1801—Thomas Jefferson is elected President of the United States
Population of the United States is 5.3 million, with 1 million being of African decent
1803—April 30, Louisiana Purchase finalized. President Jefferson asks Congress for funds to take an expedition to the Mississippi River and beyond in search of a route to the Pacific Ocean.
1804—May, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark depart on their expedition to the Missouri River and the Western U.S.
November, Jefferson is re-elected president.
1808—James Madison is elected President of the United States
1812—War of 1812
1820—Missouri Compromise is passed, admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a gree state. The compromise also prohibited slavery in the remainder of the Louisiana Purchase north of 36/30 degrees north latitude.
1824—John Quincy Adams is elected President of the United States
1828—Andrew Jackson is elected President of the United States
1835—The state of Texas declares independence from Mexico
November 30, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) is born in Missouri
1834—The combine harvester is invented in the U.S. by Hiram Moore
1836—Martin van Buren is elected President of the United States
1844—First telegraphs message sent from Washington D.C. to Baltimore
1848—Zachary Taylor elected as President of the United States
1852—Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is published
Franklin Pierce is elected President of the United States
1854—Kansas-Nebraska Act repeals the Missouri Compromise
1856—James Buchanan elected President of the United States
1857—Albert Bierstadt, famous great plains artist, takes an expedition through the American West that will inspire his later paintings of the great plains landscape
1858—Gold first discovered in Colorado, inspiring westward settlement growth
1860—Abraham Lincoln is elected President of the United States
December 20, South Carolina secedes from the union
The American Civil War begins
1862—The Homestead Act is passed, giving freehold title to 160 acres of undeveloped land in the American West
The Morrill Act is passed, setting public lands aside for state colleges across the country
1864—Sand Creek Massacre; American troops killed hundreds of Cheyenne Indians
American Civil War ends
April 14, Abraham Lincoln is assassinated
1868—Ulysses S. Grant is elected President of the United States
1869—Union Pacific Railroad extended through the Great Plains
1870—15th Amendment to the constitution is passed, allowing black citizens the right to vote
1873—December 7, Willa Cather is born in Virginia. Custer defeated, 250 soldiers killed.
1875—Jim Crow laws enacted in Tennessee
Civil Rights Act passed
1876—Battle of Little Big Horn; General Custer attacks a camp of Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians along the Little Big Horn River in Montana
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is published
Zitkala-Sa born in South Dakota
1885—The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published in the U.S.
1887—The Dawes Act is passed; the act is intended to dissolve Indian reservations by forcing Indians to live on small family farms. Each family received 160 acres of reservation land.
1889—Land Rush; 50,000 settlers compete to claim two million acres of land made available in present day Oklahoma. The Dawes Act had taken the land away from Indians.
1890—Drought and crop failure cause many settlers to leave the great plains region
December, Battle of Wounded Knee; American troops kill 200 Native American women and children
1898—Spanish American War
1900—The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is published
1901—Theodore Roosevelt is elected President of the United States
1902—February 1, Langston Hughes is born in Missouri
1906—The Enlarged Homestead Act is passed in the U.S. congress, allowing ________
1908—William Howard Taft is elected President of the United States
1910—April 21, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) dies
1914—World War I begins in Europe
1917—United States enters WWI
1918—My Antonia by Willa Cather is published
World War I ends
1925—The Professor’s House by Willa Cather is published
1928—First regularly scheduled television service in the U.S. begins
1929—U.S. Stock Market crashes, the Great Depression begins
1931—Great Depression reaches a low point. Almost 25 percent of Americans are unemployed
1932—Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President of the United States
1936—The Plow That Broke the Plains, a documentary chronicling the Great Plains region during the Dust Bowl, is released.
1938—January 26, Zitkala-Sa dies in Washington, D.C.
1939—The Wizard of Oz movie premieres in the U.S. based on the 1900 novel by L. Frank Baum
World War II starts in Europe
1941—Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; U.S. declares war on Japan
1945—World War II ends
1947—April 24, Willa Cather dies in New York City
1952—Dwight Eisenhower is elected President of the United States
1956—Telecasts of the Wizard of Oz movie begin in America
1960—John F. Kennedy is elected President of the United States
1968—Richard Nixon is elected President of the United States
1969—Woodstock music festival is held in New York
1973—Vietnam War Ends
Richard Nixon resigns
1974—Little House on the Prairie TV series premiers
1984—Footloose movie released; the movie followed the life of a rural Oklahoma town and its decision to enact, and then repeal, a ban on dancing and rock music.
1992—George Clinton is elected President of the United States
1996—Twister movie released; the film depicted a team of storm chasers trying to gather data on a tornado outbreak across Oklahoma.
2002—Ted Kooser, a native of Iowa and longtime Nebraska resident, becomes Poet Laureate of the United States.
2006—Friday Night Lights TV series premieres; the show depicts a small town in West Texas and the rallying of the community around high school sports.