Ted Thornton
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Benchmarks in the History of Lebanon

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The name of the country was taken from "Mount Lebanon," which designates the one hundred mile 3,000 foot range of mountains extending from north to south through the country paralleling the Mediterranean Sea.  The Arabic word Lubnan comes from the Aramaic laban, meaning "white" after the snow capped mountains.

1860: French intervene in Lebanon; principle of confessionalism introduced.

1916: Secret talks between Great Britain and France on future of Lebanon. (see also).

1918: Report of the King-Crane Commission.

1920: Creation of modern geographical Lebanon.

1921: Constitution drafted.

1926: French proclaim Lebanon a republic and install a constitution.

1941: British occupy Lebanon. 

1943: "National Pact"

1946: French pull out of Lebanon.

1958, July: First Lebanese Civil War.

1968: Israeli incursion into Lebanon.

1969: Lebanon signs pact with Palestine Liberation Organization.

1970: Jordan's "Black September."  PLO moves to Beirut.

1975-1989: Second Lebanese Civil War.

1976: Syria enters Lebanon to try to stop the war.

1978, March: Israel invades Lebanon.

1978, August: Disappearance of Musa al-Sadr.

1982, June 6: Israel invades Lebanon.

1982: Hizbullah formed.

1983: Seeds planted for first Palestinian Uprising.

1983, April 18: U.S. Embassy in Beirut bombed, Israel pulls back.

1983, September: U.S. shells Druze positions.

1983, October: "Ashura Incident," Nabitiyeh followed by suicide bombings.

1984, September: Second U.S. Embassy bombing followed by U.S. withdrawal.

1985: Israeli pullback in southern Lebanon.

1989, October: Taif Accord ends the Second Lebanese Civil War (started in 1975).

1996, April: Israel's "Grapes of Wrath" attack on targets in Lebanon.

1999, June: Israel launches retaliatory attacks in Lebanon.

2000, May: Israel withdraws troops from southern Lebanon.

2001, April: Israeli warplanes attack Syrian positions in Lebanon.

2002, April: Syria pulls back troops inside Lebanon. 

2004: Lebanon bows to Syrian political pressure.

2005, February:  Former Prime Minister Hariri assassinated; Syrian agents blamed. Demonstrations break out as Lebanese proclaim their "Cedar Revolution" (alternately known as the "Independence Intifada ("uprising")" and the "March 14" movement.  (see also)

2005, April 26: The last Syrian troops withdraw from Lebanon.

2005, May: Elections in Lebanon (big wins for Hizbullah); the return of General Aoun.

2005, June: Fouad Siniora becomes Prime Minister.  (also: string of assassinations continues.)

2006, March 2: "National Dialogue" convened to try to resolve government gridlock.

2006, May 17: Clashes between Lebanese army regulars and pro-Syrian Palestininian militiamen; also, U.N. Resolution calling on Syria to cease meddling in Lebanese affairs and forge permanent ties with Lebanon. (see Syria)

2006, May 28: Skirmishing along the border with Israel.

2006, July: Hizbullah militants capture two Israeli soldiers sparking war with Israel.

2006, September 23: Government troops deployed to south for first time in forty years.

2006 - 2008: Political crisis.

2007, May 30: UN Security Council approves international tribunal to try those accused in Hariri assassination.

2008, May: The political crisis reaches another boiling point; Hizbullah seizes W. Beirut.

2008, July: Agreement reached on a unity government.

2008, October: Lebanon establishes diplomatic ties with Syria.

2009, June 7: Parliamentary elections favor "March 14" coalition.

 

Why does Syria seek to influence what happens in Lebanon? -- See Taif Accord, 1989.

Go to Lebanon section of Islamic Middle East Blog

 

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email: tthornton@nmhschool.org

Last Revised: June 11, 2008