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Hiroshima Keith Haring Saw


  • The German Air Force severely bombs Guernica, Spain, marking the first full-scale indiscriminate bombing of a city in the history of warfare.

  • Conflict arises between Japanese and Chinese troops at the Marco Polo Bridge (Marco Polo Bridge Incident), igniting the Second Sino-Japanese War. 

  • Toyota Motor Corporation is established.


  • With the prolonged Second Sino-Japanese War, the National Mobilization Law is enacted.

  • Nazi Germany unleashed the “Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass)” pogroms, persecuting the Jewish population.


  • Scientists, including Einstein, petition the US president to begin developing an atomic bomb.

  • Germany invades Poland. Britain and France declare war on Germany in response, marking the start of the conflict.

  • The Soviet army invades Poland.

  • The first public television broadcast occurs at the Koa Communications Exhibition (Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi).


  • The Tripartite Pact is signed by Japan, Germany, and Italy.

  • The Olympics are canceled due to the outbreak of World War II.

  • The Lascaux Cave is discovered.

  • Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award for her role in Gone with the Wind.


  • Japanese forces occupy southern Indochina, then a French territory (now Vietnam).

  • The Pacific War begins. Japan attacks the Malay Peninsula and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, declaring war on the United States and the United Kingdom. This conflict is referred to as the "Greater East Asia War" in Japan.

  • CBS and NBC start television broadcasting.


  • Japan invades Southeast Asia.

  • The Allies begin counterattacks on the European front.

  • The Manhattan Project: Approximately $2 billion is invested to accelerate the development of the atomic bomb.

  • Japanese forces suffer a major defeat at the Battle of Midway, marking a turning point in the war.

  • Boeing completes the long-range B-29 bomber.

  • Soviet forces liberate Stalingrad, pressuring Germany to surrender.

  • Internment of Japanese Americans


  • The Battle of Stalingrad ends in German surrender, shifting control of the Eastern Front to the Soviet Union.

  • The Ministry of the Army distributes 50,000 "Fight and Cease" slogan posters nationwide.

  • Draft deferments for students not in scientific fields are suspended. The first ceremonial send-off for student soldiers is held at Meiji Jingu Gaien National Stadium.

  • Akira Kurosawa's first film as a director, "Sanshiro Sugata," is released.


  • Allied forces land in Normandy, increasing the likelihood of German defeat.

  • The US captures the Marshall and then the Mariana Islands, putting almost all of Japan within range of B-29 air raids.

  • Kaiten manned torpedoes are officially adopted as weapons. The first Kamikaze special attack units sortie.

  • Edvard Munch passes away.


  • The United Nations is founded by the Allied nations.

  • The Yalta Conference takes place. The heads of state from the US, UK, and USSR (Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin) discuss post-war plans, including the division of Germany and the roles of the UN.

  • Manila, the capital of the Philippines, falls. 

  • The Battle of Okinawa.

  • Germany surrenders unconditionally.

  • The US successfully conducts the world's first atomic bomb test in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

  • The Potsdam Declaration is issued by the US, UK, and China.

  • The US drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  • The Soviet Union invades Manchukuo and declares war on Japan.

  • Japan accepts the Potsdam Declaration with conditions to preserve kokutai. The Gyokuon-hōsō announces Japan's WWII defeat.

  • Beginning of the Allied occupation of Japan.


  • The US conducts its first post-war nuclear test in the Pacific Marshall Islands.

  • The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is established.


  • The Constitution of Japan is enacted.

  • The UN General Assembly passes the Palestine Partition Resolution.

  • Christian Dior presents his first collection, "New Look," in Paris.


  • Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated.

  • Israel declares independence, followed by the start of the Palestinian War (the First Arab-Israeli War) on May 15.

  • The Berlin Blockade begins.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Refugee Organization (IRO) are established.

  • The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo Trials) finds all 25 defendants, including former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, guilty as Class A war criminals of World War II.


  • The Soviet Union conducts its first nuclear test, initiating the nuclear arms race with the US.

  • Twelve Western nations establish NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

  • The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) is established. The following month, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) is founded.

  • The People's Republic of China is established. 

  • Indian Prime Minister Nehru presents an Asian elephant named "Indira" to Ueno Zoo.

