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Belgium is about the same size as New Jersey or Israel or Switzerland.
(SFEC, 2/14/99, Z1 p.8)(SSFC, 10/9/05, Par p.27)
54BC The Eburons, A Belgian tribe under the command of their King Ambiorix, won a victory against the Roman Legion.
53BC Caesar claimed to have wiped out the Celtic Eburones after they conspired with other groups in an attack that killed 6,000 Roman soldiers. The Eburones lived in an area that later came be known as part of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
43AD British Celts battled the Roman invaders in 2-wheeled chariots. The Belgae from northern Gaul had settled in Britain and ushered in the concept of towns and the art of enameling.
c100 Spa began as a Roman bathing center about this time.
(WSJ, 8/7/01, p.A1)
384 May 13, Servatius (Aravatius), bishop of Tongeren (Belgium), died at age 65.
1200-1300 In Bruges the Belfry in the Grote Merkt, main square, was built.
(SFEC, 8/28/98, p.T12)
1235 Sep 5, Henry I, duke of Brabant, died. Brabant was a duchy later divided between Netherlands and Belgium.
(WUD, 1994 p.177)(MC, 9/5/01)
1288 Sep 29, Maud de Brabant (b.1224) died in Belgium.
1294 May 3, Jan I, The duke of Brabant (Belgium-Netherlands), Limburg, poet, died.
1302 Jul 11, An army of French knights, led by the Count of Artois, was routed by Flemish pikemen.
1349 Nov 1, Duke of Brabant ordered the execution of all Jews in Brussels. He accused them of poisoning the wells.
1352 The gothic Cathedral of Our Lady was begun in Antwerp, Belgium. It was completed in the 16th century.
(Hem., 7/95, p.27)
1366 The Den Hoorn brewery was founded in Leuven (Belgium). In 1717 Sebastian Artois brought his name to the brewery.
(Econ, 12/17/11, p.124)
1370 May 22, Jews were expelled (massacred) from Brussels, Belgium.
1382 May 5, In the Battle of Beverhoutsveld, Belgium, the population beat a drunken army.
1387 Jul 22, French Ackerman (c57), Ghent rebel, leader of Reisers, was murdered.
1389 Mar 31, Everhard Tserclaes, sheriff of Brussels, was murdered.
1416 May 7, Monk Nicolaas Serrurier was arrested for heresy at Tournay, Belgium.
1464 Jun 18, Roger Van Der Weyden (b.1400), Flemish painter, died. He had mastered the new technique of oil painting and served as the official painter to the city of Brussels.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogier_van_der_Weyden)(Econ, 10/3/09, p.107)
1496 Oct 20, Spain’s Juana of Castile (1479-1555) married Philip the Handsome, the Duke of Burgundy, in Lier (later a part of Belgium). Philip's parents were Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and his first wife, Duchess Mary of Burgundy. Juana had sailed from Spain with 15,000 men to the Habsburg Netherlands. Between 1498 and 1507, she gave birth to six children: two emperors and four queens.
(Econ, 4/13/13, p.55)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_of_Castile)
1500 Feb 24, Charles V, king of Spain, was born in Ghent, Belgium. He was the last Holy Roman Emperor to be crowned by the Pope.
(HN, 2/24/99)(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T10)
1505 Dec 18, John IX van Horne, prince-bishop of Lieges, Belgium, was executed.
1512 Mar 5, Gerardus Mercator (d.1594), Flemish philosopher and cartographer, was born in Rupelmonde, Flanders (later Belgium).
1514 Dec 31, Andreas Vesalius (d.1564), anatomist, author of "De Humani Corporis Fabrica," was born in Brussels, Belgium
(NH, 10/96, p.34)(TL-MB, 1988, p.15)(MC, 12/31/01)
1522 Feb 7, Treaty of Brussels: Habsburgers split into Spanish and Austrian Branches.
1523 Jul 1, Hendrik Voes, Flemish priest, church reformer, was burned at stake along with John of Esschen (Jan van Essen), Flemish priest, church reformer. The 2 monks were executed in Brussels for refusing to recant their Lutheran beliefs.
(http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_van_Essen)(Econ, 12/17/11, p.94)
c1525 Joos van Cleve, Belgian painter, painted "St. John the Evangelist on Patmos."
(MT, Spg. ‘97, p.20)
1530-1531 The Antwerp exchange was founded for brokers to trade shares and commodities.
(TL-MB, p.14)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)
c1535 Tapestries called the "The Triumph of the Seven Virtues" were produced in Brussels. The Triumph of Fortitude and the Triumph of Prudence were later conserved and exhibited in San Francisco.
(SFC, 2/7/01, p.E1)
1535 Imperial authorities in Antwerp captured and imprisoned William Tyndale for heresy over his translation of the Bible into English.
(WSJ, 12/22/94, A-20)
1536 Oct 6, William Tyndale (b.1494), the English translator of the New and Old Testament, was burned at the stake at Vilvoorde Castle (Belgium) as a heretic by the Holy Roman Empire.
1540 King Charles V returned to Ghent and brutally beat down an uprising against taxes for an expansionist war. Nine leaders were beheaded and another hanged. City burgers were forced to walk the streets barefoot with rope hanging round their necks. The "Gentse Feesten" annual festival re-enacts this event every mid-July.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T10)
1543 Andreas Vesalius, Belgian physician, published his "De humani corporis fabrica" (Concerning the Fabric of the Human Body), which contained the first complete description of the human body.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.15)(WSJ, 10/19/99, p.A24)
1544 May 29, Jacobus Latomus [Jasques Masson] (~68), Belgian inquisitor, died.
1550 By this time the canals of Bruges had filled with silt.
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.C5)
1559 Mar 14, Jacques d'Auchy, Walloon Baptist merchant, was executed.
1567 Aug 8, Duke of Alba's army entered Brussels, Belgium.
1568 Jun 1, Duke of Alba beheaded 18 nobles in Brussels. (MC, 6/1/02)
1568 Jun 4, Lamoraal, Count Egmont, prince of Gavere, was beheaded in Brussels for opposition to the Spanish Inquisition. He became a heroic figure in Goethe's play and Beethoven's musical setting. Philips van Montmorency comte d'Horn, admiral, statesman, was also beheaded along with 18 other leaders of the Flemish opposition.
(PCh, 1992, p.195)(MC, 6/5/02)
1568 Jun 5, Ferdinand, the Duke of Alba, crushed the Calvinist insurrection in Ghent (Belgium).
1577 Sep 23, William of Orange made his triumphant entry into Brussels, Belgium.
1584 Jan 7, This was the last day of the Julian calendar in Bohemia & Holy Roman empire. The 1582 Gregorian (or New World) calendar was adopted by this time in Belgium, most of the German Roman Catholic states and the Netherlands.
(SFEC, 10/3/99, Par p.27)(MC, 1/7/02)
1599 Feb 22, Anthony Van Dyck, painter, was born in Antwerp, Belgium. [See Mar 22]
1599 Mar 13, Johannes Berchmans, Jesuit, saint, was born in Belgium.
(MC, 3/13/02)(de Winkler Prins encyclopedia)
1599 Mar 22, Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Flemish artist, was born. He gave his name to the Vandyke beard. [See Feb 22]
1604 Sep 20, After a two-year siege, the Spanish retook Ostend [NW Belgium], the Netherlands, from the Dutch.
(WUD, 1994, p.1019)(HN, 9/20/98)
1618 Michael Sweerts (d.1664), artist, was born in Brussels, Belgium. He did much of his important work in Rome, moved to the Netherlands, traveled in Asia with a band of missionaries and died in Goa.
(WSJ, 7/2/02, p.D7)
1716 Jul 18, A decree ordered all Jews expelled from Brussels.
1760 A Belgian created roller skates by replacing the blades of ice skates with wheels.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1793 Sep 6, French General Jean Houchard and his 40,000 men began a three-day battle against an Anglo-Hanoverian army at Hondschoote, southwest Belgium, in the wars of the French Revolution.
1794 Jul 8, French troops captured Brussels, Belgium.
1800 Lieven Bauwens stole a spinning "mule jenny" machine from Britain. He had it dismantled and smuggled out in a cargo of coffee. This enabled the textile industry in Ghent to greatly expand. Britain sentenced Bauwens to death in absentia and Ghent made him a hero.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T11)
c1807 Englishmen William and John Cockerill brought the Industrial Revolution to continental Europe around 1807 by developing machine shops in Liege, Belgium, transforming the country’s coal, iron and textile industries much as it had done in Britain. From roughly 1760 to about 1830, the Industrial Revolution largely occurred in Britain. Realizing the economic advantages, Britain did not allow the export of any machinery, methods or skilled men that might blunt its technological edge. Eventually, the lure of new opportunities convinced continental entrepreneurs and British businessmen to evade England’s official edict.
1814 Dec 24, The Treaty of Ghent between the United States and Great Britain, terminating the War of 1812, was signed at Ghent, Belgium. The news did not reach the United States until two weeks later (after the decisive American victory at New Orleans). The treaty, signed by John Quincy Adams for the US, committed the US and Britain "to use their best endeavors" to end the Atlantic slave trade.
(AP, 12/24/97)(WSJ, 12/31/97, p.A11)(HN, 12/24/98)(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T10)
1815 Apr, British General Arthur Wellesley, duke of Wellington, began assembling troops at Brussels, Belgium. 73,000 British troops were joined by 33,000 German, Dutch and Belgian troops preparing to face Napoleon. Prussian Gen. Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher gathered an army of 120,000 southeast of Brussels.
(ON, 4/06, p.1)
1815 Jun 16, Napoleon defeated the Prussians at the Battle of Ligny, Belgium.
1815 Jun 16, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte marched into Belgium to find himself confronted by two allied armies, which he tried to split apart. The June 16 French attack at the crossroads called Quatre Bras, depicted in a painting by W.B. Wollen, badly mauled the British army, but failed to rout it or to take the crossroads. Although similarly battered at Ligny that day, the Prussian army also retired intact. Both armies would face Napoleon again two days later at Waterloo.
1815 Jun 17, A heavy rainstorm prevented French forces from catching up with Wellington’s army as they retreated to Waterloo.
(Econ, 7/16/05, p.15)(ON, 4/06, p.3)
1815 Jun 18, British and Prussian troops under the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon Bonaparte and his forces at the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium. The French elite troops of the Imperial Guard wore bearskins to appear more intimidating. Afterwards Britain established towering bear skin hats for soldiers in ceremonial duties and to guard royal residencies and the Tower of London. Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher made a short speech to his troops saying that he was pregnant and about to give birth to an elephant. He was taken from the front in protective custody and missed the battle. Napoleon lost over 40,000 men at Waterloo; the British and Belgians lost 15,000; the Prussians lost 7,000. The total losses in 3 days of fighting was later estimated at 91,800. In 2002 Andrew Roberts authored "Napoleon and Wellington." In 2005 Andrew Roberts authored “Waterloo: Napoleon’s Last Gamble.”
(SFEC, 2/28/99, Z1p.10)(WSJ, 9/13/02, p.W10)(Econ, 2/12/05, p.81)(ON, 4/06, p.5)
1820 Feb 17, Henri Vieuxtemps, composer, teacher (Brussels Cons), was born in Verviers, Belgium.
1829 Feb 16, Francois-Joseph Gossec (95), Belgian-French composer (Messe de Morts), died.
1830 May 25, Jules de Geyter, Belgian poet (International), was born.
1830 Aug 25, Belgium rebelled against Netherlands. Among the reasons for rebelling were heavy taxes on beer.
(chblue.com, 8/25/01)(Econ, 12/17/11, p.125)
1830 Dec 20, An international conference declared the dissolution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands effectively recognizing the independence of Belgium.
1831 Jan 20, Protocols were signed in London that recognized Belgium as an independent nation. Belgium became a nation and combined French and Flemish-speaking lands. The Rothschild banking empire financed the founding of Belgium.
(SFC, 7/12/96, p.A11)(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.C5)(http://tinyurl.com/3335jt)
1831 Jan 23, The Belgian Provisional Government decreed: The flag of Belgium is red, yellow and black. These colors are arranged vertically.
1831 Feb 7, The first Belgian Constitution was ratified.
1831 Feb 24, Belgium’s Provisional Government dissolved itself in favor of a Regent, Baron Surlet de Chokier.
1831 Jul 21, Belgium became independent as Leopold I was proclaimed King of the Belgians.
1831 Aug 2, The Dutch army, headed by the Dutch princes, invaded Belgium, in the so-called "Ten Days Campaign", and defeated Belgian forces near Hasselt and Leuven. Only the appearance of a French army under Marchal Gerard caused the Dutch to stop their advance.
1834 May 5, The first mainland railway line opened in Belgium.
1839 Oct, The London Treaty, in which all the European powers guaranteed Belgian neutrality, was signed. The final Dutch-Belgian separation treaty divided Luxembourg and Limburg between the Dutch and Belgian crowns, settled debt arrangements and guaranteed the neutrality of Belgium.
1839 Trappists monks at St. Sixtus in Belgium began brewing Westvleteren beer in order to finance construction of a new monastery.
(WSJ, 11/29/07, p.A1)
1840-1889 Father Demien, a Belgian priest, worked with lepers on Molokai, Hawaii.
(SFEC, 7/6/97, Par p.2)
1840s A Belgium gardener planted some chicory root in his dark basement and produced a leafy vegetable that became known as Belgium endive, Cichorium intybus.
(SFEM, 4/25/99, p.21)
1843 Belgian police were the 1st to take mug shots of criminals.
(SFEC, 10/22/00, Z1 p.2)
1846 In Brussels the Galleries St. Hubert were built.
(SFEC, 9/24/00, p.T5)
1846 In Brussels the tavern La Fleur en Papier was founded by the religious order, les Soeurs de Charite. It became a meeting place for painters in the 1920s.
