Ethiopian History

Historical Events

  • 1332-02-18 Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia begins his campaigns in the southern Muslim provinces.
  • 1531-10-28 Battle of Amba Sel: Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi again defeats the army of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia. The southern part of Ethiopia falls under Imam Ahmad's control.
  • 1541-07-09 Estevão da Gama departs Massawa, leaving behind 400 matchlock men and 150 slaves under his brother Christovão da Gama, with orders to help the Emperor of Ethiopia defeat Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi who has invaded his Empire.
  • 1542-02-02 Portuguese under Christovão da Gama capture a Muslim-occupied hillfort in northern Ethiopia in the Battle of Baçente.
  • 1543-02-11 Battle at Wayna Daga: Ethiopian and Portuguese troops beat Muslim army
  • 1561-07-02 Menas, Emperor of Ethiopia, defeats a revolt in Emfraz
  • 1608-03-18 Susenyos is formally crowned Emperor of Ethiopia.
  • 1842-02-07 Battle of Debre Tabor: Ras Ali Alula, Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia defeats warlord Wube Haile Maryam of Semien
  • 1855-02-11 Kassa Hailu is crowned Tewodros II, Emperor of Ethiopia, by Abuna Salama III in a ceremony at the church of Derasge Maryam
  • 1868-04-13 Abyssinian War ends as British and Indian troops capture Magdala and Ethiopian Emperor commits suicide
  • 1872-01-12 Yohannes IV is crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum, the first imperial coronation in that city in over 200 years.
  • 1875-11-16 Battle of Gundet: Ethiopian emperor Yohannes beats Egyptians
  • 1876-03-07 Battle at Gura: Ethiopian emperor Yohannes beats Egyptians
  • 1889-03-12 Battle at Metema (Gallabad): Ethiopian Emperor Yohannes IV, defeated
  • 1895-03-25 Italian troops invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
  • 1895-12-08 Battle at Amba Alagi: Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II drives Italian General Baratieri out
  • 1896-03-01 Battle of Adwa: 80,000 Ethiopians destroy 20,000 Italians in Ethopia
  • 1897-06-28 Marquis C de Bonchamps' expedition reaches Gore Ethiopia
  • 1897-09-11 After months of pursuit, generals of Menelik II of Ethiopia capture Gaki Sherocho, the last king of Kaffa, bringing an end to that ancient kingdom.
  • 1906-07-04 Great Britain, France, and Italy declare independence of Ethiopia (Abyssinia), but all lay claim to their own 'spheres of influence' in that land
  • 1914-06-27 US signs treaty of commerce with Ethiopia
  • 1916-09-27 Emperor Lidj Jasu of Ethiopia flees a palace coup by his aunt Zauditu
  • 1916-10-27 Battle of Segale: Negus Mikael, marching on the Ethiopian capital in support of his son Emperor Iyasus V, is defeated by Fitawrari abte Giyorgis, securing the throne for Empress Zauditu.
  • 1923-09-28 Abyssinia (Ethiopia) leaves League of Nations

AgreementTreaty of Interest

1928-08-02 Benito Mussolini signs peace treaty with Abyssinia (Ethiopia)

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1930-04-02 Ras Tafari Makonnen becomes Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia (Ethiopia)

Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie
Ethiopian Emperor
Haile Selassie
  • 1930-11-02 Coronation of Ras Tafari Makonnen as Haile Selassie I, 225th Emperor of Ethopian Solmonic Dynasty
  • 1932-04-17 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia ends slavery
  • 1934-11-23 An Anglo-Ethiopian boundary commission in the Ogaden discovers an Italian garrison at Walwal, which lay well within Ethiopian territory. This leads to the Abyssinia Crisis.
  • 1935-10-02 Mussolini's Italian army attacks Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
  • 1935-10-03 Italy invades Ethiopia, starting the Second Italo-Ethiopian War
  • 1935-12-30 Italian bombers destroy Swedish Red Cross unit in Ethiopia
  • 1936-05-01 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie leaves Ethiopia as Italy invades
  • 1936-05-09 Italy takes Addis Abba, annexing Absynnia (Ethiopia)
  • 1940-12-06 Pietro Badoglio resigns as viceroy of Ethiopia
  • 1941-03-07 British troops invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
  • 1941-04-06 Italian forces holding Addis Ababa surrender to British & Ethiopian forces
  • 1941-05-16 Italian army under Aosta surrenders to Britain at Amba Alagi Ethiopia
  • 1941-05-18 Italian army in Ethiopia under general Aosta surrenders to Britain
  • 1941-11-18 Mussolini's forces leave Abyssinia/Ethiopia
  • 1944-04-04 British troops capture Addis Ababa Ethiopia
  • 1950-11-25 UN gives Eritrea to Ethiopia
  • 1952-09-15 UN turns over Eritrea to Ethiopia
  • 1961-03-31 Aklilou Habtewold becomes 1st premier of Ethiopia
  • 1961-09-01 The Eritrean War of Independence officially begins with the shooting of the Ethiopian police by Hamid Idris Awate
  • 1966-04-21 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie visits Kingston, Jamaica
  • 1974-02-22 Ethiopian police shoot at demonstrators
  • 1974-02-28 Ethiopian government of Makonnen forms
  • 1974-03-07 1st general strike in Ethiopia
  • 1974-06-29 Military coup in Ethiopia
  • 1974-09-12 Coup overthrows Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie on Ethiopia's national day

  • 1974-11-23 60 Ethiopia government officials executed
  • 1974-11-30 Most complete early human skeleton (Lucy, Australopithecus) discovered by Donald Johanson, Maurice Taieb, Yves Coppens and Tim White in the Middle Awash of Ethiopia's Afar Depression
  • 1974-12-20 Ethiopia becomes socialist one-party state
  • 1975-03-21 Ethiopia abolishes its monarchy after 3,000 years
  • 1975-04-29 Ethiopia nationalizes all land
  • 1975-08-23 Ethiopian junta under Mengistu Haile
  • 1977-09-07 Ethiopia drops diplomatic relations with Somalia
  • 1978-02-07 Ethiopian offensive in Ogaden desert
  • 1984-09-12 Ethiopia forms socialist republic
  • 1984-10-23 NBC airs BBC footage of Ethiopian famine
  • 1984-11-18 The Soviet Union helps deliver American wheat during the Ethiopian famine
  • 1985-01-03 Israel government confirms resettlement of 10,000 Ethiopian Jews
  • 1985-01-13 Express train derails in Ethiopia, killing at least 428
  • 1987-09-12 Ethiopia adopts constitution
  • 1988-04-03 Somalia & Ethiopia sign accord about Ogaden desert
  • 1988-04-17 Ethiopian Belayneh Densimo runs world record marathon (2:06:50)
  • 1989-04-17 93rd Boston Marathon: Abebe Mekonen of Ethiopia 1st man in 2:09:06 and Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway 1st woman in 2:24:33
  • 1989-08-07 U.S. Congressman Mickey Leland (D-TX) and 15 others die in a plane crash in Ethiopia.
  • 1991-05-21 Ethiopia's Marxist president (Mengistu Haile Mariam) resigns
  • 1991-05-25 Israel evacuates 14,000 Ethiopian Jews
  • 1991-05-28 Ethiopian rebels seize Addis Ababa
  • 1992-07-23 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie's funeral
  • 1993-04-23 Eritrea votes to secede from Ethiopia
  • 1993-05-24 Eritrea achieved independence from Ethiopia after 30-year civil war
  • 1994-03-31 The Journal Nature reports the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull
  • 1996-11-17 Time White and T. Assebework discover the first fossils of 2.5 million year old Australopithecus garhi, an ancestor on the human family tree, in Bouri, Middle Awash, Ethiopia
  • 1997-04-21 101st Boston Marathon: Lameck Aguta of Kenya 1st man in 2:10:34 and Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia 1st woman in 2:26:23
  • 1997-11-20 Yohannes Haile-Selassie discovers the partial skull of a 2.5 million year old human ancestor, confirming and establishing the new species Australopithecus garhi, in Bouri, Middle Awash, Ethiopia
  • 1998-04-20 102nd Boston Marathon: Moses Tanui of Kenya 1st man in 2:07:34 and Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia 1st woman in 2:23:21
  • 1999-04-19 103rd Boston Marathon: Joseph Chebet of Kenya 1st man in 2:09:52 and Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia 1st woman in 2:23:25
  • 2000-11-05 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie is given an Imperial funeral by the Ethiopian Orthodox church
  • 2002-07-09 The African Union is established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first chairman is Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa.
  • 2005-04-18 109th Boston Marathon: Hailu Negussie of Ethiopia 1st man in 2:11:44 and Catherine Ndereba of Kenya 1st woman in 2:25:12
  • 2005-04-25 The final piece of the Obelisk of Axum is returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937.
  • 2008-04-21 112th Boston Marathon: Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya 1st man in 2:07:45 and Dire Tune of Ethiopia 1st woman in 2:25:25
  • 2009-04-20 113th Boston Marathon: Deriba Merga of Ethiopia 1st man in 2:08:42 and Salina Kosgei of Kenya 1st woman in 2:32:16
  • 2010-01-25 Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashes into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on-board.
  • 2010-04-19 114th Boston Marathon: Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya 1st man in 2:05:52 and Teyba Erkesso of Ethiopia 1st woman in 2:26:11
  • 2012-03-13 19 people are shot dead in a bus attack in Ethiopia
  • 2012-07-28 18 people are killed and 11 injured in ethnic clashes in Ethiopia
  • 2013-04-15 117th Boston Marathon: Lelisa Desisa Benti of Ethiopia 1st man in 2:10:22 and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya 1st woman in 2:26:25
  • 2013-10-07 Mulatu Teshome becomes president of Ethiopia
  • 2014-05-05 China announces it will upgrade Ethiopia's infrastructure in an effort to improve a China-Africa strategic partnership
  • 2015-04-20 119th Boston Marathon: Lelisa Desisa Benti of Ethiopia 1st man in 2:09:17 and Caroline Rotich of Kenya 1st woman in 2:24:55
  • 2015-04-26 35th London Marathon: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge & Ethiopian Tigist Tufa win
  • 2015-06-15 Remains of a 2,000 year old women dubbed "the sleeping beauty" are announced discovered in Northern Ethiopia from ancient kingdom of Aksum

Famous Birthdays

  • 1273-07-15 Ewostatewos, Ethiopian monk and religious leader (d. 1352)
  • 1471-07-15 Eskender, Emperor of Ethiopia (d. 1494)
  • 1810-01-03 Antoine T. d'Abbadie, French explorer (Ethiopia), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1897)
  • 1815-07-24 Arnaud-Michel d'Abbadie, French explorer (Ethiopia), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1893)
  • 1844-08-17 Menelik II, King of Ethiopia (1896-1913)
  • 1869-11-11 Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy (1900-46)/Ethiopia
  • 1876-04-29 Zauditu of Ethiopia (d. 1930)
  • 1882-08-11 Rodolfo Graziani, Italian Marshal, fascist and Viceroy of Italian East Africa, born in Filettino, Italy (d. 1955)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1892-07-23 Haile Selassie [Ras Tafari Makonnen], Emperor of Ethiopia (1930-74), born in Ejersa Goro, Ethiopian Empire (d. 1975)

Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie
Ethiopian Emperor
Haile Selassie
  • 1895-12-16 Lidj Jasu, emperor of Ethiopia
  • 1898-10-21 Amedeo duke of Aosta, viceroy of Ethiopia/gov-gen of Italian East-Africa
  • 1916-07-27 Asfa Wossen, Crown prince of Ethiopia/son of emperor Haile Selassi
  • 1931-11-28 Dervla Murphy, travel author (Full Tilt, In Ethiopia with a Mule)
  • 1932-06-12 Mamo Wolde, Ethiopia, marathoner (Olympic gold 1968)
  • 1932-08-07 Abebe Bikila, Ethiopian marathon runner (Olympic gold 1960, 64)
  • 1941-05-08 Mahmoud Ahmed, Ethiopian singer
  • 1944-05-15 Miruts Yifter 'Yifter the Shifter', Ethiopian runner (Olympic golds 1980), born in Adigrat (d. 2016)
  • 1946-12-30 Patti Smith, rock vocalist (Radio Ethiopia), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1951-02-10 Zeudi Araya, Asmara Ethiopia, Miss Ethiopia (1969)
  • 1953-09-06 Mohammed Kedir, Ethiopia, 10k runner (Olympic bronze 1980)
  • 1955-05-09 Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, (d. 2012)
  • 1973-04-18 Haile Gebrselassie, Asella, Arsi Province, Ethiopian 10k runner (Olympics-gold-96)
  • 1978-12-08 Anwar Siraj, Ethiopian footballer
  • 1980-01-03 Liya Kebede, Ethiopian model
  • 1981-10-28 Solomon Andargachew, Ethiopian footballer
  • 1982-06-13 Kenenisa Bekele, Ethiopian athlete
  • 1982-08-20 Youssouf Hersi, Ethiopian footballer
  • 1983-02-07 Teshome Getu, Ethiopian footballer
  • 1984-03-28 Yordanos Abay, Ethiopian footballer

