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Some of the most important events in the twentieth century took years to accomplish, while others took only minutes. Twentieth century history is made up of both the large and the small events that shaped it.
  1. Air & Space
  2. Assassinations and Murder
  3. Crimes & Scandals
  4. Disasters & Tragedy
  1. Medical Advances & Issues
  2. Vietnam War
  3. World War I
  4. World War II

Air & Space

A picture of Buzz Aldrin walking on the Moon, with a reflexion from his helmet.

For thousands of years, man looked up to the sky and dreamed of flying like birds and walking on the moon. In the 20th century, man reached both of these long-sought-after dreams.

Assassinations and Murder

A picture of a gun, which is murder evidence being held at the New York State Crime Lab.

Murder took many forms within the 20th century, from that of a single person to attempts to wipe out entire peoples. It involved guns, rifles, poison gas, and even an icepick. And it ended the lives of many important people.

Crimes & Scandals

A picture of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the shooters in the Columbine High School massacre.

The 20th century was filled with stories of gangsters, bombings, massacres, and genocide. Find out more about these sordid escapades.

Disasters & Tragedy

Buildings damaged by the SF earthquake.

Natural or man-made, disasters are destructive. They can wreak havoc and cause fear. Find out what horrible disasters occurred within the 20th century.

Medical Advances & Issues

Man arranging surgical tools.

From the discovery of penicillin to the AIDS epidemic, learn more about the medical advances and deadly diseases that occurred throughout the 20th century.

Vietnam War

A soldier in the Vietnam War.

The Vietnam War was the struggle over Vietnam from 1959 to 1975 between the communist Vietnamese forces in North Vietnam who wanted an end to all foreign occupation of their country and the United States (allied with South Vietnam) who wanted to prohibit any expansion of communism. The prolonged war left many Americans bitter about U.S. involvement in a war they could not win.

World War I

A tank going over the top during World War I.

The First World War, originally called the Great War, raged from 1914 to 1918. Mostly fought in western Europe in muddy, bloody trenches, WWI saw the introduction of the machine gun and poison gas into battle.

World War II

U.S. troops unloading on the beaches during D-day.

A truly world war which lasted from 1939 to 1945. The countries of the world aligned with either the Axis powers or the Allies and battled in a total war.

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