Here is a timeline:
October 6, 1981 - Vice-President Hosni Mubarak is thrust into office when Islamists gun down President Anwar Sadat at a military parade. He is approved as new president in a referendum in November and re-elected in October 1987 and October 1993.
June 26, 1995 - Gunmen attack Mubarak's bulletproof limousine as he arrives at an Organization of African Unity summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, but is unhurt and returns home immediately. Mubarak blames a Sudanese man.
November 17, 1997 - Egypt's biggest Islamic militant group, al-Gama'a al-Islamiya (Islamic Group) kill 58 tourists and four Egyptians at an ancient temple near the southern town of Luxor. Six gunmen and three police also die.
-- The state crushed groups including al-Gama'a al-Islamiya and Islamic Jihad, which targeted tourists, Christians, ministers in a 1990s campaign for a purist Islamic state, and has kept a tight lid on such groups since. October 5, 1999 - Mubarak is sworn in as president for a fourth term and names Atef Obeid as new prime minister after the government led by Kamal Ganzouri resigns.
December 22, 1999 - Egypt agrees to sell its natural gas through what Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's office dubs a "Pipeline of Peace." After years of negotiations running alongside the strains of Middle East peacemaking, Barak's office says gas will be piped from El-Arish in Egypt to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and later to Turkey, Syria and Lebanon.
March 2005 - Street protests by the Kefaya (Enough) Movement draw hundreds across Egypt to oppose a fifth term for Mubarak or any attempt to install his son Gamal in his place.
May 11, 2005 - Parliament votes to change the constitution to allow contested presidential elections, dismissing opposition complaints that strict rules would still prevent genuine competition. A referendum later in May overwhelmingly confirms the constitutional change.
September 27, 2005 - Mubarak is sworn in for a fifth consecutive term after winning the country's first contested presidential elections. Rival Ayman Nour is the only member of parliament to remain seated during the ceremony, apparently to show his refusal to accept the official vote count.
December 8, 2005 - The Muslim Brotherhood increase their seats in parliament after an election marred by violence, but Mubarak's party retains a big majority. Eight people were killed on the last day of voting on December 7.
November 19, 2006 - Mubarak says he will retain his responsibilities for the rest of his life.
June 4, 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama in a speech in Cairo calls for a "new beginning" in ties between Washington and the Islamic world.
March 26, 2010 - Former U.N. nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei makes a first public appearance after his return to Egypt in February. ElBaradei has said he would consider a presidential bid if demands are met, including constitutional changes to limit power.
March 27, 2010 - Mubarak returns to Egypt to reassume presidential powers after three weeks recovering from gallbladder surgery in Germany.
January 25, 2011 - At least four people are killed at "Day of Wrath" anti-government protests across Egypt as demonstrators voice their anger, complaining of poverty and repression.
January 27 - Security forces shoot dead a Bedouin protester in the north of Egypt's Sinai region, bringing the death toll to five on the third day of protests.
-- Former IAEA head, Mohamed ElBaradei, returns to Egypt from Austria. Speaking earlier in Vienna, ElBaradei says it is time for Mubarak to step aside.
January 28 - Security forces fire rubber bullets and tear gas as protesters hurl stones at them and shout "Down, Down, Hosni Mubarak!" witnesses say.
-- Police blanket Cairo and block social networking communications in an effort to stifle the protests. Internet via Egyptian servers is blocked across the country, closing a key tool for activists.
-- Demonstrations are also staged in other major cities including Alexandria, Mansoura, Suez and Aswan and other major urban centres.