The events that appear on the Time-Line that follows were drawn from various sources. Many of the milestones were chosen because they are well known or popular events. Others are milestones that convey the status of science and technology, or social, political, religious, and cultural trends. Added to these are milestones and events that relate to our family history. It is intended that this Time-Line will provide the reader with a familiar yardstick of history that will serve as a background for visualizing periods in which our ancestors lived.
427 - 347 B.C. Plato, Greek philosopher
384 - 322 B.C. Aristotle, Greek philosopher, pupil of Plato and tutor of Alexandra the Great
100 - 44 B.C. Julius Caesar, Roman statesman, general, historian, dictator
5 B.C. Most likely birth date of Jesus
4 BC - 65 A.D. Seneca, Roman philosopher
127 - 151 A.D. Ptolemy, Greek astronomer, mathematician, geographer
570 - 632 A.D. Muhammad, founder of the Islamic religion
742 - 814 A.D. Charlemagne (Karl the Grosse, or Great), King of Franks
1113 - Knights of St. John founded in Jerusalem
1202 - The "Liber Abaci" by Leonardi of Pisa published. It was the first book to explain Arabic numerals to the west. Previously Roman numerals were used.
1206 - Genghis Kahn (1206 - 1267) created a vast Mongol empire in Central Asia.
1215 - King John of England signed Magna Carta which won the Barons of England
rights from the king.
1315 - 1320 Famine in Europe
1327 - Louis IV of France invades Italy and declares Pope John XXII disposed.
1337 - King Edward III of England declares himself king of France starting the Hundred Years' War (to 1453).
1342 - Clement VI is made pope (to 1352).
1347 - The Black Death reaches Genoa, Italy from Central Asia
1356 - Hundred Year's War: Edward the Black Prince, son of England's Edward III, defeats the French at the battle of Poitiers, and captures the French king, John II.
1356 - The "Golden Bull" (a document) was issued by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. It gave seven German princes, 'the Electors', the right to choose the next Emperor, and freedom to rule as they wished in their own lands.
1360 -- Hundred Year's War: Edward III of England gives up his claim to the throne of France.
1378 - The Great Schism in the Church. There were two candidates for the office of Pope, one supported by the French, the other by the Italians. Neither side would give way to the other, and so, until 1417, there were two popes. This confusion made the church look ridiculous to many people, and led some clergymen to demand its reform.
1380 - The English poet, Chaucer, wrote the "Canterbury Tales."
1392 - French King, Charles VI goes mad.
1398 - John Hus, an early Church reformer, lecturers at Prague University. He was burned as a heretic in 1415.
1400 - As the demand for wool increases, many landowners turn arable land to sheep pasture.
1420 -- Hundred Years' War: Henry V of England is acknowledged as heir to the French throne.
1422 -- Henry V of England and Charles VI of France die. They are succeeded by Henry VI, a baby, as King of England (to 1461) and Charles VII as King of France (to 1461)
1428 -- Joan of Arc sees visions and hears voices telling her to free France.
1429 -- Joan of Arc is appointed military commander and wins the siege of Orleans.
1430 -- Burgundians capture Joan of Arc and hand her over to the English.
1430 - Eye-glasses became available
1431 -- Joan of Arc is burned at the stake as a witch at Rouen.
1431 -- Henry VI of England is crowned king of France in Paris.
1440 -- Johannes Gutenberg starts using movable type in Germany.
1445 - First printed book using Gutenberg's printing press (The Bible).
1452 -- Leonardo da Vinci, artist, architect and engineer is born (dies 1519).
1453 -- England driven out of France.
1453 -- Constantinople falls to the Ottoman Turks, Mohammed II, Sultan of Turkey (1451 - 1481) who convert the great Christian church of St. Sophia into a mosque.
1464 - Royal mail service started by French King Louis XI.
1473 -- The Sistine Chapel is built by Geovanni de Dolci. It is the main chapel of the Vatican and is named after Pope Sixtus IV, for whom it was built.
1475 -- Michelangelo is born (dies 1564).
1480 -- Leonardo invents the parachute.
1482 -- Leonardi da Vinci paints the fresco The Las Supper in Milan, Italy.
1486 -- In Germany Maximilian becomes king (to 1493).
