The Library of CongressExhibitionsChurchill Exhibition
Churchill and the Great Republic
Interactive Exhibition About the Exhibition Read More About It Acknowledgements Text Version
  Forebears and Family
Warrior for Empire
Visits to America
American Presidents
The Communicator
The Politician
World War II
Cold Warrior
The Long Sunset
1642       First English Civil War begins
1649       January 30, 1649 - King Charles I executed
1650   May 26, 1650 - John Churchill, later the 1st Duke of Marlborough, born in Devon, England    
1653       Oliver Cromwell becomes "Lord Protector," an English governmental title designating the de-facto head of state
1658       September 3, 1658 - Cromwell dies
1660       May 29, 1660 - Charles II returns to London after monarchy is restored
1702   Queen Anne names John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough    
1704   August 13, 1704 - Duke of Marlborough wins Battle of Blenheim    
1705   Construction of Blenheim Palace begins    
1706   Duke of Marlborough wins Battle of Ramillies    
1722   June 16, 1722 - 1st Duke of Marlborough dies    
1732       February 22, 1732 - George Washington born in Virginia
1743       April 13, 1743 - Thomas Jefferson born in Virginia
1770       Captain James Cook claims New South Wales, Australia as a British colony
1775       April 19, 1775 - Battles of Lexington and Concord begin hostilities in the American revolution against Great Britain
1776       July 4, 1776 - American colonies declare independence from Great Britain
1783       September 3, 1783 - Treaty of Paris signed; United States independence formally recognized
1788       July 2, 1788 - U.S. Constitution goes into effect after being ratified by the required nine states
1804       1804 - 1806 - Meriwether Lewis and William Clark commissioned by President Jefferson to find the passage to the Pacific Ocean
1809       February 12, 1809 - Abraham Lincoln born in Kentucky
1812       1812-1814 - War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain
1817   November 3, 1817 - Leonard W. Jerome, Churchill's maternal grandfather, born in New York state    
1822   June 2, 1822 - John Winston Spencer-Churchill, the 7th Duke of Marlborough and Churchill's paternal grandfather, born    
    1822 - Frances Anne Vane, Churchill's paternal grandmother, born    
1824       May 7, 1824 - Beethoven premieres his 9th Symphony
1825   July 16, 1825 - Clara (Clarissa) Hall, Churchill's maternal grandmother, born in New York state    
1833       Slavery abolished throughout British Empire
1837       King William IV dies, Queen Victoria ascends to the throne
        British create a colony in New Zealand
1844   May 13, 1844 - George Charles Spencer-Churchill, Churchill's uncle and the 8th Duke of Marlborough, born   May 24, 1844 - Samuel F. B. Morse marks completion of first telegraph line in U.S.; transmits historic message from U.S. Capitol to Baltimore, Maryland
1848       January 24, 1848 - James Marshall discovers gold in California starting the "Gold Rush"
        July 1848 - First Women's Rights Convention in the U.S. held at Seneca Falls, New York
        Karl Marx publishes The Communist Manifesto
1849   Feb 13, 1849 - Lord Randolph Churchill, Churchill's father and 3rd son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough, born in England    
1854   January 9, 1854 - American Jennie (Jeanette) Jerome, Churchill's mother, born in Brooklyn, New York    
1855       Walt Whitman publishes Leaves of Grass
1858       Territories of British East India Company, including India, Burma, Ceylon, Hong Kong, placed under administration of the crown
