The following Chronology is a diary of events since the end of the last ice age paying particular attention to British history.
The term Pre-History means in general those events that took place before historical records were kept. As such many dates are approximate and others are traditional.
The migration of man from Central Africa had covered the globe by the end of the ice age. Neolithic communities became well established in Central and South America, China and across Asia but it was the fertile lands of Mesopotamia that saw the first organised civilisations. Most of Europe until the Roman invasions, consisted of Celtic communities.
8500 Rising sea level cuts Britain off from Europe.
5500 Wheel introduced into Europe.
5000 Agriculture spreads across Europe, start of megalith culture and copper working.
4000 Sumerians (the founders of Babylonian culture) settle in Mesopotamia, the land between the Euphrates and Tigris.
3200 Menes unites lower and upper Egypt.
3000 Start of Cornish tin mining.
2600 Pyramids of Gizeh built.
2200-1500 Height of Minoan civilisation on Crete.
2100-1600 Building and re-building of Stonehenge.
2006 Elamites capture City of Ur ending Sumerian civilisation.
1950 Babylonian Empire born from the meeting of two great avenues of commerce in Mesopotamia.
1800 Bronze working introduced into Britain.
1580 Hyksos invaders driven out of Egypt. New Kingdom founded, greatest period of Egypt's history.
1500-1130 Myceneans flourish in Southern Greece.
1230 Moses leads Israelites out of Egypt.
1180 Siege of Troy by Agamemnon leader of Greek forces.
1166 Rameses III, last great pharaoh of Egypt, dies.
1000 Iron age begins in Europe.
950 Foundation of Assyrian empire in Mesopotamia.
814 Phoenician emigrants from Tyre found Cartage on Gulf of Tunis.
776 First Olympiad.
753 Rome founded.
750 Phoenician capital, Tyre, captured by Babylonians. Jimmu, first Mikado (Emperor) of Japan.
750-550 Greeks found trading colonies around Mediterranean and Black Sea.
612 Collapse of Assyrian Empire and founding of New Babylonia.
586 Jerusalem captured by Babylonians.
563 Birth of Buddha.
551 Confucius born in China.
550 Foundation of Persian Empire. At its height by 500BC: Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Iran and N India.
518 Etruscan dynasty in Rome expelled and republic established.
490 Invasion of Greece by Darius I of Persia defeated by Athenians at Marathon.
480 Thermopylae defended to the death by Spartan against Xerxes of Persia.
431-404 Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta.
390 Gauls capture and hold Rome to ransom.
336 Alexander (the Great) proclaimed King of Macedonia. By 332 had conquered most of Greece and Persian Empire.
323 Alexander dies, empire divided between his generals.
300 Invasion of Ireland by Gaels. Ireland divided into kingdoms subject to a high king elected under tribal (Brehon) law.
272 Rome completes conquest of Italy.
246 -221 Great Wall of China built.
241-146 Three Punic Wars between Rome and Cartage.
225 Gauls invade Roman territory but are defeated. For protection Rome extends borders northwards.
221 First Emperor of China.
166 Tartar invasion of China.
146 Greece annexed by Rome and Cartage destroyed.
102 German invasion of Italy repelled by Marius.
91-88 Italian cities revolt against the Roman Empire.
90 First British coinage introduced.
87 Greece attempts invasion of Rome.
73 Slaves revolt led by Spartacus is crushed by Crassus.
60 Alliance formed between Pompey, Crassus and Caesar.
55 (26 Aug) Julius Caesar makes exploratory expedition to Britain.
54 (18 or 21 July) Second Roman invasion, 5 legions and 2000 cavalry
51 Caesar conquers Gaul as far as the Rhine.
49 Civil War, Caesar emerges as the master of Rome.
45 Roman colonists settle in Cartage.
44 Caesar assassinated.
32 Rome's dominions are divided, Octavia in the west and Antony the east.
31 Octavia defeats Antony and Cleopatra at Actium.
30 Cleopatra dies. Egypt falls to Rome.
27 Octavia (as Augustus) becomes first true emperor of Rome.
4BC Birth of Jesus.
30AD Jesus crucified.
43 Third Roman invasion of England by Claudius and start of Roman occupation. English chieftain, Charactarus, resists.
61 Revolt by Bodicca (Boadicea). Colchester, London and St Albans sacked.
70 Titus captures Jerusalem and drives Jews from Holy Land.
78 Roman occupation of Wales.
79 Pompeii destroyed by eruption of Vesuvius. Colosseum completed.
80 Romans reach Scottish lowlands.
83 Subjugation of Britain by Romans.
117 Conquest of Macedonia marks the peak of Roman expansion.
127 Hadrian's Wall built by Aulus Platonius Nepos.
164 -180 Plagues ravage Roman and Chinese empires.
