Timeline of Charles de Gaulle’s life

 
22 November 1890 Birth of Charles de Gaulle in Lille, at  9, rue Princesse.
1896-1900 Primary school in Paris at the Ecole Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin.
1900-1907 Secondary studies at the Ecole Libre de l’Immaculée-Conception in Paris-Vaugirard.
1908 Preparation at the Collège Stanislas in Paris for admission to  military college, the Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr.
1909 After admission to St. Cyr, volunteers for service in the ranks and joins the 33rd Infantry Regiment in Arras, under the command of Colonel Pétain.
16 April 1910 Promoted to corporal.
27 September 1910 Promoted to sergeant.
14 October 1910 Enters St. Cyr as an Officer Cadet Designate, becomes a member of the "Fez" promotion.
1 October 1913 Made up to lieutenant.
3 August 1914 Germany declares war on France.
15 August 1914 Lieutenant de Gaulle is wounded at Dinant Bridge, then evacuated (until December).
18 January 1915 Awarded the Croix de Guerre.
3 September 1915 Promoted to captain.
2 March 1916 Captain de Gaulle is wounded at Douaumont, and made prisoner.
May-September 1916 Listed as missing, cited in the Journal officiel. Interned in Osnabrück, Neisse and Sczuczyn.
October 1916 Transferred to Ingolstadt
29 October 1916 - 27 November 1918 Five escape attempts.
3 December 1918 Return to France.
1919-1920 Sent to Poland on secondment to the Polish Army.
29 July 1919 Appointed Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur for his conduct at  Douaumont.
8 May-3 June 1920 Detached to the War Minister's private office.
1 February 1921 On return from a further period of secondment to the Polish Army, is appointed professor of history at St. Cyr.
6 April 1920 Marries Yvonne Vendroux.
May 1920 Sets up home in a house at 99, blvd de Grenelle, then at 14, square Desaix in Paris (15è).
19 November 1920 Decorated with the Polish "Virtuti Militari".
28 December 1920 Birth of his son, Philippe, in Paris.
3 November 1922 Enters the École Supérieure de Guerre (staff college).
1 March 1924 La Discorde chez l'ennemi (Discord among the enemy) published by Berger-Levrault.
15 May 1924 Birth of his daughter, Élisabeth, in Paris.
1 March 1925 Article entitled "Doctrine a priori ou doctrine des circonstances" (Doctrine of principle or doctrine of circumstances) published in issue no. 45 of the Revue militaire française.
1 July 1925 Posted to the staff of  Marshal Pétain, vice-president of the Conseil Supérieur de la Guerre (Supreme War Council).
5 October 1926 Appointed to the staff of the French Army of the Rhine.
1 March and 1 April 1927 Article entitled "Le Flambeau" (The Torch) published in issues no. 69 and 70 of the Revue militaire française.
7 April-22 April 1927 Gives a series of lectures at the École Supérieure de Guerre.
25 September 1927 Promoted to major and posted to the 19th Battalion of Alpine Rifles of the French army of the Rhine, stationed in Trier.
12 October 1927 Awarded the escaped prisoners of war medal.
1 January 1928 Birth of his daughter, Anne, in Trier.
1 March 1928 Article entitled "L’action de guerre et le Chef " (War and the leader) published in issue no. 81 of the Revue militaire française.
18 October 1929 Posted to the Levant (Beirut).
1 June 1930 Article entitled "Du caractère" (On character) published in issue no. 108 of the Revue militaire française.
1 June 1931 Article entitled "Du prestige" (On prestige) published in issue no.  120 of the Revue militaire française.
6 November 1931 Posted to the Secretariat of National Defence.
1932 Lives at 110, blvd Raspail, in Paris (6è).
3 May 1932 Death of his father, Henri de Gaulle, at Sainte -Adresse (Seine-Maritime).
22 July 1932 Le Fil de l'épée (The Edge of the Sword) published by Berger-Levrault.
4 mars1933 Article entitled "Pour une politique de Défense nationale" (For a national defence policy) published in issue no. 3 of the Revue Bleue.
