Historical Timeline

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C&MA Historical Timeline

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The 1840s

The 1840s brought: anesthetics, Oregon Trail, California gold rush; U.S. population 17.1 million

C&MA Events

1843
Dr. Albert Benjamin Simpson born December 15 on Prince Edward Island, Canada
1844
Simpson dedicated to the Lord by missionary John Geddie
1847
Simpson family moves to Chatham, Ontario

Evangelical Events

1841
David Livingstone opens Africa to Christian missions
1844
YMCA founded in London by Sir George Williams
1846
World Evangelical Alliance formed in London
1849
Charles G. Finney holds evangelistic campaigns in England

U.S. & World Events

1844
First message over telegraph line sent by inventor Samuel F. B. Morse
1848
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto in Germany
1849
Mexican-American War, Texas and California ceded to United States

The 1850s

The 1850s brought: Republican Party, Melville’s Moby Dick, California statehood; U.S. population 23.2 million, World population 1.2 billion

C&MA Events

1852
Simpson believes he is called by God to preach
1858
Simpson receives divine assurance of his salvation

Evangelical Events

1851
YMCA comes to Montreal and Boston
1854
International Missionary Conference in New York: “Converting the World to Christ;” Illinois Institute (Wheaton College) founded by Jonathan Blanchard
1857
NYC Fulton Street Revival grows from 6 to 10,000 laymen in six months
1859
Second Evangelical Awakening in England, more than 1 million converts

U.S. & World Events

1852
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin published
1855
East Africa: 20,000 slaves exported annually by Arabs
1857
Dred Scott decision by Supreme Court denies slaves’ right to U.S. citizenship
1859
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection published

The 1860s

The 1860s brought: women’s suffrage in Wyoming, dynamite, Transcontinental Railroad; U.S. population 31.4 million

C&MA Events

1861
Simpson writes “A Solemn Covenant” to confirm his salvation experience
1861-65
Simpson attends Knox College, Toronto.
1865
Simpson ordained on September 12, marries Margaret Henry the next day; Simpson pastors Knox Presbyterian Church, Ontario, 750 new members added

Evangelical Events

1865
Salvation Army founded by William Booth in England; China Inland Mission (Overseas Missionary Fellowship) founded by J. Hudson Taylor
1869
Boston Missionary Training School (Gordon College) founded by A. J. Gordon

U.S. & World Events

1861-65
620,000 killed during U.S. Civil War
1863
President Abraham Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves
1865
General Robert E. Lee surrenders, ending Civil War; President Abraham Lincoln assassinated by John Wilkes Booth

The 1870s

The 1870s brought: typewriter, telephone, phonograph, light bulb; U.S. population 38.6 million

C&MA Events

1874
Simpson filled with the Holy Spirit
1874-79
Simpson pastors Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Kentucky
1875
Whittle/Bliss Campaign radically alters Simpson’s view of ministry; Simpson begins evangelistic services in public halls
1879
Simpson resigns Kentucky pastorate and moves to NYC

Evangelical Events

1873-74
Moody/Sankey revivals reach more than 3 million people in Scotland and England
1874
Oxford Convention of Higher Christian Life, 1,500 ministers attend
1875
Keswick Convention for higher spiritual life begins

U.S. & World Events

1872
Yellowstone established by Congress as first national park in United States
1876
Colorado is the 38th state admitted to the Union
1877
Colonel George A. Custer’s “last stand” in Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana

The 1880s

The 1880s brought: Sears & Roebuck, post-impressionist art, Geronimo’s surrender; U.S. population 50.2 million

C&MA Events

1880
Simpson produces first U.S. illustrated missionary magazine, The Gospel in All Lands
1880
Simpson pastors 13th Street Presbyterian Church, New York City
1881
Simpson resigns NYC pastorate to reach “the unchurched and neglected masses”
1882
First issue of The Word, The Work, and The World (Alliance Life) published; New York Gospel Tabernacle and Missionary Training Institute (MTI) organized
1883
The Missionary Union for the Evangelization of the World formed
1884
C&MA begins ministry in Democratic Republic of the Congo
1886
A.B. Simpson’s first convention held at Old Orchard Beach, Maine
1887
Two societies formed: The Christian Alliance and The Evangelical Missionary Alliance (later known as The International Missionary Alliance)
1888
C&MA begins ministry in China

