27 May 1894: Samuel Dashiell Hammett is born in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, to Richard and Annie Bond Hammett.
1900: Richard Hammett moves his family to 2942 Poplar Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Later that year, the family moves to 419 North Sixtieth Street in Philadelphia.
1901: The Hammetts move to 212 North Stricker Street in Baltimore, Maryland, and Dashiell enters Public School No. 72.
September 1908: Dashiell Hammett enters Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, where he studies for one semester before quitting school permanently to help his father run a small business.
1909-1915: Hammett holds various, odd jobs at such companies as the B & O Railroad and Poe and Davies Brokerage House.
1915: Hammett becomes an operative for Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency.
24 June 1918 - 29 May 1919: Hammett serves in the U.S. Army. During his service, he contracts Spanish Influenza, which develops into tuberculosis.
May 1920: Hammett moves to Spokane, Washington, where he works as a Pinkerton.
6 November 1920: Hammett is hospitalized, 100 percent disabled with pulmonary tuberculosis, at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital Number 59, also called Cushman Hospital. He meets Jose Dolan, who is a nurse there.
21 February 1921: Hammett leaves Cushman Hospital for USPHS Hospital Number 64 at Camp Kearny, near San Diego.
15 May 1921: Hammett is discharged from the hospital and goes to live briefly in Seattle at 1117 Third Avenue.
June 1921: Hammett moves to 120 Ellis Street in San Francisco.
7 July 1921: Hammett marries Jose Dolan. He works as a Pinkerton operative. They live at 620 Eddy Street.
16 October 1921: The Hammetts’ daughter Mary is born.
1 December 1921: The date Hammett claims to have quit detective work for good.
February 1922: Hammett begins a one-and-a-half-year vocational training course at Munson’s Business College.
October 1922: Hammett’s first publication, in The Smart Set.
March 1926: Hammett quits writing to take a job as advertising manager at Samuels Jewelry Company in San Francisco.
24 May 1926: The Hammetts’ second daughter, Josephine, is born.
20 July 1926: Hammett resigns from Samuels due to poor health.
15 January 1927: Hammett begins reviewing mystery books for The Saturday Review of Literature, which he continues to do until 29 October 1929.
February 1927: “The Big Knock-Over,” Hammett’s first story in eleven months, appears in Black Mask.
November 1927: The first of four parts of Hammett’s first novel, later called Red Harvest, is published in Black Mask.
November 1928: The first of four parts of Hammett’s second novel, later called The Dain Curse, is published in Black Mask.
1 February 1929: Red Harvest is published by Knopf.
19 July 1929: The Dain Curse is published by Knopf.
Fall 1929: Hammett lives briefly at 1155 Leavenworth Avenue in San Francisco before he moves in October to New York, where he lives at 155 East Thirtieth Street. Mrs. Hammett and their daughters move to Los Angeles.
September 1929: The first of five parts of The Maltese Falcon, Hammett’s third novel, is published in Black Mask.
14 February 1930: The Maltese Falcon is published by Knopf.
February 1930: Roadhouse Nights, a movie based on Red Harvest, is released by Paramount.
March 1930: The first of four parts of The Glass Key, Hammett’s fourth novel, is published in Black Mask.
5 April 1930: Hammett begins a six-month stint as mystery-book reviewer for the New York Evening Post.
Summer 1930: Hammett signs a contract with Paramount to write original screen stories. He moves to Hollywood.
22 November 1930: Hammett meets Lillian Hellman in Hollywood.
January 1931: Hammett signs a contract with Warner Bros to write a detective novel to star William Powell.
20 January 1931: The Glass Key is published in London by Knopf.
April 1931: City Streets, a movie based on Hammett’s original story, is released by Paramount.
28 April 1931: Hammett’s screen story “On the Make” is rejected by Warner Bros. He is released from his contract and returns to New York, where he lives at 133 East Thirty-eighth Street.
Spring 1931: Hammett begins, then abandons, a novel called “The Thin Man.”
May 1931. The Maltese Falcon, a movie based on Hammett’s novel, is released by Warner Bros.
8 October 1931: Creeps by Night, an anthology of stories edited, with an introduction, by Hammett, is published.
Winter 1931: Hammett is charged with assaulting actress Elise De Viane during a visit to Hollywood. He is found guilty on 30 June 1932, by default judgment.
29 September 1932: Hammett moves to the Sutton Club Hotel at 330 East Fifty-sixth Street in New York City to work on The Thin Man, which is completed in May 1933.
Winter 1933: Hammett and Hellman move to Homestead, Florida, where they stay until late spring or early summer 1934, when Hammett returns to New York.
December 1933: The Thin Man is published by Redbook.
8 January 1934: The Thin Man is published by Knopf.
29 January 1934: Syndication of Secret Agent X-9, a comic strip written by Hammett, is begun by King Features. Hammett is credited with writing the strip until 27 April 1935.
24 March 1934: Hammett’s last short story, “This Little Pig,” is published in Collier’s.
June 1934: The M-G-M movie The Thin Man is released.
27 September 1934: Universal buys Hammett’s screen story “On the Make” and changes the title to Mister Dynamite for the movie, released in May 1935.
