1900 to 1909
29 Mar 1901: 1st elected to Federal Parliament
Hughes was elected as Member of Parliament for the seat of West Sydney (NSW), in the 1st federal election.
1910 to 1919
27 Oct 1915: 7th Prime Minister
After the resignation of Andrew Fisher, Labor parliamentarians elected Hughes as Party leader, and he was subsequently sworn in as prime minister.
1 Dec 1915: Australian Wheat Board created
This Commonwealth body coordinated state wheat boards to ensure equitable marketing of the Australian wheat crop under wartime conditions. The Prime Minister chaired the Board, which ceased operations in 1923.
29 Apr 1916: Irish rebellion crushed
A pro-independence Easter rebellion in Dublin was violently suppressed by British troops. Protests in Australia caused some Australians to be suspicious of the loyalty of people of Irish descent.
28 Jun 1916: National ships
The government established a Commonwealth Shipping Line with the purchase of 15 seagoing steamers from Britain.
28 Oct 1916: Conscription referendum
The 1st referendum on compulsory military enlistment failed. The issue bitterly divided communities and created a rift in the Labor Party. On 13 November, the Party expelled Hughes over his support for conscription.
17 Feb 1917: New Cabinet
Hughes formed a new ministry and retained the prime ministership despite his expulsion from the Labor Party. 10 days earlier, he had formed the Nationalist Party, merging other expelled Labor members and some former Liberals.
6 Apr 1917: United States at war
President Woodrow Wilson declared war against Germany. The United States joined the Allies in defending Atlantic shipping and on the front line in France.
5 May 1917: 7th federal election
Hughes led the Nationalist party to a landslide victory against Labor and retained government. Hughes was elected a Member of Parliament for the seat of Bendigo (Vic.).
17 Oct 1917: National railways
The Commonwealth completed construction of the 1690km Port Augusta to Perth section of the Trans-Australia Railway, linking Perth to Sydney. In the Northern Territory, the Commonwealth government had added only 85km, from Pine Creek to Katherine, to the 235km line from Darwin to Pine Creek, built by the South Australian government.
7 Nov 1917: Revolution in Russia
Bolshevik revolutionaries occupied the Russian capital, St Petersburg (then Petrograd). They overturned a provisional government established after the forced abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in March.
20 Dec 1917: Peace Army riots
The 2nd conscription referendum failed. The 'No' majority was more than double that of the 1st referendum in 1916. Campaigns were bitterly fought throughout Australia. Women's Peace Army protestors were arrested in Melbourne. In Warwick, Queensland, an egg thrown at Prime Minister Hughes led to his setting up a Commonwealth police force.
10 Jan 1918: Prime ministerial promise
Hughes had vowed to resign if the conscription referendum failed. It did, so he resigned on 8 January. The Nationalists held a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives, and Hughes was not replaced as party leader. With no credible alternatives, the Governor-General swore Hughes in as prime minister again.
3 Aug 1918: Australia House opened
King George V officially opened Australia House on The Strand. Andrew Fisher, the 1st occupant, had been High Commissioner since 1916.
22 Sep 1918: Prime Minister calling
Hughes and Minister for the Navy, Joseph Cook, were away from Australia for 16 months from April 1918. In the 1st direct radio telephone call from the United Kingdom to Australia, the Prime Minister spoke from Caernarfon in Wales to Sydney.
11 Nov 1918: Armistice Day
An armistice between the combatant powers ended WW1. Australia had suffered nearly 60,000 official casualties. This loss was commemorated with the establishment of Armistice Day in 1919, observed each year at 11am (now Remembrance Day).
17 Dec 1918: Darwin rebellion
Some 1000 demonstrators marched to the Residency in Darwin. They burnt an effigy of Northern Territory Administrator John Gilruth and demanded his resignation. Their grievances were against the 2 main Territory employers, Vestey's meatworks and the Commonwealth. Gilruth left Darwin soon after, while Vestey's meatworks closed in 1920.
6 Mar 1919: Homes for heroes
The Commonwealth War Service Homes Commission began operations. It provided low-interest home loans for returned service men and women.
9 May 1919: Seamen's strike
Australia's seamen went on strike for better wages and conditions. The immediate interruption of fuel and coal supplies created a serious crisis that worsened as job losses mounted. The strike lasted the whole winter before their demands were met.
