Chronography of Lebanon
See also Israel for events relating to the Palestinian State
Page last modified 26/72022
Choropleth map, % growth Islamic
population by country 1960 � 2000.
For history of Jerusalem and the Crusades,
see Christian History.
also Israel for
Israeli incursions into Lebanon.
also Islam and
the Middle East, for links to other Middle Eastern countries.
8.0, Saad Hariri Prime Minister 2004-2020
Rafik Hariri Prime Minister
Lebanon hostage crisis 1985-91
Lebanese civil conflict, multi-sided,
continues, Syrian dominance, 1985-90
United States withdraws from
Lebanon due to deteriorating security 1984-85
Factional fighting in Lebanon,
Christians vs. Muslims, Syria, Israel, involved, PLO evicted 1972-83
Start of Palestinian usage of
Lebanon as a base against Israel
Religious-based conflict in
Lebanon begins, 1958-64
Modern Lebanon created by France;
independence from 1946
4/8/2020, A huge double explosion
devastated Beirut. An explosion and fire in the docks area was followed by a
much larger detonation as 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate fertiliser ignited;
the fertiliser had been stored there for some six years The detonation was
reportedly caused by a welder. There were at least 145 dead and 5,000 injured.
2020, Lebanese financial crisis. Lebanese banks had offered unfeasibly
high interest rates, up to 14%, to US Dollar depositors. The Lebanese Central
Government had also borrowed form these banks at too-high rates. However
Lebanon lacked a solid industrial production base to pay back these loans, or
maintain the high rates to Dollar depositors. Public (Government-owed) debt
rose to 86 billion US Dollars, the 3rd highest ratio to GDP in the
world. The political elite came to be perceived as plundering, through tax, from
ordinary citizens, who started a tax revolt. In 2020 the banks imposed capital
flight controls ands the Lebanese Lira, pegged at too high a rate to the US
Dollar, plummeted 75%. Inflation rose. There was a run on the banks by Lebanese
depositors. The economy imploded, the wealthiest and the most talented workers,
fled abroad. and unemployment soared; the poor suffered the most. Outsiders
worried that, with little social protection in place, Iran would get an outpost on the Mediterranean,
near Europe and next to Israel.
8.0, Saad Hariri Prime Minister
6/2020, Protests in Lebanon as
currency crashed and many fell into poverty.
1/2020, Protests in Lebanon
against government corruption as economy fails. Saad Hariri
administration replaced by Hassan Daab.
11/4/2017, Samir Frangieh,
Lebanese leftist politician (born 12/4/1945) died.
2012, Clashes in Lebanon between Sunni and Alawaite
Muslims. In Beirut and Tripoli.
25/1/2011, Arab Spring protests in Lebanon,
6/2009, Pro Westerm government elected in Lebanon, headed by
For more on Israeli-Lebanese conflicts see Israel
2006, Hizbollah kidnapped 2 Israeli soldiers. Israel
attacked Lebanon in a month-long offensive. UN peacekeepers stationed along
26/4/2005, Syria withdrew the last of its 14,000
soldiers from Lebanon, ending a 29-year military occupation of that country.
7.0, Rafik Hariri Prime Minister 1992-2004
14/2/2005, Rafik Hariri,
Prime Minister of Lebanon, killed by a car bomb, precipitating the Cedar Revolutiuon. Anti-Syria protests
in Lebanon followed, and Syrian troops were
forced to depart (26/4/2005). Reprisals in the form of assassinations of
anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians, but Saad Hariri (son of the murdered Lebanese
Prime Minister) won elections and succeeded in forming a pro-Western,
2004, UN calaled for all foreign troops to leave Lebanon.
Hariri resigned in protest at the extension of President Lahoud�s term by three
2000, Israel withdrew its troops from southern Lebanon, a
region it had occupied since 1983.
10/2000, Rafik Hariri became Prime Minister,
1998, Emile Lahoud became President.
1992, First elections in 20 years. Rafiq al Hariri became Prime
6.0, Lebanon hostage crisis 1985-91
4/12/1991. American correspondent Terry
Anderson was freed by Islamic Jihad after 2,454 days in captivity. Held
since 16/3/1985, he was the longest-held kidnap victim in Lebanon.
18/11/1991, Terry Waite
was released from captivity in Lebanon
(see 20/1/1987), along with another hostage, Tom Sutherland.
21/10/1991. American Jesse Turner was released after five years as a hostage
8/8/1991. Hostage John
McCarthy (kidnapped 17/4/1986) came
back to the UK after 5 years and 3 months kidnapped in Beirut.
