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1860 Sicily is conquered by Garibaldi and becomes part of the new nation of Italy.
1864 Publication in Sicilian capital Palermo of the first ever study of the mafia, which is yet to acquire its name. The author of the study – who has inside knowledge -- refers to it as the ‘Sect’.
1865 First recorded reference to ‘the so-called Maffia or criminal association’.

The first detailed testimony is left by one of the mafia’s victims: ‘In the mafia’s language, a thief and a murderer is a “man of honour”; a victim is an “abject spy”.’ Antonino Giammona is the first man to be named as mafia boss.

First reported instance of the mafia’s secret initiation ritual.

Former Chief Prosecutor in Palermo denounces Italian government collusion with mafia in Parliament.

1877 Government inquiry buries sensitive information on mafia.
1883 Discovery of the mafia association known as the Brotherhood of Favara.
1898-1900 The Chief of Police of Palermo compiles a report detailing the entire structure of the mafia in the Palermo area, its rules and rituals, business methods, political contacts, killing methods. In 1901 the report is buried.
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1903 In New York the ‘body in the barrel murder’ reveals that the mafia has set down roots in the United States. Suspect ‘Piddu’ Morello later named as the first boss of the whole American mafia.
1904 Corrupt politician don Raffaele Palizzolo is acquitted of the most famous mafia murder of the era after a witness is found hanging in his Florence hotel.
1909 New York Police Lieutenant Joe Petrosino is murdered in the centre of Palermo.
1915 The mayor of Corleone and hero of the struggle against the mafia is brutally murdered. In a posthumous secret testimony he reveals how, in 1893, he was initiated into ‘the Brotherhood’.
1926 Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini launches his war on Sicilian organized crime with the siege of Gangi. He soon – too soon -- declares victory.
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1931 The murder of Salvatore Maranzano in New York brings to an end the Castellammarese war and sees Lucky Luciano take over the American mafia.
1943 The mafia returns to action in Sicily following the Allied invasion.
1946-47 The Greco war in Ciaculli, east of Palermo, settles the future of Sicily’s greatest mafia dynasty.
1955 The Cardinal Archbishop of Palermo declares that the mafia is nothing but a Communist invention.
1957 Brooklyn boss Joe ‘Bananas’ Bonanno visits Palermo and triggers the foundation of the Sicilian mafia’s Commission.
1959-63 ‘Pushy Corleonese embezzler’ Vito Ciancimino directs the mafia-backed building boom known as the ‘sack of Palermo’.
1963 A devastating car bomb in Ciaculli brings the First Mafia War to an end. The Palermo mafia temporarily disbands itself.
1969 The mafia announces its return to action with the viale Lazio massacre.
1970 Cosa Nostra is invited to take part in a military coup in Rome.
1973 Mafioso Leonardo Vitale, in the throes of a profound spiritual crisis, smears himself in excrement and reveals Cosa Nostra’s secrets. He is dismissed as insane.
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1980 The mafia reaches the peak of its domination of the North American heroin business.
1981 Beginning of the Second Mafia War.
1984 Legendary man of honour Tommaso Buscetta reveals the existence of Cosa Nostra to judge Giovanni Falcone.
1992 Buscetta’s accusations about Cosa Nostra are given final legal approval. The court decision leads immediately to the murder of judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife, and three members of their escort by a huge bomb placed under the motorway at Capaci near Palermo. It is the final proof of Cosa Nostra’s existence.
1993 The boss of bosses, ‘Shorty’ Riina is captured. Cosa Nostra mounts a major terrorist bombing campaign on the Italian mainland in response.
1995 Bernardo ‘the Tractor’ Provenzano becomes boss of bosses and adopts a new tactic of ‘submersion’.
2002 No. 2 in Cosa Nostra turns state’s evidence and says that the mafia has direct links to the political party of Prime Minister and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi. (THE ALLEGATIONS ARE CURRENTLY THE SUBJECT OF A MAJOR TRIAL IN WHICH ONE OF BERLUSCONI'S CLOSEST COLLABORATORS IS CHARGED WITH WORKING FOR THE MAFIA. ALL THE CHARGES ARE DENIED.)
2003 Former Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti is convicted of ordering the mafia to murder a journalist. (ANDREOTTI HAS APPEALED TO THE COURT OF CASSATION.)
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