  • Pablo Picasso creates The Dove, which subsequently becomes a symbol of peace.

  • George Orwell publishes "1984."


  • North Korea invades South Korea, starting the Korean War. President Truman hints at the possible use of atomic bombs.

  • The World Peace Council issues a declaration for the absolute prohibition of nuclear weapons, known as the Stockholm Appeal.

  • The precursor to the Self-Defense Forces, the Police Reserve Forces, is established in Japan.

  • Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion) in Kyoto is destroyed by arson.


  • The San Francisco Peace Treaty and the US-Japan Security Treaty are signed.

  • The world's first nuclear power generation is successfully executed at the "EBR-1" reactor in Idaho, USA.

  • CBS Television starts the world's first color broadcast.

  • Japan Airlines, the first post-war commercial airline, is founded.


  • The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (designed by Kenzo Tange) is completed.

  • The San Francisco Peace Treaty takes effect, restoring Japan's independence after approximately seven years, except for Okinawa, Amami, and the Ogasawara Islands.

  • First National Memorial Service for War Dead.

  • "Asahi Graph" magazine publishes the first photos of atomic bomb damage.

  • The UK conducts its first nuclear bomb test on Montebello Islands, Australia.

  • A massive earthquake off the Kamchatka Peninsula in the USSR causes tsunamis that reach as far as the Hawaiian Islands, over 5000 km away.

  • The UN Headquarters building is completed in New York.


  • Amami Islands are returned to Japan.

  • Joseph Stalin dies.

  • Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay achieve the first human ascent of Mount Everest.

  • The movie Roman Holiday is released.


  • The Lucky Dragon No. 5 is exposed to radiation during a hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll.

  • Homosexuality, previously illegal in the UK, leads to the death by cyanide poisoning of mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing.

  • The Self-Defense Forces are established in Japan.

  • Toho releases the movie Godzilla, symbolizing the threat of nuclear weapons.


  • The socialist bloc countries establish the Warsaw Pact.

  • The Russell-Einstein Manifesto is published, in which Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein, along with other scientists and intellectuals, warn of the dangers of nuclear war.

  • The first World Conference on the Prohibition of Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs is held in Hiroshima.

  • The Nagasaki Peace Statue is completed, and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum opens.

  • Disneyland opens in California.

  • The first McDonald's restaurant opens.


  • The Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration is signed, restoring diplomatic relations.

  • Japan joins the UN.

  • Thailand decriminalizes homosexual acts.


  • The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs begin, discussing scientists' responsibilities in eliminating nuclear weapons.

  • Japan's first "atomic flame" lights up in an experimental reactor in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture.

  • The Soviet Union launches the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1.

  • Rawya Ateya becomes the first female parliamentarian in the Arab world in Egypt.

  • Dr. Seuss publishes "The Cat in the Hat."


  • Born on May 4 in Reading, Pennsylvania.

  • The Soviet Union declares a temporary halt to nuclear tests (resumption announced later in the year). The US and UK announce a one-year suspension of nuclear tests.

  • Egypt and Syria merge to form the United Arab Republic.

  • The US successfully launches its first artificial satellite, Explorer 1.

  • Pop icons Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna are born.


  • The US nuclear submarine Sea Wolf disposes of its nuclear reactor in the North Atlantic.

  • Protesters against the Security Treaty invade the Japanese Diet building.

  • Nissan Motors launches the Datsun Bluebird, heralding the era of personal car ownership in Japan.

  • Hawaii becomes the 50th state of the US.

  • The film Hiroshima Mon Amour is released.


  • France conducts its first atmospheric nuclear test in the Sahara Desert in Nigeria.

  • The Kishi Cabinet signs the revised US-Japan Mutual Cooperation and Security Treaty.

  • Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia wins the marathon at the Rome Olympics, becoming the first African to win an Olympic gold medal.

  • "The Year of Africa" sees many African nations including Ghana, Nigeria, and the Congo (now Zambia) declare independence.

  • Nationwide protests erupt in Japan against the forced passage of the revised security treaty. Michiko Kanba, a student from the University of Tokyo, dies during the protests.


  • The Soviet Union and East Germany begin constructing the Berlin Wall around West Berlin.

  • The Soviet Union achieves the first manned space flight; Yuri Gagarin famously remarks, "The Earth is blue."