(SFEC, 9/24/00, p.T5)
1847 In Belgium Europe's oldest shopping center, the St. Hubertus Royal Galleries, opened in Brussels.
(SFEC, 1/23/00, p.T14)
1847 Marx and Engels founded the Communist League in Brussels. An archive of international worker’s organizations from this year on is located at the link.
1850 Mar, In Belgium artist Antoine Wiertz (1806-1865) wrote to the government offering to swap his largest paintings in exchange for the construction of a new studio. Interior Minister Charles Rogier soon agreed to provide money for a new studio that would display the artist’s work, following his death, to perpetuity. In 1865 the state was stuck with 220 of his works.
(Econ, 7/11/09, p.53)(www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/art/wiertz.html)
1857 Neuhaus began making chocolate in Belgium.
(SFC, 9/15/96, p.T9)
1858 Jul 16, Eugene Ysaye, violinist, conductor and composer (Pierill Houou), was born in Belgium.
1860 Apr 13, James Ensor (d.1949), Belgian painter, was born. He became a master at dredging disturbing, uncensored images from the depths of the unconscious.
(WSJ, 6/5/01, p.A23)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ensor)
1862 Aug 29, P.M.B. Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgium, poet (Blue Bird, Nobel 1911), was born.
1863 Nov 14, Leo H.A. Baekeland (d.1944), Belgian-born US chemist (bakelite), was born in Ghent.
1865 Dec 23, France, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland formed the Latin Monetary Union (LMU). It was a 19th century attempt to unify several European currencies into a single currency that could be used in all the member states, at a time when most national currencies were still made out of gold and silver. Spain and Greece joined in 1868. It quickly weakened as members pursued their own economic policies. It was disbanded in 1927.
(WSJ, 1/13/98, p.A1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Monetary_Union)
1865 King Leopold II ascended to the throne.
(SFEC, 9/27/98, BR p.1)
1871 The Red Star Line, an ocean passenger line, was founded as a joint venture between the International Navigation Company of Philadelphia, which also ran the American Line, and the Société Anonyme de Navigation Belgo-Américaine of Antwerp, Belgium.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Star_Line)(SSFC, 4/21/13, p.H4)
1873 May 10, Belgian priest Joseph de Veuster (d.1889), aka Father Damien, arrived on Molokai, Hawaii, to tend the spiritual needs of the lepers. The Catholic priest spent his life ministering to the lepers and built homes, churches and moved the whole colony to a more sheltered area. Damien was beatified in 1995. The settlement peaked at about 1200. A film about him was shot in 1998 with Peter O’Toole and Kris Kristofferson.
(www.whirledwydeweb.com/kalaupapa/chronology.html)(SFEC, 9/8/96, p.T3)(WSJ, 8/14/98, p.A1)
1874 Feb 17, Adolphe Quetelet (b.1796), Belgian astronomer and mathematician, died. He founded and directed the Brussels Observatory and was influential in introducing statistical methods to the social sciences.
1875 Apr 8, Albert I LCMM von Saksen-Coburg, king of Belgium (1909-34), was born.
1880-1920 The population of Congo was halved due to murder, starvation, exhaustion, exposure, disease, and a lowered birth rate due to the exploitation by King Leopold II.
(SFEC, 9/27/98, BR p.1)
1884 Feb 26, Leopold II of Belgium signed in Congo a British and Portuguese treaty.
1885 Feb 26, The Congress of Berlin gave Congo to Belgium and Nigeria to England.
1885 May 2, The Congo Free State was established by King Leopold II of Belgium.
1865 A Latin Monetary Union was established amongst France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Greece, but quickly weakened as members pursued their own economic policies.
(WSJ, 1/13/98, p.A1)
1888 James Ensor, Belgian artist, painted "Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889." It was later acquired by the Getty Museum.
(WSJ, 4/9/99, p.W16)(SFEM, 10/17/99, p.11)
1888 The Lejeune Law was passed that allowed criminals to be released for good behavior after serving a third of their sentence.
(SFC, 8/20/96, p.A10)
1888 In Belgium the first beauty contest was held.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)
1889 Apr 15, Rev. Damien de Veuster (b.1840), Belgian priest who ministered to leprosy patients in Hawaii, died of leprosy. In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI set his canonization date for Oct 11, 2009. He was beatified in 1995 after the Vatican declared that the 1987 recovery of a nun of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was a miracle. Audrey Toguchi recovered from lung cancer in 1999 after praying to Damien.
1889 Hendrik Baekeland (b.1863), Belgian professor of natural science, sailed for America.
(ON, 9/05, p.10)
1890 Nov 8, Cesar-Auguste Franck (67), Belgian organist and composer (Symphony in D), died.
1890 Leon Frederic, Belgian painter, began his work "The Stream," a vast triptych of thousands of naked babies frolicking in water. He completed it in 1899.
(WSJ, 2/16/00, p.A14)
1893 Mar 9, Edgar Scauflaire, Belgian muralist, decorator, was born.
1894 Jul 17, Georges Lemaitre, Belgian astronomer, was born.
1895 Paul Otlet (1868-1944), Belgian librarian, met future Nobel Prize winner Henri La Fontaine, who joined him in planning to create the Mundaneum, a master bibliography of all the world’s published knowledge. Otlet and LaFontaine eventually persuaded the Belgian government to support their project, proposing to build a “city of knowledge” that would bolster the government’s bid to become host of the League of Nations.
1895 Prof. Emile Pierre van Ermengem of Belgium identified the bacterium Bacillus botulinus.
(NW, 5/13/02, p.54)
1895-1905 The Central Station of Antwerp, Belgium, was built. It looks like a Baroque church and is often referred to as the Railway Cathedral.
1897 Belgium established the Tervuren Royal Museum for Central Africa following the World Fair of this year. It was a result of the country’s colonial venture in the Belgian Congo, later Zaire, later Democratic Republic of Congo. The museum was founded as a showcase for business opportunities on the Congo.
(SFC, 2/21/98, p.E1)(www.africamuseum.be/museum/about)
c1898 Edmund Dene Morel, a London employee of the shipping line Elder Dempster, came to realize that a wealth of rubber and ivory cargo was arriving from Congo in exchange for military officers, firearms and ammunition. He deduced that forced labor was being used by King Leopold II of Belgium to extract native wealth.
(SFEM, 8/16/98, p.4)
1898 Nov 21, Rene Magritte (d.1967), Belgian surrealist painter, was born. His work includes "Golconda." In 1998 a collection of his work was edited by Giselle Ollinger-Zinque and Frederik Leen. It included his Surrealist paintings as well as his wallpaper designs, illustrated music scores, advertising posters, and photographs from his amateur films.
(WUD, 1994, p.863)(WSJ, 12/3/98, p.W4)(HN, 11/21/00)
1899 Aug 23, Albert Claude (d.1983), biologist, was born in Belgium. He never graduated from high school and won the 1974 Nobel for his work on the sub-structure of the cell.
1900 Apr 5, An assassination attempt of Prince of Wales in Brussels failed.
1901 Nov 3, Leopold III, King of Belgium, was born.
1901 P.M.B. Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), Belgian playwright and essayist, authored “The Life of the Bee.”
(SSFC, 12/16/07, p.M2)
1902 Feb 11, Police beat up universal suffrage demonstrators in Brussels.
1902 Feb 13, Georges Simenon, novelist, was born in Belgium.
(HN, 2/13/01)(MC, 2/13/02)
1903 Jun 29, The British government officially protested Belgian atrocities in the Congo. Missionaries, such as William Sheppard of Virginia, had provided information that soldiers of Leopold’s private army turned over the right hand of villagers they had killed in order to account for their used bullets. Leopold’s 19,000 man private army held hostage the wives of workers to force men to work.
(HN, 6/29/98)(SFEM, 8/16/98, p.7,8)
1905 Baron Edouard Empain of Belgium built the model city of Heliopolis near Cairo, Egypt, with his own elaborate, Indian-inspired palace as its main attraction.
1906 Apr 23, The Belgian training ship Count de Smet de Naey foundered off Prawle Point, England. The captain and 33 on board were drowned.
(SFC, 4/24/06, p.A9)
1907 P.M.B. Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), Belgian playwright and essayist, authored “The Intelligence of Flowers.”
(SSFC, 12/16/07, p.M2)
1908 King Leopold II (d.1909) turned the Congo over to Belgium for a large sum of money. It was later estimated that the population of Congo dropped by 10 million people during the period of Leopold’s rule and its immediate aftermath. In 1998 Adam Hochschild published "King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa.
(SFEM, 8/16/98, p.12)
1908 Neutral Moresnet, a territory between Belgium and Germany, nearly adopted Esperanto as its official tongue. The tiny Belgian-Prussian condominium existed from 1816 to 1920. The former territory later became know as the Belgian city of Kelmis.
(Econ, 8/6/11, p.50)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_Moresnet)
1909 Louis Dollo (1857-1931), Belgian paleontologist, wrote "La Paleontologie Ethologique." Dollo’s law: complex physical features lost during evolution are seldom regained.
(NH, 6/96, p.24)(NH, 4/1/04, p.12)
1910 Feb 10, Dominique Georges Pire, Belgian cleric and educator, was born.
1911 Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), Belgian poet, dramatist, and essayist, won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
(WUD, 1994, p.861)
1912 Jun 30, Belgian workers struck to demand universal suffrage.
1912 In Belgium Jean Neuhaus Jr. took an empty chocolate shell and filled it with rich creations developed by his pharmacist granddad and perfected by his father. Thus was born the praline.
(SFC, 9/15/96, p.T9)
1914 Mar 27, 1st successful blood transfusion took place in Brussels.
1914 Jul 16, A Socialist conference in Brussels was attended by Kautsky, Trotsky & Rosa Luxemburg.
1914 July 27, Germany informed Belgium and Luxembourg of its intention to pass its troops through their countries. German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg reportedly called the 1839 London Treaty, in which all the European powers had guaranteed Belgian neutrality, "a scrap of paper" not worth fighting over. Bethmann-Hollweg was trying to persuade Britain not to declare war based on the treaty. Unsuccessful in his efforts, Britain and Belgium declared war when German troops entered Belgium on August 4.
1914 Aug 3, Germany invaded Belgium and declared war on France at the onset of World War I. The German plan for victory in France was known as the Schlieffen Plan, and was based on a quick strike and the capture of Paris.
(HN, 8/3/98)(AP, 8/3/08)(ON, 8/08, p.5)
1914 Aug 4, Britain and Belgium declared war after German troops entered Belgium. The United States proclaimed its neutrality.
(HNQ, 7/24/98)(AP, 8/4/97)
1914 Aug 6, A German Zeppelin bombed Liege City and killed 9 people.
1914 Aug 10, At Luik, German 12"/16.5" guns reached Belgian boundary.
1914 Aug 16, Liege, Belgium, fell to the German army.
1914 Aug 20, German forces occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I.
1914 Aug 23, Gen. von Hausen executed 612 inhabitants of Dinant, Belgium. Felix Fivet (3 weeks old), Belgian baby, was among those executed by German troops.
1914 Aug 25, German army began 6 week plundering of Leuven, Belgium. German Zeppelins bombed Antwerp, Belgium, and 10 died.
1914 Oct 9, German troops took Antwerp after a 12-day siege in WW I crushing the resistance of over 100,000 Belgian troops and violating Belgian neutrality.
(HN, 10/9/98)(MC, 10/9/01)
1914 Oct 30, The Allied offensive at Ypres, Belgium, began.
1914 Dec 29, The production of Belgian newspapers was halted to protest German censorship.
1915 May 25, 2nd Battle of Ypres ended with 105,000 casualties.
1915 Oct 12, British nurse Edith Cavell (47), despite international protests, was shot as a spy by a German firing squad in Brussels, Belgium. Cavell, the matron of a Brussels training school for nurses, was known for her compassion and sense of duty. As WWI broke out in Europe, Cavell helped 60 British student nurses return home but she remained in Belgium. Even though she knew that helping soldiers escape from German-occupied territory meant the death penalty, Cavell agreed when asked to participate in an escape ring that helped more than 200 fugitive Allied soldiers return home after the British Expeditionary Force's retreat from Mons. Such a large conspiracy could not long remain a secret and in August 1915, Cavell and 35 other members of her organization were arrested. At her hasty trial, she was condemned to death for "conducting soldiers to the enemy." Although their action may have been justified under the rules of war, the Germans seriously blundered when they shot Edith Cavell. Within days of her death, the selfless nurse was elevated to martyr status and the Germans were internationally condemned as "murdering monsters." A statue in St. Martin's Place, just off London's Trafalgar Square, is dedicated to Cavell. In 2010 Diana Souhami authored “Edith Cavell.”
(AP, 10/12/97)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_Cavell)(Econ, 10/9/10, p.121)
1916 Belgians took over Rwanda.
(SSFC, 4/7/02, p.A19)
1917 Jun 7, British Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig launched his assault in Flanders to take German pressure off his French allies. For months, troops of the British Expeditionary Force fought a series of pointless battles in a nightmarish landscape of knee-deep shell holes filled with mud and blasted, skeletal trees.
1917 Jul 11, The Allied assault on Flanders, Belgium, began and lasted to Nov 10, for a total gain of four miles and the occupation of Passchendaele. 9 major battles took place during this period in the Allied attempt to capture Passchendaele. In preparation for the attack the Allies fired some 4.2 million shells. In 2006 military teams around Flanders still retrieved 2-3 dozen shells per day.
(AM, 7/04, p.9)(WSJ, 5/24/06, p.A1)
1917 Nov 10, The assault on Flanders, begun July 11, finally ground to a halt. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) had suffered losses of 300,000 men and German losses were around 200,000--for a total gain of four miles and the occupation of Passchendaele.
