Year World Events American Jewish Events American Events
1900

Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams

1900 Paris Exposition

Jewish population estimated at between 938,000 -1.058 million (1.23-1.39 percent of total population)

Workmen's Circle is established in New York to promote mutual aid, Yiddish culture, and labor solidarity among Jewish workers

International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union is founded

1901

 

The Industrial Removal Office is established to help relocate Jewish immigrants from the Lower East Side, New York, to communities across the United States

President William McKinley is assassinated; Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the U.S. President

1902

 

Agudath ha-Rabbanim, the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, is founded in New York

 

1903 Kishineff Massacre

Forty-nine Jews are killed and 92 are severely wounded in the Kishinev pogram

Settlers of the Second Aliyah begin to arrive in Palestine

A bronze tablet containing Emma Lazarus's poem, "The New Colossus" is affixed to the base of the Statue of Liberty

Wright Brothers

Orville and Wilbur Wright make first sustained airplane flight

U.S. gains control over the Panama Canal

Henry Ford founds Ford Motor Company

1905

 

American Jews celebrate the 250th anniversary of receiving the right to settle in New Amsterdam

 

1906

 

In response to the Kishinev pogroms, the American Jewish Committee is founded to safeguard Jewish rights internationally

Oscar Straus is appointed Secretary of Labor and Commerce, the first Jew to hold a U.S. Cabinet post

San Francisco earthquake

Upton Sinclair writes The Jungle

1909 Robert E. Peary

Robert E. Peary reaches the North Pole

 

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded

Protesting intolerable working conditions, 20,000 shirtwaist makers go on strike

1911

Roald Amundsen reaches South Pole

Triangle Shirtwais Fire sheet music, 1911

One hundred and forty-six women die tragically in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York

1912

Titanic sinks on maiden voyage across Atlantic ocean

Henrietta Szold

Henrietta Szold founds Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America

Financier and philanthropist Jacob Schiff purchases large Hebrew book collection for Library of Congress, leading to the establishment of the Semitic Division in the following year

 

1913

In Kiev, Mendel Beilis, target of a blood libel, is acquitted after a sensational trial

B'nai B'rith founds the Anti-Defamation League to combat anti-Semitism in the United States, in response to the Atlanta trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager wrongly accused of murder

 

1914

World War I begins

During First World War, Russian forces in retreat drive 600,000 Jews from their homes

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is founded to provide funds and assistance for Jewish war relief

First boarding house for Jewish vacationers opens in the Catskills, which will lead to the development of the area into a major vacation destination of national reputation

Panama Canal

Panama Canal is opened

1915

 

A mob kidnaps and lynches Leo Frank on learning that the governor of Georgia had committed Frank's death sentence to life in prison

 

1916

 

Louis Brandeis

Louis Brandeis becomes first Jewish Supreme Court justice

 

1917

Russian Revolution brings Vladimir Lenin to power in Russia

Balfour Declaration declares that the British government favors the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine

 

United States enters World War I

1918

 

American Jewish Congress is founded to help secure Jewish rights in post-War Europe and Palestine

Worldwide influenza epidemic strikes, killing more than 25 million people over two years

1919

Prohibition begins

Anarchist Emma Goldman is deported to the Soviet Union

 

 

1920

League of Nations is established in Geneva, Switzerland, and the United States does not join

Jewish population: between 3.3-3.6 million (3.12-3.41 percent of total population)

Women casting votes in New York

Constitutional amendment grants women the right to vote

Henry Ford publishes anti-Semitic propaganda in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent

1921

 

 

Margaret Sanger forms the America Birth Control League, the predecessor to Planned Parenthood Clinics

1922

 

Mordecai M. Kaplan founds the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, the cradle of the Reconstructionist movement; Judith Kaplan (Eisenstein), Kaplan's daughter, celebrates first American Bat Mitzvah

 

1923

 

George Gershwin

George Gershwin composes "Rhapsody in Blue"

1924

 

 

Immigration Act severely limits immigration

1925

Hebrew University opens in Jerusalem with American rabbi Judah L. Magnes as chancellor

First volume of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf is published

Florence Prag Kahn of San Francisco becomes the first Jewish woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives

The Scopes Trial puts the theory of evolution on trial

1927

Charles Levine becomes the first transatlantic air passenger

Warner Brothers produces drama of Jewish acculturation, The Jazz Singer, the first film with sound

