America, The Good And The Bad

by Hailey Powell

January 1, 1880 - The Panama Canal

The construction of the Panama Canal begins under French auspices, although it would eventually fail on the sea level canal in 1893, and would be bought out by the United States twenty-four years later under President Theodore Roosevelt. The building of the Panama Canal was symbolically begun under the direction of French diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps. Actual construction began a year later. On March 8, President Rutherford B. Hayes declared that the United States would have jurisdiction over any canal built across the isthmus of Panama.
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June 1, 1880 - Population Increase

The national population in 1880 reached 50,189,209 people, an increase of 30.2% over the 1870 census. The geographic center of the U.S. population now reaches west/southwest of Cincinnati, Ohio in Kentucky. Five states now have more than two million in population; New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri.
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November 2, 1880 - New President

James A. Garfield was elected 20th president. During the Civil War, Garfield was a commander at the bloody fight at Chickamauga. The election was close, with Republican James Garfield getting 48.27% to Democrat Winfield Hancock‘s 48.25% and a difference of less than 2,000 votes.
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January 25, 1881 - Telephones

    Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company
of New York and the Angle-Indian Telephone Company Ltd. These companies were licensed to sell telephones in other countries such as Greese, Turkey, India, Japan, China and more.
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July 2, 1881 - Assassination Attempt

    The 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield, is shot by lawyer Charles J. Guiteau in the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad station in Washington, D.C.
Garfield lived out the summer with a fractured spine and seemed to be gaining strength until he caught a chill and died on September 19. Guiteau was apprehended at the time of the shooting and, in spite of an insanity defense, was convicted of murder. Chester Alan Arthur became the 21st President. Guiteau was hanged in June 1882.
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July 4, 1881 - The Tuskegee Institute

    The Tuskegee Institute for black students training to be teachers opens under the tutelage of Booker T. Washington as instructor in Tuskegee, Alabama.
The institute was a "normal" school and industrial institute where "colored" people with little or no formal schooling could be trained as teachers and skilled workers.
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July 20, 1881 - Off to Reservations

In 1873, in what would serve as a preview of the Battle of Little Bighorn three years later, an Indian military coalition featuring the leadership of Sitting Bull skirmished briefly with Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. In 1876, Sitting Bull was not a strategic leader in the U.S. defeat at Little Bighorn, but his spiritual influence inspired Crazy Horse and the other victorious Indian military leaders. He subsequently fled to Canada, but in 1881, with his people starving, he returned to the United States and surrendered.

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January 2, 1882 - The Standard Oil


The Standard Oil Trust began and issued its first stock signed by John D. Rockefeller. The trust was preceded by the Standard Oil Company. All pre-1920 stocks were printed by the American Banknote Co. John D. Rockefeller by this time had acquired 77 separate oil companies and controlled some 90 percent of the refinery and pipeline business in the country through the Standard Oil Trust.
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May 6, 1882 - Chinese Immigrants

May 6, Over President Arthur’s veto, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred Chinese immigrants from the United States for 10 years. It was amended and passed by Congress on August 3 and was signed by Pres. Arthur. Renewals and amendments continued to 1904. The laws were repealed in 1943.
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September 4, 1882 - Electricity

Thomas Edison displayed the first practical electrical lighting system. He successfully turned on the lights in a one square mile area of New York City with the world’s 1st electricity generating plant.
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May 24, 1883 - The Eighth Wonder of the World

The Brooklyn Bridge, hailed as the "eighth wonder of the world," was dedicated by President Chester Arthur and New York Gov. Grover Cleveland, and officially opened to traffic. The suspension bridge linking the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn became a symbol of America's progress and ingenuity. The bridge has a span of 1,595 feet with 16-inch steel wire suspension cables fastened to Gothic-style arches 276 feet tall
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October 15, 1883 - Civil Rights

    The U.S. Supreme Court finds part of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional, allowing individuals and corporations to discriminate based on race.

March 6, 1884 - Women Rights

Over 100 suffragists, led by Susan B. Anthony, presented President Chester A. Arthur with a demand that he voice support for female suffrage.

July 4, 1884 - Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was presented to the United States in ceremonies at Paris, France. The 225-ton, 152-foot statue was a gift from France in commemoration of 100 years of American independence. Created by the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the statue was installed on Bedloe Island (now Liberty Island) in New York harbor in 1885. It was dedicated on October 28, 1886.
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November 4, 1884 - Cleveland

Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected to his first term as president, defeating Republican James G. Blaine. The reference to the Democratic party as the party of "Rum, Romanism and Rebellion" played a large part in Republican candidate James Blaine‘s defeat in the election of 1884. The indiscreet reference made by one of Blaine's supporters has been credited with causing the Blaine‘s loss of the crucial state of New York. Blaine lost the popular vote by less than 100,000 and lost New York by just 1,149, out of a total vote of 1,125,000 cast, to Grover Cleveland, the first Democrat since Buchanan to win a presidential election. Cleveland won by a margin of 30,000 votes.
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September 4, 1886 - Fort Bowie

    At Fort Bowie in southeastern Arizona, Geronimo and his band of Apaches surrender to Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles. This signaled the end of warfare between the United States Army and Indian tribes.

January 20, 1887 - Pearl Harbor

The U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.

March 2, 1889 - Casa Grande

    Legislation signed by President Grover Cleveland sets aside the first public lands protecting prehistoric features at the Casa Grande ruin in Arizona Territory. These lands could not be settled or sold.

