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The 1920s

1920 (Y-60) AD = 39  

[Dorea Black Potter], wife of [Charlus Potter], is bornThis is unlikely to be [James Potter]'s mother, as [Rowling] has told us that James's mother was old in wizarding terms when she died - and [Dorea] only lived to be 57. Also, [James]'s parents took in [Sirius Black] after he ran away from home, and therefore would almost certainly have been blasted off the [Black Family Tree].
(BFT)

1921 (Y-59) AD = 40  

Famous spell book writer [Miranda Goshawk] is born (fw)
[Snitch] record set[Roderick Plumpton] of the [Tutshill Tornados] makes the fastest-ever capture of the [Snitch]: three and a half seconds, in a match against the [Caerphilly Catapaults].
(QA7)

1922 (Y-58) AD = 41  

[Carlotta Pinkstone], famous for wanting to lift the [Statute of Secrecy], is born (fw)

c. 1925 (Y-55)

October 4
[Minerva McGonagall] is born[JKR] said in [Sch2] that [McGonagall] was "a sprightly 70" years old. Using that information, we can determine the year in which she was born by subtracting 70 years. As with [Dumbledore]'s birthyear, the trick, of course, is knowing what year to subtract that 70 years from. If we assume that Rowling was saying that [McGonagall] was 70 years old at that point in the stories, which was summer of 1995 [[Y15]], then she was born in [Y-55] ([Y15] minus 70 years). According to the official timeline, [Y-55] is 1925. Interestingly, that would make [McGonagall] a contemporary of [Tom Marvolo Riddle] at [Hogwarts]...

October 4 comes from [JKR].

original artwork © 2001 [Laura Freeman], used by permission

1925 (Y-55) AD = 44  MM = 0  

[Sirius Black]'s mother, [Walburga], is born (BFT)
[Lucretia Black Prewett] is bornThis is almost certainly not [Molly Weasley]'s mother, as this would make [Molly] and [Sirius] cousins - not "cousins by marriage" as [Sirius] describes ([OP6]). More likely is that [Ignatius Prewett], who married [Lucretia], is [Molly]'s uncle.
(BFT)
[Phineas Nigellus Black] dies ([BFT])He is the least popular Heamaster [Hogwarts] ever had, at least according to his great-great-grandson, [Sirius] ([OP6]).
circa September
[Bob Ogden] visits the [Gaunt house] on a routine follow-upThere he encounters the irate [Marvolo Gaunt] who, along with his son [Morfin], refuse to admit [Morfin] has done anything wrong. When [Bob Ogden] steps in to stop them injuring Morfin's sister, [Merope], he is driven from the house. He returns later with reinforcements, and [Marvolo] and [Morfin] are each sent to [Azkaban].
This happens "a few months" before [Merope] marries Tom Riddle.
(HBP10)
circa December
[Merope Gaunt] fools Tom Riddle into marrying herShe most likely does so by giving him a [love potion].
[Dumbledore] says that [Merope] and Riddle were married about a year before [Tom Marvolo Riddle] was born, on December 31, 1926 [[Y-54]].
(HBP10)

1926 (Y-54) AD = 45  MM = 1  TR = 0  

[Bob, Bill, and Barnaby Ollerton] start the [Cleansweep Broom Company]Their first broom, the [Cleansweep One], revolutionizes the game of [Quidditch].
(QA9)
circa March
[Marvolo Gaunt] returns from [Azkaban] to find [Merope] goneHe had been given a six-month sentence. Forced to live alone, he withers away and dies sometime within the next two and a half years.
(HBP10)
circa March 31
[Merope Gaunt] gets pregnant with [Tom Marvolo Riddle]Her husband, [Tom Riddle], leaves her very soon afterward - [Dumbledore] suspects because she stops giving him [love potion].
The date is deduced from being nine months before [Voldemort]'s birth date. We know Riddle leaves her soon afterward because they were only married for "a few months."
(HBP10)
December
[Merope Gaunt] sells [Slytherin's locket] to [Borgin and Burkes]Pregnant and desperate for money, she has no idea what it's worth and is only given ten [Galleons] for it. The [locket] is later sold to [Hepzibah Smith].
According to [Caractacus Burke], this happened "just before Christmas."
(HBP13)
late December 31
[Tom Marvolo Riddle] is bornHe is born in a Muggle [orphanage] to a witch mother, [Merope Gaunt], and Muggle father, [Tom Riddle]. His mother [Merope] dies an hour later, living just long enough to name her son after his father, Tom, and her father, [Marvolo Gaunt] ([HBP13]). She is nineteen years old.

