Important Dates in Turks and Caicos History

AD 750 – the first inhabitants (Tiano and Lucyan Indians) arrive on the shores of the Turks & Caicos Islands;

1492 – Christopher Columbus lands at Guanahani Beach, Grand Turk;

1512 – Ponce de Leon passes by the Turks Islands on his way to Bimini;

1668 – Salt making industry begins;

1706 – Turks & Caicos is captured from the Bermudians by the French and the Spanish;

1710 – The British recaptured the islands on behalf of Bermuda;

1783 – French seize Grand Turk during its wars with Great Britain;

1790 – The Crown granted land to the British loyalists on Providenciales, Middle Caicos, North Caicos and Parrot Cay.

1792 – Grand Turk becomes the official Port of Entry to the Turks & Caicos, a customs office is established;

1799 – Britain places Turks & Caicos in the hands of the Bahamas;

1813 – A large hurricane forced many of the Loyalists to leave the islands; some moved to Grand Turk

1821 – Hundreds of slaves fled from the islands and escaped to freedom in Haiti;

1834 – All British Colony slaves are granted freedom;

1842 – Bambarra on Middle Caicos was settled by survivors of a Spanish slave shipwreck called the “Gambia”;

1845 – First newspaper published, “Turks Island Gazette & Commercial Reporter”;

1873 – Queen Victoria grants a royal charter; TCI becomes an independent colony;

1874 – “The Great Bahamas Hurricane” devastated the Turks & Caicos Islands and the entire Bahamian chain – the islands are annexed to Jamaica for medical and technical assistance and grants;

1852 – Grand Turk lighthouse erected;

1857 – “Waterloo”, built in 1815, was acquired for the Governors residence;

1898 – First telegraph cable, Bermuda to Grand Turk to Jamaica; First fire engine;

1948 – First commercial flight to Turks & Caicos;

1959 – Hurricane Donna devastates all agriculture on Turks & Caicos;

1962 – John Glenn splashed down off the coast of Grand Turk after his space flight;

1968 – Airport opens on Providenciales;

1991 – Turks and Caicos National Museum opens on Grand Turk

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