(HN, 6/7/98)(HNQ, 11/2/98)
1918 May 10, The HMS Vindictive was sunk to block the entrance of Ostend Harbor.
1918 Nov 17, German troops evacuated Brussels.
1918 Nov 21, Two German ammunition trains exploded in Hamont, Belgium and 1,750 died.
1919 Mar 22, The first international airline service was inaugurated on a weekly schedule between Paris and Brussels.
1919 The Belgian government collected about 330 US tons of German shells and buried them near Poelkapelle under a layer of concrete. Cleaning of the site began in 2006.
(WSJ, 5/24/06, p.A12)
1920 Apr 20, The VII Olympiad opened in Belgium. The Olympic oath and flag showing 5 interlocking rings as a symbol of the 5 continents made their first appearance at the Antwerp Olympics. Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey and Hungary were not invited and the new Soviet Union decided not to attend.
(WSJ, 4/12/08, p.R2)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1920_Summer_Olympics)
1920 May 1, Belgian-Luxembourg toll tunnel opened.
1920 Suzanne Lenglen of France, wearing a shockingly short skirt, won 2 gold medals in tennis at the Olympic games in Antwerp, Belgium.
(NG, 8/04, Geographica)
1920 Oscar Swahn (72) of Sweden won a silver medal for shooting in the Antwerp Olympics.
(WSJ, 3/31/08, p.A1)
1920 Godiva Chocolates, founded by Joseph Draps, began as a family business.
(SFC, 9/15/96, p.T9)
1921 Mar 21, Arthur Grumiaux, Belgian violinist, was born.
c1921 The Belgian monument to its unknown soldier is at the base of the Colonnade of the Congress in Brussels.
(SFC, 5/27/96, p.B8)
1924 Nov 29, Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (b.1858) died in Brussels before he could complete his opera "Turandot." Franco Alfano finished it. His death marked the end of a 300-year tradition of Italian opera. In 2003 Mary Jane Phillips-Matz authored "Puccini."
(AP, 11/29/97)(SFC, 12/28/99, p.C1)(WSJ, 4/11/03, p.W7)
1924 The permanent committee of the National Colonial Congress of Belgium declared (regarding Congo): "We run the risk of someday seeing our native population collapse and disappear… So that we will see ourselves confronted with a kind of desert."
(SFEM, 5/7/00, p.9)
1925 Aug 25, Last Belgian troops vacated Duisburg.
1925 Franz Colruyt, Belgian baker, set up a wholesale business importing coffee and spices from overseas. In 2002 the 160th Colruyt store opened in Belgium.
(WSJ, 9/22/03, p.R3)
1926 Dec 14, Theo van Rysselberghe (64), Belgian painter (pointillism), died.
1927 Jul 24, In Ypres, Belgium, the Menin Gate was unveiled. it built to honor the soldiers who died at the Ypres Salient front during WWI. The gate is inscribed with the names of 54,896 soldiers who died but have no graves.
(SSFC, 11/7/10, p.M2)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menin_Gate)
1928 UCB, a Belgian drug firm, was founded by Emmanuel Janssen.
(Econ, 9/30/06, p.71)
1928 In Denmark Palle Huld (d.2010) won a competition organized by Danish newspaper that wanted to send a teenager would-be-reporter around the globe. For 44 days the 15-year-old traveled to North America, Japan, Siberia and Germany, and was greeted by 20,000 people upon his return to Copenhagen. Herge, the pen name of Belgian author Georges Remi, heard of Huld's journey which reportedly inspired him to create Tintin, the globe-trotting reporter.
1929 Apr 8, Jacques Brel (d.1978), singer, actor, was born in Belgium.
1929 Georges Remi (1907-1983), Belgian author and illustrator, created the cartoon character Tintin under the pseudonym Herge for the children’s supplement, Le Petit Vingtieme. Herge wanted to draw cartoons about the Wild West of America, but his publisher ordered that the new fictional reporter be sent to the soviet Union and then to Belgium’s colony in the Congo.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herg%C3%A9)(Econ, 6/24/06, p.98)(Econ, 12/20/08, p.82)
1929 Rene Magritte created his "La Trahison des images" (The Treachery of Images), an example of his "script paintings." He wrote "An object is never so closely attached to its name that another cannot be found which suits it better.’
(SFEM, 4/23/00, p.17)
1929 Rene Magritte painted "Le Sens propre IV" (The Literal Meaning IV).
(SFEM, 4/23/00, p.4)
1930-1993 King Baudouin I of Belgium: "America has been called a melting pot, but it seems better to call it a mosaic, for in it each nation, people or race which has come to its shores has been privileged to keep its individuality, contributing at the same time its share to the unified pattern of a new nation."
1933 Henri Storch (d.1999 at 92, film pioneer, co-wrote and directed the documentary "Misery in the Borinage," about the grim conditions of mine workers near Mons. His career spanned 70 movies.
(SFC, 9/18/99, p.A21)
1934 Rene Magritte painted "Le Viol" (The Rape).
(SFEM, 4/23/00, p.4)
1934 The panel of the Ten Just Judges on their way to venerate the Mystic Lamb by Jan and Hubert Van Eyck was stolen from St. Baaf's Cathedral in Ghent.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T11)
1934 Paul Otlet (1868-1944), head of the Mundaneum in Belgium, sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. In his 1934 book “Monde” he laid out his vision of a “mechanical, collective brain” that would house all the world’s information, made readily accessible over a global telecommunications network.
1935 Jan 20, Belgium arrested some Nazi agitators who were urging for a return to the Reich.
1935 Rene Magritte painted "Le Palais de Rideaux" (The Palace of Curtains).
(SFEM, 4/23/00, p.17)
1936 Nov 27, Great Britain’s Anthony Eden warned Hitler that Britain would fight to protect Belgium.
1938 Magritte wrote his statement of principles: "Le Ligne de Vie" (Lifeline), and said: "Surrealism is revolutionary because it is relentlessly hostile to all those bourgeois ideological values which keep the world in the appalling condition in which it is today."
(SFEM, 4/23/00, p.6)
c1939 Belgium feared a Nazi invasion and shipped $2.5 billion of gold to France, which in turn shipped it to the port city of Dakar, its West African colony now known as Senegal. The Nazis discovered the shipment after their occupation of France and had the gold transferred to their account in Switzerland.
(WSJ, 4/28/97, p.A17)
1940 May 10, German forces began a blitzkrieg of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, skirting France's "impenetrable" Maginot Line. Belgium was invaded by Germany and maintained resistance for 18 days.
(WSJ, 8/1/95, p.A-8)(WSJ, 4/29/96, p.C-1)(HN, 5/10/02)
1940 May 14, British and French forces began a general retreat from Belgium, heading southwest toward France.
(ON, 12/12, p.1)
1940 May 17, Germany occupied Brussels, Belgium, and began the invasion of France. [See May 12]
(AP, 5/17/97)(HN, 5/17/98)
1940 May 20, British Admiral Bertram H. Ramsay met with his staff beneath Dover Castle to draw up a formal plan for the evacuation of British and French forces from Dunkirk. The plan was called “Operation Dynamo.”
(ON, 8/12, p.2)
1940 May 21, Nazis surrounded the British Army at Dunkirk. British and French forces staged a counterattack near Arras, but failed to clear a path to Le Havre.
(HN, 5/21/98)(ON, 8/12, p.2)
1940 May 26, Operation Dynamo was launched for the evacuation of British, French and Belgian soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk in northern France. The German Luftwaffe launched a bombing campaign on the harbor of Dunkirk. The new British Spitfire fighters helped provide air cover. The operation continued to June 4.
(ON, 3/07, p.2)(AP, 5/26/97)(ON, 8/12, p.2)
1940 May 28, During World War II, the Belgian army surrendered to invading German forces.
(AP, 5/28/97)(HN, 5/28/98)
1940 May 29, Germans captured Ostend and Ypres in Belgium and Lille in France.
1940 Aug 25, Jose Van Dam, bass-baritone, was born in Brussels, Belgium.
1940 The Belgian colonial government in Leopoldville (later Kinshasa), Congo, ordered private mining companies to turn over their records to help the Allies find resources to help the war effort against Germany. Millions of tons of copper and tin, as well as some uranium, were shipped to the US. After the war records were shipped to Belgium’s Royal Museum for Central Africa in Brussels.
(WSJ, 3/20/07, p.A13)
1942 Apr 27, Belgium Jews were forced to wear stars.
1942 Aug 4, The 1st train with Jews departed Mechelen, Belgium, to Auschwitz.
1942 Aug 11, Some 999 Jews were taken from Mechelen transit camp in Belgium.
1942 Sep 12, Free-Poland & Belgium asked Pope to condemn Nazi-war crimes. He did not.
1943 May 10, Andre Bertulot, Arnaud/Armand Fraiteur and Maurice-Albert Raskin, Belgian resistance fighters, were hanged.
1943 Aug 19, Belgian church excommunicated Nazi Leon Degrelle.
1944 Sep 2, Troops of the U.S. First Army entered Belgium.
1944 Sep 3, US forces entered Belgium at Peruwelz led by reconnaissance scout James W. Carroll on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
(WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)
1944 Sep 3, A tank division of British Guards freed Brussels.
1944 Sep 4, British troops liberated Antwerp, Belgium.
1944 Sep 7, Nazi SS-General Kurt ("Panzer") Meyer took Durnal, Belgium.
1944 Sep 19, The 3-month battle at Huertgen Forest on the Belgian-German border began. A 1998 HBO film made a rough portrayal: "When Trumpets Fade."
(WSJ, 7/24/98, p.A15)(www.angelfire.com/ak5/combat/HuertgenForest.html)
1944 Dec 10, The US 394th Regiment’s Intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon was ordered into the village of Lanzareth, Belgium, to fill a gap between allied divisions along the Western front. A German counteroffensive, launched on Dec 16, sent through Lanzareth. The platoon surrendered after running out of ammunition. All members survived imprisonment. In 2004 Alex Kershaw authored “The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of World War II’s Most Decorated Platoon.”
(WSJ, 12/7/04, p.D11)(SSFC, 1/2/05, p.E1)
1944 Dec 16, The Germans mounted a major surprise counterattack in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium. As the center of the Allied line fell back, it created a bulge, leading to the name--the Battle of the Bulge. Hitler hoped to cripple the advance Allies by breaking through their lines to destroy fuel supplies and lines of communication. The striking force (the Fifth and Sixth Panzer Armies) amounted to 24 divisions, 10 of them armored. The German attack achieved total surprise, but slowed by the end of December due to German supply problems and Allied resistance. Between January 8-16, in the face of a fierce Allied counteroffensive, the Germans finally withdrew. By January 21, the Germans had been pushed back to their original line, having lost some 120,000 men in the offensive. The Allies suffered 81,000 casualties including some 19,000 Americans killed. In 1997 Charles B. MacDonald authored “A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge.”
(AP, 12/16/97)(HN, 12/16/98)(HNQ, 7/11/01)(WSJ, 12/7/04, p.D11)
1944 Dec 17, The Germans renewed their attack on the Belgian town of Losheimergraben against the American Army during the Battle of the Bulge.
1944 Dec 19, American troops began pulling back from the twin Belgian cities of Krinkelt and Rocherath in front of the advancing German Army.
1944 Dec 20, In the Battle of Bastogne the Nazis surrounded 101st Airborne. [see Dec 21]
1944 Dec 21, German troops surrounded the 101st Airborne Division at the Bastogne in Belgium. [see Dec 20]
1944 Dec 22, During the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans demanded the surrender of American troops at Bastogne, Belgium; Brigadier Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe (1898-1975) reportedly replied: "Nuts!"
(AP, 12/22/97)(HN, 12/22/98)
1944 Dec 26, In the World War II Battle of the Bulge, the embattled U.S. 101st Airborne Division was relieved by units of the 4th Armored Division. The Battle of the Bulge was the final major German counter-offensive of the war and thrust deep into allied territory in N & E Belgium and Luxembourg. US Gen Patton's tanks repulsed the Germans. Jimmy Hendrix (19) captured 13 Germans in two 88-mm gun batteries and rescued 3 Americans under enemy fire. Hendrix (d.2002) later awarded the Medal of Honor.
(WUD, 1994, p.195)(SFC, 9/1/96, T3)(AP, 12/26/97)(MC, 12/26/01)(SFC, 11/21/02, p.A25)
1944 Dec 27, General Patton’s Third Army, spearheaded by the 4th Armored Division, relieved the surrounded city of Bastogne in Belgium.
1944 Camille Gutt launched the unpopular “Gutt operation,” which drastically cut the money supply and brought stability to the Belgian economy.
(Econ, 6/19/04, p.18)
1942 Andree Geulen-Herscovici was a teacher in Brussels when she witnessed a Gestapo raid on a school. That prompted her to join a rescue organization and for more than two years she took in over 300 Jewish children and hid them in Christian homes and monasteries under assumed identities. In 2007 Geulen-Herscovici (86) was granted honorary Israeli citizenship.
1945 Jan 4, The last German offensive in Bastogne, Belgium, failed.
1945 Jan 12, German forces in Belgium retreated in Battle of Bulge.
1945 Jan 16, The U.S. First and Third armies linked up at Houffalize, effectively ending the Battle of the Bulge. In 1997 Charles B. MacDonald authored “A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge.”
(HN, 1/16/99)(WSJ, 12/7/04, p.D11)
1947 Nov 16, Some 15,000 demonstrated in Brussels against mild sentences of Nazis.
1948 Mar 18, France, Great Britain and Benelux signed the Treaty of Brussels.
1949 Apr 4, The (NATO) North Atlantic Treaty Organization pact was signed by the US, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Canada. It provided for mutual defense against aggression and for close military cooperation.
(www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm)(TOH, 1982, p.1949)
1949 May 6, P.M.B. Maurice Maeterlinck (b.1862), Belgian philosopher, playwright (Grand Fairie) and essayist, died in Nice, France. He won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Literature.
(WUD, 1994, p.861)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Maeterlinck)
1949 Nov 19, James Ensor (b.1860), Belgian artist, died. His paintings included “”The Scandalized Masks” (1883), "Ensor and General Leman Discussing Painting" (1890), and “Skeletons Fighting Over a Pickled Herring” (1891).
