Jamaica History Timeline

Jamaica History Timeline

According to dentistrymyth, Jamaica (pronounced in Danish / sja╦łmajka /) is an island state and the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea a little south of Cuba. Jamaica is mountainous and the highest point is Blue Mountain Peak.

The majority of the residents of Jamaica are originally from Africa, but there are also smaller groups of Chinese, Indians, Arabs and Europeans. Living conditions are not very good. There has been great emigration to Britain and the United States in the past, and there is still a very significant migration from country to city, which has meant a large increase in slums especially in the capital Kingston.


1494 – Christopher Columbus discovers Jamaica.

1509 – Jamaica is occupied by the Spaniards under license from Columbus’ son; a large part of the indigenous Arawak community becomes extinct by exposure to European diseases; African slaves are put to work at the sugar plantations.

1655 – Jamaica is occupied by the British.

1657 – Admiral Robert Blake defeats the Spanish West Indies Fleet in the Battle of Jamaica.

1670 – Jamaica is formally ceded to the British in accordance with the Treaty of Madrid.

1688 – The legendary captain, Sir Henry Morgan, who was active from 1663-67, died of either edema or tuberculosis or a combination of both diseases, on 25 August. He was buried in the Palisadoes, but the burial ground sank in the sea after the 1692 earthquake. In 1944, a bottle of rum was named after him, when Morgan in 1680 began making rum.

1962 – MOVIE: Filming for the first James Bond movie begins in Jamaica on January 16. The title is ” Agent 007 – Mission Drab “, and Sean Connery is James Bond. Read more and see photos from the Danish press here.

1692 – Port Royal, once the busiest trading center in the British West Indies and notorious for its general excesses, is destroyed by an earthquake. In all, about 3,000 are thought to have been killed, and 23,000 wounded. The residents build a new town called Kingston nearby.

1834 – Slavery is abolished.

1720 – Pirate John Rackham (Calico Jack) is hanged on November 17. Rackham was a role model for the fictional pirate Rackham the Red in the Tintin booklets ” The Secret of the Unicorn ” and ” Rackham the Red’s Treasure “, which was released the following year.

1865 – The British brutally stop the uprising at Morant Bay, started by the free slaves in response to an emergency, forcing the local legislature to relinquish its powers; Jamaica becomes a crown colony. The leader of the uprising, Paul Bogle, was captured by the British in October and executed on orders from Britain. Bogle was later called a national hero in Jamaica due to his rebellion against British colonial rule on the island.

1870 – Banana plantations are established as the sugar cane industry declines in the face of competition from European beet sugar.

1884 – A new constitution marks the initial revival of local self-government.

1907 – An earthquake shakes Kingston.

1938 – Serious riots caused by unemployment and anger against British racial politics; People’s National Party (PNP) founded by Norman Manley.

1945 – Probably the most famous reggae musician ever, Robert “Bob” Nesta Marley was born in Saint Ann on February 6. He broke through in 1975 with the hit song “No Woman, No Cry”. He died of a brain tumor and liver and lung cancer at The Hospital of Meird in Miami, Florida on May 11, 1981, at just 36 years old.

1951 – Hurricane Charlie kills more than 252 people, causing more than $ 75 million in damage.

1958 – Jamaica becomes a member of the British-sponsored Federation of the West Indies. Three years later, Jamaica pulls out again.

1962 – Jamaica becomes independent with Alexander Bustamante of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) as prime minister.

1972 – Michael Manley becomes Prime Minister after an impressive victory of the PNP in the parliamentary elections and pursues a policy of economic independence.

1980 – Edward Seaga becomes Prime Minister after his JLP wins the election. He continues to privatize state-owned enterprises and to distance Jamaica from Cuba. The United States provides significant support to the Seaga government.

1986 – Usain Bolt is born in Trelawny on August 21. He became an athlete and his big breakthrough came at the Olympics in Beijing 2008, where he won a gold medal in the 100 meters in the then world record time of 9.69, and a few days later gold in the 200 meters, again in the world record time, 19.30 seconds.

1988 – Jamaica is hit hard by Hurricane Gilbert.

1992 – Manley resigns as Prime Minister due to ill health, and is succeeded by Percival J. Patterson.

1999 – In July, the government orders the Army to patrol the streets of Kingston following a massive increase in crime.

2001 – Troops and armored vehicles move into the capital, Kingston, in July to restore order after three days of unrest that left at least 27 dead.

2004 – In September, the largest hurricane to date ( Ivan ) ravages the island, smashing thousands of homes.

2006 – In February, local women minister Portia Simpson Miller is elected leader of the PNP. She replaces Patterson and will be the first female prime minister in March.

2007 – Bruce Golding (JLP) becomes the next Prime Minister.

2008 – Parliament votes to retain the death penalty as Jamaica is still struggling to keep track of one of the world’s highest murder rates.

2010 – In May-June, dozens are killed in a fight to arrest suspected drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke. He is extradited to the United States.

2011 – Andrew Holness takes over as Prime Minister in October, after Golding resigns over the “Dudus” Coke affair. Portia Simpson-Miller of the PNP wins the parliamentary elections in a snap in December.

2012 – In January, when Simpson-Miller takes office as Prime Minister, she says it’s time after 50 years of independence to break with the British monarchy and become a republic.

Jamaica History Timeline