The history of mankind is a never-ending story of change, revolution, and evolution – but surely no span of a hundred years can claim to have changed the world so dramatically, rapidly or so irreversibly as the Twentieth Century.

At the start of the twentieth century, the map of the world was coloured to illustrate the pervasiveness of the great European empires. Everywhere, from China in the east to all but a couple of countries in Europe, ancient dynasties wore their crowns in apparent security. None of that survived the next one hundred years. But change does not come in on the wind. Change proceeds from events – a political row, an assassination, a natural disaster, a human error or stroke of genius.

Great changes flow from such events. The most tumultuous events of the twentieth century altered the world on a scale unprecedented in human history. In this series we examine the 101 Events which, in the judgment of experts, including those who contribute to the
series, most influentially shaped the century, our world, and our way of life.