Chronology Significant Dates and Events 19002000

1900 US population around 75 million; death of Stephen Crane (18711900)

1901 First transatlantic radio transmissions; President McKinley assassinated; Theodore Roosevelt at 42 becomes the youngest president in the nation's history

1902 William Carlos Williams meets Ezra Pound, a fellow student at the University of Pennsylvania; in 1905, Pound introduces Williams to H.D.

1903 Wright Brothers make the first successful airplane flight; Leo and Gertrude Stein settle in Paris and begin to collect modern art

1904 Pacific cable completed

1908 Ezra Pound arrives in London from Venice

1909 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) founded; Henry Ford begins production of Model "T" automobile

1911 H.D. leaves for Europe for what was intended as a short summer visit; only returns to the US twice in the next 45 years; in London renews her earlier friendship with Pound. Robert Frost sells his Derry, New Hampshire, farm, and moves with his family to England the following year

1912 Poetry magazine publishes its first issue, in Chicago

1913 The Armory Show exhibit of modern painting opens in New York; Robert Frost publishes his first book, A Boy's Will, in London, having failed to find an American publisher

1914 T. S. Eliot, studying at Oxford, decides to settle in England, meets Pound in London; Panama Canal opens

1915 Ezra Pound begins working on The Cantos; Marcel Duchamp among the European artists in New York because of the war in Europe

1917 US enters the First World War

1919 Alcock and Brown make the first non-stop flight in an aircraft across the Atlantic

1920 18th Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages ("Prohibition"); 19th Amendment grants the vote to women

1922 T. S. Eliot publishes The Waste Land; Claude McKay publishes Harlem Shadows; Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, and John Crowe Ransom begin publication of The Fugitive (1922-5); the first Pulitzer Prize for Poetry goes to Edwin Arlington Robinson for his Collected Poems

1923 William Carlos Williams publishes Spring and All; Wallace Stevens publishes Harmonium; Jean Toomer publishes Cane; Hart Crane begins work on The Bridge (published 1930)

1925 Collected Poems of H.D. published in New York

1926 Marianne Moore takes over as editor of The Dial, until it ceases publication in 1929; Langston Hughes publishes The Weary Blues

1927 Transatlantic telephone service begins; T. S. Eliot becomes a British citizen; Bliss Carman edits The Oxford Book of American Verse, includes one poem by Pound, but nothing by Eliot, H.D., Stevens, or Williams

1928 Edwin Arlington Robinson wins his third Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in seven years, for Tristram

1929 Stock market crash, beginning of the Great Depression; New York's Museum of Modern Art opens

1930 Novelist Sinclair Lewis becomes the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature; over 4 million unemployed

1931 Objectivist issue of Poetry edited by Louis Zukofsky

1933 "Prohibition" repealed; James Joyce's Ulysses allowed to be published in the US

1934 Academy of American Poets founded

1935 Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks found the Southern Review; in 1938 they publish their influential textbook Understanding Poetry (revised 1950)

1936 Spanish Civil War (1936-9) begins; James Laughlin founds New Directions and begins to publish Pound and Williams, who now have their first regular US publisher

1939 John Crowe Ransom founds The Kenyon Review, a major literary journal of the 1940s and 1950s; W. H. Auden arrives in the US, becomes a citizen in 1946; regular transatlantic air service begins

1941 US enters the Second World War following Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

1943 Ezra Pound indicted for treason for his Italian radio broadcasts. He is arrested in May 1945, and begins writing The Pisan Cantos while imprisoned; Robert Frost wins his fourth Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, for A Witness Tree

1944 US Supreme Court rules that no citizen may be denied the vote on grounds of color

1948 T. S. Eliot awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature

1949 Ezra Pound, in St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, DC, after being judged criminally insane, is awarded the first Bollingen Prize for Poetry for The Pisan Cantos

1950 Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first African American writer to win a Pulitzer Prize, for Annie Allen; US population 150 million; Korean War (1950-3) begins; F. O. Matthiessen re-edits The Oxford Book of American Verse: he includes Eliot, H.D., Stevens, and Williams, and expands the selection by Pound, but includes no black poets

1951 Charles Olson becomes Rector of Black Mountain College, Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan teach there (closes 1956)

1953 Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter Martin open City Lights bookstore in San Francisco

1954 US Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional; the Poetry Center founded at San Francisco State University with an inaugural gift from W. H. Auden

1955 October 13, Allen Ginsberg gives first reading of "Howl," in San Francisco

1957 US Customs agents seize 520 copies of Howl on the grounds of obscenity; judge rules in favor of the book

1959 Robert Lowell publishes Life Studies

1960 Beginning of the Civil Rights movement with a sit-in at the Wool-worth's lunch counter, Greensboro, North Carolina; H.D. becomes the first woman to receive the American Academy of Arts and Letters Medal; Donald Allen edits The New American Poetry

1963 Suicide of Sylvia Plath; Civil Rights March on Washington; assassination of President Kennedy; William Carlos Williams awarded his first and only Pulitzer Prize, posthumously

1964 Race riots in Harlem and Philadelphia; T. S. Eliot and Carl Sandburg awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award

1965 Vietnam War (1965-73); Malcolm X assassinated; Amiri Baraka moves to Harlem, founds the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School; Congress establishes the National Endowment for the Arts; in protest at the escalation of the Vietnam War, Robert Lowell publicly refuses an invitation from President Johnson to attend a White House Arts Festival; Sylvia Plath's Ariel published posthumously

1966 National Organization for Women founded

1967 Protest against Vietnam War grows; race riots in major cities continue

1968 Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy assassinated

1969 Stonewall riots in New York City lead to beginning of Gay Liberation Movement; Apollo moon landing

1970 Native American Rights Fund established

1971 Adrienne Rich's essay "When We Dead Awaken: Writing as ReVision"; National Poetry Foundation founded, University Of Maine

1972 Suicide of John Berryman; Watergate break-in, President Nixon resigns in 1974; Ezra Pound dies in Venice

1974 Suicide of Anne Sexton; Amiri Baraka rejects Black Nationalism as racist

1976 US Bicentennial; John Ashbery's Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror wins the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award

1978 Carolyn Forche working for Amnesty International in El Salvador, The Country Between Us published 1982

1980 Robert Penn Warren awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

1981 US begins military aid to El Salvador government

1982 Sylvia Plath's Collected Poems wins the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 19 years after her death

1987 Poetry publishes its seventy-fifth anniversary issue

1988 Yusef Komunyakaa publishes Dien Cai Dau, having served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970

1989 US invades Panama, first use of American military force since 1945 unrelated to the Cold War; fall of the Berlin Wall; collapse of the Soviet Union

1991 Rita Dove becomes the first African American Poet Laureate of the US; Iraq invades Kuwait, leading to Gulf War; World Wide Web introduced

1992 End of the Cold War (1945-92); US intervention in Somalia

1994 US intervention in Haiti

1996 Electronic Poetry Center goes online at State University of New York, Buffalo, <>

1997 Adrienne Rich awarded the Academy of American Poets $100,000 Tanning Prize, the largest annual literary prize in the US, but declines the National Medal for the Arts, writing "the very meaning of art, as I understand it, is incompatible with the cynical politics of this Administration"

1999 US part of Nato-backed military intervention in former Yugoslavia

2000 2000 census shows US population is 281 million: 69.1% white, 12.5% Hispanic, 12.1% black, 3.7% Asian and Pacific Islander, 0.7% American Indian; Hispanic population the fastest-growing group

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