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20th Century Turning Points in U.S. History

20th Century Turning Points in U.S. History is an eight-part series designed to provide a clear overview of the people and events that distinguished the 20th century at specific points in time that were significant pivotal points in history. Rare archival footage and photographs, authentic recordings, and other primary source documents bring history to life, while stunning graphics and engaging narration lend context and clarity to the subject. The series has been developed specifically for classroom use. It is organized around established standards and thoughtfully divided into chapters, with each volume functioning as either a full-length program or as focused support for specific study areas.
1900 - 1907Running Time: 0:28:00

American History, 20th Century American History, United States History, and 20th Century United States History are emphasized in this first 20th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1.) 1900 - The Gold Standard Act is Ratified by Congress
00:03:01Putting the U.S. on the Gold Standard - backing the country's money with gold - continued America's Industrial Revolution, making it the industrial leader of the world.
2.) 1901 - Dr. Walter Reed Discovers Yellow Fever is Transmitted by Mosquitoes
00:03:05Dr. Walter Reed, the famous American Scientist, discovered the cure for yellow fever, an accomplishment rewarded by lending his name to the Walter Reed Medical Center.
3.) 1901 - McKinley is Shot and Theodore Roosevelt Becomes President
00:03:04Theodore Roosevelt became president after President McKinley's assassination by Leon Czolgosz, and went on to build the Panama Canal, take on the business trusts, becoming known as the Trust Busting president.
4.) 1902 - 140,000 Mine Workers Go Out on Strike
00:03:23The United Mine Workers and mine owners met with President Theodore Roosevelt, giving labor unions a boost in recognition and legitimacy.
5.) 1902 - The Government Passes the Newlands Reclamation Act
00:02:36The Newlands Reclamation Act affected Western Water suppliers and created the Reclamation Service, which provided projects like the Hoover Dam.
6.) 1903 - Wright Brothers Fly at Kitty Hawk
00:03:01The Wright Brothers daring experiments at Kitty Hawk, made the names of Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright first among American inventors of airplanes.
7.) 1906 - Upton Sinclair's Novel "The Jungle" is Published
00:02:37Upton Sinclair writes The Jungle, as muckrakers tell the truth about the nation.
8.) 1906 - U.S. Takes Over Construction of the Panama Canal
00:03:08Panama Canal was begun by President Teddy Roosevelt, who used the Monroe Doctrine to justify taking the land for the canal.
9.) 1907 - Frank Lloyd Wright Completes the Robie House in Chicago
00:02:41Frank Lloyd Wright, a student of Louis Sullivan, initiates a new American architectural movement.
1908 - 1918Running Time: 0:28:00

American History, 20th Century American History, United States History, and 18th Century United States History are emphasized in this second 20th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1.) 1908 - Ford Introduces the Model T
00:03:29Henry Ford introduces the Model T and launches the automobile era first begun by American inventor, Charles Duryea.
2.) 1909 - W.E.B. DuBois Founds the NAACP
00:02:44W.E.B. Du Bois launches the NAACP to fight against Jim Crow laws and segregation and to promote Civil Rights for Blacks.
3.) 1911 - Hollywood Founded
00:03:06Hollywood, using the inventions of George Eastman and Thomas Edison, begins its run as the nation's film making capital, launching the careers of giants like Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffith.
4.) 1913 - 16th Amendment Allows Progressive Income Tax
00:02:4116th Amendment creating the income tax is passed.
5.) 1913 - 17th Amendment Caps a Period of Election Reforms
00:02:34The 17th Amendment allowing the direct election of senators is passed.
6.) 1914 - Clayton Anti-Trust Act Passed
00:02:49The Clayton Antitrust Act is passed, following in the footsteps of the trust busting Teddy Roosevelt.
7.) 1914-1917 - America Prepares for World War I
00:04:56The Battle of Wounded Knee, fought t stop the Ghost Dance, happened after the great Sioux leader, Sitting Bull, was killed, World War I begins but President Woodrow Wilson keeps America out of War until the Arthur Zimmerman telegram demonstrates Germany's involvement in North American politics.
8.) 1917 - America Enters World War I
00:04:14The Battle of Wounded Knee, fought t stop the Ghost Dance, happened after the great Sioux leader, Sitting Bull, was killed, World War I begins but President Woodrow Wilson keeps America out of War until the Arthur Zimmerman telegram demonstrates Germany's involvement in North American politics. During World War I, America's Selective Service Act, drafts men to fight against Germany; and from this war, heroes, such as John Black Jack Pershing and Eddie Rickenbacker, would emerge, as well as the
1919 - 1928Running Time: 0:27:00

