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Bulgaria History Timeline

1500's BC

  • (4,000 BC) Thracians first known inhabitants, lived in the area of Varna on the Black Sea
  • (359-336BC) Philip II ruled kingdom of Macedonia
  • (585BC) Greeks, Byzantines, and Turks settled
  • (15BC) Romans began to extend their empire, included Bulgaria
400's – 1800's
  • (476) Roman Empire collapsed
  • (650) Bulgars founded a kingdom in the south-eastern Balkans that became know as Bulgaria
  • (681) Bulgarian state established
  • (864) Khan Boris, of the Bulgarians, baptized as an Orthodox Christian; Bulgarians adopted Christianity for Constantinople
  • (867) Basil I became the Byzantine emperor, established the Macedonian dynasty
  • (1014) Byzantine Emperor Basil earned the title "Slayer of Bulgers" after he ordered the blinding of 15,000 Bulgarian troops
  • (1878) Russia and Ottomans signed treaty of San Stefano, lost possession of Bulgaria and Romania
  • (1885) Serbian Army, with Russian support, invaded Bulgaria; Bulgarians, led by Stefan Stambolov, repulsed a larger Serbian invasion force at Slivinitza; Bulgaria moved into Serbia
  • (1886) Treaty of Bucharest concluded the Serb-Bulgarian war; Cathedral of the Assumption built in Varna; eastern Rumelia merged with Bulgaria
  • (1903) Bulgarian government renounced the treaty of commerce; 30,000-50,000 Bulgarian men, women, and children massacred in Monastir by Turkish troops; Turks destroyed the town of Kastoria in Bulgaria, killed 10,000 civilians
  • (1908) Bulgaria declared independence from Ottoman Empire (Turkey); Ferdinand assumed title of tsar
  • (1912) Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia declared war on Turkey, started the first Balkan War
  • (1913) Bulgarians captured Adrianople, ended the first Balkan war; fighting broke out between Bulgaria and ex-allies Greece and Spain which started the second Balkan war; the treaty of Bucharest ended the second Balkan war
  • (1914-1918) World War I, Bulgaria fought on the losing side
  • (1915) Bulgaria mobilized troops on the Serbian border; Great Britain declared war on Bulgaria; Russia and Italy declared war on Bulgaria
  • (1916) Constance of Greece declared war on Bulgaria
  • (1918) Bulgaria pulled out of World War I
  • (1919) Bulgaria signed peace treaty with allies, recognized Yugoslavian independence
  • (1939-1945) World War II
  • (1943) Allied forces bombed Sofia, capital of Bulgaria
  • (1946) Bulgaria abolished the Bulgarian monarchy; Communist party won election; Georgi Dimitrov elected prime minister
  • (1950) United States formally broke relations with Bulgaria
  • (1955) Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania signed Warsaw Pact in Poland
  • (1971) Bulgarian constitution created based on Communism; Zhivkov became president
  • (1988) Bulgaria stopped jamming Radio Free Europe after more than 3 decades
  • (1989) Todor Zhivkov, Communist ruler, thrown out of office after a 35-year Bulgarian dictatorship; multiparty system introduced; opposition union of democratic forces formed
  • (1990) Bulgarian parliament elected Andrei Lukanov, economist, to replace a hard-line Communist as premier; President Petar Mladenov resigned, parliament appointed UDF's Zhelyu Zhelev
  • (1991) New constitution proclaimed Bulgaria a parliamentary republic, provided broad range of freedoms; UDF won election
  • (1992) Zhelev became Bulgaria's first directly-elected president; UDF government resigned; Lyuben Berov headed non-party government; Todor Zhivkov sentenced to seven years in prison for corruption in office
  • (1993) Mass privatization program began
  • (1994) BSP returned to power in general election
  • (1995) BSP's Zhan Videnov elected prime minister
  • (1996) Petur Stoyanov replaced Zhelev as president; Videnov resigned as prime minister and chairman of the BSP; Bulgarian Supreme Court overturned Zhivkov's conviction
  • (1997) Mass protests over economic crisis; opposition boycotted parliament, called for elections; interim government installed until elections, UDF leader Ivan Kostov became prime minister; Bulgarian currency pegged to German mark
  • (2000) Post-Communist prosecutors closed file on Georgi Markov case; Markov awarded Bulgaria's highest honor, The Order of Stara Planina, for his contribution to Bulgarian literature and opposition to the Communist authorities
  • (2001) Former King Simeon II's party, National Movement, won parliamentary elections; Simeon became premier; thousands marched through Sofia on 100th day of Simeon's premiership, due to failure to improve living standards; Socialist Party leader Georgi Parvanov won presidency in an election with the lowest turnout; parliament agreed to destroy Soviet-made missiles by late 2002
  • (2004) Bulgaria admitted to NATO
  • (2005) Sergi Stanishev became prime minister; Bulgaria's contingent of 400 light infantry troops left Iraq
  • (2006) Parliament agreed to dispatch a non-combat guard unit to Iraq; Bulgarian officials condemned death sentences handed to five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor by a Libyan court, found guilty of deliberately infecting Libyan children with the HIV virus
  • (2007) Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union, raising the EU membership to 27; the European Commission called on Bulgaria to do more to combat corruption; the death sentences against six foreign medical workers in the HIV case in Libya were commuted to life in prison, they were repatriated to Bulgaria under a deal with the European Union
  • (2008) European Commission interim report stated that Bulgaria and Romania failed to show convincing results in their anti-graft drives; European Union called on Bulgaria to take urgent action after two prominent gangland killings; Interior Minister Rumen Petkov resigned over police officers accused of passing state secrets to alleged crime bosses; European Commission suspended EU aid after Bulgarian government failed to take effective action against corruption and organized crime
  • (2009) Russia's gas dispute with Ukraine cut supplies to Bulgaria, resulted in severe energy shortage; workers rallied to protest government's handling of economic crisis; general election won by center-right GERB party led by Sofia Mayor, Boiko Borisov
  • (2010) Bulgaria exports to non-EU countries grew
  • (2011) Foot-and-mouth disease outbreak occurred in southeastern Bulgaria, 149 animals killed, second outbreak resulted in 173 animals being killed

Bulgaria's Information

Flag of Bulgaria
Land Area 108,489 km2
Water Area 2,390 km2
Total Area 110,879km2 (#103)
Population 7,144,653 (#101)
Population Density 65.86/km2
Government Type Parliamentary Republic
GDP (PPP) $143.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $20,100
Currency Lev (BGN)
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