1838 Nicaragua declares independence from the Central American Federation.
1838 The Federal Republic of Central America begins to disintegrate when Nicaragua separates from the federation.
1909 Two United States warships are sent to Nicaragua after 500 revolutionaries (including two Americans) are executed by order of José Santos Zelaya.
1913 Nicaragua becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires Convention.
1961 The Sandinista National Liberation Front is founded in Nicaragua.
1978 The ''Frente Sandinista de Liberacion'' or FSLN occupies national palace in Nicaragua.
1979 ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart is shot dead by a Nicaraguan soldier under the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The murder is caught on tape and sparked international outcry of the regime.
1981 Iran-Contra Affair: Ronald Reagan signs the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), giving the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
1985 Sandinista Daniel Ortega becomes president of Nicaragua and vows to continue the transformation to socialism and alliance with the Soviet Union and Cuba; American policy continues to support the Contras in their revolt against the Nicaraguan government.
1986 Iran-Contra Affair: National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary start to shred documents implicating them in the sale of weapons to Iran and channeling the proceeds to help fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
1987 American engineer Ben Linder is killed in an ambush by U.S.-funded Contras in northern Nicaragua.
1989 General elections are held in Nicaragua with the Sandinista Front winning a majority.
1990 The Sandinistas are defeated in Nicaraguan elections.