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Bermuda History Timeline

1500's - 1600's

  • (1503) Spanish sea captain, Juan de Bermudez, discovered uninhabited islands
  • (1609) English ship, Sea Venture, commanded by Admiral Sir George Somers, set sail for Virginia, caught in storm, foundered on reefs of Bermuda, crew and passengers survived
  • (1610) Somers' crew built two new ships, left couple men in Bermuda to stake claim
  • (1612) Virginia Company sent 60 settlers to Bermuda; established St. George as capital; sold the island to Bermuda Company
  • (1616) Slaves brought to Bermuda
  • (1684) British Government took control from Bermuda Company; island became British Coloy
1700's - 1800's
  • (1775) American War of Independence took place; Continental Congress placed embargo on trade with Britian and colonies; Bermuda received offer of exemption based on gunpowder stored at St. George would be sent to America
  • (1813) Bermuda Post Office established
  • (1815) Capital moved to Hamilton from St. George
  • (1834) Slavery abolished
  • (1844) Cast iron lighthouse, Gibb's Hill, constructed
  • (1849) Great Drought hit Bermuda; Scottish Black Watch Regiment dug well on North Shore for drought relief; first Portuguese immigrants arrived
  • (1861) Bermudians made fortune ferrying supplies, munitions to Confederates during U.S. Civil War
  • (1871) Causeway between St. George's Island, Main Island completed
  • (1883) W.H.T. Joell elected first black Member of Parliament
1900's
  • (1930) Bermuda began promotion of summer tourist resort
  • (1931 - 1948) Bermuda Railway was in operation
  • (1938) Passenger air service between Bermuda and New York began
  • (1941) United States leased large part of island for 99 years; constructed military installations
  • (1944) Women's suffrage granted
  • (1946) One car per family allowed
  • (1957) British army withdrawn
  • (1959) Blacks boycotted movie theaters, forced owners to end segregation
  • (1963) First political party established
  • (1965) Bermuda Regiment formed
  • (1968) New constitution introduced, internal self-government established; first election under new constitution, United Bermuda Party won
  • (1971) Sir Edward Trenton Richards became first black Premier
  • (1973) Governor Richard Sharples, aides assassinated
  • (1977) Buck Burrows convicted and hung for murder of Sharples and aides, widespread riots occurred
  • (1981) Human Rights Act passed, prohibited racial discrimination
  • (1995) U.S. Navy, British Royal Navy closed bases; referendum for independence introduced, majority voted against
  • (1998) Progressive Labour Party (PLP) elected Jennifer Smith first PLP premier
2000's
  • (200o) UNESCO World Heritage added town of St. George to list
  • (2002) British Overseas Territories Act granted full British citizenship to Bermudians
  • (2003) Hurrican Fabian struck Bermuda, caused over $300 million in damages, four deaths
  • (2004) Anti-Terrorism Act passed, purpose was to stop terrorists from using offshore finance industry; formation of Bermuda Independence Commission announced
  • (2008) Britain announced review of finance industry in Bermuda, premier said it was "an insult to the territory".
  • (2009) Bermuda agreed to take four Chinese prisoners from U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay
  • (2010) Premier Brown stepped down, PLP elected Paula Cox as successor

Bermuda Photographs

sir george somers Admiral Sir George Somers, founder of Bermuda

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.