Cycles in U.S. History

The World War Cycle (1866-1944)




The 13 Original
American Colonies


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The Missionary Generation were the idealists of the World War Cycle. As they approached adulthood, around 1890, the student missionary movement was launched and protests and labor violence was the norm. This cultural bonfire of a spiritual event lasted until just after the turn of the century. Many of our present religious groups trace their roots to those times. The modern women's movement, temperance and the labor movements also began then. A civil generation, the G.I.'s, emerged from those turbulent times to conquer the Great Depression and to fight the greatest war, WWII. These civic events are still fresh in our conscience since many of the participants are still with us.


The Gilded Age - 1st Turning, High (1866-1885)

Cohorts: Missionary Generation - Prophet, Idealist Type (1860-1882)
William Jennings Bryan, Jane Addams, Helen Keller George Washington Carver, Margaret Sanger, Thomas Hunt Morgon, Henry Ford, Orville & Wilbur Wright, Will Rogers , Albert Einstein, Douglas MacArthur, Frank Lloyd Wright, William Randolf Hearst, Lizzie Borden, Annie Oakley, Connie Mack, Butch Cassidy, Nap Lajoie, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, Cy Young, W.E.B. DuBois, Scott Joplin, William S. Hart, Harry Houdini , Robert Frost, D.W. Griffith, Carl Sandburg, Isadora Duncan, George M. Cohan, Upton Sinclair, Ethel Barrymore, W.C. Fields, Cecil B. DeMille, John Barrymore, Grandma Moses

Presidents: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Warren Harding , Calvin Coolidge , Herbert Hoover

Author's Ancestors:
Author's grandfather-in-law: Logan Summers (born in Missouri, 1865), author's grandmother-in-law: Nevada J. Cary/Summers (born in Missouri, 1865),
author's greatgrandfather: Edward H. Murray (born in Illinois, 1862), author's greatgrandmother: Emma S. Sallee/Murray (born in Illinois, 1864),
author's greatgrandfather William H. Nelson (born in Sweden, 1870), author's greatgrandmother: Lucy A. Hills/Nelson (born in Iowa, 1873),
author's greatgrandmother-in-law: Eva C. Marshall/Stallard (born in Indiana, 1864)

All Generational Baseball Team: Cy Young, Roger Bresnahan, Frank Chance, Nap Lajoie, Honus Wagner, Jimmy Collins, Ed Delahanty, Billy Hamilton, Sam Crawford

American Timeline Events:

Foreign Contemporaries: Anton Chekhov, Claude Debussy, William Butler Yeats, Rudyard Kipling, Beatrix Potter, H.G. Wells, Arturo Toscanini, Madame Curie, Guglielmo Marconi, Mahatma Gandhi, Henri Matisse, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Enrico Caruso, Sir Winston Churchill, Albert Schweitzer, Carl Jung, Thomas Mann, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Roald Amundsen, Konrad Adenauer, Mata Hari, Albert Einstein, Joseph Stalin, Pablo Picasso, A.A. Milne, James Joyce, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinski, Ernest Rutherford

