9000 BC - Corn harvesting begins in the Tehuacan valley in Puebla.
1800-200 BC - Pre-Classic Era. First settlements of the Olmecs in the coastal
region of the Gulf of Mexico.
200 BC-900 AD - Classic Era. Maximum development of pre-Hispanic civilizations.
Splendor of Teotihuacan, Monte Alban and Mitla (Zapotec), Uxmal, Palenque, El
Tajin, Bonampak, Yaxchilan; decline of Xochicalco and Cacaxtla. The Maya
civilization flourishes in what is now southern Mexico and northern Central America.
900-1400 AD - Post-Classic Era. Development of the Toltec culture in Tula
Mexico. Height of Monte Albán and Mitla (Mixtec) in Oaxaca. Height of Chichén
1325 - The Aztecs found Tenochtitlan on the site of present-day Mexico
city, built on an island in central Mexico's Lake Texcoco, becomes the capital of the
1511 - Jerónimo de Aguilar, first Spaniard on Mexican soil, is captured
by the Maya
in Yucatán and later becomes interpreter for Cortés.
1519 - Mesoamerica's population estimated at 25 million people. Hernán
leaves Cuba for an expedition to Mexico. Cortés founds Vera Cruz and initiates the
exploration of Mexico. By the end of the year he meets with Moctezuma II, the
1521 - On August 13th Spain's Hernán Cortés conquers Tenochtitlan
with the help
of the Tlaxcaltecs and subdues the Aztecs. During the next 25 years, most of
central and southern Mexico is christened New Spain. Chiapas forms part of
1535 - La Casa de Moneda, first mint of the Americas, was established in
1539 - The first printing shop in the Americas is established in Mexico
City by Juan
1553 - Inauguration of the Real y Pontificia Universidad de Mexico (Royal
Pontifical University of Mexico).
1781 - Establishment of La Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Carlos
Royal Academy for the Noble Arts of San Carlos).
1792 - The Real Seminario de Mineria (Royal School of Mining) is established
Mexico City ushering a new era in silver and gold mining.
1810 - On September 15th, in the town of Dolores, father Miguel Hidalgo
cry for Mexico's independence from Spain.
1820 - On December 23 Moses Austin presents his proposal for a colony in
Antonio de Béxar to the Congressional Committee on Colonization Questions. It
was the beginning of the settlement of Texas by Anglo-Americans.
1821 - On February 24th Agustin de Iturbide, with Guadalupe Victoria and
Guerrero, proclaims the Plan de Iguala: the Mexican Declaration of Independence to
free Mexico from Spain. Finally, on September 28th Mexico becomes an
independent nation with Agustin de Iturbide as Head of State. Moses Austin is given
permission to settle part of Texas with 300 non-Mexican families.
1822 - On May 18 Iturbide is crowned emperor under the name of Agustin
empire extends from Oregon to Central America, including California, Arizona, New
Mexico, Texas, Colorado, parts of Wyoming and most of Central America.
1823 - On March 19 Iturbide abdicates and leaves Mexico. U.S. President
Monroe declares the Monroe Doctrine prohibiting the involvement of European
powers in the American continent. Stephen F. Austin's land grant in Texas is
1824 - On October 10th the Congress elects Guadalupe Victoria as Mexico's
President and Nicolas Bravo as Vice President. The Constitution divides Mexico
into nineteen states and five territories.
1833 - Antonio López de Santa Anna becomes president of the Republic of Mexico.
1836 - On March 6 Santa Anna attacks the Alamo. On April 22 Sam Houston
defeats Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto. Texas declares independence from
1846 - The U.S. Congress declares war on Mexico following a bloody skirmish
between U.S. and Mexican troops on the frontier with Texas. After U.S. Marines
capture the capital, Mexico sues for peace and, in a treaty signed in February 1848,
cedes nearly half of its national territory to the United States.
1857 - Mexico adopts a constitution that secularizes education and forces
Roman Catholic Church to sell its vast landholdings. The move sparks a civil war
over church power that lasts until 1861.
