Van Halen Timeline

Eddie Van Halen timeline

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Eddie Van Halen, legendary guitar virtuoso and co-founder of iconic rock group Van Halen, passed away on October 6, 2020 after a decade-long battle with cancer. While he might have shed his mortal coil to Jump with the angels, his legacy lives on: Eddie’s son Wolfgang took up his father’s – and uncle’s - mantle. The youngest Van Halen joined the hard rock quartet back in 2006 as bass player after the departure of Michael Anthony, and he’s already very popular with the fans. In Eddie’s own words, “To have my son follow in my footsteps on his own, without me pushing him into it, is the greatest feeling in the world".

One might say that talent runs in the family, since Eddie’s father - Jan van Halen was also an accomplished clarinet, saxophone and piano player. The fact of the matter is that, while the passion for music tends to be genetic for the Van Halens, it didn’t get the band to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alone. Eddie and his brother Alex began studying the piano from the age of 6, then gave other instruments a pat-down before settling on the guitar and respectively, drums.

As a teen, Eddie would recall in an interview, he practiced the guitar everywhere, whenever he got the chance, sometimes while he was walking around with the instrument strapped to his chest. On the other hand, he also “confessed” to never being able to read music, and picking up songs near-perfectly be ear alone. Nature? Nurture?

Or perhaps it’s sheer ingenuity, considering Eddie did invent a new fingering technique based on a concept introduced by Jimmy Page AND a flip-out support device for the guitar that facilitates playing it like a piano. He even held a patent for the latter until 2005, when it expired. Let’s also remember that perseverance is a defining trait for the immigrant family who came to America in the 60s with a piano and 50 bucks to their name; they’re a prime example of living the American dream.

Van Halen albums timeline

Van Halen’s big break came in 1977 when Kiss frontman Gene Simmons watched their performance in a local club and immediately saw their potential. What followed was a contract with Warner Records and several multi-platinum albums including Van Halen II, Women and Children First, Diver Down and Fair Warning. 1984 and the album with the same name would elevate them to genuine superstar status.

Van Halen albums timeline

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Eddie’s journey was not without trouble. Alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, a few band breakups and cancer marred his ascension to the top of the charts, but he never stopped fighting his demons. Eddie got sober in 2008 and would never again fall off the wagon. He stayed friends with Valerie Bertinelli after the divorce, with his ex-wife and son even attending the ceremony of the star’s second marriage to Janie Liszewski. Eddie would continue his battle against cancer until the very end, regularly flying to Germany for his radiation therapy.

Eddie Van Halen’s story arc speaks volumes about finding your passion and following through in spite of hardships, making mistakes and atoning for them, but most importantly never backing down in the face of adversity.

We have created the Eddie Van Halen timeline and the Van Halen albums timeline as a tribute to the rock legends using the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in. You can download them free of charge as editable PowerPoint slides and add other major milestones that you feel we might have missed.



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US Independence Day Timeline

US Independence Day Timeline

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Officially designated as a federal holiday in 1941, the Fourth of July – or Independence Day – celebrates the turning point in US history when American delegates of the 13 colonies voted to cast off the shackles of the British Empire. The vision shared by the founding fathers took shape in the form of the Declaration of Independence, a document drafted by none other than Thomas Jefferson on July 2nd 1776 and adopted by the Continental Congress two days later. The very first celebration of Independence Day happened on the 8th of July on the same year, although the final signature would not be put on the document until the 2nd of August.

In honor of this historic moment, we have created the Independence Day Timeline, which aims to shed a bit of light on the political and socio-economic context that prompted the colonists’ decision. As a bonus, we have also included a second timeline in the PowerPoint file, which marks the settling of the very first colonies on American soil.

US Colonies Timeline

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Happy 4th of July!

"Taxation without representation"

Full-out war with the British and emancipation from the Empire’s rule came after years of oppression and ever-growing taxes imposed on the colonies. One such tax is the 1765 Stamp Act, which the British Parliament passed in an attempt to counterbalance the massive debt left in the wake of the war with the French. The Stamp Act was followed two years later, in 1767, by a series of taxes – the Townshend Acts – passed between June and July, on goods imported from Britain.

