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Twentieth Century Timeline (1900 onwards)

Era of Queen Victoria (1837-1901)

1899-May 1900: The Siege of Mafeking in South Africa lasts for 217 days.

1899-1902: The Second Boer War.

Era of King Edward the Seventh (1901-1910)

1901: Edward Elgar writes “Pomp and Circumstance” March Number One “Land of Hope and Glory”.
Beatrix Potter publishes “Peter Rabbit”.
Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton sail on the National Antarctic Expedition ship “Discovery” which ventured further south than any other ship.
William Booth successfully gets Bryant and May to stop using phosphorus in matches.
The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, etc all form together to become the Commonwealth of Australia.
The Royal Navy launches its first submarine.

1902: Arthur Conan Doyle publishes”The Hound of the Baskervilles”.
George Cadbury becomes the owner of the Daily News newspaper.
George Bernard Shaw Publishes “Man and Superman”. John Masefield publishes “€œSalt Water Ballads”.

1903: Birth of George Orwellone the 25th June.
Birth of Barbara Hepworth on the 12th June.
Birth of Graham Sutherland on the 24th August.
Birth of Evelyn Waugh on the 28th October.
Christabel Pankhurst Founds the Women’€™s Social and Political Union in Manchester.
Warnes take out a patent on Peter Rabbit making him the first soft toy to be mass produced.
Bertrand Russell publishes “The Principles of Mathematics”.
Ralph Vaughan Williams begins his quest to collect English folk songs.

1904: Birth of Graham Greene on the 2nd October.
Earl Russell owns the first car number plate. A1.

1905: Birth of Edward Burra on the 29th March.
Herbert Austin founds the Austin Motor Company at Longbridge.
George Bernard Shaw publishes “Man and Superman”.
H.M.S. Dreadnought revolutionises battleship design and launches a European scramble for naval supremacy.

1906: Birth of John Betjeman on the 28th August.
John Galsworthy begins the Forsyte Saga novels.

1907: Birth of W. H. Auden on the 21st February.
Birth of Laurence Olivier on the 22nd May.
Rudyard Kipling is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Christabel Pankhurst is arrested in Parliament Square, London on 13th February.
Birth of Frank Whittle on the 1st June.
Death of William Kelvin on the 17th December.
Britain and Russia sign the Anglo-Russian Entente.

1908: E. M. Forster publishes “A Room With a View”.
David Lloyd-George, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, introduces Old Age Pensions which are paid the following year.

1909: Death of Algernon Charles Swinburne on the 12th April.
Ernest Shackleton is Knighted.
Birth of Francis Bacon on the 28th October.

Era of King George the Fifth (1910-1936)

1910: Death of Florence Nightingale on the 13th August.
E. M. Forster publishes of “Howard’s End”.
Paul Nash and Ben Nicholson became friends at the Slade School of Art.
T. S. Eliot writes “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”.

1911: Death of W. S. Gilbert on the 29th May.
Ernest Rutherford demonstrates the structure of the atom.

1912: Arnold Bennett publishes “Clayhanger”€.
Death of William Booth on the 20th August.
Death of William Holman Hunt on the 7th September.
Death of Joseph Lister on the 12th October.
Winston Churchill witnessed the Siege of Sidney Street as Home Secretary.
Bertrand Russell publishes “The Problems of Philosophy”.
Robert Falcon Scott finally reaches the South Pole but dies on the return leg on 29th March.
Emmeline Pankhurst is arrested twelve times and serves 30 days in jail.
The liner “Titanic” sinks on her maiden voyage to New York.

1913: Birth of Benjamin Britten on the 22nd November.
D. H. Lawrence publishes “Sons and Lovers”.
Building of the first Morris Oxford car by William Morris, Lord Nuffield.
Emily Wilding Davidson is killed as she throws herself under the King’s horse at the Derby in Epsom.
Establishment of the Cat and Mouse Act against the Suffragettes.
Charlie Chaplin records his first film.
The first Chelsea Flower Show is held.

1914: Beginning of First World War.
Birth of Dylan Thomas on the 27th October.
John Masefield joins the Red Cross.
First Battle of Ypres from October to November.
George Bernard Shaw publishes “Pygmalion”.
The first German bomb falls on London.

1915: Birth of Stanley Matthews on the 1st February.
Second Battle of Ypres from April to May.
John Buchan publishes “The Thirty Nine Steps”.
Execution of Edith Cavell on the 12th October.
Ivor Novello writes “Keep the Home Fires Burning”.
Ernest Shackleton ship “Endurance” gets trapped in ice.
Death of W. G. Grace on the 23rd October.
First British Tanks appear on the battlefields.

