1492 Oct 12, (Old Style
calendar; Oct. 21 New Style), Christopher Columbus sited land, an
island of the Bahamas which he named San Salvador, but which was
called Guanahani by the local Taino people. Seeking to establish
profitable Asian trade routes by sailing west, Columbus seriously
underestimated the size of the Earth--never dreaming that two great
continents blocked his path to the east. Even after four voyages to
America, Columbus believed until the end of his life in 1506 that he
had discovered an isolated corner of Asia.
(NH, 10/96, p.22)(AP, 10/12/97)(HNPD,
1492 Oct 16, Columbus' fleet
anchored at "Fernandina" (Long Island, Bahamas).
1492 Oct 17, Columbus sighted
the isle of San Salvador (Watling Island, Bahamas).
1492 Oct 19, Columbus sighted
"Isabela" (Fortune Island, Bahamas).
1492 Oct 21, Columbus landed on
San Salvador Island (Bahamas-Watling Island).
1492 Oct 26, Columbus' fleet
anchored on Ragged Island Range, Bahamas.
1590 Mar 4, Mauritius of
Nassau's ship reached Breda, Netherlands.
1629 Oct 30, King Charles I
gave the Bahamas to Sir Robert Heath.
1771 Mark Catesby had his work:
“The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands"
printed in London.
(WSJ, 7/7/98, p.A14)
1776 Mar 3, US commodore Esek
Hopkins occupied Nassau, Bahamas.
1841 Apr 3, From Nassau,
Bahamas, a British magistrate wrote that 193 shipwrecked African
slaves from the ship Trouvadore were found naked on the shores of
the East Caicos Island. The slaves were then quarantined in a jail
and given food and clothing. The accident set free the slaves who
became ancestors of many later residents of the islands. In 2004 the
wreck was found and in 2008 marine archaeologists identified it as
the remains of the slave ship.
(AP, 8/21/04)(AP, 11/26/08)
1919 Chalk’s Ocean Airways was
founded to fly tourists and fisherman from Florida to the Bahamas.
(SFC, 12/20/05, p.A4)
1926 The Bahamanian government
transferred designation of Columbus’ landfall to Watling Island.
(NH, 10/96, p.23)
1940 Aug 18, The Duke of
Windsor (1894-1972), was installed as Governor of the Bahamas. He
had served as Britain’s King Edward VIII in 1936. Edward continued
as governor of the Bahamas to 1945.
1953 Lynden Pindling helped
found the Progressive Liberal Party in opposition to the white
colonial-run United Bahamian Party.
(SFEC, 8/27/00, p.C10)
1962 Huntington Harford,
A&P supermarket heir, persuaded the authorities to rename Hog
Island, across the bay from Nassau, to Paradise Island.
(WSJ, 7/1/98, p.A1)
1965 Feb 24, Beatles began
filming "Help" in Bahamas.
1965 Nov 13, The ship "Yarmouth
Castle" burned and sank off Bahamas, killing 89.
1967 Monroe "Bud" Karmin
(e.1999 at 69) won a Pulitzer Prize in journalism for an expose of
Mafia dominance in gambling in the Bahamas.
(SFC, 1/18/99, p.A21)
1967 Lynden Pindling became
(SFEC, 8/27/00, p.C10)
1968 Charles C.G. Chaplin and
James Bohlke co-authored “Fishes of the Bahamas and Adjacent
(Sm, 2/06, p.42)
1968 The Bahamas elected a
socialist leaning president. This led to the end of the Bahamas as a
major off-shore tax haven and the rise of the Cayman Islands as a
(SSFC, 7/10/05, p.E3)
1968 John Templeton (1912-2008)
American investment analyst, fled to the Bahamas and took British
citizenship in order to avoid American taxes.
(Econ, 7/19/08, p.95)
1969 The Bahamas legalized
casino gambling, however Bahamians and foreigners living in the
country were banned from gambling.
