Egypt; key historical events
Page last modified 1/9/2020
See also Islam and Middle East
See also Turkey
See also Judaism and Israel
Suez Crisis 1956
24/11/2017, Extremist Muslims bombed a Sufi mosque in al-Rawdah, Egypt, then shot dead many of those fleeing the scene. 305 worshippers lost their lives.
11/12/2016, 28 were killed and 49 injured in an ISIS bomb attack on St Mark’s Cathedral, Cairo.
28/5/2014, Abdel Fattah al Sisi was elected President of Egypt.
3/7/2013, After massive street protests across Egypt, President Morsi was deposed by the military; his regime accused of sending the country towards bankruptcy.
24/6/2012, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood became President of Egypt.
9/10/2011, In Egypt, 24 protestors were killed and 200 injured in a crackdown by security forces.
13/4/2011, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was arrested, along with his sons, in Cairo.
11/2/2011, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned after widespread protests against him, leaving Egypt governed by the military. This was during the ‘Arab Spring’.
4/2/2011, Large crowds gathered in Cairo calling for the resignation of President Mubarak.
25/1/2011, ‘Arab Spring’ protests in Egypt and Lebanon.
1/1/2011, 23 were killed and 70 injured in a bomb attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt.
3/2/2006, An Egyptian ferry sank in the Red Sea, killing 1,300.
2005, Mubarak was elected for a 5th term as President.
21/7/2005, 64 were killed by suicide bombers at the seaside resort of Sharm El Sheikh, on the Red Sea.
27/12/1989, Egypt and Syria resumed full diplomatic relations.
17/11/1997, The terrorist group Jamaat al Islamiyah massacred 58 foreugn tourists and 4 Egyptians at Luxor.
27/12/1993. In Cairo, Muslim militants opened fire on a tourist bus, wounding 16, including 8 Australians.
28/2/1993. In Cairo, a café used by foreigners was bombed by Muslim extremists. 4 were killed and 16 injured. Americans, Swedes, and Germans were amongst the injured.
25/1/1993. President Mubarak of Egypt vowed to end Muslim fundamentalism.
4/1/1993. Muslim fundamentalists killed two Coptic Christians in Egypt.
15/12/1991. More than 470 drowned when a ferry carrying returning Egyptian pilgrims and overseas workers sank in the Red Sea.
1986, President Hosni Mubarak met Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres to discuss Middle East Peace.
9/10/1984, Jordan mended relations with Egypt when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak visited Amman. Egypt had been despised by the Arab world since the late President Anwar Sadat signed a peace treaty with |Israel at Camp David in 1979. Now King Hussein of Jordan met with Arab hostility for mending relation with Egypt, a move sparked by problems in the Jordanian economy arising from a downturn in trade resulting form the Iran-Iraq war.
1982, The last Israeli troops left the Sinai.
15/4/1982. The 5 men who killed Sadat in Egypt were executed. They were Muslim fundamentalists who disagreed with Sadat’s negotiating with Israel.
10/11/1981. Hosni Mubarak became President of Egypt.
6/10/1981. President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, 62, was assassinated in Cairo, whilst attending a military parade celebrating Egyptian successes in the Yom Kippur war of 1973. Vice President Hosni Mubarak became President. Army members who were part of Islamic Jihad organisation killed Sadat, opposing his negotiations with Israel, which led to the historic Camp David Agreement of 1979.
3/9/1981, President Sadat began a crackdown against dissidents, arresting 1,536 of them on a single night.
15/9/1981. Sadat expelled 1,500 Soviets from Egypt.
27/12/1980, Egypt and Syria resumed diplomatic relations after a 10-year break.
26/3/1979. In Washington, USA, Mr Begin of Israel and President Sadat of Egypt signed a peace treaty. President Carter oversaw the signing.
1977, Sadat visited Jerusalem for a first ever meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister.
5/6/1975. President Sadat opened the Suez Canal reopened to all international maritime traffic except Israeli shipping, after eight years of total closure since the Six-Day War.
28/2/1974. The USA and Egypt resumed diplomatic relations after a break of 7 years.
For Yom Kippur war see Israeli history.
6/11/1972, A Coptic Christian church was set alight during sectarian violence in the northern Cairo suburb of Khanka.
18/7/1972, Sadat expelled 20,000 Soviet advisers after the USSR failed to supply promised armaments.
2/9/1971, Egypt discontinued its use of the title United Arab Republic and reverted to its old name. See 29/9/1961.
15/1/1971, The Aswan High Dam on the Nile, built with Soviet finance and expertise, was officially opened by President Sadat, and Podgorny.
14/10/1970, Nasser’s associate, Anwar Sadat, aged 51, was elected President of Egypt.
28/9/1970. President Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt since 1954, died of a heart attack aged 52, after mediating in the Jordan civil war.
7/8/1970, Egypt and Israel, both exhausted by their War of Attrition throughout 1970, agreed a ceasefire. Israel remained in occupation of Sinai up to the east bank of the Suez Canal. Egypt retained the west bank of the Canal, and agreed not to site any missiles within 20 miles of it. After a few months Egypt reneged o the missile agreement and sited missiles close to the Canal. Israel protested but took no further action. The strategic depth of the Sinai itself made Israel feel secure.
