Chronology of Black Hole Physics

1784 John Michell discusses classical bodies which have escape velocities greater than the speed of light.
1795 Pierre Laplace discusses classical bodies which have escape velocities greater than the speed of light.
1916 Karl Schwarzschild solves the Einstein vacuum field equations for uncharged spherically symmetric systems.
1918 H. Reissner and G. Nordstrom solve the Einstein-Maxwell field equations for charged spherically symmetric systems.
1923 George Birkhoff proves that the Schwarzschild spacetime geometry is the unique spherically symmetric solution of the Einstein vacuum field equations.
1939 Robert Oppenheimer and Hartland Snyder calculate the collapse of a pressure-free homogeneous fluid sphere and find that it cuts itself off from communication with the rest of the universe.
1963 Roy Kerr solves the Einstein vacuum field equations for uncharged rotating systems.
1964 Roger Penrose proves that an imploding star will necessarily produce a singularity once it has formed an event horizon.
1965 Ezra Newman, E. Couch, K. Chinnapared, A. Exton, A. Prakash, and Robert Torrence solve the Einstein-Maxwell field equations for charged rotating systems.
1968 Brandon Carter uses Hamilton-Jacobi theory to derive first-order equations of motion for a charged particle moving in the external fields of a Kerr-Newman black hole.
1969 Roger Penrose discusses the Penrose process for the extraction of the spin energy from a Kerr black hole.
1969 Roger Penrose proposes the cosmic censorship hypothesis.
1971 Identification of Cygnus X-1/HDE 226868 as a binary black hole candidate system.
1972 Stephen Hawking proves that the area of a classical black hole's event horizon cannot decrease.
1972 James Bardeen, Brandon Carter, and Stephen Hawking propose four laws of black hole mechanics in analogy with the laws of thermodynamics.
1972 Jacob Bekenstein suggests that black holes have an entropy proportional to their surface area due to information loss effects.
1974 Stephen Hawking applies quantum field theory to black hole spacetimes and shows that black holes will radiate particles with a blackbody spectrum which can cause black hole evaporation.
1989 Identification of GS2023+338/V404 Cygni as a binary black hole candidate system.