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Timeline of World History

Timelines are wonderful tools for helping children see the "big picture." You can make your own as you go or use pre-made timelines. The timeline below is a continuing project that will be updated frequently. The dates that are listed come from many, many sources. These sources will soon be available in an annotated bibliography.

3372 BC First day in Mayan calendar

c. 3000 BC Pharaoh Menes

2773 BC calendar with 365 days

c. 2690 BC Chinese start weaving silk

c. 2600 BC Papyrus used as paper

c. 2686 - 2181 BC Age of the pyramid in ancient Egypt

2575 - 2134 BC Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt

2551 BC Sphinx and Great Pyramids built

2500 BC first mummies

2500 BC first surgeries in ancient Egypt

2040 - 1532 BC Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt

2000 BC China's first zoo

1500 BC Glass bottles used in Egypt

1500 - 1070 BC New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt

1500 - 1122 BC Shang Dynasty

1122 - 256 BC Chou (Zhou) Dynasty

1100 - 900 BC First Chinese language dictionary

700 BC coins first used

563 - 483 BC Buddha

551 - 479 BC Confucius

390 BC first kite

270 BC magnetic compass

218 - 204 BC Great Wall of China

c. 206 BC - AD 221 Han Dynasty

69 - 30 BC Cleopatra's reign

50 BC - AD 50 Buddhism introduced in China

14 Death of Roman emperor Augustus

43 Roman emperor Claudius invades Britain

60 Rebellion of Boudicca, queen of the Iceni, against Romans in Britain

64 Great Fire of Rome

68 Civil war in Roman empire after Emperor Nero dies

c. 80 Completion of colosseum amphitheatre in Rome

100 Ethiopia is wealthy

116 Roman empire reaches its greatest extent, under Emperor Trajan

122 - 138 Hadrian's Wall Built

166 Roman empire devastated by plague

180 Death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius; end of Pax Romana

212 Roman citizenship formally extended to all free-born people within the empire

235 - 284 Long period of civil war and chaos in Roman empire

284 - 305 Diocletian is emperor of Rome; major reforms; forms "Tetrarchy" of four emperors to rule the empire together

271 - 276 Building of Aurelian walls around Rome

300 - 600 Mayan Golden Age

313 Christianity tolerated throughout Roman empire

324 Constantine becomes sole emperor (western emperor in 312)

330 New city of Constantinople (now Istanbul) inaugurated on site of ancient Greek city of Byzantium in European Turkey

c. 360 First invasions of Europe by Huns from central Asia

378 Romans defeated at Adrianople by Visigoths: Emperor Valens killed

432 St. Patrick introduces Christianity to Ireland

c. 450 Saxons from Germany begin to invade Britain

476 Germanic invader Odoacer expels Romulus Augustus, last emperor of Rome, and takes control of the city

527 - 565 Reign of Justinian, Byzantine emperor; he tries to reunite the eastern and western branches of the Christian church which are bitterly divided

529 St. Benedict founds monastery at Monte Cassino, south of Rome

552 Monks smuggle silkworms to Constantinople from China; start of important Byzantine silk industry

563 - 597 St Columba comes from Ireland to spread Christian religion in Scotland

593 wooden blocks used for printing in China

597 Mission of St. Augustine to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity

c. 600 Beginning of an important period of art and literature in Ireland

c. 602 Slavic tribes begin settlement of the Balkans

618 - 907 T'ang Dynasty

c. 670 Syrian chemist, Callinicus, invents Greek Fire, a highly inflammable liquid used by the Byzantine army in battle; first used in Battle of Cyzicus c. 673

715 Muslim forces conquer most of Spain; only the mountainous north, home of the Basque people, remains independent

732 Charles Martel , king of the Franks, defeats Muslims at Poitiers in France, stopping Muslim advance northwards

768 Charlemagne becomes king of the Franks

800 Pope crowns Charlemagne emperor of Rome on Christmas Day in St Peter's Church, Rome

c. 800 Castles first built in western Europe

802 - 839 King Egbert of England

814 Death of Charlemagne

839 - 858 King Ethelwulf of England

841 Vikings found Dublin on east coast of Ireland

c. 843 Charlemagne 's Frankish empire breaks up

843 Kenneth MacAlpin unites kingdom of Scotia and becomes first king of Scotland (dies c. 859)

858 - 860 King Ethelbald of England

860 - 866 King Ethelbert of England

866 - 871 St. Ethelbert I of England

871 - 899 Reign of Alfred The Great of England

878 Alfred defeats Vikings under Gudrum at Ethandune; Treaty of Wedmore divides England between them

885 Vikings raid Paris in France

c. 891 Monks write the history of England in Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