21/7/1970. The Aswan Dam in Egypt was completed. The annual Nile flooding could now be controlled, and hydro-electric power produced; the 111 metre high dam also created a significant fishing industry.
8/4/1970, Israeli bombs fell on a primary school in the Nile delta, killing 30 children. The bombs were intended for a military base but fell off-target; it was a further reprisal for the sinking on 3/2/1970 of an Israeli ship near Eilat.
12/2/1970, Israeli raid on factories near Cairo; 70 civilians died. This was a further Israeli reprisal for the sinking on 3/2/1970 of an Israeli ship near Eilat.
3/2/1970, Egyptian frogmen sank an Israeli supply ship off the Israeli port of Eilat. In reprisal Israeli aircraft sank several Egyptian minesweepers in the Gulf of Suez.
1967, Six Day War with Israel; Egypt lost the Sinai.
24/3/1965. Farouk I, King of Egypt from 1936 to 1952, died in exile in Italy.
14/5/1964. Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev and Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser opened the first stage of the Aswan Dam in Egypt. The Nile had been diverted four years earlier to build the dam, which created a lake 6 miles wide and 350 miles long, displacing 100,000 people but irrigating a million acres of desert for farmland. Many of Egypt’s historic sites were also flooded, but the buildings were moved to safe locations.
7/8/1962, Egypt agreed terms with the UK for compensating British subjects whose property was seized after the Suez Crisis of 1956.
21/9/1961, In Egypt, Nasser confiscated the assets of wealthier Egyptians.
9/1/1960. Work began on the Aswan High Dam, Egypt.
23/8/1958, The Egyptian Government approved the Aswan Dam project.
1/2/1958. Egypt and Syria joined to form the United Arab Republic. See 29/9/1961.
30/4/1957 Egypt reopened the Suez Canal.
8/3/1957, The Suez Canal reopened for smaller ships.
4/1/1957. In the wake of the Suez Crisis, a UN sponsored force of German tugs and salvage vessels began to clear the Suez Canal. 13 ships of various nationalities had been stranded in the Canal and could now resume sailing towards the Mediterranean. On 1/1/1957 President Colonel Gamal Nasser of Egypt had abrogated a 1954 treaty that had preciously guaranteed the UK full access to the Canal during international conflicts.
27/12/1956, Clearance work on the Suez Canal began.
22/12/1956. Britain and France withdrew their forces from Egypt, under intense pressure from the USA. The Suez Crisis had caused a run on Sterling, and the US would not halt this without a withdrawal.
22/11/1956. The withdrawal of Anglo-French troops from Port Said was completed, UN forces moved in.
15/11/1956. UN emergency forces arrived in Suez, and began to clear the Canal of wrecked ships on 27/12/1956. UN forces began taking over from the British, under strong pressure from the USA. The British PM, Anthony Eden, was suffering from psychological strain caused by the unanticipated world hostility to his Suez adventure, and flew to Jamaica on 23/11/1957 to rest.
7/11/1956. Britain and France reluctantly agreed to UN demands for a ceasefire in the Suez Crisis.
6/11/1956. Israeli forces reached Sharm El Sheikh.
2/11/1956, Gaza fell to British troops.
31/10/1956. France and Britain bombed Egyptian airfields in the Suez Crisis. The speed of events – Egypt was only given 12 hours to withdraw from the Canal – suggested to US President Eisenhower that the whole operation was staged to maintain Anglo-French influence in Suez.
29/10/1956. 5.pm. Israeli troops invaded the Sinai Peninsula and troops pushed on towards the Suez Canal, ostensibly to destroy guerrilla strongholds, coming within 20 miles of the Canal. 30,000 tank-supported Israeli troops invaded Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, in retaliation “for Egyptian attacks on land and sea communications near Gaza”. Israeli forces wanted to reach the gun batteries at Sharm El Sheikh at the tip of the Sinai peninsula which were closing the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. These batteries were destroyed on 5/11/1956.
This was part of the Suez Crisis in which President Nasser nationalised the canal. See 16/11/1869, 26/7/1956, and 23/6/1956. On 30/10/1956 Britain and France issued an ultimatum to Egypt and Israel to stop fighting and on 31/10/1956 France and Britain invaded the Suez area ‘to stop the Israeli-Egyptian fighting. Nasser closed the canal by sinking 47 old ships full of concrete in it. In fact this move had been pre-planned with Israel’s co-operation. On 25/10/1956 the British, French, and Israeli PMs, Anthony Eden, Guy Mollet, and David Ben Gurion, had met in secret at Sevres. On 6/11/1956 Anglo-French forces, 600 British and 487 French paratroopers, seized the Canal itself, having landed at Port Said. The UN ordered a ceasefire on 8/11/1956. The US condemned the invasion and the UN saw the rare sight of US and USSR delegates voting together. The US had threatened not to defend Sterling against a run on international markets against it unless the UK pulled out of Suez.
