Jamaica Key Dates

4 May 1494    Christopher Columbus arrives on the island of Jamaica and makes it a Spanish colony.
10 May 1655    English troops land in Jamaica and after some fighting conquer the island.
1664    The first House of Assembly was called together.
1692    The capital Port Royal was destroyed by an earthquake
1693    Kingston was established.
1694    A French Fleet invaded the North of Jamaica but was driven back by colonists and slaves.
1760    A formidable insurrection of the slaves took place. They fought desperately, but in the end they were defeated.
1807    Slave Trade between Jamaica and Africa was forbidden by the British Parliament.
1833    The Abolition Act to free slaves in the British Empire was passed.
1907    An earthquake destroyed Kingston.
1914-1918    About 10.000 men fought during Word War I with the British Army in Europe.
1926    West India Regiment was disbanded.
1940    Britain and the United States signed an agreement for the use of military installations in Jamaica. One US base was set up at Portland Bight and another at Vernamfield in Clarendon.
20 November 1944    The day was declared a public holiday, and is known as Constitution Day.
11 November 1957    Jamaica received full internal self-government.
31 December 1958    The Jamaica Regiment disbanded, most of its members being absorbed the next day by the West India Regiment.
1959    The new Montego Bay International Air Terminal was opened to traffic on July 9.
31 May 1962    The West Indies Federation was dissolved. Jamaica, after her decision of late September 1961, to secede, had remained a member until its dissolution.
22 June 1962    The last British Regiment in Jamaica, The Royal Hampshire Regiment, left the island, thus bringing to a close an era which had begun in 1655, since when British troops had always been quartered in Jamaica.
5 August 1962    At midnight on August 5, 1962, Jamaica became a free independent nation within the British Commonwealth of Nations.
1966    A ceremony marking the inauguration of Air Jamaica was held at the Palisadoes Airport on May 1, coinciding with the departure of the first Air Jamaica flight to Miami.
1969    On April 1, Air Jamaica (1968) Ltd. started operations. Registered in October, 1968, it replaced Air Jamaica Ltd., which concluded operations on March 31. National Heroes Day was established on October 20, to be celebrated on the third Monday in October each year thereafter.
24 June 1980    A plot was discovered by the Jamaica Force to overthrow the Government by force. Twenty-four JDF personnel and three civilians were detained.
1983    In October 1983, Jamaica and Barbados accepted the call made by Dame Eugenia Charles of Dominica to send troops to Grenada to act as police in charge of prisoners taken by the US troops
April 1993    PNP under Percival (‘PJ’) Patterson wins elections.

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