899 - 925 King dward the Elder of England

c. 900 Magyars, nomadic people from central Asia, invade Europe

911 Rollo, Viking chief, settles in Normandy, France

925 - 939 King Athelstan of England

932 Mass production of books

936 - 973 Reign of Otto The Great, king of Germany; he is crowned Holy Roman emperor in 962

937 Athelstan of England defeats large army of Scots, Irish, and Danes at Battle of Brunanburh, northern England

939 - 946 King Edmund I of England

946 - 955 King Eadred of England

955 - 959 King Edwy of England

959 - 975 King Edgar of England

963 Mieszko I founds kingdom of Poland; he is succeeded by Boleslav I, who expands its territory greatly

975 - 978 Edward the Martyr of England

978 - 1016 Ethelred II "The Unready" of England

c. 986 Eric The Red, Viking explorer, sets up a colony in Greenland

c. 989 Vladimir of Kiev chooses Orthodox Christianity as the official religion for his people

1000 - 1038 Rule of Stephen, first of Arpad dynasty of Hungary; he accepts Christianity for his people

c. 1000 - 1877 Samurai

1005 - 1034 Malcolm II of Scotland

1016 Edmund II "Ironside" of England

1016 - 1035 Canute of England

1037 - 1040 Harold I of England

1040 - 1042 Harthacnut of England

1042 - 1066 Edward the Confessor of England

1054 Split between Catholic church of Rome and Orthodox Christian church of Byzantium

1057 - 1093 Malcolm III of Scotland

1014 Brian Boru, High King of all Ireland, defeats Vikings at Battle of Clontarf, but is killed after victory

1016 - 1035 Reign of Canute, Viking king of England, Denmark, Norway and Sweden

1020 Italian towns, including Rome, Florence and Venice, become city states

1056 - 1147 Almorarid Kingdom

1066 William Duke of Normandy, defeats Harold of England at Battle of Hastings

1066 - 1087 William I "The Conqueror" of England

1087 - 1100 William II of England

1100 - 1135 Henry I of England

1124 - 1153 David I rules Scotland

1135 - 1154 King Stephen of England

1135 Matilda declared queen of England

1139 - 1185 Alphonso I becomes first king of Portugal

1152 - 1190 Reign of powerful Holy Roman emperor Frederick I, called Barbarossa (red beard)

1153 - 1165 Malcolm IV of Scotland

1154 - 1189 Reign of Henry II Plantagenet of Anjou as king of England; he reforms law and government

1171 Henry II invades Ireland and is accepted as its lord

1176 - 1227 Genghis Khan

1189 - 1199 Richard I of England

1199 - 1216 John of England rules

1209 St Francis of Assisi founds Franciscan religious order

1214 - 1249 Alexander II of Scotland

1215 English King John seals Magna Carta, giving more power to barons

1216 - 1272 Henry III of England

1232 Rockets used in battle

1249 - 1286 Alexander III of Scotland

c. 1254 Explorer Marco Polo born in Venice

1272 - 1307 Edward I of England

1279 - 1368 Mongol Empire

1286 - 1290 Margaret of Norway is Queen of Scotland

1292 - 1296 John Balliol (King of Scotland, removed by Edward I of England)