20th Century American History, United States History, and 18th Century United States History are emphasized in this third 20th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1.) 1919 - Prohibition Begins
00:03:31Prohibition would help lead America to Roaring 20s and create the speakeasy and American organized crime, but the 18th Amendment's social engineering did nothing to stop alcoholism.
2.) 1920 - Women Gain the Right to Vote
00:02:37The 19th Amendment allowed women to gain the right to vote, a right fought for by suffragettes first led by Susan B. Anthony in the 19th century.
3.) 1923 - Teapot Dome Scandal Typifies the Roaring 20's
00:03:30Teapot Dome was a strategic naval oil reserve that under the administration of Warren Harding was part of the Teapot Dome Scandal, the epitome of the scandal ridden Harding presidency of the roaring 20's.
4.) 1924 - J. Edgar Hoover Named Head of the FBI
00:02:47The FBI directed by J. Edgar Hoover, was first begun by Teddy Roosevelt, and later focused on organized crime and gangsters.
5.) 1925 - The Scopes Monkey Trial
00:03:00The Scopes Monkey Trial brought together Williams Jennings Bryant and Clarence Darrow, in a trial over the use of Charles Darwin's On the origin of the Species and Evolution.
6.) 1926 - Goddard Initiates the Space Age
00:03:00Robert Goddard, the founder of the space Age and rockets, was a great American inventor.
7.) 1926 - David Sarnoff Founds NBC
00:03:41Radio followed in the footsteps of Samuel Morse and the telegraph, Bell and the telephone, and would become a commercial success under the leadership of David Sarnoff, NBC, and RCA, launching the mass media era.
8.) 1927 - Charles Lindbergh Flies Across the Atlantic
00:03:20Charles Lindbergh, who crossed the Atlantic solo in "The Spirit of St. Louis", earning the nickname Lucky Lindy, promoted airplanes, and later married Anne Spencer Morrow.
1929 - 1943Running Time: 0:28:00

20th Century American History, United States History, and 18th Century United States History are emphasized in this fourth 20th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1.) 1929 - "Black Tuesday" Foretells the Great Depression
00:03:30On Black Tuesday America's Great Depression began with the stock market crash, ending the roaring 20s.
2.) 1932 - Amelia Earhart: Record-Breaking Woman Aviator
00:02:30Amelia Earhart, one of the America's women pioneers, flew airplanes and became one of the best pilots of the first half of the 20th century.
3.) 1933 - President Roosevelt's 'One Hundred Days' Begins his New Deal
00:05:16With his New Deal policies, Franklin Delano Roosevelt worked to end the Great depression with programs such as the National Recovery Administration.
4.) 1935 - President Roosevelt Signs the Social Security Act
00:02:36The Social Security Act, signed into law by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression, established Social Security for all Americans.
5.) 1936 - Jesse Owens and Joe Louis Debunk Hitler's Claim of Aryan Superiority
00:03:02Jesse Owens and Joe Louis showed that black athletes could defeat Germany's greatest athletes before World War II.
6.) 1940 - Ernest Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is Published
00:04:25Lost generation author Ernest Hemingway wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, and The Old Man and the Sea while Eugene O'Neil wrote, "Long Day's Journey into Night", and F. Scott Fitzgerald, wrote The Great Gatsby.
7.) 1941 - Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor
00:05:14After Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, destroying the airfield and naval base at Pearl Harbor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt declares war and Douglas MacArthur vows to return to the Philippines.
1944 - 1952Running Time: 0:28:00

