2003-2006, US Timeline by Piero Scaruffi

2003: USA interest rates reach a 45-year-low

2003: the dollar falls 25% to the euro in just one year
2003: Austrian-born Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes governor of California
2003: serial killer Gary Ridgway confesses to be the “Green River Murderer” who killed at least 48 prostitutes and strippers in the Seattle area between 1982 and 1998
2003: the USA economy grows by 7% in the third quarter, the fastest rate in 20 years
2003: serial killer Gary Ridgway admits murdering 48 women (mostly prostitutes)
2003: the foreign-born populationof the USA reaches 33.5 million, out of 280 million people
2003: the USA dispatches 1,700 soldiers to the Philippines, to help fight the Abu Sayyaf terrorists
2003: scientists estimate the age of the universe is 13.7 billion years and 95% of the universe is invisible “dark matter”
2003: serial killer Charles Cullen, a hospital nurse, is arrested for causing the death of at least 40 patients with drug overdoses
2003: 15 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease
2003: 43,220 people die in traffic accidents in the USA,
2003: Skype is founded by Niklas Zennstroem and Janus Friis to offer voice over IP
2004: the “Spirit” and the “Opportunity” spacecrafts land on Mars and send the first pictures of the planet’s surface
2004: the World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 million people are killed every year in car accidents
2004: A NASA plane sets a new speed record of Mach 7 (8000 km/h)
2004: abuses of Iraqi prisoners, revealed by reporter Seymour Hersh, cause international outcry
2004: Mikhail Gorbacev, Margaret Thatcher and other leaders of the past attend Ronald Reagan’s funeral
2004: scientists transfer properties of one atom and to another atom by entangling their quantum waves
2004: the Bush administration admits that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction (which was the reason to invade Iraq)
2004: the dollar falls to an all-time low against the euro (1.30)
2004: Congress approves an $800 billion increase in the nation’s debt limit, the third such increase since George W. Bush became president (the budget deficit exceeds $7 trillion)
2004: Ryan Matthews becomes the 115th prisoner in the USA since 1973 to be released from death row on the grounds of innocence
2004: Evidence of torture surfaces at both Iraqi and Afghan prisons (Abu Ghraib and Bagram) run by the USA military
2004: the number of millionaires jumps almost 10% in the USA
2005: the monthly USA trade deficit reaches $69 billion of which about 25% with China, 12% with Canada and 12% with Japan
2005: the Kyoto protocol (to reduce the level of greenhouse-gas emissions in order to avoid climate changes such as global warming) is adopted by 141 countries of the world but not the USA, China, India and Australia
2005: a gunman kills seven people at a hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin
2005: a student kills nine people (and himself) at a high school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation of Minnesota
2005: Newsweek magazine reports that guards at Guantanamo desecrated the Quran, a news that sparks deadly riots in Afghanistan and anti-American protests in many Islamic countries
2005: Los Angeles elects a Hispanic mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa
2005: the Six Flags amusement park in New Jersey debuts the fastest and tallest rollercoaster in the world, “Kingda Ka”
2005: Microsoft displays the error message “This item contains forbidden speech” whenever someone tries to write the word “democracy” on its Chinese blog
2005: sales of notebook computers account for 53% of the computer market
2005: the Planetary Society of Pasadena, California, launches an experimental solar-sail spacecraft from a Russian submarine
2005: Bernard Ebbers, former Worldcom’s CEO, is sentenced to 25 years in jail, capping a string of corporate scandals
2005: Lance Armstrong, an American, wins a seventh tour de France, an all-time record
2005: the USA approves the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with Guatemala, Costarica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Dominican Republic
2005: the price of oil jumps from $35 at the beginning of the year to an all-time record of $67 a barrel
2005: USA television channel ABC interviews the most wanted terrorist in Russia, Shamil Basayev
2005: Google’s market capitalization is $84 billion
2005: Yahoo, Google, America OnLine (AOL) and MSN (Microsoft’s Network) are the four big Internet portals with a combined audience of over one billion people worldwide
2005: scientists map the genome of the chimpanzee
2005: the “Katrina” hurricane destroys New Orleans and other cities of Louisiana and Mississippi, displacing more than 500,000 people
2005: under pressure from the USA, North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons program
2005: the “Deep Impact” probe “lands” on a comet, Comet Tempel 1, and confirms that comets contain organic material
2005: members of the Bush administration are indicted for leaking to the press the name of a CIA agent in a vicious attempt to silence a critic of the Iraqi war
2005: agriculture accounts for 2% of all jobs, manufacturing for 10% (but manufacturing output expanded 4% yearly from 1991 to 2001)
2005: the state of Kansas decides to teach alternatives to Darwin’s theory of evolution
2005: the USA carries out the 1,000th execution since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976
2005: anti-USA sentiment brings to power leftist regimes throughout Latin America
2005: hybrid cars represent only 1% of total cars sold
2005: the Atlanta airport, the busiest in the world, handles 88.4 million passengers from more than half a million flights
2005: Ebay acquires Skype for $3.1 billion
2006: Google acquires YouTube for $1.65 billion
2006: Alan Greenspan is retires from chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank
2006: a spacecraft (“New Horizons”) is launched towards Pluto
2006: American search engine Google accepts to cooperate with the government of mainland China in censoring the world-wide web