Evangelical Events

1881
Christian Endeavor Movement, first interdenominational youth ministry, spreads nationwide
1886
Chicago Evangelization Society (Moody Bible Institute) founded
1888
Student Volunteer Movement for foreign missions coins slogan: “The Evangelization of the World in this Generation;” Centenary Conference on Foreign Missions in London, 1,576 missionaries from 140 agencies attend

U.S. & World Events

1881
President James A. Garfield shot, dies later of complications
1884
Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn published
1886
Statue of Liberty dedicated
1887
Hunan, China: 900,000 drowned in Yellow River

The 1890s

The 1890s brought: kinetoscope (motion picture) camera, radio; U.S. population 63.0 million

C&MA Events

1890
Dedication of The Gospel Tabernacle, Christian Publications, and Berachah Home complex at Eighth Avenue and W 44th Street in NYC; C&MA begins ministry in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria; Eighth Avenue Mission opened by May Agnew; Stephen Merritt feeds 2,000 homeless people daily
1890-91
First black C&MA missionaries, James A. Trice and Robert Page, begin work
1891
C&MA begins ministry in Japan; First edition of Hymns of the Christian Life published
1893
C&MA begins ministry in India
1895
C&MA begins ministry in Venezuela
1897
The two societies merge to become The Christian and Missionary Alliance; A.B. Simpson becomes first president; C&MA begins ministry in Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador; Missionary Training Institute and Berachah Home move to Nyack, New York

Evangelical Events

1890
The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) founded by Fredrik Franson
1893
“Hephzibah House” founded by Virginia DePeyster Field in NYC
1895
Africa Inland Mission (AIM) founded by C&MA missionary Peter Cameron Scott
1899
Gideons International organized by three businessmen in Janesville, Wisconsin

U.S. & World Events

1892
Ellis Island opens in New York to receive immigrants
1897
Sir Ronald Ross discovers cause of malaria, brings decline in fatalities in Africa
1898
U.S. blockades Cuba after battleship Maine sinks; U.S. declares war on Spain

The 1900s

The 1900s brought: 9 million U.S. immigrants, teddy bears, ice cream cones; U.S. population 76.2 million; World population 1.6 billion

C&MA Events

1900
China’s Boxer Rebellion, 19 Swedish C&MA missionaries and 13 children massacred; C&MA begins ministry in Puerto Rico
1901
Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) founded by Rowland S. Bingham, MTI alumnus
1902
Simpson edits religious monthly, Living Truths; C&MA begins ministry in Philippines
1906
Wilson Academy founded by Henry Wilson, famous alumni Charles and John D. MacArthur; Lovejoy Bible Training School for African-Americans founded in Mill Spring, North Carolina
1907
Toccoa Falls Bible Institute (Toccoa Falls College) founded by Dr. and Mrs. R.A. Forrest

Evangelical Events

1900
NYC World Missionary Conference, 200,000 attendees
1904
Welsh Revival, ministry of Evan Roberts, 100,000 converts in six months
1906
Azusa Street meetings in Los Angeles, California, led by William Seymour, launches Pentecostal movement
1908
Billy Sunday begins citywide campaigns, 1 million converts by 1930

U.S. & World Events

1903
First successful airplane flight by the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
1906
Earthquake and subsequent fire in San Francisco destroy most of the city
1908
Henry Ford introduces the Model T car, priced at $850
1909
Admiral Robert E. Peary claims to be the first to reach the North Pole

The 1910s

The 1910s brought: Boy/Girl Scouts, Panama Canal, sinking of Titanic, Prohibition; U.S. population 92.3 million

C&MA Events

1911
C&MA begins ministry in Vietnam, Robert A. Jaffray leads initiative
1916
St. Paul Bible Institute (Crown College) founded by J.D. Williams
1919
A.B. Simpson suffers a stroke and dies; Paul Rader becomes second president of the C&MA; C&MA begins ministry in Guinea

