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Kuwait History Timeline

Kuwait's Information

Flag of Kuwait
Land Area 17,818 km2
Total Area 17,818km2 (#152)
Population 2,832,776 (#141)
Population Density 158.98/km2
Government Type Constitutional Monarchy
GDP (PPP) $301.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $71,300
Currency Dinar (KWD)
Largest Cities
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
  • (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
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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