The older [Tom Riddle] had previously left [Merope] when he realized that she was a witch ([HBP10]), and the child is raised in the [orphanage] ([HBP13]).

[Tom Marvolo Riddle] said that he was sixteen years old at the time of [Hagrid]'s expulsion from [Hogwarts] ([CS17]). [Hagrid] was expelled in his third year, which was fifty years ago from June of 1993 [[Y13]]. Tom was therefore 16 in 1943 [[Y-37]] - meaning his sixteenth birthday was New Year's Eve, 1942 [[Y-38]], and his date of birth was in 1926 [[Y-54]]. However, according to the official timeline ([CS/DVD]), [Hagrid]'s expulsion was in June of 1942, not 1943, which means that [Hagrid]'s expulsion from Hogwarts was actually fifty-ONE years before June of 1993 [[Y13]]. Riddle was 16, then, in June of 1942 [[Y-38]], and therefore was born in 1925 [[Y-55]]. Either date may be considered correct. However, since the Lexicon follows what is directly given in the books over other sources, the dates in this timeline are derived from a literal interpretation of fifty years.

New Year's Eve is given in [HBP13]. Depending on exactly when [Merope Gaunt] arrived at the orphanage, Tom may have been born on New Year's Eve or just after midnight, on New Year's Day. Since the book says New Year's Eve, however, that's what we go with here.

1927 (Y-53) AD = 46  MM = 2  TR = 1  

[Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them] is first published (FB)

1928 (Y-52) AD = 47  MM = 3  TR = 2  RH = 0  

circa September
[Morfin Gaunt] returns from [Azkaban]He returns after a three-year sentence to find both his father and sister, [Marvolo] and [Merope], dead. He lives alone in the [Gaunt house] for many years, until [Tom Riddle] returns and frames him for murdering the [Riddle family].
(HBP10)
December 6
[Rubeus Hagrid] is bornHe is born to a human father and [Fridwulfa], a [giantess].

1929 (Y-51) AD = 48  MM = 4  TR = 3  RH = 1  

[Randolph Keitch] and [Basil Horton] found the [Comet Trading Company]Their first model is the [Comet 140].
(QA9)
Cygnus Black, father of [Bellatrix], [Narcissa], and [Andromeda], is born (BFT)
[Orion Black], father of [Sirius] and [Regulus], is born (BFT)
October
The stock market crashes in the [U.S.], beginning the Great Depression

The 1930s

c. 1931 (Y-49)

[Fridwulfa] abandons [Hagrid] and his father, her human family"Course, I can' remember her too well... she left, see. When I was abou' three. She wasn' really the maternal sort."
(GF34)

1931 (Y-49) AD = 50  MM = 6  TR = 5  RH = 3  

[Elladora Black], younger sister of [Phineas Nigellus], diesShe is 81 years old.
(BFT)

1932 (Y-48) AD = 51  MM = 7  TR = 6  RH = 4  

The [Ilfracombe] Incident
Great Britain | Ilfracombe
A rogue [Welsh Green dragon] descends on a beach full of Muggle holidaymakers ([FB]). [Tilly Toke] and her family happen to be there ([fw]), and her family casts the largest Mass [Memory Charm] of this century on all the Muggles of [Ilfracombe]. She is later awarded the [Order of Merlin] First Class for her quick action ([FB]). The Muggles later remember nothing of the incident, with the exception of an old fellow known as [Dodgy Dirk], who still claims that a "dirty great flying lizard" attacked him on the beach. People think he's crazy, of course ([fw]).
(FB)
The [Appleby Arrows]' finest hourIn what is considered by many fans to be the team's finest hour, the [Appleby Arrows] defeat the [Vrasta Vultures] in a [Quidditch] match that lasts sixteen days.
(QA7)

1934 (Y-46) AD = 53  MM = 9  TR = 8  RH = 6  

The [Cleansweep Two] is released (QA9)

1935 (Y-45) AD = 54  MM = 10  TR = 9  RH = 7  

[Jocunda Sykes] crosses the [Atlantic] by [broom]Riding an [Oakshaft 79], she becomes the first witch or wizard in history to accomplish the feat.
(QA9)
[Goblin] rights pioneer [Oswald Beamish] dies (fw)
[Bertie Bott], inventor of [Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans], is born (fw)

c. 1937 (Y-43)

September 1
[Minerva McGonagall] starts her first year at [Hogwarts] ([Sch2])She is subsequently sorted into [Gryffindor] ([JKR]).
We know this because [Rowling] has stated on her [website] that Heads of Houses were members of those Houses when they were students at [Hogwarts].