20th Century American History, United States History, and 18th Century United States History are emphasized in this fifth 20th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1.) 1944 - D-Day "Operation Overlord"
00:07:27D-Day, known as Operation overlord, began the fight in western Europe against fascism and pitted American Generals like George S. Patton and Dwight David Eisenhower against German militarists such as Erwin Rommel, in a war that began for America at Pearl Harbor and was led by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and created The Greatest Generation of Americans in the 20th century.
2.) 1945 - The U.S. Air Force Drops an Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima
00:04:00Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were the only targets of the Atomic bomb developed by Manhattan Project, led Robert Oppenheimer, and used to end the Pacific war in World War II.
3.) 1947 - The Marshall Plan for Europe
00:02:49The Marshall Plan was developed after World War II by George Marshall, and was used to save Europe from Stalin and Russia, though a Cold War developed, which created an Iron Curtain across Eastern Europe and a Western Europe protected by NATO.
4.) 1950 - President Truman Sends American Troops to the Aid of South Korea
00:03:25Korean War, during the administration of Harry Truman, pitted the west against communism as Korea's Communist North Korea fought the capitalist South Korea.
5.) 1950 - 1953 The Korean War
00:04:52The Korean War started when North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel between North Korea and South Korea, and Generals Douglas MacArthur and Matthew Ridgeway during the administration of Harry Truman lead American forces against communism
6.) 1951 - Alan Freed Introduces Rock and Roll
00:03:33Rock and Roll begun by Alan Freed would start the careers of legends such as Bill Haley and Elvis Presley.
1953 - 1963Running Time: 0:28:00

20th Century American History, United States History, and 18th Century United States History are emphasized in this sixth 20th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1.) 1953 - John Foster Dulles Becomes Eisenhower's Cold War Warrior
00:03:54The Cold War, started under Harry Truman, was continued by cold war warriors John Foster Dulles and Eisenhower, eventually resulting in a stand against communism in the Vietnam War.
2.) 1954 - Senator Joseph McCarthy is Condemned by the Senate
00:02:52Joseph McCarthy used the Red scare and Communists to create a climate of fear in the U.S.
3.) 1954 - Brown v. Board of Education
00:02:43Brown v. Board of Education, reestablished civil rights lost in Plessey V. Ferguson, which allowed Jim Crow laws, but black lawyer Thurgood Marshal led the fight for desegregation which was upheld by the Earl Warren court.
4.) 1955 - Rosa Parks is Arrested
00:02:28Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King led the fight for civil rights during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
5.) 1960 - Nixon-Kennedy Televised Debates
00:03:08The John Kennedy/ Richard Nixon, debates were the first Presidential candidate debates.
6.) 1962 - Astronaut John Glenn is the First American to Orbit the Earth
00:04:10NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, used rockets, such as the mercury rocket, to launch astronauts from Cape Canaveral, which eventually resulted in the first moon landing led by Neil Armstrong.
7.) 1962 - Cuban Missile Crisis
00:03:59The Cuban Missile Crisis pitted John Kennedy against Khrushchev and Fidel Castro in America's cold war fight against, communism.
8.) 1963 - Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech
00:03:10Martin Luther King gave his I have a Dream Speech to promote civil rights, while courageous activists like James Meredith, protected by John F. Kennedy's ordering out troops, demonstrated against Jim Crow laws.
1964 - 1973Running Time: 0:28:00

20th Century American History, United States History, and 18th Century United States History are emphasized in this seventh 20th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1.) 1964 - President Lyndon Johnson Announces the Great Society
00:02:47The Great Society proposed by Lyndon Johnson, resulted in a civil-rights bill, a Voting Rights Act, and Medicare.
2.) 1964 - Vietnam War: Congress Passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
00:04:27America scaled up the Vietnam War with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution proposed by Lyndon Johnson to fight communism and the Viet Cong.
3.) 1965 - Black Urban Riots Begin
00:03:31In the 60s, Black Urban Riots broke out while black leaders such as Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan and Stokely Carmichael as well as groups like the Black Panthers worked to establish Civil Rights.,
4.) 1968 - Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive
00:03:54The Vietnam War's Tet Offensive would mark the end of U.S. begun by Lyndon Johnson, and the rise of Communism begun by Ho Chi Minh.
5.) 1970 - First Earth Day
00:03:34Earth Day, a demonstration by the environmental movement begun by Aldo Leopold, would showcase how industrialization, hurts the ecology, while the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, works to protect the environment.
6.) 1972 - Watergate
00:04:06Watergate, which would prove the downfall of Richard Nixon, was reported by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
7.) 1973 - Vietnam War: Cease-Fire Ends War
00:04:07With Vietnam and the Vietnam War causing protests at schools like Kent State, shootings occurred as the anti communism fervor of the cold war came against the civil rights of protest, eventually civil rights winning out with the Elsberg Papers.
1973 - 1999Running Time: 0:27:00