24/8/1990, Irish hostage Brian Keenan (taken on
11/4/1986) was released from Beirut.
23/4/1990, Robert Polhill,
aged 55, kept hostage in Beirut for 39 months, was released. Libya�s Colonel
Gaddaffi had called for all Western hostages to be released. Radical
groups such as Abu Nidal held more
20/1/1987. Terry Waite, envoy of the Archbishop
of Canterbury, was taken hostage in Lebanon. He was not released until
18/11/1991. His captors knew he was linked to the Irangate scandal and believed
he was a CIA spy. In fact he had been sent by the Archbishop
of Canterbury to negotiate the release of other hostages in Lebanon.
11/4/1986, Brian Keenan,
an Irish teacher, was taken hostage by Muslim extremists in Beirut (released
16/3/1985, American journalist Terry Anderson was kidnapped in Lebanon, see 4/12/1991.
5.0, Lebanese civil conflict, multi-sided,
continues, Syrian dominance, 1985-90
13/10/1990, Syrian forces invaded Lebanon and ousted General Michel
Aoun�s government. This
consolidated Syria�s 14-year occupation of Lebanon.
9/7/1990. Israeli jets struck at Hezbollah positions
in southern Lebanon.
1989, Aoun attempted to oust Syrian and
other militia groups from Beirut. The Taif
Agreement was signed, to end the Lebanese Civil war; however in 1990 Syria
to seek refuge in the French embassy in Beirut.
22/11/1989, A bomb exploded
in West Beirut near the motorcade of the
Lebanese President, Rene Moawad, killing him and 23 others.
23/10/1989, 62 members of the Lebanese Parliament
agreed to an equal power distribution between Christians and Muslims.
24/9/1989. The Arab
League negotiated a ceasefire in Lebanon.
1988, President Amime Gemayel left office, but presidential elections
failed to produce a clear successor. Gemayel installed an �interim military
government� led by Michel Aoun. However Aoun only controlled eastern
Beirut; in western Beirut there was a rival Syrian-backed administration led by
1/6/1987, Lebanese Prime Minister Rashid Karami
was killed by a bomb attack on the helicopter he was travelling in. Salim Huss
8/4/1987, In Beirut, Lebanon, Syrian forces
lifted� a 5-months siege of Palestinian
refugee camps by Shiite Amal militiamen.
22/2/1987, Syrian forces occupied west Beirut to stop
fighting between Shiite and Druse militias.
19/5/1985, Shi�ite Muslim militia attempted to drive
out the Palestinians from the Lebanese refugee camps of Sabra, Shatila and
Bourj-el-Barajneh, near Beirut.
4.0, United States withdraws from Lebanon due
to deteriorating security 1984-85
14/3/1985, As the situation in Lebanon deteriorated,
the USA evacuated its officials from the country.
4/9/1984. A large car bomb killed 23 at the US
Embassy in Beirut.
6/2/1984, President Gemayel of Lebanon ordered a 24-hour
curfew, as Shi�ite Muslim and Drize militias overran West Beirut. United States peacekeeping forces had just departed,
opening the way to militia conflict.
18/1/1984, Malcolm Kerr, President of the American
University, Beirut, was assassinated by pro-Iranian militias.
3.0, Factional fighting in Lebanon,
Christians vs. Muslims, Syria, Israel, involved, PLO evicted 1972-83
20/12/1983, The PLO were forced out of Lebanon. The Syrian Army
forced Yasser Arafat and 4,000 supporters to leave Tripoli, under arrangement
of safe passage out by the UN.
Lebanon, civil war broke out in the Chouf
Mountains following Israel�s withdrawal.
20/7/1983, The Israeli
Cabinet agreed on a partial withdrawal of troops from Lebanon, to south of the Chouf Mountains. Israel had wanted a
total withdrawal, but only on condition that Syria also withdrew from the country; it
refused to do so.
Christian Phalangist militia withdrew from Beirut, allowing the Lebanese
Government control over the city.
18/4/1983, The US Embassy in Beirut was hit by a car bomb,
killing 63 people.
Phalangist militiamen entered West Beirut refugee camps and massacred 800
5/8/1983, A bomb killed 15 at a Lebanese mosque.
forces invading Lebanon were just 3 kilometres south of Beirut Airport and had
reached the Beirut to Damascus Highway, where they were fighting against Syrian
15/12/1981, A car bomb destroyed the Iraqi Embassy in
Beirut, killing 61 people. This was the first modern suicide bombing. Syria was
13/8/1978, A large bomb in Beirut killed 150
13/6/1978, Israel withdrew from the 6 mile deep zone
of southern Lebanon it had occupied since 14/3/1978. However rather than
handing control of the territory to UN forces it handed over to Christian forces.
more on Israeli invasions of Lebanon see Israel.