(Econ, 1/26/13, p.36)
1971 Robert Lee Vesco
(1935-2007) fled the US to avoid charges of bilking mutual fund
investors of $224 million. In 1972 the SEC charged him and others in
a civil lawsuit, but Vesco had fled to the Bahamas and then to Costa
Rica where he established a close friendship with Pres. Jose
Figueres, plowing some 11 million into the country.
(SFC, 8/21/96, p.A8)(SFC, 5/3/08, p.A6)
1973 Jul 10, The Bahamas became
independent after three centuries of British colonial rule.
1977 In the Bahamas the
People-to-People program was established about this time to help
visitors experience a more personal side of the island and its
(SFEC, 1/18/98, p.T8,9)
1979 Aug 20, Diana Nyad
succeeded in her 3rd attempt to swim from the Bahamas to Florida.
1986 The Bahamas banned fishing
on its coral reefs.
(Econ, 1/7/06, p.72)
1992 Aug 21, In the Bahamas PM
Lynden Pindling (1930-2000), in office since 1973, retired from
office and was succeeded by Hubert Ingraham. There were allegations
that Pindling had taken bribes from Colombian drug lords. Ingraham
continued in office to 2002 and again from 2007-2012.
1992 Aug 24, Hurricane Andrew
smashed into Florida, causing record damage; 55 deaths in Florida,
Louisiana and the Bahamas were blamed on the storm.
1998 Apr 13, Some 300 angry
protestors faced 180 lesbian passengers on the cruise ship SS
Seabreeze chartered by Olivia Cruises and Resorts.
(SFEC, 4/19/98, p.A26)
1998 Jul 18, Lori Fogleman, an
American school teacher vacationing in the Bahamas, was murdered
about this time along with Joanne Clarke, 24, from Oxfordshire. In
2002 Tennel McIntosh was found guilty of manslaughter.
1998 Dec, The new $750 million
Atlantis resort was scheduled to be completed on paradise Island. It
was developed under Solomon Kerzner, chairman of Sun Int’l. Hotels.
(WSJ, 7/1/98, p.A1)
1998 Sep 24, The death toll
from Hurricane Georges was 1 in the Bahamas.
(SFC, 9/25/98, p.A16)(WSJ, 9/28/98, p.A1)(SFC,
1999 Sep 15, Extensive damaged
from Hurricane Floyd was reported in the Bahamas on the islands of
Abaco, Eleuthera, Cat and San Salvador.
(SFC, 9/16/99, p.A1,15)
2000 Mar 16, About a dozen
whales became stranded on 2 Bahama beaches one day after a US Navy
exercise propagated loud noises through the waters of the region. 5
of the whales died. In 2001 testing confirmed that Navy sonar caused
the whales to beach themselves.
(SFC, 3/22/00, p.A9)(WSJ, 12/21/01, p.A1)
2000 Aug 26, Lynden Pindling,
former prime minister (1967-1992), died at age 70. He was known as
the “Black Moses."
(SFEC, 8/27/00, p.C10)
2001 Aug 25, In the Bahamas 9
people were killed when a small plane crashed. R&B singer and
actress Aaliyah (Aaliyeh, 22) was among the dead.
(SSFC, 8/26/01, p.A16)(SFC, 8/27/01, p.A16)
2001 Aug 29, The government
estimated that 30-60 thousand Haitians were living in the Bahamas
(SFC, 8/29/01, p.A8)
2001 Sep 4, In the Bahamas a
fire destroyed Bay Street businesses in Nassau’s Straw Market.
(WSJ, 9/6/01, p.A1)
2001 Nov 5, Hurricane Michelle
swept past the Bahamas with 85 mph winds, flooding houses and
2002 May 2, In the Bahamas the
opposition Liberal Progressive Party won Parliamentary elections
with 23 seats in the 40-seat legislature. Perry Christie (b.1944)
led the party to victory and served as prime minister to 2007.
(SFC, 5/3/02, p.A10)(AP,
2002 Jun 13, A jury on Thursday
found Tennel McIntosh guilty of manslaughter in the slaying of Lori
Fogleman in 1998, an American school teacher who had been
vacationing in the Bahamas.