Because of the fighting, backed by Britain and France, and ended by a UN ceasefire, the Canal was closed for more than six months, blocked by sunken ships. UK petrol rationing began on 23/11/1956, see this date. The Canal closed again during the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 and did not reopen until 1975. However by then very large oil tankers had been developed that were too deep to pass through the canal. It is hoped that plans to deepen the Canal and reduce fees will revive the enterprise (2001).
16/10/1956, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd visited Paris and met with French Minister Guy Mollet and Foreign Minister Christian Pineau to discuss joint action against Egypt.
23/9/1956, Britain and France took the Suez issue to the UN Security Council.
29/8/1956, Major build up of British and French forces in the eastern Mediterranean, to intimidate Egypt.
1/8/1956, The US, Britain, and France met to talk about the Suez problem. On 8/8/1956 Eden said Nasser could not be trusted.
30/7/1956, Eden tells Nasser he cannot have the Suez Canal and imposed an arms embargo on Egypt.
26/7/1956. Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal a month after taking power. Nasser wanted the tolls from the Canal to pay for the Aswan Dam construction. On 28/7/1956 the Cabinet met in London and agreed that as a last resort military means would be used if the Canal was not kept open for free passage of ships in perpetuity, not just until the Suez Canal Company’s concession ran out in November 1968. On 9/9/1956 Nasser rejected US plans for international control over the Canal.
19/7/1956. Britain and the USA withdrew financial support for Egypt under its new leader, Nasser, who was seen as too pro-Soviet.
23/6/1956. General Gamal Adbel Nasser was elected Egypt’s first president. However voting was compulsory and he was the only candidate. Nasser graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Cairo in 1938, aged 20, and was wounded in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Appointed Prime Minister of Egypt in 1954, he enjoyed popular support.
13/6/1956, The last British troops left the Suez Canal Zone.
4/6/1956, Egypt announced that it would not renew the Suez Canal Company’s concession when it expired in 1968.
31/3/1956, The last British soldiers left Egypt, and 74 years of British military presence in Egypt ended, as the Grenadier Guards and Life Guards embarked at Port Said, Suez.
2/3/1955. Egypt and Syria signed a defensive pact.
17/11/1954, Nasser became official head of state in Egypt, see 17/4/1954.
26/10/1954, An assassination attempt on Egyptian Prime Minister Gamal Abdel Nasser failed.
19/10/1954, Colonel Nasser of Egypt agreed with Britain a timetable for the withdrawal of Britain from the Canal Zone within two years.
27/7/1954, The UK Government agreed to Colonel Nasser’s request to pull British troops out of Suez. They were to leave by 1956.
21/7/1954. Britain, America and the World Bank turned down a request for aid from President Nasser of Egypt to build the Aswan Dam.
17/4/1954. Colonel Nasser took power in Egypt from President Neguib and became Prime Minister.
18/6/1953, Egypt declared itself a republic.
24/5/1953, The Foreign Office advised British families to leave Egypt.
10/2/1953, In Egypt, General Neguib was granted dictatorial powers for three years.
16/1/1953, Egypt dissolved all political parties.
26/7/1952. King Farouk abdicated as King of Egypt. General Neguib was the first president.This ended the 148-year-old Egyptian monarchy which had begun in 1805 with Ottoman Viceroy Mohammed Ali. Farouk was the 10th generation of Ali’s descendants. General Gamel Abdel Nasser had orchestrated the coup behind the scenes, organising the revolutionary secret Free Officers group that had ousted Farouk. In 1954 Nasser overthrew Neguib as ruler of Egypt. Nasser then held ‘elections’ in which his was the only name on the ballot paper; Nasser got 99.95% of the vote.
23/7/1952, General Neguib marched on Cairo, to overthrow King Farouk I. Farouk fled to France and then Monaco; Egypt became a dictatorial Republic under Neguib and Britain lost its influence in the country.
27/1/1952, Anti-British rioters in Egypt burnt down the Shepheard Hotel, killing 17.
26/1/1952, In response to the incident of 25/1/1952 mobs in Cairo led by the Muslim Brotherhood attacked British buildings, killing 10 Britons. Cairo police declined to intervene until the evening.
25/1/1952, British troops captured the police headquarters in Ismalia, Egypt; 46 Egyptians were killed This followed guerrilla attacks on British bases in Egypt, in which the British suspected police complicity.
12/1/1952, The first violence by Egyptian nationalists against the British began in the village of Tel el Kebir.
4/12/1951, British forces attacked in Egypt during anti-British riots.
20/11/1951, Evacuation of British Army families from Egypt began.
22/10/1951, Britain stopped arms exports to Egypt.
21/10/1951, Four British warships arrived at Port Said, at the northern end of the Suez Canal.
19/10/1951. British troops seized the Suez Canal Zone after Egypt abrogated the 1936 Treaty.
10/9/1951, Anti-British riots in Egypt.
5/4/1951, The UK Government approved, in principle, of withdrawing troops from the Suez Canal.