  • The US severs diplomatic ties with Cuba.

  • John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as President of the US.

  • The movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is released.


  • France conducts its first nuclear test.

  • The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Soviet officer's decision prevents a nuclear war.

  • Marilyn Monroe commits suicide.

  • The Beatles release their debut single "Love Me Do."

  • Tokyo becomes the first city in the world to reach a permanent resident population of 10 million people.


  • The US, UK, and Soviet Union sign the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), prohibiting atmospheric, space, and underwater nuclear tests, although it does not cover underground nuclear tests and thus has limited effect on curbing nuclear proliferation.

  • US President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.

  • Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. speaks to 250,000 people about racial discrimination at the March on Washington.


  • The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is founded.

  • China conducts its first nuclear test.

  • Che Guevara addresses the UN General Assembly, criticizing global imperialism and advocating for Latin American unity and solidarity among oppressed nations.

  • The US nuclear submarine USS Seadragon makes a port call in Sasebo, Japan, sparking protests.

  • The Tokyo Olympics, the first in Asia, are held.

  • US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, making racial discrimination illegal.

  • Japan liberalizes overseas tourism, allowing its citizens to travel abroad freely for the first time since the war.


  • The Vietnam War escalates. Fearing the spread of Communism in Indochina, US forces intensify bombing of North Vietnam, leading to prolonged and mired conflict that lasts another ten years.

  • Kenzaburo Oe publishes "Hiroshima Notes."

  • Malcolm X is assassinated.


  • The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) is designated for preservation by the Hiroshima City Council amidst potential demolition concerns.

  • France withdraws from NATO.

  • Indira Gandhi becomes India's first female Prime Minister.

  • The Soviet Union launches Luna 9, achieving the first soft landing on the moon.

  • The mass distribution of color TVs, cars, and air conditioners begins in Japan.

  • Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong launches the Cultural Revolution in China.


  • China conducts its first hydrogen bomb test.

  • A 100,000-strong anti-Vietnam War protest takes place in Washington, D.C.

  • The hippie cultural movement, known as the "Summer of Love," becomes a social phenomenon.

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is founded to promote development in Southeast Asia.

  • World heavyweight champion Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) refuses military induction, his title is stripped by the World Boxing Association.

  • Australia holds a referendum that leads to a constitutional amendment granting legislative authority to Indigenous peoples (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) and allowing their inclusion in the census."

  • Pollution issues in Japan, such as Itai-itai disease, become severe.

  • The US enacts laws to abolish racial discrimination.


  • Spends childhood in Kutztown, Pennsylvania with three sisters, influenced by Walt Disney and Dr. Seuss, and begins drawing under his father's guidance.

  • Prime Minister Eisaku Sato of Japan pronounces the Three Non-Nuclear Principles: "not possessing, not producing, and not permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons."

  • The Ogasawara Islands are returned to Japan and fall under the jurisdiction of Tokyo again.

  • Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated.

  • The Mexico City Olympics see protests against racial discrimination.

  • Japan's Gross National Product (GNP) ranks second after the USA.

  • The Prague Spring: Reforms initiated by the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia spark demands for more freedom and democracy.

  • US Senator Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated.


  • The nuclear-powered ship "Mutsu" is launched.

  • Apollo 11 achieves the first manned moon landing.

  • The Stonewall riots, a critical event in the LGBTQ+ rights movement, occur at the Stonewall Inn in New York.

  • The Woodstock Music Festival opens in New York State.

  • "Sesame Street" begins airing.

  • The manga "Doraemon" begins serialization.


  • The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) comes into effect. Despite the obligation it places on nuclear powers to negotiate disarmament, periodic review conferences have yet to show improvement.

  • The Yodo-go hijacking incident occurs; a group from the Japanese Red Army hijacks a plane, seeking asylum in North Korea.

  • The first overseas atomic bomb photography exhibition "Hiroshima and Nagasaki" is held at the New York Cultural Center.

  • The Japan World Exposition opens in Osaka.

  • The first Women's Lib meeting takes place in Shibuya, Tokyo, under the slogan "Accusations of Sexual Discrimination."

  • The first "Earth Day" event is held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.