1937 (Y-43) AD = 56  MM = 12  TR = 11  RH = 9  

The [Cleansweep Three] is released (QA9)

1938 (Y-42) AD = 57  MM = 13  TR = 12  RH = 10  

The [Comet 180] is released (QA9)
before September
[Dumbledore] visits [Tom Riddle] in the [orphanage] and offers him a place at [Hogwarts] (HBP13)
September 1
[Tom Marvolo Riddle] starts his first year at [Hogwarts] and is sorted into [Slytherin][Minerva McGonagall] is starting her second year.
This is based on [Riddle]'s birthday of New Year's Eve, 1926 [[Y-54]].

1939 (Y-41) AD = 58  MM = 14  TR = 13  RH = 11  

circa September
[Tom Riddle] learns about the [Chamber of Secrets] and decides to find and open itHe is in his second year at [Hogwarts].
(CS17)

The 1940s
Events of this decade:

early 1940s
[Albus Dumbledore] is the [Transfiguration] teacher at [Hogwarts][Armando Dippet] is the Headmaster.
We don't know exactly when [Dumbledore] took the [Transfiguration] post (except that it was before 1938 [[Y-42]]), but we do know that he taught [Transfiguration] while [Tom Marvolo Riddle] was a student ([HBP13], [HBP20]).
early 1940s
[Frank Bryce] returns from fighting in World War Two.He "had a hard war," according to the barkeep at the pub in [Little Hangleton]. He was wounded and walks with a limp. He takes up as gardener for the Riddles and avoids people for the most part.
[Bryce] came home quite a few years before the end of the war in 1945, undoubtedly because he was wounded.
(GF1)

1940 (Y-40) AD = 59  MM = 15  TR = 14  RH = 12  

The [Tinderblast] [broom] is released by [Ellerby and Spudmore] of the [Black Forest] (QA9)
September 1
[Rubeus Hagrid] starts his first year at [Hogwarts] and is sorted into [Gryffindor]His birthday is December 6 ([JKR]), so he turns 12 a couple of months after starting [Hogwarts].

Meanwhile, [Tom Riddle] is starting his third year, and [Minerva McGonagall] her fourth.
The year is based on [Hagrid]'s birthdate of December 6, 1928 [[Y-52]].

c. 1941 (Y-39)

[Hagrid] acquires an [Acromantula] egg and hatches [Aragog] in a [Hogwarts] cupboard"I was not born in the castle. I come from a distant land. A traveler gave me to [Hagrid] when I was an egg. [Hagrid] was only a boy, but he cared for me, hidden in a cupboard in the castle, feeding me on scraps from the table."
This happened somewhere between [Hagrid] starting at [Hogwarts] in the fall of 1940, and his expulsion in the spring of 1943.
(CS)
[Hagrid]'s father dies"Course, I never was great shakes at magic, really... but at least he never saw me expelled. Died, see, in me second year..."
All we know is that [Hagrid]'s father died during his second year, so it's equally possible that his death was in fall of 1941 or spring of 1942.
(GF24)

1941 (Y-39) AD = 60  MM = 16  TR = 15  RH = 13  

December 7
Attack on Pearl Harbor

1942 (Y-38) AD = 61  MM = 17  TR = 16  RH = 14  

Famous [Montrose Magpies] [Seeker] [Eunice Murray] dies (QA7)
September 1
[Tom Riddle] starts his fifth year at [Hogwarts] and is made a [Prefect] ([CS17])[McGonagall] is starting her sixth year and [Hagrid] his third.
The dates are based on birthdays from 1925-1928 [[Y-55]-[Y-52]].