20th Century American History, United States History, and 18th Century United States History are emphasized in this eighth 20th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1.) 1973 - Second Battle of Wounded Knee
00:02:43American Indian movement, AIM, held a protest at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
2.) 1973 - Roe v. Wade
00:02:29Roe v. Wade, the landmark case for woman's rights, involving Jane Roe who sued to get an abortion against DA Henry Wade, would pit Pro Life versus Pro Choice in a struggle over privacy rights that began with Griswold V. Connecticut.
3.) 1976 - Personal Computers Herald the Post Industrial Age
00:02:38Personal computers became irreplaceable because men like Steve Jobs Steve Wozniak and Bill Gates, and companies such as Apple computer, Microsoft and IBM made information available for everyone.
4.) 1983 - The Grenada Conflict
00:02:43Grenada, a hot spot in America's cold war against communism, helped Ronald Reagan promote the U.S. Military, and ten years later the ouster of Manuel Noriega from Panama would demonstrate American military superiority.
5.) 1987 - Alan Greenspan Becomes Chairman of the Federal Reserve
00:02:45The Federal Reserve Board and its chairman Alan Greenspan defined the economy of America's post industrial age.
6.) 1990 - The Gulf War Demonstrates American Military Supremacy
00:04:08The Gulf War pitted Iraq, governed by Saddam Hussein, against America, under by George Bush, and in the war, Iraqis were defeated by a coalition under the command of General Norman Schwarzkopf.
7.) 1991 - End of the Cold War
00:02:37The Cold War, ended with the defeat of communism when America led by Ronald Reagan defeated the USSR led by Mikhail Gorbachev.
8.) 1994 - Whitewater Leads to the Impeachment of President Clinton
00:02:12The Whitewater investigation led to the Clinton Impeachment, but Bill Clinton was found not guilty.
9.) 1999 - Y2K Ends the American Century
00:03:27Y2K ends the century on a comical note.
Series SKU20TP
Video Programs8
SubjectsHistory, American History
Supplemental Files46
Released2004
Produced By Ambrose Video Publishing Inc./Centre Communications
Copyright ©2004 Ambrose Video Publishing Inc./Centre Communications
Grade Levels10th Grade through Post Secondary
Timeline Program 6
Timeline Program 7
Timeline Program 8
Timeline Program 3
Timeline Program 4
Timeline Program 5
Program 8 - Test
Timeline Program 1
Timeline Program 2
Program 5 -Test
Program 6 - Test
Program 7 - Test
Program 2 - Test
Program 3 - Test
Program 4 - Test
Map-WWII Japanese Controlled Land - 1942
Map-WWII Nazi Controlled Land - 1942
Program 1 - Test
Map-Tennessee Valley Authority
Map-Vietnam and the 17th Parallel
Map-WWI Central Powers vs. Allied Powers
Map-NATO Countries - 1950
Map-Soviet Satellite Countries - 1950
Map-Stock Market Crash before and after Black Tuesday
Map-Ho Chi Minh Trail
Map-Iraq and Kuwait
Map-Korea and the 38th Parallel
Document-U.S. Constitution
Map-Communist Controlled Countries - 1980
Map-Free Western Europe and Soviet Empire - 1950
Document-Roe v. Wade Edited Decision - 1973
Document-The Bill of Rights
Document-The Declaration of Independence
Document-Marshall Plan Summary - 1947
Document-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Document-Newlands Act - 1902
Document-Clayton Antitrust Act - 1914
Document-Great Society Speech - 1964
Document-Gulf of Tonkin Resolution - 1964
Document-18th Amendment
Document-19th Amendment
Document-Brown v. Board of Education - 1954
20th Century T.P. Teachers Guide
Document-16th Amendment
Document-17th Amendment
MARC Records for 20TP
MARC records for the Full Series 20TP, 20th Century Turning Points in U.S. History
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