Return to homeHistory: http://workmall.com/wfb2001/dominica/dominica_history_index.html 1493
Nov 3, Christopher Columbus discovered the
Caribbee Isles (Dominica) during his second expedition. He and his
crew of 1,500 built the town of La Isabela on the northern coast of
the Dominican Republic. It was abandoned within 5 years due in part
to poor relations with the Taino Indians. This area was part of the
chiefdom of Higuey.
1720 Beginning in this year the
island’s administration shifted between the French and the British
until the early 19th century.
(SFEC, 2/15/98, p.T6)
1763 France formally ceded
possession of Dominica to Great Britain.
1920-1929 Artist Stephan Haweis (d.1966) went to
Dominica. He made his home on Mount Joy near Soufriere. He painted
in a Gauguin-like style and inspired other Dominican artists in his
(SFEC, 2/15/98, p.T7)
1954 Pierre Charles (d.2004),
later prime minister, was born in Grand Bay, Dominica.
(SFC, 1/8/04, p.A19)
1967 Mar 1, Dominica became a
West Indies associated state with Edward Oliver LeBlanc as premier.
Full independence was attained on Nov. 03, 1978.
1968 Jul 1, Dominica’s
left-wing government brought in the Seditious and Undesirable
Publications Act to suppress dissent. Eugenia Charles led the
opposition to get it withdrawn and was made the leader of the
Dominica Free Party.
1978 Nov 3, Dominica gained
independence from Britain.
(PCh, 1992, p.1065)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)
1979 Aug 30, Hurricane David
devastated the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica as it began a
rampage through the Caribbean and up the eastern seaboard of the
United States that claimed some 1,100 lives.
1980-1995 Eugenia Charles (1919-2005) served as PM
of Dominica. She was the 1st female prime minister in the Caribbean
(SFC, 9/8/05, p.B7)
1983 May 10, Dominica PM Dame
Eugenia Charles chose to support Taiwan out of political conviction
(Econ, 4/10/04, p.29)
1983 Oct 25, Dominica PM Dame
Eugenia Charles stood next to US Pres. Ronald Reagan at the White
House as he announced the US invasion of Grenada.
(SFC, 1/8/04, p.A19)(SFC, 9/8/05, p.B7)
1997 Jun 18, It was reported
that Japan was paying 5 Caribbean nations extensive aid and
investment in order to gain support to block protections for
endangered species. Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent, St.
Lucia and Dominica were all reported to have been bribed.
(SFC, 6/18/97, p.A8)
1998 Apr 20, The Goldman
Environmental Awards were presented to six winners in SF. The prizes
were increased to $100,000. Atherton Martin (52) won for his work
against a copper mine in Dominica.
(SFC, 4/20/98, p.A8)
1999 Dominica reported some
1,000 economic citizens, people who had paid about $50,000 for a
(SFC, 12/10/99, p.AA4)
2000 Jan 31, The United Workers
Party lost its majority in the Dominica House of Assembly and
Roosevelt Douglas "Rosie Douglas" (58) became the new prime minister
following Edison James.
(SFC, 3/7/00, p.A16)
2000 Mar 17, In Dominica it was
reported that Elizabeth Israel, the daughter of a freed slave, was
living at age 125.
(SFC, 3/17/00, p.A14)
2000 Dominica PM Roosevelt
Douglas died of a heart attack and Pierre Charles (1954-2004) was
appointed to replace him.
(SFC, 1/8/04, p.A19)
2003 Dominica slashed its
budget 15% and introduced new taxes, which led to strikes.
(SFC, 1/8/04, p.A19)
2004 Jan 6, PM Pierre Charles
(49) of Dominica, who slashed public spending in a bid to help his
island's economy and was a critic of U.S. policy in the Caribbean,
died of an apparent heart attack.
2004 Jan 7, Dominica's main
political party chose Roosevelt Skerrit (31), the education
minister, as the next leader of this Caribbean country.
2004 Mar 29, The island of
Dominica switched diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China, after
the communist state offered a $112 million aid package.
2004 Apr 5, China promised $122
million to Pres. Skerritt in return for revoking Dominica’s
recognition of Taiwan.
