1. Home
  2. North America
  3. Aruba

Aruba History Timeline

Map of Aruba caribbean sea large aruba map caribbean sea
Locator Map of Aruba bahamas florida gulf of mexico mexico jamaica dominican republic st. vincent and the grenadines grenada central america atlantic ocean atlantic ocean usa honduras nicaragua panama caribbean sea pacific ocean puerto rico south america trinidad and tobago colombia barbados

Aruba's Information

Flag of Aruba
Land Area 180 km2
Water Area 0 km2
Total Area 180 km2
Population 113,648
Population Density 631.38 / km2
Government Type Parliamentary Democracy (Legislature); Part Of The Kingdom Of The Netherlands
GDP (PPP) $2.52 Billion
GDP Per Capita $25,300
Currency Guilder (AWG)
Largest Cities
  • Babijn (40,627)
  • Oranjestad (29,998)
  • Angochi (29,442)
  • (1000) Aruba's first settlers, the Arawak Indians, arrived from Venezuela
  • (1499) Spanish explorer, Alonso de Ojeda, discovered the island; claimed Aruba for Spain
  • (1508) Alonso de Ojeda of Spain, appointed first governor of Aruba
  • (1515) Arawak Indian tribe transported to Hispaniola to work as slaves in copper mines
  • (1527) Spain began to formally colonize Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao; Governor Juan de Ampues asked King Charles V of Spain to return the Arawak Indians to the island, request granted
  • (1636) Aruba colonized by the Dutch, formed part of the Dutch West India Company
  • (1648-1664) Aruba under Dutch West India Company administration as "New Netherlands and Curacao"
  • (1799-1802) British occupied Aruba
  • (1805- 1816) British occupied Aruba
  • (1816) Aruba returned to Dutch control
  • (1824) Gold discovered
  • (1845) Aruba officially part of Netherlands Antilles
  • (1850) Aloe introduced to the island
  • (1874) The use of Guano (manure) as fertilizer was discovered, Aruba became major supplier of calcium phosphate
  • (1916) Gold mining ceased due to dwindling supply
  • (1928) Oil refinery built at San Nicolaas
  • (1935) First airport constructed in Aruba
  • (1940-1942) Aruba was British protectorate
  • (1942) German submarine attacked oil processing refinery
  • (1942-1945) Aruba was US protectorate
  • (1954) Aruba became part of the autonomous federation of the Netherlands Antilles
  • (1959) Aruba's first hotel opened, Aruba Caribbean Hotel
  • (1971) People's Electoral Movement party (MEP) founded, began campaign for independence and separation from the Netherlands Antilles federation
1900s continued
  • (1977) Majority of voters supported independence and withdrawal from the Antillean federation
  • (1983) Dutch and Netherlands Antilles governments agreed that Aruba should receive separate status
  • (1985) Oil refinery closed; Aruba economy devastated
  • (1986) Island obtained autonomous status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Henny Eman became prime minister
  • (1989) Nelson Oduber became prime minister
  • (1991) Oil refining resumed; Aruba's tourism economy exploded
  • (1994) Henny Eman became prime minister
  • (1996) Aruba placed on US list of major drug-producing countries
  • (2000) Aruba named one of 35 non-cooperative tax havens by OECD
  • (2001) Nelson Oduber became prime minister
  • (2003) Aruba, US agreed to exchange tax data to help combat money laundering
  • (2005) Natural Bridge collapsed (one of Aruba's most popular attractions)
  • (2009) Mike Eman became prime minister

Latest by WorldAtlas