1999-2003, US timeline compiled by Piero Scaruffi

1999: Internet fever: 100 new Internet companies in the US stock market, and their stocks reap huge profits for investors
1999: artificial viruses spread through the Internet
1999: the US has 250 billionaires, and thousands of new millionaires are created in just one year
1999: Clinton announces a second year of budget surplus, the first time since 1957 that the USA has had two consecutive years of budget surplus
1999: two heavily-armed students kill 13 teachers and fellow students at a high-school in Columbine and then commit suicide
1999: 125 billion galaxies have been discovered since Hubble discovered Andromeda in 1925
1999: Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian terrorist with links to Afghanistan, tries to enter the US and bomb the Los Angeles airport
2000: life expectancy in the USA is 77
2000: between 1970 and 2000 the percentage of the USA population living in suburbs grows from 38% to 50%
2000: the Dow Jones reaches an all-time high of 11,723
2000: the economic expansion in the US is the longest in the history of the US
2000: 10 billion e-mail messages a day are exchanged over the Internet
2000: British and American biologists decipher the entire human DNA
2000: the NASDAQ stock market crashes, wiping out trillions of dollars of wealth
2000: the population of the USA is 280 million and the most populated state is California with over 30 million people
2000: British and American biologists decipher the entire human DNA
2000: Clinton announces a record budget surplus, the largest in US history
2000: George W Bush becomes president on a technicality, even though Clinton’s vice-president Al Gore wins the majority of votes
2000: the divorce rate in the USA is 57%, the highest ever in history
2000: the state of Texas executes 40 people in just one year, an all-time record for the USA
2000: the USA approves a law (AGOA) to eliminate tariffs on hundreds of items for African countries
March 2000: Microsoft and Cisco together are worth $1 trillion (25 times their yearly revenues)
April 2000: the U.S. stock market for high technology companies (NASDAQ) crashes
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November 2000: the first astronauts enter the international space station orbiting the Earth
2001: scientists map the human genome
2001: Jimmy Wales founds Wikipedia, a multilingual encyclopedia that is collaboratively edited by the Internet community
2001: the USA enters a recession, ending the longest economic expansion of its history
2001: the USA tests a missile defence shield
2001: the Voyager leaves the solar system
2001: Arab terrorists affiliated with Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda organization blow up the World Trade Center, killing 4,000 people
2001: the USA bombs the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan and chases Al Qaeda members throughout the world
2001: the USA opens a special prison camp at Guantanamo to hold terrorist suspects and authorizes the use of torture
2001: several cases of the biological weapon anthrax are detected around the United States
2001: Bush announces that the US withdraws from the anti-ballistic treaty (ABM)
2001: 3% of the American population is in jail
2001: satellite radio is introduced in the USA
2001: Enron collapses, unveiling the biggest corporate scandal in USA history
2001: there are five million Muslims living in the USA
2002: Russia becomes an ally of NATO
2002: Rick Warren publishes “The Purpose-Driven Life”, which sells one million copies a month for two years, becoming the bestselling nonfiction book in the history of publishing
2002: the trade deficit with China increases to a record $103 billion
2002: US stock markets crash, following corporate scandals, the third consecutive year of decline
2002: Bush announces the first budget deficit since 1998, bringing the grand total to six million billion dollars (about $21,000 per US citizen)
2002: American scientists synthesize a live virus from chemicals
2002: the NASDAQ falls below its post-September 11’s low
2002: Wal-Mart is the biggest company in the world with over 200 billion dollars in revenues (followed by Exxon and General Motors, also American)
2002: the West Nile virus spreads from state to state and kills dozens of people
2002: George W Bush enacts a doctrine of first strike against foes and of continued military supremacy by the USA
2002: a serial sniper (John Allen “MUhammad” Williams) shoots a dozen people at random in the Washington/Maryland area
2002: Texas executes more people (33) than all of the other 49 states (32)
2002: cardinal Bernard Law has to resign following a wave of sex-abuse scandals involving Catholic priests
2002: Bush coins to expression “axis of evil” to describe the totalitarian regimes of Iraq, Iran and North Korea
2002: Robert William Pickton is suspected of killing more than 50 drug-addicted prostitutes during the 1990s in Vancouver, Canada
2003: The space shuttle “Columbia” crashes during landing, killing the whole crew
2003: Airbus passes Boeing as the world’s largest civilians aircraft manufacturer
2003: Texas executes the 300th inmate since the death penalty was reinstated in 1982
2003: George W Bush orders the invasion of Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein
2003: the USA has a record 2 million inmates