(Econ, 4/10/04, p.29)
2004 Oct 29, Edward Oliver
Leblanc (81), former Dominica Premier, died. He was described by
some as a founding father of the Caribbean island in its transition
2004 Dominica’s population
numbered about 71,000 inhabitants.
(WSJ, 1/7/04, p.A1)
2005 May 5, Dominica's
governing party won a narrow victory in parliamentary elections
apparently convincing voters of the need for an austerity program
and a switch in diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China.
2005 Jul 18, In a program to be
screened on ABC TV, the fisheries chief of the Solomon Islands in
the South Pacific says Japan poured money into the country in
exchange for its support over whaling and cheap access to tuna.
Similar charges were made by former officials from the tiny
Caribbean nations of Dominica and Grenada.
2005 Sep 6,
Eugenia Charles (b.1919), former PM of Dominica (1980-1995), died.
She invited Ronald Reagan to invade Grenada in 1983.
(SFC, 9/8/05, p.B7)(Econ, 9/17/05, p.90)
2005 Sep 6, Nine countries:
Antigua, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Dominica, Suriname, St. Kitts, St.
Vincent and the Dominican Republic, signed oil deals with Venezuela
in Jamaica. Cuba and Jamaica had previously signed. Chavez urged
Caribbean governments to consider Cuba-style socialism as an
alternative to capitalism.
2007 Aug 17, Hurricane Dean
tore through the eastern Caribbean islands of St. Lucia and
Martinique, ripping roofs from buildings, downing trees and knocking
out power. 100 mph winds ruined the entire banana harvest on St.
Lucia and Martinique and battered the banana industry in Dominica.
(AP, 8/17/07)(AP, 8/18/07)
2008 May 9, Dominica
legislators balked at deciding who can marry whom. Chief Charles
Williams, the leader of the last remaining pre-Columbian tribe in
the eastern Caribbean, recently suggested outlawing marriage to
outsiders to save a dwindling indigenous population.
2009 Dec 18, Dominica held
elections. PM Roosevelt Skerrit, who has led his small Caribbean
country into an alliance with Hugo Chavez, was betting that the
early general elections will keep his Labor Party in power for
another five years.
2011 Jul 31, In Dominica 3
masked men brandishing a machete, a hatchet and a plank of wood
demanded money from the US couple outside their Pagua Bay House
hotel and restaurant in Marigot. Irish national Joseph Costello was
attacked when he rushed from his hotel room to help. He was
pronounced dead at the scene.
2012 Jan 31, Dominica said
Bernard Wiltshire, a former attorney general (2000-2002), has been
arrested on suspicion of conspiring with others to fraudulently
obtain and sell passports.
2012 Mar 21, In Dominica two
California men on a gay cruise of the Caribbean were arrested on the
Celebrity Summit cruise ship on suspicion of indecent exposure and
"buggery," a term equivalent to sodomy on the island. The next day
John Robert Hart (41) and Dennis Jay Mayer (43) of Palm Springs
pleaded guilty. Chief Magistrate Evaline Baptiste ordered the men to
pay a nearly $900 fine after calling them "rogues and vagabonds."
They made no comment after the hearing and police drove the men to
the airport after they were released.
(AFP, 3/22/12)(AFP, 3/23/12)
2014 Nov 20, In Dominica Msgr.
Reginald LaFleur (60), a popular priest known as "Father Reggie" by
parishioners in Grand Bay, was defrocked at the direction of the
Congregation of the Faith in Rome. He was accused of sexually
abusing a girl in 1994.
2014 Dec 9, Dominica PM
Roosevelt Skerrit said he is humbled by the re-election after his
Labor Party won 15 of 21 parliamentary seats. Dominica's ruling
party won a 4th consecutive term following parliamentary elections.
2015 Mar 27, In Dominica a
police sergeant and four officers were charged with murder. They
were accused in last year's death of a prisoner found unresponsive
in his cell. Police have said that Joshua Etienne had fractured ribs
and a punctured lung.
2015 Aug 27, Tropical Storm
Erika unleashed severe flooding across Dominica, triggering
landslides that destroyed at least 20 homes in the tiny eastern
Caribbean island. At least 31 people were killed and 371 homes were
(AP, 8/27/15) (AP, 8/28/15)(AP,