1st Century B.C. - 2005
1st century B.C. The territory that is now Switzerland comes under Roman rule during the Gallic wars, and remains a Roman province until 4th century A.D.
800 A.D. The territory that is now Switzerland becomes part of Charlemagne's empire.
1291

August 1
Representatives of the ruling families of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden meet on a Rütli meadow overlooking Lake Lucerne and sign a charter to keep peace and pledge their mutual support regarding their autonomous demonstrative and judicial rule. Thus, a meeting in a field arising from an initial threat from the Hapsburg Empire, Switzerland begins as a confederacy, and a people make their first step toward self-rule and eventual independence.

1315-1388 The three Swiss Confederates defeat the Hapsburgs thus insuring Swiss independence. They sign the Brunnen pact which states then none of the members of the Confederation can make peace, treaties or negotiate with outsiders without first consulting the other cantons. Five other regions ('cantons' in today's vocabulary) join the original three.
1332 Luzern joins the Swiss confederacy.
1351 Zürich joins the Swiss confederacy.
1352 Glarus joins the Swiss confederacy.
1352 Zug joins the Swiss confederacy.
1353 Bern (German spelling) or Berne (French spelling) joins the Swiss confederacy.
1476 After Charles the Bold of Burgundy attacks the town of Grandson on Lake Neuchâtel, the Swiss army attacks and defeats Charles' army. A few months later the Burgundian army is destroyed at the Battle of Murten with 10,000 killed.
1481 Freiburg (German spelling) Fribourg (French spelling) joins the Swiss Confederation.
1481 Solothurn joins the Swiss confederacy.
1499 Swiss gain formal independence from the Holy Roman Empire.
Basel Basel joins the Swiss confederacy.

1501
Schaffhausen joins the Swiss confederacy.
1504 Lands of Neuchâtel go to the French house of Orléans - Longueville.
1513 Appenzell joins the Swiss confederacy.
1530 French preacher Guillaume Farel brings the Protestant Reformation to Neuchâtel.
1648 Swiss neutrality recognized in the Treaty of Westphalia.
1707 Lands of Neuchâtel go to King Frederick of Prussia after the family line of the family Orleans-Longueville becomes extinct.
1797-1798 Napoleon of France invades and annexes much of Switzerland. Loose confederation replaced with a centrally governed state.
1803 Sankt Gallen joins the Swiss confederacy.
1803 Graubünden joins the Swiss confederacy.
1803 Aargau joins the Swiss confederacy.
1803 Thurgau joins the Swiss confederacy.
1803 Ticino joins the Swiss confederacy.
1803 Vaud joins the Swiss confederacy.
1815 Congress of Vienna re-establishes previous Swiss confederation, and establishes Swiss neutrality in international law.
1815 Neuchâtel joins the Swiss confederacy.
1815 Valais (French spelling) Wallis (German spelling) joins the Swiss confederacy.
1815 Genève joins the Swiss confederacy.
1848 After a brief civil war Switzerland opts for a federal state modeled, in part, on the Constitution of the United States. Cantons, however, keep a large measure of autonomy.
1857 William IV of Prussia gives up his claims on Neuchâtel.
1874 The Swiss constitution is extensively amended introducing direct democracy by popular referendum and establishing federal responsibility for trade, defense and various legal matters.
1882 The Salvation Army begins to work in Switzerland when Catherine Booth, daughter of the founder of the
organisation, arrives in Geneva.
1908 Birth of Swiss writer, traveler, photographer, lesbian and morphine addict Annemarie Schwarzenbach.
Nov. 9,
1938
Twenty-five year old Marice Bavaud attempts to assassinate Adolf Hilter in Munich, Germany. His motives, Bavaud states, were Hitler's threat to Catholicism, Christianity, humanity and to Swiss independence. Bavuad is captured and guillotined in a Berlin prison in 1941.
1947 Artist Christiane Dubois born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
1950's French-speaking residents of the Jura region of Canton Bern demand, with some violence, the creation of a Jura canton. They are unsuccessful this time . . . but not later.
1959 Switzerland joins the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
1960 The Swiss Jacques Piccard, and American Don Walsh, set record of 10,916 meter below sea level in the Bathyscaphe submarine, Trieste.
1963 Switzerland joins the Council of Europe.
1964 Switzerland displays their post-war achievements at the National Exhibition in Lausanne.
1967 June 16
First Montreux Jazz Festival lasts three days and includes the artists Charles Lloyd and DeJohnette. Twelve jazz groups compete. The Festival continues as one of the preeminent annual jazz events in the world.

