1010: The Ly dynasty founds the city of Hanoi as its capital
1858: The French navy attacks Da Nang, starting 25 years of struggle between France and Vietnam
1867: Cochinchina (South Vietnam) becomes a French colony
1883: Tonkin (North Vietnam) and Annam (central Vietnam) become part of French Indochina
1940: Japan invades Indochina
1941: Ho Chi Minh starts the Viet Minh, declaring Leninism an ideological weapon against colonialism
1945: The Viet Minh ousts Emperor Bao Dai; Ho Chi Minh declares the country’s independence
1954: Vietnam defeats the French at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. At the Geneva peace conference, Vietnam is partitioned at the 17th parallel into North and South Vietnam.
1961: U.S. President John F. Kennedy sends the first military advisers to South Vietnam. Testing of Agent Orange and other herbicides begins in August
1962: Operation Hades, later renamed Operation Ranch Hand, begins aerial spraying of herbicides
1965: U.S. troops arrive in Da Nang; aerial raids begin. Agent Orange spraying continues nationwide
1968: The Viet Cong’s Tet offensive is a military failure but stuns the West and sparks U.S. anti-war feeling, including protests against the use of Agent Orange
1971: U.S. ends use of Agent Orange after spraying 11.4 million gallons. Remaining stocks are collected at Da Nang, Bien Hoa and Tuy Hoa airbases, re-barreled and shipped to the South Pacific for incineration
1973: After the Paris Accords are ratified, the U.S. military withdraws from Vietnam
1975: North Vietnamese forces enter Saigon; the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is proclaimed in 1976
1979: U.S. veterans file class action lawsuit against chemical companies that produced Agent Orange
1984: Veterans’ lawsuit is settled out of court for $180 million
1987: Vietnam begins liberalizing economy with new foreign investment law. First U.S. tourists arrive
1991: U.S. Congress approves Agent Orange Act, creating a list of “presumptive illnesses” for which government compensation and medical care will be provided to US Vietnam veterans
1994: U.S. ends trade embargo against Vietnam
1995: U.S. and Vietnam establish diplomatic relations
2002: U.S. and Vietnam hold joint scientific conference, sign a research memorandum of understanding
2004: Vietnamese citizens file suit in U.S. courts against Agent Orange-producing chemical companies
2005: U.S. District and Appeals courts dismiss Vietnamese case. U.S. Supreme Court later refuses a review
2006: U.S. and Vietnamese presidents meet and agree that cooperation in addressing Agent Orange residues in Vietnam would strengthen the bilateral relationship
2007: The U.S. Congress appropriates $3 million to address remediation of dioxin hotspots in Vietnam and to support public health programs in the surrounding communities
2009: Congress appropriates an additional $3 million for the same purposes.
2010: Congress appropriates an additional $3 million for the same purposes. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces $34 million soil remediation program at Da Nang airport.
2011: Congress appropriates an additional $18.6 million to address remediation of dioxin hotspots in Vietnam and to support public health programs in the surrounding communities.