The end of Communism in Europe
Jan 19 - Soviet Union announces plans to withdraw a tenth of its nuclear warheads from eastern Europe, the first in a string of nuclear-disarmament moves
Jan 20 - George H.W. Bush inaugurated president of the United States
Feb. 6 - Round Table talks between Solidarity and communist military dictatorship open in Warsaw, Poland
Feb 15 - The Soviet army withdraws from Afghanistan
Feb 24 - Estonia begins flying its national flag rather than Soviet flag
Mar 26 - Soviets hold first perestroika-age elections with parties other than communists
April 4 - Poland's Round Table talks end with agreement to legalize Solidarity and allow free elections.
April 9 - During an independence rally in Georgia, Soviet troops open fire; 20 killed
May 4 - Chinese democracy protests begin in Tiananmen Square, Beijing
May 8 - Slobodan Milosevic elected president of Yugoslavia
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Jun 4 - Poland holds its first open elections; Solidarity wins 99 per cent of all Senate seats and all the seats it is allowed to contest in the lower house.
Jun 4 - Tanks crush Tiananmen Square demonstrations
Jun 16 - Crowd of 250,000 gathers at Heroes square in Budapest for reburial of reformist Prime Minister Imre Nagy, hanged by the Soviet-controlled government in 1958
Jul 9-12 President Bush makes democracy speeches in Poland, Hungary
Aug 19 - At the Pan-European Picnic in Sopron, Hungary, the Iron Curtain opens for the first time and lets hundreds of East Germans through.
Aug 23 - 2 million Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians join hands and form 600km chain across the republics to demand independence
Aug 24 - Poland's communists relinquish power, allowing Solidarity leader Tadeusz Mazowiecki to become the first non-communist Prime Minister in 40 years
Sep 13 - East Germany demands that Hungary not allow East Germans to flee to the West.
Sept. 21 - Soviet Union introduces its "Sinatra" doctrine, allowing satellite states in eastern Europe to go their way.
Sept. 25 - Soviet Union and United States sign pact eliminating chemical weapons
Oct. 3 - East Germany bans travel through Czechoslovakia, bringing thousands more people to protests in Leipzig.
Oct 9 - In Leipzig, East Germany, 70,000 people take to the streets; some are beaten and imprisoned by police
Oct 16 - In response to Oct. 9 arrests, crowds in Leipzig increase to more than 200,000 and government, frightened, begins to discuss talks
Oct 18 - East Germany's Erich Honecker resigns. The reason given is "ill health," but rising discontentment and hostility toward him is considered the real reason. He is succeeded by Egon Krenz.
Oct 23 The People's Republic of Hungary becomes the Republic of Hungary. The ruling Communist Party renames itself the Socialist Party and has a plan for multiparty elections, to be held in 1990
Nov 4 - West Germany's embassy in Prague in packed with people fleeing East Germany. They speak of labour shortages in East Germany creating an economic crisis there.
Nov 7 -The Communist government of East Germany resigns, but Egon Krenz remains head of state.
Nov 9 East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall, allowing travel to West Germany without visas. This makes the Berlin Wall useless, and thousands flood across in celebrations.
Nov 10 - Germans begin tearing down the wall.
Nov 10 - Bulgaria's president and party leader Todor I. Zhivkov, resigns after 35 years in power. He is succeeded by his younger foreign minister, Petar T. Mladenov, 53, who says there is no alternative to restructuring the nation's economy and its political apparatus.
Nov 17 - A large and spontaneous demonstration takes place in Wenceslas Square, Prague, Czech Republic, calling for freedom. That night, the Civic Forum democracy coalition is formed.
Nov 19 - The demonstrations in Prague now attract more than 200,000 people.
Nov 24 On the eighth day of huge demonstrations, Czechoslovakia's Communist Party leader, Milous Jakes, resigns.
Nov. 27 - With millions of people on the streets, Czechs hold a nationwide general strike for democracy
Nov 28 - The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia promises free elections within a year.
Dec 3 - Mikhail Gorbachev and George W. Bush, meeting in Maine, declare the Cold War over.
Dec 10 - In Sofia, Bulgaria, 50,000 people demonstrate and demand that the constitution be changed to eliminate the communist monopoly on power.
Dec 11 - In Czechoslovakia, president Gustav Husak resigns and appoints a cabinet in which eleven non-communists are given positions in a cabinet of 21.
Dec 16 A demonstration in Timosoara, Romania is cut down with a massacre by soldiers.
Dec. 17 The Timosoara demonstrations attract more than 100,000 people. Workers present democracy demands to visiting Prime Minister. In Romania, Dictator Ceausescu cuts off phone lines from Timosoara to prevent information from spreading
Dec 21 - Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu tries to regain control by holding a mass televised demonstration in Bucharest. The entire Romanian population watches him jeered by 500,000 people as a "dictator." He is visibly horrified.
Dec 22 - Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, flee in a helicopter and are captured.
Dec 25 - Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu are summarily tried and executed by a military firing squad.
Dec 28 - In Czechoslovakia, parliament elects the playwright dissident Vaclav Havel president. Alexander Dubcek, the liberal communist deposed by the Russians in 1968, whom the crowds have been cheering, becomes parliament chairman.
The Globe and Mail, November 5, 2009