1916: Third Battle of the Somme. July to November.
Easter Rising in Ireland during April.
T. E. Lawrence involved in the Arab revolt against Turkey.
Bertrand Russell received a fine of £110 for his pacifist views and is dismissed from Cambridge.

1917: Third Battle of Ypres from July to November (commonly known as Passchaendale).
Russian Revolution  overthrows the Tsarist regime.
Wilfred Owen writes “Dulce et Decorum Est”.
The Royal Family take the name Windsor.

1918: Death of Wilfred Owen on the 4th November.
End of First World War. The Representation of the People Act gives the vote to Women over 30.
The Royal Air Force is founded.

1919: Edward Elgar writes the “Cello Concerto in E Minor”.
Augustus John attends the Versailles Peace Conference and paints portraits of delegates.
Siegfried Sassoon publishes “The War Poems”.
Michael Collins starts the Irish Republican Army to fight for a Republic of Ireland.
First crossing of the Atlantic by an airship, the R34.
Nancy Astor becomes the first female Member of Parliament.

1920: Formation of the League of Nations.
Gustav Holst gives first performance of The Planets.
D. H. Lawrence publishes “Women in Love”.

1921: Birth of Donald Campbell on the 23rd March.
David Lloyd George negotiated with Sinn Fein and conceded the setting up of the Irish Free State.
The Railways Act gives control of the railways to four major companies.

1922: Death of Ernest Shackleton on the 5th January.
Death of Alexander Graham Bell on the 2nd August.
Herbert Austin unveils the Austin Seven car.
Death of George Cadbury on the 24th October.
The first radio station is begun.

1923: Thomas Hardy is visited by The Prince of Wales.
Election of the first Labour Government at the General Election with Ramsay MacDonald as Prime Minister. The BBC makes the first outside broadcast.

1924: Edward Elgar made Master of the Kings Musick.
Malcolm Campbell sets his first land speed record.
British Empire Exhibition held at Wembley.

1925: Birth of Richard Burton on the 10th November.
D. H. Lawrence writes “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.
A. A. Milne writes the first Winnie the Pooh stories.
George Bernard Shaw awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Border fixed between Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State.

1926: John Logie Baird unveils his first mechanical television.
The General Strike is held in May.
T. E. Lawrence completes the “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”.

1927: Death of Jerome K. Jerome on the 14th June.
Virginia Woolf  publishes “To the Lighthouse”.
Stanley Spencer begins painting the Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere.
Sir John Reith is created first Director General of the BBC after its Royal Charter.

1928: Death of Thomas Hardy on the 12th January.
Death of Emmeline Pankhurst on the 14th June.
Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin by chance.
Henry Moore receives his first public commission for St. James Park Underground Station.
Death of Charles Rennie Mackintosh on the 10th December.
The right to vote covers all women for the first time.

1929: Birth of Graham Hill on the 15th February.
W. H. Auden is joined by Christopher Isherwood in Berlin.
Telephone boxes appear in London.

1930: Death of D.H. Lawrence on the 2nd March.
Frank Whittle applies to patent the jet engine.
John Masefield becomes Poet Laureate.
William Somerset Maugham wrote “Cakes and Ale”.
Death of Arthur Conan Doyle on the 7th July.
The Airship R101 crashes in France.

1931: Death of Arnold Bennett on the 27th March.
Aldous Huxley writes “Brave New World”.
Sir Oswald Mosley forms the British Union of Fascists.

1932: John Galsworthy wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Neutron is discovered by James Chadwick.

1933: Death of John Galsworthy on the 31st January.
H. G. Wells Publishes “The Shape of Things to Come”.
Dylan Thomas publishes”And Death Shall Have No Dominion”.

1934: Death of Edward Elgar on the 23rd February.
Ben Nicholson exhibits at the Venice Biennale.
Death of Gustav Holst on the 25th May.
E. M. Forster became the first president of the National Council for Civil Liberties.
Driving tests are introduced for the first time.
Children are given milk at school to improve nutrition.

1935: Stanley Matthews is first picked for England Football team.
Death of T. E. Lawrence on the 19th May.
T. S. Eliot publishes “Murder in the Cathedral”.
Radar is demonstrated by Robert Watson Watt.

Era of King Edward the Eighth Abdication (1936)

1936: Edward abdicates on 10th December.

