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Honduras History Timeline

1500s - 1700s

  • (1502) During 4th voyage Columbus reached the coast of Honduras, traveled south to Panama
  • (1525) Spain began conquest of Honduras
  • (17th century) Honduras northern coast fell to British buccaneers
1800s
  • (1806) Spanish king set boundary between Honduras and Nicaragua
  • (1821) Honduras gained independence from Spain, became part of Mexico
  • (1823) Honduras joined United Provinces of Central America, included Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua
  • (1839-1840) Liberals of United Provinces of Central America under leader, Francisco Morazan, defeated in civil war led by Rafael Carrera; confederation union dissolved
  • (1840) Honduras fully independent
  • (1860) William Walker, conqueror of Nicaragua, convicted and executed by Honduras government
1900s
  • (1907) Due to political violence, US Marines arrived in Honduras to protect American lives
  • (1911) US helped overthrow President Miguel Devila of Honduras
  • (1919) US Marines again invaded Honduras
  • (1922) US "intervention army" left Honduras
  • (1924) US troops sent to Honduras to protect American interests during election conflict; the capital, Tegucigalpa, taken by rebel forces
  • (1932-49) Honduras under right-wing National Party of Honduras dictatorship led by General Tiburcio Carias Andino
  • (1957) Honduras military ousted civilian president
  • (1960) The Central American Common Market established by treaty between El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica
  • (1963) Colonel Osvaldo Lopez Arellano took power after leading coup
  • (1969) El Salvador, Honduras fought four-day "Soccer War" when fans rebelled over heavy immigration, border disputes, during World Cup qualifying matches
  • (1974) Lopez resigned after allegedly accepting bribe from US company; Hurricane Fifi struck Honduras, killed 5,000
  • (1975) Colonel Juan Alberto Melgar Castro took power
  • (1978) General Policarpo Paz Garcia ousted Melgar in coup
  • (1980) General Paz signed peace treaty with El Salvador
  • (1981) Roberto Suazo Cordova, Centrist Liberal Party of Honduras, elected president; led first civilian government in more than century
  • (1982) Civilian rule resumed in Honduras; Honduras rebels kidnapped 104 businessmen, officials; Guatemalan President Rios Montt met with US President Ronald Reagan in Honduras; Reagan dismissed reports of human rights abuses in region, lifted arms embargo to resume sales to military rulers
  • (1986) Jose Azcona del Hoyo, Liberal Party, elected president after law changed to stipulate maximum one-term presidency; President Ronald Reagan ordered emergency aid for Honduran army
  • (1988) Amnesty International report alleged increase in human rights violations by armed forces, right-wing death squads; US sent 3,000 soldiers to Honduras; Inter-American Court of Human Rights found Honduran government guilty of disappearances of Honduran citizens between 1981-1984
  • (1989) General Alvarez assassinated by left-wing guerrillas in Tegucigalpa; summit of Central American presidents in El Salvador reached agreement on demobilization of Nicaraguan Contras based in Honduras
  • (1990) Rafael Callejas sworn in as president; last Nicaraguan Contras left Honduras
  • (1990-1998) Death squads killed 701 people
  • (1992) International Court of Justice gave ruling establishing new boundaries between Honduras, El Salvador; Honduran government forced to revoke 40-year forest concession granted to Chicago based paper company, Stone Container, after thousands of Hondurans marched in protest
  • (1993) Government set up commission to investigate alleged human rights violations by military; Liberal Party candidate, veteran rights activist Carlos Reina, elected president; Renia pledged to reform judicial system, limit power of armed forces
  • (1995) Compulsory military service abolished; first military officers charged with human rights abuses
1900s continued
  • (1997) Carlos Flores, Liberal Party, elected president; pledged to restructure armed forces
  • (1998) Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador agreed build $2 Billion railroad network to link Central America with Mexico; Hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras; Honduras declared national alert because of cholera and malaria epidemics
  • (1999) Armed forces placed under civilian control; Congress ratified 1986 maritime agreement with Colombia to settle claims over Caribbean Sea; Nicaragua claimed some of area as its own; pending resolution of border dispute Honduras, Nicaragua agreed to halt troop deployments
2000s
  • (2000) Mexico reached free trade agreement with Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras; Honduras qualified for debt relief
  • (2001) Honduran Committee for Defense of Human Rights stated more than 1,000 street children were murdered in 2000 by death squads backed by police; UN called on government to prevent extra judicial killings of hundreds of children at the hands of police officers; month-long drought ravaged Central America, Honduras lost 80% of basic grains
  • (2002) Congress elected Justice Vilma Cecilia Morales, first woman to head Supreme Court; Honduras restored diplomatic ties with Cuba; Richardo Maduro inaugurated as president; police broke up smuggling, kidnapping, bank robbery ring in Lempira
  • (2003) Congress voted to send troops to Iraq - Honduras first Central American country to authorize deployment; Honduras passed anti-gang law; thousands of protestors across Honduras blocked streets, burned tires to demand government not to renew debt payment agreement with the IMF; Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua agreed on free trade agreement with US
  • (2004) Free trade agreement signed; prison fire at San Pedro Sula killed more than 100 inmates, many gang members; 28 bus passengers massacred in Chamalecon by suspected gang members
  • (2005) Seven Central American nations (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama) agreed to create a rapid response force to combat drug trafficking, terrorism, other regional threats; Liberal Party's Manuel Zelaya declared winner of presidential elections; Honduran Congress approved Central American Free Trade Agreement
  • (2006) Manuel Zelaya inaugurated as new president, promised to fight corruption; free trade agreement with US came effective
  • (2007) Honduras named first ambassador to Cuba in 45 years; International Court of Justice in The Hague settled long running territorial dispute between Honduras, Nicaragua
  • (2008) Honduras joined Bolivarian Alternative for Americas, headed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, staunch US foe; President Manuel Zelaya stated lack of international support to tackle chronic poverty forced him to seek aid from Venezuela
  • (2009) President Manuel Zelaya removed by military, forced into exile; Congress speaker Roberto Micheletti appointed acting president; US refused to recognize Micheletti as president, suspended millions of dollars development, military aid; supporters of Zelaya staged rallies calling for his return; Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo Sosa of the conservative National Party won presidential election; Congress rejected proposal that ousted President Zelaya be allowed to return to office
  • (2010) Porfirio Lobo sworn in as president; Lobo provided Zelaya safe passage to exile in Dominican Republic

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.