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Cayman Islands History Timeline

Cayman Islands's Information

Flag of Cayman Islands
Land Area 264 km2
Total Area 264km2
Population 57,268 (#205)
Population Density 216.92/km2
Government Type Parliamentary Democracy (Legislative Assembly); Self-governing Overseas Territory Of The UK
GDP (PPP) $2.51 Billion
GDP Per Capita $43,800
Currency Dollar (KYD)
More Information Cayman Islands
1500s - 1600s
  • (1503) Christopher Columbus discovered the islands
  • (1586) Sir Francis Drake's ships stopped on Grand Cayman
  • (1655) Islands came under British control after Jamaica was captured from the Spanish by Oliver Cromwell's army
  • (1655-71) Pirates, known as privateers, sailed the Caribbean with permission from their countries to seize wealth for their country; Cayman Brac and Little Cayman settled before Grand Cayman, settlements fell prey to Spanish pirates
  • (1670) Islands officially ceded to Britain by Spain, along with Jamaica, under the Treaty of Madrid
  • (1672) First settlers arrived near Bodden Town
1700s
  • (1700s) First permanent settlers arrived
  • (1708) Great Britain renamed islands Cayman Islands
  • (1713-1714) Treaty Of Utrecht officially ended privateering
  • (1790) Fort George constructed
  • (1794) "Wreck of the Ten Sails": a ship hit a reef off Grand Cayman, followed by a convoy of nine vessels
1800s
  • (1832) Legislative assembly established
  • (1835) Slaves were emancipated
  • (1863) Caymans became a Jamaican dependency, administrated by an appointed commissioner
  • (1877) Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman came under common administration
  • 1900s
  • (1932) Hurricane struck Cayman Brac, 109 people killed, near total destruction of homes
  • (1937) First cruise ships arrived
  • (1954) First airfield constructed
  • (1957) First recreational diving business started
  • (1959) Caymans joined Federation of the West Indies
  • (1962) Federation of the West Indies dissolved; Jamaica declared independence; Cayman Islands voted to remain under British rule, separate administrator appointed
  • (1966) Tourist Board formed; banking and trust laws passed
  • (1971) Title of administrator changed to governor
  • (1972) New constitution adopted
  • (1994) Constitution modified
2000s
  • (2001) United Democratic Party (UDP) formed; leader of government business, Kurt Tibbetts, ousted after no-confidence vote; UDP's McKeeva Bush assumed role
  • (2002) British Overseas Territories Act granted British citizenship to all Caymanians
  • (2004) Hurricane Ivan caused widespread destruction on Grand Cayman, over US $1.85 billion in damages
  • (2005) Kurt Tibbetts, People's Opposition Progressive Movement, won general election
  • (2006) Thousands of tiny parasitic wasps were released to combat island-hopping insects that destroyed crops
  • (2009) UDP won elections; territory joined OECD's global "white list" of countries using internationally recognized tax standards; US President, Barack Obama, singled out Cayman Islands in attack on tax havens; Britain refused territory to take loans for budget deficit, said it would have to find funds another way
  • (2010) British police brought in to help tackle gang-related crime and preserve territory's reputation for safety; British scientific expedition discovered world's deepest known underwater volcanic vent off Cayman Islands
  • (2011) Decommissioned 1945 vintage submarine rescue ship, USS Kittiwake, scuttled in waters off Cayman Islands for attracting fish and tourism

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