Era of King George the Sixth(1936-1952)

1936: Death of Rudyard Kipling on the 18th January.
Birth of Jim Clark on the 14th March.
Benjamin Britten writes music for “Night Mail” for the General Post Office film.
Edward Burra designs sets and costumes for Ninette de Valois’s ballet at Saddlers Wells.
George Orwell fights in the Spanish Civil War.
J. R .R. Tolkien completes “The Hobbit.”
Jarrow Hunger March. Opening of Gatwick Airport.

1938: Graham Greene publishes “Brighton Rock”.
The Munich Agreement between Hitler and Neville Chamberlain is signed on 29th September.
Stanley Spencer and Paul Nash exhibit at the Venice Biennale.
An Anglo-Italian agreement is signed.

1939: Stanley Matthews plays in the Berlin Olympic Stadium where England were forced to give the Nazi salute.
The IRA bomb London and Coventry.
Beginning of Second World War.

1940: Barbara Hepworth moves to St. Ives in Cornwall.
Food rationing is introduced.
Death of John Buchan on the 11th February.
Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister.
Death of Oliver Lodge on the 22nd August.
Birth of John Lennon on the 9th October.
Dylan Thomas publishes “€œThe Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog”€.
The Battle of Britain between the RAF and the Luftwaffe takes place in August and September.

1941: Suicide of Virginia Woolf on the 28th March.
Birth of Bobby Moore on the 12th April.
Death of Herbert Austin on the 23rd May.
The German battleship Bismarck is sunk by planes from H.M.S. Ark Royal.

1942: Evelyn Waugh publishes “Put Out More Flags”€.
Malta is awarded the George Cross for heroism.

1943: Death of Beatrix Potter on the 22nd December.
T. S. Eliot publishes “Four Quartets”.
Barnes Wallis designs the bouncing bomb for 617 squadron’s Dambusters raid.
Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt meet at Casablanca.

1944: Frank Whittle’s jet engined aircraft the Gloster Meteor flies in combat.
The Allies land at Anzio near Rome in January.
The D-Day invasion of Europe takes place on 6th of June.
The first V1 (Vengeance weapon) rocket bombs land on London and are nicknamed “doodlebugs” or buzz bombs.
William Heath Robinson dies.

1945: Death of David Lloyd George on the 26th March.
End of Second World War.
Formation of the United Nations.
Benjamin Britten’s opera “Peter Grimes” first performed.
George Orwell publishes “Animal Farm”.
Bertrand Russell publishes “A History of Western Philosophy”.
Francis Bacon paints Three Studies for a Crucifixion”.

1946: Death of John Logie Baird on the 14th June.
Death of Paul Nash on the 11th July.
Death of H. G. Wells on the 13th August.
Winston Churchill delivers his famous “Iron Curtain” Speech at the beginning of the Cold War.

1947: Siegfried Sassoon publishes “Collected Poems”.
Lord Mountbatten is the last Governor General of India as India and Pakistan gain independence.

1948: T. S. Eliot is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Death of Sir Malcolm Campbell on the 31st December.
Establishment of the National Health Service.
Nationalisation of several industries such as railways, coal and harbours is completed.
The British mandate for Palestine comes to an end and the nation of Israel is born.

1949: Establishment of NATO.
George Orwell publishes “Nineteen Eighty Four”.
Rationing of clothes comes to an end.

1950: Death of George Orwell on the 21st January.
Death of George Bernard Shaw on the 2nd November.
Bertrand Russell is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Britain recognises Communist China.

1950-1953: The Korean War.

1951: Death of Ivor Novello on the 6th March.
Winston Churchill is elected Prime Minister for second time.
The Festival of Britain is held on London’s South Bank of the river Thames.

Era of Queen Elizabeth the Second (1952-to date)

1952: Ben Nicholson represents Britain in the “International Art Exhibition” in Tokyo.
The De Haviland Comet becomes the first jet airliner in the world.

1953: Death of Dylan Thomas on the 9th November.
Stanley Matthews won an FA Cup winners medal in the so called Matthews final.
James Watson and Francis Crick discover the structure of DNA.

1954: Richard Burton narrates Dylan Thomas’s radio play “Under Milk Wood”.
Graham Sutherland paints a controversial portrait of Winston Churchill.
ITV Commercial television is proposed and begins next year.
Roger Bannister completes a mile in under four minutes.

