1947 - British colonial rule over India ends. A largely Muslim state comprising East and West Pakistan is established, either side of India. The two provinces are separated from each other by more than 1,500 km of Indian territory.
1949 - The Awami League is established to campaign for East Pakistan's autonomy from West Pakistan.
1970 - The Awami League, under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, wins an overwhelming election victory in East Pakistan. The government in West Pakistan refuses to recognise the results, leading to rioting. Cyclone hits East Pakistan - up to 500,000 people are killed.
1971 - Sheikh Mujib arrested and taken to West Pakistan. In exile, Awami League leaders proclaim the independence of the province of East Pakistan on 26th March. The new country is called Bangladesh. Just under 10 million Bangladeshis flee to India as troops from West Pakistan are defeated with Indian assistance.
1972 - Sheikh Mujib returns, becomes prime minister. He begins a programme of nationalising key industries in an attempt to improve living standards, but with little success.
1974 - Severe floods devastate much of the grain crop, leading to an estimated 28,000 deaths. A national state of emergency is declared as political unrest grows.
1975 - Sheikh Mujib becomes president of Bangladesh. The political situation worsens. He is assassinated in a military coup in August. Martial law is imposed.
1976 - The military ban trade unions.
1977 - General Zia Rahman assumes the presidency. Islam is adopted in the constitution.
1979 - Martial law is lifted following elections, which Zia's Bangladesh National Party (BNP) wins.
1981 - Zia is assassinated during abortive military coup. He is succeeded by Abdus Sattar.
The Ershad era
1982 - General Ershad assumes power in army coup. He suspends the constitution and political parties.
1983 - Limited political activity is permitted. Ershad becomes president.
1986 - Parliamentary and presidential elections. Ershad elected to a five-year term. He lifts martial law and reinstates the constitution.
1987 - State of emergency declared after opposition demonstrations and strikes.
1988 - Islam becomes state religion. Floods cover up to three-quarters of the country. Tens of millions are made homeless.
1990 - Ershad steps down following mass protests.
1991 - Ershad convicted and jailed for corruption and illegal possession of weapons. Begum Khaleda Zia, widow of President Zia Rahman, becomes prime minister. Constitution is changed to render the position of president ceremonial. The prime minister now has primary executive power. Cyclonic tidal wave kills up to 138,000.
Awami League returns
1996 - Two sets of elections eventually see the Awami League win power, with Sheikh Hasina Wajed, the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, becoming prime minister.
1997 - Ershad is released from prison. The opposition BNP begins campaign of strikes against the government.
1998 - Two-thirds of the country devastated by the worst floods ever. Fifteen former army officers sentenced to death for involvement in assassination of President Mujib in 1975.
2000 September - Sheikh Hasina criticises military regimes in a UN speech, prompting Pakistani leader General Musharraf to cancel talks with her. Relations strained further by row over leaked Pakistani report on 1971 war of independence.
2000 December - Bangladesh expels Pakistani diplomat for comments on the 1971 war. The diplomat had put the number of dead at 26,000, whereas Bangladesh says nearly three million were killed. Bangladesh wants Pakistan to apologise for alleged genocide it says Pakistani forces were guilty of during the war.
2001 April - Seven killed in bomb blast at a Bengali New Year concert in Dhaka. Sixteen Indian and three Bangladeshi soldiers killed in their worst border clashes.
2001 April - High Court confirms death sentences on 12 ex-army officers for killing Mujib. Only four are in custody.
2001 June - Bomb kills 10 at Sunday mass at a Roman Catholic church in Baniarchar town. Bomb at Awami league office near Dhaka kills 22. Parliament approves bill providing protection for Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana, who feared that the killers of their father Mujib were out to get them too.
2001 July - Hasina steps down, hands power to caretaker authority, becoming the first prime minister in the country's history to complete a five-year term.
2001 September - At least eight people are killed and hundreds injured as two bombs explode at an election rally in south-western Bangladesh.
2001 October - Hasina loses at polls to Khaleda Zia's Nationalist Party and its three coalition partners.
2001 November - Law repealed which guaranteed lifelong security to former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and sister Sheikh Rehana.
2002 March - Government introduces law making acid attacks punishable by death amid public anger over escalating violence against women.
2002 May - Government orders tightening of safety standards after up to 500 people die when a river ferry goes down in a storm.
2002 June - President Chowdhury resigns after ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) accuses him of taking an anti-party line.
2002 July - Pakistani President Musharraf visits; expresses regret over excesses carried out by Pakistan during 1971 war of independence.
