Since the Bangkok Post first rolled off the presses in 1946, Thailand has undergone dramatic changes and faced many momentous events. Here we chart some of the milestones of the last 72 years.

Aug 1, 1946

Bangkok Post launches.


Nation mourns the death of King Ananda Mahidol (June 9). His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej returns to Europe (Aug 19).

Nov 27, 1947

Pridi Banomyong, accused of plotting to overthrow the monarchy, manages to escape.

Oct 6, 1948

The King is injured in a car accident in Switzerland.

May 11, 1949

Siam is officially renamed Thailand.

April 28, 1950

The King marries MR Sirikit Kitiyakara and officially ascends throne (May 5, 1950).

June 1951

A song composed by the King, ‘Sai Fon’ (Falling Rain), is used to advertise Coca-Cola.

July 14, 1952

First television broadcast is hailed as a great success.

Oct 27, 1953

US Vice President Richard Nixon meets PM Plaek Phibulsonggram to reinforce ties.

Jan 21, 1954

Parliament passes a law paving the way for the Social Security Fund.

June 24, 1955

Thailand’s first TV channel, H81-TV, begins broadcasting. Chamnong Rangsikul, the channel’s founder, is known as the father of Thailand’s television.

Oct 18, 1956

PM Plaek Phibulsonggram announces a ban on American film and theatre production ‘The King and I’ in Thailand.

Dec 25, 1957

Lt Gen Thanom Kittikachorn is appointed prime minister.

Nov 26, 1958

Thai-Cambodian relations suspended over the Preah Vihear temple dispute.

July 1, 1959

PM Sarit Thanarat bans opium smoking in the country.

April 16, 1960

Pone Kingpetch wins the world flyweight boxing title.

July 20, 1961

Thailand is retained as name of country rather than Siam, after a consideration of a change.

June 15, 1962

The International Court awards Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia, a ruling that shocks Thailand.

Dec 15, 1963

Tourist arrivals soar by 65% as tourism becomes Thailand's seventh-biggest earner.

June 8, 1964

Three of the ‘Fab Four’ Beatles are mobbed at Don Mueang airport during a short stopover.

July 25, 1965

Eighteen-year-old Apasra 'Pook' Hongsakula wins Miss Universe.

Nov 1, 1966

The first farmers' bank, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, opens

March 26, 1967

Millionaire American silk entrepreneur Jim Thompson vanishes in the jungles of Malaysia.

Oct 1, 1968

Bangkok's last nine trams are removed from their tracks as they are too expensive and block vehicle traffic.

July 21, 1969

Astronaut Neil Armstrong arrives in Thailand for a four-day visit.

Aug 27, 1970

Tropical storm Ruth wrecks 25 provinces, killing more than 100 people.

May 15, 1971

The country's first open university, Ramkhamhaeng University, is launched.

Oct 13-14, 1973

October uprising: Up to 400,000 anti-government protesters rally on the streets to denounce the Thanom regime. Government attempts to disperse demonstrators turn into chaos, killing at least 70 students and injuring more than 800. The King urges an end to the hostilities.

Oct 9, 1974

The interior minister grants citizenship to hilltribe people.

Oct 6, 1976

Dozens of students are slaughtered at Thammasat University by police, soldiers and mobs of right-wing extremists.

Dec 20, 1978

The 8th Asian Games held in Bangkok are a success, drawing more than 4,000 athletes from 25 countries.

Feb 27, 1979

The international oil crisis hits Thailand as supplies of petrol, benzene and cooking gas dwindle.

Feb 29, 1980

Army chief Prem Tinsulanonda sworn in as prime minister, replacing Kriangsak Chomanand.

March 31, 1981

100 commandos storm a hijacked Garuda jet at Don Mueang airport, freeing 54 passengers on board.

April 6, 1982

Bangkok bicentennial: Thailand celebrates the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Chakri dynasty and Bangkok as the national capital.

Feb 2, 1983

Pope John Paul II makes Archbishop Michael Michai Kitbunchu the first Thai cardinal.

Sept 18, 1984

The Oriental is voted the best hotel in the world.

Nov 14, 1985

Independent candidate Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang wins a landslide victory in the Bangkok governor election.

Aug 22, 1986

Snooker player James Wattana, 16,beats three-times world champion Steve Davis.

Nov 22, 1987

About 85,000 runners help inaugurate Rama IX Bridge, joining a Royal Marathon to mark the King's 60th birthday

Jan 23, 1988

Eastern Seaboard Development Plan commences, covering an area of 1.080 rai at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate.

May 24, 1988

Nineteen-year-old Porntip Narkhirunkanok wins Miss Universe 1988 in Taiwan.

Nov 4, 1989

Typhoon Gay cuts a swathe
of destruction, killing more
than 500 people and leaving
160,000 homeless

Sept 1, 1990

Devoted conservationist Seub Nakhasathien takes his own life.

Feb 25, 1991

Anand Panyarachun, a former ambassador and head of the Federation of Thai Industries, becomes Thailand's 18th prime minister.