25 December 1933 Promoted to lieutenant-colonel.
5 May 1934 Vers l'armée de métier (The Army of the Future) published by  Berger-Levrault.
14 July 1934 Moves into "La Boisserie", a property in the village of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, in the Haute Marne.
5 December 1934 First meeting with Paul Reynaud, discussion on the subject of a professional army.
19 December 1934 Promoted to Officier de la Légion d’Honneur.
31 March 1935 Paul Reynaud presents a draft bill to parliament, prepared by Colonel de Gaulle and Gaston Palewski, advocating the creation of a specialised corps, inspired by the armoured division described by de Gaulle.
16 April 1936 Lecturer at the Centre des Hautes Etudes Militaires (Staff College) for 1936-1937.
14 October 1936 Meeting with Léon Blum, President of the Council of Ministers. De Gaulle sets out the urgent need to create an armoured force.
25 December 1937 Promoted colonel, given command of the 507th Tank Regiment in Metz. 
27 September1938 La France et son armée (France and her Army) published by Berger-Levrault.
2 September 1939 Given command of the tanks of the 5th Army.
3 September 1939 France and Great Britain declare war on Germany.
21 January 1940 De Gaulle circulates a memorandum, "l'Avènement de la force mécanique" (On the advent of mechanised forces) to 80 political and military figures.
17-30 May 1940 Distinguishes himself at Montcornet, north of Laon, then at Abbeville where he halts the German advance.
1 June 1940 Given temporary rank of brigadier-general.
5 June 1940 Appointed by President Albert Lebrun to the post of Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry for National Defence and War, responsible for liaising with the British government with a view to continuing the war.
16 June 1940 Paul Reynaud's government resigns.
17 June 1940 De Gaulle leaves Bordeaux for England, accompanied by his aide-de-camp, Geoffroy de Courcel. Marshal Pétain, President of the Council, asks Germany for an armistice.
18 June 1940 At around 8 p.m. on the BBC, de Gaulle broadcasts an appeal to the French to mount a Resistance.
22 June 1940 Second call to resistance. Announcement of the armistice by Marshal Pétain.
24 June 1940 De Gaulle makes a radio speech from London condemning the armistice.
28 June 1940 The British government recognises the General as leader of the Free French.
3 July 1940 The British fleet attacks French naval vessels at anchor in the harbour of Mers el-Kebir.
10 July 1940 The Chamber of Deputies hands over full powers to Marshal Pétain, with a mandate to modify the Constitution.
14 July 1940 The General reviews the first contingents of Free French Forces who march through London.
16 July 1940 Death of his mother, Jeanne de Gaulle, in Paimpont (Ille-et-Vilaine).
2 August 1940 Condemned to death in absentia by a Vichy military tribunal.
7 August 1940 De Gaulle signs an agreement with the British government recognising Free France.
22 August 1940 Radio speech from London in which the General accuses French military leaders who collaborate with the enemy of committing treason. 
31 August 1940 De Gaulle leaves for Africa.
27 October 1940 Creation of the Conseil de Défense de l'Empire (Empire Defence Council).
11 November 1940 Much of the Empire has joined the war. The first public show of resistance in Paris: students march along the Champs-Elysées.
16 November 1940 Creation of the Ordre de la Libération.
20 December 1940 Radio speech from London criticising "collaboration" by Vichy ministers seeking to associate France with the German war effort.
14 March-31 August 1941 Period spent in Africa and the Levant.
24 September 1941 Creation of the Comité National Français (French National Committee), organising the Free French authorities.
7 December 1941 After attacking the US naval base at Pearl Harbour, Japan declares war on the USA.
8 December 1941 Free France declares war on Japan.
1 January 1942 The Declaration of the United Nations is signed by twenty-five states. Free France joins on 2 January. On de Gaulle's orders, Jean Moulin is parachuted into France with the task of reorganising the Resistance movements in the southern zone.
