1897
1897

The first piano rags appear in print, and Ragtime gains popularity.

Cultural History
1898

Émile Zola writes an open letter in reference to the Dreyfus Affair.

Cultural History
1898

Henry James publishes The Turn of the Screw.

Cultural History
1899

The American civil rights activist and writer W. E. B. Du Bois publishes The Philadelphia Negro.

Cultural History
1899

The Olds Motor Works company in Detroit begins the first mass production of automobiles, turning out 400 cars in the first year.

Cultural History
1900

Paul Villard, a French physicist, discovers gamma rays.

Cultural History
1900

Frank Lloyd Wright designs the Ward W. Willitts House in Illinois, the first of his designs in the Prairie Style.

Cultural History
1900

Work begins on the New York Subway. 

Cultural History
1900

The American writer L. Frank Baum publishes the children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Cultural History
1901

Rudyard Kipling publishes the book Kim.

Cultural History
1902

The American writer Henry James publishes his novel The Wings of the Dove.

Cultural History
1902

Owen Wister's The Virginian is published.

Cultural History
1902

About 150,000 United Mine Workers strike in Pennsylvania; President Theodore Roosevelt is involved in suspending the strike.

Cultural History
1903

Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first airplane flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Cultural History
1903

Jack London publishes The Call of the Wild.

Cultural History
1903

Henry James publishes The Ambassadors.

Cultural History
1903

W. E. B. Du Bois publishes The Souls of Black Folk.

Cultural History
1904

Jack London's novel The sea-wolf is published.

Cultural History
1904

Henry James's novel The Golden Bowl is published.

Cultural History
1904

In England, the first Garden City is designed, in an effort to improve the conditions of industrial cities by bringing together urban and country living environments.

Cultural History
1905

The American writer Edith Wharton publishes The House of Mirth.

Cultural History
1905

Ernst Kirchner brings together a group of German Expressionists in a movement referred to as Die Brücke (The Bridge).

Cultural History
1905

Albert Einstein publishes his special theory of relativity.

Cultural History
1905

 Alisa Rosenbaum was born in St. Petersburg and grew up during the Russian Revolution. She changed her name to Ayn Rand and left Russia for the United States on October 29, 1925. 

Cultural History
1906

The New York Police Department begins using fingerprints as a means of identification.

Cultural History
1906

Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle. The book's lurid description of the meat packing industry instigates the formulation of food inspection laws.

Cultural History
1906

Josef Hoffmann, a German architect, continues designing the Palais Stoclet in Brussels.

Cultural History
1907

The Financial Panic of 1907 starts with the fall of the stock market and leads to the failure of banks throughout the United States.

Cultural History
1908

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe joins the Berlin design firm of Peter Behrens, who has a significant impact on Mies's early work.

Cultural History
1908

Production of the Model-T automobile begins in Henry Ford's Michigan factory.

Cultural History
1908

Frank Lloyd Wright designs the Robie House in Chicago, considered one of the most significant houses in the history of American architecture. It is built in the Prairie Style, which emphasizes the structure's relationship to its surrounding environment. 

Cultural History
1908

Fritz Haber, a chemist in Germany, develops a process for synthesizing ammonia.

Cultural History
1908

The architect Cass Gilbert starts designing the Woolworth Building, a Gothic skyscraper in lower Manhattan. When completed, it stands at 792 feet and is nicknamed "The Cathedral of Commerce."

Cultural History
1909

Gertrude Stein publishes her short stories in Three Lives.

Cultural History
1909

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded in New York. 

Cultural History
1910

In Italy, Catholic teachers have to take an anti-modernist oath, in an effort to ensure that traditional tenets and texts of Catholicism are not challenged.

Cultural History
1911

In New York, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire kills 145 workers. The incident increases efforts to improve working conditions around the country.

Cultural History
1911

Edith Wharton publishes the novella Ethan Frome.

Cultural History
1912

The Titanic sinks on its maiden voyage from the United Kingdom to New York.

Cultural History
1913

The Armory Show opens in New York and has a significant influence on American artists.

Cultural History
1913

The first collection of Robert Frost's poetry, A Boy's Will is published.

Cultural History
1913

The Los Angeles Aqueduct is completed, enabling the city to grow exponentially as water becomes accessible.

Cultural History
1914

The Werkbund Exhibit opens in Cologne. Henry van de Velde designs the theatre and Bruno Taut designs a glass pavilion.

Cultural History
1916

The architect Irving Gill designs the Dodge House in Los Angeles, in a manner that foreshadows aspects of the International Style.

Cultural History
1916

Margaret Sanger, a nurse and social reformer, opens a birth control clinic in New York that is closed by the police only days later. 

Cultural History
1916

Eugene O'Neill's first play opens, Bound East for Cardiff.

Cultural History
1916

One of John Muir's journals, A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf is published posthumously.