1488 - Diaz rounds Cape of Good Hope (tip of Africa).
1492 -- Christopher Columbus reaches the Caribbean islands. At the time he arrived the Caribbean Arawaks grew yams, cotton and tobacco.
1492 -- The Moors and the Jews are expelled from Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella..
1492 -- The first modern globe is made by Bartin Behaim of Nuremberg, Germany.
1492 -- Maximilian I becomes Holy Roman emperor (to 1519).
1493 - Spaniards establish first settlement in New World (Hispaniola).
1497 - John Cabot discovers Newfoundland.
1498 -- Modern-style toothbrushes are being used in China. It was described in Chinese encyclopedia.
1498 - Vasco da Gama (of Portugal) reached India.
1500 -- By 1500, the population of Europe had grown again to the size it had been before the Black Death about 150 years earlier.
1502 -- The first Africans arrive as slaves in the Americas.
1503 -- Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa.
1503 -- Julius II is elected pope (to 1513). He demolishes the old St. Peter's and plans a new church in the Renaissance style of architecture.
1503 - Montezuma becomes ruler of the Aztecs.
1504 -- The watch is invented by Peter Henlein of Nuremberg, Germany. It has only a single hand.
1504 - Michelangelo completes his statue of David
1506 -- Christopher Columbus dies in poverty, still convinced that the lands he has visited are part of Asia.
1507 -- Martin Waldseemuller of Germany produces a world map. It is the first to show South America as separate from Asia and uses the name America, after Amerigo Vespucci.
1508 -- Michelangelo starts painting the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
1510 -- Sunflowers are introduced to Europe from America.
1511 -- The first African slaves reach the New World. Prior to 1511, they had been worked only in the islands of the Caribbean.
1513 - Machiavelli wrote "The Prince." Balboa crossed Panama and sighted the Pacific Ocean
1516 -- Coffee is introduced to Europe.
1517 -- The Reformation begins when Martin Luther, a German priest, protests about corruption in the Church. He is especially concerned about the sale of Indulgences to raise money for the new St. Peter's church in Rome.
1518 -- Forks are first used at a banquet in Venice.
1518 -- The first fire engine is constructed in Germany by Anthony Blatner.
1519 -- Ferdinand Magellan sets out to circumnavigate the world (1519 - 1522).
1520 -- Chocolate is introduced to Europe.
1521 -- The Diet of Worms, condemned Martin Luther as a heretic and excommunicated him from the Roman Catholic Church.
1521 -- Hernan Cortes conquers the Aztec empire. He sent home ships loaded with gold.
1522 -- One ship from Magellan's expedition completes the first circumnavigation of the world. Magellan himself was killed in the Phillippines.
1524 -- The first turkey from American was eaten in Europe.
1524 - Civil war in Inca empire.
1527 -- Spanish and German troops sack Rome and capture the pope.
1530 - Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, gave the Knights of St. John the island of Malto. The Knights of St. John used the Maltese Cross as their insignia to show they were Christian.
1532 -- Francisco Pizarro begins his conquest of the Inca empire in America in the name of Spain.
1532 -- Calvin starts the Protestant movement in France.
1533 -- Francisco Pizarro conquers the Incas.
1534 -- Henry VIII becomes head of the Church of England. The previous year he had been excommunicated by the pope when he married Anne Boleyn. By the Act of Supremacy, Henry VIII is declared supreme head of the Church of England. In 1536, Anne Boleyn is executed and Henry VIII married Jane Seymour.
1536 - Cortes reached Lower California.
1541 -- Hernando de Soto discovers the Mississippi River.
1541 -- Ferdinand of Habsburg is defeated at Pest by the Turks. Hungary becomes a Turkish province.
1543 -- Nicolas Copernicus states that the Earth moves around the Sun.
1547 -- Michelangelo becomes chief architect for St. Peter's in Rome and designs its dome.
1549 -- St. Francis Xavier, Jesuit missionaries, arrive in Japan and start converting the people to Christianity.
1550 - Billiards first played in Italy.
1553 - Tobacco brought from America to Spain
1555 - 1560 - St. Basil Cathedral in Moscow built in Moscow to celebrate Ivan IV's victories in Kazan and Astrakhan.
