1961: The CIA recruits Gen. Vang Pao to raise an army for a secret war against Lao communists.
1973: The United States pulls troops out of Southeast Asia.
1975: Communists are victorious. Vang is airlifted from his secret Lao airbase; thousands of Hmong flee Laos.
June 4, 2007: Vang and other Hmong leaders and one retired U.S. Army colonel are charged in Sacramento federal court of plotting the overthrow of Laos.
June 12, 2007: First of a series of rallies in Sacramento in support of the accused Hmong leaders.
June 19, 2007: More than 500 Hmong-Americans rally in St. Paul in support of Vang (shown above).
July 12, 2007: Seven defendants are ordered released on bail; Vang leaves jail the next day.
November 2007: Judge gives Vang permission to leave his California home, where he is under house arrest, to attend Hmong Minnesota New Year celebration in St. Paul.
Sept. 18: The federal government drops its charges against Vang and adds two more defendants to the indictment, bringing the total number of defendants to 12.
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