The Progressive Era Timeline, Digital History ID 2938
1900 U.S. population: 75,994,575.
Under a "Gentleman's Agreement" between Japan and the United States, Japan agrees to limit emigration of laborers to the United States.
1901 Robert LaFollette takes office as Wisconsin's governor, and puts into effect the "Wisconsin Idea," which serves as a model for "progressive government." This provided for a direct primary in 1903 and a railroad commission in 1905.
January 10: Oil is discovered at Spindletop near Beaumont, Texas.
March 2: Under the Platt Amendment, Cuba authorizes the United States to maintain law and order and agreed to sell or lease the U.S. land to serve as naval stations.
Mar 3: U.S. Steel is organized, becoming the country's first billion dollar corporation.
September 6: President William McKinley is shot in Buffalo, N.Y. by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist. The president died on September 14, and is succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt.
1902 The federal government files anti-trust suits against North Securities, a railroad holding company, and the beef trust in Chicago. Both suits were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
May 12: The United Mine Workers stage a strike against anthracite coal mine operators. President Roosevelt appointed a commission to mediate the settlement.
June 2: Oregon becomes the first state to institute the initiative and referendum, through which the people can initiate legislation.
July 17: Under the Newlands Reclamation Act, the federal government will build dams in sixteen western lands.
1903 November 3: Panama revolts against Colombia rule, clearing the way for construction of an American canal.
December 17: With Orville Wright on board, and lasting just 12 seconds, the Wright brother make the first successful flight by a powered aircraft at Kitty Hawk, N.C.
1904 December 6: President Theodore Roosevelt announces the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.
1905 April 17: The Supreme Court strikes down a New York law that prohibited a banker from employing anyone more than 60 hours a week or 10 hours a day, ruling that it interfered with freedom of contract.
June 27: Socialists and labor radicals form the International Workers of the World (the IWW or the Wobblies) in Chicago. Big Bill Haywood, a representative from the Western Federation of Miners proclaims this meeting "the Continental Congress of the working class. The aims and objects of this organization shall be to put the working class in possession of economic power...without regard to the capitalist masters." Unlike the AFL, which restricted its membership to skilled craftsmen, the IWW opened membership to any wage earner regardless of occupation, race, or sex.
1906 Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle, an expose of working conditions in Chicago's meatpacking houses. Sinclair had hoped to generate sympathy for the working class, but wound up making the public concerned about adulterated food. "I aimed at the public's heart," he quipped, "but by accident hit it in the stomach."
April 18: The Great San Francisco Earthquake kills 400 people and causes $500 million worth of damage.
June 30: The Pure Food and Drug Act bars the sale of adulterated foods and drugs. That same day, to address the problems of contaminated and mislabeled meat, Congress passes the Meat Inspection Act providing for enforcement of sanitary regulations in the meat-packing industry.
September 22: An anti-black riot in Atlanta results leaves 21 people dead, including 18 African Americans.
October 11: The San Francisco school board orders the segregation of all Japanese, Chinese, and Korean children. On March 13, 1907, under pressure from the President, San Fransico rescinds the action.
1907 In his seventh annual message to Congress, President Theodore Roosevelt said: "We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so." During his presidency, 148 million acres were set aside as national forest lands and 80 million acres of mineral lands were withdrawn from public sale.
December 16: "The Great White Fleet," consisting of sixteen battleships, sets sail for an around the world cruise.
1908 In its decision in Muller v. Oregon, the Supreme Court acknowledged the need for facts, not just legal arguments, to establish the reasonableness of social legislation. Louis Brandeis, chief counsel for the State of Oregon, used social science data to prove the reasonableness of Oregon's law to restrict the hours that a woman could work.
August 14-15: During two days of anti-black rioting in Springfield, Ill., two thousand African Americans are forced out of the city, two were lynched, and six others were killed.
December 24: New York City revokes the licenses of the city's movie theaters and returns them only when the theaters agree not to show immoral films.
December 26: Black boxer Jack Johnson knocks out Canadian Tommy Burns to become the heavyweight champion. White promoters searched for a "Great White Hope" to defeat Johnson. In 1915, he was defeated by Jess Willard in a fight that many believed was fixed.
1909 Henry Ford introduces his Model T. Priced originally at $850, the Model T's price had fallen to $240 by 1924.
April 7: Explorers Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reportedly reach the North Pole. Henson, who was African American, trained the dog teams, build the sledges, and spoke the language of the Eskimos.
May 31-June 1: The Niagara Movement. A biracial group of religious leaders and humanitiarians incorporates as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The organization demanded equal civil, political, and educational rights, and enforcement of the 14th and 15th Amendments.
