Early summer 1978 -- The first feelers are extended when Atlanta lawyer Mario Leanza, vacationing in Sicily, meets a Sicilian with Libyan diplomatic connections. The Libyans seek Americans business contacts -- particularly with President Carter's younger brother. Back home, Leanza mentions the encounter to real-state developer Thomas Jordan. Jordan seeks out Georgia state Sen. Floyd Hudgins, a friend of the Carter family.
July 1978 -- Libyan diplomat Gibril Shalouf visits Atlanta. He rides with Thomas Jordan and Hudgins to Plains, Ga., where he meets Billy Carter. Billy is invited to Tripoli, the Libyan capital.
August 1978 -- Billy Carter and a friend, Randy Coleman, phone the National Security Council (NSC) for a briefing on Libya. William Quandt of the NSC warns them of the possibility of upsetting the Camp David negotiations. Billy breaks, in angrily about not needing advice from Washington on dealing with Libyans.
September 1978 -- Billy makes an uneventful trip to Tripoli with several other American businessmen.
Jan. 1979 -- Billy entertains a Libyan delegation at a reception in Atlanta as part of a US-Libyan friendship effort.
Jan. 12, 1979 -- US Justice Department sends Billy the first of two letters requesting that he register as a foreign agent.
March 1979 -- FBI opens a investigation into the legality of Billy's activities. When asked, Billy denies having received any compensation from Libyans.
April 1979 -- Billy asks an old Marine Corps friend, Jack McGregor, president of Carey Energy Corporation, about oil companies interested in Libyan crude. McGregor later suggests Charter Crude, a Florida firm, and Billy bargains for a 55 cent-a-barrel broker's fee on Libyan oil to be delivered to Charter. (No such oil has yet been delivered.)
August 1979 -- Billy makes a second trip to Libya. On the plane home he shows off gifts received there.
Nov. 27, 1979 -- National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski discusses US hostages in Iran with Billy and the Libyan charge d'affaires in Washington, Ali Houderi. The US Embassy in Tripoli is sacked less than a week later.
January 1980 -- Billy receives $20,000 check from Libya, but again denies to FBI that he received any payment from Libyans. Investigators now say the check was deposited two weeks before the question of payment was posed.
March 1980 -- Brzezinski learns of Charter Crude deal and warns Billy not to "embarrass the administration."
April 1980 -- Billy receives $200,000 more from Libya.
June 2, 1980 -- The Justice Department, investigating suspected Libyan payments to Billy, obtains hard evidence on the matter from abroad.
June 10 -- Billy visits the Justice Department to check on the investigation and eventually admits to receiving the payments.
June 17 -- Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti privately warns President Carter that Billy should have registered, and should still register, as a foreign agent.
July 14 -- Under protest, Billy registers as a foreign agent.
July 15 -- Carter administration issues a White Paper intended to answer all questions on the matter. It asserts there had been no contact between the Justice Department and the White House concerning the affair.
July 23 -- Blue-ribbon Senate panel is formed to investigate the case.
July 28 -- US Sens. Dennis DeConcini and Orrin Hatch report that fugitive financier Robert Vesco claims to have arranged Libyan payments to Billy Carter to embarrass the Carter administration.
July 28 -- Director of Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility, Michael Shaheen, coordinates probe of Justice Department/White House contacts with FBI director William Webster.
July 30 -- President Carter admits having discussed confidential State Department cables with his brother concerning the latter's first trip to Tripoli. This comes after several congressmen refer publicly to an FBI report in which Billy said the President had given him the cables.