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, a non-aggression treaty Europe
1939, September 1 German invasion of Poland prompts England and France to declare war on Germany, beginning World War II in Europe (1939 -- 1945) Europe
1939, October 23 Zane Grey, American novelist, author of "Riders of the Purple Sage," d. (b. 1872) United States
1939, November 18 Margaret Atwood, Canadian novelist, author of "The Handmaid's Tale," b. Canada
1940 Ernest Hemingway's novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls" published United States
1940 Germany invades and conquers France Europe
1940 The Irish Literary Renaissance flourishes (1885 -- 1940) UK/ Ireland
1940 The Generacin del 98, a literary and artistic movement concerned with a moral and cultural rebirth for Spain, flourishes (1898 -- c.1940) Europe
1940 The U.S. Congress passes the Smith Act, enacting criminal penalties for advocating the overthrow of the American government United States
1940 Winston Churchill succeeds Neville Chamberlain as British Prime Minister UK/ Ireland
1940 Japan signs Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy, establishing the Axis powers Asia
1940, February 9 J. M. Coetzee, South African Nobel Prize winning novelist, b. Africa
1940, May 7 Angela Carter, English novelist, b. (d. 1992) UK/ Ireland
1940, May 22 The concentration camp Auschwitz is constructed near Krakow, in Southeast Poland Europe
1940, May 24 Joseph Brodsky, Russian-born American poet and Nobel Prize winner of 1987, b. (d. 1996) United States
1940, July 27 Bharati Mukherjee, Indian American novelist, author of "Jasmine," b. Asia
1940, August 24 Sue Grafton, American novelist, author of the Kinsey Millhone detective novels, b. United States
1940, October 27 Maxine Hong Kingston, Chinese-American novelist, author of "The Woman Warrior," b. United States
1940, December 21 F. Scott Fitzgerald, American novelist, d. (b. 1896) United States
1941 German forces invade Russia, in violation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and besiege Leningrad Europe
1941 Soviet Union and Japan sign a non-aggression pact Worldwide
1941 U.S. enacts "Lend-Lease" bill, supplying arms and material to aid Great Britain's war efforts United States
1941 Japanese invade the Philippines Asia
1941, January 13 James Joyce, Irish novelist, d. (b. 1882) UK/ Ireland
1941, March 8 Sherwood Anderson, American novelist, author of "Winesburg, Ohio," d. (b. 1876) United States
1941, March 21 Virginia Woolf, British novelist, author of "Mrs. Dalloway," d. (b. 1882) UK/ Ireland
1941, June 5 Spalding Gray, American actor and monologist, b. (d. 2004) United States
1941, July 14 Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill sign the Atlantic Charter, laying out a vision for the post-war world Worldwide
1941, July 31 Adolf Hitler orders the enactment of the Final Solution, a plan for the genocide of European Jews Europe
1941, September 21 Rabindranath Tagore, poet and Bengali philosopher, first Asian to win Nobel Prize in 1913, d. (b. 1861) Asia
1941, October 4 Anne Rice, American novelist, author of "Interview with the Vampire," b. United States
1941, December 7 Japanese war planes attack U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, drawing the United States into World War II United States
1942 Albert Camus' novel "The Stranger" ("L'Etranger") published Europe
1942 Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize winning drama "The Skin of Our Teeth," produced United States
1942 Nazis begin systematic mass killings of the Jews in gas chambers Europe
1942 The Battle of Stalingrad begins Russia / USSR
1942 In deciding the case of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that obscenity, libel, and "fighting words" are not protected free-speech under the First Amendment United States
1942 Scientist Enrico Fermi oversees the first controlled nuclear reaction in Chicago United States
1942 The first electronic computer is developed in the United States United States
1942 Japanese forces occupy Bataan, force American and Philippine prisoners on the "Bataan Death March" Asia
1942 Battle of the Philippines (December 8, 1941 - May 8) Japanese victory, Douglas MacArthur promises to return.
1942 The "Manhattan Project," the U.S. effort to develop nuclear weapons, begins United States
1942 British forces under General Montgomery defeat Germans at El Alamein Africa
1942, March 2 John Irving, American novelist, author of "The World According to Garp," b. United States
1942, March 26 Erica Jong, American novelist author of "Fear of Flying," b. United States
1942 Battle of Midway June 3 - US loses USS Yorktown; Japanese lose four aircraft carriers
1942 First Battle of El Alamein July 1 - British Eighth Army stops Rommel's Axis forces invading Egypt
1942, April 24 Lucy Maud Montgomery, Canadian author of "Anne of Green Gables," d. (b. 1874) Canada
1942, August 2 Isabel Allende, Chilean novelist and playwright, author of "The House of Spirits," b. Mexico/ Central & South America
1942, August 7 Garrison Keillor, American author and broadcaster best known for his stories of the fictional Lake Wobegon, b. United States
1942 Battle of Stalingrad August 22 - February 2, 1943 - City besieged by Paulus' German Sixth Army; from November 23 the Sixth Army is surrounded and destroyed by Soviets; bloodiest battle in history, 1.8 millions dead approx.
1943 Antoine de Saint-Exupery's children's novel "The Little Prince" ("Le Petit Prince") published Europe
1943 Ayn Rand's novel "The Fountainhead" published United States
1943 Allied forces invade Italy, Italians surrender to Allies and declare war on Germany Europe
1943 Josef Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister, orders the closing of theaters and publishers in Germany Europe
1943, March 13 Stephen Vincent Benet, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, author of "John Brown's Body," d. (b. 1878) United States
1943, April 22 Louise Gluck, American Pulitzer Prize winning poet and United States Poet Laureate from 2003-2004, b. United States
1943, June 7 Nikki Giovanni, African American poet and illustrator, b. United States
1943, June 16 Reinaldo Arenas, Cuban anti-Castro activist, poet, and author of "Before Night Falls," b. (d. 1990) Mexico/ Central & South America
1943, November 5 Sam Shepard, American actor, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning play "Buried Child," b. United States
1943, December 9 Michael Ondaatje, Canadian novelist, author of "The English Patient," b. Canada
1943, December 22 Beatrix Potter, British author and illustrator of the classic "Tale of Peter Rabbit," d. (b. 1866) UK/ Ireland
1944 Tennessee Williams' play "The Glass Menagerie" first performed United States
1944 John Hersey's Pulitzer Prize winning "A Bell for Adano" published United States
1944 Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French novelist, author of "The Little Prince," ("Le Petit Prince") d. (b. 1900) Europe
1944 First use of the German V1 and V2 rockets on London UK/ Ireland
1944 Vietnam, under Ho Chi Minh, declares itself independent of France Asia
1944, January 8 Terry Brooks, American fantasy writer, author of "The Sword of Shannara," b. United States
1944, June 6 Allied forces invade German-occupied France, with landings on the beaches at Normandy Europe
1944, August 25 Paris is liberated by Allied forces Europe
1944, November 28 Rita Mae Brown, American activist and author of "Rubyfruit Jungle," b. United States
1945 E. B. White's children's novel "Stuart Little" published United States
1945 Evelyn Waugh's novel "Brideshead Revisited" published UK/ Ireland
1945 George Orwell's novel "Animal Farm" published UK/ Ireland
1945 Jean-Paul Sartre's play "No Exit" ("Huis-clos") published Europe
1945 Anne Frank, whose "Diary of a Young Girl" detailed her life during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, dies in the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen (b. 1929) Europe
1945 1945-Present The Postmodern Period of British Literature (1945 -- Present) UK/ Ireland
1945 Poet Ezra Pound is arrested for pro-Axis wartime radio broadcasts from fascist Italy, is judged mentally unfit to stand trial and incarcerated in St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Washington, D.C. United States
1945 The United Nations is established Worldwide
1945, February 4 Franklin Roosevelt, Josef Stalin, and Winston Churchill meet at Yalta in the Crimea to discuss plans for post-war Europe Europe
1945, February 14 Allied bombers fire-bomb the German city of Dresden Europe
1945, April 27 August Wilson, American Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, author of "Fences," b. United States
1945, April 30 Annie Dillard, American Pulitzer Prize winning poet and essayist, author of "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek," b. United States
1945, April 30 Adolph Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, commit suicide in Hitler's bunker in Berlin Europe
1945, May German forces surrender, bringing World War II in Europe to a close Europe
1945, June 16 First atomic bomb is successfully detonated near Alamogordo, New Mexico United States