Foreign Timeline Events: The "seven weeks" Austro-Prussian War begins (1866), Monet paints "Camille, The Green Dress" (1866), Dosteovsky publishes "Crime and Punishment" (1866), Mendel publishes laws of heredity (1866), Johann Strauss writes "The Blue Danube" (1867), Henrik Ibsen publishes "Per Gant" (1867), Alfred Nobel patents dynamite (1867), Karl Marx publishes first volume of "Das Kapital" (1867), Disraeli becomes Prime Minister of England (1868), Queen Isabella II of Spain deposed (1868), Brahms publishes his "Lullaby" (1868), Cro-Magnon man is found in France (1868), Richard Blackmore publishes _Lorna Doone_ (1869), Peter Tchaikovsky produces overture _Romeo and Juliet_ (1869), Suez Canal opens (1869), debtors' prisons are abolished in Britain (1869), Napoleon III deposed in Paris by a bloodless Revolution (1870), Jules Verne publishes _20,000 Leagues Under the Sea_ (1870), Vatican pronounces the Doctrine of papal infallibility (1870), William I of Prussia is proclaimed Emperor of Germany (1871, Verde composes the Opera _Aida_ (1871), Louis Sullivan composes "Onward Christian Soldiers" (1871), Henry Stanley presumes to find David Livingstone in Central Africa (1871), Lewis Caroll publishes _Through the Looking Glass_ (1872), Jules Verne publishes _Around the World in 80 Days_ (1873), James Maxwell publishes his _Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism (1873), Mussorgsky composes "Pictures from an Exhibition" (1874), J. Strauss composes "Die Fledermaus" (1874), Verdi composes "Requim Mass"(1874), Kuang Hsu becomes Emporer of China (1875), Tolstoy publishes _Anna Karina_ (1875), Bizet composes "Carmen" (1875), first performance of Wagner's "The Ring of the Nibelung" 1876), Tchaikovsky composes "Swan Lake" (1876), Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire (1877), Porfirio Diaz becomes President of Mexico (1877), Maxwell publishes the "Theory of Heat and Lork Rayleigh publishes the "Theory of Sound" (1877), Treaty of San Stefano ends Russo-Turkish War (1878), Gilbert and Sullivan produce "The H. M. S. Pinafore" (1878), Karl Benz builds a motorized tricycle (1878), British at war with Afganistan (1878), Ibsen publishes the play " A Doll's House" (1879), Dostoevsky writes "The Brothers Karamazov" (1879), Boers revolt against the British in Transvaal (1880), Disraeli resigns as Prime Minister of England (1880), Carlos Finlay suggests that mosquitoes may be the carriers of yellow fever (1881), Italy, Germany and Austria-Hungary form the Triple Alliance (1882), French sieze Hue in South Vietnam (1883), Robert Louis Stevenson publishes _Treasure Island_ (1883), Indonesian volcano - Krakatoa explodes (1883), Pasteur administers first successful rabies vaccination (1885), European states (including Belgium, England and Germany) stake colonial claims in Africa (1885)

Expanded Timeline ahead


Missionary Awakening Era - 2nd Turning, Awakening (1886-1909)

Cohorts: Lost Generation - Nomad, Reactive Type (1883-1900)
Alfred Hitchcock, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Patton, Irving Berlin, Earl Warren, Mae West, Norman Rockwell, J. Edgar Hoover, Babe Ruth, George Burns, Humphrey Bogart, Al Capone, Earnest Hemingway, Louie Armstrong, Adlai Stevenson, Rube Goldberg, Sophie Tucker, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jerome Kern, Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, Sinclair Lewis, Bess Truman, Gabby Hayes, Al Jolson, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Walter Johnson, Boris Karloff, Knute Rockne, Jim Thorpe, Eugene O'Neill, Rogers Hornsby, Grover Alexander, Dale Carnegie, Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy, Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton, Groucho Marx, Casey Stengel, Cole Porter, Pearl S. Buck, J. Paul Getty, Mary Pickford, Harold Lloyd, Charles Atlas, Edward G. Robinson, Jack Benny, James Thurber, Alfred Kinsey, Rudolph Valentino, Bishop Fulton Sheen, Jack Dempsey, Oscar Hammerstein II, Bud Abbott, Buster Keaton, George Burns, Lillian Gish, Ira & George Gershwin, Walter Winchell, William Falkner, Amelia Earhart, Duke Ellington, Fred Astaire, Noel Coward, Spencer Tracy, Aaron Copland, Helen Hayes

Presidents: Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman

Author's Ancestors:
Author's father-in-Law: Delbert O. Summers (born in Oklahoma, 1900),
author's grandfather Fred Murray (born in Kansas, 1891), author's grandmother: Mary Elizabeth "Bessie" Nelson/Murray (born in Iowa, 1893),
author's grandfather: Joseph C. Tunison (born in Iowa, 1888), author's grandmother: Mabel H. Lepper/Tunison (born in Minnesota (1892),
author's grandfather-in-Law: Jack J. McLaughlin (born in Missouri, 1883), author's grandmother-in-Law: Nellie A. Stallard/McLaughlin (born in Missouri, 1888)

All Generational Baseball Team: Walter Johnson, Gabby Hartnett, George Sisler, Eddie Collins, Pop Lloyd, "Home Run" Baker, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb, George Herman "Babe" Ruth

American Timeline Events: Gusher at Spindletop well in Beaumont, TX signals beginning of oil boom in US (1901), First flight at Kittyhawk by Wright Bros. (1903)

Foreign Contemporaries: Elizabeth-The Queen Mother, Kahlil Gibran, Benito Mussolini, Niels Bohr, Alexander Fleming, Vladimir Zworykin, Chiang Kai-Shek, Adolf Hitler, Jean Cocteau, Jawaharlal Nehru, Ho Chi Minh, Agatha Christie, Henry Miller, J.R.R. Tolkien, Fritz Lang, Baron Von Richthofen, Francisco Franco, Andres Segovia, Mao Tse-tung, Nikita Khrushchev, Juan Peron, Golda Meir, M.C. Escher, Ayatollah Khomeini

Foreign Timeline Events: Robert Louis Stevenson publishes _Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde_(1886), Portugal claims large area in central Africa (1886), Queen Victoria celebrates her Golden Jubilee (1887), Arthur Conan Doyle introduces Sherlock Holmes in _A Study in Scarlet_ (1887), nearly a million lives lost as the Yellow River overflows in China (1887), William II "The Kaiser" succeeds to the German throne (1888), Vincent Van Gogh paints "Self Portrait in Front of an Easel" (1888), Cecil John Rhodes is granted a charter for his British South Africa Company (1889), Van Gogh paints "Starry Night" (1889), Richard Strauss composes "Don Juan" (1889), Japan holds its first General Election (1890), Luxembourg is separated from the Netherlands (1890), Debussy's Suite bergamasque is published including "Clair de lune" (1890), free elementary education is established in England (1890), Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy form the Triple Alliance (1891), Germany's Social Democratic Party adopts Marxist Theory (1891), Oscar Wilde publishes "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1891), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec paints "La Goulue at the Moulin Rouge" (1891), Sir Arthur Conon Doyle publishes "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" (1891), "Java Man" discovered (1891), Denmark enacts social legislation providing health insurance and old-age pensions (1892), Abbas II becomes last Khedive of Egypt (1892), Rudyard Kipling publishes "Barrack-Room Ballads" including _Gunga Din_ (1892), Tchaikovsky composes "Nutcracker Suite" (1892), Irish Home Rule bill defeated in House of Lords for second time (1893), Verdi composes "Falstaff" (1893), Nicolas II becomes the last Czar of Russia (1894), Rudyard Kipling publishes _The Jungle Book_ (1894), Korea and Japan declare war on China (1894), Oscar Wilde publishes _The Importance of being Earnest_ (1895), H. G. Wells publishes _The Time Machine_ (1895), Puccini composes "La Boheme" (1896), Turkey and Greece fight over Crete (1897), Sergei Rachmaninoff composes "First Symphony" (1897), Henri Matisse paints "The Dinner Table" (1897), Edmond Rostad produces "Cyrano de Bergerac" (1897), Bram Stoker publishes _Dracula_ (1897), anti-foreign organization "The Boxers" is formed in China (1898), Boer War begins in South Africa between British and local Boers(1899), Umberto I, King of Italy is assasinated (1900), Beatrix Potter creates _The Tale of Peter Rabbit_ (1900), Commonwealth of Australia created (1901), Queen Victoria dies and is succeeded by her son Edward VII(1901), Social Revolutionary Party formed in Russia (1901), Chekhov writes _Three Sisters_ (1901), Vladimir Lenin takes over control of the Bolshevik wing of the Social Democratic Party in Russia (1903), Panama proclaims independence (1903), Pablo Picasso paints "La Vie" in his blue period (1903), Russo-Japanese war breaks out (1903), James Barrie publishes _Peter Pan_ (1904), Sinn Fein is organized in Dublin (1905), Norway and Sweden split (1905), Pablo Picasso launches the school of cubism with "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" (1907), Austria annexes Bosnia and Herzegovinia (1908), Albert I becomes King of the Belgians (1909), Maurice Chevalier debuts at the Folies Bergere in Paris (1909)

Expanded Timeline ahead


World War I / Prohibition Era - 3rd Turning, Unraveling (1910-1929)

Cohorts: G.I. Generation - Hero, Civic Type (1901-1924)
J. D. Salinger, Allen DuMont, John Eckert, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Kurt Vonnegut, Walt Disney , Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Katherine Hepburn, Ann Landers, Bob Hope, Joe DiMaggio, William Westmoreland, Clark Gable, Linus Pauling, Gary Cooper, Louis Armstrong, Ed Sullivan, Margaret Mead, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Lindbergh, John Steinbeck, Guy Lombardo, Richard Rogers, Ogden Nash, Edgar Bergen, Lawrence Welk, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Bing Crosby, Lou Gehrig, Cary Grant, Jimmy & Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Dr. Seuss, Johnny Weissmuller, Count Basie, Alger Hiss, Henry Fonda, Greta Garbo, Howard Hughes, Lou Costello, James Michener, Josephine Baker, Laurence Olivier, Edward R. Murrow, Thurgood Marshall, Nelson Rockefeller, Milton Berle, John Kenneth Galbraith, Barry Goldwater, Benny Goodman, Senator Joseph McCarthy, Jean Harlow, Tennessee Williams, Hubert H. Humphrey, Lucille Ball, Roy Rogers, Woody Guthrie, Julia Child, Loretta Young, Rosa Parks, Jimmy Hoffa, Richard "Red" Skelton, Jesse Owens, Burt Lancaster, Archie Moore, Alec Guinness, Joe Louis, Ted Williams, Satchel Paige, Orson Welles, Ingrid Bergman, Arthur Miller, Jonas Salk, B. F. Skinner, Frank Sinatra, Harry James, Gregory Peck, Walter Cronkite, Lena Horne, Henry Ford II, Dizzy Gillespie, Pearl Bailey, Betty Ford, Ella Fitzgerald, Ann Landers & Abigail Van Buren, Leonard Bernstein, Spiro Agnew, J.D. Salinger, Jackie Robinson, Nat "King" Cole, Pete Seeger, Isaac Asimov, Stan Musial, Nancy Reagan, John Glenn, Jack Kerouac, Judy Garland, George McGovern, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Norman Mailer, Chuck Yeager, Henry Kissinger, Bob Dole, Alan Shepard, Jr., Marlon Brando, Truman Capote

Presidents: John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr.

Author's Ancestors:
Author's Father: Ivan O. Murray (born in Montana, 1918), author's Mother: Audrey J. (Tunison) Murray (born in Minnesota, 1918),
author's Mother-in-Law: Hazel I. (McLaughlin) Summers (born in Oklahoma, 1907)

All Generational Baseball Team: Warren Spahn, Roy Campanella, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Arky Vaughn, Stan Hack, Ted Williams, Joe Dimaggio, Mel Ott

American Timeline Events: Zimmerman Telegram (1917), Mickey Mouse Debuts (1928), 1929 Stock Market Crash

