1789 George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
1789 On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.
1789 A national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States as recommended by President George Washington and approved by Congress.
1792 The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, is signed by President George Washington.
1792 U.S. President George Washington exercises his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States.
1793 George Washington holds the first Cabinet meeting as President of the United States.
1797 In the first ever peaceful transfer of power between elected leaders in modern times, John Adams is sworn in as President of the United States, succeeding George Washington.
1800 The United States Library of Congress is established when President John Adams signs legislation to appropriate $5,000 USD to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress".
1800 U.S. President John Adams takes up residence in Washington, D.C. (in a tavern because the White House was not yet completed).
1800 US President John Adams becomes the first President of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).
1801 An electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr is resolved when Jefferson is elected President of the United States and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives.
1807 The Embargo Act, forbidding trade with all foreign countries, is passed by the U.S. Congress, at the urging of President Thomas Jefferson.
1812 War of 1812: U.S. President James Madison asks the Congress to declare war on the United Kingdom.
1825 After no presidential candidate receives a majority of electoral votes in the election of 1824, the United States House of Representatives elects John Quincy Adams President of the United States.
1828 U.S. President John Quincy Adams signs the Tariff of 1828 into law, protecting wool manufacturers in the United States.
1830 The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress; it is signed into law by President Andrew Jackson two days later.
1832 U.S.President Andrew Jackson vetoes a bill that would re-charter the Second Bank of the United States.
1833 U.S. President Andrew Jackson becomes the first President to ride on a train.
1834 The United States Senate censures President Andrew Jackson for his actions in de-funding the Second Bank of the United States.
1835 In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempts to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but fails and is subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen.
1841 William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia becoming the first President of the United States to die in office and the one with the shortest term served.
1845 President John Tyler signs a bill authorizing the United States to annex the Republic of Texas.
1849 In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken.
1850 U.S. President Zachary Taylor dies and Millard Fillmore becomes the 13th President of the United States.
1850 Millard Fillmore is inaugurated as the 13th President of the United States upon the death of President Zachary Taylor, 16 months into his term.
1856 The ''Know-Nothings'' convene in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to nominate their first Presidential candidate, former President Millard Fillmore.
1860 Abraham Lincoln makes a speech at Cooper Union in the city of New York that is largely responsible for his election to the Presidency.
1861 President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after the thwarting of an alleged assassination plot in Baltimore, Maryland.
1861 President of the United States Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of ''habeas corpus''.
1861 Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.
1862 President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture. It is later renamed the United States Department of Agriculture.
1862 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law.
1862 American Civil War: President Abraham Lincoln reluctantly restores Union General George B. McClellan to full command after General John Pope's disastrous defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run.
1862 American Civil War: President Abraham Lincoln approves General Ambrose Burnside's plan to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia, leading to the Battle of Fredericksburg.
1863 The last Thursday in November is declared as Thanksgiving Day by President Abraham Lincoln as are Thursdays, November 30, 1865 and November 29, 1866.
1863 American Civil War: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the military cemetery ceremony at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
1864 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln grants Yosemite Valley to California for "public use, resort and recreation".
1865 President Abraham Lincoln makes his last public speech.
1865 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated in Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth.
1868 Andrew Johnson becomes the first President of the United States to be impeached by the United States House of Representatives. He is later acquitted in the Senate.
1868 A court of impeachment is organized in the United States Senate to hear charges against President Andrew Johnson.
1868 President Andrew Johnson is acquitted in his impeachment trial by one vote in the United States Senate.
1872 Victoria Woodhull becomes the first woman nominated for President of the United States.
1877 Rutherford B. Hayes is privately inaugurated as the 19th President of the United States (his public inauguration coming on March 5).
1879 Women's rights: American President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.
1881 Charles J. Guiteau shoots and fatally wounds U.S. President James Garfield, who eventually dies from an infection on September 19.
1881 Chester A. Arthur is inaugurated as the 21st President of the United States following the assassination of James Garfield.
1882 Charles J. Guiteau is hanged in Washington, D.C. for the assassination of U.S. President James Garfield.
1886 U.S. President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom in the White House, becoming the only president to wed in the executive mansion.