  • US President Nixon announces measures to defend the dollar, including the suspension of its convertibility into gold (Nixon Shock).

  • Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) is founded.

  • The world's first microprocessor, the "Intel 4004," is launched by Busicom and Intel.

  • Punk fashion becomes popular, spurred by the opening of Vivienne Westwood's store.

  • Nissin’s Cup Noodles are introduced to the market.


  • Japan and China sign the Joint Communiqué, normalizing diplomatic relations.

  • The US and the Soviet Union sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreements.

  • The Hiroshima City Peace Memorial Museum opens an exhibit displaying peace materials, including artifacts returned by the US military from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  • Okinawa is returned to Japan and becomes Okinawa Prefecture.

  • The Volkswagen Beetle surpasses the Ford Model T as the most sold car worldwide.


  • The Yom Kippur War erupts, leading to the first oil shock.

  • The manga "Barefoot Gen," based on Keiji Nakazawa's experiences as a Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor, begins serialization in "Weekly Shonen Jump."

  • East and West Germany simultaneously join the UN.

  • The US enacts the Endangered Species Act under President Nixon.

  • Issey Miyake makes his debut in the Paris collections under the concept of "A Piece of Cloth."

  • Kansai Yamamoto designs David Bowie's stage outfit "Tokyo Pop."


  • India conducts its first nuclear test.

  • The nuclear ship "Mutsu" experiences a radiation leak and drifts.

  • The barcode "CODE39" is developed.

  • The skeleton of "Lucy," an Australopithecus afarensis, is discovered in Ethiopia, believed to be an ancestor of modern humans.

  • Watergate scandal results in US President Richard Nixon's resignation.

  • Uniqlo is founded.


  • Saigon falls, marking the end of the Vietnam War.

  • France conducts its first underground nuclear test.

  • The first G7 summit is held.

  • The UN officially celebrates International Women's Day for the first time on March 8.

  • Microsoft is founded.


  • Graduates from high school and enrolls at the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh.

  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki mayors appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons at the UN General Assembly.

  • P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1) opens.

  • Mao Zedong dies.

  • Apple Computer is founded.


  • Travels to a Grateful Dead concert in Minneapolis, then ventures from North Dakota and Montana through the Rocky Mountains to Disneyland in California.

  • Jimmy Carter becomes President of the US and declares at the UN that the US will not use nuclear weapons first.

  • Elvis Presley dies.

  • The club Paradise Garage opens in downtown New York.

  • The movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind is released.


  • Moves to New York and enrolls at the School of Visual Arts.

  • Holds his first solo exhibition at the Westbeth Painters Space in New York.

  • Participates in the Nova Convention, influenced by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin.

  • Solo exhibition at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.


  • The Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty is concluded, restoring normal diplomatic relations.

  • Gilbert Baker displays the LGBTQ+ community's diversity and unity symbol, the Rainbow Flag, at the San Francisco Pride Parade.


  • Participates in several group exhibitions at Club 57.

  • The Iranian Revolution leads to the second oil shock.

  • The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident occurs.

  • Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the UK.

  • Saddam Hussein becomes the President of Iraq.

  • The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan.

  • The Sony Walkman is released.

  • The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

  • The Vietnam War-themed movie Apocalypse Now is released.


  • Starts working part-time at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery.

  • Begins "Subway Drawing."

  • Participates in the "Times Square Show."

  • Begins curating art and performance shows at Club 57

  • The Iran-Iraq War starts (until 1988).

  • The "UN World Conference" is held in Copenhagen; 52 countries sign the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

  • The 22nd Olympic Games are held in Moscow; boycotted by countries including the USA, UK, and Japan.

  • John Lennon is assassinated in New York.


  • Meets graffiti artist LAII (also known as Angel Ortiz).

  • Moves to a studio on Bloom Street downtown.

  • Participates in "New York New Wave" exhibition.

  • Solo exhibition at Westbeth Painters Space.

  • Solo exhibition at Hal Bromm Gallery.

  • Chinese "orphaned children" arrive in Japan.

  • 3,678 scientists worldwide issue a statement calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the prevention of war.

  • Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as President of the US.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report an outbreak of pneumocystis pneumonia among gay men, later identified as the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.


  • Prints 20,000 anti-nuclear posters and distributes them for free in New York's Central Park.

