Reign of Thai king saw great change, dozens of governments

AP News
Posted: Oct 13, 2016 10:32 AM
Reign of Thai king saw great change, dozens of governments

BANGKOK (AP) — The 70-year reign of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej spanned coups, insurgencies and dozens of national governments. Some key moments from his life and times:

Dec. 5, 1927: Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while his father was studying medicine at Harvard University.

1932: Bloodless revolution ends centuries of absolute monarchy and ushers in constitutional rule.

1946: The then-monarch, Bhumibol's older brother Ananda, is found dead from a gunshot under still-mysterious circumstances, and Bhumibol is named successor.

1950: Bhumibol marries Queen Sirikit and is coronated. A Broadway musical features his musical composition, "Blue Day."

1952: King initiates the first of what will become thousands of royal projects to fight poverty, disease, environmental destruction and drug trafficking. The first of the couple's four children is born.

1957: Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat seizes and holds power for six years as king gains political maturity and prestige.

1967: King and queen visit the United States and Canada, the last of his many foreign trips. He voices support for U.S. in the Vietnam War.

1973: King intervenes to halt bloodshed as students rise up against a military dictatorship.

1989: Bhumibol becomes world's longest reigning living monarch.

1992: King ends bloody clashes between troops and pro-democracy demonstrators.

1993: One of the king's many inventions, a waste water aerator, receives patent No. 3127.

2004: King advocates "gentle approach" as Muslim militants begin bloody insurgency in southern Thailand.

June 2006: Celebrations of his 60th year on the throne include visits by royals from 25 countries.

September 2006: Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is overthrown in a military coup, which the king endorses afterward.

October 2007: King is hospitalized and treated for a blood clot.

February 2008: Civilian rule restored following general elections.

November 2008: Anti-government, pro-monarchy protesters seize Bangkok's international airport, stranding thousands of tourists.

April 2009: Demonstrators storm an Asian summit in Pattaya, and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva calls in troops to stop street violence in Bangkok.

September 2009: Bhumibol is hospitalized, initially for a lung infection.

2010: Weeks of street protests against Abhisit's government end with violence and a military crackdown. At least 90 people are killed.

July 2011: Abhisit's political party loses elections, and Thaksin's sister, Yingluck, forms a new government.

November 2011: Princess says the king suffered a bleeding episode, possibly due to stress from a flooding crisis affecting his country.

May 2014: Army leads a coup against Yingluck's elected government, and Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha takes charge. He still governs as prime minister.

May 2015: Bhumibol makes a public appearance to mark the 65th anniversary of his coronation, emerging from the hospital by wheelchair and being driven to the Grand Palace.

June 2016: Bhumibol mark his 70th year on the throne — from his hospital bed due to ill health.

August 2016: Thai voters approve a junta-backed constitution that lays the foundation for a civilian government influenced by the military and controlled by appointed, rather than elected, officials.

Oct. 10, 2016: Royal Palace announces the health of the king has deteriorated and his condition is unstable.

Oct. 13, 2016: Bhumibol dies at age 88.