180-284 Continual invasion of Roman Empire by Franks, Goths, Parthians, Vandals and Huns.
284 -305 Roman Empire reorganised as a central autocracy.
330 Emperor Constantine moves capital to Byzantium (Constantinople).
364 Roman Empire splits, now ruled by Byzantium in the east and Rome in the west.
The fall of the Roman Empire in 476 was followed by the rise of the Byzantium and Arab empires. Britain until the 11th century was subjected to a series of invasions from mainland Europe.
417 -427 Partial Roman re-occupation of Britain.
432 Saint Patrick introduces Christianity to Ireland.
434 Attila, King of the Huns (Mongolians), invades Europe.
450 Start of Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain (Angles, Franks, Friesians, Jutes and Saxons). Kingdoms of Wessex, Mercia and Northumbria established by 8th century.
455 Vandals attack Rome. Empire has 10 emperors in next twenty years.
476 The last Emperor of Rome is deposed and empire ceases to exist even in name.
482 Clovis crowns himself first King of France.
503 Battle of Mount Badon. Saxon advance halted by Britons, probably led by Arthur.
571 Birth of Mohammed.
597 Christianity introduced into Britain by St Augustine.
603 Scottish invasion of England halted in Northumbria.
616 Mohammed declares himself prophet of Allah.
632 Mohammed dies.
636 Arabs, led by Abu Bakr begin Islamic jihad. By 850 Arab Empire at its greatest extent: Spain, North Africa and Arabia and Indus Valley.
762 Foundation of Baghdad, Capital of Arab Empire.
787 Start of Viking raids on England and, over next two centuries, much of north Europe.
800 Charlemagne founds Holy Roman Empire.
829 Egbert of Wessex accepted as overlord of England.
844 Kenneth MacAlpine unites Picts and Scots into Kingdom of Scotland.
878 Alfred expels Danes from Wessex but cedes North and East of England.
900 England reconquered, national unity achieved.
910 Abbey of Cluny founded from which monastic reforms spread.
911 Normans granted control of Lower Seine Valley.
919 Separation of Frankish empire into France and Germany.
954 England unified under Athelstan.
962 Frankish Empire replaces Carolingian as head of Holy Roman Empire.
991 Danes resume raiding England.
1000 Lief Erickson reaches America.
1014 Vikings defeated in Ireland by Brian Boru at Clontarf.
1015 Malcolm II conquers South East of Scotland.
1016 -1042 England ruled by Danish Kings until expulsion by Edward the Confessor.
1066 Norman influence in England leads to Norman invasion and Battle of Hastings on 14th October. English rebellion ends with defeat of Hereward the Wake in 1071.
1086 Compilation of the Doomsday Book.
1095 Pope Urban II summons all Christian nations to the First Crusade against the Turks. The crusades continue until 1252.
1119 Order of the Knights Templar founded.
1167 Oxford University founded.
1170 Thomas Becket murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.
1171 Henry II invades and subjugates Ireland.
1174 Caliph Saladin begins Moslem holy war against Christianity.
1192 Richard I (Lionheart) held captive in Germany on 3rd Crusade. Brother John attempts to seize throne.
1194 -1282 Llewellyn I and II resist advance of Norman marcher barons into Wales.
1211-1215 Mongols under Genghis Khan invade China.
1215 Barons force King John to sign Magna Carta after his attempts to claim more than his entitlement of land. Pope vetoes Magna Carta starting 1st Barons' War.
1216 Peoples struggle against Henry III produces House of Commons.
1260 Mongol Empire at its greatest extent: Black Sea to Manchuria and much of southern Russia.
1264 -1267 2nd Barons' War.
1266 Hebrides ceded to Scotland by Norway.
1279 Farthing issued. Mongol leader, Kublai Khan becomes Emperor of China.
1282 Conquest of Wales by Edward I.
1291 Last Christian stronghold in Syria, Arce, falls to the Arabs.
1295 Formation of Edward I's Model Parliament; King, Lords and Commons.
1300 Foundation of Moslem Ottoman Empire in Turkey.
1314 Battle of Bannockburn, Robert Bruce defeats Edward II.
1315 -1317 Famine in Europe.