  • Paints a mural on the Houston Bowery Wall.

  • Participates in "Documenta 7" in Kassel, Germany.

  • First solo exhibition in Europe at the Rotterdam Arts Council.

  • Showcasing animation works on billboards in Times Square.

  • Larry Kramer and others establish the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) to support people infected with HIV.

  • The CDC names the disease "AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)."

  • The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report announces cases of AIDS transmitted through blood transfusions and blood products.

  • Philips and Sony begin selling music software for Compact Discs (CDs).

  • The film Blade Runner is released.


  • Solo exhibition at the Fun Gallery.

  • Solo exhibition at Tokyo Gallery Watari on his first visit in Japan.

  • Participates in the Whitney Biennial and São Paulo Biennial.

  • Carl Sagan advocates for the "Nuclear Winter" theory, stating that nuclear weapons use could cause catastrophic climatic changes on a global scale.

  • The London Dumping Convention approves a resolution to halt the ocean dumping of radioactive waste until safety reviews are completed.

  • The Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center opens in New York.

  • Klaus Nomi dies from AIDS.

  • Nintendo releases the "Family Computer."


  • Participates in the "Disarming Images: Art for Nuclear Disarmament" group exhibition touring 10 venues in the USA.

  • Produces a First Day Cover and a limited edition lithograph to coincide with the November 15th issuance of a UN stamp for the "International Youth Year."

  • Exhibits at the Venice Biennale.

  • President Reagan emphasizes "Strong America" in his State of the Union address.

  • The International Gay Association (now ILGA) Japan branch is established.

  • South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a leader in the anti-apartheid movement, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • The first baby conceived via In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is born.

  • The "Macintosh" computer is released.


  • Holds a large-scale sculpture exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery.

  • Distributes 20,000 Free South Africa anti-apartheid posters around Central Park.

  • Organizes the "Rain Dance" exhibition for UNICEF's emergency relief fund for Africa.

  • Mikhail Gorbachev becomes the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

  • Hollywood actor Rock Hudson dies from AIDS-related complications, increasing criticism over delayed responses to AIDS.

  • The "Live Aid" concert for African famine relief is held at Wembley Stadium in London.

  • The film Back to the Future is released.

  • Japan reports its first case of AIDS.


  • Opens Pop Shop on Lafayette Street.

  • Holds a solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

  • Creates the Crack is Wack mural in New York.

  • For the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, collaborates with over 1,000 children to paint a large banner featuring the Statue of Liberty.

  • Paints approximately 100 meters of mural on the Berlin Wall.

  • Creating murals in the corridors of the Mount Sinai Hospital pediatric ward.

  • The Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurs in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine).

  • The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes.


  • Creates a mural at the Necker Children's Hospital in France.

  • Participates in the "Luna Luna" traveling amusement park project for artists in Hamburg.

  • Collaborates with about 500 children at the Parthenon Tama in Tokyo.

  • Exhibits in "Art Against AIDS" in New York.

  • President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev make significant strides with the "Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty" (INF Treaty).

  • The activist group "ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power)" is founded in New York to address the AIDS crisis.

  • The World Health Organization establishes the Global AIDS Program (GPA).

  • Princess Diana visits the UK's first AIDS ward in London.

  • The US stock market crashes on "Black Monday."

  • Andy Warhol dies.


  • Opens Pop Shop in Tokyo.

  • Collaborates with William S. Burroughs on Apocalypse.

  • Visits Hiroshima.

  • Is diagnosed with AIDS.

  • Massive pro-democracy protests, known as the "8888 Uprising," occur in Burma.

  • Benazir Bhutto becomes the first female Prime Minister of an Islamic nation in Pakistan.

  • The World Health Organization designates December 1st as "World AIDS Day."

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat dies.


  • Paints the mural Todos juntos podemos parar el sida in Barcelona's Barrio de Chino.

  • Paints a mural at the Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center in New York City.

  • Establishes the Keith Haring Foundation.

  • The Tiananmen Square massacre occurs in China.

  • The Berlin Wall falls.

  • The Malta Summit takes place; the US and Soviet leaders confirm the end of the Cold War after over 40 years.

  • Denmark becomes the first country to legally recognize same-sex unions.

