Here is a brief timeline of important events that have shaped Sweden; the focus here will be geared towards recent events (from 100 years ago or so), located towards the bottom, but we’ll begin with more ancient events first.
8000 BCE – From around 8,000 BCE, Sweden’s first humans settled the land.
800 CE – Viking Age Begins, The end of Swedish prehistory was followed both with the “Viking Age” and then the Christianization of Scandinavia.
1248 – Birger Magnusson’s Reign Begins, Birger Magnusson, Jarl of Sweden, was a Swedish statesman who is today known most famously for being the founder of Stockholm, though many other notable accomplishments are attributed to him, such as the abolition of serfdom.
1397-1523 – Kalmar Union, The Union of Kalmaris forms, uniting all of Scandinavia under one monarch. Finland is part of this, as it was a part of Sweden at the time, as well as Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Northern Isles, all being part of Norway.
1523 – Gustavus Vasa & Modern Sweden’s Beginning, Gustavus Vasa stopped the resurrection of the Kalmar Union from succeeding, opening up Sweden’s independence as a sovereign state; he becomes King Gustavus I in 1523.
1700 – The Great Northern War
1914 – Sweden Remains Neutral During WWI
1920 – Sweden Joins League of Nations
1956 – Sweden Joins the United Nations (read more: What is the United Nations?)
1974 – Powers of Monarch Removed. Sweden officially removes all powers from the monarch, transferring the rights to the people; the monarchy remains, purely ceremonial in nature.
1986 – Prime Minister Assassinated. Swedish prime minister Olof Palme is assassinated, and the killing still baffles investigators to this day; the murder stuns the country, who have been virtually free of political violence for two centuries.
1994 – Sweden Votes for EU Entry. The Swedish vote in favor of membership into the European Union, officially becoming a member on the first day of 1995.
2000 – Malmö Tunnel Opens. A new tunnel opens, connecting Sweden’s Malmö to Copenhagen, Denmark.
2003 – Anna Lindh & No Euro. Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister, dies after being stabbed. Sweden votes not to join the euro monetary union.
2011 – World’s First Synthetic Organ Transplant. Surgeons at the Karolinska University Hospital perform the world’s first synthetic organ transplant; this was done with an artificial windpipe created and coated in the patient’s stem cells.