1887 The Dawes Act authorizes the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into individual allotments.
1889 President Grover Cleveland signs a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as U.S. states.
1892 Benjamin Harrison becomes the first President of the United States to attend a baseball game.
1893 The Washington National Cathedral is chartered by Congress. The charter is signed by President Benjamin Harrison.
1898 U.S. President William McKinley signs the Newlands Resolution annexing Hawaii as a territory of the United States.
1901 Anarchist Leon Czolgosz shoots and fatally wounds US President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
1901 President of the United States William McKinley dies after an assassination attempt on September 6, and is succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt.
1902 Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first President of the United States to ride in an automobile.
1903 President Theodore Roosevelt sends a radio message to King Edward VII: the first transatlantic radio transmission originating in the United States.
1906 Theodore Roosevelt signs the Antiquities Act into law, authorizing the President to restrict the use of certain parcels of public land with historical or conservation value.
1906 Theodore Roosevelt is the first sitting President of the United States to make an official trip outside the country. He did so to inspect progress on the Panama Canal.
1906 U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first American to win a Nobel Prize.
1909 U.S. President William Taft used what became known as a '''Saxbe fix''', a mechanism to avoid the restriction of the U.S. Constitution's Ineligibility Clause, to appoint Philander C. Knox as U.S. Secretary of State
1912 While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, is shot and mildly wounded by John Schrank, who was angry with Roosevelt for some reason. With the fresh wound in his chest, and the bullet still within it, Mr. Roosevelt still carries out his scheduled public speech.
1912 William H. Van Schaick, captain of the steamship ''General Slocum'' which caught fire and killed over 1,000 people, is pardoned by U.S. President William Howard Taft after three-and-a-half-years in Sing Sing prison.
1913 President Woodrow Wilson addresses American Civil War veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913.
1913 President Woodrow Wilson triggers the explosion of the Gamboa Dike thus ending construction on the Panama Canal.
1913 The Federal Reserve Act is signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the Federal Reserve.
1916 President Woodrow Wilson sends 12,000 United States troops over the U.S.-Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.
1917 World War I: President Woodrow Wilson of the still-neutral United States calls for "peace without victory" in Europe.
1917 The Congress of the United States passes the Immigration Act of 1917 over President Woodrow Wilson's veto. Also known as the ''Asiatic Barred Zone Act'', it forbade immigration from nearly all of south and southeast Asia.
1917 World War I: President Woodrow Wilson asks the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.
1917 World War I: The Selective Service Act of 1917 is passed, giving the President of the United States the power of conscription.
1918 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sails for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, becoming the first US president to travel to Europe while in office.
1919 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson suffers a massive stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed.
1921 Former U.S. President William Howard Taft is sworn in as 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the only person to ever be both President and Chief Justice.
1922 President Warren G. Harding introduces the first radio in the White House.
1923 Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as the 30th President of the United States in the early morning following the death of Warren G. Harding the previous day.
1924 Calvin Coolidge becomes the first President of the United States to deliver a political speech on radio.
1932 ''TIME'' magazine features eccentric American politician William "Alfalfa" Murray on its cover after Murray stated his intention to run for President of the United States.
1932 U.S. President Herbert Hoover orders the United States Army to forcibly evict the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans gathered in Washington, D.C.
1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected the 32d President of the United States defeating Herbert Hoover.
1933 In Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara attempts to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, but instead shoots Chicago, Illinois Mayor Anton J. Cermak, who dies of his wounds on March 6, 1933.
1933 Great Depression: Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses the nation for the first time as President of the United States. This was also the first of his "fireside chats".
1933 Great Depression: Banks in the U.S. begin to re-open after President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandates a "bank holiday".
1933 Giuseppe Zangara is executed in Florida's electric chair for fatally shooting Anton Cermak in an assassination attempt against President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposes a plan to enlarge the Supreme Court of the United States.
1937 The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., who pushes a button signaling the start of vehicle traffic over the span.
1938 The March of Dimes is established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1938 President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicates the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and lights the eternal flame at Gettysburg Battlefield.
