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United Kingdom History Timeline

1900s continued
  • (1914) World War I began
  • (1918) World War I ended, one million Brits dead
  • (1920) League of Nations launched
  • (1921) Ireland granted independence by Ango-Irish Treaty; six counties retained as part of United Kingdom
  • (1922) United Kingdom became known as United Kingdom of Great Britain and North Ireland; British Broadcasting Company aired first radio service
  • (1924) John Logie Baird, Scottish engineer, invented television
  • (1926) Two millions workers went on strike, the "General Strike" lasted for nine days
  • (1928) Women aged 21 received right to vote; Amelia Earhart landed in South Wales - first female to fly solo across Atlantic; Doctor Alexander Fleming of London discovered penicillin
  • (1929) New York Stock Exchange crashed, economic slump hit Britain
  • (1936) King George V died; son Edward VIII crowned king, abdicated the throne to marry Mrs. Simpson (second shortest reign in English history); brother George (George V) became king
  • (1939) World War II began
  • (1940) Ration books introduced for food, clothing, petrol; Winston Churchill leader of British forces
  • (1945) World War II ended
  • (1948) National Health Service began offering free medical care (from the cradle to the grave)
  • (1951) Festival of Britain took place; Winston Churchill re-elected Prime Minister
  • (1952) King George VI died; Britain tested nuclear bomb
  • (1953) Elizabeth II crowned Queen of England; scientists at Cambridge University discovered structure of DNA
  • (1955) Churchill resigned as Prime Minister
  • (1958) Great Train Robbery occurred - Royal Mail train robbed; Beatles released hit songs
  • (1966) England won Football World Cup; Aberfan, Wales swamped by mining waste, 116 children died and 28 adults
  • (1969) Maiden flight of Concorde took place; Queen Elizabeth II's son, Charles, named Prince of Wales; death penalty abolished
  • (1971) Decimal currency adopted; rioting in Ireland left 20 people dead
  • (1973) Britain joined Common Market; bombs in London killed one and injured 250
  • (1976) Britain had hottest, driest summer in 250 years; Concorde made first commercial flight
  • (1978) Test tube baby, Louise Brown, born in Lancashire
  • (1979) "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher became first female Prime Minister
  • (1980) Iranian terrorists sack Iranian Embassy in London; John Lennon, killed in New York City
  • (1981) Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer; ten prisoners died during hunger strike of IRA at Maze Prison in Ireland; rioting in South London
  • (1982) British troops drove Argentine forces out of Falkland Islands; IRA continued attacks on London at Regents Park and Knightsbridge, nine people killed
1900s continued
  • (1985) Fire at Bradford City Football Ground killed 40 and injured 150; rioting at European Cup final killed 39 people; Live Aid concert took place in London; race riots in Bruston occurred
  • (1987) Margaret Thatcher re-elected; hurricane hit Britain causing 17 deaths; IRA bomb in County Fermanagh killed 11 and injured more than 60; Stock markets crashed around world - named Black Monday; Kings Cross underground station fire killed 30
  • (1989) Crowd crush at FA match in Sheffield killed nearly 100
  • (1990) Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher resigned
  • (1994) Channel Tunnel opened rail link between Britain and rest of Europe
  • (1997) Labour Party won landslide victory, Tony Blair became Prime Minister; Princess Diana killed in auto accident in Paris; British returned Hong Kong to China at end of its 99 year lease
  • (1999) Minimum wage introduced; bombings occurred in London; Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly formed
  • (2003) Britain joined United States-led coalition in Iraq war; 750,000 people in London staged anti-war protest
  • (2005) London's public transport system struck by four bomb attacks; 54 people killed, more than 700 injured; Tony Blair elected to third term; Irish Republican Army gave up weapons arsenal
  • (2007) Severe winter storm killed 47
  • (2008) UK government announced £400bn ($692 bn) package to rescue banking system
  • (2009) Lockerbie bomber released from prison on compassionate grounds, returned to Libya; more than 2000 people trapped in Channel Tunnel after five Eurostar trains broke down due to cold weather
  • (2010) David Cameron named prime minister; ash cloud from Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland caused airport closures; WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, turned himself into police in Westminster
  • (2011) Prince William married Catherine Middleton; Libyan Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa, defected to London
  • (2014) Sept 18th: Referendum on Scottish Independence held in Scotland. 85% of voters cast ballots. Pro UK side wins with 55% of vote.

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United Kingdom countries, provinces & their capitals

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England London England
Northern Ireland Belfast Northern Ireland
Scotland Edinburgh Scotland
Wales Cardiff Wales

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.