16/11/1950, King Farook of Egypt demanded immediate evacuation of British troops from the Suez Canal.
3/1/1950, In Egypt, the Wafd Nationalist Party won overwhelmingly in general elections.
17/3/1948. King Farouk of Egypt laid the foundation stone of the Aswan Dam.
8/1/1945, A general election in Egypt, boycotted by the Wafd Nationalists, was won by Ahmed Pasha.
8/10/1944, In Egypt, King Farouk dismissed the Wafd Government of Nahas Pasha.
2/1/1939, Howard Carter, British Egyptologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, died.
26/5/1937. Egypt joined the League of Nations.
26/8/1936. A treaty (The Anglo-Egyptian Alliance) ended the British protectorate over Egypt and gave Britain control over the Suez Canal for the next 20 years.
2/5/1936, General election in Egypt, victory for the Wafd Nationalists. Nahas Pasha formed a Wafd Government.
28/4/1936, Farouk, aged 16, became King of Egypt on the death of his father, King Fuad (68). Fuad had become monarch in 1922 when Britain granted limited independence to Egypt.
1/1/1930, In Egypt, Nahas Pasha formed a Wafd Nationalist Government.
21/10/1929, In Egypt, the Wafd Nationalist Party won the elections.
6/8/1929, Britain and Egypt agreed a draft treaty for the withdrawal of British troops from Egypt, except from the Canal Zone.
1928, The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt by the Sunni Islamic scholar, Hassan al-Banna.
16/3/1928, In Egypt, the Nationalist leader Nahas Pasha became Prime Minister.
21/1/1926, Sennar Dam, on the Nile, was completed.
15/3/1924. The first Egyptian Parliament opened.
15/3/1923, Fuad I was proclaimed King of Egypt.
17/2/1923. Tutenkhamen’s tomb opened by the Egyptologist Howard Carter. Carter was born in Swaffham, Norfolk, on 9/5/1873, and joined the British – sponsored archaeological survey of Egypt at the age of 17. He died in London in 1939.
26/11/1922. The tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen was discovered by Howard Carter and his patron, Lord Carnarvon.
15/3/1922, Britain abolished its protectorate over Egypt and recognised its independence. Ahmed Fuad became King of Egypt.
23/5/1921. British troops entered Alexandria, Egypt, to quell nationalist rioting.
11/2/1920, King Farouk, last King of Egypt, was born in Cairo, son of King Fuad I.
21/3/1919, Edmund Allenby became British High Commissioner in Egypt.
10/3/1919, After Nationalist riots in Egypt, the British deported the Nationalist leader, Saad Zaghful.
25/12/1918, Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, was born in Talah Minufiya.
15/1/1918, Gamal Nasser, the first President of Egypt, was born in Alexandria.
20/12/1914, The British Protectorate of Egypt was established, with Hussein Kamil as Sultan.
19/12/1914. Britain declared Egypt to be a British Protectorate, deposing the ruler, Khedive Abbas II, who had sided with Germany’s ally, Turkey. Abbas II, born 14/7/1874, who succeeded his father on 8/1/1892, died in Geneva on 21/12/1944.
22/10/1914. Britain ordered all foreign ships out of the Suez Canal.
20/2/1910, Egypt’s Christian PM, Butros Ghali, was assassinated by a Nationalist.
25/3/1909, Egypt imposed press censorship, to control the Nationalists.
10/2/1908, Mustapha Kamal of Egypt died.
7/12/1907, The first congress of the Egyptian Nationalist movement, under Mustafa Kamil.
10/12/1902. The large dam at Aswan, Egypt, was completed. At 130 foot high, with a 114 mile long lake, it had taken four years to build.
7/12/1894, Ferdinand de Lesseps, French diplomat and engineer who promoted the Suez Canal, died aged 89.
9/9/1894, Heinrich Brugsch, German Egyptologist, died (born 18/2/1827).
7/1/1892, Tewfik Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, died. Abbas II (born 1874) became the Khedive of Egypt (ruled to 1914).
10/1/1890, Cleopatra’s tomb was discovered.
29/10/1888, Britain, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire signed an agreement that the Suez Canal was neutral and open in wartime as well as peacetime to all ships.
27/12/1885, Samuel Birch, Egyptologist, died (born in Woolwich, London 3/11/1813).
14/9/1882, British troops occupied Cairo.
9/11/1882, Joint Anglo-French control of Egypt was established.
13/9/1882, A British Expeditionary Force under Lieutenant-General Sir Garnet Wolseley routed the Egyptian forces under Arabi Pasha at Tel el Kebir. Britain feared for the safety of the Suez Canal.
3/8/1882, Suez was occupied by British marines.
24/7/1882, Arabi Pasha declared a Holy War in Egypt.
11/7/1882, A British fleet bombarded Alexandria in retaliation for nationalist violence in which 50 Europeans died.
