Song in America

Politics & Culture

Politics Culture
Emergence of Modern United States (1890 - 1928)
1890 1890
  • Wyoming becomes the 44th state and the first one admitted to the Union with women's suffrage
  • Sitting Bull killed
  • The Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota is the last battle of the American Indian War
  • Dismissal of Bismarck
  • The second Madison Square Garden opens in New York, designed by Stanford White
  • Anatole France: Thaïs
  • Henrik Ibsen: Hedda Gabler
  • Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray (original; published in a censored version in 1891)
  • Vincent Van Gogh shoots himself in the chest and dies
1891 1891
  • The Populist Party forms
  • Yellowstone National Park is established
  • Hugo Wolf: Italienisches Liederbuch (Book 1)
  • Max Reger: Sechs Lieder, Op. 4
  • Brahms: Clarinet Quintet
  • Carnegie Hall opens
  • Edison patents his moving picture camera, which he calls the kinetoscope
  • Paul Gauguin departs for Tahiti
  • Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Claude Monet: Haystacks
  • Jean Cocteau born
  • Max Ernst born
  • Henry Miller born
  • Sergei Prokofiev born
  • Arthur Rimbaud dies
1892 1892
  • Ellis Island becomes a gateway for the nation's immigrants; more than half a million are arriving each year
  • Lizzie Borden arrested for murdering her parents
  • Leoš Janáček starts composing his folk song arrangements, Moravská lidová poezie v písních (Moravian Folk Poetry in Songs, finished 1901)
  • Erik Satie: "Bonjour Biqui, bonjour!" (Text: Eric Satie)
  • John Philip Sousa forms his own band
  • Dvořák arrives in America to direct the National Conservatory in New York
  • The Metropolitan Opera is destroyed by a fire
  • Ruggiero Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci
  • Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
  • First movies, lasting about 15 minutes, created
  • Arthur Honegger born
  • Darius Milhaud born
  • J. R. R. Tolkien born
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson dies
1893 1893
  • Grover Cleveland inaugurated for second term
  • Ford builds first automobile engine
  • Panic of 1893
  • Queen Liliuokalani is deposed and is forced to turn Hawaii over to the U.S.
  • Antonín Dvořák's New World Symphony premieres in New York
  • Giuseppe Verdi's last opera, Falstaff, is his only comedy
  • Henry Ossawa Tanner paints The Banjo Lesson
  • The World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago commemorates the 400th anniversary of Columbus's arrival
  • Thomas Edison builds the Black Maria motion picture studio
  • Edvard Munch: The Scream
  • Martha Graham born
  • Peter Tchaikovsky dies
1894 1894
  • Claude Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
  • George Bernard Shaw: Arms and the Man
  • Aubrey Beardsley illustrates Oscar Wilde's Salome
  • Norman Rockwell born
  • Christina Rossetti dies
  • Robert Louis Stevenson dies
1895 1895
  • Lumière Brothers patent their movie camera/projector
  • Art Nouveau fashionable
  • Frederic Remington's sculptures contribute to American image of the West
  • Paul Hindemith born
  • Frederick Douglass dies
1896 1896
  • Plessy v. Ferguson: "separate but equal" is constitutional
  • William Jennings Bryan's first run for president
  • Edward MacDowell composes Indian Suite
  • Edward S. Curtis begins photo surveys of Native American life
  • Library of Congress starts its Music Division
  • Two influential magazines are founded in Germany: Jugend, for which "Jugendstil" is named, and the satirical Simplicissimus
  • First modern Olympics, in Athens
  • Giacomo Puccini: La Bohème
  • Anton Chekhov: The Seagull
  • Oscar Wilde: Salomé
  • Baritone David Bispham born
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald born
  • Baritone Lawrence Tibbett born
  • Paul Verlaine dies
1897 1897
  • William McKinley inaugurated
  • Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska
  • Running of the Boston Marathon begins
  • John Philip Sousa: The Stars and Stripes Forever
  • Richard Strauss: Don Quixote
  • Edmond Rostand: Cyrano de Bergerac
  • George Bernard Shaw: Candide
  • Henry Cowell born
  • William Faulkner born
  • Soprano Rosa Ponselle born
  • Thornton Wilder born
  • Johannes Brahms dies
1898 1898
  • Spanish-American War (to 1899)
  • The Curies discover radium
  • Elisabeth of Austria assassinated
  • Magazine Musical America begins publication
  • Will Marion Cook's musical-comedy sketch Clorindy, or The Origin of the Cakewalk becomes "the first thoroughly black American show to find critical acclaim in the heart of Broadway"
  • Edvard Grieg: Norwegian folksong cycle Haugtussa (published)
  • Charles Ives: Symphony No. 1
  • Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben
  • Giuseppe Verdi: Four Sacred Pieces
  • Stephen Crane: The Open Boat and Other Tales
