December 12, 2016

Historic Events Timeline

For most Americans 9/11 was the most significant event in their lifetime, even for the Silent/Greatest generations who mentioned it more often than WWII. Among the most commonly cited were wars and tragic events including several mass shootings and acts of terror. Many mentioned pivot points in foreign affairs and domestic social movements, as well as key scientific advancements of the 20th century. (View all 24 events)

All generations overwhelming noted 9/11 as the most significant event of their lifetimes. Millennials and those in Gen X cited Barack Obama’s election second-most often. Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation named the JFK assassination and WWII, respectively, as their most important events behind only 9/11.

Those events named by 5% or more of the sample

*Category includes mentions of the internet, computers, cell phones, smartphones and social media.

Note: Shown are the top ten events mentioned, including numerical ties. While events are ranked numerically for ease of reading, not all differences between ranked events are statistically significant. Look to accompanying text to highlight significant differences. Source: Survey conducted June 16-July 4, 2016.“Americans Name the Ten Most Significant Historic Events of their Lifetimes”

Source: Survey conducted June 16-July 4, 2016.“Americans Name the Ten Most Significant Historic Events of their Lifetimes”