1859       Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species
1861       March 4, 1861 - Abraham Lincoln becomes 16th U.S. President
        April 12, 1861 - First shots fired in the U.S. Civil War
        Russian Czar Alexander II frees the serfs
1862       September 22, 1862 - Emancipation Proclamation issued, abolishing slavery in the U.S.
1865       April 9, 1865 - U.S. Civil War ends
        April 14, 1865 - President Lincoln assassinated, dies on April 15
1867       Canada becomes first British colony transformed into a "Dominion," a self-governing territory within the Empire
1869       October 2, 1869 - Mahatma (Mohandas Karmchand) Gandhi born in India
        Leo Tolstoy completes War and Peace
1871   Charles Richard John Spencer Churchill (Sunny), Churchill's cousin and the 9th Duke of Marlborough, born    
1874   April 15, 1874 - Churchill's parents marry   First Impressionist exhibition held in Paris
    November 30, 1874 - Winston Spencer Churchill (WSC) born in Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England    
1876       March 7, 1876 - Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent for the telephone
        Queen Victoria named "Empress of India"
1877   January 1877 - WSC's grandfather, the 7th Duke of Marlborough, appointed Viceroy of Ireland   Compromise of 1877 ends period of southern Reconstruction in the U.S.
        November 21, 1877 - Thomas Edison announces invention of the phonograph
1879       December 21, 1879 - Josef Stalin born in Gori, Georgia
        Thomas Edison develops the first practical incandescent lamp
1880   February 1880 - WSC's brother John, called Jack, born    
1882       January 30, 1882 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt born Hyde Park, New York
1886       January 29, 1886 - German Karl Benz patents the gasoline-powered car
        October 28, 1886 - Statue of Liberty dedicated in New York
1889       April 16, 1889 - Charlie Chaplin born in London
        April 20, 1889 - Adolph Hitler born in Austria
        Eiffel Tower completed
1890       October 14, 1890 - Dwight David Eisenhower born Denison, Texas
1891       British inventor William K. L. Dickson produces the Kinetograph and Kinetoscope, a motion-picture camera and viewing machine, while working for Thomas Edison
1893   WSC enters Royal Military College at Sandhurst    
1895   January 24, 1895 - WSC's father, Lord Randolph Churchill, dies    
    WSC commissioned as second lieutenant in 4th Hussars, a cavalry regiment    
    October - December 1895 -WSC's first visit to the U.S. and Cuba    
1896   1896-1898 - WSC travels with regiment to India; works as newspaper reporter   June 2, 1896 - Italian Guglielmo Marconi patents his "Black Box" radio in Great Britain
1898   WSC writes first book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force   Theodore Roosevelt commands a volunteer force of "Rough Riders" during the Spanish-American War
    WSC requests transfer to Egypt for campaign in Sudan    
    WSC participates in the British army's last great cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman    
1899   WSC writes The River War about the Sudanese campaign   October 1899 - Anglo-Boer War begins
    WSC resigns from the army, runs for Parliament as a Conservative. Loses.    
    In South Africa, WSC reports for newspaper on Boer War, is captured, scales a prison wall, and escapes    
1900   WSC elected to Parliament as M.P. from Oldham (Conservative party)   April 14, 1900 - The Paris Exposition opens. More than 50,000,000 people eventually view the exhibits from 76,000 exhibitors and 40 nations.
    February 12, 1900 - as cavalry officer and correspondent, WSC participates in the Battle of Hussar Hill; his brother, Jack, is wounded in the same battle    
    December 1900 - Lecture tour of U.S. and Canada. Meets President McKinley, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, and Mark Twain   Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams
1901   February 14, 1901 - WSC takes up seat in Parliament   January 1, 1901 - Australia becomes a Dominion
    WSC gives maiden speech in the House of Commons   January 22, 1901 - Queen Victoria dies; Edward VII becomes King
        September 14, 1901 - President McKinley assassinated, Theodore Roosevelt becomes President
        First Nobel prizes awarded
1903       December 17, 1903 - Wright Brothers make first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
1904   WSC leaves Conservative party, joins Liberal party    
1905   December 1905-April 1908 - WSC serves as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies   Albert Einstein publishes his theory of relativity
1906   WSC elected as M.P. from Manchester N.W. (Liberal Party)    
    WSC meets Kaiser Wilheim II while on European holiday    
1907       New Zealand becomes a Dominion state
1908   April 1908-February 1910 - WSC is President of the Board of Trade   Henry Ford manufactures the Model T
    September 12, 1908 - WSC marries Clementine Hozier    
    Elected as M.P. from Dundee (Liberal party). Serves until 1922.    