1940 World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt denounces Italy's actions with his "Stab in the Back" speech at the graduation ceremonies of the University of Virginia.
1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected to a third term as President of the United States.
1941 World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.
1941 In Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1941 World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaims an "unlimited national emergency".
1941 World War II: in response to the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.
1941 U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
1942 World War II: President Franklin Roosevelt creates the National War Labor Board.
1942 World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the executive order 9066, allowing the United States military to relocate Japanese-Americans to Japanese internment camps.
1943 World War II: Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first President of the United States to travel via airplane while in office when he travels from Miami, Florida to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill.
1943 U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, freezes wages and prices, prohibits workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and bars rate increases by common carriers and public utilities.
1943 World War II: the Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 is rammed by the Japanese destroyer ''Amagiri'' and sinks. Lt. John F. Kennedy, future U.S. President, saves all but two of his crew.
1944 U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill.
1944 World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces the 6th War Loan Drive, aimed at selling $14 billion USD in war bonds to help pay for the war effort.
1945 U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies while in office; vice-president Harry Truman is sworn in as the 33rd President.
1945 World War II: the leaders of the three Allied nations, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill, President of the United States Harry S Truman and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, meet in the German city of Potsdam to decide the future of a defeated Germany.
1947 The first televised White House address is given by U.S. President Harry S. Truman.
1948 President Harry S. Truman signs the Marshall Plan, authorizing $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.
1950 President Harry S. Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb.
1950 U.S. President Harry S. Truman declares a state of emergency, after Chinese troops enter the fight with communist North Korea in the Korean War.
1951 The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.
1951 The United States Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees begin their closed door hearings into the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by U.S. President Harry Truman.
1952 President Harry Truman announces that the United States has developed the hydrogen bomb.
1952 Korean War: U.S. President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower fulfills a campaign promise by traveling to Korea to find out what can be done to end the conflict.
1954 President Dwight Eisenhower warns against United States intervention in Vietnam.
1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.
1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his "domino theory" speech during a news conference.
1956 A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing ''In God We Trust'' as the U.S. national motto.
1959 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a bill into law allowing for Hawaiian statehood, which would become official on August 21.
1959 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union. Hawaii's admission is currently commemorated by Hawaii Admission Day
1960 While campaigning for President of the United States, John F. Kennedy announces his idea of the Peace Corps.
1961 President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the "military-industrial complex".
1961 In Washington, D.C. John F. Kennedy delivers the first live presidential television news conference.
1961 President of the United States John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
1961 The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C., to vote in presidential elections.
1961 Apollo program: U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces before a special joint session of the Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a "man on the Moon" before the end of the decade.
1962 President John F. Kennedy dedicates Dulles International Airport, serving the Washington, D.C. region.
1963 In Dallas, Texas, US President John F. Kennedy is killed and Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded by Lee Harvey Oswald, who is later captured and charged with the murder of police officer J. D. Tippit. That same day, US Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as the 36th President of the United States.
1963 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson establishes the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
1964 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.
1964 Vietnam War: the U.S. Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving US President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on American forces.
1964 Vietnam War: National Security Council members agree to recommend that U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson adopt a plan for a two-stage escalation of bombing in North Vietnam.
1964 Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.
1965 United States President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaims his "Great Society" during his State of the Union address.
1965 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.
1965 Vietnam War: The Pentagon tells U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that if planned operations are to succeed, the number of American troops in Vietnam has to be increased from 120,000 to 400,000.
1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act into United States law. The act goes into effect the next year.
1966 The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act is signed into law by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.
1966 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to a sniper attack at the University of Texas at Austin, writes a letter to Congress urging the enactment of gun control legislation.
1967 The body of President John F. Kennedy is moved to a permanent burial place at Arlington National Cemetery.
1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson announces he will not run for re-election.
1968 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson declares a national day of mourning following the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
1969 U.S. President Richard Nixon and Japanese Premier Eisaku Sato agree in Washington, D.C. on the return of Okinawa to Japanese control in 1972. Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. is to retain its rights to bases on the island, but these are to be nuclear-free.
1970 Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon formally authorizes American combat troops to fight communist sanctuaries in Cambodia.
