||Social Security Act
passes. 89% of Americans favor "old-age pensions for needy
persons." Average payment favored: $40 for single person, $60 for a
Edward VIII's announcement he will marry American divorcee Wallis
Simpson is favored by 61% of Americans. After the marriage, he
abdicates his throne.
||Country is split on
President Roosevelt's failed attempt to increase the size of the
Supreme Court "to make it liberal," with 44% opposed, 41% in
||Minimum Wage law is
enacted, with the minimum set at 40 cents an hour; 62% think it
should be different for different sections of the country.
considers running for a precedent-shattering third term. 63% of the
American public disapproves. But in 1940, he easily wins
||Enactment of the
first peacetime military draft in U.S. history enjoys overwhelming
support, with 89% saying it is "a good thing."
||U.S. to Enter
||Prior to entering
World War II, 62% percent of the American public believes that
defeating Germany is more important than staying out of the
||As union strike
tactics appear on a collision course with government efforts at war
readiness, 79% say government workers should not be allowed to go
go into effect; 52% say gas rationing is necessary nationwide, 32%
say it is not, 17% don't know.
to help the war effort, as 44% believe the government has gone "not
far enough" in asking people to making to sacrifices for the
||As reports of mass
killings of Jews in Europe spread, 48% of the public say they
believe the reports are true, 28% say they are "just a rumor."
||Women in the
||Women take jobs
left by men drafted into armed forces. 59% say those with such jobs
should be required to give them up "when the serviceman
||The Atom Bomb
||Atomic bombs are
dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 65% say the U.S. will not be
able to keep the secret of making the atomic bomb to itself.
||Only 12% of the
public say they dissapprove of requiring unconditional surrender
from our enemy.
||Aid to Japan
||The public supports
helping Japan; 66% say they would be willing to put up with food
shortages "in order to give food to people who need it in
holds its first meeting in New York City. 54% want the U.N.
strengthened "with power to control armed forces of all nations,
including the U.S."
||The Marshall Plan
is instituted, pouring massive amounts of aid into Europe. But only
68% of Americans have heard of it, and only half of them approve of
||The Cold War
||Public divided on
who is winning the cold war with 31% saying Russia, 28% saying the
U.S. and 30% saying neither.
||Kinsey Report on
Sexuality in the Human Male is released. 57% say report is "a good
thing", 11% say "a bad thing".
||Only 6% have
televisions in their homes, and only 44% have seen a TV program of
any kind, but 62% think TV "will someday take the place of radio in
||The Korean War
troops return to combat as the Korean War breaks out, 66% expect
the fighting to end within a year. But China enters the war, and it
lasts three more years.
||66% disapprove of
Gen. Douglas MacArthur's removal from his Korea command by
President Truman for publicly challenging Truman's conduct of the
seizes the nation's steel mills to avert a strike. Only 35% approve
of his action, which is later overturned by the Supreme Court.
Joseph Stalin dies, but Cold War tensions are not lessened. 79%
still say Russia is trying to build itself up to be the ruling
power of the world.
vaccination with the Salk polio vaccine begins; about half the
nation (53%) expresses confidence it will work.
orders public school segregation ended "with all deliberate speed."
72% in East favor desegregation, 61% in the Midwest, 77% in the
West, 20% in the South.
inaugurates the Interstate Highway system. 76% say "more express
highways are needed between the large cities" of the U.S. Most
favored way of paying: toll charges (41%).
launches Sputnik, the first man-made satellite. Americans estimate
it will take 20 years before men in rockets will reach the moon. It
happens in twelve years.
||Alaskans vote to
become the first state added to the union in 47 years. 73% of
Americans are in favor. Both Alaska and Hawaii achieve statehood in
||50% of Americans
favor inviting Soviet Premier Khrushchev to the U.S. The invitation
is issued, and Khrushchev holds summit talks with President
||39% say they do not
have much interest in watching John Kennedy and Richard Nixon
engage in the first televised debates between presidential
||Reacting to Soviet
threats, 71% say the U.S. and its allies should fight their way
into Berlin if necessary. Soviets back down from blockade threats
but erect the Berlin Wall.
handling of the Cuban missile crisis draws strong support, with 49%
of Americans saying it's the best thing he's done since taking
||A week after
President Kennedy's assassination, only 29% think Harvey Oswald
||A sweeping Civil
Rights Law includes bans on discrimination in jobs, voting and
public accommodations. 62% favor a gradual approach to enforcement
of the law.
||25% of the public
describes sending troops to Vietnams as a mistake; that number
would grow to 61% by 1971.
||Americans are split
on whether the Vietnam conflict is likely to lead to a bigger war:
45% say yes, 44% say no.