1909       The National Negro Committee, later known as the NAACP, first meets in New York City
1910   February 1910-October 1911 - WSC is Home Secretary   1910 - Union of South Africa formed as semiautonomous state under British rule
        May 6, 1910 - King Edward VII dies, George V becomes King
1911   October 1911-May 1915 - WSC is First Lord of the Admiralty   December 14, 1911 - Norwegian Roald Amundsen arrives at the South Pole
1912       April 14-15, 1912 - The Titanic sinks
1913       Henry Ford introduces first moving automobile assembly line
        Woodrow Wilson becomes the 28th U.S. President
1914       June 28, 1914 - Archduke Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo
        August 4, 1914 - United Kingdom enters World War I
1915   WSC urges attack on the Dardanelles and Gallipoli. Resigns Admiralty position after attack fails and Prime Minister Herbert Asquinth reshuffles government.   May 7, 1915 - German U-boat sinks the Lusitania
    May-November 1915 - WSC is Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster   Ernest Swinton, British soldier and scholar, invents the tank
    November 1915 - WSC joins army in France, fights in the trenches, is promoted to 2nd Lieutenant Colonel, and commands battalion of 6th Royal Scots Fusilliers    
1916       December - David Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister
1917   July 1917-January 1919 - Lloyd George appoints WSC to Minister of Munitions. Begins large scale tank production   March 15, 1917 - Russia's Czar Nicholas II abdicates after rioting erupts in St. Petersburg
        April 6, 1917 - U.S. declares war on Germany
        October 1917 - Under orders from Vladimir Lenin, Bolsheviks in Russia begin armed uprising
1918       November 11, 1918 - Armistice signed formally ending World War I
        1918 Representation of the People Act gives British women over age 30 the right to vote
1919   January 1919-February 1921 - WSC is Secretary of State for the War and Air   June 28, 1919 - Treaty of Versailles signed ending World War I
1920       August 18, 1920 - 19th Amendment ratified giving women in the U.S. the right to vote
1921   February 1921-October 1922 - WSC is Secretary of State for the Colonies    
    WSC participates in Irish Treaty negotiations with Irish nationalist and founder of the Irish Republican Army, Michael Collins   Irish Free State (later called ‘Eire') created in Southern Ireland; six northern counties become Northern Ireland and remain within the United Kingdom
    March 1921 - WSC attends Cairo Conference   March 1921 - Cairo Conference establishes the government, ethnic composition, and political boundaries of Iraq and other portions of the Middle East
    June 26, 1921 - Churchill's mother, Lady Churchill, dies    
1922   WSC loses election, out of Parliament   November 14, 1922 - British Broadcasting Company (BBC) begins daily broadcasts
        Benito Mussolini creates fascist state in Italy
        James Joyce publishes Ulysses, T.S. Eliot writes The Waste Land
1923   1923-1931 - WSC publishes World Crisis, a multi-volume history of World War I    
1924   October 1924 - WSC rejoins Conservative party, elected M.P. for Epping   Stalin takes power in Soviet Union when Lenin dies
    1924--1929 - WSC serves as Chancellor of the Exchequer    
1925       Hitler publishes first volume of Mein Kampf
        African American philosopher Alain Locke publishes The New Negro, defining and popularizing the Harlem Renaissance movement
1927       BBC becomes British Broadcasting Corporation, converts from private company to public body
        May 20-21, 1927 - Charles Lindbergh makes first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean
        Warner Brothers releases The Jazz Singer, the first major sound film
        First demonstration of television in the U.S.