14/3/1978, Israeli forces, under Operation Litani, invaded Lebanon. This was in retaliation for a
PLO bus hijacking on 11/3/1978, which killed 34 Israelis. Israeli forces
occupied a 6 mile deep strip of territory into Lebanon.
in Lebanon following the murder of the US ambassador forced the evacuation of
hundreds of Western tourists to Syria by the US military. Lebanese President
Suleiman Franjieh called in
for troops from Syria to help restore order. These troops sided with the Christians, but were unable to stop
Palestinian attacks. Syrian
President Assad had previously supported the PLO but now chose to connive with
the Christian Phalangist rulers of Lebanon and to suppress the PLO. Assad�s aim
was to dominate Lebanon and make it de facto a province of a �greater Syria�.
17/6/1976, The US Ambassador to Lebanon, Francis Meloy, was
assassinated in Beirut. Washington advised all US citizens to leave Lebanon.
agreement in Lebanon.
15/9/1975. Civil war
broke out in Beirut between Christians and
13/4/1975. Fighting broke out in Beirut between
Christians and Moslems. The fighting was sparked by a Christian Phalangist
attack on a Palestinian bus in Ain El Remmeneh, killing 27. This led to 13
years of civil war in Lebanon.
10/12/1974, Israeli rocket attack on the PLO
headquarters in Lebanon, injuring 2 people.
20/6/1974, Israeli aircraft attacked a Palestinian
refugee camp in southern Lebanon, killing 16.
10/4/1973, Israeli special forces completed an operation in Lebanon to
attack terrorist targets there.
27/2/1972, Israel attacked south Lebanon in reprisal
for Palestinian raids.
2.0, Start of Palestinian usage of Lebanon as
a base against Israel
1967, Palestinians started to use
Lebanon as a base for attacks on Israel. Many Palestinian refugees had fled to
Lebanon following the Six-Day War
1967. In 1968 Israel attacked Beirut Airport in retaliation.
1948, Several thousand Palestinian
refugees arrived in southern Lebanon after the establishment of the State of
1.0, Religious-based conflict in Lebanon
3/5/1964, In the Lebanese general election, Independent
candidates won the majority of seats, on a voter turnout of 53.0%.
25/10/1958, US troops withdrew from Lebanon (see
15/7/1958), now a stable Lebanese Government was in place.
23/9/1958, General Fuad Chehab, also a Maronite
Christian, succeeded Chamoun as President of Lebanon. He formed a
Government of 4 Christians, 3 Muslims and one Druse, controlled the insurgency,
and US troops departed by late October 1958.
15/7/1958, US troops landed near Beirut to protect US lives and
property during rioting. There were conflicts between Maronite Christians amd
Muslims. Lebanese President Camille Chamoune requested US troops
to help preserve order.
9/5/1958, Muslims in Lebanon rebelled against President Chamoun, a Maronite
Christian, who favoured closer ties with Europe and the USA, whereas the
Muslims, who made up around half of Lebanon�s population, wanted closer ties to
nearby Arab nations.
3/4/1900, Camille Chamoun,
President of Lebanon 1952�58, was born in Deir el Qamar (died 1987).
0.0, Modern Lebanon created by France;
independence from 1946
10/3/1946. Britain and
France began to withdraw from Lebanon.
troops landed in Beirut to reassert colonial control.
troops arrested the Lebanese government after it declared itself independent.
4/9/1925, Elias Hrawi,
President of :Lebanon, was born (died 7/7/2006)
proclaimed the creation of the state of Lebanon, with Beirut as its
31/8/1920, Under the
decree of General
Giraud, France enlarged the
Sanjak of Lebanon (Mount Lebanon) at Syria�s expense, adding Tripoli, Sidon,
Tyre and the Bekaa plain. Greater Lebanon now had a small Christian majority, but
the Muslim population had a higher birth rate. Lebanon became a
French �Mandate�; this was not a colonial system, but intended as an interim
administration by France until Lebanon was able to form a stable independent
1516, The Ottoman Turks conquered Lebanon.
2750 BCE, Approximate date that Tyre was founded. The city
came to be a major Phoenician trading centre.
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