18 June 1942 On the second anniversary of Free France, de Gaulle gives a speech in the Albert Hall in London, praising the unity of the Resistance movements, the Empire's role in the war and the solidarity of the Allies.
14 July 1942 Free France changes its name to " la France combattante" (Fighting France).
August-September 1942 Period spent in the Levant and in French Equatorial Africa.
8 November 1942 Anglo-American landings in Morocco and Algeria.
11 November 1942 Occupation of the southern zone: the whole of France is now occupied.
27 November 1942 Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon harbour, radio speech on the event by de Gaulle from London.
24 December 1942 Admiral Darlan assassinated in Algiers.
26 December 1942 General Giraud appointed High Commissioner and Commander-in-Chief in North Africa.
22 January 1943 The Anfa conference.
30 March 1943 Jean Moulin returns to France to set up the Conseil National de la Résistance (National Council of the Resistance).
30 May 1943 General de Gaulle arrives in Algiers.
3 June1943 Constitution of the Comité Français de la Libération Nationale (French Committee for National Liberation), with Generals Giraud and de Gaulle as co-presidents.
21 June1943 Jean Moulin arrested in Caluire.
3 October1943 De Gaulle becomes sole president of the CFLN.
28 November1943 Teheran conference..
30 January 1944 Brazzaville conference (modifying the links between the colonies and France).
1 February 1944 Creation of the Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur (collective name for the Resistance).
3 June 1944 The CFLN becomes the Gouvernement Provisoire de la République Française (Provisional Government of the French Republic), with de Gaulle as its president.
6 June 1944 Allied landings in Normandy.
14 June 1944 De Gaulle disembarks from La Combattante at Courseulles in Normandy.
5-12 July 1944 De Gaulle visits the USA and Canada.
15 August  1944 Landing by de Lattre's 1st Army and Allied troops in Provence.
20 August 1944 De Gaulle arrives at Maupertuis airfield.
25 August 1944 The 2nd Armoured Division liberates Paris, Leclerc accepts the surrender of German forces under von Choltitz. De Gaulle returns to his office at the War Ministry and gives a speech at the Hôtel de Ville.
26 August 1944 On foot, de Gaulle marches in triumph down the Champs Élysées.
31 August 1944 Transfer of the GPRF (Provisional Government of the French Republic) from Algiers to Paris.
23 October 1944 The provisional government presided over by the General is recognised by the USA, Britain and the Soviet Union.
25 November 1944 The 2nd Armoured Division moves on Strasbourg.
November-December 1944 Visit to the USSR.
4 February 1945 Opening of the Yalta Conference, to which France is not invited. 
11 February 1945 End of the Yalta Conference, which divides the world into spheres of influence.
6-9 April 1945 Visit to the front lines in Germany, the Alps and Nice.
4 May 1945 The Leclerc division reaches Berchtesgaden.
17 August 1945 De Gaulle commutes the death penalty pronounced against Marshal Pétain to life imprisonment.
21 -30 August 1945 Visit to the USA and Canada.
9 October 1945 Signature of the order setting up the Institut d’Etudes Politiques and the Ecole Nationale d'Administration.
19 October 1945 Signature of the order introducing mandatory social insurance for all employees.
2 November 1945 Signature of the act provisionally organising the public authorities.
13 November  1945 The Constituent Assembly unanimously elects de Gaulle president of the GPRF (Provisional Government of the French Republic).
10 December 1945 In a radio speech, he sets out his programme as head of government: "independence, production, unity".
20 January 1946 De Gaulle announces his resignation from government to a meeting of ministers. 
26 January 1946 Félix Gouin forms a government.
5 May  1946 The draft Constitution voted through by the Constituent Assembly is rejected by referendum.
30 May 1946 The General returns to "la Boisserie".
16 June 1946 General de Gaulle gives a speech in Bayeux setting out what he expects from a new Constitution.
29 September 1946 After the vote by the Constituent Assembly, de Gaulle gives a speech in Epinal repeating his desires for the Constitution. 