1943 (Y-37) AD = 62  MM = 18  TR = 17  RH = 15  

Cygnus Black, son of [Phineas Nigellus Black], dies at age 54He is the great-grandfather to [Sirius] and [Regulus Black], as well as [Bellatrix], [Narcissa], and [Andromeda Black].
(BFT)
circa May
[Tom Riddle] learns to open the [Chamber of Secrets] and releases the [Basilisk]"It had taken me five whole years to find out everything I could about the Chamber of Secrets and discover the secret entrance."
(CS17)
circa May
[Myrtle], a [Hogwarts] student, dies in a second floor bathroom after seeing the [Basilisk] (CS16)
June 13
[Hagrid] is falsely accused of opening the [Chamber of Secrets]He is so accused because [Tom Riddle] catches him raising an [Acromantula] in the castle.
(CS17)
June 13
[Aragog] the [Acromantula] is released into the [Forbidden Forest] ([CS13])[Hagrid] will later find him a wife, [Mosag], and together they will establish a colony ([CS15]).
after June 13
[Rubeus Hagrid] is expelled from [Hogwarts]He is expelled after being accused of opening the [Chamber of Secrets].
(CS17)
after June 13
[Tom Riddle] is given an [Award for Special Services to the School]He receives it for helping "catch" [Hagrid] and accusing him (falsely) of opening the [Chamber of Secrets] ([CS13], [CS17]).
after June 13
[Hagrid] remains at [Hogwarts] and is trained as gamekeeper, thanks to [Dumbledore]"Only the Transfiguration teacher, [Dumbledore], seemed to think [Hagrid] was innocent. He persuaded Dippet to keep [Hagrid] and train him as gamekeeper."
(CS17)
circa July
[Tom Riddle] commits his first murders: his father and grandparents in their [Little Hangleton] mansionHe first visits his uncle, [Morfin Gaunt], and uses magic to steal [Marvolo]'s ring and frame [Morfin] for the murders of the Muggles in the [Riddle house].

The next day, [Morfin] is taken to [Azkaban], where he remains until his death.
"In the summer of his sixteenth year, he left the [orphanage] to which he returned annually and set off to find his [Gaunt relatives]... Meanwhile, in the village of [Little Hangleton], a maid was running along the high street, screaming that there were three bodies lying in the drawing room of the big house: [Tom Riddle] Senior and his mother and father."
(HBP17)
circa September
[Tom Riddle] meets with [Professor Slughorn] and asks him about [Horcruxes]He is now wearing the ring he stole from his uncle [Morfin] during the summer, and is accompanied by his group of friends which includes [Avery] and [Lestrange].
(HBP23)
circa September
[Tom Marvolo Riddle] creates his first [Horcrux]: the [diary]He uses the recent murders and the knowledge he gained from [Slughorn] to work the Dark Magic required to turn the diary into a [Horcrux] ([HBP23]).
"I knew it wouldn't be safe to open the Chamber again while I was still at school. But I wasn't going to waste those long years I'd spent searching for it. I decided to leave behind a diary, preserving my sixteen-year-old self in its pages, so that one day, with luck, I would be able to lead another in my footsteps, and finish [Salazar Slytherin]'s noble work" ([CS17]).
Tom says that he placed his "sixteen-year-old self" into the diary ([CS17]), so he must have done it in the fall after the summer when he killed the Riddles and before he turned 17 at the end of December. His conversation with [Slughorn] where he learned about [Horcruxes] must have taken place after school started that September, so the timeframe for the creation of the diary Horcrux is between September and December, 1943 [[Y-37]]. All along, Tom realized that [Dumbledore] was watching him closely ([HBP23]).

1944 (Y-36) AD = 63  MM = 19  TR = 18  RH = 16  

September 1
[Tom Riddle] begins his seventh year at [Hogwarts] and is made [Head Boy]He is dabbling in the [Dark Arts], having already created a [Horcrux], and some of his closest friends are already referring to him as Lord [Voldemort]; outwardly, however, he is a model student ([CS17], [HBP23]).

1945 (Y-35) AD = 64  MM = 20  TR = 19  RH = 17  

[Albus Dumbledore] defeats the dark wizard [Grindelwald] (PS6)
[Devlin Whitehorn], founder of the [Nimbus] Racing Broom company, is born (fw)
circa June
[Tom Riddle] graduates and applies for a job teaching at [Hogwarts]Headmaster [Armando Dippet] turns him down, saying that at eighteen he is too young. He then goes to work for [Borgin and Burkes] instead.
We don't know when this happened exactly, except that it was almost certainly within a few weeks of the end of school. [Riddle] gets the job at [Borgin and Burkes] "the next thing the staff knew," according to [Dumbledore].
(HBP20)
August
World War Two ends

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