The jazz festival was founded by Claude Nobs with the help of the head of Atlantic Records, Nesuhi Ertegun who Nobs met in New York. Nobs had been born near Montreux and Ertegun's parents had been Turkish ambassadors in Berne.
1971 Rather late in the game the Swiss vote for the women's suffrage. Better late than never.
1973 The first Ikea opens in Switzerland. Ikea, a popular Swedish furniture store chain, was started in Sweden in the 1950s by Ingvar Kamprad. Ingvar, now a multi-billionaire and one of the richest men in the world, has made his home in Switzerland for the last thirty years or so.
1978 Some Swiss Jura mountain villages win their bid to leave Canton Bern and found the new Jura canton.
1984 October 2
The combined federal assembly elects Elisabeth Kopp as Bunderat (executive authority), the first woman to hold this position.
1992 The Swiss people, reaffirming their independent tendencies, vote against becoming a member of the European Economic Area (EEA).
  July 31
Claude Nicollier takes off on board the space shuttle Atlantis becoming the first Swiss in space.
1993 March 10
The combined federal assembly elects Ruth Dreifuss as the second woman as Bunderat. Ms Dreivus' husband does not get in the way.
  December 2
Claude Nicollier makes a second journey on board the space shuttle. Claude's job is to catch the Hubble space telescope with the shuttle's mechanical arm so repairs can be made.
1998 The Swiss government agrees to pay US$1.2 billion compensation to relatives of holocaust victims whose funds were deposited in Swiss banks.
1999 March 11
The combined federal assembly elects Ruth Metzler as the third woman as Bunderat. She is only 34 years old.
  March 20
Swiss scientist Bertrand Piccard, and British co-pilot Brian Jones, become the first balloonists to circumnavigate the earth without stopping and without refueling. It takes them 19 days, 21 hour and 55 minutes to travel the 46,759 kilometers. This distance can be done much faster on a 747, but the seating is more cramped.
  April 18
The Swiss vote into being a new Federal Constitution.
  December 26
One of the biggest storms in the history of Switzerland hits the country blowing tiles off Swiss roofs like bits of paper, and saving the logging industry about three years of work cutting down trees.
2000 May 21
Swiss accept the bilateral contracts with the European Union.
2001 0ctober 2
The largest corporate failure in Swiss history to date grounded Switzerland's airline Swissair. The corporate failure left a debt of $13.7 billion and the loss of 5,000 jobs.
2001 January
Swiss authorities open an investigation into the alleged money laundering Activities of Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, son of the late French president. The news causes sleepless nights to many other notables around the globe.
  February
France accuses Switzerland of dragging its feet in the global battle against money laundering. Is this France's response to one of their own countryman being accused of the same? Hmmm . . . no, it is too unlikely to consider . . .
  February
Swiss banks release the names of 21,000 accounts thought to have belonged to holocaust victims.
2002 September 10
Switzerland joins the United Nations.
2002
Ten million visitors attended the national exhibit Expo 2002.
2005 June 5
Swiss voters approve joining Europe's passport-free zone by 2007.
2005 June 22
Swiss trains famous for their punctuality come to a halt nation-wide in the worst breakdown in the nation's history due to problems with the railroad's electrical supply. Rail travelers are stranded for hours nationwide. This problem would not have occurred if Switzerland continued using steam engines.
2005 November
Swiss voters accept a five year moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Swiss agriculture. The vote was 55.7 per cent in favor and 50.6 percent opposed.
2005 December 12
Swiss Federal Railways introduces a smoking ban on its trains.
2006 March 12
By a majority vote of 79.1 per cent Ticino in Switzerland's southern Italian-speaking region becomes the first Swiss canton to ban smoking in public places.
2007 Switzerland ranked sixth of 21 industrialized nations for childhood quality of life the the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says. Ranked higher than Switzerland are The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Spain in that order. Ranked lower are Norway, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Canada and Greece who tied, Poland Czech Republic, France, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, United States and United Kingdom. The study compared forty key indicators including relationships, health and safety, risk-taking and children's own sense of well-being.