1,000 BC: Legendary visit of Ethiopian Queen of Sheba to King Solomon.

500 BC: Founding of Aksumite state in northern Ethiopia.

330 AD: Ethiopia's conversion to Christianity. Aksumite state becomes world's first to issue coins with a cross on them.

13th century: Churches are built in Lalibela.

1886: Addis Ababa becomes the capital.

1896: Battle of Adowa won by Emperor Menelik: biggest African victory over a European Army (Italian) since Hannibal crossed the Alps.

1935: Fascist Italy invades Ethiopia; troops use poison gas against Ethiopian guerrillas.

1941: Liberation of Ethiopia by Ethiopian resistance and British. Emperor Haile Selassie returns to country.

1961: Eritrean guerrillas begin fight for independence of northern region.

1974: Ethiopian revolution. Haile Selassie deposed: Mengistu Haile Mariam gradually assumes power.

1976: Ethiopian government adopts Marxist-Leninist political line (dropped in 1990).

1977: Somalia invades Ethiopia; is defeated with help of Soviet Union, which had armed Somalis in the first place.

1977: Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front begins to arm and train Tigrean guerrillas who seek autonomy for Tigre Province.

1989-91: Rebels expand their areas of control, coming to within 30 miles of capital.

May 21, 1991: Mengistu resigns and flees.

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