Timeline

Complete Table of Contents

Introduction
Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors
1507
The name “America” appears on a map
Toby Lester
1521, August 13
Mexico in America
Kirsten Silva Gruesz
1536, July 24
Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Ilan Stavans
1585
“Counterfeited according to the truth”
Michael Gaudio
1607
Fear and love in the Virginia colony
Adam Goodheart
1630
A city upon a hill
Elizabeth Winthrop
1643
A nearer neighbor to the Indians
Ted Widmer
1666, July 10
Anne Bradstreet
Wai Chee Dimock
1670
The American jeremiad
Emory Elliott
1670
The stamp of God’s image
Jason D. LaFountain
1673
The Jesuit relations
Laurent Dubois
1683
Francis Daniel Pastorius
Alfred L. Brophy
1692
The Salem witchcraft trials
Susan Castillo
1693–94, March 4
Edward Taylor
Werner Sollors
1700
Samuel Sewall, The Selling of Joseph
David Blight
1722
Benjamin Franklin, The Silence Dogood Letters
Joyce E. Chaplin
1740
The Great Awakening
Joanne van der Woude
1740s, September 13-14 1814, Yankee Doodle goes to town; Francis Scott Key writes The Star-Spangled Banner
1765, December 23
Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoeur
Leo Damrosch
1773, September
Phillis Wheatley
Rafia Zafar
1776
The Declaration of Independence
Frank Kelleter
1784, June
Charles Willson Peale
Michael Leja
1787
James Madison, Notes of the Debates in the Federal Convention
Mitchell Meltzer
1787–1790
John Adams, Discourses on Davila
John Diggins
1791
Philip Freneau and The National Gazette
Jefrey L. Pasley
1796
Washington’s farewell address
François Furstenberg
1798
Mary Rowlandson and the Alien and Sedition Acts
Nancy Armstrong
1798
American gothic
Marc Amfreville
1801, March 4
Jefferson’s first inaugural address
Jan Ellen Lewis
1804, January
The matter of Haiti
Kaiama Glover
1809
Cupola of the world
Judith Richardson
1819
The Missouri crisis
John Stauffer
1820, November 27
Landscape with birds
Christoph Irmscher
1821
Sequoyah, the Cherokee syllabary
Lisa Brooks
1821, June 30
Junius Brutus Booth
Coppelia Kahn
1822
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, the Ojibwe firefly, and Longfellow’s Hiawatha
David Treuer
1825, November
Thomas Cole and the Hudson River
Alan Wallach
1826, July 4
Songs of the republic
Steve Erickson
1826
Cooper’s Leatherstocking tales
Richard Hutson
1826; 1927
Transnational poetry
Stephen Burt
1827
Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon
Terryl L. Givens
1828
David Walker, Appeal, in Four Articles
Tommie Shelby
1830, May 21
Jump Jim Crow
W. T. Lhamon, Jr.
1831, March 5
The Cherokee Nation decision
Philip Deloria
1832, July 10
President Jackson’s bank veto
Dan Feller
1835, January
Democracy in America
Ted Widmer
1835
William Gilmore Simms, The Yemasseee
Jefrey Johnson
1835
The Sacred Harp
Sean Wilentz
1836, February 23–March 6
The Alamo and Texas border writing
Norma E. Cantú
1836, February 28
Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
Kirsten Silva Gruesz
1837, August 31
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The American Scholar”
James Conant
1838, July 15
“The Divinity School Address”
Herwig Friedl
1838, September 3
The slave narrative
Caille Millner
1841
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”
Robert Clark
1846, June
James Russell Lowell’s Biglow Papers
Shelley Streeby
1846, late July
Henry David Thoreau
Jonathan Arac
1850
The Scarlet Letter
Bharati Mukherje
1850, July 19
Margaret Fuller and the Transcendentalist Movement
Lawrence Buell
1850, August 5
Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville
Clark Blaise
1851, Moby-Dick
1851
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Beverly Lowry
1852
Hawthorne’s Blithedale Romance and utopian communities
Winfried Fluck
1852, July 5
Frederick Douglass, “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?”
