Timeline of the Life of Woody Guthrie
1879 Charley Edward Guthrie (father) born
1888 Nora Belle Sherman (mother) born
1904 Charley and Nora Guthrie married
1904 Clara Guthrie (sister) born
1906 Lee Roy Guthrie (brother) born
14-Jul-12 Woodrow Wilson Guthrie born in Okemah, Oklahoma
1918 George Guthrie (brother) born
1918 Clara (sister) dies in fire
1922 Mary Josephine (sister) born
1927 Woody’s father, Charley Guthrie injured in fire; Charley, brother George and sister Mary Josephine move in with aunt in Pampa, Texas; mother Nora sent to state mental hospital in Norman, Oklahoma; Woody on his own
1927 Woody moves in with Tom Moore family
1927 Woody moves to Pampa, Texas
28-Oct-33 Woody marries Mary Jennings in Pampa, Texas
14-Apr-35 The "Great Dust Storm" in Pampa Texas
1935 Gwendolyn Gail Guthrie (daughter with Mary) born
1935 Woody writes, "So Long, It's Been Good To Know You"
1936 Woody begins traveling the Southwest, visits California for the first time
1936 Woody writes, "Talking Dust Bowl"
1937 Woody moves to California
1937 Woody gets radio show on station KFVD with cousin Jack Guthrie, and later Maxine "Lefty Lou" Crissman
1937 Sue Guthrie (daughter with Mary) is born
1937 Woody writes, "Do Re Mi", "Philadelphia Lawyer", "Oklahoma Hills"
1937 Woody brings Mary, Gwen and Sue to Los Angeles
1938 Woody and Lefty Lou move their show to station XELO in Tijuana, Mexico
1938 Woody and Lefty Lou move the show back to station KFVD in Los Angeles
1938 Woody travels around California visiting "Okie Hoovervilles"
1938 Woody writes "Dust Bowl Refugees"
1939 Woody attends and sings at his first Communist Party rally
1939 Woody writes "The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd"
1939 Woody first publishes his column in the Communist "People’s World" newspaper, entitled "Woody Sez"
1939 Woody travels to California migrant camps with Will Geer
1939 Woody meets Cisco Houston
1939 Will Rogers Guthrie (son with Mary) is born
1939 Woody quits KFVD
1940 Woody hitchhikes to New York, joins Will Geer there; Mary and the children return to Texas
Feb-1940 Woody writes "God Blessed America" (later changed to "This Land is Your Land")
1940 Woody meets Leadbelly
Mar-1940 Woody meets Alan Lomax of the Library of Congress; he records Woody at the Department of Interior’s sound studio in Washington, D.C.
1940 Woody meets Pete Seegar
1940 Woody first appears nationally on the CBS radio network; does numerous guest performances through the year
1940 Woody writes "Tom Joad"
1940 Woody writes "Union Maid"
Jul-1940 Album "Dust Bowl Ballads" is released
Aug-1940 Woody’s CBS radio show, "Back Where I Come From", begins airing
1940 Woody occasionally performs with Cisco Houston
Nov-1940 Mary, Gwen and Sue join Woody in New York
Nov-1940 Woody becomes a regular on CBS’ "Pipe Smoking Time" program
Jan-1941 Woody quits his radio shows; he and the family return to California
Feb-1941 Woody fails to get his old jobs back at either KFVD or CBS
Apr-1941 Documentary film director Gunther Von Fritsch visits the Guthrie’s in Los Angeles
May-June 1941 Woody Guthrie takes family to Portland, Oregon, and spends one month writing songs for a Bonneville Power Administration documentary film; it is the most productive month of his life, as 26 songs are written in 30 days; he is paid $266.66 for his efforts, which include composing "Roll on Columbia", "Grand Coulee Dam", "Ramblin’ Round", "Hard Travelin’" and "Pastures of Plenty", among others.
Jun-1941 Woody hitchhikes to New York and joins the Almanac Singers; Mary and the three children return to Texas
1941 Almanac Singers travel the country, performing at union conventions, strike rallies, etc.
1941 Woody meets Studs Terkel
1941 Woody writes ""Reuben James"
Jan-1942 Woody meets Marjorie Mazia
1942 Almanac Singers appear on network radio
1942 Woody completes the novel "Bound for Glory"
Feb-1943 Cathy Ann Guthrie (daugther with Marjorie) is born
1943 Bound for Glory published
1943 Woody joins the Merchant Marine; makes several trips to Europe and Africa over the next two years
1944 Woody first records with Moses Asch; over the course of several weeks records well over 100 songs
1945 Woody writes "1913 Massacre"
1945 Moses Asch releases a Woody Guthrie album; his first since "Dust Bowl Ballads"
7-May-1945 Woody inducted into US Army
Nov-1945 Woody marries Marjorie Mazia
Dec-1945 Woody is discharged fronm the army
1946-1947 Woody writes and records several albums of children’s songs
1946 Woody writes and records his "Sacco and Vanzetti" songs
1946 Woody and several of the old Almanac Singers form People’s Songs
Feb-1947 Cathy Guthrie dies in a fire
Apr-1947 Woody performs many of his Columbia River songs for the Bonneville Power Administration at the National Rural Electric Cooperative convention in Spokane, Washington
Jul-1947 Arlo Davy Guthrie (son with Marjorie) is born
1948 Woody writes "Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee)"; his last great song
Dec-1948 Joady Ben Guthrie (son with Marjorie) is born
1949 Woody completes the novel, "Seeds of Man"
Jan-1950 Nora Lee Guthrie (daughter with Marjorie) is born
1951 Woody meets Ramblin’ Jack Elliot
1952 Woody enters Kings County Hospital for a three week detoxification program
1952 Woody spends four weeks in Bellvue Hospital
1952 Woody spends two months in Brooklyn State Hospital; is diagnosed with Huntington’s Chorea
1953 Woody’s arm badly burned in fire
1953 Woody marries Anneke Marshall
22-Feb-1954 Lorina Lynn Guthrie (daughter with Anneke) is born
Summer 1954 Woody’s last cross-country trip: New York, San Diego, Washington state, Denver, Tulsa, El Paso, New York; spends many nights in jail for vagrancy
16-Sept-1954 Woody checks himself into Brooklyn State Hospital; spends most of the next two years here; leaves occasionally for a day or weekend
17-Mar-1956 Woody Guthrie Benefit Concert held in New York’s Pythian Hall
23-May-1956 Woody checks himself out of hospital; is soon after arrested for vagrancy in New Jersey and committed to Greystone Park Hospital; spends next five years here
1956 Oldest daughter Gwen has daughter, makes Woody a grandfather
1957 Woody physically unable to write, type or play the guitar
Jan-1961 Bob Dylan comes to Greystone and meets Woody
1961 Woody transferred back to Brooklyn State Hospital, where he spends the rest of his life
1964 Woody physically unable to walk; confined to bed
1965 Woody physically unable to speak
1966 Woody receives the Conservation Services Award from the US Department of the Interior
1966 Bonneville Power Administration names a substation after Woody
1967 Woody hears Arlo Guthrie’s recording of "Alice’s Restaurant"
3-Oct-1967 Woody Guthrie dies