1945, July 9 Dean Koontz, American author of suspense novels, b. United States
1945 Battle of Iwo Jima March 26 - After a month, U.S. Forces take main offshore Japanese island.
1945, August 6 American bombers drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Asia
1945, August 14 Japan surrenders, bringing an end to World War II (1939 -- 1945) Asia
1945, October 26 Pat Conroy, American novelist, author of "The Prince of Tides," b. United States
1945, November 22 The Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal begins, putting Nazi leaders on trial for crimes against humanity Europe
1945, December 28 Theodore Dreiser, American novelist, author of "Sister Carrie," d. (b. 1871) United States
1946 Juan Peron launches a populist authoritarian regime in Argentina Mexico/ Central & South America
1946 Carson McCullers' novel "The Member of the Wedding" published United States
1946 Eudora Welty's novel "Delta Wedding" published United States
1946 Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "All the King's Men" published United States
1946 Civil war erupts in China between Mao Tse-tung's communists and Chiang Kai-shek's Koumintang forces (1946 -- 1949) Asia
1946 France launches campaign against Vietnamese nationalists led by Ho Chi Minh Asia
1946, March 5 In a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Winston Churchill coins the term "Iron Curtain" United States
1946, May 19 Booth Tarkington, American Pulitzer Prize winning author, d. (b. 1869) United States
1946, July 27 Gertrude Stein, American author and patron of artists and writers, d. (b. 1874) United States
1946, August 13 H. G. Wells, British novelist, author of "The War of the Worlds," d. (b. 1866) UK/ Ireland
1946, October 1 The Nuremburg War Crimes Trials end with Goering, Ribbentrop and ten other defendants sentenced to death Europe
1947 The United Nations announces a plan for the partition of Palestine between Jews and Arabs Middle East
1947 Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize winning drama "A Streetcar Named Desire" produced United States
1947 Thomas Mann's novel "Doctor Faustus" published Europe
1947 First Kashmir War - Also known as the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, was the first war fought between the Union of India and Pakistan. The war ended in a stalemate.
1947 Japan establishes new constitution and democratic framework of government Asia
1947 India gains independence by Great Britain, and partitioned into India and Pakistan Asia
1947, April 12 Tom Clancy, born as Thomas Leo Clancy Jr., American novelist, b. United States
1947, April 19 Jackie Robinson joins the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American to play major league baseball United States
1947, April 24 Willa Cather, American Pulitzer Prize winning author, d. (b. 1873) United States
1947, June 8 Sara Paretsky, American novelist, author of the V. I. Warshawski detective novels, b. United States
1947, June 19 Salman Rushdie, Indian born British novelist, author of "The Satanic Verses," b. United States
1947, June 22 Octavia E. Butler, African American science fiction author, b. United States
1947, September 21 Stephen (Edwin) King, American horror novelist, b. United States
1947, November 30 David Mamet, American Pulitzer Prize winning dramatist, b. United States
1948 Alan Paton's novel "Cry, the Beloved Country," published Africa
1948 Ernesto Sabato's novel "The Tunnel" ("El tunel") published Mexico/ Central & South America
1948 Ezra Pound's poetry collection "The Pisan Cantos" published United States
1948 Norman Mailer's novel "The Naked and the Dead" published United States
1948 T. S. Eliot awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature UK/ Ireland
1948 The United Nations frames the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, outlining a view on basic human rights for all people Worldwide
1948 Creation of the State of Israel leads to the first Arab-Israeli war (1948 -- 1949) Middle East
1948, January 30 Mohandas K. Gandhi assassinated Asia
1948, March 22 Andrew Lloyd Webber, British composer of the "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Evita," b. UK/ Ireland
1948, May 22 Claude McKay, Jamaican born poet and activist, member of the Harlem Renaissance, d. (b. 1889) Mexico/ Central & South America
1948, August 28 Vonda McIntyre, Hugo and Nebula award winning author of "Dreamsnake," b. United States
1948, October 17 James O. Rigney Jr. (aka Robert Jordan), author of the "Wheel of Time" series, b. (d. 2007) United States
1948, December 2 T. Coraghessan Boyle, American novelist, author of "World's End," b. United States
1949 Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize winning drama "Death of a Salesman" produced United States
1949 George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" published UK/ Ireland
1949 Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" published United States
1949 Simone de Beauvoir's feminist treatise "The Second Sex" ("Le Deuxieme Sexe") published Europe
1949 William Faulkner awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature United States
1949 Gwendolyn Brooks Pulitzer Prize winning book of poetry "Annie Allen" published United States
1949 Jamaica Kincaid, Antiguan novelist, b. Mexico/ Central & South America
1949 A. B. Guthrie Jr.'s Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Way West" published United States
1949 India establishes a Republican form of government Asia
1949 Chinese communists under Mao Zedong secure victory in the Chinese civil war (1912 -- 1949) Asia
1949 The People's Republic of China is formed, with Chou En Lai as Premier Asia
1949 Xerox releases its Model A Copier, the first manually operated commercial xerographic copier. United States
1949, April 12 Scott Turow, American attorney and author of legal thrillers, b. United States
1949, July 15 Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, author of "Empire Falls," b. United States
1949, August 16 Margaret Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, author of "Gone with the Wind," d. (b. 1900) United States
1949, September 26 Haruki Murakami, Japanese novelist, author of "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle," b. United States
c. 1950 The age of the Beat Writers including Ginsberg and Kerouac. (c. 1950 -- c. 1959) United States
1950 African American author, Bebe Moore Campbell, b. (d. 2006) United States
1950 C. S. Lewis' novel "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," first book in "The Chronicles of Narnia" series, published UK/ Ireland
1950 Ray Bradbury's novel "The Martian Chronicles" published United States
1950 Chinese forces invade and occupy Tibet Asia
1950 South African opponents of apartheid are banned from attending schools, universities, and public meetings (1950 -- 1990) Africa
1950 The first study recording a link between lung cancer and smoking is published in the "British Medical Journal" UK/ Ireland
1950 Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy conducts hearings investigating communism among American government and academia (1950 -- 1954) United States
1950, January 21 Eric Blair (George Orwell), British novelist and author of "Animal Farm," d. (b. 1903) UK/ Ireland
1950, March 6 Edgar Lee Masters, American poet, author of "Spoon River Anthology," d. (b. 1869) United States
1950, March 19 Edgar Rice Burroughs, English novelist, author of "Tarzan of the Apes," d. (b. 1837) United States
1950, June 25 North Korean forces invade South Korea, prompting UN intervention (1950 -- 1953) Asia
1950, July 22 S. E. Hinton, American author of "The Outsiders," b. United States
1950, October 18 Wendy Wasserstein, American playwright, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning drama "The Heidi Chronicles," b. United States
1950, October Edna St. Vincent Millay, American Pulitzer Prize winning poet, d. (b. 1892) United States
1950, November 2 George Bernard Shaw, Irish Nobel Prize winning playwright, d. (b. 1856) UK/ Ireland
1951 Herman Wouk's Pulitzer Prize winning drama "The Caine Mutiny" published United States
1951 J. D. Salinger's novel "The Catcher in the Rye" published United States
1951 William F. Buckley Jr.'s "God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of 'Academic Freedom' " published United States
1951 Color televisions first sold in the United States United States
1951 Libya gains independence from Italy Africa
1951, January 10 Sinclair Lewis, American novelist, author of "Babbitt," first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, d. (b. 1885) United States
1951, May 9 Jorie Graham, American Pulitzer Prize winning poet, b. United States
1951, June 20 Paul Muldoon, Irish Pulitzer Prize winning poet, b. UK/ Ireland
1951, August 24 Orson Scott Card, American Hugo and Nebula award winning novelist, author of "Enders Game," b. United States
1951, August 24 Oscar Hijuelos, American novelist, author of "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," first Hispanic American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, b. United States
1952 Polio vaccine invented by Dr. Jonas Salk United States
1952 E. B. White's children's novel "Charlotte's Web" published United States