2003 Oct 29, In the Bahamas
Cordell Farrington (35), a hardware store stock clerk, was charged
with five counts of murder in connection with the disappearance of
four boys and a young man on Grand Bahama Island.
2004 Sep 2, Hurricane Frances
raged through the sparsely populated southeastern Bahamas.
2004 Sep 4, Hurricane Frances
ripped apart roofs, shattered windows and flooded neighborhoods as
it raged through the Bahamas leaving 2 people dead.
2004 Sep 25, Hurricane Jeanne
lashed the Bahamas with violent winds and torrential rains, making a
direct hit on Abaco island and threatening the country's
second-largest city, Freeport.
2004 Nov 24, Arthur Hailey
(b.1920), author of the 1968 novel “Airport," died in the Bahamas.
(SFC, 11/26/04, p.B3)
2006 Jan 13, In the Bahamas the
Compleat Angler Hotel on North Bimini Island was destroyed by fire.
The hotel's owner Julian Brown helped the guests escape before
disappearing in the flames to fight the fire. The hotel claimed to
be a one-time writing headquarters for Ernest Hemingway and
advertised room No. 1 as the place where Hemingway worked on "To
Have and Have Not."
2006 Mar 9, The Bahamas Court
of Appeals ruled that Atain Takitota (41), a Japanese amnesiac who
was kept in a Bahamas prison and an immigration center for eight
years without being charged, was held unlawfully. He was awarded
$500,000 "for the loss of eight years and two months" of his life.
2006 Sep 10, Daniel Smith (20),
the son of Anna Nicole Smith (38) died suddenly in the Bahamas,
three days after the former Playboy Playmate gave birth to a girl.
2007 Apr 10, A court in the
Bahamas announced that DNA tests proved Larry Birkhead, the former
boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith, is the father of her infant
2007 May 2, A former prime
minister led his opposition party to victory in the Bahamas,
returning to power in elections dominated by questions about the
direction of the tourism-driven economy. Hubert Ingraham's Free
National Movement won 23 seats in the 41-seat legislature, while PM
Perry Christie's Progressive Liberal Party claimed the other 18.
2007 Nov 26, The Bahamas
ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, bringing to 141
the number of nations that have done so. The treaty, which bans all
nuclear explosions, will not enter into force until it has been
ratified by all 44 states listed in an annex, that participated in a
1996 disarmament conference and had nuclear power or research
reactors at the time. 34 of those countries have ratified the pact.
The holdouts include the United States, China, India, Pakistan,
Israel and North Korea.
2008 Apr 20, The US Coast Guard
recovered the bodies of 20 migrants, 19 Haitians and one Honduran,
from the sea near the Bahamas after their boat apparently capsized.
2008 May 19, Huntington
Hartford (b.1911), the deep-pocketed A&P grocery heir who burned
through most of a $100 million fortune in a series of fruitless
business and cultural endeavors before his life unraveled, died at
his home in Lyford Cay, Nassau, in the Bahamas.
2008 Sep 4, Tropical Storm
Hanna roared along the edge of the Bahamas ahead of a possible
hurricane hit on the Carolinas, leaving behind at least 137 dead in
2008 Sep 7, Hurricane Ike
damaged most of the homes on Grand Turk island as it roared onto the
Bahamas, raked Haiti's flooded cities with rain and threatened the
Florida Keys on its way to Cuba as a ferocious Category 4 storm.
2008 Dec 30, The Bahamas'
foreign affairs minister said China will help build a national
sports stadium. Construction will start early next year in the
capital of Nassau. China will send the Bahamas a $7.3 million grant
as well as Chinese construction workers who will build the stadium.
2009 Jan 23, Authorities in the
Bahamas charged an island lawmaker and detained two other people in
an alleged plot to extort money from actor John Travolta after the
death of his son. Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater, an attorney from Grand
Bahama, was arrested a day earlier and charged with abetment to
extort and conspiracy to extort.