  • The TV show "The Simpsons" starts airing in the US.

  • Robert Mapplethorpe dies from AIDS-related complications.


  • Produces a "First Day Cover" and a limited edition lithograph for the UN stamp issued for the "Year to Stop AIDS."

  • Dies on February 16 from AIDS-related complications in an apartment in Greenwich Village.

  • A memorial service is held at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York, attended by over 1,000 people.


  • Iraq invades Kuwait.

  • Germany is reunified.

  • Nelson Mandela is released from prison after 27 years of opposing apartheid in South Africa.


  • The Gulf War begins. A multinational force led by the US begins combat operations against Iraq, which continues to occupy Kuwait.

  • The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is signed by the US and Soviet presidents after eight years of negotiations.

  • North and South Korea simultaneously join the UN.

  • The Soviet Union dissolves. President Gorbachev formally resigns.

  • Ukraine declares independence.

  • South Africa repeals apartheid laws (Population Registration Act, Group Areas Act, and Bantu Homelands Citizens Act).

  • Freddie Mercury dies from AIDS-related complications.


  • International Campaign to Ban Landmines is advocated by Diana, Princess of Wales.

  • The Japan Self-Defense Forces are dispatched to Cambodia under the UN Peacekeeping Operations cooperation law.

  • The LA Riots erupt following the acquittal of police officers charged in the Rodney King beating.

  • The "Earth Summit" addressing environmental issues is held in Rio de Janeiro.


  • The START II (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is signed by the US and Russia.

  • Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa describes Japan's wartime actions as "aggressive" in a press conference.

  • Israel and the PLO sign the Oslo Accords, granting provisional autonomy to Palestinians in parts of the occupied territories.

  • China resumes underground nuclear testing.

  • The European Union (EU) is established.


  • Kim Il-sung, President of North Korea, dies after ruling for over 40 years.

  • The first "Tokyo Lesbian & Gay Parade" is held.

  • Nelson Mandela becomes the first black president of South Africa.

  • Amazon is founded.

  • Chiaki Mukai becomes the first Asian woman to go into space on the Space Shuttle.


  • The first American exhibition on the atomic bomb is canceled at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum due to pressure from Congress and veterans' groups. The museum's director resigns in May.

  • The unveiling ceremony of the "Cornerstone of Peace" monument, which bears the names of all war dead, including those from the Battle of Okinawa, takes place.

  • The Tokyo subway sarin attack occurs.

  • The "Human Chain" protest against AIDS-related drug harm surrounds the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, involving 3,500 participants.

  • Murayama's apology for colonial rule is formally issued.

  • The Great Hanshin Earthquake strikes.

  • "Windows 95" is released.


  • The International Court of Justice issues an advisory opinion that nuclear weapons are illegal.

  • The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is adopted by the UN.

  • Hiroshima's Atomic Bomb Dome and Itsukushima Shrine are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

  • Settlements are reached in the HIV litigation cases in Tokyo and Osaka.

  • Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, is born.

  • South Africa signs a new constitution that explicitly defines the country as a democratic state and is the first in the world to constitutionally protect LGBTQ+ rights.

  • The leading West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur is shot to death due to the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry.


  • The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention is signed by 121 countries, including Japan.

  • Hong Kong is returned to China from Britain.

  • The Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty on climate change, is adopted.

  • The birth of Dolly the sheep is announced in the scientific journal "Nature."

  • The manga "One Piece" begins serialization.

  • The film Titanic is released.

  • The leading East Coast rapper Notorious B.I.G. is shot to death due to the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry.


  • Following the adoption of the CTBT, India and Pakistan conduct nuclear tests.

  • North Korea launches the Taepodong ballistic missile.

  • Google is founded.


  • Macau is returned to China from Portugal, ending about 600 years of Portuguese colonial rule.

  • Monica Helms designs the Transgender Pride Flag.

  • Alibaba is founded.


  • Vladimir Putin is inaugurated as the President of Russia.

  • The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is officially closed.

  • The 27th Olympic Games are held in Sydney; North and South Korea march together in the opening ceremony for the first time.

  • The UN General Assembly designates December 18 as "International Migrants Day."


  • A new history textbook created by the "Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform" passes screening, raising serious concerns in China and South Korea.

  • The September 11 attacks occur in the US. The Taliban is accused of harboring Osama bin Laden, leading to the bombing of Afghanistan.

  • The US conducts its first armed drone strikes in Afghanistan.

  • The US announces its withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol.

  • Erik Weihenmayer becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.


  • Five Japanese abductees return from North Korea.

  • Former President Jimmy Carter is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • The Euro currency is officially introduced across the European Union.

  • The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria is established at the Genoa summit.

  • SpaceX is founded.

  • Whoopi Goldberg becomes the first African American to achieve an EGOT, having won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.

  • Outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

  • The film Harry Potter is released.


  • North Korea declares its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), escalating its nuclear development efforts.

  • The Iraq War begins; the US invades Iraq under the claim that it possesses weapons of mass destruction, leading to the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

  • Hong Kong sees a 500,000-person protest against the proposed national security legislation.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) declares the end of the SARS epidemic.


  • A series of bombings on commuter trains occur in Madrid, Spain.

  • Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai receives the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development through the Green Belt Movement.

  • A US military helicopter crashes at Okinawa International University in Japan.

  • Facebook is founded.


  • Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdraws Israeli settlements and military from the Gaza Strip.

  • India adds a third gender category, “E”, to passports to accommodate Hijras (neither male nor female).

  • Hurricane Katrina causes severe damage in New Orleans and Louisiana.

  • The "Live 8" charity concert, aimed at increasing support for impoverished nations, is held in eight cities worldwide.

  • YouTube is founded.


  • The Mexican Drug War begins. Conflicts between organizations lead to a rapid deterioration of public safety and widespread civilian casualties.

  • North Korea conducts its first nuclear test.

  • South Africa enacts the Civil Union Act, legalizing same-sex marriage, a first in Africa.

  • Twitter is founded.


  • The Treaty of Lisbon is adopted by the European Union.

  • The iPhone is launched.

  • Blogger Chris Messina proposes the use of hashtags on Twitter.

  • The first installment of the Character Vocal Series, "Hatsune Miku," is released.


  • The Convention on Cluster Munitions (Oslo Treaty) is signed.

  • Israel conducts airstrikes on Hamas strongholds in the Gaza Strip.

  • Multiple coordinated terrorist attacks occur in Mumbai, India.

  • Lehman Brothers collapses, triggering the global financial crisis known as the Lehman Shock.


  • Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the US, becoming the first African American to hold the office.

  • President Obama delivers the "Prague Speech," acknowledging the moral responsibility of the US as the only nation to have used nuclear weapons in combat.

  • North Korea conducts its second nuclear test.

  • President Obama receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Haruki Murakami's "1Q84" published.

  • Sonia Sotomayor is appointed as the first Justice of Hispanic heritage on the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Michael Jackson dies.


  • Fishing boat collision incident near the Senkaku Islands.

  • Argentina becomes the first country in South America to legalize same-sex marriage.

  • Social media platform "Instagram" is launched.

  • Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir becomes Prime Minister of Iceland; she is the first openly gay head of government.

  • The "iPad" is released.


  • US forces kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

  • Protests inspired by the "Arab Spring," a series of anti-government movements across the Arab world, erupt in Egypt.

  • A ceremony in Baghdad officially marks the end of the Iraq War, which lasted 17 years.

  • South Sudan becomes the 193rd member of the UN, five days after achieving independence.

  • North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il dies suddenly.

  • Switzerland (by 2034) and Germany (by 2022) announce plans to phase out nuclear power.

  • Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., passes away.

  • The Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occur.


  • The Japanese government nationalizes the Senkaku Islands.

  • MV-22 Osprey aircraft are deployed to the Futenma base in Okinawa.

  • The first "International Non-Binary People's Day" is held.

  • The game "Minecraft" is released.


  • North Korea conducts its third nuclear test.

  • Norway hosts an international conference in Oslo on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.

  • Matsue City Education Committee restricts access to the manga "Barefoot Gen."

  • The hashtag #blacklivesmatter emerges on social media following the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

  • Cairo, Egypt experiences its first snowfall in 112 years.


  • Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan becomes the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate at the age of 17.

  • The extremist group ISIL changes its name to the Islamic State (IS).

  • An outbreak of Ebola virus disease spreads across West Africa.

