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The islands of Gozo, Comino and Malta
comprise the Maltese archipelago, 50 miles southeast of Sicily.
(AM, Jul/Aug '97 p.43)
5000BC The Ghar Dalam cave near
the harbor of Marsaxlokk revealed bones of domesticated animals and
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.42)
4500-4200BC The Skorba phase on Malta was marked
by a growing population, with increased forest clearance for
agriculture and grazing that may have led to erosion. Obsidian on
Malta from the islands of Lipari and Panteleria indicate links to
the outside world.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.40)
4200-3800BC The Zebbug phase indicated evidence of
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.40)
c4000BC The Hypogeum, a complex of rock-cut
chamber tombs, dated to this time. They were discovered in 1902.
(SFEC, 9/17/00, p.T3)
3600-3000BC The Gantija phase saw the construction
of the first megalithic temples.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.43)
3600-2500BC The Late Neolithic in Malta.
(AM, 7/04, p.43)
c3,000BC A Neolithic temple at Mnajdra dates to
(AM, 7/01, p.15)
3000-2500BC The Tarxien phase is marked by the
collapse of the temple culture.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.44)
2500BC By about his time the megalithic temples
were no longer in use.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.47)
700BC A ship carrying Phoenician cargo sank about
this time near the Maltese island of Gozo. Divers in 2014 discovered
its remains, which included 20 grinding stones and 50 amphorae.
(SFC, 8/26/14, p.A2)
60CE Feb 10, St. Paul is
believed to have been shipwrecked near Malta while enroute to Rome
for trial for practicing Catholicism. The story is told in the
Bible’s New Testament Acts of the Apostles, chapter 27. The event is
marked in Malta every February 10.
1522 Suleiman I captured Rhodes
from the Knights Hospitallers of St. John. The knights surrendered
after a 6-month siege. In 1530 the knights were resettled on Malta
by Charles V.
(WSJ, 7/21/08, p.A11)
1530 The Holy Roman Emperor,
Charles V, offered the Knights Hospitallers of St. John the Isle of
Malta. In exchange for a perpetual lease the Knights undertook to
send the emperor a falcon (made famous in the mystery novel, The
Maltese Falcon, and the movie of the same name) once every year as a
token of their fealty. They remained there until the time of
Napoleon, and became known as the Knights of Malta.
(WSJ, 12/30/94, A-6)(WSJ, 7/21/08, p.A11)
1530 Feb 24, Charles V was
crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Clement V in the 1st imperial
coronation by a Pope. Charles restored the Medici to power after
capturing Florence and ceded Malta to the landless religious order
of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.
(TL-MB, p.14)(MC, 2/24/02)
1551 Turkish forces captured
Tripoli but failed to take Malta.
1565 May 19-Sep 8, In Malta the
Great Siege lasted over this period as Suleyman the Magnificent
sought to add the island to his conquests. The Turkish army of
40,000 men besieged the Knights of Malta, led by Grand Master Jean
de la Valette, at their garrison, St. Elmo. The defenders numbered
540 knights, 400 Spanish troops, and Maltese gentry. In the initial
attack 200 of 260 defenders lay dead at the end of the day but the
garrison held out. The Turks continued their efforts for four months
when reinforcements arrived and saved them. The arrival of a fleet
from Spain, the “Gran Soccorso," turned the tide. This halted the
westward advance of Islam in the Mediterranean. St. Elmo was later
transformed into Valletta, the capital of Malta. The Order of St.
John continues to thrive to today.
(HNQ, 4/8/99)(WSJ, 12/30/94, p.A-6)(AM, Jul/Aug
‘97 p.40)(WSJ, 7/21/08, p.A11)
1571 The Palace of the Grand
Masters was begun.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.40)
1573-1577 The Cathedral of St. John was built.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.40)
1647 Gian Francesca Abela,
vice-chancellor of the Knights of St. John and the father of Maltese
historiography, authored “Descrittione di Malta." His antiquities,
willed to the College of Jesuit Fathers in Valetta, later formed the
nucleus of Malta’s National Museum of Archeology.
(AM, 7/97, p.48)
1731 The Manoel Theater was
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.40)
1733-1740 The Cathedral Museum in Mdina was built
as a seminary opposite the Mdina Cathedral. Traces of the classical
city of Melite were later found beneath it.