1306 - 1329 Robert I "The Bruce" of Scotland

1307 - 1327 Edward II of England

1325 Tenochtitlan founded

1327 - 1377 Edward III of England

1329 - 1371 David II of Scotland

1371 - 1390 Robert II of Scotland

1368 - 1644 Ming Dynasty

1377 - 1399 Richard II of England

1390 - 1406 Robert III of Scotland

1399 - 1413 Henry IV of England

1406 - 1437 James I of Scotland

1413 - 1422 Henry V of England

1422 - 1461 Henry VI of England

1437 - 1460 James II of Scotland

1460 - 1488 James III of Scotland

1461 - 1470 Edward IV of England

1470 - 1471 Henry VI of England regained crown

1471 - 1483 Edward IV of England regained crown

1483 Edward V of England

1483 - 1485 Richard III of England

1485 - 1509 Henry VII of England

1485 - 1547 Hernan Cortes

1488 - 1513 James IV of Scotland

1500 - 1542 Hernando de Soto

1502 African slaves in America

1509 - 1547 Henry VIII of England

1513 - 1542 James V of Scotland

1527 - 1803 Mongul Empire

1542 - 1567 Mary Stuart of Scotland

1547 - 1553 Edward VI of England

1553 Lady Jane Grey of England

1553 - 1558 Mary I of England

1558 - 1603 Elizabeth I of England

1567 - 1603 James VI of Scotland (who becomes James I of England and Scotland)

1603 - 1625 James I of England and Scotland

1607 Virginia Colony founded

1611 Henry Hudson dies

1620 Pilgrims reach Cape Cod

1625 - 1649 Charles I of England and Scotland

1626 Madagascar settled by French

1629 - 1650 Taj Mahal built

1636 Harvard University founded

1644 - 1912 Manchu Dynasty

1649 - 1660 Britain is ruled as a commonwealth with Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector from 1653 - 1658

1660- 1685 Charles II of England and Scotland

1685 - 1688 James II of England and Scotland

1682 Quakers settle Pennsylvania

1689 - 1725 Peter the Great of Russia

1689 - 1694 William III and Mary II of England and Scotland

1692 Salem witch trials

1694 - 1702 William III of England and Scotland reigns alone

1702 - 1714 Queen Anne of England and Scotland

1714 - 1727 George I of the United Kingdom

1727 - 1760 George II of the United Kingdom

1760 - 1820 George III of the United Kingdom

1773 Boston Tea Party

4 Jul 1776 The Declaration of Independence

1776 - 1783 American Revolutionary War

1783 Treaty of Paris

1787 Northwest Ordinance

1793 Cotton Gin

1803 Louisiana Purchase

1804 - 1806 Lewis & Clark Expedition

1818 - 1883 Karl Marx

1820 - 1830 George IV of the United Kingdom

1830 - 1837 William IV of the United Kingdom

1837 - 1901 Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom

1839 - 1860 Opium War

1846 - 1848 US War with Mexico

1847 - 1931 Thomas Edison

1849 California Gold Rush

1854 - 1856 Crimean War

1856 - 1915 Booker T. Washington

1860 - 1861 Pony Express

1861 - 1865 US Civil War

1862 The Homestead Act

1862 - 1908 Empress Tzu Hui

1869 Suez Canal opened

1869 Transcontinental Railroad

1869 - 1948 Mahatma Gandhi

1870 - 1924 Vladimir Lenin

1875 the Telephone

1885 Washington Monument

1901 - 1910 Edward VII of the UK

1904 - 1905 Russo-Japanese War

1910 - 1936 George V of the UK

1912 The Titanic sinks

1917 Bolshevik Revolution

1919 Prohibition in the USA

1922 Egypt's independence from Britain

1924 Native Americans granted citizenship in the USA

1929 - 1932 The Great Depression (world-wide economic situation)

1933 - 1945 The New Deal (politics in the USA)