1558 - Elizabeth I becomes Queen of England
1562 - In France "The Wars of Religion" began with the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in which 20,000 Huguenots were killed by the Catholics.
1563 - Council of Trent. Catholic parish priests were instructed to establish registers of christening and marriages.
1564 - Shakespeare was born in England.
1565 -- "Ivan the Terrible" (Ivan IV -- 1533 - 1584) of Russia set out to destroy the power of the Russian nobles. The St. Basil Cathedral in Moscow was built to celebrate his victory.
1565 - St. Augustine, Florida, colonized by Spanish.
1570 - The Huguenots got conditional freedom to worship in France.
1571 -- Spain conquers the Philippines.
1575 - Battle of Nagashino - 3,000 men armed with muskets defeated a much larger force armed with swords and spears.
1577 - Drake (English) sailed around the world.
1582 - The Gregorian calender having 365.25 days per year (actual number is 365.2422) was introduced into the Roman Catholic countries. It was worked out by the astronomers of Pope Gregory XIII to succeed the Julian calendar which had been used since about 46 B.C. The Julian and Gregorian calenders differed by 11 minutes and 14 seconds per year so that by 1580 the Julian calendar was 10 days ahead of the season. On October 5, 1582 the date was changed to Oct. 15, 1582. Britain changed to the Gregorian calender in 1752; Russia changed in 1918.
1585 -- Sir Walter Raleigh tries to set up an English colony in Virginia but fails.
1588 -- Defeat of the Spanish Armada in the English Channel.
1589 - Forks first used in French Court (imported from Italy)
1590 - Shakespeare began to write.
1590 - The first microscope built.
1600 1720 - The Little Ice Age. A period in Northern Europe when crops regularly failed due to cold weather.
1607 - English found Virginia.
1607 - First telescope invented by a Dutch optician, Hans Lippershey.
1611 - King James Bible published.
1612 - Gustavus Adolphus becomes King of Sweden.
1614 - Roman Catholic parish priests were instructed to keep death records.
1618 - Start of the Thirty Years' War.
1619 - First African slaves arrive in Virginia to work on the plantations.
1619 - Spanish invaded the Palatinate and remained there until the end of the Thirty Years' War.
1620 - Pilgrims land near Cape Cod.
1620 - First hackney (passenger) coaches appear in London.
1621 - The first Thanksgiving day held in November.
1624 - Virginia became a crown colony.
1624 - Prototype submarine tried out on the Thames River by Dutch scientist Cornelius Drebbel.
1626 -- Italian physician Santorio Santorio measures temperature of the human body for the first time with a thermometer.
1626 - Dutch found New Amsterdam and buy Manhattan Island.
1628 - Physician William Harvey demonstrates how blood circulates around the human body.
1631 - English mathematician, William Oughtred, suggest the symbol, x, be used for multiplication.
1633 - A mass trial of witches takes place in Lancashire, England.
1633 - Galileo, an Italian professor, claimed that the Earth and the planets circled around the Sun. He was sentenced to
imprisonment for life for his beliefs. He had challenged the authority of the Roman Catholic Church which taught that the Earth was the center of the universe and that the Sun and the stars moved around it.
1640 - Portugal independence won from Spain.
1643 - Louis XIV became king of France at age 5 years. His mother, Anne of Austria, ruled as regent on his behalf for eight years until 1651.
1643 - France establishes a parcel post.
1644 - Barometer invented by Italian scientist, Evangelista Torricelli.
1647 - The bayonet was invented in Bayonne, France.
1648 - Thirty Years' War Ends with the Treaty of Westphalia which allowed equal rights for Protestants and Roman Catholics in Germany. The Thirty Years' War had reduced the population of Germany from 17 million to 8 million.
1653 - Mailboxes and postage stamps were first used in Paris, France.
1664 - English seize New Amsterdam and rename it New York.
1664 - Scientist Isaac Newton invents calculus and begins to formulate laws of gravitation.
1666 - The Great Fire of London began in a baker's shop, raged for 4 days, destroying 87 churches and more than 13,000 homes. It was stopped by blowing up buildings in its path.
1673 - 1697 War of the German Empire against France. France invaded and devastated the Palatinate.
1675 - Building begun on St. Paul's Cathedral in London. It was completed 35 years later.
1676 - Speed of light calculated by Denmark astronomer, Ole Romer.
