1947 UN partitions Palestine into two states - one for Jews, one for Palestinians.
1948 Mideast states invade; Jewish forces prevail, declaring Israeli independence. More than 300,000 Palestinians flee or are forced out of Jewish-controlled areas.
President Truman recognizes Israel.
1953 CIA helps Iran's military stage a coup against the democratically elected prime minister, whom the US views as a Communist threat.
1955 Egypt turns to Czechoslovakia for arms, raising US fears of a Soviet foothold in Middle East.
1956 Suez crisis. Israel attacks Egypt for control of the Suez Canal, with the support of Britain and France. US threatens Britain with oil sanctions and eventually forces an end to the war.
US announces it will not sell arms to Israel because it fears confrontation in the Middle East.
1957 US announces Eisenhower doctrine, offering military and economic aid to any Middle Eastern nation threatened by communism.
1962 President Kennedy authorizes sales of Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Israel.
1966 US sells its first jet bombers to Israel.
1967 Six-Day War. Israel launches strike against Arab neighbors, capturing Jerusalem, the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. It is the last time Israel will fight without US-supplied weapons. UN calls for Israel to withdraw. Israel refuses.
1972 Members of Palestinian group Black September kill 11 Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics.
1973 Yom Kippur War. Egypt and Syria attack Israel over the Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula. US airlifts $2.2 billion in emergency aid and weapons, turning tide in Israel's favor. Arab states cut US oil shipments.
1978 Egypt and Israel sign US-brokered Camp David peace treaty. Eighteen Arab states impose an economic boycott on Egypt.
1979 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini leads Islamic revolution in Iran.