- In the early 1970s, an American astronomer locates a cluster of meteors that would cross Earth’s path in the summer of 1998. Keeping this secret is the government's top priority as they do not want to panic the populace and they see it as a way to get the upper-hand against the Soviets.
- Patrick J. LoPresti graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Colonel John Smith ceases to be acting commander of Sleeper Two Military Base.
- A Titan missile is decommissioned for use as a museum piece. This is the missile that will eventually become the god of the M.A.D. Monks.
- February- Citadel Starstation nears completion. Tensions rise, and the world divides into Soviet and NATO camps. Only Sweden, Switzerland and Ireland continue to remain neutral.
- March- Diplomatic solutions to the world's problems fail and war erupts as some mad men press ahead with their insane dreams. Most of the major cities of the Earth are hit by the powerful atomic warheads. High concentrations of radiation produce random storms and mutations. Somehow, life continues in the wasteland.
- March- Shortly after the war, a group of US Army Engineers take over the Arizona State Death Row. The inmates are expelled into the surrounding deserts. The facility is rechristened as the Ranger Center.
- Soldiers stationed at a satellite relay facility, which survived the war unscathed, join up with local farmers to form the Agricultural Center, a prosperous community centered around self-sufficiency and trading.
- Luke Samson, inspired by a pre-war tape of televangelist Reverend James King, founds the Salvation Church in the ruins of Los Angeles, California.
- B. Bilious Balfour is born. He goes on to create Snake Squeezins.
- Luke Samson leads the faithful on an exodus from the Angelus Temple to Griffith Park. He dies, but the the militia lives on.
- Solveig Sefors begins amassing notes and information for the Southwestern Folklore collection.
- The History of the Desert Rangers is published.
- The events of Wasteland take place:
- Bobby is shot by Rangers at Highpool.
- Ugly John dies at the hands of the Rangers at Quartz.
- Guardians of the Old Order are wiped out by the Rangers.
- Irwin John Finster is killed by the Rangers.
- Base Cochise is destroyed by the Rangers.
- The Desert Rangers finish cleaning out the Guardian Citadel and prepare it for moving in.
- Brother Wright is sent to recover the Titan from Silo 7. Instead, he barricades himself in and attempts to dismantle the weapon. For three long years he is unsuccessful.
- Feburary 12- General Vargas commissions an investigation into the cyborgs encountered beneath Vegas in 2087.
- B. Bilious Balfour dies.
- Ace, who was planning to retire, is given a last assignment of finding the source of a mysterious broadcast. However, he is murdered.
- The events of Wasteland 2 take place:
- Tinker enters Arizona to sabotage the Rangers and destabilize the region. Agricultural Center and Highpool are hit particularly hard, followed by Darwin and Damonta.
- Team Echo is dispatched after Ace is killed by one Tinker's synths. Their investigations lead them to uncover radio signals from California and Tinker's involvement. They are deployed to Los Angeles to investigate after Team Foxtrot is wiped out and Angela Deth goes missing.
- Team Echo reconnects with the Rangers in Arizona after losing contact due to the crash and lack of airborne transport to maintain a radio link. Matthias and his synths attack the Ranger Citadel.
- Team Echo returns to the Citadel using a captured Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King. The Cochise AI and Matthias are confronted beneath the Citadel and destroyed, at the expense of turning the base into a radioactive crater.
- Rangers rally and re-establish their operations at the radio tower, the New Ranger Citadel.