  • H. G. Wells: War of the Worlds
  • Bertolt Brecht born
  • Louis Armstrong born
  • Paul Robeson born
  • Lewis Carroll dies
  • Stéphané Mallarmé dies
  • Gustave Moreau dies
1899 1899
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht
  • Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 & Finlandia
  • Kate O'Flaherty Chopin: The Awakening
  • Hart Crane born
  • Noel Coward born
  • Duke Ellington born
  • Ernest Hemingway born
  • Eugene Ormandy born
  • Francis Poulenc born
  • E.B. White born
  • Ernest Chausson dies
  • Johann Strauss, Jr. dies
1900 1900
  • U.S. population is over 75,000,000
  • The first edition of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians is published
  • Gustave Charpentier: Louise
  • Gustave Mahler: Symphony No. 4
  • Giacomo Puccini: Tosca
  • L. Frank Baum: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Theodore Dreiser (brother of Paul Dresser): Sister Carrie
  • Sigmund Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams
  • Magnetic recording introduced
  • Richard Crooks (tenor) born
  • Colin McPhee born
  • Hermann Reutter born
  • Oscar Wilde dies
1901 1901
  • U.S. Steel incorporated as the first billion-dollar corporation
  • President William McKinley assassinated; Theodore Roosevelt becomes president
  • Queen Victoria dies
  • Universal Edition in Vienna begins publishing
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Gurre-Lieder
  • Pablo Picasso's Blue Period begins
  • Zora Neale Hurston born
  • Harry Partch born
  • Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec dies
  • Giuseppe Verdi dies
1902 1902
  • Claude Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande

  • Charles Ives finishes his Symphony No. 2, using Foster themes
  • Gustave Mahler: Symphony No. 5 & Kindertotenlieder
  • Caruso makes his first phonograph record
  • Scott Joplin composes "The Entertainer"
  • Marian Anderson born
  • Richard Rogers born
  • Alice Tully born
  • Langston Hughes Born (download pdf)

1903 1903
  • Wright Brothers have their first successful airplane flight
  • W.E.B. Du Bois: The Souls of Black Folk
  • Jack London: Call of the Wild
  • Pablo Picasso: The Old Guitarist
  • George Bernard Shaw: Man and Superman
  • Countee Cullen born
  • Mark Rothko born
  • Paul Gauguin dies
  • Camille Pissarro dies
  • James M. Whistler dies
  • Hugo Wolf dies
1904 1904
  • Will Marion Cook's musical comedy The Southerners is the first Broadway show to feature a racially integrated cast
  • Helen Keller graduates from Radcliffe
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 6
  • Giacomo Puccini: Madame Butterfly
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel, joins English Folk Music Society
  • James Barrie: Peter Pan
  • Anton Chekov: The Cherry Orchard
  • "Count" Basie born
  • Bing Crosby born
  • Salvadore Dali born
  • Jimmy Dorsey born
  • Willem de Kooning born
  • Glenn Miller born
  • Sir Edwin Arnold dies
  • Anton Chekov dies
  • Anton Dvořák dies
1905 1905
  • The New York Subway officially opens
  • Bloody Sunday in St. Petersburg, Russia
  • The Institute of Musical Arts is founded in New York--forerunner of The Juilliard School
  • Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity is made public
  • Claude Debussy: La Mer
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 7
  • Richard Strauss: Salomé
  • Edith Wharton: The House of Mirth
  • Jean-Paul Sartre born
  • Michael Tippett born
  • Jules Verne dies
1906 1906
  • The Great San Francisco Earthquake
  • Muckraker Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle
  • Samuel Beckett born
  • Dmitri Shostakovich born
  • Paul Cézanne dies
  • Henrik Ibsen dies
1907 1907
  • Mahatma Gandhi begins civil disobedience crusade
  • Edward Curtis: First of twenty volumes of photos of Native American life
  • Ziegfield Follies founded
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 8, "Symphony of a Thousand"
  • James Joyce: Chamber Music
  • Gustav Klimt: The Kiss
  • Pablo Picasso: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
  • Rachel Carson born
  • Edvard Grieg dies
1908 1908
  • First Model T Ford
  • Bulgaria declares independence from Turkish authority
  • First exhibit of Ashcan School of painting
  • First Cubist paintings
  • Gustav Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
  • Maurice Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit
  • E. M. Forster: A Room with a View
  • L. M. Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables
  • Herbert von Karajan born
  • Olivier Messiaen born
  • Richard Wright born
  • Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov dies
1909 1909
  • William Howard Taft inaugurated
  • American explorers Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reach the North Pole
  • NAACP founded