(AM, 7/97, p.48)
1798 Sep 2, The Maltese people
revolted against the French occupation, forcing the French troops to
take refuge in the citadel of Valetta in Malta.
1798 Napoleon expelled the
Knights of Malta from their base in Malta. The Sovereign Military
Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem (SMOM), without citizens
or territory, became a permanent observer at the UN in 1994.
(WSJ, 6/28/01, p.A1)
1800 Sep 5, Malta surrendered
to British after they blockaded French troops.
1804 Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(32), poet, fled to Malta and worked as an assistant to the civilian
governor. He returned to England in 1806.
(WSJ, 4/15/99, p.A20)
1902 The 6,000 year-old
Hypogeum, a complex of rock-cut chamber tombs, was discovered.
(SFEC, 9/17/00, p.T3)
1915-1919 Themistocles Zammit, father of Maltese
prehistory, excavated the Tarxien temples.
(AM, 7/97, p.48)
1940 Jun 11, The Italian Air
Force bombed the British fortress at Malta in the Mediterranean.
1942 Mar 7, 15 Mk-VB Spitfires
1942 Mar 20-22, There was a
major German assault on Malta.
(MC, 3/20/02)(MC, 3/21/02)(MC, 3/22/02)
1942 Apr 7, There was a heavy
German assault on Malta.
1942 Apr 15, George VI awarded
the George Cross to the citizens of Malta.
1942 Apr 16, Britain’s King
George V awarded the Island of Malta the George Cross in recognition
for heroism under constant German air attack. It was the first such
award given to any part of the British Commonwealth.
(HN, 4/16/99)(HNQ, 7/8/01)
1942 Apr 20, Heavy German
assault on Malta.
1942 Jun 11-Oct 20, In Malta
the German and Italian air blockade and repeated bombing failed to
break the people-who lived in caves and catacombs through the worst.
Hitler’s planned airborne invasion-Operation Hercules-was finally
1945 Feb 2, President Roosevelt
and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill departed Malta for the
Yalta summit with Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
1964 Sep 21, Malta gained
independence from Britain and joined the UN.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)(AP, 9/21/97)
1958 The National Museum of
Archeology was established by British authorities in Valetta.
(AM, 7/97, p.49)
1964 Sep 21, Malta became an
independent member of the British Commonwealth.
(AP, 9/21/97)(Econ, 7/14/07,
1967 Arvid Pardo (d.1999 at
85), Maltese delegate to the UN, proposed that the bounty of the sea
should be considered "the common heritage of mankind" and asked that
some of the sea's wealth be used to bankroll a fund to help close
the gap between rich and poor nations. The Law of the Sea was
ratified in 1993 and took effect on Nov 16, 1994.
(SFC, 7/19/99, p.A22)
1971 John Evans (b.1925),
English archeologist, published the comprehensive survey: "The
Prehistoric Antiquities of the Maltese Islands."
1977 Arvid Pardo published "The
New International Order and the Law of the Sea with Elisabeth Mann
(SFC, 7/19/99, p.A22)
1980 The film “Popeye,"
directed by Robert Altman, was made in Malta. A replica of the town
of Sweethaven was built at Anchor Bay and remained as a tourist
(WSJ, 9/11/00, p.A1)
1985 Nov 23, Egypt Air flight
648 was hijacked to Malta by Palestinian militant Omar Mohammed Ali
Rezaq, a member of the Abu Nidal terrorist group.
(SFC, 7/20/96, p.A6)(SFEC, 10/8/96,
1985 Nov 24, The hijacking of
an EgyptAir jetliner parked on the ground in Malta ended violently
as Egyptian commandos stormed the plane. Fifty-eight people died in
the raid, in addition to two others killed by the hijackers. Ali
Rezaq of the Abu Nidal terrorist group was imprisoned in Malta for 7
years and then released. The US FBI apprehended him in Nigeria in
1993 and he was convicted by a US federal jury in 1996 and sentenced
to life in prison.
(SFC, 7/20/96, p.A6)(SFEC, 10/8/96, D1)(AP,
1988 The Grand Master of The
Order of St. John (Knights of Malta) died. Fidel Castro declared a
national day of mourning in Cuba.
