First War/ DADA Job
I'm not sure if there are any exact dates available, but does anyone know around what year the First War began, and any other important milestones in the war? Around what year did Voldemort first start gathering followers? When did the Ministry take notice? Around what time was the Order formed? Any estimations on these dates would be great.
Also, relating to the above, when did Voldemort come to Hogwarts and ask for the DADA job (Dumbledore's memory in HBP)? I assume this was before the war really began, or Voldemort wouldn't have been allowed near Hogwarts, but that means that there were around twenty years, if not more, during which the DADA job was cursed... which is a long time and a lot of teachers!
Any insight would be helpul! Thank you!
Does anyone know around what year the First War began, and any other important milestones in the war? Around what year did Voldemort first start gathering followers? When did the Ministry take notice? Around what time was the Order formed?
Well, it's long been believed that the First War really took place during the 1970s. In the very first chapter of PS/SS -- which we know takes place the night of 1 November 1981 -- Dumbledore mentions to McGonagall that "we've had precious little to celebrate these last eleven years", or something similar to that effect. (I do know that the number is 11.)
And, since the day he spoke that was in 1981, eleven years back would have been 1970. Of course, any of these can almost be like a give-or-take a year or so, but I'd say that the First War really started going decently in the early seventies, with the intensity greatly increasing in those few years right before Halloween of 1981.
You have to keep in mind that the first war would have slowly started to grow. Voldemort, when he first came on the scene, would have been a bit of an unknown quality, if you will, for the Ministry. It wouldn't have happened as quickly as the Second War did, as I'm sure the Ministry would have seen Voldemort in the First War and not really known exactly what to expect. Things would have been a lot slower in coming to that major War-type of status, in my opinion, the first time around.
As for Voldemort's request of the DADA job in HBP ... If I'm remembering everything correctly, I think people found a bit of discrepancy with the years of Dumbledore's memories (although I can't remember the specific discrepancies right now off the top of my head).
At the point, though, Harry makes the observation that Voldemort seemed surprised that Dumbledore knows as much as the Headmaster did, concerning Voldemort's practices -- the fact that he was gathering followers, the fact that he'd immersed himself in the Dark Arts, etc. Dumbledore refers to it all as "rumours" concerning Voldemort's actions, so you can pretty well assume that the memory would have taken place decently earlier than the start of the First War.
Maybe in the 1960s or so?
It's been my belief that it at least took place before September of 1971, as I believe that the Marauders and company would have gone to Hogwarts having a different DADA teacher every year.
You also have to keep in mind that, while 20-30 years seems like a great deal of time for a new teacher to be coming in, by the time Harry starts school in 1991, the rumour that the job is cursed seems like it's been circulating for quite a long time. A few years (or even a decade) could still be put off as something simple, and not quite a public opinion that the job is cursed.
However, after going through nearly 20-30 different teachers, the rumour has had time to grow and become almost known belief and unquestionable knowledge.
But anyway, in short, the 1970s were the years that are generally known as those of the First War.
Although, in terms of some more specific things -- when the Ministry took notice, when the Order was formed, etc. -- I'm not quite sure if it's known for a fact. I could see Dumbledore starting up the Order fairly early, as he believed he knew the lengths that Tom would go -- and he probably also tried to convince the Ministry not just to spend too much time watching and waiting, but to act before things became too dark too quickly.
So, perhaps mid-1970s, for the founding of Order, or if you wanted, it'd be fine to have it founded right from the very beginning -- around 1970 itself.
The Ministry's interest and actions would have, like I mentioned earlier, been a bit more slower in coming. Their caution and "taking notice" would have gradually grown, but I don't think it really became a strong force until the late-1970s (oh, around '77-'78 or so).
And, I think that's all I can remember for now ... I'll come back if I think up something else.
What an awesome post, Meghan.
I'm just going to be lazy and add a link to the Lexicon timeline, Maria. It might be useful for some extra dates and seeing things linearly... but I think Meghan's post pretty much covered your question.
Ahh, thank you both so much for the [incredibly helpful] posts! That's pretty much exactly what I was looking for.
Mods, you can lock this up.