(WSJ, 6/5/01, p.A23)(Econ, 7/4/09, p.82)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ensor)
1949-1964 Magritte produced 26 versions of "The Dominion of Light."
(SFEM, 4/23/00, p.4)
1950 Aug, In Belgium as Prince Baudouin took the oath to succeed his father after years of tumult over the monarchy, Communist leader Julien Lahaut shouted from the crowd: "Long Live the Republic!" A week later two men turned up at Lahaut's door and shot him four times with a Colt 45 revolver at point blank range. The case was officially shelved in 1972. In 2012 the government has approved fresh funds to solve the crime.
1952 Rene Magritte painted his work "Personal Values." It was sold to the SF MOMA in 1998 for $6.5 million. The title was recommended by his friend, Paul Nouge, surrealist, biochemist and founder of the Belgian Communist Party. Magritte also did "La chambre d’ ecote" (The Listening Room) and "L’empire des lumieres" (The Dominion of Light)
(SFC, 11/20/98, p.C1)(SFEM, 4/23/00, p.4)
1958 Apr 17, A World Fair opened in Brussels, Belgium. The 335-foot Atomium, representing a large-scale metal molecule, was built to celebrate the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels. It became one of Belgium's most famous landmarks and in 2005 was restored to its shiny splendor, the faded aluminum sheets on the nine balls fully replaced with hardy stainless steel.
1958 Pierre Culliford (Peyo), Belgian cartoonist, created the gnomelike Smurfs for publisher Charles Dupuis (d.2002 at 84). Hanna-Barbera turned it into a US cartoon program in 1981.
(SFC, 12/3/02, p.A24)
1959 Rene Magritte painted "La clef de verre" (The Glass Key).
(SFEM, 4/23/00, p.4)
1960 May 19, Belgian parliament required a rest day for self employed.
1960 May 25, Benoît van Innis, Belgian cartoonist, painter, (New York Post), was born.
1960 A rebel movement freed Zaire, then known as the Belgian Congo, from Belgium.
(SFC, 11/26/96, p.B3)
1961 Jan 17, Patrice Lumumba (34), the 1st premier Congo, was murdered. President Eisenhower allegedly approved the assassination of Congo's Patrice Lumumba. The US and Joseph Mobutu were implicated but no conclusive proof has emerged. Sidney Gottlieb (d.1999 at 80), a CIA deputy, carried a deadly bacteria to the Congo that was used to kill Lamumba. In 2000 the Belgium Parliament opened an inquiry into possible government involvement in the killing of Congo’s Premier Patrice Lumumba. This followed allegations in the new book "The Murder of Lumumba" by Ludo De Witte. In 2001 the inquiry found that King Baudouin knew of the plot but did nothing to stop it. The Katanga government did not announce the death until Feb 13. Moscow charged that UN Sec. Gen. Dag Hammarskjold was involved.
(TMC, 1994, p.1961)(PCh, 1992, p.979)(SFC, 5/17/97, p.A14)(SFC, 5/3/00, p.A14)(WSJ, 11/9/01, p.A1)
1961 Feb 15, 73 people, including 18 figure skaters from the United States, were killed in the crash of a Sabena Airlines Boeing 707 in Belgium. The skaters were en route to a world meet in Czechoslovakia.
(HN, 2/15/98)(AP, 2/15/99)
1962 Jul 1, Burundi gained independence from Belgium. The UN trust territory of Ruanda-Urundi in east-central Africa was divided into the independent nations of Rwanda and Burundi.
(SFEC, 1/12/97, p.A12)(http://africanscoutjamboree.org/en/history-of-burundi)
1967 In Belgium 323 people perished in a fire in a Brussels department store.
1968 Jan 22, The off Broadway show "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" premiered at the Village Gate Theater. A film version was produced in 1975. Brel (1929-1978), a Belgian singer, was later buried in the Marquesas Island of Hiva Oa, in the same cemetery as Paul Gauguin.
1968 In Belgium Flemish students called for French speaking Walloons to leave the Univ. at Leuven. This led to a division of the library’s 1.6 million books with half going to the new campus of Louvain-la-Neuve in French speaking Wallonia. The partition divided the Catholic church and brought down the government.
(Econ, 1/29/11, p.51)
1971 Belgium banned the practice of selling products at a loss in order to attract customers. Also banned was the practice of selling below cost or selling at “extremely reduced” profit margins. This led to numerous court cases and limited special seasonal sales.
(Econ, 1/5/08, p.46)
1972 May 8, A Belgian Sabena aircraft, bound for Tel Aviv, was hijacked by 4 Palestinians. At Lod Intl. 2 hijackers were shot and killed by Israeli military personnel, dressed as ground engineers. One passenger died 8 days later as a result of her wounds. The two women hijackers were subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.
1972 Jul 22, Eddy Merckx (b.1945)), Belgian professional cyclist, won his 4th consecutive Tour de France.
(WSJ, 10/22/04, p.A1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_Tour_de_France)
1973 The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) was founded in Brussels. After September 11, 2001, it was used by the US to track terrorist financing.
(WSJ, 6/23/06, p.A1)(www.swift.com/index.cfm?item_id=1243)
1973 Jeff Schell (1935-2003), Belgian microbiologist, succeeded in altering the genetic structure of the Agrobacterium. He deleted the genes that governed tumor production.
(SFC, 5/3/03, p.A20)
1974 Albert Claude (1899-1983), Belgium-born biologist, won the Nobel for his work on the sub-structure of the cell. He shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Christian de Duve (1917-2013) and George E. Palade, for describing the structure and function of organelles (lysosomes and peroxisomes) in biological cells.
1974-1976 Leonard K. Firestone, son of Harvey - founder of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., served as US ambassador to Belgium.
(SFC, 12/25/96, p.A22)
1978 Oct 9, Jacques Brel (b.1929), Belgian-born French cabaret singer, died. He was buried at Atuona on the Marquesas Island of Hiva Oa. An American musical revue of his songs, “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,” debuted in 1968 and has played around the world since.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Brel)(SSFC, 10/11/03, p.C9)
1978 Plastic Bertrand, Belgian musician, made a hit with "Ca Plane Pour Moi."
(SFC, 11/30/02, p.D1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_Bertrand)
1979 Apr 3, In Belgium Wilfried Achiel Emma Martens (b.1936) became prime minister for the 1st of 9 times.
1979 The Belgium government decided to nationalize its steel companies. Half of them were owned by Albert Frere (b.1926).
(Econ, 4/22/06, p.64)
1980 The Hague Convention on international child abductions was established. Countries following Islamic law did not sign.
(SFC, 12/6/03, p.A14)
1983 Mar 3, Georges Remi (b.1907), Belgian author and illustrator, died. In 1929 Remi, under the pseudonym Herge, created the cartoon character Tintin. Remi is known as the father of the modern European comic book. In 2006 Tom McCarthy authored “Tintin and the Secret of Literature.” In 2007 Philippe Goddin authored “Herge: Lignes de vie,” a biography of Herge.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herg%C3%A9)(Econ, 6/24/06, p.98)(Econ, 12/20/08, p.84)
1983 In Belgium Rom Houben (20) was injured in an auto accident and fell into a coma. Doctors soon diagnosed him as having fallen into a vegetative state. After 23 years a PET scan revealed that his brain was functioning and communication was established via a computer device and a touch screen. A study of his misdiagnosis was published in 2009.
(SFC, 11/24/09, p.A3)
1984 Oct 9, A cooperation agreement between the European Community and the Yemen Republic was signed in Brussels.
1984 Oct 18, Henri Michaux (b.1899), Belgian poet and painter, died. In 1954 he became a citizen of France, and he lived the rest of his life there along with his family. In 1965 he won the National Prize of Literature, which he refused to accept. His books included “Miserable Miracle” and “The Major Ordeals of the Mind and the Countless Minor Ones.”
1985 May 29, At Heysel Stadium rioting erupted between British and Italian spectators at the European Cup soccer final in Brussels, Belgium. 39 people were killed when rioting broke out and a wall separating British and Italian soccer fans collapsed. This led to a 5-year ban on English clubs playing on the Continent.
(SFEC, 6/11/00, p.A28)(AP, 5/29/08)
1986 Oct 16, Arthur Grumiaux (b.1921), Belgian violinist, died at 65.
1987 Mar 6, The British ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized in the Channel off the coast of Belgium after water rushed through the open bow doors. 189 people died when the ferry capsized off the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.
(HN, 3/6/98)(AP, 3/6/98)
1988 Mar 1, President Reagan arrived in Brussels, Belgium, for the first NATO summit in six years.
1988 Belgium passed a law that forbade the ritual execution of animals at home.
(WSJ, 1/4/07, p.A1)
1989 Jul 4, Unmanned Russian Mig-23 crashed in Bellegem-Kooigem, Belgium, and 1 person died. The pilot had ejected over Poland.
1989 Sep 4, Georges Simenon (86), Belgian/French writer and director (Maigret), died. The Belgian born writer, authored some 200 novels. Many featured the crime-busting hero Inspector Maigret.
(SFC, 6/9/00, p.D5)(www.kirjasto.sci.fi/simenon.htm)
1989 In Belgium Marc Dutroux (b.1956) was sent to prison for 13 years for abducting and raping 5 girls. He was released after serving 3 years and quickly reverted to his former self. He was again arrested in 1996 for kidnappings in 1995.
(SFC, 8/20/96, p.A10)
1990 Feb 25, Enver Hadri, a human rights leader, was allegedly shot in the head by Veselin Vukotic and two other men while he was stopped at a traffic light in Brussels, Belgium. Hadri had papers on him incriminating former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in assassinations. All three gunmen were believed to be hitmen working for the Yugoslav secret service. Veselin was arrested in Spain in 2006.
1991 Jul 18, Socialist Party leader Andre Cools was murdered. Cools had worked for more regional autonomy for Wallonia, the French-speaking southern half of Belgium, and the Dutch-speaking Flanders. The murder was believed to be done by hit men after Cools threatened to reveal certain underworld activities. 6 men were convicted for the murder in 2004.
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A11)(AP, 1/7/04)
1991 "The Hard Nut" ballet was created for the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels on a subplot of the E.T.A. Hoffman tale of the "Nutcracker." The score is completely faithful to Tchaikovsky.
(SFC, 12/16/96, p.D1)
1991 In Belgium the far-right Vlaams Blok party broke into the mainstream. In 2004 it was renamed Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest).
(Econ, 10/14/06, p.59)
1992 Aug, Loubna Benaissa (9) disappeared after going to buy some yogurt at a nearby store. In 1997 her body was found hidden in the basement of a gas station and Patrick Derochette was arrested after reportedly confessing to the killing. He had been accused of assaulting youngsters in 1984.
(SFC, 3/7/96, p.A12)
1992 Nov 4, Belgium ratifies the Treaty on the European Union.
1992 Dec 20, U.S. Marines and Belgian paratroopers in Somalia took control of Kismayu's port and airport; the first truck convoy in more than a month reached the starving inland town of Baidoa.
1992 Dec 31, Belgium suspended conscription as of this day under the so-called Delacroix Bill of July 3, 1992.
1993 Mar, Belgian PM Jean-Luc Dehaene tendered his resignation, but the king refused to accept it.
1993 Jul 31, Belgium's King Baudouin I died at age 62; he was succeeded by his brother, Prince Albert.
1993 Belgium adopted a law that empowered judges to hear war crimes and genocide cases regardless of where the alleged crimes occurred or who committed them. In 2002 the Int’l. Court of Justice cited diplomatic immunity and ruled that Belgium cannot try former and current world leaders. In 2003 an amendment to invalidate high profile cases was passed.
(SFC, 2/15/02, p.A8)(AP, 4/5/03)
1994 Jan 10, On the first day of a two-day NATO summit in Belgium, leaders signed a document inviting nations of the former Warsaw Pact to join in a "partnership for peace."
1994 Jan 11, NATO leaders concluded a summit in Belgium by warning Bosnian Serbs of their willingness to order bombing raids in former Yugoslavia to relieve embattled Muslim enclaves. President Clinton, who attended the summit, then traveled to the Czech Republic for a short visit.
1994 Mar 3, "Philoktetes Variations", with Ron Vawter, premiered in Brussels.
1994 Apr 1, Leon Degrelle (b.1906), Belgium-born founder of the fascist Rexist party, died in Malaga, Spain. He was a Walloon Belgian politician, who founded Rexism and later joined the Nazi German Waffen SS (becoming a leader of its Walloon contingent). After World War II, he was a prominent figure in the neo-Nazi and Holocaust denial movements.
1994 Belgium’s King Albert II made businessman Albert Frere (b.1926) a baron.
(Econ, 4/22/06, p.64)
1994 Belgian peacekeepers in Rwanda retreated during the massacre.
(SFC, 6/15/99, p.C4)
1995 Mar 1, As of this day Belgian armed forces consisted of professional volunteers only.
1995 Jun, Two 8-year-old girls were kidnapped. Their bodies were found in 1996, the victims of sexual assault.
(SFC, 8/19/96, p.A8)
1995 Oct, A bribery scandal devastated the Socialist Party. NATO Sec.-Gen’l. Willy Claes and 4 other federal ministers were forced to resign. The Italian helicopter maker Augusta paid bribes for a contract to supply the military.
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A11)
1995 Belgium based Interbrew bought Labatts of Canada.
(Econ, 12/17/11, p.125)
1996 Jun 9, The latest unemployment rate was 10%.
(SFC, 6/9/96, Parade, p.9)
1996 Jul 7, The average cost of a Big Mac in Belgium was $3.50.
(SFC, 7/7/96, Parade, p.17)
1996 Aug 13, In Belgium Marc Dutroux, on parole following rape charges, was arrested for kidnapping and the murder of 2 girls. In 2004 he was convicted of kidnapping and murder. His wife and 2 accomplices were also convicted.
