1947: It came into being as East Pakistan after Indian independence and partition.
1971: East Pakistan gained complete independence from Pakistan and the new country was called Bangladesh, with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman taking over as prime minister.
1982: General Hussain Mohammed Ershad came to power in an army coup, suspending the constitution and political parties but was forced to step down after massive demonstrations.
1991: Begum Khaleda Zia became the country's first woman prime minister.
1996: Another woman, Sheikh Hasina Wajed, the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was elected to power.
2001: The position of prime minister returned to Zia.
2006: Zia's tenure ended in October and new elections were set for January 2007, but were called off when clashes between the rivals' supporters left 45 people dead.