1952 Ernest Hemingway's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Old Man and the Sea" published United States
1952 John Steinbeck's novel "East of Eden" published United States
1952 Ralph Ellison's novel "Invisible Man" published United States
1952 King George VI of England d.; succeeded by Elizabeth II UK/ Ireland
1952 U.S. Technicians develop and test the first hydrogen bomb United States
1952 Mau-Mau uprisings against British colonial rule in Kenya Africa
1952, January 6 Michael Cunningham, American Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, author of "The Hours," b. United States
1952, January 12 Walter Mosley, African American novelist, author of the Easy Rawlins detective mysteries, b. United States
1952, February 11 Douglas Adams, British novelist, author of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," b. (d. 2001) UK/ Ireland
1952, February 19 Amy Tan, Chinese American novelist, author of "The Joy Luck Club," b. United States
1952, March 16 Alice Hoffman, American novelist, author of "Practical Magic," b. United States
1952, June 7 Turkish novelist and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, b. Turkey
1952, May 8 Beth Henley, Pulitzer Prize winning dramatist, author of "Crimes of the Heart," b. United States
1952, August 28 Rita Dove, American Pulitzer Prize winning poet and United States Poet Laureate, b. United States
1953 Joseph Stalin, Secretary-General of the Soviet Union, d., bringing about "The Russian Thaw," a period of loosening of state control in Soviet life and literature (1953 -- 1963) UK/ Ireland
1953 Ian Fleming's novel "Casino Royale" published, introducing James Bond UK/ Ireland
1953 Arthur C. Clarke's novel "Childhood's End" published United States
1953 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, sentenced as atomic spies in 1951, are executed United States
1953 Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible" published UK/ Ireland
1953 Archibald MacLeish's Pulitzer prize winning poetry collection "Collected Poems (1917--1952)" published United States
1953 J. D. Salinger's short story collection "Nine Stories" published United States
1953 Saul Bellow's novel "The Adventures of Augie March" published United States
1953 William S. Burroughs' novel "Junkie" published United States
1953, May 29 Sir Edmund Hillary first person to climb Mt. Everest UK/ Ireland
1953, June 2 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II UK/ Ireland
1953, July 16 Hilaire Belloc, also known as Joseph Hilaire Pierre Ren Belloc, author of "The Path to Rome," d. (b. 1870) UK/ Ireland
1953, August 12 The Soviet Union develops and tests a hydrogen bomb Russia / USSR
1953, November 9 Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, d. (b. 1914) UK/ Ireland
1953, November 27 Eugene O'Neill, American playwright, author of "The Iceman Cometh," d. (b. 1888) United States
1954 Kingsley Amis' novel "Lucky Jim" published UK/ Ireland
1954 J. R. R. Tolkien's novel "The Fellowship of the Ring" published, first book of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy UK/ Ireland
1954 William Golding's novel "Lord of the Flies" published UK/ Ireland
1954 Viet-Minh wages the War in Vietnam against the French colonialists (1951 -- 1954) Asia
1954 The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education declares segregation of schools unconstitutional United States
1954, June 6 Harvey Fierstein, American actor and author of "The Torch Song Trilogy," b. United States
1954, June 7 Louise Erdrich, Native American novelist, author of "Love Medicine," b. United States
1954, July 14 Jacinto Benavente y Martinez, Spanish Nobel Prize winning dramatist, d. (b. 1866) Europe
1954, August 3 Colette, French novelist, author of "Gigi," d. (b. 1873) Europe
1954, September 2 Donald Margulies, American Pulitzer Prize winning author of "Dinner with Friends," b. UK/ Ireland
1954, November 8 Kazuo Ishiguro, Japanese born British novelist, author of "The Remains of the Day," b. UK/ Ireland
1954, December 20 Sandra Cisneros, American poet, author of "The House on Mango Street," b. United States
c. 1955 African-American Civil Rights Movement (c. 1955 -- c. 1968) United States
1955 Flannery O'Connor's short story collection "A Good Man is Hard to Find" published United States
1955 Graham Greene's novel "The Quiet American" published UK/ Ireland
1955 Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize winning drama "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" produced United States
1955 Vladimir Nabokov's novel "Lolita" published United States
1955 James Agee, American Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, author of "A Death in the Family," d. (b. 1909) United States
1955 Juan Peron ousted as President of Argentina by military coup Mexico/ Central & South America
1955, January 13 Jay McInerney, American novelist, author of "Bright Lights, Big City," b. United States
1955, February 8 John Grisham, American attorney and author of legal dramas, b. United States
1955, April 8 Barbara Kingsolver, American novelist, author of "The Poisonwood Bible," b. United States
1955, August 2 Wallace Stevens, American Pulitzer winning poet, d. (b. 1879) United States
1955, August 12 Thomas Mann, German novelist, author of "Death in Venice," d. (b. 1875) Europe
1955, December Iranian writer Azar Nafisi, most famous for her work "Reading Lolita in Tehran," b. Iran
1955, December After Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, is arrested for not surrendering her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama public bus, African-Americans boycott the city's segregated bus lines United States
1956 The Ten Commandments, starring Charlton Heston, is the top grossing film, followed by Guys and Dolls and The King and I, starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr.
1956 The Best Picture Academy Award is won by Around the World in Eighty Days. Best Director is George Stevens, for Giant, starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean.
1956 Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" published United States
1956 Elie Wiesel's novel "Night" ("Un Di Velt Hot Geshvign") published Europe
1956 Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize winning drama "A Long Day's Journey into Night" produced United States
1956 John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger" published United States
1956 Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser seizes the Suez Canal from the French and British, beginning the Suez crisis Africa
1956 Soviet forces enter Hungary to suppress an uprising against Soviet rule Europe
1956 Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounces the policies of Stalin at the 20th Soviet Party Congress Russia / USSR
1956 Israel sends forces to occupy the Sinai peninsula, in response to the Suez crisis Middle East
1956 Morocco and Tunisia win independence from France Africa
1956 Elvis Presley scores his first hit, "Heartbreak Hotel" United States
1956 Fidel Castro and members of his 26 of July Movement, Che Guevara among them, sail from Mexico to Cuba, beginning the Cuban Revolution (1956 -- 1959) Mexico/ Central & South America
1956, January 29 H. L. Mencken American author, editor, and literary critic, d. (b. 1880) United States
1956, January 31 A. A. Milne, author of "Winnie the Pooh," d. (b. 1882) United States
1956, June 22 Walter de la Mare, English poet and novelist, d. (b. 1873) UK/ Ireland
1956, July 16 Tony Kushner, American playwright, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning drama "Angels in America," b. United States
1956, August 14 Bertolt Brecht, German playwright, author of "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" ("Der Kaukisische Kreidekreis"), d. (b. 1898) Europe
1957 Albert Camus, author of "The Stranger" ("L'Etranger") awarded Nobel Prize for Literature Europe
1957 Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" published United States
1957 Dr. Suess' children's book "The Cat in the Hat" published Russia / USSR
1957 Jack Kerouac's novel "On the Road" published United States
1957 John Cheever's novel "The Wapshot Chronicle" published United States
1957 Israel withdraws its forces from the Sinai peninsula, and turns over control of the Gaza Strip to U. N. Peacekeepers Middle East
1957 South Vietnam attacked by Viet Cong guerillas Asia
1957 The Space Race between the U.S. and the U. S. S. R. begins with the launch of the Soviet satellite "Sputnik" Russia / USSR
1957, February 10 Laura Ingalls Wilder, American children's writer and author of "Little House on the Prairie", d. (b. 1867) United States
1957, February 14 Martin Luther King Jr. founds the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) United States
1957, December 17 Dorothy L. Sayers, English author of the "Lord Peter" mysteries and one of the first women to receive a degree from Oxford, d. (b. 1893) UK/ Ireland
1958 Boris Pasternak's novel "Dr. Zhivago" published United States
1958 Chinua Achebe's novel "Things Fall Apart" published Africa
1958 James Agee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "A Death in the Family" published United States