Charles A. Lindbergh flies solo across the Atlantic

1928

Alexander Fleming formulates penicillin

Yeshiva College is dedicated in New York

The first chair in Jewish history at a secular university in the United States is endowed at Columbia University

First scheduled television broadcast in New York

1929

 

 

U.S. Stock market crashes on October 29th

1930

Mahatma Gandhi leads the March to the Sea, where thousands gather to protest a government tax on salt

Jewish population: between 4.228–4.4 million (3.44–3.58 percent of total population)

 

1931

 

Empire State Building

Construction of Empire State Building completed, making it the tallest building in the world at the time

1932

 

 

Amelia Earhart is the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

1933 Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein leaves his academic post in Nazi Germany to reside in United States

Adolf Hitler becomes German chancellor, and initiates a series of anti-Jewish actions

The American Jewish Congress declares a boycott of German goods to protest the Nazi persecution of Jews

Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated President

1934

 

Hank Greenberg, first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, refuses to play on Yom Kippur

 

1935

Nuremberg Laws deprive German Jews of their civil rights

 

 

1936

Spanish Civil War begins

Edward VIII abdicates the British throne to wed American divorcee Wallis Simpson

 

 

1937

Pablo Picasso paints Guernica

 

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge is completed in San Francisco

1938 Berlin Jewish shop owners and wreckage, photograph 1938

German synagogues and Jewish businesses are destroyed on Kristallnacht, or "The Night of Broken Glass"

Germany annexes Austria

                             

Father Charles E. Coughlin launches a media campaign against Jews on his popular radio program and in his widely-read magazine, Social Justice

1939

Germany invades Poland, World War II begins

 

America refuses entry to the St. Louis carrying 907 Jewish refugees from Germany

Irving Berlin introduces his song "God Bless America"

1940

Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Jewish population: between 4.77 and 4.83 million (3.63-3.68 percent of total population)

First electron microscope is demonstrated in New Jersey

1941

 

 

Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and the United States officially enters World War II

1942

 

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise receives the "Riegner Telegram" confirming the Nazi intention to murder the Jews of Europe and turns to the State Department for help

War Relocation Authority interns Japanese Americans

Electronic computer is developed in the U.S.

"Manhattan Project" of atomic research begins

1944 D-Day-Normandy invasion

D-Day. Allied forces attack at the beaches of Normandy, France

Camp for Jewish war refugees is opened at Oswego, New York

Franklin Delano Roosevelt establishes the War Refugee Board

1945

World War II ends

International tribunal for war crimes is established at Nuremberg

United Nations is established

Bess Myerson

Bess Myerson becomes the first Jewish woman to win the Miss America Pageant

President Franklin Roosevelt dies in office and Vice-President Harry S Truman takes over

U.S. drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending World War II

1946

Winston Churchill gives his "Iron Curtain" speech in Missouri

 

Bernard Baruch presents the U.S. policy statement for the control of atomic energy to the United Nations

1947

Dead Sea Scrolls are discovered in the Judean desert

The U.N. General Assembly votes to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab

 

Marshall Plan for post-war recovery of European nations is introduced

1948

State of Israel is established

Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated in India

Brandeis University is founded as first nonsectarian, Jewish-sponsored, institution of higher education

President Harry S Truman recognizes the State of Israel within its first hour of existence

U.S. Congress passes the Marshall Plan

1949

Chaim Weizmann is elected first president of Israel

N.A.T.O. treaty signed

 

 

1950

The Korean War breaks out

Jewish population: between 4.5 and 5 million (2.98-3.31 percent of total population)

 

1951

 

 

Color television is introduced

1952

Yiddish writers and other Jewish cultural figures are executed in the U.S.S.R. on "Night of the Murdered Poets"

Elizabeth II becomes Queen of England

 

 

1953

James Watson and Francis Crick decipher the structure of DNA

 

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted and executed for espionage

1954 American Jewish Tercentenary medal, 1954

American Jewish community celebrates tercentenary of Jewish life in America

Stern College for Women is created as a branch of Yeshiva University in New York City

Supreme Court issues ruling in Brown v. Board of Education ending legal segregation in U.S. schools

The phrase "under God" is added to the Pledge of Allegiance

1955

 

 

Dr. Jonas Salk

Polio vaccine is developed by Jonas Salk and is licensed for use

Martin Luther King Jr. initiates the bus boycott to end racial segregation on public transportation in the South

1956

Suez Canal Crisis

 

 

1957

The Soviet Union launches Sputnik I into orbit and begins the "space race"

 

 

1958

 

For That Extra Tangy Taste by Bill Mauldin, 1958.