(WSJ, 12/30/94, p.A6)
1989 Apr 4, Censu Tabone
(1913-2012) began serving as the 4th president of Malta and
continued to 1994.
1989 Dec 3, In Malta Presidents
George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev announce the official end to the
1994 Nov 16, The UN Law of the
Sea, ratified in 1993, took effect. Arvid Pardo (d.1999 at 85),
Maltese delegate to the UN, proposed in 1967 that the bounty of the
sea should be considered "the common heritage of mankind" and asked
that some of the sea's wealth be used to bankroll a fund to help
close the gap between rich and poor nations. The International
Seabed Authority came into existence as the law took effect. The
first Secretary-General of the Authority, Satya Nandan (Fiji) was
elected in March 1996, and the Authority became fully operational as
an autonomous international organization in June 1996, when it took
over the premises and facilities in Kingston, Jamaica. The UN Law of
the Sea treaty, which extended internationally recognized
territorial waters to 200 miles offshore, came into force one year
after the sixtieth state, Guyana, signed it.
(http://tinyurl.com/2wsq9p)(SFC, 7/19/99, p.A22)
1995 Oct 26, Islamic Jihad
leader Fathi Shakaki was shot to death on the Mediterranean island
of Malta in a killing his supporters blamed on Israel.
(LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.17A)(AP, 10/26/05)
1996 Oct 27, The opposition
socialist leader, Alfred Sant, won elections that could return his
Labor Party back to power after 16 years. His party has opposed the
push to join the European Union. He was sworn in as prime minister
by Pres. Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, a former minister of the defeated
(SFC, 10/28/96, p.A10)(SFC, 10/29/96, p.A8)
1999 Apr 4, Guido De Marco
(1931-2010) began serving as president of Malta and continued to
2004. He helped the island nation win European Union membership in
1999 Dec 10, The EU granted
preliminary consideration for membership to Bulgaria, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Malta.
(SFC, 12/11/99, p.A16)
1999 Dec 12, The Erika, a
Maltese registered oil tanker, broke in two during a storm off the
coast of Brest, France, with 8 million gallons of diesel oil. Half
the ship was towed to deeper waters and 3 million gallons were
spilled. In 2008 a French court found Total SA guilty of maritime
pollution and fined it the maximum penalty of $560,000. It also
ordered Total and three other defendants to pay total damages of
(SFC, 12/13/99, p.A13)(WSJ, 12/13/99, p.A1)(SFC,
11/20/02, p.A14)(AP, 1/16/08)
2001 May 8, In Malta Pope John
Paul II was welcomed on the final stop of his 6-day pilgrimage to
retrace the steps of the Apostle Paul.
(WSJ, 5/9/01, p.A1)
2002 Oct 9, The European
Union's executive Commission declared Bulgaria, the Czech Republic,
Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania,
Slovenia, and Slovakia nearly ready for EU membership and
recommended they be invited to join in 2004. Romania and Bulgaria
likely will be delayed until 2007 because of weak economies, the
Commission said, adding Turkey was the weakest link among
2002 Dec 13, The EU reached
agreement to accept 10 new countries in 2004. These included Czech
Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,
Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
(SFC, 12/14/02, p.A3)
2003 Mar 8, Malta became
the first of 10 countries to vote on whether to join the European
Union, which is luring new members with a $40 billion aid package.
The referendum was approved 53.65 to 46.35%.
(AP, 3/8/03)(SFC, 3/10/03, p.A3)
2003 Apr 12, Malta held
parliamentary elections. PM Eddie Fenech Adami won and said his
nation will go ahead with European Union membership.
2004 May 1, Revelers across
ex-communist eastern Europe celebrated their historic entry to the
European Union. 10 new members (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia,
Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia)
joined. Malta joined with 70 exemptions to EU rules. Poland had 43
exemptions. Latvia had 32. The Turkish occupied area of Cyprus was
suspended from entry.
(AP, 5/1/04)(Econ, 2/28/04, p.50)(Econ, 4/16/05,
2004 The equity index of the
Maltese Stock Exchange (MSE) rose 40%.
(Econ, 2/11/06, p.71)
2005 Dec 29, Britain’s tax
authorities recognized the Maltese Stock Exchange (MSE). The equity
index of the MSE rose 60% this year.