Evangelical Events

1910
Edinburgh World Missions Conference begins 20th century ecumenical movement; Sunday School Council of Evangelical Denominations established
1917
Interdenominational Foreign Missions Association (IFMA) founded

U.S. & World Events

1911
South Pole first reached by Roald Amundsen
1914
World War I begins after assassination of Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife
1917
U.S. enters World War I; Charlie Chaplin becomes first actor to sign a $1 million contract
1918
World War I ends after Germany surrenders; Influenza outbreak kills 20 million worldwide

The 1920s

The 1920s brought: British-mandated Palestine, Babe Ruth, TV, Reader’s Digest; U.S. population 108 million

C&MA Events

1921
Simpson Bible Institute (Simpson University) founded by W.W. Newberry
1923
Pittsburgh Bible Training School for African-Americans founded by E.M. Burgess; C&MA begins ministry in Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Colombia and Mali
1924
Margaret Henry Simpson dies at 82; Frederic H. Senft becomes third president of the C&MA, dies during first year in office
1925
C&MA begins ministry in Peru; Harry M. Shuman becomes fourth president of the C&MA
1926
Cleveland Coloured Gospel Quintet entertains C&MA audiences in U.S. and Canada
1929
C&MA begins ministry in Indonesia, Laos and Thailand

Evangelical Events

1921
International Missionary Council formed to maintain cooperation among missions
1922
Pandita Ramabai, founder of Mukti Mission in India, dies; C&MA becomes legal trustee of mission
1925
Scopes Monkey Trial: John T. Scopes convicted of teaching evolution in a public school
1927
Russian communist government destroys thousands of churches and kills Christians; Anti-Christian movement in China forces 5,000 Protestant missionaries to leave

U.S. & World Events

1920
19th Amendment gives women the right to vote
1926
Congress establishes the Army Air Corp (Air Force)
1927
Charles Lindbergh flies Spirit of St. Louis nonstop from New York to Paris in 33 hours
1929
U.S. Stock Market crashes on “Black Tuesday;” the Great Depression begins

The 1930s

The 1930s brought: Prohibition ends, Empire State Building, Social Security; U.S. population 123.2 million

C&MA Events

1930
C&MA begins ministry in Côte d’Ivoire
1931
First major international Protestant radio station, HCJB “Voice of the Andies,” founded by Reuben Larson (C&MA) and Clarence Jones
1933
Missionary Training Institute (Nyack College) celebrates its 50th anniversary; Great Depression forces the Board of Managers to slash missionary allowances by one-third; C&MA begins ministry in Gabon
1935
President Shuman says Depression years most trying in history of Alliance; C&MA giving increases 11.15 percent over previous year, highest since 1931
1936
Hymns of the Christian Life, 5th edition “blue hymnal” published

Evangelical Events

1933
Navigators discipleship program started by Dawson Trotman
1934
Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. founded by William Townsend Cameron
1937
Child Evangelism Fellowship, Inc. organized by Jesse Overholtzer
1939
Back to the Bible International founded by Theodore Epp; Old Fashioned Gospel Hour with Charles Fuller reaches 10 million listeners every Sunday

U.S. & World Events

1933
President Roosevelt’s New Deal puts millions of Americans back to work
1935
Nuremberg Laws strip German Jews of citizenship
1938
Orson Welle’s radio drama War of the Worlds causes scare; Atomic fission of uranium discovered
1939
Germany invades Poland; The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind in movie theaters

The 1940s

The 1940s brought: Israel statehood, NATO, Jackie Robinson, Ghandi’s assassination; U.S. population 132.2 million

C&MA Events

1941
Canadian Bible Institute founded
1942
China, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam closed to missions work; 35 C&MA men, 42 women, and 44 children placed in internment camps; missionary Ethel Bell and her two children survive 20 days in a raft on the Atlantic Ocean after their ship is torpedoed
1944
C&MA missionary effort holds steady during war years; of 476 missionaries, 252 remain overseas
1945
Robert A. Jaffray dies in Japanese internment camp in Indonesia
1946
General Council reports ten missionaries and one child died in captivity during World War II
1948
C&MA exceeds goal of 1,000 U.S. organized branches, membership surpasses 50,000 mark
1949
C&MA missionaries forced to leave China as communism takes over; A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God achieves wide recognition, in 1950 he become editor of The Alliance Weekly

