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Aruba History Timeline

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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)
1000s
  • (1000) Aruba's first settlers, the Arawak Indians, arrived from Venezuela
1400s
  • (1499) Spanish explorer, Alonso de Ojeda, discovered the island; claimed Aruba for Spain
1500s
  • (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
1600s
  • (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"
1700s
  • (1799-1802) British occupied Aruba
1800s
  • (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
1900s
  • (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
2000s
  • (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

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