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1995-1999, US timeline compiled by Piero Scaruffi

1995: a right-wing extremist blows up a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 160 people in the worst terrorist incident in the history of the USA
1995: Craig Newmark starts craigslist.com on the Internet, a regional advertising community
1995: the GATT ( General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) evolves into the World Trade Organization
1995: 36 million cars are manufactured in the world, of which 7.6 million in Japan and 6.3 million in the USA, although 8.6 million cars are sold in the USA alone
1995: African-American Muslim Louis Farrakhan organizes the “million man march” on Washington
1995: David Koresh’s Branch Davidian religious fanatics fight the FBI at Waco, Texas
1995: the DVD is introduced
1995: Ward Cunningham creates WikiWikiWeb, a manual on the internet maintained in a collaborative manner
1995: the first extrasolar planet is detected (orbiting 51 Pegasi, a star in the Pegasus constellation, 40 light years from the Sun)
1996: Walt Disney builds a dream town, Celebration, in Florida
1996: Sabeer Bhatia launches Hotmail, a website to check email from anywhere in the world
1996: the computer “Deep Blue” by IBM beats the world champion of chess
1996: Eric Rudolph sets off bombs at the Atlanta Olympic Games that kill two people
1996: Gary Faye Locke becomes the first Chinese-American governor in the USA (governor of Washington state)
1997: Amazon.com is launched on the web as the “world’s largest bookstore”, except that it is not a bookstore, it is a website
1997: the USA signs a treaty banning chemical weapons
1997: Evite is founded by Al Lieb and Selina Tobaccowala
1997: Orville Lynn Majors is arrested for having willingly caused the death of over 100 patients at an Indian hospital
1997: there are 23,000 McDonald’s restaurants in 109 countries
1997: most countries of the world agree on reducing the level of greenhouse-gas emissions in order to avoid climate changes such as global warming, (Kyoto Protocol)
1997: The average yearly income of a USA citizen is $29,000 whereas the average income of a Mexican is $8,000 and the average income of a Nigerian is $900
1998: Pierre Omidyar founds Ebay, a website to trade second-hand goods
1998: Adam Riess discovers that the expansion of the universe is accelerating (dark energy)
1998: 38 million vehicles sold worldwide (4.5 million workers and revenues of 1.5 billion dollars)
1998: Yahoo, Amazon, Ebay and scores of Internet-related start-ups create overnight millionaires
1998: a pill to fight impotency, Viagra, is the best-seller of the year
1998: Osama bin Laden, from his base in Afghanistan, wages a holy war against the USA by bombing two USA embassies in Africa
1998: Clinton is impeached for lying about his adultery with Monica Lewinsky
1998: Jorn Barger coins the term “weblog” for webpages that simply contain links to other webpages
1998: Larry Page and Sergey Brin found Google to develop a search engine
1999: the AIDS epidemis peaks
1999: the USA women’s soccer team wins the world cup
1999: Sarah Knauss, oldest person in the world, dies at 119
1999: the first planetary system outside the Solar System is detected (Upsilon Andromedae, 44 light years from the solar system)
1999: 500 million people in the world take international flights
1999: Blogger.com allows people to create their own “blogs” (personal journals)
1999: an outbreak of the West Nile virus kills nine people in New York
1999: the recording industry sues Napster, a website that allows people to exchange music
1999: the world prepares for the new millennium amidst fears of computers glitches due to the change of date (Y2K)
1999: Microsoft is worth 450 billion dollars, the most valued company in the world, even if it is many times smaller than General Motors, and Bill Gates is the world’s richest man at $85 billion (1/109th of the US economy)
1999: NATO bombs Serbia to stop repression against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo
1999: 13 students are killed in a high school of Littleton, Colorado, by two students (eight fatal shooting spree in two years)

1968-1973, US Timeline by Piero Scaruffi

1968: civil rights leader Martin Luther King is assassinated
1968: Tommie Smith protests the American anthem at the Olympic games
1968: The Vietcong and North Vietnam (the “Tet Offensive”) begin a joint attack against the USA
1968: reporter Seymour Hersh reveals that American soldiers massacre more than 500 civilians at My Lai, Vietnam
1968: Philip Noyce, Gordon Moore and Andy Grove found Intel to build memory chips
1968: 520,000 US troops are in Vietnam
1969: the Unix operating system is born
1969: president Nixon characterizes drugs as “public enemy number one in the United States”
1969: the first Kinetic Sculpture Race is held in Ferndale
1969: the USA uses chemical weapons in Vietnam
1969: Charles Manson, leader of a satanic cult, and his followers kills seven people in a Bel Air mansion
1969: The US begins a secret bombing campaign of Cambodia
1969: Captain Beefheart records “Trout Mask Replica”, possibly the greatest rock album ever
1969: the first “automatic teller machines”
1969: the computer network ArpaNET is born in the U.S. (it will be renamed Internet in 1985)
1969: American astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the Moon
1969: Ted Codd invents the relational database
1969: US president Richard Nixon approves carpet bombing and land invasion of Cambodia
1969: 300,000 young people attend the Woodstock festival of rock music
1969: A huge crowd marches on Washington to demand an end to the Vietnam war
1969: Sylvia Rivera founds the gay liberation movement out of New York
1970: Rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix dies of an overdose
1970: the first Kinko’s opens near the University of California at Santa Barbara
1970: The USA invades Cambodia
1970: optical fiber is invented
1970: five of the seven largest USA semiconductor manufacturers are located in Santa Clara Valley, California
1970: there are more immigrants from Latin America (39%) than Europe (18%)
1971: during riots at the Attica prison, 33 convicts and 10 guards are killed
1971: Richard Nixon secretely helps Pakistan against India and Bangladesh
1971: Cetus, the first biotech company, is founded
1971: a journalist renames Santa Clara Valley the “Silicon Valley”
1971: Ted Hoff and Federico Faggin at Intel invent the micro-processor (a programmable set of integrated circuits)
1971: the video-cassette recorder (VCR) is introduced
1971: end of the Bretton Woods agreement and of fixed exchange rates: currencies float
1971: journalist Gloria Steinem founds the first feminist magazine, “Ms Magazine”
1972: US president Richard Nixon meets with Mao
1972: Magnavox introduces the first videogame console
1972: Nolan Bushnell invents the first videogame (Pong)
1972: Richard Nixon orders carpet bombing of civilian areas in North Vietnam during the Christmas holidays
1972: strategic parity between USA and Soviet Union
1972: the Dow Jones index reaches 1000
1972: a novel by David Gerrold coins the term “computer virus”
1972: Ray Tomlinson invents e-mail for sending messages between computer users, and invents a system to identify the user name and the computer name separated by a “@”
1972: the Global Positioning System (GPS) is invented by the US military, using a constellation of 24 satellites for navigation and positioning purposes
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1973: the USA, defeated, leaves Vietnam after killing close to 2 million civilians and 1 million soldiers, and losing 58,000 men
1973: PBS’ “An American Family” is the first “reality show” on television
1973: Vinton Cerf first uses the term “Internet” (because it is now connecting networks)
1973: the Arpanet has 2,000 users
1973: the CIA helps the Chilean army, led by general Augusto Pinochet, overthrow the socialist government of Salvador Allende (30,000 dissidents are imprisoned and tortured, and 2,000 “disappear”)

