1885. The British government takes control of Bechuanaland.
1909. Bechuanaland is exempted from inclusion in the proposed Union of South Africa.
1966. The independence of Bechuanaland, now called Botswana.
1966. Sir Seretse Khama elected President of Botswana, holding office until 1980.
1969. Botswana helps to form the Southern African Customs Union.
1972. Botswana's first diamond mine begins production at Orapa.
1977. A political Botswana Defense Force is established because of conflict in neighboring Rhodesia.
1980. Quett Masire takes office upon the death of President Khama and remains president until 1998.
1997. The Botswana Export Development Investment Authority (BEDIA) is established.
1998. Festus Mogae is elected president.