1328 Scottish independence recognised.
England's claim to French crown leads to 100 Years War (1337 -1453) against alliance of France and Scotland. Defeat leads to the War of the Roses (1455 -1485 ).
1346Battles of Crecy and Neville's Cross; spectacular victories over the French and Scots.
1346 -1348 Black Death devastates Europe.
1360 England and France sign Peace Treaty at Bretigny.
1362 English becomes official language of Parliament and Law Courts. Government secures control of taxation.
1368 Nationalistic revolt overthrows Mongols in China.
1369 100 Years War resumes.
1381 Class struggles and labour shortages leads to Peasants' Revolt led by Wat Tyler.
1385 Scots invade England. Richard II captures Edinburgh.
1388 Scottish army defeat English at Otterburn.
1396 Peace of Paris: 28 year truce between England and France.
1399 Richard II deposed by Henry IV who grants Parliament greater powers.
1400-1413 Owen Glendower leads revolt against English rule in Wales.
1401 De Haerectico Comburendo, burning of heretics made legal.
1415 Battle of Agincourt, Henry V launches conquest of France.
1429 Joan of Arc defeats English at Orleans. Burned at the stake 1431.
1437 Habsburg dynasty takes control of Holy Roman Empire.
1453 French victory over England at Castillion and end of 100 Years War. Byzantium Empire falls to the Turks.
1454 Henry VI goes insane, Duke of York appointed Protector.
1455 -1485 War of the roses. War starts when Duke of York (white rose) revolts against government of Henry VI (red rose).
1476 Caxton sets up press at Westminster.
1478 Start of Inquisition in Spain.
1483 Duke of Gloucester murders Edward V and his brother and proclaims himself King.
1484 Witchcraft declared a heresy by Pope Innocent VIII.
1485 Richard III defeated at Bosworth field by Henry VII (Henry Tudor). End of the War of the Roses.
The 16th century saw the conquest of South America by Europe, increased rivalry between France and the Habsburg Empire and the Reformation.
1492 Columbus sails to the New World.
1497 Unification of Spain and end of Moorish rule.
1500 Cabral discovers and claims Brazil for Portugal. Wynkyn de Worde sets up press in Fleet Street.
1510 Slave trading started by Portuguese.
1514 Trinity House founded.
1517 Protestations of Luther starts Reformation marking end of European religious unity.
1519 Start of Habsburg control of Europe by Charles V of France. Cortes begins conquest of Mexico, destroying Aztec civilization.
1519 -1522 Magellan circumnavigates the world.
1521 Luther excommunicated. Protestantism spreads to Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, France and Scotland.
1526 Moslem king, Bábur, captures Delhi founding Mughai dynasty.
1527 Mercenaries sack Rome on orders of Holy Roman Emperor.
1533 Pizarro conquers Peru destroying Inca civilization.
1534 Act of Supremacy: Henry VIII asserts control over English church.
1536 Wales incorporated politically into England by Henry VIII. Dissolution of the monasteries.
1541 Henry VIII declared King of Ireland.
1543 Copernicus forwards heliocentric astronomical theory.
1547 Ivan the Terrible ousts Mongols from Russia.
1551 Threepence introduced.
1555 Mary (Queen of Scots) attempts to introduce Catholicism into Britain. Habsburg Empire split between Spanish and Austrian families.
1559 Church of England re-established by Elizabeth I.
1560 Church of Scotland founded, Calvinism adopted as national religion.
1566 Start of decline of Ottoman Empire after death of Suleiman I (the Magnificent).
1571 Christian League defeats Turkish fleet destroying Moslem sea power in Mediterranean.
1572 Huguenots massacred outside St Bartholomew's on order of catholic French court.
1586 Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.
1588 Drake defeats Spanish Armada.
1600 British East India Company founded.
An era of absolute monarchies in Europe, especially Louis XIV of France.
1603 Accession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England unites both countries. Widespread plague in Europe.
1603-1668 Togugawa military regime in Japan, isolationist policies and persecution of Christians.
1605 Gunpowder Plot. Catholic plot to blow up Parliament.
1607 Plantation of Ulster with English and Scottish colonists.
1618-1648 Thirty Year's War. Revolt against Catholic Habsburg empire spreads rapidly throughout Europe (last European religious war).
1620 Pilgrim fathers set sail from Plymouth for America.
1625 The Black Death. Charles I moves Parliament from London to Oxford.
1629 Charles I dissolves Parliament for 11 years.
1632 Galileo confirms heliocentric theories of Copernicus (1543).
1638 Torture abolished in England.
1639 -1640 1st and 2nd Bishops' Wars in Scotland.
1641 Irish revolt against English landlords suppressed by Cromwell.
1642-1646 1st Civil War. Charles I and Royalist supporters (Cavaliers) against the Parliamentarians (Roundheads). Cromwell wins decisive battle at Marsden Moor in 1644 . Cavaliers defeated by New Model Army in 1645 . Charles I surrenders in 1646 .
1643 Louis XIV crowned King of France. Establishes Court of Versailles.
1648 2nd Civil War Royalist and Presbyterians crushed by Cromwell.
1649 Charles I beheaded for treason. Cromwell invades Ireland.
1650 Cromwell conquers Scotland.
1651 Battle of Worcester, Cromwell's final victory in England.
1653-1658 Cromwell Lord Protector of Britain.
1660 Restoration of the Monarchy by Charles II.
1663 Turkish war against Holy Roman Empire reaches German border.
1664 Austria defeats Turkish army. England captures Cape Verde Island and wars with Holland. New Amsterdam captured and renamed New York.
1665 The Great Plague.
1666 Great Fire of London.
1670 In secret deal with France, Charles II attempts to restore Catholic power in Britain.
1673 Test Act excludes all Catholics from office.
1677 Princess Mary marries William of Orange.
1678 'Popish Plot', an attempt to restore Catholicism by Titus Oates.
1679 Habeas Corpus Act passed (the right to trial).
1683 Final attempt to bring Islam into Europe by Turks defeated at Vienna.
1688 The Glorious Revolution. Following James II attempts to Catholicise England, Anglicans invite William of Orange to restore Protestant power. Dutch Army lands in November, James II flees to France and the Glorious Revolution is achieved without loss of life.
1689 Powers of the Monarchy devolved to Parliament in the Bill of Rights.
1690 Battle of the Boyne. Aided by Louis XIV, James II leads revolt in Ireland but is defeated by William of Orange.
1694 Bank of England founded.
During the 18th century there was a major shift in world power following the War of Austrian succession and the Seven Years' War. France lost most of her colonial gains to Britain and Prussia rose to become the major European power.
1702-1713 War of Spanish Succession. Britain gains control of Gibraltar.
1705 Newcomon invents steam engine.
1707 Act of Union. Scottish Parliament united with England.
1713 Slave trading at its peak.
1715 Jacobite risings against parliamentary union.
1720 Financial Crisis caused by speculation in the 'South Sea Bubble'.
1721 Walpole becomes first Prime Minister.
1733 Kay invents flying shuttle, one of many inventions leading to the industrial revolution.
1740-1748 Austrian War of Succession. Prussia under Frederick now the strongest power in North Europe.
1746 Jacobite risings and massacre at Battle of Culloden, the last battle on British soil. Escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie to Skye.
1752 Gregorian calender adopted in England.
1754 Britain and France war in North America.
1756 Calcutta captured by Nawab of Bengal, 123 British men and women die in 'Black hole of Calcutta'.
1756 -1763 Seven Years' War between Prussia and Austria. Britain declares war against France and joins with Frederick the Great. France and Austria defeated by Prussia and Britain. British colonial gains at their greatest.
1757 Clive defeats Nawab and recaptures Calcutta.
1759 General Wolfe slain capturing Quebec. France surrenders Canadian Territory.
1760 George III challenges Whig oligarchy. Tories remain in power until 1830.
1769 Arkwright erects spinning mill. Cook explores Pacific.
1770 Cook claims Australia for Britain.
1773 Quarrel over taxation between George III and American colonists ends with 'Boston Tea Party'. Stock Exchange founded.
1775 -1783 American War of Independence and formation of the United States of America.
1783 Montgolfier Brothers make the first manned flight in a hot air balloon.
1788 Penal colonies established in Australia.
1789 Washington elected first President of America.
1789 The French Revolution. Bastille stormed July 14 1794 . Republic established by Jacobins.
1795 Napoleon becomes Emperor of France.
1797 The penny, introduced in 8th Century, changes to copper.
1799 Income Tax introduced in England.
1801 Parliamentary union between England and Ireland.
1805 Napolean defeats Russian and Austrian armies at Austerlitz. Battle of Trafalgar, Nelsons victory and death on October 21.
