A List to Memorize

Ever wonder what happened when in History? Well here is a list of important dates for your kids (and you) to commit to memory, eventually. Think up some fun ways to memorize them. If your children are visual learners make a wall chart or lapbook that gives visual clues/pictures. If you have a audible learner and you are REALLY creative, come up with a song!


• 1492 — Columbus “discovered” America
• 1500’s — The time of the conquistadors and exploration of the Americas
• 1607 — Jamestown
• 1620 — Pilgrims at Plymouth (and the beginning of “Colonial America”)
• 1776 — The signing of the Declaration of Independence (and the end of “Colonial America”)
• Last half of 1770’s…and a bit into 1780’s (1775–1782) — The Revolutionary War (emphasizing the the signing of the Declaration happened after the war started)
• 1789 — Washington became America’s first president (and the French Revolution begins, lasting about 10 years)
• 1803 — The Louisiana Purchase, and Jefferson is president. Preparations for the Lewis & Clark expedition begins; the expedition ends in 1806.
• 1861-1865 — The Civil War, and Lincoln is president
• 1903 — The Wright brothers’ flight at Kittyhawk (notice that this is exactly 100 years after the Louisiana Purchase, making it easier to remember).
• Last half of the 1910’s (1914-1919) — World War I, and Woodrow Wilson was president. (For memory’s sake, it helps to notice the “WWI” and “WW” in Woodrow Wilson.) 1917 — America joins World War I
• 1929 — The stock market crash and basically the beginning of the Great Depression, which lasted about 10 years (or until WWII).
• First half of 1940’s (1939–1945) — World War II, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president. Harry S Truman took over after FDR died and was the one who authorized the bombing of Japan. 1941 — Pearl Harbor bombing and America joins the war.
• First part of 1950’s (1950-1953) — Korean War, and Harry S Truman was president.
• 1960’s and first half of 1970’s (1959–1975) — Vietnam War, and Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, and Ford were presidents during the war.
• 1969 — First landing on the moon.
• First half of 1990’s (1990-1995) — First Gulf War/Persian Gulf War, and George H.W. Bush and Clinton were presidents during the war.
• 2001 — September 11th
• 2003 to present — War in Iraq and George W. Bush and Obama were/are presidents during the war


Tracy (17 Posts)

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  1. says

    What a timely list. We were just going over a very similar list with our kids the other night. It turns out they didn’t know dates AT ALL. So we’re going to start memorizing.

  2. says

    I find that children remember new dates in relation to main, important events.

    My children often ask if something happened during a particular era. (Often they relate the era to a book or movie.) A time line that highlights eras is a good visual reminder. Dates will come with practice and regular reminders.


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