Neutrality Acts

  • August 31, 1938
  • 1935 &1936 laws enacted to prevent U.S. arms sales and loans to nations at war

Anschluss of Austria by Germany

  • March 12, 1938
  • On this day, Adolf Hitler announces an “Anschluss” (union) between Germany and Austria, in fact annexing the smaller nation into a greater Germany.

Munich Pact

  • September 30, 1938
  • Great Britain and France allows Hitler to retain part of Czechoslovakia
  • Hitler promises not to take anymore land , he wanted to create peace


  • November 9, 1938
  • Almost 200 Jewish churches were destroyed, over 8,000 Jewish shops were robbed, and tens of thousands of Jews were removed to concentration camps.

Nazi-Soviet (Non-Aggression) Pact

  • 1939 - 1945
  • Signed between Hitler and Stalin
  • Stated the Germany and Soviet Union would not attack each other
  • Hitler violates pact in 1941

Hitler invades and takes over all Czechoslovakia

  • March 15, 1939

St. Louis Affair

  • Mid June 1939
  • Was noticeable for its single voyage
  • Gustav Schröder, tried to find homes for 915 Jewish refugees

Hitler invades Poland

  • September 1, 1939
  • The start of World War II

Germany opens Auschwitz

  • May 1940
  • Concentration Camp that opened in 1940
  • Where people we're often killed, medically experimented on, or hold prisoners there
  • More than 1 million people died in these camps

Miracle at Dunkirk

  • May 27, 1940
  • The evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk on the Belgian coast ends as German forces capture the beach port
  • The nine-day evacuation, the largest of its kind in history and an unexpected success, saved 338,000 Allied troops from capture by the Nazis

Battle of Britain

  • July 10, 1940
  • German and British air forces clashed in the skies over the United Kingdom, locked in the largest sustained bombing campaign to that date
  • A significant turning point of World War II, the Battle of Britain ended when Germany’s Luftwaffe failed to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force despite months of targeting Britain’s air bases, military posts and, ultimately, its civilian population
  • Britain’s decisive victory saved the country from a ground invasion and possible occupation by German forces while proving that air power alone could be used to win a major battle

Lend-Lease Acts

  • March 1941
  • The Lend-Lease Act was the principal means for providing U.S. military aid to foreign nations during World War II
  • It authorized the president to transfer arms or any other defense materials for which Congress appropriated money to “the government of any country whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States.”
  • By allowing the transfer of supplies without compensation to Britain, China, the Soviet Union and other countries, the act permitted the United States to support its war interests without being overextended in battle

Tuskegee Airmen

  • March 9, 1941
  • Were the first black servicemen to serve as military aviators in the U.S. armed forces, flying with distinction during World War II
  • Though subject to racial discrimination both at home and abroad, the 996 pilots and more than 15,000 ground personnel who served with the all-black units would be credited with some 15,500 combat sorties and earn over 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses for their achievements
  • The highly publicized successes of the Tuskegee Airmen helped pave the way for the eventual integration of the U.S. armed forces under President Harry Truman in 1948

Atlantic Charter

  • August 14,1941
  • The United States and Great Britain issued a joint declaration in August 1941 that set out a vision for the postwar world
  • In January 1942, a group of 26 Allied nations pledged their support for this declaration, known as the Atlantic Charter
  • The document is considered one of the first key steps toward the establishment of the United Nations in 1945

Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor

  • December 7, 1941
  • Hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii
  • The barrage lasted just two hours, but it was devastating
  • The Japanese managed to destroy nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight enormous battleships, and almost 200 airplanes.
  • More than 2,000 Americans soldiers and sailors died in the attack, and another 1,000 were wounded
  • The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan; Congress approved his declaration with just one dissenting vote.
  • Three days later, Japanese allies Germany and Italy also declared war on the United States, and again Congress reciprocated.
  • More than two years into the conflict, America had finally joined World War II.

