The 20th Century in America

The 1900s brought great progress to the United States. At the beginning of the century, automobiles were being tested. At the end of the 1990s, a space station was being built.

The Wright Brothers: Air Pioneers
Follow young Orville and Wilbur Wright as they turn a childhood appreciation of a flying toy into a lifelong pursuit and a world-changing invention.

The Wright Brothers: Bicycle Geniuses
The road to the world's first man-powered airplane ran through a bicycle shop. Find out how.

Grand Canyon Becomes National Monument
The Grand Canyon became a national monument on January 11, 1908 as part of a declaration by President Theodore Roosevelt. A friend to the environment, Roosevelt had this to say about the natural wonder: "The ages had been at work on it, and man can only mar it."

First to Walk on Moon
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon, the first people ever to do so.

Thomas Edison
See the brilliance of this famous inventor, who gave us the light bulb, the phonograph, and much more.

Mickey Mouse's Big Success Begins
On November 3, 1928, Steamboat Willie, the first first Mickey Mouse cartoon to be a success, debuted. It catapulted its star and its creator, Walt Disney, to fame. Read more about this famous first, which was actually a third, and find out which other cartoon character Mickey Mouse most closely resembles. Did Walt Disney copy someone else?

Brown v. Board of Education
May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously announced an end to public segregation in schools in the famous Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case.

The Record-Setting Day of the "Flying Finn"
One of the most extraordinary sporting feats of all time came in 1925. Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi broke two world records in the space of an hour.

The First Drive-in Bank
It debuted in 1946, in Chicago. See how this innovation changed America.

Jesse Owens Wins Four Gold Medals
On August 9, 1936, Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal of the Olympic Games in Berlin.

John Wesley Powell
John Wesley Powell was one of America's greatest and boldest explorers. He it was who went down the deadly Colorado River, naming the Grand Canyon in the process. He it was who explored (and mapped) much of the unsettled American West. He it was who never took no for an answer.

The Titanic
The Titanic is one of the most famous ocean liners ever, mainly because it never completed its maiden voyage, instead hitting an iceberg and sinking early on the morning of April 15, 1912.

The Opening of the Panama Canal
On August 15, 1914, the Panama Canal opened for business, with the passage through of the Ancon, an American cargo-passenger ship.

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 Graphics courtesy of ArtToday

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White