1862 - On May 5th, the Mexican army defeats invading French troops at the
1863 - The French army captures Puebla, and on June 7 it enters Mexico City.
1864 - On June 12 Maximilian and Charlotte enter Mexico City installing
empire with an Austrian archduke as "emperor" of Mexico.
1867 - After Napoleon III withdraws French troops, Maximilian is captured
executed by a firing squad. The Mexican republic is restored with Benito Juarez as
1876 - Porfirio Diaz leads a revolt against the government of President
Lerdo, then assumes the presidency. Except for a four-year period when a
subordinate serves as president, Diaz rules Mexico until 1911.
1910 - On November 20th Francisco Madero calls for an armed revolt against
and sparks the Mexican Revolution, throwing the country into political upheaval that
lasts until 1917.
1917 - On February 5th a new constitution benefiting groups involved in
revolution is approved. The document guarantees a minimum wage and the right to
strike. It also outlines a plan for land reform and agrarian rights for peasants.
1927 - Outraged by the new constitution's restrictions on the church, Catholics
central Mexico launch a rebellion. The conflict ends with government concessions
three years later.
1929 - A year after leaving office, former President Plutarco Calles founds
National Revolutionary Party. Later rechristened the Institutional Revolutionary
Party, or PRI, the party wins the 1929 presidential election and enjoys uninterrupted
national rule for the next seven decades.
1938 - On March 18th President Lazaro Cardenas nationalizes Mexico's oil
as part of a sweeping populist program that also strengthens labor unions and
redistributes millions of acres of land from the wealthy to small farmers. The
program enshrines Cardenas as the most beloved Mexican president of the 20th
1939 - Manuel Gomez Morin founds the National Action Party, or PAN. Anchored
an alliance between business owners and the Catholic Church, the PAN struggles
50 years before winning its first governorship.
1968 - On October 2nd soldiers and police open fire on thousands of students
protesting in Mexico City's Plaza de Tlatelolco, giving birth to a new era in Mexican
1982 - On August 12th Mexico suspends its international debt payments after
oil prices make it impossible for the government to repay foreign loans. The debt
crisis leads to currency devaluations and hyperinflation that devastate the economy
for most of the decade. In 1987, annual inflation tops 159 percent.
1985 - On September 19th an earthquake strikes Mexico City, causing an
estimated $4 billion in damage. The government puts the death toll at 7,000, but aid
groups say that as many as 30,000 people lost their lives.
1988 - The PRI's Carlos Salinas de Gortari is elected president in a vote
believe is marred by fraud. Salinas ushers in electoral reforms, including the
creation of an independent institute to oversee balloting. The opposition scores a
series of election victories over the next decade.
1992 - The leaders of Mexico, Canada and the United States sign the North
American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. The agreement will erase most trading
barriers between the three countries by 2009.
1994 - On New Year's Day Maya Indian rebellion erupts in the southernmost
Chiapas. The rebels, known as the Zapatistas, time their uprising to begin on the
day that NAFTA takes effect.
1994 - On March 23rd Luis Donoldo Colosio, the PRI's presidential candidate,
assassinated while campaigning in Tijuana, Baja California.
1994 - On December 21st the government of President Zedillo devalues the
and foreign investment flees the country, triggering one of the worst economic crises
in Mexican history.
1997 - On July 6th in midterm elections, the PRI loses its majority in
house of Congress for the first time since the party's founding. Cuauhtemoc
Cardenas, son of the revered former president and leader of the left-of-center
Democratic Revolution Party, is elected mayor of Mexico City by a landslide.
1999 - On November 7th the PRI holds its first presidential primary, ending
tradition that allowed the sitting president to pick the party's candidate. Francisco
Labastida, widely believed to be Zedillo's choice as a successor, wins the vote
2000 - On July 2nd Vicente Fox, the candidate of the National Action Party
wins the presidential election in a stunning upset, breaking the PRI's 71-year hold
on the nation's top office. On December 1st Vicente Fox becomes the first
opposition president of Mexico since the Mexican Revolution of 1910.