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Adlai's Life > Timeline



February 5, 1900 Adlai E Stevenson II was born in Los Angeles, California.


1900 Grandfather, Adlai E. Stevenson I, runs as vice president on Democratic Party ticket led by William Jennings Bryan; loses election to Republican William McKinley (Adlai Stevenson I served as vice president during Democratic President Grover Cleveland's second term, 1893-1897)


1906 Stevenson family moves back to Bloomington, Illinois


1908–1912 Attends Washington School in Bloomington; intermittent attendance due to family's extensive travels


1908 Grandfather Adlai E. Stevenson runs for Illinois governor; loses race to Republican Charles S. Deneen


1911–1912 Overseas tour with mother, sister, and tutor; spends eight months in Europe


1912–1913 Attends Metcalf School and University High School, both "model" — teacher training — schools of Illinois State Normal University, Normal, Illinois


1914 Father Lewis G. Stevenson appointed Illinois Secretary of State following death of Harry Woods, who was elected in 1912; Lewis Stevenson serves out term to 1917


1916–1918 Attends Choate, an Ivy League preparatory school in Wallingford, Connecticut


1918–1922 Attends and graduates from Princeton University


1922–1924 Enrolls at Harvard Law School; leaves without degree


1925–1926 Works as a reporter for The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington's newspaper.


1925–1926 Attends and earns law degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL; passes bar examination


1926 Travels to Italy, his fourth trip to Europe; visits Austria and Soviet Union, among other countries


1928 Marries Ellen Borden; the newlyweds live in Chicago


1933–1935 Serves as a lawyer in the New Deal's Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA)


1934 Returns to Chicago, becoming president of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations


1935 Joins the distinguished Chicago law firm of Cutting, Moore and Sidley


1938 Stevenson home in Libertyville, IL lost in fire


1940 Heads the Chicago branch of the William Allen White Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies; calls for U.S. support of Great Britain against Nazi Germany; stands against isolationists — those who want to turn their backs on the world's troubles


1941–1944 Spends much of World War II as assistant to the Secretary of the Navy; in 1943 heads Foreign Economic Administration mission to war-ravaged Italy


1946–1947 Plays an important role in the organization of the United Nations; attends UN conferences in San Francisco, London, and New York


1948 Elected governor of Illinois, serving one term, 1949-1953; earns reputation as reformer who enjoys modest success cleaning up historically corrupt and mismanaged state government


1949 Divorces wife Ellen Borden


1952 Runs as reluctant Democratic Party nominee for president; tries to "talk sense to the American people," but cannot overcome popularity of World War II Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Stevenson was trounced in general election, capturing only nine states.


1953 Undertakes five-month tour of thirty-five nations; writes series of articles on his trip for Look magazine


1956 Loses second consecutive presidential election; again to Eisenhower; campaigns as an unapologetic internationalist who supports a strong UN, even calling for international nuclear test ban


1960 Named U.S. ambassador to the United Nations by President John F. Kennedy


1963 Helps shepherd signing of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, one of his great successes as UN ambassador
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