Evangelical Events

1941
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA organized
1944
National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) & Evangelical Foreign Missions Association (EFMA) founded; National Religious Broadcasters and World Relief Corp. established
1945
Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is executed at Buchenwald; Youth for Christ International founded; Mission Aviation Fellowship organized by three former World War II pilots
1947
English healing evangelist Smith Wigglesworth dies at 88

U.S. & World Events

1941
U.S. enters World War II after Japan’s surprise attack on pearl Harbor
1941-45
Holocaust: 6 million Jews annihilated (3 million killed in German concentration camps)
1944
D-Day: U.S. and Allied forces invade Normandy, France, in largest amphibious assault in history
1945
U.S. drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forcing Japanese surrender, ending World War II

The 1950s

The 1950s brought: NASA, polio vaccine, Mr. Potato Head, UNIVAC computer; U.S. population 151.2 million; World population 2.6

C&MA Events

1950
First C&MA missionary doctor, Dean F. Kroh, sent to Democratic Republic of the Congo
1954
Numerous C&MA churches in Vietnam are destroyed, Christians executed; C&MA begins ministry in Mexico; C&MA’s Sealand plane, Gospel Messenger, arrives in Papua, Indonesia; Harry M. Shuman retires after serving 28 years as C&MA president; Harry L. Turner becomes fifth president of the C&MA
1955
General Council affirms principles of self-support, self-government, and self-propagation for indigenous national churches; First Asia Conference convenes in Thailand
1958
The Alliance Weekly renamed The Alliance Witness
1959
Church Extension Loan Fund established to provide loans to Alliance churches

Evangelical Events

1950
World Vision founded by Bob Pierce; Billy Graham Evangelistic Association established
1951
Campus Crusade for Christ International organized by Bill Bright
1952
President Harry Truman signs National Day of Prayer resolution
1956
Five missionaries killed by Huaorani (Auca) Indians in Ecuador
1957
Two million attend Billy Graham NYC crusade, 55,000 decisions reported

U.S. & World Events

1950
North Korea invades South Korea
1955
Rosa Parks refuses to give up bus seat to white man in Montgomery, Alabama
1957
Space Age begins; Soviet Union launches Sputnik I, world’s first artificial satellite
1959
Alaska and Hawaii are admitted as the 49th and 50th states

The 1960s

The 1960s brought: Berlin Wall, Civil Rights Act, Beatles, heart transplants; U.S. population 179.3 million

C&MA Events

1960
C&MA begins ministry in Paraguay and Uruguay; Jaffray School of Missions (Alliance Theological Seminary) opens in Nyack, New York; Nathan Bailey becomes sixth president of the C&MA
1962
Mennonite missionary Dan Gerber and C&MA missionaries Archie Mitchell and Ardel Vietti captured by Vietcong, their fate remains unknown; Missionary Mabel Francis receives Japan’s highest civilian award; C&MA begins ministry in Brazil; First LIFE Youth Conference in Chicago, Illinois
1963
C&MA begins ministry in Taiwan, ROC
1967
Alliance Youth Corps established
1968
Vietnam Tet Offensive: six C&MA missionaries killed, Betty Olsen dies later in captivity; Shell Point Village Retirement Community established in Fort Myers, Florida
1969
C&MA begins ministry in Dominican Republic and Guatemala

Evangelical Events

1960
Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) begun by Pat Robertson; Youth With A Mission (YWAM) founded by Loren Cunningham
1962
Evangelism Explosion International organized by D. James Kennedy
1963
Theological Education Extension (TEE) begins in Guatemala; author C.S. Lewis dies at 64; wrote Mere Christianity and The Chronicles of Narnia
1966
“Wheaton Declaration” Congress on Worldwide Missions, attended by 1,000 delegates
1967
Catholic Charismatic Movement born when Duquesne University students speak in tongues; Guinea: all missionaries, except 26 C&MA workers, expelled