2009 Jan 24, Bahamas Sen.
Pleasant Bridgewater, accused of trying to extort money from actor
John Travolta after his son's death, resigned and vowed to prove her
2009 Jan 26, A Bahamas
paramedic was charged in an alleged scheme to extort $25 million
from John Travolta after his chronically ill son died of a seizure
at the family's vacation home.
2009 May 29, The nonbinding New
York Declaration, an agreement between the signatory flag states
which condemns acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels and
seafarers, was originally tabled by The Bahamas, the Republic of
Liberia, the Republic of Marshall Islands and the Republic of
Panama, four nations that account for more than half of global
2009 Aug 23, In the Bahamas
Stefania Fernandez (18), Miss Venezuela, was the fairest of them all
once again, winning the 2009 Miss Universe crown for the second year
straight and the sixth time since the pageant's creation.
2009 Sep 1, In the Bahamas an
amended fisheries laws took effect to give full protection to all
sea turtles found in the Atlantic archipelago's waters by banning
the harvest, possession, purchase and sale of the endangered
reptiles, including their eggs.
2009 Sep 23, Sidney Cambridge
(45) of Nassau, a prominent Bahamian lawyer, was indicted on US
federal corruption charges in a case that allegedly involves a South
Florida politician and nearly $1 million in laundered money. Also
charged in the case was Broward County Commissioner and Vice Mayor
Josephus Eggelletion, who was suspended pending the outcome of the
2009 Oct 21, In the Bahamas the
trial of two people accused of trying to extort John Travolta
following the death of his son there ended in a mistrial after a
lawmaker suggested the still-deliberating jury had acquitted one of
2009 Dec 17, In the Bahamas 2
US pilots were the only people aboard the small jet when it crashed
in an unpopulated area of Great Inagua shortly after taking off from
the Dominican Republic en route to Miami. The Jet Falcon was owned
by a trust for which the San Francisco, California-based Wells Fargo
company acts as trustee.
2010 Mar 29, In the Bahamas a
tornado touched down during a fierce thunderstorm and toppled a port
crane, killing three people and injuring at least four.
2010 May 12, In the Bahamas
Clive Tomlinson, a Jamaican, was killed. On May 14 authorities
charged Daniel Andres Ayo (27) and Luis Mendez (39), two tourists
from Florida, with the killing during what police say was a drug
deal gone bad.
2010 Jun 12, In the Bahamas J.
Wallace Tutt III, a South Florida interior designer whose elegant
creations were popular with movie stars, models and fashion icons,
was found dead in a grassy area of the island known as "The
2010 Jul 4, In the Bahamas
fugitive Colton Harris-Moore (19), dubbed the "Barefoot Bandit,"
crash landed a stolen plane on Great Abaco Island, and eluded
police. Harris-Moore, who grew up in the woods of Washington state's
Camano Island, has been on the run since escaping from a halfway
house more than two years ago. Colton Harris-Moore was arrested on
July 11 in northern Eleuthera. He pleaded guilty on July 13 and was
deported to face US charges. On June 17,2011, Colton pleaded guilty
to 7 charges carrying a prison term of up to 6˝ years. On Dec 16
Harris-Moore was sentenced to over 7˝ years in prison. On Jan
27, 2012, a US district judge sentenced him to 6˝ years in prison,
to run concurrent with the December ruling.
(AP, 7/9/10)(AP, 7/11/10)(AP, 7/13/10)(SFC,
6/18/11, p.A6)(SFC, 12/17/11, p.A7)(SFC, 1/27/12, p.A7)
2010 Oct 5, In the Bahamas a
twin-engine Cessna 402 carrying a pilot and at least eight
passengers crashed into Lake Killarney near the international
airport in, Nassau, after one of its engines caught fire. Officials
soon found the body of a 9th victim from the crash of what may have
been an illegal charter flight to a cultural festival. They said a
10th passenger may missing as well.
2011 Mar 2, In the Bahamas a
fire destroyed a shantytown, leaving nearly 700 people homeless,
most of them Haitian migrants.
