Weird History
20.4k voters

The Most Important Historical Events of the 20th Century

Updated March 15, 2021 107.6k votes 20.4k voters 735.0k 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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  • 1
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    495
    World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to...  more
  • 2
    1,751
    332
    World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war mostly...  more
  • 3
    5,577
    1,790

    Invention of the Internet

  • 4
    3,451
    1,317
    The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was a genocide in which approximately six million Jews...  more
  • 5
    In August 1945, during the final stage of the Second World War, the United States dropped...  more
  • 6
    3,067
    1,188

    The Rise to Power of Hitler

    In 1933
  • 7
    2,097
    798

    Beginning of Aviation

  • 8
    2,830
    1,178
    Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil...  more
  • 9
    The African-American Civil Rights Movement or 1960s Civil Rights Movement encompasses social...  more
  • 10
    1,307
    587
    The Cold War was a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers...  more
  • 11
    The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the 1930s. The timing of...  more
  • 12
  • 13
    The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese...  more
  • 14
    The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the...  more
  • 15
    On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian...  more
  • 16
    The dissolution of the Soviet Union was formally enacted on December 26, 1991, as a result of...  more
  • 17
    1,028
    566
    The Space Race was a 20th-century competition between two Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union...  more
  • 18
    1,095
    670

    Vietnam War

    The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and also known in Vietnam as...  more
  • 19
    The Invasion of Normandy was the invasion by and establishment of Western Allied forces in...  more
  • 20
    360
    202

    Nelson Mandela Elected President of South Africa

  • 21
    The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war in the former Russian Empire immediately after the...  more
  • 22
    John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30...  more
  • 23
    The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at...  more
  • 24
    The October Revolution, officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution, and...  more
  • 25
    618
    450
    In 1957
    Sputnik 1 was the first artificial Earth satellite. It was a 58 cm diameter polished metal...  more