1996 Aug 15, In Belgium two kidnapped girls were rescued by police just days following the arrest of Marc Doutroux. [see Aug 13]
(SFC, 8/19/96, p.A8)(SFC, 4/24/98, p.A14)
1996 Aug 17, In Brussels, Belgium, police led by Marc Dutroux unearthed the remains of two 8-year-old girls kidnapped in June of 1995. [see Aug 13]
(SFC, 8/19/96, p.A8)(SFC, 4/24/98, p.A14)
1996 Sep 8, Police arrested former Cabinet minister, Alain Van der Biest, in relation to the 1991 unsolved slaying of Andre Cools.
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A11)
1996 Sep 18, Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene need to push through tax increase and spending cuts so the country could quality to join the EEU.
(WSJ, 9/18/96, p.A15)
1996 Oct, Some 250,000 people staged the "White March" through Brussels to demand changes in the police and justice system.
(SFC, 4/24/98, p.A14)
1997 Feb 2, Some 20 thousand demonstrators joined workers of bankrupt Forges de Clabecq, a steel firm, to protest job losses and social injustice.
(SFC, 2/3/97, p.C3)
1997 Jul 26, In Belgium at the Ostend Air Show a Jordanian aerobatics airplane crashed and killed 9 people.
(WSJ, 7/28/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct, The Belgian company Interbrew acquired a 60% stake in the Trebjesa Brewery for $14 million and a 2 year commitment to invest $8.3 million.
(SFC, 7/2/98, p.A16)
c1997 A man who identified himself as, Lt. Col. Lamar Reed or Lt. Col. A. West, a US Air Force officer attached to NATO, began a 3-year scam in which some 90 companies sent tens of millions of dollars worth of equipment to his "Materials Test Unit."
(SFC, 3/29/00, p.A1)
1998 Feb 17, In Belgium a parliamentary panel found no police complicity in the killings of 4 girls in Charleroi that sparked demonstrations in 1996.
(WSJ, 2/18/98, p.A1)
1998 Feb, Noeel Godin inspired a group of followers to cast a cream tart onto the face of Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft Corp.
(SFC, 4/25/98, p.A10)
1998 Apr 23, Marc Doutroux (40) escaped from police custody but was soon recaptured.
(SFC, 4/24/98, p.A14)
1998 May 3, European leaders meeting in Brussels, Belgium, agreed on Wim Duisenberg of the Netherlands as the chief of the new European Central Bank (ECB), but with the proviso that he step down in 2002 to make way for Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet.
(BS, 5/3/98, p.21A)(AP, 5/3/99)
1998 Sep 19, The worst storm in a century hit the Netherlands and Belgium over the past week.
(SFC, 9/19/98, p.A5)
1998 Dec 23, In Belgium the top court convicted former NATO chief Willy Claes, French aerospace tycoon Serge Dessault and 2 ex-aides of corruption in the Agusta scandal. All got suspended sentences. Guy Spitaels (1931-2012), a Belgian socialist leader, was also convicted in the bribery scandal linked to the purchase of Italian helicopters for the air force.
(WSJ, 12/24/98, p.A1)(AP, 8/21/12)
1999 Jan 1, The Maastricht Treaty specified that a monetary union will be established by this date, and laid down several criteria that EU nations must fulfill in order to join. Some of the criteria included: maximum budget deficits of 3% of GDP, a cap on government debt of 60% of GDP. The European economic and monetary union (EMU) was scheduled to start with a new "Euro" currency. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain made the transition. Public use was set for Jan 1, 2002. [see Jan 4]
(WSJ, 9/25/95, p.A-12)(WSJ, 12/5/95, p.A-14)(SFC, 11/16/96, p.A1)(SFC, 1/1/99, p.A8)
1999 Jan 4, The euro, the new money of 11 European nations, got off to a strong start on its first trading day, rising against the dollar on world currency markets and closed in New York at $1.181. A founding principal of the euro area held that national central banks be independent of their governments.
(SFC, 1/5/99, p.C2)(AP, 1/4/00)(HN, 1/4/01)(Econ, 2/25/06, p.77)
1999 Feb 22, In Brussels some 30,000 farmers rallied to demand that EU agricultural ministers shield them from farm subsidy cuts.
(SFC, 2/23/99, p.A14)
1999 Apr, Dioxin was discovered in Belgian animal feed. It was estimated to be some 4 months after the contamination began. Verkest, a firm that sold animal fats to feed mills, was implicated, but the dioxin source was not yet pinpointed. Dioxin from motor oil that was mixed into animal feed in Belgium led to a withdrawal of food products and widespread import bans. Quality controls on animal feed were also put in place as a result.
(WSJ, 6/7/99, p.A19)(AP, 1/7/11)
1999 May 26, The public was informed that animal feed contaminated with dioxin was fed to chickens and pigs.
(WSJ, 6/7/99, p.A19)
1999 Jun 2, The EU ordered that a vast array of Belgian products be withdrawn from sale and destroyed due to a fear of dioxin-poisoning in chickens and eggs.
(SFC, 6/3/99, p.A13)
1999 Jun 2, Dr. Ann S. Fletcher (51), author of "Belgium: A Study of the Educational System of Belgium," died in Palo Alto, Ca.
(SFC, 6/12/99, p.A23)
1999 Jun 8, In Belgium 31 schoolchildren began reporting illnesses from drinking Coca Cola and prompted the removal of Coca Cola drinks from shelves on June 15. The problems were traced to defective carbon dioxide in an Antwerp bottling plant and a chemical contaminant from transport palettes. 14 million cases of Coke were eventually recalled in 5 European countries.
(SFC, 6/16/99, p.B3)(WSJ, 6/29/99, p.A1)
1999 Jun 13, The center-left coalition of Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene suffered a major defeat in national elections to the Conservatives. The coalition looked to keep 66 of the legislature's 150 seats.
(SFC, 6/14/99, p.a14)(WSJ, 6/14/99, p.A1)
1999 Jun 15, In Europe Coca Cola drinks were pulled from shelves after 31 Belgian schoolchildren began reporting illnesses on June 8. Bad carbon dioxide was traced to a fungicide on the surface of the cans.
(SFC, 6/16/99, p.B3)(SFC, 6/17/99, p.C3)
1999 Jul 12, In Belgium a new coalition government under Guy Verhofstadt took office.
(SFC, 7/13/99, p.A10)
1999 Jul 29, Belgium announced that it had quarantined 175 more farms and that it would destroy all 115,000 tons of dioxin suspect beef, pork and poultry. Testing for all pork and poultry products for export was extended to Aug 31.
(SFC, 7/30/99, p.A13)
1999 Aug 12, In Belgium a McDonald's Restaurant was destroyed by fire. The Animal Liberation Front was suspected.
(WSJ, 8/13/99, p.B8)
1999 Dec 4, In Belgium Prince Philippe married Mathilde d'Udekem.
(SFEC, 12/5/99, p.A2)
1999 Mario Danneels published an unauthorized biography of Queen Paola: "Paola: From La Dolce Vita' to Queen." It included a claim that King Albert II had an illegitimate child.
(SFC, 10/27/99, p.C16)
1999 The Flemish film "Rosie" starred Aranka Coppens and was directed by Patrice Toye.
(SFC, 9/17/99, p.C3)
2000 May 2, Parliament opened an inquiry into possible government involvement in the 1961 killing of Congo’s Premier Patrice Lumumba. This followed allegations in the new book "The Murder of Lumumba" by Ludo De Witte.
(SFC, 5/3/00, p.A14)
2000 Jun 17, English and German soccer fans clashed in Charleroi prior to a game in the European Soccer Championship.
(SFEC, 6/18/00, p.A14)
2000 Jul 19, In Belgium the World Diamond Congress approved measures to track diamonds and penalties for dealers who break rules and buy or sell "blood diamonds," those sold to support civil wars.
(SFC, 7/20/00, p.A12)
2000 Aug 29, The government announced a package of tax reductions worth $2.9 billion.
(SFC, 9/1/00, p.D2)
2000 Sep 14, Truck drivers agreed to lift a blockade of highways and fuel depots after 5 days of fuel cost protests.
(SFC, 9/15/00, p.A14)
2000 Oct 8, In Belgium municipal and provincial elections showed the far right Flemish Bloc gaining popular support.
(SFC, 10/9/00, p.A11)
2001 Jan 19, The Belgian government agreed to decriminalize the use of marijuana.
(SFC, 1/20/01, p.A11)
2001 Mar 27, A train crash at Pecrot killed 8 people.
(SFC, 3/28/01, p.D4)
2001 Apr 17, In Brussels a jury was selected for the trial of 4 Rwandans charged with the 1994 massacre of Tutsis.
(SFC, 4/18/01, p.A12)
2001 Apr 19, Police raided 80 homes of pigeon breeders across the country and confiscated large quantities of suspicious products. Belgium, the world’s center for pigeon racing, suspected that pigeons were being doped.
(SFC, 4/20/01, p.D3)
2001 Jul 16, The IOC in Moscow elected Jacques Rogge (59), a Belgian surgeon, to succeed Juan Antonio Samaranch.
(SFC, 7/17/01, p.A1)
2001 Nov 23, In Belgium the UN war crimes tribunal announced that Slobodan Milosevic, former Yugoslav president, would stand trial on charges of genocide in the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia. Milosevic died in March 2006 while his trial was in progress.
(SFC, 11/24/01, p.A11)(AP, 11/23/06)
2001 Nov 26, French and Belgian police arrested 14 people suspected of organizing the Sep 9 assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood. Belgium released 12 of its suspects the next day.
(WSJ, 11/27/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 11/28/01, p.A1,12)
2001 Dec 13, Some 80,000 antiglobalization protesters rallied in Brussels against an EU summit set to start the next day.
(WSJ, 12/14/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 15, EU leaders concluded a 2-day Council at Laeken, Belgium. The adoption of the Laeken Declaration on the Future of Europe, established the European Convention. A constitutional convention was planned. This process was supposed to simplify the EU’s legal architecture. The admittance of 10 new members over the next 2 years was also planned. The EU declared their nascent joint military force operational.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_Councils)(WSJ, 12/17/01, p.A14)(Econ, 10/27/07, p.16)
2001 In Belgium a 3-block tolerance zone for prostitution was established in Antwerp as a test case for national legalization of prostitution.
(WSJ, 5/26/05, p.A1)
2002 Feb, Bruge 2002 opened. It had been named as one of two Cultural Capitals of Europe for this year. The other was Salamanca, Spain.
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.C5)
2002 May 16, The parliament approved a euthanasia bill that would give terminally ill patients the right to die under limited conditions.
(SFC, 5/17/02, p.A20)
2002 Jun 7, Princess Lilian (83), the 2nd wife of King Leopold III, died.
(SFC, 6/15/02, p.A19)
2002 Jun 26, A Belgian appeals court tossed out the war crimes case against Israeli PM Sharon, for his role in the 1982 massacre at the Lebanon Shatila refugee camp, and said subjects had to be on Belgian soil in order to be investigated and tried.
(SFC, 6/27/02, p.A8)
2002 Jun 27, Belgian authorities signed agreements to pay about $55 million to the country's Jewish community for property lost during the Nazi occupation.
2002 Jul 16, Belgian banks signed agreements to pay some $54 million to the country’s Jewish community for property lost during the Nazi occupation.
(SFC, 7/17/02, p.A9)
2002 Jul, Customs inspectors in Belgium noted irregularities in medical shipments from Senegal. It was determined that some 3 million doses of Glaxo HIV drugs worth $18 million had been diverted from Africa back to Europe for sale.
(SFC, 10/3/02, p.A10)
2003 Jan 29, Belgium said oil leaking from the sunken cargo ship Tricolor (Dec 14) is washing up on the Belgian coastline, damaging wildlife and beaches.
2003 Jan 30, Belgium officially recognized gay marriages.
(SFC, 1/31/03, p.A9)
2003 Feb 16, In Belgium thieves over the weekend emptied more than 100 vaults at a diamond trading center in what officials said might be the largest theft ever in Antwerp.
2003 Mar 19, EU officials found electronic bugs in a building in Brussels where a summit was set to open the next day. Belgian police suspected the US.
(WSJ, 3/20/03, p.A1)
2003 Apr 5, The Belgian Senate approved a measure gutting a 1993 war crimes law.
2003 Apr 12, Belgium's Prince Laurent married English-born commoner Claire Coombs in an elaborate state ceremony.
2003 Apr 29, The leaders of France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, all critics of the U.S.-led war on Iraq, agreed to beef up their military cooperation in an effort to make Europe's defense less reliant on the US.
2003 May 14, A Belgian attorney filed suit against US Gen. Tommy Franks and Col. Brian P. McCoy for war crimes in the war in Iraq. The use of some 1,500 cluster bombs in Iraq was part of the suit.
(SFC, 5/15/03, p.A6)
2003 May 18, Belgium held parliamentary elections. PM Guy Verhofstadt and his center-left coalition of free-market liberals and socialists won the elections. The Greens suffered a huge defeat in both Dutch-speaking Flanders and Wallonia. The socialists scored even stronger gains than their liberal coalition partners.
2003 Jun 13, Belgium's foreign minister said the country has already amended its war crimes laws to avoid politically inspired lawsuits against US officials.
2003 Jun 22, The Belgian government agreed on changes to narrow a war crimes law and prevent complaints against foreign leaders that have provoked vehement criticism from the US.
2003 Jul 12, In Belgium PM Guy Verhofstadt took office as head of a new center-left government and immediately agreed to replace a war crimes law that has soured Belgium's relations with the United States.
2003 Jul, Vincent Van Quickenborne was named Belgium’s 1st sec. of state for administrative simplification.
(WSJ, 5/20/04, p.A11)
2003 Aug 1, The Belgian Senate gave final approval to a scaled-down war crimes law that the government hopes will repair relations with Washington and preserve Belgium's role as NATO headquarters.
