This timeline highlights the dates of many important scientific breakthroughs, as well as many of the key points in GRC's history.

1950 - 1969
Legend: Scientific Breakthrough GRC Event
The New Hampton School in New Hampton, New Hampshire, is added as a second conference site.
The National Science Foundation is established.
Carl Djerassi's group at Syntex achieves the total synthesis of cortisone, as well as the first synthesis of norethindrone, the basis for the first oral contraceptive.
Jonas Salk of the University of Pittsburgh develops a successful polio vaccine.
James Watson and Francis Crick elucidate DNA's double helical structure.
The Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire, is added as a third conference site.
The world's first nuclear power plant in Obninsk, Kaluga Oblast, USSR, begins producing electricity for commercial use.
GRC incorporates as a nonprofit organization, establishing a board of trustees, and celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary at the Hotel Commodore in New York City.
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin determines the structure of vitamin B12.
The launch of Sputnik 1 starts the space race between the United States and the USSR.
Polycarbonate plastics are developed for use in headlights, microwave cookware, and other high-impact applications.
The GRC Selection and Scheduling Committee is formed.
Theodore Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories invents the laser (light amplification by stimulated emission radiation) using a ruby cylinder.
The Tilton School in Tilton, New Hampshire, is added as the fourth conference site.
Marshall Nirenberg and Heinrich J. Matthaei decipher the mechanism of RNA transmission of DNA "messages" used to direct amino acids in protein production.
Lycra synthetic elastomeric fiber is first commercialized by DuPont. Lycra is a segmented polyurethane incorporated with other fibers to produce fabrics with elasticity.
The first winter conferences are held in Santa Barbara, California.
Murray Gell-Mann proposes that protons, neutrons, and other subatomic particles are made up of quarks.
Proctor Academy in Andover becomes the fifth New Hampshire site.
Gordon Moore states that integrated circuits will double in complexity every 18 months. This becomes known as Moore's law, and with revisions, it becomes a truism for the next four decades.
Conferences are held in Washington State.
Kevlar is patented by Stephanie Kwolek of DuPont. Kevlar is an extremely strong, flexible, and flame-resistant synthetic organic fiber that is lighter than steel; it is used to make bulletproof vests, underwater cables, brake linings, and numerous other applications.
Arthur Kornberg, Mehran Goulian, and Robert Sinsheimer synthesize a biologically active viral DNA molecule.
Cruickshank is appointed director after Parks resigns.
The Apollo 11 spacecraft lands on the Moon.