48 Star Flag
Years Flown: 1912 - 1959
On July 4,1912, the U.S. flag grew to 48 stars with the addition of New Mexico (January 6th, 1912) and Arizona (February 14, 1912). This flag was official for 47 years, the 2nd longest length of years after the 50 Star Flag.
24 June 1912 -Executive Order by President Taft established the proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward.
Politics and Government
1913: The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, giving Congress the power to levy income taxes.
December 23, 1913 - Federal Reserve Act: President Woodrow Wilson signs the Federal Reserve Act into law, creating the Federal Reserve System to stabilize the country's financial system.
April 6, 1917: The United States enters World War I by declaring war on Germany.
The CCC is established on March 31, 1933, as part of the New Deal to provide employment and education to young men in environmental conservation.
December 7, 1941: The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor leads the United States into World War II.
1944 - Korematsu v. United States: The Supreme Court's decision in Korematsu v. United States upholds the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, a controversial infringement on civil liberties.
1948: The Marshall Plan, officially the European Recovery Program, provides financial aid to help Europe rebuild after World War II.
April-June 1954: Army-McCarthy Hearings - Senator Joseph McCarthy launches a campaign to root out suspected communists in government, known as McCarthyism, leading to concerns about civil liberties.
Science, Technology and Medicine
Charles Lindbergh completes the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris on May 21, 1927.
June 17, 1928: Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
September 12, 1958: The Ford Edsel is introduced as a new automobile brand but faces commercial failure.
July 16, 1945: The first successful test of an atomic bomb, code-named "Trinity," takes place in New Mexico.
1955: The Salk polio vaccine is approved for widespread use, leading to a significant reduction in polio cases.
1956 - Invention of the Hard Disk Drive: IBM invents the first hard disk drive (HDD), the IBM 305 RAMAC, changing data storage.
July 29, 1958: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is established, leading to the United States' space exploration efforts.
1959 - Invention of the Microchip: Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments and Robert Noyce at Fairchild Semiconductor independently develop the microchip, a key component in modern electronics.
The Smith-Hughes Act is passed on February 23, 1917, providing federal funding for vocational education in American high schools, enhancing career training opportunities.
The Scopes Monkey Trial, which took place in Dayton, Tennessee, in July 1925, pits science against religion in a legal battle over the teaching of evolution in public schools.
The GI Bill, signed into law on June 22, 1944, provides educational benefits to veterans returning from World War II, greatly expanding access to higher education.
May 17, 1954: The U.S. Supreme Court delivers its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, ending racial segregation in public schools.
National Defense Education Act (NDEA): The NDEA is signed into law on September 2, 1958, providing federal funding to improve education in science, mathematics, and foreign languages, particularly in response to the Soviet Union's technological advances.
Arts, Culture and Literature
1937: John Steinbeck's novella "Of Mice and Men" is published, exploring the hardships of the Great Depression.
Ernest Hemingway's novella "The Old Man and the Sea" is published in 1952, earning him the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her bus seat on December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, becomes a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement and inspires literature and art.
Jack Kerouac's novel "On the Road" is published in 1957, capturing the spirit of the Beat Generation and the American road trip.
Eight members of the Chicago White Sox, including "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, are banned from baseball for their involvement in the "Black Sox" scandal, where they allegedly threw the 1919 World Series.
June 8, 1925: The New York Yankees' Lou Gehrig starts his streak of 2,130 consecutive baseball games.
African American sprinter and long jumper Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
June 6, 1946: The National Basketball Association (NBA) is founded, merging the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Basketball Association of America (BAA).
Events outside the United States (July 4, 1912 - July 3, 1959)
June 28, 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is assassinated, sparking World War I.
September 28, 1928: Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin at St. Mary's Hospital in London, revolutionizing the treatment of bacterial infections.
April 26, 1937: The German airship LZ 129 Hindenburg catches fire and is destroyed while attempting to land in Lakehurst, New Jersey.
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht, a night of violence against Jews in Nazi Germany, marks a turning point in anti-Semitic policies.
September 3, 1939: The United Kingdom and France declare war on Germany, marking the beginning of World War II.
October 24, 1945: The United Nations is founded to promote international cooperation and peace.
1953: James Watson and Francis Crick at the University of Cambridge discover the double helix structure of DNA.
August 12, 1953: The Soviet Union detonates its first hydrogen bomb.
May 6, 1954: English runner Roger Bannister becomes the first person to run a mile in under 4 minutes.
June 16, 1954: The novel "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding is published in the United Kingdom.
The Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite, on October 4, 1957. This event prompts increased emphasis on science and technology education in the United States.