Foreign Contemporaries: Gamel Abdel Nasser, Salvador Dali, Vladimir Horowitz, Deng Xiaoping, Jean-Paul Sartre, Aristotle Onassis, Samuel Beckett, Ian Fleming, Jacques Tati, Alistair Cooke, Victor Borge, Akira Kirosawa, Jacques Cousteau, Mother Teresa, Wernher Von Braun, Sonja Henie, Oleg Cassini, Menachem Begin, Ingrid Bergman, Yehudi Menuhin, Indira Gandhi, Ingmar Bergman, Nelson Mandela, Anwar Sadat, Eva Peron, Sun Myung Moon, Federico Fellini, Toshiro Mifune, Ravi Shankar, Pope John Paul II, Mario Lanza, Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, Franco Zeffirelli, Richard Attenborough, Melina Mercouri, Maria Callas, Marcello Mastroianni

Foreign Timeline Events: George V becomes King of Great Britain and Ireland (1910), Revolution in Portugal (1910), Marie Curie publishes "Traite de Radioactive" (1910), Vasily Kandinsky founds the Abstract Expressionist movement (1910), Igor Stravinsky finishes "The Firebird" (1910), Mexican Revolution (1911), Lord Rutherford publishes his nuclear theory of atoms (1911), Roald Amundsen reaches the South Pole (1911), Titanic Sinks (1912),

Expanded Timeline ahead


Depression / World War II Era - 4th Turning, Crisis (1930-1944)

Cohorts: Silent Generation - Artist, Adaptive Type (1925-1942)
Walter Mondale, Robert F. Kennedy, Edward M. Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Shirley Temple Black, Neil Armstrong, Stephen Hawking, James D. Watson, Thomas E. Starzl, Colin Powell, Ralph Nader, H. Ross Perot, G. Gordon Liddy, Peter Jennings, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Martin Luther King, Jr., Sandra Day O'Conner, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, James Dean, Elvis Presley, Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman, Grace Kelly, Jack Nicholson, Audrey Hepburn, Muhammad Ali, Willie Shoemaker, Mickey Mantle, Jack Nicklaus, Mario Andretti, Arnold Palmer, Henry "Hank" Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Roger Maris, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Yogi Berra, Malcolm X, Gore Vidal, Neil Simon, Reverend Jerry Falwell, Wm. F. Buckley, Jr., Eldridge Cleaver, Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte, Ted Turner, Jane Fonda, Little Richard, Mort Sahl, Barbra Streisand, Dick Clark, Jimi Hendrix, Tony Bennett, Andy Warhol, Maya Angelou, Leontyne Price, Sammy Davis, Jr., Hugh Hefner, Miles Davis, Lee Harvey Oswald, Johnny Carson, Annette Funicello, Fred "Mr." Rogers, Bob "Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan, Jim Brett, Bill Neis

Presidents: none

Author's Ancestors: The TimePage Author and spouse.

All Generational Baseball Team: Bob Gibson, Yogi Berra, Harmon Killebrew, Nellie Fox, Ernie Banks, Eddie Matthews, Carl Yastrzemski, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron

American Timeline Events: Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (1941), General Eisenhower leads allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day (1944)

Foreign Contemporaries: Elizabeth II, Queen of England, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Anne Frank, Margaret Thatcher, Fidel Castro, Yasser Arafat, Corazon Aquino, Lord Snowdon, Boris Yeltsin, Mikhail Gorbachev, Yuri Gagarin, Seiji Ozawa, Rupert Murdoch, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Sean Connery, Peter O'Toole, Rudolf Nureyev, Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Richard Harris, Luciano Pavarotti, Jean-Luc Godard, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Richard Burton, Vanessa Redgrave, Anouk Aimee, Miriam Makeba, Brigitte Bardot, Liv Ullmann, Peter Sellers, Sophia Loren, Maggie Smith, Gina Lollobrigida, Roger Moore, Jeanne Moreau,

Foreign Timeline Events:

Expanded Timeline ahead


For each historical era I show a list of notable Americans born to that generation and a pointer to the timeline of importantant events in American History that occured during that time. It is important to keep in mind that these are the events that shaped the early life of this generation. A few important foreign cohorts and global events are also listed to provide a contextual backdrop for each era

back Back to the Civil War Cycle
ahead On to the Present Cycle


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In Association with Reading and Viewing List:

Clicking on these titles will take you directly to the page for the book or video.


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