* Oct. 29-30, 1980
Theodore Holmes of the Progressive Fire Fighters Association and another black firefighter file complaints with the D.C. Office of Human Rights charging wide-ranging racial discrimination in the Fire Department.
* Aug. 25, 1981 -- Human Rights Director Anita Shelton orders D.C. to develop an affirmative action plan to give minorities "preference in all new hiring and promotions."
* Dec. 10, 1981 -- After D.C. appeals her ruling, 50 days of public hearings begin before a special examiner looking into the discrimination charges.
* July 21, 1982 -- Hearing examiner rules that the 1980 test to select new D.C. firefighters had an adverse impact on minorities. He recommends new affirmative action plan to eliminate vestiges of "racial disparity."
* Nov. 16, 1983 -- After modifications, the Office of Human Rights issues a final order in the Holmes case, following hearing examiner's key recommendations.
* March 22, 1984 -- Lawyers for the black firefighters file suit in federal court, charging that the D.C. government has failed to comply with the order in the Holmes case.
* May 23, 1984 -- U.S. District Judge Charles R. Richey works out a consent agreement, in which the D.C. government agrees to submit an affirmative action plan.
* Jan. 17, 1985 -- The plan is signed by Chief Theodore Coleman.
* March 8, 1985 -- Chief Coleman orders the promotion of 5 black firefighters to sergeant, under one of the plan's directives.
* March 8, 1985 -- Local 36 of the International Association of Fire Fighters files suit in federal court to block promotions where "preferential treatment" is given solely because of race.
* March 11, 1985 -- The Justice Department files suit in federal court, challenging both hiring and promotion aspects of plan as discriminatory.
* March 12, 1985 -- Judge Richey asserts that the plan is "not in effect" and orders argument March 23 from all sides to determine if the plan "meets constitutional muster."