Battle of Midway

  • 1942
  • The United States defeated Japan in one of the most decisive naval battles of World War II
  • Thanks in part to major advances in code breaking, the United States was able to preempt and counter Japan’s planned ambush of its few remaining aircraft carriers, inflicting permanent damage on the Japanese Navy
  • The victory allowed the United States and its allies to move into an offensive position

Japanese American Relocation

  • March 18, 1942
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 ordering all Japanese-Americans to evacuate the West Coast
  • The relocation of approximately 120,000 people, many of whom were American citizens, to one of 10 internment camps located across the country

Doolittle Raid

  • April 18, 1942
  • General James Harold “Jimmy” Doolittle is most famous for leading a daring bombing raid over Tokyo in 1942, the first American attack on the Japanese mainland
  • Doolittle’s 16 planes dropped their bombs and then, lacking fuel to return to their carrier, flew on to crash-land in China and the Soviet Union

WAAC Formed

  • May 15, 1942
  • Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was established to work with the Army,
  • For the purpose of making available to the national defense the knowledge, skill, and special training of the women of the nation.
  • The Army would provide up to 150,000 "auxiliaries" with food, uniforms, living quarters, pay, and medical care.
  • Women officers would not be allowed to command men.

Manhattan Project

  • August 13, 1942
  • Research and development project that produced the first atomic bombs during World War II
  • It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada

Battle of Stalingrad

  • August 23, 1942
  • The successful Soviet defense of the city of Stalingrad in the U.S.S.R
  • Russians consider it to be the greatest battle of their Great Patriotic War, and most historians consider it to be the greatest battle of the entire conflict
  • It stopped the German advance into the Soviet Union and marked the turning of the tide of war in favor of the Allies
  • The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the bloodiest battles in history, with combined military and civilian casualties of nearly 2 million

El Alamein

  • October 11, 1942
  • One of the most decisive victories in WWII
  • Was fought between Montgomery for the Allies and Rommel for the Axis
  • The victory of the Allies at El Alamein lead to the surrender of the German forces in North Africa in 1943

Casablanca Conference

  • January 1943
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, together with their military staffs, met in Casablanca, French Morocco
  • The conferees agreed to pursue military operations in Sicily, to continue the heavy bombing offensive against Germany, and to establish a combined staff in London to plan a large invasion of France across the English Channel

Tehran Conference

  • November 28, 1943
  • Meeting of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Premier Joseph Stalin at Tehran, Iran
  • Held to strengthen the cooperation of the United States, Great Britain, and the USSR in World War II


  • June 6, 1944
  • Some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region
  • The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning

Battle of the Bulge

  • December 16, 1944
  • Was a surprise German offensive that took place between Trier and Monschau
  • Also known as the Von Rundstedt Offensive or the Ardennes Offensive
  • Intended to split the Allied forces into two to help negotiate a peace on the Western Front, it resulted in vital losses of personnel and equipment for the Germans that would ultimately result in the culmination of World War 2 later in 1945.

USA drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

  • August 6, 1945
  • An American B-29 bomber dropped the world’s first deployed atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima
  • The explosion wiped out 90 percent of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure
  • Three days later, a second B-29 dropped another A-bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000 people
  • Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s unconditional surrender in World War II in a radio address on August 15, citing the devastating power of     “a new and most cruel bomb.”

Battle of Iwo Jima

  • February 19, 1945
  • Was fought between the United States and Japan
  • Took place in the Pacific Campaign of World War 2 and finished with the U.S. being victorious
  • Gaining control of both the island and the Japanese airfields located at that location

Germany Surrenders (V-E Day)

  • May 8, 1945
  • General Alfred Jodl, signs the unconditional surrender of all German forces, East and West, at Reims, in northwestern France

Potsdam Conference

  • July 17, 1945
  • The last of the World War II meetings held by the “Big Three” heads of state
  • The talks established a Council of Foreign Ministers and a central Allied Control Council for administration of Germany

Japan Surrenders (V-J Day)

  • August 14, 1945
  • Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending World War II.
  • August 14 and August 15 is known as “Victory over Japan Day,” or "V-J Day.”

Nuremberg Trials

  • November 20, 1945
  • A series of 13 trials carried out in Nuremberg, Germany
  • Defendants, included Nazi Party officials and high-ranking military officers along with German industrialists, lawyers and doctors
  • Put on trial for such charges as crimes against peace and crimes against humanity

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