Liam Kennedy
1854, March
Maria Cummins and sentimental fiction
Cindy Weinstein
1855
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Angus Fletcher
1858
The Lincoln-Douglas debates
Michael T. Gilmore
1859
The science of the Indian
Scott Richard Lyons
1861
Emily Dickinson
Susan Stewart
1862, December 13
The journeys of Little Women
Shirley Samuels
1865, March 4
Lincoln’s second inaugural address
Ted Widmer
1865
“Conditions of repose”
Robin Kelsey
1869, March 4
Carl Schurz
Michael Boyden
1872, November 5
All men and women are created equal
Laura Wexler
1875
The Winchester Rifle
Merritt Roe Smith
1876, January 6
Melville in the dark
Kenneth W. Warren
1876, March 10
The art of telephony
Avital Ronell
1878
“How to Make Our Ideas Clear”
Christopher Hookway
1879
John Muir and nature writing
Scott Slovic
1881, January 24
Henry James, Portrait of a Lady
Alide Cagidemetrio
1884
Mark Twain’s hairball
Ishmael Reed
1884, July
The Linotype machine
Lisa Gitelman
1884, November
The Southwest imagined
Leah Dilworth
1885
The problem of error
James Conant
1885, July
Limits to violence
James Dawes
1885, October
Writing New Orleans
Andrei Codrescu
1888, The introduction of motion pictures
1889, August 28
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Yael Schacher
1893
Chief Simon Pokagon and Native American literature
David Treuer
1895
Ida B. Wells, A Red Record
Jacqueline Goldsby
1896
Paul Laurence Dunbar, Lyrics of Lowly Life
Judith Jackson Fossett
1896, September 6
Queen Lili‘uokalani
Rob Wilson
1897, Memorial Day
The Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Regiment Monument
Richard Powers
1898, June 22
Literature and imperialism
Amy Kaplan
1899; 1924
McTeague and Greed
Gilberto Perez
1900
Henry Adams
T. J. Jackson Lears
1900
The Wizard of Oz
Gerald Early
1900; 1905
Sister Carrie and The House of Mirth
Farah Jasmine Grifin
1901
Charles W. Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition
John Edgar Wideman
1901-1903, The problem of the color line
1903, May 5
“The real American has not yet arrived”
Aviva Taubenfeld
1903
The invention of the blues
Luc Sante
1903
One sees what one sees
Daniel Albright
1904, August 30
Henry James in America
Ross Posnock
1905, October 15
Little Nemo in Slumberland
Katherine Roeder
1906, April 9
The Azusa Street revival
R. J. Smith
1906, April 18 , 5:14 a.m.
The San Francisco Earthquake
Kathleen Moran
1911
“Alexander’s Ragtime Band”
Philip Furia
1912, April 15
Lifeboats cut adrift
Alan Ackerman
1912
The lure of impossible things
Heather Love
1912
Tarzan begins his reign
Gerald Early
1913
A modernist moment
Bonnie Costello
1915
D. W. Griffith, The Birth of a Nation
Richard Schickel
1915
Robert Frost
Christian Wiman
1917
The philosopher and the millionaire
Richard J. Bernstein
1920, August 10
Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues”
Daphne A. Brooks
1921
Jean Toomer
Elizabeth Alexander
1922
T. S. Eliot and D. H. Lawrence
Anita Patterson
October 1923, Chaplinesque
1924
F. O. Matthiessen meets Russell Cheney
Robert Polito
1924, May 26
The Johnson-Reed Act and ethnic literature
Yael Schacher
1925
The Great Gatsby
Lan Tran
1925, June
Sinclair Lewis
Jefrey Ferguson
1925, July
The Scopes trial
Michael Kazin
1925, August 16
Dorothy Parker
Catherine Keyser
1926
Fire!!
Carla Kaplan
1926
Hardboiled
Walter Mosley
1926
The Book-of-the-Month Club
Joan Shelley Rubin
1927
Carl Sandburg and The American Songbag
Paul Muldoon
1927, May 16
“Free to develop their faculties”
Jefrey Rosen
1928, April 8, Easter Sunday
Dilsey Gibson goes to church
Werner Sollors
1928, Summer
John Dos Passos
Phoebe Kosman
1928, November 18
The mouse that whistled
Karal Ann Marling
1930
“You're swell!”
Robert Gottlieb
1930, March
The Silent Enemy
Micah Treuer
October 1930, Grant Wood's American Gothic
1931, March 19
Nevada legalizes gambling
David Thomson
1932
Edmund Wilson, The American Jitters
Anthony Grafton
1932
Arthur Miller
Andrea Most
1932, April or May
The River Rouge plant and industrial beauty
John M. Staudenmaier, S.J.