1928       British women 21 and over are granted right to vote
        Soviet Union begins first Five Year Plan
1929   August-October 1929 - WSC travels across Canada and U.S., meets William Randolph Hearst and Charlie Chaplin   January 15, 1929 - Martin Luther King, Jr. is born in Georgia
    October 29, 1929 - WSC arrives in New York. Loses over 10,000 pounds when market crashes   October 29, 1929 - New York Stock Market crashes
1930       March 12, 1930 - Gandhi begins Dandi March (Salt March)
1931   December 1931-March 1932 - On lecture tour of nineteen U.S cities, WSC is hit by car and hospitalized. Visits Bahamas   British Commonwealth of Nations formalized by the Statute of Westminster, an act of Parliament giving formal recognition to the autonomy of the Dominions
1932   May 8, 1932 - WSC's first radio broadcast to the U.S.   Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) elected 32nd U.S. President
        Iraq gains independence from Great Britain
1933   1933-1938 - WSC publishes Marlborough, His Life and Times, a six volume set about his ancestor   June 30, 1933 - Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany
1936   WSC attempts to keep Edward VIII on the throne after scandal   January 20, 1936 - King George V dies; Edward VIII becomes King
        December 11, 1936 - King Edward VIII abdicates; George VI becomes King
        Egypt granted independence from Great Britain
        Spanish General Francisco Franco leads uprising resulting in the Spanish Civil War
        Italy and Germany form the Axis
1937       Picasso paints Guernica
1938       March 12, 1938 - Hitler annexes Austria
1939   September 1939-May 1940 - WSC is First Lord of the Admiralty   August 23, 1939 - Stalin and Hitler sign Nazi-Soviet Pact
    September-December 1939 - WSC's first correspondence with FDR    
        September 1, 1939 - German army invades Poland
        September 3, 1939 - Britain and France declare war on Germany
        December 15, 1939 - Gone with the Wind premieres in Atlanta
1940   May 10, 1940 - WSC becomes Prime Minister when Neville Chamberlain resigns, also serves as First Lord of the Treasury and Minister of Defense   April 9, 1940 - Germany invades Norway and Denmark
    WSC named Time Magazine's "Man of the Year"   June 10, 1940 - Mussolini declares war on the Allies
        June 14, 1940 - German army enters Paris
        September 1940 - German Luftwaffe begin nightly bombing raids on London
        November 18, 1940 - Royal Air Force use airborne radar successfully
        Japan and Hungary join the Axis
        Ernest Hemingway publishes For Whom the Bell Tolls
1941   August 1941 - WSC's first meeting with FDR (off the coast of Newfoundland)   June 22, 1941 - Germany invades the Soviet Union
    December 1941 - WSC meets FDR in Washington, D.C., addresses U.S. Congress, travels to Canada   July 12, 1941 - Soviet Union and Great Britain sign agreement of mutual aid
        December 7, 1941 - Japanese attack Pearl Harbor; U.S. enters World War II
        December 11, 1941 - Germany declares war on U.S.
1942   June 1942 - WSC meets with FDR at Hyde Park   August 7, 1942 - U.S. Marines first use Navajo Code Talkers to transmit telephone and radio messages
    August 1942 - WSC meets with Stalin in Moscow   August 24, 1942 - German army enters Stalingrad
        August 1942 - Manhattan project, code name for U.S. project to produce an atomic bomb, begins
        November 8, 1942 - British and Americans invade North Africa in operation TORCH
1943   January 1943 - WSC meets with FDR in Casablanca   July 10, 1943 - Allied troops land in German-occupied Sicily
    May 1943 - WCS addresses U.S. Congress for a second time   September 8, 1943 - Italy surrenders to the Allies
    August-September 1943 - WSC meets with FDR at Hyde Park; attends the Quebec conference   December 1943 - "Colossus," a British computer used for code-breaking, is operational
    September 5, 1943 - WSC receives honorary degree from Harvard    
    November 1943 - First meeting of the "Big Three" -Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill - in Tehran, Iran    
1944   June 12, 1944 - WSC travels to Normandy beaches   February 1944 - Luftwaffe makes heaviest raids on London since 1941
    October 1944 - WSC and Stalin meet in Moscow   June 6, 1944 - D-Day invasion into Normandy, France
