Notes from 1900

History Notes – Chronology  1900-1912


1900 – U.S. Population reaches 76,000,000


1900 – U.S. and coalition forces put down the Boxer Rebellion in China. Ultra-patriotic Chinese rise up and attempt to oust foreigners from the country.


electoral college1900 – President McKinley and new running mate Theodore Roosevelt defeat William Jennings Bryan in presidential election – 284 electoral votes to 155.


1900 – Author L. Frank Baum introduces new children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Library of Congress has more information on their website:


1900 – George Eastman’s Kodak company introduces an easy to use Brownie camera – for $1.


1900 – Gillette company introduces a safety razor. This product meant that more men would be shaving at home rather than going to the barber to have it done.


1900 – American athletes dominate the Summer Olympics held in Paris, France, winning 20 gold medals. Most of the U.S. medals were won in track & field events. Americans took home the gold, silver, and bronze in the 110 meter hurdles, the triple jump, the shot put, and the hammer throw.


1901 – Andrew Carnagie sells his entire steel company to J.P. Morgan for about half a billion dollars. Combined with the steel holdings Morgan already had, it created the world’s first billion dollar corporation.


1901 – President McKinley assassinated by anarchist in Buffalo, New York. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt sworn in as our 26th president – our youngest, at age 42.


1902 – New President Roosevelt helps bring an end to the United Mine Workers strike. Coal miners and mine owners brought to the bargaining table after Roosevelt threatens to bring in the Army to mine the coal.


1902 – Helen Keller, who at the age of 19 months lost her sight and hearing to disease, publishes her life story. The 22 year-old is a student at Radcliffe College.


1902 – Jell-O dessert introduced. Also, the Automat, which is the precursor to the vending machine, is introduced.


1903 – The Boston Red Sox of the American league defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League in the first World Series of Baseball 5 games to 3.


1903 – Panama, which had been a northern province of Colombia, gains its independence through revolution – aided by the presence of U.S. battleships, which prevented Colombian troops from landing on the isthmus. U.S. recognizes the sovereignty of the new nation.


1903 – Jack London publishes popular novel, Call of the Wild


1903 – December 17th, Ohio brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright fly the first powered aircraft atKittyhawk, North Carolina. Four flights made on that first day. Orville (age 32) flew first and third,and Wilbur (age 36) flew second and fourth. The fourth and final flight lasted 59 seconds and flew over 850 feet.


1904 – St. Louis, Missouri is the host of two major events. The 1904 Summer Olympics and the 1904 World’s Fair. Ice cream cones and hot dogs were instantly popular at the fair. U.S. track and field team wins 21 out of 22 events at the Olympics.


1904 – New York City subway opens in October. 150,000 people try it out the first day. More info available at


1905 - Restaurant in New York's "Little Italy introduces pizza to Americans.


1906 - San Francisco devastated by huge earthquake and subsequent fire, the fire damage is worse than the earthquake.


1906 - Upton Sinclair publishes "The Jungle." It is about the horrors of the meat processing business in Chicago. It’s impact includes the passing of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act.


1906 - President Roosevelt visits canal construction in Panama.  First time any president has gone abroad while in office.


1906 - Roosevelt wins Nobel Peace Prize (another presidential first) for the peace treaty between Japan and Russia. More interesting information can be found at:


1906 - Kellogg's presents new breakfast cereal "Corn Flakes". Find out more:


1907 - Oklahoma admitted to the Union as the 46th state


1907 - Great White fleet embarks on its world wide tour. Roosevelt uses this as a way to impress the rest of the world with U.S.A.’s military might.


1907 – Designed by James Spangler, the Hoover Suction Sweeper Company introduces new "vacuum cleaner"..."it really sucks!"


1908 – Automobile manufacturer Henry Ford introduces what would become his most successful car – the model T.


1908 – William Howard Taft defeats William Jennings Bryan in the presidential election. 321 electoral votes to 162.


1909 – American explorers Robert Peary and Matthew Henson are first ever to reach the North Pole.


1909 – U.S. mint in Philadelphia begins coining a new penny, displaying a likeness of Abraham Lincoln on the front.


1910 – U.S. census shows the nation’s population has grown to 92,000,000. Less than half have a high school diploma.


1910 – NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is established. Co-founders included W.E.B. DuBois, Ida Wells-Barnett, and Jane Addams.


1911 - Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in New York kills 146, mostly young women. More info at:


1911 -  Cadillac eliminates hand-crank, installs electric starter in its' cars. Will show up on the new 1912 models as optional equipment.


1911 -  Philadelphia pitcher, Cy Young retires from baseball, 509 wins, 316 losses.


1912 - New Mexico and Arizona become the 47th and 48th states during the latter part of the Taft administration.


1912 - New products introduced, Oreo cookies, and Lifesaver candies. Since their introduction in 1912, the Oreo cookie has become the best selling cookie in the U.S.


1912 - 1,517 lives were lost when the ocean liner Titanic struck an iceberg and sank. It was thelargest  vessel in the world when she entered service in 1912. Builders claimed she was practically unsinkable.


electoral college1912 - Republicans split (dividing votes between Republican incumbent W.H. Taft and Progressive Teddy Roosevelt) and Democrat Woodrow Wilson wins presidential election.