- 1859: Mercury's precession is recognized as not fitting Newtonian predictions.
- 1887: The Michelson-Morley experiment shows the speed of light not varying as expected with motion.
- 1905: Einstein publishes several groundbreaking papers, including his special theory of relativity, and an explanation of the photo-voltaic effect (which he eventually received the Nobel for)
- 1908: Einstein becomes a professor, is widely recognized in scientific circles.
- 1911: Einstein comes up with his general theory, explains the precession of Mercury, and predicts gravitational lensing.
- 1916: Einstein appointed president of the German Physical Society.
- 1919: An Englishman, Eddington, confirms the gravitational lensing prediction during an eclipse, the press seizes on this sign of international cooperation in the aftermath of WW I, Einstein soon becomes a household name.
- 1921: Einstein receives the Nobel award in physics.
In 1905 the theories published then all fit experiment.
1919 was special because it was the confirmation of a prediction that contradicted widely accepted theory. It was made more special because it came at an extremely fortuitous time for the news cycle.