29 October 1934: Hammett begins working as a writer at M-G-M. He moves to Hollywood, where he lives at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
June 1935: The movie The Glass Key is released by Paramount. Hammett signs new contract with M-G-M.
January 1936: Hammett returns to New York, where he is hospitalized at Lenox Hill Hospital for about two weeks. He then moves to the Hotel Madison on East Fifty-eighth Street.
July 1936: Satan Met a Lady, Warner Bros. second movie version of The Maltese Falcon, is released.
Fall 1936: Hammett moves to Princeton, New Jersey, where he rents a house at 90 Cleveland Lane.
25 December 1936: After the Thin Man, a’ movie based on Hammett’s original story, is released by M-G-M.
February 1937: Hammett sells M-G-M all rights to The Thin Man title and characters for $40,000.
Spring 1937: Hammett is asked to leave Princeton by his neighbors, and he returns to Hollywood to work for M-G-M. He lives at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
31 August 1937: A Mexican court grants Jose Hammett a divorce that has no legal standing in the United States.
Summer 1938: Hammett completes work on his second original story for the Thin Man series (Another Thin Man, the third in the series) and turns his attentions to politics and a new novel.
14 July 1939: Hammett’s contract with M-G-M is permanently terminated, and he moves to 14 West Ninth Street in New York City.
Fall 1939: Random House announces “There Was a Young Man,” a new novel by Hammett, which never appears.
November 1939: Another Thin Man is released.
1940: Hammett is national chairman of the Committee on Election Rights—1940, a group to promote the political candidacy of Communist Party members.
2 July 1941: The radio serial The Adventures of the Thin Man, based on Hammett’s characters, begins. It runs, with a wartime interruption, until September 1950.
October 1941: Warner Bros.’ third movie version of The Maltese Falcon, this one directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, is released.
November 1941: The Shadow of the Thin Man is released by M-G-M.
17 September 1942: Hammett rejoins the army as a private and is stationed at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.
October 1942: The second movie version of The Glass Key is released by Paramount.
August 1943: Watch on the Rhine, adapted by Hammett and Lillian Hell-man from her play, is released by Warner Bros.
8 September 1943: Hammett arrives in Alaska, where he remains for the duration of the war.
19 January 1944: The first trial issue of The Adakian, a daily newspaper edited by Hammett for army troops, is published.
1944: The Battle of the Aleutians, by Hammett and Robert Colodny, a history of the war against the Japanese on the Aleutian Chain in 1942 and 1943, is published for distribution to Adakian troops.
January 1945: The Thin Man Goes Home is released by M-G-M.
6 September 1945: Hammett, now a sergeant, is honorably discharged from the army. He returns to New York, where he lives briefly at 15 East Sixty-sixth Street before moving to 28 West Tenth Street.
1946: Hammett begins teaching courses in mystery writing at the Jefferson School of Social Science, which he continues until 1956. He serves as a member of the board of trustees for the school from 1949 to 1956.
21 January 1946: The Fat Man, a radio serial based on Hammett’s Continental Op, begins. It runs until 1950.
5 June 1946: Hammett is elected president of the New York Civil Rights Congress, a position he holds until the mid 1950s.
12 July 1946: The Adventures of Sam Spade, a radio serial based on Hammett’s character, begins. It runs until 1951.
28 May 1948: Warner Bros, sues the broadcaster, sponsor, director, and producer of The Adventures of Sam Spade for infringement of copy right. Hammett is later added to the suit, which is settled on 28 December 1951, in Hammett’s favor.
Fall 1949: Hammett works as dramatic-script consultant to stage producer Kermit Bloomgarden.
January 1950: Hammett goes to Hollywood as a screenwriter for Paramount. After six months he leaves Hollywood for good.
Fall 1950-Spring 1951: Hammett works with Hellman and Bloomgarden on producing her play The Autumn Garden.
9 July 1951: Hammett testifies in U.S. District Court about the Civil Rights Congress bail fund. He is judged that evening to be an uncooperative witness in criminal contempt of court and is sentenced to six months in prison, beginning immediately at the Federal House of Detention in New York City.
28 September 1951: Hammett is released from prison and returns briefly to his apartment at Tenth Street. His income is attached by the Internal Revenue Service in lieu of payment of back taxes amounting at that time to $111,008.60.
Spring (?) 1952: Hammett moves to the gatehouse on the estate of Dr. Samuel Rosen in Katonah, New York.
26 March 1953: Hammett testifies before Joseph McCarthy’s Senate subcommittee investigating the purchase of books written by Communists for State Department libraries overseas.
Ca. 1953: Hammett abandons the fragment “Tulip,” his last attempt at writing a novel.
23 February 1955: Hammett testifies before the New York State Joint Legislature Committee investigating charitable and philanthropic agencies and organizations.
August 1955: Hammett has a heart attack at Lillian Hellman’s house on Martha’s Vineyard.
January 1957: Hammett’s federal income tax liability is set at $140,795.96 by civil court.
May 1959: Hammett is granted a pension of $131.10 per month by the Veterans Administration.
10 January 1961: Hammett dies at the Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
13 January 1961: Hammett is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.