2003 Sep 30, Eighteen accused al-Qaida sympathizers were convicted in Belgium's biggest terrorism trial. Nizar Trabelsi of Tunisia, who once played professional soccer in Germany, received the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison from a court that also convicted 17 other men and acquitted five others.
(AP, 9/30/03)(AP, 9/30/08)
2003 Dec 20, A German bus swerved off a Belgian highway, crashed against a concrete divider and caught fire, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more.
2003 Belgium’s government began issuing electronic ID cards.
(Econ, 2/9/13, p.60)
2004 Mar, Interbrew SA, based in Belgium, was set to become the world's largest brewer by volume following the acquisition of Brazil's AmBev.
(WSJ, 3/10/04, p.A1)
2004 Apr 2, In Brussels an official ceremony welcomed Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia into the NATO alliance.
(SFC, 4/3/04, p.A11)
2004 Apr 27, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi arrived in Brussels, his first trip to Europe in 15 years. Gadhafi sought "full normalization" of relations and entry to the aid and trade program the EU runs with countries around the Mediterranean, including Israel.
2004 Jun 17, A jury in Brussels, Belgium, convicted Marc Dutroux (47), an ex-convict, of abducting 6 girls in 1995-96. It also found him guilty of murdering 2 of the girls and an accomplice.
2004 Jun 21, Ephrem Nkezabera (52), a former Rwandan banker, was arrested in Brussels and held on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in the 1994 Rwandan massacre.
2004 Jul 30, In Belgium a major natural gas pipeline exploded in Ath, killing 16 people and injuring 120, including firefighters and police responding to a report of a leak.
(AP, 7/30/04)(WSJ, 8/2/04, p.A1)
2004 Aug, An $11 billion merger between Belgium’s Interbrew and Brazil’s largest brewer AmBev formed InBev.
(Econ, 10/29/05, p.66)
2004 Sep 23, In Belgium a woman gave birth to a healthy baby after doctors had transplanted ovarian tissue, frozen since 1997, back into her abdomen.
(SFC, 9/24/04, p.A1)
2005 Jan 1, Belgium was forecast for 2.5% GDP growth with a population at 10.4 million and GDP per head at $36,430.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.87)
2005 Feb 20, President Bush land in Belgium to begin a five-day European trip aimed at fostering a friendly atmosphere early in his second term.
2005 Feb 21, In Brussels President Bush appealed to Europe to move beyond animosities over Iraq and join forces in encouraging democratic reforms across the Middle East. He also prodded Russia to reverse a crackdown on political dissent, demanded that Iran end its nuclear ambitions and told Syria to get out of Lebanon.
(AP, 2/21/05)(SFC, 2/22/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 22, In Belgium a Nato summit announced a 12-year program to destroy Soviet-era weapons in Ukraine.
(WSJ, 2/22/05, p.A1)
2005 May 21, The Belgian film “The Child,” by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
(SSFC, 5/22/05, p.A2)
2005 Jul 17, Egypt demanded that institutions in Britain and Belgium return two pharaonic reliefs it says were chipped off tombs and stolen 30 years ago, threatening to end their archaeological work here if they refuse.
2005 Aug 9, Suez, a French water and power company, announced a $14 billion purchase of 49.9% of the shares of Electrabel, a Belgian electricity firm.
(Econ, 8/13/05, p.52)
2005 Sep 6, Father Guy Theunis, a Belgian priest, was arrested in Rwanda on suspicion of involvement in the 1994 genocide. Judicial sources said Theunis was accused of republishing extracts of items from an extremist magazine known as "Kangura" which they said incited hatred and violence.
2005 Sep 11, A Rwandan community court charged Guy Theunis (60), a Belgian missionary, with inciting and planning the 1994 genocide that left more than half a million people dead.
2005 Sep 19, Belgium issued an international arrest warrant for Chad's former leader Hissene Habre, charging him with atrocities during his 1982-90 rule. Habre, who lives in exile in Senegal, is being pursued under Belgium's "universal jurisdiction" laws, which allow for prosecutions for crimes against humanity wherever they were committed.
2005 Nov 9, In Belgium over half a dozen fires were reported in several cities, including the capital of Brussels, in the 4th day of vandal attacks, most of which remained minor. No injuries were reported, and several people were taken into custody for questioning by police.
2005 Nov 9, Muriel Degauque, a Belgian national married to a Moroccan man, detonated explosives strapped to her body in a failed attack against US troops.
2005 Nov 13, Belgium said it registered its worst night in a week of attacks on vehicles apparently inspired by French events, with 29 cars, trucks and buses torched around the country.
2005 Nov 25, In Belgium a one-day strike interrupted production at the Volkswagen AG plant in the outskirts of Brussels as trade unions protested planned government changes to retirement policy.
2005 Nov 30, Belgian police arrested 14 people in raids on several homes as part of a probe into a woman thought to be the first European female suicide bomber in Iraq.
2005 Dec 22, A decomposed body discovered in a Brussels canal a week ago was reported to be that of Juvenal Uwilingiyimana, a Rwandan former minister indicted by a UN tribunal on charges of genocide.
2005 Dec 28, Officials said UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has nominated Serge Brammertz, a Belgian prosecutor, to lead the next stage of a probe into the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri.
2005 In Belgium deaths from traffic accidents reached 11.2 per 100,000 inhabitants. Blame was put on the lack of stop signs at most intersections.
(WSJ, 9/25/06, p.A1)
2006 Jan 23, Belgian brewer InBev NV, the world's largest brewery by volume, said it has agreed to buy the largest brewer in China's Fujian province for 614 million euros ($740 million).
2006 Jan 27, Belgium’s food safety agency closed 96 pig and chicken farms as it traced the source of dioxins found by a Dutch firm last week back to a vat of Belgian pork fat.
2006 Feb 16, A Belgian court found three men guilty of belonging to an Islamic group linked to terrorist attacks in Madrid and Casablanca and sentenced them to at least six years in jail.
2006 Mar 17, Exiled Syrian opposition figures in Belgium formed a united front, calling for a transitional government to prepare for the overthrow of President Bashar Assad's regime.
2006 Mar 31, A lucky Belgian won the jackpot of 75,753,123 euros (53 million pounds) in the European lottery EuroMillions.
2006 Apr 12, Joe Van Holsbeeck (17) was stabbed to death at the Brussels Central train station in a robbery by 2 men for his MP3 player. On August 2 a Polish teen, suspected in the murder, was extradited to Belgium and taken into police custody.
2006 Apr 20, The Belgian parliament narrowly approved a bill to grant same-sex couples equal rights in adoption. Belgium became the fourth European Union member state to allow same-sex couples equal rights in adoption, after Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden.
2006 May 11, In Antwerp, Belgium, a gunman (18) shot and wounded a woman of Turkish descent, then he turned his rifle on a black woman from Mali and the 2-year-old white girl in her care, killing both. In 2007 Hans Van Themsche was sentenced to life in prison for the killings.
(AP, 5/12/06)(AP, 10/11/07)
2006 Jun 6, The Spanish interior ministry said that 67 suspects had been arrested for accessing child porn on the Internet over the past five days. The international police operation arrested 38 in France, 10 in Spain, 9 in Slovakia, 7 in Belgium and 3 in the Netherlands.
2006 Jun 28, Belgian authorities confirmed the discovery of a second body in their search for two missing schoolgirls. Stepsisters, Stacy Lemmens (7) and Nathalie Mahy (10), had disappeared from a street party on June 10.
2006 Aug 7, Belgian officials said thefts of drain covers in Charleroi have soared in recent days as skyrocketing metal prices have made them lucrative.
2006 Sep 2, In Nevada’s Black Rock Desert the Burning Man art festival culminated with the burning of a 40-foot wooden man. It included a Belgian art installation titled “Uchronia” (aka the Belgian Waffle), a 250,000, 15-story wooden cavern funded by Jan Kriekels and constructed by 90 Belgium artists.
(SSFC, 9/3/06, p.B1)
2006 Sep 18, A court in Belgium ordered Google to remove all links to French and German language newspaper reports published in Belgium due to copyright laws.
(SFC, 9/19/06, p.D7)
2006 Sep 25, UCB, a Belgian drug firm, announced a takeover of Germany’s Schwarz Pharma for €4.4 billion.
(Econ, 9/30/06, p.71)
2006 Sep 28, Belgian government officials said the transfer of confidential banking records by a Belgium-based company to US authorities for use in anti-terrorism investigations breached Belgian and likely European Union data privacy rules.
2006 Oct 8, Early results showed the party of Belgium's PM Guy Verhofstadt giving ground to a far-right, anti-immigrant party in bellwether local elections.
2006 Nov 4, Swathes of Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands and went dark for up to an hour in the late evening as cold Germans rushing to switch on heaters sucked up electricity from Europe's interconnected networks.
2006 Nov 18, In Belgium Els Van Doren (38) smashed into a back garden from some 4,500 meters because both her main and reserve parachutes failed to open after she jumped from a plane with Els Clottemans (26), their lover, Dutchman Marcel Somers, and another man. In 2010 Els Clottemans went on trial charged with the murder of her fellow skydiver and love rival. She was convicted and jailed for 30 years for killing her rival.
(AP, 9/24/10)(AFP, 10/21/10)
2006 Dec 2, At least 15,000 demonstrators marched through Brussels in protest at planned job cuts at the Belgian factory of German car maker Volkswagen.
2006 Dec 13, A fictional TV program in Belgium incited viewers as it depicted a faux active revolt in Flanders.
(SFC, 12/15/06, p.A23)
2007 Jan 19, Belgian lawyers confirmed that a group of Belgian newspapers had asked Yahoo! Inc. to remove links to their archived stories from its Web search service, claiming they infringe copyright laws.
2007 Feb 13, A Belgian court ruled that Google may not reproduce extracts from a variety of Belgian newspapers, imperiling one of the web search leader's most popular services if other courts follow suit.
2007 Feb 13, In Belgium a government-backed report blamed Belgian authorities and the ruling elite for collaborating with the Nazi persecution of Jews during World War II.
2007 Feb 28, In Belgium a mother killed her five children, then tried to commit suicide at the family's home. The four girls and a boy, aged between 4 and 14, were stabbed with a knife. The woman called emergency services, then tried to kill herself.
2007 Mar 1, Belgian firefighters clashed with police, trading barrages from water cannons during a chaotic demonstration near the nation's parliament, injuring six people. The firefighters sought better working conditions, earlier retirement and better compensation when they are injured.
2007 Mar 12, In Belgium officials said a man last week stole $28 million worth of diamonds from an Antwerp bank. He had been a trusted customer there for a year using a stolen Argentine passport. The bank discovered the theft on March 5, believing that someone took the stones that morning or the previous Friday from a vault used by pawnbrokers and diamond cutters.
2007 Apr 2, A UN conference on climate change opened in Belgium with the EU's top environment official calling on the US to join efforts to curb global warming.
2007 Apr 15, In Belgium 2 men hijacked a helicopter and forced the pilot to land in a prison courtyard, where they picked up an inmate in a dramatic jailbreak. RTL-TVI identified the fugitive as a Frenchman who was in pretrial detention on charges of fraud and theft.
2007 Apr 19, Former Rwandan army major Bernard Ntuyahaga went on trial in Brussels, charged with the murder of 10 Belgian peacekeepers and the Rwandan prime minister in 1994.
2007 May 1, Thirty people were arrested in raids across Belgium, England, and the Netherlands targeting suspected animal rights extremists.
2007 May 5, Belgium’s daily La Derniere Heure reported that prosecutors in Brussels, overwhelmed by the number of speeding fines imposed since fixed radar traps were installed, have asked police to let off all but the worst offenders, angering local mayors.
2007 May 10, Talks in Brussels between NATO's top generals and their Russian counterpart failed to narrow the gap between Moscow and the West over missile defense and arms control in Europe.
2007 Jun 10, Belgians voted in legislative elections widely expected to hand defeat to PM Guy Verhofstadt, dashing his hopes for a third term after eight years in office.
2007 Jun 11, Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt's Liberal-Socialist coalition government resigned, a day after conservatives, led by Christian Democrats, posted big gains in general elections.
2007 Jun 16, Planes remained grounded at Brussels south Charleroi airport as a strike by security officers entered a second day.
2007 Jun 23, A Belgian teenager was arrested for hacking and temporarily shutting down the federal police website, leaving a mocking on-line note which helped identify him.
2007 Jul 5, A Belgian court sentenced Bernard Ntuyahaga (55), a former Rwandan army major, to 20 years in prison on for the murder of 10 Belgian peacekeepers and an undetermined number of Rwandan civilians at the start of the 1994 genocide.
2007 Aug 8, Researchers from Belgium and China said a simple blood test can detect early stage liver cancer and more accurately diagnose the disease that is a major killer in Asia and Africa.
2007 Sep 5, The Belgian-based International Polar Foundation unveiled what it claimed to be the world's first zero-emissions polar science station in Antarctica to conduct research on climate change.
2007 Oct 13, Belgian Countess Andree De Jongh (90), who set up an escape route that helped hundreds of British airmen flee the Nazi occupation of Belgium during World War II, died. De Jongh, a female nurse in a men's world of war resistance, helped found the Comet Line escape route while still in 1940. By the time she was arrested in 1943, she had already brought 118 people, including 80 downed pilots to safety.
2007 Oct 23, It was reported that police patrolling the red-light district of the Belgian capital have been ordered to stop visiting brothels and drinking in bars when on duty.
2007 Oct 28, Nordin Benallal, a Belgian inmate, made a dramatic escape from jail for the fourth time after his armed accomplices landed in the prison grounds in a hijacked helicopter. On landing, the helicopter was crowded by other prisoners, making takeoff impossible and causing it to crash. Benallal and his cohorts then briefly seized two prison warders as hostages and fled in a car parked nearby.
2007 Oct 30, Nordin Benallal (27), a Belgian gangster dubbed "The Eel" for his skill at slipping away from Belgian prison authorities, was caught in the Netherlands two days after his latest jailbreak.
