1922: Born in Avon on July 19.
1925: After three years in Canada, the McGovern family moves to Mitchell.
1940: Graduates from Mitchell High School, where he was a champion debater.
Enrolls in Dakota Wesleyan University, in Mitchell.
1941: Begins dating his future wife, Woonsocket native Eleanor Stegeberg, whom he met when she and her twin sister defeated him and his partner in a high school debate.
Enlists in the U.S. Army Air Force, but his service is delayed as the air corps needed to get organized.
1943: McGovern and a partner win a national debate tournament at North Dakota State University.
Called up for service and later commissioned as a second lieutenant.
Oct. 31: Marries Eleanor.
1944: Serves in Italy during World War II, flying bomber missions over Nazi-controlled territory.
1945: Daughter Ann is born.
Flies the last of 35 missions and then volunteers for flights to deliver food to starving Europeans.
Leaves Army Air Force as a first lieutenant.
Re-enrolls at DWU.
1946: Graduates from DWU.
Enters a divinity studies program in Illinois.
Daughter Susan is born.
1949: Earns master’s in history from Northwestern University after having left divinity program.
Takes job as professor of history and political science at DWU.
Daughter Teresa is born.
1952: Writes seven articles for The Daily Republic on the differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.
Son Steven is born.
1953: Earns doctorate from Northwestern.
Resigns from DWU to take post as executive secretary of the South Dakota Democratic Party.
1955: Daughter Mary is born.
1956: Elected to the U.S. House representing South Dakota’s First Congressional District, defeating Rep. Harold Lovre.
1958: Re-elected to the House, defeating Gov. Joe Foss.
1960: Loses U.S. Senate race to Karl Mundt.
1961: Takes post as director of Food for Peace in Kennedy administration.
1962: Elected to Senate, defeating Joe Bottum.
1963: Makes speech on Senate floor expressing concern about growing U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
1968: In the wake of the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, makes late run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Finishes third at convention.
Re-elected to the Senate, defeating former governor Archie Gubbrud.
1969: Calls for ceasefire in Vietnam and for American troops to return home.
1970: Becomes more outspoken against the war. “This chamber reeks of blood,” he says in a speech on Senate floor.
1972: Runs for and wins the Democratic nomination for president.
Loses landslide election to President Richard Nixon.
1974: Elected to third term in the Senate, defeating Medal of Honor winner and former POW Leo Thorsness.
1976: Considers presidential run but sits race out. Quietly votes for Republican President Gerald Ford.
1980: Defeated in bid for fourth Senate term, losing to Rep. Jim Abdnor.
1984: Runs for Democratic nomination for president, dropping out after New Hampshire primary.
Hosts “Saturday Night Live.”
1992: Considers one last run for presidency but chooses not to do so.
1994: Daughter Teresa dies after passing out in snowbank in Wisconsin. McGovern later writes book on her struggles with alcohol.
1998: Is named United States ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, serving in Rome.
2001: Named first UN global ambassador on world hunger by the World Food Programme.
2006: The George and Eleanor McGovern Library and Center for Leadership and Public Service is dedicated at DWU.
2007: Eleanor McGovern dies.
2010: Jumps out of airplane to mark 88th birthday.
2011: Drives race car to celebrate 89th birthday.
Publishes latest book, “What it Means to be a Democrat.”
2012: Dies Oct. 21 of a combination of medical conditions associated with his age. He was 90.