13 October  1946 The Fourth Republic comes into existence after the Constitution is adopted by referendum (with 1/3 of the electorate voting in favour, 1/3 voting against, 1/3 abstaining).
16 January 1947 Vincent Auriol is elected President of the Republic.
7 April 1947 De Gaulle announces in Strasbourg the launch of the Rassemblement du Peuple Français ("Gathering of the French people").
26 April 1947 Creation of l’Etincelle ("The Spark"), the weekly newsletter of the RPF.
30 June 1947 Discours et Messages 1940-1946 (Speeches and messages) published by Berger-Levrault.
19 and 26 October 1947 The RPF sweeps the board in local elections.
28 November 1947 Death of General Leclerc.
4 January 1948 Speech in Saint-Etienne on the association between capital and labour.
6 February 1948 Death of Anne de Gaulle.
25 February 1948 Communist coup d’état in Prague.
20-22 July 1948 First meeting in Paris of the National Council of the RPF, under the presidency of General de Gaulle.
16 November 1948 Creation of Action Démocratique et Républicaine (group of RPF MPs), in the Council of the Republic.
25 June 1950 Closing speech to the third national assizes of the RPF, in which he sets out what France's policy should be.
17 June 1951 Loss of the general election (118 seats for the RPF out of 625).
23 July 1921 Death of Marshal Pétain.
18 May 1952 Poor performance in elections to the Senate.
27 May 1952 Signature in Paris of the European Defence Community treaty proposed by René Pleven, opposed by the General and the RPF.
4 March-1 April 1953 Visit to Africa.
26 April et 3 May 1953 Defeat in local elections, winding up of the RPF.
4-22 October 1953 Visit to the Indian  Ocean.
23 December 1953 René Coty is elected President of the Republic.
7 May 1954 Fall of the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu in Indochina.
22 October 1954 First volume of the Mémoires de Guerre, l'Appel, (War Memoirs, The Call to Honour) published by Plon.
1 November 1954 Rebellion breaks out in Algeria.
1955-1958 De Gaulle withdraws to Colombey-les-Deux-Églises: the "years in the desert" period.
25 January 1955 Jacques Soustelle is appointed Governor General of Algeria.
8 June 1956 Second volume of the Mémoires de Guerre, L'Unité (War Memoirs, Unity) published by Plon.
8 August-18 September 1956 Visit to the French West Indies and French territories in the  Pacific.
10-18 March 1957 Visit to the Sahara.
25 March 1957 Signature of the treaties of Rome creating the Common Market and Euratom.
13 May 1958 Algiers: occupation of the main government building and creation of a Committee of Public Safety.
15 May 1958 De Gaulle declares himself ready to assume power.
16 May 1958 The Assembly declares a state of emergency and General Ely resigns as the chief of the general staff.
19 May 1958 Press conference at the Palais d'Orsay.
27 May 1958 communiqué issued by de Gaulle on the establishment of a Republican government capable of assuring the unity and independence of the country.
28 May 1958 The Pflimlin government resigns.
29 May 1958 De Gaulle is called upon to take up the position of President of the Council by President of the Republic René Coty.
1 June 1958 De Gaulle is invested as President of the Council by the National Assembly.
2 June 1958 The National Assembly grants him full powers to and gives him a mandate for constitutional reform.
20-29 August 1958 Visit to black Africa, Madagascar and Algeria to explain the implications of the future Constitution and the federal status of the Community.
4 September 1958 Speech in the Place de la République in Paris, presenting the new Constitution.
14 September 1958 De Gaulle invites Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, to Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises.
26-28 September 1958 The new  Constitution is put to referendum and approved by 80% of the French electorate.
30 September 1958 Setting up of a commission chaired by Jacques Rueff to examine France's financial problems.
3 October 1958 Creation of the Union pour la Nouvelle République, UNR, ("Union for the New Republic")  including most of the Gaullist movements.
21 December 1958 De Gaulle is elected President of the French Republic and of the African and Madagascan Community.
1959 De Gaulle decides on financial reform: the new franc, symbolised by the seed-sower. With a convertible currency backed by gold, France can now open up its frontiers without abandoning public investment. The move stimulates expansion of the economy.
