There may be WAY too much information to handle in this fashion, but we may not know unless we try. The timeline should be broken down into individual "Eras". If this list gets too top-heavy, we can split each era into their own page.
The following detail the major milestones in cocktail history.
Pre-Dawn (before 1800)
Dawn of the Cocktail (1800 to 1860)
May 6, "The Balance & Columbian Repository" provides one of the first mentions of the "cock-tail"
May 13, In response to a readers letter, the editor of "The Balance & Columbian Repository" provides the first known definition of the "cock-tail" as "spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters"
Golden Age (1860 to 1920)
Prohibition (1920 to 1933)
Modern Cocktail Revival (1995? to Present)
January: DrinkBoy.com is launched by Robert Hess
August: The DrinkBoy forum is created by Robert Hess on MSN Groups
March 3, 2003: "A Tribute to Professor Jerry Thomas" at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Featuring Jerry Thomas cocktails served by Dale DeGroff, Ted Haigh, Robert Hess, George Papadakis, Sash Petraske, Gary Regan, Audrey Saunders, and David Wondrich. Presented in cooperation with Slow Food NYC.
August: The Pegu Club cocktail lounge opens in New York.