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Kuwait History Timeline

BC - 1800s AD
  • (3rd century BC) Greeks colonized Faylaka Island
  • (127 BC) Kingdom of Caaracene was founded within the borders of modern Kuwait and southern Iraq
  • (224 AD) Kuwait became part of the Sassanid Empire
  • (636) In the Battle of Chains between the Sassanid Empire and Rashidun Caliphate, the Rashidun won and Kuwait came under Muslim control
  • (700AD) Kuwait became part of the Abbasid empire
  • (1500s) Kuwait was under Portuguese control
  • (1700s) Settlers from the Arabian Peninsula arrived at the site of present day Kuwait City
  • (1756) Al-Sabah family took control of Kuwait
  • (1860s - 1890s) Ottoman Empire conquered much of Arabia, Saud family moved to exile in Kuwait
  • (1899) Kuwait became a British protectorate
1900s
  • (1913) Iraq and Kuwait boundary determined
  • (1914) Britain recognized independence of Kuwait
  • (1914) Arabia attacked Kuwait
  • (1922) Neutral zone established between Kuwait and Arabia
  • (1923) Borders drawn on map between Iraq and Kuwait
  • (1937) Large oil reserves were discovered by the US-British Kuwait Oil Company
  • (1951) Kuwaiti sheikh controlled half of the oil reserves, Kuwait's infrastructure and welfare services were developed
  • (1960) Kuwait was one of the founding members of OPEC
  • (1961) Kuwait became independent with the end of British protectorate, the sheikh became an emir
  • (1961) Kuwait joined Arab League
  • (1961) Work began on constitution
  • (1961) Iraq renewed claim that Kuwait was part of its territory
  • (1961) British troops arrived in Kuwait to aid against threats from Iraq
  • (1962) New constitution approved, Kuwait became first Arab state in Gulf to establish elected legislature
  • (1962) Law passed requiring women to obtain husband's signature for issuing of a passport
  • (1963) National elections were held under the terms of the new constitution
  • (1963) Iraq gave up its claim on Kuwait
  • (1973) Constitutional Court was established, given exclusive jurisdiction to interpret the constitutionality of legislation and to review electoral contests
  • (1976) Emir suspended the National Assembly due to failure of acting in the country's best interests
  • (1980) Iran-Iraq war; Kuwait supported Iraq
  • (1981) National Assembly recalled
  • (1982) Souk al-Manakh (camel market) collapsed which prompted a recession
  • (1983) Truck bomb exploded at U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, five killed 62 wounded
  • (1985-86) Thousands of Iranian expatriates deported due to security concerns about Iran's influence over Shi'ite minority
  • (1987) U.S. offered military protection to Kuwaiti ships in Persian Gulf
  • (1987) Iranian missile hit U.S.-guarded Kuwaiti ship in Persian Gulf
  • (1987) Emir dissolved Parliament
  • (1988) Gunmen forced Kuwait Airways jet to land in Iran resulting in 15-day hijacking
  • (1988) Iraq re-asserted its claim to Kuwait
  • (1990) Iraq filed complaint with OPEC that Kuwait was stealing its oil, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein threatened military action
  • (1990) Black Thursday - Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait, 330 Kuwaitis died, Emir and Cabinet fled to Saudi Arabia
  • (1990) Iraq declared occupied Kuwait as the 19th province of Iraq
  • (1990) U.S. assembled 540,000 troops to drive Iraqi forces from Kuwait
  • (1990) Yemen refused to endorse action against Iraq following invasion; Saudi Arabia, Kuwait governments expelled over a million Yemeni migrant workers, causing Yemen financial distress
  • (1991) U.S. announced start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait
  • (1991) Iraqi forces retreating from their occupation torched oil well in Persian Gulf
  • (1991) UN ordered Iraq to pull out of Kuwait. Iraq failed to comply. Allied forces led an aerial bombing campaign in Kuwait and Iraqi
  • (1991) Iraq continued to explode oil fields in Kuwait
  • (1991) Kuwait's emir returned, imposed martial law for three months
  • (1991) U.S. and Kuwait signed ten-year security pact
  • (1991) Iraq repealed annexation of Kuwait
  • (1992) Emir allowed National Assembly elections following domestic and international pressure
  • (1993) Port and number of oil wells were awarded to Kuwait following UN-established Kuwait-Iraq border
  • (1993) Following Iraqi border invasions, U.S. troops were dispatched to Kuwait
  • (1994) Iraq officially recognized Kuwait's independence and UN-established borders
  • (1999) Following feud between MPs and cabinet about misprints in state-published Koran, Emir suspended the National Assembly

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.