Presumably mid 2008
The famous meeting.
Lauren Faust meets with Hasbro Studios' Lisa Licht to pitch an original show and toyline by the name of Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls. During the meeting, Lisa happens to mention Hasbro's desire to reboot My Little Pony and asks if Lauren would be interested. As a childhood fan of Ponies, Lauren enthusiastically agreed to be a part of the project.
October 1st, 2008
The pony bible.
Lauren Faust creates an early pitch bible which sets the tone, characters, and world of the show long before it's even named Friendship is Magic.
April 30th, 2009
Hasbro announces partnership with Discovery.
Hasbro and Discovery announce a new upcoming television network and tease new shows related to Hasbro brands... including an unassuming My Little Pony reboot.
Ponies in production.
An early test for Friendship is Magic, then called My Little Pony Adventures, is created. It was leaked onto the internet more than a decade later. Production of the show itself is presumed to have started shortly after this test was made.
September 30th, 2010
The first pony video.
The very first fan-made pony video is uploaded. While primitive by today's standards, it is notable for being created with promotional footage before the show even airs. Pony music videos, aka PMVs, would quickly become a staple of the fandom.
October 10th, 2010
An iconic date: 10/10/10.
Hasbro and Discovery's partnership became The Hub: a new children's television network which launched with Friendship is Magic as one of its first shows. The first of the two-part premiere airs today.
October 19th, 2010
"End of the Creator-Driven Era."
A highly critical article gets the attention of animation fans and sparks debate, which drives even more people to check out Friendship is Magic. Some of those people latched onto the show ironically, while many found themselves surprised by a genuine interest in the animation, characters, and world of Friendship is Magic.
October 25th, 2010
The legend of Derp.
A certain derped pony is noticed in the background of the premiere. Derpy quickly became a fan-favorite "Where's Waldo" type of character to look for in the future.
December 9th, 2010
Lauren Faust says hello.
Showrunner Lauren Faust greets the earliest bronies from 4chan, marking a very early and very positive response from staff regarding bronies. This also marks a period of increased pony activity on 4chan.
Equestria Daily is founded.
The most well-known and longest-running brony blog is born. It quickly becomes a centralized location to find pony news, fanfiction, art, and videos. Equestria Daily is still active to this day!
The 4chan bans.
Ponies are temporarily a bannable offense on 4chan, provoking even more pony-posting and driving fans elsewhere to partake in serious discussion of the show. This caused increased traffic to other sites such as Equestria Daily and the newly-minted brony chan sites such as PonyChan. Of course, 4chan would soon welcome bronies back by introducing their very own /mlp/ board.
February 15, 2011
A silly video goes mainstream.
A parody video of a Moonbase Alpha meme is uploaded by a brony video creator. The video is notable for gaining more views than the original it was spoofing [at the time] and getting the attention of countless new bronies from outside of 4chan. This represented a time where Friendship is Magic was rapidly spreading into mainstream platforms and communities such as YouTube.
March 30th, 2011
Director visits PonyChan.
Director of the show at the time, Jayson Thiessen, stops by the fansite PonyChan to interact with bronies. Many other staff members of the show also discover and subsequently interact with fans on various platforms around this time.
May 6th, 2011
Season one finale.
The final episode of Friendship is Magic's first season airs on The Hub.
May 8th, 2011
Lauren Faust announces her departure.
After setting a solid foundation for the show, Lauren Faust announces that she is no longer part of production and would merely be a consultant for season 2.
May 27th, 2011
The Hub loves bronies.
Television network The Hub airs a promo giving a direct shout-out to bronies. This promo would further cement the network as being loved by bronies and was just the beginning of much brony-friendly promotional material.
June 25th, 2011
BroNYCon is born.
The first brony convention takes place in New York City and sees roughly a hundred fans in attendance for the first event, and later multiple hundreds in September for their second event. This was the beginning of BronyCon; an annual convention which soon became the largest pony convention ever.
September 17th, 2011
A new season of pony!
The first episode of season two airs. This premiere introduces a new villain character played by John de Lancie of Star Trek fame, which greatly appeals to the brony demographic. This season would go on to incorporate more fan-favorite characters and well-written stories which appeals to the grown-up fans even more.
January 21st, 2012
The 14th episode of season two aired with much fanfare from bronies. Not only did the fan-favorite character make a prominent appearance, and not only did she have her first speaking role, but she was even called by her brony-given name of "Derpy." Unfortunately, shortly after the episode aired it was censored to remove her name and "correct" her appearance. This started a widespread brony movement to #savederpy. Derpy would make a celebrated comeback in later seasons but her name would forever remain absent. Of course, everyone still knew her as lovable little Derpy.
April 21st, 2012
Season two finale.
The two-part finale of season 2 airs. The Hub network goes all-out with an hour-long special presentation coinciding with the real-world royal family wedding. A Canterlot Wedding surprises viewers by circumventing expectations and presenting a dramatic story full of musicals, plot twists, and a surprisingly sinister villain.
May 8th, 2012
Bronies' charitable efforts.
The Brony Thank You Fund becomes a registered non-profit organization at this time. It was originally set up to produce a commercial to air on The Hub as an expression of gratitude for those who made Friendship is Magic so great. The organization went on to support various efforts and represents one of many charitable brony campaigns.
June 30th, 2012
BronyCon grows up.
The first brony event to break quadruple-digit attendance was BronyCon in Secaucus, New Jersey. The venue was filled to capacity with 4,000 bronies browsing vendors and attending panels. In order to allow even more fans through their doors, BronyCon would have to move to yet another larger location next year. While BronyCon was the largest, it's worth noting that over a dozen brony conventions took place around the world in this year alone.
November 10th, 2012
Season three begins.
The third season of Friendship is Magic airs... but with a catch. This season is cut in half and only contains 13 episodes instead of the usual 26. Panic ensues throughout the brony community; is this the beginning of the end? Is the show already about to be canceled? Little did we know, this show was very far from over.