Cultural History
1917

Joseph Stella paints Brooklyn Bridge.

Cultural History
1917

Amy Lowell publishes a selection of essays in Tendencies in Modern American Poetry.

Cultural History
1917

In New York, at the Society of Independent Artists, Marcel Duchamp exhibits his first readymade.

Cultural History
1918

Oswald Spengler, a historian in Germany, publishes the first volume of The Decline of the West.

Cultural History
1919

Walter Gropius founds the Weimar Bauhaus. 

Cultural History
1919

The Russian artist Vladimir Tatlin constructs the model Monument to the Third International.

Cultural History
1919

The German architect Bruno Taut publishes his Alpine Architecture drawings, in response to the devastation of World War I.

Cultural History
1919

Sherwood Anderson publishes his stories in a collection entitled Winesburg, Ohio. 

Cultural History
1921

Georges Braque paints Still Life with Guitar.

Cultural History
1921

Pablo Picasso paints Three Musicians.

Cultural History
1921

Albert Einstein wins the Nobel Prize for his contributions to theoretical physics.

Cultural History
1921

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe constructs a model for what would have been the first glass skyscraper, had it been built.

Cultural History
1922

Rudolph Schindler, a Viennese architect living in Los Angeles, completes work on his own residence. The Schindler House on King's Road is the first modern structure to be designed in a way that reflects the mild California climate. 

Cultural History
1922

The Toll of the Sea, staring silent film actress Anna May Wong, is the first Technicolor film to come out of Hollywood.

Cultural History
1922

E.E. Cummings publishes a novel entitled The Enormous Room.

Cultural History
1922

Ludwig Wittgenstein, a German philosopher, publishes Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

Cultural History
1923

Jean Toomer publishes short stories, poems, and prose in a collection entitled Cane.

Cultural History
1923

William Carlos Williams publishes Spring and All, a collection of prose and poems.

Cultural History
1924

Coco Chanel founds the company Parfums Chanel. 

Cultural History
1924

The German writer Thomas Mann publishes his novel Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain).

Cultural History
1924

Otto Dix, an artist in Germany, publishes his etchings entitled The War.

Cultural History
1924

Käthe Kollwitz makes a lithograph entitled Nie Wieder Krieg (Never Again War).

Cultural History
1924

Paul Whiteman commissions George Gershwin to write Rhapsody in Blue.

Cultural History
1925

In Paris, the Art Deco exhibition opens.

Cultural History
1925

In Mannheim, Germany, the first exhibition of Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) painting opens.

Cultural History
1925

Franz Kafka's novel The Trial is published posthumously. 

Cultural History
1926

Fritz Lang's film Metropolis is released.

Cultural History
1926

Construction finishes on Walter Gropius' Bauhaus building in Dessau, Germany.

Cultural History
1927

An exhibition of modern housing organized by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe opens in Germany.

Cultural History
1927

Georges Lemaître, a French astrophysicist, develops a theory on the origins of the universe, known as the Big Bang Theory.

Cultural History
1927

Werner Heisenberg, a German physicist, postulates the uncertainty principle.

Cultural History
1927

Martin Heidegger, a German philosopher, publishes Being and Time.

Cultural History
1927

The Jazz Singer is released in America. The film is the first to integrate moving images with sound.

Cultural History
1927

Le Corbusier designs the Villa Stein in France.

Cultural History
1928

The French historian Lucian Febvre publishes Un destin, Martin Luther.

Cultural History
1928

Fritz Lang's film Spione is released.

Cultural History
1928

André Malraux publishes Royaume-Farfelu, a text influenced by surrealism.

Cultural History
1929

The stock market crash in New York leads to a world wide economic depression.

Cultural History
1929

Le Corbusier begins designing the modernist house Villa Savoye in France.

Cultural History
1929

The Museum of Modern Art is founded in New York.

Cultural History
1929

Erich Maria Remarque publishes his novel All Quiet on the Western Front.

Cultural History
1930

The German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designs the Tugendhat House in the Czech Republic.

Cultural History
1930

Josef von Sternberg's film The Blue Angel is released in Germany. 

Cultural History
1931

The Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, designed by George Howe and William Lescaze, is the first large-scale modernist European structure to be built in America.

Cultural History
1931

Pearl Buck publishes her novel The Good Earth.

Cultural History
1931

The Empire State building opens in New York.

Cultural History
1932

In an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Henry Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson coin the term "International Style" to refer to a type of architecture.

Cultural History
1932

Socialist Realism is the predominant style for literature and art in the Soviet Union.

Cultural History
1932

On May 21, Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to complete solo transatlantic flight. 

Cultural History
1932

The Studentischer Verbandedienst is formed throughout Germany and Austria in opposition to the National Socialist German Student Union.

Cultural History
1933

Gertrude Stein publishes The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.

Cultural History
1933

André Malraux writes La condition humaine.