  • Vachel Lindsay tramps country preaching his illuminated poems
  • Poet Robert Underwood Johnson founds the Keats House in Rome
  • Ballet Russe founded by Diaghilev
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 9
  • Richard Strauss: Elektra
  • George Meredith dies
  • Frederic Remington dies
1910 1910
  • Boy Scouts of America incorporated
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony includes settings of Walt Whitman
  • Black musicians begin using the term "blues" to describe the established 12-bar form
  • Giacomo Puccini: The Girl of the Golden West
  • Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
  • Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird
  • Robert Fitzgerald born
  • Winslow Homer dies
  • William S. Porter (O. Henry) dies
  • Henri Rousseau dies
  • Leo Tolstoy dies
  • Mark Twain dies
1911 1911
  • Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire
  • First transcontinental flight across the United States
  • Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome
  • Frank Lloyd Wright builds his home Taliesin in Wisconsin
  • Béla Bartók: Bluebeard's Castle
  • Igor Stravinsky: Petrouchka
  • Guillaume Apollinaire: Le Bestiaire
  • Hugo von Hofmannsthal: Jedermann
  • Gustav Mahler dies
1912 1912
  • Federal employees are given an 8-hour work day
  • Titanic sinks with more than 1,500 people aboard
  • James Reese Europe leads first black jazz orchestra in Carnegie Hall
  • Claude Debussy: Jeux
  • Maurice Ravel: Daphnis and Chloe
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire
  • Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos
  • Carl Jung: The Theory of Psychoanalysis
  • George Bernard Shaw: Pygmalion
  • Jackson Pollack born
  • George Solti born
  • Samuel Coleridge Taylor dies
  • Jules Massenet dies
1913 1913
  • Woodrow Wilson inaugurated
  • Woolworth Building is tallest in the world
  • NY Armory show introduces Cubists
  • Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
  • Anton Webern: Five Pieces for Orchestra
  • Thomas Mann: Death in Venice
  • Benjamin Britten born
  • Philip Guston born
  • Robert Hayden born
1914 1914
  • Archduke Ferdinand and wife assassinated; World War I begins
  • Panama Canal opens
  • The Ludlow Massacre in Colorado, a watershed moment in labor history
  • Charles Ives: Three Places in New England
  • Founding of ASCAP, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
  • Gustav Holst: The Planets
  • James Joyce: Dubliners
  • John Berryman born
  • William Burroughs born
  • Ralph Ellison born
  • Weldon Kees born
  • Dylan Thomas born
1915 1915
  • Lusitania sunk off the coast of Ireland
  • U.S. Coast Guard formed
  • Poison gas used in warfare for first time
  • Flowering of New Orleans jazz
  • D. W. Griffith's epic film The Birth of a Nation
  • Alban Berg: Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6
  • Edgar Lee Masters: Spoon River Anthology
  • Arthur Miller born
  • Frank Sinatra born
  • Alexander Scriabin dies
1916 1916
  • National Park Service created
  • Marcus Garvey begins to attract followers to his Universal Negro Improvement Organization
  • Charles Ives: Fourth Symphony
  • Béla Bartók: The Wooden Prince
  • James Joyce: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Robert Shaw born
  • Jack London dies
1917 1917
  • Russian Revolution
  • U.S. enters World War I
  • Puerto Rico becomes a United States territory
  • Manhattan School of Music founded
  • Southern Methodist University Music Department founded
  • Igor Stravinsky: Les Noces
  • Andrew Wyeth born
  • Edgar Degas dies
  • Auguste Rodin dies
1918 1918
  • World War I ends
  • Worldwide flu epidemic begins
  • Guillaume Apollinaire dies
  • Claude Debussy dies
  • Gustav Klimt dies
1919 1919
  • U.S. Post Office burns early portions of Joyce's Ulysses
  • Bauhaus School of Architecture begins
  • Serge Prokofiev: The Love of Three Oranges
  • Richard Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten
  • Liberace born
  • Merce Cunningham born
  • Doris Lessing born
  • J. D. Salinger born
  • Ruggiero Leoncavallo dies
  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir dies
1920 1920
  • 18th Amendment: Prohibition
  • 19th Amendment gives women the right to vote
  • Thousands arrested and deported in Red Scare "Palmer Raids"
  • Socialist Eugene V. Debs makes his fifth run for president, this time from prison
  • League of Nations is created
  • Maurice Ravel: La Valse
  • Igor Stravinsky: Symphony of Wind Instruments
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: This Side of Paradise
  • Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence
  • Sinclair Lewis: Main Street
  • Eugene O'Neill's Emperor Jones on Broadway
  • Expressionist landmark film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  • Commercial radio broadcasting begins in U.S.
