A Timeline of the Millennium
Trace the millennium - which started on Jan. 1, 1001, and ended on Dec. 31, 2000 - through the chronological events listed below.

11th Century
c. 1000 - Leif Ericson sailed to North America, calling it Vinland.
c. 1000 - Hungary and Scandinavia converted to Christianity.
1054 - Separation between the Roman Catholic Church, based in Rome, and the Eastern Orthodox Church, based in Constantinople.
1066 - Norman rule of England established after the Battle of Hastings.
1095 - At the Council of Clermount, Pope Urban II called for war to rescue the Holy Land from the Muslim "infidels." The crusades lasted until 1291.

12th Century
1c.1150 - Holy Roman Empire reached its peak.

13th Century
1211 - Genghis Khan invaded China.
1215 - Magna Carta signed by England's King John.
1271 - Marco Polo traveled from Italy to China.

14th Century
c. 1325 - Renaissance started in Italy.
1347-51 - Pandemic plague known as the Black Death killed one-third of the population of Europe.
1368 - The Ming dynasty began nearly 300 years of rule in China.

15th Century
1428 - Joan of Arc led French forces against the English during the Hundred Years' War. Captured, she was burned at the stake as a witch in 1431.
1453 - Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople.
1455 - Johann Gutenberg completed the first Bible using movable type. His printing press revolutionized printing.
1492 - Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain to the Western Hemisphere.

16th Century
1501 - First African slaves arrived to Spanish colony at Santo Domingo.
c. 1503 - Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.
1508-12 - Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
1517 - Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to a church door in Wittenberg, starting the Reformation in Germany.
1521 - Hernando Cortez conquered the Aztec Indians in Mexico.
1522 - First circumnavigation of the world completed by the crew of Ferdinand Magellan.
1533 - Francisco Pizarro conquered the Incan Empire of Peru.
1543 - An account of the work of Nicolaus Copernicus published upon his death. The Copernican system featured a sun-centered universe rather than the commonly accepted Earth-centered universe of the time.
1565 - St. Augustine, Fla., founded by the Spanish, making it the first permanent European settlement in what became the United States.
1582 - Ten days skipped as a switch is made to the modern calendar, decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, which is now known as the Gregorian calendar.

17th Century
1607 - Jamestown established in what became Virginia. It was the first permanent British settlement in North America.
1610 - Galileo Gailei discovered sun spots using one of the first astronomical devices. He also wrote in support of the Copernican view of the universe, which was declared heresy by the church.
1616 - Playwright William Shakespeare died.
1619 - First slaves brought to Virginia.
1620 - The Pilgrims landed in Plymouth and established a colony.
1624 - The Dutch established New Netherland, now New York City.
1633 - Inquisition forced Galileo to recant his belief in Copernican system.
1635 - Boston Latin School became the first public school in America.
1636 - Harvard - the first college in the colonies - founded.
1642 - English Civil War began.
1672 - The Boston Post Road completed, linking Boston with New York City.

18th Century
1729 - Isaac Newton's Principia translated from Latin to English.
1742 - Johann Sebastian Bach wrote one of his last great works, the Goldberg Variations.
1752 - Ben Franklin proved that lightning is a form of electricity by flying a kite in a storm.
1756 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - composer of 41 symphonies and more than 600 classical works - born in Austria.
1775 - James Watt completed his steam engine.
1776 - The Declaration of Independence signed.
1776 - First union labor strike recorded in New York City by printer's union.
1787 - The U.S. Constitution is written.
1791 - Vermont entered the Union as the 14th state.
1793 - Eli Whitney developed a toothed cotton gin.

19th Century
1803 - The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States. Purchased from France for $15 million, the area - which includes Minnesota and parts of 14 other states - still comprises nearly a quarter of the land mass of the United States. The cost was 3¢ per acre.
1803 - Ludwig von Beethoven's third symphony broke from classical traditions.
1807 - Robert Fulton made first successful steamboat trip on the Clermont from New York City to Albany, N.Y.
1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte defeated in the Battle of Waterloo.
1817 - Venezuela - led by Sim—n Bol’var - gained independence from Spain.
1825 - Erie Canal opened, providing a waterway from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.
1837 - Samuel Morse demonstrated the first telegraph.
1837 - Victoria crowned Queen of England.
1846 - Failure of potato crop caused famine in Ireland.
1848 - After defeating Mexico in war, the United States purchased California, and parts of six other states for $15 million, less than a nickel an acre.
1849 - Prospectors headed to California for gold rush.
1853-54 - Two Japanese ports opened to trade, ending 200 years of isolation.
1856 - First kindergarten class in America opened in Wisconsin.
1857 - White settlers located a townsite and named it Paynesville.
1858 - Minnesota gained statehood.
1859 - First commercial oil well in America drilled in Pennsylvania.
1860 - Abraham Lincoln elected President of the United States.
1861-65 - The Union defeated the Confederates in the U.S. Civil War. Over two million soldiers engaged with nearly 650,000 casualties.
1862 - Great Sioux Uprising terrorized Minnesota.
1867 - The United States purchased Alaska from Russia for 2¢ an acre.
1869 - Ends of the transcontinental railroad joined in Utah.
1869 - Suez Canal opened, linking the Mediterranean and Red seas.
1871 - Germany united under Kaiser Wilhelm I.
1876 - Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.
1876 - Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
1876 - American Indians attained greatest victory in Plains Wars by killing General George Custer and 264 troopers at Little Big Horn River.
1879 - Thomas Edison invented the electric light.
1884 - First skyscraper started in Chicago.
1886 - Apache Indian chief Geronimo surrendered.
1890 - Three hundred Lakota Indians killed at the Massacre at Wounded Knee.
1897 - First American subway opened in Boston.
1898 - The United States took control of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines after the Spanish-American War.
1900 - Boer War fought in South Africa; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz published by L. Frank Baum; the second modern Olympics held in Paris.

(Information for this list compiled from the 1987 Information Please Almanac, the 1998 World Book Encyclopedia, the 2000 World Almanac, the 2001 World Almanac, and Philip's Millennium Encyclopedia & World Atlas.)

20th Century dates
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