This Week in History

This Week in History Archive

See what happened each week of the year.

Weeks Of The Year

Wk 01: Khmer Rouge Is Overthrown In Cambodia audio January 1979
After nearly 4 years in power, the regime led by Pol Pot is brought down.
Wk 02: US President Bush Vomits On Japanese Leader audio January 1992
US President George Bush becomes ill and vomits on the Japanese Prime Minister.
Wk 03: Shah Of Iran Flees Uprising audio January 1979
After many years of autocratic rule, the Shah of Iran flees the country amid growing opposition.
Wk 04: Nazi Death Camp At Auschwitz Liberated audio January 1945
Red Army soldiers from the USSR liberate the largest Nazi concentration camp.
Wk 05: Mahatma Gandhi Is Assassinated audio January 1948
Indian pro-independence activist and leader Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated in New Delhi.
Wk 06: Nelson Mandela Is Freed From Jail audio February 1990
South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela is freed after nearly 30 years' imprisonment.
Wk 07: Allies Bomb Dresden, Killing Thousands audio February 1945
Massive bombing by Allied forces kills tens of thousands of civilians in Dresden, Germany.
Wk 08: Russia Launches The First Space Station audio February 1986
Russia launches the first modules of the MIR space station into orbit around the earth.
Wk 09: USA Tests Its Biggest Nuclear Weapon audio March 1954
The USA explodes a huge hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
Wk 10: Bell "Invents" The Telephone audio March 1876
Alexander Graham Bell claims to have invented the telephone, but did he?
Wk 11: US Troops Kill Vietnamese Villagers audio March 1968
US soldiers kill hundreds of men, women and children in the Vietnamese village of My Lai.
Wk 12: American-led Forces Invade Iraq audio March 2003
Iraq is invaded in order to destroy weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons are found.
Wk 13: Nuclear Reactor Melts Down In The USA audio March 1979
Deadly radiation escapes from a US nuclear power plant, endangering nearly 2,000,000 people.
Wk 14: Martin Luther King Is Assassinated audio April 1968
US civil rights leader Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
Wk 15: Russia Sends First Man Into Space audio April 1961
Russian cosmonaut Major Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin becomes the first man to fly into space.
Wk 16: Cuba Repels Bay Of Pigs Invasion audio April 1961
Cubans defeat US-backed insurgents trying to bring down their government.
Wk 17: Prisoners Abused By US Forces In Iraq audio April 2004
Photos prove serious abuse of Iraqis by US forces at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.
Wk 18: The War Ends In Vietnam audio April 1975
The South Vietnamese government surrenders to North Vietnam and the country is unified.
Wk 19: Germany Surrenders To Allied Forces audio May 1945
After six years of war, Germany surrenders and Europe is at peace once again.
Wk 20: Communist States Sign The Warsaw Pact audio May 1955
The Soviet Union and its communist allies in Eastern Europe sign a pact to strengthen ties.
Wk 21: First Solo Non-Stop Atlantic Flight audio May 1927
Charles Lindbergh becomes the first person to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean.
Wk 22: Mount Everest Is "Conquered" audio May 1953
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first to climb the world's highest mountain.
Wk 23: Chinese Troops Kill Protesters audio June 1989
Chinese troops kill thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.
Wk 24: Henry Ford Founds The Ford Motor Company audio June 1903
Henry Ford founds a company that will revolutionize industrial production methods.
Wk 25: France Loses The Battle Of Waterloo audio June 1815
French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte are defeated by the Allies in Belgium.
Wk 26: Julian Assange Walks Free From Persecution June 2024
Australian journalist Julian Assange is released after 14 years' incarceration for exposing US war crimes
Wk 27: Declaration Of Independence Approved audio July 1776
13 British colonies in North America claim independence from Great Britain.