11/6/1882, (see 31/8/1801). After a mutiny of soldiers in Alexandria in 1881, an Anglo-French fleet arrived off the town in May 1882. This provoked a massacre of Europeans in Alexandria on 11/6/1882. The ruler of Egypt, Arabi Pasha, was strengthening the system of forts in Egypt and failed to respond to an ultimatum issued on 10/7/1882 by the British Admiral, Sir Beauchamp Seymour (Lord Alcester). Hence the British invaded and occupied the whole of Egypt.
1/2/1881, Popular unrest in Cairo after the arrest of three Egyptian colonels who were accused ossedition, The three were released and then Ahmad Bey Urubi, an Egyptian army officer, mounted a revolution against Tewfik, demanding that more indigenous Egyptians be given control of the government and senior army posts.
25/6/1879, Ismail, Khedive of Egypt, was deposed by the Ottoman Sultan under pressure from European powers. He was replaced by his son, Tewfik. Tewfik (1852-92) was a weak ruler, a mere puppet of the Ottomans.
4/1879, Khedive Ismail dismissed the European ‘advisors’ who had been overseeing Egyptian financial affairs. Ismail, had purchased the title of Khedive (a Persian title, meaning ‘great prince’) from the Ottomans on 8/6/1867 in return for a promised annual tribute of £350,000 to Istanbul. Ismail had then embarked on an ambitious plan to modernise Egypt, installin railways, and canala to irrigate previously-uncultivable land. Cairo was rebult with new buildings, boulevards and parks. All this was funded on cheap credit, which precipitated a collapse of Ottoman and Egyptian securities on the London Stock Exchange in 1875. With these dismissals, Ismail had gone too far for the European financiers to accept and they began to pressure Ottoman Turkey for his removal.
12/9/1878. Cleopatra’s Needle, an ancient red granite Egyptian obelisk 68.5 feet high, originally made for Thothmes III in 1460 BC, was presented to Britain and re-erected on the Thames Embankment.
27/11/1875. Britain bought Suez Canal shares. Britain bought nearly half the shares for £4million from the Khedive, or ruler, of Egypt. Disraeli, the British Prime Minister, was relieved to have prevented total French control of the Canal. When the Canal was built six years ago with French money and French expertise the British, under Gladstone, took no interest; now Britain accounts for 80% of the Canal traffic. On 15/11/1875 Disraeli learned that the Khedive owned 177,000 of the 400,000 shares but was on the verge of bankruptcy and wanted to sell, or at least mortgage the shares to a French syndicate. The British put pressure on the French syndicate who, without government help, pulled out, whilst Baron Lionel de Rothschild provided finance for the British to buy the shares for UK£ 4 million.
14/7/1874, Abbas II (Abbas Hilmi Pasha), the last Khedive of Egypt, was born in Cairo (died 21/12/1944).
26/5/1871, Ismailia was annexed to Egypt.
17/11/1869. The Suez Canal was opened after 10 years of construction. The 100-mile canal, from Port Said to Port Tewfik, 26 feet deep, with bays and use of lakes to provide passing places for ships and avoid the need for locks, was designed by Ferdinand De Lesseps. The distance from London to Bombay by sea was reduced from 11,220 to 6,332 miles. The Canal concession was granted to de Lesseps by Said Pasha, after whom Port Said is named. The cost was 400million francs, ten times the original estimate. See 25/4/1859. By 1875 Britain was the largest shareholder in the Canal. In 1870 there were 486 transits, and in 1966/67, 20,326 transits. President Nasser nationalised the Canal in 1956, see 29/10/1956.
However the canal was too shallow right from the beginning and one in three ships grounded in the first year. In 1875 is was expanded from a width of 177 feet on the surface and 72 feet on the bottom to 500 feet and 197 feet respectively. Its depth was increased from 22 feet in 1870 to 35 feet by 1955.
26/3/1868, King Fuad I of Egypt was born.
25/4/1859. Construction of the 100 mile Suez Canal began. Constructed by both Egyptian and French companies, under the direction of Ferdinand de Lesseps, it opened on 17/11/1869. It was 163 km long and had a minimum width of 60 metres. In 2000, some 25,000 ships used this canal.
30/11/1854. The Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps obtained, from the Egyptian ruler Said Pasha, a 99-year concession to build a canal between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
31/10/1854, Johann Erman, Egyptologist, was born.
13/7/1854, Abbas I, Khedive of Egypt, born 1813, was murdered, aged 41. He was succeeded by his uncle, 32-year old Said Pasha.
2/8/1849. Mohammed Ali, ruler of Egypt from 1805 to 1848, died. Apart from his military successes (see also Turkey), he laid the foundations of a modern educational and administrative system, and revolutionised the Egyptian economy.
27/11/1840, Under the Convention of Alexandria, drawn up by Napier, Mohammed Ali of Egypt agreed to return the Ottoman fleet and renounce claims over Syria, in return for hereditary rule over Egypt.
10/10/1840, Beirut fell to British forces. The French decided not to support Mohammed Ali of Egypt.
9/9/1840, British gunboats bombarded Beirut and landed troops there.
15/7/1840, The Treaty of London. Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia agreed to form a military alliance against Egypt, which was being pressured to give up the Ottoman fleet it held, and abandon claims on northern Syria, Medina, Mecca and Crete.