2007 Nov 5, Authorities said police from across Europe have arrested 92 suspects linked to an alleged network that produced and sold child abuse videos to 2,500 customers around the world. The 15-month investigation was triggered by an Australian police discovery in July 2006 of a video depicting a Belgian father raping his daughters, aged 9 and 11.
2007 Nov 7, In Belgium politicians of the Flemish majority, 60% of the population, made a bid to abolish the bilingual rights of 150,000 French speakers living in suburbs near Brussels. This broke the decades-old “Belgian Pact” under which the 2 language groups avoided holding a straight sectarian vote.
(Econ, 11/10/07, p.65)
2007 Nov 16, Belgium researchers studying the collective behavior of insects said tiny robots programmed to act like roaches were able to blend into cockroach society. Cockroaches tend to self-organize into leaderless groups, seeming to reach consensus on where to rest together.
2007 Nov 27, In Brussels Valdas Adamkus, President of Lithuania, was declared ”European of the Year‘ at the annual EV50 gala awards ceremony hosted by European Voice. President Adamkus was nominated as one of 50 ”Europeans of the Year‘. The 2007 winners of the EV50 awards were chosen by European Voice readers from among 50 nominees, selected by a distinguished panel of leading opinion-formers.
2007 Dec 1, The head of Belgium's Flemish Christian Democrats abandoned efforts to form a coalition government, after more than five months of fruitless talks, plunging the country further into crisis.
2007 Dec 15, Some 20,000 Belgians demonstrated in Brussels against the erosion of their spending power as the country's months-old political crisis begins to hit people's pockets.
2007 Dec 19, Leaders of Belgium's feuding Dutch- and French-speaking parties agreed to form an interim government to run the country in the short term, while a more permanent solution to the political crisis is sought.
2007 Dec 20, Radio Rwanda reported that the Belgian government has this month given Rwanda 39.5 million euros (56.6 million dollars), mainly to help its small former colony with power supplies, health and education.
2007 Dec 21, Belgian police arrested 14 Muslim extremists suspected of planning the jailbreak of an al-Qaida prisoner convicted of plotting a terrorist attack on US air base personnel. They were released the next day after a court decided there was insufficient evidence to hold them for more than 24 hours.
(AP, 12/21/07)(AP, 12/22/07)
2007 Dec 30, Belgian officials said traditional New Year's Eve fireworks in central Brussels have been canceled due to a continuing terror threat in the capital.
2008 Jan 11, Belgium, France and Poland pledged to provide the resources needed to launch a European Union peacekeeping force for Chad and the Central African Republic.
2008 Jan 18, In Yemen gunmen believed to be al-Qaida militants opened fire on a tourist convoy near the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden, killing two Belgian women and their driver. In 2009 four Al-Qaida militants were convicted for the attack and sentenced to death.
(AP, 1/18/08)(AP, 7/11/10)
2008 Jan, Belgium began sending out inspectors to daily check on 150 randomly selected sick and not so sick civil servants. Some government departments were averaging 35 days of sick leave per year.
(WSJ, 1/9/09, p.A1)
2008 Feb 29, In Belgium lawyers said Belgian writer Misha Defonseca (71) has admitted that she made up her best-selling memoir, "Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years," depicting how, as a Jewish child, she lived with a pack of wolves in the woods during the Holocaust.
2008 Mar 11, The Belgian government and banks agreed to pay $170 million to Holocaust survivors, families of victims and the Jewish community for their material losses during Word War II.
2008 Mar 17, Hannaford Bros., a grocery store chain in the Northeast US and Florida owned by Belgium’s Delhaize Group SA, disclosed that as many as 4.2 million customer account numbers had been stolen between Dec 7 and Mar 10. The intrusion was not discovered until Feb 27 and occurred over a network system that experts had believed to be secure.
(WSJ, 3/31/08, p.B4)
2008 Mar 18, Five Belgian parties sealed a deal for a coalition government under Christian Democrat Yves Leterme, ending a political limbo which threatened to split the linguistically divided country.
2008 Mar 20, Flemish Christian Democrat Yves Leterme took over as Belgian prime minister, ending nine months of deadlock.
2008 Apr 13, The winners of this year’s Goldman Awards were reported to be: Feliciano dos Santos (43) of Mozambique, the director of Estamos, an environmental group promoting sanitation, sustainable development and reforestation; Marina Rikhvanova (46), founder of Baikal Environmental Wave, which forced the rerouting of an oil pipeline in the Baikal basin; Pablo Fajardo (35) and Luis Yanza (48) of Ecuador, co-founders of the Amazon Defense Front, which accused Texaco (now Chevron) of dumping oil and wastewater into local streams; Rosa Hilda Ramos (63) of Puerto Rico, head of a movement to protect the Las Cicharillas Marsh; Ignace Schops (43) of Belgium, head of a movement to establish Belgium’s 1st and only national park; Jesus Leon (42) of Mexico, co-founder of the Center for Integral Small Farmer Development of the Mixtec (CEDICAM).
(SSFC, 4/13/08, p.A4)
2008 May 24, Belgian police in Brussels arrested Jean-Pierre Bemba (45), a Congolese warlord and ex-presidential candidate, after he was secretly charged with rape and torture. Bemba was accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity as head of a militia that allegedly committed atrocities in Central African Republic's conflict in 2002-2003.
2008 Jun 4, In Belgium riot police armed with shields and batons charged hundreds of protesting fishermen outside EU headquarters after a demonstration over high fuel prices turned violent.
2008 Jun 11, InBev, the Belgian-Brazilian brewing giant, offered $46 billion, or 65 dollars a share, in cash for Anheuser-Busch in a bid to create an unrivaled global brewing giant.
(AFP, 6/12/08)(Econ, 6/21/08, p.77)
2008 Jun 18, In Belgium hundreds of farmers, truckers and taxi drivers blocked roads in and around Brussels on the eve of an EU summit to push leaders for help coping with skyrocketing fuel prices.
2008 Jul 13, Belgian-based brewer InBev announced it will buy Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion.
2008 Jul 15, Belgium PM Yves Leterme offered King Albert the resignation of his government after he acknowledged he would not make a deadline for a constitutional reform deal despite months of talks. He offered to resign after realizing it would be impossible to resolve deep divisions over increased autonomy for French- and Dutch-speaking Belgians.
2008 Jul 17, Belgium's King Albert II refused to accept the resignation of the prime minister and his government, calling on key officials to redouble efforts to resolve an longtime disagreement over more self-rule for the country's Dutch and French speakers.
2008 Sep 28, The governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg took partial control of struggling bank Fortis NV.
2008 Oct 31, In southern Egypt tourist bus overturned, killing six Belgian tourists and injuring 26 other Belgian passengers.
2008 Nov 17, Guy Peellaert (b.1934), Belgian painter and collagist, died. His work included the book “Rock Dreams” (1974), published in collaboration with British rock journalist Nik Cohn.
(SSFC, 11/23/08, p.B8)
2008 Nov 18, Belgian brewing giant InBev announced it had completed the takeover of Anheuser-Busch to create the world's biggest brewer. Beijing agreed to Belgium-based InBev SA's takeover of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.'s Chinese operations as part of their global merger, but limited future acquisitions on anti-monopoly grounds.
2008 Nov 27, In China assailants allegedly pulled members of a Belgian television crew from their vehicle, beat them and took their notes and money. VRT asked for compensation for damaged equipment, an apology to the journalists and a guarantee that the journalists will be able to work safely.
2008 Dec 11, Police in Brussels and eastern Belgium detained 14 suspected al-Qaida-linked extremists in raids, including one militant who allegedly was plotting a suicide attack.
2008 Dec 12, Belgian authorities charged six suspected al-Qaida-linked extremists with membership in a terrorist group. They including a woman whose husband was involved in the assassination of Afghanistan's top anti-Taliban warlord shortly before the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
2008 Dec 20, Belgium's King Albert consulted political leaders after the government collapsed for the third time in a year following its botched attempt to bail out financial group Fortis.
2008 Dec 30, Belgium's Flemish Christian Democrat Herman Van Rompuy reached agreement on a new coalition government of five parties, opening the way for his nomination as prime minister by King Albert II. A new government took office that is nearly a replica of the quarrelsome alliance of Christian Democrats, Liberals and Socialists that quit earlier this month in a bank bailout scandal.
2009 Jan 20, In Belgium the “Entropa” art installation at the EU headquarters, by Czech artist David Cerny, covered up the part that showed Bulgaria as a squat toilet after protests from the aggrieved nation.
2009 Jan 23, In Belgium Kim De Gelder went on a rampage at a day care center, stabbing two young children and a female worker to death and slashing 10 other children all over their bodies.
(AP, 1/23/09)(AP, 3/22/13)
2009 Feb 19, Belgium took Senegal to the International Court of Justice over the African nation's failure to prosecute a former Chad president for crimes against humanity and torture.
2009 Apr 6, Belgium began World Court proceedings against Senegal in an effort to bring former Chad President Hissene Habre on trial for alleged widespread human rights abuses during his eight-year reign. A Chadian commission of inquiry has concluded that Habre's regime killed at least 3,780 political opponents, but added that the figure likely represents only 10 percent of his victims.
2009 Apr 30, Belgium stripped the credentials of 2 high-ranking members of Russia’s permanent mission to NATO and expelled them on accusations of espionage.
(SFC, 5/1/09, p.A2)
2009 May 25, Dairy farmers created traffic chaos in Berlin, blocked milk processing plants in France and protested at EU headquarters in Brussels, seeking more aid to cope with a sharp drop in milk prices.
2009 Jun 1, Belgian PM Herman Van Rompuy vowed to double civilian aid to Afghanistan and welcomed plans to increase non-military assistance during a visit to Kabul.
2009 Jun 2, In Belgium a new museum opened in Louvain-la-Neuve dedicated to Georges Remi (1907-1983), creator of the comic book hero Tintin (1929).
(Econ, 5/30/09, p.87)
2009 Jun 28, Somali pirates released the entire crew of the Belgian the Pompei dredger, a ship seized on April 18, after a ransom was paid.
2009 Aug 3, Belgian authorities recaptured Abdelhaq Melloul-Khayari, a convict who escaped twice in as many weeks, including once from a Bruges prison by helicopter.
2009 Aug 4, In Belgium three prisoners escaped from the sprawling Palace of Justice courthouse in central Brussels when two armed men burst into a court hearing and took them with them, bringing the total to 12 over the past two weeks. Five of the escaped inmates have been caught again, but seven remained at large.
2009 Aug 6, In Belgium a fire killed nine elderly people at a care home in the Flemish town of Melle. Officials later said it was probably caused by an electrical fault.
2009 Sep 4, The Belgian government said it has accepted a US request to take in one detainee from U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
2009 Sep 11, In Belgium the Flemish education board banned religious symbols in all 700 secular state schools under its control.
(Econ, 9/19/09, p.64)
2009 Sep 24, In Belgium 2 armed robbers made off with a $1.1 million painting by Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte, “Olympia” (1948), in a morning heist at a small museum in Brussels.
2009 Sep 26, In Belgium two burglary suspects were killed after the excessive explosives they were using to break into a bank's safe blew up the whole building.
2009 Oct 5, In Belgium hundreds of dairy farmers drove tractors into Brussels to pressure EU farm ministers on declining milk prices, as 20 of 27 member nations called for more protection from the volatile world market.
2009 Oct 12, In Senegal cyclist Frank Vandenbroucke (34) was on holiday when he was found dead in his room. Belgian cycling officials said his death was caused by a lung embolism. Vandenbroucke won the weeklong Paris-Nice spring race in 1998 and the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic a year later before his career was marred by a doping scandal.
2009 Nov 19, Herman Van Rompuy, Belgium's Prime Minister and former economist, was named the European Union's first permanent President. Baroness Catherine Ashton, Britain's European Commissioner, was appointed as the EU’s Foreign Minister-designate, with the unwieldy title of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
2009 Nov 23, Jacques Monsieur (56), a Belgian arms dealer pleaded guilty, in an Alabama courtroom to conspiracy to illegally export F-5 fighter jet engines and parts from the US to Iran. Monsieur, along with Dara Fotouhi, an Iranian national living in France, was charged in a six-count indictment with conspiracy, money laundering and smuggling.
2009 Dec 1, Ephraim Nkezabera (57), a former Rwandan bank director, was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a Belgian court which found him guilty of war crimes including murder, attempted murder and rape during the 1994 genocide. Nkezabera was not present in court and did not attend the trial, which started just over three weeks ago, because of ill health. He was arrested in June 2004 by the Belgian authorities while visiting a family member in Belgium.
2009 Dec 22, Eurostar resumed its high-speed rail service linking Britain, France and Belgium after a three-day suspension that stranded tens of thousands of holiday travelers.
2010 Jan 7, Eurostar passengers faced further disruption after one of its high-speed trains got stuck for 2 hours in the Channel Tunnel again, weeks after a major breakdown due to the cold.
2010 Jan 20, In Belgium the world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, shut down production in its home country, in an escalation of a standoff over job cuts with its Belgian workers which is causing beer shortages in shops.
2010 Jan 21, General Motor Co.'s Opel unit will cut 8,300 jobs across Europe, including 4,000 in Germany, and close a plant in Antwerp, Belgium, cutting over 2,300 jobs.
2010 Jan 22, Belgian scientists said nearly 80 percent of the 300,000 conflict-related deaths in Darfur were due to diseases like diarrhea, not violence.
2010 Jan 27, In Belgium a five-story apartment building collapsed in Liege after an apparent gas explosion. At least 11 people were killed. An additional 21 people were injured, two of them seriously.
(AP, 1/27/10)(AP, 1/28/10)
2010 Feb 15, In Belgium two commuter trains collided head-on after one ran a stop light at rush hour in a Brussels suburb, killing at least 18 people and injuring 55.