Growing tensions between the colonists and the British culminated with the infamous Boston massacre from 1770, when soldiers opened fire on a crowd of Boston citizens taunting them. The Brits eventually decided to withdraw their army before the conflict escalated. However, just 3 years later, in 1773, Britain passed the Tea Act, designed to help the now struggling East India Company, whose majority stakeholders were members of the British Parliament. The radicalized part of the colonists – the Sons of Liberty – responded by donning Mohawk disguises, boarding three of Britain’s ships docked in Boston Harbor and destroying over 90 thousand pounds of tea.

Naturally, the Brits weren’t at all happy with the developments and, in 1774, attempted to declaw the rebellious youth by passing a set of laws that fall under the moniker of Coercive Acts. What were the Coercive Acts? For one thing, Boston Harbor would remain closed until the colonies could pay for the damages caused by the Sons of Liberty. Furthermore, the British military governor Thomas Gage was given full executive power in the colonies and no town meeting could be held without his direct approval. Finally, all British army officials could request their troops to be accommodated in uninhabited houses and buildings. We are now standing on the precipice of war and a single spark can set off the powder.

"The British are coming! The British are coming!"

Thomas Gage is tasked with leading a small force to the town of Lexington, where he plans to capture John Hancock and Samuel Adams – two of the radicalized leaders – in one fell swoop, as well as seize their gunpowder. But things don’t exactly go as planned: they’re behind enemy lines with American spies all around. Upon descending into Lexington, the British force is met with a hail of lead fired by the 77-men Yankee militia force. It ends in disaster for the Brits: 73 casualties, 174 wounded and 25 MIA. The colonists lose only 7 people to this skirmish and continue to harass the retreating force all the way to Boston.

Meanwhile, legendary rider Paul Revere and others travel from town to town, warning the Americans about the impending invasion, and troops are being rallied. Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with waging war against the British Empire, particularly the southerners who had no love for the Yankees. The bombardment and sacking of Falmouth, Massachusetts by the Brits would eventually change their mind, as the leaders of the rebellion use this brutal action to band the colonists together.

"I have not yet begun to fight!"

The Siege of Yorktown by the allied forces of the Yankees under the command of George Washington and the French army led by Rochambeau is one of the decisive victories in the war for independence. The British general Cornwallis and 7,000 of his soldiers surrender on October 19, 1781. A few isolated land skirmishes continue for a while, while the main battles are carried out at sea between England and American allies – among which we now count the Dutch and Spanish forces.

A preliminary Anglo-American Peace treaty is signed in 1782 and a more comprehensive version of it – the Treaty of Paris – in 1783. The terms of the treaty state that Britain recognizes the independence of the US and a massive portion of the territory on the continent now belongs to the Yankees. It’s the dawn of a new day for the Americans, who have forged their legacy in blood, grit and sacrifice.

About the Independence Day Timeline

The Independence Day and US Colonies timelines were created with Office Timeline and are available to download as fully customizable PowerPoint slides. Office Timeline is an intuitive and versatile PowerPoint add-in that can help you create beautiful graphics like roadmaps, swimlane diagrams or Gantt charts within minutes. Download the Pro Edition and find out how quick and easy it is or try out the free version for less complex applications.



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History of Vaccines Timeline

History of Vaccines Timeline

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Although the world’s first vaccine (against smallpox) was developed by the English physician Edward Jenner in 1796, the practice of immunisation goes back to an earlier time in the Eastern world. Drinking snake venom to confer immunity to snake bites and smearing a skin tear with cowpox to gain immunity against smallpox were practiced among the Buddhist monks of the 17th century China.

Since Jenner’s critical discovery and up until the late 1950s, all the vaccines implemented throughout this time span were developed at a fairly slow rate. It was the new scientific discoveries and technologies of the last several decades that led to a more rapid advance in molecular biology, virology and vaccinology.

To overview some of the most relevant vaccination-related facts, we have created this blog post, which also includes the History of Vaccines Timeline - a visual chronology of the main prophylactic vaccines developed since Edward Jenner’s breakthrough.

What are vaccines and how do they work?

A vaccine is a biological substance produced to ensure active acquired immunity to a certain infectious disease. Typically prepared from the causative agent of that disease (the weakened forms of the microbe, its toxins or surface proteins), a vaccine ”trains” our immune system to recognize and destroy the harmful agent and any of its associated microorganisms. The administration of vaccines is called vaccination.

There are two types of vaccines:

  • Prophylactic (preventing and ameliorating the effects of a future infection);
  • Therapeutic (fighting a disease that has already occurred).

Where do the words „vaccine” and „vaccination” come from?