May 1, 1992

Black May: Days of bloody confrontation are sparked when the government, led by 1991 coup leader Suchinda Kraprayoon, orders soldiers to fire on a peaceful gathering of protesters, killing dozens of people and injuring more than 100. Opposition leader Chamlong Srimuang initiates a hunger strike to demand the resignation of PM Suchinda.

April 27, 1993

The cabinet approves an Interior Ministry amendment bill giving female workers the right to 90 days of maternity leave with full pay.

April 8, 1994

The Friendship Bridge, crossing the Mekong River between Laos and Thailand, opens.


Thailand mourns the deaths of two of its most beloved personalities: HRH Princess Sri Nagarindra the Princess Mother (July 18) and statesman MR Kukrit Pramoj (Oct 9).

Aug 4, 1996

Boxer Somluck Kamsing earns the country's first-ever Olympic gold medal by defeating the world champion.

Nov 4, 1997

Thailand's financial crisis begins. The collapse of Finance One, the country's largest finance firm, sends major shockwaves through the sector. Nervous depositors withdraw more than 21 billion baht from financial institutions. A total of 58 finance companies are suspended by the Bank of Thailand. Jobless rate reaches 8.8%. The Thai stock market falls 75%. The Chavalit Yongchaiyudh government floats the baht, leading to a steep fall to 57 baht against the US dollar. PM Chavalit resigns.

May 31, 1998

Telecommunications tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra forms a new political party, Thai Rak Thai.

Dec 5, 1999

Bangkok enters a new transportation era with the first elevated train system, the BTS skytrain.

May 21, 2000

Fights erupt at Pak Moon Dam and its electricity generators with protesters wanting to open its spillways to let fish swim upstream to spawn.

Jan 6, 2001

Thaksin Shinawatra becomes PM after Thai Rak Thai wins national elections.

Aug 3, 2001

The Constitutional Court rules 8-7 that PM Thaksin did not conceal his wealth after he shued billions of baht worth of shares in his corporate empire into accounts held by his servants and relatives.

Nov 26, 2002

Tongdaeng, the King's favourite pet dog, becomes a national sensation. The first print run, 100,000 copies of The Story of Tongdaeng, penned by the King, sells out within hours of its release.

Dec 26, 2004

As many as 8,000 are killed in deadly tsunami waves along the southwest Andaman coast. More than one-third of the bodies, swept out to sea, were never found.

Feb 6, 2005

Thai Rak Thai wins by a landslide in the general election, claiming 350 seats.

Nov 18, 2005

Media tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul leads anti-Thaksin demonstrations accusing the Thaksin government of corruption.

Sept 19, 2006

The Thaksin government is ousted in a bloodless coup after months of political tension and massive street protests.

Sept 28, 2006

Suvarnabhumi International Airport finally opens.

Nov 25, 2008

Anti-Thaksin government demonstrators shut down Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, bringing air travel to a halt, Thaksin flees to London on Aug 11.

April 11, 2009

Thousands of red-shirt supporters storm the Asean Summit in Pattaya, causing it to be abandoned.

April-May, 2010

Political tension rises and divisions among yellow-shirt and red-shirt supporters reach a critical point, leading to the crackdown at Ratchaprasong intersection and other areas, resulting in 92 deaths and 1,378 injured. The Abhisit Vejjajiva government declares a state of emergency.

May 22, 2010

Red-shirt supporters protest in streets and burn shopping malls in the Ratchaprasong area. The incident leads to deaths and injuries.

Aug 5, 2011

The Pheu Thai Party wins a national election and Yingluck Shinawatra becomes the country’s first female PM.

May 25, 2012

The King takes a road trip to Thung Makam Yong in Ayutthaya as hundreds of subjects await to greet him. It is his first ocial public appearance in years.

Dec 26-27, 2013

A sea change in national broadcasting, from analogue to digitalisation, begins with 50.8 billion baht worth of auctions for 24 digital TV operating licences, the priciest auctions ever.

Jan 13, 2014

Former deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban announces the Bangkok Shutdown campaign, occupying major areas in the city.

May 22, 2014

Army chief Prayut Chan-o-cha stages a bloodless coup, taking over power from the Yingluck government.

Aug 17, 2015

A bomb explodes at the Erawan shrine in Ratchaprasong, claiming 20 lives and injuring about 130. Tourism industry plunges by 20%.

April 16, 2016

Ratchanok 'May' Intanon is crowned the world’s No.1 women's singles player after sealing three successive Superseries titles in as many weeks.

April 6, 2017

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn officially endorses the promulgation of the constitution, the country’s 20th under 86 years of constitutional monarchy.

October 26, 2017

The Royal Cremation
Ceremony is held for His
Majesty the late King Bhumibol
Adulyadej at Sanam Luang.

June 23, 2018

A group of 12 footballers and their coach from the Wild Boars team have gone missing in the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district. Efforts by international teams of cave divers, explorers and military professionals to rescue the missing 13 after they were located by British cave divers Richard Stanton and John Volanthen has inspired the world.  



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