Reform Jewish Temple in Atlanta is dynamited by a group of extreme segregationists

Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein becomes first American-born musician to be appointed Music Director and Conductor of the New York Philharmonic Symphony

1959 1959, Liberacion poster with Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro takes power in Cuba

 

Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states

1960

Adolf Eichmann is captured and later stands trial in Israel for World War II crimes against Jews and humanity

Exodus poster, 1961

The movie version of Leon Uris's novel Exodus is released

1961

Berlin Wall goes up, dividing East and West Germany

 

 

1963

 

 

President John F. Kennedy is assassinated

Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

1964

 

Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry founded to protest Soviet anti-Jewish policies

Fiddler on the Roof opens on Broadway

Thousands of activists travel to Mississippi to register African-American voters during Freedom Summer. Three, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney, are murdered

1965

 

 

Abraham Joshua Heschel walks with Martin Luther King Jr.

Abraham Joshua Heschel walks with Martin Luther King Jr. on civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama

1967

"Six Day War" between Israel and its neighbors

 

 

1968

Polish government outlaws Jewish language and institutions

 

Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy are assassinated

1969

 

Association for Jewish Studies founded

Vietnam War protest march

Vietnam War protests take place across the country

Neil Armstrong becomes first man on moon

1970

 

Jewish population estimated at between 5.37 and 6 million (2.64-2.95 percent of total population)

 

1972

Eleven Israeli Olympians in Munich are murdered in terrorist attack

Hebrew Union College ordains Sally J. Priesand, making her America's first woman rabbi

 

1973

"Yom Kippur War" between Israel and its neighbors

The first National Jewish Women's Conference is held in New York, attended by over 400 women

 

1974

 

 

Jackson-Vanick amendment passes, linking free emigration from Russia to "most favored nation" trade status

In the aftermath of the Watergate Scandal, President Richard M. Nixon resigns

1976

The Concorde, a supersonic jet, takes flight and starts regular service between London, Paris, and U.S.

Lilith, the Jewish feminist magazine, begins publication

The United States of America celebrates its bicentennial

1977

 

 

First flight of space shuttle

1978

Camp David Accords result in peace treaty between Israel and Egypt

First "test-tube" baby is born in England

Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature

American Nazi party marches in Skokie, Illinois

1979

Margaret Thatcher becomes first woman prime minister of Britain

Shah of Iran is ousted and Ayatollah Khomeini sets up an Islamic Republic

 

U.S. hostages are taken in Iran

Three Mile Island nuclear accident

1980

First Jewish film festival is held in San Francisco

Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington state

1981 Anwar Sadat

Anwar Sadat is assassinated

 

Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is identified

1983

 

Jewish Theological Seminary votes to ordain women as Conservative rabbis

Sally Ride becomes the first American female astronaut

1984

Israel launches "Operation Moses," the clandestine airlift of 25,000 Ethiopian Jews in Sudanese refugee camps to Israel (through 1985)

Madeleine M. Kunin is elected governor of Vermont, becoming the first Jewish woman governor in the United States

Shoshana Cardin of Baltimore becomes the first woman president of the National Council of Jewish Federations

Macintosh computer with "mouse" is launched

15,000 Holocaust survivors gather in Washington, D.C

1986

Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster in Ukraine

Elie Wiesel wins Nobel Peace Prize

Space shuttle Challenger explodes

1989

Soviet Union permits Jews to emigrate freely

The Berlin Wall falls

Tiananmen Square Massacre

 

 

1990

Anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela is freed in South Africa

 

 

1991

Republics of the Soviet Union gain independence

 

U.S. and allies begin Operation Desert Storm

1992

NAFTA Trade Pact signed by U.S., Canada, and Mexico

The first Jewish women senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, are elected to the U.S. Senate – representing California

 

1993

Oslo Accord between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are signed in a ceremony on the White House lawn

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg becomes first Jewish woman Supreme Court justice

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opens in Washington, D.C.

1995

Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated

 

Oklahoma City bombing of U.S. federal building

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