1680 - Clocks get minute hand.
1682 - William Penn founds Quaker colony in Pennsylvania.
1682 - French explorer, La Salle claims entire Mississippi Valley for France.
1683 - First German colonists settle in Pennsylvania
1685 - King Louis XIV overturned the Edict of Nantes which had given the Huguenots equal rights with Catholics. Determined to make France solely Catholic, Louis threatened imprisonment or death to those who would not give up their religion. Faced with this choice some 50,000 Huguenots fled the country. These were France's most skilled and hardworking craftsmen.
1688 - 1697 French troops under King Louis XIV invaded the Palatinate, and Protestants migrated from the area.
1692 - Witchcraft trials take place at Salem, Massachusetts.
1693 - Governor Ponce de Leon completes the re-conquest of new Mexico for Spain.
1694 - The first French dictionary published by the French Academy.
1694 - Bank of England was founded.
1703 - Work on Buckingham Palace began.
1709 - Abraham Darby produces a coke furnace to smelt iron ore.
1712 - First steam-driven engine to use pistons built by Thomas Newcomen of Britain. It was used to pump water out of mines.
1717 - Lady Mary Wortley Montague introduces Turkish practice of smallpox vaccination into Britain.
1718 - The first machine gun was patented by James Puckle of London, England.
1719 -- The novel, "Robinson Crusoe," by Daniel Defoe was published.
1720 - Gin became popular in England.
1721 - Johann Sebastian Bach completed the Brandenburg Concertos.
1732 - Benjamin Franklin published "Poor Richard's Almanac" which was an immediate success.
1738 - First cuckoo clocks were made in Germany.
1740 - Frederick the Great, son of Frederick William I, came to power in Prussia (1740 - 1786).
1742 -- Celsius invented new temperature scale, now named after him.
1743 - Thomas Jefferson conducted some of the earliest scientific excavations of archaeological remains. He studied Native American burials, and also fossils.
1759 - British capture Quebec from the French.
1762 - Catherine the Great came to power in Russia.
1763 - Britain wins control of Canada.
1763 - Catherine II, Empress of Russia (born as princess of Anhalt-Zerbst, Germany) invited German peasants to settle in southern Russia. They were given financial assistance for their journey across Poland, and after their arrival in Russia they enjoyed such special privileges as tax relief, exemption from military service, and freedom of religion. Thousands of German peasants, mostly of the Protestant faith (Mennonites), settled in the area west of the Volga River, around Odessa on the shores of the Black Sea, and in Central Ukraine.
1773 - Boston Tea Party in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.
1775 - The Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783).
1776 - The Declaration of Independence.
1783 - First paddle-steamer boat sailed in France.
1785 - First crossing of the English Channel by a hot-air balloon.
1789 - George Washington became the first president of the United States.
1789 - French Revolution began
1789 -- Mutiny on the Bounty by British seamen led to Pitcairn Island's being settled.
1792 - French Republic founded.
1793 - Louis XVI of France was executed
1798 - Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths started in the German area west of the Rhine and in adjoining areas. Registration was on the town level.
1799 - Napoleon came to power.
1804 - The electric telegraph was first successfully demonstrated in Barcelona, Spain.
1807 - Slave trading abolished in British empire.
1808 - The first typewriter was made.
1812 - Napoleon invaded Russia.
1815 - Battle of Waterloo. French monarchy reestablished.
1822 - Birth of Louis Pasteur, the bacteriologist and chemist after which the Pasteurization process was named.
1825 - The Erie Canal opened joining the Great Lakes' ports and New York City.
1829 - Braille alphabet was first used in Paris, France.
1830 - France invaded Algeria
1835 - Colt revolver first made
1848 - 1849 German revolution unsuccessful. Following a decade of severe economic depression and famine, discontent with the German Confederation was manifest in a full-scale revolution. The revolution lost popular support, however,
when dissensions and quarreling divided the revolutionary leaders. The revolution was soon crushed, and between 5,000 and 10,000 Germans emigrated to the United States.
1854 - Johann Michael Jung and his family immigrated to America.
1871 - 1872 Franco-Prussian War. Alsace-Lorraine added to the German Empire.
1914 - 1918 World War I
1919 - Alsace-Loraine returned to France.
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