U.S. & World Events

1963
March on Washington by civil rights supporters; Martin Luther King Jr. delivers “I have a dream” speech; President John F. Kennedy assassinated; prayer in public schools outlawed by U.S. Supreme Court
1965
U.S. combat troops land at China Beach, Vietnam, to defend air base in Da Nang
1968
Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated
1969
Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to step on the moon

The 1970s

The 1970s brought: Hank Aaron HR record, Iran hostage crisis, oil embargo; U.S. population 203.3 million

C&MA Events

1970
C&MA begins ministry in Great Britain; Canadian Theological College established
1971
C&MA begins ministry in New Zealand
1972
Missionary Training Institute becomes Nyack College
1974
CAMA Services, relief and development ministry, established; National Office moves from New York City to Nyack, New York; C&MA officially declared a denomination
1975
C&MA begin ministry in Costa Rica and Germany; missionaries leave Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam when communists take over government; the Alliance World Fellowship (AWF) established
1977
Thirty-nine (majority students and faculty) die in flood at Toccoa Falls College
1978
Louis L. King becomes seventh president of the C&MA; C&MA begins ministry in Spain
1979
C&MA begins ministry in Suriname; former C&MA President Nathan Bailey dies in auto accident

Evangelical Events

1971
Greenlake Conference on church/mission relations, 250 mission executives attend; Food for the Hungry founded by Larry Ward
1973
Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA) founded by Ron Sider; Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) founded; Lausanne I International Congress on World Evangelism in Switzerland
1976
International Prison Fellowship founded by Chuck Colson
1977
Focus on the Family founded by Dr. James Dobson
1978
International Bible Society evolves from New York Bible Society (1809); JESUS film produced by Campus Crusade for Christ

U.S. & World Events

1970
Four students killed at Kent State during Vietnam War protest; first Earth Day celebrated
1973
Vietnam Peace pacts signed, ending war; abortion legalized in U.S. after Roe v. Wade decision
1974
Watergate scandal; President Richard Nixon resigns
1976
President Jimmy Carter popularizes term “born again;” U.S. celebrates its bicentennial

The 1980s

The 1980s brought: AIDS epidemic, Madonna, Rubik’s Cube, MTV; U.S. population 226.5 million

C&MA Events

1980
International Fellowship of Alliance Professionals (IFAP) established; C&MA begins ministry in South Korea
1981
Canada becomes autonomous from U.S. C&MA, Melvin P. Sylvester becomes first president
1986
All for Jesus, centennial history of C&MA published
1987
“Easter 100” goal reached, 101 churches started; first edition of Alliance Video Magazine produced; Centennial Celebration of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in St. Paul, Minnesota; David L. Rambo becomes eighth president of the C&MA; The Alliance Witness renamed Alliance Life
1989
C&MA National Office moves to Colorado Springs, Colorado

Evangelical Events

1980
World Consultation on Frontier Missions in Edinburgh, Scotland
1983
Amsterdam ’83 International Conference, 3,800 from 133 nations attend
1984
Author and theologian Francis Schaeffer dies at 72, founded L’Abri Fellowship international in 1955
1986
Amsterdam ’86 International Conference, 8,000 from 173 countries attend
1989
Lausanne II International Congress on World Evangelism in Manila; Christian Coalition of America founded by Pat Robertson

U.S. & World Events

1980
U.S. boycott of Moscow Olympics; John Lennon murdered; Mount St. Helens erupts
1981
President Ronald Reagan survives assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr.
1986
Space shuttle Challenger explodes, killing all seven crew members
1989
Fall of Berlin Wall; Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska; Tiananmen Square massacre in China

The 1990s

The 1990s brought: Seinfeld, World Wide Web, cloned sheep “Dolly,” L.A. riots; U.S. population 248.7 million