March 23, 1889 - Oklahoma Land Rush

    President Benjamin Harrison opens up Oklahoma lands to white settlement, beginning April 22, when the first of five land runs in the Oklahoma land rush start. More than 50,000 people waited at the starting line to race for one hundred and sixty acre parcels.
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January 1, 1892 - Ellis Island

Ellis Island, in New York Harbor, opens as the main east coast immigration center, and would remain the initial debarkation point for European immigrants into the United States until its closure in 1954. More than 12 million immigrants would be processed on the island during those years. Ellis Island replaced Castle Garden, in Manhattan, as the New York immigration center.
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January 14-17, 1893 - Queen Liliuokalani

    The United States Marines, under the direction of U.S. government minister John L. Stevens, but no authority from the U.S. Congress, intervene in the affairs of the independent Kingdom of Hawaii, which culminated in the overthrow of the government of Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani.

September 16, 1893 - Cherokee Strip Land Run

    The fourth of five land runs in Oklahoma's dash, known as the Oklahoma Land Race or the Cherokee Strip Land Run, opened seven million acres of the Cherokee Strip. It was purchased from the Indian tribe for $7,000,000. Nearly 100,000 people gathered around the 42,000 claims that were available to the first person, with a certificate, to stake a claim.

November 7, 1893 - Women Votes

    Women in Colorado are granted the right to vote.

November 3, 1896 - William McKinley

    Republican William McKinley claims victory in the presidential election with a majority of Electoral College voters, 271 selected him over Democratic and People's Party candidate William J. Bryan with 176.
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September 1, 1897 - The Era of the Subway

    The era of the subway begins when the first underground public transportation in North America opens in Boston, Massachusetts.

April 22, 1898 - Cuba

    The blockade of Cuba begins when the United States Navy aids independence forces within Cuba. Several days later, the U.S.A. declares war on Spain, backdating its declaration to April 20. On May 1, 1898, the United States Navy destroyed the Spanish fleet in the Philippines. On June 20, the U.S. would take Guam.

May 12, 1898 - San Juan

    San Juan, Puerto Rico is bombed by the American navy under the command of Rear Admiral William T. Sampson. Puerto Rico is overtaken by the United States between July 25 with its landing at Guanica Bay and August 12. These acts during the Spanish-American War would ultimately result in Spain deciding in December to cede lands, including Puerto Rico, to the United States.

December 10, 1898 - Peace Treaty

    The Peace Treaty ending the Spanish-American War is signed in Paris. The Spanish government agrees to grant independence to Cuba and cede Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States.

September 6, 1899 - The Open Door Policy

    The Open Door Policy with China is declared by Secretary of State John Hay and the U.S. government in an attempt to open international markets and retain the integrity of China as a nation.
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November 6, 1900 - Re-Election

President William McKinley wins his second term as president, this time with Theodore Roosevelt in the second spot on the ticket, again defeating William J. Bryan by an Electoral Margin of 292 to 155.

March 2, 1901 - The Platt Amendment

The Platt amendment is passed by the United States Congress, which limited the autonomy of Cuba as a condition for American troop withdrawal. Cuba would become a U.S. protectorate on June 12.

September 6, 1901 - William H. McKinley is Shot

    President William H. McKinley is shot at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York while shaking hands with fair visitors, following his speech at the event on President's Day the day before. Anarchist Leon Czolgosz is arrested for the crime. On September 14, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is inaugurated as President upon the death of William McKinley from gunshot wounds sustained the week earlier.

November 8, 1904 - Theodore Roosevelt

    Theodore Roosevelt wins his first election for President after serving three years in the office due to the death of William McKinley. He defeats Democratic candidate Alton B. Parker, 336 to 140 in the Electoral College vote.
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June 8, 1906 - Protection of Native American Grounds

    President Theodore Roosevelt grants protection to Indian ruins and authorizes presidents to designate lands with historic and scientific features as national monuments. This act, now known as the Antiquities Act, which would be utilized by Roosevelt to expand the National Parks system over his term was utilized for the first time on September 24, 1906 with the proclamation of Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, an 865 foot volcanic column. On June 29, legislation by Congress would continue to expand the national park system when it establishes Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, preserving the most notable prehistoric cliff dwellings in the United States of America.

June 30, 1906 - FDA

    The Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act is passed.

September 7, 1907 - Lusitania

    The RMS Lusitania, the largest ship at the time, is launched on its maiden voyage from London to New York. The ship would be sunk by a German U-boat in 1915 during World War I, costing 1,198 people their lives.

December 16, 1907 - Great White Fleet

    The United States Great White Fleet of sixteen battleships and twelve thousand men begin their first round the world cruise.

November 3, 1908 - William Howard Taft

    William Howard Taft is elected President, 321 to 162 Electoral Votes, over Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan, who had twice before been defeated for the office by William McKinley in 1896 and 1900.
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1912-1913 Balkan Wars

resulting from territorial disputes: Turkey defeated by alliance of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, and Montenegro; London peace treaty (1913)partitions most of European Turkey among the victors. In second war (1913), Bulgaria attacks Serbia and Greece and is defeated after Romania intervenes and Turks recapture Adrianople.

July 28, 1914 - WWI Begins

World War I began. Panama Canal officially opened. Congress sat up Federal Trade Commission; passed the Clayton Antitrust Act. US Marines were in Veracruz, Mexico, intervening in their civil war to protect American interests.
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April 6, 1917 - US Enters the War

US entered WWI and sends the first troops to France.

November 11, 1918 - WWI Ends

WWI Ends. World wide influenza epidemic strikes and by its end in 1920 over 20 million people were dead. 500,000 perished in the US due to the epidemic.

August 18, 1920 - Womens Right to Vote

19th Amendment ratified (Women's suffrage). Warren G. Harding elected President. The US population reached 106 million.