2006 Malta’s population was
(Econ, 2/11/06, p.71)
2007 Jun 3, Pope Benedict XVI
named four new saints from France, Malta, the Netherlands and Poland
at a ceremony in St. Peter's Square. Among those honored was Sister
Marie Eugenie de Jesus Milleret, a French nun who in 1839 founded
the Religious of the Assumption to educate young girls; the Rev.
George Preca of Malta, who founded the Society of Christian Doctrine
in 1932 as a group of lay people who teach the faith to others; the
Rev. Szymon z Lipnicy of Poland, a Franciscan monk who comforted
Poles afflicted by the plague that broke out in Krakow from 1482-83
and died of it himself; and the Rev. Charles of St. Andrew (Dublin),
who was born Karel Van Sint Andries Houben in the Netherlands in
2007 Jun 25, Frontex, the EU's
external border agency, kicked off a new series of patrols in the
Mediterranean coastal area, known as operation Nautilus, in order to
halt the influx of illegal immigrants, crossing over from North
Africa to Europe. Many migrants aimed to reach Malta as a stepping
stone to Italy and Europe.
2007 Jul 10, Cyprus and Malta
received approval from EU finance ministers to join the euro.
(Econ, 7/14/07, p.57)
2007 Malta’s population was
(Econ, 6/23/07, p.59)
2008 Jan 1, The Maltese lira
was scheduled to give way to the EU euro.
(Econ, 10/6/07, p.78)
2007 Dec 20, Estonia, Hungary,
Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech
Republic halted land and sea border controls at midnight in a wave
of new members of Europe's passport-free Schengen zone. They all
joined the EU on May 1, 2004.
(AFP, 12/20/07)(WSJ, 12/21/07, p.A1)
2008 Jan 1, EU newcomers Cyprus
and Malta adopted the euro, bringing to fifteen the number of
countries using the currency with increasing clout over the slumping
2008 Jan 18, It was reported
that the EU’s environment commissioner has threatened to take Malta
to the European Court of Justice to force an end spring shooting of
turtledoves and quail. Bird hunting and trapping is a traditional
pastime in Malta where migrating stop twice every year. Numerous
protected birds have been killed.
(WSJ, 1/18/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 31, It was reported
that the EU is suing Malta for permitting residents to hunt 2
species of birds in the spring. The Maltese government said it
qualifies for an exemption under EU rules.
(WSJ, 2/1/08, p.A6)
2008 Jun 4, An undetermined
amount of fuel oil was released after the Greece-registered Syros
slammed against the Malta-registered Sea Bird near Montevideo,
2008 Aug 26, A Maltese fishing
trawler rescued the migrants. Authorities said the survivors first
told the fishermen that 10 people were missing, but later said as
many as 70 people from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan made the sea
voyage with them.
2008 Oct 30, Scientists
reported that 1 in 17 men living on the coasts of North Africa and
southern europe may have a Phoenician direct male line ancestor.
Evidence was based on Y-chromosomes collected in Cyprus, Malta,
Morocco, the West Bank, Syria and Tunisia.
(SFC, 10/31/08, p.A14)
2009 Apr 18, About 140 migrants
remained stranded aboard a Turkish cargo ship for a third day as
Malta and Italy argued about which country should accept them.
2009 Apr 19, Italy agreed to
accept 140 migrants stranded aboard a Turkish cargo ship that
rescued them in the Mediterranean, ending a four-day standoff with
Malta about who would take them in.
2009 Sep 22, A sharply divided
EU failed to protect the threatened bluefin tuna, as the bloc's
Mediterranean nations refused to back even a temporary a ban on
catching the fish prized by sushi aficionados. Greece, Cyprus,
Malta, Spain, France and Italy, with strong fishermen's lobbies at
home, insisted on continuing the hunt despite the precarious state
of the species. Conservation groups had earlier criticized the EU
for not pushing to list the bluefin tuna under the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species.
2010 Apr 18, Pope Benedict XVI
met in Malta with a group of clerical sex-abuse victims and promised
them with tears in his eyes that the Catholic Church would seek
justice for pedophile priests and implement "effective measures" to
protect young people from abuse. 10 Maltese men came forward earlier
this month saying they wanted to meet with the pope to tell him
their stories and to request an apology. They said they were abused
by 4 priests at a Catholic orphanage.