Both terms were coined by Edward Jenner and derived from the name that he used to refer to cowpox, that is Variolae vaccinae (which means „smallpox of the cow” in Latin). Jenner’s terminology first appeared in his 1798’s Inquiry into the Variolae Vaccinae Known as the Cow Pox, a study that documents the protective action of cowpox against smallpox. In 1881, as an homage to Jenner’s work, Louis Pasteur proposed that these two be extended to cover all the new inoculations that were being developed at the time.

How it all began

While serving as a surgeon/apothecary appretince (sometime during the late 1760s), Edward Jenner found out that some of the dairy workers in the rural areas never contracted the often-fatal smallpox disease because they had already caught cowpox, which manifested with milder effects in humans. He thus proceeded to collect pus from a cowpox-infected milkmaid and administer it to an 8-year-old boy.

Six weeks later, Jenner inoculated the boy with smallpox and observed that he didn’t contract the disease. This small victory encouraged the physician to extend his studies, which resulted in a report that proved his vaccine was safe in both children and adults.

Vaccination becomes widespread 

After Jenner’s breakthrough, it was Louis Pasteur that carried the torch and made headway in immunization by introducing vaccines for chicken cholera and anthrax in the 1880s. Due to these advances, vaccination gained attention and became a matter of national prestige, with compulsory vaccination laws being passed in the late 19th century.

During the 20th century, several successful vaccines were introduced (against diphtheria, measles, mumps and rubella), but the major highlight resulted from the development of the polio vaccine (the 1950s) and the eradication of smallpox (1960s – 1970s).

About the History of Vaccines Timeline

The History of Vaccines Timeline was designed with Office Timeline, an intuitive add-in that enables you to easily create compelling timelines, Gantt charts and other types of chronology graphics right inside PowerPoint. You can download the History of Vaccines Timeline PowerPoint slide for free, copy and share it, and you can update or customize it using the Pro Edition of the tool.



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Charles Darwin Timeline

Charles Darwin Timeline

On the 12th of February, the scientific community celebrates the life and achievements of Charles Darwin, one of the most influential figures in modern biology and widely regarded as the father of evolutionism. The origins of Darwin Day can be traced back to 1909, when over 400 members of the scientific community and distinguished dignitaries convened at Cambridge to honor his contributions. In the same year, both the American Museum of National History and the New York Academy of Science celebrated 100 years since the birth of Charles Darwin and 50 years since the publishing of his most important work, “On the Origin of Species”.

His proclivity for naturalism became apparent from a very early age. Young Charles Darwin grew incredibly fascinated with collecting minerals and insects alongside his brother, Erasmus, whom he joins at boarding school in 1818. However, their paths in life would diverge later on, much to the dismay of his father. Charles joined Erasmus at the University of Edinburgh Medical School but grew bored with the lectures and was unable to stomach surgery.

Darwin’s penchant for understanding the world around him was sparked by the works of brilliant minds of the era, such as John Herschel, Alexander von Humboldt and Adam Sedgwick. On the 27th of December 1831, Charles set sail on the HMS Beagle, a voyage reluctantly funded by his father that would take five years to complete. He would return from this trip as a prominent figure in the scientific circles of British society, as John Stevens Henslow would publish and popularize Darwin’s research in absentia.

Unfortunately, as his fame grew, the pressure of deadlines began mounting. Charles Darwin was never truly able to find an acceptable life-work balance for most of his adult life. He was bedridden for extensive periods, suffering from severe stomach pain, nausea, palpitations and many other symptoms, all stemming from stress. In his own words, “it is a cursed evil to any man to become as absorbed in any subject as I am in mine.”

The passion for research eclipsed virtually all aspects of his tumultuous existence. Even his marriage to Emma Wedgwood constituted a functional decision, one that Charles took after drafting a list of pros and cons; love would not make its way into either category. In all fairness, Darwin made no secret of his views on the matter, stating that “a scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, – a mere heart of stone.”

He took pride in his relentless search for the ultimate truth about the nature of life and its origins, and rejected convenient but ultimately groundless explanations, such as the existence of a “beneficent and omnipotent God”. The creationist view suggesting that all species had been engineered separately by an all-powerful entity clashed with Darwin’s own observations of how nature is an unforgiving machine forcing every form of life to adapt or perish.