2011 Apr 27, In the Bahamas
more than 100 people were left homeless after a fire wrecked a
crowded shantytown on Abaco Island filled mostly with Haitian
2011 Jul 5, The Bahamas banned
commercial fishing of sharks, awarding protection to the more than
40 species circling the island chain that touts itself as the shark
diving capital of the world. The ban applies to an estimated 243,000
square miles (630,000 square km) of water surrounding the
2011 Aug 24, Hurricane Irene
roared across the Bahamas archipelago, pummeling the country's
smaller, less-populated islands. Property damage appeared likely to
be extensive on Acklins and Crooked islands, in the southern part of
the chain. PM Hubert Ingraham said the country was bracing for
extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure.
2012 Feb 25, Bahamas’ PM Hubert
Ingraham took part in the opening of the national stadium in Nassau.
It was designed and paid for by China, and built mostly by migrant
(Econ, 3/10/12, p.49)
2012 Mar 25, Four people died
when their small plane crashed shortly after taking off from a tiny
airport in the Bahamas en route to Florida.
2012 May 7, Former Bahamian PM
Perry Christie led the main opposition party to victory, ousting the
ruling party in elections dominated by unhappiness over rising crime
and joblessness. PM Hubert Ingraham, who was seeking a 2nd
consecutive term, conceded defeat.
2012 Jun 11, Bahamas police
said 7 of 28 people have been rescued from a boat that sank while
carrying migrants to Florida. The boat had departed from Abaco
island a day earlier.
(SFC, 6/12/12, p.A2)
2012 Oct 26, Hurricane Sandy
raged through the Bahamas after leaving 29 people dead across the
2013 Mar 10, Bahamas’
environmental minister said offshore oil exploration will be
2013 Nov 25, A sailboat passing
through the southern Bahamas islands with about 150 Haitian migrants
on board capsized after running aground, killing up to 30 people and
leaving the rest clinging to the vessel for hours.
2014 Feb 9, Bahamas’ military
said it has taken 40 Dominican fishermen into custody on suspicion
of poaching in Bahamian waters.
2014 Apr 6, Officials in the
Bahamas said the charred corpses of 3 men and one women were found
under burning tires on the uninhabited Anguilla Cay. Investigators
said the people may have been Haitian migrants.
(SFC, 4/7/14, p.A2)
2014 Apr 11, Police in the
Bahamas said they have discovered 75,000 marijuana plants with an
estimated value of $7.5 million in a rural area on eastern Grand
2014 Nov 1, The Bahamas
government introduced new immigration rules.
2014 Nov 9, A Lear 36 Executive
Jet crashed on approach to the island of Grand Bahama killing all 9
people on board, including a prominent Christian minister and his
2014 Nov 26, The Bahamas
government, working to reduce the population in a detention center,
sent two planeloads of migrants to Haiti. New immigration rules took
effect Nov 1.
2015 Jan 1, In the Bahamas a
new 7.5 percent tax value-added went into effect only for businesses
whose profits exceed $100,000 a year.
2015 Oct 2, Hurricane Joaquin
ripped off roofs, uprooted trees and unleashed heavy flooding as the
Category 4 storm hurled torrents of rain across the eastern and
(AP, 10/2/15)(SFC, 10/3/15, p.A2)(AP, 10/5/15)
2016 Banks in the Bahamas had
assets of $223 billion, 26 times the national GDP.
(Econ, 9/10/16, p.63)
2017 Sep 8, Hurricane Irma
menaced Cuba and the Bahamas as it drove toward Florida after
lashing the Caribbean with devastating winds and torrential rain The
death toll from Irma increased to 20 with four more deaths reported
in the British Virgin Islands. The other lives lost include nine on
the French Caribbean islands of St. Martin and St. Barts, four in
the US Virgin Islands, and one each on the islands of Anguilla,
Barbuda and the Dutch side of St. Martin.
(Reuters, 9/8/17)(AP, 9/8/17)