Cultural History
1934

In Germany, production begins on the Volkswagen Beetle.

Cultural History
1934

The British writer Robert Graves publishes the novel I, Claudius.

Cultural History
1934

Langston Hughes publishes The Ways of White Folks.

Cultural History
1934

Henry Miller publishes The Tropic of Cancer. It is banned in the United States until 1961 and is the subject of numerous obscenity trials.

Cultural History
1934

Mikhail Sholokhov, a Russian writer, publishes the novel And Quiet Flows the Don.

Cultural History
1935

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) is begun by the federal government as part of the New Deal. The program provides employment for many artists.

Cultural History
1935

Charles Richter, a geologist in the United States, comes up with a system for measuring the power of earthquakes.

Cultural History
1935

Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propagandist film Triumph of the Will is released.

Cultural History
1935

Zora Neale Hurston's collection of folk tales entitled Mules and Men is published.

Cultural History
1935

W.E.B. Du Bois publishes Black Reconstruction.

Cultural History
1936

John Keynes, an economist in Britain, publishes General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money.

Cultural History
1936

In the United States, William Faulkner publishes the novel Absalom, Absalom!.

Cultural History
1936

In response to overcrowded urban living conditions, Frank Lloyd Wright postulates that a solution could be found by varying the density of different zones within the urban environment. He calls his design Broadacre City.

Cultural History
1936

Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times is released. 

Cultural History
1937

Zora Neale Hurston publishes her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Cultural History
1937

The Grand Illusion, an antiwar film directed by Jean Renoir, is released in France.

Cultural History
1937

On July 2, Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan vanish over the South Pacific in an attempt to complete a solo flight around the world.

Cultural History
1938

Orson Welles, an American actor, frightens radio listeners during his performance of War of the Worlds.

Cultural History
1938

The British author Graham Greene publishes his novel Brighton Rock.

Cultural History
1939

John Steinbeck publishes the novel Grapes of Wrath.

Cultural History
1939

Raymond Chandler publishes the novel The Big Sleep, which is the basis of two films, one made in 1946 and the other in 1978.

Cultural History
1939

The film Gone With the Wind is released.

Cultural History
1940

Albert Einstein, living in the United States, writes a letter to Franklin Roosevelt, warning that German scientists may be close to developing an atomic bomb.

Cultural History
1940

Ernest Hemingway publishes the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Cultural History
1940

Richard Wright finishes writing his novel Native Son.

Cultural History
1941

American scientists begin work on the Manhattan Project, in an effort to develop an atomic bomb.

Cultural History
1941

Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art opens at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Cultural History
1942

Enrico Fermi, a physicist in America, builds a nuclear reactor in Chicago.

Cultural History
1942

The gallery Art of This Century, owned by Peggy Guggenheim, opens in New York.

Cultural History
1943

American journalist Ernie Pyle publishes his collection of war reports from the front entitled Here is Your War.

Cultural History
1943

Frank Lloyd Wright starts designing the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Cultural History
1944

In response to the brutality of World War II, Francis Bacon paints Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion.

Cultural History
1945

The United States prospers economically following the end of World War II.

Cultural History
1945

David Smith sculpts Pillar of Sunday, a mixture between traditional and modern approaches to the medium.

Cultural History
1946

In California, Richard Neutra designs the Desert House for Edgar Kaufmann.

Cultural History
1946

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe begins to work on the Farnsworth House in Illinois.

Cultural History
1947

Buckminster Fuller designs the geodesic dome.

Cultural History
1947

The publication of the journal Possibilities marks the beginning of Abstract Expressionism as a movement.

Cultural History
1948

The architect Philip Johnson begins building a house with a wall of transparent glass in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Cultural History
1948

Gregory Ain, after receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1940 for the design of low-income housing, builds the Avenel Housing Group for musicians living in Los Angeles.

Cultural History
1948

Norman Mailer publishes his novel The Naked and the Dead.

Cultural History
1949

Gwendolyn Brooks wins the Pulitzer Prize for her book Annie Allen.

Cultural History
1949

Arthur Miller writes the play Death of a Salesman.

Cultural History
1950

While a student at the University of Southern California, Pierre Konig designs his first steel and glass house; this is the aesthetic of Case Study House #22, designed by Konig in 1960.

Cultural History
1950

Jackson Pollock paints Autumn Rhythm.

Cultural History
1951

Fernand Léger designs stained glass windows for Sacre Coeur, a church in France.

Cultural History
1951

The painter Helen Frankenthaler has her first solo exhibition.

Cultural History
1951

J.D. Salinger publishes his novel Catcher in the Rye.

Cultural History
1952

An early modern skyscraper, the Lever House, is designed in New York by Gordon Bunshaft.

Cultural History
1952

Jonas Salk successfully develops a vaccine against polio.

Cultural History
1952

Ralph Ellison writes the novel Invisible Man.

Cultural History