2/7/1839, Mahmud II, Sultan of Turkey, died, aged 54. He had been poisoned, after his fleet surrendered to Egypt at Alexandria. He was succeeded by his 16-year-old son, Adbul Mejid I.
24/6/1839. The Ottoman Sultan, Mahmud II, launched another offensive against Mohammed Ali, the pasha of Egypt. However this day at the Battle of Nezib Egyptian forces under Ibrahim Pasha defeated the Ottomans. The battle took place near the present day Turkish-Syrian border.
31/12/1830, Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, was born.
18/2/1827, Heinrich Brugsch, German Egyptologist, was born (died 9/9/1894).
3/12/1823, Giovanni Belzoni, Egyptologist, died in Egypt (born in Padua 1778).
3/11/1813, Samuel Birch, Egyptologist, was born in Woolwich, London (died 27/12/1885).
1811, The Malelukes were massacred by Mohammed Ali (born 1769 in Macedonia, died 1849). 470 of them were killed in Cairo and some 1,200 across the whole of Egypt. He then went on to fight the Wahabi tribe in Arabia, on the instructions of the Ottoman Porte, a campaign which secured him the Hejaz region. This campaign was successfully concluded by Ali’s son, Ibrahim, who also subdued the Sudan.
19/11/1805, Ferdinand de Lesseps, French diplomat and engineer, builder of the Suez Canal, was born in Versailles.
31/8/1801. The British captured Alexandria, Egypt, from the French under Napoleon. Alexandria had, despite its classical prominence, become by 1801 an insignificant town. The French occupied the town on 2/7/1798, and captured Cairo on 3//8/1801.
21/3/1801, At the Battle of Alexandria, The French made a surprise attack on the British near Alexandria, Egypt. The British under General Abercrombie defeated the French, but Abercrombie himself was mortally wounded.
8/3/1801, The British Army captured Aboukir, Egypt.
See also France for British-French military conflict 1801 in Egypt
19/7/1799. The Rosetta Stone was found near the town of Rosetta on the Nile, bearing Greek, Hieroglyphic, and Demotic (ancient Egyptian) scripts.
1/8/1798. At the Battle of the Nile, at Aboukir Bay, Admiral Nelson, on the ship Vanguard, destroyed 11 out of 13 French battleships which were the convoy that took Napoleon to Egypt. The French commander was Brueys, aboard the ship L’Orient. The crew were mostly ashore getting water, leaving no one to man the 120 French guns. This effectively trapped the French Army in Egypt. Five French ships with 5,000 men were sunk, 2 ships were captured, and 2 ships managed to escape from Nelson. On 10/2/1799 Napoleon left Egypt for Syria, occupying Gaza on 24/2/1799. On 7/3/1799 Napoleon captured Jaffa, where his soldiers massacred over 2,0000 Albanian prisoners. On 17/5/1799 Napoleon lifted the siege of Acre after failing to capture it.
23/7/1798. An uprising by the people of Cairo against the French occupiers was brutally repressed on 22/10/1798. The French captured Suez on 7/12/1798. However a British expeditionary force arrived in Egypt on 6/3/1801. The battle of Alexandria was fought on 11/3/1801, just outside the actual town. After this British victory the British advanced on the town which surrendered on 31/8. See 11/6/1882.
21/7/1798, At the Battle of the Pyramids, Napoleon, soon after his invasion of Egypt, defeated an army of some 60,000 Mamelukes. Napoleon now intended to establish a French base in Egypt from where he could harass British-India sea traffic. He could also attack the Ottoman Empire form here via Syria. He sought to assure the ulema, the Egyptian intelligentsia, that he was no modern Crusader but had come to empower them and facilitate Egyptian self-rule independent of the Ottomans. However the Egyptians were not yet ready for such self-determination, and failed to follow the French initiatives.
23/12/1790, Jean Champollion, French Egyptologist, was born (died 1832).
1524, Revolt in Egypt crushed by the Ottomans.
20/1/1517, The Ottomans conquered Cairo, Egypt.
15/3/1377, The Sultan of Egypt was murdered by the Mamelukes over a large unpaid debt.
11/12/1366, Yelbogha of Egypt was attacked and killed by the Sultan.
8/10/1365, A Frankish fleet under Peter I of Cyprus landed at Alexandria, Egypt and raided it but was forced to leave again.
29/5/1363, Sultan Malik al Mansur of Egypt was dethroned on the grounds of incompetence and replaced by Shaban, son of Hosain.
16/3/1361, Hasan of Egypt was deposed and assassinated by Amir Yelbogha.
20/10/1354, Sultan Salih of Egypt was deposed and his brother Hasan reinstated.
7/6/1341, Malik al Nasir, Sultan of Egypt, died.
5/3/1310, Malik al Nasir was reinstated as Sultan of Cairo
5/4/1309, Bibars Jashengir was proclaimed Sultan of Egypt.
7/2/1299, Malik al Nasir was reinstated as Sultan of Cairo.
