Timeline: Gaddafi's 42 years in power

(Reuters) - - Here is a timeline of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule as Libya declares an end to its civil war against his 42 years of eccentric one-man rule.

1969 - Gaddafi seizes power on September 1 in a coup against King Idris.

1980 - Demonstrators sack U.S. embassy in Tripoli.

1981 - U.S. fighter planes shoot down two Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sirte, which Libya claims as territorial waters.

April 1984 - Shots fired from Libyan embassy in London kill policewoman Yvonne Fletcher, guarding demonstrators protesting against Gaddafi. Britain cuts diplomatic ties. Gaddafi said “we are sorry” for the killing in October 2009.

Jan 1986 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan orders halt to economic and commercial relations with Libya, freezes Libyan assets in the United States.

-- April - Libya is blamed for bombing a West Berlin disco used by U.S. servicemen, killing three.

-- April - U.S. aircraft bomb Tripoli, Benghazi and Gaddafi’s home. Libya says more than 40 people are killed, including Gaddafi’s adopted baby daughter.

December 1988 - Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York is blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people.

September 1989 - Bomb explodes on a French UTA airliner over Niger, killing 170 people. In 1999, France convicts six Libyans in absentia, but Tripoli denies responsibility.

Jan 2001 - Judges unanimously find Abdel Basset al-Megrahi guilty of murder and acquit Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima over the Lockerbie bombing. Megrahi given mandatory life sentence.

Sept 2003 - U.N. Security Council votes unanimously to lift sanctions imposed on Libya in 1992 after Libya accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing.

-- Dec - Libya says to abandon weapons of mass destruction programs and allow in international weapons inspectors.

Jan 2004 - Lawmakers arrive on the first visit by a U.S. congressional delegation to Libya since Gaddafi came to power.

-- March - British Prime Minister Tony Blair meets Gaddafi.

May 2006 - The United States says it will restore full diplomatic ties with Libya.

August 2008 - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signs a deal in Benghazi under which Italy will pay $5 billion in compensation for its colonial misdeeds.

September 2008 - Condoleezza Rice meets Gaddafi in Tripoli in the first visit by a U.S. secretary of state since 1953.

June 2009 - Gaddafi makes a controversial first visit to former colonial power Italy. The next month Gaddafi and U.S. President Barack Obama shake hands during a G8 summit in Italy.

-- August - Megrahi is set free on compassionate grounds and arrives home to a hero’s welcome. The next day, Britain condemns the celebrations in Tripoli.

February 17, 2011 - Activists designate February 17 as a day of rage, a day after first riots in Benghazi.

February 22 - A defiant Gaddafi vows to die “a martyr” in Libya and says he will crush a revolt which has seen eastern regions break free from four decades of his rule.

February 26 - The U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on Gaddafi and his family, and refers the crackdown on rebels to the International Criminal Court.

March 5 - The rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) in Benghazi declares itself Libya’s sole representative.

March 17 - The U.N. Security Council votes to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya and military action to protect civilians against Gaddafi’s army.

September 16 - The U.N. Security Council eases sanctions on Libya and the U.N. General Assembly approves a request to accredit interim government envoys as Libya’s sole representatives at the U.N., effectively recognizing the NTC.

Oct 20 - Gaddafi is captured and killed as NTC fighters take his hometown of Sirte.

Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit