French colonial rule begins.
1858 - 1930
Ho Chi Minh founds the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP).
1930 - 1941
ICP organises a guerrilla force, Viet Minh, in response to invasion by Japan during World War II.
1941 - 1945
The Viet Minh seizes power. Ho Chi Minh announces Vietnam's independence.
1945 - 1946
French forces attack Viet Minh in Haiphong in November, sparking the war of resistance against the colonial power.
1946 - 1950
Democratic Republic of Vietnam is recognised by China and USSR
1950 - 1954
Viet Minh forces attack an isolated French military outpost in the town of Dien Bien Phu. The attempt to take the outpost lasts two months, during which time the French government agrees to peace talk
1954 - 1956
South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem begins campaign against political dissidents.
1956 - 1957