1/7/1277, Bibars, tuler of Egypt, died.
1254, The first Mameluke Sultan acceded. The Mamelukes (Arabic = ‘slaves’) were horse mounted soldiers, originally Circassian slaves, but became powerful enough to install their own ruler this year. The Mameluke Dynasty was overthrown by Selim I in 1517 but continued to run the country behind the scenes. They were heavily defeated by the French in the late 1700s, and massacred by Mehmet Ali in 1811.
8/2/1250, Louis IX’s invading forces crossed a wide canal at Damietta on the way to attack Cairo. However the elite Muslim slave soldiers, the Mamluks, counter attacked, besieged his camp, and placed a fleet on the canal to cut his supply lines,
22/11/1249, Sultan As-Salih died, leaving his inexperienced son Turanshah as ruler. This was good news for the invading King Louis IX of France.
6/1249, King Louis IX of France landed in Egypt to fight the Ayyubid Sultan, As-Salih, and force him to surrender Jerusalem to make peace.
1221, The city of Mansurah, in the Nile delta, was founded.
31/8/1221, The Franks agreed to evacuate Egypt.
25/1/1200, Battle of Blibeis, Egypt.
4/3/1193. Saladin, Sultan of Egypt, died.
23/3/1169, Shirguh died of a stomach illness, and Saladin wasd appointed by the Caliph as his successor.
6/1/1169, Shirguh, who had hastened to Egypt again to counter the new threat from Almaric, now seized Shawar and executed him some ten days later.
1168, Ongoing local hostility to the garrison in Cairo precipitated another invasion of Egypt by King Almaric.
11/4/1167, Battle of Babain. Shirguh and his nephew Saladin defeated an alliance of the Franks and Shawar. The Franks and Shawar then made another attack on Saladin, besieging him in Alexandria, but after 75 days were compelled to raise this siege. This was because Shirguh’s forces were threatening Cairo, where a Frankish garrison had been admitted by Shawar. The Franks and Syrians now agreed to leave Egypt, although they retained a garrison in Cairo.
4/10/1125, Fatik al Bataihi was seized and imprisdoned on the orders of Caliph Amir, who now became ruler of Egypt. Fatik Al Bataihi had also suffered defeats by the Franks, losing Tyre to them, and losing his fleet to the Venetians.
8/1121, Al Afdal was assassinated in Cairo; he had suffered defeat by the Crusaders at Ascalon. Al Afdal was succeeded by Fatik al Bataihi.
1118, Egypt was invaded by Baldwin I, Crusader. He advanced as fat as Tinnis, but then illness forced him to retreat.
990, Construction began on the Al-Hakim Mosque, Cairo.
969, The Fatimids conquered Egypt, see Islam year 908. (Tunisia).
879, Ibn Tulun, the oldest mosque in Cairo, was built.
17/9/642. Alexandria, Egypt, surrendered to the Arabs led by Amr Ibn Al-As. Amr invaded Syria in 633 and attacked Egypt in 639, taking Pelusium in January 640 and Heliopolis in June 640. In 646 Amr defeated a Greek attempt to retake Alexandria. Amr died, as governor of Egypt, on 6/1/664. The Arabs moved on south to conquer Nubia, also conquering Cyrenicia and Tripolitania in 643.
616, Persia invaded Egypt.
See Roman Empire for Roman occupation of Egypt
55 BCE, Ptolemy XII was restored to the throne of Egypt.
145 BCE, Ptolemy VIII Neos Philopater ruled Egypt under the Regency of his mother Cleopatra II.
181 BCE, Ptolemy VI became ruler of Egypt.
22/6/217 BCE, Egyptian native hoplites under Ptolemy IV crushed the Seleucid army under Antiochus III at Raphia near Gaza.
221 BCE, Ptolemy III died aged 61. He was succeeded by his 23 year old son, Ptolemy IV, who co-ruled with his sister and wife Arsinoe III; he ruled for 18 years.
243 BCE, Revolt in Egypt forced Ptolemy III to return from military adventures in Syria.
245 BCE, Ptolemy III conquered Babylon and Susa.
246 BCE, Ptolemy Soter II died aged 63. He was succeeded by his son who ruled as Ptolemy III until 221 BCE.
26/6/285 BCE, Egypt's Ptolemy I Soter abdicated. He was succeeded by his youngest son by his wife Berenice Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who had been co-regent for three years.
323 BCE, On the death of Alexander, Ptolemy became ruler of Egypt.
332 BCE, Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and founded the port of Alexandria. He was welcomed as a liberator from the Persians. Alexander the Great envisaged Alexandria, with its great library (destroyed in riots in the 3rd century CE) as a cultural link between Europe and Africa.
342 BCE, Persian invasion of Egypt.
359 BCE, Pharaoh Nectanebo II acceded.
373 BCE, Nectanabo successfully repulsed a Greek—Persian invasion force.
380 BCE, Start of the last indigenous Egyptian Dynasty, the 30th Dynasty. Nectanabo I was the first Pharoah of this dynasty.
