Weird History The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century  

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114.9k votes 16.3k voters 640.3k views 117 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. 

1
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World War II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
eebass added
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, though related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the world's ...more

2
678 121
World War I is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
eebass added
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war mostly centered in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. More than 9 million ...more

3
4,258 1,510
Invention of the Internet is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
jjohn6994 added Invention of the Internet

4
3,108 1,254
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima a... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
In August 1945, during the final stage of the Second World War, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two bombings, which killed at least ...more

5
2,539 1,011
The Rise to Power of Hitler is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
leon-snyers added The Rise to Power of Hitler
In 1933

6
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Beginning of Aviation is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
leon-snyers added Beginning of Aviation

7
2,718 1,217
Apollo 11 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the ...more

8
3,503 1,661
Holocaust is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was a genocide in which approximately six million Jews were killed by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Some historians use a definition of the ...more

9
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Great Depression is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the 1930s. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; however, in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted ...more

10
2,126 1,123
Fall of the Berlin Wall is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century

11
2,216 1,229
Assassination of Archduke Fran... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, ...more

12
951 483
Cold War is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
shewardethan added
The Cold War was a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc and powers in the Eastern Bloc. Historians have not fully agreed on the dates, ...more

13
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Attack on Pearl Harbor is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, ...more

14
834 442
Space Race is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
RobLein added
The Space Race was a 20th-century competition between two Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union and the United States, for supremacy in spaceflight capability. It had its origins in the ...more

15
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African-American Civil Rights ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
crbarbee45 added
The African-American Civil Rights Movement or 1960s Civil Rights Movement encompasses social movements in the United States whose goals were to end racial segregation and discrimination against ...more

16
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Treaty of Versailles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five ...more

17
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Dissolution of the Soviet Unio... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was formally enacted on December 26, 1991, as a result of the declaration no. 142-Н of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, acknowledging the independence ...more

18
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Vietnam War is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and also known in Vietnam as Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a Cold War-era proxy war that occurred in ...more

19
1,141 787
John F. Kennedy assassination is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
RichardSeeger added
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was ...more

20
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Invasion of Normandy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
The Invasion of Normandy was the invasion by and establishment of Western Allied forces in Normandy, during Operation Overlord in 1944 during World War II; the largest amphibious invasion to ...more

21
523 365
Sputnik 1 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
leon-snyers added
In 1957 Sputnik 1 was the first artificial Earth satellite. It was a 58 cm diameter polished metal sphere, with four external radio antennas to broadcast radio pulses. The Soviet Union launched it into ...more

22
934 774
October Revolution is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
The October Revolution, officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution, and commonly referred to as Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a seizure of ...more

23
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Chernobyl disaster is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central ...more

24
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Cuban missile crisis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
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 ...more

25
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Invasion of Poland is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century
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 ...more