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  5. Newfoundland and Labrador Timeline

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador History Timeline

1400's - 1600's
  • (1497) John Cabot arrived in Newfoundland, landfall at Bonavista, claimed land as British colony
  • (1583) Humphrey Gilbert of England arrived St. John's, began colony
  • (1610) First colony established at Cupids by London and Bristol merchants; John Guy first governor
  • (1660's) French established colony at Placentia
  • (1696-1697) French attacked settlements in Newfoundland
1700's
  • (1713) French lost all territory in Newfoundland under Treaty of Utrecht; maintained fishing rights
  • (1756 - 1763) Seven Years War between French and English; French claimed many settlements
  • (1763) Seven Years War ended; Treaty of Paris gave French fishing rights to French Shore, Territory of St. Pierre, Miquelon
  • (1774) Quebec Act gave control of Labrador to Canada, became part of Quebec
1800's
  • (1809) Labrador Act gave Labrador to Newfoundland
  • (1816) Fire destroyed 140 buildings in St. John's
  • (1832) Newfoundland granted Representative Government
  • (1846) 12,000 left homeless by fire in St. John's
  • (1854) Cholera epidemic struck St. John's
  • (1855) Responsible government established; Philip Frances Little elected first prime minister
  • (1861) Riots occurred due to general election
  • (1864) First copper mine opened in Newfoundland
  • (1882) Hurricane struck Newfoundland, 22 ships wrecked in Notre Dame Bay
  • (1885) Generating station opened in St. John's, electricity available for first time to public for lights; tidal wave, hurricane struck coastal Labrador
  • (1892) Fire in St. John's destroyed most of downtown, 11,000 left homeless
  • (1894) Two Newfoundland banks crashed, began depression in Newfoundland
  • (1895) First Chinese immigrants arrived
  • (1896) Miners at Bell Island struck for two-cents an hour raise
  • (1898) Railway across Newfoundland completed
1900's
  • (1902) Quebec, Newfoundland began dispute of Labrador boundary
  • (1906) Act Respecting Immigration of Chinese Persons passed, every Chinese person arriving in Newfoundland must pay $300 Head Tax; Chinese women not allowed in Newfoundland
  • (1914) 78 sealers died, 11 others disabled after being stranded on ice for 53 hours in Newfoundland; Newfoundland joined Britain in World War I
  • (1916) Battle of Beaumont Hamel in France; Newfoundland Regiment suffered most deaths, injuries
  • (1923) Women 25 or older won right to vote; gold rush at Stag Bay, Labrador
  • (1927) Labrador boundary settled in present location by Judicial Committee of Privy Council
  • (1929) Tidal wave hit southwest coast of Newfoundland, 27 killed
  • (1932) Riot at House of Assembly protested members of government gave money to friends
  • (1933) Newfoundland ran out of money; House of Assembly closed, Responsible Government ended
  • (1935) Unemployed people rioted in St. John's; minimum wage established for loggers
  • (1939) One-half of workforce on government relief; World War II began
  • (1941) American troops arrived St. John's; construction of American naval base at Argentia began
  • (1942) German submarine torpedoed ferry, SS Caribou, 127 passengers killed; German submarines sank ships at Bell Island
  • (1947) Driving switched from left side of road to right side; St. John's businessmen formed Responsible Government League to make Newfoundland and Labrador independent country with elected government
  • (1948) Union with Canada voted on; Newfoundland signed Terms of Union with Canada
  • (1949) Newfoundland became 10th province of Canada; Joseph Roberts Smallwood elected first premier of Newfoundland
  • (1951) Chinese immigrants allowed citizenry
  • (1953) Polio epidemic swept through Newfoundland
  • (1953 - 1965) Newfoundland Resettlement Program - moved residents of outlying communities to larger centers; 119 communities shut down
  • (1958) Newfoundland Loggers struck for wage increases, improvements in living conditions
  • (1960) Evidence of Viking colonization of North America discovered in Newfoundland
  • (1965 - 1975) Joint federal, provincial resettlement programs moved 4,168 households from 46 outposts
  • (1970) Total eclipse of sun cast shadow the length of Nova Scotia across Newfoundland
  • (1980) Quebec-Newfoundland Power Deal: Quebec bought power from the Churchill Falls hydro-electric project in Labrador
  • (1985) Titanic wreck found 400 miles east of Newfoundland at a depth of 13,000 feet; air crash in Gander, 256 lives lost; Atlantic Accord signed - offshore energy agreement to develop province's offshore petroleum resources
  • (1990) Three Newfoundland fish plants closed, 1,300 jobs eliminated
  • (1994) 8,000 people moved from Newfoundland and Labrador to find work
  • (1995) Spanish trawler, Estai, captured off Newfoundland for violations of fishing laws
  • (1997) Hibernia offshore drilling platform pumped first barrel of oil
2000's
  • (2004) Supreme Court of Canada ruled Newfoundland and Labrador justified in deferring pay equity to women during financial crisis; Newfoundland and Labrador legalized same-sex marriage; Premier Williams ordered Canadian flag removed from all provincial buildings as protest against federal policies (Flag Flap)
  • (2005) Canadian government signed multi-billion dollar deal with Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia for offshore natural resource revenues; Canadian flags flown again
  • (2007) General election in Newfoundland and Labrador won by governing Progressive Conservatives
  • (2009) Cougar Helicopters ditched off coast of Newfoundland during flight to oil platform, 18 died, one survivor
  • (2010) Hurricane Igor struck Newfoundland, caused widespread flooding, destroyed bridges, homes, roads; damages estimated at $200 million
  • (2011) Progressive Conservative Leader Kathy Dunderdale became first woman to lead party to victory in Newfoundland and Labrador elections
  • (2012) Newfoundland woman who was hanged in 1833 for the murder of her husband was acquitted

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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