28 Jun 1919: Treaty of Versailles
At the end of the 6-month Peace Conference in Paris, Hughes and Minister for the Navy Joseph Cook signed the Peace Treaty at Versailles that established the League of Nations. With Britain's other dominions, Australia established its status as an independent member of the world's 1st international organisation of governments.
2 Jul 1919: The Nauru mandate
Britain, New Zealand and Australia signed an agreement for Australian administration of Nauru, located 4000km north-east of Sydney. Australia had captured the island from Germany in 1914, and in 1920, the League of Nations designated it an Australian mandate.
10 Dec 1919: First flight
Ross and Keith Smith won the prize money offered by the government for the 1st flight from Britain to Australia. They landed their Vickers Vimy aircraft in Darwin after a 28-day flight from Hounslow in England.
13 Dec 1919: 8th federal election
Hughes led the Nationalist party to victory against Labor and retained government.
13 Dec 1919: Referendum
Held with the 8th federal election, neither of the 2 proposals related to legislative powers and the nationalisation of monopolies (this being the 3rd referendum at which the latter was put to the electorate) was carried.
1920 to 1929
22 Jan 1920: Country Party
The Australian Country Party was officially formed by members of the Farmers and Settlers' Association. The new party benefited from the introduction of preferential voting for both houses of parliament. At the 14 December 1919 election, it won 8 seats in the House of Representatives.
27 May 1920: Prince of Wales tour
Prince Edward (later King Edward VIII) arrived in Australia. The 26-year-old travelled overland from Adelaide to Wallangarra, on the Queensland border. The royal visitors were provided with 'a varied programme of kangaroo and emu hunting, buckjumping, with exhibitions of shearing etc'. Hugely popular, the Prince of Wales left Australia on 18 August 1920.
31 Aug 1920: Engineers case
The High Court decision in the case Amalgamated Society of Engineers v Adelaide Steamship Co Ltd was a milestone in constitutional interpretation and in Commonwealth-state relations. In holding that Arbitration Court decisions were binding on state governments, the Court took an expansive view of how Commonwealth powers derive from the Constitution.
6 Oct 1920: 7th Governor-General
Lord Forster served as Governor-General until 8 October 1925.
30 Oct 1920: Communist Party of Australia
1st formed at a Sydney meeting, the Party later divided into 2 groups. One favoured adherence to doctrine, the other a practical trades union approach.
31 Dec 1920: Trouble in Canberra
Hughes removed Walter Burley Griffin as director of construction at Canberra after disagreements over his supervisory role. Burley Griffin and wife Marion Mahoney Griffin had won the competition to design the national capital on 14 May 1912.
7 Mar 1921: Health a federal concern
The Commonwealth Department of Health was formed. It took over the quarantine service of the Department of Trade and Customs, the Australian Institute of Tropical Medicine and the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. It also became responsible for national health functions such as the treatment of infectious diseases in returned soldiers.
12 Aug 1921: Australian Federation of Women Voters
Bessie Rischbieth founded this federated body of Australian women's political associations. Its aim was to participate in the international federations and establish credentials as lobbyists and advisers at the League of Nations. As a result of its efforts, each Australian delegation to the League of Nations General Assembly included a woman member.
1 Feb 1922: Red flag for merchant ships
The red Australian flag, authorised by the British Admiralty for merchant shipping in 1902, became compulsory under the 1920 Navigation Act.
21 May 1922: Empire settlement
The Empire Settlement Act enabled the intake of large numbers of British immigrants. Over 200,000 assisted settlers arrived in Australia between 1922 and 1929.
03 Nov 1922: Qantas
Australia's first airline, Queensland and Northern Territory Air Service, began regular passenger services with 2 war surplus biplanes. The 1st flight was from Charleville to Cloncurry, Queensland.
16 Dec 1922: 9th federal election
Hughes' National Party lost its majority but formed a coalition with Country Party MPs under Earle Page to retain government. Page refused to serve in Coalition with Hughes and demanded his resignation as the price for his party's support. Hughes was elected as Member of Parliament for the seat of North Sydney (NSW).
9 Feb 1923: Resignation
Complying with Page's demands, Hughes resigned as prime minister and was replaced by Stanley Bruce.
1940 to 1949
10 Dec 1949: 19th federal election
Hughes was elected as Member of Parliament for the seat of Bradfield (NSW), at the age of 87.
1950 to 1959
28 Oct 1952: Death
Hughes died at his home, aged 90, while still Member of Parliament for the seat of Bradfield (NSW).