1954-1960, US Timeline compiled by Peiro Scaruffi

1954: The US Senate denounces Joseph McCarthy’s “witch hunt”
1955: Rock and roll records climb the charts
1955: “The $64,000 Question” airs for the first time
1955: Roy Kepler founds the Kepler’s bookstore in Menlo Park
1955: Lawrence Ferlinghetti founds the City Lights bookstore in San Francisco
1955: Remington Rand merges with Sperry to form Sperry Rand
1955: William Shockley moves to Silicon Valley, founds his own company and hires Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore and others
1955: the first McDonald’s restaurant opens near Chicago
1955: the first conference on Artificial Intelligence is held at Dartmouth College
1955: Disneyland opens in Los Angeles
1955: Jack Gleason’s sitcom “Honeymooners” airs on tv
1955: A black woman, Rosa Parks, refuses to give her seat to white folks on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and her arrest sparks non-violent protests led by Martin Luther King
1956: South Vietnam refuses the referendum on unification with North Vietnam and the Vietminh start a guerrilla war
1956: Dwight Eisenhower signs the Federal Aid Highway Act to build a nation-wide network of freeways
1956: Fred and Pat Cody found the Cody’s bookstore in Berkeley
1956: the first Japanese car is sold in the USA
1956: Malcom X becomes the spokesman of the “Nation of Islam”
1956: Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” heralds the “beat generation”
1956: Robert Noyce (at Fairchild) and Jack Kilby (at Texas Instruments) invent the integrated circuit
1956: the U.S. explodes the first hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll
1956: telephone line between Europe and the United states laid at the bottom of the Atlantic
1956: Fidel Castro and Che Guevara land in Cuba to fight the US-sponsored dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista
1957: Little Rock, Arkansas is the site of a racial confrontation after black kids are forbidden to enter a high school
1957: the Soviet Union launches the Sputnik, the first artificial satellite
1957: Carlo Gambino rules the Mafia
1957: Albert Sabin develops the polio vaccine
1957: 4.5 million babies are born in the USA (the “baby boomers”)
1958: Arthus Melin and Richard Knerr invent the frisbee
1958: American civilian jet service begins with a Pan Am flight from New York to Paris
1958: the telex service is introduced
1958: Jim Backus (at IBM) invents the FORTRAN programming language, the first machine-independent language
1958: the Boeing 707
1958: the USA’s gross national product is 50% of the world’s national product
1958: RCA introduces the first stereo long-playing records
1959: Alaska becomes a state of the USA
1959: the first commercial Xerox machine is released
1959: Mattel introduces the doll “Barbie”
1959: Ornette Coleman introduces “free jazz”
1959: Fidel Castro leads to success the revolution against the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista
1960: Gregory Pincus invents the birth control pill