1955: Bertrand Russell releases the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in London calling for nuclear disarmament.
Death of Alexander Fleming on the 11th March.
Ruth Ellis is the last woman to be hung in Britain.

1956: The Suez Crisis as Nasser of Egypt nationalist the canal.
Death of A. A. Milne on the 31st January.
Double yellow lines appear for the first time in Slough.
Calder Hall, the world’s first commercial nuclear power station is opened.

1957: Henry Moore begins his reclining Figure for the UNESCO Building in Paris.
The Jodrell Bank radio telescope begins operating.

1958: Death of Dame Christabel Pankhurst on the 13th February.
Death of Ralph Vaughan Williams on the 26th August.
John Betjeman publishes “Collected Poems”.
The Munich Air Disaster in which seven Manchester United players die amongst others.

1959: Sir Stanley Spencer dies on the 14th December.
Christopher Cockerell introduces the first Hovercraft capable of crossing the English Channel.
D. H. Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover” is brought to law on obscenity charges.

1960: European Free Trade Association forms in Stockholm.

1961: Death of Augustus John on the 31st October.
Benjamin Britten composes “War Requiem’.
John Lennon appears in the debut concert of “The Beatles” at the Cavern Club in Liverpool.
The Farthing ceases to be legal tender.

1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis when Fidel Castro threatens to house Russian nuclear missiles on Cuba.
Graham Hill becomes Formula One World Champion.
L. S. Lowry elected as a Member of the Royal Academy.
Formation of the European Space Agency.
Sir Basil Spence designs Coventry Cathedral.
Anthony Burgess writes “A Clockwork Orange”.

1963: Death of Lord Nuffield on the 22nd August.
Laurence Olivier becomes the first director of the National Theatre.
Death of Aldous Huxley on the 22nd November.
Jim Clark finally becomes  motor racing World Champion.
The Double Agent Kim Philby defects to the Soviet Union.

1964: John Lennon and “The Beatles” tour the United States.
Pirate radio station Radio Caroline begins broadcasting from a ship in the North Sea.

1965: Death of T. S. Eliot on the 4th January.
Death of Sir Winston Churchill on the 24th January.
Death of William Somerset Maugham on the 16th December.
Rhodesia under Ian Smith makes a Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain.
Mary Quant designs the mini skirt.
The Post Office Tower opens in London.

1966: Death of Evelyn Waugh on the 12th April.
John Lennon meets Yoko Ono for the first time.
Bobby Moore captains England to World Cup Final victory over West Germany.
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley the “Moors Murderers” are sentenced to life imprisonment.
Anti Vietnam War protestors turn violent outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London.
144 people including many schoolchildren are killed in the Aberfan mine tip slippage on 21st of October.

1967: Death of Donald Campbell in a crash at Coniston Water 4th January.
Death of John Masefield on the 12th May.
Death of Siegfried Sassoon on the 1st September.
The first colour television broadcasts begin.

1968: Death of Jim Clark on the 7th April.
Enoch Powell delivers his controversial “Rivers of Blood” speech in Birmingham.

1969: First Apollo Moon Landings.
John Lennon sings “Give Peace a Chance”.
The Open University is founded.

1970: Death of Bertrand Russell on the 2nd February.
Death of E. M. Forster on the 7th June.
Bernadette Devlin is arrested in Londonderry and riots break out.
The Beatles split up.

1971: John Lennon sings “€œImagine”.
Education Secretary Margaret Thatcher abolishes free school milk.

1972: John Betjeman is appointed as the Poet Laureate.
Thousands of Asians from Uganda who have been expelled by Idi Amin arrive in Britain.

1973: Death of J. R. R. Tolkien on the 2nd September.
Edward Burra retrospective exhibition of 143 of his pictures is held at the Tate Gallery.
Death of W. H. Auden on the 29th September.
Britain joins the Common Market (EEC- European Economic Community).

1974: Prime Minister Edward Heath introduces the Three Day Week due to the effects of industrial action.
21 people are killed in Birmingham after the IRA blow up two pubs on the 21st November.

1975: Death of Barbara Hepworth on the 20th May.
Death of Graham Hill on the 29th November.
A crash on the London Underground at Moorgate kills 43 people.

1976: Death of L. S. Lowry on the 23rd February.
Death of Edward Burra on the 22nd October.
Death of Benjamin Britten on the 4th December.
The National Theatre building opens in London.

1977: First commercial flights of the supersonic airliner Concorde between London and New York.
The Yorkshire Ripper commits multiple murders.