1958 Truman Capote's novel "Breakfast at Tiffany's" published United States
1958 Microchip first developed in U.S. United States
1958 Charles Degaulle is elected President of France Europe
1958 Explorer I, the first successful U.S. satellite, launched United States
1958, May 23 Mitch Albom, born as Mitchell David Albom, American journalist and author of "Tuesdays with Morrie," b. United States
1958, May 29 Juan Ramon Jimenez, Spanish Nobel Prize winning poet, d. (b. 1881) Europe
1959 Allen Drury's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "Advise and Consent" published United States
1959 E. B. White revises "The Elements of Style," the classic handbook of literary style originally authored by William Strunk, Jr. United States
1959 Gunter Grass' novel "The Tin Drum" ("Die Blechtrommel") published Europe
1959 Lorraine Hansberry's novel "A Raisin in the Sun" produced United States
1959 William S. Burroughs' "The Naked Lunch" published; the book becomes the subject of a Massachusetts court case regarding obscenity laws United States
1959 Communist forces under Fidel Castro depose Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista (1956 -- 1959) Mexico/ Central & South America
1959 Boeing 707, the first commercially successful jet airliner, introduced United States
1959 D. H. Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover" denounced as an obscene work by U.S. Postmaster general, banned from U.S. until 1960 United States
1959, February 19 Helen Fielding, British journalist and author of "Bridget Jones Diary," b. UK/ Ireland
1959, February 28 Maxwell Anderson, American dramatist and journalist, d. (b. 1888) United States
1959, March 26 Raymond Thornton Chandler, American novelist, author of the Philip Marlowe detective stories, d. (b. 1888) United States
c. 1960 Existentialism flourishes as a literary and philosophical movement in Europe (c. 1880 -- c. 1960) Europe
c. 1960 American Counterculture movement (c. 1960 -- c. 1979) United States
1960 Boris Pasternak, Russian novelist, author of "Doctor Zhivago," d. (b. 1890) Russia / USSR
1960 Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" published United States
1960 John Knowles novel "A Separate Peace" published United States
1960 John F. Kennedy elected President of the U.S. United States
1960 American U-2 spy plane flown by Francis Gary Powers is shot down over the Soviet Union Russia / USSR
1960 U.S. ban on D. H. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover overturned United States
1960 Seventeen former African colonies of European powers gain their independence Africa
1960, January 4 Albert Camus, French philosopher and author of "The Plague" "(La Peste"), d. (b. 1960) Europe
1960, January 28 Zora Neale Hurston, African-American author, d. (b. 1891) United States
1961 Joseph Heller's novel "Catch-22" published United States
1961 Robert A. Heinlein's novel "Stranger in a Strange Land" published United States
1961 East German communists construct the Berlin Wall Europe
1961 U.S.-backed Cuban rebels attempt an unsuccessful invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs Mexico/ Central & South America
1961 UN General Assembly condemns the practice of apartheid in South Africa Worldwide
1961 President John F. Kennedy initiates a plan to put a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s United States
1961 American helicopters arrive in Saigon carrying the first 400 U.S. Personnel to serve in Vietnam Asia
1961, April 12 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space Russia / USSR
1961, April 20 Jessie Redmon Fauset, African American author and editor, d. (b. 1882) United States
1961, July 2 Ernest Hemingway, American Nobel Prize winning author, d. (b. 1899) United States
1961, September 27 Hilda Doolittle, American poet, d. (b. 1886) United States
1961, October 18 Rick Moody, American novelist, author of "The Ice Storm," b. United States
1961, November 2 James Thurber, American humorist, d. (b. 1894) United States
1962 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novel "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" published Russia / USSR
1962 Anthony Burgess' novel "A Clockwork Orange" published UK/ Ireland
1962 Barbara W. Tuchman's Pulitzer Prize winning historical work "The Guns of August" published United States
1962 Doris Lessing's novel "The Golden Notebook" published UK/ Ireland
1962 Edward Albee's drama "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" published United States
1962 John Steinbeck, American author of "The Grapes of Wrath," awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature United States
1962 William Faulkner's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Reivers" published United States
1962 Madeleine L'Engle's Newbery Award winning novel "A Wrinkle in Time" published United States
1962 Rachel Carson's novel "Silent Spring" published United States
1962 Astronaut John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth United States
1962 Helge Ingestad and Anne Stine Ingestad uncover the remains of a Viking settlement in Newfoundland, Canada Canada
1962 Based on ideas expressed in a 1960 paper by J.C. R. Licklider, development begins on what will become the Internet United States
1962 Rwanda and Burundi gain their independence from Belgium Africa
1962, August 9 Herman Hesse, German novelist, author of "Siddhartha," d. (b. 1877) Europe
1962, September 3 E. E. Cummings, American poet, d. (b. 1894) United States
1962, September 25 William Faulkner, American Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author, d. (b. 1897) United States
1962, October The discovery of Soviet nuclear missile bases in Cuba brings about the Cuban Missile Crisis Mexico/ Central & South America
1963 Flannery O'Connor's short story collection "Everything that Rises Must Converge" published United States
1963 Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s novel "Cat's Cradle" published United States
1963 Maurice Sendak's children's book "Where the Wild Things Are" published United States
1963 Michael Chabon, American Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, author of "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," b. United States
1963 Sylvia Plath's novel "The Bell Jar" published United States
1963 "The New York Review of Books" begins publication United States
1963 Military coup in South Vietnam overthrows U.S.-backed South Vietnamese government Asia
1963 Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tershkova becomes the first woman in space Russia / USSR
1963, January 29 Robert Frost, American Pulitzer Prize winning poet, d. (b. 1874) United States
1963, February 11 Sylvia Plath, American poet, author of "The Bell Jar," d. (b. 1932) United States
1963, March 4 William Carlos Williams, American Pulitzer Prize winning poet, d. (b. 1883) United States
1963, August 27 W. E. B. Du Bois, African American civil rights leader and author, d. (b. 1868) United States
1963, August 28 Martin Luther King, Jr leads a march on Washington protesting continued racial discrimination in U.S., delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech United States
1963, September 3 Louis MacNeice, Anglo-Irish poet, d. (b. 1907) UK/ Ireland
1963, November 22 Aldous Huxley, British novelist, d. (b. 1894) UK/ Ireland
1963, November 22 C. S. Lewis, British novelist, author of "The Chronicles of Narnia" series, d. (b. 1898) UK/ Ireland
1963, November 22 President John F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas; Lyndon Johnson becomes president United States
1964 Flannery O'Connor, American short story writer, d. (b. 1925) United States
1964 Jean-Paul Sartre is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature but refuses to accept it Europe
1964 Roald Dahl's novel "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" published UK/ Ireland
1964 Saul Bellow's novel "Herzog" published United States
1964 Shel Silverstein's children's book "The Giving Tree" published United States
1964 Ian Fleming, British author of the James Bond spy novels, d. (b. 1908) UK/ Ireland
1964 The Beatles star in A Hard Day's Night
1964 Two American warships are destroyed in the Gulf of Tonkin, of the coast of Vietnam; The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passes U.S. Congress, allowing for increased U.S. military involvement in Vietnam United States
1964 Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) established Middle East
1964, April 14 Rachel Louise Carson, zoologist whose book "Silent Spring" was pivotal in launching the global environmental movement, d. (b.1907) United States
1964, September 18 Sean O'Casey, Irish dramatist, d. (b. 1880) UK/ Ireland
1965 Neil Simon's play "The Odd Couple" produced United States
1965 Frank Herbert's novel "Dune" published United States
1965 Sylvia Plath's novel "Ariel" published United States
1965 T. S. Eliot, American born British Nobel Prize winning poet, d. (b. 1888) UK/ Ireland
1965 W. Somerset Maugham, English novelist, author of "Of Human Bondage," d. (b. 1874) UK/ Ireland
1965 Katherine Anne Porter's Pulitzer Prize winning "Collected Stories" published United States
1965 French fashion designer Andre Courreges introduces the miniskirt Europe