1937-1948, Piero Scaruffi’s US timeline

1937: Chester Carlson invents the photocopier
1937: A zeppelin explodes in New Jersey and ends the zeppelin industry
1938: David Packard and William Hewlett found a company in Palo Alto to sell oscillators
1938: John Atanasoff conceives the electronic digital computer
1939: Russian aviator Igor Sikorsky invents the helicopter
1939: Pan American inaugurates the world’s first transatlantic passenger service, flying between New York and Marseilles
1940: the first freeway is built in Los Angeles (the Pasadena freeway)
1940: the CBS radio quiz show, “Take It or Leave It” (later renamed “the $64 Question”) airs for the first time
1940: New York has 7.45 million inhabitants, the largest city in the world
1940: Peter Goldmark invents color television
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1940: Karl Pabst invents the jeep
1941: Japanese attack Pearl Harbor (Hawaii) and the USA enters world war II
1941: Roosevelt authorizes a project to develop an atomic bomb (later renamed the Manhattan Project)
1942: Enrico Fermi achieves the first nuclear reaction
1943: Tommy Flowers and others build the Colossus Mark I, the world’s first programmable digital electronic computer
1943: Albert Hofmann discovers LSD
1943: the first disc-jockeys began performing for the American troops overseas
1944: the world’s monetary system is anchored to the dollar and the dollar to gold, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are created (“Bretton Woods agreement”)
1944: Howard Aiken unveils the first program-controlled computer, the Mark I
1945: Germany is divided in a Western and a Soviet area
1945: on july 16 the USA explodes the first atomic bomb at Alamogordo (New Mexico)
1945: the U.S. drops two atomic bombs on Japan (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and World War II ends
1945: the United Nations Organization is founded in New York
1945: Earl Tupper founds Tupperware to make polyethylene plastic containers for home use
1946: Churchill delivers in the USA the “Iron Curtain” speech, virtually opening the “Cold War” against the Soviet Union
1946: the U.S. population is 133 million
1946: Percy Spencer invents the microwave oven
1946: George Marshall envisions a plan to promote the economic recovery of European democracies
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1946: the French bomb Vietnam
1946: RCA Victor releases the first vinyl record
1946: TWA and United begin transcontinental flights from New York to California
1946: the first non-military computer, Eniac, is unveiled, built by John Mauchly and Presper Eckert
1946: Percy Spencer invents the microwave oven
1947: Truman proclaims the “Truman doctrine” about containing the expansion of communism and defending democracies (specifically Greece and Turkey)
1947: George Kennan advocates a “containment” policy to curb Soviet expansionism (“It is clear that the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies”)
1947: two ships carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer explode in a Texas harbor killing about 576 people
1947: the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is created to eliminate trade bareers
1947: the first widely publicized sighting of a UFO
1947: William Shockley invents the transistor at Bell Labs
1947: Edwin Land invents Polaroid, the first instant camera
1947: Pan Am introduces the first round-the-world flight
1948: The Soviet Union blockades West Berlin
1948: Harry Stockman invents RFID
1948: Ed Sullivan begins his tv variety show
1948: Senator Joseph McCarthy launches a “witch hunt” against intellectuals suspected of being communist
1948: Leo Fender invents the electric guitar
1948: the Jews are granted their own country in Palestine: Israel