Chronology of Mexico

                    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 in central
                    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. The
                    city, built on an island in central Mexico's Lake Texcoco, becomes the capital of the
                    Aztec empire.

                    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 Cortés
                    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
                    Aztec emperor.

                    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 Mexico

                    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 and
                    Pontifical University of Mexico).

                    1781 - Establishment of La Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Carlos (The
                    Royal Academy for the Noble Arts of San Carlos).

                    1792 - The Real Seminario de Mineria (Royal School of Mining) is established in
                    Mexico City ushering a new era in silver and gold mining.

                    1810 - On September 15th, in the town of Dolores, father Miguel Hidalgo issues a
                    cry for Mexico's independence from Spain.

                    1820 - On December 23 Moses Austin presents his proposal for a colony in San
                    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 Vicente
                    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 I, whose
                    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 James
                    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 first
                    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 the
                    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 Battle
                    of Puebla.

                    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 the second
                    empire with an Austrian archduke as "emperor" of Mexico.

                    1867 - After Napoleon III withdraws French troops, Maximilian is captured and
                    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 Sebastian
                    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 Diaz
                    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 the
                    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 in
                    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 the
                    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 industry
                    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 in
                    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 falling
                    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 that many
                    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 state of
                    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, is
                    assassinated while campaigning in Tijuana, Baja California.

                    1994 - On December 21st the government of President Zedillo devalues the peso,
                    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 the lower
                    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 a
                    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 (PAN),
                    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.