1910 U.S. population: 91,972,266.
The publication, The Fundamentals, spells out the basic precepts of fundamentalist religious belief: the literal accuracy of Scripture and the reality of the Virgin birth, the physical resurrection of Christ, vicarious atonement, and the physical second coming of Christ.
June 18: The Mann-Elkins Act extends the authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission to include telegraph and telephone companies and gives it the power to suspend railroad rate increases pending investigation and court rulings.
June 25: White Slavery. The Mann Act makes it illegal to transport women acros state lines, or bring them into the United States, for immoral purposes. Red light districts in ten cities are closed.
August 10: In his New Nationalism speech, Theodore Roosevelt lays out his commitment to conservation, a graduated income tax, regulation of trusts, and the rights of labor.
November: The Mexican Revolution begins when Francisco Madero leads an uprising against President Porfirio Diaz.
1911 Dissident Republicans bolt the party and form the Progressive Party, which endorses anti-trust enforcement, collective bargaining, and conservation of national resources.
March 25: 146 Jewish and Italian immigrant women are killed in a fire at New York's Triangle Shirtwaist Company.
1912 January: 25,000 textile workers go on strike against the American Woolen Co. of Lawrence, Mass.
April 14-15: On its maiden voyage, the Titanic sinks south of Newfoundland; about 1,500 of 2,200 passengers and crew members drown.
October 14: Theodore Roosevelt is shot in a Milwaukee hotel during a campaign tour. Roosevelt delivered a speech before going to a hospital.
1913 February 17: An exhibition of avant garde, post-Impressionist art works opens at New York's 69th Regiment Armory.
February 25: The 16th Amendment permits an income tax. The federal income tax levies a tax of 1 percent on incomes above $3,000 for single individuals and above $4,000 for married couples. A 1 percent surtax is imposed on incomes above $20,000 rising to 6 percent on those above $500,000.
Summer: Henry Ford introduces the assembly line, allowing him to produce a thousand Model T's daily. Ford also institutes a $5 work day.
August 27: "Watchful waiting." President Wilson refuses the recognize the Mexican government of Gen. Victoriano Huerta, whose agents had assassinated President Francio Madero in February.
December 23: The Federal Reserve System is established, providing central control over the nation's currency and credit.
1914 Edgar Rice Burroughs publishes Tarzan of the Apes, the story of a baby of English nobility who is raised by a band of African apes.
April 20: Company guards and National Guard troops attack striking coal miners at John D. Rockefeller's Colorado Fuel & Iron Co. in Ludlow, Colo. When the Ludow War is over, 74 people had died, including eleven children.
April 21: After the arrest of American sailors in Tampico, Mexico, President Woodrow Wilson orders American sailors and marines to occupy Vera Cruz. In November, after Mexican President Huerta fled the country, the president withdrew the troops.
June 28: The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austo-Hungarian throne, by a Serbian nationalist, ignites a chain of events that results in World War I.
August 15: The Panama Canal officially opens.
September 26: The Federal Trade Commission is established to prevent monopolies and unfair business practices.
1915 Margaret Sanger, who coined the term "birth control," is arrested in New York for distributing contraceptive information. In October 1916, she opened the nation's first birth control clinic in Brooklyn.
February 8: D.W. Griffith's luridly racist film, Birth of a Nation, provides a sympathetic treatment of the Ku Klux Klan.
February 23: Nevada grants divorces after six months' residence.
July 6: Erich Muenter, a German instructor at Cornell University, commits suicide after detonating a bomb in the U.S. Senate reception room and shooting financier J. Pierpont Morgan.
May 7: The British ship, the Lusitania, is torpedoed and sinks off the Irish coast; 1,198 passengers drown, including 114 Americans.
August 17: Leo Frank, a Jew, is lynched in Atlanta, for allegedly murdering an employee at the National Pencil Company.
November: Labor leader Joe Hill, who had been convicted of murdering an ex-police officer, is executed by firing squad in Utah. His last words were, Don't mourn for me. Organize!"
December 4: Henry Ford charters a "Peace Ship," in an effort to end World War I.
1916 March 9: Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, along with 1,500 men, crosses the U.S. border to attack Columbus, N. Mex. Pres. Wilson orders Brig. Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing to capture Villa.
July 22: A bomb explodes at a pro-war preparedness parade in San Francisco, killing ten.
September 13: To prevent a nationwide railroad strike, the Adamson Eight-Hour Act mandates an 8-hour work day in the railroad industry.