2002 September - Iajuddin Ahmed sworn in as president.
2002 December - Simultaneous bomb blasts in cinemas in a town north of Dhaka kill 17 and injure hundreds.
2003 April - More than 100 people killed in two almost-simultaneous ferry disasters.
2004 Opposition calls 21 general strikes over the course of the year as part of a campaign to oust the government.
2004 May - Parliament amends constitution to reserve 45 seats for female MPs.
Bomb attack on Muslim shrine in north-eastern town of Sylhet kills two and injures UK high commissioner and 50 others.
2004 July onwards - Worst flooding in six years leaves nearly 800 people dead, millions homeless or stranded, and an estimated 20m in need of food aid. September's floods in Dhaka are said to be the worst in decades.
2004 August - Grenade attack on opposition Awami League rally in Dhaka kills 22 people. Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina survives the attack.
2005 January - Prominent Awami League politician Shah AMS Kibria is killed in a grenade attack at a political rally. The party calls a general strike in protest.
2005 February - More than 140 people are killed when a ferry capsizes near Dhaka.
2005 May - Some 150 people are killed within a week in three ferry accidents.
2005 17 August - Around 350 small bombs go off in towns and cities nationwide. Two people are killed and more than 100 are injured. A banned Islamic group claims responsibility.
2005 November - Spate of bombings, blamed on Islamic militants, hits Chittagong and Gazipur.
2006 February - Opposition Awami League ends year-long parliamentary boycott.
2006 October - Violent protests over government's choice of a caretaker administration to take over when Premier Zia completes her term at the end of the month. President Ahmed steps in and assumes caretaker role for period leading to elections due in January 2007.
2006 November - A 14-party opposition alliance led by the Awami League campaigns for controversial election officials to be removed. Chief election commissioner MA Aziz steps aside.
2006 December - Election date set at 22 January. Awami alliance says it will boycott the polls. Awami leader Sheikh Hasina accuses President Ahmed of favouring her rival.
Blockade aimed at derailing parliamentary elections paralyses much of the country.
2007 January - A state of emergency is declared amid violence in the election run-up. President Ahmed postpones the 22 January poll. Fakhruddin Ahmed takes over as head of caretaker administration.
2007 March - Six Islamist militants convicted of countrywide bomb attacks in 2005 are hanged. They include the leaders of Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen.
2007 April - Sheikh Hasina is charged with murder. Begum Khaleda Zia is under virtual house arrest. Several other politicians are held in an anti-corruption drive.
2007 May - Interim government eases restrictions on former prime ministers Sheikh Hasina and Begum Khaleda Zia.
2007 August - Government imposes a curfew on Dhaka and five other cities amid violent clashes between police and students demanding an end to emergency rule.
2007 November - Cyclone Sidr hits Bangladesh killing thousands. Hundreds of thousands of survivors are left struggling for basic necessities such as tents, rice, drinking water and medicines.
2008 May - Military-backed interim government says delayed elections will take place in December.
2008 June - Opposition leader Sheikh Hasina is temporarily freed from jail to get medical treatment abroad.
2008 August - Local elections take place, seen as a big step towards restoring democracy. Candidates backed by the Awami League party perform strongly.
2008 November - The authorities announce that general elections will be held on 18 December. Since January 2007 the country has been run by a military-backed interim government.
Former PM Sheikh Hasina returns home to lead her party in the general elections due in December. She spent four months in the US receiving medical treatment.
Awami League win
2008 December - The Awami League alliance led by former PM Sheikh Hasina wins a landslide victory in general elections, capturing more than 250 of 300 seats in parliament. International observers declare the vote broadly free and fair.
2009 January - Sheikh Hasina sworn in as prime minister.
2009 February - Around 74 people, mainly army officers, are killed in a mutiny by border guards unhappy with pay and conditions. Police arrest some 700 border guards in relation to the rebellion at their Dhaka compound headquarters.
2009 May - Police arrest another 1,000 border guards in connection with the February mutiny.
2009 June - In a ruling on the decades-old dispute between two main political parties, the High Court decides that it was the father of PM Sheikh Hasina, and not late husband of her arch-rival Khaleda Zia, who proclaimed independence from Pakistan in 1971.
2009 October - The government bans the local branch of the global Islamist organisation Hizb-ut Tahrir, saying it poses a threat to peace.
2010 January - Five former army officers are executed for the 1975 murder of Bangladesh's founding prime minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
2011 June - Constitutional change scraps provision for a neutral caretaker government to oversee elections.
2011 July - Bangladesh, India start first-ever joint census of areas along their border to resolve some territorial anomalies.
2012 January - Army says it has foiled a coup planned by "fanatic officers".