        August 24, 1944 - U.S. Army liberates Paris
        July 1944-April 1945 - Concentration camps liberated by American, British, and Soviet Forces
1945   February 1945 - Big Three meet in Yalta, Soviet Union   April 12, 1945 - President Roosevelt dies; Harry S Truman becomes 33rd U.S. President
    February 15, 1945 - WSC's final meeting with FDR (off coast of Alexandria, Egypt)   May 8, 1945 - Germany surrenders
    May 8, 1945 - Announces "VE Day"  



Conservative party loses election; WSC turned out of office. Clement Attlee, leader of Labour party, becomes Prime Minister

  June 25, 1945 - United Nations Charter approved
        August 6 and 9, 1945 - U.S. drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan
    July 1945 - WSC meets with Truman and Stalin in Potsdam, Germany   September 2, 1945 - World War II ends when Japan formally surrenders onboard U.S. battleship Missouri
1946   January-March 1946 - WSC visits the U.S. and Cuba, meets Truman    
    March 5, 1946 - WSC gives "Iron Curtain" speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri    
1947       India gains independence from Great Britain
1948       January 30, 1948 - Gandhi assassinated
        April 3, 1948 - Harry S Truman signs European Recovery Act, authorizing the Marshall Plan aid for Europe
1949       Republic of Ireland established when "Eire" leaves British Commonwealth
        April 4, 1949 - North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) created
1950       June 25, 1950 - Korean War begins
        August 1950 - British Commonwealth troops arrive in Korea
1951   WSC elected Prime Minister again at age 76    
1952       February 6, 1952 - King George VI dies; Elizabeth II becomes Queen
1953   January 1953 - WSC meets Truman in Washington and President-elect Eisenhower in New York; final address to U.S. Congress   January 20, 1953 - Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes 34th U.S.
    April 1953 - WSC knighted by Queen Elizabeth as knight of the Order of the Garter, the UK's highest order of knighthood   March 5, 1953 - Joseph Stalin dies; Nikita Khrushchev becomes secretary general of Soviet Communist Party
    December 1953 - WSC attends Bermuda conference, meets with Eisenhower in an attempt to gain support for a top-level dialog with new Soviet leadership    
    WSC wins Nobel Prize for Literature for his "mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values"    
1955   April 1955 - WSC retires as Prime Minister    
1956       January 27, 1956 - Elvis Presley releases "Heartbreak Hotel," his first Gold Record, selling more than 1,000,000 copies
1957       October 4, 1957 - Soviet Union launches Sputnik I
1958       Khrushchev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union
1959   April-May 1959 - WSC meets with Eisenhower in Washington, D.C.   February 16, 1959 - Fidel Castro becomes leader of Cuba
1960       John F. Kennedy elected 35th U.S. President
1961   WSC makes last trip to the U.S., visits New York   April 12, 1961 - In first manned space flight, Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbits the earth
        May 1961 - South Africa withdraws from the British Commonwealth (rejoins in 1994)
        August 13, 1961 - Berlin Wall construction begins
1962       October 5, 1962 - The Beatles release "Love Me Do," their first record
        October 18-29, 1962 - Cuban Missile Crisis
1963   WSC is given honorary citizenship of the United States by U.S. Congress   August 28, 1963 - Martin Luther King leads over 200,000 people in march on Washington; meets with President Kennedy at the White House
        November 22, 1963 - President Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas; Lyndon Baines Johnson becomes 36th U.S. President
1964   WSC retires from Parliament   Nelson Mandela sentenced to life in prison in South Africa (released 1990)
        Khrushchev is ousted from power; Leonid Brezhnev becomes General Secretary of Soviet Communist Party
        February 7, 1964 - The Beatles arrive in New York; Beatlemania ensues
1965   January 24, 1965 - Sir Winston Spencer Churchill dies in London at age 90   January 29, 1965 - Memorial service held for Churchill at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.; BBC broadcasts Eisenhower's speech
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