30 Jan 1933 Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany

27 Feb 1933 Nazis burn Reichstag building to create crisis atmosphere

28 Feb 1933 Emergency Powers granted to Hitler as result of Reichstag fire

22 Mar 1933 Nazis open Dachau concentration camp near Munich

24 Mar 1933 German Parlaiment gives Hitler dictatorial powers

1 Apr 1933 Nazis stage boycott of Jewish shops and businesses

26 Apr 1933 The Gestapo is born

10 May 1933 Burning of books in Berlin

14 Jul 1933 Nazi Party declared the only legal party in German

14 Jul 1933 Nazi Party passes law stripping Jewish immigrants in Poland of German citizenship

29 Sep 1933 Nazis prohibit Jews from owning land

4 Oct 1933 Jew are prohibited from being newspaper editors in Germany

24 Jan 1934 Jews are banned from the German Labor Front

17 May 1934 Jews not allowed national health insurance in Germany

2 Aug 1934 German President von Hindenburg dies and Hitler becomes Fuhrer

21 May 1935 Nazis ban Jews from serving in the military

26 Jun 1935 Nazis pass law allowing for forced abortions

15 Sep 1935 Nuremberg Race Laws against Jews decreed

1936 Edward VIII of the United Kingdom

1936 - 1952 George VI of the United Kingdom

10 Feb 1936 The German Gestapo is placed above the law

7 Mar 1936 Nazis occupy the Rhineland

17 Jun 1936 Heinrich Himmler appointed chief of German police

1 Augu 1936 Olympic games begin in Berlin

Jan 1937 Jews are banned from many professional occupations including teaching Germans, and from being accountants or dentists. They are also denied tax reductions and child allowances.

12 Mar 1937 Hitler announces "Anschluss" with Austria

26 Apr 1938 Nazis order Jews to register wealth and property

Jul 1938 US convenes League of Nations

23 Jul 1938 Nazis order Jews over 15 years of age to apply for identity cards

25 Jul 1938 Jewish doctors prohibited by law from practicing medicine

11 Aug 1938 The synagogue at Nuremburg destroyed

27 Sep 1938 Jews are prohibited from all legal practices.

15 Oct 1938 Nazi troops occupy the Sudetenland

28 Oct 1938 Nazis arrest 17,000 Jews of Polish nationality living in Germany, then expel them back to Poland which refuses them entry, leaving them in 'no-man's land' near the Polish border for several months

7 Nov 1938 Ernst vom Rath, third secretary in the German Embassy in Paris, is shot and mortally wounded by Herschel Grynszpan, the 17 year old son of one of the deported Polish Jews. Rath dies on November 9, precipitating Kristallnacht

9 Nov 1938 Kristallnact - The Night of Broken Glass

15 Nov 1938 Jewish pupils are expelled from all non-Jewish German schools

3 Dec 1938 Law for compulsory Aryanization of all Jewish businesses

14 Dec 1938 Hermann Goring takes charge of resolving the "Jewish Question"

30 Jan 1939 Hitler threatens Jews during Reichstag speech

21 Feb 1939 Nazis force Jews to hand over all gold and silver items

15 Mar 1939 Nazi troops seize Czechoslovakia

30 Apr 1939 Jews lose rights as tenants and are relocated into Jewish houses

21 Jul 1939 Adolf Eichmann is appointed director of the Prague Office of Jewish Emigration

1 Sep 1939 Nazis invade Poland

1 Sep 1939 Jews in Germany are forbidded to be outdoors after 8 pm

3 Sep 1939 England and France declare war on Germany

4 Sep 1939 Warsaw is cut off by the German Army

17 Sep 1939 Soviet troops invade eastern Poland

23 Sep 1939 German Jews are forbidden to own radio sets

Oct 1939 Nazis begin euthanasia on sick and disabled in Germany

6 Oct 1939 Proclamation by Hitler on the isolation of Jews

12 Oct 1939 Evacuation of Jews from Vienna

23 Nov 1939 Yellow stars required to be worn by Polish Jews over age 10

9 Apr 1940 Nazis invade Denmark and Norway

10 May 1940 Nazis invade France, Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg

14 Jun 1940 Paris is occupied by the Nazis

22 Jun 1940 France signs an armistice with Hitler

27 Sep 1940 Tripartite (Axis) Pact signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan

7 Oct 1940 Nazis invade Romania

Nov 1940 Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia become Nazi Allies

1 Mar 1941 Himmler makes his first visit to Auschwitz, during which he orders Kommandant Höss to begin massive expansion, including a new compound to be built at nearby Birkenau that can hold 100,000 prisoners.