Wk 28: The Bastille Is Attacked In Paris audio July 1789
French revolutionaries attack and overtake the most despised prison in France, "The Bastille".
Wk 29: Spanish Civil War Begins audio July 1936
Pro-fascist forces revolt against the government of Spain, and civil war ensues.
Wk 30: World's First Test Tube-Baby Is Born audio July 1978
Louise Brown, the world's first "test tube baby", is born in Manchester, England.
Wk 31: First FIFA World Cup Is Held In Uruguay audio July 1930
The final match of the first FIFA World Cup Football Championship is held in Montevideo, Uruguay
Wk 32: USA Drops Nuclear Bombs On Japan audio August 1945
The USA drops atomic bombs on two Japanese cities at the end of World War II.
Wk 33: The Panama Canal Is Opened audio August 1914
The Panama Canal is officially opened after 10 years of construction.
Wk 34: Soviet-led Forces Invade Czechoslovakia audio August 1968
Soviet-led forces invade Czechoslovakia to halt pro-democracy reforms.
Wk 35: Princess Diana Dies After A Car Crash audio August 1997
Princess Diana dies shortly after a high-speed car accident in Paris, France.
Wk 36: Allies Declare War On Nazi Germany audio September 1939
Great Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Hitler's Nazi Germany.
Wk 37: USA Suffers 4 Simultaneous Attacks audio September 2001
The world watches in shock and awe as 4 commercial airliners wreak havoc in the USA.
Wk 38: Palestinian Refugees Killed In Lebanon audio September 1982
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of Palestinian refugees are killed in refugee camps in Lebanon.
Wk 39: The First Flight Around The World audio September 1924
2 US planes, The Chicago and The New Orleans, complete the first flight around the world.
Wk 40: First Satellite Launched Into Space audio October 1957
The USSR launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth.
Wk 41: Columbus Reaches The "New World" audio October 1492
Christopher Columbus leads the first Europeans to sail across the Atlantic.
Wk 42: Protesting Algerians Shot Dead In Paris audio October 1961
French police kill up to 400 people marching in support of Algeria's independence.
Wk 43: Communists Depose Russian Rulers audio October 1917
Communists led by Vladimir Lenin bring down the Russian government.
Wk 44: First Bra Is Patented audio November 1914
In the USA, Mary Phelps Jacob receives the world's first patent for a brassiere.
Wk 45: The Berlin Wall Falls audio November 1989
For the first time since it was built in 1961, free movement is allowed through the Berlin Wall.
Wk 46: Frenchman Flies The First Helicopter audio November 1907
French bicycle maker Paul Cornu flies his home-made helicopter for 20 seconds.
Wk 47: US President Is Shot In Texas audio November 1963
US President John F. Kennedy is killed by an assassin's bullets in Dallas, Texas.
Wk 48: Tutankhamen's Tomb Is Opened audio November 1922
The tomb of the ancient Egyptian "boy king" is opened for the first time in over 3,000 years.
Wk 49: Gas Leak Kills Thousands In India audio December 1984
A gas leak at a Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India, causes thousands of deaths.
Wk 50: Call For US Vote Recount Is Rejected audio December 2001
George W. Bush becomes US president after the Supreme Court rejects a call for a vote recount.
Wk 51: US Forces Occupy The Philippines audio December 1898
The USA claims the Philippines as a "ceded territory" and takes control using military force.
Wk 52: Journalist Julian Assange Freed From Persecut June 2024
Australian journalist Julian Assange is released after 14 years' incarceration for exposing US war crimes
Wk 52: US Army Defeated At Little Big Horn audio June 1876
US General George Custer and all of his men are killed after attacking Native Americans.
Wk 52: US Troops Kill 150 Native Americans audio December 1890
At least 150 Native American men, women and children are shot dead at Wounded Knee Creek.
Contributor: Matt Errey. Matt is the author of several books including 1000 Phrasal Verbs in Context and Common English Idioms for learners, and Matt's ESL Games and Quizzes for teachers.