C&MA Events

1992
C&MA begins ministry in Republic of the Congo
1993
C&MA begins ministry in Hungary, Poland and Russia; Lampados Bible College (Kuban Evangelical Christian University) founded in Krasnador, Russia
1994
India closed to missionaries, C&MA missionaries officially leave
1995
7,400 youth attend LIFE ’95 in Orlando, Florida
1996
Paul F. Bubna becomes ninth president of the C&MA; C&MA begins ministry in Cuba
1997
C&MA begins ministry in Bolivia; Nyack College Manhattan Center opens
1998
C&MA Web site launched; President Paul Bubna dies of a heart attack; C&MA begins ministry in Balkans, Mongolia and Panama; Peter N. Nanfelt becomes tenth president of the C&MA
1999
The Orchard Foundation established

Evangelical Events

1990
Texas high school students start See You at the Pole prayer rally
1991
Promise Keepers first conference draws 4,200 men to University of Colorado in Boulder
1993
Samaritan’s Purse launches Operation Christmas Child
1997
Mother Teresa dies at 87

U.S. & World Events

1991
Persian Gulf War: Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm
1995
Oklahoma City bombing kills 168 people
1997
Diana, Princess of Wales, dies at 36 in Paris auto accident
1998
President Bill Clinton impeached after Monica Lewinsky and Whitewater scandals
1999
Fifteen dead after Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado

The 2000s

The 2000s brought: Department of Homeland Security, map of the human genome; U.S. population 281.4 million, World population 6.1

C&MA Events

2000
Alliance Life published in Spanish for the first time: Vida Alliancista; thousands make decisions for Christ in Vietnam, estimated number of believers more than 700,000
2002
Staff and students at International Christian Academy in Côte d’Ivoire evacuated due to rebel fighting; C&MA begins ministry in Turkey; C&MA national church in Philippines celebrates centennial
2003
General Council ratifies transition to a biennial event; C&MA church opens in war-torn Baghdad, Iraq
2004
Strategic efforts in Central and Southeast Asia with tentmakers as well as relief and development workers; new C&MA Web site design, 135,000 users monthly, Tozer devotionals lead in popularity; missionary resources redeployed from Alliance Academy, Ecuador, Gabon, Peru, and Philippines to allow transfer of work to respective national churches; C&MA leaders visit President Thanh of Vietnam’s Tin Lanh Church; Celebrate 2004 conference in Nashville, Tennessee, Alliance Women celebrate 75 years of ministry
2005
Gary M. Benedict is elected eleventh president of the U.S. C&MA; Peter Nanfelt retires from ministry after 40 years of service with The Alliance; IFAP personnel surpass 100 for the first time in C&MA history; transition of missionaries from Peru; Alliance Academy in Ecuador becomes an independent, international school
2006
Grand opening of the Women and Children’s Hospital in Koutiala, Mali; Senegal field opening
2007
Dr. Joe Weninger retires after more than 60 years of service with the C&MA, including Archives director since 1991; Ecuador, Peru, and Gabon Alliance missionaries pass baton of leadership to national church, begin transitioning to other assignments. National churches send missionaries.

Evangelical Events

2000
Amsterdam 2000 International Conference, 10,000 from 209 countries attend
2002
Campus Crusade for Christ sponsors moving King’s College to NYC’s Empire State Building, 15th floor; missionary Bonnie Witherall shot and killed in Sidon, Lebanon while working at C&MA prenatal clinic
2004
Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ soars to success amid controversy
2006
Canadian Alliance church member, Stephen Harper, elected Prime Minister of Canada
2007
Renowned U.S. evangelists/preachers D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell die
2008
Billy Graham turns 90

U.S. & World Events

2000
Y2K millennium computer “bug” disaster averted
2001
Terrorists hijack planes and destroy World Trade Center, damage Pentagon and crash in rural Pennsylvania, more than 2,800 die
2002
Coalition forces put down Taliban regime in Afghanistan
2003
War with Iraq drives out Saddam Hussein and his regime
2004
A 9.0 earthquake off the island of Sumatra generated an Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed the lives of nearly 300,000 people in 11 countries; George W Bush is officially sworn in for his second term as president
2005
Pope Benedict XVI, the first pope from a German-speaking land in a thousand years, was elected as head of the Catholic Church; Hurricane Katrina decimates the U.S. Gulf Coast, leaving thousands dead and millions homeless.
2008
Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series, October 29, 2008; Barack Obama elected first African-American U.S. president, November 4, 2008

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