2010 Mar 31, In Belgium a parliamentary committee unanimously voted to ban the wearing of face-covering veils in public, a major step in the legislative process that could make Belgium the first European country to impose such a religious prohibition.
2010 Apr 22, Belgian Premier Yves Leterme's government collapsed after negotiations broke down to resolve a long-simmering dispute between Dutch and French-speaking politicians over a bilingual voting district.
2010 Apr 23, Belgium's longest serving bishop, Roger Vangheluwe (73) the Bishop of Bruges, resigned, saying he was "enormously sorry" for having sexually abused a young boy about 25 years ago. It later was established that the victim was his nephew. In 2011 the Vatican clarified the punishment against Vangheluwe after Belgian bishops reported that he had merely been sent outside Belgium for spiritual and psychological counseling.
(AP, 4/23/10)(AP, 4/12/11)
2010 Apr 26, Belgium King Albert II accepted the government's resignation after negotiations failed to resolve a long-simmering dispute between Dutch- and French-speaking politicians over a bilingual voting district in and around Brussels.
2010 Apr 29, Belgium's lower house of parliament banned burqa-type Islamic dress in public, but the measure faced a challenge in the Senate which will delay early enactment of the law. There were two abstentions. No one voted against.
2010 Jun 3, In Brussels, Belgium, a lone gunman, an Iranian refugee (47), rose near the end of a court session and gunned down Judge Isabelle Brandon and her clerk Andre Bellemans, then fled from the courthouse on foot. The suspect was caught eight hours later in a park a mile (1.5 km) away after a brief exchange of gunfire with police. The slain magistrate had ordered his eviction in 2007 from a house after a rent dispute.
(AP, 6/3/10)(AP, 6/4/10)
2010 Jun 13, Belgium voters gave a stunning win in general elections to the New Flemish Alliance, a separatist party that wants Dutch and French-speakers to end years of acrimonious linguistic disputes, or go their own way and break up Belgium.
(Reuters, 6/13/10)(AP, 6/14/10)
2010 Jun 24, In Belgium police raided the home and former office of recently retired Archbishop Godfried Danneels as part of an investigation into the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests. Separately police seized the records of an independent panel investigating sexual abuse by priests.
(SFC, 6/25/10, p.A2)
2010 Jun 27, Pope Benedict denounced as "surprising and deplorable" raids by Belgian police on Church offices and the home of a cardinal this week during an investigation into pedophilia by Roman Catholic priests.
2010 Aug 13, A Belgian man died from a drug-resistant "superbug" originating in South Asia, the first reported death from the bacteria. The superbug -- a bacterial gene called New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) -- was first identified last year in a Swedish patient admitted to hospital in India.
2010 Aug 20, Charles Haddon, the lead singer of the British electro-pop group Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, committed suicide after performing at a rock festival in Belgium.
2010 Sep 8, Belgian police say 10 people have been arrested in raids across Europe against hackers who put illegal copies of movies and television series on the Internet. Police said 5 arrests were in Belgium and the other arrests were made in Poland, Norway and Sweden, where the alleged leaders of four computer piracy networks were being held.
2010 Sep 9, The Belgium government said that an investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church can continue even though a June 24 raid on the archdiocese has been ruled illegal. The next day the commission looking into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy said it had received testimony from hundreds of victims and that witnesses’ widespread abuse over decades had led to at least 13 suicides.
(AP, 9/9/10)(AP, 9/10/10)
2010 Sep 13, The Belgian Roman Catholic church acknowledged widespread sexual abuse over years by its clergy and pleaded for time to set up a system to punish all abusers and provide closure for victims.
2010 Sep 29, In CongoDRC Armand Tungulu (30), a Congolese citizen living in Belgium, was taken into custody by Pres. Kabila's bodyguards after he threw rocks at the presidential motorcade. Witnesses said the guards beat Tungulu before arresting him. On Oct 4 a statement from the Congolese attorney general's office said Tungulu killed himself on the night of Oct 1 with a piece of cloth he had been using as a pillow. On October 14 the DR Congo refused to return to Belgium the body of a Tungulu.
(AP, 10/4/10)(AP, 10/23/10)
2010 Oct 4, In Belgium European and Asian leaders opened a formal summit amid high security and palace opulence, hoping to agree on commitments to keep the global financial system on an even keel and find a better balance on the Europe-dominated IMF.
2010 Oct 23, In Belgium police and demonstrators opposed to President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo clashed in Brussels during a protest over the Oct 1 death in jail of Armand Tungulu, a visiting Congolese dissident who lived in Belgium.
2010 Nov 23, Police in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands arrested at least 10 people on suspicion of planning an Islamist militant attack in Belgium.
2010 Nov 24, Nigeria said it has seized another illegal arms shipment at its main port, including pistols and military vehicles, weeks after the discovery of a weapons cache sent from Iran. The military items which were packed inside a vehicle painted in army green. The illegal arms shipment came from Belgium through Germany,
(AFP, 11/24/10)(AFP, 11/25/10)
2010 Nov 28, More than 250,000 classified US State Department documents were released by online whistleblower WikiLeaks. Among the leaked memos was information that Iranian Red Crescent ambulances were used to smuggle weapons to Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group during its 2006 war with Israel. Memos said the "IRC shipments of medical supplies served also to facilitate weapons shipments." Documents also detailed concerns by US officials in Baghdad about Iran’s influence on Iraq. Memos also said King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia had repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon. One cable revealed that the US kept nuclear weapons in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey.
(AP, 11/28/10)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.35)
2010 Dec 6, Belgium's central bank chief, Guy Quaden, urged the rudderless country's divided politicians to speedily form a government to allay financial market fears about its future.
2010 Dec 6, European nations wrestled over whether to commit more money to help stabilize the euro, as finance ministers gathered in Brussels to find ways to fight the debt crisis that has rocked the currency bloc.
2010 Dec 16, In Belgium NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new NATO building, said the new structure is essential to meet the demands of a rapidly changing security environment. Completion is due in 2015.
2010 Dec 24, Heavy snow stranded thousands of Christmas travelers in Europe, with Belgium's main airport closed for landing and icy roads in Sweden choked with traffic.
2010 Dec 29, A Belgian priest published a confession to a child sex-abuse accusation that came to light during a campaign to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work fighting globalization's impact on developing countries. In October, after supporters of Francois Houtart (85) began working to nominate him for the Nobel, a woman contacted the nonprofit organization he founded and said the priest had abused her brother 40 years ago.
2011 Jan 23, In Belgium tens of thousands of protesters marched through the Brussels in support of national unity and to demand that the rival political groupings finally form a coalition after seven months without a government.
2011 Feb 17, Belgium citizens staged a party to mark 249 days without a government, a figure that they are treating as a world record in political waffling. Belgium snatched Iraq's dubious record as the country boasting the world's longest political crisis of recent times.
(AP, 2/17/11)(AFP, 2/17/11)
2011 Mar 4, In Belgium unions disrupted public transport in parts of the country and blocked industrial sites to demand better pay rises.
2011 Apr 26, Belgium marked the one year anniversary of not having a full government. Caretaker PM Yves Leterme said that up to 3 more months could be needed to form a coalition.
2011 Aug 18, In Belgium a storm swept through the Pukkelpop music festival killing at least 3 people. Some 60,000 people had gathered for the 3-day festival.
(SFC, 8/19/11, p.A2)
2011 Aug, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain introduced bans to prevent the short selling of financial stocks. The EU banned naked shorting of shares in October, effective in Nov, 2012.
(Econ, 10/22/11, p.88)
2011 Oct 9, The governments of Belgium, France and Luxembourg said they had approved a plan for the future of embattled bank Dexia, but they offered no details. France and Belgium became part owners of the bank during a euro6 billion ($7.8 billion) 2008 bailout. They have promised to ensure that no Dexia depositors lose money. Luxembourg holds a smaller stake.
2011 Dec 5, Belgium’s King Albert II named Elio Di Rupo as the prime minister ending a record 541 days the country has gone without a government. Di Rupo will be the first French-speaking prime minister in nearly 40 years.
(SFC, 12/6/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 13, In Belgium Nordine Amrani (33), armed with hand grenades and guns, opened fire in the crowded center of Liege, leaving 4 people dead, including the attacker. The dead included a 15-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl, and an 18-month-old toddler. A 75-year-old woman who had initially been counted among the dead was taken off the list, even though she stands virtually no chance of recovering from her injuries. The body of a cleaning woman in her forties was discovered during a search of Amrani's property. She was killed just before the murderous spree at Liege's main square.
(AP, 12/13/11)(AP, 12/14/11)
2012 Jan 12, Belgium's Catholic Church said that priests and clergy who abused children will be required to pay damages, even if victims make their claims after the country's statute of limitations has expired.
2012 Jan 16, Belgian authorities raided the administrative offices of three Catholics bishops, part of an ongoing child abuse investigation that has previously raised the ire of the Vatican and church officials.
2012 Jan 27, Fitch ratings downgraded the debt of Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Slovenia and Spain even as European finance chiefs gathering in Davos sought to reassure global business leaders that Europe is on track to solve its debt crises.
(SFC, 1/27/12, p.A4)
2012 Mar 12, Belgium launched a bid in the UN's highest court to force Senegal to bring Hissene Habre, dubbed "Africa's Pinochet", to trial for crimes against humanity or to extradite him. The former Chad president was offered safe haven in Senegal after his overthrow in 1990.
2012 Mar 13, In Belgium an arsonist attack on a Shiite mosque left imam Abdallah Dadou (46) dead. Authorities attributed the attack to tensions between Shiite and Sunni communities.
(SFC, 3/14/12, p.A2)
2012 Mar 13, In Switzerland a bus carrying Belgian students returning from a ski holiday crashed into a wall in a tunnel near Sierre, killing 22 Belgian 12-year-olds and six adults. Another 24 students were hospitalized with injuries.
2012 Jul 5, Uganda arrested Thaddee Kwitonda (51), a Belgian citizen of Rwandan origin, in Kampala after police tracked his movements for several months. He was wanted by a court in his adopted homeland for involvement in the 1994 genocide.
2012 Aug 28, Belgium's highest court granted conditional early release to a convent to Michelle Martin, the accomplice and former wife of pedophile and child killer Marc Dutroux, even though she let two of his victims starve to death.
2012 Sep 9, France's richest man, Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury giant LVMH, confirmed reports that he is seeking Belgian citizenship.
2012 Oct 3, A 24-hour strike by Belgian rail workers paralyzed train traffic throughout Belgium and the international high-speed service to London and Paris.
2012 Oct 14, Belgium held municipal elections. Early results showed widespread gains for a separatist party that is seeking autonomy for the wealthy Dutch-speaking region of northern Flanders.
2012 Oct 14, Nicholas Mockford (60), a British national and executive for ExxonMobil living in Belgium, was shot dead as he left an Italian restaurant in Neder-over-Heembeek. Helmeted assailants escaping on a motorcycle.
2012 Nov 14, Workers across the European Union sought to present a united front against rampant unemployment and government spending cuts with a string of strikes and demonstrations across the region. In Belgium a 24-hour rail stoppage and scattered strikes through the south of the nation disrupted daily life. A Spanish strike shut down most schools and while hospitals operated with a skeleton staff. In Portugal the second general strike in eight months left commuters stranded as trains ground to a virtual halt.
2012 Dec 4, Branislav Milinkovic (52), Serbia's ambassador to NATO, was chatting and joking with colleagues in a multistory parking garage at Brussels Airport when he suddenly strolled to a barrier, climbed over and flung himself to the ground below.
2012 Dec 14, In Belgium twin 45-year-old men, whose names were not been made public, were legally put to death by lethal injection at the Brussels University Hospital in Jette. They were euthanized by their doctor after realizing they were going blind and would be unable to see each other ever again.
2013 Jan 10, Belgium PM Elio Di Rupo chastised Queen Fabiola over her inheritance plans, which have widely seen as a tax dodge on a fortune amassed with taxpayer money.
(SFC, 1/11/13, p.A2)
2013 Feb 9, In Belgium a small private plane crashed south of Brussels, killing five members of a family including three small children.
2013 Feb 18, In Belgium 8 masked gunmen forced their way through the security fence at Brussels' international airport, drove onto the tarmac and snatched some $50 million worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane without firing a shot.
2013 Feb 22, Frozen food maker Birds Eye said it would withdraw some products in Britain and Ireland after it found traces of horse DNA in one of its ready meals sold in Belgium.
2013 Mar 5, Frozen food maker Birds Eye said horse meat DNA found in two of its products came from an Irish meat processor that is part of one of Ireland's largest agricultural businesses. The company said investigations had found its Belgian supplier Frigilunch NV had unknowingly sourced meat with horse DNA from Irish meat processor QK Meats.
2013 Mar 22, In Belgium Kim De Gelder (24) was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, despite concerns about his mental condition, for four murders, including the slashing deaths of two babies at a day care center in 2009.
2013 Apr 14, In Belgium a Polish bus carrying Russian youngsters crashed through the guardrails of a bridge and plunged 5 meters (16 feet) to a field below, killing at least five people and injuring 12.
2013 Apr 16, Belgian police conducted searches at 46 locations over the recruitment of fighters to help rebels trying to overthrow Syrian leader Bashar Assad.
2013 Apr 20, In Zedelgem, Belgium, fleeing robbers panicked and threw a cracked safe out the window sending some $1 million euros into the air. Inhabitants of the area were urged to return the money.
2013 May 4, In northern Belgium hundreds of people were evacuated after a train carrying chemicals derailed and caught fire.
2013 May 4, Belgian biochemist Christian de Duve (95), Nobel Prize winner in physiology or medicine (1974), died in an act of euthanasia.
2013 May 8, Belgian, French and Swiss authorities arrested at least 31 people in a sweep for robbers who pulled off a diamond theft on Feb 18 with clockwork precision at Brussels Airport.
Subject = Belgium
End of file.