1970 Protests erupt in Seattle, Washington, following the announcement by U.S. President Richard Nixon that U.S. Forces in Vietnam would pursue enemy troops into Cambodia, a neutral country.
1972 U.S. President Richard Nixon orders the development of a space shuttle program.
1972 President Richard Nixon visits the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.
1972 Vietnam War: President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th.
1973 Vietnam War: Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.
1973 President Richard Nixon announces that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.
1973 Watergate Scandal: former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield informs the United States Senate that President Richard Nixon had secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations.
1973 "Saturday Night Massacre": President Richard Nixon fires U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refuse to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who is finally fired by Robert Bork.
1974 President Richard Nixon signs a bill lowering the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 MPH in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo
1974 Watergate Scandal: President Richard Nixon announces the release of edited transcripts of White House tape recordings related to the scandal.
1974 Watergate Scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opens formal and public impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon.
1974 Watergate scandal: the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon did not have the authority to withhold subpoenaed White House tapes and they order him to surrender the tapes to the Watergate special prosecutor.
1974 Watergate Scandal: the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee votes 27 to 11 to recommend the first article of impeachment (for obstruction of justice) against President Richard Nixon.
1974 As a direct result of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office. His Vice President, Gerald Ford, becomes president.
1974 Watergate Scandal: US President Gerald Ford pardons former President Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.
1975 Sara Jane Moore tries to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford, but is foiled by Oliver Sipple.
1977 Jimmy Carter is inaugurated as the 39th President of the United States. He is the last President inaugurated at the east front of the Capitol, which had been the traditional site for Presidential inaugurations since 1829.
1977 President Jimmy Carter pardons nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders, some of whom had emigrated to Canada.
1977 US President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.
1978 U.S. President Jimmy Carter declares a federal emergency at Love Canal.
1978 U.S. President Jimmy Carter announces that the United States will recognize the People's Republic of China and cut off all relations with Taiwan
1979 Convicted bank robber Patty Hearst is released from prison after her sentence is commuted by President Jimmy Carter.
1979 U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.
1979 U.S. President Jimmy Carter gives his so-called "malaise" speech, where he characterizes the greatest threat to the country as "this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation" but in which he never uses the word ''malaise''
1980 US President Jimmy Carter announces a United States boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan.
1980 President Jimmy Carter signs the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act in an effort to help the U.S. economy rebound.
1981 President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley, Jr.
1982 John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
1983 President Ronald Reagan calls the Soviet Union an "evil empire".
1984 US troops withdraw from Beirut. President Ronald Reagan had sent the troops as a peacekeeping force in August 1982.
1985 The ''Iran-Contra Affair'': The American press reveals that U.S. President Ronald Reagan had authorized the shipment of arms to Iran.
1985 Cold War: In Geneva, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time.
1986 Iran-Contra scandal: U.S. President Ronald Reagan announces the members of what will become known as the Tower Commission.
1987 Cold War: At the Brandenburg Gate U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly challenges Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.
1987 President Ronald Reagan proclaims September 11, 1987 as 9-1-1 Emergency Number Day.
1988 Iran-Contra Affair: The United States House of Representatives rejects President Ronald Reagan's request for $36.25 million to aid Nicaraguan Contras.
1991 Gulf War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that "Kuwait is liberated".
1992 A 'joint understanding' agreement on arms reduction is signed by U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin (this would be later codified in START II).
1993 U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (the Brady Bill) into law.
1993 The North American Free Trade Agreement is signed into law by US President Bill Clinton.
1994 Former Arkansas state worker Paula Jones files suit against President Bill Clinton, alleging that he had sexually harassed her in 1991.
1998 Monica Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony that he had an "improper physical relationship" with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the same day he admits before the nation that he "misled people" about the relationship.
1998 Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill Clinton.
1999 President Bill Clinton is acquitted by the United States Senate in his impeachment trial.
2000 President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.
2001 US President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish-American War.
2002 In his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush describes "regimes that sponsor terror" as an ''Axis of Evil'', in which he includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
2002 Former US President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming the first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959 revolution.
2008 Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President of the United States.