Johnson's anti-poverty program takes effect across the nation, 48%
say they approve, 31% disapprove.
breaks out in numerous U.S. cities. One in eight Americans expects
"serious racial troubles in their community" within six
||In the last Gallup
poll before Senator Robert Kennedy is assassinated, 25% of
Democrats said they favor him as their presidential nominee, 32%
pick Eugene McCarthy, 29% choose Hubert Humphrey.
campuses to protest the Vietnam War and demand more say in
academics. 55% say students should not have a larger role in
academics, 33% say they should.
||Busing and School
court-ordered busing to achieve school integration draws numerous
protests, with 86% opposing busing from one school district to
lowers minimum voting age to 18. Lowering to 18 for local and state
elections is favored by 60%.
shocks the world when he visits China, whose Communist government
the U.S. had shunned. 68% say the visit will improve world
decision establishes the legality of abortion. 46% favor permitting
a woman to end her pregnancy during the first three months, 45% are
impeachment trial for the Watergate scandal, President Nixon
resigns. In the last Gallup poll before his resignation, 57% say he
should be removed from office.
reaches 9%, its highest level since World War II. 43% of Americans
think the U.S. is heading toward a depression.
restores the legality of capital punishment. 66% favor the death
penalty for those convicted of murder.
||Panama Canal Treaty
is signed, which would end U.S. control of the canal in 1999. 53%
disapprove of the treaty, which is ratified by the Senate in
||Israel and Egypt
normalize relations with the Camp David accords. 42% say the
accords will not lead to lasting peace between Egypt and Israel,
31% say they will.
||As gas shortages
cause spiraling prices, 14% say the shortage is real, 77% say it
was brought about deliberately by the oil companies.
calls for a boycott of the Olympics in Moscow as a protest against
the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. 61% favor the boycott.
||Air Traffic Control
controllers are fired by President Reagan when they refuse to end
their strike. 59% approve of Reagan's action.
Amendment dies when it fails to get the approval of 38 states
needed for ratification. 56% favor the ERA amendment, 34% oppose
||The disease of AIDS
sinks into the public's consciousness, with 77% saying they have
heard about it. 33% say they expect a cure for it within a
||Woman For Vice
Geraldine Ferraro for vice president. 78% say they would vote for a
qualified woman for president, up from 66% in 1971 and 31% in
||As concern grows
about the federal budget deficit, 49% say they would support a
Balanced Budget amendment.
Challenger explodes, killing all seven aboard. 80% say the shuttle
program should be continued. 50% of men would like to go on a
flight, 26% of women.
||House and Senate
committees hold hearings on the Iran-Contra affair. 75% say
President Reagan is holding back information.
||A strong economy
has 63% expecting to be financially better off next year. But only
41% are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S.
||End of the Cold
throughout Eastern Europe fall; Berlin Wall is smashed. 46% say it
marks the beginning of the end for communism, 47% say it does
||War in Iraq
||Iraq seizes Kuwait,
U.S. responds with a massive military buildup. At end of the year,
47% say liberation of Kuwait is worth going to war, 45% say it is
approval rating hits 89%, highest ever for a president, after U.S.
wins the Gulf War. It sinks to 50% by December and bottoms out in
1992 at 29%.
||Ross Perot makes
polling history by leading the presidential race briefly in June as
a third-party candidate with 39%. He winds up with 19% of the
||FBI assault on a
Waco, Texas, religious cult goes awry, and more than 75 cult
members die. 83% say it was appropriate for FBI to take action
against the cult.
||GOP wins control of
both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. 37% say
they expect the Republicans to bring real reform to Congress, 56%
don't think so.
||The O.J. Simpson
||O.J. Simpson is
found not guilty of killing his ex-wife. Only 33% agree with the
verdict, but 75% say the jury did "the best job they could in the
||68% of registered
voters favor a wide-ranging welfare bill that ends federal
guarantees of subsidies to poor people with children.
||Death of Princess
||In reaction to the
death of Britain's Princess Diana, 27% of Americans say they are as
upset as if someone they knew personally had died.
||A week after
President Clinton is accused of having a sexual affair with a White
House intern, the public gives him the highest approval rating of
his presidency - 67%. Ultimately only 36% favored impeaching
Clinton on the eve of the House vote in December.
||The percentage of
Americans describing the U.S. economy as "excellent" or "good"
reached 74% in June, compared to a low of 10% in 1993.