Weird History
20.5k voters

The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century

Updated March 15, 2021 106.6k votes 20.5k voters 737.5k views147 items

It's easy to say the world wouldn't be where it is today without the significant events that transpired throughout the 20th century. These important historical events, such as World War II, Sputnik, and the invention of the internet, truly shaped our world and paved the way for the 21st century and beyond. While all these events changed the world, some can be seen as more important than others—but which ones?

Check out the list of 20th century historical events below and vote up the ones you feel are most significant, and vote down any that seem less important. Of course, you can also add any events that aren't already on the list. 

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    Spanish flu

    The 1918 flu pandemic was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus. It infected 500 million people across the world, including remote...  more
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    The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign, or the 1939 Defensive War in Poland, and alternatively the Poland Campaign or Fall Weiß in Germany, was a joint invasion of Poland by...  more
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    Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day, VE Day, or simply V Day was the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi...  more
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    The Korean War was a war between North and South Korea, in which a United Nations force led by the United States of America fought for the South, and China fought for the North, which was also...  more
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    The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the October Crisis, The Missile Scare, or the Caribbean Crisis, was a 13-day confrontation in October 1962 between the United States and the Soviet Union over...  more
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    The Battle of Britain is the name given to the Second World War air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940. The Battle of Britain was...  more
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    Indian Independence

    The term Indian Independence Movement encompasses activities and ideas aiming to end first East India Company rule, then the British Raj. The independence movement saw various national and regional...  more
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    RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City, US....  more
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    HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic. As of 2012, approximately 35.3 million people are living with HIV globally. Of these, approximately 17.2 million are men, 16.8 million are women and 3.4 million are...  more
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    Mahatma Gandhi of India started Dhandi march which paved a way for salt rvoultion in India against the British empire,........
    The Salt March, also mainly known as the Salt Satyagraha, began with the Dandi March on 12 March 1930, and was an important part of the Indian independence movement. It was a direct action campaign...  more
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    Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST from the Kennedy Space...  more
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    The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between forces loyal to the Kuomintang -led government of the Republic of China, and forces loyal to the Communist Party of China. The war began...  more
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    The Nuremberg trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the Allied forces after World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic...  more
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    The term "foreign relations of Israel" refers to diplomatic, commercial and cultural ties between the State of Israel and other countries around the world. Israel joined the United Nations on 11 May...  more
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    The Six-Day War, also known as the June War, 1967 Arab–Israeli War, or Third Arab–Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967 by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan, and...  more
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    The Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, traditionally by Armenians, as Medz Yeghern, was the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of its...  more
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    The Rwandan Genocide was a genocidal mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority. During the approximate 100-day period from April 7, 1994, to mid-July, an...  more
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    The 1948 Arab–Israeli War or the First Arab–Israeli War was fought between the State of Israel and a military coalition of Arab states and Palestinian Arab forces. This war formed the second stage of...  more
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    The Gulf War, codenamed Operation Desert Shield for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm in its combat phase, was a war waged by...  more
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    The Nanking Massacre or Nanjing Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking or Rape of Nanjing, was an episode during the Second Sino-Japanese War of mass murder and mass rape by Japanese troops...  more
  • 46
    The Battle of Berlin, designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, was the final major offensive of the European theatre of World War II. Starting on 12 January 1945, the...  more
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    The Cambodian Civil War was a conflict that pitted the forces of the Communist Party of Kampuchea and their allies the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Viet Cong against the government forces...  more
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    The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was supported by the United States and its eventual replacement with an...  more
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    The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution, was a social-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966. Set into motion by...  more
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    The Spanish Civil War, widely known in Spain simply as the Civil War or The War, was a civil war fought from 1936 to 1939 between the Republicans, who were loyal to the democratic Spanish Republic,...  more