1965 Race riots erupt in Watts, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA United States
1965 Black civil-rights protesters are attacked by state police in Selma, Alabama United States
1965 Damon Knight establishes the Science Fiction Writers of America United States
1965 A malfunction in a relay switch in Ontario, Canada causes massive blackouts in the northeastern U.S. and parts of Canada United States
1965 American students mount demonstrations in Washington, D.C. against U.S. bombing of North Vietnam United States
1965 Tensions between India and Pakistan escalate into a war Asia
1965, January 12 Lorraine Hansberry, African American playwright, author of "A Raisin in the Sun" d. (b. 1930) United States
1965, January 24 Sir Winston Churchill, British statesman and author, d. (b. 1874) UK/ Ireland
1965, February 21 Malcolm X, African American activist, assassinated in New York city; three Nation of Islam members later convicted of first degree murder d. (b. 1925) United States
1965, July 31 J. K. Rowling, English novelist, author of the "Harry Potter" stories, b. UK/ Ireland
1965, August 8 Shirley Jackson, American novelist and short-story writer, author of "The Lottery," d. (b. 1919) United States
1966 Susan Sontag's essay collection "Against Interpretation" published United States
1966 Anne Sexton's Pulitzer Prize winning poetry collection "Live or Die" published United States
1966 Jean Rhys' novel "Wide Sargasso Sea" published Mexico/ Central & South America
1966 Larry McMurtry's novel "The Last Picture Show" published United States
1966 Thomas Pynchon's novel "The Crying of Lot 49" published United States
1966 Truman Capote's nonfiction novel "In Cold Blood" published United States
1966 Mao Zedong enacts a cultural purge of China, known as the Cultural Revolution (1966 -- 1969) Asia
1966, February 3 The unmanned Soviet spacecraft Luna 9 achieves a soft landing on the moon Russia / USSR
1966, April 10 Evelyn Waugh, British novelist, author of "Brideshead Revisited," d. (b.1903) UK/ Ireland
1967 Chaim Potok's novel "The Chosen" published United States
1967 Dorothy Parker, American author and critic, d. (b. 1967) United States
1967 S. E. Hinton's novel "The Outsiders" published United States
1967 Gabriel Garcia-Marquez's novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" ("Cien anos de Soledad") published UK/ Ireland
1967 William Styron's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Confessions of Nat Turner" published United States
1967 Jacques Derrida's work of literary criticism "Of Grammatology" published Europe
1967 Jhumpa Lahiri, American novelist of Indian descent, author of "Namesake," b. United States
1967 First human heart transplant performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard United States
1967 Rioting in Detroit, Michigan and Newark, New Jersey United States
1967 The Monterey Pop Festival, featuring rock music performers including the Who, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix, begins the "Summer of Love" United States
1967 Six-Day War between Israel and Arab countries results in Israeli control of Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights, and the entirety of Jerusalem Middle East
1967, May 22 Langston Hughes, African-American poet, d. (b.1902) United States
1967, September 29 Carson McCullers, American novelist, author of "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," d. (b. 1917) United States
1967, October 9 Che Guevara, Argentine revolutionary and guerrilla leader who helped Fidel Castro gain power, d. (b. 1928) Mexico/ Central & South America
1968 William Styron's novel "The Confessions of Nat Turner" published, arousing anger over its depiction of African-Americans United States
1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, TN United States
1968 Pope Paul VI issues the encyclical "Humana Vitae," against all methods of artificial contraception Europe
1968 Frequent protests in the U.S. and Europe decrying the war in Vietnam Worldwide
1968 Pro-democratic movements in Czechoslovakia suppressed by Soviet troops and tanks Europe
1968 Viet Cong forces conduct the Tet Offensive, launching coordinated attacks on targets throughout South Vietnam Asia
1968 Egypt and Israel engage in the "War of Attrition," a limited war in which Egypt attempts to regain areas of the Sinai Peninsula from Israel (1968 -- 1970) Middle East
1968 Senator Robert F. Kennedy assassinated while running for the Democratic nomination for President United States
1968, December 20 John Steinbeck, American novelist, author of "Of mice and men," d. (b.1902) United States
1968, December 20 Max Brod, German-Jewish novelist, playwright, poet and critic, d. (b. 1884) Europe
1969 Alexander Solzhenitsyn's novel "The Cancer Ward" published Russia / USSR
1969 Philip Roth's novel "Portnoy's Complaint" published United States
1969 Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s novel "Slaughter House-Five; or, The Children's Crusade" published United States
1969 Samuel Barclay Beckett, Irish novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature United States
1969 British forces are deployed to Northern Ireland to quell violence UK/ Ireland
1969 A police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, prompts the Stonewall riots, considered a turning point in the American Gay Rights movement United States
1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair is held near Bethel, New York United States
1969 The Weathermen, a U.S. guerilla faction, stage the "Days of Rage" in Chicago United States
1969 Sharon Tate and four others found murdered at Tate's home in Los Angeles, Charles Manson and several other indicted United States
1969, July 20 American astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes first man to walk on moon United States
1969, October 21 Jack Kerouac, Beat generation author of "On the Road," d. (b. 1922) United States
1970 Salvador Allende, a Marxist, is elected President of Chile Mexico/ Central & South America
1970 E. M. Forster, English novelist, d. (b. 1879) UK/ Ireland
1970 Patton and M*A*S*H are released
1970 Erich Maria Remarque, German novelist, author of "All Quiet on the Western Front" ("Im Westen nichts Neues"), d. (b. 1898) Europe
1970 Maya Angelou's autobiographical work "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" published United States
1970 Three members of the Weathermen are killed when their "bomb factory" in New York City accidentally explodes United States
1970, January 8 Dave Eggers, American novelist, author of "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius," b. United States
1970, May Four students are killed when National Guardsmen fire on anti-war protesters at Kent State University in Ohio United States
1970, September 28 John Dos Passos, American novelist, d. (b. 1896) United States
1971 Indian born author and daughter of celebrated Indian novelist Anita Desai Kiran Desai, b.
1971 Adrienne Rich's poetry collection "The Will to Change: Poems 1968-1970" published United States
1971 Frederick Forsyth's spy thriller "The Day of the Jackal" published UK/ Ireland
1971 Britain institutes policies of preventative detention and internment without trial in Northern Ireland, prompting an escalation in violence UK/ Ireland
1971 The New York Times begins publication of the Pentagon Papers, leaked Department of Defense documents detailing the history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam United States
1971 Police storm Attica prison following a five day uprising, leaving 10 guards and 23 inmates dead United States
1971, May 19 Ogden Nash, American poet, d. (b.1902) United States
1972 John Gardner's novel "Grendel" published United States
1972 Eudora Welty's novel "The Optimist's Daughter" published United States
1972 Italo Calvino's novel "Invisible Cities" published Europe
1972 Palestinian terrorists kidnap and kill 11 Israeli athletes Munich Olympic games Europe
1972 East Pakistan becomes a sovereign state, renamed Bangladesh Asia
1972 Washington D. C. police arrest five men in the Watergate hotel, marking the beginning of the Watergate scandal United States
1972, February 5 Marianne Moore, American poet, d. (b. 1887) United States
1972, November 1 Ezra Pound, American poet, d. (b. 1885) United States
1973 Thomas Pynchon's novel "Gravity's Rainbow" published United States
1973 Toni Morrison's novel "Sula" published United States
1973 The U.S. Senate begins its investigations into the Watergate scandal United States
1973 Egypt and Syria launch coordinated surprise attacks on Israeli-held Sinai and the Golan Heights, beginning the Yom Kippur War Middle East
1973 U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case of Roe v. Wade declares laws which prohibit a woman's right to an abortion unconstitutional United States
1973 Arab oil-producing nations move to embargo oil shipments to the U.S., Japan and Western Europe, causing an energy crisis in the industrialized world Middle East
1973 American space station Skylab launched United States
1973 Yom Kippur War aka 6th of October War - Egyptian & Syrian forces defeated Israeli's and retakes the areas which had been captured by Israel in 1967 during the Six Days War.
1973 Chilean president Salvador Allende is overthrown by military junta, reportedly commits suicide Mexico/ Central & South America
1973 U.S. and U.S.S.R. sign the SALT-1 treaty to limit nuclear war Worldwide
1973 U.S., South Vietnam and North Vietnam sign cease-fire Asia
1973, June 4 Arna Wendell Bontemps, African American author of "Black Thunder," d. (b. 1902) United States
1973, September 2 J. R. R. Tolkien, English novelist, author of "The Lord of the Rings," d. (b. 1892) UK/ Ireland
1973, September 23 Pablo Neruda, Chilean diplomat, political leader and Nobel Prize winning poet, d. (b. 1904) Mexico/ Central & South America
1973, September 29 W.H. Auden, British poet and Pulitzer Prize winner, d. (b. 1907) UK/ Ireland
1974 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novel "The Gulag Archipelago" published, Solzhenitsyn stripped of Soviet citizenship and exiled Russia / USSR
1974 Irish terrorists bomb the Tower of London and Houses of Parliament UK/ Ireland
1974 Thomas Pynchon's novel "Gravity's Rainbow" unanimously voted to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Pulitzer committee overturns decision, calling the book "obscene" United States
1974, August 9 Richard Nixon resigns as President, pardoned by his replacement, Gerald R. Ford United States
1974, October 4 Anne Sexton, born as "Anne Gray Harvey", American poet, d. (b. 1928) United States
1975 Civil war erupts in Lebanon between Christians and Muslims Middle East
1975 William Gaddis' novel "JR" published United States
1975 Khmer Rouge troops under Pol Pot come to power in Cambodia, instituting brutal reforms Asia
1975 Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, d.; succeeded by King Juan Carlos, who institutes democratic reforms Europe
1975 Communist forces overrun South Vietnam and seize Saigon, bringing an end to the Vietnam War (1946 -- 1975) Asia
1975 John Ashbery's Pulitzer Prize winning poetry collection "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror" published United States
1975 Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize winning drama "Seascape" first performed United States
1975, October 27 Zadie Smith, English novelist, author of "White Teeth," b. UK/ Ireland
1975, November 5 Lionel Trilling, American literary critic, d. (b. 1905) United States
1975, December 7 Thornton Wilder, American dramatist, d. (b. 1897) United States
1976 Chinese leader Mao Tze-tung, d.; Succeeded by Hua Kuo-feng Asia
1976 North and South Vietnam officially united under a communist government, Saigon renamed Ho Chi Minh City Asia
1976 Alex Haley's nonfiction work "Roots: The Saga of an American Family" published United States
1976 Spain grants independence to the Spanish Sahara, territory divided into Morocco and Mauritania Africa
1976 The U.S. National Academy of Sciences reports that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) can damage the atmosphere's ozone layer United States
1976, January 12 Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, English mystery novelist, d. (b. 1891) UK/ Ireland
1977 U.S. President Jimmy Carter calls for profound changes in U.S. oil consumption United States
1977 Indira Gandhi resigns as Prime Minister of India, succeeded by Morarji R. Desai; Emergency declared in India Asia
1977 Czechoslovakian reformists issue Charter 77, calling for increased political freedom, most are subsequently jailed Europe
1977 The science fiction film "Star Wars" premiers United States
1977 Apple Computers founded United States
1977 David Mamet's play "American Buffalo" first performed United States
1977, January 14 Anais Nin, American author, d. (b. 1903) United States
1977, July 2 Vladimir Nabokov, Russian novelist, d. (b. 1899) Russia / USSR
1978 Egypt and Israel sign the Camp David Peace Treaty, Arab League expels Egypt Middle East
1978 Pope John Paul I dies after only 33 days as Pope, Karol Wotjya becomes the first non-Italian Pope since the 16th century, named Pope John Paul II Europe
1978 Leftist Sandinista guerillas in Nicaragua begin a campaign to overthrow President Anastasio Somoza (1978 -- 1979) Mexico/ Central & South America
1978 Lesley Brown gives birth to the first "test tube baby," conceived outside the body of a woman United States
1979 William Styron's novel "Sophie's Choice" published United States
1979 Norman Mailer's novel "The Executioner's Song" published United States
1979 V. S. Naipaul's novel "A Bend in the River" published Mexico/ Central & South America
1979 Nuclear meltdown at the reactor at Three Mile Island near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania narrowly averted United States
1979 Shah of Iran overthrown and replaced by Islamic rule under Ayatollah Khomeini; nearly 100 American Embassy staff taken hostage Middle East
1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain UK/ Ireland
1979 Soviet forces invade and occupy Afghanistan and install puppet government (1979 -- 1988) Asia
1979 Nicaraguan President Anastosio Somoza overthrown by Sandinista rebels, Marxist government installed in Nicaragua Mexico/ Central & South America
1979, October 6 Elizabeth Bishop, Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, d. (b.1911) United States
1980 Umberto Eco's novel "The Name of the Rose" published Europe
1980 Attempt by American commandos to rescue hostages in Iran ends in disaster Middle East
1980 The eruption of Mt. Saint Helens in Washington State causes massive destruction in the surrounding areas United States
1980 A strike at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk leads to the formation of the Polish Solidarity (Solidarnosc) movement Europe
1980 Cable News Network (CNN) becomes the first 24-hour news network United States
1980 Ronald Reagan defeats Jimmy Carter to become U.S. President United States
1980, April 15 Jean-Paul Sartre, French Existentialist philosopher, d.(b.1905) Europe
1980, June 7 Henry Miller, American novelist, d. (b. 1891) United States
1981 Beth Henley's Pulitzer Prize winning play "Crimes of the Heart," first produced on Broadway United States
1981 The George Lucas/Steven Spielberg collaboration, Raiders of the Lost Ark, premieres
1981 Scientists identify AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) United States
1981 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat assassinated while attending a military parade Middle East
1981 IBM launches its first line of personal computers United States
1981 President Ronald Reagan is wounded during an assassination attempt in Washington D.C. United States
1982 Argentine forces seize British-held Falkland Islands, inciting the Falklands War Mexico/ Central & South America
1982 Israeli troops invade southern Lebanon Middle East
1982, March 6 Ayn Rand, Russian born American novelist, author of "The Fountainhead," d. (b. 1905) Russia / USSR
1982 Porky's premieres
1982, April 20 Archibald MacLeish, three time Pulitzer Prize winning author, d. (b. 1892) United States
1983 Tennessee Williams, American playwright, d. (b. 1911) United States
1983 William Kennedy's novel "Ironweed" published United States
1983 Compact Disc (CD) is introduced to the technical world United States
1983 A Marxist coup on the island nation of Grenada is suppressed through U.S. military intervention Mexico/ Central & South America
1983 Militant Islamic terrorist organization Hezbollah founded, seeking the overthrow of Israel by violent means Middle East
1983, February 25 U.S. President Ronald Reagan proposes the Strategic Defense Initiative, a space-based system to defend against attack by nuclear ICBMs, nicknamed "Star Wars" United States
1983, October 23 A truck bomb demolishes the U.S. Marine barracks at Beirut International Airport, killing 241 U.S. servicemen Middle East
1984 Milan Kundera's novel "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" published United States
1984 David Mamet's drama "Glengarry Glen Ross" first performed United States
1984 DNA analysis reveals the genetic difference between chimpanzees and humans to be little more than 1% United States
1984 Food shortages in Ethiopia cause an estimated one million deaths Africa
1984 Apple introduces the Macintosh personal computer United States
1984 Indira Gandhi, president of India, assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards, massive anti-Sikh riots ensue Asia
1984 French and U.S. scientists independently identify the AIDS virus Worldwide
1984, February 12 Julio Cortazar, Argentinean novelist, d. (b. 1914) Mexico/ Central & South America
1984, June 30 Lillian Hellman, American dramatist and author of "The Little Foxes," d. (b. 1905) United States
1984, August 25 Truman Capote, American author, d. (b. 1924) United States
1985 Garrison Keillor's novel "Lake Woebegon Days" published United States
1985 Larry McMurtry's novel "Lonesome Dove" published United States
1985 Don DeLillo's novel "White Noise" published United States
1985 John Irving's novel "The Cider House Rules" published United States
1985 Earthquake in Mexico City kills 7,000 people Mexico/ Central & South America
