1904 – Pablo Neruda, born on the 12th of July in Parral, a city in Linares province in the Maule Region, some 350 km south of Santiago. His father, José del Carmen Reyes Morales, was a railway employee; his mother, Rosa Neftalí Basoalto Opazo, was a schoolteacher who died two months after he was born.
1920 – Adopted the pseudonym of Pablo Neruda, he was a published author of poetry, prose, and journalism.
1921 – Moved to Santiago to study French at the Universidad de Chile with the intention of becoming a teacher, but soon Neruda was devoting himself full time to poetry.
1923 – First volume of verse, Crepusculario ("Book of Twilights"), was published, followed the next year by Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada ("Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair"), a collection of love poems that was controversial for its eroticism. Both works were critically acclaimed and were translated into many languages.
1945 – Was elected a Communist party senator for the northern provinces of Antofagasta and Tarapacá in the arid and inhospitable Atacama Desert on the 4th of March. He officially joined the Communist Party of Chile four months later.
1946 – Another speech is a tribute to the late Soviet leader Mikhail Kalinin, who for Neruda was "man of noble life", "the great constructor of the future", "a comrade of arms of Lenin and Stalin".
1953 – Awarded the Stalin Peace Prize. On Stalin’s death that same year, Neruda wrote an ode to him, as he also (during World War II) wrote praise of Fulgencio Batista (Saludo a Batista, i.e Salute to Batista) and later of Fidel Castro.
1966 – Was invited to attend an International PEN conference in New York City. Officially, he was barred from entering the U.S. because he was a communist, but the conference organizer, playwright Arthur Miller, eventually prevailed upon the Johnson Administration to grant Neruda a visa.
1970 – Nominated as a candidate for the Chilean presidency, but ended up giving his support to Salvador Allende, who later won the election and was inaugurated as the first democratically elected socialist head of state.
1971 – Was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature after several years of being overlooked for his political activism.
1973 – Died of heart failure on the evening of the 23rd of September, at Santiago’s Santa María Clinic. Subsequent to his death, Neruda’s homes in both Valparaiso and Santiago were looted and vandalized.