These revolutionary views, which Darwin’s supporters shouted from the rooftops, earned him a resounding fame in the scientific community but drew the antipathy and mockery of theists. Broadly speaking, the concept of natural selection was not incompatible with theology; however, our descent from apes did cross a line and men of the cloth were quick to dismiss it. Caricatures from that era depict Charles Darwin’s bearded visage on the body of a monkey, creating a false analogy between all theories of evolution and Darwinism.

He passed away from heart failure on the 19th of April 1882, and by that time Darwin had gained the support of the scientific community. Thousands attended his funeral and William Spottiswoode, who presided over the Royal Society at the time, arranged for Charles Darwin to be buried at Westminster Abbey, alongside other intellectual influencers like Isaac Newton or John Herschel.

The Charles Darwin Timeline was built using the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in, a robust and easy to use project management tool capable of creating attractive visual representations of your data within minutes. Try out the free version or explore the Pro Edition, which comes with extra features for those who need more advanced applications. You can download the Charles Darwin timeline as a PowerPoint file and enter any historical milestones that you believe we may have missed. Have a happy Darwin Day!



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Martin Luther King Timeline

Martin Luther King Timeline

The third Monday of January each year is dedicated to Martin Luther King, one of the greatest thought leaders of the twentieth century. Officially declared a federal holiday back in 1983 by former President Ronald Reagan, the origins of Martin Luther King Day can be traced back to 1971 when the city of St. Louis, Missouri and others started honoring the great thinker and orator with annual celebrations. However, it wasn't until January 17, 2000, that all 50 states aligned their policy and formally recognized this holiday. Arizona, New Hampshire and Utah were the last states to follow suit. To pay tribute to this special day, we have created the Martin Luther King timeline, which highlights the most significant moments in the life and work of the civil rights leader.

Without a doubt one of the most controversial historical figures, Dr. King forged a strong legacy in the unrelenting battle against social inequity, racial discrimination and segregation. He did not believe that violence could ever represent the answer, regardless of the question. In that sense, Martin Luther King was a firm detractor of the Vietnam war, stating: "The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.". It is important to remember that his teachings came during an incredibly tense socio-economic context where minorities were generally viewed as second-class citizens and abuse against them was commonplace.

A highly educated advocate of the downtrodden, King earns his Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Moorhouse College, Atlanta in June 1948 and a Doctorate in Systematic Theology from Boston University in June 1955. Concurrently, he is awarded a Bachelor of Divinity Degree by the Crozer Theological Seminary and delivers a compelling valedictorian speech, one of many to come. According to scholar and his own accounts, his work was heavily influenced by both religious and non-religious figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, Jesus and Abraham Lincoln. It's worth noting, at the same time, that King was not a supporter of biblical literalism, in that he believed we should view the Bible as moralizing mythological literature rather than a historical account of miraculous occurrences. Nonetheless, he was an ordained minister and has led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) group from its founding in 1957 until his passing.

Martin Luther King's merits have been recognized by the greatest minds of his generation: he became the youngest recipient of the most prestigious award, the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1964. Dr. King took this opportunity to announce his intention to donate "every penny" that came with this distinction towards the support of civil rights movements. The honor was awarded to King one year following the famous "I Have a Dream" discourse held in front of a crowd of over 250,000 participants at the Lincoln Memorial. Perhaps slightly less spectacular but still a highly impressive distinction, Time Magazine named him "Man of the Year" and placed him on the cover.

Dr. King believed in affirmative action rather than empty rhetoric. In his words: "Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." Nonetheless, while earning him hundreds of thousands of loyal supporters, thanks to his tireless efforts towards building a society where all men are treated equally, he made numerous enemies along the way. The list includes prominent figures of the day, such as J. Edgar Hoover who spearheaded the FBI's smear campaign against him and formulated the accusations of sympathizing with the communists; King was adamant in denying the allegations. His untimely demise is still shrouded in mystery, but it is widely believed that Martin Luther King's socio-political activism is what led to his assassination at the hands of James Earl Ray, a well-known racist and small-time criminal offender.

Even though he was only 39 when his life was tragically cut short, the legacy of MLK is as valuable and thought-provoking today as it was in the 50s and 60s because it challenges the audience to think carefully about the society they want to leave behind for future generations.

The Martin Luther King Timeline was built using the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in, a powerful yet simple to use project management tool capable of rendering attractive visual representations of your data in no time. Try out the free version or explore the Pro Edition, which comes with extra features for those who need more advanced applications. You can download the MLK timeline as a PowerPoint file and add any key moments that you believe we may have missed. Happy Martin Luther King Day!



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