Famous Deaths

  • 1352-09-15 Ewostatewos, Ethiopian monk and religious leader (b. 1273)
  • 1413-10-06 Dawit I, Emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1382)
  • 1478-11-19 Emperor Baeda Maryam of Ethiopia (b. 1448)
  • 1508-07-31 Na'od, Emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1494)
  • 1540-09-02 Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1501)
  • 1559-03-23 Emperor Gelawdewos of Ethiopia (killed in battle) (b. 1521/1522)
  • 1563-02-01 Menas, Emperor of Ethiopia (died of fever)
  • 1597-10-04 Sarsa Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1550)
  • 1632-09-07 Emperor Susenyos of Ethiopia
  • 1667-10-18 Fasilides, Emperor of Ethiopia
  • 1706-10-13 Iyasus the Great, Emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1682)
  • 1708-07-01 Emperor Tekle Haymanot I of Ethiopia (b. 1706)
  • 1708-09-07 Tekle Haymanot I of Ethiopia
  • 1711-10-14 Tewoflos, Emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1708)
  • 1773-06-27 Mentewab, dowager Empress of Ethiopia (b. circa 1706)
  • 1779-06-23 Ras Mikael Sehul, warlord of Ethiopia (b. about 1691)
  • 1813-09-13 Hezqeyas of Ethiopia, deposed Emperor of Ethiopia
  • 1816-05-28 Ras Wolde Selassie, Ethiopian warlord
  • 1817-12-12 Emperor Tekle Giyorgis I of Ethiopia, (b. about 1751)
  • 1818-06-12 Egwale Seyon, Emperor of Ethiopia
  • 1825-05-23 Ras Gugsa of Yejju, Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia
  • 1868-04-13 Tewodros II / Theodorus II, Emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1818) commits suicide
  • 1889-03-12 Yohannes IV, [Kasa], Emperor of Ethiopia (1872-89), dies in battle
  • 1893-11-13 Arnaud-Michel d'Abbadie, French explorer (Ethiopia), dies at 78
  • 1896-06-02 Gerhard Rohlfs, German explorer (Abbsynia/Ethiopia), dies
  • 1897-03-19 Antoine T. d'Abbadie, French explorer (Ethiopia), dies at 87
  • 1913-12-12 Emperor Menelek II of Ethiopia (b. 1844)
  • 1913-12-22 Menelik II, King of Ethiopia (1896-1913), dies at 69
  • 1930-04-01 Zawditu, 1st reigning female monarch of Ethiopia, dies
  • 1930-04-02 Empress Zauditu of Ethiopia (b. 1876)
  • 1935-11-07 Lidj Jasu, emperor of Ethiopia, dies at 39
  • 1942-03-03 Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, viceroy (Ethiopia), dies at 43
  • 1973-10-25 Abebe Bikila, Ethiopian marathon runner (Olympic-gold 1960, 64), dies at 41

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1975-08-27 Haile Selassie [Ras Tafari Makonnen], Emperor of Ethiopia (1930-74), dies of suspected assassination by strangulation at 83

Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie
Ethiopian Emperor
Haile Selassie
  • 1989-08-07 Mickey Leland, (Rep-D-Tx), & 15 others dies in plane crash in Ethiopia
  • 1997-01-17 Asfa Wossen, [Amha Selassie], crown emperor of Ethiopia in exile, dies
  • 2002-05-26 Mamo Wolde, Ethiopian runner (b. 1932)
  • 2012-08-20 Meles Zenawi, Ethiopian Prime Minister, dies from liver cancer at 57