2010 Aug 12, Guido De Marco
(79), former president of Malta (1999-2004), died. He helped the
island nation win European Union membership (2004).
2010 Dec 17, Maltese Foreign
Minister Tonio Borg promised during a visit to the Gaza Strip to
donate funds to the United Nations agency caring for Palestinian
2011 Mar 1, Malta said it was
refusing to return two Libyan fighter jets that landed on the island
last week after their pilots defected.
2011 May 28, Malta, a staunchly
Catholic Mediterranean island, voted in favor of introducing divorce
in a referendum. Malta was the last remaining European nation to ban
divorce. Some 95 percent of the 400,000 population calls itself
2011 Jul 25, Maltese lawmakers
have approved a law allowing citizens of this heavily Catholic
Mediterranean island to divorce in their own country. The law takes
effect in October, after Malta's president signs it. The ruling
Nationalist Party had opposed divorce.
2011 Aug 1, Malta sentenced
Rev. Charles Pulis and Rev. Godwin Scerri to 5 and 6 years in prison
after they were convicted of sexually abusing boys under their care
in St Joseph's Home for children more than 20 years ago.
2011 Oct 31, A Tunisian court
was reported to have issued an international arrest warrant against
Suha Arafat (48), the widow of the late Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat over alleged corruption. The case appeared to be connected to
a school she founded in 2006 with the wife of the ousted Pres. Ben
Ali. She was stripped of her Tunisian citizenship in 2007 following
a dispute with the former ruling family and currently lives in
(AFP, 11/1/11)(SFC, 11/1/11, p.A2)
2012 Mar 14, Censu Tabone
(b.1913), former Malta President (1989-1994), died. In 1989 he
hosted a US-Soviet summit that declared an end to the Cold War.
2012 Aug 16, Malta said its
navy has recovered two bodies and rescued around 160 Eritrean and
Somali migrants from two boats which got into trouble on the
2012 Oct 5, Ten European and
North African leaders meet in Malta for the first such summit of
Mediterranean neighbors in a decade, with the agenda focused on
fighting terrorism and lawlessness, and strengthening political and
economic cooperation in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
2013 Mar 10, Malta’s PM
Lawrence Gonzi of the Nationalist Party conceded defeat as ballots
were still being counted in the island nation and eurozone member.
Labor leader Joseph Muscat will be sworn in as the new prime
minister on March 11. Muscat swept to office with an implausible
pledge to cut the island’s sky-high energy tariffs by 25%.
(AP, 3/11/13)(Econ, 11/14/15, p.55)
2013 Jul 11, Malta's PM Joseph
Muscat called for a regional approach to tackle the flood of African
immigrants landing on the shores on the tiny island after meeting EU
and Libyan officials.
2013 Aug 6, The EU said the
Maltese government, which has refused entry to a tanker carrying 102
African migrants, had a "humanitarian duty" to allow them to land as
soon as possible. Malta faced a record influx of African migrants,
with 1,000 arriving in the past month.
2013 Aug 7, Italy allowed 102
migrants who were stranded on a tanker in the Mediterranean to
disembark on the Sicilian coast after Malta refused them entry for
three days despite European Union calls for it to help on
2013 Oct 11, An overloaded
migrant boat went down off Malta. The next day about 200 shocked
survivors were plucked from the sea. Over 30 lives were lost in the
latest deadly migrant tragedy to hit the Mediterranean.
2015 Apr 11, Malta voted in a
referendum to decide whether to overturn a law that allows the
hunting of breeding birds in spring, a centuries-old tradition that
is not allowed anywhere else in the European Union.
2015 Nov 27, Queen Elizabeth
openeed 24th biennial Commonwealth Summit in Malta. Leaders of 53
countries -- around a quarter of the world's countries and a third
of its population, gathered to discuss global issues.
2015 Nov 28, In Malta heads of
government from the Commonwealth family, which represents around a
third of the world's population, pledged to demand an "ambitious"
and legally-binding outcome from the world climate change summit in
Paris, which officially starts on Nov 30.
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Subject = Malta
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