  • Bruno Maderna born
1921 1921
  • Warren Harding inaugurated
  • Resurgence of Ku Klux Klan
  • Sacco and Vanzetti convicted
  • Nadia Boulanger begins teaching at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau
  • James Joyce: full-length Ulysses
  • T.S. Eliot: The Waste Land
  • Langston Hughes's "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" is published in The Crisis
  • Rudolph Valentino stars in The Sheik
  • Albert Einstein lectures in New York on the Theory of Relativity
  • Alban Berg: Wozzeck
  • Donaueschingen Contemporary Music Festival begins
  • Hayden Carruth born
  • Enrico Caruso dies
1922 1922
  • Lincoln Memorial dedicated
  • Mussolini becomes dictator in Italy
  • U.S.S.R. is formed
  • Maurice Ravel orchestrates Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition
  • Louis Armstrong joins King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tales of the Jazz Age names a decade
  • Reader's Digest debuts
  • Paul Klee: The Twittering Machine
  • Henri Matisse: The Music Lesson
  • Phyllis Curtin born
  • Judy Garland born
  • Jack Kerouac born
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. born
  • Marcel Proust dies
1923 1923
  • Warren G. Harding dies; Calvin Coolidge becomes president
  • Teapot Dome scandal
  • George Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue
  • Duke Ellington starts his band
  • Arnold Schoenberg turns to twelve-tone music
  • Le Corbusier writes Towards an Architecture
  • Igor Stravinsky: Octet
  • Maria Callas born
  • Sarah Bernhardt dies
1924 1924
  • Leopold and Loeb murder case
  • Immigration Restriction Act institutes quota system
  • The Curtis Institute of Music is founded in Philadelphia
  • John Alden Carpenter: Skyscrapers (ballet)
  • Thomas Mann: The Magic Mountain
  • Eugene O'Neill: Desire Under the Elms
  • H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan found The American Mercury magazine
  • Truman Capote born
  • Luigi Nono born
  • Ferruccio Busoni dies
  • Joseph Conrad dies
  • Gabriel Fauré dies
  • Anatole France dies
  • Giacomo Puccini dies
1925 1925
  • Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee
  • Adolf Hitler publishes Mein Kampf
  • Jazz arrives in Europe
  • Society of American Women Composers founded; Amy Marcy Beach is first president
  • Flowering of Harlem Renaissance
  • Theodore Dreiser: An American Tragedy
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
  • The New Yorker magazine first appears
  • Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway
  • Luciano Berio born
  • Cathy Berberian born
  • Pierre Boulez born
  • Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau born
  • Mary Flannery O'Connor born
  • Gore Vidal born
  • Erik Satie dies
1926 1926
  • Henry Ford institutes the five-day workweek
  • Congress creates the Army Air Corps and establishes the Great Smokey Mountains, Mammoth Cave, and Shenandoah National Parks
  • Edgar Varèse: first performance of Amériques
  • Langston Hughes publishes first jazz poems, The Weary Blues, as well as his influential essay "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain"
  • Jelly Roll Morton’s first jazz recordings appear
  • Martha Graham's first independent dance performance in New York
  • Ernest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Alban Berg: Lyric Suite
  • A. A. Milne: Winnie the Pooh
  • Neal Cassidy born
  • John Coltrane born
  • Allen Ginsberg born
  • Frank O'Hara born
  • Claude Monet dies
  • Rainer Maria Rilke dies
1927 1927
  • Sacco and Vanzetti executed
  • Trotsky comes to full power of the Russian Communist Party
  • Henry Cowell founds New Music, quarterly journal that publishes scores
  • Jerome Kern: Showboat (musical)
  • Igor Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex
  • First talking picture: The Jazz Singer
  • Clara Bow stars in the movie It, becoming The "It" Girl
  • Charles Lindbergh flies solo from New York to Paris
  • Babe Ruth hits 60 home runs, setting a record that will stand for more than 50 years
  • Hermann Hesse: Steppenwolf
  • Günther Grass born
  • Leontyne Price born
1928 1928
  • Kellogg-Briand Pact signed by 15 countries to "outlaw war"
  • Henry Ford introduces the Model A
  • Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly across the Atlantic
  • Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill: The Threepenny Opera
  • George Gershwin: An American in Paris
  • Dmitri Shostokovich: The Nose
  • Bix Beiderbecke plays cornet on four number-one hit records
  • First regularly scheduled television broadcast
  • First appearance of Mickey Mouse as the character "Steamboat Willie"
  • D. H. Lawrence: Lady Chatterley's Lover
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen born
  • Thomas Hardy dies
  • Leoš Janáček dies