A furious wave of protest finally swept Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak from power on Friday after 30 years of one-man rule, sparking jubilation on the streets and sending a warning to autocrats across the Arab world and beyond.
Here is a rundown of some other uprisings that have buffeted or toppled governments in the last 50 years:
* SOUTH KOREA -- After 12 years as the first president of modern-day South Korea, Syngman Rhee tried to manipulate elections in his final year of office in 1960. Protests erupted after Rhee's police fired into crowds demonstrating against the election fraud, killing more than 200 people, mostly students. Rhee was forced to step down and seek refuge in Hawaii.
* PHILIPPINES - In 1983, the assassination of strongman Fredinand Marcos' arch rival Senator Benigno Aquino on the tarmac of Manila's main airport triggered public uproar that forced him to call a snap election in 1986 to gain a fresh mandate.
-- Massive cheating and violence in the 1986 elections resulted in the first "people power" revolt along Manila's main highway, ending Marcos' 20-year iron-fisted rule and restoring democracy in the southeast Asian country.
* CHINA - Tanks rolled into Beijing's Tiananmen Square before dawn on June 4, 1989 to crush student and worker protests that had begun in April following the death of dismissed Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang. The Beijing city government put the death toll at more than 200 while insisting no one died in the square itself. Independent groups estimate that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people died.
* EAST GERMANY - The Berlin Wall was breached on November 9, 1989 after months of pro-democracy demonstrations inside then-communist East Germany. On September 10, Hungary broke ranks with its communist Warsaw Pact allies and officially opened the border with Austria to East Germans, creating the first chink in Iron Curtain.
-- Thousands of East German "tourists" went West. On October 18, East German leader Erich Honecker was forced to resign "on health grounds" amid growing protests, and on November 4 half a million demonstrated for democracy in East Berlin.
-- On November 9, Honecker's successor Egon Krenz said all East Germans could go to the West from the following day if they applied for an exit visa. A mix-up in communicating the decision meant that, within minutes, East Berliners besieged border guard posts; by midnight thousands breached the Wall and poured into the West.
-- Forty-five years of monolithic Communist rule ended with free elections in March 1990 as East Germany vanished in reunification with capitalist West Germany seven months later.
* ROMANIA -- Romanian Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed by firing squad on Christmas Day, 1989 after more than two weeks of street protests in which hundreds were shot dead. A crackdown by troops and police using automatic weapons and tanks in the western town of Timisoara was the first use of military might to crush demonstrations in Eastern Europe in 1989.
-- Communist rule yielded to multi-party elections in the early 1990s, leading to European Union membership for Romania in 2007.
* SERBIA -- Serb strongman Slobodan Milosevic was toppled after thousands of opposition supporters stormed parliament on October 5, 2000. He had refused to step down after losing controversial elections for president of Yugoslavia on September 24, but days of street protests and strikes that culminated in the storming of the parliament building in Belgrade forced him to concede defeat to Vojislav Kostunica, candidate of Serbia's pro-democracy opposition.
-- Six months later, Milosevic was arrested for abuse of power, and then extradited to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague. He was still on trial at the time of his death in March 2006.
* GEORGIA -- In November 2003, opposition politicians seized parliament over rigged elections in what became known as the Rose Revolution. Veteran President Eduard Shevardnadze resigned and pro-Western Mikheil Saakashvili won a presidential election.
* UKRAINE -- People with orange banners spent weeks on the streets protesting against the results of the 2004 presidential election which gave Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovich victory.
-- An election re-run was finally ordered by the Supreme Court, bringing President Viktor Yushchenko to power in January 2005. Yulia Tymoshenko was appointed premier of the "orange" government which soon became riven by infighting.
* KYRGYZSTAN -- A disputed parliamentary election in 2005 triggered violent protests -- also known as the Tulip revolution -- which culminated in the fall of Kyrgyzstan's then president, Askar Akayev. Opposition leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev took power but was himself overthrown in a violent revolt in 2010.
* IRAN -- Iran's anti-Western, Islamic revolution of 1979 against the repressive, U.S.-funded Shah has been cited as a possible precedent for Egypt, where 18 days of protests finally toppled President Hosni Mubarak on Friday.
-- In Iran in 2009 thousands of protesters clashed with police in June after Islamist authorities said hardline incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the presidential election with nearly 63 percent of the vote. His reformist challenger Mirhossein Mousavi called the result a "dangerous charade."
-- State television said 450 people were detained during clashes in Tehran in which 10 people were killed, including Neda Agha-Soltan, whose death was seen around the world on the Internet. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei formally approved the second-term presidency of Ahmadinejad in August.
* TUNISIA -- Tunisia's uprising empowered Arabs across the Middle East and North Africa, where many countries share the complaints of poor living standards and authoritarian rule.
-- Weeks of violent protests over poverty, repression and corruption forced President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali out on January 14, 2011 after 23 years in power. The United Nations said 117 people died during the unrest.
-- Mohamed Ghannouchi, prime minister under Ben Ali since 1999, headed an interim government and after more violent protests, he purged the new cabinet of most of the remnants of Ben Ali's regime.