1910s - 1920s - 1930s - 1940s - 1950s - 1960s - 1970s - 1980s - 1990s - 2000s



1918 November 7, William Franklin Graham, Jr. is born.


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1920 June 10, Ruth McCue Bell is born.

1927 Bells return to U.S. and settle in Waynesboro.

1928 Bells return to Qingjiang on the SS President Cleveland.


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1930 Ruth travels to Shanghai to go to school.

1932 Ruth sails to Pyeng Yang to attend school.

1934 Mordecai Ham holds a revival in Charlotte. Billy goes to the altar and claims Jesus Christ as his Savior.

1935 The Bells are furloughed to the US and rent a stone house in Montreat, NC.

1936 Ruth graduates from high school.

1936 Billy attends Bob Jones College for one semester.

1937 Japanese attack Chinese troops at Marco Polo Bridge near Beijing. The occupation of Northern China begins.

1937 February, Billy transfers to Florida Bible Institute.

1937 August, war gets closer to the Bells.

1937 October 22,Ruth travels to Kobe, Japan and then to Seattle.

1938 Ruth dates Harold Lindsell, a friend of Rosa's.

1938 Billy proposes marriage to a woman, who rejects him the following year.


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1940 Billy graduates from Florida Bible Institute

1940 November, A family friend introduces Billy to Ruth Bell and they begin dating.

1941 March, Ruth drops out of school to take care of her sister, who is convalescing from tubercular peritonitis.

1941 April, Ruth and Billy nearly break off their dating relationship. She is so crushed she tries desperately to contact him.

1941 April 29, Ruth tells Billy she loves him.

1941 April 29, Ruth tells Billy she loves him.

1943 August. 13, Ruth and Billy marry.

1945 Ruth and Billy move to Montreat, into an upstairs bedroom in the Bells' home.

1945 September, .Ruth gives birth to their first child, Virginia Leftwich (GiGi).

1947 Ruth is pregnant with their second child, Anne.

1949 Fall, Ruth joins Billy for the Los Angeles crusade, and the nickname "Puff Graham" is coined.


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1950 November,. Billy begins a radio program that Ruth christens, "Hour of Decision."

1950 December, Ruth Bell ("Bunny") is born.

1950 President Harry Truman invites Billy to the White House.

1952 Billy writes his first book, Peace with God, with Ruth's assistance.

1952 July, William Franklin Graham III is born.

1952 Billy goes on the 12 week Greater London Crusade. Ruth accompanies him.

1953 In the Chattanooga, Tennessee crusade, before the Civil Rights movement had begun, Billy instructs the ushers to let African-Americans sit wherever they want. This happens one year before the US Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

1954 Ruth designs the home in Black Mountain.

1956 The Grahams move into Little Piney Cove.

1957 Billy holds a crusade in New York.

1957 June: Billy's television career begins.

1958 May: Nelson Edman (Ned) is born.


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1962 Billy's father dies.

1963 President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. Billy becomes known as the White House chaplain.

1963 Los Angeles Crusade

1966 May: Crusade in London.

1969 Spring: Crusade in Madison Square Garden.

1969 Richard Nixon becomes President and establishes church services in the White House.


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1971 Nixon appears in Charlotte for Billy Graham Day.

1973 President Johnson dies and Billy preaches at his funeral.

1973 Ruth's father preaches at Swannanoa Presbyterian Church. Later that year, he dies.

1973 Ruth goes to Bangkok, China.

1974 Ruth falls from a height of 15 feet while visiting GiGi and is in a coma for a week. Later that year, Ruth's mother dies at home.

1975 Ruth and Billy go to Taiwan for a crusade and return later that year.

1976 The Grahams' vacation in Mexico is interrupted by an earthquake.

1977-1980 Ruth travels around the world twice with Billy.

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1980 Ruth goes to China with Rosa and her brother Clayton. They visit their hometown Qingjiang.

1982 Billy preaches in Moscow, the first time a Christian minister is allowed to preach there.

1984 First official crusade in Russia.


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1992 Billy is diagnosed with Parkinson's. He returns to Russia for a full-scale crusade.

1996 Ruth gets bacterial spinal meningitis, partially caused by a treatment for degenerative arthritis from the fall.

1996 On May 2, President Bill Clinton presents Billy and Ruth with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow on a citizen.


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2001 On September 14, Billy Graham addresses the nation in the National Cathedral after the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States.

2007 Ruth passes away on June 14, at her home, Little Piney Cove, in Montreat, North Carolina, with her husband and five children at her bedside.

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