1820. U.S. philanthropists establish a settlement for U.S. freed slaves in Liberia.
1847. Liberia becomes a republic and adopts governmental institutions similar to those in the United States.
1945. William Tubman becomes president.
1971. Tubman dies, and William Tolbert succeeds him as president.
1980. After Tolbert is assassinated, Sergeant Samuel Doe rules through a military council.
1989-96. Civil war hurts the country. In 1989, Doe is returned to power in multi-party elections, but the elections are widely considered to be flawed. Violence between ethnic and political factions begins a civil war.
1990. A coup led by Brigadier General Quiwonkpa is crushed, and 600 are killed in post-coup violence. Samuel Doe is kidnapped and killed as violence worsens.
1991. Forces led by Charles Taylor invades from Côte d'Ivoire, and the civil war becomes more violent and concentrated. For a time, fighting spills over into neighboring Sierra Leone.
1995. After many failed attempts, a peace accord is signed in Nigeria calls for future elections.
1997. The disarmament of the various military forces is completed, and Charles Taylor is elected president in multi-party elections.
1998. Opposition leaders are sent into exile. Taylor continues his support for rebel forces in Sierra Leone.