399 BCE, Egyptian rebellion against Persian rule; start of the 29th Dynasty.
486 BCE, Egypt rebelled against Persian rule.
519 BCE, Death of Amaninatake-Lebte (ruled 538-519)
522 BCE, Death of King Cambyses II, som of King Cyrus, King of Persia 529 – 522 BCE. Cambyses II conquered Egypt in 525 BCE.
Ca. 568 BCE, King Nebuchadnezzar II conquered Egypt.
568 BCE, End of rule of King Aspelte (ruled 593-568)
589 BCE, Apries became Pharoah of Egypt.
594 BCE, Pharaoh Necho died (acceded 610 BCE)
605 BCE, Pharaoh Necho was defeated at Carchemish by the son of Nabopalassar of the Chadeans.
662 BCE, The Assyrians returned to Egypt and sacked Thebes. This was the zenith of Assyrian power.
663 BCE, Egypt’s 26th Dynasty began, when the vassal King of Salis, Psammetichus I, rebelled against Assyrian rule. This Dynasty endured until 525 BCE. Egypt regained independence from Assyria.
804 BCE, Egypt began to fragment again. It now split onto three kingdoms, and by 770 comprised a dozen virtually independent principalities.
850 BCE, Egypt began to disintegrate as civil war took hold.
926 BCE, Sheshonk I of Egypt attempted an invasion of Israel and Judah, but failed.
950 BCE, First verified cultivation of poppies in Egypt.
954 BCE, The Egyptian throne was usurped by the Libyan, ruler Sheshonk I. He founded the 22nd (Bubastite) Dynasty which lasted for 200 years.
See also Jewish History
1000 BCE, The Nubian Kingdom of Cush was founded; probably located on both sides of the southern Red Sea, in what is now Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen.
1049 BCE, Start of Third Intermediate Period in Egypt.
1069 BCE, The vizier of Ramses XI seized power himself.
1072 BCE, Ramses XI died; Smendes became Pharaoh.
Start of the Deltaic Dynasties 21 - 31
1100 BCE, Egypt was fragmenting, Thebes in Upper Egypt broke away, and migrants on the Nile Delta were establishing their own communities.
1167 BCE, Pharaoh Ramses III died.
1176 BCE, Ramses III defeated the ‘Sea People’. These were probably from the Greek islands, or Siciliy or Sardinia, or the Philistines (Peleset).
1198 BCE, Egypt’s 20th Dynasty began. Pharaoah Ramses III began ruling. His reign lasted until 1167 BCE.
End of the Hyksos Dynasties 15 – 17 (part of the Middle Kingdom Dynasties)
Ca. 1473 BCE, Moses died.
Ca. 1513 BCE. The Jews left Egypt after the 10 Plagues.
Ca. 1593 (Jerome) BCE, Moses born.
1674, The Hyksos (originating from the northern Levant area) seized the throne of Egypt. Floods on the Nile were becoming erratic, underming the economy. By 1650 BCE Egyptian control over the upper Nile was being lost to the Nubians.
1680 BCE, The horse as war weapon was introduced to Egypt by invading Hyksos tribesmen from Syria.
Ca. 1728 BCE, Jacob moved his family to Egypt.
2040 BCE, End of First Intermediate Period in Egypt.
2181 BCE, End of the 6th Dynasty, with the collapse of the Old Kingdom, due to natural disasters and famine. The authority of the King,who was believed to control the vital annual Nile floods, was undermined.
2184 BCE, End of the reign of Pepi II, 6th Dynasty (rule began 2278? BCE).
2300 BCE, Egyptian explorer Harkhuf explored up the Nile.
2360 BCE, End of the reign of Pepi I, 6th Dynasty (rule began 2390 BCE).
2550 BCE, The Great Pyramid was completed, for King Khufu.
Ca. 2600 BCE, First mummies prepared.
2850 BCE, Pharaoh Khafre became the third ruler of the 4th Dynasty.
2920 BCE, Pharaoah Snefru developed copper mines, and built large ships to facilitate overseas trade. Cedars were being imported from Lebanon. Egypt had subdued Nubia and Libya. He was the last Pharaoah of the 3rd Dynasty.
2980 BCE, Egypt’s 3rd Dynasty was founded by Pharaoah Zoser. He ruled for 30 years with assistance from his adviser and doctor, Imhotep.
3100 BCE, Upper and Lower Egypt united under King Menes. Menes founder of the 1st Dynasty, (possibly Narmer) conquered Lower Egypt from the south. City of Memphis was founded.
Start of the Old Kingdom Dynasties 1 - 8
3300 BCE, Urban centres developed in the lower Nile Valley; start of hieroglyphics.
3500 BCE, The Egyptians first divided the day into 24 ‘hours’; however they set each period of light and darkness as 12 hours each, meaning the length of an hour varied over the year. Babylonian astronomers, in 3000 BCE, adopted the practice of making all 24 hours of equal length, regardless of times of sunrise or sunset.
4241 BCE, The Egyptians developed a calendar with 12 months of 30 days plus 5 extra days.
5000 BCE, Sedentary agriculture began in the Nile Valley.