1932, Christmas
Ned Cobb
Robert Cantwell
1933
Baby Face is censored
Stephanie Zacharek
1933, March
FDR’s first Fireside Chat
Paula Rabinowitz
1934, September
Robert Penn Warren
Howell Raines
1935
The Popular Front
Angela Miller
1935
The skyscraper
Sarah Whiting
1935, June 10
Alcoholics Anonymous
Michael Tolkin
1935, October 10
Porgy and Bess
John Rockwell
1936, Gone with the Wind and Absalom, Absalom!
1936, July 5
Two days in Harlem
Adam Bradley
1936, November 23
Life begins
Michael Lesy
1938
Superman
Douglas Wolk
1938, May
Jelly Roll Morton speaks
Marybeth Hamilton
1939
Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”
Robert O’Meally
1939; 1981
Up from invisibility
Josef Jarab
1940
“No way like the American way”
Erika Doss
1940–1944
Preston Sturges
Douglas McGrath
1941
An insolent style
Carrie Tirado Bramen
1941
Citizen Kane
Joseph McBride
1941
The word “multicultural”
Werner Sollors
1943
Hemingway’s paradise, Hemingway’s prose
Keith Taylor
1944
The second Bill of Rights
Cass R. Sunstein
1945, February
Bebop
Ingrid Monson
1945, April 11
Thomas Pynchon and modern war
Glenda Carpio
1945, August 6, 10:45 a.m.
The atom bomb
Sharon Ghamari-Tabrizi
1946, December 5
Integrating the military
Gerald Early
December 3 1947, Tennessee Williams
1948
Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics
David A. Mindell
1948
Saul Bellow
Ruth Wisse
1949–1950
“Birth of the Cool”
Ted Gioia
1950, November 28
“Damned busy painting”
T. J. Clark
1951
A poet among painters
Mark Ford
1951, The Catcher in the Rye
1951
James Jones, From Here to Eternity
Lindsay Waters
1951
A soft voice
M. Lynn Weis
1952, April 12
Elia Kazan and the blacklist in Hollywood
Michael Ventura
1952, June 10
C. L. R. James
Donald E. Pease
1953, January 1
The song in country music
Dave Hickey
1954
Wallace Stevens, Collected Poems
Helen Vendler
1955, August 11
“The self-respect of my people”
Monica Miller
1955, September 21
A. J. Liebling and the Marciano-Moore fight
Carlo Rotella
1955, October 7
A generation in miniature
Richard Cándida Smith
1955, December
Nabokov’s Lolita
Stephen Schiff
1956, April 16
“Roll Over Beethoven”
James Miller
1957
Dr. Seuss
Philip Nel
1959
“Nobody’s perfect”
William J. Mann
1960
Psycho
William Beard
1960, January
More than a game
Michael MacCambridge
1961, January 20
JFK’s inaugural address and Catch-22
Charles Taylor
1961, July 2
The author as advertisement
David Thomson
1962
Bob Dylan writes “Song to Woody”
Joshua Clover
1962
“White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art”
Howard Hampton
1963, April
“Letter from Birmingham Jail”
George Hutchinson
1964
Robert Lowell, “For the Union Dead”
Peter Sacks
October 27 1964, The last stand on Earth
1965, September 11
The Council on Interracial Books for Children
Dianne Johnson
1965, October
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
David Bradley
1968
Norman Mailer
Mary Gaitskill
1968, March
The illusory babels of language
Hal Foster
1968, August 28
The plight of conservative literature
Michael Kimage
1969
Elizabeth Bishop, Complete Poems
Laura Quinney
1969, January 11
The first Asian Americans
Hua Hsu
1969, November 12
The eye of Vietnam
Thi Phuong-Lan Bui
1970
Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker
Cheryl A. Wall
1970, 1972, Linda Lovelace
1972
Loisaida literature
Frances R. Aparicio
1973
Adrienne Rich, Diving into the Wreck
Maureen N. McLane
1975
Gayl Jones
Robert O’Meally
1981, March 31
Toni Morrison
Farah Jasmine Grifin
1982
Edmund White, A Boy’s Own Story
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
1982
Wild Style
Hua Hsu
1982
Maya Lin’s wall
Anne Wagner
1982, November 8
Harriet Wilson
Saidiya V. Hartman
1985, April 24
Henry Roth
Mario Materassi
1987
Maxine Hong Kingston, Tripmaster Monkey
Seo-Young Chu
1995
Philip Roth
Hana Wirth-Nesher
2001
Twenty-first-century free verse
Stephen Burt
2003
Richard Powers, The Time of Our Singing
Greil Marcus
2005, August 29, Hurricane Katrina
2008, November 4
Barack Obama
Kara Walker