  • Actress Emma Watson delivers a speech for the "HeForShe" campaign advocating gender equality.


  • The US and Cuba restore diplomatic relations after 54 years.

  • A series of terrorist attacks occur in Paris, leading to anti-terrorism demonstrations across France.

  • The "Paris Agreement" is established at COP21 to address greenhouse gas reductions post-2020.

  • Shibuya and Setagaya wards in Tokyo introduce a partnership system for same-sex couples.

  • Same-sex marriage is legalized across the US.

  • The UN adopts the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


  • North Korea conducts its fourth nuclear test, this time claiming it was a hydrogen bomb.

  • President Barack Obama becomes the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima, meeting with survivors.

  • The US and Japanese leaders visit Pearl Harbor together.

  • Bob Dylan receives the Nobel Prize in Literature.

  • The UN Joint AIDS Programme (UNAIDS) declares March 1 as "Zero Discrimination Day" during a World AIDS Day ceremony.

  • Hillary Clinton is nominated as the first female presidential candidate by a major political party at the Democratic National Convention.

  • The massive data leak known as the "Panama Papers" is revealed.


  • The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is adopted; Japan and other nuclear-armed states do not participate.

  • The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Donald Trump is inaugurated as President of the US and announces plans to build a wall along the Mexican border to curb illegal immigration.

  • The #MeToo movement against sexual violence and harassment gains momentum.


  • The first-ever US-North Korea summit is held.

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in hold a summit in the South.

  • The Malawian government and the World Health Organization (WHO) begin the first-ever malaria vaccine program.

  • The film Black Panther is released.

  • Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld passes away.


  • The second US-North Korea summit takes place but fails to reach an agreement on denuclearization.

  • The Trump administration formally withdraws from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

  • Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg gives a speech at the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25).

  • The word "they" is chosen as the "Word of the Year" by Merriam-Webster.

  • A major fire damages Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

  • A deadly arson attack occurs at Kyoto Animation studio.

  • Jay-Z becomes the first Hip Hop artist to achieve billionaire status.


  • Israel normalizes relations with several Arab countries (UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan).

  • The UK completes its withdrawal from the European Union.

  • The World Health Organization declares a global pandemic; the Tokyo Olympics are postponed for a year.

  • The death of George Floyd sparks global anti-racism protests under the banner of "#BlackLivesMatter."

  • China's National People's Congress passes the Hong Kong National Security Law to tighten control over Hong Kong.

  • BTS achieves number one on the US Billboard charts and becomes the first Asian music artists to be nominated for a Grammy Award.


  • Rioters storm the US Capitol to overturn the 2020 election results, resulting in five deaths and leading to President Trump's second impeachment.

  • US troops withdraw from Afghanistan, leading to the resurgence of the Taliban regime.

  • The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons comes into effect.

  • The military in Myanmar stages a coup, detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and other government officials, seizing all powers.

  • COVID-19 vaccination begins. The Omicron variant causes a rapid increase in infections.

  • The first summit between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

  • The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are held.


  • Russia invades Ukraine.

  • OpenAI releases the conversational AI "ChatGPT."

  • The total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide surpasses 600 million on August 26.

  • Elon Musk acquires Twitter, championing "free speech."

  • The UN announces that the global population has reached 8 billion.

  • Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is assassinated.

  • The death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman over hijab enforcement sparks global protests.

  • Queen Elizabeth II passes away.


  • The G7 Summit is held in Hiroshima, with Ukrainian President Zelensky making a sudden appearance.

  • The conflict in Ukraine reaches a stalemate; the private military company Wagner stages a rebellion.

  • Israel and Hamas engage in military conflict.

  • WHO declares the end of the COVID-19 emergency.

  • Japan begins releasing treated nuclear wastewater, leading China and Russia to ban Japanese seafood imports.

  • The Pope declares blessings for same-sex couples.

  • The Russian Supreme Court labels LGBTQ+  activities as "extremist," increasing anxiety within the community.

  • Beyoncé becomes the most awarded artist in Grammy history.


  • Iran initiates attacks on Israel using drones and missiles.

  • The films Oppenheimer and Godzilla -1.0 win Academy Awards.

  • Manga artist Akira Toriyama passes away.

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