Costa Rica Key Dates

12000 B.C.    First proof of people in Costa Rica.
8000 to 4000 B.C.    Nomadic groups start settling down.
18 September 1502    Christoph Columbus lands near Lim¢n.
1563    Cartago was established as capital of Costa Rica.
15 September 1821    Costa Rica gains independence from Spain.
1856    Invasion by William Walker, a North American adventurer, but he was subsequently defeated.
1889    The official onset for Costa Rican democracy dates to 1889, after the first true elections.
1948    When Calder¢n’s United Social Christian Party refused to step down after losing the 1948 election to Otilio Ulate, civil war erupted, which lasted 40 days and cost 2,000 lives.
1982    Luis Alberto Monge Alvarez was elected president. He tried to keep Costa Rica neutral in the conflict in Nicaragua.
1986    Oscar Arias was elected president.
1987    Oscar Arias tireless efforts to promote peace in the region were rewarded when the five Central American presidents signed his peace plan in Guatamala City in 1987, an achievement that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.
1990    Rafael Angel Calderon, candidate of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC) became president.
1998    Miguel Angel Rodriguez was elected president.
2002    Abel Pacheco de la Espriella became president.