1978: The Winter of Discontent occurs due to the number of strikes.
Former Leader of the Liberal Party Jeremy Thorpe goes on trial for conspiracy to murder.

1979: Death of Barnes Wallis on the 30th October.
Bobby Moore is appointed Manager of Oxford City.
Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain’s first female Prime Minister.

1980: Death of Graham Sutherland on the 17th February.
Death of John Lennon on the 8th December.
The British Olympic Association send athletes to the Moscow Olympics despite Government advice.

1981: The Social Democratic Party is formed by ex-Labour M.P.’s
The Yorkshire Ripper is arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.

1982: Falkland Islands Conflict.
Death of Ben Nicholson on the 6th February.
The Thames Barrier is operated for the first time.
The Tudor warship the Mary Rose is raised from the seabed.

1983: William Golding wins the Nobel prize for Literature.
The race horse Shergar is stolen.
Breakfast television begins for the first time.

1984: Death of John Betjeman on the 19th May.
Chatham dockyards close after 400 years of operation.

1985: End of the Miner’s strike.
The first mobile phone call is made by comedian Ernie Wise.

1986: Death of Henry Moore on the 31st August.
Radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster reaches Britain.

1987: Terry Waite, envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, is kidnapped in Beirut.
The Docklands Light Railway is opened.

1988: Pan Am flight 103 is blown up over Lockerbie by the Libyans.

1989: Death of Laurence Olivier on the 11th July.
A Fatwah death sentence is put out by the Ayatollah Khomenei on Salman Rushdie for his writing of the “Satanic Verses”.

1990: Sterling joins the Exchange Rate Mechanism.
An IRA Bomb explodes at the London Stock Exchange.

1991: First Gulf War after Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait.
Death of Graham Greene on the 3rd April.
The IRA launch a mortar attack against 10 Downing Street.

1992: Death of Francis Bacon on the 28th April.
The Maastricht Treaty forms the European Union.
On Black Wednesday Sterling is removed from the Exchange Rate Mechanism.

1993: Death of Bobby Moore on the 24th February.

1994: The Channel Tunnel between Britain and France is officially opened.
The UK National Lottery begins.
Fred and Rose West are charged with multiple murders.

1995: Collapse of Barings Bank after losses from rogue trader Nick Leeson.

1996: Death of Frank Whittle on the 8th August.
Thomas Hamilton kills 16 children in Dunblane.

1997: Formation of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
Death of Diana Princess of Wales in a car crash in Paris causes an outpouring of national grief.
Return of Hong Kong from Britain to China.

1998: Signing of the Good Friday Agreement between Britain and the Irish Republic.

1999: Introduction of the national minimum wage.
Elections to the new Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assemblies are held.

2000: Death of Stanley Matthews on the 23rd February.
Opening of Tate Modern art Gallery.

2001: Foot and Mouth disease breaks out in Britain.

2002: The Commonwealth Games are held in ‘Manchester.

2003: The Government issues a Dossier that states that Iraq and Saddam Hussein has weapons of Mass Destruction.
The Second Gulf War begins.

2004: Voters reject a Regional Assembly in the North East of England.

2005: The Hunting Act, banning hunting with dogs comes into force.

2006: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hanging by an Iraqi court.

2007: The Bank Of England bails out Northern Rock the 4th largest mortgage company.

2008: The Large Hadron Collider experiment inaugurated in Switzerland to establish origins of the Big Bang.

2009: The World Health Organisation declares H1N1 influenza as a global pandemic. (“swine flu”).

2010: British Petroleum’s oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and spilling 250 million gallons of oil into the sea.

2011: A major earthquake struck Japan triggering a massive tsunami which left about 20,000 dead and damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

2012: The cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground on the island of Giglio, Italy killing 32 people.

2013: Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly announced his resignation due to poor health.

2014: The Ebola virus begins killing people in West Africa.

2015:  The United Nations Climate Change Conference is held in Paris in November.

2016: Great Britain votes to leave the European Union in a referendum on June 23rd.

2017: Donald Trump is sworn in as the President of the United States of America.
Russia is banned form entering the Winter Olympics due to doping of athletes.

2018: The Yellow Vest movement against the high cost of living in France turns into violent riots. The Arc de Triomphe is vandalised and numerous other tourist sites are closed.

2019: Britain re-elects Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a General Election on December 12th with a landslide majority.

2020: Britain leaves the European Union on January 31st. The coronavirus which starts in Wuhan, China begins to spread to other parts of the world killing thousands of people.