939 - Viets become independent from China
1627 - French missionary Alexandre de Rhodes arrives in Hanoi as civil war breaks out between the Trinh and Nguyen. De Rhodes develops Vietnamese alphabet
1692 - Viets complete conquest of Champa kingdom
1780 - Viets complete conquest of Khmer territory that makes up present-day South Vietnam
1867 - French take over southern Vietnam
1883 - French complete conquest of the whole of Vietnam
1940 - Japan invades Vietnam, France effectively loses control of its colony
September 2nd 1945 - Ho Chi Minh declares independence for Vietnam
September 6th 1945 - British troops enter Saigon to prevent Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh forces from taking control of southern Vietnam.
October 1945 - large numbers of French troops arrive in southern Vietnam
1946 - war breaks out between France and Vietnam
1954 - France loses war at battle of Dien Bien Phu . In the peace negotiations that followed this war the Viet Minh reluctantly agreed to partition Vietnam into a non-communist South Vietnam and a communist North Vietnam
1965 - US troops begin arriving in Vietnam to support the South Vietnam regime
1973 - US troops leave Vietnam but continue supporting the South Vietnam regime
1975 - South Vietnam regime collapses as North Vietnamese Army enters Saigon
1976 - Vietnam officially reunified
1978 - Ethnic Chinese from Saigon begin fleeing Vietnam after losing businesses to the new regime.
1978 - Vietnam invades Cambodia after Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge kills Vietnamese people inside Cambodia and on the Vietnamese side of the border with Cambodia
February 1979 - China invades and briefly occupies parts of North Vietnam to ‘teach it a lesson’ for invading Cambodia. (China supported the Khmer Rouge)
1979 - Ethnic Chinese from North Vietnam also begin fleeing the country, with many heading to Hong Kong
1979 - British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher accepts 10,000 Vietnamese refugees based in Hong Kong to settle in the UK