1936 – Born on April 19th in Sleidinge (East Flanders). Martens was a proponent of federalism for Belgium, for which he was originally labelled an extremist.
1965-1972 – He entered politics organizing street protests over underrepresentation of Flemish language and culture, then went on to head the youth faction of the Christian People’s Party.
– He was president of the Dutch-speaking Social Christian Party (CVP).
1974 – Martens organized the victorious campaign for the party, cooperating closely with Leo Tindemans.
1979-1991 – Martens became Prime Minister of nine of the ten coalition governments.