1985 Hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica discovered by a team of British scientists Worldwide
1985 Live-Aid rock concert held simultaneously in Philadelphia and London raises $60 million for African famine relief Worldwide
1985 Mikhail Gorbachev becomes General Secretary of U.S.S.R., halts deployment of medium range ballistic missiles in Eastern Europe Russia / USSR
1985 Palestinians hijack Italian cruise liner "Achille Lauro," seizing 450 hostages and killing one U.S. passenger Middle East
1985, September 19 Italo Calvino, Italian novelist, d. (b. 1923) Europe
1985, October 1 E. B. (Evelyn Brooks) White, American essayist, literary stylist, author of "Charlotte's Web," d. (b. 1899) United States
1986 Jorges Luis-Borges, Argentine novelist and poet, d. (b. 1899) Mexico/ Central & South America
1986 Susan Sontag's short story "The Way We Live Now" published United States
1986 An explosion and fire at Chernobyl nuclear power station causes severe environmental damage and the evacuation of 133,000 local residents Russia / USSR
1986 Robert Penn Warren is appointed the first Poet Laureate of the United States United States
1986 The Reagan Administration's secret weapons-for-hostages dealings with Iran discovered United States
1986 U.S. warplanes bomb Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya, in retaliation for alleged terrorist attacks on U.S. servicemen Africa
1986, February 11 Frank Herbert, American Hugo and Nebula award winning novelist, author of "Dune," d. (d. 1920) United States
1986, February 28 The space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after liftoff, killing all seven crew members United States
1986, April 14 Simone de Beauvoir, French existentialist philosopher, author of "The Second Sex," d. (b.1908) Europe
1987 Toni Morrison's novel "Beloved" published United States
1987 Joyce Carol Oates' novel "You Must Remember This" published United States
1987 Paul Auster's novel "The New York Trilogy" published United States
1987 T. Coraghessan Boyle's novel "World's End" published United States
1987 Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev launches campaign of reforms, calling for "glasnost" (openness) and "perestroika" (reconstruction) Russia / USSR
1987 First Palestinian Intifada begins as Palestinians wage a campaign of violence against Israeli military occupation (1987 -- 1993) Middle East
1987, August 17 Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Brazilian Modernist poet, d. (b.1902) Mexico/ Central & South America
1987, December James Baldwin, African American novelist, author of "Go Tell it on the Mountain," d. (b. 1924) United States
1988 Raymond Carver's short story collection "Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories" published United States
1988 Robert Heinlein, American science fiction writer, author of "Stranger in a Strange Land," d. (b.1907) United States
1988 A bomb planted by terrorists destroys Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 UK/ Ireland
1988 Soviets begin military withdrawal from Afghanistan (1979 -- 1988) Middle East
1988 Salman Rushdie's novel "The Satanic Verses" published United States
1988 Margaret Atwood's novel "Cat's Eye" published Canada
1988, August 2 Raymond Carver, American short story writer, d. (b. 1938) United States
1989 Daphne du Maurier, Cornish novelist, author of "Rebecca," d. (b.1907) UK/ Ireland
1989 Robert Penn Warren, American novelist and poet author of the Pulitzer winning "All the King's Men," first Poet Laureate of the United States, d. (b.1905) United States
1989 Oscar Hijuelos' Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" published United States
1989 E.L. Doctorow's novel "Billy Bathgate," published United States
1989 Amy Tan's novel "The Joy Luck Club," published United States
1989 U.S. forces invade Panama and arrest President Manuel Noriega Mexico/ Central & South America
1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Texas v. Johnson declares flag burning a form of free speech protected under the First Amendment United States
1989 Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini announces a fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie for blasphemy in his novel "The Satanic Verses" Middle East
1989 Polish elections result in overwhelming victory for Solidarity party Europe
1989 Communist government of Czechoslovakia overthrown in the bloodless "Velvet Revolution," former dissident and playwright Vaclav Havel named president Europe
1989 Demonstrators tear down the Berlin Wall, East German government ousted Europe
1989 Students in Beijing stage massive demonstrations in Tiananmen Square lasting seven weeks before being brutally suppressed by troops and tanks Asia
1989 The Exxon "Valdez" runs aground in Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of oil and causing massive ecological damage United States
1989, December 4 May Swenson, American poet, d. (b. 1913) United States
1989, December 22 Samuel Beckett, Anglo-French novelist and playwright, author of "Waiting for Godot," d. (b.1906) Europe
1990 South African President F. W. de Klerk begins massive reforms leading to the end of apartheid (1950 -- 1990) Africa
1990 A.S. Byatt's novel "Possession," published UK/ Ireland
1990 The first Home Alone is released. Dances with Wolves takes Best Picture
1990 Helmut Kohl elected Chancellor of a unified Germany Europe
1990 Iraqi forces invade neighboring Kuwait, prompting UN sanctions and formation of a military coalition Africa
1990 Marxist Sandinistas ousted in Nicaragua Mexico/ Central & South America
1990 Yugoslavian government intervenes to quell growing violence in Kosovo Europe
1990, August 18 B. F. Skinner, American psychologist, behaviorist, and author, d. (b.1904) United States
1990, November 24 Roald Dahl, British novelist, author of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," d. (b. 1916) UK/ Ireland
1990, December 7 Reinaldo Arenas, Cuban anti-Castro activist, poet, and author of "Before Night Falls," d. (b. 1943) Mexico/ Central & South America
1991 Graham Greene, British novelist, journalist, and sometime spy, author of "The Quiet American," d. (b. 1904) UK/ Ireland
1991 Intermittent ethnic warfare begins between Muslims, Serbs and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1991 -- 1995) Europe
1991 Iraqi forces are forced out of Kuwait after a massive bombing campaign and brief land war Middle East
1991 U.S.S.R. is dissolved into component nations (1920 -- 1991) Russia / USSR
1991, August 6 The World Wide Web is made publicly available on the Internet; the "New Media," independent of established print media, begins to expand Worldwide
1992 Cormac McCarthy's novel "All the Pretty Horses" published United States
1992 Riots erupt in Los Angeles, CA after four policemen accused of beating a black suspect are found not guilty United States
1992 The European Union is formed with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty Europe
1992 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed, loosening restrictions on trade between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico Worldwide
1992 Civil war and famine in Somalia prompt U.S. and U.N. intervention Africa
1992 Susan Sontag's novel "The Volcano Lover" published United States
1992, February 10 Alex Haley, African American novelist, author of "Roots," d. (b. 1921) United States
1992, February 16 Angela Carter, English novelist known for her works of magical realism, d. (b. 1940) UK/ Ireland
1992, April 6 Isaac Asimov, American scientist and science fiction author known for "I, Robot," d. (b. 1920) United States
1992, November 3 Carol Moseley Braun, Democrat from Illinois, becomes the first black woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate United States
1993 Czechoslovakia divides into Slovakia and the Czech Republic Europe
1993 Islamic fundamentalists bomb the World Trade Center in New York United States
1993 Secret peace talks between the PLO and Israel result in the Oslo Accords and the end of the First Palestinian Intifada (1987 -- 1993) Middle East
1993, June 19 William Golding, British Nobel Prize winning author of "Lord of the Flies," d. (b. 1911) UK/ Ireland
1993, November 25 Anthony Burgess, English novelist, author of "A Clockwork Orange," d. (b.1917) UK/ Ireland
1994 Russian forces invade and occupy Chechnya in response to demands for independence. Russia / USSR
1994 E. Annie Proulx's novel "Postcards" published United States
1994 Ethnic strife between majority Hutus and minority Tutsis explodes into genocidal slaughter of over 500,000 Tutsis (1994 -- 1995) Africa
1994 Nelson Mandela elected President of South Africa in the country's first multiracial elections Africa
1994 Rick Moody's novel "The Ice Storm" published United States
1994, March 9 Charles Bukowski, beat generation American novelist and poet, d. (b. 1920) United States
1994, April 16 Ralph Ellison, African American novelist, author of "Invisible Man," d. (b. 1914) United States
1994, July 16 May Sarton, American poet and novelist, d. (b. 1912) United States
