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Timeline of Major Historical Moments in Laos

65,000 BCEAncestors of humans migrate to the Mekong River valley
10,000-2000 BCEHòa Bình culture develops rice agriculture
500 BCEAncient Laos construct the Plain of Jars burial site
550-802Chenla culture establishes the first kingdom in Laos
750The Mon civilization extends into Laos from Thailand & introduce Therevada Buddhism
800-1324Khmer Empire: Empire encompasses Laos & Cambodia
1353Luang Prabang is established as the Lao capital
1353-1707Lan Xang Kingdom: Kingdom encompassed all of Laos as well as regions of Vitnam, China, Thailand & Cambodia. Luang Prabang is established as the royal capital & becomes a center of Theraveda Buddhism & the arts
1560Vientiane replaces Luang Prabang as the capital
1707-1779Laos is fractured into 3 kingdoms based in Luang Prabang, Vientiane & Campasak
1826-1828Lao Rebellion: The Vientiane King leads a failed revolt against Siamese rule. The rebellion fosters a surge in Lao Nationalism
1828Siam: Vientiane becomes part of the Thai-based kingdom of Siam
1893-1945French Indochina: A Franco-Siam treaty establishes Laos as a French protectorate
1941-1945WWII: Japan occupation in Laos
1946-1953French Indochina: France resumes power in Laos following Japan's defeat in WWII
1950Laos becomes a semi-independent state in the French Union along with Cambodia & Vietnam
1953Viet Minh occupation
1953France evacuates people Lao in Northern Laos
1954Kingdom of Laos: Laos is granted independence & sets up a constitutional monarchy
1953-1975Laotian Civil War: A series of conflicts between the Lao Royalists & the Pathet Lao, a North Vietnamese Communist group
1954SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) is established to deter Communism's spread throughout Southeast Asia
1964-1973The U.S. drops bombs throughout Laos in attacks against North Vietnamese
1975-presentThe Lao People's Democratic Republic: The Communist Lao People's Front, formerly the Pathet Lao, come into power
1975More than a third of Lao Hmong flee country
1979Government allows some private agriculture after severe food shortages result in hundreds of thousands of Lao people migrate to Thailand
1975-1989Foreign tourism is banned
1994Friendship Bridge is constructed over the Mekong River to connect Laos & Thailand
1997Laos joins ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)
2009Railway over the Mekong River links Laos with Thailand
2012Laos joins the World Trade Association