1806 Napoleon abolishes Holy Roman Empire.
1812 British seize US ships during blockade of France, invade US and burn Capital and White House. Napoleon attacks Russia but is forced to retreat in 1814 .
1815 Battle of Waterloo, June 18 . Wellington defeats Napoleon.
1821 Grecian revolution against Turks. Napoleon dies.
1823 Spain attempts to regain her American colonies. US declares isolationist policy from Europe.
1825 First railway opens from Stockton to Darlington.
1827 Turkish fleet destroyed at Navarino preventing counter revolution in Greece.
1832 Liberals (Whigs and industrialists) carry through Reform Bill transferring political power from aristocracy to middle classes.
1833 Slaves liberated throughout British Empire.
1834 Tolpuddle Martyrs transported to Australia for forming a trade union. Slave trading abolished in Britain.
1836 Boers set up a republic in Transvaal after escaping from British rule in the Cape.
1838 Chartism flourishes. British Democratic Movement, formed mainly from working classes, demands to be included in Liberal franchise of 1832.
1839 -1842 and 1856 -1858 Opium wars between Britain and China.
1840 Penny post introduced. Great Irish potato famine leads to mass emigrations.
1841 Britain acquires Hong Kong.
1846 Repeal of Corn Laws.
1848 Year of unrest throughout Europe.
1849 Livingstone explores interior of Africa.
1851 Great Exhibition in London.
1853-1856 Crimean War. Russian ambitions towards India result in alliance of Britain and France declaring war on Russia. Turkey and Sardinia join the allies, Russia withdraws from Sebastopol.
1857 Indian Mutiny crushed by British government.
1860-1865 American civil War.
1863 Underground railway opens in London.
1864 Peasants Revolt in China brutally suppressed by western forces.
1866 Austro-Prussian War reduces power of Habsburg Empire.
1867 Last convicts transported to Australia. Formation of Dominion of Canada.
1869 Suez Canal opens. US Trans-continental railway completed.
1870-1871 Napoleon III loses Franco-Prussian war and empire collapses. Germany unified under Prussian Kaiser.
1872 Secret Ballot introduced in Britain.
1875 Britain buys control of Suez Canal. Captain Webb swims English Channel.
1876 Alexander Graham Bell invents telephone.
1878 Bulgaria separates from Turkey. Britain gains control of Cyprus.
1882 Britain occupies Egypt and is drawn into holy war with Sudan.
1884 GMT (Standard Time) adopted worldwide.
1889 Great London dock strike August 15 - September 16 .
1893 Rejection of Irish Home Rule Bill by parliament.
1894 Manchester Ship Canal completed
1899 -1902 Boer War. Conflict in Transvaal over mining rights. Mafeking and Ladysmith relieved in 1900.
1900 Boxer rising fails (revolt over European and Japanese interference in China), collapse of Imperial rule. Count Zeppelin builds the first dirigible. Formation of Labour Party.
1901 Foundation of Commonwealth of Australia.
1903 Wright brothers make first heavier-than-air flight. Henry Ford introduces production line car manufacturing.
1904 -1905 Completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Russia moves into Manchuria and Korea but is defeated by Japan.
1909 Louis Bleriot flies across the channel.
1911-1912 Chinese Revolution. Nationalists overthrow Imperialist regime.
1912 Sinking of the Titanic.
1914 Panama Canal opens.
1914-1918 First World War begins following assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28 Jun. Germans sign Armistice Nov 11th 1918 .
1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.
1918 End of Habsburg Empire as Austria and Hungary are separated.
1919 Treaty of Versailles. Formation of Polish Republic, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Ottoman empire breaks up. League of Nations formed. Alcock and Brown fly across the Atlantic.
1921 Ireland split into Irish Free State and Ulster.
1922 Mussolini establishes fascism in Italy.
1924 Lenin dies and Stalin takes control of the new communist regime. First Labour government.
1926 General Strike.
1927 Charles Lindenburgh flies solo across the Atlantic. Airship Graf Zeppelin circumnavigates the globe.
1929 World wide economic crises plunges many industrial countries into recession.
1931 Spanish monarchy collapses and republic formed. Japan invades China and resigns from League of Nations.
1933 Hitler Chancellor of Germany.
1935 Hitler denounces Treaty of Versailles which limits size of German armed forces. Italy invades Ethiopia.
1936 Plaid Cymru (Welsh Nationalist Party) founded.
1936 -1939 Spanish Civil War and start of General Franco's Fascist dictatorship.
1937 Irish Free State becomes Republic of Ireland.
1938 Germany unites with Austria. Sudentenland in Czechoslovakia returned to Germany. Forcible suppression of Jews.
1939 -1945 Second World War. War begins after Hitler invades Czechoslovakia and Poland. End of the Second World War against Germany declared at 1 minute past midnight on 8th May. Japan surrenders on 2nd Sep after atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1944 Civil war in Greece.
1945 United Nations formed. First Scottish Nationalist MP elected.
1946 -1949 Chinese civil war. Nationalist government replaced by communists under Mao Tse-Tung.
1947 Russia boycotts economic assistance for Europe (The Marshall Plan). Charles Yeager breaks the sound barrier.
1948 National Health Service introduced. Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, an 'iron curtain' raised across Europe. Proclamation of State of Israel.
1949 Formation of NATO. The Berlin airlift. DeHavilland Comet enters service. China invades Taiwan.
1950 China invades Tibet.
1950-1953 Invasion of South Korea by communist North Korea, UN forces come to aid of South Korea.
1951 King Farouk of Egypt forced to abdicate. Festival of Britain.
1953 Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tensing reach summit of Everest.
1954 End of French rule in Indo-China, independence for Laos, Cambodia and S Vietnam. Communist take control in North Vietnam.
1956 Uprising in Hungary suppressed by Soviet tanks. Nasser seizes Suez Canal, Israel invades Egypt, France and Britain land in Port Said.
1957 Formation of the EEC. Sputnik I launched.
1958 Civil war in France averted by de Gaulle's return to power.
1959 Fidel Castro ends Bastida regime in Cuba. Dali Llama flees Tibet for LA.
1959 -1975 Second Indo-China War, North Vietnam and Viet-Cong against South Vietnam.
1960 Independence and then chaos for Congo, UN intervenes to help. Start of 27 year civil war in Chad.
1961 Major Yuri Gagarin is first man in space. Berlin Wall built. Army and extremists attempt coup in Algeria.
1962 Cease fire and Independence in Algeria. Crisis as Kennedy demands removal of Soviet nuclear missiles from Cuba.
1963 End of conflict in Congo. USA, Britain and Russia sign Test Ban Treaty. JFK assassinated.
1965 Churchill Dies. India and Pakistan fight over Kashmir. America enters Indo-China War.
1966 Mrs Ghandi becomes India's first woman Prime Minister. Military coups in Ghana and Nigeria.
1967 Military Junta takes control in Greece. Six Day War, Israel defeats Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian armed forces. Civil War in Nigeria.
1968 Russia invades Czechoslovakia. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy assassinated.
1969 Start of American withdrawal from Vietnam. Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the moon. Woodstock festival. General de Gaulle retires. British troops move into Northern Ireland. First flights of Concorde, Boeing 747 Jumbo and Harrier jump jet.
1970 Voting age lowered from 21 to 18 . End of Nigerian Civil War. 43 countries sign treaty limiting nuclear weapons. Military coup in Cambodia.
1971 Coup in Uganda, Idi Amin declared new leader. Decimal system of coinage adopted in UK. Internment introduced in NI.
1972 Palestinian terrorists attack Israeli Olympic team in Munich. President Amin expels Asians from Uganda. 'Bloody Sunday': troops fire on Catholic demonstrators in NI.
1973 Cease-fire in Vietnam. Egypt and Syria invade Israel during Yom Kippur. Oil embargo against pro-Israeli countries. Coup in Chile by General Pinochet.
1974 Miners strike forces three day week. Referendum over devolution for Scotland and Wales. Nixon resigns over Watergate bugging scandal. Turkey invades Cyprus. Coup in Portugal. Emperor Haile Selassie deposed in Ethiopia.
1975 UK joins EC. Israeli commandos raid hi-jacked aircraft at Entebbe. Civil wars in Lebanon and Mozambique. King Feisal of Saudi Arabia assassinated. Suez Canal re-opens. N.Vietnamese communists capture Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), Pathet Lao control Laos. Khmer Rouge defeat military government, Pol Pot begins reign of terror in Cambodia. North Sea oil production starts.
1976 Concorde starts regular service. Viking I and II land on Mars. Mao Tse-tung dies. Syrian army imposes truce in Lebanon. Harold Wilson resigns; Britain goes to IMF. Cod War over fishing rights between Britain and Iceland. Start of civil war in Angola. Heatwaves and drought across much of England and Wales.