1995 Fighting in Bosnia brought to an end by NATO military intervention and the Dayton Agreement (1991 -- 1995) Europe
1995 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassinated by Jewish extremist Middle East
1995 A truck loaded with explosives detonates outside the Alfred R. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, OK, killing 168 people United States
1995 Haruki Murakami's novel "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" ("Nejimaki-dori kuronikuru") published Asia
1995 Seamus Heaney, Irish Poet and writer, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature UK/ Ireland
1995, October 16 The Million Man March, and African-American protest led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, is held in Washington, D.C. United States
1995, October 22 Sir Kingsley William Amis, English author of "Lucky Jim," d. (b. 1922) UK/ Ireland
1996 Frank McCourt's memoir "Angela's Ashes" published United States
1996 Scientists in Scotland successfully clone an adult mammal, a sheep named Dolly UK/ Ireland
1996 Taliban forces capture Kabul and institute fundamentalist Islamic rule in Afghanistan Middle East
1996, March 3 Marguerite Duras, French novelist, author of "The Lover" d. (b. 1914) Asia
1996, May 31 Timothy Leary, counterculture guru who coined the phrase "turn on, tune in, drop out," d. (b. 1920) United States
1996, January 28 Joseph Brodsky, Russian-born American poet and Nobel Prize winner of 1987, d. (b. 1940) United States
1997 Don DeLillo's novel "Underworld" published United States
1997 J. K. Rowling's novel "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" retitled as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" for the US, published UK/ Ireland
1997 Microsoft becomes the world's most valuable company, with a net worth of $261 billion United States
1997 U.K. returns Hong Kong to China after 155 years of British rule in the colony Asia
1997, April 5 Allen Ginsberg, beat generation American poet, author of "Howl," d. (b. 1926) United States
1997, August 2 William S. Burroughs, American writer, author of "Naked Lunch," d. (b. 1914) United States
1997, October 16 James Michener, American novelist, d. (b. 1907) United States
1998 J. K. Rowling's novel "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," published UK/ Ireland
1998 Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Hours," published United States
1998 Alice Munro's short story collection "The Love of a Good Woman" published Canada
1998 India and Pakistan test nuclear weapons Asia
1998 U.S. President Bill Clinton impeached and acquitted after allegations of lying about sex scandal United States
1998 U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania are bombed by terrorists Africa
1998 Violence erupts in Kosovo as Serbian troops attack ethnic Albanian separatists Europe
1998, April 19 Octavio Paz, Mexican Nobel Prize winning poet, d. (b. 1914) Mexico/ Central & South America
1998, December 16 William Gaddis, American novelist, d. (b. 1922) United States
1999 Ralph Ellison's unfinished novel "Juneteenth" published United States
1999 Jhumpa Lahiri's short story collection "Interpreter of Maladies," published United States
1999 NATO launches air strikes in response to Serbian "ethnic cleansing" of Kosovo Albanians Europe
1999 Devastating mudslides in Venezuela kill between 20,000 and 50,000 people Mexico/ Central & South America
1999, February 8 Iris Murdoch, British novelist, d. (b.1919) UK/ Ireland
1999, May 10 Shel Silverstein, American poet, songwriter, and children's author, d. (b. 1932) United States
1999, July Author Jhumpa Lahiri's short story collection, "Interpreter of Maladies" published.
1999, September 8 J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," published UK/ Ireland
1999, December 12 Joseph Heller, American novelist, author of "Catch-22" d. (b. 1923) United States
2000 Islamic fundamentalists bomb U.S.S. Cole, anchored in Yemen Middle East
2000 The Second Palestinian Intifada begins (2000 -- 2005) Middle East
2000 Zadie Smith's novel "White Teeth" published UK/Ireland
2000 Dave Eggers' novel "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" published United States
2000 Vermont becomes the first state in the U.S. to recognize homosexual relationships through civil union United States
2000, January 1 Widespread protests topple Slobodan Milosevic's regime in Serbia Europe
2000, March Originally conceived as a millennium landmark, the London Eye is the largest observation wheel ever built UK/Ireland
2000, July 8 J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," published UK/Ireland
2000, October 12 Chinese writer Gao Xingjian, author of "Soul Mountain" and "One Man's Bible," awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature Asia
2000, November 2 Robert Cormier, American novelist, author of "The Chocolate War" d. (b. 1925) United States
2000, December 3 Gwendolyn Brooks, African American poet, first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, d. (b. 1917) United States
2001 V. S. Naipaul, Trinidad born British novelist awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature UK/Ireland
2001 Philip Roth's novel "The Human Stain" published United States
2001 Michael Chabon's novel "The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" published United States
2001, February 7 Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American aviator and author of "Gift from the Sea," d. (b. 1906) United States
2001, February 26 Arturo Uslar Pietri, Venezuelan novelist, author of "The Red Lances" ("Las Lanzas Coloradas"), d. (b.1906) Mexico/Central & South America
2001, March 12 Robert Ludlum, American novelist, author of "The Bourne Identity," d. (b. 1927) United States
2001, March 23 Russian space station Mir falls to Earth, breaking up in the atmosphere above the South Pacific Mexico/Central & South America
2001, April 1 Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic arrested for war crimes Europe
2001, May 11 Douglas Adams, British novelist, author of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," d. (b. 1952) UK/Ireland
2001, May 13 R. K. Narayan, Indian Novelist who wrote in English, d. (b. 1906) Asia
2001, July 3 Mordecai Richler, Canadian essayist and author, d. (b. 1931) Canada
2001, July 23 Eudora Welty, American Pulitzer Prize winning author, d. (b. 1909) United States
2001, September 11 19 terrorists associated with the Al-Qaeda terrorist network hijack U.S. airliners, crashing two into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon United States
2001, October 7 American-led military coalition invades Afghanistan after Taliban government refuses to turn over Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden Middle East
2001, November 29 John Knowles, American novelist, author of "A Separate Peace," d. (b. 1926) United States
2002 11 of the 15 members of the European Union change their currency to the Euro Europe
2002 U.S. President George W. Bush threatens unilateral military action against Iraq, citing concerns about Weapons of Mass Destruction United States
2002, February 1 Space Shuttle Columbia destroyed during re-entry, killing all seven astronauts aboard United States
2002, July 23 Chaim Potok, American rabbi and author of "The Chosen," d. (b. 1929) United States
2002, October 10 Hungarian writer Imre Kertesz awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature Europe
2003 Dan Brown's best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code" published United States
2003, March 20 U.S. launches missile attacks on Iraq, beginning the Iraq War Middle East
2003, March 27 Paul Zindel, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, author of "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,"d. (b. 1936) United States
2003, July 21 J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," published UK/Ireland
2003, October 2 John Maxwell Coetzee, second South African author to receive Nobel Prize in Literature Africa
2003, December 14 Ousted President of Iraq Saddam Hussein captured by U.S. forces Middle East
2003, December 30 "Reading Lolita in Tehran," Iranian born writer Azar Nafisi's most famous work, published. United States
2004 Alice Munro, Canadian author's short story collection "Runaway" published Canada
2004 Elfriede Jelinek, Austrian feminist writer and novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature Europe
2004 Tom Wolfe's novel "I am Charlotte Simmons" published United States
2004, January 4 Joan Aiken, English novelist and daughter of Conrad Aiken, poet, d. (b. 1924) UK/Ireland
2004, January 10 Spalding Gray, American actor and screenwriter, author of "Swimming to Cambodia," d. (b. 1941) United States
2004, January 29 Mary Margaret ('Mollie') Kaye also known as M. M. Kaye, British writer, d. (b. 1908) UK/Ireland
2004, March 11 Islamic extremists bomb trains in Madrid, killing 191 people Europe
2004, May 17 Massachusetts becomes the first U.S. state to allow same-sex marriages United States

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