1900. Dahomey (the former name of Benin) becomes a French colony.
1960. Independence is granted, and Hubert Maga becomes the country's first president.
1963. A coup brings Colonel Christophe Soglo to power.
1963. Dahomey returns to civilian rule, with Sourou-Migan Apithey elected president.
1965. Soglo assumes power again.
1967. Major Maurice Kouandete seizes power through a coup.
1968. Emile-Derlin Zinzou is appointed president by the military, but Kouandete again assumes power.
1969. A presidential election is attempted but collapses. Maga is nominated president again.
1972. Maga is succeeded by Ahomadegbe, but Major Mathieu Kerekou seizes power.
1975. Dahomey changes its name to Benin.
1990. A new constitution is adopted, paving the way for political stability.
1991. Nicephore Soglo defeats Kerekou at the polls to become president. Soglo begins the privatization or liquidation of 100 state-run companies.
1994. The CFA franc is devalued by 50 percent, boosting exports and increasing inflation.
1996. Kerekou defeats Soglo in an election to become president again.
2001. Kerkou wins re-election to the presidency.