Do You Know Which of These Important Events Was First?

John Miller

Which of the following important events happened first?

The American Revolution began in the late 1770s, the first of many wars of the United States. Hostilities from that war still lingered when the War of 1812 (also against Britain) started less than a generation later.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1872, President Ulysses Grant created Yellowstone National Park, the crown jewel of the American park system. Some historians regard it as the world's first national park.

Which of the following important events happened first?

We'll hope that you knew WWI came before WWII, unless, of course, you're accustomed to strange interdimensional time travel. The Great War started in 1914.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1765, the British passed the Stamp Act, which levied a ridiculous tax on American colonists regarding the use of printed paper. The Act added to the feelings of resentment that resulted in the Revolution.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1920, America ratified a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting the production and sale of alcoholic beverages. The era of Prohibition lasted from 1920 until (gasp) 1933.

Which of the following important events happened first?

Not long after the end of the American Revolution, U.S. officials completed the Louisiana Purchase (1803), which more than doubled the size of the country, forever altering America's territorial aims.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1912, the "unsinkable" ship called the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and plunged to the bottom of the sea. More than 1,500 people perished in the iconic disaster.

Which of the following important events happened first?

President Thomas Jefferson had to sneak the funding for the expedition, but in the end, he found the cash to send Lewis and Clark on their epic Western expedition, which started in 1804. They explored many areas of the West, helping to realize Manifest Destiny.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In the summer of 1881, lawman Pat Garrett gunned down of the most famous outlaws in Wild West history. Billy the Kid killed multiple people before being shot to death himself in the New Mexico territory.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1790, the United States completed its first census. That census counted a total population of just under 4 million people.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1785, Jean-Pierre Blanchard jumped out of a hot air balloon … and survived, thanks to his parachute. It was the world's first successful parachute demonstration.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In April 1861, Confederate troops attack and capture Fort Sumter, commencing the Civil War, which ultimately becomes America's deadliest armed conflict.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1914, a Serbian political fanatic murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. The assassination was one of the triggers of the devastation of WWI.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1875, not long after the Civil War, France paid a tribute to American liberty with the Statue of Liberty. It was erected in New York in 1875.

Which of the following important events happened first?

During the War of 1812, the British set fire to many buildings in Washington, D.C., including what is now called the White House. The Civil War, of course, didn't start until decades later.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1957, the USSR launched Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite in world history. The little craft circled the Earth 1,440 times and gave rise to the frantic Space Race.

Which of the following important events happened first?

The Mexican-American War kicked off in 1846, pitting the blossoming United States against Mexico for control of the Southwest. The Americans launched a successful attack on Mexico City and won the war.

Which of the following important events happened first?

The French first attempted to build the Panama Canal in the 1880s … and the miserable tropical conditions defeated them. America took over the project in 1904, and after many struggles completed the projected in 1914.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1929, in Chicago, seven men from a rival gang were found executed in what became known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Historians suspect that mobster Al Capone ordered the attack.

Which of the following important events happened first?

At the end of the War of 1812, outmanned Americans put up a miraculous fight in beating the British in New Orleans. Yet it was just a moral victory -- the war-ending peace treaty had been signed weeks earlier in Europe. The troops, of course, had no idea that their fight was in vain.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1944, a Scottish inventor named John Logie Baird gave a demonstration of a color TV. It wasn't until the 1970s, though, that color TVs were finally affordable enough to outsell old black-and-white versions.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1620, the Mayflower left England for the New World, and the Pilgrims established a tenuous foothold in New England. There were just 102 people aboard the famous ship.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1888, London police found the first victim of "Jack the Ripper," who killed and mutilated several prostitutes. Historians still don't know the identity of the killer, and the crime has sparked countless works of fiction.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1919, World War I came to an end thanks to the Treaty of Versailles, which levied huge penalties on Germany … and later led to The Second World War just a generation later.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1920, after many decades of struggle, women finally got the right to vote in the United States. Ironically, many women of the time didn't really care.

Which of the following important events happened first?

On July 20, 1969, NASA's Apollo 11 mission touches down on the moon. Astronaut Neil Armstrong takes one "giant leap for mankind" onto the moon's dusty surface.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World in hopes of finding a western route to the legendary lands of Asia. His discoveries in the New World jumpstarted an era of massive European colonization.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1977, George Lucas' "Star Wars" arrived in theaters and transformed the way the world saw movies. The ongoing adventures of Luke Skywalker make the franchise one of the most powerful brands on Earth.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1815, French leader Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. The unexpected loss brought an abrupt end to French domination of European affairs.

Which of the following important events happened first?

In 1937, having already become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart set out to fly around the world. She disappeared and was never found, leading to endless speculation as to her untimely end.

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About This Quiz

Anyone who went to school can quickly fire off some of the most important events in world history. The American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence. The Battle of Saratoga. But do you understand which of those events came first?

Being able to place the events in the correct chronological order helps you to understand the interconnectedness of world events. Misunderstanding them, however, might leave you as one of those people who thinks that the 9/11 attacks were what started World War II and that Abraham Lincoln was one of the fiery instigators of the Boston Tea Party. And you know, who's to say he wasn’t?

Recorded history is full of moments that shifted the paths of our politics and the fates of entire nations. For example, America was happy to sit on its hands during World War II … until the Japanese decided to bomb Pearl Harbor. Or did the Battle of the Bulge come first? Honestly, now we're getting confused.

Do you know when Custer had his famous last stand? Was it before or after the Titanic sank? And was the Panama Canal already open when the world saw the its first parachute demonstration

From politics to technology to war, let’s see if you have what it takes to place critical moments in human history. Here’s your first hint – 9/11 totally did not start WWII.

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