1969: At the age of 27, Moammar Gaddafi leads a bloodless military coup against King Idris and becomes head of the Revolutionary Command Council, the country’s most important role. His proposed merger with Sudan and Egypt fails, along with a series of subsequent Arab alliances he attempts.
1970 - 1971: The new government closes all foreign military bases in the country, expels several thousand Italian residents and closes foreign-operated libraries and cultural centers.
1973: The state’s oil industry is nationalized. Gaddafi sends his army into northern Chad to occupy a disputed strip of land.
1976: Gaddafi publishes a political manifesto rejecting capitalism and Marxism, and political parties and parliaments, in favor of a more direct government based on popular committees.
1977: Declaring a “people’s revolution,” Gaddafi renames Libya the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (state of the masses) and implements a governing sytem of local councils, though the country remains an authoritarian state in practice.
1980: After surviving multiple coup attempts, Gaddafi begins killing dissidents living abroad. He also resigns as secretary General People’s Congress, but remains head of state.
1986: After three U.S. soldiers are killed in Berlin in a terrorist attack sponsored by Libya, the US bombs Tripoli and Benghazi. Ties between the United States and Libya are severed.
1988: A bomb goes off on a Pan Am plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people. Warrants are issued for two Libyan suspects.
1992: The United Nations imposes sanctions on Libya for its refusal to hand over the suspects in the Lockerbie bombing.
1999: Libya turns over the Lockerbie suspects for trial, and sanctions are suspended. Gaddafi announces that he will not aid terrorists.
2003: U.N. sanctions are removed after Libya takes responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing. Gaddafi says Libya will abandon work to develop weapons of mass destruction.
2005: U.S. oil companies return to Libya, and the United States resumes full diplomatic relations with the country the following year.
2006: In a speech, Gaddafi urges supporters to kill those who want to reverse the progress made by his revolution 37 years before.
2008: In the highest-level visit since 1953, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Libya.
2009: Gaddafi is elected chairman of the African Union and proposes a “United States” for the continent. He also supplies financial support to the AU. His influence, and money, also extend to other African countries such as the Central African Republic, Chad, Liberia, Mali and Niger.
2010: A group of journalists is arrested but later freed by Gaddafi.
2011: After the ousting of leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and the arrest of a human rights worker in Libya, protests break out in Benghazi and spread to other cities.
Feb. 22, 2011: Gaddafi rejects demands that he relinquish power.
Feb. 26, 2011: President Barack Obama, in a private phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, says Gaddafi must leave.
April 30, 2011: Gaddafi calls for a ceasefire and negotiations with NATO, but refused to surrender power, as alliance warplanes continued airstrikes.
June 27, 2011: Judges from the International Criminal Court issue a warrant for Gaddafi's arrest.
July 15, 2011: The United States grants Libyan rebel leaders full diplomatic recognition as the governing authority of Libya, a move that could give the cash-strapped rebels access to more than $30 billion in frozen assets that once belonged to Gaddafi.
August 21, 2011...