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Haiti History Timeline

1400s - 1600s

  • (1492) Christopher Columbus landed near present day city of Cap-Haitien, claimed island for Spain; named island Hispaniola
  • (1503) First Africans brought to Hispaniola for labor
  • (1528) Don Sebastian Ramirez de Fuente became first Catholic bishop of island
  • (1697) Spain ceded western part of Hispaniola to France, became Haiti
1800s
  • (1804) Haiti became independent; Jean-Jacques Dessalines, former slave, declared himself emperor
  • (1806) Dessalines assassinated; Haiti divided into black-controlled north, mulatto-ruled south
  • (1818-43) Pierre Boyer unified Haiti, excluded blacks from power
  • (1844) Dominican Republic declared independence from Haiti
  • (1863) US president Abraham Lincoln recognized Haiti, allowed trade for first time
1900s
  • (1904) Haiti celebrated 100 years of independence
  • (1915) US forces occupied Haiti
  • (1930) First full democratic elections in Haiti; Senator Stenio Vincent elected to six -year term as president
  • (1934) US withdrew troops from Haiti
  • (1937) Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo ordered expulsion of Haitians who were working; between 20,000 to 30,000 killed
  • (1956) Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, voodoo physician, seized power in military coup
  • (1957) Francois Duvalier elected president; Duvalier established one of the most brutal dictatorship in Haitian history
  • (1971) Duvalier died; Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier succeeded his father as president for life
  • (1974) Haitian national soccer team participated in World Cup
  • (1983) Pope John Paul II arrived in Haiti, became first Pope to visit Haiti
  • (1986) Unrest led military to oust "Baby Doc"; replaced by Lieutenant-General Henri Namphy as head of governing council
  • (1990) Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former Catholic priest, elected president
  • (1991) Aristide ousted in coup led by Brigadier-General Raoul Cedras
  • (1994) Backed by UN resolution, Clinton administration restored Aristide to power
  • (1995) UN peacekeepers began to replace US troops
  • (1996) Rene Preval, Lavalas party, elected to replace Aristide as president
  • (1999) Preval declared that parliament's term had expired, began ruling by decree
2000s
  • (2000) Aristide elected president for second non-consecutive term, amid allegations of irregularities
  • (2002) Haiti approved as full member of Caribbean Community (Caricom) trade bloc
  • (2003) Voodoo recognized as a religion
  • (2004) Celebrations marked the 200th year of independence; Aristide left under pressure of armed rebellion, forced into exile; severe floods in south; first UN peacekeepers arrived to help flood survivors; international donors pledged more than $1 billion in aid
  • (2005) Hurricane Dennis killed 45 people
  • (2006) Preval elected; UN peacekeeping force in Haiti grew to 9,000 troops
  • (2007) UN troops launched tough new offensive against armed gangs in Cite Soleil
  • (2008) Haitians rioted against high food prices; Michele Pierre-Louis succeeded Jacques-Edouard Alexis as prime minister
  • (2009) Former US president Bill Clinton appointed UN special envoy to Haiti; Jean-Max Bellerive became prime minister
  • (2010) Earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, damaged much of Haiti; President Obama asked Congress for $2.8 billion special appropriation to pay for rescue costs to help rebuild Haiti; cholera outbreak claimed over 2,500 lives, triggered violent protests
  • (2011) Haiti's future uncertain; a fraction of the promised aid arrived; little reconstruction begun; political process unclear; former president Jean-Claude Duvalier returned from exile, faced corruption, human rights abuse charges

Haiti Photographs

jean jacques dessalineshurricane dennisrene preval2010 earthquake

Photos used are from public domain sources and from en.wikipedia.org

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This page was last modified on April 7, 2017.