1977 Baader-Meinhof Group hijack aircraft in Germany. First free elections in Spain since civil war. SA activist Steve Biko dies in jail. Aerospace and shipbuilding privatised. Space Shuttle makes first free flight.
1978 First 'test tube baby', Louise Brown, is born. Vietnam invades Cambodia overthrowing Khmer Rouge. End of Pinochet regime in Chile.
1979 Shah deposed in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeni sets up Islamic Republic. Peace treaty signed ending 30-year Israeli-Egyptian war. Tanzania invades Uganda, Amin flees. European Parliament's first session in Strasbourg. US Embassy held by students in Teheran. Wildcat strikes in the 'Winter of Discontent'. Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher overwhelm Labour. Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. Man powered 'Gossamer Albatross' crosses the channel.
1980 SAS rescue hostages held in Iranian Embassy. Strikers in Gdansk granted permission to form trade union. Iran and Iraq war over border and territorial rights.
1981 Reagan elected president, American hostages in Teheran released. SDP formed. Rioting in major cities in Britain. President Sadat of Egypt assassinated. Martial law declared in Poland after nationwide strikes. Space Shuttle 'Columbia' lands after 54 hours in space.
1982 Falklands War. Israel invades Lebanon. Flagship of Henry VII, the Mary Rose, raised in Portsmouth. Thames barrier completed. Frontier between Spain and Gibraltar opened.
1983 Suicide driver blasts American Embassy in Beirut. Revolutionary council in Grenada ousted by American troops. Argentina elects civilian government. Start of civil war in Sudan. Brinks Matt bullion robbery.
1984 Miners strike over pit closures. WPC Yvonne Fletcher shot outside Libyan People's Bureau. Famine in Ethiopia. Chemical plant explodes in Bhopal, India. IRA bomb Brighton Hotel during Tory Conference. Indira Gandhi assassinated by Sikh Bodyguards. British Telecom privatized.
1985 House of Lords televised. French secret service sink Greenpeace ship 'Rainbow Warrior' in NZ. Famine relief concert (Band Aid) organised by Bob Geldof. Wreck of the Titanic found. Anglo-Irish agreement signed in Dublin.
1986 Challenger space shuttle explodes on take-off. President Marcos exiled from Philippines by Corazon Aquino. US bomb Tripoli following Libyan terrorist acts in Europe. Nuclear disaster at Chernobyl spreads radioactive cloud over much of Europe. Voyager aircraft circles globe without refuelling.
1987 Soviet policy of glasnost (openness) begins. British Airways privatised. 'Herald of Free Enterprise' capsizes outside Zeebrugge. Syrian troops enter Beirut on behalf of Lebanese government. Cease fire in Chad (after 27 years). Military coup in Nigeria. Stock market crashes. 'Irangate' arms for hostages scandal in Washington. 30 die in Kings Cross fire. 'Virgin Atlantic Flyer' hot-air balloon crosses the Atlantic.
1988 Comic Relief. House of Commons televised. Hurricane in UK. SAS shoot 3 IRA terrorists in Gibraltar. Clapham rail disaster. Piper Alpha oil rig explodes killing 167 workers. Pan Am jumbo explodes over Lockerbie.
1989 Soviet withdraw from Afghanistan. Exxon Valdez hits reef in Alaska spilling 10 million gallons of oil. Poll Tax introduced in Scotland. Tiananmen Square massacre in China. Ayatollah Khomeni dies. Water companies privatized. US invade Panama. Berlin Wall falls. Peaceful revolutions in most of eastern Europe.
1990 Poll Tax introduced in England and Wales. Riot at Strangways prison, prisoners hold rooftop siege. Nelson Mandela released. End of the Cold War, Warsaw Pact disbands. Iraq invades Kuwait. Britain joins European exchange rate mechanism. East and West Germany unified after 40 years. Margaret Thatcher resigns. Electricity companies privatised.
1991 Iraqi troops ousted from Kuwait by allied forces, Kurdish rebellion crushed by Hussein. Virgin Pacific Flyer hot-air balloon crosses Pacific. Famine and end to 30 year civil war in Ethiopia. Start of civil war in Somalia. Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi assassinated by suicide bomber. Civil war in Yugoslavia. Recession in UK and many other countries. Treaty of Europe signed at Maastricht. Communist party collapses, USSR replaced by Commonwealth of Independent States.
1992 Famine in Somalia. War in Bosnia-Herzegovina between ethnic Croatians, Serbians and Muslims. UN troops enter Somalia and BH to protect food aid. End of civil wars in Mozambique and Somalia. Riots in Los Angeles. Last hostages released in Lebanon. Mujhadeen take control in Afghanistan, start of civil war. Czechoslovakia splits into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Black Wednesday (September 16th), speculators force Britain and Italy to pull out of the ERM. Church of England endorses ordination of women. Mount Etna erupts. Fire at Windsor Castle.
1993 MV Braer runs aground on Shetland Islands. Sir Ranaulph Fiennes crosses the Antarctic on foot. Solicitors granted permission by Lord Chancellor to act in the Higher Courts. Queen and Prince Charles start paying income tax. James Bulger murdered by two boys. End of recession. ERM collapses. Russian hardliners seize White house. Siege in Waco, Texas, ends as fireball kills all members of Dravidian Sect. USA, Canada and Mexico form NAFTA. Overladen Haitian ferry capsizes killing 2000. Civil war and famine in Sudan. End of 30 year civil war in Angola. Monarchy restored in Cambodia.
1994 Nelson Mandela president of SA after first ever free elections. GATT signed by 120 countries. Israel hands over Gaza to Palestinians Civil war in Rwanda, massacre of 700 000 by government troops. Comet Schumaker-Levy hits Jupiter. US ousts General Cedras from Haiti. Israel and Jordan sign peace treaty ending 46 years of war. Russian troops invade breakaway Republic of Chechnya. Oil pipeline bursts in N. Russia. End of war between Croatia and Serbia. Estonian ferry capsizes in Baltic killing 900. 53 members of Order of Solar Temple cult die in suicide pact. Eurostar begins passenger services through channel tunnel. IRA and loyalist terrorists renounce violence ending 25 year conflict in which 3172 have died. National Lottery launched.
1995 Earthquake in Kobe, Japan, kills 5000. SAREN nerve agent released into Tokyo underground by Omm religious sect. Right wing extremists bomb Government building in Oklahoma City: 200 dead. Ebola virus in Kenya: 200 dead. Earthquake in Russia: 2000 dead as 17 tower blocks collapse. Rugby Union turns professional. Nick Leeson leaves Barings bank with £860m of dept. France carries out nuclear tests in Pacific in defiance of Test Treaty ban. Fire in Baku underground: 300 dead. Drought in UK. Nigeria hangs 9 human rights protesters. Rosemary West sentenced for 9 murders. Troops leave the streets of NI. Israeli PM, Itzhak Rabin, assassinated by student. West Bank settlements handed to Palestinians. BH peace deal agreed in Dayton Ohio, 60000 NATO troops to enforce settlement.
1996 Mitterand dies. Arafat wins Palestinian presidential elections. IRA break cease fire - bombs at Canary Wharf, Arndale Centre and Army HQ in NI. Dunblaine - Thomas Hamilton kills 16 at primary school. Worldwide beef ban follows BSE scare. Tasmania, gunman kills 34 on shooting attack. ESA Ariane V rocket destroyed on take-off. Evidence of bacterial life found on Mars. Cease fire in Chechnya. Extreme Islamic law declared in Afghanistan. Volcanic Eruption under Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland followed by severe flooding. 2 million Rwandan refugees return home from Zaire. Fire in Channel Tunnel. Lorry drivers strike paralyses France - border crossings closed. Peru, hostage crisis in Japanese Embassy.
1997 Demonstration in Albania over collapse of pyramid selling organisations. Labour win landslide victory - 171 majority. NASA rover explores Mars. Accident on Mir space station results in power loss and air leaks. End of civil war in Zäire, renamed Democratic Republic of Congo. NATO and Russia sign joint agreement. Coup in Sierra Leone. Hong Kong handed over to China. Volcano devastates Monseraat. Princess Diana dies after car crash in Paris. Smog blanket over SE Asia from forest fires in Indonesia. Scotland and Wales vote yes to devolution. Thrust II jet car breaks sound barrier. Windsor castle opens after rebuilding. Terrorist attack at Luxor - 58 killed. Britannia decommissioned after 44 years.
1998 20m tall Angel of the North unveiled. Countryside protest in London. floods in England. Good Friday peace agreement signed in NI. Pol Pot dies. Train crash in Germany kills over 100. France98 : British fans rampage in Marseilles. Drug allegations disrupt Tour de France. Omagh bomb kills 28 and injures 200. Clinton indited of perjury over Lewinsky affair. Viagra impotency drug comes on the market.