Timeline

Nov. 7, 1918: Born, the first child of Frank and Morrow Graham, in the family farm house near Charlotte, N. C.

1936: Graduated from high school and spent the summer as a Fuller Brush salesman. One evening, with friends, he witnessed to his faith before a group of prisoners in the county jail.

1938: Looking for a purpose to his life, he wandered the campus of the Florida Bible Institute, where he was a student. Finally, alongside the 18th hole of the golf course, he knelt and said, “All right, Lord, if you want me, you’ve got me.”

1938: Began filling in as a preacher on weekends in area churches.

1943: Accepted the pastorate of a small church in Western Springs, N.C., and married Ruth Bell.

Oct. 27, 1944: He did his first mass evangelism, preaching to 3,000 at a Youth for Christ rally in Chicago.

1944: While recovering from a serious bout of mumps, Graham was recruited to work full time for Youth for Christ International. He met George Wilson.

1949: The Canvas Cathedral in Los Angeles, first long-running, successful crusade. He converted gangland wiretapper Jim Vaus and Louis Zamperini, Olympic miler and war hero depicted in the book and movie “Unbroken.”

1950: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association incorporated in Minneapolis. Wilson is executive director.

1952: A five-week crusade in Washington, D.C., he attracted the attention of national leaders and news media. One service was held on the Capitol steps.

1953: “Peace With God,” by Graham was published and became bestseller. Rereleased in 1984.

1954: An open-air service in Trafalgar Square in London drew a crowd of 12,000, the largest since V-E Day.

1957: A 16-week crusade packed Madison Square Garden every night. Also preached on Wall Street.

1960: An eight-week, 16-city tour of Africa.

1961: Before his inauguration as president, John Kennedy invited Graham to play golf and meet the press. Graham did so, although he was a fervent Nixon supporter.

1965-68: Graham waffled on the Vietnam War, continuing his strong anti-Communist stance but also talking of the “mess in Southeast Asia.”

1968: Publicly supported Richard Nixon for president and became unofficial chaplain of the Nixon White House.

1973: A crusade audience of more than 1 million heard Graham in Seoul, South Korea.

1974: Joined with others in urging Nixon to resign because of the Watergate scandal.

1977: A four-part series in the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer gave the Graham organization a clean financial bill of health, but a few weeks later the newspaper broke a story showing that a Graham organization, the World Evangelism and Christian Education Fund, owned $22.19 million in assets, which the public knew almost nothing about.

1977: First preached behind the Iron Curtain.

March 30, 1981: When President Reagan was shot, Graham was called to the hospital to comfort Nancy Reagan.

1982: Received the Templeton Prize for religion from Britain’s Prince Philip. He also realized a 25-year dream by preaching in the Soviet Union.

1984: “A Biblical Standard for Evangelists” released after International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in Amsterdam in 1983.

1988: With son Franklin, Graham toured China.

1990: Billy Graham star put in Hollywood Boulevard.

1995: Called to Oklahoma City to help heal wounds after the bombing of the federal building.

1996: With Ruth, received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor.

1996: More than 350,000 people attended his last Twin Cities crusade at the Metrodome.

1997: Published bestselling autobiography, “Just As I Am.”

2001: Three days after the Sept. 11 attacks, preached at Washington National Cathedral service attended by George W. Bush and four former presidents.

2004: Preached at November gatherings at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif., attended by more than 300,000.

2005: Held gathering billed as his last large crusade attended by 90,000 in the New York City borough of Queens.

2006: Gave sermon in March at a New Orleans arena as city recovered from Hurricane Katrina.

May 2007: Billy Graham Library dedicated in Charlotte, N.C., attended by three former U.S. presidents.

June 14, 2007: Ruth Graham died at age 87.

Staff and wire reports