1981 --Calls in business executives and persuades them to begin "Blue Chip-In," a program that raises $400,000 privately in first year to fill gaps caused by federal budget cuts.

July 1981 --Before television cameras, Schaefer -- dressed in old-time bathing costume and carrying an inflatable duck -- steps into National Aquarium's seal pool.

1982 --Columnist George Will writes: "Schaefer embodies his community more completely than even Richard Daley or Fiorello La Guardia embodied Chicago and New York."

1983 --Re-elected mayor; in general election, wins 93 percent of vote.

1984 --In an article that captures Schaefer's manic management style, Esquire magazine runs a cover story declaring Baltimore's leader "the best mayor in America." Staff are later chagrined to find the article depicts the mayor as a noodge who patrols alleys for trash.

1984 --Baltimore Metro opens.

1985 --Appoints himself "supreme commander" and launches an "assault on trash," naming four aides top generals in a military-style effort to clean up the city. City Hall reporters are called "war correspondents visiting the front."

May 1986 --With longtime companion Hilda Mae Snoops at his side, Schaefer declares candidacy for governor.

July 1986 --In a campaign interview, Schaefer calls his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Steven H. Sachs, a "dumb a----," among other things.

September 1986 --Defeats Sachs in Democratic primary.

November 1986 --With 82 percent of the vote, he beats a little-known Republican to win the gubernatorial election. It is the biggest margin of victory for any governor elected that day.

January 1987 --The day before his inauguration in Annapolis, Schaefer climbs inside a box at Harborplace, is raised to the deck of a ship and emerges in a white naval uniform. The box is labeled "Baltimore's gift to Maryland."

1987 --Wins legislative approval for the construction of two new stadiums in Baltimore.

September 1990 --Wins Democratic primary with 77 percent of the vote against little-known gun-rights advocate. He is said to be "on the rampage" because almost a quarter of the voters rejected him.

November 1990 --Re-elected with 59.6 percent of the vote. But over the next several months, he settles into a funk, angry at losing more than half the state's counties.

February 1991 --At a State House ceremony, Schaefer asks two Eastern Shore delegates: "How's that s------ house of an Eastern Shore?" Many Shore residents are outraged. After a week of stonewalling, the governor apologizes, insisting it was "a joke."

April 1991 --A tabloid newspaper, the Star, calls Schaefer "the wackiest governor in America."

April 1992 --The General Assembly passes a package of $500 million in tax increases to bail state out of budget crisis.

May 1992 --First leg of light rail opens, connecting Timonium and Camden Yards.

October 1992 --Flies to Missouri to endorse Republican President George H.W. Bush for re-election. State Democrats are outraged.

October 1993 --Saying that state taxpayers spend nearly $2.3 million a year on salary and perks for Schaefer, Money magazine rates him "the most pampered governor in America."

January 1995 --Schaefer retires from elected office.

July 1998 --Longtime state Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein dies at age 85, shortly before election filing deadline. Within days, Schaefer enters comptroller's race.

November 1998 --Elected comptroller with 62 percent of vote.

November 2002 --Re-elected comptroller, by a margin of more than 2 to 1. In second term, he is chairman of the state pension plan, a position he took over the year before, and leads a turnaround of the scandal-ridden retirement system. Once a laggard in its investment returns, the system performs strongly over the next three years.

June 2003 --The state Court of Appeals delivers the comptroller's office a victory, ruling that companies that establish holding companies in Delaware owe taxes in Maryland. The state collects millions.

February 2006 --At state Board of Public Works meeting, stops a female aide who had just given him a mug of tea and walked away, commanding her to return and "walk again" as he watches.

April 2006 --Votes with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to cut the state property tax by 2 cents, over the objections of Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, a Democrat.

Sept. 13, 2006 --Acknowledges defeat in Democratic primary.