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Saudi Arabia's Timeline

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about AD 570

The prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca.

630

Muhammad returned from Medina and conquered Mecca. The Islamic conquest of Arabia began.

660

The caliphs moved from Medina to Damascus, Syria. Arabia declined in importance within the Muslim Empire.

1400s

The Saud dynasty was founded near modern Riyadh.

1700s

Saudi armies helped spread the Wahhabi Islamic reform movement over much of Arabia.

1824

Following defeat by Ottoman forces, the Saud family established a new capital at Riyadh.

1891

Family feuds weakened Saudi power, and much of Arabia was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and local tribal chiefs. The Saud family fled into exile in Kuwait.

1902

Abdul Aziz ibn Saud returned from Kuwait and captured Riyadh.

1906

Saudi forces controlled the Najd region.

1913-1925

Saudi forces captured the Al Ahsa’, ‘Asir’, and Al Hijaz (Hejaz) regions, unifying much of Arabia under Saudi rule.

1932

Ibn Saud proclaimed the unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

1938

The first major petroleum deposit in Saudi Arabia was discovered.

1945

Saudi Arabia became a founding member of the United Nations and of the Arab League.

1953

Ibn Saud died. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Saud.

1964

Saud was forced from the throne and succeeded by his brother, Faisal. Faisal used oil profits to help modernize the country, and made Saudi Arabia more active in world affairs.

1967

Saudi Arabia offered financial support to Arab countries fighting Israel during the Six-Day War.

1970s

Rising oil prices greatly increased Saudi Arabia's export earnings. Many new development projects were funded by the new wealth.

1973

Saudi Arabia stopped or reduced oil exports to many Western countries following the Yom Kippur War between Israel and neighboring Arab countries.

1982

Crown Prince Fahd assumed the throne after the death of his half brother, King Khalid.

1990

After Iraq invaded Kuwait, troops from the United States and other Western nations arrived in Saudi Arabia to help defend the country against an Iraqi invasion.

1991

Saudi Arabia joined a U.S.-led coalition that drove Iraq out of Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War.

1993

King Fahd officially inaugurated the Shura Council, an advisory body of 60 members, established in response to calls for governmental reform.

1994

Saudi Arabia's economy was hurt by falling oil prices and heavy spending.

1995

Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to negotiate a settlement to their longstanding dispute over the border between the two countries.