1 January 1959 The Common Market comes into being.
8 January 1959 De Gaulle takes up his functions as President of the Fifth Republic. Michel Debré is Prime Minister.
16 September 1959 De Gaulle announces the principle of self-determination as his policy on Algeria.
28 October 1959 Third volume of the Mémoires de Guerre, Le Salut (War Memoirs, Salvation) published by Plon.
19-21 December 1959 De Gaulle hosts a summit of the Western powers in Paris, attended by the President of the USA, the British Prime Minister and the West German Chancellor.
26 December 1959 Death of his brother, Pierre,  in Neuilly-sur-Seine.
24 January 1960 "Barricades week" in Algiers.
1 February 1960 Surrender of the "entrenched camp" of Algiers.
13 February 1960 Explosion of the first French atom bomb at Reggane in the Sahara.
5-8 April 1960 Visit to Great Britain.
18 April-4 May 1960 Visit to Canada, the USA, Guyana, Martinique and Guadeloupe.
July-August 1960 Independence granted to the states of the African and Madagascan Community.
4 November 1960 Speech broadcast from the Elysée on radio and TV setting out the President's policy on Algeria. He refers to an "Algerian Algeria".
8 January 1961 Referendum on self-determination for Algeria (75% vote in favour).
22 April 1961 Attempted putsch by Generals Challe, Jouhaux, Salan and Zeller.
8 September 1961 De Gaulle escapes injury in an OAS assassination attempt at Pont-sur-Seine.
26 December 1961 Law passed on behalf of the repatriated settlers from Algeria.
7-18 March 1962 Negotiations in Evian between France and the FLN leading to Algerian independence and a cease-fire.
8 April 1962 Referendum on the Evian agreements (90% in favour).
14 April 1962 Resignation of Michel Debré's government. Georges Pompidou becomes Prime Minister.
22 August 1962 De Gaulle escapes an assassination attempt at Petit-Clamart.
28 October 1962 De Gaulle calls a referendum on the election of the head of state by direct universal suffrage (62% in favour).
19 December 1962 Creation of the Cour de Sureté de l’Etat (court of state security).
22 January 1963 Signature of the treaty of the Elysée between General de Gaulle and Chancellor Adenauer, extending co-operation between France and the Federal Republic of Germany.
3 August 1963 France refuses to sign the Moscow test-ban treaty outlawing nuclear testing in the atmosphere.
23-24 December 1963 The Common Agricultural Policy is finalised. The Brussels agreements are signed.
27 January 1964 France recognises the People's Republic of China.
3 et 4 July 1964 Trip to Bonn.
8 December 1964 Parliament adopts the Fifth Plan.
23 February 1965 Gaston Palewski becomes president of the Constitutional Council.
16 June 1965 The French government announces the early repayment of a substantial proportion of France's overseas debt.
30 June 1965 The "empty chair" crisis in Brussels.
4 November 1965 De Gaulle declares himself a candidate in the forthcoming Presidential elections.
5 December 1965 De Gaulle fails to win a majority on the first round of voting.
19 December 1965 De Gaulle is elected on the second round (with 54.5% of the votes), defeating Mitterrand.
8 January 1966 Pompidou forms a new government.
7 March 1966 France withdraws from the integrated NATO command structure.
20 June-1 July 1966 Visit to the USSR.
1 September 1966 Speech in  Phnom Penh in which he calls for US neutrality in Indochina.
19 April 1967 Death of Chancellor Adenauer.
29 May 1967 Government bond issue to finance priority private investment, to combat the threat of inflation and provide aid for Social Security schemes.
5 June 1967 The Six Days' War: de Gaulle condemns the first to take up arms: "France has taken her stand against war in the East. Certainly she holds it to be right that each of the states in question – in particular Israel – should be allowed to exist. She therefore deplored the threat of destruction brandished by her neighbours…But she condemns the opening of hostilities by Israel."