2 Mar 1941 Nazis occupy Bulgaria

6 Apr 1941 Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece

22 Jun 1941 Germany invades Soviet Union

19 Sep 1941 Nazis take Kiev

2 Oct 1941 Beginning of the Germany Army drive on Moscow

7 Dec 1941 Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, HI

11 Dec 1941 Hitler declares war on the United States. Roosevelt then declares war on Germany saying, "Never before has there been a greater challenge to life, liberty and civilization." The U.S.A. then enters the war in Europe and will concentrate nearly 90 percent of its military resources to defeat Hitler

18 May 1941 The New York Times reports on an inside page that Nazis have machine-gunned over 100,000 Jews in the Baltic states, 100,000 in Poland and twice as many in western Russia

7 Jul 1942 Himmler grants permission for sterilization experiments in Auschwitz

23 Aug 1942 Beginning of German Army attack on Stalingrad

26 Sep 1942 SS begins cashing in possessions and valuables of Jews from Auschwitz and Majdanek. German banknotes are sent to the Reichs Bank. Foreign currency, gold, jewels and other valuables are sent to SS Headquarters of the Economic Administration. Watches, clocks and pens are distributed to troops at the front. Clothing is distributed to German families. By Feb. 1943, over 800 boxcars of confiscated goods will have left Auschwitz.

17 Dec 1942 British Foreign Secretary Eden tells the British House of Commons the Nazis are "now carrying into effect Hitler's oft repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people of Europe." U.S. declares those crimes will be avenged

1943 The number of Jews killed by SS Einsatzgruppen passes one million. Nazis then use special units of slave laborers to dig up and burn the bodies to remove all traces.

29 Jan 1943 Nazis order all Gypsies arrested and sent to extermination camps.

2 Feb 1943 Germans surrender at Stalingrad in the first big defeat of Hitler's armies

May 1943 SS Dr. Josef Mengele arrives at Auschwitz

13 May 1943 German and Italian troops in North Africa surrender to Allies

19 May 1943 Nazis declare Berline to be Judenfrei (cleansed of Jews).

9 Jul 1943 Allies land in Sicily

11 Sep 1943 Germans occupy Rome

4 Nov 1943 Quote from Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, published by Julius Streicher - "It is actually true that the Jews have, so to speak, disappeared from Europe and that the Jewish 'Reservoir of the East' from which the Jewish pestilence has for centuries beset the peoples of Europe has ceased to exist. But the Führer of the German people at the beginning of the war prophesied what has now come to pass."

24 Jan 1944 Roosevelt creates the War Refugee Board

19 Mar 1944 Nazis occupy Hungary

6 Jun 1944 D-Day - Allies landings in Normandy

24 Jul 1944 Soviet troops liberate first concentration camp at Majdanek where over 360,000 had been murdered

4 Aug 1944 Anne Frank and family arrested by Gestapo in Amsterdam, then sent to Auschwitz. Anne and her sister Margot are later sent to Bergen-Belsen where Anne dies of typhus on March 15, 1945.

Late 1944 Oskar Schindler saves 1200 Jews by moving them from Plaszow labor camp to his hometown of Brunnlitz.

1945 As the Allies advance, the Nazis conduct death marches of concentration camp inmates away from outlying areas

6 Jan 1945 Soviets liberate Budapest

14 Jan 1945 Invasion of eastern Germany by Soviet troops

27 Jan 1945 Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz. By this time, an estimated 2,000,000 persons, including 1,500,000 Jews, have been murdered there

10 Apr 1945 Allies liberate Buchenwald

23 Apr 1945 Berlin reached by Soviet troops

29 Apr 1945 US 7th Army liberates Dachau

30 Apr 1945 Hitler commits suicide

7 May 1945 Unconditional German surrender signed by Gen. Jodl at Reims

9 May 1945 Hermann Goring captured by members of US 7th Army

23 May 1945 SS Reichsfuhrer Himmler commits suicide

20 Nov 1945 Opening of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal

16 Oct 1946 Hermann Goring commits suicide

9 Dec 1946 23 former SS doctors and scientists go on trial before a U.S. Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Sixteen are found guilty, with 7 being hanged.

1946 People's Republic of China

15 Sep 1947 Twenty one former SS Einsatz leaders go on trial before a U.S. Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. Fourteen are sentenced to death, with only 4 (the group commanders) actually being executed. The other death sentences are commuted.

1949 The Apartheid Policy

1952 reign of Elizabeth II begins in the UK

1954 Polio vaccine

11 May 1960 Adolf Eichmann is captured in Argentina by Israeli secret service

1962 Algeria's independence from France

21 Jul 1969 Neil Armstrong walks on the moon

1973 Abortion legalized

1981 First space shuttle

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