23-27 July 1967 Visit to Quebec on the occasion of the Great Exhibition: speech in Montreal ("Vive le Québec libre!" - "Long live free Quebec!").
18 August 1967 Issue of the order on employee participation in company profits.
22 August 1967 Publication in the Journal officiel of order on the reform of the Social Security system.
6-12 September 1967 Visit to Poland.
5-6 February 1968 Visit to Grenoble on the occasion of the 10th Winter Olympic Games.
22 March 1968 Beginnings of a movement launched by revolutionary students.
April-May 1968 Student protests and industrial unrest.
13 May 1968 A general strike is called.
14-20 May 1968 Visit to Romania.
20 May 1968 Over 10 million workers on strike.
29 May 1968 De Gaulle leaves for Baden Baden in Germany, and the headquarters of the French army, before returning to Colombey.
30 May 1968 On his return to Paris, he announces the dissolution of the National Assembly.
31 May 1968 Massive demonstration in support of the General on the Champs-Élysées.
4-6 June 1968 Workers the in public and private sectors return to work.
7 June 1968 Interview broadcast on radio and TV with Michel Droit, in which de Gaulle gives his interpretation of the crisis of civilisation in our society and explains the decisions he has taken to remedy the situation.
15 June 1968 Amnesty for certain OAS members, including General Salan. 
23-30 June 1968 The UDR gains a massive majority in the general election.
1 July 1968 France refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
21 August 1968 Invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops, condemned by de Gaulle.
24 August 1968 Explosion of the first French thermonuclear weapon in French Polynesia. 
27-28 September 1968 Visit to Bonn.
29 November 1968 Parliament adopts the government's proposals for economic and financial recovery.
3 January 1969 Embargo on arms supplies to Israel.
2 March 1969 The supersonic Concorde makes its maiden flight from Toulouse.
27 April 1969 Defeat in the referendum on the reform of the Senate and on regionalisation (52.4% vote against).
28 April 1969 De Gaulle steps down: Alain Poher, President of the Senate, takes over the interim Presidency.
10 May-19 June 1969 Private visit to Ireland.
September 1969 Creation du Centre national d’étude de l’œuvre du général de Gaulle (National Centre for study of the work of  General de Gaulle). Headquarters at 5, rue de Solférino, Paris (7é).
21 April 1970 First volume of Discours et Messages, Pendant la Guerre (Speeches and messages, during the war) published, covering the period 18 June 1940-20 January 1946.
21 May 1970 Second volume of Discours et Messages, Dans l’attente (Waiting in the wings) published, covering the period January 1946-May 1958.
3-27 June 1970 Private visit to Spain.
18 June 1970 Third volume of Discours et Messages, Avec le Renouveau (With renewal) published , covering the period May 1958-July 1962.
3 July 1970 Fourth volume of Discours et Messages, Vers l’Effort (Towards endeavour) published, covering the period August 1962- December 1965.
18 September 1970 Fifth volume of Discours et Messages, Vers le Terme (Towards the end) published, covering the period January 1966-April 1969.
23 October 1970 First volume of Mémoires d’Espoir, Le Renouveau (Memoirs of Hope, Renewal) published, covering the period 1958-1962. All the above published by Plon.
9 November 1970 Death of General de Gaulle at 7.30 p.m. at "La Boisserie".
12 November 1970 Funeral of the General held at Colombey-les-Deux-Églises.
20 February 1971 Founding of the Institut Charles de Gaulle by André Malraux, President, Gaston Palewski, Vice-president, Geoffroy de Courcel, Claude Hettier de Boislambert, Pierre Lefranc and Admiral Charles La Haye. Headquarters of the Institut: 5, rue de Solférino, Paris.
19 March 1971 The two completed chapters of volume II of Mémoires d’Espoir, L'Effort (Endeavour) 1962 to ... published by Plon.
23 March 1971 Creation of the national committee for the memorial.
18 June 1972 Inauguration of the memorial at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises by the President of the Republic.